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The Laredo UFO Body

Source: W. Steinman, 'UFO Crash at Aztec'


Summary: Much has been written about the strange body found in the Laredo UFO crash remains. He has been derisively called "Tomatoe Man" by the usual detractors in such cases. The fact is, this body was reportedly photographed in the remains of an Unidentified Flying Object that came down in a crash collision with the ground at a point near the Sabinas River and about 30 miles southwest of Laredo, Texas, but across the border in the Mexican State of Nuevo Leon, on 7 July 1948.


Much has been written about the strange body found in the Laredo UFO crash remains. He has been derisively called "Tomatoe Man" by the usual detractors in such cases. The fact is, this body was reportedly photographed in the remains of an Unidentified Flying Object that came down in a crash collision with the ground at a point near the Sabinas River and about 30 miles southwest of Laredo, Texas, but across the border in the Mexican State of Nuevo Leon, on 7 July 1948.

U.S. Secretary of State, General George C. Marshall, reportedly intervened directly with the Mexican Government and obtained permission for U.S. Army personnel to recover the remains of a U.S."Special Test Vehicle" that had gone out of control and crashed in Mexico.

Col. John W. Bowen, USAF (Retired), then Provost Marshall at Cars-well AFB, was sent over to take immediate charge of cordoning off and controlling the area. The bulk of the residue was picked up on big Army Transporter Trucks and hauled to San Antonio Air Depot for study.

But before removal a special photographer with a very high security clearance was flown down from White Sands Missile Test Genter in New Mexico in a light weight, special slow-flight photo-liaison airplane. The photographer was alerted at 20:50 to prepare to be airlifted to the site of a top secret airplane crash. At 21:30 they were picked up by an Army L-19 Bird Dog airplane, five team members and equipment, and were flown directly to the crash site, arriving at about 02:15 AM.

As they circled the floodlighted site before landing, they could see the remains of a fairly large cirsular craft still smouldering and smoking some 12 hours after the crash. They landed on a makeshift runway about a half mile from the crash site, and were picked up and driven right to the crash scene by an Army truck. Commander Smith (a pseudonym for the U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer fron the U.S. E,bas-sy in Mexico City who accompanied the Mexican Authorities to the site) told them to photograph everything in as much detail as possible.

They worked steadily until about 04:30, when they were allowed to get sane coffee and breakfast at a rudimentary campsite that had been set up. They went into a tent and got a little sleep until they were awakened about 08:00 to finish documenting the scene in daylight. They continued steadily until about 13:00 hours when a C-47 arrived and the body was taken away. Army troops began cutting up the wreakage and loading it on trucks. At 18:00 hours that same day, the 8th, they packed their equipment and the 500+ exposed negatives and were taken by C-47, along with Commander Smith, back to Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Back at White Sands, they were taken off all other duties for three weeks and spent all their time in the laboratory developing negatives and making prints. Armed guards were posted around the darkroom area until the work on this project was done. As soon as a complete set of 8"x1O" prints were made, Commander Smith took than and left for Washington and the photo people never saw him again. The source of the two photos furnished claimed he had 40 negatives in all showing this crash scene.

This information was extracted frcm the series of letters from the original photographer to MARCEN, 123 Olney Sandy Spring Road, Sandy Spring, Maryland 20860, a fledgling UFO Journal organized by Williard McIntyre, who has ccme under seme very heavy criticism by the usual debunkers who devote their primary effort to jealously going around "pissing on everybody else's fires". The counterintelligence boys find them very easy to manipulate and do so to great advantage.

But those letters contained more details of interest which dovetail back into information that neither the photographer nor MARCEN could have had at the time. We continue from MARCEN:

"What that team observed and photographed was an unearthly-shaped craft made up of earthly-looking debris. The basic structure looked as if it could have been built by earthly hands. Things were badly burned by the time the photographers got to the site, but they noticed a complete absence of any type of wiring, rubber, glass, plastics, wood, or paper products.

"Our source noticed what was some supportive structures, which were held together by what appeared to be conventional bolts but when "the mechanics attempted to unscrew them with wrenches, they would not turn at all. They had to be eventually chiseled off and the metal was very hard, The Army was using carbide and diamond drills and diamond saws for the final disassembly. There appeared to be two kinds of metal involved. Ihe first and most abundant could not be cut by the oxy-acety-lene cutting torches brought in. Ihe second immediately began burning when the cutting torches were used on it.

"The structural skin of the craft was apparently blown away in the explosion when the device crashed as the whole valley was littered with fragments of what appeared to be foil, very much like our cigar-rette packages, only much harder. You could not bend the material-Before anyone could leave the site, the MPs searched them and confiscated all fragments that had been collected.

