The Roswell Artifacts
THE NIGHTMARE OF THE CREATURE I SAW AT FORT RlLEY NEVER faded from
my memory, although I was able to
bury it during my years as a guided missile commander in Europe. And
I never saw its body again the rest of my life except for the
autopsy photos and the medical examiner sketches that would catch up
to me, along with the rest of what happened at Roswell, when I
returned to Washington from Germany for assignment at the Pentagon
in 1961. I can remember my first day back when I was waiting outside
my boss’s door for entry into the inner sanctum. And, boy, was I
The last time I remembered being that nervous in
Washington, I was standing in the little anteroom outside the Oval
Office in the White House waiting for President Eisenhower to get
off the phone. I had a big request to make and I wanted to do it
face-to-face, not go through any aides or assistants or wait for
special assistant C. D. Jackson to show up to make everything OK. I
was almost a regular in the Oval Office those days, back in the
1950s, dropping off National Security Council staff papers for the
President, making reports, and sometimes waiting while he read them
just in case he wanted me to relay a message.
But this time was
different. I needed to speak to him myself, alone. But Ike was
taking a longer time than he usually took on this phone call, and I
shifted around and sneaked a glance at the switchboard lights on
Lehrer’s desk off to the side. Still on the
phone, and you could see at the bottom of the switch panel where the
calls were backing up.
I was asking President Eisenhower for a personal favor: to let me
out of my fifth year on the White House
National Security staff so I could pick up the command of my own
anti-aircraft guided-missile battalion being
formed up in Red Canyon, New Mexico. Ike had once promised me a
command of my own when I returned from
Korea and was posted to the White House. And in 1957 the opportunity
came up, a juicy assignment at a high-security
base with the coveted green tabs and all the trappings: train and
command an anti-aircraft battalion to
use the army’s most secret new surface-to-air missile and then take
it to Germany for some front-line target
practice right where the Russians could see us.
In case of World War
III, the order of battle read, Soviet Backfire
bombers will drop an inferno of high explosives on our positions
first and the East German tanks will roll straight into
our barracks. We stand and fight, torching off every missile we have
so as to take out as many attacking aircraft as we have missiles,
and get the hell out of there. I could almost taste the thrill in my
mouth as I waited for Ike to get off the phone that day back in
Those were my memories this afternoon as I stood outside the back
door of General Trudeau’s office on the third floor of the outer
ring of the Pentagon. It was 1961, four years after I left the White
House and put on my uniform again to stand guard across the
electronic no-man’s-land of radar sweeps and photo sensors just a
few kilometers west of the Iron Curtain. Ike had retired to his farm
in Pennsylvania, and my new boss was General Arthur Trudeau, one of
the last fighting generals from the Korean War.
Trudeau became an
instant hero in my book when I heard about how his men were pinned
down on the cratered slopes of Pork Chop Hill, dug into shallow
foxholes with enemy mortars dropping round them like rain. You
couldn’t order anyone up that hell of an incline to walk those boys
back down; just too damn many explosions. So Trudeau pulled off his
stars, clapped a sergeant’s helmet over his head, and fought back up
the hill himself, leading a company of volunteers, and then fought
his way back down. That was how he did things, with his own hands,
and now I’d be working directly for him in the Army R&D Division.
I was a lieutenant colonel when I came to the Pentagon in 1961, and
all I brought with me were my bowling trophy from Fort Riley and a
nameplate for my desk cut out of the fin of a Nike missile from
Germany. My men made it for me and said it would bring me luck.
After I got to the Pentagon - it was still a couple of days before
my assignment actually began - I found out right away I’d need a lot
of it. In fact, as I opened the door and let myself directly into
the general’s inner office, I found out how much luck I’d need that
“So what’s the big secret, General?” I asked my new boss. It was
strange talking to a general this way, but we’d become friends while
I was on Eisenhower’s staff. “Why not the front door?”
“Because they’re already watching you, Phil, “ he said, knowing
exactly what kind of cold chill that would send through me. “And I’d
just as soon have this conversation in private before you show up
He walked me over to a set of file cabinets. “Things haven’t changed
that much around here since you went to Germany, “ he said. “We
still know who our friends are and who we can trust. “
I knew his code. The Cold War was at its height and there were
enemies all around us: in government, within
the intelligence services, and within the White House itself. Those
of us in military intelligence who knew the truth
about how much danger the country was in were very circumspect about
what we said, even to each other,
and where we said it. Looking back on it now from the safe distance
of forty years, it’s hard to believe that even
as big eight-cylinder American cars rolled off the assembly lines
and into suburban driveways and television
antennas sprung up on roofs of brand-new houses in thousands of
subdivisions around the country, we were in the midst of a
treacherous war of nerves.
