Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Moore on Moore and Marcel

A couple of weeks ago I posted an article as something of an experiment. I wanted to see what the reactions would be when I challenged a couple of the "sacred" cows of the skeptical side of the UFO debate, or more specifically, the Roswell UFO crash. I wasn’t overly surprised by the results. Disappointed, but not surprised.

There are two groups out there. One claims that Jesse Marcel, Sr. can’t be believed because he was a liar, as proved by the interview with Bob Pratt and the other claims that Charles Moore is a liar because what he told us about Project Mogul and the secrecy, as proved by the documents we have seen in the last few years, is not true.

I suggested that since many gave Moore a pass on his comments about not knowing the name of the project, for suggesting that the non-existent flight number four was responsible for the debris found by Mack Brazel, and for his manipulation of the data, the same courtesy should be granted to Marcel. After all, it was Pratt’s interpretation of the interview with Marcel that allowed many to label Marcel as a liar (yes, I know that others got hung up over his claimed college degree which I still don’t understand but that too came from the Pratt interview).

I also suggested, off line, to one man that we should cut Marcel some slack because he had served in the Second World War and we all owed something to those who served. I was treated to a diatribe about anti-Semitic officers who were borderline Nazis and deserved nothing of the sort.

So, what did we learn? Those who believe that Mogul supplies the answer will not give Marcel the benefit of the doubt but will defend Moore. I purposefully used some information sent to me by a rabid believer about the SCR-584 and was corrected immediately about its capabilities that were easily retrieved on the Internet (well, not immediately, but I was corrected... as well I should have been) but I was not told that in addition to this radar that Moore had mentioned at White Sands, there were other radars with other capabilities available at that time, something Moore had to have known. He even talked of tracking the balloons out to 64 miles which told us that there was a capability beyond that he cited for the SCR-584.

The question then becomes, why didn’t Moore know of those other capabilities and if he did, then wasn’t he being disingenuous by not mentioning them as well? Is that an oversight on his part or was it intentional? If it was intentional, then doesn’t that tell us something about his arguments for the Mogul theory? Doesn’t that suggest a debate rather than a scientific search for evidence?

The question of Marcel and the pictures taken in Ramey’s office were mentioned and discussed though I didn’t bring them up. Yes, Marcel did say, on film so that we all can hear it, that he was photographed with the real debris. If that is what was in General Ramey’s office, then yes, the investigation is over and a weather balloon (or part of the Mogul array) answers the question.

However, I brought up that Marcel, when shown the pictures taken in Ramey’s office said that it wasn’t the stuff he had found in Roswell and that those pictures had been staged, corroborating some of the information given to us by Colonel Thomas DuBose. Those statements were rejected out of hand. I made it clear that Marcel had not said that to me, but had said it to other, disinterested third parties so we can be sure that he said it.

According to some of the discussion, that became Marcel attempting to twist his statements. Realizing his mistake when shown the pictures, well, Marcel just lied again, saying it wasn’t the stuff from Roswell. It doesn’t seem to occur to some of these people that Marcel was honest in his discussions of the strange material. Some believe he was a liar and that’s it.

Here is the point of this exercise. Those who believe that Mogul answers the questions will not accept anything that suggests their star witness in this, Charles Moore, could have been either mistaken or have played fast and loose with the facts. Moore is as honest as the day is long and if he is in error, it is an honest mistake created by the long ago nature of the events and the foibles of the human memory.

On the other hand, they will not believe anything that Jesse Marcel said because he is a proven liar of the first order. Clearly he was twisting the facts to suit himself and all the other lies he told is proof of his dishonesty.

Those who believe that an alien spacecraft fell will not accept anything that suggests that one of their star witnesses (interestingly, there are many more than just Marcel... Edwin Easley, Arthur Exon, Bill Brazel, Patrick Saunders to name a few) could have been either mistaken or played fast and loose with the facts.

On the other hand, they will not believe anything that Charles Moore said because they had seen how he manipulates the data to reach his own conclusions. They reject everything that he says.

Of course, the problem here is that the Mogul explanation rests on the mythical flight number four and there is no documentation to suggest it was ever made. Dr. Crary’s diary tells us it was canceled and the written record of the Mogul flights tells us that flight number five was the first successful flight in New Mexico.

