Monday, September 17, 2018

Treasure Quest - The Bolivian Brown and a Bale Seal


Well, another episode and another major disappointment. However, it did get me thinking about the production of the show rather than what was happening on my TV screen.

What do you mean, you might ask?

Remember that we were treated to that harrowing ride on the Highway of Death, the trek with a number of burros, the just missed landslide, and all the other obstacles they had to defeat just to reach the Sacambaya Valley where the treasure is allegedly hidden. I wonder just how many people made the trek, how much equipment they had brought in with them, and how much food and other supplies they had. Certainly, way too much for the short burro train we saw.

Since we have seen all four of the treasure hunters on screen at the same time, there is obviously a cameraman somewhere around. The shots change suggesting a cameraman. There might be two because the team is sometimes split. Once, some of them went to Quime, and others stayed behind digging around, suggesting two cameramen.

Larry King Live! in the desert near Rachel, Nevada. While this was a live show, the point is that there are many
support people and lots of equipment required. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.


The number isn’t all that important. What is important is the myth that they’re in some remote area which is nearly impossible to reach. They had trekked in, mainly on foot. But we now see there are more than just the treasure hunters. We have the support team for a television production and that implies a source of resupply that does not rely on burros.

Larry King Live! outside Rachel, Nevada. More of the
support staff for the show and the panel of interview
guests. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle


Of course, we now know that there is a road, a crummy road but a road, from Quime into the Sacambaya Valley. Say what you will about the road, they did manage to get an 18-wheeler over that road, carrying an excavator on its trailer. It might not have been easy, but they did it. And, importantly, the big truck was led by an SUV, which could have made the drive without any real problems. By itself, the SUV might have been able to make the trip in less than an hour.

Which brings us back to the latest episode. They begin their assault on the tunnel they relocated with their ground penetrating radar, but the heavy excavator, using a jackhammer tip, created such vibrations that rocks began tumbling from high above them. Realizing that this could be a problem, they decided to blow off the dangerous sections of the rock formations, attempting to direct the blast so that the rocks fell on the other side of the ridge. While I have no problems with that, this is just another example of all the materiel they brought with them… and remember the makeshift explosives that they had to create in an earlier episode. Why didn’t they use these real explosives then? And, if they didn’t have them then, where did they come from now?

They do break through into the tunnel. They find an old ore cart, something that would have been used in the mining operation. It is, of course, in lousy shape, but it is an interesting artifact. Near it, they find a bit of ornate cloth, that had been interwoven with gold. It is an interesting scrap but only proves that the Jesuits had been there at one time. We already knew that.

Outside, one of the team is worried about the weight of the heavy equipment crushing the tunnel, so he orders it moved back, away from the new entrance they made. While the excavator starts right up, the backhoe doesn’t. The battery is nearly dead. But never to worry, one of the team tells them they’ll just have to slow roast it.

Yup. That’s what he said. So, while the others take the battery out, he builds a fire. He tells us that heat will stimulate the molecules in the battery and that might be enough to get the backhoe’s engine to crank. Sure, it’s dangerous, and rather than stand back, out of the way in case the battery explodes, he stands right next to it as if he has to turn it on a spit, like, well, a roast.

The plan works without a catastrophic explosion. They replace the battery, while being urged to hurry, while it’s still warm… as if it’s going to cool off in that topical environment. Of course, the plan works, because, well, this is Treasure Quest.

Meanwhile, back in the tunnel, the rest of the team continues their search for treasure. No, they don’t fine it but do, eventually, find a skeleton with a massive wound in the skull. The blow could have been the result of any of a number of things, including trauma sustained long after death. Interestingly, they wrap the bones in a shroud and do bury it outside the tunnel showing respect for those who had been there before them. They mark the grave with a cross… and I’ll let it go at that.

Finished with the big finds, for a moment, we are now shown the tents they have been staying in at night, or so we’re led to believe. To the horror of the team, a Bolivian Brown Scorpion has invaded one tent so we have the drama of the others trying to capture the scorpion before it stings the victim. They catch it in a boot and one man puts his hand over the top to keep the scorpion from getting out. I’m thinking that is a good way to get stung, but then, they were messing around with that snake found in their camp in an earlier episode. Nothing like a little brush with danger to keep the drama high.

I did learn that the deadliest scorpion in South America is the Brazilian Yellow. Although it is claimed it rarely delivers a fatal dose, Brazilian health officials suggest one person killed every other day. The Bolivian Brown made no list I could find as the most dangerous, but then any scorpion sting can have major consequences. But I digress.

