Steamshovel Press

FROM THE EDITOR


"The One True Alien Crash Site"
by Kenn Thomas

My host and his brother grew up in Albuquerque, NM, exploring its surrounding desert areas. He went on to a long and successful career as a teacher and now lives in Northern California. At some point, he became briefly involved with the parapolitical underground press and did some important research that reversed many people's understanding of a famous bombing in that part of the world (northern CA). Certainly before that, however, he came to understand that nothing remains as settled as many seem to believe, even to those who accept that the world is rife with conspiracy.

    With that ethic in mind, I accepted his invitation to travel to New Mexico to examine the One True Alien Crash Site. I regarded it as I might a piece of the True Cross, of course, doubtful as I am of the historical existence of a true Jesus. This story, however, also involved a review of parapolitical reportage from a knowledgeable source; it arose, actually, from a rejection of previous theories and research about the Roswell aliens.

    My host (referred to hereafter as "Ed" to shade his identity) had picked up clues to this site in artifacts of obscure and eschewed publications and broadcast, and had combined them with his own experience with the desert canyons of New Mexico to advance the story in significant ways. Whether or not he had found the real site of the "Roswell" crash, it certainly represented a new adventure in understanding the cognitive dissonance that makes the legend endure.

    I had just returned from a few days in Amsterdam, to support the opening of the new bricks and mortar storefront of Herman Hegge's Frontier Sciences, the bookstore that handles Steamshovel's distribution in Europe. Amsterdam, of course, remains the most civilized city over there, and much of that trip was spent exchanging jokes at the local watering hole and arguing politics.

    Part of my agenda included hyping the new issue of Steamshovel, which contains the interview I conducted with John Judge in DC earlier this year discussing the salient aspects of 9/11 conspiracy research. For the international crowd (which at various points included several people from Australia -- including the redoubtable publisher of Nexus Magazine, Duncan Roads -- France, the UK and pal and publisher David Hatcher Childress) assembled at the bar, I trotted out a comparison between al Qaeda and Nicaragua's old Sandinistas to make a point about the current parapolitics of the earth: namely, that no such comparison exists, and that it is quite false to compare the jihadists with any group involved in a struggle for actual freedom. I think I got that point across, although I conceded that the global strategy of terror--state and stateless--has made this planet very alien indeed.

    Shortly after this New Mexico adventure, I gave a lecture as a command performance before a small birthday party of a JFK assassination aficionado at the beautiful Clement Mansion in Joliet, IL. I had been set to retire this particular lecture, involving the Maury Island case and all the connections between JFK and the UFO subculture, and was happy to learn of enough interest out there to give it a last hurrah.

    Some people hate it that I connect JFK to UFO, but the lecture includes only the sad facts of history, and the answers to many of America's conspiracy mysteries often lead back to one real science-fiction nightmare or another.

    So I approached this examination of the One True Alien crash site, as ever, openly. As most people who know anything about it realize, the aliens didn't crash at Roswell. The bodies had been moved from the crash site to the military base and the mortuary at Roswell and then on to Wright Field in Ohio.

    In Crash At Corona, for instance, by Stanton Friedman--a respected elder statesman of American parapolitics whether or not there has ever been a "cosmic Watergate" as he has maintained from the lecture podium now for decades--identified the Plains of St. Augustin as the probable location of the downed extraterrestrial craft. This came during a period when some credibility for the cause collapsed due to the claims of Gerry Anderson, a man whose uncle supposedly left directions to the craft in a diary. Unfortunately, tests ultimately revealed that the diary was written in ink manufactured much later than 1947. Nevertheless, the savvy student of parapolitics, especially of the paranormal variety, takes into the account the corrupting commercial influences on the Roswell story, and holds open the possibility that down deep, Anderson did convey some sparse parcel of truth about the event.

    That same non-attached approach to information about the Roswell incident guided Ed's interest and led to his discovery, southwest of Socorro, NM, near Nogal Canyon. After a long and successful career as a teacher and now in retirement, he had no monetary stake in making a wild claim for the discovery of a new crash site. As a lifelong student and teacher of science, he had no inclination to accept crazy, unsupportable assertions about the possibility either.

    Our first stop that afternoon was the site in Socorro, NM where sheriff Lonnie Zamora claimed to have seen a sphere shaped craft on April 24, 1964. Ed handed me a photocopied first-hand account of a man-made craft called "the Bean" that the author claimed to have been flying around in the area at the time. As we drove from there to the One True Alien crash site, Ed and I conversationally reviewed the Friedman-Anderson story in detail, and concluded that Anderson may indeed have had an authentic connection to the reality at Roswell, but had spoiled it by hoaxing his proof. It was an important point, considering Ed's basis for taking me on the current expedition:

    The directions we followed came from information supplied to several ufologists including Glenn Campbell and by Ray Santilli relaying specific details supplied via phone conversations and maps by the cameraman of the infamous alien autopsy film.

