What happened in Socorro NM April 24 1964

deirdre

Senior Member.
yea it wasnt necessarily always at full build on these tests (dont have a year for this link pic)

Article:
Surveyor’s landing sequence and systems design.
1659915384990.png

A Surveyor engineering model shown during a drop test at Holloman AFB, NM to validate its landing systems. (NASA)



this vid seems to have real life vid of an earth test landing in "New Mexico": timestamp start 2:24-3:50
this still is an earth test from balloon drop. 2:58
1659915770347.png

Source: https://youtu.be/sqLtNzB_S18?t=144
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
regarding 'evidence', we have the broad daylight, good weather, eye-witness testimony from a distance of 100' of a policeman.
Objecting to that as evidence means one thing: direct accusation of hoax. His interview the same day is in an above post ; Hynek certainly did not praise Zamora's intellect, but said he had no reason to doubt what he said as being truthful.
No, it doesn't automatically mean 'hoax'. People are mistaken all the time, and they aren't hoaxers, they're humans. Humans mistake things. That's all we are saying.

Policemen are human, too. They mistake things like everyone else does. Here is a small list of things policemen have mistaken for other things, with sources to back up my claims:
  1. This policeman mistook bird poop for cocaine
  2. This policeman mistook a cordless landline telephone for a gun
  3. These policemen (and firemen) mistook a burned human corpse for a mannequin
  4. These policemen mistook a young male murder suspect's mother for his son
  5. This deputy of 17 years mistook a man's sandwich for a gun
Note how police are specifically trained to identify the items they mistook: drugs, guns, corpses, and suspects. Police are not trained to identify unknown objects or vehicles. Police make errors--in all the above cases, errors with grave consequences--just as much as anyone else does.

And regarding "direct accusation of a hoax": even if we were saying that, so what? People hoax things, too. It would be completely reasonable to assume that a hoax could also be occurring here. It is a possible scenario, and as such it deserves to be considered just as much as any other possibility.
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
Police are not trained to identify unknown objects or vehicles.
Before someone says "policemen are totally trained to identify vehicles", let me clarify: policemen aren't trained to identify and describe completely foreign-to-them vehicles, like aerospace vehicles, for instance.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Note how police are specifically trained to identify the items they mistook
i'm not sure we should be telling people police are trained to spot a gun. If you turn toward an officer with ANYTHING in your hand, you are taking a risk. so don't do it!!!



@jamesrav I don't think Zamora was pulling a hoax to help the town. I know if part of my hoax was that i saw fire and thought the dynamite shack blew up, i would have called that in faster than i would have called in "i think i see a car accident".
 

jamesrav

Member
where is this evidence?
the 100' reference was in my original post, it's actually 103' (which is a weird distance to note, I have no explanation for that figure other than 34 steps x 3 feet = 102 and he mis-wrote). That drawing and the overhead drawing make clear it was an observation at 100'. The final blast-off took place at 100', so I could understand why he'd be very fearful, despite looking like a very tough, 200 pound cop. We are not talking hundreds of yards, or dim light, fog, sand storm - it was 100' in broad daylight, good weather. He could easily have picked up a rock and thrown it at the object.

we ie documents, already said why in the thread.


his blurb was not an unrelated manner. Linus asked him specifically
Screenshot 2022-08-07 181858.png
the initial correspondence was on a different matter entirely. Pauling asked at the end. He was apparently interested in UFO's from what I've read, although I have no firsthand admission of that. To ask though would indicate he did.

or the teacher/student that was involved or discovered the truth told him so.
Article:
Colgate took several days to reply to me. In his email, Colgate answered very cryptically and sparingly:

To the question, "Do you still know this to be a hoax? His reply was simple: "Yes."

interesting leading question , do you "know" this rather than "believe" this.

When asked, "Today, decades later, can you expand on what you wrote to Pauling about the event?" He wrote: "I will ask a friend, but he and other students did not want their cover blown."
no further evidence was given by Colgate before he died, about a particular student or group of students (and it would have taken a group). His sidebar comment to Pauling about hoax is no different than Fermat saying that he had a proof to the theorem
that was too large to fit in the margin. Instead it took 358 years of advancement of math to prove it. People make mistakes.


