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Walter Haut

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Haut in 1947

1st Lt. Walter Haut (June 3, 1922 – December 15, 2005) was the public information officer (PIO) at the 509th Bomb Group based in Roswell, New Mexico, during 1947. Haut issued the initial "flying disc" press release during the Roswell incident.

July 8, 1947, issue of the Roswell Daily Record, featured a story announcing the Roswell Army Air Field "capture" of a "flying saucer" from a ranch near Roswell.


Walter 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.[1]

In 1991, Haut and two other men founded the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico, where he presided as president until 1996.[2] Haut died on December 15, 2005, at the age of eighty-three.[1]

Haut and the Roswell UFO incident[edit]

In the first book on the subject, The Roswell Incident, Haut was said to be "not a witness."[3] He told interviewers in 1979 that base commander Colonel William Blanchard asked him to write and distribute the press release, but when Haut asked to see the object in question, he was told "his request was impossible."[4]

In 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.[5] 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."[5] 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."[6] He further stated: "I think there was a giant cover-up on this thing."[7]

In an 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."[8] By this time, Haut, along with Max Littell and Glenn Dennis, had opened the International UFO Museum and Research Center.[2]

Prior to Haut's death, ufologist Donald R. Schmitt conducted interviews with Haut covering material that Schmitt says Haut requested to be kept confidential during his life.[9] Schmitt composed and emailed an "affidavit" to Haut's family, which Haut signed at his International UFO Museum and Research Center in front of daughter Julie Shuster, staff notary Beverlee Morgan, and a museum guest.[10] Schmitt and the family agreed not to release this 2002 document until after Haut's death.[11] Haut passed in 2005; in 2007, Donald Schmitt and Tom Carey published the book Witness to Roswell, which prominently featured the document, presented as the "Sealed Affidavit of Walter G. Haut".[12] The book was criticized for a lack of evidence, inconsistencies with previous accounts, and presenting the 2002 document as Haut's affidavit.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b AP 2005.
  2. ^ a b Pflock 2001, p. 51.
  3. ^ Berlitz & Moore 1980, p. 72
  4. ^ Berlitz & Moore 1980, p. 73
  5. ^ a b Randle & Schmitt 1991, p. 139.
  6. ^ Randle & Schmitt 1991, p. 142.
  7. ^ Randle & Schmitt 1991, p. 143.
  8. ^ Pflock 2001, p. 261; copy of 1993 affidavit
  9. ^
  10. ^
    • Schmitt 2007, 21:36, "It was suggested to us by an attorney that a sealed statement might provide that opportunity and that's what was done. And it was prepared. It was based on things that Walter had told us in confidence for a number of years leading up to that time";
    • Shuster 2007, p. 15, "Don to put in writing the information they had discussed. The statement was prepared and e-mailed to me.";
    • Clarke 2008; "Don Schmit revealed that Haut did not personally write the affidavit, which is usually a sworn statement made in writing under oath.";
    • Thomas 2009, p. 53, "Balthaser attacked the alleged affidavit, writing: "We have learned that Walter Haut did not write the affidavit he signed in 2002, but rather it was prepared for his signature based on comments and remarks Haut had made over a period of time to Schmitt, Carey and others".
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
    • Barrett 2007, "[Shuster] just happens to draw a salary for running Roswell's UFO museum; it was co-founded by her father and is the centerpiece of what passes for the local tourist industry. Shuster tells Forbes she was unaware that her father had signed another affidavit in 1993 that made no mention of multiple crash sites or bodies. In any event, Haut himself won't have to explain any inconsistencies; he died in 2005 at age 83.";
    • Clarke 2008, "So rather than providing the ‘smoking gun’ sought by the UFOlogists, the Haut affidavit turns out to be just another dead end.";
    • Thomas 2009, p. 53, "The centerpiece of the book was a new affidavit allegedly written by Walter Haut, [...] Is Roswell still the “best” UFO incident? If it is, UFO proponents should be very, very worried."


  • Associated Press: "Lt. Walter Haut, spokesman who announced wreckage of flying saucer in Roswell, died at 83". Santa Fe New Mexican. Associated Press. December 18, 2005. Archived from the original on September 1, 2006.
  • Barrett, William P. (July 10, 2007). "Those Roswell Aliens Dropped In Everywhere". Forbes.
  • Berlitz, Charles; Moore, William (1980). The Roswell Incident. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN 978-0448211992.
  • Carey, Thomas J.; Schmitt, Donald (2007). Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the 60-Year Cover-Up. Franklin Lakes, N.J: New Page Books. ISBN 978-1564149435.
  • Carey, Thomas J.; Schmitt, Donald R. (July 22, 2007). "Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt". The Paracast (Interview). Interviewed by Steinberg, Gene; Biedny, David.
  • Clarke, David (2 July 2008). "Making UFOlogy History: Roswell, and the story of Betty and Barney Hill". The Skeptic. Vol. 21, no. 3. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  • Pflock, Karl (2001). Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1573928946.
  • Randle, Kevin D.; Schmitt, Donald R. (1991). UFO crash at Roswell. New York: Avon Books. ISBN 978-0-380-76196-8.
  • Shuster, Julie (September 2007). "Haut's Daughter tells how affadavit came to be" (PDF). MUFON UFO Journal. No. 473. Mutual UFO Network – via The Black Vault.
  • Thomas, Dave (2009). "Roswell update: fading star?" (PDF). Skeptical Inquirer. Vol. 33, no. 1.