As those of you who visit here regularly know, I am not a fan of the Aztec UFO crash of 1948. I have followed the story since I was in high school and remember finding a copy of the True magazine article in a Denver used bookstore in the early 1960s. To me, it was the definitive investigation of the case. I watched in the 1970s as the story was revitalized for a few months, and then in the 1980s when William Steinman wrote his book about the case that was filled with misinformation, leaps of logic, and a really bad organization without an index.
We’ve seen another attempt at this with Stan Friedman leaping aboard the bandwagon of Scott Ramsey’s parade toward the ridiculous. Although Ramsey has claimed he has spent half a million dollars in his reinvestigation (and I have no reason to doubt that figure) but his attempts at revitalizing the tale have fallen short. He has no real documentation, he has some interesting historical facts that aren’t all that relevant and a few relevant ones that he believes are unimportant and some testimony that seems to be almost first hand but really isn’t.
While I would like to join that parade, the evidence, at least to me, falls way short, and I’m sure that I’ll be labeled just another debunker. It is far easier to label those who disagree with you than to respond to the criticisms that they might raise (Friedman called me an anti-abduction propagandist for my position on that topic).
For example, I found the Donald “Sam” Bass tale to be
unreliable. Bass couldn’t be interviewed because he had allegedly died in an
automobile accident while serving in Vietnam. I cited the list of those killed
kept by the Park Service who maintains the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.
as my source to reject the tale. Bass’ name was not on it. Ramsey said that they
claimed that they might have missed some of the names though they had worked to
make sure the memorial contains list all those who died in Vietnam. I said that
if we had his serial number, we could gain his records as another way to check
the tale. While Ramsey said he did have the serial number, he wouldn’t supply
it to me so that I might verify the information about Bass.
|Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. Picture copyright by Kevin Randle|
Ramsey also used the “first-hand” testimony from Doug Noland. I was never sure if Ramsey actually interviewed Noland or if he was using a tape of an interview with Noland that had been made by John Lear. It is clear from the information available that Noland had not gone into the interview “clean.” I mean he had read Steinman’s book and was aware of the story. Noland didn’t seem to be a real good source, but there was a tape made of his discussion with Lear.
Now Monte Shriver in an email to me on April 30 he expanded on some of his criticism. He wrote:
In comparing Scott Ramsey's video presentations and the Books, he has Doug working for either El Paso Gas or El Paso Oil in 1948. In the book "The Pipeliners - The story of El Paso Natural Gas" at page 151, the company did not arrive in the San Juan Basin [which encompasses the Aztec area and a large part of the Four Corners] until the summer of 1950 (I [this being Shriver] have found several other inconsistencies between Scott's videos and the books). In a publication by The New Mexico Geological Society it quotes from a book by Thomas A. Dugan in a section called "The San Juan Basin-Episodes and Aspirations" as follows: "In February 1950, the Federal Power Commission issued a temporary permit to El Paso Natural Gas Company to lay a transmission line from the San Juan Basin to the California border. The final permit was issued July 14, 1950 and gas started moving through the line during late summer of 1951...Farmington and the San Juan Basin changed drastically and would never be the same again...El Paso immediately became the most active company and the leader of development in the basin in the fifties and sixties..." There is no record of any other company having the name El Paso Gas or El Paso Oil except for the El Paso Natural Gas Company.
In his book, Ramsey seems to indicate that he had interviewed Manuel Sandoval who was a law enforcement officer in 1948, but Ramsey told me that he had not interviewed him but members of the family and the story told might be third hand at best. I don’t believe that Ramsey was intentionally attempting to mislead here, but his writing style was not as clear as it could have been. Shriver, however, added a note about this, telling me:
Ramsey also has Manuel Sandoval patrolling a Southern Union Gas line from the San Juan Basin to Los Alamos in 1948. In Dugan's "The San Juan Basin-Episodes and Aspirations" he notes that "On March 3, 1949, The Atomic Energy Commission announced their plans to build a pipeline from a point about 25 miles south of Bloomfield to Los Alamos, about 30 miles northeast of Santa Fe. The gas would be purchased from Southern Union Gas Company; the line was to be completed before winter". Ramsey's source has Mr. Sandoval patrolling the line more than a year before it was built".
None of this bodes well for the Aztec tale. I have mentioned in the past that there are no local newspaper articles about it, and some of the witnesses have altered their stories radically over the years and many of the long-time residents say that the crash never happened. The town seems to be split into those who believe the story and those who don’t, which is no real surprise. It does seem, as mentioned in other posts here, that the weight of the evidence suggests that this tale is not based in fact.
Shriver, who tells me he has “retired from rebutting Ramsey’s Aztec UFO claims,” has provided another rebuttal to the new version of the book. It is an interesting document, but for those without a board understanding of the Aztec crash claims, it will be difficult to follow. It is just one more nail in the coffin of a tale that should have been buried a long time ago.
For more information on the Aztec case, as published here in the last couple of years, please see: