Gabe Valdez Passes
Visiting Gabe in 2009 (photo by Nick Redfern)
Yesterday morning, Gabriel Valdez, former New Mexico State Police Officer as well as good friend of mine was found dead in his Albuquerque home. He had apparently passed away in his sleep. Norio Hayakawa just called to tell me this sad news.
Presently, I have no biographical details other than from the few short years that I knew Gabe. We met in 2003 when I was working on Project Beta. Bill Moore got us in touch and we met at a restaurant in Albuquerque. He took me on a few long-distance errands for his work, and we talked at length about his involvement with the rash of cattle mutilation incidents around Dulce, New Mexico in the late 1970s and early ’80s, as well as his friendship with Paul Bennewitz, the main subject of the book. The next day, he presented me with a large box of his files and left me alone with them for about three hours while he worked elsewhere. It was a literal treasure trove of facts and images, many of which ended up in the published book.
He was one of the first law enforcement personnel to deal with the cattle mutilation enigma firsthand, and knew far more about the events and issues surrounding this problem than anyone else I’ve ever met. He was well-respected in the Dulce and surrounding Jicarilla Apache community for his dedication to public safety and friendship with many of the locals. Earlier this year, he offered to take me into the backcountry near the town and show me evidence of underground facilities.
In 2000, he was running a study on unexplained animal deaths for Robert Bigelow’s National Institute of Discovery Science. He later told me that he had confirmed a non-alien explanation for the cattle mutilation phenomenon. At the beginning of this year, we were still discussing a future book based on his findings and its implications.
In the years since Project Beta was released, Gabe kept me up to date on developments in Dulce and unexplained animal mutilations. He and his wife also welcomed me warmly whenever I was in New Mexico. What many in the UFO arena may not know is that he was awarded citations and medals for his police work, and had two sons in public service, one who has served multiple tours of duty in the middle east in the armed forces, and the other who has followed his father’s legacy as an officer in the state police.
What I will remember most about Gabe was his warm personality, intelligence, and his habit of putting his hand on my shoulder and saying “bueno” when we parted company. There are many who will miss him.
Update from Norio Hayakawa:
Gabe is survived by his wife, Margie; three sons; 5 grandchildren; a brother; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, August 12, with Visitation from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., followed by Celebration of His Life from 9 a.m., both at the Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque, 4001 Osuna Rd., NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.
Burial service will be held at 2 p.m. at Cebolla Cemetery, Cebolla, New Mexico, his hometown.
Reception will follow at Cebolla Community Center (across from cemtery).
For those that feel inclined to send flowers, please send to:
7121 Wyoming Blvd.
Albuquerque, NM 87109
However, the family is in the process of setting up a donation account in lieu of flowers to aid surviving family members of NM State Police killed in the line of duty. That is still in the works and information will be posted once that is finalized.
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