- In the summer of 1947 Glenn Dennis was
a fountain of information about embalming and embalming fluid, since he
had just graduated from San Francisco Mortuary College. A lifelong Roswell,
New Mexico, resident, Mr. Dennis, today 68 years old, recalls that he began
his 35 years in the funeral business by going to work for the local funeral
director as a car washer, a "go-fer," and eventually an apprentice.
- Mr. Dennis served as chairman of the
New Mexico State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers for a time.
It was during his tenure that New Mexico first required college study as
a requirement for licensing in that state.
- Though just starting out in the business,
Mr. Dennis might have been just the right person to answer the phone just
after lunch on Tuesday, July 8, 1947, because an older practitioner, for
whom the textbooks were a distant memory, would not have been able to answer
the questions about embalming and embalming fluid, and the handling of
deceased remains that the U.S. government asked Glenn Dennis that day.
- When the phone at Ballard Funeral Home
rang, Mr. Dennis found the mortuary officer at Roswell Army Air Base on
the other end of the line:
- "This is just a hypothetical situation,"
he began. "But do you have any three-foot or four-foot long hermetically
- "Yes, we have four feet," Glenn
- "How many do you have?"
- "How soon before you could get more?"
- "If we called the warehouse in Amarillo,
Texas, before 3 p.m. today, they can have them here tomorrow morning.
Is there some kind of a problem?" Mr. Dennis asked.
- The funeral home where he worked had
the government contract with the base to handle deaths, including air crashes.
- "No, this is just for our information."
- The call ended. Mr. Dennis went back
to work. About an hour later, the same mortuary officer called back.
- "How do you handle bodies that have
been exposed out in the desert for four or five days?" he asked,
again assuring Glenn there was no crash. This was just a "hypothetical"
- They were just gathering information
for their files. The man also wanted to know what embalming fluid did
to tissue, what embalming fluid was made of, what to do to close holes
in bodies made by predators, how best to pick up such remains. Glenn anwered
all questions, and his performance was no doubt impressive and a credit
to his profession -- right out of embalming school! Nevertheless., Glenn's
curiousity was piqued.
- "Just call us for a situation like
that!" Mr. Dennis pointed ou to the officer. "Is there some
kind of crash?"
- "No, no, just gathering information
for our files."
- Glenn's firm had handled up to 20 bodies
at a times in crashes at the base. The firm had constructed an addition
next to the embalming room just for those situations. About an hour after
that strange call, an opportunity presented itself for a trip to the base.
A young airman had injured his hand in a motorcycle accident. Now, Glenn
was called upon in the capacity of his firm's ambulance service to transport
this man back to base.
- The airman was able to sit in the front
seat of the hearse-ambulance with Glenn. The guards at the gate, familiar
with Glenn, readily let the hearse through. Glenn was a familiar figure
at the base -- even being an honorary member of its Officers Club.
- He drove his ambulance to the base hospital
and backed up to the loading area, as was his customary procedure. This
time, however, he noted there were two field ambulances in the spot he
preferred, so he parked next to them. He and the airman got out and started
into the hospital.
- As Glenn passed the field ambulances,
which were guarded by an MP, he looked into the open back end. Inside
both ambulances was an enormous amount of a silvery, metalliclike material,
which seemed to be as thin as aluminum foil, but not as flexible. Glenn
particularly noticed two chunks, each of which seemed to be between 3 feet
and 2.5 feet high, and "curved like the bottom of a canoe."
- Glenn also noticed odd markings, in some
sort of a "hieroglyphic -like" script that was totally unfamiliar.
Mr. Dennis sauntered down the hall of the hospital, heading to a soda
machine -- as was customary after bringing in a patient. Here Glenn had
a nasty encounter with an unfamiliar officer.
- "Looks like you've got an air crash.
Should I go back to town and get my equipment ready?" Glenn casually
asked the officer he saw in the hallway.
- "Who the hell are you?" was
the response. Glenn introduced himself and explained his role in handling
crash victims. The response to this was an order to get out of the hospital
and off the base.
- Glenn gladly complied and turned to head
back down the hall. He had not gone far when he heard someone scream after
him. "Bring that (man) back here!" And two MPs appeared from
somewhere, grabbed Glenn, and took him back to a red-haired officer.
- "Now don't you go back to Roswell
and start shooting off your mouth about how there's been a crash out here
or...." A series of threats followed. Glenn said, "You can't
talk to me like that. I'm a civilian. You haven't got any say over me."
- "Listen, undertaker, somebody's
gonna be picking your bones out of the sand." And the officer ordered
the MPs to personally escort Glenn back to the funeral home, which they
did. On the way down the hall, however, Mr. Dennis had an interesting
encounter with a female nurse, he knew. A door opened to a supply room
as Glenn and the MPs went down the hallway. Out stepped the nurse, whom
Glenn had dealt with at the hospital. She carried a towel over the lower
part of her face. Glenn at first thought she had been crying.
