Thursday, March 14, 2024

AARO and the Beginning of MOON DUST

Here’s another positive from the latest from AARO. Well, it’s not exactly anything they published, but is a consequence of research into their list of various projects and investigations. I was going back through some of the material that I had gathered on Project MOON DUST and found something interesting there.

First, a little background. While I was writing The Government UFO Files, I was reading documents that had been created around the time of the Levelland, Texas, sightings of November 2/3, 1957. I found a document addressed to one of those Air Force officers investigating the sightings who had been complaining about the workload as the number of sightings expanded beyond Levelland. Hundreds of sightings had been made and dozens of them reported to the Air Force. The reference I found was a response to that complaint. More on the response later.

The second part of this is that there had been a discussion about the beginning of MOON DUST with everyone pointing to the early 1950s as the starting point. As I reported in a previous post, the 4602d AISS had been created to find downed enemy airmen, recover wreckage of enemy aircraft, and interrogate the aircrew captured. When the Korean War ended, that mission also ended, to a degree. Captain Edward Ruppelt was complaining that he didn’t have the staff to follow up on all the UFO reports coming in during the wave of 1952. At that point the 4602d was tasked with interviewing the witnesses and recovering any physical evidence that might have been found.

This was treated more as a training exercise for those assigned to the 4602d because it would give them some real-world experience. It would also reduce the workload of those assigned to Project Blue Book. It was a win-win situation for everyone. Those in the UFO community believed this was the beginning of Project MOON DUST.

However, in my research into the sightings of November 1957, I found a document in the Blue Book files that provided some insight into the situation. The document, from Headquarters, U.S. Air Force Message #54322 and dated December 23, 1957, discussed a new project called MOON DUST. The mission was to “collect and analyze raw intelligence reports from the field on fallen space debris and objects of unknown origin.” Remember, I have mentioned a complaint about the workload generated by the sightings in 1957.

I believe that this was a response to the Soviet launch of the first artificial satellites, but since the message was in a file relating to the UFO sightings that began in November, 1957, it suggests a connection there.

I found this message on microfilm and had no way of making a hard copy at the time and I have been unable to locate it again. I wrote down the relevant information and have searched for it. I filed a couple of FOIA requests hoping that the information I did have would allow someone at those various government offices to locate a copy, but no such luck.

The point is that this seemed to suggest that MOON DUST began as a real project in October 1957. The information about the 4602d was a precursor to the MOON DUST, but it wasn’t actually MOON DUST.

So, you’re wondering, what’s the point. Well, I was rereading the letters that Air Force officers had sent to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, when he requested information about MOON DUST. I won’t add all that here, other to say, that it appears in the following posting.

Here’s what caught my eye. In a letter written by Air Force Colonel George Mattingley, Jr., he noted, “As the occasion never arose to use these air defense teams, the mission was assigned to Headquarters, United States Air Force in 1957 [emphasis added] and expanded to include the following peace-time functions: a) Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), to investigate reliably reported UFOs in the United States…”

Mattingley had confirmed my discovery that MOON DUST began, not during the Korean War, but during the Cold War and was inspired by the Soviet satellite launches in 1957. While I still haven’t found that original message, here was Mattingley confirming the date for the beginning of MOON DUST. Had it not been for the AARO report, I wouldn’t have been looking for the specific information about MOON DUST and wanted to show how the Air Force had misrepresented their original response to Bingaman. (Yes, I said misrepresented, but you could interpret it to be more nefarious than that.)

Question does remain, however. How did AARO miss MOON DUST in their review of the chronology of UFO projects? 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

AARO and Project MOON DUST


Here’s something I noticed as I was reviewing all the projects mentioned in AARO’s latest report. There was no mention of Project MOON DUST, which was a multiple agency investigation which, according to documentation from the Project Blue Book files was “…to collect and analyze raw intelligence reports from the field on fallen space debris and objects of unknown origin.” While that doesn’t provide overwhelming evidence that MOON DUST had a UFO component, other documentation, along with the history of the project does.

MOON DUST came to public attention in the mid-1980s, when skeptic Robert Todd, who filed hundreds of FOIA requests, received a document dump from the US Department in State. Included in those documents were some labeled as MOON DUST and the race was on to learn more about it. Cliff Stone, a UFO researcher who lived in Roswell, New Mexico, followed up on this, receiving dozens of MOON DUST documents, as did I.

Cliff Stone who did some of the heavy lifting in
identifying Project MOON DUST.

Stone interested then US Senator Jeff Bingaman in MOON DUST and in his position as a senator, asked the Air Force about MOON DUST. In response to Bingaman’s request, Lieutenant Colonel John E. Madison of the Congressional Inquiry Division, Office of Legislative Liaison, wrote, “There is no agency, nor has there ever been, at Fort Belvoir, Virigina, which would deal with UFOs or have any information about the incident in Roswell. In addition, there is no Project Moon Dust or Operation Blue Fly. Those missions have never existed.”

