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(Originally published Oct / Nov 2023)


Roswell Mental


For some, the mental anguish and psychological trauma of beholding strange dead bodies and otherworldly debris from the UFO crash at Roswell was simply too much for them to handle. It would have been especially difficult at the time of the event in 1947 when the world had a much narrower view, and the idea of space flight was relegated to comic books.


A new review of the witnesses to Roswell reveals that several suffered mental damage by the sight of the unearthly. These unfortunates exhibited signs of heavy psychological stress, revealed in the form of nervous breakdown, intrusive memories, denial, avoidance, fear, and anger. Some were driven to drink, some even to suicide.


For those unprepared, there could be no greater shock than to be suddenly confronted by something so utterly alien as aliens. The instant realization that there are beings that exist that are far greater than man would leave many feeling inwardly frail. They would immediately know that we are not alone. They would question their very place in the universe. The fall of the extraterrestrial onto the New Mexico desert floor adversely affected the psyche of some of those involved in its discovery and aftermath. They were not ready for the crash and what it meant: the premature arrival of the future and the uncertainty of these beings' intentions. They also knew that their lives would never be the same. Many suffered the additional stress of being threatened and warned to never say anything to anyone ever about what they had witnessed.


These psychological impacts may be the most compelling evidence we have that the Roswell incident was indeed a cosmic incident.


William "Dee" Proctor, Top Left

It is often assumed that all of those who were at the Rowell area crash site(s) were adult men, such as Mack Brazel (the manager of the ranch where the craft fell) and Jesse Marcel, a Roswell Base Intelligence Officer. Little mentioned is that there were also two child witnesses, William "Dee" Proctor and his friend, Mack's son, Vernon Brazel. Things did not go well for either of them after the crash event.

Dee died young of heart disease in 2006, pre-deceasing his mother Loretta and all of his siblings. This author spoke to a County Clerk administrator who knew Dee well who said, "He was a raging alcoholic. He had his troubles with drink from a young age." Dee, divorced, struggled with obesity. He led a hermit-like existence as a rancher in a remote area. It is clear that he was happiest when he was

with his protective mother Loretta. He spent a lifetime literally running away from any mention of the crash incident, holding in his heart the awesome burden of having seen things from out of this world until it killed him.


He was the seven year old son of Loretta and Floyd Proctor, whose ranch was nearby the Foster Ranch, managed by Mack Brazel. Dee was known to have been at the crash site with Mack at the time of its discovery. It is understandable that Mack did not tell reporters that Dee was there when he discussed his find with them.  He was clearly protecting the boy. Everyone did, including Dee's mother. 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 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 she was directly confronted about it, and 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 could ride a 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. Loretta told me that Dee, on horseback, would often "go off on his own ahead of Mack, which worried Mack."


Dee, both as a child and as an adult, never offered to discuss with others what he knew about the crash. He would let his mother Loretta do the talking for him. He literally hid from researchers wishing to discuss the crash with him. 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.


There are some other key things learned about Dee from the research by investigators Kevin Randle and Nick Redfern:


Dee's "Confession"


Dee talked to only one researcher about the crash event, and then only by "accident." The only other time he spoke of it as an adult was to his mother Loretta. She was sparse with details about Dee's involvement with the crash, but she did say one thing: In 1994 Dee took her to another crash site that was located 2-1/2 miles to the east of the original debris site. She maintained that Dee never told her exactly what he saw, only that "something else" was found at that second site.


The only researcher that Dee is known to have ever spoken with is Kevin Randle. 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, Randle engaged him both times in very brief conversation before Dee's mother got to the phone. Caught off guard, Dee quickly and reluctantly confirmed to Randle 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 did come upon and view a large field of metal-like debris and other remnants


  • He did not know what the strange material could be


  • He said that he later took some friends out with him to visit the site


Dee's Intimidation by Military


Dee's confirmation that he was visited by military authorities is supported by a confidential contact of noted researcher and author Nick Redfern. 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 during the 1940s. 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 Dee had seen?


