Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt  


Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt are responsible for two of the more popular books about the Roswell Saga: UFO Crash at Roswell and The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell.
Since the publications of these two books, Randle has published several others on the subject of UFOs and Roswell, including A History of UFO Crashes and The Roswell Encyclopedia.

But the version of the Roswell Saga that most people know, and accept as "gospel", comes from The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell. So it is important to note that Randle has since rejected the stories of Jim Ragsdale, Glenn Dennis and the "star" of this book, Frank Kaufmann (aka Steve McKenzie). As the stories these people told form the backbone of this book, readers should be aware that Randle no longer supports this version of the Roswell Saga.

Yet despite these revelations and numerous inconsistencies about the location, people, details and timelines, these two books are most often cited by Roswell proponents "the True Story.

But, as is the case in so much of Roswell lore, there are some problems here...

Kevin D. Randle is a professional writer with over 80 books to his credit, but is perhaps best known for his books about UFOs and the Roswell story. The vast majority of his books are science fiction and historical fiction, but it his books on Roswell that have had an enormous influence on those interested in the Saga.  He, along with Stanton Friedman, is generally acknowledged as one of the leading researchers into the Roswell story and the UFO question.  He continues to work in the UFO field, although lately he has concentrated more on his Science Fiction books than UFO research.  

His background includes serving in the Army as a helicopter pilot, and in the Air Force as an intelligence officer. He claims that this provides him with a "unique insight" into the operations of the military.

As an undergraduate at the University of Iowa, he studied anthropology. His claimed graduate work includes journalism, psychology and military science at the University of Iowa, California Coast University and American Military University. He received his doctoral degree in psychology in 1999 "off-campus from an accelerated program" at California Coast University using "distance learning and correspondence methodologies".

His first two books dedicated to Roswell were written by Randle with his research partner, Donald R. Schmitt, who was then Director of Special Investigations for CUFOS.  These Randle/Schmitt version(s) of the Roswell Saga are the most often quoted by many website authors, newspaper articles and television shows and was even made into a movie.  But in the intervening years, large portions of these books have been refuted by deeper investigations into the Witnesses cited by Randle/Schmitt.

In their two books, Witnesses such as Jim Ragsdale, Glenn Dennis and Frank Kaufmann (aka Steve McKenzie) play a prominent part in the telling of the Saga.  All have since been publicly refuted by Randle.  Many of their other sources have also been called into question by other researchers, such as Major Jessie Marcel.

In 1995, after many questions had been raised about Donald Schmitt's research methods and biography, Randle publicly broke with Schmitt over Donald's lies about his education, employment and research.  See the details below.

The two Randle/Schmitt books tend to be quite contradictory.  People, events and dates change, and even people's names.  The authors briefly acknowledged this in the Authors' Statement preface to The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell. but limit this to saying that the book is an "...opportunity to correct errors in the original manuscript, add data collected after the publication of the hardback book, and obtain additional corroboration for the main report."

In their first book, UFO Crash at Roswell, the crash took place on July 2nd and was located on the Foster Ranch only a few miles from the debris field found by "Mac" Brazel.  Major Marcel's recollections have a large part in this book, and his version of the crash site, debris descriptions and the events form the core of the story.

In their second book, The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell, the crash takes place on July 5th and is located just North of Roswell on what was then the McKnight ranch, which is far from the Foster ranch.  Maj Marcel has been largely relegated to the back row, and the stories of Steve McKenzie (Frank Kaufmann), Jim Ragsdale, Melvin Brown, Lewis Rickett, and others now are on the front stage.  Indeed, it is curious that much of Maj Marcel's version is now contradicted by these new witnesses, though the authors fail to note this.

Many of the people in the first book do different things in the second book. So Frank Kaufmannn, a minor character in the first book, becomes Steve MacKenzie in the second book.  Jim Ragsdale's story undergoes some radical changes.

And Randle has not been entirely consistent in his views on UFOs. 

"As it stands now, there is NO government investigation of UFOs. I have heard that there is a Top-Secret Air Force study, but know that there is not. Until July 1986, I was a captain in the Air Force, and through my job would have had to have access to the channels where those reports would have been made. There were no indications of that study, and if there had been, I would have seen them...
- KEVIN RANDLE writing in "The October Scenario."

