Case Directory
  Category 7, ENTITY 
Rating: 5  


Lonnie Zamora / Socorro Landing Case
April 24, 1964
Socorro, New Mexico

Brad Sparks:
April 24, 1964; 1 mile SSW of Socorro, New Mexico (BBU 8766)
5:45­ 5:50? p.m. Socorro Police Dept. patrol officer Lonnie Zamora, while chasing a speeder heading S, heard a roaring sound and saw a bluish-orange funnel of flame in the sky to the SW slowly descending possibly 1/2 to 1 mile away, bottom of flame hidden behind a hill. He tried to pursue the flame, turning off to the right on a rough gravel road to the SW, lost sight of flame while trying to get car up steep rough hill. At the top after 10-15 secs of continuing along gravel road he suddenly noticed a shiny whitish-aluminum color landed object about 12-15 ft tall about 800 ft away to the SW down in a gully, at first looking like upturned car but actually appearing oval long-axis vertical on two legs, and for about these 2 secs also saw 2 small-adult-like figures in white coveralls near object, one turning toward him seemingly startled and jumping. He lost sight of object as he drove about 1,000 ft further WSW, radioed headquarters he was investigating possible car accident, then stopped at the top of the ridge about 103 ft from landing site down in the gully to the SE. He got out, heard 2-3 loud thumping noises like a door shut hard, walked 3 steps to the front of the car to possibly 90 ft distance when he heard a very load roar increasing in volume and saw a smokeless blue-orange flame coming from beneath the oval object, now seeming long-axis horizontal at this angle (about 120° from previous sighting), with a red insignia or lettering in the middle about 2 x 2­ 1/2 ft, and slowly rising. He thought it was going to explode and ran away, putting car between him and the object, about 25 ft and 6 secs of running from the car he glanced back and saw object had risen about 20-25 ft to level of his car, ran another 25 ft and "ducked down" below edge of ridge. Roaring noise stopped, he looked up and saw object heading to the SW (towards W end of Socorro Municipal Airport 1 mile away) at level height just clearing 8 ft dynamite shack by about 3 ft moving "very fast," no flame or smoke or noise. He ran back to patrol car, radioed headquarters, saw object climbing slowly and "get small" in the distance just clearing Box Canyon or Six mile Canyon Mtn. (about 6 miles to WSW). Immediate police and military investigation found physical traces, burning brush and indentations in the ground, and several other more distant witnesses. (UFOE, Section V; Hynek UFO Rpt pp. 223-9, etc.)

Fran Ridge:
The original  teletype copy was given to me the day it happened by radio station WAOV announcer (later CNN Headline News comentator) David Goodnow. This is one case that even the Condon Committee and the U. S. Air Force Project Blue Book couldn't explain. And none other than a UFO landing and close encounter of the third kind. This is a close encounter (Cat 2), a landing trace (Cat 6 ) AND and an Entity Case (Cat 7). Major Hector Quantanilla, then director of Project Blue Book, told CIA journal readers: "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 police 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, and still we have been unable, in spite of thorough investigation, to find the vehicle or other stimulus that scared Zamora to the point of panic."

Detailed reports and documents
images/socorro_vitello.jpg [newspaper] (Rich Vitello)
The Lonnie Zamora/Socorro, NM Case (Coral Lorenzen)
The Socorro Landing Site [map, aerial photo] (
Lonnie Zamora's Actual Report (Blue Book Files)
Twelve Pages of FBI Documents
reports/640424socorro_report11.htm [168 BB docs] (Dan Wilson)
An Incredible Admission: What Did The Air Force Mean? (Robert Barrow)
Famous Socorro Photo (Wendy Connors)
Socorro / Zamora UFO Incident (Chris Lambright)
Pelicans In Socorro

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