2.3 Bessie Brazel Schreiber
[Bessie Brazel Schreiber is Mac Brazel's daughter. Here is her description of wreckage from the crash.]
[The material resembled] a sort of aluminum-like foil. Some of [these] pieces had a sort of tape stuck to them. Even though the stuff looked like tape, it could not be peeled off or removed at all. Some of these pieces had something like numbers and lettering on them, but there were no words we were able to make out. The figures were written out like you would write numbers in columns, but they didn't look like the numbers we use at all.
[There was also] a piece of something made out of the same metal-like foil that looked like a pipe sleeve. About four inches across and equally long, with a flange on one end. [Also] what appeared to be pieces of heavily waxed paper.
2.4 William Brazel Jr
[William Brazel Jr is Mac Brazel's son. Here is his description of wreckage from the crash.]
[One of the pieces looked like] something on the order of tinfoil, except that [it] wouldn't tear.... You could wrinkle it and lay it back down and it immediately resumed its original shape... quite pliable, but you couldn't crease or bend it like ordinary metal. Almost like a plastic, but definitely metallic. Dad once said that the Army had once told him it was not anything made by us.
[There was also] some threadlike material. It looked like silk, but was not silk, a very strong material [without] strands or fibers like silk would have. This was more like a wire, all one piece or substance.
[There were also] some wooden-like particles like balsa wood in weight, but a bit darker in color and much harder.... It was pliable but wouldn't break. Weighed nothing, but you couldn't scratch it with your fingernail. All I had was a few small bits. [There was no writing or markings on the pieces I had] but Dad did say one time that there were what he called "figures" on some of the pieces he found. He often referred to the petrography the ancient Indians drew on the rocks around here as "figures", too, and I think that's what he meant to compare them with.
[Here are other remarks by William Brazel Jr.]
My dad found this thing and he told me a little bit about it, not much, because the Air Force asked him to take an oath that he wouldn't tell anybody in detail about it. He went to his grave and he never told anybody.
He was an oldtime Western cowboy, and they didn't do a lot of talking. My brother and I had just went through World War II (him in the Army and me in the Navy) and needless to say, my dad was proud. Like he told me, "When you guys went in the service, you took an oath, and I took an oath not to tell." The only thing he said was, "Well, there's a big bunch of stuff, and there's some tinfoil, some wood, and on some of that wood there was Japanese or Chinese figures."
[At the time of the crash, William Brazel Jr had been living and working in Albuquerque, but returned when his father was taken into custody and thus there was no one to run the ranch.]
I rode out there [the field where the wreckage was found] on the average of once a week, and I was riding through that area, I was looking. That's why I found those little pieces.
Not over a dozen pieces. I'd say maybe eight different pieces. But there was only three [different] items involved: something on the order of balsa wood, something on the order of heavy-gauge monofilament fishing line, and a little piece of -- it wasn't tinfoil, it wasn't lead foil -- a piece about the size of my finger. Some of it was like balsa wood: real light and kind of neutral color, more of a tan. To the best of my memory, there wasn't any grain in it. Couldn't break it, it'd flex a little. I couldn't whittle it with my pocket knife.
The "string", I couldn't break it. The only reason I noticed the tinfoil (I'm gonna call it tinfoil), I picked this stuff up and put it in my chaps pocket. Might be two or three days or a week before I took it out and put it in a cigar box. I happened to notice when I put that piece of foil in that box, and the damn thing just started unfolding and just flattened out. Then I got to playing with it. I'd fold it, crease it, lay it down and it'd unfold. It's kinda wierd. I couldn't tear it. The color was in between tinfoil and lead foil, about the [thickness] of lead foil.
I was in Corona, in the bar, the pool hall. Sort of the meeting place, domino parlor.... That's where everybody got together. Everybody was asking, they'd seen the papers (this was about a month after the crash) and I said, "Oh, I picked up a few little bits and pieces and fragments." So, what are they? "I dunno."
Then lo and behold, here comes the military out to the ranch, a day or two later. I'm almost positive that the officer in charge, his name was Armstrong, a real nice guy. He had a [black] sergeant with him that was real nice. I think there was two other enlisted men. They said, "We understand your father found this weather balloon." I said, "Well yeah." "And we understand you found some bits and pieces." I said, "Yeah, I've got a cigar box that's got a few of them in there, down at the saddle shed."
And this (I think he was a captain), and he said, "Well, we would like to take it with us." I said, "Well..." And he smiled and he said, "Your father turned the rest of it over to us, and you know he's under an oath not to tell. Well," he said, "we came after those bits and pieces." And I kind of smiled and said, "OK, you can have the stuff, I have no use for it at all."
He said, "Well, have you examined it?" And I said, "Well, enough to know that I don't know what the hell it is." And he said, "We would rather you didn't talk very much about it."
End of part 3
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