Daily Newspaper for Reeves County, Trans Pecos, Big Bend, Far West Texas

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Oct. 15, 1996

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Staff Writer

Things went really well for the Army Airfield Reunion held in Pecos
recently, according to the many attendees.

About 65 individuals were on hand for the three-day event which began
with a noon luncheon and a plaque dedication at the West of the Pecos
Museum on Monday, Sept. 30.

"I'm having a really great time," said veteran Richards Reyes. "All the
things we have done are really nice," he said.

The reunion was held for veterans of the World War II-era airfield,
which was used for training pilots during the war and occupied most of
what is now the southwest side of Pecos.

Veterans and their families were treated to a cocktail party at the
Pecos Valley Country Club, on the site of the former airbase, Monday
night, while a trip to Balmorhea for lunch was held on Tuesday.

Tuesday's dinner for the attendees was held at the courtyard of the
museum, as well as a pancake breakfast on Wednesday morning.

A golf tournament at the Reeves County Golf Course got underway on
Wednesday morning with trophies handed out at the banquet held at the
civic center that evening.

Pecos Army Airfield alum Bill Pitts discussed Project Blue Book (the Air
Force's investigations regarding UFO's) at the banquet room at the Swiss
Clock Inn on Wednesday afternoon.

Several introductory items for this year's reunion were on sale at the
various events. They included Pecos Army Airfield caps, depicting the
local airplane field's logo and the names and nicknames of the two types
of planes that cadets trained in during their station that coincided
with the World War II era.

The logo displays a jackrabbit riding on two airplane engines, while the
training units were the BT-38, otherwise known as the Vibrator, and the
UC-78, or the Bamboo Bomber, labelled for the amount of wood in its

T-shirts with the logo and Pecos Airfield labeled golf shirts were also
sold during the event.

Dick Kuhlman, who was a ground mechanic and crew chief, during that
time, stated that he thoroughly enjoyed himself. "I was here two years
ago with my wife and we both enjoyed it immensely," he said.

"I opened and closed this base, I was here at the very beginning and
here at the end," said veteran Phil Fitter.

Fitter was director of flying between 1942 and 1945 and the airfield in

"We loved living here, we used to live on Adams Street and have enjoyed
catching up on news with old friends," said Kathleen Fitter.

The Fitters also took the opportunity to visit their old "home" which is
something they have been doing for the past several years. "When we were
here two years ago, we went by there also, we just can resist," said

Charles Girven and Jack Cooley were both aviation cadets during World
War II.

"We both did the same thing back then, but we only met two years ago, at
this reunion," said Girven.

Girven also recalls staying at the museum when it was the Orient Hotel.

"I used to stay at this hotel for 50 cents a night and visit the saloon
at times," he said.

Richard Reyes was a link trainer instructor during World War II, while
stationed in Pecos. Reyes now resides in Nevada.

"I'm really enjoying this reunion and all throughout these events have
been trying to find someone I might have met back then," said Reyes.

Reyes went to explain that at that time a lot of individuals were
stationed both here in Pecos and at the Rattlesnake Bomber Base in
Pyote, located 25 miles away.

"I applied for cadet training and tansferred to aerial gunman school in
Arizona," said Reyes.

Reyes attended bombing school, graduated from New Mexico as a lieutenant
and retired as a captain of the United States Air Force.

"I've been in Pecos three different times and enjoy visiting the few
people that I know here," said Reyes. "I think Pecos people are the
friendliest group around," he said.

This phrase was also heard throughout the reunion from the different
veterans who were on hand for the very special occasion.

UFO sightings subject of book review

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Staff Writer

Is Earth really under surveillance by extraterristerial beings? That's
one question that plaques veteran Bill Pitts and urges him to study the
subject further.

Pitts was a guest speaker at a book review held at the Swiss Clock Inn
during activities held in conjunction with the Pecos Army Airfield
Reunion held in Pecos recently.

Pitts spoke about the Blue Book Project and the many sightings received
on UFO's.

"There were so many reports received, but not all were followed
through," said Pitts.

Pitts stated that the best reported sightings, which were more accurate
and precise, that have been seen with the naked eye or binoculars
include one which was sighted in Washington, D.C.

"This occured about 1952 or 1968, I can't recall the year offhand, but
it was one of the best sightings, in which many people saw it, that were
in different areas, and at the same time," he said.

