My point here is that I am again addressing the Ramey Memo in an article that Barry Greenwood published in the September 2009 issue of his UFO Historical Revue. I publish it without comment, other to say that it offers a new and interesting interpretation on one of the lines of the Ramey Memo.
Let the flame wars begin...)
RAMEY MEMO REDUX – LINE 5
After a lull in interest, there has been a recent renewal of discussions about the "Ramey Memo" on Internet lists. The usual banter was swapped as to whether or not the document (as I will call it from here on as there is no evidence that it is a memo) is a top-secret message regarding Roswell aliens or merely a teletype taken from a newspaper office in Fort Worth, Texas.
For those unfamiliar with the Ramey document, it is a folded piece of paper held in the hand of Brigadier General Roger Ramey, head of the 8th Army Air Force based at Fort Worth, Texas (See photo). On July 8, 1947, photographs were taken of Ramey, his chief of staff, Thomas DuBose and Roswell AAF officer Jesse Marcel Sr. by J. Bond Johnson, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram photographer, in response to an AAF press release that the debris recovered from the alleged Roswell UFO crash was a weather balloon. The debris itself was displayed in an office for Johnson to photograph, which he did and his pictures were widely distributed the next day in national newspapers.
One can see in photo prints that the document being held has lines of text at theedge of visibility. Attempts have been made over the years to enlarge that portion of the photograph. The text however remains at the extreme limit of resolution. A few words do seem to be visible, asserting the document’s relevance to the Roswell incident, but little else is clear.
Readers of UHR (UFO Historical Revue) will recall that I dealt with this debate in the March 2004 issue, titled, "An Observation on the Ramey Memo."
In it I offered the possibility that the document showed signs of being a teletype dispatch, typical of a news wire taken from a newspaper office rather than being a military/government ocument with details of the recovery of an exotic machine possibly from another planet. Not surprisingly some Roswell proponents of the extraterrestrial notion reacted with anger. Nevertheless, it didn’t seem that there was any hard consensus beyond a few words as to what the document said.
On August 26, 2009, it was a hot summer afternoon. Not much could be done in the heat so I sat for a while to stare at a blow-up of the Ramey photo to once again take a try at picking out words to recognize. This had become a regular part-time activity for some UFO researchers since the photo was enlarged years ago (See the enlarged area below). The possibility of revealing sensation evidence of UFO reality and government cover-ups through this document was irresistible for those who have been involved in such research for decades. All one had to do was decipher the distortions and blobs that characterized the text. For my part, in between stares I pulled old clipping volumes of Roswell coverage to remind myself of the reporting on the story for July 8-9, 1947. I tried running the picture through a variety of Photoshop computer enhancements by brightening or darkening the image. It was to no avail. "How would anyone ever get this mangled, messy text deciphered," I thought. It seemed unlikely that muck could be enhanced! Wasn’t there anything better to do on a nice summer day?
Getting a little weary I noticed a cardboard pair of 3-D red/blue glasses from some leftover movie I had once seen hanging from a holder above my computer screen. Looking at it I said, "Oh, why not." The idea of using them seemed rather pointless, as I was not even looking at a 3-D picture. But nothing was being accomplished otherwise. I put it on. Oddly enough using the 3-D filters somehow injecting a small amount of clarity into the image, much like a pair of yellow sunglasses, (as has been advertised on TV) seems to make the landscape much clearer. It was certainly not enough to make the blobs more readable but it was enough to make patterns stand out more. I focused upon the portion of the Ramey document that seemed to be a little clearer than the rest. It is an oval area on the left side of the text, a short distance from the right side of Ramey’s thumb that obscures part of the document’s text . A few words like "…AT FORT WORTH, TEX." and "…THE ‘DISC’.." seem to stand out enough to gain a general consensus as to these decipherments.
On the next line down where "THE ‘DISC’" seems apparent, what I will call "line 5" out of the total of eight lines visible on the image, the previously mentioned oval area of visibility had text a bit easier to read, that I attribute to that part of the document perhaps being a little closer to the camera lens by means of its appearance of being held in a rumpled manner by Ramey and folded in an arch toward the lens.
