“This disc about 50-60 feet wide in size is in front of us
hovering and it's not making a sound.”
- J. S. Mining Engineer and Pilot
The desert cliffs outside the small town of Los Cerrillos, New Mexico,
25 miles southwest of Santa Fe.
October 25, 2013 Los Cerrillos, New Mexico - After my September 2013 COAST radio broadcast, I received an email from a professional metals and mining engineer and FAA-certified pilot that said: “I was 60 feet from a UFO when it landed in Los Cerrillos, New Mexico, in the summer of 1977.” I learned the date was the second or third week of July 1977, and the eyewitness was willing to talk with me on the record, but not with his real name. So I refer to him as “J. S.” This extraordinary encounter with an aerial object of unknown origin that put tripod legs down onto the desert sand of Los Cerrillos, New Mexico, needs some historic context from another highly credible description of a disc extending tripod legs and landing.
Gordon Cooper, NASA Astronaut, Saw Photos and Film
of Disc Extending Tripod Legs at Edwards AFB in 1963
Back in 1990, I was Concept Creator and Supervising Producer of the hour pilot for the TV series Sightings broadcast October 18, 1991, on the Fox network. One of the segments was about U. S. astronaut sightings of unidentified objects. One of the astronauts I interviewed at length in his Los Angeles office was aeronautical engineer and test pilot Gordon Cooper, who was the youngest of seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned space program for the United States. Cooper was launched aboard the Mercury-Atlas 9 spacecraft known as “Faith 7” on May 15, 1963, the last Mercury mission. He orbited the Earth 22 times and logged the most time in space then - a little more than 34 hours, traveling 546,167 miles at a speed of 17,547 mph at an apogee altitude of 166 miles.
Gordon Cooper in his 1963 Mercury spacesuit,
the Navy Mark IV. Image source NASA.
During our 1991 interview, Gordon Cooper told me that in 1957 at age 30 and a USAF Captain, he was assigned to the Fighter Section of the Experimental Flight Test Engineering Division at Edwards AFB in California. On May 3, 1957, around 8 AM Pacific time, on a dry lake bed at Edwards AFB, a photography crew was setting up an Askania Cinetheodiolite precision landing system to photograph in both still and 35mm motion picture formats. The crew phoned Gordon Cooper to report “an approximately 3 to 4-foot-diameter silver disc that silently came down from the sky toward the ground, hovered over them and at a distance of about 150 feet, landed by extending three, thin tripod legs to the ground.” Capt. Cooper told me that the film crew member on the phone described filming the strange, silent little disc with 35mm film and 4 x 5 inch still photographs because the crew assumed it was a U. S. government test flight to be photographed.
Gordan Cooper raised his eyebrows and grinned when he said to me, “I wanted to see that film! And I knew I needed to let my superiors know. So I told the crew to bring the photos and film to me as soon as processed so I could see them.” He also called a special Pentagon phone number to report classified incidents.
Cooper told me he was surprised at the Pentagon alarm as he kept being handed off to someone highter in the chain of command until he was instructed by a general to have the film developed - but to make no copy prints. The general said a jet with a courier was being sent to pick up the photos and film as soon as possible. Gordon Cooper told me that he did look at the photographs and the 35mm motion picture film before the courier took it. He expressed amazement about the small, silver disc that moved so fluidly and extended its three legs in a tripod pattern so smoothly as the disc landed gently on the ground. He also told me that the dramatic “aircraft of unknown origin” was something he expected to hear more about. But no follow up and his several inquiries about the film and photos never provoked any further information from the Pentagon.
Wikipedia reports about Gordon Cooper, “He held claim until his death that the U. S. government is indeed covering up information about UFOs. He died on October 4, 2004, after several years of repeated interviews about UFOs that he had seen or knew about and his recollections were included in the documentary Out of the Blue.
