Read The Day After Roswell Online

Authors: Philip J. Corso

Tags: #Non-Fiction, #Science, #Paranormal, #Historical, #Politics, #Military

The Day After Roswell

DEDICATION

In memory of Lt. Gen. Arthur G. Trudeau. This great
man was my superior as chief of U.S. Army Research and Development. He
was a man of great courage; he put on a sergeant’s helmet and
fought with his men at Pork Chop Hill in Korea. He was deeply religious
and went on “retreats” at Loyola. He was the most
brilliant man I have ever known, who only gave me one standing order:
“Watch things for me, Phil. There are things we do not
understand. ” His accomplishments changed the world for the
better. Any success I had I attribute to him and to his leadership.

FORWARD

Senator Strom Thurmond:

When I was first elected to the United States Senate in 1954,
the United States and democratic Western governments were locked in a
bitter, and sometimes deadly, Cold War with totalitarian Communist
governments that sought to expand their bankrupt ideology throughout the
world. Though those who did not live during this era have a hard time
picturing it, the 1950s and 1960s were a period in our history when
there was a very real need to be concerned about a Communist,
especially Soviet, threat to our security and institutions.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I took a
lead role in seeking out those in our government who sought to muzzle
military personnel who wanted to alert Americans to the threats we
faced from our Communist enemies and to speak out against some of the
plainly misguided, incorrect and, frankly, dangerous policies of the
United States in dealing with the Soviets and Red Chinese.
Distinguished officers and patriotic men such as Admiral Arleigh Burke
and General Arthur Trudeau were essentially censored by their own
government because of the views they espoused about the state of the
world and the nature of the threat before our nation. As a veteran of
World War II, a commissioned officer in the United States Army Reserve,
and a proponent of a strong and comprehensive military, I could not sit
idly by and watch our military be undermined by people in government
who were sympathetic to Communism.

During this period, the Armed Services Committee held
extensive hearings into this matter. It seemed an alien concept that in
a nation that protects and cherishes free expression, the men who
risked their lives to keep us free and best understood how we should
confront our enemies would be ordered silent. It was under these
circumstances that I came to know Philip Corso, then a colonel in the
United States Army, who was equally disturbed about the muzzling of our
military, and who shared my concern about the future of our military
forces.

As the members of the Armed Services Committee worked
diligently to discover who was working to quiet our soldiers, sailors,
marines, and airmen, Colonel Corso was brought to my attention by two
of my former staff members. The colonel had a great deal of credibility
and expertise not only as a military officer but also in the fields of
intelligence and national security. A veteran of World War II and
Korea, Corso had also spent four years working at the National Security
Council. In short, he was very familiar with issues that concerned me
and my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he very
quickly became a valued source of bountiful information that was
insightful and, most important, accurate. As a matter of fact, the
material he provided was invaluable in helping us prove that the
stifling of American military officers was being ordered by individuals
in high ranking positions within our own government.

In 1963, when I learned of Colonel Corso’s impending
retirement from the army, I thought that having a man with his
background and experiences on my staff would be of great benefit. So
after offering him a position that promised nothing more than long
hours of hard work at a modest salary, Philip Corso once again
willingly went to work serving and protecting the United States, this
time as an aide in my office.

There is no question that Philip Corso has led a full and
adventurous life, and I am certain that he has many interesting stories
to share with individuals interested in military history, espionage,
and the workings of our government. We should all be grateful that
there are men and women like Colonel Corso - people who are willing to
dedicate their lives to serving the nation and protecting the ideals we
all hold dear - and we should honor the sacrifices they have made in
their careers and in their lives.

 

INTRODUCTION

My name is Philip J. Corso, and for two incredible years back
in the 1960s while I was a lieutenant colonel in the army heading up
the Foreign Technology desk in Army Research and Development at the
Pentagon, I led a double life. In my routine everyday job as a
researcher and evaluator of weapons systems for the army, I
investigated things like the helicopter armament the French military
had developed, the tactical deployment complexities of a theater
antimissile missile, or new technologies to preserve and prepare meals
for our troops in the field. I read technology reports and met with
engineers at army proving grounds about different kinds of ordnance and
how ongoing budgeted development projects were moving forward. I
submitted their reports to my boss, Lt. Gen. Arthur Trudeau, the
director of Army R&D and the manager of a three thousand plus
man operation with lots of projects at different stages. On the
surface, especially to congressmen exercising oversight as to how the
taxpayers’ money was being spent, all of it was routine stuff.

Part of my job responsibility in Army R&D, however,
was as an intelligence officer and adviser to General Trudeau who,
himself, had headed up Army Intelligence before coming to R&D.
This was a job I was trained for and held during World War II and
Korea. At the Pentagon I was working in some of the most secret areas
of military intelligence, reviewing heavily classified information on
behalf of General Trudeau. I had been on General Mac Arthur’s
staff in Korea and knew that as late as 1961 - even as late, maybe, as
today - as Americans back then were sitting down to watch Dr. Kildare
or Gunsmoke, captured American soldiers from World War II and Korea
were still living in gulag conditions in prison camps in the Soviet
Union and Korea. Some of them were undergoing what amounted to sheer
psychological torture. They were the men who never returned.

As an intelligence officer I also knew the terrible secret
that some of our government’s most revered institutions had
been penetrated by the KGB and that key aspects of American foreign
policy were being dictated from inside the Kremlin. I testified to this
first at a Senate subcommittee hearing chaired by Senator Everett
Dirksen of Illinois in April 1962, and a month later delivered the same
information to Attorney General Robert Kennedy. He promised me that he
would deliver it to his brother, the President, and I have every reason
to believe he did. It was ironic that in 1964, after I retired from the
army and had served on Senator Strom Thurmond’s staff, I
worked for Warren Commission member Senator Richard Russell as an
investigator.

