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THE LOS ALAMOS CONFERENCE ON AERIAL PHENOMENA, FEB. 16, 1949:

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:

I have found in the literature only three cases where no detonations, no rumblings were reported. One of these is the Belgium observation in 1855, and I think should be discounted because no meteorists hardly existed at that time. Some falls occurred and were not reported at all. The other two are reasonably recent observations - one in 1921 and one in 1922. They occurred, however, in the deep south where negroes, I think, were the only observers. Even there, the whizzing of the meteorites as they fell through the air, was reported. I know of no case of an actual meteorite where at least the whizzing of the falling body coming down through the air has not been reported.

Dr. Bradbury: ... ?

Dr. LaPaz: Meteorite falls, I believe that was the way you phrased it? In the case of a shooting star, of course, you never hear a thing because the entire mass is very kindly vaporized before it gets, say, within 50 miles of the earth ... Not only noises but accompanied by such noises that persons or animals are really frightened out of their wits. For example, we have a beautiful case where 2 horses killed themselves - in the Norden County Fall - they may have been felled by meteorites, but I'm inclined to think that the noise frightened them until they dashed into a ditch ... Animals go crazy.

Comdr. Mandelkorn: Do you think it unusual no fragments are found?

Dr. LaPaz: I certainly do. And I think it unusual, not only in the case of the green fireballs, but in view of the fact that a great fall, like the ... fall of October 30, 1947, where for the first time we detected a bit of interest on the party of the military, there too we recovered nothing. October 30, 1947, about 4:48 in the afternoon that was, what appeared to be a tremendous meteorite fall over the reservation area - the Four Corners Area. We got there within a very few hours, had excellent observations, went back time and again, exhausted ground search, CAP people in airplanes, we had a radio centered, we had radio controlled jeeps and a lot of people out walking around - not a trace. I can't give you a color on that because ...

Comdr. Mandelkorn: Ordinarily, when phenomena of that nature occur, you are able to recover some material?

Dr. LaPaz: Yes, some material is recovered almost always. If proper search is conducted by Gill Field Corps of Intelligence Unit; Dr. Lansberg of the Research and Development Board, very kindly interested himself in the problem and the air searchers resulted not even in the discovery of a broken branch. The region is heavily forested. If branches had been broken, I think they would have been detected. I haven't classified that particular fall, however, with the green fireballs and for this reason: that left a train [trail]. Another thing which I might have mentioned - a normal meteorite fall ... will produce a long enduring train [trail] visible by day and night. Luminous by night and by day, illuminated by the sun.

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This page was last updated on November 19, 2005