|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
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
|By Ray Stanford
The UFO Chronicles
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.
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.
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:
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.