(This article is still under construction. As with everything in ufology, nothing is as simple as it looks. Exactly what records were consulted in the attempt to find some official information on Roswell is not quite clear. Until further information allows more exact determinations, the article presented here should be considered as a preliminary commentary.)

At the request of New Mexico Congressman, Steven H. Schiff, the General Accounting Office (GAO), an investigative arm of Congress, undertook a search for records which might throw light on the Roswell Incident. According to the GAO a large number of records were examined in this search. In addition to the records mentioned in the GAO report, available at:

the USAF listed a number of records they consulted in The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert, also commonly known as the Weaver Report

after Col. Richard L. Weaver, Director of Security and Special Program Oversight. The Executive Summary provides commentary of the USAF records searched.

A list of records searched is included in Attachment 13 to Col. Weaver's Executive Summary, and Attachment 12 is a report from the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) at Maxwell Air Force Base concerning records and files they consulted.

It is somewhat difficult from the sparse information given in Attachment 13 to know exactly what records were searched and their locations. It will also be noted that while the AFHRA consulted a wide variety of their holdings, if the keyword used in the computer search had not been entered in the original indexing effort, the computer search could not be expected to retrieve them. In Attachment 13 no records for the Strategic Air Command are listed, however, toward the end of the volume is a picture of Major General McMullen captioned:

Maj. Gen. Clements McMullen, Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Air Command, 1947. General McMullen is alleged to have directed General Ramey to cover up the recovery of an extraterrestrial craft and crew. After an extensive search, the Command Correspondence file for the period was located. The file contained privileged and classified information of the highest order between McMullen and Ramey--it contained no information to support the outrageous claim.
So the listing in Attachment 13 may not be comprehensive.

Here is a list of some likely sources that apparently were not searched, records that might possibly be expected to contain references to the Roswell incident if it had actually occurred. Generally, the organizations, staff elements and activities which produced records are simply listed. PROJECT 1947 includes short commentaries when appropriate.

1.  Strategic Air Command (SAC) records, as noted above, are not among the itemized "records searched" in the Weaver report. However, later in the report under a picture of Major General McMullen, it is stated that the "command correspondence" was searched.

  • a.   The Daily Staff Diary at SAC headquarters recorded all daily significant events. One would expect that references to telephone and cable messages about this event would be found here.
  • b.   Incoming/Outgoing cable traffic from SAC might contain messages about the Roswell incident.
It is assumed that SAC would immediately want to know of any release of information to the press, and the dispatch of planes to and from Roswell which were not specifically training or maintenance check flights. The country at the time was experiencing a fuel crunch and non essential travel for Army Air Force units had been curtailed because the AAF wanted to save fuel for the upcoming recruiting and public relation event in August, Air Force Day.

  • c.   A-2 files intelligence files, outside of the command files of SAC, this would be one of the more likely places to find this information.
  • d.   Command/Adjutant General files. Again the Weaver report does mention that these records were checked.
  • e.   Operational files might contain information concerning planes dispatched with items of recovered Roswell material.
  • f.   Duty logs might contain information on this incident, since much of the action between the 8th and 9th of July took place after normal duty hours.
  • g.   Public Relations/Press files

2.  Continental Air Forces. The Air Force did check some records for the Continental Air Forces. This organization, which went out of existence in 1948, might have been an information addressee on any messages leaving Roswell. Early in the month of July 1947, Air Force intelligence had ordered a number of UFO cases investigated, and some of the orders were relayed through that headquarters.

  • a.   Incoming/Outgoing cable traffic from/to CONAF headquarters.
  • b.   A-2 files
  • c.   Command files
  • d.   Duty logs

3.   Air Defense Command. On the 7th of July a meeting was held in Brigadier General Schlugen's office at Army Air Forces Intelligence headquarters in Washington, D. C. It was decided that a number of UFO incidents should be investigated and witnesses interviewed. A memorandum for record was written to that effect and cables drafted to Air Materiel Center (AMC) and Air Defense Command (ADC). The cables requesting these interviews were not dispatched until 5:45 p. m. on the 9th of July 1947. One would tend to expect a more immediate reaction if the unfolding events in the southwest were considered important.

  • a.   Incoming/Outgoing cable traffic from headquarters.
If indeed the Air Defense Command was involved as reported by "Steve MacKenzie" then these files might contain information.

  • b.   A-2 files
  • c.   Command files
  • d.   Duty Logs

4.   Eighth Air Force. The Weaver Report as well as the GAO report listed a number of records consulted for this command. Eighth Air Force correspondence, messages and weekly activity summaries and possibly other records were consulted. It would be expected that some record of the arrival and disposition of the Roswell material would survive.

  • a.   A-2 files
  • b.   Command files
  • c.   Operations files
  • d.   Duty Logs.
Major Kirton, of the A-2 staff, was staff duty officer when the plane carrying the material arrived from Roswell. He gave a statement to the press that the material had indeed arrived. His log should have noted that.

  • e.   Public Relations/Press files

5.   Air Materiel Command. The Weaver report listed a large number of AMC records consulted. Again, exactly what was consulted is not readily apparent. On or before the 2nd of July 1947, Dave Johnson, the aviation editor of the Boise, Idaho, Statesman newspaper, contacted Lieutenant General Nathan F. Twining, Commanding General of AMC, concerning the flying disc sightings. General Twining sent a routing slip dated 2 July to General Brentnall, Deputy Commanding General, T-3, Engineering saying that AMC should investigate flying discs. Included was a sheet with short summaries of the sightings of Richard Rankin, Kenneth Arnold and a reference to a sighting by Forest Service Fire Watch personnel. On the 3rd of July, newspaper and wire service stories originating in Boise under David Johnson's byline said that AMC was investigating flying saucer reports and witnesses should contact Wright Field with any information. A collection of this General Brentnall correspondence is available here.

As explained in an earlier letter in 1946 from General Curtis LeMay, Assistant Chief of Staff for Research and Development, AMC was able to initiate projects without approval from LeMay or higher authorities. However, during the next budget request, the interim project had to be approved for funding. General Twining was authorized on his own authority, then, to initiate a "flying disc" investigation, and this apparently he did with no relation to the Roswell incident.

  • a.   Incoming/Outgoing messages
  • b.   T-3 Engineering files.
There were a few "flying discs" files in the Research and Development Files, Wright-Paterson Air Force Base, Records Group 342 at the National Archives. While these are interesting and contain the Twining information discussed above, the records are not at all comprehensive. A conversation with the AFMC historians about the current whereabouts of other T-3 administrative documents revealed few leads. However, there may be important letters sent to AMC which were directed to Brigadier General Brentnall for evaluation. Letters from the public were indeed sent to General Brentnall for answer. This was still taking place on the 17th of July, 1947. A copy of the famous Twining letter found in the Air Adjutant General files has this additional information hand written after General Twining's signature:

This letter was coordinated by:          
Col. Moore Ch. Aircraft Lab
Mr. A. Dicky Ch. Propeller Lab
Gen. D. L. Putt Engr. Div
Col. Minty Ch. Power Plant Lab
Gen. Brentnall T-3

(Records Group 18, Entry 1D, Decimal File 0000, Miscellaneous)

It should be noted that none of the individuals listed were from T-2, Technical Intelligence. To what extent was T-3 involved in the early UFO investigation? One further piece of information: Col. Marcellus Duffy, stationed at Wright Field, was asked to examine material described as a flying saucer in the press. The items were flown to Wright Field and taken to his house for identification. Col. Duffy identified the material as "weather equipment" but did not recall much more about the incident as he felt it unimportant. (Saler, Ziegler, Moore, UFO Crash At Roswell, 1997, page 178.) If the material shown to Col. Duffy came from T-2, why is there nothing on file? Perhaps because T-3 or the Headquarters, AMC, were involved.

