Nuclear Connection Project
NCP Paper 

Roswell 200 Miles Up -
The Boys Upstairs

Fran Ridge

051710, updated 040115

New Mexico is the home of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. The Trinity Site is not far from Socorro, where on July 16, 1945, it was reported that an object from the sky crashed to the ground at around the very time the first atomic bomb was scheduled to go off at 4:00 a.m. MDT.  The Trinity device was a plutonium fueled bomb. The plutonium that was in the device came from the Hanford Atomic Plant at Hanford, Washington.  One clear day in the middle of the month r
adar detected an object that was in a holding pattern directly above the plant.  The object was described by F6F pilots as the size of three aircraft carriers side by side.  The object had disappeared going straight-up.  UFOs were observing our nuclear activities. But two years later, in the summer of 1947,  something much more profound than surveillance and possible interference with an atomic test,  occurred that shook up the military so bad that major policy changes were put into play.  What is important is that there is no doubt what the military thought was going on, and they had good reason to believe it.  And the evidence indicates they were not wrong.

A number of times in our history we have been witness to things that have brought fear into our hearts and created great conflicts, even wars. One that comes to mind for many people is the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. American U-2 flights photographed Russian missiles being readied on Cuban soil, just 90 miles from the coast of the United States. It was a very scary time and we could have gone into a nuclear war situation very easily.

A more recent example of how things escalate from general surveillance and discovery was the situation in Iraq. We had a military presence in the region, which included aircraft carriers and warships in the Gulf and photographic missions with the U-2R, plus more sophisticated satellite imagery. But in this case we were surprised when the invasion of Kuwait began on August 2, 1990. The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial bombardment on 17 January 1991. This was followed by a ground assault on 23 February 1991.

All one has to do is look at UFO history, from before the great World Wars, even much earlier, to see that we have been observed by "someone" for a long time. This would be comparable to a random study to a more systematic presence, and eventually, a worldwide presence using  large carriers, scout ships, and unmanned probes, all of which have been seen and reported throughout the years.

It is my opinion that something serious was going on in the summer of 1947, something that triggered one of the most intense UFO waves in history. A number of us in the Nuclear Connection Project think that it was a multitude of events that had gone on for several years and seemed to come to a head. We were engaged in a potentially cataclysmic nuclear arms race. 

I had two sons involved in the Gulf War, and during the 1990's I had a lot of things on my mind. My work with the UFO subject had been disrupted as I wondered if we were going to make it through this ordeal, either as a family or a nation or a world. My UFO interest had been fueled by the usual Roswell researcher's findings, but I had not been in contact with many of them directly. That came much later when I set up the Roswell email list, which included all of the big names. My contacts at that time included Pat Packard, Kevin Randle, Robert Durant & Mark Rodeghier, which was years before I began work on the NICAP site and the Nuclear Connection Project.

The July 1947 UFO Sighting peak

Somewhere after the Iraqi War had broken out I had a phone conversation with CUFOS Mark Rodeghier. My concern then was, that from the standpoint of research around Roswell and the UFO Wave of 1947, I was convinced that the two events were not a coincidence. The fact that the two week wave of over a two thousand sightings ended with the "explanation" of the Roswell event as a downed weather balloon was no surprise, at least to me. In my opinion the reporting stopped because of the bad publicity the flying discs had gotten when General Ramey & the weather balloon were shown coast to coast in the newspapers on July 8th. Just what happened after that is harder to determine because witnesses probably kept their reports to themselves. But the fact was/is that the wave began out of the blue, and this was something new in the skies for most people. "Flying discs" were being reported in broad daylight all over the United States. Equally important was that the wave amplitude spiked right after the crash at Roswell as if the downed UFO had triggered some kind of  frenzied activity.

