the Wanderling

"On May 19, 1953 at 05:05 AM local time, at Yucca Flat, Nevada, around 175 miles north of Kingman, one of a series of nuclear tests under the umbrella code-named Upshot-Knothole was set off. 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 to the east 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 below the horizon the object was still high enough 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."



"When I was in high school, except possibly for a little extra effort on my part in Miss Sinsabaugh's journalism class and maybe art, I probably wasn't the best student Redondo Union High School ever had. "


Just past the middle of May 1953, about two weeks or so before my first year in high school was about to finish, my Uncle called me from his home in New Mexico. He was all excited, and without even thinking about school, wanted to know if I thought my dad would let me catch a Greyhound bus as soon as I could and meet him in Kingman, Arizona. He said it would be an adventure of a lifetime and that he expected all hell to break loose in a few weeks because the samething that had happened out in the flatlands near Roswell had happened in the desert near Kingman. He told me the news had filtered down to him through some Native Americans who had scouted the area. He said a couple of the Hualapai trackers who were part of the group could get us in through the back door. When I asked my dad if I could go he blew his stack. He got on the phone and started yelling at my uncle that he was filling my mind with all kinds of "weird and useless shit" and to stay away from me and keep his "cock-and-bull stories" to himself. Needless to say that was the end of it and I didn't get to go. Instead, my dad sent me to spend the summer with my Stepmother on her ranch in the Mojave Desert, or actually my ex-stepmother as she had become by then, and told the hard drinking every other word was a cuss word ranch foreman Leo, who had been at one time, a World War II Pacific Fleet Navy boxing champion, to not let me "wander off."(see)

Not counting the aforementioned phone call from my uncle when I was a kid asking me to meet him in Kingman, in which as I have said, my dad would not allow me to participate --- but my uncle went anyway --- the Kingman Incident came up very rarely between us. The first time he brought it up was many, many years after a discussion my uncle had about Kingman with a major UFO buff named Frank Edwards.

My uncle and I were on a road trip that came about because my 65 year-old-plus father had been caught in a fire while on the job sometime around 1970 or so, ending up with a collapsed lung and a good portion of his skin burned and most of his hair gone. Because his outlook didn't look all that favorable, my uncle, who lived in Santa Fe, came to see him. After learning my father's health was OK at the time of his visit, considering his age and what had happened to him --- as well as the two of them spending several days together talking over old times, my uncle decided to head back home. As it was, my dad held on, albeit dying of complications from the fire two years later. While it is true my uncle and I had met in Kingman a couple of years prior to this trip, that meeting was not related in any way to the Kingman Incident. Nor did the Kingman Incident even come up during that get together. Matter of fact, during that 1968 meeting I didn't even recall he had phoned me in 1953 to meet him in Kingman. This time it was much different.[1]

Just before leaving Los Angeles my uncle arranged a meeting between he and his old friend cowboy western author Louis L'Amour taking me along, after which then, we headed north so he could visit another old friend, Franklin Merrell-Wolff, who lived along the eastern slopes of the High Sierras. After he visited Merrell-Wolff we headed east toward New Mexico with plans to cross the Colorado River over Hoover Dam. In conversation it came up that the construction of the dam had stopped torrential floods downstream that had transpired since time immemorial.

As we traveled along, drawing from my super heavily injected academic background brimming with in-depth encyclopedic and intellectual knowledge --- information and data all garnered from comic books of course --- I told him about a great story I read in a Gene Autry comic called "The Ship in the Desert" (issue #52, June 1951) and an even better one in an Uncle Scrooge comic called "Lost Ship of the Desert," AKA "The Seven Cities of Cibola" (issue #7, September 1954) wherein wrecked Spanish galleons had been found in the desert in both stories. As near as I could remember, as far as the ships were concerned, the punchline for both stories were associated with an old Colorado River channel covered and uncovered over the centuries by flash floods or some such thing leading to the Salton Sea.

(please click image)

My uncle told me he had heard stories of such ships as long as he could remember, especially the one of the Spanish galleons being lost in the desert many times. He said the best story though surrounded that of an ancient Lost Viking Ship that reportedly had been found in the desert on the far west side of the Salton Sea in March of 1933 --- and then went on to explain how just such a thing could happen. With that, rather than crossing over Hoover Dam by turning north when we got to Highway 95 we swung south from highway 164 onto 95 and off we we went in search of ancient river channels that flooded the Salton Sea over the centuries --- to see how a ship, Viking or otherwise, could end up stranded in the desert so many miles inland.(see)


Then, out of the blue suddenly things changed. Only a short distance south of the little speedtrap town of Searchlight, Nevada, with me waxing nostalgic about the El Rey Club, a onetime casino and brothel I had fond memories of --- and of which burnt totally to the ground in 1962 under mysterious circumstances --- he began slowing down looking off to the east. His eyes glazed over and out of nowhere he no longer wanted to chase down ancient river channels and desert marooned Spanish galleons, but instead, he wanted to go to the east side of the river. Rather than doubling back to Hoover Dam we continued south to Davis Dam, my uncle figuring we would head toward Santa Fe by going through Kingman.[2]

After crossing the Colorado over Davis Dam and reaching Highway 93 --- located some distance east of the river --- instead of turning south to Kingman like I thought we would, he turned north, all the while my uncle glancing off to the left as though he was looking for something. After a few false starts on a couple of dirt roads he finally turned left on at first what appeared to be at onetime a fairly wide graded road that he continued to stay on for ten or twelve miles toward the west through some fairly rugged territory including mountains ending up on a miles long north south downslope outwash plain about five miles wide from the mountains to a rather flat spot that edged up close to river level.(see) He got out and walked up and down along the river acting as though he was still looking for something. Eventually, in the bushes some distance from the river's edge he found the only thing that seemed to capture his interest --- a rusted two or three foot high heavy steel rod pounded into the ground so far the two of us could not pull it out, but that was about it. After that we got in the car, he turned it around and we headed back to the main road. When I asked him what all that was about he remained silent. Leaving the river we headed southeast and never did make it to ancient river channels, wrecked galleons, or Viking ships in the desert. Instead we found our way a short distance across the desert to Kingman, Arizona and holed up for the night in a motel.

