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Key Excerpts of Day After Roswell

Written by Lieutenant Colonel Philip J. Corso

Perhaps one of the most intriguing testimonies of those allegedly involved in top secret UFO government programs was the story of Lieutenant Colonel Philip J. Corso, former head of the Foreign Technology Desk in the US Army and a member of President Eisenhower‘s National Security Council from 1953–1957.

Down the Rabbit Hole

A year before his death, he came forward to share his astounding knowledge and involvement in covert government operations regarding UFO phenomena in his book Day After Roswell. In the book, he describes how he came into contact with Roswell material, and the shocking encounters he had of alien bodies. He also discusses how he helped spearhead the Army’s reverse-engineering project on recovered material from the infamous 1947 Roswell crash, which accelerated the development of sophisticated technologies commonly used today.

Below are key excerpts from his book that we found particularly useful in understanding the UFO phenomena, and the history of covert government programs regarding UFOs that are just beginning to come to light.

For context, explore the 1947 Roswell Crash Cover-Up in our comprehensive UFO Information Center.


My name is Philip J. Corso, and for two incredible years back in the 1960s while I was a lieutenant colonel in the army heading up the Foreign Technology desk in Army Research and Development at the Pentagon, I led a double life. In my routine everyday job as a researcher and evaluator of weapons systems for the army.

Part of my job responsibility in Army R&D, however, was as an intelligence officer and adviser to General Trudeau who, himself, had headed up Army Intelligence before coming to R&D. This was a job I was trained for and held during World War II and Korea. At the Pentagon I was working in some of the most secret areas of military intelligence, reviewing heavily classified information on behalf of General Trudeau. I had been on General Mac-Arthur's staff in Korea and knew that as late as 1961— even as late, maybe, as today—as Americans back then were sitting down to watch Dr. Kildare or Gunsmoke, captured American soldiers from World War II and Korea were still living in gulag conditions in prison camps in the Soviet Union and Korea. Some of them were undergoing what amounted to sheer psychological torture. They were the men who never returned.

As an intelligence officer I also knew the terrible secret that some of our government's most revered institutions had been penetrated by the KGB and that key aspects of American foreign policy were being dictated from inside the Kremlin. I testified to this first at a Senate subcommittee hearing chaired by Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois in April 1962, and a month later delivered the same information to Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

But hidden beneath everything I did, at the center of a double life I led that no one knew about, and buried deep inside my job at the Pentagon was a single file cabinet that I had inherited because of my intelligence background. That file held the army's deepest and most closely guarded secret: the Roswell files, the cache of debris and information an army retrieval team from the 509th Army Air Field pulled out of the wreckage of a flying disk that had crashed outside the town of Roswell in the New Mexico desert in the early-morning darkness during the first week of July 1947. The Roswell file was the legacy of what happened in the hours and days after the crash when the official government cover-up was put into place. As the military tried to figure out what it was that had crashed, where it had come from, and what its inhabitants' intentions were, a covert group was assembled under the leadership of the director of intelligence, Adm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter, to investigate the nature of the flying disks and collect all information about encounters with these phenomena while, at the same time, publicly and officially discounting the existence of all flying saucers. This operation has been going on, in one form or another, for fifty years amidst complete secrecy.

I wasn't in Roswell in 1947, nor had I heard any details about the crash at that time because it was kept so tightly under wraps, even within the military. You can easily understand why, though, if you remember, as I do, the Mercury Theater "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast in 1938 when the entire country panicked at the story of how invaders from Mars landed in Grovers Mill, New Jersey, and began attacking the local populace.

The fictionalized eyewitness reports of violence and the inability of our military forces to stop the creatures were graphic. They killed everyone who crossed their path, narrator Orson Welles said into his microphone, as these creatures in their war machines started their march toward New York. The level of terror that Halloween night of the broadcast was so intense and the military so incapable of protecting the local residents that the police were overwhelmed by the phone calls. It was as if the whole country had gone crazy and authority itself had started to unravel.

Now, in Roswell in 1947, the landing of a flying saucer was no fantasy. It was real, the military wasn't able to prevent it, and this time the authorities didn't want a repeat of "War of the Worlds." So you can see the mentality at work behind the desperate need to keep the story quiet. And this is not to mention the military fears at first that the craft might have been an experimental Soviet weapon because it bore a resemblance to some of the German-designed aircraft that had made their appearances near the end of the war, especially the crescent-shaped Horton flying wing. What if the Soviets had developed their own version of this craft?

The stories about the Roswell crash vary from one another in the details. Because I wasn't there, I've had to rely on reports of others, even within the military itself.

In 1961, regardless of the differences in the Roswell story from the many different sources who had described it, the top-secret file of Roswell information came into my possession when I took over the Foreign Technology desk at R&D. My boss, General Trudeau, asked me to use the army's ongoing weapons development and research program as a way to filter the Roswell technology into the mainstream of industrial development through the military defense contracting program.

Today, items such as lasers, integrated circuitry, fiber-optics networks, accelerated particle-beam devices, and even the Kevlar material in bulletproof vests are all commonplace. Yet the seeds for the development of all of them were found in the crash of the alien craft at Roswell and turned up in my files fourteen years later.

But that's not even the whole story.

In those confusing hours after the discovery of the crashed Roswell alien craft, the army determined that in the absence of any other information it had to be an extraterrestrial. Worse, the fact that this craft and other flying saucers had been surveilling our defensive installations and even seemed to evidence a technology we'd seen evidenced by the Nazis caused the military to assume these flying saucers had hostile intentions and might have even interfered in human events during the war.

That meant that we were facing a far superior power with weapons capable of obliterating us. At the same time we were locked in a Cold War with the Soviets and the mainland Chinese and were faced with the penetration of our own intelligence agencies by the KGB.

The military found itself fighting a two-front war, a war against the Communists who were seeking to undermine our institutions while threatening our allies and, as unbelievable as it sounds, a war against extraterrestrials, who posed an even greater threat than the Communist forces. It took us until the 1980s, but in the end we were able to deploy enough of the Strategic Defense Initiative, "Star Wars," to achieve the capability of knocking down enemy satellites, killing the electronic guidance systems of incoming enemy warheads, and disabling enemy spacecraft, if we had to, to pose a threat. It was alien technology that we used: lasers, accelerated particle-beam weapons, and aircraft equipped with "Stealth" features.

I just did my job, going to work at the Pentagon day in and day out until we put enough of this alien technology into development that it began to move forward under its own weight through industry and back into the army. The full import of what we did at Army R&D and what General Trudeau did to grow R&D from a disorganized unit under the shadow of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), when he first took command, to the army department that helped create the military guided missile, the antimissile missile, and the guided-missile-launched accelerated particle-beam-firing satellite killer, didn't really hit me until years later when I understood just how we were able to make history.

I always thought of myself as just a little man from a little American town in western Pennsylvania, and I didn't assess the weight of our accomplishments at Army R&D, especially how we harvested the technology coming out of the Roswell crash, until thirty-five years after I left the army when I sat down to write my memoirs for an entirely different book. That was when I reviewed my old journals, remembered some of the memos I'd written to General Trudeau, and understood that the story of what happened in the days after the Roswell crash was perhaps the most significant story of the past fifty years.

Throughout the 1950s, I witnessed the government become more and more secretive about UFOs even though privately I thought that they would get better information if they were more open about it. But I was also a military officer and understood the necessity of keeping information confidential until you understood what it was. Besides, the Soviets were making great strides in the race to get into space and we didn't know if they were getting cooperation from the EBEs.

In 1961, the air force began two secret projects that, in effect, had been in operation since 1947 but had not been committed to policy. "Moon Dust" had to do with the establishment of recovery teams to retrieve and recover crashed or grounded "foreign" space vehicles. But for all intents and purposes, as far as the public was concerned the air force was looking for Soviet satellites that had fallen out of the sky and landed on Earth. But in reality the air force was establishing a recovery of UFOs program just like the army had pulled the crashed UFO out of the New Mexico desert fourteen years earlier. Then in Project "Blue Fly," the air force authorized the immediate delivery of foreign crashed space vehicles and any other item of technical intelligence interest to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, for evaluation. It was a repeat of General Twining's retrieval of the Roswell space vehicle from the 509th to Wright Field in 1947.

In 1962, one of the assistants to the secretary of defense, Arthur Sylvester, told the press at a briefing that if the government deemed it necessary for reasons of national security, it would not even furnish information about UFOs to Congress, let alone the American public.

So, believe it or not, this is the story of what happened in the days after Roswell and how a small group of military intelligence officers changed the course of human history.

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Discovering the Bodies at Fort Riley

Whatever was going on, I didn’t want to play any games. The post duty sheet for that night read that the veterinary building was off-limits to everyone. Not even the sentries were allowed inside because whatever had been loaded in had been classified as “No Access.”

“Brownie, you know you’re not supposed to be in there,” I said. “Get out here and tell me what’s going on.” [Brownie was M.Sgt. Bill Brown]

He stepped out from inside the door, and even through the shadow I could see that his face was a dead pale, just as if he’d seen a ghost.

“You won’t believe this,” he said. “I don’t believe it and I just saw it.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“The guys who off-loaded those deuce-and-a-halfs,” he said. “They told us they brought these boxes up from Fort Bliss from some accident out in New Mexico? … Well, they told us it was all top secret but they looked inside anyway. Everybody down there did when they were loading the trucks. MPs were walking around with sidearms and even the officers were standing guard,” Brown said.

“But the guys who loaded the trucks said they looked inside the boxes and didn’t believe what they saw. You got security clearance, Major. You can come in here.”

In fact, I was the post duty officer and could go anywhere I wanted during the watch. So I walked inside the old veterinary building, the medical dispensary for the cavalry horses before the First World War, and saw where the cargo from the convoy had been stacked up. There was no one in the building except for Bill Brown and myself.

“What is all this stuff?” I asked.

“That’s just it, Major, nobody knows,” he said. “The drivers told us it came from a plane crash out in the desert somewhere around the 509th. But when they looked inside, it was nothing like anything they’d seen before. Nothing from this planet.”

There were about thirty-odd wooden crates nailed shut and stacked together against the far wall of the building. The light switches were the push type and I didn’t know which switch tripped which circuit, so I used my flashlight and stumbled around until my eyes got used to the darkness and shadows. I didn’t want to start pulling apart the nails, so I set the flashlight off to one side where it could throw light on the stack and then searched for a box that could open easily. Then I found an oblong box off to one side with a wide seam under the top that looked like it had been already opened. It looked like either the strangest weapons crate you’d ever see or the smallest shipping crate for a coffin. Maybe this was the box that Brownie had seen. I brought the flashlight over and set it up high on the wall so it would throw as broad a beam as possible. Then I set to work on the crate.

The top was already loose. I was right—this one had just been opened. I jimmied the top back and forth, continuing to loosen the nails that had been pried up with a nail claw, until I felt them come out of the wood. Then I worked along the sides of the five-or-so-foot box until the top was loose all the way around. Not knowing which end of the box was the front, I picked up the top and slid it off to the edge. Then I lowered the flashlight, looked inside, and my stomach rolled right up into my throat and I almost became sick right then and there.

Whatever they’d crated this way, it was a coffin, but not like any coffin I’d seen before. The contents, enclosed in a thick glass container, were submerged in a thick light blue liquid, almost as heavy as a gelling solution of diesel fuel. But the object was floating, actually suspended, and not sitting on the bottom with a fluid over top, and it was soft and shiny as the underbelly of a fish. At first I thought it was a dead child they were shipping somewhere. But this was no child. It was a four-foot human-shaped figure with arms, bizarre-looking four-fingered hands—I didn’t see a thumb—thin legs and feet, and an oversized incandescent lightbulb-shaped head that looked like it was floating over a balloon gondola for a chin. I know I must have cringed at first, but then I had the urge to pull off the top of the liquid container and touch the pale gray skin. But I couldn’t tell whether it was skin because it also looked like a very thin one-piece head-to-toe fabric covering the creature’s flesh.

Its eyeballs must have been rolled way back in its head because I couldn’t see any pupils or iris or anything that resembled a human eye. But the eye sockets themselves were oversized and almond shaped and pointed down to its tiny nose, which didn’t really protrude from the skull. It was more like the tiny nose of a baby that never grew as the child grew, and it was mostly nostril. The creature’s skull was overgrown to the point where all of its facial features—such as they were—were arranged absolutely frontally, occupying only a small circle on the lower part of the head. The protruding ears of a human were nonexistent, its cheeks had no definition, and there were no eyebrows or any indications of facial hair. The creature had only a tiny flat slit for a mouth and it was completely closed, resembling more of a crease or indentation between the nose and the bottom of the chinless skull than a fully functioning orifice. I would find out years later how it communicated, but at that moment in Kansas, I could only stand there in shock over the clearly nonhuman face suspended in front of me in a semiliquid preservative.

