The New Mexico Occupant Encounter – The Claims Of Hilda McAfee

First Published: May 13, 2019 Last updated: May 29th, 2019 Written by: Marcus Lowth Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes Posted in: Aliens

An incident in the summer of 1972 near the town of Deming, New Mexico is perhaps another one of those “one-off, random” incidents that in reality was a precursory build-up to the UFO wave that would sweep across the United States the following year, with a number of such encounters featuring “humanoid occupants”.

The more we examine such incidents, the more, in some cases at least, they begin to form a loose picture and pattern. An almost subtle hint at an overriding big picture. One that is perhaps so outlandish and even preposterous to many, that it is simply dismissed as outright nonsense. This, despite the seemingly growing number of intelligent, high-ranking, and “academic” people issuing such similar hints.

Whether the New Mexico Occupant Incident falls into that category or not perhaps remains open to debate. It certainly contains several elements that would show up in multiple reports throughout 1973. As well as those that would follow, albeit more discreetly, in the years following.

It is perhaps down to us as researchers and enthusiasts to keep such cases on the backburners of the UFO community’s collective memory so we might reexamine them lest something new suddenly leaps out at us allowing us to contribute to that still murky but persistently clearing big picture.

The encounter was initially investigated by UFO investigator, Patti Morris, whose report would enter the public domain courtesy of the December 1975 edition of the APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organization) Bulletin. In fact, it was while investigating the (then) recent Travis Walton abduction in (relatively) close by Arizona that investigators first got wind of Hilda McAfee’s fascinating encounter.

A “Beam Of Blue Light” Out Of Nowhere On Interstate 10

Although the exact date is not clear, one summer’s evening in late-June or early-July 1972, Hilda McAfee – herself in her late-50s at the time of the incident – was driving her elderly mother home to Deming, New Mexico from nearby Las Cruces. The night air was still warm and the skies overhead remained clear but dark.

She was making her way down a virtually deserted Interstate 10 at a little over 60 miles per hour. Certainly not speeding along but not drifting either. It was as she watched the road in front of the car rush to meet the glow from her headlights when a sudden “beam of blue light” washed over them from above and slightly ahead of them.

The brightness was so intense that she could no longer see the road clearly in front of her. At one stage it appeared there was something in the way which McAfee had to “swerve around” in order to avoid. As she did, both women peered out of the windows to the chaotic blinding blue light.

It was then they could make out the “two men” stood within the brilliant blue glow. Each was “stocky” and wore “pale, blue, bulky quilted overalls” with black boots. Each also had a “wide belt” around their seemingly padded waists and thick gloves on each hand.

On their heads, each man had a helmet similar to a motorcycle helmet, with a dark visor covering all of the face. Although neither woman could see any symbols, insignias, or other markings at all, the suits were identical making them believe the strange attire was a uniform of some kind.

A Most Bizarre And Surreal Scene

The two women remained enthralled with the strange situation they suddenly found themselves in. Were these “men” working for the government on secret business? Might they be Soviet spies gathering secrets from American soil? Or might they really be, as bizarre as it might sound to them, visitors on a reconnaissance mission from elsewhere in the Universe? The bizarre object hovering above the pair would certainly suggest so.

As far as they could tell, the two men appeared unaware of their presence or their gaze as they continued to go about their business. One of them appeared to be working or repairing something out of sight of the pair, while the other stood facing him, seemingly talking to him. Next to them were several “black rods” although the pair could make out no further details regarding them.

Although the pair could clearly make out a “truck-sized” object above the scene, the brightness of the lights prevented them from noting any intricate details. They would both note, however, that despite the obvious size of the craft, there was no sound whatsoever.

Then, the car came to a screeching halt. The two women looked back. To their absolute amazement, the craft, the two men, and the glowing beam of blue light was gone. They looked around and then upwards for several moments, but it was as though whatever the object was and whoever the two men were, they had simply vanished into thin air.

If McAfee was alone, she might have considered the whole thing to be some kind of hallucination. However, the fact her mother very obviously saw the scene every bit as detailed and clearly as she meant she would dismiss such a notion almost immediately.

Whatever the explanation for the bizarre event, it was very real.

Aftereffects And Further Tentative Connections To The Walton Incident

They sat there for several moments contemplating what they had witnessed and what might have happened.

Might, for example, the sudden beam of blue light have appeared in order to prevent their vehicle running straight into the two men. What might have happened if she hadn’t swerved to avoid it? Might it have somehow “repelled” their vehicle anyway? Perhaps that is why the light vanished as soon as the vehicle passed?

After taking a moment to gather themselves McAfee would restart the car and continue with their journey. However, the incident was far from over. At least for the two witnesses.