At two in the morning I barely awoke to the sound of the phone ringing only to see my uncle going out the door a few minutes later and turning the lock behind him. After rolling over and over the rest of the night I finally I got up around 6:00 AM and he had yet to return. About 7:30 that morning after completing the Three S's and stalling in the room as long as I could I was walking back from a local cafe with a coffee to-go when I saw my uncle drive up in front of the motel. When he got out of the car I saw he was traveling with two Native American men. They chatted for a few minutes then the men crossed the parking lot, got into a pick-up truck and drove away. When I came into the room he told me the reason he was gone. Seems there was something he wanted to look at out in the desert and just didn't want to disturb me while I slept. With that, although he was usually more open and talkative on almost all subjects, especially with me, and with no mention of the two Native American men, he ended it. We packed what stuff we had and walked to the car. In the few minutes that elapsed between the time the two of us came into the room and we headed toward the car someone had put a note on the windshield. My uncle read it, folded it and stuffed it in his pocket, then we left. No breakfast or anything.

Instead of heading out of town toward Santa Fe as I expected we would, we turned south on 93. When we got into the little town of Wikieup he turned right on a bummed-out road that quickly turned to all dirt called Chicken Springs. We continued west some distance into the desert when I saw coming toward us what turned out to be a pick-up truck traveling at a fairly high rate of speed raising a huge amount of dust behind it. Almost as soon as the pick-up came into view my uncle began driving at a high rate of speed too, also raising a huge cloud of dust. When the two vehicles got close my uncle slammed on the brakes as did the driver of the pick-up, the two of us sliding to a stop almost side by side. Before the intermixed dust cloud had a chance to remotely dissipate my uncle put down the electric window in the tailgate and almost just as quick the men in the other truck, both easily identifiable as Native Americans, but neither being either of the two men at the motel, transfered a rather large wooden crate about 4 feet long and a foot and a half high from the bed of their truck onto the flat floor of our station wagon. Then they took off instantly with us doing the same.

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Within seconds we were obscured by another huge cloud of dust caused by two military vehicles, a jeep and a 3/4 ton truck, both of which in tandum seemed to be in pursuit of the pick-up. We continued west on Chicken Springs Road until we came to another dirt road that sort of angled off toward the right, which we took. Some distance up the road my uncle pulled off, making our own road to an outcropping of rocks and small boulders. We got out, dug a hole and buried the crate. Then he pulled onto the road facing the car toward the direction we came, stopped, got out, and with me following his lead, the two of us covered all of our tire tracks and foot tracks clear up to the outcropping so no one could tell we were there. Just before he got in the car he burnt the note he had stuffed into his pocket stamping all of the ashes into the dirt. We then headed toward Chicken Springs Road continuing to Wikieup, but at a much more leisurely pace than we did when we going into the desert. Part way back we noticed what appeared to be a military vehicle parked high up on a hill some distance off that started heading our way. My uncle asked if I remembered Tommy Tyree. When I told him yes he said take the canteen and make yourself scarce. Which I did. No sooner had the truck passed my uncle, who was now in the car alone, than it made a U-turn and came up right behind him hanging on the bumper, and as I found out later, stayed that way clear to the highway.

I also found out later from my uncle, in that I was busy making myself scarce in the desert instead of being with him, that just past a school on Chicken Springs Road and before he was able to turn onto 93 he was stopped by several men wearing new unmarked olive drab GI fatigues, all appearing to be armed in some fashion-or-the-other and accompanied by what appeared to be a county sheriff who just sat in his cruiser basically blocking most of the access to 93. At the same time the truck that had been following stopped right behind the car. My uncle told me one of the uniformed men in a helmet with white captain bars stenciled on it had him get out of the car and questioned him at length while looking at his identification. As all of that was going on several other men went totally over the whole vehicle, opening doors and looking in the back and underneath, even taking out the spare tire. Meanwhile my uncle moved to the shade of a tree and stood on a small dirt berm on the side of the road apparently made by a road grader. It was then he noticed all of the unit designation numbers of the military vehicles usually prominently displayed on the bumpers were either removed, painted over, or never there. He tried to reposition himself as discretely as possible inorder to get the license number from the rear plate of the cruiser, but there was no plate where the plate should have been. The man questioning my uncle wanted to know the nature of his business in such a remote area. He told the man that he was a bio-searcher and heard there was a rare species of plant in one of the canyons, but had been unable to locate any samples, so he was headed back to Santa Fe. The man went over to the deputy and talked for several minutes while the deputy talked back and forth on the radio. Pretty soon the man returned a told my uncle he could go.

My uncle turned right on 93 and went into Wikieup looking for something to eat while hoping for me to show up. In the meantime I had been picked up by two Native Americans who apparently had been watching us a good portion of the time. They bypassed the town coming in from the south and upon seeing my uncle's station wagon parked in front of an eatery pulled up and we went in. That's when I heard what happened as outlined above.

Several years later while visiting my uncle in Santa Fe he asked me if I remembered that little jog we took along the Colorado River in 1970. When I nodded yes he asked if I remembered the 1953 phone call seventeen years before asking me to meet him in Kingman, but instead my dad sent me to spend the summer with my stepmother. Again I nodded yes. Then he went off on a tangent. He told me after all the years he still could not believe that my dad would not let me meet him in Kingman, but was willing to send me to spend that same summer with my stepmother who took me to meet one of the most infamous prostitutes Los Angeles had ever seen, Brenda Allen.

After making himself clear about Brenda Allen, which even after all the years that had elapsed, I could tell he still took personally, he cooled down and told me the 1953 phone call was related to the Kingman Incident. According to my uncle, he and a couple of Native American trackers along with a young between jobs 20 year-old and soon-to-be New Mexico A&M college student he referred to as Chukka Bob, who they didn't know but just joined them along the way, had been observing over a period of several days from a distance what he called "a military recovery operation of some kind" in or around the canyons of Kingman in May of 1953. When the military moved the tarp-covered fairly large crescent shaped or circular disc-like whatever it was in the middle of the night my uncle and the trackers followed. They couldn't get close and had to drive without headlights most of the way. Eventually the trucks came to the Colorado River, and apparently not wanting to cross any of the dams or bridges, off-loaded whatever it was they were transporting, or at least the trailer and the cargo, onto a barge and floated it across the river only to be met, it is assumed, by a similar contingent on the far side. My uncle and the trackers were never able to get close enough to the operatation nor see clearly what was being moved when it was actually being done, nor were they able to cross the river, but the next morning after everybody left they did go down to the river's edge and look around. When he went back that day with me with him it was just to see the location again. As for the wooden crate he said it was related to the same incident and as far as he knew it was still buried in the desert. Other than that he was unwilling to discuss it and told me it was best to just forget it.[3]

My uncle's reported observations notwithstanding, and, as much as almost all UFO sightings are are viewed with a certain amount of skepticism, the Kingman Incident stirs up even more, even in UFO circles. To wit the following:

THE KINGMAN CRASH The Classical Version

THE KINGMAN CRASH A Different Perspective

If you click through to the first link above, THE KINGMAN CRASH: The Classical Version, it will take you to a page that cites information found on pages 199-203 of the book Casebook of a UFO Investigator by Raymond Fowler (Prentice-Hall, 1981), the primary source for most "classical" information regarding Kingman. Fowler writes that his source, who Fowler called Fritz Werner for security reasons, but later identified as Arthur Stansel[4], told him he had been involved in the recovery of the alleged downed craft and had what appeared to be an authentic diary he kept in those days. On the dates surrounding the event, written in pencil on what Fowler discribed as the obviously aged page for May 20, 1953, he found the following:

Spent most of the day on Frenchman's Flat surveying cubicles and supervising welding of plate girder bridge sensor which cracked after last shot. Drank brew in eve. Read. Got funny call from Dr. Doll about 10:00. I'm to go on a special job tomorrow.

Skipping over to the entry on the next day, May 21, the following was written:

Up at 7:00. Worked most of day on Frenchman with cubicles. Letter from Bet. She's feeling better now--thank goodness. Got picked up at Indian Springs AFB for a job I can't write or talk about.

If you access the second link, THE KINGMAN CRASH: A Different Perspective, in his opening paragraph dated May 11, 2011, major UFOlogist Kevin D. Randle writes:

"To prove my point, that those who offer solutions to some of the UFO cases are not invited to many conferences, I have just learned of an event in Kingman, Arizona in celebration of the UFO crash there. It seems to make no difference that the sources for this information about the crash is shaky at best."

Randle continues with:

"I will note that searches of the local newspapers, meaning those within 100 miles including Las Vegas, have turned up nothing. No UFO sightings at the right time and nothing to suggest that something crashed."

Finally he goes on to write:

"So, there really was no evidence for a Kingman crash. We can find no trace of it in any of the documentation and this includes the newspapers of the time. Remember, all the crashes that have some solid supporting information also have newspaper articles about them. Roswell, Las Vegas, Shag Harbour, Kecksburg and so on. Many of the alleged crashes listed on so many web sites have newspaper articles about them, even when we are able to put a mundane answer on them... but not so Kingman."

Four years before he wrote the above quote, on February 19, 2007, Randle, writing on the same subject, presented the following at the source so cited. The source so cited, by the way, as stated written by Randle, is an excellent read on the 1953 Kingman crash:

"The mere fact that nothing appears in the Kingman newspaper, as mentioned by Moore in his 1982 paper, might not be relevant. A search I conducted of the Las Vegas newspapers also failed to reveal a clue, but then, if the recovery was a military operation with no civilian participation or observation, the fact the newspapers failed to report it might not be important. The military might have been able to keep the whole story bottled up."(source)

On Friday, May 22, 1953, two days after the suspected Kingman crash, the Prescott Evening Courier printed the following headline across the top of the front page: Flying Saucers Return to Prescott. The article to which the banner headline refers covers the sighting of eight disc-like objects seen by three witnesses twenty miles north of Prescott, Arizona on the morning of May 21st, the day after the crash. It is doubtful if Prescott is much more than a few miles over a 100 air miles from Kingman. At the 1000 miles per hour plus UFOs are reported to move that would put Kingman only a matter of seconds roundtrip from Prescott, while both locations could easily be seen at the sametime from altitude. Now true, the sighting of the eight "saucers" was the day after the reported crash at Kingman, but the sightings does put an awful lot of flying saucers within seconds of the crash site just hours of the alleged crash. Sounds almost like one of those World War II stories of a concerned squadron searching for a lost or downed comrade than anything else.

The phone call from my uncle to meet him in Kingman was in March of 1953. The burying of the box in the desert, which my uncle said was related to the 1953 Kingman Incident, was in 1970. It is reported that the Kingman crash was known to UFO investigator Richard Hall (1930-2009) as early as 1964, although except for a continuing series of vague references, I have not been able to locate hard substantiating evidence that such is the case. Nor can I direct or link you to other than those vague references.[5]

For the official lineage of history regarding the 1953 Kingman UFO crash down, that is, the typically recognized chronological order regarding the knowledge of the crash, most people look toward the originating source as emanating from an article published in the Framingham, Massachusetts edition of the Middlesex News on April 23, 1973. In the alleged article two UFO researchers Jeff Young and Paul Chetham interviewed a man they called Fritz Werner --- who we know now was actually one Arthur Stansel --- and from that interview gave the first, albeit very brief, aspects of the story. Inturn, Raymond Fowler used those very brief aspects as a starting point to search down and get a much fuller account of the incident which inturn he then used in his 1981 book Casebook of a UFO Investigator.

All kinds of people besides Stansel knew of the Kingman crash as early as 1953, to wit for example, my uncle, who learned of the incident through Native American trackers, and his attempt to discuss the incident with Frank Edwards in 1955. The question is then, if people were aware of the crash since 1953, why did it take until the Young-Chetham interview, done February 3, 1971, and published in 1973, for it to come to light? Take a look at the facts. The Roswell incident, even though it occurred in some rather isolated countryside out in the middle of the New Mexico desert, it still occurred on a working ranch --- with animals that needed to be watered and tended to on nearly a daily basis. W.W. Mac Mack Brazel, the ranch leaseholder come foreman, went through a serious, almost daily regimen ensuring the proper feeding, watering and caring for his animals, his only source of livelihood for himself and his family. Thus Brazel, in his daily routine came across the debris field within hours of it happening. Brazel was civilian and took his findings to the local sheriff in Roswell. The Kingman crash occurred in the basically uninhabited rugged mountinous terrain somewhere outside Kingman. To my knowledge no credible individual or witness came forward, a la Brazel, publicly revealing they actually saw or observed an aerial object of some type crash either close up or from a distance --- and/or stumbled across one immediately following a crash --- relative to the 1953 Kingman incident. A number of theories have surfaced as to why it was suspected that an airborne craft of some type came down in the first place, and that it was necessary for government authorities to retrieve it. Of those numbers, the theory that carries the most weight, and could have set into motion a military retrieval team, circulates around the 1953 atomic test program in Nevada given the name Upshot-Knothole. There have been musings in some quarters surrounding the test that a "saucer-like" object was caught up in the shockwave from the blast of a nuclear device called Harry that was detonated on March 19, 1953 --- and that the object, on a downward trajectory that would taken it toward Kingman in the aftermath of Harry, appeared to be exhibiting extremly unstable flight characteristics. Unlike at the Roswell debris field, the follow through on the Kingman event more closely parallels the August 1945 San Antonio, New Mexico incident. The retrieval team got there first.[6]