Disc Lands On Tripod Legs July 1977,
Los Cerrillos, New Mexico
Los Cerrillos - which means “little hills” - dates back more than 1,500 years ago when Native American Tano Indians mined turquoise from the ground. Later Spanish explorers looked for gold and silver, found the metal ores and forced the Tano Indians to work as slave labor in Cerrillos mines. Eventually the Tano Indians rebelled and mining stopped until 1879. There was another gold and silver rush for a couple of decades in which Cerrillos grew with hotels, salloons and shops until the beginning of the 20th Century when the mines were considered tapped out and shut down.
But Los Cerrillos still was of interest to J. S. and his mining engineer colleague in July 1977 when they traveled there in two trucks to do surveys and mapping for a proposed project. While working outside their first night, the two men were shocked when an aerial disc landed right in front of them not more than sixty feet away.
Play MP3 interview.
J. S., Mining Engineer and Pilot, Los Cerrillos, New Mexico: “We had pulled up the trucks facing each other on this table mesa to have something to work on as a table. So my associate then pulled out a flashlight and we put the drawings on the top hoods of both cars to plan the next day's work activities.
Out of the corner of my eye over a ridge, I saw a light coming over the ridge flying in a specific zigzag pattern. It would move very quickly and then stop in the sky. It would do that again at a 90-degree angle from where it started. It did that about twenty times. It began to get closer and closer and closer to us. But the most amazing part was as it came towards us, even at 11:45 PM at night, this bright light that it had running underneath the aircraft (disc) was shining so bright, light was emitting from the bottom of the aircraft (disc) hitting the ground and the light reflection was lighting up the entire aircraft (disc) as it was coming towards us.
But it moved past us and stopped - in the air! - hovering. There was no sound. No engine noise. There was a faint kind of mechanical clicking every now and then. But it (disc) just hovered in the air approximately about 2 meters, or 6 feet, above the ground with no evidence of any support.
It was circular, about 50 feet in diameter. I can approximate that because the two trucks that we had measures about 40 feet. The upper skin of this disc was flat black and it had on the edge of the disc lights flashing approximately one foot or so in height. And the colors that were emanating from the edge of the disc were red, green and yellow in kind of a randomized pattern at that point.
Los Cerrillos, New Mexico, second or third week of July 1977, at 11:45 PM Mountain.
Mining site elevation was 1,755 feet, 25 miles south of Santa Fe, New Mexico,
on Highway 14 and off on current road Camino Querercia south of Cerrillos.
Incident UTM location: 13 5 399723.86m E 3920842.15m N
Illustration for Earthfiles by J. S.
Los Cerrillos, New Mexico (Google marker) is 25 miles southwest of Santa Fe.
Out Camino Querencia Road southeast of Los Cerrillos is where the two
mining engineers were working at 11:45 PM Mountain time the second or third
week of July 1977, when the 50 to 60-foot-diameter disc landed on its three, thin tripod legs.
From the edge inward towards the center of the disc, it sloped gently up to what I would call a 'hat' - like a center point that was raised. The reason I would call it a hat is because as it faced forward - if you take a look at the old men's hats from 1940, they were kind of sloped from the front to the back. They went up high in the back and the hat was sloped lower in the front. So the disc (in Los Cerrillos) kind of reminded me of looking at an old man's hat from the 1940s.
Profile sketch by mining engineer “J.S.” to show the "hat" top
of the aerial disc. Illustration for Earthfiles by J. S.
WAS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THAT CENTER PORTION THAT YOU COULD SEE SPIN?
I could not see anything spinning at all. The aircraft (disc) never spun.
THE BAND THAT HAD THE RED, GREEN AND YELLOW LIGHTS IN IT, WAS IT SPINNING?
No, it was not spinning.
THE LIGHTS, DID THEY LOOK LIKE THEY WERE FLASHING ON AND OFF ALL AT THE SAME TIME? OR AT DIFFERENT TIMES?
Each light - the red, the yellow and the green - were all pulsating at a different frequency - almost like a Christmas tree effect magnified a thousand times because they were blinking very quickly, less than a second a piece.
