Case 3

South Pacific

Winter 1957

Investigators: Hauser Research and Engineering Co.

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Material which reportedly had dropped from a spaceship was found to be radar chaff dipoles manufactured by Revere Copper and Brass, Inc., Brooklyn, N. Y.


The Colorado Project received a sample of metallic material, in the form of short pieces of narrow ribbon which was asserted to be material from a spaceship. A nested pile of the material reportedly was found in the front of the home of the witnesses who had observed "two space ships" overhead 24 hr. previously.

The sample was not radioactive when received by the Project, but was said to have been highly radioactive when it fell in the Winter of 1957. The sample was accompanied by an analytical report from a laboratory near the area of the sighting. This report stated that the composition of the material differed from material used as radar "chaff," although aluminum was the main constituent. Investigation:

The material was sent to the Hauser Research and Engineering Company, Boulder, Col., for analysis and identification. Spectrographic analyses indicated a composition similar to that of radar "chaff," i.e.: aluminum foil coated with lead powder. The Hauser Company sent small samples of this material to major manufacturers of radar "chaff." Among their responses was the following, from Mr. V. B. Lane, Director of Technical Research, Foil Division, Revere Copper and Brass, Inc.


The chaff dipoles sent to us in your letter of 21 June 1967 were manufactured by this company.

The material is 1145 alloy hard aluminum foil with both a slip and a stripe coating applied to the surface of the foil. The stripe coating consists of lead powder suspended in Kerstyn lacquer. The slip coating is basically atomized Acruanx C suspended in a lacquer. Identification is possible since the slip coating was color coded. (red for Revere and, I believe, blue for Reynolds and green for Anaconda).

Generally speaking, the slip coat was last used in the fabrication of chaff units RR 39/AL and RR 44/AL. Your sample dipoles (tuned to S-band) could have come from either unit. These units were last produced in 1955-56 although a considerable supply was reworked in 1961-63. Since that time occasional small lots have been produced for test purposes. It is possible that some of this material was dropped by aircraft.

However, associating the chaff with a reported sighting of a UFO leads us to suspect another source. The chaff in question has been and is being used as a payload for sounding rockets and balloons. These devices are used to carry the chaff payload up to high altitudes and then the material is released for radar tracking. In some balloon devices, the chaff dipoles are supposed to remain within the balloon but occasionally they fall free.

Quite a few agencies employ these devices among them Sandia Corp., Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dewey-Almy Chemical Corp., Cambridge, Mass. Perhaps they


can associate a sounding device launch with the time of your reported sighting.

We can assure you, however, that the chaff in question was manufactured in Brooklyn, New York, USA and not in some remote corner of the galaxy.


The material consisted of radar chaff dipoles manufactured by Revere Copper and Brass, Inc.