Bodies…Mack and the two youngsters encountered alien corpses. This is known because of the many credible reports of small, strange bodies having been recovered from the crash area. And if the military were able to find these bodies in the region that Mack Brazel knew every square inch of, then Mack surely saw the corpses too.  Of course, seeing other-worldly materials strewn about the fields (and the ensuing intimidation and harassment) would be tough enough on such young minds, but to also witness dead creatures from another world would be something of a different order altogether.


Loretta Proctor astonished me when she said she believed the craft had "skipped" because of what she had heard, and because after the crash incident she said, "The military came to take Mack up in a small plane to look around from above, to show them the other area. Mack told me that that was the first time he has ever been up in a plane." He did not tell her what else he may have found in this other area. Mack was likely trying to give the military an aerial view of the other crash site with the bodies and main craft--the site that Dee told his mother where there was "something else."


In interviews with Mack Brazel's granddaughter Fawn Fritz in the mid 2000s with researchers Chuck Zukowski, Larry Landsman and others, she stated that she had asked her grandfather "Was there any people, did you see people? And he said, ‘Sweetie, they were just poor little creatures." He added, "It wasn't anything anyone would ever want to see."




Vernon Brazel:
No Known Photos

Rarely discussed is the second child-witness to Roswell, Dee's friend and Mac Brazel's eight year old son, Vernon Brazel. Vernon no doubt wanted it that way. Because whatever it was that Vernon saw with his father and Dee, it had made his life a living hell. Loretta Proctor told this author that Vernon was taunted relentlessly about the event by schoolmates wanting to know what he really saw.


Vernon left Roswell as soon as he was legally able. He changed his name, joined the Navy, and afterwards wandered from state to state, from the East Coast to the West Coast. He was clearly running away from something. He eventually took a pistol and shot himself to death with a bullet to the head. He was only in his 20s.


There are no known photos of Vernon Brazel, but what is known is that he left two young children who likely never knew their father's real name, nor that he was from Roswell, New Mexico, nor what he had seen there.


Vernon is mentioned only once (and only briefly) 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 eight year old son came across the large area of wreckage…"


This author learned from Loretta Proctor 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 prior been very accommodating and pleasant in my telephone interviews with her, 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 father and the crash. He wanted to get out of the state as soon as he was of age, Loretta said. 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 Tunnicliffe, 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." When I asked Loretta, "What became of Vern?" Loretta hesitated and replied, "Vern took a pistol and killed himself. He shot himself in the head. He was only in his 20s. He left a wife and two little kids."


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 confirmed what Loretta Proctor had told me.



Miriam Andrea Bush was the base hospital secretary at Roswell Army Air Field for some time. She was the executive assistant to the hospital administrator, Lt. Col. Harold M. Warne. It was there in early July of 1947 that she witnessed something so terrifying that it led to her emotional meltdown and suicide.


Her brother George, sister Jean, and sister-in-law Patricia Bush recounted to researchers Don Schmitt and Tom Carey a horrific story about Miriam. One early July summer night in 1947 Miriam arrived at her parents' house as she always did for family dinner. But this night was very different. She arrived sobbing uncontrollably. She could not eat. Through tears she told her family what had happened earlier that day at the base.


She had noticed additional medical personnel with whom she was not familiar, and lots of frenzied activity at the facility. Her supervisor, Col. Warne, advised her of the situation and took her to the nearby examination room. What she saw she would not ever forget:

On gurneys were several small, child-like bodies under white linens. But these were not children. They were hideous--their heads were abnormally large and they had strange eyes. They were not even human. She was aware of the crash rumors and realized these creatures were from that event. She became angry that Warne had exposed her to such a thing. Even though she possessed a security clearance given her position, and though she was curious about what was going on, she repeatedly yelled out to her family, "Why did he show that to me?" She also admonished them that they not say anything to anyone about what she had told them. She was later heard crying herself to sleep that night. The family did not know what to do 

Miriam Bush

about all of this and about Miriam, who was increasingly troubled.  They said nothing publicly until decades later when found by researchers Don Schmitt and Tom Carey.


Miriam Bush did not stay at the base hospital after that deeply disturbing episode. The next year she resigned her post, suddenly married a homosexual for convenience and ‘ran away' with him to California with the promise of a better life, never to live in New Mexico again.


But it was not a better life. Fleeing the scene was not enough. Miriam Bush could not outrun her memories of the unearthly. Some years later she checked in to a motel north of San Jose, CA unaccompanied, using her sister's name. She was later found in the motel room, suffocated with a plastic bag placed around her head and tied tightly around her neck. Miriam Bush, like witness Vernon Brazel, had committed suicide.



George Wilcox was the Chavez County Sheriff in July, 1947. He was alerted to the crash when Mack Brazel brought into his office some of the crash debris. Wilcox subsequently contacted the Roswell Army Air Base, who then dispatched officers Jesse Marcel, Sheridan Cavitt, and Lewis Rickett. George Wilcox no doubt wished that Mack had never crossed his doorway that day. He was a popular Sheriff who enjoyed his work and even lived in an apartment home above the jail house. But after the crash event, Wilcox never ran for re-election to be Sheriff again, wanting nothing to do with it. What he saw--and what he was made to do--made him a forever changed man.


It has been learned that not only did Wilcox himself view the bodies, but he was pressed upon by the military to help quash talk by witnesses in the area, including through use of threats. Wilcox's wife was Inez Wilcox. She told her daughters Phyllis Maguire and Elizabeth Tulk, and her granddaughter Barbera Dugger, something amazing: George had confided to her that he had actually gotten out to the crash site where he saw four small bodies with big heads in silver-grey silken suits as well as a burnt area and crash debris. Inez said that "they" had forbidden her husband to speak of the event. Left having to fend off calls from all over the world about the crash after it made headlines, he was told to refer all press inquiries to the base and to say nothing further. Inez told her family that "George said that the event shocked him. He never wanted to be Sheriff again."


Wilcox at phone
Sheriff George Wilcox
(nervously answering phone
calls after the crash)

Some years ago, Wilcox neighbor Rogene Corn (married name Cordes) told this author that Wilcox was made to "do things he didn't want to do by the guys at the base." He became "very different" after the crash incident, she said. Wilcox's Deputy, Tommy Thompson, who avoided researchers' inquiries about the crash, would only state that Sheriff Wilcox "was destroyed by the events." The other Deputy Sheriff under Wilcox was Bernie Clark. When reached by researchers, he declined to say anything about the incident. However, his sons Gene and Charles Clark say that their father was admonished by Wilcox to say nothing. Johnny McBoyle, General Manager of KSWS Radio in Roswell, managed to get out to the crash site and Wilcox later warned him to say nothing of what he saw.


All of this was the beginning of a sad demise for a dedicated rural lawman who was unwittingly drawn into the greatest event in human history: the crash of non-humans to Earth.


Thomas Gonzalez.jpg
Sgt. Thomas Gonzales

Sgt. Thomas Gonzales was an NCO with the Transportation Unit (Squadron T) at Roswell Army Air Field in July 1947. In interviews with researchers including Kevin Randle, Don Ecker, and John Price, Gonzales stated that he was tasked to protect the crash site while the salvage was going on. He said he did in fact see an airfoil craft that had blown apart. He further confessed that he had personally witnessed humanlike creatures with slightly larger heads and eyes. He called them "little men".  Gonzalez said there were four of them, and that one appeared to still show signs of life. Gonzales said there was a "horrible smell" associated with the cadavers.


Gonzales became obsessed over the years with the creatures he had seen. He could not get the sight out of his mind. In fact, he carved crude wood figures of strange "little men".  Some of these carvings were shown to Ecker and Price. Gonzales also said that another serviceman named Paul Goley was with him at the retrieval. Goley was later located in the base yearbook. Gonzales' son verified that it was in the 1960s that his father first mentioned the crash.