And they find a coin, or what looked like a coin. They have been teasing us with this find for weeks. We’ve seen it a dozen times, but now we learn it really isn’t a coin, but some sort of lead marker or bale seal for what would have bundles or boxes of real treasure, or so we’re told. It tells the recipient that the package had not been opened somewhere along the journey.  

Since the number on it is 136 (I think, it was one hundred thirty something) that suggests a large number of these bundles, packages, boxes having been created. While they tell us that this proves there is a treasure somewhere around, it doesn’t mean any such thing. The bale seal could have been on any number of different things shipped out of there or even into there depending on the circumstances. Regardless of what they say, it doesn’t mean that the treasure is still hidden nearby, only that gold and/or silver may had been collected there at one time or another. Or maybe I should say something had been collected there for shipment at one time.

We’ve reached the end of the story for the moment. They have found, a bit of ornate cloth interwoven with gold, an old mining cart, a skeleton, a Bolivian Brown Scorpion, and a bale seal. As with all these other treasure hunting shows, we’re seeing a lot of the debris of human habitation, but we’re seeing nothing to tell us that there is two BILLION dollars worth of gold around the Sacambaya Valley. We only know that Jesuits were there a couple of hundred years ago, that they did mine the area, and that they are long gone. Interesting, from an anthropological point of view, but nothing that tells us that there is any treasure hidden around there.

Friday, September 14, 2018

New Socorro UFO Landing Information


The other day Rich Reynolds over at the UFO Conjectures blog, sent me a link to a skeptics site. He wondered if I had seen the information published there about the Socorro UFO landing. I had not, but found the information interesting. You can see that here for yourself:

Dave Thomas, who hosts the site, gave me permission to quote from the two new stories that he had put up there. Neither had been available when I wrote Encounter in the Desert. Had they been, I would have mentioned them, though one is a tad bit farfetched.

Thomas published a letter from Ron Landoll, whose mother lived in Socorro at the time of Lonnie Zamora’s sighting. He related what she told him, but I am disinterested in it. The tale is second hand, but in this case, it turns out that this second-hand testimony accurately reflects what his mother told him. I’m ignoring it because the second letter published by Thomas is from Landoll’s mother, Dorothy.

There are some very interesting things in that letter. First, she wrote that she was at home, in Socorro, taking care of the baby (Ron) when her husband called. He was a senior at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIMT) and said that the campus was “abuzz with a UFO that had been sighted.”

She turned on the radio and said that it was tuned to KOMA, which was (or is) an Oklahoma City station. I know that at one time it played rock and roll, because when I lived in Texas some four or five years after the Zamora case, I listened to it. But the real point here is that an Oklahoma City radio station was broadcasting the news of the UFO landing within, what minutes, certainly hours, of the landing. They, like other members of the media got onto the story quickly. This is a point that would become somewhat important later when two men from Dubuque, Iowa claimed to have been in Socorro at the time. Their story seemed to surface almost as did that from Zamora, but a careful reading of suggests it was an invention by those men for some reason. Some of the details they gave turned out to be from a different sighting. They’d gotten their facts mixed up.

The next morning, which would be April 25, 1964, the Landolls drove out to the site. Dorothy Landoll wrote to Thomas:

The next morning we drove out to the site. There was a police car sitting off to one side. There were perhaps 7 or 8 cars parked over to the other side and folks just standing around looking. There wasn't a lot to see. There was one round indentation in the dust near where we were standing (I don't know how many total) - about like what our tires were making. There was no indentation into the hard packed ground as some later stories said. I walked up to the little mesquite bush in the middle and it was somewhat blackened. I didn't touch it but it may have been burned a little and might have had a bit of oil on it. We stood around for a bit too and then left to go home.
While it is interesting to have another first-hand account of what was going on that next morning, it is also necessary to point out that there were impressions in the ground. These were seen by nearly everyone else and either the Army or the police had surrounded the markings with rocks to protect them. They were photographed by
Landing impression. Photo courtesy
of the USAF.
several people including members of the military. Jim and Coral Lorenzen published a picture of one of the landing gear imprints in the May 1964 edition of The A.P.R.O. Bulletin. That picture was taken by State Police Sergeant Sam Chavez.
Dorothy Landoll continued her narrative of the incident. She wrote that:
Holm Bursum III was president of the First State Bank and Polo Pineda was his right-hand man [were there]. At the time of the sighting, Polo was acting sheriff… [I worked at the bank and] still took my morning breaks with her, Polo and one of the tellers. On Monday morning we were in the kitchen when Polo came in… He was as mad as a hornet. Ruth asked him what was going on with the UFO. His first comment was that he'd been told that he wasn't to talk to anyone about what had happened but this was his town and he'd talk to whoever he pleased! He sat down with his coffee and proceeded to tell us.
She provided a synopsis of the Zamora tale and then added an interesting note. She wrote:
Lonnie Zamora was pursuing a vehicle going south near the edge of town when something caught his eye. He drove up on the mesa and looked down to see a round craft with two individuals in silver suits walking around it. After a minute or two they got in and it took off. Describing the craft, he said that it had markings on it similar to what Boeing puts on its planes. Lonnie was so upset/scared that he first headed to the Catholic church for confessional and then contacted Polo. Shortly after that, I was in the front of the bank and there were two obviously FBI men - black suits and sunglasses (which they took off as they entered). They went up to one of the tellers and asked for Polo. I went back and told Polo they were looking for him.
I would like to have known if there was anything more to this encounter between the sheriff and the FBI. We know that one FBI agent was there from the beginning. I don’t know of a second FBI agent in the area, but that doesn’t mean that there hadn’t been one.
It also seems a little strange that the FBI would tell the sheriff not to talk about this when the information had been broadcast on April 24, on a radio station that had the power to reach all the way to Socorro. And that station reached into several other states as well. It was one of the powerhouses of that era.
I do know that Captain Richard Holder, an Army officer involved within about 90 minutes, and the FBI agent Arthur Byrnes, had spoken to Zamora, suggesting that he not talk about seeing any beings associated with the sighting, and to keep the true insignia to himself. Byrnes thought the news media might be a little rough of Zamora for seeing “little green men,” and Holder thought keeping the insignia hidden would help to weed out copycats.
Landoll, in her letter to Thomas, also suggests a solution for the Socorro craft that Zamora reported. She wrote:
The following year we were living in Midland, TX, I'm guessing maybe May or June, my husband had brought in the newspaper and it was lying on the couch. I glanced down at it and hollered to my husband that Lonnie's UFO was on the front page of the paper. What I saw fit the exact description that Polo had given us. It was a photo of a LEM with an article. I wish I had kept that newspaper but it simply wasn't anything of consequence at the time.
And, for those of us who have been paying attention, the illustration drawn by Rick Baca, under the guidance of Zamora, does resemble the LEM. But documentation suggests that the prototype LEMs being tested in New
Rick Baca holding the illustration he made in
consultation with Lonnie Zamora. Photo
copyright by Rich Baca.
Mexico at the time were not powered. The testing involved a helicopter. It seems unlikely that this is the explanation, especially when it is remembered that the Captain Hector Quintanilla, the chief of Blue Book at the time, looked into that possibility. He carried a top-secret clearance, and personally checked at Holloman Air Force Base and the White Sands Missile Range to see if they might have the explanation for the sighting.
