By Frank WarrenPrologue: Most who have paused on this article and moved into their comfortable reading position no doubt are to some degree aware of the “Roswell incident” of 1947; there have been volumes written about it, movies made, television series created, celebrities borne and a town elevated into the annals of history because of it, while prospering financially along the way I might add.
Originally Published in Alien Worlds Magazine # 4
Originally Published in Alien Worlds Magazine # 4
My intent here is not to address the “overall” account per se (in relationship to the book), but an element of it. One of the key players in the narrative is that of “Glenn Dennis,” who in 1947 was a mortician for the Ballard Funeral Home; he is accredited for injecting “alien bodies” into the account while revealing his involvement.
In short, after taking a soldier to the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) infirmary, who had been injured in a motorcycle accident, upon seeing the “heightened state” of activity, Dennis assumed there had been an airplane crash and made inquiries and naturally reckoned that his services might be needed; there he found a scene of pure pandemonium! He recognized a “nurse” he knew as she was coming out of one of the examining rooms with a cloth over her mouth; she said, "My gosh, get out of here or you're going to be in a lot of trouble." Thereafter, he was quickly made cognizant of the fact that his presence wasn’t required nor desired, and according to his signed affidavit his life was threatened in order to keep his mouth shut about the activities going on and anything he may have seen. MP’s then promptly escorted him off the base.
The next day he met with the nurse at the Officer’s Club and she was visibly upset. She swore him to secrecy and then shared the details of recovered alien bodies, an autopsy and a crashed flying saucer complete with a sketch.
That was the last time Dennis was to see the nurse according to him. Rumors were that she was immediately transferred, and then died in an airplane crash.
As one might surmise, finding this nurse is paramount regarding Roswell research; much energy has been expended in trying to identify and locate her, including by no small means efforts by yours truly.
After repeated attempts by several researchers to get a name from Dennis, he reluctantly claimed that the name was one, “Naomi Maria Self,” or variations thereof. After years of coming up empty in search of that moniker (by a number of researchers), Dennis admitted to an individual that was not the name of the infamous nurse, and he was protecting her identity. Suffice it to say, his credibility has come under fire.
A week before the Roswell incident's 50th anniversary (1997) the Air Force released a 231-page report entitled, “The Roswell Report, Case Closed"; in it the Air Force presented arguments in contrast to eyewitness accounts in support of “other worldly activity.” Not surprisingly, in their attempt to cover all the bases, they also addressed Dennis’ “mystery nurse.” The name the Air Force suggested was that of nurse, “Eileen M. Fanton” who in fact was stationed at Roswell during that time period, and the Air Force cited other similarities as well.
No other evidence has been offered up by Dennis or the Air Force in order to verify once and for all the true identity of the mystery nurse (she had passed away prior to the release of the Air Force report); consequently, “any” new information pertaining to “a nurse” involved in the “Roswell Incident” captivates researchers everywhere!
Recently, a book has surfaced entitled, Alien Interview by Lawrence Spencer; the tome is self-published (POD) “through” Lulu.com. Spencer is no stranger to POD, and has penned other books e.g., The Oz Factors, Pan - God of The Wood, The Big Bleep: The Mystery of A Different Universe etc. I might add he often makes reference to one or more of the books within the pages of Alien Interview, which stood out enough to get my attention . . . perhaps nothing more then “clever marketing” for his other works?
As you might have surmised at this point, Alien Interview is about “a nurse” involved in “The Roswell Incident” . . . and that’s putting it mildly! The very idea of “any new information” concerning a nurse at Roswell has researchers salivating profusely! The obvious question from all, of course has to be, “is this Glenn Dennis’ missing mystery nurse?”
Having spent time with Spencer on a radio interview as well as listening to some others, I can say he seems to be a pleasant chap; he comes off as very endearing and amiable. That said, I still had, and do have my reservations.
Prior to having the book in my possession I reviewed some portions of it which were sent to me by good friend and colleague, “Dennis Balthaser,” as well as reading what was available at Lulu.com; the gist of the book according to Spencer is that he basically stumbled upon, one, “Matilda O'Donnell MacElroy,” who purportedly asserted (by letter) that she was an Army Air Force nurse who was stationed at the Roswell Army Air Field 509th Bomb Group in ’47 and was involved in the flying saucer crash/recovery etc. She further stated that while performing her duties as a nurse with the alien(s) she became aware of telepathic communication, and by default was tasked to liaison for the powers-that-be and the creature.
