Summary: An overview of well-known UFO crashes, with background and descriptions of each case.
On of the strangest cases involving alleged crashed UFOs, occurred nearly 100 years ago in the town of Aurora, Texas. Many people believe this to be one of many hoaxes started around this time. The year was 1897 during which the U.S. was besotted with hundreds of sightings of strange airships.
The story first appeared on 19th April 1897, and claimed that a strange airship had appeared over the town of Aurora. The craft then apparently crashed into a windmill tower and exploded. Some of the material recovered had strange hieroglyphic symbols on it.
Also amongst the wreckage was that of an 'alien' lifeform which the townsfolk buried in the local cemetery.
Several UFO researchers have tried to uncover some supportive documentation with vary success. A few witnesses were still around when the incident was investigated around 1966 - 1977 and some of these gave evidence stating that the story was essentially true.
However, most of the evidence uncovered by researchers indicates that the story is nothing more than an elaborate hoax used to drum up interest in the town. In fact researchers discovered that no windmill had been at the site in question and that the site was owned by the local mayor.
Although most researchers regard this as a hoax, there are still some who pursue the case. In fact, several years ago they tried to get the grave where the alien is supposedly buried exhumed. The request was denied my the local council.
At 7.00am on 30th June 1908 near the lower Tunguska River, Siberia, a large explosion occurred. The explosion was so massive that it caused damage 400 miles away, and was heard even further. Even the heat that came out from the explosion was felt hundreds of miles away.
For several nights all over northern Europe, the sky glowed enough to light the street of London. At first it was assumed that a massive meteorite had collided with the earth.
Given the remoteness of the area it was not until 1927 that an expedition was mounted to investigate the crash area. The expedition could not locate any bits of meteorite which puzzled them due the size that the meteorite would have to have been to create such a large explosion.
Another puzzle for the expedition was the way the tress were felled in an outward motion and that in the centre an area of trees were still standing, although all their bark and branches have been destroyed.
After the Second World War and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, photos of the cities were compared with aerial photos of the Tunguska blast, and they were stunning similar.
As a result of this various scientists speculated that a nuclear explosion had taken place over the area, hence explaining the tree formation, and because no nation possessed nuclear device the logical conclusion was that it was from an exploding alien nuclear powered craft.
Other theories started to be banded around ranging from pinpoint black holes, and antimatter particles.
Many of the witnesses to the original crash spoke of seeing and oval-shaped mass moving across the sky, as well as seeing the object change course, and of having a very low speed.
Most people today believe that what hit Tunguska was simply a meteorite, but the alien craft theory still has a lot of credibility. As with most of these cases that occurred long ago, we shall probably never know for sure.
The Roswell incident seemed just to involve debris from a craft of some sort, as no main part of the craft/bodies could be found on the Brazel ranch. This led to speculation that the main part of the craft had managed to travel on before coming to rest. The Plains of San Agustin crash became one of the main candidates for this location.
The craft came down in an area west of Socorro, New Mexico, known as the Plains of San Agustin, where witnesses discovered a strange metallic object but also dead bodies.
The first witness on the scene was Grady 'Barney' Barnett, who told some friends that in early July 1947 he had encountered a metallic, disc-shaped 'aircraft' about 25-30 feet in diameter. While he was examining it a small group of people arrived, who said that they were from an archaeological research team from the University of Pennsylvania. Barnet apparently stated the following to his friends.
"I noticed that they were standing around looking at some dead bodies that had fallen to the ground. I think there were others in the machine, which was kind of metallic...disc. It was not all that big. It seemed to be made of a metal that looked like dirty stainless steel. The machine had been split open by explosion or impact.
I tried to get close to see what the bodies were like. They were all dead as far as I could see and there were bodies inside and outside the vehicle. The ones outside had been tossed out by the the impact. They were like humans but they were not human. The heads were round, the eyes were small, and they had no hair. The eyes were oddly spaced. They were quite small by our standards and their heads were larger in proportion to their bodies than ours. Their clothing seemed to be one-piece and grey in colour. You couldn't see any zippers, belts or buttons. They seemed to me to be males and there were a number of them. I was close enough to touch them but I didn't - I was escorted away before I could.
