UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, June 16, 2014

An April 30th 1964 UPI Story about the Socorro Sighting and Symbol

Don asked, earlier here, when the Socorro/Lonni Zamora inverted V with three lines through it was first mentioned.

Here's a UPI newspaper account, dated April 30, 1964 with the symbol described, (the green accented portion of the newspaper scan):

http://fkbureau.homestead.com/upi.jpg

RR

21 Comments:

  • As already published by me on the Paracast forums recently, the Socorro inverted V with 3 lines through it symbol appeared by at least April 28, 1964 (or 4 days after the incident), and maybe the next day in an interview with Zamora on the radio:

    1. Zamora interviewed by Walter Shrode on KSRC, I think the day after the incident. Transcript at my website and link to recording:

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

    SHRODE: And someone said that the markings that you saw was an upside down “V” with three lines running through it.

    ZAMORA: No sir, I couldn’t tell you that, because they still don’t want me to say nothing about the markings.

    2. Walter Shrode interviewing Hynek had him saying it (maybe April 29, after Hynek arrived at about the same time as Ray Stanford the evening of April 28), my transcript and link to recording:

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

    SHRODE: Well, about this marking, can you tell us how he described this marking and what the marking was?

    HYNEK: Yes, I see no reason why not. He described it to me as an inverted “V” with a sort of a bar across it...

    3. AP quoted Hynek saying it:

    AP Story, April 30 (e.g. Frederick MD News)
    “The scientist [Hynek] also discussed the markings that Zamora said he saw on the side of the object, a red, inverted V with bars through it.”

    4. First responder and Zamora's friend Sgt. Sam Chavez was quoted saying it:

    Hobbs NM Daily News, April 28, front page
    “State Police Sgt. Sam Chavez said he was told by Socorro policeman Lonnie Zamora that the UFO he saw Friday… had red markings on its silvery side. Chavez said Zamora told him the design was an inverted V with three bars crossing it, but that the Air Force had told him not to discuss the markings.”

    5. AP attributed the description directly to Zamora himself:

    AP Story, April 29 (e.g., San Antonio TX Light, Danville VA Bee)

    “Officer Lonnie Zamora said the object he saw last Friday was a brilliant white. He said there was a red marking on it like an upside down V with three lines across the top, through the middle and at the bottom.” (San Antonio paper also showed a drawing of the object with the symbol, said to be based on "newspaper accounts")

    6. Ray Stanford has a recording of Socorro police dispatcher Mike Martinez saying it. As Ray notes in his book: "Martinez quoted Zamora in Spanish, "...un 'V' invertido, con tres líneas debajo," meaning exactly what it says, "an inverted 'V' with three lines beneath it"

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Monday, June 16, 2014  

  • It is obvious, David, that there is no definitive description of the symbol, then or now: lines above, lines below, lines through it, et cetera.

    The symbol is the "smoking gun" of the sightings and it was compromised from the get-go.

    Sadly, this is typical of UFO sightings: key clues and data have almost always been mucked up by media or UFO researchers.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, June 16, 2014  

  • Yes, the sighting was somewhat compromised from the beginning, but not by civilian UFO researchers, who didn't begin arriving there until several days after the sighting (both Hynek representing Blue Book and Stanford representing NICAP, e.g., arrived 4 days later), nor the media.

    The first key investigator was White Sands Army up-range commander Cpt. Richard T. Holder, who (as I remember) was on the scene within 90 minutes. According to Stanford and Holder's son, it was Cpt. Holder who convinced Zamora to change the symbol to smoke out potential hoaxers reporting the same altered symbol. So the "mucking up" of the true symbol was by Holder, not UFO researchers and not the media.

    In my list, you will see the various media quoting key people like Zamora himself, first responder Chavez, and Hynek, all reporting the inverted V with 3 lines symbol. This began maybe the next day (radio interview with Zamora) or 4 days later (Chavez). In fact, I still haven't found any media in the early days carrying the altered Holder symbol, that became the "real" Socorro symbol.

