Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lies and Moore Lies

Let the firestorm begin.

Yes, I have grown tired of the double standard applied to Roswell witnesses by nearly everyone. If the witness says what you want to hear, then he, or she, is believed. If not, then the smear begins.

Every little slip is suddenly a false claim or a lie or a slander, and the person is attacked, vilified, and left for dead. It doesn’t matter if the attack is accurate or invented, just as long as it is nasty.

I suggested that we cut Major Jesse Marcel, Sr. (seen here) some slack because what he said in an interview with Bob Pratt didn’t conform, perfectly, to what his military records said. There are those who suggest that Marcel engaged in nothing more outrageous than a little resume inflation. Others said that this proved he was nothing more than a despicable liar and if he told you the sky was blue, you had better go out to look.

What it really boils down to is that Marcel apparently told Pratt he had some advanced education and the records only seemed to bear out about a year and a half with no degree. The Pratt interview suggested Marcel said that he had a degree, or so it seems, but the transcript provided is a little garbled and the tape no longer exists. Attempts to verify an advanced degree for Marcel have failed.

I thought we could all agree that Marcel was who he said he was, that is, the Air Intelligence Officer of the 509th Bomb Group because the records proved that. We could see that he was respected by his superiors and that the "mistake" over the weather balloon had not damaged his career. When discussing the relevant portions of the Roswell case, Marcel hadn’t told any lies. He might not have told everything he knew, but he wasn’t lying.

I suggested that we could show that Charles Moore, of Project Mogul fame, had engaged in a little of the same thing, that is, what he said wasn’t reflected by the record. He had told people that he didn’t know the name of Mogul until Robert Todd told him. The record showed that the Mogul name was known to the participants in the project as early as 1946. A slip of the tongue or a lapse of memory. I wasn’t going to call him a liar over that.

It turns out that this wasn’t really a lapse of memory because I now have the full story on the letter Moore (seen here) sent to James van Allen. Moore, according to Brad Sparks, reviewed his files for James McDonald, and pulled out the letter. According to the annotations on it, Moore reviewed that letter in 1969. He was explaining who the Bob who signed the letter was, meaning R. B. McLaughlin. Moore clearly knew that he was being described as the chief engineer for Project Mogul.

To me, this is just as egregious as Marcel talking about his college education. If you are going to reject one, then you must reject the other. To do otherwise is to employ a double standard.

It does get worse for Moore, however. In 1995, he attacked the veracity of Frank Kaufmann, claiming that Kaufmann was lying because there was only a single SCR-270 radar at White Sands in 1947. It had, according to Moore, a range of only 39.7 miles (I really like these precise numbers because they have the ring of authenticity to them when you’re inventing details.)

But here’s what I know. In December 1941, the SCR-270 radar detected the Japanese attack force at 130 miles from Pearl Harbor. The operators there thought that it was a flight of incoming B-17s they had been told would be landing on that Sunday morning. The point is that they detected the enemy at more than 39.7 miles.

In fact, the radar could detect aircraft at more than 100 miles if they were flying high enough. According to the information I have, if the target is at one thousand feet, the radar would spot it about 20 miles away; at 5000 feet, it would detect the aircraft at 50 miles; and at 25,000 feet it would detect the aircraft at more than 100 miles. We have to assume that Moore just invented the 39.7 mile range as he wrote about Kaufmann or he wouldn’t have come up with the 39.7 mile figure, which is ridiculous, but certainly looks impressive.

However, in 1994, in his interview with Air Force investigators about the Roswell case, Moore mentioned the multiple radars that were at either White Sands or Alamogordo (entrance for White Sands seen here). So he knew the truth a year before he went after Kaufmann.
Brad Sparks tells me that he has copies of July 1947 teletype messages from Moguls AAF liaison group and the AMC Watson Labs that routinely report on V-2 launches where there were four radars listed at White Sands, including two, not one, SCR-270s, and that two of the radars, the CPS-4 and the CPS-5 tracked the V-2s up to a hundred miles.

To make it worse, according to a 1948 paper written by Moore, he tells us that they tracked the Mogul balloons up to 65 miles with the radar, not just to 39.7 miles that he claimed was the range of the SCR-270. And we know, that they could track the balloons to 110 miles if they were above 25,000 feet.

What all this tells me is that Moore had a vendetta against the military and the Army at Roswell, and I suspect it began when the Army refused to help them with their balloon experiments. I say this with confidence because I listened to him complain about the Army being too busy to help the "college boys" with their weather balloons. College boys was his term, not mine. After nearly 50 years, he was still annoyed with them and saw this as a way of payback. Make them look like idiots because they couldn’t tell the difference between an alien spacecraft and basic weather balloons with rawin radar targets.

My point here, however, is if we’re not going to cut some slack for Jesse Marcel, then I see no reason to cut any for Moore. It is clear that Moore wanted to attack the credibility of the Army and used this to do it. And this attitude calls into question all his work with the winds aloft data proving, in his mind, that one of their balloon got to within 17 miles of the Brazel ranch... never mind that he couldn’t prove there was Flight No. 4 to leave the debris, and forget that Crary’s diary said the first flight in New Mexico was number five. I think Moore knew the truth about this too but chose to obscure these facts because they didn’t fit into his agenda.

While I am sympathetic to Moore because of his current health problems, that doesn’t change the facts. He has been misrepresenting various aspects of the Roswell case from the moment he learned about it. And if Marcel doesn’t deserve some consideration, then neither does Moore.

As an aside, and as Brad Sparks mentioned, this doesn’t change the fact that Frank Kaufmann was inventing his role in the Roswell case. You can’t reject him because of his claims about the radars... but you certainly can because of other aspects of his tale. And if you are confused, I will say this. I still believe that we must reject Kaufmann because of all the other lies he told


RRRGroup said...

