I was going to provide these answers to Lance and purrgurrl in the comments section but they really are a little too complex for that. Besides, there are a couple of other points to be made as well, so I thought I would expand the conversation a little bit.
First, for purrgurrl, I will note that the point about Zamora’s glasses is irrelevant. According to the timeline, and according to what Zamora told investigators, after he had made a close approach to the object, after he had seen the two figures close to the object and they had disappeared, the object, whatever it was, began to roar. Zamora said that he could feel the heat, and then turned to run, fearing an explosion. It was at that point, as he bumped into the rear of the police car, he lost his glasses. The point is that the majority of his observations, and in fact all the important points of the observation, were made while he was still wearing his glasses.
Second, is Lance’s point about one of the sentences in my rebuttal to the idea that this was a hoax created by local college students. Particularly, Lance objected to the line, "There were other witnesses who called the police station as the object passed overhead."
He then added, “No. There was an unnamed person on the phone who SAID they saw what you claim.”
He then added, “No. There was an unnamed person on the phone who SAID they saw what you claim.”
This is splitting a fine hair here, and I had reported in the book, Encounters in the Desert, and in other places, that there was a problem with these people. Three of them had called into the police station but Nep Lopez, the police dispatcher didn’t take their names nor did anyone follow up on the telephone calls after Zamora’s report. We know about this because Captain Richard Holder, who was on scene literally within minutes (well, maybe an hour and twenty minutes) mentioned it in his report written about one in the morning on April 25, or, within hours of the sighting. These three people mentioned they had seen a flame in the sky and called the police prior to Zamora’s report but said nothing about a huge balloon envelop or some sort of apparatus (basket?) hanging beneath it.
So, yes, there were THREE unidentified people who SAID they saw something in the sky. And there were the Colorado tourists who told Opal Grinder, the service station manager, they had seen something so close that they believed it was going to strike their car. Before Lance jumps in here, let me point out that we don’t know who the tourists were and the story is what, second hand, at best. All this does is support the idea that something was in the sky and others beside Zamora saw it, whatever the source of it might have been but we don’t know who they are and I would ignore it completely except for that note in Holder’s report.
Finally, Lance wrote that my point about the flame being upside down was poor, but I think he might have misinterpreted what I meant. The flame of a hot air balloon points up, into the envelop, to keep the hot air, well, hot. If the flame pointed down, into the basket, it would burn the people riding there. If it wasn’t pointed down, then there would have been no way for it to have burned the bush and the surrounding vegetation, which was observed by Sam Chavez, among others who visited the site after the object, craft, balloon, hoax, whatever, had lifted off.
And I wanted to get into the hoax idea a little deeper because I don’t think this had been thought through completely. In what might be considered a red herring, we’re told that Zamora was enticed toward the landing site by a young speeder. There are two problems with this. First is if Zamora hadn’t broken off the chase to investigate the roar that he thought might have been a dynamite shack explosion, he wouldn’t have gotten to the site of the landing. Instead, he would be taken away from this as he chased down the speeder.
But let’s say the speeder’s job was to lure Zamora to a point where he would be able to see the object on the ground. Then, we must wonder if Zamora would have stopped or would he have continued the chase. If the speeder stopped near the landing site, then Zamora would have had the name of the speeder and that would have led police, the Air Force and the FBI to that second witness who then would have had to lie, or admit the hoax. Either way, the hoax would fail at this point. (Do I need to point out that lying to the FBI is apparently a crime, though I don’t know when that law was passed… Okay, I looked it up and it seems that the law, as used today, was adopted in 1948.)
The point here is that there were too many ways for all this to fail because the object, whatever it was, had to be on the ground already. In Tony Bragalia’s scenario, it was not a hot air balloon but another type of balloon which wouldn’t have created the roar. That had to be created by something else because without
the roar, Zamora would not have driven to the scene of the landing. Of course,
for it to have been some other type of balloon you have to wonder what induced
three people to call the police about seeing the flame in the sky.
|Hot air balloon with the passenger below|
the burners which pump hot air into
the balloon envelop.
