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

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Part 6: The Plot Thickens As Dotys Story Changes

After receiving this letter I could see that I was about to lose any chance I might have of uncovering the follow-on document. Therefore I decided to find out if Doty would let me refer directly to him as the source of information that there was a follow-on document. I called him up on April 26 (Source F). He reconfirmed that the landing had taken place about 5 miles due east of the Manzano storage area, that the guards who saw the object were on the east side of Manzano, and that he had interviewed the guards. (He also confirmed that he had interviewed the three guards involved in the sighting later in August.) He confirmed that there were a couple of hills between the guards at Manzano and the landing site (which would explain why the Manzano guards saw the light drop downward and disappear behind the mountains, but did not actually see the object while it was on the ground). He confirmed that he wrote a report (other than the document I already had) on the events. I asked him if I could use his name as a reference for that information and he was at first vague, saying that I should write to headquarters for all available information. I then asked him if I could say that he wrote a follow on report and his answer was an abrupt "no." But, did you do such a report, I asked. He answered yes and then said he would rather not have me use his name in connection with a follow-on report. I then asked him if I could say that he interviewed the guards, and this time he said yes. I asked him if he knew why Russ Curtis denied the accuracy of the already released document and he said that he didn't know what Curtis' orders were. I asked him if anything similar (i.e., a UFO sighting or landing) had occurred recently but he would not comment on that question, and our discussion ended.

That very same day I again wrote to Noah Lawrence. In that letter I included the following statement: "I have talked to Richard Doty...(who)... has supplied me with very basic information on his investigation .... such as that he interviewed the three Manzano guards..., the single guard who reported the landed bright object, ... and the other guards. I have also talked to Russ Curtis who reported that Sandia guards were interviewed. The results of those interviews were given to Doty. Doty further told me that he had sent all information that he had on the sightings to headquarters and retained none."

My letter continued "I therefore resubmit my request for the follow-on information on these sightings. If you cannot locate the report that I request, then perhaps you could look through the list of messages and documents received from the 17th District during the period 9 Sept -9 Oct. 1980). There should be transferral documents or statements indicating the receipt of Doty's report and also indicating where the report would have been sent (or who got copies). Doty told me that he did not know what had happened to the more detailed report, but that it might be compartmented. If this is so, please indicate."

Thus in this letter I provided enough information to build a strong circumstantial case for there being a follow-on document. This case is based on Doty's statement, which he said I could use, that he interviewed all the witnesses and upon the independent statement by Russ Curtis that the Sandia guards had been interviewed and the interviews given to Doty. Using this evidence alone one can ask, where are the written records of those interviews if not in some follow-on report? Furthermore, this evidence proves that Doty did carry out an investigation. Are we to believe, then, that Doty made no written record of his investigation?

About three weeks later I got my response from Lawrence (letter dated l May 1984):"The incident reported in... (the released document)...is written documentation of information received from the Security Police Commander (SPC) at Kirtland Air Force Base. Although AFOSI made some preliminary inquiries regarding data provided by SPC, no formal investigation was conducted. AFOSI conducts investigations at the request of Air Force commanders. The documents released to you clearly show the Commander Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, did not request an AFOSI investigation."

Of the course, the document actually has nothing to say about the desires of the Commander at Kirtland AFB with regard to the Kirtland Landing. (However, the documents that relate to the sightings by Dr. Bennewitz, mentioned earlier, clearly indicate that SOMEBODY requested an investigation of Bennewitz in the same time frame - the fall 1980 - as the Kirtland Landing.) Lawrence's statement indicates that he had not carefully read the released document and that he had not seriously considered my statement that Doty had interviewed all the witnesses. He refers to "preliminary inquiries regarding data provided by SPC" but that "no formal investigation was conducted." Perhaps the problem lies in the definition of "formal investigation." Perhaps interviewing everybody is not sufficiently formal.

It seemed to me that Lawrence had not treated my last letter seriously, so I called him up to find out what was going on. On May 25 he told me that he had talked to Doty after getting my letter According to Lawrence Doty said that he (Doty) had received information through normal procedures and had "tested the complaint" (or words to that effect) to find out if there had been a threat to the base. Having concluded that there was no threat he collected no further information. Lawrence further said that Doty told him that he (Doty) had been misquoted (by me) in regard to the existence of a follow-on report. Since I was positive about what Doty, had told me in person and on the phone, it seemed to me that Doty had changed his story when talking to Lawrence.

