So entrenched has the 1947 Roswell crash become in the minds of many UFO researchers, that it is often overlooked that the Roswell incident was not actually the first crashed saucer story to enter the public consciousness. That distinction belongs to another alleged UFO incident in the New Mexico desert. This time near Aztec, a small town in the upper western portion of the state, hundreds of miles away from the Roswell crash debris field found by Mac Brazel’s on the Foster Ranch in the summer of 1947.
In his 1950 best selling book Behind The Flying Saucers gossip columnist Frank Scully alleged that a flying disk had been found on a ranch 12 miles from Aztec, New Mexico, in 1948, the year after the alleged Roswell crash. In Paul Kimball’s 2003 documentary Aztec 1948 UFO Crash UFO researcher Nick Redfern summed up the alleged events at Aztec: “The jest of the Aztec tale is that in 1948 a flying saucer complete with anywhere between 14 to 18 bodies crashed in Aztec, New Mexico and was recovered in high secrecy by the US government.”
According to Scully he was told about the Aztec crash by a man he called “Dr. Gee”, who was supposedly a specialist in magnetic anomalies working for the US government at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where famously the Manhattan Project to develop the Atomic bomb had been centred. Dr. Glee explained to Scully that the alien vehicle used some kind of magnetic propulsion system to levitate and that this was the reason he was brought in by the US government.
In his book and talks Scully claimed that Dr. Gee had been flown out by helicopter to the New Mexico desert in April 1948 to look at the wreckage of a flying saucer that had crashed there. The Doctor also allegedly told Scully that the deceased bodies of the spaceship’s alien crew, who were described as small humanoid beings just over three feet tall, were also found at the crash site. The bodies of these creatures were said to be hairless, with soft downy skin, and two of the crew may have still been alive for a short time after the impact of the crash. Later accounts of the Roswell incident would also involve the recovery of similarly described deceased alien beings. In their 1994 book The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell authors Kevin D. Randle and Donald Schmitt wrote: “Stringfield, from his sources, said that he was able to draw a number of conclusions. According to Stringfield, the beings are humanoid, three and a half to four and a half feet tall … There was no hair on the head … In fact, there isn’t much hair on the bodies.”
As well as the biology of the aliens found at the two crash sites, there are also similarities between the Roswell debris found by Mac Brazel a year earlier and the lightweight but durable metal the Aztec saucer was said to be constructed from. In Behind the Flying Saucers Scully wrote: “It looked like aluminium, but wasn’t of a metal known to this earth.”
Another similarity to Roswell are the pictorial symbols similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics alleged to be on the inside of the Aztec craft. The son of Major Jessie Marcel, who was one of the men sent by Colonel Blanchard to investigate the debris found by Brazel on the Foster Ranch, also reported seeing strange purple writing that resembled hieroglyphics on pieces of the Roswell debris. In his book The Roswell Legacy published in 2007 for the 60th anniversary of the Roswell crash, Jesse Marcel Jr. described what he remembered being shown by his father back in July 1947.
“As I looked at the piece, with the light reflecting on the inner surface, I could see what looked like writing. At first I thought of Egyptian hieroglyphics, but there were no animal outlines or figures. They weren’t mathematical figures either; they were more like geometric symbols-squares, circles, triangles, pyramids, and the like. Approximately one-fourth of an inch tall, they were imprinted on the inner surface of the beam, and only on one side. They were not embossed into the I-beam but seemed more like part of its surface.”
The parallels between the alleged alien creatures and materials described by Aztec and Roswell witnesses are intriguing. In The Roswell Incident, published in 1980, the authors Charles Berlitz and William Moore even speculated that the Aztec crash story was a garbled version of the Roswell crash.
There are some big problems with the credibility of the Aztec crash story, however. Scully’s book was debunked in two articles in True magazine published in 1952 and 1956. Written by San Francisco Chronicle reporter J. P. Cahn, the two articles revealed that Dr. Gee, who he named as Leo GeBauer, and Scully’s other main source Silas Newton, were in fact two slick oil conmen who had hoaxed Scully.
The Aztec incident has been revived somewhat in recent years by a book by Scott Ramsey, a UFO researcher and successful businessman from North Carolina. One anomaly highlighted by Ramsey that should give sceptics pause for thought is a mystery road off of Hart Canyon which leads to what he believes was the crash site, a deforested area surrounded with trees with broken branches, as if something had flattened the area. The mysterious dirt road doesn’t appear on any road maps of the area until around 2003, and it is unknown where the road came from or who made it. Ramsey suggests that the road was made by military personnel attempting to extricate the Aztec saucer after it was forced to make an emergency landing at Hart Canyon. This might seem like wild speculation, however, there is some physical proof at the alleged crash site that something happened there in 1948.
Adding to the mystery is a concrete slab sticking up out of the ground at the alleged crash site. Like the road there are no records or reason why it should be there in the middle of nowhere. Ramsey believes the slab was made by the military to support one of the legs of a crane used to carry out the crashed saucer. Laboratory tests have also shown that the concrete slab dates to around 1948, the year of the alleged saucer crash.