The real point, however, is the ways people look at the same set of facts and interpret them in accordance with their own belief structures. That doesn’t make them wrong but it can lead to a misinterpretation of the facts of a case.

I hope that those looking at this will bend in their rigorous adherence to one point of view or the other. By changing this into a debate, we can all make our points. If we leave it as scientific analysis, then we must account for all the facts, not just those that prove our point. We must shed our will to believe... or our will to disbelieve.


Sarge said...

The issue reminds one of a fight over religion.
The believers in ETs see man as just one of many intelligent species around the cosmos. Some ahead of man and some behind in technology and abilities.
The non - believers see man as THE intelligent species in the universe. If man cannot do it no one can.
Each see the others, and their sources, as heretics.
There is a better chance of mid east peace than agreement on this.

Lance said...


I appreciate the measured tone but I have to say that you are stacking the deck somewhat, as usual to the ET side of the story.

For me, Marcel's exposed inflation of career and education does not equate with Moore not remembering he had seen a project name on a letter many years before.

One is an indication of exaggerating for a reason (self-aggrandizement) vs. forgetting something for (even using your scenario of deliberately lying about it) no apparent reason.

You are right about believers and skeptics talking past each other.

As a skeptic, I realize that I have become weary of looking into cases only to find the same sad result.

It's a case of lie to me once, shame on you, etc.

At this point I have no idea why any reasonable person can look at Roswell and still hold onto the crashed saucer belief which I have heard you state IN NO EQUIVOCAL TERMS is a FACT.

That was before so many of your witnesses imploded and before we all found out about the shoddy and questionable research of your partner.

A yet you still let all this fall to pieces around you and still believe.

It is hard to imagine ANYTHING that might shake your belief in the case you have wasted so much time on. Undoubtedly the sheer effort to rationalize so many sad revelations must be exhausting.

Asking anyone to believe in this "spacecraft" that JUST HAPPENS to look almost exactly like prosaic balloon debris must at times be embarrassing.

Explaining how you believe witnesses whenever they say fantastic things but you have grave doubts when they put forth more down-to-earth explanations, must cause you a tinge of shame from time to time

And regret.

It would me.


cda said...

Kevin: There WAS a flight 4 as given in Crary's diary. It may not have been designated flight 4 as there is no proper documentation, but there was a flight that night or early morning. The problem is that we do not know exactly what that flight contained, except from Charles Moore's memory. That is the point at issue, not whether there was or was not a launch. Call it what you like, there was a launch of some balloons and, presumably, other items on that day/night.

I am not saying anyone is an outright liar. I am saying that after 30-40 years either Marcel or Moore or both could well have unconsciously embroidered their memories. I would go further and say that probably both did so. As did all the other 'star' witnesses (why 'star' anyway?). The path of flight 4, or whatever you want to call it, did go in the general direction of the Foster ranch. But there are too many unknowns to be able to say exactly where it landed (no launch time, for one). There is no way of establishing a 'perfect' trajectory, much as David Rudiak & Charles Moore would like to (but with totally opposite conclusions!). Everything is inexact and subject to error. Hence you cannot prove anything about flight 4. You can only con jecture.

Maybe a lot of the stuff never descended on the Foster ranch at all but went further on and was ignored or dissipated with time. Neither are the figures for the area covered by the debris reliable 40 years later (or even from the contemporary press accounts). Nobody covered the whole area anyway; they only covered what they could in the time available.

Mogul does explain the debris as given in the newspapers at the time. It of course does not explain all the accounts given 30-40 years afterwards, nor would you expect it to.

Perhaps your view is that the most important scientific discovery of all time is adequately explained by anecdotal evidence only. Or perhaps even you have begun to have doubts over this. Have you?

Instead of constantly debating the personal attributes of the witnesses concerned, why not focus your efforts and locate some real (hard) evidence to prove the ET crash theory (if that is what you still adhere to)?
If you succeed, you would be world famous, since as I have said, you would then have proved the truth of the most amazing scientific discovery of all time. Get to it!

