Tag Archives: By Ben Moss

Update on the ‘Search for the Socorro UFO (Case) Footage’

Lonnie Zamora, Sgt. Sam Chavez and Ray Stanford.
Lonnie Zamora, left (in plain clothes); N.M State Police Sgt. Sam Chavez (middle) and NICAP investigator Ray Stanford, right. (Credit: USAF Photo by Allen Hynek, April 29, 1964)

By Ben Moss and Tony Angiola
The UFO Chronicles
4-18-15

     After the original article was published in the MUFON Journal, much has happened behind the scenes.

First, I want to thank everyone for their assistance in searching for the footage. A lot of MUFON members did their due diligence and searched high and low, many following up on the leads that Tony Angiola and I had already followed up on.

But, then we had some news; John Steiger, a Former MUFON member, found the episode of Sightings we were seeking, season 4 episode 13, and sent us the link from YouTube. Tony immediately downloaded this episode, and just a few days later it was removed from the site.

After viewing, we found that this was indeed the show that a woman saw on TV regarding the famous Socorro case of an egg shaped craft landing in 1964. After watching this episode the woman was compelled to go up in her attic, find her father’s footage and send it to Sightings. This is the film that proved to be very hard to track down.

Three very important things occurred after our article was printed in the MUFON Journal. First, someone who had read the article alerted Ray Stanford to our search. Ray Stanford wrote the definitive book on this case (classified as an UNKNOWN in Project Blue Books files) called “Socorro Saucer in a Pentagon Pantry”. This is a “must read” regarding this case since Ray was onsite just a few days after the event. Ray located additional witnesses, and conducted multiple interviews with Lonnie Zamora and Dr. J. Allen Hynek.

Ray contacted Jan Harzan at MUFON who forwarded his information to us. We contacted Ray and have spoken many times about this event. Ray has incredible information about this fascinating case, which has been debated over the years and even called a college hoax. There has been lots of misinformation regarding the events and results of the investigation. Ray is also going to release some incredible new facts about the Socorro event, and I can personally say that his data will eliminate any hoax theories and bring this case back into the news.

The second result of our article was connecting with Rob Mercer, Ohio State Section Director, who acquired original Blue Book documents on Craigslist. These turned out to be original, hand written notes by the principle Blue Book investigator, along with several other documents that all came from the Blue Book investigation of Socorro.

Ben introduced Rob to Ray Stanford and these important documents were shared and found to be authentic. The documents indicate a serious investigation by the Air Force, proving that this was a real event as described by Lonnie Zamora, and manipulation by Air Force personnel to release a different insignia on the side of the craft. This was likely an attempt to compare the real marking to any other reports of this object and discard them as a hoax if they did not match the ‘real’ insignia seen by Mr. Zamora.

The third result was a surprise. Ben was contacted by John Ventre, MUFON State Director for Pennsylvania. He met John in Los Angeles when we filmed for season 2 of Hangar1 in August. John contacted Ben and said that he had recorded the long sought after footage on VHS from the TV show Sightings. He thought it was too good to be true but three days later John mailed him a CD of that exact footage, thus ending a long and strange search for this piece of history. This is a great example of how working together, sharing data, and investigative skills resulted in us finding the footage.

The film shows the family at the site just several days after the landing, and brief shots of the landing area. It’s a great addition to the case file and is another piece of the Socorro event history. (See below):

What follows is Ray’s update on the Socorro case that points out an important piece of evidence and also clears up some of the bad info that has recently appeared in articles and blogs about the Socorro Incident.

Burned Paper From The Socorro Site

Ray Stanford By Ray Stanford
The UFO Chronicles
4-18-15

Ben Moss and Tony Angiola have been concerned about finding an 8mm movie they hoped would bring a worthwhile look at the Socorro CE III site of Friday April 24, 1964. So, this seems an appropriate time to provide readers a close look at just one of many trace evidences collected at the landing site.

Socorro Saucer In A Pentagon Pantry
As described in detail in my 211-page book, SOCORRO SAUCER IN A PENTAGON PANTRY, 1976, Blue Apple Books, both Dr. J. Allen Hynek, chief scientific consultant to the USAF’s Project Blue book, and I arrived in Socorro, New Mexico late on Tuesday April 28 1964 to investigate the case. On the next morning, via Socorro police dispatcher Mike Martinez, Hynek requested that I be allowed to join him, and the primary witness (Socorro policeman) Lonnie Zamora, along with New Mexico State police Sergeant Sam Chavez at the landing site.
Dr. Hynek made that request over the strong objections of Sergeant Chavez, who wanted the site closed to everyone except the three of them. Fortunately, Hynek knew and trusted me because of how thorough, helpful, and cooperative I was with him concerning an important case nearly five years before, when I was only 21.

There are skeptics out there who have recently discovered this event and seem to want to twist and distort every fact of the 50 year old Socorro case. Some of them even claim that I manufactured being with Hynek on April 29 and my involvement with this case. Above (top) I present the official USAF photo taken by Dr. Hynek using a Polaroid camera.

O.K., it was 1964. Elvis Presley was ‘King”, I was age 26, and someone has described me, therein, as sporting an Elvis-like shock of hair, but I swear, folks, that those are NOT “Blue Suede Shoes” I’m wearing.

No, those were just tan buckskins, walking all over where some people think two diminutive aliens might have trod about 4.5 days earlier. The three of us are standing on the south side of the southwest landing gear imprint. Zamora is off-duty, so he is not in police uniform.

Shortly after that photo was taken Hynek announced that he wanted to look for any landing traces, including burned paper. Then, suddenly he looked a bit flustered declaring that he had forgotten to bring any containers for samples. Well, he had done one thing right in inviting me to join them at the site because I had brought along a box of sixty brand new clear plastic containers with soft plastic lids you could write on them with a ballpoint pen.

We searched for samples side-by-side. When Hynek came up with something of interest I would place it in a plastic container for him and write his coded designation on the lid. Later, he would write a longer description on a paper pad.

Nearly fifty years later at the National Archives storage center, movie producer James Fox and I located, handled, and photographed the very burned-paper specimens I had so long ago helped Hynek collect for Project Blue Book. Seeing the Socorro trace evidence was like seeing long lost friends! They looked just as they did the day we found them. James Fox and I had received exceptional clearance to handle and photograph Blue Book originals, instead of copies. That exception took nearly an hour to obtain. It was granted to us because we told them I was in the photo with Zamora and Chavez. Other archive users are given only photos and xerographic copies to examine or copy.

Most specimens collected were long-weathered tears off the sides of corrugated boxes, evidently blown over there from the nearby trash facility. All papers found had clearly laid in the ravine bottom weathering rain-after-rain. The material was well-altered by both water, temperature extremes, and sunlight.

I absolutely do NOT allege that what you see below, in Socorro sample PB4, is evidence of some advanced propulsion technology. It’s true that the burns might seem a little odd, perhaps as though having been incurred mostly from a direction above. There are some intriguing edge scorches without black charring on those particular edges. I’m not saying that there might NOT be some effect of the Socorro object’s landing and take-off propulsive down-flow on the paper shown, but just recommend caution against over-interpretation of what one sees.

Something possibly more intriguing is at the left side. There’s a small brown scorch with oddly ‘concentric’ patterns of black centered around it. Notice how just the edge of the very old fold (shown oriented as found in the ravine bottom) is scorched but not very blackened.

Paper found at Socorro site

Virtually all paper in the landing area had already been collected days before except for one small piece of paper which I found within the landing-gear quadrangle. Chavez and Zamora suggested we look to the west-southwest of the landing gear quadrangle, because in that direction one could see some grass and old ravine-bottom-weathered papers which seemed as though they might have been recently scorched and even burned from above.

Although Hynek and I searched other areas outside of the area mentioned above, we found no other burned paper and saw no other seemingly burned grass.

Included here is a map of my own (not Hynek’s, whose finds were very near mine) paper-find sites, drawn onto a later illustration (from my Socorro book), but based on my careful notes made when collected. Note the arrow on the upper right indicating approximate direction of approach. This was based on the account of Colorado tourists who stopped at Whiting Brothers service station operated by Opal Grinder. They reported seeing something before Zamora’s sighting became known. The yellow area in my find-map is where I found the burned paper shown in the accompanying image.

Find-Map image is copyright 2009 (C) Ray Stanford:

Burn't Paper Map, Socorro UFO Case 1964

There has been a lot of dis-information released to the public by unscientific people seem more interested in name-recognition and internet attention than in trying to do any scientific work on the Socorro case. There have been ridiculous suggestions that the paper Hynek collected might have been left over from pyrotechnics (fireworks) allegedly used to convince Zamora that he was seeing an exotic vehicle.

Hynek pointed out years ago that nothing he found at the site in any way whatsoever resembled casing material of pyrotechnics. He very accurately pointed out that most of the burned paper was from long-weathered paper sides of corrugated boxes, exactly as is the case with my Socorro paper specimen PB4 shown here.

