Saturday, March 17, 2012

Roswell Minutiae

Hoping to infuriate the anti-Roswell crowd, I thought the following might do it. This involves much that has them annoyed from the mere mention of Roswell, to the fact that there is a new investigation going on.

A noted, we suggested that the Team would be looking at the case as if it was “cold,” which meant a reexamination of what had gone on before. I expected us to learn some things that had gone unnoticed and have found a couple of new facts.

I’m not sure exactly how the question came up, but one of the Team wondered when the Yearbook had been printed. If it was early in the year, then many of those pictured might have rotated out of Roswell by July. Later in the year, then we might have a good snapshot of the personnel at the base.

Going through the Unit History, which is available on microfilm, I learned that the military police had suffered a 60% turn over from May 22 until the end of July, 1947. It is mentioned that many of those who had been sent in were untrained and were undergoing “on the job training.” This is an interesting statistic that might have nothing to do with the crash, whatever it was, but it does suggest that one of the units had seen a high number of its personnel replaced during this critical time.

But, I was searching for the answer to the production of the Yearbook. Since it was a large project, I thought there might be something about it in the Unit History. Here is what I learned in the August history:

"Throughout the month, much work was accomplished on the book of the base. Due to many people being on leave, on flights, and off the base for other reasons, work had been slow on this publication. It is now in the hands of the publisher and should be delivered by 1 November at the latest."

True, this isn’t a staggering find. It is part of the Roswell minutia, but it does answer the question. The book was sent off sometime in August and was expected back by November 1, 1947.

Yes, I know what you all are thinking... this really isn’t much and it’s really not very important. It is, as I say, minutia. But I wanted to make the point that we were learning some things. We’ve made a few other discoveries, but are waiting for corroboration before releasing that information. What I’m saying here is more to come with a much higher degree of relevance.

39 comments:

cda said...

All right Kevin. I'll tell you a story I heard. It is that the reason for the large (60%) turnover of military police staff between May 22 and July 31 is that a large number were suffering from trauma, i.e. psychological stress disorder (PSD), resulting from you know what. The great majority of these staff quit between July 8 and 15.

But you are free to reject my testimony if you wish. It is at least third-hand and was told to me on April 1 last year.

Alfred Lehmberg said...

Clever, "CDA"... inappropriate, unwarranted, unappreciated, and inelegant... bereft of imagination, intellectual honesty, and mocking a reasonable skepticism... but clever.

Don said...

Kevin wrote: "This is an interesting statistic that might have nothing to do with the crash, whatever it was, but it does suggest that one of the units had seen a high number of its personnel replaced during this critical time."

It might be high, but was it unusual at that time? It was a transitional period for the air forces. Checking the same data of several bases similar to the RAAF might give the answer.

Regards,

Don

steve sawyer said...

"Hoping to infuriate the anti-Roswell crowd, I thought the following might do it. This involves much that has them annoyed from the mere mention of Roswell, to the fact that there is a new investigation going on."

Ha! Kevin, that's one of the funniest and most appropriate comments I've ever read on this blog, but there's actually no need to provoke the Roswell haters pseudo-skeptical and debunking emotional needs and mental deficits--they malign, lie, and generally freak-out quite adequately all on their own, without any additional provocation at all.

You see, it's in-born and inherent in their psychological and intellectual make-up, as lacking and integral to their inability to be honestly or objectively skeptical as the most fanatic Roswell "believers" extant.

Two sides of the same sad, debilitated and subjectively self-rationalizing coin, unfortunately. They know who they are, as do we.

But they are fairly amusing at times in their strident efforts to provide us all with their absurdist brand of post-modern disinfotainment, and involutional, masturbatory, and anti-factual spew.

It's like watching a pile of rabid monkeys on fire, oscillating wildly inside their own self-defined and confabulated digital barrel, self-immolating objectivity. Or something like that... words almost fail me in attempting to define their idiocy.

Almost funny, as Steve Martin once said. Not quite, and not really, but sadly amusing in a pitiable and pathetic way nonetheless. Heh! 8^}

Larry said...

I have hypothesized for some time that the AEC (not the DOD or other Executive Branch agency) ended up being the repository for the material and information that was recovered at Roswell because that one circumstance would explain a lot of the subsequent anecdotal testimony. For example, if the physical material and bodies recovered was treated like AEC Special Nuclear Material (e.g., fragments of an atomic weapon) then the heroic attempts to recover all the crash debris and to intimidate witnesses would be explained (that’s what happens in a Broken Arrow event). If knowledge about the crash were treated as AEC Restricted Data (RD--not DOD National Security Information) that would explain the notion that presidents routinely and honestly profess ignorance about the subject (presidents have no authority to give themselves a need-to-know about the working of UFOs any more than about the working of thermonuclear weapons). It would explain the statement that the subject was “classified higher than the H-Bomb” (the H-Bomb was classified within the AEC system, not the DOD). It would explain why information on this topic is not shared with anyone outside the US (allies or adversaries--it is prohibited by the Atomic Energy Act). It would explain why information on the topic is exempt from disclosure by executive order or FOIA. It would explain why the USAF could honestly claim to come up with no information on the Roswell incident in response to Congressman Schiff’s request, even though the Secretary of the Air Force (as I recall) wrote an official letter telling all the personnel serving under him to cooperate in releasing any and all information that the USAF had on the subject (the AEC has no requirement to obey DOD orders regarding RD). And so on.

