Monday, March 14, 2005
"Flying Saucer" Recovery At Hart Canyon (Part One)
By Scott Ramsey
[Scott D. Ramsey has been researching the UFO Incident at Aztec since he first became aware of it back in 1988 while on a business trip to the four corners area. He has been aggressively tracking down witnesses and chasing any and all leads since 1990. He has traveled to 28 states in fourteen years, spent hundreds of hours in various archives, interviewed over 60 credible witnesses tied to the event; he has incurred over $200,000 dollars in expenditures during this ongoing investigation. The fruits of his labor will soon appear in his upcoming book about "The Aztec Incident."]
On March 25th, 1948, at approximately 5:00 a.m. an event took place of such great magnitude it’s ramifications would forever change the lives of those involved:
Doug Nolan and Bill Ferguson, local employees of the El Paso Oil Company were called-out to a mesa, just off of Hart Canyon road, to inspect a brush fire, sighted near one of the company’s drip tanks; upon arriving, the men discovered “a large disc” lying on the western side of the mesa.
“The craft was extremely large,” Doug recalled. I had interviewed him last August at his home in Las Vegas while he was still recovering from a series of recent strokes. He has told this same story, over the years, to selected people, but now he wanted it on record.
Since my research began on the Aztec Incident, I have always been amazed at how this story has been mostly overlooked for fifty-six years. I first started my research after a business trip that took me to the Four Corners area. A customer I was calling on at that time had employed a large number of Navajo Indians from the local reservation; I overheard them talking about a meeting planned for the following Saturday to hunt for mule-deer near “the old crash site.”
I cautiously asked them, “What old crash site?” They explained to me that a local story had been circulating in the area for years; that “a flying saucer had landed up on a mesa” off of Hart Canyon road, northeast of the town of Aztec, New Mexico, about twenty-two miles from where I was staying in Farmington, N.M.
After I returned from my business trip, I did a little digging into the old Aztec UFO story. I was shocked to discover that Frank Scully had devoted a book to the incident, in 1950. It was the second book published on the subject of UFOs after the one that Major Donald Kehoe (Retired) had written in paperback form, the previous year. After locating a copy of the book, I read with great interest about how Frank had been told of an amazing event, complete with “Top Secret” scientists and “Top Secret radar bases,” and how the story soon died a quick death.
Later I read articles by J.P. Cahn, claiming that the story was a big hoax and that Scully's sources were a bunch of con men. The more I dug into the story, the more nothing really made any sense. How could a popular writer like Frank Scully have been duped by a bunch of con men and have written a book that made it to the best-seller list in the ‘50s?
I read more articles over time, which really gave the Aztec case a black eye; but why? It seemed almost fashionable to “discredit” anything to do with Aztec. I decided (since my travels would take me to the Four Corners for business every two to three month's) that I would do my own research on the “Aztec Incident” as I like to call it. It seems that one area in which Aztec draws criticism is through claims of the lack of eyewitnesses the event.
First, let's look at who Frank Scully was (for all those that haven't followed the Aztec history). Frank Scully was a well-known writer back in the late-Forties up through the Sixties. He wrote for many popular magazines including Variety magazine and was one of the most popular journalists of his day. (Keeping in mind that newsprint and radio were the mainstream media of that time.) Scully would be compared to the present day Dan Rather, Peter Jennings or Tom Brokaw.
In 1949 he meets Silas Newton, an oil prospector who tells of a high-ranking scientist that had allegedly worked on a recovered “flying saucer program” for the U.S. Government. Scully had been approached because of his reputation as a highly respectable journalist at the time. The “scientist,” as Frank Scully later recalled, was not just one individual, but a group of eight scientists that he refers to collectively as “Dr. Gee.”
Scully's book, Behind The Flying Saucers, devoted a number of pages discussing the mysterious “Dr. Gee.” Many critics have alleged that Dr. Gee was actually Leo Gebauer, a close friend of Silas Newton’s who leaked the story to Frank Scully. As much as Frank Scully's book was very important to the history behind the Aztec Incident, I will use other methods in providing facts behind the story. Whoever Dr. Gee was, he was very much “in the loop” concerning government projects at the time. I examined several claims made by Dr. Gee in order to see if they could be proven, fifty years later.
This has been the Aztec Story from the beginning. Amazingly the story has remained consistent for over fifty-six years; that on March 25th, 1948, a large craft measuring about 100 ft. in diameter, 6 ft. in height and showing no signs of damage, “soft landed” on a mesa above Hart Canyon road, approximately twelve-miles northeast of the town of Aztec, N.M. There were from 14 to 16 humanoid bodies, apparently charred or burned, removed from the craft. The bodies ranged from 36 - 48 inches in height. They were wearing navy-blue colored, one-piece jump suits.
The craft was first discovered by two local oil field workers, and within hours, the mesa had attracted local ranchers, other oilfield workers, two law-enforcement officers, and then, finally, the military. After the military arrived, they swore all of the witnesses to secrecy and then reminded them of their ‘patriotic duty.’ After the manner and tone by which the oil field workers and ranchers had been warned, they quietly left the heavily patrolled mesa and went about their business.
In order to remove the craft, an access road had to be cut and a concrete slab had to be poured for supporting a large crane, used to remove the large craft. The removal process took two weeks. Heavy equipment was also brought in from three- to-four regional military installations. The hills around the mesa were patrolled by the military and not even the oil field workers could see what was going on! Finally piece-by-piece the object was removed to some remote government facility.