For the last several weeks I have been looking into the symbol that Lonnie Zamora saw on the side of the object he reported. (Note to all: I am not suggesting anything other than Zamora saw an object with a symbol on it. I am not drawing any conclusions about that object’s origin). During the research, I have found a variety of documents, I have received assistance from a variety of investigators in a variety of locations, and I have been able to draw some pretty specific conclusions.
For those interested, I have found about a dozen different designs, four of them in the Project Blue Book files. The controversy seemed to arise when Captain Richard Holder (who lived in Socorro), assigned as the up range commander at the White Sands Missile Range, which is not all that far from Socorro, asked Zamora and others not to reveal the true symbol. His thinking was, and it seems that Jim and Coral Lorenzen of APRO felt the same way, that this could help eliminate hoaxers and confabulators from the witness pool. Oddly, in their APRO Bulletin of May 1964, they print illustrations of the craft with an insignia on the side. If you look carefully, you’ll see that the symbol in one of the illustrations differs from that in the other.
|The first of the symbols from the APRO Bulletin.|
|The second of the symbols from the APRO Bulletin.|
Within days of the sighting, on April 30, 1964, San Antonio Express among other newspapers, complicated the matter in a report that said, “Witnesses to the craft seen by Zamora said it was marked with a red inverted V with a line or several lines horizontally through the V.”
An Associated Press Story, also on April 30 suggested that Hynek was one of those witnesses. They reported, “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.”
Ray Stanford reported that he had recorded on tape, a conversation with Socorro police dispatcher Mike Martinez telling him that Zamora described the design as "...un 'V' invertido, con tres líneas debajo," meaning "an inverted 'V' with three lines beneath it". I don’t have an indication of when that recording was made, but it would seem to confirm that the inverted “V” with the three lines is the correct symbol. Note I said “would seem.”
|Hynek's inverted "V."|
This does nothing to answer the question. Both symbols, or variations of them, were reported in the days that followed Zamora’s sighting. But there is one that appeared in the Blue Book file on the case that might give a hint. Although Hynek, in a letter dated September 7, 1964, drew a symbol that was an inverted “V”, he placed one of the lines above the apex of the “V” and two short lines that did not touch the sides inside the legs of the “V.” Ray Stanford, when he found the letter at the National Archives (in what had to be the Blue Book files) believed that it corroborated the inverted “V” with the three lines through it. I don’t believe it does.
Instead, I look at the symbol that Zamora signed. This is the inverted “V” with the “umbrella” over it, and a perpendicular line into the apex of the “V” and a line under that. Zamora signed this drawing, which to me, suggests that it is the correct symbol. None of the other competing illustrations in the file were signed by Zamora, though there are other representations of something like it.
But there are other documents in the file and these, I believe, give the nod to what I think of as the umbrella symbol. First, is one on a scrap of paper and the notation on the paper suggests that it was drawn within five minutes of the
sighting, whenever that it might have been, and is the correct one. This tiny
scrap of paper, also in the Blue Book file, is also signed by Zamora.
|The first drawing made by Zamora.|
Finally, there is an undated, unsigned report in the file but it seems that it was written weeks or months after the sighting. I base this on the comments section that mentions other sightings after the fact and the analysis of some of the soil samples that had been gathered. This document also shows the “umbrella” symbol, which reinforces the idea that it is the correct one.
|The "umbrella" symbol from the undated report in the Blue Book file.|
Here’s my thinking on this. I can see no reason why a false symbol would be included in the file without a notation that it is a false symbol. Hynek’s illustration, drawn months after the sighting looks more like he was recreating a symbol that he had been told about rather than he was drawing the real thing. Besides, he never saw it himself and because of that, and because it was months later, no one bothered to mention a thing about it.
I will note that I have, in my possession, a copy of a handwritten letter by Ray Stanford dated May 3, 1964, in which he wrote, “I advise not letting out the real (as told in the tape by Mike Martinez) description of symbol on UFO, as if person(s) claim UFO ‘contact’ with an “A” or “A” (here he drew the one with the three bars through it) on side we can suspect a hoax.” (Or, in other words, he is contradicting himself when he now claims that the inverted “V” with the three lines is the real one.)
|Stanford's May 3, 1964 letter to Richard Hall.|
With the symbol signed by Zamora, we have, not only the one reported to have been drawn within minutes of the departure of the craft, but another, apparently created within hours, while the very first investigators were on the scene. It would seem to me that two signed symbols in the file outweigh the contradicted inverted “V” with the three lines. It would seem to me that the correct symbol is the one we thought it was all along.