Carolina author Scott
Ramsey has spent the last 20 years researching what some
call an urban myth - an alleged
1948 crash of a UFO in Aztec,
N.M. The trail has led to Mancos.
story goes that on March 25, 1948, at around 5 a.m., a
group of workers from the El Paso Oil company were called
out to Hart Canyon Road, northeast of Aztec, N.M., to
respond to a brush fire near some storage tanks.
said that after discovering the brush fire was not a threat,
the workers noticed "A very large, lenticular
dish on the ground."
is still discovering the number of witnesses who saw the
object that day, but said his research shows that ranchers,
emergency workers, oil field workers and spectators, including
two police officers, saw the object.
were probably between 16 and 18 people. That area is extremely
desolate, even today.
added that the area has been a hotbed of UFO sightings
for many years. "I get calls all the time. People
see stuff around Highways 550 and 160 on a regular basis."
He added that some believe the Pre-Puebloans that lived
in the region saw the objects as well. "Theyve
been sighted far enough back that several
petroglyphs show saucer or disk-shaped objects.
I have no theories as to why these things happen in the
Four Corners area," he said.
said he is not a student of UFOs, but is planning a book
on the 1948 Aztec crash. It all started on a business
trip to Durango in October 1987. "I heard about
the crash and it piqued my curiosity. The more I looked
into it, the more the story developed,"
he said. Since then, Ramsey has interviewed dozens of
witnesses and worked to declassify government documents.
has kept a low profile during much of his project. "Its
easier to get authorities to declassify information when
they think you are just doing personal research. It gets
more difficult when they think you are going to air the
information on The History Channel." Ramsey has,
indeed, appeared on The History Channel in a program called
UFO Files. That episode
was titled "Hangar 18."
It originally aired Nov. 4, 2006, but Ramsey said it will
probably be rerun in the future.
secrecy has surrounded the incident Ramsey said
that witnesses have been consistent in saying that government
agents swore them to secrecy for 50 years.
1948, if you were sworn to secrecy by the U.S. governement,
you didnt question it," he said.
years later, witnesses willing to speak about their experience
have told Ramsey that after the disk was found, military
personnel quickly cleared the area, but were not clear
which branch of the military they came from. Ramsey suspects
it was a group attached to the 5th Army Division of Colorado.
was a two-week recovery operation. It was one of the largest
craft the military had allegedly recovered. They kept
the area well clear of civilians during the recovery.
They had armed sentries posted at all the major peaks
of the mesas surrounding areas."
of the recovery project remain to this day.
military had to cut a road into the mesa. In 2000, I interviewed
a retired Air Force officer who gave me a few hints to
look for. He said after they cut the road, the soil was
loose and a concrete footer had to be poured to support
said a Farmington, N.M. resident, Randy Barnes, discovered
the concrete slab while conducting his own research.
were puzzled why the slab, heavily reinforced with steel
rebar, would be out in the middle of nowhere,"
Air Force officer Ramsey interviewed had not been at the
crash site, but had been working behind the scenes.
family is adamant that his name not be released,"
information trail led to Mancos, where Ramsey learned
that Walt Sayre, a former Mancos resident now living in
Montana, had a story about Pastor Autrey Brown of the
Mancos Baptist Church in 1948. Sayre said that Brown told
a few close friends, including Sayres father, about
the disturbing experience of stumbling into the crash
preacher told friends that he had just come back from
the Aztec area and had noticed a lot of activity on Hart
Canyon Road. He said he had gone to see if he could be
of assistance and came across the activity around the
downed disk. Brown said the military had whisked spectators
away, but not before he administered last rites to little
bodies scattered around the crash site."
reported to Ramsey that Brown was "very, very
upset by the experience, and was crying when he recounted
said that the witnesses all reported the experience had
changed their lives.
think their belief systems were challenged,"
he said. "The interesting thing that is also consistent
is that it was a lenticular craft, 100 feet in diameter
with no damage, as if it was a controlled landing."
saw at least two bodies through a mirrored portal window
and described humanoids 3 to
4 feet tall with almond-shaped heads. Ramsey
said the witnesses reported that all appeared to be burned.
of the military witnesses said there were 14 to 16 bodies
placed in body bags," Ramsey said.
the weeks prior to the alleged crash, according to declassified
Air Force documents, residents of Cuba, N.M., reported
seeing large structured disk-shaped crafts. Ramsey also
learned from declassified military documents that the
Air Force sent Dr.
Lincoln LaPaz to Cuba with two high-ranking
Air Force officers.
group spent three days in Cuba explaining to the townspeople
that what they were seeing were meteorites,"
Ramsey said. "In another declassified report,
LaPaz reported seeing the large structured craft. LaPaz
wrote, in the report, that the government was going
to have a hard time explaining the craft."
has relied heavily on declassified documents to research
the crash. "Interviewing witnesses is always exciting,
but I really rely on military records. The Aztec incident
was an extremely busy topic with the Air Force, the FBI,
the CIA and the U.S. Army," he said. He
added that his research shows that in 1952, the FBI set
up a sting to intercept the sale of black and white photos
of the crash in the Edelweiss Bar at the Merlin Hotel
in downtown Denver. Ramsey has not seen photos, but believes
did take pictures but claimed they were confiscated by
the military," he said.
is wrapping up his research, but welcomes new information.
would like to flush out some more people that Autrey Brown
confided in. I believe they are still around,"
we talk about is kept in the strictest of confidence,"