Friday, October 09, 2009

UFOs, the Ramey Memo, J. Bond Johnson and Me

In reviewing what UFO expert Barry Greenwood had written about the Ramey Memo I thought about my interaction with J. Bond Johnson, the man who had taken the photographs. It started cordially enough with two long telephone conversations and ended with two more that were somewhat acrimonious. All this came about because Johnson started talking to others and realized that what he originally said and originally believed was in conflict with the spotlight he wanted to draw to himself. To keep that spotlight tightly focused on himself, he had to say things about me and about his interactions with General Ramey that he had to know were not true.

As I have explained in the past, I learned about Johnson by accident. I was attempting to find an original copy of the picture of Warrant Officer (later major) Irving Newton that had been taken in Ramey’s office on July 8, 1947. According to that old Look magazine special on Flying Saucers, the picture was held by the Bettmann Photo Archives. They sent me two black and white Xerox copies of the photographs they held which told me that the pictures had been transmitted by INP Soundphoto at 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time and had been taken by J. Bond Johnson (seen here with cutline seen below). This, of course, confirms Johnson’s presence and some of his testimony in the case.
I learned that Johnson had worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and that the negatives should be there. Of course, they weren’t and I was directed to the University of Texas at Arlington and to their Special Collections library. And that is where I found additional pictures. None of Newton, by the way, but others of Major Jesse Marcel, Sr., Brigadier General Roger Ramey and Colonel Thomas J. DuBose.

The woman who worked there at the time, which was 1989, was Betsy Hudon and she mentioned that she had been talked with a fellow who claimed to be the photographer. Given my cynical nature, I wasn’t sure I believed that, but thought I should check it out and asked who that was. She refused to give me the name, believing that it would violate his privacy. She had no problem, however, sending along a letter to him from me as a way of introducing me to him. Then, if he was interested, he could call me.

As a courtesy, she sent me a copy of the letter she had enclosed with mine, and on it was the name and address of the photographer. So, I knew who it was though I’m sure her mistake was unintentional.

In a few days I received a telephone call from J. Bond Johnson and in a taped interview, he told me what happened in General Ramey’s office. Of course I asked him if he minded if I recorded the call and he said he did not. As a note, on the second call to him, I asked him on tape if he minded and again he said that he did not. Later he would claim that I had called him cold and that I had not said anything about recording the conversations.

I will note here that I didn’t call him cold because he had received a letter from me so he knew my interest and I got his telephone number from him. He knew something about the events because he had been tracking the pictures, and he had a copy of the article that appeared on July 9 in an early edition of the Star-Telegram. He called me so that we could talk about this aspect of the Roswell case.

Given the nature of the following events, I believe that the first and second interviews with Johnson are the closest to the truth. I believe this because the facts, as established through other sources including newspaper articles including one that Johnson originally claimed he wrote, and with interviews with others who were in Ramey’s office corroborate these facts. Later, as Johnson moved into his fantasy world, his comments were completely contradicted by all the other evidence. In fact, his comments were contradicted by other comments he made, sometimes in the same conversation.

I began this first interview by asking, " You took the pictures of Marcel and the guys with the wreckage?"

J. Bond Johnson (JBJ): I took the picture with Gen. Ramey and the wreckage. Gen. Ramey was the commander of the 20th Air Force at that time. Or maybe not the 20th, maybe the 15th.
KDR: I think it was actually the 8th Air Force at that time.

JBJ: I think that's not right. [It was, in fact, the 8th Air Force.] I have the information anyway. I went to Texas around Christmas just before and went down to the newspaper and they turned me over to the library and I found and went back in the microfiche. I found the pictures. Interesting. I looked for the- they had tuned the negatives from those years over to UTA [University of Texas at Arlington] where you had contacted...

KDR: I found that out as well.

JBJ: They, interestingly, they could not find the negatives that I had taken. They had disappeared which is kind of interesting. [Actually, some of the negatives are on file at the library.] But of course I got copies from the paper. It ran in both the morning and afternoon editions.

KDR: That was the Star-Telegram.

JBJ: The Star-Telegram. The interesting things that you can get into, that you may know about . . . oh, those pictures have been used on a couple of TV shows. . . . One was Star Trek . .. no, Star . . .In Search of which Leonard Nimoy was the host of. [Johnson's photos were not used on In Search of] And I was sitting watching the TV and it popped up and showed this picture and oh, there's my picture. That kind of thing. Then another time it was on ABC. They had done a similar sort of thing and I was going to . . . Alan Lansbury puts together the In Search of and he invited me over to a party at his house and this major was going to be there, the one from Roswell... My interesting part of this, having taken the picture and now going back and looking at the picture because I didn't have a copy of it . . . is that I don't know whether the Air Force was pulling a hoax or not. It looks like a kite. There was another thing that the gal from UTA gave me . . . there is a negative they have of Ramey looking at this ray-wind [sic] kite or something and it was printed in the paper a couple of days earlier. [In fact, this is one of the photos Johnson took. There is no evidence that Ramey was photographed with a Rawin target device earlier in the day or at any other time until Johnson took his photographs.]

KDR: Marcel is ordered off Roswell and they load the material into a B-29 and flew it to Fort Worth for Ramey to look at.

JBJ: That's when I got into it because the AP picked up that they were flying it down there. And I walked into the Star-Telegram. I was primarily a reporter but I had a camera, Speed-Graphic, that I carried in my car. I worked night police. I was a back-up photographer. The city editor came over and said, 'Bond, you got your camera?" And I said yes and he said, "Get out to General Ramey's office. They've got a flying saucer and they're bringing it from Roswell." And they were flying it down there.

KDR: I think what happened was that they realized what they had. They realized that it was something extremely unusual. That it really was an alien spacecraft. Then Ramey comes up with this weather-balloon nonsense.

JBJ: Right. That was a hoax, I think that's when they called and what I saw. I think I was duped... And it's interesting that if it was a ray-wind [sic]or a balloon that the commander of Roswell wouldn't have known that and that...

KDR: The intelligence officer should have known that.

JBJ: That's right but they had to get some warrant officer to chop on it at Carswell. [Technically it was the Fort Worth Army Air Field.] What I want to find now is that negative and see what that picture is that happened to be in the paper just a couple of days sooner with Ramey looking at the weather balloon. I have one identified on the caption of Ramey looking at it and it was published in the Star-Telegram. That's from the Star-Telegram file that
is in Arlington [Texas].

KDR: So you've been through the files at Arlington?

JBJ: No, no. I'm just talking to the same girl.

KDR: Okay.

JBJ: She sent me the list for all Ramey's photographs at the Star-Telegram. At first I didn't know how to identify them. She sent a list of all the Ramey pictures but mine was not included.

KDR: She's doing the same thing for me because I had asked her about Ramey and that stuff. I said, "How about Marcel?" And she said that the other fellow didn't know about Marcel. So I thought maybe the picture (Marcel seen here) . . . I've got a couple of questions that I need to ask you that might help me out later on. Is there any way that you could find out who would have been at the first press
conference and taken the other pictures of Marcel?

JBJ: Never heard of that. They ran in the Star-Telegram?

KDR: There are pictures of Marcel...

JBJ: I didn't know about that at the time and I can't imagine that I wouldn't have.

KDR: There's a picture of him holding the wreckage. There's a picture of Marcel.

JBJ: You're sure that's not Ramey.

KDR: No, it's Marcel. It's Marcel holding the wreckage.

JBJ: When I went there, there was no press conference. I just went out and Ramey was there and the stuff was scattered . . . spread out on the floor in his office. He had a big office as most of them do. And he went over and I posed him looking at it, squatting down, holding the stuff.

JBJ: That's the one I took. Of Ramey.

KDR: Did you only take one picture?

