Frank Scully was a columnist on the showbusiness magazine Variety who in 1950 published his best-selling Behind the Flying Saucers. A centerpiece of the book was Scully's claim that a spacecraft containing 16 dead aliens had been found on a plateau close to the small town of Aztec, New Mexico. According to his informants, "Texas oilman" Silas M. Newton and his colleague "Dr. Gee" (the latter a pseudonym for a "specialist in magnetism"), the bodies were in the custody of the US military along with two other crashed disks. Newton and Dr. Gee (real name: Leo GeBauer) turned out to be convicted confidence tricksters who had embellished a story that had originated with a Hollywood actor named Mike Conrad. Around 1948, Conrad had hit upon the idea of making a movie about UFOs with a base in Alaska (see Keyhoe, Donald). To generate interest in the project, Conrad claimed that the film would include footage of genuine UFOs. He also hired a promoter to pose as an FBI agent to spread the story that the FBI had custody of this footage. Newton and GeBauer were unaware that Conrad's story was a hoax, while Scully knew nothing about Conrad's publicity ploy. Newton and GeBauer's motive for elaborating the tale was purely commercial. GeBauer had built a gadget that, he said, was based on technology found in the downed saucer and could detect oil and gold deposits. Ironically, the FBI took an interest in the affair and, in due course, its chief, J. Edgar Hoover, received a memo on the subject. This document – a commentary on a piece of hearsay – was later often cited as proof that the US government was holding saucer wreckage and alien corpses.
The following rebuttal to this entry was received from Scott D. Ramsey on June 7, 2004:
"I have been researching Frank Scully and the alleged UFO crash outside of Aztec, N.M. in 1948... Dr. Gee was not or ever will be considered Leo GeBauer. Frank Scully went to his death bed insisting that Dr. Gee was 8–9 different scientists from that time frame. I do agree that Silas Newton was a con man but when you look at the charges that were brought against he and Leo, only one of 23 investor's filed a complaint. The other 23 investor's were not even allowed to testify at the trial! The Mike Conrad story has been around for years. There is no proof whatsoever that he planned this as a hoax. That is another statement that Frank Scully said on his death bed. Mike ( Michael ) Conrad never admitted to any hoax and stood by his story until his death. (His daughter or step-daughter ) is still alive and living in South Carolina... [O]ver 200 pages of files from the F.B.I. on Leo GeBauer have not been released do to "National Security Issues." I have been researching this story for over 16 years, I have over 1,370 documents that certainly spin a new light on this subject."