The other night as I was cursing the cable I blundered into another of those UFO programs filled with hysterical narration and a belief that nearly every outrageous claim is based in reality. In this case they were talking about the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit as if the documentation existed to prove that the Army had, at one time, investigated UFOs under that unit title. They flashed some documentation but in today’s world with nearly everyone and her brother creating UFO documents for fun and profit you would think that a little caution would be called for. But there was really nothing in the documentary to suggest that this wasn’t true other than a mention of the “controversial MJ-12” documents.
I had thought that it had been fairly well established that this IPU information had been discredited and was a little surprised to see it being used as evidence that MJ-12 was real, as was the Roswell UFO crash along with a similar event over on the Plains of San Agustin (or more accurately, a point to the southeast of Socorro, but more on that later). So I wondered just what do we know about the IPU and where did that information originate.
It seems that in 1977 Larry Bryant had filed a somewhat generic FOIA request with the Army asking about their gathering of UFO reports. Eventually, in response, the Army said that their records had been sent to the Air Force in 1962 so they no longer had anything related to UFOs. If you look at the timing here, you’d see that the Air Force was also attempting to get rid of the UFO investigation or relegate it to the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Information (SAFOI), so the Army, having the perfect place to dump their UFO material, did so. All this means that at the time no one wanted to get stuck with the UFO problem.
Bryant filed another request and in 1978 the Army came back with what they termed an “institutional memory,” which was their way of saying they’d asked an older member of the team what he could remember. He said that in 1958 the UFO reports were processed by the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit. This was set up in 1958 after the launch of the Soviet satellites in late 1957. According to the institutional memory, all the material gathered was sent to the Air Force in 1962. The IPU was abolished at that point.
Brad Sparks believed that the actual name was probably something like the Intelligence Processing Unit and the function was that of gathering all sorts of intelligence reports about all sorts of things to be distributed to the various commands and activities where that information could be exploited. According to Sparks, based on his review of various organizational charts and other documentation, he found the name of the IPU was actually Input Processing Unit, and if Sparks was right about its function, then this name makes more sense than the more exciting Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit.
And while you could argue that Sparks has gotten this wrong, though the evidence supports him, there seems to be one fact that is not in dispute. The IPU did not begin to function until 1958. There is no evidence that it existed prior to that.
But then documents from the IPU began to surface. They seemed to come from a man named Timothy Cooper who received them from a fellow named Thomas “Cy” Cantwheel which is a pseudonym so that he can’t be traced and his claims about his background can’t be independently verified. One of the documents that relates to the IPU is labeled Top Secret and it mentions only those with “Majic access may have access.” This strikes me as a rather wishy-washy way to say that “Access to the document is restricted to those with Majic clearance,” but then, that’s just my personal opinion.
The document is the “Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit Summary,” and it is classified as “Top Secret – Ultra.” There is a problem with this as well. A classified project known as “Ultra” existed during World War II. Ultra was an attempt to gather and decrypt Nazi communications at the highest level. By the end of the war this was an Allied effort that was of significant importance and certainly contributed to the defeat of the Nazis. But the point is, the classification for the project was Top Secret Ultra and that was for that specific project which has nothing to do with UFOs.
Overlooking this, the document lays out the “facts” about the Roswell UFO crash. The problem here is that investigations as outlined in these documents have been superseded by new and better information. It places a part of the crash at Site LZ - 2 (which I suppose is Landing Zone 2) some twenty miles southeast (that’s right, southeast) of Socorro, which moves it from the Plains of San Agustin to “Lat. 33 – 40 – 31, Long. 106 – 28 – 29, with Oscura Peak being the geographic reference point.” Overlooking the fact that the coordinates would have been listed as 33.40.31N and 106.28.29W (33° 40' 31" N, 106° 28' 29" W), those coordinates are not on the Plains of San Agustin, but southeast of Socorro. While the Barnett story is questioned and certainly does not relate to the Roswell crash, it was clear that he was talking about the high country meaning the Plains and not someplace to the southeast.