I could see no damage to the creature’s body and no indication that it had been involved in any accident. There was no blood, its limbs seemed intact, and I could find no lacerations on the skin or through the gray fabric. I looked through the crate encasing the container of liquid for any paperwork or shipping invoice or anything that would describe the nature or origin of this thing. What I found was an intriguing Army Intelligence document describing the creature as an inhabitant of a craft that had crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico, earlier that week and a routing manifest for this creature to the log-in officer at the Air Materiel Command at Wright Field and from him to the Walter Reed Army Hospital morgue’s pathology section where, I supposed, the creature would be autopsied and stored. It was not a document I was meant to see, for sure, so I tucked it back in the envelope against the inside wall of the crate.

I allowed myself more time to look at the creature than I should have, I suppose, because that night I missed the time checks on the rest of my rounds and believed I’d have to come up with a pretty good explanation for the lateness of my other stops to verify the sentry assignments. But what I was looking at was worth any trouble I’d get into the next day. This thing was truly fascinating and at the same time utterly horrible. It challenged every conception I had.

I slid the top of the crate back over the creature, knocked the nails loosely into their original holes with the butt end of my flashlight, and put the tarp back in position. Then I left the building and hoped I could close the door forever on what I’d seen. Just forget it, I told myself. You weren’t supposed to see it and maybe you can live your whole life without ever having to think about it. Maybe. Once outside the building I rejoined Brownie at his post.

“You know you never saw this,” I said. “And you tell no one.”

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Artifacts from Roswell

It was 1961, four years after I left the White House and put on my uniform again to stand guard across the electronic no-man’s-land of radar sweeps and photo sensors just a few kilometers west of the Iron Curtain. My new boss was General Arthur Trudeau, one of the last fighting generals from the Korean War.

I was a lieutenant colonel when I came to the Pentagon in 1961, and all I brought with me were my bowling trophy from Fort Riley and a nameplate for my desk cut out of the fin of a Nike missile from Germany.

General Trudeau gave me his very grim smile and said, as he walked me toward the locked dark olive military file cabinet on the wall of his private office, “I need you to cover my back, Colonel. I need you to watch because what I’m going to do, I can’t cover it myself.”

Whatever Trudeau was planning, I knew he’d tell me in his own time. And he’d tell me only what he thought I needed to know when I needed it. For the immediate present, I was to be his special assistant in R&D, one of the most sensitive divisions in the whole Pentagon bureaucracy because that was where the most classified plans of the scientists and weapons designers were translated into the reality of defense contracts. R&D was the interface between the gleam in someone’s eye and a piece of hardware prototype rolling out of a factory to show its potential for the army brass. Only it was my job to keep it a secret while it was developed.

The general had put me in an office on the second floor of the outer ring directly under him. That way, as I would soon find out, whenever he needed me in a hurry I could get upstairs and through the back door before anybody even knew where I was. “This has some special files, war material you’ve never seen before, that I want to put under your Foreign Technology responsibilities,” he continued.

My specific assignment was to the Research & Development Division’s Foreign Technology desk, what I thought would be a pretty dry post because it mainly required me to keep up on the kinds of weapons and research our allies were doing.

“I’ll get to those files right away if you like, General,” I said. “And write up some preliminary reports on what I think about it.”

“It’s going to take you a little longer than that, Phil,” Trudeau said. Now he was almost laughing, something he didn’t do very much in those days. In fact, the only time I remember him laughing that way was after he heard that his name had been put up to command the U.S. forces in Vietnam.

“Is there something else about this I should know, General?” I asked, trying not to show any hesitation in my voice. Business as usual, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing anybody can throw my way that I can’t handle.

“Actually, Phil, the material in this cabinet is a little different from the run-of-the-mill foreign stuff we’ve seen up to now,” he said. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the intelligence on what we’ve got here when you were over at the White House, but before you write up any summaries maybe you should do a little research on the Roswell file.”

I remembered a hot July night fourteen years before at Fort Riley when I was the young intelligence officer after having just been shipped back from Rome. I remembered being hustled into a storage hangar by one of the sentries, a fellow member of the Fort Riley bowling team. What he pointed to under the thick olive tarp that night was also very, very secret, and I held my breath, hoping that what was inside this cabinet wasn’t anything like what I saw that night in Kansas, July 6, 1947.

I opened the cabinet, and almost immediately my heart sank. I knew, from looking at the shoebox of tangled wires and the strange cloth, from the visorlike headpiece and the little wafers that looked like Ritz crackers only with broken edges and colored a dark gray, and from an assortment of other items that I couldn’t even relate to the shapes and sizes of things I was familiar with, that my life was headed for a big change.

After I went to the White House and saw all the National Security Council memos describing the “incident” and talking about the “package” and the “goods,” I knew that the strange figure I’d seen floating in liquid in a casket within a casket at Fort Riley wasn’t just a bad dream I could forget about.

I heard footsteps outside my door and caught my breath. There were always sounds in the Pentagon at night because the building was never empty. Somewhere, in some office, in parts of the building most people don’t even know about, some group is planning for a war we hope we will never fight.

General Trudeau peeked his head around the door. “Look inside?” he asked.

“What’d you do to me, General?” I said. “I thought we were friends.”

“That’s why I gave you this, Phil,” he said, but he wasn’t laughing, wasn’t even smiling. “You know how valuable this property is? You know what any of the other agencies would do to get this into their hands?”

“They’d probably kill me,” I said.

“They probably want to kill you anyway, but this makes them even more rabid. The air force wants it because they think it belongs to them. The navy wants it because they want anything the air force wants. The CIA wants it so they can give it to the Russians.”

“I need a plan from you,” he said. “Not simply what this property is, but what we can do with it. Something that keeps it out of play until we know what we have and what use we can make of it.”

“Look, who’s our biggest problem?” I asked, but it was a pro forma question because I already knew the answer.

“The same people who lost Korea for us and who you had to fight over at the White House,” he said. “You know exactly who I mean. We got to keep whatever’s valuable here from falling into the wrong hands because as sure as we’re standing in this Pentagon, it’ll find its way right to the Kremlin.”

There were people floating around Washington right at that very moment who, even out of the most well-meaning intentions they could muster, would have shipped this Roswell file over to Russia while patting President Kennedy on the back and congratulating him for contributing to world peace. Just as there were people who would have cut Trudeau’s and my throat and left us right on the rug to bleed to death while they packed that file away. Either way, Trudeau didn’t have to quote me chapter and verse to explain that he was handing me one of the most important assignments I would ever receive from him. He was giving me the keys to a whole new kingdom, but neither he nor I knew what in the world we could do with this stuff, short of keeping it out of the hands of the Russians. At the very least, that was a start.

Career after career of anyone in government who even hinted at the big dark secret of Roswell was pulverized by whoever was behind this operation. And, although I knew far more than I had even admitted to myself, I would never be the one to shoot off my mouth. But now this file, what I would eventually call the “nut file” to General Trudeau, had come into my possession, and as the ensuing weeks turned into a month, I gradually figured out where some of the puzzle pieces fit.

First there were the tiny, clear, single-filament, flexible glasslike wires twisted together through a kind of gray harness as if they were cables going into a junction. They were narrow filaments, thinner than copper wire. As I held the harness of strands up to the light from my desk, I could see an eerie glow coming through them as if they were conducting the faint light and breaking it up into different colors. When the personnel at the retrieval site in the desert outside of Roswell pulled this piece out of the wreckage of the delta-shaped object, they thought it was some sort of wiring device—a harness is what they said—or maybe some of them thought it was a junction box or electrical relay. But whatever they thought it was, they believed there was nothing like it on this planet. As I turned the object over in my hand, I figured, from the way the individual filaments flexed back and forth but didn’t break and the way they were able to conduct a light beam along their length, they were a wire of some sort. But for what purpose I didn’t have a clue.

Then there were the thin two-inch-around matte gray oyster cracker–shaped wafers of a material that looked like plastic but had tiny road maps of wires barely raised/etched along the surface. They were the size of a twenty-five-cent piece, but the etchings on the surface reminded me of squashed insects with their hundred legs spread out at right angles from a flat body. Some were more rounded or elliptical. It was a circuit—anyone could figure that out by 1961, especially when you put it under a magnifying glass—but from the way these wafers were stacked on each other, this was a circuitry unlike any other I’d ever seen. I couldn’t figure out how to plug it in and what kind of current it carried, but it was clearly a wire circuitry of a sort that came from a larger board of wafers on board the flying craft. My hand shook ever so slightly as I held these pieces, not because they themselves were scary but because I was awed, just for a few seconds, about the momentous nature of this find.

I was most interested in the file descriptions accompanying a two-piece set of dark elliptical eyepieces as thin as skin. The Walter Reed pathologists said they adhered to the lenses of the extraterrestrial creatures’ eyes and seemed to reflect existing light, even in what looked like complete darkness, so as to illuminate and intensify images in the darkness to allow their wearer to pick out shapes. The reports had said that the pathologists at Walter Reed hospital who autopsied one of these creatures tried to peer through them in the darkness to watch the one or two army sentries and medical orderlies walking down a corridor adjacent to the pathology lab. These figures were illuminated in a greenish orange, depending upon how they moved, but the pathologists could see only their outer shape. And when they got close to each other, their shapes blended into a single form. But they could also see the outlines of furniture and the wall and objects on desktops. Maybe, I thought as I read this report, soldiers could wear a visor that intensified images through the reflection and amplification of available light and navigate in the darkness of a battlefield with as much confidence as if they were walking their sentry posts in broad daylight. But these eyepieces didn’t turn night into day, they only highlighted the exterior shapes of things.

There was a dull, grayish-silvery foil-like swatch of cloth among these artifacts that you could not fold, bend, tear, or wad up but that bounded right back into its original shape without any creases. It was a metallic fiber with physical characteristics that would later be called “supertenacity,” but when I tried to cut it with scissors, the arms just slid right off without making even a nick in the fibers. If you tried to stretch it, it bounced back, but I noticed that all the threads seemed to be going in one direction. When I tried to stretch it widthwise instead of lengthwise, it looked like the fibers had reoriented themselves to the direction I was pulling in. This couldn’t be cloth, but it obviously wasn’t metal. It was a combination, to my unscientific eye, of a cloth woven with metal strands that had the drape and malleability of a fabric and the strength and resistance of a metal. I was on top of some of the most secret weapons projects at the Pentagon, and we had nothing like this, even under the wish-list category.

There was a written description and a sketch of another device, too, like a short, stubby flashlight almost with a self-contained power source that was nothing at all like a battery. The scientists at Wright Field who examined it said they couldn’t see the beam of light shoot out of it, but when they pointed the pencil-like flashlight at a wall, they could see a tiny circle of red light, but there was no actual beam from the end of what seemed like a lens to the wall as there would have been if you were playing a flashlight off on a distant object. When they passed an object in front of the source of the light, it interrupted it, but the beam was so intense the object began smoking. They played with this device a lot before they realized that it was an alien cutting device like a blowtorch. One time they floated some smoke across the light and suddenly the whole beam took shape. What had been invisible suddenly had a round, microthin, tunnel-like shape to it.

Then there was the strangest device of all, a headband, almost, with electrical-signal pickup devices on either side. I could figure out no use for this thing whatsoever unless whoever used it did so as a fancy hair band. It seemed to be a one-size-fits-all headpiece that did nothing, at least not for humans. Maybe it picked up brain waves like an electroencephalogram and projected a chart. But no private experiment conducted on it seemed to do anything at all. The scientists didn’t even determine how to plug it in or what its source of power was because it came with no batteries or diagrams.

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MJ-12 and Beyond: How Secret UFO Government Programs Formed

Like the navy, the air force had different advocates for different goals, and so did the army. And when there are competing agendas and strategies articulated by some of the best and brightest people ever to graduate from universities, war colleges, and the ranks of officers, you have hard-nosed people playing high-stakes games against one another for the big prizes: the lion’s share of the military budget. And, at the very center of it all, the place where the dollars get spent, are the weapons-development people who work for their respective branches of the military.

