UFO investigator and researcher Richard Hall, now deceased, has long been reported to have known about the 1953 Kingman UFO crash-down and retrieval at least since April, 1964. Now, if he was officially on the record telling people about the the crash in 1964 is not clear. For sure, the date he told anybody about knowing about it in or since 1964 for the first time is not clear. Hall was said to have learned of the incident somewhere along the way via a GI, reported by Hall to be a professional military officer that was sent to Vietnam and while in county, killed. Eleven years before going to Vietnam the GI reportedly came across the recovery of the Kingman craft in some fashion and in doing so became a firsthand witness to the event, which inturn he apparently disclosed to Hall. Paralleling the Hall story, UFO investigator Don Schmitt, while doing a series of interviews researching background material on abductees, came across a woman who intimated she had received a letter written in 1965 from her husband, later killed in Vietnam, that substantiated the Kingman crash, a la Richard Hall. However, before the letter could be documented or seen by anybody that could confirm that it existed, it disappeared. UFO researcher Kevin Randle, upon hearing of Schmitt's discovery, scoured military records to see if a GI with the same last name as the wife was killed in Vietnam during the appropriate time period without results. Come to find out the woman was married more than once. Investigating the records for the new last name produced zero positive results as well --- all of which cast a huge doubt on Schmitt's source and Hall's too, especially so if Hall's source and Schmitt's was one and the same person --- and for all practical purposes, because of the similarities integral to both accounts, it appears he was.
The person that came forward stating she received the aforementioned letter was a woman by the name of Judith Anne Woolcott (1937-2009), sometimes Judy or Judie Woolcott, Woolcott being her last name from her second marriage, Fingal from her first, Miller her maiden name. Woolcott had a long history of UFO interests, having been first, an active member of the Fox Valley UFO Discussion Group, of Appleton, Wisconsin, then upon retirement and moving to Roswell, New Mexico, working for the International UFO Museum and Research Center.
It quickly became clear that neither of her husbands could have been the Vietnam GI letter writer. Both would have been somewhere in the 15 or 16 year old bracket at the time of the Kingman crash, eliminating either of them from the scene as military or military officrs as it has been reported. Additionally, as it was, Woolcott didn't marry her second husband until 1980. At the time of the crash the GI would have been, lets say, as an officer, a minimum of 21 years old. That would make him no less than 33 in 1965 when the alleged letter was written and Woolcott would have been 29 years old. My suspicion is there was in fact a letter, but NOT from her husband and why the letter mysteriously disappeared. The letter writer may have been a pen pal, friend, or a friend of a friend, or maybe between the two of them, possibly even more. There is a chance there was something in the letter other than simply the Kingman incident that she just didn't want others to see.
Book reviewer for Magonia, Peter Rogerson, in a November 1995 critique of a couple of Kevin Randle's books writes:
"Take the story of Mrs Judy Woolcott, who was interviewed by Don Schmitt 'in connection with abduction research.' In what connection was Mrs Woolcott an abductee? At least twenty years ago in 1965 her former husband had sent her a letter from Vietnam, just before he died, containing not the expected declarations of undying love, etc., but a long account of a crashed flying saucer twelve years earlier in 1953."(source)
Setting aside the question on abductees which can be answered elsewhere, the question Rogerson raises about the GI just before he died, that the letter did not contain the expected declarations of undying love, etc., but a long account of a crashed flying saucer twelve years earlier in 1953 is what is of interest here. If, along with the Kingman crash, the letter contained any inkling of declarations of undying love, etc, the letter writer still would not have been Woolcott's husband --- and reason enough between friends, alive or dead, to hold a letter in abeyance.
It is my suspicion as well that it was from the basis of the 1965 letter that her interest in UFOs grew, although in September of 1986 Woolcott was quoted as saying she first became interested in unidentified flying objects when she photographed a streak of light she called a UFO "several years ago."
