UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What Lonnie Zamora saw in Socorro 1964 (perhaps)


Anthony Bragalia has presented numerous postings here and at his blog suggesting that Lonnie Zamora's 1964 Socorro sighting was a hoax set-up by students (and faculty?) from The New Mexico Institute of Technology.

The students, Mr. Bragalia alleges, were not enamored of Officer Zamora and wanted to get him back for harassing them.

Mr. Bragalia, along with Frank Stalter, has mustered much circumstantial evidence bolstering "The Socorro sighting was a hoax" hypothesis.

Mr. Bragalia has provided a YouTube video (from which I've pulled the images above) that shows what a balloon can do and how one might see such a balloon as a strange vehicle.

Clock HERE to view the YouTube video.



  • Some time ago, Tony had mentioned that he had information from Sterling Colgate that corroborated the hoax angle. It was left hanging while Tony was to communicate with Mr. Colgate further...at least that was how I had perceived it.

    Hopefully, Tony may be able to provide an update if possible.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 15, 2013  

  • Tim-
    I did hear back from Dr. Colgate who expanded on the hoax. This appeared on The Bragalia Files blog site on August 9, 2012 in an article entitled "The Ultimate Secret of Socorro Finally Revealed."

    Steal what? from who? when? from where? Who are you? Who cares?


    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Wednesday, May 15, 2013  

  • Thanks Tony, I'll head to your site and read the post.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 15, 2013  

  • Tim-

    I might add that Printy encouraged skeptic David Thomas (who works at NMIT as does Dr. Colgate)to ask Colgate directly if I (Bragalia) had transcribed his replies to me (Bragalia) accurately. Colgate confirmed to Thomas that everything that I said on Socorro was true and that I had quoted him correctly. This was reported on a few months ago on Robert Schaeffer's "Bad UFOs" website.

    I might add that I did send to Colgate himself a Youtube video of another large sky lantern balloon launched by college kids.

    Prank-loving Colgate responded, "Ha ha!, Thanks for this."


    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Wednesday, May 15, 2013  

  • Tony, I remember that now. I read your blog article last year and read Schaeffer's follow up article.

    It was Colgates confirmation that I was originally asking about.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, May 15, 2013  

  • While I can appreciate the distinct possibility that this event was hoaxed, as well as Tony's dogged pursuit of it, like so many other events, there is much left to be explained, beyond a hoax that is a chief feature of this entire phenomenon, the residue of mismatched ambiguity. I think as an overall perspective, UFology has always taking case A, B or C as a methodology to demonstrate a single event can prove or disprove the entire ball of wax, and this has been fruitless. All of this is also archivist territory, that takes our own knowledge as an post editorial overlay, and the best results are mismatched against the aggregate sum of observations unless one gets didactic about comparing what we do know ( which is very little outside of a handful of cases ) against what we don't. There is a significant number of key characteristics that these events share with other phenomenon and I think Ufologists have a myopia about this due to a proclivity to cling to their comfort level bolstered by their sublimated desires of making the phenomenon a matter of solid materials, rather than the fact that this phenomenon is semi-solid in a state of which we know nothing in terms of more complex dimensions as well as the pronounced observer effect seen over and over again. A rose is a rose and not a cabbage. Ufology is not only stuck in a rut but refuses to think outside of where they have boxed themselves in and, have handed the knife by the handle to die hard skeptics by using shop worn conceptual models.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, May 16, 2013  

  • Hi Bruce-

    Sometimes I view such hoaxers as performance artists.

    Sometimes they are acting out what they wish, hope and desire is true.

    When they cannot find such truth in reality, they emulate it or mimic it- in a UFO event, photograph or story.

    It is an artistic representation of what they see in their minds and hearts- not of what is really in the fields and skies.

    And such stories can have transformative power, even if not true.


    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Thursday, May 16, 2013  

  • Anthony
    I agree inasmuch as I have the same view of hoaxes as artistic expressions, that must always piggyback on some form of actual perception, or object or the merging of the two into the realm of folk tales. None of these experiential flavors completely captures the persistently enigmatic nature of the phenomenon itself as we are pulled by it hither and yon through the valleys and the woods.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, May 16, 2013  

  • To me at least Anthony those pictures look like balloons rising as a result of fire heating the air they contain and where I used to live the kids used to use much the same trick to launch freezer and bin bags in the air until they burst into flames at which point they'd switch to glue or lighter fuel sniffing under a nearby bridge.

    It's conceivable though a rustic cop unfamiliar with such things especially in non European lighting might mistake them for something more.

    If nothing else what you're performing here's an interesting social experiment to see if your take can by sheer persistence can eventually come to prevail as the dominant paradigm.

    On the basis of what you've presented so far though I'm afraid I'll probably be the last holdout.

    Good luck to you though mate.

    It's admirable the way you've refused to allow the rancour and aggression of others who disagree with you to bully you into submission.

