Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Melvin Brown and the Bodies...

Back in 2007, Kevin Randle wrote a good post on the story of Melvin Brown, who was stationed at Roswell in 1947, and who claimed to have seen a number of unusual-looking bodies following the infamous event.

You can find the article here.

But there's something else about Brown's story that doesn't get too much publicity. In 1988, UFO author Tim Good interviewed one of Brown's daughters - Beverly Bean - about the things her father had told the family of a Roswell nature.

In Bean's own words, Melvin Brown had said that the bodies he saw, and that were recovered from the July 1947 crash-site, had large heads, but "could have passed for Chinese."

In other words, they were not the spindly, insect-looking Grays, nor were they diabolical Reptilians, or kindly Space-Brothers.

In fact, to say that they could have "passed for Chinese" is a statement that leaves very little - if, indeed, any - room for misinterpretation. It suggests they looked very, very human.

Given the allegations about a Japanese connection to Roswell, and given that this same Japanese connection has a link to Japan's notorious Unit 731 and experiments undertaken on Chinese people, maybe we have a clue in Brown's words as to what really took place.

And, maybe, those bodies weren't alien after all.

For further information, see: Alien Liaison, by Tim Good, Century, 1991.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

John Keel, A "Screaming Monkey," and Roswell

Over the years, a great deal of Roswell-related debate has focused upon John Keel's assertion that what came down at the Foster Ranch, New Mexico in July 1947 was a Japanese Fugo balloon.

Despite what some have said, Keel's theory is not one which I endorse.

The people I interviewed for my Body Snatchers in the Desert book said the Roswell device involved a Horten Brothers-type glider, held aloft below a massive balloon array based on Japanese designs for what was specifically described as a next-generation Fugo - and most certainly not the far smaller, less advanced designs that were used to attack the United States during the latter stages of the Second World War.

But, I digress. Back to Keel...

From 1990 to 1993, there was a deep debate on this very Roswell/Fugo matter in the pages of Fate magazine, with comments, observations and articles from the likes of Keel himself and Kevin Randle.

What I find intriguing is that many of the people who have commented on Keel's Fugo theory have failed to note - or comment on the fact that - he also talked about uncovering data on manned Japanese balloons that, allegedly, reached the U.S. in the closing stages of the war, and which - his sources said - were subject to U.S. military secrecy.

In April 1993, in an article titled Return of the Fu-gos, Keel noted that he had been contacted by three unrelated people who had intriguing reports to relate of things that occurred back in the 1940s.

These same things - which took place at some point in 1945 - involved the sighting of a low-flying balloon that had a gondola attached below it, and which, said one of the witnesses, contained "a living creature" that one thought, initially, was a "screaming monkey."

As the balloon came closer, said Keel, the "creature" could now be seen as a "a very small man wearing some kind of headgear, probably radio headphones. The poor fellow was clearly agitated...He appeared to be Oriental."

The balloon then disappeared over the horizon, and a couple of military jeeps quickly appeared on the scene, heading in the direction of the balloon. A few minutes later, gunshots rang out.

Realizing that the witnesses had seen or heard pretty much all that had taken place, the military returned and sternly warned them not to say anything about what they had experienced - to anybody at all.

Keel himself commented on this matter - of secret Japanese balloon-based flights to the U.S. undertaken in the latter stages of the Second World War with people on-board - as follows:

"If such a project was launched, they would have selected the smallest, lightest volunteers available...It is also likely they might have expired during the trip...their complexions would have been very odd, discolored by the cold..."

He concluded on this matter: "If even one such volunteer balloonist attempted the trip and crashed, we would have the answer to all those rumours and legends which persist to this day."

I intend pursuing Keel's data - and sources - on these claims, and, in fact, have already made some significant headway, which I will be reporting on in the near future.

The picture that is developing as a result of probing further into Keel's data is one suggesting a wealth of secret balloon-based ops in the United States with a Japanese connection, and a "bodies" link too. And not just at the Foster Ranch, New Mexico in 1947, but possibly as far back as 1944-era northern California and Washington State.

Some of these stories are focused on secret, domestic projects of the military. A few, astonishingly, really do appear to be genuine (albeit only several) examples of manned flights to the U.S. by Japanese military personnel in the latter part of the Second World War - all of which ended catastrophically for the crews, who did not survive the flights, for a variety of reasons; but chiefly as a result of altitude, weather and the rigours involved in undertaking such dicey missions.

I'll have more to report on this very soon...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Progeria & Dwarfs...Summer '47

Contained within the pages of the November 3, 1947 issue of the Biology Division Bulletin of the Clinton National Laboratory at Oak Ridge, is a section titled Current Journal Articles of Interest in the Biology Library.

One of those "articles of interest" happened to be a four-page paper titled Uptake of Radioactive Iodine by the Normal and Disordered Thyroid Gland in Children.

Written by Edith H. Quimby and Donovan McCune, M.D., in August 1947, the paper focused on a series of studies undertaken midway through that year, that involved the administering of radioactive iodine to a particular group of physically and mentally handicapped children in an effort to try and better understand disorders of the thyroid gland.

More specifically, the report focused on the results of a whole range of radiation-related experiments undertaken in 1947 on no less than "fifty-four test subjects," of whom...

"...Fifteen were between one and four years of age; 7 were controls; 2 were classic cretins; 1 showed some features of hypothyroidism which were not modified by treatment; 2 were dwarfs; in 1 the diagnosis was 'gargoylism;' 1 was suspected of Progeria, a disorder associated with some of the features of hypothyroidism; and the last exhibited features of moderate sexual precocity. Twenty-seven were more than four but less than fifteen years of age. Of these 2 had unmistakable hypothyroidism, 2 Graves disease, [and] four were dwarfs."

