Monday, January 15, 2024

UFO Crash Retrievals: Three with Explanations


Blogger’s Note: Periodically I feel the need to commit Ufological suicide. This means, simply, that a reference in some of the latest material about UFOs annoys me because I believe I have a solution for the cited cases. In the last few days, I have been asked questions about certain UFO crash/retrieval cases in which I have inside information. Or maybe a better way is to point out that my investigations include being on the site, interviews with witnesses, and a review of documents that suggest a solution that others have glossed over.

First on this agenda, is the report of a crash in Aurora, Texas, in April, 1897. I may have been one of the first of the current crop of investigators to have actually gone there and talked to some of those residents who were still alive in 1971 when I made the trip. I have covered this case several times on this blog and you can read those analyses here:

There are three facts that are often overlooked in a discussion of Aurora. First, in the decade that followed, and according to the Wise County Historical Society (Aurora is in Wide County), two histories of the county were written. Neither contained an account of the UFO crash. Since the histories were written so close to the event, there would have been many witnesses available but none were found… well, that’s not exactly accurate. There were none to be found because the case is a hoax.

Photo of Aurora, Texas by Kevin Randle

Second, in the interviews that I conducted in 1971, I talked with the man, Brawley Oates, whose hands were badly deformed. He told me then that the crash hadn’t taken place. We are now told that others, who never spoke to Oates, but who did interview his widow, that there are reports of radioactivity in the area.

Third, we are told of all the other Airship reports from the era. I’ve reviewed, literally, hundreds of them. The Airship landed in various locations and the crews were interviewed. Some said they were on the way to bomb the Spanish as the Spanish-America War was not far off. There were tales of secret testing the Airship which would soon be revealed to the world, but never was.

There are dozens of illustrations of the Airship and one photograph. The Airship had landed in Waterloo, Iowa, when the leader of crew fell overboard and drowned in the Cedar River. Later is was all admitted to be a hoax.

The Waterloo Airship, 1897.

Second, let’s talk about the Del Rio, Texas, UFO crash. I’m not going into depth here because I have provided much more information about my investigations and other aspects of this case. It is single witness, the report provided by a man who lied about his military service, who changed the data of the crash repeatedly, and did sign an affidavit for CUFOS. I am convinced that his name was Robert Willingham, but nearly everything else he said was untrue.

I mentioned the changing date. I found the first reference to the crash in Skylook, the original publication of MUFON. It said:

Col. R. B. Willingham, CAP squadron commander, has had an avid interest in UFO’s for years, dating back to 1948 when he was leading a squadron of F-94 jets near the Mexican border in Texas and was advised by radio that three UFO’s "flying formation" were near. He picked them up on his plane radar and was informed one of the UFO’s had crashed a few miles away from him in Mexico. He went to the scene of the crash but was prevented by the Mexican authorities from making an investigation or coming any closer than 60 feet. From that vantage point the wreckage seemed to consist of "numerous pieces of metal polished on the outside, very rough on the inner sides."

Please note that in one of the latest reports on this, the date is December 6, 1950. When I interviewed Willingham, he said that he didn’t remember the exact date but it was either 1954 or 1955. Willingham told Noe Torres and Ruben Uriate, that he had served in Korea in the fall of 1950. Given that tale, it would have been impossible for him to be flying fighters in the United States at the time he was in Korea.

Willingham in his CAP Uniform. He never served as an
officer in the Air Force and was not a fighter pilot.

I will point out there is no official documentation showing that Willingham was ever an officer in the Armed Forces of the United States. He did serve with the Civil Air Patrol which is not the same thing. For those interested in this whole, sad tale, you can find all the information here:

There are other articles, but they often repeat much of the same information. To research all of them, just type “Willingham” in the search engine and scroll through the articles. I’ll note that some of the comments do get interesting.

Finally, the Kingman UFO crash has reared its ugly head again. This was one of the first crash/retrievals to gain some traction. The original story is traced to Arthur Stansel, who was interviewed by to teenagers, Jeff Young and Paul Chetham. During that interview, Stansel told of a UFO crash near Kingman, Arizona, on May 21, 1953.

Kingman, Arizona. Photo by Kevin Randle.

He talked about taken by bus from his base in Nevada to the crash site where he put his engineering background to work. He said that the windows of the bus were blacked out and those on the bus were not allowed to share any information about themselves including their names. But, once at the crash site, their names were called as they exited the bus. That really makes no sense.

Again, rather than go through all this, I’ll just point to a series of postings here for review.

There are two points to be made here. First, Stansel said, repeatedly, that when he drank, he tended to make up stories. He told Young and Chetham that he had been drinking on that Saturday afternoon prior to the interview.

Much had been made about the affidavit he signed. The trouble is that it was in the name, Fritz Werner, which, of course, invalidates the affidavit, since that was not his real name and was a lie.

The overall problem is that in these three cases, there is clear evidence of hoax. Often these aspects are not fully reported. My philosophy has always been to report are relevant facts and let the reader decide what to belief. I’m not trying to build a case for alien visitation, just report, accurately on what I had learned. Often, I have investigated the cases myself in an attempt to discover the truth.

