Tuesday, January 26, 2010

UFOs and History: Two.

Yesterday we saw how the UFO phenomenon impressed itself on the concerns of the Pentagon's intelligence community. As the mystery was in the air, the AF got the job. [Ruppelt once said: why don't the d_____ things swim so we could give them to the Navy? And during the investigation of the Flatwoods monster, he said: if it's walking, it's an Army problem.] But they were flying, so General Schulgen, Colonels Taylor and Garrett got the job, with S.L.Reynolds and the FBI looking over their shoulders. After everybody in the Hi-Tech community said they had nothing like this, Schulgen wrote General Nathan Twining at Wright-Pat. Though to Twining, he was really writing Howard McCoy as chief of intelligence; this was an intelligence matter.
Colonel McCoy had no reason to think that this was a complicated request. "Discovering" whether Wright-Pat's Top Secret Engineering Facility [nickname:T-3] had anything like this going, should take no more than a meeting with the right people. That's what he called. [The insert has McCoy sitting at his desk in T-2 (Intelligence HQ), and this might be exactly where he sat to write the famous "Twining memo"]. You can read right off the memo who he invited to the meeting, and we know the names of many of them. Brigadier General Samuel Brentnall, the chief of T-3, was maybe the most significant, obvious choice. These guys apparently did their simple but, to them, doubtless sufficient, job.
McCoy and his group communicated to each other two important things: 1). nothing like the flying disks were being developed at Wright-Pat T-3 [although ace engineering designer, Alfred Loedding, was dreaming about "low-aspect" ("thin") disk-shaped planes--for which he later received a patent--don't get too excited, it was propeller-driven ]; and 2). there was nothing that they knew about elsewhere that matched these things either. As people of an engineering-bent [it's important to remember that Wright-Pat was very unlike the Pentagon in that they were essentially engineers, even on the intelligence side, and tended to think that things were possible (as engineers do) rather than impossible (as scientists often do) ], these guys speculated on what it would take to make a disk that flew, and said that using advanced principles they could do it, but it would be too great an effort to be worth it.
So, on the first two pages above, McCoy's group at Air Materiel Command [AMC] concluded that although they had nothing like this, and knew of no one who did, and felt that the making of such a thing was possible but not worth the effort at the moment, nevertheless "The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious". And you can read their subsequent description of what they felt the core phenomenon was. These are very pragmatic and serious guys. We must admit that they strongly believed what they wrote or they would not have written it--this was not internet bull-____, this was national security at high Pentagon levels. What the rest of the memo shows is that the Pentagon and T-2 had been talking a lot outside these documents. This is normal. You do not send "surprises" to one another in the Intel community, if you can possibly avoid it. McCoy and AF Intelligence [General McDonald, chief/ General Schulgen, assistant] have to have been tossing information and ideas back and forth for some time on the problem. The memo tells you what those [still secret] exchanges said: they have decided that the flying disk problem is mainly an engineering analysis problem [just like figuring out whether the Soviets have MIGs or ICBMs, and how they're doing it]. And that, therefore, a project focus-point [ a "desk"] should be set up in T-2 to collect all reports on this and try to analyze them from an engineering perspective. So, in the ending paragraphs of the memo, it is "suggested" [all parties having already agreed] that a project be set up at Wright-Pat, and the Pentagon files be transferred. McCoy handed his personally written memo to Twining, and he signed it.
The Pentagon immediately began transferring its information to McCoy's group. Engineer Loedding was assigned to the project, now with an office both in T-3 and T-2. He personally went to DC to meet with Garrett, and arrange the transfer. There would be no "formal" project [i.e. something officially established by written directive] until the start of the new year, but the project really started right there in September. McCoy, Loedding et al needed to be sure that they were addressing the biggest threat possibility: the USSR. Although that source of the flying disks seemed unlikely for a variety of reasons, in matters of national security, you did not sleep on assumptions. To best ensure that we were alert to the possibilities, the unofficial project drew up a long list of "essential elements of information" (EEI) , which is sort of a wish list of things that they'd like to know. This was important. It was marked "secret" and hand carried for distribution in Europe by one of McCoy's officers [Lt. Colonel Malcolm Seashore, pictured].
The EEI is fairly long for these things. It is basically 5 pages of line-by-line details of things that T-2 has thought up to possibly relate to the flying disk technology. [you can read some of the rationale provided for the information-gatherers on the page above ]. The rest of the document explains T-2 thinking. In the Top Secret library at the base were many monographs containing information that could potentially be useful for technical intelligence analysis. One of these, which we have, concerns the low-aspect aero-devices [mainly gliders] dreamt up by a couple of Nazi geniuses named the Horten Brothers. Intelligence was particularly worried that maybe the USSR had built upon their work, and made some kind of unexpected breakthrough, producing successful flying disks. Seashore's EEI is quite specific about this, and rather technical. There is no nonsense going on. Modern UFO speculators have tried to make huge deductions based on the list of things that Seashore's EEI requests. Everybody can make up their minds. My thought is that I see nothing in this list that surprises me and leads me to read "Roswell" between the lines. [Much has been poured forth on the line item which asks about things like "balsa wood" for instance. Due to the Harmon Field "cloud-cutter" incident in mid-June 1947, T-2 went to intense focus on the case, and the speculation was ripe that the thing could be a "lighter-than-air" craft a la a type of blimp. Construction methods using the lightest possible structural members were an intelligence priority. Some speculators might still see deep meaning in this, but I think if we read history instead of grab isolated fragments, we'd at least moderate our conclusions--to the field's benefit]. {and another aside, this is the document that some piece-of-____ decided to pull out of the archives and insert fake information into. Talk about destroying everyone's ability to ever understand anything! The level of immorality in that is beyond forgiveness--and that's me, the Catholic boy speaking--oh, well, still got a way to go, I guess. Thank GOD that Bob Todd detected all this and we're not polluted any longer.}
By the end of the year [1947] the Pentagon was getting ready to officially institute Project SIGN. Lt. Colonel J.E.Thomas got the job of composing the formal orders for chief of intelligence General George McDonald [standing in the picture--General Spaatz, seated left, and General Patton, seated right]. Thomas and other Pentagon operatives had been getting information from the unofficial project in the interim, and what you can read in the three pages of the R&R for McDonald [below] reflects those messages. Wright-Pat knew many more incidents by this time than had Garrett, but the wave had cooled down and the "July" cases still dominate the commentary. The flying disk issue was not solved however and you don't let such matters slide if you think the Soviets might be involved. So, SIGN began. It began as a normal engineering intelligence function which was completely understandable in attitude and concern. You can have SIGN with Roswell or without it. "Roswell" can be going on right in some super-secret black box on the T-3 "campus" and the separate functioning T-2 operatives have no need to know and a lot of reason not to be told. I began my research into Wright-Patterson and Project SIGN on the hope that I could help Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle with their Roswell work, since the information disappears into a black hole once the stuff is "flown out". What I found is that, if I'm honest and read my history, I cannot use the SIGN/Blue Book documents [nor any of that era's FOIAs ] to support or refute the possibility of a super-secret black box. This was disappointing, but I felt the only honest conclusion that I could come to. Fortunately, the launching into the documentable activities of the Air Force turned out to be overwhelmingly supportive of the reality of flying disks operating beyond our current flight characteristics---the time was not wasted afterall. [There is no more commentary by me below, but I recommend that you read what "McDonald"/Thomas has to say anyway--he was a lot closer to the situation than I, and thereby a lot smarter.]