It is, of course, decidedly interesting that barely a month after a number of sources I cited in Body Snatchers in the Desert stated that bodies displaying evidence of both dwarfism and Progeria (the latter a condition resulting in small stature, a lack of body hair, and an over-sized head; see the old B&W photo at the top of this page) were recovered from the New Mexico desert after a series of nuclear- and high-altitude-based experiments and transferred to Oak Ridge, personnel at Oak Ridge’s Biology Division were - we can now see - officially expressing "interest" in radiation-related experimentation undertaken on dwarfs and those afflicted with Progeria.

But, there's more.

One would expect that the documentation cited above would not be of interest to those outside of the strict confines of the medical community. Not so...

On digging further, I was able to uncover the fact that these same, specific files on individuals with dwarfism and Progeria were shared (for reasons currently unknown) with (A) staff from the Nuclear Energy for Propulsion of Aircraft program (NEPA); and (B) one William Randolph Lovelace II, who lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico; who, in the 1930s and 40s, worked on high-altitude exposure issues relative to the human body (some in conjunction with staff at Wright Field - now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton Ohio); and who, in 1958, was appointed the chairman of the NASA Special Advisory Committee on Life Science.

Significant to the Roswell affair? Irrelevant? To answer those questions, I continue to dig...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

LaPaz, Fugos, and Roswell...

According to the testimony of former Counter-Intelligence Corps operative Lewis “Bill” Rickett, one of those that he worked closely with on an investigation of the object that crashed on the Foster Ranch, New Mexico, in the summer of 1947, was Dr. Lincoln LaPaz of the University of New Mexico.

That LaPaz was the director of the university’s Institute of Meteoritics and was later involved in a study known as Project Twinkle, the purpose of which was to investigate sightings of strange "green fireballs" seen in the New Mexico region and elsewhere in the late 1940s and early 1950s, has led many commentators to assume that this logically infers an other-worldly point of origin for the Roswell wreckage.

It is a seldom-discussed fact, however, that while it is true that LaPaz did undertake work for Project Twinkle and was a renowned expert on meteorites, he was also one of the government’s leading experts on Japan's Fugo "balloon-bombs" that were launched against the United States during the latter stages of the Second World War.

As evidence of LaPaz’s deep connection to the wartime studies of Fugo balloons undertaken by the Government, consider the following press release titled New Mexican Had Lookout Job For "Japanese Germs" and issued by the University of New Mexico shortly after the close of hostilities in 1945:

"Dr. Lincoln LaPaz of the University of New Mexico was in the thick of the fight against Japanese plans to send disease germs into America by balloon, said President J.P Wernette of the University today. Commenting on stories from the Navy in Washington revealing that use of germs and viruses in the Jap balloon-barrage was an enemy project as the war came to an end, Dr. Wernette said that Dr. LaPaz, head of the department of mathematics and the University’s Institute of Meteoritics, was with the government’s secret anti-balloon project during the war.

"'If the war had not ended when it did, in the opening stages of a full-scale balloon offensive which probably would have taken place between October 1945, and now, when the velocity of the west wind at high altitude is greatest, this country would have had unpleasant experiences,' Dr. LaPaz said today. 'People most concerned were trained scientists, and stockmen, too, he said. Anthrax spores could have been sent over in the paper balloons in great numbers, and Manchurian sheep pox could have easily struck the hooved animals of this country because the disease has not been found here and there would be no natural immunity, Dr. LaPaz went on.

"'But the Japanese, using radio devices to locate their balloons on the flight to this country, apparently did not realize that we could pick up the signals an find the balloons before they reached the mainland,’ said Dr. LaPaz."

A similar press release issued by the University of New Mexico – also in late 1945 – describes further data on LaPaz and his research into Fugo balloons and meteorites:

"Observers, watching for meteors, thought they had something when they saw some brilliant lights in the sky from February to May, 1945. And they did, said Dr. Lincoln LaPaz, mathematics department head at the University of New Mexico and director of its Institute of Meteoritics, today.

"The displays were actually made by Japanese balloons, Dr. LaPaz said, revealing the history of a scientific study of meteors which went on before and during the time that Dr. LaPaz was busy in secret government work of studying and combating the balloon offensive [Nick's Note: Italics mine].

"Nevertheless, a few months later, on Nov. 29, 1945, a great meteorite fell slowly across northern California and Nevada, and observers mistook it for everything from a jet plane to a Hollywood publicity stunt. Members of the Society for Research on Meteorites and the American Meteor Society, thought at first that it was a new type [of] Japanese balloon bomb."

If, as the interviewees in my Body Snatchers in the Desert book asserted, the key event that led to the legend of the UFO crash at Roswell involved a "next-generation of Fugo" balloon that was responsible for launching an experimental aircraft that catastrophically crashed, then who better to enlist into the study of how and why the experiment failed than an expert on those very same balloons?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Roswell: The Issue Of Bodies

As I noted at this blog in an earlier post, in 1994, the U.S. Air Force published a report suggesting that what came down on the Foster Ranch, New Mexico was not, after all, a regular weather-balloon. But, said the USAF, it wasn't a UFO either. Rather it was a collection or cluster of balloons designed to monitor for Soviet atomic bomb tests. However, the project utilized regular balloons in the Mogul program. In other words, there was nothing unique or special about the make-up of these balloons. It was just the purpose they were being used for that was considered classified.

While the Air Force's report of 1994 delved deeply into the world of Project Mogul, most noticeable by its stark absence was any serious attempt to address the statements of those sources that claimed to have seen unusual bodies at the Roswell site.

Indeed, this aspect of the controversy received only the following, brief statement from the USAF: "It should also be noted here that there was little mentioned in this report about the recovery of the so-called 'alien bodies.' [T]he recovered wreckage was from a Project Mogul balloon. There were no ‘alien’ passengers therein." (1)

Three years after the 1994 report was published, the Air Force made a surprising acknowledgement that the reported sightings of strange bodies at Roswell did have a basis in fact. Not only that: so compelled by then was the Air Force to address the "bodies" issue that it authorized the release of yet another report on Roswell.

The final word was apparently not the final word, after all.


Entitled The Roswell Report: Case Closed, the Air Force’s latest report on the New Mexico events of 1947 was published in 1997 and marked the 50th anniversary of the incident at Roswell. The report did little to dampen the notoriety surrounding the case, however. Indeed, the question of why the Air Force had concluded that there was a pressing need on its part to explain the reports of unusual bodies found in New Mexico (when it could have summarily dismissed them as hoaxes or modern-day folklore), arguably only heightened the interest in what did or did not occur.

The report focused practically all of its 231 pages on the alleged recovery of the strange bodies and asserted that: "'Aliens' observed in the New Mexico desert were probably anthropomorphic test dummies that were carried aloft by U.S. Air Force high altitude balloons for scientific research. The 'unusual' military activities in the New Mexico desert were high altitude research balloon launch and recovery operations. The reports of military units that always seemed to arrive shortly after the crash of a flying saucer to retrieve the saucer and 'crew,' were actually accurate descriptions of Air Force personnel engaged in anthropomorphic dummy recovery operations."

There is no doubt (indeed, it is a matter of historical record) that the Air Force conducted a wide array of tests using crash test dummies in New Mexico and that at least some of these tests did occur in the vicinities of both the White Sands Proving Ground and the town of Roswell. But were those same tests responsible – either in part or in whole – for the stories concerning highly unusual-looking bodies recovered by the military during the summer of 1947?


During the First World War, extensive research was conducted at McCook Field, Ohio, into the development of parachutes for the military. To test the parachutes, engineers experimented with a number of different dummies, finally settling on a model constructed of three-inch hemp rope and sandbags with the approximate proportions of a medium-sized man. Known by the nickname "Dummy Joe," the model made more than five thousand "jumps" between 1918 and 1924.

By 1924, parachutes were routinely required on military aircraft, with their serviceability tested by dummies dropped from aircraft. This practice would continue until the early stages of the Second World War, when, due to both increased reliability and large numbers of parachutes in service, this routine practice was discontinued. Nevertheless, test dummies were still used frequently by the Parachute Branch of the Air Materiel Command (AMC) at Wright Field, Ohio, to test new parachute designs. But it was as a result of research into ejection seat development that the crash test dummy came to the fore in the post-war era.

The ejection seat had been developed and used successfully by the German Luftwaffe during the latter stages of the Second World War, and was recognized as a highly effective device when one was obtained by the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1944. To properly test the ejection seat, the Army Air Forces required a dummy that had the same center of gravity and weight distribution as a human; characteristics that parachute drop dummies did not possess. In 1944, the USAAF Air Materiel Command contracted with the Ted Smith Company to design and manufacture the first dummy intended to accurately represent a human, but only with abstract human features and “skin” made of canvas.

In the late 1940s, the Air Force Aero Medical Laboratory submitted a proposal for an improved model of the anthropomorphic dummy – this request having been originated by Air Force scientist and physician, John P. Stapp, who conducted a series of ground-breaking experiments at Muroc (now Edwards) Air Force Base, California, to measure the effects of acceleration and deceleration during high-speed aircraft ejections.

Stapp required a dummy that had the same center of gravity and articulation as a human, but, unlike the Ted Smith dummy, was more human in appearance. A more accurate external appearance was required to provide for the proper fit of helmets, oxygen masks, and other equipment used during the tests. Stapp requested that the Anthropology Branch of the Aero Medical Laboratory at Wright Field review anthropological, orthopaedic, and engineering literature to prepare specifications for the new dummy. Plaster casts of the torso, legs, and arms of an Air Force pilot were also taken to assure accuracy. The result was a proposed dummy that stood 72 inches tall, weighed 200 pounds, had provisions for mounting instrumentation, and could withstand up to 100 times the force of gravity, or 100Gs.


A contract was awarded to Sierra Engineering Company of Sierra Madre, California, and "Sierra Sam," as the dummy was affectionately known, was born; and a similar contract for anthropomorphic dummies was awarded to Alderson Research Laboratories, Inc., of New York City. Dummies constructed by both companies possessed the same basic characteristics: a skeleton of aluminium or steel, latex or plastic skin, a cast aluminium skull, and an instrument cavity in the torso and head for the mounting of strain gauges, accelerometers, transducers, and rate gyros.

Declassified documentation made available by the Air Force shows that forty-three high altitude balloon flights carrying 67 anthropomorphic dummies (that were transported to heights of up to 98,000 feet) were launched and recovered throughout New Mexico.

And as The Roswell Report: Case Closed notes: "Due to prevailing wind conditions, operational factors and ruggedness of the terrain, the majority of dummies impacted outside the confines of military reservations in eastern New Mexico, near Roswell, and in areas surrounding the Tularosa Valley in south central New Mexico."

For the majority of the tests, dummies were flown to altitudes between 30,000 and 98,000 feet attached to a specially designed rack suspended below a high altitude balloon; and on several flights, the dummies were mounted in the door of an experimental, high-altitude balloon gondola. Upon reaching the desired altitude, the dummies would be released and "free-fell" for several minutes before deployment of the main parachute.

Dummies utilized in these operations were typically outfitted with standard equipment, including a one-piece flight suit, olive drab or gray in color, and a parachute pack. In addition, the dummies were fitted with an instrumentation kit that contained accelerometers, pressure transducers, and a camera to record movements of the dummy during free-fall.

