The first 24 hours of the alien UFO incident at Roswell
“I happen to have been privileged enough
to be in on the fact that we’ve been visited on this planet,
and the UFO phenomenon is real.”
Lunar Module Pilot, Moon Walker, Apollo 14
Detection of the alien UFO
Date: Thursday, July 3, 1947
Time: 1710 hours
Location: 637th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Long Beach Municipal Airport
Conversation within the darkened room had inevitably turned to the following day’s fourth of July celebrations and planned holiday weekend activities. It had been a mostly uneventful day, with the next shift due to take over within the hour. Nobody had noticed Lenny’s distracted absence from the conversation; he was concentrating intently on the radar screen in front of him.
‘Somebody find the C.O. right away!’ said Lenny excitedly, loud enough to be heard clearly over the buzz of conversation. There was a sense of genuine urgency in his voice that halted all conversation in the room instantly.
The bogey that appeared on Lenny’s radar screen was a phenomenon that immediately captured full attention from the crew manning the new high-tech radar installation. An aircraft of unknown origin had just entered United States airspace at extreme high speed and altitude. Protocols for entering United States airspace had been ignored. All attempts of radio communication were unsuccessful.
Crossing the border with Mexico about 45 miles inland from the western coastline, the aircraft appeared to be traveling north at an altitude greater than 70,000 feet. Lenny was having extreme difficulty tracking the intruder. He’d be expected to supply the bogey’s course, velocity and altitude readings when his Commanding Officer arrived. They were difficult to determine due to the bogey’s minimal radar profile. Initial velocity and altitude calculations seemed completely implausible.
The 637th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was a direct result of rapidly escalating tensions and rivalry between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. The well-funded and equipped facility was just seven weeks operational, boasting ultimate radar detection technology and the highest signal processing capability currently available anywhere in the world. Weapons and warfare capabilities on both sides were a closely guarded secret as each adversary imagined the other to be well advanced of their actual capabilities. Rumors from both sides of captured highly advanced Nazi Germany warfare technology exacerbated these concerns. The 637th surveilled the skies of the southwestern United States 24-hours a day in the expectation of an imminent hostile Russian incursion.
Secrecy was of utmost consideration during this time of international tension. With the Cold War moving into gear, its implications featured strongly in government and military decision-making processes. Technological advances towards the end of, and post, World War II were unfolding at an incredible pace. It was imperative for the preservation of democratic freedoms that the United States of America, the self-appointed leader and champion of the free world, maintain its technological edge against the rising menace of communism.
Today, and for the past three days, the role of the 637th was of particular importance. Highly secretive, experimental jet aircraft and missile testing was being conducted by the Air Force Flight Test Centre temporarily based at Muroc Army Airfield in California. Restricted airspace around the Nevada Test and Training Range utilized for the exercise was off limits to unauthorized aircraft. Apart from border integrity of the air and seaways, a key responsibility of the 637th was the monitoring of air traffic that might potentially compromise the no-fly zone.
Twenty-three-year-old radar operator Lieutenant Lenny Fielding was the finest the 637th had. Beads of sweat formed on Lenny’s upper lip as the significance of the incursion became apparent. He quickly re-checked his calculations of the declining altitude and velocity of the intruding aircraft. As unlikely as they had initially seemed, his original calculations were on the mark. Within the darkened room that was the hub of the surveillance radar facility, nobody spoke. Aircraft capable of such feats were well beyond anything previously witnessed.
The image on the screen was intermittent at best. As Lenny attempted to tweak the radar’s settings to get a clearer fix on the bogey, his colleagues began to speculate on the origin of such an advanced aircraft.
Commanding Officer Colonel Stuart Hughes appeared at Lenny’s side within the radar station in under a minute. Wearing shorts and a polo shirt, he was sweating profusely. The Colonel had been playing basketball with some of the enlisted men; a game that he excelled at given his tall athletic stature. Colonel Hughes viewed the radar screen and asked nobody in particular . . .
