There is now renewed interest in the crash of a UFO near San Antonio, New Mexico, on August 16, 1945. Notice that this is almost two years before the Roswell crash and less than a hundred miles from the debris field shown to me by Bill Brazel. This tale is told by Reme Baca and Jose Padilla, two boys, seven and nine at the time, who heard the crash and would have been the first humans on the scene.
The story, as originally told, was that the youngsters had been sent in search of a pregnant cow. The one boy’s father was afraid that if the calf was born out on the range and they didn’t claim it first, then someone else would find it and brand it. They had ridden over the high desert, climbed rocky formations, stopped to have lunch, and then dodged a thunderstorm. As the rain ended and they came out from under the ledge where they had hidden, there was a bright light with a rumbling sound that shook the ground.
The boys headed in the direction of the sound where there seemed to be a cloud of dust and smoke. They found a “giant-sized gouge” that they said looked like heavy machinery had created a road about one hundred feet wide, about a foot deep and maybe three hundred feet long. Through binoculars, Jose could see that the gouge ran up to a ridge where it stopped. At the far end they could see an object that had dug deep into the sandy soil.
As have been found near Roswell two years later, there was a debris field here. Reme said that he picked up a piece of thin, shiny foil, like that from a pack of cigarettes. When he folded it or wadded it, it returned to its original shape.
They worked their way closer, and through the binoculars, Jose saw three, small, creatures. They were moving around rapidly, almost as if they could teleport themselves from one position to another. The motion was described as sliding. The creatures had a buggy look to them. They had big bulgy eyes, had needle thin arms and were about four feet tall. The head was big and when pressed, he compared it to a Praying Mantis. Their skin was a light gray and they were either wearing very tight coveralls or their skin was very tight.
|The New Mexico high Desert.|
As they watched it, both said that they got “pictures in their heads.” This seemed to be some sort of telepathic communication. Reme would later say that they didn’t know that these pictures were. Decades later, he said that he still didn’t know what the pictures meant.
By this time, they realized that it was getting late, actually getting dark, and they had to go home. Once there, they told Jose’s father, Faustino, about what they had seen and the humanoid creatures that they called Hombrecitos. Spanish for little men. Faustino said that they would check it out in a day or two.
Two days later they returned to the crash site. Not only were they accompanied by Faustino, but also by a State Policeman, Eddie Apodaca. As the party approached the crash site, they didn’t see the alien creatures, nor, at first did they see the craft. It was as if it had disappeared. But then, as they headed down into the canyon, the object reappeared, “as if by magic.”
It seemed that most of the debris had been cleaned up by someone. There wasn’t much of the wreckage left, other than the craft itself. There were odd pieces dangling all over. The two men told the boys to wait, as they crawled up, inside, through gash in the side of the object. When they came out, according to Reme, the men seemed to have changed, different. They were now more serious.
Faustino warned the boys about telling anyone what they had seen. He said, strangely, that the government calls these sorts of things, weather balloons. He added, “They’ll want this thing back.”
Reme said that it didn’t look like any weather balloon they had seen in the past. And, he wondered about the little men. He wondered what had happened to them.
Two days after that second visit to the craft, the recovery operation started in earnest. A sergeant named Avila, probably Army sergeant, approached those in the Padilla home. He wanted permission to cut a hole in a fence so that they could get their heavy equipment to the crash site. They would be removing the craft and needed to create a better access to the area. An agreement was reached, a road was built and the gate installed.
The youngsters, Reme and Jose, continued their surveillance of the crash site, even after the warning about possible trouble. Now, we learn, based on Reme and Jose’s observations, that the solders weren’t doing such a great job. Rather than collecting all the debris, they buried some of it on site. Other debris was kicked into crevasses and covered over. They watched as a flatbed truck was brought in. Using winches and a crane, the soldiers lifted the craft onto the truck. They covered it with a tarp and even though it was not ready for removal, the soldiers left for the day.
With the site now abandoned, the boys walked up to take a closer look. Jose untied the ropes holding the tarp in place and climbed inside the object. He found something interesting inside the craft and handed it out to Reme. It was very light and cold to the touch. The boys then left, carrying the bit of debris with them.
About two weeks after the recovery operation had been completed and the object removed, four soldiers arrived at the Padilla house. They were looking for something more and asked permission to search the premises. They wanted to know if Faustino had anything that might belong to them, meaning, of course, any metal or other items taken from the crash site. The soldiers were shown to a back room where they searched carefully, eventually confiscating a weather balloon or two and other odds and ends. Yes, apparently, Faustino had found weather balloons in the past and stored them in his house.
