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From 1947 to 1949, hundreds of strange green fireballs were observed in New Mexico over vital security installations. Where these meteors? Dr. Lincoln LaPaz, top scientist on meteors, did not think so. The military at Roswell, Sandia, Los Alamos and other sensitive installations were extremely concerned as they had no explanation. Were they revolutionary technology by the soviets or the US? We now know they were not.

This is one of the 24 pages of one of the many formerly secret official documents on this issue. These pages are the minutes of an important conference on the issue held at Los Alamos on February 16, 1949. Representatives of the Army, the FBI, the Air Force and scientists joined together. Dr. La Paz spent two years chasing the green fireballs and explains the issues. Dr. Edward Teller, one of the fathers of the atomic bomb, asks questions.

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The document:

The transcript:

Neef here put on a pair of rubber boots and very thoroughly searched the pond without finding a meteorite. Even in that case there was no evidence of alarm by the animals. I believe with that summary, I'd better cease operations and have you ask questions.

Question: How many observed falls?

Dr. LaPaz: I'd like to classify these into three groups. I would say that there are ten instances that definitely merit the most serious consideration. They are strictly analogous to the green fireballs of the night of December 12. On top of that, there must be something in the order of twenty more which are so well reported, from Los Alamos for example, that although the green fireballs observed showed small ... the nature of the fireball ... many observations of observers who paid practically no attention to the sky at any other time in their lives and now when they see a really bright light, they report it. You will find a great many instances of bluish-white fireballs. In my opinion, those falling vertically and leaving trails, are simply ordinary shooting stars. Of high intensity, that is, what we call fireballs, a blue light, are not in any sense associated with the green lights. Those three categories then.

Dr. Manley: ?

Dr. LaPaz: In the case of the two green fireball paths, determined from Los Alamos observations, in one case the Starvation Peak incident, we have an East-West motion, and then also a motion exactly parallel to ... In other words, these two real paths show, I think they are the only two of the first category that show any real departure from the ... It is possible to explain that. It is quite evident that we have no case of assurance that both groups of observers, the observers at Starvation Peak and the observers at Los Alamos, saw the same point of ... so that if we were to merely ask what are the limits within which such real paths might fall, it turns out that it might be as short as 12 miles instead of being 25 miles long, and it that case it would be directed almost directly to the North; it would come down very nearly within 2 degrees [?] 5 degrees say, of the North. In the case of the Texas observations, whereas I have indicated and the maps show, we have many observations by trained observers, motion is clearly almost directly North to South. I have been informed that there are reasons for regarding the ... out there (ditch digger) ... and you notice that this passes reasonably close to Lubbock. The same is true of the two earlier fireballs, those of December 12 and December 20. They both passed - one passed centrally over Los Alamos and the other about six miles North of the center, but this would not be true... (ditch digger). One point that possibly should have been mentioned earlier is this: I was the more interested when Captain Neef came to my office and brought the December 5th incident to my mind because very much earlier I had been contacted first by ... White, Director of Texas Observers, from a Dr. Praitt, director of Northwestern Section, City Section, of the Meteor society, I had been informed that earlier occurrences of bright green fireballs, not to far from the Hanford area. when Captain Neef came in with reports of green fireballs near Las Vegas and particularly when he disclosed that there was a Los Alamos near Las Vegas - the real Los alamos - it had much interest.

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This page was last updated on November 19, 2005