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AZTEC — They're baaack.

Authors and UFO researchers Scott and Suzanne Ramsey returned to Aztec last week from their home in North Carolina to continue work for an expanded and updated edition of the couple's 2012 self-published book "The Aztec Incident — Recovery at Hart Canyon."

After conducting more than a quarter of a century of research, the Ramseys — Suzanne Ramsey is from Farmington — once again traversed the sandstone mesas of Hart Canyon, 8 miles northeast of Aztec, to examine the area where believers say a UFO crash landed 67 years ago.

Aztec's brush with alien life is purported to have occurred on March 25, 1948.

"We really enjoyed visiting Hart Canyon again," Scott Ramsey said. "There were people out on the (Alien Run) bike trail, just a lot of people having fun. Roswell (the purported site of a UFO crash the year before Aztec's) was a circus. With Aztec, it's nice. There's no neon lights, no inflatable green aliens floating around. We had a beautiful hike out to the plaque."

The Ramseys installed the sign at the site in 2012. They believe there was a cover-up of the alleged saucer crash that involved the deaths of as many as 16 "childlike-sized" aliens, according to a pair of oilfield workers who rushed to the Arkansas Loop area of the canyon after a fire was sighted near El Paso Oil Company drip tanks.

"The recovery of this craft by the U.S. Government and Military was one of the most secretive recoveries of a spacecraft with origins unknown since the similar recoveries in Roswell eight months earlier," the sign reads. "The spacecraft was approximately 100 feet in diameter and 18 feet tall. It was one of the most intact crafts that the government had recovered at that time. Sadly, all occupants, as many as 16, died as a result of this crash, making the full disclosure of both purpose and origin all but impossible."

But the Ramseys aren't about to concede defeat on the story. Scott Ramsey said Thursday that new leads are "out there" and that all 13 chapters of the book will be significantly expanded in the new edition. He didn't offer any specifics but he hinted a San Juan County commissioner or an Aztec city commissioner may have seen the flying saucer in 1948.

"(The new book) is more than an expanded version," Suzanne Ramsey said. "We talk about the same topics, but we have all-new information. It's not the same book at all. It's exciting."

The Ramseys, who sold the first edition's entire run of 1,000 copies, have signed a contract with New York-based publisher Career Press for the new edition. That edition will be released in December, but the manuscript is due to the publisher by June 1, so the Ramseys were pursuing leads in Arizona and around San Juan County this month.

Finding evidence of alien life has taken the couple to 26 states as they have interviewed witnesses and their families, searched archives and gathered documentation at a cost of more than $500,000.

"It's been 27 years of research, which originally started after I heard about a 'saucer crash' I said I'd get to the bottom of in six months. That burns me every time," Scott Ramsey said on Thursday, laughing. "We're brought up by parents who always said, 'Go out and ask questions, do your own research, do your homework.' We surround ourselves with scientists and historians. We don't go for the tin-foil-hat conferences."

Nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman, who has researched UFOs since 1958 and who wrote the foreword to "Aztec Incident," applauds the Ramseys' search for evidence of what really happened in Hart Canyon in 1948.

"They've done an incredible amount of research, and their objectivity and persistence," Friedman said on Friday from his office in New Brunswick, Canada. "Everybody assumed Aztec was a joke, but they really dug into it. I switched from being ready to accept the notion that it's all baloney to being a believer."

For more information, go to the Ramseys' Facebook page for their book. For a free preview of the 2012 book's opening pages, go to the Ramseys' website.

James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621 and jfenton@daily-times.com. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.

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