Feb 01, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Taking a Look at Some of the Most Interesting Figures Tied to the Roswell “UFO Crash”

Just about everyone knows of the July 1947 "UFO crash" outside of Roswell, New Mexico. There are, however, some fascinating stories - and equally fascinating characters - in the overall picture that take things in a very different direction. So, today, I'm going to share with you several figures and their findings and claims. And all tied to the legendary incident. We'll begin with the late Kathy Kasten. Kathy was a feisty contributor to the now-defunct online discussion forum, UFO Updates. She was also a good friend. Much of Kathy’s research was focused on mind-control and Roswell, subjects that had fascinated her for years. And, as Kathy’s investigations progressed, she found herself looking more and more into a certain installation in New Mexico. It was directly connected to the Roswell enigma. Its name: Fort Stanton. Yes, the very same Fort Stanton that has popped up previously with regard to (a) people with extreme physical handicaps and (b) Japanese balloons. On August 7, 2012, Kathy died from a cardiac arrest. And, her family very generously handed her files over to me. When I read Kathy's voluminous Roswell files, I found that she had been looking deeply into the Roswell affair - not from the perspective of it being a UFO crash, but, a disaster involving human guinea-pigs used in high-altitude experiments, some handicapped and others Japanese people.

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(Nick Redfern) Aliens or Secret Experiment?

It was 2005 when I wrote my first "secret experiment"-themed Roswell book, Body Snatchers in the Desert. And my follow-up book, The Roswell UFO Conspiracy, was published in 2017. I was very pleased, however, to see - as I went through Kathy's files - that she had uncovered pretty much the same data as me. But, as the files reveal, Kathy got there before anyone else: in the latter part of 1989. Have a look at this from Kathy and what she wrote in one of her journals: "My research has uncovered the fact that the American Government was testing many different types of aircraft at the time of the Roswell crash; some of it for the purpose of forming the basis for a future space program, and perhaps even one that involved American-Japanese ex-internees from a New Mexico detention camp." The facility Kathy was talking about was Fort Stanton. It just happens to be situated in Lincoln County, New Mexico. Lincoln County is the same county where the legendary crash occurred in 1947. Not everyone - of course - believes that Roswell was a secret, government experiment; but - when it comes to the matter of a sickening experiment that went badly wrong - Kathy got there before anyone else. Now, onto another figure.

Moving on, there is the saga of a man named Conrad Zerbe. His name rarely surfaces and he is someone who even most Roswell researchers have failed to pay much attention to. Few researchers ever interviewed the now-dead Zerbe; although Bill Moore did in the early 1980s. Zerbe’s link to the Roswell saga revolves around the matter of a certain, large number of photographs taken out at the crash site of the whatever-it-was that came down on the ranch in the summer of ’47. A Roland S. Cliff, a Colonel Loomis, a Mr. Bohanon, and a Captain Ed Guill were in the know, when it came to (A) the matter of what happened and (B) who knew what the photos really showed. In 1980, when the Moore-Berlitz-Moore book, The Roswell Incident, was published and received publicity, Zerbe mused on the possibility of revealing what he knew. Before he had the chance to do so, however, one day in late 1980 there was a knock at the door of his California-based home. Zerbe opened the door and was confronted by a plain-clothes man who flashed government (Air Force) I.D.

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(Nick Redfern) The Legendary Crash Site Outside of Roswell, New Mexico

Thirty-three-years after Roswell, Zerbe was what is, today, termed a "person of interest." Zerbe was told he was not in any trouble, but (there’s always a but in these situations…) the man added that he knew Zerbe had expressed a desire to go public (how he knew is anyone’s guess). It would not be a wise move, Zerbe was told. He got the message – even though it was a very brief message. No explanation was given as to why Zerbe should stay silent, when people like retired Major Jesse Marcel had not been threatened. In all probability, it was due to the fact that Zerbe knew precisely what the photos showed, too – just like certain colleagues at the old Roswell base in ’47. Somewhat oddly the man in the suit had brought with him a couple of sodas. He significantly lightened up, too, and he quickly changed the subject to what Zerbe had been up to since he left the service, years earlier.

Maybe five or six minutes after chugging back the soda Zerbe began to feel strange. He was spaced-out and found himself rambling on to the man and answering his every question without hesitation. He was hit by vertigo and vaguely heard voices in his head. It was whispered mumbling that he could not understand. And then? Nothing. Zerbe had no recollection of the rest of the conversation, or of what happened to the man. He never saw him again, though. It was as if around thirty minutes of time had been wiped from existence. Zerbe suspected, though, that as the soda was bottled, and with screw-tops, that something mind-warping had been surreptitiously put in the drink before the man called and the bottle-top had been carefully replaced and tightened. Zerbe also wondered if after the chemicals hit hard, the man returned the conversation back to Roswell. Although, admittedly, this was just Zerbe speculating. Beyond that, Zerbe didn't say much, at all.

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(Nick Redfern) My first book on the Roswell Experiment

Now, let's focus on one Dr. Lincoln LaPaz of the University of New Mexico. Master Sergeant Lewis "Bill" Rickett – of the Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) was someone who many Roswell investigators believe knew exactly what happened on the Foster Ranch in July 1947. At the time of the mysterious event, Rickett was the Non-Commissioned Officer-in-Charge at the Roswell Army Air Field. Years after the event, Rickett admitted to UFO researchers his presence at the ranch site – along with Sheridan Cavitt, also of the CIC - on July 8. Rickett also shared a few other snippets of data, when the mood took him. For the most part, though, he remained very tight-lipped – even cagey at times – on exactly what took place. Rickett did, however, admit that approximately two months after the crash on the Foster Ranch took place, he liaised on the top secret matter with one Dr. Lincoln LaPaz. At the time, he was the Director of the University of New Mexico’s Institute of Meteoritics. He and LaPaz undertook a secret assignment to try and figure out "the speed and trajectory" of the craft that slammed into the heart of Lincoln County. Reportedly, the pair found a “touchdown” location just a few miles from the ranch, as well as a patch of ground that had been exposed to a significant amount of heat. According to Rickett, the object that hurtled to the ground on the ranch was somewhat bat-winged, but certainly not what anyone would call a flying saucer – which is an important point, given that all the talk at the time was of saucers and disks. There is, however, something else; something very important.

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(Nick Redfern)

One particularly important fact that many Roswell researchers have not realized, is Dr. Lincoln LaPaz’s connection to the issue of Japan’s Fugo balloons. In 1945, the University of New Mexico issued a press-release titled "New Mexican Had Lookout Job For 'Japanese Germs.'" It revealed a certain, previously secret, aspect of LaPaz’s life, and it reads as follows: "Dr. Lincoln LaPaz of the University of New Mexico was in the thick of the fight against Japanese plans to send disease germs into America by balloon, said President J.P Wernette of the University today. Commenting on stories from the Navy in Washington revealing that use of germs and viruses in the Jap balloon-barrage was an enemy project as the war came to an end, Dr. Wernette said that Dr. LaPaz, head of the department of mathematics and the University’s Institute of Meteoritics, was with the government’s secret anti-balloon project during the war." So, we see yet another Japanese connection to Roswell.

Like it or not, much of the story this article tells, suggests that Roswell really was a secret experiment gone disastrously wrong. And not the crash of an alien spacecraft.

Nick Redfern
Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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