The main purpose of the interview was to talk about my books, and Arthur advised me that it would probably go over the scheduled hour, which I fully expected...I'm a talker! It went a half hour over, but after about 30 seconds, I felt like I was chatting with someone I've known for years. First off, Arthur amazed me by telling me he attended Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, my alma mater. We missed each other by a year--he graduated the year before I entered. Having lived in New Jersey, we both knew some people in common, including Long John Nebel, a popular radio talk show host back in the day.
Somehow we got on the subject of UFOs, which fascinates me. Having served in the military for a few decades, he has some plausible theories about whether we've been visited. We talked at length about the Roswell incident, to my knowledge the only UFO incident that involved the possibility of alien bodies.
I told Arthur he's so interesting to talk to, I want to interview HIM for my blog, and he graciously agreed. Meet him here, and see his answers to some probing questions about what's really out there!
About Dr. Arthur Sippo
Arthur Sippo attended Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City, NJ from Aug 1970-May 1974 and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He was also a Distinguished Military Graduate and Executive office of the ROTC Cadet Corp.
He attended Medical School at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN from Aug 1974-May 1978, earning his MD degree.
He did his Internship in OB-GYN at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC from Jul 1978-Aug 1979.
He attended US Army Flight Surgeon Training at Ft. Rucker, Aland served in the 101st Airborne Division Oct 1979- Aug 1981, where he served as the First Brigade Surgeon, Flight Surgeon, and General Medical Officer.
Dr. Sippo attended The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore, MD from Aug 1981-May 1982, earning a Masters in Public Health.
He completed the Residency in Aerospace Medicine at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine in Brooks AFB, TX in Jun 1983 and obtained his Board Certification in Aerospace Medicine in Feb 1984.
At the US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Ft. Rucker. AL from June 1983- Nov 1986, he was the Division Director of the Biodynamics Research Division, a Medical Researcher, a Flight Surgeon, and a General Medical Officer.
Dr. Sippo served as an Exchange Officer at the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine, Farnborough, Hants, England; From Nov 1986 until Dec 1989.
While in England he also acted as a reserve flight surgeon at RAF Lakenheath, and RAF Alconbury. He also was a lecturer on Aerospace medicine to the British Army Aviation Commander’s school and ran the Altitude Chamber for all British Army Pilot training at RNAS Yeovelton.
Dr. Sippo returned to civilian life and went into the practice of Occupational Medicine with Occupational Care Consultants, Toledo, OH from Jan 1990-Apr 2001. He was Board Certified in Occupational Medicine in Feb 1994.
He joined the Ohio Army National Guard in Medical Staff in Feb 1990 and eventually commanded the 145th MASH from Nov 1994-Jan 1996.
Since April of 2001, he is an ER Physician at various hospitals in Southern Illinois and at the John Cochran VA Hospital, St. Louis.
He has been an author of scientific papers, Adventure Fiction, Pulp Fiction, Catholic Apologetics, and Speculative Theology. He has given several lectures on medical, scientific, religious, and literary subjects.
Dr. Sippo has been married to his beloved Katherine since 1986 and between them, they have raised 5 children.
An In-Depth Interview with Arthur, About One Of My Favorite Subjects--UFOs!
An In-Depth Interview with Arthur, About One Of My Favorite Subjects--UFOs!
1) How well does the official Roswell story hold together?
The entire Roswell saga started with a single press release authorized by the Roswell Army Airfield Commander, Col. Blanchard, on 8 July 1947 and ended officially with a news conference three days later in the office of the Eighth Air Force Commander, General Ramey in Fort Worth, Texas. Aside from these official Air Force press events, there is nothing tangible available to the investigator. There is no debris to be examined. No official analysis of either the debris or the incident in question. No board of inquiry was convened to study the event and to present guidelines for how such incidents should be handled in the future. It is also noteworthy that the official log of communications between the Roswell Base, Eighth Air Force Headquarters in Fort Worth Texas, and Washington at the time of the incident are missing from the official files, which is contrary to Air Force policy.
As for the press event in General Ramey’s office, it was restricted to one specifically selected civilian photographer and newsman. The only debris that was seen and photographed was what was on the floor in the office. Only a handful of photos were made and they focused mostly on the military personnel who were present, NOT the debris. If this had been a real news event, there should have been several reporters from papers and news services with multiple camera men. The planeful of debris that was brought to Fort Worth would have been scattered on the floor of a hangar to be displayed to the entire world in order to prove that this was indeed a mundane weather balloon.
Once they had that single press meeting on 11 July 1947, the entire Roswell incident was never mentioned again despite efforts by the news media to get some follow up on the story.
In short, the Air Force buried the story and did its best to make everyone forget about it. This is not standard military procedure. The debris should have been analyzed and identified even if the results were to remain classified. There is no evidence for this.
The incident should have been studied and the conduct of the participants should have been reviewed and critiqued. This is especially true because the people at Roswell Army Airfield had blundered so badly and created an international furor. Both Col. Blanchard and Major Marcel should have been disciplined and relieved of their posts. Instead, Blanchard was held in communicato for a month while an officer was sent from Eighth Air Force to run the base in his absence. Marcel was told to forget the incident and resumed his normal duties a few days after the Fort Worth news conference. Neither of their military careers were in any way hampered by the incident. They both finished their regular tours at Roswell and had good Officer Efficiency Ratings. Blanchard in particular went on to become a 4-star Air Force General and died of a heart attack at his desk in the Pentagon in 1964.
It appears to me that Blanchard kept silent and was rewarded for doing so. Marcel had a good military career as well but left the service to take care of his ailing mother. He remained silent about the Rowell incident until the mid-1970s when Stanton Friedman looked him up and interviewed him. When this happened, we received more details about the debris that was recovered (including its memory metal capabilities) along with Marcel’s claim that the debris seen in the photographs was not what he had brought from New Mexico. The major kept silent about this because he had been ordered to do so and he was a good soldier.
In short, the Air Force initiated a very sloppy, rushed effort at a cover up three days after Col. Blanchard revealed his initial press release that only succeeded because of the isolation of the base, the lack of any other information sources about the incident, and the patriotic fervor of the “Greatest Generation” who were willing to believe whatever their government or military told them. The actual materials that were recovered from the debris field at the Brazel ranch have never been evaluated in the clear and are not available for us to examine at this time. Why was this the case? If it was nothing but a weather balloon, full disclosure would have laid the matter to rest. Even if it was a Mogul Balloon train, all the components were off-the-shelf items with the exception of the specialized electronic package to measure sounds which would have been smashed up pretty badly by the fall. (It should be noted that no electronic components were among the debris that Marcel says he found. Even if there had been, a cursory examination would have shown that this was terrestrial technology.) There was nothing unusual about any of it and it all could have been dismissed as the remains of a meteorological test bed. The fact that the Air Force made this debris “disappear” is very suspicious.
2) What about the two Air Force Roswell books?
· The first Air Force book The Roswell Report: Case Closed was published in 1994. It put forward the suggestion that the wreckage found by Mac Brazel were the remnants of a top-secret Project Mogul Balloon Train. While this remains an intriguing idea, the Air Force provided no concrete evidence to support the contention. There were no reports in any historical records of anyone identifying the Roswell debris as belonging to Project Mogul. There are no detailed photographs or measurements of the materials in question to substantiate this. In fact, the Mogul balloon theory was never brought up with regard to Roswell before this book. The debris field described by Major Marcel was 4000 feet long and 200 to 400 feet wide. A single Mogul Balloon train would not contain enough material to fill such a space. Furthermore, no balloon remnants were found at the site, nor were any electronics found. I don’t find this credible.
The second Air Force book The Roswell Incident was published in 1997. It treated the Mogul Balloon theory as if it were an established fact instead of an unsubstantiated suggestion. But then the Air Force did something that I think was foolish on their part and very revealing. There had been several allegations by witnesses that alien bodies had been found at the Roswell crash site. The Air Force claimed in this new book that these witnesses may have been describing anthropomorphic dummies which Air Force researchers had dropped to test new parachutes and life support equipment. The book also alleged that two incidents of catastrophic aircraft decompression had occurred in 1956 and 1959 leading to several deaths. Facial swelling in the deceased crewmembers could have been misinterpreted as the features of aliens. The book recognized that the dummies had not been used prior to 1952. The reports of bodies associated with the Roswell incident in 1947 would have required the witnesses to confuse the later events from the 1950s and 1960s with events that had occurred at the time of the Roswell incident. This is an even more ludicrous suggestion than the Project Mogul idea. But I think that it tells something important.
During the 1960s and the 1970s, there were numerous claims of crashed UFOs some of which allegedly had alien bodies associated with them. UFO researcher Leonard Stringfield has written about these in a 7 book series entitled UFO Crash Retrievals. No solid evidence exists to substantiate these claims, but they are interesting nonetheless.
The description of the bodies included both similarities and differences from story to story. There were a few general commonalities. The bodies were humanoid in shape, with a length of about 4 feet, with large heads for body size, and large slanted eyes.
Most UFO researchers (including Stringfield) had considered such claims to be on the lunatic fringe. But Stringfield kept running into witnesses with military, intelligence, scientific, and medical backgrounds who seemed to be describing the same thing. He came to believe that there may be something to this.
(It should be noted that Major Marcel vehemently denied that he had seen any bodies but researchers now believe that there was a second crash site at Corona, several miles from the Brazel Ranch. This was not discovered initially and the stories about bodies seemed to come from that site.)
It appears that the Air Force felt the need to explain away any claims that witnesses had seen alien bodies either at the time of Roswell or later. Why? The idea is so far out and so lacking in evidence that a mere denial should have sufficed. I suggest they tried to debunk the sightings of alien bodies precisely because some people had seen something. This was a tactical error. The Air Force has now tacitly admitted that witnesses saw strange bodies and that there was a mundane explanation for this.
However, their proposed explanation is utterly ridiculous. Any sighting of alien bodies in 1947 could not be explained by events that would not happen until many years later. Besides, the anthropomorphic dummies were 6 feet tall, with normal sized heads and normal looking eyes. Even the body small, big headed body sightings from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s could never be explained by this.
In short, the Air Force seems to admit that bodies were seen. Sadly, their contrived explanation cannot explain this.
I do not know if there have been real sightings of alien bodies. In the 1940s and 1950s, the idea of a mechanical drone aircraft was science fiction. Today we know that advanced alien technology would not need to have a living crew on a UFO. The absence of a living crew would also help to explain the excessively violent flight parameters seen in many UFO sightings. Rapid changes in altitude, extreme acceleration/deceleration, and tight almost 90 degree turns make more sense if the UFO is a mechanical object without a living crew. But the Air Force seems to be saying that the reports of bodies need to be explained away, not merely dismissed.
Another allegation in The Roswell Incident was that many UFO sightings since the 1950s were of experimental American aircraft and that the Air Force used the UFO idea as an excuse to cover up these tests. If one peruses the FOIA information from the early 1950s it is clear that the US Air Force at the highest level checked the secret projects being done by the US Government and its military and found no evidence that any of the unexplained sightings could be correlated with such tests.
3) What is the story about Nitinol?
Nitinol is a family of nickel and titanium alloys that return to their previous shape after being deformed. It is a true “memory metal.” The world was first made aware of this material by researchers at the US Navy Ordnance lab in the early 1960s. At that time, Elroy John Center, a scientist who had left Battelle in 1957, told some associates that he helped develop this material by analyzing the Roswell Crash debris while working at the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio. In fact, there were two classified Battelle monographs on the Nitinol alloys that were referenced in the studies done by the Navy. Dr. Center’s name was not mentioned in the list of authors of these monographs. Since they were classified, the monographs were not generally available outside of high security government circles.
Battelle was a private research facility in Columbus founded in 1928 and had helped the US Army Air Corp analyze foreign technology from Germany and Japan during World War II. They had several contracts with Air Force Intelligence headquartered at Wright Field just down the road in Dayton, Ohio.
The original plan in July 1947 was to send the Roswell debris to Wright Field for evaluation. After the ersatz “press conference” at Fort Worth, it was implied the debris would not be sent on to Dayton, but the testimony of numerous witnesses indicates the Roswell debris was sent on to Wright Field. It would not be surprising that some of the material might have been sent to Battelle for analysis.
It should be noted that the description of some of the Roswell debris as being made of “memory metal” was not known until the mid-1970s when a retired Major Jesse Marcel began speaking to UFO investigators about his experiences.
Dr. Center’s claim to have reverse–engineered Roswell wreckage was itself not revealed to the world at large until 1992 through a MUFON Newsletter. He had died in July 1991 from cancer and so could provide no further information to investigators. From that point onward, many researchers tried to obtain copies of the two Battelle monographs through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). No copies could be found in government archives and Battelle (a private corporation exempt from FOIA) has a policy of not providing copies of monographs done under client contracts.
