When something crashed at Roswell in 1947, the US military told the media that it was a “harmless, high-altitude weather balloon.” It was revealed decades later that in fact this was a lie, and that the government did engineer a cover-up at Roswell after all…
Project Mogul – the truth?
In 1947 rancher William ‘Mac’ Brazel told the media, “I am sure that what I saw was not any weather observation balloon.”
Turns out he was right.
In 1994, the US Air Force began an internal investigation into just what happened at Roswell in 1947, and its report drew on military data that was classified secret during the Cold War. Its initial 1994 report revealed that it was likely that the crash debris – the sticks, tinfoil, rubber and scotch tape found on Mac Brazel’s ranch – was from a Project Mogul balloon.
Project Mogul was a top-secret espionage operation that used high-altitude balloons with spy sensors to listen for sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests. This explains why Mac Brazel said the debris didn’t match up with previous weather balloon wreckage he’d found on his ranch. It was a very different balloon.
A further report, unveiled in 1997, aimed to explain all the reports of recovered alien bodies. It concluded that the reports were probably a combination of the following:
- Innocently transformed memories of military accidents, accidents which had resulted in the deaths of military personnel and possible sightings of burned or mangled bodies. One accident caused an officer’s head to swell and his eyes to become tiny slits.
- Innocently transformed memories of the recovery of lifelike dummies, probably damaged, mangled and deformed, used by the Air Force in parachute tests.
- Hoaxes perpetrated by UFO proponents and witnesses with ulterior motives.
In 2010, Mark Pilkington published a book, Mirage Men: A Journey in Disinformation, Paranoia and UFOs, which shone a light on the government’s use of UFO mythology to cover up their advanced technology – exactly as they did with Project Mogul. For those who remember reading my Men in Black article, these are the guys who infiltrated UFO circles and spun lies about aliens to keep the focus off what the government was really doing. Pilkington believes that Walter Haut, who put out the first Roswell ‘flying saucer’ and ‘weather balloon’ press releases, is the first Mirage Man we can identify.
These revelations about the Project Mogul balloon and the presence of Mirage Men to perpetuate UFO fallacies demonstrate the power and readiness of the government to lie to us and execute cover-ups. Of course, many UFO researchers believe the government are lying about lying. That this Project Mogul story is deliberate disinformation to try and put the Roswell UFO Incident to bed.
There are also some alternative theories that have cropped up…
Military aircraft tests using Japanese prisoners of war
Credible or not, we know that multiple people, including Glenn Dennis, Jim Ragsdale, Miriam Bush, Gerald Anderson and Barney Barnett, claim to have seen alien bodies being recovered by the military. And one man claimed to have filmed an alien autopsy. Consistent features of these sightings seem to be small bodies with oversized heads and eyes.
We also know that not one but several crash sites have been alleged. There’s the most famous, most legitimate crash site at Mac Brazel’s ranch. Gerald Anderson and Barney Barnett apparently came upon a crashed spacecraft and alien bodies in the Plains of San Agustin – a wholly different site. Jim Ragsdale said he saw a spaceship sticking out of a cliff face in the New Mexico desert at yet another site. It is also alleged that he made a deathbed confession to his daughter, Judy, about a further crash site in a forest location near the Boy Scout Mountain.
UFO researcher Andrew Oien says that perhaps two UFOs collided over Mac Brazel’s ranch, leaving debris at that site, before going their separate ways and crashing at some of the other locations.
But ufologist Nick Redfern has another idea. He doesn’t buy the alien spaceship stories, but he also doesn’t buy the idea of the Project Mogul balloon and transformed memories of military accidents and human dummies put out by the US Air Force.
He believes that the Roswell legend is the product of two crashes in the region – crashes of experimental aircraft being test-flown by the US military with Japanese crew on board.
The first contained a number of physically deformed and handicapped Japanese prisoners of war, recovered from Japan’s Unit 731 laboratories, who were suffering from conditions like progeria and radiation poisoning. The crashing of this aircraft is said to explain some of the sightings of ‘aliens’, and in particular the Alien Autopsy video supplied to Ray Santilli in the 1990s. Nick Redfern argues that the body being operated on in the video is not an alien, but a human suffering from progeria.