    The time of the media circus about the alien autopsy had long since past. Ray Santilli, the UK film producer who surfaced the footage supposedly showing the surgical examination of the Roswell critters shortly after the crash, made his impact on UFOlogy eleven years ago, on May 5, 1995. Its authenticity had been endlessly debated ever since, but as Ed went over the details--such as the curled-cord phone in the film not being the anachronism that critics claimed--he underscored that its authenticity had never really been totally, unequivocally debunked. I recalled my own endless conversations with people about the film, all of whom had fashioned themselves as experts in photography who felt they could fake things just as well, none of whom had convincing critical arguments about what was actually on it.

    It had been widely rejected, though, even among UFOlogists, and I chalked it up again to the enduring legend. Ed, however, had examined it quite closely and had written about it extensively on the web. He had rented a very large SUV for this journey, which began on a small road off Highway 60 southeast of Socorro. The need for such a monster vehicle became apparent as the small road withered into rough desert terrain. Ed had doggedly pursued a path he had taken many times, although I was certain that even this hummer-craft couldn't straddle some of the crevices he drove over and that we would eventually wind up stuck there. Ed was following a path described by the cameraman that ran along the now unused mining areas of the Magdalena mountains. We stopped at a point where the cameraman had placed a bridge in his description. A bridge certainly could have been here sixty years ago, but Ed expressed disappointment that he had never found any evidence of it. Before too much of my own kicking around in the dirt and sand, I actually found some old planks buried underneath that I imagined amounted to evidence that the bridge did exist there once. Ed assured me, however, that the chances of that debris being part of the bridge were slim and none. The cameraman reported that when he revisited the site in 1980 the bridge was destroyed and he had to take the same route we did. In 1986, a 100 year flood occurred, washing away all signs. That's why the road was so rough.

    We made two other stops, areas where another writer, Michael Hesseman, had wound up following the cameraman's directions and photographed for his book, Beyond Roswell. Ed held the book up against the landscape for comparison, but they were innocuous areas and not particularly distinguished as either the exact places Hesseman had photographed or as a possible place where a flying saucer crashed into the earth. Hesseman's book, however, also contained artwork that reproduced one of the cameraman's descriptions of the actual site, perhaps even taken from one of the cameraman's own photographs-and this would later comprise the last piece of uncanny indication that Ed may have discovered the One True Alien Crash Site.

    We continued north another four miles, with Ed going over the deficiencies of Hesseman's search, that he had not really understood the local geography, stopping at the last posted mile marker, failing to follow along a certain arroyo. Ed told me of his years as a youngster coming out too this area and spending days exploring them with his brother. He went over again the words of the cameraman's descriptions and his story that he had been flown to Roswell from Washington, DC and then was driven out to this remote desert region to film the site and the autopsy. The day was otherwise quiet and still as the surface of the moon.

    That comparison was just coming to me as we descended upon the site. Ed noted the singed tops of trees as drove into the canyon-only the tops and the sides facing us had been blackened by fire. The trunks were still alive. Could remnants of such singe last a half-century? The thought was answered only by the desert silence. The singed areas grew bigger as we entered the canyon, however, and clearly ended at the canyon's base. The darkened areas pointed like an arrow to an area in the canyon of rocks with an odd, light bluish white covering. I climbed with Ed all over this little canyon, examining the rocks. The substance could only be found on the outward-facing sides, as if sprayed on from the front. The "spray" extended up the hills around the canyon, and less and less of it appeared as we climbed. We eventually came to where no more could be found. We saw none of this material anywhere else in the desert coming in, nor going out. Ed explained that he previously had collected a considerable amount of the material and had a well-known local chemical geologist and engineer do an X-Ray Diffraction test it. He identified it as Christobalite, a super heated silica that presence of which absolutely nothing could account for in this canyon.

    The singed trees and the silica substance created a very distinguished, clear and very well defined area. When we returned to its base, Ed took out Hesseman's book and held up the art--which featured the saucer, alien bodies sprawled on the ground and the military response team--that had been taken from the cameraman's description. The geographic features matched perfectly.

    It made a convincing picture. Ed had a lot more to say, about the silica, the alien autopsy and the story of its cameraman, and about the fact that he didn't actually believe in extraterrestrial travel, offering a notion that the aliens were actually highly evolved monotremes from earth, and basing his conclusions again on what he finds in the autopsy film. Pretty far-out, I concluded, but what else would I expect to find the One True Alien crash site?

    Ed has taken only one or two UFO researchers to this site, as he rarely gets time these days to make the visit to New Mexico. That's quite a shame, really, considering that in the half-perceived, half-created world of UFOlogy, this canyon definitely falls into the half that actually can be perceived, and perhaps researched into some surprising realms of parapolitical history.

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