Friday, November 13, 2009

The Socorro UFO Landing -- Part One

In the last few weeks, a controversy about the Socorro UFO landing has erupted when it was suggested, again, that a hoax had been perpetrated. The theory was, now changed slightly, that students at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology had created the spaceship and the landing evidence in an elaborate plan that fooled not only Lonnie Zamora but a group of investigators that included the FBI, Army Intelligence, the Air Force and its scientific consultant, and, of course, Jim and Coral Lorenzen of APRO and Ray Stanford the researcher from NICAP.

According to the latest, the one time president of the school, Stirling Colgate, in the late 1960s, told Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling that the whole thing was a hoax. Donald Menzel, the UFO debunker, said that it was as hoax almost from the beginning, but he based that on his own opinion that there were no alien spacecraft and anything that suggested otherwise was inaccurate at best.

But that is just one side of the argument. Like almost everything in UFO research, those arguing for the hoax haven’t presented all the information, though, according to them, they have looked at all the relevant information. I have, in my files, the complete Air Force report on the Socorro landing, and it provides ammunition for other side.

Dr. J. Allen Hynek was the Air Force scientific consultant for UFOs and he visited Socorro in the days after the sighting hit the national press. He interviewed dozens, including the police officer, Zamora, the FBI man and many in the general population.

On page seven of his lengthy report, Hynek wrote, "I also questioned, while in Socorro, my old friend, Dr Jack Whotmen, President of the New Mexico School of Mines (emphasis added), who said he knew of no geophysical or other types of experiments going on in the area at the time. He, as the rest of the townspeople, were puzzled by the event, but the general underground slull (sic) of opinion was that it would turn out to be some device which the government still had under raps (sic)..."

Okay, that doesn’t completely rule out hoax and that idea isn’t mentioned specifically, but we can infer that Whotmen had no indication that it might be a hoax. He, along with many others, believed it to be a government project, probably from White Sands.

Hynek, in his report does write, "No paraphernalia of a hoax were ever found. It would be rather hard to have done away with all the tell-tale evidence, such as tubes of helium, release mechanism, etc. Finally, it was LaPaz’s (that would be Dr. Lincoln LaPaz at the university in Albuquerque and the leading expert on meteorics) feeling had it been a hoax, it surely would have leaked by now."

One of the arguments against this is that there had been a secret society at the New Mexico Tech that engaged in such pranks. They never wanted to reveal what they had done because that was part of the fun. We know about this secret society because they have a website on which they talk about such things. And, if I have understood this correctly, they weren’t in operation in 1964. They came after that.

Finally I turn to my old nemesis, Dr. Charles Moore (seen here) who has claimed that Project Mogul was responsible for the Roswell UFO crash. According to Volume 41, No. 8, November 1, 1994 of Jim Moseley’s Saucer Smear (available for a nominal "love offering" from Moseley at PO Box 1709, Key West, FL 33041) Moore wrote, "At Jim McDonald’s request, I investigated the residue of the Socorro sighting in 1967 or 1968... Despite Phil Klass, I found no indications suggesting that this was a tourist-attracting ploy by the local Chamber of Commerce, nor was it a prank by the New Mexico Tech students (emphasis added)."

So here is a man at New Mexico Tech, who taught there for decades, who worked with the students directly, who had investigated the Zamora story, and he found no evidence of a hoax. This in contrast to Colgate who, for no currently justifiable reason has said that it was a hoax.

But in an interview conducted by Moseley, and published in his Saucer Smear on July 15, 2000, Moseley wrote that Moore said, "Something went wrong (with the Surveyor lunar module undergoing testing at White Sands on the day of the Zamora sighting) and they don’t want to admit it. I have good reason to believe that."

Isn’t that just as good an explanation as the hoax story. Neither has any solid evidence to push it forward as the final answer, but it comes from men who were at New Mexico Tech at the time and who have investigated the story. The hoax hypothesis fails because there have been no students identified as the tricksters and the Surveyor theory fails because Moore was unable to establish a time for the Surveyor tests.

And had the Surveyor been the answer, I suspect that Hynek, or the Chief of Project Blue Book at the time would have been given the answer. On a Joint Messageform (DD Form 173] and dated June 19, 1964, Colonel Eric T. de Jonckheere (seen here) wrote, "The possibility of a research vehicle being involved with the Socorro sighting has been investigated... at great length; however, they have no knowledge of an Army research vehicle which would leave marks such as those found at Socorro. Lt. Col Conkey and Maj H. Mitchell of the AFMDC have also been contacted... However, neither one of them has any knowledge of a vehicle in the Holloman [AFB, Alamogordo] area, such as described in our report."

Which means that if such a research project was going on, or if the Surveyor had strayed off course, Col. Jonckheere would have been able to learn about it. And the Air Force, believing the files would be classified for a long time, would have had their answer. Nothing in the file indicates that any such project was ever seriously considered and no evidence was ever found to corroborate that opinion.

Once again, it appears that the hoax idea fails because we have no information about the tricksters. Moore’s idea of a research vehicle fails because Air Force officers, following that trail failed to find any documentation that would support it despite the fact the Air Force wanted this case solved. We are where we began, with a police officer telling, honestly, what he had seen, and no evidence yet presented to suggest either of these alternative answers are viable.

62 comments:

Frank Stalter said...

The event was hoaxable, no question about it.

The lay of the land was ideally configured for such an illusion to be pulled off. Zamora's view of the vehicle was obscured between the time he first saw the vehicle and the second time when he was much closer. The site was hand picked.

In Sgt. Moody's report, he states that Sgt. Chavez told him that bushes were burned but cold to the touch when he first arrived, evidence of site preparation well in advance of the event. Hynek wrote that the burning was sporadic.

The vehicle is noisy enough to draw Zamora's attention while "landing," noisy enough to scare the hell out of him on "liftoff" but is silent in flight?

You just have to accept too many wild coincidences to accept that Socorro was an alien/government/commercial vehicle.

The prank explanation is the best one.

steve sawyer said...

"Once again, it appears that the hoax idea fails because we have no information about the tricksters."

Part 1 of 2:

Yes, agreed, among several other facts and data that also mitigate against a hoax scenario, at least as outlined by Bragalia, et al.

Considering all the elements of this case, I'd have to say it is both unique, bizarre, and remains truly unknown, and unresolved in any satisfactory way, as yet, in the annals of the history of ufo CE incidents.

I even wonder, considering the strangely anthropocentric and anthropomorphic aspects of it (rocket-like flames, booms, oscillating variable pitch sounds, odd artifacts of ground trace evidence, two apparently humanoid "little men" in white coveralls being startled by Zamora's presence and then running away out of sight, silent level flight leading to some very quick acceleration up and away into the sky, no other direct witnesses on scene [and only the anonymous driver who made comments to Opal Grinder--love that name--to support some object having concurrently passed just overhead right before Zamora heard the first explosive boom sound that attracted his attention away from chasing a teenage speeder in his black hotrod], the smoldering, smoky, half-burned bushes, etc., etc.), whether this might have even been a kind of "staged" event in the form of some kind of "display" initiated not by college students, but perhaps by some form of non-human intelligence itself, creating a kind of "theatrical" incident which has all the overtones of some corny sci-fi flick, maybe related to the era and locale, and possibly even keyed to the cultural expectations and consciousness of the main witness, Zamora. This would be a kind of neo-Vallee-ian interpretation, of course.

Yes, I realize that is quite far-fetched, but then how to account for all the elements in combination? I'm allowed to speculate also, aren't I? It's not even a typical (if there are such) CE III. I have a very difficult time thinking, in turn, that this could have been any kind of college student prank, sophisticated or not. The case, on its face, almost seems ridiculous, or as Vallee might suggest, curiously absurd in nature. This is a case which creates its own form of plausible deniability, which is why I can understand the first-level interpretation of it as a hoax, but when you look more deeply at all the data in combination, the standard (or new) hoax explanation being promoted as fact is both unsustainable and does indeed fall apart upon closer examiniation and analysis. The only hoax by people who could have been involved, IMHO, would have had to involve some kind of military or intelligence agency based psyop of some kind. Even that does not seem likely, so what are we left with? Some strangely hokey alien joke?

It just seems, as a whole, rather inexplicable, especially at this late date so far beyond when it happened, and now with the only main witness sadly deceased. I wonder if Zamora ever wrote about this incident from his perspective, or discussed it in any detail with any close relatives or associates?

I would also like to ask Frank Stalter, with whom I and others are debating these issues over on his UFO Partisan blog, just exactly what he means by and how he defines the phrase "hoaxable," because I have several questions about this case, given the reported and subsequently thoroughly investigated facts, as there certainly is not "no question" in my mind, at least.

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam said...

If it was a hoax how do you explain the other witnesses who saw the object flying low...almost hitting their car?
Hoax? Bullshit. Sgt Chavez did see the craft as it was taking off over the mine. No way could the techies pull this off.

steve sawyer said...

Part 2 of _3_:

[Damn blogspot's 4096 char. per comment limit!]

I look forward to the next part of your Socorro series, Kevin. Hopefully, you will also comment on the question of the hypothesized cardboard tubes or pyrotechnic cylinders Bragalia has raised, initially on the UFO Iconoclast(s) blog in his Socorro series of articles, particularly part 3.

As far as I know, there were no such "boomer" or "whistler" pyrotechnic effects cardboard tubes found on site, nor any evidence of gunpowder or other pyrotechnic residue, related particulate matter, smell or other evidence of either the kind of specialized cardboard constructs or gunpowder-related igniter materials or residue that would have been required to even begin to support or substantiate Bragalia and Stalter's contentions, which have been stated as outright fact, not supposition or speculation, and in lieu of any substantiated evidence.

If there were no cardboard or other kind of fireworks tubes with internal burn residue, I think we have a problem with this element of the hoax theory, at the very least. I guess someone may now claim such were removed at the moment of the hoax, but that's really stretching, given the timing elements involved. I would also venture that if anything like this had been found, by Zamora, the first responders, or subsequent military and PBB investigators, such would have been reported, undergone residue testing, and been used by PBB/USAF to dismiss the case as an obvious hoax.

But they didn't, and nothing like that was found, and the case remains one of the relatively few, thoroughly investigated PBB "unknowns" to this day. So why does Bragalia claim otherwise? Go figure. Imagine that.

Hynek wrote to Menzel about old, weathered, flattened cardboard fragments at the site of what seemed to be, presumably, pieces of cardboard boxes or packing materials, with some pieces at the scene with singed or burned marks, but he also suggested these scraps of cardboard were most probably wind deposited not only at the scene of the "landing" but also scattered around the area in general, as the kind of breeze-borne residue of garbage often found in windy areas near roadways and garbage dumps of the time. Hynek even mailed a piece of the singed cardboard to Menzel, and this was in 1965, when Hynek was still debunking ufo cases he investigated. Pre-Michigan era "swamp gas" imbroglio.

Also, whatever burn or singe marks may have been found on the scraps of cardboard Hynek specifically referenced that may have been burned and particulate residue deposited upon could have been from or caused by whatever cone(s) of flaming, unknown propulsion "device" might have been involved, as described by Zamora when the ovoid object made a second loud "boom" noise, then rose up, and hovered, on a cone of flame and "exhaust gases," and then went silent, after cutting out the flame, and rapidly departed horizontally into and against the brisk wind at about 10 to 15 feet above the ground, clearing a wooden dynamite shack by only 2 or 3 feet without igniting it or apparently leaving any burn residue on top, before then raising up and accelerating very quickly up and over a mountain in the distance 3 to 6 miles away, and then disappearing from Zamora's sight, all without any subsequent sound. I'd like someone to explain this combination of effects and witnessed movement reports, please. These questions and points have already been raised several times in the prior debate on the Socorro hoax theory, and remain unanswered. Why have there been no explanations for these specific issues of contention? Exactly how could all of these elements, if a hoax, have been done?

