The Crashing of UFOs






Steve Erdmann



Copyright, Steve Erdmann, 2013.
This article was originally published in  the October 8 through 26, 2013 issues of the UFO Digest, and is herewith published with permission.




Authors Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt are not new to the alien crashed disc scenario, having become veteran investigators into the July,1947 alleged Roswell, New Mexico UFO crash.  In their Witness to Roswell book, the authors went into detailed testimony and evidence of a supposed crashed alien spacecraft on a ranch in the Roswell, New Mexico region.  In this tome they branch out into the further questions:  Where was the material taken, were there any witnesses, and how and why was it covered up?  They also revealed Additional Roswell disclosures.

Artist Depiction Roswell UFO Crash 

(Inside the Real Area 51: The Secret History of WrightPatterson, Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt, New Page Books, a division of the Career Press, Inc, 220 West Parkway, Unit 12, Pompton Plains, N.J. 07444, 288 pages, $16.99.)



The authors take us on a historical tour of Wright Field as the headquarters of the Material Division, a branch of the Army Air Corps, and the Technical Data Section (TDS) IN 1920, through its re-designation as the Technical Data Laboratory (TDL), and, on July 1, 1945, T-2 Intelligence, which specialized in metallurgy and reverse engineering.  At the end of the war, more than 50,000 employees worked at what came to be known as the Air Technical Service Command.  This encompassed Operation Paperclip of over 200 German scientists.  In September, 1947 the Air Corps became officially a separate branch of the military and Wright Field became the Wright–Patterson Air Force Base.

“Outside of the UFO community, few are aware of Wright-Patterson’s distinction of maintaining the U.S government’s official investigation of the UFO phenomena from 1947 until 1969,” say the authors, “with its vital experience of testing and reverse-engineering all materials both foreign and ‘from space,’ it is a historic fact that whatever crashed outside of Roswell fell under their purview.”


Part of the book concerns itself with the location of a legendary Hanger 18 housing aliens and material.  The authors contend there has been confusion between “hanger 18” and “building 18.”  There is, in fact, a whole series “building 18 complex” consisting of A, B, C, D, E, and G.

An Air Force Hanger 18

UFO researcher Leonard Stringfield mentioned in his Status Report II “Crash/Retrieval Syndrome” of January, 1980 a “building 18F” as a possible “holding tank.”  Because of its close proximity to Hanger 23, it was often referred to as “Hanger 18.”  Witnesses testify that Hanger 23 was where the UFO wreckage was first deposited before being moved to building 18’s underground levels.


A number of employees indicated that there were “extensive subterranean maze of tunnels and vaults” under Wright-Patterson:  “An underground maze of secret vaults, tunnels and multi-level hangers.”  Robert L. Marshall, Jr., an iron worker that held a top secret crypto-security clearance, told of the erection of a four-level underground facility in 1947 with “secret doors, vents, and various secret compartments all located under the hanger.”

Typical Air Force Aircraft Hangers


Merlin Hansen worked as a civil engineer at Wright-Patterson during several summers in the mid-1960s.  His specialty was designing and maintaining underground hanger elevator systems:  down four to six levels at the base.  Merlin referred to a ‘building 18.’  Building 18F contained “four cold rooms” and “refrigeration equipment.”


The UFO wreckage, with bodies, say the authors, were probably delivered to Hanger 23 until suitable underground passage connected to building 18 for permanent storage.  Autopsies may have been carried out in the Aero Medical Facility in Building 29 and eventually to Building 18F.  The bodies were moved about the AFB, possibly Building 45 (“…down long passageways past several checkpoints to a large underground vault beneath Building 45…”).

Air Force Depiction of Hanger 18



According to Robert Collins, a retired former Air Force intelligence officer who worked at Wright-Patterson’s Foreign Technology Division, the UFO material left Wright-Patterson in the 1982-1983 time frames and was sent to Area 51 (p. 49).


July 9, 1947 seemed to be the date that the full weight of “the problem of the flying disks” came down on the shoulders of the top echelon of both military and government officials.  A drastic “coverup mode” was instigated.

Curiosity spilled over from several high-ranking military officials such as Brigadier General F. Schulgen of the Air Intelligence Requirements Division (AIRD) in an October 28, 1947 secret five-page AIRD “draft of collection memorandum” listing “…current intelligence requirements in the field of flying saucer-type aircraft”; but by the “end of July (1947) the UFO security lid was down tight” (Captain Edward Ruppelt).


