Text of Anthony J. TAMBINI – december 2009
Anthony Tambini is MUFON Investigator in Northern California
Veteran of the US Air Force
Writer, author of:
Manager of an Air and Space Museum in Los Angeles
Synopsis of Event and Analysis
The United States Air Force claims that it did not recover a UFO near Roswell, New Mexico – This statement is technically true. The recovery took place some 200 miles to the west somewhere in the Plains of San Agustin area. The United States Air Forces claims that it did not ship the recovered UFO to Wright-Patterson Air Base – This statement is true. The recovered craft was shipped to a different location. This is the theory behind this paper.
Synopsis of Event:
On July 8, 1947 the U.S. Army Air Force issued a press release stating, in effect, that the Army Air Force had in its possession a crashed flying disk. The press release was issued by the Roswell Army Air Base commander. The Roswell Daily Record generated a front page story with the bold headline RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region. (1) The next day, July 9, the commander of the Fort Worth Army Air Field held a press conference in which he stated that the Army Air Force did not capture a crashed flying saucer but in effect Army Air Force personnel at Roswell mistook a weather balloon for a flying saucer.
The crashed disk story started when W.W. Brazel, a Lincoln county, New Mexico ranch hand, discovered some strange material on a portion of the property he was working. On June 14, 1947 Brazel and his son were approximately 7 or 8 miles from the ranch house of J. B. Foster (Brazel operated the ranch for Foster) when he came upon a very large area of bright wreckage. Brazel bypassed the area, and went on about his work. He returned to the area on July 4 and gathered up pieces of the strange material and brought it into the local sheriff, George Wilcox. The sheriff was also mystified by the material and contacted Roswell Army Air Base. The base sent out Major Jesse Marcel and another man in plain clothing. They accompanied Brazel to the site, and noted that the material was indeed strange. The site was some 30 miles southeast of Corona, New Mexico. The debris field measured approximately 200 yards in diameter. Marcel was as mystified as Brazel and Wilcox about what the material could be. He and the other man in plain clothing gathered up as much of the material that they could carry back to the base and departed. Soon thereafter the base issued the famous crashed disk press release. (2)
It seems a bit odd that the ranch hand, the local sheriff, and Major Marcel could not identify the material as parts of a weather balloon. Major Marcel was a rated combat pilot and flew B-29 missions during the war. He was on the base intelligence staff. It also seems a bit unusual that whoever Marcel brought the material to at the air field could not identify it as a weather balloon, even if it was one of the classified Mogul or some other such high altitude classified balloon project, someone at the base would have certainly recognized that the material was not all that unusual.
In 1995 the U.S. Air Force issued The Roswell Report – Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert.(3) The report attempted to link the original Roswell reports to Project Mogul, a top-secret classified program that used high altitude balloons to carry special instrumentation to, at the time, extremely high altitudes. In 1997 the Air Force released a second report The Roswell Report Case Closed. (4) In this report the Air Force attempted to link the high altitude balloon drops of parachute test dummies to the crashed flying saucer story as well as witness reports of recovered alien bodies. Unfortunately for the Air Force, the dates of the test drops, as well as all other balloon flights do not match the date of the Roswell crash report. The Air Force’s response to this was to state that the memory of the witnesses was in error for the dates of the Roswell crash!
One thing is certain, something very unusual fell out of the sky and ended up in the New Mexico desert in July 1947. This we can be sure of simply because the Army Air Force admitted this twice. Once during the original press release stating that they had captured a flying disk, and a second time, a day later, when they issued a press release stating that, in effect, something had ended up in the desert, and that something was simply a weather balloon. The 1995 and 1997 Air Force reports ended up adding more confusion to the story rather than “closing the case”.
Over the years researchers into this event have uncovered vast details about what actually took place near Roswell in July of 1947. The event according to these researchers was that an extraterrestrial craft crashed near Corona, New Mexico in June of 1947. Some parts of this vehicle fell onto a ranch field and a small sample of them brought into the local sheriff by a ranch hand. The military was contacted and, as the story goes, the craft was recovered and eventually shipped to Wright Field near Dayton, Ohio.
