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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Project: Pounce

Data is thin that would confirm that there was ever an actual program referred to as "Pounce", yet there are intriguing bits and pieces to be found in the archives.

Documents circa 1953 reveal stories of F-86 interceptors being vectored toward UFOs, some of which escaped pursuit by exiting vertically, presumably into outer-space. These jet planes had been maneuvered into what was being referred to as "pounce" position. Ground Control Intercept (GCI)had specifically used the term "Pounce Position" when describing, at least one, of the accounts the of F-86 interceptions.

An Internet search conducted on the phrases "air combat + Pounce" took me to several papers dealing with military air combat. Pounce seems to be a fairly common term. It refers to the act of pouncing on a ground target, as in a railroad yard, or bridge, as well it also was used when referring to the act of the pilot getting his plane over, and above an air target. Once they were above the target, and hopefully unseen by the enemy aircraft as well, they would "pounce" upon them in surprise.

The air target grammar usage fits the UFO encounters of 1953, as the interceptors were getting over, and above the UFO targets. As you can see from this web site, others have a slightly different tale to tell, as regards to Project: Pounce.


This is quoted from Ruppelt's whose-who, via NICAP one of the thousands of benefits received from the hardworking folks with NICAP.

"Col. Methaney

Col. Methaney was the CO of the 34th Air Defense Division in Albuquerque. He is now a Brigadier General. He was firmly convinced that the UFO's were real and that they were interplanetary space ships. He wrote up a plan that called for a special squadron of stripped down F-94C's to chase the UFO's. The plan went through Western Air Defense Headquarters and to Air Defense Command Headquarters but it was rejected because of the non-availability of the aircraft. It was in the 34th that the F-86 pilot claimed that he shot at the UFO...Colonel Methany (Ruppelt misspells in these notes but not in his book) was indeed head of the 34th Air Defense Division at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His plan, dubbed Project Pounce, to use F-94C fighters to go after UFOs with gun-cameras was discarded under the motive that due to the Korean war, there were not enough planes available...The UFO shooting incident Ruppelt refers to is detailed in the beginning of Chapter 1 of his book. "

This search is on-going. I will update all other info I find on Project:Pounce

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chapter 2, cont.

Another dramatic event transpired in July of the same year. A rocket-shaped vehicle almost collided with a passenger airline on July 24, 1948. The Eastern Airlines flight was over Montgomery, Alabama at the time. Listed in the files as case number 144, it is broken down into parts “a” and “b” –as there was a separate sighting of a meteor at the time. The final AF report states: “…The object reported in incident #144a and 144b was very probably a meteor…It should be noted that this object was traveling in the same direction as the one reported in #144, although separated by some 400 miles.”

These are the drawings of the “meteor”, done by the pilot and copilot:

The rest of the page of this document is nearly illegible. The pilot and co-pilot disagreed on only a few minor points. They were both describing the same event, each from their own perspective, in very clear terms, very meticulously. There was one passenger awake, at the time, but he had but a glimpse of it. The pilot went so far as to describe a bulbous nose on the front of the craft, which reminded him of a type of radar housing. The co-pilot saw no such bump, to his recollection, and the passenger, saw a flash.

They both clearly described seeing two decks of rows of windows, running along the side of the craft, and a bright cherry-red flame shooting for a distance out of the rear of the craft, which got bigger as it accelerated up and away. Though it would seem highly improbable that the two pilots, who were considered competent witnesses, were describing a meteor, the Air Force concluded it was just that –a meteor.

The meteor explanations became even easier later, as the later “experts” who were brought into the UFO Program by the Air Force, to make recommendations never really saw detailed case reports, such as these. They instead made their final analysis on previously reviewed, pre-edited (by the Air Force) material, of which they only read summaries.

One can clearly see how it would just appear as though the Air Force did it that way in order to save these individuals the time and effort it would take to go back over all of the old material. They had a time mandate, after all. But seriously, it should be noted that whether it was just coincidence and or just convenient, it is a great example of how to retain complete control over a subject, as the truth was obviously being manipulated by the Air Force, in order to make it appear as though they had solved all of these Unknown cases when in fact they had not. Those who control the flow of data control the “truth”.

The bottom line in this Eastern Airlines case is that the idea that what these two pilots witnessed that day could have possibly been a space-ship, or any other strange aerial ship, was un-acceptable, and simply discarded!

Chapter Two: Project SIGN: Ghost Rockets and Our First Casualties

By December 30, 1947, Project: Saucer was beginning to be called Project: SIGN, as per the letter from the Deputy Chief of Staff, Material, USAF entitled: “Flying Disks”. As 1947 was coming to a close, the Air Force was probably wishing that the flying discs would vanish as quickly as they had seemed to arrive. Unfortunately, this was not the case. In fact, in January 1948, a terribly momentous disaster was looming, which took everyone by surprise, and set a new course for the UFO Program.

After being asked to investigate a UFO, the flight leader of a group of P-51 Mustangs was lost. He reported to the tower that he was going in for a better look, and all contact with him ceased from that point on. According to his wing-man, he disappeared right after this statement was made. The documents reproduced on the following two pages are from the official investigation of the incident. They should clear up some of the basic facts. They consist of a transcript of interviews with the other pilots and wing-men regarding the radio transmissions describing the object in question, and Captain Mantell’s reports of it. The document that follows the transcript is from the main page of the synopsis of the case. It shows us some interesting concepts to consider. Though it is true that the documents do not say that Captain Mantell was shot down by some other-worldly invader, but it doesn’t necessarily say that he was chasing a balloon, either.

Captain Mantell was an experienced pilot, if not perhaps a bit over-confident, based on his wing-man’s testimony. He had been honed by several different successful missions, during World War II, though according to research conducted by Kevin Randle, he had only recently begun his career with the P-51 Mustang. Even if one takes into account his possible newness with the P-51, he made a concise, but fateful decision to break with his wing-man in pursuit of the object in question, and no matter what anyone else has to say on the matter, the record is very clear about two things:

1. Captain Mantell had the object in his sight, and said it was “tremendous in size…”

2. he reported the object’s speed, several times, and these numbers are verified with other pilots reports of radio transmissions

As per Captain Gary Carter’s testimony, Mantel seems to be aware that he is not equipped with Oxygen, as the quote: “going to 20,000 ft. and if no closer will abandon chase” seems to suggest this fact. The summary reads:

“At first the flight leader reported it high and about one-half his speed at ’12-o’clock’. Shortly thereafter the flight leader reported it at about his speed and later said he was closing in to take a good look. This was the last message from NG869, the flight leader. NG800 shortly thereafter reported NG869 disappeared…”
“From message transmitted by the formation it is estimated the flight leader was at 18 to 20 thousand feet wide formation when the flight leader NG869 disappeared”

In other words, to everyone there, who witnessed what was possible to witness, he disappeared as soon as he pulled up to investigate, and said he was, ”closing in”. The witnesses who were on the ground reported seeing his plane explode in the air. There was no fire as it fell -nor did it burn while on the ground. The plane fell, in pieces, on a farm near Franklin, Kentucky. Captain Mantell was found still strapped in the pilot seat of F-51#NG869, and the canopy was in the locked position. There is certainly no way to be sure of knowing what happened to Captain Mantell, but one thing is for certain: he wasn’t chasing a balloon, because a balloon would not be traveling at 180 miles per hour. If it was that big of a balloon, to be seen from as many places as it was seen from the ground, which included from other states, it would have had to have been absolutely, enormously, huge! It would have dwarfed any other known balloon, including the secret “Sky-Hook”, and “Mogul” balloons.

There is more to this story, I admit. Other sightings, and testimony presented by others to show he was killed as a result of oxygen starvation. This I cannot argue with, only that it does not appear that he was chasing a balloon. The balloon was in sight, by others who knew they were looking at a balloon. It was clocked at 10 mph, and it was at 20,000 ft.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DSP cont. 5

As stated previously in this report, the recovery of some type of other-worldly device would have been handled, most likely, by a group like the Joint Research Development Board (JRDB). What a strange coincidence that the date of the publication of both Dr. Zohn’s sighting of a missile of the likes he had never “studied” before, at White Sands, and the reported recovery of the Roswell device, near Corona, were both July the 8th, 1947, the very date in which the JRDB assigned the Army committee in question, with Fort Bliss at the Helm, over-seeing the range, in New Mexico.

As late as October 24th, murmurings about the incident continued, hinting at a much deeper interest in the case, proving that something was indeed going on, and different components of the military wanted to be kept appraised of the situation. For instance, the document of the 24th reads, “…Subject: Crash of Unidentified Flaming Object To: Commanding General, Air Material Command Wright Field, Dayton Ohio Attention: TSNLI 1. Reference is made to your message TSNAD-10-2, 14 October 1947, and TSNAD-10-3, 17 October 1947, and letter, this headquarters, dated 20 October 1947, subject as above. 2. Forwarded herewith is a copy of message from Commanding General Fourth Army, containing additional information on the subject “

The references to the two TSNADs are to the early memos, in which General Homer, Commander of Fort Bliss, Texas, reported that the early reports from the Mexican garrison were that it was an errant V-2 rocket, but that General Homer, was still surveying, and would update. No other updates appear, but one of the requests for information came from Fort Sam Houston, which is the premier military medical base in the entire nation.

All of the memos that were available for me to read at the Project Blue Book Archives, dealing with this incident, concluded that it was a fiery missile, or meteor, approximately one meter long, and which brandished a blue, fiery tail. It crashed in Mexico, just West of Fabens, Texas, very close to a village known as Cassetta Reforma. Fears were raised that it could entangle the U.S. into sovereignty issues. Since it was initially deemed to be a meteor, based on evaluations by General Homer, it was left as such, and dropped, according to what is available in the files.

White Sands and Fort Bliss’s histories are important to all this, and it seems reasonable to quote a little more from the official history of the Proving Ground, i.e., The History of Cape Canaveral, Chapter 2:

“The Air Force was notified by the recently established Department of Defense on *December 30, 1947* that since a long range missile proving ground was intended to benefit the Army, Navy and Air Force, management of the project would be reassigned…The project was officially designated the Joint Long Range Proving Ground, with development responsibility granted to the Joint Long Range Proving Ground Group[Bobnote: Army controlled]. Although plans continued initially for the establishment of a missile range based in California, political problems arose in 1948. Although it would have been a suitable site very close to existing missile manufacturers, the California site had to be rejected when Mexican President Aleman refused to agree to allow missiles to fly over the Baja region. This was largely a result of bad timing, since a wayward V-2 rocket launched from White Sands, New Mexico had recently crashed near Juarez, Mexico.”

Two things stand out to me:

1. It was proven early on, with documentation provided by the
American military, that the incident was not due to an an errant V-2 rocket

2. If it truly had been a meteor, the question is respectfully made as to the details of the meteor itself. Where are the official samples from
“the fall”, and the stories about the meteorologists who went there,and who now study them?

[* December 30, 1947, same date given as the official designation of SIGN as a special project to investigate the “flying discs”]

DSP cont. 4

By Bob Koford

On October the 13th another strange “fiery missile” was seen in Manitoba, Canada, heading southeast at a terrific rate of speed. It then was reported to have burst into a blue, forward leaning fiery flare, but it made no sound. But the day before that, an incident was reported through secure channels relating to the possible crash of one of them, as this quote from one of the formerly classified memo, dated the fourteenth, records:

