By Dennis BalthaserAs I look back over my 67 years of existence on this “mud ball” we call earth, I’m sometimes amazed at what has transpired during that time. Several times it has concerned me; while at other times I have felt fortunate to be alive during this period. I have been blessed over the years with a childhood I’ll always remember, and three long, separate, unrelated careers. The first being playing professional music part time for some 38 years, finally giving it up with some reluctance, missing those I entertained with.
Next came what I considered my primary career, working in civil engineering, first in the U.S. Army, 815th Engineering Battalion, (1959-1962) with two assignments to Greenland (which I never forgave the Army for), and then 33 years with the Texas Department of Transportation, where I traveled to 37 states, Korea and South Africa to inspect materials for highway and bridge construction. It was late in this career that my interest in Ufology developed pretty much as a hobby. I read everything I could find on the subject, became a member of MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network), attended local chapter meetings, and realized I would soon begin what probably has become my final career.
Retiring from the Texas DOT in August 1995 at a young age of 54, I pursued continuing that type of work with resumes distributed all over the country, and was hired as an Engineering Technician, in of all places, Roswell New Mexico.
Back in 1996 the International UFO Museum was a small storefront operation at 4th and Main St. in Roswell. I began volunteering there on weekends and was enjoying the opportunity to share information with the visitors and started to meet some of the first hand witnesses and well-known researchers. Within six months I realized that UFO research would be my third career, leaving the civil engineering work behind forever, and began volunteering at the Museum, 9-10 hours per day, 7 days a week. Without an official title as a volunteer, the staff considered me as the UFO Investigator and Operations Manager for the Museum. I was one of a few volunteers that helped move the entire Museum operation to it’s current location in 1997, in record time closing the doors to the public for only one day.
I have many fond memories of visitors that I met at the Museum, and particularly the daily discussions I had with 1947 mortician Glenn Dennis and Public Relations Officer Walter Haut, who were two of three co-founders of the museum, and considered by many to have been closely involved with the 1947 Roswell Incident. Also during my short tenure with the Museum, I had the opportunity to work closely with researchers Don Schmitt, Wendy Connors, and my inspiration, Stanton Friedman, among others, interviewing witnesses, going to the crash sites, and searching for the truth about the Roswell Incident.
My relationship with the Museum came to an abrupt end in late 1998 when I was asked to sever my relationship with the Museum, and given my $1,000.00 lifetime membership back. To this day I don’t know why that decision was made and within the recent past a note was placed at the Museum Greeter’s desk by the now Director, stating, “Dennis Balthaser is not welcome at the Museum”. Looking back that was probably a blessing in disguise, as I was able to concentrate my research as an independent researcher as I’ve done for the past 11 years, respected for my honesty and dedication in searching for the truth.
Exposure to the media reached its peak for me during the 50th anniversary of the Roswell Incident in July 1997, when every known media outlet descended on Roswell to report on the 50th anniversary. It would be a few years later until I realized that the TV documentary media and their reporting techniques were not particularly interested in factual information as much as they were concerned with ratings and profits. Of the hundreds of interviews I have done, very few would be what I consider credible and honest reporting. Live radio interviews for me have been an exception, in that they are more enjoyable and the researcher in most cases is given the opportunity to share his or her research in an open forum, without the editing that takes place with TV documentaries. Another good outlet for me has been the 60 editorials I have written about my research every other month since 1999, which are posted on 32 websites and UFO magazine, and archived on my website.
Several people have been instrumental in this final career I have chosen, and in this article I will mention a few of them, knowing that I will omit some that I should have probably mentioned.
Because of the expense and time involved in doing UFO research, first on my list of influential people would have to be my wife Debby, who has allowed me to lose money every year, doing research, while understanding my passion for obtaining the truth.
My Webmaster, Fay Wylder in Albuquerque who has been my anchor since I started doing the research as an independent researcher back in 1999, has done magical things with our website with her artistic and organizational abilities, taking my written thoughts and creating an award winning website. I can never repay her for the interest she’s shown in helping me share my four areas of research; The 1947 Roswell Incident, Area 51, Underground Bases, and more recently the Pyramids of Giza.
I cannot over emphasize the importance of a few of the researchers I’ve been fortunate enough to work with during the past 11 years and the influence they have had on my own research. No school or books could come close to achieving what I learned from them. While I was with the Museum Don Schmitt and I interviewed many witnesses and made many field trips to crash sites learning more each time we went. I’ve not worked with him since my Museum days but he continues to find new witnesses.
A world-renowned researcher who has had my respect and has become a personal friend is Stanton Friedman, the nuclear physicist and original civilian Roswell researcher. Stan and I have worked together on many investigations of witnesses, done lectures at the same symposiums and conferences and had many hours of discussions on this subject of Ufology. Stanton advised me on how to handle the “Interception” experience I had in 1997 when I met with alleged United States Air Force Office of Special Investigation Agents in Oklahoma when I tried to obtain physical evidence about the Roswell Incident.
Another is Frank Warren who came on board to help me with the “Interception” in 1997 also, and has become an outstanding researcher in his own right with his www.theufochronicles.com website. Through Franks unending and dedicated research, we now believe that the “Interception” was a hoax, and I was just one of several people that was scammed by that individual. Franks interest in other UFO cases is of unsurpassed importance to the study of Ufology.
Scott and Suzanne Ramsey have brought new information forward about the 1948 Aztec, New Mexico crash that has caused many of us to take another look at that case. I was involved with the annual Aztec symposium with the Ramseys for the past 11 years, and a great deal of information will be revealed in their soon to be published book. Scott has been relentless in his archives research and witness interviews over many years, and they have become not only co-researchers but also dear friends.
Many others have had an impact on my research such as David Rudiak on the General Ramey memo, John Greenewald Jr. for his revealing Freedom of Information requests, Richard Sauder, PhD researching Underground Bases, Dr. John DeSalvo on the Pyramids of Giza, Chuck Clark on Area 51 and several others.
At this stage in my life, and not knowing how much longer I will continue doing this research, I felt an obligation to share some personal views, and thank some of those that have helped me to have a both rewarding and at times frustrating third career. I’m forever hopeful that some of these individuals I mentioned will, as I know they will, have a lasting impression on our young people, and encourage them to get involved in this research.