Jul 16, 2018 I Nick Redfern

Charles Moore and the Roswell Bodies

In 1997 a controversial U.S. Air Force document was published. It's title: The Roswell Report: Case Closed. In a foreword to the report, the USAF stated: "The 'Roswell Incident' has assumed a central place in American folklore since the events of the 1940s in a remote area of New Mexico. Because the Air Force was a major player in those events, we have played a key role in executing the General Accounting Office's tasking to uncover all records regarding that incident. Our objective throughout this inquiry has been simple and consistent: to find all the facts and bring them to light. If documents were classified, declassify them; where they were dispersed, bring them into a single source for public review."

The USAF continued: "In July 1994, we completed the first step in that effort and later published The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert. This volume represents the necessary follow-on to that first publication and contains additional material and analysis. I think that with this publication we have reached our goal of a complete and open explanation of the events that occurred in the Southwest many years ago.

"Beyond that achievement, this inquiry has shed fascinating light into the Air Force of that era and revitalized our appreciation for the dedication and accomplishments of the men and women of that time. As we celebrate the Air Force's 50th Anniversary, it is appropriate to once again reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to make ours the finest air and space force in history."

On its decision to finally address the matter of the bodies allegedly found on the Foster Ranch, the Air Force began as follows: "The July 1994 Air Force report concluded that the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army Air Forces, did indeed recover material near Roswell in July 1947. This 1,000-page report methodically explains that what was recovered by the Army Air Forces was not the remnants of an extraterrestrial spacecraft and its alien crew, but debris from an Army Air Forces balloon-borne research project code named Mogul.

"Although Mogul components clearly accounted for the claims of 'flying saucer' debris recovered in 1947, lingering questions remained concerning anecdotal accounts that included descriptions of 'alien' bodies. The issue of 'bodies' was not discussed extensively in the 1994 report because there were not any bodies connected with events that occurred in 1947. The extensive Secretary of the Air Force-directed search of Army Air Forces and U.S. Air Force records from 1947 did not yield information that even suggested the 1947 'Roswell' events were anything other than the retrieval of the Mogul equipment."

The Air Force then got to the point: "Subsequent to the 1994 report, Air Force researchers discovered information that provided a rational explanation for the alleged observations of alien bodies associated with the 'Roswell Incident.' Pursuant to the discovery, research efforts compared documented Air Force activities to the incredible claims of 'flying saucers,' 'aliens' and seemingly unusual Air Force involvement. This in-depth examination revealed that these accounts, in most instances, were of actual Air Force activities but were seriously flawed in several major areas, most notably: the Air Force operations that inspired reports of  'bodies' (in addition to being earthly in origin) did not occur in 1947. It appears that UFO proponents have failed to establish the accurate dates for these ‘alien’ observations (in some instances by more than a decade) and then erroneously linked them to the actual Project Mogul debris recovery."

The Air Force explained: "Air Force activities which occurred over a period of many years have been consolidated and are now represented to have occurred in two or three days in July 1947. ‘Aliens’ observed in the New Mexico desert were probably anthropomorphic test dummies that were carried aloft by U.S. Air Force high altitude balloons for scientific research. The ‘unusual’ military activities in the New Mexico desert were high altitude research balloon launch and recovery operations. The reports of military units that always seemed to arrive shortly after the crash of a flying saucer to retrieve the saucer and ‘crew’ were actually accurate descriptions of Air Force personnel engaged in anthropomorphic dummy recovery operations."

It's worth noting that in the immediate years before the Air Force's "bodies report" was published, rumors were already quietly floating around to the effect that a report on the bodies angle would indeed soon be surfacing. On this very matter, and in a recent article for MU titled "The Many and Varied Balloons of Roswell," I wrote the following (QUOTE):

"In 1997, Jim Wilson – writing for Popular Mechanics – said that the magazine’s staff had been told of a forthcoming government report that would explain the matter of the bodies said to have been found on the Foster Ranch, Lincoln County, New Mexico in July 1947 – and that it would all revolve around a secret program involving Japan. Such a report did not ultimately surface. What did surface was the Air Force’s controversial report suggesting the bodies were actually crash-test dummies. But, apparently, Popular Mechanics were onto something. Wilson wrote that magazine staff suspected  '…the documents scheduled for future release will tell of a Japanese counterpart to Operation Paperclip. One of its purposes was to determine if the Japanese had constructed a suicide-piloted version of the Fugo  [balloon] incendiary bomb.'"

I added in my article: "Wilson continued it was the opinion of Popular Mechanics that '…the craft that crashed at Roswell will eventually be identified as either a U.S. attempt to re-engineer a second-generation Fugo, or a hybrid craft which uses both Fugo [balloon] lifting technology and Horten-inspired lifting-body. In either case, Japanese engineers and pilots brought to the U.S. after the war to work on the project could have been the dead ‘alien’ bodies recovered at the crash site.' This is very similar to many of the stories provided to me of a Japanese/balloon connection to Roswell." (END OF QUOTE).

Of course, the "bodies" report that Popular Mechanics suspected might surface never did appear. The Air Force stuck by its crash-test dummy theory and had no time for secret programs involving Japanese personnel. Jim Wilson and the staff of Popular Mechanics, however, were not the only ones to have heard rumors of a "bodies report" surfacing - and to have heard of such rumors years before the publication date of the Air Force's report on such matters.

All of this brings us to the little-known matter of a man named Charles Moore. As is noted at Wikipedia: "Moore was recruited as a project engineer for Project Mogul in 1947 by New York University geophysicist Athelstan Spilhaus, who headed the Balloon Group within the project. Project Mogul, led by Dr. James Peoples and his assistant Albert P. Crary, made use of Moore's work in materials science allowing the construction of balloons which could better withstand cold temperatures and safely rise to significantly greater altitudes. A balloon that Moore helped launch in New Mexico on June 4, 1947, was later identified as the source of the debris found on the Foster ranch which led to UFO conspiracy theories and claims surrounding the Roswell incident."

Indeed, Moore championed the idea that the debris found on the Foster Ranch, Lincoln County, New Mexico in July 1947 was from a Mogul balloon array. There is, however, a story concerning Moore, the Air Force's report, and the "bodies" angle, which many are not aware of. In 1997, Tim Shawcross' book, The Roswell File, was published. In his book, Shawcross notes that a few years before the Air Force's crash-test dummy report was published, he chatted with Moore about the matter of the Roswell bodies. Moore gave Shawcross a somewhat intriguing and carefully-worded response: "True - people reported...but that I think is another story and something there may be more on later but it had nothing to do with what we were flying."

Moore also told Shawcross that a new report - one which would finally explain the matter of the bodies - was likely to surface in either 1995 or 1996. How did Moore know this? From contacts in the Pentagon, that's how. There is, however, a very interesting aspect to this saga of Moore and his knowledge of a "bodies" report. Moore reacted in a very strange fashion to Shawcross' questions. Indeed, Moore, as Shawcross noted, "became increasingly agitated..." and "ended the conversation rather abruptly." Shawcross noted that the next time he spoke to Moore on this same matter, he (Moore) "was even more curt and seemed distinctly worried that he had mentioned as much as he had."

Why Moore got so worried and deeply concerned about discussing a looming Pentagon report that would explain the Roswell bodies as being nothing stranger than dummies, is hard to fathom. If the report Moore had heard of was focused on the likes of the highly controversial things that Popular Mechanics anticipated (namely, a secret program involving Japanese personnel) I could easily understand why Moore might have been concerned about what he had revealed to Shawcross. But, just a few snippets of material on nothing stranger than a few dummies? Where is the harm in revealing that?

This all makes me wonder if - when Moore spoke with Shawcross - he, Moore, had come across controversial data that closely mirrored Popular Mechanics' data on the bodies. If that was the case, I can well understand why Moore regretted sharing a few words on the matter with Shawcross. Perhaps, in light of all this, it's time for us to take a closer look at what Charles Moore may really have known about the Roswell bodies...

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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