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Frank Kaufmann

Kaufmann has his own story to tell


Though Controversial, He is Believed by Many

[Frank Kaufmann kept his silence a lot longer than many other alleged witnesses to the Roswell incident. The first time most people heard of him was in the pages of the book "The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell" by Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt, published in 1994. Even in that book, most of Kaufmann's testimony was credited to a fictional character called Steve MacKenzie. Kaufmann appeared on a television program about Roswell later that year, where he pointed out a crash site now known to be located on a ranch owned by Hub Corn, 20 miles north of Roswell. In that program, Kaufmann's face was never shown. More recently, he has gone fully public. Some researchers consider his testimony unreliable, but Randle and Schmitt regard him as a key witness. Likewise, forensic artist William Louis McDonald has relied heavily on Kaufmann's testimony to reconstruct a plausible model of the crashed spacecraft, recently marketed by Testors Corporation. If Kaufmann can be believed, his recollections of Roswell may rival in importance those of Colonel Philip Corso.

The following text is excerpted from an Associated Press story dated June 30, 1997.]

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) -- An 80-year-old man with bushy eyebrows sits in his tidy brick house and talks about the time he saw the aliens.

Frank Kaufmann doesn't seem crazy. He smiles often and is warmly polite, if a bit grumpy about the recent influx of UFO buffs.

"You've got these guys coming out of the woodwork," Kaufmann says. "There's people who said they've been abducted, there's women claiming they've given birth to alien babies. That's just a bunch of crap, see."

Kaufmann has his own story to tell.

Fifty years ago, Kaufmann says, he and several soldiers and other civilians working at the Roswell Army Air Field were dispatched to check on reports of a tumbling fireball that had crashed northwest of town.

They found the site easily -- even in the afternoon sun, he says, the glow was visible from the shoulder of Highway 285.

"We were 200-300 yards from the impact area and it didn't look like a plane, it wasn't anything like a missile," he says. "It was kind of a strange looking craft, kind of a horseshoe, almost a Stealth bomber-type shape.

"When we saw what it was, this strange craft and the bodies, we were just shocked," he says. "We radioed in to have body bags sent out, and they were carted off to the base hospital. The craft itself was loaded on a flatbed with a tarp on it and driven right down Main Street to the base."

He describes five dead aliens.

"One was thrown out, it was up against the arroyo; one was half-in, half-out, and the other three were inside," he says.

They had neither big eyes nor long, stringy fingers, he says, but were "trim, good-looking people."

"They were hairless and had kind of ash-colored skin. They were maybe 5-foot-3 or 5-foot-4," he says.

Kaufmann says he and his colleagues "for security reasons took a monkey oath" the evening after visiting the site: "We saw nothing, we heard nothing, we will say nothing."

For 47 years, Kaufmann kept the vow.

Three years ago, as alleged witnesses began speaking up, Kaufmann told his story to authors Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt. He insisted, at first, that his name not be revealed. These days, after repeating his tale a number of times, Kaufmann is more candid.

"I'm not going to be around much longer," he says. "Folks might as well know."

Flash: Frank Kaufmann Exposed!

In an article published on the CUFOS website and the IUR newsletter for December, 2002, Kevin Randle publicly announced that he no longer has any confidence in the stories told by Frank Kaufmann.

Frank Kaufmann's story (he was called Steve McKenzie in the book) was the lynch-pin to the book The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell (Randle and Schmitt, 1994), a book that is considered by many to be the definitive version of the "Roswell Crash". But for some time now, his credibility has been under attack as parts of his story failed to check out. Kevin Randle had been one of the researchers defending Frank, even going to so far as to admitting that while parts of Frank's story may have have been fabricated, the basic core of his testimony was, in Kevin's view, still valid.

Since Frank's death in February, 2001, researchers have gained access to his papers, and found some disturbing documents. Frank, it seems, was wont to forging documents to support the tales he was spinning for Roswell researchers.

For instance, Frank claimed to have special intelligence training, high military rank (Master Sergeant) and military assignments in the 40's that would seem to indicate that his claims of special duties in Roswell were valid. To reinforce his claims to the researchers, Frank produced a photocopy of one of his separation papers (the Separation Qualification Record) that appeared to back up his story.

But he would never allow the researchers more than a glance, and refused to allow them to keep a copy. This in of itself might tend to raise suspicions, but his gift for gab apparently smoothed over any objections the researchers might have had.

After Frank's death, his widow allowed researchers access to his private papers. It was in these papers that that the real forms were found, and the real truth finally came out- he had falsified his records to the researchers.

The conclusions drawn by Randle and the investigators were obvious- Frank Kaufmann had, for the last 10 years, been gulling the Roswell researchers with lies, forgeries, and tall tales.

