Sunday, October 27, 2019

TTSA, Metamaterial and the U.S. Army

The big news for the 1997 Fiftieth Anniversary of the Roswell UFO crash was that it would be announced, with proper provenance and other documentation, that metallic debris from the spacecraft had been recovered. Scientific analysis had been performed by independent labs and by scientists with the proper training in various disciplines. That debris, small though it might be, was of extraterrestrial origin. All questions about it would be answered during a professional presentation by one of the scientists involved in the analysis, would be held in the auditorium at the New Mexico Military Institute.

It goes without saying that the venue was jam packed with standing room only. Dozens, maybe hundreds of reporters according to one source, were there to learn about this extraordinary, earth-shattering discovery. Paul Davids, who was the executive producer of the Showtime movie Roswell, was the spokesman for the show. He introduced the scientist, Dr. Russell VernonClark (that was the way he
Paul Davids
spelled it at the time) who had done some of the analysis. VernonClark went through the methods used to validate the claim of extraterrestrial origin.

VernonClark explained that carbon, for example, had two isotopes, carbon-12 and carbon-13. He then said, “Naturally occurring on the Earth, carbon is a mixture of 98.9% carbon-12 and 1.1% carbon-13. This will be true for all naturally occurring terrestrial carbon.”

He said, “If a sample [of] carbon was found to be 50% carbon-12 and 50% carbon-13 mixture, we would have to conclude the sample was not naturally occurring on the Earth.”

The keywords here are “naturally occurring.” It makes no allowances for a manipulation of isotopic ratios done in a laboratory setting of which terrestrial science is capable. In other words, the ratios could be artificially changed on Earth.

The explanation about carbon had little to do with what VernonClark found in his various tests of the debris sample. He said, “The sample, which we now know to be nearly pure silicon, shows a striking variation from natural abundance.”

Going a little further, based on tests conducted by an unnamed Texas lab, but was probably Saber Enterprises, associated with Darrell Sims, VernonClark claimed, “The Inductively Coupled Plasma/Optical Emission Spectroscopy or ICP/OES was conducted on the material by a private laboratory in Texas. It was determined that the material was most likely manufactured and not naturally occurring.”

Among the other extraordinary claims made, VernonClark said, “The atomic mass so differs from that found in known earthly elements, that it is impossible for it to be from Earth.”

He also said, “Therefore it should be considered that this material is both manufactured and extraterrestrial in origin.” That meant it came from an alien world and had been made by an alien intelligence.

Derrell Simms.
After making the extraordinary claims, VernonClark was rushed from the stage and out a backdoor without answering any questions. He had been brought to Roswell by self-proclaimed “Alien Hunter,” Darrell Simms. The same Derrell Simms who ran the Saber Enterprises. Hardly independent laboratory confirmation.

Davids, now alone on the stage, didn’t answer many questions with new and important information. Davids told reporter Leslie Linthicum of the Albuquerque Journal, “You’ve seen what we’ve offered. Please accept what you’ve been offered.”

The trouble was, no one would say where the sample have been located, who recovered it, what tests has been done and what were the credentials of those conducting the tests except in a vague and not very helpful way. Davids said that security was a major issue. He added that “The evidence is so sensitive, so unique, that it’s being treated like the Moon Rock. When you have one sample and one sample only, the risks are too great…”

It was a nice way to dodge the questions, but the questions were an outgrowth of the hype used before the presentation. None of these important questions were answered. In fact, other scientists made it clear that while the isotopic ratios found in the sample were not naturally occurring, the problem was that they could be produced in a laboratory. That meant the sample was rare, maybe unique, but this was not proof of alien creation.

In the more than twenty years since that little hiccup in the world of UFOs, nothing more has been heard about that sample. Nothing has been found to suggest it was anything other than something manufactured on Earth, and that it is no more important than the Roswell Slides that slipped into ignominy within hours of being presented to the world in Mexico City a couple of years ago.

What does that have to do with the latest announcement of recovered material of alien origin? It just suggests that we have been down this road before with the same sort of hype being made by a group with a vested interest in finding alien material.