This state of affairs persisted until 2008 when a partial copy of the second Battelle monograph was retrieved under the FOIA entitled Second Progress Report Covering the Period September 1 to October 21, 1949 on Research and Development on Titanium Alloys Contract No. 33 (038)-3736. It is authored by "Simmons, C.W.; Greenidge, C.T., Craighead, C.M. and others." The Battelle report was completed for Wright Patterson Air Materiel Command which ran the Foreign Technology efforts for Air Force Intelligence. The partial copy clearly identifies Dr. Eldon John Center as being listed among the “others.”
So it seems that Dr. Center’s claims may have some validity. The placement and timing of the research is right for Battelle to have been contracted to analyze Roswell crash debris. Also the “memory metal” aspects of some of the Roswell debris was not common knowledge until almost 30 years after the Roswell incident. At the time Marcel began talking about it, Dr. Center’s claims and the Battelle monographs were not known to the general public.
4) What have been the real statistics about the sightings reported to Project Blue Book before it was cancelled in 1969?
The UFO phenomena virtually exploded in the early 1950s eventually including the famed flap over Washington, DC in 1952. A large number of UFOs buzzed the restricted airspace over the capital, appearing and disappearing from radar at will and dodging the fighter jets that had been scrambled to intercept them.
During this time period, the Air Force was publically dismissing UFOs as either natural phenomena, misidentifications, and hoaxes. It claimed that 90+% of all sightings had been explained away by the Air Force investigators. After the DC saucer flap, official Washington was not so sure.
In the wake of this, the CIA contracted Battelle Memorial Institute to analyze all the material collected by the Air Force UFO study projects (Sign, Grudge, and Bluebook) which constituted several thousand sightings. Battelle issued the classified Robertson Report which provided the following statistics:
a) 17% of all the reported sightings had been clearly identified as something mundane
b) 83% could not be explained
c) 63% were unexplained but were lacking in sufficient information by which to either confirm or deny the stories. This fraction included most of the reports from the general public.
d) 20% were unexplained but were reported by credible professionals such as pilots, scientists, and military personnel who were deemed reliable witnesses who may have had some supporting physical traces, pictures, radar contacts, or other evidence that supported their stories.
e) 3% were hardcore unexplained cases which included multiple witnesses from different locations, along with supporting evidence of different kinds, making it a virtual certainty that the stories as told were true.
In summary, one case out of five that had been reported represented a credible report. Most of the reported cases were unexplained. One case in 33 was a hardcore unknown that could not be dismissed. This situation was of great concern and so it was decided that UFOs needed to be studied for national security reasons.
In 1969, after the large UFO flap in 1966-67, the Air Force contracted Dr. Condon of the University of Colorado to perform a review of the material that had been collected by Project Bluebook and its predecessors. This constituted about 13,000 reports. (It was also revealed that there were several military reports of UFOs that had not been reported to Bluebook which were included. This infuriated Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the scientific consultant for Bluebook because it meant that several of the best UFO cases had not come through his program. He had been told that he had access to everything and he was livid when he found out that this was not true.)
The analysis by the Condon Committee produced the following results:
a) 22% of all the reported sightings had been clearly identified as something mundane
b) 78% could not be explained
c) 45% were unexplained but were lacking in sufficient information by which to either confirm or deny the stories. This fraction included most of the reports from the general public.
d) 33% were unexplained but were reported by credible professionals such as pilots, scientists, and military personnel who were deemed reliable witnesses who may have had some supporting physical traces, pictures, radar contacts, or other evidence that supported their stories.
e) 5.5% were hardcore unexplained cases which included multiple witnesses from different locations, along with supporting evidence of different kinds making it a virtual certainty that the stories as told were true.
By 1969 fully one case in three was credible and unexplained. The vast majority of cases still remained unexplained. And more than one case in twenty was considered highly credible and well established.
As you can see, it was never the case that most sightings had mundane explanations. In fact, the number of credible unexplained cases always has outnumbered the ones that could be explained by a fair margin. Therefor, it is clear that the final Condon Report's claim that UFOs were not of scientific or national security interest was inane and did not conform itself to the facts which the Committee itself produced. There continues to be a cover up about the real nature of UFOs at the highest levels of our government which persists to this very day.