Even though the Young-Chetam interview occurred in 1971 nothing came of it until Fowler's book in 1981. Which is typical. If you go back in history, even though the Roswell crash was intially reported around the world immediately after it happened in 1947 and a few mentions of it showed up in books such as Flying Saucers on the Attack by Harold Wilkins as early as 1954, for the most part the story just died a week or so after it happened. It wasn't until 1978, thirty years after the crash, that anything remotely Roswell took off. In ROSWELL UNLEASHED: The Pen Before the Sword the following is found:

"Usually given credit for escalating the Roswell incident prominently back into the public eye is a nuclear physicist and UFO lecturer named Stanton Friedman who just happened to be lecturing on UFOs in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in February 1978. Before the lecture a television station manager told him about a man he knew through ham radio contact named Jesse A. Marcel who, according to the station manager, had actually handled wreckage from the crashed object. Intrigued, the very next day Friedman called Marcel, who lived not far away in Houma, Louisiana. Marcel was unable to recall the specific dates and times accurately so Friedman let it go at at that. A year later a man by the name of William L. Moore found clippings of the incident and, somehow comparing notes with Friedman, discovered that the story Marcel told actually paralleled the events. After intensive research and interviews Moore and a man named Charles Berlitz along with Friedman, albeit uncredited, teamed up to write the first book specifically on the subject, titled The Roswell Incident (1980), followed then by an opened floodgate of similar Roswell related tomes."

Except for Judith Anne Woolcott, cited in the opening quote at the top of the page and discussed briefly in Footnote [5], who intimated she had received a letter written in 1965 from her husband that substantiated the Kingman crash and was killed that same year in Vietnam, and a little known but well researched piece of reality base fiction by a Kingman native found in Footnote [7], so it was and how it still largely remains with the Kingman Crash right up to this day. However, it should be noted that the person referred to by my uncle in Footnote [5] as Chukka Bob, a civilian in 1953 and tied into Woolcott via a letter, but not so in relation to her husband, ended up being a Ranger trained Tactical Intel Staff Officer with the rank of Captain in 1965, having arrived in Vietnam in February of that year and killed in December, 1965 --- and it was HIS letter to Woolcott, that is, a letter written by the Tactical Intel Staff Officer and not one alluded to be from Woolcott's husband, that has so stirred up the Kingman UFO plot.

For the second part of that plot --- or at least as it should be added to the above to complete the crash-down narrative --- including a personal interview with Judith Anne Woolcott the alleged recipient of the Vietnam letter writer's letter, and most likely her last interview regarding her involvement in the 1953 Kingman UFO crash prior to her death, along with the full identity of Chukka Bob, i.e., who he is, where he came from, what happened to him, etc., please go to the Judith Anne Woolcott page linked below.

As a teaser, Chukka Bob was from Farmington, New Mexico, having graduated from high school there just as the Aztec, New Mexico saucer crash was said to have occurred, Aztec being only a few miles from Farmington. Frank Scully, in the first chapter of his best selling book Behind the Flying Saucers, speaking of Chukka Bob's home town of Farmington, New Mexico, in the first person writes:

I kept my own counsel for months. But when others less well informed began sounding off in all directions about flying saucers, I thought it was about time that I told the world if nothing more than proof that I knew more than I had read in the papers. In fact the night the Denver Post was exposing Scientist X and the Farmington citizens were exposing Operation Hush Hush, I was dining in Hollywood with the man all Denver was hunting for. He had just talked to George Koehler in Denver by long distance. Koehler had worked for him and had married his nurse. The Farmington report had set Denver uproar, Koehler told him. "Do you remember my telling you that the first flying saucer was found on a ranch twelve miles from Aztec?" I remembered when he reminded me "Yes," I said, "I remember now." "Well," he said, "Farmington is only twenty-eight miles from that ranch. In fact they flew over the exact place where one of their number had fallen a year ago."

Farmington is a small New Mexico community in the northwest corner of the state Most of it's existence it was a quiet rural-western town. Then in 1950 it was suddenly thrust on to the national scene by Scully's nation-wide best seller "Behind the Flying Saucers." That same year, 1950, was Chukka Bob's senior year in high school and unlike what came a few years later, he and his high school buddies didn't have a continuous stream of drive in theater SciFi and horror movies like This Island Earth, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Man From Planet X every weekend, yet here they were, right in the middle of the Flying Saucer craze. True, Scully's book "Behind the Flying Saucers" was pretty much debunked by 1952, but that was two years later. In the meantime, as a teenager, he was actually living up to his ears in Flying Saucers in his own back yard.

It was those highly exuberant years the man my uncle calls Chukka Bob was harkening back to when he was swept up in regarding the Kingman UFO.[8]




It's hard to believe, but still to this day, because of the controversy surrounding the Kingman crash and the response I posted in the comment section in the above KINGMAN CRASH: Fact or Fiction link I continue to receive emails about it--- even though the response is dated over five years ago. Below is an example of what is included in my response by going to my Getting Letters and Emails page:

" My Kingman site may be accused of being for entertainment by some, but it is usually done so by those who never go to the footnotes or my sources. One thing, unlike mine, so many UFO sites and others as well, are simply designed to rope a person in enough in order to push advertisements and hawk books, not to fulfill the desire of the reader for the information sought."

NOTE: Because of so many requests to see my response to the Kingman Fact of Fiction comments I've made a direct link to my responses by clicking: --------------------HERE









(please click)

As to the subject of donations, for those who may be so interested as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.

