I moved to the United States to live in 2001, and, in the summer, I traveled around much of the west coast – chiefly to do a series of lectures for various UFO groups situated in California. An old lady put out a thread and asking if we could talk. Well, that would be just fine. On July 28, 2001 I hung out with the then-seventy-nine-year-old woman: we had lunch in a Los Angeles restaurant and chatted extensively. She was driven to the restaurant by a family member, a much younger man who seemed to be equally as worried as she was. Nevertheless, she agreed to share what she knew, providing her name was never published (although, she was required to provide Simon & Schuster’s legal people with a release form, as were each and all of the other whistleblowers, too). So, I sat back and listened. I referred to her in the book as the Black Widow. When we met, and knowing that she had read my 1998 book, The FBI Files, my natural assumption was that she wanted to tell me something about UFO encounters at the Oak Ridge atomic facility, where she worked. Makes sense, right? No. I was dead wrong: what she actually wanted to share with me was certain information that, if provable, would radically alter the face of Ufology and blow the Roswell case right out of the water. As we ate, I wondered, with a fair degree of excitement: what the hell have I got myself into? It wasn’t long before I had the answer to that loaded question.
The Black Widow, born in 1922, had been in the employ of Oak Ridge from the mid-1940s to the early 1950s. While there, and on three occasions between May and July 1947, she saw a number of unusual-looking bodies brought to the facility – and under stringent security. They looked like regular Japanese people, she said. Others, however, displayed the signs of certain medical conditions: dwarfism, oversized heads, and bulging eyes. A few of the bodies were extensively damaged – as if they had been in violent accidents, which proved to be the case. In all, fifteen such bodies were brought to Oak Ridge under great secrecy; all of them reportedly used in certain high-altitude, balloon-based experiments in New Mexico, one of which led to the Roswell legend. Or, became a part of the legend is probably more correct. The Black Widow said: “Those bodies – the Roswell bodies – they weren’t aliens. The government could care less about those stories about alien bodies found at Roswell – except to hide the truth.” She added she didn’t know anything at all about how these people were brought to the United States, but she heard at Oak Ridge that some of them were in the States in late 1945 and brought over with Japanese doctors and Nazi doctors who had been doing similar experiments. “That’s when some of this began,” she told me. The story continued that at least some of the people used in the tests were American prisoners given the opportunity to cut the lengths of their sentences – if, that is, they were willing to take a chance and take part in the dicey experiments. Reportedly, a number did take the bait, but failed to survive the flights. Not all of the handicapped people came from Japan, but from “hospitals and “asylums” in the United States. The grim plot was that they wouldn’t be missed. Ever.
All of the material evidence was said to have been eventually destroyed – chiefly because the operations didn’t provide much in the way of results, and because of the outright illegality of the experiments. Everything, the Black Widow said, was hidden beneath a mass of fabricated tales of flying saucers and little men from the stars. She doubted that anything of any significance still existed – certainly not the bodies or the balloons, and probably not even the old records, which she believed were burned to oblivion. Unless, however, some of them were preserved for secret, historical purposes, which is not impossible. I hope they were. If not, it may be nigh on impossible to conclusively prove anything about Roswell – ever. There was one other aspect of the Black Widow’s story that needs to be addressed: her overwhelming fear. It was ever-present throughout our 2001 meeting. She tried to disguise that fear with smiles and laughter, but she was certainly no Oscar-winning Hollywood actor. That’s for sure. Seeing through her facade was like seeing through freshly polished glass. In my Body Snatchers in the Desert book I said that she “possessed the sad and somewhat sunken eyes of a person with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She was clearly looking for someone to speak with; but, equally, she was very concerned about the ramifications of doing so, ‘if the government finds out.’”
In my original manuscript, I detailed why she was so scared, but that section didn’t make the cut. The reason? The publisher was highly concerned about the Black Widow’s extremely controversial claims to me that certain people who had got too close to the truth of Roswell, and who couldn’t keep their mouths shut, had been “removed.” So the story went, certain hired assets, who regularly worked with the intelligence community on troublesome situations, were secretly contracted to terminate those who threatened the status quo and its dangerous secret. Yep: very controversial. Interestingly, the Black Widow made a mention to me of a long-retired nurse from Roswell who had died under extremely questionable circumstances “a few years ago.” I didn’t know it at the time, but it’s highly possible that she was referring to a woman named Miriam Bush. Miriam was not actually a nurse, at all: in 1947 she was an executive secretary at Roswell’s RAAF hospital. She worked for a medical officer named Lieutenant Colonel Harold Warne, and saw the bodies found on the Foster Ranch – specifically when they were brought into the confines of the hospital. They were, as nearly everyone claimed, small, damaged, decaying and unusual-looking. This trauma-filled experience clearly affected Miriam to a huge degree. The whole thing was like an albatross around her neck. That huge, ominous bird never left her.
Miriam’s private life was a mess and she became an alcoholic – as did, by the way, two other players in the Roswell story. They were Major Jesse Marcel and Dee Proctor; a sign, perhaps of the tremendous burden of hiding what they knew. And, in the late 1980s, Miriam became fearful that she was being watched and followed. She was. Miriam was found dead in a motel-room just outside of San Jose, California, in December 1989. A plastic bag was around her head and her arms were bruised and scratched. The verdict? Suicide. Yeah, really. When the story of Miriam Bush surfaced – years after I spoke with the Black Widow, and also a couple of years after Body Snatchers in the Desert was published – my mind instantly swung back to the Black Widow’s comments relative to the highly suspicious death of a certain “nurse” from Roswell. Was it Miriam Bush? I don’t know. But, logically, it would make sense, even if the ranks and positions were wrong. If so, though, how did the Black Widow know this? After all, Miriam was based at Roswell, New Mexico and the Black Widow worked in Tennessee. I have no answer to that question; I wish I did. But, I do know that the Black Widow’s major concern about speaking on the record was the fear that she would finish up like the woman from Roswell; a woman who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and who paid for it with her life, years later.
Now, it’s twenty years since I began to seriously pursue the theory that the Roswell affair was a top secret experiment – rather than a UFO crash – that revolved around high-altitude flights and the secret use of handicapped people in that same experiment. A dark and disturbing story, for sure. It still is a dark story, And, I still continue to get new information that makes me believe Roswell had zero to do with aliens. Not even a single one. It’s too bad that the UFO research community is scared (rather, absolutely pissing themselves) to look at what I call the alternative side of Roswell. Should they delve into it all of this, they may not like what they find. But, they will know the real story – even though it’s a terrible one.
By Nick Redfern