Meteor expert Dr. Lincoln LaPaz headed much of the investigation into the fireballs on behalf of the military. LaPaz's conclusion was that the objects displayed too many anomalous characteristics to be a type of meteor and instead were artificial, perhaps secret Russian spy devices. The green fireballs were seen by many people of high repute including LaPaz, distinguished Los Alamos scientists, Kirtland AFB intelligence officers and Air Command Defense personnel. A February 1949 Los Alamos conference attended by aforementioned sighters, Project Sign, world renowned upper atmosphere physicist Dr. Joseph Kaplan, H-bomb scientist Dr. Edward Teller, other scientists and military brass concluded, though far from unanimously, that green fireballs were natural phenomena. To the conference attendees, only the green fire ball source was unknown, their existence was unquestioned. Secret conferences were convened at Los Alamos to study the phenomenon and in Washington by the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.
In December 1949 Project Twinkle, a network of green fireball observation and photographic stations, was established but never fully implemented. It was discontinued two years later, with the official conclusion that the phenomenon was probably natural in origin.
Green fireballs have been given natural, man-made, and extraterrestrial origins and have become associated with both the Cold War and ufology. Because of the extensive government paper trail on the phenomenon, many ufologists consider the green fireballs to be among the best documented examples of unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
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