The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

THE SOCORRO UFO HOAX EXPOSED! (Famous 1964 sighting was a college prank) by Anthony Bragalia

Copyright 2009 InterAmerica, Inc.

After 45 years the truth is now revealed- one of the most famous UFO sightings in history was a hoax. The recent confession of an elderly College President -and a newly discovered document- indicate that the 1964 sighting of a landed UFO by Socorro, NM policeman Lonnie Zamora was the result of an elaborate school prank. This incredible story is publicly recounted for the first time ever by individuals who have held the secret of Socorro for decades.

THE SOCORRO UFO STORY

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OFFICER LONNIE ZAMORA

Socorro Policeman Lonnie Zamora was performing his town patrol duties on Friday, April 24, 1964. But this would be unlike any other patrol Sgt. Zamora had ever experienced. At about 5:50 PM Sgt. Zamora started pursuit of a speeding car. But the chase was broken off when Zamora heard a loud explosion. He thought perhaps it came from a dynamite shack nearby. He then observed a cone of flame traveling over a hill. Once over the hill, Zamora stopped his car about 100 feet away from what he reported as a strange landed, 20 foot "aluminum-white" oval object resting on structured "legs." The ovoid had a red insignia about two feet wide on its surface. Though the artistic rendition of the UFO above depicts an opening- Zamora had reported the object as smooth, without any windows or doors. Zamora also noticed what appeared to be two figures "the size of small adults or large kids" and "normal in shape" wearing "white coveralls" walking around the object.

As Zamora started to approach the object on foot, the figures jumped away from his view. As Zamora left his car, he bumped it and his glasses fell off. He reports that a flame from the underside of the craft then appeared and the object roared away. Zamora heard a high-pitched whine and then silence. The object traveled very fast over him, and then just three feet above a nearby shack- and finally out of view over another hill. Left at the site were four "landing impressions" as well as areas of burnt creosote bush near where the object has rested.

Zamora, shocked, then radioed to another officer what he had just observed. When the officer asked Zamora "What does it look like?" Zamora responded, "It looks like a balloon." Zamora would later state that he did not know exactly what it was -it could have been a secret military experiment or even ET. Zamora has remained reluctant to offer his opinion on the specific nature or origin of the craft. He says it was strange and frightening. But he leaves the analysis to others- and only indicates that he was sincere in reporting what he had observed. And Zamora was sincere. And he was extremely cooperative with investigators. But he was also hoodwinked.

The period following the sighting in 1964 found Socorro a town turned upside-down. It was also an active one for Lonnie Zamora. He was visited by many journalists and UFO researchers. This included officials from the US Air Force Project Blue Book, investigators from the civilian UFO study group NICAP and noted skeptics. The story received national and international media attention. To this very day Socorro remains one of the most well-known UFO incidents in history. Still living, long retired and exhausted of the matter, Zamora now avoids any talk about the event.

THE INCRIMINATING DOCUMENT

A former New Mexico Tech President affirmed in the 1960s in a letter to renowned scientist Dr. Linus Pauling that the Socorro UFO was a hoax.

A letter from Dr. Linus Pauling located within the Special Collections of Oregon State University (where the Pauling papers are archived) provides insight into the true nature of the Socorro sighting. In a 1968 letter to Dr. Stirling Colgate -the President of New Mexico Tech- Pauling inquires about the Socorro sighting. Colgate replied to Pauling by sending back Pauling's letter with a handwritten notation at the bottom. Dr. Colgate writes: "I have a good indication of the student who engineered the hoax. Student has left. Cheers, Stirling."

This telling letter can be viewed here:

Letter

Dr. Pauling (a multiple Nobel-Prize winner) was very interested in the UFO phenomena. An earlier article by this author details Pauling's secret UFO studies. He was researching the Socorro-Zamora landing case and decided to write to his friend, Stirling Colgate, President at New Mexico Tech to see what he might have known about the incident. Dr. Colgate's blunt reply leaves little doubt that tricksters were involved. But to allay any further doubt, I contacted Colgate.

THE COLLEGE PRESIDENT'S CONFESSION

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DR. STIRLING COLGATE

As well as having been NM Tech's President, Dr. Stirling Colgate was a world-famous astrophysicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Considered a science visionary, he specialized in plasma and atmospheric physics. His discoveries in these fields are acknowledged as monumental. His associates included such luminaries as Oppenheimer and Pauling. Colgate still maintains an office at Los Alamos at age 84! This author emailed Colgate to see what his thoughts are today on the Socorro UFO and to see if he would shed additional light on the event. In my email to Colgate I attached the Pauling letter from 1968 with Colgate's handwritten notes on the Socorro UFO.

Colgate took several days to reply to me. In his email, Colgate answered very cryptically and sparingly:

- To the question, "Do you still know this to be a hoax? His reply was simple: "Yes."
- When asked, "Today, decades later, can you expand on what you wrote to Pauling about the event?" He wrote: "I will ask a friend, but he and other students did not want their cover blown."
- He offered that the hoax, "was a no-brainer."
- When asked "Specifically how did they do it?" He just answered, "Will ask."
- When queried, "Have you ever publicly commented on this?" he replied "Of course not."

It has been some time now, and I have never heard back from Stirling Colgate. He indicated that he would "make some inquiries" to see what more could be detailed on the event. Perhaps his "friend and the other students" who he alludes to are still not ready to come forward and be identified. As Colgate puts it, maybe they still do not "want their cover blown."

Or perhaps Colgate was stunned that the Pauling letter was ever discovered- and knows that he has already said too much. Colgate is likely conflicted about having known about the hoaxers -and the truth about the Socorro UFO- for decades. He said nothing publicly then- and prefers to not say a whole lot more now.

THE COLLEGE PROFESSOR'S CORROBORATION

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NEW MEXICO TECH

Dr. Frank T. Etscorn was a Psychology Professor at New Mexico Tech from the mid-1970s until the early 1990s. Dr. Etscorn is famously known for being the inventor of the Nicotine Patch. A wing of the College was dedicated to Etscorn in 1993. Etscorn had known about the Socorro UFO event from the decade before he began work at the College- and it had always intrigued him. This author had learned of his interest and contacted Dr Etscorn to see if he had ever found out anything about the sighting and what had really happened. In a recent telephone conversation, Dr. Etscorn related:

"As a project, a former student of mine had examined the case in the mid 1980s. Using yearbooks and networking, she began calling alumni who were at Tech in 1964. She somehow located one of the former students believed to have been involved. He would not expand on the hoax or have his name used- but she found out it was a hoax. My memory of her investigation is spotty- it was 25 years ago. But I remember that she found also found out through records that coincidentally a rear projection device was stolen from the campus the day of the UFO sighting."