The recovery of the dummies was handled by Holloman Air Force Base’s Balloon Branch; and under normal circumstances, eight to twelve civilian and military recovery personnel would secure the landing site of one or more of the dummies, and would be complemented by a variety of aircraft and vehicles, including a wrecker, a six-by-six, a weapons carrier, and L-20 observation and C-47 transport aircraft. On one occasion southwest of Roswell, Lieutenant Raymond A. Madson, even conducted a search for dummies on horseback.

Documentation reviewed by the Air Force as part of its attempt to lay to rest the claims that strange corpses were recovered from the New Mexico desert in the summer of 1947, demonstrated that Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, has – to date - launched and recovered no less than 2,500 high altitude balloons, with the majority having been launched by the Holloman Balloon Branch. But under what circumstances did these operations begin?

In 1946, as a result of research conducted for Project Mogul, Charles B. Moore, the New York University graduate student working under contract for the Army Air Forces, made a significant technological discovery concerning the use of polythene for high altitude balloon construction. Polythene, a lightweight plastic that can withstand stresses of a high altitude environment differed drastically from, and greatly exceeded, the capabilities of standard rubber weather balloons used previously. As an example of this, polythene balloons flown by the Air Force have reached recorded altitudes of 170,000 feet and lifted payloads of 15,000 pounds.

It is also a fact that in the late 1940s, a characteristic associated with the large – and newly invented – polythene balloons, was that they were often misidentified as flying saucers. In fact, according to Bernard D. Gildenberg, Balloon Branch Meteorologist and Engineer, so many flying saucer reports were generated as a result of the balloons launched from Holloman AFB that accounts from police and news services were regularly used by Holloman’s technicians to supplement early balloon-tracking techniques.

Indeed, balloons launched at Holloman AFB in 1947 generated an especially high number of flying saucer reports due to the excellent visibility in the New Mexico region. Also, the balloons, flown at altitudes of approximately 100,000 feet, were illuminated before the earth during the periods just after sunset and just before sunrise. In this instance, receiving sunlight before the earth, the plastic balloons appeared as large bright objects against a dark sky. Also, with the refractive and translucent qualities of polythene, the balloons appeared to change color, size and shape.

Research also undertaken by the Air Force as a part of its Roswell investigation showed that one of the key areas of investigation in New Mexico at the time that involved balloon-based studies was in relation to “space biology” and the way in which cosmic ray particles might adversely affect living tissue; while other projects gathered meteorological data and collected air samples to determine the composition of the atmosphere.

The Air Force’s new research also led it to elaborate further upon the strange debris recovered by rancher Brazel on the Foster Ranch: "As early as May 1948, polythene balloons coated or laminated with aluminum were flown from Holloman AFB and the surrounding area. Beginning in August 1955, large numbers of these balloons were flown as targets in the development of radar guided air-to-air missiles. Various accounts of the 'Roswell Incident' often described thin, metal-like materials that when wadded into a ball, returned to their original shape. These accounts are consistent with the properties of polythene balloons laminated with aluminum. These balloons were typically launched from points west of the White Sands Proving Ground, floated over the range as targets, and descended in the areas northeast of White Sands Proving Ground where the ‘strange’ materials were allegedly found."


With the reports of strange bodies recovered near Roswell relegated to the world of the crash test dummy, the Air Force then focused its attention upon the claims (many of which surfaced from Roswell mortician W. Glenn Dennis) that alien bodies were taken to the base hospital at Roswell Army Air Field following the events of the summer of 1947.

The relevant section of The Roswell Report: Case Closed runs to no less than 50 pages and I would urge anyone with an interest in the case to review it in depth. For the sake of space, however, I cite the Air Force’s conclusions on this particular aspect of the affair: "Claims of bodies at the Roswell Army Air Field hospital were most likely a combination of two separate incidents," asserted the Air Force.

The former incident occurred on 26 June, 1956, when an Air Force refueling plane caught fire while in flight and crashed, killing all eleven crew members. The corpses of the crewmen were soaked through with fuel and burned beyond recognition, and some even lost numerous body parts. Some autopsies of the victims were conducted at civilian facilities, and the report suggests that this incident was the source of the claim that the military had retrieved gruesome, alien bodies that were described as "black" and "very mangled" by witnesses.

The second incident that the Air Force believed led rise to the claims that alien bodies were transported to the base hospital occurred on 21 May, 1959, when Air Force Captain Dan Fulgham suffered a serious head injury when the balloon he was piloting crash landed in New Mexico. His head, severely swollen with blood, was described by one associate as "just a big blob," and the USAF suggested that Fulgham’s condition may have caused a civilian observer at Walker Air Force Base hospital to later report seeing an "alien creature" enter the facility. (2)


At the time of its release, the conclusions of the Air Force’s (final...?) report provoked a furor of controversy – for two key reasons. While there is absolutely no doubt that tests utilizing anthropomorphic dummies were widespread in New Mexico and in the Roswell region, the Air Force’s report largely and very carefully glosses over the fact that these particular tests did not begin until the early 1950s. Likewise, the two events that the Air Force asserted led to the legends of alien bodies taken to the Roswell Army Air Field hospital occurred in the late 1950s and long after the purported incident of 1947.

