Unknown Colonel: Colonel formerly with Project Sign, first public USAF saucer investigation. Said mention of metallic crashed saucer debris removed from 1948 Top Secret report by USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg. Then used as justification to kill report, citing lack of physical evidence. Dr. Robert Sarbacher: Physicist, missile specialist, consultant to the U.S. Research & Development Board. Confirmed reports of crashed saucers, very strong, lightweight debris, small, lightweight aliens. First briefed Wilbert Smith (next) in 1950. Wilbert Smith: Canadian radio engineer and head of Canadian UFO investigations from 1950-1962. In interviews, stated much physical evidence had been recovered and he had examined some of it, including piece shot off of small disc in 1952 during overflight of Virginia near Washington D.C. Corel and Jim Lorenzen: Headed civilian UFO investigative group APRO. Described ultra-pure magnesium found in Ubatuba, Brazil in 1957 after a saucer allegedly exploded. Also other magnesiium based samples associated with other UFO cases. Karl Gosta Bartoll: Former Swedish military officer in charge of searching for a "ghost rocket" seen to crash into a Swedish lake in 1946. Said Swedish military concluded that the objects were real and probably constructed of a lightweight material like magnesium. Jacques Vallee: Famous Ufologist, but big Roswell skeptic. Claims reports of Roswell "memory foil" could be explained by "aluminized Saran". Thinks it was all a big disinformation ploy to conceal balloon experiments.
THE UNKNOWN COLONEL AND NEW MEXICO METAL DEBRIS
(Project SIGN was the first official USAF study of UFO's, and wrote an "Estimate of the Situation" in August, 1948, with the conclusion that UFOs were extraterrestrial craft. Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, USAF Chief of Staff, ordered the report burned. Those who later read a surviving copy, such as Project BLUE BOOK head Cpt. Edward Ruppelt (Chapter 3 in his book), said there was no mention of physical evidence in the report. Kevin Randle, in "UFO Casebook," 1989, said he met a colonel in the early 1980's who worked on the Estimate, and provided the following insight.)
[The colonel] had been a newly minted second lieutenant in the early days of the UFO phenomenon. He'd been at ATIC [Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright Field] during the heady days when they were talking about UFOs as spaceships. ...Speculation ran wild, especially when the rumors of a crashed saucer reached them. I asked him about the crashes and he didn't remember much about them. "It was so long ago," he said. "And after General Vandenberg refused our report, I thought nothing more about it." Then the colonel told me that the Estimate of the Situation hadn't been rejected out of hand by Vandenberg. The first document, more of a working paper than a finished report, had been sent up the chain of command. ...The document returned with a couple of paragraphs removed under Vandenberg's instructions. ...Those paragraphs referred to physical evidence recovered in New Mexico. Vandenberg had made it clear that no mention of that physical evidence would be tolerated in the final document. ...Vandenberg saw the final document, dated 5 August 1948. After reading it, he waid that the conclusions weren't warranted without physical evidence. But the paragraphs that had contained information about the physical evidence had been eliminated by Vandenberg's orders. ... [the colonel explained] that all he could remember was that the physical evidence case came from New Mexico and he talked about pieces of metal. He had no other details and hadn't been privy to them in 1948. Later he could find out nothing more about them. ... It's only now, five or six years [later], that I realized the significance of the data I was given. Unfortunately, there is no longer any way for me to verify it. My source, like so many of the people involved with the Roswell incident, has died.
[Sarbacher was a physicist and industrial scientist who acted as a consultant with the U.S. Department of Defense Research and Development Board (RDP). In numerous interviews, dating back to 1950 (e.g., see Wilbert Smith below), he claimed to have been on advisory boards dealing with crashed saucers, and that they and dead aliens did indeed exist. The following is from a letter he wrote to UFO investigator William Steinem, November 29, 1983, reprinted in Timothy Good's "Above Top Secret."]
