Professor Charles B. Moore, professor emeritus of atmospheric physics at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, still continues his meteorological research today, investigating atmospheric electricity.
Professor Moore engaged in balloon and meteorological research for nearly all his adult life. He helped establish weather stations needed by US Army Air Forces behind Japanese lines in China during the Second World War. He engineered, developed, and tested high altitude research balloons and participated in numerous upper atmospheric investigation projects for General Mills: "We were probably the largest producers of unidentified floating objects," Prof. Moore recalls
After Donald Keyhoe wrote his first UFO book, The Flying Saucers Are Real, Prof. Moore wrote to him about balloon flights reported to have caused flying saucer reports, and other incidents which might have been caused by balloons. Prof. Moore's own UFO observation may be found in both the Air Force and the CIA files, and his sighting inspired the cover drawing on Keyhoe's book.
After Prof. Moore's colleague, J. J. Kalizkewski and many others at the General Mills balloon division had observed UFOs while monitoring balloon test flights, a General Mills manager sent a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force about the sightings. Soon after, First Lieutenant Edward J. Ruppelt, newly minted head of the USAF UFO project, and a physicist showed up at the General Mills facility. Ruppelt's initial opinion of these people was not flattering -- possibly influenced by his forced visit with them during a freezing Minneapolis winter. Ruppelt's original draft manuscript reveals his condescending opinion of the General Mills' balloon personnel. However, when his book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects was published, he'd moderated his opinion, providing a more neutral evaluation of them. But it was obvious to J. J. Kaliszewski and other General Mills employees that the Air Force was not taking these seasoned professional observers seriously.
Professor Moore coauthored the book, UFO Crash at Roswell: the Genesis of a Modern Myth, with Benson Saler and Charles A. Ziegler. The book takes a skeptical view of Roswell as the crash of an extraterrestrial craft. Some take this as an ideological attack on UFO research rather than a disagreement with the seriousness of the most-often repeated evidence. However, one must remember that Moore was a friend and supporter of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, and investigated the famous 1964 Socorro sighting by Lonnie Zamora for Dr. James McDonald. This was a very thorough independent investigation. Certain "amateur scientists" who, based on insufficient research, have concluded that the Socorro UFO was a hot air balloon, would do well to read Professor Moore's investigation of the case. They should also bear in mind that Professor Moore has been a balloonist for many years.
Just as there are myths created by the credulous, there are also skeptical legends, the latter no more based on facts than the former.
During a recent meeting with Professor Moore, he took three of us, Wendy Connors, Tom Tulien and myself on a terrain walk of the location of the Socorro incident. The area will soon be torn up for a housing development. No marker commemorates the spot; hardly the tourist attraction some have suggested as the motivation for hoaxing this report.
Professor Moore also gave us a vivid and detailed interview for the Sign Historical Group Oral History Project. This interview is lively, informative, and a fascinating insight into his life's work. Potential participants in the SHG Oral History program are usually quite impressed with this interview. After viewing it, others have also decided to participate in the program.
Professor Moore's opinion of the "mysterious debris" found at Roswell is already well-known, but now he would like to offer some comments about the radars, or lack of them, in southeastern New Mexico at the time of the "Roswell Incident."
It is important to note that there was not a vast radar defense network covering the United States in 1947, nor were there many air traffic control radars.