Thursday, February 23, 2023

Coast-to-Coast AM - The Lubbock Lights


First, there is an interesting MADAR report from Louisville, Kentucky on August 28 of last year. According to investigator Robert Speering, the witness reported seeing an object that was, at first hovering over his house and then slowly drifting off to the northeast. He said that he was nearly under the object that was flying at about 300 feet.

The UFO had a round bottom and had yellowish, reddish and orange lights with four dim white lights, all on the underside. The UFO itself was a large hexagon shape but with the white lights also in a hexagon shape. All the lights were steady. He said it looked as if the object was underwater and was changing shape slightly though it was above him during the sighting.

The man said that he hadn’t believed in UFOs or alien visitation prior to the sighting. He did say that nothing manmade could have operated the way this object did. He said there was no noise, except for a slight humming sound, gave off no heat and both hovered and flew in a straight line but there were no signs of wings. He said the object was about 60 to 80 around.

At about the same time as the sighting, the MADAR node, also in Louisville, detected an anomaly. The witness knew nothing of the MADAR node and the node operator knew nothing of the UFO sighting. Speering, as he crosschecked UFO sightings with MADAR detections spotted the connection. Additional investigation is being conducted.

Albuquerque Flying Wing and the Lubbock Lights

For this months, retro sighting, I’m looking back to the Lubbock lights from August and September 1951. This was a series of sightings located in the panhandle of Texas and parts of New Mexico. The first of the sightings that would become known as the Lubbock Lights, was made in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the early evening of August 25, 1951. A man and his wife (unidentified in the Project Blue Book files

but who are Hugh and Emily Young) watched a huge, "wing-shaped" UFO with blue lights on the trailing edge as it passed over the outskirts of the city. In his statement, found in the Blue Book files, Young said:

This aircraft was flying in a south by east direction at a speed I thought to be about 300 miles per hour.

The altitude was difficult to judge, but the aircraft was low enough so that the lights from Central Ave. reflected from the lower side of the wings.

This aircraft was unusual in the following ways, there was no sound of motors or jets in fact there was no sound at all that I could hear. I could see no fuselage on this aircraft. The size I judged to be at least one and one half times as large as a B-36 and was shaped like a V with the wings sloping back at an angle of about 15 degrees.

On the rear edge of the wings soft white lights were located in pairs with not less than six of these on each side of center. These lights were very different from motor or jet exhausts as seen at night. I am familiar with the appearance of these.

From the front edge of the wing stripe extended to the rear edge of the wings with the strip ending between the lights of each pair. These strips had poor reflection.

Each pair of lights were separated by about eight times the distance between the lights of one pair.

The wings appeared to retain their size from the center to the end without any taper.

No identification or markings could be seen and this aircraft had no colored lights of any kind that could be seen. The aircraft was in my sight about ½ minute.

This is a true description of the aircraft as I observed and remember it.

This was signed by Young and it was certified as a true copy by John T. Hagood, an Air Force captain. It is clear that the Air Force was taking the sighting seriously because Young was a security guard at the Sandia Labs, which was part of the Atomic Energy Commission and that provided a level of credibility to his report. In fact, it was noted in one of the reports that Young was “apparently reliable.”

There were additional details of the investigation included in the Blue Book files, along with a statement by Emily Young, whose name was redacted throughout the file. Her statement provided the same description as that of her husband. There is no reason to believe that they did not discuss the sighting with each other before the Air Force investigator arrived to take their statements.

In a confidential report submitted to the Inspector General at the 17th District Office of Special Investigation, Colonel S. H. Kirkland, Jr. (who was stationed at Kirtland AFB) made a couple of important points. He wrote:

Reference is made to your Spot Intelligence Report of 27 August 1951, subject as given above [unconventional type of aircraft]. It is not known whether or not you are familiar with a report from OSI District Office No. 23, Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas, in which a similar sighting over Lubbock, Texas, on 25 August 1951 is reported…

Also enclosed are four photographs taken by Mr. [name redacted, but is Carl Hart, Jr.] on 30 August 1951 which are supposedly similar to those seen over Lubbock, Texas, on 25 August 1951. It is requested that these photographs by shown to Mr. [name redacted but is Hugh Young] and obtain his opinion as to whether or not this is what he saw over Albuquerque on the night of 25 August 1951. If he does concur that this is what he saw, have him sketch in the wing he reported seeing and obtain any other details that he may be able to give (Ibid.).

According to a letter found in the Blue Book files and dated 14 November 1951, the photographs were shown to the Youngs. They said that the formation of lights was similar to the wing that they had seen. At that point Young made the sketch that had been requested. Apparently, he drew the wing on one of Hart’s photographs and then provided a separate sketch as well.

Had it not been for the sightings over Lubbock within a couple of hours, the case would have had little real significance and would have been noted as just another “Unidentified.”

The Lubbock Lights

Not long after that, college professors in Lubbock, sitting outside on August 25, 1951, about 10 p.m. saw a group of lights fly over. They didn’t make much in the way of scientific observations and began to discuss what they should do if the lights returned. When the lights returned, the professors made some of their observations and called the local newspaper, wondering if there were any other reports of the lights.

The professors, W.L. Ducker, A.G. Oberg, and W.I. Robinson, were annoyed that they hadn’t seen more. They discussed what to do if the lights should reappear. Before the night was over, they had their chance and made a series of quick and well-coordinated observations.

The lights were softly glowing, bluish objects in a loose formation. The first group, they believed, had been in a more rigid and more structured formation than later groups but they hadn’t gotten a good look at them.

Jay Harris, the managing editor of the Lubbock Avalanche, first learned of the lights when Ducker called the news desk to tell of the sighting. Harris wasn't interested at first because it was basically about lights in the night sky, but Ducker convinced him that it was important. Ducker wanted a story written so that others who might have seen the lights could be found and comparisons with their information could be made. Harris finally agreed, but only if the newspaper could print Ducker's name because his position at Texas Tech gave him instant credibility. Ducker didn't like that condition and momentarily refused.

But a few minutes later, Ducker called back and said that the newspaper could use his name, and the names of Oberg and Robinson. The only condition was that Harris would have to get permission of the college (Texas Tech) public relations department before printing an of their names.

There were at least four others who saw the lights on that first night. Mrs. Earl Mediock, Mrs. F.A. Rogers, Mrs. R.A. Rogers (in the convention of the time, women were often identified by their husbands’ last name and their first names were not printed), and Professor Carl Henninger all reported seeing the lights at 9:10 P.M. That was the first flight described by the professors.