" . . . my participation was limited. About the only thing I remember at this time is that certain materials reported to have come from flying saucer crashes were extremely light and very tough. I am sure our laboratories analyzed them very carefully. There were reports that instruments or people operating these machines were also of very light weight, sufficient to withstand the tremendous deceleration and acceleration associated with their machinery. I remember in talking with some of the people at the office that I got the impression that these "aliens" were constructed like certain insects we have observed on earth, wherein because of the low mass the inertial forces involved in operation of these instruments would be quite low."
[Smith was a Canadian radio engineer who interviewed Sarbacher in September, 1950, at which point Sarbacher told him flying saucers and aliens were real. Smith headed the Canadian "Project Magnet" from 1950-54, an attempt to understand and replicate flying saucer performance. He was also a member of the government's Canadian Research Group and "Project Second Story," secretly investigating UFOs. The following is from "Flying Saucers -- Serious Business" by Frank Edwards, portions of which are reprinted in Timoth Good's "Above Top Secret."]
(Speaking before the Illuminating Engineering Society, Ottawa, January 11, 1959 on the subject of UFOs) "Various pieces of 'hardware' are known to exist, but are usually clapped into security and are not available to the general public."
(Taped interview by C.W. Fitch and George Popovitch, November, 1961)
Q: Have you ever handled any of this hardware yourself, sir?"
A: Yes. Quite a bit of it. Our Canadian Research Group recovered one mass of very strange metal . . . it was found within a few days of July 1, 1960. There is about three thousand pounds of it. We have done a tremendous amount of detective work on this metal. We have found out the things that aren't so. We have something that was not brought to this Earth by plane nor by boat nor by any helicopter. We are speculating that what we have is a portion of a very large device which came into this solar system . . . we don't know when . . . but it had been in space a long time before it came to earth; we can tell that by the micrometeorites embedded in the surface. But we don't know whether it was a few years ago -- or a few hundred years ago.
Q: You mean then that you have about a ton and a half of something metallic, of unknown origin.
A: That is correct. We can only speculate about it at this time -- and we have done a great deal of that. We have it but we don't know what it is!
Q: I have been told by a mutual friend that in 1952 you showed [Rear] Admiral [H. B.] Knowles [U.S. Navy, Retired] a piece of a flying saucer. Is that statement correct, sir?
A: Yes. It is correct. I visited with Admiral Knowles and I had with me a piece which had been shot from a small flying saucer near Washington in July of that year -- 1952. I showed it to the Admiral. It was a piece of metal about twice the size of your thumb which had been loaned to me for a very short time by your Air Force.
Q: Is this the only piece you have handled which definitely had been part of a UFO, Mr. Smith?
A: No. I've handled several of these pieces of hardware.
Q: In what way, if any, do they differ from materials with which we are familiar?
A: As a general thing they differ only in that they are much harder than our materials.
Q: What about this particular piece from the UFO near Washington . . . did it differ from conventional materials? Was there anything unusual about it?
A: Well, the story behind it is this: The pilot was chasing a glowing disc about two feet in diameter --
Q: Pardon me, sir. But did you say TWO FEET . . .?
A: That is correct. I was informed that the disc was glowing and was about two feet in diameter. A glowing chunk flew off and the pilot saw it glowing all the way to the ground. He radioed his report and a ground party hurried to the scene. The thing was still glowing when they found it an hour later. The entire piece weighed about a pound. The segment that was loaned to me was about one third of that. It had been sawed off.
Q: What did the analysis show?
A: There was iron rust -- the thing was a matrix of magnesium orthosilicate. The matrix had great numbers -- thousands -- of 15-micron spheres scattered through it.
Q: You say that you had to return it -- did you return it to the Air Force?
A: Not the Air Force. Much higher than that.
Q: The Central Intelligence Agency?
A: [Chuckles] I'm sorry, gentlemen, but I don't care to go beyond that point. I can say to you that it went to the hands of a highly classified group. You will have to solve that problem -- their identity -- for yourselves.
(The following is from Canadian researcher Grant Cameron's Web site)
Bob Groves Interview with Wilbert Smith
[How much hardware?] Most indications from those who might know is "lots."
