Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ramey Memo and the $10,000 Reward

In recent posts about the Ramey Memo, there have been complaints about the lack of progress in clarifying the text so that much of it can be read to most people's satisfaction. It is quite possible we will never be able to fully clarify the text but that won’t stop us trying.

Photo copyright by the University of Texas at Arlington.
Many people who visit here will be aware of David Rudiak’s on-going efforts over the last 15 years. He has spent hundreds of hours of his own time using a variety of techniques in his effort to resolve the text. Other researchers have also made suggestions that might be employed, enabling us to read the document with more clarity. 

Some of these leads are a work in progress. At this stage there isn’t much to report about this, but there is some interesting news.

One reader here commented that he thought it was “time for those investigating the photo to actually hire a qualified lab using advanced software not yet on the market as there must be a lab using more advanced forensic techniques to evaluate images…”

He added the suggestion of “crowd sourced funding as the way to go” and doubted it would be more than $10k to do this thing right using the best available technology.

A trusted colleague who is not a Ufologist but does have an interest in Roswell and UFOs and who has the money, has taken this in a slightly different direction. He is offering a $10,000 reward for the first person or group/lab that can provide a definite read of the Ramey memo.

To claim the reward a number of criteria will need to be met, including full reproducibility of the result (with methodology of the individual/lab completely explained and transparent so that anyone knowledgeable can replicate in much the same way that the placard on the Not Roswell Slides was revealed). There must be  overwhelming agreement that the result is definitive with most of the text clear enough that there is little or no disagreement on what it says across a broad spectrum of people of all opinions whether true believer or complete skeptic. 

Obviously some parts of the message can never be read, such as that under Ramey's thumb, but what is out in the open should be clarified to where there is little or no question about what most of the memo is about which might include clues as to authorship and information about the events in Roswell.

However, the problem of funding mentioned above will not be an issue if the right people to do the “job” can be found. The point of contact for this is


Mr. Sweepy said...

I remember reading a long time ago one of the first scans. Not a lot could be read but to me, it was a wonder of technology.

I sincerely hope the next generation software shows us all just how far technology has come and to give you valuable information.

starman said...

Lol "overwhelming agreement that the result is definitive" is asking way too much.

cda said...

I guess that the person offering the $10,000 knows that the likelihood of producing a 'definite' (to use your term) read of the text is close to zero. Improved methodology does not, unfortunately, guarantee that a clear resolution will be found; there are some things just beyond the limits of resolution, whatever new, advanced methods are used. This memo is one of them.

To me the question is: What is the great fascination with this memo that Roswell protagonists seize upon? Why is it thought to contain the great elusive truth? I assume it is because it is the ONLY, so far as is known, piece of hard evidence that exists on the case. We have the photos of the actual debris (or substituted debris according to some) plus this tiny scrap of paper with something on it. Some say this scrap contains, in effect, the the greatest scientific secret of our times, i.e. that we have been visited by ETs. And it has all been kept secret to a select few for 69 years now! Is this really credible?

Surely common sense tells us that this has GOT to be pure wishful thinking. My prediction is that however much further analysis is done on this photo, nothing more will be deciphered and nothing of value to science will ever emerge from it; absolutely nothing.

But don't let that deter those who insist otherwise.

KRandle said...

starman -

With the Not Roswell Slides placard we had overwhelming agreement. The few holdouts were those who had a vested interest in the Not Roswell Slides showing an alien creature. If we can't achieve overwhelming agreement on all sides, then we do not have a solution to what the memo says.


The whole point here is that we have a document that relates to the Roswell case in some fashion. It might be a key, or it might be nothing but a red herring, but it would be nice to learn what the memo says... if that is possible.

ElSopa said...

I have hope for this, maybe not 100% clear words, but something better its possible and Im sure.

TheDimov said...

I just hope the chap offering the $10,000 doesn't have the surname Maussan, or anything close to it, or isn't his cousin, friend, or even lives within a continent of him.

Brian B said...

We know the context of the memo as it seems apparent that it relates to the July 1947 Roswell incident.

We know that it contains information about that incident based on established context.

We even have agreement on some of the basic words used in the document - but not the controversial words.

Seems like a lab might initially focus on the key words people claim are there but which are disputed (like victims and wreck).

