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Veteran researcher, and lead investigator of the Socorro Incident, Ray Stanford has informed The UFO Chronicles, that former Socorro, New Mexico police officer and preeminent eyewitness to one of the most well-known UFO cases in history, "Lonnie Zamora" died Monday night of heart failure.
The witness in the Socorro case is a well-respected policeman, Lonnie Zamora, who claimed in the report he filed (included in Project Blue Book, Brad Steiger, Ed., 1976) that he saw a flame in the sky, "bluish and sort of orange too...sort of motionless flame, slowly descending.
Narrower at top than at bottom...Sun was to west and did not help vision. Had green sunglasses over prescription glasses. Could not see bottom of flame because it was behind the hill....noise was a roar, not a blast..." The policeman drove around the area trying to see the flame again, and said he suddenly came across "a shiny type object ... oval in shape. It was smooth - no windows or doors. ... seemed like a "O" in shape and I at first glance took it to be overturned car.
" He also described "two people in white coveralls...two persons..." Zamora said he saw the two people at a distance of 150 to 200 yards, and that "they appeared normal in shape... but possibly they were small adults or large kids." He also noted "what appeared to be two legs of some type from the object to the ground...the two legs were at the bottom of the object, slanted outwards to the ground." Zamora then got closer to the object, got out of his car, heard a loud roar, saw a flame, ran, bumped his leg, lost his glasses, and kept on going. He saw the object fly up, and move 10 to 15 feet above the ground, and then leave the area "travelling very fast." He radioed his dispatcher to look out his window for "an object .... it looks like a balloon." Nearby, the bushes were still smoldering. News reports in the local paper, El Defensor Chieftain, also mentioned "an unidentified tourist" who remarked about how "aircraft flew low around here," and that the strange object was a "funny-looking helicopter, if that's what it was."
Zamora's earnest nature and credibility, along with the physical traces, brought the Socorro "landing" to national attention. J. Allen Hynek came to town, and was very interested in the pod-like tracks and burn marks at the scene. Ray Stanford wrote a whole book about the incident, Socorro Saucer in a Pentagon Pantry. Phil Klass came to investigate. The Socorro event has appeared in numerous books and articles, and was even featured on Unsolved Mysteries.
"There is no doubt that Lonnie Zamora saw an object which left quite an impression on him. There is also no question about Zamora's reliability. He is a serious officer, a pillar of his church, and a man well versed in recognizing airborne vehicles in his area. He is puzzled by what he saw, and frankly, so are we. This is the best documented case on record."
When interviewed by McDonald, Mayes reported that she and two others had worked on studying physical evidence from the Socorro site, but she could not remember the names of the others. According to Mayes, she had examined the site the day after the event, and had gathered plant samples for analysis. Mayes later determined that the plants which had allegedly been burnt by the UFO's flames were, unusually, "completely dried out". (Druffel, 219) Mayes also found no evidence of radiation, but found "two organic substances" she was unable to identify. (Druffel, 219)
Mayes also reported to McDonald an area of apparently "fused sand", where the sand had taken on a glassy appearance, near where the object had allegedly landed and then departed. The area of glassy sand was roughly triangular, measuring about 25 to 30 inches (760 mm) at its widest, though it gradually tapered down to about 1 inch wide; it seemed about a quarter of an inch thick. Mayes thought the glassy areas looked as if a "hot jet hit it." (Druffel, 219)