Thanks to the efforts of researchers like Stanton Friedman, Donald Schmitt, and Thomas Carey, the public has become aware of the crash all those years ago, and the efforts of the government to cover up the facts and institute the highest level of security around the secret since the hydrogen bomb.
Fortunately, the group in charge of the secret back then did not foresee the Freedom of Information Act, or the release of thousands of documents as a result of researchers and investigators inquiries since it became law. As a result we have a few iconic symbols to remember the event by.
One of the most famous would undoubtedly be the banner headlines "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region", as reported on the front page of the Roswell Daily Record. That one sentence let the proverbial cat out of the bag forever. However the image that a majority of the public remembers was actually a staged photo, published with only one purpose: to deceive the American people, and the rest of the world. That image is one of Maj. Jesse Marcel posing with the wreckage of a weather balloon in an issue with the headlines "Gen. Ramey Empties Roswell Saucer".
At the time the American public swallowed that story hook, line, and sinker, without question. No one even stopped to consider for an instant that a Maj. in the world's most elite bomber squadron would never mistake a flying saucer for a weather balloon, something any schoolkid in New Mexico could identify. And so the coverup began.
In recognition of this historic event, The Field Investigator's Toolbox is interviewing Denice Marcel, granddaughter of Maj. Jesse Marcel, and daughter of Jesse Marcel Jr., who has also contributed so much in the field of UFOlogy.
I recently appointed Denice to the position of State Section Director MUFON Los Angeles, and she has so far done a fantastic job of reorganizing the section, and preparing for future meetings. I had a few questions for Denice, and she was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule to let me interview her for The Field Investigator's Toolbox.
FIT: Coming from a family so steeped in UFO lore, at what age do you first recall being aware of the subject of UFOs?
Denice: Most people would think it would have been learning about our grandfather's involvement in Roswell, where he had recovered debris from something that crashed in the desert just outside of town. Although he told my brother's and I of his accounts of that event around 1975, prior to this there was a culmination of various discussions that would have led me to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life.
FIT: Did your family openly discuss the topic of UFOs, and if so how was it treated?
Denice: Probably the first occasion that would have triggered a dialogue about UFOs would have been the Pioneer 10 probe which was launched in 1972. I was very young, but I do remember my father being very excited about this because there was a gold-anodized aluminum plaque attached to the probe in case it was ever found by intelligent lifeforms.
Along with that, we would spend several weekends camping and observing the Montana night skies. I remember one night when we were looking through my father's telescope he said something along the lines of; "when we look up at the skies, there very well could be something looking back." So discussing about the possibilities of intelligent life was rather commonplace.
FIT: There has been much controversy over the actual date of the crash near Roswell. As far as you and your family can recall, what was the actual date of the crash?
Denice: The controversy will always loom, and I doubt anyone will ever be able to pinpoint the exact date of the crash. The one date we are sure of is that on July 7th, my grandfather was requested to investigate some unusual debris that was found on the Foster Ranch. Other than that, our family's recollection of the crash would be from stories and newspaper articles, for example, according to The Roswell Daily Record printed on July 9th, 1947, Mac Brazel first discovered the debris on June 14th.
FIT: What was it that actually sparked your interest in the subject of UFOs?
Denice: Since the Marcel name is synonymous with "The Roswell Incident", I would have to say it would be my father and grandfather. After all, both of them held pieces of a UFO.
FIT: Now that you are a MUFON Field Investigator, has your outlook on the field of UFOlogy changed any, and if so, how?
Denice: Becoming a MUFON Field Investigator has only solidified what I have always thought, there needs to be more scientific research applied to the field of UFOlogy. One little funny side-note; I think I started investigating UFOs around the age of nine when my father and brother's witnessed something over the mountaintops where we lived in Montana. I immediately asked them to all draw a picture so we could compare their sightings. I really wish I still had that drawing.
Since my father had to recount his participation in the Roswell event, I realized that memory played a big role. With this in mind I wanted to understand how memories worked, so I decided to study Hypnotherapy. Even though I didn't practice, I did receive my Hypnotherapist Certification from the California Hypnosis Motivation Institute, which is the only such accredited institution in the United States. The timing was perfect because in 1997 I accompanied my father for a hypnosis session in Washington D.C., that Dr. Neil Hibler would conduct on my father over the course of three days. Dr. Hibler was one of the world's leading experts who used hypnotic regression for forensic purposes. The hypnosis sessions solidified everything my father had been conveying over the years.
FIT: As the new State Section Director you've done a stellar job of reorganizing MUFON Los Angeles. What are your plans for MUFON Los Angeles in the future?
Denice: First and foremost to continue to educate the public on the UFO phenomenon and it's potential impact on society. MUFON Los Angeles will hold monthly meetings with guest speakers, featuring scientists, authors, and researchers, along with discussing past and current UFO cases. And hopefully in the future possible skywatching events.
FIT: Your grandfather, Jesse Marcel, is well known for being ordered to pose with the wreckage of a weather balloon, leading the public to believe that it was what was actually recovered from Mac Brazel's ranch. How did that affect your grandfather...
Denice: The photo you are referring to is well known in the Roswell event. My grandfather was ordered by his commanding officers to pose with materials other than what he actually recovered from the debris field. Since the military felt the actual mysterious material could affect the "security of our nation", as an intelligence officer for the 509th bomb group, and being the military man that he was, he did what he was ordered to do. Although he remained silent about the incident, you can see from the expression on his face, it was his "you've got to be kidding me" look.
FIT: ...and what is your feeling about military personnel that are ordered to fabricate stories to cover up the existence of UFOs?
Denice: I believe we all have the right to know the truth about UFOs. I don't feel our government has the right to fabricate, or cover up evidence of the existence of UFOs. They will always use the excuse that it is for the "security of our nation". I think those days are long gone.
FIT: Would you personally recommend to other military personnel that they come forward with their stories?
Denice: I had the honor of speaking on the Roswell panel alongside my father and brother at the Citizen's Hearing on Disclosure in Washington D.C. in 2013. During these hearings I listened to 37 other researchers, along with military, agency, and political persons of high rank and station testify to six former members of the United States Congress.
The statements that I listened to over the course of five days were very informative, and not only would I recommend other military personnel to come forward with their accounts, I feel it is time that our government comes forward with the truth, and that is; "We are not alone!" After all, when it comes to the Roswell incident, I believe my father and grandfather!!
FIT: The 73rd anniversary of the crash near Roswell is coming up in July, and you will be speaking at the festival in Roswell. What can attendees expect to see in Roswell?
Denice: The Roswell UFO Festival 2015 will be a three day event featuring guest speakers, authors, live entertainment, a parade and a 5K/10K run/walk. This year my brother and I will be lecturing on our experience, and how it has affected out lives. This will the first time I will be going to Roswell without my father, and so a new chapter begins.
End of interview.
And so indeed a new chapter begins for Denice Marcel, and MUFON Los Angeles. Denice has built a new website as well: www.mufonlosangeles.com
where you can find all the latest information about meetings and sightings in the area!
Thanks for spending the time with this special issue. I'd like to dedicate this issue to Jesse Marcel, Jesse Marcel Jr. and to the occupants of that doomed craft all those years ago. May you all rest in peace.