Lt. Walter Haut (June 2, 1922 December 15, 2005)
was the public information officer (PIO) at the 509th Bomb
Group based in Roswell, New Mexico during 1947. Early on
July 8, 1947 he was ordered by the base commander, Colonel
William Blanchard, to draft a press release to the public,
announcing that the United States Army Air Forces had recovered
a crashed "flying disc" from a nearby ranch. The
press release garnered widespread national and even international
media attention. The U.S. Army Air Force retracted the claim
later the same day, saying instead that a weather balloon
had been recovered. Haut also received some criticism and
ridicule in the nation's press for putting out the original
press release. The series of events eventually became known
as the Roswell UFO Incident.
interviewed about the incident decades later, he claimed
only a minor role, but he expressed his belief that there
was "no chance" senior officers who handled
the recovered material, including base commander Blanchard,
mistook a weather balloon for a flying saucer.
later claimed greater involvement, including seeing alien
corpses and a craft at a base hangar and handling the
strange crash debris.
Haut was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 3, 1922. During
World War II, he was a bombardier flying 35 missions against
Japan. At Operation Crossroads, the A-bomb tests at the
Bikini atoll in the summer of 1946, he dropped instrument
packages to record data from the bomb blasts. In 1947,
he became the public information officer for the 509th
Atomic Bomb Group at Roswell Army Air Field in New Mexico.
The base commander, Colonel William H. Blanchard, was
a close personal friend.
1991, Haut and two other men founded the International
UFO Museum where he presided as president until 1996.
Haut died on December 15, 2005 at the age of eighty-three.
and the Roswell UFO incident
the first book on the subject, The Roswell Incident, Haut
was said to be "not a witness."(p. 72) He told
interviewers in 1979 that base commander Colonel William
Blanchard asked him to write and distribute the press
release but that was told that when he asked to see the
object in question, "his request was impossible."
UFO Crash at Roswell, Haut appears as a witness, though
not to any of actual debris. During a March 1989 interview,
he said he knew "nothing" about what was recovered.
(p. 139) He described being asked by Blanchard to write
the press release. "I didn't hear about it until,
I guess, Jess [Jesse Marcel, head intelligence officer,
who initially investigated and recovered some of the debris]
was on his way to the flightline." (ibid) He
did, however, describe what Marcel told him: "It
was something he had never seen and didn't believe it
was of this planet. I trusted him on his knowledge."
(p. 142) He further stated: "I think there was a
giant cover-up on this thing." (p. 143)
affidavit signed May 14, 1993, he repeated the above claimed
sequence of events and added "I believe Col. Blanchard
saw the material, because he sounded positive about what
the material was. There is no chance he would have mistaken
it for a weather balloon. Neither is there any chance
that Major Marcel would have been mistaken."
this time, Haut, along with Max Littell and Glenn Dennis
had opened the International UFO Museum and Research Center.
in a recorded interview from 2000 with Wendy Connors and
Dennis Balthauser, Haut claimed to have personally viewed
an extraterrestrial or alien craft and a body in a Roswell
Army Air Field base hangar and being present at a senior
staff meeting where a cover-up of events was discussed.
Haut also placed Brigadier General Roger M. Ramey, head
of the Eighth Army Air Force in Fort Worth, Texas, at
the meeting. Ramey would later tell the press it was in
fact a misidentified weather balloon after Haut had put
out the press release of the recovered "flying disc."
December 2002, Haut also signed a sealed affidavit in
which he went into more details about the craft, debris,
bodies, and cover-up. Both the interview and affidavit
were not to be released until after his death.
full text of the affidavit was first published in June
2007 in the book Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the 60-Year
Cover-Up. According to the authors, Haut had sworn to
his friend Colonel Blanchard not to reveal in his lifetime
the events he witnessed and therefore told researchers
either that he couldn't remember or that he had only prepared
and released the information that was given to him at
the time and denied he knew anything else.
his affidavit, Haut stated that on July 8, 1947, following
the press release he put out in the afternoon, he was
taken out to a base hangar by Colonel Blanchard. There
he saw an egg-shaped craft about 15 feet long and several
small bodies about four feet tall with large heads. He
was convinced the bodies were alien and had come from
a crashed spacecraft.
also stated that there had been two major crash sites
that he had become aware of the day before, the first
a large debris field about 75 miles northwest of Roswell
(the site investigated by Major Marcel), and the second,
about 40 miles north of town, where the main craft and
bodies were found. The north site had just been found
by civilians on July 7, and apparently word had already
gotten out about it in the public.
the staff morning meeting on July 8, which Haut said he
attended, key officers at the base were briefed and strange
debris was handed around, which nobody could identify. Haut
also said there was a discussion as to what the public was
to be told. General Ramey had flown in to attend the meeting.
Haut said Ramey suggested telling the public about the more
distant debris field as a diversion from the more accessible
and important body/craft site. He felt Ramey was following
orders from The Pentagon. Haut added he was not aware at
the time exactly what information was to be divulged. But
the press release he put out a few hours later spoke of
the more distant site in general terms, saying that the
Army Air Force had come into possession of a "flying
disc" with cooperation of a local rancher, and it was
being flown on to "higher headquarters" after
being examined at the base. "Higher headquarters"
quickly turned out to be Gen. Ramey in Fort Worth, who within
a few hours said the "flying disc" was a misidentified