Jim Ragsdale  


In the Jan./Feb. 1994 issue of International UFO Reporter, published by the Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt wrote:

"Skeptics of UFO crash stories have clamored for one, firsthand witness to the crash of a nonterrestrial object, with bodies, who would sign an affidavit (signed by Ragsdale on Jan. 27, 1993) and whose story checks out. There is now such a witness in the person of Jim Ragsdale, who has lived in Roswell for many years and has been telling his crash story, completely at odds with the [original] press release and Brazel story, since soon after the event. Ragsdale has, indeed, signed an affidavit, and with his public accounting of what he witnessed, the case for Roswell becomes that much stronger."


Jim Ragsdale's first Crash Site:  (This is the site, now owned by Miller "Hub" Corn, which was originally owned by the McKnight family. It is about 35 miles North-by-Northwest of Roswell.)

Jim Ragsdale was a truck driver living in Carlsbad at the time of the Roswell incident. His story begins:

''We (Jim and his girl friend, the aptly named Trudy Truelove) were lying in the back of my pickup truck, buck naked, drinking beer and having a good 'ol time when all hell broke loose.''

(Later stories, including the version in The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell by Randle and Schmitt, changed the pickup truck into a World War II era jeep. But that doesn’t have a bed with sufficient room to lie "buck naked, drink beer and have a good 'ol time". So when Randle and Schmitt used the jeep, the reader is left wondering what Jim and Trudy were doing while camping. The book also changed it into a wild night with lightning and thunder, with a 30 to 40 mile an hour wind driving dust and dirt.)

About 11:30 P.M., Ragsdale said he saw an object roar overhead and slammed into the ground a mile or so from where Ragsdale was entertaining his young companion.

After the rain ended (I’m not making this up you know!), Ragsdale and his girl friend got dressed (well, his testimony never says this, but it seems logical that they got dressed rather than drove around while buck-naked.) and drove across the rocky terrain to the edge of a short cliff. Using a flashlight in which the batteries were failing, they saw a ship stuck in the side of the cliff. As the flashlight was failing, they decided to go back to where they had been and to return in the morning.

Why they never decided to drive the relatively short distance to town to report the crash and to try to get aid for any possible survivors has never really been answered.

When the Sun came up, Ragsdale and Trudy Truelove left where they had been parking and returned to the cliff to examine the crash site. Ragsdale and Truelove then got their first good look at the crash scene and, according to Ragsdale, Truelove wanted to "get the hell out of there."

They went down and examined some of the debris that was lying all over the ground and marveled at the characteristics. "You could take that stuff and wad it up and it would straighten itself out."  Near the craft, Ragsdale saw "bodies or something laying there. They looked like bodies. They weren’t very long… four or five feet long at most."

Ragsdale and Truelove didn’t check to see if any of them were alive or in need of help. They decided instead to gather up some of the wreckage- and were throwing it into their truck when they "heard all of them coming… It was two or three six-by-six army trucks, a wrecker and everything. Leading the pack was a ’47 Ford car with guys in it. MPs in it."

While they watched, the trucks fanned out and parked. Now Ragsdale said he got worried along with Truelove. He pulled his truck (or was it a Jeep?) into a copse of trees and watched as the MPs began to cordon off the area. They watched long enough to know that "they cleaned everything all up. I mean they cleaned it. They raked the ground and everything."

Ragsdale and Truelove decided to get out before the MPs searched the area and returned to the site of their amorous adventures of the night before.

So- according to Ragsdale’s story, the MPs and the other soldiers cleaned up everything, including, apparently, the bodies, and raked the ground prior to searching the area.

Although Ragsdale is one of Randle’s and Schmitt’s star witnesses, and said he was at or near the crash site until the Army cleaned it up, he never mentioned seeing any archaeologists prior to the Army’s arriving. Yet, Randle and Schmitt insist that the archaeologists arrived prior to the Army.
(page 6, The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell by Randle and Schmitt)

What About the Debris?
Since Ragsdale took some of the debris, why can’t it be tested? In his most recent sworn statement, Ragsdale claims:

"Unexplained to this day is the disappearance of the material. My friend (Trudy Truelove) had some in her vehicle when (many months later) she was killed hitting a bridge and it was gone when the wreckage was brought into town. My truck and trailer was (sic) stolen from my home, again with material in the truck, never to be heard from anywhere. My home was broken into, completely ransacked, and what was taken was the material, a gun and very little else of value."

