Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Roswell crash debris "smoking gun"?

Not quite. But this is seriously intriguing.

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30 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting details of this story is that Dr. Cross(from the Pentacle Memorandum discovered by Vallee) has been identified as a metallurgist. If the official history is correct in that Battelle's involvement in ufo research was limited solely to statistical analysis of some textual reports collected by the Air Force, it seems an odd choice that a top metallurgist would be in charge of such an effort.

Unless I overlooked this detail in previous reading this is the first time anyone in ufology ever bothered to ask what Cross actually did for a living. I can't ever recall Vallee asking this question.

Anonymous said...

Caveat emptor, folks. I've done some fairly extensive research on this case, and I think Bragalia is wrong, and has made several logical and factual errors in both judgment and objective analysis.

I have been contemplating doing a critical analysis and review of Bragalia's research, but haven't yet decided if it's worth the time and effort to do a paper on what, at least so far, appears to be a story lacking factual support and adequate documentation or proper scholarship. It's also rather hard to disprove a negative, philosophically and logically speaking.

Essentially, despite his 6-part series on the UFO Iconoclasts blog and in the new, revised edition of Carey and Schmitt's "Witness to Roswell" book, Bragalia has not been able to effectively substantiate or establish reliable or provable evidence for his extraordinary claims that foil-like debris allegedly recovered from the Roswell crash was transported to Wright-Patterson AFB, analyzed by scientists at Wright, and then either seeded to or contracts let to Battelle to emulate or simulate such debris materials, which supposedly were a form of shape memory alloy, such as nitinol.

There are holes in Bragalia's story big enough to fly the Space Shuttle through, IMHO. Read also Nick Redfern's series of articles in reference to Bragalia's claims on the UFO Iconoclasts blog, and that provide some rather insightful counterpoints.

Further, anon above, the memo from Dr. Howard C. Cross to Col. Miles E. Goll at ATIC (and also attn: Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt, head of Project Blue Book at the time), aka the Pentacle memo, was actually "discovered" by J. Allen Hynek, and belatedly "re-discovered" by Vallee in Hynek's messy files in 1967, 14 years after the fact. There is a very interesting story behind the provenance as to how Hynek came into possession of the Cross letter.

Battelle's involvement via sub-contracts under the larger Projects Stork, White Stork, and Have Stork (foreign aircraft tech analysis, reverse engineering, foreign tech lit translation, etc.) with the USAF ATIC/ADC/AMC commands at Wright Patterson AFB as technical and scientific support to Project Blue Book was never solely limited to statistical analysis of some textual reports collected by the USAF, if by that you mean what, when declassified, became Project Blue Book Special Report #14. Battelle was involved long after that effort during the period of 1952-54, until at least 1966, and most probably beyond.

Vallee knew at least a couple decades ago, and most probably since the late 1960's (see Vallee's "Forbidden Science") that Cross was not just a metallurgist, but also an upper-level manager and administrative supervisor of metallurgical research projects, and others not involving metallurgy, such as the ufo research done for PBB SR#14. However, Cross was not in charge of the project that produced this infamous 300+ pp report analyzing all USAF collected UFO reports up to and including 1953. I seem to recall that was most likely William T. Reid at Battelle.

It's really not so odd that Cross was involved in both metallurgical and statistical ufo research and case analysis-- I'd sure like to know more about Goll, though --he was involved in very early ufo case research, starting around 1946, prior to the Arnold sighting that kicked off Project Sign. Cross is pretty intriguing also--he was involved in doing metallurgical analysis of a piece of iron slag that someone turned over to PBB as allegedly deriving from a UFO, so he'd of been one of the scientists at Battelle to do such investigation, but the Roswell debris claim or connection is quite tenuous.

There is a lot more to this story, Bragalia's claims, Vallee's contentions about the Cross letter, Hynek's involvement, etc.

Maybe I'll get around to writing about it someday. But don't hold your breath--I'd like to do a peer-reviewed paper for publication prior to going public or blogging about the excruciatingly complex and ornate details of this very intriguing and still rather mysterious story.

Anonymous said...

Caveat emptor indeed anon#2. Thanks for the insightful comments. In fact, they sounded so well-informed that I now wish I knew where you hang out on the net anonymously discussing this stuff as I'm always on the lookout for detailed and knowledgeable discussion on this topic. Please do write a paper.

"anon#2" said...

Thanks, "anon #1." I'm very slowly trying to move in the direction of writing a series of "formal" papers, and Bragalia's recent writings have provided some impetus toward that, but of late I've been pretty preoccupied with meatspace, inertia, and procrastination most of the time, I have to admit. Everyday reality and trying to find a decent job in this economy has drained most of my time and energy over the last several months, to be honest.

The only place I usually comment on these issues is here [and even then, with the exception yesterday of making a series of comments (probably too many--I get so pissed at superficial media ufo coverage and Clarke's hubris) appended to Mac's post a couple spaces above, "Here we go again"] I find myself slowing down, or not making as many comments here as I once did, for various reasons.

You have to take a break from "ufology" periodically, and the associated labyrinthine layers of bullshit, if you take it as seriously as I do, just to recuperate from the diversionary bread and conflicting circuses extant within the field. It can get depressing and tiring trying to do serious, empirical research.

So, if I do finally write for publication anywhere, or do a blog, I will announce it here in comments at some point.

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting. I am not a Roswell buff, so a lot of it was new to me. I wish the author had properly cited sources for his article.
Here is a short, amazing youtube video demonstrating Nitinol wire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7jjqXh7bB4

Stan

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