He offered that the hoax, "was a no-brainer."

When asked "Specifically how did they do it?" He just answered, "Will ask."
so at that point he did not know. He then offered up the 'candle in a balloon explanation' and pretty much dropped the subject after that. I cannot recall if there was one last attempt to get more info that failed.[/article]
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
no further evidence was given by Colgate before he died
technically he did, that's where you got your candle in the balloon thing.
if you consider the things Zamora says as evidence, why can't Colgates things he says be evidence?

is no different than Fermat saying that he had a proof to the theorem
that was too large to fit in the margin.

I have zero idea what this means. or who Fermat is.

and lets look at this alleged map you refuse to source:

1659922962142.png

why are these two 100' feet different lengths?
where did the number 800' come from?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
the 100' reference was in my original post, it's actually 103' (which is a weird distance to note, I have no explanation for that figure other than 34 steps x 3 feet = 102 and he mis-wrote).
where are you getting any of these numbers from?
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
And regarding "direct accusation of a hoax": even if we were saying that, so what? People hoax things, too. It would be completely reasonable to assume that a hoax could also be occurring here. It is a possible scenario, and as such it deserves to be considered just as much as any other possibility.
I first thought a hoax might be a good possibility, but hoaxers don't usually plan to stage a performance on a side road away from any expected audience, as it was just chance that Zamora happened to observe something to investigate. Unless he was part of a hoax himself, I suspect that mistaken identity of unusual objects is the more likely scenario.

Regarding the dynamite storage place, did it indeed have dynamite stored in it at the time, I wonder? Because if it did, I would think that would have been the first concern of law enforcement.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
jamesrev banned for numerous posting guidelines violations.
aw. i found one of his sources for him. Bold added by me.

"Studies for Intelligence" (internet seems to think 1966 but i cant verify this) disclaimer below
THE INVESTIGATION OF UFO'S . . " Hector Quintanilla, Jr


Article:
The Air Force Materials Laboratory analyzed soil samples from the
landing area. .
The findings were altogether negative. No other witnesses could
be located.
There were no unidenti6ed helicopters or aircraft in the
area. Radar installations at Holloman AFB and at Albuquerque
observed no unusual blips; but the down-range Holloman MTI radar, .
closest to Socorro, had been closed down for the day at 1600 hours.

There was no unusual meteorological activity, no thunderstorms;
the weather was windy but clear.
There were no markings of any sort in the area except the shallow "tracks" Chaves and Zamora found.
The soil analYSis disclosed no foreign material. Radiation was normal
for the "tracks" a~d surrounding area. Laboratory analysis of the
burned brush showed no chemicals that could have been propellant
residue.
The object was traveling at approximately 120 miles per hour
when it disappeared over the mountain, according to Zamora's best
guess of the time it took. Not an interplanetary speed, at any rate;
and the findings are also negative for any indication that the Socorro
UFO was of extraterrestrial origin or that it presented a threat to
the security of the United States
.



the disclaimer of course on page 1 says:
All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed In Studies
In Intelligence are those of the authors. TIley do not necessarily
renect omclal positions or views of the Central Intelligence
Agency or any other US government entity, past or present.
Nothing In the contents should be construed as asserting or
Implying US government endorsement or an article's factual
statements, Interpretations, or recommendations.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
There were no markings of any sort in the area except the shallow "tracks" Chaves and Zamora found
The use of quotes on the word "tracks" I take to mean skepticism on the part of the investigators, which I think is probably justified. For those unfamiliar with desert terrain, vegetation grows very slowly, and from the top of the pass between White Sands and Las Cruces, it was still possible in the 1960s to see the century-old tracks of the Butterfield Stage.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
no further evidence was given by Colgate before he died, about a particular student or group of students (and it would have taken a group). His sidebar comment to Pauling about hoax is no different than Fermat saying that he had a proof to the theorem
that was too large to fit in the margin. Instead it took 358 years of advancement of math to prove it. People make mistakes.

