THE FINAL SECRETS OF ROSWELL'S MEMORY METAL REVEALED
(originally published June 2009)
(This is the last installment in a three-part series on the Battelle-Roswell Connection. Mr. Bragalia's first two articles on memory metal, "Roswell Debris Confirmed as Extraterrestrial" and "Roswell Metal Scientist: The Curious Dr. Cross" may be viewed through the article archive page. Future updates may appear as new information is developed.)
Was the Roswell memory metal secretly "seeded" to industry and to others who could exploit its potential benefits? How was the technology transferred while keeping its origin disguised? Why were bizarre "mind-over-matter" tests performed by government psychics on the shape-recovery metal Nitinol? What is the hidden meaning of the morphing metal? Newly developed information provides the stunning answers to these questions.
Prior articles in this series showed that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base contracted Battelle Memorial Institute, in the months immediately following the Roswell crash in 1947, to conduct studies on memory metal based on a Nickel and Titanium alloy. Similar material that could "remember" its original shape when crumpled or deformed was reported at the Roswell crash debris site. Wright-Patterson – the base that contracted Battelle – was the very base to which the Roswell debris was flown after the crash.
Evidence for the Roswell-Battelle Connection was drawn from:
Footnotes that were located within military studies to a Battelle report on memory metal conducted by the Institute for Wright-Patterson in the late 1940s
The fact that – although footnotes citing these reports have been found – the actual reports are "missing" despite repeated efforts
Supporting information provided by two USAF Generals (including one from Wright-Patterson) on the composition of the debris and the existence of the analysis reports
A senior-level Battelle scientist's confession that he had analyzed the UFO crash debris when employed at the Institute
A historical "backtracking" of the technical literature on the development of shape-recovery metals, leading back to the doors of Battelle and Wright-Patterson, to late 1940s exotic metal reports and to the Roswell Incident
A telling examination of the life of Battelle's Dr. Howard Cross as both metallurgist and UFO researcher, showing his likely involvement in the debris analysis
In this last installment, the memory metal's secret history is further exposed – and the hidden meaning of the metal is finally revealed.
MEMORY METAL'S "OFFICIAL HISTORY" IS FALSE
Europeans in the 1930s conducting metal "bendability" and stress tests noted that some alloys (containing Aluminum) could exhibit a type of "pseudo-elasticity". In fact, since man began forging metal by fire, the "state of metal" was known to be "changeable".
But the Battelle studies conducted for Wright-Patterson in the late 1940s represent something entirely different. They show that this was the very first time that a metal system that had the potential for genuine "shape recovery" was ever examined by the U.S. military. And these studies began immediately following the Roswell crash where
similar material was reported to have been found. Importantly, even after decades, the Nickel-Titanium metal system (Nitinol) remains the material that defines "morphing metal". Any earlier observation of "pseudo-elasticity" was with a metal alloy that did not utilize Nickel and Titanium, and was not developed for that property. Nitinol, however, has gone on to be used in a variety of things from eyeglass frames to aircraft to medical implants.
It is traditionally held that the Nickel-Titanium memory alloy (known as Nitinol) was "discovered by accident" in the early 1960s at the U.S. Naval Ordnance Lab in Maryland, by co-inventors Drs. Wang and Buehler. But the true history of Nitinol is purposely obscured – and it is riddled with holes and discrepancies.
The truth is that the first efforts at examining this remarkable Nickel-Titanium alloy had ocurred years previously, in the late 1940s after the Roswell crash. And the work was performed by someone else: Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio. This work was contracted by Wright -Patterson, the very base where the crash material was taken.
YEAR OF DISCOVERY UNCLEAR
One of the problems immediately evident with the "official" history of Nitinol is the exact year offered for its discovery. Simply "Google" the word Nitinol with any of the following years: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 or 1963. Search results will show links to sites that give each of those years as the "year of discovery" for Nitinol. Even Nitinol's "official" co-inventors Buehler and Wang have offered different years of discovery when at the Naval Lab. Scientific journals and articles found in the popular press give different years. When reached by this author and asked what was the exact year he "co-invented" the material, Wang gave a strange laugh and admitted that he wasn't exactly sure and that he would have to look it up!
DIFFERENT REASONS OFFERED FOR WHY IT WAS DEVELOPED
We are given at least three completely different reasons why Nitinol was being investigated in the first place. In an oral history, Buehler said that he was conducting studies on intermetallic alloys for use in re-entry aeronautic nose cones. But a 1968 Time Magazine article quotes him saying that they were trying to find a non-magnetic, non-corrosive material for use as a tool in mine dismantling. Recently, a former Lawrence Berkeley scientist has related to this author that he examined Nitinol while at that National Lab. He was told that the material was developed when trying to create new submarine ship hull material.
DIFFERENT EXPLANATIONS GIVEN FOR THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING ITS DISCOVERY
In most re-tellings, the explanation for how Nitinol was "accidentally" discovered is something to the effect that "someone was bored and decided to take a match to it to see what heating would do." Nitinol requires energy – like heat – to morph.
But in another recounting, a researcher "RCW Wiley" had placed a Nickel-Titanium alloy into a hardness testing machine and a dent was made. Wiley then decided to warm up the block to see the effect of heat treatment – and to his surprise, the dent vanished. No mention is made if the Titanium was purified to the ultra-high levels required to make Nitinol.
Yet another reason is given in an oral history by Nitinol co-inventor Buehler. He says that for some reason he took a strip of the alloy into a managment meeting at the Naval Lab one day. He was "fidgeting" with the material and an associate named David Muzzey (of whom no record has ever been found) was compelled to take a pipe lighter (in some versions a cigarette match) to the material to see what would happen...and Voila, Nitinol!
Buehler is conflicted and offers two diametrically opposed explanations about the material. He at one time refers to it as a "planned discovery" and yet to another reporter he said that it came about as a result of "serendipity" or an accidental discovery. In an historical retelling late in life, Buehler exclaimed almost metaphysically that he was "drawn" to the alloy. When he struck it, Buehler says "it rang out brilliantly", and he states that the "equiatomic Nickel Titanium was acoustically signalling that it was unusual or unique." Just how he knew that the Titanium must be of nearly 100% purity – or that the temperature, pressure and other dynamics must be precisely in place to create Nitinol, and energy then introduced into the metal is a specific way – is never made clear.
BATTELLE PROVIDED THE U.S. NAVY WITH ROSWELL MEMORY METAL TECHNOLOGY
As described in a previous article, Battelle's Dr. Howard Cross – a metallurgist and secret Project Blue Book UFO researcher – was likely directing the Roswell debris analysis. Cross was "feeding" technical information on specially-processed Titanium (which is required to make Nitinol) as early as 1948. Cross is the author of a technical summary report titled "Titanium Base Alloys". It was presented by him to the Office of Naval Research in December of 1948. The Naval Lab is the very lab where Nitinol was "officially" discovered many years later.
In fact, a research paper from Nitinol's "official" co-inventor, Dr. Wang, gives us confirmation that he was "fed" needed information on the alloy from the early Battelle report on memory metal done after Roswell. In footnote No. 6 in his "On the NiTi (Nitinol) Martensitic Transition, Part 1 1972 Naval Ordnance Laboratory, White Oak, MD", Wang cites the Battelle 1949 "Second Progress Report" on the Nickel-Titanium system authored by Battelle scientists Craighead, Fawn and Eastwood.
This author reached Dr. Wang to ask him some questions about his research. When I eventually brought up the subject of the 1949 Battelle report that he had footnoted in his study on Nitinol, Wang got very "cagey" and appeared to not want to answer. When pressed, he said that "it must have related to a Phase Diagram on Nickel and Titanium." A phase diagram provides information on the "mixability" of metals that is needed to create an alloy. It details the individual metal's "boundaries" when attempting to combine them. Temperature, pressure and other dynamics are measured to determine the successful combination to create an alloy. Such information would absolutely have been required to create the memory metal Nitinol.