So entrenched had Woolcott become in UFOs --- and having done so basically out of nowhere with the timing of the nowhere following right on the heels of the letter from the GI --- that a very close, longtime friend of hers that did not believe in UFOs almost as strongly as Woolcott belived in them, after observing her commitment and listening to what she had to say changed her mind so much that she said:
"My name is Bonnie. I was first introduced to UFOs in my early 30's. A friend of mine got into UFOs so heavy that I began to wonder if she was losing her mind. Wanting to find out what they were feeding my friend, I went to every lecture and meeting in the area on the subject. Trying my hardest to figure out if UFOs were real or not. Little did I realize, that UFO's would be become a lifelong passion for me."
Bonnie went on to become a major mover in the abductee, contactee movement while Woolcott went on to a quiet retirement in 2003 and up until a few years before her death, RV'ing around the desert southwest with her husband and dogs out of Roswell. At the end of 2006 she was forced to stop traveling and living in the motor home due to poor health and bought a house in Roswell in February of 2007. She passed July 11, 2009 at age 72 without publicly revealing the letter writer's name nor changing her story.
I know because during the time that elapsed between Woolcott's retirement in 2003 and the need to end her RV travels for health related reasons in 2007 she and I met over an extended several hour period at the Owl Cafe in San Antonio, New Mexico located about 150 miles west of her Roswell stomping grounds and discussed both issues. Making the physical arrangements for the meeting was relatively easy in that the two of us simply aligned it with a road trip I was going on from Tombstone, Arizona to Amarillo, Texas. In the process I used the I-10 to the I-25 in Las Cruces then north to Albuquerque taking me right through San Antonio. Convincing her to meet me was a little tougher. Outside of certain circles she had been harassed on and off over the years and just did not relish more of it. First, I pulled the "uncle" card, my Uncle being known at onetime, also in certain circles, albeit in the desert southwest, as a notorius biosearcher come curmudgeon and gadfly. However, because she was for the most part, new to the desert southwest and my uncle had passed in 1989, she wasn't familiar enough with him to be moved by it. So I used my second option, one more closely related to her own background, telling her when I was age 15 or so I had personally met one of the most famous of the early contactees, Truman Bethurum, over a couple of year period during the years 1953-1954. Since her experience was much more recent I told her I just wanted to compare notes. Seemingly impressed I had met Bethurum before he became famous she agreed to meet with me. Doing so in the little community of San Antonio was her suggestion. When I brought up the Kingman letter she waffled, especially when confronted in a polite sort of way with the seeming inconsistancies relative to the non-deaths of husbands, times when marriages occurred and/or when they were over, etc. Without her flatout revealing what I was after she skirted the issue requiring a filling in of the blanks, intimating as I have above, the actual circumstances. When I asked for the letter writer's name, thinking I could search down records for a confrimation, she told me he had three names.
Three names? As much as I semi-covertly cojoled and smoozed her she was not about to give me any name or names. However, in a rattling along conversation, I think unbeknownst to her she let slip "Charles" --- not much, but something.
It turned out the letter writer did have three names, but not like I pictured the meaning initially, thinking all of them as being aliases or perhaps one real name and two aliases or some combination thereof. Actually, Woolcott gave me a conundrum. The letter writer had three names all right, but they were three first names adding up to one name, that is, his full name was made up of three first names: Charles, Alan, and Roberts.