Joe Bryant of Brownfield, Texas, said that he also saw the lights on that night of August 25. According to him, he was sitting in his backyard when a group of the lights flew overhead. He said there was "kind of a glow, a little bigger than a star." A short time later, a second group of lights appeared. Neither group was in any kind of regular formation which differs from what the professors and those others had seen.

Bryant eventually saw a third flight that same night, but instead of flying over his house, this time the lights dropped down and circled the building. Now he could see the objects quite clearly and they were birds. One of them chirped and Bryant recognized them as "plover." The next day, as he read the account of the lights in the newspaper, he realized that if he hadn't identified the lights as birds, he would have been as fooled as the professors.

Over the next two weeks, the professors saw the lights on several occasions, but were unable to obtain any useful data. Joined by Grayson Meade, E.R. Hienaman and J.P Brand, they equipped two teams with two-way radios, measured a base line from the location of the original sightings, and sent the teams out to opposite ends of that base to watch. They hoped that sightings along the base line would provide them with enough information to allow triangulation which would allow them to determine the size, altitude, and speed of the lights,

They did manage to make a few observations over the next several weeks. The lights traveled through about 90 degrees of sky in a matter of seconds. They normally appeared 45 degrees above the horizon and disappeared about 45 degrees above the opposite horizon. During the first observation, the lights had been in a roughly semicircular formation. In subsequent sightings no regular pattern was noticed.

None of the deployed teams ever made a sighting, through on one or two occasions, the wives of the men, who had remained behind, said they had seen the lights while the men were at the bases. That would suggest that the lights were much lower than the professors had originally thought which would also reduce the estimated size and speed.

On August 30, the case took a radical turn. A nineteen-year-old amateur photographer, Carl Hart, Jr., (seen here)managed to take five pictures of the lights as they flew over his house. Because it was hot that night, he had pushed his bed close to the window and was looking out and up. He said, "I liked to sleep with the windows open with my head stuck out the window - and there they were." Knowing that the lights had returned on several occasions based on the articles in the newspaper, he grabbed his 35-mm camera, set the shutter at f-3.5 and went outside.

A few minutes later the lights flew over a second time and Hart took two photographs of them. Not long after that, another group of lights appeared, and Hart apparently took three additional pictures. Some controversy about the number of photographs developed in the weeks following the sighting.

Harris, who had spoken to Ducker on the first night, learned of the pictures when a photographer who worked for the newspaper periodically, called to tell him that Hart had just been to his studio to develop the film. Harris, reluctant as ever, suggested that Hart should bring the pictures by the newspaper office. It was the first tangible evidence that there was something to the stories. It was the first physical evidence of something in the sky.

Harris, and the newspaper's head photographer William Hams, feared a hoax. Harris, after seeing the photos called Hart a number of times and bluntly asked him if he had

faked them.  Hart replied that he hadn't faked anything. He had photographed something as it flew over his house in south Lubbock. Hart just didn't care what Harris thought. He didn't care about payment for the pictures either, though he eventually received about ten dollars for them from the newspaper. Later the pictures were printed in dozens of magazines and books, but Hart rarely received any payment for their use, though he was sometimes credited with having taken the pictures. He had failed to have any of the pictures copyrighted, on the advice of another photographer who said that the copyright would suggest hoax. That poor advice would surface in several other photographic cases.

"Advice from a friend and professional journalist at the time was that if [I] copyright them, somebody's going to think [I] faked them and [was] trying to make money out of them," Hart told me. "I was interested in that part of it [proving the pictures authentic] and didn't do it [copyright them.]"

Harris later decided to put the photos on the news wire, but before he did, he called Hart one more time. This time Harris warned Hart that if he found out the pictures were faked, there would be grave consequences and that Hart would never work as a professional photographer. Once the photographs went out on the wire, nationwide, Harris said, Hart's problems would be far worse if he was lying about them. Hart still insisted his pictures were authentic. There was no fraud.

Hams, however, decided that he was going to try to duplicate Hart's pictures. By doing that, Hams believed he might be able to figure out exactly what they showed, or, at the very least, how Hart had managed to take them. It might also suggest how he, Hart, faked them. Hams took a Speed Graphic camera loaded with a tungsten ASA 80 film and a GE#22 flash bulb in a concentrating reflector to the roof of the Avalanche building. It was the same equipment that he used to photograph night football games at the local high schools and college. Of course, a flash wouldn’t be effective if the objects were several hundred feet above him.

He waited, but saw nothing other than a flight of migratory birds. They were barely visible in the glow of the sodium vapor lights on the street five or six floors below him. They flew in a ragged V-formation, and he could see them dimly outlined against the deeper black of the night sky. He was surprised because they were so quiet. Ducks and geese, as they flew, could be heard squawking.

When Hams developed the film, he found an image that was so weak that he couldn't print it. He repeated the experiment on another occasion and failed again. From his own experience, he was convinced that Hart could not have photographed birds under any circumstances. That didn’t mean that he hadn’t faked them, only that they didn’t show birds.

The photographs became one of the most important aspects of the Lubbock case. Here was physical evidence that could be seen and tested. Measurements and studies of the photos could be made, and professionals could attempt to duplicate them. Hams, and the photography staff at the newspaper, could find no evidence of a hoax. They believed that if Hart faked the pictures, he was wasting his time in college. Clearly, he was the best photographer in the area. He would have a career in Hollywood special effects if he wanted... if he had faked them.

Hart continued to insist that he had not faked anything. In fact, he told me, "I heard some unofficial things that came out later... about [how] they thought I had faked them somehow or another." This is based on an experiment conducted by Dr. Donald Menzel, a Harvard astronomer and UFO debunker. He suggested lights reflecting off an inversion layer, one of his favorite explanations.

In September, 1951, the Air Force began the official investigation of the Lubbock Lights episode. The Albuquerque sighting was checked by intelligence officers from Kirtland AFB. They made several visits to the house of the witnesses and asked hundreds of questions during the interrogation. Emily Young provided a drawing of the object which was then forwarded to Wright-Patterson AFB. After several weeks, and partly because of the reliability of the witness, the sighting was listed as an unidentified. That is the way it was carried until the end of the official Air Force investigation in 1969.

