Roswell 1999: What Now?
By Thomas J. Carey & Donald R. Schmitt
As the millennium draws inexorably closer, we can look back and see that the 50th Anniversary Year of 1997 witnessed unprecedented national if not world-wide interest in the most famous and most thoroughly investigated UFO case of all time: the alleged 1947 crash of a flying saucer near the town of Roswell, NM, and its subsequent retrieval and coverup by the United States military commonly referred to as The Roswell Incident after the title of the ground-breaking, if not best-selling, 1980 book by Charles Berlitz and William Moore. Countless mainstream magazine articles appearing in such August publications from Time magazine to Popular Science to Popular Mechanics gave Roswell the full-bore, cover-story treatment, while just about every newspaper in the country, large and small, devoted space to it.
On TV, magazine-style shows such as Hard Copy, Inside Edition and the like devoted numerous segments to the case, while more politically-oriented shows like the "cerebral" Nightline and the more rough and tumble Crossfire did at least one show on the subject. In-depth treatment of Roswell was provided by cable TV's "educational" channels, The History Channel, The Learning Channel and The Discovery Channel. The major network news shows at ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN also did pieces (regrettably, to be sure, these concentrated more on the sometimes bizarre hoopla surrounding the anniversary activities than on the significance of what all the hoopla was about).
The climax came on the acknowledged 50th anniversary day of July 4, 1997 with all-day, live TV coverage from Roswell itself by the cable network news station MSNBC detailing the events taking place there that day. MSNBC's anchor, John Gibson, presided over a one-sided discussion of the Project Mogul hypothesis, featuring a parade of the usual cast of characters [Col. Richard Weaver and Lt. James McAndrew (authors of the Air Force's conclusion concerning Roswell) , Roswell-debunking author Kal Korff who tried to demonstrate for viewers that it was a Mylar-coated sponge that was found at Roswell, Charles Moore (of Project Mogul fame) whose memory, unlike pro-Roswell witnesses, is never questioned, Col. Joe Kittinger (of "dummies from the sky" infamy) who shamelessly tried to suggest that he was the model for the "red-haired Captain" in Glenn Dennis' story, an so on], as the explanation of the 1947 events.
Several major motion pictures released before and after the Roswell anniversary (The Rock with Sean Connery, Independence Day with Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith and a cast of thousands, Men In Black with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith again) as well as some recent TV series (Dark Skies, The X-Files, etc.) have all prominently featured or mentioned Roswell in the development of their story-lines. A plethora of new books with Roswell in their titles hit the book stores in time to try to cash in on the "Roswellmania" of 1997: Beyond Roswell, UFO Crash at Roswell, The Roswell File, and with at least one, The Day After Roswell, making it to the New York Times best-seller list.
Case Closed?
Now, a year-and-a-half after those heady days, one may justifiably ask, what has become of Roswell? As the song sung by Peggy Lee laments, "Is that all there is?" No longer on evening news broadcasts, is anything going on, or have things reverted back to where they were prior to the anniversary? That would be a sleepy little desert town proudly proclaiming, "Howdy, from the Middle of Nowhere!", according to one pre-anniversary post card. Hardly. In the town of Roswell, it can be reported that new motels continue to spring up at a brisk pace to handle the anticipated continuous stream of visitors to the International UFO Museum there.
Roswell is now included as a "must-see" stop in most tour packages to New Mexico and west Texas solely because of the alleged 1947 incident. At the UFO Museum itself, besides its own tour office, a growing research library and a regular schedule of lectures, the exhibits continue to be expanded and updated as new information is developed, and plans for a new, multi-million-dollar facility on the edge of town are moving along. Recently, the Museum welcomed its 500,000th visitor. More and more in the minds of the public, the mere mention of the town's name is becoming synonymous with UFOs. But what of the Roswell Incident itself? Is it over, passe or, less likely, solved? Has the Fat Lady, because of the continued absence of verified "hard evidence", coupled with the passage of so many years, finally sung on this one?
In 1994 and 1995, the U.S. Air Force offered up its first official comments concerning the Roswell Incident since Gen. Roger Ramey held his infamous afternoon press conference on July 8, 1947 during which he "emptied the Roswell saucer" by contriving to "identify" the wreckage retrieved from the J.B. Foster Ranch near Corona, NM by W.W. "Mac" Brazel [which was later described by Maj. Jesse A. Marcel as being, "not from this earth"] as nothing more than the prosaic remnants of a neoprene rubber weather balloon and its attending aluminum-foil, rawin-type, radar target.
