The Children Who Bore Witness to Roswell:
Their Tragic Stories Finally Revealed
(originally published March 2012)
For many, what was seen at Roswell cast a shadow the length of a lifetime. And for the two children who innocently happened on strange things fallen from the sky in 1947 that did not belong, their lifetimes were short. It is telling that the ‘first-on-the-scene’ witnesses to the unearthly crash materials were the ones who would say the very least. They were troubled by secrets that were held in their hearts and went to their graves. The original and untainted witnesses were ranch manager Mack Brazel and two New Mexico boys, Dee Proctor and Vernon Brazel.
But suffer the children. And these two indeed suffered. Theirs is a story of silence and of suicide. It is a tortured tale of drink, divorce and dying young. It is an incredible account of stolen alien metal and of frightening threats to juveniles. And the brief but stunning confession of one of these Roswell child witnesses is related on the Internet for the first time ever, here and now:
THE RANCH MAN’S SON: VERN BRAZEL
Mack Brazel managed a ranch that was owned by twin brothers H.S. “Henry” Foster and J.B. “Jasper” Foster. Vernon was Mack’s son. Vern was 8 years old in 1947. He is very rarely mentioned in the Roswell UFO crash saga. In fact, Vern is mentioned only once (and fleetingly) in only one edition of one of Roswell’s two newspapers at the time, and in none of the newspapers in the country that carried the story. Only the Roswell Daily Record’s July 9th 1947 issue mentions the ranch man’s son and states in part: “Brazel related…that he and his 8 year old son came across the large area of wreckage…”
That is all that has ever been written about Vernon Brazel. And no one ever got to talk to him because he left New Mexico as soon as he legally could. And no one could find Vern Brazel because he changed his name and moved from state to state. And no one will ever be able to talk to Vernon Brazel because he shot himself young with a handgun, instantly ending his life with a bullet to his head.
This author learned from Loretta Proctor (neighbor to Mack Brazel) in conversations about four years ago, that Vernon was a very close friend with her son Dee, who was also there at the discovery of the crash scene. Dee was seven and Vern was eight. Both were what she called “little ranchers” who helped Mack with chores on weekends and during summers. When I first mentioned Vern’s name to Loretta, however, she snapped: “What do you know about Vern?” Loretta, who had always before been
very accommodating and pleasant, startled me with the way in which she wanted to know how I knew of Vern. I then realized the reason for her alarming firmness. Loretta explained that after the crash, Vern “had adjustment problems, a hard time with the other kids” and became the brunt of jokes about his Dad’s unusual find. He wanted to get out of the state as soon as he was of age, Loretta learned. The story followed him wherever he went. Loretta told me that Vernon wound up changing his name and “wanted to get as far away from his identity and this state as he possibly could. He used the last name of Tannehill or Tunnecliffe, I believe. Something like that.” Loretta was to find out that after a brief stint in the US Navy, Vernon lived in many places including Montana, California and Virginia. But as far as Loretta knew, Vern never returned to New Mexico, “he never wanted those memories.” Roswell’s “little secret” about their “little rancher” was about to be told when I asked Loretta, “What became of Vern?” Loretta hesitated and replied, “Vern took a pistol and killed himself. Shot in the head. He was only in his 20s.” Shocked, and hearing what I thought was a suppressed weep, I could only say to her, “We both know why.” Loretta did not reply.
I wanted to confirm as much as I could about this remarkable information imparted to me by Loretta. And in fact, I was able to ascertain through military records that Vernon Brazel was a shipmate of the USS Hassayampa at its homeport in Pearl Harbor. Through the Social Security Death Index, I found that both California and Virginia were given as the last state of residence and as the state where the death certificate was issued. And he did pass in his 20s. All of this Loretta Proctor had told me. I felt almost guilty fact-checking her. This is because the ranch woman who has outlived her beloved son Dee – and is now nearly a century old – has always proven to be a woman of truth.
A BOY NAMED DEE
Rare Photo of Dee Proctor (First in Top Row in White Cowboy Hat)
Dee Proctor, age 3,
in middle on donkey
“Dee” Proctor was Loretta and Floyd Proctor’s son. Loretta does not like to talk about Dee in relation to the Roswell crash. And Dee most assuredly did not want to talk to anyone about it. For many decades the boy witness, even as a senior citizen, actively avoided any discussion of the topic. He literally hid from researchers. His dodging of them was extreme. Proctor neighbor John Tilley told me that in the 1980s, when he and Loretta were in her living room and he happened to mention the crash, he heard Dee in the kitchen (who was visiting his mother and eating breakfast) get up quickly and leave through the back door “like the house was on fire”, thus eluding Tilley. John said to me, “I know why Dee didn’t pick up after himself after eating, which he always did at his Mother’s. It’s because he heard us discussing something he did not want to talk about.” Several researchers can relate accounts of Dee literally running from them, not wishing to talk about it in any way. Surely it would have been far, far easier for Dee to simply say that it was too long ago and that he was too young – rather than to flee and hide behind his mother Loretta. Even as a grown adult man he acted immaturely like a child.
Dee exhibited an extraordinary reluctance to discuss the incident throughout his life. He was also a lifelong alcoholic, but never drinking around his mother Loretta. In fact, he was described to me by more than one as a “raging alcoholic” (including by a Deputy Clerk at the Lincoln County, NM Clerk’s office). Dee was nearly hermetic, divorced and he was morbidly obese. He died at age 66 in January 2006 of a massive heart attack while driving to a Ruidoso ranch.
