Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Ramey Memo...63 years on

Note: If you are an aficianado of Ufology or similar subjects, I realize that I'm not exactly breaking new news in many of my posts.  My goal is to strike a balance so that readers new to such subjects can be informed and that seasoned veterans can further the discussion.
I thought this to be a fitting choice of blog posts, seeing as how this past holiday weekend was not just The 4th of July, but the 63rd anniversary of Roswell.  Among the evidence that Roswell proponents have cited as a "smoking gun" is what has come to be known as "The Ramey Memo."

For those that don't know, in July of 1947, Roswell Army Airfield in New Mexico issued a press release that a "flying saucer" had been recovered.  This was quickly changed to "it was only a weather balloon."  Below is a famous photograph from the incident, courtesy of Wikipedia:

 On the right is General George Ramey.  As the added arrow and box point out, Ramey is holding either a telegram or a memo in his hand.
An intrepid researcher named David Rudiak enlarged and enhanced the paper in the image and got this:

Seems that Ramey was unknowingly pointing the slip of paper with the text right side up and towards the camera.  After intensive study, Rudiak claims to have found several words and phrases that would contradict the military's "weather balloon" story and even its 1997 statement that the crash was entirely related to Project Mogul, a sensitive detection program monitoring Soviet nuclear tests.
That last message is a clear reference to Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.  Headquarters of the research and design wing of the Air Force.  If wreckage and bodies from a crashed UFO were going to be taken anywhere in 1947, it would be there.  They also have a great museum of US military aircraft, I whole-heartedly recommend a visit.  But I digress.
But the most compelling of Rudiak's supposed finds were these words:

(photo belongs to David Rudiak)

That would indeed seem to give Roswell a "smoking gun."
Not so fast, says Dr. James Houran, another researcher.  He asserts that the text in the enlargement of the photo is too blurry for anyone to concretely make out any discernible words.  Plus, others have argued that an army general would most likely have the wherewithal to not be photographed while holding a telegram of such a sensitive nature.  Then again, if this was a top secret military operation, why did it take a sheep rancher to find it after it crashed?
Still, I'm afraid I must side with Houran in that the text of the memo is far from legible.  But let's say that David Rudiak did decipher the words correctly and they are exactly as appears in the photo above.  That still doesn't tell me much because we cannot see them in the context of the entire memo.  I might be a dabbler in science, but I have a Masters in Writing.  Extracting snippets from any text and passing judgment on the whole based on isolated fragments is always dangerous.  We don't know what was meant by those phrases...if indeed they are what was on that paper.

Roswell indeed has its interesting facets and I don't think that the case is closed on it...but I'm not ready to embrace this memo's analysis as any kind of smoking gun.

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