Obviously a full read would be the intention, but some of the key words in question would need special attention IMO.

Jeff Ritzmann said...

Ridiculous. Base data from the start isn't good enough in clarity to even hope of deciphering anything meaningful. Current imaging technology doesn't allow for it, and I have my doubts any future one will either.

KRandle said...

All -

Jaime Maussan has absolutely nothing to do with this. It is an attempt to bring the best methods to the table in an attempt to resolve the issue... and I have no preconceived notions about what it might reveal.

RRRGroup said...

Again, the Ramey memo is a nagging element in the Roswell saga.

If its content can be deciphered, that would take away the itch -- proving something, one way or another.

I don't get all the hub-bub about attempting to see what the memo actually says.

Geez....if even only one Roswell mystery can be definitely resolved, why not do so?


KRandle said...

Rich -

I thought the same thing... if we can resolve this, then one more issue has been resolved... if we can't, then we're left to wonder.

TheDimov said...

I think its definitely worthwhile, and am glad to see the reward offered as it will inspire people to give it a crack. To those that say ah not the Ramey memo again, I cannot believe the negativity because I think it is a crucial unsolved puzzle piece to the Roswell saga, and to bemoan its further investigation to me is bewildering. But then again I think those that plant that seed are probably involved in some sort of disinformation because the deciphering work that has been done seems to suggest that the memo directly discusses the object that landed and what was to be done with it, and who on earth that has an interest the Roswell mystery wouldn't want it, finally, to be deciphered??

Mr. Sweepy said...


I never heard anything about Roswell being giving code word status. Was there ever one given? If so when? The reason I ask is the Ramey memo might have had a code word status then but I doubt it since it was so soon after the crash.

Isaac Koi - New Uploads said...

Hi Kevin,

Have you or David Rudiak written at any length about Jim Houran's "Search For Meaning In The Ramey Document" FUFOR monograph? If so, could you possibly give me a relevant reference to that discussion?

I've obviously seen David Rudiak's response at the link below to the JSE paper you wrote with Jim Houran (and read that paper itself), but I do not recall seeing a similar response to the FUFOR monograph:

I have seen your brief comments on Houran's FUFOR monograph in Chapter 9 of your "Roswell Revisited" and your brief comments on this blog in a previous post at the link below:

Unknown said...

Even if it turns out to be a big nothing at least it would be a definitive big nothing. The prospect of it being of some importance does get the imagination juices flowing.

Gilles Fernandez said...


It is a pity the "reward" or offer is not including a "negative" result: What if a laboratory or team explain and demonstrate the "memo" cant be decyphered ? :)



KRandle said...

Gilles -

The reward applies as long as there is agreement about what it says, even if it is clear that the memo doesn't prove an alien crash or does prove some alternative explanation.

I do not know how you prove that it can't be decryphered... In today's world we might not be able to do it, but who knows what will happen tomorrow. Or, in other words, I don't think it can be proved that it can't be read, so we are interested in what it says if it can be read...

However, if you can think of a way to prove it will never be read, let me know.

Nitram said...

Hi Kevin

Thanks again for your post. It seems only one or two people don't care if the memo is read or not which is just a bit disappointing, but not really surprising either.

I remember the comments earlier by Brian Bell who thought that is would be fairly easy for a lab to do the work and he estimated it would cost around $10K to do so...

So now that he has the dollars to work with, I look forward to hearing how he has got on with the assignment...


Gilles Fernandez said...


By "negative result", I only meant a study demonstrating or stating the memo cant be decyphered (I have well understood the reward is valid whatever the conclusion - alien crash or something mundane -).

I dont know, but for the sample (only then) of "experts" I presented the materials (scan), they explained me they cant decyphere. It is not a question of a simply "blurred" text (like the infamous not-Roswell slide placard), but noise and text impossible to discriminate, for them.

Now, it was their opinion due to the softwares and technics they have the experience to use, maybe there are others. Agree that maybe tomorrow, it will be possible, even if I doubt of it. I wish it too ^^



albert said...

"...Clarke's First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. ..."

Clarkes other 'Laws' are worth a read:

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

Brian B said...

Nitram wrote:

"So now that he has the dollars to work with, I look forward to hearing how he has got on with the assignment..."