I kept looking with the 3-D filter and noticed a pattern, a pattern that seemed familiar. But before I continue, a bit of explanation is needed about the length of words.
To check their letter lengths, I used "letter stacking." The lines of text formed on a machine, like a teletype or an old typewriter, have regular spaces between letters, words and lines. With letters poorly focused and defined, making them virtually unreadable, the number of characters in each word could be measured by running a straight vertical line from the centers of letters above and below the line in question to the centers of letters of the words in that line. It is like placing a grid over the page and counting the letters and spaces that give your word length. It can even work when the page of a piece of paper is curved in the manner that can be seen in this document.
With this in mind, and a 3-D filter at the eyes, a pattern was noticed. The second word in line 5, a six-letter word, gave the strong impression of ending in "GHT." Thinking this was an artifact of the 3-D filter I took it off and looked again. The impression was still there. A six-letter word ending in "GHT" didn’t make much sense. "SOUGHT," perhaps? But the article was supposed to be about something that was already found. But then I recalled one of the clipping volumes.
Having just previously read clips in between pondering the photo, I went back and flipped through it again. There was a press clip from the San Mateo CA Times of July 8th. Late edition papers for the 8th had carried the breaking Roswell debris news. Reading down the clip I saw this: "Lt. Warren Haught, public information officer at Roswell said…." And the quote continued to his press release. "HAUGHT" stood out like a sore thumb. It was a six-letter word with a "GHT" ending in an article related to Roswell. As long-time Roswell pundits notice here, "Lt. Warren Haught" should actually be "Lt. Walter Haut," the "PRO," or Public Relations Officer, at Roswell Army Air Field. The press had butchered Haut’s name, probably in the rush to publish news about Roswell. In the first rush of publicity after Haut sent out a press release on the recovery of a flying disc, the base and Roswell media were bombarded with phone calls from world media about the story. Most certainly, one or more wire reporters heard Haut’s name and spelled it phonetically, not even getting the "Walter" right.
In the Ramey document, we don’t see the word "WARREN" clearly in the text. But through letter stacking I’ve determined that the area before "HAUGHT" is a six-letter word and, based upon the use of the word "HAUGHT" in the press coverage, "WARREN" is the most likely fit in that area. Line 5 was beginning to fall together in a sensible fashion. I looked at the rest of the line. It was obvious that there was a comma after "HAUGHT," then words and punctuation of the following lengths appear: six, nine, seven, two, seven, comma, four, period. I compared the San Mateo Associated Press (AP) extract with the letter counts, verified through the letter stacking. To my astonishment all the words matched, except for one. The nine letter word. "Information" in the article didn’t seem to fit, being eleven letters long. What else could fit "public (blank) officer?"
It didn’t take long to find out. After flipping a few more pages in the clipping book, it was evident that a number of other press stories from different newspapers had chosen to refer to Haut the "public relations officer." The nine-letter word fits! We can now say that the Ramey document, line 5 reads:
"….WARREN HAUGHT, PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER AT ROSWELL, SAID."
The photographer, J. Bond Johnson, originally said that he took a flash AP wire dispatch about Roswell from the teletype machine at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and brought it to the office where the debris was to be photographed. He had said that he handed the dispatch to Ramey before the pictures were taken. Johnson later recanted on this testimony when he became involved with a group called "RPIT," or "Roswell Photo Interpretation Team." RPIT had concluded, among other things, that the debris in the photos showed evidence of symbols like ancient Egyptian glyphs on the foil-like material, that beams had symbols in bas relief that were possibly made of ceramic material. How a ceramic material could be deduced from a photo is a mystery but no less odd than the other RPIT conclusions. Johnson responded to the question of his contradiction as to whether or not he handed General Ramey the document by only saying, "Obviously, I was wrong." It is not that obvious why he was wrong!
It is also important to note that when dealing with journalistic teletype messages, they send long text, short text or fragments of information that later can be refined and rewritten. They don’t necessarily go into the finished product, a newspaper article, exactly the way they came off of the wire. Unless one has the exact original "flash" message from a particular wire teletype machine, it can be difficult finding a perfect match of lengthy text to something like the Ramey document.