The shipment of the craft to Wright Field is the subject of this study.
Various researchers have reported that the crashed Roswell vehicle ended up at Wright Field near Dayton Ohio. The specifics of the actual transport of the vehicle are not well researched. Most report simply that the vehicle was shipped to Wright Field. Why was Wright Field selected by these researchers as the final destination of the vehicle? This was simply the most logical choice. Wright Field was and is one of the premier military aviation research facility in the United States. As such it would be logical to assume that somehow the vehicle ended up at this location.
Wilbur Wright Field was used by the army in 1917 to train pilots and gunners during World War I. The field was named in honor of Wilbur Wright. On July 6, 1931 the field was renamed Wright-Patterson in honor of Lt. Frank Patterson. Lt Patterson was killed in an airplane crash at the field. During 1947 the field was used for a wide variety of aircraft systems testing. The Army Air Force maintained a Foreign Technologies Division at the base. The Divisions responsibility was to evaluate aviation technologies of other countries.
After World War II, Wright Field became involved in conducting high altitude medical research. The Wright Field Aero Medical Laboratory was staffed by a variety of highly qualified personnel, which included many German immigrants most notable was Hubertus Strughold. Dr. Strughold would become known as “The Father of Space Medicine.” The Aero Medical Laboratory was interested in the effects of high altitudes on humans. Dr. Strughold would state: “What we call upper atmosphere in the physical sense, must be considered in terms of biology as space in its total form.”
So, it would seem logical that if any aliens were recovered from the crash in New Mexico, or at any other location, then the aliens alive or dead, would be sent to Wright Field’s Aero Medical Lab for examination. They most likely would be sent via military aircraft. However, Wright Field would be the last place to ship the alien craft due to the size and potential hazards involved.
Methods of Shipment
Prior to detailing the various methods that could have been used to ship the crashed vehicle, it must first be established that the vehicle was shipped as one complete unit. Researcher interviews with reported eyewitnesses to the craft describe a disk shaped object approximately 30 feet in diameter (report of the actual shape and size vary) with apparent significant structural damage. This damage in most instances had been reported as a significant rip/tear along the outer portion of the craft allowing limited observation of the craft’s interior.
With a craft of unknown origin and potentially unknown structural material used in its construction, along with the apparent structural damage, it would seem logical that any on-site engineering evaluation would most certainly have determine that the craft needed to be shipped as a complete assembly and not damaged in any way. Most certainly the craft would not have been disassembled or cut up in any way for ease of shipment.
With the above criterion established, there would have been three methods available for shipment:
Aircraft Transport – In the latter half of the 1940s there were only five large cargo aircraft available to the military. These five were the Douglas C-74, the Douglas C-54, The Boeing C-97 and the Lockheed L-49. None could have carried the crashed disk to Wright Field. (5)
The C-74 was the largest of the above aircraft. This heavy lifter had a wingspan of 173 feet, and a length of 124 feet. It had a range of 3,400 miles with a 50,000 pound payload. From October 1945 to April 1947 twelve aircraft were delivered to the Army Air Force. The aircraft had the range and payload capability to potentially carry the crashed vehicle. However its cargo loading door, due to its rectangular dimension, was only large enough to allow an object slightly larger than the size of an army jeep through it. It had a unique cargo loading door on the underside of the aircraft. This door allowed an object the size of a jeep to be loaded into the fuselage via a pallet assembly that was raised into the aircraft. A 30 foot disk could not have been carried internally in any of the C-74 aircraft, nor could the disk have been carried externally to the aircraft.
The Douglas C-54 was the prominent military heavy lift transport aircraft at the time (late 1940s). It was smaller than the C-74 and carried less of a payload a shorter distance. This aircraft had a cargo loading door that was significantly smaller than that of the C-74, as such it could not have carried the disk internally nor externally.
The Boeing C-97 was comparable in both size and payload to the C-54. The C-97 had a cargo loading door approximately the same size as the C-54. Like the C-74, it also had a unique cargo door on its underside, but its capability in size and weight lifted was comparable to that of the C-54, as such it could not have carried the disk either internally or externally.
The Lockheed L-49 had a much smaller cargo door than any of the above aircraft. It could not have carried the disk internally or externally.
Rail Shipment – Although it seems a likely method of shipment, there are significant drawbacks to this method. During the latter half of 1947 the Southern Pacific Railroad was linked to a rail system that ran through Alamogordo, New Mexico snaking its way through New Mexico towards the northeast portion of the US. The rail line ran northeast all the way to Illinois, ending at the southern end of Lake Michigan. After World War II, most of the long haul rail lines were converting to diesel power. These diesel locomotives replaced the older steam powered locomotives because they could haul freight a longer distance without refueling or servicing than the previous types. A diesel powered locomotive could haul a very heavy load across the country without a single refueling or servicing needed.
Since the diesel locomotive was the most efficient (as opposed to the steam or coal fired locomotives that would require significant refueling stops from New Mexico to Ohio) for this paper we will use it as the power source to transport the craft from Roswell to Dayton. Although these locomotives would require no servicing stops along the way, there are some significant logistics problems with the rail shipment. Most noticeable would be the diameter of the craft. At approximately 30 feet this would mean that a significant portion of the craft would overhang the transport car. This overhang would become a problem when the train passed through each town’s train station. The stations then (as now) had numerous obstructions that the craft overhang would come in contact with. Among these being station structural components such as the roof overhang structure and associated components for passenger protection, the mail stanchion where mail bags would be hung, and the station to train signal flags. In New Mexico alone there were 12 stations along the train’s route. There were five station in the small portion of Texas that the train would have traversed. Twenty four would have been encountered in Kansas, and fifteen in Missouri. All this before entering Ohio. Once in Illinois, the train would need to transfer from the Southern Pacific Lines to another line that ran from St. Louis to Dayton. Railroad signal light stanchions at each vehicle road crossing along the route would also become an obstacles.
Additionally, logistics support of the train would require that it did not pass another train traveling in the opposite direction. If another train were traveling in the opposite direction, the possibility existed that there would not be sufficient clearance between the opposing train and the craft overhang. Train re-routing would then be required.
Natural obstacles are another consideration, should the track run near a mountain side or large trees then the clearance between the craft overhang and the mountain side/trees would have needed to be first checked to ensure sufficient clearance existed.
As can be seen, the rail method of shipment would have been highly impracticable if not impossible.
Road Shipment – Road shipment of the vehicle has surfaced in various publications on this subject, and as in the rail shipment scenario, it also seems logical. However, this scenario suffers from similar logistics problems. Truck transport of the vehicle would require an arduous slow trip across the country. Vehicle traffic approaching from the opposite direction would need to be waved off to the shoulder of the road to ensure sufficient clearance between the overhang and the approaching traffic. Additionally, the truck would require frequent servicing stops along the way. A military security team would need to be dispatched with the truck to ensure as complete security of the cargo as possible. Along the way and at various servicing stops civilians would surely become curious as to the cargo. The trip would take considerable time as the speed of the truck would be down to somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 mph or slower. This is due to the fact that the road conditions in the late 1940s were not well maintained and in most instances they were nothing more than dirt. The route would need to take into consideration any natural obstacle such as trees and hills/mountains, etc that may come in contact with the vehicle overhang. Additionally, these same considerations needed to be taken into account with man-made obstacles such as power lines, telephone/telegraph lines, etc.
As can be seen, this method of shipment would have been highly impracticable.
One final note on the rail and truck shipments. During the late 1940s and through the 1950s, atomic power was considered the ultimate means of propulsion for aircraft. In September of 1947 US Army Air Force General N.F. Twining, commander of the Air Materiel Commander, issued a memo tiled AMC Opinion Concerning “Flying Discs”.(6) One subparagraph of this memo states “The possibility that some foreign nation has a form of propulsion possibly nuclear, which is outside of our domestic knowledge.” Obviously the Army was very concerned that the vehicle recovered from New Mexico may have been powered by some type of nuclear reactor. Since it had crashed and a portion of the exterior had been torn/ripped, there may have been concern that the potential existed for radioactive leakage into the atmosphere. With this in mind, it seems highly unlikely that the Army would take the vehicle near or through populated areas on a trip from New Mexico across the U.S. to Dayton, Ohio.