This was an issue not lost on the media during the Air Force’s press conference at the Pentagon that accompanied the release of the report in July 1997. When asked by a reporter, "How do you square the UFO enthusiasts saying that they’re talking about 1947, and you’re talking about dummies used in the 50's, almost a decade later?" Air Force spokesman, Colonel John Haynes replied: "Well, I’m afraid that’s a problem that we have with time compression. I don’t know what they saw in ‘47, but I’m quite sure it probably was Project Mogul. But I think if you find that people talk about things over a period of time, they begin to lose exactly when the date was." (3)

Notably, too, in the wake of the report’s release, Associated Press revealedthat no less a source than the project officer at Holloman Air Force Base, Lt. Colonel Raymond A. Madson, (Ret.) wasn’t buying the latest Air Force explanation of what occurred in Roswell in July 1947 – despite the fact that Madson was cited in the report prepared by the Air Force. (4)

Neither was Roswell/UFO author and researcher, Stanton Friedman, who stated: "One of the silliest official USAF stories is the crash test dummy nonsense. I spoke in person with Colonel Madson, whose picture is in the Case Closed volume and was heavily involved in the research program. He is adamant that the explanation doesn’t fit. Remember that the dummies had to be the same height and weight as air force pilots. None were dropped anywhere near the two crash sites and none were dropped earlier than 6 years after the 1947 events.” (5)

And according to Walter Haut, the man who issued the original press release from Roswell Army Air Field in July 1947: “It’s just to me another cover-up. If you’re dropping a dummy, any dummy would know what a dummy looks like.” (6)

In essence, the material related above represents the current state of play with regard to the U.S. Air Force's stance on the issue of bodies associated with the events on the Foster Ranch, New Mexico in early July 1947.

The Air Force stands firmly behind its Mogul and crash test dummy explanations, UFO proponents assert that this is all part of a huge and on-going conspiracy designed to hide the fact that an alien spacecraft crashed at Roswell, and the general public and the media look on with a mixture of interest, puzzlement, bemusement and amusement.

To this day, a decade and a half after the "Crash Test Dummy Report" was published, the USAF has not changed its stance on the nature of the bodies found in and around the Roswell area in the summer of 1947.

1. Report of Air Force Research Regarding the Roswell Incident, Colonel Richard L. Weaver, United States Air Force, 1994. The Roswell Report: Fact Vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert, Colonel Richard L. Weaver, United States Air Force, 1995.

2. The Roswell Report: Case Closed, Captain James McAndrew, United States Air Force, 1997.

3. United States Air Force Press Conference, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C., July 4, 1997.

4. "Dummies Weren't Classified, Says Retired Colonel," Associated Press, 5 July 1997.

5. Scientist Challenges Air Force Regarding UFOs,

6. www.moreabcnews.go.com/dispatches/bureaus/roswell702/roswell702.html

Friday, January 20, 2012

Roswell: From Schiff To Mogul

In relation to my previous post (of yesterday, on Roswell's missing files), I got an email from someone asking what it was that set the General Accounting Office on the trail of Roswell.

Good question!

It goes like this...

In the spring of 1993, New Mexico Congressman Steven Schiff began to make inquiries with the Defense Department in an attempt to determine the truth surrounding certain aspects of the controversy.

In an 11 March 1993 letter to the then Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin, Schiff wrote:

"Last fall I became aware of a strange series of events beginning in New Mexico over 45 years ago and involving personnel of what was then the Army Air Force. I have since reviewed the facts in some detail, and I am writing to request your assistance in arriving at a definitive explanation of what transpired and why.

"In brief, according to contemporary newspaper, wire service, national radio newscast, and numerous eyewitness accounts, on or about July 3, 1947, rancher William W. (Mac) Brazel found a large amount of unusual debris on property he managed northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, near the town of Corona. He brought his find to the attention of Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox, who then contacted the Roswell Army Air Field, home of the 509th Bomb Group (Atomic) commanded by Colonel William H. Blanchard…According to testimony of the group intelligence officer, Major Jesse A. Marcel, he and the Counter Intelligence Corps officer in charge at the field, Captain Sheridan, W. Cavitt, then accompanied Mr. Brazel to the discovery site.

"Marcel testified that he and Cavitt found an area measuring about three-quarters of a mile long by 200 to 300 feet wide densely strewn with large amount of extremely lightweight, extremely strong materials neither could identify. Samples of these materials were flown to Eighth Air Force Headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas…

"A few hours later, Eighth Air Force Commanding General Roger M. Ramey told reporters in Fort Worth that what had been found in New Mexico were the initially misidentified remains of a weather balloon and its Rawin radar target. Recently, in written and videotaped depositions, Brigadier General Thomas J. DuBose, USAF(ret.), General Ramey’s chief of staff at the time of the incident, testified that the balloon explanation was a cover story…

"The inconsistency between repeated official denials and the public record and testimony of those involved has led to a great deal of sensational speculation and called into question the credibility of the Departments of Defense, Army, and the Air Force…

"Therefore, Mr. Secretary, I respectfully request that you direct such a review be undertaken on a priority basis and that a representative or representatives of the Department of Defense and the responsible Military Departments promptly arrange to brief and provide me with a written report providing a current, complete, and detailed description and explanation of both the nature of what was recovered and all official actions taken on the matter…"

On 31 March 1993, and as a direct result of this action, Schiff received the following reply - not from Aspin but from Colonel Larry G. Shockley, USAF, Director, Plans and Operations:

"I have received your letter of March 11, requesting information on alleged events which occurred in Roswell, New Mexico. In order to be of service to you, I have referred this matter to the National Archives and Records Administration for direct reply to you. If I can be of further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to let me know."

Schiff’s office duly followed this on 7 April 1993 with a submission of material to Rudy deLeon, Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary of Defense, who replied:

"This is in regard to your recent letter to Secretary Aspin regarding alleged events which occurred in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. I, too, find these unexplained occurrences of great interest; however, these records are too old to be available here at the Pentagon. I would, therefore, recommend that you contact the National Archives for additional information, as I believe Colonel Shockley has already done on your behalf. I regret that my response in not more favorable, but I trust you will find this information helpful."

Once again, Congressman Schiff’s office quickly sent a follow up letter to Secretary of Defense Aspin:

"I realize that, after almost 46 years, it is a virtual certainty that all or most of the records concerning this incident have been archived. However, my staff and several independent investigators have conclusively established they are not in any of the unclassified, including previously classified, holdings of the National Archives. Moreover, it is my understanding that it is highly unlikely they reside in any of the classified files in the custody of the Archives.

"Wherever the documents may be, what is at issue is my request for a personal briefing and a written report on a matter involving actions taken by officials of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, agencies under your purview. I realize the research required to uncover the relevant documents and related materials will take time and considerable effort, and I am prepared to wait a reasonable amount of time for this to be accomplished. However I expect the job to be done and my request to be addressed as set forth in the penultimate paragraph of my March letter…"

On 20 May 1993, Congressman Schiff received his reply from the National Archives:

"This is in reply to your letter of March 11, 1993, concerning information about a UFO sighting at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. The Department of the Air Force forwarded your letter, and we received it on May 6, 1993. The U.S. Air Force has retired to our custody its records on Project BLUE BOOK relating to the investigations of unidentified flying objects. Project BLUE BOOK has been declassified and the records are available for examination in our research room. The project closed in 1969 and we have no information after that date. We have received numerous requests concerning records relating to the Roswell incident among these records. We have not located any documentation relating to this event in Project BLUE BOOK records, or in any other pertinent Defense Department records in our custody."

Interpreting the fact that he was being passed back and forth from the Defense Department to the National Archives as stonewalling, Schiff once again determined to resolve the matter once and for all with Secretary Aspin:

"…While I realize that the Department of Defense, and you, Mr. Secretary, have been very busy in areas throughout the world, while also concerned with proposed changes in policy within the Department, I must insist on the courtesy of a reply to my letter, which is now three months old. To reiterate, while I am prepared to wait a reasonable length of time for the briefing I requested, I do insist that the Department do the research on my inquiry and report the findings to me. I also must insist on having my letters to the Department of Defense acknowledged and acted upon. I look forward to your response to my letters, and to the scheduled briefing. I will expect a reply to this inquiry by September 7th."

Nevertheless things did not go according to Schiff’s wishes, and as a result, he contacted the General Accounting Office (the investigative arm of Congress) in a concerted effort to bring the Roswell controversy to rest, once and for all - as the Washington Post noted in January 1994:

"…GAO spokeswoman Laura A. Kopelson said the office’s investigation…stemmed from a meeting in October between Schiff and GAO Controller General Charles A Bowsher. Schiff complained then that the Defense Department had been ‘unresponsive’ to his inquiries about the 1947 incident…’I was getting pretty upset at all the running around,’ Schiff said, adding that at his meeting with GAO officials, ‘they made an offer to help.’… ‘Generally, I'm a skeptic on UFOs and alien beings, but there are indications from the runaround that I got that whatever it was, it wasn’t a balloon. Apparently, it's another government cover-up,’ Schiff said. He called the Defense Department’s lack of response ‘astounding,’ and said government accountability was an issue ‘even larger than UFOs.’…He added, ‘If the Defense Department had been responsive, it wouldn’t have come to this.'"

As a result of Schiff’s efforts, (A) the GAO duly launched an investigation and on 28 July 1995, a report surfaced from its National Security and International Affairs Division that disclosed the results of that same investigation; (B) the Air Force trotted out its controversial "Mogul Balloon" theory for Roswell; and (C) the UFO research community was faced with more data, more questions, but still no hard evidence of what it really was that happened at Roswell...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coming Soon: Roswell & Fort Stanton...

On the horizon...

New data - shocking, controversial, and illuminating data - on a link between Fort Stanton, New Mexico and the Roswell affair.

Stay tuned for news on matters of a secret, Japanese, and high-altitude-based nature.


About Those Missing Roswell Files...

On July 28, 1995, the General Accounting Office's report on the Roswell affair surfaced from its National Security and International Affairs Division. And although the GAO's report did not provide any smoking-guns - or, rather, any old B&W photos of dead bodies and wreckage at the crash-site on the Foster Ranch, New Mexico - it did provide something interesting and controversial. And it's something that has been misinterpreted for years.

During the course of their search for records to try and better understand what had taken place at Roswell in early July 1947, the GAO learned that the entire outgoing messages from Roswell Army Air Field generated during the period that the event occurred were missing, and under circumstances that could not be fully determined and proved.

This, inevitably and very understandably, led certain Roswell researchers to proclaim that this was evidence of a significant event of UFO proportions having occurred, and which certain elements of officialdom were determined to keep forever hidden from the populace, the media, and the UFO research community - and possibly, even, from anyone else in government who might dare to come looking, such as investigators of the GAO.

And, maybe, that's precisely what happened.

But...the story is not quite as straightforward as that.

Time and again, I have heard UFO researchers say, words to the effect of: "Because the 1947 files are missing, this means the government or the Air Force pulled them years ago, so no-one could get to them."

Sure, that's not impossible. But, there's another issue. The files in question that are unavailable to us do not cover just the key period of the Roswell affair. Rather, they extend back as far as March 1945 and as late as December 1949 - practically into the 1950s, no less.

We are led to believe that if aliens crashed at Roswell, then it was an event out of the blue, with little or no advance notice, and certainly not something that had been anticipated for a significant period of time.

So, that being the case, why the need to pull files from as early as March 1945 to hide something that is said to have occurred, without much warning (if any), in the summer of 1947?

Proponents of the notion that aliens crashed at Roswell might say that the government was just being overly careful, and wanted to make sure that (a) nothing was left behind, and (b) nothing had been misplaced in an earlier collection of material, or indeed, within a later collection of material, possibly held in secure safes at the base. So, they chose the best and quickest option available to them and scooped up pretty much everything that covered approximately two years or so before, and up to two-and-a-half years after the crash.

And, maybe, that is exactly what happened.

On the other hand, one can make a valid argument that the vanished files issue has no bearing on Roswell, because the documents that are missing incude papers dating from two years before the event even took place.

This also offers a theory (and, granted, that's all it is) that there was another reason for the large-scale loss of material that the GAO sought to uncover.