    And I still don't understand why the symbol is somehow the "smoking gun". If ET, it could represent anything. Instead, you are assuming a human origin, some top-secret project. If that was the case, Quintanilla and Blue Book failed miserably to find the source of the alleged human craft despite intensive inquiry, including pressure from Washington to come up with an explanation. Another thing that has recently come to light was a highly classified meeting that the Air Force held at Holloman AFB (Alamogordo) trying to find a human source of the craft and came up zero.

    More tellingly IMHO, a wingless, VTOL craft that could fly off at high speed in dead silence would have been a tremendous asset to our military. Why are we still using jet aircraft if we had an experimental craft half a century ago far more advanced than what we have now? And why can't anybody find any trace of it? That's why all these theories about it being one of our own experimental aircraft make absolutely no sense.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Monday, June 16, 2014  

  • Of course, David, you imply or think that Zamora's craft was of extraterrestrial origin.

    I can accept that as a possibility.

    That there were other egg-shaped crafts seen, in the time-frame, in far flung places and close by (La Madera) indicates something of a mysterious phenomenon.

    My thing about the insignia is that if it can't be found as originating from an Earthly source, then one might conclude it is other-worldly, as is suggested by the 1973 Chopic sighting (posted about a day or so ago here).

    Also, if Mr. Bragalia can tie it to NMIT (and he has tried) definitively, that would corroborate his hoax thesis.

    As for media and UFO researchers, no one thought to make clear exactly what Zamora saw on the craft -- not Stanford nor the Army or Hynek, or news media.

    A botched investigation.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, June 16, 2014  

  • Just took an hour last night to look into this. There are two 'lineages' of news stories about the "symbol".

    The earliest I found begin on April 28 from the AP. "Sgt Chavez said his was told by Zamora" that the object had "red markings on its silvery sides" and "the design was an invested 'V' with three bars crossing it, but that the Air Force had told him not to discuss the markings".

    The next day, the "symbol" appears in the stories about Hynek. "He (Zamora) said there was a red marking on it like an upside down V with three lines across the top, through the middle and at the bottom"

    The Chavez version, "red markings", the Hynek stories, "red marking". Some of the Chavez stories have "silvery sides", some "silvery side".

    I didn't find any UP stories about the "markings", although it seems most of the earlier stories I found came from the UP.

    In these news stories, the "markings" account comes from Chavez, not Zamora, and got carried over to the Hynek "marking" stories without the original attribution to Chavez attributing it it to Zamora.

    Holder may have requested Zamora not refer to the 'real' symbol in public, but he forgot to request the same of Chavez, I guess.

    So, it appears that the 'symbol' that Holder wanted to keep under wraps was the only one not kept under wraps, while the one that was supposed to be propagated only got propagated within Blue Book.

    My instinct says a) there is a story here, and b) not to believe the two symbols yarn.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, June 17, 2014  

  • Yes, Don:

    There is a story here...

    What was the real symbol seen by Officer Zamora?

    And why was the Army involved, as Joel Crook notes elsewhere here in comments to a previous posting?

    What was being covered-up or obfuscated?

    David Rudiak keep touting that Ray Stanford was on the case a short time after the sighting, but he didn't press the issue nor did anyone else.

    If a dinosaur was spotted in the African deep and it had a marking on it, it seems that those arriving to investigate would ask the witnesses what the hell the marking was, not ignore it, as was the case with Stanford et al. no matter when they got there.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 17, 2014  

  • David: "5. AP attributed the description directly to Zamora himself"

    I think the AP may have dropped the 'middle term' -- 'Chavez' as in the earlier version -- rather than having quoted Zamora directly.

    "1. Zamora interviewed by Walter Shrode on KSRC, I think the day after the incident. Transcript at my website and link to recording"

    David, how sure are you about the date of the interview? Any description of the markings before the arrival of Connor and Moody is of interest.

    Best Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, June 17, 2014  

  • Rich: "And why was the Army involved, as Joel Crook notes elsewhere here in comments to a previous posting?

    What was being covered-up or obfuscated?"

    I would like to find a verifiable documented mention of the markings before the USAF arrived on the scene.

    An AP story of the 25th attributes to Chavez that he had received a call from the Pentagon "and the caller indicated the site would be inspected by someone from Washington."

    Why would "the Pentagon" call Chavez?

    On the 27th, the AP runs a story:

    "Two investigating officers from Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque said reports a man from the Pentagon would also come to Socorro were false."