You can read the complete story by Kevin Randle and Mark Rodeghier at the CUFOS site.


The following comments were part of the original page on this site regarding Frank Kaufmann. They are being left in this record in part to show the evolution of the suspicion that all was not right with Frank's tale

Frank Kaufmann is a person that Kevin Randle claims is still one of his very few credible witnesses.

"I find Frank Kaufmann to be credible because, to this point no one has demonstrated that he has lied about anything. There are those who don't like his testimony because of what it does to their personal beliefs and agendas, but the fact is, he hasn't been caught lying."
United Kingdom UFO Network Saturday 11th April 1998 IRC meeting on #UFO)

He hasnt been caught lying?

Kent Jeffrey caught him lying when he visited him and documented this in his rationale for not believing that Roswell was a crashed alien spaceship.

Kevin Randle has shown that Frank Kaufmanns story hasnt stayed the same over time. In fact, his newer stories dont resemble his earlier story at all.

"...Kaufmann didnt work on radar, wasnt radar trained, but he claims he was sent to monitor the radar at the direct orders of the general!
Yet, at this time, Kaufmann was only a civilian clerk in the personnel office at Roswell Army Air Field!"

In Randle and Donald Schmitts first book, Kaufmann wasnt an active participant but an only an observer. When talking about the interview with Kaufmann, Randle and Schmitt (page 166, UFO Crash at Roswell) stated:

"Kaufmann had been on the outside from most of it. His friend, a warrant officer named Robert Thomas, had come in on a special flight from Washington, D.C., and seemed to be involved in the retrieval in some fashion. Thomas let Kaufmann know a few things. He talked about the debris field and suggested that there was a search in progress for the flight crew. .... When asked if he knew anything at all about the recovery of the debris, he (Kaufmann) said, "I know that one crate was taken to a hanger and left there overnight. ...."

He didn't know what was in the crate, only that it had gotten special treatment: lots of guards around it and no one being allowed to approach it. He also said that he had been sworn to secrecy although he didn't know that much....

The only thing he (Kaufmann) was sure about was the crate that had spen most of one night in the hanger with MPs watching it."

But in Randle and Schmitts second book, Kaufmann was an active participant to the point that he was one of the most pivotal players! Of course, they changed his name from Kaufmann to Steve MacKenzie. Supposedly they made the change of name because "a former CIA employee, who in November 1992, injected himself into the Roswell case."

Karl Pflock, the person Randle and Schmitt are referring to, is retired and did at one time work for the CIA. He is also a UFO researcher and didnt approach Kaufmann at the behest of the CIA. So why did Randle and Schmitt bring in the former employment by Pflock at the CIA? Could it be to make Kaufmanns tale seem more believeable?

In Randle and Schmitts first Roswell book, Kaufmann wouldnt tell them the nature of his work. But he did admit that "I didnt work on radar, I wasnt a mechanic. I wasnt a pilot."

So he didnt work on radar. In fact, Kaufmann wasnt trained on radar.

Yet, in Randle and Schmitts second book, Kaufmann claimed that he "received a call from Brigadier General Martin F. Scalon of the Air Defense Command, ordering him to report to the radar at White Sands. A mysterious UFO had been detected on its radar. "MacKenzie (Kaufmann) was to monitor the objects movements and report them directly to the general. MacKenzie could not leave the scope unattended for even the shortest of times. In fact, once his watch had been established, he set up a system of mirrors so that he could see the screen even when he needed to use the latrine."

So, Kaufmann didnt work on radar, wasnt radar trained, but he claims he was sent to monitor the radar at the direct orders of the general!

MacKenzie/Kaufmann was supposedly told to abandon his watch on the radar and to return to Roswell. According to Randle and Schmitt only nine men "with the highest clearance and real need to know" were allowed full access to the crash site. Mackenzie (Kaufmann) was supposedly one of these men.

Yet, at this time, Kaufmann was only a civilian clerk in the personnel office at Roswell Army Air Field!

Still, Randle claims, "I find Frank Kaufmann to be credible because, to this point no one has demonstrated that he has lied about anything. There are those who don't like his testimony because of what it does to their personal beliefs and agendas, but the fact is, he hasn't been caught lying."
(United Kingdom UFO Network Saturday 11th April 1998 IRC meeting on #UFO)

Kaufmann is not only known as MacKenzie in the Roswell fable. He has also been called elsewhere, Joseph Osborn.

A man of many names and stories is our Frank Kaufmann.

Randle claims that no one has shown that Frank Kaufmann has lied. Yet the stories told by Kaufmann to Randle and Schmitt contradict each other.

