By late 1949, stories began circulating about a Flying Disc, of unknown origin, landing on a mesa in New Mexico. This author suggests that the reader check out the now definitive book on the subject: The Aztec UFO Incident, by Scott and Suzanne Ramsey, and Frank Thayer, PhD. Per their research, this incident occurred on March 25, 1948. Surely the possibility must be considered that there is some sort of connection between this incident and the March crisis of 1948. Either the disc was truly of unknown origin, or perhaps it was part of the ongoing Soviet deception plan underway, at that time.
Stress regarding Soviet intensions began in January, but formerly classified historical reports maintain that the crisis began on the 5th, when General Lucius Clay sent an urgent telegram to the Head of the Army Intelligence Division, General Chamberlin*. In it he noted a striking change in the Russians’ behavior**. From Secretary Forrestal’s diary, for 5 March 1948:
“FROM CLAY EYES ONLY TO CHAMBERLIN…I HAVE FELT A SUBTLE CHANGE IN SOVIET ATTITUDE WHICH I CANNOT DEFINE BUT WHICH NOW GIVES ME A FEELING THAT IT (war) MAY COME WITH DRAMATIC SUDDENNESS.”
From the 5th through the 25th, tensions in Washington, in regards to possible Soviet aggression, rose and fell. While this writer thinks it unlikely that the "disc" that is said to have landed in New Mexico, on the 25th, was a Soviet trick, it is also true that the Soviet Russians were deeply embroiled in a rather intense deception plan at that time, the goal of which being to drive the western powers out of Berlin. The Russians, timing their deception to coincide with other bold moves they were behind, attempted to convince those observing that they were pulling together a large invasion force, on the Berlin border.3
The deception seemed to work briefly, and it seemed to result in General Carl Spaatz issuing a world-wide air defense alert on the 25th/26th.4 Cooler heads prevailed and it soon became clear that it was all a ruse. Most of the Intelligence experts of the time, including Admiral Hillenkoetter, did not agree with the March 5th assessment, and did not see the Russians as being prepared for a major war.5 Never-the-less, no one wanted to take a chance on another Pearl Harbor event.
Considering that it was almost entirely the Air Force, and head of Army Intelligence, General Stephen J. Chamberlin, who seemed vastly more concerned than anyone else, the question must be asked: Why? When other major players in the National Security arena were all dismayed, at their level of concern, why was the Air Force so alarmed?6
*In the definitive account of Defense Secretary Forrestal’s life and work, Driven Patriot (©1992 by Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley), namely in the Chapter entitled: “The War Scare”, it is noted that General Clay’s letter to the President had been more so inspired by a visit from the “visiting Director of Army Intelligence, Lieutenant General Stephen Chamberlin” than the abrupt change in attitude by the Soviets** Ibid; Page 225, Paragraph 2
It is an admittedly odd coincidence that the disc was reported to have fallen on the 25th, and that just happens to be the same date that General Spaatz ordered the air defense alert. If the disc was not Russian, what was its origin? What would have been the purpose of flying around in the United States' airspace, only to crash land in New Mexico? Were they non-terrestrials, worried about the proliferation of our atomic weapons? After all, from June 1947 through June 1948, our stockpile grew from 13 to 50**. Were these non-terrestrials monitoring the "March crisis", or was it part of a different type of deception game, run by an American office specializing in such things?
One could suppose that the disc was a hoax perpetrated by Washington insiders who wanted to force the President into giving the Air Force its larger funding request, and to institute Universal Military Training (UMT), which the President was opposed to.
Colonel Riley Ennis7 had been Chief/Intelligence Group of the United States Army, General Staff Corps, at the time in question. He authored a directive with world-wide distribution to all the major air defense units. This directive created or enhanced the code 452.1, with control number A-1917, on 25 March, which ordered the Air Material Command at Wright Patterson AFB to collect “Unconventional Aircraft” and "Flying Disc" reports, for the GSC's Intelligence Division.8 He was also a proponent of UMT.
Could he possibly have been participating in a deception plan meant for the President? Might Ennis and fellow "conspirators" in the Intelligence community simply have been trying to use a potential "invasion of America" scenario to build support for more Defense spending? To this writer, that possibility seems like more of a stretch than anything that has ever been considered before. Would the Intelligence Department of the USA/GSC, especially the Intelligence Group, headed by Colonel Ennis, have had the where-with-all to create such a convincing alien crew and ship that would have successfully fooled everyone involved with the recovery? And even if one thought the answer to that question was "yes," the next big question would be: "did it work"? The answer to that question would have to be no. The individuals pushing Truman for such an increase in the budget only got some of what they wanted, and even that was only because of the perceived Russian aggression in Berlin and elsewhere. It certainly does not appear that it was because we thought they had Flying Discs at the ready.
