UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Roswell media misinformation in 1947

I found this excerpt in an archive from ten years ago, which highlighted journalistic errors (New York Times?) during the Roswell hub-bub in 1947.

The excerpt and archive may have come from a listing at David Rudiak's all-inclusive Roswell blog in 2005 or so. (I have no idea from where we got the material, and I apologize for that.)

The information is interesting, despite the egregious misspellings of names (Haut and Brazel):

Rancher Hears the Story

    Haught added the "disk" had been examined at Roswell field and forwarded to higher authorities.
    Events leading to the issuance of Haught's bulletin were pieced together as follows:  W. W. Brizzell, a rancher, found the remnants of the balloon last week. In near-by Corona, N.M., Saturday he heard about the national disk epidemic.  He decided to notify the sheriff.
    Sheriff George Wilcox relayed the information to Roswell field, where Maj. Jesse A. Marcel was assigned to investigate.  The major went to the ranch and took the collection of sticks and foil into the custody of the army.
    Newton explained the object, when rigged up, looks like a six pointed star, is silvery in appearance, and rises in the air like a kite, mounted on a 100 gram balloon.  He said a radar set is used to follow the balloon and winds aloft are charted through a triangulation process.  He added he had used similar balloons during the invasion of Okinawa to get ballistics information for heavy guns.



  • For any one interested--Chicago Tribune, July 9, 1947. Complete story:


    Many, many other versions of the Roswell story in the press:


    "Haught" was a distinctive AP misspelling of base PIO Walter Haut's name. "Brizzell" was a distinctive UP misspelling of rancher Mack Brazel's name. They are like radioactive tracers that can be used to trace the lineage of a story. In this case, mostly AP with a little bit of UP sprinkled in.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Sunday, February 15, 2015  

  • Rich,

    One wonders why any one cares about the "Roswell Story" any more. I mean think about it-- It was nearly 68 years ago... and we don't really know anything and even if we did-- So what if there *was* a saucer and bodies?

    Nothing changes.

    I can hear the cries "Well that means the government lied to us!" Yeah... so what's new? When hasn't the Government lied to us or manipulated information?

    So even if there were bodies and a saucer-- it does not change a thing. History does not change. Science does not change. Our politics does not change. Our world does not change. Oh, and by the way, we have not "reverse engineering" anything.

    [Hey kids! "Reverse engineering" is the correct *engineering* term for recreating a technological device or technique. There is no such thing as "back engineering"... use of that term makes the user sound like a real idiot... which means there are a lot of them in the UFO field... but I digress...]

    Let's try to put a frame of reference around the ability to "reverse engineer advanced technology using the know history of our world. The Sumerian were the first historic civilization. They gave us the first form of written language.

    The technology of the Sumerians [the civilization of southern Iraq that ended about 3200 years ago] is to Western technology [The current technology based civilization] as its technology is to any ETs who allegedly might have crashed in the desert. [Hey everyone knows that ETs are "thousands of years ahead of us]

    Now imagine handing a Sumerian "engineer" a scavenged micro processor and a partially intact hard drive and telling him that the secrets of the gods were within these things and that if he can recreate the technology he can be like the gods. No blueprints or any other "keys" to the devices are made available.

    How long do you think it would take the Sumerian to figure out how to make a micro processor? or to read that hard drive? To the Sumerian our technology is "magic".

    The likelihood the Sumerian could reverse engineer these items is nearly zero because of the technological 'distance' between his/her civilization and ours. It is foolishness to think we had / have / will the skills and technology to "decode" advanced technology any time soon. The belief that we have the ability to do so is simply hubris (or Phillip Corso?) talking.

    Even if one is a "believer" in Roswell [or some such] given this near certainty of our technical inability to reverse engineer their technology one should ask: why would the Government lie about these ETs?

    Could it be that even if we did obtain a device / ship / cadaver that we did not / do not / cannot understand what we have? That is the *real* story of Roswell if Roswell actually took place... But the likelihood it did are vanishing small...

