UFO Conjectures

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Howard Hughes, UFOs, and Socorro

Most of you know that I’ve long advocated a conjecture that Howard Hughes [Aircraft/Toolco] was responsible, inadvertently, for Lonnie Zamora’s Socorro sighting (or event) of 1964.

As usual there is no “smoking gun” but circumstantial material helps support the conjecture and UFO researchers have ignored that material in their haste to accept the notion that police officer Zamora saw a bona fide alien craft or was the subject of an elaborate hoax by New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology students.

(Note Hughes' logo on his card above. Hughes and his employees liked to display such graphics on their enterprises -- airplanes, factories, business cards, letterheads, et cetera.)

The excerpts from the paper cited below indicate to me that Hughes has been in the aerospace mix (deeply involved with the U.S. military) since before Roswell. And his forays in the southwest desert (New Mexico) were many in the 1945-1965 time-frame, encompassing the Roswell and Socorro events.

This proves nothing, I understand that, but it does provide grist for investigation if one really wants to get to the bottom of what happened near Roswell and particularly what happened in Socorro, April 1964.

Billion Dollar Technology: A Short Historical Overview of the Origins of Communications Satellite Technology, 1945-1965

by David J. Whalen 

While some communications satellite technology flows from one manufacturer to another, much is protected by patents, and even more is protected by the difficulty of learning new technology. Technology transfer, even when facilitated by cooperation, is often difficult. Many early geosynchronous satellites used techniques pioneered by Hughes on Syncom in 1963. The Hughes-Williams patent was the subject of litigation for years, but it proved to be quite valuable to Hughes. Eventually, most other manufacturers and the U.S. government had to pay royalties to Hughes. Perhaps more important, Hughes has dominated the manufacture of communications satellites since the first Syncom in 1963. The risk of competitors appropriating technology is greatly overstated. 

The Hughes Aircraft Company Task Force on Commercial Satellite Communication25 met for the first time a few weeks later on 12 October 1959. 

Hughes alone (successfully) had attempted to design a cheap lightweight spacecraft.

AT&T paid for the development of Telstar and reimbursed NASA for the launch services. Hughes paid the development costs of the protoflight Syncom satellite, although NASA underwrote the construction of the actual flight models.

Murphy outlined the work conducted at Hughes from 1959 to 1961 on satellite design and testing, all with company funds. As a result, Hughes could launch its first Syncom only 17 months after signing a contract. 

The year 1964 had begun with a contract for two geosynchronous satellites (model HS-303, the Early Bird) for Comsat. In March, NASA had awarded Hughes a contract for five Applications Technology Satellites, and in August, Syncom 3 was launched into geostationary orbit.

9. Project RAND, Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship, Report No. SM-11827 (Santa Monica, CA: Project RAND, May 1946).

117. It should be pointed out that future Hughes systems depended on the "gyrostat" principle developed at Hughes by Anthony Iorillo and demonstrated on the Army TACSAT.
N.B. This paper is online at our private UFO site and I'd normally provide it here, but since it seems that only CDA is reading my provided finds, uploading such papers for edification here seems superfluous, futile.



  • The question of what landed and took off on that day could be broken down into who, what, where and how. Hughes is a likely candidate for who and then there is Jack Northrup. How has a great deal to do with the evolution of the vertical take off vehicle, as well as navigational and guidance systems which would make this possible.
    What few realise is that the first manned VTO vehicle was launched in 1945 by the Reich which was the Bachhem Ba 349 and while the launch was a mix of successes and failures like any prototype, the conclusion was that automation of navigation was the key to future success.
    Four were captured at Sankt Leonhard im Pitztal, two went to the United States...and on arrival, one seemingly vanished. The other is held at the Smithsonian today. So the development work on a manned VTO vehicle was underway.
    The other issue is guidance, navigation and tracking. If the vehicle was manned, then tracking becomes a lesser obstacle and so guidance and navigation would be crucial. Variations of an autogyro were developed for stability and thrust vectoring ( I would think) would be needed. The earliest example of thrust vectoring dates to 1954 in the cobbled together Bell 65...as far as I know.
    Another aspect of this that if my memory serves me well was the identification of the craft’s insignia, which could have been proprietary to this one prototype and not used elsewhere.
    So, my view as speculation, this incident falls into the sort of random pattern in some cases where a finished product is sighted in advance of being technically feasible, such as in the case of the Zeppelin being developed in 1893, and this in conjunction with the Airship Mystery that also occurred around 1893 to 1897 just prior to their finished introduction in World War One.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, September 27, 2014  

  • Rich wrote: "This paper is online at our private UFO site and I'd normally provide it here, but since it seems that only CDA is reading my provided finds, uploading such papers for edification here seems superfluous, futile."

    This statement supports the new title of your blog, "conjecture." I believe you are making a broad assumption, as I and others do look at what additional info/links that you provide to support or stimulate a conversation.

    Rich, that's what we do on your site, we have a conversation. I only comment when I have something meaningful (in my mind) to contribute towards the discussion.

    Have a little more faith in the "illiterate" such as I:)

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, September 27, 2014  

  • Tim,

    I have faith in your intellectualism but CDA keeps people like me and Randle inspired to keep at it.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 27, 2014  

  • Bruce,

    Such things invite speculation (and more) as you example.

    One would hope others might follow up.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 27, 2014  

  • RR,
    Below you'll find another conjecture. Scroll down about a half page and read about "Lonnie and the Bean".


    I like the name change: "UFO Conjecture"

    By Blogger edward gehrman, at Saturday, September 27, 2014  

  • Thanks, Ed...

    I remember the Lonnie and the Bean thing at UpDates.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 27, 2014  

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