Lair of the Beasts: The Monster Rats of Roswell (Mania.com)
Date: Saturday, November 26, 2011
Over the years, I have come across some very strange stories of the monstrous variety, but I thought I’d share with you the following one, which just about comes close to beating them all!
On Saturday, November 6, 2010, I gave a lecture at the Emily Fowler Library in Denton, Texas on the subject of my book co-written with Ken Gerhard, Monsters of Texas. As is usually the case when I do lectures, I allow time for a Q&A, and audience interaction.
And, on this particular day I got a couple of interesting stories about big-cats seen around Texas, a tale of a giant-catfish, and several more accounts of out-of-place or over-sized animals in the Lone Star State. The strangest of all reports, however, flummoxed even me. That it was linked to the infamous Roswell, New Mexico “UFO crash” of July 1947 only made things even stranger.
As anyone and everyone with knowledge of Roswell will be aware, when the event occurred, certain extraordinary materials and metals found at the crash-site were flown to Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, which is bounded on the north side by Lake Worth - and which, in 1969, became briefly infamous for its sightings of the notorious Goat-Man.
I happened to mention the tale of the Lake Worth Monster at the Emily Fowler Library gig. And as a result, the bizarre tale of conspiracy and cover-up came tumbling forth. The story – which was told by the event organizer, and which we all listened, too - was second or third-generation.
So, yes, we are delving into near friend-of-a-friend territory. With that in mind, the story was that when the strange debris was flown to Carswell, so was "something else" that was found among the wreckage. That "something else," we were told, was a pack of large, rat-like animals, that appeared to be very intelligent, moved and acted in group-fashion, and that were highly vicious in nature. And that was about it: a fragmentary story of truly weird proportions.
Whether or not the strange saga has even the merest grain of truth to it, or if it's just some weird folkloric tale, I have no idea. But, for what it's worth, that was the tale. It's interesting to note, of course, that theories for what really happened at Roswell aren’t just focused on tales of UFOs.
My very own Body Snatchers in the Desert book, for example, suggested that the affair had far more to do with secret, high-altitude balloon experimentation - involving human-beings rather than aliens - undertaken in the New Mexico desert.
And, there's another thing: we know, too, that the military was testing all manner of vehicle (including captured German V-2 rockets) at the New Mexico-based, ultra-secret White Sands facility in 1947. Some of those early flights had payloads that included monkeys, mice and other animals. Could it be that at least a part of the Roswell legend was born out of the secret launch and crash of such a craft of down-to-earth, and non-alien proportions, and that had a payload of rats aboard?
Given what we know about the early years of experimentation to place animals into high-altitude states, and near-Earth orbit, maybe this tale of strange, rat-like animals taken to Carswell AFB in the summer of 1947, was based upon distorted, but well-intentioned, memories of real rats taken to the base after the crash of a secret, rocket-based device, with such critters aboard.
Not surprisingly, I left the Emily Fowler Library with a head full to the brim with conspiracy theories of the critter kind!
Nick Redfern’s new book, Keep Out, will be published in December.