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The “Crashed UFOs” and “Dead Aliens” Legends of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

“The subject of UFOs is one that has interested me for some long time. About ten or twelve years ago I made an effort to find out what was in the building at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where the information is stored that has been collected by the Air Force, and I was understandably denied this request. It is still classified above Top Secret.” Intriguing words; and they are made even more intriguing by the fact that they were set forth in a 28 March 1975 letter to the UFO investigator Shlomo Arnon by none other than the late Senator Barry Goldwater, formerly the chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. For years, it has been rumored that at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, there exists a highly-classified (and decidedly off-limits) series of rooms, aircraft hangars and underground chambers, where the preserved remains of a number of dead alien creatures are stored along with the wreckage of their crashed and recovered spacecraft. In specifically generic and folkloric terms, the location of this astonishing evidence has become popularly known as Hangar 18.

Of those who attempted to force open the doors of Hangar 18, the late Leonard Stringfield was certainly the most active. A United States Air Force Intelligence officer during the Second World War, Stringfield collected a huge amount of data that, if true, suggested that at Wright-Patterson AFB there existed an absolute wealth of UFO material, debris and even alien bodies, locked away from prying eyes. Of the many accounts that were brought to Stringfield’s attention, two came from the researcher Charles Wilhelm. As Stringfield recalled, “In 1959, a lady living alone in Price Hill, Cincinnati, had hired young Charles to cut her grass all summer. She knew of his interest in the UFO [subject] but said little about it until she became ill with cancer. Knowing that she had a short time to live, she called Charles to her bedside to reveal a startling story. She said that she had had a Top Secret clearance in her past work at Wright-Patterson and had seen two saucer-shaped craft in a secret hangar. One craft was intact; the other, damaged. She also knew of two ‘small creatures’ preserved inside another secret building, and had personally handled the paperwork on their autopsy report. She told Charles, ‘Uncle Sam can’t do anything to me after I’m in the grave.'”

The second revelation came to Stringfield from Wilhelm following his acquisition of sensitive intelligence data in 1966: “Wilhelm got the story from a friend in the Army Reserve whose father worked with Project Blue Book at Wright-Patterson Field and held high security clearance,” stated Stringfield. “On his deathbed, he related to his son that he had seen two disc-shaped craft, one intact and one damaged, and four preserved, small alien bodies ‘packed in chemicals.'” But from where had Wright-Patterson acquired this incredible material evidence? Much of the witness testimony suggested that its point of origin was the New Mexico desert, circa July 1947: Roswell. There are long-standing allegations to the effect that during the summer of 1947, a UFO crashed in the deserts of New Mexico and, along with its dead crew was whisked away under cover of overwhelming secrecy to Wright-Field (later re-named Wright-Patterson), where both the UFO and the alien bodies were placed into storage for preservation and analysis.

For example, from ex-military man, Norman Richards, formerly of the U.S. 25th Tropic Lightning Division, there came an account based upon his recollections of events that occurred in the post-World War Two era: “In 1950, I was in the ROTC program of the Air Force at Indiana University. We were sent to Lowry Air Force Base for six weeks training that summer. One day, we had a lecture by a colonel from Wright-Patterson AFB. He outlined many changes and new experimental aircraft being tested. During the question and answer session, he was asked if UFOs were real. He got very excited and said we better believe it. He went on to tell us of the crash, and retrieval of the parts, and the humanoids found at the site. He said they were under investigation at Wright-Patterson after being flown from Roswell, New Mexico.”

As Leonard Stringfield’s inquiries into Wright-Patterson’s involvement in the crashed UFO issue deepened, further sources came forward with additional data. Citing one such source, Stringfield asserted, “My informant is self-employed after serving a long career with the Air Force, retiring with the rank of major. During one of our several discussions of the UFO problem, when I cited some of the medical information relative to the recovered alien humanoids, he confided in me that in 1952 he had attended a high-level secret meeting at Wright-Patterson AFB and saw in an underground chamber one of the deceased alien bodies in deep-freeze preservation. The body was about four feet tall. The head was large by human standards, and the skin on the face appeared smooth and gray. No bone structure was evident; eyes were open, no hair. The feet, he said, were like an orangutan.”

What was perhaps the most fantastic account related to Stringfield, however, concerned an allegedly-live alien on the loose at the Air Force Museum in Fairborn, Ohio, that had supposedly escaped from its confines within the bowels of Wright-Patterson.It was a Sunday in 1965 when “R.M.” and his wife decided to pay a visit to the museum. With his wife engrossed in examining a German V-2 rocket, R.M. wandered off and found himself lost and heading down a corridor with a double door marked OFF LIMITS. Going through the door, he suddenly found himself confronted by “a being so incredible looking that all he can remember in his numb state was saying ‘Hi,’ to which he got no response.” The creature was small, and its eyes were large under a heavy brow; there was no nose and only a slit for a mouth. Standing in stark amazement, R.M. could only stare in awe as the creature shuffled towards him and pointed its elongated fingers into his face. At that point, alarms began to scream, lights flashed and R.M. made a hasty retreat. Military police were everywhere, ushering people to the exits.

“The cause for the emergency evacuation [R.M] opined, was without question the creature who probably had escaped from its confinement,” said Stringfield. Intriguingly, according to a retired Air Force colonel known to R.M., at the time two live alien creatures were reportedly held at Wright Patterson – American scientists having developed an “incubative [sic] atmosphere”” to sustain them. As Stringfield stated, “Live aliens! Loose in the Air Force Museum? Fantastic, of course, but the Wright-Patterson complex is vast and so are its underground facilities. It is conceivable, if truly live aliens exist, that one may have slipped by the guards into the passageways and surfaced in an upper chamber of the museum.”  Stringfield, however, was not alone in collecting such incredible tales. Victor Marchetti, for example, a former executive assistant to the Deputy Director and Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), recalls that during his tenure with the Agency, UFOs came under the category of “very sensitive activities.” More significantly, Marchetti states that he heard from “high levels” within the CIA that the bodies of an undisclosed number of “little gray men” and their crashed UFO were stored at the Foreign Technology Division (FTD) of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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