The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

ARCHIVED COLLEGE PHOTO REVEALS HOW THEY HOAXED THE SOCORRO UFO by Anthony Bragalia

Copyright 2014, Anthony Bragalia [Use of this article, without permission, will bring litigation of copyright infringement. Excessive "fair use" will also bring legal scrutiny. Links to article are permitted of course and source notation is appreciated.]

A photo found archived at New Mexico Tech’s Atmospheric Lab may provide stunning visual confirmation that the world-famous “UFO” sighted by Officer Lonnie Zamora outside of Socorro, NM in the 1960s was indeed a balloon launched by college students at the nearby school. This extraordinary image may well illustrate who did the hoax, what it really was, and what it looked like.

AN INCRIMINATING PHOTO FOUND
The photo and accompanying notation above is courtesy the files of the Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, NM.

According to school documents, the photo was taken in “approximately” 1965 in the area south of town where newly-acquired, advanced experimental balloons had been sent aloft by college students and department personnel for the prior two years.

THE PHOTO AND ZAMORA’S TESTIMONY- A MATCH

Zamora would have been wholly unfamiliar with such an experimental balloon, introduced to the area the very year of his sighting. But four key elements are strikingly common to the photo and Officer Zamora’s testimony- the craft’s shape, features, size and color.

SHAPE:

Zamora radioed to another officer the sighting of the craft and what he had just observed. When the officer asked Zamora “What does it look like?” Zamora responded “it looks like a balloon.” The photo shows an unusually configured aerial (especially for the mid-1960s) but it still “looks like a balloon” and of course, that is precisely what it is.

FEATURES:

Another feature reported by Zamora is that the balloon-like object was resting on structured “legs.” That is, Lonnie said that the object had “landing gear” extended. He even drew a very crude stick-figure rendering that showed the craft had ‘legs.’

The photo of the college balloon is clearly configured with struts or fins that look very much like a space ship’s landing apparatus. The similarity is obvious. They even look like various illustrations of the craft done by amateur artists over the years!

SIZE:

Officer Zamora reported the size of the ovoid object as that of “an overturned car.” Another time Zamora mentions a size of about 20 feet. The average car length is about 18.5 feet. The balloon depicted in the college photo is a massive one, requiring several young people with tethers around it to control the thing. It is of similar size to ”an overturned car” – twenty or so feet.

COLOR:

Zamora described the color of the object that he had sighted as appearing white or ‘aluminum white.’ The college balloon in the photo is white / off-white.  And when illuminated by the sun or cloud reflection, it takes on a metal-like quality.

A BALLOON MODIFIED

Though apparently filled with helium in the photo, it would be very easy to cut and remove the balloon material at the bottom of the craft (in-between the ‘landing gear’) and insert candles (as Colgate believed) a gas apparatus and/or pyrotechnics platform  (available at the school’s Energetics Lab) to create the emitted flames as seen by Zamora.

THE PHOTO’S APPROXIMATE DATE

In reference to the “circa” date for the photo of 1965 listed by the school, Officer Zamora’s sighting (also in an area ‘south of town’ where the student balloons were launched) occurred in 1964. However, it has been learned from the Atmospheric Lab that the image may have been from the year prior to the year indicated, which is why they had ‘hedged’ with the date and elected to say “circa” or “about.”  The Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research at New Mexico Tech was built in 1963. In 1964 (the very year of the Zamora sighting) they began –for the first time ever- launching every type of “inflatable” available at the world at that time. In 1964 the students had a new source of “play” – balloons of very strange configuration and novel design to test.

THE TRUTH TESTED

Skeptic Tim Printy after reading the last piece by this author on the Zamora sighting was expressing frustration that what I have discovered and reported about this case could very well be the definitive solution to Socorro.

Printy, not trusting that Colgate had confessed to me his knowledge of the hoax, requested that New Mexico Tech scientist Dave Thomas visit Colgate at his office. Printy wanted Thomas to ask Colgate directly if all of what I said was transpired did the way I said that it did. Although apparently lamenting that he thought that I was an historian or he would presumably not have been so open, Colgate confirmed that everything that I have reported –and that our email exchanges- were truthful and were accurate. Stirling Colgate died earlier this year but not before telling all of the truth about the Socorro UFO that he felt that he could.

If one thing has been consistent about my discoveries and reporting on Socorro- they are truthful. Even when the truth hurts.

AJB

142 Comments:

  • Not buying it, Anthony, sorry. No landing noise. No "blue-orange flame". No take-off "roar". No markings. No radio interference. No indents in soil and burn marks. No 120 mph horizontal flight away. Besides, the baloon in the photo does not at all resemble Lonnie's own sketch of what he said he saw. Research appreciated....but I'm just not buying that explanation.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, March 23, 2014  

  • This reminds me of the work of Project Blue Book during their darkest days:
    "Possible cases" became "probable", and "probable" cases were upgraded to certainties. By this logic, a possible comet became a probable comet, while a probable comet was flatly declared to have been a misidentified comet. Similarly, if a witness reported an observation of an unusual balloon-like object, Blue Book usually classified it as a balloon, with no research and qualification.

    By Blogger Curt Collins, at Sunday, March 23, 2014  

  • This is pretty good, Tony!

    It's not proof positive at all but it is very interesting.

    But then your last few paragraphs completely misrepresent things as usual...one has to wonder what you might do with your tenacious and admirable ability to dig out details if you weren't saddled with the writing skills of a ten year old and the self-serving and ham-handed inability to state facts without embellishment.

    Still my hat is off to you for the photo.


    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Sunday, March 23, 2014  

  • "Zamora described the color of the object that he had sighted as appearing white or ‘aluminum white.’ The college balloon in the photo is white / off-white. And when illuminated by the sun or cloud reflection, it takes on a metal-like quality."

    AJB - Could you please post the original color photo of this balloon that you used to determine it's color?
    As I am sure you know, a black & white photo will show any 'hot' color, such as fluorescent orange or fluorescent green, as 'white'.

    Thank You.

    By Blogger Chuck Finley, at Monday, March 24, 2014  

  • I don´t get it.
    Landing "Egg", landing- and burnmarks, noises, the speed, little men, pedestals, smokeless flame and so on.

    Where the hell is there the context to this balloon? not even the shape is right.

    sorry, it makes absolutely no sense at all.

    By Blogger Bunker Fritzl, at Monday, March 24, 2014  

  • Hello,
    I loled (and still loling) how Tony Bragalia made as if he have made an intense researche to find this photography, as if he found it by an intense investigation in the New Mexico Tech Archive...
    Pfffff...

    I pointed too this photography myself two years ago in our forum...

    By Google it is easy to find it (and not sourced where his super photography is coming from REALLY by our SUPRA investigator, Dear Tony).
    Why not mntionning the real source and why to copyright such finding I have found in 2012 too...
    http://langmuir.nmt.edu/Storms_Above/StormsAboveCh6.html
    Well, that's ufology...
    Gilles Fernandez.

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, March 24, 2014  

  • Dominick, Bunker:

    You would do well to read the four other articles I've done on Socorro as your answers will be found there:

    Socorro Hoax Exposed (Famous UFO Sighting Was a College Prank)
    www.ufocon.blogspot.com/2009/09/socorro-hoax-exposed-famous-1964.html

    Socorro UFO Hoax Part Two: Getting Closer to the Culprits
    http://ufocon.blogspot.com/2009/10/socorro-ufo-hoax-part-2-getting-closer.htmlhttp:

    The Ultimate Secret of Socorro Finally Told: New Details on World-Famous 1964 UFO Hoax bragalia.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-ultimate-secret-of-socorro-finally.html

    Socorro UFO Hoax: Physical Evidence Points to a Prank
    http://ufocon.blogspot.com/2009/11/socorro-ufo-physical-evidence-points-to.html

    Gilles-
    What is your point? Did you think that I flew to New Mexico and spent days in the musty basements of the university sifting through microfiche and old photos? And if you knew of the photo, why did you not send it to me?

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Monday, March 24, 2014  

  • i should really be saying "good work, Gilles!" then.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Monday, March 24, 2014  

  • It’s always fun to speculate when you don’t have to take into account the physical consequences of your guesses.

    The balloon pictured in the image from the New Mexico Military Institute is about 20 feet in diameter and 30 feet long (my estimate). The shape of the gas bag portion of it (the part that generates the lift) is well approximated as a prolate spheroid.

    From Wikipedia, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prolate_spheroid) you can get the formula for the volume of a prolate spheroid. I calculate that the volume of one 20 feet in diameter on its minor axis and 30 feet in length on its major axis is about 6283 cubic feet (178 cubic meters).

    Also from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_gas) we can see that the buoyant mass of Helium is about 1.114 Kg per m3. So the amount of static lift that the pictured balloon would have generated is about 178 m3 x 1.114 kg/m3 x 9.8 m/s2, (the acceleration of gravity) or about 1943 kg (4283 pounds) of force using (http://www.digitaldutch.com/unitconverter/force.htm). So that’s a little over two tons of lift. That’s probably why (if you read the discussion on the NMIT website that Gilles referred to) they had to use a truck with a winch on it to launch and retrieve the balloon. Clearly that balloon could not be manhandled by a couple of students.

    Furthermore, the standard high pressure gas cylinder in the US is an 80 cubic foot cylinder. It would have taken about 78 of them to fill the pictured balloon (divide 6283 by 80). They each weigh a little over 100 pounds, so 78 of them would weigh about 4000 lb.

    How did those clever students manage all of that?

    By Blogger Larry, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • I think Larry's science lectures are most interesting because of what they reveal about Larry!

    A 30 foot diameter helium balloon (bigger than the one Larry estimates) has a lifting force of only 889 lbs:

    [Radius cubed x 4/3 x pi= volume in cubic feet x 28.2 grams (lift of helium) divided by 448 (grams per pound)]

    Larry's smaller balloon supposedly has a lift of 4000 lbs!

    Most telling to me is how Larry wrote his voluminous (ha--just noticed the pun) treatise above AFTER looking at the photo that shows perhaps 4 skinny students handling the balloon. How much did Larry estimate that those students weighed?

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Yvan D., at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • Dear Tony,

    My point is that I'm quasi sure you found this photography like I did monthes ago (with Google or similary) for several reasons (ie the format and the blue frame, the police and text in the legend, etc.).
    Then I didn't understand (or so well) why you didn't source this picture with the N.M Tech link where you probably find it...

    Your finding of this photography and reading you appear as an "extraordinary" one (in disguise) as if you exhumed the photography after an "intense" research. Hum... For me, and sorry to be franck, it speacks too much "again" about you.

    With all due respects too, I have not to send you what "we or I have" about Socorro. In virtue of what?
    We have a thread in our French forum from 2010 "examining" the different hypotheses, and it is public.
    I have no real or good reasons to forward to you each time I or other find "something" about "Socorro".
    With all courtesy, I dont considere you as an "agnostic" researcher and I dont share your "methodology", so dunno why you state I must have forwarded you whatever concerning Socorro, as if you were the epicenter and un-escapable investigator of this case...

    Cordialement,

    Gilles.

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • Yvan:

    The balloon that is pictured in the NMIT photo is a tehered blimp, filled with helium; it is not a hot-air balloon. If I understand it correctly, the specific idea being put forward by Tony is that the object that Zamora saw in Socorro was this blimp. Therefore the discussion of helium is highly relevant.

    If you are suggesting that what Zamora saw was a hot air balloon, that is a separate hypothesis, but equally fallacious, for a different set of reasons.

    By Blogger Larry, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • Gilles-

    I know that you are French, but I do know that you can read English...

    Credit was given for both the photo and accompanying notation...the source was clearly cited, so you are (as usual) wrong.

    You make no sense and will never accept anything about this that I write because it has been written by me. Very sad and very strange.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • Lance has correctly detected an arithmetic error in my previous post. After publishing the calculation last night, something seemed wrong, so this morning I re-examined the Wikipedia article. The Wikipedia article quoted the lifting MASS of helium as 1.114 kg/cubic meter. They have already included the acceleration of gravity in their figure, which makes it a FORCE, not a mass. When you back out the acceleration of gravity (9.8 m/second^2) then the bouyant force on the balloon is 198 kg, or about 436 pounds of lift.

    I think Lance's snarky comments are most interesting for what they say about Lance. He's much more interested in playing the infantile game of "gotcha" than in trying to actually figure out what is going on with the phenomenon.

    If Lance wasn't so preoccupied with counting coup he might have understood that the point of the calculation was to show that launching a tethered blimp of the sort that is pictured in the NMIT photo is a complex operation that requires a significant amount of infrastructure. While being filled, the blimp is held down by a kind of shroud that has four hand lines on it. When the balloon is filled and the fill port is sealed off, the shroud is released and the balloon is allowed to bring the tether taut. This is actually the same procedure that was used on some of the larger MOGUL balloons, and is common in the ballooning world. The blimp tether line can then be reeled out and back in with a winch capable of applying at least a 436 pound pull.

    The article on NMIT that Gilles pointed to discusses the fact that they originally used a WWII surplus DUKW vehicle for this purpose (because it had a winch on it) but eventually replaced that function with a surplus truck that they later acquired.

    So in other words, the standard launch crew consisted of 5 students, a couple tons of compressed gas cylinders, and a truck with a powered winch on top to transport everything and deploy the blimp. That's pretty much what's shown in the photo, and that conclusion does not change because there was an arithmetic error in my previous post.

    And we could also mention the cost. Helium is an expensive gas. My local welding shop will fill a standard 80 cubic feet tank with industrial helium for $142.20. At that cost, filling the NMIT tethered blimp would cost a little over $11,000. I don't know what the retail cost of helium was in 1964, and it has undergone about a factor of 2 increase over its steady state value in the last 5 or 6 years. Still, I think it's likely that filling the NMIT blimp (or any balloon of similar size) would have cost in the thousands. Were NMIT students really that motivated?

    The point being that if anyone is seriously suggesting that the tethered blimp in the NMIT photo is what Lonnie Zamora saw, then you have to give a credible story as to where all that infrastructure came from and went to, and what it was doing while Zamora was looking at the “balloon”. Why was no sign of it ever detected?

    By Blogger Larry, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Yvan D., at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • Tony wrote: Credit was given for both the photo and accompanying notation...the source was clearly cited, so you are (as usual) wrong.
    Liar...
    Where is http://langmuir.nmt.edu/Storms_Above/StormsAboveCh6.html clearly cited in your initial article? NOWHERE. But that's where comes your photography^^.
    Ask Rich to edit your initial article (be carefull however the initial one have not been screenshooted by me^^). ;)

    Well, that's ufology

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • Larry,
    Your thoughts are interesting imho and humblely myself doesnt buy the NM Tech apparatus used for a prank like defended by "our" Bragalia.
    For example, imagine this apparatus lacking (and so "precious" expiremently speacking for the University team) lacking for the university... Hum...

    As you pointed, when the University deployed this apparatus, it was complex and I have too some difficulties to imagine the students using such an apparatus for a simple prank against the cop of the corner.

    I think you did another "mathematical error" in your intevention, AKA you confused Newton force outcomes in math unity with kg in one your formula ;)

    Regards,

    Gilles.


    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • From Larry-

    "I think Lance's snarky comments are most interesting for what they say about Lance. He's much more interested in playing the infantile game of "gotcha" than in trying to actually figure out what is going on with the phenomenon."

    So very true and so well put, Larry!

    Lance knows this about himself and will never change.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • Let me humbly ask once more:

    HOW can AJB claim to know the 'color' of this balloon by examining only a B&W photograph????

    By Blogger Chuck Finley, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • Sure Larry,

    Dealing with 2 tons of lift is EXACLY the same problem as dealing with 400!

    As to your flight of fancy on helium prices, helium was about $35 for a THOUSAND cubic feet in 1965.

    I'm sure that you will come back saying that all your objections to the balloon idea still apply...somehow.

    What we can see here is that certain saucer buffs and conspiracy theorists spin facts so that they mean what ever they want them to mean and they create elaborate speculative concoctions (4 tons of lift, thousands of dollars in helium) as part of their narrative. Then when part of their scenario is shown to be wrong, they double down and INSIST that it all still works.

    Now, Tony's idea about the Socorro sighting being a balloon is far from being proven and there are huge problems with it that have not yet been satisfactorily explained.

    He is a long long way off from proving anything.

    But I have to come to his defense when folks do what Larry did because I hate that kind of faux-scientific posturing (Larry recently dismissed something a skeptic wrote about the position of Venus and was totally wrong there as well).

    To me, that kind pretend intellectualism is far worse than the silly unsupportable claims that Tony invariably makes.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014  

  • Chuck-

    Just got off the phone with Vida Trujillo, Adminstrator with the Langmuire Lab in Socorro. Trujillo has a far clearer version of the photo in question...

    She graciously retrieved it as I waited on the phone. I asked her to describe the color of the balloon,as I was looking at a digital version online.

    She replied, "its off-white to translucent in some areas. It has a little silver in some areas too." She has the actual book from which the Storms Above the Desert is included. That photo plate appearing in the book is clearly white-ish she states. I asked if she was certain, and she confirmed that she was.

    This is uncannily how Zamora described the shading/color of the "UFO" that he encountered...

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Wednesday, March 26, 2014  

  • Tony...again good Info!

    Just to be clear...the original photo is in color?

    Thanks

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, March 26, 2014  

  • I don’t know if anyone is still paying attention, but Lance made a boo-boo when he wrote:

    “As to your flight of fancy on helium prices, helium was about $35 for a THOUSAND cubic feet in 1965…..”

    Time for another science lesson. I’m guessing that Lance did something like I did, and Googled on “Helium prices in 1964”. If you do that you can wind up on a page like the following:

    http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/doh02

    If you do that, you will end up with data supplied by the USGS: “In 1964, an estimated 95 percent of the world's recoverable helium was produced within a 250-mile radius of Amarillo. Three new plants, which began operating in that year, doubled existing capacity, resulting in refined helium production of 304,909,000 cubic feet valued at $10,672,000…..”

    If you divide $10,672,000 by 304,909,000 cubic feet, you get about 3.5 CENTS per cubic feet or the 35 DOLLARS per thousand cubic feet that Lance quoted. That is the price that an industrial company like Linde, or the like, would pay for Helium at the wellhead. (Helium is a byproduct mixed into the natural gas that comes out of the Amarillo wells.)

    But a balloon launcher in New Mexico (or anywhere else, for that matter) doesn’t pay the price of Helium at the wellhead. They pay to have the Helium compressed and refrigerated to first separate it from the natural gas. Then they pay to have it refrigerated to cryogenic temperatures for further purification and bulk shipment in liquefied form (near Zero degrees K). Closer to the point of use (since most labs don’t have expensive liquid Helium dewars) they pay to have it put into compressed gas cylinders and transported by truck. And then, finally they have to pay the supply company a profit for doing all that work. This is a very energy intensive (and therefore costly) process governed by the laws of thermodynamics, which haven’t changed since 1964.

    The upshot of this is that the price of the raw material at the wellhead is only a small fraction of the price that a user pays for Helium gas delivered to the work site. As I reported in a previous post, today’s retail price for Helium gas—as delivered in a pressurized cylinder--is about $1.75 per cubic foot. But the 2013 BLM price for Helium at the wellhead was about 6.775 cents per cubic foot. In other words, the price to the user is about 25 times the cost of the raw material.

    However, the retail cost of gaseous Helium approximately doubled between 2002 and 2007, even though the raw material cost only went up about 10%. This was due to a variety of factors of supply and demand and nothing to do with a change in the production process. So we can estimate the historical ratio between price as delivered and raw material price as about 12.5 to 1.

    I haven’t found a supply catalog yet that gave the price for a tank of Helium gas in 1964, but if the same ratio of raw to delivered product applies, then we might expect that the retail price of an 80 cubic foot tank would have been about $35.00, containing about $2.80 worth of gas. In 1964 dollars, that would have required about $2780.00 to fill the NMIT balloon—as I said, in the thousands of dollars. The cumulative inflation from 1964 to today is about 151%, so that would equate to more than $4,000 spending power in today’s dollars.

    I will graciously accept the humble admission of error which I am sure Lance will now offer.

    Just the same, I will remind him of his error every month or two, just for fun.

    By Blogger Larry, at Wednesday, March 26, 2014  

  • I am happy to apologize when shown to be wrong but in this case, I think Larry is the one who is wrong.

    Indeed in the 1960's, the government set the cost for Helium to private users at $35 per 1000 Cubic feet (this is refined helium NOT at the wellhead as Larry speculates--there the cost was $11 per 1000 cubic feet) , other companies sprang up selling liquified helium at $20/100 cubic feet--even lower than I thought.

    Notice how all of Larry's speculation is related to the small tanks that he is aware of, he never considers that the college might have larger (and more cost efficient) tanks available to the students (who possibly just took the helium from the school). Anything to make his pretend scenario work without the use of actual facts.

    Additionally Larry uses the current price of helium (during an unprecedented helium shortage crisis!) as the basis for all of his faux-scientific posturing--this is the typical kind of dishonest argument that fuzzy thinkers use.

    Rather than all of the speculation, Larry, show us something tangible for that high 1964 cost for helium that you speculated about.

    Or maybe just admit you were wrong.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, March 26, 2014  

  • thanks for the quick work on my question, AJB

    By Blogger Chuck Finley, at Wednesday, March 26, 2014  

  • Salt Lake City Tribune, January 23, 1964. Column by Business Editor, Robert W. Bernick. Page B4.

    US Policy on Helium

    "The Bureau of Mines...purchases helium for around $20 per 1000 cubic feet and sells it for $55 per 1,000 cubic feet. The $35 profit pays the cost of operating the helium program at Amarillo, Tex."

    "Some 85 per cent of the sales of helium in the United States are made by the government."

    "There is a varying scale of charges and sales prices, however, depending upon the amounts purchased.

    For example, the Arizona Oil and Gas Conservation Commission asserts that helium retail chages in Denver, Colo., are at $85 per 1,000 cubic feet for cylinders of 10,000 cubic feet or less."

    If that helps. Or not.

    To answer Rich's question awhile back. I don't post anymore because of pissing contests like this pretending to be reasonable discussions among adults. And because last I heard I was banned from this site.

    Blah.

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • Folks-

    I am going to admit that I cannot be 100% certain just how the balloon "held" the apparatus to create the flame that appeared as the craft went aloft.

    I am, however, 100% certain that pyrotechnic whistles were used to create weird sounds associated with the UFOs departure. I cover this thoroughly in my 'Physical Evidence Points to a Prank' Socorro article. I even include video links and compare the sounds to Zamora's aural accounting.

    Point is, the students somehow used the pyro-whistles (which emit unearthly sounds) but did not necessarily have them actually 'bound' or 'built in' the the balloon or balloon platform.

    They made Lonnie think that the sounds were coming from the craft (in the same way they used an explosion to get Lonnie to break chase with the speeder and made him think it came from a dynamite shack, which it did not.)But the sounds were far more likely coming from the ground not the balloon, with the pitch of the ungodly whistle going up as the craft does, creating an aural illusion.

    It is possible that the balloon itself (whether candle-powered or helium inflated) was never outfitted with any heavy platform or apparatus to spit flame...

    I believe that they ejected the flame from the ground behind the balloon to make it appear from a distance as though it was emitting from the 'craft' rather than being ejected from the desert floor.

    In fact, the University had expanded their world-class Energetic Materials Lab by the time of the 1964 sighting to have every manner of flame throwers, incendiary launch devices, explosives, military ordnance and propane/gas fuel systems available.

    Just as the students 'borrowed' and modified a balloon from the Atmospherics Department, and 'borrowed' the white lab suits worn by the 'aliens' from the Physics Lab (picture shown in prior article) and 'borrowed' metal and element samples from the Mining and Minerals Department to create 'landing traces'- they 'borrowed' from the Energetics Lab to create the flames that Zamora saw and heard.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • Don:

    Banned from here?

    I don't think so.....I would never ban anyone. (I kid)

    You're more than welcome here, being one of the more erudite UFO observers and buffs currently extant.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • Thanks to Don for the info.

    It was said about Mark Lane, the JFK conspiracist, that he could talk for one minute and it would take an hour to straighten out the facts.

    So it is with talking with UFO believers.

    I guess it is a pissing contest in a way and I should avoid bothering to correct things but sometimes I can't resist. Should I have just let the 2 tons of lift go by as well?

    The difference in the argument (I hope) is that I used actual facts (the $35/1000 cubic feet was the price to government agencies...don't know if the University qualified) while Larry spun things using conspiracy buff tactics...not one relevant fact just a web of supposition.

    I'll promise to try to not participate as often since I imagine that correcting mistakes is probably seen as just a pissing match by most other readers as well.

    Best,

    Lance





    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • Regardless of what the doubters might say, we have a photo of an egg-shaped balloon, with leg-like supports, photographed in approx. the right time frame, and directly linked to what was going on at the Socorro school at the time. I'd say all that is - at the very least - a very strong suggestion Tony is on the right track.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • Thanks much Nick...

    Tony

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • On the the other hand, Nick, there is the little matter of time - 50 years in fact.

    All right, someone can perpetrate a hoax and keep it going for many years, showing how they fooled one police officer plus a whole load of private investigators plus even the official USAF investigation (Blue Book) plus the college itself plus the citizens of the town.

    But it hardly makes sense to keep it under wraps for half a century, especially when the case was such a high profile one.

    Why has nobody ever owned up during this time? Are they afraid they would simply not be believed? Or is there some other reason? Why wait until decades later when the majority of today's residents of Socorro probably do not even remember the case?

    AJB never comments on this aspect of the case. I invite him now to do so. I don't think understanding human psychology is one of his strong traits.

    One possible answer is that the student perpetrators are all dead, but I somehow doubt it.

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • CDA:

    I know you can't follow every posting or comment that addresses this issue, but the owning-up aspect has been noted by me and countless others, here and at Anthony's personal blog.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • The problem I see is what Dominick mentioned in the first response.

    Socorro is a one-witness case. Toss out the witness' report and there is no case, just some guys opining on the price of helium or who first found a photo and how (or whatever it was Gilles was going on about). The hoax notion seems to lead some into evidentiary drift -- as happened to Roswell and 'Aztec', for example.

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • Socorro hasn't had an Anderson/Ragsdale either, yet.

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • CDA-

    The Cottingly Fairy Girls did not admit to their youthful folly for over sixty years.

    And as I have explained endlessly:
    the grad students were about to take finals. Understandably, the last thing that they wanted was to be suspended for their prank. Additionally they "stole" school equipment to accomplish the hoax, another reason perhaps to not even be allowed back.

    To admit to what they have done decades ago as college kids and disrupt their lives and retirement makes no sense. They do not want calls, interviews, re-enactments, or to be told that they are liars or are "covering up" or to defend against rabid UFO people as well as rabid skeptics.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • Nick wrote: " we have a photo of an egg-shaped balloon, with leg-like supports.

    Hello Nick,

    Hum? May I ask you where you see "leg-like supports" in the photo, please? And then something in accordance with the famous "ground traces"? (if I well understood?). Maybe I missed something (sincerly and without sarcasms)

    Don wrote: Socorro is a one-witness case.
    Yep, and one of the best UFO case following some statistical studies (one is classifing it "top 5 UFO case" for the number of mentions in UFO litterature- quantitative approach -) and despite multiple-witnesses is an important qualitative criteria "called to make a solid case" intra UFO-proponents defenders and themselves!

    UFO-proponents Guys! It could be great you make a sort of Concil of Nicaea concerning your best UFO-cases ;)

    Well, that's ufology, after all!

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • OK, for all those who think the balloon hypothesis is a possible explanation for what Zamora claimed he saw, please just briefly answer a few questions:

    How fast do you think it was moving when it flew away against the wind on a substantially horizontal flight path and how do you justify that choice?

    Where do you think it got the motive power to do that? (A motor and propeller? A rocket motor? A tow line?)

    If it didn't fly away like Zamora described, then where did it go?

    By Blogger Larry, at Thursday, March 27, 2014  

  • Gilles:

    I see 4 things beneath the balloon that look like legs, black and triangular-shaped. You can't miss them.

    Regardless of the intricacies of the case, I still feel it's beyond coincidence that (a) we have a story of a hoax in connection with the case; (b) the area where there balloons were tested was Socorro (in the same time frame!); and (c) we have a photo.

    Does any of this prove anything? No. But it should make us at least address the balloon angle.

    If that balloon in the photo was standing up right, it would look like an egg-shaped object standing on black, triangular legs. It wouldn't look like your average balloon.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Nick wrote:

    "... it should make us at least address the balloon angle.....

    We ARE addressing the balloon angle. Others here are considering only information that supports that angle. I, for one, am trying to falsify it, as any good scientific debate should do. That's why I asked the question about how fast it flew off. If the flight speed was in the hundreds of MPH, as most calculations seem to show, then it positively was not a balloon.

    BTW, those 4 black triangular things are stabilizer tail fins. They're designed to keep the nose of the blimp pointed forward, into the relative wind. Since the wind is predominantly horizontal, the long axis of the blimp is also horizontal, during normal operation. If the blimp were being held down against the ground in such a way that the tail fins were in contact with the ground, the blimp would have its long axis vertical. That's contrary to the orientation depicted in the artist's concept that was created with Zamora's help.