The trouble with that statement is that it is untrue. Armed with documentation proving that MOON DUST did exist, Bingaman renewed his request. Colonel George M. Mattingley, Jr., wrote, “This is in reply to your inquiry on behalf of Mr. Clifford E. Stone on the accuracy of the information we previously provided you office. Upon further review of the case (which was aided by several attachments to Mr. Stone’s letter), we wish to amend the statements contained in the previous response to your inquiry.”

Or, in other words, the Air Force was caught with its hand in the cookie jar. Mattingley expanded the response. He wrote, “In 1953, during the Korean War, the Air Defense Command organized intelligence teams to deploy, recover and exploit at the scene of downed enemy personnel, equipment and aircraft. The unit with responsibility for maintaining these teams was located at Fort Belvoir, Virgina. As the occasion never arose to use these air defense teams, the mission was assigned to Headquarters, United States Air Force in 1957 and expanded to include the following peace-time functions: a) Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), to investigate reliably reported UFOs in the United States; b) Project MOON DUST, to recover objects and debris from space vehicles that had survived re-entry from space to earth; c) Operation Blue Fly, to expeditiously retrieve downed Soviet Bloc equipment.”

While this certainly proves a UFO component to MOON DUST, it does seem rather innocuous. Mattingley added, “These teams were eventually disbanded because of a lack of activity; Project MOON DUST teams and Operation BLUE FLY missions were similarly discontinued. The Air Force has no information that any UFOs were ever confirmed down in the United States.”

So, MOON DUST was ended, according to the Air Force spokesman, but that isn’t the truth. According to information received by Robert Todd, in a letter dated July 1, 1987, “…the nickname Project Moon Dust no longer officially exists.” According to Colonel Philip E. Thompson, deputy chief of staff, intelligence, “It [MOON DUST] has been replaced by another name that is not releasable. FTD’s duties are listed in a classified passage in a classified regulation that is being withheld because it is currently and properly classified.”

What we learned on all this is that the end of Project Blue Book in 1969 was not the end in official interest in UFOs. Project MOON DUST can by seen as officially beginning in the fall of 1957, according to Mattingley. We know there are a small number of reports in the Project Blue Book files that were labeled as MOON DUST. Several of them from 1961. The evidence shows, based on the documentation that MOON DUST was in operation into the mid-1980s, and then the name was changed, and the new name was not releasable. This clearly means that MOON DUST was charged with investigation of UFOs after the Air Force claimed that it ended its interest in 1969

We know, based on other documentation, some of it from the Department of State, that MOON DUST did deploy and did recover material. Given the documentation we do have, it would seem that none of these recoveries represented anything of an extraterrestrial nature (or as AARO would label it, “off-world.” Blade Runner anyone?)

The point here is that the ARRO report makes no mention of MOON DUST, or the deployment of MOON DUST teams. This gap in the report tells us that it was not as comprehensive as they would like us to believe. And, if they missed this, what else might they have missed. Of more importantly what might have been hidden from them.

You can learn more about MOON DUST here:

This wasn’t the only project that AARO seemed have missed. There was a plan for something called Horse Fly that was apparently to be based at Wright-Patterson Air Force base. It was designed to provide young officers with experience in investigation and to give them a chance to experience TDY. I have no evidence that it was ever implemented, but it was proposed. You can learn more about it here:

As a side note, General Arthur Exon, when he served as base commander at Wright-Patterson in the 1960s, said that he would periodically receive telephone calls about investigative teams coming in from Washington, D.C. He mentioned just a few of those calls, which also suggests that AARO missed something important. While you can certainly read about Exon in several of my UFO books, you can also learn something more about him and those teams here:

Here’s the real point in all this. AARO alleged that they found no empirical evidence of off-world technologies (yeah, I like that term) but their history missed some examples of investigations. They found Project TWINKLE which, I suppose falls into the camp of an anomalous phenomenon but might have nothing to do with UFOs. The found Project STORK, but seemed to miss the overall importance of that study. And the didn’t find MOON DUST and I’ve written a book about that. Maybe they got the same answer from the Air Force that Senator Bingaman didn’t when he first asked about it and there was no one around to challenge the claim. Had they asked me, I would have been happy to provide the documentation bout MOON DUST.

Anyway, it proves that AARO’s analysis missed a few beats. Is that enough to negate the whole report? Nah. There are some interesting points in it including the validation of the unofficial UFO study beginning in late 1946.

Should we reject it? Nah. It does provide a nice chronology of UFO related government investigations and research. It is something that we, in the UFO can build on.

Monday, March 11, 2024

More Commentary on AARO


The consensus throughout the UFO community of the latest report from AARO was less than enthusiastic. Almost universally, it was condemned as inadequate, riddled with errors and a lack of understanding of the history of the UFO phenomena. While I didn’t expect this alleged project to consult with any of us who have been around for a long time, it would have saved them some embarrassment because we know where the bodies are buried… I mean that figuratively rather than literally.