  • c.   Command/Adjutant General's files

    • Decimal Files 311.2 Messages (2 folders)

    • 311.22 Cablegrams
    • 311.23 Radios and Radiograms
    • 311.24 Teletypes
    • 312.1 Air Mailgram - Messages from 1946-1947
    • 312.1 Correspondence (2 folders) 46-47
    • 319.1 Daily Activities Report/Daily Diary (21 Folders) 1946-1947
    • 319.1 Daily Journal 1947
    • 319.1 Reports - General (2 folders) 1946-47
Source: Shipping list from AMC to National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO., 1953

It is expected that somewhere in the command files there would be documents stating if and when the investigation of flying discs was handed off to T-2, Technical Intelligence, and possibly any material received involving the Roswell incident.

6.   Headquarters, Army Air Forces. The Weaver report does make clear that an extensive records check of AAF headquarters and, especially intelligence, files were made.

  • a.   Incoming/outgoing messages secret and below and Top Secret Incoming/Outgoing Messages, National Archives II, Records Group 18, Entry 5. These are not among the items listed in the report.
  • b.   Asst Chief of Staff/A-3, Operations
  • c.   Adjutant Generals files
  • d.   AAF commanding general's files
  • e.   Duty Logs
  • f.   Public Relations/Press files

7.  War Department General Staff. In many cases the Army staff received information first before the Army Air Force staff, which was subordinate.

  • a.   Incoming/Outgoing messages.
  • b.   Intelligence Division Files
  • c.   Operations
  • d.   Adjutant General
  • e.   Chief of Staff files
  • f.   Counter Intelligence Command files.
These files were searched at the National Archives, the Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and Intelligence and Security Command at Fort George Meade, Maryland. It would seem that available records were thoroughly searched. However, finance records for this period might indicate movement of a large number of CIC personnel as alleged by some writers. Col. Doyle Rees, Commander of the 17th USAF Office of Special Investigations (OSI) District Office which covered New Mexico, in an interview for the SHG said that he did not recall CIC records being turned over to the OSI, although some CIC personnel were transferred to the new Air Force agency. (It must be remembered that Col. Rees' recollections are nearly 50 years old here.) This points to the possibility of Roswell records being at CIC headquarters or in the War Department Intelligence Division

8.   U. S. Navy

  • a.   Office of Naval Intelligence
  • b.   Chief of Naval Operations files
  • c.   Bureau of Aviation. This agency has the air technical intelligence of the Navy.

9.     U. S. Army Ordnance Department

10.   Joint Research and Development Board

11.   Joint Intelligence Committee

12.   National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC).   During the Roswell incident, this organization was called T-2, Intelligence, a component of the AMC. In Attachment 6 of The Roswell Report is a three page summary of NAIC historian's attempt to find references to Roswell, flying saucers, wreckage, and aliens at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It is safe to say that there are few if any formerly Top Secret documents in the Project Blue Book files. However, there are several references to Top Secret UFO document at Wright Field. Have these documents been recovered from records centers?

While the NAIC was able to determine that the investigative records for Project SIGN and Project Grudge for 1948-1949 were at the St. Louis record center, earlier records had been lost in a fire. These Project SIGN/Grudge records contained information not available in the Project Blue Book files. While documents for 1947 had been destroyed in the 1973 fire at the records center, significant records at T-2 and AMC were microfilmed during this post-war period. Recent research into the Air Force intelligence report index cards also indicates that intelligence reports for AMC were microfilmed for their records. A query to AFMC brought the response that microfilms from this period might be in the possession of DTIC. Other researchers indicate DTIC is not in possession of such microfilms.

After the Weaver Report, a second report Case Closed was issued by the Air Force. Perhaps because UFOs feature in such a large percentage of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the Air Force felt that The Roswell Report could be used to answer many time-consuming requests and forestall repeated searches of records. The only problem then was accounting for the "alien bodies" some witnesses reported. Case Closed

sought to provide the answer here. Most UFO FOIAs responses could now simply refer the requester(s) to the first, second, or both USAF Roswell reports.

The destruction of potentially valuable records revealed during this search was addressed by the GAO starting on page 4 of their report. The reasons for destructions or the authors of this destruction are not indicated in the records. Congressman Schiff also emphasized this "unauthorized destruction" in his news release on the subject. However, it must be understood that records are destroyed all the time, sometimes under blanket orders such as "reduce 25% of your classified holdings." Permanent records are not supposed to be destroyed, but sometimes are through either mistakes or misidentification.

Records from this period are very sparse. The Air Force Historical Research Agency is missing many unit and organizational histories from post-World War II units. Some are indeed lost or destroyed and some may simply be misplaced.

General record keeping and filing are not the strong points of many military organizations. Records are always a subject on the Annual General Inspection. The Inspector General usually inspects areas for two primary reasons, to ensure compliance with major important military programs, and/or to ensure compliance in areas which were identified as weak in the command or the military overall. From my military experience, I would venture records administration falls under both reasons for inspections.

Finally, although records might have been destroyed, these things generally do not exist in only one copy. Many times, records and/or cross-references may be located in other files, in other commands, and sometimes in the least expected places.


PROJECT 1947 did not look specifically for records on the Roswell incident, but did search some records that could be reasonably expected to contain information about Roswell. Here is a list of records searched or in our possession:

Office of Naval Intelligence Files. Only a small sample of these files is available at the archives. We were able to locate a number of intelligence reports on Ghost Rockets for 1946-1947. The correspondence file for letters dispatched for 1947 was completely missing. (National Archives II)

Army Air Force Records, Air Adjutant General Files, Miscellaneous file Decimal 0000 contained a number of letters and memoranda on UFOs for 1947, but no reference to Roswell. (National Archives II, Records Group 18, Entry 1D, Box 560)

Army Air Force Records, Air Adjutant General Files, Bulky Decimal Files, Daily Activity Reports for Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations Daily Activity Reports for the Commander, Army Air Forces. There were no UFO references for 1947. (National Archives II, Records Group 18, Entry 1F)

Assistant Chief of Staff, A-2, Air Intelligence, Daily Activity Reports for the Commander Army Air Forces. Also, Daily Activity Reports for various subordinate divisions and branches of Air Intelligence to the next higher level of command. There were some 1947 radar reports discussed, but nothing on Roswell. Some daily reports indicated that Top Secret supplements were attached, but the subjects were not indicated. Later Daily Activity Reports for Deputy Chief of Staff/Operations also mentioned UFOs. (Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) Maxwell AFB, Alabama (See below for Top Secret Supplements)

History, Strategic Air Command, 1947. There were references to RAAF and 509th Bomb Group, but none to the Roswell incident. (Microfilm at AFHRA)

General William H. Blanchard's papers and desk diaries at AFHRA, There were no desk diaries for 1947. Most of the desk diaries were not at all informative, in any case. There were no significant papers from 1947 except for Blanchard's flight records.

General Curtis LeMay's papers at the AFHRA. LeMay's papers contain references to Project Mogul and some information on Ghost Rockets, and Col. Taylor's 1947 request for information regarding flying saucer-like aircraft.

Oliver Lafarge's personal papers at AFHRA. No 1947 material on hand.

AAF/USAF Top Secret Incoming/Outgoing Messages. I looked at all the messages available at Archives II for 1946-1947. There are missing messages and messages that are withheld. These missing messages do not comprise a large portion of the message traffic. There were many Ghost Rocket messages, but no UFO material in the files. (Records Group 18, Entry 5)

AAF Incoming/Outgoing Messages, Secret and below. Messages are generally arranged alphabetically by state or geographic location, and there under the date. However, there are non-chronological files also. Other searches for messages revealed: Messages to/from Roswell Army Air Field for July, 1947. Only one message reproduced here. (Records Group 18, Army Air Force, Entry 4, Messages, Box 208, (7/33/53/1)) For Fort Worth Army Air Field, 8 July 1947, 3 messages related to other matters (Box 208) For Bolling Air Field, 15 messages related to other matters (Box 392), Wright Field, 250 messages, related to other matters. Message for Andrews Air Field, Strategic Air Command, and AMC were not located. William LaParl was able to locate a message on rawin targets for 8 July, in Records Group 319, Entry 57C (Forts, Ranges, Fields) Box 79

USAF Top Secret Files of the Deputy Director for Collection & Dissemination, Record Group 341, National Archives II. These records contain a number of Top Secret UFO papers many of which are reproduced on this site, but none mention Roswell. The Top Secret supplements referred to in the Daily Activity Summaries are located here.

