FBI Telegram, July 8, 1947
The telegram below from the FBI Dallas office was sent to the Washington headquarters on July 8, 1947 at 6:17 pm Central Time (probably Standard Time).  It is the only known government document directly relating to Roswell that has ever been found.  (A higher-resolution pdf version of this telegram can be downloaded from the FBI Freedom of Information Web site -- click here)

(See also possibly related, March 22, 1950 FBI memo about 3 crashed New Mexico saucers, being heavily discussed in March/April 2011.)

Although blacked out in this copy, the 8th AAF contact person with the FBI is known to have been Major Edwin Kirton (misspelled as "Curtan" in the telegram), one of Gen. Ramey's intelligence officers.  Kirton seems to have been one of Ramey's key media spokespersons, because he was also contacted and quoted by the press on at least two occasions.  This in itself is somewhat odd, because normally such a task would be handled by a public information officer, not an intelligence officer.

Reuters news agency may have been the first to contact Kirton, since his statements to Reuters are the least definitive compared to those made elsewhere.  Reuters identified Kirton as a nondescript "duty officer," not an intelligence officer, and said that his statements represented quotes from Ramey.  In the Reuters article, Kirton did not specifically identify the recovered object..  Instead he gave a physical description very similar to that given the FBI but said nothing about it being or resembling a radar target. He did say it might be a weather balloon, but one not allegedly recognizable by anybody at the base as "an army type balloon,"  However, not only did Ramey early on sometimes identify the debris as resembling a radar target (see e.g., San Francisco Examiner and early UP story in the San Francisco News), when Ramey announced the official identification, he was quoted as saying that it "definitely was a United States Army device." (see AP main story)  As was often the case, the story being given the press was inconsistent.

At 5:30 p.m., about 45 minutes prior to the sending of the FBI telegram, the Dallas Morning News reported they had spoken to the same Major Kirton.  This time Kirton was identified as a base intelligence officer and wasn't waffling about the object's identity.  Kirton told the newspaper that the object was definitely a rawin-type weather balloon, it resembled a six-pointed star, the identification was final, and that the special flight to Wright Field was no longer necessary. 

Kirton's revised remarks about it definitely being a rawin target, resembling a six-pointed star, and the flight being canceled sounded remarkably the same as the identification and description provided by Ramey's weather office Irving Newton plus Ramey's announcement of the Wright Field flight being canceled immediately following Newton's definitive identification.  The problem here is the time given by the Dallas Morning News of 5:30 p.m. for when Kirton spoke with them.  This was only two hours after the Roswell base press release and  possibly before Newton was brought into Ramey's office to make the identification official.  Furthermore, it wasn't until 4:53 p.m. that the AP first mentioned anything about Ramey sending the object on to Wright Field. (see AP chronology)  Ramey didn't announce that the flight was canceled until later. Kirton seemed to be giving out the official definitive identification and flight cancellation story prematurely.

In addition, the FBI,  was told a different story from the newspapers.  In the telegram, Kirton had also apparently told the FBI that the recovered "disk" was a radar reflector and its balloon and provided a physical description similar to that given Reuters.  But in contrast to the Morning News, Kirton told the FBI that the "disk and balloon" were "being transported to Wright Field by special plane for examination."

The transmission time of this telegram was 6:17 p.m., probably central standard time.  Even making allowances for a reasonable time lag between the FBI's conversations with Kirton and the transmittal time of the telegram summarizing the conversations, it seems that the FBI was being told privately that the flight was on, while almost simultaneously Kirton was publicly stating that the flight was canceled.

This isn't the only inconsistency between the public and internal statements.  Publicly the device was identified as definitely being a common meteorological radar reflector.  But in the FBI telegram immediately after the phrase 'the object resembled a high-altitude weather balloon with a radar reflector..." is the curious addendum:  "but  ... telephonic conversation between their office and Wright Field had not borne out this belief."

The 1994/95 Air Force Roswell report included the first part of the quote, about the object resembling a weather balloon/radar reflector, but somehow failed to complete the statement, about how Wright Field disagreed.  This is yet one more example of the disingenuous propaganda techniques employed by Air Force debunkers in their report.

Since the Fort Worth photos are obviously those of a common single weather balloon and its radar reflector then why would Wright Field disagree with this assessment?  What exactly was described to Wright Field anyway?  Why would Gen. Ramey and his minions originally tell the press that the special flight to Wright Field had been canceled, yet tell the FBI almost simultaneously that it was underway?

Another issue raised in the FBI telegram is at the end.  Wright Field was to advise the Cincinnati FBI office the results of its examination.  A search by the General Accounting Office in 1994 of FBI files failed to uncover any documents indicating that the FBI was further informed of anything.  This represents yet one more piece of missing Roswell documentation that should have been there but isn't.

Other documents in the FBI UFO "X-files" indicate that there was a great deal of friction between military intelligence and the FBI during this period.  Although there was some cooperation, including a joint UFO investigation started the next day out of the public eye, generally the FBI was kept at arm's length from the most serious UFO information. (For an article summarizing this antagonist relationship, click here.)  They were utilized for and kept informed on mostly trivial matters.  There are several memos with FBI head J. Edgar Hoover grousing about this in subsequent months and finally angrily ending most FBI cooperation in October, 1947, after an infamous Air Force "toilet seat" memorandum (they wanted the FBI to investigate only those cases involving "toilet seats," etc.)

One trivial case occurred the following month. An obviously hoaxed "disk" was sent by the FBI to Wright Field for examination  What's interesting about this is that Wright Field did write a report and send it to the FBI.  Furthermore, the report from Wright Field indicated that they obviously spent a great deal of time examining the hoax object, including running down the origin of some its components (an old radio). Yet the FBI was not similarly informed of the results of examination of the so-called Roswell "disc," even though the Cincinnati FBI office was promised such results in the FBI Roswell telegram.

Another interesting aspect is that this report mentions the supposedly Top-Secret "Mogul Project" by name, even though the report itself is classified at only a low "Confidential" level.  An internal FBI memo from a month later summarizing this investigation likewise mentions "Operation Mogul" four different times. With the supposedly "Top Secret" Mogul name being bandied about so cavalierly, it would seem the project wasn't quite so secret or sensitive as the present-day Air Force debunkers have tried to depict.  Clearly the FBI already knew about Project Mogul.  Therefore any secrecy about Mogul was not the reason the FBI received no further information about examination of the Roswell "disc" flown on to Wright field.

About the only thing that seems to have been truly secret about Mogul was its official purpose.as a means of long-range detection of future Soviet nuclear tests.  Perhaps it also developed a secondary unofficial purpose along the way -- as a red herring for UFO incidents.
See also Post-1947 Roswell references for a little more information on next memo.