Barry Greenwood, one of the best historians studying the UFO phenomenon from the beginning, noted some of the same problems that I did. He posted a response online that said, in part:

[T]here is an entry [in the table of contents] for “Project SAUCER (1946/1947 – January 1948” and then just below that “Project SIGN (January 1948 – February 1949).” Project SIGN is the previously-understood beginning of UFO investigation but that is relegated to third place now behind Project SAUCER and whatever happened in 1945. The “whatever happened in 1945” is not even given a name, though it is described as one of the “UAP investigatory Programs.” The earliest specific date for a beginning of a program is 1946, “Project SAUCER” Blue Book head, Captain Edward Ruppelt, explained in his book “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956) that a Project SIGN member told him Project SAUCER existed a year before SIGN under that informal designation. Long-time UFO researchers might note an anomaly here in that the phenomenon wasn’t even called “flying saucers” until the wave of 1947. How could it be called “Project SAUCER in 1946, even by insiders? The only widely known public manifestation of a UFO phenomenon in 1946 was the so-called “Ghost Rocket” wave in Scandinavia in 1946, not evident in the U.S aside from press coverage of Sweden and not called anything like “saucers.” There is documentation that the U.S. received information on the Swedish ghost rockets but no investigative program was launched and no further action was taken other than to be informed of developments on this.

This is an interesting question but it points at the overall lack of historical understanding of the UFO phenomenon. But as I mentioned in my last post, what it did was confirm the research by Wendy Connors and Michael Hall, who reported that Colonel Howard McCoy had been ordered to establish an investigation in December 1946 before Kenneth Arnold’s sighting initiated the press and public interest in what the world would be called “flying saucers,” about seven months later.

Greenwood also pointed to another mistake, which actually showed that those creating the AARO report had not followed the leads to the original source. They used Ruppelt’s book without attempting to verify all the information in it. Greenwood explained:

Still a few more lines down in the table of contents, there is an entry for “Project BEAR (Late 1951 – Late 1954). There was never an official UFO investigation called “Project BEAR.” In fact, it was a nickname given by Ruppelt to a project which he could not discuss at the time by Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio. That was called Project STORK/WHITE STORK and partly resulted in Project Blue Book Special Report 14. The original purpose of this was to assess Soviet capabilities to conduct technological warfare and that work crept into the UFO phenomenon. Project STORK/WHITE STORK has not been classified for years and could have been used by AARO instead of the inaccurate BEAR. But it can lead researches to pursue the wrong designation with FOIA requests and get nowhere.

Other researchers have found other areas in which the AARO report was in error. Robert Powell wrote:

Let’s begin with the many flaws and errors in this report. Some were trivial but were flaws that any check of a paper should have detected. There are many broken links in the references cited…

The Kenneth Arnold sighting is one of the most historical cases in the early days of the phenomenon. The AARO paper listed the date of the sighting as June 23, 1947. The correct date is June 24. This may seem trivial but it is considered of the of important dates in UFO/UAP history. Furthermore, the AARO paper stated that Arnold saw “circular objects.” This is incorrect. Arnold never said he saw circular objects and he drew objects with a curved front that tapered into a triangular form in back. Arnold clearly describes the objects in an audio recording in existence…

The original drawing of Arnold's "flying saucer." available in
the Project Blue Book files.

Powell touches on some of the points made by Greenwood about Project Stork and how the AARO paper gets much of that history wrong. Powell then points out that one of the Congressional requirements was that AARO investigate the history of the UFO phenomenon. Powell then wrote:

The AARO paper ignored key historical parts of UFO history. The AARO paper does not deal with the government involvement in any of the major historical UFO/UAP cases. This is an egregious failure. Instead, it only covers Roswell because it matches up with AARO’s stupor arguing against captured ET craft. All of the following cases are some of the most interesting sighting reports that were investigated and should have been discussed in any historical report: May 11, 1950, McMinnville, Oregon photos; July 2, 1952, Tremonton, Utah film; Summer of 1952 East Coast events and military orders to fire on UFO/UAP; July 17, 1957, USAF RB-47 AWAC-type aircraft is trailed by a UFO for two hours; Nov, 2-3, 1957, Levelland, Texas with 81 pages in Project Blue Book; Oct. 24, 1968, Minot AFB, ND, B52/ICBM/radar… Oct. 18, 1973, Mansfield, OH, Coyne helicopter incident…

I will add here that I have examined several of those cases in-depth. The Levelland, Texas, case had had dozens of witnesses, car engines stalled and other electric devices effected, and the report of a landing trace on a ranch just outside of town. Not only were their civilian witnesses who described the UFO, but members of law enforcement, and even reports by military officers who followed the local sheriff out to search for the egg-shaped object. There is good evidence that the car carrying Air Force officers was stalled by the close approach of the UFO. I did write a book about this case, cleverly entitled Levelland, that details the evidence for these points.

Road to Levelland, Texas, obviously. Photo by Kevin randle

I will add that I might by the only Army trained helicopter that investigated the Coyne helicopter case. I understood more about what went on in the cockpit because of that training. I discussed the case at length in 1973: A Time of UFO Sightings, Landings and Abductions. This is a book that dealt with the sightings of that year that exposes the lie that the Air Force stopped investigating UFOs in 1969. Yes, a couple of plugs for my books, but also a note of where a great deal of additional information can be found including lists of original source material and personal interviews.

