Saturday, May 20, 2017

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Nick Redfern, The Roswell UFO Conspiracy

Nick Redfern. Photo by
Kevin Randle.
This week I talked with Nick Redfern about his new book The Roswell UFO Conspiracy: Exposing a Shocking and Sinister Secret because it would let people know about his new book, open up a discussion about an alternative explanation for the Roswell crash and it would give me a chance to promote my book, Roswell in the 21st Century. Although I had suggested that his book was an update of his Body Snatchers in the Desert, it is actually more than just that, and it provides more information about some aspects of American history that are, for the lack of another term, rather disgusting. You can listen to our discussion here:

(There have been some reports that the link is broken... if it doesn't work, try going to YouTube and type A Different Perspective Nick Redfern. That should take you to the program.)

Given the way things are in the world today, when people begin to talk about anonymous sources and don’t provide names, I begin to worry about the information. Nick pointed out that some of his sources weren’t actually anonymous but they were unnamed which, according to him is not quite the same thing. It means that while they’re not named, Nick knows who they are. I understand the necessity for these unnamed sources, some of it the responsibility of the publishers who now require that we all provide permission slips signed by the subject of interviews, often with the caveat that they had no objection to their names being used. The problem isn’t that Nick has refused to name them, the publisher wants to make sure that they agreed to being named because if they didn’t… lawsuit.

I know from my own experience that sometimes an overzealous researcher will want to verify the information that I have reported. They call the witness to ask their own questions, and I understand that. I want to be able to verify the information published by others myself… to see if it is accurate, if the witness has something else to say, or if the comments were taken out of context and the witness actually meant something different. I have found problems with some of those interviews conducted by others when I asked the questions, so I do get it.

But the flip side of that is something that I have run into and that is drunks, as a single example. As I mentioned on the program, Bill Brazel told me that drunks, making bets in bars, had called him on several occasions to ask if the information published about him was true… and not just at a descent hour but at two or three in the morning… I hesitate to subject people to that sort of harassment… or to those who don’t like the information and who want to argue the point with the witness.

One way around that is documentation and I pressed Nick on that when he began to speak about Unit 731, which had, according to him, conducted experiments on humans that can be called little more than torture. And this is where we slide off into another dark side of American history. Starting not long after the Japanese invasion of mainland China, they built a concentration camp where they performed experiments, many on Chinese men, women and children, but also on Russians and prisoners of war. These experiments included cold weather exposure to see how the body reacted to extreme temperatures, injecting live bacteria into humans to map the progress of deadly disease, amputating limps and attempting to reattach them, sometimes on the other side of the body, and the vivisection of living, conscious subjects because they didn’t want the normal decay of the diseased organs after death to color the results. They wanted to see exactly what was happening on the living organs.

Okay, that’s really enough of that. As the war wound down and it was clear that Unit 731 was about to be overrun by the Russians, the Japanese ordered everything destroyed, the buildings burned and ordered those who had participated to never say a word about it. I think the Japanese understood the concept of war crimes and they were hiding the evidence… which means that there was little in the way of documentation. Nick had mentioned a project like Paperclip that had brought the captured Nazis to the US to help build our space program. There was a similar project for the Japanese… or so he said.

Very little research on my part was able to confirm this, though I don’t know if any of the Japanese actually made it to the US. But Japanese who had participated in these “experiments” were questioned about it by American authorities and were told that anything they said would not be used in war crimes trials. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was the senior officer to approve this because the information about the progress of some diseases, and effects of extreme cold, and other experiments did provide valuable information. The thinking I suppose, was that the data had been gathered and there was no reason to destroy it. The damage had been done, the subjects were dead and the information might be used for the benefit of others.

The point here is that Nick had been correct in what he had said about Unit 731 and its horrendous past. Many of the Japanese involved were identified and were not tried as war criminals so that the data would not be lost. That doesn’t take us to the crash of that alleged experimental craft in New Mexico in 1947, but it does get us a little closer.

Personally, I’m a little disgusted with these secret agreements that were made at the end of the war. I’m disgusted that the US government, and the US military seemed to think there was a higher purpose there and the horror could be overlooked for the value of the data collected…

Anyway, I’m finished with this rant. I bring it up merely because Nick had talked of Unit 731, had few names and it seemed even fewer documents to support all of this and how it ended up in New Mexico two years after the Japanese surrender. I bring it up so that we see that there is something to be said for Nick’s theory here and there is independent support for some of the information he used in his book and what we discussed on the program. It doesn’t mean that the object that crashed was of terrestrial manufacture and that this theory is the correct one, only that there is some information to support the theory and that more research is required.