You missed the point as usual. The reward comes after research has been done and only if all parties agree with the content.

It's not an upfront loan Nitram, so nobody has the cash "available" to them.

That means the work could be done even by you...although hard to phathom...because the reward is available to you as much as me or anyone for that matter.

I'd like to see you "get on with the assignment" as well....why aren't you?

Nitram said...

BB wrote:

"I'd like to see you "get on with the assignment" as well....why aren't you?"

Ohhhh the irony in all this, which would not have been lost on Kevin, David and a few others...

I have contacted a number of people with software/photography backgrounds and I have suffered a number of setbacks... I have always been told that they could not read the memo - although some gave it a good crack... some still are trying...

However earlier you thought/wrote:

"it would be fairly easy for a lab to do the work and estimated it would cost around $10K to do so..."

So tell us Brian, the name of the lab you have in mind so I can give them a call and get a quote for the work please?

I don't have a background in software engineering / photography and hence assumed that you must know something otherwise you wouldn't have made such claims above (easy and a $10K pricetag)

Maybe it might cost a little more than $10K? If that's the case maybe we can see about getting the reward increased?

If you "genuinely want to help" get this resolved Brian, then I look forward to hearing the name of the lab you had in mind...

Thanking you in anticipation


Count Otto Black said...

Personally I very much doubt the $10k will ever be awarded to anyone, because no method of analysis, however advanced, can retrieve information that isn't there in the first place, and the bottom line is that this grainy old photo almost certainly has insufficiently high resolution for a definitive reading to be even theoretically possible.

And of course, since this is a text probably written in terse, ungrammatical armyspeak full of abbreviations, codewords, and so on, it's even harder to guess logically what it might mean from the lengths and groupings of the words. We'll most likely end up with a situation where, for example. everybody agrees that a particular very short word consists of a straight-line letter followed by a round letter, but guessing what the rest of the sentence means depends on whether you think that little word is "NO", "HQ", or "110".

However, I don't think that matters in the slightest, because what really puzzles me is why anyone thinks any of this matters in the first place. Let's assume that this piece of paper really did contain a world-shaking secret such as: "for Pete's sake stick to the lie about the balloon and don't give the game away regarding the alien spacecraft and the little gray men we've got squirreled away in Hangar 18", which is what all the Roswell Truthers are hoping. How much of an idiot would General Ramey have had to be to walk into a press conference and pose for the cameras while absent-mindedly holding that top secret memo in plain sight?

It's true that the photo we have doesn't allow us to read the text, but if anyone in the room had happened to have a telephoto lens, or had deliberately gotten close enough to General Ramey to surreptitiously snap a good picture of that document just in case it was important (which is exactly the kind of thing reporters tend to do), the secret would have been out. Surely it would have been second nature to someone like General Ramey NOT to casually hold papers civilians weren't meant to read in his hand while talking to a bunch of civilians with cameras?

The only sensible explanation as to why he's holding an official document while talking to the press is that he wants to refer to it while giving his statement because it tells him what he's supposed to say. In other words, the contents of that memo are exactly the same as the information we already know from what the media said at the time. Any other interpretation is desperate wishful thinking by people who have been flogging a very, very, very dead horse for too long to stop now.

Unknown said...

Ok, couldn't someone use the same camera using the same film, similar lighting, similar distance and angle with similar folds in the paper, same font used on army typewriters of the era with same ink, then photograph one letter at a time using the same word spacing, for example the first photo will consist of all "A s" Upper case(AA AAA AAAA AAAAAAAA......), next photo (aa aaa aaaa aaaaaaaa......) and so on and so on then compute best probability match for each letter, BAM!, you have the most accurate replication and possibly the true story to Roswell.

Nitram said...

Kyle Ben wrote:

"couldn't SOMEONE use the same camera using the same film, similar lighting, similar distance and angle with similar folds in the paper, same font used on army typewriters of the era with same ink, then photograph one letter at a time"

Interesting suggestion. Could that SOMEONE be Kyle Ben please.

Look forward to hearing the results of your work.


Brian B said...

@ Kyle Ren

I proposed this just a few weeks ago on this blog. A few thought this a reasonable approach.