These are just three of the UFO crash/retrieval stories being circulated in the world today. If there were as many crashes as some have claimed, we would be having a different discussion. My hope here is to provide, well, a different perspective on some of the ongoing reports of UFO crashes. In too many cases, it is the will to believe that gets in the way of credible investigation.


Adam Wykes said...

All too true. And who knows how many of these fakes are actually part of the ongoing CIA disinfo program set up to discourage, discombobulate, and discredit ufologists.

The best service we can do to ourselves, our colleagues, and the field is to find and confirm fakes, misidentifications, and baseless memes when we find them.

Thank you for your work.

Sky70 said...

See, this is the problem with so-called "eyewitness" accounts, they lacked a great deal of creditability. All talk, and no evidence that I longed for, and others who seek the truth of the so-called "UFO Mystery," which is no mystery at all. How can there be any mystery without any type of concrete evidence i.e., something to hold and examine, or wonder at?

Lemurian said...

Kevin D Randle

I was surprised to see when I looked over the data for the 1994 TV movie Roswell that you probably wrote the script.
I always wondered in the scene when James Forrestral and a few other politicians and military officers visit a base where the survivor is being held, why there is actually a glowing aura and when the alien makes contact with Forrestral there is this strange glowing point that probably comes from India Spirituality can be activated. Where does it come from? Has anyone really ever described it like that?

KRandle said...

Lemurian -

I did not write the script. The book I wrote with Don Schmitt was the source material. Arthur Copit wrote the script. Neither Don nor I had script approval. So, you question needs to be directed to those in the production company.

KRandle said...

Sky70 -

We have limited documentation and no realistic explanation for what fell near Roswell. That, of course, does not lead directly to the extraterrestrial. I get that you have set a very high bar, which, given many of the circumstances in not unreasonable.

However, my question to you is that given there are many indirect evidences for the presence of UFOs, what exactly do you wish to have? We have radar cases, landing traces, photographs and video (movies), and the like. Do you reject all that or do you think that some of these cases might hint at something other than the mundane explanations often offered...

And to points of lying by the government in some of the extraordinary cases give you some pause?

KRandle said...

Adam -

I don't believe that the government or the CIA are responsible for the majority of the crash/retrieval case reports. I suggest that can be set at the foot of the UFO researchers who have engaged in some sloppy work, who leave out critical facts when reporting on a case and who are overly enthusiastic in their research. Government disinformation is rarely a factor, though we do know that they also manipulate the data to drive to the conclusions they want. And, we must never forget the Robertson Panel which tried to dictate the response to UFO reports and the Condon Committee that had its conclusions provided to it by the Air Force.

Sky70 said...

KRandle: The proofs that you have cited DO have value, it's something to go on. However, we need hands-on evidence such as the UFO or parts thereof to examine using the scientific method to find out if it's earthly or ET. Iam of the perspective that if life happened here, it could happen elsewhere in the universe.

Byron Weber said...

Should the bar be set high for proof of UFO's, E.T. and crash recoveries? Absolutely, especially since it is becoming increasingly evident that planned disinformation by the intelligence agencies and the military was rampant in the 1950's. A case in point is what happened at Harvard in 1952. Menzel was put in charge of the observatory and he promptly destroyed about 1/3rd of the photographic plates taken by telescopes dating back to the mid 1800's. The following year, 1953, he published his first debunking UFO book that became a best seller. Of course we all know what happened in 1952, the Washington DC Flap that was followed by the military and private companies setting up antigravity research programs, as many as 40 nationwide, according to a recently acquired document from the Australian National Archives. Knowing what to believe is a gargantuan task.

KRandle said...

Byron -

Of course the bar should be set high. However, my point was that some reject evidence because it doesn't fit into their world view and others accept shaky evidence because it validates their belief structure. I'm against rejecting evidence by labeling it as anecdotal simply because it challenges someone's beliefs but I'm also quite aware of the problems with eyewitness testimony that doesn't have some sort of corroborative evidence... photographs, radar tracks, landing traces and the like. True, that too, can be misinterpreted and faked, but it adds a dimension to a report.

So, if there is a witness who saw something weird at 3:00 in the morning and there are no other witnesses and there is no other chains of evidence, what do we do? I believe the proper response is insufficient data and while the sighting might be interesting, it is useless in proving alien visitation.

Too often we get distracted by these sorts of cases where there are many others that deserve more investigation rather than the label of anecdotal.

Sky70 said...

KRandle: From what you wrote you do think like I do: Let's have some solid evidence, hands on, not radar boogies or blurry photos. I want to believe too, but I need hard evidence - White House lawn stuff and take me to your leader, for all the world to believe!

KRandle said...

Sky70 -

One of my great fears is that we'll recover a real, honest to God, piece of alien material. It is sent to a lab and there is nothing to distinguish it from an Earth-based material. But I too would like something that is clearly of alien manufacture. But there are other forms of evidence.