All I’m really saying here is that the hot air balloon explanation fails because the balloon would have had to move into the wind, the huge balloon envelop would have been quite distinctive, the flame would have pointed up, into the balloon envelop rather than down to burn the bush and soil and it wouldn’t have left the landing indentations that were found.
I’m saying that Bragalia’s hoax scenario fails because there were simply too many moving parts to make it work, his theory provides for no explanation for the telephone calls into the police, or the tourist car from Colorado, he provides no names of the participants and no explanation on how all of this was accomplished. The statements he gathered were from those who weren’t there at the time and are based on second-hand testimony at best but do nothing to validate the hoax claim. The single first-hand testimony comes from an anonymous source who really admitted to nothing.
But, do not misunderstand what I’m saying here. I’m not saying that this proves the landing was of an extraterrestrial craft, only that there is no solid explanation for the sighting. There might be a reasonable terrestrial explanation but to date that hasn’t been offered. As I have said in the past and I’m sure I will be repeating in the future, this case is the very definition of “unidentified.” We don’t know what it was.
I agree with your last paragraph but the fact that three different calls came in (all of which the cops failed to get a name for--perhaps because the parties would not give one) underlines what I was suggesting.
Calling in multiple times to help sell the hoax is EXACTLY the kind of thing that hoaxers might do.
Thanks for a great post, Kevin.
As Kevin summed up "there were simply too many moving parts to make [the hoax theory] work.." So I would conclude that the hoax theory is not even plausible.
I shared with Tony Braglia a few emails from my best friend, a hydrologist, who graduated from NMIMT in the 1970's. He made the following points that I thought were significant:
1. The hills around NMIMT were routinely used for testing of weapons/devices by the Army and the CIA. (The CIA involvement was mentioned to my friend in connection with a few tests in which he participated as a grunt-level helper.)
2. There was what was called a "bone yard" of equipment used in the testing. This bone yard was well-known to NMIMT students and was the subject of night-time raids that involved pretty incredible physical and legal risks. On one occasion, the students stole a small Army missile and managed to launch it, with no idea of what the consequences might be.
3. The NMIMT student body was an extremely bright, extremely bored bunch, with a male-to-female ratio of about 10:1. It was indeed Prank City. My friend knows nothing whatsoever about the Zamora incident, but he does have first-hand knowledge of some pretty incredible pranks - things way beyond anything I ever heard about during my years at a more sedate university.
My guess would be that the Zamora incident was indeed a hoax, but probably one considerably more sophisticated than a candle-powered balloon. My friend concluded by saying he had never considered the hoax angle for the Zamora incident - but now that he has, "It makes perfect sense."
"My guess would be that the Zamora incident was indeed a hoax, but probably one considerably more sophisticated than a candle-powered balloon." Well that opinion goes against Stirling Colgate's matter-of-fact statement ('admission' almost) that it was indeed a simple affair. So now the hoax proponents have their own conundrum. Either Zamora was the worlds worst witness, or something very strange happened that day.
@Lance Payette: your 1-3 do not require a hoax. Zamora might have come across such an "experiment" all by himself. We can eliminate the Byzantine complexity of the hoax as we no longer need it.
If Colgate and all the other "witnesses" are hoaxing anyone, it is AJB, by claiming this simple matter was their hoax.
There was no "experiment" As, apparently, few here know, Quintinella was given a top secret clearance to go to all of the bases in the area to search for this craft or black project. The Amy, CIA, FBI and Joint Chief of Staff all inquired with every single company or base about any experiments or craft flying at this time, and all said not ours. There is so much more, but since none of the detractors can back up their opinions and are making things up on the fly to support their made up stories, there is no point in leading these horses to water as they refuse to drink. Such is the state of Ufology, that when a very good evidential case cannot be explained, the debunkers resort to fiction, ignoring the facts.
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