Monday, October 06, 2014

Roswell, Nathan Twining and the Mini-EOTS


There is a misunderstanding about the Twining letter and it is about what caused it to be written. To understand it in the context of the time, it is necessary to understand why the letter was written.

In July 1947, an officer who worked for Brigadier General George Schulgen put together an Estimate of the Situation, which is not to be confused with the big one that was written later. This mini-EOTS covered a number of sightings that had been made early in 1947, including a few that had preceded Arnold. LTC George Garrett was the officer who wrote this EOTS that was sent to LTG Nathan Twining at Wright Field for analysis. I covered all this in Government UFO Files, which, if I was smart, is all I would say about it, making those interested in this discussion buy the book. However, and with the help of many others including Dr. Michael Swords ...

In July 1947, Garrett believed that nothing useful would be found by additional Air Force (really Army Air Forces) investigation of the flying saucer reports. Both Garrett and Schulgen decided that the answer was held above their pay grade and thought of a way to pass the buck back up the chain of command so they would no longer have to deal with it. They were quite certain that when they assembled their information in what might be considered an intelligence Estimate of the Situation, they would be told that those at the top knew what the flying saucers were and there would be no need to continue to investigate. Or, I suppose, you might say that this is what they hoped would happen.

Garrett began his work on his Estimate in the beginning of July, 1947. He selected sixteen flying saucer reports that seemed to demonstrate the truly unusual nature of the phenomenon, and then provided his analysis of the data that had been collected.

The first case he mentioned preceded that by Kenneth Arnold; the man many believe “launched” the UFO phenomena as we know it today, by over a month. That sighting, from Manitou Springs, Colorado happened sometime between 12:15 and 1:15 p.m. on May 19, 1947. This was a silver object that remained motionless, giving the three witnesses a good look at it, and then made a number of aerobatic maneuvers before disappearing at incredible speed. The sighting report mentioned that it had been watched through optical instruments and had been in sight for over two minutes meaning they had time to study it carefully. This sighting does not appear in the Project Blue Book files, though it was used as support for Garrett’s conclusions at the end of this study which in and of itself is interesting.

The second report that was mentioned was from Oklahoma City on May 22, 1947. There are few details available other than it was made by a businessman pilot and he saw the object or light from the ground and not the cockpit.

The third case came from Greenfield, Massachusetts on June 22, 1947. According to the report:

Edward L. de Rose said, ...there appeared across his line of vision a “brilliant, small, round-shaped, silvery white object” moving in a northwesterly direction as fast as or probably faster than a speeding plane at an estimated altitude of 1,000 feet or more. The object stayed in view for eight or ten seconds until obscured by a cloud bank. It reflected the sunlight strongly as though it were of polished aluminum or silver… He said it did not resemble any weather balloon he had ever seen and that “I can assure you it was very real.”

According to the information available, this was a case that had been secretly investigated by the FBI, and given Special Agent Reynolds’ (who has a role in these early investigations as outlined in The Government UFO Files) participation with Schulgen and Garrett it is not difficult to believe that the FBI was involved.

Next was the report that got everyone talking about flying saucers and this is the Kenneth Arnold’s sighting. In 1947, as Garrett was putting together his Estimate, it was still considered an unknown by those who had officially investigated it and who had talked to Arnold.

Garrett’s next sighting involved two Air Force (at the time Army Air Forces) pilots and two intelligence officers who saw a bright light zigzagging in the night sky over Maxwell Air Force Base on June 28, 1947. The sighting lasted for about five minutes. The eventual label applied to the case was that this was a balloon.

Garrett’s next case was witnessed by three scientists at White Sands, New Mexico. The object was silver in color and no external details were reported. There was the possibility of a slight vapor trail and none of the three were sure how it disappeared, suggesting that the angle changed and they lost sight of it.

Civilian pilots were responsible for the next sighting that Garrett quoted. Captain E. J. Smith was piloting a United Airlines plane when one of the flying saucers appeared coming at them. The first officer, Ralph Stevens, reached down to blink the landing lights, and Smith asked what he thought he was doing. Stevens responded that another plane was coming at them. As it closed, they realized that it wasn't another aircraft but one of the flying disks.

Although the case was thoroughly investigated, the Air Force found no solution for it. In the Project Blue Book files, it is still carried as “Unidentified.”

Three airmen on a B-25, near Clay Center, Kansas said they saw a silver-colored object pacing their aircraft was the next case cited. One of the witnesses was the pilot who said that a bright flash called his attention of the object, which he said was thirty to fifty feet in diameter and very bright. He said the object appeared to be pacing the aircraft at 210 miles an hour. When they turned toward it, the object seemed to accelerate to high speed and disappeared. Later the Air Force would suggest that the sighting was caused by a reflection on the windshield.

Garrett next reported that Captain James H. Burniston, on July 6, 1947, while at Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base saw one of the flying disks. According to that report:

…He observed an object traveling in a southeasterly direction at an estimated height of 10,000 feet or more and at a speed in excess of that of any aircraft he had ever seen. The object was in his view for approximately sixty seconds during which time it travelled over three-quarters of the visible sky. Burniston could distinguish no definite color or shape. It appeared to roll from side to side three times during his observation and one side reflected strongly from its surface while the other side gave no reflection. He estimates the size to be about that of a C-54 and states that between the time the top of the object was visible and the time it rolled over … the bottom became very difficult to see and almost disappeared.
Although the next two reports seem to be related, Garrett broke them into two separate incidents, one from Koshkonong, Wisconsin and the second from East Troy, Wisconsin. They are listed on the same “Project Card,” which supplies very little information. Both sightings lasted under a minute, and in both sightings the witnesses were members of the Civil Air Patrol, an official civilian auxiliary of the Air Force. The first of the sightings was reported at 11:45 (CST) in the morning and the second at 2:30 (CST) in the afternoon. Both were made on July 7, 1947.These two cases were marked, “Insufficient information for proper analysis.”

Following his theory of who might make the best witnesses, the next case involved an Army National Guard pilot flying near Mt. Baldy, California on July 8, 1947. The flat object, reflecting light, was about the size of a fighter. The pilot said that he gave chase attempting to keep the object in sight but was unable to do so.