I personally handled every piece of paper Hynek collected (for the reasons explained above) and having what was characterized by researchers for a major corporation as “maybe the world’s most sensitive sense of smell” — explanation available on request 😉 — I swear on my life that nothing that either Hynek or I collected at the Socorro site had even the slightest trace of ’fireworks’ smell. Also, there was no smell of any substances such as gasoline or kerosene. Tests on samples done for the Air Force Foreign Technology Division detected zero chemical traces of fireworks or hydrocarbon (as from gasoline or kerosene) fuel.

All samples we collected showed undeniable signs of having long been weathering in the ravine.

But, in contrast, most of the papers had burn areas which looked very fresh, with darkened surfaces NOT sprinkled by tiny silt particles from ravine wash or even rain splatter. If not fresh, silting would have been in evidence from splatter during even light rains and, of course, as a result of any ravine flooding by desert rain storms.

Hopefully, this information will end the fantasies and unbridled self-serving suggestive propaganda that Hynek might have found paper residues of fireworks.

It should also be noted that the paper’s with burns were found by us exclusively in that limited cone-shaped cross-section of hypothesized landing-engine effect located west-southwest of the landing near the quadrangle. That happens to be the direction in which the bright down-flow from the landing thruster theoretically would have been directed to counter its west-southwesterly approach. The Colorado tourists described how they saw the object cross very low over their old green Cadillac and head to the area toward which they observed Zamora’s police cruiser at the time of the event.

My thanks to Ben Moss, Tony Angiola for this opportunity to discuss a few more facts of the Socorro case. The best Socorro evidence is yet to come.

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The Lost Socorro UFO Footage – Found!| VIDEO

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Lonnie Zamora As Seen on Sightings Program

In Search of the Lost Socorro Footage

By Ben Moss and Tony Angiola
The UFO Chronicles
2-10-15

     This is a story about locating a piece of smoking-gun footage that aired in the 90s on the TV show Sightings about the Socorro New Mexico UFO case witnessed by Lonnie Zamora. The film footage in question shows smoking embers left behind from the craft that Lonnie Zamora witnessed, as well as landing pad impressions in the sand. Also, there is a little girl in the film who would later grow up to see the Socorro incident profiled on the TV show Sightings in 1992.

The story begins in Cherry Hill, New Jersey when Tony and Ben attended the 2014 MUFON Symposium this past August. While watching a presentation by James Fox, he mentioned the Socorro, New Mexico incident that was part of the 701 cases that the Air Force Project Blue Book had not been able to classify as anything other than unexplained or unknown. As the presentation progressed, Ben felt he knew what scene was about to come next. He believed it would be the footage that he had seen a long time ago on the TV show Sightings. He said to Tony, “In 1996, I was watching Sightings with Tim White and I know we are about to see some cool footage of a burning bush and pad impressions”.

However, this was not the case.

This case is summarized here:

“The Lonnie Zamora incident was a UFO close encounter of the third kind which occurred on Friday, April 24, 1964, at about 5:50 p.m., on the southern outskirts of Socorro, New Mexico. Several primary witnesses emerged to report stages and aspects of the event, which included the craft’s approach, din, conspicuous flame, and physical evidence left behind immediately afterward. It was however Lonnie Zamora, a New Mexico State police officer who was on duty at the time, who came closest to the object and provided the most prolonged and comprehensive account. Some physical trace evidence left behind—burned vegetation and soil, ground landing impressions, and metal scrapings on a broken rock in one of the impressions—was subsequently observed and analyzed by investigators for the military, law enforcement, and civilian UFO groups.

The event and its body of evidence is sometimes deemed one of the best documented, yet most perplexing UFO reports. It was immediately investigated by the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and FBI, and received considerable coverage in the mass media. It was one of the cases that helped persuade astronomer J. Allen Hynek, one of the primary investigators for the Air Force, that some UFO reports represented an intriguing mystery. After extensive investigation, the AF’s Project Blue Book was unable to come up with a conventional explanation and listed the case as an “unknown”.

