The Best of Roswell
Well, it’s inevitable with this year being the 60th anniversary of Roswell that we should see a few new books on the subject. And indeed we have; four of them, no less! Maybe there’s more too; I’m losing count, unsurprisingly.
A few weeks ago I received a review copy of Tom Carey and Don Schmitt’s Witness to Roswell.
Then, while I was speaking at the Roswell UFO Festival earlier this month Phyllis Galde of Fate magazine generously provided me with a whole stack of books to take back home and review, including two new Roswell titles published by her Galde Press. They are: Roswell Revisited by Kevin Randle and The Best of Roswell.
And, don’t forget: there’sÂ The Roswell LegacyÂ by Jesse Marcel, Jr., that tells the story of his own, personal Roswell recollections and much more.
Having now digested their collective pages, it’s time for a few words about the books. Today, my focus is upon The Best of Roswell. Reviews of the other titles will follow over the next week or so.
As I had more than a few hours at my disposal at Albuquerque’s airport before my flight back to Dallas, I decided (after a lunch with Star Trek’s Chase Masterson and Dean Haglund of The X-Files) to dig into The Best of Roswell, and I had pretty much finished it by the time that the wheels of our aircraft hit the ground at DFW Airport.
So, is it any good? Yes, it is.
It’s important to note that The Best of Roswell is not a book that is packed with new disclosures on all-things-crashed and Roswellian. Rather, it is a collection of the many and varied articles on Roswell that appeared in the pages ofÂ Fate magazine between 1959 and 2005.
So, what do you get for your $14.95? Well, there’s Frank Edwards, who kicks things off with a Roswell-related excerpt from his 1959Â article Keep Your Eyes on Venus. It must be said that Edwards’ telling of Roswell is wildly distorted, but it’s at least notable in the sense that he recognized that there might have been something of significance to the case long before nearly everyone else did.
Jerry Clark’s review of the Berlitz-Moore book, The Roswell Incident from the February 1981 issue of Fate follows. Describing the book as “pretty lousy,” Clark’s review makes for fascinating reading, primarily because – at the time – there was very little talk within Ufology of crashed UFOs; and so The Roswell Incident was seen as being something very different within early 1980s UFO research circles.
The Roswell-related portions of Clark’s 4-part UFO Crashes series for the magazine are reproduced and are well-worth reading for anyone wanting a concise history of C/R events, and as far as the situation was concerned when Clark’s artlcle was published in 1988.
The Best of Roswell also includesÂ several contributions from John Keel, who digs deep into the Japanese Fugo Balloon theory that was the thrust of my Body Snatchers in the Desert book. I had seen Keel’s original article published in Fate in 1990.
However, until I read The Best of Roswell I wasn’t aware that Keel had written a follow-up article in 1993, in which he notably refers to witness testimony provided to him that dovetails very closely with that in Body Snatchers and which focuses on manned, Japanese balloons over the US in the 1940s.
Then, there’s The Roswell Furor from January 1991, in which Keel, Stan Friedman and the then-team of Schmitt and Randle get all fired up as they discuss the nature of the case and the merits (or lack of) of each other’s theories. You can almost see the collective blood-pressures of the relevant writers rising as they debate the truth of the affair.
Jerry Clark is back again in 1992 with his A Tale of Two Crashes, which looks at the Barney Barnett story of a 1947 UFO crash on New Mexico’s Plains of San Augustin.
New Mexico Representative Steven Schiff gets coverage in J. Antonio Huneeus’ Roswell Blues (Part 1); Part 2 follows as does a 1995 Fate article on Huneeus’ wholly justified criticism of the USAF’s 1994 Roswell report that sought to lay matters to rest via the Mogul Balloon explanation.
Then there are the articles that present theories for Roswell that don’t revolve around alien spacecraft and/or Mogul Balloons: for example, the debate between myself and Kevin Randle on my Body Snatchers book that was published in the September 2005 issue of Fate appears; as does the late Jim Keith’s article on the possibility that the Roswell event actually involved the accidental dropping of an atomic bomb. I kid you not.
The Best of Roswell also containsÂ an article titledÂ The Other Paradigm and written by the pseudonymous “E.A. Guest.” This article will well and truly have Mac Tonnies choking with excitement on his Starbucks Coffee: it offers a theory that supportsÂ Mac’s “cryptoterrestrial” hypothesis, and asserts that the object which crashed at Roswell was piloted by a race of people who secretly live deep below the Earth in caverns, caves and tunnels. And you thought that Roswell could not get any weirder? You should have known betterÂ by now: this is Roswell we’re talking about!
As for the remaining articles: there’s pieces on Frank Kaufmann, the debris field, alleged alien artefacts found at Roswell, and much more.
All in all, this is a good book and provides the reader with a welcome body of material on Roswell that would be very hard to come by under any other circumstances – unless, of course, you’ve been subscribing to Fate since 1959, as most of us, I’m sure, certainly haven’t!
Oddly, I can’t see the book linked at Amazon and it doesn’t appear at the Galde Press website, so you may want to contact Phyllis Galde direct at the Galde Press site (link above) for details.
Coming on Monday: my review of Kevin Randle’s Roswell Revisited.
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