Saturday, May 20, 2023

The Smoking Gun Proving the Trinity Tale is a Hoax

This is a fight that I really didn’t want to get into, but find myself dragged into it. I am surprised by the response that Dr. Jacques Vallee made to the issues raised by Douglas Dean Johnson’s May 1 analysis of the Trinity UFO crash. I found most of what was said to be weak. The main issues were not properly addressed and there were a few points that seemed to have escaped notice. I thought I would chime in with my own thoughts.

I’m not going to address all the problems with Vallee’s response here. For those interested, you can read Vallee’s response here:

And you can read the rest of Johnson’s expose on the whole of the San Antonio UFO crash here:

Like many others, I was bothered by the claim that the New Mexico National Guard would allow someone who was only thirteen enlist. The claim originated in an article Ben Moffett wrote for the Mountain Mail on October 30, 2003. Moffett wrote:

While at Socorro High School he left to join the National Guard at age 13, when very young children were allowed to sign up because of the World War II death toll in the New Mexico Guard. After leaving San Antonio [New Mexico], Jose [Padilla] continued guard duty in Van Nuyes, [sic] Calif., Air National Guard, and when the unit was activated, spent time in Korea.

That wasn’t the only reference to service in Korea. In their book, Vallee and Harris wrote:

On Friday, the 16th of October 2020, Paola and I were back in Socorro one more time, to meet again with Mr. Padilla… Jose was recovering from an operation on his first bullet wound, the one from Korea.

This second reference puts Padilla in Korea and suggests something of a combat role though it is not claimed as such. They do offer a weak explanation for this discrepancy. In Vallee’s rebuttal, he wrote:

Here again, the reason for some of the uncertainty comes from the fact that he has resided in many places during his long life, had several marriages, misplaced or forget records along the way, and that any remaining private documents would still be in California where he used to live. In other words, he’s human. The few specific questions raised have simple answers, however. Jose was 16 in 1953, the last year of the Korean War., but no Pease treaty was ever signed. After the theoretical “cease fire” the US Army still needed boots on the ground for clean-up, repatriation of materiel, documentation and the like. Mr. Padilla has told us repeatedly that his service in Korea was during that phase, and that he was shot as part of the mop-up operations.

The explanation does not alter the original tale by all that much, other than to suggest that he was 16 rather than 13 when he joined the National Guard. As a former member of the military, I know that we were told to protect certain records such as our DD 214. This document verified military service and was necessary to validate that service when requesting various VA benefits. At the very least, with all his moves, Padilla should have kept a copy of that document. Yes, I have my DD 214s from my service as an enlisted man in the Army, another as a warrant officer in Vietnam, from my service in the Air Force in 1976 and in the Iowa National Guard. Padilla should have been able to supply such a document. And, in the event he lost all his military records, copies would be available at the Army Records Center in St. Louis. Verification of his military service is there and there is no reason that he, or for that matter Jacques Vallee, with Padilla’s permission, wouldn’t be able to offer the proof of this improbable story.

I will note that Johnson did contact the New Mexico National Guard. In two searches, there were unable to find any documentation to prove that Padilla had served. At this point, the only conclusion to be drawn is that Padilla never served in the New Mexico National Guard or the military. That certainly puts a cloud over many of his other claims.

As an aside, I have been challenged for decades about my claims of military service. I have been able to silence those claims by producing various documents, some of them from the late 1960s, and I too, have had many moves over the years but have been able to retain enough of these documents to prove my claims of military service.  Some of those documents are more than half a century old.

For those interested in more about Padilla’s alleged military service, including documents from the New Mexico National Guard, you can see them here:

One of the biggest problems is the tale that a New Mexico State Policeman, Eddie Apodaca, who was the police officer involved in the August 1945 UFO crash. According to Harris, Baca told her, “Jose came to over to my house, and I went with him to his house, where we met Eddie Apodaca who as a State Policeman, and a friend of the family. Faustino [Padilla’ father] had asked him to go with us to the crash site.”

The problem, outlined by Johnson, was that in 1945, Apodaca was not in New Mexico. He was in Europe at the end of the Second World War. He did not become a policeman until five or six years after the alleged UFO crash. You can read about the search for Eddie Apodaca here:

Vallee’s response is not to provide some evidence that Eddie Apodaca was a state police officer in 1945, but to say there were six men named Edward Apodaca in New Mexico in 1980. But this doesn’t put any Eddie Apodaca in the state police in 1945. According to the records, there was no one named Eddie Apodaca in the state police, so it makes no difference how many were named Edward Apodaca if none of them were serving in the state police at the time.

