The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Real Roswell Debris

We’ve always suggested that UFO researchers should be looking at The United States Navy, instead of the Air Force, as the source for useful UFO information.

The Office of Naval Research, began working with balloons for atmospheric flights in 1946, and created Project Helios which morphed into Skyhook, the balloon sighting that killed Captain Thomas Mantell.

Helios conducted various flights from around the country.

The Air Force’s Project Moby Dick used much of the Navy’s groundbreaking Helios research to send aloft balloons of its own prototypical creation, most in and around Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico.

The actual venue for the balloon research was The Balloon Test Squadron at the Holloman Air Development Center.

One of those large, polyethylene balloons came down in Roswell’s backyard in July 1947, providing debris from its gondola payload that Mac Brazel collected, in part, and stored in a shed on the farm where he worked.

Here’s a photo of the gondola-type that Brazel gathered pieces from: 
helios.jpg 
Concentration on the Mogul balloon project has diverted UFO researchers from the Moby Dick balloon crash and recovery.

If researchers altered there obsession with Mogul and concentrated on the Moby Dick flights for the Roswell time-frame, they’d find enough evidence to suggest that the Roswell story is a confluence of balloon mishaps and egregious mythmaking by UFO researchers in 1978 onward.

Project Moby Dick is the backdoor to the Roswell explanation. That it has been overlooked by UFO radicals is intellectually shameful.

N.B. Material here culled from Colliers magazine [June 11th, 1954, Page 50 ff: A Report on Our ‘Flying Saucer’ Balloons by Charlotte Knight]

RR 

17 Comments:

  • An ET ship crashing at Roswell isn't a real historical event, rather it's a mistaken identification, quickly retracted, that nevertheless became folklore and then a cash cow cottage industry.

    Kevin Randall acknowledged that in his August appearance on The Paracast. He noted anything about Roswell sells. So, it seems if you want to make a buck off Ufology, just keep flogging the dead Roswell horse.

    Nobody hyping Roswell wants to acknowledge the mundane, terrestrial truth about it (that it was really just a crashed balloon, whatever its name) because that truth would cut off cash flow. So, Ufologists invested in the Roswell myth have been trying to poke holes in Project Mogul for the past 15 years (a great strategy to keep selling new Roswell books to credulous believers).

    Anybody who stills buys into the Roswell ET story needs to engage in dispassionate, objective, logical, and critical thinking about all the often conflicting and unsubstantiated bits and pieces of the story, much of which is based on hearsay. Most will come to the realization that there's just no "there" there.

    Ladies and gentleman, please pay no attention to the Ufologist behind the curtain . . .

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • But if you are right there ought to be flight records from Holloman AFB from the period showing that such and such a balloon was launched during June 1947 and that the prevailing winds would have taken it to the Foster ranch (or thereabouts).

    No such records have been found. This means that either such records do not exist (i.e. they have been destroyed) or nobody has looked for them.

    Theoretically you may be right, but until some written notes or records are located your idea is pure guesswork and mere speculation.

    I concede it is far far more likely than the ET fantasy, but at the moment it has absolutely no material evidence to support it.

    I can picture the reaction of Friedman, Rudiak, Bragalia, Randle and many others right now; and cannot picture any of them bothering to locate ancient US Navy balloon records. Can you?

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • PG and CDA:

    We who think that Roswell is a story borne of flotsam and jetsam and fleshed out by UFO money grubbers and mythmakers know that some things could be checked out but haven't been.

    The Moby Dick balloon launches, in the Roswell time-frame, CDA, have not been looked for or produced.

    Why not? Because the persons you've cited have zeroed in on Mogul, which you encourage by baiting them, continually, at various venues (such as Randle's blog) just to needle them and get their goat.

    We have provided, long ago, a list of balloon launches, from government archives, which show the possibility of balloon crashes in and around Roswell in the June/July time-frame.

    Richard Hall, at UpDates, way back when we offered the list, wanted us to dig through it -- it's a very large list -- and give the "listers" there the information.

    I suggested that he and others do their own legwork, to discover the information suggesting other balloon crashes besides Mogul.

    But no, the UpDate rabble insisted that we do the work for them, and no one followed up.

    Here we go again.