There were other responses as well, attacking different aspects of the AARO report. Many of the footnotes lead to AARO case files, but we don’t learn much about those cases. These footnotes don’t provide anything that could be considered transparency. We do not have access to the files so that we might evaluate the quality of the information. We are left hoping the information is accurate and fair, but hope isn’t part of the scientific method. We need the data so that we know if there are alternative explanations or if they should be considered unidentified.

For some reason, those who have been tasked by the government to investigate UFOs (oops, I mean UAP), are loath to admit that there are some cases that defy explanation. The failure to find a terrestrial explanation that fits the facts does not mean that the sighting is proof of alien visitation. It means that no plausible solution is available at this time.

To cite but a single case in which the sighting seems to defy explanation but was later identified, I think of the Chiles/Whitted sighting of 1948, proves that point. When first reported, it was listed as unidentified by the Air Force. I believe, in the world today, there is an explanation. The descriptions by the two pilots of the UFO, Chiles and Whitted, suggest they saw a bolide as it began to break up. For those who wish more information about this, can find it here:

In the coming weeks, there will be more commentary about this latest report. The MSM, who long ago abandoned any real investigation, will repeat the conclusion of the report without worrying about its accuracy. That conclusion said:

To date, AARO has not discovered any empirical evidence that any sighting of a UAP represented off-world technology or the existence a classified program that had not been properly reported to Congress. Investigative efforts determined that most sightings were the result of misidentifications of ordinary objects and phenomena. Although many UFO reports remain unsolved, AARO assesses that if additional, quality data were available, most of these cases also could be identified and resolved as ordinary objects or phenomena.

What is said here is the same thing that those of us who have been around for decades have said. The vast majority of the UFO sighting reports are of mundane and terrestrial objects. We eliminate many of them in our investigations. We also know that in the body of “unidentified” objects, there are many that would be resolved if complete data had been collected. But we also know that there are sightings in which there are complete data and no plausible explanation has been offered.

But, as they say, “It only takes one.” And that one might be Roswell, or Levelland, or the Zamora sighting in 1964 or the Hickson/Parker abduction in 1973, or the encounter in Rendlesham Forest in 1980. The point is that has been some very intriguing evidence that AARO overlooked probably on purpose. This is not the end of the controversy.

David Rudiak and a Quick Response to AARO


David Rudiak, who has been around the UFO field for a long time, provided an analysis of the AARO report. He had appended it to the comment section on one of my rants about the report. The information contained in his contribution deserved more than to be attached to a posting. Following is another analysis of the report.


David Rudiak in Roswell. Not the best picture, but it is one
of mine.

The AARO report got my blood boiling again too. Hence the following screed from a quick read.

Sean Kirkpatrick last January foreshadowed what AARO was going to say about Roswell, namely instead of doing a real independent investigation, simply adopting what AF counterintelligence said happened back in the 1990s in order to derail Congressman Schiff's inquiry for his NM constituents. So Roswell was again a nonexistent Mogul balloon flight that they invented out of thin air, along with time traveling wooden crash dummies from the 1950s and an aircraft accident from 1956.

I noticed a number of obvious omissions from this cursory history and often disingenuous distortions of studies. E.g., the 1947 Twining memo after Roswell was never mentioned but was highly important, since Twining declared the flying discs real, not imaginary, described their anomalous shape and flight characteristics, and urged an obvious back-engineering effort involving multiple government R&D groups, which were included in the distribution list. The memo was based primarily on the conclusions of the various engineering departments at Wright Field and was a key step in getting Project Sign initiated.

Or AF Reg 200-2 by Twining in 1953 when he was now AF C/S, defining UFOs (anomalous shapes and/or flight characteristics, not identifiable even after investigation by their experts) and stating they were to be studied for national security reasons and their "technical aspects." The “technical aspects” again suggests interest in back-engineering. Also’ how the press was only to be informed of solutions for cases, but not to be informed of more puzzling cases, only that they were under investigation. There was also a directive to reduce the unknowns to a minimum. (After which the “unknowns”, plummeted from over 20% of cases down to 1 or 2% a year.)

AARO did mention Project Blue Book Special Report #14 by the Battelle Memorial Institute, but disingenuously badly misrepresented the substance of the report, claiming: "It concluded that all cases that had enough data were resolved and readily explainable. The report assessed that if more data were available on cases marked unknown, most of those cases could be explained as well." This was simply a flagrant lie.

Instead, it was a team of 4 Battelle scientists going through all of PBB's 3200 cases to date. All four had to agree that there was no plausible solution in order for the case to be labeled "Unknown", but only two had to agree on a solution for it to be labeled "Known". Still after this stringent criterion, 22% remained "Unknown". And this number went up to 35% for those cases labeled as "Excellent", i.e., having ample data to determine what they were and the best witnesses, vs. only 18% for the "Poor" cases. This is the exact opposite from AARO's claim that all cases with good data could be "readily explained", and nearly all cases could be explained if only they had more data. In fact, BBSR#14 had a separate category for cases with "insufficient information" to make a determination, numbering 9%. These were neither "Known" nor "Unknown" cases. Even among the 69% deemed "Known", 31% were still considered "doubtfully" explained.

