Charles B. Moore

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For other people named Charles Moore, see Charles Moore (disambiguation).

Charles B. Moore, Jr. (October 28, 1920 – March 2, 2010)[1] was an American physicist, engineer and meteorologist, known for his work with gas balloons. He was born in Maryville, Tennessee.

He was a former head of Project Mogul in the late 1940s, where his work in materials science allowed the construction of balloons which could better withstand cold temperatures, thereby allowing them to safely rise to significantly greater altitudes.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he also became known as a debunker of the so-called 1947 Roswell UFO incident, instead stating it was the crash of an undocumented Mogul balloon flight. In the process, he was accused of hoaxing a trajectory calculation of the alleged Mogul balloon flight in order to demonstrate that it could have been the crash object.[2] This calculation was presented in the Roswell book he co-wrote in 1997 (see below).

Ironically, Moore had a rather famous UFO sighting of his own in 1949, as did other Project Mogul personnel, which often occurred during Mogul and later Skyhook balloon flights.[3] Astronomer and UFO debunker Dr. Donald Menzel later tried to debunk the sighting as a mirage of their own balloon.

Responding to this in 1986, Moore wrote in a letter, "What I saw was not a mirage; it was a craft with highly unusual performance. It was not a balloon; at the time we were the innovators and manufacturers of the new balloons and I certainly would have known about any new developments as I was newly in charge of General Mills Balloon operations. It was not the X-1 that was in its hangar at Muroc that Sunday. It was nothing from White Sands nor from Alamogordo. ...We were in contact with Range Control and were informed our operation was the only one active on Sunday. For these reasons I am cynical about Dr. Menzel and his approach to science." [4]

According to astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a consultant to the Air Force on its UFO investigations, Moore likewise told him he was "disgusted" with the Air Force for its lack of attention to the sighting.

Moore was also known for his 1959 expedition to the stratosphere with Malcolm Ross, in which they performed the first spectrographic analysis of the planet Venus which was free of interference from the Earth's atmosphere, thereby proving the existence of water on that planet; this expedition involved an ascent to 89,000 feet (then a record for altitude).

He taught at New Mexico Tech for several years, and nominally retired in 1985; however, he continued his research afterward, and his subsequent discoveries led to the first improvement in the design of the lightning rod since that device's invention by Benjamin Franklin.[5]



  1. ^ El Defensor Chieftain
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^
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  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 

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