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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:

Conference on AERIAL PHENOMENA

Dr. LaPaz: It should be possible ... the conventional meteor cannot be photographed at present time. The so-called meteorschmitts that Harvard college is now having produced at very great expense they expect to go down the 4th and possibly fainter. With one of those, a bright green fireball might be photographed, but they are not available...

Mr. Newburger: Does anybody know if there were any experiments carried out in europe, prior to the war when our last best information came from over there, along this line?

Dr. LaPaz: Not to my knowledge. I raised that question with Dr. Kaplan and he gave me some rather surprising information. Dr. Kaplan had attended the IAU meetings in Syria ? and the Russians had a large representation there. Sufficiently large, as a matter of fact, to beat down the proposal that the IAU appoint an international committee to investigate the so-called ... meteorite crater produced in the fall of 1947, February 12. On the contrary, at the Oswald, I think it was, conference of the International Geophysical Union, none of the Russians geophysicists were present. Kaplan's interpretation was that they feel so far ahead of us that they didn't think they could learn anything, and they were taking the precaution that no leak occurred.

Mr. Newburger: Were the Germans experimenting in any phase that was possibly connected with it?

Dr. LaPaz: Well, they had the so-called stations in space ... might have some attachment to it.

Comdr. Mandelkorn: You don't have any record of experiments.

Dr. LaPaz: No, no knowledge of experiments. I have the belief that no country in the world has there been meteoritics developed as it has in Russia in recent years. Recently, the Academy of Science of the USSR has been issuing a so-called meteoritic, an extraordinary publication - very little work of the caliber being done by the Russians has been conducted in the United states. Apparently there it had big support; here, it is an individual matter. Until we had some military interest in meteoritics, we were never able to found even an institute in meteoritics in the United States. The one in New Mexico is an outgrowth of application of meteoritics to determine, say, ballistic coefficient for shell of unconventional design like the proximity fuse shell with the radio in its nose, that sort of thing. That's were we got a start. Apparently, the Russians got that earlier and have full-fledged state support.

Dr. Holloway: How much interest would the military have if they found out these things landing all over the country, Canada, Hawaii, etc.? ... Have you contacted people in the East?

Dr. LaPaz: Olivia, C.C. Olivia, President of the American Meteor Society, Kink, Leonard, Pruitt, Kaplan, etc. Most of them have been observing; Kaplan, I imagine, has not, because he is now preoccupied with laboratory experiments.

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This page was last updated on November 19, 2005