One of the six New Mexicans directly affected by the crash of what was first called a UFO, then a weather balloon, shares memories of the event 50 years ago

Frank Kaufmann, 80
"The first or second of July, the radar screen lit up."
"To me," Kaufmann says, "it's something that's true and it happened."
Kaufmann, a native of New York, was a noncommissioned officer in charge at the Roswell Air Field until Oct. 31, 1945, when he separated from the Army Air Forces. He resumed the same duties as a civilian the next day, and served for three more years. Kaufmann was assigned to an intelligence unit, S1.
In early July, he was called to the White Sands Proving Ground (now the White Sands Missile Range) to monitor unusual activity being picked up by radar.
"They were getting these blips and they didn't think too much about it. There was no such thing as UFOs, it didn't exist. But what brought it to their attention was these erratic movements and the repeated rapid movements. That's when they alerted us to find out what the hell was going on.
"The first or second of July, the radar screen lit up. Then the radar started to act normal again. We had trained radar people that were assigned to our group that told us that something went down east, where we didn't know. What drew our attention to the site was that people driving on 285 ... saw this flame going down, they saw this glow. And it was common at that time to call the base and say, 'We saw something.' That's how we knew how to locate it."
The base called Kaufmann and his colleagues back to Roswell, they met with base intelligence officer Jesse Marcel and base commander Col. William Blanchard, and a search crew was dispatched.
"It was pitch black. It was a thunderstorm, by the way. Off the highway we could see this kind of glow. The terrain was very rough and it was very wet. It was full of caliche out there. It was like driving on ice. We had to cut the wire fence and I think maybe we got 200 to 300 yards from it and it looked like it wasn't a plane or a missile or anything like that. So we radioed in for a special group, the chemical boys, to inspect the area. When they told us it was all right to go in is when we saw the debris field.
"We were there just dumbfounded. We didn't know what to think. And we didn't know how anybody else would react if we told them what we saw. They would probably wonder what we had been drinking."
The aliens "didn't have any of these big eyes or horns or anything else or spiny fingers. They were very good-looking people, ash-colored faces and skin. About 5 feet 4, 5 feet 5. Eyes a little more pronounced, a little bit larger. Small ears, small nose. Fine features. Hairless. There were five. They had a very tight, almost a wetsuit, silver colored. I just saw two of them. One was thrown out of the craft itself. And one was half in and half out. They were all dead.
"I didn't go near the craft itself. I just took a quick look because we were too busy trying to get a flatbed out there and trucks to get rid of everything before daylight set in. The craft itself, I'd say it must have been 20, 22 feet long and maybe 10, 12 feet in width. It wasn't too big. It was split in two. The Stealth bomber is the spitting image of what the craft looked like. There was no dome. The interesting thing is, the craft carried no fuel. Underneath the craft was a series of cells, octagon-shaped cells.
"One of our boys noticed that deterioration was setting in on the skin. So we radioed in to have some body bags. They were put in body bags. They took them on the jeep to the highway because we couldn't get too many trucks in there. The bodies were the first to go, then the craft next."
Kaufmann does not remember the date of the operation, but he believes it was the early morning of July 5. Once back on the base, he did not have any further contact with the craft or the bodies. He and the other members of the team were told to never talk about the crash. He began to tell his story in the 1990s after other witnesses began releasing information.
Kaufmann stayed in Roswell, working for the Chamber of Commerce for 30 years before retiring.
"It's something that you live with all your life. You can't erase it out of your mind. Seeing those bodies and seeing the craft -- we're not alone."

All their stories:

  • "To my way of thinking, if we're here why can't somebody else be out there?" Loretta Proctor, 82.
  • "The first or second of July, the radar screen lit up." Frank Kaufmann, 80
  • "He said he needed caskets about 3-foot-6 or 4 feet, hermetically sealed baby caskets." Glenn Dennis, 72
  • "He told me that he wanted me to put out a press release which in effect stated that we had in our possession a crashed flying saucer." Walter Haut, 74
  • "They were carrying boxes of strange-looking material." Robert Shirkey, 74
  • "The phone started ringing. I took the story off the wire and read it (on the air) as a bulletin a couple of times." Frank Joyce, 74
  • A Little More On Frank Kaufman

     >>The big point here is if other investigations corroborate parts
    >>of the story, but we must also be aware of contamination. How
    >>much did Kaufmann know from those other sources... I know that
    >>he watched the Unsolved Mysteries segment because he talked
    >>about it having seen it. From that point on, he kept himself
    >>informed of about the latest in the Roswell case.

    Good Morning, Gildas, Dave, List, All -

    Before we start, let me ask a simple question. How many lies and
    how many forged documents must we discover before we decide
    that a witness is unreliable? No, I'm not referring to little mistakes
    that are the fault of memory tricks, but of honest to gosh lies and
    documents that were forged.


