Crash Story File: The Suppressed Tale of the Captured Alien

Crash Story File: The Suppressed Tale of the Captured Alien
For purposes of illustration only, a mockup loosely based on information provided by William P. ("Billy") Brophy to Paola Harris in 2010 interview published in the book Born on the Edge of Ground Zero, by Reme Baca and Jose Padilla (2011), which was designated by Harris and Jacques Vallee as their "primary reference" in writing Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret (2021, 2022).

By Douglas Dean Johnson

Initial publication: May 1, 2023

You are in the Crash Story Files, a series of investigative reports examining claims that a UFO crashed and was recovered near San Antonio, New Mexico, in August 1945. To go back to the Crash Story hub and index, click here.

Note: Before reading this Crash Story File, the reader is advised to read Crash Story File: The Morphing Fantasies of Billy Brophy About His Airman Father.

Remigio Baca’s 2011 book Born on the Edge of Ground Zero – the book designated as “the primary reference to the events described here” on page 337 of the Vallee-Harris book Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret (Second Edition, August 2022)-- includes this statement about the Trinity UFO crash-recovery, on the back cover:

They observed four aliens about three feet tall, some laying inside and outside the craft. The live alien was transported by Military Police Car to Roswell Air Force base.

The back cover attributed that eye-popping claim to "William Brophy Jr. the son of a B-47 pilot, Lt. Col. Brophy Sr. assigned to the 231st Army Airforce unit in Alamogordo, New Mexico." The book itself contains a 10-page transcript of an interview of "William Brophy Jr." – actual name, William Paul Brophy, known in family as "Billy"– by Paola Harris, apparently conducted in 2010. For noncommercial educational and journalistic purposes, I have reproduced below that transcript in its entirety (the book itself is long out of print and very difficult to find).

The transcript is of historical value, not only because of its substantive content, but because it provides a good illustration of Harris’s interview techniques. “Leading the witness” hardly begins to describe what Harris often does —she suggests answers, and sometimes even pushes back until she gets the interviewee to provide or agree to an answer that she already had in mind.

But getting back to the aliens: Here is Harris interviewing Brophy about the aliens – all of this purportedly based on what Billy’s long-deceased father, William J. Brophy, told Billy back in the 1970s. (The following passage is from pages 157-158):

PH [Paola Harris]: What did he [William J. Brophy, the pilot] say, that he was called there? What did he see?

WB [William P. Brophy, the son]: The M.P. said he had this little being in custody, and it looked like a little man but it also looked like some kind of a bug. I had [sic] these praying mantis type features on it, real strange eyes. In other words, it looked like a small man with a big head but these bug like features. It was real weird looking.

PH: The bug like features, was that mostly the eyes?

WB: Yes. The eyes, the face. It was kind of like a little grey, but with bug like features.

PH: That supports Remy’s story, who said it was like a mantis type. How tall did you dad say it was?

WB: About four feet tall.

PH: Was it grey with long spindly arms?

WB: Kind of gray.

PH: Was it alive?

WB: There was one alive and two dead.

PH: Where did they go? What did they do with them?

WB: They took them to the base and then flew them off to Wright Patterson in a B-54.

PH: How soon did they do that.

WB: On the 16th.

So, this is Paola Harris herself, being told directly by Billy Brophy that his airman father said the military recovered a live alien and two dead aliens. (According to the back cover, the live alien was taken by car to "Roswell Air Force Base.") According to the Brophy interview, the following day "they" were all flown in a B-54 to "Wright-Patterson Air Force Base" in Ohio.

In this interview, Brophy did not say explicitly who flew the plane that carried the aliens to Wright. But in an interview on Coast to Coast AM on December 1, 2010, Harris said, "I originally got this story from a man whose father was the pilot that said he flew out the bodies of the 1945 San Antonio crash," and this can refer only to Billy Brophy.

By the way, in 1945 the military facilities referred to were actually called Roswell Army Airfield and Wright Field, respectively. Also, the B-54 was a bomber that was designed but cancelled; in the real world, the B-54 never flew anywhere– but never mind.


“My father was very sober,” Sean Brophy (Billy’s younger brother) told me in a January 21, 2023 interview, which I recorded with his permission. Sean also remarked regarding Billy, “My brother might be a little eccentric sometimes.”

Sean said he never heard his father speak of any UFO crashes. Sean did remember that his father once described an encounter with a "cylindrical" UFO while he was flying a C-47; Billy Brophy has also described such an encounter ("a big cigar"), which apparently happened over Georgia in 1950. I discuss in more detail writings in which Billy has associated his father with three different UFO crashes, and the unlikelihood that any of those crash-related stories really came from his father, in Crash Story File: The Morphing Fantasies of Billy Brophy About His Airman Father.

