“The only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn.” – Chief Justice Earl Warren
“Kodachrome, they give us those nice bright colors...” – Paul Simon
Anyone with even a passing interest in UFOs (or little green men and the Roswell crash) probably knows about—or has at least heard mention of—the Roswell Slides fiasco that went down in Mexico City on May 5th at an event called beWITNESS.
My initial exposure to this twisted tale came courtesy of my chum Nick Redfern in a blog post from 2013 which related what was—as far as I can tell—the first story that surfaced regarding the infamously named Roswell Slides.
In an effort to get my facts straight about what has by now become an immensely convoluted caper, I gave Mr. Redfern a call last weekend to have him help me sort through some of the more sordid details surrounding this story. As Nick recalled:
“Early 2013 was when really nothing was actually known about the slides in the public domain at all—there were a couple of snippets of things that got out, that someone had got images of a dead alien, something along those lines—but there were no names connected to these stories, or any other information.
“Now what happened was that the person who called me was calling from Midland, TX. This person, an elderly gentlemen, basically asked me a question along the lines of what I thought these images or photographs of a dead alien would be worth, and I told him it would first have to be proven that the photograph was authentic before anything else was going to happen. So it was clear the person was trying to insert themselves into the story. In hindsight, I felt they obviously knew something about the slides quite significant because Midland, Texas is where the couple who the slides originated with—Bernard and Hilda Ray—lived. The person who called me gave me the names Bernard and Hilda Ray and what Bernard Ray did for a living and what these slides seemed to show and different things of this nature. He specifically mentioned pictures or images of a dead alien…And there was mention of a blanket, I remember that, there was a mention of part of the body being obscured by something or other, so it was clear to me that he had either seen the photograph or he had very good data given to him as to what the image showed.
“And so when the story first got out that there was this so-called Dream Team investigating the case, I contacted them and said, “Hey, ya know, I’ve been given a story very similar to what it sounds like you’re working on”, and they asked me what’s the story? And so I explained the nature of the phone call and that it came from Midland, Texas and that it dealt with photos of a dead alien. And when I gave the Dream Team the names of Bernard and Hilda Ray, there was a stunned silence. And so I asked them, “What’s going on?” and they said that they had these images and that the names given to me, in early 2013, were actually the names of the people under investigation—Bernard and Hilda Ray—that the Dream Team had been keeping kept under wraps. So whoever this elderly gentleman was, he certainly knew something. Even to this day I don’t honestly know who this person was. All I know for sure is that somebody else—we still may not even know who it is—somebody else knew aspects of the story and were trying to get involved as a fixer, you know, as a player or broker in the selling of the slides, and get a percentage. I think it was something along those lines…”
A few months after Nick’s mysterious phone call from Midland, Texas, the aforementioned Dream Team appeared on scene; a group of UFO researchers and Roswell Crash enthusiasts that included in its ranks Kevin Randle (author of Roswell Revisited), Don Schmitt and Tom Carey (authors of Witness To Roswell) as well Anthony Bragalia, yet another Roswell Crash believer. It was due to this influence—your humble author would venture—that the story eventually dressed itself in Roswell drag by suggesting that the dead alien—in the much ballyhooed and at this time unseen slides—was the honest to god alien flesh and bones gray skinned ET (or at least one of them) that legend has it crashed and burned at Mac Brazel’s ranch on the outskirts of Roswell, New Mexico in July of 1947.
It didn’t take long for murmurs and whispers about these slides to begin percolating ever so softly through the Ufological grapevine, a place where the buzzing of a rumor of this nature can whip the natives into a fast frenzy and, before ya knew it, many UFO researchers had worked themselves into a lather about the startling possibility that the literal smoking gun from the Roswell crash had been discovered by a lady named “Cat” or “Cathy”. Cat or Cathy—as the story goes—was cleaning out a house for an estate sale in Sedona, Arizona when she discovered a box containing some 400 hundred Kodachrome slides, only later to discover that hidden among the slides were a couple of slides that appeared very strange.
The slides in question had belonged to the same names previously passed along to Nick Redfern, namely Bernard and Hilda Ray. The gist of this story is presented in the trailer to Kodachrome, a film documentary in the works that tells the startling story about these curious slides, and how Bernard Ray—a highly respected geologist and avid photographer—and his charming wife Hilda were globetrotting insiders and close personal friends with Ike Eisenhower as documented (supposedly) by the many slides in the Ray’s collection such as Ike waving from the back of a train, as well as such revealing photos as the 1948 U.S. Open Golf Tournament (yes, the U.S. Open Golf Tournament!) and none other than Bing Crosby who we can also assume was well connected to the shadow government because why else would the Rays have a photo of Bing Crosby at the U.S. Open if it wasn’t in some way related to MJ-12?? But I digress…
Due to the Ray’s highly placed connections to the Super Secret Shadow Government (SSSG), Ike or some other Super Secret Agent (SSA) of the SSSG allowed Bernard and Hilda—as the story goes—to view and photograph the actual dead alien from Roswell at some Super Secret Location (SSL).
I’m not sure exactly when the producer of Kodachrome—a shadowy character named Adam Dew—inserted himself into the story, and perhaps he might have been there from the very beginning, even before the mystery man from Midland rang Redfern in early 2013 asking how much a photo of a dead alien was worth.
At some point the murky Mr. Dew (along with another mystery man named Joseph Beason) formed a partnership of sorts (or an agreement or some type of working relationship) with the Dream Team—and in particular Tom Carey and Don Schmitt. Out of this arrangement emerged the Kodachrome film project and Carey and Schmitt signed some sort of non-disclosure agreements in this regard and due to these agreements there were certain things the Dream Team weren’t at liberty to reveal, which included the much vaunted hi rez copies of the slides. It’s not even clear if Schmitt or Carey actually saw the hi rez slides until recently at the beWITNESS event—or if they were being strung along by the likes Adam Dew, or by his co-producer Mr. Beason, and maybe even the elderly gentleman from Midland, Texas. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
At some point in 2014 the lo rez version of the slide began making the rounds in the Ufological research community and—while the photo did appear somewhat curious—it was just too darn blurry to determine exactly what was captured in the image, yet this was enough bait to keep reeling everyone in with the prospect that there was a higher rez version that would ultimately reveal—bigger than day—that the supposed dead alien in the photo was indeed the real deal dude from the Roswell crash of yore.
I was pretty much unaware of these developments as they progressed throughout late 2014 into 2015. Yes, I’d read Nick’s blog post about his initial mysterious phone call from the elderly middle-man from Midland, but when Roswell became a part of the story, I pretty much dismissed it, because—let’s face it—the Roswell angle always seems to get trotted out every few years and attached to any story even remotely hinting at tales of crashed saucers or dead aliens on ice hidden at Hanger 18 or some other Super Secret Lab (SSL) operated by the SSSG.
Roswell is and will remain in the eyes of many the Holy Grail of Ufology and it’s only a matter of time, some suggest, until a piece of startling evidence emerges (such as the Roswell Slides!) that will prove once and for all the existence of ETs visiting our planet and that our government has been suppressing this information for well over 6 decades now because we can’t handle the truth!
The Roswell Crash scenario, in one form or another, has been haunting Ufology (for good or ill) ever since the modern era of UFOs first spun into our collective craniums back in 1947 starting with Kenneth Arnold’s much publicized sighting of “flying saucers” over Mt. Rainier in Washington state. Many researchers—true believers as well the more skeptical alike—do indeed think something significant went down in Roswell, but whether it was actually an ET craft or a secret government project or a mogul weather balloon remains a matter of never ending debate.
New Mexico—as legends suggest—is not only the Land of Enchantment but also a hotbed for crashed saucer stories dating back to the late 1940s, and Roswell was just one among many supposed saucer crash sites where these ETs went down in flames, their dead gray bodies to be afterwards dragged from the memory metal wreckage and then pickled in Super Secret Government Labs (SSGL).
Some speculate that the crashed saucer/dead aliens mythos was a cleverly concocted cover story designed to conceal the actual testing of Top Secret Terrestrial Craft (TSTC) developed as part of a Super Secret Space Program (SSSP), based out of Las Alamos, New Mexico, where many of the ex-Nazi project paperclip rocket scientists landed in the aftermath of World War II and it was there that Nazi anti-grav technology (or some such) was being covertly tested, which ostensibly led to an occasional fuckup in the form of a crash now and then.
All of this, I admit, seems like a rather elaborate smoke screen to conceal the testing of secret terrestrial craft, but Military Government Spooks (MGS) have been known to go to certain extremes as in the case of the disinformation campaign that did a number on Dr. Paul Bennewitz’s head in the early 1980s, driving him over the deep end with nightmare visions of Dulce base abductions and sinister space ships inhabiting our skies.
Whether real, imagined or invented, Ufology has a way of perpetuating such myths and of continually breathing life into old stories that have littered UFO lore throughout the years. The first report of a saucer crash in New Mexico (or anywhere else for that matter) came courtesy of journalist Frank Scully in Behind the Flying Saucers published in 1950, which claimed that a saucer piloted by otherworldly midgets had crashed in Aztec, Mexico. Secret Government Scientists (SSG) soon determined that the crashed saucer operated on certain magnetic principles divisible by the number nine that just so happened to coincide with the crashed Aztec saucer’s exact dimensions of which were also divisible by the number nine!
Behind the Flying Saucers was later exposed as a fictional flight of fancy and that Scully received much of his bogus information for the story from a couple of con artists named Silas Newton and Leo Gebauer.
Hoaxes of this nature are nothing new in the annals of Ufology and the Roswell Slides appear to be just one more in a long line of such tall tales associated with the purported Roswell Crash, including the infamous Alien Autopsy film from the mid 1990s, which was the granddaddy of all such hoaxes, making beWITNESS look like a game tiddlywinks in comparison.
Another layer of the mythos that has been draped over Roswell (like some sort of holy shroud) concerns President Eisenhower and his supposed knowledge of dead aliens and how this whole affair was related to a Super Secret Government Group (SSSG) known as Majestic 12 (MJ-12), which was originally revealed in a Super Secret Government Document (SSGD) that surfaced courtesy of UFO researcher William “Bill” Moore in the late 1980s, and which was later shown to be as queer as a two dollar bill. Whether it was Moore or someone else who actually faked the document is another story in itself.
It was during this period—thanks to the likes of Moore and his former research partner, Stanton Friedman—that the Roswell story first emerged, at least in terms in reaching a mass audience. Moore—it should be noted—authored the first book on Roswell (aptly titled The Roswell Incident) and later admitted that he had passed along dubious Ufological information about an alien invasion courtesy of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) to the aforementioned Dr. Paul Bennewitz which ultimately caused Bennewitz to go crackers. But I digress….
It should be noted that when Nick Redfern first discussed the alleged dead alien slide business with the elderly middle-man from Midland, this supposed connection to Roswell never once came up in their conversation and it was only after the Dream Team got involved that the magic word was spoken and the duck on the string descended.
Afterwards, a PR campaign was apparently designed around this story (the whole dead alien from Roswell bit), of which the Dream Team and Kodachrome producers planned to roll out in multiple stages, first with the beWITNESS dog and pony show and then subsequent roll outs at forthcoming UFO conferences scheduled for 2015 where the Schmitt and Carey tag team were scheduled to speak and reveal much, much more—all of this to eventually culminate ( I suspect) with the release of the Kodachrome film and related book projects.
