TRINITY 1945 UFO HOAX – James Clarkson – UFO Investigations


TRINITY 1945 UFO HOAX – James Clarkson – UFO Investigations

There are real UFO Crash Retrieval Cases; this is not one of them. The information in this article was written into a report on July 17, 2016 before I knew there would be a book about the alleged TRINITY UFO Event by Paola Harris and Jacques Vallee or that the witness, Jose Padilla, would make claims about being a wounded veteran and being a wounded retired California Highway Patrol Officer. There is now very strong evidence that these claims are false, amounting to Stolen Valor.

Jose Padilla holding alleged artifact torn off interior wall of crashed UFO

I first heard of the alleged TRINITY UFO Crash Retrieval Case before it became the subject of the book co-authored by Paola Harris and Jacques Vallee titled TRINITY – The Best Kept Secret.

I was a member of the Mutual UFO Network for 30 years in Washington State and for the last 10 years, I was the State Director. At very end of my time with MUFON, I was also on the Special Assignments Team (SAT). This was a specialty unit created by the International Director, Jan Harzan. We were given assignments that had arrived in Jan Harzan’s inbox, and that hadn’t gone through the usual Case Management System.

For the sake of explaining my perspective, I am an experienced criminal investigator – a retired police sergeant with a 20-year career to include serving as a detective sergeant, a fatal accident team supervisor, and then a child abuse detective for 2 years. For the last 10 years before I retired, I was a fraud investigator for a Washington state agency. And before all this I was in the Army as a plainclothes MP Investigator. I apply the same skills and perspective that I used in my official investigations when I investigate UFO reports.

What follows is the report that I wrote for the MUFON SAT Team related to one of cases we handled. In fact, it was the last case that Director Harzan assigned to SAT. Although he never openly admitted it, I believe the problem was that the members of SAT thought of ourselves as professional investigators, meaning like a good umpire at baseball game, “I call ‘em the way I see ‘em.” I think that Harzan was hoping we would develop cases with sensational outcomes that were good for increased MUFON membership or symposium ticket sales.

Paola Harris was the reporting party. This investigation was odd from the beginning. We were instructed to ONLY investigate PART of the claims made by Paola Harris about the alleged TRINITY UFO Crash Site. She stated that she believed that some type of specially created noxious weeds had been planted at the crash site to deter future investigators from finding the metal fragments of the crashed alien spaceship that the military had failed to recover. We were NOT to investigate the report by the witness Jose Padilla about his recovery of a fragment of a crashed alien spacecraft in 1945.

We had SAT members who had professional expertise in plant identification. The first samples examined from the alleged crash site turned out to be jimsonweed, a common southwest plant. When that conclusion didn’t please Paola Harris, other plants from the location were submitted, and they turned out to be cockle-burr and nightshade, again, not remarkable, and definitely not the product of genetic engineering or deliberate planting. Harris responded by saying that she had retained another botanist, whom she refused to identify, who got different results that she never revealed.

The inference was that the MUFON SAT investigators had to be wrong because our inquiry did not support Harris’ claim that the TRINITY case was a true UFO Crash Retrieval Case.

Telling an investigator to investigate PART of a reported event, and forbidding the investigator from examining the basic circumstances surrounding a reported event is provocative. I spent too many years investigating crimes from murder to all manner of thefts, assaults, and fatal accidents to allow anyone to tell me that I could only investigate PART of what was reported. To an experienced investigator, this is the proverbial red flag in front of a bull.

Since botanical identification is not in my skill set, I decided to investigate the entirety of the case, so that whatever the Team concluded, I could help place the results into the proper context. In the meantime I was one of the speakers at the Roswell UFO Festival and I had the good fortune of meeting someone who had been with Paola Harris, her assistants, and Jose Padilla, the surviving witness, when they went to the alleged crash site in 2014.

That man was Frank Kimbler, a senior instructor at the New Mexico Military Academy in Roswell, NM. I consider him a friend and a man whose opinion I respect. Here is a brief biography of his accomplishments:

Frank Kimbler is an Associate Professor of the Earth Science at the New Mexico Military Institute. He has worked as a professional geologist for more than 40 years and has taught school for almost 1/2 of that time. He has worked as an oceanographer for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and as a mining engineer for the State of Arizona. He moved to New Mexico in 2009 after accepting a teaching position at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. Shortly after moving to Roswell he took a keen interest in the story behind the Roswell UFO incident.

Frank Kimbler is a delight because although he is fascinated by the UFO Mystery especially the Roswell story, he remains objective and very direct. He has been to many Southwest sites searching for evidence of alleged UFO cashes. He gave me permission to include his findings about the alleged TRINITY UFO Crash as long as I did it accurately. What follows if the report I wrote for the MUFON Special Assignments Team in 2016 based upon his analysis and mine:

MUFON Special Assignment Team / Follow-Up Report on:

Assistance Request Paola Harris | Collaboration

Case Status: Moved from Active Status on February 17, 2016. The case was opened by Asst. Diractor Chase Kloetzke on August 6, 2015.

Focus: On-Site Investigation of the same alleged UFO Crash Site on August 3, 2014 by Frank Kimbler.

