ROSWELL THAT ENDS WELL
Why is this case still promoted as unidentified?
There was very little fuss about Roswell NM in 1947, or in any year before 1978:
- The case had "flying disc" status for one day, July 8, 1947, when a premature news release said the army had captured
a flying disk.
- It was explained as a crashed RaWin RADAR Corner Reflector Balloon the next day.
- Even in 1967, there was no doubt as to the identity of it. The case is listed as "solved" in the Look special
"Flying Saucers," along with the picture of Jesse Marcel holding up the RaWin balloon debris.
- This case was not considered by the 1953 Robertson panel.
- This case was not considered by the Colorado University "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects"
(also known as the Condon Report).
- The case was not even mentioned in the American Association for the Advancement of Science symposium in December
- None of the authors who favored the extraterrestrial theory of UFO origin mentioned this case as being anything but
a solved case before 1978. If they mentioned it at all, they mentioned it as an example of a solved case.
- No other source before 1978 calls the Roswell case anything but a solved case.
Now, over 60 years later, Roswell is the case:
- It is possible that the Air Force lied about the identity of this UFO (but not necessarily to hide little alien
- A secret spy device was probably involved, along with unrelated effects.
- The Air Force has released information about crash dummies used for parachute and ejection capsule research.
The extraterrestrial "buffs" say that this is just more cover-up of the truth.
The facts on this case seem to change every day, and nobody is sure which facts are facts and which facts are not.
UFO lore seems to have combined at least three unrelated events into one supercase:
- The crash of a Skyhook or Mogul balloon at Roswell NM
- The Frank Scully story about Aztec NM
- A crash of a high altitude ejection seat test, possibly at Socorro NM
Vince and Larry start a
UFO dummy-research group:
FACTS ABOUT THE CASE:
- The military did have a secret balloon at the time. It was the Project Mogul balloon, which was a
cluster of 10 large balloons. It was later developed into the Skyhook balloon, an unmanned high altitude research balloon.
When the Skyhook balloon was declassified in 1952, it was unveiled as a program to gather information on cosmic rays and
other high altitude conditions. This research was vital for high altitude and space flight.
What we weren't told at that time is that the project (including the recently declassified Mogul balloon) was
originally intended to be used as a spy device. They wanted to monitor for Soviet nuclear blasts with sensitive
microphones. But the balloons proved too unreliable for the task.
- New York University (NYU) was working on a nonclassified portion of Project Mogul. Their job was to develop a
balloon that could maintain a constant altitude.
- The balloons were launched in Alamogordo NM.
- Flight 4, the flight that was lost in the Roswell area, flew on 06/04/1947, and contained three Signal Corps ML-307B
RaWin targets. The flight was lost to tracking at Arabela, New Mexico, about 90 miles from Alamogordo and 17 miles from
the debris field near Arabela NM.
- Mac Brazel found the wreckage 75 miles northwest of Roswell, on the Foster ranch near Arabela NM, some time after
- Mac Brazel waited a couple of weeks before reporting the debris. His report was prompted by news reports of the
Kenneth Arnold and Maury Island sightings.
- Even though "flying saucers" were only two weeks old at the time, one of the tabloid magazines had already
offered a reward of $3000 for a flying saucer or part of one. This might have influenced Brazel's decision to report the
- The usually reported date (07/07/47) was the date the debris was reported, not the date it was found. The date it was
found is unknown, but was probably between 06/14/1947 and 06/24/1947. Brazel gave the date as 06/14/1947.
- The entire concept of the "flying saucer" was less than one month old at the time the Roswell case became
known. Kenneth Arnold's sighting was two weeks earlier than Mac Brazel's report.
- Nobody had yet advanced the extraterrestrial theory of the origin of UFOs at the time of this sighting. The military
originally thought the flying discs were probably Soviet spy devices. They assumed the Soviets used captured German
technology to make them.
