A Sheriff’s Dark Roswell Secret
Written By: Anthony Bragalia
The role that was played by the Chaves County Sheriff in the Roswell UFO crash of 1947 -though of major importance- is even today not completely understood. It is also vastly underappreciated. Had George Wilcox not made the fateful call that day to the local Army base to alert them to a rancher’s discovery of unusual crash debris, the true nature of the event would have spread rapidly far and wide. The details surrounding the crash would never have been able to have been contained- and we would have had all of the answers that we seek today about the event.
The extraterrestrial reality about Roswell, the Sheriff’s deep involvement in the incident and the burden of his kept secret is revealed by:
* His Two Daughters
* His Granddaughter
* His Former Next-Door Neighbor (Interviewed by this author)
* Two Roswell Brothers
* The Town Mortician
* The Sheriff’s Deputies
And incredibly, Sheriff Wilcox’ wife also offers her own take on the crash in a little-known written account that she has quietly left for history. She personally detailed the incident in her own hand after it occured- and the document is now stored at an historical society. She speaks to the strangeness of that day and she offers us hints about her husband’s ordeal and of Roswell as an ET event.
A WILCOX REDUX
SHERIFF GEORGE WILCOX
George A. Wilcox was the Sheriff of Chaves County in July of 1947. When rancher Mac Brazel came into the Sheriff’s Office he brought with him some of the unusual materials that he told the Sheriff he had found on the Foster Ranch. Brazel had just come from the Proctors, who had a neighboring ranch. Floyd and Loretta had told Mac that he should see the Sheriff about his discovery. So Mac made the trek to town. He didn’t know what the material was and he wanted to know if the Sheriff could identify the debris and help to clear it out and off the ranch. Someone was responsible and Mac wanted Wilcox to find out and follow up.
Wilcox had no idea himself what the debris was that Mac had shown him. Skeptics gloss over a vital fact: Wilcox must have been sufficiently perplexed by the material -and sufficiently concerned about Mac’s story- to then have immediately called military brass at the base requesting that they investigate. Wilcox must have firmly believed that something major had transpired. He had to have been told something or seen something so alarming that he chose to involve other authorities and contact busy Roswell Army Air Field. And whatever it was that Mac showed George, it was not a piece of a balloon or balloon train, as the government states. Wilcox had a first-hand familiarity with ever manner of balloon. They fell with frequency on the ranchlands of the county that he served. He would not have gotten hold of RAAF over something like balloon materials.
After Wilcox made the call, almost instantly the County Jail was descended upon by military. Just as they had later told the Roswell City Fire Department, military men told the Sheriff and his deputies that there was no need for them to go out the site. They needed to defer the matter to base officers. One of Wilcox’ daughters would later say that the Sheriff felt cut out of the picture, and though it was in his jurisdiction, he was compelled to cooperate. Had he had it do over, she believed, he would have told the press and reporters first, leaving the Army out of it.
THE SHERIFF’S DAUGHTERS: WHAT OUR FATHER SAID ABOUT THE ALIENS
GEORGE WILCOX DAUGHTER, PHYLLIS
George and Inez Wilcox had two daughters, Phyllis and Elizabeth. Still alive, married and retired professionals, they are both very articulate. They also both maintain that their father was involved in an extraterrestrial event at Roswell in 1947.
Phyllis (married name McGuire) shared what she knows about her family and its involvement that day in 1947:
"He had some material with him...which I did not know what it was...He said that he had sent some deputies out there and they had seen some things. They had seen a corral that had some of the material in it and they had seen a large burnt spot on some grass about the size of a football field." She said that two of the deputies had found "an area of blackened ground" which appeared as if "something large and circular had touched down."
"When I read in the Roswell paper about the flying saucer being found, I went into his office to ask about it. I asked my father if he thought that the information about the saucer was true. He said: ’I don’t know why Brazel would come all the way in here if there wasn’t something to it.’ He said Brazel had brought in some of the material to show and that it looked like tinfoil, but when you wadded it up, it would come right back to its original shape. He felt it was an important finding and he sent deputies to investigate."
Phyllis -as a first hand witness- is confirming the presence of "memory metal" brought to the County Jail (which she said was stored in a box within a small room in the jailhouse.) She is among a great many who reported some of the debris as "remembering itself" - decades before such shape-recovery alloys were invented.
