Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Decline of Roswell

Back in 1988, when Don Schmitt and I began our investigation into the Roswell case, there were no documents available, other than newspaper articles and a single report from the FBI. The newspaper reports were less than accurate with misspellings of names, and descriptions of the debris. The FBI document, which was based on an interview with Major Kirton (misspelled as Curtan in the FBI report) suggested that the object found was a weather balloon and a radar reflector. It also mentioned that this analysis was not verified by other sources.

It is unclear in the report if the FBI called the 8th Air Force to find out what was happening or if Kirton had called the FBI to tell them about the recovery. Given the timing of the telex and breaking news, it is more likely that Kirton had called the FBI. That actually isn’t overly important here. I just thought I would mention it as an interesting observation.

Neither the newspaper articles nor the FBI telex do anything to help us understand the Roswell case. There is too little information in them for any conclusive analysis. We are left with questions about the identity of the object found and both the telex and the newspapers can be used to support almost any explanation for Roswell.

But that isn’t the whole story and here I will probably annoy my pals who accept Roswell as an alien spacecraft crash, and may even offend those who believe the answer can be found somewhere on Earth. Since Don and I began our work, other documents have surfaced and been brought into the discussion.

One the first, which was published in its entirety in The MUFON UFO Journal for July 1985, is a top-secret report entitled Air Intelligence Report No. 100-203-79 and dated December 10, 1948. There is another version of it, or rather the same report, but it is dated April 28, 1949. Neither version of this report makes mention of crash recovered debris, and in fact, says that the origin of the objects cannot be determined. The thinking is that the men responsible for the report, who had top security clearances, would have been able to learn about the Roswell crash had it happened. Since they make no reference to it, this is circumstantial evidence that there wasn’t a crash.

There was a caveat in that report. The officers involved suggested that there needed to be better communication among the military branches to ensure a free flow of information. There could have been some project or information that would have explained everything about the flying saucers if such a free flow existed. In other words, this doesn’t exclude Roswell.

Col. Howard McCoy
Karl Pflock, among others, found another document that reported on the Scientific Advisory Board Conference held on March 17 – 18, 1948, in the Pentagon. Colonel Howard McCoy was discussing Project Sign, the number of reports they had received, suggesting that there was something important going on. He said, “I can’t tell you how much we would give to have one of those crash in an area so that we could recover whatever they are.”

McCoy was the intelligence officer at Wright Field and the Air Materiel Command. He was Nathan Twining’s intelligence officer. If there had been a crash near Roswell, McCoy would have been involved in the study or reverse engineering of anything recovered. In fact, McCoy had been involved in the first of the investigations of unidentified aerial phenomena starting with the Foo Fighters in WW II. He was the guy who knew everything about them and was, you might say, Twining’s “go to guy.” If there had been a crash he would have known about it.

General Nathan F. Twining
There are those who say, me among them, that had Roswell involved the crash of an alien spacecraft, it would have been classified top secret. Given that, McCoy was restricted from mentioning this in a briefing that was only classified as secret and some of the participants in it might not have held the proper security clearances to hear top secrets.

But I have always worried about that analysis. While he might not be able to discuss a crash in a conference that was only secret, I wondered why bring it up at all. If none of the participants was thinking in terms of a crash, he had just planted the idea in their minds. True, he had told them that nothing had been recovered and if you know something doesn’t exist, you are not inclined to look for it. Still this was not a good idea. He planted the seed.

This wasn’t the only time that McCoy had brought up the possibility of crash debris. In a letter sent up the chain of command, to those who would have held the proper security clearances and who would have had the need to know. He expressed the same thought. Crash recovered debris would go a long way to answering questions about the identity of the flying saucers.

McCoy sent that letter to the Chief of Staff on November 3, 1948, discussing flying saucers. This was a recap of what they knew, or thought they knew about the “Flying Objects.” In paragraph 8, McCoy wrote:

The possibility that the reported objects are vehicles from another planet has not been ignored. However, tangible evidence to support conclusions about such a possibility are completely lacking.
This becomes more worrisome. McCoy would have no expectation that this letter would be seen by anyone other than those to which it was addressed and it was going to the top guy in the Air Force. He wouldn’t be telling stories out of school and he wouldn’t dare lie. If there had been a crash, he was writing to those who would know about it; more importantly these were the people who had to know about it. They might not have all the specifics, but they would know that there had been a crash of something that was highly unusual. They would know that the craft had been built somewhere else, meaning not on Earth. McCoy would have no reason to lie to them about a crash because of who he was addressing in the letter.

Here's where we stand on this. The documentation that does exist, that came from identified government sources, signed by the men involved who we are able to vet, suggest that they know nothing of crash recovered debris. Being who they were and what their jobs were, they would have known and the discussion would take a different track.

For those believing Roswell involved the crash of an alien spacecraft, this has to be worrisome. It is arrayed against testimony that suggests otherwise. The problem is that it is just testimony and over the years much of that testimony has been found to be inaccurate. The longer we investigate the more of these testimonies have fallen by the wayside.

There is some compelling testimonial evidence of a crash but there is this documentation that suggests otherwise. While that documentation might not completely close the door, it is certainly narrowing the possibility. As I say, for those of us who do attempt to look at all the evidence, this is quite worrisome.


Nitram Ang said...

Hi Kevin

Another interesting article...
Yes, if Roswell really was an ET visit then I would have expected something a bit more concrete to have surfaced by now also.


John Steiger said...

Dr. Randle (Kevin): Thank you for writing this blog entry, because it reveals more of where you stand re: Roswell today.

In response I will now state that you have become the "doubting Thomas" of Roswell. This comes from Roswell Revisited; CRASH: When UFOs Fell From the Sky; Roswell in the 21st Century, and your recent blog entries.

HOWEVER, you also wrote UFO Crash at Roswell; The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell; A History of UFO Crashes; Roswell UFO Crash Update; and The Roswell Encyclopedia. I bought and have read all of these AND YOU -- more than anyone else -- convinced ME that the Roswell crash was an extraterrestrial (ET) event. I remain of this conviction -- Truth Does Not Change (!)

cda said...

How right you are Kevin! It has taken you some 30 years to finally realise this. The skeptics had come to the same conclusion a long time ago, yet only now have you decided to join them (partially at least). You talk about these negative documents being "worrisome". Yes I agree, but would take it a lot further than that.

The ET case for Roswell is simply non-existent and always has been.

So, unless someone turns up the 70-year old pile of documents that Stan Friedman, Don Schmitt, David Rudiak and a number of others, including at one time yourself, insist is still under wraps as 'Top Secret', Roswell-as-ET is dead and buried.

One last faint hope: I am a Brit and of course would not know the true workings and tricks of the top rank US military on things such as this.

cda said...

I notice you have given your blog the title "Decline of Roswell".

It has been declining for some time of course; maybe now it should be called "The Decline and Fall of Roswell".

Suitable title for a largish book of six volumes! But who could, or would, dare write it?

starman said...

@John Steiger

KDR has rejected much of the testimony in his earlier works. But hang in there. :)

I don't think McCoy planted any seed. In March 1948, less than a year had passed since Roswell. It had caused a sensation, however briefly, at the time, so it was likely many remembered it (and such memories were the "seed"). I suggest McCoy, like Twining in September 1947, was doing his best to keep Roswell under wraps. The idea wasn't to plant a seed but to kill it, among those who remembered Roswell but weren't privy to TOP secret. By appearing to hope for a saucer to crash, McCoy sought to give the impression none had and thereby kill Roswell i.e. break any lingering association with the phenomenon.

KRandle said...

John -

You must remember that this is an investigation and not a debate as Nitram likes to remind us. If we do not report on all the information we have, then we are intellectually dishonest. I just found the second letter written by McCoy (though it had been out there for a while) and saw how it changes some of my perceptions. Looking at it, we have four different scenarios.

First, McCoy was lying about crash recovered debris. I have explained why I rejected that. He would have been lying to superiors who would know the truth. Not a good policy.

Second, even though McCoy was Twining's intelligence officer and had been involved in the investigation of these sorts of things since World War II, he had been excluded from the inside information on Roswell. In this case, he wasn't lying to his superiors. He was telling them the truth as he knew it. This is highly unlikely.

Third, there was no crash of an alien craft outside of Roswell. What fell there was something else. We just haven't identified it yet.

Fourth, what fell was indeed alien, but McCoy was not at liberty to talk about it and used the strategy of saying he wish one would crash as a way of diverting attention...

But the point here is to show that the case is not as strong as it had been thought to be and that we, if we are going to been seen an impartial researchers and not half-blind advocates, are required to report what we have found rather than attempt to ignore it.

So, the truth does not change but our perceptions of it can when we are presented with new information.

I will not that on the far end of the spectrum, we see that many debunkers will not accept evidence that tends to refute their favorite theories. We have the documented evidence that Mogul Flight No. 4 did not fly and we know what Crary meant by a cluster of balloons, but they argue the point. They will not let go of Mogul because, if they do, there is no fallback position.

It is all about looking at all the evidence and that is something that I tried to make clear in Roswell in the 21st Century.


I fear the skeptics came to this conclusion 30 years ago by the simple logic there is no alien visitation, therefore anything that suggests otherwise is wrong. Not exactly the best research method.

purrlgurrl said...