I am constantly looking for ways to test this hypothesis. I wonder if, anywhere in the minutiae that you and the team have uncovered there’s anything that bears on this idea? Do we know from service records or other sources what clearances the various players had? I assume that all uniformed officers in the 509th had to have at least a Q clearance (which is actually a combined AEC-DOD package of clearances).

If I remember correctly, some accounts had some of the material being taken to Los Alamos and Sandia--both AEC labs. Has anyone looked to see if, for example, the tower logs were available for either of those airports in the July 1947 time frame? What were important individuals at those locations doing, and where were they traveling, etc.?

steve sawyer said...

On a more serious note, I agree with Don that, while it may be "Roswell minutiae" of sorts, the question of whether the volume or percentage of MP personnel turnover during the mid to late 1947 period at the RAAF as compared to other, similar bases in the same relative geographical area of the southwest is the critical one to base any judgement as to whether the number of MP (or other) military personnel being reassigned elsewhere would indicate something unusual or exceptional potentially having occurred as a consequence of the Roswell incident.

Has anyone ever tried to determine those relative turn-over and/or reassignment rates for comparison's sake? Could the turn-over of MP (and other) personnel at RAAF have been due to other, special-case considerations, even if the RAAF rate was significantly higher than average, due to the fact that the 509th or other special squadrons, etc., were based there?

RAAF was a unique AAF base, of course, due to it being the only active and ready to go AAF base where aircraft and atomic weapons were co-located at the time.

steve sawyer said...

@Larry:

Part 1 of 2:

"I have hypothesized for some time that the AEC (not the DOD or other Executive Branch agency) ended up being the repository for the material and information that was recovered at Roswell because that one circumstance would explain a lot of the subsequent anecdotal testimony."

Larry, that's a quite intriguing hypothesis, but I'd paraphrase what you said above, and ask, upon what justification would "that one circumstance" of potential AEC involvement be based? The related atomic bombs and delivery aircraft based at RAAF? Or simply for more effective cover?

That seems possible, if only to covertly remove management from and/or provide indirect cover for the early USAF (AAC) from subsequent or potential Roswell incident inquiries at that time or later, or for "plausible deniability," but it would also seem that, given the history of inter-agency turf wars and fiefdoms, like the USAF had with the CIA over hegemony about UFO investigations (despite executive branch interests in having the CIA take over such investigations from the USAF at one point in the early 1950's, but which remained under the authority of the USAF by early to mid-1953 up until late 1969), that the USAF's intelligence sub-groups and elements would have put up a real battle if your AEC/RD theory had ever been an actual proposal or done.

And, since the Roswell incident, if it did involve a crashed vehicle of some kind with non-human entities, and not something directly to do with either atomic energy or nuclear weaponry, would not "normally" seem a likely agency to have taken over such possible "ET" materials and program management responsibility.

OTOH, none of the usual bureaucratic divisional responsibilities might have been relevant as a factor if the highest priority was to restrict and keep as secret as possible the evidence and potential consequences of any such "above Top Secret" discovery and governmental responsibility to keep it quiet, it would seem. Maybe. Or, if there were a damaged craft, and it emitted radiation, possibly from a form of suspected nuclear propulsion, it might make more sense. Of course, that's the problem: who, publicly, really knows?

It's a very interesting question, though. Have any FOIA or MDR's ever been sent to the AEC or DOE about Roswell or other UFO incidents in the past? I'd like to know, too, and if so, what were the results, if any?

I'd also like to comment on the following: "...if the physical material and bodies recovered was treated like AEC Special Nuclear Material (e.g., fragments of an atomic weapon) then the heroic attempts to recover all the crash debris and to intimidate witnesses would be explained (that’s what happens in a Broken Arrow event)."

Well, maybe. But wouldn't the AAC have also made similar efforts? I know you're distinguishing between how or under what security category such debris, etc., might have been gathered (under RD vs. military TS), but in either case, it would also be SCI/SAP, or under special comparmentalized information and/or special access program additional restrictions, and the issue of AEC RD vs. AAC or USAF TS wouldn't be the significant factor or more secret basis.

The implication, in part, is that the AEC, primarily a civilian agency (and today's DOE), would have been more secure than a military intelligence agency or branch, which I don't think should be assumed.

The latter may in fact be even more capable of creating and maintaining secrecy of such an incident and related materials or data regarding something like Roswell, particularly if they were the initial (and then only) agency or military branch involved.