In the 1994 Vol. 9, No. 5 edition of UFO Magazine, researcher Don Ecker relates his discussion with Thomas Gonzalez: "Gonzalez said he was sent overseas right after the crash, causing undue hardship on his wife and family. And like many witnesses to the event, it affected him for many years. He admitted to drinking heavily after the event – a syndrome which has been reported by a number of other witnesses."


Jesse Marcel Sr.
Major Jesse Marcel Sr.

Major Jesse Marcel was stationed at Roswell Army Air Field as a Base Intelligence Officer in July of 1947. Marcel was called by Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox to respond to ranch manager Mac Brazel's visit to the sheriff about the discovery of strange debris in a field on the Foster Ranch outside of Roswell.


When located in 1978, Marcel described seeing, handling and transporting what he described as material "not from Earth." This included thin, very light metal with "plastic properties," large solid pieces, and other strange items, including some that were imprinted with violet symbols that were in a pattern to communicate meaning. The material was impervious to heavy sledgehammer blows and burning. He insisted that the debris was not from any kind of balloon or plane – that it was some sort of off-world aircraft.


Marcel admitted to researcher Linda Corley in his last recorded interview: "There is a hell of a lot I haven't said. I can't for the sake of my country." In 2006, Marcel's daughter-in-law Linda Marcel admitted to this author that Jesse had said to her, at the end of his life, that there had been an additional crash site – and that strewn on the sands had been the bodies of people not from Earth.

Members of Jesse's family in Houma, Louisiana have also spoken with this author. Jesse's cousin Nelson Marcel said that Jesse himself told him that he had seen "several pygmy-like bodies" among the debris. Nelson reported this to the local newspaper, and his account appears in the February 15, 1996 edition of the Houma Courier. This account is corroborated by former CIC

(Counter Intelligence Corps) operative Charles R. Shaw, who was told this very story by Jesse in 1950. Marcel's relative Sue Marcel Methane said to researcher Tom Carey that Jesse told her that there were indeed bodies at the crash – and that he had referred to them as "white powdery figures."


We learn that the event caused continuing crisis in Jesse Marcel's life, from Jesse's own son, Dr. Jesse Marcel, Jr. In Dr. Marcel's 2008 book on the incident, "The Roswell Legacy", Dr. Marcel for the first time revealed details about how the crash had affected their family in very dark ways. After supporting military efforts (including being publicly humiliated by being forced to be photographed with foil material from a balloon train), his father – the very man at the center of it all – was left to unravel and fall apart.


Though later recovered, we learn from his son that sadly after the crash, Jesse Marcel spiraled downward. He had become an alcoholic - a result of seeing his own good name ruined by the very military which he served so faithfully and admired so totally. Marcel – like so many others – was "totaled" by Roswell...driven to drink by alien anguish and the ensuing coverup.




Sheridan Cavitt was the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) Agent who accompanied Officer Jesse Marcel to the crash site north of Roswell. His testimony about it was often wrought with contradiction, obfuscation and even lies. Though held in disdain by many researchers, it is in a sense admirable that Cavitt held true to his oath to protect national security related to the incident. In fact, he expressed that very concern to researchers Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt about what they would do if they were to find out something related to the national security. Mrs. Mary Cavitt said "He won't tell you anything. They've told him not to and he won't. That's why they chose him for many of the assignments he had...because he knows how to keep quiet. And I can't help you either because he doesn't tell me anything."


His son Joe Cavitt was reached by researchers Tom Carey and Don Schmitt. Joe Cavitt was a practicing attorney at the time of his interview. He indicated that after the event, his father became detached. In fact, he characterized the situation of a father that "lived in a bubble" and that "you literally had half a father."


One evening at dinner, Joe asked his father about an aspect of the Roswell crash.

Sheridan Cavitt
Sheridan Cavitt

Joe recounts that his father froze and then, gritting his teeth, slowly rose from the table, leaving his food, and walked away in silence.


Knowing his father had not said what he really knew about the crash, he approached his father when his father was terminally ill to sign a sealed statement which could be released after his death. Each time it was brought up, his father would say that "he was not ready."


