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Roswell and the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit

Updated on May 26, 2013

We all know the story. In July 1947 something crashed in the New Mexico desert outside the town of Roswell. The Army Air Forces went out to investigate the incident. The 509th Bomb Group, the first nuclear bomber group in the world and the very same one that dropped the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, made a press release that they had recovered a "flying disk." The next day the Army Air Forces gave another press release telling us that such an elite unit as the 509th can not tell the difference between the debris of a crashed UFO and that of a weather balloon. Controversy has raged ever since.

What is not such common knowledge is the existence of the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit and its' role in Roswell. Intelligence Assessment No. 001947122-A.1206, dated 22 July 1947, is revealing. Obtained by from the National Archives, it is the IPU Summary of events that took place between 4 July and 6 July 1947.

According to the IPU Summary, it all started on the 29th of June when at least nine independent radar stations began tracking unidentified craft on and off for the next several days. These craft had remained stationary for minutes at a time, then would resume course flying from the southeast to the northwest. Finally, on 3 July, two unidentified craft were tracked until both dropped under radar.

Two crash sites were identified. LZ-1 was located "at a ranch near Corona, approximately 75 miles northwest of Roswell." LZ-2 was located "approximately 20 miles southeast of the town of Socorro" according to the IPU summary. Reports from Roswell Army Air Field indicated that LZ-1 was the remains of a top secret "MOGUL" balloon. On arrival at LZ-2, personnel surveyed the wreckage and found it to not be that of any aircraft, rocket, weapons, or balloon test and concluded that it was "something out of this world." LZ-2 contained the majority of the structural detail of the craft's airframe. This is also where the majority of propulsion and navigation technology was recovered. The report goes on to state "The recovery of five bodies in a damaged escape cylinder precluded an investigation at LZ-1." A special radio-biological team, accompanied by a security detail from Sandia, then secured the immediate area surrounding the crash site, under orders from Colonel Hasbrouck of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project.

Personnel identified at LZ-2 included scientists from the General Advisory committee of the Atomic Energy Commission, most notably Dr. Oppenheimer. Other scientists were "PAPERCLIP" specialists Dr. Von Braun, Dr. Steinhoff and Dr. Strughold.

The report also goes on to say that General Thomas Handy, of the Forth Army Headquarters, ordered the dispersal of bodies and debris recovered. The bodies were taken to Los Alamos, Patterson AAF, Randolph Field, Roswell AAF and Wright Field. The power plant was trucked to Alamogordo AAF and Kirtland AAF while structural debris was taken to the Air Material Command at Wright Field. The rest was sent to storage facilities at White Sands Proving Grounds. This was completed by the evening of 7 July.

Between 7 July and 10 July, General Nathan Twining visited the different facilities to inspect the recovered debris, while the President was given a limited briefing at the Pentagon by General Hoyt Vandenberg, according to the IPU summary. All teletype, telephone and radio transmissions were monitored to prevent any disclosures of the finds. Civilians who may have seen the wreckage, or viewed the bodies, were detained under the McNab law until all remaining evidence was secured at restricted bases. Witnesses were "debriefed and warned of the consequences of talking to the press."

The IPU summary goes on to say the personnel involved in recovery operations were given "need to know" access and had the appropriate level security clearances. Several Military Police suffered nervous breakdowns, with one committing suicide. Ground personnel from Sandia were contaminated in some way, resulting in the death of three technicians. The fate of the fourth is unknown.

Apparently the only government officials outside the President and Military who had any knowledge of the incident were Secretary of State Marshall and, then representative, John F. Kennedy. It appears Kennedy received the information from sources close to the Secretary of the Air Force.

According to the summary, none of the bodies recovered at the crash site survived our atmosphere. The reason for this was listed as "Unknown Causes." An autopsy was to be performed by Major Charles Rea and Dr. Detlev Bronk. From what the IPU could gather, the crew from these craft appeared human in most respects, with anatomic differences in the head, eyes, hands and feet. They were approximately five feet tall with "grayish-pink skin" and no hair on their bodies. Their clothing was a tight flame-retardant flight suit. Some of the bodies showed signs of burning on the exposed skin. Their overall stature was reminiscent of children, and it was believed that both genders were present, though distinguishing between the two proved difficult. One aspect of the investigation that the IPU found disturbing was that "there were other bodies found not far from LZ-1 that looked as if they had been dissected as you would a frog." It was also reported that animal parts were found inside the craft at LZ-2.

The final recommendations of the IPU report were that the investigation be expanded to include other sources which could lead to findings "not possible by contemporary science," and that "appropriate budgets be allocated to facilitate future assignments that the unit may be called upon to perform."

Do you believe the U.S. Government is involved in a cover-up of the "Roswell Incident?"

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