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A weather bureau observer at the Richmond Station observed on three different occasions, during a six month period prior to April, 1947, a disc-like metal chrome object. All sightings were made through a theodolite while making pibal [balloon] observations.
On the last reported sighting, the balloon was at 15,000 feet altitude, the disc followed for 15 seconds. It was shaped like an ellipse with a flat level bottom and a dome-like top. The altitude and the speed were not estimated, but the object, allegedly through the instrument, appeared larger than the balloon.
Another observer at the same station saw a similar object under corresponding circumstances, with the exception that her balloon was at an altitude of 27,000 feet and possessed a dull-metallic lustre. There was good visibility on days of observation. Report of this sighting was not submitted until 22 July 1947.
Project Astronomer’s Opinion: There is no astronomical explanation for this incident, which, however, deserves considerable attention, because of the experience of the observers and the fact that the observation was made through a theodolite and that comparison could be made with a pibal balloon. The observers had, therefore, a good estimate of altitude, of relative size, and of speed – much more reliable than those given in most reports.
.....when the story first broke all the newspaper editors in the area were thoroughly convinced that the incident was a hoax, and that they intended to report the story as such.
.....when the editors found out that they were wrong about the hoax, they did a complete about-face, and were very much impressed by the story. This enthusiasm spread, and since the Air Force so quickly denied ownership of the objects, all of the facts built up into a story so unique that papers all over the world gave it front-page space.
Source: The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, 17-19 - Edward J. Ruppelt
.... If a report wasn’t an out-and-out hoax, it was an embarrassingly obvious mistake. One of those mistakes, given the widest possible publicity, had its origins near Roswell, New Mexico, when a farmer named William W. ("Mac") Brazel discovered the wreckage of a disc on his ranch near Corona, early in July. After hearing news broadcasts of flying saucer reports, Brazel, who had stored pieces of the disc in a barn, notified the Sheriff's Office in Roswell, who, in turn, notified Major Jesse A. Marcel, of the Roswell Army Air Field intelligence office. The remnants of the disc were taken to Roswell Field for examination. Through a series of clumsy blunders in public relations, and a desire by the press to manufacture a crashed disc if none would obligingly crash of itself, the story got blown up out of all proportions that read "Crashed Disc Found in New Mexico."
According to AP on July 8th, public information officer Lt. Walter Haught made an announcement of the discovery:
“The many rumours regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff’s office of Chavez County.”
The effect of this reckless statement was equal to an atomic detonation; results were immediate. While newspapers deluged the air base for additional information, a search party was sent out to scour the landing site for additional fragments; the collected remains of whatever it was that had crashed on Brazel’s ranch were taken to Eighth Air Force headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.
There, Brigadier General Roger M. Ramey tried to clarify matters by first explaining that no one had actually seen the object in the air; that the remains were of a flimsy construction; that it was partially composed of tinfoil; and, finally, that it was the wreckage of "a high altitude weather device..... There remains the possibility that some super-secret upper-atmospheric balloon experiment had crashed near Corona, which would have accounted for all the confusion and secrecy involved in its recovery.. The New Mexico incident created an uproar in Washington, and high Army Air Force officials were reported to have delivered a blistering rebuke to Roswell Field spokesmen for having fostered the confusion. But the damage had already been done....
FBI DALLAS 7-8-47 6-17 PM
DIRECTOR AND SAC, CINCINNATI URGENT
FLYING DISC, INFORMATION CONCERNING. MAJOR CURTAN, HEADQUARTERS
EIGHTH AIR FORCE, TELEPHONICALLY ADVISED THIS OFFICE THAT AN OBJECT
PURPORTING TO BE A FLYING DISC WAS RE COVERED NEAR ROSWELL, NEW
MEXICO, THIS DATE. THE DISC IS HEXAGONAL IN SHAPE AND WAS SUSPENDED
FROM A BALLOON BY A CABLE, WHICH BALLOON WAS APPROXIMATELY TWENTY
FEET IN DIAMETER. MAJOR CURTAN FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE OBJECT
FOUND RESEMBLES A HIGH ALTITUDE WEATHER BALLOON WITH A RADAR
REFLECTOR, BUT THAT TELEPHONIC CONVERSATION BETWEEN THEIR OFFICE AND
WRIGHT FIELD HAD NOT xxxxxxxxxx BORNE OUT THIS BELIEF.
DISC AND BALLOON BEING TRANSPORTED TO WRIGHT FIELD BY SPECIAL PLANE FOR EXAMINATION
INFORMATION PROVIDED THIS OFFICE BECAUSE OF NATIONAL INTEREST IN CASE
xxxx AND FACT THAT NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY, ASSOCIATED PRESS, A
OTHERS ATTEMPTING TO BREAK STORY OF LOCATION OF DISC TODAY. MAJOR
CURTAN ADVISED WOULD REQUEST WRIGHT FIELD TO ADVISE CINCINNATI
OFFICE RESULTS OF EXAMINATION. NO FURTHER INVESTIGATION BEING CONDUCTED.