This time, the Air Force finally admitted that their original weather balloon story was wrong, that the wreckage was really that of a neoprene rubber weather balloon and an aluminum-foil, rawin-type, radar target [yes, Sports Fans, you read it correctly] used in a then TOP SECRET project (Project Mogul) which was attempting to detect Soviet atomic bomb detonations by means of constant-level, balloon-borne acoustic sensors. While the project was indeed TOP SECRET, the mundane equipment used in it was not and was easily recognizable to military people and civilians alike. In the end, the project was a failure as the first Soviet atomic detonation was detected two years later in August of 1949 by atmospheric chemical analysis - not by acoustics.
In 1997, right before the beginning of the festivities in Roswell (the timing was no accident in our opinion), the Air Force staged a press conference announcing the release of a follow-up report concerning the Roswell Incident which was designed to try to counter the rumors of alien bodies reportedly found at the alleged 1947 crash site [the 1994 and 1995 Air Force reports did not address this issue at all]. They should have left well enough alone. By claiming that stories of alien bodies were probably attributable to high-altitude parachute tests using anthropomorphic mannequins (i.e., "dummies") conducted by the Air Force ten years after the Roswell Incident, the Air Force and their eager supporters lost a lot of credibility in the on- going debate. Reporters present at the press conference were taken aback in amused disbelief upon hearing this latest official "explanation" of Roswell, and the so-called "Dummies from the Sky" hypothesis still evokes howls of derisive laughter from both Roswell proponents and skeptics alike. Unfortunately, the long-anticipated Government Accounting Office's (GAO) report on Roswell, released in 1995, was inconclusive.
Tasked by New Mexico Congressman Stephen Schiff to try to locate a "paper trail" pertaining to the 1947 Roswell events to see if the documents relating to it were properly handled and classified, it was only able to discover and report that all of the documents from the Roswell base encompassing the time-frame of the 1947 incident had been destroyed without apparent authority. With the death of Congressman Schiff in early 1998, the case lost an important public advocate in the halls of Congress, and the momentum gained for official involvement in the case seemed to have waned.
Renewed Energy and Commitment
In the Spring of 1998, the two authors met for the first time in several years and agreed on the need to continue an aggressive, proactive Roswell investigation, especially now, with an increased sense of urgency since witnesses seemed to be "dropping like flies" at what is now becoming an alarming rate. At some point in the not too distant future, there will be no first-hand witnesses left to interview. Even now, we are talking with an increasing number of children and grand children of deceased principals. We also felt that the case, as it currently stands, is still incomplete and probably not entirely correct [and we are not talking here about Project Mogul which had and has absolutely no bearing on the Roswell events of July, 1947].
Believing that there was yet more to learn about those long-ago events, the authors agreed to collaborate and, as a result, made two research trips to New Mexico in 1998, one in May and one in October, for the purpose of "mining" for new witnesses and re-interviewing old witnesses. Contrary to finding a stale, over-plowed landscape populated with well-worn paths and dry holes, we were assuredly impressed by the number of new leads that we were able to obtain, as well as some surprising new twists in the testimony of "old" witnesses. Right now, we believe that we are on the verge of a new, or at least a modified, Roswell timeline and in possession of more leads than we can ever hope to follow in our lifetimes, given our present resources. The following is the authors' first collaborative effort and represents our consensus as to where we believe the Roswell investigation will be heading as we approach the new millennium.
The Search for Physical Evidence
No aspect of the Roswell investigation has been more frustrating and less fruitful than the efforts of Roswell investigators to turn-up or, in some cases, try to pry-loose "a piece" of irrefutable hard evidence with "out-of-this-world" properties that can be traced back to the 1947 incident. Time and again, hopes are raised only to be dashed when the alleged possessor of such an item cannot or will not deliver at the moment of truth; or the claimed hard evidence turns out to be a complete fiction (or, to be charitable, a "misunderstanding") when the claim is investigated more closely; or when an artifact actually does get into our hands, it turns out instead to be an exotic piece of jewelry [such an example can now be seen adorning a wall at the UFO Museum in Roswell].