Holy cow...

Let it go, Kevin.

It's becoming neurotic.


Jerry Clark said...

Good piece, Kevin. I'm not sure, though, that it's wise to attempt a reading of someone's motives, absent strong, compelling, and specific evidence. To my own sense of things, it is something of a stretch to deduce that Moore is exacting vengeance for an ancient grievance.

It ought to be sufficient to say that for whatever reason, Charles Moore has shown himself not credible on Roswell matters. That much you (as well as, of course, Brad Sparks) have done, I suspect, beyond refutation.

Mac said...


Are you aware of some of the rather strange claims made by Marcel, Sr. in the book "For the Sake of My Country" (edited by Linda Corley)?

cda said...

If certain people involved with Roswell are not credible, such as Moore, Marcel or in fact anyone else, who can we say IS credible and why? Please tell us who, in your view, decades after the event, can be considered an entirely credible witness, either pro-ET or anti-ET.
As I have often said, there is absolutely no hard, tangible evidence of any kind pointing to ET. Should you ever base your pro-ET ideas on distant and dubious witnesses and their memories?

Alfred Lehmberg said...

"Holy cow...
Let it go, Kevin.
It's becoming neurotic.

This fatuous and myopic pule is what passes for cutting edge commentary in Fort Wayne Indiana?

Let it go Ritchy; it's becoming moronic.
>> AVG Blog --
>>> U F O M a g a z i n e --

Bob Koford said...

If you deem that this strays too far off the topic, then I won't blame you for deleting it.

To me, Moore isn't even the most important detail in this post...not even if it was mentioned that he saw tear-drop-shaped objects through a theodolite himself. The most important name mentioned here is: Commander Robert B. McLaughlin.

McLaughlin was the one who "leaked" the information on the very important sighting to the press, although his name was given, at first, as Commander Douglas C. McLaughlin. When the Air Force read, in the papers, "Discs seen a White Sands..." they were ordered, by the Army, to send investigators to find out who was leaking this information. Commander McLaughlin volunteered a wealth of information to the investigators, and to another press agent who was present, during the interview. This included the fact that there were several radar stations secretly set up on top of mountains which had tracked, and confirmed the presence of these objects.

Also, it was the Army who was upset about his open remarks, and he was verbally rebuked by them twice during the interview. He was told to shut-up, because the Army considered the topic "Secret", and that he shouldn't be taking it upon himself to expose it. There was also mention of photographs, but McLaughlin claimed they had been destroyed.

Fast-forward in time and it is found that the OSI was sent to speak to one "L. D. McLauglin" because a press agent by the name of Cline had told them that this McLaughlin had offered him photos of the "Aztec Crash" for $1500.00. This is important because, even though McLaughlin claimed, to them, that he had been drunk when he made the claim of having the photos, the last paragraph of the Spot Intelligence Report, of 9 October 1950 stated:
"2. On 2 October McLaughlin was interviewed at the Fifth Army Regional Office in Denver. He then denied any knowledge of the flying saucer episode. The Regional Office commented that in spite of his denials his manner indicated that he had some knowledge of the incident or may have taken pictures of it..."

Point being that if nothing crashed in New Mexico, whether it be north of Roswell, or Aztec, why would they believe he might have taken pictures of it?

Jerry Clark said...

In a perfect world, Roswell skeptics would accept that just as proponents of the ET interpretation have had to acknowledge that some of their informants were unreliable, so are some prominent figures who've helped prop up the Mogul house of cards. And the ET proponents ought to get credit for exposing some of the phonies on their side. I can't think of an equivalent case on the other, where the point -- ideological, not scientific -- seems to be that one is to win the argument whatever the cost.

Why is it so hard to concede the obvious? Roswell remains a historical mystery for which no fully satisfactory explanation, mundane or extraordinary, has yet been advanced. And if any responsible investigator -- say, Kevin Randle -- wishes to continue to pursue inquiries into this immensely complicated matter, why should he be discouraged from doing so? It's not entirely impossible that he or somebody else could yet find something that finally cracks the case. I, for one, would like to be around if that should happen. In the meantime, let me cast my vote for Roswell agnosticism.

starman said...

cda: Just because Marcel wasn't perfect doesn't mean he was "dubious." Records may not verify everything Marcel said, but that's not as bad as documentation proving one lied, like in the case of Moore.

"..there is absolutely no hard, tangible evidence of any kind pointing to ET."

Roswell aside, there have been a number of landing trace cases etc.

RRRGroup said...

Jerry and Kevin,

Yes, the Roswell mystery is intact, and even Tony Bragalia continues to probe the incident.

It's Kevin's fixation of Marcel, Moore, et al. that keeps him (and those of us less expert) from discovering exactly what happened at Roswell.


David Rudiak said...

Let us not forget that Charles Moore very definitely lied big time in his model calculation based on wind records of where the imaginary Flight #4 supposedly went. He claimed the winds were "exactly right" to carry the balloon "exactly" to the Foster Ranch.

These are not minor "round-off errors" (as Kevin claimed in a previous blog). It was very deliberate scientific fraud on Moore's part. Remember, this was published in the Smithsonian Roswell debunking book in 1997, and thus seemingly had the prestigious Smithsonian scientific stamp of approval. But Moore outright cheated in numerous ways, as Brad Sparks and I mathematically proved.

For a non-mathematical discussion:

Brad also noticed that Moore deliberately altered the Flight #5 Mogul plot, to make it seem like it passed and crashed much further away from Roswell base than it really did. This was after he claimed in a paper and his Smithsonian book that he was reproducing the original plot "without change".

When Brad got into an email debate with Moore (mediated by Karl Pflock), Moore compounded his lying by claiming Flight #5 never came closer than 15 to 20 miles from Roswell base (it actually passed only 4 miles south of the base). The details here:

Kevin is being much too kind in saying that Moore may just be having memory problems. These are very deliberate and serious deceptions on Moore's part, all part of trying to demonstrate that one of his Moguls explains the Roswell Incident.

Where Moore may be having memory problems is confusing the real Flight #17 with the nonexistent Flight #4. Flight #17, from September 1947, passed over Arabella and Bluewater, N.M., the only documented Mogul to do so (and the only one known to have passed anywhere near the Foster Ranch). Yet Moore claimed that he first heard these "exotically named places" for the first and only time with Flight #4. Further, he claimed he had a "distinct memory" of Flight #4 passing over these locales, and then used his "distinct memory" as justification for the trajectory hoax he then perpetrated. Interestingly, like Moore's imaginary Flight #4, Flight #17 was not tracked much beyond Arabella, but not because the sonobuoy batteries went dead (another of Moore's "memories"). It was because it was late launch and it got dark, maybe the source of Moore's also later bogus and preposterous claim that they launched Flight #4 in the middle of the night (one of his hoax trajectory assumptions and a flip-flop from a previous positon that Flight #4 probably would have been launched at dawn, just like Flight #5, #6, #7, etc., etc.

Details on Flight #17 here:

cda said...

I therefore pose my question again: who, out of all the Roswell witnesses (1st, 2nd or 3rd hand) can be regarded as completely reliable? Further, why should scientists or the public accept as fact the most amazing scientific discovery of all time (an ET visit to our planet) when it is based solely on 30 to 50-year old testimony from witnesses who are either proven liars, have highly dodgy memories, or embellish, perhaps subconciously, their tales with the passage of time?

I hope nobody tries to bring in General Arthur Exon as an example of a reliable 'witness'. Have a look at the transcript of his interview with Don Schmitt, given in Kevin's "Roswell UFO Crash Update" p.142-147. The poor fellow does not know which decade he is referring to, jumps about in his chronology, and gives the impression that he simply does not know what he is going on about.
Yet some writers, including Kevin, put great faith in him.

So I repeat: are there any wholly credible witnesses to this momentous event? If so, who?

Lance said...

The believer rules for Roswell are quite clear. If any testimony (regardless of how silly) supports the UFO case, it is true. Anything that does not support the UFO idea is a damn lie.

Also you must always keep a straight face as you relate the fact the UFO debris JUST HAPPENED to look a lot like balsa wood and sticks (indistinguishable in fact).

I am certainly willing to accepts Marcel, Sr. 's Pratt interview claims as long as we can all agree that he completely debunks Roswell.

In that interview, you will recall that Marcel clearly remembered that the famous photographs taken of him alone showed the REAL debris. The later photos of Ramey, etc, showed the fake debris (so crafty was the Army that even today the stuff looks identical!).

Roswell is idiotic on the face of it, It is a shame that nice and productive people like Kevin have wasted so much effort in what is ultimately an empty and hollow waste.

Look, I totally understand that believers and skeptics talk past each other and I am sure that the above means nothing to a true believer but it does seem like hanging your hat on a few old coots that spin ever more fanciful tales would get old after a while.


Alfred Lehmberg said...

"Yes, the Roswell mystery is intact, and even Tony Bragalia continues to probe the incident."

What kind of "me too" blithering is this? A meaninglessly dropped name of an appropriated "ornament" presently favored, mere monkey-mouth noises needlessly banged out on an abused keyboard and so vacuous as to be a blustering embarrassment? Your self-styled admission of bludgeoning incompetence? I suspect it's such and so. Feh!

"It's Kevin's fixation of Marcel, Moore, et al. that keeps him (and those of us less expert) from discovering exactly what happened at Roswell."

In the first place, Reynolds, your use of the word "fixation" is an entirely inappropriate use of a very busy expression meant to connote some kind of intellectual instability on the part of Dr. Randle. This is a transparent continuance of something else you do badly, Ritchy, and that is to libel and slander your betters.

Yes, yes. We've all read where you elevate yourself ufologically with your own words (the only elevation extant) discounting the honorable efforts of Hall or Clark or Randle or Friedman while lavishly implying your own superior approach. I'm sure those you criticize are all too ingratiated with your assessment of them.

In the second place you propose a conclusion as fatuous as it is facile and as moronic as it is meaningless. Your schlock is described as a lame production that an ongoing examination of evidence and fact is unproductive.

That provokes such derisive laughter it mandates attendant squirts!

See -- you are indeed, yourself, that which you would pretend to warn against... explaining, of course, why you need to be punched in the literary throat everywhere you are encountered.

...Just doing my part to pick up the trash, you know? Too, anyone thinking I am going over the line confronting you so tediously in this manner might feel differently had you injected into the community consciousness the corrosive meme that *they* had sex with children, eh?

Until next time...

RRRGroup said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KRandle said...

RRR Group -

I deleted your last comment as completely inappropriate. There will be no accusations such as that you made on this blog.

Alfred Lehmberg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Printy said...

In an effort to try and set the record straight on a few items, I felt it necessary to comment.

In Moore's article on the project 1947 website (, he only discusses the SCR-584 radar system. The reason he mentions the SCR-584 has to do with the message traffic regarding a Radar Countermeasures program for 8th AF. According to the message of 12 June 1947:

"The radar equipment currently in use at White Sands Proving Ground is under the control of the Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. This equipment is modified SCR-584 designed to operated the AN/APN-55 beacon used in obtaining ballistic information from the missiles fired at this station. This equipment being of an experimental nature obviously is undergoing modification and extensive testing procedures when not actually in use for a firing. It would, therefore, preclude any possible use by other agencies for procedures set out in subject request from headquarters Eighth Air Force."

When you look at the various websites about the SCR-584 (for instance, you discover that he is correct in the range is 39.7 miles. Just as a side note, maximum range is primarily a function of the time between RF pulses (the pulse repitition time - PRT). You can not compare various radar sets and suggest that all will perform the same way. Each has a specific purpose and ability. The SCR-584 was designed to be part of an anti-aircraft tracking system that performed remarkably well during the war. It did not need to function beyond 39.7 miles simply because it was out of the effective range of the guns.

Like I said, this is all on line for anyone to check up on it. The 1947 website article is clear and has most of the links to the pertinent information. So when the author writes, "We have to assume that Moore just invented the 39.7 mile range" , he is not being honest, did not read the article carefully (or at all), or is just incapable of understanding the differences between various radar sets.

So why did Moore talk about the SCR-584 and not the older SCR-270? I can't answer that question but it probably had a lot to do with the message described above since it is referenced in the article. If you want to hang him for that, go right ahead. However, the fact remains he was talking about the SCR-584 and calling him a liar for "inventing" a number without attempting to figure out where the number came from is just plain wrong.

Moving on we have another gem that deserves comment:

"To make it worse, according to a 1948 paper written by Moore, he tells us that they tracked the Mogul balloons up to 65 miles with the radar, not just to 39.7 miles that he claimed was the range of the SCR-270. And we know, that they could track the balloons to 110 miles if they were above 25,000 feet."

Oops...we have another "mistake". In the 1994 AF Roswell report attachment 21 (from attachment 32) which is titled "progress summary report on USAF guided missile test activities" August 1, 1948, we see what is being discussed (btw, this is not written by Moore). There it talks about tracking a balloon reflector out to 121,000 yards, which is about 69 miles. However, this describes a modified AN/MPS-6 tracking radar and NOT the SCR-584. The circuits had been modified to increase it's range (Probably by alterring the Pulse repitition time). Therefore, this has no bearing on the 39.7 mile value Moore gave in his original article.

Of course, the author may also be talking about the NYU document from January 1949 about Constant level ballooning where it describes being able to track the balloons to a maximum distance of 65 miles using various types of radar. The three mentioned were the SCR-584, the SPM-1 and the MPS-6 described above. It did not state the SCR-584 tracked the targets to 65 miles. It only meant that at least one of the radars listed was able to track them out to 65 miles. Based on the 1948 report we can see the one that probably made the maximum distance was the MPS-6.

If there is other documentation, feel free to present the actual report where Moore stated he got 65 miles SPECIFICALLY WITH AN SCR-584. I would be curious (in a technical sense) as to how they actually modified the radar to accomplish this.

BTW, where did you get they could track the BALLLOONS to 110 miles at 25,000 feet number? Did you simply look up the SCR-270 data on the internet? This number was listed on a website for the SCR-270 but it was for tracking a bomber and not balloons, which would have a different radar cross-section (making it more difficult to track). Additionally, the SCR-270 was not listed as being used by the NYU team. This is probably due to a variety of technical reasons that made it unsuitable for the requirements of the project.

The author is accusing Moore of lying for his own personal agenda. Well, at least Moore got most of his FACTS CORRECT concerning the SCR-584. For some reason the author could not be bothered by checking facts or even getting the radar mentioned by Moore correct when he wrote this entry. I suggest before hurling the "L" word around somebody should look in the mirror first. One can easily suggest that this entry contains lies and deceit. After thinking about it for a day, I want to grudgingly give a big benefit of the doubt to the author and have concluded that he was just blinded by his own emotions to not get certain facts and details correct. I can only imagine what Robert Todd would have thought and said.

cda said...

Mr Lehmberg: For your own sake, please, I hope your blood pressure does not rise too high.

Alfred Lehmberg said...

Well -- and there we are, again. The biggest lie told often enough... no responsibility, no integrity, and no honor.

I can see no reason why this kind of skunk can be tolerated anywhere. In fact there is no quality he might possess that would excuse this activity, forgetting he has no such quality.

Like claims? Here's another claim. You owe me effuse apologies and cash damages, Reynolds. Someday.

CDA -- I would wish you the same in my shoes. But you don't wear my shoes. Take heart Sir, you still might. We'll take a measure of your glibness, then.

Thank you Dr. Randle for your kind indulgence.

RRRGroup said...

"Well -- and there we are, again. The biggest lie told often enough... no responsibility, no integrity, and no honor."

Mr. Lehmberg,

I have never said anything that you say I did.

I've never come close to saying what you say I said.

A question was asked about an item that appeared when your name was entered in a Google search.

You made that inquiry more public than it was originally.

Kevin Randle, who likes to set records straight, allows you to persist in your accusation but doesn't allow anyone to correct your record.

Let me go on record saying that I don't think, have never thought, and never implied that you did anything inordinate with children.

That a Google item was made overt by the RRRGroup was regretted publically long ago, in many places.

You may call me a skunk, and persons like Kevin Randle can allow your mischaracterizations.

But it's a lie, well told by you, over and over again, while the initial query has been made into something it was not.

I apolgize to you for any inference you felt and still feel.

But the lie that I said you engaged in untoward activity with children has got to stop.


Alfred Lehmberg said...

What a wondrous example of self-delusion you are with your indolent audacity to admit and deny almost in the same paragraph, almost like the observer can be expected not to know the difference. See, if you didn't do what I've reported you'd done... why would you _remotely_ (if inadequately) apologize.

Additionally, remember, you sent the substance of my grievance with you to Errol Bruce-Knapp and Paul Kimball. I was copied third. I trust you think they are idiots, too.

