Date: Mon Oct 10 1994 15:07:46 To: All Subj: Roswell Critique Dubious Truth About the Rosw

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Date: Mon Oct 10 1994 15:07:46 From: John Powell To: All Subj: Roswell Critique Dubious Truth About the Roswell Crash by Christopher D. Allan (IUR, May/June 1994, Volume 19, Number 3, International UFO Reporter, Copyright 1994 by the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, 2457 West Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL 60659, published bimonthly with a subscription rate of $25/yr.) In chapter 13 of the recently published The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell, Kevin D. Randle and Donald R. Schmitt have a great deal to say about a letter written by Lt. Gen. Nathan F. Twining, head of the Air Materiel Command, as well as about FBI involvement in the Roswell case. Their treatment is based on poor research and a lack of study of the documentation, as I shall show. I summarize below the main points Randle and Schmitt raise: (1) Gen. Twining knew about the Roswell crash but decided to ignore it completely and in fact specifically pointed out the lack of any physical evidence of "flying discs" in his September 23, 1947, letter to Brig. Gen. George F. Schulgen, assistant chief of staff for air intelligence. (2) Twining's letter was only at "secret" level whereas a crashed UFO would be "top secret" and therefore could not be referred to in a memo of lower classification. Roswell was, and remains, a tightly held secret. (3) J. Edgar Hoover's handwritten note on an FBI memo probably, though not certainly, refers to Roswell. It does not refer to a prank disc found in Louisiana (pp. 91-93), notwithstanding Hoover's mention of the "La case." (4) The Air Defense Command (in particular the 4602nd Air Intelligence Squadron) took over from Project Blue Book and the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) the investigation of UFOs in early 1953 (pp. 95-96). Blue Book became merely a "public relations outfit" after 1953 (p. 100). (5) Two classified operations, Blue Fly and Moon Dust, set up in about 1960, were integrated into the UFO program. The whole program was orchestrated from Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The project "was designed with retrieval of material in mind" (p. 100). A RESPONSE To take Randle and Schmitt's claims one at a time, in order: (1) Since Randle and Schmitt assure us that some Roswell wreckage and bodies went to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Gen. Twining would certainly have known about the Roswell crash. But for him to answer a request for information from Washington on what has thus far been discovered about UFOs by omitting the most important discovery of all (namely a crashed UFO with alien corpses) makes no sense. Twining's response was based on an "estimate" sent to him by Schulgen's office a short time before. This estimate consisted of some 18 "best cases" up to mid-July but did not mention Roswell or indeed any crashed UFO. Randle and Schmitt say that Twining saw no need to mention Roswell, even though he knew all about it, because Schulgen had not brought the matter up. If an ET craft had really crashed at Roswell and Twining had the wreckage and bodies, it would be an exceedingly foolish thing to pretend otherwise. How was Twining to know that only one such crash had occurred? How could Twining possibly pretend no physical evidence existed when, for all he knew, Roswell was but one of many crashes, perhaps in other countries, too? By what strange reasoning did Twining think he ever could keep the affair under wraps? This was, after all, a new and unpredictable phenomenon, an extraterrestrial visitation. Yet Twining, according to Randle and Schmitt, was so confident he could keep it under wraps that he recommends Washington to launch an investigation into something but then avoids mentioning the existence of the most crucial evidence. (2) The idea that Roswell could not be referred to in a secret memo is valid only if we assume that Roswell would have been a top secret affair. By "accepted wisdom" the authors ought to add that this is the "accepted wisdom of the Roswell believers" who by now have become so indoctrinated with the super-secrecy of the story that they will grasp at any straw to distort the meaning of once-classified documents - documents that, alas, never mention Roswell. In other words, if the documentation is not there, Randle and Schmitt will put it there. In referring to the Twining memo, Randle and Schmitt also do not acknowledge that they are resurrecting an idea first put out by William L. Moore and Stanton T Friedman a decade ago. Randle and Schmitt say (p. 91) that Twining's response "proves that Twining and his staff, though aware of the Roswell crash, wanted to gather additional intelligence about the flying discs." It neither proves nor even suggests anything of the sort. (3) The answer is obvious. Hoover is referring to the prank disc. The abbreviation "La." (note the period Hoover inserted) can only refer to Louisiana. The facts are these: A 16-inch aluminum platter with some odd attachments was found in Shreveport, Louisiana, on July 6 or 7 and was denounced by police as the work of pranksters. It