Yet, in The UFO Casebook, Randle says:

"My investigations showed me that there was another secret investigation - one classified higher than Bluebook. That’s no longer speculation. It’s fact."


" The October Scenario is simply the theory that there have been no extraterrestrial spacecraft in our atmosphere except for the brief period of October 1973. Prior to that time, there were misidentifications, hoaxes and lies. Afterward, there were more misidentifications and hoaxes."
- CAPTAIN KEVIN RANDLE (Ret.) writing in "The October Scenario".

Yet, the UFO Crash at Roswell and The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell are both based on UFOs in our atmosphere during 1947.

The Air Force had a field day laughing at the "research" of Randle and Schmitt in the 1994 AF Report on Roswell:

"An example of trying to deal with questionable claims is illustrated by the following example: One of the popular books (UFO Crash at Roswell by Randle and Schmitt) mentioned that was reviewed claimed that the writers had submitted the names and serial numbers of "over two dozen" personnel stationed at Roswell in July, 1947, to the Veterans Administration and the Defense Department to confirm their military service. They then listed eleven of these persons by name and asked the question "Why does neither the Defense Department nor the Veteran's Administration have records of any of these men when we can document that each served at Roswell Army Air Field." That claim sounded serious so SAF/AAZD was tasked to check these eleven names in the Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Using only the names (since the authors did not list the serial numbers) the researcher quickly found records readily identifiable with eight of these persons. The other three had such common names that there could have been multiple possibilities."

To put it politely, this laughter by the Air Force didn’t sit well with Randle.

Randle defended the research that was done and his partner Schmitt for quite a while. Then someone actually did a background check on Donald Schmitt.

When the two books were written, Schmitt was the Director of Special Investigations for CUFOS. He had claimed to have a Bachelors degree from Concordia College, a Masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and that he was pursing his doctorate in criminology from Concordia College.

But it turned out that Schmitt had never been a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and that Concordia didn’t offer doctorate degrees.
(Milwaukee Magazine - February 1995)

Then in the March 1995 issue of Milwaukee Magazine, there was a letter about Schmitt regarding "the question of how Schmitt earns his living… he delivers mail out of the Hartford, Wisconsin post office… If you believe half of what he tells you, you are a prospect for buying a bridge."

The writer of the original article stated that "He insisted that he earned his living as a medical illustrator. However, Hartford Postmaster Ken Eppler confirms that Schmitt is employed as a full-time carrier. Schmitt has worked at the Hartford Post Office since 1974."

Randle wrote in a letter to his fellow UFOlogists, on Feb 22, 1995 stating that "Don is a medical illustrator… Like many others, I have seen many samples of his published work… It is amazing to me that so many rumors fill the air. Now we are being told that Don is a letter carrier… Of course, this rumor is no more true than the Gerald Anderson story."

Then in the March/April 1995 International UFO Reporter, Don Schmitt finally admitted that he was a postal worker and didn’t have a Masters degree. He resigned as CUFOS’s Director of Special Investigations.

Obviously, Randle didn’t ‘research’ his co-writer’s background.

Randle also had tried to defend Schmitt’s research into the missing Roswell nurse's claims according to McCarthy, who broke the initial story in Omni Magazine.

But on Sept 10, 1995, shortly before McCarthy’s article appeared, Randle issued a "To Whom It May Concern" letter. After bringing up Schmitt’s false claims of his education and employment, Randle went on:

"I had believed that his lying related only to his personal life. Now I learn that it doesn’t. Research he claimed to have done was not done by him but by an ‘assistant.’ He claimed that he had searched for the Roswell nurses, but their records were all missing. That is not even close to the truth… Schmitt declared that the records were all missing. Lies….

"The search for the nurses proves that he (Schmitt) will lie about anything. He will lie to anyone… He has revealed himself as a pathological liar… I will have nothing more to do with him."

"He (Schmitt) claimed that he had searched for the Roswell nurses but their records were all missing. That is not even close to the truth. The records, had he looked, were right where they should be. Instead of going through the front door in the search, he chose to have his assistant go through back doors. When that failed to produce any results, Schmitt declared that the records were all missing. Untrue!…

"Everything I put into the books, I knew to be the truth because I had researched it myself, or I had checked to make sure the documentation existed. The research as it appears in the book is solid. Audio and video tapes exist, others besides Schmitt have interviewed the witnesses, and there is documentation to support the conclusions.

