Thursday, September 1, 2016

The name is Goldbranson....Colonel Goldbranson

          


           Kudos to Brad Sparks again for taking the time to critically analyze my blog articles on Colonel Carl E. Goldbranson and his role in the UFO summer of 1947.

           Since one of the big sticking points for Brad’s critique is Goldbranson’s rank and service in July of 1947, I did further research along these lines to clear up the matter once and for all. 

           So let’s start with which 1947 military service Goldbranson was really in – was it the US Army or the Army Air Force? The truth of the matter is neither. Goldbranson does not show up in the combined Army/Army Air Force 1948 official register (dated I January 1948 covering the year 1947) nor in any of the subsequent yearly Army or Air Force official registers, until his death in 1957.

            Digging deeper, I found out that Goldbranson first shows up in the 1943 National Guard register as he was a member of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, the first American division deployed to Europe during the war. The 34th had three infantry regiments, the 133rd, 135th, and 168th Infantry regiments and Goldbranson served with the 168th (Iowa National Guard) before assuming his well-documented Joint Security Control duties in 1943.

            When Goldbranson left active duty in January, 1946, we know from the following October, 1946 newspaper article where he served next and exactly what rank he held:
           

            The article clearly states that he was made a full Colonel when appointed as the Chief of Staff of the 34th division, the article further pointing out that he was previously ranked a Lieutenant Colonel when he separated from active duty in January 1946.  Sparks made the comment that sometimes newspaper reports use the rank of Colonel when describing someone who is just a Lieutenant Colonel, but that is not the case in this article.

              The article clearly mentions Goldbranson’s previous lower rank and his current higher rank. In addition, it specifically denotes another service member’s (Roger M. Minkel) distinct lower rank of Lieutenant Colonel. So for the record, it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that Goldbranson was officially a full Colonel in the Iowa National Guard, starting in October of 1946.
            
            We know from the July 21, 1947 flying saucer memo that Goldbranson is no longer in Iowa but in Washington serving in some capacity with the War Department General Staff, Intelligence Division. But Goldbranson’s name does not appear in the official Army/Army Air Force officer combined register for 1947. So which official register would he have shown up in? Presumably, in the 1947 National Guard register, as I will soon show why.

           Sparks has doubts that Goldbranson retained his full Colonel rank when back on active duty in July 1947. If we pay close attention to the following August 20, 1947 newspaper article, it describes Colonel Goldbranson's visit to Des Moines from Washington to “attend camp” after which he would return back to Washington.

              Goldbranson’s attendance is at a National Guard camp, not a Boy Scout or recreational summer camp. Goldbranson, although on duty with the War Department General Staff, Intelligence Division, was in fact still an Iowa National Guard member, and still attending to his National Guard duties before returning back to Washington. It makes zero sense that he would have somehow gotten demoted to Lieutenant Colonel under these circumstances. 

            I unfortunately could not locate a copy of the 1947 National Guard registry that would unequivocally show Goldbranson’s National Guard status in 1947, but all the clues clearly point in that direction. 

           But let’s fast forward to 1957 when Goldbranson died and work our way back in time to 1947. From his obituary we find some very interesting information. Before he died, Goldbranson was serving as the Director of Plans, Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon. Just prior to this Pentagon duty, Goldbranson was serving as the Commandant of the Indianapolis Air Reserve Center, and prior to that was with the Planning Division of the headquarters of the European Command. 

            The most revealing information though is that Goldbranson was transferred from the US Army to the US Air Force in 1948 as a Strategic Planner in the War Plans division. The Army to Air Force transfer is further clarified by a November 18, 1955 article that confirms he was a Strategic Planner in the War Plans division from 1948 till 1952.


      


                These newspaper articles confirm that Goldbranson moved from the Army to the Air Force in 1948, but oddly enough Goldbranson again doesn’t appear in any of the official Air Force officer registries from 1948 to 1957.

                Where he does show up is in the Air National Guard registries for those years. In other words, Goldbranson in reality, transferred from the Army National Guard to the Air National Guard in 1948 and remained there for the rest of his Air Force related career. Goldbranson having achieved his full Colonel rank in the Army National Guard in October of 1946 would retain that rank while on active duty with the War Department in 1947 and would also retain that rank upon his transfer to the Air National Guard a year later.

             So although this new research data has cleared up any mystery regarding Goldbranson’s rank and service, we must still ascertain what exactly his role was at the War Department General Staff, Intelligence Division and while in that role, could he have also been a member of Joint Security Control or any other deception organizations. Sparks argues that Goldbranson serving on the War Department Intelligence Division staff would have precluded Goldbranson from working in Joint Security Control. Let’s explore this train of thought further.

            JSC’s May 1947 charter authorized a total of 3 Army Colonels as follows:
Executive Section
1 Army Colonel (full time)
1 Army Air Force Colonel (pulling double duty in the Special Section)
Security Section
1 Army Colonel (full time)
Special Section
1 Army Colonel (part time)

             Based on his July 1947 rank and service, Goldbranson could have filled the Army Colonel slot in the Executive Section, or the Army Colonel slot in the Security Section or as the Army Colonel slot in the Special Section (the deception section). 

