Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jesse Marcel, Jr., I Am Proud to Have Met You, By Mike Fortson

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Jesse & Linda Marcel
Jesse & Linda Marcel; Aztec Symposium 2008 – Credit: Mike Fortson Files

Mike Fortson By Mike Fortson
The UFO Chronicles
© 8-26-13

      In March of 2008, I was invited to be a guest speaker at the Aztec UFO Symposium (in Aztec, New Mexico). I was a replacement speaker for then director of MUFON, James Carrion who had come down with the Flu.

Both my wife and I were eyewitnesses to what I call the “Massive UFO Flyover of Arizona-March 13, 1997,” aka: The Phoenix Lights and our lecture was/is a narration of those events.

I was very excited to be asked again to speak about our sighting of what is arguably one of the biggest UFO events in history, and doubly so knowing that among the names of many of the speakers to be there, was Jesse Marcel Jr., and Stanton Friedman! Both of which I thought I would never have the opportunity to meet.

The day before the event, my wife and I drove from our home in Prescott Valley, AZ., to Aztec, NM. The UFO Symposium lasted for three days—Friday thru Sunday. We all stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast in Aztec. Upon arriving and checking in we met Stanton Friedman as he was coming down the stairs. I introduced myself and was totally surprised he knew my name and had read some of my articles about our sighting on March 13, 1997.

After checking in we went into a large dining area and there he was...Jesse Marcel Jr! I told my wife everything I knew about him and his father. I bought his book, "The Roswell Legacy", and even had a replica of the famed I-Beam.

As we approached his table, Jesse stood up, looked me right in the eye and said "welcome, I'm Jesse and this is my wife Linda." I could tell by his solid handshake and the look in his eye, this is going to be memorable. And it was.

We were invited to sit at their table and we shared drinks, stories, experiences, and more drinks. I thought to myself, after learning so much about Jesse Marcel Jr.—this man is a great American hero. He was still serving his country and had just returned from Iraq, where he was a flight surgeon at the age of 68! What a wonderful life he has had.

The best memory I have is Saturday evening we met up with Dennis Balthaser, his wife, Stanton Friedman and Jessie and Linda. We all went to Farmington, NM., to the Outback Steakhouse. There I was . . . having drinks and dinner with three of the most prominent names associated with the Roswell incident. Wow indeed! What a night. What a weekend.

Those memories will be treasured by me forever.

Sunday evening (8/25/13) I read the sad news of Jesse's passing. I am truly honored to have met this great man. Although our time together was brief, the impression he left on me was profound.

May God have a special place for you Jesse.


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