McGuire says that she was told to leave the jail while the men discussed the matter. Phyllis said that although she wanted to know additional information about what had transpired, her father would not say anything to her. Finally her mother Inez told her to stop inquiring of her father about the incident and to "leave it alone."
Phyllis now states that her mother -only once- briefly spoke of the event to her. Phyllis says: "In the early 1970s she told me more about what happened. "What was it?" I once asked her." Inez replied, "Alien." Phyllis recounts that she then asked her "Were there bodies?" to which Inez said, "Yes, there were bodies. One was still alive when they were found but it eventually died."
Phyllis continued that she was told by her mother, "They had large heads and eyes but small bodies. She said my dad felt very sorry for them. I got the impression that they were not given good care, that they were treated as enemies." Phyllis further relates: "My dad did tell her the whole thing. She always knew. She didn’t mention anyone else who was involved. They said they would kill the whole family." Of her dad she says: "I think that he felt badly about not telling me something. But then again he might have been trying to protect us."
GEORGE WILCOX’ DAUGHTER, ELIZABETH
Wilcox’ other daughter Elizabeth (married name Tulk) attested to what she knew about the event:
"In July 1947 I visited my parents in Roswell, NM. On the day my husband and I arrived, there were jeeps and some Air Force people at the County Jail. My husband Jay aksed my father what was going on. My father said, ’Well we had this man come in here saying there was this flying saucer and brought him a piece of it. He said it looked like burned grass out were the material was found."
"My mother would not talk about the event for years. However, as the years went along, my mother would say, ’Remember the time we had the flying saucer in Roswell?’ I know an article she wrote and it said that we do not know to this day if it was a flying saucer because they told my father not to say a word."
Tulk indicates that she believes that deputies had gone out to the crash site before the arrival of military to the County Jail. She said that they arrived back but had not located the crash site itself. But they did locate a large circle-shaped blackened area that was baked hard. Later, when the deputies tried to go out there again, the military had cordoned off the area and there was no way to get to see anything further. Elizabeth’s husband Jay confirms what Elizabeth has related to researchers about the event.
The talk of a burned out area associated with the crash by the Wilcox family is interesting. Others (including RAAF officers Lewis Rickett and Chester Barton) also independently spoke of a large burned or baked area. Undertaker Glenn Dennis had also mentioned seeing metal pieces in the backs of trucks at the base that appeared "burned as if high heat were applied." This "burn clue" mentioned by the Wilcox’ family supports that they are indeed telling the truth about the incident. The government maintains it was a balloon that crashed at Roswell. A balloon cannot burn and leave a baked circle in the desert.
THE SHERIFF’S GRANDDAUGHTER: "THEY WERE SPACE BEINGS"
Barbara Wilcox Dugger is the granddaughter of George and Inez Wilcox and the daughter of Elizabeth Wilcox Tulk. Barbara had lived with her grandmother Inez for a time after George had passed. She was there to assist her widowed grandmother. Perhaps because time had passed -and because of the closeness and trust that the widow had with her granddaughter- Inez opened up to Barbara even more about the incident than she did with Barbara’s mother. Inez was referred to in the family as "Big Mom." According to her granddaughter, one day when they were together watching TV, a show came on that had mentioned the subject of UFOs. Barbara recounts that her grandmother then said:
"Barbara, tell me, do you believe that there is life out there in space? I said, Big Mom you know that I do." Inez continued, "I must tell you something. But you must promise me that you will never talk to anyone else about it. Please keep this to yourself. When it all happened, the military police came to us in the Sheriff’s office and declared that if we, George and I, ever said a single word about the affair to anyone at all, they would kill not only us, but also the whole family." Barbara asked her grandmother if she believed that they would actually carry out such threats. Inez replied, "What do you think?"
In Barbara’s own words, she recounts what her grandmother had privately and reluctanty related to her:
"She said someone had come to Roswell and told him about the incident. My grandfather went out to the site. It was in the evening. There was a big burned area, and he saw debris. He also saw four space beings. One of the little men was alive. Their heads were large. They wore suits like silk. After he returned to his office, my grandfather got phone calls from all over the world. If she says it happened, it happened. My grandmother was a very loyal citizen of the United States and she thought it was in the best interest of the country not to talk about the event...she said nothing." Barbara added: "She said that the event shocked him. He never wanted to be Sheriff again after that."
