On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Daily Record announced that the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) had captured a “flying saucer”. Many of the facts surrounding this historical event are curious and open to interpretation. Over time the event has become controversial and is now wrapped in myth. There are many details which are not disputed: the announcement by the RAAF that a “flying saucer” had been recovered, a quick retraction of the flying saucer story and the release of a photograph of General Ramey and Major. Jesse Marcel examining the “wreckage” of a weather balloon.
In this photograph there is a message in general Ramey’s hand which has been enhanced and analyzed by David Rudiak and is purported to reveal phrases such as “DISC”, “VICTIMS OF THE WRECK”, “WEATHER BALLOON” and “SECRET”. To some this analysis is proof that the RAAF had in-fact recovered a real flying saucer and later concocted a cover-up tale involving a weather balloon.
In addition to the initial report of the saucer recovery and analysis of the Ramey photo, eyewitnesses describe strange materials laboriously recovered by the Air Force. If this was simply a weather balloon why bother collecting tinfoil, balsawood and latex? Several people present at the time also described “writing” on parts of the wreckage as resembling “little purple flowers”. I have always thought “What an odd detail to note”. Then, last year I met Allen Granstad at the UFO-CON convention in Nevada. We happened to be looking at a large poster blowup of the Ramey memo.
“Does that say ‘victims’ or ‘penguins’?” I said to no one in particular.
“He could be holding a flyer for a visiting circus I suppose,” The stranger on my right said. He stared at me over his glasses with damp blue eyes. He was anywhere from seventy to ninety. As tall as me but stooped over. Hard to say if his hair was white or very pale blond; maybe he bleached his hair?
“My name’s Granstad. Allen Granstad”
We shook hands
“Karellen. Bob Karellen,”
“Pleased to meet you Bob,”
“Are you a fan of Mr. Rudiak’s analysis?”
“As much pareidolia as insight. Very amusing to hear what someone on the outside thinks about all this,” He waved his hand the conversation at large.
“Do you think there’s any truth to it?”
“Oh yes. But none of this. There was never any saucer!”
“Tell me more. I’m always looking for a good story.”
He told me he had been stationed at Wright-Patterson in 1947 and had examined the Roswell wreckage when it was brought there after the crash. Later that day I visited Granstad at his home where he continued his story. One of several diplomas in his study informed me he held a doctorate in chemistry.
“I entered the room and people where just standing around holding bits of wreckage. I looked at one of the pieces and immediately yelled ‘Everybody needs to get out of here now! Put everything down and get out!’
“Why?” I asked.
Granstad went to his desk and opened the bottom drawer from which he pulled a photo album. He opened the album. His right hand is missing two fingers and the index finger is missing the tip. He turned the pages with his left hand and pointed at a drawing:
“The Trefoil radiation warning symbol. Now familiar, but in1947 it was virtually unknown,”
“Little purple flowers,”
“I’ll tell you later Doctor. How did you know what the symbol was?”
“Years ago, having failed as a giant-shrimp aquaculturist and surviving a near-death experience in the process, I decided to change careers and give-up marine biology for the safety of chemistry. Or so believed. Then in 1946 found myself working in the chemistry lab at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley where the trefoil symbol was created that year. Later in 1947 I transferred to Wright-Patterson where I took part in the investigation of the wreckage.”
Granstad continued “After we got everyone out of the room I closed the door and asked for a Geiger counter. Someone brought one; I pointed it at the room containing the wreckage. The needle went nuts! The fools had been handling radioactive material.”
“The weather balloon was radioactive?”
“There was never any weather balloon!”
“What was the source of the radiation?”
“NEPA” he said.
“NEPA? What is that?”
“The project for Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft, NEPA. Launched in 1946 by the United States Air Force. I didn’t know it at the time but later found out one of the NEPA prototypes crashed strewing radioactive waste across Roswell.”
“So they covered it up?”
“Would you like to admit your brand-new atomic airplane exploded and showered radioactive fallout on people and a bunch of sheep?”
Granstad stood up and said “Would you like something to drink or eat?”
“Sure. I’m not particular.”
In a few minutes Granstad came back carrying a tray of brownies and a glass of milk. I took one of the brownies.
“Mmm, peanut-butter. These are great.”
“Tell me, how could the USA have been so advanced as to have a working atomic powered aircraft in 1947?”
To Be Continued…