A police officer, among others, in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, reported an egg-shaped object with a barrel-like leading edge about thirty minutes before midnight on July 9, 1947, in the next case reported by Garrett. There were four objects that had a phosphorescent glow.

The next day, and next on the list there was a series of sightings in Newfoundland. Garrett used the sighting that took place about four in the afternoon, and was seen by a “TWA Representative and a PAA Representative [who was identified as a Mr. Leidy] on the ground. The object was “circular in shape, like a wagon wheel,” and was bluish-black with a fifteen foot long trail. The object “seemed to cut clouds open as it passed thru [sic]. Trail was like beam seen after a high-powered landing light is switched off.”

The case took on added importance because there were color photographs of the disk as it cut through the clouds. Dr. Michael Swords reported in the Journal of UFO Studies:

The bluish-black trail seems to indicate ordinary combustion from a turbo-jet engine, athodyd [ramjet] motor, or some combination of these types of power plants. The absence of noise and apparent dissolving of the clouds to form a clear path indicates a relatively large mass flow of a rectangular cross section containing a considerable amount of heat.

In 1947, this was an important case and provides a hint as to what Garrett and the others thought. They believed that the solution here rested in terrestrial technology, or in other words, this was something of Soviet manufacture. While the sighting itself is interesting for the photographs, it was important because it seemed to suggest the Soviets were responsible rather than aliens.

The final case that Garrett cited was from Elmendorf Field in Anchorage, Alaska on July 12. A major in the Army Air Forces said that he watched an object that resembled a grayish balloon as it followed the contours of the mountains some five miles away. The major said that the object paralleled the course of a C-47 that was landing on the airfield.

With these sixteen reports, and two added later, Garrett composed his study. It might be said that he drew on these specific cases because he, along with Schulgen, believed they most accurately described the objects seen, the maneuvers they performed, and they would most likely lead to the conclusion that these sightings were of a classified research project then in development. They thought they would be told to quit because of that. The answer they received, after they had forwarded their report to the Air Materiel Command and to Twining must have surprised them. It was not at all what they had expected.

On September 24, 1947, Schulgen, Garrett and the others received the written response from Twining’s staff. This analysis of the situation was based wholly on the information supplied by Garrett through Schulgen. Twining’s staff looked at the reports that had been included and then produced a draft of the response for approval by Twining.

Given the information they had to work with, and it seems those at Wright Field added nothing to the mix themselves; they reached their conclusions based on the information supplied. These reports, for the most part, came from pilots, both military and civilian including airline pilots. They came from scientists, police, and aviation personnel who should have been able to recognize aircraft in the air. The reports were selected because they were, for the most part, from multiple witnesses and one must have been selected because of the photographs. These were some of the best sightings that had been received beginning with the May reports that did not make it into the Project Blue Book files.

This response, then, from Twining's AMC staff was telling them that the phenomenon was “something real and not visionary or fictitious.” Not only that, Twining was telling them that his command didn't know what the flying saucers were and that they should be investigated.

If the flying saucers were a U.S. project, then the last thing anyone at the higher levels of the chain of command would have wanted would be an official investigation. Any investigation would be a threat to the security of the project. To end such an investigation one of those on the inside of the secret would have to drop a hint to someone on the outside. If, for example, it was such a secret project that General Twining and the AMC were outside the loop, then another general, on the inside, could call Twining to tell him to drop the investigation. He wouldn't have to spill any details of the secret project, only tell Twining that it was something he didn't need to worry about and the answer was not Soviet or anything else that could threaten national security. Twining would then end his inquiries, secure in the knowledge that the solution to the mystery was already known to someone inside the US military and the government.

Swords, commenting on this, wrote, "What explains this confident display of mediocrity? Although we are apparently not dealing with genius here, neither should we assume complete stupidity. This report was not put together with any greater intensity because the authors did not feel that it was necessary. They did not think that UFOs were any great mystery. It was obvious to them that UFOs were mechanical, aerial devices. Whose devices was still up in the air (so to speak), but the indications were fairly clear: despite assurances to the contrary, they must be our own. 'Lack of topside inquiries' [meaning, of course, those higher up in the chain of command] made this the only reasonable conclusion in their eyes."

What this does explain, for those who haven’t figured it out yet, is why there was a mention of a “lack of crash recovered material.” None had been included in the mini-EOTS. The response by Twining, which was written under the supervision of Howard McCoy, used only that information included in the original EOTS. They added nothing to it because they could accomplish what they wanted in that way. Had they added additional information or mention information that was classified “Top Secret” that would have changed the nature of the discussion and, of course, the classification of the response.

And this is why the Roswell crash wasn't mentioned in Twining's letter. It wasn't part of the original query, there was no reason to add it, and the investigation could continue as they searched for additional answers... or more importantly, they scrambled around trying to find out if national security was at risk. This they could accomplish without compromising the Roswell information.


39 comments:

cda said...

You are desperately trying to cling to Roswell at all costs. It seems that nothing will convince you that the case was, and is, worthless as evidence for either ETH or even as an example of some unknown (at the time) highly secret US development.

Twining's memo makes it quite clear that no "crash recovered exhibits" existed at that time (Sept 1947). Therefore there was no retrieved hardware the USAF, or any of the connected agencies, could examine. Period.

Instead you try and add spin to the tale by telling us that Twining and his staff omitted all mention of it because "it was not part of the original query". Twining therefore only answered exactly what he was asked. He would not, or could not, dare say anything over and above this, even if he knew a visit to earth by ETs was involved!

OK, so Garrett listed 16 cases as you say, dating from May to July of that year (1947). I am certain, very certain, had a real unidentified object landed, or crashed, near Roswell NM during that period and was under investigation by experts in the various agencies, who had decided it was extraterrestrial in nature, that Gen Twining would NOT have written the memo he did. Instead he, and many others, would have produced a volume of memos, reports and the like, and these would have been available to science decades ago.

