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William Lawrence Campbell, also known as Larry Campbell, Cactus Jack, and sometimes Nogales Bill, spent most of his life drifting throughout New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona, basically not much more than a mere gadfly or old-timer to most people. However, he was quite an accomplished rock hound and a one-time unknowing Pothunter turned into a highly regarded amateur archaeologist, and, in the pursuit of same, had a brush with history --- and almost fame --- twice.

It is no doubt Campbell could have or should have carved out a more memorable high-water mark in history. However, the primary reason he didn't was because of a coordinated set of moves of his own making. He purposely kept a low profile by anonymously losing himself in the vastness of the desert southwest immediatly after being discharged from the Army at the end of World War II. He basically melded into the rocks and sagebrush of the desert as quickly as possible because --- or at least it has been intimated --- of charges of misconduct unbecoming of a person in uniform. Apparently he was involved in some sort of highly classified information or material connected to the German rocket scientist Werner Von Braun absconded by the Soviets in the closing days of the war and of a high interest to the United States. It was being secretly transported by train across Siberia, then off-loaded and moved via convoy to a very remote area in the far north. It never arrived at it's destination, all of it having simply disappeared enroute. Campbell, who had been operating in the Arctic regions for the U.S. Army Air Corps for a good part of the war, was somehow caught up in the disappearance.(see)

The same as he layed low for a number of years following the war, there is not a whole lot of background material about Campbell before the war either, that is, where he was born, where he grew up, his education, etc. Thirty years after the war however, during the mid to late 1970s, rather he liked it or not, Campbell began showing up on the radar because of two high profile, albeit unrelated incidents. According to author and researcher Thomas J. Carey, during a series of interviews in 1991, 1992, and 1993 with a former cafe owner near Taos, New Mexico named Iris Foster, Campbell used to frequent her establishment --- and had more than a few tall tales to tell. Although she learned over time his name was Larry Campbell, for lack of anything else to call him, he became known to most of the locals around the cafe simply as "Cactus Jack." Foster recalls he lived out of an old camper truck when she knew him. She thought he looked like a character out of a grade-B Western, with long, thinning white hair, scruffy beard and a beat up old cowboy hat, who could have passed, except for the lack of a mule, an old time prospector. Campbell mentioned on occasion that during World War II he had personally seen some of the mysterious flying objects that harassed flight crews and aviators on both sides of the action called Foo Fighters. He also said following the war he spent some time scavenging meteorite scraps from the Canyon Diablo scatter field surrounding Meteor Crater. From there he met Dr. Harvey Nininger, founder of the American Meteorite Museum, the first meteorite museum in the world. He said he helped Nininger catalog meteorites for a while along with an old Army buddy named George Donald Thompson, but ended up more like Igor was to Dr. Frankenstein than anything else.

FOO FIGHTERS as seen by pilots and
flight crews in WWII. Notice the delta or
wedged shape to the fighter on the left.

Foster had a sister, Peggy Sparks, also of Taos, who remembered Cactus Jack and even sort of befriended him. Agreeing with her sister, she recalled that Cactus Jack reminded her a great deal of old western movie sidekicks like George "Gabby" Hayes, shown in the photo above. Although he always seemed to come across with a sort of "iffy" or mysterious background and a shaky at the time present, Sparks felt, he always exhibited a just below the surface adherence to the sidekicks Cowboy Code of the West. Because of that she always liked him. She says Cactus Jack, also known as Larry and sometimes Bill depending on who he was with or who he was talking to, the postmaster or the gas station mechanic down the street, appeared to be in his late 50s when he was a customer at the cafe. According to Sparks, a lawyer friend of hers in Taos said Cactus Jack was last seen sometime in 1990 or so in the city of Las Vegas, New Mexico. The lawyer said that he heard Campbell was burned in a fire in his camper and wound up in a nursing home somewhere, possibly out of state, but did not know where. Campbell would be well into his 80s or 90s by now if he was still alive today.(see)

Many years before any suspected demise, back in the days when he frequented Iris Foster's cafe, Cactus Jack would usually arrive alone and have his coffee alone. Sometimes though, when favorably enticed and the coffee kept flowing, he would regale customers with his experiences and tall tales. Once or twice he was seen to have long quiet conversations with a well known but highly elusive medicinal plant and hallucinogenic mushroom hunter from the Santa Fe, Taos area that stopped in on occasion. Known on sight by many because he was semi-notorious, the bio-searcher, who had several plant species named after him, was nearly as mysterious as he was unapproachable. He was married to a Native American woman thought to be a powerful curandera that was held in awe by most that came within her presence. Tall and straight-backed, with perfect posture and beautiful skin, instead of taking steps she appeared to almost glide when she walked. People were reluctant to sit near her table and the help was afraid to serve her. Some said they had seen a glass of water slide across the table to her hand without her even moving her arm.(see)

The fact that Cactus Jack seemed to know the bio-searcher and sat at his table even with the curandera there underlined the possibility of the truth to at least two of his stories, stories that, according to Cactus Jack, involved the bio-searcher.

The first of those stories revolved around the infamous Roswell UFO wherein an unidentified flying object, a UFO, allegedly crashed in the mountains west of Roswell, New Mexico late one night in July, 1947. Some reports have at least one or possibly two, if not more archaeologists showing up on the scene, of which one is said to have been Campbell. According to ROSWELL ARCHAEOLOGISTS: The Dirt Before The Dig, and of which most agree, the other archaeologist, or possibly the most credible or only one, was a then professor at Texas Tech University, known to work archaeology sites around the general Roswell area named William Curry Holden. He and some students apparently stumbled across the object nearly sideways and fully positioned against the rocks, describing it as looking like a crashed airplane without wings with a flat fuselage in more of a delta or wedge shape than circular. However, Campbell was known to tell a tale of being "out there when the spaceship came down" and seeing a "round object but not real big" --- with the remarkable part being that he told the story LONG before ANYBODY had ever heard of Roswell. Holden and his students "stumbled across" the object the next day. Campbell said he was "out there when the spaceship came down," meaning, according to his account, well before Roswell became part of the popular culture or very high up in UFO lore. If he did not actually see the object plow into the ground per se', he did at least see a round, disc-like object apparently made of metal go directly over his head at a very low altitude and at a fairly high rate of speed just seconds before it smashed into the mountains. Holden never really discussed the incident and was basically on his death bed before he was actually even inteviewed on the subject (1993). None of his students ever came forward.(see) Campbell talked about it every chance he got.

As to Campbell, what drove him to be "out there" in the first place was initiated by his work with Nininger. Campbell developed a nearly fanatical interest in the Winona Meteorite, a meteorite discovered by archaeologists buried by prehistoric Native Americans at an ancient village complex called Elden Pueblo located not much more than thirty-five miles northwest of the Meteor Crater impact site. What intrigued Campbell's imagination the most about that specific meteorite was how it had been secreted in a specially built stone cist hidden away from prying eyes below the floor of one of the pueblo rooms for over seven hundred years. More importantly, it wasn't anything remotely like the nickel-iron meteor scraps he had been collecting in the scatter field around the so-called Meteor Crater. It was instead a very, very rare class of meteorite, called a primitive achondrite, of which many are thought to have originated from the highland regions of the farside of the Moon or from the surface of Mars. Just the thought of Native Americans burying objects from Mars in ritual style drove him farther and farther into the field. It was that drive, it is said, that placed him in the area of Roswell on the night of July 4, 1947.(see)

The aforementioned bio-searcher, however, was not only known to be associated with the Roswell Incident, he WAS ACTUALLY associated with the incident. Within two days of the suspected crash down the bio-searcher arrived on the scene, walking much of the fresh debris field himself, wanting to see if there was any truth behind the so called Hieroglyphic Writing reported embossed on some of the metal scraps. Two months later he was back, officially recruited for "saucer business" by the famous astronomer, meteorite hunter, and former research mathematician at the New Mexico Proving Grounds, Dr. Linclon La Paz --- who himself had been recruited by the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps. The bio-searcher was tagged by La Paz to help figure out the trajectory of the downed object because plants and foilage along the suspected trajectory were found to be burnt and wilted as well as moved or replaced in an apparent effort to cover up the alledged crash. Because of same La Paz thought what better help than an expert in the indiginous plants of the desert southwest.

On Tuesday, July 8, 1947, two months before the start of the La Paz investigation, the local Roswell paper printed a story that a flying saucer had been recovered on a nearby ranch. The very next day the same local newspaper, the Roswell Daily Record, July 9, 1947, after what has been reported as influence from the military, basically retracted the story, saying it was not a saucer, but a weather balloon. The weather balloon cover seemed to quell the Roswell story long enough for any flying saucer aspect of the incident to be eventually forgotten to death. Before the story had a chance to resurface it was quickly overshadowed nine months later by a reported crash of a flying disc in Aztec, New Mexico on March 25, 1948. That crash, which as presented could never be confused with a weather balloon, eventually came to light first in 1949 by Frank Scully in two columns in Hollywood's Daily Variety only to be turned into a huge best selling book titled Behind the Flying Saucers the next year.

Then, in 1952 an article titled The Flying Saucers and the Mysterious Little Men appeared in the September issue of True Magazine written by a reporter named J.P. Cahn. In the article Cahn totally debunked Scully's story labeling it a complete hoax and tearing it apart piece by piece. Four years later, if there was still any doubt, in the August 1956 issue of True Cahn wrote a six page follow-up titled Flying Saucer Swindlers that put the final nails into any remaining life of the Aztec story as presented by Scully.

Any number of people who may have had indepth knowledge about the Roswell Crash kept quiet because of the "hoax" aspect perpetrated by the Aztec incident. But not Cactus Jack. Now, if he himself was actually involved with Roswell at the level of the bio-searcher as Campbell seemed to indicate he was, is not really known. However, Campbell never changed his story and most thought it interesting that the two seemed to know each other. Campbell swore the bio-searcher had a piece of metal-like foil from Roswell in his possession and that he, Cactus Jack, had seen it. He said the so-called Memory Foil could be folded into a small little square or crumpled into a ball and it would unfold on its own leaving no creases, wrinkles, or folds. He also told about being at a place associated with the crash where the sand had been fused to glass, the plants wilted, and the ground turned blue. Most people would just look at each other and roll their eyes with such stories, but, interestingly enough, although not widely reported at the time, it has since come out that the team La Paz put together for the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps to investigate the object's trajectory located a previously undiscovered site some two months after the crash --- with the exact same characteristics.

Late one afternoon close to sunset when the cafe was being drenched in the red orange glow of the setting sun the bio-searcher came in unaccompanied by the curandera. He was traveling instead with a Native American, quite easily indentified as a tribal spritual elder and another man, very strange, tall and thin with his hair pulled straight back in a ponytail, and who, unlike the curandera, everybody seemed to want to see. The waitress said when she made eye contact to take his order she forgot who she was or why she was there. Later Cactus Jack retold the story to the waitress and others in the cafe that he remembered the man from when he was a boy, that the bio-searcher was his uncle and that he had seen the two of them at Roswell together within a few days of the crash.

Cactus Jack's second story, and why he has sometimes been called Nogales Bill, although almost as wild as the UFO concoction, seems more credible, especially in the light of him seemingly to know the bio-searcher. The bio-searcher was notorius for a number of reasons, but the fact that he was known for his role as the Informant and Carlos Castaneda was perhaps the most notable. Over and over the following or similarly worded question comes up regarding Castaneda, Don Juan Matus, the Nogales bus station meeting and Bill:

"Yet Castaneda never produced a single reliable witness to support any of his tale. Nor has any come forward in the last thirty years. Where is "Nogales Bill", who introduced Carlos to don Juan?"

Where indeed?

