Saturday, January 27, 2024

Kirkpatrick, AARO, Project Mogul and Moore


On Friday, on my UFO Update on Coast-to-Coast AM, I mentioned an article written by the former director of AARO, Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick who posted something of a rant about his time at AARO. It was clear from his article that he was anti-alien visitation. There is a history of those who have been put in charge of UFO, or in this case UAP, investigation who have had a dislike for the topic and who were predisposed against the idea of alien visitation.

Sean Kirkpatrick briefing senators on UAP and ARRO.

For those who are interested in another aspect of this, I will attach, at the end of my analysis, that of Dr. David Rudiak, who goes into Kirkpatrick’s rather unscientific belief that Project Mogul explains the Roswell UFO debris.

First, we need to examine, briefly, the history of official UFO investigations which is filled with those at the top being radically anti-UFO. It began in the late 1940s when General Hoyt S. Vandenberg refused to accept an intelligence analysis suggesting that some flying saucers were alien craft. After looking at the report, known as the Estimate of the Situation (EOTS), he ordered the document declassified and then burned.

This bothered me. During my career as an Air Force intelligence officer, I dealt with classified material all the time. I destroyed many out-of-date documents that would have created a great deal of clutter in the safe. There is nothing nefarious about this and every intelligence officer, as a matter of routine, has destroyed out-of-date documents.

I also tossed out unclassified documents without needing to document their destruction. The question that springs to mind is why would Vandenberg have ordered the EOTS declassified and then destroyed? The answer is that if it was classified, there would need to be a record of its destruction. It would prove that the document had existed. But, if it was declassified first, then no such documentation would be needed.

Ed Ruppelt of Project Blue Book said that he had seen one copy of it. There wouldn’t have been many created given the nature of the EOTS and its purpose. No more than a dozen and probably fewer. So, one survived for a period and Ruppelt read it. He said that it concluded that some flying saucers were alien spacecraft and Vandenberg didn’t accept that conclusion.

Captain Edward Ruppelt.

That is the first instance of a high-ranking officer deciding that certain information must be kept from the public. I won’t speculated as to why Vandenberg believed that. I will say that we all can figure it out.

And, I will note that if the Chief of Staff of the Air Force didn’t accept the idea of alien visitation, then those officers who valued their careers felt the same way. Once Vandenberg made it clear there were no flying saucers, his subordinates followed his lead. They weren’t interested in finding evidence that contradicted the highest-ranking member of the Air Force.

Ruppelt, when he was appointed as the chief of Project Blue Book tried to make it a proper, unbiased investigation. For a period of 18 months or so, that is what happened. Once he was given a new assignment, the old guard took over. At one-point, Blue Book was made up of very junior personnel. According to Jerry Clark, what followed was a series of men who were rabidly anti-saucer. Not much in the way of investigation took place though sighting reports were gathered and most were “identified.”

In January, 1953, the CIA convened a panel of scientists to review the facts gathered by Project Blue Book. Both Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the scientific consultant to Blue Book and Ed Ruppelt were there. Their testimony was limited. The investigation lasted about five days.

The panel concluded there was nothing to alien spacecraft visitation. It was all misidentified objects, weather and astronomical phenomena, hallucinations and hoaxes. The problem here was that the final report was written before the panel even met. Dr. Michael Swords laid this out in both the International UFO Reporter and in the book he co-authored with Robert Powell, UFOs and Government. I examined this in UFOs and the Deep State. Both books provide footnotes and sources.

Beginning in the late 1950, there was a move by many in both the Air Force and higher levels of government (dare I say, the Deep State here) to get rid of Air Force responsibility to investigate UFO. Documents found in the Project Blue Book files outline all this. Eventually, the Air Force decided to find a university that would make an investigation into the phenomenon. The result was that the University of Colorado accepted a grant to make the scientific study of UFOs. The problem here, as it was in the past, was that the final conclusions written before they began their investigation. This has been documented through the correspondence between the members of what became know as the Condon Committee and the Air Force. I have written about it on this blog and you can read it here:

David Rudiak focused primarily on Kirkpatrick’s Project Mogul explanation for the Roswell case. I would have thought that a scientist, charged by Congress to make an investigation would have been smart enough to make a literature search as he began his quest. While studying for a Ph.D., that was among the very first things I did. I spent days in the various libraries at the University of Iowa, searching through the journals, magazines and sources of information as I worked to define exactly what my research would be and what had gone on and published by others so that I didn’t repeat their research. I used it to define what my research would be. Apparently, Kirkpatrick didn’t bother with that before writing his rant.

