By Dennis BalthaserWith the approaching 60th anniversary of the 1947 Roswell Incident upon us, I’ve noticed the internet UFO lists are again becoming active, with those that refuse to accept the information already put forth pertaining to two specific accounts of the incident. Those two accounts being the debris found on the Foster ranch, by ranch foreman “Mack” Brazel, and the photographs taken in General Ramey’s office. Both are key elements of the incident. In my estimation they have been “put to rest” several times with good research and factual information, but the critics and non-believers apparently don’t want to accept factual information. I’ve also noticed that many times those individuals that don’t agree with the factual information have no new or counter information to offer, so the debate continues as it has for several years.
On the debris question I will rely on the research of David Rudiak http://roswellproof.com and a few others for the countless hours they have devoted to explaining away the balloon accounts with information they obtained, documented and previously shared.
On the photographs taken in General Ramey’s office I can speak from first-hand knowledge having met and interviewed James Bond Johnson, who actually took all but one of the photographs, and whom I seriously questioned about some of his statements and embellishments of his involvement, in interviews done previously, with David Rudiak, Kevin Randle and others.
A few of the points I would make about the debris is the fact that ranch foreman “Mack” Brazel was familiar with weather balloons, having prior to July 1947 recovered several and turned them in to the Army-Air Force for the small reward offered for recovering them. Would the top intelligence officer in the military at the time, (Major Jesse Marcel), be asked to go 65 miles away from the base with CIC operative Captain Cavitt to review the situation on a ranch for a balloon, and themselves bring debris back to the base, and shortly thereafter have Marcel fly some of that debris to 8th Army-Air Force headquarters in Ft Worth Texas for General Ramey to view? Would that same debris from a balloon then be flown on to Wright Field at Dayton, Ohio?
And why in 1994, after 40 some years, would the Air Force publish a report indicating that what was found on the Foster ranch in 1947 was not a flying saucer as reported by the media July 8, 1947 after the base press release, nor was it a weather balloon as General Ramey reported in the media the next day on July 9, 1947, but rather a Mogul balloon? Mogul balloons (left) were advanced planning intended to detect any future nuclear testing being done by the Russians as observed from high altitude, so the Mogul balloons were being launched to see if they could be kept at a constant high altitude level. To the critics and non-believers it doesn’t matter that the Russians didn’t do any nuclear testing until 1949, (two years after the Roswell Incident), which is similar to the crash test dummy excuse given by the Air Force in 1997. Of course they weren’t used until 1953, (6 years after the Roswell Incident). Finally, if the Mogul balloons were so secretive why was a phony Mogul launch carried out for the press at Alamogordo on July 9, 1947, the day after the flying disc press release. We’re certainly due another excuse by the Air Force, after the 4 we’ve already had.
The Mogul 4 balloon, which the non-believers, critics and debunkers claim was the debris found on the ranch, seems to be the only unaccounted for Mogul balloon launch that fits the time frame. However, according to a diary kept by one of the Mogul scientists, Flight 4 was cancelled due to cloud cover, which is also supported by weather records of that time. Flight 9 on July 3rd was also cancelled. Neither Flight 4 nor 9 are listed in the Mogul records kept for each launch. Once filled with helium and the flights cancelled, the balloons were simply released, because they couldn’t be reused and any reusable equipment (radiosondes, radar reflectors), used for tracking would have been removed before releasing the balloons. Consequently if there was no tracking equipment, the balloon release would be of no value and there would not have been any tracking done.
Charles Moore, Mogul Engineer, claimed Flight 4 was tracked (based on nothing more than his memory), but has never produced any substantial documentation to support it. As a matter of note, none of the equipment that would have been attached to a Mogul balloon was ever reported as being found at the debris field either. David Rudiak and others have re-calculated the trajectory of Flight 4, and Rudiak has indicated that Moore’s calculations for the trajectory would have missed the Foster ranch by 70 miles, while others indicate 17 miles away from the ranch, either one being a long distance from the debris site.
Besides Mogul balloons with occasional radar targets, weather balloons with radar targets were also launched from a weather station at Orogrande, south of Alamogordo, prior to the launching of V-2 rockets from White Sands. But neither a single balloon with a radar target nor a much larger Mogul balloon train with tracking and other equipment would satisfy the size of the debris field, described as being several hundred yards wide by ¾ of a mile long.
Over the years much has been said about the “flower tape” supposedly holding parts of the Mogul radar target equipment together, but none has ever been seen in the photos taken in General Ramey’s office by James Bond Johnson, strongly indicating the debris in General Ramey’s office wasn’t even part of a Mogul balloon assembly.
That brings me to photographer James Bond Johnson, and the controversy over the photographs taken in General Ramey’s office, when Major Marcel delivered some of the debris to the General’s office from Roswell, and the fact that Johnson embellished his involvement in various interviews he did.
I have made a few observations about the photographs myself, that I want to share with you. The brown wrapping paper on the floor in several of the photographs with the debris on top of it appears to me to have been removed from a new roll of brown wrapping paper. It’s surface is flat, indicating that paper was never a part of a wrapped up package brought to the General’s office by Major Marcel, as it would have had creases or been crumpled, from being wrapped around the debris material. Secondly, and again in several photographs, unopened packages are plainly visible, possibly being some of the debris Marcel brought, and not yet opened. If Major Marcel went into the map room with the General when he arrived in Ft Worth before the packages were opened as I understand it, did Johnson take it upon himself to open some of the packages, since he said he rearranged the pile of debris for the photo shoot as stated below in one of my questions to him.
Some of the questions I asked Johnson in my interview with him in 2001 were as follows. The complete interview is here
DGB: Who asked you if you had your camera available and told you to go to General Ramey’s office?
JBJ: I was assigned by my city editor, Cullum Greene, after he had just received a “flash” AP Teletype that a “captured” flying saucer was being flown to Ft Worth from Roswell, and wanted photos of the craft. According to Johnson other photographers for the newspaper were not available at that time.
DGB: For the record, I understand that you took 6 photographs (three different setups) on July 8, 1947 in General Ramey’s office. Agreed?
DGB: You didn’t remember meeting or taking photographs of Major Marcel, until after you looked at the pictures at the University of Texas at Arlington library where they are archived. You then remembered taking Marcel’s pictures, and that was based on the markings on the film that was used for the other photographs you did remember taking?
DGB: The photograph of Irving Newton was not taken by you, agreed?
When I asked Bond about the unopened packages on the floor, he said, “that there hadn’t been time to open them all, and what was opened was in a pile, so he rearranged it for the photo shoot.”
Bond had made a statement that the paper in General Ramey’s hand in the photographs was a press release that he had handed to Ramey. In my interview with Johnson he admitted he was in error about that.
Bottom line for James Bond Johnson is the fact that he did take 6 photographs in General Ramey’s office, but not the one of Irving Newton, and he had no other involvement, although he embellished his involvement in various interviews he had done.