By Timothy Green Beckley and Sean Casteel
With a population hovering around 20,000 today, Kingman is well-known for its location as a Route 66 gateway. Western star Andy Devine was born and raised in the town, and Clark Gable and Carole Lombard were married at the rectory of Saint John’s Methodist Episcopal Church, during a break in the shooting of “Gone with the Wind.” Pamela Anderson did one of her 1992 Playboy photo shoots at the corner of 4th Street and Andy Devine Avenue (US Route 66), and was brought in by the Kingman Police Department for indecent exposure. She was not charged, but was asked to write a letter of apology. (The town should apologize to her!)
It’s one of the most intriguing UFO “crash” cases of all time, which actually involves three separate episodes, starting in 1947 and continuing until today, but having its biggest impact in 1953. It even involves surviving human-alien occupants, gigantic forest fires which the ETs were thought to have been responsible for with the crash of their craft, and their escape from a guarded underground jail cell.
This has to be one of the greatest UFO mysteries of all time, but it is a case that has been pooh-poohed by skeptics who have never even checked into this intriguing tale. So it pretty much went by the wayside until historian Harry Drew stepped in and took matters into his own hands. His investigation has lasted over six years and is still ongoing.
The story of Kingman’s incredible UFO incident is a long and winding one, and is told in all its glorious detail in the massive, 538-page, oversized book, “Alien Lives Matter – It’s OK To Be Grey.” with its twenty odd contributors, including the authors of this article. Weighing in at 3.5 pounds, this is not a coffee table book – this is the coffee table!
The book is broken into two parts: Some call these cases mere “Urban Legends,” but, in shocking contrast, they are “all too real!” Over 20 of the world’s leading UFOlogists establish that humans have done battle with aliens over and over again, shooting at them, molesting them, hitting them, running them over, unleashing dogs upon them, and injuring — even killing them — through any means possible, as humans try to combat their fear of the unknown. In multiple instances, the aliens have fought back on land, in the air and in the seas. They have sought revenge, and, more often than not, gotten it, as these documented cases illustrate.
IS THERE A BLACK UFO EXPERIENCE?
The second part of the book’s “mission” is to dispel the concept held by many that African-Americans are not prone to have UFO experiences or to hold a belief or interest in the subject. Prof. Stephen Finley, of the University of Louisiana, explains how UFOs are part of the overall “Black experience.” Ours is a salute to the unsung “patriots of UFOlogy,” who have not been given the credit they deserve for their work in this field. We will cover this topic thoroughly in another piece.
KINGMAN WAS ONCE A GHOST OF A TOWN
Back when all the UFO activity got started, Kingman, AZ, was a “ghost of a town,” with about 3000 residents and a military base that had been closed for a while.
Of all the alleged UFO retrieval cases that have come to my attention, one incident – which is actually several incidents rolled up into one dynamic case – stands out, at least to us, above the rest.
This is a five star ***** case in anybody’s book – especially in ours!
It contains so many riveting elements that it’s hard to believe all these events took place over a period stretching from the late 1940s to 1953, but still continue in the area to this day for those “insiders” who are willing to persist in their investigations.
These “riveting elements” include:
** – An aerial overflight with a squadron of eight UFOs in fight formation.
** – At least one “UFO crash,” and two other “soft landings,” all documented and verified.
** – The connection between not one but two fierce forest fires and arson possibly caused by the arrival of “outside agitators.”
** – An incident in which human-looking Ultra-terrestrials were sighted in the area and taken into “protective custody,” only to have them vanish under the strangest of circumstances.
** – The disembarking in a “peculiar vehicle” to points unknown by unknown alien allies.
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AN ATOMIC BOMB TEST
No one can be a hundred percent certain why Kingman attracted so much – almost maniacal – attention from the “sky people,” though an atomic bomb test in a neighboring state may have drawn them to the area.
One witness, Judith Ann Wolcott, has gone on record with the following proclamation concerning an atomic bomb test and the sighting of a UFO in close proximity.
