Reporting on Art Bell's syndicated radio program "Dreamland" Sunday night, June 9, 1996, investigator Linda Howe said that the strange aluminum pieces sent to Bell by an anonymous source are not as anomalous as previously reported. The pieces, dubbed "Art's Parts," are allegedly part of the wreckage recovered from the fabled UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. According to a letter accompanying the pieces, the sender's grandfather recovered them at the crash site and held them in secret until shortly before his death, when he disclosed them to other members of the family.
Linda Howe has helped to coordinate laboratory analysis of some of the pieces. So far it has been determined that they are composed mainly of extremely pure aluminum. However, preliminary measurement of the size of one piece, when compared with its weight, seemed to indicate that its density was about 60% greater than expected for aluminum. Though small amounts of other elements were identified in the piece, nothing accounted for the large weight discrepancy.
Now Linda Howe says a simple error of measurement was responsible for what appeared at first to be a potentially earthshaking discovery.
The scientist who first measured the piece was a biologist, Howe said. He used a scanning electron microscope to take the size measurements, not realizing that this method was prone to large error. A week later, after the object's apparently anomalous density had been announced on Bell's program, a second scientist -- this time a metallurgist -- measured the object with a micrometer. Its actual thickness was 60% greater than previously assumed, thus accounting for the additional weight. The object's density is therefore just what it should be for pure aluminum.
The biologist, Howe said, was "extremely apologetic and embarrassed" to have made such a major error.
"There's an important lesson here," Howe said. "Scientists make mistakes like anyone else. That's why science demands repeatability."
But other features of "Art's Parts" remain unexplained and potentially significant, Howe said. Some of the pieces contain layers of bismuth and magnesium/zinc alloy, the purpose of which is not immediately apparent. Further testing will be conducted this week.
Howe lamented the fact that there is no laboratory where such testing can be done quickly and efficiently by qualified scientists at no charge. The analysis of "Art's Parts" is being done voluntarily by several scientists in their spare time, using borrowed equipment and lab space.
Original file name: CNI - Art's Parts Update 6.10
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