Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Samalayuca UFO Crash?

Here’s a bit of a conundrum. I have been looking into a report of a flaming object crash on October 12, 1947. According to a short article that appeared in an unidentified newspaper:

FLAMING MYSTERY STARTLES TEXANS, CROSSES BORDER
El Paso, Tex, Oct 12 – (AP) An unidentified flaming object soared over the Texas-Mexico border today, apparently smashing into the Samalayuca mountains of Mexico with a loud explosion and billows of smoke.
The approximate impact area was estimated to be less than 10 miles from the point where a V-2 rocket off its track crashed south of Juarez May 20.
The public relations officer at the White Sands proving grounds where the V-2 rockets have been launched said none of the missiles had been fired since Oct.9.
Maj. Gen. John L. Homer, Fort Bliss [near El Paso] commander and military officials at air fields and other installations in the southwest, said that no guided missiles had been fired today and no rocket planes were missing from the fields in the area.
At least four persons saw the fiery object darting through the skies “with the speed of a falling star” at approximately 9:30 a.m. 

For those keeping score at home, this is case number 93 in the Project Blue Book files (and yes, I know it was Project Sign in 1947). It shows multiple witnesses and is “solved” as a meteor.
Yes, it sounds like a meteor. The witness descriptions of it moving “with the speed of a falling star,” the loud explosions and the billows of smoke are all characteristics of a bolide, that is, a very bright meteor.

However, there is a teletype message in the file that came from “Helmick CO AAFLD Alamogordo on Oct 15,” and was sent to the Commanding General, AMC at Wright Field in Dayton that suggests otherwise. It said that the Mexican government in Mexico City had reported the “unidentified flaming object that landed about 35 miles from Juarez, Mexico [across the border from El Paso] was definitely a rocket to have been launched from some Texas base.”
There is also a report from an officer in charge of the Juarez military garrison who claimed the false report of a rocket crash came from the Mexican Department of War. He said they were continuing their search for whatever had hit, but that implies they had not found any wreckage.
 
I do have another newspaper clipping that provides additional information, an official letter dated October 13, 1947 to “D/I Army Intelligence,” a letter from the Military Attache in Mexico City dated October 16, an unclassified teletype dated October 21 and signed by Colonel Millard Lewis, another signed by Lt. Col. Douglass Eiseman dated October 24 and a diary page for General Hoyt S. Vandenberg. I mention that so we all don’t have to run through those documents several times. I have them and have seen them on the Internet at the Project 1947 historical group.
I’m hoping someone in El Paso, West Texas, and that general region might be able to learn a little more. The newspaper article is an Associated Press story so it could have been published anywhere and I believe that both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times were interested, but don’t know what their conclusions might be. Message traffic, which are the other documents, are routinely destroyed when they have served their purpose, though the originator might retain file copies but after 65 years there seems unlikely I’ll be able to find them.
 
If anyone out there can point me in a direction that might yield a little more information, I would appreciate it. I suspect, given the description and what I know about bolides, is that this is the answer (because there is just no evidence that this was a stray missile from White Sands or Fort Bliss) but there are enough questions now to continue the search.

22 comments:

DEII 99 said...

ou can get more information about the incident here:

http://marcianitosverdes.haaan.com/2012/04/el-da-despus-de-roswell-60/

and the following entries.
Sorry, it is in Spanish :-))

LuisR

KRandle said...

Luis -

I attempted to visit that site, but my anti-virus alerted me to a possible contamination. I don't know what form the threat took, but I went no further.

My Spanish isn't all that good anyway. Can you provide a synopsis of what is there? Thanks.

JAF said...

Kevin, You can use Google Translate to get that entire webpage translated from Spanish to English.

Go to http://translate.google.com/?hl=en&tab=wT and paste in the webpage address you want translated into the left hand box. In this case, that would be:

http://marcianitosverdes.haaan.com/2012/04/el-da-despus-de-roswell-60/

Once you've pasted the webpage address, hit your enter key and Google will translate and display the entire page. No need to tell it that you want to go from Spanish to English. It'll determine that automatically.

You can also get to Google Translate by going to https://www.google.com/ , clicking "More" from the top menu line and selecting "Translate" from the drop down menu.