YOU MEAN THE FREQUENCY IN TIME IN WHICH EACH OF THESE LIGHTS WAS BLINKING ON AND OFF?
THEY WERE BLINKING ON AND OFF AT DIFFERENT TIMES?
Two Bands of Lights Pulsating
in Opposite Directions
Correct. Then I realized that there was actually another band of lights on the center towards the top. It was two colors. It was green and it was blue. And they weren't near the intensity of the other lights (red, yellow, green) that were on the outside of the disc.
IS THE BLUE THAT YOU THAT YOU WERE LOOKING AT LIGHTER OR DARKER THAN A SKY BLUE?
It would be about the same. And then the green would be more like a leaf on a tree type of a green. And then all of a sudden, you start to see that the bottom (red, yellow and green lights) was going in a counterclockwise fashion and the upper one (band of blue and green lights) was going in a clockwise opposite direction.
Sketch of sky blue and leaf green lights pulsating around the disc's "hat" top in a
clockwise direction, while the lower band of red, yellow and green lights
pulsated in a counterclockwise direction. Illustration for Earthfiles by J. S.
We were kind of at a loss as to what to do next. You don't know whether or not to run. We're just kind of frozen in place. We're just staring at this disc in front of us that's hovering. It's not making a sound. It's fifty feet or so in size. We can't believe really what we're looking at.
Three landing legs start to protrude from the bottom of the aircraft (disc). The two (legs) in the back fall out and lock into a position. And it (disc) has about six inches to go to land and then at that point, it starts to lower itself and then set upon those three legs.
Profile sketch of disc that landed on very thin, approximately 10-foot-long metal legs
that had rectangular pads, which sink down 2.5 inches into the desert soil.
Illustration for Earthfiles by J. S.
Robotic Arm Light Searches and Burns Soil
Then the bottom door center of the disc opens up and a 3-joint articulated arm comes from inside the disc out of the bottom. Then as it comes down, it goes and starts looking at the soil directly underneath the disc and the light is on it. It's bouncing back and forth about 3 to 6 inches away from the soil. This happens for probably the next ten to twelve minutes.
LIKE IT IS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING IN THE SOIL, THIS ROBOTIC ARM WITH THE LIGHT ON THE END?
Correct. This articulated arm continued to move around just looking 3 to 6 inches from the soil with this like burning light. The light was so strong that some of the few pieces of grass that were dried out were being exposed to that intense light and heat. And you could see smoke coming from those because they were being burned by the light.
“The articulated arm with the three joints moved fluidly like a snake
with a fourth joint right behind the bright, rectangular light. When it suddenly
became aware of us, that head whipped up and stared at us like
it was alive." Illustration for Earthfiles by J. S.
My associate feels the courage to want to go up and touch it and my feeling was we shouldn't do that and we should leave it alone. He starts to work forward and I grab him. We wrestle because I don't think he should get any closer to this thing than we are now. We're probably at that point 40 feet away.
I looked up at what we called the 'hat' and got a better look at the colors that were changing on the top of the hat. And then above the hat, I was just shocked because at that point I saw four distinct letters: 'U S A F.' And the letters were approximately 3 to 4 inches tall, clearly visible on the top part of the 'hat,' and it said 'U S A F' - four letters, distinct letters, they were white USAF, U. S. Air Force.
At the disc's closest 40-foot-away approach to the men and their trucks with the burning,
bright, white light moving from the center bottom of the disc, J. S. and his colleague
could see 4-inch-high letters on the hat top of the disc that said: "USAF Experimental."
Illustration for Earthfiles by J. S.
And at that point, I got also a better look at the outside of the disc because I could see that the color was kind of a flat black. Also, underneath the disc when the light was reflecting off that bright light on the ground, it was reflecting back up underneath the disc and I could see that the bottom of the aircraft (disc) was metallic - that They had somehow decided to make the top of the aircraft (disc) the flat black and the bottom of the aircraft was metallic.
AND METALLIC MEANS SILVER?
