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Captain Oliver "Pappy" Henderson, a pilot at Roswell in 1947, told various family members and friends that he flew alien wreckage and had seen alien corpses. His wife, Sappho, said in an affidavit: "He pointed out [a 1980/81 newspaper article on Roswell] to me and said, 'I want you to read this article, because it's a true story. I'm the pilot who flew the wreckage of the UFO to Dayton, Ohio.
The final witness testimony that I will address is that concerning Oliver W. (Pappy) Henderson. Millions have seen the Unsolved Mystery broadcast about Roswell with the scene of Pappy Henderson in his flight suit, leaning over and inspecting one of several alien bodies laid out on a hangar floor just prior to their being flown to Wright Patterson. Henderson, who died in 1986, on seeing a tabloid headline and story about Roswell, apparently told his wife that the story was true and that he had flown the wreckage and bodies to Wright Patterson. My best guess is that the testimony of Henderson' family years later was a case of memories of things read, or possibly seen in tabloid pictures, being blended or confused with memories of what Henderson may have actually said.
During my extensive conversations with pilots from the 509th, I spoke with several who knew Henderson and remembered his having discussed the incident. Apparently Henderson, a C-54 transport pilot at the time, did fly some of the debris out of Roswell, possibly to Wright Patterson. Jesse Mitchell, one of the 509th pilots at the time and a retired lieutenant colonel, told me that Henderson told him that he never saw the debris and he had no idea what it was. Mitchell was a good friend of Henderson's and almost decided to go into the roofing business with him in Roswell after Henderson left the service. Another former member of the 509th, Sam McIlhaney, also a retired lieutenant colonel who knew Henderson well, told me that they used to talk about the incident occasionally while sitting around in the hangar. According to McIlhaney, Henderson considered the whole matter a big joke and used to kid about it.