By examining a little of the material about the Roswell case, and here I mean a combination of documentation and testimony, we can draw a couple of conclusions in a limited way. I will note that I hold all the documentation for this, meaning I have copies of the relevant material, and I conducted the interviews with the witnesses, which include recordings of the conversations.
Here’s what we know and what we can prove.
According to the mythology of Roswell, the officers at Roswell were so confused by the Mogul arrays, they didn’t know that what they had were mere weather balloons and rawin radar reflectors. They flew the material to Fort Worth, their higher headquarters, where a low-ranking weather officer identified it all as nothing more than a balloon and foil-like rawin.
The problem here is that the timing doesn’t really work out if we believe that the men at Roswell didn’t know what they had until they got to Fort Worth. That would mean that the men in Fort Worth would be unable to identify it until the stuff arrived.
According to the time lines it was at 5:30 p.m. local time that the Dallas Morning News interviewed Major E. M. Kirton. According to the newspaper, the material found in Roswell was nothing more than a weather balloon.
But it was 6:00 p. m. local time that Warrant Officer Irving Newton (seen here with the rawin radar reflector) reported for duty, according to what he told me. The telephone in the office rang and he was ordered to report to Brigadier General Ramey’s office. He said that he was alone in the office and that he couldn’t leave. Ramey himself then called and told Newton, “to get your ass over here now. Use a car and if you don’t have one, take the first one with the keys in it,” according to what Newton said.
When he arrived, a colonel briefed him in the hallway (and if I was going to speculate here, I’d say that would be Colonel Thomas DuBose (later brigadier general), the Chief of Staff of the Eighth Air Force). Newton said that he didn’t remember who it was but that the message had been clear. “These officers from Roswell think they have found a flying saucer, but the general thinks it’s a weather balloon. He wants you to take a look.”
At that point, you might say, the air went out of the Roswell saucer. Nothing more than a weather balloon and a rawin radar target. Newton identified it as ordered and there is no question that the material, spread out on the floor, is the remains of a weather balloon and a radar target. From the photographs available, that is quite clear.
Okay, you say. So what?
How is it that Major Kirton could identify the material as a balloon before Newton arrived on duty, was called to Ramey’s office, and then identified it as a balloon? How did Kirton know this, at least, thirty minutes before anyone else supposedly knew?
Or is it that the cover story had already been decided upon and the actors in that little play were given their scripts. Kirton read from his, but he was more than thirty minutes too early. He should have said that the material was in Ramey’s office and it would be looked at by various experts...
In fact, why is it that only Newton was called forward to identify the material? Doesn’t this suggest that the fix was in?
And on a related point, while rereading the newspaper (specifically The Boston Herald of July 9, 1947) articles, I came across a statement by Brigader General Donald N. Yates, who in 1947 was the chief of the Army Air Forces weather service. He said, about the weather balloon and rawin radar targets, that only a very few of them are used daily, at some points where some specific project requires highly accurate wind information from extreme altitudes.
I mention this for two reasons. One is that in a letter to me, Newton used similar wording. He wrote, in 1995 I might add, that “The rawin target and balloon in question, was only used at limited locations...”
The suggestion here was that they were unusual and it wouldn’t be difficult for the men at Roswell to confuse this debris for something more exotic... except, the rawins and balloons were used at Operation Crosswords. These were the atomic tests in the Pacific in 1946, carried out with crews from the 509th, so the men at Roswell might well have been familiar with the look of the rawins.
And, second, there is the find from Circleville Ohio, as reported around the country in the days prior to the announcement from Roswell. Here a farmer found a weather balloon and rawin target in his field, but knew what it was. He took it to the sheriff, who knew what it was, and it was displayed in the window of the local newspaper, where, apparently everyone else knew what it was. Oh, they couldn’t have told you it was a rawin, but they would have told you that the object was a weather balloon and something attached to it.
Yet the guys in Roswell couldn’t identify it, even though they had the balloon envelop and the torn up target on display in Ramey’s office... and no one explained why the rawin was so torn up.
The real point here is that the timing was off, based on the documentation and testimony available. The timing of the announcements make it sound as if the answer was prepared before Newton arrived to give it. He was the window dressing. The expert who had worked with the rawins and the balloons and would know what it was. And the press, who ever they were (Newton mentioned several reporters) took that answer, as did Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter, J. Bond Johnson, and returned to their city rooms. In a couple of hours, it was reported that the Roswell debris was a “weather forecasting device.”
And that was the end of it... for more than thirty years.