‘Do we have anything that flies that fast?’
It was a rhetorical question. The capabilities of the latest experimental aircraft were a tightly guarded secret. Only the C.O. himself would be able to comprehensively answer that question, within that room, at that moment.
‘The bogey has been slowing down steadily sir,’ said Lenny now wiping sweat from his brow. ‘It’s now steadied to a speed just under Mach 1 sir, but it was definitely much faster when I first detected it. More than Mach 2.’
‘Altitude?’ asked Colonel Hughes deliberately calm, trying to regain his breath from the game and the sprint over to the radar facility.
‘Steadily descending sir. It’s very hard to track. I have very little cross-section to work with. I first detected an altitude well in excess of 70,000 feet, but it’ll drop through 50,000 any moment.’
‘Am I correct in that it seems to be heading directly towards the Nevada no-fly zone and today’s testing?’ asked Colonel Hughes now using his height to look over Lenny’s hunched position over the radar screen.
‘It’s on an almost direct heading towards the Nevada Testing Range sir. Maintaining current speed, it should enter restricted airspace in about 15 minutes,’ offered Lenny looking up at the Colonel seeking his instruction.
Colonel Hughes wasted no time.
‘Get me the officer in charge of the testing over at Muroc . . . Pronto!’
Bogey UFO tracking
Date: Thursday, July 3, 1947
Time: 1716 hours
Location: Air Force Flight Test Centre
Muroc Army Airfield
(Later to be known as Edwards Air Force Base)
This sunny late afternoon of July 3, 1947, the Muroc Army Airfield runways are hectic with top-secret testing in progress of new and experimental jet aircraft commissioned by the Air Force Flight Test Centre. One of the jets has been armed with the very latest air-to-air missile technology in order to test and understand the aerodynamics of carrying and launching missiles at high velocity. The thunderous roar of jets taking off, landing and racing across the skies fills the air. The potent sweet scent of high-octane fuel adds to the sense of awe and rush of adrenalin one cannot help but feel when witnessing such top-secret events.
The Officer in Command of the testing exercise based at Muroc stood alone on the outside viewing platform of the control tower to watch the spectacular display of man defying nature. Colonel James “Raffy” Rafter struggled against the late afternoon sun to watch a departing sleek silver experimental Bell X-1 taking off for the last exercise of the day. With thick-framed dark black sunglasses and his right hand acting as a visor to the sun, his silhouette could easily have been mistaken to be that of General MacArthur, but without the pipe.
A wartime hero, Colonel Rafter had successfully flown and commanded numerous missions in both the European and Pacific theaters. With the reputation of a strong and decisive leader, he was highly respected by all those who served under him. Colonel Rafter commanded the Air Force Flight Test Centre, which among other responsibilities, was intrinsic for the integration of captured Nazi aerial warfare technologies vital to the development of jet warfare capabilities.
The Groom Lake Airfield and its building facilities situated at the Nevada Testing Range, often referred to as Home Base, were undergoing major upgrades. Colonel Rafter had been chosen to head up all aircraft testing and research at the upgraded facility. The next major test exercise would be solely under his command, with testing in full view of the Groom Lake flight tower. It was a day he looked forward to with immense pride.
Only barely catching his name being paged from the loudspeaker above, Colonel Rafter rushed inside to the nearest telephone and took the call from Colonel Hughes. It was a very short conversation. He made up his mind in an instant. The incursion into United States territory, into his new territory, and the attempt to spy on his testing program would not go unanswered.
Time was short, too short to launch an intercept from Muroc Army Airfield. Several propeller-driven aircraft were in the area to monitor the tests but they were far too slow and not armed. The experimental Bell X-1 that had just taken off for the Nevada testing range several minutes earlier was the best and only option available. The Bell X-1 was fully armed, however its weapons had not yet been certified as operational. By chance, this was the aircraft chosen to carry new top secret experimental air-to-air missiles. Colonel Rafter wasted no time. The Bell X-1 would make the intercept.