The book in essence is the dialogue (top secret transcripts no less) that supposedly took place between she and the ET; Spencer only claims (quite conveniently) “editorial duties.” I won’t be addressing the dialogue as such; my focus is the “wrapper,” so to speak, that it comes in.
Upon quick review the first thing that literally jumped out at me was the fact that Mr. Spencer had handily “nullified” all of the anticipated queries and objections that may come his way. Some might think that he was “just” being thorough, but for me I couldn’t help but be reminded of a rather “crafty, seasoned salesman.” One doesn’t get that from talking to him, but perhaps the “proof is in the pudding.” In any event, I’ll leave that up to the reader.
The first example is on the 3rd page (PDF Version) in the disclaimer, he writes:
“As far as the Editor [Spencer] of the book, "Alien Interview" is concerned, and for all practical purposes, the content of the book is a work of fiction. [Emphasis added] The Editor makes no claim to the factuality of the content, and in fact, cannot prove that the alleged author actually ever existed. Although some of the dates, locations, persons and incidents described may be factual or based on fact, there is no evidence to authenticate that equally as many may be subjective contrivances of the author. All of the information, notes and transcripts received by the Editor are contained in their complete, original form, as represented in the book. The Editor is no longer in possession of any original documents or copies of original documents from the author, i.e. Mrs. MacElroy. “For most folks, those statements are enough (to discard the entire matter). He has basically taken all of the objections that might arise, and conveniently gift wrapped them for the reader, then tossed them out the window, all the while maintaining the position of the messenger. I might add, that the reason he claims to “no longer be in possession of any original documents” i.e., the evidence, is because he destroyed it all! Seems that he didn’t want to be bothered by Ufologists, or anyone else for that matter . . . and no, I’m not making this stuff up!
Given his forethought regarding the content in the disclaimer, and of course the subject matter itself; not just the Roswell association, which seems tame at this point, but the “claimed telepathic communication” by her and the alien, I believe it’s safe to say that he knew the can of worms he was opening and the firestorm he would face! In that vein, why would anyone discard the only shred of evidence that might help to shore up your allegations? This is a very tough pill to swallow!
I can’t help but be reminded of the American Game show, Jeopardy, where “answers” are given first and the contestants’ objective is to provide the proper questions. For example:
Answer: I was unable to verify the identity of Mrs. MacElroy.Given the fact that Mr. Spencer has carefully and methodically shielded himself from ridicule and contempt, (which some book authors and publishers might call “brilliant”), that leaves us with the alleged words of Mrs. MacElroy.
Question: How do you know this person was who she said she was?
Answer: I cannot prove that the alleged author actually ever existed.
Question: How do you know you weren’t hoaxed?
Answer: I have burned all of the original documents, including the envelope I received from Mrs. MacElroy. I do not want to spend the rest of my life being hounded by UFO researchers, government agents, grocery store tabloids reporters, UFO advocates and de-bunkers alike, or anyone else.
Question: Would you be willing to provide the documents that you received from Mrs. MacElroy
to researchers in order to test and authenticate them?
Answer: Ripley says, "Believe It, or Not". I say, "What's true for you, is true for you"
Question: Why should we believe that this is just a gimmick you devised to sell your books?
As the story goes according to Spencer, while doing research (in 1998) for his previous book, “The Oz Factors” he was given a name of a person (MacElroy) who supposedly was at Roswell (in ’47) and was told she “might know something about aliens and their influence on the history of the earth.” He then called her in Montana, (he was living in Florida) and spoke with her for about 20 minutes; he claims she was reticent about divulging information that she might have known, but intimated “ she did in fact know something!” In 1999 he mailed her a copy of the fore mentioned book.
Fast-forward to 2007 where Spencer allegedly receives a package from MacElroy containing the “top secret” transcripts of “telepathic dialogue” between she and the alien as well as a personal letter to him explaining the matter etc.