Although most certainly any alien bodies recovered as well as selected pieces of debris and/or equipment recovered from the craft were shipped to Wright Field, the craft itself must have been shipped elsewhere. Some other location for the craft must have been selected.
WHERE WAS THE ROSWELL CRAFT TAKEN TO?
The most logical selection for such a location at the time would have been the Sandia Laboratory in New Mexico.
The lab at Los Alamos was established in January of 1943 under the code name “Project Y”. The laboratory’s work would become critical during the development of the first atomic bomb. When the lab opened in 1943 it was under the direction of J. Robert Oppenheimer and it was charged with performing the necessary research, technological development and production of the actual bomb. The lab was staffed with eminent scientist such as Enrico Fermi, Bruno Rossi, Emelio Segre, Neils Bohr, I.I. Rabi, Hans Bethe, Rolf Landshoff, John von Neumann, Edward Teller, Otto Frisch, Joseph Kennedy, George Kistiakowsky, Richard Feynman, and Edwin McMillan. The lab grew in numbers and the facilities at Sandia continued to be improved during the period 1943 – 1945. Roads from the lab to Trinity test site were improved considerably so that the transport of material to the site would be safe and efficient.
Months prior to the first successful atom bomb test, Los Alamos lab directors were looking for a new site that would be more convenient for Los Alamos to continue nuclear weapons development. The directors felt that Kirtland Field had fulfilled Los Alamos’ transportation requirements and as such a decision was made to transfer the work being conducted at Los Alamos to Kirtland. A secure portion of Kirtland was established, facilities build and the area was identified as Sandia Base.
As stated previously, during 1947 military authorities were speculating that the propulsion system of the flying disks may be nuclear. This speculation was based on the spectacular performance of the craft. Reports indicated that they could fly at speeds in excess of 7,000 mph and at such speeds perform right angle turns. There were reports that they could climb above 80,000 feet. The fastest aircraft to fly in 1947 was the Bell Aircraft XS-1. In October of 1947 the aircraft was dropped from a B-29 carrier aircraft over Muroc Dry Lake and became the first aircraft to break the sound barrier, traveling a bit over Mach-1. During the late 1940s and well into the 1950s the military attempted to construct a nuclear powered aircraft. These attempts ended in failure. The only aircraft to fly with an operating nuclear power plant on board was a highly modified B-36 bomber. The power plant did not operate any system on-board and the aircraft was used only as a test platform.
What better location to ship the crashed disk than Sandia Base? Since there was speculation that it was powered by some form of nuclear energy, Sandia would be the perfect location to conduct a scientific analysis of the craft. Scientists and military personnel could be brought to the location in relative security. Since work was being conducted on atomic and thermonuclear energy, the lab was a highly classified facility. Wright Fields work was centered primarily on the aviation sciences and conventional power plants. The Field was located just outside of Dayton, Ohio which was and is a large metropolitan city with a large population.
Interestingly, on 8 July 1947 Lt. General Twining, Major General Chidlaw, Brigadier General Thomas, and Brigadier General Brentnall were assigned three days temporary duty at Sandia for the purpose of pursuing a Bomb Commanders Course. It seems a bit ludicrous that a three star general (Twining), a two star general (Chidlaw) and two one star generals ( Thomas and Brentnall) would be required to attend a bomb commanders course! All were upper lever managers in the Air Force, all were combat veterans and command pilots, none would be required to fly a bomber at any time due to their present positions and age. Could this “course” had been a cover for a review of the findings to date of the data accumulated from the analysis of the crashed vehicle that was brought to Sandia? (7)
Transportation from the Roswell area to Sandia would have been relatively easy and inconspicuous. Roads from Los Alamos and Sandia to the Roswell area were well established, with very few towns along the way that were sparsely populated. Military M-35 cargo trucks and M324 wreckers with hoisting cranes as well as flatbed trailers were all readily available at both Roswell and Kirtland for the recovery and transport operation. Additionally, the minimal travel distance coupled with the low population density would have made Sandia a very desirable location if there were any concern for radiation leakage from the damaged craft.
