- Lincoln LaPaz
name = Lincoln LaPaz
birth_date = birth date|1897|2|12
birth_place = Wichita,
death_date = death date and age|1985|10|19|1897|2|12
death_place = Albuquerque,
New Mexico, U.S.
residence = Albuquerque,
New Mexico, U.S.
citizenship = American (1940–55)
Astronomy, MeteoriticsDr. Lincoln LaPaz was an astronomerfrom the University of New Mexicoand a pioneer in the study of meteors.
He was born in
Wichita, Kansason February 12, 1897 to Charles Melchior LaPaz and Emma Josephine (Strode). He earned his Bachelor of Artsin 1920 in mathematics at Fairmont College (presently Wichita State University) and also taught there between 1917 and 1920. He earned his Masters degree via a scholarship at Harvard University, completed in 1922. On June 18, 1922, he married Leota Ray Butler and later had two children, Leota Jean and Mary Strode. Between 1922 and 1925 he taught at Dartmouth College.
He received his Ph.D. in 1928 at the
University of Chicago, where he instructed for a short time and acted as National Research Fellow. In 1930, he was assistant professor at Ohio State Universityand became associate professor in 1936 and finally professor in 1942, where he helped develop the graduate mathematics program.
LaPaz took leave from Ohio State to the New Mexico Proving Ground during World War II where he was a Research Mathematician, and later as Technical Director, Operations Analysis Section, Second Air Force. This is where he became interested in ballistics as well as meteorites. His work with the Second Air Force included investigation of Japanese Fugo
balloon bombs that had reached the United States.
In 1945, he worked at the
University of New Mexicowhere he founded the Institute of Meteoritics, where he was Director until 1966.
Between 1945 to 1953 LaPaz was Head of the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy. From 1953 to 1962, he served as Director of the Division of Astronomy at the university.
LaPaz's UFO investigations
ufology, LaPaz's name is often associated with UFOinvestigations on behalf of the military during the late 1940s and early 1950s. These include the the so-called Roswell UFO incidentof 1947, the N.M. green fireballs, that began in late 1948 and continued through the 1950s, and the search for near-Earth orbiting satellites in 1954 along with fellow N.M. astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. However, only LaPaz's association with the green fireball investigations for the Air Force is thoroughly documented and an undeniable historical fact.
LaPaz had two known UFO sightings of his own. The first occurred with his family on July 10, 1947, only two days after the infamous Roswell UFO incident and only 70 miles north of Roswell near Fort Sumner, N.M. As reported in a LIFE magazine article on UFOs in 1952, though LaPaz was not identified at the time, "all four of us almost simultaneously became aware of a curious bright object almost motionless" among the clouds. "As seen projected against these dark clouds, the object gave the strongest impression of self-luminosity." It "showed a sharp and firm regular outline, namely one of a smooth elliptical character much harder and sharper than the edges of the cloudlets... The hue of the luminous object was somewhat less white than the light of Jupiter in a dark sky, not aluminum or silver-colored.... The object clearly exhibited a sort of wobbling motion ... This wobbling motion served to set off the object as a rigid, if not solid body." After remaining stationary for about 30 seconds, it then suddenly rose. "This remarkably sudden ascent thoroughly convinced me that we were dealing with an absolutely novel airborne device." [ [http://www.nicap.org/life52.htm LIFE article] [http://www.nicap.org/ftsumner470710dir.htm summary] ]
His second sighting was of a green fireball, soon after he began his investigations into the phenomenon for the Air Force in December, 1948. The sighting was on December 12 and the phenomenon was also seen over Los Alamos, enabling LaPaz to perform a
triangulation. This showed the object's path was directly over the very sensitive Los Alamos. In a classified letter to the Air Force on December 20, LaPaz wrote that the object moved far too slowly to have been a meteor and left no "trail of sparks or dust cloud" as would be typical of meteors flying at low altitudes. Other anomalous characteristics were the intense lime-green color, low altitude of only 8–10 miles yet exhibiting no sound, flat rather than arced trajectory, and turning on and off like a light switch. Investigating many other green fireball sightings, LaPaz reached similar conclusions and decided they were probably artificial in origin, perhaps Russian spy devices. (see green fireballsfor details) LaPaz's green fireball investigations were also mentioned in the 1952 LIFE magazine article, and his wife also made a painting of a green fireball.
Regarding the 1947 Roswell incident, at least three witnesses, including two involved with Army and Air Force counterintelligence, claimed that LaPaz was brought in after the
Roswell UFO incidentto interview witnesses and reconstruct the trajectory of the crash object [ [http://www.roswellproof.com/zimmerman.html affidavit of Ed Zimmerman] ; other witnesses were M/Sgt. Lewis Rickett of the Army Counterintelligence Corp (CIC), who said he assisted LaPaz in the investigation of the Roswell object, and Canadian archeologist Boyd Wettlaufer, once a student of LaPaz's, who said LaPaz discussed it with him in 1950 while both were working near the Winslow meteor crater. ] .