“On May 19, 1953, at 05:05 AM local time, at Yucca Flat, Nevada, around 175 miles north of Kingman, one of a series of nuclear tests under the umbrella code-named Upshot-Knothole was set off. Sunrise that day was around 6:21, so, at the time of the blast the whole of the night sky was dark except for a slight pre-dawn glow along the eastern horizon. Within seconds of the blast some sort of a dark airborne object moving at an ultra-high rate of speed swept past to the east, traveling in a southerly direction almost as though it came from the test site tracking on a slightly downward trajectory and headed toward the mountains to the south.
“As the object lost altitude, suddenly a huge flash of light lit up the sky in the nearby mountains forward of the southern horizon. All along the object appeared to be unsteady, fairly thin, and possibly flat-circular. Although the sun was below the horizon the object was still high enough that it was able to catch the direct rays of the sun, wobbling enough that it was able to throw off a brilliant glint of sunlight from some portion of its underside as it tipped upward only to disappear as it tipped back. The flash of light near the base of the mountains was soon followed by a sound like a single clap of thunder.”
One individual has gone a long way in convincing me that that a series of UFO “crashes” outside the town of Kingman, AZ, might well be the most important UFO recovery case of all time, far surpassing even Roswell in notoriety and documentation.
We shall hear from historian Harry Drew as we continue down one long sandy desert road to find out the truth about the UFO retrieval at Kingman.
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Turning back the clock to Friday, May, 22, 1953, the headline on the front page of the “Prescott Courier” cried out –
“DON’T LOOK NOW, BUT FLYING SAUCERS RETURN”
While the header just over the story itself reads: – “OBJECTS NOTED IN FORMATION FOR FULL HOUR”
FULL TEXT RELATED TO THE KINGMAN INCIDENT
“Return of Flying Saucers over Prescott with graphic accounts of their capers in the skies were reported here Friday to give credence to the stories of spaceships possibly from the outer world.
“Three reliable Prescott residents, one of whom previously scoffed at the stories of flying saucers and spaceships, were a bit reluctant Friday to tell of their witnessing the acrobatics of a ‘herd’ of these mysterious objects.
“The men, Bill Beers, president of the Prescott Sportsmen’s Club, Ray Temple, a post office employee, and O. Ed Olson, told of watching eight disc-like objects in the sky Thursday morning.
“The three had gone to Del Rio Springs Creek, some thirty miles north of the city, to check for trout placed in the stream for this week’s children’s fishing derby when they noticed the objects. They couldn’t believe what they saw: eight flying saucers appearing simultaneously.
“Temple was first to see the saucers and called them to the attention of his companions. Temple and Beers both gave a description of the objects and their activity to a Courier reporter.
“Beer, who has flown planes in the past 20 years, said the objects could not possibly have been planes, birds or balloons. He said that until yesterday he had pooh-poohed reports on flying saucers, but he was ‘no longer a skeptic.’
“Beers said the objects appeared to be about 10,000 feet in the air, but it was hard to judge not knowing the size of the craft.
“Both Beers and Temple said two of the discs remained alone and stationary during the hour as they were observed around 10 AM yesterday morning. The two stationary objects swooped around in formation, broke formation, ‘peeled-off’ and shot directly up and down in a manner that could not be duplicated by a plane. When the (eight crafts) moved, they varied from very slow to speeds faster than a jet plane, the observers reported.
“After performing these aerial acrobatics for an hour, all eight of the craft then sped off together toward Prescott.
“The day previous, March 20th, a woman and her granddaughter saw a ‘glowing object’ drifting over Copper Basin Road.”
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THE EARLY ELEMENTS OF THE STORY
As it turns out, the Kingman incident is a touchy subject indeed, as it has long been covered up to a large degree by a cloak of disinformation and deception, due to a large degree of ignorance on the part of those who have not bothered to check the “facts” on their own, but have simply relied upon the negative reports issued by others who have never been to the scene or looked into the history of the case. Truly, it is a an incident – actually, a series of incidents – with many layers, a mystery inside a riddle, that has remained for the most part hidden under the desert sands of Arizona for generations, but thanks to one individual the Kingman retrieval is now about to be revealed in a new light.
If it wasn’t for an article published more than halfway across the country twenty years after the incident is said to have taken place, we probably would never have had the opportunity to learn about the incident in question. The original reference comes from an article that appeared in the Farmington, Massachusetts, edition of the “Middlesex News,” published on April 23, 1973. It came to light because a young man was planning to do a science project for school. The article came to the attention of longtime UFO researcher Raymond Fowler, who followed up on the case and was able to locate the key witness to the retrieval who maintains that he was in the military and assigned to the scene for recovery purposes.
