Not long ago someone asked about the Kingman, Arizona crash of May 1953. I hesitated answering the query simply because my new book, Crash: When UFOs Fall from the Sky was about to be published and the answer could be found there. And yes, that was a shameless plug.
Most people know that this story has been circulating from the 1970s when Ray Fowler published the information he had in Official UFO. Most of the story then came from Arthur Stancil whom Fowler had called Fritz Werner in the article in order to protect Stancil’s identity.
Stancil said that he had been involved in a top-secret, preliminary survey of a wrecked UFO somewhere in the desert around Kingman. Stancil’s credentials seemed good and there was limited documentation, but nothing solid. Besides, Stancil had been caught telling multiple versions of the tale and claimed that when he had been drinking he tended to embellish stories. That certainly didn’t bode well for the tale.
In the intervening years there have been some others who talked of the crash, and I’ll let you all look that information up in Crash. What I want to talk about is the Judie Woolcott story that suggested to me that there might be something important here.
Woolcott said that her husband, a professional military officer, was on duty at the air base control tower somewhere around the Kingman area. They had been tracking something on radar when it lost altitude, seemed to disappear and then, in the distance, there was a bright flash of white light.
So, okay, something crashed. Military police, according to Woolcott began talking about something being down and they drove out in the general direction of the flash. They found a domed disk stuck in the ground.
Woolcott had gotten these details from a letter that her husband had sent her from Vietnam. He indicated that he knew more, but he didn’t want to write it down. Yes, it seems odd that he would send such a letter from Vietnam, but then guys in a combat environment do some strange things.
While the letter would be an important document, it certainly wouldn’t prove the crash real. Unfortunately, the letter was lost and we only have Woolcott’s memory of it.
But that’s not the worst part. In today’s world there are all sorts of databases available and there is one that lists every American soldier who died during the Vietnam War... including those non-combat related deaths. The only Woolcott listed is a PFC, Randall Woolcott, who was born in 1948 and died in Vietnam before his 20th birthday. He was unmarried.
But, I have learned that Judie Woolcott had been married a number of times and her UFO spotting husband’s name might not have been Woolcott. In her obituary, she was Judith Anne Woolcott (Miller, Fingal). New searches of the databases have failed to produce any corroboration for her story and that suggests this tale is not accurate.
So, where does that leave us? Well, Stancil provided a copy of his desk calendar that shows him on some unidentified assignment on May 21, 1953, but that doesn’t really tell us much and doesn’t really confirm his tale. There are a couple of other witnesses, but their stories are dubious and the dates don’t track, though they both mention Kingman.
The Woolcott story has imploded, which means that it simply is not reliable, given the history there. If she had been able to produce the letter, then that would have been something. But she lost it.
Other attempts at verification have failed. Maybe we should make another attempt to verify something, but the odds are stacked against us. We have no Yearbook like Walter Haut supplied us for Roswell that held hundreds of potential witnesses. We have no newspaper stories like those for Kecksburg and Shag Harbour that helped pin down the tales and name the witnesses. We have no real corroboration. Just a couple of vague stories.
It seems the thread is about played out on Kingman... but that doesn’t mean the story will die. Someone will come up with something to revitalize the Kingman crash, and that might be the most frightening aspect of all.