Bob Groves who interviewed Smith in July 1962, a couple months before Smith died, and then was interviewed on tape said, "He was constantly visited by Canadian government officials as well as American government officials who of course were upper echelon people with attaché cases that were chained and locked to make sure none of the information would drop of be left behind in a bus station or something. He had a number of these visits. They had samples they wanted him to analyze - hardware and metal that had been found."
Groves continued, "According to Smith let me cite this, 'In 1952 we had a noteworthy or a notorious sighting over Washington DC. During this time an Air Force jet shot a piece right off a UFO. It was found two hours later. It had a glow to it - a white glow to it - after two weeks it had diminished to a brown texture. The part that was shot off was about as big as could be held in a couple of hands. It had a very distinct edge. It was curved. It had tapering sides so that it appeared that it had been shot off the edge of a double saucer shape. The typical shape.'"
Groves again. " According to Smith the United States military intelligence has tons of hardware. They readily admitted this to Smith upon interview by Smith when he was the director of the research project (Project Magnet 1950-1954). Smith also stated they had much film."
One portion of aluminum [was] as hard as quartz. It could only be broken for analysis by grinding. Yet composition seemed similar to standard kitchen pots
[The 1952 Piece]
There is some confusion at this point whether or not there was one or two pieces involved. One piece we know for sure was recovered by Commander Alvin Moore an intelligence officer with the CIA. It was transported back to Wilbert Smith along with a sample of angel hair.
VICE-ADMIRAL HERBERT KNOWLES & Wilbert Smith's 1952 Hardware
Vice-Admiral Knowles described the piece Smith showed him as, "To the best of my recollection the object was shot down by a plane and was seen to fall in the yard of a farmer across the river in Virginia. Upon searching the area several pieces were found, one of which was turned over to Mr. Smith for independent research. On one of his trips down to see me he brought the piece along for inspection.
"It was a chunk of amorphous metal-like structure brownish in color were broken, with a curved edge indicating the whole thing to have been not over 2' in diameter. The edge was rounded in cross section, perhaps a quarter inch think and obviously swelled to a considerably greater thickness at the center. The outer surface was smooth but not polished, and at the broken sections there were obviously iron particles and even some evidence of iron rust. I would say that the weight was somewhat lighter than if of solid iron, but it was not 'extremely light.'
"Mr. Smith told me that a chemical test had been made of the piece at hand, that iron had been found in it but little if anything else could be identified."
WILBERT SMITH'S METALLUGIST
In 1987 after the MJ-12 documents broke, I [Cameron] sent a copy of the documents to Smith's metals man. I also sent a copy of some of the Sarbacher material such as the interview that had been done with Smith, and the letter to Bill Steinman.
Even thought this man trusted no one, and hated using a phone, he phoned me. Usually the rule was he would simply phone and tell me to come out. Almost the first comment he made was in reference to the material I had sent related to the Roswell metal. "I'll tell you flat out Grant. I analyzed a piece that was 'pulled off' that New Mexico thing. I know that thing was analyzed. It was a super light material."
COREL and JIM LORENZEN
(The Lorenzens headed the U.S. UFO group APRO, founded in 1952. The following is from their 1969 book UFOs, the Whole Story, paperback ed.)
(p. 87) "A strange bit of metallic substance picked out of the ashes of the burned haystack at Langdon, North Dakota, turned out to be a bit of a poser. A lighted green object was seen to fall into the haystack by farmer Ed Waslashi on the night of December 14 . The material eventually found its way into the hands of Professor Nicholas N. Kohanowski of the University of North Dakota, who examined it. In a press release which found itself as far away as the "Jornal do Brasil" in Rio de Janiero, the professor said the metal was light, porous, mostly magnesium oxide, and not a meteorite nor a clinker or ordinary fuel. This particular incident was of extreme interest to APRO, for Dr. Olavo T. Fontes was at the time winding up his investigation of the Ubatuba Beach [Brazil] fragments... The Ubatuba metal proved to be magnesium of a rare purity, and the fact that the Langdon metal fell in December put it within three months of the explosion of the object over Brazil [Sept. 12, 1957].
