One Flying Saucer Is Caught But It's Just Weather Kite
FORT WORTH, Texas, July 8 (AP)--A "flying disc" was reported found Tuesday in New Mexico, but was rudely stripped of its glamor by a Fort Worth army airfield weather officer who identified it as a weather balloon.
(Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, commander of the Eighth air force with headquarters here, confirmed the identification in a radio broadcast Tuesday night as the object excited a quick storm of interest across the nation.)
Warrant Officer Irving Newton of Medford, Wis., a forecaster at the base weather station, said the device was a ray wind [sic] target used to determine the direction and velocity of winds at high altitudes.
Newton said there were some 80 weather stations in the United States using this type of balloon, and it could have come from any one of them. "We use them because they can go so much higher than the eye can see," Newton explained. A radar set is employed to follow the balloon and through a process of triangulation the winds aloft are charted, he added.
When rigged up, Newton stated, the object looks like a six-pointed star, is silvery in appearance, and rises in the air like a kite, mounted to a 100-gram balloon.
Newton said he had sent up identical balloons in this one during the invasion of Okinawa to determine ballistics information for heavy guns.
The weather device was flown to Fort Worth army airfield by a B-29 from Roswell army airfield at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the command of General Ramey.
It had been found three weeks previously by a New Mexico rancher, W. W. Brazell [sic], on his property about 85 miles northwest of Roswell. Brazell, whose ranch is 30 miles from the nearest telephone and has no radio, knew nothing about flying discs when he found the broken remains of the weather device scattered over a square mile of his land.
He bundled the tinfoil and broken wooden beams of the kite and the torn synthetic rubber remains on the balloon together and rolled it under some brush, according to Maj. Jesse A. Marcel, Houma, La., 509th Bomb Group intelligence officer at Roswell, who brought the device to Fort Worth.
On a trip to town at Corona, N.M., Saturday night, Brazell heard the first reference to the "silver" flying disks, Maj. Marcel related.
Brazell hurried home, dug up the remnants of the kite balloon on Sunday, and Monday headed for Roswell to report his find to the sheriff's office.
This resulted in a call to Roswell Army Air Field and to Maj. Marcel's being assigned to the case. Marcel and Brazell journeyed back to the ranch, where Marcel took the object into custody of the army.
After Col. William H. Blanchard, 509th Commanding Officer, reported the incident to Gen. Ramey, he was ordered to dispatch the object to Fort Worth Army Air Field immediately.
About that time word broke from Roswell that a flying disc finally had been found.
The AAF at Roswell first announced the discovery with a straight face, climaxing weeks of reports over the country of strange circular discs seen skimming at high speed.
But AAF headquarters in Washington, after telephonic consultations with officers at Roswell who have seen the material, quickly cast doubt, declaring:
"There is a strong opinion by officers who saw the object, after consulting with weather experts, that it may be a meteorological device." The definite identification followed:
The material had been described as of flimsy construction about 25 feet in diameter, covered with tinfoil-like substance and built on a framework of light wood. It was badly battered.
"I don't say these devices are what people have called discs," General Ramey said. "There is no such gadget (as the disc) known to the army--at least this far down the line."
The balloons measure 50 inches across but expand greatly as they ascend, airforce officers reported. They sometimes reach 60,000 feet.
The red face in the story belonged to Lieut. Walter Haupt [sic], public information officer at Roswell army air field, who announced flatly at mid-afternoon that the Roswell army airfield had gained possession of a flying disc.
Roswell is in southeast New Mexico.
This is mostly the standard AP story that emerged later in the evening out of Fort Worth after Gen. Ramey had his weather officer (Newton) officially identify what was in his office
This is standard AP reporting of Newton's comments in Ramey's office. The AP may have had somebody there.
Most evidence indicates that the flight was actually in the afternoon, although the order to fly the debris was probably given in the morning.
Probably a statement from Major Marcel, since he said it 30 years later as well. How does Gen. Ramey's singular radar target and weather balloon spread itself over a square mile?
If the object was dispatched to Fort Worth at about the same time as the press release from Roswell, then, which was mid-afternoon, then the object could not be flown to Fort Worth at 10:00, as stated in the paragraph above. The story contradicts itself internally.
** These two paragraphs are not found in the usual AP stories. Here the claim is that the debris was IDed at Roswell after consultation with Washington. But Ramey was simultan- eously calling it a weather balloon without consultation with anybody.
The 25-foot diameter description is found in many AP stories and is completely incompatible with what was actually shown. The radar targets were only 4 feet across.
According to other stories, Ramey made these statements on the radio afterwards.
Again Haut is made the scapegoat for the press release.