Nick Redfern said...


Here's a link to the National Archives, where you will find just some of the now-declassified US files on the Japanese bio-warfare issues, POWs, Japanese balloons etc. There are many more available, but this is PDF contains a huge amount of material (military documents from the 1940s).

As for the transfer of material to the States, much of this was overseen by Charles Willoughby, who happened to be a good friend and colleague to Philip Corso.

You can learn more about the Willoughby-Unit 731 issue here:

Let's not forget that in 1997 Popular Mechanics reported on the issue of Roswell and a Japanese equivalent of Paperclip and which referred to documents which ultimately never surfaced.

There is also the account of Keith Basterfield, which is a very intriguing saga. Keith interviewed his source years ago and I spoke with the source in late 2005. You can read Keith's account of this here:

There are many similar threads that I talk about in my newly-published sequel to Body Snatchers in the Desert, which is The Roswell UFO Conspiracy.

Brian Bell said...

With the caveat that I have not read Nick's latest book on Roswell, I must say that while I appreciate "alternative" theories on what may have happened in 1947, I'm not too certain many people subscribe to his theory. "Body Snatchers" was not well received by the UFO community, and many skeptics seem not to like the theory either. Not certain how this book will be received in light of this.

The absence of comments on this blog regarding Nick's interview may be telling.

While it is true the Pentagon engaged in unorthodox, illegal, and clandestine experiments on not just a few people, but sometimes entire cities, knowingly or unknowingly, there are some problems with the testimony of "Mark" who is central to Nick's latest book.

The link Nick shared highlights that Mark's testimony is in fact THIRD hand, as he heard it from his father who heard it from an unnamed US "intelligence source".

Despite the threads connecting the similar stories Nick and others have collected, there's nothing to say that this too, just like the ET hypothesis, is simply a legend which has snowballed over the years as people added their own details etc.

Also - there are problems with the story of the flight itself:

- It was flown at night to avoid balloon explosions due to the sunlight and heat? Very odd.
- Prototype aircraft don't need to be carried to the upper atmosphere by balloon as the theory somewhat suggests.
- Dropping from such altitude, by accident, would have killed all passengers.
- One doesn't need a "flying wing" or German engineered type craft to test high altitude effects. A gondola would do just fine, but in reality it can all be done in a lab.
- No chase planes or ground tracking crew? Hard to imagine a test at night without some form of retrieval unit.

Again, it's an interesting theory, but seems highly implausible.

Nick Redfern said...


yes, you are correct, Ufology did not respond positively to my Body Snatchers in the Desert book. I have an entire chapter in the new book (The Roswell UFO Conspiracy) on how Ufology reacted when Body Snatchers was published. But, if Ufology doesn't like either book, it's hardly going to make me lose sleep. I stand by the accounts and data given to me.

Also, one of the reasons why I referenced the Australian source (actually Martin, not Mark) is because it's near-identical to the ones given to me - but this one came to me via Keith Basterfield. What's important is that the account reached Keith long BEFORE Body Snatchers was released and no-one apart from me and the editor had copies of the manuscript. So, true or not, the story/theory has been circulating for a long time.

Also, recall that Popular Mechanics was given the same story in 1997.

There's more to come too.

Paul Young said...

@ Nick,
Just a trivial point... I always considered the USA's FBI to be an equivalent to our NCA, not MI5. Is this not correct?

As for the main gist of the interview, I get that both the pro-ETH and anti-ETH explanations for what crashed at Roswell have come to a stalemate.
And I believe most straight thinking people would agree that the US govt are barefaced lying about the mogul explanation...

But would the US govt, in 1947, really have been that squeamish over the deaths of a few Japanese? And would they have been that desperate to cover it up?
In 1947, the full horror of what had happened to our guys who had been captured at Singapore was just becoming clear. Would the (much less politically correct) public of 1947 really have been that bothered if a few of the hated enemy had died during what could have easily have been spun as a worthwhile experiment?

Nick Redfern said...

No, MI5 is responsible for security/intel etc within the UK, in the same way the FBI does in the US. And, MI6 is responsible for overseas intel, like the CIA in the US.