"As best the source could ascertain, the craft was nearly perfectly circular and was about 90 feet in diameter and about 28 feet in thickness at the center and tapering off to about 5 feet thick at the perimeter.

"There appeared to be 5 or six levels in the center of the craft and they were told seme sort of instrumentation and machinery were removed before they had arrived. No propulsion system or mechanism was apparent to the source.

"There was only one body, and it was badly burned at that, still in the structure. Cur source photographed it in place in the structure as best he could with the intense heat from the still smouldering ranains ani the burning hot sand. After they had taken photos of the entire scene and attempted to use multiple flash guns and a tripod to record the overall scene from a nearby hillside, The Air Fbrce crash and rescue firemen on the scene dragged the body from the craft and put it on a nearby bank so they could photograph it away from the intense heat.

"During their briefing, before photographic work began, one of the team members asked what this was and where it came from. Cbrmiander atiith told him not to ask. An Army Captain who assisted them said the little fellow we were photographing did not come from this Earth.

"They only saw and photographed one body but rumors were floating around the site that two or more creatures had been blown out of the vehicle and were captured and taken away injured severely but still alive. Cur source said he had no confirmation of this aspect of the case.

"The body they photographed was 4' 6" long. Its head was extremely large for the body size by human proportions. The eyes were gone frcm the fire but the eyesockets were much larger than in humans and were almost wraparound as if to give 180 degree vision. There were no visible ears or nose but there were openings where ears and nostrils would have been in humans. There were no lips and the mouth was just a sort of slit with no teeth or tongue. There were two legs of normal proportions with short feet having no discernible toes. The two arms were longer than in humans and the hands had four claw-like fingers each with no apparent thumbs. The arms and legs appeared to have joints in approximately the same places as in humans.

"There were two Army doctors that arrived on the morning of July 8th and they made a superficial examination of the body. Cur source listened to them while taking photos of their work. There was no teeth or tongue in the mouth and no apparent duct connecting the mouth to any ^uTd of digestive system. There was no reproductive organs visible by human standards. The most remarkable thing he overheard was that no stratified (sic) muscle fibre was discovered in any of the extremities. The tissue, which was gray in color was extremely smooth and the doctors compared its consistency to the tissue of a human female breast. They said that the bone structure in the extremities too was more complicated than in humans and speculated that motion may have been accomplished through the supporting bones instead of muscles. The enire abdomen was encased by a rib-like structure all the way to the hips. The doctors were amazed that the right arm extremity had a metallic joint at the elbow, No external examinations were made at the site.

"The hands each had four digits, longer than human fingers,and they tapered to an almost claw-like appearance at the tip. There were no opposing digits like thumbs. There was no visible evidence of toes and the feet came to a blunt point. The body appeared to have been clothed in a metallic-like material, most of which had been burned away.

"The doctors said there was no evidence of hair growing on the head or other areas of the body as they found no immediate evidence of hair roots. The only fluid found in the apparent veins in the extremities was colorless with a slight green cast and a strong sulfurous odor.

"Our source noticed a strong sulfurous odor and an ozone smell when working around the burning structure.

This all started in a rather remarkable way. MARCEN had just mailed out their first journal and received the usual mail from interested and curious readers. Che inquiry contained a number of questions about motivations and goals. After exchanging three letters with that particular writer, a gentleman in Tennessee, a large letter arrived in mid-December (1978) containing an 8"x1O" glossy print showing the charred remains of some kind of body in a lot of debris, and a challenge to MARCEN to identify the contents of the photograph. They sent a reply guessing the remains of a lightplane crash and the body of its unfortunate pilot. A three page reply in early January (1979) detailed the activities of a young Navy photographer flown to Ntexico in July of 1948 as part of a team to document the crash of a 90 foot diameter UFO and its dead pilot. The writer expressed concern for his own safety and insisted upon anonymity. MRRCEN assured confidentiality and expressed their doubt that such matters were still classified after 30 years.

In mid-March 1979 another letter arrived reiterating the writer's concerns, and giving more detail. MARCEN verified the man's background and everything cnecked out as he had said. Microscopic and micrcdensi-tcraeter tests made on the print showed no evidence of double exposure or lab trickery.

By the end of November MARCEN was able to obtain the negative from which the print was made. This original negative was then analyzed by Kodak and other photo laboratories. Eastman Kodak concluded that their analysis indicated a negative that had been processed at least thirty years previously. Their tests also showed no evidence of deliberate hoaxing, at least photographically, in making the negative.

