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Enigma Issue 8: Report from the Socorro Crash Site

by Bob Shell | Spring 1996

Hi everyone,
I got back from Socorro yesterday and am still a bit jet-lagged.

Missing Newspapers

LOTS of news. First of all, the records of the Socorro newspaper are complete for over 100 years, but the issues from May 10 to June 15 of 1947 are missing!
They were supposedly burned in a mysterious fire in the 60s, which destroyed ONLY those issues. That alone would be suspicious, but EVERY OTHER newspaper in the area is missing issues for that time period as well!!!!!! That really stretches the range of coincidence, I would say. One local newspaper editor told me that she had been searching for newspapers for that time period for years without success. The state historical society doesn't have them and neither do any of the universities. The only hope is that some private collector somewhere has them.

Witnesses view Fireball

Mike Hesemann was with me for two days and we went and interviewed one of the eye witnesses to the fireball which came down on May 31, 1947. She is a Native American and told us that many of her people saw this, but probably wouldn't talk to outsiders about it. Her people consider seeing a UFO as a very bad omen usually associated with the death of someone close. Her memory of the fireball is very clear. It was larger in apparent size than the sun, white in colour, and did not have a "tail" behind it. It was flaming around the edges, she said, like it was on fire. It passed straight across the sky over Gallup where she was, in the direction of Socorro. It made no sound. Mike made a video of our interview and we may show it at some conferences. Because they do not want to be pestered, I have agreed to keep the names of all witnesses and people I interview confidential. In the case of this lady, she could get in trouble with her tribal council for talking about this to outsiders.

Strange Material

I spent a day in Magdalena (which is 28 miles from Socorro at the edge of the Magdalena Mountains where the crash happened). There is an elderly man there who is the local "historian". He remembers that in the summer of 1947 a local rancher came into town very excited because a spaceship had crashed on his land. He had a piece of it in the back of his pickup truck and they took it to the local garage where they tried to cut it. Nothing, not even a welding torch, had any effect on it. Unfortunately the rancher is long since dead and no one today knows what happened to this piece of material. It may still be in a shed somewhere.

Another Witness

There was a soil scientist assigned to the district in those days named Fleck. That same summer Fleck stumbled across a crashed UFO while on his rounds. He is dead also, but his wife is still living and he told the story to many people for years. His crash site was about ten miles from Magdalena toward the Plains of San Agustine which is also where the Santilli cameraman's site is.

Speaking to the Cameraman

I spoke in a "conference call" with the cameraman last Wednesday and got specific directions to the crash site from him. No one so far has even been close to the site. He says that the military convoy picked up some people in Socorro and then drove SW on Route 60 for one hour at about 40 - 45 mph. This puts them about ten miles or so past Magdalena (Magdalena is about 28 miles from Socorro).

Looking for the Crash Site

After driving on Rt 60 they turned left onto a dirt road marked by a heavy wood gate and wood fence. This road was described as "hugging the mountains" and very treacherous. Four or five miles down this road they crossed a wooden bridge over a steep canyon. (The cameraman says he went back to the site fifteen years ago and the old bridge was collapsed and the road re-routed down into the canyon.) They drove for about 45 minutes or so on this road at speeds which could not have been more than 15 mph and came to a dry lake bed. The crash was on the north side of this lake bed.

Dry Lake Beds

The area about ten miles out from Magdalena is full of dry lake beds, and is the only area for miles which has them. I spent considerable time at the School of Mines at the University of NM in Socorro looking at USGS maps trying to find out which road this was, but had no luck since features like wood bridges are not shown.

Interviewing Forest Rangers

All of this land is National Forest land (even though much of it is high desert and not forest), so I next went to the National Forest office in Magdalena to interview the rangers and see if any of them knew which road this was. None of them have been there for a really long time, so none knew of a wood bridge in the 40s or 50s. They did not know of one in ruins either, so it may have been dismantled and hauled off for the wood. Unfortunately, the area is full of dry lake beds, so figuring out which one it was may be difficult.

I couldn't stay longer and had only a standard rental car this trip so I couldn't check out the roads. The cameraman advised me against trying to drive this road in a regular car since it was rough going for the military jeeps.

Ongoing Investigation

My plan at present is to return to the area as soon as I have some free time, rent a jeep, and try the roads along that stretch of Rt 60 one by one.

I'd appreciate it if you would post this update for me to the usual internet sites to let people know the progress of this investigation.

Bob Shell

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