Scott and Suzanne Ramsey, who first met at a fundraiser at the Aztec Public Library more than 10 years ago, returned Monday for a presentation and book signing to tell their story and promote their 2012 book, "The Aztec Incident: Recovery at Hart Canyon."
After their slide presentation and talk, they took a group of interested attendees in their van 12 miles northeast to Hart Canyon to tour the fabled mesa where they believe the UFO crashed.
This month marks the 65th anniversary of Aztec's brush with alien life, according to the husband-and-wife authors.
After their initial meeting, the two met again when Scott appeared on Suzanne's Farmington radio show in 2001. Initially, Suzanne was sparked by Scott's thorough research.
"I was intrigued by the story, especially the way he talked about it without trying to convince me to believe," Suzanne said. "Scott never said things that he couldn't support without documentation, and he would decline to discuss speculation or anything he couldn't verify."
After they married, the couple committed themselves to researching the alleged Aztec crash.
Over the last 26 years they have uncovered as much related documentation as they could find on the March 25, 1948, crash or controlled landing. They say the U.S. military covered up the extraterrestrial event by sending all the evidence to Los Alamos National Laboratory,
"We don't think the military acted to simply hide the truth, but, rather, to protect people," Suzanne said. "It was a matter of public safety in a time where UFOs were perceived as a greater threat than the H-bomb."
The Ramseys claim the saucer was discovered when oil-field workers were called out to the area to investigate a brush fire that could have caused damage to nearby drip tanks. The fire turned out to be isolated, but the military was soon on scene and cordoned off the area to keep out the public. As many as 16 humanoid bodies were rumored to have been found in the craft.
Their book investigates the often conflicting or hard-to-pin-down local lore. With plenty of naysayers and skeptics, the Ramseys say they stick to their role as ardent researchers, traveling to over two dozen states to collect evidence.
"We try to emphasize that this book is history, based on years of research," Scott said.
The couple, however, is used to mixed reactions whenever they are asked about the primary work of their adult lives.
"If we say UFO book,' it either scares people, offends them, or they think you're just an idiot," said Suzanne, who moved to Aztec in the 80s. "The fact that we came together, that we were meant to do this, is really a combination of our mutual passion and thirst for knowledge."
The Ramseys don't shy from questions as to why New Mexico has been the destination for so many storied UFO sightings.
"This state has a lot of military installations, has conducted atomic testing, and has a lot of uranium in the ground — all of which may be a possible magnet for alien curiosity," Scott said.
Local ranchers arrived on scene early in the morning, according to the Ramseys.
They came out to see "what all the commotion was about," prodded the 100-foot diameter, lens-shaped disc with a pole and released a hatch and set of stairs. Peering inside, they discovered several child-size bodies in form-fitting jumpsuits, slumped over a control panel and charred "like fried ducks," brought down, they believe, by high-powered radar from nearby bases.
"I was skeptical myself when I first heard about the incident," Scott said. "I first heard about it in the 80s, but thought they'd confused Aztec with Roswell."
But after years of investigation, the Ramseys are convinced the UFO crash really happened.
"We have spent every day working on this project but two — our honeymoon — conducting interviews, locating documents, many plane trips and phone calls, with the FBI, the Air Force, the Army's counter intelligence division, universities, and the National Archives," Scott said. "We've spent over $500,000 seeking answers to our questions.
The couple has no children, but feel their book is a labor of love that they have poured money, time, and a lot of time spent answering the dismissive criticism from critics and skeptics.
One is City Commissioner Eugene Current, who has heard tales of the crash since his youth. He doesn't see any truth to the story, and thinks there are far more admirable and tangible qualities that make Aztec a desirable place to live and visit.
James Rickman, a spokesperson for Los Alamos National Laboratory, said calls about the lab storing alien craft or bodies have dwindled since the 90s, a decade rife with popular culture speculation on alien life, like the popular TV show "The X-Files" and films like "Communion" and "Fire in the Sky."
"For many years, rumors claimed that the Roswell craft had been ferried here and stored," Rickman said. "I can say with pretty good certainty that Los Alamos is not home to any alien bodies or spacecraft. When we study extraterrestrial matter, we are looking at asteroids and meteoroids."
Rickman admits the alien rumors are interesting and fun to ponder but relegates those speculations to stories and folklore.
"In 1948, we were worried about the Soviets and the Cold War, not little green men," he said.
A free preview of the book's opening pages is available at theaztecincident.com.
The authors will also be giving a lecture and signing books at Farmington Public Library today, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information, call the Farmington Public Library, 2101 Farmington Ave., at 505-599-1270.