First Roswell (1st Alien Humanoid Retrieval)
Date: April 5, 1941
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO
One of the more mysterious stories of a crashed UFO with alien bodies preceded the well know Roswell events by some 6 years. This was first brought to investigators by Leo Stringfield in his book UFO Crash/Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum. He opened a tantalizing account of a military controlled UFO crash retrieval which is still being researched today. The details of the case were sent to him in a letter from one Charlette Mann, who related her grandfathers, who was a minister, deathbed confession of being summoned to pray over alien crash victims outside of Cape Girardeau, Missouri in the spring of 1941. Reverend William Huffman had been an evangelist for many years, but had taken the resident minister reigns of the Red Star Baptist Church in early 1941. Church records corroborate his employment there during the period in question.
After receiving this call to duty, he was immediately driven the 10 - 15 mile journey to a woods outside of town. Upon arriving at the scene of the crash, he saw policemen, fire department personnel, FBI agents, and photographers already mulling through the wreckage. He was soon asked to pray over alien bodies. As he began to take in the activity around the area, his curiosity was first struck by the sight of the craft itself.
Expecting a small plane of some type, he was shocked to see that the craft was disk shaped, and upon looking inside he saw hieroglyphic like symbols, unknown to him. He then was shown the victims, not human as expected, but small alien bodies with large eyes, hardly a mouth or ears, and hairless. Immediately after performing his duties, he was sworn to secrecy by military personnel who had taken charge of the crash area. He witnessed these warnings being given to others at the scene also.
As he arrived back at his home at 1530 Main Street, he was still in a state of mild shock, and could not keep his story from his wife Floy, & his sons. This late night family discussion would spawn the story that Charlette Mann would hear from her grandmother in 1984, as she lay dying of cancer at Charlettes home while undergoing radiation therapy. Charlette was told the story over the span of several days, and although Charlette had heard bits and pieces of this story before, she now demanded the full details.
As her grandmother tolerated her last few days on this Earth, Charlette knew it was now or never to find out everything she could before this intriguing story was lost with the death of her grandmother. She also learned that one of the members of her grandfather's congregation, thought to be Garland D. Fronabarger, had given him a photograph taken on the night of the crash. This picture was of one of the dead aliens being help up by two men.
Charlette Mann Interview
Charlette Mann, Spiritual Counselor, Tyler, Texas, and Granddaughter of Southern Baptist Minister William Huffman who began his ministry in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1941. My father had this picture which I had seen I don't know when I saw it the first time. I've seen it many, many times. And it was a picture of a little alien being that was held up under the arm pits. There was a man on either side and they had one hand under the arm pit and then further out on the arm because the little guy had much larger, longer arms than we have. And I grew up seeing that occasionally at home. I didn't think much about it as younger. But as I grew older, I began to ask questions about it because I was always very fascinated with the eyes. I wasn't afraid of them exactly, but they haunted me.
My grandmother became ill with cancer and so she spent a great deal of time in my home taking chemotherapy and staying with us until she was a little bit stronger. That was shortly before her death that I began to ask her questions. And I tried to make them very open ended. I didn't want to lead her into anything and I asker her if she recalled that evening when grandfather had received a call. And it took me quite a few days to even convince her after all these years and grandfather having passed away quite some time ago to break that bond or confidence that they had made. Grandfather and this is how it was related by my grandmother and then I knew if it came out of my grandmother's mouth, I knew it was correct.
Yellow: Charlette Mann
When was she ill and dying, What Year?
It was in 1983 to 1984 and passed away I'm not good with dates it was in the year of 1984, I believe. She was here at my home. She lived in Missouri at the time, but I brought her here and she stayed in my home.
And during that time in 1984, before she passed, that's when you were able to have some kind of conversation with her about what happened in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1941?
Did she ever suggest a month, or a date?
We talked about it and she thought, and I still strongly believe, that it was the latter part of April. The reason being is that my mother and father were there visiting grandmother and grandpa and she was expecting my sister. My sister was born on May 3, 1941. And so, they had been there 3 or 4 weeks before Mother delivered.
Okay, April 1941. What did she tell you about what she remembered?
Well, they were sitting around visiting and it was 8:00 or 9:00 of the evening. The phone rang and grandfather went to the telephone. He talked for a little bit and hung up the phone. What was said at that time was that someone, had called the police department, or we assumed it was the police department, and they had reported what they saw was a plane crash, that the person whose property it was on had seen it. It had landed into a field and there was some fire associated. So, they asked if grandfather would be willing to go out with them to the scene in case there were some people who might need prayer or assistance because they weren't quite sure what they were headed to.
So, he agreed to do that and a car was sent for him. They picked him up. I don't know how long he was gone. She didn't ever tell me that, but for awhile. It was later because they stayed up late to wait. When he came back, he was very shaken and it took a lot to shake my grandfather. She said that he sat down and told her, I'm going to tell you what has happened. You can never repeat it and I will never speak of it again.
And he said that when he got out there that it wasn't a crashed plane at all. There were some civilians. We assume probably people who lived near the farm where it had crashed, near the people who had placed the call. Neighbors, I believe there was a newspaper man from the newspaper. I believe there might have been fire people at the time.
But some civilian people. Grandfather described what he saw was a saucer shape that had broken in half and you could walk up to see inside. He saw a lot of panels and things he didn't know. Gauges, different things and small little seats that looked child sized. The thing that seemed to impress him the most and intrigued him the most was there was a band around it of a type of metal that he was not familiar with. It looked as if it had hieroglyphic, like Egyptian type, writing that he assumed was writing.
The symbols were on the walls inside the craft?
On the inside. And that there were three beings, thrown. They were on the outside and assumed they were thrown out (by the crash). One was still breathing, was not dead. Grandfather knelt down next to him and he expired, but he prayed over each and every one of them.
In 1999, Charlette Mann drew what she remembered seeing in the photograph that her father kept of the 1941 incident. Around her drawing, she wrote: My Grandfather stated that the being was not alive at the time of this picture being taken. The picture was approximately 9 inches by 9 inches and had scalloped (white) edges. This is how the little Alien was being held in the picture I saw of my grandfather's (incident). There were some trees. The grass was ankle high and deeper in places. I was so fixed on his eyes I don't recall as much other details as I might have. She also noted that the man on the right in her drawing had on dress slacks, wide brimmed hat. They both had white shirts on. The man on the right had his sleeves rolled up. The other had a short waist coat jacket. There was no one else in the picture except these three.
It seemed to be a child-sized being, probably 4' tall, maybe. It was difficult to tell if it had on a metallic suit or if its skin, it kind of looked like crinkled aluminum foil, but soft. I stated in speaking about it since then, he looked as if he had no bone structure, but kind of like octopus tentacles would appear soft like that. Very large oval eyes. I have never ever seen anything like it until at one point several years ago, I saw a book cover, and that alien being, that face, was the first I had seen not exactly the same, but fairly close. Larger head. The dark oval eyes. Large eyes. It didn't really have a nose. It looked like two little dots, like someone had taken a pencil. and marked two dots. I don't recall the mouth. It was more as if you took a knife and slit across. No lips, nothing like that.
I can't recall the feet because I never could hardly get past those eyes. I do recall it had a small framed body. The arms were much longer than our arms. Their hands I don't know how many fingers it had exactly, but I do recall that it was not formed like our hand. But there were less fingers and much longer.
Do I Understand that the men on either side of this non-human were not dressed in military uniforms?
Oh, absolutely not. They were there before the military got there.
Who do you think they were?
They were local people. The photograph itself was in a rural field-like country setting. In other words, it was grass that is grown up, or wheat or whatever happened to be in the field. I remember there being a large tree in one area of it. There were no other people who were visible. There were two men, one on each side, that were holding the alien up. Each one of them had one hand under the armpit and then had hold of the arm further out, not quite reaching the wrist, but fairly close.
As if demonstrating how long the arms were, as well?
I think so, because they went completely across their bodies and were still extended further out.
The alien, I don't know how to describe it exactly other than to say it actually did not look like it had on clothes, but there were no physical male or female features. And it looked crinkled, kind of shiny, if you will, as if it could have been aluminum foil and crinkled. So, I don't know if that was a suit or his skin, but it covered every part of him. You couldn't see seams or buttons or anything like that.
What about the neck and head? Were they covered as well?
No, they were out just normal. As I said, the eyes looked just huge oval with blackness. No expression.
No expression. When you say an oval, it could be vertical in the face or horizontal or slanted. Do you remember if those eyes were sitting horizontal, vertical or slanted?
Vertical, up and down.
I see, Vertical Ovals.
Yes. And two little dots for what I would have called a nose and a slit for the mouth.
And no ears?
I don't remember. No, no ears like we have ears. I can't say he had ears, no. I couldn't see a side view of where the ear might have been, so I don't know if he would have had the same little dots like for the nose. I don't know. But no, not ears like ours at all.
If this crinkly part that seemed to be sort of metallic, like crinkled tinfoil, went up to the neck and face, But did not cover the neck and face?
It did not actually that's why I say it's hard to know what you were looking at because there was no seam. It wasn't like if you have a suit and there is a collar with a seam. It just blended or moved into. I don't know how else to describe it.
Did the neck and face coloring, from the black and white photograph seem to be similar to the color you were seeing as crinkled tinfoil, or was it darker or lighter?
Being a black and white photograph, it's hard to distinguish. No, it was not darker. If anything, lighter.
With the dark oval eyes, and in the terms of the face, How big do you think those ovals were in terms of the area they covered on the face?
Most of its face.
At the ends of those very long arms, what can you remember about the hands?
I do remember as if he had I don't remember seeing more than 3 fingers and they were very, very long, much longer than ours. I don't recall seeing any fingernails, but I can't swear to that because I was so taken with the face. But I do know he did not have 5 digits. That I can tell you. It seemed to be more like three and they were quite elongated and both hands were the same.
Down the legs to the feet?
I don't it's odd. I don't recall seeing his feet. I just was too taken with the face. I know it had legs. But I can't describe the feet for you at all. I'm sorry, but I just didn't focus on them.
Okay. Did your Grandfather say that he knew that this being was dead in this photograph with these 2 civilians holding it? Or was that an assumption that was made?
No, because I think the picture was taken while he was ministering to the one who he said still seemed to be taking short breaths. And so, the other two were (several said), dead on impact. So, he knew it was one of those that the picture was taken of. One of the members of her grandfather's congregation, thought to be Garland D. Fronabarger, came to the house two weeks later and he seemed, Grandmother said, "Very, very frightened." And he wanted someone that he trusted to have a copy. He felt like someone should have a copy of the picture and he asked grandfather if he would take it and he did. So, that's how we came about to even having it.
Military Arrives and Orders Secrecy in the Interest of National Security
While this was taking place, all of a sudden, military just showed up, surrounded, and overran the place. Grandfather, and several others, were taken aside, and they were told that they had not seen what had taken place, that it was high security as far as the government (was concerned) national security. So, they weren't to speak of it.
Nowadays, we probably wouldn't (obey). But in that day and time, if you said to my grandfather, This is about our country and this is important and it will be detrimental. He truly never did speak of it again to our knowledge.
So, I think they (military) scared some of them much more than it did my grandfather. My grandfather seemed to be more shaken with the fact that there were alien beings. But anyway, they (military) dispersed them. Grandfather came home. That would have been that, except one of the men, a photographer, had taken I guess a personal camera, one of his own, in addition to his professional newspaper camera. He had taken some pictures. That was the one I later saw.
This was of 2 civilians or fire workers?
No, they were not fire workers. They were definitely two civilian people holding up one of the deceased aliens.
The being was definitely deceased?
This one, yes.
And yet it had it's eyes open?
The eyes appeared just yes, they did. I don't know if they have eyelids. I don't know. I can only tell you what I saw. I can't explain it. I don't try. I don't want to tamper with it. I just give the account that was given to me. The eyes were very visible.
Did you ever hear any details about whether your Grandfather could smell odor from the being, could feel temperature, could hear any sounds or had any mental impressions as he bent over the live being to do prayers?
I don't think any of that in that kind of order was ever discussed. So, I don't know about smell. He did say about the breathing, that's why he believed it (alien) not deceased. There were a few short, shallow breaths. He did mention that. I can only say that grandmother said he was forever changed by it. He was a southern Baptist minister for 40 years of his life, but he became much less rigid, much more accepting of unexplained things after that. Now, that was relayed to me through my grandmother and my father. But none of the other that you speak of, I'm sorry to say.
Where did the military take the craft, and those bodies?
We never heard anything else after grandfather came home and gave his account. There was never anything else mentioned.
But if it happened in Cape Gerardeau, and Police and Fire and Military were involved, You would think the community would have known that something extraordinary had happened.
Well, I would have thought that until the last few years in finding out what I have about our government and our news media. If you can keep the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima a secret with the number of people involved and the number of people who worked on that, then I'm convinced they can keep, they can really quell a story if they desire to. And I think it wasn't just their ability, but how it was presented to the people and how they accepted that responsibility at the time. I don't believe it was covered in the newspaper as what it actually was. I don't know if you went back and traced the papers if there would be a mention of a plane crash or I don't know because granddad knew it had happened. He didn't need proof for himself and he wasn't going to talk about it. And my dad just didn't go after the facts. I'm not sure you have to be kind of a researcher to know how you do that and I just don't know that he knew. I guess it's just if you have seen the picture, and we had that, we didn't need any proof and we weren't, my intent has never been I'm not out to prove anything to anybody. I can't answer all the questions correctly. I can only give the account of the picture I saw and what was related to me."
Charlette Mann's testimony for TV documentary
Charlette Mann gave, in her own words, an account of what she knew for a television documentary. Some of that account is given here:
I saw the picture originally from my dad who had gotten it from my grandfather who was a Baptist minister in Cape Girardeau Missouri in the Spring of ‘41. I saw that [picture] and asked my grandmother at a later time she was at my home fatally ill with cancer so we had a frank discussion. She said that grandfather was called out in the spring of 1941 in the evening around 9:00-9:30, that someone had been called out to a plane crash outside of town and would he be willing to go to minister to people there which he did. Upon arrival it was a very different situation. It was not a conventional aircraft, as we know it. He described it as a saucer that was metallic in color, no seams, did not look like anything he had seen. It had been broken open in one portion, and so he could walk up and see that. In looking in he saw a small metal chair, gauges and dials and things he had never seen. However, what impressed him most was around the inside there were inscriptions and writings, which he said he did not recognize, but were similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics.
There were 3 entities, or non-human people, lying on the ground. Two were just outside the saucer, and a third one was further out. His understanding was that perhaps that third one was not dead on impact. There had been mention of a ball of fire, yet there was fire around the crash site, but none of the entities had been burned and so father did pray over them, giving them last rites. There were many people there, fire people, photographers, and so they lifted up one, and two men on either side stood him up and they stretched his arms out, they had him up under the armpits and out here. As I recall from the picture I saw, he was about 4' tall, appeared to have no bone structure, soft looking. He had a suit on, or we assume it was a suit, it could have been his skin, and what looked like crinkled, soft aluminum foil. I recall it had very long hands, very long fingers, and I think there were three but I cannot swear to that.”
My grandfather upon arrival, said there were already several people there on the scene, two that he assumed were local photographers, fire people, and so not long after they arrived, military just showed up, surrounded the area, took them off in groups separately, and spoke to each of them. Grandfather didn't know what was said to the others, but he was told ‘this didn't happen, you didn't see this, this is national security, it is never to be talked about again.’ My grandfather was an honorable man, being a preacher, that’s all that needed to be said to him. And so he came home and told the story to my dad, who was there, and my grandmother and my uncle. Now my mother was expecting at the time, so she was off in the bedroom.
My sister was born May 3, 1941, so we are assuming this was the middle to the last of April. And he never spoke of it again. But about two weeks later, one of the men who had a personal camera that he had put in his shirt pocket, approached grandfather and said I think someone needs a copy of this. I have one and I would like you to keep one. So that's how it came about that grandfather had the picture to begin with. But he never spoke of it again. The other people seem to be very intimidated and very frightened and paranoid.