It is time to put the controversy about the symbol Lonnie Zamora saw to rest. The preponderance of the evidence suggests that Zamora saw what I have begun to call the “umbrella” symbol. I say that based on the “official” Project Blue Book files, what those investigators, the civilians that include Coral and Jim Lorenzen and Ray Stanford and even Rick Baca said in the days after the sighting and what was printed in some of the newspapers and in the APRO Bulletin.
Although I have gone over this before, I will repeat it here. In the minutes after the sighting, according to the testimony given on the night of April 24, 1964, Zamora scribbled the symbol on a scrap of paper. That scrap is in the Project Blue Book files and it was signed by Lonnie Zamora. There have been suggestions that it isn’t the original because Zamora would have drawn it on something else or that it was inserted into the file later. The only truth we have here is that the scrap of paper is in the Blue Book file and that Lonnie Zamora signed it. It is clear from the deterioration of the tape that it had been in the file for a very long time. The testimony tells us that there would be a piece of paper and there is one. There is no evidence to suggest it is anything other than what it purports to be.
Also contained in the “official” Project Blue Book files is a drawing by Zamora of the craft with the symbol on the side. It is of the umbrella symbol and once again, Zamora signed it. This too argues for the authenticity of the umbrella symbol.
There is a report in the file which seems to have been prepared by Major William Connor, who was the Public Relations Officer at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque and who escorted Hynek around New Mexico when he made his investigation in the days that followed. He is reporting on his interview with Zamora. On page three of that report, he included an illustration of the umbrella symbol.
There was a suggestion that Zamora not reveal the real nature of the symbol so that if others reported seeing a symbol it could be cross-checked without fear of contamination. Almost everyone thought this was a good idea but the fact is, the symbol was revealed within a couple of months when the Lorenzens published it in the pages of the May issue of their APRO Bulletin. The symbol they published was the umbrella symbol. To be fair, they also had a different symbol in that same issue, though it vaguely resembles the umbrella symbol.
There is another source for the umbrella symbol. Ricky Baca, a teenager in 1964, drew the craft along with the umbrella symbol on it within two weeks of the sighting. It was ordered by the city attorney whose legal secretary was Baca’s father. The thinking was that a youngster such as Baca would be free of any bias that would influence his illustration. Baca and Zamora sat in the city attorney’s office for two hours working on the sketch. Baca took the job seriously and altered the sketch and the elements in it according to Zamora’s instructions. It was later published in the Socorro newspaper but the symbol had been “whited out” on instructions by Hynek, according to one source. However, Baca retained the sketch and a picture of him holding it many years later was published in the Socorro newspaper and the umbrella symbol is clearly visible on it.
Finally, as I have noted, in a letter to Dick Hall, Ray Stanford himself confirmed that the umbrella symbol was the correct one. Stanford included, in his letter to Hall, a sketch of the “fake” symbol, which at that time, just days after he returned from Socorro, was the inverted “V” with the three lines through it.
This inverted “V” symbol was the first published by the national media. In a newspaper story on April 30, that symbol is shown. If, as has been documented by not only the Lorenzens, but also Captain Richard Holder, that the real symbol had been withheld, then how did the newspapers obtain it only days after the sighting. There is nothing in the official files to suggest that this symbol is the correct one.
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, in a handwritten letter on September 7, included an illustration of the symbol. While it is of an inverted “V” and it does contain three horizontal lines, it does not actually resemble the symbol as suggested by others. There is a line above the apex of the “V” and two lines between the legs but that do not touch them. To the discerning eye, it can’t really be called a match.
The best evidence for this symbol seems to be two pieces of paper found in the files that had been retained by former Blue Book officer, Carmon Marano. The story of these files was explored in my interview with him on November 2 and can been accessed on YouTube here:
This information was not part of the official Socorro file and they don’t seem to have been filed with that information. In other words, as David Rudiak tells us about other information from that same source, we don’t know who drew them, who made the notes or when those notes were written. Rudiak suggested that given the wording, which is close to that from the newspaper articles, someone might have been jotting down this information from that source. It might not be based on testimony from those directly involved, but part of the deception of the faked symbol.
Ray Stanford also suggests that Mike Martinez, who was a police dispatcher, said, in Spanish in a recorded interview, that the inverted “V” with the three lines was the correct one. That interview, recorded in the police station, is difficult to understand because of the background noise. I guess the question here is if Martinez was sticking to the script of not revealing the real symbol or if he thought he knew what it was.
As I review all the documentation, all the testimony that is available, everything that was in Carmon Marano’s copy of the Blue Book file, the obvious conclusion is that the umbrella symbol is the correct one. There is nothing in the file to suggest that those signed by Zamora were faked, it is clear that those who spoke to Zamora in the hours after the event all were told of the umbrella symbol, Zamora himself said that he had drawn the symbol on a scrap of paper and that scrap is in the file showing the umbrella symbol and there is nothing in the official file other than Hynek’s loose interpretation of the inverted “V” to suggest otherwise. Given all this, I say that the correct symbol is the umbrella symbol… let the arguments flow.