For a comprehensive list of sightings for 1947, visit NICAP's 1947 UFO Chronology at:

Signifying the importance of the wave and its effect on the military, I remembered what Project Blue Book's Capt. Edward Ruppelt had said:

By the end of July the UFO security lid was down tight. The few members of the press who did inquire about what the Air Force was doing got the same treatment that you would get today if you inquired about the number of thermonuclear weapons stock-piled in the U.S. atomic arsenal. . . (At ATIC there was) confusion almost to the point of panic. ("Report on Unidentified Flying Objects", p.39)

Mark & I had been discussing all this. I was commenting on how it was as if we had created a threatening problem that summer, which in turn caused stepped up surveillance that resulted in the wave, and that the intensity, unseen in many years or sighting waves since, may have contributed to the crash of one of the objects or the collision of two of them over New Mexico. In my mind it was as if the crash had stirred up a "hornet's nest" of much more intense activity, or a form of  retaliation in some way. I also suggested to Mark that "they", whoever they were, surely must have been looking for the craft or its unfortunate occupants.

In Iraq, or any other war or conflict, when an aircraft goes down, we try our best to get to it and rescue the pilots and navigators. If the aircraft is carrying anything secret or a new technology, we either use demolition charges to destroy it or possibly try to recover it or specific parts so that the technology doesn't get into the wrong hands.  With Roswell, we surmised that if "someone" had crashed a flying saucer, they must have tried to recover the pilots or the craft or parts thereof. At least that was the thinking back when Mark & I were going over that  type of possible scenario. The conventional wisdom now suggests that, given the craft at Roswell was not ours, and was manned, "they" didn't seem to care about bodies or debris. They simply left everything behind. So, what were "they" looking for when they flew over the debris field in the summer and fall of 1947?

M/Sgt. Lewis S. "Bill" Rickett
Tom Carey:
When M/Sgt. Lewis S. "Bill" Rickett was escorting meteor expert Dr. Lincoln LaPaz around the state of New Mexico in the fall of 1947 trying to determine the speed and trajectory of the "object" that had crashed there a few months previously, they interviewed some Corona ranchers who told them that they had seen lights traveling slowly over the crash site shortly after the crash as if they were looking for something. I can't recall if they said that they had also seen beams of light coming from them that were traversing the desert floor. The implication is that "they" may have been looking for their downed comrades. We got our information about the hovering discs over the crash site directly from Rickett himself in interviews conducted circa 1989, 1990, 1991. .

Don Schmitt:
Bill Rickett, in numerous conversations with me went into good detail about his field work with Lincoln La Paz. Just as in his meteorite investigations, La Paz attempted triangulation in his assigned Roswell work. That required them to interview as many of the ranchers and other people living around the crash region. According to CIC Rickett, a number of ranchers recounted observing bright lights projected onto the ground from above, scanning that very area. Rickett wouldn't read anything into those reports, but he stated that the witnesses were clear that this took place weeks after the military cleanup.

There were more than two areas where metallic debris was found, but yet another was confirmed by Rickett and LaPaz. In September, while trying to determine the speed and trajectory of the unknown object they found a possible touchdown point about 5 miles NW of the Foster Ranch with melted sand AND small pieces identical to what Rickett had handled before. And Corona ranchers had their homes indescriminately ransacked in the military's mad search for "souvenirs" from the crash. The point being, that over two to three  months after the crash there were pieces of debris still on the ground or not in military custody.

But it gets even more interesting. With that in mind, why would a craft be hovering in space, 200 miles up, over the Roswell debris field a little over a month after the crash? Is there any evidence to support this contention? Is there evidence in the Blue Book files? And could this high-altitude craft have been looking for scraps that might get into the wrong hands?

In May of 2005, while doing research on the Project Blue Book files for the NICAP site, Dan Wilson submitted some interesting documents he had found. Here is what we found.

Late August of 1947. The location was Holloman AFB, New Mexico. The timing and the location was no coincidence. The radar was modified to track objects at very high altitude. They aimed the antenna almost straight up and picked up a target at 200 miles. In 1948 the report leaked out, Project SIGN sent two high-level investigators, but the prime witnesses disappeared.

CPS-4 antenna

The original CPS-4 was designed to be used in conjunction with the SCR-270 and SCR-271 search sets. It required six operators. This S-band radar, operating in the 2700 to 2900 MHz range, could detect targets at a distance of ninety miles. This radar was modified with its 20' wide by 5' high antenna turned on its side and the range extended to 250 miles.

Some researchers had told me that this was all a mistake and that the object was tracked sometime in 1948, not in August of 1947, and that the radar actually picked up the mountain tops, and that's what one of the prime witnesses actually said!. This would all be OK, except that Air Force documents prove this is incorrect and later, the witness lied.

This ATIC Form 329 confirms the time frame as "Late Aug. 47", nails Holloman AFB, New Mexico, radar technicians, and a "motionless" object at "altitude (not range) 200 miles" tracked by radar. Besides that, Project Mogul abandoned use of radar after the summer of 1947, so the 200-mile high radar tracking could not have happened in 1948.

Brad Sparks:

The radar tracking was late Aug 1947 and it is in my BB UNK's Catalog.  (The visual sighting of April 5, 1948, is different.)
AMC Watson Labs Project Mogul engineer Rosmovski and communications officer Lt. H. G. Markley tracked a stationary target at 200 mile altitude using a modified CPS-4 radar aimed at 70-degree elevation." (FOIA, Loren Gross, Aug-Dec 1947 SUPP p.28.)

Air Service Command Teletype Network

FROM:    AMC         DATE:    30 Apr 48



With this document it is requested that travel orders be prepared for James C. Bean, Lt. Col. and Alfred C. Loedding, Aeronautical Engineer, travel to begin on or about 3 May 1948 for approximately 2 days to the Office of the Director of Intelligence, Air Intelligence Requirements Division (AFOIR) Hq, USAF, Washington, D.C.  Purpose of travel: Discuss classified Project MT-304 , per orders of Col. Clingerman.

11 May 1948

Report of Trip to Holloman Air Force Base, 5-6  May 1948

1.    The primary purpose of this trip was to interview Dr. Peoples,  repre-
senting the Watson Laboratories, who was temporarily on loan to Holloman Air
Force Base.  Upon arrival,  it was learned that Dr. Peoples had returned to
the Watson Laboratories at Red Bank,  N. J.   A teletype sent from Holloman Air
Force Base stating that Dr. Peoples would not be available for interview did
not reach HQ, AMC in sufficient time to postpone the visit.  However, it was
learned that Dr. Peoples would be at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala.
on or about 11 May 1948 for an indefinite period of time.

2.    A civilian, Mr. Joseph Olsen, who works  in the same laboratory with
Dr. Peoples had also seen the unidentified flying object while in the presence
of  Dr. Peoples.  Mr. Olsen was interviewed with  the  following  stated results:

     a.    The  object definitely was not a balloon.
     b.    The object appeared round and white; was at a great altitude and
moved at a high rate of  speed.

3.    Mr.  Olsen promised to send in a detailed report through channels, to-
gether with the report of another civilian who also witnessed the phenomenon.

4.    It was also  learned that a Lt. Markley who works in the Radar Laboratory
at Holloman AF Base has, on several occasions in the past, witnessed on his
scope unidentified flying objects at high altitude,  moving  at a very high
rate of speed.  Lt Markley was not available for interview; however, a request
for a detailed report of these observations was forwarded to the Commanding
Officer,  Holloman Air Force Base.
5.    Lt Colonel James C. Beam and Mr. Alfred C. Loedding proceeded to
Phoenix, Ariz, to interview Mr. William A. Rhodes and  follow up on the report
and photographs submitted by him some months ago. <snip>.

James C. Beam
Lt. Col. USAF
Project Officer

Concurred in:
Alfred C. Loedding

On May 12, 1948, Col. W.R. Clingerman, Chief of the Technical Intelligence Division at AMC wrote the Commanding General of Holloman AFB at Alamogordo:

This memo dated 12 May 1948
From AMC (Air Materiel Command)
To Commanding Officer, Holloman AFB, Alamogordo, NM

1.    On 5 May 1948,  Lt Colonel James C. Beam and Mr. Alfred C.
Loedding,  representatives of Intelligence Department,  this Command,
visited your headquarters for the purpose of interviewing Dr. Peoples
of the Watson Laboratories.
2.    It was learned that a Lt Markley has,  in several instances
in the past,  detected on a radar scope unidentified flying objects
moving at an excessive rate of speed.  It is desired that a report
be  submitted to this headquarters giving all available information
on these reported sightings. Future observations of this type should
be reported to this headquarters immediately.     

