UFO Landing Near Kirtland Air Force Base: Welcome to the Cosmic Watergate

Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

Part 3: What The AFOSI Agent Told Me

Although I had received a copy of Source A in 1983, it was not until the early spring of 1984 that I was able to personally talk to Doty about its accuracy. I wanted to find out if there was any further information and, in particular, if an investigation had been carried out. The implications of such an event seemed so important that I couldn't imagine that the local AFOSI office, or Doty himself, would simply file the information supplied by others without checking up on it. I was at Kirtland Air Force Base attending a meeting so, during a break in the meeting, I went to the AFOSI office and, quite unannounced, confronted Doty at his office. I showed him the document and said I would like to ask him some questions about it. He invited me into his office and we talked; or, more accurately, I asked questions and he gave brief answers to many of the questions and refused to answer others.

The discussion (Source B) ranged over several topics besides the Aug. 8-9 landing. For example, he said that the landing was only one of a number of incidents in the area over the years, but he wouldn't tell me about any of the others. In my previous studies of early cases in the southwest I had run across the name Edward A. Doty, who is mentioned in the final report an Project Twinkle. (Project Twinkle had been set up in the late 1940's and early 1950"s to obtain data an the green fireball phenomena and other objects that were seen near military installations in the southwest.) In 1951 Edward Doty was a Major and he was stationed at Holloman AFB, where he was involved with the Project Twinkle investigations. I mentioned the name Edward Doty and asked Richard if Edward was his father. Richard confirmed that Edward was his father. (Note: I subsequently learned that actually Edward Doty was not his father but another relative.) He then told me that he had discussed UFO sightings with his father. I also learned that Richard had been quite "famous" for a short period of time after Source A was released because of the widespread media interest. With regard to the Aug. 8-9 landing itself, one of the first things Doty said was that he endorsed the accuracy of every statement in Source A. I questioned him further on his endorsement and he simply reiterated that "everything was correct to the best of his knowledge" or words to that effect. This surprised me somewhat, since the document really only quotes the statements of others, so I asked him if he had confirmed the accuracy of the document by talking to the witnesses and he said that he had. More explicity, he said that he personally investigated the landing. I asked him if he carried out a "good" investigation, i.e., by going to the locations of the sightings with the witnesses, estimating angles, sizes, directions of sighting lines, etc. I was particularly interested in the landing itself and whether or not he had stood where the guard had stood in order to estimate the size of the object. He said that he had gone to the spot, but he would not give me any details beyond what was in the document. He simply said that he was sure that the guard saw what was reported, and again he endorsed the accuracy of the document. Upon further questioning about his investigation he told me that there was a larger report and that what I had was only a preliminary report." I asked if he had a copy and he said no, he hadn't retained a copy, but that he had sent all the material to headquarters. It seemed strange to me that he wouldn't keep a copy of whatever information he had an the sighting, but I could see I would get nowhere by pressing him. He suggested that I write to HQ/AFOSI for all releasable information. I asked him if the report were classified and he said he couldn't comment on the classification. I made the question a little less direct by asking if he thought it might be compartmented and he sort of chuckled and said that it probably was. What he didn't say, but what may be inferred from his admission is that if it is compartmented, then the report was classified Top Secret and only people with certain clearances ("tickets" to a compartment) would have access to the document. (Such documents are beyond the reach of the FOIPA under ordinary circumstances.)

When I left Doty I was convinced that the previously released document is accurate. I decided to do a little investigating on my own. Although I didn't expect any further help from Doty, at least, there was nothing in his attitude which made me suspect that I would run into any interference from him. One further thing I had learned from him was that I couldn't simply drive to the landing site because it was inside a restricted area. This fact led me to the first direct evidence of a "cover up."

Part 4: The Investigation Begins

Within the day after my first meeting with Doty I decided to try to visit the landing site myself. Although the landing site was in a restricted area, I thought that I could enter the area if I had an escort or permission from Russ Curtis. Two days after my first conversation with Doty I called him on the telephone to ask general directions to the landing site. He sounded doubtful about the possibility that I could get into the area to see it, but nevertheless he told me it was about 5 miles east of the Manzano Storage area and, more specifically, that the alarmed structure mentioned in the document was the "furthest bunker to the left" along the road going into the canyon (Source C). This seemed specific enough for me and I went to the Sandia Base headquarters several hours later to ask Mr. Curtis if I could go to the landing site. I showed Curtis the document and mentioned that I investigated unusual events like this. After a brief glance at the document Curtis responded by saying that he couldn't let me into the restricted area to investigate an event (i.e., the landing) that had never happened. This response surprised me completely. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had said that he wouldn't let me go to the landing site for security reasons, but his denial of the information in Doty's report was something I hadn't expected. I questioned him further and he continued to deny that any Sandia guard had made such a report. He even went so far as to say that the first he had heard of the event was when Doty gave him a copy of the report (i.e., a copy of Source A). This statement was ridiculous an the face of it because Curtis is identified in the report as the source of information an the landing. Curtis stated that he knew which guards had been in the area at the time and that he had interviewed them after Doty had contacted him for information. He further stated that all the guards denied seeing any such object and that he gave written statements based on the interviews to Doty (Source D). I left Curtis feeling that he was trying to cover up something. (Note: After writing this I learned from Bill Moore that he had talked to Curtis in 1982. At that time Curtis did not deny the incident. but said, among other things, the "information of this nature is not normally handled through this office." A report by Moore on his interview of Curtis is presented in Appendix B.) I immediately went back to Doty's office and said "I've got a bone to pick with you. Curtis has denied the document." Doty looked surprised and said that he didn't know what Curtis' orders were with regard to talking about the landing, but that Curtis certainly knew about it. He pointed put that the guard was guaranteed anonymity and then he reaffirmed his previous statement that the document was accurate. He further stated that the guard had told him about what happened and that there was a lot more he couldn't tell me. I mentioned that Curtis had said he had given Doty copies of interviews with the Sandia guards and Doty agreed, describing them as a collection of two paragraph simple interviews.

Part 5: Freedom Of Information Act Requests

When I left Doty the second time I was convinced that there was much more to the landing than was reported in the "preliminary document" which had been released, and furthermore I was convinced that Doty had investigated the sighting himself. Otherwise, how could he be so sure of the accuracy of the document, even in the face of Curtis' rejection of it? I was also convinced that he had filed a much more detailed report. My problem was to get a copy of that report. I therefore wrote my first FOIPA request fr information on this matter (Feb. 20, 1984). In it I asked for a clean copy of the already released landing document and then asked for "a copy of the follow-on report filed by the AFOSI agent, including copies of witness interviews and on-site investigations as well as any conclusions regarding the nature of the object/phenomenon." I asked the FOIPA officer (Noah Lawrence) to forward my request to the office which possessed the follow-on document if it weren't at HQ/AFOSI. I concluded my request with the statement "In the event that the report has been treated as compartmented information, please so indicate in your response." I included this statement because Doty had suggested that it was compartmented, in which case it wouldn't be released under the FOIPA. However, I hoped that Lawrence might confirm the existence of the document by stating its classification even if he wouldn't release it. Lawrence responded (Feb. 29) to my FOIPA request by sending me a clean copy of the released document, as I requested, plus several documents relating to the investigation of Dr. Paul Bennewitz, a scientist and entrepreneur who makes and sells certain types of test instruments. Dr. Bennewitz had claimed that he had seen and photographed strange aerial objects over the Manzano storage area, that he had recorded electromagnetic signals from the Manzano/Coyote Canyon areas, and that he even had evidence of contact with aliens who were flying the objects. These documents concerning Bennewitz were interesting because they indicated that the Air Force would investigate a civilian who claimed to have information about flying saucers. However, the information supplied by Bennewitz to the AFOSI investigators was not directly related to the Kirtland Landing which is the subject of this paper, so I will not discuss it further after pointing out the following:

a) The subject title of the Bennewitz documents was the same as the title of the landing document, "Kirtland AFB, NM, 8 Aug-3 Sep 80 Alleged Sightings of Unidentified Aerial Lights in Restricted Test Range", even though the date of the first Bennewitz interview was late October, 1980. Furthermore, Bennewitz did not specifically report on events during August 1980. Nevertheless. the inclusion of the Bennewitz material under the same heading suggests that the AFOSI considered that Bennewitz's information had bearing on, or was further confirmation of, UFO activity around Kirtland AFB in August 1980.

b) The first AFOSI agent who was contacted was none other than Richard Doty. He was contacted by Bennewitz "through Major Ernest E. Edwards", the same man who had supplied Doty with the information that Manzano guards had seen object landing in the Coyote Canyon area. Probably Bennewitz, who claimed that there was a threat against the Manzano area, first managed to reach Edwards and then Edwards, having already made contact with Doty because of the earlier sightings, immediately contacted Doty to inform him of the new information from Bennewitz.

