Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mogul Didn't Matter

I have discovered more evidence about the credibility of the secrecy around Project Mogul. This was the constant level balloon project blamed for the Roswell debris. It was a series of experiments, most of them in New Mexico, using a cluster of balloons and rawin radar targets, designed to keep balloons at a constant, high level in the atmosphere in an attempt to "listen" for Soviet atomic explosions.

When I say I discovered, it was really Robert Hastings, writing in his new book UFOS and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites. I have just applied an interesting paragraph from that book to what we know about Mogul and the secrecy around it.

Remember, the Mogul experiments began in New Mexico in early June and ended in September 1947. Stories about the balloon flights appeared in many newspapers beginning on July 10, just days after the officers at Roswell announced they had "captured" a flying saucer.

Hastings wrote, "In September 1947, Army Chief of Staff General Dwight D. Eisenhower directed the Army Air Corps to undertake the Constant Phoenix program, an on-going series of long-distance flights designed to detect atomic explosions ‘anywhere in the world.’ This high-priority activity was continued by the newly-created U.S. Air Force and, on September 3, 1949, radiation sensors abroad a USAF B-29 flying between Alaska and Japan confirmed the detonation of the first Soviet atomic bomb - some five years earlier than expected."

In other words, Mogul, to monitor Soviet atomic development was scrapped because a better method was found. Aircraft could maintain a constant level and could remain on station for hours at a time. A drifting balloon array moved with the vagaries of the winds and the sun (sun light could heat the balloon envelopes causing them to rise during the day). An aircraft could stay in virtually one place and when it needed to return for fuel or crew rest could be replaced in the same place by another aircraft.

At this point, Mogul was of no use. The secrecy requirement was gone. The original purpose, to spy on the Soviets wouldn’t be mentioned but the project no longer had the importance it once had. And, of course, with the deployment of spy planes and later satellites, the spying took on a much more sophisticated aspect than hanging some microphones on a balloon to drift over the Soviet Union.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with everyone knowing that there are dozens of spy satellites up there photographing everything down here, there was no need to keep the Mogul secret, so the Air Force trotted it out to explain the Roswell crash debris. Mogul was a high priority project, they say. It was top secret, they say. But in the end, it was just a bunch of balloons tied together, sometimes with microphones attached and sometimes not. Nothing unusual to fool ranchers, Army officers, sheriffs or anyone else who might have found the remains of Mogul.

For those interested in more of what Robert Hastings has reported, you can only order UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites at


mike said...

According to the Air Force Special Report summary on their website,"... the U.S. Army Air Forces, recovered debris from an Army Air Forces balloon-borne research project code named MOGUL...."

My question is this, as it seems the AF never found a "smoking gun" to prove their "Case Closed" >
Where is a "memo" that proves the AF tried to "coverup" the 'top-secret Mogul balloon'
discovery with a simple 'weather-balloon ' story ? where is
the record of "the coverup" ?

The 'Flying Saucer' story was 'out of the bag' - newspapers and radio -where's the AF record of how this was all 'handled' ? Where's a 'report' from Blanchard to Ramey ? Where's a report by Ramey to the Pentagon ( or 'whomever to whoever's in command' ) saying 'we got a problem' = what should we do about this? - the guy found a Mogul balloon = what are my orders ?

This is what doesn't make sense to me = why isn't there a simple record of the event 'behind the scene'.
Where's the 'daily report' - excuse me, this was a 'big event' at the time -and there's no 'official report' ?

Isn't there an ABC radio news report saying 'the disc' was actually sent to Wright ? The reporter states he spoke
to Ramey and contacted Wright (AF base) who were expecting to receive the 'object' = so where's a record of the stuff being shipped from Roswell to Ramey - and a record of what he actually did = if he was making 'public statements' certainly this was more than an 'ordinary day' (after all, it's a 'Flying Saucer' story that actually needs to be 'explained'.)

