“Popular Mechanics suspects the craft that crashed at Roswell will eventually be identified as either a U.S. attempt to re-engineer a second-generation Fugo, or a hybrid craft which uses both Fugo lifting technology and a Horten-inspired lifting body. In either case, Japanese engineers and pilots brought to the U.S. after the war to work on the project could have been the dead “alien” bodies recovered at the crash site.”
—From an Online Forum on the July1997 Popular Mechanics magazine article on Roswell 1947. <http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=364>
I’ve assembled below the initial results of a web trawling / archiving project revolving around what is by now obviously a RE-emergence of the idea that the 1947 Roswell and related crash saucers / pickled aliens mythology relates to sub-projects of the infamous Japanese Unit 731 human experimentation programs and Fugo balloons with Horton Brother inspired gliders. It appears that links began making their way onto the early internet in the mid 1990s linking the infamous Roswell crash case with the Japanese Fugo balloon theory and eventually it’s connection to the Japanese human experimentation atrocities committed under the heading of Unit 731.
The biggest irony about this re-emergence of the Fugo Roswell hypothesis is that it comes on the heels of a recent raucous debate on the UFO UpDates eList about the value of journalist John Keel‘s contribution to UFO research. Many of the field’s best known writers and researchers were lambasting Keel who has been known for quite some time as “not being afraid to invent evidence”. Yet it appears that it was he who first wrote of the possibility that the 1947 Roswell crash was in fact a Fugo balloon. John Keel wrote about this theory in the March 1990 issue of FATE magazine.
Both pre-existing periodicals dealing with this nexus of data, FATE March 1990 and Popular Mechanics July 1997, are available in the Anomaly Archives periodicals collection. Below you will find reproductions on the resultant ufological debate regarding both these magazines and other resources that have been floating around since the 1990s.
NEW ROSWELL REPORT CASE SOLVED? by Bill Hamilton – 6/20/97
Newest Roswell “Story” From The Air Force !
Well known investigator Joe Stefula reports the Air Force is coming out with another version of the 1947 Roswell alien crash. The new book being released from the Government Printing Office is called, “Roswell Report Case Solved” and is authored by Captain Jim Mc Andrew, ISBN 99791156. Jim after the diligent searching of hundreds of thousands of documents has apparently found fifty year old records that point to the real cause of the crash.
Joe has obtained information that an article will be published in the July Popular Mechanics Magazine, that provides the final Air Force explanation. Our government has always denied that an extraterrestrial crash occurred at Roswell. They claim our biggest concern at the beginning of the Cold War was to determine if the Soviet Union had the atomic bomb. Key scientists from the US, Japan and Germany were brought in to develop a new reconnaissance system. Allegedly new and improved Japanese Fugo balloons were designed using advanced materials. Horton a German engineer developed a special lifting body design for a long range experimental glider that was carried aloft by the Fugo balloon.
This craft was probably a rounded triangular design or heal shaped lifting body. The glider or lifting body was carried aloft by the balloon and fitted with cameras and instruments to detect nuclear explosions. This recce unit would float over the Soviet Union gathering information. At a key point near friendly territory, the pilot would release his experimental glider aircraft from the balloon and fly to safety with its precious cargo. New and light weight metals were used that may have included foreign markings. If a small Japanese pilot was involved in the crash, we may have a plausible explanation for the description of an alien body.
Source of this report – George Filer. Archived at UFO Folklore Center online.
And another article with reporting from Joe Stefula, this time via CNI News …
AIR FORCE TO ISSUE YET ANOTHER ROSWELL EXPLANATION
Is This One Impressive Enough to Rain on the Anniversary?
CNI News thanks Rebecca Keith, Joe Stefula and Steve Kaeser for assistance with this story, dated June 16, 1997.
Just in time to dampen spirits at the upcoming 50th Anniversary UFO bash in Roswell, rumors are rampant that the Air Force is about to issue yet another “final” explanation of what “really” happened near that fabled New Mexico town in early July, 1947. This time, if the rumors are true, the explanation could really be a bummer for UFO enthusiasts. <snip>
One set of clues can be gleaned from the cover story in the current (July) issue of “Popular Mechanics” magazine, which discusses a number of post-World War II super-secret projects involving former Nazi rocket scientists brought to work in the United States. Among these were the brothers Horten, renowned in esoteric circles for their highly exotic, but sometimes successful, aircraft designs, including variations on “flying wings,” “lifting bodies,” and even “discs.”
