Col. Corso, author of The Day After Roswell passed away 12 years ago today. It was around 8 p.m., in Rome the evening of July 17, 1998, when I received a frantic phone call from fellow journalist and friend Paola Harris. She was calling from Boulder, Colorado. Just few minutes before Paola had been informed of the death of Colonel Philip J. Corso. Stunned and shocked, I couldn’t say anything to comfort her. The next morning I was able to reach Philip Corso, Jr., who confirmed the sad news. It was the first time I ever spoke to Philip Jr. and he very kindly detailed the chain of events surrounding his father’s passing.
Colonel Philip J. Corso had suffered a heart attack in the morning of June 9, 1998. He was in his house in Port St. Lucie, Florida and his close relatives were with him. They decided to rush him to the best medical facility in the area, the Jupiter Medical Center, located less than fifty miles south from Port St Lucie. According to the Jupiter medical staff, the colonel arrived already in critical condition and thought there was no hope of Corso surviving such a massive heart failure. Philip Jr. was informed that there was nothing the family could do, and they should go home. So in their heart, they said goodbye to the old man and returned home. But that same afternoon, the hospital called to notify the family that an unexpected and miraculous improvement had occurred! The doctors had no explanation for it, a nurse found Corso sitting in his bed. He felt perfectly well and he wanted to be discharged immediately, but they kept him there for three days, before he was sent back home in Port St. Lucie. All the family was in awe witnessing his spectacular recovery! Philip Jr. said “I spent every possible moment with dad. Back home, for few days we managed to keep him isolated from any contact with the outside, even by phone.” He disagreed all the time and he insisted he felt fine and wanted to return to work. Philip Jr. said “so, we started to put in place his unpublished notes and a pile of documents. You know, there’s plenty of interesting material there. In fact the last three weeks have been very productive. Dad had way more to say.”
But then the fatal Wednesday, July 15th arrived. Colonel Corso had risen early, looking happy and claiming to feel great. Then, around 9:00 a.m., the grandchildren heard him moaning. He was struck by a second heart attack. Corso was urgently rushed to a different hospital in Palm Beach, where his condition had gradually worsened. On the evening of July 16th the doctors then decided to move him again to the Jupiter Medical Center. Corso died during the transfer. None of his family was with him in the ambulance. He was announced dead upon arrival at 11:15 p.m. Corso’s funeral was held on Wednesday, July 22, 1998, in a military cemetery near Orlando, Florida. Because he was a veteran, the last salute to Philip J. Corso was accompanied by honor guards and the firing of volley shots.
After his father’s death, Philip Jr. noted that in full compliance of his father’s will, the unpublished manuscripts and other precious UFO information would have to be made available in due time, both to researchers and to the public at large. That was what had kept him alive. As Philip Jr. stated, “Now the burden of this responsibility rests on my shoulders. My father informed me of his involvement with the Roswell files only after General Trudeau passed away. Until then he had never said a word to anyone. Then he began to tell us and wanted us all in the family to know, even my sons. My father left us, saying that some people should take care of the material. Among these are you in Italy.”
My last phone conversation with Colonel Corso occurred during the days he was recovering at home after the first heart attack. His voice sounded to me crystal clear. “Maurizio, you have to work to bring out the truth. We need to start from scratch, we have to have a new science, nothing is more important than this. Try to do everything possible.” I then asked him about his sensational recovery. Corso answered: “My recovery? I’ve got it to their intervention. I was in my hospital bed. At any moment I knew I could die. In my mind I was bright, but I suddenly felt like a hand pressure on my chest and a voice saying to me ‘Don’t be afraid, everything is fine now. We have replaced your heart, and now it will work fine again.’ Here, Maurizio, I’ll stay with you much longer. I promise.” So it was not.
When The Day After Roswell was published, the more conservative and mainstream members of the American UFO community, attacked Corso. Researchers and scientists such as Pflock, Friedman, Hopkins, Jeffries and Randle, just to name a few, criticized many of Corso statements. Unfortunately, Corso died too early to have the opportunity to rebut such allegations. However, during our last phone conversation the colonel mentioned to me two generals who knew of the Roswell file besides General Arthur Trudeau. In 1998 one of them was still alive and could had come forward. But he was still in a prestigious position within Martin Marietta, a major American aerospace industry. “Our agreement was not to speak until our consciousness had ordered us to do it. My moment came when Trudeau died. There is still much to say and to do for the good of future generations.”
More Open Minds stories on Col. Corso: