Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ed Ruppelt's Anti-UFO Crash Statement

As many of you know, my book Roswell in the 21st Century is out in a few weeks.
Captain Ed Ruppelt
While reviewing the case files, documentation, witness interviews, the hundreds of video and audio tapes, and books and magazine articles, I had my eyes open for something new in the way of documentation. While I didn’t find any that mentioned Roswell specifically, I did find a few that referred to UFO crashes. Although some of those such as the Twining Letter and the Air Intelligence Report are covered in the book, I have made another discovery which is not to say I am alone on this but that others have referenced it as well.

I was looking for some information about Ed Ruppelt and came across a briefing he had given to the Air Defense Command on January 24, 1953, or more accurately, a rough draft of that briefing. Originally classified as “secret” it was, of course downgraded over the years and when the Project Blue Book files were declassified, this report found on Roll 87, after an entry in what was called Box 4 and just after the transcript of Major General Samford’s July 1952 press conference, was Ruppelt’s briefing. What caught my eye were a couple of paragraphs in that rough draft. It said:

It can be stated now that as far as the current situation is concerned, there are no indications that the reported objects are a direct threat to the United States nor is there any proof that [all underlining in the original] the reported objects are any foreign body over the United States or, as far as we know, the rest of the world. This always brings up the question of space travel. We have gone into this with many people and it is the opinion of most scientists or people that should know it is not impossible for some other planet to be inhabited and for this planet to send beings down to earth. However, there is no, and I want to emphasize and report the word “No”, evidence of this in any report the Air Force has received. I would like to go back over that once more for the sake of the record. We have no evidence in any of our reports that the earth is being visited by any people or beings from outer space [italics indicated a section that had been crossed out in the original].
We have arrived at the conclusion that these reported objects are no direct threat to the United States for several different reasons. One, we have never picked up any “hardware”. By that we mean any pieces, parts, whole articles, or anything that would indicate an unknown material or object. We have received many pieces of material to be analyzed but in every case there was no doubt as to what this material was.

Before we talk about what all this might mean, I will point out that these paragraphs have been published elsewhere, but they have been edited. While the editing doesn’t actually alter the information, it does seem to provide a slightly biased assessment which is to say, that it underscores the lack of recovered debris. I have seen it reported as:

However, there is no, and I want to emphasize and report the word “No”, evidence of this in any report the Air Force has received… WE HAVE NEVER PICKED UP ANY HARDWARE [emphasis added by one of those reporting]. By that we mean any pieces, parts, whole articles, or anything that would indicate an unknown material or object.
The major point here is some of the information has been deleted, but as it turns out, it does not alter the statement. It consolidates the information but I think the whole context is something that we should note.

I could make several points here. First, Ruppelt is undoubtedly arguing based on what is in the Project Blue Book files, and in that context we know that his statements are accurate. There is but a single mention of the Roswell case in those files which appears in a four paragraph newspaper clipping about another UFO case. That mention is only that those at Roswell had received a “blistering rebuke” for their announcement that a flying saucer had crashed. The point is, now that we all have access to the complete Blue Book files, we know Ruppelt’s statements are true, if he used only the information in the Blue Book files.

Second, I could suggest that Ruppelt’s briefing was originally classified as “secret” and we all believe that if there had been an alien spacecraft crash at Roswell, it would have been classified as “top secret.” Therefore, nothing could be mentioned about it without, I believe, defeating the purpose of the briefing by limiting the number of people who could attend. Many of those in the audience would not have been authorized at the briefing at a higher level of classification.

Third, it could be argued that even though Ruppelt was the chief of Blue Book, he didn’t have a need to know about Roswell. His job was to investigate sightings and collect data about them and not worry about the reverse engineering of anything that had been found… and yes, I know this is lame.

Fourth, if you are attempting to protect a secret, you don’t want to suggest something that might lead to that secret. True, one of the best ways to stop questions is to tell people that something doesn’t exist or hasn’t happened, but here Ruppelt was talking about a subject, UFO crashes, that might have been best left unsaid. He did, apparently scratch out part of the statement, but that could have been for no other reason than to eliminate redundancy.

If this statement was stand alone, meaning that it was the only example of such a comment in the vast majority of documents that I have searched, and others have searched, we might be able to ignore it. But it is not, and we see the top of the Air Force intelligence community all saying basically the same thing. Lieutenant General Nathan Twining, mentioned the lack of crashed recovered debris and while I believe the letter was written by Colonel Howard McCoy, Twining signed it, meaning he had read it and approved its content.

McCoy, the top intelligence officer at AMC, that is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, not only wrote the letter for Twining, he said the same thing a number of times, that is, no recovered crash debris. Again, it seems unlikely that McCoy wouldn’t have known about the crash even if he wasn’t directly involved in the research, and he surely wouldn’t have been mentioning the subject if there was a secret to protect.

What we have here is another officer, Ruppelt, involved with the UFO research and investigation who is saying that there is no crash recovered debris and there is no material submitted for analysis that was not identified as something terrestrial. Ruppelt’s words are direct and definitive. It is not the sort of words used when someone is attempting to inhibit inquiry when he knows the situation is different. It suggests that Ruppelt is telling the truth as he knows it and while it might be said that he was outside of the loop on crash recovered debris, I believe it is also fair to point out that who he was, where he was and when he was there would have put him in contact with the people who should have known the truth. Under those circumstances he would have heard something and that he says otherwise in such strong language suggests there was nothing for him to have heard…

Remember General Exon was not directly involved, but he heard things from his friends. He knew things based on what they had told him, probably out of school as they say. My point here is that Ruppelt would have been in the same boat but apparently heard nothing so that he was confident in making the statements he did. In other words, this does not bode well for any crashed saucer tale.


Brian Bell said...

Isn't it possible that Exon believed a story he heard from trusted fellow officers, but in the end all of them simply (and incorrectly) concluded the stories of crashed saucers (Roswell in particular) were true, when in fact it (they) never was?

Solid people can fall prey to these stories especially when they float through an organization of connected men who trust one another.

And if Ruppelt was close enough to the men who would have known and also directly involved, he sure didn't seem to have any inclination that a saucer was recovered - not even a hint. One would think he might have had some inclination it was true even if not authorized to know for certain.

And here we have him making very honest commentary stating very clearly no such thing ever happened as far as he knew from his assignment with Blue Book.

So if Roswell wasn't a crashed saucer, what was it?

Nitram Ang said...

BB asked...

"So if Roswell wasn't a crashed saucer, what was it?"

That's what I would like to know as well Brian.

Don Maor said...

Kevin, this frankly is not conclusive. I think Ruppelt was merely stating the purpose and goals of the USAF's Blue Book team, which basically was that there is not evidence to UFOs, or that UFOs were not a threat to National Security. We now that UFOs that were considered to be a threat to national security were handled by a channel different than Blue Book, as stated by general Carroll Bolender. So it is completely UNsurprising to see Ruppelt saying that UFOs were not a threat to national security and related ideas. He was Blue Book. What do you frankly expect him to say? Ruppelt might have been an honest person, but he was probably a puppet.

We now that UFOs were considered to be Top Secret thanks to a realeased FBI document and thanks to Smith's canadian memo, therefore the "Top Secret" versus "Just Secret" argument is still fully valid, and it is 100% consistend with what Carroll Bolender said about blue book, and cannot be wiped out with the subjective idea that it is "lame". It is not.

Don Maor said...

Brian Bell asked:

"So if Roswell wasn't a crashed saucer, what was it?"

It was a super secret prototype based on nazi saucer/stealth/flying-wing technology, of course with deformed and burned japenese children inside, which also suffered from Progeria and also were subjected to genetic mutations and nuclear radiation doses as a part of an horrible experiment to test what was the effect of high altitude of atomic energy on mutated humans. Unfortunately, this prototype crashed with a Mogul balloon filled with test dummies. What else could it be Brian, for god's sake???

Zak McKracken said...

If that´s the definitive word on crashed saucers, the question arises why the former scientific Adivisor of Project Blue Book was encouringing Len Stringfield to persue his research on Crash Retrieval . Having witnessed the "Behind the flying saucer affair" and working with project BB in the past, Hynek should have warned Strengfield to continue his work, at least at that point Stringfield was receiving death threats. He should have known, that there is nothing behind this stories.

Instead of that, he was telling Stringfield that he is on the right track.

KRandle said...

Don -

Didn't say that it was definitive... but when coupled with other statements made around the same time and by the people who would have known, it becomes much stronger.

There is another side to all this, meaning Ruppelt, which I noticed during the research and I intend on doing a longer post about it. Now I'll simply say that Ruppelt wasn't the non-biased guy we thought he was... that speech and a couple of other things suggest that he was actually pretty much anti-saucer.

Zak -

Because he wasn't encouraging that research until after his contract had been cancelled or allowed to expire... besides, Hynek was a civilian who complained that the really good cases went somewhere else, a place to which Hynek had no access.

Brian -

The point isn't what Exon believed but that he didn't have access to the real stuff and was not part of the intelligence function at Wright Field. What we learned from him was basically second hand except for his claim to have flown over two sites.

albert said...


I was wondering about the context of the presentation. Was the 'briefing' a verbal presentation? Were these briefings also transcribed and disseminated? Who would have been in the audience?

Information I found on the ADC wasn't detailed enough.

It makes sense to me that all ADC briefings were classified, regardless of content. Is that so?

I would regard Ruppelts presentation as directed to a specific audience.

. .. . .. --- ....

Tim McCauley said...

> Hynek was a civilian who complained that the really good cases went somewhere else

Hi Kevin,

Been following your blog for a long time, and this subject for much longer. I've often heard this same thing about Hynek but can't seem to find a source. Was this a conversation he had with a fellow researcher, or did he mention it in one of his works? Heck, I may have read it in one of his books but that was a long time ago. Thanks for your time.


Lorrie Causey said...

Tim McCauley: I believe the source for Hynek's statement is either in his "The Hynek UFO Report" or his "The UFO Experience". Both are excellent reading and the former details Hynek's conversion from a skeptic to a believer...

John's Space said...


This Ruppelt statement was written post Robertson Panel, right? At that point the official positions on UFOs changed from oven investigation to case closed no UFO. So Ruppelt as disciplined Air Force officer got with the program. Going into Roberson he held the positions that he was 60% pro-extraterrestrial if I recall what he said in his book. So this should be no surprise really.

Zak McKracken said...

Here is an excerpt of "the UFO Experience" ,in which Hynek spoke about his work on project BB.:

Peter Z said...

Some consider people who saw something are lying or making something up and project bluebook is 100% honest. I doubt that though. Bc project blue book was done by the military and not an independent organization. So it's definitely in the range of possibilities that roswell was not part of the declassified blue book files. If project blue book was done by an independent source I'd trust them if they said there happened nothing at roswell. But since it was done by a governmental organization it can't be 100% trusted.
But I can understand that you as ex-military member rather trust the military than Ufologists. But I think we all have our own and free opinions and believes and that's good.

KRandle said...

Peter Z -

Your comments make little sense. We all know that those investigating UFOs for Blue Book slapped answers on the cases so that they wouldn't be labeled as unidentified. We know that they lost case files, conducted their investigations over the telephone and often had to be dragged into the research. We know that the files contain contradictory information, and I have written about all that on many occasions.

Being retired military has nothing to do with the evaluation of this aspect of UFO research. I have seen the military investigation bungled, know that the Condon Committee was a put up job with the conclusions written before a single case was reviewed, and have seen UFO researchers make up evidence to support their favorite cases, so it is not a matter of trusting military over Ufologists. It is a matter of looking at the evidence to reach a conclusion. It is not about a personal bias but a search for the truth. While everyone is free to believe whatever he or she wants, often evidence gets in the way and is ignored.