AARO did mention that Battelle analyzed six characteristics. But then they curiously omitted the fact that they found a highly statistically significant difference between the "Knowns" and "Unknowns". In 5 of the 6 characteristics, the odds that they were the same were less than 1%. Across all six, the odds were less than 1 in a billion. The late Stan Friedman touted BBSR#14 for good reason. At the very least, it demonstrated a high probability that UFOs (the "Unknowns") overall did not have a conventional explanation, and it wasn't because the data was inadequate.

They also did an extremely cursory examination of other country UFO investigations. They mentioned, e.g., the decades-long French investigation, but failed to mention it was done within the French space agency (CNES). Their summary is also highly misleading: "When it dissolved, SERPA [sic] concluded that the vast majority of cases possess ordinary explanations, while 28 percent of its caseload remained unresolved. None of these organizations have found evidence of extraterrestrial visitations to Earth."

In reality, of 1600 cases examined, only 42% were actually labeled identified (only 9% as definite, 33% as probable), thus NOT "the vast majority". 30% were labeled unidentified due to lack of sufficient information (junk cases), thus neither explained or unexplained, while the 28%, which they say "remained unresolved", were the unidentifieds that DID have sufficient information, and still did not have “ordinary explanations”. While the parent organization did not give an opinion as to the nature of the true UFOs, three of the directors publicly stated these were hard core cases which they believed couldn’t be explained (or ultimately “resolved”) and were most likely ET in origin.

There is no mention of the 1999 French COMETA Report, although not an official French government investigation, was nonetheless done primarily by high-level military intelligence analysts and then submitted to the French government. They concluded about 5% of the cases they examined were unexplained and most likely extraterrestrial in origin. (This included Roswell.) They also accused the US government of a massive coverup.

No mention of the 1946 "ghost rocket" wave in Europe, the first major post-war UFO wave. If they had discussed this, they could have mentioned the USAF Europe was briefed by Swedish intelligence in 1948 that many of their analysts also believed the ghost rockets and later flying saucers were extraterrestrial in origin. (In a Top Secret document that was classified for nearly 50 years.) Or they could have mentioned that Greek physicist Paul Santorini, who led the Greek military investigation, would later publicly state they were forced to stop their inquiry because U.S. officials told them they already knew the objects were extraterrestrial and were too advanced to have any defense against.

No mention of the totally unexplained Belgium UFO wave of 1989-1990 of large triangles (maybe several thousand witnesses, including many police), Rendlesham 1980, Tehran 1976, Colares Brazil 1977-1978, thoroughly documented by Brazilian military intelligence, and many, many other inexplicable cases.

Most mysterious of all, why are there all these government UFO studies all over the world if there is absolutely nothing to it? It sounds like many governments and militaries, including the U.S., were treating UFOs as something very important, worthy of repeated, serious and often secret study. Why no fairy or leprechaun studies? Maybe because they don't show up on radar, cameras, infrared and microwave sensors, cause EM interference including the jamming of radios and weapons systems, stall internal combustion engines, leave landing traces, cause spiked radiation readings and radiation poisoning, cause other physiological effects, intrude in sensitive military areas, especially those having to do with nukes, etc., etc.

That’s why the USAF used to have “UFO officers” at bases to order jet intercepts and write up reports, and not leprechaun officers. There is no equivalent Twining memo or AFR 200-2 saying leprechauns are real and are to be investigated for national security reasons and their technical aspects. Presidents dating back to at least Truman have been briefed on UFOs but not leprechauns.

And they left out Project Moon Dust, a very real, very secret space object crash retrieval program. They weren’t just going after Russian satellites. But Kevin is the expert on that. A whole book could be written on what AARO omitted from or badly distorted in UFO history.


As I say, this is just another analysis of the report that finds fault with it. More to come as more of the UFO community responds to the report. You do have to wonder why they didn’t bother to consult with someone who could have pointed out their errors… Oh, wait. I think I know. Anyone who has been around for a while knows.

More to follow…

Main Stream Media and the ARRO Report


As predicted by many of us in the UFO community, the MSM did not read the entire AARO report though they would comment on its 64 page length. As happened in the past, such as with the Condon Committee “scientific study,” they just read the Executive Summary. They didn’t bother wading through the evidence, some of it quite technical. The MSM just decided they didn’t need to understand what had transpired. They were only interested in the end, never considering that the end might not be supported by the internal documentation.

Congressional Hearing on UAP

As I said, we all predicted what would happen with this new report. I happened on one of the news channels when the host of the program mentioned the latest on the UFO (UAP) front. The host threw the question to the reporter, mentioning the Pentagon and their assessment of UAP (yeah, really UFOS). That reporter, I believe, did mention the length of the report and then said:

To date, AARO has not discovered any empirical evidence that any sighting of a UAP represented off-world technology or the existence a classified program that had not been properly reported to Congress. Investigative efforts determined that most sightings were the result of misidentifications of ordinary objects and phenomena. Although many UFO reports remain unsolved, AARO assesses that if additional, quality data were available, most of these cases also could be identified and resolved as ordinary objects or phenomena.