Long before anybody ever heard of Castaneda and long before he became famous, Castaneda was a struggling undergraduate student studying anthropology at UCLA. In the late spring of 1960 he was in Arizona conducting field research in medicinal plants native to the desert southwest. Before the semester was over he decided to give up on his studies and head back to Los Angeles because of being so discouraged by critical high ranking professors in disagreement with his pursuits. Although nowhere near being a full-fledged Shaman, Castaneda kept finding himself having fleeting flashes of intuition in an almost primordial inkling of future events. Following a series of incidents that were considered Omen like in fashion by Castaneda, a not nearly so high ranking working stiff and seat-of-the-pants ground-pounder versed in four-field anthropology (Ethnology, Archaeology, Linguistic and Biological) --- we are talking a very highly regarded field experience amateur, albeit non-academic-affiliated archaeologist here --- that was sometimes refered to as Bill by Castaneda and sometimes left unnamed in his series of Don Juan books, stepped forward out of the blue and told Castaneda he intended to go on a Road Trip. His intention was to drive throughout Arizona and New Mexico revisiting "all the places where he had done work in the past, renewing in this fashion his relationships with the people (Native American or otherwise) who had been his anthropological informants," of which the bio-searcher was one of his informants. Bill told Castaneda:

"You're welcome to come with me," he said. "I'm not going to do any work. I'm just going to visit with them, have a few drinks with them, bullshit with them. I bought gifts for them-blankets, booze, jackets, ammunition for twenty-two-caliber rifles. My car is loaded with goodies. I usually drive alone whenever I go to see them, but by myself I always run the risk of falling asleep. You could keep me company, keep me from dozing off, or drive a little bit if I'm too drunk." (source)

To show how it was Bill and ONLY Bill that was the major impactor of all future downstream events of Castaneda from there on out, in his eleventh and last book The Active Side of Infinity (1998), Castaneda lays out in his own words how his colleague Bill, that is, William Lawrence Campbell, convinced him to go on the Road Trip. Castaneda writes:

I felt so despondent that I turned him down.

"I'm very sorry, Bill," I said. "The trip won't do for me. I see no point in pursuing this idea of fieldwork any longer."

"Don't give up without a fight," Bill said in a tone of paternal concern. "Give all you have to the fight, and if it licks you, then it's okay to give up, but not before. Come with me and see how you like the Southwest."

According to the text, "Don't give up without a fight," are the exact words Bill told Castaneda. It was because of the total and complete insistance of Bill that the Road Trip together transpired, ending in nothing less than a direct meeting between Carlos Castaneda and the powerful Shaman-sorcerer, Don Juan Matus during the late summer of 1960 in the Nogales Bus Station.


Because of confusion arising from the use of a variety of names related to the person we are talking about here, the following is offered in an attempt to clarify some of what is known about him.

Apparently calling Bill by the moniker Cactus Jack is considered a sign of respect to grizzly old prospectors and desert types such as Campbell and apparently in such context, a fairly common nickname. Campbell was also known by some, most likely because of his moustache, as Handlebar Bill. His real name was William Lawrence Campbell, but typically he went by Bill and sometimes Larry. In the anthropological circles Castaneda met him he went by, was called by, and known as Bill. The Wanderling, who, in July 1947 traveling with his uncle at Roswell and not even ten years old, does not recall meeting Campbell, even though BOTH Cactus Jack and his uncle told him that they had met at the time. During a second visit to Roswell a few months later a man gave the Wanderling a prospector's pick as used by rock hounds and archaeologists that he admired from afar and afterwhich he carried around and treasured for years. He can visualize the man giving him the tool as well as showing him how to use and care for it but cannot make out his face. Cactus Jack claimed to be that man. The two DID cross paths briefly many years later in an impromtu meeting at the cafe near Taos sometime around sundown as mentioned in the above text. During that meeting, when talking directly with Cactus Jack his uncle refered to him as "Bill", but when the initial introduction was proffered the Wanderling is sure Cactus Jack was introduced as Lawrence --- thus then by inference Larry --- because he remembers associating his name with his own Mentor, the same person in real life that W. Somerset Maugham gave the name of Larry Darrell to in his novel The Razor's Edge. In that same introduction, Cactus Jack, making reference to his last name by driving it home with what has turned out to be an unforgetable mnemonic aid said in jest, which he no doubt had done many times, "Campbell, you know, like in the soup."

Even though the cafe owner Iris Foster recalls Cactus Jack lived out of an old camper truck when she knew him for example, and the Wanderling's uncle refered to Bill as "a cowboy that lived in his truck," it is not known with the utmost certainty if Cactus Jack was actually the Bill as mentioned by Carlos Castaneda in his writings --- mostly because he was not specifically introduced or so designated as such to the Wanderling by his uncle. However, from the gist of the conversation that followed and other conversations that ensued both before and after the meeting, such a result could be easily extrapolated. The Wanderling in the above linked article on the Nogales bus station meeting is quoted as saying:

"As a young boy a man that I was told was an archaeologist had given me my first prospector's pick, an item I had treasured way into young adulthood. Unexpectantly, about five years after the bus station encounter we are talking about here, while traveling with my Uncle and a tribal spiritual elder, I briefly crossed paths with Campbell when he stepped up to our table in a small roadside cafe near Taos, New Mexico. In the process of that meeting not only did he confirm he was indeed the man that had given me the prospector's pick when I was a boy I also recognized him as being the man I had seen that fateful day in Nogales. Although the subject of Castaneda came up and he talked openly about a number of things related to Castaneda with my uncle and the elder during the hour or so we were together that day, before I was able to turn the topic of the discussion to the bus station specifically, apparently done with HIS side of the conversation, he finished his meal and without any attempt to pay, got up, went to the mens room, then simply left." (source)

Which in the end pretty much underlines what has been written previously and substantiates that William Lawrence Campbell and the Bill in the writtings of Carlos Castaneda are one and the same person.(see) The final nail in the coffin that confirmed William Lawrence Campbell was indeed the same person as Bill in Castaneda's works was offered by a man by the name of Alex Apostolides, a Field Director for UCLA doing salvage excavations and archaeological surveys at the exact same time Castaneda was a graduate student there and the two of them crossed paths because of it many times. Apostolides substaniates without a doubt that Campbell was Bill.

