Tag Archives: Socorro Incident

Lost UFO Films: Socorro and Frank Stranges

Lost UFO Films: Socorro and Frank Stranges

     The Reverend Frank E. Stranges passed on in 2008, but he is fondly remembered.
By Curt Collins

“No one knows this more than Dr. Frank E. Stranges. This erudite, holding degrees in Theology, Criminology and Psychology, has dedicated his life to the study of the Bible and other sacred texts in relationship to spiritual growth and understanding not only of our planet and its people, but also of those from other worlds.”

So says his bio/obit at ISUIS. Dr. Stranges also made a few UFO film projects, but it’s the missing ones that may matter the most. Here’s a news item on his lecture promoting his UFO documentary Phenomena 7.7 from the Redlands Daily Facts (CA) March 5, 1965:

Saucers—Fact or Fiction … announcing a lecture by Dr. Frank E. Stranges, president of the International Evangelism Crusades… Frank Stranges has just completed work on a color documentary film entitled, “Phenomena 7.7.” It will be released to movie and television shortly… Versed in many fields of interest. Dr. Stranges will lecture on flying saucers.


Phenomena 7.7 included a rare filmed segment on one of the most compelling unexplained UFO sightings of all time, the 1964 Lonnie Zamora encounter in Socorro, New Mexico.

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233. Free Show: Ray Stanford

Alejandro Rojas with the news, guest Ray Stanford discusses his $2 million UFO detection facility in the 1970s, his 1980 Tizayuca multi-object encounter along with many other filmed encounters, he also invites serious researchers to his home, and speaks about the Socorro Incident and more.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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233. Free Show: Ray Stanford

Alejandro Rojas with the news, guest Ray Stanford discusses his $2 million UFO detection facility in the 1970s, his 1980 Tizayuca multi-object encounter along with many other filmed encounters, he also invites serious researchers to his home, and speaks about the Socorro Incident and more.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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226. Free Show: Ben Moss & Tony Angiola

79d1f1_cbc40d745808461a8dbab439638f1b52-mv2Alejandro Rojas with the UFO Updates, guest Ben Moss & Tony Angiola discuss all aspects of the Socorro Incident of 1964, as well as new information that they have found in their research. Support the show to listen to hour two (and to listen to all full shows & archives), they talk about Black Triangles, UFO sightings, cases they have investigated and even Big Foot. Thank your for listening.

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226. Free Show: Ben Moss & Tony Angiola

79d1f1_cbc40d745808461a8dbab439638f1b52-mv2Alejandro Rojas with the UFO Updates, guest Ben Moss & Tony Angiola discuss all aspects of the Socorro Incident of 1964, as well as new information that they have found in their research. Support the show to listen to hour two (and to listen to all full shows & archives), they talk about Black Triangles, UFO sightings, cases they have investigated and even Big Foot. Thank your for listening.

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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

     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

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

     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!

Ben Moss
Mufon Chief Field Investigator/Virginia
Tony Angiola
Mufon Field Investigator/Virginia

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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The Socorro UFO Case – Two More ‘Smoking Guns’

Socorro UFO- Lonnie Zamora Hitting The Dirt

Ray Stanford By Ray Stanford
The UFO Chronicles

There was absolutely nothing to keep Zamora from very clearly discerning the red ‘insignia’ because he observed it it with his glasses on and from, first, only 50 feet, and, finally, about 35 feet. I know the distances accurately because I paced the distances off at Hynek’s request, when Zamora showed Hynek and me his closest positions.

     Before I get into the two additional ‘smoking guns’ confirming that the red ‘insignia’ Zamora saw was actually an inverted V with three lines across it, please allow me to address another matter on which there have been consistent lies or distortions: WHERE ZAMORA ‘HIT THE DIRT’ in a prone position. Most all accounts say that Zamora didn’t ‘hit the dirt’ until he was well on the north side of his patrol car, with the car between him and the object hovering about twenty feet above the ravine bottom. THAT IS NOT ONLY FALSE BUT ILLOGICAL.