It has long been rumored, though never definitively proven (as far as CNI News knows), that the Hortens and their colleagues created one or more high-performance, jet-powered “saucer”-like craft in the last days of the Reich. Some saucer-conspiracy theorists have argued on this basis that the entire post-war UFO phenomenon can thus be traced to Nazi science, captured and imported by ambitious but morally bankrupt American Cold Warriors. While the “Nazi UFO” theory is regarded by most ufologists as implausible at best, it might contain a shred of truth — and that shred might have been recovered from a crash near Roswell in 1947. Or so the Air Force may be about to tell you. <snip>
“Popular Mechanics” hints that captured Japanese Fugo balloon bombs, coupled with Horten aircraft designs, could have inspired such an experimental program. Bigger, better Fugos than the Japanese deployed during the war — perhaps created with assistance from captured Japanese scientists — might have carried the theoretical reconnaissance glider aloft.
If such a device was launched from, say, White Sands (where the Mogul launches reportedly occurred) and crashed shortly after liftoff at a location north or northwest of Roswell — and if a pilot (dare we suggest a small Japanese pilot?) was in the aircraft — this could theoretically account for balloon-like wreckage, metallic wreckage, a damaged but recognizable aircraft of some kind, and at least one body.
Read entire archived article here … <http://anomalies.net/archive/cni-news/CNI.0758.html>
Here are some contemporaneous posts from the UFO UpDates eList discussion on the 1997 Popular Mechanics “expose” of the Roswell Fugo Balloon Nexus…
New Roswell Explanation – follow-up
… will be published in the July Popular Mechanics Magazine, that … that an extraterrestrial crash occurred at Roswell. … new and improved Japanese Fugo balloons were … http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/1997/jun/m06-027.shtml
Re: Roswell Crash – ‘Solved’
… because both Fugo Balloons and the Horton Brothers are mentioned in the July issue of Popular Mechanics, which has learned that articles on Roswell (and Area 51 …
Re: Roswell Crash – ‘Solved’
… information is included in July 1997 Popular Mechanics issue, which … 1994 Air Force report on Roswell, which had … would suggest that this new “FUGO” theory will … http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/1997/jun/m09-015.shtml
Re: Roswell Crash – ‘Solved’
… shortly >and they have finally solved the Roswell mystery … It was >a Fugo balloon that carried a Horten … a copy of the latest issue of Popular Mechanics which has …
Re: Roswell Crash – ‘Solved’
… com (Drew Williamson) >Subject: Re: Roswell Crash – ‘Solved … The story about the Fugo balloon and Horton … body is in the current issue of Popular Mechanics. …
Re: Roswell Crash – ‘Solved’
… The Roswell Report- Solved” by James McAndrew published by the GPO in hard cover for $52.00. I read the article in Popular Mechanics concerning the new Fugo/ …
Re: Popular Mechanics denies Air Force influence
… denies Air Force influence Dave wrote: >As many of you know, the July issue of Popular Mechanics has an … Roswell was a re-engineered “Fugo” carrying a Horten …
Arnold, Roswell and US/Nazi/Japanese Tech
In this connection I came across some articles regarding the Roswell incident … a second-generation Fugo, or a hybrid craft which uses both Fugo lifting …
Ten years ago, I myself didn’t think much of John Keel’s Fugo Balloon hypothesis as you can read from this off remark of mine back in the Summer of 1995 …
Grand Illusions by Dr. Gregory L. Little – Reviewed by S. Miles Lewis
-Firstly, Little holds to John Keel’s humorous explanation of the Roswell debris as the remains of a Japanese Fugo balloon. While I admit to having no clue as to the “true” nature of the wreckage I feel safe in keeping the fugo explanation far down on the list of probabilities.
– E.L.F. Infested Spaces – Journal of Possible Paradigms, Issue 3 / Summer ’95 <www.elfis.net/elfol3/girev.html>
Several issues of James Moseley’s Saucer Smear have featured references to Keel’s Fugo Balloon musings, including issues going back as far as 1995.
Saucer Smear, January 5th, 1995
Then, we have an interesting monograph by one Gene Maron called “Roswell … almost ready to give serious consideration to John Keel’s Fugo Balloon theory.
Saucer Smear, Sept. 1st, 1995
We have now actually read (most of) John Keel’s classic book Disneyland of the Gods … in the book) was caused by a World War Two Japanese “Fugo Balloon”!
Saucer Smear, June 20th, 1997
This Fugo story will also be in the July issue of “Popular Mechanics”, … landed near Roswell in June/July 1947 was merely a then-classified Mogul Balloon.
Saucer Smear, June 5th, 1999
… the idea that the Roswell Incident was actually a Fu-go (or Fugo) balloon … by John Keel in Fate Magazine, and also by Dr. Greg Little in a 1994 book.
Saucer Smear, September 5th, 2000
Regarding John Keel’s absurd theory that the Roswell crash involved a World War II Japanese Fugo Balloon, Randle states: “Keel ignored what he couldn’t …
Saucer Smear, September 1st, 2001
… the Japanese for Roswell”, in which the author bashes John Keel’s absurd notion that the Roswell wreckage was from a Japanese World War II Fugo Balloon.
Similar to the skepticism of Moseley, myself and others, the always skeptical British Fortean Ufologist John Rimmer had this to say when reviewing the work of Fortean Anomalist Patrick Huyghe and his dissection of Keel’s Fugo hypothesis for Roswell …
Swamp Gas Times: My Two Decades on the UFO Beat
Patrick Huyghe / Paraview Press, 2001
In the 1970s, Patrick Huyghe (pronounced “weege”) edited and published a little stencil-duplicated magazine called UFO Commentary. Subtitled ‘A Journal of Progressive Ufology’ it carried a mixture of direct investigative reports of cases, intelligent comment and speculation, and critical views of the great American UFO circus and its leading acts. <snip>
An essential book for anyone who wants a rational guide through the UFO jungle, and a welcome reminder that not all American ufology is dominated by Roswell, which gets just four pages out of 340 – and those, in Huyghe’s characteristically undogmatic manner, are an effective demolition of John Keel’s ‘fugo balloon’ theory.
John Rimmer – A refreshingly balanced approach to ufology.
Jumping back again to 1995 there is this post to one of the earliest incarnations of the UFO UpDates eList (or as it was back then, a BBS bulletin board system):
1995 Post To UpDates BBS – Roswell & 731
… and tape a show on Dateline (NBC) last week on a subject that was disturbing … My feelings in relation to the Roswell film and Unit 731 are they are …
Roswell vs. Unit 731 / August 25, 1995
I happened to catch and tape a show on Dateline (NBC) last week on a subject that was disturbing not only to those interviewed but to myself. It focused on a 50 year secret held by the US government on a place called Unit 731 during WWII. Human experimentation (biological warfare, live autopsies, injections, etc.) were carried out on prisoners of war. These prisoners were British and Americans and what they described seemed parallel to that of good old Adolph. We have seen what Hitler’s prisoners looked like but do we really know to what extent these lives were interfered with?
Unit 731 was run by the Japanese and in the report the US government was accessory to the savage indignities to these innocent victims. They gave immunity to the leaders of these inhumane acts and actually hired some of them to work in the US to conduct experiments. Oh, what a Cold, Cold War indeed.
My feelings in relation to the Roswell film and Unit 731 are they are one report, there are crucial documents that have gone missing for reasons unknown, the Chinese stated they had already seen the footage from the Roswell film (when), injuries to the being on the footage are extraordinarily similar to those on the creature used in the movie – Roswell (Martin Sheen) which came out _last_ year. A weather balloon the government claimed – I think perhaps, but maybe one the Japanese had sent over carrying a possible biological threat to the US which the Dateline show reported was an ongoing event in the 40’s (termites infected with typhoid aimed at California). As Stephen Shiff stated on Larry King, the extent of military intervention leaves suspicion that this was not _just_ a weather balloon.
Russians were aiding Unit 731 also. In ‘The FBI’ (Kessler) it is noted that the Russians were in the habit of sending spy balloons over the US (made of material other than that used for normal weather balloons).
Perhaps the symbols identified on ‘wreckage of the craft’ were highly unusual to a farmer from the 40’s.