Let's see what the GAO had to say about this matter of missing messages in its 1995 report:

"In addition to unit history reports, we also searched for other government records on the Roswell crash. In this regard, the Chief Archivist for the National Personnel Records Center provided us with documentation indicating that (1) RAAF records such as finance and accounting, supplies, buildings and grounds, and other general administrative matters from March 1945 through December 1949 and (2) RAAF outgoing messages from October 1946 through December 1949 were destroyed." [Bold emphasis mine.]

When the GAO demanded to know the reasons behind this development, they got an answer, as GAO files note:

"According to this official [the Chief Archivist for the National Personnel Records Center], the document disposition form did not properly indicate the authority under which the disposal action was taken. The Center’s Chief Archivist stated that from his personal experience, many of the Air Force organizational records covering this time period were destroyed without entering a citation for the governing disposition authority. Our review of records control forms showing the destruction of other records--including outgoing RAAF messages for 1950--supports the Chief Archivist’s viewpoint."

So, in other words, we have yet another explanation that does not include high-level conspiracy to explain the loss and destruction of files, but which says far more about bureaucracy. Note too that, on digging further, the GAO learned that 1950-era Roswell files had been destroyed as well, not just records up until December 1949 (which is something else that fails to get mentioned to any great degree by ET proponents of Roswell).

So, what's my point in all this? Well, this is my point: Yes, it certainly is intriguing that half-a-decade of certain files are missing from the old Roswell Army Air Field, and it may even be an issue of deep conspiracy.

Or, it may not be.

But, if UFO/Roswell researchers wish to maintain that the missing files from 1947 point to a specific cover-up of the Roswell event - and Roswell occurred out of the blue in July of that year - then they have to provide a viable reason as to why documentation dating back as far as March 1945 was pulled too, and why additional documentation remains missing from as late as 1950.

Saying "the outgoing Roswell messages from July 1947 are missing" is absolutely true, and it opens eyes and it catches the attention of people. Noting that, in reality, the files actually cover 1945 to 1950, and also cover general administrative issues at the base, is far less attention-grabbing.

The issue of the missing files is undeniably interesting and deeply worthy of further study, scrutiny, and investigation. But, if we are to remain balanced in our approach to addressing this aspect of the affair, we need to recognize that the "vanished documents" saga is not as clear-cut as it might seem, or as many might prefer it to be.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Body Snatchers: The Stuart Miller Review

Before his tragic death in a traffic accident in 2011, Stuart Miller (of UFO Review and Alien Worlds) helped give a great deal of positive publicity for my Body Snatchers in the Desert book, in the face of much criticism from the UFO research community that hoped and prayed I was wrong.

The picture on the left shows Stuart on the left and me on the right, and was taken in the summer of 2006 at Stuart's home in England.

And here's Stuart's review of Body Snatchers in the Desert, written shortly after publication of the book in the summer of 2005:

In "Body Snatchers", Nick almost certainly offers the definitive explanation about what happened at Roswell. It may not be what you want to hear because I will tell you right now; it doesn't involve aliens, but as you read what he says, if your reaction is the same as mine was, then you will find yourself reluctantly coming to the conclusion that he has probably cracked it. As you read it, there is a "dreaded" sense of feeling that it all just seems to make a horrible sense.

There is a lot to take in and it will be difficult to absorb in one hit but as you do, you will be struck with a further wave of shock as you then consider the implications of what he has to say. They are very, very profound for this subject that we love.

For others there will be a sense of relief that, as they see it, this albatross is finally removed from around their necks and Ufology can get on with its "life" unfettered by the distraction of this incident.

I would like to congratulate Nick on what I consider to be a truly excellent piece of research. My feeling is that this may well come to be regarded as his seminal work.

The essential point of Nick's case is not new, although it actually may be new to you. The theory first surfaced with author John Keel about fifteen years ago although he was off base quite a bit, but in the mid 90s "Popular Mechanics" got very close indeed. Not quite there, but nearly. It is an interesting exercise to go back and read their piece again. They obviously had contacts.

And others have been there too. It's been looked at, tossed around, laughed at, dismissed, and generally considered very unlikely. It will be a little harder to discard this time though. Nick presents new witness testimony and documentation and the way he pulls it all together is impressive. What is also interesting is the manner in which the story came to him. From two different separate strands, separated by five years.

So the truth has been out there, of sorts, for a while. They have told us. They just didn't tell us they were telling us.

There is bound to be controversy caused by Nick's conclusions and perhaps even mocking, and it would be naïve to expect otherwise. A lot of people are going to be disturbed by this. A lot of people have given their ufological professional lives to pursuing a particular aspect of Roswell or a particular case and all will be deeply affected and that should not be under estimated. The controversy will be welcomed. There are bound to be rough edges to Nick's story here and there and possible occasional inaccuracies but it is unlikely they will undermine the core of his account. But Nick would welcome the interest and input of other researchers, without question. He hopes that people will go out and check up on what he has written for them selves, and possibly even take the story further. His narrative also opens up many other potential avenues of research.

If people accept what he has written and fully comprehend the consequences, then the affects will take time to filter through. The details, although a lot, you will take on board. It's the digestion process afterwards where the pain might come.

Most of you though will be disappointed, but, we cannot hide from the truth. Nick has, quite frankly, done us an enormous favour and I consider this to be, unquestionably, the most important book in relation to Ufology for a very, very long time. Possibly ever.

Dummies and Roswell

Back in the summer of 1997, when the Roswell, New Mexico incident was all the news (due to the fact that the case - involving who knows what - was then precisely 50 years old), the U.S. Air Force came out with a somewhat bizarre and still-controversial report suggesting that the alleged "alien bodies" found outside of Roswell were actually crash-test-dummies used in high-altitude experiments.