Additionally, if you follow the thread on Bill, that is, William Lawrence Campbell (AKA Larry Campbell) on all the various web sites, you will see when he worked for Dr. Nininger at the Meteorite Museum near Meteor Crater the implication is, or at least there is a high probability, he and the bio-searcher crossed paths as both were there at coinciding times. They both showed up at Roswell following the crash in 1947 as well --- and it appears by his comments that Campbell was at the fused-glass site at the same time as Dr. La Paz and the bio-searcher. Just at the beginning of summer 1960 he tells Castaneda he is going on a Road Trip and revisit "all the places where he had done work in the past, renewing in this fashion his relationships with the people who had been his anthropological informants." One of those informants was the bio-searcher, who it seems, from all that has been presented so far, Bill knew fairly well. Thus said, it would only be natural to seek out the bio-searcher during their Road Trip and in the process, since Castaneda was traveling with him, to introduce the two to each other.



Almost all of the above William Lawrence Campbell, Cactus Jack stuff came into the public eye after September 20, 1989. It was on that date when the NBC TV program "Unsolved Mysteries" (Season 2, Episode 1) aired a segment titled The Roswell Incident. As a result of seeing that show, Iris Foster came forward and presented what appeared to be previously unknown credible information regarding some important aspects of the incident at Roswell. Shortly thereafter Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt interviewed Foster for their 1991 book UFO Crash at Roswell and Larry Campbell, aka Cactus Jack, came up. Thomas J. Carey interviewed Foster in 1991, 1992, and 1993. In the process Carey learned of Foster's sister Peggy Sparks, who also had credible information, and inturn, interviewed her. Randle, in his year 2000 book titled The Roswell Encyclopedia, devotes some space to Cactus Jack with a couple of insights that hadn't shown up in previous published interviews.

A person calling himself Upaka the Ascetic created a vestige ORIGINAL of this page on the old free web-hosting site under the title CACTUS JACK: Space Alien Archaeologist. (see) Done initially in a very rough or diminutive fashion and put online sometime in the early-late 1990s --- with a good portion of his information researched from the works of, and FULLY crediting for having done so, Thomas J. Carey's article Roswell Archaeologists (1994).

One day the Wanderling ran across Upaka's page and being familiar with the background of Cactus Jack, having met him and knowing he was Bill in Castaneda lore, shared that information with Upaka. Then, Upaka, after reading THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated on the net, moved the page to a free GeoCities site in 2002 and, combining his interpretation of Carey's information with personal interviews with the Wanderling discussing conversations with his uncle, a clearer final version of this page was created.

Upaka's GeoCities page was eventually reformated under suggestions of the Wanderling, expanded with additional interviews and shortly found it's way onto Google under it's present title William Lawrence Campbell. After the page began showing up on Google it was copied several times by different people under different domains and URLs. However, although a good portion of those pages have since disappeared from the net, none carried any of the Upaka/Wanderling and especially so, none of the additions or updated links as they appear here. The page titled Pothunter, by the Wanderling, also covering Campbell, from his discussions with Upaka, came online a couple of years later. The Upaka site went down when GeoCities closed. With Upaka no longer showing any interest, the page was captured from archives or cached pages, and keeping the same general format, was edited, updated and re-presented through the auspices of Anna Jones. Since that upadate and well after the last interviews by Randle and Carey, et al cited above, the Wanderling contacted Anna Jones with the following regarding Foster and Sparks:

A few years before my uncle died he embarked on a personal expedition to the Andes of South America to explore the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu. Afterwards he traveled over to the Brazilian side to bio-search the banisteriopsis caapi vine associated with the Ayahuasca Sorcerer's Brew along the upper reaches of the Amazon when he broke his leg. Returning to the United States, weak from the complications of that break, with dementia sneaking up and his body defenses down, cancer took over and in a couple of years he died.

As soon as I heard he had returned from South America and was on a downhill spiral --- of which he had been unwilling to share with me --- I went to New Mexico to see him. Although he was in a compromised state both physically and mentally he insisted there was something he wanted me to see in the mountains north of Santa Fe. Much to my chagrin he also insisted on driving.

Somewhere along a highway that goes from Santa Fe to Taos he pulled off onto a dirt road, drove a short distance, stopped and got out, requesting that I join him. Then, before I could stop him, he started walking as best he could almost as though he was on a mission. The next thing I knew he had fallen on the rough terrain. I put his arm around my shoulder and we returned to the car. Then I couldn't find the keys. They weren't in his pockets nor in the ignition. Neither could I find them anywhere along our route or near where he fell. I put him in the car, told him not to move all the while him repeating, "No Siddhis, no siddhis --- not here, not here."(see) I walked back down to the main highway in an attempt to flag down a car. The first vehicle to stop turned out to be driven by a young boy around age 16 or so on an errand for his grandmother and returning to Taos from Santa Fe. He helped me with my uncle, took us to the emergency room and called his grandmother to let her know why he was late. The boy who helped me was named Christopher, and as I was to learn much later, his grandmother either knew or knew of my uncle.


Almost twenty years flowed by when, on May 14, 2008, at the age of 35, Chris himself died. Several weeks later, during the first summer following Christopher's death, his family threw a Memorial Picnic in celebration of his life for family and friends. Now, while it is quite possible anybody going along the road to Taos that day could have stopped to help my uncle and me it was Chris that did and I always felt his assist added a few more years to my uncle's life. Inturn I wanted to pay my thanks and offer my condolences for the family's loss.

As it turned out, the grandmother that Christopher was doing errands for on the day he stopped to help my uncle and me was Peggy Sparks --- and Peggy Spark's sister, Christophers's aunt, was Iris Foster. Now while it is true I may have been to Foster's cafe at one time or the other with my uncle, at the time of Christopher's assist I met neither of them and it was still a year or so before the Unsolved Mystery episode that brought Sparks and Foster to anybody's attention. It wasn't until the Memorial in 2008 that it all came together.

As for Christopher's Memorial Picnic, although there was no real recollection of the incident along the road to Taos all those years before by those I discussed the event with at the Memorial, my uncle seemed to be a well enough known quantity peripherally that I was afforded a certain amount of credibility. Because of that credibility I was able to breech the subject of William Lawrence Campbell, aka Cactus Jack. Albeit not formal interviews with note taking and all, the ensuing casual conversations allowed me for the first time to actually confirm first hand, from the actual sources, many years after what Randle and Carey, et al, had learned and basically been reporting all along, what and how it all unfolded and how accurate the information my uncle had told me was all along.

