Tuesday, March 01, 2022

The End of Project Mogul


In Understanding Roswell, I looked again, at the Air Force’s ultimate answer for the UFO crash, which had written off as a balloon array from the “highly classified” Project Mogul. The Air Force, in their investigation, had eliminated all possible terrestrial answers, as civilian UFO researchers had done in the years before the Air Force entered the arena. We knew, based on our research, that there had been no aircraft accidents, civilian, military or experimental. There were no stray rockets or missiles from the White Sands Proving Ground and nothing associated with the 509th Bomb Group that would account for the debris. There was no sort of nuclear accident that would have accounted for the high level of security testified to by the witnesses, both military and civilian. Had there been some sort of highly classified project in play, that would have explained the security, but since all that happened seventy-five years ago, there would be no legitimate reason for the secret to be kept in today’s environment.

This means that all of us, military, civilian, interested and uninterested, reached the same basic conclusion about what had fallen near tiny Corona, New Mexico, in July 1947. We all agreed that something had fallen. It was the identify of object that had left the debris scattered over about three quarters of a mile of pasture land in the high desert that was the question.

The lone exception to this was the classified balloon project code named “Mogul.” According to the Air Force investigation, this program, designed to place a constant level balloon in the upper atmosphere allowing American scientists and intelligence officers to listen for atomic detonations in the Soviet Union, left the debris. This was the reason for the high-level of security because no one in Washington, D.C., or the Pentagon for that matter, wanted the Soviets to know that we were listening for their atomic bomb testing.

While this would explain the classification of the ultimate purpose, that did not cover the experiments in Alamogordo, New Mexico, that began in June, 1947. The activities there, known to those who participated in them as the New York University balloon project, were not classified, and, in fact, information about those activities was printed in newspapers around the United States on July 10, 1947. This negates the claim of high security in New Mexico and the reason for the secrecy there.

Phyllis McGuire

There are other aspects to this. According to the testimony of Phyllis McGuire, the teenaged daughter of Chaves County, New Mexico, Sheriff George Wilcox, when rancher Mack Brazel appeared in the Roswell office, she was there. The Wilcox family lived above the sheriff’s office. She reported that Brazel told the sheriff about the strange metal debris that he had found in one of the fields on the ranch he managed. More importantly, she mentioned that Brazel had brought samples of the debris with him.

While there are those who would suggest that the teenaged daughter revealing this decades later might not be the most reliable of sources, there is corroboration for this. General Thomas DuBose, the Chief of Staff for the Eighth Air Force in Fort Worth in 1947, interview by Don Schmitt and others, said that strange metallic debris discovered by Brazel, was sent by special flight to Fort Worth.

According to DuBose, the debris was taken to Fort Worth “two or three days earlier,” meaning, of course two or three days prior to the July 8 announcement that a “flying saucer” had been captured. It was DuBose who had alerted those in Washington that something had been found and it was DuBose who received orders from Major General Clements McMullen to bring a sample of that debris to Washington, sometime on Sunday, July 6.

BG Thomas Dubose

In a recorded interview, DuBose said, “He [McMullen] called me and said that I was, there was some talk of some elements that had been found on the ground outside Roswell, New Mexico. That the debris or elements were to be placed in a suitable container, and Blanchard was to see that they were delivered… and [Colonel] Al Clark… would pick them up and hand deliver them to McMullen in Washington. Nobody, and I must stress this, no one was to discuss it with their wives, me with Ramey, with anyone.”

DuBose then called Blanchard and relayed the instructions to him. At that moment, the samples of the debris that Brazel had taken to the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, and mentioned by Phyllis McGuire, were taken, under orders from Blanchard to the Roswell Army Air Field and eventually on to Fort Worth.

All this suggests that the officers at the Roswell Army Air Field were unable to identify the material as the remains of a weather balloon and a rawin radar target. There was nothing special about the weather balloon that would have fooled anyone who had seen it.

Wilcox thought enough of Brazel’s tale that he dispatched two deputies to the area of the crash. Brazel gave them directions, but given the nature of the terrain, and the distance from Roswell, the deputies failed to find the field, though they did find a large, circular burned area to the north of town.