AAF/USAF 1947-1948 correspondence with CIG/CIA: These files were completely withheld. Some of these messages were released in response to a FOIA request originally submitted by Robert Todd. I was able to complete the request during a visit to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. There were no UFO documents among the materials released.

USAF, Director of Intelligence, Assistant Chief of Air Staff-2, Briefings 1947-16 Nov 1948. Copies of Records obtained by Robert Todd. There is no UFO related material here. (National Archives II, Records 341, Entry 213, Box 9)

Major Aircraft Accidents for 1947, Minor Air Craft Accidents for 1947, microfilms, AFHRA.


The late Congressman Schiff seemed very concerned over the destruction of some message records during a move from one records center to another. While it may be tragic that such records are lost, duplicate or parallel records usually exist in other areas. Most agencies do not devote high priorities or many resources to records preservation. Huge amounts of records are destroyed every day. The treatment of records during military drawdown periods may sometimes not be in compliance with regulations. Significant post-World War II records seem to be lost. Many unit histories are sparse or nonexistent. These and other problems are concerns for those interested in UFO history.

Mr. W. G. Seibert, chief of Appraisal & Disposition Section, National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, Missouri, did inform the GAO that military regulations in force at the time stated that records

"...accumulated at or below wing level will be scheduled as one item and destroyed after two years. It is clear from the foregoing that agency records management officials, if acting in accordance with agency regulations then in force, should have destroyed the records in question rather than transfer them to St. Louis!" [Seibert's emphasis.]

Clearly, as is required regulatory practice today at lower units in the chain of command, many records are destroyed after a short holding period. Mr. Seibert's letter was not mentioned in the GAO report.

Unfortunately, since Roswell was the main point of Representative Schiff's request, and remains the one and only goal of people with little insight into the history of official UFO investigations, significant UFO records may have been overlooked or ignored in this single-minded enterprise. To be sure, the Project SIGN/Grudge investigative records and Fourth Air Force UFO reports surfaced because of this search, but other records which could have easily been found were ignored by the Air Force and other investigators. The arguments and accusations after the GAO, Weaver and Dummy Reports were issued, have probably foreclosed voluntary disclosure of records found during the declassification reviews order by President Clinton. Therefore, political advantage was squandered by having a goal that was far too narrowly focused. This should have been a search for any early UFO records, with an emphasis on Roswell. Some Roswell-related documents can be found here.

What of Roswell then? Is it still the case that will overthrow 50 years of conventional history? A coverup of vast extent? The proof of a conspiracy of unimaginable proportions? Or was it more along the lines of other crashed disc cases that supplied supposed physical proof: Twin Falls, Idaho, Shreveport, Louisiana, Houston, Texas, and North Hollywood, California, all of which were quickly explained and barely noted in Project Blue Book records. Is Roswell the greatest event of the millennium, or is it as the report in the Dallas Morning News of 9 July would have it:

      Maj. E. M. Kirton, Intelligence Officer at Fort Worth Army Air Field blew the disc theory sky high at 5:30 p. m. when he told the Dallas News "there is nothing to it."

      "It is a Rawin high altitude sounding device," Major Kirton said. He described such an instrument, when undamaged, as of a design resembling a six-pointed star.

      "The Army and the Weather Bureau use the device, attached to a balloon, for gathering high altitude data. It is made partly of tinfoil-like material," the officer said.

      "The identification at Fort Worth is final," Major Kirton said, "and it will not be necessary to forward the object to Wright Field, as originally planned." What will be done with it?

      "I suppose we will throw it away," Major Kirton ventured.

The determination will not be made here, but hopefully in the mind of the reader after careful consideration.   - Jan L. Aldrich

Comments, corrections and new information welcome:

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