That is, of course, the last statement in the AARO report. There was, of course, no commentary on the accuracy embodied in the report. No comment about the trivial, such as the claim the Kenneth Arnold sighting was on June 23, 1947, when it was actually on June 24. And analysis that Mogul explanation for the debris recovered near Roswell had nothing to do with the balloon launches. Just an acceptance of the AARO report.

But the real point here, is that we see the lack of reporting. I doubt the reporter even read the report but instead, flipped to the rear and read the conclusions. He never considered that this latest AARO report might be the same sort of misdirection that we have been fed for more 70 years.

How hard would it be to get comment from the other side? There are dozens of us out here who could have suggested that the conclusion had little to do with the history of the UFO phenomenon. A phone call or email might have provided some context. Instead, we hear just a single quoted paragraph from the report with no questions about the accuracy of it.

More to follow…

Saturday, March 09, 2024

The Latest From ARRO: More of the Same


There are many of us old-timers in the UFO field who have been around for more decades that we care to admit and who can see the many flaws in the latest, and probably last ARRO report, given there is a new office and new investigation into UAP. We know the flaws in that assessment and the repeated lies that lace it. We have the documentation, the interviews, and the evidence to support that claim.

Before I get into the many flaws, let me point out one area that is positive. As I was working on The Government UFO Files, I mentioned an unofficial investigation that began in December 1946. This was based on the work of Keith Chester, Wendy Connors, Michael Hall, and Michael Swords. I had noticed that each time the US government was involved in investigations of mysterious objects beginning with the World War II Foo Fighters, then the Scandinavian Ghost Rockets and finally with some strange sightings by American service members, one name came up. Colonel Howard McCoy.

According to Connors and Hall, McCoy had been given an order by General Nathan Twining to set up an unofficial project to study these reports of strange objects. Most of the information they had, and that I had, was not completely documented. Connors and Hall believed that most of the files of this early project were buried under one of the golf courses at Wright-Patterson AFB. General Arthur Exon, who had been the base commander there in the 1960s, almost confirmed this to me when I met with him at Wright-Patterson.

Brigadier General Arthur Exon

I provided more information on this in The Government UFO Files, though I had wished there were some sort of official statement confirming that early, pre-Kenneth Arnold sighting of June 1947, project. With the release of the “AARO Historical Report, Volume 1,” we learn of Project SAUCER (1946/1947 - January 1948). (No one seemed to wonder how it could have been called Project SAUCER before Arnold’s sighting, but I digress).

In the background, we learn:

AARO reviewed official USG efforts involving UFOs/UAP since 1945… The exact date of the founding of this first effort as well as its official and unofficial name are unclear. According to one source, General Nathan Twining, Commander of the Air Technical Services Command, established Project SAUCER on December 30, 1947 [I believe this should be early December (maybe the sixth 1946) to collect and evaluate all information relating to UFO sightings which could be construed as of concern to national security. Captain Edward Ruppelt claimed that Project SAUCER was the informal name of Project SIGN, and it was designated a high priority. However, in an interview with an employee of Project SIGN, the employee claimed the project started a year earlier, in 1946 and that Project SAUCER was its original informal name.

The results, according to the report, were that Project SAUCER did not find evidence of extraterrestrial technology. But that really isn’t the point here. The AARO report confirmed the information about the early beginnings of research into these strange phenomena, pushing back the beginnings of the investigation by six or seven months. Makes you wonder what had happened to cause Twining to issue the order to McCoy and why none of those files were transferred to the first of the official projects.

I’m going to skip some of the other, earlier reports on various government run UFO studies because this would become much too long. I will point out that they lumped the Green Fireballs in with the UFO reports. This was Project Twinkle, which this new report does suggest that “That the literature is not clear if Project TWINKLE was officially supported by the original Project GRUDGE, but it was managed by the USAF’s Cambridge Research Laboratory.”

The report said in the “Results” section that “This project was only able to secure one camera, which was frequently moved between locations following fireball reports, and no photographs of the fireballs were ever taken.”

The problem is that there is documentation that there was one photograph taken of a fireball. A single picture, taken from a single location wouldn’t do much to provide data about the fireballs, other than showing there were fireballs. The ultimate plan, to use multiple cameras to take pictures from multiple angles, was never implemented.

I’m going to jump over several other reports, committee recommendations and conclusions to reach what might be the most egregious example of collusion between the Air Force and an American university.

When the Project Blue Book files were released into the public arena in 1976, Bob Cornett and I were able to review them while the files were still at the Air Force Archives at Maxwell Air Force Base. We found document after document explaining how various members of the government and the Air Force were attempting to end Project Blue Book for years. This was from the top of the civilian aspects of the government, various scientific boards and committees and the highest-ranking members of the Air Force. They wanted an excuse to close Blue Book.

To that end, the Air Force, following a plan to end Blue Book, searched for a university to take on a “scientific” study UFOs. The Air Force finally found the University of Colorado to accept their half-million-dollar grant (which, according to this new report, was only $325,000) and that Dr. Edward U. Condon would lead the effort. This would be an “objective effort” to find a solution to the mystery of UFOs.

