The Laredo UFO crash site photograph (above) with the 'Tomato Man' depicted in the left frame and sketched in the image on the left
The Laredo, Texas UFO Crash is a case in which at least two U.S. military aircraft allegedly chased a 90-foot diameter silver disc-shaped UFO across Texas before watching the object crash approximately 30 miles south-southwest of Laredo, Texas on July 7, 1948. U.S. servicemen were reportedly dispatched from a nearby military base to cordon off the UFO crash site until a special U.S. retrieval team arrived to examine the wreckage and carry it away to a military base in San Antonio, Texas. Supposedly, the badly burned body of a non-human entity was recovered from the crash site.
Much has been written about the strange body found in the Laredo UFO crash remains. He has been derisively called "Tomato Man" by the usual detractors in such cases. The fact is, this body was reportedly photographed in the remains of the UFO that came down in the crash.
U.S. Secretary of State, General George C. Marshall, reportedly intervened directly with the Mexican Government and obtained permission for U.S. Army personnel to recover the remains of a U.S."Special Test Vehicle" that had gone out of control and crashed in Mexico. Col. John W. Bowen, USAF (Retired), then Provost Marshall at Cars-well AFB, was sent over to take immediate charge of cordoning off and controlling the area. The bulk of the residue was picked up on big Army Transporter Trucks and hauled to San Antonio Air Depot for study.
But before removal, a special photographer with a very high security clearance was flown down from White Sands Missile Test Genter in New Mexico in a light weight, special slow-flight photo-liaison airplane. As soon as a complete set of 8"x1O" prints were made, Commander Smith took than and left for Washington and the photo people never saw him again. The source of the two photos furnished claimed he had 40 negatives in all showing this crash scene.
Information was extracted from a series of letters from the original photographer to MARCEN, a fledgling UFO Journal. The following is from that report:
"What that team observed and photographed was an unearthly-shaped craft made up of earthly-looking debris. The basic structure looked as if it could have been built by earthly hands. Things were badly burned by the time the photographers got to the site, but they noticed a complete absence of any type of wiring, rubber, glass, plastics, wood, or paper products.
"Our source noticed what was some supportive structures, which were held together by what appeared to be conventional bolts but when "the mechanics attempted to unscrew them with wrenches, they would not turn at all. They had to be eventually chiseled off and the metal was very hard, The Army was using carbide and diamond drills and diamond saws for the final disassembly. There appeared to be two kinds of metal involved. The first and most abundant could not be cut by the oxy-acety-lene cutting torches brought in. The second immediately began burning when the cutting torches were used on it.
"The structural skin of the craft was apparently blown away in the explosion when the device crashed as the whole valley was littered with fragments of what appeared to be foil, very much like our cigarette packages, only much harder. You could not bend the material-Before anyone could leave the site, the MPs searched them and confiscated all fragments that had been collected.
"As best the source could ascertain, the craft was nearly perfectly circular and was about 90 feet in diameter and about 28 feet in thickness at the center and tapering off to about 5 feet thick at the perimeter.
"There appeared to be 5 or six levels in the center of the craft and they were told some sort of instrumentation and machinery were removed before they had arrived. No propulsion system or mechanism was apparent to the source.
"There was only one body, and it was badly burned at that, still in the structure. Our source photographed it in place in the structure as best he could with the intense heat from the still smouldering remains • and the burning hot sand. After they had taken photos of the entire scene and attempted to use multiple flash guns and a tripod to record the overall scene from a nearby hillside, The Air Force crash and rescue firemen on the scene dragged the body from the craft and put it on a nearby bank so they could photograph it away from the intense heat.
"During their briefing, before photographic work began, one of the team members asked what this was and where it came from. The commander told him not to ask. An Army Captain who assisted them said the little fellow we were photographing did not come from this Earth.
"They only saw and photographed one body but rumors were floating around the site that two or more creatures had been blown out of the vehicle and were captured and taken away injured severely but still alive. Our source said he had no confirmation of this aspect of the case.
"The body they photographed was 4' 6" long. Its head was extremely large for the body size by human proportions. The eyes were gone from the fire but the eyesockets were much larger than in humans and were almost wraparound as if to give 180 degree vision. There were no visible ears or nose but there were openings where ears and nostrils would have been in humans. There were no lips and the mouth was just a sort of slit with no teeth or tongue. There were two legs of normal proportions with short feet having no discernible toes. The two arms were longer than in humans and the hands had four claw-like fingers each with no apparent thumbs. The arms and legs appeared to have joints in approximately the same places as in humans.
"There were two Army doctors that arrived on the morning of July 8th and they made a superficial examination of the body. Cur source listened to them while taking photos of their work. There was no teeth or tongue in the mouth and no apparent duct connecting the mouth to any part of digestive system. There was no reproductive organs visible by human standards. The most remarkable thing he overheard was that no stratified (sic) muscle fibre was discovered in any of the extremities. The tissue, which was gray in color was extremely smooth and the doctors compared its consistency to the tissue of a human female breast. They said that the bone structure in the extremities too was more complicated than in humans and speculated that motion may have been accomplished through the supporting bones instead of muscles. The entire abdomen was encased by a rib-like structure all the way to the hips. The doctors were amazed that the right arm extremity had a metallic joint at the elbow, No external examinations were made at the site.
"The hands each had four digits, longer than human fingers,and they tapered to an almost claw-like appearance at the tip. There were no opposing digits like thumbs. There was no visible evidence of toes and the feet came to a blunt point. The body appeared to have been clothed in a metallic-like material, most of which had been burned away.
"The doctors said there was no evidence of hair growing on the head or other areas of the body as they found no immediate evidence of hair roots. The only fluid found in the apparent veins in the extremities was colorless with a slight green cast and a strong sulfurous odor.
"Our source noticed a strong sulfurous odor and an ozone smell when working around the burning structure.
In November 1979, MARCEN was able to obtain the negative from which a print was made. This original negative was then analyzed by Kodak and other photo laboratories. Eastman Kodak concluded that their analysis indicated a negative that had been processed at least thirty years previously. Their tests also showed no evidence of deliberate hoaxing, at least photographically, in making the negative.
In May 1980 the contact sent a second negative shewing the body it lay in vegetation on a slope. That one was also examined and and found to be equivalent to the first. Now there were two photos.
On August 22, 1980 the photos were released to the Associated Press in two areas and to newspapers and broadcast stations.
After the release, most of the reaction was that this was a hoax though other photo analysis concurred Kodak's previous conclusions. As well, MARCEN was looked upon as the party responsible for initiating the ruse.
The crash site is about 30 miles SSW of Laredo not far from the highway to Mexico City, and near where the Rio Sabinas joins the Rio Salado before they empty into the Rio Grande, in The Sierra Madre Oriental.
Texas Monthly magazine recently included the Laredo UFO Crash on a list of the eight most significant UFO cases in Texas history. Interestingly, this case is said to have occurred almost exactly one year after the more famous Roswell UFO Incident. Rumors about this case first began circulating in the 1950s, although details were not widely known until 1977. This case shares similarities with the Del Rio, Texas UFO Crash of 1955 and the Coyame UFO Incident of 1974, both of which reportedly also occurred along the Texas-Mexico border.
Authors Noe Torres & Ruben Uriarte visit a debris field 6 miles north of Coyame, Mexico, where a small plane slammed into the Chihuahuan Desert, scattering parts over a quarter of a mile. This debris field may be related to the 1974 mid-air crash of a UFO and a small airplane in the Coyame area.
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The Coyame UFO Incident was a reported mid-air collision between a UFO and a small airplane. Some conspiracy theorists believe the UFO was retrieved by a United States rapid response team assembled by military and intelligence agencies.
On the evening of 25th August 1974 the US Air Defense radar detected a UFO about to cross into American airspace coming up from the Golf of Mexico. The object was tracked at speeds of up to 2500 mph at an altitude of 75,000 feet. Continuing on this course the object would enter US airspace over Texas.
At first it was thought that the object may be a meteor. However while over Mexico the UFO leveled at 45,000 feet, descended to 20,000 feet, leveling for 5 minutes at each altitude. After tracking the object for about a minute the UFO slowed to 1900 mph and began to descend and turn at the same time. The descent was “stepped” and not curved as a meteor would have been. Also the speed of the object changed, a meteor would not have changed speed on descent, i.e. slowed.
On entering Mexican airspace about 40 miles south of Brownsville, Texas, the US continued to track the object until it disappeared from the radar screens close to the town of Coyame, in the state of Chihuahua.
Two military radar stations tracked the object while it made its descent. When the UFO disappeared from the radar it was assumed that it had just gone below the radars detection range. No one expected this to be a UFO crash landing. The object failed to return onto the radar screens.
Fifty two minutes after the UFO disappeared from radar the first indication that a civilian aircraft had come down in the same vicinity was noted via civilian radio communications. Both the civilian aircraft and UFO had been in the same airspace at the same time. The civilian aircraft had been on route from El Paso to Mexico City and could not have been the same object that was tracked across the Gulf of Mexico.
Early the following morning, after the UFO crash, the Mexican authorities started the search for the missing aircraft. At about 10.30 a.m. a report came over the radio that the wreckage of the plane had been found. At about the same time a further report was of made that a second aircraft was on the ground a couple of miles away from the first. This second aircraft was circular in shape, in one piece and only slightly damaged. A few minutes later a radio silence on all search activity was ordered by the Mexican military.
Radio intercepts were made by the CIA and by maybe two or three other US agencies, it is thought that the intercepts refered to a UFO crash landing rather than to the civilian aircraft going down. This has never been confirmed.
A recovery team that included three Huey helicopters and one Sea Stallion helicopter was assembled. Such was the speed by the US to assemble the team, it is believed this was not the first time such an incident had taken place.
The Mexican government refused requests from the US to allow the recovery team to cross the border to investigate the UFO crash and to assist in the recovery efforts. The Mexican authorities denied the UFO incident, they said they were "investigating a plane crash."
By 9.00 p.m. the following day the US recovery team had been assembled at Fort Bliss along with unmarked helicopters, all in a secured area ready to go to the UFO crash site.
Recognizance flights earlier that day revealed that the debris had been moved from both the UFO crash site and the aircraft's crash site. The UFO had been loaded onto a flatbed truck. The convoy was seen heading south.
The next day the US had to decide whether or not to send the recovery team in. Later recognizance flights revealed that the convoy had stopped in the desert. With no radio activity, unusual considering the circumstances, a lower altitude recognizance flight was ordered. Recognizance photos taken showed the convoy halted, with truck doors open and two bodies lying in the dirt near the trucks.
With this new turn of events the order was given to send in the recovery team. It took the four helicopters more than two hours to reach the convoy, what they found would make a lasting impression. When the team arrived at the scene they found that all of the Mexican team were dead. The majority of the bodies were still in the vehicles.
Members of the US team dressed in biochemical protection suits strapped the UFO onto a cable ready to be hoisted away by the Sea Stallion helicopter. They then proceeded to destroy with explosives, all of the convoys vehicles including the bodies and the remaining wreckage of the civilian aircraft. In under an hour the recovery team had recovered the UFO and “cleaned up” the scene.
On returning over the US border the UFO was transferred to a sealed lorry for transportation to Atlanta, Georgia. Other reports suggest the UFO was transferred to Wright-Patterson AF Base, or possibly an unnamed base. One possible destination may have been Area 51.
The UFO is said to have been a little over 16 feet in diameter and 5 feet high. Looking like two upside down saucers joined together. The disk was silver in color with no visible windows or doors. No means of propulsion could be identified. The craft had sustained some damage in the crash, a hole about a foot across, and a dent about 2 feet across. It is not clear if anything could be seen “inside the hole.”
What caused the deaths of the Mexican recovery team is not known. The US team seems prepared for this kind of incident. The one thing they did not do is transport the bodies of the Mexican team back to the US. This could have either been because they did not have the equipment with them to launch a full scale chemical recovery operation, or the order of the day was “to destroy all evidence”.
