From: DRudiak@aol.com Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 15:03:26 -0400 (EDT) Fwd Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 09:19:50 -0400 Subject: Re: Mogul Balloons & Foil-like Material James Easton wrote: >Before we considered what properties it may have had, I added, "The >question was when did it become available in film form, i.e., Mylar". >If Mylar wasn't introduced until 1952, then there are no further >questions regarding it's possible use and composition in 1947. >The information from DuPont is not necessarily definitive. "Mylar" is >only one brand name and there may have been rival products available >before 1952. There was, for example, ICI's version of the synthetic >film, called "Melinex". I also asked ICI when this was first >available, but haven't heard from them. Charles Moore in his A.F. interview vaguely remembered that they started experimenting with mylar as a balloon material around 1950. But he was quite firm that nothing like that was available in 1947. >In 1933, ICI produced the first polythene, also known as polyethylene. >They may therefore have had quite a head start in producing >poly(ethylene terephthalate), which is effectively "Melinex", or >"Mylar". Very different stuff, as Moore pointed out. Mylar is clear and nonextensible while polyethylene is more translucent and stretchable. They first used polyethylene on the Mogul balloons starting July 3. The last all neoprene rubber balloon flight was on July 2. >However, the first flight of a large, single-cell polyethylene balloon >apparently took place on 25 September, 1947 and this was a "Project >Skyhook" balloon. According to the Mogul records, the first single-cell polyethylene Mogul was launched on July 5, 1947 (Mogul #10). The next one was Aug. 5 at Lakehurst, New Jersey (Mogul #12). The following Mogul launches at Alamogordo starting Sept. 5 were all single cell polyethylene balloons 15 to 20 feet in diameter. Project Skyhook was something else. >There's some confusion about whether the foil-like material could have >come from the radar targets, as cited by Professor Moore in the USAF >Report, or from the balloons themselves. Bessie Brazel Schreiber in >particular describes debris which "looked like pieces of a large >balloon which had burst" and states, "Most of it was a kind of >double-sided material, foil-like on one side and rubber-like on the >other. Both sides were grayish silver in color, the foil more silvery >than the rubber. Sticks, like kite sticks, were attached to some of >the pieces with a whitish tape. The tape was about two or three inches >wide and had flowerlike designs on it". >Although this foil-rubber material sounds like it might be material >from a balloon, the balloon trains consisted of neoprene and Bessie's >description doesn't seem to be consistent with that. I'm glad you recognize that. I've been pointing out this inconsistency for what seems like centuries now. What Schreiber's material sounds like is another Mogul balloon material, but one NOT available in 1947. This was neoprene-coated nylon coated with a metallic paint to minimize the effects of radiation. Unfortunately, the docs in the A.F. Report don't specify exactly where or when these were used (a total of 10 were ordered), but they are mentioned in the final Mogul report dated March 1951. In any case, they definitely can't account for what happened in July 1947. What would be the characteristics of such a material? Well, it would be hard to tear (Schreiber mentioned this property) and might be dull gray in color as described by some. It would also obviously be some sort of metallized, fine fabric, perhaps not too unlike what Sally Strickland Tadolini described. But could it account for the anomalous "plastic" or "memory" properties and damage resistance described by others? Could it be cut? Yes, obviously. Would it burn or smolder? Yes, and it would probably melt as well. Would it spontaneously unfold without wrinkles? Only if the rubber coating was quite thick and stiff, which would make it unsuitable as a high-altitude balloon material, since it would be much too heavy. So most of the physical properties still don't match the eyewitness description of others. Another problem is that Schreiber said some of the pieces were still attached to sticks. That means it couldn't be a balloon, but would have to come from a radar reflector. But as I've also pointed out, the radar reflectors were extremely light in weight. Again you couldn't have some heavy rubber material on there. There also seems to be no question that the radar reflectors used in 1947 used very thin aluminum foil, not metallized cloth. If the foil was backed with paper, then some type of glue would be used to hold the two together. This could be something like rubber cement, which would possibly account for the rubber-like quality, but again this doesn't account for the other reported characteristics of the foil. Another problem is that Shreiber failed to mention any foil backed with paper. Again, the description doesn't seem to match. And the photos in Fort Worth show some white wrinkled pieces of something on the ground, which could conceivably some white paper backing used on the radar reflectors. If this radar reflector supposedly came from a Mogul crash, why did Schreiber describe BOTH sides of the foil as being silver gray? Where was the white paper supposedly on the back of the foil and perhaps pictured in the Fort Worth photos? Schreiber never mentioned it. Nor did she mention anything like the smelly rubber debris of a neoprene rubber balloon that later showed up in Fort Worth. None of the debris field witnesses did. Another point is that Schreiber added to her description "...The foil-rubber material could not be torn like ordinary aluminum foil can be torn..." Again, that doesn't match a thin aluminum foil used on these reflectors, which both Charles Moore and Irving Newton described as extremely fragile and easily torn (but it might match something like the neoprene-coated nylon balloon later used). So these portions of Schreiber's statements really don't match Mogul at all. Also she mentioned a completely unknown writing on some of the pieces which she couldn't make out. This WASN'T the infamous tape with "flower patterns." All of this is conveniently overlooked by Mogul zealots. There are other problems with some of Schreiber's testimony, such as her statement that she was at the ranch during the military recovery. Marcel, who was there only the day before, was quite clear that Brazel lived alone and nobody else was there when he was (except for Cavitt and Brazel, of course). Bill Brazel in the "Roswell Incident" recalled that his father told him that the family had been visiting before he went to Roswell, but he dropped them off in Tularosa first. So how could Schreiber be back on the ranch two days later? It doesn't make sense. If it wasn't for Schreiber's description of the "flowered tape," the Mogul people would have no case at all, so they cling tenaciously to the portions of her testimony they like, outrageously twist some other portions to try to make it conform to Mogul, and ignore the portions that are directly in conflict with it. I really don't know what to make of Schreiber's testimony. She's stayed pretty consistent over the years and hasn't embellished her debris descriptions with time. So I don't detect any obvious signs of deliberate lying. Yet her testimony doesn't really add up. It's conceivable she read her father's newspaper interview back in 1947 and adapted her descriptions, including the "flower tape," to that. Or maybe she spoke to her father at some other time. He could have repeated the balloon description as a way of protecting her. I've also considered the possibility that maybe she witnessed another balloon crash and recovery at some later time, perhaps one of the metallized neoprene-coated nylon balloons. Maybe she got the two events confused in her mind. >A more direct approach would be to put some questions to Prof. Moore. >It should be possible to resolve these apparent anomalies and if >anyone on the list has an address for him, I wouldn't be adverse to >asking if he would help clear up these points. Moore was already asked these questions in his 1994 A.F. interview, and adamantly denied that mylar could be involved. It simply wasn't available in 1947. Aluminized mylar as an explanation for the mysterious memory foil is a debunker urban myth that seems to be dying very hard. Currently there is NO plausible conventional explanation for the anomalous physical properties attributed to the foil, wood-like beams, and other materials. The way Kal Korff tries to deal with it in his new book is to call everybody who described such things confabulators -- Marcel, Brazel Jr., Loretta Proctor, etc. Something about Roswell seems to have bred an unusally high density of pathological liars who manage to tell very similar stories while having no contact with one another. What might be interesting to ask Charles Moore about is the later neoprene-coated nylon balloons. Perhaps that will give us some insight into Schreiber's testimony.
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