The truth is out there: Aztec is home to another purported alien crash-landing site within NM


Aztec, New Mexico, with a population of about 6,500, is a tidy community a few miles east of Farmington.

The nearby Aztec Ruins National Monument stands monumentally still. The Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village features such century-ago items as a historic barbershop, antique telephone equipment, various fossils and minerals.

Something else, something much darker, draws tourists to here.

On the night of March 25, 1948, a flying saucer allegedly crash-landed on a lonely mesa in Hart Canyon, four miles distant. There’s a plaque where it put down.

Folks as far away as those who lived in Cedar Hill, 10 miles northeast of Aztec, were said to have heard the crash. But that fact was never verified.

In Farmington, hundreds reported the incident to the Farmington Daily Times. A state policeman debunked by saying the flying saucer was fluff from cottonwood trees. The Aztec tale was suddenly full of holes and hoaxes.

Here’s what came later. Two con men convinced Aztec residents that a saucer had definitely dropped in. That was a fraud, of course.

Nonetheless, Aztec swiftly became a favored spot for sky-watchers and believers from every which way.

A year earlier, in Roswell, in July 1947, a balloon fell smacked into the ground on a nearby ranch. Immediately conspiracy theories took hold as were extra-terrestrials.

As the years went by, Roswell became the king of all those who peered at the heavens thinking they had seen something important.

A 1996 UFO festival, brought Roswell mobs of visitors. A museum and research center dominated Roswell’s Main Street. Ufology turned into a serious subject. Books on the topic suddenly popped up everywhere.

Meanwhile, little Aztec became just a footnote.