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Pentagon confirms the existence of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force

Orionblamblam

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The whole power of the Roman Empire would have been unable to replicate a humble Fiat 500:
-Precision mechanics, special alloys, electric system, battery, lamps, radio, plastic isolants, fuel fracking.
Rome wasn't big on science, just engineering. If someone could enshrine the scientific method into the Roman Empire at its peak - during Marcus Aurelius's day, perhaps - then given time the Romans probably would have been able to figure out the Fiat 500. And then they would ahve exceeded it.

 

edwest

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You're still missing the point. Why have any balloons in the air over the US? Also, as air traffic increased, including airborne radars, such nuisance balloons are not what you keep sending jet fighters up for. It was Russian bombers. The first being a copy of the B-29, of which the Russians had acquired four copies during the war. Briefings must have been a little humorous for those in the know.

"Gentlemen. The Russian bombers look like our B-29, except they have this red star..."

I think I would have been a tad confused if I was a pilot sitting there. And more confused after seeing a few drawings of what was a B-29 in Russian markings.
You're still missing a grasp on the technical issues that make balloons difficult to detect and intercept and
what induced the US to use them for recon, in various forms, against the USSR through the 1950's.

Mogul was Top Secret.

I can't find any evidence that US intelligence knew about the Tu-4 before its August 1947 public debut.

Regarding the Tu-4, it is still unclear when US intelligence may have known. But back to balloons. Getting away from radar, say a balloon is spotted over the US and reported. You can A. Ignore the report or B. Send someone up to take a look. Overwhelming an enemy's antiaircraft with false targets, balloons, was a concern. So was jamming civilian phone lines with multiple UFO reports. That was extrapolated by US intelligence as "send in the balloons, confuse everyone, and then send in the bombers right behind." It was among various attack scenarios the Russians might use.

Back to the Tu-4, look at the dates.

June 1947, flying saucers announced.
July, a 'flying disk' is now in the possession of the US Army (explain that) or a top secret balloon. And if a top secret balloon landed on a ranch, a simple clean up, "don't ask us any questions, we'll be done removing this soon" and everyone forgets it happened. You can even swear the rancher to secrecy.
August, the Tu-4 makes its debut.

So August 1947 was the time to sound the alarm. US military planners complained about a "bomber gap" in the 1950s followed by a "missile gap." Their claimed lack of knowledge meant military planners went on the assumption that Russian equipment was as good as ours. After all, why get into a fair fight if you can avoid it?

Back to the subject. I can guarantee that the US Air Force and US Navy were always interested in UFOs, always interested in new developments by the enemy, and that this current UAP thing will yield exactly zero new information in the months to come.
 
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marauder2048

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Regarding the Tu-4, it is still unclear when US intelligence may have known. But back to balloons. Getting away from radar, say a balloon is spotted over the US and reported. You can A. Ignore the report or B. Send someone up to take a look. Overwhelming an enemy's antiaircraft with false targets, balloons, was a concern. So was jamming civilian phone lines with multiple UFO reports. That was extrapolated by US intelligence as "send in the balloons, confuse everyone, and then send in the bombers right behind." It was among various attack scenarios the Russians might use.

Back to the Tu-4, look at the dates.

June 1947, flying saucers announced.
July, a 'flying disk' is now in the possession of the US Army (explain that) or a top secret balloon. And if a top secret balloon landed on a ranch, a simple clean up, "don't ask us any questions, we'll be done removing this soon" and everyone forgets it happened. You can even swear the rancher to secrecy.
August, the Tu-4 makes its debut.

So August 1947 was the time to sound the alarm. US military planners complained about a "bomber gap" in the 1950s followed by a "missile gap." Their claimed lack of knowledge meant military planners went on the assumption that Russian equipment was as good as ours. After all, why get into a fair fight if you can avoid it?

Back to the subject. I can guarantee that the US Air Force and US Navy were always interested in UFOs, always interested in new developments by the enemy, and that this current UAP thing will yield exactly zero new information in the months to come.
Mogul was Top Secret meaning there could be no references to it in the Twining memo; US use of balloons for military
purposes would have had similar secrecy restrictions; offensive uses might have included WMD as payloads.

In a period before intercontinental bombers, there were not many options for striking the Soviet Union with
bombers that didn't involve shuttle-bombing or one-way trips. Recall, 1946 - 1950 was a period of drastically
reduced military budgets and a US administration that was wobbly on the Soviet threat.

VENONA is evidence of massive Soviet penetration into technically sensitive areas; this was known by the late 40's.

Coupled with things like the Tu-4 and FELLOW COUNTRYMEN in the post-war British Socialists Labour government that
*gave* the Russians things like jet engines it was not unreasonable to believe that Soviet military technology was near-peer.

So balloons were a logical and cheap means of near-intercontinental attack given the difficultly in detecting and intercepting them.
 

marauder2048

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Minor tangent: a really silly 2016 article entitled "Technically Speaking: Stealth Before Stealth" by one Bill Sweetman claimed:

These sources indicate that in the early 1950s, members of Britain’s Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough started
looking at what they called “radar echoing area”—the term “RCS” was not yet in use.
and here I am looking at a 20 February 1945 Naval Research Laboratory analysis of Japanese balloon "radar cross sections"
for S-band and X-band radars.

