Form: 97 Research Report
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 12:06:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: May 21, 1953; Kingman, Arizona (UFO Crash)
Cat: 6

The reader might want to check out my web site at which has all sorts of UFO stuff on it.
Before reading this report you must be aware that I have little faith in anything that Don Schmitt has said. He provided me with notes about his witness but never gave me any original documents. So, the reliability of that small section will be questioned.

I do have a thick file on Kingman and the date according to the notes, and a copy of the desk calendar shows that the Ed Doll suggests May 21. Doll came about through Fowler's Arthur Stansel (which Ray had left out of most of his reports) who is the main witness.

Kevin D. Randle


The alleged crash of a disc-shaped craft near Kingman, Arizona, could be ignored if it had only a single witness. When first reported, by Raymond Fowler in the April 1976 issue of Official UFO, it seemed to be one of those reports that would go nowhere. Without corroboration of some kind, it would be impossible to accept.

Fowler, however, accepted the report because he had interviewed the witness, had a signed affidavit and a few other supporting documents. The evidence was flimsy, but it did exist. And that put Fowler ahead of most of those who had found a single-witness UFO crash.

The first interview of the witness was conducted on February 3, 1971, by Jeff Young and Paul Chetham, two young men with an interest in UFOs.1  In fact, in a newspaper article published in the Framingham, Massachusetts, edition of the Middlesex News, Young was identified as a boy writing a book about UFOs for juveniles. The article mentioned that Young had interviewed a man who had claimed that he worked with Project Blue Book, the air force's UFO study, and had made contact with a spaceship.2

According to Young, the witness, later given the pseudonym "Fritz Werner" by Fowler to protect his identity, had been at the site of a flying saucer crash about twenty years earlier. Werner, according to the information he provided, was a graduate engineer who had degrees in mathematics and physics and a master's degree in engineering.3

During the interview Werner first told of just seeing a UFO during one of the atomic tests in Nevada. He and his colleagues had been drinking beer when they heard a humming and whistling noise and ran outside. The object, coming toward them, hovered for a while, but they couldn't tell much about it because it was night.

During the initial interview Werner told Young that he had worked for Project Blue Book. He speculated that Blue Book was created because the air force "was getting too much publicity and there were too many people, other than official people seeing these things and reporting them."4

When Young and Chetham finally asked specifically about the UFO crash in Arizona, Werner said, "The object was not built by anything, obviously, that we know about on Earth. This was in 1954 [actually 1953]. At that time I was out of the atomic testing, but I was still with the Air Force and this was the time I was on Blue Book. There was a report that there was a crash of an unexplained vehicle in the west and they organized a team of about forty of us. I was one of the forty."5

According to Werner, he had been alerted "through official channels and on a private phone line from the base commander at Wright Field [Wright-Patterson] saying that you're a member of Blue Book and we would like for you tomorrow to get on a plane, go to Chicago and from there to Phoenix." According to Wemer, the object had crashed about twenty-five miles from Phoenix.

The object was twelve feet long and fairly intact, according to Werner. "It was more like a teardrop-shaped cigar ... it was like a streamlined cigar." It was made of a material that Werner said he'd never seen, and it was dull.

Young mentioned that there had been stories of an object crashing in Arizona and that one person had claimed to have photographed an occupant in a silver spacesuit. Werner responded, saying, "I saw the creature you're talking about. It was real and I would guess about four feet tall."

Werner described the creature as being dark brown and speculated that the skin might have darkened because of exposure to chemicals in the atmosphere. He saw two eyes, nostrils, and ears. The mouth looked as if it was used "strictly for feeding,"6 though Werner didn't explain how he knew that. He hadn't gotten a good look at the body because at the rime he saw it, the military had already moved it into a tent.

Once he left the crash site, Werner wasn't through with UFOs. According to the second part of the interview, Werner claimed to have later made contact with other beings from the saucers. It seemed that Werner had not only seen the one body, but later conversed with the flying saucers. Wemer told Young: "Now we're getting into things where you'll just have :o take my word for it because I can't ... prove it."7

Raymond Fowler, who later learned of the report through _:e newspaper, had figured it was just another tall UFO tale. He received a couple of phone calls about it from friends in-: rested in the case and then decided to look into it.8  Fowler contacted the witness and set up his own interview.