During the Roswell Anniversary Days of 1997, Derrell Sims and Paul Davids held an all too brief news conference to offer up a piece of metal that they claimed came from the Roswell crash via the all too familiar "unnamed source". They claimed that tests had been performed on the artifact in question which suggested an extraterrestrial origin for it and that, additionally, there were other such pieces then being tested "at respected universities" throughout the land which would no doubt also prove to be of extraterrestrial "etiology". Dr. Roger Leir, a member of that team, assures us that ongoing tests have also proved positive. Unfortunately, in the year-and-a-half since the press conference, Paul Davids has yet to learn the identity of the "unnamed source". Not good.
In 1996, paranormal radio talk show host, Art Bell, came into possession, again from an anonymous source, of small bits and pieces of metal claimed to have come from the Roswell crash. Metallurgical tests were performed, and the bits and pieces of metal, known collectively as "Arts Parts", seemed to be made mostly of aluminum but with a dash of a few other trace metals for good measure. Is that it? Where do things stand now? It's been three years now. More tests? Anybody heard? No follow through. Fade to black.
When Roswell researchers obtain a lead that involves claimed physical evidence, all other leads automatically go to the back of the "queue" until the lead is exhausted (unfortunately, usually as indicated above). However, we are confident that such physical evidence is "out there" somewhere, and one of these days, hopefully, sooner rather than later - more rather than less, our frustrations will be rewarded. At present, our investigation is in possession of several such leads that we hope will bear fruit:
1. We are presently trying to enlist the cooperation of a first-hand witness who claims to have actually held a piece of something similar to Frankie Rowe's "memory metal" in his hands within the past two years. We have gotten as far as having the witness agree to meet with us personally to try to coordinate with the owners of the artifact to let us examine it. It is quite conceivable that by the time you are reading this we will be meeting with all parties concerned.
2. We know of a retired MP (military policeman) whom we will call "Dutch" who claims to have a piece of the Roswell wreckage stored in his attic for safe keeping and who will supposedly give up the piece to civilian investigators when he dies. But when we talked to him, although in his late 70's, he sounded like he was still in pretty good shape. How long do we sit around and wait and do nothing? [and we are NOT remotely suggesting anything like a Kevorkian intervention here, folks].
3. We have spoken several times to a relative of a well-known Roswell personage who claims to know of parties who have pieces of the Roswell crash material. When pressed further, he identified one of them as none other than himself. When asked for its provenance, he stated that it came, not from the craft, but from "one of the bodies" from the crashed craft and that it is currently being analyzed by degreed professionals in the appropriate forensic fields. He claims that the artifact is not a tissue or fabric sample, but "something else". He plans on going public with this and other Roswell-related "evidence" in his possession in 1999. We shall see.
4. There are several "proactive" steps that we are planning to take to try to secure physical evidence originating from the 1947 Roswell crash. These are in the formative stages at the moment as each requires resources outside the normal resource-range of most Roswell investigators, including us.
The first project involves a full-scale archaeological "dig" at the Foster/Brazel Ranch, site of the so-called "debris field". Everyone agrees that something came down there in July, 1947 (even the Air Force agrees). The argument, of course, is about just what came down. Archaeological consultants to our investigation have told us that if pieces of whatever came down in Brazel's pasture on that fateful day had lain on the desert floor for even a period as short as one day, there is an excellent chance that rodents of one sort or another [the area is inhabited by prairie dogs and jack rabbits] would have carried pieces of it into their nests. We know that whatever the debris was, there were many, many small pieces of it scattered, according to Jesse Marcel, over an area 3/4 mi. long by several hundred feet wide. We also know that the material had lain on the desert floor for not one but for at least four days, maybe longer, ample time for eclectic rodents to conduct their business. Having been to the Brazel site several times, rodent holes as well as small sink holes indeed are in evidence [see photos]. We are also encouraged to learn from our archaeological consultants that what we seek (whatever it turns out to be) should in all likelihood be waiting for us at a depth of no more than 18 inches in soil that they term, "pack rat midden".