    I imagine there are better candidates to an actual ET event... but all of them seem to have gotten either forgotten or over shadowed by non-events like Roswell.

    By Blogger gishzida, at Monday, February 16, 2015  

  • What interplanetary spacecraft might be 'mounted on a balloon' ???

    By Blogger Woody, at Tuesday, February 17, 2015  

  • "What interplanetary spacecraft might be 'mounted on a balloon' ???"

    ...actually there were TWO interplanetary spacecraft, Spirit and Opportunity, that were successfully 'mounted on a balloon' as part of the Mars Exploration Rover project:


    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Tuesday, February 17, 2015  

  • Woody wrote:
    "What interplanetary spacecraft might be 'mounted on a balloon' ???"

    Implicit assumptions here:

    1. They really did find a "balloon", but some key officers at Roswell were stupid (head intelligence officer, base commander, head counter intelligence officer, probably others who would have been consulted), unable to identify easily recognizble, common, fragile balloon materials, and instead put out an official press release that they had recovered, not a "balloon", but one of those supersonic "flying discs" being described in the news.

    2. There was no cover-up and all those people describing a "balloon" in the news (rancher, sheriff, commanding general in Fort Worth, Pentagon) were just telling it like it was. It took the general (Ramey) to first figure it out, apparently because he was a weather balloon expert, unlike the fools at his subcommand in Roswell.

    3. After screwing up so badly, tying up higher command in knots for the rest of the day responding to the flood of media inquiries clear up to the top of the Pentagon, and causing national and international embarrassment to the Army Air Force, the brass decides to forget it all instead of launching an investigation into who was responsible for such a fiasco at their atomic bomber base. No senior officer involved at Roswell suffered any career consequences, instead continued their upward career climb, getting top-notch ratings, promotions, etc. E.g., the base commander (Col. Blanchard), ultimately responsible for putting out the disastrous press release, became a full general and vice chief of staff of the USAF.

    Other requirements for acceptance of official balloon story:

    1. One has to ignore all the various inconsistencies in the various official versions of what happened as printed back in 1947 (the reason for compiling all those news stories for comparison), such the press release, the sheriff, the rancher, the intel officer, and the general (plus the PR photos he had taken of a balloon) contradicting one another and even themselves on key points. The sheriff admitted he was working with the military when he refused to answer more questions about what the "disc" looked like, and the rancher wasn't telling a "balloon" story until well AFTER the general made it official, then at the end contradicted himself saying he had found other weather balloons before, and this wasn't like those "in any way".

    2. One has to ignore the mass of testimony decades later that the rancher was in custody of the AAF when he told his story, locked up for days, and was coerced, the sheriff was coerced, various witnesses independently describing bizarre material being recovered, stories of bodies (including a telex being held in the hand of the general mentioning "the victims of the wreck" and something ("cadavers"?) "in the 'disc'"), and the USAF's top counterintelligence unit at the Pentagon 50 years later inventing a non-existent research balloon flight and "crash dummies" from the future to try to again explain away Roswell, after a N.M. Congressman launched a Congressional investigation.

    Otherwise, a "balloon" explains everything.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Wednesday, February 18, 2015  

  • Kurt - so these were visiting spacecraft, who use the same return landing procedures that our craft which are exploring nearby planets in our own system use? I didn't know about a view that these alien visitors are at a similar level of interplanetary investigation as we are, using similar tactics even when landing on the planet that they are investigating, although I appreciate that you are only answering the very question that I posed.
    Maybe i'm wrong, it wouldn't be the firs time.
    David - I appreciate your breakdown.

    All the best folks,

    By Blogger Woody, at Thursday, February 19, 2015  

  • Has there ever been a report of a flying saucer slowly and listlessly descending to earth attached by cables to a balloon? There have been reports of many, many other flying saucer aerial dynamics, is it not curious that we haven't seen this one? My sarcasm is due solely to the point that I didn't word that question well and was called on it.