And within those first few weeks I saw and learned a lot about how the politics of the Roswell discovery had matured over the fourteen years since the crash and since the intense discussions at the White House after Eisenhower became president. Each of the different branches of the military had been protecting its own cache of Roswell-related files and had been actively seeking to gather as much new Roswell material as possible. Certainly all the services had their own reports from examiners at Walter Reed and Bethesda concerning the nature of the alien physiology. Mine were in my nut file along with the drawings. It was pretty clear, also, from the way the navy and air force were formulating their respective plans for advanced military-technology hardware, that many of the same pieces of technology in my files were probably shared by the other services. But nobody was bragging because everybody wanted to know what the other guy had. But since, officially, Roswell had never happened in the first place, there was no technology to develop.

On the other hand, the curiosity among weapons and intelligence people within the services was rabid. Nobody wanted to come in second place in the silent, unacknowledged alien-technology-development race going on at the Pentagon as each service quietly pursued its version of a secret Roswell weapon. If you were in the know about what was retrieved from Roswell, you kept your ears open for snippets of information about what was being developed by another branch of the military, what was going before the budget committees for funding, or what defense contractors were developing a specific technology for the services. If you weren’t in the Roswell loop, but were too curious for your own good, you could be spun around by the swirling rumor mill that the Roswell race had kicked up among competing weapons-development people in the services and wind up chasing nothing more than dust devils that vanished down the halls as soon as you turned the corner on them.

As if the eyes of the other military services weren’t enough, we also had to contend with the analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency. Under the guise of coordination and cooperation, the CIA was amalgamating as much power as it could. Information is power, and the more the CIA tried to learn about the army weapons-development program, the more nervous it made all of us at the center of R&D.

“How does the CIA know what we have?” [I said to General Trudeau.]

“They’re guessing, I suppose,” he said. “And figuring it out by the process of elimination. Look, everybody suspects what the air force has.”

Trudeau was right. In the rumor bank from which everybody in the Pentagon made deposits and withdrawals, the air force was sitting on the Holy Grail—a spaceship itself and maybe even a live extraterrestrial. Nobody knew for sure. We knew that after it became a separate branch of the military in 1948, the air force kept some of the Roswell artifacts at Wright Field outside of Dayton, Ohio, because that’s where “the cargo” was shipped, stopping off in Fort Riley along the way. But the air force was primarily interested in how things fly, so whatever R&D they worked on was focused on how their planes could evade radar and outfly the Soviets no matter where we got the technology from.

“And,” he continued, “I’m sure the agency fellows would love to get into the Naval Intelligence files on Roswell if they’ve not done so already.” With its advanced submarine technology and missile-launching nuclear subs, the navy was struggling with its own problem in figuring out what to do about UUOs or USOs—Unidentified Submerged Objects, as they came to be called. It was a worry in naval circles, particularly as war planners advanced strategies for protracted submarine warfare in the event of a first strike. Whatever was flying circles around our jets since the 1950s, evading radar at our top-secret missile bases like Red Canyon, which I saw with my own eyes, could plunge right into the ocean, navigate down there just as easy as you please, and surface halfway around the world without so much as leaving an underwater signature we could pick up. Were these USOs building bases at the bottom of oceanic basins beyond the dive capacity of our best submarines, even the Los Angeles–class jobbies that were only on the drawing boards? That’s what the chief of Naval Operations had to find out, so the navy was occupied with fighting its own war with extraterrestrial craft in the air and under the sea.

That left the army.

However we were going to camouflage our development of the Roswell technology, it had to be within the existing way we did business so no one would recognize any difference. We operated on a normal defense development projects budget of well into the billions in 1960, most of it allocated to the analysis of new weapons systems. Just within our own bureau we had contracts with the nation’s biggest defense companies with whom we maintained almost daily communication.

Luckily enough for me, the whole Roswell story was still unknown outside the highest military circles in 1961. Retired major Jesse Marcel, the intelligence officer at the 509th who had been at the crash site in July 1947 and who had given the initial reports of a spacecraft, would not yet tell his story in public for at least another ten years. Everyone else connected to the incident was either dead or sworn to silence.

The air force, which moved quickly to take over management of the Roswell affair and ongoing UFO contacts and sightings, still kept everything they learned highly classified under the Air Force Intelligence Command and waged a push-and-pull war with the CIA for information about sightings and ongoing contacts with anything extraterrestrial. These really weren’t my concerns yet, but they would be.

My research was not concerned with the crash at Roswell itself ... but on the day after Roswell, the day Bill Blanchard from the 509th crated up the alien debris and shipped it to Fort Bliss, where Gen. Roger Ramey’s staff determined its final disposition and the official government history of the event began to unfold.

In the early hours after the cargo arrived in Texas, there was so much confusion about what was found and what wasn’t found that army officers, who were in charge of the entire retrieval operation, quickly scraped together both a cover story and a plan to silence all the military and civilian witnesses to the recovery.

The cover story was easy. General Ramey ordered Maj. Jesse Marcel to recant his “flying saucer” story and pose for a news photo with debris from a weather balloon, which he described as the wreckage the retrieval team recovered from outside Roswell. Marcel followed orders and the flying saucer officially became a weather balloon.

The silencing worked so well that for the next thirty years the story seemed to have been swallowed up by the quiet emptiness of desert where all things are worn down to a fine grade of sameness. But belying the quiet that settled over Roswell, a thousand miles away, part of the U.S. military went on wartime alert as bits and pieces of the craft reached their destinations. One of those destinations, Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining’s desk at Wright Field, was the focal point from which the Roswell artifacts would reach the Foreign Technology desk at the Pentagon. Among the first of the army’s top commands notified of the events unfolding in Roswell in early July would have had to have been Lieutenant General Twining’s Air Materiel Command at Wright Field, where the Roswell debris was shipped. Nathan Twining has become important to UFO researchers because of his association with a number of highly secret meetings at the Eisenhower White House having to do with the national security issues posed by the discovery of UFOs and his relationship to National Security Special Assistant Robert Cutler, who was the liaison between the NSC and President Eisenhower when I was on the NSC staff in the 1950s. The silver-haired General Twining was the point man for initial research and dissemination of Roswell-related materials.

General Twining had seen the material for himself, and even before he returned to Wright Field, he’d conferred with the rocket scientists who were part of his brain trust at Alamogordo. Now, during the remainder of the summer months, he quietly compiled a report that he would deliver to President Truman and an ad hoc group of military, government, and civilian officials, who would ultimately become the chief policy makers for what would become an ongoing contact with extraterrestrials over the ensuing fifty years.

The first of these reports was transmitted from General Twining to the commanding general of Army Air Forces in Washington, dated September 23, 1947. Written to the attention of Brig. Gen. George Schulgen, Twining’s memo addressed, in the most general of terms, the official Air Materiel Command’s intelligence regarding “flying discs.”

Flying saucers or UFOs are not illusions, Twining says, referring to the sighting of strange objects in the sky as “something real and not visionary or fictitious.” Even though he cites the possibility that some of the sightings are only meteors or other natural occurrences, he says that the reports are based upon real sightings of actual objects “approximating the shape of a disc, of such appreciable size as to be as large as man-made aircraft.” Considering that this report was never intended for public scrutiny, especially in 1947, Twining marveled at the aircrafts’ operating characteristics and went on record, drawing major conclusions about the material he had and the reports he’d heard or read. His characterization of the aircrafts’ behavior revealed, even weeks after the physical encounter, that those officers in the military who were now running the yet-to-be-code-named extraterrestrial contact project already considered these objects and those entities who controlled them a military threat. He described the aircraft as it had been reported in the sightings: a “light reflective or metallic surface,” “absence of a trail except in those few instances when the object was operating under high performance conditions,” “circular or elliptical in shape, flat on bottom and domed on top,” flights in formation consisting of from “three to nine objects,” and no sound except for those instances when “a substantial rumbling roar was noted.” The objects moved quickly for aircraft at that time, he noted to General Schulgen, at level flight speeds above three hundred knots.

Were the United States to build such an aircraft, especially one with a range of over seven thousand miles, the cost, commitment, administrative and development overhead, and drain on existing high-technology projects required that the entire project should be independent or outside of the normal weapons-development bureaucracy. In other words, as I interpreted the memo, Twining was suggesting to the commander of the Army Air Force that were the air force, which would become a separate branch of the military by the following year, to attempt to exploit the technology that had quite literally dropped into its lap, it had to do so separately and independently from any normal weapons-development program. The descriptions of the supersecret projects at Nellis Air Force Base or Area 51 in the Nevada desert seem to fit the profile of the kind of recommendation that General Twining was making, especially the employment of the “skunk works” group at Lockheed in the development of the Stealth fighter and B2 bomber.

Three days after the memo, on September 26, 1947, General Twining gave his report on the Roswell crash and its implications for the United States to President Truman and a short list of officials he convened to begin the management of this top-secret combination of inquiry, police development, and “ops.” This working group, which included Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, Dr. Vannevar Bush, Secretary James Forrestal, Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, Dr. Detlev Bronk, Dr. Jerome Hunsaker, Sidney W. Souers, Gordon Gray, Dr. Donald Menzel, Gen. Robert M. Montague, Dr. Lloyd V. Berkner, and Gen. Nathan Twining himself, became the nucleus for an ongoing fifty-year operation that some people have called “Majestic-12.”

As more information on sightings and encounters came rolling in through every imaginable channel, from police officers taking reports from frightened civilians to airline pilots tracking strange objects in the sky, the group realized that they needed policies on how to handle what was turning into a mass-media phenomenon. They needed a mechanism for processing the thousands of flying saucer reports that could be anything from a real crash or close encounter to a couple of bohunks tossing a pie tin into the air and snapping its picture with their Aunt Harriet’s Kodak Brownie. The group also had to assess the threat from the Soviet Union and Iron Curtain countries, assuming of course that flying saucers weren’t restricted to North America, and gather intelligence on what kinds of information our allies had on flying saucers as well. And it still had to process the Roswell technology and figure out how it could be used. So from the original group there developed a whole tree structure of loosely confederated committees and subgroups, sometimes complete organizations like the air force Project Blue Book, all kept separate by administrative firewalls so that there would be no information leakage, but all controlled from the top.

With the initial and ongoing stories safely covered up, the plans for the long-term reverse-engineering work on the Roswell technology could begin. But who would do it? Where would the material reside? And how could the camouflage of what the military was doing be maintained amidst the push for new weapons, competition with the Soviets, and the flying saucer mania that was sweeping the country in the late 1940s? General Twining had a plan for that, too.

Just a little over a year after the initial group meetings at the White House, Air Force Intelligence, now that the air force had become a separate service, issued a December 1948 report—100-203-79—called “Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the U.S.” in which UFOs are never referred to as extraterrestrial objects but as elements of “foreign technology,” which is actually the subject of the report. The report, innocuous to most people because it doesn’t say that flying saucers came from outer space, is actually one of the first indications showing how the camouflage plan was supposed to work over the ensuing years.

The writers of the report had located within the existing military administrative structure the precise place where all research and development into the flying disk phenomenon could be pursued not only under a veil of secrecy but in the very place where no one could be expected to look: the Foreign Technology desk. Here, the materials could be deposited for safekeeping within the military while army and air force brass decided what our existing industrial and research technology allowed them to do. There could be fiascoes as weapons failed, secret experiments without fear of exposure, and, most importantly, an ongoing discussion of how the United States could develop this treasure trove of engineering information, all within the very structure where it was supposed to take place. Just don’t call it extraterrestrial; call it “foreign technology” and throw it into the hopper with the rest of the mundane stuff the foreign technology officers were supposed to do.

And that’s how, twelve years later, the Roswell technology turned up in an old combination-locked military file cabinet carted into my new Pentagon office by two of the biggest enlisted men I’d ever seen.

General Twining had made it clear in his preliminary analysis that they were investigating the whole phenomenon of flying disks, including Roswell and any other encounter that happened to take place. [These entities] had a technology vastly superior to ours, which we had to study and exploit. If we were forced to fight a war in outer space, we would have to understand the nature of the enemy better, especially if it came to preparing the American people for an enemy they had to face. So investigate first, he suggested, but prepare for the day when the whole undertaking would have to be disclosed.