The second project is also located at the debris field site located on the former Foster/Brazel Ranch. A half-dozen or so first-hand witnesses have reported a long, fresh "gouge" or "skid marks" running for some distance amongst the debris that wasn't there prior to July, 1947 [the thought being that whatever caused the debris also caused the "gouge"]. The "gouge" was reported to have been visible at least for a few years after 1947 by several eye-witnesses, including Bill Brazel, Jr. and Gen. Arthur Exon who flew over the site in 1949. It is not visible today, having been filled-in by deposits laid down by wind erosion, heavy summer rains and livestock traffic over the ensuing years, but we know its former location from living eye-witnesses. We also know from geologists with whom we have spoken that we may be able to obtain a "fingerprint" of the former "gouge", if there ever was such a deformation of the landscape, by using a device known as a "GPR" (Ground Penetrating Radar) which traverses the target area and produces a readout or "fingerprint" of anomalies depending upon the depth of the strata being diagnosed. Results from such a test would amount to either positive or negative physical evidence, corroborating or not corroborating this aspect of the Roswell Incident. The problem, of course, is securing the use of a GPR instrument for our purposes. At present, we have an offer from a national laboratory for the loan of such equipment and have had a meeting with a major university to sponsor and participate in such a project.
The third project resulted from a "town meeting" that we held in Corona, NM in October, 1998 seeking informants and/or information relating to the 1947 incident. One of the items to come out of the meeting was confirmation of a story that we had heard before but could not "pin down", a story of a young fellow who lived in the Corona area at the time named Fred Miller [he was killed in Viet Nam in 1967]. Young Fred, according to friends of his, had somehow obtained a number of pieces of the Roswell debris from one of the crash sites and had shown pieces of it around to a number of locals [confirmed by surviving eye-witnesses]. As told to us, a piece of the "memory metal" that Fred had in his possession had somehow made its way to the senior prom one June night at Corona High School a year or so after the incident [where, according to eyewitnesses, it was passed around for amusement]. Word had it that Fred "stashed" all of his Roswell material, as well as anything else he did not want others to find - including some stolen or contraband items - in his "personal cave". The problem was and still is that there are many, many caves in the Corona area - too many and too dangerous (rattlesnakes like to set up shop in them) to try to examine for our purposes. To cut to the chase, on our most recent trip to New Mexico, we were able to identify "Miller's Cave". Do we have any brave spelunkers out there?
Deathbed Confessions
In courts of law, so-called "deathbed confessions" are accorded special weight and consideration from other testimony because of the belief that when a person knows that he or she is checking out for good, that person will want, in the end, to have consciences cleared and truth to be his or her lasting legacy. Perhaps the most significant "deathbed confession" to date in the Roswell investigation has been that of the former Provost Marshal at the Roswell Base in 1947, Maj. Edwin Easley. When first interviewed by Roswell investigator, Kevin Randle, all Easley would say was that he couldn't discuss the Roswell Incident, that he was still sworn to secrecy. Over and over, Easley would repeat that same phrase to each question that Randle asked. Sometime thereafter, while on his deathbed, he in fact confirmed to family members his participation in the recovery of an extraterrestrial spacecraft and crew ["Ohhhhhh, the creatures!"].
Just before he passed away in 1994, former Roswell base adjutant in 1947, Maj. Patrick Saunders, wrote on a copy of The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell (1994) that he sent to the book's authors, Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt, this cathartic statement, "This is the truth, and I still haven't told anyone".
As participants in the Roswell events of 1947 expire at an increasing rate, it should be expected that we encounter more confessions of the "deathbed" variety as time passes, and such is indeed the case. A woman whose husband was an MP stationed at Roswell in 1947 relayed to us the information that her husband, on his deathbed four years ago, "confessed" to guarding the perimeter - but not picking up the debris - at the Foster/Brazel ranch site, while another woman told us that her husband, during the last year of his life, in 1995, finally told her of his involvement in the events. After seeing a show on TV that featured the Roswell Incident, she at last asked him, "Well, Dear, is it true?" He answered, "Well, I suppose that it's time I should tell you. I've been meaning to for a long time".
He had been a cook with the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell in 1947 and confirmed to her that he was simply grabbed one day and told to report to Building #84 (a hangar) on the base. He was given a gun and told to stand guard at the hangar with other similarly confiscated base personnel. While on guard duty, he stole a look inside the hangar long enough to see debris scattered about and "small bodies" being prepared for shipment elsewhere. Asked if she believed her husband when he told her this, the woman stated without hesitation or reservation, "Absolutely, he was telling truth to me when he knew he didn't have much longer." In another case, the granddaughter of someone involved in the Roswell events (at this point, we do not know in what capacity he was involved) contacted us to say that her grandfather had just passed away and had left "documents" pertaining to Roswell that would prove something extraordinary had happened there in 1947.
