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The Twining Memo – did a 1947 letter from US General who visited Roswell confirms UFOs are real?

General Nathan Farragut Twining

A general notes that the UFO phenomena is real – but no wreckage was found at Roswell

UFOlogists believe one of the best pieces of evidence for the existence of UFOs and the United States’ cover-up of their presence is a memo from a top United States General dated September 23, 1947, known as the Twining Memo. The memo was uncovered by UFO researcher Stanton Friedman “in a classified box in a classified vault”. Its authenticity is rarely debated.

Brigadier General George Francis Schulgen

The memo was written about two months after the Roswell incident in response to a request from an Air Force general (A-2) to provide information on the recent spate of “flying saucer sightings”. General Nathan Twining, head of the U.S. Air Material Command (AMC) wrote the classified letter to Air Force General George Schulgen. The letter explicitly says that UFOs are a real unexplained phenomenon.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Twining memo is the implication that no UFO wreckage has been found, a statement that researchers find notable because Twining would have likely been in a position to know. Even odder, official documentation shows that Twining made an emergency trip to Roswell on July 7, 1947, the day that Roswell farmer Mac Brazel took Jesse Marcel to see the Roswell UFO crash debris field. According to Stanton Friedman:

“I was able to prove that Twining went to New Mexico on July 7 and left on July 11, 1947. I had managed to obtain flight logs for him and his pilot William McVey. I met with the latter in the DC area. Twining’s daughter had given me his name and location. Twining’s log had been in a box that had finally been declassified for me at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.”

He wrote:

“On Monday, July 7, Lt. Gen. Nathan Twining, commander of the Air Materiel Command (AMC), flew unexpectedly to Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, then made a side trip to Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque. He remained in the area until July 11, although reporters initially had been told that Twining was “probably in Washington, D.C. … But Twining was also scheduled for a trip to Boeing at this time, which he had to cancel. In a July 17 letter to a Boeing executive, Twining referred to a “very important sudden matter that developed here.”

So, we have two pieces of interesting evidence here. (1) General Twining quickly flew to Roswell the day of the crash but (2) he tells another general that no UFO wreckage was found (and presumably no alien bodies either).

Additional information

Complete text (transcript) of the Twining Memo

You can read the complete translated text of the Twining Memo below.

SUBJECT: AMC Opinion Concerning “Flying Discs”

TO: Commanding General

Army Air Force

Washington 25, D.C.

ATTENTION: Brig. General George Schulgen


1. As requested by AC/AS-2 there is presented below the considered opinion of this command concerning the so-called “Flying Discs.” This opinion is based on interrogation report data furnished by AC/AS-2 and preliminary studies by personnel of T-2 and Aircraft Laboratory, Engineering Division T-3. This opinion was arrived at in a conference between personnel from the Air Institute of Technology, Intelligence T-2, Office, Chief of Engineering Division, and the Aircraft, Power Plant and Propeller Laboratories of Engineering Division T-3.

2. It is the opinion that:

a. The phenomenon is something real and not visionary or fictitious.

b. There are objects probably approximating the shape of a disc, of such appreciable size as to appear to be as large as man-made aircraft.

c. There is a possibility that some of the incidents may be caused by natural phenomena, such as meteors.

d. The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and motion which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically or remotely.

e. The apparent common description is as follows:-

(1) Metallic or light reflecting surface.

(2) Absence of trail, except in a few instances where the object apparently was operating under high performance conditions.

(3) Circular or elliptical in shape, flat on bottom and domed on top.

(4) Several reports of well kept formation flights varying from three to nine objects.

(5) Normally no associated sound, except in three instances a substantial rumbling roar was noted.

(6) Level flight speeds normally above 300 knots are estimated.

f. It is possible within the present U.S. knowledge — provided extensive detailed development is undertaken — to construct a piloted aircraft which has the general description of the object in sub- paragraph (e) above which would be capable of an approximate range of 7000 miles at subsonic speeds.

g. Any development in this country along the lines indicated would be extremely expensive, time consuming and at the considerable expense of current projects and therefore, if directed, should be set up independently of existing projects.

h. Due consideration must be given the following:-

(1) The possibility that these objects are of domestic origin – the product of some high security project not known to AC/AS-2 or this Command.

(2) The lack of physical evidence in the shape of crash recovered exhibits which would undeniably prove the existence of these subjects.

(3) The possibility that some foreign nation has a form of propulsion possibly nuclear, which is outside of our domestic knowledge.

3. It is recommended that:-

a. Headquarters, Army Air Forces issue a directive assigning a priority, security classification and Code name for a detailed study of this matter to include the preparation of complete sets of all available and pertinent data which will then be made available to the Army, Navy, Atomic Energy Commission, JRDB, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Group, NACA, and the RAND and NEPA projects for comments and recommendations, with a preliminary report to be forwarded within 15 days of receipt of the data and a detailed report thereafter every 30 days as the investigation develops. A complete interchange of data should be affected.

4. Awaiting a specific directive AMC will continue the investigation within its current resources in order to more closely define the nature of the phenomenon. Detailed Essential Elements of Information will be formulated immediately for transmittal thru channels.

Scanned copy of Twining Memo

Below is a scanned copy of the original declassified Twining Memo.

The McCoy Memo?

Some believe that the letter may have been written by Colonel Howard McCoy and approved by Twining prior to adding his signature. This is common practice in the Air Force. Under normal procedures, McCoy or someone in T-2 would have prepared a draft copy of the letter.  All staff sections would have reviewed it for comments and corrections which would then be given to General Twining for his comments and corrections.  Finally, a version would be typed up for signature.

Official US Air Force bio for General Nathan F. Twining

Below is the official US Air Force biography for General Nathan F. Twining. Note that he was eventually nominated to chair the US Joints Chief of Staff.

General Nathan Farragut Twining is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he serves as the senior military adviser to the president, the National Security Council and the secretary of defense.

The general was born in Monroe, Wis., in 1897. He began his active service in June 1916, with Company H of the Third Oregon Infantry (National Guard) and served as a corporal on Mexican border duty until September. In March 1917, he was recalled to active duty as a sergeant in the same organization and was promoted to first sergeant the following month. In May 1917, he received an appointment through the Oregon National Guard and entered the United States Military Academy. He graduated in November 1918, as a second lieutenant of Infantry and remained assigned to the Academy as an officer cadet until June 1919.

In July 1919, he joined the American Forces in Germany as a military ground observer and toured Belgian, French and Italian battlefields. He entered the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga., in September 1919, graduated the following June, and was assigned to the 29th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning. In February 1922, he was assigned as aide to Brig. Gen. B.A. Poore and served with him at Camp Travis, Texas; Fort Logan, Colo.; and Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

His air training began in August 1923, when he entered Primary Flying School at Brooks Field, Texas. He graduated from Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, Texas, in September 1924, and then returned to Brooks Field, Texas, as an instructor. On Nov. 16, 1926, he was transferred to the Air Service and the following September he was reassigned to March Field, Calif., where he served as a flying instructor. In February 1929, he joined the 18th Pursuit Group at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Where he served successively as adjutant, personnel officer, headquarters detachment commander and commander officer of the 26th Attack Squadron.

General Twining was ordered to Fort Crockett, Texas, in March 1932, and was assigned to the Third Attack Group as a squadron commander; that August he joined the 90th Attack Squadron and a month later, the 60th Service Squadron at the same base. He became engineering officer for the Central Zone (U.S. Army Air Mail Service) in Chicago, in February 1934, and then returned to Fort Crockett in June, where he became adjutant to the Third Attack Group. In addition to other duties, he coached the post football team for two years at Fort Crockett. In March 1935, he became assistant operations officer of the Third Wing at Barksdale Field, La. In August, he entered the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., and completed the course a year later. In August 1936, he entered the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and graduated the following June.

He was named Air Corps technical supervisor at San Antonio Air Depot, Duncan Field, Texas, in July 1937. In August 1940, he was reassigned to the Office of the Chief of Air Corps in Washington, D.C., as assistant chief of the Inspection Division. Three months later, he became chief of the Technical Inspection Section in the same office. He joined the Operations Division in December 1941, was named assistant executive in the Office of Chief of Air Corps in February 1942, and three months later was appointed director of War Organization and Movements in that office.

General Twining was sent to the South Pacific as chief of staff to Maj. Gen. M.F. Harmon, commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area in July 1942, and was named commanding general of the 13th Air Force the following January. On July 25, 1943, he was appointed commander, Aircraft, Solomon Islands and placed in tactical control of all Army, Navy, Marine and Allied Air Forces in the South Pacific, one of the first Joint Air Commands in U.S. history.

He assumed command of the 15th Air Force in Italy in November 1943, and two months later, in addition to his other duties, became commander of the Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Forces. On Aug. 2, 1945, he was appointed commander of the 20th Air Force in the Pacific; a few days later, his command dropped the first atomic bomb at Hiroshima. He retained this command until the end of the war.

In October 1945, General Twining moved to Continental Air Force Headquarters at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C.; two months later he was appointed commanding general of the Air Materiel Command at Wright Field, Ohio. He remained there until Oct. 1, 1947, when he became commanding general of the Alaskan Department; three weeks later he was appointed commander in chief of the Alaskan Command at Fort Richardson.

He returned to Washington in July 1950, as deputy chief of staff for personnel, which position he held until Oct. 10, 1950, when he was appointed vice chief of staff of the Air Force. He was named chief of staff of the Air Force June 30, 1953.

On March 26, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated General Twining to succeed Admiral Radford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, effective Aug. 15, 1957. The nomination was approved and from July 1 to Aug. 15, he served as special assistant to Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson. On Aug. 15, 1957, General Twining was formally sworn in as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President Eisenhower in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

Image Credits

In-Article Image Credits

Brigadier General George Francis Schulgen via US Air Force with usage type - Public Domain
General Nathan Farragut Twining via Altered Dimensions with usage type - Public Domain

Featured Image Credit

General Nathan Farragut Twining via Altered Dimensions with usage type - Public Domain


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