Given the fact that Spencer claims to have destroyed all the evidence, I’ll omit the details of the package, paper, font and the like; however, and I’ll qualify this by saying the entire anecdote is “invalid on its face” because Spencer has conveniently left us no way to authenticate it; in that vein, we can still proceed with the exercise of examining the content of the letter from MacElroy to Spencer.
Working backwards, MacElroy signed the letter as follows:
Senior Master Sergeant
Women's Army Air Force Medical Corp, Retired
100 Troytown Heights
Co. Meath, Ireland
As we know, the “Army Air Force” became an independent branch of the military officially on July 26th, 1947; it was reborn as the “United States Air Force,” and by default was appointed a Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff.
Since the alleged MacElroy invoked the “Army” Air Force opposed to the “Air Force” this indicates “retirement” came shortly after the latter was borne (statements in the book cite service continued at least for a few months in the “Air Force”). This is significant because the rank of “Senior Master Sergeant” didn’t exist at anytime during the tenure of the “Army” Air Force. In fact, that rank wouldn’t come into existence for another 10 years!
Additionally, there was no “Women's Army Air Force Medical Corp” . . . at least not written that way. There was of course the “Women's Army Corps” (WAC), as well as the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) and finally the “Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC),” but there did not exist an official branch of the military (ever) analogous to what was presented in Spencer’s book.
Another tidbit is that MacElroy (in her signature) indicated retirement “after” her “invalid unit,” opposed to right after her “nonexistent rank,” which is proper in a military signature.
Aside from those specifics, the vernacular of the letter just didn’t seem to fit a woman of 83 years of age. Having interviewed many elderly witnesses, as well as having elderly friends and family, the idiolect seemed incongruous with such a person. I might add, that her using the term “alien” stuck out like a sore thumb as well; so much so, I verified the etymology of the word, and the “noun” alien, as used in the book did not come into existence until 1953! Even then, it wouldn’t be “common” in the public lexicon until years later.
Playing devil’s advocate, a colleague mentioned that given the fact she (allegedly) wrote the letter to Spencer in 2007, she may have been using today’s patois; of course that’s possible; however. The term “alien” is present in the “alleged” top-secret transcript as well (purportedly written in 1947).
Aside from these careless errors, another item of contention (in my view) was one more slick move where MacElroy issues a warning and some advice:
" . . . I am entrusting these documents to your discretion to impart to the world in any form or manner you see fit. My only request is that you do so in a way that will not threaten your own life or well being, if possible. If you were to incorporate these notes of my experiences into a work of fiction, such as a novel, the factual nature of the material could be easily dismissed or discredited by any agency for whom "national security" is used as a personal shield against scrutiny and justice.As you can see, Spencer not only has his own built-in countermoves, they are also incorporated into MacElroy’s instructions to Spencer—brilliant!
In so doing, you could 'disavow any knowledge' of their true origin, and claim that it is a fictitious work of your imagination."
In the end we have “3” possibilities; the first is that all of this really happened ad nauseam; the second is that Spencer was duped; the third of course is that Mr. Spencer has concocted the entire scenario himself.
There is sufficient evidence to discount the first option, and having spent some time conversing with Mr. Spencer as well as listening to other radio interviews with him, I don’t feel he’s that dim. In fact, I think he’s very cunning, so that discounts option 2. This leaves us with Lawrence Spencer putting his very creative pen to paper and presenting us with what some might feel is very palatable science fiction. On the other hand, no doubt he will raise some ire among a few. Moreover, there will surely be those who will buy into the story, evidence and good sense be damned! Yet, do we condem Mr. Spencer for this? He basically hasn’t lied about the premise; he is the first to censure the work; he agrees with the criticism; finally he has point-blank stated, “the book is a work of fiction, all the while creating interest in it!”
Although I haven’t read Spencer’s other books, it seems to me there is a common thesis between “Alien Interview” and his other works. He’s made public statements that this isn’t about money or book sales, and I believe the former; that is to say, he hasn’t performed this endeavor to make a buck; however, writers write because they want to be read. He has made statements that indicate his book sales haven’t been too prosperous; could it be that he sat down one day and thought of a method to pump up his numbers, while adding another volume to his writing resume? This in my view seems the most palatable and certainly some will take issue with (and others will wish they would have thought of it); nevertheless, in my outlook—no harm no foul!