The Coyame UFO Incident first came to light in 1992, when an account of the case was mailed anonymously to a number of UFO researchers in the United States and Europe. After the report surfaced in 1992, the story of the Coyame UFO incident lay dormant until 2005, when producers of the cable television series UFO Files, shown on the History Channel, created a show based on the report. The show, called "Mexico's Roswell," was one of several episodes about UFO crashes similar to the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident.
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Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Robert B. Willingham, a former fighter jet pilot says that he chased a UFO across West Texas and watched it crash along the Rio Grande River near Del Rio, Texas. Shortly after, he visited the crash site and saw a metallic object unlike any aircraft he had ever seen “sticking into the side of a hill.” Willingham, 82, a decorated World War II and Korean War veteran discloses his strange 1955 encounter in a book titled The Other Roswell: Ufo Crash On The Texas-Mexico Border written by UFO researchers Noe Torres and Ruben Uriarte.
“It’s one of the most amazing UFO stories I have ever heard,” said Uriarte, a 25-year veteran UFO investigator and director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) in Northern California. “Rarely do you have such a highly credible eyewitness to an event of this magnitude come forward with information that is guarded so closely by various intelligence agencies.”
Willingham, who lives near Wichita Falls, was one of America’s earliest jet aviators, during the time when the military was transitioning away from propeller-driven planes. It was also a time when UFO sightings had become commonplace throughout the United States, especially in and around top-secret military bases.
“He was flying as part of a group of F-86 fighter jets that were escorting a B-47 bomber across West Texas,” said Noe Torres, a lecturer, researcher, and member of the MUFON chapter in Texas. “It was a Cold War simulation designed to follow the route that bombers would take to reach Russia in the event of a nuclear war.”
A radio message warned Willingham and the others about a fast-moving UFO that was approaching Texas from the northwestern U.S. “Suddenly it came into their view, looking like an intensely bright light – like a bright star seen through a telescope,” Torres said. “It blazed across the sky past them, and everyone in all the planes saw it. But, because of the location of Willingham’s jet, he was in the best position to see what happened after the object flew by.”
Willingham estimated that the object was traveling at 2,000 miles per hour, and he saw it make a sudden 90-degree turn, without slowing down. As the UFO streaked toward the Texas-Mexico border, Willingham received permission to break from the formation and pursue the object in his F-86 fighter. Following the object’s vapor trail, Willingham followed it down to near Del Rio, Texas, where he saw it suddenly begin to wobble and descend rapidly.
As the pilot watched in stunned silence, the UFO plunged toward the Rio Grande River, plowing into the ground just south of Langtry, Texas and digging out a 300-yard long furrow before finally coming to rest alongside a sandy hill. Uriarte said, “Willingham had heard a lot of discussion about UFOs, and now suddenly, he had one down on the ground. As he flew over the awesome scene, he decided that he was going to switch planes and return there as quickly as possibly to look at the thing up close.”
The aviator returned to the scene of the crash a few hours later, according to Uriarte. “They landed the small plane right alongside the crashed UFO and noticed that a large number of Mexican soldiers had already taken control of the crash site. They had cordoned off the area and would not allow Willingham or Perkins to approach the main part of the wreckage. However, what they were able to see and look at was so amazing that it forever changed their lives.”
Before being forced to leave the area by the Mexican military, Willingham picked up a chunk of strange metal debris that was about the size of a man’s hand. He later tried to burn it, cut it, and otherwise deform it, but he was not able to. “It was a piece of something not of this world,” Uriarte said.
Torres and Uriarte are active members of the UFO research community with many years of experience investigating UFO cases in the Southwestern U.S. and Northern Mexico. Their research has appeared on the History Channel's UFO Hunters and UFO Files TV shows. Their first book, Mexico's Roswell: The Chihuahua Ufo Crash published in 2007, received wide critical acclaim and was the basis for a February 2008 episode of UFO Hunters, in which the authors appeared. The authors have appeared frequently on UFO-related TV and radio shows and have spoken at many conferences and events. Source: Phantoms and Monsters
|UFO researchers Noe Torres and Ruben Uriarte|
The Other Roswell: Ufo Crash On The Texas-Mexico Border
Mexico's Roswell: The Chihuahua Ufo Crash
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