was then handed over to the Army Air Force at nearby Barksdale AFB. For details, see pages 11-12 and 16 of Loren E. Gross's UFOs: A History - Volume I (July 1947 - December 1948), and page 149 of Lawrence Fawcett and Barry J. Greenwood's Clear Intent. Hoover noted, on the July 10 memo, that he would agree to cooperate with the Army Air Force provided that the FBI had "full access to discs recovered." He went on: "For instance, in the La. case the Army grabbed it and would not let us have it for cursory examination." This is precisely the point: The FBI was not given access to the Shreveport disc, in spite of Randle and Schmitt's claim that the bureau was "heavily involved" (p. 92). The FBI, in fact, was cut out of the investigation and effectively snubbed. Its only contact was via a phone call from Barksdale which told an FBI agent about the hoax. This agent promptly relayed the news to the New Orleans FBI office. This point is brought out in two other FBI memos, one dated July 24 (E. G. Fitch to D. M. Ladd), the other late on July 7. In the former the writer refers to Hoover's note in the first paragraph and then goes on to say that the military has promised complete cooperation in the future and that "all discs recovered be made available for examination by FBI agents," thus clearly implying that this had not been the case up to then. The July 7 memo, also to Ladd, gives further evidence of the lack of FBI access to the prank disc. The Army took sole charge. Fawcett and Greenwood note that "Hoover's comment has been taken out of context by various writers as evidence of alien beings coming to earth." This was lO years ago; yet Randle and Schmitt still perpetuate the myth. There can be no doubt whatever that Hoover was writing about the Shreveport disc. There is equally no doubt that by bringing in such irrelevancies as Los Angeles (which would be denoted as "LA" and not "La") and Los Alamos (which would be written out in full), the authors have sought to invoke weak and dubious evidence to twist Hoover's meaning toward Roswell. Neither Los Angeles nor Los Alamos has the remotest connection with the Roswell case. Hoover was certainly not referring to Roswell and, apart from the one Dallas memo of July 8 (indicating little FBI interest), there is nothing in the myriad of released official papers to show the FBI ever mentioned, or cared about, Roswell. Finally, notice that at no point does Hoover or the FBI refer to a saucer "crash." The only term used in these memos is "recovery," a quite different concept. (4) Again, the evidence is fairly clear. Perhaps it is best given by Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt, on pages 231-33 of his The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. Here he tells about the assistance he sought from the Air Defense Command, which had other primary duties, in early 1953. He even went to Colorado Springs to help set up a program for ADC, briefing its personnel on Blue Book's methods. There is no suggestion that the ADC ever usurped Blue Book's authority. It was there to help, not replace, Blue Book. Ruppelt planned to call on it if there was a case worth investigating. "The team would make a thorough investigation and wire us their report," he wrote on page 232. Ruppelt later tells of an exceptional radar/visual case which sounded so good that he decided to avoid calling the 4602nd out at all. In other words, he was under no compulsion to use its services but did so if he genuinely needed help from its field teams. In AFR 200-2 (1954 code) paragraph 4c states that ATIC, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, will analyze and evaluate all information after "ADC has exhausted all efforts to identify the UFO." Paragraph 6 (ZI collection) states that the 4602nd AISS, a squadron within ADC, will carry out all field investigations. Paragraph 7 (reporting) states that all electrical reports (telephone, telex, and so on) will be addressed to four different places, including ADC and ATIC (i.e., Blue Book). Written reports were to be addressed to both ADC and USAF headquarters in Washington. Paragraph 8 (physical evidence) refers to both material physical) and photographic evidence. This would certainly include any pieces from a downed UFO. It thus gives the lie to R/S's claims that crashed saucers were to be treated differently from other UFO reports. AFR 200-2 covers all UFOs originating within the Air Force at the time. A later code in 1959 is essentially the same but says that written reports should also go to ATIC (Blue Book) which will then forward them to the intelligence agencies in the United States if it considers such a step necessary. Physical evidence was to be safeguarded and forwarded to ATIC (paragraph 19). An amendment in February 1960 states (my emphases): "Specifically the ATIC _may_ call upon the 1127th Field Activity Group, Fort Belvoir, Virginia[,] to conduct further field investigations _if review of the initial report indicates such a requirement_." AFR 80-17 (1966) is much the same and in paragraph 3 actually mentions Blue Book by name. There is no mention in any of these requirements that reports considered top secret should not go to Blue Book. Blue Book, with its very limited staff, simply could not go