The man, first identified as Fritz Werner for “security purposes,” was later revealed as being Arthur Stansel. Meeting with Werner/Stansel, Raymond Fowler was able to get the witness to this incredible event to sign an affidavit swearing to his role in the Kingman incident. It is part of a 95-page report prepared by Fowler at the time for the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.
I, Fritz Werner, do solemnly swear that during a special assignment with the U.S. Air Force, on May 21, 1953, I assisted in the investigation of a crashed unknown object in the vicinity of Kingman, Arizona.
The object was constructed of an unfamiliar metal which resembled brushed aluminum. It had impacted twenty inches into the sand without any sign of structural damage. It was oval and about 30 feet in diameter. An entranceway hatch had been vertically lowered and opened. It was about 3-1/2 feet high and 1-1/2 feet wide. I was able to talk briefly with someone on the team who did look inside only briefly. He saw two swivel seats, an oval cabin, and a lot of instruments and displays.
A tent pitched near the object sheltered the dead remains of the only occupant of the craft. It was about 4 feet tall, dark brown complexion and had 2 eyes, 2 nostrils, 2 ears, and a small round mouth. It was clothed in a silvery, metallic suit and wore a skull cap of the same type material. It wore no face covering or helmet.
I certify that the above statement is true by affixing my signature to this document this day of June 7, 1973.
Signature: Fritz Werner Date Signed: June 7, 1973 Witnessed By: Raymond E. Fowler Date Signed: June 7, 1973
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Not one to rest on his laurels, Fowler attempted to substantiate the background of Stansel, which bought him in touch with such sources as Wright-Patterson AFB, Project Blue Book personnel, the Stanford Research Institute and “a number of persons within the military-industrial complex.” And while Fowler admits that “no additional witnesses could be found, the peripheral names, positions, tests, dates, and places mentioned within Mr. Werner’s personal account all check out exceptionally well.”
As part of the affidavit swore:
“On May 20, 1953, I worked most of the day at Frenchman Flat. In the evening, I received a phone call from the test director, Dr. Ed Doll, informing me that I was to go on a special job the next day. On the following day, around 4:30 P.M., I reported for special duty and was driven to Indian Springs Air Force Base near the proving ground where I joined about fifteen other specialists.
“There, we were put on a bus with other personnel who were already there. The bus windows were all blacked out, so that we couldn’t see where we were going. We rode for an estimated four hours. I think we were in the area of Kingman, Arizona, which is northwest of Phoenix and not too far from the Atomic Proving Ground in Nevada. During the bus trip, we were told by an Air Force full-Colonel that a super-secret Air Force vehicle had crashed and that since we were all specialists in certain fields, we were to investigate the crash in terms of our own specialty and nothing more.
“Finally, the bus stopped and we disembarked one at a time as our names were called, and escorted by military police to the area that we were to inspect. Two spotlights were centered on the crashed object, which was ringed with guards. The lights were so bright that it was impossible to see the surrounding area. The object was oval and looked like two deep saucers, one inverted upon the other. It was about thirty feet in diameter with convex surfaces, top and bottom. These surfaces were about twenty feet in diameter. Part of the object had sunk into the ground. It was constructed of a dull silver metal like brushed aluminum. The metal was darker where the saucer ‘lips’ formed a rim, around which were what looked like slots. A curved open hatch door was located on the leading end and was vertically lowered. There was a light coming from inside, but it could have been installed by the Air Force.
“My particular job was to determine, from the angle and the depth of impact into the sand, how fast the vehicle’s forward and vertical velocities were at the time of impact. The impact had forced the vehicle approximately twenty inches into the sand. There were no landing gear. There also were no marks or dents, that I can remember, on the surface – not even scratches. Questions asked, having nothing to do with our own special areas, were not answered.”
The complete account as abridged above can be found in “Casebook of a UFO Investigator” by Raymond Fowler (Prentice-Hall, 1981, page 199-203). It is also reprinted in its entirety in “Alien Lives Matter – It’s OK To Be Grey.”