What I proposed is what other forensic investigators have done before, and it is reproducible by others to verify findings and process and can follow scientific method (unlike David Rudiak working in his basement telling us what he claims it really communicates, or online surveys from his website and friend's CAPTCHA experiments).

Basically it's simple - accurately reproduce the message on a teletype machine (which is what it was printed from) using the supposed alien supporting theorist text.

The image would likely produce something that could be analyzed various ways. For people dumbfounded as to what I mean simply watch a Discovery Channel show where people have done this to analyze everything from rouge waves to the Hindenburg disaster.

Unfortunately several alien supporting theorists more or less mocked this idea (including David Rudiak) as redundant or better yet - not as good as Rudiak has done on his own over the last 25 years.

If they are so desperate for the truth why are they unwilling to do just about anything to discover (or prove) their claims?

I think they have already made their conclusion and really don't want to jeapordize their stand on the issue.

Never the less, as some have stated the $10 K will never be claimed because there will always be someone who disagrees with any finding.

KRandle said...

All -

The problem with replicating the photo is that we don't know the exact model of the Speed Graphic camera, Ansco film is no longer available and film that is more than a half century old has deteriorated to some extend, we don't know the lighting in the office because we don't know anything about the lights or how many windows there might have been or their orientation in relation to the sun, we don't know the distance from the camera to the paper (though we might be able to make a guess), we can't duplicate the folds on the paper, we don't know if it was a teletype message or something created on a typewriter, we don't know the kind of typewriter, we don't know the source, whether it was a military message or something that Johnson brought in with him... there are just too many variables in this that we can't control and too many things we simply don't know.

It doesn't matter if there is some disagreement but that a majority of those are in agreement and the results can be duplicated... just as was done with the placard on the Roswell slides.

I personally do have a few conclusions that are not among the things suggested... one of which is that the message is not military... David disagrees with that assessment and I'm sure will grace us was a multi-part post as to why that is wrong, but the real fact is that while there are those who believe they can read most of the message, there is not agreement among them and there is a certain amount of interpretation in those conclusions... my hope is that we'll end up with an analysis that can be replicated that provides us with what the memo says... not that it proves alien visitation or a balloon crash... but what it actually says.

Count Otto Black said...

May I repeat the screamingly obvious? The exact make of camera, type of film, font of typewriter or teletype machine, and so on make only the most marginal of differences. This blurred picture is all we have, and no computer will ever be able to magic a definitive reading of the text we can all agree on from the available data.

But just look at General Ramey's body language. This is a man who is bad at addressing press conferences because it isn't usually his job. And he's holding, in both hands, in a position where he can glance down at it instantly, a piece of paper which he is making no attempt whatsoever to hide from anyone, including multiple civilians with cameras. Whether it's in armyspeak or not, that memo is simply his lecture notes. Any other interpretation is getting into the kind of territory where you can prove Paul McCartney has been dead since 1966 by playing Beatles records backwards. Except that it's nowhere near as funny, and involves more people who are genuinely mentally ill.

Mike S said...

Post the doc so everybody can try decoding it.

Don Maor said...

Count Otto Black wrote:

"And he's holding, in both hands, in a position where he can glance down at it instantly, a piece of paper which he is making no attempt whatsoever to hide from anyone"

For your information Otto, this photo of Ramey with the memo is one of 4 photos: in the remaining three photos, Ramey indeed seems to be willingly hidding the content of the memo. Therefore you are most probably wrong in your assertion.

On the other hand, it seems to be clear that the word "victims" is there, as well as the words "disc" and "balloons". Anyone who says that those words are defintely not there is either simply not paying attention to the careful work of MANY who have tried to read the Ramey Memo, or voluntarily making fatty his own sight.

Mr. Sweepy said...

The biggest "Challenge" I see in reading the Ramey Memo is a entirely different set of factors. First, the memo was type on a typewriter. This is analog not digital created. Typewriters used ink ribbons which the letters while were of decent quality, they are nowhere near the quality of digital letters. Then you have to consider the fact that the analog letters in the memo have burred edges if you magnified the letters. The amount of the burr or fuzz depends on many factors itself like the age of the ribbon to how hard each letter is stricken or typed by the typist and more.