    By Blogger Larry, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Larry:

    I understand where you are coming from. But, let's remember something: Zamora himself said it looked like a balloon.

    Here are his words: "I picked up my glasses (I left the sun glasses on ground), got into the 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? I answered 'It looks like a balloon.'"

    So, we have that comment from Zamora about it looking like a balloon, we have the hoax story, we have the words of Stirling Colgate (and why would he have reason to lie?), and we have students flying fairly large balloons in and around Socorro in the same time frame.

    Is it the nail in the coffin? No, of course not, as we have no firm evidence. But, to me, it's all, collectively highly suggestive of a down to earth explanation.


    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Thanks Nick.

    Like Larry, I "saw" them as 4 stabilizer tail fins, not them as "legs".
    I ignore if such 4 things can be "legs" for the apparatus when at the ground or if such 4 tail fins can be in contact with the ground before launch or if they should be used as legs for the apparatus...

    We dunno at this stage.

    If Tony knows someone who have participated of such tests (or anyone), it could be interesting imho to ask.

    Regards,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • And with that said, I'm off to Santa Fe, NM for a weekend of fun (ironically only 2 hours from Socorro, but there's no way I'm wasting gas on visiting somewhere a balloon once came down), and never again will I bother with this case, which almost certainly has a down to earth explanation and which should be tossed out of Ufology right now (other than from the perspective of what can be learned from a hoax). Adios!

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • I don't mean "used" as legs, I mean giving the appearance of legs, depending on how the balloon (not a UFO) was seen.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • I thought you were gone amd through with this matter, Nick?

    You, like me, can't help being absorbed by the Socorro sighting; it's a good one, whether a hoax or not.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • lol, I AM done with it! Doing final packing for trip and just seeing who has to say what before I leave in about 20 minutes.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Well, have fun in Santa Fe; stay somewhat sober, and check in when you get back.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Gilles-

    It would be nice for you if they (or even one) came forward publicly. But it would not be nice for them.

    What is in in for them? Countless questions from people like you who would question their veracity? Do we all have an obligation to 'fess up to transgressions we did in our teens and early twenties? Do we want our children and friends today to know? Do we want to bring back shameful elements of our past when we are in the winter of our lives?

    At this point in their accomplished lives(and with scientific legacies and families to consider) such admission would only bring exhaustion and interruption to these retirees.

    And let us all be in agreement: Lonnie was led to the scene. He followed a young speeder all the way from a town center to well out of town, only to be stop his chase and divert due to an explosion that he heard. This had the intended effect of guiding Lonnie to the staging area of the "UFO."

    It is evident: The speeder is key to the mystery. His high-speed chase to make Lonnie come after him is not coincidental to Lonnie then being confronted by a strange aerial...

    Because of this realization, my search for the culprits began with a search for the speeder. The results of that search will hopefully be able to be revealed in the future without jeopardizing the peace and privacy of the involved...

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Zamora gave five landmarks for the departure direction, all indicating the the object headed off to the WSW (up the arroyo—WSW, over the dynamite shack—WSW, straight for the prominent perlite mill at the base of the very prominent mountains only 2 miles away—WSW, up the mountainside and fading out in the sky in the vicinity of 6-mile canyon--WSW).

    But the winds were blowing strongly out of the S to SW, probably the SSW at the time. Zamora and Hynek said as much (one among many reasons why a balloon was rejected). But historical weather records PROVE it. There was a strong, low-pressure storm system pushing through NM at the time. The whole storm system would have had to reverse directions to have any hope of the winds being right:

    http://www.roswellproof.com/Socorro/SocorroWinds_April_24_1964.html

    It is virtually 100% certain that the object would have been bucking both a stiff headwind and sidewind. That's Physics and Meteorology 101. It is IMPOSSIBLE for balloons to do that unless they have a powerful propulsion system (what Larry is getting at--then you have to explain how a small "balloon" could loft a heavy propulsion system and also speed off silently, as Zamora really described).

    The harsh physical REALITY that Socorro skeptics are deliberately ignoring is that a REAL balloon (not a magical one they are conjuring up) would have been blown northward over the town of Socorro, not westward towards the mountains.

    There is no getting around this. Conventional explanations better obey conventional physical law.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Tony wrote:
    "It is evident: The speeder is key to the mystery. His high-speed chase to make Lonnie come after him is not coincidental to Lonnie then being confronted by a strange aerial..."

    Tony, there was no high speed chase. You really need to read Zamora's Report.

    Zamora suspected the car had been speeding. He paced the suspected speeder, remaining three blocks behind him (or her) throughout the "chase". He never got close enough to read the license plate or see the driver.

    The driver, perhaps noticing a patrol car was pacing him, kept below the speed limit, so Zamora never hit the siren or the lights. If the driver had sped away, ignoring a siren and lights, Zamora would have called for backup.

    None of that happened.

    There was no high speed chase according to Zamora's original three page report.

    By Blogger Don, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Don-

    Your own words are "Zamora suspected the car had been speeding" and that he was "pacing him."

    Whatever the speed before or during or after the 'paced chase' it got Lonnie to where he needed to be.

    A slower lure, if that what it was, is even more incriminating.

    It allows more time for everyone to be alerted to the approach of their oncoming victim and to get into position before they have to 'act.'

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Zamora wrote that the car was "apparently speeding and was about three blocks in front of the police car". The car was "still about three blocks ahead" when Zamora "heard a roar and saw a flame".

    Besides Zamora not hitting the siren and the lights, not calling in his chase, and not calling for backup when the car did not pull over, I do not think he would have ended the chase to check out something else. That's an opinion. My reasoning is he would not have noticed since he was involved in a high speed chase.

    A speeder who will not stop and pull over is a danger and an unknown one. The speeder has the priority for the patrol officer over a sound and flame a 1/2 to one mile to the southwest and off the road.

    What it reads like to me: Zamora set his speed to the speed limit and watched to see if the apparent speeder pulled away, in which case he is now more than "apparently speeding". Zamora could choose to break off the chase when he realized the speeder had spotted him and would never break the speed limit as long as he was pacing him. So, the hoaxers could have no assurance that Zamora would follow the lure right out of town and to the necessary spot, and all their effortful prank would fail.

    The above leads me to think that, even if Socorro was a prank against Zamora by NMT students, you have not found how Zamora was delivered to the spot.

    I can assume the same event you describe without reference to a prank: NMT students unauthorized experiment in the arroyo and coincidentally Zamora appears on the scene. What really is important is whether or not Zamora was alone in the arroyo. It hardly matters why.

    I do not think this part, getting Zamora to the arroyo, is strong enough to support your hypothesis.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • Nick Redfern said, "Is it the nail in the coffin? No, of course not, as we have no firm evidence. But, to me, it's all, collectively highly suggestive of a down to earth explanation."

    Yep. Unless, of course, someone can produce a confirmed photo of an alien spaceship visiting the same area during the same time frame.

    Hear that noise? That's the silence of no such photo of an alien spaceship being presented.

    Larry said, "How fast do you think it was moving when it flew away against the wind on a substantially horizontal flight path and how do you justify that choice?"

    Whatever Lonnie may have seen was without any doubt whatsoever moving at the rate of speed it was actually moving. Whether or not he may have misjudged that speed and other aspects of the reported incident are other issues entirely. Sarcasm aside, it's really not that hard to deduce.

    Lance said, "I guess it is a pissing contest in a way and I should avoid bothering to correct things but sometimes I can't resist."

    If ya ever find a remedy, please make sure I'm in the loop of people you let know what it is.

    By Blogger Jack Brewer, at Friday, March 28, 2014  

  • My comment about the pissing contest had nothing to do with correcting errors but for the accompanying rant informing us all as to the stupidity and mendacity of one's interlocutor.

    It helps a lot when both sides of the dispute do it to each other. Then it is clear I will miss nothing by ignoring them both.

    I can believe both sides as to the stupidity and mendacity of the other. It is evident.

    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Several good points above...

    But while Don's above scenario is reasonable, it is no more reasonable than Tony's (just referring to the speeding thing).

    Witnesses are notoriously unreliable. One thing not perhaps properly considered is whether Zamora might have just flubbed his description of the departure, perhaps even intentionally. Perhaps he realized that the object might have been a balloon and reported the departure into the wind to bolster his story and not look foolish? This is pure speculation, I realize but witnesses do sometimes do that sort of thing.

    The wind is probably the major hole in the balloon theory. I think David Rudiak is correct about the wind in general. Tony has suggested that the balloon had some form of propulsion against the wind but I have seen no explanation of how this might work. He would need that or we would have to have good reason to think that Zamora was wrong or lying about the direction of departure. Even considering my scenario above, we don't have good reason to believe any of the above.

    We need more to make his theory work. But Tony's story is more than just unsupported speculation. He has done some good work here.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Lance, I agree that my reading of the text about the moment Tony called the "key" doesn't mean Tony's understanding is wrong, but that for a key fact, it is very open to another valid interpretation. There is no way to move off this -- we're stuck with being stuck -- unless new information becomes available to resolve it. Finding the "speeder" might do that. We would have a second witness, at least.

    Being a single witness case, we don't know whether Zamora simply made up the story for some unknown reason. I don't think he did, but his interpretations should be examined.

    For example, in the same...perceptual gestalt, he sees a wrecked white car with two people dressed in white near it. We know there was no wrecked car in the arroyo, but something else. I can find no reason to not consider that he didn't see two people, but something else. I'll add, too, that just because Zamora referred to the markings he saw as an "insignia" doesn't mean that's what it was.

    I cannot see any way to resolve the case without additional witnesses, especially down in the arroyo. One can hope if a witness turns up, it is not an 'anderson' or 'ragsdale'. I remember when Tony first presented the NMT hoax, I commented he had to be careful he wasn't pranked himself.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Don:

    Talking about gestalt...over the year(s), in discussing this sighting, I (and others) have presented views that have been overlooked or not seen by readers here, you among them.

    For instance, I loaded the Hynek presentation from his book and showed (I think) that Zamora was an exceptional witness.

    That the insignia/symbol is key to the sighting, et cetera.

    One can't make statements, or shouldn't, without taking into account all the material that has been proffered about a sighting or this sighting.

    Tony's full exegesis needs to be read, to see his hypothesis in toto.

    David Rudiak's views are to be read, along with those I've presented and well as those of others.

    That Zamora said he saw two white clad beings, and a red symbol, is not questionable by me.

    That he saw the "thing" rise up and fly away, with a blue/orange flame also gets credence from me and others.

    You are doing what got you into questionable straits here earlier: presenting an incomplete view of matters that have received extensive debate here and elsewhere.

    For me, Zamora was a great witness.

    The sighting, whether a brilliant hoax or a exquisite misinterpretation of something else, need analysis that is erudite and sensible.

    Dismissing Zamora's observation -- "because Zamora referred to the markings as an insignia doesn't mean that's what it was" -- is offering your view as a one to replace Zamora's. I'll stick with Zamora's at this point.

    He was there. You weren't, and aren't now.

    And don't leave in a huff. You views are okay, but just one of many, if we truly take gestalt for what it should be.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Yes, yes, Don you are well above it all doing the Lord's work, I'm sure.

    I suppose your argument is that when people argue they are always both wrong. If that works for you, great!

    When conspiracy buffs or saucer believers launch into their error-ridden pontifications about how things should be, pretending that they are stating facts, when, as we see above, they are actually making up stuff that is demonstrably wrong, I think that, not only should the error be corrected, but that the tale-spinner should be called out for it.

    Many UFO stories are built upon these gossamer tendrils of supposition (the Roswell myth is almost concocted wholly from such piffle).

    Larry looked at a photo that showed 4 skinny students holding a down balloon and THEN wrote a long crazy post that insisted (via saucer science) that each of those kids must weigh 1000 lbs! And then he made up a bunch of stuff about the price of helium, also wrong.

    Usually saucer buffs aren't quite so obvious about making stuff up. It's hard to correct the stuff that they write and takes a lot of work.

    So yes, I did rail against Larry and the tactics that he and other folks use because that kind of faux-scientific posturing is reprehensible and far too common amongst paranormal believers.

    And I'm sure that I will do it again.

    Lance


    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Rich, no problem. Don't misinterpret what I wrote, though. I have a high regard for Zamora as a witness, and LaPaz in support of that opinion.

    I ask questions that are outside the consensus when the consensus has gotten nowhere over decades. Fifty years of consensus and there is no resolution is reason enough for me to go back to square one and see if I can find the flaw(s) in the consensus, if any. It might stimulate a fruitful discussion, which the consensus no longer does. The unwillingness to break out of that eternal round of blog debate that goes nowhere because everyone is wedded to their position, is one reason why blog comments, as you have pointed out recently, are dreary and interest in ufos wane.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • I agree Don...

    The original Socorro views were ET oriented and otherwise too.

    It makes sense to remove those accretions and start anew.

    Scraping away the effluvia makes sense and you attempt to do that.

    I'm not a fan of the Socorro hoax scenario but have to admit it has a validity like no other explanation, thus far.

    But, as you note, Tony accepts a scenario fraught with unusual elements that don't make sense and do not fit the original tale as told by Zamora.

    Nonetheless, it's a good hypothesis, his hoax theory.

    But yet is not the full story by a long shot.

    And resolving the Socorro sighting is not going to happen here.

    We're all too superficial in our views and without access to the original event, unblemished.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Lance: "Yes, yes, Don you are well above it all doing the Lord's work, I'm sure.

    I suppose your argument is that when people argue they are always both wrong. If that works for you, great!"

    It is not the correcting, but the attacking...

    "When conspiracy buffs or saucer believers launch into their error-ridden pontifications about how things should be, pretending that they are stating facts, when, as we see above, they are actually making up stuff that is demonstrably wrong, I think that, not only should the error be corrected, but that the tale-spinner should be called out for it."

    So, you are doing the Lord's work.


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Nick wrote:

    "...let's remember something: Zamora himself said it looked like a balloon...."

    Yes, he absolutely did. He also said it was initially stationary on the ground, raised up 15 or 20 feet, hovered, and then sped off into the distance, which turns out to be against the wind.

    Are we going to arbitrarily and capriciously accept one of his statements as being true but not the others?

    What non-experts are focusing on is the similarity in shape between balloons and what Zamora described, while ignoring the difference in behavior. They both possess compound complex curvature; they're both, approximately spheroids, but the object that Zamora described was propelled, whereas pure balloons are not. It is precisely the difference in behavior that allows us to distinguish between a balloon and a grapefruit, or a pencil and a rocket.

