There are those who feel the Socorro UFO landing is a weak case because it is single witness. Nearly everything comes down to what Lonnie Zamora, the Socorro police officer who saw the craft on the ground and the two humanoid occupants near it, said he witnessed. This is not completely true.
Opal Grinder, owner of a service station reported that a tourist had said something about jets flying very low over the town. That tourist has never been found and interviewed so any description of the craft and the incident is second hand. It might have provided some important corroboration for the case. As it is, it is simply an interesting anecdote.
There are, however, two other witnesses who have been named and have been interviewed. According to an article published in the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald on Wednesday, April 29, 1964, Paul Kies, who was 24 and Larry Kratzer who was 26 (seen here), had been in Socorro the previous Friday when the object took off.
Kratzer told the reporter, "We saw some brown dust, then black smoke – like rubber burning – then a fire. The smoke hid the shiny craft as it flew away."
Then they began to talk about things they couldn’t have seen, but might have heard on the news or read in the newspapers. Remember, they were talking some five days later, after there had been a great deal published and broadcast.
Kries said that federal agents had cordoned the area and that government sources had denied they had anything like the observed craft near Socorro. Kries said that there were four depressions, about twelve feet apart, left by the object. He also claimed that there was a large burned patch on the desert and that the exhaust had melted a pop bottle when it took off.
Sometime later, an Iowa UFO researcher, Ralph DeGraw interviewed the two men, but he was not impressed with their story. He said that it seemed to be in conflict with what Zamora had described. He believed their testimony was not trustworthy.
The descriptions offered by the two men, of what was found on the landing site seems to imply that they had been there and seen it. They suggest the area was condoned. They talked about the landing traces left by the craft as it took off, implying they had seen that as well.
However, there is no evidence that any civilians were on the scene that night. Almost all the testimony that was offered by Zamora, Sergeant Sam Chavez of the New Mexico State Police, FBI agent Bynes and Army Captain Richard Holder and some later filtered through Col. Eric Jonckheere seemed to suggest no civilians on the scene that night. The descriptions given by those we know were there based on the documentation differs from what the two new witnesses said. I’m most bothered by the melted pop bottle. No one we know who was on the scene talked about anything like that. Charred cardboard and other trash, yes, but no melted pop bottles.
Their description of the landing marks were nothing that new. It could have been picked up by anyone who had watched the story unfold for the last couple of days. There had been plenty of stories about what was seen.
While it would be nice to have additional witnesses to the case, and these two men claim to have been on the scene, there are many problems with them. Had they left it with having seen something in the sky, as they drove by, it would be one thing, but it seems they were suggesting they were at the landing site. It might be the way the story was written, or it might have been they incorporated the additional information without thought about ramifications. They might just have been trying to give the reporter the impression of something other worldly, but it is clear that neither man had walked the field.
This report doesn’t seem to add much to the Socorro story. It suggests corroboration, but as it stands now, it doesn’t help.