    By Blogger Woody, at Thursday, February 19, 2015  

  • Woody,

    I'm not aware of any reports of flying saucers attached to a balloon by cable or anything else. Back in 1947, saying the Roswell "disc" wss attached to a balloon by a cable was a deliberate attempt to equate the actual flying discs being reported (like Kenneth Arnold's supersonic ones) with RAWIN radar targets, the "foil and sticks" supposedly found.

    There are many reports of "discs", "saucers", UFOs in general ability to hover, descend slowly, land slowly, etc., but under their own power.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Thursday, February 19, 2015  

  • I googled "W. W. Brizzell, a rancher, found the remnants of the balloon last week" and got an INS article printed in the Nassau Daily Review-Star. This is the last paragraph.

    For a time officers planned to bring the "disk" to Wright Field, Dayton, O., by plane. Its identification as remnants of a weather balloon canceled those plans.

    The "remnants" weren't stashed in Hangar 18?

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Thursday, February 19, 2015  

  • Some stories stated the planned shipment of the "disk" to Wright Field was cancelled, others contradicted it. E.g., the Dallas FBI telegram of July 8, 1947, stated that the "disk and balloon" were "being transported to Wright Field by special plane for examination."

    At about the same time the FBI was being told this by Ramey's intel officer Major Kirton, Kirton was telling the Dallas Morning News that the object had been definitely IDed as a RAWIN weather target and the shipment was off. See:



    Before Kirton and the FBI at about 5:30 p.m., an AP bulletin at 4:53 p.m. stated that Ramey "HAD" already shipped the thing to Wright Fireld: "Ramey has also apparently said that the 'disk' HAD been shipped to Wright Field."


    ABC News radio on their 10 p.m. news program reported thusly:

    "Army officers say the missile, found sometime last week, has been inspected at Roswell, New Mexico, and sent to Wright Field, Ohio, for further inspection....

    "Our correspondents in Los Angeles and Chicago have been in contact with army officials endeavoring to obtain all possible late information. Joe Wilson reports to us now from Chicago....

    "In Fort Worth, Texas, where the object was first sent, Brigadier General Roger Ramey says that it is being shipped by air to the AAF research center at Wright Field, Ohio.

    "A few moments ago, I talked to officials at Wright Field, and they declared that they expect the so-called flying saucer to be delivered there, but that it hasn't arrived as yet."


    So different stories depending on news outlet and who was spoken to, which is why you have to compare how the story was being reported by multiple media sources. There are all these contradictions in the official story.

    The 1994 AF counterintelligence team, however, took the FBI telegram as conclusive evidence that there was a shipment to Wright Field. The FBI telegram also said that Wright Field was to advise the Cincinnati FBI office of the results of its examination. A search by the General Accounting Office in 1994 of FBI files failed to uncover any documents indicating that the FBI was further informed of anything. This represents yet one more piece of missing Roswell documentation that should have been there but isn't.

    In contrast, the following month, the FBI investigated an obvious hoax disc, turned it over to Wright Field, and was given back a very complete report of their examination, even tracing the radio parts used in making the hoaxed object. A portion of that report:


    The USAF debunking team in 1994 also used the dubious anecdote of Mogul's Col Trakowski (Mogul Project Officer) that he received a phone call from Col. Marcellus Duffy (his predecessor) a few days later, claiming there was such a shipment, Duffy inspected it at Wright Field, and declared it was from Project Mogul. That's how they spun the story, at any rate. But it turns out the Trakowski/Duffy story was full of holes and probably fabricated, with Duffy being in N.J. at the time, not Wright Field Ohio. For discussion of the many contradictions in the story:


    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Friday, February 20, 2015  

  • Thanks for the info, David.

    In light of that, I have to wonder if the Roswell material was not shipped to W-P and secreted away, as numerous cable documentaries suggest it was, but perhaps it was just dumped in the garbage.

    But who knows either way? As you note, there is no documentation, just contradictions.

    "Missing evidence" is ever the bane of ufology.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, February 21, 2015  

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