Etcorn was a noted psychologist. He said that the psychology of these Techies was such that they liked to fool those who they thought were foolish.

We discussed how the pranksters may have incorporated 1) a large helium balloon resting on the desert floor to appear "landed" and then released up into the air on cue. Perhaps it was a reflective white colored balloon or a balloon fitted over with glossy-white craft paper- with added "landing struts" and a red insignia drawn on its side 2) "roaring" or "whining" explosives, pyrotechnics, model rockets, thrown flares or a flame device 3) smaller students dressed in white lab coats acting as the "aliens" and 4) the digging out of "landing depressions" and burning of nearby bushes. Soil or rock in the area may have been "salted" with silicon or trinitite from the school's Geology Lab. And perhaps it was intentional that Zamora was led to the landed craft by a speeding car. One of the students may have purposely engaged Lonnie in a car chase to lure him to where the hoax was staged. Zamora reports that he "broke the chase" to investigate the UFO- just as the students knew that he would.

Though these ideas about how the hoax may have been accomplished are strictly speculative, Dr. Etscorn reminded me of an important fact: Nothing that was reported was beyond the abilities of "smart Techies" to create.

WHAT A TECHIE LEARNED

Dave Collis was a freshman at New Mexico Tech in 1965, a year after the Socorro UFO incident. Collis went on to become a published scientist helping to lead the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at NM Tech. He is considered a world expert in researching blast effects and explosives.

Collis explained that he himself enjoyed planning pranks when he was a student at Tech. In 1965, he and his friends had planned a "paranormal" prank and shared the plan with one of his trusted Professors. The Professor (who had been with Tech for years) told him that NM Tech had a long history of pranking- and that one of them was especially noteworthy. Collis then said that the Professor (whose name he does not remember or does not wish to offer) had "confidentially told me that the UFO sighting by the town cop was a hoax done by Techie students." Collis did not want to press the Professor on who did it -or how. Collis says, "he was telling me this in confidence, so I didn't ask for the details and he didn't offer." When asked if the Professor could have been making up the hoax story, Collis replied that in the context of his conversation with him- there was no reason for him to lie. The Professor had told him the truth about the hoax, of that he was sure. Collis, when told about Stirling Colgate's confirmation that it was a hoax said, "Colgate is a brilliant man and he was a great College President. From what I was told by my Professor, it was a hoax. And if Colgate also says it was a hoax, it was." Collis (who is a pyrotechnics expert and often directed NM Tech's July 4 Fireworks) said that it always has surprised him that people didn't seem to realize just how "terrestrial" the reported Zamora UFO seemed to be in the first place.

THE REASON FOR THE HOAX

Collis also explained that Lonnie Zamora had a reputation for "hounding" the Techie students during that time. The students and the Socorro police did not have a particularly good relationship back then. He said that there was "a lot of friction" at the time between what were felt to be "elitist and educated Techies" versus the "under-educated and simpler town folk." Zamora was always harassing the students for seemingly no reason, and at every opportunity. Many of the college kids just did not like him. What better way to "get back" at Zamora than for them to fool a fool?

Little known is that Zamora himself had worked at New Mexico Tech as a mechanic for seven years before becoming a patrolman. He had developed an insiders view of these college kids' world- a world that was very different than his own. When he left to join the town police, he was then in a position to exert his "influence" on these same kids. Collis further explains that Zamora was known as being "not especially educated." Supporting this are the observations of USAF investigator Dr. J. Allen Hynek. He wrote in his report of his interview of Zamora, "I would conclude that Zamora, although not overly bright or articulate, is basically sincere."

PRANKS AND GEEKS

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As readers of my articles well realize, I am convinced that ET has visited Earth. But I am also a critical thinker. I recognize the role that pranks and hoaxes have played when it comes to things UFO. I am not happy to report the results of my investigation- but it is a story that must be told. It is an obligation to history and truth. The compulsion to prank is a reality we must always bear in mind in evaluating all UFO reports.

Neil Steinburg's classic study on college pranks, "If At All Possible Involve a Cow: The Book of College Pranks" is very instructive relative to the Socorro hoax. Steinburg's hypothesis is that college pranks happen because there are many young creative minds that feel "stifled." And these minds are looking for release- a little fun. And there is a "geek" connection. Complicated and sophisticated pranks are often pulled off by engineering or science students who have the technical know how. The many well-known stunts by students at MIT and Caltech show that the grander the stunt- the more highly educated the students. The "fun" of such pranks does not come from admission to them, it comes from the reaction to them.

I recall two pranks that were pulled off by others during my own college days when living in Boston. MIT students had perfected two stunts that were mind-boggling. The first involved taking an enormous promotional prop "cow statue" (weighing a quarter-ton) from the lawn of a suburban steakhouse. Somehow the students were able to hoist the huge cow figure on top of the famous MIT "dome buiding." They removed it the following day -and returned it to the steakhouse lawn- without anyone ever having seen them. To this day, no one has ever owned up to the prank- and no one has ever come forward stating that they saw the stunt being carried out. It is still unknown how this was accomplished without use of a heavy construction crane. The second prank involved a high-tech catapult. Somehow the MIT students were able to hurl large clear water balloons made of very thin material up and over two city streets. The water balloons were sent careening across the block with precision to land exactly at the entrance of another college's building. When people went to open the door, invisible "water bombs" hit them out of nowhere- causing them to get soaked. Visibly stunned, they had no idea where the water burst came from- and had to go to class soaking wet.

THE SOCORRO HOAXERS TODAY

Great jokes can be carried out with great planning and calculation. But great jokes can also backfire. Perhaps the Socorro UFO hoaxers continue to get a "big laugh" over the whole thing and revel in their prank done decades ago. But it is more likely that the New Mexico Tech pranksters -who perhaps became famous scientists- are today oldsters in retirement struggling with what they did. They played a trick on a community, a nation and the world. They are keenly aware that they had involved the Air Force, media, scientists and many others. They know that Zamora's life was made difficult by the event. He was made a spectacle and suffered hugely from the unwanted attention. They must ponder their youthful folly- and how much time, effort and money was expended in the prank's long aftermath. It was "a prank gone wild." It had escalated beyond what they could ever have imagined. Often pulling off a brilliant prank "traps" the pranksters. They create the illusion, but they never receive the "credit." And no credit was ever sought by those who engineered one of the greatest hoaxes in UFO history.

60 Comments:

  • Great story! And thanks for having brought it up, in spite of your ETH bent.

    It makes the sociology of ufology even more fascinating, as a hoax became a landmark case. As a nice example of synchronicity, Kevin Randle just defended his approach on his blog based on "landing" cases. The "updated" Soccorro case being thrown out, it cannot be used as a reference case (or maybe it should become a new reference about hoaxes not that hard to organize). In any event, this will not change the believers' attitude, as it causes too much cognitive dissonance, but it will be interesting to see the counter-arguments they will propose.

    Regards,

    Eric

    http://parasociology.blogspot.com

    By Blogger Eric Ouellet, at Wednesday, September 23, 2009  

  • Eric:

    You are so right. The believers are so entrenched in the ET version of Socorro that they will not accept Tony Bragalia's expose.

    But there it is...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, September 23, 2009  

  • -1965 technology for rear screen projection in DESERT DAYLIGHT?
    -2nd & 3rd hand heresay evidence?
    -Cop assumed to be dumb apparently and conveniently not alive to defend himself.
    -Half-baked claim it was a hoax made by professor whom may in fact be in the 'UFO's are not real camp' so naturally it was a hoax and naturally it was one of his students or so he heard maybe kinda...

    Nice pictures, good writing, poor excuse for investigating. You have a theory as weak as the story of Zamora is fantastical. You might have been able to cast a bit of doubt if you found actual dirt but to claim it a hoax outright on 45yr old heresay is quite indefensible.

    This kind of post serves the opposition and is why ufology is so bogged down. Your post is drivel.

    By Blogger PurplePotato, at Wednesday, September 23, 2009  

  • Highly unlikely that a rear screen projector would have been very usable in bright daylight (and certainly would have produced a very weak image - this is, by the way, based on professional experience). The whole story is based on 2nd and 3rd hand statements, most of which are vague, and then rounded out by conjecture and assumptions. The set up involves a high level of "accidents" (e.g. getting the subject out chasing a car, getting his attention to stop, etc. etc.). And by the way, the exact same object popped up in France a short time after this incident. Guess those students really got around.

    By Blogger Dennis Toth, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • Anthony Bragalia is now exposed as a traitor to the 'UFO is ET' cause. I won't repeat what they used to do to traitors in times past.

    Seriously, I apply the same standards to Tony's analysis as I do to his pro-ET Roswell articles. It is based on 2nd and 3rd hand testimony, as others have said. Personally I would like to believe he is correct and that it was a student prank. However the hard evidence is simply not there, and I do feel that after 45 years someone would have come forward and admitted it by now. But I also agree that if anyone does admit to it, he or she would not be believed anyway, at least not by the ET brigade.

    I wonder: is Hector Quintanilla (ex-Blue Book chief) alive, and contactable? He did a great deal of investigation on Socorro, and would certainly be interested.

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • A "corroborating" reply to Anthony
    Bragalia's expose...

    Tony,

    I was most intrigued with today's blog about the Lonnie Zamora incident.

    Indeed, Tech students were known for elaborate pranks for many years. Today's students don't seem to be as interested in pranks.

    One crew of "constructive vandals" has a website that details their pranks from 1989 to 1992:

    http://www.spril.com/StealthForceBeta/

    There has been only one notable prank in recent years:

    Students placed a green toilet and a pirate flag atop the library's tower:

    http://artoftheprank.com/2007/04/26/a-john-for-the-jolly-green-giant/

    Fables circulate of Tech students' longlost annual expedition: gluing cottonballs to the University of New Mexico's signature wolf statue, turning it into a sheep.

    Thanks,

    Thomas Guengerich
    Public Information Officer
    New Mexico Tech
    ----------------------------------

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • I have always thought that there was probably a prosaic explanation for the Socorro case, but CDA is quite right - as with Bragalia's Roswell material, there is nothing definitive here, and certainly nothing that would stand up in a court of law, much less the "court" of science. Until the supposed hoaxers come forward - and after so many years, I see no reason whatsoever as to why they would not - and explain how they did it, this is just another story, no more or less convincing than the ET narrative in my books.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • Good investigation, finding material about a case this old is commendable. However, much like the famous PG Bigfoot film, a hoax claim from a third party, even of great 'stature' is still hearsay (in the Bigfoot case the famous monster costume designer John Landis claimed an equally famous designer John Chambers was the creator of the PG 'costume' - a claim Chambers repeatedly denied). Seems dangerous to pull a prank on an armed policeman as well, and this would be far more elaborate than the re-knowned scoreboard pranks done by CalTech and MIT students. Unless Zamora really is a bit of a dim bulb, hard to believe what he claimed occurred could be explained by a $100 prank.

    By Blogger jamesrav, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • Tony Bragalia responds to Paul Kimball:

    Well this is to laugh! Paul Kimball wants those involved with the Socorro UFO to come forward- then he'll believe them. But those who come forward attesting to the truth of the Roswell crash he will not accept! Something very contra-dictory about that, don't you think?

    It is now apparent that skeptical-by-nature Kimball will disagree with anything that I write, even if it is a skeptical piece! He is being disingenuous and he knows it.

    What part of it does he not get? The College President in the 1960's at NM Tech in Socorro has confessed that he that knew it was a hoax- and who the student hoaxers were! He told this pri-vately to Dr. Linus Pauling in the
    1960s- and he told it to me 40 years later! Why would a world-acclaimed astrophysicist lie? And not just lie- but to his friend, Nobel-Prize winner Pauling? And what Dr. Colgate maintains is affirmed by other scientist-employees.

    Another well-known scientist who was an NM Tech student in 1965 was told the year after the event by a trusted Professor at the College that it was a hoax. And a Pro-fessor at NM Tech who invented the Nicotine Patch was made aware of the school hoax in the mid-1980s by his grad student who inves- tigated the incident as a credit project.

    So we have three preeminent NM Tech scientists and employees that have independently told very similar stories about the college prank. None have anything to gain from this. In fact Colgate kept the secret from the public for decades until he was "caught" by me. He especially has no reason to
    embellish.

    Anthony Bragalia

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • Well, UFO evidence tends to be picked apart by scoffers as anecdotal. I don't see how an explanation could be more anecdotal than this one. There is nothing solid here. Just a loose accusation that some unnamed college students played a prank. Who were they, how did they do it, etc.? Until more is known I don't see how this can be accepted as anything more than a stab in the dark. Could it have been a college prank? I suppose so. But it could have also been the work of Evil Knievel and a few circus monkeys. The latter has just as much evidence going for it as the former. I don't know what Zamora saw and I don't feel that a few old guys throwing around vague accusations half a century later without providing a single name or any other details helps advance my understanding any.

