Monday, April 20, 2009

The Roswell Report, Ray Madson, and Project High Dive

Project High Dive Anthropomorphic Dummy Launch
By Kevin D. Randle
A Different Perspective
© 4-12-09

     In a posting to http://www.ufocon.blogspot.com/ hosted by the RRR Group and written by Tony Bragalia it was claimed that the "Lt. Colonel who was a major contributor to the Air Force’s official 1997 study that concluded the Roswell ET crash of 1947 is a ‘myth’ – now states that the Air Force’s Roswell report is itself a lie."

According to Bragalia, Lt. Col. Raymond Madson told him that he, Madson, had been the Project Officer for Project High Dive at Holloman Air Force Base from 1956 to 1960 and that he was responsible for dropping the anthropomorphic dummies that lead the Air Force to conclude that these dummies were responsible for the tales of alien bodies recovered in 1947. Madson now says that Captain James McAndrew, who was one of those responsible for the Air Force report, was less than candid in what he said about Madson’s testimony.

In fact, according to Bragalia, Madson said that "the report he signed for McAndrew (which appears in the report) was accurate, but that – in the context of the overall Air Force report – it is misleading. Madson feels that he was ‘used for purposes’ and that his intent was misrepresented – he did not ‘buy into’ the idea of his ‘Air Force dummies as aliens.’ Madson adds that the dummies had tags on them with instructions for getting a $25 reward for their return."

There is some interesting information in that paragraph including that there was a reward for the return of the dummies. But what caught my eye was Madson’s belief that McAndrew had used him. That there had been some manipulation of the data so that the Air Force could reach the conclusion that it wanted.

Bragalia said that Madson confirmed that, saying, "McAndrew was on a mission... and was assigned to carry out a directive... Was McAndrew on a mission to uncover the truth about Roswell?... No, he was on a mission."

Madson, in fact, according to what Bragalia published on the UFOcon blog, believes that what fell at Roswell was extraterrestrial. Madson said that he had an uneasy feeling about the whole investigation and wondered why the Air Force felt compelled to do it.

Ironically, that is the same thing that the late UFO debunker Philip Klass wondered. Why would the Air Force give any legitimacy to claims that something from another world fell at Roswell if there was nothing to the story? Why would the Air Force even care?

But here’s the thing. Bragalia, through Madson, has raised a couple of questions that haven’t been discussed for a number of years. These revolve around the whole Air Force investigation of Roswell. And here is where I can interject some personal experience.

McAndrew called me on a number of occasions. He never seemed to be looking for information, though I told him what Edwin Easley, the Roswell provost marshal had told me. I said I would send copies of the tapes and the transcripts but he was uninterested. I suggested he talk with Brigadier General Arthur Exon, a retired Air Force officer who had some very interesting things to say. I thought he should talk to Patrick Saunders who had been the adjutant at Roswell in 1947, but he never did.

Instead he tried to get me to flip. He said that he could understand my making a buck on Roswell but I could tell him the truth. I didn’t really believe that little green men had been killed in a crash there, did I? He told me repeatedly that no one would think less of me if I told the truth about my motives in the Roswell investigation. I tried to make it clear to him that my conclusions were based on the interviews I had conducted with those involved and that I could put him in touch with many of them. He was not interested.

Can we deduce the Air Force motive, beyond what my impressions were and what Tony Bragalia just discovered in his interview with Madson. Of course. Just take a look at who was interviewed. The Air Force could have talked to a number of high-ranking officers who had been in Roswell in July 1947 and others who had been at Wright Field at the same time. They declined to do so.

They interviewed Sheridan Cavitt who was clearly on the record as saying nothing had happened in Roswell. In fact, he was on the record denying that he had been in Roswell at the right time, then that he had been assigned to the base but hadn’t arrived, and finally, according to what he told the Air Force, he had not only been there but had gone out to recover the balloon.

In fact, Cavitt’s interview with Colonel Richard Weaver is published in the first final report. Weaver visited Cavitt at his home (as did I) and asked him about the trip out to the Foster ranch with Mack Brazel. Cavitt told Weaver that he recognized the debris as a balloon as soon as he saw it. He didn’t explain why he told neither Colonel William Blanchard, the commanding officer in Roswell, nor Major Jesse Marcel, the air intelligence officer, that the wreckage was a balloon. Instead he allowed the "misidentification" to go forward until Brigadier General Ramey launched the weather balloon story.

Weaver, it would seem, if he cared for the truth, would have either asked why Cavitt had not explained the situation to Marcel or Blanchard, or why he hadn’t made the proper identification to them. Even after telling Weaver that he knew it was a balloon, Cavitt still told me that he hadn’t been out to the ranch and he didn’t know why both Marcel and Bill Rickett, Cavitt’s NCOIC in 1947, would say he was there. So, which story by Cavitt was true.

Had the Air Force been interested in learning the truth, rather than interviewing only those people who worked on Project Mogul, and of course, Lt. Col. Madson and many of his crew about dropping anthropomorphic dummies some ten years later, they would have interviewed some of the surviving members of Blanchard’s staff, but they avoided that. Instead the took short exerpts from tapes from the Fund for UFO Research and they used information from witnesses whose stories were suspect.

Those "witnesses" statements he did use were chopped up or from witnesses who had been exposed by UFO researchers including Gerald Anderson, Jim Ragsdale and Glenn Dennis. All three were exposed in my 1997 book, The Randle Report (published about the same time as McAndrew’s report). That didn’t stop McAndrew however.

As I say, I offered to send McAndrew copies of audio and video tapes of the military officers. I offered to send transcripts of those interviews. I offered to supply telephone numbers and addresses, though McAndrew, with the resources available to him wouldn’t have needed that help. But instead, McAndrew just attempted to get me to say that I had been in this for the money. That it wasn’t true.

So, while Bragalia’s interview with Madson is interesting, while it is important because of what it says about the Air Force investigation, it gets us no closer to a final, proven answer. It underscores the mission of the Air Force in their Roswell investigation, which was to bury the case under a pile of irrelevant and inaccurate information. Now there are millions who believe that the Roswell case is explained as a balloon based on the Air Force "investigation."

Tony has exposed just one more flaw in that investigation. He showed how McAndrew manipulated the information to reach the conclusions that he was required to reach. I know the direction of the investigation because I had many conversations with McAndrew and the tone was always the same. I could tell him that I was only in it for the money and he could respect that... but he knew there was nothing to claims of aliens in Roswell.

We now have more ammunition. We can cite Lt. Col. Madson as someone who should know the score and he tells us that his words were manipulated by the Air Force. We have other evidence of that. What we can say is that the Air Force Roswell report clears up nothing. It just adds to the confusion and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the whole purpose.

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