Saturday, April 30, 2016

Viewing vs Victims of the Wreck

It’s funny how things sometimes work out. The investigation into the Ramey Memo seemed to have stagnated with nothing to really report. Then Rich Reynolds publicly wondered what was happening, so I finished up the post about it. And now, I have received both publicly at this blog and privately a number of emails about it, suggesting the critical word in that critical phrase might not be “victims.”
David Rudiak will tell us that the word “victims” has the right number of letters, and that words that begin with a “V” that fit with his word count and positioning are very few. Many can be eliminated because they are simply too strange to fit into Memo (violins, for example) because we can deduce the subject matter based on the words that are universally accepted as being in the text.
The Ramey Memo. Copyright by the University of Texas at Arlington.

Several have suggested that the word is not “victims but is “viewing.” It does contain the right number of letters and it does begin with a “V,” but it also alters the importance of the Ramey Memo if that is correct. “Victims of the wreck,” suggests casualties which implies a crew and that crew could be alien, depending on the rest of the Memo. However, “viewing the wreck,” tells us nothing about a crew and means that we might have something that had no organic component (which is my way of avoiding saying it was either alien, human or animal). And David will suggest that “viewing” doesn’t fit into the proper alignment of the letters eliminating it.

If it is “viewing,” then what we have is a suggestion that someone (Marcel and Cavitt?) had seen the wreckage, but doesn’t suggest anything extraordinary about it. The idea that it was “wreckage” does suggest something other than a balloon array no matter how exotic, because you just don’t think of balloon remains as being wreckage. That term suggests something more substantial was seen but that doesn’t take us to the extraterrestrial by any means.

In fact, if the word is “viewing” it sort of sucks the life out of the drama here. It could say all sorts of things, including “disc” and still provide a rather mundane answer. Given that this seems to refer to a flying disc and given that the term, “flying disc” meant any number of terrestrial based objects as well as the idea they might be interplanetary (as opposed to interstellar), we wouldn’t have the smoking gun that many thought it would be. Or, in other words, we have a rather mundane message telling Ramey that those “viewing the wreck” were reporting what they had seen.

Oh, it could mean that their opinions suggested something alien, but in the long run, we’d be left with the same arguments about the overall importance of the Memo.

And I will mention here, as sort of a cautionary tale, that J. Bond Johnson, who took the photograph that we’re all so interested in, claimed, at one time, he had carried the document into Ramey’s office and handed it to him. That would mean that this was a teletype message that went out over the news wire and wasn’t something generated by the military. True, he recanted that statement as soon as it became clear to him that it lessened the importance of the document, but it is a claim that he made (many of which were later found to be untrue).

Here’s where we are. There are a growing number of people who say that the word is “viewing.” Those suggesting this are not only those on the skeptical side of the fence, but some who believe the Roswell crash was alien, and a few who seem to be disinterested in the crash as an alien event but are interested in solving the riddle.

Again, I’m not sure if we’re ever going to be able to resolve this to the satisfaction of the majority in the way that the Roswell Slides Research Group was able to resolve the placard to nearly everyone’s satisfaction. I had hoped for a resolution, as did those working on this latest effort, but we just haven’t reached that point yet. As it stands now, most of the message is just beyond our capabilities to decipher it though there is still work being done. Maybe next week, next month or next year there will be a breakthrough but I’m not overly hopeful about that. We are stuck with a tantalizing clue that is currently just out of reach.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Roswell Report - Case Closed... Maybe Not

Here’s something that I don’t believe anyone has commented on. The Roswell Report – Case Closed document issued through the Air Force and written by Captain James McAndrew is based on lies, and if that is the case, then the document is flawed and unreliable.

You might well ask, “What do you mean?”

First, in explaining that anthropomorphic dummies were responsible for the reports of bodies involved with the Roswell crash, McAndrew relies on statements
Jim Ragsdale. Photo copyright
by Kevin Randle
made by our old pal, Jim Ragsdale. In fact, this becomes quite important in proving that the Air Force experiments with high altitude ejection systems and other tests were responsible for the tales of bodies being recovered. McAndrew wrote:

Testimony attributed to Ragsdale, who is deceased, states that he and a friend were camping one evening and saw something fall from the sky. The next morning, when they went to investigate, they saw a crash site:
“One part [of the craft] [brackets in McAndrew version] was kind of buried in the ground and one part of it was sticking our [out] of the ground.” “I’m sure that [there] was bodies… either bodies or dummies.” “The federal government could have been doing something they didn’t want anyone to know what this was. They was using dummies in those damned things… they could use remote control… but it was either dummies or bodies or something laying there. They looked like bodies. They were not very long… [not] over four or five feet long at the most. “We didn’t see their faces or nothing like that… we just gotten to the site and the Army… and all [was] coming and we got into a damned jeep and took off.”
This testimony [meaning Ragsdale’s statements] then describes an assortment of military vehicles used to recover the “bodies.”: “It was two or three six-by-six Army trucks a wrecker and everything. Leading the pack was a ’47 Ford car with guys in it… It was six or eight big trucks besides the pickup, weapons carriers and stuff like that.” Ragsdale also said that before he left the area he observed the military personnel “gathering stuff up” and “they cleaned everything up.”
…In his testimony, Ragsdale made numerous references to equipment vehicles, and procedures consistent with documented dummy recoveries for projects HIGH DIVE and EXCELSIOR. The repeated use of the term “dummy” and the witness’ own admission that “they was using dummies in those damned things” and “I’m sure that was bodies… either bodies or dummies” leaves little doubt that what he described was an anthropomorphic dummy recovery.
And that would be a powerful argument except for one fact. Ragsdale was lying. He hadn’t been out there, he hadn’t seen anything fall from the sky and he hadn’t seen dummies to be confused with alien bodies.

McAndrew goes on to explain, “If the witness was even a short distance from odd looking anthropomorphic dummies, it would be logical for him to believe, when interviewed 35 to 40 years after the event, that he ‘thought they were dummies or bodies or something.’
And I could go on; pointing out more mistakes in McAndrew’s attempt to convince us all that Ragsdale had seen one of these dummy recoveries, but why? Ragsdale was lying and McAndrew, when he wrote his report, could have found that out. In my book, also published in 1997, The Randle Report, I expose the Ragsdale tale for
Max Littell, closest to the camera, then Walter
Haut and Don Schmitt. Photo copyright by
Kevin Randle
the lie that it is. I also detail how Max Littell had manipulated the story so that he would have something to talk about when reporters, researchers, and documentarians came to the museum in Roswell. Since my book and McAndrew’s were published in the same year, it would mean that we had access to the same information. McAndrew just didn’t bother to check to see if anything new had been learned about Ragsdale before creating his tale of anthropomorphic dummies.

To make it worse, William P. Barnett, writing in Crosswinds in August 1996, provides, in great detail, the various problems with the Ragsdale story. It is quite clear at that point that there is nothing of value here and that Ragsdale, with coaching from Littell, has changed the story. McAndrew, with the resources of the USAF behind him, should have been able to learn all about the Ragsdale tale. Since it is clearly untrue, it renders all the discussion about Project High Dive and Excelsior, anthropomorphic dummies, and government experimentation moot. The foundation of McAndrew’s theory, which is the Ragsdale nonsense, is erected on quicksand.

There are other problems as well. On page 46 of his report, McAndrew compares a drawing of a triangular-shaped object provided by Frank Kaufmann with “A tethered ‘Vee’ balloon shown… at Holloman AFB, N.M. in March 1965. This experimental balloon, is strikingly similar to the ‘alien’ craft.’”

Unfortunately for McAndrew, and something that he might have suspected when he wrote his book, Kaufmann was not telling the truth. It wasn’t until after 2000 that Kaufmann was exposed, thanks to the work of Mark Rodeghier, Mark Chesney and Don Schmitt. Given that, we can now say that his analysis of comparing the object drawn by Kaufmann to that launched at Holloman is in error as well.

Glenn Dennis
He also attacks the “missing nurse” story told by Glenn Dennis. The problem here, as it is with these other tales he uses is that the Dennis story is bogus as well. There is no missing nurse, information which was available in 1997 but McAndrew failed to find. Wouldn’t a stronger case be made by pointing this out rather than going off on the tangent that he does?

Maybe the most egregious error by McAndrew (and I’m being a bit generous here) is the illustration on page 6 that shows a long Mogul array. Although he suggests that the illustration is similar to the one found by Mack Brazel, it is actually from Mogul Flight No. 2 which had a configuration different than those used in New Mexico. He says nothing about that which is misleading at best.

What is given here is a report used to explain away the tales of bodies by suggesting government experiments in the 1950s. Had McAndrew done his homework, had he investigated all this rather than just read a bunch of books and official documents, he actually could have made a much stronger case. As it is, his argument fails because he used bogus information to support it.