The Bell X-1 was originally designed and built purely for aviation and testing purposes. It wasn’t designed to carry weapons at all. However, today and for the past two days, the highly-modified Bell X-1 was undergoing transonic testing in simulated battle conditions. Any actual maneuvers, firing of weapons or testing of any description would only occur out of sight and exclusively within the secluded Nevada Testing Range’s no-fly zone. The weapons it carried had never previously been fired from a Bell X-1. The weapons were considered fully functional however, if not proven.
As an aircraft specifically designed for development and testing, the Bell X-1 didn’t carry on-board radar. Back at the 637th, Lenny quickly and expertly calculated an intercept solution for the Bell X-1 instructing the pilot accordingly. The solution would push the Bell X-1 to the extreme limits of the aircraft’s capabilities. The projected intercept would take place less than a minute before the bogey penetrated the restricted Nevada airspace. Colonel Rafter was insistent that some form of challenge take place before it entered the zone.
The behavior of this mysterious bogey wasn’t what might normally be expected from a hostile intruder. The bogey was descending steadily and predictably. It didn’t alter its speed or course at all. It was an easy calculation; intercept would take place in about seven minutes, 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas, at an altitude somewhere around 40,000 feet. Despite the very small radar cross-section, Lenny was equal to the challenge.
Why did the Bogey divert towards Roswell?
Date: Thursday, July 3, 1947
Time: 1724 hours
Location: Unidentified Aircraft First Engagement
Somewhere northwest of Las Vegas
Exceeding 30,000 feet and still climbing rapidly, the sleek Bell X-1’s powerful single rocket engine could still manage to push the aircraft to over 700 mph. It shuddered violently as the altered aerodynamics caused by the addition of working weapons disrupted the aircraft’s normally smoother handling operation. “It was a real bitch to handle” is what the Bell’s pilot would later be heard to say. This working weapons upgraded version of the X-1 had never previously flown faster than 480 mph. This would be the ultimate test.
The Bell X-1’s pilot, Captain Matt “Matty” Done, barely noticed the poor aerodynamics; he was still digesting the incredible statistics of the unidentified aircraft’s incursion into United States airspace. Captain Done fearlessly and recklessly pushed the Bell X-1 to the absolute limit of its capability without hesitation in order to make the intercept as per the solution devised by the 637th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. It would be tight; extremely tight.
The bogey now maintained a steady speed just under Mach 1, at around 740 mph. Levelling off at an altitude of 39,000 feet, it proceeded on a direct heading towards the heart of the Nevada Test Range, continuing to ignore all communication attempts now being broadcast under direct supervision of Colonel Rafter from Muroc.
Captain Done suggested that he parallel the bogey and make visual contact in an attempt to identify the intruder and possibly dissuade it from its current heading. There wasn’t time. The “Russian invader” was considered hostile and had left no opportunity for diplomacy. There was no doubt in the minds of those at the 637th or Muroc Army Airfield as to the intended destination, there wasn’t much else out there. Captain Done was under clear and direct orders from his Commanding Officer, Colonel Rafter . . . “Bring it down any way you can, do not allow it to enter the no-fly zone”. American pride was at stake.
The substantially unproven X-1 continued gaining altitude until it reached 39,000 feet, levelling off as per Lenny’s instruction. Despite pushing his aircraft way beyond safety considerations, Captain Done wasn’t going to make the original intercept projection. The added weight of weapons, and the disrupted aerodynamic efficiency they caused, were substantially impeding the Bell’s performance expectations.
Lenny advised Captain Done of the situation, correcting his course to a new intercept that would take place just within the no-fly zone.
Less than a minute later . . .
‘I see it,’ yelled Captain Done excitedly. ‘I see something up ahead coming from starboard. It looks like . . . contrails!’
