The Center For UFO Studies Response To
The Air Force's 1997 Report
The Roswell Report: Case Closed
by Mark Rodeghier
In June of this year, the Air Force released their second massive report on the now well-known Roswell incident that occurred in and near Roswell, New Mexico in early July, 1947. The first Air Force report in September 1994 concluded that the debris found by rancher Mac Brazel was from an Army Air Forces balloon-borne research project code named MOGUL. Despite the seeming finality of that first report, the Air Force clearly felt the need to release a new report that discusses the claims of alien bodies that were found at a second location in New Mexico in 1947.
The new report concludes that:
1) The witnesses to the reports of alien bodies are generally telling the truth;
2) But. . . these witnesses are mistaken about when the events they saw occurred, and they are also seriously mistaken about details of the events. Additionally, witnesses are conflating together several events that occurred at different times into a single event, and in every instance, the events the witnesses saw were normal Air Force activities.
3) In particular, the Air Force claims that the bodies observed were from scientific and engineering tests using anthropomorphic test dummies carried aloft by balloons, and "unusual" military activities were actually high altitude research balloon launch and recovery operations.
4) A Mogul balloon is still needed to explain some witness accounts, so the Air Force is now claiming that both a Mogul balloon and a balloon with dummies caused the Roswell testimony.
As with the 1994 report, the new report is clumsily padded to make it appear to be lengthy and impressive. This is done by using a large font, many irrelevant photos, and wide margins. A great deal of research was done by the Air Force to gather information about balloon projects in New Mexico, including interviews with surviving members of the balloon teams. But as was the case in the 1994 report, no effort was devoted to interviewing still-living witnesses of the events from 1947. This makes a mockery of the claim by Secretary of the Air Force Sheila E. Widnall in the Foreword that "Our objective throughout this inquiry has been simple and consistent: to find all the facts and bring them to light."
In the statements below, we detail the errors, omissions and faulty reasoning in the Air Force report. These defects are so egregious in some instances that we wonder whether the report was even reviewed at the Pentagon. The general flaw in the Air Force report is clear: if the testimony is taken at face value, then the Roswell events occurred in 1947, and the Air Force could find no explanation for tales of alien bodies from its activities in that year. Accordingly, the Air Force, with no supporting rationale, simply assumed that the witnesses were mistaken about the date of the incident. In other words, if the Air Force, in good faith, treated the events as occurring in 1947, they would have been stuck without an explanation. The result is the preposterous report they just produced.
SPECIFIC ERRORS, FLAWS, AND PROBLEMS IN THE REPORT
Using Discredited Witnesses
Problem: The Air Force considers Gerald Anderson to be an honest witness who is simply mistaken about dates, places, and details. It relies heavily on his testimony to demonstrate similarities between Anderson's description of the alien bodies and anthropomorphic dummies.
Fact: No pro-coverup Roswell researcher considers Gerald Anderson to be an honest or believable witness. Anderson has admittedly falsified his telephone records and a diary to support his claims. Don Berliner, a primary investigator of his claims, has written as early as 1993 that he "no longer has confidence in the testimony of Gerald Anderson."
Ignoring Credible Witnesses
Problem: The Air Force ignores the testimony of Frank Kaufman.
Fact: Kaufman claims to have been involved with the recovery of the alien bodies, and he was in the military stationed at Roswell. His claims have never been convincingly refuted. His testimony should have been included in the report. It was, most likely, not included because it is impossible to suggest that Kaufman could be confused about events in which he participated and for which he took written notes.
Ignoring Their Own Experts
Problem: The Air Force, although interviewing balloon project members, did not ask them what they thought of its new theory to explain the stories of alien bodies.
Fact: Lt. Col. (Ret.) Raymond A. Madson, a project officer on Project High Dive for four years, told the Associated Press last week that there is no way the dummies could be confused with aliens. Moreover, he noted that there was a reward notice on the dummies and that they were stamped with labels identifying them as Air Force property.
Selective Use Of Testimony
Problem: James Ragsdale's testimony is not considered in full, even though a transcript of an interview done by ufologists is included in an appendix.
Fact: Ragsdale's description of how the object he saw landed (with a bright light and at high speed at night) is ignored, as is his description of the appearance of the debris, which looked nothing like a balloon. Instead, his use of the word "dummies" is taken out-of-context throughout the report.
No Balloons With Dummies Fell Near The Roswell Crash Site
Problem: Only one balloon landing was even remotely near the site north of Roswell where the craft and bodies were allegedly found.