THE DREW FACTOR
Harry Drew resides in Kingman, Arizona, right in the hub of all this unusual UFO-related “chaos” on the ground and in the sky. Drew is highly regarded for his professional ethics, impeccable credentials and trusted results as an old-fashioned, Indiana Jones-type of researcher who takes his fieldwork seriously and has an uncanny ability to ferret out the truth no matter how it‘s been distorted.
Drew is a Cultural Resource Specialist in Ancient Civilizations, a former Director and Curator of Museums of History, Anthropology and Archeology, as well as being a newspaper columnist and author of history for the past 40 years. Drew is also an experienced documentarian with expertise in visual media, photography, television and film production, and in the field of fine arts.
Drew’s current works on UFO history include his Terminal Approach™ DVD series: “Hidden in Plain Sight – The Kingman UFO Crashes”©; Bay Area UFO CON 2012 Presentation on “Hidden in Plain Sight – The Kingman UFO Crashes”© and Harry’s forthcoming fully illustrated book “7 Days in May – The Kingman UFO Story”© that is filled with high resolution color photos taken during his six years doing research and field work, as well as other new books and documentaries in production for future release. Visit Harry’s website for more information on his work.
After years of research, Drew uncovered evidence indicating that the Kingman UFO story was the blending of several UFO events, one about a UFO landing and the other about a UFO crash that
happened four days later. Then Drew discovered there had been a third UFO which crashed and was an event missed altogether by “outsiders,” because word about all three UFOs and what happened during those ”7 Days In May”™ 1953 was a closely guarded secret mutually agreed to by Kingman residents but denied to “nonlocals.”
The Kingman resident continues to find new evidence that reveals why UFOs were flying near Kingman, along with what caused the UFOs to suddenly fall from the sky, and the reason why the witnesses stayed mum and kept the entire story a secret. Drew’s illustrated book “7 Days In May™ – The Kingman UFO Story”© clarifies one of the most extraordinary UFO stories in US and world history.
A SERIES OF AMAZING EVENTS
“In 1947,” Harry Drew notes, “‘UFO attacks at Kingman made front page news two days before the Roswell UFO crash story broke, even mentioning the direction the saucers came from. Newspaper accounts of UFOs over Kingman thrived in July 1947, even before the incident at Roswell had gotten implanted in the public’s consciousness.”
On the 7th of July, near Port Kingman, Arizona, mystery lights were observed. A newspaper account states: “Mrs. Albert Steele of Rutland reported seeing an oval-shaped, multi-colored flying saucer hovering over the CVPS gas plant early Monday morning during a heavy rain storm. The center of the ‘saucer’ was so bright she could not look at it steadily for any length of time, she said. She awakened her husband, she said, and he looked out the window and then went back to bed. ‘I’m always waking him during storms,’ she said. ‘He usually goes back to sleep.”‘
ALIENS SURVIVE CRASH — FROM THE PRIVATE FILES OF HARRY DREW
June 21, 1950, there is a UFO crash one mile away from the later May 24, 1953 UFO crash on the north face of the 8,256 foot high Hualapai Mountain. In the 1953 crash, there were two aliens who survived but were injured and one thought to be dead. There were also two UFO crew members said to be posing as “ambulance drivers” who picked up several of their “companions” who have been locked up in protective custody but were seen wandering the streets of Kingman.
TWO MASSIVE FOREST FIRES
The first fire was in 1950, the second in 1953. Both involved “strangers” found wandering about seemingly “out of place,” and out of touch with reality. They were immediately thought of as having somehow been involved in setting the fires.
“There was,” Drew explains, “a massive forest fire caused by what locals swore was from a disc falling from the sky into dense forest land on Hualapai Mountain 16 miles ‘easterly’ of Kingman.
“And it was also Sheriff Porter who later had to deal with the 1953 Kingman UFOs; the last of the three UFOs to go down was the second of two that crashed. It went down mid-morning on May 24, 1953 and was witnessed by locals who described it as a disc falling from the sky and crashing into dense forest land on Hualapai Mountain, starting a massive forest fire right in front of everyone in Old Town Kingman! This UFO crashed one mile from where the 1950 UFO went down. These forest fires were fought by the same men using the same primitive equipment each time.”