The secrecy, at least as I was told, was prompted by how it would look to the public if (just after WWII) a deal had been done with Japanese war criminals. It wasnt that the experiment was hidden just for the sake of it. It was hidden to prevent people finding out the Japanese thread - which led back to Unit 731 etc.

CommanderCronus said...

I find it hard to believe the military would bother using Japanese as test subjects for high-altitude flights. Nepalese Sherpas would be more appropriate, as they tend to possess physiological adaptations that give them the ability to perform at extreme altitudes.

james tankersley said...

Every time i hear some one try to explain the Roswell UFO in conventinaul terms. i am reminded of what Jessie Marcel said about the debris...he could not identify the strange wreckage he picked up as a weather balloon, nor could he identify it as an aircraft or missile, ie that it was something that came to earth, but was NOT from earth, of that he was sure of! Foil like material that when wadded up would flatten itself back out, metal debris that could not bend, burn, or scratched with a pocket knife, a sledge hammer was observed bouncing back off a bigger piece of the strange debris. And Jessie Marcel JR was told by his father when he awoke he and his mother up to show them the wreckage, that he believed this debris actually came from a flying saucer from another world! Does anyone here seriously think that Jessie Marcel SR would have woken his son and wife up in the middle of the night to see lame flimsy parts of a balloon and wooden parts of a glider? Sorry guys i dont see how this theroy explains anything and would be GENUINELY surprised if it were proven true!

cda said...

JT is obviously prepared to accept what Jesse Marcel said 30 years after the event (and then only when questioned by two very pro-ET investigators). Neither Jesse nor his dad would have had the faintest idea of what a true craft "from another world" looked like, so why did they make such idiotic and fanciful remarks?

And please, please, do not revive the idea that if Jesse or his dad really knew, or even thought they knew, that the stuff was ET, they (and all the others) would have sat on this great secret for over 3 decades. It was a laughable idea when the first book came out in 1980, and even more laughable now.

I do not accept Nick Redfern's theory either, but at least it makes SOME sense (a little), as opposed to the ETH drivel.

james tankersley said...

Well i am not here to attack anyone on a personal basis if i disagree with them, i am open to anything that is proven right in the end, and i just want the TRUTH to come out in the end. Jessie Marcel knew what radar targets looked like, what weather balloons looked like, what so called mogul balloons looked like, what missiles looked like, what all types of aircraft and air activities were so i find it rather ASTONISHING he would mistake weather balloon/mogul balloon/wooden parts of a glider for a flying saucer from another world! He would not have been an intelligence officer of the 509th bomb group if he was that careless! Read the ROSWELL LEGACY by his son Jessie Marcel JR who answers back to a lot of you critics out there that dont want to believe anything he said. It will answer a lot of questions skeptics have concerning Jessie Marcels background.

cda said...

James T:

I don't want to prolong this, but....

Jesse Marcel and his son may have handled odd looking debris but that is all we can say with any certainty. All (and I repeat ALL) the rest of the testimony, from the Marcels or anyone else, comes from statements made between 30 and 50 years after the event. And the great majority of it is second or third hand.

As to an ET visit, a scientific secret of this nature simply CANNOT, and would not, be kept under wraps for 70 years, either by the USA or any other country. Those who insist it can, and has, been kept secret for this time are guilty of pure wishful thinking.

Nick Redfern's thesis, although interesting, does have a slight chance, however small, of being kept under wraps for these 7 decades. The ET idea does not.

I think Kevin has finally conceded this now, though he is still reluctant to admit it.

Nitram Ang said...

"Nick Redfern's thesis, although interesting, does have a slight chance, however small, of being kept under wraps for these 7 decades. The ET idea does not."

The problem with this thesis is the same as the problem with Mogul - none of the people who handled the material recognized it for what it was when they handled it about 70 years ago - at the time it was rather strange... thinking about this again it still seems strange.

I think the debunkers will all concede this, although they are still reluctant to admit it.

The problem with keeping a secret for so long has previously been explained to CDA.
Nobody really knows how much Kevin earnt 20 years ago and we will probably not be told in another 50 years either.

Brian Bell said...

@ James Tankersley

Marcel Sr. was well known for his tendency to self promote his own importance by enhancing aspects of his experiences with sensationalism. No doubt, his description of the debris, which came nearly 30 years later (not in 1947), was also enhanced by this behavioral trait. The sensationalized accounts of the wreckage are just that - sensationalized - and that in turn has helped many others to tweak their own stories (or just make them up) to ride his shirt tails towards building fame, an enhanced public image, and in some cases just to earn a little extra money.

james tankersley said...