But this isn’t the only new additions to Thomas’s skeptics website. He received another communication that provided a much more exciting solution for the case. Kevin J. Ashley wrote that he had been a student at the NMIMT a few years later and that he had been interested in the Zamora sighting. According to him, once he graduated and was employed, he told co-workers about the case. He wrote:
In short, I know the answer to the Socorro Saucer Siting [sic] because I talked to one of the people who was on the other side of the arroyo that morning when Officer Zamora showed up. His name is Bruno R____ and he was a mining engineering student at Tech in the early 1960’s…
As I finished the story I noticed one of the other mining engineers who worked there leaning against the door and laughing. When I asked him what he was laughing at he said, “It was me.”
He then told his story about the incident. He said that he and another mining student were bored and looking for something to do that day. They got their hands on some dynamite (possibly from the dynamite shack mentioned in Officer Zamora’s account) and decided to have some fun setting it off under an old overturned metal barrel. The first time they did this the barrel went flying into the air which they found very amusing so they did it a couple more times. (It was probably the third explosion that attracted the attention of Officer Zamora.) Delighted with the result of the barrel being thrown in the air again, they set about putting together one more explosion. As they were bending down getting everything set they were apparently seen from across the arroyo by Officer Zamora. The two of them, who were wearing white coveralls, were seized with a sudden need to get the hell out of there because being caught doing a stupid stunt like this with dynamite would get them both expelled. (Officer Zamora notes in his statement that one of the persons looked at him and seemed very concerned.) Evidently the fuse had already been lit when Bruno and his friend legged it for their vehicle to get away. Office Zamora started toward the site when the explosion went off and as he dived for cover he lost his glasses. What he saw the couple of times he glanced up was the oil drum being projected upwards with flame coming out from the bottom. Bruno and his friend kept a low profile throughout the entire affair after that and I may have been the first person he told this story to. This was in 1980, sixteen years after the affair.
I suppose, we could believe that two college students, in their early 20s would be dumb enough to play with dynamite in that fashion. And we could believe that Zamora somehow concocted a craft that roared off into the sky out of this.
Ashley did, however, elaborate on what he had been told. This according to what Bruno R. told Ashely:
Reading over the account by Officer Zamora his original description seems to fit well with Bruno’s account. It is the “filling in” of details where the mystery arises. For instance, when people went back and found four burn spots, these became a configuration of thrusters from a vehicle, not the scorched remnants of multiple dynamite explosions. Also important is that this was not a hoax. Bruno and his friend were not trying to fool anyone. This is just a case of an observer trying to explain something that they have not seen before.
The problem here, however, is that the four markings were never considered to be marks of the thrusters, but marks made by the landing gear. The area that would have been under the center of the craft had showed evidence of high heat. No evidence that would have been left behind by dynamite explosions was found, which, I believe rules out this explanation.
Tony Bragalia, who is a proponent of the hoax theory, noted that Bruno R. thougt Ashely, had gotten some of the facts right. Bragalia theorized that three students had been involved, Zamora had been chasing a speeder and the roar of the craft did capture his attention. Bragalia also noted that this wasn’t “innocent” fun as suggested by Ashley, but that it was a planned hoax.
Ashley supplies a little more information about Bruno R. Apparently, he lives in Felton, California. Thomas didn’t follow up on the story imediately. I think he thought the same thing as me. It really is rather farfetched. But then, I do believe we should follow up because we don’t know exactly what Bruno said. I have tried to locate him given the information supplied, but have had no success. Bragalia is also trying. His resources in this are better than mine, so there might be more learned.
The real point here is that we have some new information. I find the tale told by Dorothy Landoll quite interesting because she said she was on the scene the next morning. She described what she saw… and importantly, felt no obligation to share that information with anyone until decades after the sighting. I’m hoping to reach her to find out why she didn’t come forward before now.
If I learn anything new about this, I’ll post it here. For now, you can read the entire text of the letters from the Landolls and Ashley at Thomas’s New Mexico Skeptics website, and for the complete story, you can take a look at Encounter in the Desert, which provides quite a bit of new and additional information about the Socorro Landing.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Dr. Davis Confirms Del Rio UFO Crash?