Footnote [1]

The following quote, that cuts to the quick regarding the 1968 meeting between my uncle and I, shows up at the source so cited as well as in a variety of abbreviated forms in a number of other places in my works:

"Then, late in the year 1968, my uncle called for only the second time in his life, telling me he wanted to meet me in Kingman, Arizona --- Kingman being approximately halfway between where I lived in California and my uncle's abode near the Sangre de Christo mountains of New Mexico. After talking for nearly a half a day, just as we were parting he gave me a small package to deliver it in person to a man in Laguna Beach, California --- and whatever I did, NOT give it to anybody else under any circumstances. When I arrived in Laguna Beach I found the man sequestered in a remote cave hidden in the hills above Laguna Canyon Road. The man, Dr. Timothy Leary. The contents of the box not known. In the end the meeting in Kingman rekindled the relationship between my uncle and myself, afterwhich he and I spent many, many long hours and days going over our lives together and what we had done during the years we were apart."(source)

For more regarding Dr. Timothy Leary and the box relative to it's delivery in Laguna Beach and any fallout thereof please see:



As presented in the opening paragraph in the above main text, the phone call by my uncle regarding the Kingman UFO occurred at the end of May 1953, just a week or so before my first year in high school was about to finish.

It should be brought forth for the reader the year before, that is during the summer just prior to starting my first year in high school, I ran away from home of the foster couple I was living with, ending up at my stepmother's newly bought ranch in the Mojave Desert. She had only just divorced my father and, in the process of trying to contact him, called my uncle. My uncle decided I should come stay with him in Santa Fe until something could be resolved. My Stepmother, concerned I might get off a bus somewhere along the way before I got to Santa Fe, arranged for a World War II pilot she knew to fly me to my uncle's, figuring I would be less apt to get out mid-flight. The pilot picked me up early one morning in an AT-6 leaving from an old abandoned wartime desert airfield not far from her ranch called Victory Field. Before I even arrived my uncle had decided to go to France and asked me to join him. His reasoning for doing so, however adventurous for me or however lofty or shortsighted of him, is summed up at the following link:


Footnote [2]

Even though my uncle decided to NOT go in search of lost ships in the desert it didn't defray me from doing so on my own a short time later, especially so the Lost Viking Ship so linked above in the main text. Now, while it is true I did not seek out finding the ship itself per se' I did go about seeking out the person most responsible for bringing the Lost Viking Ship to the public's attention, a woman by the name of Myrtle Botts. There are versions of her original story all over the net, but in my case, unlike most of the stories that have been simply parroted over and over ad infinitum, I had the good fortune of interviewing her myself personally in order to get the story as she viewed it first hand.(see)

On this particular trip though, wherein my uncle changed his mind from seeking out lost ships, for some reason a few miles south of Searchlight and still well above and west of the Colorado River he turned left off the paved highway onto a dirt road called Christmas Tree Pass.

After driving about ten rather bumpy and rock strewn miles generally curved toward the southeast he turned right on an even lesser dirt road. A short distance later we stopped, then hiked a mile or so to a place located about six miles west in the mountains above the Colorado River basin. There we came upon an ancient watering hole in a location he called Grapevine Canyon. Most of the boulders and huge rocks surrounding and those nearby the watering hole were covered with petroglyphs.

My uncle, because of his rather extensive travels in the desert southwest had, over time, developed a strong working knowledge and familiarity with most aspects of Native American rock art. Among the petroglyphs were many he pointed out as being decidedly different, and of which he said were not of Native American origin, but were instead ancient Chinese ideographs.

The question I asked my uncle was he in effect telling me that ancient Chinese came up the Colorado River? His answer was: not necessarily. He said most likely they had come overland from the Pacific following established trails and routes used by the Native Americans for trade, probably led by guides or trailing a group of traders returning to the Colorado River area. From there he said they headed up river toward the Grand Canyon.


When I was just shy of or maybe eight years old, I was traveling with a neighbor of the people I was living with at the time called a Curandero, a man of strong Mesoamerica and Aztec descent. Totally unauthorized by the couple the two of us took off on our own and went to the top of Spirit Mountain in Nevada, at 5,643 feet, overlooking the the exact same area where Christmas Tree Pass and the Chinese petroglyphs are located. Northeast out across the desert the curandero pointed out a lake telling me there was an island submerged beneath it called Cottonwood Island that was, like Spirit Mountain, of deep spiritual significance to the Native Americans who inhabit the area. He also said, even though none the early Spanish explorers were known to have reached this far north along the Colorado River, the scribes of the Conquistadors, most notably the scribe of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado as he searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola circa 1540 AD, but also the scribe as well of Hernando de Alarcon, mention independently that on a small island in a lake on the Colorado River, a sanctuary of Lamaisra, or of Buddhism there was a divine personage that lived in a small house, a personage know by the Native Americans as, Quatu-zaca, See:




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You can clearly see in the graphic above what, in the main text above, I meant or described as mountains ending up on a miles long north south downslope outwash plain about five miles wide from the mountains that edged up close to river level.

Footnote [3]

The wooden crate always entertained a deep mystery for me. For one thing, even without considering what was in it, the crate was very well made and had a new or unworn look about it, which seems odd if it had been sitting around on or under the desert floor for years or hastily built or put together somehow out in the desert within a short time of falling into our hands. Secondly, when it was placed into the back of the station wagon a whole bunch of material similar to what a Samsonite hardside briefcase is made of was tossed into the wagon as well. Judging from the size and shape of the pieces it looked as though, if reassembled, they may have been at onetime a sealed protective case of some kind, say like for an over the shoulder rocket launcher or something --- but still a case that would have been large enough to have held whatever was in the box --- or possibly the box itself. The parts looked like they may have been hacksawed or chainsawed to pieces in some fashion. When we dug the hole to bury the box my uncle threw all of the hard Sampsonite-like pieces into it along with a bunch of rubber foam-like material that up close gave off a strong nose wrenching smell of burnt almonds.

Continuing on, the day the Native American men brought me in from the desert to rejoin my uncle in the little town of Wikieup and he told the story of the uniformed men stopping and questioning him, he left out a very important part of the story.