Sincerely, you are the very portrait of "much too little" & "much too late."

I require cash damages and "unqualified plus effuse apologies." See, my name is apparently worth more to me than yours is to you.

"Got to stop"? Reynolds, I'm just warming up. You have damaged my name and the names of my son and fathers. You _will_ pay.

KRandle said...

I am tempted to delete this whole entry because we have gotten off onto tangents that are irrelevant. Let's stop the personal assaults, one of which crossed a line, and I don't care where else it has been posted.

RRR Group... you wish to comment on me becoming neurotic as a result of this post... okay, I can live with that.

But you and Lehmberg are going in a new direction that has nothing to do with this discussion.

The purpose here, of this post, was to suggest that we all take a step back. Yes, I was annoyed at some of the responses I received to private requests that we tone down the rhetoric.

You want to discuss the facts, yes, let's do that. You wish to go off in other directions, then stop.

Lance, Tim Printy, thanks for your comments here. Jerry, Mac, CDA, same to you. And I'm not forgetting Bob and Dave either. New information that helps the discussion. The rest of it can be taken elsewhere.

Let's return to our more or less civil discourse. Other comments will be deleted.



RRRGroup said...


I accept your opprobrium.

But I didn't initiate the attacks from Mr. Lehmberg.

They will cease on my part and UFOs will be the focus of any further commentary from me.


Paul Kimball said...

What I find interesting is that Nick Redfern's writings on Roswell are always overlooked in what has become a very narrow debate. Now, I have problems with some of Nick's sources, and I'm not sure that he's right about the nature of the project, but I think he's most likely right about the terrestrial origins of the Roswell incident, and that it was some sort of project much more secret than Mogul, which just doesn't fit as an explanation.


Nick Redfern said...


Re your comment about Body Snatchers: you may be interested to know I have uncovered files (via FOIA) from the FBI that deal with a young boy from Lincoln County, NM who died in the late 1940s.

There were suspicions that the death was due to biowarfare.

Moreover, additional files on this death - that were still being collated as late as 1954 - include discussions between the FBI and staff at Camp Detrick (now Fort Detrick) that talk about whether or not there could have been a link between the death of the boy and some of the biowarfare research of Unit 731 that had been transferred to the US under General Charles Willoughby (a good pal of Corso, interestingly).

Now, I'm not saying this proves anything definitive, because it doesn't.

But it does demonstrate that both the FBI and Camp Detrick were making a potential (and I do stress the "potential" wording) connection between activities at Lincoln County, NM and Unit 731.

This story will be published in full in a few months time.

I would stress that none of this takes away anything from my firm belief that there is a real, unexplained UFO puzzle.

I just no longer accept that something that is representative of that real puzzle crashed at Roswell.

starman said...

Lance wrote: "The believer rules for Roswell are quite clear. If any testimony, (regardless of how silly) supports the UFO case, it is true."

Please don't be ridiculous, and try reading the literature on the subject. Believers have rejected a number of witnesses. Friedman rejected Ragsdale and Kaufmann before KDR did.

Lance said...

"try reading the literature on the subject"

Hilarious. I'll get on that.

I notice that even with your great knowledge of "the literature" you don't bother to refute the Marcel problem I cited above.

In my other comments I was, of course overgeneralizing and being perfectly unfair. But the basic sentiment remains correct, I think.

Unfortunately I am coming to know that the street works both ways for skeptics and believers alike. We look at the evidence and weigh it much differently. In my experience there is rarely a meeting of the minds.

To me as a skeptic there is one true mystery of Roswell:

Why was a press release issued?

Even from the believer side there doesn't seem to be a satisfying answer.

The press release makes no sense, no matter how you look at it. One answer may be related to the great excitement that had built since Arnold's sighting and perhaps some over-exuberance on the part of the Army. But that is not really satisfying, is it?

Bob Koford said...

In this matter, or any other matter of import, actual truth seekers must applaud reliable "skeptics". Rhetoric is not reliable evidence of research, yet I have heard it used by skeptics more times than I could count, over the years. While it is fine and honest to hold beliefs that what happened in New Mexico was not Extra-Terrestrial in nature, it is not honest to make that claim based on statements such as: "It just couldn't have happened", or "...there's no way you could ever make me believe that...", etc.

For me, right out of the gate, two things should still be noted:

1. Why couldn't the actual debris be identified for what it was, on the spot?

2. Why would the Air Force display, for the Press, material that was held at any level of confidentiality?

And though I would be the first to admit to you all that I am but a guppy swimming with the Whalesharks, I feel it a valid question to ask:

3. Why isn't the fact that it has been the Army, all these years, that has displayed the most emotional responses to the whole "flying saucer" phenomenon, and its need for secrecy?

Maybe I have been assuming too much. Maybe you aren't aware of cases such as the L.D. McLaughlin case, or the Airman Bunce case. I have been thinking that you have all read such material long before I ever read one document. But as I quoted, in the McLaughlin case, the Army admitted the reality of the "crashed saucer" episode, albeit this one was the so-called Aztec Crash case. That's still a crashed saucer, and the geographical area in question is New Mexico.

starman said...

On the MUFON board somebody posted: "It's my understanding that Pratt re-used/recorded over the original tape"(of the interview with Marcel). Maybe things were changed. I can't believe he said he was photographed with the real debris; they wouldn't allow that to be publicized.
Look at the death of Hitler as an analogy. There was a considerable amount of contradictory and absurd testimony. Heinz Linge said Hitler's body was on a sofa; Gunsche said it was on an armchair a short distance away. Axmann believed Hitler had shot himself in the mouth; others said the temple. After the body of Adolf and Eva were set ablaze, some said they were incinerated completely, until nothing was left but ashes. Mengerhausen, on the other hand, claimed to have seen a more or less intact corpse afterwards. Yet despite all these conflicting and dubious accounts, often given many years after the fact, historians accept the basic scenario that Adolf killed himself in the bunker and was burned outside. The reason why Roswell is often rejected, despite much witness testimony, is that the potential consequences of a real event are a lot more than many people, and society, can currently take.