Tom DeLonge
And, it suggests nothing other than what has happened before is happening again. The To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences’ (TTSA) leader, president, director, whatever, former Blink-182 front man, Tom DeLonge, announced on July 5, 2019, that something he called the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command had been made. In other words, the Army has bought into some of the hype presented by the TTSA to study these possibly advanced technologies to learn if they might be applied to Army vehicles.

Dr. Joseph Cannon, of the Army Futures Command said, “Our partnership with TTSA serves as an exciting, non-traditional source for novel materials and transformational technologies to enhance our military ground system capabilities… At the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center, we look forward to this partnership and the potential technical innovations forthcoming.”

They would probably have better success by employing a number of science fiction writers to predict the future. It seems that many of the innovations that have been truly extraordinary came from science fiction. These range from Jules Verne’s submarines to Arthur C. Clark’s communications satellites.

Steve Justice, TTSA’s COO, and who is always mentioned as having been employed at the Skunk Works, leaped on this idea of “potential technical innovations.” He
Steve Justice.
said of this exotic material, which might have been one of the major reasons for the Army jumping on this bandwagon, “The structure and composition of these materials are not from any known existing military or commercial application… In some cases, the manufacturing technology required to fabricate the material is only now becoming available, but the material has been in documented possession since the mid-1990s.”

If the idea that the material appeared before the terrestrial technology was capable of producing it, and if there is a documented chain of custody, then this could be a major find. According Justice, the material came from Linda Moulton Howe, and was once known as Art’s Parts, since they had been shared with the late radio host Art Bell which established the mid-1990’s time frame. In the mid-1990s, Howe commissioned Nicholas A. Reiter, described as a “technologist,” to examine this material, said to have come from the Roswell UFO crash. Reiter however, said that the material was of terrestrial origin. It was rare, it was unusual, but it was not alien. Something that Justice and Cannon seemed to have missed in their hype of the TTSA partnership with the Army.

But that isn’t all. Reiter updated his findings in 2001 saying, “The combination of bismuth and magnesium had eluded us for four years. But then one day, we found a reference to an obscure industrial process used in refinement of lead. The process, called the Betterton-Krohl Process, uses molten magnesium floated over a surface of liquid lead. The magnesium sucks up, or pulls bismuth impurities out of the lead! Often the magnesium is used over and over.”

But rather being new technology, the process was patented in 1938. It produces a thin crust of layered magnesium and bismuth, which is removed from the lead. Howe rejected all of this, saying that they needed a sample of this “slag” material to test against the “alien” sample that she had. Jacques Vallee suggested that samples of this waste could be found in France, Argentina and even the United States.

There is another link to all this is the quite disturbing for the teaming of TTSA and the Army. Dr. Hal Puthoff, also affiliated with TTSA, gave a lecture at the Society
Dr. Hal Puthoff
for Scientific Explanation’s thirty-seventh annual conference not all that long ago. He didn’t answer many of the questions about the sample. Instead, he fell back on the old standard of classified material. This is the same sort of thing used in 1997 to dodge questions about the “alien debris” presented in Roswell. Security issues required them to be closed mouth about the chain of custody and the provenance of the debris.

Puthoff is a smart guy. He has a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He worked with lasers and electronic beam devices and apparently holds several patents. He also published scientific papers that have been translated into French, Russian and Chinese.

But he was also a member of the Church of Scientology, and reached its top level. He supposedly achieved “remote viewing” abilities, which is a way of seeing things at remote locations using metal powers. In the 1970s and 1980s he directed the CIA/DIA program to investigate various psychic abilities. He, along with Russell Targ, studied the psychic abilities of Ingo Swann, Pat Price, Uri Geller as well as others in the Stargate Project. Targ and Puthoff declared that Geller had real psychic powers but in other experiments, Geller was caught using magician’s tricks and sleight of hand to demonstrate his unusual talents. This indicates the bias of the researchers.

