Monday, November 16, 2009

The Socorro UFO Landing Part 2

I seem to have been deeply drawn into the latest investigations of the Socorro UFO landing. The latest theory to be floated was that it was a hoax perpetrated by students at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. One of the items in support of the theory is the cardboard found at the landing site and the suggestion that this cardboard was the remains of some kind of pyrotechnics that gave the object its alleged blue – colored flame. I say alleged because there is some discussion about this flame and whether or not it was ever there, but that is a discussion for another time.

I have read, carefully, the file that was held by the Air Force and Project Blue Book and I find no mention about how this cardboard was recovered. Hynek, in his reports, sort of brushed by it and I did find a list of materials submitted for analysis that does mention it.

The first real discussion about the cardboard is in a letter from UFO debunker, Dr. Donald Menzel, who questioned Dr. J. Allen Hynek about it. Since it, the cardboard, was found on the site, though no one seemed to have noted exactly where it was collected which seems to be a little sloppy for both the police officers and scientists involved, there was a question about it being related to the sighting.

In a letter dated February 19, 1965, Menzel, writing to Hynek, noted, "There was also a piece of charred cardboard. ... How big and what shape was the cardboard? Maybe it played a significant role in the enacted UFO drama. Did it, for example, support part of the aluminum foil? Were there holes in the cardboard to which aluminum might have been attached, or indentations carved by paper clips or the like?"

Hynek, in his notes to the chief of Blue Book, wrote, "As far as the cardboard is concerned, Menzel’s conjectures here fall completely flat. The cardboard was portions of very old and weathered corrugated [emphasis added] paper from a packing box [which also seems to answer questions about shape and holes]. There are many examples of this all over the region. There is a city dump not too far away, and when the wind, which blows tumbleweeds all over the place, gets hold of some of this stuff, it scatters the papers pretty well all over the region. Many of the bushes, I noticed particularly this time, have papers caught on their underneath side. In any case, some of this paper was still there, and I shall send Menzel a sample of what this cardboard really looks like. I would say that the cardboard had been there through many rains and had suffered successive dryings [emphasis added]. The original piece I picked up was definitely charred."

The charred cardboard was not part of a tube, but of a packing box so it did not contain pyrotechnics. Hynek, who recovered it, seemed to believe that it was only associated with the sighting by proximity but had nothing to do with the case. It was Menzel who tried to turn it into evidence of a hoax, which is, of course, something that is going on today.

The records are quite clear about this. The cardboard was old and weathered. The landing site was near a dump and there was a lot of cardboard, and paper, and other debris blowing around the area. The most logical conclusion is that the cardboard had nothing to do with the sighting.

There is an ancillary issue here and that is the suggestion that this charred cardboard was part of the pyrotechnics used to create the original flame and give Zamora a reason for driving off into the desert. The Project Blue Book files and our old friend Colonel Eric T. de Jonckheere provides an answer for us. In his May 28, 1964 letter, which was sent to "Hq USAF SAFOI PB (Mrs Gaiser)* he wrote:

(5) Soil Samples: The soil samples obtained at the sighting were given to Dr. J. Allen Hynek by Capt Holder. They were turned over to Captain Quintanilla who in turn submitted them to ASD for analysis. Laboratory analysis of the soil was completed on 19 May 64. It included spectrographic analysis which revealed that there was no foreign material in the soil samples (emphasis added). Also, no chemicals were detected in the charred or burned soil which would indicate a type of propellant (emphasis added). There was no significant difference in elemental composition between the different samples.
The evidence that was collected at the time of the sighting including the charred cardboard and the soil samples seem to rule out a pyrotechnic display. That is, all the evidence and not just the pieces that fit into a narrow window, seem to rule it out.

And again, I can ask, "Where does that leave us?"

Right back where we were. One side saying it was a hoax, but without the evidence necessary to sustain that conclusion, and the other side saying it was an alien spacecraft, but with only the eyewitness testimony of Lonnie Zamora to the strangeness of the craft. What he reported doesn’t lead us to the extraterrestrial.

In other words, this case is unidentified.

*I believe the translation of this is Headquarters, United States Air Force, Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Information and Mrs. Gaiser is the point of contact there.

27 comments:

Frank Stalter said...

"The evidence that was collected at the time of the sighting including the charred cardboard and the soil samples seem to rule out a pyrotechnic display. That is, all the evidence and not just the pieces that fit into a narrow window, seem to rule it out."

It certainly doesn't rule out propellant driven pyrotechnics for the initial roar and flame that drew Zamora to the area. That could have been launched from anywhere in the general area.

Sgt Moody's report-"Sgt Chavez then went to the area where the craft or thing was supposedly sighted and found four fresh indentations in the ground and several charred or burned bushes. Smoke appeared to come from the bush and he assumed that it was burning, however no coals were visible and the charred portions of the bush were cold to the touch."

Hynek wrote of the sporadic nature of the burning of the area, indicating human randomness.

cda said...

You are very brave, Kevin, for daring to start a part 2. Look at the heated debate still raging on part 1!

Joseph Capp said...

