Sunday, November 06, 2016

A Final Analysis of the Socorro Symbol

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.


RRRGroup said...

As I've noted elsewhere, when I talked with Mrs. Zamora several years ago by phone, she said the arc with an arrow underneath it was the symbol her husband saw and drew.

I accepted her account, but then the Ray Stanford symbol began to be reported, and recently I wondered, as I mentioned to you, Kevin, that maybe Mrs. Zamora was keeping the red-herring symbol alive, in deference to her husband.

I've since come to the same conclusion as you, that the arc over the arrow is the symbol Officer Zamora saw and drew.

This is one of the reasons that I discount Ray Stanford's "reminiscences" in his oddly titled book. He merely muddies the waters rather than clarifying them.


Ben Moss said...

This statement, By Kevin, is not valid. Just because it is not an exact match, it is far closer than the created symbol (by Holder and/or FBI agent Byrnes), and is no reason to disregard it.
"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."
With all of the documented evidence of the inverted v with 3 lines, many are relying on a drawing, not made in Lonnie's handwriting yet signed by him probably under duress, as all the proof needed. That is inherently a false assumption, and although to some extent, all of the symbol knowledge is based on many assumptions, I believe the evidence is clear as to what the symbol actually was. Marano's papers where not fiction, and even though not in the original Blue Book files, they document the inverted v with 3 bars precisely, and the newspapers also printed that symbol, again not out of thin air.
So in closing, basing the symbol entirely on a scrap of very unofficial paper that was probably hastily torn from the corner of some newspaper, with 2 different sets of handwriting, made while in the presence of Holder and FBI agent Byrnes, is not very convincing and lends itself to the fact of an officail obscuring of the real symbol, an inverted v with 3 bars. The symbol suspiciously is close to the Astro Power symbol, made for a company who only created software, and looked at by the Blue Book personel, and possibly used to create the fake umbrella drawing.

KRandle said...

Ben -

There is little documented evidence for the inverted "V" symbol. There are two handwritten examples that are not part of the "official" Blue Book file, but seem to be about the same thing. This means that it looks as if someone wrote it out in cursive, possible taking notes during a telephone conversation, and the copied it over carefully. It seems to be based on a newspaper report (or should I say newspaper reports) but not on anything that Lonnie Zamora said.

We know, based on the testimony taken at the time that Zamora drew the symbol on a scrap of paper and that paper is in the file, with Zamora's signature on it. There are two other examples of the symbol in the file signed by Zamora. There is no indication that this is the faked symbol, which, given the nature of the files, would have been noted if that was true. There is report, apparently written by Major William Connor that contains the "umbrella" symbol in it... and I will note, apropos of nothing at all, that there is a handwritten note on that document identifying it for us. We have the illustration made in the city attorney's office with Zamora giving instructions that have the "umbrella" symbol on it.

I can counter your argument that Marano's Blue Book papers contain the "umbrella" symbol and there is the APRO Bulletin that uses it. Zamora signed the umbrella symbol illustrations and apparently never endorsed the other symbol. There is no evidence that Zamora was under duress in the city attorney's office when he cooperated in the creation of Baca's drawing.

If there is a faked symbol, it clearly is the inverted "V". The documentation is for the umbrella symbol on this.

Bombastic Bill said...

Where is Kirkland AFB? is that supposed to be Kirtland AFB?

Brian Bell said...

I came to the same conclusion some time ago but based only on the illustrations drawn and signed by Zamora. He didn't seem the kind of police officer to authorize falsified documents with his own signature.

Kevin's done a nice job sorting it all out.

Based on this analysis, seems to me the UFO community needs to drop "the other" symbol and stick with the one Kevin has concluded is the real one.

Stanford can claim anything he wants, including having photos of the craft, but that's just nonsense as clearly he would have released them by now if they existed. Is Stanford just confused, suffering from illness? I don't know, his memory seems to have failed him and much of what he has stated is "factual" really doesn't jive with the established evidence.

KRandle said...


It's down the street from Kirtland, about two blocks and a left turn...

This just proves I simply can't proof my own stuff because I know what it is supposed to say as opposed to what it does say.

Brian Bell said...

Given the symbol is likely the umbrella image, just one speculation on interpretation might be the dome on top is the craft, the arrow the VTOL upward lift, and the line below the ground.

This isn't far fetched. The Baca drawing, if accurate, seems to be a hollow elliptical craft with booster underneath. The legs looking fixed and rather earthly by design.

If so, then perhaps the symbol is a stylized VTOL logo. As stated before, unconventional VTOL designs had been patented long before the 1960's. Astro Kinetics being just one (which disappeared weeks after demonstrating a design to the military).

Also Nathan Price was an inventor for Lockheed aircraft. On January 23, 1953 he filed for a patent for a VTOL flying saucer. It was not granted until September 10, 1963 (patent number 3,103,324).

It's US law that the military can deny or withhold patents and use them for national defense instead.

I wouldn't be surprised if this was a trial run of an enlarged VTOL prototype. Ironically even today Chinese engineers are still playing with such concepts. The photo of the craft in their article below has an uncanny appearance to Baca's drawing given a long, wide, double fanned VTOL with fixed landing gear.

Robert Sc said...

I would like to put forward a proposal that the two images (Image 1 and Image 2) being discussed here are in fact one and the same. I will put this in the form of a discussion on the telephone.

Person 1 has seen the “umbrella” image, which I will call Image 1. Person 2 has not seen the image.

Person 1 says: “The symbol has the form of an inverted letter V with a line above it and two short lines below it”. Person 2, without asking for clarification, then draws Image 2.


Ben Moss said...

It was no VTOL prototype. A little research will show you that there was NOTHING flying out of anywhere, no craft of this type existed, and the craft shot a blue non propellant flame, also something that our VTOL did not use. The FBI,Air Force and Project Blue Book all looked everywhere and all companies said 'not ours'. Holder was the White Sands up-range commander and would have known of anything flying out of there. It was not a man made craft despite those who just assume it was. And I still do not think that the umbrella symbol is correct, but that is a moot point. The craft itself was never tied to any black project, not to Bell or Hughes, nor any of the bases that are nearby.If Blue Book had found it was they would have announced it and closed the case. Instead, it is still classified as an 'unknown'.

David Rudiak said...

(1 of 2) As discussed much before, the evidence is seriously conflicting, not lopsided one way, and reasonable people can disagree. As Ben Moss aptly puts it, the “real” symbol is a moot point, since it doesn’t affect the other, much more important aspects of the case that still defy conventional explanation.

However, I don’t consider your analysis arguing for the “umbrella” symbol to be a “final analysis”, and hardly puts “the controversy to rest”. Again, the evidence supporting the inverted V with bars:

1. Hynek ALWAYS maintained that is what an inverted V (and never mentioned the “umbrella” symbol). He described it INTERNALLY in his initial 8-page BB report (, also saying the inverted V was the SAME symbol Zamora had drawn for Holder “I have not stressed the insignia Zamora reported since he drew exactly the same thing which he had drawn for Capt Holder... the results... were virtually the same as the information given to Capt. Holder. [when questioned on details about the object] The object was egg-shaped, had the inverted V insignia on it...” This contradicts: “There is nothing in the official files to suggest that this symbol is the correct one.” While Hynek didn’t mention anything about bars here, in other Hynek statements (below), he was obviously referring to what he repeatedly called the “inverted V” symbol that also had the bars.

2. Of course, there was also Hynek’s INTERNAL BB letter with the drawing of the inverted V symbol 5 months later. In that letter with drawing, Hynek asked BB to do a search for a project symbol that might match. No point in asking them to search if Hynek believed that was the wrong symbol. Hynek also gave the inverted V (with a bar or bars) publicly right after interviewing Zamora, to Walter Shrode in a radio interview and to newspaper reporters. That description was WIDELY carried. The only explanation I can think of for Hynek describing the inverted V symbol BOTH internally and publicly as being the real one is if Zamora lied to him. But why would Zamora do that?

3. Hynek’s drawing is definitely of an inverted V with 3 bars. Also contrary to what you wrote, it does indeed resemble an AP newspaper attribution to Zamora (but perhaps indirectly through someone like Hynek) from April 29: “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.” Hynek drawing: Longer bar at the top a little above inverted V, two shorter bars within V, one in the middle, one towards the bottom.

4. Moody in his BB report said when they contacted Holder, Holder claimed not to know anything about the symbol, which was a lie (or a very BIG misunderstanding). We know Holder was the first person to interview Zamora in depth, know from various sources like the Lorenzens that Holder had Zamora change the real symbol as a ploy to screen for hoaxers (both Zamora and Holder admitted this to them), and that 2 of the signed “umbrella” symbols were notated by Holder (his handwriting). Denying knowledge to Moody/Connor suggests Holder was deliberately not cooperating in full with BB, since he could easily have cleared things up at that time, but played dumb instead. Perhaps Holder was distrustful of BB and the Air Force and how they might deal with the case, which Holder, we now know, 100% believing Zamora. This may also bear on the umbrella symbol being drawn by Zamora on that slip of paper (item #9 below).