    What I am struggling with the most when it comes to this college student pranksters idea is the nature of some of the physical evidence left behind combined with the speed at which the perpetrators were able to make their exit. There was sand melted to such an extent that it had been transformed into glass. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that in 1964 it would have taken some pretty heavy equipment to turn that much sand into glass. How in the world would they have been able to get that equipment out of there immediately after being spotted by Zamora? Even if they had a helicopter they'd need time to get the machinery back into the helicopter before departing. It just seems logical that college students using a bunch of equipment to alter the environment would have still been present packing up their gear when the other officers arrived.

    This blog can basically be summed up like this:

    "According to a man in his 80s who heard from a man who also heard from a man the Socorro ce2 was hoaxed by college students. The identities of the hoaxers are not known nor are any details of their plot."

    Not very convincing.

    By Blogger Sean, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • Sean:

    Hardly a "loose allegation" - it was made my the College President.
    And the "accusation" was made in the 1960s by this President to no less than Linus Pauling as shown in the document. It is not just vague recollections from a "half a century later." And I suggest that you look up trinitite - a glassy residue from melted desert sand. It was abundantly available as the
    school's Geology Lab.

    AB

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • There are many problems with this blog. First and foremost, who cares what Linus Pauling said? Is that really the whole crux of your argument? Maybe you can go into details about the following...
    1) What of the other witnesses besides Zamora, including witnesses who saw the object land?
    2) If the object was a balloon, why did it travel against the wind?
    3) If the object was a balloon, what accounts for its rapid acceleration?
    4) Considering the size of the object, it could not have carried passengers or heavy equipment, and would have had to drift with the wind (not against it), so why did the police not simply follow it?
    5) Are we to believe that police officers would not have noticed footprints of student pranksters (or an object used to obscure footprints) leading away from the landing site?

    I add these to the points already brought up by other posters. This does nothing to dismiss the Zamora sighting. This blog post is just crap, nothing more.

    By Blogger blarg, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • Please. Lets see, it is how many years later that this bogus junk comes out. Lonnie Zamora still bothers people because he didn't lie. Nobody that met him considered him a fool or a liar.

    If one bothers to read his account and the account of others it is clear that no "hoax" ocurred. We get more simple stories for simpletons. What he saw, we don't know, only the description. He wasn't the only one that saw it. It fooled people miles away, earlier.

    I personally do not believe in ETs. Having said that, I do believe Mr. Zamora saw more than a hoax based on his story. It was heavily researched at the time by the military and others. The "students" give no explanation of how they accomplished this yet people are quick to believe them anyways. No research, no investigation, blind acceptance.

    By Blogger Pimpernel, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • If the Socorro event was spurious then what is to be made of this "revelation"? There are no hard facts and everything is underpinned by the assumption that THE Stirling Colgate is incapable of lying for whatever reason. He's a human and susceptible to all the foibles and irrational motivations humans possess.
    Perhaps both sides have misstated or misunderstood or are outright lying and the truth is in neither camp?

    By Blogger Stendeck, at Thursday, September 24, 2009  

  • The problem with Bragalia is that he wouldn't know proper, convincing evidence if it bit him on the ass. As my old friend Karl Pflock always said, a triumph of the will to believe over reason... although in Bragalia's case, I might add that it's a triumph of the desire to seem important, and to make a splash.

    And yes, I want the purveyors of the hoax to step forward, identify themselves, and provide proof of what they did and how they did it. Then I'll believe them. This is the same standard I apply to his Roswell "witnesses." As the old commercial said, "where's the beef?"

    But if it makes it easier for Bragalia to attack the messenger of this rather obvious and straightforward message, go ahead. But again, I question a blog that would attack the "shoddy" research of Kevin Randle, and then publish Bragalia's stuff ad nauseum.

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • I'm not sure that it is a question of anyone lying. It is an issue of how you like your claims: Do you prefer a story that has a direct eye witness, traces of physical evidence, and a straight forward presentation of something that some people might feel is "unbelievable" or do you prefer an alternative account based upon vague references, unknown students, 2nd and 3rd hand accounts (totally lacking in details), a complete lack of physical evidence and an overall narrative structure that resembles an urban folk tale but it nonetheless gives you a version that safely confirms your own pseudo-materialistic belief system?

    I would dare to suggest that it is possible that the "techies" at the college opted for the hoax story because it suited their innate belief system better than the other possibility. So the minute the "student prank" story emerged, they grabbed on to it with a profound sense of belief.

    By Blogger Dennis Toth, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • Mr. Bragalia responds to Paul Kumball...

    Mr. Kimball has been reduced to name-calling and to making unfounded assumptions. The fact is Mr. Kimball- for many, many years I have provided leads and stories to many UFO researchers on both sides of the issue- without receiving or seeking any credit or attribution. And I have never received or sought any payment for my work. Your bitter vitriol should embarass you.

    The truth is Mr. Kimball, my UFO and Roswell research is motivated by the search for truth. And what you do not know- this research has cost me dearly relative to its impact on my business, what I do for a living. I have turned down requests for radio and TV interviews, documentaries, conference speaking, etc. Your comments have no basis in reality- and "reality" is something I think that you are slowly loosing a grip on. I have noticed that you made similar foul comments about me on Nick Redfern's UFO Mystic site. It sounds to me like you "protesteth too much."

    So before you sink to such juvenile (and jealous?) depths- think before you speak, Mr. Kimball. When you assume, you make an "ass" out of "u" and "me."

    AB

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • Agreed... too much hersey.... and honsestly the haox would be extrememly dangerous for all invovled... the speeding car to lure Zamora, the fact that you pranked a armed police man, small people in overalls who get back into a ship that not only landed but also took off via highly explosive material... we were still having issues launching rockets at that time with the help of the best of scientific, academic and Gov't minds involved at that time... so it just doesn't seem too plausible to me...

    again great story on both sides but this hoax thing requires more proof in my mind than the original story itself...

    By Blogger RRed, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • P.S. I'm also curious as to what Rich Reynolds, who has long maintained that Socorro was an experimental Hughes aircraft, thinks of this latest "expose." Come on, Rich - do you endorse this "evidence"... are you convinced? If not, why not?

    Lay it out there. It's not like you to be quiet when you see something you think is crap... and if you believe the Hughes stuff, then you must think this is crap. Even if you don't, you have the intellectual acumen to see the flaws in this "evidence."

    Or at least I thought you did.

