Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Roswell Memory Metal Saga: Before The Roswell-Nitinol Controversy, There Was…The Roswell-Nitinol Controversy! by Nick Redfern


As regular readers of The UFO Iconoclast(s) will be acutely aware, for some time now researcher Tony Bragalia has been digging deep into the very intriguing, reported links between (A) the events outside of Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947; (B) the recovery of so-called “memory-metal” from the crash-site on the Foster Ranch; and (C) the subsequent development by the United States of its very own equivalent to the curious debris.

The collective data, revelations and interviews with a whole variety of informed sources secured by Tony are made more notable by the fact that a good argument can be made that – if aliens really did crash in New Mexico on that long-gone day – it was the secret analysis and study of the anomalous debris at Roswell that allowed the US to take the lead in perfecting its very own version(s) of the recovered material.

In his August 10, 2010 post, titled Roswell, Battelle & Memory Metal Tony wrote the following:

“Some of the Roswell crash material was reported by several credible witnesses to have had the ability to ‘morph’ or change back to its original shape (shape recovery). This ‘intelligent metal’ material is today known as Shape Memory Alloy. The best example of this is a material is comprised of Titanium and Nickel and is called ‘Nitinol.’ The concept of engineered shape recovery is a thoroughly ‘post-Roswell’ concept. All major work in creating products with ‘material memory’ was performed post-Roswell. And all of this work was initially directed by the US Government. Shape Memory Alloy is distinctly ‘Roswellian’ and mimics in many respects some of the debris at Roswell.”

And Tony continues to dig deep into the issue of how the Roswell affair may have impacted upon – or directly influenced – the development of Shape Memory Alloys such as Nitinol.


It’s worth noting, however, that the Roswell-Nitinol connection is not a new one. There is another angle to the story that still links the United States’ early research into “memory-metal” and Nitinol with the crashed UFO controversy – but from a very different perspective. It is a story that I first heard in 2003 and which was published in 2005, in my book Body Snatchers in the Desert.


One of the people I interviewed for the book was an elderly man I dubbed “the Colonel,” who had a long background within US Intelligence, and particularly so with the Defense Intelligence Agency. The Colonel had a lot to say on Roswell – none of which had anything at all to do with literal crashed UFOs and aliens, but that had everything to do with the idea that the tales of wrecked flying saucers, the corpses of ETs, Mogul balloons, and weather balloons were all deliberately introduced to hide a darker secret – one focused upon high-altitude balloon-based experiments using human guinea-pigs.


Interestingly, one of the things the Colonel wanted to speak to me about was the Nitinol connection to Roswell. And, before anyone claims that I’m merely jumping on the bandwagon, I’m most assuredly not. As I mentioned, the following story was published by me in Body Snatchers 6 years ago, and was based upon a now-8-years-old interview.

According to the Colonel, in the early 1960s – possibly around Christmas of 1962, the Colonel thought, but was admittedly not entirely certain - it was suspected that a Soviet spy known to be operating in Washington, D.C., was receiving classified data (of a non-UFO nature, I should stress) from someone allied to the U.S. Army’s Foreign Technology Division (FTD). A plan was hatched to reveal bogus information to the traitor that was very specific, and that would be easily traced back to the Soviet contact when it was duly passed on - thus identifying the traitor, too.

The concocted story, stated the Colonel, was that, in 1961, the FTD had got its hands on a quantity of strange, metallic debris from a crashed UFO that was being analyzed under cover of the strictest security. This story was duly, and carefully, leaked to the suspected Soviet sympathizer and, apparently, the ruse worked: the US traitor forwarded the information on to his Russian handler and arrests were quickly and quietly made, and without any real secrets having been compromised.

But, said the Colonel, officialdom added to the ruse by exposing the traitor to a very limited amount of research into Nitinol – to try and emphasize in the traitor’s mind, and ultimately in the mind of his Soviet handler, that this was indeed extraterrestrial material of a definitively unique, “memory-metal” nature.


To expose such groundbreaking material to a source that was potentially hostile to the US, said the Colonel – even under strictly controlled and monitored circumstances - was deemed an extremely risky and fraught move. He said, however, that the dicey maneuver worked, and the traitor in the FTD came to believe the material to which he had been exposed really was extraterrestrial – rather than the result of the groundbreaking work of US scientists.

Interestingly, the Colonel added that this led to rumors in circulation within elements of officialdom that the Army’s FTD had got its hands on crashed UFO materials of a memory-metal nature.

Potentially of relevance to this issue is that in 1997 one of the most controversial UFO books of all time surfaced: The Day After Roswell, co-written by Lt. Col. Philip J. Corso and UFO Magazine’s Bill Birnes. Corso just happened to be a prime-mover within the Army’s FTD in the early 1960s. According to Corso, he had hands-on access while with the FTD to certain, recovered materials from the Roswell crash of 1947 – materials that Corso asserted until his dying day were extra-terrestrial in origin.

The Colonel, however, told me he believed that, wittingly or unwittingly, Corso’s story could be traced back to the ruse laid down to smoke out the Soviets’ informant. How this all relates to the Corso story is not fully clear; but it is an intriguing slant on the whole controversy. And it should be noted that it was during this precise time period in which Nitinol came to the fore - 1961-1962 - that Corso served with the FTD, and when the Soviet spy saga was allegedly unfolding.

How this all ties in with Tony Bragalia’s research is far from clear either. But, to me, there are several issues of importance and relevance to this whole puzzle.

With respect to the Colonel’s story, it seems to me there are only two major possibilities: the first is that he was telling the truth, and that there really was a Roswell-Nitinol connection – but it was a connection borne out of a secret operation based around deception, psychological warfare, espionage and concocted tales positing a Roswell-UFO-Nitinol link to smoke-out a communist sympathizer and his Soviet ally.

The other possibility is that the Colonel was being utterly deceptive when he spoke with me, and that he secretly suspected one day someone would finally uncover a real ET angle to the Roswell-Nitinol story – and the complex chain of events, too – that Tony is currently investigating. And, as a result, the Colonel attempted to try and deflect such Nitinol research by placing the story in a wholly down-to-earth context, rather than one involving literal aliens and a crashed UFO.

I have no idea which scenario is correct – and maybe you have other ideas. But, I will say this: the fact that a Roswell-Nitinol story was given to me 8 years ago, and was published half-a-decade ago by me, leads me to believe that there most assuredly is a Roswell-Nitinol link to be uncovered, analyzed and, finally, understood.


Whether or not that link will ultimately lead us down a path towards a crashed UFO and secret back-engineering of the unusual debris found in the desert of New Mexico nearly 64 years ago, or in the direction of a bizarre effort to smoke-out Soviet spies, remains to be seen – in my view, at least!