The second crash was the one that caused debris to end up on Mac Brazel’s ranch. This was of an aircraft affixed to a huge balloon, inspired by a Japanese design and piloted by a crew of trained Japanese personnel. The reason it crashed was that it was apparently struck by lightning.
But Gildas Bourdais argues that it was not possible for US forces to have recovered any Japanese subjects of Unit 731. This is because all historical studies and sources support that the Japanese killed them all and destroyed the buildings to cover up all traces of the horrific bio-warfare experiments taking place there. Bourdais also points out that the scientists at Unit 731 preferred to work on subjects in good health, and wouldn’t have used people suffering from progeria and other conditions.
There’s also the problem of Nick Redfern relying on the authenticity of the Alien Autopsy footage to support his theory. A year after Redfern’s book setting out his theory was published, Ray Santilli admitted that the Alien Autopsy footage was fabricated, filmed by him and a fellow producer with an alien dummy.
And finally – where did Nick Redfern get his evidence about all this? Anonymous whistle-blowers inside the government and the military. Anonymous. How convenient.
A Soviet plot with deformed human children?
Journalist Annie Jacobsen presented a new theory on the Roswell Incident in 2011. Based on apparent interviews with scientists who worked at Area 51, the top secret Air Force base in the Nevada desert, she claims that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin orchestrated a plot to cause hysteria on American soil. It was to be similar in manner to the radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds in 1938, when fictionalised announcements about Martians invading were taken as fact by radio listeners and mass panic ensued.
Annie Jacobsen’s theory is that Stalin recruited Nazi paramilitary officer and Auschwitz physician Josef Mengele to produce “grotesque, child-size aviators” to be remotely piloted and landed in America. Unfortunately the aircraft crashed and, to avoid panic, the Americans covered up the incident.
Jacobsen’s source told her they found that the aircraft was filled with “alien-like” children around the age of 12. She writes in her 2011 book:
“These were not aliens. Nor were they consenting airmen. They were human guinea pigs. Unusually petite for pilots, they appeared to be children. Each was under five feet tall. They were grotesquely deformed, but each in the same manner as the others. They had unusually large heads and abnormally shaped, oversized eyes.”
However, Jacobsen’s work has been heavily criticised for being full of errors by the Federation of American Scientists, for being sensationalist, and for defying common sense. And her story – once again – comes from one anonymous source who can’t be tested.
Where does this leave us today?
Everything I’ve read over the course of my investigation of the Roswell UFO Incident has left me highly dubious about the presence of aliens in New Mexico in 1947.
Having looked at some of the popular evidence for the recovery of alien bodies and hush-hush alien autopsies, all I’ve found is highly untrustworthy eyewitness evidence and hoaxes. Whatever crashed at Mac Brazel’s ranch cannot have been an alien spaceship if it was made of tinfoil, rubber and scotch tape – that’s just silly. And the evidence for witness intimidation by the government is largely based on hearsay, which makes it impossible to know what’s been exaggerated, misunderstood or straight-up fabricated.
And Jacobsen and Redfern’s non-alien Roswell theories don’t seem to have much corroborative evidence to support them either. Nobody can put much faith in an unnamed whistleblower who hasn’t been subjected to rigorous personal scrutiny, particularly when some of the quite-happy-to-be-named witnesses have told bare-faced lies about Roswell.
What we do know is that the government has admitted to lying about Roswell for more than 40 years. Given that all the alleged alien sightings don’t stand up to much scrutiny, the Project Mogul explanation does sound sensible to me – and probably the explanation I will subscribe to until some earth-shattering new evidence comes to light. At the same time, I do admit that there is scope for arguing that if the government can lie about something for 40 years, who’s to say they’re not still lying?
And in terms of earth-shattering new evidence, this might just happen in a couple of months’ time. Earlier this month, it was reported that a number of reportedly authenticated slides featuring a Roswell alien are set to be unveiled this May at the National Auditorium in Mexico City.
Another hoax? Or could this be the real thing?
Next week: Ata – the world’s most mysterious human