"The authors have done a superlative job documenting the crash and recovery of an alien spacecraft in Aztec, New Mexico, in March 1948. Their three decades of investigation, supported by countless interviews and more than 55,000 pieces of documentation, leaves no doubt that a disc was recovered by the U.S. Government. This is a compelling book that should be read by anyone interested in the UFO phenomenon, and in what our government knows about the alien visitation of our planet!"
--Peter B. Davenport, director, National UFO Reporting Center
--Peter B. Davenport, director, National UFO Reporting Center
Who could have imagined that the high desert flying saucer crash near Aztec, New Mexico in 1948 would be the focus of such history-altering events impacting the perceptions of so many lives throughout the world?
Documents are examined from the CIA, FBI, Air Force and the U.S. Army whose purpose was to smother the Aztec story with cover ups, misinformation and destructive allegations that will hold you spellbound. The Aztec UFO Incident delivers the truth of Aztec, and readers will understand a powerful story about this flying saucer landing.
Here we take a glimpse at Chapter 3 from this new release
Because nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman is a highly respected researcher and author in the UFO field, I (Scott) vividly remember my first personal encounter with Friedman. This is my account of that meeting:
My first meeting with Stan Friedman was in early 2000 when I was helping the Aztec Library develop its Aztec UFO Symposium. The symposium was organized to raise awareness for and to assist in raising funds to build a desperately needed new library building for Aztec. The library building now stands as a symbol for the success of the symposium and the corresponding help from the New Mexico Legislature.
I talked with Stan on the phone and invited him to be one of our speakers for the 2000 fundraiser. At that time, the Aztec UFO Symposium had a reputation of bringing in provocative and important speakers to the symposium, and it prided itself in hosting world-renowned guest speakers who were authorities in the UFO field. The event was always held in March, near the anniversary of the alleged Aztec UFO crash. Stan told me he was more than happy to attend, even though the only inducement we could offer at that time was a plane ticket from Canada, a hotel room, and three meals a day.
Because Stan was speaking that week at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, I agreed to fly in from Charlotte, North Carolina, and meet him at the airport so that we could then drive the 148 miles to Aztec. It was exciting for me have Stan alone in the rental vehicle for about three hours. I had always been a fan of his, as I remember watching him on local television in Pittsburgh when I was a kid. Stan was a frequent guest on either The Marie Torre Show or on local TV news any time the subject of UFOs was discussed.
As I loaded Stan into my rental car that Friday at the University of New Mexico, we discussed his lectures the previous two days at UNM and the fact that they were so well attended that he had to schedule lectures on both Wednesday and again on Thursday just to keep the fire marshal at bay. As we negotiated the scenic drive from Albuquerque to Aztec, Stan asked me why a guy from North Carolina was helping a small-town library raise funds. I explained that I was researching whether the old story about a UFO crash at Aztec would turn out to have as much substance as had been discovered with the Roswell Incident. Stan was quick to remind me that most people had written off the Aztec crash story many years before, but he said he was open to any new evidence.
We talked for the entire three-hour drive, and I laid out the evidence I had found in my research up to that point. I don’t think he was overly impressed with what I had found, but he encouraged me to keep on digging. He was interested in the fact that we had found some potential witnesses, as first-person sources were the one thing the Aztec story always lacked.
Since that time, Stan returned to Aztec many times as a speaker, and he was always there for us when we needed to bounce ideas off him. His visit to Aztec in 2000, and our subsequent relationship, was the beginning of an important phase of our research.
Stan and I talked to the press during the Aztec UFO Symposium of 2003 and, during an interview with Farmington Daily Times reporter Debra Mayeux, Stan mentioned that both he and I were always looking for new witnesses for the Roswell and Aztec cases. Debra’s boss liked her resulting story so much that he filed it on the Associated Press wire. The story ran in media all over North America.
At that point, I felt that maybe Stan was starting to look at the Aztec Incident with new eyes. He had just heard the research we reported during the three days at the Symposium, and I could see the gears in his head turning. Shortly after the 2003 Aztec Symposium, Stan was on a national radio show and mentioned my Aztec research. Virgil Riggs, who was living at the time in Evanston, Wyoming, happened to be listening to the show that night. Virgil had grown up in Aztec, had attended the local school, and had witnessed the 1950 Flying Saucer Armada that appeared over Farmington and Las Vegas, New Mexico, and was a front-page UFO story in 1950. (We have more on the UFO Armada in this book, as we are among many serious researchers who feel that it was one of the most important and best-documented UFO sightings in New Mexico.) Virgil contacted Stan and said that he was pleased to hear that someone was researching the old Aztec story, as he had always maintained an interest in the event.
On the morning of July 9, 2003, I (Scott) received an e-mail from Stan saying that he had a possible lead to the Aztec Incident. A day or two after receiving the e-mail from Stan, I responded in kind to Virgil and asked if we could talk by phone. Virgil said he was more than willing, and the first phone conversation lasted for hours. Aside from our mutual interest in the Aztec Incident, we had many other shared interests. We talked about the town of Aztec and agreed it was located in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Because he was a private pilot, Virgil agreed that he would fly in to Aztec and discuss with us what he had learned while in the Air Force and stationed at RAF Welford, Newbury, Berkshire, England. He was assigned to the U.S. munitions depot on the base in 1964.
Virgil Riggs doing annual maintenance on his Cessna
The Virgil Riggs Story: Aztec UFO Crash of 1948
As a kid growing up in Aztec, NM, in the late 1940s to the late 1950s, I had heard many folks talk about the UFO crash north of Aztec. Kids at school would occasionally discuss when and where it had occurred.
For the old-time Aztec folks, I attended Mrs. Martin’s 2nd grade class in the old four-room, red brick, two-story schoolhouse. There were big enclosed fire escape slides from the second floor. It was located on the site where the “new” high school was constructed in the mid-1950s.
I had heard my dad and other roughnecks in the oil “patch” discuss the crash and the “little guys inside!” I don’t think my dad seriously believed the event occurred, as he was not witness to the happenings. But the subject of the crash was the topic of many conversations at The Gas Cap Café, The Aztec Café, Bill’s Place Bar, and The Hiway Lounge, all of these places [I went to] with my dad. While we were looked down upon as “oilfield trash,” the so-called “good” people of Aztec had no problem cashing my dad’s oilfield paychecks.
I went into the U.S. Air Force in March of 1960 and was stationed at Bolling AFB, Washington, DC, and later at Kunsan AB, Korea. After the isolated tour of duty in Korea, I was allowed my choice of duty assignments and opted for a conservative overseas assignment; I asked for Japan, England, France, or anyplace in Europe. In 1964, I was assigned to the U.S. munitions base at RAF Welford, Newbury, Berkshire, England.
Duty in England was good. I bought a little English car, a Morris Minor. My sister in Farmington, NM, mailed me a NM State University window sticker, which I put in the window of the little car.
I was at work at the base motor pool one day when a fellow from the vehicle maintenance shop walked across the street and asked me if I was from New Mexico, as he had seen the sticker on my car. We introduced ourselves. His family name was Donald Bass, with the nickname of “Sam” (like the old gun slinger). We compared past duty stations and realized that we had both been stationed in Korea about the same time! I was in Kunsan AB, and Sam had been at Osan AB in 1963/1964, before we were both reassigned to RAF Welford in England.
I told Sam Bass that I was from the Four Corners area of New Mexico. He asked me if I ever lived in Aztec. I told Sam that yes, I indeed lived in Aztec and knew the area and town fairly well. Sam said that he had been in Aztec briefly in 1948. I assumed that he had been in the oilfield. Sam suggested that we meet at the Airman’s Club after dinner and talk; I agreed.
Our conversation was pretty much about Aztec. I asked Sam why he was so interested in Aztec, NM.
Sam asked me what all I knew about the UFO crash at Aztec in 1948.
I told him that I had heard about it for most of my life, but had no direct knowledge about it. Sam then asked me if I thought we were alone in the universe. I replied that I thought there had to be intelligent life out there somewhere. Sam told me that he knew for a fact there was life from elsewhere, as he had seen some actual “little bodies” and that he had been involved with the UFO crash retrieval at Aztec, NM, in March of 1948! He had been stationed at Roswell, NM (Walker) and was flown with a group of USAF personnel to Durango, Colorado by C-47 (DC-3) aircraft, then driven on down to the crash site.
Sam told me that he had seen the bodies at the Aztec crash site, as they were loaded onto a truck. He did not tell me if the bodies were in body bags, caskets, or preserved in any way, but he thought they were placed in the cargo truck for protection from the elements and out of sight. He thought the bodies were eventually moved to Ohio by road transportation and that the craft was moved by road transportation to the new secure airport at Los Alamos, NM. Sam also related that a light spring snowstorm had occurred while the detachment was at the crash site before the craft was disassembled and removed. Sam was amazed that the snow and ice accumulated on the military vehicles, but there was no accumulation on the craft’s surface.
I asked Sam about the food and quarters for the troops while at Aztec. Sam said they were on the crash site 24/7 and never left. They were provided food rations and sleeping bags. Sleep in shifts was in, under, or in the cargo bed of the military vehicles.
No tents or cots or hot chow was available. Latrine facilities were in the brush. Sam’s main duty was to provide perimeter security of the crash site, to keep people away. Sam was at the very bottom in the chain of command and was a very young trooper at the time.
We carried on this conversation for the next three years, [during] which Sam’s story never changed, enhanced, or embellished. Sam warned me not to talk about the event at Aztec, as talking about the UFO crash had caused his U.S. Air Force career to suffer badly. He was the only A/2C (E-3) with nearly 20 years of services that I had ever met. I was 22 years old, and Sam was in his late 30s. Sam always looked over his shoulder and always ended our conversation that perhaps he had “talked too much already.”
Sam and I both were advanced to A/1C (E-4) about the same time at RAF Welford. Sam and I both got married about the same time in 1965. We both moved into the married quarters on the base at RAF Welford, into trailer houses next to each other for nearly three years. Sam is a good friend and I certainly hope that he can be located. I hope that he survived Vietnam.
I went back to the U.S. for separation from the U.S. Air Force and entry into the U.S. Navy Seabees, in July of 1968. Repeated tours of Vietnam followed. Sam Bass went directly to an air base in Vietnam, I think about the same time. Have not seen or heard about Sam since. I am now about 71 years of age; Sam will be about 91 years of age or more.
I heard Stanton Friedman on a radio program one evening in 2003 talking about Scott Ramsey and his research into the 1948 UFO crash at Aztec, NM. Mr. Friedman asked for anyone with any knowledge of the event to email him. I sent an email and it was forwarded to Scott Ramsey.
As a child at school, I also remember going outside at recess and looking at some of the mass UFO formations in the area about 1950. This later became known as the Farmington Armada.
Virgil J. Riggs
August 24, 2015
USAF duty orders.
Analyzing the Donald Bass Story
Virgil and I (Scott) met many times in our search for Donald Bass, also known to his fellow servicemen at the Welford base as Sam Bass.
Countless hours have been spent trying to find Bass. Frank Warren and I (Scott) have spent so much time on Donald Bass that we think we know every Donald Bass in the United States of America. We know from the impeccable record-keeping of both Virgil Riggs and the Air Force that Donald Bass did exist. We found photos of him in the RAF Welford Year Book on their web site. We have the original orders and duty rosters from Virgil Riggs that show Bass’s name and AF number, but sadly, we can’t find the elusive man who claimed he was at the actual recovery or retrieval of the Aztec saucer.
What is interesting about Bass’s account are the similar details about Aztec that we discovered elsewhere in our research, such as the recovery team being flown into Durango, and then being driven down to the crash site. This was the same means of transportation that the mysterious Dr. Gee took on his way to the Aztec site. The second part of Bass’s story that struck me is again the talk of “little bodies” that were seen at the site.
One of the valid questions often asked is whether people are confusing the Aztec crash with the Roswell Incident. That question was addressed in the early stages of our research. They are facts that both stories are about New Mexico, that the time frame is only eight months apart, and that both stories talk about recovered flying saucers and the subsequent recovery of small human-like bodies. But, after we spent years digging into the story, we came to the inescapable conclusion that Aztec was a completely separate New Mexico incident. The facts presented in this book show that the Aztec case stands on its own bona fides.
Virgil was a regular at the Aztec UFO Symposium, and flying in to his hometown gave him a chance to come back to see old friends and family members. He is still a private pilot, retired engineer, and a great outdoorsman. He loves his big game hunts and hiking the mesas in New Mexico. On one particular occasion we met him in August 2008 He wanted to visit the crash site and hike around, as we (Scott and Virgil) were both in Aztec for only a few more days.
After walking around and studying the crash site for a few hours, we came back to town for a quick lunch at the Hiway Grill, a landmark for great food and cold beer in the Four Corners area. We spent hours rehashing the Aztec story, Sam Bass, and what the town of Aztec was like in the post–WWII days. At the time of this meeting, the Hiway Grill also included pictures all over the walls showing the area from the early days into the 1960s. A picture of Virgil’s father was on the wall greeting customers as they entered the restaurant. There was another photo showing his father working an oilrig. The current Hiway Grill is a modification of the original Hiway Lounge, originally located across the road.
We talked about his long career in the military as well. Virgil logged approximately 28 years in various services. This includes four years at college and several years in the reserves. His credibility has never been questioned, and his story has remained solid as concrete to this day.
Searching for Donald Bass
We combed through every possible lead we could think of to find Donald Bass. In the summer of 2003, when Suzanne and I (Scott) married, we moved all her belongings from Farmington to Mooresville, North Carolina. We were no sooner unpacked when we were off to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, to visit the Air Force Archives in order to research RAF Welford, and to bring home as many records as we could carry. After four long days of research, only a handful of declassified records were made available to us.
The United States no longer has a relationship with the old NATO base, and the base has been decommissioned. The records are all at Maxwell, and so there must be secrets still hiding in those files.
The search for Donald Bass was a very long one. I can’t say we have given up, but we have tried everything to find Bass, living or dead. Virgil attended the RAF Welford reunion in Nashville in October 2008. At the reunion, some of the veterans remembered Donald, or “Sam,” as they knew him, but no one had heard from him after he was shipped off to Vietnam. We include a photo of Donald in this book for those who want to see the mystery man who claimed to have been witness to the most amazing UFO recovery since Roswell.
BBQ at RAF Welford, 1968. Standing (l–r): Donald “Sam” Bass, Jim Delaney, Butch Martin, Skip Coates, David Siegal, Doug Howell. Seated (l–r): Sgt. Lambert, Darwin “Jack” Jackson.
We have had critics claim that if there were a Donald Bass, he would have shown up on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Donald Bass does not show up on the Vietnam Memorial Wall or Web sites. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial site freely admits that the 58,300 names of the fallen are not complete and that names are added each year. Regional memorial walls rely upon volunteers to contribute names of those who died in the war or as a result of wounds sustained in the conflict.
Did Donald “Sam” Bass in fact talk too much? Why was he still at the rank of A/1C (E3) after so many years in the Air Force? Why are he and his records so difficult to find after all these years?
I located a Bass family with many offspring in South Carolina and spoke with a person who claimed to have been his brother in January 2006. The brother told me all the siblings had taken on the nickname of the famous outlaw Sam Bass. The brother said that Donald, “Sam,” had been stationed in the Southwest—Texas, he remembered—then he went on to Walker (AFB), then to Korea, and to England before finally shipping off to Vietnam.
Sadly, Virgil’s worst fears may have been realized for Donald Bass in Southeast Asia; the sibling told me his brother had been killed by a hit-and-run driver one night while returning to his base in Vietnam.
Scott Ramsey is the foremost researcher into the Aztec Incident, having worked on the story since 1987, discovering archives and pursuing interviews throughout the U.S. Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1957, his entire career as been in the electrical industry. Specializing in magnetic fields and electrical wire, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies, and currently is vice president of sales and marketing for Express Wire Services in Charlotte, N.C. He is married to Suzanne Ramsey, whom he met in the Four Corners area while doing research. The Ramseys reside on their farm, practicing permaculture and sustainable farming.
Suzanne (Ninos) Ramsey discovered the Aztec Incident after her mother read Frank Scully's 1950 book Behind the Flying Saucers—the first book about a landed saucer. The Ninos family lived in the Four Corners area, and Suzanne owned a small business there, pursuing media writing and hosting a radio show. She met and married Scott Ramsey after he appeared on her show to discuss his research. Suzanne has traveled extensively, interviewing and pursuing research at university and USAF archives. She is CEO of Carolina Country Provisions, whose main product is Uncle Scott's All Natural Root Beer. The Ramseys live in Mooresville, N.C., where their Aztec research continues.
Frank Thayer, PhD, came to the Aztec Incident project in 2009, when Scott Ramsey shared witness information of the recovery at Hart Canyon. Thayer is a New Mexico native with extensive journalistic and journalism education experience. Now a professor emeritus at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, he has professional experience as a writer, editor, photographer, and educator both in New Mexico and in Canada where he also lived and taught for 11 years. He is a published book author and is co-author of the Ramseys’ successful 2012 The Aztec Incident: Recovery at Hart Canyon.