As I say David Rudiak examined what Kirkpatrick had written and provided a commentary on it. Rudiak provided a link to an interview concerning this and then wrote:

(See 20 min. in)

Sean Kirkpatrick, "retired" director of AARO, allegedly declared in aninterview with CNN's Peter Bergen Jan. 23, that AARO "dug deep into Roswell".  Bergen then states that in the late 1940s and 50s there were "a lot of strange things" happening near Roswell.  "There was a top secret spy program called Mogul which launched long strings of oddly shaped metallic spy balloons into the air.  At the same time the US military was conducting tests with other high altitude balloons that were carrying human dummies and there was at least one military plane crash with 11 fatalities.  Kirkpatrick and his team at AARO concluded that crashed Mogul balloons, the recovery operations to retrieve crashed test dummies, and glimpses of the aftermath of that real plane crash likely combined into a single narrative, a narrative matching the mood of the country at that moment."

Then Kirkpatrick actually speaks: "...there was this fear coming out of World War II, everybody's still raw from the War and there's lots of technological issues that people were trying to wrap their mind around. And that affected what people saw and how they reported.  I think the same thing is true today."

So basically Kirkpatrick and AARO's supposed "deep dive" into Roswell (at least according Bergen's narration) is really just a complete regurgitation of AFOSI's 1995 Mogul balloon and 1997 crash dummy reports (which included the plane crash), combined with the latter's "time compression theory" that dummy tests from the 50s were confused with the events of 1947 to become alien bodies.  Thus we learn that these events really all occurred "at the same time" as Roswell and were somehow combined by the public into just one event because they were still traumatized from WWII. (The trauma apparently gave the public precognitive abilities so that they were aware of plane crashes and crash dummy tests from the future.)  We also learn that Mogul consisted of "oddly shaped metallic spy balloons".  So apparently the foil radar targets were also compressed with round rubber balloons to create these oddly shaped metallic balloons that people thought were flying saucers. Psychological trauma does really strange things with people's minds.

Why didn't I figure this out?  Brilliant sleuthing Kirkpatrick and AARO.  Case closed!  Time to hang up my spurs and try to sell my tin foil hat on eBay.  You too Kevin.

I received a call last week and was tipped off by a science reporter that Kirkpatrick was going to try to debunk Roswell as a Mogul balloon and was looking for rebuttal material, which I provided him.  I didn't realize just how bad and inaccurate it was going to be.  Kirkpatrick has always struck me as a slimy tool, but Bergen was even worse. The whole episode is dripping with condescension and ridicule, not to mention being highly inaccurate with even basic facts. What ever happened with real journalism that tried to stick to facts and play it straight?

We also learn that UFOs can be explained as our new technology that the public is unfamiliar with or spy technology of foreign adversaries. Isn't that more probable than aliens coming here?  I ask you.  Really!

Another interesting angle here came from an interview by skeptic reporter Steven Greenstreet of the NY Post.  He interviewed Brandon Fugal, who bought the Skywalker Ranch in 2016.  Fugal told him that in 2018 he was invited to give a briefing to Senate staffers of the Armed Service and Intelligence committees, but just as he was about to start, the person at the head of the table said words to the effect: "Before we proceed any further, I want to establish an understanding.  All the gentleman here, Mr. Fugal, that you're presenting to are all very well aware of the reality of UFO phenomena. So please dispense with any part of your presentation that would seek to convince us of the reality because we already know."

Greenstreet then asks, "Who said that?" Fugal responds, "One of the individuals leading the discussion." He doesn't say who.

Greenstreet's video then shows a photo of Sean Kirkpatrick and comments, "A source familiar with this meeting told me this was Sean Kirkpatrick."

So if this is accurate, and I strongly suspect it is, Kirkpatrick knows better and is just another government disinformation agent. It also seems that AARO's investigations are basically a farce. But we already strongly suspected that as well.

There are several points that Rudiak didn’t mention. The balloon launches from Alamogordo in 1947 were conducted by New York University and were not classified. The culprit in this was the balloon array scheduled to be launched on June 4, 1947 but, according to the field notes and other documentation created at the time by Dr. Albert Crary, confirmed that the launch had been cancelled. It could not have dropped "oddly shaped metallic spy balloons.”