JBJ: I took one. I had one holder. I took . . . they were essentially duplicates. I took two shots. I just had one holder. That's all I had with me. [He actually had three holders and took six photos. At the time of this discussion, neither Johnson nor I realized all of this. As I continued the search, I learned the truth about the number of pictures... but in the long run, none of this about pictures and holders was of overwhelming importance.]

KDR: So you used all your film.

JBJ: That was it. I got back at the newspaper. The newspapers had gotten excited. The AP had sent over a portable wire photo transmitter and I got a call from Blackthorn or whatever or all the news photo people. Everybody wanted an exclusive and I'd taken two...

KDR: Your big chance for fame and you blew it.

JBJ: Exactly. But it was not an exciting thing. It was just a bunch of garbage anyway.

KDR: That's what it says. I had Betsy [Hudon of UTA] looking for the pictures as well. She's sending me the list too. I figure someone is going to go to Fort Worth to look through them to find out if the stuff is really missing. I have seen- I've got one picture and it's a very bad copy of Marcel holding the wreckage. I've seen pictures of Ramey with the stuff . Look magazine did something in 1966 and talked about this; it showed Ramey [actually it was Newton] holding the stuff.

JBJ: lt might be my picture. He was squatting down and looking at it. It was on the floor in his office. There were no other reporters there. I went in and I don't remember. I think there was some aide there.

KDR: His aide was there?

A little explanation might be necessary here. At this point in the investigation, I am unsure of the sequence of events, unsure of who really knew what, and unsure of what Johnson really knows. Later, as I continued the research, I would sort all this out. I would learn about the number of pictures taken, who took them, with the exception of the one picture of Newton, and have a better idea about the exact timing of events based on newspaper articles that provided a time sequence. In this interview, I’m still trying to sort things out so some of the questions seem to be redundant or simple but they eventually lead to the proper conclusions.

And note here that Johnson has suggested that Ramey’s aide was in the office. What I didn’t know then, and don’t know now, is if Johnson meant Captain Roy Showalter, who in 1947, was Ramey’s aide, or Colonel DuBose who some believed was Ramey’s aide but who was, in fact, the Eighth Air Force Chief of Staff. Johnson seems to indicate here that there was only one other person in the office, but we know, based on the photographic evidence that Marcel was also there. This means that the lack of mention about Showalter specifically isn’t of great consequence one way or the other.

Johnson told me, "Okay. And that's all I think were there. I took the two [do I need to point out, again, that this number is incorrect?] pictures and then they said- but that time they said, oh we've found out what it is and you know, it's a weather balloon and so forth. No big deal. I didn't press it. I accepted that. I was rather naive. I accepted it."

KDR: Everybody did.

JBJ: I had no reason to come on then and say, 'oh, you've got to be lying."

KDR: Why couldn't your intelligence officer identify this?

JBJ: See, I was not pressing him.

KDR: Okay. So you went to Ramey's office, you saw the wreckage, you took the two pictures, you talked to Ramey, he said it's a weather balloon, you went back to...

JBJ: The Star-Telegram and gave them the wet prints of the thing. They wanted them right out. I went in and developed them and gave them wet prints. And I wrote...

KDR: And you don't know of any other photographs taken at the Star-Telegram of Marcel when he first got there or anything like that?

JBJ: I never have heard that mentioned.

KDR: I wonder if they got the newspaper wrong. How about the other newspapers in the area like the Dallas...

JBJ: The Fort Worth Press was the only other one.

KDR: The Dallas Morning News...

JBJ: They would not have been over there. I don't think they came. I never saw any other pictures at that time. They wouldn't have been so anxious to get mine if they had had any others. Particularly if they had some earlier. When I got back there they . . . there were a whole bunch of people there. We didn't normally send wire photo directly. They had . . . in fact they went out of Dallas. And they had to send over . . . any time they wanted something they'd have to send over a portable transmitter. That's what they had done just while I had
gone out to . . .

KDR: The Dallas paper did.

(What we know now is that, about the time Johnson was in Ramey’s office, reporter for the Dallas Morning News was on the telephone with Major Edwin Kirton, hearing that it was all just a weather balloon. And we now know that Ramey had already told a west coast newspaper that it was a weather balloon.)

JBJ: No, the AP did. Then we put it right on the air from there. Because we were late . . . it was late in the afternoon. On the east coast it would have been deadline time. And that's why they wanted it . . . for the New York papers and all. That's why they were rushing me. This is towards the end of the day.

At this point, I haven’t figured out that Johnson took two pictures of Marcel, which were then cropped so that it didn’t look like the rawin target. When you see the whole picture, it’s quite clear what it shows. When Marcel looked at those pictures decades later, in the company of TV reporter Johnny Mann, Marcel said that wasn’t the stuff he had taken to Fort Worth. Those were of a weather balloon... but this is a discussion for another time.

JBJ: I don't know who that would have been. Let me look at my UFO file. I have Ramey squatting down. That's July 10 and then there's a consolidated news story right by it from news dispatches. ‘Fireballs Dim Disc over Texas.’ And then I have the other one. On Sunday, July 6, the front page of the Star-Telegram: "Sky Mystery Mounts as More Flying Discs Are Sighted All over the Country." It mentions Texas and New Mexico and Washington and Oregon. But it does say New Mexico in that article. And then on July 7, Monday, on the front page again, 'Flying Discs Cavort All over U.S. as Mystery Continues to Mount." Seven-nine [July 9] is my story [emphasis added] on the front page that was in earlier that day. That's when they debunked it. Oh, [paraphrasing] object found at Roswell was stripped of is glamour as flying disc by a Fort Worth Army Air Field weather officer late Tuesday . . . identified as a weather balloon. Warrant Officer Irving Newton from Medford, Wisconsin, weather forecaster at the base, said the object was a raywind target used to determine the direction of wind at high altitudes. Hurried home and dug up the remnants and so forth. It had been found three weeks previously by a New Mexican rancher, W. W. Brazel on his property 85 miles northwest of Roswell and thirty miles from the nearest telephone. He had no radio and so forth.

We finished the interview with some discussion about other crashes that have been reported, for example those at Del Rio, Texas, and Kingman, Arizona. Johnson then asked if I could send him some material and I agreed to put something together for him. Naturally there were additional questions to be asked.

On March 24, 1989, I called Johnson again in an attempt to clarify some of the questions bouncing around. At the beginning of the call, and on tape, you hear me ask if he objects to my recording the conversation and he says, "No." I then ask for a narration, from start to finish, of what he remembered about the trip out to Ramey’s office and what took place inside.

JBJ: Okay. My name is initial J. Bond; it's also James Bond Johnson. I'm the original. I was a reporter and backup photographer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in July of 1947 after having served in the Air Corps as a pilot-cadet in World War II. On Tuesday, July 8, 1947,late in the afternoon, I returned from an assignment to my office in the city room of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which was both a morning and afternoon newspaper. My city editor of the morning paper ran over and said, "Bond, have you got your camera?" I said yes, I had it in my car. I had a four by-five Speed Graphic that I had bought recently and I kept it in the car because I was working nights and police and so forth and had it at the ready. He said go out to Gen. Ramey's office and . . . He said they've got something there and to get a picture. I don't now recall what he called it. He said they've flown something down. . . I don't think he called it something . . . he gave it a name because I was kind of prepared for what I was going to see. He said something crashed out there or whatever and they're -- we just got an alert on the AP wire . . . though it might have been the UPI [He means the United Press; the UPI wasn't formed until 1958.] . . . that the Air Force or the Air Corps as it was called then is flying it down from Roswell on orders from Gen. Ramey. It would be located in his office. It was or would be by the time I got out there.

So I drove directly to Carswell and my recollections are now I went in and I opened my carrying case with my Graphic and I had brought just one holder with me with two pieces of the four-by-five film. [In an interview on December 23, 1990, Johnson told us he had two holders and four pieces of film.] Black and white of course. I posed Gen. Ramey with this debris piled in the middle of his rather large and plush office. It seemed incongruous to have this smelly garbage piled up on the floor . . . spread out on the floor of this rather plush, big office that was probably, oh, 16 by 20 at least.

