Green Fireballs Over Los Alamos
The New Mexico Missile Crisis
The 1946 "Ghost Rocket" episode in Sweden had provoked a great deal of speculation in the technical intelligence organizations of Britain and the US. Was it possible that the Soviets had exploited German rocket technology so quickly?
When the initial wave of "flying saucer" sightings in the US began in late spring 1947, some parallels with the Ghost Rocket events were quickly noted. As early as July 13, well-known investigative reporters Joseph and Stewart Alsop published an extraordinary column in the Washington Post claiming that "it was the [German-designed] A-9 rocket, it is now known, which caused the [Ghost Rocket] furore in Sweden some months ago." Relatives of the Roosevelt family, the Alsops had stellar contacts in government - the likes of James Forrestal, George Kennan, Dean Acheson and numerous other Washington VIPs were both friends and information sources. Stewart had parachuted into occupied France in 1944 as a "Jedburgh" anti-Nazi saboteur for the OSS. Hard-wired as the Alsops were into Washington's information circuitry, clearly their article was one of the most significant leaks from the US establishment concerning the Ghost Rockets, if not the 1947 saucer flap.
The Alsops claimed that
This notion of "disintegrating rockets" was central to the Ghost Rocket phenomenon and would become increasingly important in US thinking concerning similar events in the US. The basis for the Alsops' fascinating but highly improbable claim is unknown, but it must have originated with their Washington sources.
"Flying saucers," the Alsops argued, were proof of the need for vast expenditures on an air defense system for the US (even if such disc-shaped mystery objects did not exist) because they made crystal clear the fact that the Pentagon was unable to monitor the nation's skies with a thoroughness adequate to prevent surprise attack by the kinds of advanced weapons that were sure to appear in the near future.
These fears did not die out. The steady stream of Ghost Rocket-like reports from military witnesses in the US and overseas led to a growing sense among some circles in the military and engineering sectors that there definitely was something to the stories of missile-like craft.
Beginning in December, 1948, Ghost Rocket-like luminous phenomena began to be seen in New Mexico and near other sensitive locations. The response of certain US security organizations followed much the same pattern that had been established during the events in Scandanavia. Convinced that the phenomena were man-made and probably of Soviet origin, some intelligence organizations and technical personnel launched an ad-hoc recovery effort in an attempt to prove that the US was being overflown by foreign projectiles.
A chronology of the crucial Green Fireball events of late 1948 and early 1949 begins below.