    I can give access to that balloon listing once more, but will you, CDA, or anyone really take the time and make the effort connect the dots?

    Nope. You Roswellians like to keep the debate going, fixating on the myth in order to play oneupsmanship.

    If some debunkers and/or skeptics would actually do some hardcore research, instead of chomping at the old, errant Roswell story, we might get the correctives needed to remove Roswell as the linchpin of UFO lore.

    I've given you some idea where to look, and what to look for.

    If you're a hardcore Roswell addict you might pursue the balloon possibility, or you can play around with the same old, same old stuff that Rudiak et al. keep pushing forward as the truth of Roswell.

    I'm not a Roswell addict, despite putting lots of commentary on this blog with a Roswell referent.

    The idea of UFO sightings (some, maybe most) being a neurologically stimulated phenomenon is more intriguing to me.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • But what makes you think that even if I or someone else located these records, and lo and behold they showed a June flight that travelled in the right direction, that any ET addict would be persuaded to drop his views?

    Robert Todd did a lot of research discovering Mogul and look what happened to him.

    The ET addicts would simply quote their numerous 'witnesses' over & over again and go to great lengths (as per Rudiak) to disprove the said Moby Dick balloon could have landed anywhere near the ranch. Moreover there is that piece of paper in Ramey's hand that blows the whole cover-up apart, doesn't it?

    No I shall certainly not bother locating these records, assuming they exist. It is too long ago now, I am getting on in years, and it will serve no useful purpose.

    I prefer to use plain common sense. Namely: if the thing was ET there is absolutely no way it would still be secret after 65 years. None whatever. And the 'dream team' will turn up nothing of value, ever.

    Enough said.

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • I'm with you most of the way CDA, or all the way maybe.

    The Roswell thing has no impact on me in any real, practical sense.

    The main reason we stick it in here now and then is that a few of our associates are Roswell fanboys.

    You're right, the Roswell believers, who are rife at UpDates, eschewed anything that might lead them to an alternative for the Roswell hubbub.

    Roswell, as PG notes, is the maypole around which the UFO ET crowd dances -- for a few dollars or a modicum of fame.

    Most of the Roswell/UFO geezers want to lie on their deathbeds -- which they now use for naps -- and say, they hope, that they were right to spend all that time and effort on Roswell.

    They don't want to die, leaving a legacy of empty-handedness and a wasted life.

    But I'm afraid that's what has happened to many already with more to go to that pasture in the sky with nothing -- nothing at all -- to show for their inordinate, silly obsession.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • CDA:

    Re your comment about how there should be flight records from Holloman AFB, here's a quote from my Body Snatchers in the Desert book which demonstrates that Holloman's early records are, ahem, lacking...

    QUOTE:

    ...a document that originated with Holloman titled RANGE SAFETY 1947-1959 makes a number of intriguing statements: “The handling of range safety problems at the Air Force Missile Development Center, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, has passed through three distinct phases. From the establishment of the Air Forces guided missile program at Holloman until the integration of the Holloman and White Sands Proving Ground test range in September 1952, Holloman was responsible for safety aspects of all its tests, including rocketsonde and balloon flights and research and development drone tests as well as missile tests in the narrow sense. Naturally there were many occasions for close coordination between the Air Forces at Holloman and the Army at White Sands on range safety criteria and procedures, for instance when the flight pattern of a missile took it over both of the adjoining test ranges.”
    Notably, and crucially, the document also states: “Little information is available on specific events with regard to range safety during this period.” (6) Needless to say, if, as this document demonstrates, Holloman own historians had “little” access to the history of the early years of research at Holloman and its links with activities undertaken at White Sands, then the idea that such a monumental story as this could remain successfully buried for decades seems not so unusual after all.

    END OF QUOTE

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • I don't believe project Moby Dick was in operation in 1947. Moby Dick was a project that started in 1952 or 1951 based on my recollections about this. The stratocat database has a lot of them being launched in the mid-1950s but nothing in 1947.

    By Blogger Tim Printy, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • Nick and Tim:

    Tim...

    The Project wasn't called Moby Dick initially. It worked under another name, just as the Navy's Skyhook started out as Helios.

    One has to look for the earlier project name. To start with Moby Dick as the project name in 1947 will lead one astray which it seems to have done here.

    Nick...