This, Truman could understand. He had trusted Twining to manage this potential crisis from the moment Forrestal had alerted him that the crash had taken place. And Twining had done a brilliant job. He kept the lid on the story and brought back everything that he could under one roof. He understood as Twining described to him the strangeness of the spacecraft that seemed to have no engines, no fuel, nor any apparent methods of propulsion, yet outflew our fastest fighters; the odd childlike creatures who were inside and how one of them was killed by a gunshot; the way you could see daylight through the inside of the craft even though the sun had not yet risen; the swatches of metallic fabric that they couldn’t burn or melt; thin beams of light that you couldn’t see until they hit an object and then burned right through it, and on and on; more questions than answers. It would take years to find these answers, Twining had said, and it was beyond the immediate capacity of our military to do anything about it. This will take a lot of manpower, the general said, and most of the work will have to be done in secret.

General Twining showed photographs of these alien beings and autopsy reports that suggested they were too human; they had to be related to our species in some way. They were obviously intelligent and able to communicate, witnesses at the scene had reported, by some sort of thought projection unlike any mental telepathy you’d see at a carnival show. We didn’t know whether they came from a planet like Mars in our own solar system or from some galaxy we could barely see with our strongest telescopes. But they possessed a military technology whose edges we could understand and exploit, even if only for self-defense against the Soviets.

By the middle of September it was obvious to every member of President Truman’s working group, which included the following:

Central Intelligence Director Adm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter
Secretary of Defense James Forrestal
Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining of the AAF and then USAF Air Materiel Command
Professor Donald Menzel, Harvard astronomer and Naval Intelligence cryptography expert
Vannevar Bush, Joint Research and Development Board Chairman
Detlev Bronk, Chairman of the National Research Council and biologist who would ultimately be named to the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics
Gen. Robert Montague, who was General Twining’s classmate at West Point, Commandant of Fort Bliss with operational control over the command at White Sands
Gordon Gray, President Truman’s Secretary of the Army and chairman of the CIA’s Psychological Strategy Board
Sidney Souers, Director of the National Security Council
Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, Central Intelligence Group Director prior to Roscoe Hillenkoetter and then USAF Chief of Staff in 1948
Jerome Hunsaker, aircraft engineer and Director of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics
Lloyd Berkner, member of the Joint Research and Development Board

It would have to be, General Twining suggested, at the same time both the greatest cover-up and greatest public relations program ever undertaken.

The group agreed that these were the requirements of the endeavor they would undertake. They would form nothing less than a government within the government, sustaining itself from presidential administration to presidential administration regardless of whatever political party took power, and ruthlessly guarding their secrets while evaluating every new bit of information on flying saucers they received. But at the same time, they would allow disclosure of some of the most far-fetched information, whether true or not, because it would help create a climate of public attitude that would be able to accept the existence of extraterrestrial life without a general sense of panic.

“It will be,” General Twining said, “a case where the cover-up is the disclosure and the disclosure is the cover-up. Deny everything, but let the public sentiment take its course. Let skepticism do our work for us until the truth becomes common acceptance.”

Meanwhile, the group agreed to establish an information-gathering project, ultimately named Blue Book and managed explicitly by the air force, which would serve public relations purposes by allowing individuals to file reports on flying disk sightings. While the Blue Book field officers attributed commonplace explanations to the reported sightings, the entire project was a mechanism to acquire photographic records of flying saucer activity for evaluation and research. The most intriguing sightings that had the highest probability of being truly unidentified objects would be bumped upstairs to the working group for dissemination to the authorized agencies carrying on the research. For my purposes, when I entered the Pentagon, the general category of all flying disk phenomena research and evaluation was referred to simply as “foreign technology.”

Project “Blue Book” was created to make the general public happy that they had a mechanism for reporting what they saw. Projects “Grudge” and “Sign” were of a higher security to allow the military to process sightings and encounter reports that couldn’t easily be explained away as balloons, geese, or the planet Venus. Blue Fly and Twinkle had other purposes, as did scores of other camouflage projects like Horizon, HARP, Rainbow, and even the Space Defense Initiative, all of which had something to do with alien technology. But no one ever knew it. And when reporters were actually given truthful descriptions of alien encounters, they either fell on the floor laughing or sold the story to the tabloids, who’d print a drawing of a large-headed, almond-eyed, six-fingered alien. Again, everybody laughed. But that’s what these things really look like because I saw the one they trucked up to Wright Field.

Meanwhile, as each new project was created and administered, another bread crumb for anyone pursuing the secrets to find, we were gradually releasing bits and pieces of information to those we knew would make something out of it. Flying saucers did truly buzz over Washington, D.C., in 1952, and there are plenty of photographs and radar reports to substantiate it. But we denied it while encouraging science fiction writers to make movies like The Man from Planet X to blow off some of the pressure concerning the truth about flying disks. This was called camouflage through limited disclosure, and it worked. If people could enjoy it as entertainment, get duly frightened, and follow trails to nowhere that the working group had planted, then they’d be less likely to stumble over what we were really doing. And what were we really doing?

What had started out as a single-purpose camouflage operation was breaking up into smaller units. Command-and-control functions started to weaken and, just like a submarine that breaks up on the bottom of the ocean, debris in the form of information bubbled to the surface. Army CIC, once a powerful force to keep the Roswell story itself suppressed, had weakened under the combined encroachments of the CIA and the FBI. It was during this period that my old friend J. Edgar Hoover, never happy at being kept out of any loop, jumped into the circle and very quietly began investigating the Roswell incident. This shook things up, and very soon afterward, other government agencies—the ones with official reporting responsibilities—began poking around as well.

For all intents and purposes, the original scheme to perpetrate a camouflage was defunct by the late 1950s. Its functions were now being managed by series of individual groups within the military and civilian intelligence agencies, all still sharing limited information with each other, each pursuing its own individual research and investigation, and each—astonishingly—still acting as if some super intelligence group was still in command. But, like the Wizard of Oz, there was no super intelligence group. Its functions had been absorbed by the groups beneath it. But nobody bothered to tell anyone because a super group was never supposed to exist officially in the first place. That which did not exist officially could not go out of existence officially. Hence, right through the next forty years, the remnants of what once was a super group went through the motions, but the real activities were carried out by individual agencies that believed on blind faith that they were being managed by higher-ups.

So we began to devise a strategy.

“Hypothetically, Phil,” Trudeau laid the question out. “What’s the best way to exploit what we have without anybody knowing we’re doing anything special?”

“We start the same way this desk has always started: with reports,” I said. “I’ll write up reports on the alien technology just like it’s an intelligence report on any piece of foreign technology. What I see, what I think the potential may be, where we might be able to develop, what company we should take it to, and what kind of contract we should draw up.”

“Where will you start?” the general asked.

“I’ll line up everything in the nut file,” I began. “Everything from what’s obvious to what I can’t make heads or tails out of. And I’ll go to scientists with clearance who we can trust, Oberth and von Braun, for advice.”

“I see what you mean,” Trudeau acknowledged. “Sure. We’ll line up our defense contractors, too. See which ones have ongoing development contracts that allow us to feed your development projects right into them.”

“Exactly. That way the existing defense contract becomes the cover for what we’re developing,” I said. “Nothing is ever out of the ordinary because we’re never starting up anything that hasn’t already been started up in a previous contract.”

“It’s just like a big mix and match,” Trudeau described it.

“Only what we’re doing, General, is mixing technology we’re developing in with technology not of this earth,” I said. “And we’ll let the companies we’re contracting with apply for the patents themselves.”

“Of course,” Trudeau realized. “If they own the patent we will have completely reverse-engineered the technology.”

“Yes, sir, that’s right. Nobody will ever know. We won’t even tell the companies we’re working with where this technology comes from. As far as the world will know the history of the patent is the history of the invention.”

“It’s the perfect cover, Phil,” the general said. “Where will you start?”

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Examining the Alien Bodies

“The photographs in my file,” I began my report that night over the autopsy reports, which I attached, show a being of about 4 feet tall. The body seemed decomposed and the photos themselves aren’t of much use except to the curious. It’s the medical reports that are of interest. The organs, bones, and skin composition are different from ours. The being’s heart and lungs are bigger than a human’s. The bones are thinner but seem stronger as if the atoms are aligned differently for a greater tensile strength. The skin also shows a different atomic alignment in a way that appears the skin is supposed to protect the vital organs from cosmic ray or wave action or gravitational forces that we don’t yet understand. The overall medical report suggests that the medical examiners are more surprised at the similarities between the being found in the spacecraft (note: NSC reports refer to this creature as an Extraterrestrial Biological Entity [EBE]) and human beings than they are at the differences, especially the brain which is bigger in the EBE but not at all unlike ours.

If we consider similar biological factors that affect human beings, like long distance runners whose hearts and lungs are larger than average, hill and mountain dwellers whose lung capacity is greater than those who live closer to sea level, and even natural athletes whose long striated muscle alignment is different from those who are not athletes, can we not assume that the EBEs who have fallen into our possession represent the end process of genetic engineering designed to adapt them to long space voyages within an electromagnetic wave environment at speeds which create the physical conditions described by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity? (Note for the record: Dr. Hermann Oberth suggests we consider the Roswell craft from the New Mexico desert not a spacecraft but a time machine. His technical report on propulsion will follow.)

The medical report and supporting photographs in front of me suggested that the creature was remarkably well adapted for long-distance space travel.

For example, biological time, the Walter Reed medical examiners hypothesized, must have passed very slowly for the entity because it possessed a very slow metabolism, evidenced, they said, by the enormous capacities of the huge heart and lungs. The physiology of this thing indicated that this was not a creature whose body had to work hard to sustain it. A larger heart, my ME's report read, meant that it took fewer beats than an average human heart to drive the thin, milky, almost lymphatic-like fluid through a limited, more primitive-looking, and apparently reduced-capacity circulatory system. As a result, the biological clock beat more slowly than a human's and probably allowed the creature to travel great distances in a shorter biological time than humans.

It seemed to them that our atmosphere was quite toxic to the creature's organs. Given the time that passed between the crash of the vehicle and the creature's arrival at Walter Reed, it decomposed all of the organs far more rapidly than it would have decomposed human organs. This fact particularly impressed me because I had seen one of these things, if not the very one described in the report, suspended in a gel-like substance at Fort Riley. So whatever exposure it must have had was very minimal by human standards because the medical personnel at the 509th's Walker Field got it into a liquid preservation state very quickly. Nevertheless, the Walter Reed pathologists were unable to determine with any certainty the structure of the creature's heart except to guess that because it functioned as a passive blood-storage facility as well as a pumping muscle that it didn't work the same way as did a four-chambered human heart. They said the alien heart seemed to have had internal diaphragm-like muscles that worked less hard than human heart muscle did because the creatures were meant to survive within a reduced gravity field as we understand gravity.

As camels store water, so did this creature store whatever atmosphere it breathed in the large capacity of its lungs. The lungs functioned in ways similar to a camel's humps or to our scuba tanks and released atmosphere very slowly into the creature's system. Because of the large heart and the storage function we believed it had, we also surmised that it took far less breathable atmosphere to sustain the creature, thereby reducing the need for carrying large volumes of atmosphere along on the voyage. Perhaps the aircraft had a means of recirculating its atmosphere, recycling spent or waste air back into the craft. Moreover, because the creatures were only four or so feet tall, the large lungs occupied a far greater percentage of the chest cavity than human lungs did, further impressing the pathologists who examined the creatures' remains.

If we believed the heart and lungs seemed bioengineered for long-distance travel so, too, was the creature's skeletal tissue. Although it was in a state of advanced decomposition, the creature's bones looked to the army medical examiners to be fibrous, actually thinner than comparable human bones such as the ribs, sternum, clavicle, and pelvis. Pathologists speculated that the bones were more flexible than human bones and had a resiliency that might be related to the function of shock absorbers. More brittle human bones might more easily shatter under the stresses these alien entities must have been routinely subjected to. However, with a flexible skeletal frame, these entities appeared well suited for potential shocks and physical traumas of extreme forces and could withstand the fractures that would cripple human space travelers in a similar environment.

There was much speculation from the different medical analysts about what these beings were composed of and what could have sustained them. First of all, doctors were more tantalized by the similarities the creatures shared with us than they were concerned about the differences. Rather than hideous-looking insects or the reptilian man-eaters that attacked Earth in War of the Worlds, these beings looked like little versions of us, only different. It was eerie.

Of specific interest was the fluid that served as blood but also seemed to regulate bodily functions in much the same way glandular secretions do for the human body. In these biological en-tities, the blood system and lymphatic systems seem to have been combined. And if an exchange of nutrients and waste occurred within their systems, that exchange could have only taken place through the creature's skin or the outer protective covering they wore because there were no digestive or waste systems.