The first stage of this Roswell Slide rollout was the beWITNESS event featuring a star studded Ufological cast of characters orchestrated by ringmaster Jaime Maussan that included Roswellists Schmitt and Carey, Kodachome producer Adam Dew, as well as the ever popular Ufologist, Richard Dolan.
Dolan—who is (or was) viewed by many as one of the more credible researchers in the field—was a late addition to the beWITNESS boondoggle and apparently was brought in to add some semblance of credibility to the proceedings. In advance of beWITNESS, Reuters News Service quoted Dolan saying: “Analysis of the body … suggested this is not a mummy and not a human, not a mammal and not a model.”
In the subsequent fallout from the beWITNESS brouhaha, Dolan’s credibility—at least in the eyes of some observers—has taken a bit of a hit. Shortly afterwards, Dolan took to the airwaves on his internet radio show to present his side of the story. To this end, Dolan minimized his role in beWITNESS, explaining how it’d all been a last minute invite and that he based his endorsement of the Roswell slide on a limited set of evidence.
Dolan also stated that he owed no apology for his involvement in beWITNESS, an apparent response to the immediate outcry that the heads of the Roswell Slide promoters should roll and that Dolan should be included in this bloodletting even though Dolan was really just a bit player who most likely got roped into it against his better judgment.
I can only assume that Dolan based his initial statement to Reuters on information gleaned from Dream Team members and/or Adam Dew to the effect that “experts” had verified the slides and—going on faith—Dolan just repeated the party line that the something or other pictured in the slide was the honest to god real deal dead alien from Roswell.
One persistent question surrounding the lo rez slide—which had been available for several months leading up to the beWITNESS event—concerned a placard positioned in front of one of the dead alien’s legs. According to the Dream Team and Kodachrome producers—as well as beWITNESS promoter Jaime Maussan—expert photographic analysis determined that the writing on the placard was indecipherable.
In the immediate aftermath of beWITNESS, a hi rez image of the Roswell slide was leaked to a group of researchers identified as the Roswell Slide Research Group (RSRG).
Over the last several months, the RSRGer’s had been examining the Roswell Slides from behind the scenes and once they finally had the hi rez version at their disposal, members of the group were able to (within the short span of 72 hours) de-blur the supposedly indecipherable placard using a free software program which revealed that the writing on it said:
MUMMIFIED BODY OF TWO YEAR OLD BOY
At the time of burial the body was clothed in a xxx-xxx cotton
shirt. Burial wrappings consisted of these small cotton blankets.
Loaned by the MR. Xxxxxx, San Francisco, California
This idea that the so-called alien was really a mummy was something that many who had viewed the lo rez slide suspected all along, however it was such a lousy image it was impossible to conduct a thorough analysis, this in addition to the resounding statements provided by the Dream Team and Kodachrome producers insisting they had hard evidence to support their claim that the photo was indeed that of an dead alien.
In response to the placard de-blur, Nick Redfern had this to say when I spoke to him the other day:
“The problem I had with the slide, and the whole situation is this: I got the call early 2013. Now it’s midway through 2015, and when the Dream Team became public knowledge that still gave them a couple of years to investigate the nature of the slides and what they showed, and even by the time of the event in Mexico we’re told that it’s an alien that will be presented. But here’s the biggest irony: within 72 hours of that hi rez image being shown to the world the whole thing collapsed, it was all cleared up within 72 hours. The event was on a Tuesday and by Friday, it was pretty much game over. And then you had Tony Bragalia’s apology, and you had Don Schmitt’s apology, with both of them accepting that it was a mummy shown in the slide. So my thing is this: The reason it collapsed after 72 hours is because we finally had access to the hi rez image and you could tell that it looked far more mummy-like than it did in the original lo rez image that had circulated and also on the back shelf behind it you can see what looks like an animal head—like a wolf or a bear or something like that—clearly making it obvious that this was some kind of museum or display. So my question is why wasn’t anybody able to resolve this in the 2 to 3 years in which the hi rez image was being withheld? Why couldn’t it have been proven by them [The Dream Team] that it was clearly just a museum display, then we wouldn’t have had this fiasco of putting on an event in Mexico, charging people and then days later it all falling apart…”
It wasn’t long after the release of the placard de-blur that Dream Team members started jumping ship. The first out of the chutes was Anthony Bragalia who agreed with the conclusions of the RSRG that the alien in the slide was a mummy that at one time or another had been on display at a museum in Mesa Verde, Colorado where it was originally photographed by Bernard Ray.
