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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:

Was there, but no motion. Now one who observes normal conventional fireball falls is aware of the fact that not 1 out of say 500 shows actual fixity; there is always motion. So this looks very, very strange. Of course, you all know what those stationary balls turned out to be. They were the self-destructive devices on Japanese balloons operating. You had a hydrogen filled sphere with a two-crown mask of magnesium flash-light powder. And when the magnesium and the hydrogen went off together, you could see it for a long way. We got stationary fireballs but they were certainly not meteorites. My experience since I was suspected of psychological apparitions at the time I reported these stationary fireballs to, for example, Dr. Kaplan, my experience with ... led me to be very cautious about taking any concern ... but at the same time I feel we shouldn't be too hasty in giving a natural explanation to these green fireballs.

Dr. Teller ... But I would like to ask, these phenomena are apparently quite bright, more luminous than normal meteorites?

Dr. LaPaz: Well, the January 30th one was; I would say that about the one I saw on December 12. That was a very bright fireball, but not extraordinarily so.

Dr. Teller: What is the chance of getting pictures?

Dr. LaPaz: I refer to the one attempt that was made on the night of December 19. We set up a photographic patrol - the AESS, as you probably know, has been interested in this problem. They brought a lot of speed graphics and so on and set them up. Mr. Maxwell, a member of the group ..., and they were able, I think the night before, to photograph a bright Geminid. But on the night of the 19th nothing was observed. The next night, however, the night of the 20th there was an incident which I believe might have been photographed, but by that time the equipment has been disbanded and nothing was obtained. I should think, with proper coverage, say 10 to 15%, of these should record themselves provided you do not use green insensitives ... and film such as the ...

Dr. Teller: Is there any possibility of having a wide coverage of the sky triggered by a photo cell?

Dr. LaPaz: I have discussed that, for example with Dr. Reneger, who has been very much interested in the apparatus, and his answer is more or less in the negative. I understand that Cornell University - Gartline of Cornell - has produced some sort of photo-electric triggering device which has been used in this connection. I wrote him about it, asking for reprints or instructions, but never received a reply.

Question: Do you think you are going to find film sensitive to this green color fast enough? We have some that can't be left out over 12 hours ...

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This page was last updated on November 19, 2005