By Command of Gen. McNarney
W. R. Clingerman
Chief, Tech Intelligence Div.
Intelligence Department

Here Lt. Markley, while denying he saw high speed objects on radar, leaks information about the 200 mile high radar track of a motionless object.



1.   Reference is made to Par 2, basic communication.  Apparently a
misunderstanding exists in that I did not personally see unidentified ob-
jects moving at an excessive rate of speed on a radar scope.  Rather,
Mr. P. Rosmovski, of Watson Laboratories, very probably saw unidentified
objects.  However, Mr. Rosmovski informed me that the objects seen were
not moving at an excessive speed, but rather were motionless at an altitude
somewhere in the vicinity of 200 miles.  When these were seen on the Radar
scope of the CPS-4 (Modified) the angle of elevation of the Radar antenna
was approximately 70 degrees from horizontal.

2.   During the latter part of August, 1947, this organization was carry-
ing on several test runs with a modified SCR-270 at this base. I had re-
leased  a corner reflector and two balloons and was watching them in their
flight as they drifted to the southeast from this base. While watching the
balloons through a pair of ten power binoculars, a white object, appearing
to be round, came into my field of vision. I followed the object as far as
possible but lost it within seconds after picking it up. The object was
traveling at an unprecedented rate of speed and appeared to be several
thousand feet over the top of the Sacramento mountain range, traveling in
horizontal flight south to north.

3.  There have been other times when manning the M-2 Optical tracker,
that I have seen round or flat-round objects that were unexplainable.

4.   In view of Par 1, this endorsement, it is suggested that Mr. P.
Rosmovski of the Radar Laboratory, AMC Watson Laboratories, Red Bank New
Jersey be contacted.                  

Robert G. Markley
1st Lt. USAF
Communications Officer

Over 5 years ago, Brad Sparks, who was aware of the incident and had posted the basics of it in his Comprehensive Catalog of Project Blue Book Unknowns, was engaged in a lengthy email thread with us and had commented:

The CPS-4 height-finding radar apparently had only a 4-degree wide beam not 10 degrees (as Martin Shough had suggested in the 23 page discussion).  However it was pointed almost straight up (70 degs elevation) and picking up "targets" at about 200 miles altitude.  There is "nothing" that should be "out there" to reflect a near-perpendicular incidence radar beam in 1947. There are no "mountains" 200 miles high or 1,000,000 feet tall.

Brad was more interested in the fact that the ground range of a 70-deg beam with a 200-mile high target is 200 miles/tan 70 = 73 miles.  In otherwords the target would have been hovering in space 200 miles high over a spot about 73 miles away from Alamogordo Army Air Field (later Holloman AFB). Considering that 200 miles is a rounded number, it could easily be 210 or even 220 miles and then the ground range could be 76-80 miles or more. "You see, the Foster Ranch debris field (and any fairly close-by anomalous site) was about the same distance, about 85 miles away from Alamogordo."

This document is hard to read and was not transcribed. It is a supplement to a trip report that is two pages long (PBB3-845-846).

Personnel interviewed were Dr. Peoples, Mr. Chance, Mr. Olsen, and  Mr. Johnson of the Geophysics Laboratory Section  and Mr. Rosmovski of the Radar Laboratory. This document pertains to UFOs observed on April 5, 1948 and is only relevant to our August 1947 report in the sense UFOs were being observed by these trained observers in New Mexico.

           6.            All agreed on the following: the object was very high, moved faster than any known aircraft, possessed a rounded, indistinct form, and disappeared suddenly rather than fading away in the distance. It was under observation minutes or slightly less. It was definitely not a balloon and apparently not manned judging from the violent maneuvers which were performed at a high rate of speed.
            8.            Mr. Rosmovski of the Radar Laboratory was interviewed on 4 June 1948.  His statements do not check very closely with those contained in Lt. Markley's report to this office.  Mr. Rosmovski stated that Lt. Markley was one of two observers on a modified CPS-4 Optical Tracking Device.  The observations Lt. Markley reported seeing on this equipment could not be confirmed at any time by the other tracker.  Mr. Rosmovski passed off the "ghost pip" he personally observed on the radar equipment as merely the illusion of the equipment.  He explained that this "ghost" did not move, and was possibly the echo from a distant mountain on a side wave of the radar equipment.  He also spoke of "crazing" which is the effect on radar by the white gypsum sand in the area directly west of the Air Base.  He also mentioned another form of "ghost" called "Angels" which have been detected and which are believed to be caused by changes in air density.  Such phenomena have been observed and reported from Camp Edwards.