Based on my interviews with Charles Moore, one of the engineers working in New Mexico in 1947, when a flight was cancelled, they couldn’t put the helium back in the bottles. They sometimes conducted other experiments with a cluster of balloons, which were did not involve the whole array. One such cluster was launched later in the day on June 4, but did not contain any rawin radar targets, that is the “oddly shaped metallic spy balloons.”

Charles Moore reviewing winds aloft data that I supplied.
Photo by Kevin D. Randle in Socorro, NM.

It should also be noted that, according to the records available, the first launches in New Mexico, which began with the attempted Flight #4, did not include any rawin targets. We know this because Moore told me that Flight #4 was made up the same way as Flight #5 and it contained no rawin targets. The documentation exists to prove this. Flight #5 was the first successful flight launched in New Mexico.

And, I will note that Moore, in his report on this controversy said that Flight #4 had actually been launched at two or three in the morning in violation of the rules under which they operated. Not to mention that according to Crary, the flight was cancelled at dawn. So, according to Moore, the flight was launched before it was cancelled.

I could go on with this but I have reported on it in Roswell in the 21st Century and Understanding Roswell. I have also posted several blogs on this. You can access them all by using the search engine on the left side of the blog. Here are a few of the more relevant postings:

As I say, just type Project Mogul into the search engine and it will bring up all the articles and discussions concerning Mogul. There are, or course, redundancies, but that is for the convenience of the reader so that he or she doesn’t have to search through earlier comments to understand the situation.

I mention all of this for the perspective on Kirkpatrick’s rant. He said that he had been charged by Congress to bring science-based clarity and resolution to the long-standing mystery of credible observations of UAP.

This is the same claim made by H. P. Robertson in 1953 and by Edward Condon in 1969. It is the same claim made by the Air Force throughout the 1950s and 1960s. But we have been subjected to the same anti-UFO sentiments and misleading comments for years, all made by credible sources who have a particular agenda. It wasn’t to provide the truth or an unbiased look at UFOs and now UAP. It was always about hiding information and attempting to head off independent research. I see nothing here that suggests a transparent investigation but more of the same sort of duplicity.

Kirkpatrick is annoyed that his efforts were derailed by sensational but unsupported claims that ignored contradictory evidence. I can say the same things about his investigation made behind closed doors that ignored contradictory evidence. His investigation was limited to official sources. This is really a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Had he asked, I certainly could have supplied some of the evidence that he told us didn’t exist.

He said that no record exists of any president or living member of the intelligence community having knowledge of any highly classified program and that someone at the top of the government would have been briefed at some point. He found no record of that. I pointed many of those sorts of records in UFOs and the Deep State.

I’ll note the qualification which is living member. There are examples of several highly placed people talking about secret programs. General Bolender said sightings involved with national security were not part of the Blue Book system. Allen Hynek said the really good cases never made it to Blue Book and we know that his investigation into the Socorro landing was cut short when he wanted to continue the research in New Mexico.

And I, as well as many others, can point to sources, no longer with us, who provide good insight into the UFO phenomenon and the Roswell case. This would include Brigadier General Thomas DuBose, Brigadier General Arthur Exon, Colonel Edwin Easley and Colonel Patrick Saunders to name but four who had inside and intimate knowledge of the Roswell case. Their testimonies are available on audio and video tape.

Brigadier General Arthur Exon.
Photo courtesy of Tom Carey.

I could go on in this vein, but this is already longer than I had intended. It just provides a counter to Kirkpatrick’s rant. I doubt those in power want the counterpoints. It interferes with their message which is there is nothing to see here. Go on home.


Sky70 said...

The so-called "Kirkpatrick's rant" is my rant, and what is that rant? It's this, "hey guys, let's have some solid hands-on evidence instead of so-called eyewitness hearsay reports found to be story tales and lies, radar readings, and some old photos, and those who want to believe. I want to believe too, but I need better evidence, as Carl Sagan would want.

Joe P. said...

