cantonrep - Ralph A. Multer was a wounded World War II veteran who walked with a limp and exhibited a gruff exterior. He liked to spin stories about his days as a gunner’s mate on a Navy warship, including ones about the Battle of Iwo Jima. Multer worked on cars and rode a motorcycle. His nickname was “Bear,” a reference to his large frame. And on occasion, he enjoyed a few swallows of vodka.
At 22 and married, Multer worked hard to support his wife, driving a truck for the Timken Co.
He wasn’t normally given to far-flung tales of flying saucers and little green men. Until, that is, the summer of 1947.
Multer is said to be a local connection to the most famous UFO story in world history: The alleged crash of an alien spacecraft near Roswell, N.M., in July 1947.
He told loved ones he hauled material from the crashed spaceship to one of the Timken plants in Canton, OH that summer. A Timken furnace could not dent, damage or melt the UFO wreckage. Not even slightly.
An FBI agent made it very clear. Don’t tell anybody about the covert operation. Keep it hush-hush.
That’s a fascinating story. A whopper. Is it true? Can it be verified? Especially when you consider Multer died in 1982. Could a company of Timken’s iconic stature be complicit in perhaps the greatest government cover-up of all time?
SUMMER OF ’47
July 8, 1947. UFO historians consider that a monumental date. It is when the Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release that a crashed flying disk had been recovered in the New Mexico desert.
The military quickly changed its story. A second press release stated the 509th Bomb Group at the Roswell base mistakenly had identified a weather balloon as flying saucer wreckage.
Legions of UFO buffs believe the Roswell story. Researchers and authors have interviewed hundreds of people on the subject, including former military officers. Some believers have obtained once-classified documents, connecting the dots to conclude that the government concealed the crash and stashed away dead aliens with balloon-shaped heads, large eyes and child-like bodies.
Others declare the Roswell story to be a ridiculous myth borne out of wild imaginations. They contend it’s utter nonsense concocted by nuts who are loose with the facts and heavy on speculation. They argue the UFO crowd has yet to produce hard evidence, such as a hunk of the damaged flying saucer.
Multer was a believer. He became one 63 years ago while working a four-hour shift for Timken.
Multer told his wife the story. Years later, he shared it with his daughter.
It was August or September. Multer had hoped to finish the shift and meet his wife for lunch. But the normalcy of the day quickly faded.
Multer said he and two other drivers were asked to pick up loads at a railroad yard. Three flatbed trucks, covered with canvas, carried the loads.
The load on Multer’s truck was the largest. The convoy of trucks was escorted by officials of some type. Multer had some level of security clearance at the company.
FBI agents had met the trio of truck drivers. Multer asked about the loads. An agent told him they were parts of a flying saucer recovered in New Mexico. The strength and durability of the material would be tested in a super-hot Timken furnace.
“They talked to a person later who was there that night (at one of the Timken plants), and they said they couldn’t cut it, they couldn’t even heat it,” said Sundi Multer-Lingle, Multer’s daughter. “The piece of metal, well I don’t know if you can call it metal, the object was absolutely impenetrable.”
Metallic. Lightweight. Silver or dark gray. That’s how her father described the mysterious material.
“We grew up with the story,” said Multer-Lingle, 58, who was born in Canton and lives in Knoxville, Tenn. “Dad would put us up on his lap, and he would tell us the story.”
He never changed his story. Or added details, she said.
“Dad wasn’t a liar at all,” Multer-Lingle said. “I mean, if he told you something, you believed it because that’s just how he was, and I heard this so many times and so much that we never doubted it.”
Multer’s late wife told UFO researchers the experience left a lasting impression on her husband. It “never left his mind from then on,” she said in an interview in the 1990s.
RALPH AND ROSWELL
Roswell-related stories inundate the Internet. Books, movies and television documentaries transformed the Roswell story into a pop culture phenomenon. A museum in Roswell is dedicated to the topic. The Roswell UFO Festival takes place each July. A website for the Roswell newspaper features UFO-themed merchandise for sale.
Tucked away on a handful of websites, the Multer story keeps a low profile in the world of sensational UFO accounts. Multer’s Roswell story apparently is not mentioned in any book.
At the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, a search through the library’s database and archives turned up nothing about Multer and Timken as they relate to the UFO crash story, a museum employee said.
In the mid-1990s, William E. Jones and Irena McCammon Scott uncovered Multer’s story. That’s when Multer’s wife was interviewed. The duo co-authored an article about Multer in the Ohio UFO Notebook in 1994 as part of a compilation of pieces titled, “The Ohio UFO Crash Connection and Other Stories.”
Up until then, Ralph’s story had been a well-kept family secret, said Multer-Lingle. Outsiders weren’t privy to it. Multer’s wife, Violet M. Brown, died in 2009; at the time of her death, she was known as Vikki May Black.
Stricken with health problems, Ralph had died nearly 20 years earlier.
“I remember we went up to Timken (in Canton) and interviewed some people,” said Scott, 102, the UFO researcher who helped break the Multer story. “But I don’t remember how we got the story to start.”
Multer’s story is difficult to verify. According to records from the Golden Lodge United Steelworkers Local 1123, Multer left Timken in 1952. His daughter says that is when the family moved to the Portsmouth area in Scioto County, where Multer then worked as a railroad brakeman.
Timken spokeswoman Lorrie Paul Crum said Multer worked with the company in the early 1950s, initially in the steel operations and later as a truck driver. However, a search didn’t turn up all of the company records on Multer, Crum said.
“We didn’t have his beginning employment records,” she said.
“We had partial records. We don’t keep them for all the employees.”
Multer could have worked at Timken in 1947, said Tom Sponhour, editor of the Golden Lodge News, noting records can be sketchy that far back.
“We talked with retirees and executives familiar with all facets of ... Timken’s long-standing relationships with government and scientific organizations serving as one of the world’s foremost experts in metallurgy,” Crum said.
But “no one had any recollection of Multer’s story,” she wrote in an e-mail response.
The Repository contacted several Timken retirees who worked for the company in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Only one recalled hearing about Multer. Dominick T. Rex got a job at Timken in 1946 in the roller bearings plant.
“It was just a rumor about a truck driver (who) did something,” Rex recalled. “He did something, and it was Ralph.”
But the 84-year-old does not recall anything about a crashed UFO.
Scott, one of the UFO investigators who co-authored the original story about Multer, said she and the other researcher visited Timken in the mid-1990s to inquire about the former truck driver and Roswell.
None of the retired management and engineer employees contacted by UFO investigators had heard of the alleged Canton connection to Roswell, said Scott, who worked on satellite photography in the 1960s for the Defense Intelligence Agency. She is a former biology professor at St. Bonaventure University.
“I don’t have a firm conclusion,” she said of the alleged UFO crash.
The U.S. Department of Defense did not respond to a phone inquiry or e-mail from The Repository seeking comment about Roswell-related events in 1947 and Multer’s story. The agency forwarded the call Thursday to the U.S. Air Force.
As of Friday, the Air Force had not replied. In the mid-1990s, the Air Force issued two in-depth reports, following an inquiry by the General Accounting Office, in an effort to debunk the Roswell story.
Stanton T. Friedman, a well-known researcher and author in the UFO field, said he had not heard of a Canton link to Roswell. Friedman co-authored a book on the topic, “Crash at Corona: The Definitive Study of the Roswell Incident.”
Friedman, however, said he’s well aware of Timken.
“They’re a major company, and they had major responsibilities during the war,” he said.
“Timken probably would have had a reputation for developing very strong materials at very high temperatures,” said Friedman, 76, a nuclear physicist.
After exhaustive research, including interviews and an examination of countless government records, Friedman said he firmly believes that a UFO crashed near Roswell in 1947.
Donald R. Schmitt has been researching Roswell-related events the last 21 years. He has co-authored multiple books on the subject, including, “Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the Government’s Biggest Cover-up.”
