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.
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.