[dropcap]September [/dropcap]23 is a special day in UFOlogy. September 23, 947 is the day a top U.S. General said, in writing, that UFOs were real.
Right at the beginning of the “modern” UFO era — three months after Kenneth Arnold and two months after Roswell — General Nathan Twining, Head of the U.S. Air Materiel Command (AMC), wrote a classified letter to Air Force General George Schulgen regarding the “flying discs.” He said the objects were “real and not visionary or fictitious.”
Twining conceded the possibility that they may possibly be natural phenomena such as meteors, he continued, but added “the reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action which must be considered evasive when sighted … lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely.”
Twining listed several common descriptions of UFOs. They generally were silent, had a metallic or light reflecting surface, no trail, were circular or elliptical in shape, and often flat on the bottom. Many descriptions indicated a dome on top. Several reports indicated they flew in formation. Quite specific information, indeed.
UFO skeptics have pointed to Twining’s statement that no wreckage of a flying disc had been recovered. It’s true that he was probably in a good position to know. But what we don’t know is whether Twining would have been able to tell Schulgen about a UFO crash, if indeed such a thing happened. Simply put, if Schulgen lacked a “need to know,” Twining could not have told him.
On the other hand, Twining did state that UFOs were not secret American craft. This came as a surprise to Schulgen, who expected to learn that there was nothing to the affair, that everything was under control. Was Twining was hiding the fact that UFO’s were classified technology? It’s a fair question.
With the hindsight of more than fifty years, the answer seems to be no. There is simply no credible evidence that the U.S. had any craft in 947, experimental or otherwise, that could duplicate the reported maneuvers of flying saucers. Anyway, why would Twining tell Schulgen to keep studying flying saucers if they were simply classified American craft? If there were good reasons for doing so, none have emerged.
As many know, the 947 anniversary dates mark the year that UFOs first exploded into public consciousness as “flying saucers.” It was a time of escalating tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. July of that year was the also the time that the National Security Act was passed. In one fell swoop, the U.S. government created the CIA, the National Security Council, an independent Air Force, and the Department of Defense. It was the single most important Act in U.S. history toward the expansion of government power and secrecy.Of course, 947 was also the year of Roswell. Indeed, the crash of one or more UFOs near Roswell, New Mexico, took place just a few weeks before the passage of the National Security Act. It’s interesting to take note what General Twining himself was doing at this time.
On Monday, July 7, Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining, commander of the Air Materiel Command (AMC), flew unexpectedly to Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, then made a side trip to Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque. He remained in the area until July 11, although reporters initially had been told that Twining was “probably in Washington, D.C. … But Twining was also scheduled for a trip to Boeing at this time, which he had to cancel. In a July 17 letter to a Boeing executive, Twining referred to a “very important sudden matter that developed here.”
The day that Twining suddenly flew to New Mexico, by the way, was also the day that Roswell farmer Mac Brazel took Jesse Marcel and Sheridan Cavitt out to see his debris field. This field, according to Marcel, was three-quarters of a mile long, and two to three hundred feet wide. A gouge in the field extended for four or five hundred feet, “as if something had touched down and skipped along.” The debris was the tough, lightweight, indestructible “memory metal.”
If General Twining landed in New Mexico while this was going on, it is no stretch to think he might be stating that UFOs are real and not visionary or fictitious in a memo that was not cleared to include the Roswell story. But it is entirely possible he had seen debris, and maybe bodies, with his own eyes.