Sunday, May 24, 2020

Gerald Anderson, Stan Friedman and Winfred Buskirk - Plains of San Agustin Controversy


In an attempt to clean up some things, I was looking at the Gerald Anderson tale of seeing a crashed flying saucer on the Plains of San Agustin back in 1947. This became quite the controversy in 1991 when Anderson identified the leader of the archaeologists seen there as Adrian Buskirk. Tom Carey, who has an advanced degree in anthropology, took on the task of locating Buskirk. While he didn’t find anyone named Adrian, he did find one man named Winfred Buskirk who had earned a Ph.D. in anthropology in 1949.

Could this be the same man that Anderson had identified?

Given the “identikit” sketch that Anderson had created to help identify Buskirk and the photographs of Buskirk that Carey located during his search, the answer is “Yes.” To make the connection even stronger, copies of the “identikit” sketch were circulated in New Mexico and more than one person, upon seeing it said, “That’s Win Buskirk.”

Buskirk denied that he had been involved. He said that he had been in Arizona in July 1947, and that he knew nothing about a UFO crash on the Plains, or anywhere else for that matter. That lead to the question, “Then how had Anderson been able to pinpoint Buskirk as the man on the Plains, if Buskirk had not been there?” (Not to mention how the five-year-old Anderson would have remembered Buskirk after some forty-five or so years?)

Don Schmitt
Once we (and by we, I mean Tom Carey, Don Schmitt and me) had located and talked with Buskirk, we learned that he had taught high school anthropology in the late 1950s in Albuquerque. According to Anderson, has family had moved to Albuquerque in June 1947, and not long after, he had been down on the Plains, searching for Moss Agate, which was how they stumbled onto the crashed saucer. We had them, Buskirk and Anderson, in the same state at about the same time which didn’t mean they had seen each other, let alone known each other.

On July 19, 1991, Buskirk wrote to me. We had aroused his curiosity about all this. He wrote, “Your colleague Tom told me Anderson’s family moved to Albuquerque. He would, if five years old in 1947, he would have been in high school around 1957 – 58 - 59. During those years I was teaching at Albuquerque High School, mostly history but also other subjects… I think it not unlikely that Anderson heard of me and saw me there and that later, somehow the name became associated with his childhood memories. There is also the possibility that Anderson faked his whole story. He might have used a high school annual for a picture of me to provide his sketches. Can a 40-year-old memory of a five-year-old be that good? In 1947 I would have been much thinner faced.”

Buskirk was now interested in the puzzle. How had Anderson selected him as the leader of the archaeologists on the Plains? On August 8, 1991, he provided an answer. Buskirk wrote:

Mary… Klicker called me this evening. I had written her asking her to check her year books. There is nothing on Anderson in them, apparently.
Then Robert Hannan, a former history teacher and Jim Hulsman, the basketball coach at Albuquerque High School, called her. They had been contacted by [Stan] Friedman and both had pointed him to her (Mrs. Klicker, used to be the assistant principal). But Friedman has not contacted her. She was interested enough then to ask Hannah and Hulsman to get on the case. All were good friends of mine.
They went to the Public Schools microwave [I’m sure he meant microfilm) records and came up with this information… Gerald Francis Anderson was born [I’ve left the date out for privacy reasons]. In the fall of 1956 he enrolled at Highland High School… but after less than a year moved to Indianapolis.
Then on 2 (or 3rd) October 1957 he enrolled at Albuquerque High, stayed a little over a year, then checked out on 3 October 1958… His grade point average in Albuquerque was [well, I have it, but leave it out for privacy reasons… I mentioned this only to suggest the depth of the information that Buskirk supplied].
Now – at Albuquerque High he was enrolled for a semester of Anthropology. This was a course I taught in the fall, so must have taken it in 1957… You will probably want to call Mrs. Klicker, Jim Hulsman, and Robert Hannah for a verification and possibly more information…
Quite naturally, I did contact them, and they did verify the information. We had established a contact between Buskirk and Anderson, not in 1947 but in 1957. The records in Albuquerque verified it. What are the odds that they, Buskirk and Anderson, would meet in one of the biggest events in history only to meet again ten years later while Anderson was in high school and Buskirk happened to be
Stan Friedman
teaching in that very high school? Buskirk wrote that he didn’t remember Anderson, but given the circumstances, and since Anderson reportedly remembered Buskirk well enough to produce an accurate sketch decades later, wouldn’t Anderson have mentioned something about it when he recognized his teacher?