The theory provoked a wealth of debate within the domain of Ufology, and even the mainstream media addressed the scenario with some doubt when it was demonstrated by eagle-eyed sleuths that the dummy tests didn't even begin until 1952 - five years after Roswell occurred!

No wonder the debate continues to rage.

Anyway, for those who are interested, you can find one of the dummies in question on display at the UFO Museum at Roswell - and here it is (this photo was taken by me 6 or 7 years ago).

But, there is one interesting (to me anyway!) thing about the crash-test dummy story that very rarely - if ever - gets touched upon.

I have heard UFO researchers say time and again that it would be absurd to imagine that people could mistake dummies for aliens - chiefly because the dummies were all six-footers (or thereabouts), and the bodies at Roswell were only from three to five-feet in height.

And, I agree that the dummy scenario does not solve whatever it was that did or did not happen at Roswell.

But (yep, another but!), the dummy on display at the UFO Museum is not a six-footer. It's probably around five-foot-two or -three, or maybe an inch or two more. I'm six-foot-tall, and I tower over the one in the museum display!

So, even though I am not in the slightest bit persuaded by the theory that the Roswell bodies were dummies, contrary to what many UFO researchers have claimed, the dummies were not all big "guys."

That's one of the issues I have with many facets of Ufology (and Forteana in general): certain incorrect statements (such as this one about the dummies, the "95 per cent of all UFOs can be explained" statement, the "alien abductions began with Betty and Barney Hill" assertion, and the "Kenneth Arnold coined the term Flying Saucer" claim, etc, etc) are trotted out time and again, and without any independent attempt to confirm the statement.

Why? Easy! Because someone else said it, and someone else said it before them, and so on and so on. And it's easy and lazy not to do one's own research - for many.

So, no, in my view the dummies of Roswell are not the bodies of Roswell. And the dummies were certainly not dwarf-like in size. But, they were not all 6-footers either. In fact, nowhere near. If you don't believe me, go to Roswell, and have your photo taken next to the town's resident dummy.

If people want to say something about UFOs, and UFO events, they should investigate them. They should not be relying on what someone else said and simply assume its fully correct. Don't, in other words, be a dummy.

A Strange Search for the Roswell Bodies

Something happened outside of Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947.

And - in my view - it didn't involve a weather-balloon, a Mogul-balloon, or crash-test dummies.

Do I think there's a good chance that bodies (possibly human) were found within, or near to, the large field of wreckage stumbled upon by rancher Mack Brazel on that legendary day back in July 1947?

Yes, I do!

So what, you may ask, does any of this have to do with the accompanying photo that looks suspiciously like a seance is about to kick-off? Well, first, that's exactly what it shows!

And if you're wondering where it was taken, I'll tell you. The location was Hangar 84 at the old Roswell Army Air Field where, some have alleged, the bodies from the Roswell crash were briefly held after their discovery on a remote part of the (equally remote) Foster Ranch.

The reason for me being at the old hangar was as simple as it was bizarre: I was there with several psychics who planned on trying to contact the souls of the Roswell-deceased to determine who they were, where they were from, and what happened to them.

It was around the witching-hour on an appropriately dark, chilly and wind-filled night in December 2005 when the seance began, and which lasted for around 40-minutes, or thereabouts.

With their minds trained, the psychics said that they felt the presence of something (souls, in other words), that they had imagery of some sort of vehicle violently crashing to earth on the harsh desert floor, and of the bodies of the crew being strewn around the area, and well and truly pummelled in the process.

Okay, much of that we know already. But to hear it during a seance, at midnight, in a hangar - or, rather, in that hangar - at Roswell was memorable in the extreme.

Granted, not exactly the most conventional of all investigations into the Roswell bodies, but I'll bet there has not been a stranger one!

Roswell: Storing the Debris

Why, you may ask, have I included in this post interior and exterior shots of an old building, in some desolate desert locale?

Well, I'll tell you why!

This is the very building into which none other than rancher Mac Brazel hauled - for safe-keeping - a bunch of anomalous debris found on the Foster Ranch, New Mexico in the summer of 1947.

Yep, that's right: Roswell.

I had the opportunity to spend some time at the crash-site itself in February of 2011 (nope, I didn't find anything weird unfortunately!), and was very pleased when I was invited to check-out this seldom-seen construction that played such an integral role in Roswell - regardless of what did or did not happen on that fateful day.

And,correct me if you think I'm wrong, but if aliens really did crash on the Foster Ranch, isn't it maybe time for permission to be sought to tear down the building and do a full search of its foundations and immediate surroundings?

You know: just in case...

The Plaque of Roswell

When it comes to Roswell, Ufology's premier case - or a saucer-themed equivalent of Jack the Ripper, in the sense that it's all so long ago it will likely never be resolved to the satisfaction of everyone - there is, rather surprisingly, one thing upon which we can all agree.

What's that?

That something came down on the Foster Ranch all those years ago!

But...weather-balloon, Mogul-balloon, UFO, a military experiment, aliens, Russians, Japanese, crash-test dummies? Well...who knows? And who can prove anything definitive even if they do know?

But, whatever the event involved, it has its very own celebratory plaque out at the Foster Ranch, which is actually a long and winding road from the town of Roswell, particularly so when one gets to the ranch itself and the "road" becomes very primitive, to say the least!

I took the above photo of the plaque on a snowy, freezing morning at the crash-site in February of 2011.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crash-Test Dummies at Roswell...

I don't believe that Crash-Test Dummies can account for the Roswell bodies.


Check out this old issue of Popular Mechanics, the page of which in the link below shows a parachute-related experiment (years before Roswell) that involved a very small dummy/doll with what looks like a large bald head.

Note, too, the link to Wright-Field (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base), which has long been associated with tales of crashed UFOs and small alien bodies.

Does it prove anything? Nope. Do I think it's, um, "interesting" and worthy of further study? Maybe!

Here's the link, so make up your own mind!