In the days that followed both women would begin to experience severe “burning and aching pains” in their upper torso. In particular, their chests and arms. One of them would go as far as to state that “even their bones” hurt since the encounter.

Both women believed these persistent pains had some kind of connection to the bizarre blue light, although they couldn’t offer any reasons why this might be other than it was their upper body that was exposed to the light through the windows of the car.

In another intriguing connection to the (at the time), on-going Travis Walton abduction and McAfee is the fact that she served as the landlady to the brother of Mike Rogers, one of the six witnesses to the actual abduction incident. McAfee herself would state that if it hadn’t have been for the media attention on the Walton case, with Walton having passed several lie detector tests at the time, she and her mother would most likely have not told of the incident.

What’s more, it was far from the only encounter with humanoid occupants in the United States and across the globe in June 1972.

A “Chance” Abduction At A Kansas Roadside

Similar to the above account, an incident from “Central Kansas” one evening in June 1972 shares remarkably similar details. The anonymous witness was making their way down an isolated road that ran alongside a field.

Suddenly, and despite the lateness of the hour, a bright set of lights appeared in the field which the witness believed to be a farmer’s tractor. He calmly pulled his vehicle to the side of the lonely road and stepped out, heading towards the source of the lights.

It was only after taking several steps that he began to see a “humanoid figure with four arms”. He would further describe this creature as wearing black coverall with white gloves and belt. He could see his face which he would later describe as “not quite human” and having large, round eyes.

Perhaps even more bizarre, this humanoid would state to the witness – in English – that he was part of a crew on board a craft they were currently repairing. The figure motioned towards the lights when he informed the witness of this, which were so bright, they completely obscured whatever lay behind them.

They would talk for several moments. During this time, the witness claimed to have pestered the humanoid to allow him to board the craft. He did so but would seemingly enter a strange trance – possibly purposely on his hosts’ part. Consequently, he had only fleeting memories of entering “great libraries” and of being on board a “space station”. The next thing he knew, he was standing in the same spot as when first meeting the figure. He looked up and saw the lights disappearing into the sky.

An Abduction In The Pocono Mountains!

Just over a week later, and in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, at a little after 5:30 am on the 20th June, a truck driver would pull over his truck to the side of the road following a sudden onset of tiredness. He settled down and aimed to get a couple of hours of sleep to refresh himself. He would then carry on with his journey.

After several minutes, however, a sudden and urgent light forced its way into the truck’s cabin. It would illuminate it as though it was the middle of the day.

Awake and immediately afraid he scrambled around in the glovebox. He was searching for the hand pistol he always took with him on such journeys. Bizarrely, though, try as he might, he was moving in slow motion. As if he was in the middle of an intense nightmare. His senses felt dulled and he was struggling to get a grasp of what was happening.

Then, as he looked outside, there was a brief let-up in the light. This would allow him to see eight humanoids standing outside looking in at him. Then, everything went black before he awoke to find himself laying on a flat surface. The same eight humanoids were looking at him from both sides. Then he blacked out again. The next time he awoke he was back in the truck.

There were several other incidents that would take place as June progressed onwards in 1972. On the evening of the 11th June, for example, in Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil came a similar incident. An unnamed witness would spot a bizarre humanoid in a field with seemingly “luminous legs”. When he approached it the figure ran into nearby woodland and disappeared.

The Quiet Before The (Humanoid) Storm?

We have also examined before an incident that took place in the mountains and forests of Finland in June 1972. And while we won’t go over the incident in detail here, what is perhaps interesting is that a similar incident happened in Finland only months earlier in January of that year.

And while it was slightly after the month of June in the early hours of 19th July 1972, a lone motorist would claim to have seen “six grayish humanoids” standing in a field near the roadside. Near to them was a “long silvery object”. Although he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t quite see their faces which were somehow “obscured”. As he drove by slowing up slightly, one of the humanoids would raise a hand. As if hoping he would stop.

Perhaps it was because of the wave of 1973 as well as the further humanoid encounters of 1974 that 1972 is remembered as a quiet or “lean” year in terms of UFO sightings. However, it appears there is certainly more activity on the record to examine than we might think. And perhaps there may still be reports yet to enter the public arena.

Might these events share a connection? And more specifically here, are they part of a larger, bigger picture? One that most of us are not privy to? And what of the encounter of Hilda McAfee and her mother? As well as the similar encounters that would follow? Do they also have a connection to the Walton incident?

Perhaps these questions, speculative as they are, show how complex, layered, and multi-branching the UFO and alien question really is.

The video below looks at such notions a little further.


The stories, accounts, and discussion in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.

By publishing these accounts, UFO Insight does not take responsibility for the integrity of them.  You should read this article with an open mind and come to a conclusion yourself.

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About Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years experience. Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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