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FOIA: Project Twinkle - Final Report

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posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 06:46 AM
Project Twinkle - Final Report
This is a report based on a project initiated by the USAF to investigate green "fireballs" of light in the skies of the South Western States of the USA

Document date: 1951-11-27
Department: Atmospheric Physics Laboratory Geophysics Research Division
Author: Louis Elterman
Document type: Report
pages: 29


Archivist's Notes: At the time this investigation was mounted to investigate green "fireballs" in the skies of Northern New Mexico it was known that the Russians were already investigating this phenomena. The American initiative was called Project Twinkle. Due to the frequency of the phenomena it was deemed necessary to investigate further. Strangely enough many reports originated from personnel at Los Alamos!! However, it really was made clear that further investigation would be a waste of money but findings were largely inconclusive and ranged from being "balloons" to clouds and planets.

posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 10:03 AM
With typical military thinking, this report concludes, in essence, that "green fireballs" were not worth because despite not being able to conclude exactly what they were, the best guess scientists could make is that they were attributable to other things. Typical military doublespeak for beancounters who aren't getting enough bang for the buck, in their estimation.

There are a few interesting items, such as the opinion expressed by Dr. Lincoln La Paz that if these were not of military origine they were "a matter of serious military concern."

Also there is reference of all photographic and tape recordings being turned over to the Geographic Research Division. This shows clearly that there was some worthwhile evidence collected, and might serve as a jumping off point for further research by those interested today.

There are several attachments to this report, most notably the one showing reports from the 17th OSI District, and another that states there was "considerable doubt in the minds of some project personel" that the phenomenon were natural objects being reported.

But in the end, everything boils down to a single word; "inconclusive". The gist of it being that the military had no idea what was going on, the scientist, then as now, didn't have enough data they liked well enough to really study it, so the whole thing ought to be dropped as a waste of money.

posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 12:37 PM
Title: Project Twinkle (Part of Project Grudge)

Subject: The Study of 'fireballs' in the Southwestern States.

Document appears in fair shape and easily readable.

Notes: It was discovered that Russia was fast at work to discover what the ominous green fireballs were
that had been regularly reported and this evidently set the USAF and the Atmospheric Physics Laboratory and the Geophysics Research Facility into action to also make findings as the reports
were coming in at a steady pace of at least one to two per month.

Although no conclusive evidence was ever arrived at, the one year investigation did in fact turn up many interesting facts regarding the fireballs
and their continued presence in and around such facilities as Holloman AFB, Vaughn and Los Alamos and other key operations facilities.

Background: In accordance with a Top Secret classified letter from Chief of Staff USAF to CG AMC
Subject 'Light Phenomena' on September 14th 1949, Lt. Col. Fredrick C.E. Oder, attended a conference at Los Alamos
on the subject of Green Fireballs observed in the Norther New Mexico skies. These aerial phenomena had been observed since 1947.
This had caused great concern among security agencies in the area.

February 1950 frequent reports of unexplained aerial phenomena prompted the Commanding Officer of Holloman AFB
to initiate a program to gather factual data.

These data reports were then used to demonstrate the need for further study of the phenomena.

February 21st 1950 an observation outlook was set up at Holloman AFB manned by two personnel.
Observations made with Theodolight, telescope and camera between the hours of sunset and sunrise.

March 5th 1950 a conference was held at Wright Patterson AFB. Action was taken to initiate a three point program
which was confirmed by letter directive on March 16th entitled 'Light Phenomena'

1. Askania instrument triangulation by Land Air Inc.
2. Observations with Mitchell camera using spectrum grating by Holloman AFB personnel
3. Electromagnet frequency measurements using Signal Corps Engineering Laboratory Equipment.

Under contract to GRD Land Air Inc. was required to maintain constant watch at two Askania stations for a six month period.
Since an abnormal number of reports were received at Vaughn, it was later decided to maintain observations at Vaughn.

April 27th and May 24th some photographic evidence was made but cameras did not catch it.

** August 30th 1950 During a Bell Aircraft missile launching aerial phenomena was observed over Holloman AFB by several personnel, however neither Land air or project personnel were notified so no
no results were acquired.

** August 31st 1950 the phenomena were again observed after a V-2 launching. Although much film was expended,
proper triangulation was not reached so that again no information was acquired.

** September 11th 1950 arrangements were made by Holloman AFB for Major Gover, Commander 93rd Fighter Squadron at Kirkland AFB, to be on call to pursue
Aeriel objects. Major Grover was not authorized to 'shoot' at phenomena, but to get close range pictures and gain visual information.

