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?