The Socorro Mess
When Socorro police officer Lonnie Zamora spotted that strange craft in the desert on April 24th, 1964, how did the Air Force find out and the FBI? Who called those agencies?
Ray Stanford, considered by UFO geezers as the archetypal researcher of the Socorro event, arrived at the alleged landing site four days after the incident.
Since word spread quickly -- by whom? – in the relatively small community of Socorro, the landing site was compromised almost immediately – destroying evidence, inadvertently perhaps, but destroyed nonetheless.
The Air Force, Stanford, and the incompetent J. Allen Hynek all scrutinized a forensically besmirched UFO landing.
Stanford, tramping around, gathering data and information, was collecting material that was inalterably debased by the time factor and the insertion of locals into the event site.
And with admission by Mr. Stanford that the supposed insignia seen and drawn by Officer Zamora was fudged at the advice of a young Air Force Captain [Richard Holder], a major clue to what Zamora saw has been diluted and ruined.
Moreover, Mr. Stanford went to Socorro as a firm-believer in the extraterrestrial source for UFOs, biasing, unconsciously or overtly, his research.
Hector Quintanilla, the Air Force Blue Book officer, who also showed up in Socorro, was a UFO debunker. His views and investigation can be discounted, also, for bias – in the opposite direction of Ray Stanford’s.
Hynek, who two years later screwed up the Ann Arbor/Dexter UFO sightings with his “swamp gas” pronouncement, was just as nonplussed during his Socorro foray.
Why the FBI was sent in goes to the heart of what the craft was that Zamora saw.
The insignia/symbol and particulars gathered point a finger at a Hughes Aircraft/CIA prototype that the FBI and Air Force knew about but were not privy to details (because of the highly classified nature of the Hughes/Raven Industries’ creations) and covered that outsider status with bravado and dismissive reportage to the press and their superiors.
But that aside, serious researchers have to take into account the predilection of Ray Stanford for the extraterrestrial origin of UFOs, the need-to-debunk UFOs stances of the Air Force, the intrusion of Phillips Klass (another late-to-the-landing participant and rabid UFO debunker), the lax investigational procedures of Allen Hynek, and the faulty observations of Lonnie Zamora himself.
Forty-five years later, with a hoax scenario in the offing to explain the Socorro event, and with the accumulation of the biased data enumerated above, UFO researchers should either seriously re-evaluate the Socorro incident – especially the insignia (if and when they can determine which drawing and Zamora account is the correct one) which is the primary clue as to whom or what created the Socorro craft – or move on, as some UFO mavens (Joseph Capp for one) desire.
Ray Stanford’s tome can be culled for non-biased material, and all the other material provided by the Air Force, newspapers at the time, and Zamora’s testimony should be re-examined, in a fresh light, without the over-worked clutter of UFO researchers like David Rudiak and/or the flaccid observations of such UFO die-hards as Kevin Randle.
Otherwise, the Socorro event should be laid to rest, along with Roswell, and the slew of other old UFO cases that are or seem to be immune to rational and clear-cut evaluations.