In Lubbock, quite a bit of time was spent on the photographs taken by Hart, simply because they were evidence of the sighting. Although the official file contains the results of other aspects of the investigation, the majority of the paperwork covers the photographs.  Officers, including Lt. John Farley and Special Agent Howard N. Bossert of the Air Force Office of Special Investigation, both from Reese AFB, just outside of Lubbock, were dispatched a number of times with questions for Hart. Lieutenant (later Captain) Ed Ruppelt even made a special trip into Lubbock to conduct his own investigation into the lights and to interview Hart himself. The negatives were examined by a variety of military and civilian experts at photo labs at Wright-Patterson.

On September 20, 1951, Bossert and Farley interviewed Hart at his home and asked for the negatives. Hart could only find four of the five. The fifth negative was never found and it was not printed in any newspaper. Hart turned the negatives over the military for their analysis. Bossert's initial report, dated October 8, 1951, was sent to AFOSI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Copies were also sent to the commanding general of the Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, and to the commanding officer at Reese AFB in Lubbock

Between November 6 and 9, 1951, another investigation of the Lubbock Lights was conducted. Ruppelt, accompanied by Bossert, again interviewed Hart at his home and were told the same story that Hart had told during all the other interrogations.

"Hart's story could not be 'picked apart' because it was entirely logical," according to the official report. "He [Hart] was questioned on why he did certain things and his answers were all logical, concise, and without hesitation (Ruppelt, 1956)."

Ruppelt also interviewed the college professors. They provided signed statements about what they had seen and done and how they had attempted to gather scientific observations. In addition to recounting several flights, they mentioned an unusual event on September 2. While the flight passed directly overhead, as had the others, and was made up of 15 to 30 lights, one professor noticed an irregularly shaped yellow light at the rear of the formation. That was the only difference any of them had ever observed in relation to the lights.

A technical report, WCEFP-2-4, Physics Branch Sensitometry Unit, dated 29 November 1951, revealed nothing about the sightings other than that the lights photographed by Hart were individual lights and not part of a larger, dark object. The lights moved in relation to one another in the formation. The Air Force physicists did estimate that if the lights had been attached to an object one mile from the camera [or at 5,280 feet of altitude], it would have been 310 feet in diameter. If closer, it would be smaller, and if farther away, it would be larger. These were speculations because there had been no information on the negatives to provide clues to altitude or size.

The report concluded, "There is relative movement within the formation of spots, so that there are not lights on a fixed object." The important statement, however, came from the final conclusion. "The pattern of spot brightness is such as to prove conclusively that all 3 frames (negatives) - 5, 7, and 8 - were exposed to the same object pattern of spots.”

An examination of the photographs and the negatives turned up no evidence that Hart was lying. The sequence of shots, as he described them, was corroborated by the negatives. Hart's story was hanging together.

Ruppelt's interview in November was not the last conducted by the military. On December 2, Hart was questioned yet again. This time, according to the documentation in the Blue Book files, Hart was given his rights. These were explained to him as "The rights of a private citizen under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States...he acknowledged his understanding of such rights."

According to the AFOSI report, Hart was interviewed in private and was asked for a written statement. The statement said, "On August 50, 1951 [typographical error in letter of transmittal and not original statement] at about 11:30 P.M. took pictures of strange objects passing overhead from north to south. I saw three separate groups of objects. Two pictures are of the second group. Three are of the third group. The last negative was not found and is not in my possession."

Documentation in the Blue Book files, reveals an extraordinary effort went into investigating the Lubbock case, as opposed to many of the other investigations conducted by Air Force officers. Murray S. Sturgis, the Air Adjutant at Carswell AFB [Fort Worth, Texas] wrote, "Reference OSI Letter 24-0 dated 7 September 1951 to OSI, Hq USAF, concerning unidentified aircraft at Lubbock, Texas. Request A-2 [Air Intelligence Officer] forward by air mail as expeditiously as possible form 112 on subjects Carl Hart, Jr., Mrs. Tom Tilson, Mrs. M.G. Bethard; if possible forward by air mail original negatives of photographs Carl Hart, Jr., is stated to have taken..."

The "Report of Investigation" was written by Howard N. Bossert. He said that he, along with Lieutenant John Farley interviewed Hart at his home (this in addition to the other interviews with Hart at his home). Bossert reported that he found Hart to be "a very intelligent young man, very interested in photography, which is a hobby. He seemed sincere in his efforts to relate all incidents to the best of his ability."

Bossert learned that Hart had also seen the lights on September 1, but he hadn't photographed them then. At that time, no one was talking about UFOs in relation to the lights. Although the lights looked the same, Hart thought they were at a greater altitude and were in a single line. They flew from the northwest to the southeast.

By the end of the year, the Air Force investigation began to wind down. Investigators had spoken to all the witnesses several times, concentrating on Hart. After they interviewed Bryant, the man who had seen the plover, and to another west Texan, T.E. Snider, who reported he had seen the lights but identified them as ducks, the official answer became birds.

In still another, later report, Air Force investigators wrote, "It was concluded that birds, with street lights reflecting from them, were the probable cause of these sightings. The angular velocity was less. In all instances, the witnesses were located in an area where their eyes were dark-adapted, thus making the objects appear brighter."

Of course, that conclusion overlooks the fact that there are no migratory birds in the Lubbock area at that time of year. Loren Smith at Texas Tech told me that there are ducks that fly in V-formations in the area in late August. They just aren't migratory.

The Glossy Iris, for example, inhabits west Texas and does fly in the proper formation as suggested by the photographs. The problem, however, is that species is reddish-maroon and has no white to reflect the street lights no matter how bright those street lights might be. The Glossy Iris is not satisfactory as the explanation. In fact, there are no birds in west Texas that are satisfactory as an explanation for all the sightings.

The report continues, "Mr. Hart, when taking his pictures, had to do so by 'panning' his camera. Panning is quite difficult, and the relative high degree of success of this photographer is further indication that the angular velocity of the objects was not as high as estimated."

The report concludes, "The kind of birds responsible for this sighting is not known, but it is highly probable that they were ducks or plover. Since plover do not usually fly in formations of more than six or seven, ducks become the more probable..." Nor do plover fly in a “V” formation.

Such a solution might be the proper explanation for some of the sightings, especially those by Bryant and Snider. There might be other reports from the Lubbock area that are explained by the birds, but certainly not all of them. Each sighting should be investigated as a separate event because each was a separate event. Their relation to one another is simply the timing and the location. A solution for one set of sightings does not translate into a solution for the others. When that is completed, those left over should then be seen as the pattern.

