The highlighted statements indicate that the Fort Worth subcommittee had allowed the NYU team to dictate the conditions required for launching balloons. The NYU group had no experience in launching balloons in New Mexico and probably did not realize that their balloons would leave the White Sands area. If they had dictated their own conditions, they probably would have been willing to launch balloons under partly cloudy conditions, which could have occurred before dawn on the fourth.
In order to see if the team did launch balloons under such conditions, I compared the launching of the flights in July with the NCDC surface ob- servations from Alamogordo and other stations. Three flights appear to have been made under conditions that were not clear (Alamogordo had no weather observations for the fourth of July weekend so flight #10 could not be evaluated). Flight #8 was launched very early on the morning of the 3rd (0303 MST). The observations at 0700 listed the conditions as “scattered clouds”. To follow up with that, flight #9 had been planned that evening foraV-2launch. Conditionsat1600werealso“scattered”(theywere“scat- tered” all day) but that is not what canceled the flight. It was the cancella- tion of the V-2 launch that prevented this assembly of balloons from being used as a regular flight. Despite these less than desirable conditions, they still launched the balloons with no apparent regard for clouds (see photo- graph to the left)! Finally, flight #11 was launched at dawn on the 7th. The 0700 observations were “scattered clouds”.
The sky conditions for the various New Mexico stations around the launch time for flights 8 and 11 are12:
It is hard to say exactly how these weather observations relate to the actual weather in Alamogordo at the time the balloon flights were released but it appears to indicate the weather conditions were less than the perfectly clear skies crashologists claim were nec- essary. Since the weather was consistent over each location, one might infer that the 0700 observations reflected what the weather was in the area at the time of launching. If this is correct, then it demonstrates that the team did launch their balloons if they felt the clouds would not interfere with operations and tracking. These are the kinds of conditions they argued for in their 17 April 1947 letter to the NY subcommittee and brings into question the claim that, while in New Mexico, they only launched their balloon flights under absolutely clear sky conditions.
Always darkest before the dawn
Another item argued by Randle was that the NYU team had no permission to launch balloons at night. I agree that this would never have been allowed in the northeast as it seems to have been understood that the balloons would be launched during the day. As noted previously, when the team arrived in New Mexico there seemed to have been no (or very few) restrictions given to the NYU team about their flight operations. It appears possible that night launches were originally planned in early June based on Crary’s journal entries:
• Crary implies they had originally planned a night launch for the first flight in New Mexico. The June 3rd entry states he got up at 0230 but the flight did not occur because of clouds (NCDC data says it was “Broken” until 9AM MST ). On June 5th, he wrote that he got up at 4AM for the balloon flight, which was at 5AM. If this is any indication of his preflight routine, it infers a launch was planned on June 3rd for around 3:30 or 4AM.
• On the fourth of June, Crary was out at midnight to set off charges. As mentioned previously, this suggests that a flight could have been planned for sometime around midnight. The next line of the June 4th entry states there was no flight because of clouds. Since the weather was only scattered clouds by 0700, it seems that the clouds that had cancelled the initial launch plans were the ones that were present in the middle of the night, which points towards the possibility that it had been planned as a night launch.
While this is speculation, one can easily refute Kevin Randle’s claim that the NYU team was not allowed to perform night launches until months later by examining the official record. On July 3rd, flight #8 was launched at 0303 MST13, which was well before twilight. Interestingly, radar was employed to track the flight. Were they given special permission for this night flight? If so, isn’t possible they had similar permission in early June? Flight number eight’s launch time means that Randle’s “fact” about night launches is not a “fact” at all. It is his interpretation of a document that may not even have been applicable for the NYU group’s operations while in New Mexico.
Why they wanted to perform a night launch on June 3rd and 4th may have had a lot to do with how their meteorological balloons reacted to sunlight. One of the reasons that Flight #1 had failed was because balloons had burst. A launch of the balloons well before dawn would have minimized the chance of balloons bursting from sunlight exposure and increased the time the flight was airborne. The launching at night would have resulted in some changes by the NYU team for monitoring the flight. They would not be able to accurately track the flight with a theodolite, which meant they would have to track it some other way. Since Alamogordo had a working SCR-584 radar, it seemed to be the solution to this problem. All they would have to do is add a few ML-307s (like flight #2) and hope that the SCR-584 could do the rest of the work. This plan would have failed as soon as the balloons left the range of the radar or the radar lost contact. Assuming this is what occurred, one could easily suggest that the NYU team learned a valuable lesson from that flight and, on subsequent flights they had switched to dawn launches so they could visually track the balloons and went back to using the radiosonde for altitude data.
I confess that this is guesswork but it is, in my opinion, a valid interpretation of what might have occurred regarding why a night launch was attempted and why the ML-307s were possibly used. We have no records to state this actually happened other than Crary’s journal entry that a cluster of balloons had been launched at some point on the fourth of June. However, the argument that they never performed night operations in the summer of 1947 is a false one based on a belief and not a close examination of the records available.
It was canceled stupid!!!
The party line repeated over and over again by the “dream team” is that flight number four was canceled completely and the “clus- ter of balloons” was some sort of service flight that only contained a microphone and a few balloons. This is repeated as if it were a fact. We do know from Crary’s journal entry that the were no flights because of clouds but the next sentence states that a “cluster of balloons” was launched. Professor Charles Moore offers a different interpretation that the balloon flight that was originally planned had been delayed by the weather and was launched once the clouds had cleared enough. It is a case of how you construe the entry. Either interpretation is valid but one can not conclusively state that one is more correct than the other.
The claim that this June fourth flight was canceled but assigned a number should be examined. We do know that flight #3 had a failed “launch” on May 8th. That makes one wonder what was the number of the flight that was “abandoned”/canceled on the 3rd of June? Was it flight 3.5? The lack of a number for that flight implies that if the balloons were never launched, then the flight did not receive a number. As a result, if the morning flight of June 4th was “canceled” and never launched, it would also receive no number and the flight on June 5th would have been identified as flight #4 and not #5. If they were using numbers for every assembled flight (even if they were never flown), then flight #5 would have been identified as flight #6 since June 3rd would have been flight #4 and June 4th would have been flight #5. The logical conclusion seems to indicate that the “cluster of balloons” probably was flight num- ber four contrary to what the crashed space ship proponents want everyone to believe.
The other claim that the flight was canceled the instant clouds interfered has to be examined from the point of view of the NYU team in June 1947. They had spent the past few days preparing a full balloon flight and were ready to launch on the third of June. That flight was not launched because of cloud cover, which lasted well into the morning of the 3rd. Records indicate that sky conditions didnotclearenoughuntil9AM,whichwastoolateforlaunchingballoons. Theteamprobablymayhavebeenawarethatthecloud cover would not clear until late in the morning or stood by with the flight at the ready until it was too late. In either case, it post- poned the flight for 24 hours. Fast forward to the morning of June fourth and the same situation presented itself. The team, which was probably anxious about launching their flight, probably would have done as Moore suggested. Instead of cancelling the flight right away, they simply waited for better conditions. Once those were present, the flight was launched. While this is speculation, it is a potential scenario that has to be considered as a plausible and not dismissed without good evidence.
In order to make their interpretation appear more correct, the Roswell team has responded that the lack of any record indicates the flight was canceled. Charles Moore addressed this in the chapter of the book he coauthored. He stated that if no useful altitude data was obtained during the flight, it was not recorded. Even the earliest recorded flights, that were failures, had some altitude data, which is why they were in the record. According to Professor Moore, the team intended to use radar to track the flight and obtain altitude data instead of using a Radiosonde. This plan probably failed as the balloon flight rapidly left the range of the radar or if the radar was unable to track them. If there were a radiosonde attached there may have been reasons for why it did not provide the necessary data. Perhaps it failed or they had difficulty with the signal/receiver. The NYU reports describe limited radio range, problems with batteries, and other technical issues associated with this equipment. We don’t know for sure exactly what transpired but if there was no data, even if the flight performed better than flight #5, it appears that it would not have been recorded in the NYU records.
The mantra that flight #4 was canceled is nothing more than a rallying cry to convince everybody that any other interpretation is wrong. The truth of the matter is that Crary’s journal entry records some sort of flight being launched and, since we don’t know ex- actly what was contained on this “cluster of balloons”, it remains possible that this was the original flight configuration or a modified version of that flight, which could have contained radar reflectors.
Not enough debris
Randle briefly mentioned this in his diatribe about MOGUL, where he stated there was too much material at the Foster Ranch to be explained by a project MOGUL flight. This argument was started by Robert Galganski long ago where he tried to dem- onstrate, through mathematical calculations, how a full MOGUL flight could not create the debris field described by the various Roswell authors. As I pointed out long ago, the Galganski exercise is not a valid one because it makes a flawed assumption in order to arrive at his desired conclusion. Randle repeats that assumption. They assume a certain concentration of debris based on what they think the witnesses described.
The idea that one can quantify the concentration of material based on the descriptions given by Marcel and Brazel is something that can not be scientifically done. We have no photographs or maps of the debris field to base the description upon. In both cases, the witnessesreferredtothedebrisfieldas“scattered”.Thisisthesametypeof descriptiongivenbyBessieBrazelandSheridanCavitt. How does one quantify such a term? It is not like Marcel/Brazel stated there was debris every two feet. They simply described a bunch of debris spread out over the field. In Brazel’s description, this field was only over a few hundred yards. Marcel felt it was a larger area but he was basing this on his memory thirty years later.
As I have demonstrated with a scale model back in SUNlite 4-4, the amount of debris produced by the fragments of three reflectors and the debris from four or more balloons would probably have been adequate to create this ‘scattered” description. Just examine the photographs from Fort Worth. According to David Rudiak, that is only one reflector. Take those fragments, multiply it by three, and then spread them out onto a field. In my opinion, one could easily described that distribution of material as “scattered”. The debris field concentration argument made by Randle and company completely ignores the actual descriptions of the debris field by those that were known to be there in favor of the myth that they have created.
Because I said so!
Randle continued his efforts to tell everybody that flight #4 did not exist by producing an argument about Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) not documenting the flight. According to Kevin Randle (my emphasis in bold and underlined):
There was no Flight No. 4 to drop debris up on the Foster ranch, no Flight No. 4 that would have presented a threat to aerial navigation,
hence no NOTAM filed for the flight14
He also made a similar statement back in May of 2013 when answering Lance Moody (my emphasis in bold and underlined):
Here’s something I know for a fact. There was no flight no. 4. I know this because a NOTAM for the flights were required and there was no NOTAM for flight no. 4. What does that do to Mogul?15
Moody would respond to this comment asking Randle if he had NOTAMs from other flights. Randle never responded to this request. Randle implied by this statement that he had discovered that all other flights had NOTAMs while the June 4th flight did not. How- ever, this is completely in contradiction with what he stated previously on his blog a year before:
I called, wrote, emailed and communicated with a couple of dozen different agencies most of them within the FAA. I finally learned that no such archive exists. The rules said that the NOTAMs be held for a short period and then destroyed when no longer useful.16
This means that any record of a NOTAM would not exist today. However, Randle seemed to be implying that he did have records. By repeating this claim as if it were a fact, he got others into accepting this without evidence. Anthony Mugan seemed more than willing to accept Randle’s claim simply because it was stated as if it were a fact:
I would tend to agree with you. Crary’s diary plus the absence of a NOTAM as you say is all very suggestive...17
Lance Moody would repeat his request for Randle to, again, present evidence of these NOTAMs. Rather than admitting he did not
have such proof, Randle responded that he had drawn his conclusion based on the statements of Charles Moore:
Charles Moore told Steven Schiff in August 1995 that there was no NOTAM for the June 4 flight because they expected the ascent to re- main over restricted territory.18
Instead of having confirmation of his claim, Randle was simply giving his biased interpretation that Moore stated that all other flights but number four had NOTAMs. He did not provide the statement by Moore or the context under which it was written. When asked, he told everyone to find it for themselves. Kevin Randle once again misses the point of this kind of evidence. A statement made fifty years later is not actual proof of anything but how Moore remembers what transpired. He has not established a fact that there were no NOTAMs issued for flight number 4 and all other flights had NOTAMs. Therefore, he can not substantiate the claim he has been making regarding this issue.