    Who, as well as 'why', made the call?

    Best Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, June 17, 2014  

  • A lot of unanswered questions, Don.

    That sloppy UFO research and/or investigation that I keep harping about.

    David Rudiak considers Ray Stanford's rather immediate appearance of the scene as superb UFO research.

    It wasn't, nor was his silly-named book.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 17, 2014  

  • The non-conspiracy explanation for why the Army was involved is because someone in Socorro investigating the sighting posed the logical (even if incorrect) conjecture that the object Zamora sighted might have been a secret project being tested at the nearby White Sands Missile Range that had somehow gotten out of bounds. White Sands happens to have been owned and operated by the Army, not the Air Force, so the Army sent out someone who knew all about what was being tested at White Sands on that particular day to see if an identification could be made. It couldn't.

    By Blogger Larry, at Tuesday, June 17, 2014  

  • Larry, I think everyone in this discussion understands the army's initial involvement and see nothing "conspiratorial" about it...well, I don't. I don't recall what Holder's position was at the Stallion Range. Let's say, he had the duty that day and being a resident of Socorro, got the call (by whom, I do not know).

    The issue is whether or why Holder would prevail upon Zamora to lie about the "marking" to the public -- and apparently, to the USAF based on what is in PBB. Didn't BB know about this?

    MSgt Moody appears to have been in a mood throughout, others reported. Maybe he had a good reason.

    Why the army usurpation of the USAF's role in UFO reporting? One very good reason would be, not to discourage copycats (I mean, who cared?), but to prevent disclosure of the markings.

    This would mean, that Holder or his bosses knew what the thing was. They would keep it from the USAF, since the AF had no need to know.

    Or, the story is false.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, June 17, 2014  

  • Rich,

    Where did I ever say Stanford made a "rather immediate appearance?" Stanford arrived 4 days after the incident, the evening of April 28, about the same time as Hynek, but Hynek had first crack at Zamora. Stanford instead had to wait to the next day to talk to him. Hynek wrote that Zamora was already so fed up with how he had been treated that it took him 20 minutes to "thaw him out" and get him to talk.

    One of my points in this is that Stanford didn't get to talk to Zamora for 5 days after the event, while the inverted V symbol with 3 lines was already in the news. Yet you and others have in the past falsely accused Stanford of somehow muddling up the symbol, even insinuating that Stanford was responsible for getting Zamora to change his story. This is total nonsense, at complete odds with documented historical facts.

    In reality, Stanford was the only one I'm aware of (devoting an Addendum in his book 40 years ago) to discussing the inverted V symbol, which has now been documented by a letter from Hynek to Blue Book in a recent search of the National Archives. Blue Book promoted the alternate one (arc with arrow beneath it), and groups like NICAP jumped on board, over Stanford's protests that he was actually NICAP's key investigator and that isn't what anybody told him, including all the Socorro policemen he spoke to.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Tuesday, June 17, 2014  

  • But David...

    We're not sure what exactly Zamora saw.

    The inverted V has lines above it or through it or below it or a mixture of all those things.

    Why did Stanford not pursue the matter, beyond his addendum?

    It's a significant matter, and just because it was seen in 1964 doesn't mean that it should have beden dropped during the intervening years.

    You take the whole sighting, the entire episode, as meaningful and extraterrestrial in nature, the symbol as a minor point in that whole.

    For me, the insignia is key, as I've explained, time and time again, ad infinitum, ad eternum, ad nauseum.

    Stanford, on the scene, rather quickly, didn't nail down some things, like who told what to whom.

    I'm just saying that your standards for research don't match up with Stanford's and I wonder why you and others keep defending him.

    Why did Blue Book promote the "erroneous" symbol?

    How did it come to be drawn by Officer Zamora in the first place?

    Why didn't he (Zamora) provide a drawing of the inverted V?

    When I talked with Mrs. Zamora she indicated that Lonnie was fed up with the whole situation.

    (Frank Mannor in the 1966 "swamp gas" nonsense became fed up also.)

    What was the Army up to?

    Hynek was still a debunker in 1964; what was he up to?

    Blue Book -- those bastards! -- what were they up to?

