The Year of 1947 a pivotal time in UFO history
On a recent meeting with well known researcher, Norio Hayakawa, I was pleased to have shared hours of interesting facts, stories, and evidence that sheds light on perhaps the most provocative subject known to man. The possibility that we have been visited by entities from somewhere else in the universe, or at the very least, not from earth, seems very well assured in reviewing the rich history that New Mexico has in aerial sightings, verification by qualified military observers, and the covert involvement of the US government in numerous secret programs that compel us to accept that there is an alternate reality that defies the official version of the truth!
A new paradigm emerges
1947 marked the second year after World War II. It was a year of strange developments that left people spellbound in the wake of dramatic aerial visual experiences that indicated that not only the US, but earth was under an invasion of sorts that was difficult to determine whether benign or hostile! However, one thing was definitely for certain, whatever was happening, there were witnesses and they were willing against the ridicule of the time to come forward. Experienced aviators of the Air Force, trusted private pilots, and solid American citizens were reporting bizarre sightings that simply contradicted the accepted norm.
A perplexing puzzle
One thing was undeniably for certain. Something was afoot in 1947, and it had nothing to do with hoaxes, mirages, or people’s imagination. It had to do with solid objects flying in our skies and forbidden military air space creating alerts and alarming those who knew there was something unusual and potentially dangerous going on in the skies above us. A series of dramatic sightings and public announcements signaled to a post World War II society that something was not within the realm of normalcy. Somebody or something had made an uninvited incursion into our realm of existence unannounced, unexplained, and without indication of intentions. This sparked a bee hive of secret activity among US military installations ordering radar stations to maintain intense readiness. It caused analysts to begin documented speculation. It demanded that military pilots prepare for orders to intercept unknown aerial intruders whose intent remained undetermined! It brought back tensions only experienced over the last few years during a devastating world conflict. It brought about fear and uncertainty, but answers had to be derived from the haphazard attempts at collecting intelligence.
The Air Force attempts to grasp the implications
According to Donald Keyhoe, USMC Major retired, and now an aviation journalist, as early as 1946 an Air Force Lieutenant had speculated that an extraterrestrial civilization had probably already established a base somewhere, perhaps on a moon in our solar system. Even though this essay had been publicly released the US Air Force refused to acknowledge the opinion expressed as their official position on the subject. However, the year of 1947 would prove to be a year of unprecedented policy transformation for not only the US government and Department of Defense, but for all of mankind! For an obscure USAF lieutenant to receive credit for such a bizarre theory would seem to indicate that the Air Force, unbeknownst to the general population, was already collecting data on flying saucers or airborne disks. Was it the Foo Fighters, the unexplained aerial phenomenon that had alarmed bomber crews and fighter pilots alike in not only the Pacific theater of war, but over Europe? Had this unknown manifestation left the military uneasy and prepared for a different kind of aerial defense than they had ever known?
Kenneth Arnold was a well respected bush pilot who flew in the Pacific Northwest. During a routine flight searching for a crashed US Air Force cargo plane in the vicinity of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Rainier, he saw something that not only forever changed his life, but quite probably the lives of millions of Americans forever. As he conducted his air search he was stunned by the appearance of 9 silvery objects that he described as disks traveling across his path at incredible speeds. He estimated their speed to be approximately 1200 mph based upon his rough estimate of time in traversing the distance between Mount Shasta and Mount Rainier. Arnold was so well respected that even the Air Force refused to question his sighting and estimate of speed. They only questioned atmospheric conditions and possible variances in his evaluation of speed, but agreed that whatever he had seen was indeed flying faster than anything man flew in the air at the time, and there were intense sound barrier flights being conducted at that time. As the US government funded X planes designed to challenge the heights of space in the upper atmosphere, and the supposed theoretic limit of aircraft to cross a barrier of speed never before achieved under powered flight. However, there was something else pawing at mankind, something that beckoned from the shadows of imagination and science fiction, something that for the first time seemed tangible. Perhaps someone from another world had indeed crossed that thin line between observed reality and the fantasy of man’s greatest hopes and fears.
A significant event rattles the world
Weeks before the crash 75 miles north of Roswell, New Mexico in rancher, Mac Brazel’s land, the US Air Force had been on high alert. The unknown disks had been seen, rumored, and talked about. Something from the unknown had come to dwell in the world of the US military that represented a threat, an invasion, and a lack of rational explanation. It was all centered around the high desert of New Mexico, and in the years to follow, the state of New Mexico would continue to be at the center of secret projects, UFO chases by Air Force fighter pilots, and at the heart of covert projects that sought to emulate the observed qualities of a phenomena that resisted definition. Somehow, the US military industrial complex would have deal with the unknown, try to learn more about it even though it exceeded their capabilities, and somehow assure the civilian public that it represented no tangible threat to American society.
A startling intelligence estimate rocks the Pentagon
Once General Roger Ramey had defused the hysteria with a benign explanation of a weather balloon, the stage was set for further steps. When General Nathan F. Twining assimilated the results of preliminary findings of the Roswell crash, and stated that UFO’s were real, not imaginary, out performed the best US aircraft, yet whose origin was undetermined and intentions were not known, the joint chiefs of staff at the Pentagon were shocked. His intelligence estimate had obviously beckoned in a new age of awareness both technical and social, but at the same time it demanded a completely new methodology of assimilation, compartmentalization, and policy that had never before been considered.
In 1947, a major development in the security state, a new standard of awareness between the US military and government, an unheard of embargo on the truth, and a thorough rethinking of intelligence procedures had been undertaken. New laws would have to be enacted that defined the emergence of a definition of civilian access to data that would be legally denied even to most members of Congress and the Senate. New emergency powers to be used by the President in the event of unforeseen disasters or wars were legally formulated. Even the relationship between the Department of Defense contactors and the government were reconsidered. From the outside looking in, the changes seemed formidable and unprovoked in peace time, but if one correlates the Roswell crash, the security crisis that resulted, and a whole knew evolution of official policy designed as containment and research, than the puzzle becomes more understandable.
Many believe that a clandestine panel of scientists, military leaders, and politicians was secretly formed known as Majestic 12 or the “Working Group” according to many on the inside who had dealt with the whole scenario for years. Within in this ominous framework of academic and military endeavor came an intense effort to mitigate the problem, to defuse public alarm and interest, to study what artifacts had survived the crash and incorporate those technical advancements for human advantage, to formulate a policy that allowed the bizarre find that could destabilize humanity to be managed under controllable methods of secret administration.
Secret Sensitive facilities begin to appear in New Mexico
Two monumental air bases in New Mexico would be built and made impervious to the curiosity of the public in years to come as millions of acres in the remote New Mexico desert would suddenly become US Air Force testing grounds. Kirtland AFB was quickly established along with Holloman AFB. Both air bases would be host to numerous experimental aircraft, UFO sightings, and even a purported landing by an alien aircraft at Holloman who was host to Project Twinkle in 1949. From Kirtland AFB, Sandia Labs would emerge as a major nuclear testing facility. Nearby Manzano Mountain Range became a secret repository for nuclear weapons the as “Cold War” became more prominent. New Mexico was destined to became a legendary part of the UFO realm.
In Part II we will discuss more of the role that New Mexico has played in the persistent mystery of the UFO and man’s attempts to comprehend its implications.