Before anyone feels the need to point out that this sword cuts both ways, let me note that while Phil Klass and Karl Pflock rejected Ragsdale and Kaufmann, they did so only because they did not believe that anything alien fell near Roswell. They were right for the wrong reason, but it was those of us on the other side of the fence that worked to expose these people when we learned the truth. It would have been better had we known the truth before we promoted their tales and it took us a while to get to that point, but we did arrive at it… I have seen nothing from McAndrew acknowledging that his book was based on that same false information.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ramey Memo Update

It has been just one year since we attempted to get better scans of the Ramey Memo and determine what it said. I had thought, as had Martin, that while the team was in Fort Worth, they would have the answer. I expected them to be able to resolve this with our modern equipment, the best men available to create the scans and the wonderful cooperation of those at the University of Texas at Arlington. That wasn’t what happened.

So, to keep Rich Reynolds happy (and he could have sent an email), to prove that we are hiding nothing, and to note that I had planned to publish something now
Ramey holding the memo. Photo copyright by University of Texas at Arlington, scan made
in April 2015.
that we have reached the one year point (but given Game of Thrones started season six Sunday night I was delayed) I thought it time to update all this. We have tried, after all, to keep everyone alerted, provided all who wanted them the scans so that they could bring their expertise to bear, and made sure that any one of those on the skeptical side of the house who wanted scans got them, nothing has changed radically.

Oh, there are those who suggest the scans are a little better, and if you look, you can see the dreaded line “victims of the wreck,” but it is still a matter of resolution and we just don’t have it. Not to the point where we can say, “Yes, this is exactly what it says.”

David Rudiak, at his website, has published his best interpretation of the Ramey Memo. We can find hundreds who will say that they can read the memo and we can find just as many who disagree with any of the interpretations offered.
Several weeks ago, I asked if it wasn’t time for us to call it on the memo. No real progress had been made but I was convinced to give it more time. There were still some avenues to be explored and though I don’t hold out much hope that this will give us anything new, there is that chance however remote.

The thing that must be remembered is that the experts who assisted in this volunteered their time and expertise. They were not compensated and because of that we are at the mercy of their schedules. Their paying work takes precedence over the volunteer work for us. That these men were interested enough in the outcome to provide their assistance, meaning that they saw this as a puzzle to be solved and not an exercise in proving one thing or another, is a tribute to them.

It should also be remembered that the best scans (all of them really) were provided to many people with the hope that someone would provide the clues to untangle all this and we could all nod and say, “Yes.” But after a year, that hasn’t happened and there are many people, on both sides of the fence who had tried to read the memo without moving the bar in any direction.

I know David will disagree with me on this. His interpretation is based on his thousands of hours of work and he believes it to be the best, but it just doesn’t quite allow us to make the call. Those who look at this dispassionately can see, when they look hard enough, some of the key phrases, but it just beyond our ability to prove that a specific Ramey Memo interpretation is accurate.

For me, this was the one document, if we could read it, which could help solve the riddle of what fell at Roswell. I had hoped the text would be clear enough and contain enough information that we could move our research into another area. I wasn’t so much concerned as to what it said but wanted to be able to read it, good or bad. As it stands now, this is an interesting bit of evidence that doesn’t lead us anywhere. Simon has told us that had the photographer been a foot closer, we wouldn’t be left with the ambiguity, but he wasn’t and we are.

To answer the question as to why we haven’t said anything in quite a while, there just hasn’t been anything to say. Research continues but many of those who have the scans have lost interest in attempting to resolve the message, some of us would like the answers, and some believe it is the one document that will prove what fell was alien… but right now, we just don’t know and I’m not sure this will ever tell us.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Twining vs Roswell

There are those who believe that Lieutenant General Nathan F. Twining’s letter of September 23, 1947, closes the door on the Roswell crash. They cite the line about the lack of crash recovered debris as proof that there was no crash because all the testimony gathered from so many of the officers in Roswell and Fort Worth pointed to Wright Field as the destination of the crash debris. If such was the case, then Twining had to know because he was the commander there and since he mentioned the lack of crash debris, it must not exist.

Stan Friedman has countered this by claiming that the letter was only classified secret and if Roswell was an alien spaceship, then that information would have been classified as top secret. That would prevent the information being included in
Wright Field, now Wright Patterson AFB. Photo
courtesy of the USAF.
a letter with a lower classification… and to include it would have raised the classification to top secret. He is right that the inclusion of top secret material raises the classification but he is wrong about why there is no mention of the Roswell crash in the letter. That answer lies in the history of its creation, something that is rarely examined.

Those whose responsibility it was to determine the nature of the saucers  in 1947 wondered if the saucers might not be a highly classified research project, which meant that a few, at the very top of the chain of command, would have access to that information. Army Brigadier General George Schulgen and FBI Special Agent S. W. Reynolds believed that it was a waste of time, money, and personnel to investigate something that would eventually lead to that classified project which would remain classified but might be compromised by the investigation.

Major George Garrett, working under Schulgen, also believed that nothing useful would be found by additional Air Force investigation. Garrett and Schulgen decided that the answer was held above their pay grade and thought of a way to pass the buck back up the chain of command. They were quite certain that when they assembled their information in what might be considered an intelligence Estimate of the Situation, they would be told that those at the top knew what the flying saucers were and there would be no need to continue to investigate.

Garrett began his work on this, what I think of as a mini Estimate in July, 1947. He selected sixteen flying saucer reports with two to be added later, that seemed to demonstrate the truly unusual nature of the phenomenon, and then provided his analysis of the data that had been collected. It might be said that he drew on these specific cases because he, along with Schulgen, believed they most accurately described the objects seen, the maneuvers they performed, and they would most likely lead to the conclusion that these sightings were of a classified project then in development. They thought they would be told to quit because of that.

Typical of those reports was a sighting, from Manitou Springs, Colorado, that happened sometime between 12:15 and 1:15 p.m. on May 19, 1947 (and I note here that I found no evidence that it was reported prior to Arnold, which is an important consideration for me but not necessarily anyone else). This was a silver object that remained motionless, giving the three witnesses a good look at it, and then made a number of aerobatic maneuvers before disappearing at incredible speed. The sighting report mentioned that it had been watched through optical instruments and had been in sight for over two minutes meaning they had time to study it carefully.

Garrett also reported on a case from Greenfield, Massachusetts on June 22, 1947. According to the files:

Edward L. de Rose said, “...there appeared across his line of vision a brilliant, small, round-shaped, silvery white object” moving in a northwesterly direction as fast as or probably faster than a speeding plane at an estimated altitude of 1,000 feet or more. The object stayed in view for eight or ten seconds until obscured by a cloud bank. It reflected the sunlight strongly as though it were of polished aluminum or silver… He said it did not resemble any weather balloon he had ever seen and that “I can assure you it was very real.” 
According to the information available, this was a case that had been secretly investigated by the FBI, and given Special Agent Reynolds’ participation with Schulgen and Garrett it is not difficult to believe that the FBI was involved.

Garrett’s Estimate also included a sighting that involved multiple witnesses and pilots. The information shows that two Air Force (at the time Army Air Forces) pilots and two intelligence officers saw a bright light zigzagging in the night sky over Maxwell Air Force Base on June 28, 1947. The sighting lasted for about five minutes.

Captain Ed Ruppelt, one time chief of Project Blue Book reported it this way:

That night [June 28, 1947] at nine-twenty, four Air Force officers, two pilots and two intelligence officers from Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama, saw a bright light traveling across the sky. It was first seen just above the horizon, and as it traversed toward the observers it “zigzagged,” with bursts of high speed. When it was directly overhead it made a sharp 90-degree turn and was lost from view as it traveled south.

Though not relevant to our discussion here, the eventual label applied to the case was that this was a balloon. Although it seems that four officers, including the intelligence officers, would have been able to identify a balloon if that was what they had seen, the Air Force concluded otherwise. It would also seem that the maneuvers of the object would rule out a balloon, regardless of how strong the winds aloft were blowing.

This gives a brief glance at a few of the cases that Garrett selected for his Estimate. With Schulgen’s approval, the document was submitted to those at the Air Materiel Command for analysis. It is clear that it received some attention and it is clear that the report was given to Colonel Howard McCoy for his review.

Colonel Howard McCoy. Photo courtesy of the USAF.
McCoy, as those of you who have read my most recent books know, had been involved in the investigation of these aerial phenomena since the Foo Fighter sightings of the Second World War. And, when the Ghost Rockets were sighted over Scandinavia beginning in 1946, McCoy had a role in investigation of them, though that role was in the background. The Swedish government, fearing the Ghost Rockets were some sort of intimidation ploy by the Soviets, didn’t want overt participation by American military officers.

According to information developed by Wendy Connor and Michael Hall, McCoy had been tasked in December 1946, to create an unofficial project to gather and analyze data about all this. It was a small investigation operating from a locked office that had very restricted access by a limited number of officers. When the Arnold sighting was reported six months later and caused all that trouble, the unofficial investigation evolved into an official one. And when Garrett’s Estimate arrived in Ohio, McCoy was the natural choice to review it.

McCoy then, wrote the response to be signed by Twining. I seriously doubt that he undertook the task without consultation with Twining. It seems that this response was drafted using only the information supplied by Schulgen and Garrett and that McCoy added nothing to it or more accurately, those at Wright Field added no additional data to it. As I have mentioned in the past, I think of this in the vein of lawyers at a trial who are aware of other relevant information but do not include it because of some outside force. They make their case based on the evidence at hand and admissible and not on other information floating around them. The jury never learns about it or in this case Schulgen and Garrett never learned about it.

On September 23, 1947, Schulgen, Garrett and the others received the written response from Twining’s staff. This response was telling them that the phenomenon was “something real and not visionary or fictitious.” Not only that, Twining was telling them that his command didn't know what the flying disks were and that they should be investigated, though it can be argued they had a good clue based on what had fallen near Roswell.

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

That didn't happen. Instead, Twining suggested that a priority project, with a rating of 2a, be created to investigate the flying saucers. He wanted information found and reported to his office. The priority level of the new project also suggested that Twining wanted his answers quickly because he was under pressure from above to end the panic that Ruppelt had reported in the Pentagon in the summer of 1947.

According to Ruppelt, there were two schools of thought about all this. One believed that the Soviets, using their captured German scientists had developed the flying disks (I reported this in The Government UFO Files). ATIC technical analysts searched for data on the German projects in captured documents in the United States, and intelligence officers in Germany were doing the same there.

It became clear, however, that the second school of thought, that is, that the UFOs were not manufactured on Earth, began to take hold when no evidence was found that the Soviets had made some sort of technological breakthrough. Even if they had, it seemed unlikely that they would be flying their new craft over the United States. If one crashed, the Soviets would have just handed their breakthrough to the US government. This is probably the inspiration for the paragraph that laments the lack of crash recovered debris, which is a reference to the lack of this sort of information contained in the material written by Garrett.

All this really does, however, is suggest that the door to the Roswell crash was not completely shut by Twining’s (McCoy’s) letter. Those on the extraterrestrial side of the argument should be disturbed by Twining’s letter but those on the skeptical side of the fence should also note that there is still a gap through which the Roswell saucer can be flown. The Twining letter does not completely rule out the crash when the history of that letter is understood.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Video on the I-Beam

Although I do not wish to get involved in a long discussion about the nonsense of the Alien Autopsy, I had mentioned that the word, “video” in a stylized form appeared in the tent footage. Without taking a great deal of time on this, I found a photograph, published in Roswell Alien Autopsy by Philip Mantle, and published Noe Torres at, which I mention in case anyone wishes to see the evidence about the film laid out carefully and precisely.

First is the whole picture that appears in the book. It shows the I-beam with the word on it, together with other bits and pieces that were claimed to be part of the wreck and some material that clearly was not. Seems strange that all of this would be mixed together unless it was part of a hoax. The government certainly would have had no reason to put all this material together in one place.

This is a cropped version that shows the word a little bit clearer, but certainly not as clear as it appeared in the tent footage. The “E” in video is quite stylized but the other letters are close to our alphabet. For those who wish to see a better picture, I’m sure someone can find it on the Internet. These pictures are copyright by Philip Mantle and Noe Torres.

The Black Vault and MJ-12

John Greenewald of Black Vault fame has posted this to various UFO sites and I post it here for the convenience of the readers. John wrote:

I wanted to share with you all something that took quite a few years to complete. I chased after the FBI Files for all of the alleged members of MJ-12.

What I found interesting beyond the fact that they pretty much all had files – many of them (or portions thereof) were destroyed at some time in the past. Some of the dates, you can argue were around the time the MJ-12 documents originally surfaced, and began gaining traction (though, of course, that part is speculation).

Just scroll down to the MJ-12 heading, which outlines them all. You will notice quite a few other FBI Files of interest.



John Greenewald, Jr.

The Black Vault 
Phone: (805) 32-VAULT

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The End of the Alien Autopsy

Spyros Melaris
We have discussed the Alien Autopsy on many occasions, and there is very little more to say. It is an admitted hoax with the advocates clinging to the nonsense that although there was a lot of faked footage added to clarify the situation; the point is that it was supposedly mixed with the real autopsy footage. This argument makes no sense. If you have footage of a real alien autopsy, why would you contaminate it with footage that you created? This is a story that is little more than fantasy and no way to verify any of it because the alleged witnesses are unidentified.

Rather than go through all this again, I’ll just point you to the words of one of those who was on the inside. According to the site hosted by Andre Sokandas “On April 17, 2016, Spyros Melaris appeared on a radio show to discuss his involvement in the Alien Autopsy. He appeared on the regular show and then he came back at the insistence of the host for another 30 minute XTRA segment.” The link to both segments can be found at: 

You all can listen to this interview of one of those who were involved in the creation of the Alien Autopsy and decide for yourselves how valuable it is. I have no reason to believe this will end discussion on the autopsy but it really should close the books on it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Big Brother and UFOs

I was channel surfing the other night and came onto a commercial for an upcoming program about a woman who had been abducted and murdered. What caught my attention was that they showed the woman using an ATM, walking in a mall, and later in her car and what looked like the arm of a man who had hidden in the backseat. In other words, her activities on that day had been documented to what I think of as a frightening extent. Nearly her every action was caught on video equipment; all used legally, all installed for safety, and putting all our lives under scrutiny.

I’ve seen the same thing on other programs. Police or federal agencies attempting to solve a crime or disappearance, use video from multiple sources to help establish a time line. Criminals are identified, crimes are solved, and more video cameras are installed everywhere.

Big Brother is now watching us all.

What, you might ask, has that to do with UFOs, the paranormal or the purpose of this blog…

Simple. With all those cameras everywhere, recording practically everything from meteor falls, aircraft accidents, to bizarre plays on athletic fields and incredible coincidences, you might ask, where are the UFOs?

And that’s the point. If UFOs are visiting with the regularity that is expressed here and in other forums, where are the good pictures and videos? I have said for years that one of the best UFO cases would be one where there are multiple photographs taken from multiple locations all independently of one another. We would have multiple witnesses, multiple chains of evidence and the ability to triangulate to determine the size of the object, the distance from the cameras, and the speed of the craft. With that sort of evidence it would be difficult to argue against alien visitation. It would take an elaborate conspiracy to pull off something like that because of all the ways to check the evidence.

One of the many pictures of a rare daylight meteor over
the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.
I have seen multiple videos of meteor falls. These are rare events that last but seconds and yet we see video of them all the time now. I remember one sequence from a number of security cameras and dashboard cameras that showed quite a bit of a fall from those different angles but we have nothing like that for UFOs…

Yes, I know the argument that these meteors are high in the sky and visible over a large area giving off lots of light, and that the UFOs are closer to the ground and not quite so bright, but still… we should have something like that by now and we don’t. Instead we’re treated to many dubious UFO videos that are often admitted to be fakes or pictures that when scrutinized carefully reveal the real nature of the object.

The point is this… the growing lack of these videos begins to argue against alien visitation. Oh, you can suggest that there are not as many UFOs flying around as we suspected so the opportunities for video are reduced, but there comes a point where that argument fails. We do have some good movie footage taken more than a half century ago, but the objects or lights simply are not resolved to the point where we can declare them alien. And there are pictures in which there are only two conclusions to be drawn, the object is either an alien craft or it is a hoax. But there is no way in the world today to answer that question because the evidence is just not contained on the photographs to make that sort of determination. (And yes, again, I understand that Occam would say it must be a hoax given our knowledge.)

I find this lack of good, multiple angle videos to be disturbing and anyone who is interested in UFOs should find the same thing, unless, of course, you believe that like vampires whose reflections don’t appear in mirrors, that the real UFOs are not visible to the camera lens…

A good, multiple angle, multiple witness video of a UFO would be nice addition to the piles of information collected to date. It just hasn’t happened yet. But maybe it will tomorrow.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Soviet Aerial Reconnaissance and Roswell

Although I have hoped to avoid revisiting this suggestion, something that I looked into in the early 1990s, it has suddenly taken hold in several arenas. I suspect that part of the reason is that some of those who clung to Project Mogul now realize that it was not the culprit. The documentation for that conclusion is overwhelming. But this does not lead to the extraterrestrial (for some of you, please note this qualification) and if there is no alien visitation, then there must be a terrestrial explanation somewhere.

As a preamble, let me note that I have done a great deal of research into these other explanations. Although accused of not taking some of this research deep enough, I’m not sure what that means. Few are interested in reading about research that led nowhere. Once something has been eliminated as the culprit, just how much further are we required to go.  I have, for example, a record of every missile and rocket launch from White Sands from its creation into the 1950s. There are no gaps, though the numeric sequence of the launches was sometimes juggled, which means that the experiment kept its number even of the launch had been postponed. But there were no launches that would count for the debris found by Mack Brazel. Should I, at that point, continue the research?

And let me say here, so there is no mistake, that I never took the idea that Nazis had escaped to the Antarctic where they were using flying saucers. Maybe that was a personal bias, but it made no sense, and if they were hiding there, other evidence would have been available… especially in these days of all sorts of satellites flying all over the place.

Oh, and it’s not time travelers because they could return and pick up everything so the event never happened. They could easily manipulate the system to change the history and therefore it is out of our perception of it.

And forget about interdimensional beings, but only because I can’t think of a way to get to that point. I don’t know what sort of evidence you would look for… or how you take it out of our realm of reality to shove it into another. Even if the debris was there and not something mundane, it just seems the better solution is extraterrestrial rather than interdimensional, but as I say, I don’t know how to prove this aspect of it. I guess my bias rears its head, but notice I didn’t say it was completely impossible, only that I can’t think of a way of proving it.

I looked through various archives and listings of aircraft accidents including enquiries to the FAA, NTSB and the Air Force but located nothing that would have left debris. I know that there might have been some gaps in my knowledge, but the Air Force took care of that in their massive report removing all military aircraft and experimental aircraft from the mix. There was simply nothing that fit the time frame and the location.

Karl Pflock
Karl Pflock suggested that it had been the N-9M two engine version of the flying wing, but they had stopped flying those in 1946. I also checked the XB-35, which is the four engine propeller-driven version, but they had been grounded in June 1947 because of a gearbox problem. All were accounted for anyway. The YB-35, the jet version flew sometime after July 1947 and therefore couldn’t have been the cause of the debris found. There was a YB-49 which was designed as a long-range reconnaissance aircraft but only one was built before the program was cancelled. It too flew after July 1947, and therefore did not leave debris on the Foster ranch.

Taking this a step further, there was the XF-95A, which was delta-wing fighter, but the records show that it did not fly until September 1948, or too late to account for the Roswell debris. When I learned that, I lost interest in it.

Nick Redfern Photo copyright
by Kevin Randle
There is Nick Redfern’s idea that what crashed in New Mexico used captured Japanese soldiers in a high altitude experiment. They were lifted in a huge balloon array. It explained the secrecy, the balloon remains, and even the alien bodies. But there is no record of anything like that happening, though given some of the “scientific” research conducted by the United States, it certainly could have happened. Without evidence for this experiment, though Nick liked it, I thought it could be eliminated from the roster of explanations.

John Keel had suggested a Fugo Balloon, but those were Japanese weapons launched against the United States during the Second World War. Although he used the same argument we hear today, that because the government was embarrassed by these attacks they kept it a secret. Of course, by 1947, there had been newspaper and magazine articles about the Balloon Bombs, and had it been one of those, you needed to explain where it had been for two years. I think Keel was attracted by the claim of Chinese or Japanese writing on some of the debris found though the records showed that the Japanese were careful not to use their writing on any portion of the balloons or their apparatus. This was so they couldn’t be traced back to Japan.

There has been the great Mogul debate which, I think, originated with Robert Todd. But the documentation available, as I mentioned, has eliminated it. Other balloon projects, including those by the Navy and General Mills did not provide information that would account for the debris. There was no records to support the idea of one of these projects, though classified in 1947 (or that didn’t begin until after 1947) could have left the debris for Brazel to find. The Soviet Union, because of its location and the lack of allies surrounding the United States, never used balloons as aerial platforms to spy on the US. I could develop no information to suggest any balloon project created by the Soviets was responsible for what had fallen.

Now we’re stuck with this idea that a Soviet copy of a B-29, called the TU-4 by the Soviets and code named “Bull” by NATO, might have been responsible. It is quite true that the Soviets, during the Second World War captured three B-29s. These aircraft had been damaged during raids on Japan or encountered some other emergency and were unable to return to their home bases. They made their way to Vladivostok to land.  (The need to use Vladivostok ended with the capture of Iwo Jima in March 1945, and yes I know the battle started in February). Those three planes were named, Ramp Tramp, Ding Hoa and the General H. H. Arnold Special.

The Soviet TU-4 "Bull."
At that time, the Soviet Union did not have a long-range bomber. After all, the main Soviet enemy was Nazi Germany and they didn’t need long-range bombers to engage the Germans. But Stalin realized the importance of the gift he had been given, and contrary to treaties and agreements refused to return either the crews or the aircraft. The crews were eventually allowed to “escape” through Iran and were returned to US control. The aircraft remained in the Soviet Union.

The Soviets thought it would be simple to disassemble the aircraft and copy it down to its rivets. They took the General H. H. Arnold Special apart ending up with something over 105,000 pieces. It turned out not to be as easy as they though and they had trouble reproducing the Plexiglas, some of the aluminum parts and the fire control systems. They finally produced a prototype which flew on May 19, 1947 and Stalin apparently ordered it into immediate production.

No one in the West knew what the Soviets were up to (or maybe a few did but that knowledge was classified) and when the planes were finally revealed to the world on August 3, 1947, everyone assumed the three B-29-like aircraft were those captured during the war. They were joined by a fourth, which announced that the Soviets had replicated the B-29 and now had a long-range bomber. At least two of those in the formation were TU-4s, though all four might have been.

But the thing is the US military began to make plans to attend Soviet airshows to look for the cloned B-29s. From September 1946 onward they were discussing at the highest levels the possibility, so those officers were aware of what was happening. They also knew that the Soviets did not have, in 1947, a “silverplate” B-29, which were those modified to carry atomic weapons. Such didn’t enter the Soviet inventory until after 1950.

Now we have to look through the history of aerial reconnaissance which it seems those excited by this idea of a TU-4 crash failed to do. The TU-4 had a range that would allow it to reach cities in the United States, but these would be one way flights. They didn’t have the fuel capacity for the return flight. Of course, in a war, the return of the flight crew might not have been one of the overriding conditions. Their mission would have been to drop the bombs and do their best to escape and evade once the aircraft ran out of gas.

But in June 1947, with production just started, after the successful flight of the prototype TU-4, there couldn’t have been very many of them available and it would be a good guess that there might not have been the four flown in August 1947 ready by June 1947. But the project, at that time was shrouded in secrecy and it seems unlikely that they would have flown one of their limited supply of these aircraft deep into the United States knowing that it could not return.

While the United States was developing their aerial reconnaissance of the Soviet Union, there wasn’t the same thing happening in the Soviet Union. They were, in essence, isolated from the New World. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was surrounded by countries that allowed the United States to either build bases or use their facilities to conduct aerial reconnaissance. Given the secretive nature of the Soviet Union, it was very difficult to deploy spies inside its borders. To gather the necessary intelligence, overflight was about the only option.

Such wasn’t the case in the United States. The open nature of the society allowed for Soviet agents to gather the intelligence without the need of aerial reconnaissance. They could just travel around inside the US and gather the information. The FBI prepared a document in May 1960 that provided a history of the Soviet attempts to gather aerial data on the United States. They didn’t need to use aircraft when they could just buy what the needed in the United States. The FBI wrote:

In a free country such things as aerial photographs are available to the public and can be purchased commercially. The Soviets have been fully aware of this and throughout the years have taken full advantage of this free information, collecting aerial photographs of many areas of the United States.
For example, during October, 1953, two Soviet officials visited Minneapolis where they purchased fifteen aerial photographs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. In October and November, 1953, two Soviets traveled in Missouri and Texas and obtained aerial maps of Dallas, Tulsa, Fort Worth and the surrounding areas covering a Naval air station, an Army airfield, and an Air Force base. In April, 1954, a Soviet official purchased aerial photographs of five Long Island communities. Also, in April, 1954, a Soviet Official purchased three aerial photographs of Boston, Massachusetts, and Newport, Rhode Island, areas. In May, 1954, three Soviets traveled to California where they ordered from a Los Angeles photography shop $80 worth of aerial photographs covering the Los Angeles area.

You can read the FBI’s whole assessment about the acquisition of aerial photography here:

Although I didn’t have the Internet in the early 1990s to make the search, I did have access to some very good libraries and archives, and I could find nothing about Soviet aerial reconnaissance of the United States until we get sometime after 1950 and at that point lost interest. They later developed their own long-range bomber, which did penetrate US airspace long after 1947. Pictures of it, escorted by American fighters, appeared in news magazines. There was no attempt to hide the penetration of American airspace and not all that long ago Russian aircraft did penetrate the ADIZ a number of times, which was also widely reported by the media.

Given the reaction to these later attempts, it seems reasonable to conclude that had a Soviet clone of a B-29 found its way to southern New Mexico, the remains of the aircraft and the bodies of its crew would have been used for propaganda purposes. There would be no embarrassment because the Army Air Forces could claim that they had foiled the Soviet spying operation and offer the proof of it… and if that wasn’t their attitude in 1947, when Gary Powers was captured by the Soviets in 1960, it would have been the perfect time to trot out the TU-4 and its 1947 fate. This was proof that the Soviets had engaged in aerial reconnaissance and we were merely returning the favor.

There is no record or documentation of a Soviet attempt to penetrate the US using aerial reconnaissance in 1947. I make this bold statement because there will be those who wish to prove it wrong and this is the fastest way I know to get the search started. The only long-range aircraft they had at the time that is in July 1947 was the TU-4 and they didn’t have many of them. Had the wreckage found by Brazel been the remains of such an aircraft, Marcel, Cavitt, and others would have recognized it. The evidence, or the lack of evidence, argues strongly against the idea that what fell was a Soviet spy plane. According to the historical record, which is now quite extensive, the Soviet Union was not engaged in aerial reconnaissance in 1947 and is not responsible for the wreckage near Roswell. 

Monday, April 04, 2016

Truth about Mogul

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
Dr. Albert Crary
 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.”

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
Mogul test detonation.
Soviets, though I suspect that none of those in New Mexico knew that.

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.