OK, SO UNDERNEATH THE CRAFT UNDER WHICH THAT ROBOTIC ARM WITH THE BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT CAME TO APPARENTLY LOOK FOR SOMETHING IN THE SOIL, YOU WERE SEEING SILVER METAL.
BUT IN THE UPPER PART OF THE CRAFT ABOVE THE RED, GREEN AND YELLOW LIGHTS, YOU WERE SEEING A FLAT BLACK, MAKING THIS - AS YOU CALL IT THE 'HAT,' AND ABOVE THE BLUE AND GREEN LIGHTS ON THIS SORT OF UPPER PORTION, YOU SAW APPROXIMATELY 4-INCH-HIGH FOUR LETTERS IN WHITE ON THE FLAT BLACK THAT SAID, U S A F.
That is correct.
IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE WHITE U S A F WAS PUT ON AN ACTUAL EXTRATERRESTRIAL CRAFT RETRIEVED THAT IS NON-TERRESTRIAL - BUT THAT THE U. S. AIR FORCE WOULD PUT THOSE LETTERS ON IT TO CLAIM TERRITORY AND TO ALSO CONFUSE ANY EYEWITNESSES. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I don't know. I was wondering if there was somebody in there, how do you get in and how do you get out? And then, how do you drive it? And when we got a close look at the light that was reflecting off the ground that was coming back up to this metallic part of the bottom, I looked specifically to see if I could see another hatch on the bottom. And I did not see any!
Unmanned Drone Disc?
OR THIS IS A DRONE - THAT THIS IS AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL SELF-ACTIVATING MACHINE THAT HAS BEEN PROGRAMMED TO DO CERTAIN WORK HERE - LET'S SAY ON THIS PLANET. IT DOESN'T NEED THE PRIME INTELLIGENCE IN IT BECAUSE THE ENTIRE CRAFT IS AN INTELLIGENT BEING AS MANY PEOPLE HAVE DESCRIBED OVER THE YEARS FROM BOTH MILITARY INTELLIGENCE AND PEOPLE IN THE HUMAN ABDUCTION SYNDROME.
Well, that certainly could be possible because we never did see nobody. But the way it accelerated and the way it did not make any sonic booms and the way it got out of there was something I've never been able to fathom how that worked.
SO ANY TERRESTRIAL VEHICLE MOVING AT THAT SPEED, 3,000 MPH, IS AUTOMATICALLY GOING TO HAVE A SOUND BARRIER-BREAKING BOOM IF IT IS A TERRESTRIAL VEHICLE?
IT SEEMS LOGICAL TO CONCLUDE THAT WHAT YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUE WATCHED WAS A TECHNOLOGY NOT FROM EARTH, BUT FROM SOME PLACE ELSE THAT HAS LEARNED HOW TO ADAPT TO THE CONDITIONS OF THIS PLANET AND DOES NOT MAKE BOOMS WHEN IT TRAVELS FROM GROUND TO OUTER SPACE IN SECONDS.
I would agree with that.
Reaction of Light to Two Mining Engineers
After about 30 seconds of this wrestling match we were having next to this disc, it (disc) notices us. And the reason why (we know) it notices us is that it takes the articulated arm light and points it directly at us as though it woke up and found out we were there. Well, that froze us in place!
The light was so blinding that we couldn't see the aircraft (disc) anymore. We could barely see each other. We covered our eyes.
WAS THIS A WHITE LIGHT OR A DIFFERENT COLOR?
It was bright white. It hurt to look at it. So we run back and jump in both vehicles figuring, 'Oh, oh, what's going to happen next?'
The articulated arm retracts and goes back up inside the disc and the hatch door that it came out of closes. OK, we're both getting into the trucks and we're going to get out of there. The articulated arm goes back in and closes and there is no light.
So, when we both decide were going to start the vehicles to take off, the lights on the outside of the disc stop. Everything goes dark. I don't know what is going to happen next. Maybe whatever is in there is going to come out. We need to get out of there!
