Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Radio Announcer of Roswell Incident Has Passed Away at 88

George Walsh
George Walsh, newsman and "Gunsmoke" announcer, dies at 88

The San Jose Mercury News

     MONTEREY PARK, Calif. - George Walsh, a longtime newsman and announcer for the "Gunsmoke" radio and television programs, has died. He was 88.

     Walsh died of congestive heart failure Dec. 5 at Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, said his daughter, Fran.

     He became the "Gunsmoke" announcer in 1952, introducing the live, weekly radio series with the following words: "Around Dodge City and in the territory out West, there's just one way to handle the killers and the spoilers, and that's with a U.S. marshal and the smell of 'Gunsmoke.'" He remained the announcer when the show moved to television in 1955.

     In the Los Angeles area, Walsh was a longtime fixture at KNX-AM radio, serving as an interviewer, sports reporter, newscaster and announcer from 1952 to 1986. His voice also was used in the Smokey Bear forest fire prevention campaign and on the now-closed Disneyland rides Flight to the Moon and Mission to Mars.

     In June 1947, he scored what appeared to be a huge scoop while working at a radio station in Roswell, N.M., breaking a story about a UFO landing based on an Air Force press officer's claim that a flying saucer had been captured near the city. The military eventually determined that the UFO was in fact a radar target, but the story by then had spread worldwide.

     In addition to his daughter, Fran, Walsh is survived by his wife of 49 years, Charlotte; two other daughters, Janice and Carolyn; two brothers; two sisters; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

* Special Thanks To Christian Macé

More . . .

See Also: Tributes To Walter Haut


1 comment :

  1. Stanton Friedman writes:

    George may well have been the first broadcaster to say something because Walter Haut dropped of the press release at the station.

    I spoke with George back in the 1970s, I think because Lydia Sleppy had mentioned his name as working at the Roswell radio station. He recalled almost nothing.

    He may indeed have been the first to run with the late Walter Haut's press release as he was local.

    Clearly this happened on July 8 not in June.

    Evening newspapers all over the US from Chicago West also carried the story that day.

    What was captured was clearly not a weather balloon. If that is all that there had been Brazel, Marcel and Blanchard all would have recognized it and Marcel and Cavitt would not have gone out to the ranch following Brazel.

    Stan Friedman


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