So technically, balloons were stealth before stealth; (L)O-for-life.
 
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Justo Miranda

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The whole power of the Roman Empire would have been unable to replicate a humble Fiat 500:
-Precision mechanics, special alloys, electric system, battery, lamps, radio, plastic isolants, fuel fracking.
Rome wasn't big on science, just engineering. If someone could enshrine the scientific method into the Roman Empire at its peak - during Marcus Aurelius's day, perhaps - then given time the Romans probably would have been able to figure out the Fiat 500. And then they would ahve exceeded it.

I like super-glide suspension
 

Justo Miranda

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Intelligence report of 1948 about the production of high purity calcium metal at I.G. Farben-Bitterfeld (East Germany) to help the Soviets produce 60 tons of metallic uranium per month and to produce enough plutonium to fuel a nuclear device.

On April 1948, Stuart Symington, Secretary of U.S. Air Force, was expressing his concern about the construction in Chukotskii-Siberia of new bases for the Tupolev Tu-4 strategic bombers of the Dal’naya Aviatsiya.

The Air Force Directorate of Intelligence recommended a programme of border reconnaissance flying outside Soviet territory, using oblique photographic techniques.

Some Boeing RB-29 and PB4Y2 Privateer long range spyplanes were used in Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) missions over the Baltic Sea and the Sea of Japan and one RF-80A from Misawa AFB was used in photographic sorties over Sakhalin, Kuriles and Vladivostok.
 

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Holloman AFB (New Mexico)

Between 4 June, 1947 and 5 October, 1948 under the codename Project Mogul, the USAAF conducted eight US overflying long range detection tests of Soviet nuclear detonations, using high-altitude weather balloons that carried low frequency acoustic detectors to the stratosphere.
 

Justo Miranda

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Read up on the history of the first few internal combustion engines. The steam engine was applied to civilian vehicles. The Roman Empire would have understood that. Then when gasoline was used, they would have understood the progression. That "stuff' oozing out of the ground here and there could be refined and used for fuel. Not a great leap.
Exception?
 

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RanulfC

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The thing that gets me about all this UFO business / nonsense (delete as appropriate...) is why are all these UFOs crashing? Our aeroplanes manage to avoid crashing too regularly so why do hyper-advanced pan galactic civilisations have such reliability issues....? ;)
A quarter century ago I explained to a friend that the whole idea was as ridiculous as a P-51 Mustang shooting down the USS Enterprise. And for a few years that got me thinking, and I had an idea for a short-ish story. Some physics whiz-kid is recruited straight out of college to Area 51, where he is shown the crashed alien spacecraft from Roswell. His studies relate to the FTL drive the Army recovered, so he's set to work trying to reverse engineer it. Eventually the team realizes that such a system can be made with modern tech, but:
1: It will be ruinously expensive, requiring large amounts of extremely rare elements
2: It will have a top speed of something like 1.5 c
3: It will require the equivalent of the entire US power grid to keep functioning
4: Amazingly radioactive

So, some of the team are thrilled: FTL is possible. Our Hero, however, doesn't like it, so he transfers to another department; studying the material the crashed vessel is made of. The various bits are proven to be incredibly tough; so tough as to shrug off all attempts at analysis. Can't melt it with anything short of a nuclear blast, can't drill it, cut it, tear it. But Our Hero wonders why, if the ship was so incredibly tough, it kerploded into bits when it crashed... to do that much damage would have required an H-bomb. Our Hero eventually concludes that the alien spaceship was *planted* here. The aliens saw humans enter the atomic age and decided that we are sufficiently scary as to require being kept out of the Galactic Federation for as long as possible. So rather than contact us and give us the warp drive that can be built in a well equipped home workshop and powered by a Briggs & Stratton, or allowing us to figure that system out for ourselves and then swarm out into the heavens spreading our hijinks all over, they deliberately gave us the *worst* form of hyperdrive ever invented. Overly complex, expensive and power-ravenous, but clearly functional. And clearly what the aliens are using, so it *must* be what works. Keep the monkey-boys busy with the crap-drive, and they'll be tied up in knots for generations.
Similarly I read a short story in Analog a number of years, (oh all right, decades) ago called "The Paper Virus". Personnel on a Space Station near Venus are sending a series of probes in gravity sling-shots around the sun. One scientist in particular seems gleefully intent on "finally answering the question of certain mathematical anomalies" that appear in "high energy states" that seem to indicate a possibility of FTL flight. Well he expends a bunch of probes and for some reason most of them fail but the few that come back provide enough data to "put the issue to bed and disprove the FTL theories" though there are still some questions. One of the others working on the station points out that some of the 'failed' probes can be recovered which would add to the experiment. "Famous scientist" refuses and closes down the project budget because the 'questions' have been answered and any data carried by the failed probes is likely corrupted.

Through a bunch of intrigue and one murder it comes to pass that the experiment in question and the data being gathered have been sabotaged by a Galactic Government as it is the basis that leads to FTL travel. Several of the scientists involved in the experiment, (including the Famous Scientist") were working to ensure that it was made clear that that avenue of research and development was a "dead end" by inserting what a character calls a "Paper Virus" into that field of science.