But hidden beneath everything I did, at the center of a double
life I led that no one knew about, and buried deep inside my job at the
Pentagon was a single file cabinet that I had inherited because of my
intelligence background. That file held the army’s deepest
and most closely guarded secret: the Roswell files, the cache of debris
and information an army retrieval team from the 509th Army Air Field
pulled out of the wreckage of a flying disk that had crashed outside
the town of Roswell in the New Mexico desert in the early morning
darkness during the first week of July 1947. The Roswell file was the
legacy of what happened in the hours and days after the crash when the
official government cover-up was put into place. As the military tried
to figure out what it was that had crashed, where it had come from, and
what its inhabitants’ intentions were, a covert group was
assembled under the leadership of the director of intelligence, Adm.
Roscoe Hillenkoetter, to investigate the nature of the flying disks and
collect all information about encounters with these phenomena while, at
the same time, publicly and officially discounting the existence of all
flying saucers. This operation has been going on, in one form or
another, for fifty years amidst complete secrecy.

I wasn’t in Roswell in 1947, nor had I heard any
details about the crash at that time because it was kept so tightly
under wraps, even within the military. You can easily understand why,
though, if you remember, as I do, the Mercury Theater “War of
the Worlds” radio broadcast in 1938 when the entire country
panicked at the story of how invaders from Mars landed in Grovers Mill,
New Jersey, and began attacking the local populace. The fictionalized
eyewitness reports of violence and the inability of our military forces
to stop the creatures were graphic. They killed everyone who crossed
their path, narrator Orson Welles said into his microphone, as these
creatures in their war machines started their march toward New York.
The level of terror that Halloween night of the broadcast was so
intense and the military so incapable of protecting the local residents
that the police were overwhelmed by the phone calls. It was as if the
whole country had gone crazy and authority itself had started to
unravel.

Now, in Roswell in 1947, the landing of a flying saucer was no
fantasy. It was real, the military wasn’t able to prevent it,
and this time the authorities didn’t want a repeat of
“War of the Worlds. ” So you can see the mentality
at work behind the desperate need to keep the story quiet. And this is
not to mention the military fears at first that the craft might have
been an experimental Soviet weapon because it bore a resemblance to
some of the German designed aircraft that had made their appearances
near the end of the war, especially the crescent shaped Horton flying
wing. What if the Soviets had developed their own version of this craft?

The stories about the Roswell crash vary from one another in
the details. Because I wasn’t there, I’ve had to
rely on reports of others, even within the military itself. Through the
years, I’ve heard versions of the Roswell story in which
campers, an archaeological team, or rancher Mac Brazel found the
wreckage. I’ve read military reports about different crashes
in different locations in some proximity to the army air field at
Roswell like San Agustin and Corona and even different sites close to
the town itself. All of the reports were classified, and I did not copy
them or retain them for my own records after I left the army. Sometimes
the dates of the crash vary from report to report, July 2 or 3 as
opposed to July 4. And I’ve heard different people argue the
dates back and forth, establishing time lines that vary from one
another in details, but all agree that something crashed in the desert
outside of Roswell and near enough to the army’s most
sensitive installations at Alamogordo and White Sands that it caused
the army to react quickly and with concern as soon as it found out.

In 1961, regardless of the differences in the Roswell story
from the many different sources who had described it, the top-secret
file of Roswell information came into my possession when I took over
the Foreign Technology desk at R&D. My boss, General Trudeau,
asked me to use the army’s ongoing weapons development and
research program as a way to filter the Roswell technology into the
main stream of industrial development through the military defense
contracting program. Today, items such as lasers, integrated circuitry,
fiberoptics networks, accelerated particle beam devices, and even the
Kevlar material in bulletproof vests are all commonplace. Yet the seeds
for the development of all of them were found in the crash of the alien
craft at Roswell and turned up in my files fourteen years later.

But that’s not even the whole story.

In those confusing hours after the discovery of the crashed
Roswell alien craft, the army determined that in the absence of any
other information it had to be an extraterrestrial. Worse, the fact
that this craft and other flying saucers had been surveilling our
defensive installations and even seemed to evidence a technology
we’d seen evidenced by the Nazis caused the military to
assume these flying saucers had hostile intentions and might have even
interfered in human events during the war. We didn’t know
what the inhabitants of these crafts wanted, but we had to assume from
their behavior, especially their interventions in the lives of human
beings and the reported cattle mutilations, that they could be
potential enemies. That meant that we were facing a far superior power
with weapons capable of obliterating us. At the same time we were
locked in a Cold War with the Soviets and the mainland Chinese and were
faced with the penetration of our own intelligence agencies by the KGB.

The military found itself fighting a two-front war, a war
against the Communists who were seeking to undermine our institutions
while threatening our allies and, as unbelievable as it sounds, a war
against extraterrestrials, who posed an even greater threat than the
Communist forces. So we used the extraterrestrials’ own
technology against them, feeding it out to our defense contractors and
then adapting it for use in space-related defense systems. It took us
until the 1980s, but in the end we were able to deploy enough of the
Strategic Defense Initiative, “Star Wars, ” to
achieve the capability of knocking down enemy satellites, killing the
electronic guidance systems of incoming enemy warheads, and disabling
enemy spacecraft, if we had to, to pose a threat. It was alien
technology that we used: lasers, accelerated particle-beam weapons, and
aircraft equipped with “Stealth” features. And in
the end, we not only outlasted the Soviets and ended the Cold War, but
we forced a stalemate with the extraterrestrials, who were not so
invulnerable after all.

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