Dear Keven,
Excellent work. But I want to ask you why the UFO community doesn't demand these hoaxers take a polygraph test when they go public. They not that easy to beat if done right. Many times when we've had a big UFO story UFO witnesses are called to take lie detector test. Hoaxer are basically liars but they never put through this. The two different "Hoaxers" at Rendlesham were allowed also to continue with their nonsense without even a challenge in the public forum to take this test. I think that should be done first and if they refuse make that public on all our blogs and submit comments on articles that conveniently overlook this.

Thanks for a great investigative piece.

Joe Capp
UFO Media Matters
Non-Commercial Blog

KRandle said...

Let me see if I have this straight. A student conspirator sped past Zamora knowing that he would give chase. Okay, pretty much a given. The student continues to flee, engaging in a felony or two, and led Zamora along a road where another conspirator touched off a pyrotechnic display hoping that Zamora would a) see it and b) let the fleeing felon go so that he could check out this display that is c) not at the final site where the object and two others wait.
Zamora did as planned but didn’t find the original site, his attention now diverted to a second site where he saw something on the ground. He drove toward it, lost sight briefly and then got quite close. The two conspirators there disappear behind the object and it lifted off, into a strong wind and disappeared. The two conspirators fled using poles to vault away so they didn’t leave footprints.

Others arrive within moments but see neither the object, which has now disappeared, or the students pole vaulting away. They search the area, find the landing imprints and collect samples which reveal no evidence of radioactive or chemical contamination but that’s okay because the pyrotechnics were fired from somewhere else and the charred cardboard that has fascinated so many has nothing to do with that. It’s just debris from the nearby dump.

I’m struck by the fact that Zamora did everything he had to do to make this thing work... without any knowledge of what his role had to be. I’m struck by the fact that the investigators, some of whom arrived within minutes, saw nothing out of the ordinary. I’m struck by the fact the conspirators could escape undetected and that we have, at a minimum, four people involved in this. I’m struck by the fact that no evidence of a hoax was found on the site, even though the prevailing opinion of the official investigators would have done almost anything to get to a solution, short of salting the area with terrestrial debris.

While I have attempted, in this particular discussion to remain neutral and allow others publish their opinions for and against, I want to make sure that everyone realizes that I try to keep an open mind on this, but really... no evidence of the pyrotechnics, which entered the discussion because of the charred cardboard found have now been moved to some other location to explain the fact that the soil samples, gathered that very evening, showed no chemicals or changes to suggest any sort of pyrotechnical display.

Does this mean it wasn’t a hoax? No. Does it mean that we can reject the extraterrestrial explanation? No. It means that the evidence does not support a pyrotechnic display on the site where the object, whatever it was, was seen.

Frank Stalter said...

5:45 in the afternoon on a Friday. The date was April 24. Two maybe three weeks before college finals?

The coincidences you have to accept for anything other than a hoax are just too much, certainly much more than any coincidences you have to accept to accept hoax. There is a loose end, maybe two, with the hoax/prank explanation but that's what happened.

KRandle said...

Frank -

I'm inclined to say, flippantly, prove it.

I freely admit that interstellar flight is a more difficult proposition than a hoax. However, the evidence presented, to this point, does not lead to a conclusion of hoax.

So, I say again... unidentified... neither proved nor disproved.

Joseph Capp said...

Dear Keven,
I found the Sightings episode with the home shot video with Zamora in it. You were in the video. The home shot video clip is at the end. There does seem to be some type of trash on the ground.

http://www.youtube.com/user/digitaldave82#p/u/27/xIqu6Kwt75U

Joe UFO Media Matters

starman said...

Kevin:

"I freely admit that interstellar flight is a more difficult proposition than a hoax."

Maybe from our perspective. For ETs it may be a cinch. :)

Anthony said...

Kevin-

You have failed to tell readers the entire USAF accounting of the cardboard. From the original report by Hynek (Lines 44 and 45):

"A closer examination of the site on April 29 revealed a fair amount of charred particles mixed with dirt. Charred cardboard was also found."

What is "char" of anything doing at the site? Especially char particulate (likely from cardboard)interspersed with the soil at the site.

And I never ever stated that the cardboard was definitely resultant from a pyro tube. It was a suggested as a possibility- but so was burned corrugate or craftboard which may have been used to create "landing strut" and other features.

And Kevin has a long-standing stance on this issue. The truth is that Kevin appeared many, many years ago on the old TV show Sightings offering his opinion.

Kevin knows that I respect his work, and that I have been reluctant to make public comment on his Socorro "findings" - but I needed to correct the record. Kevin remains someone of whom I have the greatest admiration -and he knows this- but on this, he is wrong.

cda said...

Does not the position of the 4 landing pads rule against a large vehicle (whether man-made or ET-made) resting on the ground? The 4 points are entirely unsymmetric and form an irregular quadrilateral whose diagonals are at right angles (approximately). If this were a manufactured vehicle you would expect the pads to form a square or rectangle. Commonsense tells us that, although I concede we cannot predict what ETs might or might not construct. Their ideas of symmetry may be quite different from ours!
As to the likelihood of the diagonals meeting at right angles, perhaps the hoaxer(s), if they existed, did this deliberately as best they could and placed the 4th 'pad print' on one of these diagonals. Also why is the 4th impression oriented differently from the other 3?

