Welcome back! Here's the fourth installment of our alien Roswell Investigation. Let's dive in.
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1st Lieutenant Walter Haut was the Public Information Officer (PIO) at the 509th Bomb Group based in Roswell, New Mexico during 1947. His close friend, superior, and base commander, Colonel William Blanchard, ordered Haut to draft a press release announcing the U.S. Army Air Forces had recovered a "flying disk" from a nearby farm.
Obviously this press release brought widespread national, and even international, media attention. To further add to the mystery, the USAAF retracted that claim later the same day, saying instead that it was remnants of a disintegrated weather balloon.
Haut received unfortunate public criticism for drafting and distributing the original press release, even though he was ordered to write it.
When interest in the Roswell incident rose again in the late 1970s, "I would ask Dad to tell me the whole story, and he told me the same thing he told everybody: ‘I put out the press release’, and nothing else,” says Julie Shuster, Haut’s daughter.
Haut had been sworn to secrecy about Roswell by Colonel Blanchard, and as they were close friends, he didn't want to break his word.
“Walter confirmed to Don and I that the reason he kept everything a secret is because he promised Colonel Blanchard that he would not divulge the secret while he lived,” says UFO researcher Thomas Carey. “And he didn’t – he divulged it when he was gone. That’s the reason he kept quiet. It was like a father–son relationship, and he’d promised Blanchard he would not talk."
“Don Schmitt, one of the world’s leading UFO researchers, Dad considered a friend, and we were trying to save the information Dad knew for the future because we were unfortunately losing a lot of the first-hand witnesses,” says Shuster.
The only known person to accompany the Roswell debris from the Roswell Army Air Force Base to the Fort Worth Army Air Force Base, Major Jesse Marcel, had passed away just over a decade earlier. He had possibly left behind a cryptic journal (which has become the subject of its own investigations), but Lt. Haut wanted to make sure he left behind a crystal-clear, thorough account of his experience.
“Don and I talked to my Dad, and we said ‘Do you want to do a written statement for release after your death?’, and he agreed to it,” Shuster continues. “We were very careful. My Dad was very particular, so he and I went over it word by word, sentence by sentence just to make sure there was no question about what was written.”
“Don and I became friends with Walter, and by observing his facial expressions and the way he talked, you’d think, ‘That there is a man keeping a big secret’,” says Carey. “Finally it all came out in his sealed statement after he died.”
Haut passed away in 2005, and the affidavit was first published in a 2007 book titled Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the Government’s Biggest Cover-Up, co-authored by Don Schmitt and Thomas Carey.
His affidavit confirmed that his original press release about a "flying disk" was correct, and added that there were two crash sites and he had seen alien bodies. Haut also said he himself was a witness to the 1947 crash.
“Basically Dad said yes, he did see the bodies, yes he did see the craft and much more than that,” says Shuster. “At one point I asked him about the size, and he said the craft was about 25 feet in diameter. To me, hearing what Dad said was not a surprise because he was very close to Colonel Blanchard. They remained friends for all those years, and I would’ve been very surprised if he had not seen it.”
“The ship which he described was about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, more of an egg-shaped object, and he did see a number of bodies,” says Carey. “He described them as being the size of children. And when asked point blank if what he believed it was that he had seen, without hesitation he’d say, ‘It was not from this Earth, it was something manufactured off this Earth.’”
Haut's Daughter: Julie Shuster
“There was a lady, and her husband and her sister were both involved in the incident, and she wouldn’t tell me anything,” says Shuster. “Finally she said to me, ‘I’m going to say this once, don’t ever ask me or my sister about this again, ever, because we promised my husband on his deathbed that we would never reveal what he told us.’
To me, that is such a telling statement – all that over a weather balloon? You’re promising your husband on his deathbed that you won’t reveal it was a weather balloon? That to me says tons.”
Julie Shuster // November 2020
After carrying an agonizing, distressing secret for many years, Walter Haut finally spilled his secrets to his daughter Julie, Don Schmitt and Thomas Carey.
This concludes our investigation into the Roswell incident! Thanks for following along. Keep reading for a preview of next month's investigation.