Here’s the kicker. Here’s the important point. In a letter dated August 19, 1991, Buskirk wrote, “Dr. [yes, I know he didn’t have a doctorate] Friedman had previously made inquiries of Hulsman.”

This was the first time that we had proved that Anderson had been less than candid with his tale. According to Buskirk, Friedman had been given the information about Anderson having studied anthropology and therefore knew the truth, yet he maintained that Anderson hadn’t known Buskirk and hadn’t seen him at the high school arguing that the high school had three buildings so it was conceivable that Anderson never ran into Buskirk... this despite the fact that the information put them in the same classroom.

When I learned about Anderson’s connection to Buskirk, I called Fred Whiting at the Fund for UFO Research. I wanted him to know that we had not only put Anderson into the same high school as Buskirk, but we’d put him in the class room. I had the information from Buskirk, which I believed to be reliable, but I made the telephone calls myself and talked with those that Buskirk had mentioned who could corroborate it. One of them told me, as I asked questions, that he was looking at the transcript as we spoke.

Whiting, apparently called Friedman and Friedman called Anderson. At that point Anderson called the high school. Anderson later wrote to me:

Be advised, however, I have been in contact with the officials of the Albuquerque High School, one in particular…. [ellipses in the original] Mr. Halsay. Also be advised Sir, that I am more than a little aware of my Constitutional rights under FERPA (Family Education Right to Privacy act [sic]…. Just in case you needed a reminder). Make no mistake about it Mr. Randle, if I find out that you have obtained and altered my high school transcripts (or even if you didn’t alter it) without my permission, you and whoever assisted you are going to find yourselves facing Federal charges and the accompanying suits filed under tort law (my [here he gives his GPA, which confirmed the information that I have been given] notwithstanding).
This didn’t concern me, but I had been talking with people in New Mexico who still worked for the school district. My inquiries could have caused them a great deal of trouble over something that was, in the greater scheme of things, trivial. Why put their jobs in jeopardy? I already had the information but more importantly, Stan Friedman had it as well. He knew that Anderson had identified his high school anthropology teacher as the leader of the archaeologists on the Plains but chose to conceal this information. I knew it too, and obviously, so did Anderson.

This was, to me, the smoking gun. Anderson had been caught in complex lie. He had placed his five-year-old self on the Plains to see the downed disk, had identified the archaeologist of fame and fortune as from the University of Pennsylvania led by Buskirk, and denied that he had seen Buskirk at any time after that day in 1947. We knew that Buskirk had no affiliation with Penn, that he had been in Arizona in July 1947, and that he had taught Anderson anthropology in 1957.

Anderson and Friedman managed to block this information. Anderson with his threats and Friedman with his attacks against me. He had claimed that I was attempting to invalidate (a nice way of saying what he was doing) Anderson with false information. But he knew the truth and actively campaigned to keep it hidden.

Later, Anderson would be exposed forging his telephone bill to, as he put it, make me look bad. Although Friedman and John Carpenter are often credited with the initial discovery, I was the one who proved that the phone bill Anderson had submitted to prove that he and I had only spoke briefly had been altered by Anderson to reflect Anderson’s claim.  I had the documentation from the telephone company with the accurate information on it. Anderson eventually admitted to the forgery when Friedman obtained a copy of the telephone bill from the phone company.

(You can read about this episode in the July/August 1992 issue of the International UFO Reporter and in the January 1993 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. For those who wish a report about some of these activities from a disinterested third party see:


Although it might seem that I’m beating a dead horse, I will say again that Friedman had the information about the high school classes even before I got it. He just said nothing about it, and when it was clear that I had it, attempted to get it suppressed. At this point, with the people who supplied the information safe from retribution and even though Anderson has been reduced to a footnote in the Plains controversy, it is important that Friedman’s role be exposed.

For those interested… Yes, I have copies of the letters about Anderson’s high school credentials, if we really need that today. He admitted to forgery on other documents and that should be enough to remove him from this UFO controversy.


1 comment:

Brian B said...

Doesn’t that bring into question other cases Friedman claimed were true? I mean if Friedman was willing to hide information to bolster his own claims, I can only assume he did it in other cases.