18073Roswell's Jesse Marcel Jr. Dead At 76
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JESSE MARCEL JR. DEAD: BODY OF PHYSICIAN WHO HANDLED ROSWELL DEBRIS
FOUND IN MONTANA HOME
By Amy Beth Hanson
August 28, 2013
Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr., who said he handled debris from the 1947 crash of
an unidentified flying object near Roswell, N.M., has died at the age of 76.
Denice Marcel said her father was found dead at his home in Helena on
Saturday, less than two months after making his last trip to Roswell. He
had been reading a book about UFOs.
Over the past 35 years, Marcel Jr. appeared on TV shows, documentaries
and radio shows; was interviewed for magazine articles and books, and
traveled the world lecturing about his experiences in Roswell.
"He was credible. He wasn't lying. He never embellished -- only told
what he saw," his wife Linda said.
Marcel's father was an Air Force intelligence officer and reportedly the
first military officer to investigate the wreckage in early July 1947.
Marcel Jr. said he was 10 when his father brought home some of the
debris, woke him up in the middle of the night and said the boy needed
to look at it because it was something he would never see again.
His father maintained the debris "was not of this Earth," Linda Marcel
said. "They looked through the pieces, tried to make sense of it."
The item that Marcel Jr. said fascinated him the most was a small beam
with some sort of purple-hued hieroglyphics on it, she said.
After an initial report that a flying saucer had been recovered on a
ranch near Roswell, the military issued a statement saying the debris
was from a weather balloon.
"They were told to keep it quiet and they did for years and years and
years," Linda Marcel said. Interest in the case was revived, however,
when physicist and UFO researcher Stanton Friedman spoke with Jesse
Marcel Sr. in the late 1970s.
Friedman wrote the foreword to Marcel Jr.'s 2007 book "The Roswell
Legacy," and described him as a courageous man who "set a standard for
honesty and decency and telling the truth."
"His legacy is that he had the courage to speak out when he didn't have
to about handling wreckage that his Dad brought home," Friedman said
Tuesday. "He worked with artists to come up with what the symbols on the
wreckage looked like. He didn't have to do that. He could have kept his
mouth shut. A lot of people did."
On his last trip to Roswell in early July, UFO researcher and Earth
science professor Frank Kimbler arranged for Marcel to visit his
childhood home and the debris site.
"I remember my dad did say that he loved the ride up to the site that
day because he was able to discuss science with Frank," Denice Marcel
said in an email to The Associated Press. "One thing about my Dad, he
was always reading something on astronomy or some kind of scientific
journal. He loved astronomy with a passion."
Marcel Jr. graduated from medical school at Louisiana State University
School of Medicine in 1961 and joined the U.S. Navy in 1962. He retired
after nine years and later joined the Montana Army National Guard and
became a flight surgeon in 1981. He was called back to active duty in
October 2004 and served as a flight surgeon in Iraq for just over a
year. He reached the rank of colonel.
He worked as an ear, nose and throat doctor and retired from the
Veterans Administration Hospital at Fort Harrison, west of Helena, all
of which lent credibility to his story.
"I know that one of the things that Dad would love to say is, `If we are
the only ones here then there is an awful lot of wasted space out
there,'" Denice Marcel said. "He wasn't the first one to say this, but
he did believe it. He also believed that everyone needed to know the
truth, and that the Roswell Incident was a real event and that it was
time for the cover-up to stop."
He is survived by his wife and eight children. Funeral services are pending.
JESSE MARCEL JR.
August 30, 2013
Jesse Marcel was nearly 11 in early July 1947 when a rancher called
??Mac?? Brazel found some odd-looking metallic debris littering a sheep
pasture in a remote area of New Mexico. On July 6 he took some of the
debris to Roswell -- the nearest big town -- and presented it to the
local sheriff, who turned it over to officials at the Roswell Army Air
The next day, Brazel led two officers, including Marcel??s father, Major
Jesse Marcel, an intelligence officer with the 509th Bomb Group, to the
field where the debris was scattered. They spent all day picking up
pieces and then returned to Roswell.
On the way back to the base, Major Marcel stopped at his house to show
the debris to his wife and young son. Jesse Jr recalled his father
waking him late at night so that he could see pieces of a ??flying
saucer??: metal foil, chunks of what looked like Bakelite plastic, and a
lightweight beam inscribed with mysterious purplish hieroglyphs.