Bob Koford said...

It would be nice to get some fresher info on this. The page the other folks mentioned is a gathering of the press reports. As for that link, it IS interesting to note how the press continued on the "unsolved mystery" angle, but it was never taken up again...never revisited??

Also, I'm of the opinion "it" must have impacted. The witnesses gave the military enough information to point them toward "Cassetta - Reforma"...an actual physical/geographic location. This would mean that it wasn't a bolide "contrail", but an actual crash-site with a billow of smoke, which the eyewitnesses decribed.

The newest info I had been aware of with this was Project 1947's gaining some more data on the military cadets exchage that had occurred, coincidentaly, on the 13th.

I found that Forrestal did have a private meeting with them (the visiting Mexican Cadets), in his office, between 12:00-12:30. He also later had time with them at the dinner. One can only wonder if anyone traveling with these cadets would be conveying the Essential Elements of Information about it to Secretary Forrestal.

It would be nice to be able to find some "old timers" from the area. Someone might remeber that day. There must be more to the story.

Thanks,
Bob

paul thompson said...

Oh please. Yet another 65 year old UFO claim? Don't we have anything more compelling, and more recent, to examine?

Bob Koford said...

paul

I think in this case, if it wasn't a bolide, and it actually impacted, then there is an interesting story there no matter what it turns out to be.

I am intrigued also by the concern that evolved due the the incident in May. There were sovereignty issues involved.

It paints a situation that remained, suddenly, unsettled. It would be nice to close it with the actual facts.

Chris Perridas said...

This is one version with a little more detail.

Zanesville, Ohioe
Monday, 13 October 1947
page 1

Mexicans Report Bomb Explosion Near Border

EL PASO. Tex., Oct. 12—(AP)—An unidentified flaming object soared over the Texas-Mexico border oday, apparently smashing Into the Samalayuca mountains of Mexico with a loud explosion and billows of smoke.

The approximate Impact area was estimated to be less than 10 miles from the point where a V-2 rocket, off Its track, crashed south of Juarez May 29.

The public relations officer at the White Sands proving grounds, where the V-2 rockets have been launched, said none of the missiles had been fired since Oct. 9.

Maj. Gen. John L. Homer. Fort Bliss commander and military officials at air fields and other installations in the southwest, said that no guided missiles had been fired today and no rocket planes were missing from fields in the area.

At least four persons saw the fiery object darting through the skies "with the speed of a falling
star" at approximately 9:30 a. m. Mexican time (8:30 a. m. MST) and many people In the Fabens, Tex., area, 28 miles east of El Paso on the Mexican border, heard the explosion of the body when it
struck.

Two persons on the highway between El Paso and Fabens reported seeing an unaccounted for billow of smoke in the Zamalayuca mountains about the time that the explosion was heard.

Sabas Aranda a reserve captain In the Mexican army, was the first to report the incident Captain Aranda, unable to reach the Juarez military garrison by telephone, went to the U. S. customs house, four miles southeast of Fabens, and reported the incident to J. C. Bunnell, U. S. customs inspector.

KRandle said...

Paul -

This is a report that appears in Project Blue Book. I have little reason to believe that it is the crash of an alien craft but I would like to know more about it rather than leaving it hang.

Bob -

It certainly sounds like a bolide, but we really don't know for sure. It doesn't seem to be a missile or a rocket since nothing was launched in the right time frame.

Chris -

Thanks for the article. This is exactly what I need. Just a little more information.

JAF -

My problem wasn't that the page was in Spanish... I can read Spanish, though it is slow gonig for me... but that when I used the url, it came up, according to my anti-virus, that it was an infected page. That was why I asked for a synopsis of the page.

JAF said...

Kevin, you don't have to visit the URL to use Google Translate. All you do is visit Google, so presumably your antivirus wouldn't get upset. Google itself visits the URL, does the translating and sends you the translated result. My antivirus did not act up either when I used Google Translate nor when I visited the URL directly.

The page quotes various newspaper articles. Here is the first one, the Bridgeport Telegram:

Mystery U.S. missile strikes in the Mexican hills

El Paso, Texas, Oct. 12 (AP) - An unidentified object in flames rose over the Texas-Mexico border today, apparently impacting Zamaleyuca Mountains (sic) in Mexico, with a loud explosion and columns smoke.

