Philip J. Corso and Roswell (audio)

The late Colonel Philip J. Corso was a career Army officer who spent much of his career working at intelligence related posts. UFO researcher John Alexander, who did a significant amount of research into Corso’s background, states that it would fair to characterize Corso as “a former Army intelligence officer….with a heavy background in research and development.” Alexander, and others, confirm that Corso’s descriptions of his service and duties is accurate. 


Brief overview of Corso’s military areer

  • Trained, during World War II, by Britain’s MI19 intelligence division in Cambridge, England
  • Participated in the interrogation of POWs, with British commandos, in North Africa
  • Part of the Allied occupation forces in Rome, Italy from 1944 to 1947 acting as Assistant Chief of Staff G2 (Division Level) Intelligence
  • Part of “Project Paper Clip”, responsible for bringing German rocket scientists to the U.S. after World War II.
  • Served as a member of General Douglas MacArthur’s staff during The Korean War
  • 1953 to 1957 a member of The National Security Council, under President Eisnehower
  • 1961, appointed Chief of the Army’s Foreign Technology Division

Corso’s book and extraordinary claims

Corso achieved prominence, particularly amount ufologists, when he published a tell-all book in 1997 called “The Day After Roswell”. In the book, written with the help of William J. Birnes, Corso claimed that (1) the Roswell incident was the crash of an alien spacecraft, and, (2) as head of the Army’s Foreign Technology Division he was given the task of feeding Roswell crash debris to various earthly laboratories so that the materials could be reverse engineered. Among other things, Corso claims that the development of the transistor, fiber optics, night vision goggles, and kevlar were directly related to the scientific analysis of the Roswell debris.

Corso also claims that years prior to his work with the Foreign Technology Division he observed a crate, at the Fort Riley, Kansas military installation, wicch contained the body of a dead alien. The body, and other debris, were being transferred by trucks from Roswell to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

Critics of Corso

Many ufologists reject Corso’s claims, and, on a wide range of grounds. For instance, while Corso claims he headed the Army’s Foreign Technology Division (for many years) records indicate that he actually only held that position for a few months. On the other hand, when John Alexander looked into this discrepancy he was told by people whom he trusted that while Corso was technically second in command he was acknowledged as the de-facto head of the department. Whether or not Corso headed the department, as he claimed, is a matter of who you believe.

One of the most commonly heard criticism of Corso’s story is that, despite claims to the contrary from his supporters, there is an abundance of documentation to show the step-wise manner in which the various new technologies he described were developed with no intervention from aliens. Again, while critics argue that the evolution of these advancements is well documented and had nothing to do with the reverse engineering of Roswell artifacts others argue quite the opposite – and an examination of the various positions is beyond the scope of this article.

If nothing else, it seem extraordinary that a career military man with an extremely respectable record would, at the end of his life, invent such a wild tale. And, of course, that doesn’t mean it’s all true.


The following interview was conducted by Art Bell, on the Coast to Coast radio program, and features John Alexander and Philip Corso (originally aired 7/23/97).

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