Randle on Roswell


  • Kevin D. Randle. A History of UFO Crashes. Avon, 1995.
  • Kevin D. Randle. Roswell UFO Crash Update: Exposing the Military Cover-up of the Century. Global Communication, 1995.
In addition to Roswell, in these books Randle examines four other crash-retrieval cases (Kingman, 1953; Ubatuba, 1957; Las Vegas, 1962, and Kecksburg. 1965) in detail and provides a long catalogue of other cases, many of them ending with insufficient information. While Randle gives the impression of thoroughness, there are times when we are able to see what 'evidence' actually means to him. Take the story of Mrs Judy Woolcott, who was interviewed by Don Schmitt "in connection with abduction research". In what connection was Mrs Woolcott an abductee? At least twenty years ago in 1965 her former husband had sent her a letter from Vietnam, just before he died, containing not the expected declarations of undying love, etc., but a long account of a crashed flying saucer twelve years earlier in 1953. Needless to say the letter is now lost. This is claimed as confirmatory evidence of a case already in print. You and I might think that Mrs W, read the story and made up hers to fit. This solution never seems to occur to Randle.

Twenty years ago scientific ufologists like Britain's Stephen Smith were talking about rapid response teams, and how cases even a week old were beyond proper investigation, yet now we have tales based on memories up to half a century old being taken at face-value. As an example Randles (J) points out that some of the descriptions of Roswell are similar to those reported in the Scully hoax, and asks could Roswell have influenced Newton and the Scully hoaxers. But surely it is equally, or more, likely that memories of Roswell were contaminated by details recalled from the bestselling Scully book (or even that Marcel, nursing a grievance after having been made to look a fool at Roswell, made up parts of the story for the benefit of later investigators in an attempt to re-write his role).

The ultimate problem with any crash-retrieval story is that there is no point in a cover-up. For all anyone knew, within days of Roswell a flying saucer could have landed on the White House lawn to demand the alien's wreckage back. Conspiracies only work if you are in control of the situation, and if Roswell had been real it would have been the aliens who were in control. Thus it seems that Roswell conspiritorialists are almost forced into the position of arguing that the authorities are actually in collaboration with the aliens. It can be argued that cover-up is a natural military response, but if Roswell was a crashed space-craft all decisions would have been taken at Presidential level. Would a succession of Chief Executives and other political leaders have continuously kept the secret and never been tempted to break ranks, even at the height of the Cold War? If the politicians knew there were spaceships, would they have undertaken an ongoing programme of repression and ridicule as alleged, whilst realising that the whole thing could blow up in their faces?

There is no reason to believe such a conspiracy would have stayed secret for long. The Allied invasion of Europe in 1944, in which the lives of hundreds of thousands of troops were at risk was so leaky that several of the code-words ended up in a newspaper crossword. Does anyone really believe that the Manhattan Project was a secret? Of course, journalists did not write about it for patriotic reasons and because of wartime controls, but you can be sure they knew

Is there any evidence of large numbers of scientists being diverted from their regular research onto a secret Roswell project, that they 'disappeared' for years and stopped publishing scientific papers? No, but is was just such a drying-up of published research in the Soviet Union that, alerted the West to the Soviet's atomic weapon development.

Given that Roswell occured during a veritable blizzard of flying saucer reports, the response, had Roswell been a spacecraft, would not have been a silent 'wait and see', but would be to get the story out as soon as possible with your own spin on it before you were overtaken by events

In its details, Roswell is inseparable from the whole of 1940's and 1950's ufology. If Roswell was a spacecraft then probably a proportion of the other UFO reports at the time were; yet the image of the flying saucers was based on the war. They may have been super-sophisticated technically, but they behaved like World War II fighters, bombers and reconaissance aircraft, with the odd 'mothership' acting as a sort of aerial aircraft carrier. It is this cultural tracking which provides the final evidence that UFOs are not spacecraft: they are cultural images of spacecraft, and change as terrestrial technology changes

There are many cultural anachronisms too in the Roswell story as promoted by Kevin Randle. In 1947 no black US soldier would have threatened a white civilian in the terms described. The lurid threats to keep quiet are a product of post-Assassination, post-Watergate cynicism; in the 1940's a quiet word in the ear about the patriotic duty of any good American would have done the trick just as effectively, and with less chance of unfortunate fallout

Needless to say the USAF conclusion that the Roswell object was a Project Mogul ballon has gone over like, well, er, a lead balloon with Randle and company, but cynics might feel that they would automatically denounce any explanation other than extraterrestrial crashed saucers. -- Reviewed by Peter Rogerson, from Magonia 54, November 1995.

Four theories and a strange coincidence:

There are I think a number of possible areas of explanation for Roswell; here they are in decreasing order of likelihood and increasing order of interest:
  1. The object was just a balloon, either a weather balloon, Project Mogul or something even more experimental. What is being covered up is the egg on the faces of the military who were not able to tell a balloon from a saucer.
  2. The object was the top-secret, state-of-the-art device which was going to win the Cold War for the USA. Unfortunately it crashed on its first flight and any serious investigation would reveal that it was a hopeless non-starter and only went ahead because of a network of pork-barrel deals, corrupt Government contracts, and back-handers.
  3. Maybe there really is a very dark and sinister Roswell secret such as a tethered balloon carrying a nuclear device set to explode at altitude. It broke free, depositing its lethal cargo near Roswell, the town avoiding incineration by a hairsbreadth. That is the kind of event which some people would go to any lengths to hide, even by creating elaborate UFO contact stories as the investigators come sniffing around.
  4. Finally, assuming everyone is telling the truth at Roswell we might have evidence not of an ET crash but of a charade to convince them that such a thing had occurred. A conspiracy not to suppress the ETH but to promote it.
There is a very curious piece of evidence which might be relevant. In the year following Roswell a British writer named Bernard Newman published a book called Flying Saucer, the plot of which concerned a group of scientists hoaxing a flying saucer crash as part of a plan to force world disarmament. I never thought much of this until a couple of years ago I picked up another book by Newman in a second-hand bookshop. This was published in 1943 and gave detailed plans for the post-war reconstruction of Europe. It is clear from this book that Newman was someone close to those in power. In fact, as Roger Sandell has informed me, it is virtually certain that he was an intelligence agent

So we have a book written by a member of the intelligence community close to the political milieu, introducing the idea of a UFO crash being faked to further a political agenda - this within a year of Roswell. Was this the leak, ignored and unrecognised by ufologist, a warning from M16 that they knew what their 'American friends' were up to and did not approve?

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