Fact: There is no reason for witnesses to be confused by a balloon and dummy recovery that took place miles from the crash site.
Dummy And Balloon Tests Were Well-Known To The Public
Problem: The Air Force claims that anthropomorphic dummies "were not widely exposed (sic) outside of scientific research circles and easily could have been mistaken for something they were not."
Fact: The Air Force, a few pages later, admits that the dummy program, and balloon programs in general, received extensive publicity, including in books, national magazines, and the 1956 movie On the Threshold of Space . This makes it highly unlikely that witnesses who lived in New Mexico would be confused by balloon activities and mistake them for aliens.
Key Witnesses Cannot Be Placed At Any Balloon Recoveries
Problem: The Air Force theory obviously depends on the UFO witnesses having actually viewed balloon and dummy recoveries.
Fact: No witness involved in Roswell can be placed at any recovery. In fact, Air Force balloon personnel, asked about the witnesses, such as Gerald Anderson, cannot ever remember seeing or meeting these people at sites of balloon recoveries.
The Air Force Dummies Were Too Large
Problem: All anthropomorphic dummies were the size of adult males because only men were pilots in those years.
Fact: Witnesses to the bodies all report that the aliens were small and child-like in size (about four feet tall).
Witness Glenn Dennis Could Not Have Been Mistaken About the Dead Air Force Airmen
Problem: The Air Force explains Glenn Dennis's story about aliens by claiming that he inadvertently blundered into the base hospital when autopsies were being done on burned crewmen from an aircraft accident near the base.
Fact: Three of the bodies from that accident were taken to the Ballard Funeral Home where Dennis worked. Given this fact, it is preposterous to suggest that Dennis remained confused about just who or what was being autopsied at the base hospital.
As a final point, consider this bit of Air Force "reasoning." The report claims that Glenn Dennis's testimony combines several disparate events, plus military and civilian personnel from different eras at Roswell. The Air Force claims that Dennis conglomerated all these events or persons into one coherent memory:
1) Autopsies of dead crewmen from a KC-97 accident on June 26, 1956.
2) A balloon mishap that occurred west of Roswell on May 21, 1959, and Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger, who had red hair, and who was present at the base hospital after the accident.
3) Colonel Lee F. Ferrell, who was at the base hospital from October 1954 to June 1960.
4) Nurse Lucille C. Slattery, who was Chief Nurse at the hospital in 1947.
5) Nurse Idabelle Wilson, stationed at the base from February 1956 to May 1960.
6) Nurse Eileen M. Fanton, stationed at the base from December 1946 to September 1947.
The reader is left to judge the likelihood of all these unconsciously being combined into one event by a sane, competent witness, one who cannot even be proved to have been at the hospital in 1959, or to have known or met any of these military personnel.
In summary then, examination of this latest report demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was NOT an objective inquiry. Regardless of one's personal opinion of UFOs, it is plain to see that SOMETHING occurred that has resulted in two "final" AF reports within three years. One can only conclude that it is simply another government whitewash attempt, or worse, a clear case of incompetence and waste of taxpayer money. We look forward in eager anticipation to the next "final" Air Force report on the Roswell event.
The Roswell Report: Case Closed , James McAndrew, Headquarters United States Air Force, Washington, DC, 1997.
OTHER REFERENCE MATERIAL
Several articles have been published in International UFO Reporter , the magazine of the Center for UFO Studies, on the first Air Force report or matters relevant to this second report. These include:
The Continuing Search for the Roswell Archaeologists: Closing the Circle , by Thomas Carey (January/February 1994)
When and Where did the Roswell Object Crash? , by Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt (January/February 1994)
The Air Force Report on Roswell: An Absence of Evidence , by Mark Rodeghier and Mark Chesney (September/October 1994)
The Project Mogul Flights and Roswell , Kevin Randle, (November/December 1994)
The Roswell Debris: A Quantitative Evaluation of the Project Mogul Hypothesis , by Robert Galganski (March/April 1995)
Project Mogul and the Roswell Crash , an exchange with Charles B. Moore, Robert G. Todd, Mark Rodeghier and Kevin Randle (March/April 1995)
What the GAO Found: Nothing About Much Ado , by Mark Rodeghier and Mark Chesney (July/August 1995)
The Final(?) Air Force Report on Roswell , by Mark Rodeghier and Mark Chesney, (Winter 1995)
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact Mark Rodeghier at the Center for UFO Studies, 2457 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL 60659, phone 773-271-3611
(e-mail: Infocenter@cufos.org ).
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