After my book, Crash – When UFOs Fall from the Sky was published, Scott Ramsey told one radio show host that he wanted to debate with me about the Aztec UFO crash. I declined, but only because I hadn’t read his book so I wasn’t aware of what Ramsey might have learned. I try to keep an open mind, although the Aztec crash seemed to have been proved a hoax more than once long ago.
Since that time, I have seen Ramsey’s book, spoken with him twice, and exchanged emails with him. I didn’t want to review the book because it seemed to be filled with errors, some minor and some egregious. I suggested that it was a fun little book, which it is in a distorted, perverted sort of way, but it is also a dishonest book, leaving out information that would underscore the false nature of the Aztec case.
There is the story of Fred Reed (although he is identified as Art Reed in, at least, one place on page 198). Reed, according to Ramsey was a former OSS member (the OSS being the Office of Strategic Services, a World War II organization that gathered information about the Axis and operated behind enemy lines), who was sent into Aztec to clean up after the saucer either crashed or landed, depending on which interpretation of the event you chose to believe.
According to Ramsey, in a 1999 interview with Reed, he learned that Reed and his team "...were dispatched to aircraft crash sites from time to time, especially when they were prototype aircraft of something secret..."
Fair enough. Nothing too outrageous here.
Reed said that they were brought in to make it look as if nothing had ever happened. He said that one of those times was "in the area northeast of Aztec, something big had been removed. I can tell you that."
He talked about seeing large equipment tracks, areas where trees had been damaged and the like. They were told to pick up everything from cigarette butts, c-ration cans, or whatever and bury them 18 inches deep, which doesn’t seem all that deep to me and which would leave the evidence on site for others to find. In fact, had I been in charge, I would have had them remove anything like that rather than leave it behind, but then, that’s just me.
Reed said that he had cleaned up a lot of places over the years. He suggested that some of these were just experimental craft and they wanted nothing left for enemy agents (well, that’s my interpretation of it) to find.
But then Reed told Ramsey, "You have a bunch of young guys traveling and living in motel or hotel rooms, and at night we would talk. We never heard the word Flying Saucer or Flying Disc, but years later I ran into my old C.O. and asked him what the hell crashed up in Aztec back years ago. He responded it was no aircraft, but he hinted to a flying disc."
Okay, we now have a hint about it, but Ramsey asked Reed to be more specific and according to Ramsey, Reed said, "My. C. O. said it was no aircraft – nothing as far as the U.S. was concerned. He alluded that it was one of those flying discs."
Overlooking the fact that it seems strange that the C.O. would share classified information with Reed (which does happen after so many years), this is very good information from a first-hand witness... Or is it?
It seems that in the days prior to Ramsey’s interview with Reed, Reed wrote a letter to Aztec Local News. In the March 27, 1999 letter, Reed wrote:
Today, my wife and I took advantage of the big celebration and went out to the site of the UFO crash of late 1948 in Hart Canyon. The workers who dedicated their time to this presentation of an important part of New Mexico history are to be commended. The road signs to guide the visitors were strategically placed, and the plaque marking the spot was in the right place. The aliens had built stone cairns marking the path from the oil field road to the crash site. These cairns are still in place today. The trees around the crash site open to the south, which is a typical distress signal for extraterrestrials.
The area looked essentially as it had in 1948 when the OSS sent our group there. We were to make a detailed survey of the area and report back to them, which we did. We were then reassigned elsewhere. We were never told what the OSS was looking for.
But a traveling survey crew like that eats in cafes, sleeps in motels, has no close family, and knows intimately only the men they work with. So, of course, we spect many long nights trying to figure out just what did happen in Hart Canyon.
We had heard rumors that a UFO had crashed there. But it did not look like a crash site. And we had heard that army personnel had rushed in there and cleaned up the site. But it did not look like a clean-up site either. One thing did stand out. There appeared to be some heavy traffic - not on any graded road - leading through the large rock slides to the canyon northwest of the site.
