This evening we’re going to explore the story… That almost everyone gets wrong. There are… hundreds of feature-length documentaries on the subject… And all of them are a waste of your time. Because this is the true story… of ‘The Roswell Incident’. The story begins before the crash in 1947. It begins with a scientist… Professor Maurice Ewing. Who is helping the U.S. military develop new weapons and tools in the ‘Second World War’. So he discovers one thing… and he invents another. His specialization is in oceanography. Important to the military because they won’t be able to detect submarines and local waters… and develop more sophisticated versions of their own. The discovery is… ‘The Sound Channel’. I’ll explain why this is important, just stay with me. It turns out… that there’s this spot at about a thousand feet deep in the ocean. With the salinity, temperature, and density of the water prevents sound waves from being able to easily carry either up or down. So instead, they travel much further horizontally without dissipating. Why is this important of interesting? Well… It means that large disturbances underwater at this precise depth, can be heard… for thousands of miles away… if using the right equipment. So Maurice starts thinking about the practical applications. And he comes up, with an invention. He calls it… a ‘SOFAR Sphere’. Here’s an example of how it works. Lets say you’re a pilot fighting the Japanese over the Pacific Ocean. You’re momentarily distracted, and your plane goes down Well… Now you’re bobbing around in the middle of the ocean… and nobody knows where you are. W H A T D O ? Well… You reach into your survival kit… and drop a ‘SOFAR Sphere’. Think of it like a pocket-sized depth charge… except without the explosives. It has no moving parts. No electronics. Instead is very precisely calibrated so that when it sinks to 1,000 feet… It implodes. *B O O P* The sound waves carry a couple of thousand miles to the shoreline… where they’ve installed a bunch of underwater microphones. Then using some basic trigonometry… you can compare the time it takes for the sound hit one mic from another… to triangulate where the sound came from. And like that… we suddenly know where your downed pilot is. But before it was able to be used… the war ended… and the device was shelved. Although… Professor Ewing was kept on the military payroll… because a whole new conflict was ramping up… the ‘Cold War’. The concern here was missiles and nuclear weapons. So attention shifted from the ocean… to the atmosphere. So he thinks, “Wait a minute… if there’s a sound channel in the ocean… maybe there’s one in the sky too.” Turns out there is… at a hundred and fifty five thousand feet. So… if there’s a large sound… let’s say… a nuclear explosion in Russia… you should be able to hear that all the way in the United States… if you have a bunch of microphones set up at this height. That means you know the exact location, time, and potential power of every single above-ground nuclear test being conducted by your enemy. Well before you had anything like satellite technology. They call this… ‘Project Mogul’. It was a series of high-altitude weather balloons… with sensitive microphones attached. In 1947, one of them fell from the sky… and crashed down in a rancher’s backyard. And some people with large imaginations… said it was aliens. The military said it was a weather balloon… Then there were some conflicting reports… and people said it was a cover-up. Well of course there was. It sure beats having the Russians find out about this technology. In the following decades, better ways of detecting nuclear tests were invented… primarily seismographers. And the sound channel fell out of use. In 1992, following the fall of the ‘Berlin Wall’… all of this information became declassified… and since it has been totally available for the public to read. And that… is the story of Roswell. No aliens. Just a weather balloon. and a bunch of microphones. Good night. By the way you can find a longer version of the story… from a lecture by Doctor Richard Muller from UC Berkeley. Uh, he does a really interesting lecture series that you can still find online, and the link will be in the description.