When he was standing in the shade on the road-grader berm, and just before they let him go, he observed the deputy talking on his radio. Within a few minutes of that call a vehicle that my uncle described as, although it really wasn't, but looked like one, a "Triple A mapping unit," came along Highway 93 from the north and stopped at the intersection without actually turning onto Chicken Springs Road. The questioner had him walk up to the truck and before he could get close a man in civilian clothes sitting on the shotgun side with the window down took one look at my uncle, waved his hand at the questioner and told him to let him go. The so-called by my uncle mapping unit --- actually a totally unmarked flat navy-gray four wheel drive late model 1960s GMC or Chevy Suburban, also without plates --- turned a U in the middle of the street and headed back north on 93. My uncle got close enough to the vehicle before it left to see that there were at least two people sitting in the back and through the rolled down window on the front passenger side he was able to see the man sitting directly behind the driver fairly readily even though my uncle was still some distance back.

Although it had been over 20 years my uncle was sure he recognized the man as Lewis "Bill" Rickett, onetime of the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps. Rickett was the non-commissioned officer in charge of the CIC office in Roswell in 1947 --- a man my uncle thought retired to Florida and long since become a civilian with no formal affliation with the military or government. What Rickett was doing in Arizona on that particular day under such peculiar circumstances and why, my uncle never did find out --- and to my knowledge no explanation has ever surfaced about it one way or the other.

The two had met previously, the last of which ended in not the best of accords. Because of my uncle's intimate knowledge of indigenious plants of the desert southwest he was called in to assist the noted scientist and meteorite hunter Dr. Lincoln La Paz in the investigation of the downed object of unknown origin that allegedly crashed in Roswell in July of 1947. Rickett, the military person in charge, apparently didn't like my uncle's rather unorthodox methods (read: un-military-like) and because of a disagreement that erupted over some debris found at the site, had him taken under guard in a rather harsh and abrupt fashion to the vehicle he arrived in and told to stay there. When Rickett returned to the truck he found the bio-searcher gone, and the guard assigned to watch him having no clue where he went or what happened to him. A search of the area showed no sign of him in the vicinity, as though he simply disappeared or vanished, the desert and the surrounding environment somehow swallowing him up without a trace.

Throughout the intervening years there has been a constant barrage, if not a steady stream of questions, about my uncle reportedly engaging in any number of events that appear to have fallen into a highly confidential or classified catagory and how was it possible he did so considering the need for security clearances to participate at such levels --- especially so those done with La Paz. The reason behind Rickett's years and years long grudge between he and my uncle is clearly deliniated in the following quote from the source so cited:

"(O)ver the heated objections of Rickett, La Paz, who has a top secret clearance from his World War II job at the Proving Grounds, brings in a mysterious bio-searcher who knows southwest indiginous plants intimately. Although the bio-searcher does not have anything close to a security clearance, he is a longtime trusted friend of La Paz and known to have an even longer working relationship with Albert Einstein. Since La Paz has carte blanche over the operation there is not much Rickett can do about it except harbor hard feelings."(source)

La Paz and others operating out of Los Alamos fell under the purview of General Leslie Groves who ran the Manhattan Project. Groves had a much different approach to security clearances than typically found across top secret military projects. It has been reported that Groves "would have brought in Attila the Hun if had known about quantum mechanics." Where a person might not have obtained the necessary security clearance to work on radar at the MIT lab where radar work was being done it was a much different attitude at Los Alamos under Groves.

For example, Groves appointment of Robert Oppenheimer to head up the Manhattan Project secret weapons laboratory. A huge outcry was expressed about Oppenheimer, circulating mostly around him being a security risk because many of his associates were communists, including his brother Frank, Frank's wife Jackie, Oppenheimer's former girlfriend Jean Tatlock and his wife Kitty. Even so Groves personally waived the security requirements and issued Oppenheimer a clearance on 20 July 1943.

Although General Grove was no longer at the Los Alamos facility at the time of the Roswell incident, it was his philosophy that continued to permeate the atmosphere surrounding La Paz's approach regarding the biosearcher, much to the dismay of Rickett and his most likely more traditional or stricter adherance to security clearance guidelines.

As for Groves waiving of the requirements for Oppenheimer's top secret security clearance, it should be noted that a formal hearing in 1954 resulted in Oppenheimer's top secret security clearance being revoked. If the biosearcher ever had an "official" security clearance issued for anything beyond his assistance as required by La Paz in his investigations is not known.



Footnote [4]

Fowler's source, Arthur Stansel, a World War II veteran and three time Purple Heart recipient, passed away Sunday Dec 3, 2006, at age 82. His obituary, outlining his background and written unrelated to any of the events at Kingman, lends a great deal of credibility to his alleged involvement. Click here for Stansel's OBITUARY.

Footnote [5]

According to Jenny Randles in her book UFO RETRIEVALS: The Recovery of Alien Spacecraft (1995), in addition to Richard Hall, two other UFO researchers, Len Stringfield and Charles Wilhelm, are also said to have obtained first and second hand testimony from witnesses regarding the crash of a UFO in the Arizona desert in 1953, suspected by inference in each case as being the Kingman crash.

An example of how almost all of the testimony and leads pertaining to the Kingman UFO event simply seem to dry up, it has long been reported that Richard Hall knew about the crash-down and retrieval since April, 1964. In some unreported fashion it has been said Hall received information regarding the Kingman crash from a professional military officer that was sent to Vietnam and while in Vietnam, killed. Eleven years before being sent to Vietnam he came across the recovery operation of the Kingman object in some fashion and in doing so became a firsthand witness to the event --- which inturn he apparently disclosed to Hall. UFO investigator Don Schmitt, while doing a series of interviews researching background material on abductees, came across a woman named Judith Anne Woolcott who intimated she had received a letter written in 1965 from her husband, killed that same year in Vietnam, that substantiated the Kingman crash. UFO researcher Kevin Randle, hearing of Schmitt's account, scoured military records to see if a person with the last name Woolcott and of the right age was killed in Vietnam during the appropriate time period without results. Come to find out Woolcott was married more than once. Investigating the records for the new last name showed no positive results either --- all of which would cast a huge doubt on Hall's and Schmitt's source.

Len Stringfield, in Retrievals of the Third Kind (Parts 1, 2, 3, 1978 and linked below) wrote that Charles Wilhelm told Stringfield that his father had interviewed a "Major Daly" that had gone to an unknown location, presumed to be outside Kingman, to look at a downed flying saucer. Stingfield followed up with UFO Crash Retrievals: A Search for Proof in a Hall of Mirrors (1994) writing about a witness he called JLD who basically reported the same information. Taken together, all of it is pretty iffy. However, it is interesting that each of the sources, unrelated to each other as they are, have for whatever reason selected Kingman as the area for the crash and May of 1953 as the month and year. It just seems odd that three far flung "witnesses," if they were making up a saucer crash out of whole cloth, discounting all the iffy stuff surrounding the rest of their testimony, would all somehow decide Kingman, Arizona in May of 1953 would be a great choice for where and when the incident should happen. Quite the coincidence.