A short time after the placard de-blur, Kodachrome producer Adam Dew fired the first salvo in response to the RSRG, claiming that the placard de-blur was actually a fake! In other words, Dew claimed that the RSRG had doctored the photo and made up the text about the alien (or whatever it is) being a mummy. Around this same time, Dew updated his website by adding the hi rez image of the placard, which of course was indecipherable. Ironically, this was a stroke of good fortune for the RSRG, as in short order they were also able to download and de-blur this hi rez version of the placard straight from the horse’s mouth, once again demonstrating the same thing they’d accomplished with the leaked image of the slide: that the placard indicated it was a mummy boy.
Afterwards, the RSRG produced a couple of youtube vids showing the step-by-step process used in their de-blur process so anyone could try it for themselves, which in turn led to a growing number of UFO researchers doing their own de-blur and achieving the same results as had the RSRG.
Adam Dew’s statement about the RSRG faking the placard de-blur was removed from the Kodachrome site a couple days after he posted it, which suggests that Dew thought better about making such an outrageous claim at the same time that so many others were independently confirming that the RSRGer’s de-blur results were, in fact, legit. Curiously enough, I remembered previously seeing some biographical info on Mr. Dew on the Kodachrome site but that also seems to have vanished, so perhaps he’s trying to make himself scarce all of the sudden.
I’ve recently learned that Dew’s partner, the mysterious Mr. Beason, is the brother of “Cat” or “Cathy” (full name Catherine Beason) the gal who allegedly discovered the Roswell Slides, which at this point we can probably quit referring to by that name, as it appears that the only thing Roswell has to do with any of this is, well, nothing at all.
Dream Teamer Tom Carey was next to issue a mea culpa, but oddly enough decided to parrot Adam Dew’s claim that the RSRG’s placard de-blur was quite possibly a fake.
Next came the most carefully crafted apology from the bunch courtesy of Don Schmitt in what he referred to as his “final statement”, which of course gives the impression that Schmitt has no plans to discuss the matter further. Schmitt—to his credit—opted not to extend the silly claim that the RSRG had faked the placard de-blur, which would do nothing more than dig a deeper hole for the likes of he and his Dream Team compatriots.
Of course it’s easy in retrospect to take pot shots at the Dream Team after it all went down in flames, but granted they made themselves easy targets by claiming that they’d done their “due diligence” in determining that—at the very least—there was something truly significant about these slides which, in the final analysis, proved to be a whole lot of nothing.
Apologies are all well and good, but in this instance they seem a rather hollow attempt to say: “Hey, we admit our mistake, but it’s now over and done and time to move on.” Apologies—in the minds of some—help bring closure and resolution and that “Yeah, well, we sorta screwed up, although we don’t really want to talk about that too much, except to say that we’re sorry and we’ll make sure it never happens again.”
Such apologies don’t cut it with some of the more vociferous members in the UFO research scene who—if they had their druthers—would prefer to see the Dream Teamers cut off at the legs and never allowed to attend any future UFO conferences or profit from anything related to UFOs and be forever blackballed from the hallowed halls of Ufology.
However, I have an alternative that would put a positive spin on this whole debacle and at the same time move Ufology a few steps forward—after the backward missteps it took that led to the beWITNESS train wreck.
