Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Radical Decision

I have come to what some might consider a radical decision! As you may know, I have so many blogs right now that it's sometimes hard to keep track of what's going on and where. So, I am bringing all my current blogs to a halt. I'm not deleting them. But, I am folding them as of today. In their place, I have set up a new blog titled Nick Redfern's Fortean World. Yeah, I know: it's hardly the most original or imaginative title, but it is accurate and to the point! So, from now on, while all my existing blogs will remain archived, here's the address for the new blog, Nick Redfern's Fortean World. As you'll see, the design and style has not been completed yet, and there's no content yet either. But, bear with me, and over the next few days you'll see it start to develop its life and character!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Polling Roswell

Well, it's interesting to see the results of my poll regarding what the readers of this blog think really happened on the Foster Ranch, Lincoln County, New Mexico in July 1947.

Of the 103 people who voted, 60 were of the opinion that an alien spacecraft plummeted to earth; precisely 1 thought it was a weather-balloon; 12 concluded it was a Mogul balloon; and 30 believed it was a classified device of the military.

Of course, it's incredibly difficult to gauge anything definitive from a poll, and I will be the first to admit that some of the votes in favor of a secret military vehicle having crashed may have been prompted by the simple fact that people who read this blog may be more inclined to share my views than those who check out far more ET-oriented websites and blogs on Roswell.

But, I do find it interesting that while approximately 60 percent of people were of the opinion that aliens met their deaths outside of Roswell, a fairly significant, near-40 percent, held very different views...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Saucers in 47: "A Very Highly Classified Experiment"

If, as my Body Snatchers in the Desert book suggests, certain key events in the summer of 1947 - of a perceived flying saucer nature - had far less to do with the actions of aliens and far more to do with matters of a classified, military nature, then it would be reasonable to assume that discussion of such a possibility would have been flying around Washington and the government, and people would have been secretly digging at an official level to try and determine if this was indeed the case.

Although many have said that the government's worries and concerns about UFOs in '47 were provoked by fear of them having definitive alien or Soviet origins, we have prime evidence in our hands that demonstrates the domestic "Secret Weapon" angle was one most definitely discussed - and even accepted - at an official level, as we shall now see...

In early July 1947, Brigadier General George F. Schulgen, Chief of the Requirements Intelligence Branch of Army Air Corps Intelligence, met with Special Agent S.W. Reynolds of the FBI with a view to determining if the Army Air Force could solicit the assistance of the Bureau on a regular basis in its investigation of the flying saucer mystery.

General Schulgen advised Reynolds that, “every effort must be undertaken in order to run down and ascertain whether or not the flying discs are a fact and, if so, to learn all about them.”

The foremost thought on General Schulgen’s mind was that the saucers were man-made in origin. He confided in Special Agent Reynolds that, “the first reported sightings might have been by individuals of Communist sympathies with the view to causing hysteria and fear of a secret weapon.” It was for this reason that the Army Air Force sought the FBI’s assistance.

General Schulgen guaranteed the FBI “all the facilities of [my] office as to results obtained,” and outlined a plan that would involve the FBI in both locating and questioning witnesses to UFO sightings to ascertain whether they were sincere in their statements that they had seen flying saucers, or whether their statements were prompted by personal desire for publicity or political reasons.

Schulgen was careful to advise Reynolds too that: “It has been established that the flying discs are not the result of any Army or Navy experiment.”

Following the meeting between Schulgen and Reynolds, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover instructed his agents to begin investigations into flying saucer sightings in the manner suggested by General Schulgen. As a result of these investigations, on 15 August 1947 the FBI learned of the distinct possibility that the military’s involvement in the flying saucer subject possibly extended beyond that of mere observer.

In a memorandum to Edward A. Tamm, the FBI Assistant Director, D.M. Ladd of the Bureau’s Domestic Intelligence Division wrote the following:

“The Director advised on August 14, 1947, that the Los Angeles papers were carrying headlines indicating that Soviet espionage agents had been instructed to determine the facts relative to the flying discs. The article carried a Washington date line and indicated that Red espionage agents had been ordered to solve the question of the flying discs, the Russians being of the opinion that this might be some new form of defense perfected by the American military. The article further recalled that during the recent war pieces of tin foil had been dropped in the air for the purpose of off-setting the value of radar being used by the enemy forces and that these aluminum discs might be a new development along this line. The Director inquired as to whether the Bureau had any such information."

Suspecting that, if the Russians were snooping around, the saucers had to be American in origin, Special Agent Reynolds of the FBI’s Liaison Section was directed by J. Edgar Hoover to make further inquiries with the Air Force.

On 19 August, 1947, Reynolds met with a Lieutenant Colonel George D. Garrett and the entire secret weapon issue was discussed frankly, as were the possible consequences should the Bureau uncover details of a top-secret, domestic research-and development program.

Following their candid discussion, a remarkable memorandum captioned Flying Discs was prepared by Reynolds for the attention of Hoover. It is this document perhaps more than any other that indicates that the American military was testing flying saucer-type aircraft in the summer of 1947.

“Special Agent S. W. Reynolds of the Liaison Section, while discussing the above captioned phenomena with Lieutenant Colonel Garrett of the Air Forces Intelligence, expressed the possibility that flying discs were, in fact, a very highly classified experiment of the Army or Navy. Mr. Reynolds was very much surprised when Colonel Garrett not only agreed that this was a possibility, but confidentially stated it was his personal opinion that such was a probability. Colonel Garrett indicated that a Mr. [Deleted], who is a scientist attached to the Air Forces Intelligence, was of the same opinion.

"Colonel Garrett stated that he based his assumption on the following: He pointed out that when flying objects were reported seen over Sweden, the ‘high brass’ of the War Department extended tremendous pressure on the Air Forces Intelligence to conduct research and collect information in an effort to identify these sightings. Colonel Garrett stated that, in contrast to this, we have reported sightings of unknown objects over the United States, and the ‘high brass’ appeared to be totally unconcerned. He indicated this led him to believe that they knew enough about these objects to express no concern. Colonel Garrett pointed out further that the objects in question have been seen by many individuals who are what he terms ‘trained observers’ such as airline pilots. He indicated also that several of the individuals are reliable members of the community. He stated that these individuals saw something. He stated the above has led him to the conclusion that there were objects seen which somebody in the Government knows all about.”

Special Agent Reynolds then pointed out to the colonel that if flying saucers did indeed originate with a highly classified domestic project of the military, it was wholly unreasonable for the FBI to be expected to “spend money and precious time conducting inquiries with respect to this matter.”

The colonel duly concurred with Reynolds, and indicated that it would have been extremely embarrassing to Air Force Intelligence if the saucers proved to be American in origin.

Perhaps sensing that he was getting close to uncovering the truth behind the UFO puzzle, Reynolds then made inquiries with the Intelligence Division of the War Department for an opinion on the theory that some shadow government operation was responsible for the many flying-saucer-type objects seen over North America.

The War Department, however, issued a flat denial that it was in any way implicated in the UFO issue. In a report written up later, Reynolds noted that he was given “the assurance of General Chamberlain and General Todd that the Army is conducting no experiments with anything which could possibly be mistaken for a flying disc.”

Nevertheless, the FBI continued to view the subject of flying saucers and the military’s involvement in it with suspicious eyes; and rumors continued to circulate within the higher echelons of the FBI that it was being denied access to the full and unexpurgated facts.

None of this, of course, proves that the flying saucer wave of the summer of 1947 was provoked by a highly classified military program - rather than one of ET origin - but the behind-the-scenes discussions between the likes of Reynolds and Garrett on just such a possibility are, to say the very least, highly intriguing...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Body Snatchers: The Timeline

I was asked recently if I could provide a summarized time-line of the events leading up to, and including, those described in my Body Snatchers in the Desert book. Well, yes, I can!