There would've also been more potential for leaks if such a matter were transferred from the AAC of the time to the AEC, just due to bureaucratic and "political" issues. The AAC intelligence elements would have resented that, for various reasons.

cda said...

Kevin:

"Hoping to infuriate the anti-Roswell crowd".

Most of this 'crowd' keep their mouths firmly shut. Those who don't are not infuriated. The only person 'infuriated' so far is our friend Alfred Lehmberg who is, I am positive, on the ET side i.e. your side.

By the way, why do you refer to this late May to end of July period as a "critical time"?

steve sawyer said...

Part 2 of 2:

And, where you say, "...and to intimidate witnesses would be explained (that’s what happens in a Broken Arrow event)." -- again, I doubt just categorizing such material or what might have been entailed in the recovery and public info suppression process would necessarily be better or more effectively done by AEC RD classification as opposed to similar military provisions or DOD classification SOP in such a case.

It also doesn't make much sense to say that intimidation of "witnesses" in Broken Arrow [crashed or lost nuclear weapons incidents] cases "would be explained." Deception and cover stories are much more likely and appropriate, and far less provocative, than intimidation in intelligence matters. Do you know of any examples of civilian witnesses to Broken Arrow incidents having been threatened or intimidated, in either domestic or foreign BA or other security cases?

It would seem more probable that if such did occur as a consequence of the Roswell incident, that such threats would have been made by on the scene military personnel, like the CID of the Army, but the point I'm making is that to attempt intimidation provokes resentment, reaction, and some publicity of such threatening actions, and contradicts real security concerns or procedure, as it can and has backfired at times.

In such cases it's easier and wiser to deceive or simply deny rather than threaten someone. Or make them sign a security agreement, possibly with some bribe money added. Although, apparently, in some select cases a death threat can be effective in forcing silence, but it's a very chancy thing to do.

People will talk, either to close relatives and friends and/or later publicly when the initial impact of the threat has passed. Roswell is an example of that syndrome.

Further, where you say, “If knowledge about the crash were treated as AEC Restricted Data (RD--not DOD National Security Information) that would explain the notion that presidents routinely and honestly profess ignorance about the subject (presidents have no authority to give themselves a need-to-know about the working of UFOs any more than about the working of thermonuclear weapons),” I would have to disagree, again, that AEC RD classification is any more secure than provisions of the classification system that the DOD can or would have employed, or how or why the President might not be “read in” to any such SCI or SAP, regardless of which agency or basic classification status were assigned.

There’s a common belief that if there were real evidence that some UFO cases on record (publicly or not) indicated any form of non-human intelligence or consciousness being involved (whether ET or otherwise), that the President would know or be informed. That is not true.

You’re correct that Presidents cannot give themselves a “need to know,” and that’s precisely the point—authorization to be granted such a very high-level and restricted clearance for knowledge of such extremely high-level data is based on legitimate “need to know,” as determined by other authorized authorities within the government for “above Top Secret”, codeword, or SCI/SAP projects and programs.

I would also guess that consideration is also given to what a civilian representative, even the President, might reveal either inadvertently or by choice once he leaves office. Based on that alone, not whether such knowledge is “treated as AEC [DOE] Restricted Data,” is only one criteria for granting such access, or not, but which has to be based primarily on genuine, deeply vetted "need to know."

Steve M said...

Steve Sawyer

Thank you for your pointless and hate filled post that has added absolutely nothing to this blog. I'm suprised that Kevin hasn't deleted it.

Alfred Lehmberg said...

CDA: "Hoping to infuriate the anti-Roswell crowd".

"Most of this 'crowd' keep their mouths firmly shut."

Har! _You_ didn't. Rofl!

Department 47 said...

Since it was sent to the publishers in August, the yearbook should provide a fairly accurate snaphot of who was at the base at the time of the alleged Roswell event in July. So the question is - are there critical people missing from the yearbook who really should have been in it?

streamside said...

While tangential to this post, I thought that it lends light to the general subject. Let me propose that the following BBC story regards a WWII situation gives the lie to 1. that things of importance can't be hidden from leadership. 2. That such things of importance can't remain secret because folks who are involved talk over the years. 3. That people high up on the food chain don't engage in such conspiracies.

I've always found such arguments lacking connection to the real world I've lived in.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17390290

Alfred Lehmberg said...

_Something_ happened at Roswell. Wwhat happened, "happened" on an existential curve in the corporeal sense that may be invisible to us lay citizens and the ufologically unwashed, but when we place the facts as data points on time-lines and graphs they begin to describe a likeness to that "curve," don't they...an appearance of _Something_ way off a _prosaic_ existential curve!

Frank Feschino, too, has done the same thing regarding the "Summer Of Saucers," "Shoot Then Down," and the "Flatwoods Monster." Something happened off the comfort curve, eh? Something happened, _highly_ strange!