A couple of weeks ago we were all told, alerted to the fact really, that the Del Rio UFO crash of the mid-1950s had been validated. New information had been mentioned to George Knapp during his hosting duties on Coast-to-Coast. Dr. Eric Davis had made the comment.

But what did he actually say?

Knapp, during their discussion, said, “That makes it sound like there is something to analyze or reverse engineer.

Then, according to the radio program, and a brief transcript offered at a number of UFO related websites, Davis said, “Yeah, they’ve got…I would say…you know…If you’re going to throw your bets on Roswell, your bet’s really good. Del Rio, Texas, that was a 1950s case, that was another one, and the other ones I won’t bring up because those are still classified.”
That was the extent of what he said about the Del Rio crash. He added, “But um… and they have not been investigated to my knowledge, I’m sorry, they have not been REVEALED or PUBLISHED to my knowledge. So without knowing that that’s the case I won’t talk about it any further, but we have crash retrievals and they’ve been analyzed and
Dr. Eric Davis Photo copyright
by EarthTech Int'l
unfortunately our laboratory diagnostic technologies and our materials sciences and the understanding of physics that we had were not advanced enough to be able to make heads or tails of what it is, of what they had their hands on.”
And that is it.
If he knew more about the case, or had communicated more about to anyone, I wanted to know because I had come to believe that the Del Rio crash never happened. Too much of the information had radically changed over the years in a way that suggested the tale was untrue. But, in UFO research, you are required to take a look at anything that seems to be new and that provides, well, a different perspective.
The first question is: What do we know about Dr. Davis?
According to his biography published around the Internet, we learn that he has a Ph.D. and “is the Chief Science Officer of EarthTech Int’l, Inc. and the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin. Dr. Davis’ research specializations include breakthrough propulsion physics for interstellar flight, interstellar flight science, beamed energy propulsion, advanced space nuclear power and propulsion, directed energy weapons, future and transformational technology, general relativity theory, quantum field theory, quantum gravity theories, experimental quantum optics, and SETI-xenoarchaeology.”
So, the next step is to take a look at this EarthTech Int’l website.  There we learn more about his background. According to the website he is also described as:
Dr. Davis’ research activities include megawatt-class laser propulsion physics, systems design and performance metrics, and mission applications for the U.S. Air Force laser Lightcraft program; quantum optics tomography experiments to measure negative vacuum energy; studies on the multilayered quantum vacuum structure and its applications; general relativistic time machines and causality, superluminal photons in curved spacetime, gravastars and black holes, and quantum entanglement/teleportation and nonlocality; studies on traversable wormhole and warp drive spacetimes for faster-than-light propulsion; and feasibility studies on laser inertial confinement, inertial electrostatic confinement, Z-pinch, and dense plasma focus fusion concepts for space propulsion.
Dr. Davis serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Early Universe, Cosmology and Strings Group at the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research at Baylor University in Waco, TX. He earned his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Arizona in 1991.
Dr. Davis is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, Directed Energy Professional Society, SPIE, American Astronomical Society, and Association of Former Intelligence Officers.
That sounds pretty impressive. He has also written a number of peer reviewed papers and published a long list of other articles. So, the next thing to do is look at the organization for which he works. There we learn:
The Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin was founded in 1985 by Harold Puthoff, PhD, and later incorporated under EarthTech International, Inc., in 1991 as an innovative research facility with a highpowered creative staff dedicated to exploring the forefront reaches of science and engineering. Our research interests include theories of spacetime, gravity and cosmology; studies of the quantum vacuum; modifications of standard theories of electrodynamics; interstellar flight science; and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, specifically as these topics may apply to developing innovative space propulsion and sources of energy. We strive to translate these ideas into laboratory experiments.
I guess the point here is that he doesn’t sound like your typical UFO guy. His credentials seem to be solid and his work seems to be advanced. That just brings us back to his comment about Del Rio. Is there more to that?
Everything that I can find suggests he just made the one comment on Coast-to-Coast. George Knapp couldn’t tell me anything more but did mention that Davis had said he was getting a lot of emails after his appearance on the show. That was not much help.
Ruben Uriarte, who was delighted with the endorsement of the Del Rio crash, didn’t know anything more about it either. He thought it would be great to obtain additional documents from the Mexican government or the US military about the crash. That, of
CAP Major Robert
Willingham
course, presupposes that there are documents from either of those sources, which Davis seemed to imply but I have no information that this is accurate.
I did attempt to learn more from Davis, but my emails to him went unanswered. I, as did so many others, wanted to know what additional information he could supply. Without anything, we are left with only the original source of the tale, Robert Willingham, who claimed to have been an Air Force officer, a fighter pilot, and the one who had seen the crashed craft in Del Rio. The problem is, Willingham was none of those things, and rather than repeat all the information here, I’ll just suggest you take a look on what I found several years ago. You can read it here:
Or, if you are interested, I published a list of the various articles about Willingham which also covers some of the other problems with his tales here:
That first article will let you sort through quite a bit of information about the Del Rio crash in all its various incarnations and the ever-shifting date as supplied by Willingham. For those of us who actually served in a combat environment, who were actually military pilots, the whole Willingham tale is an insult.
The problem for me is if Dr. Davis has no additional information and was relying on the statements made by Willingham, then that calls some of his other comments into question. The Del Rio crash can be traced only to Willingham and there is no corroboration for it. That’s why I was surprised that Davis had mentioned it specifically.
I have emailed Davis again, asking for any sort of corroboration of this crash tale. I suspect I won’t learn much more because there isn’t any more to learn. Willingham invented the tale in 1968, claimed it happened in 1948, later claimed it happened in 1950 and finally said it happened in the mid-1950s. He wasn’t a colonel and he wasn’t a fighter pilot. With that, Willingham inadvertently takes some of Davis’s credibility with him.
And that is what so frequently happens in UFO research.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Treasure Quest and the Secret Road


I have come to believe that the producers of Treasure Quest believe that we all are pretty dumb. The last two episodes prove that point. First, we have the great snake fight as they try to chase away a rather large snake that was annoying the burros. I’m just not sure of the wisdom of messing with something like that. I don’t know what kind of snake it was, but I do know there are some very deadly snakes in the area and a bite would prove fatal unless they could get to the hospital quickly.

Yes, that’s my take away from that episode. About the only other thing they did was discover a tunnel and managed to break through the top. They explored it quickly but found little. C. H. Prodgers, who was one of the first to search for the treasure at the turn of the last century had found tunnels as well. Seems like the Jesuits, who built the mission and who were responsible for mining in the area, built lots of tunnels and mine shafts. Finding one was not of great importance.

The episode was a sort of “let’s get this show on the road” type thing, setting up those episodes that would follow. Just enough to hold our interest (well, almost) and get us to come back to see if anything exciting happens next.

It was in episode three where I think the whole thing comes off the rails. It demonstrates that there is a lot of imagination going on and I’m not sure we can call this a reality show anymore. There was obviously research that had been conducted by the production staff about this area before anyone arrived and there was a long list of necessary equipment created.

Here’s what I mean. They have metal detectors. They have ground penetrating radar. They have another device that allows them to look below the surface and has been instrumental in them locating and following one of these tunnels which is different from the ground penetrating radar. I have to ask, “How do they power all these electronic devices?”