He points out in an info-dump that by cherry-picking data and limiting the number of data points the "Famous Scientist" could then "disprove" that line of research which would be solid enough to deter "at least several generations" of scientist looking for FTL from pursuing that line of research because it had already been 'proven' false. In fact several of the 'lost' probes show obvious anomalies and divergent data-sets that would have supported further work on the project. The fact they also display what appears to be weapons damage suggests the subjects that have been 'caught' are far from the only personnel involved in the sabotage.

It end with the humans making some significant strides towards a FTL driver and also finding out that the Galactics are not THAT far ahead of humanity and as the drive allows you to pop in and out of FTL space the ship carrying the "Famous Scientist" back to Earth for interrogation finds itself and it's escorts being haunted by an intermittent contact that appears to be an alien ship doing just that. Unfortunately for the aliens the FTL drive ONLY grants faster than light travel in a "hyperspace" and they depend on a reaction drive for regular maneuvering... And the human drive is very much superior to theirs as well as their weapons :)

In general a very interesting story and it introduced me to the concept of the "paper virus" which is an actual issue at times in "real life" with some 'expert opinions' taken (and often taught as) proven facts.

Now this not being long enough.. :)

I've written an outline of a story where humans have developed a version of the "Warp Drive" and nobody else has it. Why? Because they come to the same point as humanity where a working and experimentally provable theory of how the universe works which declares that FTL travel isn't possible in any plausible manner. So while research goes on almost everyone has simply moved on to advanced sub-light drives or stayed at home. But Humans have this obsession with this early period fantasy-fiction entertainment piece that had FTL travel using something called a "Warp Drive" to the point where they went and actually built one and are zipping around the universe with the damn thing.

It's mostly to give me a background for some possible stories set in the "WarpWar" game among other things but I like to think it's a neat concept :)

Randy
 

Orionblamblam

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I've written an outline of a story where humans have developed a version of the "Warp Drive" and nobody else has it. Why? Because they come to the same point as humanity where a working and experimentally provable theory of how the universe works which declares that FTL travel isn't possible in any plausible manner. So while research goes on almost everyone has simply moved on to advanced sub-light drives or stayed at home. But Humans have this obsession with this early period fantasy-fiction entertainment piece that had FTL travel using something called a "Warp Drive" to the point where they went and actually built one and are zipping around the universe with the damn thing.
That's how Turtledove's "Worldwar" series ended in the final novel "Homeward Bound." Stupid humans build themselves a FTL ship and pay a visit to the homeworld of the ossified alien empire that has spent a hundred thousand years not only believing itself to the the pinnacle of the universe, but also that FTL was impossible. Bonus round: the first human ship to reach the alien homeworld does so via sub-FTL slowboat... and then releases rats into the native ecosystem, causing a ruckus.
 

marauder2048

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There is the semi-serious Karl Pflock thesis that those impossible-to-explain-away-except-as-a-hoax sightings
were ET:

They came.
They saw.
They studied (some of the alien grad students got drunk and accidentally abducted Betty and Barney Hill).

Then they left.

Face it: We're not that interesting or threatening except in some Project Orion doomsday vessel
that gets to Proxima Centauri in a couple of decades.
 

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Life is the only way for the Universe to know itself. What is the point of Sombrero Galaxy if no one can take their hat off in front of her? While we look at habitable zones of planets and theorize if there might be sustainable life forms , let`s look at it the other way round- is it possible to have a life friendly habitable zone and not having life on it? Can we find such systems?
Most likely life itself is more ubiquitous than tax inspectors. Of course, the first signs for intelligent life stem from curiosity. And tools that reciprocate.
Knowing how vast the Universe is and that its event horizon constantly moves further out of our grasp it would be a daring silliness to declare us as the only inhabitants limited to just our little blue speck, a mote of dust.
As to signals from far away places- you want to marry extra weak signals from far away galaxies with expansion of space and universe. Good luck with that.
As to aliens visiting earth, its none of our business as long as we don`t know the secret handshake in the club. The most exclusive club is not of the richest, but of those who know the handshake to enter the club. Once you get old and extremely rich, being ultra rich is not exclusive, owning and controlling knowledge-is. I bet 90 per cent of those in the know have heart pacers.
 

iverson

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<snip>
Project Mogul started the ball rolling? That is pure speculation. I have seen period photos showing the alleged debris. In June 1947, some reporter informed the public about "flying saucers."
<snip>
It is not speculation at all. The number of UFO reports, military and civilian, US and worldwide, rise when the large-scale balloon recce program begins and fall when it ends. That is a fact that one can independently check with a minimum of research. So there is undeniably a correlation between the two phenomena. How one chooses to interpret the correlation is, of course, up the individual. But the simplest and thus most logical conclusion would be that there is a causal relationship between the two phenomena.

The thing that crashed at Roswell was an Army Air Force balloon that, according to what I have read, carried a sonar-like acoustic detector designed to remotely detect and locate atmospheric nuclear tests in denied territory (something that never worked). The balloon went off course immediately after launch, headed off drifting cross-country at low altitude, and eventually ended up on the ground, at which point the wind started ripping up the balloon. By the time locals saw it, it had been shredded and had developed the silvery, greenish-grey that every former construction laborer recognizes as weathered, wind-blown polyethylene sheet. But in 1948 few had seen weathered plastic sheeting. Then, when the government reacted with the usual, heavy handed over-reaction typical of military "security" operations, flooding the area with MPs and claiming that a familiar, much smaller, and decidedly non-secret weather balloon had crashed, it was inevitable that at least some people would believe something that they'd seen--or more often heard of--must be "alien skin" or a crashed UFO .