I dont believe Roswell was the only UFO ET crash that happened, there were more that were covered up by the Military for understandable National Security reasons at the time they occured,and hell no i wont give up the ET theroy of the Roswell crash because no other theroy or belief of what actually came down in that desert has been 100% proven but yes if that proof shows up as the proven claim that is backed up by the evidence then i can live with that as i already stated but heres the real question.....WHAT WILL YOU SKEPTICS DO IF IT TURNS OUT ALIENS ACTUALLY DID CRASH AT ROSWELL LIKE MANY OF THE FIRSTHAND WITNESSES, WHO ARE NO LONGER WITH US, HAVE SAID? And i for one APPRECIATE Kevin Randle for letting me have my say on his blog and i am CONFIDENT, unless those records ARE permanetly destroyed like i strongly suspect thanks to these very corrupt political times we find ourselves in these days, then someone will get that info out in some way that will stir up a wasps nest all over again!

cda said...

James T:

You put this question:


The answer is that I, plus the numerous other skeptics, will have to eat our words and accept that we were all wrong, very wrong. Yes, we shall all look very stupid and silly.

In the meantime we are very confident that this will NOT occur. It may well be that at some future date aliens WILL land on earth and be recognised as such. I certainly do not expect this to occur during my lifetime.

The main point I am trying to make is this:

We cannot simply accept that aliens landed, or crashed, in the desert near Roswell based solely on the distant memories of certain people. This because these witnesses cannot have had any real idea of what an ET looks like. ETs are unknown to science and therefore only exist in SF. Therefore for someone (anyone) to say they saw alien beings in the desert, or anywhere else, is meaningless. There is no basis, in the form of a known captured alien being, to compare it with.

There MAY be lots of top secret documentation, only a few at the top have seen, that the whole of the scientific world has been denied for 70 years. However, I, along with a great many others, do NOT believe such is possible, and that the topic is far too important for science and the world as a whole, for it to still be top secret after all this time. You obviously disagree. That is your choice.

It is up to YOU to prove me wrong and locate the vital documents. Failing that, the actual hardware and/or bodies. I shall then have to eat my words, and hope I don't suffer from indigestion.

Gal220 said...

"As to an ET visit, a scientific secret of this nature simply CANNOT, and would not, be kept under wraps for 70 years, either by the USA or any other country"

Im still waiting for explanation of Hudson Valley or the Belgium sightings, why after all this time do we not have an official explanation or a leak of some sort?

Same goes for the Levelland incident Kevin has blogged about, where is this technology 60 years later that allows for engines to be shut down?

If they werent alien, someone is awfully good at keeping secrets.

Paul Young said...

cda..." This because these witnesses cannot have had any real idea of what an ET looks like. ETs are unknown to science and therefore only exist in SF. Therefore for someone (anyone) to say they saw alien beings in the desert, or anywhere else, is meaningless. There is no basis, in the form of a known captured alien being, to compare it with."

This is a masterpiece of convoluted logic.

Not being able to readily identify something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. That's why most people would start the process of elimination. I expect most people back in the 40's, with at least a high school education, would know a human, chimp, Gibraltar rock ape or a red-arse baboon if they saw one.
(Hopefully we've moved on from when they hung that monkey in Hartlepool because they thought it was a French spy!)

CommanderCronus said...

Slightly off-topic, but I'd like to suggest Jeremy Meador for a future X-Zone Broadcast interview. I'd like to hear about his investigations into UFO crashes in Nevada and Utah.

james tankersley said...

to CDA.....I dont think it would be hard at all to recognize what an actual alien would look like if you never seen one given the witness descriptions over all these years, nor what an unearthly craft would look like compared to all types of aircraft back then and even now since these things can move at incredible speeds, stop in mid air, hover for short or long periods that airplanes could NEVER do plus their mettalic look do closely resemble the debris found at Roswell and other locations where crash retrivals happened which i do find very COMPELLING indeed! I dont buy into Nick Redferns latest theroy that a gigantic balloon bomb carrying air craft was responsible for the strange wreckage found at Roswell primarily because Jessie Marcel could not burn or even get the debris to smoke when he was using his lighter to see how the material would react. a japanease balloon bomb would have burned that kind of material immediately with no problem whatsoever! So i am still going to say YES it was aliens who crashed at Roswell and Jessie Marcel would have also known what fugo bomb debris would have looked like since there was deep concerns by the military about these balloon bombs hitting the United States.

