The portion of the 1947 Twining memo often omitted by Roswell proponents because it indicates no spaceship was recovered at Roswell. (Brookesmith 23)

Chapter 30: What Did the Air Force Really Know?

By Timothy Printy 1999

When one looks at the information provided in the records from the 1947 era, one has to wonder, "What about Roswell?" The first investigation into flying discs was launched by the US Air Force in early 1948. It was called Project SIGN. SIGN was supposed to evaluate what these "flying discs" were and who was flying them. If Roswell, was the actual crash of an alien spaceship, why was the USAF so interested in classifying UFOs and putting together observations? Wouldn’t they already know enough about the "flying discs?" Amazingly, there is no mention of Roswell in the project SIGN files. When reviewing these documents, there is not one mention of any crashed spaceship. In fact, all the letters, memos, and documents REFUTE any recovery of crashed debris. The project SIGN files are full of remarks by officers as to wanting to know what these objects were. One might even say that the USAF had placed a want ad that could have read,

WANTED: One flying saucer in operable condition. No questions asked. Contact USAF.

The fact is, the USAF did not know what the flying saucers were and did not know how to defend US skies from this potential threat. General Nathan F. Twining described this in SECRET letter from the Air Material Command (Wright-Patterson AFB where the saucer supposedly went for analysis) that was dated September 23, 1947 (less than three months after Roswell). The subject of this letter was, "AMC Opinion Concerning Flying Saucers". In this memo, Twining concluded that, "The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious" (Brookesmith 22). However, he does goes on to say, "There is a possibility that some of the incidents may be caused by natural phenomena, such as meteors" (Brookesmith 22). Does Twining mention any recently recovered crashed discs? He states clearly toward the end of the memo that consideration must be given that, "The LACK OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE IN THE SHAPE OF A CRASH RECOVERED EXHIBITS (My Emphasis) which would undeniably prove the existence of these objects" (Brookesmith 23). Does this sound like a man who had in his possession an actual crashed saucer? It is also interesting to note that the letter never states that the objects are suspected to be from outer space. All the authors quote this document as an indication that flying saucers were real. However, in The Roswell Incident, UFO Crash at Roswell, and Crash at Corona, all the authors omit the section concerning the lack of crashed exhibits! Talk about your cover-ups! This is a purposeful omission on the part of the authors to only tell one version of the story. They prey on the gullibility of the reader not to investigate further.

In 1953, Captain Edward Ruppelt, head of project Blue Book, gave a SECRET briefing to the Air Defense Command. In this briefing, Ruppelt stated,

However, there is no – and I want to emphasize and repeat the word no – evidence of this in any report the Air Force has received…WE HAVE NEVER PICKED UP ANY HARDWARE.’ (My emphasis) By that we mean any pieces, parts, whole articles, or anything that would indicate an unknown material or object. (Frazier, Karr, and Nickel 70)

Another SECRET briefing paper, dated August 15, states, "Finally, no debris or material evidence has ever been recovered following an unexplained sighting" (Frazier, Karr, and Nickel 70). In 1948, Project SIGN was started and, according to Ruppelt, many of the investigators were open minded about the Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis. During a SECRET briefing to the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board given on March 17, 1948 (less than 8 months after Roswell), Colonel McCoy (Chief of Intelligence at AMC and part of Project SIGN) stated, "... I can’t even tell you how much we would give to have one of those crash in an area so that we could recover whatever they are " (Pflock 36). Does it sound like Colonel McCoy had in his possession a crashed saucer? Certainly not and McCoy was busy in 1947 and 1948 tracking down leads for the answer to the saucer question. If he actually had seen a crashed saucer, he certainly would not have wasted a lot of his time and paperwork investigating the matter! By November 1948, Colonel McCoy began to feel heat from above. In a letter from General Cabell (Director of USAF intelligence), he was directed to let the chain of command know about Project SIGN’s progress in finding out what these UFOs were. Colonel McCoy, in a SECRET letter, responded:

The possibility that the reported objects are vehicles from another planet has not been ignored. HOWEVER, TANGIBLE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT CONCLUSIONS ABOUT SUCH A POSSIBILITY ARE COMPLETELY LACKING (My emphasis)...the exact nature of these objects cannot be established until physical evidence, SUCH AS THAT WHICH WOULD RESULT FROM A CRASH (My emphasis), has been obtained" (Hall Ref #25).