Neither Bragalia nor Stalter have responded to these particular reported facts as yet, and I have to ask why they ignore these contradictory facts that would belie their assumptions of pyrotechnic devices and a generic college prank in general. Things that really make you go "Hmmmmm...!!!"

Frank Stalter said...

A dead body lies on the floor with six bullet wounds to the head but it can't be murder because we don't know who did it.

Steve, if you could make your points more cogently and not outrun the 4096 character limit, it might be easier to respond to you.

"as described by Zamora when the ovoid object made a second loud "boom" noise, then rose up, and hovered, on a cone of flame and "exhaust gases,"

Zamora most certainly did not describe that. He mentions flame on his second, closer view only when the vehicle is on the ground.

I suggest you re-read Zamora's account.

http://www.ufocasebook.com/Zamorareport.html

steve sawyer said...

Part 3 of 3:

In conclusion, there are several other issues which remain both unresolved and unanwered by the hoax theorists:

First, Zamora had begun chasing in his patrol car a teenage speeder who pulled out from a cross street some distance ahead of him in a fast black car, and was moving away above the speed limit when Zamora heard a boom or blast so loud, from over half a mile away, that he thought a dynamite shack in the area off-road might have exploded, and he broke off the chase to go up a nearby gravel road to investigate the initial loud report.

If this incident was a staged hoax, how could the pranksters have known 1) of Zamora's relative position, 2) that he would break off the chase, 3) that the sound would have carried that far to Zamora's ears in a police vehicle? Did Zamora have his siren on at the time? Were his windows rolled up? I suppose a loud enough blast or boom sound could have carried over any racing car engine noise, siren, or distance, and it is possible there may have been spotters to watch for Zamora coming up the street, and for a set-up involving the speeder to have been pre-planned, but this seems coincidental, as the speeder might have drawn Zamora away anyway, if he was intent on catching the kid involved, the identity of which was suspected later, but not proven, apparently, or the speeding violation ignored due to the greater matter of the ufo incident and its aftermath.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that a spotter or spotters of some kind were involved, who would also have been additional participants in any such prank, it seems they would also have had some means of signaling Zamora's proximity nearby, in order to signal (by walkie-talkie, or what?) when to set off the device creating the explosive boom that distracted Zamora from the chase.

This scenario, of Zamora's moving proximity, requiring one or more spotters, and having the means to signal other pranksters when to set off any such pyrotechnic source to get Zamora's immediate attention, means any such hoax becomes much more complex, involved, and sophisticated when the initial locale, movement, and activity of Zamora are considered. Extraordinary timing, and fantastic luck, would have been critical, at the initial juncture, and at several moments during the entire incident as it unfolded, considering Zamora's travel toward and close proximity to the object when he saw the two "little people" and the succeeding events of this scenario unfold. Could college students have pulled all this off? Or could someone else with the necessary personnel, means, technology, and planning? As I noted above, the only organizations I could propose able to do this would be either military or intelligence agencies, or potentially both, but then the question arises, to what end, for what purpose?

And what accounts for the mysterious traveler who stopped at Opal Grinder's gas station who subsequently reported the unidentified visitor commenting concurrent to the Zamora incident as follows--
see: http://bit.ly/1Cf2tt

"At least one other person -- an unidentified tourist traveling north of U.S. 85 -- saw the UFO just before it landed in the gully. Opal Grinder, manager of Whiting Brother's Service Station on 85 north, said the man stopped at the station and remarked that aircraft flew low around here. Grinder replied there were many helicopters in this vicinity.

"The tourist said it was a "funny looking helicopter, if that's what it was." The man said further the object had flown over his car. It actually was headed straight for the gully where it landed moments later. The tourist also commented that he had seen a police car heading up the hill. This was Zamora's car."

[El Defensor Chieftain newspaper]

Would this be yet another, pre-planned, hoaxster setting the scene? There were also some subsequent reports in the area soon after of other similar aerial objects being seen, but is less clear as to whether these were "copycat" reports or not.

steve sawyer said...

Part 4 [postscript]:

And finally, what kind of "balloon" device could perform the initial movements, speed, controlled motions while in flight, and into the wind, in silence? Were there footprints found at the immediate scene by Zamora and the first responders very soon after he radioed in, or not? There seems to be some question about that. By the time a nearby FBI agent, Byrnes, was called in, and subsequent to him, a military officer, Capt. Holder, had the "landing site" been forensically messed up by those first on the scene walking around in it?

By the time Hynek and others arrived a couple days after the fact, the area had already been well-trod upon by various curiosity seekers after it made the papers locally. How soon after the first police responders were on scene were photographs, of any footprints, the smoking bushes and grasses, the burned ground areas, and the "landing footpads" impressions taken? And what happened to those photos? Weren't they confiscated by the USAF and never returned?

This would be critical to know, for further analysis, but I don't know if these specific details, or a timeline of such, is available or might have been made. Perhaps Kevin, who has the entire PBB case file report, and associated records, might be able to enlighten us on these points. Sure would be nice to be able to solve this now 45+ year mystery.

David Rudiak said...

Steve Sawyer wrote:
By the time Hynek and others arrived a couple days after the fact, the area had already been well-trod upon by various curiosity seekers after it made the papers locally. How soon after the first police responders were on scene were photographs, of any footprints, the smoking bushes and grasses, the burned ground areas, and the "landing footpads" impressions taken? And what happened to those photos? Weren't they confiscated by the USAF and never returned?

Sgt. Chavez arrived probably within 1-2 minutes after the object's departure. He immediately turned the place into a crime scene and he and the other first responders that soon followed began scouring the area looking for evidence of a hoax.

The AF report written 2 days later stated he was quite adamant that there was zero track evidence that anybody else had been out there in some time. They could find no other tire tracks, no footprints, no evidence of any equipment being brought in (e.g. to make the landing impressions or burn the area). The area was clean of any evidence of human hoax. They had 2 hours looking over the area before it started to get dark.

The next day the area started getting trampled by curiosity seekers, but the initial search (and I believe subsequent wider searches) never turned up anything.

State Policeman Ted Jordan, who showed up within about 10 minutes, had a camera with him and immediately began taking pictures. The AF took his roll of unprocessed film, promising to return it to him later on. They never did.

Hynek later told Zamora in confidence the film had been badly fogged, as if by radiation. Zamora passed this on to Ray Stanford. Stanford later got Hynek to repeat the story on camera. So all we know is that is what Hynek believed had happened to the film.

Pictures of the landing area taken the next morning turned out normal. So if there was radiation at the scene, it was very short-lived. The AF also checked with a geiger counter 2 days afterward and found no radiation.

There are some pictures of the landing pad impressions (surrounded by rocks to protect them) in Stanford's book. Some of them are still faintly there, as Zamora himself pointed out in a UFO Hunters program only last year.

Chavez, Jordan, and undersheriff James Luckie, all first responders, all stated that the plants and ground were "still hot", "smoking", or "smoldering" when they got there. Frank Stalter still refuses to acknowledge the point, despite the fact that Zamora had just witnessed a hot blue "flame" that scared him half to death and cut through a greasewood bush at its edge.

So how could hoaxers do that, and leave absolutely no physical evidence behind as to how they did it? This is just one of many, many problems with a hoax theory, along with missing footprints, an object that flew at high speed in dead silence into the wind, etc., etc.

Frank Stalter said...

"Frank Stalter still refuses to acknowledge the point, despite the fact that Zamora had just witnessed a hot blue "flame" that scared him half to death and cut through a greasewood bush at its edge."

That some of the bushes were still hot? Why wouldn't they be? Zamora had just seen a flame in the area. But Chavez reported at least one was not and Hynek reported that the burning was sporadic which evidences advance site preparation and some very human randomness which would equal hoax.

Even a year after investigating, Hynek did not rule out a hoax:

"The hoax hypothesis is, of course, one that suggests itself immediately. Pranksters could have hidden behind the knoll directly to the south, particularly had they lain prone. The things that would seem to militate against a hoax are the fact that no tracks coming to or going from the region were found, minutes after the sighting occurred; paraphernalia was not located."

I have offered a reasonable explanation as to how clever pranksters could have accomplished the lack of footprints.

David Rudiak said...

Frank Stalter wrote:

That some of the bushes were still hot? Why wouldn't they be? Zamora had just seen a flame in the area. But Chavez reported at least one was not and Hynek reported that the burning was sporadic which evidences advance site preparation and some very human randomness which would equal hoax.

This is typical of how disingenuous Frank Stalter can be and the games he likes to play. Before on his blog, even yesterday, he was arguing there was no evidence that anything was hot or smoldering afterward. Instead he was using a single quote, “cold to the touch” to claim nothing was hot afterward and demanding citations to the contrary, all of which I provided, twice. He ignored them.

Now he acknowledges that the area was still indeed hot and smoldering immediately afterward.

As for his new spurious claim that the burning was “sporadic” and this somehow proves advance preparation, there were multiple burned shrubs and areas on the ground that were still noted as being just burned. Two of the citations I provided dealt with the fact that first responders reported at least several of these areas to be still hot or “smoldering”, one from the Socorro newspaper, April 28, and the FBI report by agent Arthur Burns. Here they are yet again:

Socorro El Defensor Chieftain:
“Zamora radioed the sheriff’s office immediately after the object had taken off. State Police Sgt. Sam Chavez, State Policeman Ted Jordan, and Undersheriff James Luckie responded. Chavez and Luckie said the BURNED CLUMPS OF GREEN GRASS AND GREASEWOOD were STILL HOT when they arrived.”

FBI report:
“[Zamora] [name blacked out], greatly frightened, radioed his observations and [blacked out but probably Sam Chavez and James Luckie and/or Ted Jordan], quickly on scene, noted FOUR irregularly shaped SMOULDERING AREAS…”

Thus multiple areas and vegetation were “still hot” and “smouldering” when first responders arrived. There was no “advance site preparation”.

This again causes HUGE problems for a hoax hypothesis, because you have to explain how this various vegetation and ground could be freshly burned, yet hoaxers left absolutely no evidence behind of how they did it. There was no chemical residue found in soil and plant samples, no smell of hydrocarbon accelerants (gasoline, kerosene, propane, etc.) or sulfur from explosives or pyrotechnic devices, no paraphenalia or tracks left by paraphenalia (notice how Hynek also comments on this below), and no way for any hoaxer to have in any way cleaned up after themselves with Zamora right there at the site and Chavez there in a minute or two.

(cont. next post)

David Rudiak said...

Frank Stalter continued, citing Hynek:
"The hoax hypothesis is, of course, one that suggests itself immediately. Pranksters could have hidden behind the knoll directly to the south, particularly had they lain prone. The things that would seem to militate against a hoax are the fact that no tracks coming to or going from the region were found, minutes after the sighting occurred; paraphernalia was not located."

Another typical way in which Stalter completely misrepresents what people said. Actually Hynek provided multiple arguments against the idea of a hoax. Notice how Stalter carefully edited out about 95% of what Hynek had to say about the hoax theory in his letter to Menzel a year later:

“The hoax hypothesis is, of course, one that suggests itself immediately. [BUT HYNEK THEN WROTE] It is Quintanilla's and my opinion that both Chavez and FBI agent Byrnes must have been in on the hoax if we adopt the hoax hypothesis. They testified that there were not tracks in the immediate neighborhood and so that the hoaxsters must themselves have arrived and left by balloon! Had it been a hoax, certainly some paraphernalia should have been left around if the pranksters beat a hasty retreat. These gentlemen said that nothing of that short [sic] was found.

“The wind was blowing strongly from the south, yet the object was reported to have gone on directly west. This would hardly fit a balloon, unless, or course, the directions are wrong. I questioned and requestioned the people on this point and couldn't shake them from that.

[STALTER THEN SPLICED IN] “Pranksters could have hidden behind the knoll directly to the south, particularly had they lain prone.

[BUT HYNEK IMMEDIATELY ADDED]
“…Opal Grinder, of course, would have to be in on the hoax, also. He again told me the story of the tourist who said that he had sighted a strange object crossing directly in front of him on the road and landing in the gully, and toward which an instant or so later, he saw a police car going.”

“…the hoax hypothesis does involve Chavez, Opal Grinder, and FBI agent Byrnes; the reported tourist would have to be mythical.

“…Furthermore, I doubt very much whether a hoax could have been kept secret this long. If a hoax comes off well, perpetrators like to gloat a bit, and there would have been no point about getting even with Zamora if they couldn't have gotten some kudos out of it.”

(cont. next post because of blog length limitations)

David Rudiak said...

And finally Hynek summarizes all the various reasons that totally militate against a hoax:

“[STALTER SPLICES IN] But waiving all that aside, the things that would seem to militate against a hoax are the fact that no tracks coming to or going from the region were found, [STALTER EDITED OUT] minutes after the sighting occurred; [STALTER SPLICED IN] paraphernalia was not located [STALTER EDITED OUT], again within minutes; Chavez and the FBI agent would have to have been in on the hoax; and finally, the object took off crosswind. Paraphernalia I refer to would have been ropes, launching equipment, gas tanks, etc. which would have been difficult to dispose of in a few minutes and certainly without making any tracks. You say ‘the whole thing could have easily been planned to come off as it did.’ I think otherwise; it would have been quite difficult to have a thing like this come off, even as to the original timing. Zamora did not have a regular patrol route so his approximate whereabouts would not be known at a given time. I questioned Chavez on this, and Zamora patrols the whole town in an unscheduled fashion. By the way, there is no local UFO club. The fake UFO would have had to have been rather sizeable since I looked to Zamora line an overturned car, upended, first off from a considerable distance.

“You suggest that when Zamora's car crested the hill, the hoaxsters triggered another blast of flame and released the UFO, and ran like hell. The terrain is such that when a car crests the hill, it suddenly comes upon the site. There simply would not have been time to wait until this happened to release the UFO and then hide; not unless there were elaborate ropes and wires running over some distance on the ground.

So Hynek in reality shot down Frank Stalter’s entire hoax scenario, giving many, many reasons against a hoax. But Stalter edits practically all of this out, claiming the ONLY problem was the lack of footprints, which he claims to have solved.

I have offered a reasonable explanation as to how clever pranksters could have accomplished the lack of footprints.

His “solution” on his blog: pole-vaulting students! I kid you not. They pole-vaulted away and still magically left no track evidence behind: no pole holes, no footprints from landing or running to vault again. And no doubt they carried away all the necessary paraphernalia at the same time they were pole-vaulting.

This is the dishonesty and idiocy that masquerades as rational “skepticism”. This is why I nominated Stalter for immediate promotion to the ranks of sainted pelicanist.

Frank Stalter said...

"Notice how Stalter carefully edited out about 95% of what Hynek had to say about the hoax theory in his letter to Menzel a year later:"

Yeah, David, I can actually make my points simply and without needing to round on and on and on . . . .

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/11/7/801376/-Saturday-Night-Uforia:-Death-of-a-legend

All the reports I'm quoting from are at the above link. I'm not hiding or misrepresenting anything and note that YOU didn't post it.

"His “solution” on his blog: pole-vaulting students! I kid you not. They pole-vaulted away and still magically left no track evidence behind: no pole holes, no footprints from landing or running to vault again."

Who said anything about running to vault again? That's not what the demonstration diagram shows. "Do I need to draw you a picture?" With you, even that doesn't work. You're critical thinking consists of a bunch of silly assumptions based on thin air.

You've been beaten down on your ludicrous claims of the vehicle leaving the area at supersonic speeds, now you're pathetically grasping at straws.

David Rudiak said...

"Notice how Stalter carefully edited out about 95% of what Hynek had to say about the hoax theory in his letter to Menzel a year later:"

Yeah, David, I can actually make my points simply and without needing to round on and on and on . . .


Yeah, Stalter’s alleged “point” was that Hynek thought hoaxing was a tenable idea and the ONLY problem was the absence of footprints. So he carefully massaged what Hynek had to say without any indication that he was carefully editing out most of Hynek’s anti-hoax comments.

But in the real world, Hynek was arguing strongly AGAINST a hoax, not that he thought the hoax hypothesis was still viable. Stalter’s very obvious misrepresented what Hynek had to say, which my more complete quoting proves beyond a doubt.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/11/7/801376/-Saturday-Night-Uforia:-Death-of-a-legend

All the reports I'm quoting from are at the above link. I'm not hiding or misrepresenting anything and note that YOU didn't post it.


Pot, kettle, black. This guy has real chutzpah. So suddenly I’m the bad guy. Stalter didn’t post the link either when he totally edited out the vast majority of Hynek’s anti-hoax comments, trying to reduce it do just one (no footprints). I’m the one who actually quoted Hynek accurately. Stalter did not. He did in fact hide and misrepresent what Hynek had to say, quoting him completely out of context.

He’s also done this with other of Hynek’s comments, such as claiming Hynek said the object was hidden from sight by the hill Zamora was climbing, allegedly giving hoaxers ample time to flee the scene.

Hynek was talking about a small dip between two mesas which he said “temporarily” hid the objects, but Hynek then wrote Zamora quickly regained sight of it as he climbed out of the dip onto the second mesa and could see it clearly out of his side window for the rest of the way.

"His “solution” on his blog: pole-vaulting students! I kid you not. They pole-vaulted away and still magically left no track evidence behind: no pole holes, no footprints from landing or running to vault again."

Who said anything about running to vault again? That's not what the demonstration diagram shows. "Do I need to draw you a picture?" With you, even that doesn't work. You're critical thinking consists of a bunch of silly assumptions based on thin air.


http://ufopartisan.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-socorro-ufo-hoaxers-did-it.html

His “demonstration diagram” shows exactly what the rest of already know is needed to do pole vaulting. You need to run to get some necessary forward momentum (leaves footprints), plant the pole (leaves pole mark), vault in the air (and forward, why you need to run first) and then land on the ground, presumably with your feet (leaves footprints again). Then repeat, again and again.

But in Stalter’s fantasy world of magical thinking, pole-vaulting leaves no track evidence behind. And I’m the one with “silly assumptions” and “critical thinking” problems?

You've been beaten down on your ludicrous claims of the vehicle leaving the area at supersonic speeds, now you're pathetically grasping at straws.

I’m afraid it is not I “grasping at straws” or “ludicrous claims”. Hynek, like I did, noted many impossible problems with your equally idiotic “balloon” theory for the object. Again I ask you, how does a “balloon” fly into a stiff wind, traveling horizontal to the ground in a straight line for two miles (all Zamora’s testimony)?

And while you're at it, answer another of Hynek’s objections: how did the “hoaxers” hold a large “balloon” in place on the ground in a stiff wind, all again without leaving any paraphernalia behind like ropes, anchors, launching equipment, etc.?

Stop dodging the questions Frank. Answers please.

Frank Stalter said...

"His “demonstration diagram” shows exactly what the rest of already know is needed to do pole vaulting. You need to run to get some necessary forward momentum (leaves footprints), plant the pole (leaves pole mark), vault in the air (and forward, why you need to run first) and then land on the ground, presumably with your feet (leaves footprints again). Then repeat, again and again."

Yeah, except the pole in the diagram clearly isn't 14-17 feet long, the length used in competitive pole vaulting, although it may appear that way to you. How such a technique could be used to avoid leaving footprints should be obvious . . . and you don't need to be an engineering student to figure it out. :O)

But I do like the way you characterized my common sense as magical thinking. I appreciate that and in this day and age, you're right, common sense is magical or so it seems to you.

steve sawyer said...

Frank, you're still avoiding responding directly to several of the questions David and I have asked you to respond to, multiple times, or explain how aspects of the "hoax" could have been staged. Why is that? Magical ignorance of questions? Still waiting for your answers. You could always simply say, "I just don't know how" and leave it at that. And where is Bragalia? I think he knows of this debate going on here, and at your blog. When will he put in an appearance either here or there to respond to our tedious, incessant questions? Hmmm?

David Rudiak said:

"The AF report written 2 days later stated he was quite adamant that there was zero track evidence that anybody else had been out there in some time. They could find no other tire tracks, no footprints, no evidence of any equipment being brought in (e.g. to make the landing impressions or burn the area). The area was clean of any evidence of human hoax."

Let me get this straight: there were NO footprints found in the immediate area identified by Zamora, and the burned area/landing pad impressions, at all? You'd think if there were footprints of any kind, the undeveloped film confiscated by the USAF when developed (I don't buy the lame excuse of the film being fogged by "radiation"--who told Hynek that?), if footprints had been photographed, would have been used to at least attempt to partially debunk the incident. Regardless, the second set of photos, if still available anywhere--what do they show? Any footprints whatsoever?

The reason I ask is because, if no footprints, of any kind, were found in the immediate area of where the other ground trace evidence was documented, both by first responders and particularly photographically by the second series of known photos, then we have yet another rather bizarre anomaly which needs explaining.

But first, I have to ask if there is photographic evidence that the entire immediate area where the other ground trace evidence was documented is completely sandy, or not. Could there have been some areas where the ground was hard enough, or not sandy, where someone could have stood and not left any footprints?

I had been thinking, considering the breezy area, and that the location of the "landing" was in a somewhat lower area, that the entire area would have been fairly sandy, or at least enough so that contiguous footprints, regardless of source, would have been detectable. Now I'm less sure.

Why? Well, we have the little matter of the two "little men" that Zamora is on record as saying he definitely saw. My question is: where are their footprints, if Zamora came up on the scene, saw the two, one looked back and noticed Zamora observing them, then suddenly reacted in a startled manner, and then both ran away, behind the ovoid object, and out of sight. Where the hell, if the other things, like the object footpads leaving deep, compacted, semi-moist impressions, and if the entire contiguous area was sandy, not with trails or patches of barren ground or gravel, did the footprints of the two little guys (whether ET, CT, IDH, OSI, or even NMIMT) go to?

Were they somehow levitating above the sandy soil, or what?!?

Curious and curiouser...

On a side note, I just got the Dec. 2009 issue of National Geographic, which has a cover article entitled, "Are We Alone?"--of course, it focuses on the search for extraterrestrial earth-like other worlds. Not that they'd ever touch the idea of the dangerous alternative, that of our local geographical possibility of intelligent non-human life being present in our immediate neighborhood.

The answers to that question are apparently a form of forbidden knowledge.

Frank Stalter said...

The only point, properly verified, that has come up that would argue against an unpowered balloon as the vehicle is the wind direction. That's it.

If you have questions, ask them, don't bury them in 4000+ characters of meanderings. David's questions are frankly based on preposterously fantasist premises.

steve sawyer said...

Wrong again, Frank. It is obvious at this point, and before, that you are either unable to or just refuse to answer the critical questions that have now been posed to you and Tony Bragalia in many ways and many times now.

The wind direction is not the only point arguing against an unpowered balloon. That's transparently ridiculous.

And to say Rudiak's "questions are frankly based on preposterously fantasist premises," is both absurd and rather rudely disingenuous. Let's see, you reject whatever Stanford, the foremost civilian researcher on the scene at the same time as Hynek, has said, and denigrate him personally, as does Bragalia, you reject virtually anything Rudiak has said and asked about, you refuse to answer my quite pertinent questions...who's next? Hynek? Zamora? Holder? Byrnes? Everybody who doesn't agree with your unsubstantiated conclusions? That's becoming an awfully big tent.

Where does this selectivity of sources and narrow, rigid interpretations of fact, including the original, initial PBB records, stop? You are becoming an absolutist skeptic, or actually pseudo-skeptic, as Marcello Truzzi, one of the founders of CSICOP himself, defined, and such reactions as yours do not go unnoticed or seen as being either honest or truly engaged in this debate. But, that is your apparent choice.
-----------------------------------

I apologize to those here who may find my lengthy comments either redundant or "meandering," as Frank would have it, but I just wanted to get all the various points and questions about the Socorro hoax scenario on the record here that neither Stalter nor Bragalia have yet deigned to reply to or attempt to explain away. Perhaps it's because they just can't. You really have to ask yourself why that might be. Could it be that the hoax scenario, made of flimsy, absurd, holey, and transparently invented fabric is increasingly and demonstratably unsupportable and in collapse? It would seem so, in lieu of adequate, reasonable replies to the crucial questions still extant and still unanswered.

Last night and earlier today, I had just gotten a bit fed up by the continuing obtuseness and refusal to respond by the hoax theorists, as there obviously remain many gaping holes in their untoward speculations, and the game playing is just a tad too much.

It is true that I could try to be a more cogent, succinct editor of my comments, and I will try hard to be so from this point forward, so I mainly apologize to Kevin Randle if he feels I have taken too much space here with my ruminations and still unanswered questions, but I did want to throw out there all the more important details, which does take some time and space to be both coherent and sufficiently thorough, and now that I've got most of the problematical issues out there, or here, I think I can be briefer in future. I'd still like to hear from Tony here, and Kevin.
-----------------------------------

Frank, you're a bit of a disappointment if you cannot "parse" the obvious questions you refuse to respond to in various comments of a couple pages each. They are not "buried" at all--they are very clearly posed in full, comprehensive detail, and consider alternative explanations and critical provisos that needed to be included and at least mentioned in passing. I'd like to hear what Tony has to say, but I'm beginnig to see that that is increasingly unlikely here, also.

That's your problem, not mine.

With that, I think it best to temporarily take a break from furher comment, as I have now said most of what I felt needed saying.

But your hubris, oblivious arrogance, and insulting behavior here, Frank, is both unwarranted and uncalled for. You reveal your lack of appropriate acumen in real consideration of the outstanding issues.

Frank Stalter said...

"you reject virtually anything Rudiak has said and asked about, you refuse to answer my quite pertinent questions...who's next? Hynek? Zamora? Holder? Byrnes? Everybody who doesn't agree with your unsubstantiated conclusions?"

"Where does this selectivity of sources and narrow, rigid interpretations of fact, including the original, initial PBB records, stop?"

"Could it be that the hoax scenario, made of flimsy, absurd, holey, and transparently invented fabric is increasingly and demonstratably unsupportable and in collapse?"

Thanks for proving my point. :O)

steve sawyer said...

And thank you, for proving mine, with yet more (now listed) unanswered questions.

BTW, is that "smiley icon" you note, with the big, round nose, supposed to represent a clown with a red sponge ball nose-appliance? No, don't bother not answering. The answer is all too obvious.

David Rudiak said...

David's questions are frankly based on preposterously fantasist premises.

You mean my "preposterously fantasist premises" based directly on Zamora's own statements, or those of first responders, or those of other investigators at the scene such as Hynek, FBI agent Burns, the AF, not to mention the evil Ray Stanford.

In Zamora's own words, he said he saw the object up close supported on "girderlike" legs (not your true fantasist claim that hoaxers ran off with the legs before he got there).

In Zamora's own words, the object flew off to the WSW and grew smaller "very fast", keeping parallel to the ground, in a straight line all the way to the perlite mill, which was at the base of the mountains, two miles away. Then by Zamora's own account, the object angled sharply up and "very rapidly" rose up to fade out in the distance over the mountains.

In addition, after its very noisy, scary vertical takeoff emitting a brilliant blue flame, the object departed in dead silence. By all accounts, the object also flew into a stiff wind during its departure.

No human craft then or now can do all these things. Certainly no idiotic "balloon" could do these things. Every investigator there knew that: Air Force, Hynek, FBI, police. Instead they held out the slim hope it was some secret military craft


Everybody with an once of sense gets it, but apparently not Frank Stalter. And notice he still won't answer the question how a "balloon" can do all that.

First responders reported the area still being "hot" or "smoldering" when they first arrived. The landing marks were still "fresh", including moisture at the bottom from the underlining subsoil that had been penetrated.

Immediate searches of the area revealed absolutely no track evidence that anybody had been there to have created any sort of hoax.

Frank Stalter's tactic has been to deliberately distort what was really reported, such as his just disgraceful corruption of Hynek's written report to Menzel, where Hynek was very strongly arguing against the hoax idea, citing multiple reasons why a hoax couldn't possibly explain what happened. Stalter instead tried to to make it sound like Hynek still thought the hoax idea attractive and had only one or two objections to it. That's just plain LYING.

Only a true fantasist or disingenuous debunker could believe a balloon could be responsible for what happened, or that student hoaxers could run or "pole vault" out of there and leave absolutely no track evidence behind.

Frank Stalter said...

"Frank Stalter's tactic has been to deliberately distort what was really reported."

David-You're lying. I've posted links to everything I've quoted from so everyone is free to check out the full context for themselves.

"And notice he still won't answer the question how a "balloon" can do all that."

Another lie. I have addressed this multiple times.

"In Zamora's own words, he said he saw the object up close supported on "girderlike" legs"

Source please! "Pronged" legs according to Moody's report.

Frank Stalter said...

"And thank you, for proving mine, with yet more (now listed) unanswered questions."

Those were pertinent questions? Actually, I didn't respond to them because I've already either answered them directly or have made statements that would have made asking them unnecessary.

David Rudiak said...

Steve Sawyer wrote:
But first, I have to ask if there is photographic evidence that the entire immediate area where the other ground trace evidence was documented is completely sandy, or not. Could there have been some areas where the ground was hard enough, or not sandy, where someone could have stood and not left any footprints?

I had been thinking, considering the breezy area, and that the location of the "landing" was in a somewhat lower area, that the entire area would have been fairly sandy, or at least enough so that contiguous footprints, regardless of source, would have been detectable. Now I'm less sure.


It’s mostly sandy, but with some grass cover in the lower areas of the arroyo where moisture could collect. But there wouldn’t have been enough ground cover to hide footprints of someone fleeing the scene. The two “little people” Zamora saw would have had literally only seconds to get out of there as Zamora sped to the scene after first spotting them and the object 600-800 feet away.

As Hynek wrote (and an examination of the site on Google Earth confirms), the object itself was only momentarily invisible or partially visible as Zamora drove through a dip between the two small hills. Once he started climbing the second hill, the object came right back into view and he could clearly see it from his side window as he drove up to the site. It’s quite flat out there to the east, south, and west, and hoaxers, like I said, would have had very little time to scamper off.

But it’s not just the absence of footprints for people fleeing the scene. Its also such things as the fresh burns, the fresh landing impressions, and the absence of any other track evidence that argues against a hoax. You need paraphernalia to burn those areas, and if your object is a “balloon”, you need to be able to keep it firmly in place in a strong wind. Thus you need rope, anchors, maybe other people to wrangle the balloons. How do you get dispose of all of that stuff, again literally in only seconds, and clean up after yourself, with Zamora right there? And how do you get rid of the chemical evidence of whatever was used to burn the ground and foliage? The Air Force examined samples and couldn’t find anything.

Why? Well, we have the little matter of the two "little men" that Zamora is on record as saying he definitely saw. My question is: where are their footprints, if Zamora came up on the scene, saw the two, one looked back and noticed Zamora observing them, then suddenly reacted in a startled manner, and then both ran away, behind the ovoid object, and out of sight. Where the hell, if the other things, like the object footpads leaving deep, compacted, semi-moist impressions, and if the entire contiguous area was sandy, not with trails or patches of barren ground or gravel, did the footprints of the two little guys (whether ET, CT, IDH, OSI, or even NMIMT) go to?

There were other ground impressions at the landing site, including possible small footprints, all on the same side that Zamora saw the two small beings. Below where the object was, toward the front, were four, perfectly round, shallow impressions about 4 inches across, which AF investigator Holder said looked like somebody had punched them into the soil. Conjecture was that these were ladder impressions from where the beings had left and re-entered the craft. Between there and the northwest landing impression (behind the landing leg Zamora had seen from distance) were the small “footprints”, exactly where Zamora said he had seen the small “people” from a distance. The “footprints” were in the sand. Between the “footprints” and the “ladder” impressions was some grass cover which conceivably could have concealed other “footprints”.

The “footprints” and “ladder” impressions are in scare quotes, because it is just conjecture as to what they were, but consistent with what Zamora reported and the other physical trace evidence at the site.

(cont. next post)

David Rudiak said...

(part 2)
How much of this is documented in surviving photos, I don’t know. By the time Hynek and Stanford arrived four days later, the ground had already been trampled by the curious, but the landing impressions had been preserved by surrounding them with large rocks (at the suggestion of FBI agent Bynes or Burns). Thus Hynek and Stanford never got the chance to photograph the “ladder” marks or “footprints”. The only public record of these I know of is in the drawings made of the site.

Officer Jordan’s film, photos he took only 10 minutes after the incident, was confiscated and never returned. Officer Chavez took photos the next morning, which Stanford says turned out fine. Where these went, I don’t know. Maybe Kevin can tell us.

David Rudiak said...

Frank Stalter wrote:
"In Zamora's own words, he said he saw the object up close supported on "girderlike" legs"

Source please! "Pronged" legs according to Moody's report.


Typical Stalter. Demanding sources, which he will then ignore.

UPI story, April 27, 1964:
"Zamora said the machine had been supported on the ground by four GIRDERLIKE legs."

Don't believe me? Hey that's on that DailyKos website, which again you "reference" but apparently don't bother to read:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/11/7/801376/-Saturday-Night-Uforia:-Death-of-a-legend

On May 26, 1964 the Socorro paper published a drawing of the object made by a local 14-year-old schoolboy named Ricky Baca, showing four girder-like legs. The picture was accompanied by the following caption:

"The boy based his drawing on news accounts given by city policeman Lonnie Zamora who observed the UFO after it had landed and taken off. Zamora commented that of the representations of the observed UFO he had seen, Baca’s drawing most closely resembled the object.”

http://www.caminorealheritage.org/PH/0808_socorro_ufo.pdfx`

Incidentally, for the perpetually clueless, this isn't a detail Zamora could make out when he first spotted the object from 600-800 feet away. It was when he got to within 50-100 feet away and saw the oval from the side. In other words, and Zamora also said this, the object was still resting on its legs when he got there, but when it "blasted off" and rose up vertically in the air, the legs were no longer there.

Even in the AF drawings, supposedly by Zamora, the object is STILL resting on legs when Zamora got there. Hmmm, gee, those drawings are also on the Daily Kos website.

But according to that genius Frank Stalter, the students ran away with the legs before Zamora got there. Yes they also took the time to grab all four legs before running, even though Zamora was rushing to the scene at that very moment. Somehow they also managed to grab the ropes holding Stalter's "balloon" in place--no wait, the "balloon" was still in place when Zamora got there. These hoaxing scenarios sure are confusing.

No wait, I still got that wrong. According to Stalter, they grabbed the legs and didn't carry them off, but used them as "pole vaults" that magically left no marks behind, more true fantasy on Stalter's part.