Nick Redfern said...

Mo-one is saying it was a Fugo balloon - certainly not me. Fugo balloons were small, and certainly didn't have crews. But, the Japanese were working on bigger balloons, which came to an end when the war ended. But, as with Paperclip, the data etc on the new balloons was brought to the US. Interestingly, the guy who oversaw the transfer of a lot of Japanese medical material/balloon material to the US after WII was Charles Willoughby, who was both a colleague of, and a good friend to, none other than Philip Corso - of the 1997 book, The Day After Roswell. I have very few doubts that Corso knew what happened at Roswell, but it wasn't what appeared in his book...

Nitram Ang said...

Hi Nick

You theory about what crashed at Roswell is certainly more likely than the ET explanation - but how do you explain the fact that nobody who handled the material at the time recognized it?

Paul Young - as we say in the world of sport - "you've got him down, now don't let him up"


james tankersley said...

Nick i am concerned that since virtually all the eyewitnesses are now all dead that various intelligence agents and underground military personals are going to do their DAMNDEST to kill off what really happened at Roswell since the first hand witnesses are no longer around to defend their testimonies of the wreckage and strange bodies they have claimed they saw by giving lots of disinformation and propaganda to the MAX and i know what they said they saw since the 1980s when Stanton Friedman and Bill Moore began investigating this, and then Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt and Tom Carey in the 1990s. Lots of propaganda and false claims were on the increase back then too, creating more confusion then ever, so i think EVERYONE should watch out for this even now. I have not read your new book yet but will plan to do so even though i doubt it will change my mind based on what i already know, but i think you are a GREAT researcher and i will treat you fairly! THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT!

Nick Redfern said...


One possible answer can be found in the Air Force's report on Roswell. The report states:

QUOTE: “As early as May 1948, polythene balloons coated or laminated with aluminum [italics mine] were flown from Holloman AFB and the surrounding area. Beginning in August 1955, large numbers of these balloons were flown as targets in the development of radar guided air-to-air missiles. Various accounts of the ‘Roswell Incident’ often described thin, metal-like materials that when wadded into a ball, returned to their original shape. These accounts are consistent with the properties of polythene balloons laminated with aluminum. These balloons were typically launched from points west of the White Sands Proving Ground, floated over the range as targets, and descended in the areas northeast of White Sands Proving Ground where the ‘strange’ materials were allegedly found.”


If there were pre-1948 flights - secret ones - then that may explain the odd materials and why people were not familiar with them.

cda said...


You may recall that in THE ROSWELL INCIDENT some of the witnesses told of seeing strange hieroglyphics, resembling Japanese or Chinese, on the debris. This, for some reason, caused them (so Friedman & Moore told us) to believe they saw possible ET writing. Thus these witnesses, instead of drawing the obvious conclusion that it was a Japanese, and therefore terrestrial craft, decided to conclude that it was an ET craft.

This is the Roswell 'saga', as told by the two earliest writers on the case.

Therefore one reason nobody who handled the material recognised it is that they were gently 'persuaded' by two early researchers/writers to favor the ET thesis, rather than a less interesting, and slightly boring, terrestrial thesis.

Hence the birth of a legend, which lasts to this day. And if the writing was ET, then so must have been the bodies. Simple, isn't it?

Nitram Ang said...

Hi Nick

Thank you for your comment. The debunkers of course often state that it is impossible to keep a secret for 70 years...

Perhaps somebody can show us via a youtube clip "thin metal like materials that when wadded into a ball, returned to their original shape" (haven't seen anything like it myself...).

CDA wrote

"You may recall that in THE ROSWELL INCIDENT some of the witnesses told of seeing strange hieroglyphics, resembling Japanese or Chinese, on the debris. This, for some reason, caused them (so Friedman & Moore told us) to believe they saw possible ET writing. Thus these witnesses, instead of drawing the obvious conclusion that it was a Japanese, and therefore terrestrial craft, decided to conclude that it was an ET craft. "

As I said earlier, Nick's theory about what crashed at Roswell is certainly more likely than the ET explanation - and based on what CDA has stated, seems to indicate he thinks the same thing in regards to Mogul...