I questioned Lawrence regarding the propriety of Doty carrying out an investigation and Lawrence stated that Doty had done correctly in looking into the incident briefly to determine whether or not there had been a threat. Lawrence further indicated that he had searched diligently for another document, visiting various AFOSI offices a number of times to find out if a further document had, in fact, become separated from the document which was released.

Lawrence agreed that there was a discrepancy between what Doty told me and what he told Lawrence, and then Lawrence asked me to tell him exactly what I had been told by Doty. I therefore gave him a reasonably detailed overview of my conversations with Doty. I told him that Doty had said, during our first conversation, that he had interviewed all the witnesses, had gone to the locations of the sightings, etc. and that there was a follow-on report. I mentioned that during the second conversation (by phone) Doty had revealed more information than was in the released document (i.e., the actual location of the reported landing) and that he had confirmed Curtis' statement about the interview statements of the Sandia guards. I mentioned that during my third conversation with him, just after talking to Curtis, Doty reconfirmed the accuracy of the document and said that there was more that he couldn't tell me. Finally, I summarized my most recent phone conversation in which Doty confirmed what he had told me two months earlier. I referred to my notes as I talked to Lawrence and he made notes on what I told him. At the end of the discussion he said that he intended to bring Doty's superior into the discussion. He promised to respond to me by letter in less than a week.

Not having heard from him by June 1, I called. He said that Doty had not yet been contacted, but that he had talked to Doty's commanding officer and asked the officer to interview Doty as soon as possible. The commander would send a copy of the results of the interview to Lawrence and Lawrence would respond to me based on those results. Lawrence also said he again checked various offices and again failed to turn up a follow-on document. Lawrence also said that "oddly enough" there is a man at AFOSI headquarters who was at Kirtland at the time and who remembers the incident but doesn't remember any other report. However this man was not involved with the Kirtland Landing investigation. (The agent referred to may be Thomas Cseh, who wrote one of the documents related to Benhewitz, but who was not involved in the landing investigation.)

Part 7: Conclusion - The Cover Up Begins Here

About two weeks later I received a letter in which Lawrence wrote, "Appropriate inquiries have been made regarding what was thought to be inconsistencies in our separate telephone conversations with SA (special agent) Doty. I am fully satisfied that there are no additional APOSI originated documents pertaining to the information reported in AFOSI File 9017D93-0/29 (i.e., the released document). Also, as I previously stated, I am unaware of any documents regarding this matter which may have been prepared by other Air Force components. Please note that you were provided with three documents (dated 28 Oct 80, 26 Nov. 80, and 30 Jul 81; i.e., the Bennewitz documents) in addition to the 2-9 Sep 80 document signed by SA Doty. We believe that in your conversation with SA Doty, any reference by him to additional documents pertained to these three documents."

When I read the letter I became angry. Although there was no clear statement in the letter that Doty had actually contradicted, under interrogation, what he had told me, it was evident that he had done so. What was clear was that Lawrence, if he was telling the truth, was unaware of any follow-on document.

When I read the last sentence of Lawrence's letter I smelled a rat. I called Lawrence about a week later and told him so. It seemed to me that he or Doty was trying to cover-up the follow-on landing documents by implying that I did not know what Doty and I had actually talked about in our first conversation. Did he really believe that the Bennewitz documents were the follow-on report I referred to? I told him I was sure that Doty and I had never discussed Bennewitz, but that if we had, the discussion had been so brief as to fail to register in my memory. Certainly I was positive that the follow-on report to which Doty referred concerned the landing, not Bennewitz.

I wanted to know whether or not Lawrence had carried out a good interrogation of Doty. Since Lawrence did not talk to Doty directly, but only to the commanding officer, I asked him if he could say exactly what questions were asked of Doty and he said no. I asked if Doty had been asked if he had actually interviewed the witnesses, but Lawrence didn't know the answer. I asked if Doty had been questioned about going to the actual landing spot, but Lawrence didn't know the answer. I asked whether Doty confirmed receiving a collection of interviews of the Sandia Guards, but Lawrence didn't know the answer. Basically, Lawrence did not know whether or not Doty had been asked certain key questions which would support my claim that there is a follow-on document. Lawrence justified his failure to actually find out what Doty was asked by saying that he trusted the commanding officer do a good interview.

