AZTEC - The Aztec UFO Symposium may be a thing of the past, but discussion continues about the purported 1948 flying saucer landing.
The upcoming release of "The Aztec Incident: Recovery at Hart Canyon," by Scott and Suzanne Ramsey may spark renewed interest in the incident, and the authors claim the book will change history.
The book provides new evidence about the famous incident and incorporates significant background on the Four Corners region. It is the culmination of 25 years of research by the Ramseys, including reviews of more than 55,000 documents and interviews of eyewitnesses in 27 states.
The Ramseys affirm their research proves that a controlled landing by a craft not of this world did occur, and that the U.S. military rushed in to cloak evidence of the landing.
What exactly occurred at Hart Canyon, 12 miles northeast of Aztec, on March 25, 1948, has long been debated.
Skeptics say that Frank Scully, author of the 1950 book, "Behind the Flying Saucers," was the victim of a hoax perpetrated by several con men. In his book, Scully claimed that a UFO landed in Hart Canyon and 16 dead humanoid (but non-human) bodies were discovered at the crash site inside a 99-foot metal disk. The military reportedly secretly removed the craft and the bodies.
The debate about the veracity of this event has continued, to the point where it became the focus of the annual Aztec UFO symposium, which this year was discontinued.
Ramsey believes the book proves the reality of the incident, which, was probably less of a crash and more of a controlled landing by a UFO, possibly after it was shot at, he said.
"During our interviews of witnesses at the landing site, the accounts were consistent," Ramsey said. "Eyewitness reports are sometimes the worst. We had to be careful, as many of the witnesses were 19 years old at the time of the incident, and by the time I got to them, they were in their 80s. It was the consistency of certain details over the years that drew my attention."
One of these consistent details involved a hole in the portal of the craft, recalled by all witnesses, Ramsey said. Another detail was the presence of the small, child-like, non-human bodies.
According to Ramsey, the military secured the craft and bodies, spiriting them away to a secure laboratory and swearing the witnesses to secrecy.
"It was right after World War II and was the early period of the Cold War. Our military wasn't just good back then, it was excellent," he said. "The presence of UFOs was regarded as higher in secrecy than the H-bomb, and New Mexico was having a lot of problems with UFOs hovering over military sites."
The same craft possibly was seen buzzing over the Los Alamos lab just weeks before the Hart Canyon landing.
"It was a time in this country when our safety was first and foremost, and I think our government just wanted to protect us," Suzanne said. "It (the cover up) wasn't for the purpose of being secretive, it was to be protective."
Suzanne believes this book differs from previous publications as it focuses on hard facts and documented research.
"We are historians, and we are not making any wild assumptions, which has previously occurred with this incident," she said. "We never try to convince the reader. We're providing the facts, and the reader can make his or her own decisions. If the data can't be proven or corroborated, then we didn't put it in the book."
A major contributor to the book, Frank Thayer, is a journalism professor at New Mexico State University. He accompanied the Ramseys on some of their research trips.
Thayer believes this to be the best book yet written on the subject and predicts the impact of the book will be significant, possibly forever changing Aztec.
"The independent and coinciding stories of eyewitnesses was the one thing we didn't have before," Thayer said. "That's what was so impressive to me: these individuals were real, credible people who were separated by hundreds of miles, yet they all had coinciding stories, including about being sworn to secrecy by the military."
Thayer believes the U.S. government will never admit to what it knows about UFOs.
"The best thing they can do is to ignore it and keep it out of the press," he said.
"The Aztec Incident: Recovery at Hart Canyon" will be released April 16. A free preview of the first 26 pages is available at www.theaztecincident.com.