His vehicle does not start. It won't even turn over. Mine starts. And I said, 'Come on. Get in to my vehicle. Mine is running and let's get out of here!'
About that time, the disc lights back up again like it had gone through a start sequence. Then what happens is there's a noise. You would think the noise would be emanating from the disc, but it was actually reverberating from the ground into your feet.”
If anyone has more information about unidentified aerial craft in the Los Cerrillos region of New Mexico, please email: email@example.com
For further reports about close encounters with unidentified aerial craft, please see Earthfiles Archive. Some examples below.
• 09/27/2013 — Part 1: Retired Montana Sheriff Saw “Impossible” UFO Radar Track in USAF Briefing
• 03/21/2011 — Part 10: Private Detective's Encounters with Non-Humans
• 03/10/2011 — Part 9: Private Detective's Encounters with Non-Humans
• 03/04/2011 — 8,500 More UFO Pages Released Today by U. K. Ministry of Defence - But RAF Bentwaters Files Are Missing
• 03/03/2011 — Part 8: Private Detective's Encounters with Non-Humans
• 02/19/2011 — Part 7: Private Detective's Encounters with Non-Humans
• 02/08/2011 — Part 5: Private Detective's Encounters with Non-Humans
• 02/02/2011 — Part 4: Private Detective's Encounters with Non-Humans
• 01/26/2011 — Updated, Part 3: Private Detective's Encounters with Non-Humans
• 01/17/2011 — Part 2: Private Detective's Encounters with Non-Humans
• 01/15/2011 — UPDATED Part 1: Private Detective's Encounters with Non-Humans
• 01/12/2011 — Earthfiles Viewers High Strangeness Reports
• 12/21/2010 — More High Strangeness Reports from Earthfiles Viewers
• 12/17/2010 — “Aerial Gyroscope” Encounters in Tunisia and Japan
• 12/15/2010 — Glowing Disc Over Hill AFB, Utah
• 12/12/2010 — High Strangeness Reports from Earthfiles Viewers
• 12/06/2010 — Updated: Radio Engineer Encounters Lime Green-GlowingCraft and Non-Humans in Backyard
• 11/23/2010 — ICBM Heavy, Concrete Silo Covers Moved Aside by Glowing Discs
• 10/28/2010 — Updated 10/28 - 20 ICBMs Shut Down by UFOs At Malmstrom AFB in March 1967
• 09/23/2010 — Part 6: Beyond Aztec and Wright-Patterson - John Smith's Sexual Encounter with Black-Haired Female
• 09/20/2010 — Part 5: Beyond Aztec and Wright-Patterson - John Smith's Sexual Encounter with Black-Haired Female
• 09/15/2010 — Part 4: Beyond Aztec and Wright-Patterson - John Smith's Dream Encounter with Blond Children
• 09/10/2010 — Part 3: Beyond Aztec and Wright-Patterson - John Smith's Encounter with “Nordic” Non-Humans
• 08/21/2010 — Part 9: 1980 RAF Bentwaters Disaster Preparedness TechS/Sgt. Monroe Nevels Describes “Top Secret” Investigation
• 08/20/2010 — August 20, 2010 Earthfiles Reprint of RAF Bentwaters Reports
• 07/30/2010 — Part 2: 1980 RAF Bentwaters Disaster Preparedness Tech S/Sgt. Monroe Nevels Describes “Top Secret” Investigation
• 12/31/2009 — Part 3: Highly Strange X-File of Edward Leverne Moragne, Ph.D.
• 09/24/2009 — Former RAF Bentwaters Airman John Burroughs - Was He Taken Into A Craft?
• 09/15/2009 — Part 2: RAF Bentwaters Feedback, Another Military Eyewitness Speaks for First Time
• 07/17/2009 — Part 1: 1980 RAF Bentwaters Lights and Craft Were “Extraterrestrial In Origin”
• 06/13/2008 — Part 2: Insights from An Experiencer with Greys and Blond Humanoids