Werner told a slightly different version of the story to Fowler. None of the changes seemed significant at the time, and most could be explained as the normal shifts in the retelling of a tale. However, Werner made some disturbing claims.

According to Werner, he was working in the Frenchman Fiats area of Nevada when he was called by his boss, Dr. Ed Doll, and told he had a special assignment. Wemer boarded an aircraft at Indian Springs Air Force Base, north of Las Vegas, and was flown to Phoenix. Once in Phoenix, he was put on a bus with others who had already gathered. They were warned not to talk among themselves and then were driven into the desert to the northwest.

The windows of the bus were blacked out so that the passengers couldn't see where they were going. Werner believed  they drove for about four hours until they reached an area near Kingman, Arizona. Night had fallen before they reached their final destination.

When the bus stopped, they climbed out, one at a time, as their names were called. Although they had been told not to talk to one another, here was an officer supplying the names of all those on the bus by calling them out. It would provide those involved with a way of learning more about the assignment after they were returned to their regular duties because they had the names of others on the bus. That seemed to be a curious way to maintain security. It was a major breach. It also suggested the first of the problems with the Kingman report.

Werner was escorted from the bus by military police. Two spotlights illuminated an object that looked like two deep saucers pressed together at the rims. It was about thirty feet in diameter and had a dark band running around the center. The craft was dull, looking as if it was made of brushed aluminum. Werner estimated that the craft weighed about five tons.

There was no landing gear visible on the underside of the object and no sign of damage to it, although it had slammed into the ground. Werner could see no dents, scratches, or marks on the surface.

The only sign of impact was the evidence from the desert floor and the fact that a hatch seemed to have sprung open when the saucer crashed. Werner said the hatch was curved and the interior of the ship was bright, but that could have been because of lighting installed by the air force.

Werner made his examinations, including measurements of the trench the ship had gouged out of the sand, the compression factors of the sand, and the estimated weight of the ship. He believed that the craft had been traveling about twelve hundred miles an hour when it struck the ground.

According to Werner, as each specialist finished his examination of the craft, he was interviewed in front of a tape recorder and then escorted back to the bus. None of the others were allowed to listen to his debriefing, and he was not allowed to listen to theirs.

Before he got to the bus, Werner saw a tent that had been erected on the site, guarded by armed military policemen. Inside the tent was a single body of a four-foot-tall humanlike being. Werner said that it was wearing a silver suit that had a "skullcap" that covered the back of the head but left the face visible and unprotected. The skin of the face was dark brown, but again Werner thought the coloration might be a result of exposure to the Earth's atmosphere or the effects of the crash,

On the way to the bus Werner had the chance to talk to one of the others. The man had looked inside the craft. He'd seen swivellike seats and instruments and displays, but that was about all. Before Werner learned much more from the man, one of the guards saw them talking and separated them, warning
them not to compare notes. On the bus, everyone was required to take an oath of secrecy. They were not to talk about what they had seen or done. They were then returned to Phoenix and their regular assignments.9

Wemer supplied a long professional resume that listed not only his engineering status but his educational background and a list of professional publications.10  It suggests that Werner is a highly trained engineer, and it doesn't seem likely that he would jeopardize his professional standing with a hoax about a flying saucer crash. However, since he didn't want his name used, it could be argued that he was not jeopdizing anything. In fact, Fowler, in his report to the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, documented a number of contradictions between what Werner told him and what he had said to Young during the first interview.11  The major problem was that Werner originally reported that the object as twelve feet long and five feet high and looked like a tear-drop with a flat bottom.