I posed Gen. Ramey with this debris. At that time I was briefed on the idea that it was not a flying disc as first reported but in fact was a weather balloon that had crashed. [Emphasis added.] I returned to my office. I was met by a barrage of people that were unknown to me. These were people who had come over from Dallas. In those days, any time we had – we normally bused any prints that we were sending to the AP, we bused them to Dallas to be transmitted on the wire photo machines. We had a receiver but not a sender in Fort Worth in those days. And no faxes.

So Cullum Greene, who was my city editor, said "Bond, give us a wet print," which was not unusual. I normally operated on a very short time span at night or whatever . . . on an accident or a murder or whatever which I usually wound up taking pictures of. And, ah, he said, "Give us a wet print." So I went in. They had brought up a portable wire photo transmitter and had it set up there in the newsroom. There was some assorted people around there.

KDR: Other reporters?

JBJ: No, these were technicians that had come over in the time that it had taken me to drive out to Carswell and interview Gen. Ramey, get briefed and come back to the office. They had come from Dallas and set up this wire photo machine. They were people I did not know. They were AP personnel.

KDR: Did you talk to Gen. Ramey very long?

JBJ: No. There wasn't much to say. As I remember, I probably wasn't there more than 20 minutes which was not unusual. Generals are pretty busy. You get in and I didn't have a whole lot to question him on. This was a very new thing because the very first article I saw in going back and researching it much later – the first story I found in the paper was July 6. I went in and developed those two pictures and they were just identical almost. I came out with 8-by-10 wet prints and gave them to our photo people and they said thank you and by that time the telephone operator gave me a whole stack of messages that had come from all over the country. Everybody photo services like Blackthorn wanted exclusive photos and I could have retired very early. I had those two pictures so I had nothing to sell. I printed those two and that was it. The picture – it was too late in the day as I remember it. They didn't run it in the morning paper but they did run it the next afternoon and the following

morning. Because the photographs I have now are – it ran on the morning of July l0 and the aftemoon of July 9. It is entirely possible that I was briefed by the PIO. [Emphasis added.]

So now I have a narrative with no interruptions by me. Just Johnson telling his story from the top, explaining that it was really no big deal because Ramey knew it was a balloon. He has told me that he wrote the article that appeared in the July 9 newspaper and by one count of the whole transcript, he has repeated this seven times.

On August 4, after a couple of letters, I again spoke with Johnson for 28 minutes. Unfortunately, the tape malfunctioned so that all I have of that conversation are the notes I took. I simply wanted to go over some of the things again and check the exact sequence. I wasn’t concerned. All the information, with one minor exception, was on the other tapes.

Johnson said that it was late in the afternoon when he went to Ramey's office. He mentioned that he was mildly surprised that they were ready for him when he arrived. The front gate had been told he would be coming and there was a pass waiting there [He would later claim that this couldn’t be true because he was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and he had one of their stickers on his car so he had access to the base]. He was sent to Ramey's office and shown the weather balloon. He said that it smelled of burned rubber and wondered why it was so important that they would bring it up to the general's office.

Johnson said that it took him about 30 minutes to get to Ramey’s office after he had been alerted. They had received a teletype (flash) message that the material was on its way to Ramey. When he got there, the balloon was spread out on the floor, filling up one part of the room. He took his photos of it, spoke with the general, and then left.

Please note here that he said they had received a teletype message that the material was on the way to Ramey’s office and when he arrived the weather balloons were spread out on the floor. This will become important as we continue this long examination of the J. Bond Johnson episode.
But then the world shifted and Bill Moore and Jaime Shandera learned of J. Bond Johnson who they described as their new star witness. They interviewed him a number of times and now the story is different. Now, according to this version, Ramey didn’t know what it was in his office. Now Johnson believes that some of the real debris is mixed in with the balloon and rawin target debris. And now, Johnson was telling all who will listen that I have misquoted him.

In an article published in June 1990 issue of Focus, a newsletter created by Moore, Johnson saw the city editor, about 4 in the afternoon and was ordered out to the Fort Worth Army Air Field, later renamed Carswell. He said that it took him about twenty minutes to get there and since he was an officer in the CAP he only had to show his press pass to enter. He still stopped at the gate and he confirmed that he had to pick up his press pass there.

He went to Ramey’s office, which was different than his normal routine, and saw, in the middle of the room, the debris. He told Moore that there was an acrid odor of burned rubber. According to this version, Johnson asked Ramey what it was only to be told that Ramey didn’t know what the hell it was.

He claimed to Moore and Shandera he hadn’t seen Marcel and because of that, the cover story was not in place at that time. Because of that, Johnson rushed back to the newspaper with his photographs.

Now Moore and Shandera claim that this new Johnson story, that is in conflict with what he had told me, "...holds up and sheds new light on the events. The photographs show the actual debris from the flying disc from Roswell."

These conflicts aren’t over minor points in the story, but in significant details and changes nearly everything. Johnson had gone from a straightforward account to one that made him one of the few who had seen real debris. Not only that, he had photographed it and these, with a single exception, were the only photographs of that debris. In fact, Johnson would later claim that there were no other pictures of this. Only the six that he had taken. He denied that the photograph of Irving Newton showed the real stuff and that this photograph was unimportant and had not been published in newspapers of the time.

So I called Johnson because I had the tapes of our conversations and I knew what he had said then. And, I knew what he was claiming in his new story. I was interested in getting his reaction to these things. So I asked him about his quotes to me that Ramey had told him it was a weather balloon.

Johnson asked, "Why would Ramey have told me he didn't know what it was?"

KDR: I have no idea.

JBJ: It was kind of like- I don't recall the words, but when I went back they asked me, "What did he say it was?" He [Ramey] didn't have any idea.

KDR: In the story you wrote you said it was a weather balloon.

JBJ: [Long pause.] Well, I didn't know that; I don't know what I wrote. Unless that was what you were just saying. [Long pause.] Because I didn't know that; I don't yet know that. And I'd have to look at one and see if it looked like it to me. I don't know what size they are...

KDR: They did this because the debris had been quoted as being torn up and wrecked. They ripped the thing apart when they brought it into Ramey's office so it grossly resembled the debris they had at Roswell.

JBJ: I remember that after I got out of the darkroom they had several messages to call people. That's what took up my time. I didn't even write an article then. But it was shortly after that that they received this cover story.

KDR: The cover story went out right away.

JBJ: They did not have it when I got back until after I had developed the pictures because then there would have been no urgency.

I will note here that the times lines developed using newspapers and other documentation from that period prove that the cover story was in place before Johnson returned to the newspaper office, and probably was in place before he left to drive to the base. Johnson is just flat wrong about this.

KDR: What you'd said to me was, "These were people who had come over from Dallas. In those days, any time we had . . . we normally bused any prints that we were sending to the AP, we bused them to Dallas to be transmitted on the wire photo machine. We had a receiver but not a sender in Fort Worth in those days. And no faxes."

JBJ: I would not have said bus unless that was just a slip of the tongue.

KDR: That may well be. Then it talked about they had come from Dallas and they set up the portable.

JBJ: Yes, they had come from Dallas. These were the technicians. These were people I didn't know. They were pushing me.

With that we discussed the genesis of the term flying saucer and some of the technology available during the late l94os. Johnson mentioned that the Star-Telegram did a morning radio program from the news room where the late-breaking stories were read for the listeners. But then we returned to the discussion of the factual errors that Johnson now claimed had crept into our article.

JBJ: That was [a] factual error that Ramey, you said in here [IUR], that Ramey told me that it was a weather balloon.

KDR: That's what you told me.

JBJ: No. That was in error because...

KDR: That's what you told me.

JBJ: Okay. He didn't know because I remember asking him and he shrugged and he said, kinda like, "How the hell should I know?"

