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Roswell 1947 - newspapers in 1947

The balloons and radar target explanation to the Press, July 11, 1947:

The article below was published in the newspaper Austin Statesman, Austin, Texas, page 18, on July 11, 1947.

Disc Explanation Given

ALAMOGORDO, July 11 (UP) -- A possible explanation for the many "flying saucers and discs" seen over the Rocky Mountains region recently came from the Alamogordo Army Air Field here today.

Maj. James R. Pritchard, public relations officer at the air field, said that the balloons with attached equipment have been released from the air field for the past 15 months, with a large number of them being released just recently.

He expressed the opinion that the discs reported seen in the Pacific northwest may be an experimental project used by the Navy in that area. (The Navy yesterday flatly denied their planes were responsible for the disc stories.) Howeer, he said that those seen in the Rocky Mountain region probably came from the Army air field here.

He said that the balloons were used to train men in observance and tracing the flights of V-2 rockets and other experimental projects. An extensive program is planned along this line, he said.

A demonstration was given for reporters at the air field Wednesday by Maj. Pritchard. Radar sets are used to follow the course of the balloons which carry six-cornered reflectors covered with tinfoil. These reflectors sometimes carry instruments and sometimes carry tags marked "property of A. M. C. Watson Laboratories, Alamogordo Airfield."

Aircraft as well as ground equipment is used to track the balloons. It was explained that they are influence by their stay in the air according to weather conditions.

Pritchard said one was recently found near Amarillo, Tex. and several have been recovered in Colorado. Some of the balloons have been released singly, while others have been released in groups, Pritchard said.

Notes:

On July 11, 1947, US Army Air Force personal lead by Maj. James R. Pritchard, public relations officer at the air field of Alamogordo, gave a demonstration to the Press to explain that "flying saucers" and "flying discs" maybe be misindentified weathers ballons and tinfil radar target.

Because this took place just after the Roswell incident, and in New Mexico too, because it involved balloons and radar target which were said to be the explanation of the Roswell incident by the Army, a number of Roswell researchers and Roswell books authors suggested or claimed that this was a part of a cover-up and "disinformation" campaign of the Army related to the Roswell incident.

The balloons demonstration generated articles in the Press, and this is one of those articles.

The mention of a sighting in the Rocky Mountains is about the "first" sighting of flying discs by Kenneth Arnold. What he saw, wheetever it was, was certainly not weather ballooons launched in Alamogordo.

At Alamogordo, the balloon trains of Project Mogul were launched. "Normal" weather ballons were not laucnhed in "groups", of course, this would have been just a waste of ablloons; but Mogul balloons were lauchedn in balloon trains. Here, Maj. Pritchard seems to mention to the Press the very existence of balloons "launched in groups"; which sounds like a breach of security of the "top secret Project Mogul" since any sensible persone could have wondered what the reason could be for launching balloons in "groups".

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