A UFO encounter with occupants in Socorro, New Mexico took place on April 24, 1964, and involved policeman Lonnie Zamora. This encounter is one of the best documented events with physical trace evidence. Some other examples of UFO trace evidence can be found in the Tulley Saucer Nest case
and the Delphos, Kansas Glowing Ring case
Rising Fire & Smoke:
Zamora was a 31-year-old veteran police officer at the time of the encounter. While on patrol, he was passed by a car running over the speed limit. Zamora raced after the speeder, but as he did, he heard and saw something that called him away. He heard a thunderous roar and saw bluish-orange flame in the distance. He at first thought a near-by dynamite shack had exploded. Zamora radioed his intentions to headquarters, and headed down the bumpy road to the shack.
A Shining Object:
Nearing the dynamite shack, the could see a shining object in the distance. It appeared to be several hundred yards away. He thought an automobile had turned over and its gas tank exploded. But as he got nearer, he saw the object was not a car, but an oval-shaped object. He could see no entrance into the object, and no windows of any kind. The object's size approximated that of a medium-size car.
The Red Insignia:
His attention was drawn to an unusual red drawing on the side of the object. Was this an insignia? Then he saw two beings beside the object, clad in white coveralls. They looked like children from his viewpoint. One of the beings "jumped" as if frightened when it noticed Zamora. He radioed the incident to the office. He was going to take a closer look.
The Objects Lifts From the Ground:
Before he could proceed any further, he heard a sound like a large engine roaring to life, and saw bluish flames coming from the underside of the craft. Thinking that the object was about to explode, he protected himself by falling to the ground. Covered but still watching, he could see the object lift from the ground, and head to the southeast in a straight line. He watched it until it disappeared from view. Police Sergeant Sam Chavez, who had been monitoring Zamora's calls, arrived, but just after the object had flown away.
Deep Landing Marks Found:
Soon, the area was overrun with police officers and investigators. Deep landing marks were found and photographed. Obviously something heavy had sat on the spot. Also, footprints were found. Someone had walked around the craft. Soon, local authorities were joined by FBI and Air Force personnel, who began their own investigation. Additional evidence that was found included bent and burned brush around the spot of the landing. Also, measurements were taken of the landing indentations. There were four-the distance between them made a quadrilateral which diagonally intersected at 90 degree angles.
J. Allen Hynek Investigates:
Besides ample evidence at the scene to verify the sighting, Zamora himself was known as a reliable police officer, family and church man, and well-liked around the city. He was forthcoming with his view of the incident to all of the investigators. His account of the strange object landing was accepted as fact by Dr. J. Allen Hynek
, who was representing the U.S. Air Force Project Blue Book
at the time. This would become one of Hynek and Blue Book's most famous cases. Zamora made a drawing of the red insignia that he had seen on the craft.
From a CIA report:
"... 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."
A Great Deal of Press:
If there was any negative to the Socorro landing case it would be that it was a single-witness case. However, in this particular incident, that one witness was known as totally reliable, and certainly not given to making up stories. Besides that, there is more than ample evidence to support the facts that some craft of unknown origin landed in Socorro on that day. At least two beings of some type were seen near the craft, and the ground trace and indentations indicate the object had burned some type of fuel when taking off.
Where Did It Come From?:
The case generated an enormous amount of press coverage all over the world. Though his story was accepted almost universally, the ridicule from other policeman and members of the community dubbing him as the "man who sees Martians," was more than he could bear. Zamora retired two years after the incident.
Dr. Hynek's stated: "There is much more evidence to indicate that we are dealing with a most real phenomenon of undetermined origin."
This case has well stood the test of time and skepticism, and is noted as one of the most intensively investigated cases in UFO annals.