For those keeping score at home and who don’t have Google Earth on their computers, those coordinates, along with Oscura Peak, are on the White Sands Missile Range near the Trinity site. It’s difficult enough to get onto the debris field found by Mack Brazel since it is private property surrounded by BLM land. No one is going to drive out onto the missile range to dig on that site, let alone get near the Trinity site without permission. As far as I know, no one has been there to see what might have been left behind.
In fact, that leads to another question. Why is it that they have the coordinates for LZ – 2, but not for the Brazel ranch site? I suspect the reason is that when this document was created, the coordinates of the Brazel site were known to very few people and if the document had the wrong coordinates, that would call its legitimacy into question. The hoaxer just didn’t know those coordinates.
These few things should be enough for those paying attention to reject this document as fraudulent. It should be enough to prove that this document is a forgery and a not very clever one at that. It does nothing to support the idea of the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit because the document is an invention created in the 1990s, after the publication of the various books about the Roswell crash, but the forger didn’t seem to have looked at a map, which proves the forgery. (Or maybe I should say he did look at a map and picked the location because of its highly restricted access. He didn’t have to worry about someone going there to see what they might find.)
In fact, I can date it even better than that because it does mention Mogul and no one was talking about Mogul until the early 1990s. It is unlikely that a report created in 1947 would refer to the balloon project by that name. It probably would have referred to it as the New York University balloon project or the constant level balloons rather than Mogul, if mentioned it at all. More likely it would have just mentioned weather balloons if it was felt necessary to make that connection. All that does is allow us to date the time of creation for the document and point to another flaw in it.
But, remember, the IPU, by whatever name, didn’t exist in 1947 and wouldn’t exist for another decade according to the best information available. This document does nothing to prove that the name of the organization was the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit because the document is a fake.
In fact there is no real documentation confirming the existence of such an organization at all. It was the “institutional memory” who created the name based on what he remembered. That “institutional memory” was Craig Hunter who, some two decades after the fact, mentioned all that he remembered about the IPU. There is no official document with the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit name on it…
Oh, I know what you’ll say. There are letters to researchers that prove the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit existed, or exists, because it is referred to as the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit in these official communications. In one of those, written by Lieutenant Colonel Lance R. Corine, it says, “As you note in your letter, the so-called Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit (IPU) was disestablished…”
In other words, Corine is not actually confirming the existence of the IPU as the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit because that is the name of the unit used by William Steinman in his letter to the Army. Steinman gave them the name. Yes, the IPU existed but it was not the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit. It was the Input Processing Unit, which certainly isn’t the same thing.
And, yes, this is splitting a fine hair, but the point is, other than the “institutional memory” of the name, the letters cited as proof seem to be responding to information included in the FOIA requests. I’d like to see a document from a government source (other than MJ-12, of course) that uses the name Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit on it. Brad Sparks said that he’s seen organizational charts with IPU on them, but not that particular name.
The evidence for the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit is one man’s memory that seems to be contradicted by the documentation from official sources, which you all are now free to reject because it is from official sources and is all part of the bigger conspiracy. Everything, including to those letters to researchers, points to the creation of the IPU in 1958 which means that a document that was allegedly created in 1947 using the name Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit is a fake. And if it is a fake then those using it in a documentary to support another aspect of the UFO phenomenon have failed to prove their point. A fake document proves absolutely nothing and shouldn’t be used as evidence for the existence of something else.
Oh, I do get it. Those producing documentaries don’t have the comprehensive knowledge needed to understand what is going on. They must rely on the “experts” to understand what they are being told… and too often there are competing points of view. Sometimes the information is easily available and the evidence of fraud is almost overwhelming but they still use it to bolster their case. They want to believe just as badly as some of those in the field want to believe so the negative evidence is reduced to a single sentence or phrase that is almost mumbled. The “controversial” comment is misunderstood by many, suggesting that there is still an open question. In this case, with this organization, the IPU, and this particular document, there is no real controversy. The results are in and the document is a fake.