(c) The date that Bennewitz contacted Doty was Oct. 24, 1980. On Oct. 26 Agent Doty and Jerry Miller visited Bennewitz. Miller, a former investigator who supplied information to Project Blue Book, the only publically-known Air Force UFO investigating agency (Blue Book ended in 1969), is described as "one of the most knowledgeable and impartial investigators of Aerial Objects in the southwest." According to the first Bennewitz, document, which is dated Oct. 28, Bennewitz showed some film of aerial objects flying over and around the Manzano Weapons Storage Area and Coyote Canyon. According to the document, Miller, after analyzing the data, concluded that the film clearly shows some type of unidentified aerial objerts." The period of time covered by the evidence provided by Bennewitz was 15 months. Thus it is surprising that the title of the Bennewitz documents only referred to the "alleged landings" of 8 Aug-3 Sep, a period of only one month out of the fifteen covered by Bennewitz.

d) the AFOSI convened a second meeting with Bennewitz on 10 Nov 1980. The meeting included a Brigadier General several Colonels, a Major, an instrumentation specialist, and Dr. Lehman, the Director of the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland AFB. This sounds like a "powerful" group to discuss a subject as officially uninteresting to the USAF/AFOSI as UFO reports. The fact that all of this attention was given to Bennewitz suggests that the events of August 1980 were treated seriously and may even have "scared" the AFOSI.

Although the AFOSI may have treated the investigation seriously, ultimately nothing came of the Bennewitz investigation, so far as I could determine.

NOTE 2000: in the late 1980's Bill Moore stated that Bennewitz had been the subject of a disinformation plan. Perhaps this was because with his elecronic listening devices he had detected classified radio signals emanating from Kirtland AFB, signals which had nothing to do with UFOs but which were, nevertheless, something that the Air Force wanted to keep secret. At any rate the Bennewitz story is far more complicated than has been indicated in this paper.)
Returning to the main subject of this paper, I found that the clean copy of the landing document was interesting, even though it revealed no new information about the events described in Part 1. It was interesting because of the change in classification. The originally "leaked" version was classified SECRET with the word SECRET at the top of each page and at the bottom of the second page. The bottom of the first page was stamped FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. The clean copy released by Lawrence had no evidence of a SECRET stamp although it did have the FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY stamp. I compared the new, clean copy with the original copy of a copy and determined by comparison of typed and handwritten letters and numbers that the word SECRET must have been stamped onto copies of the original report, and that the original report was only marked FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. Thus it appears that someone decided that the landing document contained material that should be classified secret.

I wrote another letter (March 6) in which I thanked Mr. Lawrence for the clean copy and then pointed out that he hadn't responded to the second part of my original request, which was for the follow-on document or "final report" of the landing incident. I also asked him to define the terms DC II and HQ CR 44, which appear in the landing document. Lawrence responded (March 14) saying "AFOSI is not maintaining any additional information pertaining to the incident at the Manzano Weapons Storage Area." He also gave definitions of the terms I had mentioned: DC II stands for Defense Central Index of Investigations and HQ CR 44 "is an abbreviation for Headquarters Collection Requirement Number 44." Lawrence did not state the type of information is requested (required) by CR 44. However, I obtained a sanitized version of CR 44 and found that it outlines the types of information that must be reported when any incident occurs in an area where nuclear weapons are stored or otherwise used. HQ CR 44 has been further described in Part II of this paper. I wrote another letter (March 24) in which I asked Lawrence to be specific as to whether he meant that only HQ AFOSI had no further documents, or whether he actually meant that no office of the AFOSI had further information. In the event that no AFOSI office had the information, I asked him to refer back to my original FOIPA request in which I had asked for my letter to be forwarded to the office where the final report resides. I then asked for the name of that organization. I also asked for copies of all correspondence between his office and other offices or organizations "which have been generated by my request," for a statement of policy under which an investigation of an event such as the landing incident would be carried out, for a statement of policy regarding what is done with reports of investigations of this nature, for definitions of the abbreviations HQIVG, HQIVOS. and HQIVOSP which appear in the landing and Bennewitz documents, and finally I asked for the clearance level of the "Chief, Information Release Division" (i.e., of Lawrence).

Lawrence responded (Apr. 6) that no AFOSI office had a follow-on document or final report and that he was not aware of any reports maintained by other government agencies. He also stated that there was no correspondence with other offices of agencies that resulted from my FOIPA request. With regard to the Air Force policy he claimed that "AFOSI does not investigate alleged sightings of unidentified flying objects." He further stated that "most AFOSI records, excluding certain counterintelligence records are maintained for 15 years. The file released to you on February 19, 1984 will be destroyed at the end of 1995." He defined HQ IVO as the functional address indicator (FAI) for Directorate of Counterintelligence, HQ AFOSI; HQ IVOS as the FAI for the Security Projects Division, Counterintelligence Directorate, HQ AFOSI; and HQ IVOSP as the FAI for the Security Programs Branch, Security Projects Division, Counterintelligence Directorate, HQ AFOSI. Finally he stated that all AFOSI personnel have Top Secret clearances and ended his letter with the statement, "We can be of no further assistance to you regarding this matter."

Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

Top of Page

© copyright B. Maccabee, 2000. All rights reserved.