Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Decline of Roswell - So Many Missed the Point

Over the last several days I have received a number of comments, privately, about my post, “The Decline of Roswell.” What is disturbing about it is that many people missed the most important part. They focused on the statement by Colonel Howard McCoy to The Science Advisory Board about his wishing one would crash. But, that is not the critical comment.

To recap, briefly. Those who follow this blog know that a while back I mentioned that Captain Edward Ruppelt, in a briefing he conducted in the early 1950s, had mentioned the lack of recovered crash debris. But Ruppelt had no need to know if there was crash recovered
Captain Edward Ruppelt
debris from earlier investigations. His mission was the investigation of sightings reported to the Air Force, and the gathering of what might be considered essential items of intelligence. He could do his job without being told that debris had been recovered from a crash. His statement isn’t particularly troubling, given the circumstances and his position in the UFO investigations.

There was another document, a top-secret report entitled Air Intelligence Report No. 100-203-79 and dated December 10, 1948, with a second version dated April 28, 1949. The officers responsible for it make no mention of crash recovered debris. But the officers involved suggested there could have been some project or information that would have explained everything about the flying saucers if a free flow existed. In other words, this report doesn’t exclude Roswell, given that the officers didn’t have access to everything, as they themselves, noted.

Lieutenant General Nathan Twining, in a letter he wrote on September 23, 1947, mentioned the lack of crash recovered debris. It might be important to know that the letter was probably written by McCoy for Twining’s signature. But the information used to form the opinion had been supplied by Lieutenant Colonel George Garrett through Brigadier General George Schulgen. The sightings and information supplied by Garrett contained no references to crash recovered material. Twining could accomplish his goal without referring to crash recovered debris and would have no motive for adding that information to his letter. The reference in the letter was about the lack of debris in the supporting documentation supplied, not actually saying that no such debris existed. It doesn’t close the Roswell door at all.

Then there was the quote from the Science Advisory Board in which McCoy said that they wished one would crash. The problem is that the information in the briefing was classified only as secret and some of the participants might not have held top secret clearances. Besides, we run into that pesky “need to know.” In other words, this is not the fatal bullet to the Roswell case, given the circumstances.

The real problem and the one that has been basically ignored by the various commentators here and in other arenas is McCoy’s letter to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force on November 3, 1948. It was a long letter discussing flying saucers. This was a recap of what they knew, or thought they knew about the “Flying Objects,” according to the documentation available. In paragraph 8, McCoy wrote:

The possibility that the reported objects are vehicles from another planet has not been ignored. However, tangible evidence to support conclusions about such a possibility are completely lacking (I have highlighted this because of its importance). 
This is the deadliest of the quotes. Because of who McCoy was, I
Colonel Howard
believe that he would have known about any recovered crash debris. He had been running the unofficial UFO investigation until the Arnold sighting in June, 1947, when it became more of an official study. He was on the inside from the very beginning, and he was a key member of Twining’s primary staff.

The second real problem here is that McCoy would have no expectation that this letter would be seen by anyone other than those to which it was addressed and it was going to the top guy in the Air Force, especially since FOIA didn’t exist then. As I mentioned, he wouldn’t dare lie. If there had been a crash, he was writing to those who would know about it; more importantly these were the people who had to know about it because they would be directing policy. They might not have all the minutia of the crash or what had been learned by the reverse engineering, but they would know that there had been a crash of something that was highly unusual. They would know that this was a craft that had not been build on Earth.

When we look at those first few examples about a lack of crash debris, we can, I believe, with intellectually honest candor, suggest that this does not close the door on Roswell. There are cracks in those documents. But the last one, by McCoy, is the one we must look at carefully. There is very little wiggle room here. McCoy either didn’t know or he was lying to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Since it is clear that he wouldn’t lie to the top officer in the Air Force, we are left with the idea he just didn’t know. This seems to be preposterous. McCoy was in the inner circle…

That leads us to the conclusion, based solely on the documentation from that time frame that the answer to the Roswell crash does not lie with the stars.

There is, of course, always the possibility that there is missing information. And, we have to look at the testimony from those who seemed to have no reason to lie about this from Bill Brazel to Edwin Easley to Loretta Proctor and a dozen other low-ranking military men and to the civilians who lived in the area.

I can say, without fear of contradiction, that something fell near Corona, New Mexico in July 1947. The question is still, “What was it?” The answer, today, is less clear than it was a decade ago. All I can say is that this one letter from McCoy worries me greatly and it should worry anyone else who believes that Roswell has an alien solution.


Louis Nicholson said...

Kevin: You seem to be equating Col McCoy's statement as being an utterance of God Almighty. His statement “ tangible evidence to support conclusions about such a possibility are completely lacking,“ is probably no more than his opinion. He may have seen and touched very exotic material from Roswell and just refused to believe that it was extraterrestrial. Another person may have come to the a different conclusion. Also, do we know whether Col. McCoy was a trained scientist or other such professional qualified to make such a determination? Just because he was involved in investigating UFOs until the Arnold sighting does not make him an expert on flying saucers. Also, you seem to be assuming that he actually knew anything about Roswell. Sure, perhaps he SHOULD have known, but that does not mean he DEFINITELY knew.

One can make use that same logic to say that since the Air Force SHOULD have known it was a flying saucer when they said so in their press release, that means it DEFINITELY WAS a flying saucer. I'm sure you reject that suggestion.

So to say “that leads us to the conclusion, based solely on the documentation from that time frame that the answer to the Roswell crash does not lie with the stars” based upon his sole opinion is quite a stretch.

As I've said before on this blog, if Roswell was anything other than an ET or other such paranormal event, why would the Air Force, 50 years later, lie about it by saying it was Project Mogul and crash dummies? If it was something mundane, why not just say so?

Also, when Congressman Schiff tried to investigate the matter, he found out that important documents, including outgoing messages from the Roswell Army Air Field at the time, were destroyed without proper authority. Those messages would have shown what Roswell military officials were saying to their superiors about what happened. Why were these records destroyed? To cover up a mundane event?

Tom Livesey said...

Great post. The only glimmer of hope here is the earlier letter complaining of a lack of "free-flow" of information between departments/individuals. We can assume that in writing this later letter it was felt that the authors "would know", hence their pointing out that they *don't* know. This puts some weight on the assumption here that McCoy would know. You might think so, but so did the seniors assume about the authors of the later letter, and wrongly. So how to pin down the idea that McCoy *would* know? A counter narrative might be this: the lack of transparent communication created a condition exploitable by other compartmentalised parties. With McCoy "wishing for" a disc, he may be exactly the person excluded and not told. Sometimes seniors do not give juniors what they want, and if the intent was not to be transparent in the first place, McCoy might be exactly the one left out of the loop. Giving him the information would have made it "official", and perhaps there was an avoidance of that from the beginning. So the key question is "would McCoy know?" and until we have the full picture we don't know that he would, we can only speculate that he would.

starman said...

Assuming the letter is genuine and both McCoy and Vandenburg would've been "in the know," I think it was more misinformation. The quote flies in the face of the better witness testimony, and it seems silly for McCoy to bore Vandenburg with a long letter which added nothing to his knowledge (IF there was still no solution).
In the years after Roswell, those privy to the great secret knew they'd have to keep Roswell under wraps for a VERY long time-- beyond their lifetimes. They had to prepare for the long haul. Despite their best efforts by '48, sooner or later someone might reopen the case. Anticipating that possibility, they may have prepared documentation intended to kill the case again (or at least cast doubt on it) if/when the need arose.

cda said...


I simply do not follow your logic here.

You say Ruppelt and Blue Book were set up for the investigation of UFO sightings reported to the USAF. OK, so this was to include those objects seen in the air and, presumably, anything seen on the ground which the observer thought a possible unknown and/or a security threat. You then say Ruppelt "had no need to know if there was crash recovered debris from earlier investigations". So you are saying that Ruppelt, as head of the only official UFO investigation in the country, was very likely denied any earlier solid evidence (i.e. hardware) which would have aided him and his team in their investigations.

Incredible! There is no other word to describe it. It is like a medical research team desperately looking for a cure for cancer, when all the time another, smaller, highly secretive team have already found a substance that provides this cure.

Now what would happen if Ruppelt's team DID discover some hard evidence? Is your answer that the guys at the top would have immediately said they had already possessed this evidence but had suppressed it for some years?