Was Kirkpatrick appointed to his Director position at AARO, and if so, by whom?
He comes across as someone who was probably " installed " by others ( the deep state) to maintain the status quo.I viewed the file photo of Kirkpatrick seated at the opposite end of the table from Senator Gillebrand and have concluded that she's very naive to believe that Kirpatrick was telling the truth at their meeting...and she even issued a supportive statement after his announcement that he was " retiring at the end of 2023 " only to obtain new employment with a federal contractor closely affiliated with the D.O.E. .......which, BTW, is another foe of transparency regarding disclosure.

David Rudiak said...

Apparently I wrote to Kevin in my email:
"He [Steven Greenstreet] interviewed Brandon Fugal, who bought the Skywalker Ranch in 2016."

Obviously this should be the infamous Skinwalker Ranch. Close but no cigar (or Tic-Tac).

For more background on this Skinwalker briefing Fugal said he was asked to give at a meeting of staffers of the Senate Armed Services Committee and others, here is more of Greenstreet's documentary (see 12:44 in):

Fugal says he was invited by a staffer of Sen. John McCain (then chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee) at McCain's behest. The staffer was Thomas Kurt McConnell, who Greenstreet says would not respond to multiple requests for comment. Two other people at the briefing are identified by Greenstreet besides Sean Kirkpatrick: physicist Hal Puthoff and Brennan McKernan. Greenstreet comments that McKernan is a Naval intelligence officer who was involved with UFOs since at least 2015. Former AATIP director Lue Elizondo, in a complaint to the DOD's IG office, identified McKernan as being part of his team when Elizondo was there 2015-17, and they would discuss new UFO reports together. In 2021 McKernan would become director of the Pentagon's official UFO Task Force begun in August 2020. Finally comes the part where Fugal says that before he begin his presentation, he was interrupted by one of the people leading the meeting, who told him there was no need to spend any time convincing anyone that UFO phenomena were real since everyone there already knew that. Greenstreet says another source told him that was Sean Kirkpatrick.

Greenstreet says that when he repeatedly reached out to the committee for comment he got the "runaround" for two months. Finally a spokesperson said Fugal was invited to tell a few Senate staffers about plans for his properties. Even skeptic Greenstreet doesn't buy that nonsensical explanation for the meeting. Greenstreet also said he repeatedly asked the DOD for comment and they never responded.

But the most interesting part to me (assuming Greenstreet got it right) was Sean Kirkpatrick being there, who Greenstreet said told Fugal that everyone there knew UFOs were real. Kirkpatrick then went on to become director of AARO, and is now assuring us in his Peter Bergen interview that they investigated "all" UFO reports going back to 1947, including a "deep dive" into Roswell. Miraculously their "investigation" came up with exactly the same debunking explanations that the Pentagon's AFOSI office gave us during N.M. Congressman Steven Schiff's GAO investigation in the 1990s, after the Pentagon also gave him the "runaround" on his Roswell inquiry. So Roswell was a nonexistent, cancelled Mogul balloon flight, crash dummies from the 1950s, and a plane crash near Roswell from 1956, now miraculously all occurring "at the same time" and confused by civilians because of lingering war nerves.

(I can't understand why it has been reported that David Grusch and other UFO "whistleblowers" don't trust Kirkpatrick and AARO."Be

For a text version of Bergen's CNN report and interview with Kirkpatrick, see:

John Gosling said...

Thanks Kevin, a very good rebuttal. I groaned when I heard that Mogul is being trotted out again.

David Rudiak said...

Another minor correction, Bergen's report states: "Kirkpatrick recently retired from his job at the Pentagon and spoke with us for the Audible podcast “In the Room.” Kirkpatrick and his team investigated EVERY US government UFO sighting going back to Roswell in the 1940s, putting the findings in a report that’s likely to be made public this month."

Not that it matters, but from memory I used the word "all" in quotes instead of "every". It means the same thing. I also said "all UFO sightings" instead of "every US government UFO sighting". Does the latter mean only government employee/military sightings or does it include civilian sightings like Kenneth Arnold 1947, Lonnie Zamora/Socorro 1964, Lleveland 1957, Trent 1950, etc.? Does it include well-documented US military sightings reports overseas, like Rendlesham 1980 or Tehran 1976?

If it means the former, literally all sightings that are in U.S. government files going back to at least 1947, then they would be dealing with well over 12,000 sightings. That's a whole heck of a lot of cases to investigate by a small group. Or did they focus on just a sampling of these, maybe those considered the best cases? Bergen/Kirkpatrick don't say. Nor is there any discussion of their alleged methodology.

