I had planned on this being just a note attached in the comments, but there was too much information and I thought the illustrations were important to understanding this aspect of the case.
There is absolutely no evidence that Mary Mayes found the fused sand at the landing site. I have been back over the 400 pages of Blue Book files (both the official files and the unofficial briefing files) and the evidence shows that there was no fused sand seen or recovered by anyone other than the claim of Mayes.
Captain Richard Holder was there on the night of the landing, and with his soldiers and others, made extensive measurements of the scene as well as illustrations of what was found where. He wrote in his report that very night, “…Sgt. Castle, NCOIC SRC, M.P. who then accompanied us to the site and assisted in taking the enclosed measurements and observations.”
Although I had been looking for the five-page report that Holder had filed, looking at the way the documentation was structured in that unofficial file, meaning with Holder’s one-page written report followed by a number of illustrations, it is clear that these are the missing pages. They include a detailed drawing of the landing pad impressions, other markings, the locations of the various bushes, and importantly, a note that said, “No other indications of a blast – i.e. – A thrust force – were noted – no other charring, indentations – or other disturbances were noted!”
On another page is the note, “This was determined (estimated) by examining the grass – roots & bushes in the area.”
What we have there is an illustration that located for us, where the various burns were found, including an apparent direction of the heat. What was not listed on this was anything about fused or melted sand. It is clear that a careful examination of the site was made by Holder and others prior to J. Allen Hynek and Ray Stanford arriving a couple of days later. These are the illustrations.
In his long report, Colonel Eric T. de Jonckheere, wrote, “On the evening of 24 April 1964 Sgt. Chavez of the New Mexico State Police accompanied by Agent Burns (sic) of the FBI and Capt Richard Holder conducted a search of the area surrounding the sighting. There were no automobile tire marks or markings of any sort in the area other than those located at the site of the alleged landing and so noted in Holder’s report.”
In that same document, he wrote, “The soil samples obtained at the sighting were given to J Allen Hynek by Capt Holder. They were turned over to Captain Quintanilla who in turn submitted them to ASD for analysis. Laboratory analysis of the soil was completed on 19 May 64. It included spectrographic analysis which revealed that there was no foreign material in the soil samples. Also, no chemicals were detected in the charred or burned soil which would indicate a type of propellant. There was no significant difference in the elemental composition between the different samples.”
This should be enough to convince most people that no sign of the fused sand had been found during the initial investigations and that the site had been carefully searched on April 24. This was prior to Mary Mayes arriving sometime the next day, though we don’t know what time she arrived or how she found the landing site without communicating with one of the principals in the case such as Lonnie Zamora, Sam Chavez, Richard Holder or Arthur Byrnes.
The other, almost unacknowledged problem with the Mayes’ tale, is that there is no evidence in support of it other than Mayes’ own, well, tale. She said she was there the next day, but there is no testimony to support that. She said that she found an area of fused sand but no one else reported it, and we do have the testimony of several of those on the site who refute that. They examined the area carefully, according to the documents available, looking for just that sort of thing, but didn’t see it. She said that she examined the fused sand but unnamed officers came and took it all away. She has no evidence to support that.
Charles Moore, on learning about the fused sand from James McDonald, went to the landing site and carefully searched it again, looking for signs of high heat. It seems highly unlikely that had high heat been applied to the area that there would be a single area of fused sand and that Mayes would have been able to gather every scrap to suggest that high heat. Moore, who actually had his own UFO sighting in 1949 that was carried as an unidentified in the Project Blue Book files, would not be inclined to lie about this.
Remember, Moore wrote, “As I told you earlier, I screened the dirt in the arroyo bottom in an effort to find any evidence of fused material and found nothing that suggested the spalling off of rhyolite, melting of any vesicular lava nor the fusing of any sand. While it is true that the arroyo is subject to washing during summer thunderstorms, the fragments of the burned bush are still there, and I examined carefully the vicinity of the roots of the burned bush but found no evidence of fusing heat.”
It does seem that Mayes was familiar with the area, it does seem that she was attending college in Albuquerque, and that family members, or rather one, had gone to school in Socorro. She gave Sam Chavez and Raymond Senn as references but neither said they knew her. Don provided some evidence that Mayes’ family (Rumpf) did know Senn but we have to compare that with what was said. Both denied that they knew her.
In the end, all that can be said is that the Mayes’ tale does not agree with any other aspect of the case. I believe it to be untrue, told for reasons that only Mayes knew. Maybe it was just a way to intrigue Stan Friedman after a lecture. She didn’t seem all that interested in pursuing it and might have been surprised when McDonald contacted her. At any rate, and all speculation aside, there is nothing to support the tale and a great deal of evidence to suggest that we reject it