To: FBI, Re: Roswell…If You Can’t Do Better Than This, Please Shut Up.

fbi-ufo-memo-lgThis is exactly the kind of thing that causes the American public to distrust its government, not to mention believing all sorts of bizarre conspiracy theories.

For reasons unknown, the FBI, apparently in need of fresh content for its website, decided to “explain” the remarkable memo in its files that has been cited as the “smoking gun” of a Roswell cover-up. The memo, send to FBI director J.Edgar Hoover in 1950, was not written by a crackpot but by Guy Hottel, then the head of the FBI field office in Washington, D.C. He wrote,

“An investigator for the Air Force stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico,” Hottel writes. “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 fliers and test pilots.”

Now, whatever this is, an explanation was and is in order. The memo was not made public until 2011, and to say it raises questions is a masterpiece of understatement. If this didn’t happen, why was the memo written? If it did happen, what was the government’s response? If Hottel and Hoover didn’t know whether it was true or not, what did they do about it? If the FBI investigated, what did it find out?

Instead of answering any of these questions, the FBI website this week posted this about the memo:

“A few facts to keep in mind:

“First, the Hottel memo isn’t new. It was first released publicly in the late 1970s and had been posted on the FBI website for several years prior to the launch of the Vault.

“Second, the Hottel memo is dated nearly three years after the infamous events in Roswell in July 1947. There is no reason to believe the two are connected. The FBI file on Roswell (another popular page) is posted elsewhere on the Vault.

“Third, as noted in an earlier story, the FBI has only occasionally been involved in investigating reports of UFOs and extraterrestrials. For a few years after the Roswell incident, Director Hoover did order his agents—at the request of the Air Force—to verify any UFO sightings. That practice ended in July 1950, four months after the Hottel memo, suggesting that our Washington Field Office didn’t think enough of that flying saucer story to look into it.

“Finally, the Hottel memo does not prove the existence of UFOs; it is simply a second- or third-hand claim that we never investigated. Some people believe the memo repeats a hoax that was circulating at that time, but the Bureau’s files have no information to verify that theory.

“Sorry, no smoking gun on UFOs. The mystery remains…”


Have you ever read a more infuriating example of official obfuscation, evasion and obvious tap-dancing? So what if the memo “isn’t new”? What does the FBI mean the memo isn’t “connected” to the event? Why does it exist? Why was it written? Of course there’s a reason to believe the memo was connected to the event it refers to and reports on to the Director of the FBI. Does J. Edgar Hoover seem like a boss you would just send a wacky memo for no good reason?

The third item is completely bewildering. OK, the FBI doesn’t usually investigate UFO sightings, but this alleged event goes way beyond that. “…Our Washington Field Office didn’t think enough of that flying saucer story to look into it,” but did think enough of it to send the Director an unequivocal report. What changed? Was there an investigation or wasn’t there? This sequence, as described, makes no sense at all.

The last two statements are conclusions engineered to mislead. No, of course the memo doesn’t prove the existence of UFO’s. What would prove the existence of UFO’s would be the fact that the memo was based on fact. Was it, or wasn’t it? And “the mystery remains”….give us a break! This is your memo, guys, from your files, from and to your high officials. Don’t act as if this is crop circles or the Mary Celeste.

I an not a conspiracy theorist, nor a big UFO believer. I do get sick of our government, and especially THIS government–unprecedented transparency and all—hiding facts, double-talking, and generally treating the public as if they are all idiots. The FBI’s “explanation” raises more questions than it answers. I am more troubled by that 60 year old memo that I was when it first surfaced.

Yes, this is why the public doesn’t trust the government. Not because if UFO conspiracies, but because the government so clearly is in the habit of deceiving us, and doesn’t even do a good job of it.


Facts: FBI

Source and Graphic: Yahoo!

19 thoughts on “To: FBI, Re: Roswell…If You Can’t Do Better Than This, Please Shut Up.

  1. Anyone who believes UFO’s are coincidentally present in a top secret weapons area should be forced to pay a gullible tax… like those people who buy lottery tickets are paying a tax for doing poorly in math.

    The government must be having a grand ole time with this spoof, which is going on 65 years.

    • Governments are not allowed to engage in “spoofs.” That’s as bad a cover-up, which is my point. Integrity is a 24 hour, 365 day, i00 year a century job. And that still doesn’t explain why some official is writing to Hoover about tiny test pilots, now does it?

  2. I don’t necessarily believe the FBI sought to answer any questions anyway.

    I think they were delving into the entertainment industry in order to drum up some drama and traffic for their website.

    What better way to do that with our un-trusting and drama-hungry public than by sowing a little more doubt?

      • Actually, my vote doesn’t effect the US Governement or the FBI. We have our own battle in Canada trying to defend actual science from Government deceit so UFO’s aren’t high on my priority list. Just reminded me of another recent US Government deceit but your right, I should have refrained from comment. I doubt whatever the FBI did in Roswell is ever going to effect me.

        • So your own Government, then, also represents this mirky concept of “Them” vs “Us”?

          Because I think y’all still get to vote for that set of “Them” also…

          • Well, the words are actually descriptive. The Canadian Government is a group of poeple, they can all be named and are acturately described as them. When I worked for the Government, I fell into the descriptor – them (alhough the descriptors would have been reversed and my ‘Us’ would have referred to my now ‘Them’). The public not being paid to represent the Government, because I now belong to this group, is acurately described as ‘Us’. It doesn’t seem mirky to me. I’m engaged. I pay attention. I am concerned. I discuss. I vote. I still think we make ourselves easy to deceive as a group (Us).