    It was sloppy UFO investigation way back then and remains so to this day, your research being the exception.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 17, 2014  

  • Don wrote:
    "David, how sure are you about the date of the interview? Any description of the markings before the arrival of Connor and Moody is of interest."

    Don, not sure at all about the date, but it sounds early on. There are comments about Zamora being a new celebrity in town, how Walter Shrode still hasn't had an opportunity to visit the site, Zamora commenting that he was told not to talk about the symbol, and at the end, probably some military guys (though I can't quite understand who he is referring to) coming out to the station to talk to him. So possibly when Connor and Moody of the AF and Blue Book arrived to talk to him (and thoroughly mess things up). Moody, in particular, was a rabid debunker and also hated Hynek as some high-falootin' ivory tower guy, quite unlike the practical and sensible military people like himself.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Wednesday, June 18, 2014  

  • The earliest news stories, from the 25th, have Zamora's story with all the details except for the "red markings".

    The AP "inverted V" stories first appear on the 28th attributed to Chavez:

    "Chavez said Zamora told him the design was an inverted V with three bars crossing it, but that the Air Force had told him not to discuss the markings.”

    This is the first mention of the markings I've found, on the fourth day from the 25th, and with the USAF, not the army, telling Zamora not to discuss the markings.

    The Chavez "inverted V" lineage is followed by the "upside down V" lineage of the Hynek stories. In these one assumes Hynek was quoting Zamora, not Hynek quoting Chavez quoting Zamora, as in the "inverted V" stories.

    On the 28th, the only symbol in the national news is the inverted V. No other design is mentioned. And it was national news, reported in hundreds, if not thousands of AP newspapers for days on end. It was very public.

    I did find one UP story about the markings, but the UP didn't attribute it to Zamora or Chavez, but to "witnesses", probably the tourists.

    I haven't read Stanford's book. Is he the only source for the story that Holder told Zamora to tell a lie to the public about the symbol, and that the inverted V was the marking he really saw?

    Wouldn't Stanford know the inverted V symbol and no other had been described in the press and attributed to Zamora, Chavez, Hynek, and some tourists?

    Unless we can verify the date of the Strode interview, and if it is before the USAF showed up, it looks to me that Stanford got it backwards and wrong based on the public stories, and it was the USAF, not the army, that prevailed on Zamora to put forward a phony symbol, the inverted V.

    If it was for the purpose of exposing copycats, the inverted V would work well. It is only 5 straight lines and easy to describe. But the PBB symbol is complex in comparison and not so easy to describe.

    This may not appeal to David, who has mounted a credible defense of Stanford from some of the criticism directed at him. It won't please Rich, who wants the inverted V to be the real symbol.

    My usual disclaimer. I didn't write the news stories. I was working in a steel mill in Pittsburgh in 1964.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, June 18, 2014  

  • David, the Strode interview does sound early on. Too bad the local paper wasn't a daily. We have to wait until Tuesday, the 28th, for the El Defensor Chieftan's story. The Chieftan's editor and publisher were taken to the site by Chavez on Saturday, the 25th. They took photos which are found in PBB.

    According to Paul Hardin (in the Chieftan, 8/2/08), the Chieftan was published the afternoon of Tuesday, 28th, "about the time the Air Force investigators arrived in Socorro"

    The Chieftan's article of the 28th did not mention any insignia or red markings. This is why I wonder about the date of the Strode interview.

    Baca's charcoal drawing was published on May 26.

    Best Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, June 18, 2014  

  • Nope Don:

    I want the arced arrow to be the real insignia, as Mrs. Zamora told me it was.

    The inverted V is bogus.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 18, 2014  

  • Thanks for the correction, Rich.

    Best Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, June 18, 2014  

  • It's okay Don...

    I'm as confused as everyone, as to what the real insignia was.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 18, 2014  

  • Rich, in 13 of 16 of the FBI pdfs, on page 117, date stamped April 25, 1964, from SAC Albuquerque, there is a reference to the "red insignia", but no description of it.

    It also reports it was the FBI which notified Captain Holder.

    That was quick.

    Best Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Don, at Wednesday, June 18, 2014  

  • Curiouser and curiouser, Don...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 18, 2014  

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