As if privy to the observation, the unidentified aircraft abruptly banked sharply to starboard whilst gaining altitude at an unmatchable rate. Realizing this would be his only opportunity, Captain Done quickly unlatched the firing safety mechanism and fired his first missile. The X-1 shuddered violently as the missile’s propulsion massively disrupted the aircraft’s clear air causing even greater difficulty maintaining controlled flight. As Captain Done watched in hopeful anticipation, the missile streaked ominously towards its target. Before he could witness the outcome, a blinding flash emanated from the departing bogey.
Done was momentarily blinded. Chatter coming through his headset seemed like complete gibberish. He was dazed and confused, and for almost a full minute, he’d forgotten he was even in the air. Captain Done would later describe his condition as “dream like”.
Date: Thursday, July 3, 1947
Time: 1727 hours
Location: 637th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Long Beach Municipal Airport
Colonel Hughes anxiously watched the radar screen while listening to events unfold on the radio. Despite repeated attempts, nobody could raise Captain Done. His aircraft continued at a steady velocity and altitude in a northeasterly direction. It was feared that Captain Done was somehow dead or injured.
‘Don’t lose that bogey Lenny, I want another shot,’ ordered a highly-agitated Colonel Hughes.
Lenny continued to monitor the bogey on his radar screen as it reached a speed that was well in excess of Mach 2. Within minutes, the aircraft had left Nevada, and was racing across Arizona and the Grand Canyon. Approaching 90,000 feet, the bogey unexpectedly faltered . . . it began to lose both speed and altitude, and its course became erratic. As the bogey dropped below 55,000 feet, Lenny’s radar was gradually blinded by “curve of the Earth”.
‘Sir, what about the 509th?’ Lenny offered thoughtfully. ‘The fourth of July fly overs. The 509th is sending six B-29s to Muroc any moment now. If we could get them to look out for the bogey, we might just get lucky.’
‘Good thinking Lieutenant. Put out a general alert first, then bring the 509th up to speed and ask them to keep their eyes peeled,’ ordered Colonel Hughes. ‘And patch their C.O. through to my desk please once you’ve finished briefing them.’
The Roswell Army Airfield
Date: Thursday, July 3, 1947
Time: 1901 hours
Location: 509th Bombardment Group Very Heavy
Roswell Army Airfield
Roswell New Mexico USA
The mighty four engine, propeller driven B-29 Superfortress stirred American pride like no other aircraft at that time. When the Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” onto Hiroshima, it wasn’t just the beginning of the end of the war with Japan . . . Americans felt safer knowing that such awesome weaponry was theirs to serve and protect them in these troubled times. It was for this reason that a flyover display of six B-29s was scheduled for the American western seaboard capitals as part of fourth of July celebrations. It was the perfect antidote to help quell public concern over the rising tide of communism and Russian aggression.
The 509th Bombardment Group Very Heavy, operated from the Roswell Army Airfield, New Mexico. Upon receiving advice from the 637th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Commanding Officer Colonel Sam Curtis ordered the six B-29 Superfortresses scheduled for departure to be armed and ready for conflict.
Colonel Curtis was highly experienced in the deployment tactics of the B-29s having learned valuable, but expensive, lessons during their deployment with daylight bombing campaigns over Europe. He knew their strengths and limitations well. The onboard radar operators were quickly updated on what to look for. With Flight Commanders fully briefed, the B-29s departed almost immediately.
The bogey hadn’t been detected by radar anywhere since losing altitude over Arizona. It was originally on a course that’d take it across northern Arizona and towards Sante Fe New Mexico. Without radar guidance though, the chances of spotting the bogey were slim at best. The Superfortresses were instructed to fan out in an arc 150 miles across, with a general heading towards Sante Fe, and then altering their course towards Muroc Army Airfield California.