It does become difficult to write that a summer of saucers, the inevitable consequences of orders to shoot UFOs down, and a monster in the WV woods provoking the reaction of an augmented battalion of United States Military... can all be explained away by the appearance of one meteor, conjectured only by the Air Force in a report to Blue Book, which, according to times and places the meteor was sighted, would have to have remained in the air for 21.5 hours! Well, that's what I mean by data points on time-lines and graphs. ...Sometimes they trace some pretty strange stuff, stuff even of the "high" variety.

Data points won't look like too much in and of themselves, but can trend and be meaningful in the aggregate as we all know, so our Dr. Randle in no way demeans himself in their iteration, no, that's left to his hecklers dismissing them derisively as meaningless minutia.

Hey! Sometimes it's going to _be_ Zebras! No apologies here.

David Rudiak said...

Steve Sawyer wrote:

It also doesn't make much sense to say that intimidation of "witnesses" in Broken Arrow [crashed or lost nuclear weapons incidents] cases "would be explained." Deception and cover stories are much more likely and appropriate, and far less provocative, than intimidation in intelligence matters. Do you know of any examples of civilian witnesses to Broken Arrow incidents having been threatened or intimidated, in either domestic or foreign BA or other security cases?

...In such cases it's easier and wiser to deceive or simply deny rather than threaten someone. Or make them sign a security agreement, possibly with some bribe money added.


I know of the first known Broken Arrow case in N.M. in 1950 when a B-29 carrying a nuke bound for Roswell crashed minutes after takeoff from Kirtland AFB and started a forest fire in the mountains. The local newspapers (not being told of the nuke angle at the time) reported the area was cordoned off and nobody, absolutely nobody was allowed in. Not even the President could get in if he wanted to. And that's about all anybody knew for decades until the various broken arrow incidents started to be declassified and made public.

Two crashed test flights of secret aircraft out of Area 51 produced accounts of more extreme actions, and these didn't even involve nukes or crashed flying saucers. According to these accounts, some of which came out only decades later, civilian witnesses were indeed threatened and forced to sign security oaths. In one case, civilians were warned not to overfly the area, because they would be shot down.

The first was an A-12 supersonic spy plane in 1963 that crashed near Wendover, UT. Many aspects of the Roswell case were reflected in how this crash was treated.

At the time the program was operated by the CIA. Civilian witnesses to the crash were threatened and made to sign security oaths. Some may have been bribed, according to statements of security personnel out of A-51 who were quickly flown to the scene. They said that was SOP for the CIA at the time. A Salt Lake newsman who had photos of the site, and was about to run the story, was visited by an A-51 security officer and AFOSI officer and surrendered his photos. His story never appeared. Whether he was threatened, bribed, or both, or simply cooperated is unknown. Newspapers and TV/radio were monitored to see if there were any leaks.

The area was cordoned off, recovery teams stayed at the scene, including overnight, until the debris was carted away on flatbeds. The desert was restored to its seemingly previous state so you couldn't tell something had crashed there. Recovery was assisted by heavy equipment (cranes, flatbed trucks) brought in from nearby Wendover AFB. But the debris was not trucked back to Area 51 but flown back to help conceal point of origin. In addition, it wasn't Wendover that did the flying, but cargo planes from two distant air fields, to further confuse what had happened.

A cover story was put out from Nellis AFB in Las Vegas that it was the crash of a special Hughes aircraft F-105 flying out of Nellis, but operating out of Wright-Patterson. But when newsmen contacted W-P and the Pentagon, they claimed to not know anything about it. Though they realized they weren't getting the straight story, the press soon gave up since there was no way of penetrating the wall of security that had been thrown up. To this day, even though we now know it was an A-12 crash, the official story remains the crash of the F-105 out of Nellis.

Most of this info and declassification of documents has come about only in the last 10 years. Those involved kept their mouths shut for 40 years or more, and this was just a conventional aircraft crash.

David Rudiak said...

Part II response to Steve Sawyer:

The second was near Bakersfield in 1986 or 1987, and may have been a Stealth plane (some say a captured Russian MIG). A forest fire broke out again, the area was again cordoned off, and civilian firefighters and police who assisted were made to sign security oaths. This is where the newspapers printed warnings that anybody trying to overfly the area was in danger of being shot down. That's about all I know about it.

David Rudiak said...

Don wrote:
Kevin wrote: "This is an interesting statistic that might have nothing to do with the crash, whatever it was, but it does suggest that one of the units had seen a high number of its personnel replaced during this critical time."

It might be high, but was it unusual at that time? It was a transitional period for the air forces. Checking the same data of several bases similar to the RAAF might give the answer.


The following might be relevant. The 509th Bomb Group was created toward the end of WWII to deliver the A-bombs on Japan. (According to Jesse Marcel Jr. in his book, Marcel Sr. was with the 509th at its birth and as an aerial intelligence officer helped plan the A-bomb attacks.)