Source : vault.fbi.gov...
“...in locating and questioning individuals who first sighted the so-called flying discs..[with] the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in locating and questioning the individuals who first sighted the so-called flying disks in order to ascertain whether or not they are sincere in their statements that they saw these disks, or whether their statements were promoted by personal desire for publicity or political reasons....... ”.
“...I would recommend that we advise the Army that the Bureau does not believe it should go into these investigations, it being noted that a great bulk of those alleged discs reported found have been pranks. It is not believed that the Bureau would accomplish anything by going into these investigations...”
“....I would do it but before agreeing to it we must insist upon full access to discs recovered. For instance in the La. case the Army grabbed it and would not let us have it for cursory examination”.
....A saucer, whirling through the air, shooting smoke and fire, landed in a downtown street. This one was seemingly solved without recourse to either the FBI or Air Force Intelligence. The Shreveport police said it was the work of a prankster, who had launched the homemade disk from the top of an office building. The saucer had a fluorescent light starter and two electric fan condensers. It couldn't fly either....
Source : Frank Scully – Behind the Flying Saucers
For instance, in the La. case the Army grabbed it and would not let us have it for cursory examination .....
“... the FBI were enlisted in order to relieve the numbered Air Forces of the task of tracking down all the many instances which turned out to be ash can covers, toilet seats and whatnot”.
h. Due consideration must be given the following:-
(2) The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the existence of these subjects............
If Wright Patterson had any idea what it was then of course they knew it wasn't a weather balloon since it wasn't measuring the weather. According to the later air force report it was probably part of a series of test flights aimed at detecting the sounds from soviet nuclear detonations, so there's not really any mystery behind the statement it looked like a weather balloon but it really wasn't if that's what happened.
originally posted by: mirageman
Selective quotation from the above memo has resulted in debates of exactly what this reveals. It was even used ‘selectively’ in “The Roswell Report Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert” 1995 where the Air Force mentioned “.....the object found resembles a high altitude weather balloon with a radar reflector” and omits the part “....but “that telephonic conversation between their office and Wright Field had not [text blacked out[ borne out this belief...”.
Of course the latter phrase is open to interpretation and people with differing views have twisted it to fit their own perceptions of what they believe happened. Frustratingly it leaves us with no definite answers.
originally posted by: moebius
a reply to: Arbitrageur
Yeah, it would have been nice if OP included more info about Mogul.
On June 4, 1947, Flight 4 was launched, and tracked as far as Arabela, New Mexico, only 17 miles from the location of the debris field on the Foster ranch.
........First, let me point out that Charles Moore prepared detailed report on Project Mogul Flight No. 4 using his expertise and winds aloft data that I supplied to him. As I have mentioned before, that data only went to 20,000 feet and it was often incomplete with several stations either not reporting or reporting only partial data. Even the layman, looking at these data see that the winds are wildly variable and often blowing in nearly opposite directions from one altitude to the next.
Second, let’s look at what [Dr. Albert] Crary wrote about those early June, 1947, launches that included Fight No. 4. He said, "June 4, 1947. Out to Tularosa Range and fired charges between 00 and 06 this am. No balloon flight again on account of clouds. Flew regular sonobuoy up in cluster of balloons and had good luck on receiver on ground but poor on plane. Out with Thompson pm. Shot charges from 1800 to 2400."
Source : kevinrandle.blogspot.co.uk...
The thing is with the whole Roswell issue that if you come down on either side of the argument you ignore testimony from the other and the only way to reconcile that is for a saucer with occupants to have crashed into a Mogul flight !
...how (why) did the news papers change their views on the Kenneth Arnolds sightings? was there any witnesses other than him, radar?
The more they dug into the facts, however, and into Arnold's reputation, the more it appeared that he was telling the truth. Besides having an unquestionable character , he was an excellent mountain pilot, and mountain pilots are a breed of men who know every nook and cranny of the mountains in their area.....
...In 1947 this was a fantastic story, but now it is just another UFO report marked "Unknown." It is typical in that if the facts are accurate, if Arnold actually did see the UFO's go behind a mountain peak, and if he knew his exact position at the time, the UFO problem cannot be lightly sloughed off; but there are always "ifs" in UFO reports....
originally posted by: chunder
a reply to: JoeHansen
Google the William Rhodes UFO photo - taken in Pheonix, Arizona on 7th July 1947 and identical to the description given by Arnold.
I guess the exception is that Arnold saw 9 in a trailing formation but there have been numerous reports of sightings of multiple objects, some of which have also been chevron shaped.