At this point, what happened at Roswell seems to me to have been a chain of unfortunate events. My following proposed scenario, while having no evidence to support it, is based on a lifetime of observation of human behavior in groups across a wide variety of organizations, private and public. What the hell. This “explanation” is as valid as any other unproven Roswell claims. So here it goes:

I believe that nothing at all happened in July 1947 but a series of screw ups beginning with Brazel finding some bits of debris that were unusual to him (but actually mundane) that also were not immediately recognized by whomever he originally gave them to at the base.

Eager to receive the credit and glory for being the group that conclusively identified whatever was being seen in the skies in 1947 led those given the debris to jump to a hugely erroneous conclusion about what Brazel had brought in.

This eagerness to be proclaimed the heroes who solved the mystery in the skies led to a premature public announcement. When everyone caught their breath and realized (or were informed) what they had was nothing out of the ordinary and didn't prove the sensational claim just made to the public, a retraction had to be quickly issued. The episode then faded from the public consciousness and was forgotten.

Years later, whenever Marcell was asked about what happened, not wanting to look foolish in retrospect, his natural human inclination was to deny an error was made and defend the initial misidentification of the debris. After all, who would want to be seen as an incompetent, especially when you were the base intelligence officer and should have known what the debris really was or at least exercised the necessary caution and due diligence to keep an embarrassing internal snafu from being widely publicized? And besides, Roswell by then was an obscure event known only to a tiny handful of fringe geeks, so what was the harm in telling a self-serving fib to some random guy whose hobby was UFOs?

However, as it turned out Stanton Friedman was one of those “harmless” UFO guys Marcell regaled with his story. Friedman was a UFO nerd who also needed a secondary career after the one he had as a nuclear physicist was beginning to dry up because his credentials were no longer adequate (no doctorate). So, he latched onto Marcell’s self-exculpatory version of events as a possible new supplementary meal ticket and ran like hell with it. Well, it eventually reached popular CNN tabloid entertainment anchor, Larry King, who brought Friedman and this long-forgotten crashed flying saucer tale to a wide audience.

As a result, it began heavily raining down mostly incompetent UFO “researchers”, biased ETH advocates, and outright con men on Roswell, its residents, and Marcell in particular.

And as they say, the rest is history.

couldbebetter said...

Assuming that the Roswell Crash was indeed an alien or ET craft, of course it would be
highly classified so the US could learn about the technology, motives of the aliens,
and develop strategies to insure our enemies would not benefit from other such events.
In order to insure all other strange encounters with alien craft were reported the
regulations would insure that anything unknown be reported to the proper commands
or through the proper channels. Of course counter-intelligence would be used to mask
the truth with lies or whatever methods were authorised. My own reason for believing aliens
exist has more to do with their interest in our nuclear weapons/technology as Mr. Hastings
has so expertly documented. Our government has proven time and time again that they
will to us whenever the truth makes them unconfortable. If a researcher like LTC Randle
gives up then someone in CI has scored a victory.

SugarRayTaylor said...

The point is that as time has passed over the years, the testimony of those who were claiming it was alien has deteriorated rapidly over time as one by one they lost all credibility. Some were misrepresenting what they had seen and others were just flat out lying.
Your point about Kevin’s books should actually give you a reality check. Here is a researcher who has spent decades trying to uncover whatever evidence was locked away so that we could answer the question once and for all. Kevin has been on numerous TV shows over the years saying he had no doubt it was an alien craft, and has spent years of his life trying to prove it.

After all his battles against the likes of Phil Klass, it takes guts and real integrity to stand up and say “I’m starting to think I was wrong”

“Doubting Thomas” .....seriously??
He has spent the last 30 years trying to uncover the truth, and more and more the ET argument is dying rapidly. He is also a Military veteran, so he knows how damning the above documentation is to the ET argument.
If you want your belief structure reinforced, and good documentation ignored when it does not support the ET claim, then stick to reading people like Tom Carey and Don Schmitt. They, just like you, have already made their minds up about it being an alien craft and will ignore any inconvenient truths that comes their way. Particularly when they have another awful book to sell such as Children of Roswell.

Kevin’s integrity and non biased approach should be celebrated.

John Steiger said...

Dr. Randle (Kevin): Thank you for elaborating your response to my entry. I do appreciate it.

While McCoy's writings may be worrisome, there are numerous other points -- as developed in your and others' investigations -- which should be worrisome to legitimate skeptics questioning the ET aspects of the Roswell crash.

Unfortunately, many skeptics appear to have closed (as opposed to open) minds with regard to UFOs and ETs in general, and Roswell in particular.