Government UFO files are fun, but context is important. Somebody must have been having a laugh back in 1965 when writing the opening paragraph to a nearly-illegible report on a UFO in the Republic of Congo; at any rate, the NSA thought so little of the report that they let the file rot to the point where many of the words can no longer physically be read.
The purpose of this report is to present the results of the exploitation of a metallic fragment recovered near the town of Kerekere in the Republic of the Congo. Fragment recovery was the result of a ground-level search which was coordinated after an unidentified flying object exploded and fell to earth in the area. The sighting and recovery took place sometime between 10 and 15 October 1965. Other than a reported east-to-west direction of flight for the UFO, specific observation and recovery details are lacking.
(Note: The reading “Kerekere” is based on a later CIA memo referencing this report, as the word is partially illegible in the NSA document.)
I should note that Kerekere is now in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), known officially from 1960 to 1971 as the “Republic of the Congo,” or more popularly as Congo-Leopoldville, in contrast to neighboring Congo-Brazzaville, also known officially and confusingly from 1958 as the Republic of the Congo. This confusion led many ufologists to mistakenly believe that the crash happened in the current Republic of the Congo rather than the current Democratic Republic of the Congo.
That’s as far as most ufologists read in the document.
The NSA, however, did not feel that this unidentified flying object was an alien spacecraft. Though difficult to decipher, the third section of the report, Conclusions, clearly states that the object was identified as “an electrical component” made of terrestrial materials (silicon steel laminate) and that the condition of the object “prevent[s] determination of exact origin (country).” Unless the aliens are in charge of a country here on earth, it sure sounds like the NSA’s interest in this object was more terrestrial than cosmic. The fragment was exposed to temperatures in excess of 2500 degrees.
Admirably, Noe Torres and Ruben Uriarte report all of this in The Other Roswell (2008), though they pass silently over the key use of the word “country,” ignoring its clear implication that this object was terrestrial in origin. Similarly, they fail to note that the exploitation analysis turned up no isotopes, elements, or other signs of any extraterrestrial origin.
And why was the American government investigating this? Good question. No discussion of this event that I have reviewed in any ufology book has mentioned anything about the context of the event, or why the NSA or CIA would be marching around in the jungles of the Congo randomly in the fall of 1965.
The CIA was active in the Congo in the 1960s, responsible for political assassinations and waging covert actions to counter Soviet influence in the country. In the fall of 1965, the CIA was actively working to secure Mobutu Sese Seko at the head of the Congolese government as a counterforce to the former, pro-Soviet president (he would formally take office in November but had been in power since 1960). The former president had received assistance from Soviet military advisors before the CIA convinced Mobutu to expel the Soviets, who continued backing rebel factions in the east. As might be suspected, the CIA was looking at these metal fragments because of the, probably justified, suspicion of covert Soviet action in eastern Congo in opposition to the CIA’s anti-Soviet efforts in what was essentially a proxy war between America and the Soviet Union.
It is only with this background that we can really understand why the U.S. government was searching the jungles of the Congo for scraps of metal at the start of the rainy season in the Congo. They weren’t looking for alien spaceships. They were looking for Soviet weapons.