"no different"? There is no analogue between these two situations at all.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
I first thought a hoax might be a good possibility, but hoaxers don't usually plan to stage a performance on a side road away from any expected audience, as it was just chance that Zamora happened to observe something to investigate. Unless he was part of a hoax himself, I suspect that mistaken identity of unusual objects is the more likely scenario.
I used to agree, however as I started reading through some actual sources, and in light of the balloon photo dierdre found in post #22, got me to thinking.

We have to speculate a little here, but we can use what the sources we have to make reasoned speculations and be open to the idea that it is just that. The standard version of this as a hoax has it being done by students from the collage. Zamora may have been a security officer there before becoming a Policeman for the town:

Students at tech universities have a long and time-honored tradition of pranking, and it turns out that Lonnie Zamora had worked on campus for several years, where he had developed a reputation for being somewhat rigid and impatient with the students.
Content from External Source
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4582

After setting up the hoax, one student sped through town to get Zamora to chase him just out of town to the site. There they set off pyrotechnics to attract his attention, and after maybe 2 students held the "craft" down, they set off more pyrotechnics and pulled it with a car out of site behind a hill until it disappeared.

Sounds a bit convoluted and something Zamora would have easily seen, however:

IF they had one of these at the time, which is possible:
1659974116005.png

and we turn it 90*:

Sorcballoon2.png

Hmmm, now if Zamora only saw 2 of fins because of the way it was orientated, doesn't it seem close to what he described in the FBI files:

1659974413171.png

I'm not sure if he drew the little picture, but there is a definite resemblance.

In addition, we have this transcript from an interview he did with local radio. This is from the Skeptoid
podcast, but one can also here the interview as recorded here on S2E5 of Toby Ball's Strange Arrivals podcast:

https://podcasts.apple.com/mr/podcast/seagulls/id1502150213?i=1000524611552

ZAMORA: I went up that little road, for about half a mile, I guess, came up to this little parking (?) there on the side of the road, and I thought I'd glance out of the window, looked to my left and seen this white object on the ground. Thought that it might be a car that had turned over. Crossed the (?) to go out there to investigate, thought maybe somebody might be hurt. At that time, I saw this white, egg, like egg-shaped looking object...

SHRODE: That it looked something like an egg, you mean?

ZAMORA: Yeah, from that distance I was it looked like an egg to me...

SHRODE: About the size of a car, I think someone said.

ZAMORA: Yes sir, it looked like a car that had turned over, therefore I would say about the size of a car.
Content from External Source
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4582


Again, similar to the balloon in the picture. In fact Zamora says:

1660009556394.png


Then we have the "flames":


1659975185881.png

I'm not sure what he's saying here. He seems to indicate that he is sort of seeing it while trying to drive the car at the same time and that there is a sound involved. If this is a hoax by Mining and Engineering students, what might they have done?

I was reminded of a friend of mine that builds model rockets, not the Estes ones from high school science, but big 3'-10' rockets that have to be launched at places like the desert in Nevada with FFA clearances. Not only does he make the rockets, he makes the engines, often using ammonium chlorate and other stuff.

Here's a guy that made a small ball of ammonium perchlorate and epoxy in his garage. It should be queued to the end when he ignites it:

Source: https://youtu.be/ENMSN8WkJq4?t=161


I know my friend would also mix different chemicals in to produce different flame colors. The very beginning of this video shows what it can sound like when put into a tube to direct the burning gases and make an engine:

Source: https://youtu.be/YixmPK26upk
.

Is this the kind of stuff Mining and Engineering students could have used? Seems plausible.

Then we have the 2 "aliens". This part always confused me in the classic telling of the story. He sees 2 persons in white, then he doesn't. Did they disappear or did they climb into the craft?

