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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Did a flying disc land near Aztec, New Mexico, in 1948 or not? By Bob Koford ©2018

Of all the things that are said to have occurred on 25 March 1948, the strangest would have to be the supposed landing of a flying disc, on a mesa in New Mexico, not far from Aztec. The story around the Aztec Flying Disc case is highly controversial. Arguments in favor of and against this tale have caused much division in the ranks of researchers, at least as far as this case is concerned. Some claim that no real evidence has ever surfaced to lend credence to the tale. They say the tale is a “tall one”, concocted by two con artists. Others say it was all a cover-up.
Are the detractors right, or is there any evidence to support the Aztec Flying Disc story?

The official record shows us that several directives, dealing with Air Defense and Flying Discs, were issued on that day. For that reason, firstly, it just seems reasonable to consider that some type of incident concerning “Unconventional Aircraft” or “Flying Discs” must have occurred. For instance: Continental Air Command (ConAC) Directive 200-1 and Air Defense Command Directive 45-5. Also, United States Army, General Staff, Letter; Subject: “Unconventional Aircraft”, 452.1, with Control number: A-1917. All these directives, and more, came into existence on 25 March 1948, and for several years afterwards that specific date, along with references to the Army Intelligence Division Letter, appear over-and-over again, in the UFO files. These files can be located by using the search engine at Fold3, and [?!? the site for bluebook archive is no good.actual status unknown.* (*info current as of 09/07/2018, although my browser says it is not a "secure" connection, and has no active links, as of yet.)

Some examples for related files to look for, in a search, from either source, would be:

1 October 1948, referencing a September sighting in Santa Fe, New Mexico: “…Reference is made to Control no. A-1917, as requested in letter, Intelligence Division, GSCID 452.1, 25 March 1948, subject, “Unconventional Aircraft.” Also, a letter from Headquarters Orlando Airbase, references a January-1949 sighting: …In compliance with Air Defense Command Letter 200-1, Headquarters Air Defense Command, Mitchel Air Force Base, New York, dated 25 March 1948, the following report of information on “Flying Discs” is submitted. There is also: Headquarters Fourth Army, in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, dated 15 March 1949, regarding a sighting in New Mexico 8 March 1949: “…Reference letter Intelligence Division, GSUSA, GSCID 452.1, 25 March 1948, Subj. “Unconventional Aircraft,” and to Control No. A-1917. Check also 25 April 1950, a document which is still referring to the same Army letter of instruction, although in the upper left corner there is a new, or different control reference: ALFOB-I. This apparently stands for: Air Letter, Flying Objects- Intelligence: “…1. In compliance with letter, Department of the Army, GSUSA, GSCID 452.1, dated 25 March 1948, subject: Unconventional Aircraft, control number A-1917…

This is just a short list of examples. There are several more.

The first time 25 March 1948 was penned as being the date for the Aztec Flying Disc incident seems to have been in William Steinman’s, UFO Crash at Aztec, published in 1986/1987. A passage in Frank Scully’s book, Behind the Flying Saucers, mentions a recovery near Aztec. The conversation where this information was shared took place in the summer of 1949, and the reference to the incident was in the past tense. We know from that passage that the incident didn’t occur in the summer of ’49. No exact date was provided, but it certainly does not rule out 25 March 1948.

Thursday (which was the 25th) Friday and into the weekend, press accounts of Soviet submarines seen off the San Francisco coast began to blossom. An example can be seen printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer, for March 26, 1948:

Washington, March 25—(AP)—The U.S. high command called today for a draft of 19-to-26 year olds so the United States could hit Russia hard ”if war comes.” Simultaneously it reported that submarines from east of the “iron curtain” have been sighted off American shores.

The stories spawned an eventual official inquiry by Congress, as there had been an accusation that a U.S. Navy submarine had accidentally been torpedo-bombed by a U. S. Air Force plane. Earlier in March there had been reports of high altitude bombers or surveillance aircraft, of presumed Soviet origin, seen over Alaska.

From the Diary of our First Director, Central Intelligence Agency, Adm Roscoe Hillenkoetter, from early March:

Top Secret 2 March 1948: Congressman Havener, x 372 Capitol, advised he had received an inquiry from a San Francisco newspaper concerning report they received in San Francisco to the effect that Russian planes have been flying at great altitude over Japan and Alaska with some new radar equipment which enables them to make maps of areas at high altitude (reported to be altitudes at which we have never been able to operate). Deputy Director stated there had been recurring reports of this but nothing to substantiate the reports. Stated that it was feasible to fly over waters not under jurisdiction and make photographic maps. Suggested that the Congressman might desire to contact the Air Force.

It grew to a near frenzy before it was all over, around April 4th or so. The newspaper front pages were filled with debates about defense spending, especially after the 25 March sub scare. The AF almost stood alone in the growing fear that a Soviet invasion of America was imminent. That attitude, if infectious enough, could have helped prompt the government leadership to push for higher military spending on Continental (within the ZI) Air Defense. Was that its purpose?

