Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Remembering Jesse Marcel Jr. By Dennis Balthaser

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Jesse Marcel Jr.

By Dennis Balthaser

     Losing first-hand witnesses of the Roswell Incident to the ravages of time is at an alarming rate, yet it always saddens me to hear of another loss. The news about the passing of Jesse Marcel Jr. on August 24th has moved me deeply, due to having known him and shared many enjoyable, informative moments with him over the years.

Debby and I want to extend our deepest sympathy to Linda, the children and grandchildren. We, as you, will all miss him.

I first met Jesse in 1997 while I was affiliated with the UFO Museum here in Roswell. Since then we had done lectures at several conferences and the highlight was always to spend time with him there, as well as visiting over dinner at night, along with his wife Linda. I remember at an Aztec, NM conference several years ago I was asked to be Master of Ceremonies and had the distinct honor of introducing Jesse. He was always a soft-spoken individual, extremely honest and above all humble in my opinion. He didn’t care much for it when as part of my introduction for him—I would mention that he was an American hero. Nevertheless I always thought of him and his Dad Major Jesse Marcel as just that, and continue to feel that way.

Not to many years ago I had the opportunity to go in the house where Jesse lived here in Roswell as an 11 year old boy in 1947; it was there his Dad, Major Marcel came back from the debris field and woke him up to show him some of the debris from the crash site. I took pictures of the inside of the house and mailed them to Jesse. He responded back that because the house had been remodeled over those 60 years he didn’t recognize anything there.

Today I give Roswell UFO Tours and that house where Jesse lived as a boy is one of the major stops. I talk at length about his Dad’s involvement in the 1947 Roswell Incident and how Jesse reacted to that, so I will not let their involvement fade into the past. I will continue to remind people of their importance to the Roswell Incident, as well as serving their country with the highest honor—which we should all remember and be thankful for.

I always looked forward to writing to Jesse, sometimes sharing my editorials with him, or seeing him at a conference and will definitely miss that, but the recollections I have of him will stay with me forever.

Thanks for the memories Jesse, I’ll miss you.


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