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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:

Dr. LaPaz: May I make the observation that if you look in the chapter by ... you will find that in Alaska where this observation was reported, there are very few times at this season of the year when you can't see an aurora.

Dr. Teller: I have the feeling that this is ... either a discovery in physical psychology or ...

Dr. LaPaz: I though that psychological element would come in here!

Dr. Teller: Here is a slightly irrelevant question - you brought in the flying discs. What is the connection?

Dr. LaPaz: I didn't bring in the flying discs.

Mr. Newburger: I brought in the matter of the flying discs because the Air Force as I understand, now have classed the flying discs and these fireballs into one category.

Captain Neef: ... the only indication we have is a letter from MAC [Material Air Command] in Washington Saturday where they indicated the old project Sign is now project Grudge, which includes the phenomena in New Mexico. They know of this meeting and were going to send a representative.

Dr. LaPaz: I just asked Mr. Hoyt a moment ago how he would compare the brilliance of this object with that of an aircraft flare. He said they were of comparable magnitude. I think that was definitely ruled out ...

Dr. Teller: I understood that a reasonable explanation of the flying discs - and I suppose that it is generally known - is that they are meteorological balloons ... I understood that in quite a number of cases there have been very close directions established ... I must say that from what you have said it certainly sounds like everything else but meteors. The thing that impresses me is your evidence of the horizontal flight. Meteors do not usually come in like that ...

(mumbled talk between Dr. Bradbury and Teller)

Captain Neef: ... change of direction such that we haven't been able to follow it up yet. One of our men was returning Sunday night when our tower operator saw this object to the Southwest from Kirtland Field and ... Arizona reported it was Southeast from them. From the Kirltand tower it was a bronze color. The time checks, but from ... Arizona it was green until it turned straight down and veering going ...

Dr. LaPaz: Dr. Teller, may I mention this one other instance that shows maybe why I have more concern than is merited by the evidence I am able to present. I deal with Vic Regener and I know that the physicist doesn't like to work with anything that can't be photographed. I share that view but a meteorist is not available sometimes to photograph shooting star, even the conventional type. During the war I was acting as director of the Ohio Section of the American Meteor Society and all at once we began to get reports of large numbers of stationary fireballs; not moving. The burst

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This page was last updated on November 19, 2005