Charles Alan Roberts was a Ranger trained Tactical Intel Staff Officer with the rank of Captain in 1965, having arrived in Vietnam in February of that year. Eleven months later, on December 14th, 1965, Roberts received multiple fragmentation wounds and died from those wounds 12 days later in a military hospital at Clark Air Force Base, the Philippines, on the day after Christmas 1965.(see)
Before the military Roberts was a young boy to teenager growing up in Farmington, New Mexico, graduating from high school in 1950. Farmington is located only a few miles southwest of the small community of Aztec, the site of the suspected 1948 UFO crash made famous by Frank Scully in his 1950 book Behind the Flying Saucers. The alleged crash was said to have happened in March of 1948, but it wasn't until spring of his senior year when Scully's book came out that the story really took off for Roberts. He and some of his buddies, as did a lot of his classmates, went out to visit the crash site and shared and compared stories day after day. In 1949, before graduation, he joined the New Mexico National Guard and placed on inactive duty because most of his unit had been sent to Korea. In May of 1951, a year after his graduation from high school, he was placed on active duty status and sent to Fort Bliss, Texas bordering up to and just south of White Sands New Mexico. In December, 1952 he received an Honorable Discharge. By then the True Magazine article debunking Scully and the Aztec crash had been published letting a lot of wind out of his sails on his once youthful perspective on UFOs.
In the fall of 1953 Roberts started college, attending what is now New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, earning a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering. Following his graduation Roberts rejoined the military and commissioned as an officer. Previously, while on active duty as a non-commissioned officer at Fort Bliss, he was a Radar Sergeant and Range officer for an anti-aircraft artillery battalion. During the time between his discharge in 1952 and starting college in the fall of 1953 Roberts maintained contact with many of his old Fort Bliss artillery buddies. Although classified, he caught wind some of them were on TDY to the Nevada test site for a test firing of the M-26 Atomic Cannon, something he wanted to see. He knew, as a civilian, there was no way he could actually observe the test up close, but figured his buddies might be able to put him in place as close as possible. On May 18th, several days before the test, found him in Kingman, Arizona on his way to make contact with the guys who were going to help him. He was told by one of his buddies that on the next day, in the pre-dawn hours of May 19th there was going to be a huge test he should be able to see the flash from even in Kingman.
The atomic test that Roberts' buddy was refering to was "Harry," one of a series of nuclear tests under the umbrella code-named Upshot-Knothole. Harry was set off on March 19, 1953 at 05:05 AM local time, at Yucca Flat, Nevada, around 175 miles north of Kingman. After checking around where the best spot to view such an event would be he was directed toward an area close by that in a few years would be given the name Radar Hill because of a radar installation that would be built there in 1955. Sunrise that day was around 6:21, so, at the time of the blast the whole of the night sky was dark except for a slight pre-dawn glow along the eastern horizon. Within seconds of the blast some sort of a dark airborne object moving at a ultra high rate of speed swept past east of him traveling in a southerly direction almost as though it came from the test site tracking on a slightly downward trajectory and headed toward the mountains to the south. As the object lost altitude suddenly a huge flash of light lit up the sky in the nearby mountains forward of the southern horizon. All along the object appeared to be unsteady, fairly thin, and possibly flat-circular. Although the sun was still below the horizon from Roberts location and vantage point, the object was high enough when he first saw it that it was able to catch the direct rays of the sun, wobbling enough that it was able to throw off a brilliant glint of sunlight from some portion of its underside as it tipped upward only to disappear as it tipped back. The flash of light near the base of the mountains was soon followed by a sound like a single clap of thunder. Roberts scrounged around in the muted light and quickly found two sticks he aligned a few feet apart and shoved into the ground so he could sight across the top from one stick to the other and mark the spot where the flash came from.
He returned to his motel room, gathered up his GI issued lensatic compass and along with a bunch of area and local maps returned to the hill. Sighting along his sticks with the compass he was able to get a bearing on the direction of the flash, then, using the bearing provided by the compass, he drew a line from his location on the hill across the map. Afterwhich, taking the amount of time that elapsed between the second he saw the flash in the mountains and when the sound reached his ears standing on the hill in Kingman, he determined the distance, then penciled a circle around the general area --- all skills any advanced or accomplished boyscout might be able to do and that fell way within his abilities as a Radar Sergeant and Range officer for anti-aircraft artillery, but backed up with years of experience and professional finesse. Knowing that what he saw was not a conventional aircraft but possibly an unmanned errant missile or rocket of some type or other military hardware, he wasn't particularly concerned with how long it took him, nor worried about injuries. But, harkening back to how he felt during his high school years and how excited he was in those days about the Aztec incident he couldn't wait to see for himself if the object could have been something more exotic than simple military hardware.
