name = Glenn Dennis
image_size = 133px
birth_date = 1925
nationality = US
Glenn Dennis (born circa 1925) is a founder of the
International UFO Museum and Research Centerin Roswell, New Mexico, which opened in September 1991 and self-professed witness to the 1947 Roswell UFO incident.cite web| title = Roswell Files: Glenn Dennis| url=http://www.roswellfiles.com/Witnesses/glenndennis.htm | accessdate = 2008-02-06]
Dennis began working as a part time assistant in the
Ballard Funeral Homein 1940 while still attending Roswell High School. After graduation, Dennis was excused from wartime military service because of poor hearing, and commenced an apprenticeship as an embalmer at Ballard. He graduated from the San Francisco College of Mortuary Scienceon 22 December, 1946 and was put in charge of Ballard's military contract, which included ambulance and mortuary services for the nearby Roswell Army Air Field(RAAF). [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1430/is_n8_v17/ai_17596047]
Dennis came to the attention of
UFOresearchers in 1989 when he called the hotline after an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries" featured the Roswell UFO incident. He was the first witness to place alien bodies at the Roswell base itself.
Affidavit describing aliens at Roswell base
In 1991, Dennis signed an affidavit [http://www.roswellproof.com/dennis.html#anchor_3374 Dennis affidavit] which reads in part:
"In July 1947, I was a mortician, working for the Ballard Funeral Home in Roswell, which had a contract to provide mortuary services for the
Roswell Army Air Field. One afternoon, around 1:15 or 1:30, I received a call from the base mortuary officer who asked what was the smallest size hermetically sealed casket that we had in stock. He said, 'We need to know this in case something comes up in the future.' He asked how long it would take to get one, and I assured him I could get one for him the following day. He said he would call back if they needed one.
"About 45 minutes to an hour later, he called back and asked me to describe the preparation for bodies that had been lying out on the desert for a period of time. Before I could answer, he said he specifically wanted to know what effect the preparation procedures would have on the body's chemical compounds, blood and tissues... I offered to come out to the base to assist with any problem he might have, but he reiterated that the information was for future use...
"Approximately a hour or an hour and 15 minutes later, I got a call to transport a serviceman who had a laceration on his head and perhaps a fractured nose. I gave him first aid and drove him out to the base. I got there around 5:00 PM.
"Although I was a civilian, I usually had free access on the base because they knew me. I drove the ambulance around to the back of the base infirmary and parked it next to another ambulance. The door was open and inside I saw some wreckage. There were several pieces which looked like the bottom of a canoe, about three feet in length. It resembled stainless steel with a purple hue, as if it had been exposed to high temperature. There was some strange-looking writing on the material resembling
Egyptian hieroglyphics. Also there were two MPs present.
"I checked the airman in and went to the staff lounge to have a
Coke. I intended to look for a nurse, a 2nd Lieutenant, who had been commissioned about three months earlier right out of college. She was 23 years of age at the time (I was 22). I saw her coming out of one of the examining rooms with a cloth over her mouth. She said, 'My gosh, get out of here or you're going to be in a lot of trouble.' She went into another door where a Captain stood. He asked me who I was and what I was doing here. I told him, and he instructed me to stay there. I said, 'It looks like you've got a crash; would you like me to get ready?' He told me to stay right there. Then two MPs came up and began to escort me out of the infirmary. They said they had orders to follow me out to the funeral home.
"We got about 10 or 15 feet when I heard a voice say, 'We're not through with that SOB. Bring him back.' There was another Captain, a redhead with the meanest-looking eyes I had ever seen, who said, 'You did not see anything, there was no crash here, and if you say anything you could get into a lot of trouble.' I said, 'Hey look mister, I'm a civilian and you can't do a damn thing to me.' He said, 'Yes we can; somebody will be picking your bones out of the sand.' There was a black Sergeant with a pad in his hand who said, 'He would make good dog food for our dogs.' The Captain said, 'Get the SOB out.' The MPs followed me back to the funeral home.
"The next day, I tried to call the nurse to see what was going on. About 11:00 AM, she called the funeral home and said, 'I need to talk to you.' We agreed to meet at the officers club. She was very upset. She said, 'Before I talk to you, you have to give me a sacred oath that you will never mention my name, because I could get into a lot of trouble.' I agreed.
"She said she had gone to get supplies in a room where two doctors were performing a preliminarily autopsy. The doctors said they needed her to take notes during the procedure. She said she had never smelled anything so horrible in her life, and the sight was the most gruesome she had ever seen. She said, 'This was something no one has ever seen.' As she spoke, I was concerned that she might go into shock.