During the 1996 episode of Sightings that profiled this case, Mr. White said that a viewer had seen the Socorro, New Mexico case of Lonnie Zamora coming upon a landed egg shaped UFO in 1992 when the show first profiled the case. This triggered a memory and this viewer, now a grown woman, had remembered that her family was driving around New Mexico at the time of the sighting and actually drove up to the site of the landing only minutes after the event had occurred. Her father had an 8 millimeter movie camera and had filmed the site with a couple of kids running in the background. The woman was one of the children in the film and the footage included burning bushes and indentations that were the result of the craft landing and taking off. Tim White said that the woman, upon watching the show in 1992 had gone up into her attic, found the 8mm tape, and sent it to the show. It was presented for the first time anywhere in 1996 on the show “Sightings” season 4, episode 13, called “:”

The footage shown in that episode is an important piece of evidence, and it shows the after effects of what Lonnie Zamora described. It would also help clear up the recent story that this was a hoax by some local college students using a candle in a plastic bag theory. Obviously, such a prank would not leave indentations, burning bushes, or completely fool respected people like police officer Lonnie Zamora, Dr.J. Allen Hynek and Ray Stanford who were all part of this most documented UFO case in history.

When James finished his presentation and did not mention or show this footage, Tony and Ben knew they had to tell him about it. During the break between speakers, they met him and his producer, Anthony Cataldo who is also a MUFON board member. They mentioned the footage and neither of them had ever heard of it. James did say that he interviewed a family that was in the area, but we were not sure if this was the same family that had the video. After we talked a bit, James said that if this footage did exist it would be a great addition to his movie “701”.

Ben talked to several other people at the symposium and none of them remembered seeing the episode. Ben knows what he saw and told James that we would find a copy for him. Easier said than done!

We began searching for this episode by using Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, AOL, and Web Crawler, among others. What we found was that several sites appeared to offer the show Sightings, as well as listing every episode by season. Ben was so excited to start streaming the show that he entered his credit card information as required, only to find out they really did not have it. Ben called Tony to tell him what happened, only to find that he had done the same thing. Luckily, we did not lose any money as we were able to cancel the subscriptions right away. It seems that there are many websites that will say they have whatever you are looking for just to get you to sign up. They use algorithms that take your search text and link it to a database of shows or movies. Then they pull metadata on that search to make it appear as if it’s available.

Ben posted a plea for help on various Facebook pages including: Mufon, the Private Investigator Mufon page, Coast to Coast, and many others asking for any copies or leads with regards to the episode. Several people said they had copies, but nobody could produce the one regarding Socorro. Many suggested searches and places that we had already covered.

Tony contacted iOffer.com and purchased what turned out to be a random set of 15 DVDs of Sightings episodes. The episode we were looking for was not included and an email conversation with the site’s seller did not uncover any more copies of the show. Soon after making this purchase, the seller was banned from the site for bootlegging the DVDs. We had nothing to do with that.

Ben contacted the web administrator for www.rense.com, this is a popular website for UFO and related subjects. We received this response:

It was on the program Sightings, I found my original article on it that mentions it—this was posted in April of 2004:

Recently, a woman watching The Sci-Fi Channel’s program “Sightings” saw the Lonnie Zamora story and remembered having been there as a child, along with her father while vacationing. She went through her attic looking for a roll of 8mm movie film and found color footage taken by her father of the landing site, documenting the scorched brush and landing pod depressions. The footage was aired on the program and represents another solid piece of evidence supporting the Zamora UFO encounter.
(Source: rense.com, cufon and others)

So, at this point, the real search began.

We went online and checked: eBay, Amazon, Los Angeles TV archives, and many other holding companies, as well as TV related content providers.

After having no luck online, we started to research the show’s producers, various networks (beginning with the one it aired on – which was Fox) and anyone else that was attached to the production of the series.

Tony called Linda Howe, a well-known UFO researcher and producer who was involved in the pilot of the show. She also referred us to Fox and Paramount. Linda was on the show and we thought that she might have some insight, but after the pilot she did not have much to do with the direction of the show.

We also were told to check out SyFy, whom Ben sent an email to, and received the following response:

Dear Ben.Thank you so much for reaching out to us. I’m sorry but the function of this customer care center is to address questions/concerns around authentication and technical support. Ben, you can also contact the network directly for your concern at feedback@syfy.com. I hope this helps address your concern. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this issue or any future issue please do not hesitate to email us back. We will be more than happy to assist you.

Tony reached out to a producer in L.A. who was just finishing some work on a short film. He informed us that Brookwell-McNamara Entertainment was involved with the show. Several calls to this company did not yield any return calls.

Fox aired the show and it was produced by Henry Winkler’s Dinkum Productions. Ben called them and they said they did not have any copies and that we should check Triage Entertainment. A call to Triage led to a referral to Paramount, which after a call referred us to NBC. Ben called NBC, and after some discussions, was told that the show was the property of CBS. So, Ben called CBS and was referred to a gentleman named Peter Murray. Here is a summary of the email exchange:

Ben: I am working with James Fox, trying to locate some footage that I saw on your network in the 90’s for his now in production movie “701”. The particular show is season 4 episode 13 of “Sightings”.