Fowler pointed out that Werner told him that the object as disc-shaped, thirty feet in diameter, and about twenty feet from top to bottom. Fowler writes:

When confronted with this contradiction, the witness appeared flustered for the first time and said that he had described the object he had seen over Thule, Greenland, to the boys [Young and Chetham]. I reminded him that he had described the Thule sighting to me as having been a black disc seen at a distance. He started to insist until I produced the copy of the transcript, which clearly indicated that he had described the crashed object, not the Thule object, to the boys. At this point, he backed down and admitted that he had lied to the boys. He said that the description given me was accurate because I was really conducting a serious investigation into the matter. In my opinion, this is the most significant and damaging contradiction without a completely adequate explanation.12

There were a series of other discrepancies between what Werner told Fowler and Young and Chetham. Most of them could be attributed to memory lapses, or, as Werner suggested, his exaggerations to the boys. It wasn't that he was intentionally trying to mislead them, he just wanted to tell them a good story.13

For Fowler, he produced a page from his daily calendar dated May 20 and 21, 1953. It seemed to corroborate part of the story. The entries said: "May 20—Well, pen's out of ink. Spent most of the day on Frenchman's Flat surveying cubicals and supervising welding of plate girder bridge sensor which cracked after last shot. Drank brew in eve. Read. Got funny call from Dr. Doll at 1000. I'm to go on a special job tomorrow."14

The only interesting point was the reference to the special job given to him by Dr. Doll. That could refer to practically anything at all.

"May 21—Up at 7:00. Worked most of the day on Frenchman with cubicals. Letter from Bet. She's feeling better now—thank goodness. Got picked up at Indian Springs AFB at 4:30 P.M. for a job I can't write or talk about."15

Again, there is nothing there to suggest that Werner was involved in a crash retrieval, only that he had some kind of special assignment. And yes, it does seem strange that he would note in his unclassified desk calendar that he was involved in a special project.

Fowler, to his credit, tried to verify as much of the story as he could. He tried to verify Werner's claim that he had worked with Blue Book. Fowler, in his report to NICAP, explained that he had spoken with Dewey Fournet, a former Pentagon monitor for Project Blue Book. Fournet told Fowler that he didn't know the witness's name, but he didn't know all the consultants assigned to Blue Book.16

Since that proved nothing either way, Fowler talked to Max Futch, who had been a temporary chief of Blue Book. Futch said that he thought that he had known all the consultants and didn't remember Werner being among them.17

On the other hand, Fowler called three friends of Wemer's as character witnesses. Each of them said essentially the same thing: Werner was a good engineer and a trusted friend, and he never lied or exaggerated.18

However, noticing the differences between his interview and that conducted by Young, Fowler had his doubts. Fowler said that he met Werner at his office on May 25, 1973, to discuss the problems with him. Werner claimed that the discrepancies were the result of mixing up the dates, which he later corrected by checking his diary.

Werner also said that he had been under the influence of four martinis when he talked to the boys. When he drinks, he said, he exaggerates and stretches the truth. Fowler checked with Young and was told that Werner had only had one beer on the day that he was interviewed. Of course, Werner could have had his four martinis before the boys arrived. While they were there he only consumed the one beer.

But what Werner had done was shoot down his own credibility. His friends said that they had never known him to exaggerate, but he had said he did, after he had been drinking.

It began to look as if this story was just like the one told by Gerald Anderson. No independent corroboration for it, and when the story was checked, those checks failed to produce results. Werner's explanations for the failure of the corroboration left a great deal to be desired.

William Moore, co-author of The Roswell Incident, in his 1982 presentation at the MUFON Symposium, reported:

Fowler's source, the pseudonymous "Fritz Werner" [whose real first name and some of his background are known to me] claimed that on the evening of May 20, 1953, he received "a phone call from [his superior] Dr. Ed Doll, informing [him] that [he] was to go on a special job the next day." When I asked Fowler if he had checked this part of the story with Dr. Doll, he responded that his efforts to locate Doll had been unsuccessful.19

In fact, in his report, Fowler said that he had confirmed that Doll existed, that Doll had been an employee of the Atomic Energy Commission and had been at the Stanford Research Institute. It seems unlikely that Werner would name a man for corroboration who could, if found, tear his story apart quickly, but that was what Anderson had done with Dr. Buskirk.

