Friedman, who lives in Canada, contacted John Carpenter, a Springfield professional therapist who in his spare time serves as a director of investigations for the local chapter of Mutual UFO Network, a nationwide organizations of UFO researchers. At Friedman's request, Carpenter conducted extensive in person interviews of Anderson, including sessions under hypnosis.
The results excited Friedman. "Powerful stuff!" he exclaimed upon hearing interview tapes. Friedman arranged airline tickets for Anderson and Carpenter to join him in New Mexico to pinpoint the crash site.
Anderson says the flight was his first return to New Mexico in more than a quarter-century. After pointing the pilot of a chartered helicopter to a spot in the desert 75 air miles southwest of Albuquerque, Anderson gazed at a hillside, strewn with boulders the size of Volkswagens and dotted with a few gnarled pinion trees, that he says he saw in the summer of 1947..... A NEW HOME
The Anderson family arrived in Albuquerque from Indiana on July 4, 1947. they took up temporary residence at the home of one of Gerald's uncles, Guy Anderson. Gerald's father, Glen, was about to take a job as a master machinist involved in nuclear weapons design at the super-secret Sandia base on the outskirts of town.
The next day, another uncle, Ted, struck up a conversation with Gerald's older brother Glen Jr., who was on leave from the Marine Corps. Glen Jr. was a rockhound, and his uncle piqued the young Marine's enthusiasm with talkes of gorgeous stones just waiting to be collected in the desert.
" Ted told my brother, ' I know where there's plenty of moss agate.' So we all paced into a 1940 Plymouth - Uncle Ted, my cousin Victor (Ted's 8 year old son), my brother, Glen, my dad and myself. We went out into this area where the moss agate was supposed to be - followed two ruts into the desert, bounced along out there for a while, and ended up on top of a ridgeline. We parked the car and started to walk down an arroyo (gully) and dry creek bed and out onto the plains.
A STRANGE DISCOVERY
"But we came around a corner and right there in front of us stuck into the side of this hill, was a silver disc. There were some remarks like"There's a crash up here! Something's crashed up here! And then someone saying 'That's a goddamn spaceship!"
"We all went up there to it. There were three creatures, three bodies, lying on the ground underneath this thing in the shade. Two weren't moving and the third one obviously was having trouble breathing, like when you have broken ribs. There was a fourth one next to it, sitting there on the ground. There wasn't a thing wrong with it, and it apparently had been giving first aid to the others.
Anderson animatedly acts out the fourth creature's reaction when the family members approached. "It recoiled in fear, like it thought we were going to attack it," anderson recounts, covering his face with crossed arms. The adults tried to repeatedly to communicate with the frightened creature, Anderson says, but there was no audible response to greetings spoken in English and Spanish.
A few minutes after the Anderson clan happened upon the bizarre scene, six other people arrived - five college students and their teacher. They'd been working on an archeological dig around cliff dwellings a few miles away and had decided to hike over after seeing what they thought was a firey meteor crashing the night before. The professor, a Dr. Buskirk, tried several foreign languages in unsuccessful attempts to coax a verbal response from the creature, Anderson says.
The sun had climbed to a midday peak by this time and recalls anderson, "to a kid from Indiana, it was hot brother, let me tell you." He chugged a chocolate flavored soft drink an hour earlier and the sweet soda pop was churning uncomfortably in his stomach. so he sought shelter in the shadow of the spacecraft.
"It was 115 (degrees) out there that day. But around the craft, when you got close to it, it was cold. When you touched the metal, it felt just like it came out of a freezer."
SOMETHING WASN'T RIGHT
Anderson also touched one of the creatures lying motionless on the ground - and it, too was cold. In his child's mind, he had thought the figures looked like dolls. But when he felt the cold skin, " I knew something wasn't quite right. Yuck!.
Anderson says he ran to the crest of a nearby knoll to take stock. A pickup truck arrived on the ridge, and a fellow whom researchers believe was a civil engineer named Barney Barnett joined the curious audience. "I remember thinking he looked like Harry Truman. In 1947, every kid knew what Harry Truman looked like," Anderson says.
After a few minutes, Anderson summoned the courage to again creep close to the strange saucer. It was then more chilling than the surface of the craft of the skin of the corpse; The upright creature turned and looked right at me and it was like he was inside my head- as if he was doing my thinking, as if his thoughts were in my head."
Anderson remembers a mental sensation of falling and tumbling end-over-end. "I felt that thing's fear, felt its depression, felt its loneliness. I relived the crash. I know the terror it went through. That one look told me everything that quickly," he says with a snap of his fingers.