    A pure balloon, placed in the air, can only do one of two things: it can go up (if its bouyancy exceeds its weight) or it can go down (if its weight exceeds its bouyancy). This is not my hunch, opinion, or wild ass guess; this is the Aeronautics 101 textbook explanation. Without propulsion, a balloon goes where the wind happens to be blowing at the altitude the balloon happens to be at.

    Propulsion can be added to balloons if that feature is designed in from the beginning, as in blimps and dirigibles. However, once you do that, you are bound by the well known engineering constraints of powered flight. By the way, blimps and dirigibles are not lighter than air, they are slightly heavier than air, and rely on forward flight speed to stay aloft.

    One of the well known results (Aeronautics 101, again) of powered flight is that the aerodynamic drag of a propelled object increases approximately as the square of the flight speed while the propulsive power increases as the cube of the speed. Blimps and dirigibles (balloons of any sort, really) have to push a lot of air out of the way in forward flight, so the drag forces quickly exceed the strength of the structure and propulsive power of the motors. There's a very good reason that blimps fly slowly.

    By Blogger Larry, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Larry,

    Again, like Rudiak, but with aeronautical expertise that he doesn't have, you are absorbed by one aspect of the sighting: the balloon element because that is the crux of Mr. Bragalia's thesis.

    However, what is missing is an analysis of Zamora's reflection on the flight of the "balloon" or whatever it was.

    Did Officer Zamora have it right? The thing flew off, against the wind.

    Mr. Rudiak insists that Zamora's observation was accurate, and I tend to agree.

    But we aren't absolutely sure that Zamora was seeing what he thought he was seeing.

    The scene was marked by his startled reaction.

    Yet, I think he saw what he says he saw.

    Nonetheless, did the "thing" really fly off into the wind or seem to?

    You hope to denigrate Bragalia's hypothesis by an in-depth discussion of balloons, blimps, helium, et cetera.

    There are so many things that impact the balloon explanation that one will never settle the sighting by resorting to a fix on the balloon alone.

    Don's attempt at a gestaltian view of the sighting seems better suited to a discussion.

    I know you guys like to throw out what your expertise allows, showcasing your acumen, but it takes us nowhere, like the ongoing mogul debate re: Roswell.

    Other elements of the hoax scenario should be addressed so that readers here get an overview of the hoax idea.

    That is, let the helium and balloons-into-the-wind discussion abate so we might get a feel for what Zamora experienced.

    And we should include the other egg-shaped sightings in the time-frame, along with the Woomera and Solway white clad "beings" in those sightings also in the time frame.

    There is a whole battery of things to examine, not just the balloon use in a hoax attempt. Tony has also mentioned pyrotechnics being used.

    No one addresses that? Why not? Because they want to blow up their knowledge of balloon aerodynamics it seems.

    RR



    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Larry said, "OK, for all those who think the balloon hypothesis is a possible explanation for what Zamora claimed he saw..."

    We don't "think" it is a "possible" explanation, we _know_ it is a _possible_ explanation, as are other possibilities. However, all possibilities are not equal in weight and likelihood, and to infinitely suggest and imply otherwise is detrimental to many relevant dynamics, including the search for truth and critical thinking.

    Larry said, "Others here are considering only information that supports that [balloon] angle. I, for one, am trying to falsify it, as any good scientific debate should do."

    Great! You do the same with pro-ETH/anomalous angles, right?

    Right?

    By Blogger Jack Brewer, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Larry or RUDIAK,

    Some of us well known the wind conditions/directions...

    In our French forum, we or I have defended a balloon apparatus (or similar) tracked by cables/wires after its launch as a possibility for a prank (like the one defended by Bragalia).
    Then, I'm not sure the wind conditions are against a "balloon prank thesis" or is the best element eliminating a balloon, aka a crucial data.
    But Rudiak is pro-HET, so...

    Bragalia thesis is very interesting but suffering many things which must be enlighted, validated.

    Anyway, like many, I dont understand why this UFO case is presented as a solid case by pro-UFO-defenders, it sounds without hight strangeness.
    Only ufologists like you (you have few level of evidence to support your BELIEF of ET Crafts visiting us, so I underdtand!) may defend this case. That's ufology!

    Well, you guys, like good UFO stories ;)

    Like Nick, I prefer discusse other cases. This one sounds "prosaic", I mean without high strangeness criteria.

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Gilles:

    In context of (light of) the Woomera and Solway accounts plus the La Madera sighting, Socorro intrigues and becomes less prosaic, if one knows the context....that is, if one is familiar with other sightings (or reports) in the time-frame.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Gilles:

    The reason so many UFO proponents rate Socorro as such a solid case is that Project Blue Book, under Hector Quintanilla, spent a lot of time investigating it and had to finally place it as an 'unknown'.

    Q himself did say he had his doubts and that somehow the solution was probably contained in Zamora's
    mind ("lying dormant in Lonnie Zamora's head"). See the Fortean Times book "UFO 1947-1997", chapter entitled "Project Blue Book's last years", by Hector J. Quantanilla.

    Obviously any case regarded by the official investigating authority as an unknown becomes a hot one, even though it had only a sole witness.

    There is no other reason, in my view, why this Socorro affair gets such a high status among the UFO fraternity.

    Were it not for that offical standing it would be, I am pretty certain, a forgotten case long ago.

    Never once did the USAF consider the 'hoax angle' as suggested by AJB.

    By Blogger cda, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Rich wrote In context of (light of) the Woomera and Solway accounts plus the La Madera sighting

    UFOlogist are champions of "Illusory Correlation". It is parts of the UFO modern myth and the narratives/rethorics of this modern myth and what they have only to offer, despite ONE evidence for their ETH crafts ;)

    Maybe you are one, or allow me to ask you to defend this so-called context and correlation ;)
    Or one more time, that's ufology!

    Winks.

    Gilles.

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • CDA....you write:

    "Obviously any case regarded by the official investigating authority as an unknown becomes a hot one, even though it had only a sole witness.

    There is no other reason, in my view, why this Socorro affair gets such a high status among the UFO fraternity.

    Were it not for that offical standing it would be, I am pretty certain, a forgotten case long ago."

    That's partially true...partially.

    The sighting has cachet for a number of reasons, some mentioned here in comments, and all over the place in the UFO literature.

    Just because the US Air Force tagged a sighting unknown didn't matter, doesn't matter.

    No one, with good sense, gives a fig about what the US Air Force had to say or has to say.

    Zamora's testimony, remnants of something having happened (tangible refuse), and those similar sightings I keep trying to remind you quidnuncs of, give substance to the Socorro affair.

    Gilles:

    Your position neglects the reality of the associations I've mentioned; far from illusory.

    You would wish away associations and concomitant sightings; that's why I dismiss your skepticism. It's flawed at its base.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Your position neglects the reality of the associations I've mentioned; far from illusory.

    If the reality is of the associations you have mentionned are far from illusory, what you are waiting to defend a correlation between such cases -sic- and to present it to Main Stream / Academic Area?

    Maybe Scientifics ignore you? So genious you are, my friend?

    No, Ufology have failled for long time (as currently) to provide ONE extraordinary evidence for ET crafts visiting us (in past or present);)Erf, sorry to be rude concerning your BELIEF.

    Well, if you are ok to participate of this modern myth, cool for me.

    http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/6108/trfd.png

    Regards,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Here is where yoru argument fails and shows how biased or errant you are, Gilles.

    Nowhere have I mentioned ET or any belief in same.

    I only mention the reports without giving a cause or explanation for them.

    That's why I dismiss your views.

    You insert words and intents for me and others, intents and words or beliefs that are just not there.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • OK !
    You wrote "Your position neglects the reality of the associations I've mentioned; far from illusory"
    But when I ask you to proove/defend such associations, you are not here!
    Sacred Rich, it is like your so-called counter-arguments about my article concerning 1896/97 Airships wave: ZERO.

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • I'm sorry Gilles, but I don't have enough respect for you as a reader, a reporter, or a psychologist to indulge your whims or requests.

    My position about UFOs, in thousands of words here and at many other blogs and web-sites is clear: I'm not an ET advocate.

    You make up positions for me and others that they do not hold and you present them willy-nilly on the internet and at your forum.

    That's shameful and dishonest.

    I'm not about to engage in a back-and-forth with you accordingly.

    Your Airship writings are just nuts and irrational, not worthy of discourse.

    Thus I didn't address your insane premise: the airships were misconstrued observations of Venus. Nutty.

    I let your comments reside here so others can see how loony some skeptics can be.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • My last posting contained a typo. The sentence that begins “They both contain complex compound curvature…” should have read “They both contain convex compound curvature…”

    Jack Brewer asked “Great! You do the same with pro-ETH/anomalous angles, right?”

    Yes; absolutely. As for example last year, when I debunked the “Atacama Alien” claim by Steven Greer, by researching the topic of mummification and showing that the radiographic effects that were used to support his claim were actually produced by immersion of the fetus in the naturally occurring salts of the Atacama desert.

    I definitely am not interested in wasting my time on cases that I think have prosaic explanations. And by the way, I never used the term “ETH” .

    Rich wrote: “…There are so many things that impact the balloon explanation that one will never settle the sighting by resorting to a fix on the balloon alone….”

    You’re basically asserting that the balloon explanation is not decidable, and that’s not necessarily true. The essence of Karl Popper’s advice to science was that it is often intrinsically easier to falsify an assertion if it is wrong than to “prove” it true, if it is right. He observed that there is an asymmetry built in to the “proof” process. So it is with the balloon explanation. One could go on gathering circumstantial evidence perhaps forever—as Tony is doing—and never accumulate enough to “prove” the hypothesis. However, if the hypothesis is false, it is relatively easy to show that. All you have to do is show how one or more characteristics of the sighting is contradicted by the known behavior of balloons.

    And, “I know you guys like to throw out what your expertise allows, showcasing your acumen….”

    It happens that I actually have multiple graduate degrees in aerospace engineering plus 35 years of professional experience AND the topic that Tony raised is the balloon explanation. My acumen happens to be pertinent to the hypothesis under discussion. If the topic is, e.g., interpretation of the symbol on the outside of the object, then I probably won’t have much to say.

    I guess I don’t get where you’re coming from on this. You often bemoan the generally low level of intellectual discourse on your blog site, but when someone shows up who actually knows something about the topic under debate, you don’t seem to like that either.

    Gilles wrote: “….I dont understand why this UFO case is presented as a solid case by pro-UFO-defenders, it sounds without high strangeness…..”

    I guess I consider it a solid case for all the same reasons that Hynek and the Air Force did and which CDA also pointed to. The combination of multiple witnesses to various parts of the sighting combined with multiple physical traces at the scene gives reasonably high confidence that something materially real was there. I could defend why I think that’s the case, but I would have to resort to a mathematical argument based on multivariable stochastic processes. That would really cause everyone’s eyeballs to roll back.

    Furthermore, I never would claim that this case is highly strange. In my opinion it has just about the right amount of strangeness. I just think it is highly interesting. To anyone with a sufficient background in physics and engineering it is apparent that the object, if it behaved as Zamora described--was unconventional. The propulsion system was non-Newtonian. The “blue flame” was not actually a flame, nor was it a rocket plume. The burn marks and vitrified sand are testimony to an energy source with a power density that is clearly greater than that of chemical and perhaps less than that of nuclear—a characteristic which Vallee and others have noted in other cases. While these characteristics are well beyond the conventional state of the art in 1964, they are potentially understandable within the framework of advances in physics since that time. That’s what makes it interesting; the physics implied by this case are beyond our current consensus understanding, but just barely.

    By Blogger Larry, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Larry:

    My plaint is that you and others like to pick one element of a sighting and beat it to death when, as Don suggests and I agree, there's a whole gestaltian totality that comes under, or should, tne discussion.

    The helium debate doesn't add much to a possible explanation.

    Intellectualizing a small detail doesn't count for much in my book.

    It's everything that matters; the whole sighting, every part of it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Larry:

    My plaint is that you and others like to pick one element of a sighting and beat it to death when, as Don suggests and I agree, there's a whole gestaltian totality that comes under, or should, tne discussion.

    The helium debate doesn't add much to a possible explanation.

    Intellectualizing a small detail doesn't count for much in my book.

    It's everything that matters; the whole sighting, every part of it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, March 29, 2014  

  • Rich: "Thus I didn't address your insane premise: the airships were misconstrued observations of Venus. Nutty."

    Really? Perhaps Gilles is a humorist. He always seems to chortle over his comments as if they were great fun. Perhaps the humor is lost in translation.

    ***

    The problem I and others have with Tony's hoax theory is he seems very confident it is true, while the rest of us think it worth checking out, but that what he has presented isn't strong enough to support his confidence. At least that is true speaking for myself.

    Calling it a "hoax" or a "prank" doesn't capture the reality of what Tony has proposed. It is instead, at best, conspiracy to lure a police officer into a hazard created by the conspirators. At worst, given a bright and career-oriented DA, conspiracy to murder a police officer.

    So, no, I don't think the conspirators will "come forward". Tony will have to be careful about "naming names", too, because without indisputable evidence, it could be construed as slander.

    If it was a "prank", I hope Tony solves it, because I'd like to know who the sociopaths were.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Sunday, March 30, 2014  

  • Don:

    Tony presents a juicy prima facie scenario.

    It has elements that are possible.

    For me, his conclusions are not comfirmed or proven, yet, but as Lance and Nick write, it's a good presentation

    However, for me, in the context of other similar sightings, in the time-frame, Zamora's experience seems related to soemthing more intriguing than a hoax or prank.

    But that, too, is circumstantial.

    As for Gilles, he is fraught with humor and I like him but seeing him as a skeptic is hard to swallow; I don't find his theses or antitheses logical or freshened by real research.

    His proclivity for presenting views of others is flawed, and he keeps doing it, so his humorous asides, if they are that, irritate rather than delight.

    He keeps trying to put me, for instance, in the ET camp, and anyone who has followed by musings knows that is not my stance.

    I accept crazy-ass hypotheses and comments here, so long as they are presented sincerely, without guile or chicanery.

    Gilles "theory" that the 1896 Airship wave was a gaggle of Venus misperceptions rankles, especially when one reads about the wave from Lucius Farish and Jerry Clark's investigations or research.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, March 30, 2014  

  • There is evidence the three page report in the PBB file was typed by Zamora upon returning to the Socorro police station that day. It contains four small drawings embedded in the paragraphs of typed text. Two are egg shapes and two show the "logo", which is the one we all know and love. If the report is as early as I think it was, it was made before Zamora spoke to anyone but his peers, and more evidence that it was the original version "logo".

    On page 1, referring to the dust kicked up by the roar and flame: "Possibly from windy day -- wind was blowing hard"

    Menzel (or Hynek) referred to the wind, noting the trash, including cardboard, that was blowing onto the site from a dump upwind.

    In viewing the object's departure, Zamora wrote: "The object seemed to lift up slowly, and to "get small" in the distance very fast".

    I think that is a very carefully worded sentence. It suggests strongly to me to not jump to conclusions about this moment.

    Zamora would be looking into a stiff wind in the direction of the sun. He had his eyeglasses on, but had not picked up his clip-ons.

    The object on the ground was at an angle. What balloon or lunar prototypes rest on the ground at an angle?

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Monday, March 31, 2014  


  • Don-

    Your said: "In viewing the object's departure, Zamora wrote: "The object seemed to lift up slowly, and to "get small" in the distance very fast"."

    This is precisely how a Sky Lantern or Candle Balloon behaves as it goes aloft. Precisely. Youtube is replete with examples like this.

    And the archive photo shows the college balloon on its side as it is hoisted...

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Remember, fellows...

    Officer Zamora dropped his glasses, and didn't have the prescriptives in place, as the "thing" flew away.

    The insignia/symbol that we've all seen is what Zamora saw, not the inverted V with lines through it, as Ray Standford has errantly offered over the years.

    And, again, other egg-shaped craft were seen in various locales in the time frame.

    Did they also derive from pranks or hoaxes?

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Rich,

    Concerning your comments about my article * about the 1896/97 wave (and how you totaly mispresent it), frankly your comments are very poor. One more time, it was not an article for you and the UFO microcosms, but for other areas I'm part of.

    * http://skepticversustheflyingsaucers.blogspot.fr/2014/01/cracking-189697-airships-mystery-toward_11.html

    The article have been well welcomed and saluted in several other medias, Universitars and by Mainstreams (sociologists, psychologists, ethnologists, folklorists, etc). It is totaly logic you or other ufomanes/philes critics it as you can. What did I expect from you or them? ^^

    Amitiés,

    Gilles.


    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Gilles:

    Your Airship article was splendid: wrong in its conclusion but splendid otherwise.

    of course, your exegesis would be well received in the forums and venues you frequent, and among the skeptical mind-set of French academics and thinkers.

    But it's loopy, as one would have to conclude if they are familiar with Lucius Farish's research, and the Prairie manuscript I've provided links to.

    That this is off-topic for Tony's posting here I apologize, but you, Gilles, have got to let this go.

    Your Airship material and mine are lost in the welter of UFO effluvia that has engulfed UFO blogs and web-sites since the matter was broached by you and me.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Tony: "This is precisely how a Sky Lantern or Candle Balloon behaves as it goes aloft. Precisely. Youtube is replete with examples like this."

    Against a stiff wind?

    It is true, a balloon can be tied or held down so it is on its side.

    The problem is one floating into the wind. If it was a balloon, then either the wind had died down, or it didn't "get small" into the west but another direction.

    "It appeared to go in straight line and at same height -- possibly 10 to 15 feet from ground, and it cleared the dynamite shack by about three feet. Shack about eight feet high." Was the shack 1/2 mile to a mile from the arroyo?

    It rose straight up to about 10-15 feet, then headed off southwest into the sun and against the wind, and I think gaining altitude and speed as it went.

    Squaring Zamora's description with a balloon is not easy for some of us, and if there is some perspective stage illusion here, it had to be done without control over Zamora's position relative to the performance.



    Best Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Rich: "Officer Zamora dropped his glasses, and didn't have the prescriptives in place, as the "thing" flew away."

    That was the case as he was still on the ground. After the sound stopped, he looked up and watched it. He didn't have his glasses on. Then he got up and walked towards his car and picked up his glasses and called in. He wrote he could still see the object. That's when he sees it "get small" and "it seemed to just clear the Box Canyon..."

    So, it was first without and then with his glasses on. Considering the direction of flight, not having his sunglass clip-ons may be more an issue.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Overall, Don....

    I find Zamora's account to be exemplary and one of the best observational records of a UFO sighting extant.

    (Tony often inserts that Officer Zamora was a drinker and maybe he was, but that slur doesn't affect my admiration for how Zamora saw, reported, and handled the aftermath of his experience.)

    Socorro, all by itself, doesn't take us down into an explanation of the UFO phenomenon, and spending so much time on it seems, to me, to be an obsession with trivia.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Don-

    Aside from the fact that this is a sole-witness event where the witness was sight-impaired at times (and perhaps had been drinking, according to my NM Tech academic sources)...

    Wind data is collected to reflect far larger spans of time that the scant minute or so that Zamora says that he saw the thing.

    - Aloft objects can be taken in different directions (and at fast distances) for brief (and sometimes extended) periods of time. Such objects can ride wind waves or wind eddies that make them appear to do all kinds of things.

    - Crosswinds, wind eddies, sudden wind gusts and momentary changes in wind conditions (such as a sudden stillness of blowing wind) within localized areas are common (especially in April) all over the country. And of course (even today) they go unreported or not detailed in official wind records. Kids go out in March and April to go fly kites know about these real-world wind dynamics this all too well. If one would only get off the chair and away from the computer and actually go outside and see for yourself- one would see that these things are commonplace.

    But the two strongest reasons for dismissal of such wind data are these:

    - The hoax UFO balloon is a Self-Propelled Object in the sky. The reality is that such a high burn balloon is an energetic, powered, motive, aloft object. It is “automotive” and thus capable of moving dynamically on its own within wind currents.

    - Importantly, when it comes to wind and Sky Lanterns, looks are very deceiving. This fact was duly noted by the UK-UFO website on December 23, 2010 when England was in the midst of a Chinese lantern hoax wave. The site warns: “Please note that the wind direction at ground level is not necessarily the same at the height at which the lantern is traveling . This may give the appearance that it is traveling against the wind.”

    And remember that Lonnie was positioned at odd angles while viewing this object, including admitting to crouching and to be cowered behind a car door.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Tony's above answer is compelling. Are there examples of balloons moving against the wind, where can we see these motive balloons? What is the means as of propulsion?

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Officer Zamora dropped his glasses, and didn't have the prescriptives in place, as the "thing" flew away.

    Only partly true. As the thing was taking off with a roar, Zamora ran away, bumped his car and TEMPORARILY lost his glasses. When the thing rose, went silent, and started its departure towards the mountains, Zamora ran back to his car, picked up and PUT ON his glasses. Most of the departure was seen with his glasses on.

    The insignia/symbol that we've all seen is what Zamora saw, not the inverted V with lines through it, as Ray Standford has errantly offered over the years.

    False. Stanford did NOT invent the inverted V with lines through it. It was mentioned in the newspapers at the time by Sgt. Chavez, Zamora's first responder, Zamora himself at one point, and by Hynek. A list of newspaper quotes (from me) in Randle's blog:

    http://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/2009/11/socorro-ufo-landing-part-one.html

    Walter Shrode of KSRC radio also brought it up with Zamora in an interview, probably done the day after the sighting (Stanford didn't arrive for several more days):

    http://www.roswellproof.com/Socorro/Socorro_Zamora_interview.html

    Note that Zamora declined to comment, saying that "they" didn't want him to, "they" probably being the Army, who first investigated.

    A San Antonio newspaper April 30 published a UPI artist rendition of the object featuring the inverted V symbol. Stanford had nothing to do with it.

    The clincher is a recent review by James Fox of Hynek's original hand-written notes at the National Archives. What I've been told is that Hynek recorded the inverted V with three bars through it based on his interviews with Zamora, just as he mentioned to the newspapers at the time.

    A very plausible theory presented by Stanford is that Sgt. Richard Holder, the original Army investigator from White Sands, had Zamora alter the symbol to smoke out potential copy-cat hoaxers and know if other sightings reporting Zamora's inverted V symbol were genuine. This is like police investigators publicly holding back certain details of a crime scene that only the guilty party would know about.

    And, again, other egg-shaped craft were seen in various locales in the time frame.

    Indeed they were. Schrode even brought up one in his interview with Zamora: "...according to a report from one of the news television stations in Albuquerque, claimed that they had a call, just about 5:30 in Albuquerque of a sighting of a flying object, flying in this direction." Stanford elaborated the report was of an egg-shaped object. Zamora's sighting was at 5:50. Gas station operator Opel Grinder also reported a family of tourists stopping at his station for gas, reporting a VERY low flying object pass over their car and seeing the policeman turn off the highway and go after it. "I called the radio station telling them Zamora was not telling them a lie, because the tourist seen something... and he saw the policeman officer going to the object..." The tourists, unfortunately, were never identified.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Policeman going after it huh! Where is that in the narrative?

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Rich: "Socorro, all by itself, doesn't take us down into an explanation of the UFO phenomenon, and spending so much time on it seems, to me, to be an obsession with trivia."

    I'll take that advice and end with the thought that what is important and relevant in this case is what Zamora thought was important and relevant at the time he wrote his report. Those are the details we have.

    Zamora thought it important to detail when his glasses were on his face and when they were not. When he had his clip-ons on and when he did not.

    And when something 'actually was' and when something 'appeared to be'.

    Best Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Again Don...

    I see Officer Zamora as a good observer.

    If he misinterpreted something prosaic or a contivance to gull him, his report still remains valid.

    And he never said he saw an extrateresstrial vehicle nor imputed his observation to something paranormal.

    He gave us a good report, one of the best in UFO lore.

    We are left to find out what he saw.

    Tony says it was a NMIT hoax. I've said it was a Hughes Aircraft/CIA test prototype. I think David Rudiak sees it as an ET vehicle or visitation.

    At this point, the explanation is up for grabs, as no one has clinched it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Lance wrote:
    "Policeman going after it huh! Where is that in the narrative?"

    Whose narrative? Opel Grinder's or Zamora's? Why is there even a question about this? We would not even be discussing it if Zamora hadn't turned off the highway and gone up the dirt road when he saw the brilliant light in the sky heading in that direction, thinking maybe the dynamite shack there had exploded. Grinder's story was that of a second-hand witness relating the tourist saw Zamora turn off the highway and go up the dirt road shortly after his personal encounter with a low-flying object passing over the highway.

    The quote I used from Grinder was from a short recorded interview by Ray Stanford with Grinder. (transcript on my website and link to recording).

    Grinder also filled out an affidavit (with story corroborated by his son Jimmy who was there when the tourist car pulled in) where he recalled the conversation with the tourist this way, the tourist telling him: "Your aircraft sure fly around here! Something traveling across the highway from east to west almost took the roof off our car...must have been in trouble 'cause I saw a police car head off the road and up a hill in that direction. Coming into town [from the south], I met another police car heading that way." (Almost certainly N.M. State Police Sgt. Sam Chavez, responding to Zamora's radio call to him for backup maybe a minute or two later when Zamora first spotted the object from the previous mesa at a distance of about 800 feet.)

    Unless Opel and Jimmy Grinder were also both lying, these are additional witnesses to a strange object flying toward the landing site, corroborating Zamora's story.

    Police dispatch also reported receiving three calls within minutes afterward (people never identified) of sightings of the bright light in the sky, long before Zamora's encounter became publicly known.

    There were also aural witnesses in southern Socorro to one roar or two roars a minute or two apart. (Southern Socorro then was about .6 miles due north and the object was .5 miles west of Highway 1, which Zamora turned off of and where the tourist would have been heading north into Socorro.) Stanford identified two of them in his book whom he spoke to, called to his attention by KSRC reporter Walter Shrode, who interviewed many of the Socorro witnesses on his own.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Third hand anonymous accounts.
    Supposed aural witnesses.
    Ray Stanford!

    This kind of silly stuff is where saucer nuts like Rudiak can really go to town!


    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Google:

    "Ray Stanford Uncensored" to view a blog that is ruthless in the claim that Stanford is a habitual liar and perhaps mentally deluded.

    Also learn what the late UFOlogist Richard Hall really thought about the freakish Stanford by Googling: "Richard Hall Nailed Ray Stanford."

    If Stanford's lips are flapping- he's lying. He's just bad news.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • You know that Lance and Tony have nothing of substance to argue when they start resorting to insults and character assassination.

    Socorro was investigated and reported on by many sources: the newspapers, the Army, the Air Force, the FBI, Hynek, the Lorenzens of APRO, Socorro radio reporter Shrode, Dr. James McDonald, and others. Just about everything reported by Stanford (and some things never reported by Stanford) was quite independently reported by others, e.g.:

    Opel Grinder story of the tourists seeing the UFO pass low over their car and the policeman chasing after it: Reported by the Socorro El Defensor Chieftain April 28 before Stanford had even gotten to Socorro.

    The Albuquerque TV station reporting someone calling in about a strange object heading in the direction of Socorro about half an hour before Zamora's encounter: Mentioned by KSRC reporter Shrode in his interview with Zamora, April 25. Shrode also brought up the inverted V symbol with three bars through it, long before Stanford got there. So did newspapers and Hynek.

    Radio dispatcher Nep Lopez's story of receiving three calls from people reporting a blue flame like Zamora's: In the written report of Cpt. Richard Holder's (White Sands up-range commander and first military person there): "Upon arrival at the [Sheriff's] office... we were informed by Nep Lopez... that approximately three reports had been called in by telephone of a blue flame of light in the area... the dispatcher indicated that the times were roughly similar."

    We have hundreds of pages of B.B and FBI files, Hynek's writeups, the Lorenzens, etc. Everybody who actually investigated ruled out hoax. Quite independent of Zamora’s observations, physical evidence was left behind: the freshly burned and still smouldering soil/brush, freshly pressed, compacted soil exposing moist soil underneath. Evidence of human hoaxers was completely absent: no footprints, no left-behind equipment, no car tracks, no organic residues from plant and soil samples indicating normal accelerants. Remember Zamora never left the scene, Sgt. Chavez was already overlooking it from the first mesa (about 800' away) as the object was disappearing, and more backup was there within a few minutes. The area was combed looking for evidence of hoaxers. There was no place for hoaxers to hide, no time to flee, no time to clean up after themselves.

    Nobody could come up with a conventional explanation for what happened, including Cpt. Holder, AFOSI, Hynek, & Blue Book debunkers. All who spoke to Zamora were impressed with his integrity, his frustration with not knowing what he saw and wanting answers. (He didn’t believe in UFOs and spaceships. He desperately wanted it to be a secret government project. )

    The FBI reported those who spoke to Zamora right afterward (including their own agent there in Socorro) found him frightened and "sober". I bring up "sober" because Tony has again resorted to innuendo from his usual unnamed NMT "sources" that Zamora was known to drink on the job and may have been intoxicated. (Maybe Tony should ask himself if Lonnie Zamora's good friend and 1st responder Sgt. Chavez would have strongly urged him to file a report if Chavez had detected the remotest sign of intoxication from Zamora.)

