I recently obtained a copy of the June 2011, Air Force Magazine, published monthly by the Air Force Association in Arlington Virginia. The magazine is also available on the Internet at www.airforce-magazine.com
By Dennis Balthaser
I was unaware that such a publication existed, however what created my interest was an article on pages 68-72 written by John T. Correll, who was the editor of the Air Force Magazine for 18 years, and is now a contributing editor. The title of his article is USAF and the UFOs. His lead sentence states, “The Air Force, to its lasting regret, got in on the ground floor of the UFO phenomenon.” From that first sentence on, the 4-page article is a repeat of what the Air Force has stated in July 1947, in their voluminous report of 1994, and their Case Closed report in 1997. As a long time researcher of the 1947 Roswell Incident, am I surprised---NO!!!
The article begins by talking about the Kenneth Arnold sighting June 24, 1947 in Washington State. Arnold estimated the speed of the nine disk-shaped objects he saw at 1,700 mph. Mr. Correll pointed out that although Arnold was credited with coining the term “flying saucers”, after an article appeared in the spring 1948 Fate magazine, the term had been used previously on July 8, 1947 in the Roswell Daily Record, and most afternoon newspapers west of Chicago to describe the wreckage of the Roswell Incident. The scientific consensus of Arnold’s sighting was that it was an inversion of refracted light-commonly known as a mirage.
The interest in flying saucers faded quickly according to the article, when the Air Force announced that the Roswell debris was from a high-altitude weather balloon experiment, and not mentioned again for 30 years.
Since no other government agency came forward to assume the investigation of flying saucers, the Air Force began to collect and evaluate the data with Project Sign in 1947, which evolved into Project Grudge and Project Twinkle, and finally Project Blue Book in 1952. Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, the first director of Project Blue Book is given credit in the article for being the first to use the term “Unidentified Flying Object”. In 1952 there were 1,225 sightings to investigate.
A very brief account of the 1961 Betty and Barney Hill abduction case is mentioned in the article, only referring to it as being the result of a later hypnotic regression. Stating no one had seen an actual alien until 1964, when police officer Lonnie Zamora, “chased a flame in the sky to a mesa south of town where an egg-shaped craft landed and two strange figures got out.” Stating among others who investigated the case, only Philip J. Klass is mentioned. (Ed. Note: why list serious researchers when a debunker like Klass suffices.)
Two cases that Mr. Correll mentions that involved former Presidents of the United States were Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. In Ford’s case, 87 students at a college in Michigan saw UFOs in flight from their dormitory in 1966. When Ford requested a “full-blown” investigation by the House Armed Services Committee, the meeting lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes. The report that then Governor of Georgia Jimmy Carter made to NICAP in 1969 was determined to be the planet Venus.
In an effort to end the UFO controversy the Air Force was involved in, they engaged the University of Colorado to conduct an independent investigation led by physicist Edward U. Condon. The Condon report was issued in 1968, endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences, with the conclusion, “that nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge.”
In 1969 the Air Force announced the end of Project Blue Book. Of the 12, 618 sightings reported, 701 were categorized as unidentified, mostly due to insufficient information. Correll states the records of Blue Book were shipped off and archived.
The Air Force continued to be pressured however, being accused of keeping 2 saucers and 12 alien bodies from a crashed saucer in New Mexico at Hangar 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton Ohio. According to the article, “there is no hangar 18 at the base.” Then Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona also complained that the Air Force had denied him access to a “blue room” at Wright-Patterson where UFO artifacts were supposedly stored.
Much of the article from here on deals with the 1947 Roswell Incident, accurately stating accounts of, and briefly mentioning rancher Mack Brazel, Sheriff Wilcox, Intelligence Officer Major Jesse Marcel, and Public Relations Officer Walter Haut.
Stanton Friedman’s original interview with retired Major Marcel in 1978 is mentioned, where Marcel stated, “that in 1947, he had been ordered not to talk about the true nature of the debris, which he described as nothing from this earth.”
In 1978, the National Enquirer tabloid ran an article about Marcel, and in 1980 Berlitz and Moore published their book, “The Roswell Incident.” With one exception the witnesses are accused of repeating accounts they had heard from others.
The author mentions the “Majestic 12” documents, and the fact that many Ufologist believed that Majestic 12 member, Secretary of Defense James Forrestals’ suicide in 1949 was a cover story and, “the reason for his murder was that he was no longer trusted by those within the security services who had control over the captured saucer.” Correll claims the Majestic 12 story has several flaws, including being typed on a typewriter not in use until 1962, formats and date styles were wrong for the period. The National Archives acknowledged a document was in its files but did not know how it got there.
A great deal of space is devoted to Ballard Funeral Home Mortician Glenn Dennis’ account of his experience. Stanton Friedman interviewed Glenn Dennis in 1989. Dennis referred to the redheaded Captain, (or Colonel), who had him ejected from the base hospital, after he encountered a nurse friend who was visibly upset. The nurse disappeared from Roswell within a day, and Glenn Dennis was unable to get in touch with her despite attempts to help by the chief nurse Captain “Slatts.
When the Air Force heard about the General Accounting Office investigation into the Roswell Incident, requested by the then New Mexico Representative Steven Schiff in 1993, they decided to move on their own, supposedly pulling out all the stops, digging into records, hunting down people, (long retired), who had taken part in the events many years ago. This became the 1994 and 1997 Air Force reports I mentioned at the beginning of this editorial. (Ed. Note: All one has to do is read the GAO report or the Air Force reports of 1994 and 1997 to know the above statements are far from the truth.)
This article about the “Air Force and UFOs” mentions the balloon theory, which has been pretty well disproven over the years, not mentioning the fact that the Soviet Union didn’t do any nuclear testing until 1949 which is what the Mogul balloon was supposed to detect. Nor does it mention the fact that the anthromorphic crash test dummies could not have been the bodies witnesses described, since they were not used until 1953 (6 years after the Roswell Incident.)
There are other references in the article I could refer to, but due to a lack of space here, I’ll close with Mr. Correll’s final comment in his article, “Perhaps, in the context of the world today, there are more disturbing and important things to worry about than UFOs”.
Mr. Correll, I hope when the truth is finally revealed and UFOs are determined to be a factual occurrence, you are still around to write another article about the Air Force and UFOs, because there will be a lot of explaining needed about the past 64 years, and the way the Air Force has handled this topic.