Radar towers, surveillance stations and patrolling military aircraft with on-board radar were all on full alert searching the skies across central and western United States trying to find the elusive unidentified aircraft. The minimal cross section offered by the bogey meant that it’d be a difficult task for older, less powerful radars to track. Despite Lenny giving the best intel and advice he could to assist the radar operators, he didn’t hold out much hope.
After the B-29s had been in the air for about 20 minutes, the radar station at the White Sands Proving Ground in central New Mexico reported a brief contact with a bogey over the Cibola National Forest. At an altitude of around 25,000 feet, the bogey had a velocity of about 180 mph with an erratic course heading. It appeared to be having difficulty with the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions.
Lieutenant Gatsby, Flight Controller at the Roswell Army Airfield Base listened intently as the White Sands radar operator described the difficulty he had maintaining radar contact, and also of the strange erratic movements of the aircraft. Despite being well within proximity, Gatsby was unable to confirm the radar contact. Making things even more difficult, an enormous storm front was unexpectedly forming directly over the Cibola National Forest.
‘He’s using the storm to mask his movements!’ Colonel Curtis yelled out excitedly, slamming his hand down firmly onto Gatsby’s desk. ‘Redirect the Superfortresses towards Cibola immediately.’
Gatsby wasn’t convinced.
‘Sir, White Sands have been reporting bogeys for days now,’ said Gatsby. ‘This might not be the bogey we’re looking for. The Eighth Air Force is conducting their radar countermeasures program in that general area, which has been causing chaos over there for some time.’
‘Get in touch with Command at the Eighth and find out what they’re up to,’ ordered Colonel Curtis, unfamiliar with the previous contacts reported by White Sands.
‘Their operation is very top-secret sir, it will be difficult to get what we need quickly,’ said Gatsby. ‘I could assume the bogey will stay behind the storm front and plot a solution sir?’
Colonel Curtis was in two minds. The flight control personnel waited silently as their commanding officer weighed up the options.
‘Split the B-29s,’ said Colonel Curtis eventually. ‘Let’s make it an each-way bet.’
New Mexico Unidentified Aircraft Detection
Date: Thursday, July 3, 1947
Time: 1926 hours
Location: Unidentified Aircraft Second Engagement
Cibola National Forest
New Mexico, USA
Visibility was patchy at best. The unexpected enormous weather front over the Cibola National Forest area in central New Mexico, southwest of Albuquerque, now continued to grow with unnatural haste. Flying conditions across most of New Mexico that evening deteriorated rapidly, with gusty winds and patchy rain. Even the mighty B-29 Superfortresses were tossed about like toys . . . no match for this fearsome display from mother nature.
Normally, entering the heart of a superstorm of this intensity would be avoided at all cost. Only in times of war or aggression would such high-stake risks be considered. No aircraft was immune to the dangers presented by a weather event of this magnitude. It was testimony to the high level of perceived threat from the U.S.S.R. that such a high-risk decision by Colonel Curtis to chance the storm was made. Three B-29 Superfortresses would face the storm’s full wrath in search of their prey.
Having passed directly over Albuquerque, the three B-29s now faced the superstorm head on. The storm’s front stood like an impassable wave rolling menacingly towards them at 55 mph, making the combined speed of approach over 250 mph. Spectacular displays of electrical discharge revealed the sinister conflict ahead.
The Superfortress Flight Commanders listened alertly to the chatter on the radio as they slowed their approach velocities to the massive fifty-mile front of the storm. This was no ordinary intercept. Every scrap of intel that might reveal the bogey’s position was paramount to a successful conclusion.
The radar facility at White Sands Proving Ground hadn’t made contact with the bogey for more than 20 minutes. However, under the experienced guidance of Colonel Curtis, the Roswell Army Airfield control tower’s crew accurately tracked the advancing storm front and optimized the B-29s’ entry points so as to account for the bogey’s last position and heading. The Superfortresses were each spread five miles apart at an altitude of 25,000 feet.