“This is the granddaddy of them all,” Schmitt said of the Roswell story. “If we solve this, the entire mystery is solved.”
Schmitt is intrigued by Multer’s account. “This is another piece of the puzzle,” he said. Schmitt said he’s heard “eyewitness accounts” about material being loaded on freight cars near the former Roswell Army Air Field.
“All aftermath, all arrows point directly to Ohio,” Schmitt said of Roswell, referring to other alleged Ohio connections, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
"Why would (Multer) lie to his wife about this?,” Schmitt said. “He didn’t profit (from) this, he didn’t gain any notoriety or any publicity, he didn’t do any talk shows or any interviews.”
Schmitt said he’s 99 percent certain a UFO crashed in the Roswell area.
“That remaining 1 percent is the remaining 1 percent of the curiosity until we get a piece of the holy grail,” he added. “I do accept the challenge of the true skeptic, not the scoffer, but the skeptic who would remind us until you come up with the piece of the actual hardware, a piece of the ship, you won’t have 100 percent.”
NOTE: the following are several references to the Roswell crash material that was found and analyzed as well as some information on the Timken Roller Bearing Company which was and remains a major U.S. government contractor (military and aerospace)...Lon
Click for video
An analysis of alleged debris from the Roswell spacecraft that crash landed in 1947.
Reports On Memory-Metal Nitinol 'Missing'
heraldtribune - 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.”
Bragalia says his curiosity about the Roswell debris began accelerating in 2007, shortly after a retired Army Air Force veteran from Ellenton named Ben Games told De Void a tale that no one had ever heard before — in July of 1947, he flew Gen. Laurence Craigie to Roswell during the furor over the alleged UFO recovery.
As chief of the Research and Engineering Division at AAF headquarters, Craigie had offices at the Pentagon and at present-day Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. In October 1947, he became Director of Research and Development for the U.S. Air Force. At the end of the year, he authorized the first-ever USAF study of flying saucers. From 1948-50, he served as commandant of the USAF Institute of Technology at Wright-Pat.
In 1991, retired brigadier general Arthur Exon confirmed for author/investigators Schmitt and Kevin Randle that the Roswell debris was transferred to Wright Field in ‘47. Civilians and military personnel who handled the stuff compared some components to aluminum foil, except that it would conform to its original shape after being crumpled.
Exon, a lieutenant colonel on base at the time, said lab chiefs in charge of testing the material “knew they had something new in their hands. The metal and material was unknown to anyone I talked to.” However, Exon, who was promoted to Wright-Pat base commander in 1964, never had access to the debris.
But who did? And if, as skeptics contend, the thing that went down in Roswell was simply a classified but hardly exotic balloon project, why did Craigie make a hurried flight to New Mexico from Washington?
Enter Nitinol, which made its debut in 1939. The nickel/titanium metal was created as a byproduct of another project and initially studied for its crystalline structures. Bragalia was unable to find any research on its shape-recovery properties until encountering references to a WPAFB contract with Battelle produced in 1949.
Its “Second Progress Report” — authored by Battelle employees listed only as C.M. Craighead, F. Fawn, and L.W. Eastwood — implies a first progress report, for which Bragalia could find no references at all. Although unable to get his hands on the “Second Progress Report,” Bragalia lists four references to its existence in 1952, 1965, 1972, and 1984.
Bragalia didn’t read the “Second Progress Report” because nobody appears to know where it is. Kemberly Lang, manager of the Battelle Library, couldn’t find a copy, and neither could Annette Sheppard, special collection librarian at WPAFB. Lang reconfirmed to De Void her futility at learning anything about the 60-year-old project beyond published references to it.
“There’s something strange going on here, but there is no copy of the contract. And Wright-Patterson doesn’t have it, either. Evidently it was never submitted for retention,” says Lang, who coordinated her search efforts with WPAFB. “Both sides have miraculously lost their copies of it.