Marcel gave the debris to the Roswell base commander Colonel William
Blanchard, who summoned the base public relations officer and told him
to issue a press release: ??Basically say that we have in our possession
a flying saucer,?? he said.
The next day??s headline in the local paper, ??RAAF Captures Flying Saucer
on Ranch in Roswell Region??, brought phone calls from all over the world
and the authorities quickly changed their story. On July 9 the press
reported that Brigadier-General Roger Ramey -- commander of the 8th Air
Force base in Fort Worth, Texas -- had explained that the ??flying
saucer?? was nothing more mysterious than a weather balloon.
The incident was more or less forgotten until 1978, when a UFO
researcher called Stanton Friedman went to interview Jesse Marcel Sr,
who insisted that he really had found a flying saucer, but that his
superiors had covered it up and ordered everyone who came into contact
with the UFO never to talk about it. Subsequently (Major Marcel died in
1986) other witnesses came forward to corroborate his story, with some
even claiming that alien bodies had been found in the wreckage -- small,
humanoid figures with large heads and huge, slanted almond-shaped eyes.
A local funeral director claimed to have received two mysterious phone
calls on July 7 1947 from someone claiming to be a mortuary officer: ??He
said he needed to know how many two-foot-six-inch hermetically sealed
baby caskets were in stock. Then he called back to ask about what
embalming fluids would do to a body.?? A nurse at a local hospital
claimed to have seen autopsies performed on 4ft-tall aliens.
The stories eventually led to the publication of a book, The Roswell
Incident (1980), which, with the release of the film ET (1982), helped
ignite an explosion of interest in all things extraterrestrial. Over the
next 30 years the ??Roswell Incident?? would grow into a huge commercial
phenomenon, making millions for film companies, writers -- and not least
the town of Roswell, which hosts two museums and an annual UFO festival.
The association proved lucrative, too, for Marcel Jr, who appeared on
numerous television and radio shows, went on lecture tours and in 2007
published The Roswell Legacy, in which he continued to insist that the
wreckage had an extraterrestrial origin -- he even provided artists??
impressions of the mysterious hieroglyphs.
In the 1990s, however, the American military came up with an admission
which was, in its way, even more fascinating than the UFO story. The
Pentagon admitted that General Ramey had not been telling the whole
truth when he said that the pieces came from an ordinary weather
balloon. In fact, they came from a 700ft string of weather balloons,
radar reflectors and acoustic sensors that had been launched on June 4
1947 as part of a top-secret experiment to eavesdrop on Soviet nuclear
weapons tests -- called Project Mogul. As for the hieroglyphs Marcel Jr
remembered, these bore a striking resemblance to purple symbols on the
tape that was used to reinforce the Project Mogul radar reflectors. The
reflectors had been made by a toy company which, because of wartime
materials shortages, used novelty tape they had in stock.
As for Major Marcel??s testimony, Captain Sheridan Cavitt, a fellow
intelligence officer who had accompanied him on his foray into the New
Mexican desert, used his release from his oath of secrecy to pour cold
water on the UFO theory: ??You had to know Marcel,?? he said. ??He was a
wild Cajun from Louisiana. He made a lot of claims he couldn??t back up.
He was a one-of-a-kind.??
But Marcel Jr was having none of it, telling the interviewer Larry King
that the debris could not have been from any sort of weather balloon --
??even a Mogul balloon... because the material was totally different??. It
was, he maintained ??something that came from another civilisation??.
Jesse Marcel Jr was born on August 30 1936 in Houston, Texas, and served
as a medical officer in the US Navy from 1962, becoming a specialist in
ear, nose and throat surgery. After retiring from the Navy in 1971 he
opened a medical practice in Helena, Montana. In 1975 he became a
medical officer in the Montana National Guard and earned his flight
surgeon wings (flight surgeons at the time were allowed to fly solo in
helicopters) at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He was appointed State Surgeon of
of Montana and retired from the military in 1996.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom he was called up again for active service
and, from September 2004, spent 13 months as a flight surgeon with the
189th Helicopter Battalion in Iraq, reaching the rank of colonel.
He is survived by his wife, Linda, and by eight children.
Jesse Marcel Jr, born August 30 1936, died August 23 2013.
Jesse Marcel Jr. Website
Jesse Marcel Jr. on Coast-To-Coast-AM
Wikipedia on Roswell UFO Incident
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