This letter was written only one month after Colonel McCoy had sent off a series of letters to all the intelligence agencies asking for help. McCoy states in all of these letters:

This Headquarters is currently engaged in an intelligence investigation of all reported unidentified aerial phenomena. TO DATE, NO CONCRETE EVIDENCE AS TO THE EXACT IDENTITY OF ANY OF THE REPORTED OBJECTS HAS BEEN RECEIVED (My Emphasis). Similarly, the origin of the so-called ‘flying discs’ remains obscure. The possibility exists that some of the sighted objects are of domestic origin... Your cooperation... might greatly assist in identifying our own domestic developments from possible inimical foreign achievements. (Hall Ref # 13-15)

Kevin Randle spends a good amount of time trying to explain all these statements away in The Randle Report. He states Twining would not include references to Roswell in his letter because, "…the men who needed to know about the crash already did know" (Randle Randle 196). As for the McCoy statements, Randle states, "It seems to me that McCoy might have been actively attempting to divert attention" (Randle Randle 197). In both cases, he makes it a point that the information was very compartmentalized and meetings/memos/letters classified only SECRET would not mention Roswell. However, what Randle fails to understand is that these military men would be making false official statements. This is a punishable offense under military law. Why would these men make such statements to their superiors and endanger their careers? They could simply state nothing concerning physical evidence. Thus they would not be lying. Randle stretches his reasoning to the limit in order to convince "believers" that they need not be concerned about these documents. However, as a former military man, he should understand that it is (and was) extremely important to inform one’s superiors of information. This way, the superior could make a proper decision and also would have to accept responsibility. Randle also must feel that McCoy and Twining had precognitive abilities and realize that the general public would be reading their SECRET statements 40-50 years later. According to his line of reasoning, McCoy/Twining were not making statements to the individuals in the briefing or addressed in the letter, but to the future public instead. Randle’s statements might sell to the gullible, non-military person on the street but for a military member, this is pure hogwash.

Randle recently seemed to answer this contention in a new Randle Report article on the WEB. His new reason why Twining would not tell Schulgen is:

More importantly, Schulgen was not Twining’s superior. Twining was a Lieutenant General and therefore outranked Schulgen, the difference being the number of stars worn. Twining as the commanding officer of AMC while Schulgen was an assistant chief of staff for intelligence. Twining could respond, officially, to Schulgen, mention there had been no crash recovered exhibits in the official analysis of the cases that had been reviewed, and not be telling a lie, even if there had been a crash at Roswell. (Randle Online)

Randle fails to mention that Schulgen worked for the Chief of Staff and while did not outrank him, was placed in a position of authority over him. The memo would have passed through Schulgen’s hands but eventually would be reported about in memos up the chain of command to the very top of the Army Air Forces. Schulgen was directly representing the Commanding General of the Army Air Force in matters concerning air intelligence and, in this case, "Flying discs". Clearly, Randle is being disingenuous with the inexperienced person who does not understand how the "chain of command" operates. The buck only stops at the top and Schulgen would pass the memo up the chain or reference it in any of his reports (oral or written) to Vandenberg/Spatz or at meetings of the air staff. This is proven by the 30 December 1947 letter establishing Project SIGN. It is written by Major General Craigie (Twining’s superior officer by rank!) and references (surprise!) the 23 September 1947 memo of Twining. If, for some reason, Twining was lying to Schulgen, he was also lying to Vandenberg, and Spatz. The fact that no crashed debris is mentioned is important. Again, IF THERE WERE crashed debris, it would NOT be mentioned in the memo or the memo would have a higher classification! Randle then states a work around on this line: "Twining could have sent his letter to Schulgen about the lack of crash recovered exhibits in the material that Schulgen submitted without lying to Eisenhower. That communication would have taken place in a different arena at a higher level" (Randle Online). So what Randle is stating is that Eisenhower would eventually receive two memos/reports. One stating there was a crash and one saying there was no crash. Was Twining trying to confuse Eisenhower? I doubt it. Why is Twining "Jumping" the chain of command anyway? He would report to the Deputy Commander (Vandenberg) and the Commanding General (Spatz) if he wanted to bypass Schulgen. There are no documents yet released suggesting that Twining was communicating through different channels. Can Randle produce them? Despite examining the minutes of the National Security Council 1947-8, AMC research and development tiles 1947-50, and HQ Army Air Force message traffic 1947-54, the GAO could find no indication of Randle’s documents:

The other government records we reviewed, INCLUDING THOSE PREVIOUSLY WITHHELD FROM THE PUBLIC BECAUSE OF SECURITY CLASSIFICATION (my emphasis), and the Air Forces analysis of unidentified flying object (1) sightings from 1946 to 1953 (Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14), did not mention the crash or recovery of an airborne object near Roswell in July 1947. Similarly, executive branch agencies’ response to our letters of inquiry produced no other government records on the Roswell crash…As a final step, we reviewed Air Material Command (Wright Field) records from 1947 to 1950 for evidence of command personnel involvement in this matter. We found no records mentioning the Roswell Crash or the examination by Air Material Command personnel of any debris recovered from the crash. (US Government Online)

If there were no documents at AMC, that has Twining talking to Eisenhower, then this is a poor argument by Randle. The "mystery channel" did not exist and Randle’s twisted logic just does not wash with the known facts. Randle can stomp and pound on his chest all he wants but he is avoiding the known facts.

Stanton Friedman also makes several statements concerning these documents. He is convinced that they are misinformation and are meant to make us accept that there was no crash. He states,

Because many people saw and felt the first nuclear explosion at Trinity site in July, 1945, the base commander issued a press release saying that an ammunition dump had blown up, but fortunately nobody was injured. It was a total lie. I have the clippings. Sometimes it was necessary to lie for national security interests. The government initially lied about Gary Powers U-2 flight.. blown off course by the wind…until Khruschev provided the plane, pilot, and camera. Let us not be naive. (Friedman Online)

These are true facts but they were all PUBLIC statements! I do not see any SECRET documents stating there is no such thing as an atomic bomb in 1943-45. Also, there are no SECRET documents stating that the U2 flight was blown off course. Recently, the CIA released documents that the USAF lied about UFOs in order to coverup the flights of U-2 aircraft. Despite the fact that lies were told in public, the documentation behind the scenes revealed otherwise. Does Roswell have such supporting documentation? Can Friedman produce a document that states the balloon story was a cover story? No, because no such document exists! Friedman is the one being very nave and he expects the faithful of UFOlogy to believe him. He has become so glued into a "Cosmic Watergate" that he will contrive impossible scenarios in order to defend his position.

Karl Pflock, who authored Roswell In Perspective, discussed these documents in detail in an article for Fortean Times. Karl’s most telling paragraph states:

It is important to understand that the documents in question were written decades before the passage of the US Freedom of Information Act in 1975 made it possible to peer behind the wall of American official secrecy. They were created by those whose job it was to crack the flying saucer mystery, who wrote and spoke, certain no unauthorised person would ever be privy to their words. They were the products of, and addressed to, men who had fought World War II and were fighting the Cold War, men used to doing their duty with little fear of being second-guessed, who sat in the highest ranks of American intelligence and official science. They had no qualms about being forthright with each other inside the comfortable precints fo security classifications and Pentagon conference rooms. In fact, their responsibilities demanded it. (Pflock 34)

The fabrication of scenarios to explain away the documents refuting a Roswell crash is a trademark of all the crashed spaceship supporters. They have to come up with new and more interesting ways to explain each new document or statement instead of grasping the obvious answer. When we are discussing Roswell, there is no such thing as the "Truth". The only thing that matters is keeping the myth alive. Any lie, fabrication, or twisting of facts towards the crashed spaceship position is greeted with open arms. Any fact that surfaces that refutes the crash is summarily dismissed as misinformation put out by a control group or cleverly fabricated documentation designed in the 1940s to hide the truth from investigators researching the incident in the 1990s.

Works Cited

Brookesmith, Peter. UFO: The Government Files. New York: Barnes & Nobles, 1996.

Frazier, Kendrick ,Barry Karr, and Joe Nickell ed. UFO Invasion. Amherst: Prometheus, 1997

Friedman, Stanton. 24 September. Online posting. UFO Updates mailing list archive. 25 September 1998. Online. Internet. Available WWW:

Hall, Richard ed. Project SIGN documents. Mt. Rainier: Fund for UFO Research, 1998.

Pflock, Karl. "For Your Eyes Only." Fortean Times, September 1998. p. 34-38.

Randle, Kevin. The Randle Report: UFOs in the 90s. New York: M. Evans and Company inc., 1997

---. "The Roswell Disconnect." The Randle Report. Online. Internet. Available WWW: (now a dead link)

US Government. The GAO Report on Roswell. Washington D. C.: Online. Internet. Available WWW:


Chapter 30 - The Truth Shall Set You Free!

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