In the meantime I contacted Wendelle Stevens and told him of what
we were planning and invited him along. He was in the middle of
investigating the Billy Miers case in Switzerland and declined. His
decision to not participate is most likely what saved his life.
I met with Black in Belen, New Mexico during the first week of June
in 1980. Along with Black was his former operations sergeant at RAF
Chicksands, who's name escapes me at present. Black explained that the
Sergeant had been involuntarily retired from the service also and that
he was as interested in finding the answers as we were. I went along
with thinking that if nothing else it would be a hell of a camping trip.
We proceeded northward from Belen, going toward Santa Fe and
Albuquerque, and then crossed over easterly toward the "Trinity Test
Site" where the first Atomic Bomb was tested. Stopping along the way
to make brief incursions into the test range in order to setup the
equipment and run it for short periods of time. From the Trinity Test
Site we then proceeded southerly to Alamogordo and the over past
Holloman Air Force Base, where we once again entered the test range.
This time through the White Sands National Monument. In those days they
didn't close the monument to the public at night and you could go in 24
hours a day and even camp over night there. Once in the monument we
then proceeded to the northern most boundary of the park and entered the
range once again. This time we planned on going as far as we could
until either came across something or we were forced to turn back in
order to be off the range during the day and camp over night in the
I was walking about 500 to a 1000 meters in front of the Van with
a metal detector, trying to see if there was anything buried under the
sand. It was just after sun down and the van had it's lights on in
order to allow me enough light to see where I was going. As I was
walking I heard a sound that made my skin crawl. The sound of an in-
coming rocket is something a veteran of the Vietnam era never forgets.
. . especially after having been caught in several fire fights where
they came in on your positions. I instinctively recognized the sound
and screamed a warning. The warning was to late. The next thing I
knew, the van was nothings more than smoke and debris and Black and Horn
were no longer there.
If nothing else, I have never laid claim to being a hero, and I am
certainly not John Rambo, willing to take on the entire Russian Army for
friendship and glory. I am pleased to say that experience and common
sense have taught me better than that. I would venture a guess and say
that had I stuck around rather than make like a rabbit and take off, I
would most likely not be here to relate this story to you. That is in
fact exactly what I did. It took me only a matter of seconds to
determine that it was both unwise and unhealthy to stick around to try
and help what amounted to nothing more than hamburger, and I was off
like a shot (excuse the pun). I had on my webb belt and a canteen fun
of water and my survival knife, so I had essentially everything that I
needed to survive in the desert. I traveled North Westerly through the
desert at night for about two days before I came to a major road and was
able to thumb a ride into Tucson from New Mexico.