The B-29s’ onboard radar operators desperately searched for the slightest clue to the bogey’s whereabouts. They were completely blind to the supercell storm’s dark heart however. As they drew closer to the menace of the storm, each of the B-29s’ eleven very nervous crew braced themselves expectantly. Spotters were placed at every viewing opportunity available.
As the B-29s punched through the leading wall of the storm the aircraft were thrown about violently. Radar and radio communication failed immediately. Massive bursts of thunder and lightning erupted in every direction as icy blasts flexed the wings. It was like no other storm any of the crew had experienced before. It now became very clear that the decision to enter this superstorm was a huge mistake.
Twenty-nine-year-old Commander Steven West commanded the B-29 that was to the port side of the other two aircraft. ‘Turnabout! Get us out of here,’ he screamed at the pilots. The internal communication system was down.
The Superfortress struggled as it banked steadily, but gently, to port. Handling this Goliath in such violent circumstances took every bit of skill and determination the pilots could muster.
‘There it is,’ the starboard side pilot yelled out. ‘At my two o’clock.’
It was Senior Pilot Neville Waters that got first glimpse of the sleek silver craft moving stealthily through the storm’s camouflage. It somehow seemed at ease with the chaos, almost as if flowing amid the icy torrents and spectacular movement of electrical energy. It was about a quarter mile off to starboard, and at an identical 25,000 feet altitude, moving diagonally across their path to the southwest. The storm quickly obscured their line of sight, but it was sufficient time to make an educated guess as to where the bogey would be. To avoid a potential collision, the pilots struggled to bank the aircraft more steeply to port.
It was necessary to relay the information to the Right-Hand Gunner Jack Dunnet. Not seeing anything at first, Dunnet fired several short bursts randomly into the storm’s ferocity. Then without warning, there it was, glistening ominously with the lightning flashes. It couldn’t be more than a hundred yards away. Dunnet deftly adjusted the firing direction of his fully remote-controlled, computer-aided twin .50 Browning M2 machine guns.
‘I’ve got you!’ screamed Dunnet, unable be heard over the roar of the storm’s fury and the devastating firepower of his weaponry. Dunnet sensed a kill; adrenalin pulsed through his veins.
The silver aircraft veered sharply to port, ducking under and barely missing the tail of the B-29, riding the crest of the storm front as if well practiced in the art of avoiding detection in such circumstances. It was an extremely risky, but highly effective ploy. The bogey disappeared into the stormy night with no further sightings made by Commander West’s crew.
All six B-29 Superfortresses patrolled the New Mexico skies until it became necessary to return to Roswell for refueling. The storm raged on for another four to five hours, eventually turning southeast before finally petering out northwest of Roswell. There would be no fourth of July flyovers this year.
Chaves County, Roswell, New Mexico, USA
Date: Friday, July 4, 1947
Time: 1432 hours
Location: Chaves County Sheriff’s Office
New Mexico USA
‘Wreckage from a downed aircraft you say Con?’ enquired County Sheriff Gerry Wilson. The Sheriff had been sitting back, lazily reading the newspaper with his feet on the desk when he’d heard the name of his good friend, Con Sanchos, spoken by one of his deputies. The Sheriff had taken the enquiry directly.
Roswell was well prepared for the evening’s Fourth of July celebrations; clean cells awaited anybody foolish enough to cause trouble on the family holiday weekend. With the entire staff of law enforcement officers either on the job now, or coming on duty later in the evening, there was nothing to do but wait for the calm to turn to chaos. It would be a big night. Ever since victory had been declared against the Japanese, the fourth of July celebrations had become increasingly feverish with every celebration.
Only that morning, Sheriff Wilson had been asked by Military Intelligence personnel based at the Roswell Army Airfield to keep a lookout for anything “unusual”. Yesterday, he’d been informed, an unidentified aircraft had “carelessly drifted” into restricted airspace near the military’s secret Nevada testing location. The unidentified aircraft quickly departed when jets were scrambled into action from Muroc. Too quickly! It had simply vanished off radar suddenly and completely. It may have been detected in New Mexico.
