Stan Friedman sent me an e-mail late last night informing me that Walter Haut, one of the key figures in the "Roswell Incident," has died. I met Haut back in 2001 when I interviewed him for the film Stanton T. Friedman is Real (he appears in the film briefly talking about Stan). He seemed like a very nice man. My condolences to his family.
From Kevin Randle's The Roswell Encyclopedia (pp. 134 - 136):
"Walter Haut was a first lieutenant assigned to the Roswell Army Air Field in July, 1947. He had trained during World War II as both a navigator and a bombadier. He served in the Pacific during the war and later, in 1946, participated in Operation Crossroads, the atomic tests at Bikini. He had been assigned to the 509th Bomb Group on temporary duty for the atomic tests, but that duty was expanded into a permanent assignment.
According to Haut, about 9:30 on the morning of July 8th, 1947, he received a call from Colonel William Blanchard, who told Haut they had found a flying saucer, or parts from one. Blanchard said the wreckage came from a ranch northwest of Roswell and that the base intelligence officer, Major [Jesse] Marcel, was going to escort the material on to Fort Worth. Blanchard wanted Haut to write a press release explaining the situation and then take it to the local media. According to Haut, it was about noon or a little after when he made the rounds to radio stations KGFL and KSWS and then on to the Roswell Daily Record and the Morning Dispatch.
The Daily Record published the account in the afternoon edition, but the next day announced that the debris had been identified as a weather balloon. In another story in the same edition, Mack Brazel was interviewed, giving a description of the debris that sounded suspiciously like that of a weather balloon. Brazel also said, however, that what he had found that time didn't look like any of the other balloons he had seen.
At the same time, other newspapers, some of which identified Haut as Warren Haight, suggested that he had received blistering telephone calls from the Pentagon and other top military officials rebuking him for the press release. Haut maintains that he received no such telephone calls and said, 'A first lieutenant getting telephone calls from Washington? Had it happened, I would have remembered it.'
The press release did not affect his military career. Haut hadapplied for a regular Army commission and received it. He was promoted to Captain. In early 1948, he received orders that would have transferred him to another military base. Haut established a home in Roswell, his first child having been born there, and the family had no desire to leave. Haut resigned from the service in early 1948."
Haut was a co-founder of the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico.
See Haut's affidavit, and quotes from Haut about Roswell at UFO Evidence. Here is what Haut said on the American television program "Unsolved Mysteries":
"I took the release into town. And that was one of the things that Colonel Blanchard told me to do, take it into town, because if there was any validity to this, he didn't want the news media to feel that we had jumped over their heads and were not cooperating with them."
Here is what Haut said in an interview for an article in "Air and Space/Smithsonian" magazine, Sep-Oct 1992, when asked what he thought really happened back in 1947:
"I feel there was a crash of an extra-terrestrial vehicle near Corona."
Stan tells me that the funeral is set for Tuesday.