But the military didn’t manage to grab the bits of debris that the boys had found. According to Reme, the material was later analyzed but neither the facilities nor the scientists were identified other than one given the pseudonym of Dr. Smith. Apparently, the metal had a high concentration of carbon. Samples cut and polished showed “very weird structures… they look like skeletons of bugs…” You can see photographs of the metal here:
Other scientists in other labs were consulted who confirmed the first results, which was that the metal was unusual. They also found that the metal could “transfer heat from one end to the other…a bit like the tiles o the space shuttle.”
But that wasn’t the end of the analyses. Further, and more comprehensive results were published at The Black Vault. The bottom line is that there doesn’t seem to be anything in the metal that suggests an extraterrestrial origin. It was noted that the objects are made of aluminum alloyed to copper and silicon. Isotopic ratios determined for the nickel, copper and zinc compare to terrestrial value but that does not rule out an extraterrestrial source for the material. You can view that information, including the request for analysis by MUFON, names of the scientists and the lab used, here:
So, where does that leave us?
Looking at this with a critical eye, I have some real problems. First, are the young ages of the witnesses at the time of the event. True, I can see kids trying to get closer and trying to discover what had happened, but the time line doesn’t seem to work out very well. In the interviews, time seems to flow rapidly and then slow down, only to speed up again. Is this a minor criticism? Sure, but it is not the only problem.
I was bothered by the description of the metal as being very thin aluminum, like that found on a pack of cigarettes. This was the description used by Jesse Marcel, Sr. talking about some of the debris he had seen on the Debris Field near Corona in 1947. This information was published long before either of the boys (now men) told their story to outsiders.
Later on, they talked about a metal that could be wadded up and that would return to its original shape. Reme said, “…so I pulled it out from under the rock and kind of rolled it up and folded it up… and it would go back into the same position that it was. So, I took that and put it I my pocket…”
Robert Smith, who had been assigned to Roswell in July, 1947, said one of the sergeants had taken a bit of debris. He told Don Schmitt and me, “It was just a little piece of metal or foil or whatever it was. Just small enough to be slipped in a pocket.”
Bill Brazel said, “The only reason I noticed the tin foil was that I picked the stuff up and put it in my chaps’ pocket… when I put the piece of foil in the box it started unfolding and flattened out.” Again, this information had been well reported before with Reme or Jose mentioned it.
It is also interesting that the boys talk about four military members coming out to the house to search for anything unusual. Bill Brazel talked about four soldiers going out to his house and confiscating the debris he had picked up. Of course, here they failed to find anything but Bill Brazel surrendered what he had found.
These points can be viewed two ways. One is that here was independent corroboration for the types of material found in Roswell. The other is that the boys, when interviewed decades later, had heard about the material found in Roswell and used those descriptions. It is clear in the interviews that they had been reading about UFOs and crash retrievals, based on their answer to some of the questions and their discussions with researchers.
One of the other problems I have is the fairly cavalier way the military treated the crash site. Although there are hints that they had secured the area, they seemed to leave it unguarded at times. No matter what had fallen, if the military had thought it important enough that they would build a road to the site, and put in a proper gate so that they could bring in a flatbed truck, then it was important enough to guard properly. That would mean soldiers out there twenty-four hours a day until the site was cleaned. However, according to the witnesses, that simply wasn’t the case.
The other aspect is the failure to properly clean the site. Apparently, they did send out soldiers to pick up the debris, but sometimes, the soldiers just kicked the material into a crevasse and buried it. There doesn’t seem to be any officers out there, and once again, given the nature of the material, and the craft that supposedly crashed, there would have been a real effort to clean up everything. They would want nothing left behind.
The final problem is the boys being told about weather balloons. Since this was 1945, two years before the Roswell case was “identified” as a weather balloon, this reference is anachronistic. It is out of place because no one was talking about weather balloons being used to explain UFO sightings. This is a major problem.
On a more positive side, a fellow named Bill Brophy said that his father had been a member of the 231st B-29 bomber group (actually the 231st Army Air Force Base Unit) at Alamogordo, New Mexico. According to Brophy, the 231st was part of the recovery operation in August 1945. I was able to confirm that the 231st was stationed at Alamogordo Army Air Field and had B-29s at the time claimed. This might be a third witness to the crash and does provide a clue about where to look for additional information.
In the end, I’m skeptical about this story. There are too many little things that bother me about it, from the descriptions of the material that match those from Roswell, the knowledge the two witnesses have of UFOs, including talking about books such as The Day After Roswell, and the lack of proper military security. Even if the officers didn’t recognize the craft as being extraterrestrial, they would have seen it as an aircraft of unique design that would require proper security.
For an even more skeptical point of view, you might want to visit Jason Colavito’s website at:
However, there is a book coming out in a month or so that might adequately answer these questions. This is my analysis of the situation now and I look forward to seeing what additional information surfaces.