Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Real, Honest-to-Goodness Date of the Aztec UFO Crash (Maybe)

It is now time to consolidate all the information we have gathered about the date of the Aztec UFO crash. It began when it was claimed that the date had been identified and agreed to by all the various UFO researchers for a long time. That didn’t seem to be right to me so I decided to take a look into it.

Yes, in my book, History of UFO Crashes, I said the date was March 25, 1948. I had gone through some of the literature on the subject and like everyone else; I liked the precision of having a single date for it. I also noted that this was a hoax, one that I believed everyone in the UFO community had accepted… well, there were a few who didn’t, but they seemed to be unaware of the history and in a relative minority.

Aztec, New Mexico. Photo courtesy of Paul Kimball.
I began a search for the original source of the March 25 date and couldn’t find it in the Scully’s early writing about UFO crashes. In fact, he didn’t even mention Aztec in the first article that he wrote in Variety in 1949.

I scanned his book, Behind the Flying Saucers, but found no date for the crash. There were a lot of dates in the book, but none for the Aztec crash. I also looked through J. P. Cahn’s article exposing the crash as a hoax. I found a reference for the Roswell crash with an exact date, or rather the date that the Army released the information that it had really been a weather balloon (or for the purists, it was the date that most of the newspapers in the country explained the Roswell crash.)

In the 1970s, the Aztec case resurfaced, but now there was a date associated with it. According to Robert Spencer Carr, the crash took place on February 13, 1948, (or more accurately, this is what Mike McClellan said in his Official UFO article.) But that date seemed to have slipped from the public consciousness because I don’t know if anyone else ever used it.

I also ran across a couple of references that suggested the crash took place in either the spring of 1949 or in October of that year. Both of these were rather obscure which might explain why no one mentioned them very often.

Then along came William Steinman and it seems that he was the one who pinned the date down to March 25. After Steinman, all who talked about the Aztec crash used that date.

All this actually proves is that the date had been relatively fluid with dates as late as October 1949 and as early as February 1948. That many now accept the March 25, 1948, date as accurate strikes me as somewhat absurd. Do we really want to accept this date by consensus or would we rather have something a little more tangible?

Here’s where I now dive into the pool. According to Scott Ramsey, his witnesses arrived at the scene of a fire that might have ignited some drip storage tanks that were nearby. He tells us that when Doug Nolan arrived, the fire was contained and the tanks were no longer in danger.

Okay, that makes sense, but what we’re being told is that this was not some small brush fire, but something larger that drew many people to the location of the UFO crash. The military arrived sometime later and took control of the area. Although this does not agree with much of what Scully had written in his book, the question that springs to my mind is, “What do the newspapers say?”

Granted, no one has found a newspaper article about the crash from that time in that area, but I think what we should have been looking for was a story about the fire. This is, or was, remote New Mexico and a fire of the magnitude of the one described would have drawn the interest of the local newspaper. There should have been an article about the fire in the newspaper.

Back in 1976, when McClellan wrote his article, he interviewed George Bowra, who had been the editor of the Aztec newspaper in 1948. According to that article, Bowra was convinced that “Nobody could have gotten in there and out without attracting a lot of attention.”

The follow up question is, “Did anyone check the newspaper for an article about a fire in Hart Canyon in 1948?” It would seem to me that if such an article appeared in the newspaper, it would be some corroboration for the tales told by some of these witnesses. Not much, but some.

I currently have no way of checking the newspaper records, other than a letter or email to the publisher, who might not be all that interested in looking for the story. I’ll give that a shot, but if there is someone in that area that wouldn’t mind taking a look through the newspaper (which would be the Aztec Independent-Review which ceased publication in the 1980s) for late March 1948 (or for some of the other dates mentioned for that matter), we might find the fire story and that might give us the opportunity to verify that much of the tale. If, and when, I get an answer, I’ll publish it here. Until then, the question remains, “Why did everyone settle on the March 25, 1948, date?”


cda said...

You need to ask each of those 6378 friendly people and 6 old soreheads. I assume that ONE of that crowd must know the true date, even if it was handed down by their forefathers.

Bob Koford said...


For what it is worth, I wish to thank you again for providing this opportunity. Knowing your stance on this case, you could just as easily have projected irritation and frustration (with me) for not entirely agreeing to the "hoax" scenario and ignored it. I am not gullible, and I do not put my faith in alien saviors from the stars. I just don't accept the reasoning for a hoax, anymore...especially finding out more about how the case was conducted. How could Cahn have wielded such power? He was just a part time writer for the Chronicle. Also, to conduct a hoax for no apparent continued gain (since the trial squelched the book's sales) seems ludicrous to me. None of the principles EVER admitted to a hoax, nor changed their story. Scully's wife always maintained her husband's innocence in this. Their reputations were trashed.