In 1962 federal legislation was enacted to transfer commercial and residential property at Los Alamos from federal ownership to private ownership. By 1967 all property at Los Alamos was transferred to private ownership. Interestingly, around this same time frame the Groom Lake facility was building up. The U-2 was tested at the highly classified Groom Lake area in the mid 1950s, and the government (both military and CIA) were using the facility to test highly classified equipment. Once sufficient facilities at Groom Lake were established, transport of the craft from Sandia to Groom Lake would have been easily accomplished.
(1) The acronym RAAF stood for Roswell Army Air Field.
(2) Some information in the paragraph came from The Roswell Report – Fact VS Fiction in the New Mexico Desert, attachment 1. Publication issued by the U.S. Air Force, available from the Government Printing Office.
(3) The Roswell Report – Fact VS Fiction in the New Mexico Desert. Issued by the United States Air Force (1995). ISBN 0-16-048023-X.
(4) The Roswell Report – Case Closed. Issued by the United States Air Force (1997). ISBN 0-16-049018-9.
(5) Note – Helicopters were rare, but available in 1947. However, none were capable of carrying something on the order of the crashed disk.
(6) Some information in the paragraph came from The Roswell Report – Fact VS Fiction in the New Mexico Desert, attachment 14.
(7) In The Roswell Report – Fact VS Fiction in the New Mexico Desert, the USAF claims that the orders for the bomb course that these generals attended is dated June 5, 1947 and that this was well before the press release of July, 1947. While on the surface this appears to be the case, what we have in the report is simply a copy of a microfilmed document. For some reason the document does not have a date typed on it. The June 5th date is a date stamp. It could be that this is an actual date stamp indicating the date the document was received or issued. Or it could have been something added at a later date. Besides not having a date typed on it, the document is a bit strange in that it directs a three star general, the head of the Air Materiel Command, to attend a Bomb Commanders Course. In The Roswell Report – Fact VS Fiction in the New Mexico Desert this course is identified as a Nuclear Bomb Commanders Course. Although General Twining was a rated command pilot, why would someone his age and commander of the Air Materiel Command (a rated pilot would not be a requirement to head the Command) be required to attend a bomb commanders course?
Another error in the The Roswell Report – Fact VS Fiction in the New Mexico Desert shows up on page 14. The Report states “Once back at Roswell Army Air Field, it is generally alleged that special measures were taken to notify higher headquarters and arrangements made to have recovered materials shipped to other locations for analysis. These locations include Fort Worth, Texas, the home of the Eight Air Force Headquarters; possibly Sandia Base (now Kirtland AFB)….” In actuality, near the end of 1941 Albuquerque Army Air Base was renamed Kirtland Field after Army pilot Colonel Roy S. Kirtland. The orders for General Twining to attend the bomb course specifically directs him, and the other generals, to Sandia Base, not Kirtland Field. Copies of the orders were forwarded to the Commanding Officer at Kirtland.
C-74 Globemaster II
The C-74 was the largest aircraft that could have carried the crashed Roswell disk. From October 1945 to April 1947 twelve aircraft were delivered to the Army Air Force. The aircraft had the range and payload capability to potentially carry the crashed vehicle. However its cargo loading door, due to its rectangular dimension, was only large enough to allow an object the size of an army jeep through it. It had a unique cargo loading door on the underside of the aircraft. This door allowed an object the size of a jeep to be loaded into the fuselage via a pallet assembly that was raised into the aircraft. A 30 foot disk could not have been carried internally in any of the C-74 aircraft, nor could the disk have been carried externally to the aircraft.
In the above illustration, the darken area covering the C-74 is the approximate size of the Roswell disk compared to the aircraft. As can be plainly seen, there is no way that the disk could have been airlifted to Wright Field. As previously stated, from an engineering and scientific standpoint, the disk would not have been cut up or disassembled for transport.
From Roswell to Wright Field or LosAlamos