An object seen by many in Mexico, as well as in Texas, was described as possibly metallic, with a blue flame shooting out of the rear. Immediately after seeing the object fly over, an explosion was seen and heard in the distance, which was assumed to be the impact. A flurry of interest became evident, in the documented record, not unlike a bee-hive that had just been poked by a bear. One would think that the mystery object would have been quickly identified, either as a rocket gone astray, or as a meteorite waiting for samples to be found and enjoyed by meteorologists around the world. On the 15th, a classified War Department Message was sent from the Commanding General, 4th Army, on the same subject: “COMGEMARMYFOUR …Reference previous unverified report of aerial object landing in Mexico opposite town of Fabens Tex, reports received this date from CG AAA GMC Branch Intelligence officer Ft Bliss Tex to the effect Mexican Garrison of Juarez still searching suspected area of impact.”

Fort Bliss was the location of the premiere missile research group, even as White Sands Proving Ground was taking shape as a viable place to test missiles. As far as the Army was concerned, the Commander of Fort Bliss was in charge of all activities for the growing range, which was made up of Holloman (now Air Force Base), White Sands and Fort Bliss.

The early days of the White Sands Proving Ground are a mix of troublesome quarreling between the Air Force and the Army, because the Commander, Fort Bliss, wanted to retain complete control over the whole range by controlling the committee which was in charge of it. This was all, coincidentally, taking place at the same time as the Roswell, and then the Mexico crashes occurred.

Almost immediately after the first accusations of “errant rocket” were uttered, White Sands, themselves investigated and provided the responses from the other bases, which showed that all tests were accounted for: “FROM HELMICK CO AAFLD ALAMOGORDO …LAUNCHED FROM THIS STA 8 OCT ANDRECOVERED IMMEDIATELY PD LAST MISSILE LAUNCHED BY WHITE SANDS PROVING GROUND WAS 9 OCT AND RECOVERED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.”

Even though this was the case, and this information was offered to the Mexican government as proof that we didn’t loose another missile, an article appeared in the Mexican press, on the October 16th, with the headline: “…Flaming Missile Startles Texans, Crosses Border”. If it was just a case of the Mexican Government officials not trusting us, it might be a reasonable stance for them to take. It has been reported, in the historical accounts of the rocket program, that in May of 1947, a V-2 rocket test from White Sands Proving Ground (WSPG) had gone off-course badly, causing one of them to impact in Mexico.

This quote, taken from “The History of Cape Canaveral, Chapter 2, The Missile Range Takes Shape (1949-1958), Written and Edited by Cliff Lethbridge The U.S. Selects Cape Canaveral To Host A Missile Test Range, tells the tale:

“…The dangers of a missile range so close to populated areas would become painfully clear in May, 1947 when a V-2 rocket strayed to the south instead of heading north over the White Sands range. The missile flew directly over El Paso, Texas and eventually crashed into the Tepeyac Cemetery in Juarez, Mexico. The missile impact created a hole 50 feet wide by 30 feet deep. Although no one was injured, the U.S. government caused a minor international incident and had to settle damage claims, many of which were obviously embellished by the local residents. Thankfully, the quest for a new missile range had begun almost a year before this incident”

“…Responsibility for acquiring, building and equipping the selected missile range was assigned to the War Department by the Joint Research and Development Board on July 8, 1947.”

DSP beginning cont. - 3

After reading through a certain number of the documents, now in the hands of the National Archives, it has become the Zohn case, and how it was handled by the Army, which set the stage for further contention between the Navy, and the Army, and Air Force, over the UFO issue. The reader will see this more clearly when 1948-49 is covered.

Strangely enough, the republishing of his story on the 8th, dovetailed with another story about a different, and now very famous event. Like Kenneth Arnold’s before it, it made headlines around the world, but unlike Arnold’s case, and Dr. Zohns’s, as well, it didn’t just deal with the sighting of a strange missile in the sky. It dealt with the crashing of one of them on a Ranch, in Corona, New Mexico. Also unlike the Arnold’s story before it, not a shred of information about it would remain in the, so-called “Blue Book” files.