After the war, it was reduced to a skeleton crew. Blanchard took command in January 1946, then a month later was the decision to do the Bikini A-bomb tests in 1946. Operations were greatly ramped up at Roswell to train the crews. Following Crossroads in August 1946, Blanchard became the C/O at Roswell AAF, with the 509th having a permanent home there, but again reduced to skeleton proportions.

A month later was the decision to turn it into a major bomber base tasked with delivering nukes to foreign countries. Then began a very rapid build-up of personnel and quick training of crews in order to become certified as an operational bomber base by earlier 1947. Ramey was one of the people reviewing the readiness of the base. People like Blanchard and Marcel were among the handful of officers listed in the base yearbook as being key individuals in achieving operational status.

The point here is that Roswell was a very new base, with almost everybody there being brand new at the time of the Roswell incident. It was barely 6 months operational, so I'm rather surprised that there would be a heavy turnover of personnel right after Roswell, instead of maybe a year after operational status.

But maybe that was the norm for air bases, with rotation of personnel during the summer.

Don said...

The "oath of secrecy" is most likely a reference to the Espionage Act, found in then Top Secret af documents about unindentified flying objects. I've seen it on correspondence from the military to civilian ufo sighters.

"Warning. This document contains information affecting the national defense of the United States within the meaning of the Espionage Act, 50 U.S.C., 31 and 32, as amended. Its transmission or revelation of its contents in any manner to an unauthorized person is prohibited by law.

David wrote: "The point here is that Roswell was a very new base, with almost everybody there being brand new at the time of the Roswell incident. It was barely 6 months operational, so I'm rather surprised that there would be a heavy turnover of personnel right after Roswell, instead of maybe a year after operational status."

It's a point of interest. I recall either Marcel Sr. or Cavitt referring to reviewing lots of personnel files re security issues including those of the AEC.

It looks like Alamogordo had been shuttered after the war, then reopened in the Spring of 1947. These bases in NM were new or existing ones being repurposed (the RAAF had been a training facility, I think, during the war) in part due to the USAF's creation and its new mission and doctrine. Being a transistional year, 1947, the USAF can claim no institutional memory of 1947, nor consider itself to have responsibility for records from then.

1949 would have been a much better year for The Wave 8-)

Regards,

Don

Larry said...

Part 1.
Steve Sawyer said:

“….upon what justification would "that one circumstance" of potential AEC involvement be based?”

I’m inferring or postulating that there was some circumstance, but haven’t uncovered anything definitive, yet. That’s why I labeled this a hypothesis. One event you postulated though, would definitely be such a circumstance: “… if there were a damaged craft, and it emitted radiation, possibly from a form of suspected nuclear propulsion….”

If the debris contained one or more of the elements listed in the Atomic Energy Act (Highly Enriched Uranium, Plutonium, Trans-Uranic elements like Neptunium, etc.), it would instantaneously have become Special Nuclear Material (SNM), whether any of the first responders like Brazel knew it or not. It would not have to have been emitting easily detectible amounts of radiation for that to be true.

“…none of the usual bureaucratic divisional responsibilities might have been relevant as a factor if the highest priority was to restrict and keep as secret as possible the evidence and potential consequences of any such "above Top Secret" discovery…”

The factor that would have taken precedence over all others would have been if the Atomic Energy Commissioner found the material to be SNM or to be related in some way to the production of nuclear energy, in which case knowledge of it would instantaneously have become Restricted Data, again, whether anyone on the outside knew it or not. (This is the so-called “born classified” provision.) The Atomic Energy Commissioner is given exclusive power to make such determinations, not the president or anyone in the Executive branch chain of command.

Like most people, I assume that if some unconventional technological object was actually what was found in the desert, there would naturally have been bureaucratic infighting in the government to acquire control of it. In my years of working for the US Government, what I’ve seen is that ultimately, responsibility for a given subject ends up pretty much where it logically belongs, even if it doesn’t start out there. So, in my opinion, there is no reason to assume that the Air Force or the DOD ended up being the custodians of the secret just because they were the first ones on the scene.

Second, however, I don’t think there would necessarily have been resistance on the part of the executive branch to locating the secret within the AEC for exactly the reason you mention (keeping it as secret as possible). In 1947, the nuclear weapons program was perceived as being the gold standard by which official secrecy was measured.

Larry said...

Part 2.
“I would have to disagree, again, that AEC RD classification is any more secure than provisions of the classification system that the DOD can or would have employed…”

I didn’t say it was more secure. The actual processes and procedures within the RD system are neither more nor less secure than the DOD system (pretty much the same, in my experience) but the point is that the RD system is more exclusive about who gets let in to it and who controls it.

“…or how or why the President might not be “read in” to any such SCI or SAP, regardless of which agency or basic classification status were assigned.”