Moore said that it took him just four days to locate Doll, and that he met with him on October 9, 1981. Moore asked him what he knew about the incident near Kingman, and Doll said that he knew nothing about it. Moore then asked him about Werner, using his real name, and wrote: "I was somewhat taken aback by his flat statement that no one of such a distinctive first name and rather distinguished technological background had ever worked for him at the Nevada Test Site."20

Moore then dismissed the Kingman story, writing: "I don't know quite what to make of this case ... since my own investigations into the matter have produced nothing but dead ends ... I am inclined to spend my time pursuing more productive matters."21

The single glaring error in Moore's analysis is the claim that Fowler's source has a distinctive first name. In the past year, I have located a signed copy of the affidavit, along with the professional resume, and a full analysis of the case by Fowler.22  In other words, I have Fowler's source's name, and there is nothing distinctive about it. It seems that Moore's claims about the case might be without foundation.

Len Stringfield found another witness who corroborates part of the Kingman story. According to Stringfield's monograph "Retrievals of the Third Kind," a Cincinnati researcher, Charles Wilhelm, said that a man identified only as "Major Daly" had told Wilhelm's father that in April 1953 he had been flown to an unknown destination to examine the remains of a crashed flying saucer. He had been blindfolded and driven to a point out in the desert where it was hot and sandy. Inside a tent the blindfold was removed and he was taken to another location where he saw a metallic ship, twenty-five to thirty feet in diameter. He saw no signs of damage. He spent two days analyzing the metal from the ship, which he claimed was not native to Earth.23

Daly was not allowed to enter the ship, though he did note that the entrance, or hatch, was about four or five feet high and two to three feet wide, and was open. When he finished his analysis, he was escorted from the area.

Daly's information didn't agree exactly with that given by Werner, but it is close enough. It seems to provide some corroboration for the Kingman crash story. The real problem is that it is secondhand, and that moves us right back into the realm of Gerald Anderson. His story seemed to be corroborated by a series of secondhand sources, all of whom were unavailable for independent review.

More secondhand information about Kingman came from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. A woman who worked in the Parachute Branch (WCEEH-1) reported that a sergeant who had the special clearance needed to enter their offices claimed that he had just come in on a flight from the Southwest. Thinking about it years later, she had believed he was talking about the Roswell crash, but an examination of her records, supplied to me, showed that she had not been working at Wright-Patterson until the early 1950s.24  Besides, according to sources involved in the Roswell case, the flight with the bodies didn't fly directly to Ohio, but landed in Washington, D.C., first.

Further checking suggested that the incident she remembered took place in late 1952 or early 1953. The sergeant told all the people in that small office about bringing in alien bodies.25  Naturally, the people in the office didn't believe the story because it was so outrageous.

Within an hour, however, the base commander, Colonel (later Brigadier General) C. Pratt Brown, 26  arrived at the office. He explained that the story the sergeant told was just rumor and speculation and that no one was to repeat these wild rumors anywhere. In fact, he brought an official form for them to sign, explaining that they were not to repeat what they had heard under penalty of a $20,000 fine and twenty years in jail.27

The problem is clearly that the secretary did not remember the exact time frame or location. To suggest this was part of the Kingman case, we must resort to speculation based on the limited documentation of her employment experience at Wright-Patterson. The only reported crash that fits into the time frame is the Kingman event, and the connection is very weak.

The Kingman case has been blundering along on the periphery of legitimacy for a number of years. It would be easy to write off, especially with the problems of the Werner account, if not for another source, this one discovered by Don Schmitt. (See my note at beginning of report)

During research into the abduction phenomenon, he learned of a woman, Judy Woolcott, whose husband had written her a strange letter from Vietnam in 1965, believing that he wouldn't be coming back from overseas.28

According to her memory of the letter, he had seen something strange twelve years earlier. Judy Woolcott thought that it had been August 1953, and although she might be mistaken about the month, she was sure that it happened near Kingman. Her husband, a professional military officer, was on duty in an air base control tower. They were tracking something on radar. It began to lose altitude, disappeared from the screen, and then in the distance there was a bright flash of white light.

Woolcott wrote that the MPs began talking about something "being down." Woolcott and most of the men in the tower left the base in jeeps. They drove in the general direction of the flash, searching. Eventually they came upon a domed disc that had struck the ground with some force, embedding itself in the sand. There didn't seem to be any external damage to the craft, and there was no wreckage on the ground.