The American people at this time could be described as being in a state of paranoia over growing tensions with the U.S.S.R. Fears of an all-out nuclear war gripped the nation. Were Soviet spy planes actually capable of such enormous range and speed? Were they then also capable of evading America’s latest radar detection and aircraft technologies? Many believed so.
The crash debris was located on the Sanchos ranch, about 35 miles northwest of Roswell. Discovered by local rancher Con Sanchos, he described the debris as “strewn over a vast area”. A trench several hundred feet long had been gouged deep into the earth. There was lots of “shiny metal” all around the crash site, and some other materials he couldn’t readily identify.
‘There’s something else Sheriff,’ Con Sanchos offered rather tentatively. ‘I’m not sure how to describe it, but the dogs and horses are spooked, and I’ve a very uneasy feeling about this. I sure would appreciate it if someone could come over here and take a look as soon as possible.’
Sheriff Wilson sat up properly at his cluttered desk and immediately got onto the phone to the Intelligence office that had called him earlier.
‘Okay Sheriff, thank you so much for calling. I’ll pass the message on to my superiors as a high priority,’ said the friendly female voice on the other end of the line. ‘Can I suggest that you keep the area secure until we’ve had time to send out some of our people? And Sheriff, please make no written records or speak to anyone about this matter unless necessary.’
‘Okay, Onto it. Please keep me informed.’
The Sheriff hung up the phone and immediately got back to Con Sanchos, advising him to not touch anything. He was to call the Sheriff immediately if anyone was snooping around. The Sheriff would send a patrol along his road every couple of hours to ensure everything remained quiet and undisturbed.
Top Secret – Pentagon Eyes Only
(Interim Report ONLY)
Summary Brief of Incursion into American Air Space, July 3rd, 1947 prepared by Eighth Air Force on behalf of Commanding General Roger Ramey
Report: 637th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
Commanding Officer Colonel Hughes oversaw the initial contact with the bogey, and initiated communication with the various other operations involved. His widely circulated official report states that radar operator Lieutenant Len Fielding believes that there had not actually been an incursion into the United States on the third of July as initially suspected. An electrical fault not previously detected at the new facility had inadvertently created a false contact.
A special “Top Secret” report by Colonel Hughes to the Commanding General of the Eighth Air Force advised that a likely “Russian” intruder entered American airspace at precisely 1710 hours, July 3rd, 1947. All attempts to contact the aircraft were unsuccessful after it had ignored normal procedures and protocols for entering the U.S. The intruder was observed at altitudes approaching 90,000 feet, and a velocity of almost Mach 3. The aircraft offered a minimal radar cross section making tracking it extremely difficult.
Report: Air Force Flight Test Centre – Muroc Army Airfield
Commanding Officer, Colonel James Rafter, gave instruction for the bogey intercept efforts over the Nevada skies. Experimental aircraft testing at the time was fully under Rafter’s command from his base at Muroc Army Airfield, California.
After a brief period of loss of contact, Colonel Rafter confirmed the eventual safe landing and return of the Bell X-1 pilot Captain Done. Rafter expressed high confidence that there’d not been sufficient opportunity for valuable intel to have been garnished by the Russian’s incursion. However, Rafter considers our enemy to be flying aircraft well advanced of anything we’ll be developing for a very long time.
Bell X-1 pilot sent to intercept the bogey, Captain Matt Done, stated that he saw a highly reflective silver coated “flat object”, about the size of a DC3 aircraft. It had no apparent windscreen, viewing windows or openings (other than two possible exhaust ports) of any kind, nor any design feature that he could recall. “It seemed very bright . . . blindingly bright.”
