UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Aztec -- not the culture, but the 1948 UFO crash

Mike McClellan had a copyrighted article in the October 1975 issue of Official UFO magazine (pictured above) about the alleged Aztec UFO crash.

Mr. McClellan’s piece led off with witness testimony by Robert Spencer Carr, and ended with a rebuttal of that testimony, resulting in the “hoax” epithet appended the (in)famous Scully tale.

The piece, if you can access it, presents a nice time-line for the story, with details about what was supposedly found – alien bodies (described as indicated below) – and what made McClellan dismiss the story as a hoax.
 The current Scott Ramsey book about Aztec, being discussed at Kevin Randle’s blog, brings on a renewed “hoax” evaluation.

But Frank Warren, like us, think that Aztec can’t be dismissed out of hand. It has as much cachet as Roswell and wasn’t buried in the same way as Roswell was after the Army presented its balloon explanation.

Paul Kimball, Mr. Randle and others kick Aztec to the side of the road, and provide their views in support of such dismissive action.

The Ramseys and Frank Warren are loath to follow suit.

I’ve always thought after reading Scully’s book (and using it for my first High School book report) that there was meat to the story.

And the allegations of fraud by Silas Newton (and Leo GeBauer), instigated by San Francisco reporter J.P. Cahn were a disinformation action proposed by government agencies.

If you find the Aztec “crash” story intriguing, and you should, whether it’s a hoax or real event, you would do well to get your hands on Mr. McClellan’s pithy piece in Official UFO magazine.

Aztec is as frothy as Roswell, just as the affidated (Fritz Werner) Kingman Incident is.

Such UFO events tell us how such stories gain and then lose ground.

The investigations and reportage are all the stories are subject to the vicissitudes of bias and/or belief, not scientific or objective scrutiny.

That has nothing to do with UFOs or flying saucers per se, but it does tell us why we’re beset by information that keeps us befuddled and without acumen in credible circles.



  • In view of Roswell and Aztec, would you say that New Mexico deserves its popular name and license plate name "Land of Enchantment"?

    I think it does!

    By Blogger cda, at Sunday, June 17, 2012  

  • Like Maury Island, Aztec seems over-elaborate as a hoax. Unless Newton's prospective lambs were all proto-contactees, I don't see how he expected the story to make the sale.



    By Blogger Don, at Monday, June 18, 2012  

  • That's the fly in the fraud anointment, Don.

    As Frank Warren has made clear (to me, at least), Newton wasn't a stupid man.

    And if he thought his "doodle bug" ploy would fly with his intended "marks," that goes against what we know about his intelligence quotient.

    The Aztec story is as riveting as Roswell, to some, obviously.

    But those with a heavy investment in Roswell won't abide another landed disk tale.

    That would muck up the "legacy" they think.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, June 18, 2012  

  • According to Cahn, while the UFO stuff would be seen as questionable, all references to Newton's oil finding abilities were presented as succcessful and reliable so, in comparison, the doodlebug looks very reasonable.

    It's part of the con.


    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, June 19, 2012  

  • Lance:

    Speaking of "con," has anyone done a check of Cahn?

    The Aztec "scenario" is rather convoluted.

    Aside from the alleged "disk landing" or "crash" -- I defer to Don Ecsedy regarding crashes -- the story, in toto, is rife as a template for how flying saucer stories evolved, some becoming Campbell-like "myths" -- Roswell is the prime example of course.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 19, 2012  

  • It was in his second article that Cahn attempted to integrate the saucer stories into the con, not successfully in my opinion.

    Supposedly, Scully's role was to write a best seller and produce a suckers list. And, as Lance wrote above, no matter the reaction to the saucer stories, in the book Newton comes off looking good, a real expert genius etc. I think Cahn is...reaching. In the stories of the two 'plaintiffs' Cahn found, the saucers barely amount to a sentence worth.

    It is possible that Newton intended to exploit Scully for his Hollywood associations. Considering the number of Hollywood types who join space opera religions, maybe he had something there. Newton was a skilled golfer; a lot of biz gets done on the golf course. In 1949 Newton told his saucer story and showed his magnetic radio on the golf course, and the actor, George Brent, informed on him to the FBI. If there was a Hollywood scheme it may have been abandoned when the FBI showed up.

