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    The Lonnie Zamora UFO incident

    Variousmag
    Thursday, October 17, 2019 Last Updated 2019-10-17T10:51:32Z
    The Lonnie Zamora incident was an alleged UFO close encounter which occurred on Friday, April 24, 1964, at about 5:50 p.m., on the outskirts of Socorro, New Mexico.

    Several primary witnesses emerged to report their version of the event, which included the craft's approach, conspicuous flame, and alleged physical evidence left behind immediately afterward.

    Lonnie Zamora, a Socorro police officer who was on duty at the time, claimed to have come closest to the object and provided the most prolonged and comprehensive account.

    Some physical trace evidence left behind—burned vegetation and soil, ground landing impressions, and metal scrapings on a broken rock in one of the impressions—was subsequently observed and analyzed by investigators for the military, law enforcement, and civilian UFO groups.

    The event and its body of evidence is sometimes deemed one of the best documented and most perplexing UFO reports. It was immediately investigated by the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and FBI, and received considerable coverage in the mass media.

    It was one of the cases that helped persuade astronomer J. Allen Hynek, one of the primary investigators for the Air Force, that some UFO reports represented an intriguing mystery.

    After extensive investigation, the Air Force's Project Blue Book was unable to come up with a conventional explanation and listed the case as an "unknown".

    Alone in his patrol car, Sergeant Lonnie Zamora was chasing a speeding car due south of Socorro, New Mexico, on April 24, 1964, at about 5:45 p.m., when he "heard a roar and saw a flame in the sky to southwest some distance away — possibly a 1/2 mile or a mile." Thinking a local dynamite shack might have exploded, Zamora broke off the chase and went to investigate.

    Though Zamora says he did not pay much attention to the flame, that the sun was "to west and did not help vision", and he was wearing green sunglasses over prescription glasses. In interviews with Air Force investigators for Project Blue Book he goes to some lengths to describe the long, narrow, funnel-shaped "bluish orange" flame. He thought there might be some dust at the bottom, and attributed it to the windy day. The weather was "Clear, sunny sky otherwise — just a few clouds scattered over area."

    He describes the noise as a roar, not a blast, that changed from high frequency to low frequency that lasted possibly 10 seconds and stopped. He explains that his car windows were down. Zamora notes no other possible witnesses except possibly the car in front, which he estimates might have heard the noise but not seen the flame because it would be behind the brow of the hill from their viewpoint.

    Zamora struggled to get his car up the steep hill. Successful on the third attempt, he noted no further noise. For the next 10–15 seconds he proceeded west. It was then that he noticed a shiny object, "to south about 150 to 200 yards", that at first he took to be an "overturned white car ... up on radiator or on trunk", with two people standing close to it, one of whom seemed to notice him with some surprise and gave a start.

    The shiny object was "like aluminum — it was whitish against the mesa background, but not chrome", and shaped like a letter "O". Having stopped for a couple of seconds, Zamora approached in his car meaning to help.

    Zamora only caught a brief sight of the two people in white coveralls beside the "car". He recalls nothing special about them. "I don't recall noting any particular shape or possibly any hats, or headgear. These persons appeared normal in shape — but possibly they were small adults or large kids."

    Zamora drove towards the scene, radioing his dispatcher to say he would be out of his car "checking the car in the arroyo." He stopped his car, got out, and attended to the radio microphone, which he had dropped, then he started to approach the object.
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