In August 1954, a story broke in the press that Tombaugh and LaPaz, working on behalf of the Army, had found two "natural" satellites only 400 and 600 miles out that had recently come into orbit. LaPaz at first vehemently denied that he was involved in any way, and later denied that anything had been found, as did Tombaugh (see
Clyde Tombaughfor details). However, the fact that Tombaugh was indeed engaged in such a search was already public knowledge from previous press releases, as was LaPaz's knowledge of the search from discussions with Tombaugh, even if he wasn't directly involved. (see newspaper photo at right, where LaPaz was shown discussing the search with Tombaugh)
In 1964 LaPaz was also involved peripherally in the investigation of the famous Socorro UFO incident, in which a Socorro policeman named
Lonnie Zamorasaw a small egg-shaped object land, saw two humanoid figures near the object, and then when he approached to within 50 feet, the object blasted off and rapidly disappeared. LaPaz interviewed Zamora and vouched for him as a witness.
LaPaz's true beliefs about the origins of UFOs is a bit muddled. Two witnesses have said that LaPaz told them he was of the opinion that the Roswell crash object was an unmanned
extraterrestrialprobe. The green fireballs he also felt were artificial in origin because of their anomalous characteristics. But government documents and public statements make it clear he thought they were probably Russian spy devices. (see green fireballsfor details)
LaPaz's last known comments on UFOs and the green fireballs occurred in 1965 during a visit by astronomer
J. Allen Hynek, a consultant to the Air Force's Project Blue BookUFO investigation. Hynek was also investigating the Socorro incident. According to Hynek, LaPaz felt the fireballs were the most important part of the UFO phenomenon. He remained convinced that the fireballs' anomalous characteristics had never been adequately explained by the official investigation. LaPaz continued to think the green fireballs were artificial, but now believed the fireballs, and also the Socorro craft, to be highly secret projects of the U.S. government. He also accused Hynek, Project Blue Book, and others of being part of "a grand cover-up for something the government does not want discussed" [ Brad Steiger, "Project Blue Book", pp. 132, 136 ]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Green fireballs — Infobox Paranormalterms Image Caption = Artists rendering. Published in Life s April 1952 article Have We Visitors From Space? Usage = Terminology Name = Green Fireballs Origin = Short = Additional Names = Definition = Unusual green fireballs… … Wikipedia
Clyde Tombaugh — Clyde William Tombaugh Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory Born February 4, 1906(1906 02 04) in a ranch near Streator, Illinois, U.S. Died January 17, 1997(1997 0 … Wikipedia
Unidentified flying object — UFO redirects here. For other uses, see UFO (disambiguation). Photograph of alleged UFO, New Jersey, July 31, 1952 A term originally coined by … Wikipedia
Green fireballs — (Boules de feu vertes) est un type d OVNI vu dans le ciel depuis les années 40. Les premières eurent lieu au Nouveau Mexique, à Los Alamos et Sandia National Laboratory. Lincoln LaPaz et Joseph Kaplan furent leurs principales théoriciens. Lieux d … Wikipédia en Français
Ufology — is a neologism coined to describe the collective efforts of those who study unidentified flying object reports and associated evidence. Not all ufologists believe that UFOs are necessarily extraterrestrial spacecraft, or even that they are… … Wikipedia
Meteor procession of February 9, 1913 — The meteor procession of February 9, 1913, was a unique meteoric phenomenon reported from locations across Canada, the north eastern United States, Bermuda and from several ships at sea, including one off Brazil, giving a total recorded track of… … Wikipedia
Green fireballs — Un número de las llamadas Bolas de Fuego Verde fueron avistadas en los cielos del suroeste de los Estados Unidos, particularmente Nuevo México, comenzando a finales de 1948. Dichos avistamientos preocuparon algo al gobierno, que observó que los… … Wikipedia Español
Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits — Shortcuts: WP:NOE WP:WBE WP:EDITS WP:MOSTEDITS This is a list of Wikipedians ordered by number of edits in the English language Wikipedia. Edits in all namespaces are counted; deleted edits have been included in recent versions. Click… … Wikipedia
La Paz Department (El Salvador) — ElSalvadordepartment name = La Paz image coa = COA LaPaz.png state motto = none date creation = 1852 capital = Zacatecoluca area = 1,224 area percentage = area percentage rank =9th population = 318,107 year estimate = 2006 population percentage … Wikipedia
Nicole Rash — attending the Indie Film Festival Anaheim, CA 8 August 2008, Photo by Glenn Francis of www.PacificProDigital.com Born Nicole Elizabeth Rash October 31, 1984 (1984 10 31) (age 27) … Wikipedia