Deep inside our intelligence services and even within the
President’s own cabinet were cadres of career government officers
working - some knowingly, some not - for the Soviet Union by
carrying out policies devised inside the KGB. Some of the position
papers that came out of these offices made no sense otherwise. We
also knew the CIA had been penetrated by KGB moles, just as we knew
that some of our own policy makers were advocating ideas that would
only weaken the United States and lead us down the paths that served
the best interests of our enemies.
A handful of us knew the awful truth about Korea. We lost it not
because we were beaten on the battlefield
but because we were compromised from within. The Russian advisers
fighting alongside the North Koreans were given our plans even
before they reached those of us on Mac Arthur’s staff. And when we
threw our host technology into the field and into the air, the
Soviets had already formulated plans to capture it and take it back
to Russia. When the time came to talk peace at Panmunjom and
negotiate a POW exchange, I knew where those Americans were, ten
miles north of the border, who wouldn’t be coming home. And there
were people right inside our own government who let them stay there,
in prison camps, where some of them might be alive to this very day.
So General Trudeau gave me his very grim smile and said, as he
walked me toward the locked dark olive military file cabinet on the
wall of his private office, “I need you to cover my back, Colonel. I
need you to watch because what I’m going to do, I can’t cover it
Whatever Trudeau was planning, I knew he’d tell me in his own time.
And he’d tell me only what he thought I needed to know when I needed
it. For the immediate present, I was to be his special assistant in
R&D, one of the most sensitive divisions in the whole Pentagon
bureaucracy because that was where the most classified plans of the
scientists and weapons designers were translated into the reality of
defense contracts. R&D was the interface between the gleam in
someone’s eye and a piece of hardware prototype rolling out of a
factory to show its potential for the army brass. Only it was my job
to keep it a secret while it was developed.
“But there’s something else I want you to do for me, Phil, “ General
Trudeau continued as he put his hand on top of the cabinet. “I’m
going to have this cabinet moved downstairs to your office. “
The general had put me in an office on the second floor of the outer
ring directly under him. That way, as I would soon find out,
whenever he needed me in a hurry I could get upstairs and through
the back door before anybody even knew where I was.
“This has some special files, war materiel you’ve never seen before,
that I want to put under your Foreign
Technology responsibilities, “ he continued.
My specific assignment
was to the Research & Development Division’s
Foreign Technology desk, what I thought would be a pretty dry post
because it mainly required me to keep up on
the kinds of weapons and research our allies were doing. Read the
intelligence reports, review films of weapons
tests, debrief scientists and the research people at universities on
what their colleagues
overseas were doing, and write up proposals for weapons the army
It was important and it had its share of cloak and
dagger, but after what I’d been through in Rome chasing down the Gestapoand SS officers the Nazis left behind and the Soviet NKVD
units masquerading themselves as Italian Communist partisans, it
seemed like a great opportunity to help General Trudeau keep some of
the army’s ideas out of the hands of the other military services.
But then I didn’t know what was inside that file cabinet.
The army generally categorized the types of weapons research it was
doing into two basic groups, domestic and foreign. There was the
research that sprang out of work going on in the United States and
research by people overseas. I knew I’d be keeping track of what the
French were doing with advanced helicopter design and whether the
British would be able to build a practical vertical takeoff and
landing fighter, something we’d given up on after World War II. Then
there was the German big gun, the V3, granddaughter of Big Bertha
that the Germans threatened Paris with during the First World War.
We’d found the barrel assemblies of the German artillery pieces near
Calais after we invaded Normandy and knew that the Nazis were
working on something that, like their jet engine fighter and new
Panzer tank, could have changed the outcome of the war if they’d
held us off any longer at the Battle of the Bulge.
I was responsible for developing this technology, ideas we hadn’t
come up with ourselves, and work up recommendations for how we could
incorporate this into our weapons planning. But I didn’t know why
the general kept on patting the top drawer of that file cabinet.
“I’ll get to those files right away if you like, General, “ I said.
“And write up some preliminary reports on what I think about it. “
“It’s going to take you a little longer than that, Phil, “ Trudeau
Now he was almost laughing, something he
didn’t do very much in those days. In fact, the only time I remember
him laughing that way was after he heard
that his name had been put up to command the U.S. forces in Vietnam.