"She drew me a diagram of the bodies, including an arm with a hand that had only four fingers; the doctors noted that on the end of the fingers were little pads resembling suction cups. She said the head was disproportionately large for the body; the eyes were deeply set; the skulls were flexible; the nose was concave with only two orifices; the mouth was a fine slit, and the doctors said there was heavy cartilage instead of teeth. The ears were only small orifices with flaps. They had no hair, and the skin was black--perhaps due to exposure in the sun. She gave me the drawings.
"There were three bodies; two were very mangled and dismembered, as if destroyed by predators; one was fairly intact. They were three-and-a-half to four feet tall. She told me the doctors said: 'This isn't anything we've ever see before; there's nothing in the medical textbooks like this.' She said she and the doctors became ill. They had to turn off the air conditioning and were afraid the smell would go through the hospital. They had to move the operation to an
"I drove her back to the officers' barracks. The next day I called the hospital to see how she was, and they said she wasn't available. I tried to get her for several days, and finally got one of the nurses who said the Lieutenant had been transferred out with some other personnel. About 10 days to two weeks later, I got a letter from her with an APO number. She indicated we could discuss the incident by letter in the future. I wrote back to her and about two weeks later the letter came back marked 'Return to Sender--DECEASED.' Later, one of the nurses at the base said the rumor was that she and five other nurses had been on a training mission and had been killed in a plane crash.
"Sheriff George Wilcox and my father were very close friends. The Sheriff went to my folks' house the morning after the events at the base and said to my father, 'I don't know what kind of trouble Glenn's in, but you tell your son that he doesn't know anything and hasn't seen anything at the base.' He added, 'They want you and your wife's name, and they want your and your children's addresses.' My father immediately drove to the funeral home and asked me what kind of trouble I was in. He related the conversation with Sheriff Wilcox, and so I told him about the events of the previous day. He is the only person to whom I have told this story until recently.
"I had filed away the sketches the nurse gave me that day. Recently, at the request of a researcher, I tried to locate my personal files at the funeral home, but they had all been destroyed."
Controversy over Dennis accounts
Dennis’ accounts featured prominently in "Crash at Corona" published in 1992 and "The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell", published in 1994, as well other pro-UFO books, but serious doubts about his story were soon raised. For some, like Karl Pflock and Kevin Randle (see below), these inconsistencies were great enough to discount Dennis’ credibility entirely.
Researchers who investigated Dennis’ claims found a number of inconsistencies:
The missing nurse
When Dennis first came forward with his account in 1989, he supplied the name of the nurse who he said witnessed the alien autopsies to four researchers:
Stanton Friedman, Kevin Randle, Don Schmitt and Mark Wolf. The first three individuals are well-known UFO researchers, the latter person a documentary film-maker. Dennis identified the nurse as Naomi Self.
Researchers could find no record of this individual or anyone with a similar name who was at Roswell at the time in question, raising doubts as to her existence. Then, in November 1992, Dennis told Karl Pflock that the other researchers had her name wrong – it was Selff, not Self, and her middle name was Maria.
Further doubts were raised when no plane crash which Self/Selff died in could be located. Dennis by mid-1993 was saying that he surmised that this may have been a cover story told to him to keep him from attempting to contact her. He also said that he supposed that instead of dying in a plane crash, she had joined a convent.
Doubts that some had were countered when Friedman found someone who said he remembered Naomi Selff. David Wagnon, who was a technician at the Roswell AAF hospital in 1947, signed an affidavit saying in part: “…I do remember an Army nurse named Naomi Self, who was assigned to the base hospital.”
Exhaustive searches were done through military records and other sources, and one researcher even did genealogical research in Minnesota, where Dennis claimed she was born. No individual with even a similar name was found. In late 1995, Dennis was confronted by researcher Victor Golubic who told him that as far as he could determine, Naomi Selff never seemed to have existed. He then told Golubic that that name was not his friend's real name at all. He refused to offer Golubic anything more than the first letter of the nurse's name. (p.133) Around the same time, a new name was claimed for the nurse: Naomi Sipes.
In 1997, the Air Force issued their "Case Closed" report which supplied their explanations for the claimed presence of aliens at Roswell. In it, they identified a nurse who seemed to match many of the details Dennis had supplied: Eileen Fanton. Since deceased, Fanton, like Self/Selff/Sipes, was a Lieutenant, a nurse at the Roswell hospital in July 1947, matched Dennis’ physical description, and was of Italian descent and schooled at Catholic institutions. Fanton was also the only one of five nurses stationed at the base at the time who later served a tour of duty in England, one of the details supplied by Dennis, and Fanton abruptly left the base on September 4, 1947 on account of a medical condition, a detail recalled by Wagnon who mentioned rumours of a D & C performed on her. The report suggests that if Dennis inquired about her whereabouts, “the staff was simply protecting her privacy” since he was not a family member. She retired in 1955 on account of a medical condition diagnosed in 1946.