Wilcox, who was unable to identify the debris, then called out to the Roswell Army Air Field to report what the rancher had found. The call eventually reached Major Jesse A. Marcel, Sr., the Air Intelligence Officer. He drove from the base to the sheriff’s office where he met with Brazel and was shown the debris that Brazel had brought with him.

Apparently, Marcel was unable to identify the material and thought it strange enough that he should investigate further. In consultation with the base commander, Colonel William Blanchard, it was decided that Marcel should accompany Brazel back to the ranch. Blanchard mentioned the base had just acquired a counterintelligence office. He thought Marcel should take Captain Sheridan Cavitt, the officer in charge of that office, out to the ranch.

Marcel, had returned to the base, picked up Cavitt and then drove to the sheriff’s office. With Brazel leading the way, the small convoy, Brazel in his pickup, Marcel in his Buick, and Cavitt in a Jeep Carryall, arrived too late in the day to do much. They spent the night in a small house, and according to Marcel, had a later supper of beans.

The next morning, Brazel, Marcel and Cavitt made their way to the Debris Field. Marcel said that it was about three-quarters of a mile long, and two to three hundred yards wide. Cavitt would tell Air Force investigator, Colonel Richard Weaver in 1994, that it was much smaller, no bigger than a large room in a house. More importantly, Cavitt would tell Weaver that the moment he saw the material, he recognized it as the remains of balloons. Weaver didn’t ask, and Cavitt didn’t explain, why he had not told Marcel this, nor why he didn’t mention to Blanchard when he returned to the base.

The misleadingly captioned claim that this array, including the rawin radar targets was launched by New
York University scientists on June 4, 1947. This was actually Flight No. 2, flown on the east coast.
The arrays launched in New Mexico were a third shorter and carried no rawin targets.

The actual make up of the array trains flown in New Mexico. Flight No. 4 had been cancelled, but 
Flight No. 5, designated as the first successful flight, was launched on June 5, 1947. There is no 
evidence that any rawin targets were used on it or most subsequent flights.

There is the other, important problem. Cavitt didn’t explain why he had been fooled by the debris in Roswell, but recognized it once he arrived on the ranch. Had the debris been part of Project Mogul, which was made up of off-the-shelf weather balloons and rawin radar targets, there is no reason for it to have fooled Brazel, Wilcox, and Marcel. Had it been part of Project Mogul, and recognized as balloon debris, there is no reason for the trip to the ranch and clean up wouldn’t have been all that difficult.

There is still another, important aspect to all this. The Project Mogul balloons were launched from Alamogordo Army Air Field. Dr. Albert Crary, the man in charge of the experiments in New Mexico, kept records of the launches, and that record of his field notes, diary entries and final report are all available both online and in the massive Air Force report on the Roswell case. Based on all that data, we know that all Mogul flights prior to July 6, which is the date that Brazel drove into Roswell, were accounted for with the exception of Flight No. 4, which had been scheduled for launch on June 3, but postponed until June 4. Another attempt was made on the following morning. Crary's entry for this attempt said:

June 4 Wed

Out to Tularosa Range and fired charges between 00 and 06 this am. No balloon flight again on account of clouds. Flew regular sonobuoy mike up in cluster of balloons and had good luck on receiver on ground but poor on plane. Out with Thompson pm. Shot charges 1800 to 2400.

This provided the timing of the events in Alamogordo, and because of the regulations under which they operated, they were forced to cancel the flight. There is nothing ambiguous in the documentation. Flight No. 4 was cancelled. Later that morning, they flew a cluster of balloons with a sonobuoy, but this wasn’t a full Mogul array and no evidence that the balloon cluster ever left the Alamogordo area.

To take this one step further, an examination of the documentation available in Crary’s notes, showed they weren’t using the rawin radar targets at this stage of their research. Flight No. 5, which flew the next day, June 5, did not have any radar targets on it, according to the illustrations available in the final reports. If there were no rawin targets attached to the flight, then where did the rawin originate that was displayed in General Ramey’s office. And, if there were no rawin targets, then isn’t that photograph taken in Ramey’s office evidence of a coverup?