And please, please, do not try to duck the issue by saying the hard evidence is all there but still kept tightly under wraps. After 60 years? A preposterous notion!

And remember: no such thing as an ET spacecraft is known to science, despite what your 'star' witnesses told you.

Bob Koford said...

Dr. Marcel points out that his father told him that some of the material was in the office, but is not seen in any of the photos.

The original radio broadcasts clearly reveal that Ramey himself is the originator of the available information being released.
Although he does say it was of "flimsy construction" not unlike a "box-kite", he also refers to it as a missile, and that the debris field was large enough, and in a shape that gave him the idea that this missile was 20 to 25 feet in diameter. This seems to confirm the much larger than any known balloon train part of the story, secret or not. He also would not have referred to it with the known term, "missile", which was known for the day as being used to describe some UFO reports, if he recognized it as a balloon train of any known kind.

Given the FBI memo referring to the trip of the items in question to Wright Field, and the phrase "...had not borne out this belief", this again brings some measure of doubt to the recognizable nature of the debris, and the confusion generated from the beginning.

This are the facts that are in the backdrop of anything any of the "witnesses" might say, and their discrepancies are weighed along with them.

starman said...

"After 60 years? A preposterous notion!"

I don't think so; it depends on how motivated they are to cover something up. The Ultra secret was kept under wraps for 30 years after the war ended i.e. still kept for 30 years after there was no longer any real need to cloak it (other than just to prevent the nazis for blaming their defeat on it).

KRandle said...


Sorry but there was no flight number four... Dr. Crary said that it was canceled and the first successful flight in the New York University listings is number five. Charles Moore told me that if a flight was canceled, they stripped the equipment from it and then let the balloons go because they couldn’t put the helium back in the bottles.

So, even if the balloons fell on the Foster ranch, there would have been nothing to leave the metallic debris.

Oh, and nice debating trick... ask a question and then reject an answer because you don’t believe it possible. There is another answer however, and it’s one that frightens me. Let’s say that I have an actual piece of alien spacecraft or technology but it is indistinguishable from an Earth-base sample. It’s alien, we just can’t prove it... today. Something like DNA making it possible today for us to determine that Anna Anderson wasn’t Anastasia, something they couldn’t do a quarter century ago.


I understand what you say... embellishment of a resume is not quite the same as forgetting the name of a project. However, the only reference Marcel made to either the college or shooting down Japanese aircraft was in the Pratt interview. I asked Pratt if he still had the tape because the way he transcribed the interview made it difficult to follow everything exactly. And, I think there was some Pratt interpretation in that transcript. Listening to the tape might, and I stress that, might, have answered some of the questions. Pratt said that once the story had run, they reused the tapes. I just don’t know what to make of Marcel’s claim to attending several colleges and the receiving a degree from one. I have found no record of it.

As for Moore, he has invented flight number four (well, not quite, but there really wasn’t a flight number four as shown in the various documentation) and then manipulated the data so that he can put the flight near... not on, but near... the Foster Ranch. It was clear to me, from my several interviews with him, that he didn’t care for the military, or his treatment at their hands in Roswell. He made a point of saying that the Army had no time for college boys. From a public relations standpoint, the military men could have handled the situation with a little more tact, but geez, to carry a grudge for fifty years over that?

My point, however, was that we really shouldn’t label either man liar just because some records don’t agree with what they said, especially when these things are fairly minor (and some of those records were constructed by draftees who might not have been happy with their new military status). I’m saying that we shouldn’t reject Marcel just because of the Pratt interview... Reject him if you will, suggest that the evidence does not support the extraterrestrial, but don’t say that Marcel was a liar (not that you have, I mean others, in general).

I’m arguing for a little civility here. I mean for the last couple of years I have been attacked repeatedly for things that simply aren’t true. As I have mentioned, there are those who suggest that I didn’t have a tour in Iraq, or that I have somehow inflated the importance of my military service. Believe there was a UFO at Roswell or don’t, but I’m saying don’t reject it because some might think I have made up my military background, or Jesse Marcel might have been less than candid when he talked to Pratt (Frankly, I really don’t understand that interview...)

cda said...

