Monday, February 07, 2011

The 1963 Santa Rosa UFO Crash

Since the publication of Crash - When UFOs Fall from the Sky, I have learned more about some of the cases mentioned. One of those, which I only reported in the Epilogue was from Santa Rosa, New Mexico and involved a hospital employee.

Given what I knew about the case, I wasn’t impressed with it. I wrote:

The Santa Rosa story by a medical technician who told of an emergency call that took her and an ambulance driver some 18 miles from town is a case in point.

She told researchers that when they reached the two police cars blocking the road, she and the driver got out of the ambulance to talk to one of the State Troopers. They saw three small bodies on the ground. The nurse thought immediately of children and asked about parents, but was told there weren’t any parents. She did see some wreckage, enough to suggest two cars might have collied, but she couldn’t identify the type of cars.

The little bodies were only 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall and had been burned. They were oozing a brownish fluid. One of the bodies had an arm that was broken or damaged in some way. She could find no vital signs, but they put them into the ambulance to return to town anyway.

At the hospital, she took x-rays of all three. About an hour after they reached the hospital, the Air Force arrived and she said an officer, who she thought was a colonel, ordered everything removed, including the x-rays and any notes she had. She also saw that the Air Force had a flatbed truck with something covered by a tarp. Once the Air Force had everything gathered up, they drove off.

According to Ryan Wood’s Majic Eyes Only, she had never mentioned the crash because she had been warned that the government had "a long arm." She was never to speak of this. And she didn’t talk about it until she saw pictures of hungry children in Somalia. She thought they looked like the little bodies that had been recovered, meaning the strangely shaped bodies and the overly large appearing heads look something like the starving children.

I suspected that the case was mostly invention because it was single witness and the reactions of the people involved, according to the story, just didn’t ring true to me. And I haven’t even mentioned that the Air Force would have had no authority to confiscate the hospital records, or that I would have thought that those at the hospital would think to hide some evidence. Surely someone would have had the foresight to keep some of the documentation on something so extraordinary.

Then I read an account of the case from Carol Rainey who had been married to Budd Hopkins. She was there, during the 1990s, participating in and documenting his research into alien abduction. It was Budd who stumbled across the Santa Rosa case in 1995 though Rainey’s involvement wouldn’t begin until 1997.

According to Rainey, in her article in Paratopia magazine available online at, Budd investigated the crash case in 1995 with Walt Webb, who had trained under Allen Hynek. They traveled to Santa Rosa to interview the retired X-ray technician, Bina "Beanie" Bean.

Rainey wrote that Bean had told local MUFON representatives that in either the spring or winter of 1963, she had been riding shotgun in an ambulance that sped to a crashed saucer site on a remote desert road and returned with severalnon-human little bodies. She'd X-rayed them, she said, and described them in detail.

That was when the military arrived and cleaned out every scrap of evidence, threatening the hospital staff to keep their mouths shut. Bean drew maps and named names. But, as Walt Webb wrote to Rainey several years later: "We had only one anecdotal story by one alleged eyewitness to a 32-year-old alleged episode!"
Rainey wrote, "In 1997, Budd and I returned to follow-up on the Beanie storywhile in nearby Roswell. I taped Budd's interview with the eccentric Beanie, noticing that she was starting to embroider a great deal around the edges of her original story of a crash retrieval, including claiming her own abduction experiences and asserting that her older sister was the famously elusive nursewho warned off the mortician at Roswell, shortly after that alleged crash."

At this point, I would have punched out of the story, simply because, by 1997, I was convinced that there had been no nurse and that Glenn Dennis was being less than candid with us, as I have recently detailed.
I probably wouldn’t have had much more to do with the case when I learned that, but according to Rainey, "Neither she [Beanie] nor Budd had tracked down or spoken to any of the long list of possible witnesses. The only glint of confirmation of this single eyewitness's story came during our visit to the elderly widow of the ambulance driver. When pressed, she seemed to vaguely recall that the Air Force had indeed once stripped the ambulance clean and taken the billable trip ticket, as Beanie claimed. But the widow had no idea what year or what decade that might have occurred in."

Rainey wrote that when they returned to New York, she had made a short film from the interviews. She thought that "Beanie was quirky and entertaining and I left the validity of the case up in the air."

Budd believed the case to have merit and again, according to Rainey, used it in his lectures and seminars. But she was upset that Budd had never attempted to find any of the other alleged witnesses so she began to dig a little deeper into the file.
She wrote, "In it were two letters to Budd from Walt Webb, written severalmonths after their 1995 expedition... Webb expressed grave doubt about Beanie's credibility, citing major discrepancies in her stories, told to three separate interviewers."

Beanie sometimes claimed there were three bodies and other times there were but two. She said that they had been lined up under a sheet near the wrecked ship and told MUFON investigators that the bodies were hanging out of the craft.

In what might be the biggest of the changes, Rainey wrote, "In that same report, Beanie talked of a ‘coroner's inquest’ at the hospital, bringing in people off the street as witnesses; in her account to Webb and Hopkins, she and a Dr. Galvin were the only people present for examination of the bodies. But it wastoo late for such reservations..."

I wanted to know what Walt Webb had to say about this case, and this case only. In an email to me he said that the material about the Santa Rosa UFO crash as published in Rainey’s article was essentially correct.