No--the agency which assigns the original classification makes all the difference. Restricted Data is not reachable from the SCI, SAP world. What most people don’t know is that starting in 1947, there were actually two separate and parallel systems in place for identifying and controlling access to information that the federal government considered to be state secrets. One is the category which today has the name National Security Information (NSI). NSI is the modern term for secret information that evolved out of what was sometimes informally referred to as War Secrets. The authority to define, create, and control access to NSI is assumed by the President of The United States (POTUS) under the Commander in Chief role granted by the Constitution. The SCI or SAP caveats apply to NSI, but not to RD. Because NSI ultimately derives from the office of President, the POTUS (and his minions) could theoretically not be kept entirely in the dark about SCI or SAP activities.

In 1947, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) came into existence by an act of Congress, and with it came the categories of Restricted Data (RD) and Special Nuclear Material (SNM). By law, clearance for access to RD or SNM can only be granted to US citizens who, after a background investigation (originally, required to be done by the FBI) are found by the Commissioner to be of good moral character. The Commissioner has exclusive authority to grant and rescind access.

“I would also guess that consideration is also given to what a civilian representative, even the President, might reveal either inadvertently or by choice once he leaves office. Based on that alone, not whether such knowledge is “treated as AEC [DOE] Restricted Data,” is only one criteria for granting such access, or not, but which has to be based primarily on genuine, deeply vetted "need to know."

It’s true the need-to-know criterion, is intended to, and does restrict to the minimum possible, the number of people who could voluntarily or involuntarily divulge secrets, from whatever origin. But as I pointed out above, this does not eliminate the possibility of release of NSI for political gain, because the POTUS is the one at the top of the organization chart. And this has happened from time to time. According to old-timers I’ve talked to, one of the major reasons the AEC was set up the way it was, was specifically to keep elected officials and appointees from being able to muck around and utilize this category of secrets for political agendas either while in office or afterwards. By making the Commissioner and not the President the keeper of the secrets and stipulating “good moral character” as an entrance requirement, many politicians’ hands are kept out of the cookie jar.

destroyer said...

1

David Rudiak said...

The mysterious "Department 47" wrote:

Since it was sent to the publishers in August, the yearbook should provide a fairly accurate snaphot of who was at the base at the time of the alleged Roswell event in July. So the question is - are there critical people missing from the yearbook who really should have been in it?

One obvious omission are everybody in the intelligence and counterintelligence offices at Roswell, with the exception of Marcel, shown as the head intelligence officer and one of the key officers getting Roswell AAF up to operational status. You definitely don't want the counterintelligence CIC people to be generally known.

In Squadron M, or medical, there are only 5 Army nurses pictured, even though there were many other nurses at the base hospital, a number of them being civilian nurses from town, or military nurse trainees, some of them even being Navy.

Civilian hospital administrative people also are not pictured, such as Miriam Bush, secretary to the hospital head, who family members testified saw the bodies. This is of course relevant to the question of the identity of Glenn Dennis' Nurse X, assuming she existed.

Civilian employees in general are not pictured, and no doubt many of the military people never got their pictures taken either, probably being unavailable when pictures were taken of squadrons. Tom Carey compiled a 60 page table of everybody listed in the yearbook, or approximately 3000 people, but I think there were maybe 4000 or 5000 military people not to mention probably at least a 1000 civilians. Maybe Kevin has more exact numbers.

David Rudiak said...

For Larry:
Thank you for the informative primer on the current two branches of secrets, one for conventional State secrets and the other for nuclear ones, which are born secret by their innate highly sensitive nature.

I'll ask you to speculate on the possibility of an unknown third system of secrets, set up to deal with something like the Roswell crash, that is any highly sensitive UFO-related material (like a crashed saucer with alien bodies) that would be born secret by its nature. What would it take to set up such a system? Would a Presidential Executive Order be Sufficient? And what would the possibility of such a system, perhaps initially under the POTUS, eventually going rogue such that even the POTUS would have difficulty getting access (witness Pres. Carter's and Clinton's possibly failed attempts)?

cda said...

"Roswell Minutiae" indeed. The very stuff of dedicated itemised research. Kevin's title is well chosen. I wonder where it will all lead.

Larry said...

Part 1.
David said:

“I'll ask you to speculate on the possibility of an unknown third system of secrets, set up to deal with something like the Roswell crash, that is any highly sensitive UFO-related material (like a crashed saucer with alien bodies) that would be born secret by its nature. What would it take to set up such a system? Would a Presidential Executive Order be Sufficient? And what would the possibility of such a system, perhaps initially under the POTUS, eventually going rogue such that even the POTUS would have difficulty getting access (witness Pres. Carter's and Clinton's possibly failed attempts)?”

