Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Book Review: 'The Roswell Deception' by James Carrion

In his latest work, The Roswell Deception, writer, researcher, former intelligence analyst, and former MUFON International Director James Carrion further lays out his hypothesis of human deception surrounding the now famous UFO Summer of '47 and, particularly, the Roswell incident. Readers unfamiliar with Carrion's previous work, Anachronism, will find themselves better informed of the dynamics and proposed possibilities if they read it before diving into The Roswell Deception.

Carrion strongly suspects deception operations executed by the U.S. intelligence community during the mid 1940's included activity around a number of events typically considered to be UFO-related - or at least that's how UFO enthusiasts tend to categorize the events. Intelligence analysts, maybe not so much.

Carrion offers readers a different perspective to "what" may have been taking place during the era, "how" it may have taken place, and the important "why" officials may have attempted to deceive adversarial intel analysts. Suffice it to say objectives would not have included leading either global adversaries or citizens to believe extraterrestrials were afoot, although collateral damage to that effect may have indeed occurred. Moreover, Carrion cites more than ample sources which document ambiguous press releases from intel officials, newspaper articles written by media sources linked to such officials, and authentic government documents which set the stage for both deception ops and protocols describing the tactics observed. 

The meat and potatoes of the hypothesis suggests a small group of U.S. intelligence professionals conducted deception operations for a variety of purposes, creating advantageous circumstances. Such circumstances included providing adversaries, namely Russia, "clues" which would be subjectively misread and result in incorrect conclusions, particularly about advanced weapons development (This writer finds the possibility intriguing the same IC proverbial sprinkling of breadcrumbs may continue to invoke subjective misinterpretations among UFO investigators). The situation may have ultimately created extremely desirable codebreaking opportunities. While conceding he cannot yet conclusively prove his theory, Carrion offers a fascinating chain of aptly documented events, relationships among the players, and cited official records in support of the hypothesis.

In one instance, the American Press and United Press were simultaneously provided differing press releases on the Roswell incident. As explained on page 432:
Lieutenant Warren Haught, the public information officer at Roswell Army Airfield dropped off the press releases at both KSWS and KGFL on July 8, 1947, but rather than each release being an exact copy of the other, there were significant differences between them. That makes no sense from a public relations perspective but makes complete sense from a cryptographic gardening perspective.
The releases are cited and explored, as are specific reasons for the potential relevance. More instances are also cited in which differing details of flying objects and purported crashes were provided to various media outlets (Spitsbergen gets mentions on pages 88 and 218, which, extremely interestingly, was the storied site of a likely government "plant" of a 1952 UFO crash story). Carrion theorizes purposes for publication of such 1946-47 stories included monitoring Russian communication channels, the options of which were vastly limited as compared to today. The result was an increase in opportunities to both break codes and flush out spies, depending on identifying sources of information for the foreign agents. Many intriguing circumstances are cited, including documented instances of pushing additional media outlets for coverage when one media source declined the story.

It's reasonable to conclude, to whatever extent Carrion may or may not be entirely correct, the topic was exploited for yet to be better understood purposes. To the author's credit, the implications and possibilities deserve further research and consideration. 

In this writer's opinion, the effort allotted to the Kenneth Arnold case makes the book a worthy read in itself. The more perplexing aspects of the saga are explored, with particular attention given to anonymous calls to a newspaper about meetings conducted with Arnold. The events could certainly be viewed in support of the author's theory as explained among the documentation of the circumstances. Those who feel themselves informed on the Summer of '47 would be well served to read the ideas and consider the citations in order to possibly develop some differing perspectives or, at the least, become better qualified to competently discuss and debate Carrion's material.

The Roswell Deception, p.35
Among the dozens of interesting items presented include a newspaper report on the actions of then-Deputy Chief of the Army Air Forces Lt. Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg on July 8, 1947, a key media day in the Roswell saga as mentioned above. Explaining his suspicions deception planners were feeding stories to the wires, Carrion noted the media reported Vandenberg "hurried to his headquarters press section." However, a review of Vandenberg's desk log shows he arrived at work at 9:20 a.m. and had a routine day of meetings. It was not until after 6 p.m. on his way home that the general visited a public information officer. Not the actions of what we'd suspect to be a troubled officer, or, perhaps more importantly in this context, not the activity as reported by the press. 

Extensive effort is invested by the author in explaining and supplying documentation of specific weapons projects Russian and American intel officials were either pursuing or attempting to imply they were pursuing. The manners these projects indeed overlap into UFO lore is cited and relevant. 

There are many dynamics worthy of mention and deeper study, including a Russian effort to secure a German husband and wife team who were working on a saucer-like long range missile delivery system prior to the collapse of the Third Reich. This was followed by an allied disinformation effort which involved misrepresenting a discontinued weapons research and development project as an active top secret initiative, described to the press as an airborne weapon more powerful than the atomic bomb. Shortly thereafter, Kenneth Arnold and company began reporting flying discs.

The Roswell Deception, p.430 

Incidentally and potentially quite importantly, Arnold's sighting was not unique in several relevant ways, he just seems to have become the most well known. Similarly, the Roswell incident was just one of several purported crashed disc stories, possibly orchestrated to support rumors of weapons development and ultimately to snare spies. The Roswell incident was given much more UFO significance years later than was the case at the time. It was almost certainly not suspected by global intelligence analysts of being an ET spacecraft, and probably not much of the general public at the time either. Many inter-agency memos and related documents are explored as Carrion explains how he thinks the situations were orchestrated and the players manipulated. 

Among the biggest takeaways may well be the glaringly different picture that emerges from historic forensic research (as conducted by James Carrion) as compared to what we might term more UFO-friendly takes on the era. Carrion's work explores sources defined as credible by the professional research community, including verified documents, newspaper clippings, and records of declassified operations, among other items. Attention is given to chronological order, and the resulting work deserves careful consideration and objective, sincere feedback.

Another relevant takeaway is the extent American intel officers warned of Russian attacks from over the North Pole and targeting the northwest U.S. prior to a wave of disc sightings in the area. Numerous citations are offered which document much public concern the increasingly reported discs were Russian weapons. Also offered is documentation of apparent attempts to influence Arnold's beliefs surrounding the reports and his sighting. It seems entirely feasible the extraterrestrial origin questionably attributed to cases such as Maury Island, Arnold, and Roswell was more embedded after the fact, perhaps much more long after the fact, than was actually the initial circumstance as often assumed. 

The relevance concerning Carrion's theory is that Russian weapons development was publicly discussed by U.S. officials, yet chaos would ensue among Russians trying to assess the situation as much as was the case among American analysts not in the loop. Coded communications necessarily would involve specific terms and proper nouns, advantageous to breaking the codes.

The suspected deception planners are named and explored, including some of their possible media contacts. Readers familiar with the story lines will recognize the relevance of Joint Security Control. Rising in potential significance is Joint Counterintelligence Center, or JCIC. From page 459:
In April of 1947 the spy hunters of the early CIA, the Army and the Navy at the JCIC, were poised to set their nets and trap their prey. I hypothesize that what fueled their COMINT based counterintelligence would be gardened news stories planted in the summer of 1947 in the American Press stories of flying saucers. When the CIA releases all the early records on the JCIC, we will know the truth of whether a gardening operation took place.

It could again be emphasized that to whatever extent Carrion may be correct about his suspicions, the involvement of intelligence agencies in the theatrics and their unclear agendas are confirmed. The specific events explored by Carrion are extremely unlikely to involve extraterrestrial or paranormal factors. It is also quite possible, as asserted by the author, the events explored are not entirely mundane, but involve intentional deception by the intelligence community. The resulting lines of research should accordingly take the possibilities into consideration. 

The Roswell Deception is 523 pages on pdf. It is available for free download at James Carrion's blog, Anachronism.


  1. I thought I knew the Roswell story, but this is my first awareness of the two different press releases.
    I’m very interested in Lt Haught’s explanation and what KSWS and KGFL news ‘teams’ felt as they realized this ‘difference’.

    It’s also been very curious to me that Ruppelt never mentions the Roswell event in his book.

    Mr Carrion has done a great service for the study of this amazing history.

  2. Thanks for article and the links for the free downloads. You do a wonderful job with your articles.

  3. "Shortly thereafter, Kenneth Arnold and company began reporting flying discs." Not entirely correct. The objects Arnold reported were sort of boomerang shaped. He described their flight characteristics as looking like saucers being skimmed across the surface of water.

    1. Martin Shough ( of NARCAP) has written an excellent essay posted at the Daily Grail this past summer on the subject of the ‘changing shape’ , from discs to flying saucers to boomerangs, bats and crescents to the actual drawing by Arnold in his Air Force report, which looks nothing like the ‘flying wing’ he is seen pointing to in a photograph - well written and worth looking into

    2. Well, as psychology has shown, eyewitness reports can't be considered to be 100% accurate or reliable. We fill in gaps in visual data with information previously stored in our brains.

      The objects aren't the key to the changing shapes, the witnesses are. And eyewitnesses are all we have in the lion's share of reports (including Arnold's). There's nothing else in those cases to study other than the witness response to a previously unknown or unrecognizable (to the witness, at the time) visual stimuli.

      What is lacking in all pro-ET analysis of historical sightings (and NARCAP has a discernible pro-ET bias) is the historical context surrounding them. There’s a disregarding or lack of understanding of the social and cultural beliefs that were prevalent at the time.

      The US was a nation still traumatized by the Pearl Harbor attack six years earlier (the 9/11 of the time) and fearing another surprise attack from the skies (but this time, by our new enemy the Soviet Union). So, anything seen in the skies not immediately identifiable was noteworthy. And Arnold’s sighting was especially noteworthy because the Pacific Northwest was considered at the time to be more vulnerable to a surprise attack by the Soviets (launched from Siberia) than the rest of the US.

      Therefore, Arnold’s sighting over the Cascades (even if it was a misidentified flock of birds, which I suspect it was) was considered very newsworthy. Unfortunately, Arnold became addicted to the celebrity his story brought him and enjoyed being crowned America’s new "flying saucer" expert (hence his involvement in the Maury Island debacle). His original story morphed over time (no surprise to anyone familiar with the psychology of memory). So, any shape that’s proposed for what he saw probably will fit one of Arnold’s recollections or sketches done after the sighting.

      Since, there’s no verified corroboration of his story of which I’m aware, Arnold isn’t a very credible witness for me. Being a pilot doesn’t automatically make him an infallible observer. That’s merely a fiction the pro-ET community loves to promote.

    3. Purrlgurrl,

      Actually, the majority of accounts I've read have suggested that Arnold came to loathe his celebrity regarding his sighting. He was tired of being badgered by "the nuts" and from the early 50s to early 70s seemed to drop out of the "UFO Spotlight" (he even ran for Lieutenant Governor of Idaho during that time, but lost).

      In addition, he was paid to go to Maury Island by Ray Palmer who thought there might actually be proof of the "Flying Discs" there. Whether or not they were conned by Crisman and Company or stumbled upon a genuine intelligence matter is something else.

      I do believe Arnold witnessed something he couldn't identify, and I don't think it was birds (I still lean towards a classified test). From a psychology stance, listen to the pattern and tone of speech as well as the verbal cues in the early interviews and read into the reports he gave to the intelligence officers.

    4. mouseonmoon, I read that analysis and also thought it was well done :-)

    5. Arnold was still doing interviews about his sighting into the early 60s, and I saw him doing a live interview on a Chicago TV station when I was a kid then. It made quite an impression on me. He seemed very jovial and receptive to the interviewer questions about his sighting. So, there you go.

      I think he saw something he didn't immediately recognize, then jumped to a wild conclusion about it. I don't trust his speed calculations at all since they were done on the fly and likely in an excited state of mind.

      Again, a single witness report with no corroboration. It has very low credibility, I don't care how NARCAP tries to paint over that picture.

    6. "Again, a single witness report with no corroboration. It has very low credibility,"

      Quite true. In the case of Arnold, what do you think of the possible corroboration. There was a prospector who wrote to the FBI claiming he was present in the same area as Arnold and saw the discs. And one other person claimed to have seen the formation near the area the same day.

      Do you think these were just people hopping on the band-wagon? Or maybe even possible plants designed to "strengthen" the Arnold sighting?

    7. Who are they? Where are there reports? When did they file them and to whom? Or did they just talk to the media? Where can I read their reports?

      Sorry, Arnold's is a low credibility report. And it's not even the first report. It's just the one the press latched onto.

    8. They can be accessed in the Bluebook Files...and probably can be queried in the FBI archive as well.

      The Prospector letter was sent directly to the FBI shortly after the Arnold sighting. The witness account, if I remember correctly was sent to the military.


  4. One thing that has bugged me over the years is that Haut's press release is not based on what Brazzel and Marcell said they saw. They saw lots and lots of wreckage, not a "disc" as the PR says. Was Haut in on the deception? The PR certainly doesn't match the witness accounts. Did Haut talk to Marcell? But then why is the PR not true to what Marcell and Brazell reported?