If you examine Crary's diary, it does not give the number of any of the flights. There are no numbered (3, 4, 5, 6, etc) flights in the diary. But his written entry for June 4 indicates that a launch took place that night, probably between midnight & 0600. There is absolutely no dispute over this. A launch DID take place. I do not care one iota what its number was, 3A, 4, 4A or whatever. So what are you arguing about? What Charles Moore told you is subject to memory fallibility and error. This is the very topic we are discussing re both Moore & Marcel. We simply do not know exactly what this flight contained, do we? The diary is not sufficiently detailed and the official record is missing. The USAF maintain it was this flight (i.e. on June 4, time unknown) that very likely (not definitely) resulted in the Foster ranch debris. That is as far as we can say. Moore has put his interpretation on it, Rudiak has put his. I take the USAF view, but I admit it is not a perfect answer, although good enough for me.

As for your contention that an alien craft sample might so closely resemble a terrestrial craft sample as to be indistinguishable, this is a truly extraordinary scenario; very very remotely possible I suppose. If you did possess such a sample then yes you are quite right, we could NOT tell that it was an ET craft. But you do not, I am positive, really believe in this remote possibility, do you? What about some of your witnesses who swear the stuff they saw or heard about was indeed extraterrestrial?!

I could handle a meteorite without knowing its origin, but plenty of others would know instantly that it was 'not of this earth'. The same would certainly apply to manufactured ET debris, if you could obtain any. It might take some months to prove conclusively. That is the way science works.

starman said...

"The USAF maintain it was this flight (i.e. on June 4, time unknown) which very likely (not definitely) resulted in the Foster ranch debris."

Absurd. It that were true Brazel would've brought in some of it about a month earlier. And regardless of whether a MOGUL array could, IN THEORY, have reached the Foster ranch, at the relevant time, Marcel would have to be a retard not to recognize it as mundane debris. How could he fail to recognize balloons? OK maybe he fibbed a bit about his education and record but why would he jeopardize his career and make an ass of himself by claiming to have found a crashed saucer, which was obviously ordinary junk? And why the press release? Were they ALL retards? Come on....

cda said...

Brazel did not bring the stuff in for the very reason that he decided it did not merit such action. Strange stuff maybe, but not strange enough. He only did bring it in when he heard about 'flying saucers' (by chance) during a conversation three weeks later.

As for Marcel, he had identified the debris with reasonable certainty (as probably did Brazel) but once the press release went out the debris HAD to be forwarded to AF HQ. Those who persist in saying Marcel could not identify the debris do him an injustice. He probably did find the stuff strange at first in that it was scattered over such a wide area. We have no way of knowing what Marcel really thought at the time, only what he says he thought 35 years afterwards. Nobody involved was a 'retard', but once that silly press release went out all hell broke loose.

We seem to have strayed from the original topic.

Lance said...

The press release is the weirdest part of the story.

The explanation I have settled on mixes up a bit of hysteria caused by the raging national saucer fever, some miscommunication, and a misunderstanding of just how far such a press release might go,

The press release could have been intended for local consumption only, for the amusement of the local media.

It's not apparent that we will ever know the true answer.

Bob Koford said...

Questions regarding the release of information are monumental. This is why the bigger picture of the event cannot be ignored when discussing the discrepancies in the descriptions of different aspects of this case.

The debris could not have been Mogul material for no other reason than the amount of debris has been noted by several of the witnesses, including Cavitt. That is, specifically, the amount of shredded foil-like material. Whether or not Marcel had a degree takes a much further away from the facts regarding this mystery...more of a deviation than whether Moore altered information. Whatever number, at whatever date that any Mogul flight took off, and/or would have descended, the material would not have been mysterious in any way!

There would have been absolutely no reason for Ramey to describe the missile as being 20 to 25 feet in diameter.

Again, back to the photo. That material was a smaller weather device, with parts of a rubber-backed balloon included. One trunk, of one motor vehicle would have surely sufficed. Multiple trips would have been ridiculous.

quote: "I could handle a meteorite without knowing its origin, but plenty of others would know instantly that it was 'not of this earth'. The same would certainly apply to manufactured ET debris, if you could obtain any."

