Behind Roswell – PART I: The Hottel Memorandum

“The easiest way to keep the technology secret would be to deny” – Richard M. Dolan

On March 22nd 1950, Guy Hottel, the Field Investigator Director of the FBI in Washington DC, wrote a memo to J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI quoting an Air Force investigator that revealed to him that three unidentified flying objects crashed and have been recovered in New Mexico.

According to the memo, the flying saucers 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 flyers and test pilots.”

“According to [an] informant, the saucers were found in New Mexico due to the fact that the Government had a very high-powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed the radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers.”

Although the FBI acknowledged the authenticity of the memo as part of Agent Hottel’s declassified documents that were made public in the late 1970s, they consider, however, that it is an unconfirmed one-page report which was never investigated.

According to the FBI, the Hottel memorandum is drafted three years after the Roswell case in July 4th, 1947, and therefore, “there is no reason to believe that the two [cases] are connected.” 

The FBI also claimed that they only have been occasionally investigating UFOs and extraterrestrial cases at the request of the Air Force for a short period of time which “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.”

The memo mentioned the existence of a secret high-powered radar installation in the New Mexico area, which was believed to have interfered with the UFOs navigation systems and brought them down. 

In the early 1940s, the U.S. government built the Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico. While these laboratories were being built, three high-powered radar installations were also built to guard the skies over Los Alamos. The first installation was located at El-Vado, New Mexico, near the Colorado border. The second installation was built near Continental Divide, New Mexico, near the Arizona border. The third was a mobile unit stationed at Moriarty, near the center of New Mexico. This type of radars, however, was discontinued in 1957 out of fear that they pose a real danger to both military and commercial aviation. There are unregistered cases where military aircrafts crashed as a result of the radars interfering with their navigation systems.

Image Credit: Chuck Wade

On July 16, 1945, the Los Alamos National Labs led by physicist Robert Oppenheimer secretly detonated the first atomic bomb – as part of the Manhattan Project, at the Trinity Site, 10 miles from San Antonio, New Mexico. Shortly after, the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan on August 6 and 9, that put an end to World War II.

Ever since 1945 until 1948, the Los Alamos had seen strange lights and unidentified aerial activities over the area such as sightings of green fireballs, and subsequent UFO crashes – including the events of Roswell in 1947, near the U.S. most sensitive military installations.


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