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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:

Captain Neef: Well, it's one of those things; it's a Navy contract and they are not at liberty to divulge what they find, so we have to go through Washington, the Bureau of Ordnance, to get the information.

Comdr. Mandelkorn: I believe I can get that information; as a matter of fact, I feel very certain that I can. Just a matter of approach.

Dr. LaPaz: I feel certain that if I had contacted Dr. Fred Whipple, for example, I could have obtained it, but his other occupations keep him away from that installation. And actually I felt as a meteorist, it might be wise to have OSI appeal for information rather than to ask for it directly.

Captain Neef: They did tell use they weren't using films which were going to be susceptible to these colors.

Dr. LaPaz: But, of course, they are making constant visual observation and if you were able to determine visual observations 100 miles from Los Alamos don't reveal the occurrences of bright green fireballs, I think it would be significant. I don't know why they should avoid the Southern half of the state.

Comdr. Mandelkorn: Let us say if these had been at extremely high altitude, they would have been visible from White Sands without any question.

Captain Neef: This one of the 30th was definitely visible from White Sands because commander Holloman ? and his wife and one of his assistants and his wife saw it from there.

Dr. LaPaz: On the other hand, you have evidence like that of Professor Talbot ? now in charge of the optical trajectory section down there, an experienced astronomer, a member of the American Meteor Society. I talked with him about this, and he has observed nothing out of the ordinary. I don't think anybody, I mean in the line of green fireballs, in this area has been observing as much as he does. I don't see how he could miss sighting some of these.

Question: What explanation do you have for this?

Dr. LaPaz: The only explanation is the one I gave in the beginning and had my ears promptly boxed for. I think these are defensive manoeuvers of some higher U.S. command and they are practicing in the neighborhood of the regions they are going to defend, so naturally your localization of light near the atomic bomb installations, but boy, am I scolded for that! Even Dr. Kaplan of the FAD ? tells me no, no, the FAD would know all about it, and they don't have any facts.

Dr. Bradbury: Is this the physicist Kaplan?

Dr. LaPaz: Yes. Kaplan is my old boss. He was chief of the operational analysis section when I was ... director there ... ... During Kaplan's visit

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This page was last updated on November 19, 2005