Sure, they brought in batteries, but how do they recharge them? They need a source of electricity, and if there is wiring for electricity into the area, then it is not as remote as they suggest. And if there isn’t, then they had to bring in something to create the electricity to recharge all those batteries which suggests that the area is not as remote as they suggest.

Taking this a step further, and I’ve mention this before, what about all the camera and sound equipment? In this last episode we watch as they take apart one of the drones, attach the parts of it to another piece of equipment that is used by the camera crew and make some sort of remote control rover. Now, attaching a camera to it, they can explore the tunnel they found that was almost completely blocked by a cave-in. They just allow the rover to drive through the small opening at the top of the debris, and now they can look at the other side of the tunnel. But what that really tells us is that they have a lot of stuff that we haven’t seen and I wonder where it all came from.

They begin to dig another access point beyond the cave in, found by using that fancy equipment. They’re digging with picks and shovels, and since this is a treasure hunt, you’d expect them to bring that sort of thing in with them. But, you must remember that these tools are heavy and apparently, they didn’t have all that many burros on their long trek into the Sacambaya Valley, which suggests the journey was more drama than necessity.

They realize that digging another hole to get into the tunnel is nearly impossible because the ground is too hard or too rocky. They’re going to need something heavier. We learn now that there is a mining town not all that far away. They can walk to it in a matter of hours, okay, twelve or thirteen hours, to see if there is any heavy equipment available to rent, all the while assuming there will be a way to get that stuff back to the valley. I mean you can rent all the excavators you want but if there is no road, then the excavator will be useless.

A 3D view of Quime and the roads leading in and out.
To me this idea of heavy equipment and a road is an incredible piece of information and deduction. According to what we have been told before, or shown before, the Sacambaya Valley is nearly impossible to reach. They had to walk in with burros carrying everything they would need such as food. How big is that crew anyway? We do see a cameraman so we learn that not only the on-air “talent” is there, but something of a support staff as well… But I digress.

They make the trek, find the town, and find a company that is willing to rent them some heavy equipment such as an excavator and a back hoe. First, of course, they must get a blessing from a local shaman. I find this interesting from an anthropological point of view, but it does nothing to really advance the story. Just what Hollywood used to call “Oat meal.” That is, something put into a story to stretch it out. Filler.

They manage to rent the equipment (why am I not surprised), and, one of the locals knows of a “secret” road that leads back, into the
Downtown Quime.
Sacambaya Valley. Really? There is a road into the area? And since they’re in a town, there are roads leading to it as well so the journey over the Highway of Death and then with the burros down into the valley could have been avoided if they all had been smart enough to check out the surrounding area. Someone surely had to know what was going on. You just don’t assume that you’ll be able to get to the town, rent the equipment you need, and that there will be a road to take them back into the valley. This does, sort of, wreck my helicopter theory but it also smacks of a script.

Anyway, they rent the equipment and head out, but no, there is another obstacle. Part of the road has been washed out. They get their SUV beyond it, but the tractor-trailer carrying the excavator is too big and too heavy to make it across. BUT WAIT, one of the local men has a friend who can bring them some logs to bridge the gap. Sure, he can get there quickly, but it will cost them. Sure, he does get there quickly.

And yes, they bridge the gap, get the equipment across just as part of the bridge falls away. Does anyone else see this as just another part of the script to enhance the drama?

To recap briefly. They entered the area unaware of the mining community only a long walk from the Sacambaya Valley. They are unaware of the road that leads from that community to where they are working. According to them, they didn’t see the road on any map, but I wonder if they have ever heard of Google Earth.

We know they trekked over to Quime, which isn’t all that isolated. There are roads on the aerial views that lead in and out of town. These are unnamed roads, which might not appear on any maps, but do show up on Google Earth. Did the producers not search the area using the Internet? Had they never heard of Google Earth? Wouldn’t this explain where the burros came from in the first place?

One of the hotel rooms available in Quime.
There are two hotels, at least, in Quime, and neither are very expensive. While the walk to them might take ten or twelve hours, I’m thinking that it would be worth the effort for a couple of days of living inside where there would be hot water, better food, and probably Internet access. And they wouldn’t have to worry about snakes joining them in their sleeping bags, something else they would have had to bring in on the backs of those poor, tiny burros.

Here’s the point. We are lead to believe that these guys trekked in, avoiding danger, dodging landslides and snakes and other hazards. But the equipment they have suggests something else. There is no visible support for the technology, but it still works. There is no electricity but the batteries never run down. They have all the food they need and while I’m not sure about the river water as a source of potable water, there certainly are ways to purify it.

