Supposedly a March 22, 1950 partially censored FBI memo has been released which suggests that so-called flying saucers containing little human-like creatures have been recovered in New Mexico. The subject of the supposed memo is 'Flying Saucers' and it is addressed to none less than the Director of the FBI (J. Edgar Hoover) from the Director of the Washington DC field office of the FBI. The supposed memo reads as follows:

"An investigator for the Air Force states that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico. They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed flyers and test pilots.

According to Mr. (censored) informant, the saucers were found in New Mexico due to the fact that the Government has a very high powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed that radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers.

No further evaluation was attempted by SA (censored) concerning the above."


The memo seems to have been the result of an incredibly ludicrous breakdown in communication between an Air Force investigator and the Director of the Washington DC Field Office of the FBI. It seems that the flying saucer/aliens story in it was perpetrated as part of a hoax to sell bogus oil locating equipment by a lifelong con-artist named Silas M. Newton. By way of gossip the story made its way through the news media. In response the OSI conducted an investigation. From there it seems that the Air Force investigator was to (or thought he was to) report the gossip rather than any related facts per OSI/FBI files. Apparently, his report was misinterpreted by the DC FBI Director as being founded in factual governmental sources.
The apparent misinterpretation seems to have resulted in the memo.

For those who find it too difficult to believe that such a ludicrous breakdown in communication could really have occurred there is another explanation for the memo that does not involve real saucers nor aliens. Newton supposedly claimed that the FBI told him that it knew he had fraudulently concocted his saucers/aliens story but wanted him to continue to spread it. Newton was so much a scam man that even if he asserted this it could not be believed any more than his other assertions. Nonetheless, it is possible that the FBI wanted the saucers/aliens story to be spread in order to have the Soviets think we might have alien technolgy. Under these circumstances the memo could have been written as it was and filed without a secret classification not through a breakdown in communication but as a conscious attempt to have it fall into the hands of and mislead Soviet informants. At least this explanation spares the scenario of parties with the highest clearances of U.S. intelligence in the day of J. Edgar Hoover relating to each other in official capacities like Abbott and Costello about who's on first.

The pro-UFO'ers perspective of the alleged Aztec UFO crash is presented in the video below:

The March 22, 1950 date of the memo was only five days after the most spectacular UFO sighting ever documented in U.S. history. That is, from March 15 - 17, 1950 in the town of Farmington, NM residents reported a supposed daily rampaging of hundreds of flying disks at times making 90 degree turns at high rates of speed and flying at all angles. At other times they are supposed to have flown in formation.

The FBI UFO files released in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act are at:

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Replies to This Discussion

Are you saying the memo is fake?

Three things to remember about this:


1.  As always, the "humaniods" are vaguely human in appearance.  Like no other body plan could evolve for "intelligent" creatures?  And these humanoids gotta wear clothes woven from cloth, metallic or otherwise?  Nah...


2.  While the article includes a link that goes back to an FBI web site, the FBI web site itself makes it clear that the document it shows is of unknown provenance.  It is clearly a document that has been copied at least twice, and that indicates sufficient handling that were it genuine, it would have provoked attention by now.  Could it be a planted document, planted by UFO enthusiasts?  My guess is that it almost certainly is.


3.  It is a third-hand account.  In a court of law, that would make it hearsay - inadmissible as evidence.  Lurid, yes, reliable, no.


Much ado about nothing.

Basically you are saying the memo is fake. This is certainly a possibility. However, it raises the question of why the FBI would have released it if it were a suspected fake. The FBI tends to play down alien explanations so why would it unnecessarily hype some up? Perhaps the memo never was in an FBI file to begin with.

I am not at all saying its a fake, I am just saying that it is so dubious, it should be considered a fake until we have more information on its provenance.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and this is such dubious evidence that it is worthless in relation to the claims it makes.


The FBI released it apparently as the result of an FOIA request, which means they HAVE to release it unless there is a state security reason not to.  It certainly isn't trying to "hype" it if you read the disclaimer notice on their web site.


There are many other examples of planted documents that have turned up in FBI files (the CIA is notorious for that), so I find this so highly dubious that I consider it worthless, frankly.


As I said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so until someone produces an alien spacecraft or the body of a three-foot tall, bug-eyed gray extraterrestrial, I am not believing anything.

Substantially, this is why I very carefully and consistently referred to it in the abstract as a 'supposed' FBI memo. Actually, I don't rule out that it somehow got into the FBI release without ever having been in an FBI file. (It could be part of a clever prank.)


The reason I see it as notable is that it has been officially presented in the name of the FBI as a valid FBI memo on the highest level saying that the U.S. has recovered flying saucers and aliens. In my opinion this is enough to warrant the memo being objectively investigated even if the result only determines how a fake memo could have become part of a release by an organization with the reputation that the FBI has for security.


I can't agree that alien life forms with the ability to develop advanced technologies, which I believe to exist somewhere in the universe, probably wouldn't resemble us. Such life forms would almost have to have appendages with hand type ends to mechanize the technologies. This makes the probability of them being bipedal respectfully high. Moreover, the fact that natural selection opted for bipedal organisms to become intelligent here suggests that it would do the same thing elsewhere.


Finally, I am not smug nor egotistical enough to hold that no alien species, no matter how advanced, could possibly have found and been in close proximity to us. There could be spieces that know things about worm holes that we have never dreamt of. I think it it unscientific to categorically rule out that there might be ways to travel great distances without exhausting life or resources. Paraphrasing Darwin, 'Nothing is more certain than ignorance' so knowing this to be true I care to be uncertain about what is scientifically open.      