I do wish, however, to deal with one important aspect of this case that is absolute nonsense. That is the attitude of the miliary, or rather, the alleged attitude of the military, when they arrived at the crash site to recover the craft. As I have mentioned in my review of the book, I found that attitude rather cavalier. The war in the Pacific had not ended, though there were suggestions of peace, and in 1944 and 1945, the Japanese had launched more than 9000 balloon bombs with the thought of setting forest on fire and hitting manufacturing centers. Some 250 of the bombs reached the United States. One of them killed six people in Oregon.

What this suggests is that if some sort of unidentified craft had fallen close to the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb had been detonated, the military would have been quite interested. They would have retrieved that object and they would not have left it unguarded or their trailers unguard because they wouldn’t want curious civilians taking a look at what they carried. Of course, this sort of speculation is unimportant now because, in the original story, things were a little different. Actually, they were quite different.

Tom Carey

In what in another age might have been called burying the lead, there is an audio recording with Reme Baca in which the story of the San Antonio crash is, well, completely different. It provides the evidence that the San Antonio UFO crash is a hoax. Tom Carey interviewed him a couple of decades ago with that old, boring story. You can read about it and listen to the tape here:

Although this should be the stake through the heart of the tale, I know, from experience, that there are those who will not accept the evidence. They were talk about government agents and threats of jail or death. They will suggest there is a core of truth to the story. In this case, I think there were two boys living in New Mexico in 1945 named Reme Baca and Jose Padilla. Other than that, I don’t think there is much else that is true.

Don’t believe that? Just revisit the Alien Autopsy hoax in which pictures of the creation of the alien have been published… Don’t believe me, well, just look again at the tales told by Philip Corso that have been debunked in a fashion not unlike that we have just seen here… Or, for that matter, look at the tales told by Robert Willingham and the Del Rio UFO crash. I have published at great deal about that.

The real problem here seems to be that AARO, that supposed investigation into UAPs, has heard this tale and found it compelling. I suspect, in the not-too-distant future, AARO will report that the story is a hoax and use it to compromise other UFO mysteries that have no explanation. They will tell us that they looked at the San Antonio case and discovered that two men invented the tale to cash in on the interest in UFOs. And with that, they will dismiss all the UFO, well, UAP, phenomenon as having been the work of overactive imaginations, misidentifications of nature objects, and people who wish to see their names in print or be interviewed to participate in documentaries. They’ll forget to tell you that it was members of the UFO community that exposed the hoax for what it is. They won’t mention the work of Douglas Johnson but they will tell you all about the investigation they conducted to prove the point.

At any rate, I hope the latest, with the taped interview available for all to hear, will be sufficient to end this controversy. I know it won’t, but I can hope. 


John Steiger said...

Kevin: Thank you for a measured, and necessary, response to the Trinity crash fantasists.

William G. Pullin said...

Agreed Kevin. It will not be the last we hear of this hoax, like Aztec, Del Rio, and so many others. Hoaxes never die, unfortunately.

John Steiger said...
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William G. Pullin said...

We will agree to disagree.


I truly believe in the authors of Trinity and in the main testimonies.

james tankersley said...

Kevin i know you're sick of hearing about MJ-12 but i had to ask myself that why didn't the document that mentions the del rio crash not mention the Aztec crash as the second one if it really occurred and that answer suddenly became clear to me...the document seems to be focused on craft that exploded before crashing down to earth and Roswell was clearly the result of some kind of craft leaving debris all over the desert while the object found at Aztec New Mexico was found nearly intact. This could explain it, i don't know for absolutely sure but the 1950 FBI document that says three flying saucer crashes did occur in New Mexico has convinced me of the reality of a never ending cover up that will probably never be resolved. We also don't know for absolute certainty if Robert Willingham was the actual pilot or not as he was having doubt's about the date given as he admitted he couldn't remember before he died about the Del Rio incident.

KRandle said...

James -

So much here. First let me point out that a number of years ago Stan Friedman challenged me to prove there was no crash on the Plains of San Agustin. Overlooking the fact that it is not my job to prove there was no crash, but his to provide evidence there was one, I sent him a copy of the Eisenhower Briefing Document. He didn't get the joke because had there been a crash on the Plains that was part of the Roswell case, Eisenhower would have been briefed on it at the time (meaning when the document was prepared).

The FBI document was about the book, Behind the Flying Saucers which was published in 1950. The document referred to the information contained in the book and shouldn't be taken as proof that there were three crashes, since the book is filled with bad information.

Robert Willingham was never an Air Force pilot. He held a private pilot license and was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. If you look at the whole history of his tale, it changed significantly from the original version. See the March 1968 issue of Skylook, the original MUFON publication. It is clear that he changed the tale to suit those who were interviewing him. He told me the date of the crash was eiether 1954 or 55... in the original, it was 1948.

