An SR-71A Blackbird (no.61-7970) crashed at this location in the desert east of El Paso on 17 June 1970. The spyplane had been receiving fuel from a KC-135 when it suddenly pitched downward. The pilot then over-corrected causing the Blackbird to strike the underside of the tanker. Both Blackbird crewmen ejected and parachuted to safety as the stricken SR-71 fell to earth. The KC-135 was able to land at its home base (Beale AFB) with the damaged refueling boom dragging the runway.
The military removed most of the wreckage from the crash site then filled the impact crater, but many small pieces of the plane remain scattered in the desert.