One can easily understand what Moore was talking about if one simply looks at the NYU records. He was, more than likely, making his statement based on his reading of the these documents. As previously mentioned, the Fort Worth Subcommittee on air space had originally stated that no further authorization was required to launch their balloons since it was thought they were stay inside the White Sands area. This implies that the NYU team probably did not have to follow any guidelines for issuing NOTAMs. It was only after the NYU team informed the CAA that their balloons were drifting out of the White Sands area did the CAA become concerned and directed the NYU team to inform airmen of their balloon operations:
That release of free balloons by the New York University within the confines of the White Sands Proving area be approved provided that: (a) Local coordination be effected to the satisfaction of the Department of Commerce Member and the Commanding Officer at Biggs Field to assure all precautions are taken to prevent collision of aircraft with this airborne equipment.19
This statement suggests that the NYU team was probably not filing NOTAMs for any of their flights prior to this and not just flight number 4 (or whatever you want to call the “cluster of balloons” flight) in the summer of 1947.
If the NYU group was filing NOTAMs, they would have used the set of guidelines when they were operating on the east coast. The New York Subcommittee informed the NYU team that they had to file at least two NOTAMs when releasing balloons. They were required to file a NOTAM twelve hours prior to the flight and one after any balloons were launched. If the NYU unit was following these rules when they went to New Mexico, they would have issued a NOTAM on June 3rd prior to launching and one after launch- ing the “cluster of balloons”. It would not matter if it were a full flight or a scaled down service flight. Both would present a hazard to air traffic and both would require the NOTAM. We do not know for sure if this was case without the actual NOTAM records, which do not exist. If they did exist and the team followed these guidelines, it probably would not have resolved much since there probably would have been a NOTAM filed for the planned launch and one filed for the launching of the “cluster of balloons”.
The NOTAM argument seems to fail at this point no matter which interpretation you make. I am sure Randle and his team can convince themselves that the believed (not substantiated) absence of a NOTAM proves there was no fight number four but imply- ing that it is a proven fact is simply wishful thinking. Pontificating is not the same thing as establishing facts with incontrovertible proof.
In another attempt to falsify the project MOGUL explanation, Kevin Randle dusts off another one of his old arguments:
I’m not even going to bother with the argument that Mogul wasn’t all that secret... with pictures of it published in the newspapers on July 10, 1947, and the name being used in all sorts of non-classified publications which eliminates another of the legs for the Mogul ex- planation.20
He essentially stated the same thing back in 2008:
The point that the skeptics and debunkers refuse to understand is that the balloon launches in New Mexico, the equipment used and sci- ence being conducted there was not classified. Get it. There was nothing classified about what was going on in New Mexico. 21
Like so many of Randle’s arguments, he appears to be telling only half the story. As a military officer, he would know that any classi- fied operation has OPERATIONAL SECURITY (OPSEC). OPSEC is trying to prevent unclassified information from being used to piece together what the classified nature of a mission/program is. I experienced this several times when I was aboard Navy Submarines deploying for a classified mission. Deployment dates/underway times were considered classified as OPSEC and I remember being briefed about this. The best example I recall occurred when I reported aboard USS Providence. I had orders for another submarine but they were changed while I was on leave. I was called at my home and told I needed to report to USS Providence within a week. I was unable to obtain any more information than this even when I contacted the submarine. I spent a few hectic days trying to rearrange my travel plans in order to get to Connecticut in time. It was not until I reported aboard, did I know when and where the ship was deploying.
In the case of Project MOGUL, Randle is correct that there was absolutely nothing classified about the materials in the flights them- selves. The NYU team even described their efforts to develop constant altitude balloons in the August 1948 Journal of Meteorol- ogy. A close examination of that document reveals that there was no mention of the payload involved and the purpose of the flights. They could not do this because of the classification of that information. The purpose of MOGUL was to listen for the sounds of distant nuclear detonations in the Soviet Union by placing balloons at a constant altitude where the sounds could be heard a half world away. Mentioning that information would reveal that the United States knew that the Soviets were going to detonate a nuclear device and how they could detect them. Such an operation also would reveal that the United States went to such extremes because they did not know what was transpiring behind “the iron curtain”.
Several of the crashed spaceship proponents seem to try and associate the various stories told about security sweeps, military per- sonnel guarding the highway, and death threats as part of the security tied to project MOGUL. I am unaware of skeptics suggesting that all of these stories were part of the security designed to protect MOGUL. None of these stories can be positively proven and the sources of these stories are all anecdotal. The 1947 media accounts mentioned no significant security actions of this kind. Most skeptics simply dismiss them as part of the evolving myth that is Roswell.
