UFO Conjectures

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Stanford Socorro Mess

Our pal Kevin Randle has been clarifying, at his blog [kevinrandle.blogspot.com] the April 1964 Lonnie Zamora/Socorro event.

While some of you think the “sighting” is old news, not significant, it is neither.

It represents an iconic UFO incident with an exceptional witness, seeing an odd thing on the ground and in the sky.

But, as Kevin makes clear, with his recounting of the “sighting,” the reportage and accounts of Police Officer Zamora’s observation were compromised by military officials, at the time, and ufologists afterward.

For me, the worst offender in the matter was (and is) Ray Stanford, whose oddly titled book, Socorro 'Saucer' in a Pentagon Pantry, is treated by some UFO buffs (David Rudiak for one) as a Biblical-like treatise.

It is nowhere near that.

Kevin provides a posting of the ongoing, debated symbol that Officer Zamora drew but which is obscured by a red-herring element in the report/sighting Officer Zamora made.

There are two symbols (maybe more) that are proferred as the insignia seen by Zamora, one of which was purportedly provided by Army Captain Richard Holder as a “trick” to foil possible hoaxers.
 Ray Stanford wrote a note (retrieved from Richard Hall’s Socorro materials) that gives a wayward slant to what he, Stanford, posited as the authentic symbol. This is that note:
(Yes, it’s all very confusing, but see Kevin’s blog for a reasonable scenario of the various vicissitudes about the insignia brouhaha.)

My concern here is the instability of Mr. Stanford’s Socorro sojourn, which he made to the sighting site a few days after the event.

That instability shows up in his hand-printed note (above).

I won’t subject you to my proclivities for handwriting analysis, which has been dismissed for a few decades now, but resurging in popularity by businesses and government agencies nowadays. My senior thesis at college was “Handwriting Analysis as a Diagnostic Tool” [for psychologists/psychiatrists].

There a few things one notices about Mr. Stanford’s printed memo:

Note his letter “A” in words with “a” in them. It is remarkably like one of the symbols that Mr. Stanford offers, but dismisses as authentic, reversing that view in his book and currently.

Also, his printing is ramshackle, not neat or aesthetic as one finds in the writing of an ordered, cultured, clear-thinking mind.

Common sense would rebuke such a messy missive, that’s what graphology or grapho-analysis would say, but, minus that iffy consideration, the note, by itself, tells you the mind-set of Mr. Stanford.

It’s not an ordered mind-set.

The problem for ufology and its practitioners is that many UFO old-timers promote Mr. Stanford’s book as the meat of the Socorro event when it is, rather, the gristle.

The insignia is the “smoking gun” of the Socorro incident, despite the claim by some that it is not the nub of the sighting. It isn’t, but it is a major clue, in the Holmesian sense, that could unlock the mystery of what Lonnie Zamora saw/reported.

Kevin Randle and Spanish UFO researcher understand the significance of the insignia, as do I.

It’s a shame that it is besmirched by sloppy investigation then (1964) and still.



  • Hello,

    I repeat again: it is awesome to read all of this (about the insigna), and none investigator having tested or having thoughts to "test" Zamora about "figure/spatial patterns recognition" and his mental imagery memory skills recognition/recall (under or not stress condition, with or without glasses )...

    Well, this sighting is a good story and that's ufology, after all...


    Gilles Fernandez

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, October 17, 2016  

  • Gilles:

    We have the insignia -- well almost -- whereas we don't have Zamora, to test his mental acuity.

    And we can't rely on what has been reported about him. He was "assaulted" by oafs.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 17, 2016  

  • When you see Zamora sketch of the "craft" and area (reproduced here or there), you maybe can realize how it/he is poor in visual-spatial memory skills?

    I have rarely saw a so poor (an null) drawing made by an UFO-witness, but becoming however a "legend".

    Well probably only me ;)



    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, October 17, 2016  

  • I agree with you, Gilles:

    The "sketch" is a mess, like Stanford's memo.

    It tells us that Zamora was either a bad drawer or had extreme stress. I suspect the latter.

    The matter is right up your alley. You should do a posting on it....


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 17, 2016  

  • I'm still convinced that it was a Hughes Tools aircraft, ever since a reliable source (me) found a Hughes logo from that era that looked remarkably like what Zamora drew.

    By Blogger Matt G. (NYC), at Tuesday, October 18, 2016  

  • I'm with you buddy, all the way.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, October 18, 2016  

  • And Hughes made the Lunar Surveyor that was being tested at the northern end of White Sands that very day by being attached to the side of a small helicopter.

    What we really need is a picture of that configuration. That would finally put the kibosh on this Socorro "UFO" story for all but the diehard ETHers.

    Some Blue Book researchers had that answer in 1964. Dave Thomas has been saying it since 2001.

    Zamora said it looked, from 150-200 YARDS, like the underside of a car but silvery aluminum (trusswork, tanks, hoses, cables, etc) standing on end--taller than wide--as if resting on its front or rear but also had splayed legs.

    Only after it took off, whining and roaring, and he's much closer, did it appear to be more oval in shape and horizontally oriented than tall--in contradiction to taller than wide.

    So obviously, if we can take Zamora's descriptions, though conflicting, as reasonably accurate, he's describing an unusual configuration. And, even though one would think a person would easily recognize a helicopter-like machine, the intense whining and roaring frightened him so much that he ran away, fell down, lost his glasses, and crouched on the ground covering his face most of the time. Only glancing up a moment at a time to see it (and its logo) going up and away horizontally into the distance.

    The helicopter's spinning blades would have been invisible, and Zamora, confused and unsure of what he was seeing from the very start, never was able to conceive what he was actually seeing: the Hughes Lunar Surveyor test vehicle attached to a helicopter.


    That is the most plausible answer.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, October 19, 2016  

  • Zoam...

    You pretty much have it.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 19, 2016  

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