In my case I was totally naive to the fact that the 1953 Kingman UFO incident wasn't a known quantity. Like I say in the opening paragraph in the main text above, at the end of May 1953 my Uncle called me from his home in New Mexico and wanted to know if I thought my dad would let me catch a Greyhound bus as soon as I could and meet him in Kingman because the same thing that had happened out in the flatlands near Roswell had happened in the desert near Kingman. Later, in 1955, he arranged a meeting between himself and Frank Edwards to discuss Kingman. The following, regarding that meeting, appears in the the source so cited:

"The meeting came off sometime in 1955, although the specific time and place or the circumstances surrounding the physical aspects of that meeting are not known. Edwards, who discussed any and all UFO phenomenom quite openly was, as my uncle saw it, strangely quiet about a then unpublicized and basically unknown within the community UFO episode said to have occured near Kingman, Arizona in the late spring of 1953. Looking back, Edwards may have been watching his own back because of how Frank Scully had been so badly burned by a True Magazine article in September 1952 regarding his story on the alleged Aztec, New Mexico crash in March 1948."(source)

It should be noted, to those who may be so interested, Judith Anne Woolcott, linked to above in this Footnote, although having been discounted as being credible after earlier investigations along with her claims, was in fact involved much more deeply in the Kingman UFO than those investigators were able to ferret out. The Vietnam officer that allegedly sent her a letter, and pooh-poohed by investigators as not existing, through subsequent interviews by the author of the linked through article, HAS been identified. He is in fact, the same person as found in the following sentence that shows up in the main text of this article:

"According to my uncle, he and a couple of Native American trackers along with a young between jobs 20 year-old and soon-to-be New Mexico A&M college student he referred to as Chukka Bob, who they didn't know but just joined them along the way, had been observing over a period of several days from a distance what he called 'a military recovery operation of some kind' in or around the canyons of Kingman in May of 1953."

Again, as cited at the end of the main text, the person referred to above by my uncle as Chukka Bob, a civilian in 1953, ended up being a Ranger trained Tactical Intel Staff Officer with the rank of Captain in 1965, having arrived in Vietnam in February of that year. Again, if you truly want the full story on the Kingman UFO, the identity of Chukka Bob, that sort of thing, please go to:






Footnote [6]

Although it hasn't been widely reported, at least perhaps up until recently, there were two crash sites in the Roswell incident, both sites connected to the same object. The first site is the debris field wherein an airborne object of an unknown nature was apparently disintegrating leaving parts and pieces scattered all along under it's path. The second site, the so-called "archeological site" was in the Capitan Mountains some 35 miles in a direct line from the debris. At the second site a heavier object of some type, that apparently was what had been spewing the parts and pieces all over t he desert floor, came crashing to a halt against the rocks and boulders along the lower slopes of the mountains.(see)

The debris field was discovered by a civilian and reported to civilian authorities. The object that came down at the archeological site had been tracked by military authorities from White Sands. They were on the scene quickly controlling both access to the area and any outflow of information.

As for the San Antonio crash, it was the same as what happened at the Roswell debris field, civilians came across the crash scene well before authorities. However, for whatever reason, unlike rancher Mac Brazel and the Roswell situation who reported what he saw to the local sheriff almost immediately, it was NOT reported. However, by the time a person who had seen the object on the ground shortly after having apparently crashed, and returned to the site one week later for a second look, the object was gone. Although a road had been graded down the side of the arroyo to where the object had been --- it still had not been reported. It was years before even one witnesses to the event came forward revealing the crash publicly.

While it is no doubt or most certainly a given that a wider range of civilians in the greater San Antonio area must have somehow been witness to the armed uniformed military personel removing the remains of "some sort of a something" in a variety of trucks --- including the use of a huge tank retriever-like low-boy flatbed --- over a period of several days even to the point for the need of a graded access road into the area, no one came came forward. For more on the August 1945 San Antonio, New Mexico UFO encounter see:


Dr. Edward B. Doll, a PhD in electrical engineering from Cal Tech, long time associated with a variety of atomic and nuclear related projects for the U.S. government during and after World War II, primarily under the umbrella of the Atomic Energy Commission. Said to have been attached in an official capacity to Operation Upshot-Knothole in Nevada during the time of the incident and somehow in the chain of command, though not confirmed because of a number of secrecy constraints, a defacto boss of Fowler's source.



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Footnote [7]

A man by the name of John Conneally, most recently of Phoenix, Arizona, but who was born and raised in Kingman, even graduating from high school there, in the process of doing research for a book he wrote on the 1953 UFO incident that he says falls into the category of reality based fiction, interviewed a number of 'old timers' who were living in the Kingman area at the time of the alleged crash. Using his 'born here native son' persona, rather than being a slick out of town hard-cover-book type guy, he was seemingly able to casually gain a lot more poignant insights into the incident than an outsider might have been able to do.

When he sat down and sifted through all the bits and pieces of his various interviews, matching, eliminating, and putting together relevant parts here and there to circulate his novel around --- and the first one to do so in such a manner --- totally independent of anything I have presented above as related to me by my uncle, Conneally arrived at strikingly similar conclusions, including an involvement with the town of Wikieup and Chicken Springs Road. For any of you who may be so interested, what he has written, the complete book, is available free online in PDF format and can be found by going to:


Footnote [8]

Scully's book Behind the Flying Saucers was published September of 1950, becoming an instant overnight best seller. As Scully laid it out a metallic disc-like airborne like craft thought to be extraterrestrial had supposedly crashed near a small northwest corner community of New Mexico called Aztec in 1948. A number of dead alien bodies scattered around the craft were also said to have been found as well. In 1952, two years after the book went on the market, in the first of two articles published in True Magazine, Scully's story was totally debunked and proven to be nothing but a full on hoax.

