5. PARCHMENT LIKE MATERIAL or PAPER or CLOTH or THIN, DARK PLASTIC- LIKE MATERIAL (and "HIEROGLYPHICS")
Major Jesse Marcel: Roswell intelligence chief; unbreakable, unburnable, brown, parchment-like material with pink/purplish symbols on it. Floyd Proctor: Neighbor of Mack Brazel; Brazel described paper-like material that couldn't be cut with a knife and had Japanese/Chinese like writing like on firecrackers Lorraine Ferguson: Brazel's sister; brother described Japanese/Chinese-like writing like on firecrackers
Skeptical explanations for material
1st Lt. James McAndrew: USAF Roswell investigator; claims explained by parchment parachutes and plastic ballast tubes on Mogul balloons Charles Moore: Project Mogul engineer; neoprene balloons turned brownish/blackish in sun and emit an acrid odor James Bond Johnson: Reporter Fort-Worth Star-Telegram; took photos; mentioned burnt rubber smell to balloon material in Ramey's office; only person to ever mention any odor with any debris
MAJOR JESSE MARCEL
(F&B) "One thing that impressed me about the debris that we were referring to is the fact that a lot of it looked like parchment. ...the parchment we had [would not burn] [like the I-beams just previously mentioned which also would not burn]."
(B&M) "There was a great deal of an unusual parchment-like substance which was brown in color and extremely strong... One thing that impressed me about the debris was the fact that a lot of it looked like parchment. It had little numbers with symbols that we had to call hieroglyphics because I could not understand them. They could not be read, they were just like symbols, something that meant something, and they were not all the same, but the same general pattern, I would say. They were pink and purple. They looked like they were painted on. These little numbers could not be broken, could not be burned. I even took my cigarette lighter and tried to burn the material we found that resembled parchment and balsa, but it would not burn -- wouldn't even smoke."
(H&M; FUFOR television interview) "Then there was a kind of parchment, brown and very tough..."
JESSE MARCEL JR.
(B&M) "[There was] a quantity of black plastic material which looked organic in nature. ... There were ... bits of black, brittle residue that looked like plastic that had either melted or burned."
(Pflock, FUFOR, affidavit May 6, 1991) "[There was] a brittle, brownish-black plastic-like material, like Bakelite."
(Pflock) "Some of the debris was not metallic but more like pieces of black plastic fragments thicker than the metallic skin."
(R&S2 description) Besides the lead foil and I-beams, Jesse, Jr., described some small, black, plastic-like material thicker than the foil and much stronger. Years later he said that it resembled Bakelite.
(KPFA) "...There was some black, plastic material that I thought was like Bakelite that was pretty well shattered also."
BESSIE BRAZEL SCHREIBER
(F&B) "[There was also] what appeared to be pieces of heavily waxed paper."
(B&M) "There was what appeared to be pieces of heavily waxed paper and a sort of aluminum-like foil. Some of these pieces had something like numbers and lettering on them, but there were no words that we were able to make out. ...It looked like numbers mostly, as least I assumed them to be numbers. They were written out like you would write numbers in columns to do an addition problem. But they didn't look like the numbers we use at all. What gave me the idea they were numbers, I guess, was the way they were all ranged out in columns."
"RELUCTANT" (Walt Whitmore Jr.)
(Pflock) "Most of what I found was white, linen-like cloth with reflective tinfoil attached to one side. . . .One of the larger pieces of foiled cloth, measuring about 8 by 12 inches, had writing on the cloth side. Someone had used a pencil to do some figuring, arithmetic. There were no words, only numbers. I did not see any writing or marking on any of the other debris."
(Husband of Loretta Proctor, neighbor of Mac Brazel. Brazel came to the Proctor house before going to the authorities with his discovery. )
(B&M, interviewed June 1979) "[Brazel described it as] the strangest stuff he had ever seen. ...He described the stuff as being very odd. He said whatever the junk was, it had designs on it that reminded him of Chinese and Japanese designs. It wasn't paper because he couldn't cut it with his knife, and the metal was different from anything he had ever seen. He said the designs looked like the kind of stuff you would find on firecracker wrappers ... some sort of figures all done up in pastels, but not writing like we would do it. ... He was in a talkative mood, which was rare for him, and just wouldn't shut up about it. ... he really tried to get us to go down there and look at it."
(Lorraine Ferguson was Mac Brazel's older sister)
(B&M, interviewed June, 1979) "Whatever he found it was all in pieces and some of it had some kind of unusual writing on it -- Mac said it was like the kind of stuff you find all over Japanese and Chinese firecrackers; not really writing, just wiggles and such. Of course, he couldn't read it and neither could anybody else as far as I heard ... Everybody up there by the ranch knew about it, but as far as I know, nobody ever identified what it was or what its purpose might have been. At first they called it a weather balloon, but of course it wasn't that ..."
(Information provided by interview with Mac Brazel on evening of 7/8/47) .
(Quoted in USAF Report) "He claimed that he and his son, Vernon, found the material on June 14, 1947, when they "came upon a large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper, and sticks." He picked up some of the debris on July 4... ... at least one paper fin had been glued onto some of the tinfoil. ...No string or wire were to be found but there were some eyelets in the paper to indicate that some sort of attachment may have been used."
Skeptical Explanations for Materials
1st-LT. JAMES McANDREW (Speaking for the Air Force Report)
(KPFA) "Jesse Marcel Jr. described a material like Bakelite, he said a black plastic. Well, that was the ballast tubes on the balloon."
(USAF, Atch 32) The balloon that was found on the Foster Ranch consisted of as many as 23 350 gram balloons spaced at 20 foot intervals, several radar targets (3 to 5), plastic ballast tubes, parchment parachutes, a black "cutoff" box containing portions of a weather instrument and a sonabuoy.
[Note: The original schematic diagram of Mogul balloon #5, shown in Pflock, is clearly labeled with silk, not "parchment" parachutes.]
CHARLES B. MOORE
(USAF description) Prof. Moore stated that the [Mogul] neoprene balloons were susceptible to degradation in the sunlight, turning from a milky white to a dark brown. He described finding remains of balloon trains with reflectors and payloads that had landed in the desert: the ruptured and shredded neoprene would "almost look like dark gray or black flakes or ashes after exposure to the sun for only a few days. The plasticizers and antioxidants in the neoprene would emit a peculiar acrid odor and the balloon material and radar target material would be scattered after returning to earth depending on the surface winds."
J. BOND JOHNSON
[Staff reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he was called out to General Ramey's office on July 8 before the press conference. Johnson took four widely published photos, 2 with Ramey and weather balloon debris, and 2 with both Ramey and aide Col. (later General) Thomas J. Dubose. Dubose repeatedly testified he'd been ordered from Washington to instigate a cover-up and the debris photographed by Johnson was from a substituted weather balloon, the real debris having been removed (the same story as Jesse Marcel). Johnson is the only witness describing smelly rubber debris, no mention being made by anybody else who had seen or handled debris prior to this, also supporting the substituted debris story.]
(R&S1) In Ramey's office, Johnson saw the wreckage scattered on the floor. It wasn't an impressive sight, just some aluminum-like foil, balsa wood sticks, and some burnt rubber that was stinking up the office.... Johnson said, "It was just a bunch of garbage anyway. He [Ramey] had a big office, as most of them [generals] do. And he walked over and I posed him looking at it, squatting down, holding on to the stuff... Almost the first thing Ramey had said was, 'Oh, we've found out what it is, and you know, it's a weather balloon'"
On the floor were the remains of a weather balloon. Part of the rubber in it had burned and Johnson was surprised that Ramey would keep it in his office.