I now know more about the barrel launching Bruno R (name left out of the original post that Dave Thomas put on his website at:). Tony Bragalia, working with a little information that I supplied and searching through other sources, was able to speak with Bruno in an attempt to corroborate Kevin Ashley’s story at Thomas’s site. Bruno said that he did not remember revealing his involvement to Ashely.
Bruno said that he was, in fact, responsible for the Socorro UFO sighting. He, and a colleague he refused to name, said they were using Ammonium Nitrate, an electric blasting cap, dynamite, a large barrel and a gasoline pan. This was how they launched the barrel, and as we’ve seen, the lift off
Bruno said that both of them were wearing blue jeans and not white coveralls. He said that he wasn’t short, as suggested by Lonnie Zamora’s statements. He also said they had not decorated the barrel in any way so he doesn’t know what the insignia was that Zamora had mentioned.
Interestingly, he said that he and his partner said nothing about this because they were afraid they would be expelled. He said that after graduation, he had left to work in Central America so that he was unavailable to anyone searching for him. He did say, “Now I feel bad for Lonnie.” Which is interesting given the theory that the sighting was a hoax designed to torment Zamora.
My initial reaction is that this doesn’t fit in with the physical evidence that was gathered on the site within hours of the craft lifting off. This included soil samples. Captain Richard T. Holder, according to the Project Blue Book files, took soil samples. He gave these to Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who was on the scene as the Air Force Consultant to Blue Book. This means, of course, that the samples were gathered before the scene was trampled by curiosity seekers. Remember that Dorothy Landoll told me that she and her husband were out there the next day.
According to the Blue Book files, “Laboratory analysis of soil samples disclosed no foreign material… analysis of the burned bush showed no chemicals which would indicate a type of propellant.”
|Lonnie Zamora and various individuals on the|
In the descriptions of the site by those who were there that evening including Zamora, his friend Sergeant Sam Chavez, Holder, FBI agent Arthur Byrnes, several other law enforcement officers and military police, no one said a word about a battered barrel (I am assuming here that the barrel would be battered after being blasted upwards and falling back). They talked of other things they saw including burned bits of cardboard, so they were talking about all sorts of debris.
The landing traces and there were four, were not what you would expect from the launching of the barrel. These were suggested to be landing gear imprints and not the haphazard craters created by denotating dynamite. To those on the scene the impressions looked as if they had been pressed into the ground rather than caused by an explosion, or for that matter, by a shovel.
There are some other problems with this tale. How did Bruno and his partner get away without some kind of vehicle in the area, and the area was searched for tire tracks? Bruno said that they had not decorated the barrel so he doesn’t know where that insignia came from that Zamora had reported. As I say, what happened to that barrel? It was not found.
There are some problems with this confession (well, this interview or conversation… it really wasn’t a confession). It just doesn’t fit in with what we really know based on the interviews conducted on the night of the sighting. It doesn’t fit with the physical evidence collected. It doesn’t fit with the other sightings that were reported to the police prior to Zamora arriving on the scene.
|Hector Quintanilla seated.|
But I did think of one thing. Bruno suggested that maybe Zamora had embellished the sighting, embarrassed by all the commotion it had stirred. Hector Quintanilla, who was the chief of Project Blue Book in 1964, said that he could not find an explanation for he sighting and believed the solution might be hiding in Zamora’s head. He was saying, I think, that there might have been an observation or a bit of knowledge that Zamora had that he didn’t share with the investigators. If Zamora was embellishing the story, then that might be what Quintanilla was thinking.
As I wrote that last sentence, I knew that it would be misinterpreted by many. No, I don’t believe the barrel explanation solves the case. But, if I’m going to be intellectually honest about the investigation, I must look at all sides, and to be fair, I must present all information. I find this tale interesting and slightly disturbing, but I don’t believe this is the solution… which is not to say that Bruno and his pal weren’t blowing up barrels, or that he believes this solves Socorro. It is just one more complication as we attempt to learn what happened back in 1964.