Seems there's no record of the 'junk' being received or thrown away - there doesn't seem to be any 'solid proof' of the 'weather balloon cover-up' --seems to me someone should have been 'reprimanded' about something in all of this > what's the 'real chain-of-command' here ? Isn't someone from the Pentagon wondering what the 'A. F ' is going on out there ?

((Why can't the guy with the 'riding stick' who spoke to Ms Rowe be identified - where'd he come from ?))

To me, the AF should have been able to come up with documented proof of a 'cover-up story' for a Mogul balloon .
Or just one 'memo' from someone saying 'whew!' > the 'Disc' story was blah blah blah.

If it was that 'ordinary' then it seems there should be an 'ordinary' paper trail of the event - they're 'ostensibly' engaged in a 'top secret event' -so why isn't there a 'record' of their 'cover-up mission' ( which no longer needs to be 'covered-up').

The AF needs to explain why there was a 'press release' that a 'Flying Saucer' was 'discovered' in the first place - (I haven't read the "Roswell Report " - was Haut interviewed ?)

Blanchard would have to explain to Ramey etc

where's the 'written record' -and as the you know who always asks for 'that piece of a FS' -where's a 'piece' of that Mogul balloon ?

cda said...

The AF would not produce a piece of a Mogul balloon to the public in the early years after 1947 any more than they would produce a piece of military aircraft to the public after a plane crash. You don't produce bits of hardware for public viewing if they are classified! As for producing the Mogul balloon in 1995 this was done in the AF Report (photos, not actual hardware). In the intervening years they had no reason to produce anything since the case was originally closed in 47

As for documentation, the AF would not document everything down to the last nut & bolt. It depends on how important they regarded the story at the time. Haut (who was not interviewed by the AF in their report) issued his press release and was allegedly castigated from above for doing so. Had he never issued his press release, there would have been no UFO at all (or at least none for the public to know about). And there would have been no need to ship anything to Ft Worth or Dayton for examination. In which case the debris would certainly eventually have been identified at Roswell, and the public would likely never have known of the case. It is only because the story 'got out' that the press ever reported it. (How many other routine 'crashes' of military equipment have taken place without us knowing about it?)

There is no paper trail for one of two reasons:
1. It was too trivial to need documenting on paper.
2. There was a small paper trail, but this was deemed unimportant and destroyed in later years.

I have said before that Marcel & Co probably did have a good idea of the nature of the wreckage (balloon plus radar target(s)) but once Haut's release went out the pentagon demanded it was shipped to Wright Field for analysis, in case it was some Soviet vehicle that strayed onto US territory. After all, a reported 'flying disc' discovery would have been great cause for concern in those early days.

But it does not follow that a paper trail of it exists or ever existed, if the case was quickly solved.

Now if it had been a genuine ET craft, can you imagine the paper trail that would have been created - myriads of paperwork, photos, analysis reports, opinions from every scientist and military VIP of any consequence, plus, of course the actual stuff and bodies? Moreover, all that stuff would certainly still be around, for the benefit of science and the history of mankind. Kevin needs to find it, and soon!

mouseonmoon said...

as you didn't find my concluding question humorous ("and as the you know who always asks for 'that piece of a FS' -where's a 'piece' of that Mogul balloon ? "), i think i'll have to insist on 'real evidence' - i'm afraid 'photo's' of balloons won't do (come on, how gullible do you think i am-certainly the AF can 'fake' balloon photos as easily as the Trinidade photos !).

I've explained the reasoning why this 'event' was not 'trivial'- the AF needs to document the 'Mogul cover-up'.
Destroyed ? That's not allowed -historians make those decisions - it's illegal - who destroyed it ? names please, heads must roll ....

Haut > " allegedly castigated" = hearsay, purely surmised - like Magruder wasn't in school in July ....But the AF
is meticulous in regard to 'interviewing witnesses' and somehow ignores Haut who actually writes the 'press release' ? kinda like selecting 'witnesses' who might only be biased in your favor ?