    >This is another interesting aspect of the Kaufmann problem.
    >Perhaps he came across some real information and began to
    >elaborate on them?

    Yes, it was on Unsolved Mysteries and he jumped right in. Oh,
    you mean official sources? Then he came across nothing.

    >I would like you to give your opinion now about the "impact
    >site", closer to Roswell. After the demise of both Ragsdale and
    >Kaufmann, what is left of it?


    >I think there are some indirect testimonies, still standing,
    >about it?

    >And what do you think of the testimonies about bodies at the
    >Foster ranch? I mentioned that in my previous message. I forgot
    >to mention the source - a very interesting article - "Mack
    >Brazel Reconsidered" by Thomas Carey and Donald Schmit, in the
    >IUR of winter 1999, which told of the new revelations made by
    >Frank Joyce in 1998, that Brazel had seen the bodies.

    After all the years of saying one thing, supplying documents,
    and answering questions, suddenly, he is talking of Brazel
    seeing the bodies and providing detailed information. Please
    don't be offended if I'm skeptical. Ask Tom and Don about the
    grape soda and his ride out to the Brazel ranch with Whitmore or
    some of the more bizarre stories that Joyce has told over the
    years such as his adventures during a mountain fishing trip.

    >At the end of their IUR article, they mention other sources.

    >Wilcox's widow Inez who said that her husband "went out there to
    >the site. There was a big burned area, and he saw debris. It was
    >in the evening. There were "space beings"". (She did not give
    >the location, apparently)

    Actually, we don't know this. It was Inez's granddaughter who
    said that Inez said that George Wilcox had seen the big burned
    area and the debris. He sent deputies out... which means it was
    probably in Chavez County and not Lincoln County where the
    Brazel (Foster) ranch was located. But note that the information
    is third-hand at best. While the granddaughter is a nice woman
    and telling us what she believes to be the truth, when we filter
    data through so many witnesses, they are easily distorted.

    >A woman in Ruidoso remembered her husband coming back from a
    >detail to a ranch "up near Corona" where bodies had been found.
    >His clothes smelled very bad.

    Yes, this is all well and good, but there have also been
    aircraft accidents in the area. Tommy Tyree told us that during
    the Second World War an aircraft had crashed in the area and the
    teenagers from Corona knew where it had happened though the
    military had wanted to keep the site a secret. My point is that
    this tale told by a woman in Ruidoso does not specifically take
    us to the alien bodies... Interpretation has led us down the
    wrong path more than once.

    In their story, neither Carey nor Schmitt provides any evidence
    that this event is related to the crash of an alien ship. The
    bodies could just as easily be human as alien, and it is the
    woman's interpretation of the situation that is in error. There
    may be no way to ever learn if her late husband had been
    involved in the recovery of alien creatures or the unfortunate
    victims of an aircraft accident.

    >According to the family of the late Meyers Wahnee, who was a
    >pilot in Roswell, he told them that there were three separate
    >sites ! Bodies were found and first flown to Texas. "Decomposing
    >body parts" had been found among the debris at the Foster ranch.

    >BTW, Brazel complained to Joyce about the stench of the bodies.

    >I remember that, after your speech in Roswell in 1995, I
    >questioned your revised time line which seemed a bit short to
    >allow for such a decomposition, but you replied: "what do we
    >know about the decomposition of Et bodies?". Well, I still think
    >that these bodies would have been there a longer time.

    How long do you think they were there? Couldn't have been more
    than a couple of days, given everything else. And I ask again,
    just what do we know about the decomposition of an alien body? I
    can think of lots of reasons that an alien body might not
    decompose as quickly or in the same fashion as a human body.

    >Carey and Schmit also mention the last testimony of Loretta
    >Proctor, at the age of 81, who said that her son "Dee" took her
    >to visit a place where "something else" had been found, about
    >2.5 miles east-southeast of the debris field".

    Which is the site the Cliff Stone tried to feed us in 1989 which
    he said came from the Proctors. But, as I mentioned in another
    post, Loretta Proctor had introduced, in 1995, the idea that
    Mack Brazel had told her about the pink writing and this was the
    first time she had ever mentioned anything like that. So, I'm
    cautious about these new revelations that come so long after a
    witness has told the story of the crash time and again. We must
    be very careful here.

    >What do you think of all these testimonies?

    Given my recent track record, I'm not sure my take on these
    testimonies is all that important. I will point out that they
    are not first hand, but second hand at best. And I will point
    out that we have other testimony that is in conflict with it,
    from the story told by Melvin Brown to that of Frankie Rowe,
    none of which mentioned any sort of odor associated with the
    bodies. All I'm saying here is that we must proceed with caution
    because we have been badly burned in the past.