To spell this out, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hippler sent a letter to what would be called the Condon Committee. Hippler wrote that the Air Force wanted to end Blue Book because of the cost to taxpayers. He pointed out that it was difficult to prove a negative and speculated on what an alien species would do if it was visiting Earth, though, according to him, there was no evidence of such. The point of the letter was to get the Air Force out of the hole that it found itself in. I printed the text of the Hippler letter in The UFO Dossier. And you can read more about the letter, as well some commentary about those efforts to end the Air Force investigation here:

Dr. Robert Low, the number two man on the Condon Committee acknowledged the letter and in the text of his response wrote, “On the second page, you indicate what you believe the Air Force wants of us, and I am very glad to have your opinion.”

The text of that response was also published in The UFO Dossier. The Air Force wanted an investigation that would show there is nothing to UFO sightings, there is nothing to be learned of scientific value and there is no threat to national security.

While it might seem that the discussion is vague, just three days after that letter was received, Condon delivered a lecture to scientists in Corning, New York, telling them, “It is my inclination right now to recommend that the government get out of this business. My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But I’m not supposed to reach that conclusion for another year.”

While the Condon Committee found that the Air Force had done a good job of investigating UFOs, despite the ridiculous solutions appended to some sightings (the Lubbock Lights were birds despite the photograph that wasn’t birds; Levelland was ball lightning despite all the evidence that proved it was not), that there was no threat to national security (despite the sightings around Malmstrom Air Force Base proving otherwise) and that there was nothing of scientific value to be learned by continued investigation (despite the fact one of the sightings was explained as a natural phenomenon so rare it had never been seen before or since), they recommended that the investigation be ended. In 1969, the Air Force closed Project Blue Book. Of course, they did continue to investigate some UFO sightings and there was Project Moon Dust which had a UFO component to it that persisted until 1985 when the name was compromised. At that point, there was a new name, which was, according to the Air Force, properly classified. This means that the investigations continued, but it was all classified.

Of course, the real problem with the AARO report is the take on the Roswell UFO crash. I am not sure how someone who is supposed to be investigating the topic of UFOs with a dispassionate attitude can subscribe to the Project Mogul explanation. I am going to spend a little more time on picking apart the conclusions offered for the debris recovered at Roswell.

This segment begins saying, “According to press reports, President Clinton tasked former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger to determine if the USG held aliens or alien technology. President Clinton said, ‘As far as I know, an alien spacecraft did not crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947… [ellipses in original] if the USAF did recover alien bodies, they didn’t tell me about it… and I want to know.’”

This would not be the first time or the only time that a president, or presidents, were not told about ongoing intelligence operations. I point to Operation Solo, in which the FBI office in New York City did not tell several presidents that there was a spy with access to the highest levels of the Soviet government. The operation was run out of New York City to protect its integrity of the operation and to keep leak happy Washington out of the loop. This was exposed after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the death of the spy, Morris Childs. The book, by John Barron, was called Operation Solo.

This doesn’t prove anything other that there have been times when information was withheld from presidents in the interest of national security. It is relevant only in proving that such things do happen, especially at the highest levels. In UFOs and the Deep State, I do mention the way that bureaucrats are able to dodge presidential inquiries.

The report then moves on to Congressman Steven Schiff, who initiated a GAO search for information from several government and military organizations about the Roswell case. This, of course, spawned an Air Force investigation into the Roswell case as well. The results were:

The [GAO] report stated that the USAF’s research did not locate or develop any information that indicated the “Roswell Incident” was a UFO event, nor was there any “cover up” by the USG. Rather, the materials recovered near Roswell were consistent with a balloon of the type used in the then-classified Project Mogul. No records showed any evidence that the USG recovered aliens or extraterrestrial material.

So, let’s break this down. First, there were several witnesses, high-ranking officers stationed at Roswell, who were not interviewed. Many of us, Bill Moore, Stan Friedman, Don Schmitt, Tom Carey, and me, to name a few, interviewed these men and had both audio and video tape of those interviews so that the validity of the quotes could be established.

Although I told Lieutenant McAndrew, who worked with Colonel Weaver that I could make all the information available, they seemed less than interested. This included a statement from Colonel Edwin Easley, the base Provost Marshal in 1947, to me about the extraterrestrial nature of the event. Specifically, I asked if we were following the right path.

Easley asked me, “What do you mean?”

“We think it was extraterrestrial.”

“Let me put it this way. It’s not the wrong path.”

Major Edwin Easley, Roswell Provost Marshal.

In fact, every member of Colonel Blanchard’s staff (Blanchard was the commanding office at Roswell in 1947) that we interviewed took us in the same direction with a single exception. I, among others, have laid this out in several books and articles, including Roswell in the 21st Century and Understanding Roswell. Yes, all this is not the sort of thing that the GAO would have uncovered, but it is evidence of something strange.

The Air Force investigation did interview some former and retired officers, but ignored those who would have provided a different perspective. I think of General Arthur Exon who provided Don Schmitt and me with some very interesting information about what had been recovered in Roswell, including descriptions of the strange metallic debris that did not match the balloon material that is supposed to be what was recovered. To be fair, Exon didn’t see the metal himself but was reporting what he had been told by those who did.