KDR: You told me originally that Ramey told you it was a weather balloon.

JBJ: Well, I wouldn't have because even when we got back to the office and I know he didn't say that. The facts of the other people. They were very excited and anxious to get that and get it on the air and they were, ah, to get it transmitted. That's why I had to rush it out so quickly, to give them a wet print and, ah, they were on the deadline of the East Coast with the – it was late in the day and they're three hours later [sic]. This is what I remember talking about, and they had an East Coast deadline. But they didn't at that time know, there had been no cover story. That came some time later before I left the office. I think I normally left there about seven or seven-thirty unless I went to a dinner meeting to cover that or something. Okay, because Ramey, whatever, when he explained about the weather balloon, came along after.

KDR: You said to me and I quote exactly from our March 24 interview. You said to me, "I posed General Ramey with this debris. At that time I was briefed on the idea that it was not a flying disc as first reported but in fact was a weather balloon that had crashed." That's exactly what you told me on the tape so if there is a factual error it's because I was going with what you told

JBJ: Okay. Well. I don't know. I didn't make a recording of it. I'd like to hear it. Ah, but, that wouldn't have figured. I wouldn't have said that.

KDR: That's exactly what you said to me.

But Johnson wasn’t finished with his additions to his story. He was invited to speak to various groups and to various venues and in each of these he had something new to add. Most of the time the details were refuted by facts such as newspaper articles or other documentation. Sometimes, however, these changes raise interesting questions.

And that leads to the point about what this has to do with the Ramey memo. To fully understand, it was necessary to review much of this history. Now we get to the meat of the story., reported that Johnson wrote:

I was given the wire service "flash" announcement of this rapidly developing
story by my city editor and I headed for the air base. Upon arrival at Ramey's
office, I learned that the general was out but expected to return momentarily.
The debris, transported from Roswell in a series of "meat wrapper" paper covered
packages, had been deposited on the carpet in the general's office. Just one
package was opened partially. Some packages, still sealed, were scattered around
the office.

While Colonel DuBose went out to look for the general, I was left alone in the general's rather spacious office. This gave me an opportunity to further unpack and to "pose" some of the pieces of wreckage. I well recall how frustrated I was at the burned and smelly debris and how little opportunity this would permit for a good news photograph.

When the General entered the room I handed him the "flash" announcement printed from the news wires. He read it with interest. I then took a couple of shots of him, still wearing his hat in his office, examining the debris with the "flash" announcement held in his hand.

So now we have Johnson suggesting that he had taken the "flash" message out to Ramey’s office with him. We don’t need to infer it from other statements he made, but have those exact words.
I suppose I should point out that while Johnson was photographing the debris and Ramey, he asked Ramey what it was and again claims that Ramey said he didn’t know. He then asked DuBose to join Ramey and took two more pictures. Finally, he photographed Marcel with the stuff, so we now have a sequence in which the pictures were taken. Ramey first, then Ramey and DuBose and finally Marcel. The picture of Newton would come much later and was taken by someone else.

And, finally, the real point. If Johnson handed the "flash" message to Ramey, then we know the source of the Ramey Memo and it is not the military. We know that it would contain the information that was on the news wires about the crash, which means it would mention Roswell and Fort Worth and we can see, easily, that the words weather balloons, though misspelled are on the paper.

With this story, nothing is ever easy. Johnson claimed here that he had unwrapped some of the packages when he was left alone in Ramey’s office. If this is true, then we can deduce from this that no there was no classified material left unguarded in that office and what was on the floor was a weather balloon.

But what do we really know about all this? Johnson did go out to the base and he did take photographs. The ones I found at Bettmann Photo Archives clearly credit the photograph to J. Bond Johnson.

Johnson told me that he had written the article that appeared in the July 9 editions of the Star-Telegram, the last line of which said, "After he took a first look, Ramey declared all it was was a weather balloon." This, of course, refutes Johnson’s later claims that Ramey said he didn’t know what it was.

Timing is everything and we have lots of documents that provide timing. One newspaper even provided a timeline of the events beginning with the 2:26 (MST) message that a flying saucer had been captured. This means, of course, that the message arrived in Fort Worth at 3:26 pm (CST). Within an hour, or about 4:20 according to the San Francisco Examiner, Ramey was already calling it a weather balloon and radar reflector. Please note that it was early on, at 4:20 p.m. in Fort Worth that Ramey was claiming it was a weather balloon.

If we retreat slightly on the timeline, and project into it, we can speculate that Johnson was handed the story about 3:30. He said at one point it took about 30 minutes to get to the base and in another story it took about 20 minutes. It is doubtful that he would have arrived at Ramey’s office much before 4:30, and if that it true, then we know that Ramey had already released the weather balloon story to someone else. Sure, he could have arrived a little earlier, but we know that Ramey was pumping out the weather balloon story early.

There is another point here and it explains why Johnson repudiated taking Marcel’s picture. Given the timing of the flight from Roswell to Fort Worth, not to mention the timing of getting from the flightline to Ramey’s office, Marcel couldn’t have arrived much before 5:30, though he could have gotten there closer to five. At any rate, he was there at some point while Johnson was still there, and if that is true, then Ramey had released the weather balloon story already and wouldn’t have told Johnson that he didn’t know what it was. Johnson’s new tale is now discredited.

There is a story in the Dallas Morning News that says their reporter had talked to Major E. M. Kirton, an intelligence officer at the Eighth Air Force Headquarters, and was told that what had been found was a weather balloon. The interview took place at 5:30 p.m. which means that while Kirton is being interviewed by the Dallas newspaper, Johnson is either still in Ramey’s office or has just left.

Just after 6:00 p.m., Irving Newton receives a telephone call to get over to Ramey’s office immediately. If he doesn’t have a car, he’s to steal one. He arrived shortly after that and immediately identified the material on the floor as the debris from a rawin target. He told me that he had launched hundreds of them during the invasion of Okinawa during the Second World War.

Since Johnson didn’t see him, Johnson had to be gone by this point. The picture of Newton (seen here), with the debris, showed that it had been moved very little from the time the other pictures were taken. In other words, the debris in the pictures taken by Johnson is in virtually the same place as that in the picture taken of Newton.

Where does that leave us? Well, I can say that I have everything Johnson told me on tape with one exception but it is clear that in the beginning he was saying that Ramey told him it was a weather balloon. His photographs verify this claim. It was a weather balloon.

He told me, at least seven times, that he had written the July 9 article in which he wrote that Ramey said it was a weather balloon. This is the story that appeared in an early edition. In a later edition, the story had been expanded by other reporters and later information.

Although we must speculate about some items in the timeline, we have others that have fixed times based on documentation. We can say the story began at 3:26 p.m. in Fort Worth and we can say that Johnson would have arrived at Ramey’s office, probably, within the hour.

Marcel was ordered to Fort Worth in the afternoon and must have been there around 5:00 p.m. for Johnson to take pictures of him. That means that Ramey already had the cover story in place and had been telling other reporters in other locations that it was a weather balloon for about an hour.

Johnson would have left Ramey’s office prior to 6:00 p.m. because he didn’t see Newton, and would have been back to the office no later than 6:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. And finally, we know that his picture was transmitted over the wire at 11:59 p.m. because we have the documentation from Bettmann, though Johnson, Moore and Shandera, for some reason insist that the picture was transmitted at 7:59 p.m.

Which brings me back to the Ramey Memo. Johnson said he brought the flash message with him. He said that he handed it to Ramey and that is the document that Ramey was holding when the pictures were taken. Johnson later said that this wasn’t true. He said that he had picked up a document from Ramey’s desk and handed it to him so that he would have something in his hand.
Some have speculated that Ramey entered his office with the document in his hand and didn’t set it down. Of the three scenarios, the most likely is that Johnson brought in and handed it to Ramey and then posed him for the pictures.

Second best is that Ramey had it with him when he entered the room and just didn’t set it down. That would mean that it was a military document that probably related to the Roswell events.