I am sure Russian and Japanese were not languages every good old down-to-earth American farmer could identify.
Read the rest of this archived post online at <http://virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2005/jun/m21-012.shtml>
Here are a couple of links to online references for the special from NBC Dateline “Factory of Death: Unit 731” from August 15, 1995:
The Other Holocaust : Nanjing Massacre, Sex Slaves, Opium, WMD …
Japanese Dr. Kanisawa testified in NBC Dateline “Factory of Death: Unit 731” in Aug … training leader of Unit 731, Tomobuchi testified in NBC Dateline Aug. …
Biochemical Warfare-Unit 731
(Information adopted from NBC Dateline “Factory of Death: Unit 731”, August 15, 1995). He described being frozen for twenty four hours and then taken to a …
<http://www.sjwar.org/htm/731-06.html> Archived at <http://web.archive.org/web/20040619010937/http://www.sjwar.org/htm/731-06.html>
Also, here is a web posted “Letter to the Editor” for the Crop Watcher newsletter circa 1994 that mentions the FUGO balloon issue…
The Crop Watcher / Editor: Paul Fuller / Number 21 – 1994
Dear Paul, You mention in CW20 that skeptical UFOlogists have dismissed the “UFO” debris at Roswell as a crashed Fugo balloon from Japan. As far as is known there were 9,300 launches from November 1944 to May 1945, with 300 reaching mainland America. And that one balloon bomb had somehow stayed airborne until July 1947, while a nation-wide surge of flying saucer sightings was occurring. We are led to believe that this bomb detonated, thereby scattering its debris and there was a need to gather all this up and keep it secret.
My contention is that exactly because flying saucers were newsworthy, there existed an opportunity to launch a hoax balloon. (I presume it drifted miles away from population centres for which it was presumably targeted). Two weeks after the Arnold report, on July 8th a press release stated the discovery of a disc that landed on a ranch in Roswell region. This disc, I believe, was the faked discoidal attachment from the balloon (who’s to say how odd that material was made to appear ?). The balloon device was of sufficient interest as to be one example responsible for the disc reports. Several hours later on the same day, General Ramey held up the explanation that it was a high-altitude weather balloon with a radar reflector. It was accepted as the answer because it could, while floating silently high, reflect light in the fashion of a silvery saucer, but not sufficiently convincing to explain how a grounded one could appear as such.
Most people don’t like ambiguity; they take available information and make sense of it. People are liable to believe in unsupported assertions because of a desire to understand and simplify complicated events that follow each other with bewildering speed as did occur on July 8th 1947. Are we not the better off for having the true version of the “facts” ? Regards, Peter Brazinskas, Rochdale, Lancashire.
Finally, by far the earliest online reference I’ve been able to dredge up is this 1991 review linking the 1973 book by Robert C. Mikesh on Japanese bomb attacks and the previously noted article by John Keel’s FATE magazine article on a Roswell Fugo balloon connection.
Japan’s World War II Balloon Bomb Attacks of North America, by Robert C. Mikesh, Smithsonian Institution Press, City of Washington / 1973, 85 pages
From November 1944 to the summer of 1945 Japan in a desperate measure to prevent defeat launched over one thousand “fugo” high altitude balloons equipped with bombs that reached North America. Fortunately they did little damage, killing only six Americans and causing some forest fires. However its significant in that for the first time the U.S. was attacked from the air by weapons from another continent. At the time these attacks were kept secret from the American public to prevent loss of morale and also to prevent spies from learning of the effectiveness or lack thereof of the Japanese weapons.
However eventually the public was told of these weapons and how to avoid triggering off their explosive if one landed nearby.
How does this relate to UFOs? In a recent issue of FATE magazine, journalist John Keel speculated that it was a fugo balloon that crashed at Roswell, New Mexico, not a real “flying saucer.” This has caused UFO and aviation experts to research World War II secret weapons and consider alternatives to the popular theory that an extraterrestrial spacecraft crashed at Roswell. This reviewer doubts that a mere balloon crash two years after the end of the war would merit a massive cover-up. This book has dozens of photos of the Japanese weapons so the reader can judge for himself if this can be reconciled with the evidence collected by Roswell experts.
Until next month … I’ll be reading Nick Redfern’s book.