What the record clearly shows us is this:
1. By the 15th, the Intelligence Community had begun to address the problem dealing with its abilities to coordinate Intelligence summaries and the better over-all sharing of their world situational views.9
2. General Clay was interviewed on the 25th, and said he did not expect any major move from the Soviets10
3. General Carl Spaatz ordered a global Air Defense alert, beginning on the 25th. On the 26th he participated in a tele-conference, making his wishes and orders clear.11
4. Although the 26th is the date sometimes sited, in standard historical material, as the date for the Air Alert, the USA/GSC, ID letter of Instruction 452.1, with control number A-1917, was issued on the 25th, and it was drafted for world-wide distribution. Air Defense Command (ADC) order 45-5 was issued on the same day. Continental Air Command (CoNAC) letter of instruction 200-1 along with Tactical Air Command (TAC) letter 200-1 had also been issued on this same day.12
Interestingly, these all dealt with “Unconventional Aircraft” and “Flying Discs”, not Soviet aggression.
1. see: Central Intelligence Agency publication,Studies in Intelligence, Volume: 11, Issue: Spring Year: 1967; March Crisis 1948, ACTS I and II, by William R. Harris
2. see: http://www.bluebookarchive.org; use search engine with dates in March, 1948; several cases are in these files beginning on the 5th
3. see: Driven Patriot, ©1992 by Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley, page 370: “the War Scare; see: A Preponderance of Power, ©1992 by Melvyn P. Leffler, page 225
4. see: Central Intelligence Agency publication, Studies in Intelligence, Volume: 11, Issue: Spring Year: 1967; March Crisis 1948, ACT II, by William R. Harris; Page 20, "On that Good Friday (the 26th) General Carl S. (Tooey") Spaatz decided that key elements of the U.S. Air Force should be placed on an immediate alert. At 2:37 p.m. Air Force officers in the Pentagon held a telecon with the Alaskan Air Command, for example: 1. It is the decision of the Chiefs of Staff that your aircraft control and warning system operate twenty-four hours a day continuously, commencing at once."; see: The Emerging Shield, copyright 1953-1988, Kenneth Schaffel, for the Office of Air Force History
5. see: The Forrestal Diaries; Edited by Walter Millis; Page 395, “…It is inconceivable that even the gang who run Russia would be willing to take on war…”
6. see: Memorandum for the Director of Central Intelligence, Subject: CIA Relations with the Air Force on Estimates of Soviet Intentions, SECRET, 23 December 1948, “…it is quite true, however, that at the time of the preparation of the 60 day estimate for the second meeting of the IAC Directors and of ORE 22-48, the Air Force elements were far more alarmist than any of the others…”
7. see: Operation Downfall, the Devil was in the Details, by D. M. Giangreco, 1995, for informational background on Ennis
8. On file with author: GSCID 452.1; 25 March 1948; Subject: Unconventional Aircraft, “the Intelligence Division has a specific requirement for information regarding the sighting of unconventional aircraft, including the so-called “Flying Discs.”
9. 9a. see: CIA reading room, document number; CIA-RDP80R01731R003400070040-8.pdf, detailing the early stages of the new CIG’s, National Intelligence Survey (NIS); 9b. Central Intelligence Agency publication, Studies in Intelligence, Volume: 11, Issue: Spring Year: 1967; March Crisis 1948, ACT II, by William R. Harris…”While U. S. intelligence agencies hammered out unanimous no-deliberate-war estimates on March 15 and 16, 1948, thus laying to rest the scare raised by General Clay’s “blockbuster” cable of March 5 and closing down the first act of the ‘crisis’...”
10. see: Central Intelligence Agency publication, Studies in Intelligence, Volume: 11, Issue: Spring Year: 1967; March Crisis 1948, ACT II, by William R. Harris; Page 19, paragraph 2, “…I am not expecting any conflagration to break out tomorrow or the next day, by any means”
11. see: Central Intelligence Agency publication, Studies in Intelligence, Volume: 11, Issue: Spring Year: 1967; March Crisis 1948, ACT II, by William R. Harris; Page 20, "On that Good Friday (the 26th) General Carl S. (“Tooey") Spaatz decided that key elements of the U.S. Air Force should be placed on an immediate alert. At 2:37 p.m. Air Force officers in the Pentagon held a telecon with the Alaskan Air Command, for example: 1. It is the decision of the Chiefs of Staff that your aircraft control and warning system operate twenty-four hours a day continuously, commencing at once."
12. see: www. http://www.bluebookarchive.org; several documents dated from March 25, 1948 onward into the nineteen-fifties