The photographs taken by Hart show this. Clearly, the pictures taken by him do not show birds. Experimentation by professionals was unable to duplicate the photos taken by Hart. Project Blue Book records, however, list the case as solved - as birds.

But that wasn't the last of it. In June 1952, Dr. Donald H. Menzel, the Harvard astronomer and a rabid opponent of the alien visitation theory, published an article in Look claiming that the Lubbock Lights were not birds, but reflections of the city's lights... "mirages caused by atmospheric conditions known as 'temperature inversion.'" This is, of course, the same explanation that would be used to solve the mystery of the Washington Nationals that were seen over Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1952 a few months later.

Menzel, using chemicals, was able to reproduce what he claimed were the Lubbock Lights in his laboratory. His pictures, taken of stationary objects in his lab, showed lights in a similar formation, but the lights in his photographs were more diffused than those taken by Hart.

Interestingly, the early television show, Science Fiction Theater, had a story about UFO-like lights over a city. In the end, a scientist, using an aquarium filled with two chemicals to duplicate the temperature inversion, reproduced the objects seen by the story’s witnesses. This episode was clearly based on the Lubbock Lights and used Menzel’s theory as the basis for the tale’s explanation.

Dr. E.F. George, one of the scientists who had actually seen the lights, disagreed with Menzel’s explanation. He said, "I don't believe what I saw was a reflection from street lights." Since he had actually seen them, his testimony should take precedence over Menzel’s claims.

Ruppelt, in his book, examines the whole of the Lubbock Lights case from a unique perspective. He was one of the Air Force officers involved in the original investigation. He spoke to the individuals within weeks of the events, to the experts who could provide some information about the case, to scientists who might have a solution for the sightings and saw the area where Hart took his photographs. Unlike those who followed, he was on the scene which is often one of the most helpful aspects in an investigation.

Of the photographs by Hart, Ruppelt (1956) wrote, "...the investigation ended at a blank wall. My official conclusion, which was later given to the press, was that, 'The photos were never proven to be a hoax but neither were they proven to be genuine.' There is no definite answer."

Of the other sightings, Ruppelt wrote, "Personally I thought that the professor's lights might have been some kind of bird reflecting from mercury-vapor street lights, but I was wrong. They weren't birds, they weren't refracted light, but they weren't spaceships. The lights that the professors saw - the backbone of the Lubbock Light series - have been positively identified as a very commonplace and easily explainable natural phenomena."

Ruppelt then explained, in his 1956 book, that he couldn’t offer the final solution because it came from a professor who would be easily identified if the solution was published. Ruppelt said that it makes perfect sense to him, but he was going to honor his promise to the scientist that he wouldn’t use that explanation.

In the years before his death Ruppelt received letters from UFO investigators who wanted to know the final answer. Always Ruppelt answered the same way. He would not violate the confidence. But when Ruppelt died at a relatively young age, he left notes and documents, and in those notes and documents, now housed at the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, is Ruppelt's answer. The professors saw - fireflies.

Ruppelt's explanation is as ridiculous as that of all the others. It does not explain the situation nor does it explain the photographs. And, it doesn't explain why the professors only saw the fireflies at the end of August and the beginning of September 1951. Did the conditions around Lubbock change to produce an abundance of fireflies that year and then return to the original conditions so that they didn't fly over the city in later years. And when was the last time that fireflies were seen in any sort of formation. They might be seen as individual insects buzzing about, but not in any sort of V-shaped formation. Not to mention that they would have been described as flashing lights rather than steady as nearly all the witnesses claimed.

Often times, long after the event, a man who was responsible for a fake photograph, will confess. Those who have faked photographs as teenagers have come forward as adults to explain the situation. But Carl Hart is not among that rather large number. Interviewed again, in 1993, Hart told me that he had no explanation for the pictures. I asked if he believed in flying saucers. Hart said, "I don't particularly disbelieve." When asked if he knew what the lights were, he told me, "I really don't."

Carl Hart, Jr. died on September 24, 2020, in Lubbock.

(For those interested, the complete story of the Lubbock Lights appears in The Best of Project Blue Book, available at as an ebook and a hard copy edition).


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Balloons, UAPs and Chinese Spying


Although it wasn’t a UFO sighting, the spotting of the Chinese spy balloon certainly has implications for UFO research. While it didn’t make much of a splash (pun intended), other than scoring of political points, it was similar to balloons that had overflown the US during the Trump Administration that weren’t detected at the time… at least according to General Glen Van Herch. He said it was deduced later but gave no details on how that was done. Some of the details emerged later.

I also wondered why missiles were used. I was told that sometime in the past that they had attempted to shoot down balloons using machine guns. The bullets only caused slow leaks so missiles were used. But wouldn’t a 20 mm Vulcan cannon shred the balloon envelop, causing it to fall. And, wouldn’t the slow leak be acceptable if you were worried about injuries on the ground? Anyone who couldn’t get out of the way of a slowly descending balloon just wasn’t paying attention.

Here's one of the points sometimes overlooked. This huge balloon, flying at more than 60,000 feet seemed to have escaped detection at the time. You have to wonder what else has escaped detection. Or maybe they were detected at some level, but that information was not communicated up the chain of command because of policy in place at the time.

Let me point out here that the sighting of a balloon would not require any direct action. It would be seen as nonthreatening and therefore wouldn’t be intercepted. Think about all the UFO sightings of the past that did not result in any type of interception. In fact, after 1969, if you reported a UFO sighting to the Air Force, their response was to tell you to call your local law enforcement if you felt threatened.

However, it has been suggested that the review of UAP sightings reported by military personnel might have had a role in the detection of those earlier flights. The witness statements and the data collected suggest an answer that wasn’t all that important until the Chinese spy balloon entered the picture.

Here’s the trouble as I see it. This is not a problem of detection, but of reporting, meaning, that some of the reports were not sent up the chain of command. Who was making that decision, and why weren’t the civilian leaders in the military chain, from the president on down through the Secretary of Defense and the civilian leaders at the top of the services told about this. I touched on this in UFOs and the Deep State, which suggested that information about UFOs was not being communicated to those in charge at the highest levels. Who really is controlling access to the information? This latest seems to underscore that lack of communication with those at the top.