    Sorry kids, but actual critical thinking begins with many hours of extensive reading of case reports and grinding through the details. There’s a wealth of material on Socorro quite independent of Stanford (or me for that matter). Here's a good place to start, with links to many documents:

    http://www.nicap.org/640424socorro_dir.htm

    Here's another good starting point with reports from Hynek and photos from Blue Book files, the Socorro and other newspaper stories, Zamora statement by Holder, discussion of the various hoax theories (including Tony's) and dismissal of hoax by Hynek (letter to Menzel), etc.

    http://www.saturdaynightuforia.com/html/articles/articlehtml/deathofalegend.html

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Thank you David:

    The Zamora experience still registers because of Zamora's integrity, as a witness and a good man.

    It also contains elements that intrigue, supported (I keep insisting) by concomitant sightings with similarities.

    The event remains ripe for research, even still, especially that insignia/symbol.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • Hi David-

    You do know that I consider you to be one of the finest researchers in the field and that your Roswell site is the most valuable resource on the net relative to the incident...so we can respectfully agree to disagree on this.

    Do you believe that Stanford really was given the "real" Zamora insignia (which differs from the one publicly known) and was entrusted with it?

    If one or two of the NMIT alum were to come forward and 'confess'- would you believe them?

    Thx,
    Tony

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • There is no question that Rudiak has a great command of the facts. Unfortunately, he also is one of the most tireless generators of unsupported supposition and half-truths, which he expertly weaves into the real facts so that it takes forever to correct.

    I have debated him elsewhere on several facts about this case.

    He has the weather info down and solid.

    But, for example, he misrepresents (in my opinion) the timing of Zamora's sighting. The supposed aural witnesses are one of the silliest parts of the case, as related by Stanford. To some UFO stalwarts, the quality of their information doesn't matter--these guys work in quantiity.

    Rudiak does the same kind of thing Larry did earlier, where he takes a fact and spins false (or unproven) supposition around it. This is how saucer buffs weave their worldview.

    Ask Rudiak to go on for a few pages about how neoprene reacts to sunlight. He will and has done so with ease...all of it demonstrably false.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • Dammit, Lance...

    Don't goad David Rudiak into a spiel about mogul debris or the minor vicissitudes of Socorro.

    He has a command of everything about Roswell, Socorro, et cetera, but he happens to include effluvia and detritus that has little or nothing to do with the core problem of the events under discussion.

    Eveything comes in, including the kitchen sink (or in Stanford's case, a cupboard).

    Tony applies the mantle of "research" upon David, one of his Roswellian cronies.

    That denigates the word research and its methodology.

    David has gathered much that is valuable, but it's his extrapolations that muddy the waters.

    His ET bias taints what he has discovered or uncovered.

    So, please don't open the Pandora's box that is Rudiak's UFO belief system.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • Hey, everyone!

    I've been interested in this case since reading about it in "classic" UFO books during my teens.

    I even made it to the landing site in June, 2008 (something a little bit difficult for a guy whose hometown is Santiago, Chile) and tried to speak with Lonnie Zamora. He refused to see me and passed away the next year.

    I've read everything I've been able to find about this incident, including the controversy regarding the possible prank explanation as presented by Tony Bragalia back in 2009.

    It seems to be that Tony has presented a case that's both compelling and tantalizing. He has given us motive, opportunity and a plausible way of how the eventual pranksters could have done it.

    However, I'm also one of those who think that Tony's hypothesis is highly suggestive, but far from proven. Tony, on the other hand, seems absolutely sure that this is without question the explanation.

    Just for the record, I'm NOT an ET proponent and I'm inclined to think the case could be explained as a prank/hoax or flying vehicle prototype of some kind.

    In private email exchanges with Tony, he said that the speeder is "identified and confessed".

    I understand that if this was indeed a prank, the perpetrators wouldn't want to be identified back then for fear to be prosecuted by authorities or expelled from college.

    If they are retired or semiretired now, I don't see any problem for them coming forward. If they want to remain anonymous, they are in their right, of course.

    However, they don't need to go public. They just need to let them be contacted by two or three ufologists and/or journalists of proven ethics, or trusted by Tony, to cross-check them. What we need to know is exactly HOW they did it.

    I've asked Tony, for instance, if the speeder who "lured" Zamora to the landing site had a walkie-talkie to communicate with the others at the site. Tony told me that might have been possible, or that they had binoculars.

    Asked about how they did it, Tony told me that the speeder confirmed they used a balloon, but that "he wasn't privy of all the details".

    Some years ago, Dave Thomas created a blog so people who was at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 1964 came forward and shared what they know. Some of them said they didn't think it was a Techies' prank and they never heard rumors about it at campus.

    Others said they did hear rumors at campus, but never heard of a student or group of students who were responsible for the prank.

    It almost seem as if the Techies' prank version has become kind of an urban legend by itself, since some have said they KNEW it to be a prank, but no one seems to have a direct knowledge of one of the perps (except, allegedly, by late Stirling Colgate).

    If this was indeed a prank and if the pranksters became respected scientists, their greatest contribution to science yet might be to recognize once and for all what they did, and HOW they did it.

    Tony, if you have contact with one or more of this eventual pranksters, PLEASE let them be contacted by people like Frank Stalter, Dave Thomas or Rich Reynolds.

    By Blogger Patricio Abusleme, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • Tony Bragalia wrote:
    Do you believe that Stanford really was given the "real" Zamora insignia (which differs from the one publicly known) and was entrusted with it.

    I don't even know what you mean by "given" and "entrusted". (I'm afraid I'm again going to have to into those pesky Rudiak "details" and "detritus" again.)

    My "belief" also has nothing to do with it. I'm simply going to state the historical facts. The alternate symbol was already in public discussion BEFORE Stanford even became involved (4 days later). Walter Shrode brought it up in his interview with Zamora the day after, first responder Sam Chavez was quoted in the newspaper saying that's what Zamora told him, even Zamora was quoted saying it (though usually saying he was told not to discuss it). When Hynek also became involved 4 days later and interviewed Zamora, Hynek used it also in interviews. And as it turns out from recent review of Hynek's original handwritten notes in the National Archives by James Fox, Hynek recorded it as what Zamora told him.

    Again, Stanford had nothing to do with this. Stanford did NOT invent the inverted V with three bars through it symbol, it was not somehow solely "given" to him, he was not "entrusted with it," and he did not somehow contaminate the evidence about it by somehow getting Zamora to change his story. (Another spurious charge against Stanford that has been leveled in this blog numerous times.)

    What Stanford did do is actually discuss the conflict between the two symbols in his book in detail, saying the issue was indeed confusing. He believed the inverted V was the real symbol (he said all the Socorro policemen he spoke to said that's what Zamora told them and has a recording of one of them telling him that), but admitted there were good arguments to the contrary as well.

    If one or two of the NMIT alum were to come forward and 'confess'- would you believe them?

    People confess to crimes they did not commit all the time. They have to PROVE they did it. These still totally hypothetical confessors would have to reproduce the hoax IN DETAIL(!!!!) under realistic conditions (preferably right at the site under very similar weather conditions), including carrying out the hoax right under witness noses without being seen, fleeing and cleaning up without being seen, leaving not one trace of their presence behind (no footprints, no tire tracks, no other disturbances of the soil, no hoaxing paraphernalia) reproducing all the fresh burning observed (without leaving any chemical residues behind), accurately reproduce the compacted soil landing impressions, reproduce the loud roars --remember Zamora was originally attracted by the first loud road while following the car, reproduce the bright bluish cone shaped light in the sky right after looking for the source of the road, reproduce rapid silent departure in a STRAIGHT LINE for 1 to 2 miles just above ground level (and against the prevailing wind direction), then angling sharply up and rapidly rising to fade out in the distance.

    Good luck with that!

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • David's demands of the hoaxers (and Patricio not understanding what private means) is exactly why there will likely not be any public confirmation by me or confessions by them.

    David and Patricio both exemplify why:

    1)The hoaxers have no obligation to us to do anything. It only satisfies us, not them and not their legacies and families.

    2) Anonymous/Pseudonymous identities -while good enough for people like Patricio- would not be adequate for people like David.

    3) No matter what hoop or ladder they would be told to go through it would never be enought to prove the matter to some. And no matter how much we would assure their privacy, such privacy would not be given. There would be leaks, as Patricio demonstrates.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • Tony: "...there will likely not be any public confirmation by me or confessions by them."

    This is why I pay no heed to the work of ufo writers in my own (if Rich allows the term) research. There is no FOIA-like recourse on private citizens' files.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • Excuses, excuses, Tony. The alleged hoaxers maintain their precious anonymity but write out VERY EXPLICITLY EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of how they conducted the hoax so that somebody else could perpetrate the hoax in their stead. If they refuse to do this, it is alone a huge red flag. And if they do do it but those pesky details can't possibly reproduce what investigators actually found and what Zamora and others involved reported, then you know the "hoaxers" are really hoaxing you.

    This is one way police investigators separate the phony perps from the real guilty party by withholding critical details and then asking any confessors to tell them exactly what happened. (Yes, those damn details again.) Only the guilty party knows exactly what happened, including details even the police don't know (like where he buried he bodies or disposed of the weapon) and can reproduce the crime in every detail.

    All wanting to maintain anonymity after 50 years also doesn't make make much sense to me. They can't be prosecuted for anything, they would probably all be retired (so no professional repercussions), and would probably be regaled in skeptic circles as geniuses pulling off one of the great hoaxes in history, fooling all those fancy-pants investigators.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • Tony wrote:

    “But the two strongest reasons for dismissal of such wind data are these:

    - The hoax UFO balloon is a Self-Propelled Object in the sky. The reality is that such a high burn balloon is an energetic, powered, motive, aloft object. It is “automotive” and thus capable of moving dynamically on its own within wind currents.”

    To which Lance replied”… Tony's above answer is compelling. Are there examples of balloons moving against the wind, where can we see these motive balloons? What is the means as of propulsion?”

    Do I understand correctly that both Tony and Lance are now agreeing with my contention from a few days ago that a balloon would have to have been powered in order to move in the manner that Zamora described?

    To answer Lance’s question, yes there are examples of balloons moving against the wind; they’re called blimps. The balloon in the NMIT photo is a blimp, albeit a tethered blimp

    If we all agree that a balloon would have to have been powered, then we can get on to answering the question where that power and propulsion would have come from and how it was accommodated on a balloon (let’s take the NMIT balloon in the picture as an example). As I pointed out, there are good reasons why blimps fly slowly—they can’t go fast because the aerodynamic loads on any balloon that is capable of being lighter than air quickly get to the point where they would tear the balloon apart. Among other reasons, that is why competent designers don’t put more propulsion on blimps than the structure can tolerate. The structure of a blimp is what is referred to as pressure stiffened—the internal pressure is what maintains the aerodynamic shape. Any time you want to fly any kind of solid object (balloon, helicopter, rocket, whatever) in a particular direction, you have to add some kind of guidance and control features. In the case of a blimp, those control features are fins, similar to the 4 shown in the photo. They keep the nose of the blimp pointed forward and the tail pointed backwards, which is necessary for forward flight. On a tethered blimp, those fins are fixed, on a blimp intended for free flight, those fins have to be movable. The way they keep the blimp pointed forward is by providing a restoring force whenever the long axis of the blimp tends to stray away from the desired flight direction. Exactly like feathers on an arrow keep it flying straight.

    So the point is, a blimp has to have a pressure stiffened structure in order to be able to accommodate the thrust needed to make it move forward and to accommodate the restoring forces from the fins that make it fly straight. This is one reason why Tony’s hypothesis that the students cut a hole in the gas bag and turned the blimp into a hot air balloon is physically impossible, IF you then want that blimp to fly off into the sunset.

    By Blogger Larry, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • Part 2
    Hot air balloons have no appreciable pressure difference between the inside and outside precisely because they have a big hole in the bottom—thus, no ability to accommodate thrust or control forces. Also, of course, if the students had cut a hole in a perfectly good tethered blimp, it would no longer be useful for the primary research purpose for which it was intended.

    World War Two blimps had a Vne—never exceed speed--of about 78 MPH, covering 1 mile in about 45 seconds. The more normal cruise speed was about 1 mile per 60 seconds. This is why I asked, a few days ago, how fast the object that Zamora described, was receding in the distance. Most estimates that derive from Zamora’s testimony have the AVERAGE speed maybe a factor of 4 greater than the top speed of a WWII blimp (meaning that the TOP speed would have to be even bigger than that).

    When the forward flight speed of a blimp increases by 4, the stagnation point pressure (on the blimp’s nose) increases by 16. That means the internal pressure also has to increase by a factor 16 in order to maintain the shape. That means the skin strength and therefore its weight also has to increase by that factor. The power loading to push it that fast would be 4 cubed, or 64 times higher, so the propulsion system weight has to be scaled up by that factor. Virtually all aeronautical flight systems have some combination of square-cube dependencies like this, so you can’t just assume that a design that is intended for one set of flight conditions will automatically work at another set.

    I think you’ve got the right train of thought here. You guys are now only a couple of steps away from falsifying the balloon hypothesis.

    By Blogger Larry, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • Anthony Bragalia claims to have discovered the names of at least some of the hoaxers, the name of the speeder and the mechanics of the plot to hoax this event. If true, this is good research.

    However, he's refusing to divulge the actual names of the hoaxers or the speeder...and this turns what may be good research into terrible scholarship.

    Without revealed and authenticated sources Bragalia's solution to the Socorro case has just as much hard proof behind it as tales about leprechauns.

    Cough up the evidence, Mr Bragalia, or forever hold your peace.

    By Blogger Capt Steve, at Tuesday, April 01, 2014  

  • The day that Captain Steve and others name their youthful sins and detail them for their family and the world is the day that I will break confidence.

    The day that they publicly detail youthful transgressions that we have all had: when they talk about how they smoked pot, had teen sex, stole from their parents, made fun of people and cheated on their exams and girlfriends -or other such shameful acts- then I will reveal.

    The perpetrators have “legacies” and are retired Men of Science who wish to live out their lives without such taint about a college boy prank gone wild.

    Stirling Colgate's family are surely not pleased that when their father’s name is Googled- many of the search results are about Socorro- not his contributions to the Manhattan Project or physics.

    And remember that Watergate’s Deep Throat was not confirmed till forty years had passed.

    The Cottingley girls confessed in their eighties.

    It is my hope too that someday, one day, at least one of the Socorro perpetrators will too.

    And I do not claim to know the precise mechanics of just how it was done as ‘Captain Steve’ charges. I am only certain it involved: 1) A luring speeder 2) a very large white-ish balloon with fins and an added red insignia 3) energetics and energetic devices, explosives and large candles, 4) pyrotechnic whistles 5) white lab coveralls from the school and minerals from the school lab as trace landing evidence.

    And by what fiat, by whose say-so should they come forward and show their faces and expose themselves like that in the winter of their lives?

