This one is so funny that I have to laugh. I got into a discussion with someone about the location of the debris field as described by Bill Brazel. I was told that I had the wrong location.
How can this be?
Bill Brazel took me there himself.
It was early morning and we, and by we, I mean Don Schmitt and I, meant Brazel at a café in Capitan. He was driving an old red pickup and we left my car at the café. As we drove out of town, Brazel asked us if we wanted a beer. Don said he didn’t and I thought that one of us ought to have one with Brazel so I said, “Sure.”
Ah, there is nothing I like more than warm beer at eight o’clock in the morning.
Anyway, we drove out toward Corona, taking the back roads and arrived at the location where the thing, whatever it might have been, hit.
Brazel got out of the truck and pointed to the ground at his feet... No, there wasn’t a bit of debris there now. He just said that this was where he’d found a couple of the scraps.
I took a couple of pictures with Don and Bill standing there (which might be the only pictures of one of the prime witnesses on the actual debris field... and the pictures have been copyrighted, reproduction is prohibited.)
Brazel then explained where it had hit, how it had scraped along the ground, leaving a narrow neck that widened to about ten feet and then tapered again as if it had skipped. The ground was scraped to about a foot or so deep and Brazel said that it had taken a couple of years to grass back over.
No, I really don’t want to discuss all the variations about this and how Jesse Marcel never said anything about a gouge... Though “Reluctant,” Karl Pflock’s witness who was really Walt Whitmore, Jr., talked about an area of disturbed ground he had seen in one of his versions of events.
Anyway, it was Bill Brazel who showed me the site so I figure that I must have it right. (Please note these are two different pictures, though taken about the same time.)
When CUFOS did their archaeological site survey out there, we planted those little “utility” flags along the ground in a line about a half mile long where it seemed that Brazel had said the thing skipped. When we left, we pulled up all those flags, not wanting to leave anything behind that would annoy the ranch owners who had kindly allowed us to make the survey.
|Archaeological dig on the ranch..|
Sometime after that, Bud Payne, a Lincoln County judge who said that he had seen the military out there doing something, took us, meaning Don, Paul Davids, Robert Hastings, and me out to the site. As we got out of the truck, I looked down and saw one of the flags we had missed.
In other words, Bud Payne put us on the same stretch of New Mexican desert as did Bill Brazel. That would seem to confirm the location as given to us earlier.
Tommy Tyree, who worked for Brazel, told us of riding the range with Brazel when he pointed down into a sinkhole that had water in the bottom. Floating on it was a bit of debris... and before you ask, no, we didn’t find the sinkhole, Tyree didn’t know precisely where it had been, and the water would have been long gone (and the hole probably filled in). But he gave us directions out there and it was on the same bit of range as that shown to us by Bill Brazel.
(Off on a tangent, because I know people are going to start asking all sorts of questions... We were unable to locate the sinkhole and figured the sides had collapsed in the forty years or so before we got there. When we did the site survey, we dug around the roots of plants that looked old enough to have been there when the crash happened... We looked into animal burrows, hoping to find a scavenger that had found a bit of the debris... We used metal detectors and even tried an aerial survey in a rented plane... and no, we had no success in any of that.)
The real point here is that I’m certain we were in the right place because it is the place the witnesses took us to... independently of one another. True, there could have been some discussion over the years about the location among these various witnesses, but the point is Bill Brazel showed it to Don and me. I am not aware of him showing it to anyone else (though he certainly could have, I’m just not aware of it).
So, when people tell me I’ve got the wrong place, I wonder what is the source of their information. It didn’t come directly from Bill Brazel as did the information that I have. It didn’t come from a first-hand source, as did my information. It might have been derived some something that was told to me, or something that I, or Don, said, or from people we took out there said, but as far as I know, the two of us are the only two Brazel took out there. We have the right place.