The upshot of all this is that a balloon that is drifting around at tens of thousands of feet do not seem to pose a threat to national security and there is no reason to pass the information up the chain of command. The president doesn’t need to know about a balloon overhead. The top of the military chain of command, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, do not need to know. The local commander makes that call based on the observations being made.

I will note here, that according to various sources including some who sat in on the classified version of the latest reports, about half of the UAP reports are of balloons or balloon-like objects. I know from studying the Blue Book files that something labeled as a balloon might have another, more esoteric explanation. In other words, balloon-like is not the same as balloon. Again, there is good evidence of these sorts of reports not being submitted up the chain of command.

There is another point here that has escaped some notice. It has been reliably reported that 1800 weather balloons are launched daily around the world. There are corporate and scientific entities that are launching balloons for research purposes. While I hesitate to evoke the specter of Project Mogul, the purpose of those balloon launches was to develop a constant level balloon to spy on the Soviet Union. High flying aircraft such as the SR-71 and then satellites render most of this sort of thing obsolete but for a time these strange balloon arrays were being launched in New Mexico.

There are two take aways that related to the UFO field that haven’t been explored by the main stream media when examining these balloon flights.

First, a couple of the statements made by high-ranking officials about aliens or the possibility of these UFOs, have an extraterrestrial component to them. I noticed they called them UFOs rather than UAPs, as if attempting to separate UFOs from UAPs. Is this an attempt to change the thinking of people by telling us that UFOs are not UAPs? Once the thinking has been altered, then when they begin to explain all the UAP sightings as having terrestrial explanations, they have eliminated a problem that have plagued them for 75 years. They’ll tell us that there is nothing to see here and the solution is based on Earth and not in outer space.

Second, in discussing why the balloons haven’t been detected on radar, they mentioned that the military radars are set to discriminate between those targets that might be hostile and those that are believed to pose no threat. This means that aircraft and, well, balloons that are flying too slow simply are not displayed. And if they are too high and too fast, they won’t be displayed because an expected attack won’t come from those arenas.

UFOs operating outside of the parameters created by the programmers simply do not show up on radar screens. That means that the military can say, honestly, that they had nothing on radar when the radar would see the object but not display it. I will note here that the military admitted that their radars look for specific returns and will only display those. This does render part of the argument about UFOs moot because UFOs operating outside the discrimination limits do not show on the screens.

And, as I have said, repeatedly, our stealth technology has rendered part of the argument irrelevant. That it didn’t show on radar doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there, only that it wasn’t show on radar.

These are the points that I noticed and without invoking a conspiracy theory here, much say that I see where all this can be used to demystify the UFO phenomena, something they have been attempting since 1952. They haven’t explained the sightings, only labeled them which was the mission set up by the Robertson Panel. And we now have these balloons lumped in with the other UAP data which can lead us astray.

Does Ogam at Victorio Peak Prove Noss Story?

Back in the mid-1990s, the Internet wasn’t quite the tool that it is today. There is now so much information available that nearly every question can be answered to some degree. I will also note that in that time frame, that is the 1990s, we all had a little more respect for the news media, assuming that they would accomplish their due diligence or fact check the information they were publishing. In fairness, not all news media had access to the information available today or to the resources of the large news conglomerates that existed then or now. In other words, we cited as sources, the newspapers, news magazines and books used without being able to check the reliability of those sources. That has all changed for the better.

I mention this because, as noted in the series that I have posted about the alleged treasure hidden in Victorio Peak, there was an article in the Hatch, New Mexico, newspaper, The Courier that suggested there some corroboration for the treasure tale was based on the information and study done by two men, Dr. Arnold Murray and Dr. Barry Fell. While I found Murray’s association with Shepherds Chapel Network somewhat worrisome, Fell was a Harvard professor and was associated with the Epigraphic Society. His credentials were somewhat more impressive than the those of Murray.

Murray’s research and participation in the attempted recovery of the treasure was described in the March 4, 1993, issue of The Courier, which said:

Dr. Murray, on site at locations near Victorio Peak where suggested Ogam was found inside the Peak at the 180 foot level, examined petroglyphs, pictographs and ancient symbols which have now been authenticated by Murry, Dr. Barry Fell and staff members. Location and documentation of the Ogam locations was done with the assistance of a government archaeologist and a historian associated with the Ova Noss Family Partnership.

The Ogam found near Victorio Peak takes on a singularly important status because a man working with Milton ‘Doc’ Noss said that he had seen items of great antiquity in the caverns of the Peak in 1940-41 and they could ‘Date to the time of Christ’…

The Ogam found and now verified near Victorio Peak one week ago [late February 1993] probably dates between 50 and 110 A.D. The message is entirely different than an Ogam heretofore deciphered according to Dr. Murry, however, I am not able to give any details at this time.

But I can tell you that the message in stone, in Ogam, would tend to confirm the statement made by the man working for ‘Doc’ Noss.

According to the newspaper of March 4, “Noss, as well as his helper said that there were things in the caverns, in addition to gold and silver bullion, coinage, jewelry, artifacts, armor and skeletons, that were of great antiquity. Yaqui and later Apache traditions, made the same claim and now identified and translated Ogam tend to confirm this.”

What this means is that there is, according to the translations of the Ogam found in the vicinity of Victorio Peak, confirmation that there is a huge fortune stashed somewhere in the caves inside the mountain. But they can’t tell you anything more about it at that time. It all now hinges on the translation made by Barry Fell of the petroglyphs found around the mountain and in that area of New Mexico. Fell is said to be the expert in Ogam.

So, what do we know about Fell? Is he a recognized expert in this field and are his translations of the Ogam considered to be accurate? In the world today, these questions can be answered. Well, sort of answered.

According to various sources Howard Barraclough Fell was born in Lewes, Sussex, England and moved to New Zealand after his father died. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh in 1941 and served with the British Army in the Second World War. He was a world class authority on fossil sea urchins and was eventually recruited by Harvard University to join the staff of the Museum of Comparative Zoology where he worked until he retired in 1979.

So, here was a man with impressive credentials, with a history of publishing books in his chosen field, and who was recruited by a prestigious university. He was certainly an authority to be cited in the zoological arena.


He was best known for three books that were not in his scientific specialty that suggested that there were many European and North African explorers who reached North America long before Christopher Columbus arrived. All this began when Fell started to study Polynesian petroglyphs in 1940. In 1976, he published America B.C., in which he claimed that inscriptions on rocks in both North and South America were written in old world scripts that suggested contact with the native peoples hundreds if not thousands of years before Columbus. He continued in this vein with Saga America and Bronze Age America.