PS. The press release is indeed a great mystery. I understand a forthcoming work will address that. :)

Lance said...

The contents of the Pratt interview are well known and that is what Marcel says.

I am certain that there is some post ad hoc "explanation" by believers that retains the UFO angle. Even without it altogether we are left with the indisputable fact that this space ship debris looked one hell of a lot like a crashed balloon array.

If this passes the smell test for you then God bless ya.

The evil perfect military cover-up must have been delighted that the debris looked so terrestrial.

Gosh the more I think about it, the more I realize how powerful the will to believe in the face of incredible obstacles to logic must be.

KRandle said...

Lance -

Okay, I’ll answer your question, but you won’t like it. I too was concerned about the pictures of Marcel in Ramey’s office with a balloon and I had read the statement in Moore’s book, but I also knew that Moore changed quotes as the mood moved him. As each new picture surfaced, for example, he changed the Marcel quotes about that. I had thought that the quote from Marcel being in pictures with the real debris was something invented for the book.

However, on Friedman’s “Flying Saucers are Real,” Marcel says it again. So we can see and hear Marcel making this claim. Slam dunk for the skeptical side.

Not quite. Reporter Johnny Mann, at the time working for WWL-TV in New Orleans, took Marcel to Roswell for Mann’s five part series on UFOs. While there, Mann takes out a copy of the book and shows Marcel the pictures and said, “Jesse, I gotta tell you, that looks like a balloon.” (Which we all know is the radar reflector... the balloon is visible in the rear of the picture.)

According to Mann, Marcel said, “No, that’s not the stuff I found in Roswell. That was staged.”

No, I am not the source on this... Johnny Mann is. He also provided me with copies of his broadcast interviews with Marcel but he didn’t save the raw footage and that quote is not on the film.

For those keeping score at home, Marcel does not, in the Pratt interview, talk about the pictures... only that he was not allowed to say anything to the reporter(s) which brings up another question. We'll take a look at that later.

Lance said...

My apologies. Kevin is correct. the quote I was thinking of is from the Moore/Berlitz book:

"General Ramey allowed some members of the press in to take a picture of the stuff. They took one picture of me on the floor holding up some of the less-interesting metallic debris. The press was allowed to photograph this, but were not allowed far enough into the room to touch it. The stuff in that photo was pieces of the actual stuff we found. It was not a staged photo. Later, they cleared out our wreckage and substituted some of their own. They they allowed more photos. Those photos were taken while the actual wreckage was already on its way to Wright Field. I was not in these. I believe these were taken with the general and one of his aids"

I am not sure if the interviewer is Moore or Friedman or if a full transcript has been published. Having not looked into this is a while. I no longer have the facts at my fingertips any more (obviously).

It is obvious that Marcel was saying essentially this.

Is his changing of his story (when confronted with idiocy of it) consistent with someone spinning a tall tale.. .like so many of the sad "witnesses" have done over the years? Or is it a sign of truthfulness?

As with the spaceship debris that JUST HAPPENS to look a lot like prosaic balloon wreckage,, it all depends on your own response to the smell test.

I am just laughing at the stupidity of it while I type this:

"That was the real debris!
That was the real debiris!

I looks like a balloon, Mr. Marcel....

Hmm....sure does... Oh, well that was not the real debris!"

cda said...

In the Moore-Berlitz book only two of the Ft Worth photos were printed, and both were cropped quite a bit. Therefore the impression was (coupled with Marcel's actual quote in the book) that one photo showed the actual debris, while the other (with DuBose & Ramey) showed the 'substitute' debris. It was not until Randle & Schmitt published the photos in full, together with the other 4 photos, that it became obvious that all 6 pics showed the same stuff. This was not until, I think, 1990, some 10 years after the Moore-Berlitz book. It was only at that point that the idea got around that ALL the photos showed substitute debris, and the real debris was never photographed. Ever since that time the ET proponents have insisted that substitute debris was planted while the real stuff was shipped to Dayton (or Washington).

It was (and still is) a useful device to get round the problem of the obvious similarity of the depicted bits & pieces in the 6 photos, whilst retaining the ET hypothesis. But it was NOT part of Marcel's original story as told to Friedman & Moore.

Mac said...

In the taped interview printed in Linda Corley's "For the Sake of My Country," Marcel, Sr. claims that while he's indeed displaying balloon wreckage in the office photos, he's using balloon material to hide the *real* debris he's also holding!

Sorry, but I don't buy it.

Lance said...

One has to wonder at the brain processes needed to reconcile such glaring problems.

I look at Kevin's main story above and wonder how he can possibly equate someone inflating their college record, which has an obvious purpose to Moore's denial of knowledge of the name of the project he was part of many years earlier.

It's like asking someone if he was ever a policeman. You would expect him to reliably remember such a thing. But then ask him the name of the ammunition he used in his gun--maybe he would be reliable, maybe not. I wouldn't stamp my foot down and say that the two types of memories are the same as Kevin seems to be doing here.

Remember that Moore is decidedly NOT a skeptic towards UFOs. Indeed he may be the 1st scientist to ever report a UFO. His sighting was so famous that the comic book Weird Science detailed it the early 1950's.

Jerry Clark says that he feels that he (along with Kevin and Brad Sparks) can now say that Moore is not credible on Roswell matters. Can we then say the same of Marcel? Of course not! He supports the cause.

