The Bragalia Files
This author has identified and located Annie Jacobsen’s anonymous source. I have also decided, after much consideration, to “out” him. In this article I will openly name him. I have also contacted him very recently. He reluctantly spoke with me for some time. I believe that the source was indeed told this bizarre story by officials. But just why this is so will stun readers, and is not for the reasons that you may think.
JACOBSEN’S SOURCE NAMED
Ms. Jacobsen’s source about this Roswell story is unnamed by her in the blockbuster book. He wanted to remain anonymous. Annie Jacobsen kept her promise. I did not learn her source from her or from anyone associated with her publishing company. His identity and his background is revealed here and now:
Alfred O’Donnell is nearly 89 years old and he is one of Annie Jacobsen’s key sources about this Roswell crash story “interpretation.” O’Donnell is indeed exactly who he claims to have been. In the early 1950’s he was at the “Nevada Test Site” where atomic bombs were tested regularly. O’Donnell was indeed part of the nucleus of top management and engineers for EG&G- one of our nation’s top defense contractors. Founded as Edgerton, Germeshausen and Grier (EG&G) the company was acquired by URS Corporation some years ago. URS employs over 50,000 and is the leading designer and builder of federal classified facilities in the United States. They work with military as well as with the Intelligence Community (particularly the NSA) in constructing and operating some of our nation’s most sensitive and secret facilities.
O’Donnell joined EG&G in 1947 when the company employed only 15 people. He worked alongside the company’s founders and obtained Top Secret Clearance to work on our nation’s nuclear arsenal. He helped to develop explosives research protocols and optimized the firing systems of bomb devices. O’Donnell – a Bostonian - is a brilliant man who made significant contributions to EG&G and to our nation’s defense for many years. EG&G – and O’Donnell - had specialized expertise in electronically capturing and measuring the energy that was emitted from DOE nuclear blasts in the remote Nevada desert.
THE SOURCE SPEAKS
Transcribed Interview with Alfred O'Donnell, Formerly of EG&G
May 26, 2011 (Afternoon)
(Bolded text that follows indicates Alfred O’Donnell speaking;
Light text indicates this author speaking to O’Donnell)
TB: Hi Mr. O’Donnell, my name is Tony Bragalia, a freelance journalist in Florida..How are you doing?
AO: Fine, and who are you again? (I repeat above)
TB: I’m a researcher, including of things like military history and the history of science. I happened to see an online article about an ‘Alfred O’Donnell’ that was from the Review-Journal. It’s called “100 Men Who Shaped Southern Nevada” It discusses your early work at EG&G in the 50s in nuclear blast testing and measurement.
AO: Oh, oh, yes… I do remember that. I recall that very well.
TB: It was written by a “ K.J. Evans”…
AO: Yes, he’s dead now. That article was written some time ago. Some years ago.
TB: It’s found its way onto the Internet so the story is everywhere now, forever…So I do have the right Alfred O’Donnell who was with EG&G in the ‘40s and 1950s?
AO: Yes, that’s me.
TB: Well, of course you must be aware then of the recent bestseller by Annie Jacobsen that is entitled Area 51?
AO: I am. (silence/pause)
TB: You know Annie?
AO: I do know Annie.
TB: Well you said something to Annie Jacobsen about the subject that I’d like to talk with you about…
AO: I don’t talk about my work at Area 51.
TB: Well, EG&G does not seem to be the kind of place that would be reverse engineering a Soviet craft and also doing biological experiments and analysis, there were better places….
AO: Well, you really need to speak with the Publicity Director at Little Brown.
TB: Why them?
AO: They published the book.
TB: What do they know more about all of this than you do?
AO: They don’t. But I’m not saying anything…
Tony, how…how did you find me?
TB: I am a researcher of some of these things. I think sort of like a computer when I am investigating. I googled key words. I happened across the article on you. I knew intuitively that you are Annie’s source, Alfred. And of course you are, so…
Alfred, you must realize that you have an obligation to truth and to history to come forward publicly. This is a much larger issue. It is about having people understand what really happened -if this is what really did- and to not believe in fantasies..things that aren’t scientific or historical truth…
AO: I know…I understand… what you’re saying, Tony.
TB: You know Alfred, I communicated with Dr. Stirling Colgate at Los Alamos recently and he made a recent confession about a UFO hoax that he was aware of from many, many years ago.
TB: Colgate is in his 90s and he’s still at Los Alamos. He confirmed to me that the famous Socorro, NM case involving a policeman in 1964 was a hoax by some of his students from New Mexico Tech. But it took him over 40 years to really say something! Colgate took to a real long time to tell the truth. And he still is reluctant…but his allegiance was in the wrong place for too long. It was to his kids at the college!…
AO: (Laughs) So how did you find out about him?