This certain object, UFO, was flying over the Pentagon, and nothing is
supposed to fly over it, according to Pitts.

"It was reported by expert radar men, reported to each other that they
were picking up the same thing," said Pitts.

Eight or nine lights were reported that were hovering, making turns, but
they didn't know what they were so they called it in, according to Pitts.

"They were watching this and called the Air Force bases to get what was
airborne at the time and see what those lights were," said Pitts.

Air Force individuals flew up there to try to figure the lights out,
since nothing was supposed to be airborn at the time.

"Finally, the last one sent up, was asking where are they and the darn
things were coming toward him," said Pitts. "The lights were just coming
towards his plane and the radar people were seeing the same thing," he

"They surrounded his plane, but suddenly they were leaving," he said.

Some people claimed that it was just a "temperature inversion," but most
believed that it was just what it appeared to be, a UFO, according to

This is one of the better classic cases where radar has detected this
sort of thing, according to Pitts.

"And this happened during three consecutive evenings and it's never
before been seen like this," he said.

Pitts cited another example. While on guard duty in Kentucky, an object
was picked up through binoculars.

"This captain saw this thing flying up there, but his wing pilots were
low on fuel and had to come back to refuel," said Pitts.

"It was seen by different control towers over three or four states,"
said Pitts. "One of the pilots crashed and his body was laying on the
ground, he lost his life," he said.

That was one of those cases that was sensationalized with people saying
that the pilot was taken aboard an aircraft and later returned back to
earth, according to Pitts.

"There are about 12 to 15 different, classic cases, which are really
credible," Pitts said. "They didn't have explanations for them," he said.

Pitts cited another incident which occurred in 1966 in Arkansas.

"A number of sightings were reported by law enforcement officers, they
reported seeing lights and didn't know what the lights were attached
to," said Pitts.

One of the things they suggested it might be was a re-fueling operation.

Pitts claims to have witnessed this incident himself, where there was a
lead light, and a smaller light.

"All of a sudden, they both turned off and after about 35-40 seconds
both turned back on, like somebody was turning on and off a light bulb,"
said Pitts.

"In other places, people reported that they looked like they were
changing places," he said.

"Even though I witnessed this myself, I can be just as fooled as
anyone," Pitts said.

Pitts claims that such sightings can be truly amazing and scary at the
same time.

"If the United States government has ever found out for sure what these
lights were, they sure aren't telling," he said. "I don't want to make
any kind of solution for this," he said.

Pitts said he will continue to study UFO's and other such subjects,
which is something that fascinates and intrigues him.

Group gathers for 60th reunion

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The year Texas was 100 years old, a group of Pecos High School students
bid farewell to their school.

Twenty-four individuals said good-bye to Pecos High School in the year
1933, and this year the group celebrated their 60th High School reunion.

A former teacher and coach was on hand for the special reunion.

"She's 86 years old and drove from Tornillo down here all by herself,"
said 1933 graduate Phyllis Stool.

Former teacher and coach who attended the festivities was Mildred
Shaffer Sanders.

Stool is just one of the graduates who attended this year's reunion
along with her husband, Max.

"He (Max) didn't really graduate with us, he was here up until the last
semester," said Stool. "But we still consider him part of our class,"
she said.

The group met on Saturday, Sept. 27 for breakfast.

Class members present included, Frank Glier and wife Edna; Dexter Jay;
Elizabeth Titus Schmidt; Frances Titus McCosland and husband Barney;
Sarah Chapman Hardwick; Phyllis Scott Medanich Stool; Catherine McCall
and Max Stool.

Special guests included Birdie Slack and Jessie Allen.

Frances Titus McClaser gave the invocation.

The group attended the exes tea held at the Pecos High School given in
honor of all ex-graduates of Pecos High School.

They were then escorted to the pep rally where a special section was
designated for the group. They were introduced to everyone at the pep

On Saturday, the group met for coffee at 10 a.m. with former
classmates, teachers and friends at the West of the Pecos Museum.

"While we were there we decided to buy a tile for our class," said Stool.

Pictures, football sweaters, scrap books, programs for association
banquet and posters were avaiable to browse through.

"We did lots of visiting and reminiscing," said Stool.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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