Not having an actual topographical map of the area at his disposal, to get as close as possible to the impact site using the roads shown on the commercial maps that he had in his possession indicated the best way would be to approach the object's trajectory face on --- that is, ahead of or forward of its direction of travel before it came down. After getting as close as he could following the roads on the map he began using lesser roads not shown. On the morning of the second day following the flash of light, found Roberts, after a restless night sleep in the front seat of his car, getting into areas too impassable for his two-wheel drive vehicle, albeit still a couple of miles from the site.
Switching to going by foot, in order to stay on the correct azimuth required a lot of zig-zagging caused by the ruggedness of the terrain, making an otherwise shorter hike much longer. Following his fresh start that morning, by mid-morning Roberts took a breather sitting in what little shade he could find. While coordinating his location on the maps one more time his concentration was suddenly shattered by two men that appeared in front of him basically out of nowhere. The men, both readily identifiable as Native American, began asking him a series of questions like who he was, why was he there, etc. Thinking he may have inadvertently stumbled onto tribal land and the men were possibly tribal security, Roberts, not looking for trouble, had no reason not to cooperate. After a few minutes of questioning and back and forth bantering the two men, who had been standing side by side fairly close in front of him widened the distance between themselves. When they did, between the widened gap Roberts saw a white man looking to be about age 50 or so with a close-cropped full beard walking up behind them. One of the men turned and spoke to him in his native tongue and the white man responded fluently in the same Native American language. The white man stepped between the two men and approached Roberts, introduced himself, then told him it sounded as though they were on the exact same quest. Roberts was told that the two Native Americans were trackers and had already been to the impact site. They were, the white man said, in the process of taking him there and that he, Roberts, was welcome to go with them if he so chose. Which he did.
The trackers along with a few other Native Americans had been at the site almost immediately, but by the time the bearded white man joined them and he and the two trackers had returned, a small contingent of men, appearing to be military, had arrived on the scene. The white man and the trackers had entered the area from the opposite direction than Roberts and at the time of their encounter were in the process of circling around to higher ground for a better vantage point with a clearer view with less likelihood of being detected. As the day progressed the military presence continued to grow with tents being erected, floodlights being put up and communication equipment installed and tested. As well, the access in and out of the area was being carefully and meticulousy modified, at least by military standards, allowing much larger vehicles and equipment into the site without totally destroying the original physical appearance of the landscape. With the increase in activity, especially on the second day of their observation, one of the trackers circled around to their vehicle, which they had concealed some distance back to ensure its safety. Then, sometime later as the afternoon was waning and it appeared the military was close to moving the object after a day and a half preparing and loading it onto a trailer, the other two men decided to reposition themselves closer to their vehicle. Roberts chose to leave the men and get close as possible to all the goings on. After that he never saw the men again.
In conjunction with the Kingman event, but never spoken of much, was the existence of a second smaller entry-probe like vehicle or escape-pod type thing that was discovered some distance from the main object. When the trackers, the white man and Roberts reached their vantage point along the ridge above the main impact site, from their position they could see, undiscovered and unseen by the on-scene military at the time because it was over the crest of the hill from them, a metal oval-shaped object around 12 to 15 feet long that looked all the same as though it "belonged" to the main object. Obvious to the men that the smaller object had crashed as well, speculation between them was that it was following, traveling along side or just ahead of the larger one as both came in --- except the smaller object maintained just the right amount of height advantage above the ground that it cleared the hill in front of the larger object, ending against the rocks some distance away and out of view to those at the main site. The military contingent, as they widened their perimeter over a couple of days eventually came across it. By the time the three men left, even though the smaller object was being crawled all over and investigated, it was still there. On one of the nights before it was discovered several Native Americans came up in the dark bringing extra water and additional provisions. They and the white man removed themselves some distance from Roberts, carrying on a heated discussion in their native language. After awhile the white man returned and the Native Americans went down the mountain in the dark toward the smaller object. Soon the two trackers returned, but not the others.