Now, consider this: In their Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret (Second Edition), and in multiple interviews on podcasts and with news media, Vallee and Harris have placed great weight on Billy Brophy’s late-coming claim that his father saw the just-crashed alien craft and the two boys while piloting a plane overhead – even though that overhead-plane account flatly contradicts both the original Baca-Padilla narratives, and Billy's earlier descriptions of his father's role in the affair, including the above-quoted 2010 interview of Billy by Harris (in which pilot Brophy first sees the two boys "by the Owl Barn in San Antonio," or in the alternative, "during the cleanup.") Clearly, Harris and Vallee regard Billy Brophy as a very credible source – even when the stories he attributes to his father morph drastically over time.

Yet I have found nowhere – not in either edition of the Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret, nor in any interview with Vallee or Harris that I have reviewed—where either Harris or Vallee clearly transmitted Brophy’s claims that his airman father reported that the military had captured and transported away a live alien after the Trinity crash.

Vallee has also been silent, as far as I can determine, regarding Billy Brophy’s claim, in the same “primary reference,” that two or three alien cadavers were recovered. As for Harris, she let slip in the December 1, 2010 interview, “I originally got this story from a man whose father was the pilot that said he flew out the bodies of the 1945 San Antonio crash.” But I have found no other instance where Harris has referred explicitly to the recovery of alien cadavers.

Rather than encountering the explicit statements of Billy Brophy as to what his pilot father ostensibly conveyed about the fate of the aliens, living and dead, the reader of Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret (Second Edition) finds only an veiled reference, couched in speculative language, in the barely noticeable end note no. 29, on page 327:

[William J. Brophy] was in charge [of the recovery] until the next day, when Army Colonel Turner took over recovery of the craft. William Brophy Sr. may have evacuated the craft's occupants, partially camouflaged it, and cleaned up the crash site on the second day.

It seems to me that Vallee and Harris have basically buried both the live-alien and alien-cadaver claims, although they were explicitly attested to by the very same source whose "corroborative," late-coming testimony about an overhead eyewitness is now a central talking point in the Vallee-Harris advocacy presentations.

Why have Vallee-Harris been silent about the claims of their trusted source, Billy Brophy, that his airman father was the officer in charge when military personnel captured a live alien, and that he personally “flew out the bodies”?

If Billy's alien-capture claims were true, they obviously would constitute the most important single aspect of the entire series of events. Moreover, would anyone dispute that Brophy’s alien-capture claims are relevant to evaluating Brophy’s overall credibility?

To my mind, these striking omissions are intellectually dishonest. They amount to doctoring the evidence. In Billy Brophy’s fantasies, his father cleaned up the crash scene. It seems that Vallee and Harris may have been engaged in their own "clean up of the crash site," so to speak.


Following my recorded conversation with Sean Brophy on January 21, 2023, I attempted several times to communicate with Billy Brophy. He did respond to a single emailed question, on January 22, 2023. His response seemed to confirm that he did not intend to associate his father with "2 UFO recoveries at Kingman AZ May 18 and May 22 1953,” which was one possible reading of an ambiguous statement Brophy had included in a 2012 review of Reme Baca’s book.

Billy’s complete response to me was: “Dad was at San Antonio NM in 1945 when the crash happened. Wendelle [Stevens] was at the Kingman and Dutton Montana crashes of 1953.”

But, Billy did not respond to several follow up emails, requesting that he grant me an interview to address questions about his father’s purported involvement in the 1945 case. If given the opportunity, I would have asked Billy about his three 2003 letters in the Flying Saucer Review, associating his father with UFO crashes in 1947 and 1950 but nothing in 1945; his blatantly contradictory accounts of the nature of his father’s involvement in the purported 1945 UFO crash and recovery; his accounts of the capture of a live alien and his father's piloting of alien cadavers to Ohio; his interactions over the years with Paola Harris; and other points of interest pertinent to the fully understanding the history of the Trinity UFO crash-recovery tale.

Again, for a fuller discussion of the writings of Billy Brophy regarding the purported association of his father with UFO crashes other than the Baca-Padilla tale, see Crash Story File: The Morphing Fantasies of Billy Brophy About His Airman Father.

Clockwise from 1 o'clock: Remigio (Reme) Baca, Paola Harris, William P. "Billy" Brophy, Jacques Vallee, Joseph Lopez (Jose) Padilla. To return to the Crash Story hub story, click here.