           Well that leaves a lot to chance so I looked in my records for additional data to help narrow things down. I found from a 2013 trip to the National Archives, the weekly Joint Security Control duty rosters for the period of January to May 1947.

          The duty rosters revealed the names of two JSC Army Colonels and one JSC Army Air Force Colonel active during this time period:

James K. Cockrell
Army
Alexander H. Campbell
Army
Willard Van D. Brown
Army Air Force

          Looking at the 1946 Joint Security Control personnel roster we see something interesting related to two of these names. Both Cockrell from the Army and Brown from the Army Air Force were in the Executive Section of Joint Security Control.
            


            If Colonels Cockrell and Brown continued in those same executive section roles in 1947,then the following pieces of the JSC 1947 staff puzzle can be filled in:

Executive Section
1 Army Colonel (full time)
Cockrell
1 Air Force Colonel (pulling double duty in the Special Section)
Brown
Security Section
1 Army Colonel (full time)

Special Section
1 Army Colonel (part time)


         Colonel Willard Van D. Brown as the Army Air Force Colonel in the Executive Section would also pull double duty in the Special Section just as the charter dictated. That left just two Army Colonel vacancies to fill. 

         Interestingly, I found the following reference to Colonel Alexander H. Campbell in the November-December 1947 edition of the Coastal Artillery Corps journal as he had served in the CAC. It places Campbell in Joint Security Control and specifically in the Security Section. That left only one Colonel slot to fill - that of the part time Special Section Colonel tasked with deception operations.

Executive Section
1 Army Colonel (full time)
Cockrell
1 Air Force Colonel (pulling double duty in the Special Section)
Brown
Security Section
1 Army Colonel (full time)
Campbell
Special Section
1 Army Colonel (part time)


        This is where the paper trail from the National Archives ends. No other Colonel is mentioned as affiliated with Joint Security Control during the January through May 1947 timeframe. I propose that Colonel Carl E. Goldbranson, US Army is the missing Colonel. It was in actuality his old job at Joint Security Control during WW2 in the Special Section of Joint Security Control, tasked with deception operations.

       So although my earlier assertions were based on Goldbranson having been in the Army Air Force, I now stand corrected based on the more detailed information I have found, but the end conclusion has not changed, I believe that Goldbranson was back in deception in 1947, back in Joint Security Control.

        Of course all of this puzzle piecing together could be avoided entirely if we had a simple 1947 Joint Security Control personnel roster like we do for 1946, but the National Archives did not yield that secret.

        The 1947 JSC charter also explicitly states that: “The personnel of both the Army and Navy parts of the Special Section, due to the fact that they also serve in a dual capacity, the Army under the Director of Plans and Operations, War Department General Staff and the Navy personnel under the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, received instructions from the respective War and Navy Department agencies.”

           The Director of Plans and Operations in 1947 was General Lauris Norstad and his organization was specifically charged with deception duties for the War Department. It is completely conceivable that Colonel Goldbranson served in this dual role, part time in the War Department General Staff, Intelligence Division and the other part of his time in Joint Security Control receiving directions from General Norstad. The charter specifically states that the Special Section Army Colonel was a part time position.
  
               Finding as Sparks correctly points out a document that clearly shows Goldbranson on Joint Security Control in 1947 would put this matter to rest. However, until that document is found, we have to put our best detective hat on and consider both the possibility as well as the “plausibility” that Goldbranson’s involvement in the UFO summer of 1947 may not be as innocuous as Sparks would like you to believe. 

               Finally I would like to address Spark’s statements that “Carrion's thesis is a classic unfalsifiable and untestable hypothesis.  It is also, on the flip side of the coin, unprovable. Carrion's theory is 'The UFO is a lovely deception' and anything inconsistent with that notion is just part of the deception, or more of it.  There is no set of contrary evidence for Carrion's scenario that cannot be explained away by a deeper 'strategic deception.'  If Carrion denies that his thesis is rigged to be immune to disproof then he should state what conceivable evidence could ever disprove it.”
            
             I beg to differ and I will state exactly what evidence could disprove it. The Human Deception Hypothesis that proposes that the UFO wave of 1947 was the product of US Strategic Deception is completely falsifiable. If the 1946 to 1947 - Joint Security Control, Director of Planning and Operations, and Army Air Force Deception operations are declassified in their entirety, then they provide the necessary evidence for proving or disproving the hypothesis. 

            So I suggest that any researcher who wants to uncover the truth of this matter, to please join me in submitting FOIA requests for all the War Department and Joint Chiefs of Staff deception plans from 1946 to 1947. The records do exist but will need to be declassified.


            Yes, there is more work that needs to be done to uncover Goldbranson’s secrets from the summer of 1947 and I will continue to pursue those secrets relentlessly until the truth, whatever that may ultimately be, is unequivocally revealed.

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