Other things began happening quickly about this time, Anderson says. A contingent of armed soldiers suddenly appeared. The creature, which had calmed down after its initial fright, "went crazy" at the sight of the soldiers. Thinking back on the creature's plight today brings on the "awfulest, horrible feeling," Anderson says.
"His situation was hopeless. He knew it. He'd just lived through a nightmare that most of us wouldn't be able to psychologically stand. He'd watched two of his crew, his friends or maybe even his family die. He's watching another one die. He knows there's no chance of rescue, because the military is here and his people aren't going to be able to get him.
"God only knows how far away from home he was, and he knew he was never going to see - if they have loved ones - his loved ones again. He was totally alone on a hostile planet, and the only people who were showing him kindness were being run off by the military at weapon-point.
"As a kid, I was aware of what being afraid of the dark was like., and the feeling I got from him was that feeling multiplied a million times. It was scary. It was terrifying.
SOLDIERS ON THE SCENE
Anderson says he lost sight of the creature as the soldiers swarmed over the site. The civilians were brusquely shoved from the craft. Anderson remembers shouts and threats. His uncle Ted threw a punch at one of the GIs. "Things got very tense, very dangerious," Anderson says. "The soldiers ushered us out of there very unceremoniously. Their attitude, to describe it at best, was uncivilized."
Anderson has an especially vivid memory of a tough-talking red haired Army captain and an equally gruff black sergeant. "They told my dad and my uncle, who also worked at Sandia, that if they were ever to divulge anything about this - it was a secret military aircraft, they said - then us kids would be taken away and they'd never see us again." It seems an outrageious threat in hindsight, Anderson concedes. But at the time, he reminds, "These people had machine guns and you listened to what they said."
Another recollection strikes Anderson as odd today: The soldiers didn't appear surprised about the otherworldly craft and creatures. they didn't gawk, slack-jawed and awestruck as the Andersons had done. "The soldiers weren't saying, 'Gee, look at that!" They were very cognizant of what they were looking at. They knew what it was.
And it soon became apparent, Anderson says, that the Army knew what it wanted to do with the find. "there was a battalion of military, a real invasion force, when we got back up on the hilltop. There were trucks, there were airplanes - they had the road blocked off and they were landing on it. They had radio communications gear set up. There were ambulances, and more soldiers with weapons."
In the days that followed, all of New Mexico was abuzz with talk of strange lights in the sky, strange echoes on radar, strange doings in the desert. On July 7, new reports told of remnants of an unidentified aircraft found by a rancher near the town of Roswell, N.M. about 150 miles east of the hillside where the Anderson's stumbled upon the saucer.
Although several witnesses said it was like nothing they'd ever seen before, military officers insisted the metallic pieces came from an ordinary weather balloon.....
A WEATHER BALLOON?
Forty three years later, Anderson smiles wryly when reminded of the Army's pronouncement, "A lot of people wondered why, if it was just a weather balloon, the military put the pieces under armed guard and flew them in a B-29 to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio," he observes.
Anderson believes the wreckage scattered near Roswell and the barely damaged saucer on the Plains of San Agustin are connected. "There was a gash in the side of the disc we saw, like it had been crushed in," he says. "The contour of the craft would fit into that gash perfectly - like another one of these things had hit it. I think two of these discs had a mid-air collision. One exploded and feel in pieces near Roswell, and the other crash-landed where we found it.
With all evidence confiscated and the military steadfastly sticking by the weather balloon explanation, the story faded from the news by July's end. And Gerald Anderson says he tucked away the memory as he grew into manhood. "I learned you just don't go up to the average person on the street and say, "Damn, know what I saw?" The guy will go, "Get away from me, fool! Are you crazy?" In later life, he didn't mention it even to his wife until a few years after their marriage.
Anderson joined the Navy in the late 1950s and served a dozen years in posts around the globe. He lived for a few years in Colorado, working as a paramedic and working toward a college degree in microbiology. In 1979, he moved to Missouri to better raise his daughter away from what he terms the "druggy" atmosphere of Denver. In addition to his law enforcement posts, Anderson has worked for two southwest Missouri trucking firms as a driver and instructor.
Anderson also has been active in the Episcopal Church. He recently was elected to the vestry at Ascension Episcopal in Springfield and is studying toward becoming a deacon. A gold crucifix - a cross complete with a figure of the martyred Christ affixed to it - suspended from a chain around Anderson's neck is testimony to his faith.
NO CONFLICT IN BELIEFS
Although he concedes his account might make some fellow churchgoers uncomfortable, Anderson sees no conflict between what he saw with his eyes and what he believes in his heart: "When you're talking about the concept of God, you have to be talking in the context of a universal situations, a deity that built the whole universe. And why should we assume that this speck of sand in the backwater of space would be the only place that an all-perfect, almighty God could create life?"
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