Context is all-important too. One might be able to see shapes in the letters that resemble, but don’t exactly look like, the letters they are supposed to be. Words can be seemingly deciphered, but unless they fit into a meaningful sentence they can’t account for much understanding.
The key determination in this finding is the word "HAUGHT." It is reasonable to see the shapes of these letters in both the raw and enhanced versions of reproductions of the document. "Enhanced" does not mean that words were altered in any way. The document is bad enough for those with good eyesight, very difficult for those without it. So darkening of the text is an aid to seeing the letter shapes better.
But what if this reading isn’t correct? Let’s say I am just employing wishful thinking in seeing the "GHT" at the end of the six-letter word? Then there is no case. I have tested the interpretation on others who have agreed that the Ramey document word does appear that way. A critic might say, "So, just friends trying to please you!" I decided to consult the website of the most ardent booster of the Ramey document as supporting Roswell as a flying saucer crash with alien bodies, David Rudiak. He once referred to my writing on the Ramey document as "totally bogus."
Rudiak examined thirteen versions, including three of his own notions, of what other researchers believe the Ramey document says. Looking at line 5, five versions agree with "AT ROSWELL." One agreed with the word "SAID" at the end of the line. One (Rudiak) agreed in an early interpretation with "OFFICER," but later changed it. One agreed with "PUBLIC." No one had "RELATIONS," surely a difficult read being in a fold in the paper and without other context yet deciphered. One person interpreted "GHT" as "SOUGHT." Most importantly, Rudiak himself saw the "GHT" but believed it to stand for "WRIGHT," as in Wright Field, Ohio, where the Roswell debris was supposed to have been taken. But Rudiak couldn’t construct a smooth flowing sentence out of it. In all cases, the interpretations made little contextual sense as they built broken phrases, or the letter/space counts fit poorly. Bogus is as bogus does!
Let’s ponder all this here. I’m trying to think of a good reason why "WARREN,HAUGHT" would appear in a classified, top-secret government teletype about flying saucers and alien bodies being picked up and shipped to other government facilities. We have what pro-Roswell-as-ET advocates claim is the most top secret event in U.S. history, classified on a par with, or above, the H-bomb (if you accept the Canadian Wilbert Smith memo of 1950). Yet in what is supposed to be one of the earliest official bits of documentation on the secret, it draws on information from a public relations officer at Roswell instead of intelligence information on the debris, bodies, technology or whatever other science could be involved. And it then proceeds to badly mangle both of his names!
Would the military not know the names of their own personnel in top-secret messages? Worse still, would they rely upon a known journalistic error, leading to the absurd situation of U.S. Army Air Force intelligence depending upon the newspapers for part of its information on its own personnel along with the Roswell event? It is absurd. Then why is Walter Haut’s mangled name in the supposedly secret government document?
Given the context of line 5, it appears that the document is depending upon information from "WARREN HAUGHT" as a source to be read. Why would this have to be in a classified teletype when it could be read in the newspapers? And what would he have to tell military intelligence needing to be classified top secret that they don’t already know about the alleged crash: to which newspapers he was sending his press release? There is a great deal about this that doesn’t make sense if the Ramey document were a classified message.
If the Ramey document were not a classified message but a news wire, none of the above secrecy scenario would matter at all. Which option would Occam’s Razor cut off? In summary, it has been demonstrated that:
Line 3 of the Ramey document has a phrase "…AT FORT WORTH, TEX."
The words "..THE ‘DISC’.." with DISC in quotes appears on line 4.
The phrase "…WARREN HAUGHT, PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER AT ROSWELL, SAID." is the best reading of line 5 of the text because the word count, letter count, punctuation and meaningful context fit and make sense. It is very likely that this phrase refers to the text on line 4.
All can be shown to come from journalistic news accounts rather than from military/government documents. If you do not think this interpretation is fitting, I offer a challenge: have line 5 make grammatical sense with different letters, words and phrasing.
Much credit is due Mary Castner, Victor Golubic and Joel Carpenter for valuable computer assistance and comment.