Quite naturally, his attempting to rewrite history, was not well received by others in the academic community. And yes, we can cite all sorts of examples where a radical idea is rejected by the mainstream only to be, eventually, accepted by those same academics. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Fell’s theories, which have been called amateurish, and that they lack any sort of independent proof. In fact, in 1989, two lawyers, Monroe Oppenheimer and Willard Wirtz published an article based on the opinions by other academics including archaeologists and linguists that the Fell’s cited inscriptions were written in Ogham were in error. They went so far as to accuse Fell of fraud.

David H. Kelley, a University of Calgary archaeologist, in a 1990 essay in The Review of Archaeology, provided a somewhat more position evaluation of Fell’ s work. Kelley wrote about Fell’s theories:

Fell’s work [contains] major academic sins, the three worst being distortion of data, inadequate acknowledgement of predecessors, and lack of presentation of alternative views… I have no personal doubts that some of the inscriptions which have been reported are genuine Celtic Ogham… Despite my occasional harsh criticism of Fell’s treatment of individual inscriptions, it should be recognized that without Fell’s work there would be no ogham problem to perplex us. We need to ask not only what Fell has done wrong in his epigraphy, but also where we have gone wrong as archaeologists in not recognizing such an extensive European presence in the New World.”

While that seemed to temper some of the criticism of Fell, in a 1983 survey of 340 archeologists, 95.7% of them had a negative view of Fell, 2.9% had a neutral view, and only 1.4% had a positive view. Many of the detractors thought of Fell’s work as “pseudo-archaeology.” What this means, simply, is that the academic world found Fell’s work to be less than reliable, but then, since he was challenging the history of the last two thousand years, that sort of skepticism is to be expected.

A good example of the trouble with Fell’s scholarship in the field of archaeology comes from Davenport, Iowa. In 1877, Reverend Jacob Glass, who was digging on a mound site called Cook’s Farm, found two inscribed tablets. In translating the symbols, it was suggested they were of Indo-European origin. Dr. E. Foreman of the Davenport Academy of Sciences concluded that the tablets were “nongenuine,” or, in other words, fake. Fell used the tablets as evidence of pre-Columbian contact between Europe and North America, calling them the American Rosetta Stone. Once the tablets were determined to be fake, Fell downplayed their importance, but still seemed to believe in their authenticity.

Now, before I go too far down this rabbit hole, let me point out, that the preponderance of the evidence seems to suggest that Fell, well, you might say, fell for confirmation bias. He did not apply rigorous scientific methodology to his investigations of the evidence and interpretation of the Ogam symbols found in the desert southwest. Though there is some support for his theories, at the moment, that support is quite limited. Additional work must be done but until and unless that work is done, it seems that Fell was overly enthusiastic in his interpretation of the symbols. While described by some as the foremost authority on Ogam, that accolade is somewhat problematic and probably misplaced.

Not helping here is Dr. Arnold Murray, who seems not to be an academic but a televangelist. As noted, he was associated with the Shepherd’s Chapel which is a broadcast facility and church in Gravette, Arkansas. Murray has been providing a one-hour, chapter-by-chapter study of the Bible but there is nothing that I see to suggest that he was able to decipher the images on stone allegedly left by a Celtic priest some two thousand years ago in North America. This deciphered message, according to The Courier, “tipped the scales in favor of the Noss family and the truth.” Well, I’m not so sure, though the enthusiasm for these theories is evident in the various articles.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that Murray’s church has a Christian identity which, of course, is not a bad thing. Although Murray had disavowed racism, according to that report, there seemed to be hints of it in his teachings. Murray has said those who said he taught racism were lying.

One of the problems with Murray was the source of his doctorate. He wrote, on the Shepherd’s Chapel website:

I have never claimed to have received a doctorate from Roy Gillaspie. I do not know where some of these “researchers” came up with this. Roy Gillaspie was simply a beloved teacher of God’s Word and I have never said or implied any such thing. It is true that I have a policy of not publicly stating where I earned my doctorate because then “critics” cannot judge my association. I have always publicly stated that my credentials are my ability to teach God’s Word. To the extent that our Heavenly Father blesses me with the ability to clearly teach His Word then what higher ordination could there be?

I suppose the real reason is that if had he named an institution and those “researchers” checked, only to learn that Murray did not receive degree from them, it would damage his standing. This is the sort of dodge that those who claim other endeavors, such as military service and training, use. They refuse to provide documentation because they know it will be investigated.

But to go just a bit deeper into this, and to prove that there sometimes no end to the rabbit hole, the Southern Poverty Law Center has its own problems. On August 17, 2019, Jessica Prol Smith, writing in USA Today, claimed, “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate-based scam that nearly caused me to be murdered.”

She added to that, “For years, former employees revealed, local journalists reported and commentators have lamented: The Southern Poverty Law Center is not what it claims to be. Not a pure hearted, clear-headed legal advocate for the vulnerable, but rather an obscenely wealthy marketing scheme. For years, the left-wing interest group has used its ‘hate group’ list to promote the fiction that violent neo-Nazis and Christian nonprofits peacefully promoting orthodox beliefs about marriage and sex are indistinguishable.”

Proving that nothing is ever easy in the world of hidden treasures, this is the rabbit hole I found myself in. Doc Noss never produced evidence of the gold bars, fearing the federal government and the law against private citizens owning gold bullion. He wanted money to continue his quest and had at his disposal, the resources necessary to do that without violating the law. He had said there were silver bars in the cave. There were jewels and coins. There were Spanish artifacts found that could be sold. Instead, we were treated to his manipulations of the situation that didn’t make much sense even at that time. It is a major flaw in this tale and I have recounted that in previous posts here.

However, we were treated to a series of long articles about Victorio Peak in the Hatch, New Mexico, newspaper, The Courier. We learn about two authorities who have studied symbols and alleged writing found in the area that supports Noss’ claim. But there are troubles with the backgrounds of the men that suggest they might be more enthusiastic than the evidence supports. We learn that one of the men, or rather his church, has been singled out by the Southern Poverty Law Center, but we find that Southern Poverty Law Center does not have a sterling reputation some have attached to it. It really boils down to who you want to believe and where you think the evidence takes you.