Now, one is of course free to believe that the above explanation is a carefully concocted cover story designed to cover for the pathetically flimsy weather-balloon cover story and released to the public more than 50 years later (for some reason). One might even choose to suspect that I am a Man in Black who only joined this forum however many years ago it was in order to shut down any discussion of Roswell.

But I think a simpler explanation is more likely:

[1] The security people in charge at Roswell were flustered, authoritarian by nature, and probably not very bright (fairly typical of security in my experience).

[2] These security people created publicity when they should have maintained secrecy. The thing became a circus.

[3] So, per the core principle of national security (nothing embarrassing must ever come out), the soon to be independent USAF decided to shut its collective mouth and keep it shut.

[4] Eventually time passed, the original participants died or retired, and the Air Force had enough subsequent embarrassments on its plate that the bureaucracy decided to clear said plate of the Roswell fiasco, empty the filing cabinets, and focus on other problems.

In short, I suspect SNAFU, not UFO.
 

Orionblamblam

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Orionblamblam

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Life is the only way for the Universe to know itself. What is the point of Sombrero Galaxy if no one can take their hat off in front of her?
Who says it has to have a point?

is it possible to have a life friendly habitable zone and not having life on it?
Yup.
 

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You're still missing the point. Why have any balloons in the air over the US? Also, as air traffic increased, including airborne radars, such nuisance balloons are not what you keep sending jet fighters up for. <snip>
Actually, I think you are overestimating the ability to control free-flight balloons and to identify balloon targets, while underestimating the effect of the secrecy surrounding compartmentalized, need-to-know projects.

First, balloons drifted with the prevailing winds. If they were launched in the US, they were over the US for at least part of their missions. All such systems were exhaustively tested over the US. Moreover, the later, ultra-high altitude balloons were meant to circumnavigate the globe on the jet stream so that they could be recovered in US-controlled air space. Unfortunately, getting the balloons to consistently climb up to jet-stream altitude, where high-speed winds went towards the USSR, proved almost impossible. They often stopped at much lower levels, where the winds blew them all over.

US and Soviet early warning radars (essentially the same WW2 technology for much of that period) could indeed detect and intermittently track balloons, even those that reached their intended altitude, something the USAF had not anticipated. But detecting/tracking and intercepting are not the same thing. None of the radars of the period were good at height-finding, as near as I know. None were good at following low altitude targets, particularly slow moving ones. And against a balloon type target traveling at between 0 and 400 knots depending on altitude and time of day, I suspect range-finding would have been difficult both by radar and by eye, especially at night.

USAF fighters were tasked with shooting down errant balloons over the US in the interest of security. But they had no success as near as I know. These were generally low-altitude intercepts, often at night. The typical weapons of the period, 0.50 machine guns and 20-mm cannon, had little effect on helium-filled bag the size of multistory building, When jets intercepted drifting balloons, closing rates were tremendous and overshoots the norm. So pilots could and did misjudge attribute incredible high-speed performance, super-maneuverability, and imperviousness to weapons to what they were seeing. After all, they were never told what they were hunting or why.

This is where the Cold War security obsession comes in. Sending balloons over the USSR was an unprovoked act of war and a violation of international law. Secrecy was thus essential, and the core of good security is strict need to know--which was not thought to apply to Air Force fighter pilots. The irony is that the Soviets knew all about the balloons, both because the USAF had underestimated the balloons' radar signature and because some idiotic design decisions caused many balloons to parachute their gondolas--and thus their intelligence payloads--into the USSR and the Eastern Europe. The USAF did not know that the USSR knew because, of course, the USSR did not want anyone to know that they could not intercept balloons, for security reasons. When the USSR finally revealed captured gondolas, complete with easily identifiable US-made components, the US refused to acknowledge, due to the international legalities. So everything had to remain secret so that the world--and the US voter--would not know that the US knew ... You get the picture.


W
 

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The whole power of the Roman Empire would have been unable to replicate a humble Fiat 500:
-Precision mechanics, special alloys, electric system, battery, lamps, radio, plastic isolants, fuel fracking.
Why not? That they didn't is just an accident of history.

The dear old Cinquecentos I remember from my youth were anything but technical marvels. I suspect that any really determined garage machinist/mechanic could fabricate everything needed from scratch except maybe the tires. In fact, I remember some Italian hot rodders that had more or less done so, given the level of modification.

The Chinese had blast furnaces around 6th century BCE and were drilling and burning petroleum by the 4th century CE. Smelting lead and copper and making acid were simple by comparison.

So why didn't China have the Yangtze 500 at the same time as the late Roman Empire? Accidents.

The Chinese blast furnaces were too effective. They let the Chinese make cast iron at an early stage. So they didn't have to go on hammering out bloom iron until they discovered carbon steel.