Above is my personally water-colored (but here in B & W, except for the red ‘insignia’) version of the illustration on page 25 of the hard-cover edition of my Socorro book, with the CORRECT version of the red ‘insignia’ replacing the fake version Captain Richard T. Holder convinced Zamora to describe.

THAT is where Zamora ‘hit the dirt’ in a prone position, as he had been trained to in the Army, in case of explosion. The perspective is a little distorted, because it makes Zamora look a bit too close to his patrol car. Actually, his feet were about 15 feet from the car, AND ONLY ABOUT 35 feet from the mysterious object.

Notice that the red ‘insignia’ is rendered somewhat larger than the one shown in my book. That’s because when the original drawing was done, we were under the impression that the size Zamora described after talking with Captain holder was correct, describing the ‘insignia’ as 12 to 18 inches across. THAT WAS FALSE, and conceivably had been changed to further enable recognition of ‘copycat’ hoaxes.

Zamora’s original description of the size of the red ‘insignia’ was approximately TWICE that large, at 2 to 3 feet across. Being red on a whitish-looking background and 2 to 3 feet across, it was unmistakably clear to Zamora. And let no one lie to you. ZAMORA WAS WEARING HIS GLASSES, just as shown in my illustration. They didn’t get knocked off until, when running back up the slope WHILE LOOKING BACK OVER HIS SHOULDER AT THE OBJECT WITH HIS GLASSES ON, he resultantly didn’t realize how close the car was and bumped into the back end, knocking off his glasses.

Now, let me explain how wrong and illogical the claim that Zamora ‘hit the dirt’ after running around the car and while a considerable distance north of it. As illustrated above, HE HAD ALREADY HIT THE DIRT, but then, realizing the thing was not exploding, he got up and ran to then get the patrol car between himself and the object, which by that point had cut off the noise and was not nearly so threatening. There was no reason to then reduce his view of the object by throwing himself on the ground wherein the car would be blocking any view from such a disadvantageous position.

Now, as to the two additional ‘smoking guys’ that point to the inverted V with three lines cross it, as what Zamora actually saw:

What I am about to show you will neither be found in the National Archive, nor on Project Blue Book files as now available at The Black Vault website. I suspect that Blue Book would never have knowingly let anything out contradicting the fake red ‘insignia’ as presented (albeit sometimes a bit contradictorily) with help of Army Captain Holder’s (and Zamora at Holder’s suggestion) help. It was probably also encouraged (or at least surely approved) by FBI agent Arthur Byrnes, Jr., who constantly hovered over the long nocturnal interview with Holder and Zamora, lasting until about 1:00 am.

The two hand-written documents seen below are evidently telephone notes taken at Blue Book, reporting what seems to have been a result of Hynek’s interview with New Mexico State Police Sergeant Sam Chavez earlier on the evening of Tuesday, April 28, 1964, before Zamora came off police duty and Hynek got to interview him. I had arrived in Socorro before Zamora got off duty, and while Hynek was still talking behind closed doors with Sergeant Chavez.

We have MUFON Ohio State SECTION Director Rob Mercer to thank for copies of the hand-written documents that follow. Mercer has thoroughly checked them out, verifying the background of their source, a U.S. Air force Project Blue Book officer whose name and official photo are in my possession, but who for now shall remain unnamed for protection of his privacy.

What you see below are among a large group of documents that Rob Mercer acquired from the retired Air Force officer, but because the two you see below were kept out of the Blue Book records at the National Archive and reveal what the first responder to the Socorro site after Zamora’s police call WAS TOLD BY ZAMORA ABOUT THE RED ‘INSIGNIA’, they are of cardinal importance. They confirm the subsequent cover-up of how the red ‘insignia’ really looked, and they give us a highly credible description. (It’s a description confirmed by every lawman in Socorro to whom I spoke. See Appendix A, An Obfuscated Red ‘Insignia’?, pages 206-211 in the hard cover edition of my Socorro book.)