In other words, Puthoff, who has some impressive credentials, and who has had a long interest in the paranormal, has been less than scientific in his studies of the paranormal. David Marks and Richard Kammann tried to duplicate the experiments validating remote viewing in a series of studies but were unable to do it. They suggested that there had been clues hidden in the instructions provided prior to the experiments which explained their high rate of success. Puthoff and Targ might have unknowingly provided those cues, but there were there for the astute subjects to use.

The point is that Puthoff is hardly an impartial researcher but one who has a specific bias that is often overlooked. Citing him is a simple appeal to authority because he can append Ph.D. after his name. But he seems to hold some beliefs that are, well, not conducive to impartial thought as demonstrated in his work history and the records of the experiments he conducted in his attempt to validate remote viewing.

Puthoff did say that he could talk briefly about the metamaterial debris that Art Bell had told him about years ago. These were bits of debris provided to Bell by a man who claimed that he had gotten them from his grandfather, now deceased, who had picked them up on the Roswell UFO crash site. These were Art’s Parts.
Jason Colavito provided more information from Puthoff. You can read his whole article here:

 Colavito wrote “he [Puthoff] examined the sample after a self-described military man said he had recovered it from a UFO crash site and sent it ‘by email’ to Bell. It appears that Puthoff is not describing an actual physical sample in Bell’s possession but rather a document claiming to describe a government report on such a sample, but Linda Moulton Howe claimed in the Roswell Daily Record… that Bell had the actual sample (six in fact!) and that it had been ‘recovered’ from the Roswell UFO crash site and sent to Bell in 1996 by an Army sergeant who got it from his grandfather.”

Roswell's UFO Museum and Research Center.
But the real point is that the chain of custody for this so-called metamaterial is broken because there is no access to the man who actually picked it up. It comes from a man who said that his grandfather had recovered it and then sent it to Bell, who is also deceased. Without the names of the witnesses, without some sort of notarized statement from the grandfather or other evidence linking him to the debris, it is little more than hearsay. Unless the sample is truly unique and that the components or the manufacturing technique is something not found on Earth, all that is left is a strange bit of metal.

Puthoff, however, had more to say about the metamaterial, continuing to claim that it was something of alien origin. He said:

It was a multilayered bismuth and magnesium sample. Bismuth layers less than a human hair. Magnesium samples about ten-times the size of a human hair. Supposedly picked up in the crash retrieval of an Advance Aerospace Vehicle. It looks like it’s been in a crash. The white lines are the bismuth; the darker areas are the magnesium separations. So, the question was what about this material, so naturally we looked in all the national labs, we talked to metallurgists, we combed the entire structure of published papers. Nowhere could we find any evidence that anybody ever made one of these. … Well, years later, decades actually, finally our own science moves along. We move into an area called metamaterials, and it turns out exactly this combination of materials at exactly those dimensions turn out to be an excellent microscopic waveguide for very high frequency electromagnetic radiation.
The problem here, as mentioned above, is that all that research Puthoff and his colleagues had done in various libraries, in communication with research and industrial facilities, failed to find that patent, granted in 1938. That negates the claim that there was no terrestrial history that outlined this very structure of a composite material. Odd, rare, unusual, but terrestrially based with a provenance that goes back to the late 1930s. That negates the claim that no one had ever made anything like the debris.

Although there are claims that there are other metamaterial samples are out there, we have yet to see them. The cast of those promoting these metamaterials are the same as those who were out there, literally, decades ago, saying much of the same thing. Testing results that were not favorable to the theory of alien visitation were ignored or, at worst, buried. Those that suggested some sort of extraterrestrial technology were heavily promoted. But the bottom line is that twenty years ago, this went nowhere and is often forgotten. Today the Army has jumped on the “alien technology” bandwagon believing that all this “research” will lead to an ability to disguise, hide, improve the Army’s capability to confuse, confound and defeat the enemy. Didn’t anyone bother to research the history of the earlier claims to learn of the shaky backgrounds? Didn’t anyone want to talk to those who had originally found the metal… or if that source had died, to check the family members who inherited the material. And did anyone think to check to see if the grandfather, if someone actually knows who it was, had been in Roswell in July1947? These are basic questions that seem to have been ignored or that have not been asked.