However, there were stories told by Marcel and Dubose that seem to indicate there was a concern for security. Marcel stated he was not to talk about it any more and Dubose stated they needed to “get the press off their backs”. All of this can possibly be traced back to OPSEC regarding MOGUL. The goal of the OPSEC was to deflect attention by the press from the NYU team operations. This may have been done as part of a master plan, independently by different groups, or simply by accident based on other reasons (For example, a publicity campaign designed to put a positive spin on a simple mistake):
1. A demonstration for the press was staged by personnel at Alamogordo Army Air Field, which showed them launching balloons with ML-307 reflectors. The NYU team’s efforts were not mentioned and it was stated the flights were for training purposes. One could consider this OPSEC in action. They wanted to give a source for the flights. Otherwise, somebody in the press might have poked around and discovered that somebody else was launching these balloons and the purpose was not simply for training.
2. Jesse Marcel complained to interviewers that the press only saw a small portion of the debris. The photographs at Fort Worth reflect this statement. This may have been on purpose or by accident. Dubose stated they wanted to call it a weather balloon to get the press off the story. Had they presented a large quantity of debris (many balloons/reflectors, and other items), the press might have begun to ask more questions than Ramey desired and conclude it was not just a simple weather balloon. This could be considered a possible source of OPSEC to prevent reporters from trying to locate the true source and purpose of the debris.
3. There even may have even been a bit of OPSEC with Mack Brazel. The one item that might be unique regarding the flight was the sonobuoy. We don’t know if he recovered it or if it was ever found. However, had he located it and mentioned it, it might, once again, bring up some interest of the press. It is possible that Mack Brazel (and possibly Jesse Marcel) were told not to mention the sonobuoy as it might hint at the purpose of the flight. We don’t have any evidence that this occurred but it seems plausible it might have happened and later be misinterpreted as something more sinister.
In the MOGUL hypothesis, the only concern about security would be that the media might discover the true origin and purpose of the flight. The efforts to preserve OPSEC may have been the source of these stories of concerns about security told many years later.
It was impossible to get there
The current “end-all” argument is that the balloons could NEVER have made it to the Foster ranch debris field. Back in the mid- 1990s, Professor Charles Moore had presented a trajectory that indicated the flight could make it to the Foster Ranch. His work has been criticized heavily by the crashologists. In some cases, they have good reason to be critical. Some of the math is incorrect and the tables in the book for the flight do not make sense. When Dave Thomas talked to him, Professor Moore admitted that the data and his calculations were poorly presented. He also added that his trajectory was only a qualitative test and not a quantitative one. Moore was only trying to demonstrate how the balloons might have gotten to the Foster Ranch. It was not an effort to prove the balloon flight positively made it to the ranch.
Since then, many proponents have computed their own trajectories and have concluded that it was impossible/extremely unlikely for the balloons to reach the Foster Ranch for various reasons. Many of them involve the ascent rates of the balloons, the speeds/ directions of the winds, and the duration of the flight. I am not going to spend pages discussing in detail these specific arguments but it is important to note that all these values are variables that can not be defined to the point that an absolute conclusion can be drawn:
• Winds can vary in speed with time and distance. They can also shift direction by several degrees or more.
• The ascent/descent rates of these balloon trains can also vary as demonstrated by flight #5’s initial rapid ascent rate and rapid descent rate from the stratosphere. In the July 1947 progress report, the authors noted that altitude control squibs failed to work several times at high altitudes during these early June tests. These are probably the squibs used to release the lifter bal- loons. If these failed to work during the June 4th flight, then the balloons would have risen much faster than expected.
• The duration of the flight can be affected by how long the balloons were exposed to the sun.