As this is being written, we have been negotiating for several months to receive copies of some of these alleged documents prior to making an expensive trip for a personal interview and to review the originals. Finally, as this is written, we are aware of a former officer who was stationed at Roswell in 1947 who is terminal and knows it. He has told his family that he would like to make a statement concerning Roswell but at a time of his own choosing. We have been in touch with the family who has assured us that they will let us know when it is time.
Reluctant Witnesses
To qualify as a "reluctant witness", one must be believed to possess information about the Roswell events, either by being involved directly, tangentially, or by being a relative of someone who was, or by other means, and refuse to discuss it at all (e.g., by citing a security oath, or by giving what is believed to be false and misleading statements). By far, the most famous (or infamous) of the "reluctant witnesses" still out there - at least according to Roswell proponents - is the former base Counter Intelligence Officer, Sheridan Cavitt, who accompanied the 509th's Intelligence Officer, Jesse Marcel, to the Foster/Brazel ranch to observe and retrieve material that Marcel would later describe as having an extraterrestrial origin.
In 1994, Cavitt confirmed his involvement in the Roswell Incident for the first time to the Air Force's Col. Richard Weaver at the same time he was still denying his involvement to civilian Roswell investigators. Cavitt told Weaver that what he saw on the Foster Ranch that day in 1947 were the immediately recognizable remnants of a weather balloon and radar target which they retrieved in short order. Cavitt's account, therefore, is in conflict with those of other credible eye-witnesses to the same events as well as with his own prior statements of non-involvement.
The aforementioned Edwin Easley originally qualified as a "reluctant witness" but then ceased to be so described when he gave up his defense of, "I can't talk about it.", and finally "came-clean". We currently have a number of such witnesses still out there who refuse to talk, but for whom we can only hope that they will someday relent and tell us what they know.
Such a witness is a former member of the 1395th Military Police Squadron stationed at Roswell in 1947. When located living in Pennsylvania near one of the co-authors, he confirmed that, yes, he was stationed at Roswell in 1947 and, yes, he was indeed involved in recovery activities there ["You mean that thing that crashed into the side of a hill? Yes, I was involved, but that's all I'm going to tell you."]. When asked why, he replied, "I'm retired military, and I like things the way they are." End of conversation.
Another fellow's name was passed along to us as a first-hand witness still living in Roswell. According to our intermediary, he drove a truck on the base in '47 when he drove right into the recovery activities at the hangar (Bldg. #84). After seeing the debris and the bodies, he was grabbed, stood spread-eagle against the wall and threatened with his life. When questioned in person, all he will tell us today is that he does not want to talk about it. Asked if he would ever consider talking about it, he replied that he wasn't sure, but that he was sure that he wasn't ready to talk about it now. Wonderful.
Still another fellow, a former MP stationed at Roswell in '47 (confirmed by the base yearbook), gave us a preliminary statement one evening after a lecture about being shown one of the recovered bodies. Later, when contacted by telephone for a follow-up interview, he denied being the person we were seeking (because of his peculiar voice inflections, we knew we had the right person). Nice.
There is yet another witness, still living at the relatively young age of 58 years-old, whose identity is known to all Roswell investigators. He saw everything and could solve this case for everyone tomorrow [and put all of us out of our misery in the bargain]. The problem is: we know who he is and where he is, but no one has interviewed him as yet. Not for lack of trying, however. He has the knack of being able to "disappear" every time an investigator gets near, so far with a 100% success rate. How long can his luck continue? We keep trying and hoping and are open to suggestions.
Finally, we received an E-Mail from a gentleman who claimed that his wife is friends with a woman whom she met when both worked at Walker AFB (formerly Roswell Army Air Field) in Roswell in 1960. According to the gentleman, his wife said that the woman told her that she had been a nurse stationed at Roswell AAF in 1947 and was there "when the little bodies were brought in to the base hospital". In a follow-up phone call to the gentleman and his wife, the wife made it clear to us that her friend, who is still living, will deny everything if ever confronted with this information. As things now stand, we only know the alleged nurse's first name and the name of the town in which she resides: Frustration City.
