Back in May of this year, I, along with several thousand of my friends, received a press release about a new book by Jacques Vallee about a reported UFO crash near San Antonio, New Mexico in 1945. It predated Roswell by nearly two years, though some of the elements seemed to foreshadow that case. I put up a preliminary analysis of the case which you can read here:
And, there was a story about fragments recovered in the crash that had been analyzed. That information can be found here:
I did have the opportunity to read the book and provided an analysis, more of a review, which can be read here:
Don Schmitt and I discussed this last spring when the information first broke. Don said that he had talked with one of the primary witnesses about the case. Our discussion, in the first segment, can be heard here:
And finally, I had the opportunity to speak with both Jacques Vallee and Paola Harris about their book about the San Antonio crash. Most of the conversation was with Vallee. You can access that information and listen to the show here:
All this was triggered by a peer reviewed journal article, Physical Analyses in Ten of Unexplained Aerial Objects with Material Samples, that is available online now, though the scheduled publication is January 2022. It has very little to do with the San Antonio crash but does provide some insight into the reason Vallee seems to accept this tale. In it, Vallee writes about ten incidents in which strange and unexplained debris has been recovered in cases associated with UFO sightings, or suspected UFO sightings.
Among those ten cases is one that is an obvious hoax and that is the report from Maury Island in early June 1947. It is clear from the investigations by the military and by private UFO researchers that the case is a hoax, though Vallee suggests there might be something of value in it. You can read about that here:
For those interested, you can read more about this hoax in Crash: When UFOs Fall from the Sky; Alien Mysteries, Conspiracies and Cover-Ups, and in Jerry Clark’s massive UFO Encyclopedia. George Earley published a two-part expose of the hoax in Fate in March and April 1981 and a three-part expose in UFO magazine in October 2010, January 2011 and October 2011.
Some of the other cases are shaky at best. The source of some of those seems to be Frank Edwards who often wrote from memory without bothering to check the facts. More than once I have found substantial errors in works by Edwards, though he often gets a few of the facts right.
It is with the Council Bluffs, Iowa, case from December 17, 1977, that Vallee devotes the most space to in the article, including an analysis of the metal that was recovered. There seems to be no doubt that something fell into the Big Lake Park during the evening. Three people were on their way to a local store when they spotted the glowing, reddish object about five hundred feet in the air falling straight down. It disappeared behind the trees and there was a flash of bluish-white light shooting upwards suggesting an impact.
Witnesses summoned the fire department and Assistant Fire Chief Jack Moore arrived in time to see the still glowing molten mass. He said that it was some sort of metal that couldn’t be bent or broken that was covering an area of about four by six feet. They did attempt to alert the Air Force, but this was several years after the closure of Project Blue Book and the Air Force officers at Offutt Air Force Base weren’t interested.
There were other witnesses and most of them were interviewed. Their stories all basically matched about a glowing object falling to the ground. For a time after crashing, it, whatever it was, threw off sparks reminding the witnesses of those old-fashioned sparklers that were once among the few Fourth of July “fireworks” allowed in Iowa.
Samples of the metal were collected and subjected to testing at several labs including those at Iowa State University. The metal was high-carbon steel of terrestrial origin. There was nothing in the samples to suggest an alien technology, though no one could explain where the metal originated or what the object was that fell into the park. There were a couple of manufacturing plants in the area at the time that might have been the source, but no one could explain how the glowing metal had gotten from the plants to the park or why it seemed to have fallen from the sky.
There are those who suggest that what fell hadn’t actually landed directly on the levee, but had fallen into the lake. They thought a search of the lake by divers might offer an explanation. To date, that hasn’t been done.
There is one part of the paper that is quite interesting. According to Vallee, the Ubatuba, Brazil, sample that was seen to fall onto the beach and into the Atlantic Ocean, did not happen in September, 1957, as most of us believed. The metal was actually recovered in 1933 or 1934 and wasn’t sent to the magazine writer in Brazil until 1957. The man who originally brought this to our attention, Dr. Olavo Fontes, a colleague of Coral and Jim Lorenzen, presented a number of dubious UFO reports in the 1960s. This might have been one of them.
Ubatuba samples have been analyzed by many labs over the years and the consensus seems to be of extremely pure magnesium. While interesting, the case was originally plagued by the lack of a solid provenance. Although the magazine writer was identified, the actual source, the person who sent it to him, was unknown. Vallee has made that an even bigger problem suggesting that the date used by all of us is wrong as well.At the end of the day, we are again treated to a number of dubious cases, some of them obvious hoaxes, but provided the wrappings of science. We have analyses of the cases, but if the metal is part of the hoax, then any conclusion drawn is worthless. And, if the metal is found to be of Earthly origin, then what do we have. Nothing that takes us to the extraterrestrial except the claims of strange objects associated with the finds and even that isn’t always the case