The description was provided by Sergeant Sam Chavez based on what Zamora told him immediately after his arrival at the site. The description was provided to Hynek only four days later, matching precisely what Socorro policemen told me on that same day and the next one.

Therefore, I must point out that Chavez’s description, as provided us in these hitherto undisclosed blue book documents, is quite evidently ACCURATE, unlike the drawing in the notoriously forgetful Hynek’s September 7, 1964 letter to Project Blue Book, where he seems a bit unsure just how to place the three lines relative to the inverted V, which Chavez has described to him over four months earlier, on the evening of April 28.

The first image you see below contains the initial Blue Book telephone notes, written rapidly and in the cursive, while the second image below appears to be a follow-up version of the phone notes, unquestionably written by the same Blue Book staffer, but this time it is very neat and in mostly block-letter hand printing. Those typed notes in the black areas are by me.

Image 1:

Initial Blue Book Telephone Notes Re Socorro - Red Marking

Notice that word “first” modifying the word sighting, in the second line. Note that it is REMOVED in the second, more neatly written version below, seemingly because it referred to the La Madera, N.M., landed-object claim (not credible, in my opinion), and absolutely NOT to a second Socorro sighting. The writer wisely wanted to make sure things would not be misinterpreted.

Image 2: The red type is by me.

Initial Blue Book Telephone Notes Re Socorro - Red Marking (2)

The note at the bottom is about Hynek’s call on his way home to Chicago, following our 1;00 pm press conference in Socorro’s El Rio Motel, as described in detail in my Socorro book, pages 64 – 72. (Hynek told me after reading that in the book that I had given him what he had coming to him for his intellectually dishonest antics at the press conference.) Hynek’s call was at 2305 hours (11:05 pm), so although the call was before midnight on the 28th, the note was not written until the next day, April 29, 1964.

When you combine those two notes providing Sergeant Chavez’ account of Zamora’s description of the red ‘insignia’, with the statement from Richard T. Holder, Jr (Captain Holder’s eldest son) about the cover-up, and with Hynek’s September 7, 1964 letter, it strongly suggests (since the two above notes were kept out of Blue Book files) that the USAF was involved in the red ‘insignia’ cover-up instituted by a U.S. Army White Sands up-range officer.

But if you are one of those skeptics who still accuse me of making up the red ‘insignia’ cover-up story, and still don’t accept what I was to only person to expose about the Socorro case, despite evidence strong enough to stand up in court, then I suggest you go back to your Ouija Board class of revelations, have a cup of tea, and seek more tea-leaf-reading confirmation of your messages from the Ouija Board.

Fortunately, most researchers prefer a higher class of evidence.

There is more interesting and exciting Socorro evidence waiting in the wings. I hope to be able to share more of it soon.

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Socorro Witness Interviews | UFO CHRONICLE – 1978

Socorro Witness Interviews (Pg 14 of 14 & 15) – The MUFON UFO Journal October, 1978
Socorro Witness Interviews (Pg 15 of 14 & 15) – The MUFON UFO Journal October, 1978

Socorro Witness Interviews | UFO CHRONICLE – 1978

By Ralph C. Degraw
The MUFON UFO Journal
October, 1978

See Also:

Egg-Shaped UFO Lands and Takes Off, Reports City Policeman, Lonnie Zamora | SOCORRO UFO INCIDENT – 50th ANNIVERSARY

The Socorro [UFO] Landing and Corroborating Witnesses

New Information Surfaces Re Famous Socorro UFO Case

New Revelations Re Socorro UFO Incident
– Pt 2 –

Artist’s Rendering of Symbol on UFO Craft (Redux) | SOCORRO UFO INCIDENT – 50th ANNIVERSARY

Socorro UFO Landing; 50 Years Ago Today (4-24-14)

What Zamora Really Saw And Reported To His Co-Workers And To Captain Richard T. Holder

Hoax Theory for The Socorro UFO is Quashed; Interview with Dr Kevin Randle | VIDCAST (Redux) – SOCORRO UFO INCIDENT – 50th ANNIVERSARY


