Project Twinkle Established to Monitor Green Fireball Sightings

In December, 1948 a new and strange phenomenon began to be observed repeatedly in the southwestern United States in areas where Top Secret nuclear weapon research was being carried out.

Particular areas were around Los Alamos, New Mexico, Sandia Base near Albuquerque, New Mexico, the White Sands Proving Ground in NM and, eventually around the nuclear weapon storage site called Killeen Base at Fort Hood, Texas.

This phenomenon consisted of (generally) bright green lights moving (generally) horizontally through the night sky and then dropping downward slightly and going out. These became to be known as "green fireballs." After these had been observed many times in late 1948 and early 1949 Dr. Lincoln La Paz, a famous meteoricist (a scientist) who studies meteor and meteorites), declared that they weren't normal meteors. He told the Air Force and the FBI that if these weren't special devices resulting from our own (United States) secret research, then they could be Russian and in any event were a potential threat to our "vital installations" (FBI terminology) where nuclear weapon research was carried out.

Out of this exhaustive inquiry these propositions seem firmly shaped by the evidence:

1. Disks, cylinders and similar objects of geometrical form, luminous quality and solid nature for several years have been, and may be now, actually present in the atmosphere of the earth.

2. Globes of green fire also, of a brightness more intense than the full moon's, have frequently passed through the skies.

3. These objects cannot be explained by present science as natural phenomena -- but solely as artificial devices, created and operated by a high intelligence.

4. Finally, no power plant known or projected on earth could account for the performance of these devices.

Finally, on December 20 after nearly a year of foot-dragging, the instrument observation program was approved and Project Twinkle was born. The first instrument post (consisting of two officers) was established at Holloman Air Force Base in February 1950. Only one other instrument post was ever set up. LaPaz criticized Project Twinkle as inadequate, arguing the green fireballs were worthy of "intensive, systematic investigation". Twinkle did manage to record a few events, but the data collected were said to be incomplete in the final Twinkle report. Besides, it was stated, no funding had been provided for follow-up data analysis. In addition, the fireball activity near the observation posts seemed to virtually disappear, as noted in a report from September: "It may be considered significant that fireballs have ceased abruptly as soon as a systematic watch was set up."