To prove my point, that those who offer solutions to some of the UFO cases are not invited to many conferences, I have just learned of an event in Kingman, Arizona in celebration of the UFO crash there. It seems to make no difference that the sources for this information about the crash is shaky at best. Anyone who has an alleged UFO crash near them seems to be gearing up for a festival of some kind.
Let’s review the facts.
The original story, as near as I can tell, came from a fellow who was originally identified as Fritz Werner. He told of a classified mission he had been assigned in May 1953. According to what he told UFO researchers, he had been flown to Phoenix and then bused to a site in Arizona that he believed was near Kingman. Once on site, he engaged in important and classified work.
He told Jeff Young and Paul Chetham about this in 1971. He said, “the object was not built by anything, obviously, that we know about on Earth. This was 1954 [clearly his memory was in error because he later corrected it to May 21, 1953]. At that time I was out of the atomic testing, but I was still with the Air force and this was the time I was on Blue Book. There was a report that there was a crash of an unexplained vehicle in the west and they organized a team of about forty of us. I was one of the forty.”
All well and good, but there is no evidence that Werner was ever a member of Project Blue Book.
Later he would be interviewed by Ray Fowler. He would give a slightly different version to Fowler, but explained that he’d had been drinking martinis prior to that first interview with Young and Chetham. That would explain the discrepancies because he tended to make things up when he drank, according to him.
Later we would learn that Fritz Werner was really Arthur Stancil and later that his name was Arthur Stansel. The story would be unsupported by any documentation other than a notation on Stansel’s personal calendar for May 20 and 21, 1953.
The May 20 entry said, “Well, pen’s out of ink. Spent most of the day on Frenchman’s Flat surveying cubicles and supervising welding of plate girder bridge sensor which cracked after last shot. Drank brew in eve. Read. Got funny call from Dr. Doll at 10:00. I’m to go on a special job tomorrow.”
The entry for the next day said, “Up at 7:00. Worked most of the day on Frenchman with cubicles. Letter from Bet. She’s feeling better now – thank goodness. Got picked up at Indian Springs AFB at 4:30 p.m. for a job I can’t talk about.”
And that’s it. That’s the extent of the documentation. Jottings on a calendar that could mean practically anything... and a note that he had a job he couldn’t talk about. Not the brightest thing to have written down if he truly had a job he couldn’t talk about.
I will note that searches of the local newspapers, meaning those within 100 miles including Las Vegas, have turned up nothing. No UFO sightings at the right time and nothing to suggest that something crashed. Just the story told by Arthur Stansel, first to two young neighbors and later to Ray Fowler.
And with Stansel telling everyone that when he drank, he told stories, his credibility suffers. He told Fowler that he had had four martinis before the young men showed up. I don’t know why he would continue to push the story when Fowler arrived except that he might have liked the attention the tale drew.
But then Don Schmitt told me of a second witness... well, not exactly a witness, but someone who could corroborate the tale. According to the information he gave to me, Judie Wolcott said that her husband had been in the control tower the night the object crashed. Later, after he had been sent to Vietnam, he wrote her a letter that mentioned the UFO crash. He didn’t supply many details and said that he would tell her more when he returned. Unfortunately, he was killed in Vietnam and the letter he wrote had disappeared.
Okay, that was corroboration, after a fashion. It would have been nice to have the letter, especially since it would have been dated before Stansel told his tale to Fowler and that tale found its way into a national UFO magazine.
Then the daughter of Judie Wolcott called me and told me that her mother tended to make things up and that her father had not been killed in Vietnam. In fact, neither of the men Wolcott had married were killed in Vietnam. There was no letter and no strange confession.
So, there really was no evidence for a Kingman crash. We can find no trace of it in any of the documentation and this includes the newspapers of the time. Remember, all the crashes that have some solid supporting information also have newspaper articles about them. Roswell, Las Vegas, Shag Harbour, Kecksburg and so on. Many of the alleged crashes listed on so many web sites have newspaper articles about them, even when we are able to put a mundane answer on them... but not so Kingman.
Hey, I hope their festival was a great success and that those in attendance learned something of importance. I hope they do it again next year and that it becomes a tradition in the town. Kingman is a nice little city and I have always enjoyed my time there, limited though it might have been.
This little piece is not quite as altruistic as it might seem. I have a long article about the entire Kingman Crash story in Philip Mantle’s UFO Matrix, which has just been published. You can view information about the magazine at http://www.ufomatrix.com/.
But there was no UFO crash there... there was one a couple of hundred miles northeast in Nevada in 1962 but nothing near Kingman. Maybe Las Vegas incident was close enough.