“I don’t know what’s in it, I don’t have a clue. I don’t think there’s anything malicious going on, but it’s kind of in my ‘open’ file now. It’s a mystery.”
Bragalia doubts the USAF farmed out the actual Roswell debris to Battelle. More likely, he suspects its scientists were tasked to simulate its morphing abilities through Nitinol, which requires 99.99 percent purity and the application of heat.
Curiously, Braglia says military reports announcing the unveiling of Nitinol as a memory metal cite every year from 1959 to 1963 as its point of discovery. The last word from the U.S. Naval Ordnance Lab lists its debut as 1962 or 1963.
Today, Nitinol has blossomed into the commercial sector, finding its way into everything from medical hardware to bendable eyeglass frames. Among the most ambitious firms incorporating the latest generation of metallic elasticity into a vast array of products is LiquidMetal Technologies, a publicly traded R&D company headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Attributing its “amorphous alloys” to researchers from California Institute of Technology — managed by Battelle in cooperation with Lawrence-Livermore — LiquidMetal’s Web site says it has collaborated on “numerous shuttle missions for NASA scientists to study its technology in space first hand.”
“The NASA connection is huge,” says Bragalia. “When you begin taking stuff into space and testing it under microgravity conditions, it allows you to develop material of exceptional purity.”
Battelle, listed as a charitable trust exempt from taxation, is most famously known in UFO circles for producing a 1954 Air Force Project Blue Book study called Special Report No. 14. Concluding that 21.5 percent of UFOs in the military database were unknowns, Battelle directly contradicted then USAF Secretary Donald Quarles’ assertion that only 3 percent of its sightings were unknown.
“Battelle is very artful at concealing its connections,” says Bragalia. “When people say ‘the government’ knows about UFOs, I wonder. Especially when you consider that Battelle has more or less privatized six of our national laboratories.”
By Billy Cox - Memory-metal files are missing
USAF Documents Confirm Roswell Crash Debris Examined
newsvine - A research study that has recently been obtained through FOIA offers stunning confirmation that Wright-Patterson Air Force base contracted Battelle Memorial Institute to analyze material from a crashed UFO at Roswell in 1947. Remarkably, the co-author of this very metals study is the same scientist who decades ago had confessed that he had examined extraterrestrial metal from a crashed UFO while he was a research scientist at Battelle! This just-received document also reveals that another one of its metallurgist authors reported directly to a Battelle scientist who was conducting secret UFO studies for the USAF. It appears that the study represents first-ever attempts in creating highly novel and advanced Titanium alloys. Some of these alloys were later associated with the development of "memory metal" of the type reported as crash debris at Roswell.
The following links provide greater detail:
USAF Docs No Longer Missing
Scientist Admits To Study Of Roswell Crash Debris! (Confirmed by FOIA Document)
Timken Roller Bearing Company
In 1899, Henry Timken and his sons, H.H. Timken and William Timken, established the Timken Roller Bearing and Axle Company in St. Louis, Missouri. This firm initially manufactured tapered roller bearings for the use in wagons. Timken's bearings helped wagons make easier turns and also improved their maneuverability in other ways. In 1901, the Timkens relocated the company to Canton, Ohio, where the firm became known as the Timken Roller Bearing Company.
The Timken Company's bearings became in great demand, especially as the automotive industry originated during the first decades of the twentieth century. Timken bearings were used in the Marmon Wasp, the first car to win the Indy 500. In 1917, the Timken Company constructed its first steel mill to provide the firm with a steady supply of steel to manufacture its products. Beginning in the 1920s, the company increasingly began to use its bearings in the manufacture of agricultural and mining equipment, and during World War II, besides providing the United States military with bearings, the business also manufactured gun barrels and steel tubing.
The Roswell Incident: Ohio Truck Driver's Close Encounter
Send us an email
Go to Phantoms and Monsters - NetworkBlogs and sign up
Click here for this week's entertaining podcast
Add 'Beyond The Edge' Radio to your playlist!