    For what purpose and for whose gain? At what cost?

    And the men have wives and children. Please realize that such public confession affects not only those who did it- but those who love them and that are close to them. Their lives would be forever changed at a time when they are trying to enjoy life in peace.

    They also know that even if they did publicly admit- some would not believe them, some would secretly hate them for coming forward and still others would see them in some way as just 'bad people.'

    Simply put: They just don’t need this shit right now. It probably means more to us than it does to them! They have moved on with their lives and accepted what they did as wrong. But they have all done a whole lot of “right” in the world. Their contributions should not be clouded by bringing up a painful past event if they choose not to do so. And frankly, you all have no right to demand it of them. It really is the most outrageous of requests:

    "Tell me why and how you did it because I really want to know.In return you then get to have your life flipped on its end."

    You get to be endlessly phone called, emailed, pitched by media, harassed by haters, stared at by strangers and forced to talk about it with neighbors and at church...

    Who would wish such unneeded and unwanted intrusion?

    Even Colgate admitted to me that ‘they were not proud’ of what they did at the time or today. Even he tried to see if they would come forward. They obviously chose not to.

    Colgate loved pranks and his students and protected them. The silence was kept and is kept still.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • Hmmm...

    Tony,

    I am unsure about what exactly you are claiming:

    1. Are you saying that you know and have spoken to one of the actual participants In the hoax?

    2. Your post above implies that Colgate knew who some of the perpetrators were. My knowledge of this suggests that he never found out who was part of ot.

    3. Do you know the names of more than one of the participants?

    Thanks,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • Tony: "Stirling Colgate's family are surely not pleased that when their father’s name is Googled- many of the search results are about Socorro- not his contributions to the Manhattan Project or physics."

    And who is responsible for that? Not David or Patricio. They did not write blog posts surrounding his name with eyeball toggling adjectives.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • Don-

    You ask "Who is responsible for that?"...

    The "responsible party" is not a person but a thing. A document. A letter in a public university archive found written from Dr. Colgate to Dr. Pauling about the Socorro UFO and him implication of NM Tech Students.

    I ask all of you:

    Should I simply have ignored the found letter?

    Should I not have acted on it, knowing that, remarkably, Colgate was still alive 45 years later?

    Was I wrong to begin an email dialog with him and get some much needed clarification on his letter?

    Lance:

    From my earlier posting:

    "David's demands of the hoaxers (and Patricio not understanding what private means) is exactly why there will likely not be any public confirmation by me or confessions by them."

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • "Eyeball toggling language"...'Clickese' language.

    You wrote the posts in a way to encourage their propagation and to incite controversy.

    You were successful. You were also successful in doing some collateral damage to Lonnie Zamora's reputation on the web without regard to its impact on his relatives.

    I think you are young enough to recover. It will take some time, though.

    Your work did lead me to the place in Zamora's narrative where the "key" might be (I don't mean either a high speed chase or a pacing of a suspected speeder). I'm grateful for that.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • So to sum it up, we need to accept Anthony's explanation for the Zamora/Socorro case based solely on his word.

    That's unfortunate; "because I said so" is no way to do science. This reduces your 'solution' to Socorro to the level of Menzel.

    Let me be clear: I'm no skeptic. I believe that there's some sort of phenomena (plural) behind UFOs which have not been adequately explored or explained.

    By Blogger Capt Steve, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • Tony:

    First of all, I appreciate the fact that you have taken the initiative to research this and to publish your findings. Also, I don’t doubt that you are reporting matters truthfully.

    Personally, I don’t really care about the identities of those who "confessed"; personalities aren’t all that important. I would need to be convinced that there was a physically real basis to their claims.

    On that point, I notice two things about those 5 items you listed: Maybe I'm missing something here, but they are mostly generic and I don't think any of them contain any new information about the case that couldn’t have been guessed at, after the case became public.

    The items are statements that are meant to suggest a physically real engineering solution but don’t actually describe an engineering solution. For example, “energetics and energetic devices” is basically a Rorschach test, you can see anything in that you want. The point I’ve been trying to make as an aerospace engineer is that if someone claims to have built and flown a flight vehicle, they would have to know what design decisions they made. They should be able to state “we used a piston engine and propeller” or, “we used a solid rocket motor”, or whatever.

    So, no description of the details that someone in the hoax should know about and no new information added to the case that only an insider would know. To me, the most parsimonious hypothesis for both those facts is a single explanation. They don’t supply those details and insider information because they don’t exist--their confession is the hoax.

    Of course, if new, testable details were to emerge in the future, I would revisit that hypothesis.

    By Blogger Larry, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • Colgate loved pranks and his students and protected them.

    So you admit Colgate loved pranks and was also allegedly protecting student pranksters (who in the past you have stated were known to carry out many other pranks). In other words, these are all people with a history of screwing with other people's heads for fun. Is it not remotely possible that they are still screwing with people in their old age, in this case the target being you and also trying to discredit one of Ufology's best cases? The total vagueness of how this hoax was allegedly carried out should be a big red flag.

    (And no matter how "esteemed" Sterling Colgate may have been, I can name one more "esteemed" NMT faculty member known to have played games with Ufologists whose initials are CBM.)

    The perpetrators have “legacies” and are retired Men of Science who wish to live out their lives without such taint about a college boy prank gone wild.

    As I said, let them keep their precious anonymity. All they have to do is write out IN DETAIL how the "prank" was carried out so that anyone could reproduce it, such as a balloon that flies low in a straight line against the wind and vanishes so quickly that nobody else, including backup there within a minute or two doesn't see it. Also tell us how they did it and escaped totally unseen and left not one trace of their presence there. If they can't do that, they are still "pranking."

    Stirling Colgate's family are surely not pleased that when their father’s name is Googled- many of the search results are about Socorro- not his contributions to the Manhattan Project or physics.

    I'm sure Zamora's family are surely not pleased when they Google his name they encounter YOUR allegations (including in this blog comments) that the usual unnamed NMT students said he drank on the job, obviously insinuating he was falling down drunk when the event occurred. Shame, Tony! That is worse than Menzelian.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • For the record, David...

    I've tempered Tony's remarks, at this blog, about Officer Zamora's alleged drinking.

    I don't edit or censor his personal blog however, which you've usually frequented when he posted something about Socorro.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • Dave-

    I have never characterized Lonnie as "falling down drunk"- never.

    However, what I have said is that two trusted sources who are associated with NM Tech told me that Lonnie was known to drink, and 'even occasionally on the job on weekends.' It was on a Friday around 6:00 PM the day of his sighting. And two people on Dave Thomas' website for NM Tech alum left comments about his known love of beers at the Capitol Bar in town.

    The fact is that Lonnie was not "St. Zamora of Socorro."

    He was known to have worked at NM Tech as a mechanic before becoming a town cop. This is where he developed a "thing" against bright, sometimes arrogant kids that were from out of state. It was a townie vs. college crowd culture that was typical of those times.

    I have talked to people associated w/ NM Tech who say that Lonnie used to "hassle" the college kids. This supports the earlier post here that Lonnie "paced the suspected speeder." That's what Lonnie would do, stand and wait, then creep slowly, following and observing them.

    And sorry to say, but J. Allen Hynek was very unflattering in his assessment of Zamora as 'not being very bright or articulate' (though, he said, he was thoroughly honest.)

    So we need to stop "canonizing" the witness and look at him with sober eyes through the clarity that comes with the passage of time.

    AJB



    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Wednesday, April 02, 2014  

  • A requirement of single witness events is that, in order to build a case, it is necessary for the witness to be reliable. Otherwise the researcher has no case.

    David needs Zamora to be reliable about the object's disappearance, and Rich needs it for the insignia, for example. There's more, of course.

    Tony's case is built on Zamora as a reliable witness. For example, the speeder, the coveralls and their color, the object, its shape and color. There's more, of course.

    If Zamora was impaired, then everyone's case suffers. In fact, there is no longer any case at all.

    Some forget this little detail.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • Don:

    I placed online here, earlier, the Zamora interaction(s) from Hynek's book about Socorro.

    Zamora comes off not only as reliable but credible and superb as a witness to what he experienced.

    Even if he had a beer, his observation was excellently reported by him....a good cop.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • Rich: "Even if he had a beer, his observation was excellently reported by him....a good cop."

    Here is why Tony's insinuation Zamora had a beer or two that day matters:

    It means Zamora was drinking on the job.

    Considering that, the issue for me has nothing to do with Zamora's "character", but the fact (and it would be a fact for certain)...the fact is he wouldn't put that in his report.

    Instead he reports chasing a speeder. If this is the "key moment" for one's case, then what you have done is introduced a very good reason for Zamora to have lied about it.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • Don:

    I'm not concerned with the speeder or Officer Zamora having a drink.

    As David Rudiak points out, there are other witness accounts that bolster's Officer Zamora's account.

    But even without those, Zamora provides one of the best observational accounts of a UFO or UFO-like event in the lore.

    If we take a gestaltian view of the episode and forget about some of the minute details, we have several elements to contend with: the shape of the "thing," it's color and that insignia, the departure noise, and the indentations in the ground where it was seen.

    Forget the speeder, even though it underpins Tony's hoax thesis.

    And forget the allegation of drinking; that a lousy slur.

    (I've also provided before the medicinal aspects of alcohol and how it affects or doesn't the sense of sight, sound, et cetera: it actually heightens one's sensory input and awareness.)

    The Socorro event is not marred by Zamora's alleged beer-drinking, nor the account of a speeder supposedly leading him to the spot where a hoax is supposedly being perpetrated.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • RR-

    I've always said that Lonnie was honest and reported it to the best of his abilities.

    But one can be "honest" and still mistaken.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • Oh I agree heartily, Tony,

    The whole episode is a misinterpretation of something: hoaxed balloons, a Hughes prototype or a bona fide Rudiakian ET craft.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • No it was not a bona fide 'Rudiakian' ET craft. It might conceivably be an ET craft, but certainly not a Rudiakian one.

    Not unless you think DR has a company that manufactures such craft. Has he?

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • There has always been something odd about David.....his innate brilliance warped by a desire to see the ETH as the explanaton for UFOs for instance.

    That DR might have an ET craft industry is not as far-fetched as it seems.

    His factory being father to the ET wish.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • Don wrote (part 1 of 2)
    Here is why Tony's insinuation Zamora had a beer or two that day matters: It means Zamora was drinking on the job.

    It means that Zamora was ALLEGEDLY drinking on the job.

    I’m going to deal with actual facts reported at the time instead of conjecture and rumors from people who conduct a whispering campaign 50 years later and refuse to make themselves known publicly. FBI report:

    http://nicap.org/docs_nmex/fbi640428b_pg2.htm

    “It may be noted that New Mexico State Police Sergeant M.S. CHAVEZ and Socorro County Undersheriff JIM LUCKIE on 4/24/64, advised that they answer [Zamora’s] radio calls and went to the site quickly. They noted several small burning areas at the site and the indentations. NO ONE ELSE WAS NOTED IN THE AREA. [Zamora], a well-regarded and capable [policeman?], was noted to be PERFECTLY SOBER and thoroughly frightened.

    Considering that, the issue for me has nothing to do with Zamora's "character", but the fact (and it would be a fact for certain)...the fact is he wouldn't put that in his report.

    Some things to consider here. Zamora didn’t want to report it fearing he would be ridiculed (Zamora didn’t personally believe in UFOs and knew of the ridicule associated with it). Chavez, by his side within probably half a minute after the object had disappeared (Zamora said Chavez was already overlooking the area from atop the previous mesa, only about 800 feet away, as the object was disappearing in the distance), told him it was his duty to report it. This alone indicates Chavez clearly believed that something highly unusual had happened (why?). Luckie got there a few minutes later (the police station was only a mile away).

    Now ask yourself:
    1) Would Chavez have strongly urged his good friend Zamora to file an official police/UFO report inviting intense scrutiny if he suspected even in the slightest that Zamora had a few drinks? Remember Chavez was an experienced traffic cop who had probably dealt with thousands of drunk drivers in his career. Wouldn’t he have easily noted the usual outward signs of intoxication like alcohol on Zamora’s breath, slurred speech, staggered gate, confusion?
    2) Would Zamora have filed a report if he knew himself to be intoxicated when he didn’t have to? Or he could easily have toned it down—false alarm, nothing to see here.
    3) Would both Chavez and Luckie have covered for Zamora? How about other police there within a few minutes?
    4) Zamora was also interviewed within 2 hours by both local FBI agent Arthur Byrnes and White Sands up-range commander Cpt. Richard Holder. Apparently neither of them noticed any signs of intoxication either. And certainly neither of them had any reason to cover for Zamora.

    Instead he reports chasing a speeder. If this is the "key moment" for one's case, then what you have done is introduced a very good reason for Zamora to have lied about it.

    Fail to understand what you are getting at here done. What’s the speeder got to do with it and what exactly did Zamora lie about because he was supposedly intoxicated? Seeing the object? How it sped away from the scene?

    You’ve also got to look at the totality of evidence. Quite independent of Zamora, there was physical evidence left behind that investigators, even ones with great incentive to debunk the case from Blue Book, were totally unable to explain (the fresh burning and ground impressions). There was the total absence of any trace track evidence left behind indicating any other humans had been out there. No chemical residues were found indicating how the fresh burning under Zamora’s nose had happened. No hoaxing paraphernalia was ever found (e.g., how were the loud sounds made). There may also have been short-lived radiation at the site (fogged film—Hynek) and vitrified sand (Dr. James McDonald).

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • (part 2 of)

    Neither Chavez nor Zamora reported seeing anybody in or fleeing the area, though both had panoramic views and neither left the area, plus other police swarming over the area within 10 minutes.

    There were other secondary witnesses e.g., gas station operator Opel Grinder and his son who spoke of the tourists who drove into the gas station right afterward and reported the strange object flying right over their car and seeing the policeman turn off the highway to go after it. They would have to be lying as well.

    Police dispatcher Nep Lopez stated immediately that he had received around three calls of residents reporting a bright blue light in the sky, one of the things that attracted Zamora off the highway onto the dirt road (after first hearing a roar that lasted about 10 seconds). An Albuquerque TV station reported they received a call 20 minutes before Zamora’s encounter from someone seeing a strange wingless object headed towards Socorro.

    Finally,let us not forget that Sgt. Chavez should have been an eyewitness as well to a hoax (including being able to see fleeing hoaxers from his vantage point atop the mesa). Let’s suppose there was a hoax balloon and ignore Zamora’s testimony about it rapidly disappearing horizontally in a straight line for two miles towards the prominent mountains to the west AGAINST THE WIND. A real balloon would have risen up in the air and been blown in a northerly to northeasterly direction over the town of Socorro, a little more than half a mile away. Nobody in town reported seeing anything like that. More importantly, neither did Chavez, yet he was driving up the dirt road from the east at that very moment as backup, probably not more than 1500 feet away (the site is only half a mile from the highway and Chavez was already well on his way). He is looking intently for both Zamora and the object Zamora reported to him on the radio, yet somehow he failed to see a large balloon rising directly in front of him?

    No balloon could rise that fast nor be blown far enough that it would no longer be visible 60-90 seconds later when Chavez arrived at Zamora’s side. Zamora should easily have had it in sight and could easily have pointed it out to him.

    There is absolutely NO evidence that Zamora was intoxicated at the time nor “impaired”, as Tony has again insinuated. There is no evidence to support that Zamora altered his testimony to somehow cover for his totally alleged intoxication. Officials on the scene right afterward and others who interviewed him soon afterward noticed no signs of ntoxication. You bet at least one of them would have made note of it. Others would have had to be in on the hoax as Hynek noted: Chavez, the whole Socorro police department, Cpt. Holder, FBI agent Byrnes, the Grinders making up a story about the tourists.

    Instead, everybody who encountered Zamora that day noted how genuinely frightened he was (Chavez said he appeared to be in shock). Now really, would a balloon and some fireworks have frightened anyone that much? Instead Zamora (who didn’t believe in UFOs) hoped he had seen some sort of secret government project. Everybody who interviewed him was impressed at how he stuck to his story and wanted answers to what he had seen.

    And honestly, what sort of “fireworks” creates a loud roar for about 10 seconds (twice), loud enough for the first one to be heard from a highway half a mile away and attract Zamora’s attention inside a car? These magic fireworks also seem to have immediately vanished under Zamora and Chavez’s noses, because no trace was found of them either, along with invisible hoaxers who left no prints behind.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • David "Fail to understand what you are getting at here..."

    I am not implying Zamora was drinking that day. My point is directed to Tony that if Zamora was drinking on the job as Tony insinuates, then it is something Zamora would not include in his report. But he has to write a report and account for his time. So, if Zamora was drinking, then the speeder story may not be true.

    It has nothing to do with the accuracy of Zamora's account of the later events down the arroyo, or his character, or anything else.

    It is purely hypothetical to point out to Tony that his hoax case is built on what
    Zamora reported. Yet, he implies Zamora had a good reason for not reporting truly about Tony's "key" moment.

    I wasn't referring to anything in the actual case. Just point out how Tony sabotaged his "key" moment.

    I don't like to repeat with every post my understanding of the case. But I will end my contribution to this discussion with it:

    Zamora's account of the period before he crests the hill and sees the scene, is not solid. Is there a speeder? Is there a chase? He uses those words, but none of the behavior he reported is evidence for it.

    Zamora sees a car off the road and two figures in white, described as large children or small adults. These are not different moments but they are seen in the same moment, 150-200 yards distant. We know there was no car wreck, thus we have no reason to accept he saw two people. Like the wrecked car, it was (or, they were) something else. This is supported because there were no footprints or other evidence of people.

    From that point forward, I think Zamora's report is very solid. I've no questions or hesitation accepting it.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • Don:

    You're being abstruse.

    Officer Zamora thought it was a car in distress.

    What he saw was an egg-shaped craft with two white-garbed figures near or outside of it.

    Why are you questioning his reported observation of two child-like or small beings?

    That isn't under question and has become a red-herring like Zamora's alleged drinking.

    Zamora was drinking or drunk? There's nothing to indicate that, nothing at all but slurs from students about other times, not the time of the sighting.

    And there's no question that he reportedly saw two beings outside the object or thing under question.

    Forget the speeder, I implore you.

    That part of the story has nothing to do, nothing at all, with the event under question.

    It factors into Tony's hoax thesis but that is, itself, a whole other thing too.

    I don't get why you keep saying this:

    "we have no reason to accept he saw two people"

    It's bafflingly obtuse.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • Rich "Why are you questioning his reported observation of two child-like or small beings?"

    Zamora didn't say they were "child-like or small beings", but "possibly small adults or large kids". Zamora wrote he only saw them at the first instant along with a car off the road and not thereafter. He only glanced for a few seconds before moving on. There was no car off the road, therefore, there is no reason to think there were two people there. This is supported by there being no footprints or signs of other people in the area. I don't doubt his observation, but his interpretation of it, due to his interpretation of the object, seen by him at the same moment, being wrong.

    "Forget the speeder, I implore you.

    That part of the story has nothing to do, nothing at all, with the event under question."

    As I had written previously, it is important and relevant because Zamora thought it was. He wrote in detail about it in his report. Ignore it if you want, but then don't tell me I'm the one not considering the whole case.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, April 03, 2014  

  • Don:

    The speeder doesn't help us with explaining or identifying the object reported or seen or misinterpreted.

    Forget it. Why are you fixated on it?

    Although it impacts Tony's thesis, it has nothing to do with the "UFO."

    And Zamora's view of two white garbed small adults or large children goes to what was reported in Woomera and is not questioned by anyone, even though there were no footprints to corroborate Officer Zamora's observation.

    You're doing it again: being obtuse about minutiae.

    It's not the whole event that matters to me but the core elements, which David Rudiak and others are addressing.

    You keep trying to take us off to woo-woo land where a small item (the speeder) prevails.

    Please stop doing that. It's symptomatic of something I will not open this discussion to.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 04, 2014  

  • (Part 1 of 2)
    Two can play the whisper and character assassination game. Less than totally flattering accusations have also been directed at Stirling Colgate by former NMT students such as John Shipman:

    http://infohost.nmt.edu/~shipman/write/uproar.html

    The general portrait is of an administrator who was often deliberately ambiguous in what he said, including some pretty outrageous statements that Shipman said you never knew whether he was serious or not. What particularly caught my eye was the following:

    “With a male-female ratio of six to one, there was a lot of complaining about the lack of social life (read: sex). One night at the Capitol [Bar] my friend... and I listened raptly as Colgate described his plan for a student-run bordello. He had all the logistics figured out. The Student Council would rent a house within walking distance of campus, and hire two female students. The charge would be ten bucks a throw, with a small rake-off to pay off the authorities and the rest split fifty-fifty with the Student Council. Was he serious? I'll never know.”

    Wow! School-run cat house using female students as prostitutes to service the horny male students, bribing authorities, and raking off profits. Either Colgate had serious character and judgment issues or he enjoyed screwing with people, probably the latter. Seems like all sorts of BS was traded over drinks at the good old Capital Bar. I think either way it calls into question how far you could trust him or the students, including the story he fed Tony of students allegedly telling him they hoaxed Socorro.

    Of course, it is just one person recalling the Colgate prostitution story and he could have been lying or misremembering. However, at the end, Colgate wrote Shipman and flatly denied another unflattering story Shipman told about him deliberately bypassing a boiler safety valve in order to heat a swimming pool. Shipman apologized and said he must have misremembered what Colgate really said. However, Colgate did not disown Shipman’s coed prostitute and official bribery story, so that suggests it is true; Colgate did say that over drinks. Hmmm. Strange sense of humor if that is all it was and also a very strange ethical example (breaking the law, political corruption and extreme sexism) for a college president to mention to students even if in jest. One might also question the wisdom of an administrator getting that chummy with the undergrads instead of keeping a more grown-up distance.

    Shipman also describes NMT student UFO hoaxes, SIMPLE kid’s stuff like a weather balloon carrying a flare or Chinese lanterns made of plastic drinking straws, birthday candles and plastic dry cleaning bags. What Tony still doesn’t seem to get is that hoaxing the Zamora incident would have been many orders of magnitude more difficult if not impossible than simple Chinese lanterns.

    In fact, Tony is suggesting they stole and destroyed school property (e.g., a large research balloon) and interfered with a police officer in the course of his duties (a felony). Other NMT students have written it probably would also have required cooperation of some faculty members.

    Thus Sterling Colgate, college President, supposedly hears that from the guilty students and he does—absolutely nothing!

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Friday, April 04, 2014  

  • (part 2 of 2)

    Several possibilities suggest themselves here: 1) Colgate made the whole thing up because he enjoys screwing with people for fun, maybe Ufologists are special fun because he is a hard-core skeptic; 2) Colgate did hear the sudents bragging over drinks but interpreted it as just that—drunken bragging to impress him and others, therefore understandably did nothing; or 3) Colgate took it seriously, but did nothing, even though he had a legal and ethical responsibility to act, not just for what they did to Zamora, the town of Socorro, and the Feds, but for extremely serious violations of school policy.

    Whatever, this is not a very flattering portrait of Colgate. Either he was simply lying for fun or he lacked a moral compass—a man who had a clear responsibility to act under the circumstances if he suspected any truth to the story but did not.

    This we do know. Despite four or five years after being contacted by Tony until his death, Colgate never cleared a single thing up, identifying none of the allegedly guilty parties and provided not one single plausible detail about how such a complicated if not seemingly impossible hoax could have been carried out. (Him saying it was a hot air balloon “powered” by “candles” is NOT being serious.)

    He could at least have done the latter while maintaining the anonymity of the alleged guilty students. That alone speaks volumes that his story was total BS from start to finish and Tony was being had. Like Shipman wrote, you never knew with Colgate whether the man was being serious or not.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Friday, April 04, 2014  

  • So Rudiak complains about character asassination and then says, "here,let me show you how a real conspiracy nut does it!" And then he proceeds with his trademark voluminous and venomous tale spinning.

    None of this is a surprise but Rudiak doesn't usually admit so boldly that this is what he does.

    I would be the first to admit that Tony hasn't proven his case, hasn't properly reported it, hasn't properly supported it.

    But the kind of stuff that Rudiak does goes beyond simple discussion of facts and into the dream world of a committed conspiracy buff, weaving and spinning facts and supposition together to make a deceitful web that pleases him...and Rudiak's saucer Jesus.


    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, April 05, 2014  

  • Lance,
    Are you the same Lance that wrote a few days ago: “Witnesses are notoriously unreliable. One thing not perhaps properly considered is whether Zamora might have just flubbed his description of the departure, perhaps even intentionally. Perhaps he realized that the object might have been a balloon and reported the departure into the wind to bolster his story and not look foolish? This is pure speculation, I realize but witnesses do sometimes do that sort of thing.

    “The wind is probably the major hole in the balloon theory. I think David Rudiak is correct about the wind in general. Tony has suggested that the balloon had some form of propulsion against the wind but I have seen no explanation of how this might work. He would need that or we would have to have good reason to think that Zamora was wrong or lying about the direction of departure. Even considering my scenario above, we don't have good reason to believe any of the above.”

    Allow me to summarize:
    1. Witnesses are “notoriously unreliable” (Lance)
    2. Possibly this makes Zamora unreliable (Lance)
    3. Stirling Colgate is also a witness, but alleging hoax.
    4. Thus by the same (Lance) reasoning, Colgate is also possibly unreliable.
    5. I note a former NMT Student John Shipman writing that you could never tell when Colgate was being serious about anything, including one bizarre anecdote of Colgate telling him over drinks at the bar that he had plans to set up a brothel with female students as prostitutes to service horny male students and bribe public officials. Colgate does not deny the story.
    6. Thus, besides witnesses being “nortoriously unreliable,” possibly Colgate’s personality and history as related by Shipman make him unreliable as a witness.
    7. According to Tony, Colgate told him that the student hoax used a simple Chinese lantern, or small hot-air balloon powered with a candle.
    8. Lance agrees I’m right about the wind, a “major hole” in any balloon theory, and Tony has presented no good argument how a balloon could propel itself against the wind.
    9. The only other logical alternatives, by Lance Logic are: 1) “Zamora was wrong or lying about the direction of departure,” which even Lances says there is no good reason to believe, or 2) The balloon story must be wrong or a lie.
    10. Stirling Colgate told a balloon story that can’t be true. Further, he never identified any alleged hoaxers. With all of the above, please fill in the blanks what this says about Colgate’s credibility amd reliability as witness or any truth about Colgate’s claim that Socorro was a student hoax.

    If Lance followed his own chain of logic, he should conclude that Colgate is the problem here. Instead it is apparently me. He can engage in admitted speculation and question whether witnesses are telling the truth but not me.

    Instead, I am allegedly not discussing facts any more (I guess the winds being wrong are suddenly no longer a fact relevant to Colgate's story), but am a “conspiracy buff” (accusing Colgate of a “conspiracy” of one apparently), living in a “dream world“ (I guess I “dreamt up” the Shipman article or the wrong winds or Colgate saying it was balloon or Lance agreeing a balloon makes no sense), “weaving and spinning the facts” into a “deceitful web” (oh, do please detail my “web of deceit”) to please my “saucer Jesus” (I thought Lance was the only “saucer Jesus” here) .

    Those who have read Lance over the years recognize his usual unimaginative nasty rants, using the same stock insults. It’s not just me. He uses the same language on other forums to insult others he disagrees with (though honestly I'm not sure exactly what he is disagreeing with here since up until now we seemed to be largely on the same page). He has been reprimanded numerous times.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Saturday, April 05, 2014  

  • Is Lance the new Zoam Chomsky? 8^}

    By Blogger Steve Sawyer, at Saturday, April 05, 2014  

  • David-

    You help make the case. Colgate was indeed very close to his students. That is why the hoaxers entrusted him...

    Let me be crystal clear:

    Colgate confirmed to me that he knew the hoaxers and their names. He approached them again (now well into their 60s) and they did not wish to come forward publicly...

    They did not tell Colgate anything different than they did when they were 20. If they were lying to him then, they did not indicate that they were when he spoke to them in their retirement.

    It was indeed a hoax and I am hopeful that those retirees will come forward one day. But if they are reading the kind of accusatory and unbelieving things Dave is writing- who the hell can blame them if they never do?

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Sunday, April 06, 2014  

  • Hey, Tony!

    Did Dr. Colgate ever entrust you the name of at least one of the alleged perpetrators?

    If so, have you had the chance to contact that or those persons? Have they confirmed that the Socorro UFO was in fact a prank made by them?

    I think that beyond all the discussions that we have seen here, the "solution" or closing of this case depends solely on that. And, again, they DON'T need to go public on their identities.

    By Blogger Patricio Abusleme, at Monday, April 07, 2014  

  • Hal most certainly was not involved and was never told who was.

    Only 4 were- and they vowed never to rat on each other...

    Try emailing and/or calling 37 alumni of NMT (like I have) for that time period and you will find them...

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Monday, April 07, 2014  

  • And the Socorro case turns 50 today (as well as Gary Wilcox's alleged encounter).

    To you, gentlemen!

    >raises empty glass<

    By Blogger Patricio Abusleme, at Thursday, April 24, 2014  

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