Done couldn’t recall firing his missile at the bogey. He wasn’t aware of having blacked out, but vaguely remembered being blinded by a brilliant flash of light. When questioned further by Colonel Rafter, Done asked if it might’ve been a “meteorite that exploded when it heated up entering the Earth’s atmosphere?” It was a curious question to have been made under the circumstances.
Colonel Rafter has been assigned responsibility for creating a full and comprehensive report of the Russian incursion to the Pentagon by way of the Eighth after making further enquiries with the various Commanding Officers involved.
Report: White Sands Proving Ground
Radar operators at White Sands Proving Ground made possible contact with the bogey over Cibola National Forrest. After initial intermittent contact, radar experienced problems caused by extreme weather. The contact on the evening of July 3rd was similar to several other contacts made over previous days, except that this contact was made at an altitude of at least 13,000 feet higher than anything previous.
(Eighth Air Force confirms radar countermeasure activity over and around the Cibola National Forrest as part of training exercises on July 3).
Report: 509th Bombardment Group Very Heavy – Roswell Army Airfield
Commanding Officer, Colonel Sam Curtis, directed the search efforts of the six B-29 Superfortresses that departed from Roswell Army Airfield, and all New Mexico military radar efforts east and north of the weather front on the evening of July 3rd.
B-29 Superfortress Senior Pilot Neville Waters stated that shortly after crossing into the heart of the storm about 45 miles southwest of Albuquerque, he’d seen an object, about the same size as their Superfortress, light up with the lightning flashes. He couldn’t be sure what it was, only that it appeared that “something” was moving within the storm. He described the aircraft as being silver, sleek, highly reflective and extremely maneuverable considering the difficult flying conditions.
Right Hand Gunner Jack Dunnet stated that he briefly saw a “bright silver aircraft” moving through the storm. He expressed high confidence that at the very least, some of the rounds fired from his Browning had hit their mark. They were too close for him to miss.
Flight Commander Steven West’s report completely contradicts Senior Pilot Waters and Gunner Dunnet. West had been looking out the starboard blister of the aircraft from the moment the pilot advised of visual contact. He didn’t see anything that looked like an aircraft. He suggested that Waters and Dunnet may have possibly been confused by light reflected from the ice-laden cloud.
Senior flight controller Lieutenant Gatsby at the Roswell Army Airfield control tower was responsible for coordinating the Superfortress search efforts. He reported that they’d experienced significant heavy “static” on their screens shortly after the B-29s first entered the storm. Static completely masked the movements of all aircraft everywhere for more than 20 minutes. Radio also experienced significant problems during this time. There was no further radar contact anywhere after the report from White Sands.
Further Intended Action:
Colonel James Rafter, Commanding Officer of the top-secret aircraft and weapons testing program run from Muroc Army Airfield, has been assigned the task of preparing a full and confidential briefing for Commanding General Roger Ramey, to be reviewed and then forwarded to the Pentagon.
All matters related to this July 3rd incursion are now deemed to be TOP SECRET.
Breaking into your thoughts – A message from the author Michael Muxworthy
I will be proposing an alternative explanation for these events, contrary to the official military line.
Five unexplained events of July 3, 1947:
- 1710 hours: Intermittent radar contact with an unidentified aircraft crossing Mexico/U.S. border into California at implausible speed and altitude. Faulty radar equipment is blamed;
- 1725 hours: Failed intercept attempt northwest of Las Vegas. The missile fired was explained as pilot error possibly related to altitude issues;
- 1734 hours: Loss of radar contact near the Grand Canyon as the aircraft exhibits strange behavior before disappearing completely. Faulty radar equipment is blamed;
- 1904 hours: (Dismissed) brief radar contact over Cibola National Forest N.M.;
- 1932 hours: (Possible) unidentified aircraft sighted southwest of Albuquerque N.M.
History records these events as unrelated, and as a series of errors, misunderstandings and mistaken observations from a paranoid military struggling with new technology. Or are they actually connected with a single explanation?