Government Records: Results of a Search for Records Concerning the 1947 Crash Near Roswell, New Mexico

Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1995, 20 pp., paper. Available from the GPO--no charge for the first copy.

After searching for records relating to the Roswell incident for nearly eighteen months, the General Accounting Office, with much anticipation by UFO buffs, finally reported its findings to Congressman Steven Schiff on July 28. And it was this anticipation that was the high point, because the finished product is not very enlightening. As important as this report was deemed, one can only find the final results rather dull. Or are they?

The GAO found two government documents concerning Roswell: a July 1947 history report by the 509th Bomb Group (the only document located by the Air Force in their search) and an FBI message dated July 8, 1947, which refers to the military recovery of an object resembling "a high altitude weather balloon with a radar reflector."

These documents had already been declassified and are well known. However, it was noted that Roswell Army Air Field administrative records and outgoing messages were destroyed for the periods March 1945 through December 1949 and October 1946 through December 1949, respectively. The GAO states, "The document disposition form does not indicate what organization or person destroyed the records and when or under what authority the records were destroyed." Ufologists will certainly point to this as more evidence that the government always intended to bury Roswell.

Others will note that the Chief Archivist for the National Personnel Records Center, who, from personal experience, states that many Air Force organizational records during the late 1940s were destroyed without entering a citation for the governing disposition authority. Whom or what to believe? Regardless of your position, there is plenty of ammunition for both believers and debunkers.

Strange Magazine was intrigued by the change in the name of the report and contacted its overseer, Richard Davis, Director of National Security Analysis. Told that the original title of the audit was "Records Management Procedures Dealing with Weather Balloon, Unknown Aircraft, and Similar Crash Incidents," Davis claimed to have never heard of it. Davis would only say that it wasn't the task of the GAO to resolve the Roswell incident in a UFO context but to determine whether proper procedures were followed in the disposition of government records.

That the author claims not to have heard of the "first" official title of the audit is difficult to believe. And for all the energy spent by Davis and the GAO claiming they were not charged with resolving the Roswell dilemma, a February 15, 1994 memorandum from Davis regarding the GAO's "approach" to the report says that the GAO will "determine the 'OFFICIAL' explanation of what has become known as the Roswell incident" (emphasis by GAO).

So, is the GAO report merely one more signpost in an insidious 50-year cover-up at the highest level of government, whereupon more and more people know the alien nature of Roswell, and yet, are able to conceal it with impunity? More likely it is simply your tax dollars at play. Oh, by the way, don't expect a Department of Defense apology any time soon for the destruction of documents that were supposed to be permanently archived. Sorry is not a word in the machismo lexicon.

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