There doesn’t seem to be much to this latest TTSA announcement other than self-promotion and a certain amount of self-delusion. There is nothing new here. Only some of the players have changed, but they are propped up by those who have been around for decades. Their failures, their biases are ignored. Instead we are treated to a list of credentials that suggest a superior intellect that should be listened to because, well, they are smarter than we are and they know all about this stuff and we don’t.

The problem is what they are promoting today had failed in the past. The source of Art’s Parts has been explained and there was nothing extraterrestrial about it, but here we are again, getting half the story. It is surprising that no one in the Army used Google to learn some of this background. It’s all out there. All they had to do was look.


I did not mention the 1947 Maury Island hoax in this. It is essentially the same as Art’s Parts, meaning that worthless slag recovered at the alleged site of a UFO crash turned out to be industrial waste.

The International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell received a bizarre sample that didn’t look as if it had been made on Earth. It was driven across New Mexico by the police to be tested in Socorro. It turned out to be some sort of jeweler’s scrap. Certainly nothing suggesting an alien creation, other than the bizarre look of it.

I also want to mention Warren Smith’s claim that he had a piece of recovered debris that was stolen from his hotel room, which is a nice story but no evidence it actually happened. And, I didn’t mention Robert Willingham’s claim that he had a piece of recovered debris from the El Indio UFO crash that disappeared when he submitted it for analysis.

All that proves is that for more than 70 years people have been claiming to have found alien debris or alien technology but we have no independent corroboration for it. We are at the same point today that we were in 1947 when the Maury Island hoax erupted. We have no physical evidence in the form of recovered debris to prove the case.


mouseonmoon said...

Why am I thinking about Howard Hughes and Robert Maheu , and then
Bobby Baker and the $7B TFX fighter plane

might be Quid Pro Nada for LMH,
Circus $ Maximus for TTSA

Zak MacKracken said...

According to Jim Schnabel Puthoff left Scientology in the 70s and even supported a group against Scientology.

KRandle said...

Point is that he was deeply involved in it, reached a high level in it and seems to underscore his acceptance (at least for a time) of some wild ideas.

Unknown said...

Do we kick Mormons out too then? No fan of Scientology, but it seems a simple label to discredit Puthoff when he hasn't done anything malicious. If he had past character issues of falsehoods and scams then I would understand, but this is reaching and maybe should be a question asked directly of Mr.Puthoff to what degree Scientology plays in his life.

KRandle said...

Really? This is the take away. Google Puthoff and you'll see reference to his membership, at one time, in the Church of Scientology... But you ignore the things he claims about this metamaterial, which clearly has been proven to be of terrestrial manufacture... or that he endorsed Uri Geller as a real psychic... or that he believes he can remote view far away locations. His scientific research has been discredited in an attempt to duplicate his findings, and you want to argue about his participation in Scientology. There is more to this posting than a single reference to his participation in Scientology.

Unknown said...

No Kevin this is not the only take away from your good write up. I just worry the focus on Scientology as a warning was over used since Puthoff hasn't been a member for 40 years. People believe a lot of weird stuff and wrong stuff that are scientists and doctors, but if they stick to scientific principles and rational results then we're still on the right track. Jacques Vallee's interests in hippie wizards and Rosicrucianism would set alarm bells off, but he wins people over with his demand for results. I did do some research on why you distrust Puthoff, and you have every right to call him out with those examples.

Moonman said...

I am reminded of Ray Stanford's "debris" from the Socorro landing site. He said he even had NASA GSFC analyze it and one PhD told him one set of results on the phone and then that gut got pulled off and the next guy said it was just silica.

What about all those implants we keep hearing about? Surely one of them have some "metamaterials".

Byron Weber said...