For his changing story on the nurse, Dennis was deemed one of the “least credible” Roswell witness by prominent UFO author Kevin Randle in 1998. He said Dennis was not credible “for changing the name of the nurse once we had proved she didn't exist.” [ [http://www.roswellfiles.com/storytellers/KevinRandleOnIRC.htm Kevin Randle on the UK-UFO-NW IRC #UFO Channel ] ]
Walter Reed pathologists
UFO researcher Karl T. Pflock described being "more skeptical of this testimony than anything else about the case" when he first heard Dennis' account. cite book
last = Pflock
first = Karl T.
title = Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe
year = 2001
publisher = Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York
id = ISBN 1-57392-894-1 ] (p.127) He and many others "found the story hard to swallow" (ibid) but upon meeting Dennis and hearing accounts from several others, Pflock was satisfied that while certain details may be incorrect, he was "convinced Dennis was telling the truth as best he could remember it."(p.129) Besides Pflock's personal assessment of Dennis, he was convinced by the testimony of L. M. Hall, former Roswell chief of police who said he recalled Dennis talking about a call from the base for small caskets "probably a couple of days after the stories about a crashed flying saucer appeared in the Roswell papers," and by the testimony of David Wagnon who recalled the nurse Dennis spoke of when he was stationed at the base in 1947.
However, Pflock started to have doubts when Dennis revealed in 1995 that the nurse had told him the two pathologists who performed the autopsies were from
Walter Reed Hospital. This called into question the need for the base to ask Dennis for advice on embalming fluids as he had claimed. When Dennis was contacted about this discrepancy, he claimed he had been misquoted, but further interviews, one on camera, established he had in fact been saying exactly that. (p.130) Dennis subsequently started to say that the nurse had overheard the pathologists saying "they'd have to do something when they got back to Walter Reed Army Hospital," a version of events he now sticks to.
The sketches Dennis supplied to Friedman in 1989 were discovered to have a questionable history. Dennis had not drawn them, as he claimed, he had asked another artist - Walter Henn - to do them. Henn said he had been approached by Dennis who needed to supply a UFO researcher with some drawings he claimed the nurse had done. Henn claimed Dennis said "We could make a lot of money out of this."(p.136)
Pflock checked newspaper files for June 1987 where sketches by artist Vincent DePaula depicted what "the aliens who crashed near Corona might have looked like." These drawings, said Pflock, were "remarkably similar" to the Dennis-Henn reconstructions of nurse Selff's drawings. Further research led Pflock to conclude that those 1987 images were likely created at the behest of Friedman who would show these very images to Dennis when they first met in 1989. (p.136-7) “It would appear two key Roswell witnesses [the other being Frank Kaufmann] fed bogus information back to ufologists, one of whom indirectly put the idea in their heads in the first place,” said Pflock. (138-9)
Air Force report links Dennis accounts to later military incidents
In 1997, the Air Force, in response to Congressional inquiries, issued the second of two reports which they asserted accounted for the reports of aliens recovered at Roswell in 1947. The report, entitled "The Roswell Report: Case Closed"“The Roswell Report: Case Closed,” James McAndrews, Headquarters United States Air Force, 1997 http://www.gl.iit.edu/wadc/history/Roswell/roswell.pdf] had a section which specifically dealt with the Dennis claims. While identifying a possible match to the nurse Dennis had said was a witness (see above), the report additionally linked descriptions of bodies and high security to several known and documented incidents, albeit ones which occurred years after 1947. As evidence that the event Dennis described contained elements from much later real events, the report cited the presence of a black sergeant paired with a white officer, a pairing it described as unlikely as the Army Air Force was racially segregated in 1947, and Dennis' use of the term "airman," a term not employed until 1952.(p.86)
A June 26, 1956 aircraft accident supplied many of the elements of Dennis’ account, said the report. On that day, 11 crew members were killed when a propeller blade punctured the plane’s fuel tank, creating an inferno. The charred and mangled remains of the crew were taken to Walker Air Force Base (the former Roswell base) and identification specialist George Schwader arrived from Wright-Patterson AFB. He said in an interview that he was frequently mistaken for a pathologist because of his working garb.
The corpses had to be moved to a refrigerated part of the base, owing to the overpowering odor of the bodies. Three of the victims were autopsied by Dr. Alfred Blauw, a local physician, and the autopsies were performed at the Ballard Funeral Home, where Dennis was employed.