Wait!  The Story Gets Better:
As time went on, Ragsdale’s story altered some. In his early tale, he hadn’t looked inside the craft or known how many bodies were there.

But now, he claims he looked inside and tried to remove their helmets.  In other versions of his tale, he took a whole load of "golden helmets" from the scene and buried them. The number of these "golden helmets" varied somewhat.  Jim cannot remember where he buried these helmets however-  another 'mystery' that lingers on.

At a Pensacola UFO Conference, Kevin Randle commented that Ragsdale’s story "is significantly different than the story he originally related to us… The story he tells now is much more exciting than just seeing the bodies in the distance. He’s now talking about going down and trying to pull the helmet off one of the dead aliens and seeing big black eyes which is not consistent with what we have learned about what the Aliens look like."

However, Randle and Schmitt originally left no doubt that Ragsdale was one of their two star witnesses (Frank Kaufmann was the other). In the HUFON report, Randle stated that "we place enormous confidence" in the testimony of Ragsdale and Kaufmann because "they tend to corroborate one another." 

Jim Finds a New Crash Site:
On April 15, 1995 - Ragsdale signed another affidavit in which he totally changed where the alien spaceship was supposed to have crashed. He moved the crash site from 35 miles north of Roswell to another location roughly 55 miles west of Roswell.

He also made significant changes from his first affidavit, beyond merely changing the location of the impact site.

So What do the Neighbors Say?
The family of the people who owned the ranch during the period when the crash supposedly happened disputes Jim Ragsdale's first crash site (the "Hub" Corn site).

In a sworn statement made on Feb. 3, 1997, Jim McKnight notes that the "alleged impact site is located on a part of the ranch that belonged to my aunt and is a little over a mile west of my grandfather's original ranch house....I do not believe that a UFO or anything else crashed at the alleged crash site in 1947 for several reasons. No one in my family had any knowledge of such crash or military retrieval. If a coyote crossed that ranch, my dad or uncle would likely see his tracks...I cannot believe that a convoy of Army trucks and cars could have come and gone without them noticing. If they had seen it, they would have told us about it."

To reach the supposed crash site, the Army would have had to pass within 200 yards of the ranch house on land owned by McKnight’s family.

McKnight continued "during the 1950s I rode horseback all over both pastures around the alleged crash site on a number of different occasions."

Why did he ride horseback?  "…because there were not any roads west from the ranch house [to the alleged impact site]. It was not until the early 1960s that my aunt hired a bulldozer to build a crossing on the Macho (an arroyo)."

In a later interview, when asked if an army convoy could have made it, McKnight replied "to get to the alleged impact site a convoy would have to get across the Macho which was all but impossible in 1947."

His affidavit concludes "the entire Roswell Incident has been of great interest to me and I hope to find the truth some day, I do not have an axe to grind nor a profit to be made from this incident."

(Affidavit available from the Roswell International UFO Museum which obtained it initially)

What about the second Roswell Crash Site of Jim Ragsdale?
Albuquerque journalist William P. Barrett researched the Roswell Incident for an article for the July 15, 1996, issue of Forbes Magazine (which was headlined: "Unidentified Flying Dollars") and an article for the Albuquerque newspaper Crosswinds. Barrett interviewed persons who had lived near the Ragsdale impact site. From the Crosswinds article:

  • - Dorothy Epps, whose family-owned land is only one-half mile from the Ragsdale site: "I'm quite sure we would have heard about it if it were true. It's all a hoax."
  • - Bill Edgar, who worked as a farm hand near the Ragsdale site in 1947: "It never happened. I never heard about saucers or soldiers moving around."
  • - Kenny Schear, manager of the nearby Armstrong ranch who arrived in 1955: I've talked to all the old-timers over the years. I think it's the biggest damned joke I've ever heard."

Barrett also interviewed Ragsdale's former wife. Vennie Scott, who divorced him after 40 years of marriage, said that he had never told her about a crashed saucer, but she said she once heard her husband, while drunk, tell the tale to a friend.  Yet, Randle and Schmitt, in their second book on Roswell, reported that one of the reasons for believing Ragsdale was his wife Mary corroborated his story.

Some more Doubts Creep In:
It seems that Randle has since decided that Ragsdale isn’t as credible as he once thought.  In response to the question:   "Who do you think is the least credible of the Roswell witnesses and why?"

Kevin Randle replied: "Jim Ragsdale for changing his story..."
(United Kingdom UFO Network April 11, 1998 IRC meeting on #UFO)