- "Glenn, what are you doing here?
You're going to get shot!" she exclaimed.
- "Well, I'm leaving." He pointed
meaningfully to his armed escort. He noticed that the nurse was followed
out of the supply room by two unfamiliar men, both of whom also had towels
over their noses and mouths. Farther into the supply room Glenn noticed
- The next day, that same nurse called
Glenn at the funeral home. The two of them arranged to meet at the Officers
Club. It was there that she unfolded for Glenn an extraordinary tale --
a flying saucer had crashed out in the desert and the Army had recovered
three dead aliens.
- Two of the bodies were badly mangled,
both by the crash and by predators. One body was in fairly good condition.
All the while, she kept becoming more and more emotional. Finally, she
was openly crying in the club.
- Glenn thought it best to take her back
to the nurses' quarters on base. After he dropped off the nurse, he never
saw or heard from her again. His later inquiries produced the information
that she was transferred to England. He obtained an address in England,
wrote to her, and received back the letters, which were stamped "addressee
- He heard that she was killed in a plane
crash. Talking to Glenn that afternoon in the Officer's Club, the nurse
provided anatomical details. She said that they were little, smaller than
an adult human. She said that the hands were different, too, that they
only had four fingers with the middle two protruding longer than the others.
She saw no opposoable thumb. She also said that the anatomy of the arm
- The bone from the shoulder to the elbow
was shorter than the bone from the elbow to the wrist. The heads were
larger than a human's. The eyes were large and concave shape. She said
that all the features, the nose and the ears and the eyes, were slightly
- The nurse went on to draw a small sketch
of the alien bodies, using the back of a prescription paper. It showed
that the bodies had four digits on each hand. The end of each digit consited
of a sort of pad. Mr. Dennis eventually lost this sketch, but has reproduced
his own version. (will be sent a few minutes later than this e-mail)
- The nurse also stated that the two men
following her out of the storage room were pathologists from Walter Reed
hospital in Washington, D.C. The nurse explained the towels over their
faces. "Until they got those bodies frozen, the smell was so bad
you couldn't get within 100 feet of them without gagging." It was
when the nurse stepped out of the room where she had been assisting two
doctors on the bodies, to get some air, that she ran into Mr. Dennis.
- She explained that even the doctors were
getting sick, and the smell was so bad they had to turn off the air conditioning
to keep it from spreading throughout the hospital. Soon, they gave up
trying to work under such conditions and completed the preparation of the
bodies in a hangar.
- Stanton T. Friedman, a nuclear physicist
who has written several books and many articles on UFOs, first brought
the UFO crash at Roswell to the attention of the public.
- Since the late 1960s, Mr Friedman, now
59 years old and a resident of New Brunswick, Canada, has been an active
researcher, writer, and lecturer on UFOs. He has spoken at over 600 colleges
in the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has been a guest on numerous
radio and television shows, such as Sally Jessie Ralphael and Tom Snyder.
- He first heard about the Roswell incident
while in Louisiana for a radio interview. Someone at the radio station
told him about the late Jesse Marcel, who then lived in nearby Houma, La.
- Marcel told Mr. Friedman that he had
been heavily involved in the initial retrieval fo the wreckage and alien
bodies at Roswell. This information spurred Mr. Friedman to investigate
the incident and the result has been three books, numerous articles and
a 1989 NBC TV feature on "Unsolved Mysteries." It was while
he was in New Mexico to film that 1989 TV episode that Mr. Friedman first
met Glenn Dennis.
- Mr. Dennis did not seek out Mr. Friedman,
but rather Mr. Friedman used his research skill to track him down. Mr.
Friedman reasoned that there must have been professional mortuary knowledge
used by someone if alien bodies were recovered. Therefore, he asked sources
whether military or private morticians were used on the base in 1947.
When told that private morticians were used, he found out who -- and that
led him to Glenn Dennis.
- Mr. Dennis refused to appear on the "Unsolved
Mysteries" show, but he was very willing to speak with Mr. Friedman.
- Today, Mr. Dennis is involved with the
UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell. This facility opened last year
and has already been visited by more than 18.000 people. The center has
numerous books, research materials, and exhibit items. Walter Haut, the
1957 press relations officer at Roswell Air Base, is also involved in the
- It was Mr. Haut who released a press
statement at about 11 a.m. on July 8, 1947.
- "The many rumors regarding the flying
discs became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th
Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate
enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the
local ranchers and the sheriff's office of Chaves County.