Now reading the FBI files, it seems he only caught a glimpse of the aliens as he was either driving, getting out of the car, getting on the radio or looking for his glasses:

1660010156802.png

So where did they go? If it's a hoax and the "craft" is hooked to a car, after they lit some more pyrotechnics they ran and jumped into the car. Something Zamora may have heard:

1660010333155.png

The car then drives off pulling the balloon "craft" behind the hill, against the wind possibly.

It's just a maybe, but some of it lines up better than I originally thought.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
this is the cordinates one of the town pages gives.

34º02’33″N 106°53’52″W

but looking at the alleged Project Blue Book map (i'm sure someone can verify as PBB i think is online) and my below link info, those coordinates are the fake site the town set up. so you need to go a bit further up the road.

not that we can tell if there was a getaway access in 1964 as even google Earth only goes back to 1996 where you can see anything.
I'm still curious if its possible the balloon was at that site and still match Zamoras story, or if maybe they assumed that was the site when they found "indentations" and Zamoras memory of location was a bit off as he was so scared.

1660020203641.png

1660019389631.png
http://socorro-history.org/HISTORY/PH_History/200808_socorro_ufo.pdf


that link does say a documentary was made in 1965...maybe the guy drove around so we can see Zamoras actual view...if the movie can be found anywhere
Article:
r Mike Musto arrived to make a UFO documentary in 1965. Senn drove Musto around town in his pickup truck as he filmed scenes of Socorro “guaranteed to promote the town.” The movie was named, “Phenomenon 7.7”
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The use of quotes on the word "tracks" I take to mean skepticism on the part of the investigators,
i found an article i think published the 27th (based on main article wording)..note: this article Zamora seems to be saying diffeerent things a bit then in his government report.
anyway the article (within my linked article) says"

Article:
At the site, four five to six inch depressions were found as well as a couple of round tracks about four inches in diameter which officers theorized might have been made by occupants of the craft. They even went so far as to estimate by the depression that the tracks were made by a being of approximately 120-16O pounds.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
ok either this Project BLue Book staff is grossly incompetant or Zamora is telling everyone a different story. I give up lol

Article:
T/Sgt. David Moody, a member of Blue Book's staff, was dispatched the next day from Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio -- home to Blue Book -- to Socorro. He would file this three-page report (click image for larger version with all three pages)...

1660022026864.png
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
k either this Project BLue Book staff is grossly incompetant or Zamora is telling everyone a different story. I give up lol
It seems like Moody just typed up a rough paraphrase. Maybe a good example of why paraphrasing is verboten here on Metabunk. While the basics are there, a lot of the detail is missing.

The FBI files from The Black Vault that you linked to in post #17 are much more detailed. I was a bit confused, as they state that the FBI is not investigating but lesioning with the Air Force. However, this page indicates that SA Byrnes talked to Zamora at length and that's what is contained in this file. I take SA to be Special Agent, which is what FBI agents call themselves. They're all special.


1660059672575.png

In addition, Byrnes interviewed Zamora the next day right after the incident.

What I think becomes clear reading through the statement is that Zamora is not seeing a lot of this as clearly as is made out to be in later years. Throughout the encounter, he is either driving his car, getting stuck on a hill, losing and looking for his glasses, using the radio, hiding behind his car and the object is obscured by the surroundings. The 2 "persons in white" are only seen in a glance of 1-2 seconds.

This line sums it up:

1660060649559.png

He saw it for maybe 20 seconds while getting out of the car, then running and jumping over a hill and then getting back to the car. And he lost his glasses:

1660060792251.png
https://documents2.theblackvault.com/documents/fbifiles/paranormal/FBI-UFO-Socorro-fbi1.pdf

Not that he didn't see something, but it seems a bit more jumbled than is normally portrayed.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
In addition, Byrnes interviewed Zamora the next day right after the incident.
apparently Byrnes was at the scene the same day too. those few links i just posted have other excerpts from Project Blue Book files (which someone should find and link...the full files ) and are an interesting read.
 