Can you assist in getting me a copy of this episode and discuss licensing rights? We are particularly interested in the piece of footage that aired on this episode filmed by a family that was in Socorro, New Mexico during a UFO landing event in 1964. I am trying to receive and/or view a copy of this particular episode.

Peter: There wouldn’t be a way to view the episode unless your request was approved and a deal was in place for licensing. That being said, given that this has a ’96 date attached to it, I would contact CBS Syndicated licensing at the email address provided and inquire. They may have a different policy.

Ben: Does your response mean that you cannot locate a copy of this season 4 episode 13 and that I have to contact the licensing department to secure one?

I really would like to view the episode to make sure that the piece I am seeking is in there. So I guess what I am asking is there a way to view the episode, make sure the piece is there, and then go down the road of licensing?

Peter: Ben,

It appears that the early ‘90s version belongs to us. The version that aired after ’94 is licensed by our Syndicated Licensing Dept (ctdcliplicensing@cbs.com). What version are you seeking?

Our next try was CBS:

CBS: CBS policy prohibits the sale of individual episodes from any of its properties (for example, we cannot sell an individual episode for personal use, research purposes, personal archive, teaching aid, training aid, internal corporate meeting, etc.)

Television properties may not be licensed for public screenings regardless of whether your event is for profit, not for profit, large in scale or small in scale.

We do not handle licensing for CBS News, CBS Sports, CBS Radio, Domestic Produce Sales or International Product Sales.

Next was CTD Licensing Group:

Ben had to convince CTD Licensing that the footage was real:

CTD: What information do you have that leads you to believe that the episode you are seeking is from Season 4, Episode 13 of the program Sightings? Can you provide us with additional information regarding the segment you are seeking to license such as names, dates, locations, etc.?

Ben provided all the background information he had.

CTD: There are a few issues with your request. Our records regarding the series Sightings are very limited and sometimes like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Having said that, the first issue is that show numbers for the series are not listed as Season 4, Episode 13 so we would not be able to find the episode based on that information. The second issue is that according to the article, this woman saw the program Sightings and then went into her attic and found the 8mm footage that her father shot when she was a child. If we understand you correctly, you want the footage from this woman, but you claim the footage would not have been used in an updated episode but would have been used in the original episode. If the woman was watching the original episode (as reported in the article), then her footage could not have been used in the original episode. The third issue is that we cannot legally provide or license third-party footage, so even if we were able to locate the episode, we would not be able to provide you with the footage. Having said that, we can try and search for the footage by the woman’s name and, if a match can be made, we will provide you with her contact information so that you can license the footage from her.

Well CTD, did not read Ben’s email very carefully and this response seems to indicate that we are confused about which episode the woman watched and which episode we are seeking. Clearly someone is not taking the time to help us here. CTD tries to put a positive spin as if to get rid of us by stating, “we can try and search for the footage by the woman’s name and, if a match can be made, we will provide you with her contact information so that you can license the footage from her.” We know that no such effort is going to be made.

So, here we are in late October of 2014, and we still are not able to locate this footage. We would ask anyone to contact us if you have any copy of this episode, or contact information of the family that filmed at Socorro in 1964.

It has been journey looking for the lost episode up to this point. However, the effort is worthwhile as we feel the footage is critically important to the case. All these dead ends have to make us wonder if there aren’t larger forces at play attempting to keep the footage from the public. We feel the only way we are going to find this footage is by reaching out to fans of the show in hopes that someone recorded it on VHS and still has it. We need your help to expose the truth about this case!

Sincerely
Ben Moss
Mufon Chief Field Investigator/Virginia
Jbmoss09@gmail.com
Tony Angiola
Mufon Field Investigator/Virginia
Tony.Angiola@gmail.com

NEW UPDATE 11-18-14

Recently through the efforts of a growing number of eager Mufon members we were able to secure and watch ‘Sightings’ episode 13 season 4. It does contain some valuable information and film about the Socorro landing case. Unfortunately the long sought for 3rd party footage was not in this episode.

So now our focus is on anything after this show which would include the rest of 1996 season 4, 1997’s season five and the 5 special episodes from 1998 presented after show was canceled.

I have scanned all of the titles beginning with show 15 from 1996 to the last show and do not see a specific reference or update concerning the Socorro Incident. But somewhere on one these shows is the film, since it is now clear that the woman saw this episode 13 and then remembered her father’s film and found it in her attic.

The goal is now to find and watch each show until we finally see this important piece of history caught on 8 millimeter film.

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