Thursday, March 31, 2005

Fred Reed & Aztec: A Red Flag

Lately, over at UFO Updates (www.virtuallystrange,net/ufo/updates) Frank Warren and I have been discussing the Aztec case, in particular, the accounts of various "witnesses".

The correspondence can be found at, from beginning to end, at:

My original:

Frank responds:

My response:

Frank's response:

My response:

Frank's response:

My response:

One of these "witnesses" - Fred Reed - is of particular interest, because we have a record of both what he told Scott Ramsey, and what Reed said one week prior to his interview with Scott. The differences are telling, and should sound a note of caution about the Aztec "witnesses" in general, and Scott and Frank's credulous approach to them.

Here, according to Scott, is what Reed told him in 1999 (you can find the original text at, at "'Flying Saucer' Recovery at Hart Canyon (Part Three) - The Witnesses"):

"Witness No. 3

While working for the O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services), Fred Reed and his group were sent to Aztec, New Mexico to 'clean up the crash site,' early in April of 1948. [Reed didn't work for the O.S.S. - he worked for another clandestine organization of the military. Thi is an 'uncorrected error' that was missed in final editing by Scott - Frank Warren added this note]. Shortly after they arrived, it was apparent to them that something very large had been removed from the site. Their specialty was to make an area appear as if nothing had transpired there.

Fred revisited the crash site in 1999; I was able to interview him one week later.

In 1948 they were ordered to collect any foreign items they found and then bury them eighteen inches deep; to 'soft landscape' any areas where heavy equipment tracks were visible and to do an extensive survey on the entire mesa. He noted a newly cut road and an out-of-place, large concrete pad in the freshly altered and siltey soil, during the cleanup. Reed recalled thinking that they must have poured it to support a heavy structure, like a crane, used to move a large object.

At the time of the cleanup, his group was informed that it was simply a crash site. The entire cleanup was done in the usual quiet manner that they were accustomed to in the O.S.S. [O.S.S. is incorrect - Frank Warren added this note]. Years later, one of Reed's former Senior Officers would explain to him that it was not an aircraft crash, but that of a large metallic 'flying disc.'

In my interview with Reed, he commented on how the crash site today looked as they had left it when they had finished. He recalled that the tops of the trees were broken and was fascinated with how they had weathered time."

Both Frank and Scott proudly trumpet Reed as one of the best witnesses to the Aztec case, to the point where Scott included him as one of five he referenced in his 2004 MUFON article, as well as in my film Aztec 1948.

But what really makes Reed such a valuable example of the Aztec "witnesses" is that we have an account from him that predates his interview with Scott by a week. Better yet, he put it into writing, to the editor of a local Aztec area newspaper. Here is the entire text of that letter, presented in public, as far as I know, for the first time:

"Dear Sir,

Today, my wife and I took advantage of the big celebration and went out to the site of the UFO crash of late 1948 in Hart Canyon. The workers who dedicated their time to this presentation of an important part of New Mexico history are to be commended. The road signs to guide the visitors were strategically placed, and the plaque marking the spot was in the right place. The aliens had built stone cairns marking the path from the oil field road to the crash site. These cairns are still in place today. The trees around the crash site open to the south, which is a typical distress signal for extraterrestrials.

The area looked essentially as it had in 1948 when the OSS sent our group there. We were to make a detailed survey of the area and report back to them, which we did. We were then reassigned elsewhere. We were never told what the OSS was looking for.

But a traveling survey crew like that eats in cafes, sleeps in motels, has no close family, and knows intimately only the men they work with. So, of course, we spect many long nights trying to figure out just what did happen in Hart Canyon.

We had heard rumors that a UFO had crashed there. But it did not look like a crash site. And we had heard that army personnel had rushed in there and cleaned up the site. But it did not look like a clean-up site either. One thing did stand out. There appeared to be some heavy traffic - not on any graded road - leading through the large rock slides to the canyon northwest of the site.