Creating an accurate flight trajectory with so many variables would be difficult. There may even be other unknown variables. A potential wind shift or current may have been missed in the pilot balloon data (which was launched over 30 miles south of Alamog- ordo) used to compute the trajectory. The NYU team noted this when flight #11 did not perform as one might have expected:
Another striking feature of the flight is the disagreement between the actual flight path and the trajectory which might have been esti- mated from routine upper-wind reports. Reports from El Paso, Roswell, Albuquerque and White Sands were used for comparison with the observed trajectory. Except for White Sands, none of these stations reported any wind from the WSW at or near the floating level during the 12-hour period covered by the flight. At White Sands a very shallow current was detected moving in the direction indicated by the balloon flight. This clearly demonstrates the non-representativeness of the ordinary pilot balloon observations.22
We can also examine how well modern computer programs can predict the flight path of a balloon. The Saskatoon amateur radio club flies high altitude balloons frequently. Their web site recaps each flight. Many of their flights have predicted tracks based on computer programs that have the latest data available. One would think it would be very accurate but it isn’t. While the general ground tracks are reasonably close, some of the flights landed over 10 miles away from their predicted landing area. If one can not compute the precise flight path of a single balloon using local data and modern computer technology, what chance is there that one can compute a conclusive trajectory of a flight using dozens of balloons and limited information? The best one might hope to do is predict a very general landing area that would have a large margin for error!
Based on this information can one really conclusively state the balloons could not have made it to the Foster ranch? In order to falsify the MOGUL hypothesis, one needs to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that the balloons could NEVER have made it to the Foster Ranch. Since the general direction of the tropospheric winds that morning were towards the NE/ENE and the Foster Ranch was NNE of Alamogordo AFB, it seems to indicate that a trajectory of some kind is possible. Without more data/information it is hard to say either way.
Connecting the dots
The important points that have been raised by the skeptics is that there are multiple reasons to suspect that this “cluster of bal- loons” may have made it to the Foster ranch site. All one has to do is examine how the recovered “disc” was described and re- corded in 1947:
1. Mack Brazel (confirmed by his daughter Bessie in 1993) described finding large quantities of rubber and remains of, what ap- pears to be, radar reflectors.
2. Jesse Marcel is quoted in 1947 news papers as finding debris that matches what we see in the photographs.
3. The photographs show balloon materials that had been left out in the sun for a long period of time (see SUNlite 4-4 and 4-5) as well as the types of radar reflectors known to be used by the NYU team.
4. The news wires, which are the very first news reports regarding the story, mentioned that the disc was made of tin foil and was only a few feet across.
5. The FBI teletype stated that the “disc” was supported by a very large balloon of twenty feet (this estimate may have been based on the amount of rubber found and not finding a single piece of rubber this size).
While the crashed space ship proponents consider all of these items part of the grand conspiracy to hide the truth, an equally com- pelling argument is that these were descriptions and photographs of the actual debris that was recovered. This argument does not have to assume a vast conspiracy for which there is no evidence. There is also no evidence, other than stories told decades later, that it is not the debris that was recovered.
The NYU team was the only group flying balloon clusters in New Mexico during this time period and it makes them the likely source. The only flights not recovered from these May/June operations were the “cluster of balloons” launched on June 4th and a test bal- loon flight on the 29th of May. We are not positive what each flight contained but the recovery of debris similar to the type used by the NYU on these flights implies that one of these balloon clusters may have made it to the ranch on some form of trajectory.
A different perspective
It is no surprise that Kevin Randle can convince himself, and others that do not need convincing, that these arguments seal the fate of the project MO- GUL explanation. However, when viewing his “facts” from “a different per- spective”, we discover that they don’t appear so compelling. In some cases, there is evidence that indicates that they are not facts but biased interpreta- tion of documentation or opinion. Dismissing other possibilities without good evidence is the same close-minded approach that skeptics are accused of taking when accepting the MOGUL explanation and rejecting the crashed spaceship scenario.
The whole idea of the MOGUL theory offered by the USAF/Todd/Pflock/ Moore is that it is the most likely source for the debris described and pho- tographed in 1947. The NYU team used the same types of materials in their balloon flights prior to July of 1947. It does not mean MOGUL is the only pos- sible source of the debris but, based on what we know, it is the most probable source. If some evidence were unearthed that either produces a more reasonable solution or conclusively falsifies the MOGUL hypothesis, skeptics would be more than willing to accept it. However, that evidence has to be verifiable and not based on specula- tion, biased interpretation, opinions, or guesswork. As Lance Moody pointed out, there is a difference between supposition and fact.
The ball remains in the dream team’s court to provide more conclusive evidence to falsify the project MOGUL scenario or support the crashed spaceship solution. Until that occurs, the best working hypothesis for the debris recovered at the Foster ranch remains
to be project MOGUL.
Quelle: SUNlite 5/2013