“Today, after more than 60 years, it appears likely that the U.S Air Force got nowhere on what they really wanted to know about the craft and how the materials were structured,” say the authors, “they were unable to determine how the device functions, what the intentions of the visitors were, and where they originated.”

The authors dismiss the claims of Robert Lazar and U.S. Army Colonel Philip J. Corso as far as their assertions of aiding back-engineered/retrieved UFO artifacts.  They do believe there were legitimate attempts to replicate “shape recovery” properties of the Roswell crash debris.  They contend the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, The New York University, The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in California, were party to reverse-engineering.

Nitinol Memory Metal

The government’s best attempts resulted in a material known as “Nitinol.”  One of the scientists involved was Elroy John Center who worked at the Battelle Institute from 1939 to 1957.  Center said he analyzed metal from a crashed UFO.  The debris he handled was inscribed with “glyphics.” Nitinol could be traced through two “progress reports” written in 1948 and 1949.  Dr. Fred Wang was also a participant to an experiment with psychic Uri Geller to bend or “morph” Nitinol:  A “clue” as to the “nature” of the original Roswell material.


Chapter 5 delves primarily with the late senator Barry Goldwater’s attempts to see a suspected “Blue Room” at Wright-Patterson.  Goldwater gleaned UFO information from friends such as Air Force General William “Butch” Blanchard.  In 1947, Blanchard had been the commanding officer of the 509th Bomb Group and the Roswell Army Air Field.

In the 1963-1965 time frames, Goldwater attempted to query his friend General Curtis Lemay, then an Air Force chief of staff, for information about the legendary “Blue Room.”  He was quickly rebuffed in strict fashion by the Lt. General.  In the 80s, Goldwater seemed to have relented in his quest somewhat, and may have been somehow briefed.  The authors add additional testimony about the “Blue Room.”


The authors seamlessly add stories from other historical encounters:  Captain Oliver W. “Pappy” Henderson, Captain Joseph Toth, Brigader General Arthur Exon, Norma Gardner, Robert Thompson and several others.  Special notice is made of June Crain and squadron leader Marion “Black Mac” Magruder.

Crain was present at Wright-Patterson originally by way of the U.S War Department on three occasions from 1942 through 1952.  She carried a top-secret “Q” security classification.  It, however, was not enough to allow Crain complete knowledge of “Project Caucasian,” suspected to be the UFO crash.  A Richard V. Wheeler is suspected to be the officer who allowed Crain to handle a piece of “a space ship.”  According to Crain, the truth about UFOs and crashes was “common knowledge” among the scientists and engineers at Wright-Patterson. Werner Von Braun was one of those scientists.

Mark Magruder, the son of Lieutenant Colonel Marion Milton “Black Mac” Magruder, highly decorated World War II fighter pilot, tells of his father’s witnessing the bodies and remnants of the Roswell UFO crash during April of 1948.


A good portion of the book traverses the military and government response as an open and curiously healthy Project Sign with its Loedding/Sneider September, 1947 “Estimate of the Situation” that the UFOs were interplanetary craft.

“The ‘nuts and bolts’ crowd was becoming too vociferous at Wright-Patterson,” say the authors, “and the fire needed to be doused before it reached a particular hanger.”

The outcome was “total abandonment of any attempt at an objective investigation of the flying saucer situation”:  code-named Project Grudge.  Resistance by a few scientists led to Project Stork at the Battelle Institute: this eventually followed the ‘official line’:  “…statistical methods were no good for a study like this.  They didn’t prove a thing…I had written it off as worthless.” (Ruppelt.)


According to the authors, Project Blue Book, which followed the early demise of Project Grudge (despite Ruppelt’s efforts to upgrade Blue Book as a more serious endeavor), was “simply a front for the actual UFO investigation being conducted elsewhere…”  That ‘elsewhere’ was the 4602nd Air Intelligence Service Squadron at ENT AFB in Colorado Springs, Colorado: Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly.  “…Blue Book became nothing more than a public relations outfit.”


The “dirty deed” continued through the 1968 Condon Committee and the National Academy of Sciences.  “It was maneuvered, steered, and driven precisely to the predetermined destination desired by the Pentagon…the Panel never investigated the UFO phenomena; it simply endorsed the conclusions of the Condon Committee.”  (pp. 179-181.)


Remaining chapters somewhat outline how Dr. J. Allen Hynek and various officials continued to be duped, such as Chester W. Lytte and Captain James McAndrew.   In the words of Major General Kenner F. Hertford:  “I still do not understand the veil of secrecy maintained for the last 45 years of the arrival on Earth of an object with human-like living beings.”