So what it boiled down to was this: No UFO crash. Instead, the UFO landed there for some specific intent to place (bury?) some instrument or thing there. They they got into their saucer and flew away. All of the other stories were put out by the government to cover up what they did not know about it. I guess the answer might be found in the old files of the OSS. But not in my time.
Note also that he is not ambivalent about the object that crashed. It is alien, and the trees on the south side of the site are open which is "typical" of an extraterrestrial distress signal.
He also wrote, "The aliens had built stone cairns marking the path from the oil field road to the crash site. These cairns are still in place today." That observation is missing in his interview with Ramsey about a week later.
Although the letter was written in 1999, it would seem that a document, created prior to the first interview would be valuable. It would suggest that the investigator had not contaminated the witness... except in this case, the story changed radically. The letter should raise red flags about the importance and the reliability of the witness. Such radical alterations suggest that the witness is not being candid with the interviewer and is taking his cues from him.
Paul Kimball, who produced and directed a documentary about the Aztec UFO crash noted on his blog:
2. Reed, in his letter, refers to several stone cairns which the aliens had left in place to mark the road from the oil road to the "crash site" (note the contradictory statement even within this letter - "crash site" vs. "landing site"). After his interview with Scott, we now have the "out of place, large concrete pad" that had been poured to aid in the recovery.
3. Reed, in his letter, states that the "clean-up" operation occurred in late 1948. After his interview withe Scott, this date has been "corrected" back to April, 1948.
4. Reed, in his letter, talks about how the trees around the crash site open to the south, which is a "typical distress signal for the aliens." This ridiculous statement, which shows more than anything else that Reed is blowing smoke, is nowhere to be found after his interview with Scott.
5. Reed, in his letter, states that his group was sent to the site to make a "detailed survey of the area" and "report back" to the O.S.S. After the interview with Scott, this has morphed into a "cleanup" operation, despite the fact that in his letter, Reed stated that "We had heard that army personnel had rushed in there and cleaned up the site."
This should drive a stake into the heart of this testimony. Given this letter, written days before the Ramsey interview, it is clear that Reed’s story evolved quickly and drastically. Since Ramsey had a copy of the letter, he should have reported on these problems but did not.
Yes, we all have been caught by "witnesses" who were spinning tales. Frank Kaufmann and Gerald Anderson spring to mind. But in those cases, neither had presented a story that was so clearly changed from the beginning so quickly. Anderson began to adjust his tale, adding information to cover discrepancies, but not within a week of his original interviews. Kaufmann was able to produce documents to support his stories because he had a stash of old military letterhead and a couple of vintage typewriters.
But the other side of that coin is that when I learn that a witness has fabricated some of his testimony, inflated his credentials by claiming military rank and awards that were unearned, or made other statements that can’t be verified, I expose them myself. Here we have a case in which the testimony is at odds with what was written just days earlier, but there is no indication in subsequent reporting that the man has radically altered his statements.
And yes, I know that the telling of a tale from memory often has little twists and turns and that is expected. But this goes far beyond that. While I could accept the OSS statement if the guy had served with them during the war and continued with them through their various permutations, the other changes are just too much. It should have raised red flags, as Paul Kimball suggested, but those seem to have been ignored.
Karl Pflock, to his credit, had made it clear that he couldn’t name the source for the Newton diary and he couldn’t prove there was a diary. He thought the information should be published, probably with the hope that someone else, with similar knowledge would come forward to prove the case. Here, we just have the contradictory information ignored, but it should also be published.
What this means, simply, is that we have a compelling reason to reject the Reed testimony. The story is inaccurate, it is contradictory, and it detracts from the case for the Aztec crash. It should be published so that those who wish to judge the reality of the Aztec crash for themselves will have access to all information available. It shouldn’t be forgotten or ignored by the new primary investigator on the case.
And as an aside, I should make it clear that I do not believe there was a crash, landing, touch down, or anything else involving an alien craft near Aztec in 1948. The story is clearly the invention of a con man who hoped that the idea of alien technology would create interest in his oil finding (doodlebugs) gadgets. That the story survives until today is a testament to the lack of research capabilities of some of those in the UFO field.