out and investigate each report. It had to seek outside help. Hence the ADC cooperation and the help from "Project Bear" (of which Ruppelt also writes). We cannot say how closely these regulations were adhered to, but we can say with conviction that the idea of Blue Book's being only a "public relations outfit" is false. Blue Book was, until its closure in late 1969, still the main official investigative agency for UFO reports. A memo written on October 20, 1969, by Brig. Gen. C. H. Bolender, the Air Force' s Deputy Director of Development, states, "Reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11, and are not part of the Blue Book system"; they "should continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose." Randle and Schmitt use this to argue their claim for a UFO project other than Blue Book, but the memo mentions nothing about crashed UFOs. Perhaps when Bolender wrote it (only a few weeks before Blue Book closed) he was unaware of the exact details of AFR 200 or AFR 80-17. Finally, as in item (2), Randle and Schmitt have found nothing new. They are simply reiterating, without acknowledgement, ideas first put forward by Friedman in his scientific papers in the 1970s. (5) There seems to be a misunderstanding here. The November 1961 document quoted by Randle and Schmitt does indeed include paragraphs on UFOs as well as Operations Blue Fly and Moon Dust, but Randle and Schmitt create the impression that they were all linked and therefore part of an official secret "recovery of space objects" plan. The paragraph dealing with UFOs says: "AFR 200-2 delineates 1127th collection responsibilities." This supports my comment in item (4). The paragraphs on Blue Fly and Moon Dust refer to other documents which outline the collection responsibilities in these projects. Randle and Schmitt then fasten on to one short sentence in a July 26, 1973, State Department document, which says "the designator MOONDUST is used in cases of non-US space objects or objects of unknown origin." They imply that the phrase "unknown origin" means UFOs. But a careful study of the document (on pp. 207-10) shows that at no place does the term "UFO" appear. Furthermore, the whole paper is clearly guidance on how U.S. consular and diplomatic personnel overseas are to handle space objects originating from earth (satellites, rockets, boosters, missiles, fuel tanks, assorted debris). It mentions such things as "The Outer Space Treaty" and the "Return of Astronauts and Objects Agreement." The document heading is "SUBJECT: Guidance for dealing with space objects which have _returned_ to earth" (my emphasis). UFOs (supposed ET craft) do not return to earth. Indeed it is difficult to see how anyone, other than a determined crashed-saucer believer, could link this 1973 State Department memorandum with UFOs. "Unknown origin" simply means "whose country of origin is unknown," nothing else. The definitions of Moon Dust and Blue Fly are given in the Air Force letter to Sen. Jeff Bingaman on pages 211-12. In this letter the Air Force admits that a previous reply given to him denying the existence of these projects was in error. Randle and Schmitt then cite some occasions when Moon Dust was supposedly activated. One was the recovery of four objects in Nepal in March 1968. The nature of these objects was readily known to embassy staff in Nepal. Another was a "cube-shaped satellite weighing about three tons" found in the Sudan in August 1967 (how credible is this?). Another find in 1970 resembled a pressurized fuel tank. None of these incidents has any relevance to UFOs, but this does not prevent the authors from surmising, on page 98, "Of course, each could refer to something that was not made on earth." Randle and Schmitt assume that Moon Dust was called to investigate the Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, incident of December 9, 1965, when a bright fireball was seen over parts of Canada and the eastern United States. Something was believed to have crashed to earth near Kecksburg. An object was allegedly later recovered and taken away by the military. The authors acknowledge that Blue Book was also involved. In a 19-page report, Old Solved Mysteries: What Really Happened at Kecksburg, PA, Robert R. Young names the military field team as the 662 Radar Squadron at Oakdale. The official Air Force verdict was that the UFO was a bolide meteor. This was also the conclusion of the civilian National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), which recorded it as such in its files. Nothing was recovered from the alleged impact site. The fact that Blue Book was involved further negates Randle and Schmitt's claim that such crash cases would by-pass Blue Book. In short, there is no reason to suppose that Operations Blue Fly and Moon Dust were part of any grand plan to recover crashed saucers, or in fact had anything to do with UFOs. CONCLUSION The allegations and claims made by Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt in chapter 13 of their new book are not borne out, and are in fact contradicted, by a study of the relevant documentation. -------------------- Christopher D. Allan views the UFO scene from his home in Staffordshire, England.


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