The Chinese deep bores were intended to extract brine for salt making, salt being a heavily taxed, high-profit commodity. The oil was at best a side effect that provided cheap fuel for the salt evaporators and at worst a contaminant.

The above is obviously simplistic. There were undoubtedly a great many other accidents, local priorities, differing cultural values, and such that shaped Chinese history up to 500 CE. But had enough of these accidents happened differently, the Industrial Revolution might have started in Roman-era China, Chinese entrepreneurs might have jumped straight into steel, gasoline, and internal combustion, and filled Rome's streets with Yangtze 500s just as the Visigoths entered the city.

We were spared that. But only by accident.
 

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Fluff

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<snip>And for a few years that got me thinking, and I had an idea for a short-ish story. <snip>
So why haven'tyou written and published this story? Sounds terrific.
I've written many (like HERE and HERE). None have been deemed publish-worthy. Shrug.
Maybe after you are dead. That's often how authorial fame and publishability works.
So now would be a good time to die?
 

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<snip>
Project Mogul started the ball rolling? That is pure speculation. I have seen period photos showing the alleged debris. In June 1947, some reporter informed the public about "flying saucers."
<snip>
It is not speculation at all. The number of UFO reports, military and civilian, US and worldwide, rise when the large-scale balloon recce program begins and fall when it ends. That is a fact that one can independently check with a minimum of research. So there is undeniably a correlation between the two phenomena. How one chooses to interpret the correlation is, of course, up the individual. But the simplest and thus most logical conclusion would be that there is a causal relationship between the two phenomena.

The thing that crashed at Roswell was an Army Air Force balloon that, according to what I have read, carried a sonar-like acoustic detector designed to remotely detect and locate atmospheric nuclear tests in denied territory (something that never worked). The balloon went off course immediately after launch, headed off drifting cross-country at low altitude, and eventually ended up on the ground, at which point the wind started ripping up the balloon. By the time locals saw it, it had been shredded and had developed the silvery, greenish-grey that every former construction laborer recognizes as weathered, wind-blown polyethylene sheet. But in 1948 few had seen weathered plastic sheeting. Then, when the government reacted with the usual, heavy handed over-reaction typical of military "security" operations, flooding the area with MPs and claiming that a familiar, much smaller, and decidedly non-secret weather balloon had crashed, it was inevitable that at least some people would believe something that they'd seen--or more often heard of--must be "alien skin" or a crashed UFO .

Now, one is of course free to believe that the above explanation is a carefully concocted cover story designed to cover for the pathetically flimsy weather-balloon cover story and released to the public more than 50 years later (for some reason). One might even choose to suspect that I am a Man in Black who only joined this forum however many years ago it was in order to shut down any discussion of Roswell.

But I think a simpler explanation is more likely:

[1] The security people in charge at Roswell were flustered, authoritarian by nature, and probably not very bright (fairly typical of security in my experience).

[2] These security people created publicity when they should have maintained secrecy. The thing became a circus.

[3] So, per the core principle of national security (nothing embarrassing must ever come out), the soon to be independent USAF decided to shut its collective mouth and keep it shut.

[4] Eventually time passed, the original participants died or retired, and the Air Force had enough subsequent embarrassments on its plate that the bureaucracy decided to clear said plate of the Roswell fiasco, empty the filing cabinets, and focus on other problems.

In short, I suspect SNAFU, not UFO.


Your scenario is not credible, at all. The story of flying saucers starts with the Kenneth Arnold sighting of June 1947. He sketched one object for US Air Force intelligence. It was not a saucer. Yet some reporter coined the term flying saucers and there it stayed. When the head of the US Air Force asked Nathan Twining of Air Materiel Command at Wright Field to present his analysis, not only were the engineers there consulted but reference is made to interrogation reports that were provided to him. Interrogation of who? The following month, July, a security breach occurs that should never have occurred. A news service report that the US Army had captured a disc at a ranch. If this was a top secret balloon, a recovery team would be sent in, the rancher and any other witnesses would be sworn to secrecy and that would be that. Other secret aerial devices and aircraft that came down later could have received the standard "crash of a test aircraft" story with no need to show anyone anything. Much less Jesse Marcel showing pieces of tin foil laid out on the floor and allowing himself to be photographed. It appears that a few people think the US Air Force forgot security protocols since the end of World War II.

But back to Nathan Twining and the 1947 Memo concerning flying discs. Remember that term. "It is possible within present U.S. knowledge to construct a similar aircraft with a range of 7,000 miles at subsonic speeds."

Flying saucers are circular, metallic reconnaissance aircraft that are still highly secret. In 1966, the US Air Force contracted with the University of Colorado to do a scientific study of UFOs. The report was released in 1968. The paperback version was released in January 1969. It contains no credible explanations. It tells readers that the study of UFOs has added nothing to scientific knowledge. The US Air Force now had an excuse to get out of the UFO business altogether.

Nothing has changed since 1947. The US Navy UAP study will release nothing new. The US Air Force and US Navy have always been interested in aerial threats from enemy countries. So don't think the Navy's effort is a new idea. The cover-up is intact.
 

marauder2048

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AFAIK, Twining's efforts were not classified higher than SECRET. Things like Mogul were TOP SECRET.
You can't refer to the latter in the former.
 