I wonder if he really believes even 10% of the crap he writes.

Frank Stalter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Stalter said...

"Don't believe me? Hey that's on that DailyKos website, which again you "reference" but apparently don't bother to read:"

The newspaper stories about the sighting when I can read the actual investigator's account? Oh a kid drew a picture based on . . . . newspaper stories.

Here's another for you so you can now claim Zamora saw the two people get out of the vehicle.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PXeDY3KOwgA/SsJA1yQ1lNI/AAAAAAAAEu4/hpJeuy2rCSM/s1600-h/Socorro+Officer+Saw+Two+Men+Step+Out+of+Big+UFO+-+Albuquerque+Tribune+2-25-1964.jpg

Nope, sorry. Nice try but another fail. :O)

David Rudiak said...

Frank Stalter wrote:

The newspaper stories about the sighting when I can read the actual investigator's account?

The usual Stalter appeal to authority. I guess Stalter must have missed another AF account of Socorro, written by Col. Eric T. de Jonckhekre, in which he states:

“He [Zamora] said the object was white, egg or oval-shaped and apparently supported on GIRDERLIKE legs.” [Also indicated as what Zamora had seen after he had parked his car and proceeded on foot.]

Source: Brad Steiger, “Project Blue Book”, Chapt. 5, p. 107

In my appeal to authority, the Colonel's report trumps the S/Sgt's report.

Incidentally, there was more than one "investigator" to the Socorro case. Ray Stanford, who spent a lot more time with Zamora than Sgt. Moody, clearly indicates Zamora's description to him was of girderlike legs, just as reported elsewhere.

Oh a kid drew a picture based on . . . . newspaper stories.

Isn’t just amazing how Frank Stalter demands references, then ignores them or tries to spin them?

Again, the quote accompanying the drawing:
"The boy based his drawing on news accounts given by city policeman Lonnie Zamora who observed the UFO after it had landed and taken off. Zamora commented that of the representations of the observed UFO he had seen, Baca’s drawing most closely resembled the object.”

Now the Socorro newspaper didn’t mention Zamora’s girderlike legs. I rather doubt 14-year-old Rick Baca was reading newspapers from elsewhere in the little town of Socorro. But Zamora was interviewed on the local radio and Rick Baca probably heard Zamora describe the legs as girderlike from there.

Notice the paper also clearly states that Zamora personally endorsed Baca’s representation of the object, with the four girderlike legs, as the one that “most closely resembled the object.”

Here's another for you so you can now claim Zamora saw the two people get out of the vehicle.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PXeDY3KOwgA/SsJA1yQ1lNI/AAAAAAAAEu4/hpJeuy2rCSM/s1600-h/Socorro+Officer+Saw+Two+Men+Step+Out+of+Big+UFO+-+Albuquerque+Tribune+2-25-1964.jpg

Nope, sorry. Nice try but another fail. :O)


Typical. Stalter demands references, then ignores them, then takes the discussion off on yet another tangent. Let us see how he rationalizes or ignores the other Air Force report that also clearly mentions Zamora’s “girderlike” legs.

Also notice how he agains ducks the point that even the Air Force acknowledged the object still resting on its legs when Zamora got there, yet Stalter insists the hoaxers magically removed them BEFORE Zamora arrived and then used them to “pole vault” away from the site, magically leaving no pole marks or footprints in the process.

I couldn’t make this stuff up. Zinging Stalter is like shooting fish in a barrel. Is the man an idiot or just a Net troll trying to attract attention to himself?

Frank Stalter said...

http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr232/ufor/ZamSketch3a.jpg

They don't look like girders to me Dave.

steve sawyer said...

David Rudiak said:

"There were other ground impressions at the landing site, including possible small footprints, all on the same side that Zamora saw the two small beings."

"Between there and the northwest landing impression (behind the landing leg Zamora had seen from distance) were the small “footprints”, exactly where Zamora said he had seen the small “people” from a distance. The “footprints” were in the sand. Between the “footprints” and the “ladder” impressions was some grass cover which conceivably could have concealed other “footprints”.

"The “footprints” and “ladder” impressions are in scare quotes, because it is just conjecture as to what they were, but consistent with what Zamora reported and the other physical trace evidence at the site."


"Officer Jordan’s film, photos he took only 10 minutes after the incident, was confiscated and never returned. Officer Chavez took photos the next morning, which Stanford says turned out fine. Where these went, I don’t know. Maybe Kevin can tell us."

Aha! So there were small footprints, and related ground impressions, or more accurately, quoting Rudiak, "...it is just conjecture as to what they were..." Very interesting. Thanks, David. I was still wondering about "levitation" in lieu of identifiable footprint-like ground markings! Brrrr...scary! I kid! 8^}

Now, what ever happened to either Jordan's or Chavez's film negatives and prints? Critical question to establish better evidence of ground markings, obviously. Wonder what either Randle or Stanford know about this latter question? I note the "crater-like" soil impression photo featured in the El Defensor Chieftain newspaper article. What might be in their photo archives?

Minor correction to Rudiak's comment:

http://www.caminorealheritage.org/PH/0808
_socorro_ufo.pdfx` has a typo in it
--drop the last x'--should end in just .pdf

Or, shorter: http://bit.ly/3dDG2R

Better yet, maybe we should use shortened url's, using either www.bit.ly/ or www.tinyurl.com/ so that the comment line length space restriction doesn't break up the longer url's, please.

Also, reference Stalter's inclusion of:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_PXeDY3KOwgA/SsJA1y
Q1lNI/AAAAAAAAEu4/hpJeuy2rCSM/s1600-h/Socorro+Officer+Saw+Two+Men+Step+Out+
of+Big+UFO+-+Albuquerque+Tribune+2-25-1964.jpg

Shorter: http://bit.ly/Gtjn

Interestingly, in the Albuquerque Tribune article Stalter cites, there is this end note:

"Besides the landing gear marks, Zamora said he found what appeared to be two round prints like heel marks. Another man who visited the site described the marks as looking like mountain lion pad marks."

Hmmmm. Two round prints looking like heel marks. Or mountain lion pad marks. Or ladder marks? Or small footprints? Or pole vault marks? Your guess is as good as mine. FWIW. Did you miss that part, Frank? Tsk, tsk...

steve sawyer said...

http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr232/ufor/ZamSketch3a

As I just noted, we should go to www.bit.ly/ or www.tinyurl.com/ as the url you cite here Frank, which went past the comment page right margin, and apparently had the end chopped off, goes to a "This image or video has been moved or deleted" Photobucket error page.

Puhleeeze?

Frank Stalter said...

For being so useful, you get two Lonnie Zamora works of art . . . . without girder legs.

http://tinyurl.com/yg7sb67

http://tinyurl.com/yh4n3cg

steve sawyer said...

Always glad to be such a "useful" tool, Frank. 8^}

Of course, you realize that the sketch with the symbol showing has been said by Stanford to have been drawn by Capt. Holder, even if signed by Zamora, as a red herring to detect anyone later reporting a similar object with that symbol on it as making a false report.

And that Stanford also has drawings which show distinct differences in the way the "red herring" symbol was drawn by Zamora later, at least a couple times, and what he alleges was initially drawn here (I think) by Holder?

And that Stanford said Zamora drew the actual symbol he saw for Hynek, and some fellow policemen?

And that, also according to Stanford [see: http://bit.ly/2fmaC8]:
(article includes .jpg's of the two differing symbols)

"Secondly, about the red shape Zamora saw on the middle-side of the ellipsoid-shaped craft: ZAMORA HAD, in his own mind, TAKEN ANOTHER OATH TO THE GOVERNMENT HE LOVED: On that same April 24, 1964, evening, Captain Ord/C, Richard T. Holder, U.S. Army, 095052, Up-Range Commander at White Sand's Stallion Site, had told the witness, as Zamora described to me, after much coaxing, on April 29, 1964, "If I were you, I wouldn't describe the symbol you saw on the side of the vehicle to anyone except official investigators."

"Well, ZAMORA AGREED. Then, I have reasons to believe, Holder drew the now familiar vertical arrow with an arc over it and a line under it [A copy of that original, clearly drawn in its first version by Holder -- just compare it to Zamora's copies of that fake symbol -- is in my files.] and then Holder had Zamora sign under it, as though THAT were what he saw. I am now convinced enough to tell anyone -- since Lonnie Zamora is now gone, and there is no risk to embarrass him for participating in the cover-up -- the vertical arrow with an arc over it and the line under it IS NOT WHAT ZAMORA SAW. Lonnie kept that promise to Holder, not to reveal what he actually saw, for the rest of his life. Zamora had agreed with Holder that putting out the fake symbol would conveniently identify any copy-cat hoaxers because they would describe the fake symbol instead of the REAL one. I agree that Zamora made the right choice, in that case, because it surely set a trap for hoaxers and even for hallucinating persons.

--snip-- [2 graphic symbols shown here]

"Every law-enforcement officer who talked to Zamora within minutes to an hour or so after the event, including police dispatcher Mike Martinez, told me unequivocally that what Zamora really saw on the object was, as Martinez quoted Zamora in Spanish, "...un 'V' invertido, con tres líneas debajo," meaning exactly what it says, "an inverted 'V' with three lines beneath it", and not the thing he was drawing and telling others that he saw, after Holder's request.

"I am very relieved, now that Lonnie has passed on and I don't have to be concerned about publicly embarrassing him, that I now can finally stop equivocating about which shape Zamora did or didn't see on the object."

steve sawyer said...

Part 2 of 2:

"Some persons 'engaged in UFO research' will be annoyed with me for saying the following: I commend Lonnie Zamora, a man of his word, for keeping his promise in not revealing what he actually saw in red on the side of the object. I commend Captain Richard T. Holder for his thoughtfulness in asking Zamora to obfuscate the real appearance of the red thing he saw, so that any copy-cat hoaxes could be nipped in the bud.

"I also commend Zamora for his patriotism (however ill-conceived some persons might consider it to be) to things he deemed important to do for his country.

--snip--

"So, what did Zamora do? He, in fact, gave my book to his account-insistent daughter, and told her I was the only writer who got everything right. Surely he had in mind my book's Appendix A, titled, "An Obfuscated Red Insignia?", which reveals what really happened concerning the red shape on the object, without actually saying for sure that Zamora agreed to an investigations-useful cover-up of the appearance of the real shape on the object, and leaving a final conclusion to the reader, because of wanting to protect Zamora for his, in my opinion, wise decision to comply with holder's explained and very reasonable obfuscation request. In the book's front illustrations of the event, I used the substituted (fake) shape for what Zamora saw, but explained in the appendix that I did it so that persons who have believed the fake symbol would not refuse to read my book, thinking I didn't really know what the symbol was (in their mistaken opinions).

"So now, Lonnie's 45-year-old secret is out and I have declared my reasons for respecting his decisions to abide what Holder asked him to do."
----------------------------------

And that, in any event, the sketches Zamora producted at that time were simply very basic illustrative schematic drawings to show the basic shape, legs positions, and symbol, without details?

And that,regardless of your opinion, that the charcoal drawng made by the 14-year old boy was considered the best representation of what Zamora saw, at that time, among many other drawings others produced? And that it shows girder-like legs?

And, finally, that Stanford's extensive research, just after the time of the event in August, 1964, his voluminous records on same, and his very detailed book, cannot and should not be so easily dismissed as you and Tony would have it?

And so on.

Frank Stalter said...

"And that,regardless of your opinion, that the charcoal drawng made by the 14-year old boy was considered the best representation of what Zamora saw, at that time, among many other drawings others produced? And that it shows girder-like legs?

