Roswell witness Jesse Marcel Jr. passes at 76 (Video)

Jesse Marcel Jr. was the son of the U.S. Air Force intelligence officer who first examined the crash debris found by Mac Brazel near Roswell, New Mexico in early July of 1947. His father had told him about the event and had shown him and his mother some of the debris that was recovered. Marcel passed away in his home on Saturday, August 24, due to a suspected heart attack.

Marcel’s daughter, Denice, posted this message on her father’s Facebook account:

It is with a sad heart that I have to break this bad news to the world.

At the age of 76 my Dad Jesse Marcel Jr.’s life on earth has ended.

Although it is a very sad time for our entire family I am happy to know that he lived an eventful life.

I am so proud to be his daughter. He had taught me so many things in life and one of the more important things I learned from my Dad was to never back down in the face of adversity.

For anyone who wants to know I will be posting, the funeral arrangements once they have been made.

He is survived by his wife Linda, his children Jesse Jr., Myself, John, Marissa, Mackenzie , Aimee, Ashley and Mark and all of his grandchildren.

Although my Dad and Grandpa are no longer with us… The Roswell Legacy will live on FOREVER!!!

Marcel spent much of his life in the medical field and in the military, serving as a flight surgeon for many years. His latest period of active duty was shortly after his 68th birthday. Due to the Iraqi war he was called back into duty in October of 2004 and served as a flight surgeon for the 189th Attack Helicopter Battalion.

Jesse on active duty. (Credit:Jesse Marcel/Denice Marcel)

Marcel completed his pre-med undergraduate work at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. He then completed an internship at the New Orleans Charity Hospital. Marcel then joined the U.S Navy in 1962.

While in the Navy he was assigned to the USS Renville, which participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Marcel then went on to complete specialty training in Otolaryngology (ENT) at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, California. He retired from the Navy in 1971 and began a private practice in Helena, Montana.

In 1973 Marcel joined the Montana National Guard and went through flight training as a flight surgeon at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. He earned his wings in 1981. While at the National Guard, Marcel was appointed as the State Surgeon of the state of Montana. He retired from the military the second time in 1996 on his 60th birthday. Soon after his 68th birthday he was called back into the military, serving from October 2004 to December 2005.

After returning to civilian life, Marcel took a position as a specialist in Otolaryngology at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Ft. Harrison, Montana. He had recently retired.

Jesse Marcel Jr. with his daughter Denice Marcel at the Roswell Museum in July of 2013. (Credit: Denice Marcel)

Marcel has always maintained that the material his father had shown him was not of this earth. A belief his father shared. He wrote a book about it in 2007 titled The Roswell Legacy: The Untold Story of the First Military Officer at the 1947 Crash Site.

Jesse Marcel Jr. was well regarded and well loved by those who knew him. His credibility, his love for his country, and his honesty were unquestionable. He will be missed by many, and we at Open Minds send our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.

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