So what it boiled down to was this: No UFO crash. Instead, the UFO landed there for some specific intent to place (bury?) some instrument or thing there. They they got into their saucer and flew away. All of the other stories were put out by the government to cover up what they knew about the event or to cover up what they did not know about it. I guess the answer might be found in the old files of the OSS. But not in my time.

Yours truly,

Fred Reed."

Now, let us compare the original testimony to that which came out after the interview with Scott.

Are there significant discrepancies?


1. Reed, in his letter, specifically states that nothing crashed on the mesa. Instead, the "rumour" that he heard was that a flying saucer had landed, planted a device, and then flown away - NO recovery! After his interview with Scott, this had changed to "a crashed flying saucer" that had been recovered by the military.

2. Reed, in his letter, refers to several stone cairns which the aliens had left in place to mark the road from the oil road to the "crash site" (note the contradictory statement even within this letter - "crash site" vs. "landing site"). After his interview with Scott, we now have the "out of place, large concrete pad" that had been poured to aid in the recovery.

3. Reed, in his letter, states that the "clean-up" operation occurred in late 1948. After his interview withe Scott, this date has been "corrected" back to April, 1948.

4. Reed, in his letter, talks about how the trees around the crash site open to the south, which is a "typical distress signal for the aliens." This ridiculous statement, which shows more than anything else that Reed is blowing smoke (but which Michael Salla would no doubt accept at face value), is nowhere to be found after his interview with Scott.

5. Reed, in his letter, states that his group was sent to the site to make a "detailed survey of the area" and "report back" to the O.S.S. After the interview with Scott, this has morphed into a "cleanup" operation, depsite the fact that in his letter, Reed stated that "We had heard that army personnel had rushed in there and cleaned up the site."

Five MAJOR discrepancies, plus one MAJOR mistake that is made in both accounts by Reed - the identification by Reed himself, not Scott, despite what Frank claims, of his unit as O.S.S., which was impossible, given that the O.S.S. ceased to exist on 1 October, 1945, by virtue of Executive Order 9621 (see It was later effectively replaced by the Central Intelligence Group, and then, in 1947, with the passing of the National Security Act, the Central Intelligence Agency.

What does this tell us about the Aztec case?

First, it tells us that Reed's testimony is absolutely worthless. The historical inaccuracies (the O.S.S.??!!), and the inconsistent statements, within a week of each other, indicate he was a guy spinning a story that simply was not true.


To gain himself a small piece of the growing Aztec limelight. Call it the "Anderson - Kaufmann Syndrome." As I keep trying to tell people in ufology, not every "witness" is telling the truth.

More important, however, is the fact that it calls into question both Scott's methodology and his objectivity. It is clear from the "compare and contrast" exercise above that Reed changed his account when interviewed by Scott, possibly the result of leading questions (we won't know until Scott releases the detailed transcripts), but no doubt because Reed wanted to tell Scott what he figured Scott wanted to hear. Like Kaiser Wilhelm II, he wanted his "place in the sun."

As for Scott's objectivity, and his competence to draw conclusions from his considerable research, one must wonder. The O.S.S. statement alone should have raised a major red flag as to Reed's credibility back in 1999, and yet this clearly false statement was repeated by Scott right up until the present day. The same mistaken assumptions can be seen in his analysis of the radar bases he discovered, and in his acceptance of Frank Scully's claim that Dr. Gee was really "eight scientists" instead of Leo Gebauer (there are earlier posts here that deal with each of these issues).

We continue to hear from Scott and Frank that there really was a crash recovery of an alien spacecraft at Aztec in 1948. But if they bought Fred Reed's hogwash, should we place any faith in their overall approach to the Aztec case, and the evidence that so convincingly shows that there was no spaceship, no crash, and no story, other than the one cooked up by Silas Newton and Leo Gebauer?

Paul Kimball


RRRGroup said...


A number of things stand out in your presentation here. But the one that caught my eye is "a place in the sun" reference.

This is at the heart of the Reed "testimony" (and that of other UFO "luminaries" such as Bob Lazar, or George Adamski, or even some lesser lights who haunt the halls of "ufology").

Reed is a man who wanted a legacy; something to hang his hat on, giving meaning to his life perhaps.

Frank Warren is a good guy. I think he believes everyone is a good guy (or gal as he might say).

So Frank, and maybe your friend Ramsey, are a bit gullible because of their inclination to believe people, generally.

Because of your work in the legal area and me because of my work in media, we are wary of people. It's an occupational hazard. And it works to our advantage. We won't get conned as easily as persons like Frank and Scott might -- because they trust everyone.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of the Aztec conference this week.

I wish you had gone, so we'd get an objective take on what transpires there.

Rich Reynolds

Frank Warren said...

Hey Gang,

Unfortunately, I can't respond properly at this time . . . but will do so ASAP. I am happy to know that I have kept my "good guy status" as it would be dreadful to be so "gullible and malevolent" at the same time. In any event, when time alots, I will again attempt to "enlighten, and illuminate" my two compadres, and further clarify my position.


Lance said...

A belated (just seven years!) thanks for this posting. Too bad all those links above are dead now. I would have liked to seen Frank Warren's responses.

One thing that stands out is that Ramsey (from reading the poorly written--almost verbatim to what you quote here-- first chapter of his book hasn't changed anything as he continued his "research". Like the beliefs of most fervent believers, their scriptures are unerring and don't need revision.

I am not sure what position Fran Warren takes on this nonsense, perhaps he is still doing "research" on the "case" as well.

Such a silly sideshow these people perform in.



Paul Kimball said...


On this, as with Roswell, you and I are in agreement.

Here's a little side story about Scott who, like most researchers, is a perfectly nice fellow, but...

When we were filming Aztec: 1948, he insisted on a trip down to the Socorro / Carizzozo area of New Mexico, which seemed odd to me in the context of the Aztec story (look at a map and you'll see why), but we had some spare time, and the more I see of a great state like NM the better, so off we went. We toured the Socorro site just for fun, and saw the Very Large Array, which was cool, but the primary topic of discussion was the alleged crash at the Plains of San Agustin. Scott told us some stuff that frankly I've forgotten the nature of since (had something to do with some witness or another), but I do recall that it didn't make any sense at the time. Anyway, we made our way to some government protected wetlands, which was quite nice, and he was telling another crashed saucer tale when he suddenly pointed at two unassuming guys across the road, who were looking about with binoculars. Scott was quite suspicious, and told the crew and I that he was pretty sure they were government types there to keep an eye on us. Of course, they were birdwatching! Anyway, he wanted to go over and "confront" them, but I packed up the crew (who were having a hard time stifling their chuckling), and we headed out. Scott took down the license plate number of the two "agents" SUV, however, and said he was going to have a pal "run the plates".

At that point, even I was happy to be back on the road!


Paul Kimball said...

P.S. The links don't work anymore, but if you go to the main archive for UFO Updates, you should be able to find the original posts on the dates indicated in the links.


Lance said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks again for this excellent piece.

One question I am trying to answer for Jim Moseley is about the letter to Aztec editor.

Can you give the particulars about who/when/what about that letter. I looked through the Updates archive but couldn't find further information.

Many thanks,


Paul Kimball said...

Hi Lance,

Kevin Randle asked me the same question earlier today, so I'll give you the same answer. It was a long time ago, and I don't recall. There are only two possible sources for the letter that I had - the mountain of documents (almost all of which were irrelevant to the Aztec "incident") that Scott gave me back in 2003, or a few documents that the Farmington Daily Times provided me with. I'm pretty sure it was Scott who gave it to me. To bad you guys didn't ask me back in 2005 - I still had all of that material in my office. Unfortunately, I finally cleaned up my office in December, 2010, and most of my UFO-related material got shredded / was recycled. I just didn't see a need for it anymore.

Anyway, I kept a much smaller bunch of materials, which I have in off-site storage. The next time I'm there I'll rummage through the boxes and see if I can find it, but your best bet would be to contact Scott Ramsey. I'm sure he has a copy, as he was definitely aware of it back then, because we discussed it at some length.