And, finally, that Stanford's extensive research, just after the time of the event in August, 1964, his voluminous records on same, and his very detailed book, cannot and should not be so easily dismissed as you and Tony would have it?"

Zamora said something nice to a kid about his drawing. What did you expect him to say, "No kid, you got it all wrong."? This is suddenly compelling evidence?

I've clearly stated how heavily I weigh any information that Ray Stanford is the source on. The local contemporary media is almost as lightweight.

cda said...

Kevin:
Your title is "Socorro Landing part 1". In view of the large number of posts and fierce debate so far, are you going to dare to publish part 2? And might there even be a part 3? The mind boggles.

David Rudiak said...

Steve Sawyer wrote, quoting Ray Stanford in his book:
"Every law-enforcement officer who talked to Zamora within minutes to an hour or so after the event, including police dispatcher Mike Martinez, told me unequivocally that what Zamora really saw on the object was, as Martinez quoted Zamora in Spanish, "...un 'V' invertido, con tres líneas debajo," meaning exactly what it says, "an inverted 'V' with three lines beneath it", and not the thing he was drawing and telling others that he saw, after Holder's request.

It is more than just Ray Stanford’s say-so that the symbol was altered and Zamora was just honoring AF requests that he not reveal the real symbol. It is also in newspaper stories of the time.

Socorro El Defensor Chiefton, April 28, 1964 (front page):
“Zamora said he saw lettering on the side of the UFO, and he sketched the lettering on a post sack after the object had taken off. He did not believe the lettering was in English and he observed no numerals as there are on known aircraft. Zamora said he was not at liberty to further describe the lettering.

Hobbs NM Daily News, April 28, front page
“State Police Sgt. Sam Chavez said he was told by Socorro policeman Lonnie Zamora that the UFO he saw Friday… had red markings on its silvery side. Chavez said Zamora told him the design was an inverted V with three bars crossing it, but that the Air Force had told him not to discuss the markings.

AP Story, April 29 (e.g., San Antonio TX Light, Danville VA Bee)
“Officer Lonnie Zamora said the object he saw last Friday was a brilliant white. He said there was a red marking on it like an upside down V with three lines across the top, through the middle and at the bottom.

AP Story, April 30 (e.g. Frederick MD News)
“The scientist [Hynek] also discussed the markings that Zamora said he saw on the side of the object, a red, inverted V with bars through it.

Finally, transcript of Hynek radio interview, April 29, KSRC, Socorro (reprinted in Stanford, 66-67)
“He described it to me as an inverted V with a sort of bar across it.”

(Hynek interestingly also says he was called by the Pentagon, who tells him that AP was quoting Zamora saying some Air Force guy told him not to say anything about the lettering. Hynek then claims Zamora denied this and it was nothing but a rumor, but see newspaper quotes above where BOTH Zamora and Chavez specifically say that he wasn’t supposed to discuss it publicly, though apparently he did to a limited extent.)

David Rudiak said...

Steve Sawyer wrote:
And that, in any event, the sketches Zamora producted at that time were simply very basic illustrative schematic drawings to show the basic shape, legs positions, and symbol, without details?

Yes, exactly, just like the highly simplistic schematic AF map of the area, with no attempt to draw in detail or with accuracy.

The stick figure, kindergarten sketch of the UFO with the “stick” legs does go along well with the kindergarten level magical thinking skills of our resident debunking genius, who still apparently believes that somebody could “pole-vault” away with those “sticks” and not leave numerous pole marks and footprints behind.

It does not seem to occur to this brilliant mind that the very fact the Zamora also drew a figure of the legs when he was up close and viewing the object from the side and was quite insistent that the object was still resting on the ground on those very legs means the genius’ hoaxing students had not removed them so they could go invisibly pole-vaulting away.

It also does not seem to occur to this unnamed genius that the “stick” legs in the schematic showing the first-seen UFO from a distance of 600-800’, could not be seen with the naked eye from that distance if they were the thickness of true pole-vaulting sticks.

And that, regardless of your opinion, that the charcoal drawng made by the 14-year old boy was considered the best representation of what Zamora saw, at that time, among many other drawings others produced? And that it shows girder-like legs?

Not to mention the final AF Socorro report and a UPI story both quoted Zamora as saying they were “girderlike.”

Frank Stalter said...

"the “stick” legs in the schematic showing the first-seen UFO from a distance of 600-800’, could not be seen with the naked eye from that distance if they were the thickness of true pole-vaulting sticks."

Don't let facts get in your way David. The diagram at my blog is clearly labeled "Vault For Distance Over A Bar." Distance vaulting and pole vaulting are not the same thing. If you don't understand the difference between distance and height, why should anyone take any of your silly distortions seriously?

"The stick figure, kindergarten sketch of the UFO with the “stick” legs does go along well with the kindergarten level magical thinking skills of our resident debunking genius."

Now you're insulting Zamora as well as me. You really don't have any intellectual integrity at all, do you?

"Not to mention the final AF Socorro report and a UPI story both quoted Zamora as saying they were “girderlike.”

And Zamora's report says nothing of the kind, his two drawings don't indicate that and Moody's report says the legs were pronglike. Zamora also said he only saw two legs and only draws two legs.

David, peyote buttons are NOT one of the four major food groups.

David Rudiak said...

I wrote:
"the “stick” legs in the schematic showing the first-seen UFO from a distance of 600-800’, could not be seen with the naked eye from that distance if they were the thickness of true pole-vaulting sticks."

If it was really a pole-vaulting pole, Zamora could not have seen it from a far distance to draw it later as a UFO landing gear. Notice how Frank Stalter again evades the point made, not that it really matters, since the rest of Stalter’s argument is so incredibly stupid, even for a debunker. (Maybe he should write "Debunking For Dummies")

Don't let facts get in your way David. The diagram at my blog is clearly labeled "Vault For Distance Over A Bar." Distance vaulting and pole vaulting are not the same thing. If you don't understand the difference between distance and height, why should anyone take any of your silly distortions seriously?

More magical thinking on Stalter’s part. He thinks that by just changing the name, the pole marks and footprints made by the vaulters magically vanish. Whatever the type of vaulting, the vaulter has to run to gain necessary forward momentum, plant the pole, and come down again on the other side. Then repeat. Traces of the pole and vaulter are necessarily left behind.

I think even cda gets it, and I believe I hear Menzel and Klass cringing from their graves. "No Frank, for Chrissake, don't argue that! You're making us all look bad."

"The stick figure, kindergarten sketch of the UFO with the “stick” legs does go along well with the kindergarten level magical thinking skills of our resident debunking genius."

Now you're insulting Zamora as well as me. You really don't have any intellectual integrity at all, do you?


I apologize to all kindergarteners everywhere for insulting their intelligence. Stalter’s reasoning ability and magical thinking are more on par with a two-year-old.

Tomorrow I’ll probably be apologizing to the two-year-olds as Stalter tops himself.

cda said...

For a pelicanist's view of Socorro, please go to http://pelicanist.blogspot.com (part of the MAGONIA blog, and currently the 4th topic from the top) where you will find a discussion of all the theories regarding the case. It is under the heading "The Pelican at Socorro".

The 'pelican' gives what he considers the silliest explanation of them all (and one that is totally different to anything mentioned either on the current blog or the iconoclasts one). The 'pelican' ends up firmly sitting on the fence with Socorro, which is probably the safest, if a bit uncomfortable, place to sit.

In the end, remember it is only a single witness case (as far as the CE3 aspect is concerned).

Frank Stalter said...

"More magical thinking on Stalter’s part. He thinks that by just changing the name, the pole marks and footprints made by the vaulters magically vanish. Whatever the type of vaulting, the vaulter has to run to gain necessary forward momentum, plant the pole, and come down again on the other side. Then repeat. Traces of the pole and vaulter are necessarily left behind."

Judging from the online photographs of you, you appear as physically inept as you are mentally inept. It's not surprising you can't figure out how someone could propel themselves forward a significant distance by using a pole and without running.

Watch and learn, David.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyRWmbyeglg

borky said...

Kev, how does a "no-brainer" - Colgate's term to Pauling - become, decades later, a carefully choreographed techno hoax perpetrated against a particular police officer - Zamora - by way of retribution for some supposed infraction against a cabal of uber genius engineering students?

A no-brainer, surely, means something so pathetically obvious only a complete idiot wouldn't be able to see it?

This doesn't mean Socorro WAS an alien technology incident, but it DOES suggest decades later, when Colgate was asked to comment on his "no-brainer" remark, he compensated for being unable to provide a simple "no-brainer" explanation, by providing an overly elaborate scenario that's almost more fantastical than the aliens explanation.

It also strongly suggests whatever Zamora encountered, it wasn't a deliberately contrived prank by a gang of juvenile super geniuses.

David Rudiak said...

I wrote:
"More magical thinking on Stalter’s part. He thinks that by just changing the name, the pole marks and footprints made by the vaulters magically vanish. Whatever the type of vaulting, the vaulter has to run to gain necessary forward momentum, plant the pole, and come down again on the other side. Then repeat. Traces of the pole and vaulter are necessarily left behind."

Frank Stalters brilliant comeback:
Judging from the online photographs of you, you appear as physically inept as you are mentally inept. It's not surprising you can't figure out how someone could propel themselves forward a significant distance by using a pole and without running.

Watch and learn, David.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyRWmbyeglg


So what does video show? People indeed running multiple steps forward (presumably with feet on ground), planting pole (presumably in ground), flying forward and clumsily landing on feet or falling on their ass (presumably on ground), all of which leaving multiple clear imprints on ground, unless they are levitating across using debunker magical thinking.

So now we have “watched and learned.” What have the rest of us “mentally inept” people learned? In addition to being a total jackass, Stalter is also quite blind.

I must also now apologize to the two-year-olds, to whom I just compared Frank Stalter (after just demoting him from kindergarten status in mental ability). I thought I would have to wait until tomorrow before Stalter reached a new low, but Stalter was more than up to the challenge. Congratulations Frank! You are now dumber than a two-year-old.

Stalter is either a Total Twit or Troll. Either way, he doesn’t deserve any further time, having completely discredited himself in any serious discussion.

Frank Stalter said...

"Congratulations Frank! You are now dumber than a two-year-old."

But still smarter than you.

steve sawyer said...

Frank and David, et al:

"Can't we all just get along?"
---Rodney King

Oh, hell no! Why I oughta...! 8^}

Let's take a pause here, can we folks? This is becoming not only pointless, but quite unproductive. I'd like to hit the reset button, if that's possible at this juncture.

I know there are vested interests in play here, but this kind of give and take is increasingly diversionary to what I had faintly once hoped might be a serious discussion of the conflicting issues.

I, for one, am now backing off from the ad hominem attacks and the reactionary conflicts that have emerged here.

For my part, I apologize to anyone offended by my own prior comments. The harshness here, and emotional blood-letting, has finally gotten to me, so at least I am going to try to return to a more formal, serious discussion of the matters under debate.

I'd like to start again with two central questions:

1) Is Zamora's credibility as a witness himself in any serious question? This goes to the root of the Socorro incident--nearly everything flows from there. I'd like to hear others opinions here as to his reliability as a witness, and any critical discrepencies or issues anyone here may have with his testimony.

2) If Zamora's testimony is basically accurate, and his essential honesty and integrity as a witness is not being seriously questioned or cannot be documented, just how do interested parties here explain the nature of the object seen, and its means of propulsion? Yes, I know one theory is that some kind of balloon-based object was used by hoaxers, but if so, how does one explain the ovoid shape, initial sounds and appearance of "jet" or "rocket" propulsion Zamora saw when the object lifted up and hovered, and particularly, when the object went silent, what source of motive force could have been used to move the object into the wind, followed by even, apparently controlled horizontal flight, followed by some debateable acceleration in speed a few miles distant before and during its rapid elevation near the base of the mountain? How could this have been hoaxed? This question is for the hoax theorists.

