Roswell Area 51


Roswell Area 51

In 1945 the world emerged battered, bruised and suspicious of itself and its enemies after a war that had threatened its very existence. Each power had faced its own vulnerability and knew that such vulnerabilities could never again be allowed to threaten its way of life. But by 1946 the Cold War was setting in, communications were down and suspicions between east and west were running high. Another world war appeared increasingly inevitable, and military arsenals began to be built up for possible deployment. Within months mysterious objects began to be seen above the sky of Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. These objects were called ghost rockets or spook bombs; some flashed across the sky (below) whilst others hardly moved. The West assumed that the Soviets were testing some new secret weapon, although the Kremlin flatly denied this was the case.

Then on 22nd August 1946, the British Daily Telegraph stated "The discussion of the flight of rockets over Scandinavia has been dropped in the Norwegian newspapers since Wednesday. On that day the Norwegian General Staff issued a memorandum to the press asking it not to make any mention of the appearance of rockets over Norwegian territory but to pass on all reports to the Intelligence Department of the High Command. In Sweden the ban is limited to any mention of where the rockets have been seen to land or explode" (1). Swedish military forces were placed on alert (2) and the US sent retired US Air Force General James H. Doolittle to assist the Swedes in their investigation. Doolittle had entered WWII as a Major in the US Air Force. Following a flight over Tokyo, he was promoted to a one-star general, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour and sent to North Africa to take command.

Ghost Rockets

Later in the war, Doolittle commanded the Eighth Air Force, which played a large role in the defeat of Germany. He went on to undertake a major role in shaping the armed services and national aviation policy. On arrival in Stockholm, the General met with Colonel C. R. Kempf, the Chief of Swedish Defence and General David Sarnoff, an intelligence expert in aerial warfare. Sarnoff was later quoted as stating that the objects reported were neither mythological nor meteorological but "real missiles" (3). In October 1946 the Swedish Government announced the results of its inquiry: "Swedish military authorities said today that they had been unable to discover after four months of investigation the origin or nature of the ghost rockets that have been flying over Sweden since May. A special communique declared that 80 per cent of 1,000 reports on the rockets could be attributed to 'celestial phenomena' but that radar had detected some [200] objects "which cannot be the phenomena of nature or products of the imagination, nor can be referred to as Swedish airplanes."

Kenneth Arnold

Then the following summer an event occurred that was to become known all over the world and trigger the modern day UFO phenomena. On this occasion, businessman and experienced pilot, Kenneth Arnold (above) flew his private plane across the Cascade Mountains from Chehalis to Yakima in Washington. Arnold was particularly vigilant during this flight as he was aware of the offer of $5000 to anyone who could locate a missing C-46 transport aircraft belonging to the US Marine Corps that was believed to have crashed near Mount Rainier with thirty two men on board. Arnold was 9200ft above the town of Mineral, 25 miles south-west of Mount Rainier, and making a 180q turn when he reported that a "tremendously bright flash lit up the surfaces of my aircraft."

Although initially startled, Arnold quickly concluded that the light was simply a reflection from some other nearby plane. Then he saw another flash. "I observed far to my left and to the north, a formation of very bright objects coming from the vicinity of Mount Baker, flying very close to the mountain tops and travelling at tremendous speed." Arnold calculated that the craft were travelling at over 1700mph. "They didn't fly like any aircraft I had seen before ... they flew in a definite formation, but erratically ... their flight was like speed boats on rough water or similar to the tail of a Chinese kite" (4). Arnold's episode was confirmed by a little known letter sent on 20th August of that year to the Air Force and found latterly in the files of Project Blue Book, the last official US investigation of the UFO phenomenon:

"Sir. Saw in the Portland paper a short time ago in regards to an article in regards to the so called flying disc having any basis in fact. I can say am a prospector and was in the Mt Adams district on June 24th the day Kenneth Arnold of Boise Idaho claims he saw a formation of flying disc. And I saw the same flying objects at about the same time. Having a telescope with me at the time I can assure you they are real and nothing like them I ever saw before they did not pass very high over where I was standing at the the time. Probably 1000ft.They were round, about 30 foot in diameter tapering sharply to a point in the head and in an oval shape. With a bright top surface. I did not hear any noise as you would from a plane. But there was an object in the tail end looked like a big hand of a clock shifting from side to side like a big magnet. There speed as far as ii know seemed to be greater than anything I ever saw. Last view I got of the objects they were standing on edge Banking in a Cloud. Your Respectfully, (Fred Johnson.)" (Note: The Blue Book file page which contains this letter is labelled "A TRUE COPY" that was authenticated by Lt. Col. Donald Springer. The errors in the text have been corrected from the original letter (5) (See Appendix 1).

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