I would like to know the name of the physicist who estimated the weight of the object as 4 to 10 tons (David Rudiak's posting in part 1). The reason I query this is because Phil Klass tells that Chavez made some indentations with a small shovel which, Klass says, matched the existing ones. He also says one of the indentations "could be duplicated simply by removing one of the large rocks that abound in the sandy arroyo" (UFOs EXPLAINED p.110). He also claims the small burned bush in the center of the landing site was burnt no more than what could have been done with a cigarette lighter.

Maybe the ground impressions and burnt shrubs had nothing to do with the object, and were formed earlier.

Despite the above, I admit that we are a long way from proving a hoax, however much some of us would like to.

All we can say with certainty is that the ETs, if they indeed landed at Socorro, construct some mighty unsymmetric craft.

David Rudiak said...

Tony Bragalia wrote:
What is "char" of anything doing at the site? Especially char particulate (likely from cardboard)interspersed with the soil at the site.

That's an easy question. Zamora reported the object taking off with a roar and emitting a bright bluish "flame". First responders reported the ground and plants still hot and smoldering when they arrived.

So if any old cardboard from the nearby dump was there and was in the path of the "flame" on takeoff or landing, it too will be burned and charred, along with grass, sagebrush, and greasewood bushes.

As for charred material being mixed in with soil, Hynek didn't get out to the site until April 29, after many curiosity seekers had already been out there and trampled everything, something he commented on, expressing regret. He and Ray Stanford still took samples of what they could (Stanford had the presence of mind to bring sample vials, because Hynek had nothing with him.)

But Kevin was pointing out the AF had already taken plant and soil samples before that when the area was still closed off. Their published conclusion? No traces of any chemicals that might have caused the burning. Thus, the burning couldn't be explained by gasoline, kerosene, propane, fireworks, etc.

Also first responders noted no smell that might be associated with such accelerants.

So what caused the totally fresh burning if it wasn't chemicals? And how could hoaxers time it so that it started right when Zamora got there, with nobody in sight? You would need fuses or wires or radio transmitters, and then the burn paraphernalia itself, none of which was found.

Also not found were any tracks leading into or out of the site. How do erase all of the track evidence? (You can forget Frank Stalter's ridiculous levitating pole vaulters.)

And of course, what the heck was the object itself, still sitting on its legs when Zamora got there? And how did it fly away right in front of Zamora in complete silence, heading AGAINST a stiff wind blowing at the time, straight and level in a very controlled way all the way to the base of the mountains? It is quite impossible for balloons to do that.

Until you can explain how a hoax could be done in a plausible, way (no impossible balloons, pole-vaulting students, pyrotechnics that leave no traces behind, etc.), given the available physical evidence at the site and Zamora's testimony (as well as others), the hoax theory is not tenable now, just as it wasn't in 1964. Even Blue Book head Quintenilla totally rejected the idea, though he very much wanted to debunk the case.

Anthony said...

CDA-

You make an excellent point and I was wondering when someone would bring it up: The "padprints" were a main evidence for the story. But to fit the spacing of the marks, the object would have had four legs with unequal lengths and angles. It would have been unstable.

It would have been a simple matter to make four marks at right angles to each other, quite another to make the distance between them equal. The prints were simply made by lifting rocks and using a shovel. I think this was a telling "hint" from the hoaxers.

David-

There were tracks found at the site! See the Holder info in my article. He thought the prints were made by "kids." BTW, David I appreciate the tremendous amount of work that you have done on Roswell. I just wanted you to know that.

There is one other thing: David M. Moody TSGT, USAF wrote a 3 page report to Blue Book: "Lonnie Zamora's description of the object is vague- the only specific detail being the red marking. All descriptions are general in nature. At no time did the object rise above the mountain background."

Frank Stalter said...

"The reason I query this is because Phil Klass tells that Chavez made some indentations with a small shovel which, Klass says, matched the existing ones."

I wouldn't use Phil Klass as a source on this case any more than I'd use Ray Stanford. Both have made ridiculous claims regarding Socorro and have discredited themselves as far as I'm concerned.

David Rudiak said...

Tony Bragalia to cda:
You make an excellent point and I was wondering when someone would bring it up: The "padprints" were a main evidence for the story. But to fit the spacing of the marks, the object would have had four legs with unequal lengths and angles. It would have been unstable.

I have no idea where you get the idea that such an arrangement would be “unstable”.

The fact is, any such quadrilateral arrangement where the diagonals meet at a right angle means a circle can be drawn which intersects exactly at the middle of the sides of the quadrilateral. (The quadrilateral perfectly bounds the circle.) In engineering terms, this means that if the center of the circle was also the center of mass, then all points on the circle would bear equal weight.

Thus equal weight on the midpoints of the sides, translates to equal weight distributed onto all landing pads, well thought-out engineering design for any sort of such landing craft. Nothing about such an arrangement is “unstable.” Quite the contrary.

The center of the circle bounded by this asymmetrical quadrilateral also just happens to correspond to where the primary ground burn area was and where Zamora saw the “ear-splittlingly” loud roaring blue flame that seemed to penetrate into the soil instead of bouncing off (like an ordinary flame would have). Coincidence? No, not for a real VTOL craft. The vertical propulsion would be ideally located at the center of mass of the craft, just like for a lunar lander or a Harrier jet.

Note, the burn area was not at the intersection of the asymmetrical diagonals, which is where you might expect hoaxers to put it. No, they were so clever as to place the burn area off-center at exactly where the geometrical theorem would predict the center of mass and what you would expect for the VTOL performance of the craft that Zamora observed. All this extremely subtle detail just to scare Zamora?

This is also where initial AF investigators found a strange rock (unknown at the time to either Stanford or Hynek), which seemed to have a bubbled surface and a powdery residue, and which didn’t match any other rocks in the area, another weird, subtle touch by hoaxers supposedly just trying to scare and humiliate a hated traffic cop. [Stanford later went back and found another rock buried underneath the same burn area, where the large quartz crystals had been remelted, but not the smaller ones, another anomaly.]

It would have been a simple matter to make four marks at right angles to each other, quite another to make the distance between them equal. The prints were simply made by lifting rocks and using a shovel. I think this was a telling "hint" from the hoaxers.

Yes, it would be simple to make four marks at right angles, but not so simple to find four convenient rocks of approximately equal size, shape, parallel to one another, and wedgy at the bottom that were also at right angles to one another. That’s a bit much, don’t you think?

Also one of the landing marks wasn’t as distinct as the others. Why not make them all the same? This is the one right next to the large, broken rock noticed by Zamora, that also had metal particles in it, of unknown alloy. So they created a previously unknown alloy, imbedded it in a broken rock, planted it next to the less distinct impression, just to make it seem like a real landing pad had struck the rock, broke it, scraped it, leaving trace metal behind, and had been tilted to the side by the large rock, thus explaining its less distinct nature.

Thus these hoaxers seem to have gone through a helluva lot of trouble to create such subtle details, extremely easy to overlook, capable of fooling the experts, and totally unnecessary if all you want to do is scare and humiliate a hated traffic cop. If anything, you would want a hoax quickly exposed as such to make him seem like a “fool”, according to your own theory of the supposed motivation behind the hoax.

David Rudiak said...

Part 2
And then there’s the large patch of vitrified sand (again unknown at the time to Hynek or Stanford, apparently removed by the AF before they got there) which hoaxers would have had to create and plant, and the film of trooper Ted Jordan that the AF took and never returned, said by Hynek to have been fogged by some sort of radiation, which would have had to be done by short-lived radioisotopes obtained and planted at the scene by college students? Where did they get those? And all this to scare a traffic cop?

And Tony, you still haven’t come remotely close to explaining some of the BIG obvious points, such as the absence of chemical traces by what burned the plants and soil (so what burned them right in front of Zamora?), the missing paraphernalia for burning everything. (Where did it go? How was it set off at exactly the right time?) Where are the missing footprints around the site and leading to and from the site. (How could “hoaxers” flee the area totally unseen right in front of Zamora and leave not a single footprint behind as they ran away?)

And finally, what the hell was the craft that Zamora saw lift off with a huge roar, then go completely silent, fly quickly away AGAINST THE WIND (forget balloon), and also travel 2 miles in a straight line, horizontal to the ground, then angle sharply up, rise up over the mountains, and fade in the distance. Can you explain how “hoaxers” did that?

Or how they created a roar so loud that other people in the south part of town heard it? (Yet no chemicals or paraphernalia such pyrotechnics or huge loudspeakers, amplifiers, and power supply needed to create such a tremendous roar are found?) Or how they got the hoax craft to also fly very low over the highway in the direction of the landing site nearly taking off the roof of a car of tourists driving through (Opal Grinder and son’s story, which would have had to be a lie if this were a hoax).

And all this just to scare and shame a hated traffic cop, a hoax so perfect and detailed that it completely fooled all experts and to this day still seems totally impossible to pull off, unless you carefully massage the evidence and resort to magical thinking.

David-There were tracks found at the site! See the Holder info in my article. He thought the prints were made by "kids."

This is NOT what anybody means by lack of tracks. Obviously there was a track evidence at the scene exactly where Zamora observed the UFO, most prominently the landing impressions, and a few tracks WITHIN those impressions, but nothing OUTSIDE those impressions.

There were a FEW marks, possible small “footprints”, exactly where Zamora said he had seen the two small child-size people standing behind one of the legs, but (here’s the BIG point), NOWHERE ELSE! (The point I notice you avoiding.) How did the two small “people” (and no doubt some accomplices) quickly flee the area as Zamora sped to the site from a distance of less than 800 feet (thinking possibly a car crash), and leave absolutely no footprints behind?

Backup Chavez was at the scene within only a minute or two of the object’s departure. Like Zamora, he saw nobody in the area. He immediately turned the place into a crime scene and began looking for track evidence (again considering a possible hoax). More police showed up within minutes. Soon Cpt. Holder, who lived in town, and the Albuquerque FBI agent Bynes were there. They combed the area looking for evidence of other people at the scene and never found a thing: no tracks and no hoaxing paraphernalia. Chavez specifically mentioned absence of other car tracks or other track evidence such as footprints.

How can hoaxers be right at the site, disappear within tens of seconds as Zamora sped up, still somehow perfectly time the roaring takeoff right in front of him, release and guide the “hoax” spacecraft, yet leave not a single trace of their presence behind.? How can you clean up after yourself when police are right at the scene? Explain that.