In May 1980 the contact sent a second negative shewing the body it lay in vegetation on a slope. That one was also examined and and found to be equivalent to the first. Now there were two photos.

More prints were madle from the original Press Camera negatives and the negatives were then sent to Ground Saucer Watch in Phoenix, Arizona for further analysis with computers.

Recognizing the significance of the story, the holders of the prints now decided that the best course would be to release the pictures to the public. It was hoped that this would give everyone a chance to see the images so that if they were not what they were purported to be, someone would be able to identify them and set the matter straight. It was also hoped that publication of the photos would encourage others with evidence that they were sitting on to come forward.

On 22 August 1980 the photos were released to the Associated Press in two areas and to newspapers and broadcast stations. The next few weeks were a bedlam, according to MARCEN, as the media clamored for more information.

All the public attention over these photographs was expected to generate jealousy from other quarters of the ufological community who were pushed out of the limelight, and that came "in spades". The usual team of debunkers were roused by the the various agensies of counter-intelligence and disinformation, no difficult thing to do given the strong egos that predominate in this field, and sent in to do battle. Taking their cue from counterinformation slyly fed them the opposition took the form of condemnation, snubbing, outright lies, and character asassaination of all involved. Ninety days later the hullabaloo still had not abated, anil the wrath of the UFO heirarchy intensified as various tabloids publicized the photos and story. This old disinformation ploy has worked for 30 years anil is still being used. As a matter of fact, the revelations you have read in this book are expected to rouse the same kind of reaction. Please note who the heavies are. You will see them again next time.

Universally condemned as hoaxes by skeptics and establishment alike, the photos remain unidentified. No other legitimate explanation has emerged, nor even any other plausible theory that holds up. There has been no lack of attempts to explain them away as something else, but none has stood very long.

It has been suggested that the photographer was duped when he tooK the pictures and was told it was a UFO to cover seme other testing failure of the U.S. Government. All other testing possibilities that existed at the time fall far short of fulfilling the known requisites-As for the deliberate hoax theory that keeps coming up in new dimen' sions, who would perpetrate a hoax and then wait 30 years to spring it on the public? If they are blaming the hoax on those who released the photos, none was over 9 years old when the negatives were developed-We submit that the additional information offered in this report goes a long way toward substantiating the original story.

The analysis performed by GSW confirmed the 30 year age of the negatives already established by Eastman Kodak. They reported a shallow depth of field in the untrirnmed second negative, probably due to the wider diaphragm aparture used in the night shots with the artificial light. But their analysis showed a characteristic weakness in prejudging the picture and then attempting to make the rest of the data fit that conclusion.

They said that their measurement of the head and jawbone area on the face, the arm versus leg lengths, and a careful study of the extremities, hands and feet, showed features in carrron with a laboratory monkey. It is difficult to see how they came by that conclusion because the head is turned away and all that can be seen is the back of the skull in the first picture; and the head is turned sharply up in the second and all that can be seen is an under-chin jaw-line, and that very indistinctly. Ihe first problem would be the relative size of the skull. And please note that that is not a helmet, and none of the witnesses there ever saw a helmet, nor is there any helmet hardware in the debris. That skull is unusually large for the rest of the size of the body, disproportionately so compared to a human, while the skull of most primates is proportionately smaller than for a human. GSW thought they saw evidence of a homy sheath "covering the toe portion of the primate," and "the nail, which is covered by hair, is very similar to that of a monkey." Apparently they were working without benefit of the rest of the story, for the verbal description by the photographer who took the picture was quite different as we have already seen. According to him the foot was short and had no separate toes, and there was no hair on the foot or anywhere else on the body.

GSW concluded that there was no evidence of a hoax or deliberate manipulation of the film. Still huing to their first hypothesis, GSW preferred their monkey pilot in a rocket or missile test theory, they ask, "Why would any trained anthropologist even remotely consider pictures of this calibre to be connected with an alien creature?" Apparently they would like to believe that all crashed UFOs were ours.

In their response, the Coalition Of Concerned Ufologists (MARCEN, UFOIN and UFOIL) said: "The main problem we have with the analysis is when GSW begins speculation that the body is of a Rhesus Monkey or an Orangutan... We don't honestly know why Mr. Spaulding is attempting to manipulate this case toward an explanation of a monkey. We would also be speculating to advance the hypothesis that: Mr. Spaulding may be trying to mold the evidence to fit his own personal theory advanced on national television that UFOs are not extraterrestrial and originate from mundane sources on Earth.

The Coalition then goes on to offer the cogent argument that: "If we are to believe that the photos were taken in 1948 as stated by the source and confirmed by both GSW and Kodak are actually the corpse of a monkey in rocket debris, then the only rocket the U.S. posessed was the captured German V2 which was brought in numbers to White Sands, New Mexico."

To find out more about the V2, members of the Coalition went to the National Air and Space museum of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and talked to Dr. Gregory Kennedy, described by his colleagues as the most knowledgeable person on the subject of V2s in America today. Dr. Kennedy made statements which he documented with the reports of U.S. Army Project Hermes, which was started in 1944 to study the V2 and continued with the testing of the captured V2s brought to the U.S.A. According to Kennedy, only 4 V2 launches were ever made containing monkeys in experiments to study the effects of launching primates. Ihe first was V2 #37 launched on 11 June 1948, in which the Rhesus monkey died before launch. Ihe next primate launch was on 14 June 1949 and the next two following it resulted in the V2s exploding in flight so that no monkey was ever recovered alive.

Please note that the 2nd monkey launch was one year after the photos in question were taken. There is no doubt about the date because all the negatives were marked in the customary military fashion of dating.

All V2 primate experiments utilized only Rhesus Monkeys which attain a maximum length of about two feet, far smaller than the dimensions of the pictured creature. Also, in the first picture we clearly see the buttock area of the creature and there is no evidence of a tail.

While the body measurements of the pictured creature might approximate those of an Orangutan, which could reach a length of about four and a half feet, no Orangutans were ever launched in V2s according to Dr. Kennedy. After examining the instrument capsule which replaced the warhead on the front of the V2s they could see why Orangutans were not launched. The cone-shaped capsule is 30" in diameter at the base and tapers to a point 78" above. It would be quite a feat to cram a live Orangutan 4 1/2' long with a 7 1/2' arm span into that tiny space along with breathing apparatus, seat, and gear, leaving no room for instrumentation.

Another problem with the V2 hypothesis is range. The V2 had a theoretical range of 200 to 225 miles. Dr. Werner Von Braun, writing in the HISTORY OF ROCKETRY AND SPACE TRAVEL stated that the maximum range of any V2 fired in the United States was 111.1 miles. Dr. Kennedy indicated that the maximum range attained in the U.S. was only 68 miles. All fall far short of the nearly 1,000 miles from the only launch site at White Sands to the crash site in mexico where the photographs were made. Kennedy further verified that all the V2s fired in the United States were launched from White Sands except two which were tested at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and two fired fron the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway far out of range and on later dates.

We think the facts speak for themselves, and that they adequately support the other data collected on the Laredo UFO crash. We believe that it is pure accident that the "Tbmatoe Man" photos came to light as we were investigating other aspects of the case and completely unaware at the time that any such connection would turn up.

Williard McIntyre, the original founder of MARCEN and the central figure who was first contacted by the photographer and around whom the study and release of these photographs took place, has come in for some heavy attacks from many sources, possibly indicating an orchestrated program of character asassaination, defamation and outright discrediting of the source of this phenomenal information. You will see more of this in the future as the powers that be try less and less successfully to "sweep the pile of dirt under the rug".

There are other definite tie-ins here to other aspects of the crash-recovery of UFOs and their occupants. For instance the descriptions by the two doctors, one to the other, as they examined the body sound very similar to the descriptions of recovered UFOnauts by the medical pathologists in the eastern part of the country, and also that reportedly described in the missing Grudge Report number 13. The "Tcmatoe Man" was unknown at the time those statements were obtained. Those examinations were all done many, many years ago in strict confidence and the information was known to very few people.

This site was about 30 miles SSW of laredo, not far from the highway to Mexico City, and near where the Rio Sabinas joins the Rio Salado before they empty into the Rio Grande, in The Sierra Madre Oriental.

Is this the site in the Sierra Madre mountains of Nuevo Leon where Dr. Alfredo W. Alvarez, a physicist from the University of California in Los Angeles, together with other scientists, was taken in July of 1948 to examine the residue on site of a crashed 100 foot diameter circular flying vehicle of unknown origin? When Dr. Alvarez was finally located again and contacted on this matter by the author of this work, he refused to comment on the matter or to discuss it in any way. We had expected no more than the reaction we got, because many we were contacting had already been approached by security and been re-briefed on their security oaths and the penalties for violation. Very few were willing to talk about the subject with us.

Note: Exerpts and quotes for the above have been drawn from the published report ALIEN BODY PHOTOS: AN UPDATED REPORT prepared by The Coalition Of Concerned Ufologists, made up of MARCEN, UFOIN, and UFOIL, a 40 page document with photographs available from any of those listed agencies; as well as material from other associations and sources.

Article ID: 890


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