Contrast with say the 1952-54 Battelle Memorial Institute study of 3200 Blue Book cases by 4 scientific analysts. All four had to agree something was "unknown" for it to be classed as such, whereas only 2 of the 4 had to agree on a solution for it to be called a "known". Thus we know the criterion for "unknowns" was much more stringent than for "knowns". Still they ended up with 22% being classified "unknown." We know they had four classes of case quality, from best to worst. (The best cases had the highest numbers of "unknowns", 35%, twice that of the worst cases, 18%.) We also know they statistically compared 6 characteristics of "knowns" and "unknowns" (speed, color, number, duration, etc.) to see see if there was overlap. There wasn't.

I seriously doubt AARO did any sort of independent investigation of these cases if their absurd and obviously false "deep dive" into Roswell is any indication, where it is quite obvious they did zero investigation and instead relied totally on the "explanations" in the 1990s AFOSI Roswell debunking reports, and couldn't even get that quite right.

KRandle said...

Sky70 -

The problem is that you reject older cases because, if I understand, they are older cases. Let me note that I uncovered evidence as I was writing the Levelland book but Air Force officers were in search of the object with the sheriff that night. These officers have not been found and their involvement hidden. The Project Blue Book files makes no mention of them and obviously, the Air Force knew they existed. Wouldn't this be a lead to pursue?

Kirkpatrick did not make much of an effort to investigation sightings and it seems that he spent his time creating the organization, AARO, and little to no real time attempting to learn what was going on.

The point is that we have some of the information you desire, but you ignore it by claiming it is old. Others reject it as anecdotal, but the true is, a dispassionate examination of certain cases lead us off world. For example, everyone agrees that something fell in New Mexico in 1947 but there is no current, credible explanation for it. No, the Mogul flight was cancelled and Charles Moore lied.

So, my response to you is the same as that to Kirkpatrick. Rant away, but your arguments reject, out of hand, any evidence to the contrary of your belief structures.

Sky70 said...

KRandle: I do understand your point of view and you have done a lot for ufology - I've read your works. However, today, there IS scant evidence for ET. For example, the photo that you posted with this post, shows Mr. Kirkpatrick in an almost empty room with two lady senators in attendance to listen to his UFO lore. Where's the interested public at? In back of those two ladies are four guys sitting behind them, they must be the ladies' fellow workers. The room was empty, no public (who really cares about UFOs without hard core proof?), who cares without UFO evidence? See MY point?

David Rudiak said...

Yet another article in MSM debunking UFOs, and Roswell just being a Mogul balloon, and alien bodies chimpanzees from tests at White Sands, and UFOs in the 1950s & 1960s being various sorts of balloons, or U2's, etc.:
(available free for limited time)

NY Magazine
"No, Aliens Haven’t Visited the Earth, Why are so many smart people insisting otherwise?"
By Nicholson Baker, a novelist and essayist from Maine

Much better researched than Peter Bergen CNN garbage, but still very one-sided.

Why the sudden flurry of MSM debunkery articles, first CNN, now NY Magazine? Buzz on Reddit is that Grusch was about to come out with an op ed and these are pre-emptive strikes to control the narrative. Could be.

Brian Wagner said...

I think it's great after all this time we have nothing proving ufos are real. And never will. The multiple videos I have of my dog on my porch Blink camera this morning are more proof of a moving object in the night (or daylight) than will ever be had by those hoping ufos are real alien craft. That is my position after 60 years reading and observing the ufo field. It's great fun and I now love it from a sociological/folklore standpoint and not the believer I once was. And I will never be proven wrong.

KRandle said...

The videos taken of your dog are from only a few feet and the dog is probably not moving too fast. UFOs are farther away and probably moving much faster. They are a rare phenomenon, so the opportunity to capture one on film.

The only other comment I'll make is that there is no terrestrial explanation for what fell at Roswell. No matter how some attempt to twist the data to Mogul, the ultimate source is Dr. Crary's diary in which he wrote the flight blamed for the debris was cancelled.

And, before we get into a long discussion about that, let my just say that my comment doesn't lead to the extraterrestrial, only that there is no mundane answer here. I have, repeatedly, explained that in various forums and books. If you're of a mind, just type mogul into the search engine here for a review of that. If you have something new to add, I'd be glad to hear... but I believe I have heard it all before.

David said...
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