This is a follow-up to Scott and Suzanne Ramsey's previous accounts of their investigations of the alleged crash of a UFO at Aztec, New Mexico, in 1948.
In the opinion of the authors, persons who subject their findings to critical examination fall into three categories: researchers, sceptics and debunkers. Researchers simply try to establish the facts, sceptics point out any weaknesses in the evidence or testimony, and debunkers reject the reality of UFO reports by denying some of the facts. "If information cannot be called into question, it must be ignored."
In reading amazing UFO stories, particularly those concerning alleged crashes, it is important to note not only what is described, but also those details which one might reasonably expect to be told about but are not mentioned. It is also necessary to consider whether the witnesses are independent of one another, and if their stories have been recorded as soon as possible after the incident, and not about 50 years later like so many in this book.
What most readers want to learn is whether or not there is enough evidence that a UFO crash landed near Aztec, New Mexico, on 25 March 1948. Now you might hope that the authors would concentrate on trying to establish that the crash really occurred, by presenting some convincing evidence and testimony. However, they devote a great deal of space to describing the activities of ufologists who tried to discredit each other's research. Frank Scully's book Behind the Flying Saucers (1950) was the first one about the alleged Aztec crash, and author and journalist J.P. Cahn is said to have attempted to discredit it, and the FBI got involved, and there were expensive legal actions. It is all likely to be confusing to most readers, especially if they are familiar with the often very different evaluations of these characters in the writings of other ufologists.
There is, then, nothing very much about the UFO crash itself. Most of the description is in Chapter 1, and the serious student of ufology will undoubtedly see it as the beginning of yet another UFO gee-whiz book, even though the authors claim to have spent $500,000 on their research and investigations. We are told that a patrolling police officer spotted "a large flying disc that appeared to be in trouble". What he was looking at that night was not displaying the hovering capability or the great speeds that had been observed on previous nights. These amazing craft were presumably invisible to sceptics and debunkers, or perhaps such people tended to avoid visiting New Mexico. The saucer, out of control, struck a mesa, continued north and crashed on top of another mesa.
Witnesses climbed up to examine the craft, which was a disc, about 100 feet in diameter. It had portholes, one of which had a hole in it, through which at least two bodies could be seen. According to some people who claimed to be witnesses there were 16 or 18 bodies altogether. They were described as having their skin charred, although the inside of the craft seemed to be undamaged. We are also told that they seemed human, only rather small, and examination of the bodies showed no significant differences from humans. Believe it or not.
One reason why it took so long for the details to emerge is that the military had someone administering oaths of secrecy to the witnesses. Oddly, I could find no mention of the military confiscating films or cameras from anyone. In 1948 most people had cheap box cameras and it seems unlikely that some people would not have brought them to such an amazing scene.
At least the authors admit that many of the inhabitants of Aztec believe that the crash story is fantasy. We are also told of the amazing scenes at Farmington, New Mexico, not a million miles from Aztec, on 16, 17 and 18 March 1950, when dozens, or hundreds, of gleaming silvery discs raced above the town at an altitude estimated at 15,000 feet. Of course, the authors flatly reject the conventional explanations offered, even though many of the locals were unimpressed by the phenomena.
If you believe that saucers can constantly be seen over the USA, at least by police officers, and occasionally crash, you should enjoy reading and studying this book. Otherwise you must be a sceptic, or even a debunker. -- John Harney