And it still will not account for everyone, not just Marcel, being fooled. You make it sound like it all happened in such a short window of time, and yet it took days, and days, and several individuals had ample time to recognize it for what it was. Why didn't they? There is no simple answer to that question.

Lance said...


In the photos, is there anything that identifies the material as definitely coming from Project Mogul (or definitely not)?



Unknown said...

"In the photos, is there anything that identifies the material as definitely coming from Project Mogul (or definitely not)?"

Answer is no. In fact, various people, including me, have crawled all over these photos in hi-def and can find nothing to tie this debris to Mogul, like the probably imaginary "flower tape". In fact, the evidence points strongly to it NOT being from Mogul.

E.g., Ramey and his minions in 1947 always referred to the balloon and the radar target in the singular, as did the FBI telegram. Weather officer Irving Newton then and now insists it was an ordinary weather balloon/target that could have come from anywhere. Although a Roswell skeptic, he is nonetheless of the opinion now that it DIDN'T come from Mogul.

(In addition, Ramey in 1947 specifically denied that any equipment was found with the balloon and target.)

Point two: This can be confirmed from computer analyzing the photos, as I have done, to compute the quantity of debris. The balloon is shoe box size. The broken sticks add up to exactly one Rawin ML-307 radar target.

There are two or three extra intact bare sticks, but there is a simple explanation for this. In order to fold the targets down flat for shipment, two bare sticks were left out of their sleeves. The targets were packed flat 24 to a shipping box, and the extra sticks were thrown in on top, to be added later to the unfolded targets. (I have a set of instructions from one of the manufacturers specifying 52 bare sticks thrown in on top, i.e., 4 extras.)

BTW, they held a radar target demonstration at Fort Worth 2 days later to further debunk the saucers and Roswell. So obviously, radar targets were either at Fort Worth or could be easily procured on short notice.

Point 3, this is a very clean target. The white paper backing on the foil has no dirt or staining of any kind, yet there had been a few heavy rains in central N.M. between June 7 (when the Mogul team left) and early July when Brazel said he finally collected the debris (incidentally contradicting Marcel's story in Fort Worth). So where's the dirt? Weren't these supposed to be radar targetS dragged through the dirt and shredded?

Point 4: Where's the string that should have been attached to the target? It's not in the photos. In fact, nobody mentions any string or twine at all. Brazel specifically denied finding any.

The main point is this. If this was from a Mogul, you wouldn't expect exactly one target nor the singular balloon. Nor would you expect a clean target if it laid out in the elements for a month. Nor would you expect a target with no string. Nor would you expect the complete absence of string/twine in the field, when there should have been hundreds of feet of it tangled up in the rocks and brush.

The simple, Occam's razor explanation that takes all these facts into account is that this debris is NOT from a Mogul. Instead it is a brand new radar target taken out of its packing box and then busted and torn up by hand to make it look like a crashed object. Somebody, not knowing better, throws in some extra bare sticks from the box into the mix. Nobody bothers to attach any string, since this radar target was never going to go anywhere. (Read the AF interview with Charles Moore by Lt. James McAndrew, where McAndrew raises the missing twine issue, then drops the whole thing like a hot potato when he likely realized that there is NO plausible explanation for it not being there if this was a Mogul crash.)

Final point is that the balloon in the photos is in too good a shape for a neoprene balloon balloon laying out in the hot sun for a month. In fact, Charles Moore has repeated stated and demonstrated that the neoprene disintegrated into brittle, black ash in 2 to 3 weeks.

But this balloon, though partially darkened, is still mostly intact and obviously pliable, like an ordinary rubber balloon. So it appears to be a slightly aged balloon, but not a month-old balloon, therefore, again, not from an imaginary Flight #4.

Old weather balloons were a dime a dozen. Hundreds were sent up every day all over the country, including Fort Worth. People would pick them up and turn them in. It could have been laying on a shelf unused at Fort Worth and still deteriorated from age. They were made that way, to naturally disintegrate when they came down.

So absolutely nothing in the photos points to this debris coming from a Mogul, and really strongly indicates that it was a shill balloon and target to get rid of the press.

Wait, wasn't that Marcel's and Dubose's story?

David Rudiak

cda said...