Before they had a chance to advance, a military convoy appeared. Woolcott and those with him were stopped before they could get close to the disc. They were ordered away from it and then escorted from the site. They were taken back to their base, where they were told that the event had never happened and they had never seen anything. Just as others have been, they were sworn to secrecy.

Woolcott didn't write much more in the way of detail. There didn't seem to be any external reason for the craft to have crashed, and he didn't see any bodies. But there was talk of them. Some of the military police said that there were casualties that were not human. Woolcott made it clear that he hadn't seen them, he'd just heard the talk.29

The letter indicated that he knew more but he didn't want to write it down. According to Judy Woolcott, about a week later she learned that he had been killed.
Here was a source who knew nothing about the Kingman case who was able to provide a little more information about it. Although the time frame was off slightly, it is interesting that she was sure of the location. During his interview with her, Schmitt said that she brought up Kingman, and that stuck because he thought of calling Ray Fowler when the interview ended.

No longer is the Kingman case built completely on the testimony of a single witness of dubious reliability. Werner seems to be a solid citizen and competent engineer who, by his own admission, tells tales when he has been drinking. Given that, it would be easy to write off Kingman as nothing more than a delusion by someone who occasionally drinks and tells tall stories.

The mere fact that nothing appears in the Kingman newspaper, as mentioned by Moore in his 1982 paper, might not be relevant. A search I conducted of the Las Vegas newspapers also failed to reveal a clue, but then, if the recovery was a military operation with no civilian participation or observation, the fact the newspapers failed to report it might not be important. The military might have been able to keep the whole story bottled up.

And now, with two other, independent sources that lead to Kingman, maybe it is time to reevaluate the case. It is interesting to note that Werner provided one date until he checked his desk calendar, finally providing researchers with a different month. Both Major Daly and Woolcott provided different months, but they did get the location and the year the same. This might be a case of close enough.

However, the testimony and documentation for the Kingman event is still thin. We have one firsthand source who might have been telling a story that mushroomed after it appeared in a local newspaper. We have two independent sources for some corroboration, but both are secondhand. Woolcott provides more documentation for the event, but there was never a chance to question him.

Unlike some of the reports of crashed saucers, the Kingman story does have multiple witnesses, limited documentation, and a living firsthand source. For all its faults, it is still better than the vast majority of the UFO crash/retrieval cases. Without more information, more corroboration, more firsthand sources, there is little that can be said for the Kingman case. Given what we now know, however, it seems that the report deserves more attention. The least we can do is try to verify some of it, or prove it to be a hoax.

Source: A History of UFO Crashes - Kevin Randle, 1995

1. Raymond Fowler, confidential report 53-2, submitted to NICAP in 1973. Copy in author's files.
2. Middlesex News, Framingham, Mass., April 23, 1973.
3. Fowler, confidential report 53-2, attachments 7 and 8, 1973.
4. Jeff Young, transcript of interview conducted on February 3, 1973, submitted as part of Fowler's report. Copy in author's files.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Fowler, report 53-2, 1973.
9. Raymond E. Fowler, "What About Crashed UFOs," Official UFO (April 1976): 55-57.
10. Fowler, report 53-2, attachment 7, 1973.
11. Fowler, report 53-2, 1973.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid.
14. Fowler, "Crashed UFO," p. 57.
15. Ibid.
16. Fowler, report 53-2, 1973.
17. Ibid.
18. Ibid. Based on various conversations.
19. William Moore, "The Roswell Investigation: New Evidence in the Search for a Crashed Saucer," MUFON Symposium Proceedings 1982 (Seguin, Texas: MUFON, 1982), pp. 103-104.
20. Moore, "Roswell Investigation."
21. Ibid.
22. The signed and witnessed statement was included in Fowler's initial report 53-2 to NICAP. Copy in author's files.
23. Leonard Stringfield, "Retrievals of the Third Kind: A Case Study of Alleged UFOs and Occupants in Military Custody," MUFON Symposium Proceedings 1978 (Seguin, Texas: MUFON, 1978), p. 90
24. Supporting documentation in author's files.
25. Personal interview conducted with source who requests anonymity.
26. Mueller, Active Bases.
27. Personal interview conducted with source who requests anonymity.
28. Judy Woolcott, personal interview conducted by Don Schmitt.
29. Ibid.