Several photographs were taken of Air Force personnel, including Major Jesse Marcel, who was the Air Intelligence officer at Roswell Army Air field at the time, with what seems to be the shredded remains of some type of foil kite, or radar target.

What was everybody getting so excited about, one might ask? The photos show obviously mundane material, so why all the fuss? That question is truly representative of the rest of all of the doubts surrounding the whole affair. Having officers pose with well recognized pieces of material (in fact what any rancher, let alone any Air Combat Intelligence Officer, would never mistake for something like a flying saucer) made sure the story was “killed.”
In July of 1947, the flying saucer scare had become, for a brief moment, the crashed flying saucer scare.

It would be understandable, and very reasonable, for anyone to assume that the first “saucer” project, which was called, ironically, Saucer, investigated and retained information on this Roswell incident, yet, as unbelievable as it seems, the Air Force did not keep any records regarding this incident! They did not retain even the mundane press clippings! There should be pictures of the “balloon”, and Jesse Marcel, etc., but if you read through the documents given to the National Archives, and do a search for Jesse Marcel in that particular set of documents, you’ll come up short. Not that the Archives themselves don’t retain information on it, only that it wasn’t contained within the material given to them by the Air Force.

Marcel was never discharged or demoted because of this huge “mistake”. On the contrary, even though he supposedly mistook some foil for a flying saucer, he was later given high praise from superiors. Wouldn’t one think that this fact alone would embarrass the Air Force, and be reason enough for discipline? These types of glaring bumps in the proverbial road make it obvious that many questions remain unanswered in the case. These questions will, hopefully, be explored and vetted more thoroughly by other researchers who are on the case, as I type these words.

Another consideration, in my opinion, would be that if it really had been some type of other-worldly device, it would have been handled with an extremely tight, “need-to-know” kind of security classification. To do this, agencies create a compartmentalized infrastructure, so that one person or department does not know anything of the others. Ironically enough, this makes it even more likely that something is indeed being hidden from us. This type of set up is difficult to penetrate, and is the very security classifications system outlined for the Joint Research Development Board (JRDB), by Detlev Bronk, circa, 1947.

Sightings of the fast unknown flying missiles continued un-abated, and a few more of the examples from documents acquired via the Project Blue Book Archives should illustrate why the objects stood out so strongly. For example, one report was on an unidentified object or some type of high-speed jet aircraft, traveling an estimated 700-800 MPH, seen leaving a pronounced ‘contrail”, noticed by a citizen in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 8th or 9th , 1947. He promptly reported it to the Air Force, being greatly concerned:

“…I stepped from my car to observe more closely, as two things immediately troubled my mind—where the missile should have been, at the head of the steadily appearing trail, nothing was visible, or was too small to see.” “…the speed was startling, certainly between 400 and 1000 miles per hour, and I should estimate more precisely at from 700 to 800, still too fast for conventional types of aircraft. The trail the missile was leaving in its wake, may have been smoke, vapor from intense speed, or any unknown substance…3. Path of the strange missile is drawn on the attached map, and was seen by numerous people. At the local airport where I do some flying, a considerable number of inquiries were received as to its origin and identification. Name of airport: Sky Haven.”

The Air Force’s final assessment stated:

“…In everything except the course flown, the description given more answers to that of a fireball. The course indicated in this incident, however, appears almost fatal to such a hypothesis.”

Yeah...fatal if you think that meteors don’t usually alter their courses only to zip off in another direction, as this object reportedly did. To get the proper perspective of this case, one should first take note of a modern day jet aircraft as it traverses the sky. The plane is leaving a contrail behind it. The first thing you would notice, perhaps, is that, although the jet plane must be traveling at a fairly good rate of speed, certainly more than 300 mph, at the high altitude the plane is located, the plane does not give the impression of speed. On the contrary, it appears to be chugging along. Imagine yourself in 1947, making the above statement. It was traveling so fast, that the witness sensed the speed, declaring it to be around 700 mph. The Air Force admitted that the object’s actions (turning around and heading off in another direction) ruined the fireball hypothesis, but they labeled the event “meteoric” in the records anyway.
It should be noted that these very same “records” were given to experts later, and these same records were utilized in preparing their conclusions.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chapter One: The beginnings of DSP, continued...

