|Lonnie Zamora and others on the landing site in 1964.|
In one of the most outrageous statements about the Socorro UFO landing case, Tony Bragalia, in his latest assault on the case wrote:
Sergeant Zamora was not “Saint Lonnie of Socorro”. Many people over the years have elevated this man to a place of undeserving virtue. Dave Thomas (an employee of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and President of New Mexicans for Science and Reason) decided to set up an intranet website expressly for staff and alumni of the College. The purpose was to create a venue where people could place comments on the Socorro UFO event. It was hoped that such comments would provide further understanding of what happened that day.
Incredibly, the site generated several posts from those who had personal knowledge about the occurrence and about Zamora, people who were there in the 1960s. And what they said was revealing:
It should be noted here that Dave Collis, formerly of the College’s Energetic Materials Research Center and a student in the 1960s at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, told me in no uncertain terms that Lonnie was often seen drinking beers at the local tavern and was not averse to tipping the elbow. Others interviewed have indicated that Zamora (who worked for eight years at the College as a mechanic before becoming an officer) was irritated by the out-of-towner students and was quick to anger with them.
There is no real evidence to back this up, other than the statements made about Zamora long after the fact. There is, however, something that is more to the point and even more critical than these somewhat biased statements. There is a report in the Project Blue Book files which is the transcript or notes of an interview conducted with Zamora in the days that followed the landing. That document said, “Feeling good. Last drink – two or three beers – over a month ago.”
This, of course, is the relevant statement simply because it is Zamora’s words given in the days that followed the incident, not some memories that are decades old. We can put to rest any notion that alcohol had anything to do with the sighting, the perceptions of the events, or Zamora’s sobriety on the evening of April 24, 1964.