Good question, and a deep question that requires a little history. I would divide the story up into pre- and post-1947. Leaving aside the Atomic Energy Act which I’ve already discussed, the National Security Act of 1947 had plenty of devices built into it to allow the creation of a compartment that dealt exclusively with the UFO subject (whether it was called MJ12 or not). First, was the creation of the National Security Council (NSC). The main function of the NSC was to be a cut-out between the President and clandestine operations. I think there was a realization during WWII that many of the activities that the OSS engaged in at the direction of the President could possibly have been prosecuted as war crimes, had we been on the losing side. By locating responsibility for initiating “dirty tricks” (sabotage, propaganda, assassination) outside the President’s office, the POTUS has plausible deniability. The POTUS can veto, or turn off a clandestine activity, but does not have to take an active role in initiating it. There never needs to be a trail of evidence from the POTUS, for example, ordering the CIA to try to put poison in Fidel Castro’s cigar. Yet attempts like that happened. Reverse engineering UFOs, if you had retrieved some hardware, would not be considered a “dirty trick”, by itself, but it would definitely (IMHO) be considered a clandestine activity—one whose very existence you would not acknowledge.

The second great invention was the CIA. The primary function of CIA was collection, analysis, and interpretation of strategic (as opposed to purely military) intelligence. However the National Security Act also gave CIA the authority to conduct essentially, “other tasks as assigned”—a euphemism for clandestine activities. It also conferred upon the CIA the unique authority to essentially break other laws, if it needed to. The CIA can, for example, grab appropriated funds from any other federal agency it wants to, and enforce secrecy about the fact upon that agency. It can also run side businesses that generate a non-appropriated funding stream.

A secret provision of the National Security Act also created the National Security Agency—a fact that itself was highly classified for several decades.

Larry said...

Part 2.

So, in one bill, we have in place the legal framework for 1) selectively cutting the POTUS out of the act on clandestine matters, 2) selective avoidance of conventional funding streams and of immunity from normal legal considerations, and 3) secret provisions of law that create large new clandestine agencies without public visibility. What more could you need to set up a clandestine compartment to work on the UFO problem?

However, to directly address your question, this would not represent a “third system”, but would simply be a specific compartment within the existing framework. My sense is that an organization with this level of complexity could not be created simply by an Executive Order. It would require supporting legislation with provisions equivalent in strength to those found in the Atomic Energy Act and the National Security Act. Since there don’t seem to be any other acts near that strength, I hypothesize that a UFO compartment operates inside the boundaries of that known legislation.

Moreover, I don’t see any need to postulate that such a compartment “went rogue”, if by that term you mean started violating the law. The law has been written with so many “get out of jail free” provisions, that there would be no need to “go rogue”. The laws were created for the specific purpose of allowing secret compartments working on difficult technical problems to exist out of public scrutiny, indefinitely.

I will leave discussion of pre-1947 for a subsequent post.

David Rudiak said...

Larry wrote;
So, in one bill, we have in place the legal framework for 1) selectively cutting the POTUS out of the act on clandestine matters, 2) selective avoidance of conventional funding streams and of immunity from normal legal considerations, and 3) secret provisions of law that create large new clandestine agencies without public visibility. What more could you need to set up a clandestine compartment to work on the UFO problem?

...
Moreover, I don’t see any need to postulate that such a compartment “went rogue”, if by that term you mean started violating the law. The law has been written with so many “get out of jail free” provisions, that there would be no need to “go rogue”. The laws were created for the specific purpose of allowing secret compartments working on difficult technical problems to exist out of public scrutiny, indefinitely.


Thanks again for the quick education in Spooksville 101. From what you describe, the National Security Act created the potential for multiple clandestine agencies, independently funded, including helping themselves to funds from public agencies without any disclosure or legal accountability, and outside the scrutiny or oversight of the POTUS or any elected official should they choose to go that route.

It sounds like they could indeed go rogue, and all perfectly legal, i.e., they could cut the POTUS completely out of the loop, or essentially tell him to "drop dead" if he asked for information they didn't want to hand over. The same it seems would apply to any appointed official of the POTUS, or any elected official.

Lawrence said...

There's a review up of Randle's latest book, 'Reflections..' over at the pelican 'Magonia' book review blog, by the estimable John Harney. Just thought I would mention it here (of course Randle knows). Harney's review is of course largely positive with the exception of Randle's take on Roswell, it echoes my own..

Odd that I had used the exact term "Roswell minutiae" to describe Randle's exposition on Roswell in his debate with Jim Moseley on the paracast podcast recently. I did so at Rich Reynold's blog not that long ago.

I'm not to be confused with 'Larry' of course.

cda said...

So POTUS = President of the United States.

New to me!

If we can have ufology, should we have acronymology?

Mr Lehmberg is best placed to answer this.

Lance said...

Kevin or David or Anyone,

This article:

http://www.topsecretwriters.com/2012/03/city-action-destroys-thousands-of-historic-ufo-audio-recordings/

Describes the tragic loss by Dave Arron of much of his UFO media collection.

In the article he claims to have a copy of the audio interview by Whitmore of Brazel.

Is that possible? I thought the interview was lost (I mean since 1947)? I have never seen a proper transcript of it.

