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A long-time supporter of the Roswell UFO theory appears to have concluded he was wrong.
It is a question that has been at the forefront of the UFO debate ever since, with claims surfacing that dead aliens were even found there.
Roswell has been at the heart of the UFO scene since the military announced in a press release it had found the remains of a crashed flying saucer in the nearby desert, in July 1947.
But the following day it retracted the statement, saying it was in fact a damaged US Air Force air balloon.
Witnesses later came forward to say there had been alien bodies within the “crashed craft”, which along with the wreckage were then taken to the mysterious top-secret Area 51 military base in Nevada.
A CGI image of a ‘boomerang UFO’ said to have been seen in Roswell.
But, now one of the leading supporters of the theory that aliens did crash land in the destroy nearly 70 years ago, appears to have had second thoughts.
Kevin Randle co-wrote with Donald Schmitt the 1991 book UFO Crash at Roswell, and in 1994, The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell.
But, in a new solo book revisiting the case, entitled Roswell in the 21st Century, he appears to have reached a different conclusion.
Writing on his own blog after a debate blew up on line that he had recanted the whole Roswell case in his new book, Mr Randle stopped short of a full admission of this, but did admit to a change of heart.
He said: “The question being asked about me, but never actually put to me, is if I have abandoned the alien model for the Roswell crash.
The short, flip answer is read the book.
“The more lengthy answer is well sort of.
“The book was meant to be a cold case look at the Roswell crash, starting at the beginning and shifting through the mountains of evidence that have been gathered by a number of researchers… all of whom seemed to have a biased opinion from ‘yes, it was alien’ to ‘no, it was a Mogul balloon’.”
“To all of them (which at one time included me with some of them), I say I don’t know.
The question being asked about me, but never actually put to me, is if I have abandoned the alien model for the Roswell crash. The short, flip answer is read the book. The more lengthy answer is well sort of.
“And there you have it… I go through the whole story, document it as best I can, and in the end, I have to say that the case is built on testimony gathered decades after the fact and that everything we know about memory is that it really is no good when it comes to something like this.”
Mr Randle in his new book said he had concluded that the eight people who told him they had actually seen alien bodies at the crash site “had not been telling the truth.”
Sceptic Robert Sheaffer, who wrote Bad UFOs: Critical Thinking About UFO Claims, said: “So Randle has raised the number of those who lied about seeing alien bodies at Roswell from four to eight, and there never were more than eight.
“This completely undercuts the need for bizarre ET or non-ET explanations for alleged alien body sightings at Roswell.
“Stalin and Mengele sent in deformed children in a Commie Nazi saucer: Annie Jacobs.
“The US Army flew in dwarfish captured Japanese pilots in a bizarre craft: Nick Redfern. “The Air Force dropped crash test dummies in the desert: US Air Force.
“All of these highly implausible explanations are unnecessary, because there are no truthful accounts of alien bodies at Roswell to explain.
“Randle doggedly pursued the Holy Grail of alien evidence at Roswell for more than thirty years.
“When he realised it wasn’t there, he was brave enough to admit it.”
UK UFO expert, Nigel Watson, author of the UFO Investigations Manual, does not believe the mystery will ever be solved.
He said: “Randle doesn’t exactly debunk Roswell rather he hedges his bets and is open to an alien
explanation, but at the moment we don’t have sufficient evidence to say one way or the other.
“Given the time lapsed and the many contradictory witness statements and rumours surrounding this incident I don’t think there will be an answer that satisfies everyone, unless of course it was an alien spaceship craft and the US releases this to the public.”
But Nick Pope, a former UFO researcher in the UK Ministry of Defence, has launched a campaign to solve the case before the 70th anniversary this July, in the hope that someone in the town hung on to a piece of the wreckage and can produce it.