Dee was known to have been at the crash site with Mack at the time of its first discovery. It is very telling that Mack did not tell reporters that Dee was there. He was clearly protecting the boy. Everyone did, including Dee’s mother, Loretta and father, Floyd. In fact it would never have been known that Dee was at the crash, had not researchers Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt been informed that the boy was there by Proctor friends and neighbors, including Tommy Tyree. Loretta and her late husband Floyd never offered that Dee was there at the crash site with Mack and Vern, despite prior interviews with researchers. She only admitted that Dee was at the site when it was clear that she could not deny it. Loretta told me that Dee “worked” for Mack at the grand rate of 25 cents per day on weekends and during summers. Dee, she is certain, returned home by the weekend that first week in July because she remembers having told Mack that she wanted Dee home for the July 4th weekend festivities. This is why the July 2/3 crash date is the most likely.
Dee never offered to discuss with others what he knew. He would let his mother Loretta do the talking for him. I asked Loretta what Dee saw. She used the same fall-back line that she has used with other researchers over the years: “Well, Dee was just a boy, he don’t really remember that at all. He was just a kid.” Knowing that she had used that excuse before with others, I pressed her: “Loretta, Dee may have been just a boy
when it occurred, but you surely remember what he told you at the time when he returned home. You were 33 at the time.” Loretta, for the first and only time in the discussions that I had with her, changed the subject so artfully and so quickly that I nearly forgot that I had asked the question.
Dee could ride horse, Loretta said, from a very young age. He loved going to the Foster Ranch to help Mack, and the two would ride together. I believe that it is distinctly possible that it was adventuresome young Dee Proctor who first found the site and first laid eyes on the debris. Loretta told me that Dee would often “go off on his own ahead of Mack, which worried Mack.”
Dee talked to only one “outsider” about the crash event, and then only by “accident.” And his mother Loretta spoke only once about details that Dee told her about the site. We now realize that Dee Proctor is to be considered an historical figure who saw what none of us ever will. But it was a “privilege” that Dee never sought and a sight he wished that he had never seen.
Dee was with Brazel when he first discovered the debris field. But he was also with Brazel, he told his mother Loretta, when he discovered “something else” at another site 2-1/2 miles to the east that left him deeply traumatized for the rest of his life. He never told her exactly what he saw there but he did take her to the location in 1994 saying, "Here is where Mack found something else."
The only other time that it is known that Dee spoke of the event was by “accident.” Author and researcher Kevin Randle indicates that on two occasions in the 1990s, when phoning for Loretta Proctor, her son Dee had answered. Realizing that these would be “missed opportunities” not to talk to Dee directly, Kevin engaged him both times in very brief conversation before Dee’s mother got to the phone. Dee quickly and reluctantly confirmed to Kevin some astounding information:
He was indeed with Mack at the crash site the first week in July of 1947, and remembers it
Military authorities had come to “visit” him to discuss the crash
He and Mack did come upon and view a large field of metal-like debris and the remnants of a craft
He did not believe the material that he saw to be from earth or made by man
He said that he later took some friends out with him to visit the site
This last item is confirmed by Roswell resident Sydney "Jack" Wright, who told researchers Tom Carey and Don Schmitt that two sons of rancher Thomas Edington, and one of rancher Truman Pierce’s daughters, got to "the other location." This author is currently trying to locate the Edington sons and the Pierce daughter.
Dee’s confirmation that he was visited by military authorities is supported by a confidential contact of noted researcher and author Nick Redfern. Mr. Redfern indicates that he had learned something about Dee Proctor in the late 1980s from an elderly, dying man who had been a US intelligence asset with a legal background. Nick explained that the man was “utterly disgusted” by something that he had been made privy to during the course of conducting an investigation that concerned citizens rights violations by intelligence agents in New Mexico. The man told Nick that he had found out that: Dee Proctor had “the fear of God put in him” by brow-beating operatives when he was visited by them following the crash. He was visited at least twice later when he was grown and he was “issued veiled warnings about speaking out as an adult.” Nick notes astutely: “As a child he was by definition a wild card, and someone deeply involved, but who obviously did not have the mindset of an adult when it occurred, and who was therefore of some concern to the military.” Redfern further adds: “And hence why this case was an awkward one from the military perspective. Giving the rough treatment to a rancher would not be so hard. Doing likewise to a very young kid would hardly be what soldiers would want as the highlight of their career.” So what was the “something else” that Nick’s source told him that Dee had seen?
DID DEE STEAL ROSWELL CRASH “MEMORY METAL”?
In the summer of 2011, Loretta Proctor’s niece Kay went to visit her Aunt. Kay was accompanied by her friend Jules, and they recorded the Roswell crash recollections of the nonagenarian. Speaking of the widely-reported “memory metal” that came from the UFO crash scene and that was seen by many witnesses, Loretta made a jaw-dropping statement. Jules says that with a “measure of smiling venom” Loretta said of her son Dee, “A certain little brat kept it (some memory metal) hidden away his whole life.” The “reminder” visits that Dee received throughout his life were warning visits that Dee should not only never utter a word, but that if he had the memory metal – or knew where pieces may be – he was always under watch and they would always know where he was and what he was doing.
WHAT THE CHILDREN TEACH US
The two Roswell children who found the UFO crash site were the first human beings in history to lay eyes upon the Extraterrestrial and things not made on Earth. Both of them – Dee and Vern – never spoke publicly about the event for as long as they lived. One of them ran from researchers and one ran from life itself. Both had “issues” that seemed insurmountable following the crash event – and both died young, keeping a burden that ultimately proved too difficult for either to bear. In their deaths they remind me of another who was Roswell-involved. The Roswell Base Chaplain Hankerson told his children repeatedly and trance-like on his deathbed, “too much knowledge can be a very bad thing.”