The medical report revealed that the creatures were enclosed within a one-piece protective covering like a jumpsuit or outer skin in which the atoms were aligned so as to provide a great tensile strength and flexibility. One examiner wrote that it reminded him of a spider's web, which appears very fragile but is, in fact, very strong.

The unique qualities of a spiderweb result from the alignment of fibers that provide great tenacity because they're able to stretch under great pressure, yet display a resiliency that allows them to snap back into shape even after the shock of an impact. Similarly, the creature's spacesuit or outer skin appeared to be stretched around it as if it were literally spun over the creature and seized up around it, providing a perfect skin-tight protective fit. The doctors had never seen anything like it before.

The lengthwise alignment of the fibers in the suit also prompted the medical analysts to suggest that the suit might have been capable of protecting the wearer against the low-energy cosmic rays that would routinely bombard any craft during a space journey. The interior organs of the creature seemed so fragile and oversized that the Walter Reed medical analysts imagined that without the suit the entity would have been vulnerable to the cumulative physical trauma from a constant energy particle bombardment. Space travel without protection from subatomic particle bombardment might subject the traveler to the same kind of effects he'd experience if he were cooked in a microwave oven. The particle bombardment inside the craft, if heavy enough to constitute a shower, would so excite and accelerate the creature's atomic structure that the resulting heat energy would literally cook the entity up.

The Walter Reed doctors were also fascinated by the nature of the creature's inner skin. It resembled, although their preliminary reports didn't go into any chemical analysis, a thin layer of fatty tissue unlike any they'd ever seen before. And it was completely permeable, as if it were constantly exchanging chemicals back and forth with the combination blood/lymphatic system. Was this the way the creatures nourished themselves during their journeys and was this how waste was processed? The very small mouths and the lack of a human digestive system troubled the doctors at first because they didn't know how these things were sustained. But their hypothesis that they processed chemicals released from their skin and maybe even recirculated waste chemicals would have explained the lack of any food-preparation or waste-processing facilities on the craft. I speculated, however, that they didn't require food or facilities for waste disposal because they weren't actual life-forms, only a kind of robot or android.

Another explanation, of course, suggested by the engineers at Wright Field, is that there would have been no need for food-preparation facilities had this craft been only a small scout ship that didn't venture far from a larger craft. The creatures' low metabolism meant that they could survive extended periods away from the main craft by subsisting on some form of military prepackaged foods until they returned to base. Neither the Wright Field engineers nor the Walter Reed medical examiners had an explanation for the lack of waste disposal on board the craft, nor could they explain how the creatures' waste was processed. Maybe I was speculating too far about robots or androids when I was writing my report for General Trudeau, but I kept thinking, also, that the skin analysis that I was reading sounded more akin to the skin of a houseplant than the skin of a human being. That, too, could have been another explanation for the lack of food or waste facilities.

Much credence also was given to the firsthand descriptions of on-scene witnesses who said they received impressions from the dying creature that it was suffering and in great pain. No one heard the creature make any sounds, so any impressions, Army Intelligence personnel assumed, would have to have been created through some type of empathic projection or outright mental telepathy. But witnesses said they heard no "words" in their mind, only the resonance of a shared or projected impression much simpler than a sentence but far more complex because they were able to share with the creature a sense not only of suffering but of profound sadness, as if it were in mourning for the others who perished on board the craft. These witness reports intrigued me more than any other information we took from the crash site.

Where the possibility of some evidence about the workings of the alien brains did exist was in what I referred to in my reports as the "headbands." Among the artifacts we retrieved were devices that looked something like headbands but had neither adornment nor decoration of any kind. Embedded by some very advanced kind of vulcanizing process into a form of flexible plastic were what we now know to have been electrical conductors or sensors, similar to the conductors on an electroencephalograph or polygraph. This band was fitted around the part of the alien cranium just above the ears where the skull began to expand to accommodate the large brain. At the time, the field reports from the crash and the subsequent analysis at Wright Field indicated that the engineers at the Air Materiel Command thought these might be communication devices, like the throat mikes our pilots wore during World War II. But, as I would find out when I evaluated the device and sent it into the market for reverse-engineering, this was a throat mike only in a way that a primitive stylus can be considered the forerunner of the color laser-imaging printer.

Suffice it to say that in the few hours the material was at Walker Field in Roswell, more than one officer at the 509th gingerly slipped this thing over his head and tried to figure out what it did. At first it did nothing. There were no buttons, no switches, no wires, nothing that could even be considered to have been a control panel. So no one knew how to turn it on or off. Moreover, the band was not really adjustable, though it had enough elasticity to have been one-size-fits-all for the creatures whose skulls were large enough to accommodate them.

However, the reports I read stated, the few officers whose heads were just large enough to have made contact with the full array of conductors got the shocks of their lives.

In their descriptions of the headband, these officers reported everything from a low tingling sensation inside their heads to a searing headache and a brief array of either dancing or exploding colors on the insides of their eyelids as they rotated the device around their head and brought the sensors into contact with different parts of their skull.

These eyewitness reports suggested to me that the sensors stimulated different parts of the brain while at the same time exchanged information with the brain. Again, using the analogy of an EEG, these devices were a very sophisticated mechanism for translating the electrical impulses inside the creatures' brains into specific commands. Perhaps these headband devices comprised the pilot interface of the ship's navigational and propulsion system combined with a long-range communications device. At first I didn't know, but it was only when we began development of the long brain-wave research project toward the end of my tenure at the Pentagon that I realized just what we had and how it might be developed. It took a long time to harvest this technology, but fifty years after Roswell, versions of these devices eventually became a component of the navigational control system for some of the army's most sophisticated helicopters and will soon be on the American consumer electronics market as user-input devices for personal computer games.

The first Army Air Force analysts and engineers both at the 509th and at Wright Field were also bedeviled by the lack of any traditional controls and propulsion system in the crashed vehicle. Looking at their reports and the artifacts from the perspective of 1961, however, I imagined that the keys to understanding what made the craft go and directed its flight lay not only within the craft itself but in the relationship between the pilots and the craft. If we hypothesized a brain-wave guidance system that was as specific to the pilots' electronic signature as it was to the spacecraft's, then we were looking at an entirely revolutionary concept of guided flight in which the pilot was the system. Imagine transportation devices in which the key to the ignition is a digitized code derived from your electroencephalographic signature and is read automatically upon your donning some sort of sensorized headband. That's the way I believed the spacecraft was navigated, by direct interaction between the electronic waves generated within the minds of the pilots and the craft's directional controls. The electronic brain signals were interpreted and transmitted by the headband devices, which served as interfaces.

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Investigating the Recovered Craft

When the air force became a separate branch of the service, the remaining bodies, stored at Wright, along with the spacecraft, were sent to Norton Air Force Base in California, where the air force began experiments to replicate the technology of the vehicle. This made sense. The air force cared about the flight capabilities of the craft and how to build defenses against it.

Experiments were carried out at Norton and ultimately at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, at the famous Groom Lake site where the Stealth technology was developed. The army cared only for the weapons systems aboard the craft and how they could be reengineered for our own use. The original Roswell spacecraft remained at Norton, however, where the air force and CIA maintained a kind of alien technology museum, the final resting place of the Roswell spacecraft. But experiments in replicated alien craft continued to be carried on through the years as engineers tried to adapt the propulsion and navigation systems to our level of technology. This continues to this very day, almost in plain sight for people with security clearance who are taken to where the vehicles are kept. Over the years, the replicated vehicles have become an ongoing, inner-circle saga among top-ranking military officers and members of the government, especially the favored senators and members of the House who vote along military lines. Those who are shown the secrets are immediately bound by national secrecy legislation and cannot reveal what they saw. Thus, the official camouflage is maintained despite the large number of people who really know the truth. I admit I've never seen the craft at Norton with my own eyes, but enough reports passed across my desk during my years at Foreign Technology so that I knew what the secret was and how it was maintained.

There were no conventional technological explanations for the way the Roswell craft's propulsion system operated. There were no atomic engines, no rockets, no jets, nor any propeller-driven form of thrust. Those of us in R&D from all three branches of the service tried for years to adapt the craft's drive system to our own technology, but, through the 1960s and 1970s, fell short of getting it operational. The craft was able to displace gravity through the propagation of magnetic wave, controlled by shifting the magnetic poles around the craft so as to control, or vector, not a propulsion system but the repulsion force of like charges. Once they realized this, engineers at our country's primary defense contractors raced among themselves to figure out how the craft could retain its electric capacity and how the pilots who navigated it could live within the energy field of a wave. At issue was not only a great discovery, but the nuts-and-bolts chance to land multibillion-dollar development contracts for a whole generation of military air and undersea craft.

The initial revelations into the nature of the spacecraft and its pilot interface came very quickly during the first few years of testing at Norton. The air force discovered that the entire vehicle functioned just like a giant capacitor. In other words, the craft itself stored the energy necessary to propagate the magnetic wave that elevated it, allowed it to achieve escape velocity from the earth's gravity, and enabled it to achieve speeds of over seven thousand miles per hour. The pilots weren't affected by the tremendous g-forces that build up in the acceleration of conventional aircraft because to aliens inside, it was as if gravity was being folded around the outside of the wave that enveloped the craft. Maybe it was like traveling inside the eye of a hurricane. But how did the pilots interface with the wave form they were generating?

I reported to General Trudeau that the secret to this system could be found in the single-piece skin-tight coveralls spun around the creatures. The lengthwise atomic alignment of the strange fabric was a clue to me that somehow the pilots became part of the electrical storage and generation of the craft itself. They didn't just pilot or navigate the vehicle; they became part of the electrical circuitry of the vehicle, vectoring it in a way similar to the way you order a voluntary muscle to move. The vehicle was simply an extension of their own bodies because it was tied into their neurological systems in ways that even today we are just beginning to utilize.

So the creatures were able to survive extended periods living inside a high-energy wave by becoming the primary circuit in the control of the wave. They were protected by their suits, which enclosed them head to feet, but their suits enabled them to become one with the vehicle, literally part of the wave. In 1947 this was a technology so new to us that it was as frightening as it was frustrating. If we could only develop the power source necessary to generate a consistently well-defined magnetic wave around a vehicle, we could harness a technology which would have surpassed all forms of rocket and jet propulsion. It's a process we're still trying to master today, fifty years after the craft fell into our possession.

I had found the puzzle pieces for a whole new age of technology. Things that were only twinkles in the minds of engineers and scientists were right here in front of me as hard, cold artifacts of an advanced culture. Craft that navigated by brain waves and floated on a wave of electromagnetic energy, creatures who look through devices that helped them turn night into day, and beams of light so narrow and focused you couldn't see them until they bounced off an object far away.

For years scientists had thought about what it would have been like to travel in space, especially since the Russians first put up their Sputnik. Plans for a military-operated moon base had been developed by the army in the 1950s under the leadership of Gen. Arthur Trudeau at R&D but were ultimately shelved because of the formation of NASA. Those plans had tried to confront the issues of space travel for prolonged periods of time and adjusting to a low-gravity state on the moon. But here, right in front of us, was the evidence of how an alien culture had adapted itself to long-range space travel, different gravities, and the exposure to energy particles and waves crashing into a spacecraft by the billions. All we had to do was marshal the vast array of resources in the military and industry at R&D's disposal and harvest that technology. It was all laid out for us, if we knew how to use it. This was the beginning and I was right there on the cusp of it.

Roswell Spacecraft Questions and Overview

• The crescent-shaped space vehicle also had no traditional navigational controls as we understood them. There were no control sticks, wheels, throttles, pedals, cables, flaps, or rud-ders. How did the creatures pilot this ship and how did they control the speed, accelerating from a near stationary hover above a given spot, like a helicopter, to speeds in excess of seven thousand miles per hour in a matter of seconds?

• What protected the creatures from the tremendous g-forces they would have had to have pulled in any conventional aircraft? Our own pilots in World War II had to wear special devices as they pulled up out of dives that kept the oxygen from flowing out of their brains and causing them to black out. But we found nothing in the flight suits of the creatures that indicated that they faced the same problem. Yet their craft should have pulled ten times the g-forces our own pilots did, so we couldn't figure out how they managed this.

• No controls, no protection, no power supply, no fuel: these were the riddles I listed.

Alongside them I listed that:

• The craft itself was an electrical circuit.