It should be mentioned that the above incident wherein the Wanderling's uncle was insistent in going up the canyon as if on a mission --- although it was quite apparent he was in an ill state of health --- was in fact related to "proof" of the existance of a long held, but unproven rumor, of a hand held pistol-like object found at the Roswell debris field as described in The Roswell Ray Gun.


A reader of the article on Campbell titled Pothunter --- an article that discusses William Lawrence Campbell from another perspective --- and for reasons undisclosed requested he remain anonymous, sent an email to the Wanderling, the author of the Pothunter article, relating he was the grown son of a friend of Campbell's longtime friend, mentioned previously, above, George Donald Thompson. He and his father, now deceased, had come across the obituary page on Thompson one day during an internet search. Thompson was reportedly an "old Army buddy" of William Lawrence Campbell who accompanied Campbell to Meteor Crater following World War II. In the email as presented on the Pothunter page, the man presented the following:

The emailer said his father had told him the man called Campbell only "adopted" Campbell as his last name from a nickname given him while in the military --- although he could not recall Campbell's real last name. After the military Campbell continued to use it, making it his "real" last name for all practical purposes because, the man's father thought, of some possibly shady deals he may possibly have been involved in during the war. The man also said his father told him that it is most likely because of those shady deals that Campbell spent the rest of his life traveling around the desert southwest in an almost anonymous fashion.

According to the email writer the man called Campbell, at or just after the beginning of World War II attended the P-39 school at the Army Air Corps Technical Training Command at Camp Bell, N.Y., outside of Buffalo. From there he was assigned to the 57th Fighter Squadron before being transfered into or temporarily assigned (TDY) to the 77th Bombardment Squadron and becoming loosly associated with a variety of combat missions during the Aleutian Campaign and a number of covert missions over the Arctic, remaining in Alaska, it is thought, until the end of World War II in 1945.(see) The 57th flew both P-39 Airacobras and P-40 Warhawks, sometimes called a Tomahawk, from an airfield carved into the side of Kuluk Bay on Adak, one of the islands along Alaska's Aleutian chain. From there the 57th launched attacks further down the chain against Japanese forces that invaded and held Attu and Kiska islands.

It was not long before it was discovered that not only were P-39s crappy combat aircraft, they were not able to take the cold, with, among other things, ironic enough, air coolers breaking right and left with no replacements. Soon most of the P-39s were out of commission making Campbell somewhat redundant.(see) That is to say, the P-40s had all the staff and personel needed to keep them operating, while, as more and more P-39s became grounded, their pilots and flight crews began to sit around with their hands in their pockets. It was not long before they began seeking better climes to bide their time in. Soon they were wending their way down to Hawaii on R & R, specifically to Oahu and a USO hang out about an hour drive from Honolulu soldiers called Camp Bell.

So, here he is the man called Campbell, who had done his initial army training at not only a Camp Bell outside of Buffalo, New York, but he was now showing up as a regular at a Hawaiian USO facitlity thousands of miles from Buffalo, also called Camp Bell.

The story goes, according to the emailer, he had fallen so head over heels in love for a beautiful American Red Cross Doughnut Dolly at the USO facility that he began finding every way he could find to finagle a way to get back, and so hard did he try, that his fellow buddies began calling him "Camp Bell," which soon turned into Campbell --- the name he became known by.

The grown son who sent me the email said he knew what his father told him was true because the Doughnut Dolly Campbell was so head over heels in love with his father married.

The Doughnut Dolly was the grown son's mother.





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IUR, Volume 19, Number 1; January/February 1994
International UFO Reporter, Copyright 1994 (see)

J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies
2457 West Peterson Ave.
Chicago, IL 60659




the Wanderling

It should be noted that in a book by Kevin Randle PhD, titled The Roswell Encyclopedia and published in the year 2000, page 73, Randle writes that Carey had finally learned that Cactus Jack had died. Carey had also found a Taos newspaper article that confirmed Cactus Jack had been injured in a fire. Accompanying the article, according to Carey, was a photograph of "Jack" wrapped in bandages. He was also able to even obtain a copy of his last driver's license.

From the information the Wanderling was able to garner through talks with his uncle who knew Campbell, whatever it was that the Russians absconded from the Germans in the closing days of the war was apparently too large, bulky, or heavy to be transported via available aircraft at their disposal. The only alternative for a quick and expedient method for transporting something of a large size secretly and without excess outside scrutiny or takeover was apparently via their own Soviet controlled railroad through Soviet owned or occupied territory.

However, somewhere along the way, in or near the far reaches of Arctic Siberia, either while still on the train or after it had been transfered to vehicles, it disappeared. That is to say, somewhere between the time it left wherever it left and it was to get to wherever it was going, it never arrived. Since there were no witnesses (at least left alive) the Soviets figured the only people able to pull off such a large scale operation undetected and get away with it would be upper echelon German military remnants with a concerned interest, Nazi rogues or sympathizers, or the Americans. The problem with any German or German related operatives is that they wouldn't have anyplace to take it nor the support infrastructure to put it to any use except to market it to the highest bidder. If it was the Americans, or the Americans in cahoots with Germans of any stripe, whatever the Russians had they couldn't admit they had it so they couldn't complain that the Americans had done it. So too, if it was the Americans, they could neither admit they had whatever it was, or, if it came out that they did, it would imply through inference that the Americans would have to had transgressed sovereign Soviet territory.