"Sic Transit Gloria Foipa."

So, what are we left with? From the point of view of you, dear reader, it may appear to be simply a case of my word against Doty's. But it is not that simple. As evidence that there should be more written information an the landing, I offer first the released document itself. Note that it was written nearly a month after Doty first learned of the landings which were reported by Curtis and by the New Mexico policeman. Why did Doty wait so long to file a report? If he had wanted to send a brief report of the incident he could have sent one during the second week of August. But, taking Doty at his word that the released document is "absolutely" accurate, it is clear why he waited. He had to wait several weeks to locate other witnesses who could confirm, at least in part, the landing. The fact that he was willing to wait nearly a month before reporting the incident indicates that it was not treated as a top priority event, i.e., there was no perceived threat against the base. But if there was no threat, then why bother to report it at all a month afterward? Lawrence said he did not know whether Doty had been asked by the commanding officer why he made the report, so we don't know the answer to that question. But I can guess: it was as Doty told me, a preliminary report based on information supplied by another source, namely, Major Edwards of Manzano Security, about an incident which fell within the purview of "CR 44". Therefore, as soon as Doty got the information that the landing event had essentially been confirmed by three witnesses other than the Sandia guard (who actually saw the landed object and saw it take off) he knew that the report would be treated seriously by headquarters. He learned about the Manzano guards during the first week of September. He probably immediately began his own interviews of the Manzano guards. Then, on Sept. 8 he learned of the second Sandia guard who had witnessed a landing in early August. He included this information in the released document with no comment. Now, with four landings of "objects" reported, Doty could not ignore the situation. It seems likely that Doty filed the document with headquarters to indicate the seriousness of the situation. However, he did not refer to his own efforts in obtaining information (interviewing witnesses, going to the landing site, etc.) because, as Lawrence pointed out, the AFOSI does not investigate incidents such as these unless the Air Force base commander requests an investigation. Doty was "lucky" in this regard because, using the supplied information, he was able to provide for HQ AFOSI a moderately detailed and convincing report an the sightings without revealing that he had independently talked to witnesses. At the same time he could truthfully indicate (in the released document) that his (basic) information came from other sources. Furthermore, he could truthfully tell me, several years later, that the information in the released document was completely correct, that he knew it was so because he had investigated, and that there was more information which he couldn't tell me.

As further evidence that there should be more written information I offer the statement by Russ Curtis that he gave Doty a collection of interviews of the Sandia guards and Doty's own confirmation of Curtis' statement.

What evidence is there of a cover-up? The first indication I had that an intentional cover-up was in force was when Russ Curtis stated that the incident had never occurred and that the first time he had seen the released document was when Doty gave him a copy. The next indication came when Doty told me that there was more information which he couldn't tell me about the landing. Why couldn't he tell me, I wondered. After all, UFOs are not official Air Force business, according to the Air Force. The final indication came in Lawrence's last letter which clearly indicates that either (a) Doty changed his story and lied to his Commanding officer, or (b) he convinced the commanding officer that the truth could not be told to Lawrence, or (c) Lawrence has been told the full story and has lied to me. I wouldn't be surprised at any one of the above three.

So, if there is an intentional cover-up, then why was I told anything? I think that Doty was trying to be helpful by giving me enough information to make it clear that the released document was accurate without revealing any further information about the landing. Apparently I caught him completely off guard when I called him an the phone two days after our first meeting and asked for reasonably exact directions to the landing site so that I could go there myself. The Landing Document does not state the location of the landing. The only way Doty could have found out the landing location was to interview the guard who saw the landing.

Did Doty suddenly realize his indiscretions when he was first asked by Lawrence about a follow-on report? Did he then decide to clam up?" Only he knows.

The totality of my effort to determine the accuracy of the Kirtland Landing Document leaves us with the following new information: (a) according to Doty it did take place as described in the released document (b) there has been an overt attempt to deny to the general public any further evidence which was turned up during the investigations of the landing and of the other four UFO sightings mentioned in the released document c) in an investigation of this type, when one is trying to pry UFO information out of the Air Force, it is not sufficient to simply write FOIPA act requests; it is also necessary to talk to the actual people involved.

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