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You're still missing the point. Why have any balloons in the air over the US? Also, as air traffic increased, including airborne radars, such nuisance balloons are not what you keep sending jet fighters up for. <snip>
Actually, I think you are overestimating the ability to control free-flight balloons and to identify balloon targets, while underestimating the effect of the secrecy surrounding compartmentalized, need-to-know projects.

First, balloons drifted with the prevailing winds. If they were launched in the US, they were over the US for at least part of their missions. All such systems were exhaustively tested over the US. Moreover, the later, ultra-high altitude balloons were meant to circumnavigate the globe on the jet stream so that they could be recovered in US-controlled air space. Unfortunately, getting the balloons to consistently climb up to jet-stream altitude, where high-speed winds went towards the USSR, proved almost impossible. They often stopped at much lower levels, where the winds blew them all over.

US and Soviet early warning radars (essentially the same WW2 technology for much of that period) could indeed detect and intermittently track balloons, even those that reached their intended altitude, something the USAF had not anticipated. But detecting/tracking and intercepting are not the same thing. None of the radars of the period were good at height-finding, as near as I know. None were good at following low altitude targets, particularly slow moving ones. And against a balloon type target traveling at between 0 and 400 knots depending on altitude and time of day, I suspect range-finding would have been difficult both by radar and by eye, especially at night.

USAF fighters were tasked with shooting down errant balloons over the US in the interest of security. But they had no success as near as I know. These were generally low-altitude intercepts, often at night. The typical weapons of the period, 0.50 machine guns and 20-mm cannon, had little effect on helium-filled bag the size of multistory building, When jets intercepted drifting balloons, closing rates were tremendous and overshoots the norm. So pilots could and did misjudge attribute incredible high-speed performance, super-maneuverability, and imperviousness to weapons to what they were seeing. After all, they were never told what they were hunting or why.

This is where the Cold War security obsession comes in. Sending balloons over the USSR was an unprovoked act of war and a violation of international law. Secrecy was thus essential, and the core of good security is strict need to know--which was not thought to apply to Air Force fighter pilots. The irony is that the Soviets knew all about the balloons, both because the USAF had underestimated the balloons' radar signature and because some idiotic design decisions caused many balloons to parachute their gondolas--and thus their intelligence payloads--into the USSR and the Eastern Europe. The USAF did not know that the USSR knew because, of course, the USSR did not want anyone to know that they could not intercept balloons, for security reasons. When the USSR finally revealed captured gondolas, complete with easily identifiable US-made components, the US refused to acknowledge, due to the international legalities. So everything had to remain secret so that the world--and the US voter--would not know that the US knew ... You get the picture.


W

This scenario makes assumptions that are invalid. In Bulgaria, which received the latest equipment from the USSR, they knew CIA agents were parachuted in, captured and then disappeared. Many attempts to get agents in were intercepted. Balloons as an act of war? Where did you get that? The Soviets spotted the balloons, managed to get a few and even put them on display to embarrass the US. And what an act of desperation, not to mention the loss of the gondolas. No war occurred over the agents trying to get in or over the balloons. No war occurred once the U-2 was spotted. Another provocative act but no war was caused. The U-2 was tracked the moment it got over the horizon. I'm sure military planners in the US knew that advances in Soviet technology would eventually bring one down but they kept convincing President Eisenhower of the need for each mission. Allegedly, the President thought the overflights would cause a war. They didn't. International law doesn't mean much when a great fear of surprise attack by the Soviets existed.

Now for the unacknowledged part. Soviet spies in the US were picking up information about ominous developments in the US right after the war. In May 1946, the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft project is started. Any hints about the US gaining additional ground on the Russians required investigation, This meant aerial reconnaissance. Henri Coanda, who had invented a biconvex flying saucer, was located by the Germans after the fall of France. He went on to perfect this craft. In a post-war statement he relates that those who had been working with him had been captured by the Russians. He was located by a combined British-American intelligence team. The French government wanted him for collaboration, but because of his technical value, he was spared. He ended up in the US.
 

edwest

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AFAIK, Twining's efforts were not classified higher than SECRET. Things like Mogul were TOP SECRET.
You can't refer to the latter in the former.

You don't understand compartmentalization? It happened during the war. Normally, a Secret document has limited circulation. And if more that one copy exists, a distribution list is made and only those people get a copy. And since it was not the only Secret document in existence at the time, others with the appropriate clearance may not have even known it existed.
 

marauder2048

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AFAIK, Twining's efforts were not classified higher than SECRET. Things like Mogul were TOP SECRET.
You can't refer to the latter in the former.

You don't understand compartmentalization? It happened during the war. Normally, a Secret document has limited circulation. And if more that one copy exists, a distribution list is made and only those people get a copy. And since it was not the only Secret document in existence at the time, others with the appropriate clearance may not have even known it existed.
It's clear that Twining was not well informed of what was going on and even if he had knowledge of Mogul and
other efforts he would and could not discuss them (Secret or Top Secret codeword) even obliquely in the SECRET memo.
 

edwest

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
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AFAIK, Twining's efforts were not classified higher than SECRET. Things like Mogul were TOP SECRET.
You can't refer to the latter in the former.

