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«To be opened on receipt LEVEL 2 AWARD THINKING AND REASONING SKILLS B902/01/RB Unit 2 Thinking and Reasoning Skills Case Study PRE-RELEASE MATERIAL ...»

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B902/01/RB Unit 2 Thinking and Reasoning Skills Case Study





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Background information Document 1 Extracts from the Roswell Daily Record on 8th July, 1947 Document 2 Headline text published on 9th July, 1947 in the Roswell Daily Record Document 3 Adapted Daily Mail article from 2007 Document 4 Accounts from four witnesses Document 5a An adapted 2014 report from The Independent newspaper and a selection of reader comments Document 5b Reader comments Document 6 Extracts from a 1997 New York Times article Document 7a Information from a Roswell tour company Document 7b Comments made on a travel website about a Roswell tour This document consists of 12 pages. Any blank pages are indicated.


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© OCR 2017 [D/502/0968] OCR is an exempt Charity Turn over DC (ST/FC) 140880/1 2 Background information Aliens and UFOs have long been a common theme in science-fiction, but the idea that there might actually be intelligent life on other planets is an increasingly plausible concept as we discover more about the complexities of the universe. Mathematical probability alone suggests that there should be a significant number of planets capable of producing and sustaining intelligent life, but whether or not such lifeforms have ever attempted to visit or make contact with Earth is a different question entirely.

UFO sightings are at the heart of a number of conspiracy theories. Many of these sightings feature accounts of aircraft that are beyond known technology, leading people to think either that it is alien technology, or that the military have access to secret, advanced technology.

Most UFO sightings have been debunked, whether due to valid alternative explanations or to a lack of credibility, but there are some that remain ‘unresolved’. Organisations exist that investigate the many claims of UFO sightings, such as MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and BUFORA (British UFO Research Association), and individuals who study such phenomena are known as ufologists.

One case, ‘Roswell’, has been of interest to ufologists and conspiracy theorists for over half a century.

In 1947, an unusual aircraft crashed at a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, and was alleged to have been an extra-terrestrial spaceship. An article was published in a Roswell newspaper shortly afterwards with the headline RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region. This was followed by a contradictory press release the next day claiming that it had been a weather balloon, not a flying saucer.

A number of conspiracy theories have been proposed, claiming variations on the same theme. These suggest that at least one alien spacecraft had crash-landed and that the military covered this up and hid the aliens away in a secret army hangar known as Area 51. This theory, for some, remains plausible in spite of the US government recently declassifying its files on a top secret operation (Project Mogul) from 1947 that involved the crash landing of a high altitude balloon designed for highly classified espionage.

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DOCUMENT 1 Extracts from the Roswell Daily Record on 8th July, 1947 The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon today, that it has come into possession of a flying saucer.

According to information released by the department, the disc was recovered on a ranch in the Roswell vicinity, after an unidentified rancher had notified Sheriff George Wilcox that he had found it on his premises.

Major Marcel and a detail from his department went to the ranch and recovered the disc, it was stated. After the intelligence officer here had inspected the instrument it was flown to headquarters.

The intelligence office stated that no details of the saucer’s construction or its appearance had been revealed.

Mr and Mrs Dan Wilmot apparently were the only persons in Roswell who saw what they thought was a flying disc. They were sitting on their porch last Wednesday night at about ten o’clock when a large glowing object zoomed out of the sky from the southeast, going in a northwesterly direction at a high rate of speed. Wilmot called Mrs Wilmot’s attention to it and both ran down into the yard to watch.

It was in sight less than a minute, perhaps 40 or 50 seconds, Wilmot estimated. Wilmot said that it appeared to him to be about 1,500 feet high and going fast. He estimated between 400 and 500 miles per hour. In appearance it looked oval in shape like two inverted saucers, faced mouth to mouth, or like two old type washbowls placed together in the same fashion. The entire body glowed as though light were showing through from inside, though not like it would be if a light were underneath. From where he stood Wilmot said that the object looked to be about 5 feet in size, and making allowance for the distance it was from town he figured that it must have been 15 to 20 feet in diameter, though this was just a guess.

Wilmot said that he heard no sound but that Mrs Wilmot said she heard a swishing sound for a very short time. The object came into view from the southeast and disappeared over the treetops in the general vicinity of Six Mile Hill.

Wilmot, who is one of the most respected and reliable citizens in town, kept the story to himself hoping that someone else would say they had seen a flying saucer, but finally today decided that he would come forward. The announcement that the RAAF was in possession of a flying saucer came only a few minutes after he decided to release the details of what he had seen.

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DOCUMENT 2 Headline text published on 9th July, 1947 in the Roswell Daily Record General Ramey Says Disc is Weather Balloon Fort Worth, Texas, July 9 – An examination by the army revealed last night that a mysterious object found on a lonely New Mexico ranch was a harmless high-altitude weather balloon – not a grounded flying disc. Excitement was high until Brigadier General Roger M. Ramey, commander of the Eighth Air Force with headquarters here, cleared up the mystery.

The bundle of tinfoil, broken wood beams and rubber remnants of a balloon were sent here yesterday by army air transport in the wake of reports that it was a flying disc. But the General said the objects were the crushed remains of a ray wind target used to determine the direction and velocity of winds at high altitudes.

Warrant Officer Irving Newton, forecaster at the army air force’s weather station here said, ‘we use them because they go much higher than the eye can see.’ The weather balloon was found several days ago near the centre of New Mexico by Rancher W. W. Brazel. He said he didn’t think much about it until he went into Corona, New Mexico, last Saturday and heard the flying disc reports. He returned to his ranch, 85 miles northwest of Roswell, and recovered the wreckage of the balloon, which he had placed under some shrubs. Then Brazel hurried back to Roswell, where he reported his find to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff called the Roswell air field and Major Jesse A. Marcel, 509th Bomb Group intelligence officer, was assigned to the case. Colonel William H. Blanchard, commanding officer of the bomb group, reported the find to General Ramey and the object was flown immediately to the army air field here.

Ramey went on the radio here last night to announce the New Mexico discovery was not a flying disc.

Newton said that when rigged up, the instrument “looks like a six-pointed star, is silvery in appearance and rises in the air like a kite”. Newton said that some 80 weather stations in the U.S. were using that type of balloon and that it could have come from any of them. He said he had sent up identical balloons during the invasion of Okinawa to determine ballistics information for heavy guns.

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DOCUMENT 3 Adapted Daily Mail article from 2007 A military witness who claimed to know that the Roswell incident involved the crash of an alien spacecraft is Colonel Philip Corso, a former Pentagon official who claimed his job was to pass technology from the craft recovered at Roswell to American companies. He claimed that discoveries such as Kevlar body armour, stealth technology, night vision goggles, lasers and the integrated circuit chip all have their roots in alien technology from the Roswell crash. Corso died of a heart attack shortly after making these claims, prompting a fresh round of conspiracy theories.

In the 1990s the U.S. Government came under huge pressure about the Roswell incident. In July 1994, in response to an inquiry from the General Accounting Office, the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force published a report, The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert.

The report concluded that the Roswell incident had been attributable to something called Project Mogul, a top secret project using high-altitude balloons to carry sensor equipment into the upper atmosphere, listening for evidence of Soviet nuclear tests.

The statements concerning a crashed weather balloon had been a cover story, they admitted, but not to hide the truth about extra-terrestrials.

A second U.S. Air Force report, The Roswell Report: Case Closed, was published in 1997 and focused on allegations that alien bodies were recovered. It concluded that any claims that weren’t entirely fraudulent were generated by people having seen crash test dummies that were dropped from balloons from high altitude. This was part of Project High Dive – a study aimed at developing safe procedures for pilots or astronauts having to jump from extreme altitudes.

These tests ran from 1954 to 1959 in New Mexico. The U.S. Government suggested that sightings of these dummies might have been the root of stories about humanoid aliens, with people mistaking the dates after so many years, and erroneously linking what they’d seen with the 1947 story of a UFO crash.

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DOCUMENT 4 Accounts from four witnesses A. Grady L Barnett, a civil engineer with the US Soil Conservation Service who was on a

military assignment at the time, interviewed in 1950:

“I noticed that they were standing around looking at some dead bodies that had fallen to the ground. I think there were others in the machine, which was a kind of metallic...disc. It was not all that big. It seemed to be made of metal that looked like dirty stainless steel. The machine had been split open by an explosion or impact.

I tried to get close to see what the bodies were like. They were all dead as far as I could see and there were bodies inside and outside the vehicle. The ones outside had been tossed out by the impact. They were like humans but they were not humans. The heads were round, the eyes were small, and they had no hair. The eyes were oddly spaced. They were quite small by our standards and their heads were larger in proportion to their bodies than ours. Their clothing seemed to be one-piece and grey in colour. You couldn’t see any zippers, belts or buttons. They seemed to be all males and there were a number of them. I was close enough to touch them but I didn’t – I was escorted away before I could.

While we were looking at them a military officer drove up in a truck with a driver and took control. He told everybody that the Army was taking over and to get out of the way. Other military personnel came up and cordoned off the area. We were told to leave the area and not to talk to anyone at all about what we had seen...that it was our patriotic duty to remain silent.”

B. Major Jesse A. Marcel, 509th Bomb Group intelligence officer:

“There was all kinds of stuff – small beams about three eighths or a half inch square with some sort of hieroglyphics on them that nobody could decipher. These looked something like balsa wood, and were of about the same weight, but they were not wood at all. They were very hard, although flexible, and would not burn. There was a great deal of unusual parchmentlike substance which was brown in colour and extremely strong, and a great number of small pieces of a metal like tinfoil, except that it wasn’t tinfoil.” “One piece of metal foil, two feet long and a foot wide, was so durable that it could not be dented with a sledgehammer, despite its being incredibly light. I am absolutely convinced that the material had nothing to do with a weather balloon or a radar target. I am quite certain that no bodies were among the debris, and that whatever the object was it must have exploded above ground level.” Marcel’s testimony cannot be dismissed, owing to his background in aviation: he had served as a bombardier, waist-gunner and pilot, had logged 468 hours of combat flying in B-24 aircraft, and was awarded five air medals for shooting down enemy aircraft in World War II.

Towards the end of the war he was attached to 509th Bomb Wing, an elite military group for which all those involved required high-security clearances. Following the Roswell incident, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to a Special Weapons Program that specialised in analysing air samples to discover if the Russians had detonated their first nuclear bomb.

–  –  –

C. A newspaper report from 2007 about the witness account of Lieutenant Walter Haut, the public relations officer at the base in 1947, and also the man who issued the original and subsequent press releases.

Haut died last year, but left a sworn affidavit to be opened only after his death.

Last week, the text was released and asserts that the weather balloon claim was a cover story, and that the real object had been recovered by the military and stored in a hangar. He described seeing not just the craft, but alien bodies.

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