(cont. next post)

David Rudiak said...

Part 3 response to Bragalia:

BTW, David I appreciate the tremendous amount of work that you have done on Roswell. I just wanted you to know that.

Likewise, but I also think you have really shot yourself in the foot with the Socorro case. I do wish you’d stop avoiding the really HUGE points that clearly prove that this wasn’t any sort of hoax. Unless you can demonstrate in clear, totally PLAUSBILE terms how a hoax like this could be carried out, you’ve got nothing but unsupported say-so from guys like Colgate. (The fact that Colgate is no longer communicating with you should be telling you something.)

The Socorro case is much more than just Zamora’s testimony. It is also the inexplicable physical evidence left behind plus the total lack of physical evidence of any hoaxers being there. How do you magically erase footprints in front of everybody, leave no chemical traces behind, no paraphernalia, etc.?

There is one other thing: David M. Moody TSGT, USAF wrote a 3 page report to Blue Book: "Lonnie Zamora's description of the object is vague- the only specific detail being the red marking. All descriptions are general in nature. At no time did the object rise above the mountain background."

Mostly lies by Moody. Zamora clearly described an egg-shaped, white object, about the size of a car, maybe 15-20 feet long, and still resting on “girderlike” legs, about 3 or 4 feet off the ground, when he got there. He heard three loud bangs when he arrived, like those of tank hatches he had heard during he war. These are very specific details.

He was quoted in the Socorro newspaper saying he approached to within 50 feet of the object. [Yes, you will also find contrary statements attributed to him, but he was interviewed very early on by the Socorro paper before the Army, Air Force, and FBI made him pare back some of his remarks.]

Supporting this, BOTH Hynek and Ray Stanford took similarly positioned photos of the landing area from the place where Zamora said he parked his car and got out. Stanford said this was about 55 feet from the object, and the Hynek/Stanford photos seem to prove this.

Hynek commented, “He finally stopped the car at the clearing just before the ground descends into the little arroyo (see photograph 2). Photograph No. 2 is important in that it shows how close he was to the object. It is clear from this that any common object would certainly have been easily recognized. It would seem virtually incredible that an ordinary object, such as a BALLOON, heliocopter, private small plane, etc., could have remained unidentified, and further, could have cause Zamora to become as frightened as he did.”

Stanford told me Zamora pointed out his car-parking place at the arroyo edge simultaneously to both him and Hynek. Judging by the shadows cast by people milling about the landing site, both photos were taken in the early afternoon, with Hynek left of Stanford’s position and from about the same distance.

To see Stanford’s photo of how close Zamora parked the car (facing south):
http://ufoshows2go.com/socorro.htm

Compare to Hynek’s photo (bottom photo):
http://www.bluebookarchive.org/page.aspx?PageCode=NARA-PBB94-587

Zamora got very close indeed!

He also described the object taking off with a huge roar, emitting a cone-shaped, bright blue flame that seemed to penetrate into the soil instead of bouncing off and only kicking up a little dust. Those are important details.

More very specific details about its performance characteristics: After reaching 15 to 20 feet above the ground (and at which point he noticed the legs no longer there), it seemed to hover there for a few seconds, “changed from high frequency to low frequency”, then go completely silent, then depart very rapidly emitting no smoke or flame, horizontally in a straight line, then angle sharply up when it reached the mountains 2 miles away.

How could Moody say Zamora provided hardly any details?

(cont. next post)

David Rudiak said...

(Part 4 response to Bragalia)

And Zamora very definitely stated that the object rapidly rose above the mountains (despite what Moody may have written) and faded out in the distance. E.g., from his AF statement:

“It disappeared as it went over the mountain.”

Socorro El Defensor Chieftain, April 28
“He saw the object rise straight up and take off, and disappear beyond Six-Mile Canyon to the west.”
“He saw the UFO… rise straight up for an estimated 20 feet…The object appeared to maintain this altitude beyond the explosives building and due west in a straight line for about two miles to the perlite mill. On the other side of the mill the UFO gained altitude very rapidly, passed over Six-Mile Canyon, became a speck in the sky, and disappeared.

Quote from recorded interview in Stanford’s book, p. 29-30:
“…it was completely silent. It kept about the same height above the ground—ten to fifteen feet—it never did get much higher until it got over near the perlite mill… Then it angled up at a steep climb and got small in the distance, over the canyon or mountain that way, VERY FAST [Zamora’s emphasis].” Another interview: …It went away, climbing up, fast into the distance.”

Moody’s report is riddled with serious mistakes, such as Zamora parking 150 yards from the object and walking the rest of the way on foot. (Doesn’t even make logical sense, since the road was only 100 feet from object.) In reality, what Zamora REALLY said was he stopped his car for a few seconds when he first saw the object to observe, maybe 150-200 yards way, then drove the rest of the way.

You should also read Hector Quintanilla’s fawning comments about Sgt. Moody in his never-published book.

http://www.projectbluebook.us/UFOs%20An%20Air%20Force%20Dilemma%20By%20Quintanilla.pdf

Moody hated UFO’s, just like Quintenilla. Unlike that two-faced, fancy talking, academic astronomer [Hynek], Moody knew it was all “bullshit” and was a man Quintanilla counted on. Sample quotes:

“I finally received Hynek’s [Socorro] report; it was one of those typical reports which contained few technical details and added practically nothing to what had already been submitted by Connor and Moody. Actually, Hynek added very little to the investigation, however, his typical press interviews added more flame to the fire.” [In other words, Hynek wasn’t saying exactly what they wanted him to say.]