You don't understand compartmentalization? It happened during the war. Normally, a Secret document has limited circulation. And if more that one copy exists, a distribution list is made and only those people get a copy. And since it was not the only Secret document in existence at the time, others with the appropriate clearance may not have even known it existed.
It's clear that Twining was not well informed of what was going on and even if he had knowledge of Mogul and
other efforts he would and could not discuss them (Secret or Top Secret codeword) even obliquely in the SECRET memo.

He made oblique and less oblique references.



(1) The possibillity that these objects are of domestic
origin - the product of some high security project
not known to AC/AS-2 or this Command.
(2) The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash
recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the
existence of these subjects.
(3) The possibility that some foreign nation has a form
of propulsion possibly nuclear, which is outside of
our domestic knowledge.
 

marauder2048

"I should really just relax"
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AFAIK, Twining's efforts were not classified higher than SECRET. Things like Mogul were TOP SECRET.
You can't refer to the latter in the former.

You don't understand compartmentalization? It happened during the war. Normally, a Secret document has limited circulation. And if more that one copy exists, a distribution list is made and only those people get a copy. And since it was not the only Secret document in existence at the time, others with the appropriate clearance may not have even known it existed.
It's clear that Twining was not well informed of what was going on and even if he had knowledge of Mogul and
other efforts he would and could not discuss them (Secret or Top Secret codeword) even obliquely in the SECRET memo.

He made oblique and less oblique references.



(1) The possibillity that these objects are of domestic
origin - the product of some high security project
not known to AC/AS-2 or this Command.
(2) The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash
recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the
existence of these subjects.
(3) The possibility that some foreign nation has a form
of propulsion possibly nuclear, which is outside of
our domestic knowledge.
Those references describe any object.
 

edwest

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
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AFAIK, Twining's efforts were not classified higher than SECRET. Things like Mogul were TOP SECRET.
You can't refer to the latter in the former.

You don't understand compartmentalization? It happened during the war. Normally, a Secret document has limited circulation. And if more that one copy exists, a distribution list is made and only those people get a copy. And since it was not the only Secret document in existence at the time, others with the appropriate clearance may not have even known it existed.
It's clear that Twining was not well informed of what was going on and even if he had knowledge of Mogul and
other efforts he would and could not discuss them (Secret or Top Secret codeword) even obliquely in the SECRET memo.

He made oblique and less oblique references.



(1) The possibillity that these objects are of domestic
origin - the product of some high security project
not known to AC/AS-2 or this Command.
(2) The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash
recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the
existence of these subjects.
(3) The possibility that some foreign nation has a form
of propulsion possibly nuclear, which is outside of
our domestic knowledge.
Those references describe any object.
3) Circular or elliptical in shape, flat on bottom and
domed on top.
 

marauder2048

"I should really just relax"
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AFAIK, Twining's efforts were not classified higher than SECRET. Things like Mogul were TOP SECRET.
You can't refer to the latter in the former.

You don't understand compartmentalization? It happened during the war. Normally, a Secret document has limited circulation. And if more that one copy exists, a distribution list is made and only those people get a copy. And since it was not the only Secret document in existence at the time, others with the appropriate clearance may not have even known it existed.
It's clear that Twining was not well informed of what was going on and even if he had knowledge of Mogul and
other efforts he would and could not discuss them (Secret or Top Secret codeword) even obliquely in the SECRET memo.

He made oblique and less oblique references.



(1) The possibillity that these objects are of domestic
origin - the product of some high security project
not known to AC/AS-2 or this Command.
(2) The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash
recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the
existence of these subjects.
(3) The possibility that some foreign nation has a form
of propulsion possibly nuclear, which is outside of
our domestic knowledge.
Those references describe any object.
3) Circular or elliptical in shape, flat on bottom and
domed on top.
Which corresponds to basic Gabor Stimuli...i.e. any object
 

edwest

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
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AFAIK, Twining's efforts were not classified higher than SECRET. Things like Mogul were TOP SECRET.
You can't refer to the latter in the former.

You don't understand compartmentalization? It happened during the war. Normally, a Secret document has limited circulation. And if more that one copy exists, a distribution list is made and only those people get a copy. And since it was not the only Secret document in existence at the time, others with the appropriate clearance may not have even known it existed.
It's clear that Twining was not well informed of what was going on and even if he had knowledge of Mogul and
other efforts he would and could not discuss them (Secret or Top Secret codeword) even obliquely in the SECRET memo.

He made oblique and less oblique references.



(1) The possibillity that these objects are of domestic
origin - the product of some high security project
not known to AC/AS-2 or this Command.
(2) The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash
recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the
existence of these subjects.
(3) The possibility that some foreign nation has a form
of propulsion possibly nuclear, which is outside of
our domestic knowledge.
Those references describe any object.
3) Circular or elliptical in shape, flat on bottom and
domed on top.
Which corresponds to basic Gabor Stimuli...i.e. any object

Only if you say so.