For my part, I simply wish to remain calm, and re-assess the facts, and see what matches and what doesn't. After finding the date March 25, 1948 being such a prominent date in the official UFO files, it is important for me to see why and what that something was that occurred on that date, since it appears to have sparked the series of doctrines that lasted for several years afterward. This I am still doing. I would like to either confirm or extinguish the possibility of it having to do with this case.

It should be noted again that if that particular date had been mentioned in any publication previously, it could have been said by all detractors that these witnesses were simply copying each other, using the originally published date. When I discussed this issue with Scott Ramsey, for instance, he assured me he had already been researching the case for 10 years before he had ever heard of Chris Evans. Yet they both found that same date, as did Bill Steinman.

The "Spring of 1949" date came from Frank Scully's interview, and from Newton's notes. Since it was reported that there were at least three or four crash retrievals, the possibility of different crashes and different dates mixing must be considered.

Note: the following is simply the beginnings of a list of those who use that particular date, not a list of good or bad witnesses.

First source, The Aztec UFO Incident, c.r. 2016 Scott Ramsey, Suzanne Ramsey, and Frank Thayer:

1. Page 13, [from interviews with residents of Cuba, N.M. that knew him] Cuba New Mexico police officer, Manuel Sandoval, working security for Southern Union Gas pipeline [which, according to long time oilman Tom Dugan, did indeed exist], he witnesses a saucer shaped object "...wobbling as it headed northeast toward Farmington and Aztec..." Date given, March 25, 1948.

2. Pages 24-25, Ken Farley. Interviewed by Scott Ramsey in 1999. He was dying, and wanted to talk. He had been visiting his Aunt, in Durango, Co. He remembered driving on the morning of March 25, 1948,"...followed the dust and dirt clouds that the other cars and trucks were making..." to the site.

3. Baptist preacher, Solon Brown, in an apparent state of shock, told a few close friends that evening. Yes he was not interviewed but others who were there, when he spoke, remembered how upset he was. His demeanor was apparent and memorable. [Interviewing secondary sources, such as close friends or family members is NOT uncommon when primary witnesses have passed away] Date given: March 25, 1948.

This is all I have up to this point, as per that exact date being mentioned.

Paul Young said...

I'm`in agreement with Kevin that since the bushfire seems to have been severe enough to have been the initial reason that witnessess descended on the area in the first place...then there should be some record of the bushfire itself,,, (hence my question to Bob Koford in the previous "Aztec" thread on this blog..." I've never taken too much notice of Aztec, but wasn't there supposed to have been a large bushfire nearby on the same day the saucer was supposedly found?
Did you ever find any evidence of this fire and on which date it was burning?")

Find the date of the bushfire... then we find the date that this 100 foot in diameter...flying saucer...more or less undamaged, except for a blown out scuttle..was found.

I really can't make up my mind about "Aztec"...but it's the really daft details (like someone pushing a stick through the scuttle, and randomly hitting something that opened the front door to the saucer) that makes it so intriguing!

Anonymous said...

Any help (from Australia)?:

Bob Koford said...

Kevin and Paul

It is worth a shot. Obviously anything that could be found that could set a more fixed date would help. I think that it could rest on whether or not it was actually a fire of any appreciable size or not. Plus, since there was a Boy Scout Jamboree on the outer parts of that area (Friday to Saturday until noon, I think) something might have been mentioned to somebody, but I don't know.

I agree that there are parts of the story that seem a bit off, but the weight of any true story would be found in the common features found from different views.

I have been able to discuss certain items, here and there, with the both Scott Ramsey and Frank Thayer. They have been kind enough to go over some of it with me. As I stated previously, I am not the authority on this case. I am trying to learn more, myself, because of what I have discovered in the UFO archive.

Thanks again,

Bob Koford said...


You said: "He tells us that when Doug Nolan arrived, the fire was contained and the tanks were no longer in danger".

I believe he says that it was a small brush fire on the top of the mesa where the disc was resting, not that a larger fire below was "contained".

"...but what we’re being told is that this was not some small brush fire, but something larger that drew many people to the location of the UFO crash...a fire of the magnitude of the one described..."

I am under the impression that only a handful of people arrived; some just per chance, a couple of oil workers, and possibly up to three law enforcement officers.

Can you tell me where to look for the information about the fire being large? So far all I have read was that it was a small brush fire. Since I have admitted previously that I have some catching up to do, it would be helpful to know where to look for this.


KRandle said...

No Bob -

Ramsey says nothing about the size of the brush fire, only that Bill Ferguson told Doug Nolan that the fire was near the drip tanks and they needed to get out there fast. That suggests that there was some urgency. He does not give the impression it was a couple of oil works but was "a number." Scott Ramsey is suggesting it was large enough of "a number of oil workers," to be there and had apparently called for help. Scott suggested the urgency but saying they had to get out there "Fast." Scott's account is somewhat confusing about the numbers of who was there at what point.