It goes like this...

During the latter stages of the Second World War, the Japanese military is working to perfect highly advanced balloons as a weapon of war – to the extent that on 4 June 1945, a Japanese military spokesman states that the Fugo balloon launches of the previous few months are merely precursors for something far more dangerous, including large-scale attacks with death-defying Japanese manning the balloons.

The new balloons, American experts estimate, will be at least sixty feet in diameter and will be able to carry a pressurized gondola containing four relatively small men to a height of around 30,000 feet as the balloons travel upon their stratospheric, four-day flights across the Pacific to the United States. Similarly, declassified FBI, CIA, Air Force and British Government memoranda reveals that in the same time frame, the Germans are actively pursuing several new and novel aviation-based projects, including the construction of circular and elliptical shaped aircraft – a number of which are based upon the groundbreaking and revolutionary work of the Horten brothers.

In addition, extensive wartime research is conducted by the Japanese Government’s Unit 731 and by Nazi scientists into the extremely controversial area of human medical experimentation. A large body of that same experimentation is devoted to better understanding the effects of high-altitude exposure on human beings and is undertaken, in part, on physically handicapped individuals.

At the close of hostilities, scientific, aviation and medical experts from Japan and Germany are secretly brought to the United States – via Project Paperclip and its Japanese equivalent – where human experimentation and advanced aircraft research continues unabated and under the strictest security. As President Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments notes: At least 1,600 scientists and their dependents were recruited and brought to the United States by Paperclip and its successor projects through the early 1970s.

The ACHRE also notes with respect to the time period in question that a number of potentially important collections could not be located and were evidently lost or destroyed. Similarly, the Committee reveals, a number of those same document collections related to experiments undertaken in the fields of biomedicine, defense and space exploration; and in the great majority of these cases only fragmentary data remained. Where programs were legitimately kept secret for national security reasons, states the Committee, the government often did not create or maintain adequate records, thereby preventing the public, and those most at risk, from learning the facts in a timely and complete fashion.

In the aftermath of the War, a number of military research sites recruit Paperclip scientists with backgrounds in aero-medicine, radiobiology and ophthalmology, including the Air Force’s School of Aviation Medicine, from where experiments into total-body irradiation, space medicine, space biology and flash-blindness are undertaken; and the White Sands Proving Ground becomes home to the V2 rockets developed by – and captured from - Nazi Germany during the War.

In addition, at the same time that the Paperclip personnel are actively being brought to the United States, the Air Force’s Aero Medical Center gives its top priority to the translation of manuscripts providing a complete picture of German aviation medicine.

Further advances are made in the field of aviation in post-war America: on 26 May 1946, the Air Force awards to the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation a contract that establishes Fairchild as the responsible agency of the NEPA nuclear aircraft project; and the Holloman Balloon Branch, Holloman AFB, New Mexico, eventually goes on to become a recognized component of the space-race, via its involvement in the Discoverer program.

Crucially, the National Archives and Records Administration at Maryland makes available a document concerning the early years of research at White Sands and Holloman: Little information is available on specific events with regard to range safety during this period, it reveals. And on 1 July 1947, Major Curtis E. LeMay, Major General, U.S. Army, Deputy Chief of Air Staff for Research and Development, orders that research into the biological effects of radiation on Japanese individuals should begin.

In the summer of 1947 and against this backdrop of (a) nuclear and biological tests on human subjects; (b) revolutionary aircraft programs; and (c) an influx of senior scientific, medical and aviation experts into the United States from Japan and Germany, a series of events and accidents occur on and near the White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico and collectively become known as The Roswell Incident. Witnesses at several crash sites report seeing the remains of unusual-looking aircraft and small bodies, some with enlarged, bald heads and Asian or Oriental-like features.

On 19 August 1947, FBI Special Agent S. W. Reynolds informs Bureau director, J. Edgar Hoover, that in a meeting with an Air Force colonel, the colonel expresses his firm belief that, the flying discs originate with a highly classified experiment of the Army or Navy.

In the immediate wake of the Roswell affair, Dr. Lincoln La Paz of the University of New Mexico – and a wartime expert on the Fugo balloons – becomes deeply embroiled in the Roswell controversy; the ramifications of the Nuremberg Code begin to reverberate and rumble within the United States; and, as the 3 November 1947 issue of the Biology Division Bulletin of the Clinton National Laboratory reveals, staff at Oak Ridge (home of the nuclear aircraft program) take an active interest in experimentation undertaken to determine the effect of radioactive iodine on dwarfs and those afflicted with Progeria - a syndrome that results in a small stature, an enlarged, bald-head and on occasion extra fingers and toes.

In official FBI memoranda, Colonel Clyde D. Gasser, Air Material Command, U.S. Army and the principal army technician at the NEPA project at Oak Ridge, discusses with the FBI his theories linking flying saucers with nuclear aircraft research; and on 4 October 1949, the NEPA Medical Advisory Committee concludes that, with regard to the nuclear aircraft program, live, human experimentation is the number one priority.

During the same time, an official report of the Air Force’s UFO investigative unit, Project Grudge, recommends that the military’s psychological warfare personnel should be apprised of the results of the Grudge study. Notable is the Department of Defense’s official definition of psychological warfare: “The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives.”

In the same time frame that the military, the Psychological Strategy Board and the CIA are looking at the ways in which the flying saucer mystery can be used as a tool of psychological warfare, Brigadier General W.M. Garland, USAF, informs General John Samford, Air Force Director of Intelligence, that it is logical to assume that some reported flying saucer sightings could conceivably be related to the development of aircraft borne out of the work of the Horten brothers.

Operation Klondike is initiated and employs the use of a crashed UFO cover story for the transfer of Hungarian treasures, including the crown of St. Stephen; and in 1955 Dr. Willard Libby of the Atomic Energy Committee’s Project Sunshine states that accessing human samples is of prime importance and if anyone knows how to do a good job of body-snatching, they will really be serving their country.

From wartime Japan to Operation Sunshine, that, pretty much, is the controversial timeline of events...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Range Safety, Roswell, and "Little Information"

During the course of doing the research for my Body Snatchers in the Desert book, I spent a lot of time at the National Archives, digging into files to determine what was going on at various New Mexico-based military installations during the summer of 1947.

One of the files that I considered of potential interest - and which I still consider to be of potential interest - originated with Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and was titled Holloman Air Force Base Range Safety, 1947-1959.

Prepared in 1960, it makes a number of intriguing statements:

"The handling of range safety problems at the Air Force Missile Development Center, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, has passed through three distinct phases. From the establishment of the Air Forces guided missile program at Holloman until the integration of the Holloman and White Sands Proving Ground test range in September 1952, Holloman was responsible for safety aspects of all its tests, including rocketsonde and balloon flights and research and development drone tests as well as missile tests in the narrow sense. Naturally there were many occasions for close coordination between the Air Forces at Holloman and the Army at White Sands on range safety criteria and procedures, for instance when the flight pattern of a missile took it over both of the adjoining test ranges."

Notably, and crucially, the document also states: "Little information is available on specific events with regard to range safety during this period."

Needless to say, if, as this document demonstrates, by 1960 Holloman's own historians had "little" access to the history of the early years of research and safety issues at Holloman and its links with activities undertaken at White Sands (both in New Mexico), then the idea that such a monumental story as the Roswell affair could remain successfully buried for decades seems not so unusual after all.

SOURCE: Holloman Air Force Base Range Safety, 1947-1959, Holloman Air Force Base, 1960.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Bizarre biological experiments..."