    The same is tru of whoever posted the bit about Kevin Randle being a shoddy researcher. Do you endorse Bragalia's research, and the conclusions he draws from it? Is it better work than Randles?

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • Finally, I will add that should Bragalia provide real, defintive evidence that his theory is correct, I'll be the first person to eat my proverbial hat and admit I was wrong. That evidence would include all the things that I and others have pointed out is lacking here, despite the banner headline "THE SOCORRO UFO HOAX EXPOSED!"

    PK

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • Paul:

    You force me to comment.

    Yes, I still think there is evidence that Hughes Aircraft caused the Zamora sighting.

    But...and this is a significant but...

    Mr. Bragalia has mustered some intriguing information, all of which he has not posted (yet); information that allows me to conclude that there may be something to his findings.

    I, like you, am ready to forego my previous "convictions" about Socorro, in light of new information.

    Mr. Bragalia is no slouch when it comes to gathering information that others have overlooked or missed, whether it's information about Roswell, Socorro, or any other "classic" event.

    So, we here are glad to provide a forum for anything he has to offer.

    As for Kevin Randle....he's a good guy, and a thorough researcher.

    Our post about him being less than that was inspired by his continuing to repeat the canard that we called for the death of some UFO old-timers (of which I, myself, am one).

    No one of my acquaintance has called for or would call for the death of anyone, no matter how old or senile...that goes against my Jesuitical training.

    Lastly, I think obtuse renderings of UFO sightings should be heard or read.

    Mr. Bragalia's renderings are underpinned by excessive research, like Kevin Randle's, and should not be dismissed out of hand or denigrated by lesser lights (like me and others).

    I would hope that comments here and at other blogs/web-sites would be more civil, but even I, when in the heat of "battle," wax silly or mean, and it's a hard habit to break.

    Nonetheless, we'll continue to bolster Mr. Bragalia's efforts and anyone else's that are sincere and based upon something more than circumstantial evidence.

    You, Paul, as a non-praticing attorney should appreciate that.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • Great! Now the Hoax is a conspiracy!


    .,.
    I confess, I sold the dumb cop the LSD.
    Case closed!

    By Blogger Honest John, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • By virtue of exactly what evidence ought we believe this latest bit of 'research?' This new hypothesis is based upon nothing more than second and third hand hearsay. Movie projectors? 'Esteemed' college professors? Oh and of course the obligatory balloon.

    So now what do we have besides another weak attempt at 'Klassic' debunkery? First it was a Bell helicopter and a mock-up of the lunar lander. Then we had the Klass contention that Lonnie Zamora was in league with local pols to increase the value of some imagined land deal. And now we have this new crap.

    You've exposed nothing save for the celebration of your own swamp gas.

    By Blogger General Striker, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • I don't automatically accept this new hoax explanation simply because a famous person thinks he knows (or knew) who did it. This, like any hoax explanation, must be tested against the available, credible information. Can an institute student create a hoax device capable of the flight dynamics and other things Zamora reported? If your answer is yes, then prove it by "thought experiment": design (on paper) a craft that would meet the requirements.

    By Blogger brumac, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • The hoax explanation lacks data and must be believed. Because of a lack of data, the hoax explanation should be rejected. Many UFO sightings are dismissed because of a lack of evidence. This notion goes both ways.

    By Blogger Ty, at Friday, September 25, 2009  

  • If these "hoaxers" did it in 1964 they could do it again. That would go a long way to substantiate these claims which so far are just hearsay.

    By Blogger Terry Groff, at Saturday, September 26, 2009  

  • Any thoughts on the "fused sand" examined at the site, by doctoral student Mary G. Mayes, the day after the incident? She reported that the native sand had been fused into a glassy state, as if by a high heat, in a triangle about 30 inches across its widest side. More info on page 218 of Ann Druffel's Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald's Fight for UFO Science (2003)

    And any thoughts on how Zamora, who'd worked as an aircraft mechanic for seven years, would've been fooled by what you describe? "Not especially educated" ≠ "stupid and naive."

    By Blogger Kameron D Kiggins, at Saturday, September 26, 2009  

  • Kameron-

    I do have some thoughts on the "fused sand."

    NM Tech is actually short for the New Mexico School of Mines and Technology.

    It is one of the largest geology colleges in the nation. It has a Geology Lab which is unrivaled at the university-level. It has vast stores of such materials as silicon, trinitite (a glassy substance from fused sand found in areas where there were nuclear explosions in NM) quartz grains, and many other such materials. Resourceful students could have sifted the soil at the site in advance with materials taken from their lab.

    As far as Lonnie not recognizing it for what it wash- Lonnie saw half of the event without his needed glasses. He bumped them off while alighting his car. His uncorrected vision was 20/200.

    And bear in mind, Lonnie radioed the other patrolman on duty that the craft "looked like a balloon."

    Anthony Bragalia

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, September 26, 2009  

  • The claims made in THE SOCORRO UFO HOAX EXPOSED! (Famous 1964 sighting was a college prank) by Anthony Bragalia would be unacceptable as evidence in any court of law. His article contains only hear-say, and no evidence of what is alleged to have happened has been brought forth.

    Any reader with the ability to hear can have the chance to learn the facts on Friday, October 2, at 1:30 to 3:30 PM, eastern USA time. That's because I have kindly been invited to address this matter on The Paracast at that time.

    Bragalia's claim that the Socorro CE III case has been exposed should never have been published as being fact.

    Please note: I wrote the book on the Socorro case, and that's a literal statement -- all 211 pages of it.

    On Wednesday, April 29, 1964, I was the only investigator invited by Dr. J. Allen Hynek to be with him, Lonnie Zamora, and New Mexico State Police Sergeant Samuel Chavez (No one else was allowed there.) while we went over the entire experience.

    Zamora didn't like to give many details to 'outsiders', but this time was different since he felt it his patriotic duty because Hynek was the official investigator for the U.S. Air Force.

    Lonnie even sat in the police car parked exactly where it had been during the close-range part of the event, and went through the entire bodily action of quickly exiting the police car, stepping fast with his prescription glasses and sunshades on, directly toward the object. Then, as he did again for us, at only about thirty-five feet from where the 18-to-20 foot ellipsoidal object had rested, Zamora threw himself into a protective prone position on the slope, because a sudden and terribly loud roar began as a blue column of brilliant light emitted from the object. It was a diverging cone of light, being narrow at the top, but wider toward the ground.

    Even at ~ 35 feet away, Zamora could feel heat radiating from the luminous 'exhaust'. Something has to be extremely hot to be felt at that distance, especially with a stiff breeze blowing it in another direction.

