By Bob Koford
On October the 13th another strange “fiery missile” was seen in Manitoba, Canada, heading southeast at a terrific rate of speed. It then was reported to have burst into a blue, forward leaning fiery flare, but it made no sound. But the day before that, an incident was reported through secure channels relating to the possible crash of one of them, as this quote from one of the formerly classified memo, dated the fourteenth, records:
“Chief of Staff, United States Air Force: ‘REQUEST ALL AVAILABLE INFORMATION REGARDING UNIDENTIFIED FLAMING OBJECT REPORTED TO HAVE CRASHED INTO THE SAMALAYUCA MOUNTAINS OF MEXICO AT APPROXIMATELY 9:30 PM ON 12 OCTOBER 1947…’.”
An object seen by many in Mexico, as well as in Texas, was described as possibly metallic, with a blue flame shooting out of the rear. Immediately after seeing the object fly over, an explosion was seen and heard in the distance, which was assumed to be the impact. A flurry of interest became evident, in the documented record, not unlike a bee-hive that had just been poked by a bear. One would think that the mystery object would have been quickly identified, either as a rocket gone astray, or as a meteorite waiting for samples to be found and enjoyed by meteorologists around the world. On the 15th, a classified War Department Message was sent from the Commanding General, 4th Army, on the same subject: “COMGEMARMYFOUR …Reference previous unverified report of aerial object landing in Mexico opposite town of Fabens Tex, reports received this date from CG AAA GMC Branch Intelligence officer Ft Bliss Tex to the effect Mexican Garrison of Juarez still searching suspected area of impact.”
Fort Bliss was the location of the premiere missile research group, even as White Sands Proving Ground was taking shape as a viable place to test missiles. As far as the Army was concerned, the Commander of Fort Bliss was in charge of all activities for the growing range, which was made up of Holloman (now Air Force Base), White Sands and Fort Bliss.
The early days of the White Sands Proving Ground are a mix of troublesome quarreling between the Air Force and the Army, because the Commander, Fort Bliss, wanted to retain complete control over the whole range by controlling the committee which was in charge of it. This was all, coincidentally, taking place at the same time as the Roswell, and then the Mexico crashes occurred.
Almost immediately after the first accusations of “errant rocket” were uttered, White Sands, themselves investigated and provided the responses from the other bases, which showed that all tests were accounted for: “FROM HELMICK CO AAFLD ALAMOGORDO …LAUNCHED FROM THIS STA 8 OCT ANDRECOVERED IMMEDIATELY PD LAST MISSILE LAUNCHED BY WHITE SANDS PROVING GROUND WAS 9 OCT AND RECOVERED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.”
Even though this was the case, and this information was offered to the Mexican government as proof that we didn’t loose another missile, an article appeared in the Mexican press, on the October 16th, with the headline: “…Flaming Missile Startles Texans, Crosses Border”. If it was just a case of the Mexican Government officials not trusting us, it might be a reasonable stance for them to take. It has been reported, in the historical accounts of the rocket program, that in May of 1947, a V-2 rocket test from White Sands Proving Ground (WSPG) had gone off-course badly, causing one of them to impact in Mexico.
This quote, taken from “The History of Cape Canaveral, Chapter 2, The Missile Range Takes Shape (1949-1958), Written and Edited by Cliff Lethbridge The U.S. Selects Cape Canaveral To Host A Missile Test Range, tells the tale:
“…The dangers of a missile range so close to populated areas would become painfully clear in May, 1947 when a V-2 rocket strayed to the south instead of heading north over the White Sands range. The missile flew directly over El Paso, Texas and eventually crashed into the Tepeyac Cemetery in Juarez, Mexico. The missile impact created a hole 50 feet wide by 30 feet deep. Although no one was injured, the U.S. government caused a minor international incident and had to settle damage claims, many of which were obviously embellished by the local residents. Thankfully, the quest for a new missile range had begun almost a year before this incident”
“…Responsibility for acquiring, building and equipping the selected missile range was assigned to the War Department by the Joint Research and Development Board on July 8, 1947.”