Indeed, the fact that a 'Flying Saucer' was in our hands and 'made public' is the 'real story'. ((personally, the simple solution is that this was a 'ploy' to make the Russians think we had one ...freak 'em out ( and this continues today-spreading the 'idea/lie' to various folks - like Edgar Mitchell perhaps -and Corso is actually part of the anti-illuminati or was he secretly a Mason? ( yet the simple solution here is that Svengali hynotized him with Cash ).

Yet the bottom line in this 'paper trail' is imho this > if it's simply a 'Mogul Balloon' then there should be 'something written' that will prove it - if it's 'ET' - there ISN'T going to be a paper trail - and NO ONE is going to talk - this 'secret' is like nothing else - there is no comparison - it's that serious , even i wouldn't tell - individuals can 'handle it', but not the world - it's just as serious today as then - 'we' really can't 'handle it' - those people 'in the know' who you mention would not 'go public' .

If such an event happened - it could easily be kept secret - for the same reason you wouldn't give your child a bottle of nitroglycerin . But It's obvious 'something is going on' (and it's mighty strange)- whether 'we' are actually 'in contact' or not - whether there was a 'crash' or not, or whether there are hundreds of 'bad photos' of nothing or hoaxers still only takes one white crow to prove all crows aren't black .

Why hasn't a 'real journalist' interviewed Edgar Mitchell ? Why not track down who these 'old timers' are and what their 'stories' are ? Why is it impossible to get the Congressional hearing ?

cda said...

So you say that maybe the greatest scientific discovery of all time has been kept top secret by a few top AF or CIA guys 'in the know' for 60 years? Is this your genuine conclusion?

That's why the whole Roswell debate is stuck in the mire. Still secret through ten different administrations! Why not try asking a few men at the top (scientists or military) and see whether they agree that such a secret could be kept for even 6 days, let alone 6 decades.

Why no Congressional hearings? Because Congressional leaders have obviously decided there is nothing to hear. But if such hearings ever took place I predict that the pro-ETHers will be bitterly disappointed at the outcome, not the skeptics.

[Do you need TWO pseudonyms?]

starman said...

The ULTRA secret was kept for 30 years and might still be secret if there was a perceived need.

Btw, in KDR's post,"vulgarities" (of wind )should've been "vagaries."

starman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mouseonmoon said...

quote cda : "So you say that maybe the greatest scientific discovery of all time has been kept top secret by a few top AF or CIA guys 'in the know' for 60 years? Is this your genuine conclusion? "


quote "Why not try asking a few men at the top (scientists or military) and see whether they agree that such a secret could be kept for even 6 days, let alone 6 decades. "

take a look at my response to the Magruder post.

and yes again - i'd love to ask -Yet i don't have to ask - i'm hearing from Edgar Mitchell for 10 years now .
How many guys need to be named again -> take a look at the original NICAP board - give me the quote from Hillenkoetter etc.

quote : "Why no Congressional hearings? Because Congressional leaders have obviously decided there is nothing to hear."

yeah BEFORE they 'hear it' ...protecting you and i from the 'awe-ful' truth ?

quote [Do you need TWO pseudonyms?]

How many do i need to get through to you ?

(if you live near DC, come on over and show me how this works-
can't get to my own blogg - 3 e-mails exactly the same from you show up,
and 5 from starman - right, i don't get it- )

Like i've stated, i don't 'believe' in the Roswell crash -but i'm not happy with
the AF explanation and the Condon report or the 'de-nile' of a fair hearing
from the 'whistleblowers' .

The 'truth' is a lot stranger and more frightening than an Orson Wells radio broadcast -
((maybe you trust your kids with backpacks full of nitroglycerin - verstehen Sie das ?

People seem to 'believe' that meeting ET is gonna be as easy as meeting Santa .

Maybe they'll tell U after they beam ya up ...

mike the mouse

Bob Barbanes said...

All I know is, this "cda" fellow sure is trying hard to prove that "Roswell" was nothing more than a weather balloon. I wonder why?