I was actually unaware that Clark was still a Roswell supporter. I am surprised when any smart person who knows the facts still holds on to this myth.

One has to marvel at the resilience of Camp Roswell.

Now that my snarky comments are concluded, I will turn off the rhetoric for and may I ask you, if I may, Kevin, what the current thinking is on the debris that is pictured in the photos?

Have most researchers concluded that it IS Mogul debris?

Are there high rez versions of those photos online anywhere?



Jerry Clark said...

I would have thought that I had made myself clear to the point of boring repetition that I am a Roswell agnostic. That would, in fact, make me a skeptic in the classical, as opposed to polemical, sense. I have outlined in various postings here why I find the ET interpretation (which I presume is what would-be mind-reader Lance means by "the cause") hard to swallow.

I have also written that I consider unpersuasive the alternative theories so far proposed. Now I learn that I must be, in fact, a "supporter" of the "myth." I mean, what else could I possibly be? It's not as if controversies allow for some middle position. Jeezus.

The certainty, buttressed with sneering contempt for dissenters and heretics that Lance repeatedly expresses in this forum, underscores the sad truth that ideologues have no tolerance for ambiguity. They demand the satisfaction of unequivocal certainty where, to more open-minded observers with no stake in the outcome, none is visible.

Unlike Lance, I don't know what happened at Roswell. I doubt that either a spacecraft or a Mogul balloon was responsible. Meantime, I suspend judgment until better, surer evidence comes along to clarify the issue, and I support the efforts of all honest inquirers who don't confine their support to informants who tell them what they want to hear. That's why I admire Kevin's work. Yes, he's been wrong sometimes. Who hasn't? At least he acknowledges his errors and learns from them. We may expect, on the other hand, self-described skeptics to continue to clasp Charles Moore's dubious claims to their breasts until finally they're pried from their cold, dead hands.

Lance said...

Or perhaps after one sees and hears a few Glen Dennises, he realizes that keeping the door open for your middle ground is letting far too much trash into the house.

I am reminded of the great story that Jim Moseley tells about his interview with Glen Dennis.

Dennis went on and on about how they were going to have to make this quick... how he didn't have much time... Just a couple of minutes, etc.

And then he talked and talked and talked for several hours...

I don't know what happened at Roswell for sure. The Mogul balloon story seems quite plausible and I have not seen any convincing evidence that it was anything else.

Hell, when I hear a story about someone finding a bunch of stuff that looks A LOT like balloon wreckage. I sort of lean towards the idea that it might well balloon wreckage. But then I don't have the apparent emotional investment in it being something else.

Paul Kimball said...

Roswell is a mess, tainted by some pretty shoddy research and investigation over the years (no offense meant to Kevin here, who, as Jerry says, has been good at admitting his errors), and some wishful thinking - by both sides. That people within the UFO field are still talking about it, ad nauseum, seems ridiculous - unless there is NEW information that might shed light on events, why the continued debate and discussion? Isn't it time to move on, and look at new cases, or those from the past which have been largely overlooked since Roswellism took root in the early 1980s?

The Roswell case has become ufology's equivalent of trench warfare in WWI - the two sides both fighting over the same 1000 yards, with no end in sight, and no new ideas being brought forward. The results are predictable.

Best regards,

Jerry Clark said...

As a lifelong student of history, I have every expectation that events from long ago are going to be difficult, even impossible, to get a clear fix on. I also have no problem with continued discussion and investigation. That's what historians do. Among other items in the job description, they research and debate events from decades, centuries, and more ago.

(A couple of small instances: I remember -- though he has probably forgotten the conversation -- a discussion between Kevin and me about the fate of Col. David Crockett at the Alamo. Historians still don't know whether he died fighting or whether he was executed after surrendering. Accounts from contemporary informants differ. Those of us fascinated by the career of Wyatt Earp know the large, continuing, and conflicting literature which attempts to sort out the whats and whys of the street fight in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, on October 26, 1881. Suffice it to say accounts differ. Examples of continuing historical controversies, arising from conflicting testimony and disputed evidence, are as vast as the literature of history itself.)

It seems odd that anybody would discourage further investigation, on the peculiar grounds that some informants -- on both sides, it needs stressing yet again -- have proved unreliable and therefore we should just throw up our hands and go home. Nobody who knows anything about history would expect matters to be otherwise. Human informants are uncertain instruments, and no one-size-fits-all approach works.

As it stands, the Roswell case is not good evidence of anything. It's just a historical curiosity, possibly of potential significance, possibly not. If those who seek to shut down inquiry and discussion were being asked to devote their own time to actual field investigation, one would understand the complaint. Since they're not, all that's left to the rest of us is head-scratching about their squawking.

To them I'd say: If this matter is so inconsequential as you profess to believe, why even bother participating in the conversation? Or is there some still, small voice telling you that maybe, just maybe, interesting questions remain?

If not, then you're wasting your time and ours. Let the discussion go forward among those whose judgment tells them there are things yet worth discussing. Maybe they'll get somewhere, and maybe they won't. But it is my perhaps idiosyncratic belief that historical inquiry is eminently justifiable by definition.

Alfred Lehmberg said...

Though, if I may, this truly faultless rationality and reasoned expression of same limits itself entirely to the 'known' unknown.

The greater illumination Mr. Clark would provide just lights up a bigger blackness that no proud Cartesianist can surmount, actually, for all the pretensions of that arrogant Cartesianist... The room erupts into affronted harumphery, perhaps, forgetting that each may suffer the slings and arrows —some decidedly more than others I point out— from that which each may perceive as their "philosophical" opposition.

...Such —mechanism— as can be employed, eh? Mild terrorisms, ridicules and slanders, distractions and distortions et al.