TB: Through a letter that I had found in some archives from Stirling Colgate to his friend Linus Pauling, who had an interest in UFOs I found out. In his reply, Colgate told Pauling the truth that it was a hoax.
AO: Who is that he wrote to?
AO: Oh! Yes…
TB: So my point is that we will all pass. And because of this we all have larger obligations as we get older. As a scientist you must understand this, truth is it. It’s really all that we want have in the end.
Will you leave anything - a document in writing to benefit history and science on all of this before you pass, including your name?
AO: I don’t know. I don’t think so.
TB: I think you must forget about your oaths and clearances. The Soviet threat is no longer. It is more than six decades on Alfred! I sometimes almost get emotional about all of this…doesn’t, does not truth mean anything? Why have our children’s children believe in fantasy, if this is what it was?
AO: I will think about it. I will give it some consideration…
TB: Alfred, have other people called you about this?
AO: I’m not going to say anything at all about that.
TB: Well, people come to very different conclusions that you do on all of this. The Air Force says that it is a Mogul balloon, others say it was a terrestrial secret experiment by German Paperclip scientists…
AO: Yes, I have heard about that one.
TB: Well, I will level with you Alfred. I come down on the side of truth - it was an extraterrestrial vehicle that crashed. And frankly I think that you know this and that you were “played with.”
I am certain that the craft was constructed of materials that were not known to science in 1947. I based this on many things including on my study of the history of Shape Recovery Alloys. They had reported they found “memory metal” at Roswell that was tough and would return back to its original shape. I found that in the months immediately following the crash that Wright Patterson contracted Battelle Memorial Institute to begin work on what we now know as Nitinol. I traced the scientific documents on Shape Memory metals to the incident. When you are reverse engineering, it is always easiest to begin with the ‘materials of construction’ –what is it made of- not the propulsion or navigation systems…
AO: Yes..I follow.
TB: And, Alfred, I will be candid with you: you must come forward. You are a man of science. You have lived for the discovery of truth. Why do you care now? Say what needs to be said. I mean I know you have. But openly. You know Annie is taking a beating on this. I frankly would like to know, as someone who believes in truth and accurate history…you are a man who honors science…you must know what I mean…
AO: Tony, look, I will say this to you: if the Federal Government really wanted to have all of this released, why would they not have already done it themselves?
TB: I don’t know. But you do Alfred. And I do respect your respect for your oath and your security clearances.
If we could get you a release from the Department of Defense to speak of this- of the truth of Roswell- would you then be open to speaking openly?
AO: No. I would not. I just…I just cannot get involved like that.
TB: Oh, one more last thing…
TB: Do you think that when URS acquired EG&G a few years back that they also got all of the early scientific and historical records from EG&G? I mean would they even know now? Many of the people there at URS now weren’t yet even born when this happened…
AO: I don’t know. I really have no idea.
TB: Again, Alfred, I have an understanding of the Intelligence Community –IC- and of the Defense communities, so I do understand where you are coming from. Thanks for all of your time, I really do appreciate it very much…
AO: OK, Tony, Goodbye.
THE STRANGE STORY HE TELLS – AND WHY HE WAS TOLD IT
I found Alfred O’Donnell to be telling the truth as he remembers it – and likely as he himself claims to have witnessed it. He was extremely lucid, deliberate and controlled in his responses to me. Frankly he seemed years and years younger on the phone. Like author Annie Jacobsen, I find O’Donnell to remain a bright and believable person.
However, I do not believe that the “essence” of what he was told was true. O’Donnell says that he viewed a hoaxed UFO by Stalin that was used to scare us - and that used a former Nazi’s eugenics skills to create the aviators. O’Donnell told Jacobsen that they were “grotesque.” O’Donnell also told Jacobsen that he and his other scientist cohorts at EG&G were “prepared” for the sight of them. They were told in advance that “seeing the bodies would be a shocking and disturbing experience.”
But the truth is this: It was all “staged.” O’Donnell was indeed “exposed” to what he says he was- but this “exposure” was planned, it was for a reason - and the accompanying story that he was told was not genuine.
He was told that it was of Soviet origin. But “exotic technology” that has been recovered by military are often studied by using the “subterfuge” or “cover” of being told that they are of “Russian origin.” And this holds especially true for the Roswell crash. There are numerous times when the “Soviets” or the “Russians” were used to describe where such artifacts came from. They were a convenient and ideal “excuse” or reason for the study of such things:
1) When Elroy John Center (the Battelle scientist who confessed to analysis of ET metal debris and who co-authored the first “memory metal report” for Wright Patterson) was told to analyze the unusual “piece”- he was told by his Battelle supervisor that it was recovered in a crash from “the Soviets.” Center knew this not to be true and he believed the material could not have been made by man. (See prior articles on the Battelle-Roswell connection archived on the Iconoclasts site to learn more.)