The lack of certain items in the Ft Worth photos does not disprove the Mogul idea at all. It may mean either of:

1. Some of the stuff that arrived at Ft Worth was not included in the photos, or
2. A lot of the stuff that lay on the Foster ranch was never collected.

Either of these adequately explains why string, and other items, does not appear. Why bother collecting pieces of string anyway? Why travel several miles over the ranch to pick up all sorts of junk similar to what you already have? We can assume some time restriction applied.

We are again faced with the old problem: do we take as gospel, or as nearly so, what witnesses claim 30-40 years later, or do we go by what was published at the time?

The balloon fabric was immersed in boiling water to make it more durable. And we don't need Moore's distant memories for this fact, as it appears in the "Alamogordo News" for July 10. Thus it need not have disintegrated into black ash in a month.

I fear so much of this is speculation: you cannot prove anything about Mogul from those photos, since at that stage of the project they were using stuff very much like ordinary meteorological balloons & corner reflectors anyway.

Also both Marcel & duBose have said different things at different interviews. See the various books and published papers.

But this brings us back to who and what we can trust, i.e. the whole purpose of this debate.

Tim Printy said...

So, let me get this straight so I understand you correctly. When you state:

"I purposefully used some information sent to me by a rabid believer about the SCR-584 and was corrected immediately about its capabilities..."

You are indicating that you knew the following statements were completely false before you posted them?

"In 1995, he attacked the veracity of Frank Kaufmann, claiming that Kaufmann was lying because there was only a single SCR-270 radar at White Sands in 1947. It had, according to Moore, a range of only 39.7 miles (I really like these precise numbers because they have the ring of authenticity to them when you’re inventing details.)"


"We have to assume that Moore just invented the 39.7 mile range as he wrote about Kaufmann or he wouldn’t have come up with the 39.7 mile figure, which is ridiculous, but certainly looks impressive."

What was your reason for doing so? Perhaps you might clarify what you meant.

I am also wondering why you keep repeating the implication that Moore tracked targets out to 64 miles with an SCR-584 in 1947. I think I know where you got this information but it was not with an SCR-584 and it was not in 1947. It was my impression I had made that clear the last time I posted here. Again, I ask you if there is some other piece of information that you have that says they were tracking targets out to 64 miles with an SCR-584, feel free to present it. Technically, I am interested in how this was accomplished with an SCR-584.

KRandle said...

Tim -

The original purpose of the post was to suggest that there are some who condemn Marcel because the military record did not reflect what he apparently told Bob Pratt (I say apparently because there are some areas for interpretation).

I confused the SCR-270 with the SCR 584. I have since checked the capabilities and you are right about its range (though I suppect that might be a reflection of the range of the various weapons systems, I don't know that).

One of the points, however, is that Charles Moore only mentioned the SCR-584 in his discussion of Kaufmann (and I really don't like defending him considering the damage he did) without mentioning the other radars available. It made it sound as if the issue was cut and dried and it wasn't.

An ancillary point here is that the information has been corrected now, which discussion should do. Yet attempts to correct other, similar errors in other arenas go no where (Some skeptics are suggesting that it was proven that Frnkie Rowe's father didn't work for the fire department, for example. There is solid evidence that he did, but this allegation was raised again not all that long ago).

Or that fire fighters interviewed in the 1990s said, universally, that there had been no talk of a UFO in the fire station which, again, is not true. Follow up questions were not asked... but I digress.

I really have nothing against Charles Moore and he became something of the target because of his anti-Roswell writings and his apparent bias against the military (as developed in discussions with me).

Finally, a mea culpa... I should have checked Charles Moore's article out again so that I would have had the correct designation of the radar sets... someone told me SCR-270 and I didn't verify that... I guess here you can call me sloppy.

In the end, the point is, and has been, that there is little in the way of give and take. Only the rock solid beliefs of skeptics and believers. No room for simple error, no room for different perception, just liars trying to hog the spotlight.

Too often this is a fight over religion as Sarge suggested, with both sides convinced of their truth and the other's deceit. I was hoping that we all here could take a step back and learn from the other side...

And yes, some of that is being accomplished.

Tim Printy said...