A second incident accounts for the description of the "canoe-like" object Dennis said he saw in the back of a vehicle, and some of the high-handed treatment he received from officers at the base, including from a tall red-headed captain. A May 1959 accident of a low-altitude balloon, part of the Excelsior program, saw the three injured crewmen flown to
Walker AFB. The mere fact of the accident caused consternation for the crewmen as the project was controversial and there was a very real prospect that word of the accident might lead to the program’s cancellation. The controversy surrounded the wisdom of parachuting attempts from balloons some 100,000 feet in the atmosphere. Accordingly, much secrecy surrounded the project, as can be corroborated by a 1961 book written by a participant, Captain Joseph Kittinger, “The Long Lonely Leap.”(p.109) Kittinger, redheaded and six foot one, likely was the red-headed captain Dennis referred to who Dennis claimed said “You did not see anything. There was no crash here. You don’t go into town making any rumors that you saw anything or that there was any crash.” The report asserts that Dennis was in fact witnessing the arrival of the three injured crewman and was subsequently warned to be quiet, but so as to preserve the Excelsior program.(p.110) Kittinger would go on to make those high-altitude leaps, one at 102,800 feet in 1960 still stands as the all-time record.
The three-man Excelsior crew had been escorted by ambulances, and descriptions by Dennis closely match what would have been present that day. He reported what he thought was wreckage in the back of one ambulance which “was kinda like the bottom of a canoe… like stainless steel… with a kind-of bluish-purplish tinge to it.” This description, the report notes, accurately describes two steel panels painted Air Force blue on a converted ambulance for this mission.(p.113) Other descriptions such as wreckage all over the floor looking like “broken glass” corresponds to the clear plastic
polyethyleneballoon recovered from the mission.
The heightened state of security Dennis described sounds very much like the extra security which occurred upon the arrival of the Excelsior team. The very presence of the balloon crew, who had arrived unannounced, likely led many base personnel to believe they may have posed a security threat or were a team from
Strategic Air Commandtesting the nuclear-armed facility’s alertness. Either way, the base's personnel would have been far more vigilant that day, and this may account for the heavy-handedness reported by Dennis. The balloon crew themselves were greeted by machine-gun-armed personnel upon their arrival.
One of the reports mentioned an alien with an enlarged head, which could have been a mistaken identification of one of the crew’s injuries whereby his head swelled so much that his nose barely protruded. (p.119) This crew member, Capt. Dan Fulgham, was flown to Wright-Patterson AFB on a C-131 hospital aircraft. He was led away by Kittinger, having to be escorted as the swelling blocked his vision. Fulgham’s wife was there and asked Kittinger where her husband was. “I told her, ‘Ma’am, this is your husband’ and I presented her this blob that I was leading down the ramp. And she let out a scream you could hear a mile away.” (p.120)
The report was not generous towards Dennis. While not mentioning him by name, the report said: " [D] escriptions, particularly those believed to be thinly veiled references to deceased or injured Air Force members, are difficult to view as naïve misunderstandings. Any attempt to misrepresent or capitalize on tragic incidents in which Air Force members died or were injured in the service of their country significantly alters what would otherwise be viewed as simple misinterpretations or honest mistakes.” (p.125)
While many UFO researchers dismissed the report's conclusions as implausible, particularly because of the later dates of the incidents it links to Roswell, researcher Karl Pflock was convinced. “As I read [the report] … I found myself in amazed agreement that this had to be the source of Dennis’ recollections,” said Pflock. Pflock recalled showing the Dennis-Henn sketches to an aircraft accident investigator who immediately responded, before Plock mentioned Roswell, “What aircraft crash is this from?”
Corroboration for Dennis' story
Dennis' account is repeated in "Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the 60-Year Cover-Up" by Thomas Carey and Donald Schmitt, published in 2007. Regarding Dennis providing researchers with a false name, they write, "His surprising and disappointing reponse was, ...'I gave you a phony name, because I promised her that I would never reveal it to anyone'." The authors then comment that "Dennis was found to have knowingly provided false information to investigators, and must technically stand impeached as a witness." However, the book also notes that other witnesses "have told us that Dennis had told them about the phone calls for child-sized caskets way back when it happened" and that "Dennis had told them about his run-in at the base hospital long before Roswell became a household word." [ Carey & Schmitt, 135 ]
* Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt, "Witness to Roswell", 2007, New Page Books, ISBN-13 978-1-56414-943-5
Stanton T. Friedmanand Don Berliner, ‘’Crash at Corona’’, 1992, Marlowe and Co., ISBN-1-56924-863-X
Kevin Randleand Donald R. Schmitt, ‘’The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell’’, 1994, Avon Books, ISBN-0-380-77803-3
* Tim Shawcross, "The Roswell Files", 1997, Motorbook International, ISBN-0-7603-0471-8
* [http://www.af.mil/library/roswell/ "The Roswell Report: Case Closed"]
* [http://www.roswellufomuseum.com/ International UFO Museum & Research Center Website]
* [http://www.roswellfiles.com/Witnesses/glenndennis.htm The Tales of Glenn Dennis]
* [http://www.roswellproof.com/dennis.html Dennis’ affidavit, drawing, other affidavits, discussion of other witness testimony on bodies & nurse]
* [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0307/01/lkl.00.html Transcript: CNN LARRY KING LIVE Do UFOs Exist?]
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