Since the above information was put online quite a number of emails have been received wanting to know just what the "it" was that the Soviets absconded from the Nazis at the close of the war in Europe. Other than the somewhat ambiguous highly classified information or material connected to the German rocket scientist Werner Von Braun in the main text, and, that whatever the Soviets absonded with was apparently secretly transported to Siberia by train, not much else was said. In clarification of the footnote, the Wanderling, following a "few" requests, responded with:

My uncle crossed paths with Campbell for the first time sometime right after the end of World War II. In those days, early to mid 1946, Campbell was almost borderline paranoid with little or no trust of anybody. He usually sat with his back to the wall, was continually looking over his shoulder, and invariably jumped at the slightest sound. As time wore on and the war and wartime experiences faded into the background he mellowed. During that same period, for whatever reason, he and my uncle formed a bond, and with that bond there developed an opening to some wartime background experiences including some of the things already alluded to. Campbell was extremely tight lipped about the Siberia thing and to my knowledge he never told anybody other than my uncle about it that I know of. If my uncle knew any more than what I put into the footnote he never revealed it to me in an out-and-out blatant fashion. I have over the years extrapolated a number of small mentions here and there and putting them together have come up with a pretty good picture. Basically it starts around the central part of Germany in the German mountain and forest state of Thuringia near the town of Ohrdruf. From that, correlating dates, I discovered a top secret test of an explosive device of an extreme nature occurred that is said to have killed over 700 POWs interred in the Ohrdruf concentration camp located practically under ground zero of the explosion. That explosion was said to have been the second of two nuclear devices the Germans set off just at the end of the war. What Campbell was apparently involved in was the hijacking of all the bomb development related equipment while it was in transit by the Russians to Siberia. Much of the knowledge garnered from the hijacked material was said to have been incorporated into the U.S. efforts that led to the destruction of Hiroshima, something Campbell was not comfortable living with.


The Arctic related story Campbell was willing to tell, and how I first learned he was in the military operating in the far north in the first place, was him being part of an air-drop crew assisting a ground rescue team that was involved in a super-mysterious plane crash in Alaska.

On September 18, 1944, an Army Air Training Command C-47 on a flight from Anchorage to Fairbanks with 19 people on board composed mostly of Army personnel going on leave, found itself some 60 miles off the assigned Anchorage to Fairbanks flight pattern, slamming into the uppermost reaches of a 12,000 foot high unnamed peak a few miles from Mt. McKinley. Three days later, on September 21, 1944, aerial reconnaissance revealed the C-47 hit the mountain a few hundred feet below the top of the peak, broke into two pieces with the main part of the fuselage sliding approximately 1700 feet down the the 45 degree slope to the 9700 foot level.(see)

By October 10, 1944, a 44 man ground rescue team was formed to go to the crash site. One month later, on November 10, after setting up a series of base camps that had mostly been supplied and resupplied by air --- of which Campbell was a part --- and, after fighting zero and sub-zero temperatures, weather, high altitude, and rugged terrain, 12 members of the ground team were eventually able to reach the crash site by ropes. The team spent three days exploring and digging in and around the wreckage. After an extensive search in an ever widening perimeter only a few items of a personal nature were located: a bottle of whiskey, an overnight bag, a couple of playing cards, a cap, a blanket and the furlough papers of one of the G.Is going home on leave. No bodies or personal luggage other than the overnight bag were EVER found to this day. Nor, too, has one single alive passenger or crew member from the ill fated flight ever shown up anyplace under any circumstances.


Campbell always maintained a very low profile with a lot of that low profile behavior stemming from what could be considered a somewhat iffy background during World War II. As you can see, while stationed in the Aleutians Campbell continually found himself mixed up in any number of quasi-questionable situations. Besides the above, another of the strange things he got mixed up in the Wanderling eventually became privy to, but he left it unmentioned in his works until it showed up in Buddhism In America Before Columbus, was an incident that happened on Shemya Island.

Shemya Island is a very small remote island located in the far reaches of the Aleutian chain that during World War II, as part of a major attempt to stop the Japanese from working their way up the islands to Alaska and points beyond, the U.S. built an airbase. In the process of building that base the following is reported as to have happened and Campbell was part of a team called in to investigate:

"(An) engineer who was stationed on the Aleutian island of Shemya during World War II, while building an airstrip, his crew bulldozed a group of hills and discovered under several sedimentary layers what appeared to be human remains. The Alaskan mound was in fact a graveyard of gigantic human remains, consisting of crania and long leg bones. The crania measured from 22 to 24 inches from base to crown. Since an adult skull normally measures about eight inches from back to front, such a large crania would imply an immense size for a normally proportioned human.(source)


On June 20, 1942 air echelon units of which Campbell was assigned moved their P-39s and P-40s to Alaska, with Campbell, because of his P-39 training, going along. Seventeen days before that move, during the two day period of June 3-4 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy, using Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen fighters and Aichi D3A Type 99 dive bombers, launched two raids from aircraft carriers against what was at the time relatively small U.S. military installations located in the Aleutian Islands called Dutch Harbor. Dutch Harbor is situated in relation to a small island called Amaknak Island located within the bay of its larger host island, Unalaska. Although Campbell was soon assigned to Adak he was brought in in some capacity to deal with some of the physical aftermath of the Dutch Harbor attack.



Unbeknownst to the Japanese a secret airfield about 60 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor was built on the island of Umnak under the disguise of being a cannery. Major John Chennault, son of the famed Flying Tigers commander was the leader of a group of P-40s operating out of the field. The first day of the Japanese attack on Dutch Harbor the Japanese basically went in and out unscathed. Returning from the second day attack, not knowing there was a secret base in the area, the Japanese regrouped off Umnak Island and were immediately confronted by a group of Chennault's P-40s. Although most of the Japanese planes made it back to the carriers, Chennault's P-40s shot down two dive bombers and a Zero against the loss of two P-40s. Two other dive bombers, damaged by anti-aircraft fire, failed to make it back.

In the height of the battle another one of the Zeros, apparently trying to return to the carrier after having severed an oil line during one of its strafing runs over Dutch Harbor, crashed on Akutan Island, killing the pilot. Even though the pilot was killed the plane itself was left almost entirely intact. Americans retrieved, rebuilt, and tested the Zero discovering at least two possible Achilles’ heels. First, it was practically impossible to perform rolls at moderately high speeds. If the Zero's pilot was forced into such a maneuver it would give a tactical advantage to our pilots. Second, a carburetor design flaw caused the engine to sputter badly when the plane was put into a dive at a high rate of speed. If the Zeroes were forced into dive during a dogfight it could possibly set them up as an easier target.