5. It is unclear if Connor/Moody pressed Zamora about the symbol. C/M might simply have accepted the already drawn Zamora/Holder umbrella symbol, rather than getting Zamora to independently describe it. Perhaps Zamora clammed up with C/M because he didn’t like or trust them (with Moody known to be very hostile to the subject matter and UFO witnesses from his BB writings). Perhaps this is why they asked Holder about it, but Holder didn’t cooperate either.

David Rudiak said...

(2 of 2)
6. If Zamora years afterward stuck to the umbrella symbol, consider the possibility that he had promised Holder to not talk about the real one with non-officials and he stuck to his agreement—perhaps just his personal code of honor. According to Ray Stanford, Zamora’s daughter told him she couldn’t get her father to talk about the incident ever. Zamora was highly reluctant to discuss the case even with family.

7. The Baca “umbrella” symbol on his drawing of the craft was NOT publicly censored, since the SAME drawing was published by the Lorenzens in their May 1964 APRO Bulletin. If Hynek had the umbrella Baca symbol whited out for publication in the Socorro newspaper, consider the possibility (items #1-3 above) that Hynek believed it to be wrong and didn’t want misinformation published, NOT that he thought it was the “secret” one. Clearly Hynek the entire time thought the other, inverted V symbol was the correct one. Zamora, according to his agreement with Holder, should only discuss the real symbol with official investigators (like Hynek) and was not free to discuss it with reporters or civilian investigators. This was clear in his various statements, such as refusing to discuss the inverted V symbol with Shrode or any symbol with the Lorenzens. The Socorro newspaper likewise reported Zamora stating he was instructed not to talk about it publicly.

8. The only symbol mentioned in the media right afterward was the inverted V one. State policeman Chavez was quoted saying it on April 28 and we know Chavez was the first person out at the site and saw Zamara draw the symbol on a piece of paper. (bearing on item #9 below) Stanford wrote every policeman he talked to who spoke to Zamora right after said Zamora described the inverted V. Stanford even got dispatcher Mike Martinez on tape saying this. (And although it is indeed difficult to understand, Martinez said it not once, but twice on the tape, quoting Zamora in Spanish, if you listen carefully.) This means if this was the wrong symbol, both Chavez and Martinez would also have to be in on the deception, but is there any evidence of that? Even Zamora was quoted giving this description in newspaper stories of April 29 And Walter Shrode of KSRC radio brought it up with Zamora in his interview, perhaps on April 26. So where did Shrode get the description? Don’t know, but wouldn’t be surprised if Shrode also spoke to other Socorro police like Stanford did. April 29 UPI wirephotoed an artist’s drawing of the egg-shaped object with inverted V with bars symbol on it, said to be based on six witness descriptions. (maybe Hynek, Shrode, and various police again?)

9. The “umbrella” symbol on that slip of paper drawn by Zamora still exists and was again notated by Holder. It was examined by Ray Stanford and James Fox when they visited the National Archives. Unlike usual reproductions, there is a backside to the paper and seems to come from something like a sociology magazine (according to Stanford). Where did Zamora get it? Would he pick off some wind-blown, weathered piece of paper off the desert floor to draw on? I doubt it. Would he have such reading material in his police cruiser? Double doubt it. Seems more likely he would draw on a fresh piece of paper he would have had in his car, like his ticket or log book. Then there is the fact that Chavez, the first to see whatever symbol Zamora drew at that time, was publicly 4 days later claiming it was the inverted V symbol. Again, this can only be explained if Chavez and the rest of the police like Martinez were also told to promulgate a fake symbol. I don’t know of any evidence to support that.

I still think that if you can’t at least provide a plausible explanation for Hynek’s consistent support of the inverted V both internally (where he had no reason to lie) and publicly, then the matter

KRandle said...

David -

Heard it all, seen it all, and am unpersuaded by it all... nothing new here and unless or until there is something new, the matter is concluded.

Brian Bell said...

@ Ben

Consider this. BB was a cover but not for alien spacecraft but radical new designs using hitherto unknown energy sources. VTOLs were designed during WW2 and even a few years before that.