    While the Holloman records appear to be lost, references to the flights appear elsewhere, and I have the list online somewhere in our blog output -- maybe the RRRGroup blog.

    I actually sent you the list or list-link several years ago.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • Rich:

    Yes you did send me that. But, my main point is to stress that there may be portions of certain things that happened at Holloman in this period we'll never know about, as this document suggests.

    The document in question clearly makes it obvious that some records are missing.

    So, whether Moby or Mogul, or something like Body Snatchers, as I have often said: if Roswell was a secret project of a domestic nature, maybe records did get destroyed or lost, rather than hidden.

    In which case, we may never be able to solve it with 100 percent certainty.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • Nick...

    As I keep pressing on Tony Bragalia, no record or document is ever really destroyed.

    Bureaucrats are innate hoarders.

    They may eliminate records or documents but always squirrel away a copy, somewhere.

    Holloman's papers may be gone, in situ, but I bet there are copies residing somewhere in the halls of government or even at Holloman itself.

    Access to such copies may be tough or impossible, but a reference to them is extant, surely.

    That said, I agree; even coming up with "evidence" confirming concomitant happenstances near Roswell in 1947 won't deter the ETers, nor will it resolve the mystery (or mythos).

    Roswell is a tar-baby for UFO researchers -- real researchers.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • Hum. There is something I dont understand, Rich, regarding the "timeline", but correct me, I'm not a "balloon expert" and I'm not 100 certain my "dataes":

    First Skyhook flight was in the late of september 1947 (the 25th)? Not matching then if I'm correct.

    First Gopher test flights started in the 50's (1952 ?), followed by Grandson, Grayback and THEN Moby Dick apparatus (there are the WS-119L operational balloon reconnaitssance system different code names). Not matching if I'm correct then.

    However, I have no informations about Helios FLIGHT tests (then before the first Skyhook flight).

    Do you know if under Helios code name, apparatus were launched (then flew) before the first Skyhook succefull test of september 1947 (I mean historiographical dataes)? I'm not sure of it (understand I have not such dataes). Do you?

    Regards,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles. F., at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • Gilles:

    The article I'm citing says this:

    "...the Navy and Air Force balloons which have been drifting over various part of the country since 1947...." [Page 50]

    "The Navy became interested in plastic balloons as early as 1946." [Page 53]

    When I saw this some years ago, I went looking through a obscure NASA database and found a listing of all balloon launches by government agencies, some going back many years before 1947.

    I placed that listing or a link to it online (located at our UFO web-site -- http://ufos.homestead.com)

    One can make the case for a possible, even probable, balloon crash near Roswell, and it's not a Mogul balloon.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • Hi, Rich.

    Although I don't believe this explains it, the balloon launch was on July 3, 1947. I confirmed this via:

    CHRONOLOGY
    From the Cambridge Field Station to the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory 1945-1985,
    produced by Hanscom AFB, MA, penned by Ruth P. Liebowitz.

    The relevant quote:
    Chapter One
    "5 Jun The first Army Air Forces research balloon launch was conducted at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, by a New York Univesity team working under contract for the Air Material Command. It featured a cluster of rubber balloons. The first polyethylene plastic balloons in this project were launched on 3 July 1947."

    There is one more entry for June, then it skips to September.

    Best Regards,
    Bob.

    By Blogger Bob Koford, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • Thanks, Bob...

    You do what a real researcher does, ferret out information relevant to the topic at hand.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • It would be a piquant irony if the White Whale of so many monomaniacal ufologists turned out to be Moby Dick.

    By Blogger Tristan Eldritch, at Monday, August 27, 2012  

  • I thought some of these balloons and their equipment had come down in different areas (including places such as Ohio) before Roswell and were obvious to the civilians who found them as to what they were. How could people like Brazel and Marcell not be able to identify pieces of rubber and balsa wood and electronic monitoring equipment? Wouldn't that be like them spotting some pieces of a jeep engine and a rubber tire and thinking it was flying saucer debris? Makes no sense to me.

    By Blogger Atticus, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

  • Atticus:

    It's the material attached to the balloons, the scientific packages and the gondola itslf (as pictured).

    If you read what Brazel's son said was stored in the farm shed, you'd see how the photo above pertains.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, August 28, 2012  

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