When I asked Wang who it was that had provided him with the Battelle report, he would only answer that he got it "from my superior, who may have gotten it from another agency." When I told Wang that this Battelle report was "missing" despite all attempts to locate it, he offered weakly, "Well, I wouldn't know anything about that." When I asked if Wang knew one of the Battelle report scientists (Craighead), Wang admitted, "I knew of Craighead."
I then "eased into" telling the elderly scientist that his Nitinol seemed very much like the morphing metal that was reported by many people to have been recovered from the crash of an unidentified object at Roswell, NM in 1947. The scientist did not reply to me that he he was unfamiliar with the Roswell crash, or that he did not know to which event I was referring. Nor did he say that the idea of such a scenario was ridiculous or misguided. Instead, Wang was stunned silent. After a long pause he said, "I don't have any comment on that." With nothing to lose, I then quickly outlined my findings on the Battelle-Roswell connection. He only reiterated, "I told you that I am not going to discuss that."
KEEPING THE SECRET WHILE TRANSFERRING THE TECHNOLOGY
KEEP THEM IN THE DARK
The key to keeping the origin of such a technology secret is "compartmentalization". You only give out pieces or parts – never the whole thing. And sometimes you provide only the technical information that was gained by others on the parts – not the parts themselves. You release these to different places. This is not done at once, but rather over periods of time. You give it to those holding high-security clearance, and then only to those with a "Need to Know". But most importantly, you never tell any of them the "backstory" about where it came from. "Blend" this technology so that it does not
appear to be anything other than part of existing areas of research. Over the passage of decades, the truth remains even further and more easily buried. It is in this way that scientists today working on shape-recovery alloys are prevented from realizing the hidden history of their work. It is likely that even the Naval Lab's "official" inventors of Nitinol did not know the "Roswell impetus" of their research (though they may well have wondered).
A report that bluntly and openly states "this is material that was recovered at Roswell" will never be found. It is only through carefully reviewing the "history of science" many decades later that these connections about the Roswell metal's history would be made. Only obscure footnotes found buried in military studies – coupled with sleuth work – would lead to the truth about the study of the Roswell metal.
It now appears that much of the work on the Roswell debris was skillfully and conveniently "folded into" military contracted work on "traditional" aeronautical or naval metals engineering projects of the time. It was the perfect guise. Nobody would put "two and two" together that this advanced materials work – actually inspired by Roswell – was anything "special". It would be seen as just "part of the program". Selectively "farming out" portions of this work assured that nobody would make any "connections". The "paper trail" on the study of the material could also be confused as "normal military work" that they were "already conducting".
MOVING THE METAL TO NASA AND INTO SPACE
One of the ultimate goals of the work on the memory metal was to return it to Outer Space. It came from a spacecraft at Roswell – and it would ultimately be used for this very purpose by us, through NASA.
This is confirmed by:
Nitinol's "official" co-inventor William Buehler tellingly states in an oral history that after his "discovery", it was NASA that "independently retained Battelle" to "conduct further "characterization studies" on Nitinol. Buehler reveals two things as an elderly man recollecting his past: Battelle was still involved in directing the study of the material in the 1960s, and that it was NASA that was "pulling the strings" about the direction of research on the material.
An individual who was contracted by the U.S. Naval Lab to perform "mental influence" tests to attempt to bend Nitinol with the mind's energy said that NASA was there. He told me in a recent interview that "People in plainclothes from NASA were present at all times during these tests. I couldn't understand why." Why would NASA be at the US Naval Lab overseeing psychic tests on a metal? See this article's next section for details on these bizarre Mind-Over-Matter tests conducted on Nitinol.