Brad Sparks:
But let me preface this by saying that I am not necessarily arguing that there was a real object at 200 miles height above the earth, in outer space, at all.  I do not "believe in ETH" anyway, but I do recognize this case however weak it is, is nonetheless unique and unprecedented potentially DIRECT evidence of extraterrestrial UFO's (contrary to my anti-ETH position) since there were no manmade satellites or anything else at 200 miles up in space in 1947 and nothing even today that can stand still motionless at 200 miles.

What Brad was arguing is that certain AF operations, like Project MOGUL which did the tracking of the 200-mile high stationary object, believed that there was an object at 200 miles up and went to some effort to cover it up by outright lying about it. And they were caught red-handed and had to admit it "and by extraordinary evasion of official inquiries."  Two fairly high-level AMC people (Lt Col James C. Beam and Alfred Loedding, the "brains" behind Project SIGN) made special arrangements in advance to fly out from Ohio to NM to interview Dr Peoples about the incident and then only when they arrive they find out Dr Peoples has conveniently left and flown off to New Jersey, evidently to evade interview, and Lt Markley is strangely unavailable.

As Brad commented back then, not only is this incredibly rude behavior but it is potentially reportable offenses by personnel all under AMC's Commanding General McNarney, in effect defiance of Gen McNarney's orders making Project SIGN a Priority 1-A project, excusable only if superseded by higher classification orders.  MOGUL personnel had to leak the information in the first place, from one AMC unit (Project MOGUL) to another AMC unit (Project SIGN), since it was never officially reported as it should have been reported.  This in itself is very strange since this was all internal to AMC, Air Materiel Command (which is why Brad thought it was the only reason it leaked in the first place). One would think that AMC units would be more cooperative amongst themselves than to lie and hide personnel from interview.  One gets the impression there was a behind-the-scenes struggle by AMC personnel on whether to tell the SIGN investigators the truth or how much of it to let out, because SIGN investigators had stumbled onto a highly classified operation. "This blatant evasion of an official investigation is virtually unprecedented in UFO history.  If one wanted to find telltale signs of a coverup this is exactly the kind of thing one should look for, all hidden in classified files never meant to go public." 

As per the radar tracking, we do not have an azimuth, so we do not know the exact direction, but regardless, the altitude would allow surveillance of the relevent sites and there is no currently known reason why the object might not have been in an even more provocative position.

To summarize:
We had a massive sighting wave in 1947, with well over a thousand reports of unidentified flying objects that descended on a completely unaware public, with half of the incidents taking place in broad daylight. During the climbing six week wave, an unknown craft crashed near Roswell or collided with another disc during the intense surveillance that spiked on July 5th. Even without the Roswell incident the Air Force knew something serious was going on and by Ruppelt's own admission, by the end of July "the UFO security lid was down tight." Sometime within the next month, someone in the military, working outside of AMC's guidelines, modified a CPS-4 and aimed it almost straight up and picked up a hovering target 200 miles up. When other serious incidents over New Mexico, involving information termed "of vital importance to the intelligence department", came to AMC's attention in 1948, the incident with the CPS-4 leaked out. AMC wired ahead and received travel orders to meet with the radar people. Those radar people not only disappeared, but since they were not AWOL, those in charge of the action were also part of the cover-up.

This UFO report isn't just another radar case. It involves an object tracked by military radar in one of the "hottest" nuclear areas in the world and a little over a month after the Roswell crash. This object was doing something we can't even do today, hover motionless in space at 200 miles up, and right over New Mexico in 1947. At this vantage point any part of New Mexico could be scrutiized. Two years before, two atomic weapons had been rushed into a World War and had killed over 200,000 civilians. By now New Mexico and other strategic parts of the United States were buzzing with activity to make sure nuclear weapons were available for use on aircraft, missiles, and submarines, even mines. By June of 1947 the nuclear arms race was on, and "somebody" watching couldn't help but get the idea that, if we build something, we always seem to use it.