To wit, I'm reminded of persons in our community, most persons I'm betting, who shine themselves on by treating a "paratopiary," or paranormal collection, as something that can be observed, evaluated, and assessed from some superior, if misunderstood and overemployed "scientific" vantage... like the unknowable elements of the "paratopiary" observed are not perhaps _themselves_ looking into the smug accessor much more deeply... providing for a REAL observation, a DETAILED evaluation, and a PENETRATING assessment, eh? Judge not, to some degree, lest ye be judged? Remember the bigger blackness lit.

But then from where would our inspiration come? Our advancement. From what would we then derive our satisfaction and salvation —address our grievances— but that rationality alluded to... rationality too few of us are willing to employ because_real_ rationality demands an open-mindedness, courage of all types, and profound humility as we laboriously sift intellectual sands for some kind of evidence _outside_ the box we other otherwise conject _must_ be there.

Any attempt to smother inquiry or follow evidence wherever it may lead is ludicrous on its face and deserving of a punch in its literary throat if that's what it takes. Declared war!

History _is_ mystery. It is not a source of satisfaction. It is a source of _instruction_ leading to that satisfaction. Not realizing that is why we keep making mistakes over and over again or suffer the aforementioned errant slings and arrows of rouges, rascals, and other shiftless irascibles.

Paul Kimball said...

If what people are about is a polite (or sometimes less than polite) debating society over the minutiae of the Roswell case, then by all means go ahead and keep chatting. In the grand scheme of things, it does no real harm, and if it amuses folks, then by all means.

However, if one is truly interested in trying to discover the reality of the UFO enigma, then one's time, talents and effort would be better spent looking at newer cases, or those older cases which haven't been properly investigated, and which may still yield useful information.

And that is why it matters... assuming one thinks that the UFO mystery is worth pursuing, and that it's bigger than one single case that has monopolized the public perception of UFOs - and not for the good - for almost three decades.

But, as I said, each to their own.


Jerry Clark said...

Paul, Since when isn't history is in the details? Why should Roswell be any different? If it were not for what you dismiss as mere "minutia," would the discipline of history even exist? History, like life, is complicated, and understanding requires patient -- and often tedious -- sorting-out.

I have every confidence, unfortunately, that what gets discussed here is little noticed (or, more likely, unnoticed altogether) by the broader public and media. But if the merits of the Roswell case are to be discussed and debated by knowledgeable and intelligent individuals, this is surely the forum for it. Why should it be abandoned to faux-documentarians, cynically preying on popular credulity, on one hand and ideologically driven debunkers (military and civilian) on the other?

Meantime, those of us whose interest in historical ufology is not focused on Roswell are free to continue our own efforts. I've spent this new century researching pre-1947 UFOs and Forteana. I've recovered many hundreds of heretofore-unknown accounts. Kevin's interest in Roswell has in no way kept me from doing my work, nor should it get in the way of your doing yours. In any event, Kevin himself has written on a wide range of UFO-related issues.

My choices aren't determined by some nebulous concern about public opinion, whose attention span is brief and whose fascinations are bound to be shallow ones. Ufologists need to do the work that in their informed judgments is important. Kevin's judgment is as informed as anybody's, and we should all respect it as we would any other reputable colleague's.

Paul Kimball said...


Being a historian myself, I don't disagree with you, and I was perhaps a bit too flippant before. As I said, there's absolutely no harm in continuing to discuss and research Roswell. However, the point I was trying to make was that unless new material comes out, or perhaps a radically new interpretation, then it's not a terribly productive enterprise at this point, and resembles more the kind of debate that you see in Irish pubs between Catholics and Protestants. As far as I can tell, the only person who is really conducting new research into Roswell is Nick Redfern, but as I noted above, you almost never hear his name or work mentioned in these debates, because it doesn't fit neatly into the already established Mogul vs. Aliens framework.

But, as I said, we are not really in disagreement about the merit of new historical research, or even ongoing debate about old research, other than me not really seeing much practical use for the latter unless there is something of the former involved.

Best regards,

Lance said...

"other than me not really seeing much practical use for the latter unless there is something of the former involved."

Other than you, huh?

What is an example of this practical use?


Bob Barbanes: said...

Haven't any of you ever been involved in a cover-up? Kevin, more than any of us, knows how the military works - how information can be manipulated. I'm sure he understands exactly what went on from the military side.

It's been seven years since "9/11" yet we as a country are still full of terrorism paranoia. "Roswell" happened a mere finger-snap after the end of WWII, so we must keep in mind the cultural psychology of the day and how it influenced our behavior.

"Something" happened, that much is clear. Something that was confusing enough that a press release was authorized and issued. One can only imagine the fall-out from Washington D.C. "Retract that press release or I'll have your heads! Marcel, if you want to spend one more day in this man's Army you'll say you were mistaken. And cut the crap about showing it to your family."

And so it became a "weather balloon." Simple. Explainable. Understandable. A dog-and-pony show was orchestrated, and photographers were shown "wreckage." End of story.

Only, it wasn't.

Why does the UFO story persist so? If it really, really, really was a weather balloon, WHY don't people accept that explanation and move on? I mean, you have to wonder why some have gone to their graves believing that it was a UFO.

I don't know what happened in Roswell, but I'm not prepared to definitively say it was one thing or another. I don't dismiss the military's "weather balloon" explanation out of hand, but in light of the controversy I remain highly skeptical.

Finally, I hate to bring this up, but if there were so many Mogul flights, did *NONE* of them ever come down anyplace other than military property? Did *NONE* of them ever drift off and land where a civilian could find it? Or did they just float off into outer space, never to be heard from again? How come none of these generated the same level of controversy as Roswell's?