2) General George Schulgen, in a 1947 secret memo, instructed his officers to be aware of UFO’s and their “Items of Construction.” He indicated that the discs could be of possible Soviet origin. Schulgen was of course using this as a cover. Forthcoming information on Schulgen will show that this top Pentagon Intelligence official of the time knew that the material of which the discs were comprised was not known to science- and were engineered by those from another world.
3) When RAAF Base Commander Butch Blanchard told his wife and daughter Dale of the crash, he kept on repeating to them: “those Russians have some amazing things.” New information from researcher Tom Carey indicates that the exact opposite was true: Blanchard actually believed that it was an ET craft at Roswell, something he related to his second wife and others later in life.
The deepest recesses of Government were testing key personnel at emerging EG&G to see if they could be entrusted with such “remarkable secrets.” Would they say anything to anyone about this made-up Russian-Roswell scenario? They did not (at least not until a half-century later, and then only anonymously.) They could be entrusted with anything. And today the company is rewarded as the largest infrastructure firm to Federal government in the nation.
More importantly this author maintains that:
- Those in Government who knew about Roswell wanted to confuse the ET truth of the event to others with whom they may work by alluding to things “Russian.” It may have even been used as a “code word” of sorts.
- They felt that it was also a perfect way to have studies performed on actual ET crashed disc material by private contractors. Tell them these strange things were Russian. Fold the research into existing defense related technology research.
- They wanted to see if organizations that they would bring into the fold would keep such a pretend ‘Secret.’ And point to the Russians, feared and hated.
- They would occasionally and selectively “test” individuals within government (and its contractor community) to measure the “reactions” and coping skills of learned men when exposed to such bizarre things
- They “orchestrated” cover stories on Roswell to purposely confuse and obfuscate the issue. They sought to blur the ET truth of Roswell with layers of plausible deniability. They officially issued (and in other ways spread) many possible “real reasons” for the Roswell crash. In this way the actual extraterrestrial nature of the Roswell event will become “muddled.”
O’Donnell was shown an American-hoaxed UFO and “aliens” for one (or some) these reasons. But it was not a “Soviet” thing that he saw. That he saw these things is likely true… but the associated story that he was told about their origin was not.
The most telling reason that this is so is this: The story told to O’Donnell those many years ago –in historical hindsight- is ludicrous on the face of it. I will not detail those reasons. Many others (including the New York Times) have pointed out the many “holes” found like Swiss cheese within the story. These include fundamental logistical, technological and historical issues associated with the cover tale told O’Donnell.
And there is this clue: O’Donnell told Jacobsen that “Cyrillic writing” found around a rim area in the craft had led he and his EG&G associates to confirm that the craft was of Soviet origin, so that the story that they were told by their superiors made complete sense.
However, the fact is that the Russians would never have made such alleged “hoax overflights” of the US using anything like “Cyrillic writing” that would reveal the craft’s true Soviet origin. It would defeat the entire purpose of having our people believe that we were being invaded by “aliens” as O’Donnell maintains, like “Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds”- and so O’Donnell should never have found such writing.
It was, rather, placed there by US military intelligence to encourage the belief that it was Russian. And O’Donnell was just 29 in 1951 when he states that he saw all of this at EG&G at Area 51. He was impressionably young, as were his EG&G colleagues. They would go on in their defense contracting careers believing all the while (and repeating late in life) the lie that they had been made to believe that these things were “Russian.” How very “Cold War-ish.”
But given the context of the timeframe of the late 1940s and early 1950s (and the fear of Russians, with “War of the Worlds” having aired only 10 years prior) it is easy to understand why O’Donnell and his EG&G colleagues “bought in” to this scenario fed them. Given the “tenor of the times” and the initiation of the Cold War, anything related to the devious Soviets could be believed at that time.
And, tellingly, the “Russian” explanation that had been told by these EG&G retirees reminds one of the famous Kecksburg, PA UFO case of 1965. Some in Government offered the (now discredited) explanation that this crash incident was resultant from a Russian launch as well. That one though was explained away as the crash of an advanced Soviet satellite. Always the Russians…
The story is strange. And the reasons that I have offered that I “believe” the old scientist may seem even stranger to some. I have more to report on this and I hope to release other findings soon…
Roswell is an onion. We continue to peel away at its layers. But it still stinks and dizzies with the stench of disinformation, even after decades.
. . . More
* Special Thanks To Tony Bragalia & Rich Reynolds
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