But the point that leaves me cold was the location of the town with mining equipment and a road that leads back to the Sacambaya Valley. They say that it wasn’t on the maps which might be true, but it is on Google Earth and I don’t believe that they headed into the area without knowing about it. I find that a little dishonest but then, the isolation and the invented danger certainly makes for better television. I’d hate to think they were spending their nights in a hotel in Quime, and using their SUV to get to the valley to shoot the adventure when the production schedule called for it.

So, here’s my prediction. They will find little bits and pieces of old coins and other artifacts, but they’ll just not be able to get to the big stash. In the end, they’ll just fade away as those looking for the Treasure of the Trinity faded away after it seemed they were onto something. This is just an adventure show that is pretending to be reality, but it is nothing more than a scripted adventure created for entertainment.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Satelloon - The Roswell Solution?


Almost from the moment that I became interested in the Roswell case, people were offering solutions for it. Like most everyone else, I thought that a balloon of some nature would answer the questions about the crash. After the first few days in New Mexico, as Don Schmitt and I talked to various people who claimed some inside knowledge of the case, we were disappointed. It seemed there was less than nothing… and then we met Bill Brazel whose tale matched that he had been telling for years about bits of metallic debris.

I mention all this by way of preamble. I didn’t begin believing that Roswell was the crash of an alien spacecraft, but something much more mundane. It was only after talking with Brazel and then many others that my attitude began to change.

At the same time, there were those who pushed the idea that it was some sort of balloon.   John Keel had suggested a Japanese Balloon Bomb, but that was quickly eliminated given the history of them and the circumstances in which they were launched. The Air Force settled on a Project Mogul array in the mid-1990s and at the risk of continuing a lot of unnecessary discussion that has been going on for years, I’m not sold on that. Documentation provided by the Air Force seemed to rule it out.

An inflated Satelloon.
Lately, Dr. Bob Gross introduced us to the Satelloon, which is, basically, a huge, aluminum-covered balloon designed for passive communications. These balloons would be launched into space, inflated, and then radio signals would be bounced off them. This idea was much more cost effective, according to various studies, than using a trans-Atlantic cable for worldwide communications. Of course, in 1947, there had been no artificial satellites launched into orbit. That was ten years away.

The idea of something like the Satelloon, however, was one proposed Arthur C. Clarke in the mid-1940s. He is considered the father of the modern communications satellite even though he had no hand in putting the things into orbit. And, of course, science fiction writers have always been on the forefront of scientific thought with visions of trips to the moon, to the planets of the solar system, and to thoughts of communications with alien civilizations to name just a few of the things they envisioned.

I have attempted to follow up on this Satelloon idea. I have contacted Dr. Gross, but his response was less than helpful. He said that he would think about my questions and decide if he wanted to answer them. These were such puzzlers as had he reviewed all the information supplied by Bill Brazel, meaning his descriptions of fiber optics and balsa-like material that was so touch he couldn’t get a shaving with his pocket knife. His response suggested he would think about it was dated July 21 but I have yet to hear another word from him.

What I have found, by reading his papers, listening to his interviews, is that he suggests that the testing of the Satelloons was imbedded in the testing of the Mogul arrays. Going through Dr. Albert Crary’s field notes on the New York University balloon project, and the other documentation available about these Mogul tests, there is no hint that this was done. Crary mentioned, not only the Mogul name in those notes, but other projects with which
A Satelloon.
they cooperated in some fashion and other equipment that could be relevant to their research. Had a Satelloon been embedded, there is a good chance that it would have been mentioned, but it was not. Is this proof positive? No.

I also note that the Mogul culprit, Flight No. 4, was cancelled according to the available documentation. That would have been launched at dawn on June 4 but wasn’t. There was a launch of a cluster of balloons carrying a sonobuoy later that day, but this was not a Mogul array, according to the documentation available. Charles Moore’s speculative track of Flight No. 4, required it to have been launched at 2:30 or 3:00 a.m., which would have been in violation of the regulations under which they operated. And, given that Dr. Crary noted that it was cancelled at dawn, it means that Moore’s calculations of the path were in error. I mention this only because the track that seemed to take the array in the direction of the Brazel (Foster) ranch is flawed. That means, of course, that whatever fell there did not include a Satelloon.
In my research, I noticed a couple of things. I see that there was nothing that suggested a Satelloon was available in July 1947 for testing with the Mogul arrays. The last relevant entry in Gross’s paper seems to be that no BoPET balloons, which were the type of balloon that would become the Satelloon, were available until 1952. Gross’s timeline then drops to the Roswell crash story and to speculation about satellites including Arthur Clarke’s 1945 paper. That doesn’t provide any documentation that a Satelloon was available in 1947.
Gross does point to the pictures taken in General Ramey’s office, suggesting they show the remains of a Satelloon. The truth is, the pictures show the remains of a rawin radar target and a neoprene weather balloon. There is nothing in those pictures to suggest the remains of a Satelloon.
Gross has suggested that he had other evidence, other documentation that will prove that a Satelloon is responsible for the debris found by Mack Brazel. He has yet to produce it, saying that he doesn’t want to lessen the impact of his upcoming book. This I understand. However, I have found nothing that would suggest that Satelloons were being tested in New Mexico in 1947 and nothing to suggest that they were being tested as early as 1947. The idea was there but the technology had not caught up with the theory. The best I can do is find information on testing in 1952.
Until, and unless, Gross provides the documentation, this is a theory that we must reject. If the documentation exists and we can verify its provenance, we have no choice. If the documentation is presented, at that point we can reevaluate the theory.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Treasure Quest and the San Ramon Document