He also heard that they wanted me to head up the intelligence
section for the Army Special Forces command in Vietnam. We both knew
that the army mission in Vietnam was headed for disaster because it
was a think-tank war. And the people in the think tank were more
worried about restraining the army than in wiping out the Vietcong.
So Trudeau had a plan:
“We’ll either win the war or get
court-martialed, “ he said. “But they’ll know we were there. “ And
he laughed when he said that the same way he was laughing as he told
me to take my time with the contents of the file cabinet. “You’ll
want to think about this before you start writing any reports, “ he
I couldn’t help but pick up the nervousness in his voice, forcing
itself through his laughter, the same sound over the phone that got
me nervous when I heard it the first time. There really was
something here he wasn’t telling me.
“Is there something else about this I should know, General?” I
asked, trying not to show any hesitation in my voice. Business as
usual, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing anybody can throw my way
that I can’t handle.
“Actually, Phil, the material in this cabinet is a little different
from the run-of-the-mill foreign stuff we’ve seen up to now, “ he
said. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the intelligence on what
we’ve got here when you were over at the White House, but before you
write up any summaries maybe you should do a little research on the
Roswell file. “
Now I’d heard more about Roswell than I was ready to admit right on
the spot my first day at the Pentagon. And there were more wild
stories floating around about Roswell and what we were still doing
there than anyone could have imagined. But I hadn’t made the
connection between the Roswell files and what was in the cabinet
General Trudeau was talking about. Basically I had hoped after Fort
Riley that it would all go away and I could simply stick my head in
the sand and worry about things I could get my brain around like
bureaucratic in fighting inside Washington instead of little aliens
inside sealed coffins.
The general didn’t wait for me to answer him. He left me standing
there in his office and walked out to the reception room, where I
heard him giving orders into a speaker phone. He had barely clicked
off the speaker and walked back to where I was standing when four
enlisted men pulling a hand truck showed up, saluted, and stood
there at attention while Trudeau kept looking at me. He didn’t say
anything. He turned to the enlisted men instead.
“Load up this
cabinet on that dolly and follow the colonel to his office on the
second floor. Don’t stop for anybody. Don’t talk to anybody. If
anyone stops you, you tell them to see me. That’s an order. “
Then he turned back to me.
“Why don’t you take some time with this,
Phil. “ He paused. “But not too much time. Sergeant” - he turned his
attention back to the enlisted man with the shortest haircut -
“please see the colonel back to his own office below. “
They loaded the file cabinet onto the dolly as if there were nothing
inside, pulled it toward the back door, and stared at me until I
followed them out. “Not too much time, Colonel, “ General Trudeau
called after me as we went out the door and down the hall.
I remember I spent quite a while just looking at that cabinet after
it was loaded off the dolly and set up in my inner office. There was
an almost ominous quality to it that belied its quiet, official army
presence. So I must confess that, given the reverse hype of the
general’s introduction, part of me wanted to tear it open right away
as if it were a present on Christmas morning. But the part of me
that won just let it sit there, protected, until I thought about
what General Trudeau had said about Roswell and the amount of paper
work that had circulated through the White House when I was on the
National Security staff there. No, I wasn’t going to review the
Roswell files. Not just yet. Not until I took a long hard look at
what was inside this file cabinet. But even that was going to wait
until the rest of my office was set up. Whatever I was supposed to
do, I wanted to do it right.
I spent a little time pacing around my new office while I thought
some more about what the general said, why this file was waiting for
me in his private office, and why he had wanted to talk to me
specifically about it. It also wasn’t lost on me that I had not seen
one scrap of paper from the general covering his delivery of the
material to me nor my receipt of it. It could have just as easily
been that this file cabinet didn’t even exist. As far as I knew,
only his eyes and soon my eyes would review it. So whatever it was,
it was serious and, only if by omission, very secret.
I remembered a hot July night fourteen years before at Fort Riley
when I was the young intelligence officer after having just been
shipped back from Rome. I remembered being hustled into a storage
hangar by one of the sentries, a fellow member of the Fort Riley
bowling team. What he pointed to under the thick olive tarp that
night was also very, very secret, and I held my breath, hoping that
what was inside this cabinet wasn’t anything like what I saw that
night in Kansas, July 6, 1947.
I opened the cabinet, and almost immediately my heart sank. I knew,
from looking at the shoebox of tangled
wires and the strange cloth, from the vise-like headpiece and the
little wafers that looked
like Ritz crackers only with broken edges and colored a dark gray,
and from an assortment or other items that I
couldn’t even relate to the shapes and sixes of things I was
familiar with, that my life was headed for a big
change. Back in Kansas that night in July, I told myself that I was
seeing an illusion, something that if I wished real hard, didn’t
have to exist for me.
Then, after I went to the White House and saw
all the National Security Council memos describing the “incident”
and talking about the “package” and the “goods, “ I knew that the
strange figure I’d seen floating in liquid in a casket within a
casket at Fort Riley wasn’t just a bad dream I could forget about.
Nor could I forget about the radar anomalies at the Red Canyon
missile range or the strange alerts over Ramstein air base in West
Germany. I only hoped all of it would never catch up with me again
and I could go through the rest of my army career in some kind of
peace. But it was not to be. There, mangled like somebody else’s
junk, were the trinkets I knew would involve me in something deeper
than I had ever wanted. Whatever else I had to do in this life, here
was a job that would change it all.
You know how in the movies when Bud Abbott would open a closet, see
the dead body hanging there, close the closet door, open it up
again, and find the body gone? That’s what I actually did with the
file cabinet. Nobody was there to see me, or so I believed, so I
opened it, closed it, opened it again. But this was no movie and the
stuff was still there.
So here it was, some of the material they’d recovered from Roswell.
And now, just like a bad penny, it turned up again. I heard
footsteps outside my door and caught my breath. There were always
sounds in the Pentagon at night because the building was never
empty. Somewhere, in some office, in parts of the building most
people don’t even know about, some group is planning for a war we
hope we will never fight. Therefore, more than any other building
except for the White House, the Pentagon is a place where someone is
always walking around after something.
General Trudeau peeked his head around the door.
“Look inside?” he asked.
“What’d you do to me, General?” I said. “I thought we were friends.
“That’s why I gave you this, Phil, “ he said, but he wasn’t
laughing, wasn’t even smiling. “You know how valuable this property
is? You know what any of the other agencies would do to get this
into their hands?’
“They’d probably kill me, “ I said.
“They probably want to kill you anyway, but this makes them even
more rabid. The air force wants it because they think it belongs to
them. The navy wants it because they want anything the air force
wants. The CIA wants it so they can give it to the Russians. “
“What do you want me to do, General?” I asked. I couldn’t figure out
what he was thinking unless he thought I should just bury the stuff
and leave it at that.
“I need a plan from you, “ he said. “Not simply what this property
is, but what we can do with it. Something that keeps it out of play
until we know what we have and what use we can make of it. “
This had all the makings of a plot, pure and simple.
“Look, who’s our biggest problem?” I asked, but it was a proforma
question because I already knew the answer.
“The same people who lost Korea for us and who you had to fight over
at the White House,“ he said. “You know exactly who I mean. We got
to keep whatever’s valuable here from falling into the wrong hands
because as sure as we’re standing in this Pentagon, it’ll find its
way right to the Kremlin. “
There were people floating around Washington right at that very
moment who, even out of the most well meaning intentions they could
muster, would have shipped this Roswell file over to Russia while
patting President Kennedy on the back and congratulating him for
contributing to world peace. Just as there were people who would
have cut Trudeau’s and my throat and left us right on the rug to
bleed to death while they packed that file away. Either way, Trudeau
didn’t have to quote me chapter and verse to explain that he was
handing me one of the most important assignments I would ever
receive from him. He was giving me the keys to a whole new kingdom,
but neither he nor I knew what in the world we could do with this
stuff, short of keeping it out of the hands of the Russians. At the
very least, that was a start.
“We have to know what we have first, “ I said.
“Then that’s your job right away. What do we have? Anything usable
here? Put together people you can trust from the specialists we have
and go over the contacts at our defense contractor lists. And this
is only part of the property we have. There’s some more of it
downstairs in the file basement that the other intelligence agencies
don’t know anything about. Came here from New Mexico instead of
going out to Ohio. Don’t ask me why. It’s coming up to you right now
in boxes. Just put everything together, take some time, and evaluate
this for me. “
“Anybody know I have this?” I asked.
“Everybody knows that if you’re poking around something it’s got to
be important,“ he said. “So don’t act like the cat that ate the
canary. They’re watching you as much as they’re watching me. “
he walked to the doorway, looked down both ends of the hall, and
turned back to me. “But move this thing along, because we could be
out of this office in under a year and I don’t want to have to worry
about running out of time on this. “
And he was gone in a heartbeat, as if we’d never had the
I didn’t take the file apart that night, even after another
nondescript wooden crate that looked like something you ship
vegetables in was carted to my office by an equally nondescript army
corporal. I didn’t go through the material the next night, either.
But over the following week, whenever I could be sure that no one
was around who could pop in without warning, I moved the material
from the box into the file and allowed myself time to look at it. It
was just like falling through the looking glass into a different
world, a puzzle of separate pieces that only vaguely captured what
had been in the memos I’d read over at the White House.
No wonder no
one had really wanted anything to do with this junk, which held out
the promise of a whole world we knew nothing about but that as far
back as 1947, the government had decided to keep an absolute secret.
Career after career of anyone in government who even hinted at the
big dark secret of Roswell was pulverized by whoever was behind this
operation. And, although I knew far more than I had even admitted to
myself, I would never be the one to shoot off my mouth. But now this
file, what I would eventually call the “nut file” to General
Trudeau, had come into my possession, and as the ensuing weeks
turned into a month, I gradually figured out where some of the
puzzle pieces fit.
First there were the tiny, clear, single filament, flexible glass
like wires twisted together through a kind of gray harness as if
they were cables going into a junction. They were narrow filaments,
thinner than copper wire. As I held the harness of strands up to the
light from my desk, I could see an eerie glow coming through them as
if they were conducting the faint light and breaking it up into
different colors. When the personnel at the retrieval site in the
desert outside of Roswell pulled this piece out of the wreckage of
the delta shaped object, they thought it was some sort of wiring
device -a harness is what they said - or maybe some of them thought
it was a junction box or electrical relay.
But whatever they thought
it was, they believed there was nothing like it on this planet. As I
turned the object over in my hand, I figured, from the way the
individual filaments flexed back and forth but didn’t break and the
way they were able to conduct a light beam along their length, they
were a wire of some sort. But for what purpose I didn’t have a clue.
Then there were the thin two-inch-around matte gray oyster cracker
shaped wafers of a material that looked like plastic but had tiny
road maps of wires barely raised/etched along the surface. They were
the size of a twenty-five-cent piece, but the etchings on the
surface reminded me of squashed insects with their hundred legs
spread out at right angles from a flat body.
Some were more rounded
or elliptical. It was a circuit - anyone could figure that out by
1961, especially when you put it under a magnifying glass - but from
the way these wafers were stacked on each other, this was a
circuitry unlike any other I’d ever seen. I couldn’t figure out how
to plug it in and what kind of current it carried, but it was
clearly a wire circuitry of a sort that came from a larger board of
wafers on board the flying craft. My hand shook ever so slightly as
I held these pieces, not because they themselves were scary but
because I was awed, just for a few seconds, about the momentous
nature of this find. It was like an architectural treasure trove,
the discoveries of some long departed culture, a Rosetta stone, even
though whoever crashed onto the desert floor was still very active
and roaming around our most secret army and air force bases.
I was most interested in the file descriptions accompanying a two
piece set of dark elliptical eye pieces as thin as skin. The Walter
Reed pathologists said they adhered to the lenses of the
extraterrestrial creatures’ eyes and seemed to reflect existing
light, even in what looked like complete darkness, so as to
illuminate and intensify images in the darkness to allow their
wearer to pick out shapes.
The reports had said that the
pathologists at Walter Reed hospital who autopsied one of these
creatures tried to peer through them in the darkness to watch the
one or two army sentries and medical orderlies walking down a
corridor adjacent to the pathology lab. These figures were
illuminated in a greenish orange, depending upon how they moved, but
the pathologists could see only their outer shape. And when they got
close to each other, their shapes blended into a single form. But
they could also see the outlines of furniture and the wall and
objects on desktops.
Maybe, I thought as I read this report,
soldiers could wear a visor that intensified images through the
reflection and amplification of available light and navigate in the
darkness of a battlefield with as much confidence as if they were
walking their sentry posts in broad daylight. But these eyepieces
didn’t turn night into day, they only highlighted the exterior
shapes of things.
There was a dull, grayish-silvery foil-like swatch of cloth among
these artifacts that you could not fold, bend,
tear, or wad up but that bounded right back into its original shape
without any creases. It was a metallic fiber
with physical characteristics that would later be called
“supertenacity, “ but when I tried to cut it with scissors, the
arms just slid right off without making even a nick in the fibers.
If you tried to stretch it, it bounced back, but I
noticed that all the threads seemed to be going in one direction.