The Foo-Fighters (or "Kraut balls," as airmen called them) were seen over France, Germany, and the English
Channel by US airmen and German gunners in the recently ended World War II. These were unidentified balls of light that
seemed to follow our airplanes. Our experts thought they were secret German devices. After the war, we found out that
the Germans thought they were ours.
It is possible (and likely) that some of the Foo Fighters were really Feu Fighters.
These were fire balloons launched by the French and German Undergrounds to confound German intelligence, and to make
antiaircraft gunners waste ammunition.
- Somebody probably came up with a "flying disk crash" story to cover up the secret Mogul balloon crash. We
didn't want the Soviets to know we had this spy device. Then that got too hot, and they substituted the RaWin balloon
as a more plausible explanation.
This makes good sense, because the first Mogul balloons were made entirely of RaWin balloon parts. Each unit had up
to 24 aerostats, 2 RaWin reflectors, a parachute, and a modified instrument package.
- Bodies were not part of the original Roswell story, but the Aztec NM (Dr. Gee) case several years later. That case has
now been admitted as an advertizing stunt.
Frank Scully was duped into believing the event was real, and wrote the book
"Behind the Flying Saucers" about it. The idea was to get the public interested in UFOs, so when the
movie they were making, "The Flying Saucer." was released, people would flock to the theaters. The
people hired to do this also started selling an oil-prospecting device using "alien technology." The result
was that their movie bombed anyway, but Scully's book, and the later (unrelated) movie
"The Day the Earth Stood Still," sold much better.
- If bodies had been present in the wreckage, Brazel would not have waited two or more weeks before reporting the crash
(as he said he had done). He reported it only after hearing about the Kenneth Arnold sighting and the Maury Island case,
and then only when it was time for him to make his next trip into town.
- Crash dummies were used for ejection capsule and parachute tests. Popular Science published some pictures and articles
at the time. It is known that they were being used that early.
This research was urgently needed at the time, because nobody yet knew how to bail out of a jet without being killed.
At that speed, a man couldn't just jump out of the cockpit, as was done with propeller planes. The research ultimately
resulted in the ejection seat, which is a well-known feature of jet fighters. But at the time, they didn't know what
the best method was, so they were trying ejection spheres and cylinders with dummies inside.
- More speculation arose when it was discovered that Roswell AFB had ordered some child-sized coffins. They used them
to ship atomic bomb parts on unsecured railroad trains. At that time, nobody was irreligious enough to open a coffin
being shipped to look inside it.
- There was another case at about the same time where three children had stolen a small private airplane. They somehow
got it into the air, then crashed it near Roswell. This might be part of the memories of tiny charred bodies.
- Another case with charred bodies was the crash of a YB-49 flying wing near Roswell. Pieces of it are still being found
and reported as crashed saucer parts.
- The probable reason the case was re-opened in 1978 was that the amount of material found would be too much for a
single RaWin balloon. But some pro-alien people also wanted something to renew interest in UFOs.
- The metal fragment found near Roswell has been identified by a jewelry maker as waste from his shop.
- The metal that would not crease was probably aluminized polyethylene or Mylar (used in the RaWin reflector). These were
unknown to the general public at the time.
- The piece of silicon that was claimed to have an unusual isotope distribution has characteristics of being either an
ordinary silicon nodule, or a piece of ejecta from a nuclear bomb test (The first atomic bomb test was within 100 miles of
the site). The case was resolved as a flawed analysis of the silicon, because the mass spectrometer used was out of
calibration. Thus, it was just ordinary silicon.
- Neoprene rubber turns black on exposure to sunlight, accounting for the black material. The aerostats used in both the
RaWin and Mogul balloons were neoprene, and the two-week delay would give the sun plenty of time to turn the neoprene
- I thought those "alien symbols" looked familiar! In the 1950s, I once owned a roll of colored adhesive tape
with the same symbols on it. It was sold as decorative tape for package wrapping, but was identical in structure to the white
paper surgical adhesive tape used in first aid kits in the 1950s. The first Mogul balloons were hastily assembled, using
You can see a picture of the symbols on the tape I had in the bottom illustration of symbols on page 158 of Peter
Brookesmith's "UFO: The Government Files" 1996 Barnes and Noble.