As Don Schmitt is slated to speak at Contact in the Desert on the weekend of May 29-31—and both Carey and Schmitt at the Roswell Festival in July—these events would provide the perfect forum to discuss the “Lessons Learned” from the beWITNESS and Roswell Slides affair and allow the principals involved to explain how they arrived at the erroneous conclusion (or at least the working theory) that they actually had photographic evidence of a dead alien so that future UFO researchers can avoid the same pitfalls to which the Dream Team fell victim.
This would include an explanation of the Dream Team’s investigatory process—or lack thereof—and exactly what materials they provided to the experts who conducted the photo analysis and, in turn, what documentation these experts returned to the Dream Team that apparently confirmed, in their minds at least, that the little guy in the photo was an alien.
This type of transparency would instruct the UFO community on how these mistakes were made and greatly assist future Ufologists in adopting a more sound methodology to avoid future fiascos of this nature.
Many in Ufology these days, and in particular those who are Roswell Crash loyalists, are keen to the idea that the Government needs to come clean with UFO Disclosure and release any and all classified information pertaining to the reality of ETs visiting our planet—assuming, of course, that such information exists to any great degree.
I would submit the Ufology—such as it is—should be held to the same standards they expect from the government in terms of disclosure in the case of purported evidence of ETs, and that the Dream Team members—in the true spirit of transparency—provide similar disclosure in regards to the Roswell Slides case and identify the Who, What, When, Why, Where and How this all went down as an instruction manual for future Ufologists to avoid these same pitfalls.
While it seems the Dream Team has pretty much thrown in the towel, beWITNESS impresario Jaime Maussan is sticking to his guns and is, in fact, going on the offensive now insisting that the mummy in the slide really is an alien after all and that the message on the placard was some type of disinfo PsyOp perpetrated by those diabolical RSRGers, a theory presented by Linda Moulton Howe—in tandem with our man Maussan—in a recent episode of Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland that had my brain all but oozing out my ears.
Some would see such saber rattling on Maussan’s part as mere deflection, but I view it as more a way to keep his strange UFOtainment train careening madly along the tracks. Surreally enough, the Jaimester’s strategy seems like a sound one in this regard, that if you inject enough nonsense into the argument then it will all eventually fizzle out or—conversely—Maussan can use all of this noise to promote future world shattering events to further fleece the rubes.
All of these antics on the part of Mr. Maussan—and supported by Howe and Strieber to some extent—seem like a desperate attempt to polish the proverbial turd that got dropped in the beWITNESS punchbowl. Whatever the case, it’s kind of hard to keep up with Maussan because he’s all over the map with some his comments, such as a recent twitter tweet where he is offering the whopping sum of “5 thousand dollars reward to the person who presents a new image of the beWITNESS and 10 thousand dollars” to whoever leads him to the body.
A couple days prior to the beWITNESS event, Nick Redfern posited that the Roswell Slide alien may, in fact, have been a mummy on display in years past at the Million Dollar Museum in White City, New Mexico.
Linda Howe of late has latched on to this Million Dollar Museum angle and flipped it on its ear, suggesting on this recent episode of Dreamland that there actually was an alien on display at the Million Dollar Museum in years past (the museum closed in 2008) and how she’s hot on the trail of tracking down this supposed dead alien body (presumably in the prospect of pocketing Maussan’s $10,000 cash reward.) Howe’s dead alien, however, is different from the beWITNESS creature—as she giddily explained to Strieber—noting that in old photos of the little guy in his display case at the Million Dollar Museum, there was a ruler beside the body which clearly measured the creature as twelve inches in length, as opposed to the beWITNESS body which was three to three and half feet in length.
In response to Howe’s staggering assertion that this former Million Dollar Museum exhibit was “the oddest, strangest, most alien body I personally have seen in my 36 years in trying to get to the bottom of all this,” Strieber exclaimed: “This is the most extraordinary interview I’ve had in the history of Dreamland! Between the two of you, you’ve ended up with two alien bodies! Instead of one fake, we’ve ended up with two real ones!”
It just goes to show that you can’t keep a good dead alien down.
To be continued…