Friday, March 16, 2012

UFO NEWS | BOOK | The Aztec Incident: Recovery at Hart Canyon – Forward By Stanton Friedman (Excerpt)

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"A must read, this book 'blows the lid off' America's greatest purported hoax. Scott and Suzanne Ramsey's well-documented research and meticulous investigation, demolishes assumptions, convincingly re-assembles 60 years of fact from fiction, and reveals an actual event, the Aztec, New Mexico crash of 1948, shrouded in government claims, false litigation and countless cover-ups."

Kathleen Marden, researcher and lecturer. Author of the books "Captured!" and "Science is Wrong".

"The Aztec Incident is an important and often controversial chapter in New Mexico history. Scott and Suzanne's well written and documented book brings new life and historical prospective to this historic event."

Dale W. Anderson, President, Aztec Museum Association, Aztec, New Mexico.


By Stanton Friedman
© 2012

     I have read a very large number of books relating in one way or another to flying saucers or UFOs since reading Edward Ruppelt’s “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects” in 1958. Many were of very poor quality, badly researched, seemingly mostly based on proclamation as opposed to investigation. As the original civilian investigator of the Roswell Incident beginning more than 30 years ago, naturally I have read a number dealing with supposed flying saucer crashes. For most of that time the common wisdom was that the supposed crash of a large alien vehicle near Aztec, New Mexico, in March 1948 was a hoax. It supposedly never happened. The major actors were supposedly real conmen. Frank Scully was had and his 1950 book “Behind the Flying Saucers” was primarily a work of fiction. A brilliant journalist named J.P. Cahn had clearly dug out the dirt about the case and presented it in a True Magazine article in September, 1952.

In this outstanding new book, Scott and Suzanne Ramsey have done an incredible job of really digging up the evidence that shows that Cahn was really the con man, and that none of the objections made to the reality of the Aztec Crash story stand up to careful scrutiny. They have spent an enormous amount of time, money, and energy and managed to locate a number of old-timers who have not been interviewed by anybody else. They live on the East Coast, but Suzanne is from Northwestern New Mexico, not far from Aztec. They have made innumerable trips to the area and to other places having relevant information such as the archive where Frank Scully’s papers have been collected. They have been especially careful in dealing with the loudly voiced objections of debunkers such as Dave Thomas, a debunking physicist and member of the Skeptic Society of New Mexico, and the late Karl Pflock. Dave is convinced that there are no alien visitors to Earth, no government cover up and no need to perform other than the simplest investigation coupled with various proclamations. Karl, in contrast was convinced that aliens are visiting Earth, that Betty and Barney Hill were indeed abducted, but that neither Roswell nor Aztec happened. Not only did Dave and Karl not do any serious investigations, but they both jumped to false conclusions. If they had done their homework, they would have not made false claims. Dave even claimed that Hart Canyon Road did not exist in March 1948. Karl claimed that J.P. Cahn was already long dead when Scott spoke of trying to find him. It wasn’t true.

The Ramseys found that there was more useful information in the 1986 book “UFO Crash at Aztec” by Bill Steinman and Wendell Stevens than was originally thought to be the case. I know my disbeliefs were because I found that in several instances Wendelle was simply not telling the truth about certain other cases such as the Ubatuba Magnesium sample found in Brazil and Billy Hermann’s supposed abduction in South Carolina.

Scott and Suzanne really took a major anti-argument head on. Many had claimed that if the craft was really about 100’ in diameter sitting on a mesa near Aztec, there is no way it could have been moved to Los Alamos National Laboratory in Northeast New Mexico… or anywhere else. The Ramseys hired an expert (who was not pro-UFO) in the ground transport of large pieces of equipment, such as powerplant components, to carefully check all possible road routes looking for choke points. They had been told that somehow the craft was separated into three portions. Using old maps and their consultant’s expertise, they were able to show that indeed transport of three large segments was feasible using the existing road equipment, existing roads, appropriate maps,etc. This was truly research by investigation rather than using the debunker approach of research by proclamation.

They were also able to find proof of the existence of radar sites at the right locations in 1948 although that notion had supposedly been debunked. This was important because the supposedly false claim had been made that radar beams interfered with the craft’s flight.

A particularly interesting aspect of their research involved trying to identify the 8 individuals who had sort of been combined into one infamous “Dr. Gee”. The common and important link was outstanding professional background in magnetism and connection with the Office of Scientific Research and Development. I was quite impressed with the people they turned up. The wartime head of OSRD was none other than Dr. Vannevar Bush. He had also been listed as a member of the infamous Operation Majestic 12 group, as named in the Eisenhower Briefing Document of November 18, 1952, and the Truman Forrestal memo of Sept. 24, 1947, establishing MJ-12. Bush had a low tolerance for both incompetence and people not keeping the classified information of which they were aware to themselves.

An important factor in their success was the assistance they received from such researchers as Frank Warren who is also the editor and publisher of The UFO Chronicles website. The benefits of openly requesting help from those who might also have information, but whose identities were not yet known, was demonstrated when a newspaper article mentioned that I was seeking contact with people who might know something about either Roswell or Aztec and gave my contact information. I passed on the name of someone who responded to me to Scott. He had important information to provide. We already should have realized that TV Programs such as “America’s Most Wanted” and the old “Unsolved Mysteries” very often turn up people that are being sought. I had instigated the UM Roswell show, but was still surprised when dozens called in who had heard about Roswell from friends or relatives. The Ramseys also found an individual who had been involved with a military group that “normalized” aircraft crash sites, getting rid of any signs that something special had happened, replanting vegetation, etc. It certainly makes sense that there would be such a group. Interestingly enough, its activities in 1948 were coordinated from Walker Air Force Base, the former Roswell Army Air Field.

This is a very important book setting new standards for investigation, persistence, and the casting of a very wide net to locate witnesses. There will certainly be shrieks of distress from both noisy negativists and pro-UFO types who have been unwilling to maintain the Aztec story in their “gray basket”. It is not gray anymore. It proves there were more than a few crashes. Now the question is what can we learn about the information which was obtained and when will we learn it? We certainly owe the Ramseys a very large debt of gratitude. Well Done!!

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