“[Hynek] complained to me that Dave Moody was not treating him according to his scientific stature, or some crap like that. I talked to Dave about it… and Dave would come back that he was too busy to baby sit or kiss the Doctor’s ass…”

“Sending Hynek to investigate he Socorro incident was my mistake… Up to this time, Hynek had taken a fairly stable stand with regards to UFOs… [Afterward] He embarrassed me and the Air Force on a number of occasions. …I became concerned because at times I couldn’t believe what I read in print. For example: In April 1966, Dr. Hynek stated before the House Armed Services Committee that he had twenty cases which he had ‘certified as well reported’ and was unable to explain. In a letter to Science Magazine… he stated that, ‘I have in my files several hundred reports that are real brain teasers and could easily be made the subject of profitable discussion among physical and social scientists alike.’ In the… Saturday Post, Dr. Hynek stated, ‘of the 15,000 cases that have come to my attention, several hundred are puzzling, and some of the puzzling incidents… are bewildering.’”

“…I’m not surprised at this statement, some of the cases that were puzzling to him were not at all puzzling to me, Dave Moody, Bill Marley, or Dr. Menzel.” [I wasn’t aware they solved the 600+ official “unknown” cases in Blue Book or Socorro, for that matter.]… “Dave Moody was right, ‘Bull shit is bull shit no matter who slings it.’ Dave was an old Navy Swabee and he could recognize it from a long way off.”

(last post next)

David Rudiak said...

(Part 5 response to Bragalia, last post)

So basically, Quintanilla didn’t really object to ass-kissing, as long as it was HIS ass being kissed. Hynek stopped kissing it after Socorro and became a loose cannon. Socorro was his tipping point. He stopped dependably kowtowing to the AF public party line and made “embarrassing” public statements that therjavascript:void(0)e might be something after all to those truly bewildering UFO cases tha was deserving of scientific scrutiny. [What audacity!] This was nothing but “bullshit” to Quintanilla and his dependable like-minded ass-kisser, the same Sgt. Moody he sent out Socorro.

With attitudes like this, how reliable and objective can we expect Moody to be? His report is definitely full of bad mistakes, maybe some of them deliberate. At the very least, he was extremely careless in his details and doesn’t seem terribly concerned about accuracy. [Maybe his old “Swabee” background?]

Quintanilla, despite all his efforts to explain away Socorro, diss Hynek, and no matter how much he and Moody thought UFOs were “bullshit”, could not explain Socorro in the end. And, oh yes, even a hard-core UFO debunker like Quintanilla totally dismissed the idea that Socorro was caused by a hoax of any kind.

Read Hynek, where he cites Quinanilla saying that for a hoax to work, literally everybody would have had to be a part of it: Zamora, fellow police officers, and the FBI. That was a bit much to swallow, even for Quinanilla.

steve sawyer said...

Wow... Good job, David--a most impressive summary of the outstanding issues, contradictions, and questions related to the hoax hypothesis.

Kevin's additional comments and documentation also support and significantly advance the Socorro case as a true, unidentified and unknown UFO incident.

As a sidebar comment, while it has been most frustrating asking these still unanswered questions, such as the central ones of the nature of the flight and propulsion of the object, and the complete lack of any substantive evidence at the site of any kind of hoax debris as Bragalia has posited, it occurs to me that the reasons neither of these key questions have been directly responded to, except with further unsubstantiated theorizing and speculation, which is what it is, is due to fact that these questions cannot be answered, because the rational answers are both unknown and would tend to discredit the simplistic hoax idea, at least as described as a college prank, so far.

I don't think we can expect any mea culpa's or admission on the part of Bragalia or others here to admit they just might possibly be in error or should reconsider the evidence and questions raised will happen, as to do so would be to at least partially deny and refute their prior claims and conclusions. They will not do that, because they can't, both from a personal perspective, and becaue they don't know the answers to the questions repeatedly raised.

Are we at an impasse? And if not, why not?

Lawrence said...

as somebody who endorses a parasocial approach to ufology, not an ET one, it is kind of ironic that I am in cautious agreement with many ETH believers and for that matter Randle here, the case remains as he put it "unidentified"
neither a proven hoax nor an ET craft.

There remains no realistic evidence that Socorro was hoaxed, we just don't know either way. Something that needs to be stressed and is otherwise easily overlooked, much is made of Colgate's letter to Pauling (which is of course what is causing this sudden reappraisal of Socorro in the first place), and Colgate's account that it was all hoaxed by student pranksters. Yet what of the psychology of Colgate here and likewise the psychology of the Tech students who allegedly claimed staging a hoax? Ufology touches on so many taboos, especially psychological, sociological, cultural, anthropological etc - that the vast majority of people (including frankly many self-styled experts on ufology eg Steve Greer and other jokers) are desperate to dismiss the whole subject or turn it into a big joke and caricature (self-styled ufology experts) and the like. To acknowledge something real going on here (re ufology as a whole) without fitting it into our limited preconceptions, even though totally mysterious, is to acknowlege that our conventional ideas about ourselves and our world is not necessariy the full picture, or even the right one. So cognitive dissonance comes to the fore, and people engage in all kinds of mental gymnastics, subconsciously motivated, to avoid facing uncomfortable facts.