I could mention here Master Sergeant Bill Rickett who was assigned to the counterintelligence office at Roswell in 1947. He not only handled the metal and provided descriptions to several UFO researchers including Don Schmitt and Mark Rodeghier. Rickett’s testimony is in direct conflict with that of Captain Sheridan Cavitt who was the officer in charge of the counterintelligence office in 1947.

This, I suppose, boils down to a case of who do you want to believe. I’ll note here that in the interviews that Don and I conducted with Cavitt, he lied to us repeatedly, telling us that he wasn't in Roswell in July 1947. Yes, I have that quote on tape.

Which leads to the “then-classified Project Mogul.” There are many problems with this. I laid it out at length in Roswell in the 21st Century. While Mogul was classified, the experiments being conducted in New Mexico were not. The equipment was off-the-shelf neoprene weather balloons and rawin radar targets. That material would have been easily recognized by the officers at Roswell and that would have been the end of the story.

Charles Moore reviewing the winds aloft data I had
supplied. Photo by Kevin Randle

Photographs of one of the balloon arrays were published in the newspapers on July 10, 1947, which would have compromised the purpose of Mogul if anyone was paying attention. But the experiments in New Mexico were not classified and were run by a team from New York University. Although Charles Moore, one of the men working on the project in New Mexico, told me that he had never heard the name “Mogul” it was used in the field notes of Dr. Albert Crary, the man in charge of the research. Again, it was the purpose that was classified and not the experiments being conducted in New Mexico.

But here’s the real problem. It was alleged that Flight No. 4 was the culprit in this. It was to be launched on June 4, 1947, but according to the field notes, and the later analysis of the results of the flights, Flight No. 4 was cancelled. It did not fly. Later in the afternoon, those in New Mexico launched a small cluster of balloons that did not leave the confines of the ranges around Alamogordo Army Air Field or the White Sands Proving Grounds. It did not approach the Brazel (Foster) ranch where it was alleged the balloons were recovered.

What I fail to understand is how the skeptics and the scientific community can continue to demand documentation but ignore the written record that removes Flight No. 4 from the list of culprits. In other words, if the flight was cancelled, then it couldn’t have been responsible for the strange metallic debris found by Mack Brazel and some of which was recovered by Major Jesse Marcel.

I was going to end this long analysis here and provide a list of alternative sources of information, but just have to mention the last bullet point in the AARO. It said:

Reports of military units that allegedly recovered a flying saucer and its “crew” were descriptions of Air Force personnel engaged in dummy recovery operations. Claims of “alien bodies” at the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) hospital were most likely the result of the conflation of two incidents” a 1956 KC-97 aircraft accident in which 11 Air Force members lost their lives: and a 1959 manned balloon mishap in which two Air Force pilots were injured.

The problem here is that some of the witnesses that Don Schmitt, Tom Carey, and I interviewed over the years, weren’t stationed in Roswell at the time of these later events. They wouldn’t have been “fooled” by the tragedy of the aircraft accident or the injury of others in the years after the reported UFO crash. There is not logical way that many of them could have conflated these two incidents into their memories of what they witnessed in July 1947.

There are other aspects of the overall report that can be refuted by evidence, which I have jumped over. The Robertson Panel of 1953, sponsored by the CIA, apparently had the final report written before the first day of testimony. Michael Swords provided an in-depth analysis of this, which would render the findings of the panel as irrelevant to anyone who understood the circumstances around its creation.

I have limited this analysis to the historical aspects of the report. Others, I’m sure, will attack the later material, including the UAP research of the last few years. For those interested in following up on some of this, or looking for more detail, you can read it on this blog by typing in a keyword sure as “Mogul.” Other sources, including special articles on this blog can be found here:

And here is a reference that not only provides additional information but also links to a series of blog posts about Mogul:

For those interested in the Lubbock Lights that the Air Force decided was birds, here is a long article that talks about much of that:

For those interested in the Levelland sightings of November 1957, might I suggest finding a copy of the book cleverly entitled Levelland. It is my analysis for that sighting as well as a look at the history about those sightings.

Condon and his committee never did much with the Levelland sightings. They are barely mentioned. Here is a new perspective on that aspect (and yes, I know it is supposed to be just UAP without the “S,” but I find that proofreading is not my strongest skill:

And for a general overview of much of this, you can find information at this link. Yes, some of it will be redundant:

I have published several books relevant to this conversation for those who wish to really to learn as much as possible. I would suggest, in no particular order, Understanding Roswell, Roswell in the 21st Century (which contains a long analysis of the whole Mogul history,  Levelland, UFOs and the Deep State, and The Government UFO Files. You might also wish to look at the Carey and Schmitt books beginning with Witness to Roswell, and you might be interested in the book written by Colonel Weaver, the man who conducted the Air Force investigation called Backstory: Roswell. You might also wish to find a copy of the Air Force Report, The Roswell Report that contains much information about Project Mogul and the field notes and diaries kept by Dr. Albert Crary, that proved there was no Flight No. 4.

There are many other sources of information, but I’ll sure this is much more than most people wish to read. I mention all this to provide a sample of the work that I, among others, have done on this. If there are other questions, use the search engine on my blog,