THE SHERIFF’S WIFE PUTS IT IN PRINT: "IT WAS A SECRET WELL KEPT"
In its reference records The Roswell Historical Society holds a little-known document that is truly historical. Written decades ago, this document was authored by George Wilcox’ wife Inez. Inez and George were inseparable. They lived in a residence above the jailhouse and she would help out around the office and assist George in running operations. Inez knew what George knew.
Inez had thought enough about the crash incident to commit some of the details about it to print that her husband could not. The fact that she did so shows that the incident had a lasting impact on her, and that Roswell was indeed discussed (and even here documented in a memoir) "before all of the hoopla" with the publication of the Roswell books of the early 1990s.
The narrative, entitled "Four Years in the County Jail" was about what life was like for a lawman and his wife in the rural West. Inez thought that perhaps it could be carried one day in a magazine like Reader’s Digest. Inez includes a brief (and somewhat cryptic) mention about the crash in her unpublished manuscript. She relates, in part:
"One day a rancher north of town brought in what he called a flying saucer. There had been many reports all over the United States by people who claimed they had seen a flying saucer. The rumors were in many variations: The saucer was from a different planet, and the people flying it were looking down over us. The Germans had invented this strange contraption, a formidable weapon...Since no one had seen a flying saucer (up close) Mr. Wilcox called headquarters at Walker Air Force Base (formerly RAAF) and reported the find. Before he hung up the telephone almost, an officer walked in. He quickly loaded the object into a truck and that was the last glimpse that any one had of it."
"Simultaneously the telephone began to ring, long distance calls from newspapers in New York, England, France and from government officials, military officials and the calls kept up for 24 hours straight. They would talk to no one but the Sheriff. However the officer who picked up the suspicious looking saucer admonished Mr. Wilcox to tell as little as possible about it and refer all calls to the base. A secret well-kept."
Of course -according to her daughters and granddaughter- Inez knew far more than she had written in her draft article. Perhaps though, in her own way, Inez left a hint for history. Inez died at age 93 and for decades held inside her a truth that was no doubt impossibly hard to bear. Supporting this, Wilcox’ daughter Phyllis says: "Mother put a short description of what happened in 1947 on paper, which I suspect she wrote before talking to us about the event. Possibly she was still afraid to talk, but even more concerned that the story would be lost."
THE DEPUTY SHERIFFS: "WE KNOW NOTHING"
Wilcox’ two deputies were implicated as involved in the incident by several people. They had gone out to see the crash and saw a strange burned out area and a military cordon surrounding the site. Still, Deputy B.A. "Bernie" Clark (who also took the initial report from rancher Mac Brazel about the discovered debris) and Deputy Tommy Thompson were very coy with both their family and to inquiring researchers about ever answering any questions whatsoever about the Roswell crash incident.
Deputy Tommy Thompson (now deceased) once when asked about the Roswell crash and his involvement, replied "I don’t want to get shot." It was not entirely clear that Thompson was jesting. Thompson told a researcher that he was "not at the office that day" when the crash occurred. Thompson did however confirm one thing: After the crash his boss George Wilcox was "finished, destroyed." And in fact Wilcox never did seek or run for County Sheriff again.
Deputy B.A. Clark (also now deceased) was similarly tight-lipped about the affair. He would say very little of substance about the matter, even to his own sons Gene and Charles Clark, even though they that knew their father was there at the time. What could silence these two lawmen even decades after the crash incident?
THE NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR: "GEORGE CHANGED"
This author located a former neighbor of the Wilcox family from 1947. Rogene Cordes lived a "few doors down" from George Wilcox with her husband, a RAAF officer. She was at the time employed at a Roswell bank as a teller. Rogene’s full story about her and her husband’s knowledge of the crash event is told in an article archived on this site entitled "The General’s Widow: A Roswell Tell-All."
Rogene even today (retired and in her 80s) does not like to talk about the Wilcox involvement. Though Rogene was candid and direct when she related to me other stories about her General husband and his connection to Roswell, she seemed especially reticent to comment on Sheriff George Wilcox. She would only tell me:
"George Wilcox and Inez were threatened and were afraid for their own reasons. They really did not want to ever discuss it, not even to talk about it with their friends. George changed after all that." That is all that Rogene would relate.