(p. 215) ...In addition to the Ubatuba magnesium, we have the case of the green glowing object which fell into a haystack in South [sic] Dakota ..., and the third magnesium case took place in July 1967 near Toledo, Ohio, when young Robert Richardson claimed that he had collided with a large glowing object he had come upon at night on a dark road. The only residue found at the site was a tiny piece of metallic substance which was also tested by the University of Colorado and found to be magnesium. Dr. [Roy] Craig's report [Craig also analyzed the Ubatuba metal for APRO] said: "I ran it through neutron-activation analysis, and compared it with a sample of Grignard Reagent magnesium, which is produced commercially in the form of small slivers about the size and shape of the Toledo sample. The Toledo sample turned out to be an alloy, however, containing 4.2 percent ... aluminum, 1.5 percent zinc, and 0.8 percent manganese...
What does all this mean? An article title "Realistic Physical Testing" which appeared in the June 1968 issue of "Industrial Research" magazine, dealt with the Ubatuba magnesium case, and stated: "These fragments were analyzed and found to be ultra-pure magnesium -- a reasonable selection when one considers the strength-to-weight ratio of magnesium and the structural requirements of a flying saucer."
KARL GOSTA BARTOLL
(Bartoll was the Swedish military officer who led the search for a "ghost rocket" seen to crash by witnesses into Lake Kolmjarv, Sweden, July 19, 1946. After a three week search, the military declared they had found nothing. This was one of 2000 ghost rocket reports in northern Europe during 1946, a number of them seen to explode or crash. Two hundred of these reports had radar confirmation. The ghost rocket affair has been intensively investigated by Anders Liljegren and Clas Svahn, who tracked down Bartoll and interviewed him in 1984.)
(From Jenny Randles, "UFO Retrievals," 1995, p. 30) [Bartoll] told Svahn that their investigation suggested that the object largely disintegrated in flight. He pointed out that one witness saw a second spray of water after the main fall, which supported this opinion. He added that the military concluded the object was "probably manufactured in a light-weight material, possibly a kind of magnesium alloy." Bartoll insisted that "what people saw were real, physical objects."
(Vallee is a famous French UFO investigator, now living near San Francisco. The following skeptical comments about Roswell are from his 1991 book, Revelations, before the release of any information on the Project Mogul balloons. His proposed "aluminized Saran" was not available in 1947, was not used in the Mogul balloons, and would not square with many of the descriptions of debris properties, such as the inability to cut the thin foil with a knife or being resistant to flame, as anybody who has ever used Saran wrap knows.)
"The material recovered in the crash itself, while it remains fascinating, was not necessarily beyond human technology in the late Forties. Aluminized Saran, also known as Silvered Saran, came from technology already available for laboratory work in 1948. It was paper-thin, was not dented by a hammer blow, and was restored to a smooth finish after crushing."
"Roswell was the site for the very first air base equipped with atomic bombs. If a special type of balloon or drone, designed to monitor atmospheric radioactivity in the area, had been flown over New Mexico, such a device might well have been brought down during a thunderstorm. Given the extremely high sensitivity of anything related to the bomb or radioactivity at the time, it would have been a high priority, top secret task to recover any lost device of that type and to explain it away at all costs: as a weather balloon, as a radar test instrument, as a probe, OR EVEN AS A CRASHED FLYING SAUCER. It would not have been difficult to plant an egg-shaped device in the desert to divert attention from the real debris, and even to scatter a few diminutive bodies to represent dead aliens. ... I am not very disturbed by the fact that the material found at Roswell was strong and nearly indestructible, as tested by the farmers and some of the military men. Material that can be hit with a sledgehammer without damage, yet will remain flexible and will not burn, is not beyond modern technology at all. I am bothered, however, by the alleged hieroglyphics found on the balsa wood. You would think that Air Force intelligence could have come up with something better."