The view is of a rolling desert plain—shabby with yellow grass and sagebrush and radiant beneath a purple, cloudless sky. Through this sky, a white, oval-shaped object plummets diagonally toward the ground, flashing and glowing, careening toward the earth at an estimated speed of 200 to 300 miles per hour.
Subtly, suddenly, the angle of the object’s descent seems to change, as if trying to save itself from crashing, but the ground rises to meet it, and the object bounces, skips left across the desert, passes a rank of wooden poles, and ultimately hits the ground again, this time exploding in a shower of fiery debris. As if expecting it, a video camera captures the entire event, a camera that seems to have been placed on a tripod ahead of time and that appears to be manned by someone able to watch the event without surprise—panning smoothly to the left along the course of the crashing object and carefully framing its every motion.
Since then, this footage has swept across the Internet, and the majority of people familiar with the video now believe it to have been filmed somewhere around southern New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range, sometime in 1996 or early 1997—and many of those believe it to be the first recorded footage of an extraterrestrial UFO crash.
“Peter G. is a close friend, and not knowing where I got the infamous lead-in video thought I had [created it using] computer graphics,” Loman said. “Not true. At first I thought it was a flying saucer…but now I think it isn’t of a UFO—it’s a missile being tested.”
Loman elaborated on this view by citing the very orderly and non-spontaneous manner in which this footage seems to have been recorded.
“It was almost as if it was staged,” Loman said. “Someone had to know where to put the camera at the right time…. But I don’t even care if it was a missile. It looked provocative.”
Loman recalls that the copy of the video that he first saw almost ten years ago seemed to have been a copy of a copy of a copy of something that had originally been shot on film.
“I got it from Jaime [Maussan] in the late-1990s,” Loman said. “I don’t even remember where he said he got it from. He was kind of secretive about where he got it—very hush-hush.”
More than one UFO website has stated that this video was shown at the 1997 Australian International UFO Symposium. Sheryl Gottschall, a noted Australian UFOlogist, has confirmed that yes, the film was shown there, and Glennys MacKay—well-known as a psychic and a healer, and the organizer of that symposium—said that the film was submitted to them from author Jonathan Eisen of Auckland, New Zealand. She also recalled hearing that the footage was shot not in New Mexico, but at Pine Gap—or, as it’s more formally known, Joint Defense Facility Pine Gap—a central Australia satellite tracking facility.
Photos of the desert land around Pine Gap do look similar to the terrain of southern New Mexico, and the facility seems to be as shrouded in lore and conspiracy as is America’s own Area 51. Fringe researchers John Lear and William Cooper claim that Pine Gap is home to a race of humanoid dinosaurs that evolved in secret alongside of humanity, and wrote that these “neo-saurs” work on experiments in tunnels up to five miles below Pine Gap; Lear and Cooper also suggest that these saurian creatures are working with the U.S. Government in the top-secret underground base rumored to be beneath Dulce, New Mexico, in the northern part of the state.
The most interesting aspect of this footage possibly coming from Pine Gap, however, is the following information by a researcher named Jimmy Guieu: “Several times, locals have seen white disks about thirty feet in diameter in the process of being unloaded from large U.S. cargo planes at the airports serving Pine Gap”—white disks perhaps like the one in the video….
Jonathan Eisen, who submitted the video to the Australian symposium, is the editor of UNCENSORED magazine, a New Zealand-based publication that specializes in obscure news and theories that the mainstream media usually won’t cover. Eisen recalled showing the video as part of the International UFO Symposium, in March of 1997, in Auckland, New Zealand; later in 1997 he took the video to Brisbane, Australia, for the UFO symposium there, and as a result of his efforts it was later shown on television in Australia, New Zealand, and England.
A friend of Eisen’s, Antony “Ant” Davison, was working at the time as a Graphic Workstation Administrator for TVNZ, New Zealand’s public broadcasting network, and took the time in early-1997 to have the footage fully analyzed. Davison even used his technical know-how to adapt the film into 3-D.
“I first ‘image-steadied’ the footage so the UFO was always center of screen, and doubled the duration so I had frames consisting of one field only,” Davison said. “Then I took two frames (maybe one or two frames apart) and interlaced them, thus creating a video of stereoscopic images. The video was noisy VHS, but when converted to stereoscopic movie, it is quite clear the UFO is spinning around and around on its own axis (not a cruise missile), clips the ground along a small portion of its circumference, and dust clouds appeared to travel towards the direction of the camera, then it recovers, until it crashes again and explodes.”