Many UFO documents were found to reference that specific March 25th date, and the Army ID Letter penned on that date, as well. One can and should fairly ask the question: Why?

If nothing having to do with Flying Discs occurred on 25 March 1948, then why did so much “wake” appear? Why so many ripples? Something obviously happened, with or without Scully, et al. The Army General Staff letter fits extremely well, you might say, because the Army was the first to investigate these strange aerial phenomena, not the Air Force. The Army General Staff, which successfully prosecuted the War as the War Department General Staff (WDGS), appears to have had a Flying Disc Investigation underway long before Project: SIGN was ever thought up.

Mr. Steinman’s 1986 book went on to say that General George Marshall called for an Air Defense Emergency but that he (General Marshall) called off the alert, later that same day. I don’t know where Mr. Steinman got his information, but it can now be shown, with documents, that he was correct…in part. This fact, that the book has some truths, but might also have contained some guesses, or assumptions, that later proved to be incorrect, might be important to consider when viewing the information presented therein.

This researcher found that an Air Defense emergency was indeed called, on the morning of 25 March 1948, by General Carl Spaatz, not General Marshall, and that a teleconference was held the following day to confirm it all. That only makes sense, since Spaatz was Chief of Air Staff. It would make much more sense for him to have called an alert.

A worthy example of the authenticity of the Air Defense order is to be found in The Emerging Shield, by Kenneth Schaffel, written for the Office of Air Force History. From Pages 77,78, beginning with Paragraph 4 on Page 77, it says:

After moving from the west coast to participate in the war games, the 505th was expected to remain in the east. ADC planned to concentrate its meager radar warning and control resources in the northeastern United States pending approval and funding of the Radar Fence Plan, but its plans were abruptly and drastically altered late in March 1948. With no advanced warning, Headquarters USAF directed that an emergency air defense system be established to operate around the clock in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Shortly after, First Air Force in the east was ordered to put its fighter units on alert. The usefulness of this move was uncertain since First Air Force did not yet control the services of the 505th and thus lacked any type of radar warning and control capability. 119" [Notes-119 History, 1AF, Jan-Jun 1948], …These events began Thursday, March 25, when Spaatz suddenly informed the Air Staff that he wanted Alaskan air defenses "augmented" immediately 120 [Notes-120 HQ USAF Interstaff memo, Brig Gen Edward J. Timberlake to Maj Gen Samuel E. Anderson, Mar 25, 1948, USAFHRC microfilm]

The following day, a top secret message over his signature went to Alaskan Air Command directing it to 'place existing radar warning [units] on continuously operating basis by 4 April.'121 [Notes-121 Ibid.]

Skipping to last paragraph of page 78, in Captain Scaffel’s book:

Spaatz initiated emergency air defense measures in March 1948 for a number of reasons. First, it is clear that, contrary to the views of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (established in 1947 under the provisions of the National Security Act) and by the intelligence divisions of the Army and Navy, Air Force intelligence believed the United States in danger of surprise attack from the Soviet Union.

How likely would it have been, really, to expect that the Soviet Union would engage in a surprise attack on the United States on March 25th, 1948? The National Security experts, in that period, were absolutely dismayed at the Air Force’s assumption that the Soviets were about to launch a surprise attack on the United States. Column writers of the day were chattering about the remoteness of the possibility. They knew, as well as the Air Force, that the United States had the only atomic bomb group available which could strike back, if anything were to occur.

From the Cincinnati Enquirer, for April 18, 1948; William H. Hessler: On Foreign Affairs:

Fourth, the Soviet air force, although nearly as large as ours in numbers of aircraft and larger in personnel, is by no means able to mount an offensive with long-range bombers remotely comparable to what our smaller Air Force could do

Quoted from, The Forrestal Diaries; Edited by Walter Millis, on Page 395, it says: it is inconceivable that even the gang who run Russia would be willing to take on war.

What made General Spaatz suddenly (according to historians) call a 24-hour-a-day alert, beginning on 25 March 1948? According to CIA records, the order was ended when General Vandenberg took over as head of Air Staff, in April. One might wonder if it was General Vandenburg’s first action as the new Chief? Either way, the alert lasted nearly a month.

Was the air alert spawned by the disc landing on a mesa near Aztec, New Mexico? The information available does not prove it, but one thing is crystal clear: there are witnesses on record with knowledge of the incident (so claimed), which site the same date: March 25th, 1948. There are also many references to that specific date in the UFO files. It took me years of document reading, and talking to Scott Ramsey, to see some of the different aspects that seem to correlate with the date. It seems unlikely, in the extreme, that any of these witnesses knew any of that air defense historical information.

This researcher has come away feeling certain, that a Flying Disc was retrieved on 25 March 1948.

For more information please read Part One:

Part Two:

And Part Three:

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