Sunday, July 30, 2017

Frankie Rowe has Died

Frankie Rowe, who might well be the last of those who claimed to have handled debris from the Roswell UFO crash, has died. According to Don Schmitt, on Wednesday, July 26, she had surgery but was home on Friday, on the mend. In the afternoon, she mentioned to her daughter that she was feeling cold when she suddenly collapsed. The medics arrived in about five minutes and she was conscious when she was put in the ambulance. When she lost consciousness, they attempted three resuscitations but after the third, they realized there was little hope. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Frankie Rowe. Photo copyright by
Kevin Randle
I first met Frankie Rowe about a quarter of a century ago when Don Schmitt and I had just finished a presentation in Roswell. She had been in the audience and afterward talked to us briefly. We would meet with her many times over the years as she told of her experiences back in July 1947.

There is no doubt that she had lived in Roswell at the time. Her father, Dan Dwyer, was a fire fighter, among other things. Frankie had told us that he had come home one day and told them about the crash and the creatures that he had seen. Dwyer died before any of us could interview him, but Frankie’s story was not stand alone. Frankie’s sister, Helen Cahill and former fire fighter J. C. Smith both said they had heard the story from Dwyer. Smith said that Dwyer had driven out to the crash site in his car rather than in
Dan Dwyer, Frankie's father, on the far left.
equipment from the fire department.

Frankie said that she had been in Roswell and while at the fire department sometime later, a state trooper had stopped by. He said that he had a piece of the debris. Frankie described it as light weight and that it flowed like quicksilver.

Over the years she added few details telling us about a visit from a military officer ordering her to keep the tale to herself. Originally, she just said that the officer had told her that if she ever mentioned the story her mother and father would end up in Orchard Park, which had been a POW camp during the Second World War. Later it would seem the threats had been more violent and more direct.

One day she called me in a panic because she had had the telephone company out to repair her telephone. The man found what he thought to be a tap on her phone and Frankie was sure that the government was watching her now that she had told us about her experiences. We talked for about two hours. I don’t know if her phone had actually been tapped or if the repairman had misinterpreted something on the line. Whatever it was, Frankie was convinced that she was being monitored by the government.

I found her to be a kind lady who had an extraordinary experience. I don’t believe I ever heard her say anything negative about anyone, though in the Roswell case accusations were often thrown around. Once she had told us, that is Don and me, the full tale, she didn’t change the story. It had taken a while for her to trust us, but once she did, she confided in us and looked to us for help.


I last saw her a number of years ago at one of the more recent Roswell festivals. She was living in Roswell at the time and we had a nice chat. Later she would move to Breckenridge, Texas, where she died on July 28. She was 84.

7 comments:

Louis Nicholson said...

Its sad to hear about her passing but she is probably now in a better place. I have listened to her testimony many times on tv shows and always thought her to be very credible. Hopefully, the Roswell UFO Museum will do something special to memorialize her life, if they haven't already.

Nitram Ang said...

Thanks Kevin

I remember meeting you and Frankie for the first time at the Festival in 2012.
She was such a warm and kind person...

I enjoyed listening to her story.
She was obviously very close to both you and Don
My condolences to her family and friends everywhere.

starman said...

RIP Frankie. You've performed an invaluable and courageous service.

ufodude2010 said...

In my opinion, she was as honest as the sky is blue...she was courageous telling about her experience and this benefited us all. RIP Frankie.

TheDimov said...

she sounded honest to me, and it seemed she was very affected by her experience with the military. A courageous woman in my opinion, she did what she felt she had to do by coming out and sharing her experience.

Larry Holcombe said...

I briefly spoke with Frankie this July at the Roswell festival. She stayed at Don and Tom's table which was directly across from mine and she seemed as chipper and well as when I first met her in 2011. She was soft spoken, gracious and a true lady. We've lost another piece of Roswell history. My best to her family.

KRandle said...

For those interested, this from the Roswell Daily Record -

Frankie Rowe passed away on Friday, July 28, 2017, in Breckenridge, Texas. A Viewing will be at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. A Funeral service will be held on Thursday, August 3, 2017, 10 a.m. at First Church of the Nazarene, 501 N. Sycamore. Interment will follow at South Park Cemetery. A tribute of Frankie’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for her family.

On October 21, 1934, Frankie was born to Dan Dwyer and Minnie Dwyer. Frankie graduated from Roswell High School. Frankie worked at AT&T for over 30 years prior to retirement. A devout church member, she volunteered as a greeter at First Church of the Nazarene. Frankie was an active member of The Pioneer’s Jingle Bob Group. Her greatest joy was going to the UFO museum on a regular basis. Frankie’s most treasured memories were living in the country, raising her children, farming and tending to her horses. She was a loving mother, sister, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother. Family and friends will miss her dearly.

Surviving to cherish Frankie’s memory are her daughters: Elaine Finley, Cindy Miller; siblings: Anice Sue Letcher, Don Dwyer, Pat Dwyer; grandchildren: Becky White and spouse, Stacy, Katey Linger and husband, Kenneth Linger; great-grandchildren: Jackson Russell, Lexi Linger, David Linger, Frank Linger; and nephews: Gary Letcher, and Brian Letcher.

Preceding Frankie in death were her husband, James “Jim” Rowe; and parents: Dan Dwyer and Minnie Dwyer; brother, James “Sonnie” Dwyer; sisters: Fern Hawkins, Helen Cahill, and Jean Ranzoni.

Pallbearers are: Cory Cogdill, Larry Fry, Kennith Linger, Darrell Crosby, Bruce Haley and David Linger.