SUBJECT: AMC Opinion Concerning "Flying Discs"
 

iverson

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This scenario makes assumptions that are invalid. In Bulgaria, which received the latest equipment from the USSR, they knew CIA agents were parachuted in, captured and then disappeared. Many attempts to get agents in were intercepted. Balloons as an act of war? Where did you get that? The Soviets spotted the balloons, managed to get a few and even put them on display to embarrass the US. And what an act of desperation, not to mention the loss of the gondolas. No war occurred over the agents trying to get in or over the balloons. No war occurred once the U-2 was spotted. Another provocative act but no war was caused. The U-2 was tracked the moment it got over the horizon. I'm sure military planners in the US knew that advances in Soviet technology would eventually bring one down but they kept convincing President Eisenhower of the need for each mission. Allegedly, the President thought the overflights would cause a war. They didn't. International law doesn't mean much when a great fear of surprise attack by the Soviets existed.

Now for the unacknowledged part. Soviet spies in the US were picking up information about ominous developments in the US right after the war. In May 1946, the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft project is started. Any hints about the US gaining additional ground on the Russians required investigation, This meant aerial reconnaissance. Henri Coanda, who had invented a biconvex flying saucer, was located by the Germans after the fall of France. He went on to perfect this craft. In a post-war statement he relates that those who had been working with him had been captured by the Russians. He was located by a combined British-American intelligence team. The French government wanted him for collaboration, but because of his technical value, he was spared. He ended up in the US.
Whatever you say. Try to stay calm.
 

edwest

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
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This scenario makes assumptions that are invalid. In Bulgaria, which received the latest equipment from the USSR, they knew CIA agents were parachuted in, captured and then disappeared. Many attempts to get agents in were intercepted. Balloons as an act of war? Where did you get that? The Soviets spotted the balloons, managed to get a few and even put them on display to embarrass the US. And what an act of desperation, not to mention the loss of the gondolas. No war occurred over the agents trying to get in or over the balloons. No war occurred once the U-2 was spotted. Another provocative act but no war was caused. The U-2 was tracked the moment it got over the horizon. I'm sure military planners in the US knew that advances in Soviet technology would eventually bring one down but they kept convincing President Eisenhower of the need for each mission. Allegedly, the President thought the overflights would cause a war. They didn't. International law doesn't mean much when a great fear of surprise attack by the Soviets existed.

Now for the unacknowledged part. Soviet spies in the US were picking up information about ominous developments in the US right after the war. In May 1946, the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft project is started. Any hints about the US gaining additional ground on the Russians required investigation, This meant aerial reconnaissance. Henri Coanda, who had invented a biconvex flying saucer, was located by the Germans after the fall of France. He went on to perfect this craft. In a post-war statement he relates that those who had been working with him had been captured by the Russians. He was located by a combined British-American intelligence team. The French government wanted him for collaboration, but because of his technical value, he was spared. He ended up in the US.
Whatever you say. Try to stay calm.

I would be more interested to get comments about my post. My mental state can only be a matter of speculation.
 

The Artist

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The whole power of the Roman Empire would have been unable to replicate a humble Fiat 500:
-Precision mechanics, special alloys, electric system, battery, lamps, radio, plastic isolants, fuel fracking.
Why not? That they didn't is just an accident of history.

The dear old Cinquecentos I remember from my youth were anything but technical marvels. I suspect that any really determined garage machinist/mechanic could fabricate everything needed from scratch except maybe the tires. In fact, I remember some Italian hot rodders that had more or less done so, given the level of modification.

The Chinese had blast furnaces around 6th century BCE and were drilling and burning petroleum by the 4th century CE. Smelting lead and copper and making acid were simple by comparison.

So why didn't China have the Yangtze 500 at the same time as the late Roman Empire? Accidents.

The Chinese blast furnaces were too effective. They let the Chinese make cast iron at an early stage. So they didn't have to go on hammering out bloom iron until they discovered carbon steel.

The Chinese deep bores were intended to extract brine for salt making, salt being a heavily taxed, high-profit commodity. The oil was at best a side effect that provided cheap fuel for the salt evaporators and at worst a contaminant.

The above is obviously simplistic. There were undoubtedly a great many other accidents, local priorities, differing cultural values, and such that shaped Chinese history up to 500 CE. But had enough of these accidents happened differently, the Industrial Revolution might have started in Roman-era China, Chinese entrepreneurs might have jumped straight into steel, gasoline, and internal combustion, and filled Rome's streets with Yangtze 500s just as the Visigoths entered the city.

We were spared that. But only by accident.
At any given point someone could have come to a different decision in trying to solve a problem. Someone could have decided to do this instead of that and been inspired instead of suffering an accident. At any given time - now or in the future - such events could happen that affect the pace of development. Likewise. It is possible that revolutionary ideas have been presented but at either the wrong time or to the wrong audience then were quickly dismissed as crack-pot or delusional. Thus, they became lost to us for the time being. As I see it, where we are in terms of technical development has been determined by what you call accidents. However. I think the word accidents is too limiting. I think more like this.

Accidents = Decisions = Events.

I'd suggest you read James White's The Silent Stars Go By. He came up with one event that led to a timeline with much accelerated technical development. Without giving anything important away, that event was the theft of Hero of Hernon's steam-driven devices (toys, diversions) which were then smuggled to Hibernia where their true potential was realized. But that was ancient history in the time of the story.
 

Fluff

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AFAIK, Twining's efforts were not classified higher than SECRET.

You realise this sentence has absolutely null value?
 
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