Hence the record of ridicule and ostracisation many sincere UFO witnesses/contactees have received from their families, communities, scientists and media over the decades. The point I am getting to is this - Colgate himself wanted to dismiss the subject from his mind (the disturbing nature of ufology to our deeply held and deeply subconsious assumptions applies as much to Colgate as any other), and so he was desperately inclined to believe in a hoax, no matter how implausible. So when rumour reached him from the student body or students themselves at New Mexico Tech that Socorro was hoaxed, he grabbed on to it, the easier to dismiss the disturbance to his own psyche that ufology inexorably makes. And the rumours and claims of a hoax from the students themselves may have been motivated from the same source, the desperation to dismiss Soccorro and its disturbing implications from their own minds, and so these unconscious motivations saw students, without a real wilful intent, merely claim hoaxing without any basis. As if by claiming a hoax, it makes it a hoax, and thus they could put their minds at ease. I think with Socorro we will simply never know..

It's interesting and amusing to see that the re-appraisal of the Socorro sighting, whether one believes it to be a hoax or not, does not depend on one's interpretation of ufology as a whole, whether ETH or the numerous psychosocial hypotheses. It's ET believers vs ET believers and PSH believers vs PSH believers on this one. Admittedly I am distinctly in the minority here, as part of the latter group, arguing that the hoax notion is certainly unproven and even dubious (or so it appears, not all, or even most of the notabe PSH fellows have given public opinions here on the latest revelations re Socorro as far as I know)

Frank Stalter said...

"much is made of Colgate's letter to Pauling (which is of course what is causing this sudden reappraisal of Socorro in the first place), and Colgate's account that it was all hoaxed by student pranksters."

Pauling was one of the greatest scientists who ever lived and Colgate has been highly accomplished as well. In a field like "ufology" where guys who simply claim to have PhDs are revered, that is significant. The private nature of the correspondence, the fluke by which it come into the UFO webring and the fact that Anthony got Colgate to confirm his opinion on the contents is significant but the evidence hardly stops there.

The letter is a key that opened the door, but it is a noteworthy key.

"So cognitive dissonance comes to the fore, and people engage in all kinds of mental gymnastics, subconsciously motivated, to avoid facing uncomfortable facts."

That's been evident since Anthony wrote his first blog on this subject. People love this Socorro legend and will grasp at straws to convince themselves it's anything but a prank.

starman said...

"Pauling was one of the greatest scientists who ever lived and Colgate has been highly accomplished as well."


Big Deal. Donald Menzel was very accomplished, in more than one field, yet he was dead against UFOlogy--anything but objective. Same was true of Sagan and many others.

"People love this Socorro legend and wil grasp at straws to convince themselves it's anything but a prank."

If anyone is grasping at straws it's the skeptics. Pole vaulting away from the site..lol.

Bob Koford said...

"Dear Enemy/Enemies:
we are going to be testing one of our most Top Secret aero-devices this coming evening. Please bring a notebook, some binoculars, and a camera, so you can capture all of the details that you can. We will be making a public fly-over on Route 66 so be ready."

I feel the weight of evidence posed by several of the hard working investigators that have taken the time to comment on this, both here and at RRR's page, have made a good case for it NOT to have been a hoax. At least not one perpetrated by anyone from around these parts. To that, I would add that the silly pronouncement I made (...inviting our enemies) easily compares with the silliness of the "it's just some secret test craft" claim made for MANY of the hard to write off cases, such as the triangle/boomerang-shaped objects seen, as well as the Socorro case.

The Lunar lander test vehicle, being tested at that time, could never have strayed off of the testing grounds. It was having severe stablization problems. If it had magically made it that far, it would have been enough to set it down safely, let alone take off again. This makes it almost impossible to fit as an explaination in the Socorro case, if it wasn't a hoax.

But, that is what brings me to my point. The craft in question acted alot more like the version of the Lunar Lander that we all witnessed with the Apollo Moon Landings. But that version only worked because of the lower gravity on the Moon. Yet the LEM take-off, from the Moon, happened just as we saw demonstrated that day in 1964. A burst from the bottom to reach take-off velocity, then, no more flame needed. But our vehicle, being tested here on Earth at that time, had a constant flame, causing it to seem more like a hover-craft, and it tended to list to one side, or the other. It was very hard to control, if I am remembering correctly.

Like the actual LEM that would later evolve, this Socorro craft just used a burst of flame for lift-off, then used the momentum of that burn to do the rest, as if the gravity was being reduced somehow...as if they were us on the Moon.

As a balloon, the craft would still have to account for the abilty to sport a flame. As another witnessed compared it to a giant propane tank, that is exactly the kind of thing that would have been required. As we recently witnessed with the "Balloon Boy" fiasco, the weight of said propane, or Butane tank, would have posed real problems with weight, for a take-off. If the whole thing was a tank, how was the lift accomplished?