One of the original NYU researchers in Project Mogul said a toy factory made the RaWin reflectors.
- Some kind of crash occurred at Socorro NM near the time of the Roswell incident. It might have been one of the
ejection-capsule tests, but there is no available documentation of the event.
- Extraterrestrial advocates can't even agree on the date, or even the place, of the crash. There is so much
contradictory evidence around that we would need a time machine to sort it all out.
- I wouldn't put it past Hollywood to have staged a complete crash-retrieval event in view of a few witnesses to cause
intense interest in UFOs. That's dollars in the pockets of B movie producers in the 1950s. But that is probably not what
happened. UFOs were too new.
- The Roswell case records were destroyed sometime in the 1960s. The case had long been "solved," and it was
around the time military records were starting to be burdensome. An admiral once remarked, "We do not shoot paper at
the enemy!" He was trying to convince Congress that battleships did not need to carry 25 tons of files around in
battle. It is not surprising that 20-year-old records on a dead issue were destroyed.
- An examination of those who are claiming extraterrestrial activity at Roswell is in order. Most of them are making
disc-shaped dollars from the publicity. As Rush Limbaugh says, "Follow the money!"
Roswell itself has been the site of many terrestrial events involving aviation and space:
- The first rocket range was at Roswell. Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard launched some of the first liquid-fueled rockets
- Roswell is less than one hundred miles from the Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was detonated in 1945.
- The first atomic bomber crews were stationed at Roswell.
- White Sands Missile Range is very close to Roswell. Many out-of-control missiles have crashed in the area.
- Many aircraft and missiles under development are tested at White Sands.
- A YB-49 flying wing crashed at Roswell. This airplane was unstable if it got into a steep bank or slowed down too much,
because it had no fuselage or tail. It also looked like a flying saucer if seen edge-on. Parts of it have been found
recently, with the finders claiming them to be "flying saucer parts."
- The Very Large Array, a super radio telescope, was constructed at Socorro NM.
Many classic cases of UFO sightings have occurred near Roswell and Socorro:
- In 1948, the Van Valkenberg "crash" was reported at Kingman AZ.
- The Green Fireball cases occurred at White Sands in 1948 through 1951.
- In Las Cruces NM 08/28/49, astronomer Clyde Tombaugh (discoverer of Pluto) sighted six unidentified objects.
- Farmington NM 03/17/50: A burst Skyhook balloon gave residents a show of about 50 UFOs.
- The Dan Fry "contact" was reportedly at White Sands on 07/04/50.
- Lubbock TX 1951: The Lubbock lights case.
- Holloman AFB NM 07/14/52: This "gun camera" photo turns out to be a time exposure of a television screen with
cartoons on. A method of testing the timing of a camera shutter with a TV screen had just been published, so this might have
been the origin of the picture.
- Three Rivers NM 10/16/57: The Fortune photo was probably a contrail of a missile from White Sands.
- In 1957, the Levelland TX, Stokes, Orogrande NM, and Kirtland AFB cases occurred within seven days of each other, and
just after Sputnik II was launched. All are unsolved, although the page author has a theory on the Levelland case.
- In 1962, a missile crash occurred at White Sands. It was reported as a UFO crash.
- Paul Villa took most of his fake photos in New Mexico.
- Socorro NM 04/24/64: The famous Socorro landing case took place.
- La Madera NM 04/26/64: Another similar landing case.
- Condon cases 16 and 55 were in the area.
- The Picacho Peak NM 03/03/67 photo is of a suction cup stuck to the car window the photo was taken through.
It is not surprising that the mystery is concentrated on events so remote in time. It is hard to prove anything from
the available evidence, and many of the eyewitnesses are now dead. The reported debris was not substantial enough to
have flown through space, entered the earth's atmosphere, and then flown to Roswell, only to crash into smithereens. It
was very light, designed as though every milligram counted. This is the material of a balloon designed to stay up for
days, not a space ship.