March 3, 1952              

Colonel Doyle Rees
c/o Brigadier General Joseph F. Carroll
Director of Special Investigations
Headquarters USAF
Washington 25, D. C.

Dear Colonel Rees

You no doubt recall the investigation carried out jointly by the 17th District OSI Office and the Institute of Meteoritics in the Mescalero-Apache Reservation.  Our guide on the field trip made through the Reservations was Mr. Charles Milligan [Milliken], who was on leave from his engineering work with the Lockheed Corporation in California.

I have just had a long distance phone call from Mr. Milligan, informing me that a group of engineers and scientists which he recently helped organize have a new and very interesting approach to the green fireball problem which has long been a matter of concern to you and me.  Mr. Milligan and his associates are anxious to discuss this matter with agents of the OSI.  I have promised to bring this matter to your attention at the Washington office in the hope that you would be able to arrange for OSI agents to communicate with the secretary of Mr. Milligan's group, namely, Mr. William M. Thompson, 8054 Laurel Grove, North Hollywood, California.

Lt. Paul Ryan, with whom we several times cooperated in the Roswell area, is personally acquainted with Mr. Milligan and was responsible for Milligan's acting as guide during the Mescalaro search.  I mention this so that if you desire, you can question Lt. Ryan before taking action on Milligan's request.

Recently we have had several reports of remarkable fireball phenomena in the East, one coming from Colonel J. K. Caldara, USAF Joint Strategic Plans Group, Room 2E-973, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington 25, D. C.  I incline to the belief that the fireballs observed in the East are not of the green variety, but probably result from genuine meteorite falls.

With every good wish to you and highest personal regards, I remain


Sincerely yours,

[/s/]     Lincoln LaPaz

Lincoln LaPaz, Director
Institute of Meteoritics



ccs. to   Dr. Joseph Kaplan
             Mr. Charles Milligan

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March 11, 1952          


Dr. Lincoln LaPaz
Director, Institute of Meteoritics
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico


Dear Dr. LaPaz,

I enjoyed very much receiving your letter of 3 March 1952 and learning that the fireball phenomena is still continuing. I often think of the great assistance you so willingly gave me during that investigation. I have lost contact entirely since I came to Washington.

I do not know how much help it would be to Mr. Milligan [Milliken] to talk with OSI Agents on the subject, because as you know, the investigative reports are classified. However, this is a matter he should take up with the District Commander in the area concerned.

I expect to be in the 18th OSI District at Cheli Air Force Specialized Depot, Post Office Box 310, Maywood, California (part of Los Angeles) during the period 24 March through 5 April. I will be pleased to talk with Mr. Milligan or any member of the group during that time. However, as I pointed out previously, in view of the fact that the project is classified in our files, there would be very little I could discuss with him. If you wish to pass this on to Mr. Milligan, it may be of some help to him. I am interested in the fact that they are going to initiate a study, but somehow I feel that a study of this nature cannot be successful if conducted on part time basis or as an extracurricular activity.

Let me again express my appreciation for your assistance to me while I was District Commander, 17th OSI District.


Best Regards,


Doyle Rees

Colonel, USAF
Plans and Policy Group
Office of Special Investigations
The Inspector General


P.S.       Life Magazine representative spent some time with me recently. Same subject. Advised me he had talked with you also.

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* Charles Smyth Milliken, Design Engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Corp., Burbank, Calif. – Back To LaPaz Letter
Back To Rees Letter

The following is quoted from the comment section of in the Project SIGN Incident #223 Albuquerque, New Mexico, 5 December 1948, on the Project Sign microfilms. It is probably also on the Project Blue Book microfilms.


December 28, 1948, Attaching Appended Material


December 28, 1948      

Since December 4 I have been working almost continuously day and night on certain anomalous fireball phenomena of which a detailed account is given in the accompanying confidential enclosures. No doubt you are familiar with these incidents since I brought your name into the picture in my first report to the O. S. I. of the U. S. A. F.

These incidents are not in the same category as the rather fantastic ones described by Norman G. Markham and certain inhabitants of Norton County, Kansas. Authorities here are deeply concerned. Perhaps you have knowledge of defensive training maneuvers that would explain the observed concentration of incidents in certain highly important areas.

Additional observations by 6 more AEC Security Service Guards make incidents referred look very serious. Please give this matter careful attention. I am sure two best observed incidents are not meteoric.


Norman G. Markham was a Fortean so we can imagine what he had to say about the Norton, Kansas meteor. Dr. H. H. Nininger of the American Meteor Museum, and rival of Dr. LaPaz, had visited Norton, Kansas, searching for the Norton Meteorite.

The following is from Appendix A, to a draft document: "REPORT BY THE DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE, USAF to the JOINT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE on UNIDENTIFIED AERIAL OBJECTS," ca. 20 April 1949, page 6, item 15:

"15.   On 8 April 1949 the repeated occurrence of green fireball phenomena in New Mexico was discussed with Dr. Joseph Kaplan, member of the USAF Scientific Advisory Board. This phenomenon has casued considerable concern on the part of Hq. Fourth Army and has occupied the interests of Dr. Lincoln LaPaz of the University of New Mexico. Dr. LaPaz believes that the phenomena are not meteorites. Because of Dr. LaPaz's outstanding ability for accurate observation and his experience in identification of meteoritic phenomena, Dr. Kaplan expressed the belief that the greenfire phenomena should be further investigated. Dr. Kaplan's views and this phenomena were discussed on 12 April 1948 [1949?] with Dr. Theodore von Karman, Chairman, USAF Scientific Advisory Board, who feels that the problem is more properly in the field of upper atmosphere research than the field of intelligence."