In the early 1990s, the UFO researcher Timothy Cooper spoke with a certain Albert Collins, who, in the early-to-mid 1940s, worked for Berkeley and at Occidental College on the Manhattan Project, the one project more than any other that proved instrumental in determining the outcome of the Second World War when atomic bombs destroyed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Albert Bruce Collins was born on 12 May 1912, in New York and died on 31 December 1990, from coronary disease. He graduated from Occidental College in 1942 and worked initially at Berkeley, California, and later at the University of Chicago.

According to his obituary published in the 10 January 1991 edition of The Grizzly, Collins was known as the "watchdog" of Big Bear Valley, California.

Cooper said that, according to Collins's words, in the 1940s: "...New Mexico was abuzz with unusual research into nuclear powered aircraft and bizarre biological experiments. Some people were losing their clearances for no apparent reasons. All I know is that the scary feelings everybody had who was asked to do experiments on stuff that nobody ever saw before and how we were later threatened if we talked about anything we saw, felt or heard."

One of the rumors that Collins was acutely aware of centered around "autopsies of midget people with mongoloid heads that were accidentally exposed to high doses of radiation at Los Alamos."

Just another chapter in the saga of Roswell as it - maybe - relates to diabolical experimentation on human-beings...

UFO Crash/Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum, Lenoard H. Stringfield, published privately, July 1991.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Yep: Those Bodies Again...

One person who was – initially, at least - very vocal on the issue of whether or not some form of secret terrestrial device came to grief at Roswell was a former employee of the CIA, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, and who later became the Special Assistant for Defense, Space and Science and Technology in the House of Representatives - the late Karl Pflock (pictured here when we met for the first time in Aztec, New Mexico in 2003).

Commenting in 1994 on the allegations that alien bodies were recovered in the New Mexico area as part of the so-called Roswell incident, Pflock was willing, at the time, to conclude that there were indeed "human-like but strangely disfigured bodies" recovered in the New Mexico desert in 1947; and that those same bodies were "associated with some very unusual wreckage."

However, Pflock, too, was careful to point out that: "Even if there were bodies - and I believe there were - they may not have been of unearthly origin. In which case, Roswell turns out to be a significant chapter in early Cold War history, akin to the currently unfolding disclosures about the U.S. government radiation experiments spawned in the same era."

It's very important to note that Pflock later changed his opinion, quite radically, and became a champion of the theory that what was recovered at Roswell was nothing more extraordinary than a Mogul balloon; yet it is interesting that his initial thoughts veered towards the possibility of an event connected to "U.S. government radiation experiments."

This issue of "government experiments" was something that had also been noted by Tim Cooper - he of "MJ12 Documents" fame, and now someone pretty much out of the UFO field.

In a 1991 "status report" titled UFO Crash/Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum, the late Leonard Stringfield referenced a curious and controversial conversation Cooper had with a former nurse stationed at what is now the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico.

In Cooper's own words:

"She casually mentioned to me over coffee that 'bodies' were being flown to Los Alamos periodically from late 1945 to sometime in 1947. I asked her if she had seen these 'bodies and she said no, but others had. I asked her where these 'bodies' were coming from. She said she did not know but it was rumored that they were human experiments for biological and nuclear medicine research. She thought they may have come from Japan after the war. She said they were small bodies with deformed heads and limbs. The eyes were abnormally big she was told. She said they were being flown in on special transport planes equipped with refrigerator units to keep the bodies from decomposing."

I now have the alleged name of the nurse (Cooper called her "Mary," but her supposed real first name is slightly, but not markedly, different, and she is said to share a last name with a famous aviator...), so we'll see what - if anything - comes from trying to contact her. If, even, she's still alive...

SOURCES: Roswell In Perspective, Karl Pflock, Fund for UFO Research, 1994.

UFO Crash/Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum, Lenoard H. Stringfield, published privately, July 1991.

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,


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.