  1. Thank you for posting this surprisingly rich vein of ore. Watching the current contest to see how many revisionists can dance on the head of a pin has gone beyond tedious, straight through embarrassing and into insufferable. I have to wonder how many of the fools responsible for such nonsense as the quote you featured yesterday (about how they will figure it all out as soon as anyone with any useful experience has gone away) have even read this material. Let alone studied it an any depth.

  2. All that I am going to try to do with any of my postings is to give you material that I think can be defended directly from documents and/or the historical context from which they and their related issues rose. I will be happy if any of you folks chooses to interpret the history differently, particularly if you have a reasonable line of thought. Only thus do we grow. The great West Virginia sooth-sayer, Mountain William, teaches: "no one lernt much jus' talkin' to hisself." When I am the one speculating beyond the documents and history, I hope I'll remember to clearly say so. [and do it with some humility].

  3. Very cool.
    What's so illuminative about the memos is how closely they fit the facts as presented by other sources. The dominant characteristics in appearance, flight and movement, group formations, etc, as described by these men in their analysis matches so well with the dominant features of the 1947 summer wave as noted and catalogued by Ted Bloecher in his excellent "Report on the 1947 UFO Wave (which is available as a free PDF download on the NICAP website.) Bloecher gleaned his reports from the major newspaper in each state (not all newspapers, by any means!) and came up with around 850 separate sightings.
    Thus - and for those who have spent time searching through the thousands of news clippings from the 1947 wave this is doubly apparent - the reports coming through civilian channels contained descriptions along the same lines and agree well with those coming through military channels and from the military's own personell and pilots.
    In the study of any form of history - including UFO history - it is fascinating to see all the disparate sources converge and coalesce and agree so clearly. Altogether, it points in one clear direction - as yesterday's memo said - something was flying around in the skies. And, as these guys are saying, if it's not ours or the Russians, and they're capable of these speeds and maneuvers, well then....

  4. these guys are not saying the 'well then' yet. It's coming in its logical moment but it takes half a year.

  5. Then, of course, the 'well then' is rejected (at least officially).

  6. Yes> I need to explain what went on there as there is much "out there" which goes way beyond what we know and can, conservatively, deduce. If I can get the base information to you, then you can take it farther if you see it going some direction. I'm actually looking at the primary documents on Mantell, Chiles-Whitted, Gorman, SIGN in general, and the Pentagon FOIA right now [or at least was until I decided to see if there were comments on the blog.] So, back to that---not dead-simple, again--- and maybe I can generate some solid base information tomorrow or the day next. Battelle can wait a little while---I can't do too much at once or it's all crap.



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