The impact area is estimated to be approximately less than 10 miles from the point where a V-2 rocket, out of its path, crashed south of Juarez, on May 29.

The public relations officer at the White Sands Proving Grounds, where the rockets were launched V-2, said none of the missiles had been fired from the October 9.

No rocket planes lost

Major General John L. Homer, commander of Fort Bliss and military officials in the fields of air and other facilities in the Southwest, said no guided missile had been launched today and had not lost rocket planes of area courses.

At least four people saw the object throwing fire into the air "with the speed of a star leaks" about 9:30 a m., Mexico time (8:30 am MST) and many people in the area of Fabens, Texas, 28 miles east of El Paso on the Mexican border, heard the explosion of the body when it crashed.

Two people on the road between El Paso and Fabens countless waves reported seeing smoke in the mountains of Samalayuca while the explosion was heard.

There was a terrible noise

Sabas Aranda, a reserve captain in the Mexican Army, was the first to report the incident. Captain Aranda, unable to telephone the military garrison of Ciudad Juarez, went to the office of the U.S., four miles southeast of Fabens, and reported the incident to JC Bunnell, U.S. customs inspector.

JW Hooten, editor of the El Paso Times, said he telephoned the Sheriff Alan Bunnell Falby here, that the mayor and other officials of Guadalupe, Mexico, across the border from Fabens, had reported seeing the object, about five meters long and three meters in diameter, coming to town to traveling about 30 feet above the ground and exploding with a terrible noise and heavy smoke was still in the impact zone three hours later.

Hooten said Guadalupe officials stated that the bomb came from the direction of the United States.

Captain Aranda, said the object moved from east to west, indicating that it came from the direction of the United States.


I'll post some more in another comment.

JAF said...

Some more from Google Translation of http://marcianitosverdes.haaan.com/2012/04/el-da-despus-de-roswell-60/ :

Another report in the newspapers says:

Mexico's Mysterious Missile

October 12, 1947

At 8:30 am on October 12, 1947, a blue or silver object in flames hit the Earth near the town of Guadalupe, Chihuahua, Mexico, just across the border from the town of Fabens, Texas.

It was reported that he had come from the direction of the United States, and produced a considerable impact crater. Members of the Mexican Army, who visited the site, said that the object was another V-2 similar to the incident of May 29, and the War Department issued a statement repeating Mexico affirmation. The Mexicans were understandably concerned about U.S. missile after the fiasco of the spring.

HoytVandenberg Maj. Gen. John Homer, commander of Fort Bliss, who had witnessed the accident Hermes II missile in May, personally investigated the incident in October to determine if the object was a missile outside U.S. control of some kind. While Homer expressed the view that the story was inflated, which received attention was surprisingly high levels in the U.S.. The incident was referenced in the diary of the Chief Hoyt Vandenberg Air Force.

In my book UFO crashes in Mexico [5], copy the part relating to this incident:

FlyingSaucersOnTheAttack Perhaps the first modern report of a UFO crash on Mexican territory is the one narrated by Harold T. Wilkins in his Flying Saucers on the Attack (Flying Saucers attack, page 72). It is a contemporary event (just three months apart) the famous Roswell Incident. Wilkins writes:

"To the south, in the territory of Mexico, southeast of El Paso, on October 10, 1947 [6], exploded in the sky blazing a mysterious object, and left behind him what he described as a "huge cloud of smoke." We can not say that this was a fireball or meteor of unusual size, but it is very remarkable that seven hours before this mysterious explosion in the sky of Mexico, five residents of the West Coast at the San Diego Tribune reported-Sun they had seen the largest celestial thing from Comet Halley:

OvnisEstrelladosEnMexico "'He crossed the sky seven hours before the explosion near El Paso. At about 12:30, they saw a luminous object in the Northeast. It seemed the size of a four-engine plane, seen from below, and seemed to be about 2,000 meters. His speed was huge and kept wake. He had a strong core fluorescent diffuse outward. It looked like Saturn with a ring around it, but it definitely was not a meteorite. Traveling in a straight line towards the horizon. '"

