An unidentified flying object observed in the night sky
over the Ranches of Sonterra recently prompted an inquiry to
the Ruidoso News and other agencies as to possible training
missions of experimental aircraft.
Witnesses of the UFO did not necessarily claim that the
objects observed were extra-terrestrial, just that they were
airborne and unidentifiable. On Aug. 6 one witness, who
requested anonymity, said she saw a strange object floating
slowly over the Ranches of Sonterra, passing over the Spencer
Theater before leaving sight.
"I awoke about 2:15 a.m. and happened to look out the door
of my upper back deck and noticed something in the sky," the
witness wrote. "At first I thought it was a satellite cruising
above me but when I watched it closer it seemed to move
The woman said that as she watched the object, originating
from the northern sky, it moved toward a larger rectangle
shaped object. She said a second flying object also flew
toward the larger object from a southern approach.
The rectangular-shaped aircraft "seemed to be made up of
web-shaped lights," she continued. "It had a dot at the corner
then a hazy line that met yet another light dot. I watched
this phenomenon for about 15 minutes."
the course of the next several days the woman said she
spotted fighter planes zooming at low speed around Ruidoso.
When she consulted her brother-in-law, a retired pilot, he
theorized that what she had seen might have been an exercise
by a fighter group stationed at Holloman, practicing refueling
from a C-130.
"These giant planes' trails leave contrails that I may have
seen as webbing," the woman said.
The woman lives in North Alto and said she has unobstructed
views of the sky from all directions.
Another resident of Alto, a retired professional, also
contacted the Ruidoso News.
In his report, the unnamed man said he observed in early
August a bright light just above the horizon near the Alto
Post office. Residents near Gavilan Canyon and Hull Street
also reported strange lights.
When contacted by the News, Tom Fuller, public information
officer for Holloman, said. "Neither Holloman Air Force Base
nor White Sands Missile Range had anything flying over Ruidoso
at 0200 on 6 Aug."
However, Fuller said, "we did have a lot of different
aircraft (F-117, F-15, F-16 and T-38s) operating out of
Holloman flying above 12,500 feet MSL or several thousand feet
above the highest terrain in the general area on Aug. 7 from
around 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. But these were nothing out of the
Balloon tests out of White Sands also were not conducted in
early August, he said. In seeking a response to the News'
inquiry, Fuller's search for an explanation took more than
To rule out a terrestrial explanation about aerial events,
Fuller said the airbase, located 60 miles southwest of
Ruidoso, is glad to respond to inquiries from the public and
in recent years has received calls from as far away as
With regard to alleged "other worldly" sightings, Ful-ler
said the Air Force's position is "no position.
"We've spoken on this and have nothing further to say," he
said, while adding, that with the occasional "strange" inquiry
coming into his office, "[Holloman] must be in the UFO
Fuller said the reporting procedure of strange objects and
lights is to contact his office at 505-572-5406 with the date,
time and GPS (Global Pos-itioning Satellite) coordinates of
the object sighted.
He said that while he can provide an answer to questions
related to activity out of Holloman and White Sands, he cannot
speak for military installations in nearby states that
sometimes conduct trainings over Ruidoso airspace, such as
recent testing "over" Holloman Air Force base by developers of
the F-22. He stressed, "Holloman does not test new, secret
aircraft under development.
"We do have a test group out here performing 'new tests'
but I cannot speak to those tests," he said.
Fuller said he wonders if with the 49th Fighter Wing
stationed at Holloman AFB and with F-17 stealth missions
having been conducted at Holloman in recent decades, if some
training maneuvers "in the past haven't been what people have
taken for UFOs operated by aliens."
He also pointed to balloon testing and launches conducted
by the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) in
Fort Sumner and other similar testing out of Kirkland Air
Force Base in Albuquerque as other possible sources of
"unidentified flying objects" in the area.
Persons who feel they have observed something that cannot
be explained by the U.S. government, can contact area
representatives of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).
In Roswell, Dennis Balt-haser can be reached at
www.truthseekeratroswell.com and Donald Burleson, Ph.D. at
505-622-0855 or Burleson@-dfn.com.
A MUFON hotline is operated out of El Paso at 915-588-5841.
An alternate telephone number is 505-915-545-1509.