Thanks,

Lance

KRandle said...

Lance -

We were aware of this and one of the team members knows the man.

KRandle said...

Lance -

We were aware of this and one of the team members knows the man.

Lance said...

Thanks Kevin,

Are you saying that he did have the actual recording?

Thanks,

Lance

KRandle said...

Lance -

I'm saying nothing that can be misinterpretated until I have much more information about this.

Lance said...

LOL. Okay Kevin---I'm sure you have your best men on it!

Lance

cda said...

If anyone has some 1947 source material, whether sound or written, this would be perhaps the most invaluable piece of evidence ever produced. So let us all hope:
1. It turns up
2. It is genuine
3. It does provide new and vital evidence of something.

However, being what I am, I shall neither be keeping my fingers crossed nor holding my breath.

steve sawyer said...

"Steve M said...

"Steve Sawyer

"Thank you for your pointless and hate filled post that has added absolutely nothing to this blog. I'm suprised that Kevin hasn't deleted it."


Well, you're most welcome, "Steve M." Although, you'll allow me to beg to differ with your generic opinion (which, like a-holes, everyone seems to have at least one), as to my comment being "hate filled" or adding "absolutely nothing" to this discussion. YMMV. 8^}

You see, Steve, sometimes a UFO researcher or investigator of generally an agnostic position on the phenomenon just has to call a spade a spade.

I had certain parties not on this blog in mind when I made my remarks above. I know whereof I speak, I can tell you. I don't often "let down my hair," or take the time and effort to berate the palpitating mass of debunkers and pseudo-skeptics I've encountered whose fundamentalist "atheism" in regard to the UFO question [it cannot be, so therefore it isn't] is simply the converse of the other far end of the fringey spectrum, or the faithful "believers" in the hoary old school of "nuts 'n bolts" UFO phenomenology.

That's what I was pointing out above, in my (for some, apparently) "outre" comments on the two ends of the range of absolutist "believers" and "skeptics," that a "middle ground" or balance is required, although my focus above was on the debunkers I had in mind. I'm over that fit of pique now, thankfully.

I note you've been on blogspot since only January of this year. And that the only blog you list as following is Tim Hebert's "Did It Really Happen," a blog primarily devoted to debunking the alleged UFO ICBM shutdown at Malmstrom AFB in 1967. And that your list of favorite books are nearly all UFO debunking tomes.

Try going through 20+ years of research and investigation, as one who really does try to maintain an agnostic approach to the UFO subject, and contending with the plethora of pseudo-skeptics, debunkers, and other folks whose denialist fervor is often so distorted by omission of facts and personal interpretation of data based on confirmation bias that they just cannot accept the UFO phenomenon as a genuine anomaly, which it is.

My intent was primarily not serious, and an attempt at, yes, sarcastic humor, but I did point out both extremes of belief (and "anti-belief," or absolutism, which is also a form of belief and faith) have serious problems with doing objective, empirical, and truly scientific investigation and analysis, IMHO.

And, that's most probably why Kevin did not delete my comment, as he knows the territory even better and far longer than I.

BTW, was it my comment that "It's like watching a pile of rabid monkeys on fire, oscillating wildly inside their own self-defined and confabulated digital barrel, self-immolating objectivity," that might have upset you?

Admittedly, that was a little over the top [Heh!] -- I was inspired by the image that came to me in trying to characterize some debunkers I've known.

And, I have to also say, on the fanatic "believer" side, too.

It's a little like the divide between Repubs and Demos, or what's called the red vs. blue brain syndrome of psychological orientation. I'm registered independent, so go figure.

But, you're right that enmity and division does not help the situation or bridge any divides. I will concede that. So, mea culpa ...and all that jazz.

Perhaps we could both learn a little something from reading Jonathan Haidt's new book, "A Righteous Mind," reviewed here:

See: http://nyti.ms/GQO0th

Oh, and relax: I only very occasionally attempt to fight fire with fire, since it's rather futile. Maybe that's a reflection of my own degree of confirmation bias. Eh! Live and learn... (?) 8^}

Don said...

Lance wrote: "In the article he claims to have a copy of the audio interview by Whitmore of Brazel."

Does anyone know how well wire recordings hold up over time, and whether KGFL had either disk or tape copying equipment?

Doesn't it seem odd if David Aaron had the Brazel recording, he did nothing with it, except store it in a garage?

He'd heard of Roswell, hadn't he?

Regards,

Don

Steve M said...

Steve Sawyer

If that post was an attempt at humour then dont try appearing in your local comedy club!. While I have only been appearing on blogs since January I never realised that there was a period of time you had to serve before being allowed to post here.

While I don't have 20 years of research behind me I have only been following the subject for 40 years, and all too often seen comments like yours presented by individuals whose case is weak or none existent.

As for my choice of books, well i have found them better researched and able to stand the test of time than books by certain investigators I could mention.

And as for an a#hole it's the most important part of the body try living without one.