Photo copyright by Kevin Randle

At this point, I’m not inclined to accept the evidence uncovered by either Murray or Fell. I just don’t find it persuasive because there is no real academic agreement with Fell’s interpretations of the Ogam symbols found around Victorio Peak. While it would seem that these symbols suggest a great treasure inside the mountain, that interpretation is open to question and proves nothing. In other words, we are back to where we started. We have only the testimony of Doc Noss about what he found but we have no evidence he found anything of value. We have some, alleged confirmation from others, but again, it is their testimony without physical evidence.

There are those who truly believe that treasure is, or maybe was, hidden there, but until someone carries out a few of those gold bars, I’m not among those believers. This is just another of those wild tales that keep some searching while the rest of us understand the truth. There really is no treasure in Victorio Peak. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

The Victorio Peak Treasure - The Final Analysis


There is no good historical evidence to suggest that any gold was ever hidden in Victorio Peak by anyone other than Doc Noss. He did, at times, attempt to sell gold to various people, but those attempts always ended with Noss trying to peddle gold-plated bricks. No sizable treasure has ever been brought out, and no one has been able to verify its existence, other than with affidavits from many who seem to be less than credible and have their own reasons for claiming to have seen the treasure.

Victorio Peak. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle

There is one point that must be made. In the 1930s, a law was passed making it illegal for private citizens to own gold bullion. There were exceptions made for jewelry and coins. Noss, however, claimed he saw precious stones and gems, not to mention silver coins, in the cave as well as all that gold. Many of these items could have been exchanged for cash that would have been sufficient to finance any of the alleged recovery operations. He could have retained the services of any attorney he wanted to protect his claim paying for it with the silver. Noss had no need for any outside investors, who would have diluted the treasure and could have tried to steal it all from him. Not to say that all the investors were of poor character.

The single piece of alleged documentation – the receipt from the Denver Mint – vanished. Noss allegedly had it in his possession, but it disappeared after he died. The Mint, as noted, denied they had any record that Doc Noss had ever visited them. There would be no motivation for the officials at the mint to lie about it, especially if there had been some sort of receipt provided to Noss.

Those supporting the idea of the treasure say that the assault on Noss’ character is a diversion and irrelevant. However, the character of the man, as seen in various records, police files and other activities is important. It suggests a man who, at times, engaged in activities that do call his character into question. Without some sort of physical evidence, without some additional proof of treasure, why should we accept the claims of that man.

Think about the situation and how you would react in a similar circumstance. Noss’ actions are more aligned with “movie thinking” than they are those in real life. Nearly every move he made is contrary to common sense, if there was the treasure he claimed to have found hidden in the mountain. Rather than seeking out legal help, with much of the treasure available to him, he could afford, instead he engaged in activities that are reminiscent of a con game. Those who saw gold in his possession recounted that it was in small amounts.

Remember, the testimony of those who had dealings with him and the suggestion that he would buy copper bricks, have them gold plated and then display them. Why bother with that duplicity. Why not display the real thing… yes, it was illegal to own gold bullion at the time, but carrying around a gold plated brick that he said was solid gold would have had the same consequences. True, he could avoid trouble by showing it to be a gold-plated copper bar, but then the specter fraudulent representation rears its ugly head. Either way, Noss would find himself in some trouble.

Given the actions of Noss, given all the changes and variations in the tale, it seems unlikely that he ever found anything. The evidence, studied under the harsh, cold light of objectivity, suggests there never was any treasure hidden in Victorio Peak.

There is one final point to be made. It is clear from the record that the Army and the officials at White Sands Missile Range have treated everyone involved in the affair with honor and respect. When Victorio Peak is finally ripped open and the caves exposed, there will be no treasure and no signs of a treasure having been hidden there because there never was one.

Coming soon, an examination of the Ogam symbols and those who have interpreted it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

The Victorio Peak Treasure Part Seven


One of the main stumbling blocks for the tale had always been the lack of any kind of evidence for treasure in the region. If the Partnership, or anyone else for that matter, had been able to demonstrate that something was hidden, the Army would have been more receptive to additional searches of range property.

Some archaeological evidence was discovered in 1988 in the pictographs and petroglyphs that dotted the rocks around Victorio Peak. For the most part, these had been ignored, the assumption being that the markings were drawn by Indians who lived in the region. The January 28, 1993, issue of The Courier, reported on “The Mystery People.”

Gene Ballinger wrote that the markings were a type of writing known as Ogam and that the writers were Celtic origin, Ballinger claimed that the oral tradition of the Indian spoke of a group of "white” Indians. These white Indians lived in southern New Mexico about the time of Christ and died out some thousands of years later.

Gene Ballinger, editor of The Courier. Photo
copyright by Kevin Randle.

Ogam, according to one expert, Dr. Arnold Murray, Pastor of the Shepherds Chapel and director of the Shepherds Chapel Network, is an ancient form of writing which, until recently, couldn’t be read. According to a March 4, 1993, edition of The Courier, Dr. Barry Fell first discovered and isolated the Ogam alphabet while teaching at Harvard. The samples in southern New Mexico, according to these experts dated from 2500 B.C.E. to 250 B.C.E.

I will note here that according to the American Heritage Dictionary, Ogam is not as old as Ballinger reported. It dates from the 5th century to the 10th century and is of Celtic origin. That, of course, changes the dynamics somewhat but the question becomes, who was using Ogam in the desert southwest a thousand years ago. It might suggest some sort of contact between those indigenous people in the southwest and the Celtic people, but the connection is rather tenuous at best. And there is controversy around the findings of petroglyphs in other parts of the United States that date to about 8th century. It is just another of those conundrums that plague archaeological research and had little to do with the treasure and who put it there, if, in fact, there was any treasure. There is more to this aspect of the tale, and I’ll explore all that at a later date.

It is the belief of various experts that the caves of Victorio Peak were used as warehouses. Gold minded for the last two thousand years was stored there because there wasn’t a means of moving the bulk of the treasure from New Mexico. When the Celts died out, the Indians, including the Navajo, Apache, and Pueblo Indians, fought over and then stored more treasure in the caves.

The Courier containing the information about the Ogam Alphabet.

According to Ballinger’s articles, the last treasure was placed in the caves in 1886. Apache warriors raiding the stage lines had stolen strong boxes from Wells Fargo. That would explain the boxes seen by Doc Noss about fifty years later. And that would explain the amount of treasure in the cave. Various groups had been adding to it for over two thousand years.

Ballinger, listening to Murray and Fell, is of the opinion that they finds of Ogam around Victorio Peak are of immense archaeological significance. The Spanish sword and other artifacts found and held by Ova Noss Family Partnership establish the validity of the original claims. If that is brought forward, then they Army would be required to open the range for further exploration.

Another Assault on Victorio Peak

In early 1989, the partnership again approached the Department of the Army seeking permission to begin negotiations to return to Victorio Peak. In early 1989, the Partnership again approached the Department of the Army seeking permission to begin negotiations to return to Victorio Peak. Assistance from Norm Scott and his Expeditions Unlimited from Florida was enlisted, again.

This time, before any work was done, the vast body of government regulations were brought to bear. Before anyone was allowed back on the range and the peak, environmental impact statements, archaeological research statements, and various other documents were required. Only after those documents and reports were submitted and approved could the work begin.

It became clear from the reports that the 1962 Gaddis Mining Company expedition to Victorio Peak had been sponsored, at least in part, by the Noss family. They had been given their forty-eight hours and four men nearly thirty years earlier and had found nothing. That didn’t stop them from making claims that the government was preventing them from finding and recovering what they believed was their treasure.

The environmental impact statements and the archaeological assessments were completed and submitted, reviewed and approved. Then a rider to the 1990 Appropriations Bill provided the last push. It said, “The Secretary of the Army may, subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary considers appropriate to protect the interests of the United States, issue a revocable license to the Ova Noss Family Partnership.”

The rider also made it clear that the Partnership would reimburse the Department of the Army for expenses. The rider provided a mechanism so that the reimbursement was directed to the missile range rather than the Department of the Army. In Fiscal Year 1990, the range collected $122,000 from the Partnership for range support.

The Partnership has been allowed on the range for a new search. As late as April 1995, they have found nothing to indicated that any treasure had ever been held in the caves of Victorio Peak. They did recover and old board from a tunnel that the believed had been left by Doc Noss.

Coming up -What is the Truth Part Eight

Monday, February 06, 2023

The Victorio Peak Treasure Part Six


F. Lee Bailey, the famous lawyer, entered the arena in 1973, contacting officials in Washington, D.C., asking for help. His clients, according to him, had possession of several gold bars. Baily made it clear that forty of his clients lived in the White Sands area and knew the exact location of the gold.

Bailey was skeptical but was provided with one of the bars for analysis. He sent it to the Treasury for testing. It was sixty percent gold and forty percent copper. The problem is that fourteen-karat gold is about fifty-eight percent gold and forty-two percent copper. It was noted that the gold ingot was far from pure. No real conclusion was drawn from the tests, and no value was reported for the gold.

Bailey would eventually say that there were two groups involved; a small group who found the treasure and a larger group made up of businessmen who were financing various operations including the legal maneuvering involving ownership and permissions to enter the missile range.

It was also in 1973 that several people sneaked onto the missile range to dynamite a rock wall in a side canyon of Victorio Peak. They claimed that if you knew how to read the pictographs found on the rock wall, you could find the treasure. They wanted to destroy that information.

The San Andres Mountains, home of Victorio Peak. Photo 
copyright by Kevin Randle

Bailey and his group continued to make claims. The original story told, of 292 bars of gold, escalated into thousands of gold bars. At one point someone claimed that more than two hundred billion dollars were hidden in those caves. The more rational pointed out that Fort Knox held just over six billion dollars.

Others came forward, including Roscoe Parr, who claimed tht Noss had told him how to find the gold and how to divide it once it was recovered. There was nothing in writing from Noss but, according to Parr, Noss had asked him to make sure his wishes were carried out after his death.

Another group formed around Fiege. To complicate things, still another group formed around the second Mrs. Noss, Violet Noss Yancy. There was something called the Shriver Group and Expeditions Unlimited, which was a Florida-based treasure hunting group. And, of course, those involving Ova Noss.

Ova Noss tried to end it all by suing the Army for a billion dollars. In the documents filed with the court, she claimed that it would take no more than forty-eight hours to find the gold with four people to make the search. Once they had located the treasure, they would place the gold with the appropriate government agencies for safekeeping until ownership could be established.

The suit was dismissed.

A compromise among all the claimants was arranged by Norm Scott who used his Expeditions Unlimited to represent them all. The Army saw the wisdom in this and agreed to it. Operation Goldfinder was postponed twice but in March 1977, the search finally began.

And failed.

Just as the searches that had preceded, Operation Goldfinder failed to produce any evidence that gold, or anything else, was hidden on or in Victorio Peak. One group of claimants tried to salt the site with fake gold bars but were caught in the act and ordered out be Scott.

What was most valuable, from the Army’s position, was that those claiming something was hidden in the caves and tunnels of Victorio Peak had had their opportunity to search. They found nothing. The Army then shut down all operations, claimed that nothing was hidden, and that no additional searches would be allowed in the foreseeable future.

Scott held a final press conference after the failure to find anything to verify all the claims of treasure hidden there. Scott did not consider the search a failure. He pointed out that the objectives had been realized, with one exception.

That exception surrounded the claims of Doc Noss. Those accepting the Noss story pointed out that it wasn’t proven that the gold wasn’t there. This is arguing in circles because it was proven that “no treasure was found in the various locations where most of the claimants told us a cache of gold is hidden.” They were now claiming that the gold was hidden in an area that had not been searched.

Even with the negative results, without any physical evidence that the gold had ever been there, with only the testimony of a man who was a con artist and charlatan, there were still those who believed that a huge, multi-billion-dollar treasure was hidden in Victorio Peak.

Operation Goldfinder cost $87,000. Scott said that he had no plans for another search. Such a project would cost half a million dollars and would take a couple of months. At the conclusion of the press conference, the commanding officer of the White Sands Missile Range closed the range to any further searches for treasure.

But that wasn’t the end of it…

Ova Noss believed there was gold that belonged to her. For decades, others had believed as well, providing her with encouragement, legal advice and money. She was not going to let the dream die. In 1979, Ova Noss returned to Victorio Peak and posed for photographs. At that time, according to Jim Eckles in the Missile Ranger (the White Sands Missile Range newspaper), she said, “Like they say. There’s gold in them thar hills.” She died later that year without ever finding her treasure.

But, of course, the search didn’t die with her.

Her grandson, Terry Delonas, had accompanied Ova Noss to Victorio Peak. It was clear that he was going to continue the family tradition and the search. He formed the Ova Noss Family Partnership.

Coming up: Some Archaeological Evidence, Part Six