• That the flight suits-"flight skins" is a better description-the creatures wore were made of a substance whose atomic structure was elongated, strengthened lengthwise, so as to provide a directional flow to any current applied to it.

The engineers who first discovered this were amazed at the pure conductivity of these skins, functionally like the skin of the craft itself, and their obvious ability to protect the wearer while at the same time vectoring some kind of electronic field. Where was the physical junction of the circuit between the pilot and the ship? Was it turned on and off somehow by the pilot himself through a switch we didn't know about?

Alongside the riddle of the apparent absence of navigational controls I listed the sensorized headband that so intrigued the officers at Roswell's Walker Field and fascinated me as well. If, as we all suspected, this device picked up the electronic signatures from the creatures' oversized brains, what did it do with them? I believed— and our industrial product development from the 1960s through today as the brain-wave-control helmets finally came into service ultimately confirmed-that these headbands translated the brain's electronic signals into system commands that controlled speed, direction, and elevation. Maybe the headbands had to be calibrated or tuned to each individual pilot, or maybe the pilots- since I believed they were genetically engineered beings biologically manufactured especially for flight or long-term exploration-had to be calibrated to the headband. Either way, the headbands were the interface between the pilot and the ship. But that still didn't resolve the question of the lack of cables, gears, or wires.

Maybe the answer lay not in the lack of structural controls but in the way the suit, the headband, the creatures' brains, and the entire craft worked together. In other words, when I looked at the possible function of the entire system, the synchronicity between the brain interface in the headband, the pure conductivity of the spacecraft, and the elongated structure of the space skins, which also acted like a circuit, I could see how directional instructions could have been translated by the headbands into some form of current flowing through the skins.

Nikola Tesla, kept bubbling up in the conversation because the scientists examining the damaged craft described the way it must have converted an electromagnetic field into an antigravity field. And, of course, the craft itself reminded them of the German experimental fighter aircraft that made their appearance near the end of the war but that had been in development ever since the 1930s.

Tesla and a number of other European scientists had been pioneers in the conversion of circumscribed small-area antigravity fields out of electromagnetic fields.

However, the effort to develop true antigravity aircraft never came to fruition among conventional aircraft manufacturers because gasoline, jet, and rocket engines provided a perfectly good weapons technology. But the theory of electromagnetic antigravity propulsion was not unknown even if it was not well understood and, without a power source like a small portable nuclear fission generator, not at all feasible. But, what if the flying craft already carried enough electric potential and storage capacity to retain its power, just like a very advanced flying battery? Then it might have all the power it needed to propagate and vector a wave directionally by shifting its magnetic poles.

In my notes to General Trudeau, I reviewed for him all the technological implications that I believed were relevant in any discussion about what could be harvested from the Roswell craft. I also wrote up what I understood about the magnetic field technology and how unconventional designers and engineers had drafted prototypes for these "antigravs" earlier in the century.

All of this pointed in one direction, I suggested: that we now had a craft and could farm out to industry the components that comprised this electromagnetic antigravity drive and brain-wave-directed navigational controls. We had to dole them out piecemeal once we broke them down into developable units, each of which could have its own engineering track. For that we'd need the advice of the scientists who would eventually comprise our brain trust, individuals we could rely on and whom we could talk to about the Roswell debris. These were scientists who routinely worked with our prime defense contractors and could tell us whom to approach in their R&D divisions for secure and private consultations.

I know that my reports were read by the higher-ups in the military because top-secret research has continued right through to the present on a whole range of designs and propulsion systems from the Stealth fighter and bomber to prototypes for a very high altitude suborbital interceptor aircraft, developed at Nellis and Edwards, now on the drawing board, which can hover in place and fly at speeds over seven thousand miles per hour.

Once I finished my report on the opportunities we could possibly derive from the EBEs and the craft, I turned my attention to compiling a short list of immediate opportunities I believed achievable by the Army R&D's Foreign Technology Division from a reverse-engineering of items retrieved from the crash. Each of these artifacts, as a direct result of Army R&D's intervention, helped spawn an entire technological industry from which came new products and military weapons.

Among the Roswell artifacts and the questions and issues that arose from the Roswell crash, on my preliminary list that needed resolution for development scheduling or simple inquiries to our military scientific community were:

1. Image intensifiers, which ultimately became "night vision"
2. Fiber optics
3. Supertenacity fibers
4. Lasers
5. Molecular alignment metallic alloys
6. Integrated circuits and microminiaturization of logic boards
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7. HARP (High Altitude Research Project)
8. Project Horizon (moon base)
9. Portable atomic generators (ion propulsion drive)
10. Irradiated food
11. "Third brain" guidance systems (EBE head-bands)
12. Particle beams ("Star Wars" antimissile energy weapons)
13. Electromagnetic propulsion systems
14. Depleted uranium projectiles

General Trudeau also had relationships with the army contractors who were developing new weapons systems for the military within one part of the company while another part was harvesting some of the same technology for consumer products development.

These were companies-Bell Labs, IBM, Monsanto, Dow, General Electric, and Hughes-that General Trudeau wanted to talk to about the list of technological products that we'd compiled from our R&D Roswell nut file.

"You begin calling our scientist friends," General Trudeau announced. "And make whatever appointments you want."

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Surveilling Extraterrestrial Activity and Secret Moon Programs

Our only successes in defending against them, back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, occurred when we were able to get a firm tracking radar lock. Then when we locked our targeting radars on, the signals that missiles were supposed to follow to the target, it somehow interfered with their navigational ability and the vehicle's flight became erratic. If we were especially fortunate and able to boost the signal before they broke away, we could actually bring them down. Sometimes we actually got lucky enough to score a hit with a missile before the UFO could take any evasive action, which an army air defense battalion did with an antiaircraft missile near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany in May 1974. The spacecraft managed to crash-land in a valley. The craft was retrieved and flown back to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

The Roswell crash was different. There was much speculation that it was a combination of the desert lightning storm and our persistent tracking radars at Alamogordo and the 509th that helped bring down the alien vehicle over the New Mexico desert in 1947.

We did not know their motives, but could only assume the worst and, therefore, needed to defend ourselves however we could. While never disclosing it publicly, military intelligence analysts supported the view that Earth was already under some form of probing attack by one or more alien cultures who were testing both our ability and resolve to defend ourselves. Without ever directly addressing whether contacts between the aliens and Earth governments had already taken place-because the notes and minutes of the Hillenkoetter working group were never released to the Chiefs of Staff or to their intelligence officers.

At the same time, the civilian leaders of the nation's space program at NASA decided that military intelligence was overreacting to the shadowing and buzzing of our spacecraft. NASA, which had been holding as highly confidential any reports of extraterrestrial activity surrounding our space vehicles, nevertheless decided to adopt an internal official "wait and watch" attitude because they believed that it would have been impossible to launch an explicitly military defensive space program and still achieve the civilian scientific aims at the same time.

So NASA agreed to go covert. As a cover, NASA, in 1961, agreed to cooperate with military planners to work a "second-tier" space program within and covered up by the civilian scientific missions. They agreed to open up a confidential "back-channel" communications link to military intelligence regarding any hostile activities conducted by the EBEs against our spacecraft even if these included only shadowing or surveillance. I was aware of this through my contacts in the military intelligence community. What NASA didn't tell military intelligence, of course, was that they already had an even more classified back channel to the Hillenkoetter working group and were keeping them updated on every single alien spacecraft appearance the astronauts reported, especially during the early series of Apollo flights when the EBE craft began buzzing the lunar modules on successive missions after they thrusted out of earth orbit.

Even though military intelligence was kept out of the operational loop between NASA and the working group, I and a few others still had contacts in the civilian intelligence community that kept us informed. And the army and air force managed to find at least 122 photos taken by astronauts on the moon that showed some evidence of an alien presence. It was a startling find and was one of many reasons that the Reagan administration pushed so hard for the Space Defense Initiative in 1981.

In 1960, upon the confidential approval of the working group and at the request of the National Security Agency, which was concerned about the vulnerability of its U2 flights, NASA agreed to allow some of its missions to become covers for military surveillance satellites. These satellites, although approved for surveillance of Soviet ICBM activity, were also supposed to spot alien activity in remote portions of the earth. Maybe, in the 1960s, we didn't have the technology we have now to intercept their ships, but by using new satellite surveillance techniques we believed we'd be able to pick up the signatures of an alien presence on the face of our planet. If we made it too difficult for them to set up shop with bases on Earth, military intelligence planners speculated, maybe they would simply go away. This was another example of how Cold War strategy was utilized for the dual purpose of trying to surveil extraterrestrial activity under the cover of surveilling Soviet activity.

Project Horizon and Project Moon Base

"I envision expeditious development of the proposal to establish a lunar outpost to be of critical importance to the U.S. Army of the future. This evaluation is apparently shared by the Chief of Staff in view of his expeditious approval and enthusiastic endorsement of initiation of the study," General Trudeau wrote to the chief of ordnance in March 1959, in support of the army's "Project HORIZON," a strategic plan for deploying a military outpost on the surface of the moon. It was the army's most ambitious response to the threat from extraterrestrials and, by the time I arrived at the Pentagon, it was one of the projects that General Trudeau had handed off to me to get moving.

The army conceived of the development of a moon base as an endeavor similar to the building of the atomic bomb: a vast amount of resources applied to one particular mission, complete secrecy about the nature of the mission, and a crash program to complete the mission before the end of the next decade. He said that the establishment of the outpost should be a special project having authority and priority similar to the Manhattan Project in World War II. Once established, the lunar base would be operated under the control of a unified space command, which was an extension of current military command-and-control policy, and still is. Space, specifically an imaginary sphere of space encompassing the earth and the moon, would be considered a military theater governed by whatever military rules were in force at that time.

The first two astronauts, the spearhead of the scouting crew, were scheduled to touch down on the lunar surface in April 1965, in an area near the lunar equator where, according to the surveys, the army believed the terrain would support multiple landing and liftoff facilities and the construction of a cylindrical, ranch-house type of structure with tubular walls built beneath the surface into a crevice that would house an initial twelve personnel. The bulk of the construction materials for the lunar outpost, about 300,000 pounds, would already be on the site, having been transported there over the previous three months. According to the army plan, an additional 190,000 pounds of cargo would be sent to the moon from April 1965 through November 1966. And from December 1966 through December 1967, another 266,000 pounds of cargo and supplies would be scheduled to arrive at the now operational moon base.

It is April 1965, and a lunar vehicle with a crew of two astronauts has just touched down on the moon's surface.

Although the vehicle has an immediate liftoff capability to return the astronauts to Earth, their scouting from orbit has determined that the area is safe and that there are no threats from either the Soviets or any extraterrestrials.

By July 1965, the first crew of nine men arrive to begin laying the cylindrical tubes in the crevice beneath the surface and install the two portable atomic reactors that will power the entire outpost. A number of factors influenced the army's decision to sink the main structures beneath the lunar surface. The most important of these were the uniform temperatures, the insulation of the lunar surface material itself, protection from a potentially hazardous shower of small meteors and meteorites, camouflage and security, and protection from the kinds of radiation particles that are normally prevented from reaching Earth by our atmosphere.

These facilities begin the surveillance of Earth, establish our military presence by the emplacement of fortified positions on the moon, and begin the first scientific experiments and exploration. In Phase VI, based upon the success of the permanent outpost and the exploration of the lunar terrain, the army planned to expand the outpost with more landings and additional facilities and report on the results of biological and chemical testing and the first attempts to exploit the moon as a commercial entity. The army also believed, because that was the way we in R&D believed we could pay back the enormous development overhead we incurred, that by commercially exploiting the moon, perhaps through the same kind of federal land-leasing deals the Department of the Interior currently grants for oil and mineral exploration, we could put the billions of dollars spent back into the federal coffers.

If the preliminary basic space station were successful, the army envisioned a more elaborate, sophisticated facility that would have its own scientific and military mission and serve as a relay station for crews on their way to or from the lunar outpost. This station would have an enhanced military capability and enable the United States to dominate the airspace over its enemies, blind its enemies' satellites, and shoot down its missiles. The army also saw the enhanced orbiting space station as another component in an elaborate defense against extraterrestrials, especially if the military were able to develop high-energy lasers and the particle-beam weapon we had seen aboard the Roswell spacecraft. The space station would, according to the army plan, effectively provide the platform for testing Earth-to-space weapons, and these, General Trudeau and I agreed, would be primarily directed against the hostile extraterrestrials who were the real threat to our planet.

In its plan for a separate administration and management structure within the structure of the army, Project Horizon was designed to be the largest research, development, and deployment operation in the army's history.

Larger than the Manhattan Project, Horizon could easily have become a completely separate unit within the army itself. As such, Horizon was perceived as an immediate threat to the other branches of the military as well as to the civilian space agencies. The navy had its own pet plan for establishing undersea bases that would harvest the commercial and scientific opportunities at the bottom of the oceans while at the same time, and more importantly, establishing an antisubmarine defense that would counter the threat from Soviet nuclear submarines. We suspected that the navy plans, like our own plans for a moon base, also gave the navy the capability of carrying out surveillance tracking of unidentified undersea objects if, in fact, that's what the EBEs were sending to Earth.

However, as hard as we tried to get Project Horizon into full funding and development, we were stopped. The nation's space program had become the property of the civilian space agency, and NASA had its own agenda and its own schedule for space exploration. We were successful in discrete projects like Corona, but it would not relinquish to the army the control necessary to establish a moon base under the terms of a Project Horizon.

I became General Trudeau's point man for the project in Washington. I was able to lobby for it, and Horizon also became an effective cover for all of the technological development I was overseeing out of the Roswell file.

After his first full year in office, President Kennedy also saw the value in Project Horizon even though he was in no position to dismantle NASA or order NASA to cede control to the army for the development of a base on the moon.

But I think we eventually made our point to the President because he ultimately saw the value in a moon base. Shortly after I testified before the Senate in a closed, top-secret session about how the KGB had penetrated the CIA and was actually dictating some of our intelligence estimates since before the Korean War, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who read that secret testimony, asked me to come over to the Justice Department for a visit.

We came to a meeting of the minds that day. I know that I convinced him that the official intelligence the President was receiving through his agencies was not only faulty, it was deliberately flawed. Robert Kennedy began to see that those of us over at the Pentagon were not just a bunch of old soldiers looking for a war. He saw that we really did see a threat and that the United States was truly compromised by Soviet penetration of our most secret agencies. We didn't talk about Roswell or any aliens. I never told him about extraterrestrials, but I was able to convince him that if the Soviets got to the moon before we did, victory in the Cold War might just belong to them by the end of this decade. Bobby Kennedy suspected that there was another agenda to the army's desire to deploy a lunar outpost for military as well as for scientific and commercial purposes and, without ever acknowledging that agenda, promised that he would talk about it with the President.

I can only tell you that it was a mark of achievement for me personally when President John Kennedy announced to the nation shortly after my meeting with Bobby at the Justice Department that it was one of his goals that the United States put a manned expedition on the moon before the end of the 1960s. He got it!

The way history turned out, it was our lunar expeditions, one after the other throughout the 1960s, that not only caught the world's attention but showed all our enemies that the United States was determined to stake out its territory and defend the moon. Nobody was looking for an out-and-out war, especially the EBEs who tried to scare us away from the moon and their own base there more times than even I know. They buzzed our ships, interfered with our communications, and sought to threaten us by their physical presence. But we continued and persevered. Ultimately, we reached the moon and sent enough manned expeditions to explore the lunar surface that they effectively challenged the EBEs for control over our own skies and sphere of space, the very sphere General Trudeau was talking about in the Project Horizon memoranda ten years earlier. And although the Horizon proposal projected a lunar landing by 1967, it presupposed that the army would begin creating the bureaucracy to manage the effort and build the hardware as early as 1959. Because of NASA and civilian management of space exploration, the United States took longer to reach the moon than we had originally assumed and, of course, never did build the permanent base we had planned for in the original Horizon proposal.

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Just a few years shy of the midpoint of the century, the computer itself was the product of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century thinking and technology. In fact, given the shortcomings of the radio tube and the enormous power demands and cooling requirements to keep the computer working, the development of the computer seemed to have come to a dead end. Although IBM and Bell Labs were investing huge sums of development money into designing a computer that had a lower operational and maintenance overhead, it seemed, given the technology of the digital computer circa 1947, that there was no place it could go.

It was simply an expensive-to-build, expensive-to-run, lumbering elephant at the end of the line. And then an alien spacecraft fell out of the skies over Roswell, scattered across the desert floor, and in one evening everything changed.

In 1948 the first junction transistor—a microscopically thin silicon sandwich of n-type silicon, in which some of the atoms have an extra electron, and p-type silicon, in which some of the atoms have one less electron—was devised by physicist William Shockley. The invention was credited to Bell Telephone Laboratories, and, as if by magic, the dead end that had stopped the development of the dinosaur-like ENIAC generation of computers melted away and an entirely new generation of miniaturized circuitry began. Where the radio-tube circuit required an enormous power supply to heat it up because heat generated the electricity, the transistor required very low levels of powers and no heating-up time because the transistor amplified the stream of electrons that flowed into its base.

Because it didn't rely on a heat source to generate current and it was so small, many transistors could be packed into a very small space, allowing for the miniaturization of circuitry com-ponents. Finally, because it didn't burn out like the radio tube, it was much more reliable. Thus, within months after the Roswell crash and the first exposure of the silicon-wafer technology to companies already involved in the research and development of computers, the limitations on the size and power of the computer suddenly dropped like the removal of a roadblock on a highway and the next generation of computers went into development. This set up for Army R&D, especially during the years I was there, the opportunity for us to encourage that development with defense contracts calling for the implementation of integrated-circuit devices into subsequent generations of weapons systems.

More than one historian of the microcomputer age has written that no one before 1947 foresaw the invention of the transistor or had even dreamed about an entirely new technology that relied upon semiconductors, which were silicon based and not carbon based like the Edison incandescent tube. Bigger than the idea of a calculating machine or an Analytical Engine or any combination of the components that made up the first computers of the 1930s and 1940s, the invention of the transistor and its natural evolution to the silicon chip of integrated circuitry was beyond what anyone could call a quantum leap of technology.

The development of the silicon transistor seemed to come upon us in a matter of months. And, had I not seen the silicon wafers from the Roswell crash with my own eyes, held them in my own hands, talked about them with Hermann Oberth, Wernher von Braun, or Hans Kohler, and heard the reports from these now dead scientists of the meetings between Nathan Twin-ing, Vannevar Bush, and researchers at Bell Labs, I would have thought the invention of the transistor was a miracle. I know now how it came about.

It was as if from the year 1947 to 1980 a fundamental paradigm shift in the ability of humankind to process information took place. Computers themselves almost became something like a silicon-based life-form, inspiring the carbon-based life-forms on planet Earth to develop them, grow them, and even help them reproduce.

With computer-directed process-control programs now in place in virtually all major industries, software that writes software, neural-network-based expert systems that learn from their own experience in the real world, and current experiments under way to grow almost microscopically thin silicon-based chips in the weightless environment of earth orbit may be the forerunner of a time when automated orbital factories routinely grow and harvest new silicon material for microprocessors more sophisticated than we can even imagine at the present.

Were all of this to be true, could it not be argued that the silicon wafers we recovered from Roswell were the real masters and space travelers and the EBE creatures their hosts or servants? Once implanted successfully on Earth, our culture having reached a point of readiness through its development of the first digital computers, would not the natural development stream, starting from the invention of the transistor, have carried us to the point where we achieve a symbiotic relationship with the silicon material that carries our data and enables us to become more creative and successful?

General Trudeau and I had quickly established our routine in early 1961, and our categorization of how we did our jobs seemed to be working. Night vision was under development at Fort Belvoir, and researchers who worked with us had made sure that the silicon wafer chips had gotten to their colleagues at Bell Labs and assured us that a new generation of transistorized circuitry was already finding its way into development. The silicon chips were a covert reintroduction to the people at Bell Labs because the initial introduction of the integrated-circuit chips from the Roswell crash had reached defense contractors as early as 1947 in the weeks after the material reached Wright Field.

A similar history of introduction and reintroduction had occurred with stimulated-energy radiation, a weapon the early analysts believed they were looking at in the wreckage of the Roswell craft. Since directed-energy radiation was a technology we'd already deployed in World War II, seeing what they thought was a superad-vanced version of that technology, so advanced as to be in a completely different realm, so excited the analysts at Wright Field that they wanted to get it out to research scientists as quickly as possible, which they did. And by the early 1950s, a version of stimulated-energy radiation had found its way into the scientific community, which was developing new products around the process of microwave generation.

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The retrieval team that pulled the wreckage out of the desert also found a short, stubby, internally powered flashlight device that threw a pencil-thin, intense beam of light for a short distance that could actually cut through metal. This, the engineers at Wright Field believed, was also based on wave stimulation. The questions then were, how did the EBEs use wave stimulation and how could we adapt it to military uses or slip it into the product development already under way?

By 1954, when I was at the White House, the National Security Council was already receiving reports of a theory, developed by Charles H. Townes, that described how the atoms of a gas could be excited to extraordinarily high energy levels by the application of bursts of energy.

The gas would release its excess energy as microwaves of a very precise frequency that could be controlled. In theory, we thought, the energy beam could be a signal to carry communications or an amplifier for the signal.

When the first maser was assembled at Bell Laboratories in 1956, it was used as a timer because of the very exact calibration of the wave frequency.

The maser, however, was only a forerunner of the product that was to come, the laser, which would revolutionize every aspect of technology it touched. Where the maser was an amplification of generated microwaves, the laser was an amplification of light, and theories about how this might be accomplished were circulating widely throughout the weapons-development community even before Bell Labs produced the first maser.

I had seen the descriptions of the EBE laser in reports about the Roswell crash, a beam of light so thin that you couldn't even see it until it landed on a target. What was the purpose of this light generator? the Alamogordo group had asked. It looked like a targeting or communications device, seemed to have an almost limitless range, and, if the right power source could be found to amplify the light beam to where it could penetrate metal, the device could be used as a drill, a welder, or even a devastating weapon.

Even while I was at the White House, all three branches of the military were working with researchers in university laboratories to develop a working laser. In theory, exciting the atoms of an element to produce light energy in the same way that atoms of a gas were excited to produce microwaves, lasers offered the tantalizing promise of a directed-energy beam that had such a wide variety of applications it could become an almost universal utility for all divisions of the military, even controlling warehouse inventory for the Quartermaster Corps. Finally, in 1958, the year after I left the White House, there was a surge in research activity, especially at Columbia University where, two years later, physicist Theodore Maiman constructed the first working laser.

>The first practical demonstration of the laser took place in 1960, and by the time I got to the Pentagon, General Trudeau had put it on our list of priorities to develop for military purposes. Also, because stimulated-energy radiation devices were among the cache of technological debris we recovered from Roswell, the U.S. development of the laser encompassed the special urgent requirements of my Roswell mission. I had to write a report to General Trudeau suggesting ways the EBEs might have used laser technology in their missions on this planet and how we could develop similar uses for it under the guise of a conventional development program. In other words, once we guessed how the aliens were using it, it was to become our developmental model for similar applications.

We believed that the EBEs used lasers for navigation, by bouncing beams off distant objects in space and homing in on them to triangulate a course; for communication, by using the laser beam as a carrier signal or as a signal in and of itself; for surveillance, by painting potential targets with a beam; and for power transmission, illumination, and even data storage. The strength and integrity of the laser beam should have served as the EBEs' primary method of communication over vast distances or even as a way of storing communications in packages for later delivery.

One of those weapons, which had a wide application potential, was the laser-light amplification through stimulated energy radiation-the device the army found in the Roswell spacecraft and would later develop as a weapon in cooperation with Hughes Aircraft.

I began by listing the needs of the army for what the laser might be able to accomplish. Based on what the army analysts reported they saw in the Roswell ship, it seemed to me obvious that if the Roswell laser was a cutting or surgical tool, the beam could also be utilized as an advanced rapid-firing weapon. With a beam so precise and directed, the laser would also make an excellent range finder and target manager for artillery. If the beam was capable of instantaneous readjustment and fed into a computer, it would also be the perfect targeting system for a tank, especially a tank on the move. Typically, a tank must stop before it can fire because the gunner needs to have a fixed firing platform from which he calculates range, direction, and other compensating factors.

The laser can do all that while the vehicle is moving and should therefore enable a tank to stay on the move while firing. And if a laser can paint a target from a tank and find the range, I speculated, it can do the same for a helicopter from air to air and air to ground.

I suggested to General Trudeau that all the research we were conducting into helicopter tactics, especially into the role of helicopters as infantry support gun and rocket platforms, dovetailed perfectly with the possibilities of the laser as a range-finding mechanism. We could paint friendly troops to locate them, identify our foes, and illuminate potential targets with light invisible to all but our own gunners. At the same time, our own bombs or missiles can home in on the laser image we project onto a target, like a heat-seeking missile. Once painted, the target could evade the laser-guided rocket or shell only with great difficulty. For a stationary target such as a fortification or artillery redoubt, a laser-guided shell would be particularly devastating because we could take it out with one or two rounds instead of having to go back again and again to make sure we'd found the target.

As a signal, a laser is so intense, refined, and perfectly stable that it is almost impervious to any kind of disturbance. For this reason, I wrote General Trudeau, the EBEs must have used an advanced form of a laser for their communication, and we can, too. The intensity of the beam and its highly refined focus mean that it can be aimed with minute precision. Amplifying the power to boost the signal should not distort the beam's aim, which makes it perfect for straight-line long-distance communication.

Lasers also have high capacities for carrying multiple signals. Therefore, I wrote the general, we can pack a greater number of transmission bands into a laser signal than we can with our conventional signal carriers. This meant that we could literally flood a battlefield with different kinds of communication channels, each carrying different kinds of communication, some not even invented yet, and have them securely carried by laser signals.

Our work with laser products was becoming so successful by the end of 1961 that General Trudeau was urging me to spread the wealth around as many army bases as I could. I spoke to weapons experts at Fort Riley, Kansas, for example, about the use of lasers by troops in the field. Maybe as range finders, we suggested, or even as ways to lock onto a target the way the air force was experimenting with something they were calling "smart bombs." By 1964, after seeing the research into the feasibility of lasers that we had commissioned, handheld range finders were being tested at army bases around the country, and today, police forces use laser sights on their weapons. Lasers became one of the army's great successes.

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Fiber Optics

Members of the retrieval team who foraged around inside the spacecraft on the morning of the discovery told Colonel Blanchard back at the 509th that they were amazed they couldn't find any conventional wiring. Where were the electrical connections? they asked, because obviously the vehicle had electronics. They didn't understand the function of the printed circuit wafers they found, but, even more important, they were completely mystified by the single glass filaments that ran through the panels of the ship. At first, some of the scientists thought that they comprised the missing wiring that also had the engineers so confused as they packed the craft for shipping.

Maybe they were part of the wiring harness that was broken in the crash. But these filaments had a strange property to them.

The wire harness seemed to have broken loose from a control panel and was separated into twelve frayed filaments that looked something like quartz. When, back at the 509th's hangar, officers from the retrieval team applied light to one end of the filament, the other end emitted a specific color. Different filaments emitted different colors. The fibers-in reality glass crystal tubes—led to a type of junction box where the fibers separated and went to different parts of the control panel that seemed to acknowledge electrically the different color pulsing through the tube. Since the engineers evaluating the material at Roswell knew that each color of light had its own specific wavelength, they guessed that the frequency of the light wave activated a specific component of the spacecraft's control panel. But beyond that, the engineers and scientists were baffled. They couldn't even determine the spacecraft's power source, let alone what generated the power for the light tubes. And, the most amazing thing of all was that the filaments not only were flexible but still emitted light even when they were bent back and forth like a paper clip. How could light be made to bend? the engineers wondered. This was one of the physical mysteries of the Roswell craft that stayed hidden through the 1950s until one of the Signal Corps liaisons, who routinely briefed General Trudeau on the kinds of developments the Signal Corps was looking for, told us about experiments in optical fibers going on at Bell Labs.

The technology was still very new, Hans Kohler told me during a private briefing in early 1962, but the promise of using light as a carrier of all kinds of signals through single-filament glass strands was holding great promise. He explained that the premise of optical fibers was to have a filament of glass so fine and free of any impurities that nothing would impede the light beam moving along the center of the shaft. You also had to have a powerful light source at one end, he explained, to generate the signal, and I thought of the successful ruby laser that had been tested at Columbia University.

EBEs had integrated the two technologies for their glass-cable transmission inside the spacecraft.

"But what makes the light bend?" I asked Professor Kohler, still incredulous that the aliens seem to have been able to defy one of our own laws of physics. "Is it some kind of an illusion?"

"It's not a trick at all," the scientist explained. "It only looks like an illusion because the fibers are so fine, you can't see the different layers without a microscope."

He showed me, when I gave him the broken pieces of filament that I still had in my nut file, that each strand, which looked like one solid piece of material enclosing the circumference of a tiny tube, was actually double layered. When you looked down the center of the shaft you could see that around the outside of the filament was another layer of glass. Dr. Kohler explained that the individual light rays are reflected back toward the center by the layer of glass around the outside of the fiber so that the light can't escape. By running the glass fibers around corners and, in the case of the Roswell spacecraft, through the interior walls of the ship, the aliens were able to bend light and focus it just like you can direct the flow of water through a supply pipe. I'd never seen anything like that before in my life.

Kohler explained that, just like lasers, the light can be made to carry any sort of signal: light, sound, and even digital information.

"There's no resistance to the signal," he explained. "And you can fit more information on to the light beam."

I asked him how the EBEs might have used this type of technology. He suggested that all ship's communication, visual images, telemetry, and any amplified signals that the vehicles sent or received from other craft or from bases on the moon or on earth would use these glass fiber cables.

"They seem to have an enormous capacity for carrying any kind of load," he suggested. "And if a laser can amplify the signal, in their most refined form, these cables can carry a multiplicity of signals at the same time." I was more than impressed. Even before asking him about the specific types of applications these might have for the army, I could see how they could make battlefield communications more secure because the signals would be stronger and less vulnerable to interference. Then Professor Kohler began suggesting the uses of these fibers to carry visual images photographed in tiny cameras from the weapons themselves to controlling devices at the launcher.

"Imagine," he said, "being able to fire a missile and actually see through the missile's eye where it's going.

Imagine being able to lock onto a target visually and even as it tries to evade the missile, you can see it and make final adjustments." And Kohler went on to describe the potential of how fiber-optics-based sensors could someday keep track of enemy movements on the ground, carry data-heavy visual signals from surveillance satellites, and pack very complicated multichannel communications systems into small spaces. "The whole space program is dependent upon carrying data, voice, and image," he said. "But now, it takes too much space to store all the relays and switches and there's too much impedance to the signal. It limits what we can do on a mission. But imagine if we could adapt this technology to our own uses."

Then he asked me for the army's commitment. He explained that some of our research laboratories were already looking into the properties of glass as a signal conductor and this would not have to be research that was started from complete scratch. Those kinds of start-ups gave us concern at R&D because unless we covered them up completely, it would look like there was a complete break in a technological path. How do you explain that?

But if there's research already going on, no matter how basic, then just showing someone at the company one of these pieces of technology could give them all they need to reverse-engineer it so that it became our technology.

But we'd have to support it as part of an arms-development research contract if the company didn't already have a budget. This is what I wanted to do with this glass-filament technology.

"Where is the best research on optical fibers being done?" I asked him.

"Bell Labs," he answered. "It'll take another thirty years to develop it, but one day most of the telephone traffic will be carried on fiber-optic cable."

Army R&D had contacts at Bell just like other contractors we worked with, so I wrote a short memo and proposal to General Trudeau on the potential of optical fibers for a range of products that Professor Kohler and I discussed. I described the properties of what had been previously called a wiring harness, explained how it carried laser signals, and, most importantly, how these fibers actually bent a stream of light around a corner and conducted it the same way a wire conducts an electrical current. Imagine conducting a beam of high-intensity single-frequency light the same way you'd run a water line to a new bathroom, I wrote. Imagine the power and flexibility it provided the EBEs, especially when they used the light signal as a carrier for other coded information.

This would enable the military to re-create its entire communications infrastructure and allow our new surveillance satellites to feed and store potential targeting information right into frontline command-and-control installations. The navy would be able to see the deployment of an entire enemy fleet, the air force could look down on approaching enemy squadrons and target them from above even if our planes were still on the ground, and for the army it would give us an undreamed-of strategic advantage. We could survey an entire battle-field, track the movements of troops from small patrols to entire divisions, and plot the deployments of tanks, artillery, and helicopters at the same time. The value of fiber-optic communication to the military would be im-measurable. And, I added, I was almost certain that a development push from the army to facilitate research on the complete reengineering of our country's already antiquated telephone system would not be seen by any company as an unwarranted intrusion. I didn't have to wait long for the general's response.

"Do it," he ordered. "And get this under way fast. I'll get you all the development allocation you need. Tell them that."

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Bulletproof Vests

Among the items in my Roswell file that we retained from the retrieval were strands of a fiber that even razors couldn't cut through. When I looked at it under a magnifying glass, its dull grayness and almost matte finish belied the almost supernatural properties of this fiber. You could stretch it, twist it around objects, and subject it to a level of torque that would rend any other fiber, but this held up. Then, when you released the tension, it snapped back to its original length without any loss of tension in its original form. It reminded me of the filaments in a spiderweb. We became very interested in this material and began to study a variety of technologies, including spider silks because they, alone in nature, exhibit natural supertenacity properties.

Clearly, when the scientists at Roswell saw how this fiber—not cloth, not silk, but something like a ceramic—had encased the ship and formed the outer skin layer of the EBEs, they realized it was a very promising avenue for research. When I examined the material and recognized its similarity to spider thread, I realized that a key to producing this commercially would be to synthesize the protein and find a way to simulate the extrusion process.

General Trudeau encouraged me to start contacting plastics and ceramics manufacturers, especially Monsanto and Dow, to find out who was doing research on super-tenacity materials, especially at university laboratories.

I not only discovered that Monsanto was looking for a way to develop a mass-production process for a simulated spider silk, I also learned that they were already working with the army. Army researchers from the Medical Corps were trying to replicate the chemistry of the spider gene to produce the silk-manufacturing protein.

Years later, after I'd left the army, researchers at the University of Wyoming and Dow Corning also began experiments on cloning the silk-manufacturing gene and developing a process to extrude the silk fibers into a usable substance that could be fabricated into a cloth.

Our research and development liaison in the Medical Corps told me that the replication of a supertenacity fiber was still years away back in 1962, but that any help from Foreign Technology that we could give the Medical Corps would find its way to the companies they were working with and probably wouldn't require a separate R&D budget. The development funding through U.S. government medical and biological research grants was more than adequate, the Medical Corps officer told me, to finance the research unless we needed to develop an emergency crash program. But I still remained fascinated by the prospect that something similar to a web spinner had spun the strands of supertenacity fabric around the spaceship. I knew that whatever that secret was, amalgamating a skin out of some sort of fabric or ceramic around our aircraft would give them the protection that the Roswell craft had and still be relatively lightweight.

Our scientists told us that one way to simulate the effect of supertenacity was in the cross-alignment of composite layers of fabric. This idea was the premise for the army's search for a type of body armor that would protect against the skin-piercing injuries of explosive shrapnel and rounds fired from guns.

"Now this won't protect you against contusions," General Trudeau told me after a meeting with Army Medical Corps researchers at Walter Reed. "And the concussive shock from an impact will still be strong enough to kill anybody, but at least it's supposed to keep the round from tearing through your body."

I thought about the many blunt trauma wounds you see in a battle and could imagine the impact a large round would leave even if it couldn't penetrate the skin. But through the general's impetus and the contacts he set up for me at DuPont and Monsanto, we aggressively pursued the research into the development of a cross-aligned material for bulletproof vests. I hand-carried the field descriptions of the fabric found at Roswell to my meetings at these companies and showed the actual fabric to scientists who visited us in Washington. This was not an item we wanted to risk carrying around the coun-try. By 1965, Du Pont had announced the creation of the Kevlar fabric that, by 1973, was brought to market as the Kevlar bulletproof vest that's in common use today in the armed services and law-enforcement agencies. I don't know how many thousands of lives have been saved, but every time I hear of a police officer whose Kevlar vest protected him from a fatal chest or back wound, I think back to those days when we were just beginning to consider the value of cross-aligned layers of supertenacity material and am thankful that our office played a part in the product's development.

Our search for supertenacity materials also resulted in the development of composite plastics and ceramics that withstood heat and the pressures of high-speed air maneuvers and were also invisible to radar. The cross-stitched supertenacity fibers on the skin of the Roswell vehicle, which I believe had been spun on, also became an impetus for an entirely new generation of attack and strategic aircraft as well as composite materials for future designs of attack helicopters.

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