And I stated in my first posting that if you wanted to hang Moore for not mentioning the other radars, feel free to do so. I have my opinions as to why he picked the SCR-584 and also posted that information.

However, You still haven't answered my second question. Why do you keep repeating the implication that Moore was tracking balloons 64 miles away in 1947 with an SCR-584? I was requesting your source for this information. I am aware of some sources (all are in the USAF report) that describe other types of radar sets but they are in the 1948 and 1949 time frame. Using those documents in the context of this discussion is not really correct.

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

The SCR-584 39.7 mile figure comes from its search range being rated to 70,000 yards. However, a Nov. 1945 Electronics Magazine article says it could track bombers beyond this to 50 miles. says its "warning range" was 90,000 yards or 51 miles (or in pseudo-precise math, 51.1 miles)

In principle, the theoretical range is limited by the pulse frequency, i.e., how far can light travel between pulses. The SCR-584 frequency was 1707 Hz. Divide that into the speed of light (186,000 miles/sec) and you get 108 miles between pulses. Halve that, because the radar pulse has to travel to the target and bounce back to the antenna. Thus a theoretical 54 mile range. (However, I don't know if the oscilloscope tube displaying the returns could normally indicate out that far.)

I don't know how they came up with the "39.7 mile" range figure, when the radar could in principle and practice track beyond that. 39.7 is about 75% of 54 miles, so maybe they were being conservative and saying this was the maximum that the radar could _reliably_ provide a range.

However, the SCR-584 didn't suddenly hit a brick wall once a target went beyond Moore's magical "39.7 miles". When you think about it, how useful would radar be for tracking Mogul balloons or V-2 rockets if this was the absolute maximum range? The rockets went a lot higher and the balloons drifted a lot further than that.

One way to increase the range is to modify the radar to have a lower pulse rate, so the microwaves can travel further between pulses. E.g., the SCR-682 (fixed radar) had a pulse frequency of 420 Hz and a rated range of 140 miles. If necessary, it wouldn't be that big a modification to decrease the pulse frequency on an SCR-584 set to increase its range.

Brad Sparks has a document showing that a V-2 launch on July 28 was tracked by FOUR radar (CPS-4, CPS-5, and two SCR-270s: max. _normal_ ranges 90, 70, and 150 miles) to an altitude of 100 miles. Another of Brad's documents shows that the next month, a UFO was tracked on radar by Mogul personnel at an altitude of 200 miles, as indicated by a Project Sign document:

Note that the document indicates the tracking was with a "modified" CPS-4, thus well beyond its original "90 mile" range. Furthermore, it notes that the Watson Lab people, i.e. Mogul, were also carrying out tracking test runs on a radar corner reflector using a "modified" SCR-270, when the witness filing the report saw another UFO and had seen other "unexplainable" disc-like objects through an optical tracker at other times.

(Yeah, UFOs were zipping around White Sands, even the Mogul people were seeing them and filing UFO reports, but Roswell must have been a Mogul that never was.)

The final point is that there were indeed multiple tracking radar at White Sands, at least some of them were "modified", obviously to extend their tracking range so they could properly track the V-2 launches, and Moore's claim that there was only one radar at White Sands and limited to "39.7 miles" is just another of his many, many "misrepresentations" concerning the Roswell case.

David Rudiak

Tim Printy said...

This information is all well and good. I have no doubt that the radars in question were in operation at the time stated. That being said, Moore did not have access to those documents when he wrote the article. When radars became operational or were operating is not something one can pull out of memory fifty years later so he relied on the one piece of historical documentation he had available. It came from the ordinance department at White Sands proving ground and Lt. Col. Harold Turner, who stated on 12 June 1947,

"The radar equipment currently in use at White Sends Proving Ground is under the control of the Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. This equipment is modified SCR-584 designed to operate the AN/APN-55 beacon used in obtaining ballistic information from the missiles fired at this station."

As I stated twice before, if you want to fault Moore for not including all these other radars, that is fine but he wrote his article based on this document. Apparently, Lt. Col. Harold Turner was not aware of all the other radars on base or it is possible that those other radars were not operational in June 1947 since the earliest document you have presented is in late July of 1947.