Brian Bell, who visits here with some regularity, and who often provides information and leads that are less than helpful, came through this last time. He suggested that the inverted V with the three lines through it was an old alchemy symbol. He provided a number of references, and sure enough, that symbol did appear, through rarely, on various charts. It represents amalgam, which is made up of mercury and another element.


The Inverted V with the three lines through it in the second row, second column.

The problem for us here, is that the inverted V sometimes is shown with four lines through it. This is also called amalgam. The four-line version is also part of the “Fire” element.

But this post actually goes beyond just this symbol. The San Ramon Document, which is the alleged source of information about the Sacambaya treasure, has three symbols on it. So far, in the Treasure Quest search for that treasure, no one has bothered to tell us what the symbols mean, or if they are of importance.
The San Ramon Document with the three alchemy symbols on it.
The inverted V with the three circles, one at the apex, and one each on the legs, is also an alchemy symbol. It represents alcohol, or ethyl alcohol. I don’t know what the relevance to the treasure would be, but that symbol is clearly represented, and isn’t all that rare.
The third symbol which is a pyramid of balls, is the alchemy symbol for gravel. There is a variation of it with a cross at the top, which also represents gravel. And there is another variation in which it is called sand. Like the inverted V with four bars, this symbol is also associated with fire.

The San Ramon Document is in Latin and I haven’t even tried to translate the parts we see on the screen. I just wonder if there isn’t something more hidden in it that might provide clues. I don’t believe what they have is an original, but, according to C. H. Prodgers, they have a copy of the original. We don’t know how accurate it might be.

Just one more thing. For those interested in UFOs, I have to wonder how a symbol from alchemy could end up on a craft from another world. If the inverted V is the correct symbol, then this is an amazing coincidence. If the inverted V is the correct symbol, then to me, this argues against an alien visitation. The coincidence is just too big for us to ignore.

And, I have to wonder if they inverted V is the correct symbol if there isn't some hidden meaning in using it in the hoax. If the Socorro landing was a hoax, then the clue to solving this might be in the symbol used... If that is the correct symbol.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Treasure Quest, Socorro, and the Zamora Symbol


I was watching Treasure Quest when they flashed the document that supposedly launched several expeditions into the Sacambaya region of Bolivia. I really wasn’t paying much attention because, well, we’re in the first couple of episodes where nothing much will happen. On the document were a couple of symbols. One of them I recognized.

Now, we go back to last year when I was working on a book about the UFO landing near Socorro, New Mexico. On the craft, as described by Socorro policeman Lonnie Zamora, was a strange symbol. I’m not going
into the controversy about the “real” symbol. I’m just going to concentrate on the one that was released to the press of an inverted “V” with three lines through it.
The alleged symbol seen on the Socorro spacecraft.

Friends, such as my pal Rich Reynolds, have searched for the symbol in various locations, documents, libraries, and archives, without finding a duplicate. But now, I’ve found one.

I don’t know if there is any significance to this. I don’t know what the symbol on the Treasure Quest document represents. I just happened to notice that the symbols were the same and found it odd
Symbol seen on the Sacambaya Document.
that this symbol is found on a document that was supposedly created a couple of hundred years ago matching one that was allegedly painted on the side of a spacecraft seen in New Mexico in 1964.

This is probably just a coincidence. The world is filed with coincidences. I just found it interesting and wondered if there was a connection…

For those interested in the Socorro landing and the trouble with the symbol, all that is outlined in the book Encounter in the Desert. Yes, I wrote it, but the chapter on the symbol explains the situation. While I believe the real symbol on the side of the craft was different than that originally reported, the real point is that someone came up with the inverted V with the three lines through it, and I just wondered where he got that idea. Is there some sort of terrestrial connection between that seen on that document and that Zamora had seen?

For those interested in more detail about the Socorro symbol controversy, see: