"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
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 Incidentdelivers 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
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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 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.
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
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.
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.
USAF duty orders.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
for Donald Bass
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.
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.
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
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.
“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.
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.