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Roswell 1947 - Investigations in the 1990's

Don Berliner, 1996:

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AF HISTORIAN OFF-BASE

Don Berliner

The interview of Air Force historian Bruce Ashcroft ("Wright-Patterson AFB Historian Investigates Roswell Saucer Crash Story," November. 1995) gives a seriously distorted impression of the legitimacy of any suggested connection between Project Mogul and the Roswell crash. In fact, it reads a lot like government propaganda. Suggesting that wreckage from a Mogul balloon train or cluster may have been responsible for the Roswell crash is simply preposterous, and counter to all the evidence, and to logic. To those of us who have been in the UFO field for a long time, it reads for all the world like the nonsense once spread by the Air Force's Project Blue Book.

The following is therefore offered in rebuttal to the claim:

1. The Air Force has never said that a Project Mogul balloon assembly was responsible for the Roswell wreckage, only that this may have been the case.

2. No evidence has been produced to support the claim that any Mogul wreckage landed on the Foster Ranch, only that it could have. There are no documents offered to support the contention that any balloon was found there. The suggestion that test flight #4 landed on the sheep ranch is pure, unsupported theory. This early test flight was not tracked, as tracking data was not considered of importance. The balloons could have flown off in any direction, and landed anywhere. Claiming they landed on what has become known as the "debris field" is no more than wishful thinking on the part of the Air Force propagandists and their supporters.

3. Even if test flight #4 landed on the Foster Ranch, it could not have accounted for the materials found there by USAAF Intelligence Officer Maj. Jesse Marcel, and handled by his precocious 11-year-old son. They described materials of unusually light weight and unusually great strength, characteristics never known for balloon materials.

One of the Air Force's main sources of information, Prof. Charles Moore, makes it clear that the off-theshelf neoprene weather balloons used in the early test flights rapidly disintegrated in the bright sunlight to "dark brown or grey flakes or ashes." This means the winds would have made sure there was nothing left of the balloons which would have borne any similarity to what the Marcels described finding. Or would even have been noticed by ranch foreman "Mac" Brazel or anyone else.

All that would have been left would have been the remains of several radar reflectors made from l/4"xl/4" glue-covered balsawood sticks and some metalized paper. No one in his right mind could have described these as unusually light and unusually strong. Nor would the younger Marcel have looked at the flowered tape the Air Force says was used to reinforce the radar reflectors, and then described it as mysterious embossed symbols on the web of I-beams, unless that is what it was. Again, the Air Force claimed he saw flowered tape, but produced nothing to support the claim: not a single photo of tape that allegedly was a commercial product.

4. The Air force insists that the security of the highly classified Project Mogul explains the great concern for secrecy described by many witnesses. But other Mogul balloon test rigs landed elsewhere, and there is no sign of any special security precautions. Flight #6 landed south of the Alamogordo launch site, and was found by a rancher who called Alamogordo as instructed to do by the tag which Prof. Moore said was attached to all launched devices. This resulted in a crew being sent to recover the remains. No ring of guards around the area, no secrecy of any sort. Either Project Mogul was so secret it had to be protected with great care, or it wasn't. You can't have it both ways.

5. Maj. Marcel described the debris field as 2/3 of a mile long and several hundred yards wide which was littered with scrap material, all of it unfamiliar. Could a veteran intelligence officer possibly have described the remains of a bunch of weather balloons and radar reflectors in this way? There would have been little or nothing visible of the deteriorated balloons, which leaves only the reflectors. But they would have still been attached to the braided line on which they had been hoisted aloft in the first place. And so they would have covered precious little of the 50 or more acres estimated by Maj. Marcel. And he would certainly have mentioned their being connected to a common line.

6. Much of the 1,000-page USAF Project Mogul Report published in September, 1995, consists of schematic diagrams of radio receivers and installation drawings for valves and other apparatus used on Project Mogul test flights. Yet no one has ever described finding anything remotely similar at the crash. Not a piece of mechanism of any sort, mechanical, electrical, or electronic. Why was this material included if it couldn't answer any questions?

7. Even more obviously irrelevant was the inclusion of more than 100 pages of data on Project Mogul test flights which occurred long after the debris was found. What does this explain? Can a fumble in the third quarter explain a touchdown in the first quarter?

8. Why does the report treat other possible explanations in such an unbalanced way? In a single page it disposes of the possibilities that the wreckage could have had anything to do with the crash of a military airplane, the impact of a test missile or rocket, and any kind of nuclear accident. Hundreds of pages of supporting documents and testimony are offered for the Project Mogul explanation, but not a single document to support any of the other contentions. There are references to the availability of documents, but none is reproduced or even quoted. In the case of five military planes which crashed in New Mexico, the period covered is June 24 through July 28, the latter date being almost three weeks after the debris was found! A minor example of poor research is the claim that one of the crashed airplanes was a P-51 N Mustang fighter, when a check of any of a hundred sources would have revealed that no such version of the famous fighter ever existed.

9. The cover of the huge report is an impressive painting of a brilliant white "something" streaking down from the pre-dawn or post-dusk sky toward a desert populated by a cactus and a cowboy on horseback. This obviously is not a balloon or a cluster of balloons, as balloons do not appear brilliant against a dark sky, nor are they capable of streaking anywhere, under any conditions. It looks like something completely unrelated to Project Mogul. And if it couldn't have been an airplane or a rocket or a missile, what could it be? You don't suppose it might be a . . .? Could the Air Force be trying in an uncharacteristically subtle way to express something it doesn't want to come right out and say?


Berliner is with the Maryland-based Fund for UFO Research and a member of the UFO Research Coalition.

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