We have discussed the Socorro case a couple of times here recently. When Ben Moss and Tony Angiola appeared on the Different Perspective radio show, they suggested that Lonnie Zamora had not said that he had seen creatures or aliens or figures. He had merely said that he had only seen two pairs of white coveralls in the distance, suggesting a humanoid shape but he couldn’t make out a head or facial features.
|Socorro, New Mexico. Photo copyright by Kevin Randle.|
This seemed odd to me because nearly every account I had read talked about the humanoid creatures. That was one of the most important features of the case, yet it seemed that Zamora might never have said such a thing. This was one of the more recent findings.
What I learned, however, doesn’t seem to support this. Coral Lorenzen, who interviewed Zamora two days after the sighting, wrote in Encounters with UFO Occupants, (published in 1976) “…and spotted what appeared to be a light colored car standing on end and two humanoid figures beside it (he said they looked about the size of young boys) about 600 feet away. One of the figures seemed to look toward Zamora as if startled by his presence.”
Timothy Good, in Above Top Secret, wrote, “Eventually he came across what he thought was an upturned car and two occupants, both dressed in coveralls.”
In The UFO Encyclopedia (1991) compiled and edited by John Spencer, it was reported, “…a shining egg-shaped object and two people who were obviously startled at the appearance of his police cruiser…. The ‘people’ apparently got back into the object which took off immediately…”
The same description, that is, people, was used by Robert Emenegger in UFO’s Past Present & Future (1974). He wrote, “‘I [Zamora] saw two pair of coveralls.’ One person seems to have turned and looked straight at Zamora’s car.”
Jacques Vallee in Dimensions (1998) wrote, “…Lonnie Zamora, who reported two small beings, dressed in white…”
Curtis Peoples in his Watch the Skies (1995), wrote, “…he was looking at the two figures, he did not notice ‘any particular shape or possibly any hats or headgear.’ They looked normal in shape, ‘but possibly they were small adults or large kids.’”
Jerome Clark in his massive UFO Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition (1998), wrote, “Then he ‘saw two figures in what resembled white coveralls… The figures were small ‘maybe the size of boys,’ and from a distance looked ‘normal in shape.’”
Even Don Keyhoe who nearly always rejected accounts of the alien creatures wrote in Aliens from Space (1973), “Beside it [the UFO], unaware of his presence were two humanoids dressed in silvery coveralls.”
And in what might be the best example, the Albuquerque Tribune (April 27, 1964) reported, “Moving closer he [Zamora] saw two figures moving about outside the vehicle. One looked directly at him.”
But now we learn that Zamora allegedly never talked about figures or beings or anything like that. He just talked about seeing these white coveralls which suggested a human shape but he couldn’t see a head because of the brightness of the surroundings.
He was quoted in the Albuquerque Journal of April 27, that “He [Zamora] saw what appeared to be a pair of white coveralls, but whether there was anything in them he did not know.”
Ronald Story in The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters (2001) tended to confirm this. He wrote, “He [Zamora] was quoted by Look (1966) magazine saying: ‘All I could see from that far away was what looked like two sets of white coveralls beside the object. I couldn’t see any features.”
Is there a way to resolve this?
What we need to do is look what was said in the hours and the days after the sighting. Fortunately there is a good record of this not only from the Air Force Project Blue Book files but also from some of those who investigated the case. Take, for example, what Coral Lorenzen wrote in the May 1964 APRO Bulletin. She, along with her husband, Jim, interviewed Zamora less than 48 hours after the sighting. While it generally agrees with what she wrote years later in her book, the Bulletin is much more descriptive. According to her, “… he [Zamora] said he hadn’t seen any ‘little men.’ Mrs. L [Lorenzen] pointed out he had told reporters for the first wire story that he had. He then admitted he had, and described them. He said they looked like ‘young boys’ or small adults…”
In fact, if we look at the Project Blue Book file, we learn that the descriptions really aren’t quite as vague as has been recently suggested. Even the Project Blue Book file suggests that Zamora saw something more than just white coveralls. In a letter dated May 13, 1964, signed by Colonel Eric T. Jonckheere and sent to the Headquarters, USAF (SAFOI), it was noted, “The only time that Mr. Zamora saw the two people in white coveralls…”
Also in the Blue Book file is a report apparently prepared by Major William Connor, who had come down from Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. Quoting Zamora, he wrote, “The only time I saw these two persons was when I stopped…”
There is another document in the file, but there is no name associated with who took the report. It is apparently a transcription of an early interview with Zamora but there is no date on it. According to this report, Zamora said, “Saw two people in white coveralls close to the object.”
TSgt David Moody, the Blue Book investigator sent out from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in his report, wrote, “…and the two things (described as coveralls) were no longer visible.”
Where does all this confusion come from? It seems that those investigating in some sort of official capacity were telling Zamora not to reveal certain things. According to the May 1964 APRO Bulletin, “Terry Clarke called to tell them [the Lorenzens] that he had called and talked to Zamora and that Zamora said that the FBI man [Art Byrnes] had cautioned him not to talk about the ‘little men’ to newsmen.”
To make it worse, Dr. J. Allen Hynek made a trip to New Mexico in the days that followed. He produced a long, detailed report about his trip, including his interviews with Zamora and other police and military officers (not to mention other details such as a flat tire on the drive to Socorro, that he stayed in a hotel and that he paid for a couple of meals he had with some of the other officials). Although he mentions the symbol seen by Zamora, one of the things that Holder had told him to keep to himself, he apparently didn’t mention seeing any sort of living beings around the craft, no matter how vague that description might have been. In other words, Hynek said nothing about that.
And there is this from the Dayton Daily News. David Moody (the Air Force representative sent from Wright-Pat) reported, “There were no signs of life around it; but when he approached it, the object rose and flew away slowly until it faded from sight…”We can analyze all this and come to a conclusion based on the information. The timeline of Zamora’s statements is helpful. In the beginning, that is on Friday evening, he told the official investigators, both civilian and military, and apparently some reporters that he had seen something more than just bright, white coveralls. The Blue Book file reflects this in the notes that were taken that evening or the next day and in the reports that were filed. People, persons, boys or young adults is used to describe what Zamora saw. Other reports derived from there or what Zamora said, suggest that he had seen something more than white coveralls hovering over the landscape.
The evolution of Zamora’s descriptions can be seen in the newspaper articles that appeared just a few days after the sighting. The Albuquerque Journal on the Monday following the sighting makes this evolution clear when they reported, as noted above, “…a pair of white coveralls, but whether there was anything in them he did not know.” That sort of thing also appeared in the Look magazine report on the sighting.
The exception that sort of proves the rule is the article published in the Socorro newspaper on Tuesday, April 28. It said, “The two persons appeared to be dressed in white coveralls… He did not take notice of headgear worn by the two short men.” But the information was collected on Friday, April 24. The newspaper only published on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the first chance to print anything was on Tuesday, April 28.
The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that Zamora had gotten a much better look at the images near the craft and that he told those who interviewed him first more about them. After the FBI agent on the scene, Art Byrnes, suggested it might be better if he didn’t talk about the beings the story changed into the white coveralls (pun intended). Given that we have the reports from the Blue Book file on the case, given what Coral Lorenzen reported in the APRO Bulletin, and given the change in the story over the few days after the event, it can be said that Zamora did see something more than coveralls. The evidence proves he got a better look than some believe he did. There were creatures or entities or beings near the craft and not just the flying coveralls.