Cavitt refused pain medication in his final days, as if he wanted to maintain control of what he might say. When immediate family visited him in the hospital with personal stories and reminisces, Cavitt did not say a word. The psychological burden of holding such deep secrets till death must have been enormous.




Mack Brazel
Mack Brazel

Mack Brazel was famously the original adult witness to the Roswell crash. He was the ranch manager of the Foster Ranch outside of Roswell in July of 1947 and was the one who first reported the crash find, to Sheriff George Wilcox. The Roswell Daily Record newspaper headline at the time sums up the situation, "Harassed Rancher Who Located Saucer Sorry He Told About It." Brazel was indeed harassed--held in 'detention' and questioned on the air base about the incident for several days. Afterward, it was reported that he purposely would ignore the greetings of passers-by when in town. After the incident, Brazel left the ranch and the area and started a meat business in another part of the state.


Tom Carey and Don Schmitt located someone who knew Brazel, named Howard Scroggins, a real estate executive. He told them that in 1959 he had an encounter with Brazel. At lunch with a friend in Las Cruces, he noticed that Brazel was seated in the restaurant. Scoggin approached Brazel to ask about the crash event from 12 years prior. Brazel with a grimace and tightened fists, got up from the table and simply left. According to Scoggin, "It was like watching one of those werewolf movies when Lon Cheney turns into a hairy monster."


Carey and Schmitt relate another disturbing encounter with the rancher. Bob Wolf was an owner of KGFL Radio who ran into Brazel at a community

event a few months before Brazel died. When Wolf, who hadn't seen Brazel in some time, came up to Brazel and at some point mentioned the crash event, Brazel, who had first exchanged pleasantries, became markedly different. Wolf said that "He looked as though he had seen a ghost." He was admonished by Brazel, "Those people will kill you if I tell you what I know." Brazel then left the event abruptly, leaving his food.


Joanne Purdie was the daughter of JB Foster, the owner of the ranch that Mack managed. Joanne told Carey and Schmitt "I have no doubt about the threats. In every way the entire ordeal ruined his life." Mack Brazel died of a massive cardiac event. Like Dee Proctor, he held anger and a secret that hurt his heart.




Eleazar Benevidez was a private first class with the 390th ASS at Roswell Army Air Field in July of 1947. In recorded interviews with researchers Tom Carey and Don Schmitt in the 2000s, Benevidez explained that he was at Hangar P-3 at the base on July 7th, having orders to report there to assist in the escorted transfer of "top secret items" from the hangar to the base hospital.


Benevidez understood that he was to supervise this detail, and was replacing someone else, which accounted for the suddenness of his assignment. Benevidez understood that what he was to see was significant because he was told that the prior assignee to this duty had just suffered a nervous breakdown at the hangar and had to be restrained. Benavidez said, "It was apparently too much for him to handle, and he just lost it." Benevidez soon realized just what had induced the other serviceman's crack-up: the "top secret items" requiring transport were four gurneys upon which were the sheeted bodies of what he could make out as small, non-human beings with grayish color and "swollen heads."




UFO Drink

There is no one single way that people would handle direct, personal experience with the alien presence. Some would compartmentalize it, some would only unburden themselves by telling their story at the end of their life, some would hint at it, some would tell everything they know, and some would go to the grave saying nothing to anyone.


As shown, the lives of four military men at the site or hangar, two children at the site, a base medical employee, and a County Sheriff all had their lives profoundly changed in a moment. There are likely many others who suffered in silence and whose tragic stories we will never know. For some, the Roswell incident left a trail of substance abuse, detachment, escape, and regrettably, self-slaughter.

This is all best summed by the widow of Roswell Corporal Ernest Camrenar of the

Base's Squadron S. When I asked her some years ago if her husband ever mentioned the crash site at Roswell back in 1947, she replied hysterically, "Yes, he did. He told me, but I don't want to remember it!"


Unfortunately, for those highlighted in this article, such "remembering" brought them to the brink of madness.

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