- "The flying object landed on a ranch
near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher
stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff's
office, who in turn notified Major Jesse A. Marcell of the 509th Bomb Group
- "Action was immediately taken and
the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected at the
Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher
- Mr. Haut today maintains that he issued
this statement at the request of the base commander, Col. William H. Blanchard.
Blanchard, according to Mr. Haut, was very interested in maintaining good
relations between the base and the Roswell community. "If anything
unusual happened, or anything he felt the community should know about,
he would call me and say, 'Get this thing out.' He did that with many,
- There is no doubt in Mr. Haut's mind
that Blandhard and Marcel were convinced the debris found by the rancher
came from another planet.
- There is also no doubt in Mr. Haut's
mind today that Blanchard did not originate the idea of contacting the
press: "Do you think somebody was ordering Blanchard to order you
to issue the press release?"
- "Yes, I do," said Mr. Haut
in a telephone interview on January 28, 1994. He took the press release
to radio station KGFL and the Roswell Morning Dispatch, which in turn communicated
the story to the wire services. Within an hour, telephone lines into Roswell
and the base were jammed with calls from all over the world.
- Art McQuiddy, then editor of the Roswell
Morning Dispatch, reports that the reaction was almost immediate. "By
the time Haut had gotten to me it hadn't been 10 minutes and the phones
- I didn't get off the phone until late
that afternoon. I had calls from London and Paris and Rome and Hong Kong
that I can remember," he said.
- Within hours, an official retraction
was released by the government. Jesse Marcel was brought in to prop up
the official "cover story" that what was found was a weather
balloon. Marcel, in his later years, however, was very willing to admit
that he was ordered by military superiors to make untrue statements.
- The Roswell base was then key in the
nuclear bomb strategy of the U.S. government. The Cold War was jsut starting,
and World War II had jsut ended. In those days, when Uncle Sam said shut
up few people asked why. This was particularly the case in New Mexico,
where such sensitve military installations as Los Alamos and White Sands
- The next morning at 6 o'clock, the sheriff
went to Glenn's parents' home and spoke to his father, saying that Glenn
"might" be in trouble. Glenn's parents related that the Chavez
County sheriff reported that the military had interviewed him. They became
worried their son was in trouble.
- The Roswell Daily Record of Tuesday,
July 8, and Wednesday, July 9, 1947, spans the course of the initial press
flurry turning to a cover story. "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on
Ranch in Roswell Region," trumpeted the Tuesday headline. The story
stated that Marcel's recovery of a disc retrieved "on a ranch in the
Roswell vicinity, after an unidentified rancher had notified Sheriff George
Wilcox, here, that he had found the insturment on his premises."
- Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot of Roswell are
also included in the same story, recounting their sightings of an oval
object that was about 15 to 20 feet in diameter and about five feet thick,
traveling at 400 to 500 miles per hour in a northwesterly direction. "In
appearance it looked oval in shape like two inverted saucers faced mouth
to mouth, or like two old type wash bowls placed together in the same fashion.
- The entire body glowed as though light
were showing through from inside, though not like it would be if a light
were merely underneath," they said.
- Roswellians were surveyed by the paper
as to their opinions of the story and most thought it was some sort of
secret government craft.
- The next issue of the Daily Record gives
insight into the excitement stirred up worldwide by Tuesday's story. Sheriff
Wilcox is photographed talking on the phone to "a high English official."
However, the story describes the incident as "the world comedy, which
developed over the purported finding of a flying saucer.
- "The numerous calls from reporters
around the world are mentioned. Wednesday's headline sets the overall tone:
"Gen Ramey Empties Roswell Saucer." Brig Gen. Roger M. Ramey,
head of the Eighth Air Force, called the remains a weather balloon, the
- Weather experts were quoted to the effect
that this was the most likely explanation. A bizarrely written UFO sighting
from Iran is placed above Ramey's explanation, as if to ridicule the flying
saucer story. The rancher who found the object, W.W. "Mac" Brazel,
is quoted saying, "If I find anything else besides a bomb they are
going to have a hard time getting me to say anything about it."
- The object is described throughout the
article as "a balloon." This, on the surface of it, seemed to
put the matter to rest.
- It is interesting to note a tiny item
just above the Brazel story, which mentions a meeting between U.S. Senator
Carl A. Hatch, of New Mexico, and President Truman on July 9. While it
was described as being "just a personal visit," a former employee
of the Roswell radio station who interviewed Mac Brazel said that the station
owner received a call from the office of New Mexico's other U.S. Senator,
Dennis Chavez, warning him not to broadcast the interview if he wanted
his license renewed.
- It is now known that Lt. Gen Nathan F.
