How Much of “99 White Balloons” is True?

February’s edition of The Tomorrow News Network is posted.  This month, time traveling journalist Talie Tappler goes back to July 4th, 1947, the day a spaceship crashed near Roswell, New Mexico.  Turns out the weather balloon story wasn’t a complete lie.  Click here to read “99 White Balloons.”

So how much of “99 White Balloons” is true?  Probably not much.  I’ve never done a historical piece before, and in the course of my research on Roswell… well… let’s just say I’ve been to some pretty strange places on the Internet lately.

However, there are a few somewhat credible sources on Roswell.  In 1995, Congressman Steve Schiff of New Mexico launched an investigation into what really happened and forced the release of many documents concerning the recovery of what was described as a “flying disk.”

Two important terms uncovered in Congressman Schiff’s investigation were “Project Mogul” and “Majestic Twelve,” both of which appear in “99 White Balloons.”  The meaning of these terms—in fact, the authenticity of their existence—is open to debate.

According to the government, Project Mogul was a top secret experiment in the late 1940’s which used weather balloons to listen for the sound of Russian nuclear tests.  Scientists supposedly believed sound waves might become trapped in the upper atmosphere the way they sometimes become trapped in thermal layers of the deep ocean.  We now know that is not true.  In fact, the idea is a little silly when you think about it (air in the upper atmosphere is too thin to transmit sound well), which is why conspiracy theorists say Project Mogul was invented after the fact to cover up the truth about the UFO crash.

The Majestic Twelve (sometimes referred to as MJ 12) is an even more mysterious term, and people have interpreted it in many different ways.  In “99 White Balloons,” I have chosen to present it as a group of twelve experts on extra terrestrial affairs who arrive at Roswell Army Air Field shortly after the crash.  They serve as the stereotypical men in black characters.

The rest of my research focused on the US military of the late 1940’s.  1947 was the year the Army Air Force transitioned into the modern Air Force.  Much of Roswell Army Air Field, the base where the UFO wreckage was supposedly taken, is still there.  It was renamed Walker Air Force Base and remained in use until 1967.  It is now an industrial airport.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of UFO conspiracy theories.  I’m a science enthusiast, and very few UFO sightings come with hard, scientific evidence; however, I know people who say they’ve seen spaceships in the sky and are pretty adamant about it.  Whether any of these stories are true or not, I’ve enjoyed studying them and writing about them.  I hope you’ll enjoy reading my interpretation of the Roswell Incident over at

2 thoughts on “How Much of “99 White Balloons” is True?

  1. I have to admit UFO’s are not my field of expertise either. Ever heard of Albert Bender? He once claimed to have discovered the secret behind ufo’s. Except ‘the silencers’ known as the men in black got to him.

    Years ago I wrote a little blurb titled Men in Black Mystery which you might like.

    I love your blog btw, how about we exchange blog links?


    1. I had not heard of Albert Bender before, but it sounds like he has a very interesting story to tell. Thanks for sharing your link.

      I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and I’d be happy to get in contact with you. I’ve added your blog to my blogroll.


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