    Subsequently, Allen Hynek commended my 1976, 211-page book about the case in a letter to me, intended for use in promoting it. An electronic copy of Hynek's letter is available from me, at anyone's individual request. He also donated a copy of my Socorro book to the technical library of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. (I have proof of that.)

    My position regarding the Socorro object: It was an 18-to-20 foot ellipsoid of high eccentricity (i.e., long, rather narrow). It displayed two distinct propulsion modes. One was used only in landing and take-off and was very noisy. The other and apparently primary propulsion mode was, by contrast, very quiet, but it imparted very high speed (both horizontally and in almost vertical flight) to the object in very few seconds of time.

    The source of the object is unknown. Although it was technologically sophisticated, that does not certify an extra-terrestrial origin, although associated evidences might, and not unreasonably, be taken as evidence of such.

    Publicly unknown but extremely well-documented evidence relevant to the question of exotic propulsion of the Socorro object was recovered from the Socorro landing site and is in my possession. Its nature and possible significance will be discussed on The Paracast, October 2.

    I am also preparing an in-depth, written exposé of Bragalia's claims about the Socorro case. It will be published on any willing website when ready, because I don't personally have time to maintain one. Hopefully even Bragalia may be willing to carry it, once he learns the facts.

    Ray Stanford
    College Park, Maryland, USA

    By Blogger Ray Stanford, at Sunday, September 27, 2009  

  • I have looked again at the FBI file on Socorro (about 10 pages).
    In addition to Socorro there was another similar 'landing' on April 26 at 0100 at a place called La Madera, some 50 miles N of Sante Fe. There are similarities with circular depressions, rectangular 'landing pads' and a blue flame on the object's disappearance, plus the fact that there was only one witness.
    This would be a bit too far from Socorro for the same presumed hoaxers to be involved.

    By Blogger cda, at Sunday, September 27, 2009  

  • Just for clarification, the special Paracast episode about the Socorro incident with Ray Stanford & Chris O'Brien will be recorded on Friday, October 2, but will actually be aired on Sunday, October 4th.

    dB

    By Blogger David Biedny, at Sunday, September 27, 2009  

  • Anthony Bragalia responds:

    I consider Ray to be a luminary in the field. His work is valued by many, including me. I have read his 1976 work, "Socorro Saucer in a Pentagon Pantry."

    If Ray would like to email me (address available through the webmaster of this site) to detail his new evidence on the propulsion of the object - I would be happy to review it and offer comments.

    In the end, we are left with just three possibilities about Dr. Colgate's replies on the matter to Dr. Linus Pauling and then to me 40years later:

    1) Dr. Stirling Colgate -President of NM Tech and Los Alamos legend - is a liar

    2) Dr.Stirling Colgate believes liars (who falsely claim to be the hoaxers)

    3) Dr. Stirling Colgate tells the truth

    I do not believe #1, Colgate is too smart for number #2, which leaves #3.

    Colgate indicates that one of the pranksters was a personal friend of his.

    Why would a friend lie to Colgate? And if we do not believe Colgate - what of the two other NM Tech scientists (Collis and Etscorn) and their independent stories that it was a NM Techie hoax? Given that Colgate confirmed that it
    was a hoax- and that he knew who did it - does not leave for any "wiggle room." Colgate is either truthful and discerning, or he is not.

    Anthony Bragalia

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, September 27, 2009  

  • Mr. Bragalia, can't you except the simple possibility that what was passed on to Pauling by Colgate was merely a suspicion based on skepticism? After all, most scientists believe that the very notion of flying saucers from elsewhere is patently absurd. It could very well be that Colgate was hypothesizing. That he might have worded his speculation in rather certain terms means little when you look at the attitudes of scientific thinkers over the past 60 years regarding UFOs. From Menzel to Condon to members of CSI today these men tend to talk in absolutes when dealing out their pet theories regarding UFOs. Their perspective is that UFOs do not, cannot, exist and therefore any and all hypothesis to explain them which precludes aliens as a possibility is immediately more acceptable regardless of evidence or the details of the given incident. In other words it is conceivable that Colgate did what so many other UFO skeptics have done; developed a hypothesis and then delivered it as though it were incontrovertible fact.

    So there is a forth possibility that should have been added to your list. That possibility is that Colgate suspected that the Socorro affair was the result of a college prank but really had no direct evidence for the idea other than what he believed to be sound logic. In his mind the very idea that Zamora saw a flying saucer from another world might have seemed to him like the highest order of nonsense and in that context the first mundane explanation to come along, in this instance college pranksters, might have seemed like definitive closure and he expressed it as such to his scientific comrade.

    If you want examples of this attitude frisk through the hundreds of debunking pieces that have been published over the years. Much of the time these men do not interview a single witness, do not visit the sighting location, don't bother with any phone conversations, or try locating any relevant documents. Instead they hear a few details (And ignore the bulk of them.), spend several minutes thinking about it, and then publish a paper explaining how the sighting was definitely anything other than a flying saucer. They don't wait for proof of their theories to arrive, for them the very fact that they've arrived at an explanation contrary to interplanetary visitation is in and of itself good enough.

    It seems entirely plausible to me that Colgate simply did here what we've seen a thousand times over in the UFO field. He felt that as a skeptical scientist logic was on his side and so presented his guesses as certain fact because God know's it couldn't have possibly been a spacecraft from another star system like the UFO loonies were proposing.

    By Blogger Sean, at Sunday, September 27, 2009  

  • Mr. Bragalia-

    You need to get these "hoaxers" to come forth and demostrate how they were able to pull this off. Otherwise, Socorro will otherwise remain one of the primary pillars of UFO lore of the 20th century.

    By Blogger Shanksow, at Sunday, September 27, 2009  

  • Anthony, has it not occurred to you that perhaps Dr. Colgate is not as familiar with the details of this case as your average UFO buff making the hoax hypothesis more plausible to him at the time?

    AD from Reality Uncovered

    By Blogger Propulsion, at Sunday, September 27, 2009  

  • I'm pretty skeptical of these 'hoax' claims. It's all hearsay and none of it adds up to coming even close to explaining the events of the day.