In turn, for those who advocate a craft involving, apparently, some form of either non-human intelligence (or, possibly, a much more elaborate hoax that might have been staged by people other than the hypothesized NMIMT students), don't elements of this case also seem to contradict virtually all other CE III cases, and have unique aspects of what seemingly appear as human technology, at least in the initial propulsion phase of lifting off and hovering? How can this case be definitively explained or defined, in other words, as necessarily either extraterrestrial or from some advanced non-human source?

In other words, is there a third or alternative possibility we may be overlooking, that is neither NMIMT "balloon" hoax nor extraterrestrial "metallic craft"?

BTW, I also don't buy into a military or aerospace vehicle being involved, given the technology of such available in 1964. We had nothing like this then.

These are serious questions I'd like some better, and more serious attempts at trying to answer or at least some more specific, explanatory theorizing about, regardless of which side of these issues you may be on. Anybody?

I think we have a mysterious quandry either way, and I also have no explanation either way, in terms of either "hoax" or "ET" that seems sufficiently satisfactory no matter how I look at this case. Are there any other cases on record directly like this, in the sense of object shape, propulsion aspects, insignia, ground trace evidence, aerial behavior and movement parameters, etc.? I'd really like to know just how unique this case is within the history of the UFO phenomenon.

I realize I'm being "redundant" here with these questions, but no satisfactory answers have yet been produced from either side. Maybe it's naive of me to ask again. Perhaps these questions, 45 years on, are actually unresolvable.

Frank Stalter said...

"Yes, I know one theory is that some kind of balloon-based object was used by hoaxers, but if so, how does one explain the ovoid shape, initial sounds and appearance of "jet" or "rocket" propulsion Zamora saw when the object lifted up and hovered, and particularly, when the object went silent, what source of motive force could have been used to move the object into the wind, followed by even, apparently controlled horizontal flight, followed by some debateable acceleration in speed a few miles distant before and during its rapid elevation near the base of the mountain? How could this have been hoaxed? This question is for the hoax theorists."

Zamora said "It looks like a balloon" not "it looks like a balloon with a rocket at the bottom." He says nothing about any exhaust emissions. His account was detailed enough that I think if he had seen that, he would have written that.

Here's what Hynek wrote about the wind, from the article you found," The wind was blowing strongly from the south, yet the object was reported to have gone on directly west. This would hardly fit a balloon, [b]unless, or course, the directions are wrong.[/b] I questioned and requestioned the people on this point and couldn't shake them from that."

I have said that is a problem for the unpowered balloon explanation.

steve sawyer said...

"Zamora said "It looks like a balloon" not "it looks like a balloon with a rocket at the bottom." He says nothing about any exhaust emissions. His account was detailed enough that I think if he had seen that, he would have written that."

Well, according to the Project Blue Book file quoted on wikipedia, this is what Zamora described [excerpt]:
----------------------------------

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 mike, which he had dropped, then he started to approach the object.

"Hardly turned around from car, when heard roar (was not exactly a blast), very loud roar--at that close was real loud. Not like a jet--knows what jets sound like. Started low frequency quickly, then roar rose in frequency (higher tone) and in loudness--from loud to very loud. At same time as roar saw flame. Flame was under the object. Object was starting to go straight up--slowly up. Object slowly rose stright up. Flame was light blue and at bottom was sort of orange color From this angle, saw the side of object (not end, as first noted). Difficult to describe flame. Thought, from roar, it might blow up. Flame might have come from underside of object, at middle, possibly a four feet area--very rough guess. Cannot describe flame further except blue and orange. No smoke, except dust in immediate area."

—Lonnie Zamorra, Project Blue Book case number 8766

Keeping the object in view he ran behind his car, bumping his leg on the rear fender and dropping his glasses, and continued running northwards away from the object, which was still near the ground. He now gives a more detailed description of the object. "oval in shape...smooth--no windows or doors...Noted red lettering of some type (see illustration). Insignia was about 2 1/2' high and about 2' wide I guess. Was in middle of object. . .Object still like aluminum-white." He also noted that the object was still on the ground when the roar started."

See: http://bit.ly/idBFJ
----------------------------------

So Zamora did describe "exhaust emissions" in the sense of describing the conical flame, its shape and size/length, colors, etc. If you thought by "exhaust emissions" I meant some smoke, no, I was referring to the jet of flame Zamora observed as the object "slowly rose stright up." There are other, supplementary descriptions with additional details of this having been seen by Zamora, including some that also describe some dust or dirt being kicked up blowing around the bottom of the object as it began to rise up.

cda said...

I refer to Quintanilla's own account as reprinted in "UFOs 1947-1997" (ed Hilary Evans and Dennis Stacy). There are a few clauses where he hints, but does not explicitly say so, that part least part of Zamora's story is wildly exaggerated, or even invented. He does NOT call Zamora a liar, far from it, but he says, in two places:

"And yet I have always had some doubt about this case, even though it is the best documented case on record".

"I've always felt that too many essential elements of the case were missing. These were the intangible elements which are impossible to check, so the solution to this case could very well be lying dormant in Lonnie Zamora's head".

Quintanilla & Blue Book tried very hard to solve the case and failed, yet he still had his doubts. I think we can deduce from this that, when everything had been exhausted and found lacking, he thought Zamora's account was contradictory, overblown or even imaginary in places. This may have been merely Q's excuse for not solving the case, or it may be the truth. We cannot say.

The moral is that it is not necessary to explain every little item or every single piece of evidence in a UFO case. As an analogy, there are plenty of murder cases where you know, or feel certain, that someone is guilty but are still some nagging little unexplained parts of the story.

The Socorro case IS explainable as a hoax (of some kind) only, I think, if we assume Zamora had elaborated or fabricated part of his story.

We have spent a great deal of time on the physical aspects of the Socorro case, but none whatever on the witness himself - his history, motivation, interests in life and his psychological make-up. We have taken everything Zamora said as gospel and have got virtually nowhere in explaining the object seen. Should we have concentrated more on the witness himself? I don't know the answer.

Lance said...

Christopher is quite right, of course, but another factor that is often criminally dismissed by believers is the ability of humans to spectacularly misinterpret what they are seeing.

As an amateur magician, I often would hear my spectators reconstructing the trick they had just seen. It was amazing how wrong they could get things. And I am not talking about the sneaky stuff that is hidden from the spectators, I am talking about things that they saw out in the open but for various reasons (including psychological principles that Magic takes advantage of) misinterpreted.

For instance, I might hear one say to the other, "He never touched the cards!" When, in fact, I had touched the cards quite a bit and right in front of them.

This is a dirty little secret of eyewitness testimony and I am well aware that it is exactly the kind of insight that gets stupidly discarded by those who prefer mystery over reality.

None of the above should imply that I think Bragalia or Frank have produced the kind of evidence needed to support their claims. They haven't even come close. But unlike the disingenuous and despicable Rudiak and many other childishly unqualified "researchers", I can't pick and choose what evidence I embrace (the very fact that I don't blindly accept the hoax theory should cause Rudiak's head to explode under his ridiculous theory of how "skeptibunkers" work, but alas this is not a fair world).

Indeed the entire Bragalia Socorro story shows how deeply deluded many in the field actually are. It is hilarious to watch them suddenly require a rigorous standard of evidence for the hoax theory while they allow the flimsiest foil paper and strings to suffice for their own pet theories.

Lance


P.S. I wanted also to mention that I was appalled to see that Kevin had authored a paper with Bragalia. Kevin is someone who knows what the word "evidence" means and although I disagree with his conclusions about Roswell, I respect his work.

Bragalia, on the other hand, has yet to trumpet one conclusion (even while delivering many in an embarrassing, silly and breathless style) that was even slightly supported by his evidence.

Joseph Capp said...

Dear Kevin,
I think that some of this can be proven by a video I saw on "Sightings" TV show. I am sure they found video of a family that visitrf the spot soon after it happened and film it . They showed the newly released film. What I remember was the burning bushes all around in the film and the deep impression of the landing spot. The family was driving through the town close to the landing spot and heard from a Gas Station Attendant about the landing and the police officer. This could of been before they secured the place. Of course the problem now would be to get the video. I will look around and see if it can be found.

Joe Capp
UFO Media Matters
Non-Commercial Blog

Lance said...

Earlier I wrote:

"Bragalia, on the other hand, has yet to trumpet one conclusion (even while delivering many in an embarrassing, silly and breathless style) that was even slightly supported by his evidence."

This was a bit too much hyperbole (even for this crowd!). Tony's conclusions are SLIGHTLY supported by the evidence but far too slightly to stand on their own.

Lance

David Rudiak said...

Let us look at ALL the elements that would have been required for a hoax (many of them mentioned by Hynek in his letter to Menzel):

Zamora would have had to lie about what he saw and heard or have hallucinated the critical details such as seeing a solid metallic object at close range resting on legs, taking off emitting an ear-splitting, roaring brilliant blue flame, departure to the WSW bucking a strong wind, all in complete silence, flying straight and level for 2 miles, then cutting up sharply and rising very fast to fadeout.

All the first responders (Socorro police and NM State Troopers) would have had to lie about the area still being hot and smoldering and the complete absence of any track evidence or hoaxing paraphernalia to support other humans being out there.

The FBI agent who arrived soon afterward would have also had to lie about absence of any tracks and paraphernalia.

The Air Force would have had to lie about finding no chemical residue on the plants and soil to explain the burns.

Thus hoaxers would have had to freshly burn plants & soil, right in front of Zamora who was only 50 feet or so away, create a tremendous roar (auditory witnesses in town, some of whom called the police dispatcher before anybody knew about the event), yet absolutely no track evidence of any kind or paraphenalia needed to do such things as freshly burning the area, creating a tremendous roar, releasing a fake craft (the mythical “balloon” that could fly against the wind in a straight line, etc., etc.), yet leave absolutely no trace of their presence: no footprints, no ropes, no burning apparatus, no pyrotechnics, no chemical residue, no nothin’

In addition, Hynek pointed out that hoaxers would have had to release a balloon BEFORE Zamora got there (otherwise he would have seen them and necessary paraphenalia, like ropes), and the winds were all wrong, coming out of the S to SW. Any balloon would have been blown N over town or NE of town (not gone WSW, as Zamora reported).

In addition:
Gas station owner Opal Grinder (and his son) would have had to be lying about the unidentified tourists passing through who said an object almost took off the roof of their car and saw a police car chasing after it.

Identified tourists Paul Kies and Larry Kratzer, approaching Socorro at the time from the west, would have had to be lying about seeing something emitting flame and kicking up dust (considering it remarkable enough to soon report it to their local newspaper).

The police would have had to be lying about numerous witnesses on the south side of town hearing the roars. The two women Stanford spoke to would have had to be lying about hearing two roars, a minute or so apart. (If they weren’t lying, where was the paraphernalia that created the very loud roars?)

Similarly the police dispatcher would have had to be lying (or deliberately deceived) about receiving three calls within minutes from people who had seen the bright flame and heard the roar of the object either taking off or landing before the event was publicly know. (No doubt the debunkers will claim the hoaxers made the calls.)

Everybody who reported seeing other egg-shaped objects flying around New Mexico before and afterward would have had to be lying or hoaxing (includes one car stalling case and one landing case with burning and identical marks on ground up in La Madera, also investigated by local police and FBI).