The point is that J-12 is a hoax, the Del Rio UFO crash is a hoax, Aztec is a hoax, and the FBI document is based on a book.

james tankersley said...

Kevin...the only problem i have with the FBI memo is it says three flying saucers were recovered in New Mexico. It never mentions the other two crashes that occurred in Arizona and Paradise Valley near Phoenix Arizona that were in Frank Scullyies book BEHIND THE FLYING SAUCERS so i think the juries still out on that one.

George32 said...

Kevin, I think there are good reasons to believe the Trinity “UFO Crash/Retrieval” story was NOT a hoax or merely a fictional account dreamed up by the two primary witnesses, Jose Padilla and Reme Baca. Although their accounts of the crash and subsequent events may vary, the later on-site investigations by Jacques Vallée and Paola Harris clearly indicate some aerial vehicle did crash there in 1945 —even if it was not an alien spacecraft! There is a very possible explanation for what sort of an aircraft this was if we consider the date of the crash soon after the Trinity Atomic Bomb detonation, the fact that the crash was in the radiation hazard test zone, and also what requirements the US Army might have had to follow up any further atomic bomb attacks on Japan. I will elaborate further on what these may have been. —GEORGE32

George32 said...

Kevin, This blog has inevitably become a battle between the UFO Skeptics and the UFO/Alien Believers who will both find compelling evidence to support their respective cases. As regards the August 1945 alleged UFO Crash/Retrieval at the Trinity Nuclear Test Site, the UFO/Alien Believers will say the story told by Jose Padilla and Reme Baca clearly states the crashed craft contained living hombrecitos which must have been extraterrestrial alien creatures. For the very same reason the UFO Skeptics will say that the claim that it contained ET aliens proves the story is untrue, or else was a hoax, since —as we all know— there simply aren’t any ET aliens visiting this planet.
My thesis is that both sides have made a false assumption as regards the alleged ET aliens in the crashed craft. I say the hombrecitos described were NOT ET aliens and I can provide a possible alternative explanation as to what they were. May I proceed to do that on this blog with two more postings? (I can’t guarantee that everyone will be pleased with what I say, but it will certainly explain what this crash landing of a US military aircraft most probably was.) —George32

KRandle said...


Well, my thesis is that the San Antonio crash story is hoax. Therefore, there were no aliens at a nonexistent crash site and further discussion about what see there is irrelevant because the story was the invention of the two men. There was no crash landing of a US military aircraft because the story was a hoax. The Tom Carey tape of Baca pretty well sinks this tale and it should join the ranks of the other great UFO hoaxes like MJ-12 and the alien autopsy.

George32 said...

In order to understand the vital role played by Alamogordo Army Air Field at the time of the Trinity Atomic Bomb test of July 16th 1945 and a month later when an alleged UFO containing three hombrecitos crash landed within about 16 miles of Trinity Ground Zero we need to look carefully at the mission of what was later known as the Aero-Medical Field Laboratory at Alamogordo.
I suggest that the Trinity “UFO” which crashed on August 16th was in fact an US Army military glider from Alamogordo Army Air Field and had absolutely nothing to do with extraterrestrial aliens. I intend to show exactly what type of aircraft this was and who the occupants were. When I’ve finished presenting the evidence I hope that the skeptics who claim this case was either a hoax or else the whole story told by Jose Padilla and Reme Baca was a fiction to concede that they were mistaken.
The airfield 6 miles west of Alamogordo, New Mexico, was constructed in 1942 and when completed was established as an US Army Airfield. It was in control of the Alamogordo Bombing Range (later called the White Sands Missile Range) which ran about 75 miles north from Alamogordo. Near the northern end of the range stood a tall radio transmission tower which the Trinity “UFO” supposedly hit before it crash landed 1 – 2 miles away.
In July 1945, Operation Trinity, the test detonation of the world's first atomic weapon, took place in the northern sector of the Alamogordo Bombing Range. To cover up, the Alamogordo Army Air Field issued a press release noting that an ammunition dump had exploded in an accident which caused no injuries. The atomic test remained a secret until after the destruction of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6th 1945.
After the formation of the United States Air Force in September 1947, it was renamed the Holloman Air Force Base in Jan 1948, and it grew to encompass the White Sands Proving Ground (later New Mexico Joint Guided Missile Test Range, and then White Sands Missile Range). Under the USAF, it hosted a variety of units including tactical fighter wings, missile research groups, foreign (German and British) training units, and the Aero-Medical Field Laboratory which launched a chimpanzee named Ham. (There’s more I need to say but I find I’ve been limited to 4096 characters)

John Steiger said...
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