Great article Kevin. A little research, google DARPA and metamaterials and you will find dozens of articles. At, 2015, Metamaterials Reshape and Rethink, "As early as 1999 DARPA began gathering information about metamaterials...," and they have been investing in metamaterials research since then along with the US Navy and Lockheed Martin. Add to that, from the above mentioned article two years before TTSA began, "DARPA, NATO and major defense companies world wide are paying close attention to developments in the area (of metamaterials). So, I would guess TTSA and Puthoff are probably behind the curve on metamaterial research. They are leveraging their position in the field with the unsubstantiated and unproven alien artifact hype. Hard to figure, all I can do is scratch my head and question what the heck is going on?

Adam S. said...

Jacques Vallee collected many samples from supposed UFOs and submitted them to different labs, often on his own dime. The reported findings were consistently terrestrial and at times showed signs of advanced, and for the time, expensive manufacturing processes.

Likewise, during the cattle mutilations of the 70s, local sheriffs took samples of materials which were left on the scene. When analyzed, these were shown to be terrestrial albeit highly advanced.

So, yet again, the evidence points to a group which has access to tremendous funding and resources, but people are still chasing aliens.

Le sigh.

KRandle said...

Unknown -

The mention of Scientology is one freaking sentence... No focus on it, just a mention of one of a longer list of things that might be considered fringe. Also mentioned his laser research, patents and science papers.

Moonman -

Take a look at Encounters in the Desert that does examine, at length, the NASA episode, Richard Hall's roll in it, and the problems with some of the information that has been presented in the past.

Byron -

Sort of my point... the Army links up with TTSA rather than some of those in the commercial world doing actual research rather than promoting alien artifacts with a tainted history.

Woody said...

Hi Kevin, did any of the people claiming to have received material from the 'Roswell Crash Site' expand as to which of the many claimed 'Crash Sites' it was. Or has talk of the 'Roswell crash' narrowed to one favoured version of the many-asserted crash-sites? For all of my life the supposed location varies depending on which writer is telling the story. has anything changed?


Moonman said...

Kevin:" Take a look at Encounters in the Desert that does examine, at length, the NASA episode, Richard Hall's roll in it, and the problems with some of the information that has been presented in the past."

Sounds like I need to get that book. I always like to hear all sides on the issue. To be honest, Stanford's book "Socorro "Saucer"..." seemed a lit hard to believe regarding the NASA GSFC analysis because of the massive use of quoted discussions. Did Ray use a tape recorder or does he have eidetic memory? I know he has special observation powers to find dinosaur bones at NASA GSFC but to recall perfectly the conversations seems hard to believe. I would not quote people like this unless I had recorded them, but is that allowed without permission?

Moonman said...

Another thing that occurred to me is that while one could mix isotopes to one's heart's content to get odd unnature blends, there is a cost to doing this. So, finding isotope blends with expensive mixes is less likely to be done by freelance hoaxers.

Paul Craddick said...


I understand that this is incidental to your larger point — but when you wrote 'Steve Justice ... who is always mentioned as having been employed at the Skunk Works', are you indicating some doubt about Justice's CV?

KRandle said...

Paul -

Nope... just suggesting that they (the writers and all) are appealing to authority. You can believe this story because Steve Justice worked at the Skunk Works. Sort of like Stan Friedman always mentioning that he was a nuclear physicist. A way of building credibility with just a few words.

Moonnman -

The point was that you can't say that a specific isotope is not found naturally on Earth, therefore it must have come from an extraterrestrial source. That's the key word here, "naturally." That they can create them artificially means that we can't assume an alien manufacture.

Ray did not record the telephone calls... as I mention, this is covered in the book.

KRandle said...

Woody -

Of all the crash sites mentioned, the only one that is verified is the debris field. Bill Brazel took Don Schmitt and me to that site back in 1989. Standing by his pick up truck, in that field, he said that it was right in that area that he had found some of the scraps. I took a picture of Brazel and Schmitt there.

The other sites are not as well documented, and there are some fake ones thrown in such as the site that Frank Kaufmann pointed out, the site by Jim Ragsdale (both of them) and the Plains of San Agustin. Nothing fell there in 1947 and the link to that date was shaky at best.