We then hear that other USAF writers and 'teams' may have produced documents saying this and that, whilst all the time they were not really 'in the know' about what the guys at the top knew.

Then there is McCoy, the man who must have known, because he "was in the inner circle". But was he? There are Generals McCoy, Twining, Garrett and Schulgen (the four you list). Now tell me who, if any, of these four KNEW the dreadful truth in 1947-48? The unspeakable truth that must NOT, in any circumstances, be made public? And for that matter STILL cannot be made public, 70 years later.

And the only official group (Blue Book) set up to study this whole UFO business is being denied the very information which would enable them to reach a proper conclusion!

This so reminds me of Stan Friedman and his eternal thesis of who knows what, what level of security this or that was and so on. Every time someone writes a memo we have to think who it is for, who else might see it, its classification level, and so on. Nobody can possibly be told anything that does not really concern them.

SUCH IS UFOLOGY (according to the experts). Who knows, but maybe even Dr Condon and his gang of scientists investigated UFOS, under an official government contract, for two years, completely unaware that a few guys at the top had known the answer since 1947!

Mainstream science has rightly regarded UFOs as a pseudo-science. The above helps to explain why.

John Steiger said...

Documentation is not the only evidence, and there is much credible evidence to contradict Howard McCoy’s writings.

In addition, the USAF published not one, but two reports re: Roswell in the 1990’s— neither of which is credible.

KRandle said...

Louis -

Actually, in 1947, McCoy was the subject matter expert on these unidentified aerial phenomena. He had been involved since the Foo Fighters, and he had been ordered to create an unofficial investigation in December 1946. He was hip deep in UFOs before they were UFOs. My point was that you can argue that some of the things he said had more to do with national security than what they actually knew, but when you get to the letter to the Chief of Staff, you run into some real problems that we shouldn't ignore if we are going to be intellectually honest here.

Tom -

There is always the possibility that what we believe about McCoy is true, but at this date we can't prove it. McCoy was the intelligence officer in the right place at the right time, investigating these UFOs... had there been a crash, I believe we can make a very strong case that he did know.


You just don't understand how these classified, compartmental things work. But if you want to continue with the medical analogy, think of the research into AIDS in the 1980s. You had that sort of thing going on... but here there was simply no reason to tell Ruppelt about a crash for him to do his job... but I'm simply saying you can make that argument with a straight face because NATIONAL SECURITY. Ruppelt cold do what he was ordered to do. Besides, much of McCoy's knowledge about the Ghost Rockets never made it to Blue Book.

And, if you look into the Belt, Montana, UFO sightings of 1968, you'll find that a Condon investigator who had top secret clearance was denied information about the sightings there because NATIONAL SECURITY.

John -

Didn't say that documentation was the only evidence. Did suggest that if we wish to be intellectually honest, then we need to acknowledge that these documents (which are real as opposed to MJ-12) are disturbing.

Nitram said...

Louis wrote:

"As I've said before on this blog, if Roswell was anything other than an ET or other such paranormal event, why would the Air Force, 50 years later, lie about it by saying it was Project Mogul and crash dummies? If it was something mundane, why not just say so?"

The US Airforce looked foolish in their 1994 report. I suspect they didn't know (and still don't know) what really happened at Roswell and accordingly gave their "best guess" on the matter - we at least know that balloons do exist!

"Crash dummies from the future" was also rather silly - but again, they felt they had to make some comment about bodies... since nobody usually dies in a weather balloon crash, their answer is no worse that some of the stuff posted by the debunkers here...

There are very good arguments against both ET and mogul, yet their aren't many people who see problems with both.


Terry the Censor said...

Kevin, I appreciate your patient effort.

Brian B said...

We should just take McCoy’s letter, and all the other memos for that matter, at FACE VALUE.

Meaning, what they say is what they actually mean. That’s what Kevin has done, why are people arguing there’s deeper hidden meanings to this letter?

Why is it that so many people want to read into these letters something that’s not there? Like he knew Roswell was an ET craft but he wrote the letter as “disinformation”. Or, he “suspected” there might be ET evidence but since he didn’t have access to it wrote a letter as if his statement that there wasn’t any would get an answer that there really was.

Let’s be honest here. To keep their hopes alive, some people just keep twisting this material to produce meanings that aren’t really there.