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.
Comdr. Mandelkorn: I'd like to remove that temporary statement about the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project; we aren't laughing ... (record blank for minute or two)
Dr. Bradbury: None of us are experts in this field, so we essentially have to believe what we are told. I suppose if you try to look for logical explanations, there are probably some.
Dr. LaPaz: I would like to ask one question here - unless you feed power into a body moving into a horizontal path, can it preserve essentially a horizontal trajectory? a plane does it; meteorites don't do it; shows curves as the energy falls off. This thing apparently ignores air resistance and gravity and goes blissfully on its way ...
Dr. Teller: As far as straightness of the path is concerned, if you have a meteorite that you have observed for 10 seconds, and in these 10 seconds it has gone a distance of 100 miles, it will have fallen in this distance 1/3 of a mile and now I should like to dare any observer to tell a curvature of this kind - because you are completely unprepared for this phenomenon.
Dr. LaPaz: As it slows down, it curves towards the bottom.
Dr. Teller: But apparently before it has happened, slowed down to much or exploded or something, and then it has disappeared. Now the ... point is, of course, if it has no power it will slow down, but I do not know how quickly you would have to estimate that; furthermore, the rate at which it slows down will depend very much on the question whether it has been at a 10 mile altitude or a 20 mile altitude.
Dr. LaPaz: The elevation estimates are very concordant on these, and I doubt that you will be able to change that elevation of 8 to 12 miles by very much. These are the real path observations that I have mentioned.
Dr. Teller: Well, can you say ... do you think anything can be said about that?
Dr. LaPaz: I doubt it. The eye, of course, is not a good speedometer. You can't detect a change. At least, I did not in the one observation that I made, and no such change has been reported. In the case of those who observed the green fireballs say that near the end of the Texas fireball path of January 30 it was noted that the fragments moved out leisurely to the point at which there was apparently less velocity, as shown by them on the green fireball itself. May I mention, however, that in the case of the normal meteorite fall that curvature of the path, the transverse vertical, is one of the most apparent. You see that in the case of any large, ordinary detonation fireball fall even though it may not produce ... there is a tendency to curve.
Dr. Teller: What about total light ... How does the brightness compare to the brightness of the meteorites that come from a meteor?