New Roswell Witness!
Seated in a meeting room at the Odessa Meteor Crater Museum, she said, "We had been to a dinner party at the NCO [non-commissioned officers] club on the base and didn't get home until 10:30 or 11. We'd already gone to bed but weren't yet asleep when everything outside lit up like it was daylight. It was like that for what seemed like several minutes, and we both assumed that it was probably helicopters from the base with searchlights on." Soon afterwards, her husband received a phone call and told her he had to report to the base. "I just assumed that there had been a plane crash somewhere nearby," she says. "But I couldn't figure why my husband, a sheet-metal man who repaired planes, was called in."
She was even more puzzled when he returned home the 18 hours later, with his uniform wrinkled and damp. "I asked him what had happened to him, why he was so wet, and he told me he'd had to go through the decontamination tank at the base. I asked, 'In your clothes?' and he said, 'They were what I was wearing when I was out there.' He told me, 'Well, I guess you might as well know; it's going to be in the papers. A UFO crashed outside of Roswell.'
"I told him he was crazy. 'No,' he replied, 'I'm not.' I don't remember him being particularly shocked or very emotional about it. In fact, he seemed cool as a cucumber. He just made it clear to me that he wasn't going to talk about it."
The following morning, she says, "I asked him again if it was really true and he said, yes, it was." When she asked what the UFO looked like, he explained that "if you took two saucers and put them together, that's what it looked like." On the top layer, there were oblong-shaped windows all the way around the craft. He had not looked inside. "I asked him if there was anybody on it. He said, 'I can tell you this much: There were three people. One was dead and two were still alive. I can't tell you anything more.'"
It was not until several days later that Sergeant Robbins finally agreed to drive his wife out to the crash site. By then, all debris had been cleared away. "He didn't say much of anything until we got to a place where there was this big burned spot, a perfect circle so black that it was shiny. No normal fire could have made something like that." It looked like the sand had been melted and turned into a sheet of black glass. "This," he said, "is where I was for 18 hours."
"On the drive home," she says, "I asked him what happened to the spaceship, what happened to the people who were on it. He said, 'I can't tell you that; don't ask me any more.'" That was the last time he ever spoke about it, until he retired from the Air Force in 1961. He died of a heart attack in January, 2000.
Following his retirement, the family moved to Saginaw, near Fort Worth, and he worked first for General Dynamics, then LTV, as an aircraft repairman. "It was years later, when our kids were in high school, that our son Ronald was working on some kind of report on unidentified flying objects and asked his father to tell him about what happened back in Roswell. He didn't say much, basically just what he'd told me years earlier," she says.
"But you know how kids are. Ronald kept asking questions, like what the men found at the crash looked like. Finally, Papa [as she called him] got a pencil and drew this pear-shaped head with large black eyes. Their skin, he said, was brown and they had no nose, no mouth. When Ronald asked him what their bodies looked like, all he would say was, 'Son, you don't want to know about that.'"
She says, "[Ronald] wouldn't talk to you about it…Barbara, my daughter, tells me, 'Daddy's dead, don't bring it up.'"
"All I remember," says their daughter, Barbara Wattlington, "was Dad saying he was stationed in Roswell and that a UFO crashed there."
The last time Anne Robbins remembers her husband talking about it was a few years before his death, when they sat in their Saginaw living room one evening, watching a show about Roswell on TV. "I asked him, 'Was it a hoax?' and all he said was, 'It's the truth. It did land.' I asked him, 'Well, if it did, where is it?' He again said he couldn't tell me that."
She says, "I could never figure out why an airplane repairman would be called out in the middle of the night to participate in the investigation of a crashed UFO." Only after filing her husband's death certificate with military officials in Washington, D.C., did she learn that he had intelligence clearance during his time in Roswell. "That UFO they found didn't just fly away, so where is it?" she says. "And what happened to the people on it? I still say the Air Force knows what happened. Someday, I hope, we might find out the truth."
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