That it relates to Roswell is borne out by the words that can easily be read. There is no other conclusion to be drawn here.

Least likely is that this was something on Ramey’s desk that Johnson snagged and handed it to the general.

This then, is a long look at the history around the Ramey memo and what we know about the man who took can the picture. It is clear that Johnson changed his story repeatedly in an attempt to keep himself in the spotlight. He blamed me for misquoting him but was never able to offer any evidence this was true. Instead he ignored the tapes and transcripts I sent him, suggesting that I had somehow altered the tapes in an editing process.

Very little of the story he told to everyone else can be trusted. The parts that we can verify through other sources can be trusted. Nearly everything he said is open to speculation. You would have thought with a living witness to this aspect of the case, we’d have a better understanding of what happened in Ramey’s office. Instead we’re left with confused, contradictory claims by Johnson, and very few facts. Such is UFO research.


Lance said...

Hi Kevin,

Very interesting and certainly underlines your major role in uncovering virtually all the Roswell players.

Forgive me if I have asked this before, but it does seem an important point:

Is there anything shown in the photographed debris that absolutely precludes the material from being part of what we call Project Mogul? And if so, can you provide details?



KRandle said...

Lance -

I would say that there is a single balloon here and that is the black stuff in the rear of the picture. The other debris doesn't seem to be enough for more than one rawin target. Both these sorts of items were used by Mogul. There just doesn't seem to be enough here to suggest Mogul but that is opinion and not fact.

So, no, there is nothing here to suggest it's not from Mogul, other than the limited amount of debris. But that's really the point. Mogul was nothing so extraordinary that it would be unrecognizable to those who saw it.

cda said...


There was no cover story. The USAF did not need any such cover story. The USAF did not need to have a civilian photographer come out to Fort Worth at all. If the AF genuinely wanted to keep this ghastly secret under wraps, why invite a newspaper to take photos of the object? In fact, why announce anything about Ft Worth?It was going straight to Dayton as per Haut's release.

Your whole notion of a 'cover story' and the ersatz balloon is false. Johnson's story changes with time and depends on who interviewed him, and the number of such interviews. This is only natural. You have absolutely no way of knowing whether Johnson's story of handing Ramey the scrap of paper is true or false. All you can say is that if this is true then the memo contains nothing of interest and certainly is not a 'smoking gun'. But if it is false you cannot say anything about the memo with certainty.

Johnson handled the junk himself?
Really? If it stank like rubber it clearly was recently from the desert sun and therefore the real debris from Roswell. If he never touched the stuff but is merely embellishing this part of his involvement, you are again in a 'don't know' situation.

I expect your timelines are dubious as well; reconstructed but of dubious value. Why not drop the whole idea that Ramey substituted something for the actual debris? Marcel insisted at first that one of the pics showed the real stuff but, as with Johnson, his testimony got 'revised' with time.

I have twice pointed out that the guys at Roswell almost certainly DID recognise the debris for what it was, but had to forward it to Ft Worth (and Dayton) once Haut's press release went out. The stop at Ft Worth was a refuelling stop, I presume, and the AF had no need whatever to announce such a stop to the press if it really was a top secret flight. Haut's release merely said "higher HQ" (meaning Wright Field).

My conclusion: there was no substitution, there was no cover story, Johnson was told to go to Ft Worth because it was a hot 'flying disc' story, not a top secret cover-up, and the stuff he photographed was the real debris, or a portion thereof.

But of course that conflicts with what you have been trying desperately to convey to the public for the last 20 years, doesn't it?

Bob Koford said...

For me, the points CDA raise are the very reason I believe there is a cover-up being worked.

If there is nothing important going on, there isn't going to be a big story breaking, via the Army Air Corps themselves, PLUS a photo shoot!!

It seems all too obvious that there is a slight-of-hand operation in place here, because they WANTED us to see this target material. They, in fact, went out of their way to show it to us.

Since we all know that is so, then for me the real question is why were they drawing our attention there, at that point in time? When a magician does it, it is so that you don't see what is really taking place, i.e., the coin is really in his left hand, not the right, etc.

As for the memo, this is my take:

It has been clearly demonstrated that none of the known teletypes match the wording in the Ramey Memo...not one. Not even if you include Barry Greenwood's "recent" efforts to show that line 5 is Haut's mispelled name. The wording for the rest of the memo don't match any of those teletypes. So I would go with the military dispatch he already has in his hand scenerio, for those reasons. If the message is mundane, it was still a military teletype he already had in his hand.

Lance said...

As a skeptic, I, of course, think that the Air Force was honestly showing the real debris from the crashed Mogul flight.

If there was something conclusive about the debris in the photographs that precluded Mogul, I would count that as one point for the pro-UFO side.

Why the fact that Marcel identified (twice) the material in the photos as the same stuff he picked up on the ranch is not a devastating and conclusive end for Roswell, I don't know.

Kevin's rationalization about that matter strikes me an wholly unsatisfactory.

However, even accepting the idea that Marcel just misremembered that point. we are left with the sad realization that the material he DID pick up must have looked amazingly just like balloon debris. An exceedingly unlikely coincidence.

And I have to shake my head and wonder how anyone can accept that and STILL cling to some alien spaceship idea.

I sure do wish that someone would post a HI-REZ version of the photos somewhere. I would like to look for evidence of the tape with the stylized symbols instead of chasing clouds in the text of the memo.


Bob Koford said...


With all due respect, you, as a "skeptic" are ignoring a glaring point.

Whether it was from Mogul, or some other balloon related project, not one of the players in this game would NOT have understood what they were looking at...not one...not even the Rancher, Brazel.

So then the question still remains: why do a photo op...AT ALL? Why did they WANT us to see it, especially if there was even a chance that it was related to some unknown-to-them classified project (which they MUST have considered at the time).

Lance said...

And Bob, I have to say that I am not overlooking that point. In my mind there is no need to even consider it part of the argument.

Why worry about the why when the what is so disappointing?

Are you really willing to accept that a saucer crashed and JUST LUCKILY for the Army the debris looked indistinguishable from balloon wreckage?

Kevin researched this case extensively--he left virtually no stone unturned (as this fascinating interview shows) and he did a great service those of us interested in this stuff.

He also helped create a (probably) forever enduring myth for the ages.

The fact that Roswell is not about saucers takes none of that away. I suppose that Kevin's emotional attachment to the myth must be very powerful after so many years of work but I can't help but suspect that doubt creeps in from time to time.


cda said...

To Lance & Bob Koford:

There is no certainty in any of this, but I submit the following as a reasonable synopsis:

1. Marcel helps recover the debris, during which he suspects the stuff to be mundane but it looks, and maybe feels, strange. Brazel probably thinks the same. Both try to form a kite out of it (see "Roswell Daily Record")

2. When the debris reaches Roswell the few who handle it are puzzled by its fragmentary nature, but some voice their opinion that it is balloon debris, plus other unidentified tinfoil and sticks.
Most probably, the few who saw it are not that impressed and assume it was balloon debris. [I accept that we shall never know for certain if this scenario is correct].

3. Haut, who never saw the stuff, prematurely issues his (in)famous press release and earns a later rebuke from Washington.

4. Gen. Ramey, upon hearing of this, immediately orders the stuff to Fort Worth en route for Dayton, so his staff can have a good look.
Since a refuelling stop will be required anyway, where better than at 8th AF HQ?

5. Once the debris is unloaded and spread out in Ramey's office he (or someone else at the base) informs the local newspaper(s)that they have a 'flying disc' available. What is wrong with a bit of base publicity? Ramey is still puzzled but may already suspect its identity.

6. Johnson goes out and photographs the debris. There are no secrets, no hurried 'substitutions' and nothing is covered up, nor does is need to be. Marcel and others give brief interviews to the press. Marcel wisely gives no opinion but Newton positively identifies the debris as a Rawin target plus balloon(s). Ramey then informs the local radio station.

7. 30+ years later Marcel, perhaps desiring publicity, having lived through 3 decades of UFO controversy, and knowing he had once handled 'UFO debris' spreads the word, which ultimately reaches ET zealot Stan Friedman's ears.

8. Friedman, through early interviews with Marcel in 1978-79, gently persuades him that perhaps he (Marcel) handled actual parts of an alien craft all those years ago. Marcel is thus 'hooked'.

This sets the tune, others get hooked, the story expands from there and the 'Roswell is ET' hypothesis takes off into the wild blue yonder.

Bob Koford said...

CDA - NOTE: presented with due respect, in the spirit of learning the truth only:

"...suspects the stuff to be mundane but it looks, and maybe feels, strange."

To me this seems like reaching a bit. Why on earth would simple foil, and balsa wood seem, or feel strange to Marcel, or anyone else?

"Brazel probably thinks the same"

Brazel's sheep wouldn't go near the stuff, and he starts this whole chain reaction that puts many people out, in order to take care of the situation?...after he already suspects its just foil, and sticks?

"...puzzled by its fragmentary nature"

Indeed, why is this material in such torn up condtion? Why is there such a large disagreement between differing accounts of the amount of debris?

"Haut, who never saw the stuff, prematurely issues his (in)famous press release and earns a later rebuke from Washington."

I have a real problem believing he would be able to take it upon himself and commit such an act, without authorization. Also, I don't think there is any real evidence showing that he recieved a butt-kicking over it.

"Gen. Ramey, upon hearing of this, immediately orders the stuff to Fort Worth en route for Dayton, so his staff can have a good look."

Ramey still orders stuff they all agree is a Rawin target and balloon to Dayton...for further study?

"Marcel wisely gives no opinion but Newton positively identifies the debris as a Rawin target plus balloon(s). Ramey then informs the local radio station."

And, again, it travels on to, presumably Watson, at T-2, in Dayton?

"30+ years later Marcel, perhaps desiring publicity, having lived through 3 decades of UFO controversy, and knowing he had once handled 'UFO debris' spreads the word, which ultimately reaches ET zealot Stan Friedman's ears.

Except we know it happened the other way around. Friedman found Marcel.

cda said...

I should have added that the reason for all the doubts about the nature of the debris was that it was a period of very high anxiety when fear of Russia and its weapons was uppermost. Hence the desire for the technical guys and higher brass to get their hands on it.

There was no thought of ET debris at all - none. The person who sowed the seed of that idea is a certain Stanton T.Friedman, three decades later. Yes, he sought out Marcel, after word reached him about Marcel from a radio announcer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

starman said...

cda: I don't think 1947 was a period of "high anxiety when fear of Russia and its weapons was uppermost." The cold war had begun but Russia was still shattered by the second world war and it had yet to acquire nuclear weapons and the missiles to carry them. There was no crisis in July 1947. In any event, I don't believe fear of Russia would prevent Marcel from recognizing a balloon. Nor would he have made a special trip home to show the wreckage to his son if it was just ordinary stuff. Lastly, I believe the guy who informed Friedman about Marcel was a TV station manager not a radio announcer.

Bob Koford said...

Something I found interesting in this article is the mentioning of Mr. Johnson having been keeping up-to-date with the rash of sightings going on, at the time. It is further indication of how this case did not happen in a vacumn. It is one other reason certain aspects withi it are entertained, at all.

KRandle said...

Lance, CDA -

I hardly know where to begin. Lance, you asked if there was anything in the picture to rule out Mogul. I said, “No.” But I also pointed out that there wasn’t much more there than a single balloon and single rawin reflector. You characterized that as a rationalization. I think of it as proper analysis.

I did not mention in that answer that there was no flight no. 4, given what Dr. Albert Crary said. I did not mention that Charles Moore told me that if the flight was cancelled, they stripped the equipment from the balloons and released the balloons... meaning there would be no metallic debris to be found. I did not mention that the first successful flight in New Mexico was no. 5. That the records show there was no flight no. 4, and all we have is Charles Moore’s suggestion that there was and his convenient memory that he remembered the flight disappearing near Arabela, some 17 miles from the debris field. I did not mention that the name, Mogul, was known to the team members in New Mexico and that Crary references it in his diary. I did not mention that members of the Mogul team went to Roswell to enlist the aid of those there to track their balloons and that each flight was documented in the NOTAMs so that the flights were not secret. I did not mention that Mack Brazel was quoted as saying that he had found weather observation devices on two other occasions and that this was nothing like that, though had it been Mogul, it would have been exactly like that. I mentioned none of these reasons to reject Mogul because your question seemed to be simple. So, I now add these reasons to reject Mogul.

CDA, do you just make up stuff that suits you or do you have some source of information? I ask this because you wrote that they had to stop to refuel the B-29 so they might as well have stopped in Fort Worth. The B-29 probably could have flown to Ohio round trip without refueling and certainly could fly there without. No refueling stop needed, so why presume one?

Walter Haut did not release the information without permission and guidance from Colonel Blanchard, if for no other reason he would have known nothing about it until Blanchard told him. He said that he did not receive any sort of rebuke from the Pentagon, though there are newspaper articles that make that claim.

I don’t know why you reject my time line since it is based on documentation available in newspapers of the time... so, we know that the teletype message reached Fort Worth at 3:26 p.m. Even if the editor had ripped it off the machine and handed it directly to Johnson, he couldn’t have reached the base until four and probably after... and Ramey was already telling other reporters, on the telephone, it was a balloon.

Ramey had no need to call the press about any of this... they would have called him after reading the Roswell press release. It said the stuff was being moved to higher headquarters and the astute reporter could deduce this meant Fort Worth (8th Air Force) or to SAC in Washington. I will note here that the Air Materiel Command was not in the chain of command for Roswell. It was a different branch.

Ramey was apparently telling people that it was a balloon before it arrived in Fort Worth... given the timing of the events... and if this is true, then the debris in his office was not what had been recovered near Roswell because it had yet to arrive. Maybe that’s why you don’t like the time line... if Johnson was photographing debris before Marcel could get there, then just what is in his office?

You suggest Stan Friedman talked to Marcel and gently guided him to the story, even though it was the Marcel, talking with his HAM buddies who said that he had picked up pieces of a flying saucer. He was telling this story before Friedman ever spoke to him.

And Lance, none of this means that there is anything in the picture to rule out Mogul, just a lot of other reasons to do so. Mogul simply does not explain all the facts that can be documented about this.

Lance said...

Hi Kevin,

Just to be clear, I wasn't referring to your analysis of the debris in the photo (which I quite appreciate) as a rationalization. I thought is was very helpful and fact based. And unlike some of my usual skeptical banter, I honestly did not know the answer to the question when I asked it.

I was referring to the way you treat the embarrassing fact that Marcel twice said the he was photographed with the "real" debris.

I think it is reasonable for folks to dismiss Roswell right at that point, it is so devastating.

David Rudiak said...

Here are some more reasons why the material in Ramey's office is unlikely to be from a Mogul balloon:
1) Not enough material. Ramey and his minions always stated it to be a singular balloon and radar target.
2) Irving Newton, weather officer, declared it a singular balloon and target in 1947 that could have come from any number of weather stations and maintains that position in the present.
3) The white paper backing of the radar target in the photos is perfectly clean--no dirt, no staining, etc. How can a radar target supposedly dragged through the dirt, subjected to morning dew and at least one rain storm be so pristine white?
4) The rubber balloon in the photo is also in too good a shape to have been a rubber neoprene balloon left out in the sun for a month. A real neoprene balloon turns brittle and deteriorates into black flakes within 2 to 3 weeks of sun exposure, as Charles Moore has demonstrated on occasion. Why is the FW balloon still so pliable and intact, if it really were from a Mogul? It is instead of the appearance of a balloon only a few days old, very recently recovered. (Hundreds of such weather balloons were sent up every day all over the country with many being recovered and turned into authorities. It wouldn’t be very hard to come up with only one.)
5) Bond Johnson’s EARLY testimony (before he became all squirrelly) mentioned noticing the acrid smell of the decaying balloon as soon as he walked into Ramey’s office. NOBODY who came in close contact with the Roswell debris prior to this (Marcel Sr. & Jr., Brazel, Cavitt, Wilcox, Proctor, Shirkey, etc.) mentioned any sort of odor associated with the recovered debris. Conclusion: No rotting balloons in the field, the base, or on the transport plane. Smelly balloon first appears in Fort Worth for photo session.
6) Computer analysis of the photos confirms it adds up to only one target, but with an interesting twist. Two or three extra bare sticks are also found. Proof of a Mogul? No, more proof that this is a pristine radar target. Two bare sticks were left out of each target so it could be folded down for shipping, usually 24 targets to a carton. The extra sticks needed for reassembly were thrown on top. It appears somebody pulled out a fresh target, grabbed a random number of the separate sticks and threw them into the mix.
7) Computer analysis also suggests that it probably is only one balloon there. The volume of the material would fit in a shoe box.
8) Ramey declared no other equipment was found with the balloon/target, yet a Mogul should have had all sorts of equipment found at the site: radiosonde, altitude control, batteries, etc., all attached to the balloons and targets with very tough twine, , string, fishing line. None of this stuff was unusual or classified in any way, so no reason to deny its existence.
9) Where did the twine, string, fishing line go? Absolutely none can be found anywhere in the photos, which have been scrutinized in great deal. There should have been hundreds of yards at the crash site. Nobody reported any, including Mack Brazel, who specifically denied presence of it. It should have been tangled up in the brush. It wasn't going anywhere.
10) The AF questioning Charles Moore asked him about the absence of reported twine, etc. Could it have disintegrated in the sun? Moore said no. The subject was then dropped like a hot potato and never brought up again by the Air Force in their report. The absence of twine, string, etc. is very telling, basically disproving the presence of a Mogul--the proverbial dog that didn't bark.
11) There is no Charles Moore’s Mogul “flower tape” to be seen anywhere in the FW photos, what is supposed to be the direct tie-in to Mogul. Yet it isn’t there. Did it too magically vanish?

More next post.

David Rudiak

David Rudiak said...

12) A singular balloon and target would add up to less than 2 pounds of material. Mack Brazel said his 2 rolled bundles of foil & sticks and rubber "strips" added up to about 5 pounds. (And where are Brazel’s rubber "strips" in the photos, BTW? It’s just a singular, intact rubber balloon.)
13) Marcel in Fort Worth was quoted (AP) as saying debris was scattered over a "square mile". How do you scatter the debris in the photo over a square mile? Not even a complete Mogul would remotely create debris over such a wide area. And note Marcel's "square mile" conflicts directly with Brazel's "200 yards across" description, and Sheridan Cavitt's present-day "no bigger than my living room", or 20 feet across.
14) Ramey in 1947 was quoted in 1947 (within about an hour of the press release) saying the disc in his office was 25 feet across if reconstructed! Marcel hadn't even gotten there yet. Where did Ramey get that description? (A real radar target is only 4 feet across.) The 20-25 foot description was repeated by Pentagon sources in other stories (referring to the foil "box-kite"). Later this was amended to the "balloon" being this size, such as in FBI telegram. (Yet another change of story)
15) Stories also have Ramey and his men early on declaring the disc was "hexagonal" in shape (also that his men supposedly didn't know what it was). Where did he get that shape description? An intact, fully assembled RAWIN target would have that profile, but only if viewed from directly above or below. Only an expert would know this. But all Ramey had was a torn up, non-assembled target, which supposedly hadn’t been IDed yet. There is no possible way to get that shape description unless somebody provides it for you. (Especially since they were also saying that nobody knew what it was.) In other words, this was all scripted. (BTW, weather officer Newton came in only later and used the shape description “like a six-pointed star”, not “hexagonal”, so the “hexagonal” didn’t come from him.)
16) The official debunking line is that it had to be from Mogul because only Mogul used the targets. But the historical reality, documented from newspapers, is that the targets were already in fairly widespread use by both Army and civilian weather services. Thus the radar target in the photo could have come from anywhere (as Irving Newton noted). A debunking demonstration utilizing a target was carried out out FWAAF only a day and half later, part of a nationwide campaign of such debunking demonstrations. The military repeatedly made the point that the targets were in widespread use and explained both Roswell and the nationwide reports of flying discs. Documentation and links at:

David Rudiak

cda said...

I concede that a B-29 would not need a refuelling stop at Ft Worth, but this does not materially affect my synopsis. We may assume that Blanchard & Ramey discussed the flying disc by phone (maybe several times) before the stuff arrived at Ft Worth. We may also assume that Haut's press release was on Blanchard's orders, but once it went out Ramey demanded the debris was flown to Ft Worth for his staff to have a good look. It is also quite possible that the phrase "higher HQ" meant Fort Worth not Washington.

Anyway, the debris was flown to Ft Worth. You say Ramey was apparently telling the press it was a balloon before the stuff arrived. I do not believe it for a moment. And no, I do not believe Johnson was photographing anything at Ft Worth before the debris got there. What on earth gave you this idea? It is preposterous. It is entirely possible that Blanchard told Ramey by phone that the 'flying disc' resembled a balloon but there was sufficient doubt for it to be forwarded to Ramey's command. So, yes, Ramey might have surmised that it was a balloon, and even a radar target, before it arrived. But he would never have dared say anything definite until he had seen it!

The point is surely this: if indeed it was some 'top secret' debris (American or suspect Russian or even suspect ET) then Ramey could easily have told all press enquirers that yes, the debris was on its way to Washington and that no, nobody could, or need, come to Ft Worth to take photos. Instead he allows the press to come and take photos. Some secret! The only reasonable conclusion I draw is that Ramey wanted a bit of base publicity and what better way to get it than publicise a flying disc in his possession.

I repeat: no secrets, no ersatz balloon substitution (no need for such), no cover story, nothing but a simple 'flying disc' tale that got a bit out of hand in '47 and got magnified a thousand-fold 32 years later.

We do not know what Marcel told his chums in the intervening years. He may have dropped hints, got laughed at, then kept quiet until Stan Friedman met him. After a short session with STF, Marcel would have been ready to believe almost anything about ETs visiting earth! If he ever seriously believed, between 1947 and 1979, that he saw an ET craft, he had ample opportunity to relate his experience to the numerous UFO organisations extant during this period. He never did. That alone speaks volumes. Nor was he bound by any secrecy oath. Had this been the case, he would hardly have opened his mouth to his chums or the TV station announcer (or manager).

Marcel's initial confusion over being photographed with the real stuff then substituted stuff was because he was only shown the cropped (by 75%) photos in the Moore-Berlitz book, which showed different looking debris, simply got confused and could not remember. By the time the full photos were published (credit due mainly to you) showing all the photos showed the same debris, Marcel was dead.

David Rudiak said...

About the conjecture that Bond Johnson was handed the latest AP news flash that had Ramey in the picture, prompting Johnson to be dispatched to FWAAF to see Ramey and take pictures, where he supposedly handed the news flash to Ramey, becoming the "Ramey memo": Ain't possible for a number of reasons.

1)AP first mentioned Ramey's involvement shortly before 5:00 p.m. Fort Worth CST, or about 1-1/2 hours after the first AP wire with the Roswell base press release. But the Ramey memo clearly uses "weather balloons", and AP didn't mention anything about the object being a weather balloon under around 6:30 p.m. (after weather officer Newton had officially IDed the debris as a weather balloon). Unless you invoke another time travel theory, "weather balloon" could not make it into an AP bulletin 1-1/2 hours earlier.
2) The plural "weather balloons" was not used in any news bulletin or story, AP or otherwise, on July 8. The plural use didn't appear until the next day, and then NOT in relation to what was found, but a statement that the weather services sent up hundreds of "weather balloons" every day.
3) As I went over in detail in my rebuttal to Barry Greenwood, words, phrasing, and letter counts found in the Ramey memo do not remotely match any known Roswell news bulletin or story, of which a large body has been compiled.

