Del Rio’s “Roswell Incident”


Artist’s Conception of F-86 Flying Over Del Rio UFO Crash Site in 1955

Retired Colonel Robert B. Willingham (1926-2015) said he visited the site of a crashed unidentified flying object near Del Rio, Texas, in 1955 and saw three non-human entities through a hole in the ruptured hull of the ship. The strange beings, two of which were badly mangled, appeared to have died in the crash. “It didn’t look like humans to me,” Willingham said during a national radio interview on the Jeff Rense Program. The retired aviator said the beings he saw fit the common description of UFO occupants with large heads, slit-like mouths, and arms “like broomsticks.”

Asked how the dead entities were clothed, Willingham replied, “They weren’t dressed at all.” He said that despite the mangled condition of the bodies, he does not recall seeing traces of blood around the creatures. “But man, I just got to glance in there, because he [a Mexican Army lieutenant] wouldn’t let me go look in it.” Even though he got only a momentary glance inside the wrecked UFO, what he saw has haunted him for the past 58 years.

The story of Willingham’s 1955 encounter with the crashed UFO began earlier in the day while flying an F-86 fighter jet during a Cold War simulated bombing run out of Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. Willingham and other aviators in his squadron observed an orb of light “as bright as a star” moving across the skies of West Texas at about 2,000 miles per hour. The large, intensely bright object, moved generally west to east before suddenly executing a 90-degree turn and heading south toward Del Rio, Texas, located on the border with Mexico.

Willingham requested and received permission to pursue the object “to find out what the hell it was and give a full report to the commander back at base.”

Turning his F-86, he followed the object’s contrail down toward the Rio Grande River and observed that the UFO had begun wobbling uncontrollably and descending rapidly. He watched as the streak of light nearly took the roof off a house on the Texas side of the border before impacting on the south bank of the Rio Grande, where it skidded for 300 yards prior to coming to rest against a small hill.

Determined to return to the crash site in a smaller plane that he could land along the riverbank, Willingham returned to his squadron and asked permission to go back to base. After returning to Carswell AFB, Willingham turned in his jet and picked up a small, two-seater training plane, which he and a man named Jack Perkins, now deceased, piloted back down to where the UFO had crashed.

Colonel Robert Willingham - Circa 1960

Colonel Robert Willingham – Circa 1960

Upon arriving at the crash site, Willingham and Perkins found a damaged silver orb, roughly disc shaped, “sticking in the side of a hill.” They also noticed a 300-yard gouge in the earth, where the UFO had skidded before stopping. The object, which was still intensely hot, was being guarded by a large detachment of Mexican Army personnel, including several officers – all of them armed. The Mexicans would not allow Willingham to get very close to the smoldering wreckage, and a lieutenant told him that they were waiting for the U.S. Air Force to arrive in order to turn the object over to them.

It was while talking to the lieutenant, whose name he remembers only as “Martinez,” that Willingham caught a glance of the three dead creatures inside the wrecked UFO.

Told by the Mexicans that they needed to leave, Willingham and Perkins reluctantly got back in their small plane, but not before Willingham picked up a chunk of metallic debris about the size of a man’s hand and stuck it in a pocket of his flight suit. Upon later examination back in Fort Worth, Willingham found that the metallic debris had properties unlike any metal known to earth science. Attempts to burn it, cut it with a torch, and deform it in any manner were totally unsuccessful. The curved piece of silvery-gray metal was highlighted by a honeycombed pattern of holes on each end and metallic ridges along the edges.

Willingham possessed the unearthly metal for several days before he was ordered to surrender it to a Marine metallurgic laboratory in Maryland, from where it mysteriously “disappeared” days later in an obvious military intelligence cover-up. Subsequently, Willingham received threatening phone calls from intelligence operatives warning him to never disclose any of what he had seen “down on the border.”


Drawing by Willingham of the Strange Metal He Found

Willingham is a highly credible witness who served in World War II and was at one time a personal assistant to General George S. Patton. He was a pilot in the Korean War and sustained a battlefield injury in December 1950. Willingham later joined the Reserve and became fascinated by the widespread UFO sightings occurring throughout North America in the 1950s and 1960s.

Willingham’s amazing story is the basisĀ of a 200-page book written by Torres and Uriarte titled The Other Roswell: UFO Crash on the Texas-Mexico Border.

Watch our YouTube video below for a full summary of the reported UFO crash near Del Rio: