Over on Rich Reynolds UFO Conjectures we’ve just had a lesson in some of the skeptical thought processes. In a conversation that was tangential to the main point, one of the commentators
wrote, “The only plausible explanation is Flight #4 did fly and there were
many, many errors in how it was recorded (incorrectly) giving the impression it
never did fly at all.”
|Dr. Albert Crary|
My first thought was, “Seriously?”
The leader of Project Mogul in New Mexico was Dr. Albert Crary and it is his field notes and his documentation that apparently, according to some in the skeptical community, contained “many, many errors.”
And what were those errors?
He wrote, of Flight No. 4, scheduled to be launched at dawn on June 4, 1947, “Out to Tularosa Range and fired charges between 00 [midnight] and 06 this am. No balloon flights again on account of clouds. Flew regular sono buoy up in cluster of balloons and had good luck on receiver on ground but poor on plane. Out with Thompson pm. Shot charges from 1800 to 2400.”
Nothing really confusing here when you understand the New York University balloon project in New Mexico. They were attempting to create a constant level balloon, one that would remain at a specific altitude for a long period carrying a microphone to be used to detect explosions on the ground, or more specifically, atomic detonations by the Soviet Union. The ultimate purpose was to spy on the
Soviets, though I suspect that none of those in New Mexico knew that.
|Mogul test detonation.|
The note about “No balloon flights again,” referred to the attempt on June 3. And here is where Charles Moore, who would later claim he launched the Roswell saucer, got the idea of flights in the dark. The diary said, “Up at 0230 am ready to fly balloon but abandoned due to cloudy skies.” We know, based on the other reports and documentation that the CAA, forerunner to the FAA, that “Restrictions on the project is the Civil Aeronautics Authority requirement that balloon flights be made only on days that are cloudless to 20,000 feet.”
We know that a sonobuoy is in reality a microphone and it would be used to detect the explosions and transmit that information. According to the notes, that worked fine with the ground receiver but not as well for that in the aircraft, which we know was a B-17 according to other information in the notes.
Notes elsewhere show that a “cluster of balloons” is not a full array. According to the documentation, “This cluster method is of use and interest only as a stop-gap method of lifting the Army equipment to altitude now, and has been the method used while awaiting delivery of the non-extensible plastic balloons…. A flight was made on 3 April 1947 using this method. A cluster of 12 balloons meteorological [yes, that was the wording in the report] carrying a radiosonde, a 15 lb. dummy load and a series of ballast dropping devices was released from the football field at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA.” This is from “Special Report #1, May, 1947.”
So, where is the evidence that Flight No. 4 flew? The field notes said expressly that it did not. We know that their fallback position, when the full array was cancelled, was to fly a cluster of balloons to perform other experiments, and we have a definition of what is meant by a cluster of balloons.
|Charles Moore in New Mexico.|
Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.
For those who wish to invoke Charles Moore’s statement that Flight No. 4 was launched at sometime around 0300, in the dark and apparently in cloudy weather, we have the documentation to show that this is, to be generous, an error on his part and not from the notes in Crary’s diary. They arrived on the morning of June 3 at 0230 to prepare for the dawn launch, and in fact the June 5 launch was made just after dawn as required by the CAA instructions which are documented.
But never let the documentation get in the way of an explanation when you can confound the issue. Another comment over at UFO Conjectures was, “… missing data on the Mogul flight is a wrinkle, but you’re [the above comment] surely correct some sort of ‘admin’ error is to blame.”
But there is no missing data because the flight had been cancelled. The cluster of balloons was not a full array and the first launch of a Mogul flight in New Mexico was on June 5 and it is accounted for in the records. There was no admin error but a precise record of what happened until Charles Moore changed his story and complicated the issue to keep the myth of Mogul alive for his own, personal reasons.
Here’s something else. The Mogul array displayed in the Air Force report was Flight No. 2 and contained rawin targets which are necessary to explain the metallic debris reported by so many of those stationed in Roswell in 1947. But Flight No. 5, the first flight in New Mexico, and the one used by Karl Pflock to demonstrate the size of the arrays has no rawin targets. In fact, none of the illustrations of the make-up of the arrays in New Mexico show any rawins as part of the package. The only exception seems to be the demonstration array launched from Alamogordo on July 10 which needed rawins to explain the debris. All the flights were launched in the daylight, most in early morning until November when some were launched in the afternoon.
Further, the idea that the soldiers at Roswell were unaware of what these arrays were is false. First, Dr. Crary, on May 20, wrote that he had been over at the RAAF to fill with gas. Later, Moore would claim that he was turned back at the front gate even though he was driving a weapons carrier drawn from and with the markings of the Alamogordo Army Air Field on it while carrying the remains of a Mogul flight. On June 5, Flight No. 5 landed some 25 miles east of Roswell, which means that whole array would have been visible from the airfield which means tower crews and others on the airfield would have seen one in flight. The CAA required NOTAMs, which meant that the operations staff would have been aware of them as well, and such information would have been passed not only to flight crews but to the group commander.
All this documentation is available in various sources including Pflock’s book, Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe and the massive Air Force report which provides details about the balloon project in New Mexico, which Charles Moore made clear was the New York University balloon project and not Mogul. Mogul, a name that was clearly known to those in New Mexico in 1947, as demonstrated by Crary’s field notes and diary, was the code name for spying on the Soviets and it was the mission that was classified, not the name nor the experiments in New Mexico which negates the idea that Mogul was so highly classified that very few knew the name or what the arrays looked like.
The conclusion borne out by all the documentation is that it is not filled with “many, many errors” nor the idea that the “missing data on the Mogul flight is a wrinkle,” but that Flight No. 4 was cancelled, first on June 3 and then on June 4. Had it flown as Moore claimed, had it produced results as good as if not better than Flight No. 5 as Moore claimed, it would have been listed in the documentation.
The point here is that I’m at a loss to understand the tenacious way that debunkers cling to the Mogul explanation in the face of the evidence that has been mounted against it. I fail to understand how they can be so dismissive of that documentation by saying things like “The only plausible explanation is Flight #4 did fly and there were many, many errors in how it was recorded (incorrectly) giving the impression it never did fly at all,” and “…missing data on the Mogul flight is a wrinkle, but you’re [the above comment] surely some sort of ‘admin’ error is to blame.” The data are not missing and the evidence is quite clear.
And yes, I know that the documentation for a crash of an alien spacecraft is based almost solely on witness testimony gathered decades after the fact and there is some documentation that what was found was not alien, but there are some areas where it is not as clear cut as it is with Flight No. 4. I also realize that the elimination of Flight No. 4 as the culprit does not translate into evidence that what fell outside of Roswell was alien. It only means that this particular explanation, when you examine all the evidence, has failed.