NASA sought to develop shape-recovery material for use in their own spacecraft. A "self-healing" material, or a material that can "remember" itself for future function would be very valuable. If the metal could morph, the shape of the craft could be changed to best suit the environment it is traversing. If the metal responds to direction given by the mind's energy, new control and navigation systems could be developed. This would be the ultimate in Mind-Machine interface.
An extraordinarily telling video that can now be viewed online proves that NASA is perfecting such shape-recovery metals as "intelligent," adaptive materials of construction for spacecraft. This short video can be seen by "Googling" the phrase (in quotes) "NASA Morphing Metal". Several search results that appear will link to sites that show this technology-transfer film from NASA's Center for Excellence in Materials. The YouTube version is here:
This video allows you to visually grasp just how amazing memory material can be: It can absorb the impact of a crash, like at Roswell. It can function as a novel actuator. It can even be used to create advanced craft with "flappable" or adaptable wings! And a craft that appears small when seen from the outside – once entered – can then appear very large when inside. Actuators and panels made of memory metal can create this effect by expanding the interior walls and floors and extending the craft's frame. Interestingly, this very effect has been reported by some who claim to have entered "flying saucers".
MIND, MATTER AND MORPHING
This unique metal combination holds a significance so special that it was tested by the U.S. Government to see if it could be altered by the human mind! This is revealed in a decades-old technical summary report found completed by the U.S. Naval Lab. In the early 1970s, the U.S. government tested Nitinol to see if it could "morph" using only the mind's energy. Could "psychokinesis" affect this shape-recovery material? Would an "intelligent metal" like Nitinol respond to the energy generated by the intelligent mind?
Physical scientist Eldon Byrd was employed by the U.S. Naval Lab and other government agencies for decades. In his paper "Influence on Metal Alloy Nitinol" (1973 Naval Surface Weapons Center, White Oak Laboratory, Silver Spring, MD), Byrd outlines tests that were performed that year using "psychics" to try to change the
hardness of the material, deform it in some distinct way, or to alter its magnetic properties. The tests were in part successful. A permanent "knot" was induced in the material preventing its famous "snap back". Within this knotted section, unusual microscopic changes in the material's structure were observed. The introduction of energy is required to create a morphing change in the metal. Typically this "introduced energy" is heat. But it appeared that the mind's "energy" could also create the morph.
Incredibly, it was none other than Dr. Fred Wang, Nitinol's "official" co-inventor, who conducted these Mind-Over-Memory Metal tests, according to Wang's colleague Eldon Byrd! As mentioned earlier, it is also this very Dr. Wang who cites by footnote the (now missing) 1949 Battelle report on Nickel and Titanium in one of his own Nitinol studies! The scientist who conducted psychic influence tests on the material is the same scientist who had access to the "missing" late 1940s Battelle reports on memory metal likely inspired by the Roswell crash debris!
Some years ago in talking to skeptic Martin Gardner, Wang denied being present at the Naval Lab when these strange tests were conducted. But Eldon Byrd begs to differ. In a 2001 interview, Byrd says that the scientist is lying. Byrd charges that Wang "yielded to the pressure put on him" and adds "he did the tests. I had the results in the form of photos and X-rays." When I asked Wang what he thought of Byrd's assertion, Wang this time did not deny his presence at the tests but instead replied, "Byrd says a lot of things."
THE HIDDEN MEANING OF MEMORY METAL
Morphing metal may well be the stuff from which today's often-seen "morphing UFOs" are made. Such materials of construction may help to explain the "shape-shifting" craft. And it is likely that similar material accounts for some of the debris that was found at the crash at Roswell.
But there is an even deeper meaning to memory metal. It is found within the Morph. It represents "the potential for change". Such material reflects the value of adaptation. Without it, life ceases. The best material adapts itself to best suit its environment. The shape-memory qualities of the Roswell debris speak to the metal's "remembrance" of a malleable and ever-changing Universe. It reveals the Universe as Infinite Potential. And this Change is created by the unique and eternal interplay of Matter, Energy and Mind.