The point is that there was urgency which suggests that it was more than a small brush fire... it was large enough to draw in several people.

David Rudiak said...

Paul Young wrote:
I really can't make up my mind about "Aztec"...but it's the really daft details (like someone pushing a stick through the scuttle, and randomly hitting something that opened the front door to the saucer) that makes it so intriguing!

I feel somewhat the same way and am not ready to write the whole thing off as a Newton/Gebauer hoax (though I understand perfectly why most do). Here are some more Aztec/Farmington crash stories from 1948-1950, all but one of which have the odd detail of opening up the saucer hatch by pushing a stick through a small hole (from old notes of mine):

1948 - White Sands Proving Ground, N.M. Capt. V.A. "Posty" Postlethwaite of G-2 Air [Intelligence] says he received a top secret incoming TWX from 3rd Army Headquarters, Atlanta directed to the commanding general of White Sands Proving Grounds. The message described a 100 foot saucer, 30 feet high, blown portal window, five suffocated aliens who had turned blue (4 feet tall with big heads), and paper-thin hull impenetrable by conventional tools. Private property was purchased to facilitate movement of the disc. [Stringfields Status Report #3-- Virtually the identical story told by Scully and Steinem except for number of aliens and suffocation vs. burning].

[3/17/48 or 3/17/49] Farmington, N.M. (25 miles SW of Aztec). A "military officer" with access to a "restricted library" reads a report, with photos, of a saucer crash near Farmington. The craft was 30 feet across, brushed aluminum in color, 6 foot oval central cabin, accessed by probing with through a pencil-size defect in a porthole causing a seamless door to pop open [exact same story as Aztec crash]. The porthole defect could not be enlarged with diamond drills or acetylene torches. Inside were two 4-foot burned bodies inside undamaged silvery one-piece suits. While the ship was being worked on, other alien ships allegedly overflew the site and observed what was going on. [Officer interviewed by Chuck Oldham, Stringfield's SR #6] Exactly one or two years after the crash, there was a massive overflight of Farmington (3/15 - 3/17/50) by hundreds or thousands of UFOs (the "Farmington Armada") widely reported [e.g. L.A. Times, 3/18/50]. Almost the identical story as the officer [except there were 3 burned bodies instead of 2] was independently told by a photographer who worked at the Nevada Test Site, allegedly told to him by German physicist "Otto Krause". The witness, who grew up in Farmington, remembers the story appearing in the Farmington Daily News, which then retracted the story as a hoax the following day. [Perhaps the same as the 3/18/50 saucer crash story below.] Krause told him that he was at White Sands at the time, and the craft was brought there and placed in a hangar along with the Roswell craft. [Glenn Campbell, "Desert Rat Newsletter #23," March 1995]

3/18/50 - Farmington/Aztec N.M. - Following massive overflights of UFOs from 3/15-3/17 in the Four Corners and Farmington area (Farmington Armada), a tumbling, silvery cigar- or saucer-shaped object crashes or lands behind a hill near Highway 550 between Farmington and Aztec, according to Clayton Boddy of the "Farmington Daily Times" (and named witness to the overflights) plus 2 other unnamed 2nd-hand witnesses (sisters). Supposedly a Farmington couple took photos of the craft, which were confiscated by the military the next day. The couple also returned to the site the next day and found no trace of the crash. [Tony Adams, publisher of "Stigmata," reporting story in Stringfield's SR #6.]

(Obviously the 1950 alleged Farmington crash was too late to account for the Scully/Newton/Gebauer version and lacks the similar details of the other accounts.)

james tankersley said...

Kevin i just came across a possible date for the Aztec UFO crash of 1948 and if it can ever be verified that there was a fire in the area at that time, then the material i just read from a book could well be part of the smoking gun we are all looking for concerning UFO crashes and could be mighty EXPLOSIVE in its implications. the date is Feb. 13 1948.

KRandle said...

James -

I mentioned that date in the text of the post so there is nothing new about the date... however, if you have some sort of documentation about the crash as related to that date, and it can be verified, then we do have something important.

james tankersley said...

thanks for your feedback Kevin! i will be more than happy to share where i got that information from. since you have military experience in these matters, you would make a better judgement on how reliable the information in this book is or could be. not surprisingly this book along with the others has stirred up a wasps nest with a lot of other researchers. the name of the book is called THE BLUE PLANET CONSPIRACY, and it lists UFO crashes along with the dates they occurred, which impressed me since the exact dates are never given in other books. Also there are other books that you can check out as well about aliens of all kinds, who the control group was after the ROSWELL CRASH happened, underground alien bases, secret GOVERNMENT PROJECTS, different types of alien language, just about everything you can think of that surrounds this topic, Heres the link you can check out, WWW.BLUE PLANET PROJECT.COM.