|Rick Baca holding the illustration of the Socorro craft as|
described by Lonnie Zamora. Photo copyright by
In 1964, Hector Quintanilla was a captain in charge of the Air Force’s UFO investigation known as Project Blue Book. It would become clear that the mission of that project was to explain UFO sightings rather than actually investigating them. On April 24, there was a sighting in Socorro, New Mexico, by police officer Lonnie Zamora that involved a landed craft and two humanoid creatures. Quintanilla would later write in his memoirs, that this was a sighting that he really wanted to explain.
In his unpublished manuscript, Quintanilla described his investigation into the Socorro landing. He wrote that he was determined to solve the case and decided that he had to talk with the base commander at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, not all that far from Socorro, Colonel Garman. According to Quintanilla, Garman told him that he, Quintanilla, could go anywhere and visit any activity on the base that interested him as his orders had cleared him to review the classified projects on the base. Quintanilla said that he spent four days talking to everyone he could find and spent time with the down range controllers at White Sands. Quintanilla wrote, “I left Holloman dejected and convinced that the answer to Zamora’s experience did not originate and terminate at that base.”
|See below for link to the book.|
But that might not have covered the Lunar Lander. Quintanilla knew that some of the research had been carried out at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, so when he returned there, he asked to be briefed on those projects. He learned that it wasn’t operational in 1964. That ruled it out, but the Lunar Lander isn’t quite the same thing as the Lunar Surveyor. Is that ruled out as well?
The published logs showed some sort of test on April 24, was carried out at White Sands. The trouble here is Richard Holder. He was the commander of the Stallion Station at White Sands and his duty location, meaning where he actually worked was closer to Socorro than it was to the White Sands Missile Range main complex which is near Alamogordo. Had the answer been that simple, Holder would have known about a test that had left the range for whatever reason, or he could have learned about it with a few telephone calls. Such information would have been in his report written early on the morning of April 25 after his interview with Zamora but nothing like that is mentioned. Holder was as puzzled as the rest of them.
Skeptics will say that Ockham’s Razor eliminates alien visitation because any explanation that requires the invention of interstellar flight is not a simple explanation. The terrestrial answers are simpler because there isn’t that requirement. But Ockham’s Razor also mentions something about covering all the facts, not just those that are convenient for an explanation. Quintanilla, after all the work he had done, all the explanations he had tried, and all the experimental aircraft and space craft he reviewed, and after all the letters he had written to various governmental agencies and defense contractors who might have has something going on, came up empty.
Quintanilla wrote, “I labeled the case ‘Unidentified’ and the UFO buffs and hobby clubs had themselves a field day… Although I labeled the case ‘Unidentified’ I’ve never been satisfied with that classification. I’ve always felt that too many essential elements of the case were missing. These are 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.”
You can read about this and more in Encounter in the Desert: The Case for Alien Contact at Socorro. The book can be found here: