| Virtually everyone has been told
that the government illegally destroyed documents referring to Roswell.
But, this is not what the GAO said! Further, there is nothing
about illegal destruction of documents in the GAO report!
search of government records was complicated by the fact that some
records we wanted to review were missing and there was not always an
explanation. Further, the records management regulations for the
retention and disposition of records were unclear or changing during the
period we reviewed."
So, the retention and disposition of records were unclear or changing
during the period we reviewed.
"The Center's Chief Archivist stated that from his personal
experience, many of the Air Force organizational records covering this
time period were destroyed without entering a citation for the governing
disposition authority. Our review of records control forms showing the
destruction of other records-including outgoing RAAF messages for 1950
-- supports the Chief Archivist's viewpoint."
So, the regulations were unclear or changing at this time, according to
the GAO and the actions regarding a small portion of the records were
not unusual! The GAO didn't even mention the destruction of the
documents in their first draft report because they didn't think that the
documents were important since all of the incoming documents at the 8th
AF HQ and AF HQ were .
However, on June 14, 1995, Congressman Schiff and two of his staffers
met with the GAO to discuss the draft report. Schiff was unhappy that
they didn't discuss the destroyed documents and asked them to go back
and re-look at it. Guess what? The GAO, who get their money from
congress, suddenly decided that the matter was sufficiently important to
put into the second draft of the report, and they stated it strongly
that the documents were permanent documents and shouldn't have been
The GAO made a mistake. It sent a draft to Mr. W. G. Seibert, the
chief of the Appraisal and Dispositions section at the NPRC and
archivist there and knowledgeable on this subject. Seibert told the GAO
that they were totally incorrect!
"A draft of this report was provided to DoD for comment....The
Chief Archivist, National Personnel Records Center offered several
comments clarifying matters dealing with records management. These
comments have been incorporated into the final report where appropriate."
And, what did Mr. Seibert inform the GAO in writing?
That regulations in existence at the time the records were apparently
destroyed clearly state that records "accumulated at or below wing
level will be scheduled as one item and destroyed after two
years.... It is clear from the forgoing that record management
officials, if acting in accordance with agency regulations then in
force, should have destroyed the records in question rather
than transfer them to St. Louis."
(Seibert's emphasis in letter to the GAO)
So the documents should have been destroyed,
and the only fault that anyone can find with the AF is that they didn't
destroy all the documents as they were supposed to have done according
to the regulations!
Seibert's statements unfortunately didn't get put into the GAO report!
And Schiff didn't use the final GAO document to write his press release
but used the totally incorrect 2nd draft of the report:
"It is my understanding that these outgoing messages were permanent
records, which should never have been destroyed." It seems probable that
the GAO didn't put Seibert's comments into the document to avoid making
the congressman look bad.
What about the GAO's statement frequently quoted by UFO popular authors
that: "We could not locate any documentation indicating that records of
the 1395th Military Police Company (Aviation) were ever retired to The
National Personnel Records Center or its predecessor depositories."
Boy, that really sounds bad!
Until you realize that the quote is taken totally out of context!
What isn't shown by the conspiracy buffs is: "Document disposition forms
obtained from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis,
Missouri, indicate that in 1953, the Walker Air Force Base (formerly
RAAF) records officer transferred to the Army's Kansas City records
depository the HISTORIES of units stationed at Walker Air Force Base.
These HISTORIES included the 509th Bomb Group and RAAF for February 1947
through October 1947; the 1st Air Transport Unit for July 1946 through
June 1947; and the 427th Army Air Force Base Unit for January 1946 to
February 1947. We could not locate any documentation indicating that
records of the 1395th Military Police Company (Aviation) were ever
retired to The National Personnel Records Center or its predecessor
The July 1947 HISTORY for the 509th Bomb Group and RAAF stated that the
RAAF public information office "was kept quite busy ... answering
inquiries on the `flying disc,' which was reported to be in [the]
possession of the 509th Bomb Group. The object turned out to be a radar
tracking balloon." By his signature, The RAAF's commanding officer
certified that the report represented a complete and accurate account of
RAAF activities in July 1947. (Excerpts from the report are contained in
app. I.) In addition to unit HISTORY reports, ..." (Emphasis added)
So, the GAO is clearly referring to unit histories in this section!
And, these units were way below wing level!