Although the content of the book was debunked top to bottom, what came up about the debunking, was that the author Scully, didn't try to pull a fast one but that he himself had totally been scammed. The "scammers" who bamboozled Scully into thinking their story was true as made up of two men, one named Newton and the other, a scientist said to be a doctor, named GeBauer. Their idea for the book was to widen the circle of the number of people who would be willing to buy an electronic device they "invented" that had the ability to find oil by just scanning it over the ground. Such a device was known as a doodlebug in the industry and worked like a divining rod to find water only Geiger counter-like, electronically. The two were taken to court after swindling a rube out of $18,500 for such an oil finding device that could easily be bought for $3.50 in a surplus store, the device being really no more than a tuning unit from surplus Army radio transmitters.

However, between the two year period between the time Scully's book came out and the time it was debunked, as a best seller, it did just what the the two scammers wanted, heighten interest in the possibility of finding oil using an electronic device. Not to be left out, the traditional oil companies began their own searches on the side, electronically and otherwise, especially in the desert southwest. Because of that up-tick in interest and use a former World War II OSS stereograph photo interpreter and geologist came into the picture.

During routine viewing of aerial surveys of the outwash plain due west of the Colorado River and about 70 miles south-south-west of Hoover Dam he came across a land form that had all the appearances of being the remains of a very ancient meteorite impact crater. As far as he was concerned, although previously unidentified and unnamed, the aerial photographs clearly showed discernable remnants of a circular crater outer ring sporting a diameter of approximately 18 miles with a well defined vestige of a central peak. Right away, hoping to possibly get credit for the discovery of a previously unknown impact crater, maybe even having it named after him, he headed out to the desert to see if any conclusions to what he saw in the photo-survey might have merit.

During his exploration he came across a man made metal structure he was sure he recognized from his World War II days as a stereograph photo interpreter, a man made metal structure that looked all the same as a V-1 launch ramp. The V-1 itself was what was known as a flying bomb. In order to get a V-1 airborne required a launch ramp of several hundred feet in lenght.

The ramp location was not far across the California Nevada state line on the California side, around 50 miles south-southwest of Hoover Dam roughly 35 miles parallel west of Davis Dam. The launch starting point, i.e., the lower end of the ramp, was on the south-southwest end, the higher part, the terminus of ramp launch on the east-northeast end. So said, such positioning made the long-length axis of the ramp low end to high launch direction aimed directly straight toward Hoover Dam. Once altitude was achieved the fully unobstructed south facing outside downstream front surface of the dam was fully exposed to an unhindered impact of a potential V-1 launch.

In an offside, it should be noted that one of the nicknames for the V-1 was doodlebug.

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"Living on the ranch in the high desert of the Mojave in those days were heady times. With the war finally over almost everything was doing nothing but going upward. All kinds of things were happening, especially in the aircraft and automotive fields and happening in the desert besides. The ranch was located not far from Muroc Dry Lake the same place Edwards Air Force Base was located. So too, the ranch wasn't far from Mirage Dry Lake either. On the ground at Mirage were nothing but numberless hot rods and belly tank lakesters. My uncle would take us out there to watch some of the hopped-up Ford flatheads hitting 150 mph. In the air, flying right over the ranch, were B-36s and flying wings. Higher up they were testing the Bell X-1 and breaking the sound barrier."


Even though my stepmother and dad had separated then divorced following their two year sojourn to South America I spent a good portion of every summer while I was in high school on one property or the other she owned in the high desert of the Mojave. The short time I was there during the summer prior to high school she had only just bought the property or in the process of buying it. At that time it was pretty much a run down former attempt at a dude ranch. One year later, during my first full summer there, what she called a "ranch" --- even though as a ranch it was a little on the sparse side in what I would call standard ranch fare --- had been completely rebuilt and refurbished with a rather long fully stocked bar, food service facilities, swimming pool, dance hall, live entertainment, along with rodeos and boxing matches on the weekends. It also had at least two dozen one-armed-bandit slot machines in a secret hidden room, plus like I like to say, a flock of ever present Hostesses

Most of the military personnel that showed up at my ex-stepmother's ranch were fly boys from nearby Edwards Air Force Base. However, a number of Navy personnel showed up from China Lake on a regular basis, and a number of those were old navy buddies of the ranch foreman. There were always wide open goings-on in the bar and dance hall on Saturday nights, especially during the summer, and Sunday morning would almost always find a bunch of GIs laying around nurturing hangovers. Although I was there during the summer as the son of the owner it was not like I was a prince. My ex-stepmother had a whole series of jobs for me to do around the place to "earn my keep" as she would often tell me. One of those jobs, besides shoveling horse manure and cow dung after the once-a-month or more weekend rodeos, was to help the swamper that cleaned up the place following the Saturday night bashes by gathering up and rinsing tons of old beer bottles (usually stuffed with cigarette butts put out in stale beer), emptying and washing ashtrays, wiping down tables and chairs, hoeing out the restrooms and barf and sweeping the dance hall floor and stage with oiled sawdust.

Invariably on those Sunday mornings the ranch foreman Leo, the ex-sailor that he was, besides being a Pacific Fleet boxing champion, would hold court with a number of Navy guys sobering up over coffee and having a little breakfast.

On one of those Sunday mornings, a number of those sailors that had been stationed in San Diego at one time or the other brought up the fact that a weird and little-known railroad sometimes called the Southern Pacific's San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway and sometimes called by other names that used to run passengers into Mexico from San Diego and clear over to the desert near El Centro and back that all of them had used going into and out of Mexico from San Diego had shut down passenger service after years and years of running the service. They came up with this big idea that turned out to be probably my biggest jeep adventure of all time. One of the sailors said he had seen where a jeep could be adapted to run on railroad tracks so we should take the ranch jeep down there, fix it to ride on the rails, and drive it into Mexico and the U.S. One of the other guys piped in saying that during the war, at least during the early part of the war, 1942 or so, when he was stationed in San Diego, the Army had regular patrols along the railway looking for saboteurs and that he had met a soldier that said that's exactly what they did, fixed up jeeps so they could run on the rails. Everybody figured, what the heck, if the Army could do, so could the Navy and most likely, even better. So we did. See:

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On one of those same type Sunday mornings it came up as well that there was or used to be a Japanese battleship out in the middle of the dry lake that the Air Force used for bombing practice. I asked the Navy guys about it and they told me it was a mock-up, that it looked like a battleship but was actually modeled after a Japanese Atago-class, the second vessel in the Takao-class heavy cruisers, and made of wood and chicken wire. See:

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Chicken Springs and Wikiup photo courtesy Goza's Wanderings and Wonderings

The road is way much better now days that far out of town than I remember it.