    John

    By Blogger John, at Monday, September 28, 2009  

  • The issue seems to be a repetition of previous posts in how the material is presented as a conclusive series of complete collaborated facts rather than a provocative theory with equally provocative, although weak, circumstantial evidence. This jumping of the shark is simply based on common sense. If the "crime" was tested in a court of law for the prosecution of the perpetrators, I am sure a D.A would want more collaboration before proceeding with charging the alleged actors. Based on prosaic journalistic standards, to declare this as an air tight case defys logic without multiple sources. I cannot for the life of me understand why this was not presented as a alternative theory rather than a conclusive case. The material is certainly provocative, but the tabloid title as well as the eagerness to close the case in advance of further investigation is a well aimed shot in the foot by the author. Sad but true.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, September 28, 2009  

  • Bruce:

    You are too temperate and sane to appreciate the need to "tabloidize" postings here (to get through the UFO clutter that now saturates the internet).

    That said, Mr. Bragalia didn't say, in his headline, that the Socorro sighting was solved - -which a lot of commentators here and elsewhere have stated.

    He wrote that the sighting was "exposed" -- a slightly different take, that insightful readers caught.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 28, 2009  

  • To Bruce Duensing:
    A slip. You meant "corroboration" not "collaboration", I assume. Collaboration is the last thing we want in such cases!

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, September 28, 2009  

  • The use of the word exposed in place of solved is to parse terminology in defiance of the content which is far from a subtle discernment in terms of balanced probabilities.There are no named suspects, no witnesses, no collaborated motive, no material evidence other than a circumstantial letter, no actual demonstration of how the ruse was undertaken. What is exposed is a more of a question, or series of them rather than a detailed factual narrative. On the other hand I appreciate the presentation of an alternative theory, which is admirable. Again I think it could have been presented in a less pointed manner that does not infer and suggests more than what is given. Perhaps I am parsing my own ambivalence toward thrice told tales and projecting a certain jaded weariness whose origin is well established.
    Best Wishes
    Bruce.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, September 28, 2009  

  • Tony,
    While an interesting story (and plausable sounding story) there are a number of problems.
    1) The alleged incriminating document. Actually is only hearsay. He had some kind of indication from some student (which is not identified) that had left. Whether that in fact was real or just Pauling repeating a story somebody had told him we don't know.
    2) So now Colgate gets emailed, and apparently responds back very short with no elaboration and it has been awhile and he hasn't gotten back to the person who emailed him. Doesn't sound good so far. Point blank, he could reveal everything, how the hoax was done, what steps happened, etc etc and nobody would have to be identified. The fact that he hasn't emailed a response yet is telling.
    3) Now the student who did the project many years ago certainly would have a name, or allow herself to be contacted through Etscorn. Since it was a "project" she probably would have written a report on her results and that would be available somewhere.
    4) The rear projection device is meaningless because it wouldn't work well in broad daylight.
    5) If smaller students were being used for stand ins for the figures, then they still would have been in the area after the thing left.
    6) Interestingly after the many TV programs that have run on the story, including as I recall an Unsolved Mysterys, nobody has called in to claim it was a hoax and explain how it was done.
    7) Don't forget the object traveled against the prevailing wind when it left, so that deflates the balloon theory.

    What this sounds like (without supporting proof) is a 50 year old tale, that resurfaced because of a a one line comment in a letter.
    Now the skeptibunkers will instantly pronounce this absolute proof, never to be doubted that this was a hoax. However had some letter surfaced that had a one liner to the effect that Roswell was in fact real, and you could verify that people near and around that person were told that he believed Roswell was real, Skeptibunkers would instantly denounce it as hearsay, not to be believed.... etc.

    Bottom line is we need to find out who allegedly was behind this, and how they supposedly did it, then do a recreation using tech availabe in 1964 to see if it is plausable.

    It is possible that we may find this is some students trying to one up each other in 1964 or 65 by claiming to other students that they were the ones to do the prank.

    By Blogger Robert Gates, at Monday, September 28, 2009  

  • Bruce Duensing said...

    "Again I think it could have been presented in a less pointed manner that does not infer and suggests more than what is given."

    Given this is an AB article I expected exactly that.

    By Blogger Gareth, at Monday, September 28, 2009  

  • This explanation of the case as a hoax is far fetched. What kind of hoax takes off and flies above a patrol car? I interviewed Lonnie Zamora in Soccorro in 1990, and what he saw actually took off and flew away. This explanation of the case as a hoax,is a hoax itself.

    Ted Oliphant
    Fyffe Police Dept 1991-1994
    Creator "UFOs: A Need To Know"

    By Blogger Charlie, at Monday, September 28, 2009  

  • Wouldn't have been much of a hoax had Lonnie not had that car chase.

    By Blogger Paul Robinson, at Thursday, October 01, 2009  

  • This hoax story is complete and utter nonsense! Its almost as ridiculous as aliens being blamed on the case What is the motif for all this??Are you serious about this? Rear projection in broad daylight? Fireworks or pyrotechnics for the roar? A speeding car leading Zamora to the site? Do you really believe a bunch of eggheads could fool a streetwise dude like Zomora? Yeah right, my ass!! This story is Complete and utter bulls**t and you know it!

    By Blogger Pjsryan, at Monday, October 26, 2009  

  • Dr. Colgate's alleged handwriting states: "I have a good indication of the student who engineered the hoax". Hardly a statement of conviction yet, an interesting choice of words.
    Then "to allay further doubt" the author presents the results of a rather unsuccessful interview with Dr. Colgate, admitting that his responses were cryptic.
    To go on to characterize this interview as a "confession" seems irresponsible to me.

    From his interview with Dr. Etscorn: "She somehow located one of the former students believed to have been involved... My memory of her investigation is spotty..." Another proclamation punctuated by uncertainty and lack of conviction, followed by a heaping paragraph of admitted speculation.

    His conversation with Dave Collis reveals nothing except that Collis heard a rumor about the incident being a hoax. Who didn't?

    Another major problem with this "expose" is that the author doesn't seem to recognize the important difference between a prank and a hoax, carelessly interchanging the words without regard for their respective implications.

    The author refers to Colgate's mystery "student who engineered the hoax" as tricksters (cute and plural). Inconsistent.

    The author paraphrases Collis' speculation about "getting back" at Zamora, fooling a fool.

    After a paragraph of persuasion and anecdotes attesting that intelligent college students do indeed prank "looking for release- a little fun", the author sums up with a paragraph headed THE HOAXERS TODAY, in which he empathizes with the "New Mexico Tech pranksters" who "planned and calculated... a great joke", "played a trick on a community, a nation and the world". Simply, It was "a prank gone wild."

    But what about that speculation session the author had with Dr. Etscorn? Didn't he give us a rough transcript of their discussion about the likely complexity of the this prank? Revealing the tricksters anticipation of a full investigation, necessitating the planting of false evidence to support the funny joke they were allegedly playing on Officer Zamora. An investigation not only by local authorities, but likely no less than the Air Force's Project Blue Book. Surely the author is aware of the seriousness of this expose?