It really was Harold T. Wilkins who provided the first clue about the subject of UFOs crashed in Mexico. In particular on the case of Samalayuca, supposedly occurred in 1947, and of which I have already dealt another time. Wilkins wrote on page 54 of the book:

"My information is that this metal or alloy [7], was analyzed along with something that had fallen in similar circumstances other foreign object in the sky near Samalayuca, Mexico. "

The fact was true, only that Wilkins was confused at the time and place of "landing". Really the accident occurred on May 29, 1947, south of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, as discussed below. The facts were revealed by the press until mid-October when the ufologist would like accident [8].

The page quotes other newspaper accounts, which are mostly a repetition of the few I've posted here.

Incidentally,
http://www.project1947.com/gr/oct47mystcrash.htm
offers some documents on this same crash.

Chris Perridas said...

More newspaper information:
_____
El Paso Herald Post October 14, 1947
Biggs Field Planes Join Hunt For Trace Of 'Flaming Object'

Two Biggs Field planes today, joined the search' for a "flaming object" that reportedly fell to Mexico south of Fabens Sunday.

Permission for the search was obtained from 12th Air Force headquarters at March Field, Calif.

Brig. Gen. Enrique Diaz Gonzales, commander of the Juarez military garrison military garrison, last night asked that U.S. Army planes aid in the search.

The Air Rescue Services plane pilots were prepared to drop smoke bombs to direct Mexican cavalrymen to likely spots.

Six horsemen were searching the area today.

A jeep-borne party abandoned a search for the' object yesterday when the jeep balked at climbing sandhills southwest of Cazeta, tiny Mexican village opposite Fabens.

One Man Saw Missile

The party, headed by General Diaz Gonzalez, followed a trail for nearly a mile into the desert, but
found no trace of the mystery missile.

General Gonzalez' party could find only one man who said he actually saw a strange object flash
across the sky, Sunday at 8:30 a. m. He is Sabas Aranda, farmer, of Cazeta.

Four others told the general they heard explosions about that time in the general direction of Arroyo
Cotilloze, between Cazeta and Samalayuca. They said the explosions must have occurred about 10 miles south of the border.

The horsemen, at General Diaz Gonzalez' direction, will search the Arroyo Cotilloze area.

Seen at Caballo Dam

Farmer Aranda's report to U. S. Customs officers at Fabens, that he saw a strange blue object go over
his farm,. also caused Ft. Bliss officials to investigate.

A Las Cruces man who declined to permit use of his name, reported today that he and a friend were hunting at Caballo Dam between Las Cruces and Hot Springs Sunday, and he glanced to the southeast
about 8:30 in time to see a fiery ball "about the shape and color of an. orange" streak across the lower part of the sky, moving from east to west.

It had a tail of black smoke and disappeared in a moment below the crest of mountains between the
dam and El Paso.
_____

Chris Perridas said...

Amarillo Daily News
Page 1
13 October 1947

Mystery Missile Plunges Into Mexican Mountains

El Paso, Oct. 12 (AP)—An unidentified flaming object soared over the Texas-Mexico border today, apparently smashing into the Zamalayuca Mountains of Mexico with a loud explosion and billows of smoke.

The approximate impact area was estimated to be less than 10 miles from the point where a V-2 rocket, off its track, crashed south of Juarez May 29.

The public relations officer at the White Sands Proving Grounds, where the V-2 have been launched, said none of the missiles had been fired since Oct. 9.

Maj. Gen. John L. Homer, Fort Bliss commander and military officials at air fields and other installations in the Southwest, said that no guided missiles had been fired today and no rocket planes
were missing from fields in the area.

At least four persons saw the fiery object darting through the skies "with the speed of a falling star" at approximately 9:30 o'clock this morning and many people in the Fabens area, 28 miles east of El Paso on the Mexican border heard the explosion of the body with {sic} it struck.

Two persons on the highway between El Paso and Fabens reported seeing an unaccounted for billow of
smoke in the Zamalayuca Mountains about the time that the explosion was heard.

