April 24, 1964 at approximately 5:45 pm, Socorro police
officer Lonnie Zamora began pursuing a speeding vehicle
just south of town. He then says he heard a roar,
and he broke off his pursuit to investigate. He knew of
a nearby dynamite shack and decided to go take look to see
if it was the source of the noise. He also noticed a flame
in the sky. He said it was a bluish orange and appeared
to be descending. He says he could not focus on it because
he was paying attention to the road. A part of the dirt
road was very steep and he had trouble getting over it.
When he did crest the hill he noticed a white object on
the ground out in the desert and two people in coveralls
near it. He said the object looked oval and white. It also
seemed to be on two legs. He thought it might be a car wreck,
so he raced down the road to help. He called dispatch to
let them know he would be assisting in a car wreck.
he got closer to the object he pulled his car around, stopped
to radio in that he was leaving his car, and then got out.
He fumbled with the radio handset, and just as he turned
around, he heard a loud roar (was not exactly a blast).
He said the object began to rise and it had a blue flame
under it. He said the bottom of the flame looked orange.
At this point he also noticed the object was smooth with
no windows and it had an insignia on the side. He was afraid
the thing was going to explode, so he ran. As he ran around
his patrol car his leg hit the fender and he fell down.
He glanced back and saw the object was still rising, and
the roar kept getting louder.
got up and kept running from the object, finally jumping
over a hill for cover. He said the sound stopped. He had
planned on continuing to run, but he noticed the object
was now moving away. It was only about 10 to 15 feet from
the ground. It flew over the dynamite shack, just clearing
it by a few feet. It flew off following the contour of the
ground, never higher than 20 feet or so, until Zamora lost
sight of it. Zamora went back to his car and asked the radio
operator to look out of the window to see if he could see
the object. The dispatcher didnt see anything. Then
New Mexico state police officer Sergeant Chavez arrived
on the scene. Chavez asked what was wrong. He noticed Zamora
looked out of breath and pale. Zamora told him the story,
and they went to look at the area the object had landed.
When they got there they noticed a burnt bush and impressions
in the ground left by what appeared to be landing gear.
sighting made it into local newspapers and caught the attention
of the U.S. Air Forces Project Blue Book, their official
investigation into UFOs. Investigators were impressed with
Zamoras credibility. They were also impressed with
the physical evidence. A burnt branch from the bush and
the soil at the site of the impressions were analyzed. However,
nothing unusual was found. They also tested for radiation,
but levels were normal. There was burnt cardboard found
on the site, but Blue Books scientific advisor, Dr.
J. Allen Hynek, said it was old. He felt it was probably
blown by the wind under the bush that got burnt, and was
not sturdy enough to be part of a hoax. He noted many bushes
in the area had paper or cardboard brought in by the wind
stuck under them.
Book director Hector Quintanilla said, [Zamora] is
puzzled by what he saw and frankly, so are we. This is the
best-documented case on record, and still we have been unable,
in spite of thorough investigation, to find the vehicle
or other stimulus that scared Zamora to the point of panic.
This case has continued to be important in UFO research,
and occasionally finds itself back in the news. In 2009,
a professor and former students from New Mexico Tech said
they thought they might know who hoaxed it. They thought
it was an elaborate tricked played on Zamora. However, they
did not produce anything definitive.
the years, the craft witnessed by Zamora has most of the
time been depicted with a red insignia based on a design
released to the media in 1964. However, recent findings
indicate that in fact Captain Holder obtained Zamoras
agreement to not divulge the real design of the insignia
he saw in red on the observed craft. Therefore a modified
one was submitted instead. The main reason behind this request
was that, if another witnesse came forward, it would be
a way to validate whether he was telling the truth or not.
There is no written document today that shows the actual
markings that Zamora saw that day. Only verbal descriptions
remain. [The design was an inverted V with three bars crossing
it]. Ray Stanford discovered a copy of an important letter
in the Archives Socorro files from J. Allen Hynek
sent to Major Hector Quintanilla at the United States Air
Forces Foreign Technology Division at Wright-Patterson
AFB, with Hyneks own drawing of the insignia Lonnie
Zamora reported [B2]. This drawing also depicts an inverted
V with three lines, but with some changes in their length
Full article here
A2, A3 Decoy Insignia and alternative
Insignia rendered based on description
given to authorized investigators by Zamora
Hyneks own drawing of the Insignia
January 2015, Ray Stanford revealed new evidence based on
the data found on two handwritten documents about Hyneks
interview with New Mexico State Police Sergeant Sam Chavez,
where one can clearly see the correct design of the insignia
as described by Sergeant Sam Chavez based on what Zamora
told him immediately after his arrival at the site. [B1]
of the object and the insignia on its side made by Zamora
from the U.S. Air Force Project Blue Book