The memo has to be considered, however, until something more substantial than an FBI memo is revealed I remain very skeptical. It's not that I think it's not possible but I think it is highly improbable. As was mentioned above “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”  
Per the following part of your response: 'As was mentioned above “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” '

What claims are you talking about? I simply reported the facts and, in so doing, I carefully and consistently referred to the memo as a 'supposed' FBI memo. That is, in reporting the facts I suggested that the memo might well be fake. How do you interpret this to mean I made extraordinary claims?

Do you think I should have swept my knowledge of the memo under the rug rather than present it to Freethinkers?

A memo on the highest level has been officially presented in the name of the FBI as a valid report suggesting that the U.S. has recovered flying saucers and aliens. In that the FBI is supposed to have released the memo I think it should be pressured to address it even if the results reveal the memo to mean no more than that at least some very high ranking FBI officials in 1950 were hysterical idiots.

Do you also support that the FBI should be pressured to address the memo or do you think it is your role to be only a lethargic non-activist who the world owes extraordinary evidence to?
A fifty-year old memo, of unknown and questionable provenance, detailing a lurid third-hand account of an event for which the reliable evidence suggests the facts are being wildly misinterpreted, is something over which I am not going to become an activist.  I have better things to do with my time and my activist energies.
As to your suggestion that the memo is not authentic why not have the FBI address that?

Per the following part of your response:

"...for which the reliable evidence suggests the facts are being wildly misinterpreted..."

What reliable evidence are you talking about? Bare in mind the following quote by Darwin:

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."

What reliable evidence are you talking about?


The reliable evidence I am talking about is the fact that a highly-classified radar testing program was being conducted by the military at that time in that area, the details of which have since been released into the public domain.  The rather odd-looking structures that were released near Roswell were, in fact, radar corner reflectors constructed of aluminumized polyester film and carried aloft by overfilled weather balloons, intended to release them at specific altitudes. The program was designed to provide basic data on the nature of radar phenomenon of use to radio system design engineers (such as myself) This program was classified for many years, because it was designed to produce data of use to the military.  It was declassified in the 1970s, and drawings of the radar reflectors used were released to the public at that time.  They were remarkably similar to the "artifacts" supposedly recovered by the "intelligence" community and which have been circulating for years on in the UFO blogosphere.  The data produced in those tests are now widely used by defense contractors designing radar systems.  One of those photographs taken at the time can be seen here:

This is the reliable evidence that appears to me to have been wildly misinterpreted.  Someone not knowing what an odd-looking radar reflector should look like can certainly misinterpret it as something alien.  But there was (and remains) a reasonable, if non-lurid explanation.

Hi Scott:

Per the memo - "According to Mr. (censored) informant, the saucers were found in New Mexico due to the fact that the Government has a very high powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed that radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers."

As you can see the high-tech radar testing that you have described is completely consistent with the memo. In fact, the memo specifies that the high powered radar set-up possibly interfered with the controls of the so-called flying saucers thereby bringing them down. Moreover, assuming that there were aliens, the sophisticated radar testing could have been of interest to them resulting in the so-called flying saucers being in the area at all. Accordingly, the advanced radar technology and testing very much supplements rather than contradicts the memo. Finally, no matter how hysterical the observer, I can't believe that pieces of radar equipment could have been seen as the supposed nine little humanoids that the memo says were discovered with the wreckage.

I am by no means saying that the memo is authentic much less accurate. However, as things stand it represents an official release by the FBI in the capacity of a very high level correspondence. Having this stature and in the absence of conclusive evidence that it is not credible I think that the FBI should be pressured to address it.

Having this stature and in the absence of conclusive evidence that it is not credible I think that the FBI should be pressured to address it.


Having stature does not mean it is worth anything.  If it came out of the president's drawer in the Oval Office, it wouldn't mean any more than its provenance, and its provenance is non-existent, beyond having been found someplace in FBI files.


As for the radar project, it was NOT advanced.  It was simply high-powered.  Sending repetitive, high-powered radio pulses out is not something I would find interesting enough to send a craft across the galaxy to investigate - natural, cosmic sources do that all the time.  There was no radar being developed.  All they were doing was investigating the *physics* of radar, and the radar they were using was no big deal.  Little different from that used during WWII, just a few years earlier.


As Carl Sagan often noted, to be worth anything, evidence has to be both INTERESTING and RELIABLE at the SAME TIME. 


This memo is certainly interesting, but the reliability is so hopelessly deficient, as in all the UFOs-are-aliens evidence produced so far, that it is of no real value.  As such, I would not want to see the taxpayers' money be wasted on an investigation that is highly unlikely to turn up any evidence for the veracity of the story it is telling, fifty years on.  Since it is a third-hand report, such talk of "humanoids" and the like, in the total absence of supporting evidence, has no usefulness whatever - even eyewitness testimony itself is rather uselessly unreliable, as any honest prosecuting attorney will attest.  So pass that unreliable but extremely lurid eyewitness testimony through two other people, each equipped with vivid imaginations, and you have evidence about as reliable as that attributing miracles to Jesus.  I put them all in about the same category - interesting, but unreliable to the point of uselessness, and therefore not of sufficient value that the taxpayers' resources should be wasted looking into them.  If we could only figure out how Jesus turned that water into wine, we could all get rich, couldn't we?  So shouldn't we turn the FBI loose on that one?  I don't think so - and for the same reasons.


Bring me some evidence that is BOTH interesting AND reliable at the SAME TIME, and then I'll get the activists working on it.  Otherwise, it is a waste of time for all concerned.




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