I wasn't there and I have no idea what really happened, but I, a man of reasonable intelligence thinks something's fishy. Did all of those people of Roswell conspire to tell this story of a UFO crash? Did they each get assigned parts, like actors in a school play? You tell of government tell of tin-foil-thin metal that can't be issue a press release stating that the Air Force captured a flying saucer...

I think that if it really, really, really was just a "weather balloon" that the story would have died down already and faded away. But hey- maybe I'm wrong. What's troubling is that people like "cda" believe that they cannot be.

cda said...

I live over 3000 miles from DC. I do accept that some UFOs are unexplained. No, there is nothing magic about Mogul. (For one thing it was known under a different name at the time). It 'fits' Roswell reasonably well but not perfectly.

The reason I am 99.99 percent certain Roswell was not ET was given before. Eventually Kevin, or others, will HAVE to get hold of the hardware/bodies/massive volume of documents on the case. Without these, the ET case is doomed. Simple!

Jerry Clark said...

"cda" is Christopher D. Allan, longtime English UFO skeptic, who's been beating this drum for a long time now.

Jerry Clark

cda said...

Hello to Jerry Clark!
My name was available for anyone interested. I recall when Jerry was something like 99% certain Roswell was ET (see IUR in the early 1990s). I assume this figure is a lot lower now, isn't it Jerry?

On another topic: Why do some people need pseudonyms anyway? "cda" is brief and handy, "mouseonmoon" is certainly not.

mouseonmoon said...

"cda" is "brief and handy" = dull humorless and boring - or is it > c'ertified d ..... > oh nevermind.

btw are you 3k miles up or down from DC ?

yet 4 me, the Roswell event % has been increasing in " certainty " > but no need to repeat until u get that hearing aid tuned up .

(i swear i thought u wuz sumbody else ! )

mike the meek and mild mouse on the Moon.

(Will someone explain why no 'real journalist' will tackle Edgar Mitchell's 'revelations' - if there's 'nuttin' 2 it' .
Where's Big James O'borg on this ?)

cda said...

Mr Mouseonmoon: Your vocabulary suggests you may well be one of the Roswell crash survivors trying to master the English language.

But I intend to quit now, at least on this topic.

Bye bye for 12 days minimum, I promise.

mouseonmoon said...

Wait a minute!

i got a song for you before you go >

"ET told me"

check out termikesmike at "posterous"

aka "The Singing Fortean" (search and u can find more!)

It'll lighten up ur day - promise

Joseph Capp said...

I could never swallow the MOGUL explanation from the beginning. It could be possible some inexperienced rancher may think this was part of a saucer but never a seasoned intelligence officer and the base commander. They could spin it anyway they want but I never I put many a plane together with balsa wood and you just can't mistake it for anything else.
Sometimes you have to just use common sense.
Joseph Capp
UFO Media Matters
Non-Commercial Blog

KRandle said...

Just before the Roswell crash hit the newspapers, a weather balloon and a rawin target were found in Circleville, Ohio. The farmer who found it knew what it was but thought it might explain some of the flying saucer sightings. He took it to the sheriff, who knew what it was. Finally it ended up in the newspaper office where it was displayed for a time.

There was no military announcement about a flying saucer, no communications between lower headquarters and higher. No shipping of the material off to Wright Field for examination. Just a weather balloon found by a farmer who knew what it was.

This was just a few days prior to the Roswell case. It provides us with a nice comparison.

So, why did Mack Brazel, who'd found weather observation devices on two other occasions fail to identify this... because that's what it was. Why did Jesse Marcel, fail to identify it? Why did the sheriff fail? What was so different about Mogul that intelligent men would be fooled by it.

The only difference between what Sherman Campbell found in Circleville, Ohio and what Mack Brazel found near Corona, New Mexico was that Brazel allegedly found an array of balloons...

But if that is true, then why was there only enough material taken to Fort Worth to make up a single balloon and single target.

Nope. Mogul just doesn't work.

B said...

Something is wrong with the Project MOGUL history given here. MOGUL's acoustic sensors were NOT replaced by the AF's air sampling missions designed to pick up radioactive fallout particles. These were two different missions run in parallel at the same time, not one replacing the other.

