Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Foster Ranch and the BLM

BLM Land New Mexico
By Dennis Balthaser

Dennis Balthaser     I was recently reviewing some of my old files and came upon some research I had done back in 1999, in reference to the then Foster ranch, where “Mack” Brazel had claimed to have found debris from an unknown craft in July 1947. Historical UFO researcher Wendy Connors and I had conducted several interviews with the local BLM office here in Roswell back in 1999, obtaining information and documents pertaining to the BLM’s more recent involvement at the ranch.

I was surprised when recently, (10 years later), I read an article penned by Anthony Bragalia, entitled, “Roswell Crash Revelations from the Foster Ranch”, in which I got the impression that he believed there was some conspiracy or cover-up by the BLM about the ranch. (I need to be clear here, in that I am not a big supporter of the way our government and military handled, and still handles information pertaining to the 1947 Roswell Incident.) However based on the research I did 10 years ago, I have no reason to believe the BLM is hiding or covering up anything about the ranch. In this case, I feel we may have an infrequent admission by a government agency that something did in fact happen on the Foster ranch in 1947.

In Bragalia’s article he mentions that ranch foreman “Mack” Brazel was sometimes referred to as “Mac”. That’s a true statement and many articles referred to him as “Mac”, however when I found Mack and Maggie’s burial site the spelling on their tombstone was definitely “Mack”.

Brazel Head Stone
I have the distinct impression that the article written about the Foster ranch by Bragalia is another of his attempts to take good research and put his own “spin” on it, as in this case, assuming that because of the restrictions put on the site by the BLM office, they are covering something up. The one paragraph in the BLM report he’s referring to that I uncovered in 1999 consisted of several visits to the local BLM office, interviews with numerous employees involved in writing the report, and acquisition of actual documents from them.

When I first contacted the local BLM office in late 1998, I did not tell them who had made me aware of a document they had referring to the crash site. I had been told that an Environmental Impact Study had been recently done on the ranch that I might be interested in. That document was a United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Environmental Assessment (EA) NM-066-99-003 on allotment #63020, concerning grazing.

I obtained a copy of the 12-page document, which was dated December 1, 1998. After reading through it, I found two paragraphs referring to the 1947 UFO crash contained in the report. Under Section III, Affected Environment, B., Affected Resources, the following paragraph on page 4 is copied from the actual document.

Foster Ranch BLM Snippet (A)
To imply that this paragraph got my attention would be an understatement, particularly since the document was signed off by 11 employees of the Roswell BLM office, including the cover letter, signed by the Acting Assistant Field Office Manager. I immediately contacted the BLM office to inquire about how the information was obtained and who wrote it. I was told that the gentleman who wrote it, did it as a joke to see if anyone would catch it, and it should have been removed before the document was made public. I was assured that it would not be included in the final copy. I of course requested a copy of the final report to verify if in fact that paragraph had been removed.

We also had the opportunity a day or two later to meet in person with the guy that had written that paragraph, and all the employees at BLM that we talked to were very cooperative with information, again insisting that it was a joke and that it would not be included in the final report. I was fairly emphatic in my response to them that some of us do not consider the study of Ufology a joke, and would anticipate getting a copy of the final document to review.

The second paragraph also containing a statement about the crash site is located on page 6 in the same Section III, B., Resources, as item 9., Recreation, shown here again copied from the actual document.

Foster Ranch BLM Snippet (B)- click on image(s) to enlarge -

This is the paragraph that Anthony Bragalia referred to in his article, in which he assumes the BLM is involved with some conspiracy or cover-up. This paragraph remained in the final report dated August 9, 1999 which I received by certified mail from the U.S. Department of the Interior, postmarked August 10, 1999.

Having visited with several employees of the local BLM office on numerous occasions in regard to this document and other inquiries I’ve had, I do not feel that anyone associated with the BLM is involved with anything abnormal or any conspiracy about the crash site. Rather because I know of the interest at least one employee has in Ufology in general, and having listened to several other employees I believe the BLM is preserving this portion of land, unlike many of the historical buildings that no longer exist dealing with the Roswell Incident, such as Sheriff Wilcox’s office, (now court rooms), the base infirmary, (now a vacant lot) and others.

During our visits to the BLM office we were always given answers to all of our questions, given maps of the crash site area, and other information useful in our research. Additionally, a few years ago the Sci-Fi channel in conjunction with the U. of New Mexico Archeological Department conducted a dig at the site. Would the BLM have allowed that if they were trying to cover up something?

We were told that the crash site is excluded from Right-of-way and mineral leasing and withdrawn from mining claim location and designated NSO, (No Surface Occupancy), for oil and gas leasing as a means of preserving the site.

The reason 40 acres of this land is Federal land is because it was never changed to state or private land, which is common on many ranches in New Mexico. It has nothing to do with a UFO crash site allegedly being on the ranch, other then a way to preserve it, with the Environmental Assessment document. The Federal land was also shown on the maps we were given.

I am appreciative of the fact that a Federal agency (Bureau of Land Management), is acknowledging in a public document that something may have happened on the Foster ranch by stating, “One of the alleged UFO crash sites of 1947 is located on this allotment”, leaving the door open for more research.

I believe the BLM’s statement about the “alleged site” being an extraordinary notation as stated by Bragalia also, but for very different reasons than he implies. Wendy Connors and I did a lot of legwork in our research with the BLM, which many in the field of Ufology do not do, while they claim to have all the answers. Unlike most of my research, this is one project that I believe may be to our advantage in the long run, warranting further investigation.

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