    By Blogger alanborky, at Thursday, May 16, 2013  

  • "It looks like a balloon." -Lonnie Zamora

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Thursday, May 16, 2013  

  • During a celebration in a local park a couple of nights ago, Chinese hot-air balloon lanterns were launched all night long. Watching these, it became apparent how many "orange orb" sightings are almost certainly these lanterns or homemade versions of them. They don't need to get very high at all before they stop looking like balloons and become mysterious round glowing objects in the sky. Since there was almost no wind that night, the lanterns appeared stationary at times. Wanna bet NUFORC and MUFON got reports from them?

    So, yeah, it's conceivable what Zamora saw was a balloon.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, May 17, 2013  

  • Purrl-

    Yes, I think sky lanterns/chinese balloons account for many, many sightings. And not just "orbs." From a distance and at certain angles, these balloons can appear discoid or cigar-like too.

    You mention that it was windless the day you saw the lanterns. I have been taken to task by some because they say that the winds the day Zamora saw the craft were not in favor of an aloft balloon. But here in this video we can plainly see that such aerials "take on a life of their own." One excited young man is heard to say, "where is it going?" The craft is an energetic, self-propelled object which can appear to go against the direction of the wind.


    Not only did Lonnie say "It looks like a balloon" - but did you notice that one of the kids in the video says, "It's like the size of a Mazda." Lonnie -interestingly- said that when he first saw the craft on the ground it appeared the 'size of an overturned car.'


    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Friday, May 17, 2013  

  • I remember joking back and forth about this case with Tony before he initially got hold of Colgate. It didn't seem possible that it could be a student hoax, not from what I knew of the case . . . or what I thought I knew.

    Reading Zamora's account, it was really case closed for me. One aside never brought up here and that's the Zamora case connection to the infamous Serpo material. I don't know if you all know that the big meetup between ET and humans was, according to the Serpo story, scheduled for April 24, 1964 . . . .

    "The landing date was set for April 24, 1964. The entire group assembled
    at White Sands under a cover. We posed as inspectors for a no-notice
    inspection of Holloman. There was a mistake by the first alien craft
    entering the area. It apparently got the landing coordinates wrong and
    landed near Socorro (the Lonnie Zamora incident). The second craft
    landed at the correct location. There were members of the Johnson
    Administration along with the special group."


    My dumb luck and Tony's actual work pretty well shoots the Serpo contrivance out of the water too.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Friday, May 17, 2013  

  • Good find, Frank!

    Sounds like the Serpo fraudsters were just picking up on another fraud and embellishing it. I have heard that Rick Doty was in part behind the Serpo saga...


    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Saturday, May 18, 2013  

  • Yeah, all roads seem to lead to Doty, that's the word anyway. Whoever was responsible, the material was put together well before the Pauling/Colgate letter was posted up at the Pauling Blog, so whoever had no reasonable expectation the Socorro case would get solved.

    There's always been talk Doty was also the source on the MJ-12 documents. Those I actually found pretty helpful in getting started in all this. Without them, I would have never have found the Truman White House meeting about the DC 52 incident. Despite the fiction, these things are somewhat well researched and do make for some fun reading.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Saturday, May 18, 2013  

  • Has anyone who has posted here even READ Zamora's testimony? If you did, you would realize there are multiple reasons this wasn't a hoax. The only reason this has recently been brought up as being a possible hoax is because Lonnie has passed away and can no longer defend his sighting, and most people in Socorro would like to put the entire event behind them for whatever reason. The craft Lonnie witnessed was a white egg-shaped craft with tripod landing legs and a very specific red marking/symbol on the side of the craft. He also witnessed two individuals in "white coveralls" that looked like "small adults" or "large children" standing next to the craft. He witnessed it rise up off the ground (silently) and move away from him at a fairly rapid pace. His one and only reference to it looking like a "balloon" was when he got back to his car and radioed to Nep Lopez, radio operator, to "look out of the window, to see if you could see an object." He asked what is it? Lonnie answered "It looks like a balloon." Lonnie didn't know if he saw it. If Nep looked out of his window, which was facing north, he couldn't have seen it as Lonnie did not tell him at the moment which window to look out of.

    Seriously, everyone should read the testimony of the police officer and take it at face value. Zamora was a trained observer and and upstanding member of his community until the day he passed away. I think Sterling Colgate is full of shit and has absolutely nothing to back up his hoax claim. I seriously doubt students from NMIT had the time, funding or interest to create some elaborate hoax in the middle of the Socorro desert in 1964 in the hopes that a random, lone police officer might happen upon them.

    Do some actual research before blindly accepting something as a hoax.

    By Blogger ., at Saturday, May 18, 2013  

  • Anonymous Above-

    I will only point out that the investigation of the hoax began well before Lonnie passed away and an article was published on this well before he died. So if you cannot get your facts straight on even this simple item- all else that you say is just blabber.


    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Saturday, May 18, 2013  

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