Hynek would have had to lie to Zamora and later Stanford (on camera) that the original film taken at the scene 10 minutes afterward by trooper Ted Jordan was fogged by radiation. (or Hynek was lied to by Air Force, or hoaxers would have had to find and use short-lived isotopes that quickly decayed and didn’t fog film next morning, meaning access to something like a cyclotron or nuclear reactor to create such isotopes)

(cont. next post)

David Rudiak said...

(part 2)

Hoaxers would have had to create a broken rock at the edge of the NW landing mark with small embedded metal particles in it (noted first by Zamora, recovered by Stanford, witnessed afterward by many, including Richard Hall—photos in Stanford’s book). Stanford would have had to lie about the NASA analyst initially telling him the metal did not match any known alloy.

Hoaxers would have add another subtle touch of making the same landing mark the least distinct one, as if tilted to the side by same broken hoax rock.

Hoaxers would have had to create a 3-foot patch of vitrified sand, not even known to original researchers like Hynek or Stanford, but which showed up in documents of Dr. James McDonald afterward, including interview with analyst who examined patch. Similarly, in came out later the Air Force had found an unusual rock with a bubbled surface and powdery residue at the center of the primary burn area where Zamora had seen the blue flame. It did match any other rocks in area. Hoaxers would have had to create that also.

It was not possible to reproduce the landing marks by simple digging. All first responders indicated the marks were still fresh, including moisture at the bottom from underlying subsoil that remained for several hours. All agreed the marks appeared to created by something of great weight pressing down into the soil, compressing it, and gently pushing aside topsoil and mounding it. No hoaxing paraphernalia or tracks of same were found to explain them. A physicist’s analysis of soil compression estimated an object of 4-10 tons would be necessary to create the marks. (A real heavy “balloon”)

Hoaxers would have had to be so detailed and fastidious as to align four rectangular landing marks to be parallel with one another, also make sure the diagonals intersected at right angles, which mathematics indicates would be exactly as expected for an object distributing weight equally on all four pads. In addition, center of mass would align right over primary burn area where Zamora saw ear-splittingly loud bright flame and where strange bubbly rock was found.

Hoaxers would have had to create this flame and roar right in front of Zamora, yet remain unobserved and leave not a trace of paraphernalia or chemical residue behind. They would have had to create a flame that seemed to penetrate into the soil, kick up little dust, show no blast effects, then somehow release hoax craft still emitting flame and roar, and again, leave not a trace of their presence or of any needed paraphernalia behind, all right in front of Zamora and backup that arrived within 2 minutes. (So again, Zamora and backup would have to be part of hoax.)

All investigators at the scene, including the Air Force, agreed the hoax scenario was untenable. AF debunker, Project Blue Book head Hector Quintenilla ruled out hoax and tried to make a case that it must be a super-secret U.S. test craft, though he checked everywhere, including up to the Pentagon and White House, and could find no evidence of such a craft. No evidence of such a craft has ever emerged.

Donald Menzel tried to argue back then it was a hoax, including the idea of students releasing a balloon, but Hynek refuted him in detail, including the arguments that everybody would have to be in on the hoax, including the police, balloons don’t fly against the wind, and the complete absence of any track evidence.

Anybody who thinks this would have been a simple hoax or “magic trick” either don’t know the first thing about the details of the Socorro case, or simply don’t care, because debunkers don’t care about the facts.

Lance said...

Just a quick insert before more blather from Rudiak. Most of his assertions are straw men.

He speaks as though a complete claim of how the hoax may have been accomplished has been presented and he is responding to it (in his inimitably disingenuous way).

I have not seen Tony or Frank present any kind of scenario of how exactly they are claiming the hoax was accomplished so Rudiak is making things up in his mind to respond to. As I have shown, making things up is what Rudiak does best.

An example:

My understanding is that Hynek claimed the film looked like it MIGHT have been fogged by radiation. Rudiak takes that and says it ABSOLUTELY was radiation (an example of his addled way of thinking).

As someone very familiar with motion picture film, I wonder how one might distinguish between radiation fogging and mere light leaks. When I worked in TV news using 16mm film, light leaks were a common problem (happening while loading the film or during the processing).

This is just one example of how Rudiak takes a small bit of testimony and STRETCHES to the point of comedy (here he proffers an extra dose of silliness, hilariously raving about isotopes, etc.).

Notice how Rudiak has never responded to how I caught him in an outright fabrication on his web site. He is truly without shame.

Lance

Frank Stalter said...

"Stanford would have had to lie about the NASA analyst initially telling him the metal did not match any known alloy."

That couldn't have happened . . . no way. lol

"Hoaxers would have had to create a 3-foot patch of vitrified sand"

So what, they had all afternoon to seed the area any way they wanted.

"All first responders indicated the marks were still fresh, including moisture at the bottom from underlying subsoil that remained for several hours."

If the moisture lasted several hours, it could have been there several hours too . . . duh.

"Donald Menzel tried to argue back then it was a hoax, including the idea of students releasing a balloon, but Hynek refuted him in detail, including the arguments that everybody would have to be in on the hoax, including the police, balloons don’t fly against the wind, and the complete absence of any track evidence."

A gross and dishonest distortion. Hynek outlined the pros and cons of a hoax and he was wrong about the necessity of Zamora and the first responders being involved. They clearly were not.

David Rudiak said...

THE WINDS

Hynek wrote that the winds at the time of the sighting were strong and gusting, either out of the south or southwest. He further added that this alone ruled out Menzel’s “balloon” theory, since a real balloon would of course be carried passively north or to the NE, not to the SSW, where Zamora reported the object departing and disappearing (toward the nearby mountains to the west, 2 miles from Socorro).

But what is the historical wind data for the area? One can look it up on-line, digitized newspapers at ancestry.com or newspapers.com, and wind and other weather data at the NOAA website:

http://data.nssl.noaa.gov/dataselect

There is no wind data for Socorro proper, but one can infer the likely winds from newspaper reports and surrounding weather stations at Albuquerque (70 miles N), El Paso (160 miles S), Alamogordo (80 miles SE), Tuscon (270 miles WSW), and others.

Albuquerque is closest to Socorro and the Albuquerque Journal and Tribune provided some details. A cold front and storm was approaching from the west, predicted to produce some rain and snow, with gusty winds preceding the front throughout N.M. kicking up dust at times in the afternoon and night. Wind gusts in Albuquerque were predicted to be 25-30 mph by noon, and increasing to 40 mph or more during the night. Socorro was clear at 5:00 pm (45-50 minutes before Zamora’s encounter).

This is all exactly as reported by Zamora: clear with a few clouds, strong gusty winds kicking up dust at times. But there was no information in the newspapers about wind direction. This is where the NOAA data comes in, which had hourly reports from weather stations.

Basically it comes down to this. Between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Albuquerque had mostly southern winds with a little western component. Further south (in El Paso, Tuscon, and Alamogordo), a strong westerly component came in, producing winds from the west or southwest, and to the north in Colorado, an easterly component began to kick in.

This is a classic northern hemisphere cyclone (in the generic sense, NOT meaning hurricane force winds) storm pattern, with the winds circulating counterclockwise. Down in the southern part of the cyclone, circulation has winds from the west; at the eastern edge, winds are from the south, and up to the north, circulation brings in winds from the east.

More specific data from 5:00-7:00 p.m., bracketing time of sighting to within 1 hour: (in degrees azimuth, with 180 being south, and 270 being west)
Albuquerque: 180-210 (S to SSW)
Alamogordo: 200-250 (SSW to WSW)
El Paso: 230-270 (SW to W)
Tuscon: 210-270 (SSW to W)

Thus Albuquerque appears to be near the eastern edge of circulation pattern (but a little south, picking up a westerly component), with stronger western winds as you go south to El Paso, Tuscon, and Alamogordo.

Best guess for Socorro would be a strong southern component (like Albuquerque), but more westerly (like nearby Alamogordo), since it is further south. Thus probably winds ranging from the south to the southwest, averaging SSW, much like Hynek wrote.

Of course, this historical wind data completely rules out any balloon theory for Socorro, since, again, the object traveled WSW, , or at approximately 45 degrees AGAINST the prevailing winds.

But I don’t expect our magical thinking debunkers to accept this. No, natural law was momentarily suspended, the winds magically swerved to the ENE right at the encounter to carry the hoax balloon toward the western mountains. Yeah, that’s it!

Frank Stalter said...

"But I don’t expect our magical thinking debunkers to accept this."

lol . . . Yeah, I remember when I scored my first goal.

I've already acknowledged multiple times that the wind is a problem for the unpowered balloon explanation.

David Rudiak said...

I wrote, regarding historical wind data ruling out any balloon explanation:
"But I don’t expect our magical thinking debunkers to accept this."

Frank Stalter replied:
lol . . . Yeah, I remember when I scored my first goal.


Probably took a lot of hocky pucks to the head in the process, judging by his reasoning abilities.

And Stalter has scored no “goals” in the Socorro case. He has explained absolutely nothing and made no plausible case at all for a hoax. Instead, he has made a lot of claims, some of them impossible, supported by nothing than “I, Frank Stalter, believe it was a hoax, therefore it was a hoax. And this is the way it was done, because I, Frank Stalter, say that is the way it was done.”

On his blog, he also has the wrong landing site, is still claiming it was a balloon, and has posited and still holding to the equally impossible and preposterous pole-vaulting “explanation” for no footprints or other tracks being left behind. If anything, all Stalter has done is hit “goals” into the opposing net.

I've already acknowledged multiple times that the wind is a problem for the unpowered balloon explanation.

I love how this guy massages words, just what you would expect from a marketing person. The winds are a lot more than just a “problem”. They make any balloon explanation IMPOSSIBLE, unless you use magical thinking or drugs.

I remember Stalter challenging me on his blog to provide a source other than the evil and untrustworthy Ray Stanford that the object flew into the wind, so I quoted Hynek. Now we have the actual weather data, which confirms beyond any reasonable doubt what both Hynek AND the “untrustworthy” Stanford wrote. The object had to fly into strong, gusting winds to make its departure. The winds totally rule out “balloon”, but to Stalter it is still merely a “problem.”

If balloons are ruled out, then what could the object taking off vertically with a roar and then departing horizontally IN TOTAL SILENCE rapidly toward the mountains, in controlled level, straight flight barely 20 feet off the ground have possibly been? There is no CONVENTIONAL aircraft then or now that can do this, period!

And despite his supposed “acknowledgment” that winds are a “problem”, you’ll see no changes to his main blog, where he is sticking to the balloon “explanation”, to whit:

“Mr. Zamora got his closest view of the vehicle as it flew away and described it as follows: ‘It looks like a balloon.’ He was right about that.”

“Levitation-The craft flew away. ‘It must be an advanced aircraft, possibly from another planet!’ No, it was a balloon.”

And, of course, while deriding the idea of a levitating aircraft, he still has the preposterous, impossible levitating pole vaulters who leave no tracks behind.

“It was a magic trick so good that it's fooling people who didn't even see it almost a half century after it was executed. We don't know just yet who the pranksters were, but that doesn't matter to me.”

Yes, Frank Stalter does indeed believe in magic, while hard facts and simple scientific realities do “not matter” to him. Pole vaulters leave no tracks behind and balloons flying into the wind are merely a “problem”.

“We all must always look deeper and not take at face value the preposterous claims of bullshit artists…”

Yes, I agree, such as the truly preposterous claims of bullshit artists like marketer Frank Stalter.

Frank Stalter said...

"On his blog, he also has the wrong landing site, is still claiming it was a balloon, and has posited and still holding to the equally impossible and preposterous pole-vaulting “explanation” for no footprints or other tracks being left behind. If anything, all Stalter has done is hit “goals” into the opposing net."

I'd rather be off by a couple hundred feet than a couple thousand miles an hour.