When I tried to stretch it width wise instead of
length wise, it looked like the fibers had reoriented themselves to
the direction I was pulling in. This couldn’t be cloth, but it
obviously wasn’t metal. It was a combination, to my unscientific
eye, of a cloth woven with metal strands that had the drape and
malleability of a fabric and the strength and resistance of a metal.
I was on top of some of the most secret weapons projects at the
Pentagon, and we had nothing like this, even under the wishlist
There was a written description and a sketch of another device, too,
like a short, stubby flashlight almost with a self-contained power
source that was nothing at all like a battery. The scientists at
Wright Field who examined it said they couldn’t see the beam of
light shoot out of it, but when they pointed the pencil-like
flashlight at a wall, they could see a tiny circle of red light, but
there was no actual beam from the end of what seemed like a lens to
the wall as there would have been if you were playing a flashlight
off on a distant object. When they passed an object in front of the
source of the light, it interrupted it, but the beam was so intense
the object began smoking.
They played with this device a lot before
they realized that it was an alien cutting device like a blowtorch.
One time they floated some smoke across the light and suddenly the
whole beam took shape. What had been invisible suddenly had a round,
micro thin, tunnel-like shape to it. Why did the inhabitants of this
craft have a cutting device like this aboard their ship? It wasn’t
until later, when I read military reports of cattle mutilations in
which entire organs were removed without any visible trauma to the
surrounding cell tissue, that I realized that the light beam cutting
torch I thought was in the Roswell file was actually a surgical
implement, just like a scalpel, that was being used by the aliens in
medical experiments on our livestock.
Then there was the strangest device of all, a headband, almost, with
electrical signal pickup devices on either side. I could figure out
no use for this thing whatsoever unless whoever used it did so as a
fancy hair band. It seemed to be a one size fits all headpiece that
did nothing, at least not for humans. Maybe it picked up brain waves
like an electroencephalogram and projected a chart. But no private
experiment conducted on it seemed to do anything at all. The
scientists didn’t even determine how to plug it in or what its
source of power was because it came with no batteries or diagrams.
There were nights I’d spread these articles all around me as if they
were indeed Christmas presents. There were nights when I’d just take
one thing out and turn it around until I almost memorized what it
looked like from different angles before putting it back. The days
were passing and, without having been told directly by Trudeau, I
knew that he was getting anxious. We’d sit at meetings together when
other people were around and he couldn’t say anything, and I could
almost hear his insides burst. There were times when we were alone
and Trudeau almost didn’t want to broach our shared secret.
Outside the Pentagon there was a battle starting up all over again
set to rage just as it had during the Truman and Eisenhower
presidencies. Whose intelligence was accurate? Whose was truthful?
Who was trying to manipulate the White House and who believed that
by coloring or twisting fact that he could change the course of
history? John Kennedy was leading a young administration capable of
making extraordinary mistakes. And there were people at the heart of
his administration whose own views of how the world should work were
inspiring them to distort facts, misstate intentions, and disregard
obvious realities in the hope that their views would prevail.
Worse, there were those, deep within a secret government within the
government, who had been placed there by the spymasters at the
Kremlin. And it was those individuals we had the greatest reason to
fear. Right now, Army R&D had stewardship over these bits and pieces
of foreign technology from Roswell. How long we would have them I
did not know. So, over a late night pot of coffee in General
Trudeau’s office, he decided that we would move this material out,
out to defense contractors, out to where scientists would see it and
where, under the guise of top secrecy, it would be in the system
before the CIA could stow it where no one would find it except the
very people we were trying to hide it from.
“This is the devil’s plan, General, “ I said to Trudeau that night.
“What makes you think we can get away with it?”
“Not we, Phil, “ he said. “You. You’re the one who’s going to get
away with it. I’ll just keep them off your back long enough until
you do. “
Now, all I could think about was what I’d seen that night in 1947
and, worse, what in the world I was going to do with all this stuff
next. I’d asked myself “why me?” hundreds of times since that night
in the Pentagon. And asked why after fourteen years and my
experience at Fort Riley I had become the inheritor of the Roswell
file. But I had no answers then and no answers now. If General
Trudeau had meant for this to happen when he took over R&D three
years before I got there, I’ll never know. He never gave me any
reasons, only orders. But since he was the master strategizer, I
sometimes think he believed I must have had some experience with
alien encounters and wouldn’t be spooked by working with the
technology from the Roswell file.
I never asked him about it, as strange as that seems, because the
military being what it is, you don’t ask. You simply do. So, now as
then, I don’t question. I only remember that I went forward from
that night to put into development as much of the Roswell file as I
could and believed that whatever happened, I was doing the right