This is a military telegram about Roswell. End of story. If you are a debunker, you can remain somewhat logically consistent and continue to insist nothing of importance happened at Roswell, therefore there is nothing of importance in the Ramey memo. (But see problems with this line of logic below.)

But if you are a strong Roswell advocate, you cannot be logically consistent and claim this is military telegram about Roswell, yet there is nothing of importance in it or it isn't classified. You can't have it both ways.

Incidentally, Ramey when talking to the newspapers earlier on, was himself stating, among other things, that he hadn't let anyone else see or photograph the "disc" yet, because it was "high level stuff", in other words, highly classified. Other newspapers, such as the Washington Post, mentioned a "security lid" being placed on it by the Pentagon.

At the time the photo of the Ramey memo was taken, weather officer Irving Newton had yet to officially ID the debris as a humble weather balloon/radar target yet. So any security would still be in place. (Ramey would also have to clear lifting security with the Pentagon, I would presume.)

And then you have the conundrum of the FBI telegram sent out at 6:15 p.m. CST (45' to an hour after Ramey memo photographed) stating that the debris was still being flown on to Wright Field for still further analysis, even though presumably a humble balloon/target (although publicly it was announced the flight was canceled). No need to do that, unless there was still doubt about identity (which Wright Field, according to FBI, expressed in phone conversations). So security, would still be in place.

A military memo about Roswell at this stage would be classified no matter how you slice it.

David Rudiak

Lance said...

I went over to Rudiak's site and was immediately struck by how disingenuous his presentation really is.

There is certainly no lack of weaselly qualifiers like "probably" in his text (It was Rudiak who claimed on this blog--using his well honed researching skills, no doubt, that I was "almost certainly" someone whom I decidedly am not). "Almost certainly" for Rudiak is not something you might want to put down any money on.

It is amazing to see how he conjures mystery out of of thin air. In the few cases I took a cursory look at, I quickly became convinced that virtually nothing that Rudiak says can be taken at face value. It is all tainted and colored by a laughable bias and really deserves only derision.

How about an example?

Take a look at this 1947 story from New Jersey:

This is one of the many press items Rudiak presents in a silly effort to show a huge debunking effort by the military was in the works. In Rudiak's world nothing the military does can be anything but malevolent. They can't explain anything, they can only cover up.

Here is what Rudiak says about this story:

"Further south in Asbury Park, N.J., only a few miles from the home of the Mogul Project, an engineer, who said he was affiliated with the local Army signal laboratory, contacted the newspaper and told a similar story. The flying saucer reports might be explained by the radar targets and radiosondes developed before the war at nearby Ft. Monmouth. Photos of both types of weather balloons accompanied the article. As in the Atlanta demo, a claim was made that the radar targets were widely used, and that many were constantly "used in the areas where flying discs have been reported."

Once again, the similarity of wording is suspicious, and raises questions as to whether this individual was truly acting on his own initiative in going to the press."

If you read the story I defy you to explain how Ruduak could possibly KNOW that the scientist contacted the paper instead of the other way around?

Rudiak, says Delbert Deisinger "said he was affiliated with the local Army signal laboratory" Well, did he say it because that was where he worked? Jesus!

In just a few sentences, Rudiak managed to slimily imply mystery when there is none.

Perhaps all this comes from the same place as his other assertions?

That would certainly explain the smell.


Bob Koford said...

OMG...Lance...why do you, and others, feel the need to resort to completely unnecessary nastyness to get your point across?

David Rudiak was showing the series of stories dealing with Weather Balloons, and Rawin targets following July 8th, because of their possible connection to explaining away the "saucers"...big deal!!

Bob Koford said...

Oh no...I mespelled nastiness.

David Rudiak said...

Lance asked Kevin Randle the question, is there anything there in the Fort Worth Ramey photos that indicated that this wasn't from a Mogul? Kevin wrote up a list, and I added to it (not even alluding to Lance in any way).

Without addressing the points I was making (probably because he can't), he instead changed the subject and launched into his customary ad hominem rants.

Let's examine one of his truly pathetic objections about how supposedly "slimy" I am in my writing:

There is certainly no lack of weaselly qualifiers like "probably" in his text

Here's where I used the offensive "probably":

"Computer analysis also suggests that it probably is only one balloon there. The volume of the material would fit in a shoe box."

Why did I use "probably"? Because the balloon material is in a single heap in the photos. I don't have X-ray vision or time-travel capability to disentangle the heap to know with certainty that there is only one balloon there. Perhaps there are two or three or more small balloons there. If it's a Mogul, you would expect more than one balloon to be picked up. So how can one attack this problem?

When I did my 3D computer reconstruction of Ramey's office and the material there, it is possible to approximate the shape of the balloon heap (I used an ovoid) and match the dimensions, then calculate the approximate volume. (This is called actual scientific analysis. Maybe Lance should try it sometime instead of just flapping his arms and blowing smoke.)

From this I determined that that the total volume of the balloon material would indeed fit inside a shoe box. (Probably I'm also being "weaselly" and "disingenuous" because I don't specify the size of the shoe box.)

Thus not much there, and could indeed probably be accounted for by only one weather balloon, just as Ramey was maintaining.

Point: What happened to all the other weather balloons from the supposed crashed Mogul? Point, of course, deliberately ignored by Lance (just like my other 15 points).

Use of "probably" or "approximately" is in no way being "disingenuous" or resorting to "weasel" words. Qualifiers like that are used all the time, including science journals, indicating a lack of absolute certainty, though available evidence would strongly point in that direction. Big frigging deal!

David Rudiak

Lance said...

My entire post referred your site not your post--I went there to check on what evidence you had (you had the link at the end of your post) and immediately I saw the things I wrote about.

And the one thing I brought up is by no means the only instance of this kind of "research."

I notice that you don't bother to address the specifics of the one point I brought up. This is the classic tactic of a believer--never let them pin you down. Always talk about something else.

I try to stick to points that are easy to definitively prove or disprove instead of prattling on with just opinions.

So let me put it more bluntly:

How do you know, David Rudiak, that Delbert Deisinger went to the paper in 1947 to spread the debunking story?

I contend that you DONT and that you MADE THAT UP.

Simple enough, no?


Lance said...

And you might want to look up Ad Hominem? I showed clearly in a simple example how you work.

It's hard to refute what just amounts to an opinion or a guess as to the motives of someone so I certainly don't bother with that. And that is all your post really was.


cda said...

Regarding whether there was only one balloon in the Ft Worth photos, why does this matter ? Nobody has ever claimed that ALL the debris recovered from the ranch is on display in that room, and we can say with reasonable certainty that it was not. A lot of it was probably still in containers elsewhere, maybe still on the B-29. So the number of balloons in those photos is really immaterial.

I am still keen to know how, if everything was supposed to be top secret, the press and J.Bond Johnson were ever allowed to come to the base and take photos at all. Especially when Ramey could easily have told the press that the stuff was going direct from Roswell to Washington. Can David Rudiak or Kevin Randle please provide a credible answer to this? i.e. one that does NOT involve hurriedly prepared plans to substitute a torn up balloon to replace the actual debris.

And yes I agree with Lance that it is far more likely that the press phoned the engineer seeking information than that the engineer contacted the press (in the New Jersey case)

As to whether the Ramey memo is a military document, I repeat that if it had any real significance it would have been preserved and been available to the GAO in 1995. My conclusion, therefore, is that it had, and has, no value to science or the discovery of ETs. It was a piece of trivia, nothing else.