Just because the BB end of the USAF looked for examples from Bell, Hughes, or other aviation companies, if it was classified so there's no reason why those "in the know" would have reason to tell the world, the public, BB researchers, Zamora, or even a USAF officer brought in to investigate.

Not everyone is told everything about classified projects. If they were, there would be no classified projects or black budgets supporting them.

It's always amazing to hear people rationalize that no such technology could possibly exist because we would all know about it by now. Really? Do you know exactly what a trillion dollars was spent on at Skunkworks? Is the flight technology they are working on now always made public, even now? No.

It's quite plausible to assume someone else in the know would decide to just let this one play out as unknown. The bonus would be the project would remain classified and people would believe it may be an alien spaceship which just goes toward helping the project remain secret and easily dismissed.

There clearly wasn't a national security threat in this sighting; military forces were not put on alert or mobilized for war. Why? Because someone on the inside really knew the truth but again, it was classified.

Hard to believe people still want to explain away something unknown by explaining it was aliens which is just another unknown. You can't explain one unknown with another unknown.

David Rudiak said...


To keep things simple, just explain why Hynek ALWAYS supported the inverted V symbol after talking to Zamora. That IS in BB files, twice at least, and is strong evidence for the inverted V being the correct symbol (unless Zamora, for reasons unknown, deliberately misled Hynek).

Clearly Hynek was still promoting it as the real symbol in his handwritten letter to BB 5 months later, asking them to try to find a match with some project. There was no reason for Hynek to do this unless he believed this to be the real symbol even at this later date. I am unaware of Hynek ever promoting the other, "umbrella" symbol as being the real one.

Maybe the matter is concluded for you, but unless you can satisfactorily answer why Hynek stuck with the inverted V symbol in internal documents not meant for public consumption, in my mind the matter is far from concluded.

Ben Moss said...

David I agree with you 100%. Hynek definitely stuck to the inverted v with 3 lines. I see no reasonable explanation for the umbrella symbol, just the reliance on a scrap of paper with Lonnie's signature and somebody else's drawing. I believe the evidence points to the inverted v across the board. This will be debated forever but I am sticking to the /\ with 3 bars as that's where the most evidence points.

Ben Moss said...

Brian, as we showed in our Socorro MUFON presentation, in 2010 a craft designed for landing on foreign body's, got 10 feet off of the ground and BLEW UP. There is absolutely no way that we would still be wasting millions of $$ on a not safe propellant type of craft when in 1964 there was this craft with a non propellant engine, and a silent engine. Hector Q. was given top secret clearance and allowed to go ANYWHERE on any base to look in ANY hangar. Also, Holder was the up range commander at White Sands, where any black craft would have flown out of, and he said nothing was flying that day. Plus, there was no VTOL that could be that far off base, with nobody tracking it, performing as this craft did. I cannot think of any 1964 technology that has not been released and seen and no evidence that such tech is in current flying man made objects. The is ZERO evidence for this being any type of man made craft. It is easy to default to that since many cannot accept that this was an off world object, but that is what the evidence points to. We did not nor ever have used 5 foot tall pilots in any black project.

Neal Foy said...

Brian Bell said: "You can't explain one unknown with another unknown."

Yet you persist in trying to do exactly that Brian. If you can get evidence that a craft that fits was actually produced then it becomes known. Even better if you can link it to the symbol Zamora.

Until then pot meet kettle.

KRandle said...

David and Ben -

Like you I am unable to attach illustrations in the comments section here. As you can see, I have made my reply in a new post with the new evidence.

KRandle said...

David -

I would caution you to avoid the word "ALWAYS," because this hyperbole has a way of coming back to bite you in the butt...

As for myself, I should avoid the word "Final" because each time I believe I have posted the last column on something, it has a way of rearing its head again.

Ben Moss said...

In a short search in the Blue Book files I DID find a reference to the inverted v symbol. Here it is:

Ben Moss said...

A VTOL would have showed up on radar. All of the radar in this area did not show anything flying in that time frame. A man made VTOL would have showed up on radar.

Ben Moss said...

Blue Book link about radar targets:

KRandle said...

Ben -

As noted in the new article, this is actually an Associated Press story and is a teletype from them. You'll note the "Night Lead UFOs" which tells the newsroom about the timing and topic of the story and you'll see the dateline which tells you it is from Socorro on April 29 and is an AP story. In other words, though it is a teletype, it is a newspaper story collected as information for the Socorro file, but was not part of the Air Force investigation.