KINGMAN UFO 1953
JUDITH WOOLCOTT OBITUARY
UFO OVER L.A.
THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES
AND SIMILAR INCIDENTS UPDATED
THE DIRT BEFORE THE DIG
Woolcott's suggestion that the two of us to meet in the small New Mexico community of San Antonio was NOT the first time I had ever heard of San Antonio, New Mexico --- especially so in how it relates to the subject matter we are speaking of here. That is to say, the Kingman incident. Two years before the Roswell crash and a full eight years before Kingman, there was what is still a little known similar incident, the 1945 San Antonio New Mexico UFO crash encounter by my uncle, and of which he got caught up in innocently enough. Re the following from the source so cited:
"A few years before, in August of 1945, he was out in the middle of the desert doing some biosearching on BLM land not far from the little town of San Antonio, New Mexico, when a huge object of an unknown nature, seemingly made of metal, flew over the top of him at a fairly low altitude traveling at an extremely high rate of speed. The object, apparently not being able to maintain even the slight height advantage it had above the ground, after what appeared to be one last grasp at regaining altitude, slammed hard into the ground some distance away."(source)
In the early days of World War II, as a very young boy, I was an eye witness to the so-called UFO Over Los Angeles, otherwise known as the The Battle of L.A. The "battle" was witnessed by thousands and thousands of ordinary L.A. area citizens, myself included, as a huge flying object as large as a Zeppelin and still to this day of an unknown nature, overflew the Los Angeles basin withstanding a heavy barrage of over 1400 rounds of anti-aircraft fire --- in the end escaping unscathed. In those days my uncle and I were not together and later he just did not take my comments, from the mouths of babes, all that seriously. But, after Roswell in 1947 then backtracking in time to what he experienced in San Antonio in 1945, what I had to say, even though being the young boy I was, began to take on a much different tone about it. That is why he was so pro-active with the Kingman incident. He didn't want such potential prospects to slip through his fingers at the level as the other two events had.
The 1953 Kingman UFO crash is one of those incidents that gets it from both sides. Of course, UFO non-believers simply disregard it along with all the others. UFO advocates are divided. Advocates that are anti-Kingman, which for some reason seems to carry an inordinate amount of pro-Roswell folk, usually point out the the inconsistancies or discrepancies in testimonies cited by the same witnesses done at different time by different interviewers. The strongest of those discrepancies typically cited are those provided by a man named Arthur Stansel.
In the early 1970s the first researchers to officially conduct an interview with a firsthand Kingman witness emerged, Jeff Young and Paul Chetham. Their source, who they called Fritz Werner for security reasons --- but who was later identified as Arthur Stansel, a project engineer with the Atomic Energy Commission on "Operation Upshot-Knothole" --- claimed he had been involved in the recovery of the alleged downed craft near Kingman in 1953. He described the object as being twelve feet long and fairly intact, more like a teardrop-shaped cigar or streamlined cigar and made of a material he had never seen before.
A few years later UFO researcher Raymond Fowler interviewed the same source who, during the interview, provided a much different version of what he told Young and Chetham. He told Fowler the object resembled two deep saucers pressed together at the rims. It was about thirty feet in diameter and had a dark band running around the center. The craft was dull with the outside surface look of brushed aluminum. He also estimated from its size and shape and the amount of soil displaced around its base as it apparently plowed into the ground that the craft weighed about five tons.
However, if what the trackers, white man and Roberts observed when they reached their vantage point along the ridge above the main impact site is taken into consideration, the inconsistancy seems to weaken. If you recall, from their position they were able to see, undiscovered and unseen by the on-scene military at the time because it was over the hill from them, a metal oval-shaped object around 12 to 15 feet long that looked all the same as though it "belonged" to the main object.