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FOIA: Letter from Ft. Sam Houston to Wright-Patterson AFB, Regarding Madeline Merchant

page: 1

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posted on Nov, 16 2007 @ 05:49 PM
Letter to Air Material CMD Wright-Patterson AFB FM Ft Sam Houston TX Regarding letters sent by Madeline Gwynne Merchant
A letter alerting WP AFB of the letters sent by Mrs.Madeline Merchant who was sending numerous reports of objects flying near sensitive military installations in New Mexico, she wondered if these objects could be the cause of aircraft accidents.

Document date: 1949-01-18
Department: USAF
Author: Col Eustis L. Poland
Document type: Letter
pages: 4


Archivist's Notes: The first page is the only legible document in this pdf. No sighting report, just informing Wright-Patterson of this woman's letters in case her theory warranted further action. Hand written note top right of Page 1 says "Merchant Summer 1947" could be referring to earlier sightings by Mrs. Merchant. Pagesa 2, 3 and 4 are of poor quality, with a possibility of the name Doyle Rees on pages 3, 4.

posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:18 PM
Unconventional Aircraft
Dated 3rd January 1949 to 13th January 1949 file 452.1 AKADS
As mentioned only the first page is legible. The other three pages are not.
This report is addressed to the Commanding General Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton Ohio.

It contains sightings of lights near sensitive installations in New Mexico. It also makes mention of a Mrs. Madeline Gwynne Merchant theory that the causes of various aircraft accidents could be attributable to contact with a “bolide-bomb” or “disc” or other mysterious ray or rays.

Apparently these unidentified lights where of great importance as they where occurring near sensitive installations. And a determination should be made as to weather or not they related to the Merchant theory.
This is all that can be read from the “Unconventional Aircraft” document.

posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 07:59 AM
page 1 details a letter from col. eustis l poland to the commanding general of air material command, regarding ''unconventional aircraft'' sightings around "sensitive installations in new mexico". it also mentions many letters sent from madeline gwynne merchant, stating that recently she had a theory about the cause of the mysterious craft and attributes them to "contact with a "bolide-bomb" or "disc" or other mysterious rays of light ".

not sure if they are implying the lady was a nutcase or not because the second paragraph states that because the "unidentified lights are of such great importance" and the location of their appearances,they should not rule out her theories but investigate them.

the following 3 pages are not readable.

googling her name brings up this link which contains some examples of her correspondence

posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 04:52 PM
reply to post by

The name on page 3 and 4 is, indeed Lt. Col. Doyle Rees. Here's another interesting FOIA document I googled where Lt. Col. Rees writes a letter to a Brigadier General, describing possibly the same phenomena described in this document.

Interesting that this letter was sent almost a year and a half after the Madeline Merchant memo, describing the fireball and disc phenomena that occurred repeatedly over a three year span, and was studied pretty thoroughly by the sound of things...

25 May 1950

SUBJECT: Summary of Observations of Aerial Phenomena in the New Mexico Area, December 1948 - May 1950

TO: Brigadier General Joseph F. Carroll
Director of Special Investigations
Headquarters USAF
Washington 25, D. C.

1. In a liaison meeting woth other military and government intel-
ligence and investigative agencies in December 1948, it was determined
that the frequency of unexplained aerial phenomena in the New Mexico area
was such that an organized plan of reporting these observations should be
undertaken. The organization and physical location of units of this Dis-
trict were most suitable for collecting these data, therefore, since
December 1948, this District has assumed the responsibility for collect-
ing and reporting basic information with respect to aerial phenomena
occurring in this general area. These reports have been distributed to
the Air Material Command, USAF, in accordance with Air Intelligence
Requirements Ho. 4, and to other interested military and government

2. There is attached, as a part of this summary, a compilation of
aerial phenomena sightings that have occurred mostly in the New Mexico
area and have been reported by this District Office subsequent to
December 1948. This compilation of sightings is not a complete record
of all reported observations, but includes only these in which sufficient
information was available to justify their inclusion. The observers of
these phenomena include scientists, Special Agents of the Office of
Special Investigations (IG) USAF, airline pilots, military pilots, Los
Alamos Security Inspectors, military personnel, and many other persons
of various occupation whose reliability is not questioned. This com-
pilation sets forth the most important characteristics with respect to
each observation and evaluates each sighting into one of three classifi-
cations, (1) green fireball phenomenon, (2) disc or variation, and (3)
probably meteoric.

3. There is also attached an analysis of the green fireball
occurrences in this area mady by Dr. Lincoln LaPaz. Dr. LaPaz is the


File No: (24-8)-28
Subj: Summary of Observations of Aerial Phenomena in
the New Mexico Area, December 1948 - May 1950 25 May 1950

Director of the Institute of Meteoritics and Head of the Department of
Mathematics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico. He was Re-
search Mathematician at the New Mexico Proving Grounds under an OSRD
appointment in 1943 and 1944, and Technical Director of the Operations
Analysis Section, Headquarters, Second Air Force, 1944-45. Since 1948,
Dr. LaPaz has served on a voluntary basis as consultant for this Dis-
trict in connection with the green fireball investigations.

4. On 17 February 1949 and again on 14 October 1949, conferences
were held at Los Alamos, New Mexico, for the purpose of discussing the
green fireball phenomena. Representatives of the following organizations
were present at these meetings: Fourth Army, Armed Forces Special Wea-
pons Project, University of New Mexico, Federal Bureau of Investigation,
U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, University of California, U. S. Air Force
Scientific Advisory Board, Geophysical Research Division Air Material
Command USAF, and the Office of Special Investigations (IG) USAF. A
logical explanation was not preffered with respect to the origin of the
green fireballs. It was, however, generally concluded that the pheno-
mena existed and that they should be studied scientifically until these
occurrences have been satisfactorily explained. Further, that the
continued occurrence of unexplained phenomena of this nature in the
vicinity of sensitive installations is cause for concern.

5. The Geophysical Research Division, Air Material Command,
Cambridge, Massachusetts, has recently let a contract to Land-Air, Inc.,
Holloman AFB, Alamogordo, New Mexico, for a limited scientific study of
green fireballs. The results of this scientific approach to the problem
will undoubtedly be of great value in determining the origin of these

6. This summary of observations of aerial phenomena has been
prepared for the purpose of re-emphasizing and reiterating the fact
that phenomena have continously occurred in the New Mexico skies
during the past 18 months and are continuing to occur, and, secondly,
that these phenomena are occurring in the vicinity of sensitive mili-
tary government installations.

[ signed ]
Lt Colonel, USAF
District Commander

Source: File No: (24-8)-28

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