* Generally the results of the six month investigation was deemed 'Negative', as the contractual personnel were called off due to their required presence in Korea.

With the needs of personnel and funds for the Korean situation, funds were no longer available for the continued investigation, however due to the phenomena activity over Holloman AFB and Northern New Mexico,
it was considered significant enough to warrant continued surveillance by Askania cameras only. LandAir contracts were extended for 6 months in late August 1950.

* November 5th 1950 due to the continued activity of aerial phenomena in the vicinity of Vaughn, and the resumption of activity near HAFB, the cameras were then overhauled and moved to HAFB.

* October 16th 1950 Lt. Albert of HAFB made arrangements for Pilots of the B-45 and Q-F80 Holloman, would report all aerial phenomena and activity.
During this time reports seemed to slow and Pilot reports were considered 'sketchy' at best and so once again the results of this period were considered 'Negative'.

** Post Contractual Inquiry **

In view of the unproductive contract with Land-Air, it was decided to make further inquiry as to the recent aerial phenomena and objects in New Mexico.

Col. Cox of the 17th OSI District,(Kirkland AFB) Until March 15th the reports were regularly sent, since then reports of one to two per month were reported and so no significant attention was being made in the investigation efforts.

Most of the latter reports were being filed by personnel at Los Alamos Laboratories.

Lt. Albert was replaced by Major Edward A. Doty in Aug. 1951.

Major Doty found little information on activity since September 1950 and subsequently reported that the General Populace has apparently lost sensitivity as observers.

** August 11-12th 1951 Nine Bell personnel reported sighting between 14 and 20 bodies (UAP) not unlike geese.

** July 9th 1951 Corona Experimental Radar site Facility a Sergeant reported seeing a 'Red Glowing Ball'.

They began to see a large occurrence of cloudy skies associated with the reports of aerial phenomena nd there alluded to the possibility that sun reflecting off of clouds could be part of the unexplained phenomena.
No conclusive opinions were able to be made from the years observation and subsequent reports.


1. No further fiscal expenditures be made for continued research.
2. For the next few months, Schmidt cameras will be installed to be stationed about 20 miles apart, for meteor studies, sponsored by the GRD and for analysis.

** Summary of Aerial Phenomena Reports ***

November 11th 1950- February 16th 1951 Found to be Ballons.
January 12th Los Alamos employees, tear shaped object with small tail, very bright appearance, lit up sky for one sec.
February 19th 1951 Pilot reports vertical light passes by at 9000ft. Suggested findings it was a meteorite.
March 16th 1951, Los Alamos employees report aerial phenomena, later Pilots report it as meteor and Dr. La Paz reports it as a 'Detonating Fireball'
with no debris recovered...
March 12th ball shaped object shinning appearance descended into horizon
April 1st 1951 Los Alamos oblong shaped object moving slowly across in vertical and horizontal directions with bright appearance.
June 7th Los Alamos employee reports cylinder shaped object feel into canyon, no recovery object found nor remains...
June 8th 1951 Los alamos employee Large reddish dot dull appearance, turned bright green.

Finally the overall picture obtained from the year of vigilance and inquiry does not permit a conclusive
opinion of the aerial phenomena. The comparatively high incidence of the phenomena since 1948 does not indicate the phenomena are manmade.

There is considerable doubt in the minds of some personnel that this is a natural phenomena. Therefore it is not advised that it is not wise to discontinue all efforts to observe.

Archivist Notes: This is a wonderful document full of memorabilia from a confusing time in our USAF history and their attempts to discover what in fact the Light Phenomena was and weather or not it posed a threat to our planet.
In the beginning it appears to have been in earnest yet as time slipped by without any real or significant hard evidence, the funding began to wan, the Korean war was moving forward and that was the strongest reason that
this investigation began to unravel.

I urge you to make a good cup of your favorite beverage, sit back for 30 minutes and read every word of this easy to read Declassified Document.
One thing that I was not able to read clearly was the CRIFO Newsletter dated February 3rd 1956, it 'looked' like
"Project Twinkle Under the Wire the Key?" Now don't hold me to that but if you can decypher it , let me know please it looks very interesting.

posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 11:36 AM
Fascinating read

A certain name jumped out at me as I read. The third sentence seems quite coincidental considering that Major Doty is the uncle of Rick Doty.

(emphasis mine)

Therefore, the project was discussed with Major Edward A. Doty who had assumed responsibility. Major Doty, who seemed to be thoroughly acquainted with the situation, advised that ther have been very few reports of aerial phenomena in the vicinity of Holloman since September 1950. The populace around HAFB seem to have lost their sensitivity as observers.

[edit on 6/22/2008 by eaglewingz]

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