Twining, the commander of Air Materiel Command, headquartered at Wright
Field in Ohio, made a sudden visit to Alamogordo Army Air Field in New
Mexico on July 7, 1947. This was a short drive from Roswell. On the next
day, Glenn Dennis received his mysterious phone calls and made his visit
to the base. Twining later on became the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- Neight Mr. Haut nor Col Blanchard suffered
any career repercussions. Mr. Haut, prior to the incident, had already
decided to retire from the military and settle in Roswell, which he did
in 1948. Col. Blanchard went on to become a general. Marcel went on to
do research on the Soviet nuclear program. When President Truman announced
that the Soviet Union had exploded a nuclear bomb, the report he read to
the public was written by Jesse Marcel. As to where the bodies of the
aliens are today, Stanton Friedman says: "It is anybody's guess."
- The nurse who spoke with Glenn in the
Officer's Club said she believed the bodies ended up in Ohio. Numerous
rumors have circulated for years concerning the alleged presence of alien
bodies at Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Stanton Friedman
believes the bodies may have been studied for a time at a private clinic
in Albuquerque, N.M.
- It was also reported that the Fort Worth,
Texas, headquarters of the Eighth Air Force and Gen. Ramey, was the first
destination of the crate containing the bodies after it left Roswell.
The bombardier of the plane that transported the crate reported the flight
was met in Fort Worth by, among others, a man the bombardier personally
knew to be a mortician. The identity of this mortician is unknown.
- INSERT: The mortician is known as his
wife is still alive and well in Ft. Worth, Texas, and remembers her husband
being called out to Ft. Worth Army Air Field that night because their funeral
home had the contract for any casualties involving needs of a mortician.
Accompanying her husband that evening was a family friend, who was the
dentist with the base contract for bodies with teeth. And, when recently
a building was about to be torn down on that base most recently known as
Carswell Air Force Base and now the Joint Reserve Base Naval Air Station
Ft. Worth, the Texas State historical commission represented by 3 persons
showed up at the base saying "No, you cannot tear this building down
as it has historical signficance and value. It was the building which
the alien bodies were unloaded on the west dock the night there were brought
in from Roswell after the UFO crash there. And, since the bodies were
stored for a time in this building before being shipped elsewhere this
building has historical importance to Texas. The historical commission
was ignored and the building was torn down in April of 1998. Pieces of
the original floor of this building have been saved from the bulldozers
and while supplies of these chips last they are available from Beyond Boundaries
free of charge to members who would like a chunk of this bizarre history.
For more information see http://www.beyondboundaries.org.
- Back to article: However, the identity
of the other mortician who played a role in this event is well-known.
Glenn Dennis has neither sought notoriety nor tried to hide from researchers.
He has an interesting story to tell, as do others involved in the same
event now willing to talk about it in their sunset years.
- Would arterial embalming work on an extraterrestrial?
Embalming fluid uses formalin, which changes the chemical composition
of protein by acting on nitrogen. All life forms on earth are protein-based
organisms. If alien bodies were recovered, and if they were protein-based
organisms, then preservation could have been achieved.
- No funeral was held for the remains of
these stranded travelers. However, the book, "The Roswell Incident",
by Charles Berlitz and William L. Moore, contains an account of the government's
providing a private viewing for a member of the clergy. This book includes
a letter allegedly written on April 19, 1954, which describes a February
20, 1954, visit to Edwards Air Force Base in California by President Eisenhower
to view the bodies of alien pilots of a crashed UFO. Bishop (later Cardinal)
James F.A. McIntyre of Los Angeles, Edward Nourse of the Brookings Institute,
and journalist Franklin Allen were also permitted to view the bodies.
The letter goes on to say that Eisenhower was about to "go directly
to the people via radio and television" to spill the beans on UFOs.
Evidently, he changed his mind, or else the letter is a fraud.
- It should be mentioned that there is
a point of controversy within the community of UFO researchers as to whether
there were two or just one UFO crash in New Mexico in July 1947. Stanton
Friedman believes that another UFO (with more alien bodies) was recovered
on the plains of San Agustin -- about 150 miles to the west of Roswell,
- It is thought that these two vehicles
may have collided. Other UFO researchers -- specifically Donald Schmidt
-- believe that the Roswell crash was the only such incident to occur in
New Mexico, at that time.
- Some also believe that after the Roswell
crash, a supersecret government group called Majestic 12 was established
to oversee all UFO-related events. Mr. Friedman has done extensive research
into the subject, the results of which are found in his book "Crash
at Corona." He has studied documents allegedly generated by this
secret group, and believes them genuine.
- A made-for-TV movie, "Roswell,"
was broadcast last July. Mr. Haut was an advisor for the movie.
- Article submitted from the files of Beyond
Boundaries, UFO Research Organization. PO Box 250, Rainbow, TX 76077.
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