There are pictures of an array being prepared that do show the rawin radar targets as part of the assembly but that photograph was taken on July 22, 1948, more than a year after the crash in Roswell. Another photograph, published on July 10, 1947, shows the launch of the two balloons, with but a single rawin target attached.

Here is where we are. The June 4, 1947, launch of Flight No. 4, was cancelled according to the documentation. Later in the day, there was the launch of a cluster of balloons, but this was not a full array. It was made up of the already inflated balloons and a sonobuoy to test the radio reception. There is no evidence that it left the Alamogordo area and no evidence that it contained a rawin radar target. Without Flight No. 4, the explanation of a Mogul balloon array accounting for the debris found by Mack Brazel, fails.

An alleged Mogul array being prepared for flight. This one was launched more than a year after the
cancelled June 4, Mogul Flight No. 4

The date the photograph was taken, July 22, 1948.

The documentation, provided in the various field notes, diary entries, and other evidence, shows that rawin targets were not part of the arrays being launched in New Mexico, and if there were no such targets, then the balloon explanation fails at that point as well.

Although the Air Force claimed that Project Mogul was highly classified and that would account for those in Roswell being unable to identify the balloon is misleading. The ultimate purpose was classified, but the work being done in New Mexico was not. The newspaper articles published on July 10, 1947, proves this claim to be false.

With the elimination of the Mogul explanation, based on the overwhelming evidence that Flight No. 4 was cancelled, there is no terrestrial explanation for what fell on the Brazel managed ranch. Remember, the Air Force eliminated all other mundane explanations before settling on Mogul. There could be, somewhere, a super-secret project that would account for the debris, but no one has identified it yet, and it is difficult to believe that revelation of such a program would adversely affect national security in the world today. Had there been such an explanation, the Air Force would have used it years ago and the Roswell case would have been solved.

Until and unless, such a program or project is revealed and it can be shown to have scattered the debris in New Mexico, the only conclusion to be drawn is that whatever fell that day is unknown. To many, that leads directly to the extraterrestrial. The lack of evidence for the terrestrial does suggest something alien. Is sufficient to prove the case? That’s left up to the individual but it the most logical explanation at the moment.


Nitram said...

Hi Kevin

An excellent post - I don't agree that what fell was alien, but there are so, many many problems with the everchanging "official explanations"...

I can't help but chuckle at the "mogul believers" who are desperate to hold onto their answer at all costs, yet can't see any problems at all with this explanation!

Look forward to seeing your next Roswell book...


Bob said...

Excellent logic.

John Steiger said...

Kevin: This is a very important post -- one of the most important in the history of this blog. For here you have demonstrated concisely, coherently, and with oodles of supporting evidence that the USAF explanation of Roswell necessarily fails.

That said, you are driving me crazy! ... (as follows):

“As for me, I find myself drifting toward those who reject the extraterrestrial. At one time I was sure but that was when we had all that robust testimony, much of which is now thoroughly discredited. I have hope that we’ll find an answer, and it might be extraterrestrial, but in today’s world we just can’t prove it ... Maybe someday we’ll have it, but today is not that day and I fear tomorrow won’t be that day either." Roswell in the 21st Century (2016), p. 247.

And now ...

"[T]he only conclusion to be drawn is that whatever fell that day is unknown. To many, that leads directly to the extraterrestrial. The lack of evidence for the terrestrial does suggest something alien. Is [this] sufficient to prove the case? That’s left up to the individual but it [is] the most logical explanation at the moment." The End of Project Mogul blogpost (March 01, 2022).

But I am quite thankful you seem to be coming back to your senses(!)

starman said...


"I don't agree that what fell was alien…"

If it wasn't MOGUL nor anything else terrestrial what else could it have been but ET? The Holy Ghost? Lol.

Nitram said...

Starman wrote

"If it wasn't MOGUL nor anything else terrestrial what else could it have been but ET? The Holy Ghost? Lol."

It could be something terrestrial - but I can't think of anything...
Can't see how it could be MOGUL - however balloons do exist (Aliens may not?)
I don't rule out a "time traveller" for example... I'm not saying that's the answer - just that it's possible...

Regards Nitram

Terry the Censor said...

Terrible reasoning, Kevin.

starman said...

