Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt are responsible for two of the more
popular books about the Roswell Saga: UFO Crash at Roswell and
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,
and the "star" of this
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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
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.
"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)
RANDLE DUMPS -- AND DUMPS ON -- SCHMITT
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
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
Special Edition **** Friday, September 22, 1995)