According to a clipping supplied by Drew, “It is estimated that 14,000 to 16,000 acres have been burnt over. Six cattle have been found burned to death, and other cattle with burns which have been found are now being treated. A total of 440 men who helped fight the fire are recorded on the time sheets, and an estimated $12,000 to $14,000 cost to the government and county has been caused by the fire, the Bureau of Land Management reports.
“No guess as to the origin of the fire has been made, and it is still too early to make an investigation into the cause. According to the sheriff’s office, no trace has as yet been found of the three men that Captain John A. Warren of the National Guard reported bringing to Kingman. The men boarded an ambulance in front of the hospital, according to Warren, and that is the last that has been heard of them.
“A reporter for ‘The Miner’ checked the Mohave General Hospital at press time this afternoon and hospital manager Joseph A. Copps said that their institution had not treated a single person for injuries suspected in the firefighting operation.”
How about that then, dear folks?
Drew adds that the only two roads leading in and out of town were both closed. There was no such thing as ERs or Burn Centers at the time. There were no other hospitals close by and those hospitals that existed were a considerable distance from Kingman, but they were contacted and asked if several men and been treated for burns. The few hospitals within the region reported no burn victims were seen or treated during the timeframe in question. Nor did any of the hospitals observe any vehicles resembling an ambulance, as had been said to have picked up the men.
AN INTERVIEW WITH A SURVIVING DEPUTY
“I am proud to say,” Drew continues, “that I did a supervised interview with the last surviving Deputy from this time period just before he passed away. Without leading this elderly man, he cooperated and volunteered clear recollections that matched information I was finding in my research and interviews with other witnesses. Of great interest was what happened early on when a Forest Service worker bringing up more supplies to fire crews noticed two individuals wearing some kind of coveralls (flight suits) who were also seen and described at the time by a third party, as ‘two strange looking men’ who were observed wandering aimlessly around, as if they were lost, or disoriented, right near where the forest fire had started (aka crash site).”
It was thought that they might have been arsonists!
TAKEN INTO CUSTODY – AND THEN THEY VANISHED!
“When these ‘two strange looking men’ were questioned by a Forest Service worker, they would not respond or even speak. Knowing there had been no thunderstorms and lightning (contrary to UFO tales told today), the Forest Service Worker suspected the fire was arson-related and the ‘two strange looking men’ were taken into custody and transported to the Sheriff’s office located in Old Town Kingman, where they were locked up inside a concrete vault built below ground level that has no openings except for a locked entry/exit door that is inside the Sheriff‘s office. This vault still exists and is located in the basement of the historic 1915 Courthouse, which has been off limits to the public for the past 35 years.
“I met with the Mohave County Court Security Chief and talked about documents I found detailing the layout of the Sheriff’s office in 1953. After describing some of the particulars in the documents to the Security Chief, he took me into the old Sheriff’s office and allowed me to enter restricted areas, shoot photographs of any area I wanted, including the oak chair the Forest Service worker sat on while waiting for the Sheriff, and then permitted me to enter, photograph and fully examine the interior of the concrete vault where two ETs vanished!
“Deputies knew the Sheriff would want to personally question the ‘two strange looking men’ and said that to the Forest Service worker, who then sat down on that oak chair I mentioned, still right by the door to the Detention Room (Concrete Vault). This was an extraordinary discovery for me. No changes after 60 years!
“When the Sheriff arrived and was briefed about what happened he no doubt had a flashback to what happened in 1947, then again in 1950. This had the same sulfur smell of being the hell he already went through and it was back again on May 24, 1953! Whether from a secret promise to himself, or to those with him at the Sheriff’s office, Sheriff Porter was ready to deal with this and did so just moments after stepping into the concrete vault to confirm the ‘two strange looking men’ who had been locked up inside had VANISHED without a trace. No one saw anything!”
THE REMOVAL OF THE CRAFT AND WHERE IT WAS TAKEN
Harry Drew points out, and rightfully so, that there has been a great deal of conjecture about how the craft that came down were removed, how they were able to make the journey over such seemingly rough terrain, and where all the recovered objects ended up. The retrieval is a fascinating mystery in itself. The wherefores can all be found in the works of Mr. Drew, on his web site and in the various interviews he has given to us and others. https://www.kingmanufocrashes.com/
Interviews with Harry Drew On Our YouTube Channel, “Mr UFOs Secret Files”