Nitram wrote

"It could be something terrestrial - but I can't think of anything."

If it was something terrestrial by now, after 75 years, SOMEBODY would've thought of something.

Nitram wrote

"I don't rule out a "time traveler" for example… I'm not saying that's the answer - just that it's possible."

I'm not sure it is, and it's surely not more likely than ETs. Essentially the ETH only says life has arisen elsewhere and has done what we have, just exceeded it. Time travelers wouldn't need a flying machine.

KRandle said...

Terry -

Please explain your comment.

Nitram said...

Starman wrote:

"If it was something terrestrial by now, after 75 years, SOMEBODY would've thought of something."

Yes, that is a fair comment. If ET was the answer, however, I would have expected some of the "leads" to have taken us a bit further in terms of proof - some have lead nowhere.

"I'm not sure it is, and it's surely not more likely than ETs."

The words "not sure" and "surely not" don't seem to be concrete proof of anything.
Maybe Roswell was an ET event (I would be delighted to be wrong) - I'm simply stating it hasn't been proven.


starman said...

Nitram wrote

"If ET was the answer, however, I would have expected some of the "leads" to have taken us a bit further in terms of proof - some have led nowhere."

Right, and probably by design. Simply covering up evidence isn't the only way to obscure the truth. One book, THE ALIEN GRAND DESIGN, explains the exact purpose of misinformation i.e. what false ideas the phony stories are intended to promote.

"I'm simply stating it hasn't been proven."

As far as we laymen know. And it is still the most likely explanation.

Unknown said...

Hello Mr. Randle...first visit to your blog. I knew a woman, now deceased, who was employed at Area 51 and S4. She did not know Bob Lazar and would not tell me explicitly what her job was. She was born in New Mexico. Her father had some connection to government research at White Sands. Her manner of speaking did not indicate an advanced education. I assumed she worked in a domestic capacity, food service or some such. I will continue the story to you only via e-mail...

Woody said...

Could you're reservations about the 'Mogul explanation' be based simply on an administrative error? The famous 'Westlake' story from Eastern Australia includes a letter from an airforce officer who explained that the details of the sighting sound very, very much like the equipment used in a training program performed at a nearby airforce base. Records at that base show no such training with that equipment occuring on the date of the sighting.
Is an administrative error more likely than visiting alien spacecraft ?

Just a thought mate,

KRandle said...

Woody -

The documentation is persuasive. The cancellation of Flight No. 4 is noted in various documents including a summary of the successful flights in New Mexico that began with Flight No. 5. If it was an error and appeared in one place, then such an argument could be made. But it is recorded in multiple places. It is the only flight in the proper time frame that could have left the debris, had it actually flown.

John Steiger said...

Woody: The principal administrative error involved with the Roswell UFO crash of 1947 centers on the USAF's failure to make a persuasive case for a terrestrial-based explanation in either of their two official reports on the subject. Dr. Randle and others in the UFO community have thoroughly repudiated the Air Force's fictional account of events.

Nitram said...

Woody wrote:

"Is an administrative error more likely than visiting alien spacecraft?"

Most definitely :)

However, there are other factors (and this is what Kevin keeps saying). But when you add all these up (and we are talking a mountain of errors!) I might still be willing to say Mogul is more likely (ridiculous as it is) than an alien space ship :)

The additional problems include only one of the witnesses (Cavitt) recognizing the material at the time, for what it truely was, and naturally, not telling the others! (ridiculous as it is)... He also said he was never there (in Roswell) at the time - I consider this a strong indication that he is hiding something...

Why some cling to the USAF explanation is that nothing else is on the table - let's assume that alien visitation has never happened for example and may not be possible (and in all probability it hasn't).

I would be more likely to consider the alien alternative if most of the testimony isn't so contradictory and in some cases simply made up.

I consider it more likely that Marcel was drunk when he visited the debris field (ridiculous as it is) than a visiting spaceship crashed...

But of course the arguments put forward by some of the experts, who have studied the case for decades, cannot be easily rebuffed either.
This is why, in my opinion, the case is so complicated.

Regards Nitram

Remsey said...

Not much to not agree with. This was 100% non human.