Note: I brought this new information to the attention of AD Kloetzke and she agreed that this information should be incorporated into the final SAT report on this case. A final report was not completed previously. The SAT investigation was terminated with an advisory memorandum she completed for ID Jan Harzan on November 24, 2015. This report summarizes information I received directly from Frank Kimbler, who has conducted extensive investigations into various New Mexico sites where metallic debris has been recovered that is alleged to be related to the crashed UFOs.

I first became acquainted with Frank Kimbler during the 2014 UFO Festival in Roswell, NM when we became friends while both of us were presenters. The same situation arose during the recent 2016 Roswell event. He gave me copies of all the information he has related to his investigation of the San Antonio, NM 1945 UFO Crash Site and he gave me full permission to use the information to further the SAT investigation.

Kimbler has given multiple presentations on his discovery and analysis of a variety of metal fragments recovered at the sites of alleged UFO Crash Sites in New Mexico, to include a presentation at the International UFO Congress in January 2015 with information directly related to his investigation of the claims made by the witness Remy Baca and Jose Padilla about the alleged 1945 UFO Crash near San Antonio, NM. (His biography is available here:

Information obtained from Frank Kimbler interview:

Frank Kimbler investigated the site near San Antonio, NM because he was asked to do so by Paola Harris and Chase Kloetzke. Harris had apparently made arrangements with someone to film a documentary and they asked him to meet the at the site.

This is a photograph taken by Kimbler at the time of the investigation, August 3, 2014. He identified the vehicle as his own; the man is identified as the witness, Jose Padilla, and it was taken at the location of the alleged 1945 UFO Crash:

Figure 1 – Witness Jose Padilla at Scene of Investigation

When he arrived, a camp was already set up. The film-maker had a video drone and was flying it. Frank recalled that her equipment looked expensive. Paola Harris had a young man with her who was some kind of an assistant, possibly a bodyguard.

Frank stated he spent the day with his metal detector. This led to his description of the scene: He stated it was hard to detect anything of special interest because there is such an accumulation of junk. It has been a dump site for many years – people shooting and drinking, leaving behind shell casings, cans, etc. The reported crash site is right off the side of a well-traveled dirt road as you head south.

Frank Kimbler stated that he was able to perform multiple specific gravity tests on a sample of the metal from the alleged piece of the crashed UFO that was supposedly taken from an interior wall of the crashed spacecraft by Jose Padilla when he was boy. The specific gravity tests gave a consistent answer: The samples of the metal from the alleged ET artifact are identical to the specific gravity of an A-13 alloy – with the specific gravity tests done repeatedly. The alloy was used in the late 40’s to the early 50’s. It is the same casting alloy used for many types of machinery to include windmills and pumps.

When he interviewed Jose Padilla he said that the witness consistently told the same story. When he confronted him with the pictures of the alleged ET artifact, he told Jose Padilla that this looks like a part from a windmill. Padilla said this is not a windmill part. He says it came from the inside of the crashed spacecraft.

Kimbler told the witness he had done specific gravity tests. Frank Kimbler related, “He swore up and down it wasn’t. He kept talking about a radio tower. He said the UFO hit the radio tower. I asked him if he would take me over to where it was.”

He was led to the location. Frank Kimbler told him there was no evidence of a radio tower.

Kimbler did find some channel iron that probably came off of a tower of some kind. There may have been a tower there set up by the AEC to measure gamma ray radiation from the first atomic test.

He recalled that the actual crash site is at the same location where a water cattle tank is located. The witness told him that the tank was installed as a way to cover the crash site. He interviewed the witness and he said he has a video from that interview. The cattle tank was put in there after the Forties; late 50’s, probably not long after the War.

I asked Frank Kimbler if there was any discussion about noxious or harmful weeds. Frank Kimbler said, “I don’t remember anyone seeing or saying anything about weeds. It was all dried up. I walked around out there. We all walked around.”

I asked him if he thought there was any need for protective gear. He had commented while laughing when he saw there was a photograph in the MUFON Journal article of someone wearing a Haz-Mat suit while taking plant samples. Frank commented: “There was no need for Haz Mat suits. When we went out there in 2014, we were all out there. Nobody was wearing anything special. We were wearing shorts.”

Frank Kimbler added that he still has some samples from the alleged alien artifact. He said they used a hacksaw to cut off a corner of it.

I am including 4 of the PowerPoint slides from Frank Kimbler’s 2015 Presentation at the Open Minds Conference that are directly related to this investigation.

Figure 2- From Frank Kimbler Lecture. The second photo is a microscopic close-up of the surface of the sample from the artifact.

