OFFICERS SAY DISK IS WEATHER BALLOON
OBJECT FOUND ON FOSTER RANCH CAUSES EXCITEMENT
Roswell bounced into the international news scene yesterday when a Flying Disc was reported 85 miles northwest of town and 25 miles from Corona, by W. W. Brazel.
And until the Eighth Air force headquarters in Fort Worth announced that the disk was nothing more than a weather balloon, the entire U. S. and England seethed with curiosity over the report, and the Roswell telephone company was busy handling calls from every city in this country and several from across the sea.
However, after the remains were examined in the Air Force headquarters, Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey made the announcement that the excitement was in vain.
The object was flown from Roswell to Fort Worth by RAAF B-25 [sic] where it was identified by Warrant Officer Irving Newton of Medford, Wis., of the base weather station.
General Ramey said that several of the balloons were released daily according to changes in the weather.
Suspended from the balloons are kites or six-sided stars, covered with a shiny material such as tinfoil. These objects are traced by radar and computations from the radar reveal air currents.
The object found in New Mexico was badly damaged.
The balloons measure 50 inches across but expand greatly as they ascend, air force officers reported. They sometimes reach 60,000 feet.the kites and stars generally are more than five feet in diameter.
The balloon and the object it carries are technically known as "ray wind high altitude sounding devices," popularly known as "weather radar target."
General Ramey said the object found in New Mexico definitely was a United States army device.
Plans to fly the object to Wright Field for further investigations were cancelled.
A public relations officer said it was in his office "and it'll probably stay right there."
General Ramey spoke over a Fort Worth radio station (WBAP) last night after the Eighth Air force headquarters was flooded with queries concerning the object.
In his broadcast, he said that anyone who found an object they believed to be a "flying disc" should contact the nearest army office or sheriff's office.
Later, he said that the weather device could be mistaken for almost anything when seen in the air.
"I don't say these devices are what people have called discs." He said, "There is no such gadget (as the disc) known to the army, at least this far down the line."
Warrant Officer Newton said there were some 80 weather stations in the United States using this type of balloon.
"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 to this one during the invasion of Okinawa to determine ballistics information for heavy guns.
The weather device was flown to Fort Worth army air field by B-25 [sic] from Roswell army air field at 10 a.m., Tuesday at the command of Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey, 8th Air Force commanding officer here.
It had been found three weeks previously by a New Mexico rancher W. W. Brazel on his property 85 miles northwest of Roswell. Brazell [sic], whose ranch is 30 miles form the nearest telephone and has no radio, knew nothing about flying disks 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 of the balloon together and rolled it under some brush, according to Major Jesse A. Marcel, Houma, La., 509th Bomb Group intelligence officer at Roswell, who brought the device to FWAAF.
On a trip to town at Corona, N.M., Saturday night Brazel heard the first reference to the "silver" flying disks, Major Marcel related.
Brazell [sic] hurried home, dug up the remnants of the kite and 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 Major Marcel's being assigned to the case. Marcel and Brazel journeyed back to the ranch, where Marcel took the object into the custody of the army.
After Col. William H. Blanchard, 509th commanding officer, reported the incident to General Ramey, he was ordered to dispatch the object to Fort Worth immediately.
About that time, George Walsh, program director of radio station KSWS, made the announcement after receiving word from the Public Relations office at the Roswell Army Air Field.
"The many rumors regarding the Flying Disk became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb group was fortunate enough to gain possession of the disk," the public relations officer said.
As soon as George Walsh, program direction of the radio station KSWS released the news story from the Roswell Army Air Field yesterday concerning the finding of a "flying disc," the Roswell Morning Dispatch began receiving telephone calls from newspapers all over the United States. Included in the calls were the Chicago Tribune and the Milwaukee, Wis., Journal.
On the Milwaukee call after the business of the call was dispensed with the caller asked Art McQuiddy, our managing editor, "How hot is it in Roswell now?"
"Ninety-two degrees," was Art's answer. "Well," said the voice on the other end of the line. "How would you like to have some of Milwaukee's seventy-six degrees."
"You go to hell," was the only answer art was able to make. "You go," said the voice. "You're closer to it."
There is little new here from this local Roswell newspaper. It is basically a slightly rewritten main AP account.
They got Brazel's name spelled right, instead of the UP's "Brizelle" or AP's "Brazell".
Both Roswell papers made an issue of the calls and interest from England (see the accompanying Sheriff Wilcox stories in the Dispatch and Roswell Daily Record). Items like this document witness memories of the phones ringing off the hook immediately after the press release.
Everybody else said a Superfortress or B-29. The Dispatch made this mistake twice and the why is unclear.
After their customized introduction, the rest of the story is almost entirely word-for-word AP main Roswell story.
The second instance of the Dispatch erroneously reported a B-25 flight instead of a B-29. AP's early 10 am flight report remains intact.
The Dispatch started off spelling the name right, but revert here to the misspelling by the AP in their story.
This has been slightly rewritten to mention the local reporter who broke the story for the AP. Walsh said he phoned the press release into the AP bureau office in Albuquerque. Walsh was mentioned in the earliest AP accounts, but he dropped out of subsequent stories.
The Morning Dispatch was one of the four Roswell news outlets receiving the base press release, but this is all they have to say about it, straight from the AP. Therefore, we don't know if this is exactly what the Dispatch received. Versions from the UP and Roswell Morning Record are not the same.
Some more on the deluge of calls from all over the country after the press release. The Chicago Tribune wrote their own story, but there was no independent account in the Milwaukee Journal. The Dispatch probably had nothing new to add that wasn't already being said by the wire services. They didn't seem to go after the story. Editor McQuiddy later said the story was already dead by the time they published it the next morning.
A little local color here, but nothing in the way of real news.