Twining and McCoy produced several UFO-related memos in 1947-48. None refers to Roswell, none mentions any 'crash' of a UFO, and they all specifically say that there is NO physical evidence to examine and NO crashed exhibits either.

It is time you ceased trying to trisect the angle and admitted the obvious: Roswell was NOT a craft from beyond planet earth.

Nitram Ang said...

Roswell novice cda wrote:

"You are desperately trying to cling to Roswell at all costs. It seems that nothing will convince you that the case was, and is, worthless as evidence for either ETH or even as an example of some unknown (at the time) highly secret US development."

However cda doesn't realise that he is desperately trying to cling to Mogul at all costs. It seems that nothing will convince him that the case was, and is, worthless as evidence for either Mogul or even as an example of some unknown (at the time) highly secret US development.

It is time you ceased trying to trisect the angle and admitted the obvious: Roswell was NOT a Mogul balloon tray.

starman said...

Nitram Ang:

"Roswell was NOT a Mogul balloon tray."

Agreed but..."tray" or "array"? :)

cda;

For many years Israel claimed it was "not a nuclear power" even though the evidence it was had convinced nearly everybody. Governments lie and distort when it suits their purposes.
Something definitely crashed at Roswell. Mogul has been disposed of. If it wasn't Mogul, it wasn't earthy--again I very much doubt skeptics would've clung to Mogul if there was a better earthly explanation of any kind. We know what that leaves. :) Twining was just maintaining the coverup, which began with confiscations and warnings the previous July.

cda said...

Nitram Ang:

The degree of evidence or proof required for establishing that Roswell was a crashed ET craft is far, far higher than is needed for establishing it was some sort of earthly balloon or other airborne device.

This is because science did not, and does not, know of the existence of either ET craft or of any intelligent beings from outside planet earth. Not only that, but science does not even know of ANY kind of life outside planet earth.


Starman:

You claim that "something definitely crashed at Roswell".

No it didn't. The 'crash' description was not used in the press reports at the time. It only came in 1980 with the publication of 'The Roswell Incident'. The concept of a 'crash' was promoted by Stanton Friedman, and has remained in the literature ever since.

The original reports were merely of the landing and recovery of a light instrument.

Likewise there were no "confiscations and warnings the previous July". Unless of course you want to accept the anecdotal tales told decades afterwards.

But the whole ET idea only holds water if, and only if, you can believe that such a vitally important scientific event would, or could, be kept top secret for seven decades. Anyone who believes this deserves everything the USAF, and the scientific establishment, say about Roswell.

KRandle said...

CDA -

From Frank Edwards - Flying Saucers Serious Business, copyright 1966...

"There are such difficult cases as the rancher near Roswell, New Mexico, who phoned the Sheriff that a blazing disc-shaped object had passed over his house at low altitude and had crashed and burned on a hillside within view of the house."

Okay, there is a lot wrong with this but it was published 1966 and it does mention Roswell and a crash.

cda said...

Kevin:

I retract my previous statement - up to a point. Yeah sure, there is a lot wrong with it. Goodness, the poor guy didn't even have a telephone, there was no hillside, he didn't see it fall (or crash), there was no burning, and it didn't "pass over his house at low altitude".

But we won't go into Frank Edwards and UFOs. Any more than going into Stan Friedman and UFOs.

Tim Hebert said...

Kevin and all,

Was there any evidence of a high impact debris field, that is, a wide radius of a burn field, torn up earth and the sort?

I've never got the sense that this was the case...reference mid to large aircraft mishaps that produce large scale debris, impact crater, etc.

Tim

David Rudiak said...

(Part 1/2)
Edwards was already talking about the Roswell "crash" back in 1955 and 1956 at public lectures. At one, asked whether some of them had crashed, he responded:

"I'm not too sure some of them haven't. Way back in 1947, at Roswell, New Mexico, a farmer reported he saw something strike a mountainside and crash. According to what I was told, they threw troops in a circle all around that place, and would let nobody in for five days. Finally they came up with a picture of a man holding a little crumpled kite with aluminum foil on it --- a radar target --- they said this was it --- believe it or not. There have been many other rumors since then of saucers having crashed. I don't know whether there's any truth in them."

Yes, lots of things wrong with Edwards' account, but notice Edwards' commenting that he had been "told" the story and mention of a cordon being thrown up around the site, a detail that did not appear in the 1947 newspapers. Somebody was already talking, long before Stan Friedman convinced all those witnesses that a nothing event was really the crash of a flying saucer.

Another mention of the Roswell "crash" in 1955 came from UK entertainer Hughie Green in the first issue of Flying Saucer Review:

"About 250 miles out of Philadelphia, a commentator interrupted the programme to announce that a flying saucer had crashed in New Mexico, and that the Army were moving in to investigate. Later the programme was interrupted again, and quite a few details were given. Several news flashes about the incident, from various radio stations, followed. The last I heard was just before reaching Philadelphia. The announcer promised further bulletins. None followed. When I got to Philadelphia I bought all the newspapers I could lay my hands on. But not one carried the story. And questions at the radio stations just drew a blank. It’s mystified me ever since."

I know the Philadelphia Inquirer carried the weather balloon story the next morning (including a photo of Ramey's weather officer Irving Newton). So the story was carried, but not in the form that Green remembered the radio announcing it. With a fast-breaking story, this might have been very different from how the newspapers dealt with it. The problem is surviving recorded radio bulletins are almost nonexistent, so there is no way to check.

FSR commented: “This is not the first time the story has been heard. But it is the first time someone who actually listened in to the transmissions has been interviewed. The question arising from Hughie Green’s account is: ‘Do the Americans have a Flying Saucer in their possession?’ Reports from America suggest that the U.S.A.F. has more than one. One, or parts of one, at Wright Patterson Field… and another at Edwards Air Force Base… Flying Saucer enthusiasts all over the world believe there is some truth in the story but that it is being as carefully guarded as any atomic or military secret for fear of causing public panic.”

Another mention from a credible source of the U.S. having parts of a crashed saucer or saucers came from Pan Am pilot Bill Nash, one of the pilots during the famous Nash-Fortenberry UFO sighting near Washington in 1952. In March 1954, this story was carried by AP:

"WASHINGTON, March 23 (AP)--A spokesman today termed without basis as assertion that the Air Force has recovered hunks of 'flying saucers' and just isn't telling the public about them... Bill Nash, a Pan American World Airways pilot, told the Greater Miami Aviation association recently he was convinced that 'the air force has collected hardware from outer space. I do not believe the air force cares to make all its findings public so long as the United States is threatened by unfriendly powers,' Nash said.

David Rudiak said...

(Part 2/2)
Nash would later reveal he had been told this by one of the A.F. debriefers of his sighting. This was published in 1965 in Saucer News (edited ironically by Jim Moseley), "Reconsidering The Mysterious Little Men," by Keith Roberts:

"Before the interview [interrogation by military intelligence officers right after their sighting], Fortenberry and I had agreed to ask the Intelligence men if there was any truth behind the rumor that the Air Force had one or more saucers at Wright-Patterson Field. Bill remembered to ask, and on of the investigators said 'Yes, it is true!' Later, when we were all in one room following separate debriefings, I remembered to ask the question. All the investigators opened their mouth at the same time to answer, but Major Sharp, who was in command, broke in with a quick 'NO!' It appeared as if he was telling the others to shut up..."

In addition, the article said:

"Nash said that an unnamed informant told him that LIFE magazine had been briefed by U.S. intelligence to the effect that the government does have crashed saucers..."

Let us not forget Dr. Robert Sarbacher telling Wilbert Smith in 1950 that the information in Frank Scully's book about the saucers, namely that some of them had crashed, was "substantially correct” and the U.S. did indeed have a very top secret project headed by Dr. Vannevar Bush looking into their “modus operandi”.

Or Brazilian Ufologist Dr. Olavo Fontes writing a letter to APRO in 1958 that he had been briefed by two Brazilian naval intelligence officers of 6 saucer crashes worldwide, 3 in the U.S., with many of the usual elements of Roswell such as the recovery of small humanoids and the saucers being made of very light metal.

I particularly like this SciFi magazine illustration from 1957 depicting a crashed saucer and its very “gray-like” spindly alien occupant, illustration by well-known sci-fi illustrator Virgil Finlay:

www.roswellproof.com/Fantastic_Universe_June_1957.jpg

I’d love to know where Finlay got the idea.

There were many, many rumors of crashed saucers and alien bodies on ice long before Stan Friedman came along, even mentions of Roswell, usually in a very retrospective and dismissive sense, but still being mentioned well B.F. (Before Friedman). More references:

http://www.roswellproof.com/Post-1947-Roswell-references.html

starman said...

The original report mentioned a "flying saucer" or "disk." In 1978 Friedman was advised to see someone who had handled flying saucer "pieces." The latter suggests the "landing" wasn't exactly smooth, so I don't think Friedman conjured up the crash idea out of thin air.
As for the impossibility of a great "scientific" discovery being covered up for several decades, I don't know how many times I've said this was NO MERE "scientific discovery." This was something with the potential to turn society upside down and inside out. If Opportunity or some other mission discovers stromatolites on Mars, there would be no need to conceal that. But advanced ETs, able to come here--different issue altogether. Stromatolites can't hurt us but advanced ETs may cause panic, and more.

cda said...

"Nash said that an unnamed informant told him that LIFE magazine had been briefed by U.S. intelligence to the effect that the government does have crashed saucers..."

Now we can see the absurdity of these anecdotal tales. LIFE magazine has actually been briefed by US Intelligence, etc.

Crashed saucers (e.g. Roswell) are, allegedly, so top secret that the public can never be told. Yet LIFE, a popular magazine, is told!

Perhaps that is why LIFE had to cease publishing some years later. They were about to reveal.....

As to Hughie Green's story, I can only assume he knew of Scully's tale, and that when he recalled the Roswell radio broadcast 8 years after he heard it, he inadvertently put the word 'crash' into his recall, even though the broadcast never used this word. Probably he got other things wrong as well, but there is no way of telling.

Nitram Ang said...

starman you are correct "array" is the word I should have used of course.

cda - try and forget what you think you know and start at the beginning.

Yes, we do know that balloons exist and we cannot prove that ET exists, however BOTH are "almost certainly" not what landed/crashed on the Foster ranch - you therefore need to consider alternatives.

Have you read Marcel juniors book?

John's Space said...

I think cda has a good point on the Twining memo. While KRandle does make a good effort, it just seems strange to me that Twining is denying that we have a physical evidence if in fact we did. Or, that he would have called for SIGN or let the Estimate of the Situation go forward in that scenario. This doesn't mean that there was a crash recovery at a later date at some other location given the Smith/Sarbacher evidence.

On the other hand, I did buy the book. So all is not lost. I think that I will need to check out some points I hadn't known about or at least seriously considered about Roswell based on what I've read here.

Anthony Mugan said...

Kevin makes a valid point that the Twining memo was written in response to data supplied by Air Intelligence. I think they had increased the number of cases considerably by the September report (???), but again cases supplied via Schulgen et al at the Pentagon.

More generally it may be useful to strip these extremely complex situations back to what can be known with high confidence (at least by those prepared to consider the possibility of anything other than totally mundane scenarios - I don't expect to convince anyone, just to test out my own logic).

a) Roswell
There have been a wide range of hypotheses put forward for the debris recovered. By 1995 all except NYU Flight 4 and a UFO had been eliminated from consideration. There could be an as yet unknown third option.

NYU Flight 4 must now be considered totally falsified for the reasons extensively discussed in earlier items on this blog and by David Rudiak on his site. I have spent considerable amounts of time cross checking this and I have frankly never come across any hypothesis more totally destroyed and I won't go through all that again here.

This does not confirm the UFO hypothesis, to do that needs a falsifiable test of that hypothesis. The Ramey memo provides that test.

Whilst read of the memo are controversial and I would argue that most of it cannot at this time be read with confidence, I would strongly argue that specific sections can be quantitatively shown be specific words or phrases. The reader must simply do the work for themselves in such a controversial area. If you do careful measurements of the word usually referred to as 'victims' for example, and allow maximum possible flexibility in interpretation of each letter (e.g. letter 1 has a centrally located 'v like' bifurcation such as K, T, V X or Y) and follow it through you end up with very limited options indeed for what that word could possibly be. Victims is indeed by a very long way the best fit.

Similar analysis allows me to suggest that Dr Rudiak is correct with his suggested read on certain small specific elements of the document. In particular 'victims of the wreck..."; the word usually read as 'disc' and the section around the press release and rawin balloons.

My motivation for this was actually to try to falsify the ET hypothesis - it would be just so much simpler and allow an interpretation very close to Ruppelt's 'organised confusion' which fits almost all the documentary evidence very neatly.

Very clearly however the opposite result was arrived at, which posed quite a problem for me in terms of making sense of the totality of the data...

TBC

Anthony Mugan said...

To continue

In interpreting the data we have on the 1947 situation we need to consider a few key points.
a) This was NOT a matter of scientific enquiry. This was a national security emergency of the highest order.
b) The psychology or 'group think' of politicians, generals and intelligence community - NOT the scientific community, would be fundamental to understanding the situation, together with the wider context these people were working in as THEY saw it.
c) We clearly have only very partial information. We therefore need to be very careful to avoid jumping to conclusions.

I shall alas have to continue this later

cda said...

Anthony:

"This was NOT a matter of scientific enquiry. This was a national security emergency of the highest order."

It was both. And it would have needed many scientists of different disciplines to take part both in the analysis of 'crash recovered exhibits' (if any were found) and in the back-engineering (if such were attempted). In fact it would have involved numerous scientific and/or military committees.

Obviously the more people involved, the less likely it is that their findings would be kept secret for as long as 7 decades.

And, I ask again, where is all the paperwork relating to this?

You talk of 'only very partial information'. Do you really suppose that, after all this time, any more information is going to turn up on this matter?

Anthony Mugan said...

Hello CDA

Well - we have snippets of data and we may get lucky over time and get some more...

What do we know...

We know that on the 6th July 1947 decision making was at the level of the 509th initially and then probably moved up to 8thAF
How fast decision making moved up to national level can't be precisely defined - seems certain that it was at that level by the afternoon of the 8th though, and may well have got there by the 7th (Vandenburg meeting with Symington).

We must expect a certain amount of 'messiness' in the decision making process due to confusion, partial information and changes in the perspectives of the decision makers.

Twinning's trip to New Mexico (ostensibly for a commanders course) becomes very interesting when we consider that he also cancelled a pre-arranged trip to a Boeing plant - and we have the letter apologising for this and noting it was due to an unexpected and urgent matter. It is also interesting in the context of Twinning having a lead role in the initial UFO investigations, a role he certainly held by the end of the month if not before.

On the 8th July detailed thinking about who would need to be involved in any re-engineering effort is unlikely to have taken place. The overwhelming priority would be containment of the situation and an assessment of the intent and capability (and origin) of the crashed vehicle. if the victims of the wreck were humanoid (broadly speaking) it may not have clear if an extraterrestrial origin was certain.

So initially we have a complex recovery operation with the need to get the craft into a secure location. If the information Haupt gives us of the situation on the morning of the 8th (consistent with the Ramey memo) this would require overland transportation and I think it is inevitable that they would look in the local region rather than somewhere at a significant distance.

Twinning's visit to the area is a very strong indicator of that.

I don't have strong views on the possible involvement of personnel from Air Technical Intelligence. The initial situation was probably fluid and untidy, so it is possible. Overall however they appear to have been assigned the job of evaluating intent and capability, by evaluating sighting reports.
Garrett and Reynolds had already started working on this at the Pentagon, but found the pressure on them suddenly lifted during July - just as Air Technical Intelligence got busy. This included transfer of data.

That really does sound like the beginnings of a co-ordinated response at a high level...

TBC

Anthony Mugan said...

To continue

We also strongly suspect (Smith memo, Sarbacher etc, Ruppelt) that the 'modus operandi' of UFOs was being studied by a group reporting in via the JRDB / RDB by 1950. Blue Book, by 1952, was feeding semi-raw intel into this group as well as up the chain of command (with a 2 star general as 'cut out').

Exactly when these arrangements began is unclear. They may well have taken some time to evolve.

What we see in the public record is the public interface on the UFO question together with the 'front end' of raw intel collation efforts (with no deeper analysis allowed) along with efforts to contain concern on the subject such as the CIA study / Robertson panel (which seems to have quickly dropped any broader concerns that the CIA team may have personally arrived at during their study, beyond the psy ops issues).

In terms of CDAs assumption that a massive team would be needed for the technical study of the debris I would suggest this would rather depend on how much headway could be made. The more amenable to study the larger the teams that would be justified. If it was clear to an initial group of very high level scientists that this technology represented fundamental challenges to our understanding, it is unlikely there would have been much point in exposing it to a wider audience.

As we clearly cannot build a UFO and current thinking suggests they are using technology well ahead of ours (in terms of propulsion etc). They obviously got stuck pretty quickly.

By the 60's there was little point in BB - civilian groups could provide raw intel without realising it. It is tempting to speculate on the privatisation of sensitive operations by US intelligence agencies, which seems a timed honoured tradition, but I won't (some folk get enough hassle without me adding to it).

In short I think it adds up fairly coherently

zoamchomsky said...

DR;

Here's one of my favorite pulp covers. It's from June 1952.

http://pulpcovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/14186396592_d90a6af459_o-600x795.jpg

Apparently, crashed saucers and little alien bodies were a popular sci-fi theme after Scully's 1950 book "Behind the Flying Saucers." And I've read that he got the idea from a B-movie treatment that was never produced. (g)

http://pulpcovers.com/tag/earlebergey/

David Rudiak said...

Zoam wrote:
Here's one of my favorite pulp covers. It's from June 1952.

http://pulpcovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/14186396592_d90a6af459_o-600x795.jpg

Apparently, crashed saucers and little alien bodies were a popular sci-fi theme after Scully's 1950 book "Behind the Flying Saucers." And I've read that he got the idea from a B-movie treatment that was never produced. (g)


http://pulpcovers.com/tag/earlebergey/

Thank you--previously unknown to me. Will add to my post-Roswell crashed saucer page.

Doing a little research, illustrator Earle Bergey apparently also did the pulp fictiony cover to the 1951 paper-back edition of Scully's Behind the Flying Saucers, so obviously he knew about Scully and his crashed saucer theme:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/47710077276253145/

Bergey's illustration also shows two fanciful "little green men," bearing no relation to what people later described as the "greys" (except for being little).

Virgil Finlay's 1957 crashed saucer, little humanoid illustration I consider much more interesting because the being is much more like the classic, spindly "grey" of abduction lore and Roswell body descriptions, including the large, pear-shaped head and grey body:

http://www.roswellproof.com/Fantastic_Universe_June_1957.jpg

So just artist imagination or based on something Finlay heard or read somewhere? That's what I'm curious about.

John's Space said...

This Roswell event is like the JFK assassination there so many twists and turns. I’ve based a lot of my thinking on the MJ-12 document fake. If we believe that they are fakes then what was the motivation for doing it. It could be a government disinformation job which as good enough to suck in a lot of UFOlogists but provable to be frauds. Or, I guess it could be a prankster (perhaps with an ultimate profit motive). I’ve tended toward the former and so it seems to me unlikely that if Roswell is the real deal that the government would want to focus attention on Roswell. While if it was something else it would a perfect blind alley that would draw people away form whatever real UFO events they wanted to conceal. .

cda said...

The JFK assassination has so many twists and turns only because there is a plethora of writers and conspiracists who want to have all these twists and turns. Each and every assassination can always be made to look far more mysterious than it really is. Usually, if the person assassinated is a fairly minor or almost unheard of person, nobody is interested. But if he happens to be the president of the United States, or Russia or China, etc. then many people naturally assume 'secret forces' were at work and the murder suddenly becomes a vast conspiracy and is also linked to other, unrelated events.

Even Marilyn Monroe's death can be attributed to things connected with Roswell (if you feel so inclined, see if you can find the link).

As far as MJ-12 goes, there is no need to invoke some 'government disinformation job' to explain it. It was a skilful fake perpetrated by one, or maybe two, persons to see the reaction of the UFO community and perhaps for a brief period of fame. It was not done for money. It was done to see how easily it is to fool some of the people all of the time, in this case the 'people' were mainly in the UFO community (i.e. those who were Roswell ET believers or fence-sitters) but there were quite a number outside it who were also taken in, for a period anyway.

David Rudiak said...

I’ve based a lot of my thinking on the MJ-12 document fake. If we believe that they are fakes then what was the motivation for doing it. It could be a government disinformation job which as good enough to suck in a lot of UFOlogists but provable to be frauds. Or, I guess it could be a prankster (perhaps with an ultimate profit motive). I’ve tended toward the former and so it seems to me unlikely that if Roswell is the real deal that the government would want to focus attention on Roswell. While if it was something else it would a perfect blind alley that would draw people away form whatever real UFO events they wanted to conceal.

Actually a hoax usually does exactly the opposite of what you propose--when exposed, it discredits the whatever it seemingly at first supports. (I call this the "poison pill" or the one rotten apple ruining the barrel tactic.)

My theory is an MJ-12-type committee was quite real, housed within the Research and Development Board, and this is supported by the Wilbert Smith Canadian documents, that started to emerge around 1980, and then in interviews with Smith's primary source, Dr. Robert Sarbacher, that began in 1984.

When did Shandera and Moore get the MJ-12 film--1984? (Orwell knew!)

In this scenario, the UFO community was beginning to get a little too close to the real "MJ-12" (or whatever it was called) and hoax MJ-12 papers would derail investigation into the real thing, especially when problems with the hoaxed stuff came out. Instead of, "See, I told you so that Roswell was real," the refrain generally became, "See, I told you Roswell and UFOs were a bunch of nonsense." Hoaxes are a classic counterintelligence ploy to discredit someone or something.

The irony is I think "MJ-12" was quite real, but the hoax causes people to toss out the baby with the bathwater. (Like ignoring the obvious implications of the Wilbert Smith/Canadian documents. Also Dr. Eric Walker, the Executive Secretary of the RDB in 1950, admitted to William Steinman, when first contacted in 1987, that MJ-12 was real and he had known about them since 1947.)

Yes, I suspect some agency of the government was behind it, and my prime suspect is AFOSI, particularly the Albuquerque gang with Richard Doty, following orders from AFOSI HQ in Washington. This was all part of the Paul Bennewitz affair and William Moore's involvement. Moore got burned pretty bad and eventually lost all credibility, especially after publicly admitting in 1989 that he had worked with AFOSI against Bennewitz.

John Steiger said...

To CDA -- Remarkably I seem to agree with you about the JFK Assassination and the MJ-12 documents. But query re: Roswell --
How do you explain the 50 or more witnesses who claim to have handled
"memory metal" (for want of a better term)? They're all liars?(!)

cda said...

John S:

Were there really 50 who actually handled the 'memory metal' or were the great majority of them merely saying things like "my uncle told me that he knew someone who handled the stuff"?

Also, don't you think it remarkable, with all the top secrecy attached to the recovery and to the material recovered, that as many as 50 people managed to handle this material?

Probably Kevin would rather we did not go down this path, as it is a bit off topic.

Jack Brewer said...

For those interested, posts at Frank Warren's 'The UFO Chronicles' were made on the MJ-12 docs by individuals including Rojas, Friedman and Randle. Some salient points were made by Rojas and Randle, in my opinion, including KR's suggestion that omitting the chain of provenance from serious consideration is ludicrous.

'The UFO Chronicles':

http://www.theufochronicles.com/

A post by Dr. Mike Heiser at 'UFO Religions' has a chronological order of the related MJ-12 posts at 'The UFO Chronicles' with links:

http://drmsh.com/2014/10/10/mj-12-mythology-and-retail-ufology/

John's Space said...

Kevin,

I really agree with your point on AFOSI as being the likely source of these documents. It makes sense in that over the many decades someone had to deal with various UFO sightings/encounters by aircrews. AFOSI would be the most appropriate organization for USAF personnel. Also, the admitted disinformation effort with the people you mentioned clearly shows they were dealing in faked documents, etc. It is interesting that we have come to opposite interpretations with respect to Roswell. However, you focused in depth on Roswell. I’m reading your book “Roswell Revisited” and will take a new look at it. If learning a lot of new things.

CDA,

Yes, I agree to it does seem to be a bit of an open secret to have been kept secret for 30 years. There are a lot of things that seem strange about Roswell. You have two people who equally were in position to know that facts and they tell totally different stories. I also don’t see why Marcel didn’t know about the aliens/alien bodies even through he was the A-2. Why would Blanchard rush to go public with this information rather than contacting higher headquarters for instructions? When people up the chain found out why didn’t the send in a special team rather than send in rank and file base troops? If General Twining visited the base why didn’t the pilots at least know that even if they would out of the loop on the crash itself? On the other hand, there is a lot of “smoke” in this case.

cda said...

John (i.e. Space not Steiger):

It wasn't Kevin who suggested AFOSI was behind the MJ-12 documents, at least not on this blog.

It was David Rudiak, who cannot or will not, accept the simpler answer that they were forged by two members of the civilian community, namely William Moore and Jaime Shandera, both of whom had done 18 months to 2 years of archival research on the subject before the papers mysteriously 'arrived' at Shandera's home address. Stan Friedman was the principal 'fall guy' (inter alia, spending days & weeks researching the past activities of Dr Menzel).

Yes I know our friend Richard Doty also played a peripheral part. He was certainly in the AFOSI, but there is nothing to indicate Doty acted with any official authority, only that he acted as a private citizen and may have forged some earlier documents. He quit the AFOSI soon after, I believe.

Paul Young said...

David Rudiak said... "Yes, I suspect some agency of the government was behind it, and my prime suspect is AFOSI, particularly the Albuquerque gang with Richard Doty, following orders from AFOSI HQ in Washington. This was all part of the Paul Bennewitz affair and William Moore's involvement. Moore got burned pretty bad and eventually lost all credibility, especially after publicly admitting in 1989 that he had worked with AFOSI against Bennewitz."
All that effort just to mess with the head of one man! Strewth...this Bennewitz chap must have really been onto something!!

John Steiger said...

cda: "These are the facts of the case [Roswell - first word in this blog entry] boiled down to almost nothing. I [Dr. Randle] spent more than six years investigating [and] spoke to four dozen people who claim to have handled the strange metallic debris." Project Moon Dust at pp. 258-259. P.S. I apologize for slightly exaggerating the number of claimed debris (memory metal) handlers before.

John's Space said...

CDA,

Yep you are right about that. apologies to David and Kevin. However, I think it is very possible that the MJ-12 documents were government disinformation. Doty claims that he was acting under orders and I see now reason to doubt that. The problem was that during post-Watergate era a lot of material got released under FOIA and the government saw a need to mess up the UFO investigators. The big doubt I have about Roswell is why would them government point directly at what they covered up? Plus unless you go for view that they cover was so deep that they put disinformation in their own classified memos it is clear that Twining's Command didn't have physical evidence as of Sept. 23, 1947. For course everyone doens't agree with this.

cda said...

"All that effort just to mess with the head of one man! Strewth...this Bennewitz chap must have really been onto something!"

Bennewitz had claimed he was trying to intercept ET messages from space at his electronic labs in Albuquerque.

But AFOSI were concerned Bennewitz was doing some espionage on the activities at Kirtland AFB.

He was a bit 'over the top' and ended up in a mental home, I believe.

starman said...

John's Space:

It's naive to think Twining didn't know of physical evidence in September 1947. "Classified" is not the same as "Top Secret." Why would the government put out disinfo pointing to what they were trying to cover up? Researchers had already reopened the case years before '84, and they had to muck it up.

John's Space said...

starman,

The Twining memo was classified "Secret" but you don't put false information in you secret level documents, you just don't include the top secret information. If the response had to be at the higher level the memo would have been classified top secret. The memo was addressed to the Commander of Army Air Forces and copied to his chief of intelligence. They didn't have clearance for the Roswell recovery? I may be wrong but not naive about this.

cda,

It started out with Bennewitz but it went on to messing up Linda Moulton Howe's documentary, to manipulating Moore, and the MJ-12 documents at a minimum. The Howe incident prove they were in the business of using fake official documents.

Paul Young said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Rudiak said...

The Twining memo was classified "Secret" but you don't put false information in you secret level documents, you just don't include the top secret information. If the response had to be at the higher level the memo would have been classified top secret. The memo was addressed to the Commander of Army Air Forces and copied to his chief of intelligence. They didn't have clearance for the Roswell recovery?

Well, not exactly. It was addressed to the CG AAF ... “ATTENTION: Brig. General George Schulgen AC/AS-2” Schulgen was NOT the Chief of intel, but the AC, or Assist. Chief. The first line of the response then reads:

"As requested by AC/AS-2 there is presented below the considered opinion of this command...”

Thus, AC/AS-2 Schulgen requested the AMC/Twining review; the review result was sent back to him via HQ AAF, Attn. Schulgen.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but addressing something to the CG, ATTN somebody within that command, means it ends up on the desk of that person at that HQ, not necessarily the CG.

Let's assume that Twining, the CG AAF, and the real intel Chief did know the big secret, but want to keep this from the junior intel officer (just like Truman as VP was cut out of the Manhattan Project loop by Roosevelt for security reasons). That being the case, you don't tell them everything, like "we definitely know the things are real because we have the debris from one." You may even issue a specific denial of having physical evidence to counter any rumors that might exist to that effect.

Remember also that long list of agencies at the end of the Twining memo that Twining wanted involved in the requested full-scale investigation. A number of these were technical/theoretical R&D (like the JRDB, AEC, NEPA, RAND), the sort of agencies you would want to try to figure out the "modus operandi" of how these things worked as mentioned in the Wilbert Smith memo, i.e., back-engineering.

Other agencies brought up by Twining's memo were primarily for intelligence gathering, such as looking for patterns of behavior/intent, determining performance characteristics, distribution, numbers, variations, etc. Intelligence agencies in particular would not necessarily have a need-to-know (NTK) if there was physical evidence, just as intel agencies during WWII gathering information on German/Japanese A-bomb projects would not have a NTK about the Manhattan Project.

The Twining memo says they wanted these agencies given full briefings on what was known, but only a select few people in the back-engineering side might NTK of any artifacts that they possibly may have heard about internally or in the news.

The Roswell story was not exactly quiet in 1947, but front-page news. Maybe the press and public could be fooled with a weather balloon cover story, but more sophisticated government tech and intel people might not be, and wonder what really happened at Roswell, including the possible capture of a real "flying disc" (the original press release).

So I'm not convinced that something like the Twining memo might not include a little white lie to hide the big secret from suspicious underlings with no current NTK, and that might include people like Schulgen and McCoy, intel people. Others who did have a NTK could be fully briefed at other times in a very selective way, but the full story could not be said in a memo whose contents were intended for eventual wide distribution within multiple agencies.

I think it reasonable to argue that Twining could simply have not brought up the subject rather than lie, but I also think it reasonable that he might issue a preemptive denial. The subject was bound to come up eventually one way or another. Better to deal with it early on and dispose of it. (“What? Didn’t you get my earlier memo, the part about NOT having crash artifacts?”)

cda said...

The problem with DR's scenario above is that this "little white lie" has now been repeated by various military guys at different levels for so long (67 years) that there comes a point when the ordinary man, plus the scientific world in general, must regard it as the truth. Yes: I mean precisely that this "white lie" is not a lie but the truth.

I do not consider this 'lie' to be a white one anyway. It is a lot more serious than that, even when it was written.

Ufologists often dream up various scenarios to explain this or that. But in the end, we are left with one very big question: where are all the documents that reveal the 'truth'? Don't you think it is time they turned up?

Isn't this the main reason the MJ-12 papers were created - namely the complete lack of genuine 'UFOs are ET vehicles' documents?

John's Space said...

Isn't this the main reason the MJ-12 papers were created - namely the complete lack of genuine 'UFOs are ET vehicles' documents?

Not really. They were created to crate mass confusion and conflict within the Ufology community. After more than a decade it was clear that the Condon Report didn’t end the UFO controversy. A lot of information had been released under FOIA which went to undermine the accuracy of the official position. As some point it was seen to be useful to strike back. MJ-12 was the vehicle.

I do respect the years of research that KR and DR have put in the specific issue of Roswell. (Another sale: “Roswell Revisited” which I read of the weekend.) However, if my thinking is right the emergence in the belief in Roswell coupled with the authorities’ knowledge that it was just the Mogul test created a perfect disinformation vehicle.

My theory explains the Air Force pattern of behavior in the 1947 to 1949 period. If a real crash recovery happened in the late 1948 or early 1949 period at some unknown location, reason for the rejection of the EOTS becomes clear. What is less clear is why the Air Force re-entered the UFO investigation effort seriously in late 1951.

It is worth noting that Gen. Vandenberg was chief of staff in both instances. Perhaps the restart had to do with the organizational politics. Was the Air Force was being cut out the decision making? We do know that in 1952 elements of the Air Force was leaking theory of extraterrestrial flying saucers into the media (the LIFE Magazine issue). Could the Air Force have been feeling shut of the leadership on the UFO issue?

It seems that with the Roberson Panel and the politics behind it by 1953 the policy dispute had been resolved. The policy of denial was firmed up.

David Rudiak said...

John Space wrote;
I do respect the years of research that KR and DR have put in the specific issue of Roswell. (Another sale: “Roswell Revisited” which I read of the weekend.) However, if my thinking is right the emergence in the belief in Roswell coupled with the authorities’ knowledge that it was just the Mogul test created a perfect disinformation vehicle.

John, this is at least the second time you've stated that the whomever was behind MJ-12 knew that Roswell was really a Mogul test? What is the factual basis of your statement?

The Mogul flights (but not by name) were originally mentioned in possible connection to Roswell in the 1980 Berlitz/Moore "Roswell Incident." However, they were dismissed as not fitting the witness testimony of what was found.

Mogul was resurrected around 1991/92 by Robert Todd and Karl Pflock in 1994 ("Roswell in Perspective"), then quickly adopted by AFOSI in 1994 as the official "explanation" for Roswell to help derail Congressman Steven Schiff's GAO Roswell inquiry.

In order to make a Mogul case for Roswell, AF counterintelligence resorted to actually inventing a Mogul flight that was clearly cancelled (Flight #4) and totally written out of Mogul Project summaries. Similarly they tried to resurrect unambiguously cancelled Flights #2 and #3, by altering the actual documentation, such as a Mogul summary table of flights with all three flights absent from the table, inserting their own new, improved table, that all three flights really existed, and cited the singular 50-year-old every-changing memories of Mogul engineer Charles Moore as indisputable fact that there was such a flight. Moore was later caught red-handed flagrantly hoaxing his own Mogul data to try to make a case for Mogul.

The REAL documentation PROVES there NEVER was a Flight #4, and all the accounted-for REAL flights could not possibly explain what came down on the Foster Ranch. Project Mogul documentation and ALL found official histories of flight indicate the real FIRST NM Mogul flight was Flight #5 the next day, which came down nowhere near the Foster Ranch.

The whole Mogul case is based on a pack of lies by AF counterintelligence and Charles Moore. Nonexistent balloon flights cannot possibly explain anything.

Those are the facts. It therefore irks me when somebody instead claims Mogul as the indisputably factual explanation for Roswell, when the reality is that that there isn't a shred of actual official documentation to support it. Instead, it is a modern fabrication to replace the 1947 weather balloon cover story that few believed any longer.

So how could anyone in 1984 think the MJ-12 papers would inevitably lead 10 years later to Project Mogul, when Mogul had nothing to do with it? Could they really anticipate that far ahead that Roswell would pick up steam like it did and a Congressional inquiry would result?