Memory-metal files are missing
Published: Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 1:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 1:18 p.m.
With a boost from Sarasota resident Tony Bragalia, the enduring Roswell UFO controversy is about to swing the spotlight onto one of the most successful research and development entities in America — Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, OH.
At issue are some missing reports from Battelle’s study of a nickel/titanium alloy called Nitinol, renowed for its resilience as a “memory metal.” Contracted by the U.S. Air Force to assess and exploit its compelling properties in the late 1940s, Battelle participates in or manages six national laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy, including Oak Ridge, Lawrence Livermore, and Brookhaven.
The problem is, neither Battelle nor the USAF can produce copies of what the scientific literature refers to as the “Second Progress Report on Contract AF33 (038)-3736.” Bragalia suspects that’s because the data is still highly classified due to its source — a flying disc that crashed outside Roswell, N.M., in 1947.
“Personal testimony is one thing,” says Bragalia, whose research skills have been polished by his business as an executive-search consultant. “But when you start talking about documents and the history of science, unlike testimonials, their provenance is not questioned.”