    Make no mistake, regardless of his intention, the author has brought to light some very strong allegations of hoax - not pranks.
    And the allegations should not be taken lightly.
    The author seems to infer that it was just a little fun, but I should think it a criminal offense to go so far to attempt to convince local authorities that unidentifiable vehicles are patrolling the area in the thick of the Cold War.

    By Blogger name: SG, at Friday, November 06, 2009  

  • What is a sad irony of this whole matter, is that Officer Zamora has passed away under this (so called) 'cloud' of doubt.

    I don't buy the rear projection screen in broad daylight idea - especially with 1960s era technology and with what one would suppose to be poor college students could cobble together. The balloon idea works better in that reguard.

    By Blogger Shanksow, at Friday, November 06, 2009  

  • LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE OUTNUMBERED ANTHONY!!!1

    By Blogger CATHERINE, at Saturday, January 23, 2010  

  • Truth doesn't keep a scorecard, Catherine!

    AB

    By Anonymous Anthony Bragalia, at Sunday, January 24, 2010  

  • Hi All,

    I just found this website. I have been reading all the comments. I don't know any of you. Therefore, I can't take anything you say as the truth unless you prove it to me.
    Now Anthony, I also don't know these scientists or professors you speak about. I have no idea whether they would lie or not. So I ask for proof. Prove it to me that the hoax really took place. Me, a nobody in the field. Present the hoaxers. Or at least demonstrate the hoax using the hoaxers own diagrams for the hoax. If these scientists actually know the hoaxers, then they can get the information from them on how they performed the hoax. I am no scientist, but it seems very simple to me. Prove it to someone who doesn't know you or the scientists you refer to. Me!

    By Blogger Raven50, at Monday, October 31, 2011  

  • Raven:

    You won't get a resposne from a 2009 posting.

    Try a new posting, one from 2011.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 31, 2011  

  • The "hoax confession" is patently contrived, and makes no sense even from the perspective of a hoaxer.

    Why would college students stage their hoax so far off the road as to be INVISIBLE to passers-by? Remember, Officer Zamora had to exit the highway and drive up and over a ridge before he caught sight of the craft and its "occupants"... Then, roaring noises, a jet of blue flame, and the craft and its occupants gone in a matter of seconds?

    I very, VERY seriously DOUBT that college students could have or would have pranked such a spectacle with NO assurance that they even had an AUDIENCE.

    By Blogger Zesko Whirligan, at Thursday, January 12, 2012  

  • As a lifelong fan of the Zamora incident, I applaud the new perspective, but I'm frustrated by the quality of the reporting in this article.

    For example, why doesn't somebody simply follow up with Stirling Colgate? His contact info is publicly available right here:

    http://www.iau.org/administration/membership/individual/4086/

    By Anonymous Joshua Gee, at Friday, June 15, 2012  

  • Lets suppose for a moment that it really was an elaboate prank orchestrated by "college" (I take it you mean University ?) students (or undergraduates). Its plausible that the high speed chase was initiated by students, relying heavily on the assumption that Zamora would see the pre-arranged light and hear the roar at the exact time - and predictably be gullible enough to break off the chase to investigate. This is all in the days before mobile phones - so the UFO "figures" and the speeding car would have had to somehow make sure the timing was spot on. Still plausible. Its also possible that the two thuds Zamora claims to have heard just before the object took off were the alien-dressed pranksters driving off in a getaway car. Maybe even the same car that initiated the original chase. But there isn't enough detail or information as to HOW the actual hoax was carried out. Helium filled balloon ? Where did they get helium canisters from ? A Back projection in broad, bright daylight in 1964 ? Highly unlikely. I'm prepared to admit that it may have been a prank and that poor Zamora was duped into it. But I still need more info on the design, development and deployment of the craft. Why has no one shown us how exactly ? Perhaps the students stole University material to make the craft - and did not want to be prosecuted ?

    By Blogger StressBunny, at Tuesday, January 08, 2013  

  • Evidence > letter
    If it was a hoax, it fooled a lot of qualified people.

    The event occurred not too far from White Sands.

    There have been reports of other unusual activity near White Sands over the years.

    There were unexplained indentations in the ground.

    State Police found no human tracks.

    White Sands investigated. A bush was found burned in only 1 spot. White Sands confiscated the State Police photos.

    An unidentified tourist stated he saw the object flying 150 miles an hour, very low, and near the police car.

    Plus Hynek believed it was real event.

    By Blogger BMP2CPM, at Monday, November 04, 2013  

  • I think Colgate was probably ticketed for speeding or some such by Zumorra and had his axe to grind. The critic answers to the email querries are typical of when someone really doesnt know something but want to act as if they do.....
    This is so like the Roswell cover story of a "weather balloon"....

    By Blogger Vail8150, at Monday, December 09, 2013  

  • you call this evidence of a hoax?? hahaha thats pretty weak evidence, a bunch of here say, and it doesnt prove anything, who was the student, how did they pull it off? most people dont have egg shaped air crafts laying around, and even if they did and were flying, the chances zamora came across it are just as likely as anyone else, so how could they be sure theyd get there revenge on zamora for what ever your claims are, this is bullshit not buying it

    By Blogger zac fisher, at Tuesday, February 11, 2014  

  • Hoax my ass. Where is the evidence of a hoax. Names, method of propulsion i.e. energy source, etc,?
    This was no hoax perpetrated by kids at a local college. Nice try.

    By Blogger Malcom Tent, at Monday, March 31, 2014  

  • The Socorro case was just presented on the program "Close Encounters." The dramatization is pretty close to what was done on "Unsolved Mysteries" a long time ago. "Close Encounters" showed the egg-shaped object on the ground upright (think of the rounded end of the "egg" on top). On "Unsolved Mysteries" it was an oval with horizonal length greater than height. It's never been clear in accounts that I've read that the craft was positioned one way or the other. Maybe this isn't important.
    My personal view is that the hoax explanation doesn't hold up at all. Zamorra's testimony seemed to match the evidence left on the ground. The mysterious college pranksters will have to come forward with more evidence if we are to believe them. Otherwise, I have no trouble believing that aliens landed in New Mexico that day.

    By Blogger Mike B, at Saturday, April 26, 2014  

  • A pretty bogus try at renewing this tired old story of an alleged hoax--kids who don't like Z. try to make him look like a fool--and then never come forward to show what they did and how they did it? The only thing foolish there is that anyone would think this makes Z. look foolish.

    By Blogger David, at Friday, June 06, 2014  

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