by Michael Lindemann
It is the kind of story that raises, then dashes, a UFO researcher's fondest hopes. It is the kind of story that stokes legend and breeds paranoia -- and leaves many burning questions unanswered.
A credible-sounding witness to the Roswell UFO crash of 1947 is on his deathbed. His adult son, never privy to the father's dark secret until recently, calls the Roswell UFO Museum, hoping someone will hear him out and understand what he's saying. The old man has some important information -- and an artifact.
Personnel at the museum are intrigued but cautious. They've heard this kind of thing before. But in a second phone call, the old man himself tells a story full of tantalizing details that seem to ring true. Arrangements are made for a meeting in Oklahoma.
Everyone emphasizes the need for confidentiality and security. The son is particularly concerned for the welfare of his father and other family members. Precautions are taken to insure that identities and plans are protected.
But the precautions are thwarted. The planned meeting does not take place. Instead, the museum representative, who has driven hundreds of miles, finds himself unable to locate the son or the father. He waits impatiently in his hotel room, waiting for a message that does not come.
Instead, he receives a totally unexpected phone call. He is directed to a nearby restaurant, there to meet two people he has never heard of before. At the meeting, he is told that the two are government agents, but their real names and exact affiliations are not disclosed. They explain to the museum representative that they have intercepted the father and son, who are now cooperating with the government.
The agents tell the museum representative that the Roswell incident is real. However, they say, it is not yet time to allow such things as a real alien artifact into the light of day.
The museum representative goes home puzzled, scared -- and empty-handed. Further efforts to contact the father and son are unsuccessful.
This, in brief, is a sequence of events that really happened earlier this year. At least, this is the story told by Dennis Balthaser, Operations Manager for the Roswell International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico. Balthaser himself was the museum representative who drove to a town in Oklahoma, intending to meet the father and son who might -- just might -- turn over a real piece of the Roswell UFO. Balthaser says that his planned meeting was "intercepted."
Balthaser first told his full story in a public lecture at the Roswell UFO Museum on October 11, 1997. He has provided CNI News with a complete text of that lecture.
Balthaser says that the man he refers to only as "the son" first called the museum in late May. The son said that his father had just told him an astonishing story.
The son had never had any interest in UFOs and knew nothing about the Roswell incident of 1947, he said. After hearing his father's story, he first tried to contact the Roswell Army Air Field where his father had once been stationed -- not even realizing that that military facility was long gone. In due course, he was directed to the Roswell UFO Museum.
During the initial phone contact, the son gave many details that he attributed to his father. Museum personnel took extensive notes during the phone call. Balthaser says the son told them the following:
The father had been assigned to protect a live being that had arrived from another world.
The father showed the son a strange metallic object which had been stored for years in an old footlocker. The father had kept the footlocker with him at the nursing home where he had lived since being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
The son said the metal piece was the size of a half dollar and looked like chewing gum foil. He said that when it was crumpled up and then released, it unfolded itself, leaving no creases.
The father described a heavily armed military unit that had accompanied an ambulance back from the site of an apparent crash in the desert. The site, he said, was 45 or 50 minutes' drive from the airbase.
The father said he was assigned to help guard the back entrance to the base hospital. In that position, he watched as a being the size of a child, but deformed, walked under its own power into the hospital.
The father said all regular hospital personnel were cleared out, and the guards stayed on duty for the next eight hours with orders to shoot anyone who tried to enter without authorization.
After the episode, the father was told never to talk about it, on pain of death. He had not talked about it until now.
After hearing these details, several key members of the museum staff, including Dennis Balthaser, deliberated on what to do. They decided to send some background information about the Roswell incident to the son and invited him to call the museum again after reviewing it.
On Sunday, June 1, the son called again. Balthaser took the call and took five pages of notes during the conversation. This time, the father got on the phone and told his own story.
To the previously mentioned details, the father added the following:
He had been 23 years old and recently returned from two years' infantry duty in Europe when he was assigned to a military police detachment at Roswell Field. He was now 73 years old and was told he had six months to live.
He said that on July 3, 1947, all leaves and passes at the base were cancelled. Early on the morning of July 4, he was part of a guard detachment that was driven to a location some 20 to 30 miles north of town. There, he said, he saw quite a few vehicles and high ranking officers, including some who had flown in from Washington. He believed he was guarding the site of a military air crash.
He found the strange piece of metal while at the site, and put it in his pocket.
He was told to escort an ambulance back to the base. Once there, he saw the strange being get out of the ambulance and enter the hospital.
He said he was debriefed several times, including when he was discharged from the service later that year at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was told to forget everything that had happened at Roswell.
Dennis Balthaser asked if the old man would tell his story in front of a video camera. The man said yes, as long as his two sons were not involved.
Balthaser then consulted with other museum staff. It was decided that he would drive to Oklahoma for a confidential meeting with the man. If all went as planned, Balthaser would videotape the man's statement and would acquire the metal artifact and other promised materials and information. The son provided a private phone number to call when Balthaser arrived.