            • Then I apologize. I mades a hasty conclusion about you. I misinterpreted your “They deceive us” line of commentary and “easier for them to deceive us” language as being more in line with the many conspiracy kooks I’ve encountered that legitimately believe “They” (despite their status of being elected) are out to institutionally control and lie to “Us” (despite our status of being their source of power).

  3. A couple of thoughts. First, many of you who are old enough may remember that in an interview when Jimmy Carter was running for president, he ‘promised’ to look into the Roswell/Area 51 theories and finally ‘set the record straight.’ After he was elected, he was dead silent on the issue. (Why no one ever asked him about that again is beyond me.) As in the movie “Independence Day” someone clearly thought he needed “plausible deniability.” A weak defense (no pun intended) for keeping some things secret from even the President of the United States. Who the hell makes THOSE decisions?

    Secondly, with recent near-miss of a major asteroid (inside our own atmosphere, for God’s sake!), the smaller asteriod showers over Russia, we continue to dismantle at least parts of NASA, which, of course, was an heroic effort to “explore” space. Why not eschew some of the incredibly expensive “scientific exploration” activity and have a part of the remains of NASA become engaged in space “defense?” Not Star Wars and earthly enemies, but against the whole range of stuff that flies through the galaxy — interterestrials notwithstanding. It is clear from the latest meteor-miss that we HAVE NO defense — or plans for same — against space objects (or lifeforms, or even bacteria) coming to Earth and causing problems of unfathomable proportions. Why not? The more we have explored, the more we know of the threats. If there’s one thing 40-odd years of NASA exploration has taught us, Earth does not exist in a little bubble, safe from either the known or unknown “residents” of space. Then again, considering the FBI, Jimmy Carter, and the lack of transparency in all parts of government, maybe we are, in fact, looking into this. Who knows? No one will speak frankly or honestly about it.

    I read a story years ago by a pretty valid source that after Roswell there was a secret confab of national leaders re extraterrestrial threats (life forms or not), and it was decided by the entire group that ‘the people’ weren’t ready to hear about the dangers Earth may be facing. Once again, we are the morons and they are the ones who decide what we shall and shall not know.

    So, back to the FBI story. You’re right, Jack. This is the kind of obfuscating that is rampant throughout government. No wonder there are conspiracy theorists out there… (though I do agree with Jj that anyone living near major air force development and testing sites should be pretty used to seeing odd flying things around… many of our stealth airplanes were designed and tested from the 60s onward, and while we think they’re “cool” now, in the 60s they must have looked like flying saucers or other flying machines from outer space). But really, having lived in the Washington area for most of my life –“ground zero” as it were — I’ve gotten pretty used to — every once in a while — hearing planes take off from Andrews Air Force Base at nearly Mach 1 in the middle of the night. If I thought about it all the time, I’d (a) go crazy, and (2) be up watching and wondering what was going on. But I live where I live, and can’t know everything “classified” that is going on. That doesn’t give me leave, however, to “theorize” about it, and publish (wherever) any half-baked story I come up with.

  4. So let’s see… noted and respected blogger Jack Marshall has found incontrovertible proof that FBI Special Agent Guy Hotel reported that FBI Special Agent ALPHA had been told by informant BETA that Air Force Investigator GAMMA had told him that.(etc etc).

    Never attribute to malice what is adequately explained by incompetence. The FBI’s usual obfuscation here gets in the way of explaining what happened.

    Some guy told one of our people that some other guy had told him a bunch of stuff.”

    The FBI’s explanation, full of irrelevancies and red herrings is horrible, clouding rather than clarifying the issue.

    • Well, yes, exactly. Isn’t that what the post says? I still want to know how and why a memo like that gets written if there’s nothing to it, and why, if it wasn’t worth it to investigate,why it’s not easy to explain, or why the writer wasn’t shipped off to a home for loonies.

      • Bureaucracy.
        The word comes down from On High “Go thou and investigate, especially to see if there’s been any security leaks from commie infiltrators,or just guys who talk too much”

        Two memos come back:
        1) “Our guy was told by another guy in the Air Force that beryllium is used in the Teller-Ulam configuration with a levitated pit”
        2) “Our guy was told by another guy in the Air Force that the titanium Higgs core in an H-bomb has to be coated with duralloy with a cross-section of 35 Barns”

        In this example, the first *IS* a security leak, detailing intricacies of H-bomb construction. The second is plausible-sounding bafflegab.

        The special agent involved has no idea whether either is a security leak. He just reports, experts decide.

  5. It seems evident to me that this was just a poorly written attempt by some functionary to get the UFO-obsessed groups off the FBI’s posterior and direct them elsewhere. This sort of thing (redirecting the nut squads and media pansies) in any popular flap that is seen as an unwanted burden is as old as the concept of bureaucracy. At least the “memo” didn’t specifically tell readers to go and bug the Air Force! But then again, it didn’t have to. In the UFO culture, the USAF is automatically the Number One bad guy. BTW: No one seems to ask themselves why, if the Air Force had had access to the technology of an interstellar civilization since 1947, we’re still using chemical burning air and space vehicles. Or, for that matter, why the Galactic Empire doesn’t have a modest consulate in Washington.

  6. Pingback: Hoover’s FBI X Files revealed | kjmhoffman

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