Sabas Aranda, a reserve captain in the Mexican Army, was the first to report the incident. Captain Aranda, unable to reach the Juarez military garrison by telephone, went to the US customs house, four miles southeast of Fabens. and reported the incident to J. C. Bunnell, US customs, inspector.

J. W, Hooten, editor of The El Paso Times, said Bunnell telephoned Sheriff Alan Falby here that the mayor and other officials of Guadalupe, Mexico, across the border from Fabens, had informed him that they saw the object, about 5 feet long and 3 feet in diameter, come over the town traveling about 30 meters above the ground and explode with a terrific noise and that smoke was still thick in the impact vicinity three hours later.

Captain Aranda said that the object was traveling from east to west, which would indicate that it came from the direction of the United States.

"Attracted by a brilliant light," Aranda said, "I looked up and saw an object trailing blue flame traveling at great; speed east to west. It made no noise while traveling but two blasts were heard shortly after It disappeared over .the sandhills near Colonia Reforma." Colonia Reform is a small town near the border.

Captain Aranda said that that the object did not have a trail of smoke. Jim Halloran, city editor of The El Paso Times, quoted local meteorologists as saying that had the object been a meteor, it would have been accompanied by a rumbling noise and a smoke trail.
_____

Chris Perridas said...

Paris News
Paris, Texas
Afternoon Edition
16 October 1947
Page 8

Mystery Object Is Though{t} V-2 Shell

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The War Department reported officially yesterday that investigation of an explosion Sunday in the Zanalayuca Mountains, 35 miles south of Ciudad Juarez on the U. S. border, indicated it was caused by a V-2 projectile launched from a U. S. Army Experimental Station in Texas.

The communiqué did not elaborate.

Sunday the White Sands, N. M., proving grounds said that no V-2 rockets had been fired.

Planes from the Biggs Field, El Paso. Tex., Air Rescue Service earlier yesterday abandoned the search for "the object," a flaming body reportedly seen to have fallen Sunday in Mexico, about 10 miles from the border near Fabens, Tex.

David Rudiak said...

To summarize:

It was generally agreed that the flaming object traveled:

"with the speed of a falling star"

That would be consistent with a bolide. BUT...

"It had a tail of black smoke..."
OR
"Captain Aranda said that that the object did NOT have a trail of smoke. Jim Halloran, city editor of The El Paso Times, quoted local meteorologists as saying that had the object been a meteor, it would have been accompanied by a rumbling noise and a smoke trail."

So it did have a trail of smoke (check bolide) or it did not have a trail of smoke (not bolide). Further, nobody anywhere reported any sound associated with it while it was in flight, when a meteor traveling at hypersonic speed should be creating a terrible racket. (not bolide) Everyone agreed it seemed to impact and explode, sending up a column of smoke (could be anything).

"...had a strong core fluorescent diffuse outward. It looked like Saturn with a ring around it, but it definitely was not a meteorite. Traveling in a straight line towards the horizon. '"

In this case, the witness describes something that does not sound like a bolide and didn't think it was. The Saturn shape could even suggest--shudder--flying saucer, or not. Maybe just an odd description of a bolide.

Was it an errant missile?

"The public relations officer at the White Sands proving grounds, where the V-2 rockets have been launched, said none of the missiles had been fired since Oct. 9. Maj. Gen. John L. Homer. Fort Bliss commander and military officials at air fields and other installations in the southwest, said that no guided missiles had been fired today and no rocket planes were missing from fields in the area."

"MEXICO CITY (AP) — The War Department reported officially yesterday that investigation of an explosion Sunday in the Zanalayuca Mountains, 35 miles south of Ciudad Juarez on the U. S. border, indicated it was caused by a V-2 projectile launched from a U. S. Army Experimental Station in Texas.
Sunday the White Sands, N. M., proving grounds said that no V-2 rockets had been fired."

So officially, the U.S. said no unaccounted for V-2's or other missile, but the Mexican authorities contradicted this, saying it was a V-2 from some unknown launch facility in Texas, not White Sands.

Still a lot of unanswered questions about this one. I'm particularly bothered by the reported absence of sound in flight and possible lack of smoke trail, which is similar to the green fireballs that made their appearance in the area a year later.

Byron Weber said...

