Date: Fri Sep 09 1994 20:49:20 To: All Subj: Air Force report-ROSWELL Taken from the Dalla

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Date: Fri Sep 09 1994 20:49:20 From: Bill Ralls To: All Subj: Air Force report-ROSWELL Taken from the Dallas Morning News 9/9/94 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Roswell crash was secret balloon, not UFO, Air Force report says ------------------------------------------------------------------- Associated Press WASHINGTON- A supposed alien spacecraft discovered near Roswell, N.M., 47 years ago probably was a secret Army Air Force balloon de- signed to monitor Soviet nuclear testing, the Air Force concluded Thursday. The Air Force, in a report on the "Roswell Incident," said con- trary claims in a wave of sensational books and television specials are "undocumented, taken out of context, self-serving or otherwise dubious." The July 1947 discovery of wreckage on a ranch near Roswell has been at the center of long-standing disputes between UFO advocates and the government over whether the Air Force has been hiding evi- dence about alien spacecraft discoveries. The Air Force began its investigation earlier this year amid charges that it was covering up the truth. The material found near Roswell consisted of foilwrapped fabric, wooden sticks, rubber pieces, and small I-beams with strange mark- ings on them. A local newspaper at the time reported: "Air Force Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch." "The Air Force research did not locate or develop any informa- tion that the 'Roswell Incident' was a UFO event," wrote Col. Richard Weaver, author of the report. "The most likely source of the wreckage...was from Project Mogul balloon trains." Although it rejects UFO and alien theories, the report, never- theless, suggests an interesting ancestry to the Roswell wreckage. Project Mogul was a top-secret venture to develop balloons that would carry sensing devices aloft and alert the U.S. military of any Soviet nuclear tests. It was a high priority at a time when the government was concerned that its monopoly on nuclear weapons might be threatened. The Roswell Incident also occurred in the midst of the so-called UFO wave, the surge of interest in unidentified flying saucers, presumably from other galaxies. Shortly after the incident, offi- cials in what was then the Army Air Force dismissed the flying saucer speculation, saying that the wreckage found near Roswell was a weather balloon. There the matter stood until 1978 when the supermarket tabloid National Inquirer reported that Maj. Jesse Marcel, the Army Air Force intelligence officer who brought in the wreckage, claimed he had discovered UFO debris. A series of books followed advancing the UFO theory and accusing the Air Force of a cover-up. The Robert Stack-hosted television show, Unsolved Mysteries, aired a re-creation of the Roswell inci- dent and other television shows followed suit. "From the rather benign description of the 'event' and the re- covery of some material as described in the original newspaper ac- counts, the 'Roswell Incident' has grown to mythical, if not mys- tical, proportions," Col. Weaver wrote in the Air Force report. He concluded that debunking conspiracy theories is a no-win business because "pro-UFO" elements would simply dismiss the re- port as part of the cover-up. Rep. Steven Schiff, R-N.M., began pressing the Pentagon last year to declassify documents relating to Roswell. The Air Force appears to have expended considerable energy on the report. Dozens of people, including several who were in Roswell and in- volved in the discovery of the wreckage, as well as veterans of Project Mogul, were interviewed. Investigators also combed ar- chives for material relating to UFOs. In one example of the extent of the effort, the Air Force tracked down the original photo negatives of newspaper pictures showing the wreckage and sent them to "a national level organiza- tion" for digital analysis. This probably refers to the National Photo Interpretation Center, a super-secret branch of the CIA. The analysis found that the photos were of "insufficient quality" to produce substantive results. Walter Haut, a volunteer at the UFO Museum at Roswell, a center devoted to gathering information on this and other UFO incidents, rejected the Air Force conclusions. "I feel very strongly about it," Mr. Haut said. Referring to those who made the original UFO claim, he said, "We're not talking about flaky people." ------------------------end of article----------------------------

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