    One interesting detail about Newton: in 1930 he published Benjamin De Casseres book on Mencken and Shaw. De Casseres was at least a correspondent of Charles Fort, and a unique character, himself. It might be worthwhile to see what can be learned about Newton and De Casseres. I wonder if Newton knew Fort.



    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, June 19, 2012  

  • A correction: I wrote George Brent. It was Bruce Cabot.



    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, June 19, 2012  

  • "RR", please contact me, as I think I might be able to provide a differing perspective on the 'work' of that Kevin Randle your blog repeatedly refers to.


    Margo Metagrano

    By Anonymous Auntie M, at Wednesday, June 20, 2012  

  • Margo:

    My interest in Kevin Randle's blog only persists because we share some of the same readers, and one of our prime contributors (Anthony Bragalia) is a member of Randle's so-called Roswell "Dream Team."

    But feel free to e-mail me at rrrgroup@juno.com


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 20, 2012  

  • And wouldn't you know it, but Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty is cited in the Wikipedia article on Cabot:

    "It is alleged he was implicated by the Army Counter-Intelligence Corps in a gold smuggling ring that shipped Nazi gold to Brazil after the war's end"

    A PBB document about Cabot's report to the FBI, with the heading "An Incident Reported on Crashed Flying Saucers" has a note in large cursive handwriting "Maury Island Jul 47".

    I can't make up stuff this good.



    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, June 20, 2012  

  • It's that minutiae Don where one will find smoking guns.

    You are the Sherlock Holmes of ufology.

    I think you are undervalued in some quarters, but not here.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 20, 2012  

  • I hadn't looked at Aztec before. A ufologist would "investigate" the saucer story, poke around Aztec, interview people. I just poke about the seams of the story to see if anything turns up.

    Scully wrote his first contact with Newton was a comment from Newton about Scully's book Rogues Gallery -- in which Scully wrote he had written Frank Harris' book on Shaw -- which was published, I think, in 1943, and gives a probable start date to the Scully, Newton relationship.

    Scully wrote:

    "Among the readers of Rogues Gallery was one who wrote in substance: "You keep picking around the edges of Harris. Why don't you write a book about him?" It was signed "Silas M. Newton.

    The name rang a bell in my memory. When Harris and his wife made a trip from Nice to New York in the winter of 1929-1930, Silas Newton paid for it. He housed them in his Park Avenue residence and arranged for their invitation to talk to Washington officialdom on Shakespeare."

    I noted above Newton had published De Casseres' book on Shaw in 1930.

    Newton had married a NY sports writer, Nan O'Reilly at the time. De Casseres and Harris were NY press, which is why I wonder whether Newton knew Fort. Then there's the Shaw connection with Scully.

    I don't know if any of that is relevant to Newton's saucer story.

    I was surprised to find Cabot in one of Plouty's conspiratorial books. Various bios and obits mention Cabot was with army intelligence during the war.

    Of interest is from at least 1951, Cabot was in the oil business with at least wells in Nebraska, possibly Oklahoma, and somewhere in the Dakotas. Cabot was born into a prominent family in Carlsbad, NM.

    And there is more.

    So, after a few hours of research why does everything I find slot right into the Aztec backstory?



    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, June 21, 2012  

  • So, at this point, Don, what's your take on Newton? A con-man? Or a dupe?
    Or a guy who stumbled on a strange event?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, June 21, 2012  

  • My take on Newton? He seems like a classic financial operator from the first third of the 20th, before the depression and the war made close business and financial regulation necessary.

    So, he was a con-man. I'd like to read the transcript of the trial. What Cahn reported sounds like a classic operation run on Flader. However, the saucers were irrelevant. Cahn's reasons are weak and not convincing. I can't come up with a good reason for the saucers, either, for a doodlebug scam. So, I wonder if Newton had a specific mark in mind, someone in Hollywood. Who in Hollywood was a "believer" between 1947-1949? Scully would be too useful to be the mark, and he probably didn't have the money to make it worth the effort.

    Newton was also in a position in which he could become the mark of an operation by the authorities.

    I do wonder whether Newton let Cahn think he pulled off his little sleight-of-hand.



    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, June 21, 2012  

  • Don:

    Frank Warren is the Newton expert and I hope he sees your views, and comments accordingly.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, June 21, 2012  

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