The 77th Bombardment Squadron joined a fighter unit and two heavybomber outfits to become part of the famed 28th Composite group under the 11th Air force. In December 1942, the 77th received B-25 Mitchells. It was with the B-25s that the 77th launched most of their attacks against Japanese forces in the Aleutian Islands and later, 1944 and 1945 the Kurin Island. The squadron left Attu Island, Alaska, Oct. 19, 1945, arriving at Fort Lawton, Washington, Nov. 5, 1945, where it was inactivated, ending its World War II service.

The following is found in the footnotes of the Wanderling's Pothunter site:

I presented the contents of the email basically as presented to me. However, it wasn't long before a number of people, apparently familiar with the P-39, were bitting at my heels as to the overall credit of the aircraft or what a loser it was. My only interest in the whole thing is that Campbell was somehow afforded the time off to go to Hawaii on a regular basis so that "Camp Bell" became ingrained enough to call him that. For me specifically, how sufficient time off came about is neither here nor there, only that it did. The writer of the original email and how I presented it said the planes (i.e., P-39s) became less and less operational making Campbell redundant enough as a P-39 person that he had more free time than those whose jobs were to fly and keep flying the P-40s.

According to aircraft afficiendos who contacted me it was not just air coolers breaking right and left with no replacements but, initially, the lubrication system quickly froze in the cold weather as well. Eventually modifications and the addition of a heating system prevented freezing of the engines working parts including, it is supposed, the air coolers. Early models also suffered from undercarriage weakness, engine seizures and an inadequate rate of climb. It wasn't until the introduction of the P-39N that major changes were made to make the plane operational but by then the twin fuselage P-38s had been introduced along the Aleutian Island chain.


As to "no students of Holden's coming forward," there is a report of the potential possibility of one of his students discussing the event as found in one of the best, most comprehensive Roswell sites on the internet THE ROSWELL INCIDENT: Updated, a site that, if you are even just remotely interested in Roswell, you should read if you read no other:

"In the fall of 1989, after seeing a televison program on the Roswell incident, a woman contacted the producers identifying herself as Mary Ann Gardner, a former nurse at a St. Petersburg, Florida hospital. She told them that in 1975 a terminally ill cancer patient told her that at one time she was part of a group out looking for fossils. As the group was exploring the landscape, they came upon a crashed craft of an unknown type. No sooner had they arrived when an extremely large number of armed U.S. military personel swooped down on them, apparently having stumbled into some sort of a secured area. The military swore everyone to secrecy and escorted them out of the area. According to the nurse the dying woman said she thought the location of the crash site was Mexico. Looking back the nurse felt she meant New Mexico instead because the presence of such a large contingent of U.S. troops implied that the crash scene was most likely in the U.S. The nurse had no reason to question or clarify the location at the time because when she was being told the story it wasn't being connected to the Roswell incident. It was only after seeing the television program 14 years later that the information the dying woman imparted meant anything.

"The nurse related the woman told her that she was not an official part of the group, but had gone with a friend. Whether they were professionals, amateurs, or students she didn't say. Nor did she specifically mention the time frame the story unfolded, but Gardner felt it was most likely sometime in the late 1940s because the woman had related to her previously she was a student during that period, making a rather good case that her friend in the group was a student. The nurse had access to the woman's charts when she was in the hospital and may have known her actual age at the time, but 14 years later she just could not recall what it was. The woman looked to be in her 70s, which would have made her in her in her 40s if the incident occurred in 1947, however, she was terminally ill, dying of cancer and could have easily appeared to be 20 years older than she actually was, which would make her anywhere from age 22 to 27 in 1947. Many people had put their lives on hold during the war years so it wasn't unusual for college students to be in their late 20s or even older at the time, and certainly not unusual for graduate students, so age was not a factor, except for being within a range to be feasible. It should also be mentioned she said she was with a group hunting fossils. Holden and his students were looking for Native American artifacts and signs of pre-contact occupation, not fossils. However, the woman only joined the group to be with a friend, so maybe at her level of participation, student, graduate student, or no, there wasn't any difference between an artifact and a fossil."

After the Wanderling was discharged from the Military it wasn't unusual to find him visiting what his Mentor called his High Mountain Zendo located some 200 miles north of Los Angeles on the higher altitude up-slopes of the Sierra Nevadas north of Mt. Whitney. Two or three times in the mid-to-late 1960s, either on the way to or returning from the Zendo as described in The Letter, the wanderling stopped by the remote mining compound of a one time old desert rat by the name of Walter Bickel. Bickel and the Wanderling's father went way back as friends, the two having prospected many years together in the early days. The Wanderling always tried to make it a point to stop and pay his respects and update him on his father who was in pretty bad shape with a collapsed lung and all after being caught in a fire while on the job. Typically the Wanderling would be invited to stay a night or so and on several occasions he did. During one of those one or two night stays he was introduced to a man by the name of Alex Apostolides who, at the time just happened to be doing archaeological surveys and field work under the aegis of UCLA. After talking Mayan Ruins for short period of time, in a small talk BS sort of way the Wanderling dredged up the only other piece of information he thought might be of interest, mentioning he knew a man by the name of Carlos Castaneda who was a student in the department at UCLA at one time and had been doing field work in Arizona and New Mexico. Surprisingly enough, Apostolides knew Castaneda. He told the Wanderling Castaneda was now a graduate student working on his PhD and, although Apostolides was NOT totally familiar with the content of what Castaneda was writing, that he would soon have a book published. The Wanderling told him the last time he saw Castaneda was several years before in a Greyhound bus station in Nogales, Arizona. Of course that bus station encounter, unknown to the Wanderling at the time and what continued to be so even up to the time he met Apostolides --- and seemingly unimportant to Apostolides as well --- turned out to be Castaneda's infamous Nogales bus station meeting where he claimed to have met the mainstay in all his books, Don Juan Matus.

Some ten-years-plus after meeting Apostolides at Bickel's compound the Wanderling was on one of his then fairly regular visits to spend some time with his uncle in Santa Fe. His uncle told him that between the last time he was there and the visit we are talking about now, he, the Wanderling's uncle, had met a person that claimed to be a mutual acquaintance. That "mutual acquaintance" was Apostolides. Apostolides, who had settled in El Paso, Texas after a several year on-and-off archaeologist stint in Mexico was on his way back from Utah after having participated in a study that had to do with rock art. He had come across an ancient Native American petrograph that he thought might depict the Crab Nebula super nova of 1054 AD. Apostolides contacted a professor at UCLA he knew by the name of Clement Meighan who had discovered similar petrographs on the Baja peninsula in 1962. Meighan suggested several people in the area that might help to confirm Apostolides' suspicions, of which the Wanderling's uncle was one.

It was because of Meighan's suggestion that the Wanderling's uncle and Apostolides met. The Wanderling's uncle found it odd that they both had been traveling around the desert southwest in the same or similar circles all about the sametime and knew many of the same people, but never ran into each other before that either could recall --- although Apostolides did say that he had heard a lot about him during his travels.

What is of interest to us here is when casual conversation between the two somehow turned to Castaneda, AND how it was told to the Wanderling by his uncle, Apostolides, at least by the time of their meeting in the late 1970s, had met William Lawrence Campbell and was aware by then that Campbell was the "Bill" in Castaneda's works. Apostolides said that before he went into Mexico the archaeological team he was coordinating his efforts with was looking to recruit one or two additional team members and Campbell showed up as a potential candidate. Campbell had come highly recommended, however, since the archaeological investigations centered around Mayan sites in Mexico and possibly other countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, et al, any dig workers over any extended period of time would be required to have passports. The thing is, and unusually so for an experienced archaeologist, Campbell did not have a passport. At first the interviewers thought he just needed to renew his, but, as it turned out, he said he never had one.

Prior to any formal interview session and it became clear that Campbell would not be able to participate, Apostolides --- who was not part of the the interview team and maybe even being recruited himself --- and Campbell, as mentioned above, had engaged in some casual conversation over a period of a few days. During those conversations Apostolides told Campbell that he had met the Wanderling sometime before Castaneda's first book came out and the Wanderling had told him that he had seen Castaneda and another man he knew sitting together and talking at a bus station in Nogales at the end of the summer of 1960. Campbell said he knew the Wanderling having met him a few times in conjunction with his uncle, the last time being maybe 1968 or so in Taos, New Mexico. However, in a very positive confirmation of the facts he did admit to Apostolides it was true that he had been at the bus station with Castaneda at the time so stated and was sure he was most likely the other man, although he did not recall seeing the Wanderling there. He did say he and Castaneda had met with the Wanderling's uncle a few weeks before in the desert but there was no sign of the Wanderling traveling or being with his uncle at the time that he had any recollection of. He also said when he and the Wanderling had met maybe eight years later (i.e., circa 1968) in Taos and they had breakfast or lunch together --- a rather extended meal over a rather respectable period of time --- the Wanderling didn't bring it up or say anything one way or the other about having had seen him in Nogales.


CACTUS JACK: Space Alien Archaeologist

----------(click image for additional info on Upaka's Space Alien Archaeologist)

According to Upaka the Ascetic's current Yahoo profile and his old website he is from Benares, India. His now lost in cyber space old freeyellow website also claimed he was a student attending Benares Hindu University. The question arises, why in the world would a man of Indian descent attending a Hindu university spend any amount of time creating a website titled CACTUS JACK: Space Alien Archaeologist?

Apparently he was doing research on a set of ancient documents hidden away in a remote monastery high in the mountains along the Tibeten India border called the Hemis Manuscripts. The manuscritps say Jesus of Nazareth visited India between the ages 12 to 30, his so called missing years of the Bible.

During his research Upaka ran across information regarding a man named Nicholas Roerich. In the 1920s Roerich traveled to the Hemis monastery in search of the manuscripts and then on to Tibet where he heard the original manuscript was kept. Westerners did not travel much in Tibet in those days, especially to Lhasa, and Roerich and his party were held incognito in Tibet a year or so during which five of his party died. He was eventually released in 1928 and returned to India. In 1929 he published his diary as a book, Altai-Himalaya: A Travel Diary. On pages 361-62 Roerich wrote the following under the date August 5, 1927:

"On August fifth - something remarkable! We were in our camp in the kukunor district, not far from the humboldt chain. In the morning about half-past nine some of our caravaneers noticed a remarkably big black eagle flying above us. Seven of us began to watch this unusual bird. At the same moment another of our caravaneers remarked: 'there is something far above the bird,' and he shouted his astonishment. We all saw, in the direction north to south, something big and shiny reflecting sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp this thing changed in its direction from south to southwest, and we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly the oval form with the shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun."(source)

Upaka began looking into what such an object could be and began running into information from early Roswell authors such as Frank Edwards and even earlier flying saucer advocates such as Frank Scully. Heavily influenced by those early writers one thing led to the next. Thinking an archaeologist in the mix would add a certain amount of scientific credibility to the Roswell incident, he began researching the subject.

Achondrites are made of rock that has crystallized from a molten state. They contain mostly one or more of the minerals plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene, and olivine, and generally, but not always, lack the small rounded inclusions known as chondrules that are typical of chondrites. Most achondrites are chemically similar to basalts and are thought to be the product of melting on large asteroids, moons, and planets. Soon after these bodies formed, they were heated from within and partially melted. Although this process is still active on Earth, it ended about 4.4 billion years ago on asteroids, 2.9 billion years ago on the Moon, and perhaps 1 billion years ago on Mars. Heating the primordial mixture of stony minerals, metals, and sulfides (of which chondrites are made) produced liquids, the densest of which sank to become planetary or asteroidal cores. Lighter stony minerals rose and solidified to become basaltic rocks, fragments of which were subsequently broken off by impacts and hurled into space. Although the majority of achondrites are of asteroidal origin, some are known to have come from the highland regions of the Moon's farside and from Mars.

Just the thought of Native Americans burying objects from Mars in ritual style drove Campbell farther and farther into the field. It was that drive, it is said, that placed him in the area of Roswell on the night of July 4, 1947. It was that same "drive" that, in his very early stages of his boyhood, got the Wanderling caught up in a rather "iffy" situation as well. For more, click HERE.