THE BROTHERS AND THE MORTICIAN: "WILCOX WARNED US"
Ruben Anaya was a Roswell resident at the time of the crash in 1947. He was also a political volunteer who was very close to the Lt. Governor of NM at the time, Joseph Montoya. Anaya recounted to researchers in the 1990s his story of having driven Montoya to the Roswell Army Air Field base. Montoya, exasperated when he returned to the brothers’ waiting car, related to them that he had just seen extraterrestrial beings in the base hangar and that their craft had crashed in the desert. The Anaya story is more fully detailed in several Roswell books.
What ties this into the Wilcox story is this: When the brothers returned to their home after returning Montoyo to the hotel where he was staying, Ruben explains, they had received a surprise: George Wilcox was seen waiting outside the house. They wondered what Wilcox wanted and went to greet him. But it was soon became obvious that this was not a social visit. Wilcox was there with a warning. Wilcox told them that, under the direction of the military, he was delivering a message that he needed to make clear to them: He knew that they were out at the base earlier. He demanded of them that they not say anything to anyone ever at any time about what Lt. Governor Montoya had told them out at the base.
A very similar story is told by a mortician employed at the Ballard Funeral Home in Roswell at the time of the crash, Glenn Dennis. Dennis is well-known to Roswell followers as having maintained that he was told by a nurse that she viewed an ET corpse at the base hospital. But Dennis also recounts something that is sometimes lost in the details of his story:
Dennis states that after he returned from the base to the funeral home his father was later visited by Sheriff George Wilcox. Wilcox and Dennis’ father were close friends. But despite this, Wilcox made it evident that his visit was not a friendly one. He forcefully informed Dennis’ father that his son must never speak about anything that he may have or thinks that he may have seen or heard that was unusual at the base. To do so would cause great harm. He wanted him to relate to Glenn that he was never to discuss the matter ever.
Though parts of Dennis’ story are today placed in some question by some researchers, there is independent corroboration for this piece of Glenn’s account. Former Roswell researcher John Price (himself a Roswell area resident) brought up the matter in the 1980s to Glenn’s fraternal twin brother Bob, who was also Price’s friend, explained to Price that he was away from the area at the time of the crash. Because of this he could not confirm or refute any his brother Glenn’s story, instead saying to Price that "It is Glenn’s story to tell." However Bob did say that he could though support one specific part of Glenn’s story because he knew it personally to be true:
When he had returned home for a visit with his father later in 1947, Bob said that his father did mention to him that George Wilcox had earlier that summer come by the house "madder than hell" at Glenn and that his father had wondered "what kind of trouble" Glenn had gotten himself into. He also mentioned that Wilcox was accompanied by Deputy Tommy Thompson. Recall that Thompson refused to discuss the matter later with researchers, only indicating to them that "he did not want to get shot" and that Wilcox was "destroyed by the events."
GEORGE WILCOX: A SHERIFF IN SHOCK
Wilcox appears like a "deer caught in headlights" in the photo above. This rare photo pictures Wilcox while answering phone calls about the crash incident. The Sheriff was in shock. And he was caught between a "rock and a hard place." George Wilcox had his family threatened. And he was made to threaten other families. To suddenly find himself in such a situation had to have been excruciating to George.
Parts of the Wilcox story have of course been related before in various books. But here it has been detailed and "tied together" in perhaps the most complete way ever put forth. Every known element to the story has been included. New information has also been offered that provides additional insight into the event. And the Wilcox story demands further attention because it may well be the most compelling one ever told in support of the ET nature of the Roswell crash.
The story is internally consistent in all respects. This corroboration of details is rather remarkable. And far too many confirm far too much. It is frankly inconceivable that 10 people (two daughters, a granddaughter, a mother and widow, a next-door neighbor, two deputies, two local brothers and the embalmer) had all conspired to lie about all of this. If even one of them is telling the truth, Sheriff George Wilcox is indeed an historical figure who played a critical role in an historical extraterrestrial event.
Well-liked before the incident (and a sure-win for re-election) Wilcox instead decided not to run. He was clearly overwhelmed by the event. He knew that he could not run. He had seen too much and he was forcibly made to intimidate too many. And the "burden of knowledge" that we are not alone in the Universe was simply too much for a simple man. He was a small-town Sheriff who must have wished that he had never been made privy to the biggest secret in history.
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