New Witnesses, Old Witnesses and a New Crash Scenario
In addition to locating new witnesses to the Roswell events of 1947 [about 20 in number and still counting], our investigation has made a special effort to keep in touch with "old" witnesses, such as Bill Brazel, Jr., Walter Haut, Glenn Dennis, Frank Kaufmann, Frank Joyce, Frankie Rowe and Jack Rodden, people who have already gone on record with their stories. By revisiting their testimony with them when we are in Roswell, we have been able to glean new bits of information from them concerning those long ago events which, when combined with the new information that we are developing from the "new" witnesses, is causing us to reconsider some prior conclusions as to what occurred, where it occurred and when it occurred. Without giving the store away here, a future article will suggest a new Roswell crash sequence while answering the nagging question as to why the military kept "Mac" Brazel in "custody" for so long.
The Smoking Gun?
Mention must be made here of a recent development in the case which is not a result of our own investigation [although we are now participating - but more about that at another time]. It concerns several photographs taken of General Roger Maxwell Ramey in his Ft. Worth office on the afternoon of July 8, 1947 at his hastily-convened press conference during which he announced to the world that what was recovered on the J.B. Foster Ranch the day before by the Roswell AAF's Intelligence Officer was "really" a misidentified weather balloon and an aluminum-foil radar target [see discussion above under "Disappointment"].
It has been known by Roswell investigators for years that, in all of the Ramey photographs that were taken that day, he is shown in each as kneeling on one knee beside the remains of a decaying weather balloon and a ripped-up [but an otherwise pristine, off-the-shelf] radar target strewn about the floor of his office. In each photo, Gen. Ramey is shown holding what appears to be a teletype message in his left hand as if it had just been given to him prior to the start of his press conference.
In all but one of the Ramey photos (did he realize his mistake?), the hand-held teletype appears to be blank, but in the one photo (the first one taken?) it is obvious that, although somewhat crumpled in his hand, the memo appears to contain writing. Under low magnification, it can be seen that individual sentences are distinguishable from one another on the memo, but their constituent letters or words cannot be made out [it is interesting to point out that we had already attempted to interpret the text of the Ramey memo in 1990 when we requested Richard Haines to computer-analyze the photograph; but back then, Dr. Haines was only able to identify a few individual letters].
Today, combining extreme magnification with the latest computer-enhanced analytical techniques, several teams of photographic analysts remarkably claim to have been able to "decipher" parts of sentences [i.e., actual words] on the exposed portion of the Ramey teletype. While the teams are not in total agreement at this time as to what the entire memo says [e.g., one team claims to see the word "Magdalena", while someone else reads it as "Roswell"], a single, glaring phrase is clear to all who have had an opportunity to view an enhanced picture of the memo, and in our opinion constitutes a "smoking gun". There is no dispute whatsoever that the phrase, ". . . victims [emphasis ours] of the wreck . . . forwarded to Ft. Worth, Tex.", can be seen on the Ramey memo and, to us, indicates that a weather balloon - Project Mogul or otherwise - was NOT what crashed and was recovered at Roswell in July of 1947.
The memo, in our opinion, appears to have originated with Gen. Ramey and probably went to either Col. William Blanchard, commander of the 509th Bomb Group based at Roswell which was under Ramey's direct command or to higher authorities in Washington, D.C. The apparent "Ft. Worth connection" is also especially interesting to us now since a new source to our investigation had been leading us in that direction before news of the Ramey memo analyses surfaced.
What is needed now is for at least two independent investigations with no affiliations to Roswell, Roswell witnesses or the various Roswell investigations to conduct their own objective and impartial analyses of the Ramey photo/memo and to publicly present their findings, whatever they may be. Interestingly, the usual cast of Roswell debunking characters, including the U.S. Air Force [all of whom accept the Project Mogul balloon "explanation" for Roswell], has, to date, been strangely silent concerning the Ramey memo.
Who "in the know" back in 1947 could have ever imagined that Roger Ramey, "point-man" for the Roswell coverup, might one day a half-century later have unwittingly provided us with the key to unlock the door to the ultimate secret? Oh, irony of ironies. Go figure.