Additional testimonies are spread throughout.  Physical descriptions are given from the files of Leonard Stringfield, Dr. Lejeune Foster who examined bodies retrieved at Roswell, Dr. Leon E. Kazarian, who specialized in biomechanics, and was a senior-level scientist with the Air Force Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson in the 1960’s and 1970’s, was a probable witness, Dr. Leon B. Visse, a French expert on biological elements connected with cellular tissue, did a 1959 examination of alien corpses at Wright-Patterson, among others.  John Mosgrove in October of 1979 was party to a dental specimen of an alleged alien jaw bone from Wright-Patterson.

The authors say:  “The projects associated with the Roswell crash knew what they had, but they could not acknowledge what they could not comprehend.”


Various critics were dissatisfied for a variety of reasons.  RRR Group said on August 7, 2013:  “The hyperbolic account in the book astounds; it is overly dramatic and punchy…sensationalized to make a point that belies reality.”  I am not sure if the book would be any more enjoyable if it was written strictly in the joyless syntax of raw scientific prose; Nothing less than original laboratory documents would satisfy these pundits.  Likewise, TSH said on August 8, 2013 that Anthony Bragalia needed to fully document his findings on Nitinol so “hacks” couldn’t piggy-back-off his hard work.

John Harney said in Magonia Blog that continued crashes could not be successfully hidden (September 16, 2013):  “…if a number of others are said to have occurred then it is just not credible that the truth about them could be concealed…to suggest that every nation where a UFO crashes would be willing or able to keep it secret is utterly absurd.”  Harney talked about witness accounts that demonstrate “…a remarkable resemblance to a mogul balloon rig.”


If UFOs are space craft constructed of exotic, indestructible “morphing” material, why do they damage and crash? Harney said:  “…bits of wreckage were indestructible…somehow shattered when or before they hit the ground…”

WhenUFOsCrash Field debris

The Roswell Crash and Debris Field

“Nohup” had reservations as early as March, 2009:  “If this stuff is so strong, how is it that it could so completely fragment enough to spread out over a quarter mile of desert?”  The Roswell object has been described as disrupting the earth:  “Described as being very light, almost weightless. Then how is it that the ‘ship’ could create anything like a crater or gouge in the hard desert dirt?” 445154/pg 4+ mem=

Depiction of alleged  Roswell I-Beam 

The Roswell material was somehow determined to be in part composed of Titanium, the authors quote General Arthur Exon:  “Titanium and some other metal…(but) the processing was different.” (p. 70.)

To know this, some kind of spectrographic or X-ray diffraction equipment would have penetrated the metal to allow a ‘sample.’   Yet, the metal is described as “indestructible and impervious to external forces.”  (p. 65.)  Dr. Knox Missaps, a mathematician specializing in thermodynamics, said in 1947:  “We couldn’t break it or even scratch it in any way…”  (p. 77.)  Witness June Crain said:  “I tried everything I could to tear it up, and I couldn’t tear it. I couldn’t make a dent on it.  I couldn’t make a mark on it.”  (p. 116.)


Benson Saler, a retired anthropologist from Brandeis University, and co-author of UFO Crash at Roswell: The Genesis of a Modern Myth, said the lack of solid evidence demonstrated something else:  “…we don’t know of any empirical evidence to support the idea that it crashed, (rather we are seeing) the development of an American myth that was unfolding right before our eyes.”

Investigator Anthony Bragalia, did believe a crash occurred, but that there could be no single reason for the crash.  He mentioned that forensic examiners and failure analysis experts often attribute accidents to multiple causes, a convergence of events.  “Roswell’s crash was caused by an amalgamation of things,” said Bragalia.

Roswell remains an amalgamation of questions: questions that will continue to be raised:  the answers will only arise with a convergence of new facts.

Steve Erdmann can be reached at or – or – the editor of this magazine. You can visit his Timeline on Facebook or friend him at
You can also visit his articles at the following:,,,,
Alternate Perception Magazine:



Artist depiction of  Roswell UFO Crash


Roswell Crash Site

Wright-Patterson Depiction of Hanger 18

Wright-Patterson AFB
An AF Hanger No. 18

Depiction of UFO I-beam

Wright-Patterson Hangers
News Items on Roswell

WhenUFOsCrash News Clipping 248843

WhenUFOsCrash Book Cover 51oQk3tw58L._AC_UL320_SR214,320_


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