Additional analysis done on the video by CSETI, the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence, revealed that, “We determined that it was an experimental, classified craft being tested, most likely by the U.S. Department of Defense.”
Davison also added that his analysis showed that the footage had not had any computer-generated images added to it, except for at the footage’s very beginning, which featured a sort of fade-in from a completely white screen and which he discovered had originally been added for “Third Millenium,” a Spanish-language TV show hosted by Mexican journalist Jaime Maussan.
“I received the ‘crash’ video from Jaime [Maussan] upon his arrival in New Zealand…,” Jonathan Eisen said. “[Maussan] said at the time that it arrived anonymously at his desk in Mexico City, and never found out who did it.”
And then there is Monte Marlin. Marlin represents White Sands Missile Range’s Public Affairs Office, and in a recent e-mail wrote, “Our optics branch identifies [this video] as an infrared shot of a Navy missile test.”
“Here at White Sands Missile Range, our primary job is to conduct tests of weapons systems under development and collect the data from these tests, including high-speed and infrared optics. To those not in our business, some of this footage might be misconstrued.”
Added Marlin: “ I do not have any specific information on this test or its date. I am fairly confident that it is from White Sands.”
White Sands Missile Range is enormous—almost 3,200 square miles—approximately three times larger than the state of Rhode Island. Just about anyone having anything to do with national defense has tested weapons and aircraft there—the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, even NASA—as have certain foreign goverments allied with our own. This desert range is so vast and has hosted tests for so long, through such a list of agencies, with such secrecy, that finding the precise location of our video’s alleged test would be very difficult, if not almost impossible.
“Optics (video and still) imagery is taken for many tests,” Marlin wrote. “It’s one of the best forms of data. In most cases, video is not released—it is intended for test purposes. It helps us evaluate what worked or what did not work during the test. Sometimes, depending upon the program, short clips will be made releasable to be used in Department of Defense videos or for news media use.”
It seems to be very possible that this video does show a White Sands test, especially since Marlin has been able to account for and explain many of the details in this video—details such as the wooden utility poles that the object passes as it crashes.
“There are many, many launch areas and instrumentation sites on this enormous missile range,” wrote Marlin. “It is not uncommon to see poles in video footage. The poles may carry cabling related to the test or some poles have markings so that when we look at the footage, we can measure time/space distance.”
If this video does show some sort of test, as may be the case, there are still many mysteries that surround it. For example, what exactly is being tested here? If the weapon or craft in question does rotate like a sort of giant Frisbee, as Antony Davison’s analysis suggests it might, then what kind of missile could that be? Is the technology shown here merely classified stuff from the minds of earthly engineers, or could it maybe have come from somewhere else? We are, after all, living in a state in which many people claim that much of our modern technology has developed from the analysis of a crashed alien spacecraft. The main question still unanswered though is where did Jaime Maussan get this tape? And if someone really did leave it on his desk, who?
“A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking,” wrote twentieth-century humorist Arthur McBride Bloch, and at this point, “My Strange New Mexico” feels it can safely conclude the following: this video shows an intriguing test of something being tested at White Sands, something classified, something most people probably won’t know about for another decade, if ever. The film was most likely made as part of an official test but was then discovered and promoted—perhaps without fully disclosing everything known about it—as the crash of an extraterrestrial craft. Much of this promotion was done by Jaime Maussan—who obtained the footage from someone, somehow, sometime around early 1997—and who saw to it that the footage was seen around the world, even—according to Joseph Capp, a “UFO witnesses advocate”—selling it at conferences on DVD.
Maussan himself has remained unavailable for comment on this subject, as has his assistant Daniel Muñoz, despite countless attempts to contact them both. No matter what they might have to say on this topic though, it’s most likely that far too much contradictory information will remain for us to draw any easy conclusions on this mysterious video—and maybe that’s all right.
Maybe the mystery is more interesting than the truth. Maybe we should just enjoy this video for all the possibilities it implies—like the possibility of other inhabited worlds and of their very worst drivers coming to visit.