Plans were made for the meeting. Museum personnel created a long list of questions they hoped the old man could answer, especially regarding the appearance and behavior of the alien being.
On June 13, Balthaser drove to the town in Oklahoma where he was to meet the man and his son. From his hotel, Balthaser called the private number given him by the son. A woman answered. She said the son was out of town on an emergency trip but would be back the next day. Balthaser said he would call again.
Balthaser had the name of the son, who had said he was an attorney. But no one by that name was listed in the local phone book. Balthaser also had an address to which the museum had previously mailed Roswell information. That address turned out to be in a trailer park. Balthaser began to suspect trouble.
The next morning, as agreed, he again called the private number. This time he got only a phone answering machine. He called again a few hours later, and then again still later -- each time getting a machine. Now he fully suspected a hoax. But he waited in his hotel room, still hoping the son would call.
At 3:30 that afternoon, the phone in Balthaser's room rang. On the line was a woman who called herself Christi. She told Balthaser to meet her and her partner Ed at the nearby Denny's restaurant that evening. Balthaser agreed.
The meeting at the restaurant lasted three and a half hours. It began, Balthaser says, with "Ed" and "Christi" telling him that he would not be meeting the people he had come to see.
Ed told Balthaser that he and Christi worked for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). They were based in Texas, Ed said, but they took their orders from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. They never showed identification of any kind. Balthaser believes that their names were not "Ed and Christi" (they said so). He does not know if they really worked for OSI.
Ed told Balthaser that they had known he was coming. Ed said that Balthaser's home phone and the museum phones had been tapped. He also said that the son's wife had been the one who first contacted OSI about the father's information.
Ed said that he had seen and handled the strange metal artifact the previous evening, and that it was now in safe hands.
Ed demonstrated to Balthaser that he had a very thorough knowledge of the Roswell incident. Ed said the government knows UFOs are real and that Roswell really happened. He said Majestic 12 was real and is still in operation. He said four aliens had been recovered from the Roswell crash, and that one of them is still alive.
Ed told Balthaser that the government wants to make UFO information public as soon as arrangements can be made to avoid panic and get the story accurately portrayed in the media.
Ed said that someone in Roswell was keeping tabs on the museum and reporting back to Washington. He said that he and some other agents would be visiting Roswell at a later date and that they would contact Balthaser in an unusual way.
Ed also hinted that there might be an inter-agency conflict regarding the proper handling of UFO information. He told Balthaser that his own boss had been gunned down two weeks earlier by agents of the CIA. He said he wanted the truth to be told but had to watch out for his own safety as well.
The agents told Balthaser a great deal of additional tantalizing information, none of which could be verified. When the meeting ended, Balthaser knew he had no choice but to return to Roswell empty-handed. Before going to bed that night, however, he wrote down everything he could remember about the meeting.
Back in Roswell a few days later, Balthaser tried calling the son. Surprisingly, after talking with an unidentified woman and waiting a long time, he heard the son's voice on the line. The son sounded very nervous and asked if they could talk later. Balthaser insisted on talking right then. The son said there were others present.
Then another voice came on the line. Addressing Balthaser by name, this voice said that the son and his family were now cooperating with an agency of the federal government. The voice then said, "You can call me Charles," and continued by telling Balthaser that in due time the museum might benefit by what the son's father had disclosed, but that for the time being it was best to keep it out of public view. Government scientists were going to study the metal. Usually, Charles said, such things turn out to be hoaxes, although this metal did seem quite unusual.
Balthaser says that Charles sounded reasonable and conciliatory. He concluded the conversation by saying, "We have your information and we'll be in touch. Our office doesn't do any strong-arm tactics. When we get wind of something unusual, we investigate it. That's what we're paid to do. We're making sure that American tax dollars are being well spent."
Dennis Balthaser admits that for some days after this sequence of events, he felt paranoid. He is convinced his phone is tapped. He even wondered if his car would explode one day when he turned on the ignition. But as weeks went by without further incident, he calmed down.
More than a month later, on July 23, Balthaser tried once again to contact the son. The woman who had answered before answered again. The son, she said, had just left on a trip. Could he return the call? Balthaser left his name and number. The son never called back.
Again in early September, Balthaser tried to call the son. This time, a different male voice answered. Balthaser was told the son no longer lived there. The trail had gone cold.
Summarizing his impressions of what happened, Dennis Balthaser says: "I had an experience with my government that I will carry for the rest of my life. I believe the United States government is still preventing people from obtaining information about the Roswell incident."
Balthaser says he has considered whether the father and son could have intended from the beginning to perpetrate a hoax. He can't disprove that notion, but he doesn't believe it. He says that everything he could tell about the father and son during their several phone conversations seemed authentic.
Dennis Balthaser says he is not scared, but he is deeply concerned. And, he says, if his concerns are as well-founded as he thinks, "then this country of ours has more perplexing problems than we can imagine."
Original file name: CNI - Roswell Intercept.final
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