Mar 18, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Marriage, Divorce, UFOs and an Alleged Crashed UFO: It Couldn’t Be Made Up

My previous article was on the subject of the alleged crashed UFO event at Kingman, Arizona in 1953. I suggested - based upon the available data - that the story was simply that: a story. And, it was a story involving secret drone planes, monkeys, a fair amount of alcohol, classified U.S. government experiments, and a man named Arthur Stansel; he was the guy who opened up the story. For those who still cling onto the Kingman story, however, there is something that just might make them think there is something to the saga, after all. We have to dig into the curious story of a man named Truman Bethurum. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, the number of people who can claim that aliens wrecked their marriage is infinitely small. But, that's what Mrs. Bethurum said. She wanted out of the once-happy marriage - and as soon as possible. It turned out that Bethurum had been getting just a bit too close to a curvy babe titled Space Captain Aura Rhanes - a supposed citizen of the planet Clarion (a planet that has never, ever, been found, of course). Bethurum was also someone who regularly spent significant time out at the legendary "Giant Rock" at which fellow Contactee, George Hunt Williamson, held huge, outside, UFO events. To be specific, the location was Landers, California. Not only that, we're also talking about George Van Tassel's legendary Integratron, something else that amazed Bethurum. Now, to the next part of the yarn-of-all-yarns.

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(Nick Redfern) George Van Tassel's Integratron

Mormon Mesa is a 1,893- foot-high summit that dominates Nevada’s Moapa Valley. Between the mesa and its two near-identical neighbors are two huge chasms created by the Muddy and Virgin rivers, which carved the mesa eons ago. The visually stunning Mormon Mesa was about to become a veritable hotbed of alien activity - literally - when, in the latter half of 1952, Bethurum was contracted to do some work in the area. Because the area had been covered by ocean during prehistoric times, after he finished his shift one particular night, Bethurum headed out to the Mesa to see if he could find any fossilized shells as a gift for his wife, an avid collector of seashells. She had decided not to accompany her husband to Nevada, and instead elected to remain at their home back in Santa Barbara. Bethurum searched in virtual darkness for a couple of hours but failed to find anything, so he returned to his truck to catch some welcome sleep. It was while snoozing - or perhaps, one might very well argue, in an altered state of consciousness - that Bethurum was visited by the inhabitants of another world: the Clarionites. An hour or so after falling asleep, said Bethurum, he was awakened by what he described as mumbling. As he began to stir, Bethurum was shocked to see that his truck was surrounded by between eight and ten men. They were all olive-skinned, around 5 feet tall, and wearing uniforms and black baseball caps. Or, rather, that's how the story went.

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(Nick Redfern) "Giant Rock," California where Truman Bethurum hung out on many occasions

On the night of November 2, 1952, Bethurum was out in the desert, actually very near to the town of Kingman, Arizona. Yes, that very same Kingman where a UFO supposedly slammed to the ground in 1953. Anxious to see his gorgeous Captain Rhanes again, Bethurum fired into the air one of several flares, supposedly given to him by his alien friends as a means of contacting them at any time. Sure enough, Aura and her crew were quickly on the scene. For what was to be the final time, Bethurum was invited aboard the saucer, and the pair chatted at length about life on their respective worlds, their hobbies, and much more of a friendly nature. Rumors swirled around the UFO community that things went way further than that. Captain Rhanes escorted Bethurum out of the Saucer and back to the desert floor, where they bid one another farewell. In a few moments, Bethurum was alone, standing in the stark desert darkness and watching in awe as the huge alien craft rose silently in the starlit sky. It must be said at this juncture that much of Bethurum's tale is, frankly, unbelievable. His description of his encounters with the shapely Captain Rhanes read like a cross between Star Trek and Baywatch. It would be easy to relegate Bethurum's story to the realm of fiction and nothing else; indeed, many people within the UFO research community have done so without any hesitation. Despite thats, however, there is one particularly intriguing aspect to Bethurum's otherwise fantastical tale that may have a bearing on the story of Arthur Stansel, and may even suggest that Bethurum wasn’t quite the fantasist that so many believed him to be.

When Arthur Stansel described the alien body found at the Kingman site in his 1973 affidavit, it was about 4 feet tall, dark brown in complexion, and had two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, and a small, round mouth. It was also clothed in a silvery, metallic suit and wore a skullcap of the same type of material. Compare that with the aliens that Truman Bethurum claimed to have encountered in late 1952, mere months earlier, very near to Kingman: they were all olive-skinned, around 5 feet tall, and wearing uniforms and black caps. The location, the Kingman region, is the same in both stories, and the aliens in both accounts are short in stature. Both Stansel and Bethurum said that the aliens wore uniforms and caps. As well, the body that Stansel saw had dark skin, and Bethurum's aliens had olive skin. The similarities between the two accounts are striking. The wholly skeptical commentator might say that Bethurum (who was watched by the FBI in the 1950s) simply made up his story after hearing of the Stansel revelations in the 1970s. However, there is an insurmountable problem with this particular theory: Bethurum's account was published in 1954, less than one year after the alleged events at Kingman occurred, and nearly two decades before Arthur Stansel even related his story to Jeff Young and Paul Chetham. Perhaps Bethurum was not the hoaxer that many people thought he was. I'm still staying with the "booze theory," though.

Nick Redfern

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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