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The Socorro [UFO] Landing and Corroborating Witnesses

Socorro UFO

The Socorro [UFO] Landing and Corroborating Witnesses

By Kevin Randle
A Different Perspective

      The problem with the Lonnie Zamora, Socorro, UFO sighting was that it was single witness. There were hints that others might have seen something, but the names never seemed to surface. Opal Grinder, who managed a gas station in Socorro, told Dr. J. Allen Hynek that a family had stopped for gas and the father had said something about the aircraft flying low over the town. Grinder didn’t understand the significance of the statement at the time and he didn’t know who the man was. There was no credit card receipt so there was no way to track them and they have never come forward to tell their tale, if they had one to tell.

On April 29, 1964, just days after the sighting, two men who lived in Dubuque, Iowa, told the local newspaper that they had seen the UFO. Paul Kies and Larry Kratzer, who had been in New Mexico to retrieve a boat that had been left behind, when they drove through Socorro. The story that appeared in the newspaper was fairly inaccurate. Since no one had actually talked to them since that initial report, Iowa UFO researcher, Ralph DeGraw decided he would some fourteen years later. According to an article that he published in The UFO Examiner in September 1978 and republished in The MUFON UFO Journal in October 1978, DeGraw recounted what he had learned.

He wrote, “Although the circumstances such as the time, location, etc. were described the same by both men, descriptions of what they saw were entirely different!”

Kies, according to DeGraw, said that he had seen a cloud of dust followed by black smoke. He thought they were about a mile away, and that it was coming up, from the ground. There seemed to be something bright and shiny in the smoke. He wasn’t sure if the reflection, as he called it, had been from the low hanging sun, if it was reflecting from something on the ground or if an object was emitting the light. At that time, he didn’t think about having seen a UFO.

Kratzer told DeGraw that they were about a mile west of Socorro when he saw a cloud of black smoke coming from the ground ahead of them. Kratzer said that he pointed it out to Kies and watched as a saucer or egg-shaped object lifted off vertically, from the black smoke. He wasn’t sure how far away they had been, especially since it had been so long (fourteen years) ago. He thought it was about one-half to a mile away and might have been a thousand feet in the air.

He said that after it had climbed vertically out of the smoke, it leveled off and then disappeared behind the black smoke that was coming out of the rear. He said that the object itself was shiny silver with a row of darker, mirror-like windows that he assumed wrapped around the craft. There was a red Z toward the right end of the object. It made no noise and when DeGraw asked what he thought it was Kratzer said that it might have been a vertical lift aircraft.

They drove on into Socorro and stopped for gas. He thought that Kratzer might have mentioned the sighting to the attendant but he wasn’t sure. There might have been an attempt by some, certainly not DeGraw, to suggest that these were the people that Opal Grinder had seen, but Grinder was sure that it had been a man and woman and their three children.

Kies said they were listening to the radio late that night, as they headed back to Iowa, when he heard about the Zamora sighting. They realized that they might have seen the same object after it had taken off but said nothing about it to others until they arrived back in Dubuque.

DeGraw wasn’t impressed with the testimonies. He noted that the stories differed from one another and that neither matched very closely that given by Zamora. It suggested that they had made up the story, and while that certainly is a possibility, it would seem that had that been the case, one or the other might have said that to DeGraw, especially since it have been nearly a decade and a half since they had talked to the newspaper reporters.

I’m not sure that these discrepancies found in the stories after so long are all that significant. They did agree on the general descriptions and it is only some of the details that are different which could be explained by the time elapsed and the different perspective of the witnesses. I’ve always worried about two guys from Dubuque, Iowa, being in a position to see this but their explanation of that seems reasonable. They called the newspaper when they got home, so it was all recorded, however inaccurately by the newspaper, at the end of April 1964.

If the two men did see something outside of Socorro on April 24, 1964, then it suggests that something unusual was seen by Zamora. This would seem to reduce the possibility of a hoax. It makes the case stronger, and sometimes, after all these years, that’s about the best that can be hoped for.

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