To the best of my recollection this was indeed a stray v-2 from white sands that prompted me to discuss the incident by email with S. Friedman about 7 years ago. It was described in detail in a book written about Operation Paperclip many years ago, probably the first of it's kind. I recall it was part of a program called Project WACK or some other term used for females enlisted in the army, but pretty sure it was WACK.
bweber

David Rudiak said...

Byron,

You may be confusing the stray V-2 of May 29, 1947, that crashed near Juarez Mexico and created an international incident. That is well known.

However, there are no known U.S. stray rocket/missile tests from Oct. 1947 that could explain the Samalayuca incident.

Chris Perridas said...

The Chicago meeting of the section on astronomy of the A. A. A. S.
Author: Wylie, C. C.
Popular Astronomy, Vol. 56, p.217
"Contributions of the Meteoritical Society"
(Known formerly as The Society for Research on Meteorites)
Edited by Frederick C. Leoonard
Department of Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles 24

A Proposed Sky Patrol by the Meteoritical Society
C. C. Wylie, Director of the Meteor Section
State University of Iowa, Iowa City
pages 217 ff
Specifically, page 218 "… The flaming object which crashed near the Texas-Mexico border on October 12th of this year (1947) was reported by Mexicans as a V-2 bomb, but investigation by a member of the Meteoritical Society showed that it was a meteor."


Chris Perridas said...

El Paso Herald Post
17 October 1947
Page 1

Engineer Saw Flaming Object'

Harry Williams, , engineer with J. E. Morgan and Sons, said he saw a round, flaming object over his home at 2621 Grant avenue Wednesday.

He said the object-looked to be approximately 20 feet in diameter, and had fire shooting from it. It
looked like pictures he has seen of comets, he said.

"It wasn't coming from any particular direction," Mr. Williams said. "I watched it until it fell from sight."

Chris Perridas said...

Very likely a coincidence - but a town near and dear to many:

Albuquerque Journal
17 October 1947
Friday Morning
page 1


Roswell Lights Also Blink Out

ROSWELL, Oct. 16. (AP)—Roswell and surrounding area were plunged into darkness at 8:25 tonight as a switchboard at the Southwestern Public Service Co. plant burned out, shutting off all electric current.

H. E. Sampson, company district manager, said no one was injured at the plant.

Cause of the failure had not been determined, he added. There was no storm in the area, and there was apparently no external cause for the panel to burn out.

An emergency board is being brought from the company plant at Artesla. Sampson said service would be restored in about three or four hours.

Meanwhile newspaper publication was suspended, radio stations shut down, and the few business firms open at night were operating by candle light. Theaters refunded their patrons' money and closed for the night.

City police reported several minor accidents, as traffic lights ceased operating.

Chris Perridas said...

Las Cruces Sun-News
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Wednesday
15 October 1947
Afternoon edition
page 1
(Likely from AP dispatch)

General Denies 'Object' was V-2

Brig, Gen, Phillip B. Blackmore, commanding officer of White Sands Proving Ground, today said the
the mysterious cigar-shaped missile sighted over Fabens Sunday could not be a V-2 rocket.

Mexican army officials at Mexico City yesterday said an investigation showed the flaming object to be a V-2 rocket launched from a Texas experimental station by the U.S. Army.

"There is not a V-2 launching place in Texas," General Blackmore said. "There is not another area for launching V-2's in the country other than White Sands.

"We were not firing Sunday. So far as I know, there was not a firing of this nature anywhere by our Army Sunday."

Neither was the mysterious object a "Gaps" rocket, or a defensive missile launched by Boeing air craft engineers and the Army at the Alamogordo Army air base.

An Army official at Alamogordo said the last GAPA was fired Wednesday, and was recovered a few hours after it was launched.

GAPA is the code word for ground-to-air pilotless aircraft.

KRandle said...

Chris, JAF -

Thanks for the additional information. I appreciate the effort. I will note that the documents on the Project 1947 web site are ones that I already have, and that I do have a full copy of the Project Blue Book file on it as well.

Again to all... thanks.

Bob Koford said...

I believe the "last word" is the memo of the 24th, found in the BB file. Even by the 24th, there doesn't seem to be an answer.