As the second of the two World Wars raged across the planet, unknown flying objects reemerged as an issue. Military records reveal a surprisingly large volume of these unknown lighted objects seen, and reported officially. By the summer of 1947 what we now refer to as UFOs burst –seemingly very suddenly- upon the scene. This also accompanied a rather extensive, and as of yet unprecedented, restructuring of the Defense Establishment, and the creation of an unheard of level of secrecy in the name of National Security.

It began to burn its hottest at the outset of the second Truman Administration, in 1948.

The President had assigned the task of bringing this whole aspect of consolidation of the services to the former Navy Secretary, newly appointed Secretary of Defense, James V. Forrestal, who died after a short illness the following year.

We were at the very beginning stages of our experiments with missiles and rocketry at the time these unknown flying objects showed up. Though we were being assisted in these experiments by several “former” Nazi scientists, it still took an extremely long period of time, devoted to research and development, to even take the rudimentary steps into the world of rockets, missiles, and earth satellite vehicles. The craft of unknown origin were being flown by someone, in a manner which seemed to defy common reason. Even if one argues that they were remotely guided, someone, someplace, was guiding them…to where? They would have had to “go” somewhere…so where did they go?

Kenneth Arnold had said he saw several strange aerial devices “skipping like saucers on a lake”, and traveling at a terrific rate of speed, that summer. He is referenced as being at the beginning of the soon to be arriving UFO flap of '47. The shiny half-moon type craft were spotted by him because of a bright flash of light. He also pointed out that the objects seemed to follow the contour of the mountainous terrain below – perfectly - as if they were all linked by an invisible chain.

His report made headlines around the world, and he submitted a drawing to Air Force investigators, showing their appearance.

In time, phrases such as “the summer of 1947…”, and “the events of that summer…” began to be used to describe the events of that period in historical documents, by those who wanted to avoid the subject of UFOs yet still discuss history of that period. Nothing they can do, or say, can erase the strange truth of what was really going on.

On July 7 a newspaper ran a story of a disc being sighted by a Navy rocket expert, who worked out at the White Sands Missile Range, in the state of New Mexico. The Washington D.C. newspaper, The Evening Star, had this to say, ”…An eyewitness account of a flight of a ‘flying saucer’ came today from a Naval Research rockets expert here as aircraft were alerted along the West Coast in the hope of locating one of the discs and solving the mystery. The rockets expert, Dr. C. J. Zohn, who disclosed today that he had spotted one of the speeding discs on a recent Navy mission to New Mexico, said it looked like no guided missile he had ever studied.

The news account continued with, “On the other hand, Lester Barlow, Internationally known explosives inventor, advanced the theory at Stamford, Conn., that the ‘flying saucers’ were probably radio-controlled flying missiles being tested in the West by military authorities…Government officials have denied any tests are being conducted that might answer to the mystery that has baffled the Nation since June 25. An Army spokesman said AAF believes ‘there’s something to this’ but is completely mystified as to just what.”

The story was reprinted on July the 8th, in still another paper. Dr. Zohn, and two other scientists, saw the “missile” near Whites Sands, New Mexico on June 29, 1947, five days after Kenneth Arnold’s sighting of silvery, skipping, horse-shoe-shaped objects. This Naval Research Laboratory missile specialist was certain that it wasn’t a test flight of anything that was of our design. In one of the interviews he said, “…It was traveling away from us at a uniform rate of speed,” he reported. “It was clearly visible and then suddenly, it wasn’t there. It didn’t go behind a mountain range. It simply disappeared.”

Interestingly, Dr. Zohn was quoted as saying that when he reported it Army officers, at the range, he “…drew only flashy-eyed stares.”