So now we all know a little more about this case. I didn’t think it was very solid based on the little I knew about it, but this seems to have cemented those reservations. Yes, witnesses change stories subtly in each telling but the major features don’t change. You don’t move from three bodies to two, and you don’t come up with a coroner’ s inquest using people off the street. That simply is too much.

And I know what you all are thinking. In the Roswell case, there are tales of three bodies, four bodies and sometimes five. But each of those numbers came from a different witness and where one might have only seen three, another might have seen four. If the witness changes the number, then we begin to wonder about all the observations by that witness.

I saw some of the same things in the Willingham – Del Rio crash where he changed the date three times, the type of aircraft a couple of times and was unable to provide any documentation for his alleged Air Force career.

Here is another UFO crash case that I believe we can eliminate from the listings. It is single witness and there is no corroboration for it. This case can join Del Rio on the list of those explained.


cda said...

There was another Bean connected with Roswell, a Beverly Bean, daughter of Melvin Brown. Beverly was first interviewed by Tim Good in London, then eventually transferred to you, I believe, via some intermediaries. But while Beverly told one interviewer that as a child she heard, from her dad, that there were two bodies, her sister heard, also from her dad, that there were three.

Strange about the two and three bodies (twice) and the two (or is it three?) 'Beanies'. Crashed saucerology certainly throws up some anomalies and coincidences.

Terry the Censor said...

Thanks for this little case study of the problems of sole-sourched eyewitness testimony (and the attenuating issues).
Also, I'm glad you've read the Rainey article. I'm with you on this abduction nonsense. I read your book and it's still very credible; I hope you have more to say about Hopkins and Jacobs. (Maybe you have done -- I have yet to drop and roll through the firestorm at UFO Updates.)

Steve Sawyer said...

As an interesting sidelight to this case, Budd Hopkins has now written a lengthy response to Carol Rainey's Paratopia magazine article.


Of particular note, in reference to Kevin's blog post here regarding "The 1963 Santa Rosa UFO Crash," are Hopkins' comments attempting to refute Rainey's statements about this case.

See Section VIII of Hopkins' article, entitled interestingly enough, "Deconstructing the Debunkers: A Response," where Hopkins discusses some specifics he claims contradict Rainey's statements about "the Beanie case."


"The account my ex presents in her screed is extremely brief, concentrating as it does on any little details that she felt might tend to make it seem false or outrageous, so I feel an obligation to at least get the facts down clearly and accurately."

So, essentially, Hopkins is now resorting, in a kind of desperate maneuver, to calling his ex-wife basically a debunker and liar. And "paranoid," to boot.

I think this is to be expected of Hopkins, in his grasping attempts to egotistically reclaim some legitimacy as to his methods and findings, which I find both darkly suspect and quite dishonest.

Hopkins also goes on in this article to state some rather unkind things about Walter Webb, apparently _still_ supports Beanie's contentions about the "crash," and drills down even further on his ex-wife to the point of suggesting she owes Beanie and others involved in the case an apology and retraction of her statements about it.

The obvious implication is that he most probably thinks she also owes him an apology and recantation.

What's worst in Hopkins article is how he mischaracterizes Rainey's statements "to claim or imply" all of Hopkins subjects must be hoaxers or liars, when it seems to me she actually suggests or implies they are largely, with a couple exceptions (Cortile and Mortellaro, who intentionally lied, and yet Hopkins still "believes" Cortile!), actually confabulating and delusional, not intentional hoaxers or liars, per se.

Hopkins absolutely cannot admit he is wrong, due to his prior vested interests, and despite the facts in the Cortile hoax, and that brings into question his own mental equilibrium and honesty.

I find Hopkins' self-serving and delusional hubris simply amazing. I pity his victims, not him.

Rainey, IMHO, is correct about her ex-husband's lack of objectivity, manipulation, and sociopathic exploitation of his human subjects.

His unscientific practices and egregious, non-professional use of regressive hypnosis techniques have consequently implanted false memories of alleged "alien abduction" in his victims.

He should be stopped, via either criminal sanction or civil lawsuit, from ever using regressive hypnosis again on self-identified or susceptible "alien abduction" human subjects, both for their and his own mental health, well-being, and, hopefully, eventual recovery.

These people need trained, professional help and therapy, not continued, damaging exploitation by an confused amateur with a determined, self-fulfilling agenda.

Terry the Censor said...

> He should be stopped, via either criminal sanction or civil lawsuit

Amen. I felt the same way after reading Jacobs' "Secret Life" and the Hopkins hypnosis sessions in "Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind" by Bryan.

The FBI should look into these claims of abduction, if only to shine a light on the investigators (hey, these "abductions" are a violation of the Mann Act, so the feds have jurisdiction).

cda said...

While the FBI will certainly investigate a genuine terrestrial abduction (or kidnapping) case, I do not think their scope extends to extra-terrestrial activities. This would lie outside their terms of reference. The same would apply to all law enforcement agencies in the US, and elsewhere.

Did Linda Cortile ever report her abduction to the FBI? If not, why not? Did the SecGen of the UN, Perez de Cuellar, ever do so?

Unknown said...

I think her name is really Napolitano. She was I Brooklyn when it actually happened. This was observed by a few people including two CIA agents! Who never it was reported by not sure

pcamper said...

I think that these stories may be true, as there have been hundreds and hundreds of UFO stories, and I don't thing all these people are lying, making a hoax, or exaggerating. Of course, some are natural objects, like balloons, clouds, etc. But, I think there are a lot that are unexplainable.