Duke

Active Member
Article:
Famous Socorro 'UFO Landing' a Student Prank? - Skeptical Inquirer
SmartSelect_20220806-114336_Samsung Notes.jpgSmartSelect_20220806-114347_Samsung Notes.jpg
Several years ago I spoke old engineer-to-old engineer with a number of NMT grads and retired engineering professors who were there when the Zamora sighting occurred. Everything I was told was strictly off the record, but there's not much doubt in my mind this was a prank that got out of hand.

The individual Dr Colgate alluded to in his letter to Dr. Pauling was still alive at the time I was talking to the NMT folks, but he would not communicate with me even through an intermediary. None of them would give his name, but he didn't act alone. There was some indication when this individual dies, the full story will come out. I will say, if what I was told is correct, the pranksters followed the KISS principle and the story grew legs.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Several years ago I spoke old engineer-to-old engineer with a number of NMT grads and retired engineering professors who were there when the Zamora sighting occurred. Everything I was told was strictly off the record, but there's not much doubt in my mind this was a prank that got out of hand.
Interesting. However, this still needs to be considered just un-sourced hearsay at this point. Not saying your being untruthful or the ol' proffs you spoke with were untruthful, but it's just you claiming that they claimed something.

Now, if you can remember details about what they told you and use that to look through the existing sources about the case and shed new light with sourced evidence, then that might be useful.
 

Duke

Active Member
Interesting. However, this still needs to be considered just un-sourced hearsay at this point. Not saying your being untruthful or the ol' proffs you spoke with were untruthful, but it's just you claiming that they claimed something.

Now, if you can remember details about what they told you and use that to look through the existing sources about the case and shed new light with sourced evidence, then that might be useful.
Have done, and I'm convinced. No offense taken, don't blame anyone for being skeptical of heresay. I will say it was never intended as a hoax, Sgt. Zamora happened to be in the right (or wrong, depending how you look at it) place at the right/wrong time and the rest is history. Serious charges, both local and federal, could have been filed had the pranksters been caught.

I hope I'm still around when/if the story comes out. It's part "Mission Impossible," part "Monty Python."
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I hope I'm still around when/if the story comes out. It's part "Mission Impossible," part "Monty Python.
did their prank cause the 4 or 5 circular indentations? and the round "tracks" ? meaning did Zamora get the landing site correct?

was the red lettering a "this way up" sign?
 

Duke

Active Member
did their prank cause the 4 or 5 circular indentations? and the round "tracks" ? meaning did Zamora get the landing site correct?

was the red lettering a "this way up" sign?
I can't go into detail other than to say Sgt Zamora was not a very good witness. No one knows where the symbology he claims to have seen came from, it was not anything the pranksters did, apparently.

Anyone look into EMRTC? It's where I started my research.
 
Last edited:

deirdre

Senior Member.
Anyone look into EMRTC? It's where I started my research.
hhmm

Article:
On assuming the presidency of the School of Mines, he brought with him a research group which worked on weapons testing and analysis (the Terminal Effects Research and Analysis group, or TERA) and also the determination to build a research center for the study of thunderstorms, his primary peacetime interest.


Article:
With the ending of the Cold War, TERA changed its name to Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC), which is using its expertise to expand into areas such as anti-terrorism testing and training, land mine detection, and safety testing of explosives.
.....
Workman retired in 1964 [age 65..added by deirdre]


It's where I started my research.
feel free to share.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Anyone look into EMRTC? It's where I started my research.
As dierdre above said feel free to share, don't tease. If there are things said to you in confidence that can't be shared, that's completely understandable. But if there are things that may be enlightening to the case that you know about that is public knowledge, let us in on it. That's kinda the point here, we all share what we find to gain a better understanding of what we're looking into. I'm always looking to be enlightened others.
 

Duke

Active Member
Not teasing, simply stating a fact. I got nowhere with the academic side of NMT, so I started looking elsewhere within the university. EMRTC was/is a research arm of NMT specializing in energetic materials, sounded like a good place to check into considering Sgt Zamora's description of what sounded like a terrestrial chemical rocket.
 
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