"That said, let me now point out that I do not now believe anything that Schmitt says and neither should you…"
(Kevin Randle;"To Whom It May Concern" Letter)

By Robert G. Todd

In a to-whom-it-may-concern letter, dated September 10, 1995, Kevin Randle, half of the Center for UFO Studies' (CUFOS) Roswell "investigation" team, scrambled to distance himself from Donald Schmitt (the other half of the team) and what Randle claims were Schmitt's numerous lies. Randle also sought to distance himself from what Randle generously characterized as incompetent research performed by or for Schmitt, but which Randle claims did not find its way into one or both of the Randle-Schmitt books on the overblown Roswell incident.

After recounting details of numerous falsehoods uttered by Schmitt, Randle cautions the reader not to believe anything Schmitt says.

While heaping scorn on Schmitt, Randle blows his own horn by proclaiming: "Everything I put into the books, I knew to be the truth because I researched it myself, or I had checked to make sure the documentation existed."

Randle now has a convenient scapegoat on whom he can pin every false claim, fact, characterization, or other mistruth that appears not only in their two books… But how truthful has Randle been?

After reading their first book, UFO Crash at Roswell, and finding numerous claims of a dubious nature, I wrote to Schmitt about one of those claims, which appears on page 7 of their first book:

"The government cover-up extends to the public records to the public records of the Air Force UFO investigation as well. These records were released in 1976, and the file on Roswell contains but a single press clipping. No letters, no investigative forms, no official weather balloon explanation, nothing but that lone clipping.

"The file for the recovery of an actual weather balloon in Circleville, Ohio, a week before the Roswell event, contains far more documentation on its particulars.

"Where is the material that should be in the Roswell file?"

Prior to the involvement of the CUFOS "investigators," Roswell "researchers" had always claimed the Blue Book records made no mention of the Roswell incident. Eager to see the files on both incidents, I looked, and looked, and looked. The index to the Blue Book cases listed neither incident, and after looking through the actual case files, these two mystery files still couldn't be located.

Schmitt never replied to my letter, but Randle did, by letter dated December 9, 1992. He explained that he "did most of the work on the section of the book" in question. He also said:

"I went back and re-read page 7 and realized that it wasn't as clear as it could have been. There is no file in Blue Book that relates to Roswell specifically. The only mention of Roswell actually appears in a newspaper clipping for a case from Idaho on July 10, 1947."

He also said: "I also see that I didn't make it clear that the "file" on Circleville is not part of the Blue Book system other than a mention inside another case in the newspaper clippings that are filed with it. We meant that the clipping on Circleville contains more detail."

So, finally, one of the CUFOS "investigators" had 'fessed up – well almost. It wasn't a lie that there were Blue Book "files" both on the Roswell incident and the Circleville case -- with the reader being misled into believing the "file" on Circleville contained letters, investigative forms, and an official weather balloon explanation, while the Roswell "file"...contained "nothing but that lone clipping". It was merely a lack of clarity that was confusing.

In contrasting the contents of these two imaginary "files," Randle and Schmitt were suggesting that the differences in the contents suggested something sinister in the official handling of the Roswell incident. The clear implication of their remarks was that the Circleville "file" contained letters, investigative forms, and the official weather balloon explanation, while the "file" on Roswell contained nothing but a single newspaper clipping. The truth was that there was no Blue Book file on either incident, that the nonexistent "file" on Circleville did not contain official letters, investigative forms, or weather balloon explanation, and that there was, in fact, no difference at all in how these two cases were handled in the Blue Book files. Each "file" consisted of a "lone clipping."

Randle's feeble -- if not downright insulting -- "explanation" for this sad affair was that the newspaper clipping on Circleville -- over which the Air Force had no control -- contained "more detail." That "explanation" is worthy of being characterized by using Randle's own words, the very words he used in accusing Schmitt: "He was caught and tried to lie his way out."

(End quotes from COWFLOP ALERT
Special Edition **** Friday, September 22, 1995)