Figure 3- Examples of Common Micro Metal Details

Frank Kimbler discussed the slides showing the microscopic photographs of the sample surface. Paola Harris claims the odd patterns are “alien micro-circuits.” Kimbler stated the patterns are created when cast metal cools and there is nothing uncommon or “alien” about them as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 4- Alleged UFO Artifact, Witness, and Other Metal from Scene

Figure 5- Analysis of Alleged ET Artifact compared to Windmill Part

Finally, on the subject of the alleged ET artifact, Frank Kimbler submitted a one-page document to summarize his conclusions:

1945 San Antonio, N.M. UFO Artifact

After some very careful research I have come to the conclusion that the San Antonio, UFO artifact from 1945 may in fact be a part from a windmill. It may not be from 1945 but from the late 50’s or early 60’s. What prompted the investigation about the part was a comment made by the discoverers that material from the UFO was used to fix a pump. Back in the day windmills usually drove pumps. Please look at exhibit 1 which is a photo of the San Antonio crash artifact and also exhibit 2, part number 585, on the right side, lower middle of Aeromotor catalog page. Exhibit 3 is the actual part and it is referred to as a “tailbone”. The part is found in many windmills and used in the tail vane mechanism to move the windmill in the proper wind direction. 


Exhibit 2 

  Exhibit 3

The parts are not exact, but keep in mind that there were several windmill manufacturers and they all had various models of windmills. There will be some variations in the design of the tailbone piece from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer.

END of Information from Frank Kimbler

Crash Site Vegetation: On the issue of the vegetation discovered at the scene, and the claim that the government deliberately placed noxious plants (Jimson weed and cocklebur) at the scene to keep away intruders, so far, no evidence has been provided to indicate the plants are unusual or that they were deliberately placed at the location.

SAT Member Lynne Mann provided a very thorough examination of the samples provided by Chase Kloetzke during the SAT investigation. The plant samples were identified as Jimsonweed.

Additional Note: Today I examined a video on YouTube titled: Paola Harris 1945 San Antonio UFO Crash ( ). At about the 50-minute mark you can see Paola Harris, the witness, and another gentleman walking through the weeds at the crash site. They are not wearing any protective clothes, etc.

The Paola Harris article in the June issue of the MUFON Journal includes a photo of a man named Donald Garcia wearing a Hazmat Suit while collecting plant samples at the scene and yet there is direct evidence that on other occasions no one was concerned about contact with the vegetation at the scene.

Given the comments on this subject from Frank Kimbler, and the video footage provided by Paola Harris showing people walking through the vegetation at the scene, the inclusion of photographs of a researcher wearing a Hazmat suit to take samples may be considered more theatrical than scientific.

1)     The analysis of the alleged ET artifact has not produced any results that objectively establish that the object was manufactured anywhere other than on Earth. *

2)     The shape of the cast metal object has been identified during several investigations as most probably being a part of a windmill. Frank Kimbler identified it as most closely resembling Part No. A585 from a windmill manufactured by the Aeromotor Company of Chicago.

3)     The vegetation analysis by SAT Lynne Mann concluded that the samples provided were Jimsonweed. The other samples analyzed by a botanist known to Paola Harris as Jason identified the other samples as Cockle-bur. According to Paola Harris one team member developed an allergic skin reaction after pulling up a cockle-bur plant. However, there were no reported further incidents of reactions to the plant life at the crash site even though according to Frank Kimbler, no one paid any attention to the plants when he was there, and there is no apparent hesitancy on the part of Paola Harris, the witness or her companion to walking through the weeds on the previously described video that was part of her presentation to the MUFON Symposium. The plants at the scene do not seem to be any kind of a deterrent to further investigation of the site, and there is nothing about them that suggests they were deliberately introduced or that they are somehow abnormal to the region.

4)     The validity of this case rests entirely upon the testimony of Jose Padilla. He has been consistent in his testimony according to the interviewers. This means that he believes he remembers what he is describing. That is not the same as having a story that can be verified.

5)     Given the extremely sensitive nature of the atomic program in New Mexico in 1945, and given the legitimate military concern over enemy espionage, it is very hard to imagine that the crash site of a vehicle of foreign technology would have ever been left unguarded after it was discovered. The witness claims that the artifact was pried off an interior wall of the unguarded crashed UFO, even though the object most closely resembles an alloy replacement part for a windmill. Regardless of the sincerity of the witness, the scenario does not seem plausible in the context of military security in New Mexico in 1945.

*Aside from the specific gravity tests conducted by Frank Kimbler on samples from the alleged UFO artifact, during the SAT investigation, we received a copy of a report by P.A. Budinger, Analytical Scientist, of Frontier Analysis, Ltd. Identified as Report No. UT090. This report is dated October 31, 2015 and the following section is quoted directly from the report:

UT 90 Conclusions:
The two metal samples have identical compositions. They are aluminum primarily alloyed to copper and silicon. Small amounts of other elements are present. This composition is known and compares with cast aluminum in the 3XX.X series (possibilities: 301, 302, 308, 318, 319, 320, 328 322) and the 2XX.X series (possibilities: 208, 222, 238, 296).

  • These alloys have a wide variety of uses. Some include: engine crankcases, gas and oil tanks, engine oil pans, typewriter frames, and engine parts.
  • Isotopic ratios determined for nickel, copper and zinc compare to terrestrial values.
  • Even though the isotopic ratios are terrestrial, an extraterrestrial source for the metals is not ruled out. Following are reasons that they are normal values.

(I have not included the purely speculative statements about “time travelling aliens,” etc.)

END of Report

James E. Clarkson
Director – Washington State MUFON
STAR Team and Special Assignments Team

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