So the problem is not just scanning and magnifying each letter in the memo, it gets down to the analog to digital conversion of each pixel in each letter of each word. You can even see part of the problem on your own Windows based computer with the "Magnify" feature. Set the magnify to 200 percent or higher and look at the Ramey Memo. Yes you can see each letter but they is also greater levels of burr and fuzz and distortion in each. If you ever worked with Photoshop, then you will have a understanding just how rough letters really do look when you magnify them to a much bigger size.

This is the problems BEFORE the quality of the analog photograph picture, the quality of the camera, lighting and all the other factors in the picture itself. Whether it comes directly from the original negative of the film or whether it comes from the first generation of the picture.

The "Challenge" is the eliminate the burr and fuzz while magnifying each letter. Can it be done? I think it's possible but it will take one very good team of people with the best equipment available.

Brian B said...

I still believe the memo is from a teletype machine based on having looked at originals from that era. If so, I do think it highly likely these are speaking notes sent to him prior to the press session.

KRandle said...

Mike S -

There are plans to make all this material available through UTA which would allow us to argue that the provenance is established. I don't know how long that will take, but I will note that just today I had an email from them on this very subject...

Isaac Koi - New Uploads said...

Mike S said "Post the doc so everybody can try decoding it".

The new scans have been posted online already.

The 27Gb of scans produced by Kevin Randle, David Rudiak, Simon Schollum, and Jerry Morelock (from the negative housed in the The Fort Worth Star Telegram Collection in the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries) were made freely available online in November 2015:

KRandle said...

Isaac -

In my rush to get this posted, and with the communication from UTA today, this slipped my mind. Again, thanks for getting the information posted.

Nitram said...

Hello Kevin

Thanks for the updates.


Any luck with remembering the name of the photo lab that could do all this for the $10K?


Isaac Koi - New Uploads said...

I've been tracking the spread of links to Kevin's blog post about the $10K reward on a few Facebook UFO groups and other UFO websites (e.g. Reddit, the Open Minds website, the Paracast forum).

Comments by visitors to those UFO groups/websites have been rather limited and generally VERY short. The reward has not been mentioned at all so far on quite a few UFO forums and email discussion Lists.

Although the sample size is fairly small, I thought it interesting to estimate that:

(1) About half of the resulting comments about the reward were along the lines that someone had already clarified the text. (A very small number of people explicitly named David Rudiak, but quite a few others appear to have had him in mind - referring to David's interpretation of the Ramey Memo, David Rudiak's website or vaguely mentioning a relevant documentary [probably the Sci-Fi Channel documentary in which David Rudiak appeared]).

(2) About a quarter of the limited number of comments have suggested that attempting to enhance the Ramey Memo is a waste of time due to the quality of the image. None of those comments has been very detailed. (Indeed, none of them explicitly referred to any of the new scans).

(2) About a quarter of the limited number of comments have been very brief miscellaneous remarks. I don't think any of them have been very productive, e.g. ranging from a complaint that an article on the Open Minds website about the reward was poor journalism because it only showed an image of the Ramey Memo without setting out the text of that memo (when the entire point of the article was that there is a reward for anyone that is able to clarify the text in a way that meets various requirements) to just expressions of hope that the memo can be enhanced.

I'd like to think that work behind the scenes is a bit more productive than the level of limited comments I've seen online so far.

Terry the Censor said...

Come, come. Why are we still debating this? David Rudiak has already told us what the Ramey memo says, and he has made it crystal clear that anyone who disagrees with him is, ipso facto, unqualified to comment!

Is that not the epitome of ufological science?

Let us together enter a state of Rudiakian bliss by gazing into the ONE TRUE Ramey reading:

Nitram said...

Terry wrote:

"Come, come. Why are we still debating this? David Rudiak has already told us what the Ramey memo says, and he has made it crystal clear that anyone who disagrees with him is, ipso facto, unqualified to comment!"

Firstly this is an INVESTIGATION not a debate - forget now how many times people need reminding of this...

Regarding Davids work I will state the following:

(1) It cannot be demonstrated 100% (at this point in time) that David is correct in what the memo says - however most people who comment on this blog are unqualified to comment.

(2) David's work should be respected and a number of people (suitably qualified to comment), indeed agree that David's reading of the memo is PROBABLY correct.