Nor were MOGUL acoustic sensors put on noisy aircraft instead of silent balloons.

It was incredibly difficult trying to keep a balloon up inside the atmospheric duct at around 50,000 feet to listen for the blast waves of a Soviet nuclear test on a 24/7 basis. What if they missed it simply because a balloon was not up at the time? How would such a spotty balloon system give any assurance that a test had NOT occurred yet?

In 1949, MOGUL codename was changed to ROCKFISH then BLACKHEART and it was discovered that ground stations could pick up the blast waves of a Soviet nuclear explosion if positioned in the right locations. No need for constant-level balloons or any type of balloon for this nuclear ACOUSTINT (Acoustical Intelligence) mission anymore.

The ground stations were set up in 1950 and assigned to the Army to run, then finally the global network was closed down in 1964 after the VELA satellites superseded the acoustic detection method. However, Los Alamos Labs continued to run its local acoustic sensor array for research purposes and continues to do so to this day.

mouseonmoon said...

Mr. Randle,
you've 'nailed it' > this simple 'event' is still a 'secret'. "B" has provided some interesting info,but after '47 what does it matter?

question > did Haut ever 'see' the pieces ?

I'm guessing he didn't, cos he would/should have known -and therefore he was told what to say/write in the original 'press release' > and Blanchard didn't see it either ? who tells Haut to issue a PR that a 'disc' was found ....

Is the newspaper report and the local radio report
(and remember CBS radio reporter also ) > just based on something overheard at the local bar ?

Again, i'm suggesting this could be an 'intelligence operation' >
a ploy to make Russians think we had 'a crashed saucer' >

that's a 'simple solution' that actually makes sense to me ; but where is the paper-trail to prove it ? who pulled this off ?

ergo it's still a 'secret' - that's been 'kept 60 years' .

Are they still at work? - who are the 'old timers' telling Mitchell this same 'story' ? Why doesn't someone actually 'investigate' what he's saying?

He should be leading a parade down Penn Ave demanding a Congressional hearing ! Too bad someone like Goldwater couldn't be appointed to 'go anywhere he wants and demand answers' - Clinton and Carter > too busy ....hell, why not let
a team of astronauts go at it, Mitchell, Buzz and Cernan with Stansfield Turner ....unannounced,call anyone they want and get answers > we have a 'need to know' .

Jerry Clark said...

I haven't looked at this site since identifying "cda" as British skeptic Christopher D. Allan. I notice that he responded to my comment with a claim about my view of the Roswell incident.

My view remains that the Roswell incident remains a true historical mystery. The Mogul "explanation," however, is no mystery. It's just laughable.

Jerry Clark

Mike Smith said...

Jerry Clark--

So what if "cda" is a skeptic? If your case is strong, then make it. Refute what he says with something better. Cite your sources, and engage him in a debate.

Roswell, whatever it was, was not some New Age spiritual happening involving some fourth dimension. If it was an alien craft that crashed, then it was a historical incident, and it should be able to withstand historical and scientific scrutiny; it has nothing to fear from such examination--if indeed it actually was the crash of a UFO.

As for your dismissal of Project Mogul as a sole explanation for the Roswell Incident, I agree. It wasn't the SOLE cause.

But I do think it was a major part of what took place. The other parts consist of the fallibility of human memory, the sloppy scholarship and interviewing techniques of some of Incident's lesser scribes (such as Stanton Friedman), the blatant dishonesty of a few publicity seekers (such as Ragsdale and Dennis), and the natural evolution of modern folklore.

So you're right: Mogul doesn't explain it all. It doesn't explain the advanced foil that miraculously smooths itself. It doesn't explain the alien bodies, or a second site. But, add in all of the above, and Mogul starts to seem to be a very reliable explanation for what that debris that was found in Brazel's field was.

Roswell was a fascinating story, but it deserves some real scientific scrutiny. If it was real, I'd like to know. If it wasn't, then the UFO community would probably be better off directing its attention elsewhere.