While we were looking at them a military officer drove up in a truck with a driver and took control. He told everybody that the Army was taking over and to get out of the way. Other military personnel came up and cordoned off the area. We were told to leave the area and not to talk to anyone whatever about what we had seen...that it was our patriotic duty to remain silent".
Unfortunately Barnett died before any UFO researcher could interview him. He was described as a very respectable and honest citizen by family and friends.
However, a new informant called Gerald Anderson came forward in 1990 which backed up the Barnett story. However thanks to some excellent research done by Kevin Randle and others the Anderson story was shown to be a hoax. Also Randle tracked down all students of Universities that were in the area at the time and none of them knew anything about the alleged crash.
Again this case appears nothing more than a hoax until further evidence is presented to say otherwise.
This is probably the only case on record of a Hoax indirectly leading to the death of UFO Investigators.
The story surfaced from Ray Palmer (editor of Amazing Stories), regarding a man called Fred Crisman who claimed to have actual physical evidence of a flying saucer.
Palmer passed the story onto Kenneth Arnold, who was investigating UFO reports in the Northwest. Arnold interviewed Crisman an his associate Harold Dahl who claimed they were harbour patrolmen (their first lie). Crisman reported that they had seen a doughnut-shaped craft dump piles of slaglike material on the beach of Maury Island in Pugent Sound. The next morning a mysterious man in black had threatened Dahl, who claimed the man said 'I know a great deal more about this experience of yours that you will want to believe.'.
The 2 men showed Arnold the material who in turn contacted an Army Air Force intelligence officer, Lieutenant Frank Brown, who flew up from Hamiltion Field in California in the company of another Air Force officer.
The 2 Air Force officers immediately recognised the material as ordinary aluminium but did not say so in front of Arnold due to the fact that he would feel embarrassed. While flying back to Hamiltion, their B-25 caught fire and crashed, killing both officers.
Crisman and Dahl later confessed to investigators that they had made up the story. Before his death Crisman changed the Maury Incident story to that of an American Plane dropping radioactive waste instead of a UFO dropping unknown substances.
Another alleged crash retrieval took place in Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Arizona 1947 . This crash again came from Frank Scully's information and involved a craft 36feet in diameter, along with 2 humanoid bodies.
The main witness was Selman E. Graves, a former businessman and pilot, who witnessed part of the recovery operation with 2 friends during a hunting trip. In statements Graves reported:
"There were some mine shafts - what you might call an outcropping - and a small hill, and we went up there and the three of us could look back and see everything that was taking place. And there was a large - I can best describe it as a large aluminium dome-shaped thing there, which was roughly the size of a house - it was measured to be 36feet in diameter.
We could see that there were pitched buildings - tents - and men moving about. We at that time didn't have any idea what we were looking at. We thought it might me an observatory dome, except why would they have it down there on that piece of ground?".
Further information was provided by Scully's informant Silas Newton. He reported:
"Supposedly there were a couple of small humanoids - about four and a half feet tall - that were reported to be there".
Again most mainstream UFO researcher concluded that this is another hoaxed story that had been fed to Scully who reported it in his book.
Author Frank Scully in 1950 released the now infamous book 'Behind the Flying Saucers', in which he reported 4 UFO crash retrieval incidents. (Most of these are now widely believed to be unreliable).
The crash incident occurred near Aztec, New Mexico, 1948. Most of Scully's information came from a 'Dr. Gee', who was in fact a composite of 8 different people from whom Scully had obtained his information.
Scully claimed, that the disc that landed near Aztec was 99.99 feet in diameter and that it's exterior was made of a light metal resembling aluminium but so durable that no amount of heat or diamond drilling had any effect.
The disc apparently incorporated large rings of metal which revolved around a central stabilised cabin, using an unfamiliar gear ratio. There were no rivets, bolts, screws or signs of welding. Investigators were eventually able to gain access to the craft by pushing a knob with a long pole through a porthole which caused a hidden door to open.
Scully's informant also stated that 16 small humanoids, ranging in height from 36 to 42 inches, were found dead inside the cabin, their bodies charred to a dark brown colour.
Scully was told that the craft was undamaged, having landed under its own guidance. The craft was found to be assembled in segments using a complex system of grooves and pins. The craft and bodies were then apparently flown to Wright Patterson AFB.
In 1987 William Steinman found some further evidence to support Scully's claim but again he refused to divulge his source. Steinman stated that the crash occurred on 25th March and was detected by 3 separate radar centres. The radar apparently caused the craft to crash.
Steinman's version, however, stated that only 14 humanoid bodies were recovered and not 16 as Scully had claimed.
Without further proof this incident is likely to remain just a 'possible' crash retrieval case.
In June 1952 stories were beginning to come out in the German Press about an alleged UFO crash on the island of Spitzbergen, off the northern coast of Norway.
The stories reported that 6 Norwegian jets were on an exercise flying over the Hinlopen Straits when radio contact was lost due to heavy static interference. At the same time the local radar post at Narvik, was showing a distorted signal of the jet fighters as well as the presence of a UFO.
Whilst the jets were circling, the captain , Olaf Larsen spotted a large metallic disc in the snow which looked as if it had crashed. The captain reported his findings, which led to search and recover teams being sent to the reported location.
When the teams arrived they described the craft as 150ft in diameter and that it was giving off radioactive emissions. The craft was also described as silver in colour and had strange symbols written on the outside. The teams assumed that this was a Russian test aircraft which had flown out of control. The craft was shipped to Narvik where it was examined.
The results of the investigation were not released for 2 years, and the report stated that the craft was not of Russian origin, but was a craft that had not been built by any country on earth. They stated that the material that the craft was constructed from could not be identified.
Unfortunately these reports were never verified and many people now feel that once again that this story is most likely a hoax.
It is rumoured that a UFO crashed on the 20th May 1953 near the desert town of Kingman, Arizona.
This case was first brought to the publics attention by Raymond Fowler in June 1973. Fowler had obtained evidence from a witness he referred to as 'Fritz Werner'.
Werner claims to have been working on a special contract at a nuclear test site in Nevada. On the 21st May he was called away by his boss and told that he would be going on a 'special assignment'. He was flown to Phoenix and then taken in a bus with blacked out windows to a location north-west of Phoenix, he and the others on the bus were told not to speak to each other under any circumstances.
When they arrived at their destination they were taken to see a 30ft disc embedded into the sand. The craft was lit up my military arc-lights. The object appeared to of been constructed of an aluminium-like material. There was a small hole in the craft, which appeared to be the result of a crash.
Werners task was to calculate the speed that the craft was travelling when the crash occurred. Once finished he spoke briefly to some of the others who mentioned seeing a small cabin and tiny chairs inside the craft.
Whilst they were back on the bus and being taken back they were made to sign the 'Official Secrets' act and was told never to tell anyone about this incident. Werner also claims to have seen the body of a small creature about 4ft tall inside a small medical tent. The creature was wearing a skull-cap and a silver one-piece suit.
Fowler made several check as to the integrity of Werner and everyone who knew him said that he was a man of considerable integrity and scientific ability.
Support for this story once again came from personnel at Wright Patterson who claimed that he was witness to a delivery from a 'crash site in Arizona' in 1953. He said that 3 bodies had been recovered and were packed in dry ice, 4ft tall, large heads and brownish skin.
Since then several other witnesses have come forward including a future Vietnam commander who has testified to the validity of the story.
One of the few cases of a crashed UFO and physical evidence is that of the crash that occurred on the beach of Ubatuba, Brazil in September 1957.
The story began when Ibrahim Sued, a journalist with O Globo (a leading Brazilian newspaper), received a letter on 13th September. The letter was signed but was unreadable. The later stated:
"As a faithful reader of your column and your admirer, I wish to give you something of the highest interest to a newspaper man, about the flying disks. If you believe that they are real, of course. I didn't believe anything said or published about them. But just a few days ago I was forced to change my mind. I was fishing together with some friends, at a place close to the town of Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, when I sighted a flying disk. It approached the beach at an unbelievable speed and an accident, i.e. a crash into the sea seemed imminent. At the last moment, however, when it was almost striking the waters, it made a sharp turn upward and climbed rapidly on a fantastic impulse. We followed the spectacle with our eyes, startled, when we saw the disk explode in flames. It disintegrated into thousands of fiery fragments, which fell sparkling with magnificent brightness. They looked like fireworks, despite the time of the accident, at noon i.e. midday. Most of these fragments, almost all, fell into the sea. But a number of small pieces fell close to the beach and we picked up a large amount of this material, which was as light as paper. I am enclosing a small sample of it. I don't know anyone that could be trusted to whom I might send it for analysis. I never read about a flying disc being found, or about fragments or parts of a saucer that had been picked up."
Two of the three samples were sent to APRO, whilst the third was retained by Brazilian UFOlogist Dr Olavo Fontes for further study.
The three samples looked like pieces of irregular and highly oxidised metal, coloured dull whitish grey.
The first sample was tested at the mineral production labs in the Brazilian agricultural ministry. They applied chemical, spectrographic analysis and X-ray diffusion techniques on the metal. These tests indicated that the material was very pure magnesium. The chemist also noted that the normal trace elements expected in magnesium were all missing.
Fontes used up all of his sample in a series of further tests, which included another chemist conducting X-ray investigation at the labs of a geology unit and pieces being taken to the Brazilian Army and Navy research departments. The Army and Navy both kept the results of their findings secret.
The geology lab determined that the magnesium was of a very high purity with a reading of 1.87 as opposed to a normal reading of 1.74.
ARPO sent a sample to the USAF, but the sample they sent met with an 'accident' while the USAF were testing it. The USAF asked for a further sample to be sent. APRO declined.
The remaining samples where used with varying results, until the samples became too small to of been any use in tests.
APRO still have one small remaining sample in their vaults.
One of the most intriguing crash reports to have surfaced over the years is a report of a crash that occurred in the Air Force Base of Nellis AFB, Nevada in 1962. For many years this case was thought of nothing more than a rumour amongst UFO researchers. However, reports and statements from many eyewitnesses slowly emerged, enough so, for researchers to start digging for more information.
The object was first spotted over Oneida, New York and was heading in a westerly direction. There were also reports of the object in Kansas, Colorado and Eureka, Utah. The object was the seen in the town of Reno, Nevada and was seen to 'turn' and head towards Nevada, where it disappeared over the Nellis Air Force Base. The object was also tracked at several radar sights.
The object was reported by over a thousand people, most of whom, assumed that the object was a meteorite. Various newspapers covered the story the following morning although most of them concluded also that it must of been just a very spectacular meteorite.
However, Air Defence Command, after watching the object for several hours scrambled several fighters (not something that they do for meteorites normally !).
It was claimed the object came down near Eureka, and at the same time the town experienced a total blackout. However, the object was then seen to take off again, and as it did the power came back.
The object was also seen at various times by several commercial airline pilots who reported that the object was below them, again unusual for a meteorite.
The official air force explanation was that the object witnessed was a meteor. However, this does not explain why fights were scrambled, why the object changed course, why the object appeared to land and then take off again.
On 9th December 1965 hundreds of witnesses in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania observed a UFO crash. It first appeared to be nothing more than a spectacular meteorite but 30 years on it is still a source of much controversy amongst UFO researchers.
In March 1966, UFO researcher Ivan Sanderson compiled a detailed account from various eyewitnesses, and soon realised that there was more to this story than that of a simple meteorite.
His findings indicated that the object showed a clear trajectory, moving from north-west to south-east. Its total visible journey lasted no more than 6 minutes, which indicated a speed far too slow for a meteor. Sanderson calculated a speed of only around 1,000 mph.
Not all the eyewitnesses were located on the ground at the time of the sighting, there were also several pilots who spoke of being buffeted by shock waves as the large bright object sped by. This was strange as most meteorites are observed several thousands of feet above most commercial aircraft. There were also claims of shock waves and sonic booms reported from witnesses on the ground.
The vapour trail left by the object were so intense that they lasted for more than 20 minutes in which time they were filmed by several people.
Several bits of silvery debris were found on the ground at Lapeer, Michigan and these were assumed to be from the object. Later analysis of this material indicated that they were indeed chaff which are pieces of aluminium foil released by aircraft to fool radar.0
However then most convincing aspect that Sanderson discovered to rule out the possibility of a meteorite was that the object appeared to change direction and head in an easterly direction.
The object finally came to rest in a wooded area in the town of Kecksburg. The object was initially witnessed by 2 children who reported that a 'start that had caught fire had crashed in the woods'. Their mother who's first thought was that her children had witnessed a plane crash called the state police and the fire service.
As soon as she had finished phoning she went out into the woods and to her surprise found that a military unit had beaten them to the crash site. This unit took command and told all civilians, police and fire department officials to leave the site immediately.
The military unit reported to the police that they had found nothing, and they left.This remained the case for around 15 years when some UFO researchers 're-opened' the case.
After some investigation they found out that the fire service had come within 200ft of the object before being turned away by the military. They reported seeing blue flashing lights, and noticing that the tops of several of the trees nearby were broken as if an object had come crashing through.
The investigators also reported that they had found witnesses who had seen a large flat-bed truck leaving the area of the woods with a large oval object covered with sheets. Another witness indicated that he observed the military loading the object onto truck. He described the object as looking like a large acorn, with 'bumpers' on the base. He also noticed that there was strange hieroglyphics on the craft surface.
The case was reported in the Project Blue Book files and indicated that 'a three man team has been dispatched to investigate and pick up an object that started a fire'. This three man team is now known to of been part of the then highly classified 'Project Moon Dust'.
The official report was that the UFO was simply a meteorite.
In 1990 a new witness came forward who claimed to be part of the military team that was sent in to retrieve the object. He claims that he was given orders to 'shoot anyone who got too close'. He also revealed that the object was being transported to the Wright Patterson base.
The last major discovery related to a worker at Wright Patterson who claims that a strange object was shipped in on the 16th December the same year, just days after the events at Keckburg. He described the object almost identically as the other witnesses had described. Whilst he was observing the object a guard escorted him out of the hanger and told him 'that you have just seen an object that will be common knowledge in 20 years time'.
In 1989 one of Bob Oeschler's sources, who called himself 'Guardian', claimed that in a area west of Ottawa a remarkable incident had taken place on 4th November. According to his source an object was tracked on radar over Carp before it fell towards the ground near West Carleton. The area was immediately sealed off and huge helicopters and military units, specially trained to deal with UFO retrievals were flown in. His source also alleged that the aliens themselves were tracked on Radar.
His source provided a wealth of information. The alien craft used a pulsing electromagnetic field to fly and was built from a matrixed-dielectric magnesium alloy. It also generated cold fusion radiation. He also stated that the alien mission had a malevolent purpose. It was the allegedly the start of an alien invasion.
Although the story sounded too 'crazy' to be true, Oeschler did have some 'evidence'. His source had sent him a package in February 1992. The package contained a video, several documents and maps of the area.
The tape was 30 minutes long with the first 6 minutes showing actual movement, the rest just stills. The video showed strange lights, movements of 'aliens' around the craft and also a full-frontal of an aliens face!.
The video was analysed and it had signs of editing, also the scenes of the craft were duplicated by researchers using a toy remote controlled helicopters, some flashing lights and some flares. They were also able to purchase an alien mask from a costume shop identical to the one in the video.
This case eventually caused Oeschler to resign from MUFON. The case is generally believed to of been a hoax.