Though I am far from being an expert, I just don't see the hoax explaination covering the questions raised so far, and i thank all of you for taking so much of your time to do the research that you have done.

KRandle said...

Anthony -

I didn't mention the Hynek report you refer to because Hynek himself said the cardboard both charred and uncharred was all over the site and that there was a dump close by. When Menzel raised the charred cardboard question, Hynek made it clear that the cardboard, charred and uncharred, had been there for weeks if not months.

I did mention the soil analysis because it takes out the pyrotechnic display at the site because no residue was found... and the cardboard was so unimportant that it wasn't mentioned. Had the Air Force been able to suggest a hoax, they would have done so happily.

CDA and others -

When Klass and others showed the asymmetrical landing gear by sticking knitting needles through a copper scrubber, my immediate thought was to wonder if he had compensated for the terrain. In other words, it would seem that the terrain might account for the asymmetical nature of the landing gear, especially when it seems that the flame suggested a burn on the object's center of gravity.

And, I think I'll point out to anyone who hasn't been listening, that, as we develop more information and fact, it is possible to change a position based on that new information. I have been arguing here that neither the hoax nor the extraterrestrial explanation have been proved.

Finally, just in case some missed it. The letter TO Linus Pauling is irrelevant when attached to him because it does not necessarily reflect his opinion. A letter FROM him would be more important.

cda said...

As I said earlier, the position of the four indentations, and their orientation, is surely enough to rule out the idea that either a man-made craft or an ET craft landed at Socorro.

I think this aspect of the evidence points directly to the impressions being made BEFORE the object was seen (perhaps a matter of an hour or several hours). Moreover, the people who made these impressions did so knowing, or hoping, that a UFO sighting would follow at that location.

Look at those rectangular impressions again. Three are oriented so that their sides are parallel to at least one, maybe two, sides of the quadrilateral. The fourth impression is oriented so that its sides are parallel to the diagonal! What for?

The terrain is rough and I postulate that the assumed hoaxers (having already constructed the perpendicular diagonals) erred, and made the 4th indentation oriented to match the direction of the diagonal. Or, maybe due to the rough ground and time constraints, they simply had to rush the job, and thereby made a cock-up. The position of the central burn mark is also a giveaway. Yes it is at (approximately) the centre of mass and centre of the circle, but so what? Doesn't this further indicate that someone with technical/geometrical knowhow made those indentations? It does to me.

David Rudiak's 5-part refutation of any kind of hoax sounds very good and thorough. However, it does rest heavily on one thing -that Zamora related exactly what he had seen. But did he? Did he embellish or exaggerate any part, or even most, of his testimony? This is the unknown quantity.

We have gone some way towards showing it was a hoax, but I admit we have an awful long way to go to prove anything.

And Anthony's recent revelations, in the end, amount to very little. And in line with most others, I do not believe anything further will come of them.

I concur with those 'non-hoaxers' who say there are too many unanswered questions. We are indeed at an impasse.

But can anyone really believe that ETs would build their craft in such a non-symmetrical & lopsided way as this? Oh well, I suppose it is (very) remotely conceivable. You never can tell with these ETs!

Frank Stalter said...

"Big Deal. Donald Menzel was very accomplished, in more than one field, yet he was dead against UFOlogy--anything but objective. Same was true of Sagan and many others."

Pauling certainly wasn't dead set against UFOs. Have you read my srticle about his proposal for a study on the subject?

http://ufopartisan.blogspot.com/2009/10/linus-pauling-two-time-nobel-winners.html

"If anyone is grasping at straws it's the skeptics. Pole vaulting away from the site..lol."

Kool aid drinkers kept saying it isn't possible to leave an area without leaving footprints. I offered an explanation as to how a clever person might solve that problem. I understand why it doesn't work for you.

David Rudiak said...

cda wrote:
We have gone some way towards showing it was a hoax, but I admit we have an awful long way to go to prove anything…

But can anyone really believe that ETs would build their craft in such a non-symmetrical & lopsided way as this? Oh well, I suppose it is (very) remotely conceivable. You never can tell with these ETs!


Zamora never said he saw an asymmetrical craft. The flying object he described was a very symmetrical egg-shape. Only the landing gear pattern was asymmetrical.

There are no laws forbidding asymmetrical aircraft and landing gears. In fact such aircraft and gears have been built, for various reasons (usually because of some other major asymmetry the aircraft is built around). Here is just one reference describing such:

http://www.nurflugel.com/Nurflugel/n_o_d/weird_01.htm

Symmetrical landing gears are even less important for a VTOL craft like described by Zamora at Socorro. There is no fast horizontal takeoff or landing, where bilateral symmetry makes life easier for the pilot to keep the aircraft flying straight down the runway.

I’ve already described two reasons why it might make good engineering sense for the Socorro craft to have an asymmetrical landing gear. One is if the hatch was on one side. More room would be needed for the crew to get in, get out, and operate on that side. The other would be to give the craft more landing options on very rough terrain. The wider triangular landing platform on the right side of the Socorro craft could be used as a stable tripod that would conform to any terrain when utilizing all four landing gears was not possible.

But since skeptics like cda know that nobody would ever build asymmetries into their aircraft, we have now gone some way toward demonstrating that claims of asymmetrical aircraft, human or ET, are all hoaxes.