The Socorro Landing
Officer Lonnie Zamora's Report
[From Brad Steiger, ed., Project Blue Book, Ballantine, 1976, pp. 115-21.]
_____, Socorro NM, _____, Officer Socorro PD about 5 years, office phone
835-0941, now on 2:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. shift.
About 5:45 P.M. 4/24/64 while in Socorro 2 Police Car (64 Pontiac white)
started to chase a car due south from west side of Court House. Car was
apparently speeding, and was about 3 blocks in front. At point on Old
Rodeo Street (extension of Park St. south) near George Morillo residence
(about 1/8 mile south of Spring Street, the _____ chased car was going
straight ahead toward rodeo grounds. Car chased was a new black Chevrolet
(it might have been _____ boy about seventeen). Chased car still about
three blocks ahead. _____ alone.`
At this time heard a roar and saw a flame in the sky to southwest some
distance away--possibly a 1/2 mile or a mile. Came to mind that a dynamite
shack in that area had blown up, decided to leave chased car go.
Flame was bluish and sort of orange too. Could not tell size of flame. Sort
of motionless flame, slowly descending. Was still driving car and could not
pay too much attention to the flame. It was a narrow type of flame. It was
like a "stream down"--a funnel type--narrower at top than at bottom. Flame
possibly 3 degrees or so in width--not wide.
Flame about twice as wide at bottom as top, and about four times as high as
top was wide. Did not notice any object at top, did not note if top of flame
was level. Sun was to west and did not help vision. Had green sun glasses
over prescription glasses. Could not see bottom of flame because it was
behind the hill. no smoke noted. Noted some "commotion" at bottom--dust?
Possibly from windy day--wind was blowing hard. Clear sunny sky
otherwise--just a few clouds scattered over area.
Noise was a roar, not a blast. Not like a jet. Changed from high frequency
to low frequency and then stopped. Roar lasted possibly 10 seconds--was
going toward it at that time on the rough gravel road. Saw flame about as
long as heard the sound. Flame same color as best as recall. Sound
disctinctly from high to low until it disappeared. Windows both were down.
No other spectators noted--no traffic except the car in front--and car in
front might have heard it but possibly did not see it because car in front
was too close to hill in front, to see the flame.
After the roar and flame, did not note anything, while going up the somewhat
steep rough hill--had to back up and try again, two more times. Got up about
halfway first time, wheels started skidding, roar still going on, had to
back down and try twice and rock. While beginning third time, noise and
flame not noted.
After got to top, traveled slowly on the gravel road westwardly. Noted
nothing for awhile. . .for possibly 10 or 15 seconds, went slow, looking
around for the shack--did not recall exactly where the dynamite shack was.
Zamora's first view of object>Suddenly noted a shiny type object to south
about 150 to 200 yards. It was off the road. At first glance, stopped. It
looked, at first, like a car turned upside down. Thought some kids might
have turned over. Saw two people in white coveralls very close to the object.
One of these persons seemed to turn and look straight at my car and seemed
startled--seemed to jump quickly somewhat.
At this time I started moving my car towards them quickly, with idea to help.
Had stopped about only a couple seconds. Object was like aluminum--it was
whitish against the mesa background, but not chrome. Seemed like O in shape
and I at first glance took it to be overturned white car. Car appeared to
be up on radiator or on trunk, this first glance.
The only time I saw these two persons was when I had stopped, for possibly
two seconds or so, to glance at the object. I don't recall noting any
particular shape or possibly any hats, or headgear. These persons appeared
normal in shape--but possibly they were small adults or large kids.
Then paid attention to road while drove towards scene. Radioed to sheriff's
office "Socorro 2 to Socorro, possible 10-44 (accident), I'll be 10-6 (busy)
out of the car, checking the car down in the arroyo."
Stopped car, was still talking on radio, started to get out, mike fell down,
reached back to put up mike, then replaced radio mike in slot, got out of
car and started to go down to where I knew the object (car) was.
Object as seen from approx. 103 feet>Hardly turned around from car, when
heard roar (was not exactly a blast), very loud roar--at that close was real
loud. Not like a jet--knows what jets sound like. Started low frequency
quickly, then roar rose in frequency (higher tone) and in loudness--from
loud to very loud. At same time as roar saw flame. Flame was under the
object. Object was starting to go straight up--slowly up. Object slowly
rose stright up. Flame was light blue and at bottom was sort of orange color
From this angle, saw the side of object (not end, as first noted). Difficult
to describe flame. Thought, from roar, it might blow up. Flame might have
come from underside of object, at middle, possibly a four feet area--very
rough guess. Cannot describe flame further except blue and orange. No smoke,
except dust in immediate area.
As soon as saw flame and heard roar, turned away, ran away from object but
did turn head toward object. Bumped leg on car--back Fender area. Car facing
southwest. Glasses fell to ground, left them there. ran to north--car
between him and object.
Object was oval, in shape. It was smooth--no windows or doors. As roar
started, it was still on or near ground. Noted red lettering of some type
(see illustration). Insignia was about 2 1/2' high and about 2' wide I
guess. Was in middle of object. . .Object still like aluminum-white. After
fell by car and glasses fell off, kept running to north, with car between
me and object. Glanced back couple of times. Noted object to rise to about
level of car, about 20 to 25 feet guess--took I guess about six seconds when
object started to rise and I glanced back. I ran I guess about halfway to
where I ducked down--about fifty feet from the car is where I ducked down,
just over edge of hill. I guess I had run about 25 feet when I glanced back
and saw the object level with the car and it appeared about directly over
the place where it rose from. I was still running and I jumped just over
the hill--I stopped because I did not hear the roar. I was scared of the
roar, and I had planned to continue running down the hill. I turned around
toward the object and at same time put my head toward ground, covering my
face with my arms. Being that there was no roar, I looked up, and I saw the
object going away from me. It did not come any closer to me. It appeared to
go in straight line and at same height--possibly 10 to 15 feet from ground,
and it cleared the dynamite shack by about three feet. Shack about eight
feet high. Object was travelling very fast. It seemed to rise up, and take
off immediately across country. I ran back to my car and as I ran back, I
kept an eye on the object. I picked up my glasses (I left the sun glasses
on ground), got into the car, and radioed to Nep Lopez, radio operator,
to "look out of the window, to see if you could see an object." He asked
what is it? I answered "It looks like a balloon." I don't know if he saw
it. If Nep looked out of his window, which faces north, he couldn't have
seen it. I did not tell him at the moment which window to look out of. As
I was calling Nep, I could still see the object. The object seemed to lift
up slowly, and to "get small" in the distance very fast. It seemed to just
clear the Box Canyon or Six Mile Canyon Mountain. It disappeared as it went
over the mountain. It had no flame whatsoever as it was traveling over the
ground, and no smoke or noise. Feeling in good health. Last drink--two or
three beers--was over a month ago. Noted no odors. Noted no sounds other
than described. Gave directions to Nep Lopez at radio and to Sergeant
M.S. Chavez to get there. Went down to where the object had been and I
noted the brush was burning in several places. At that time I heard
Sgt. Chavez (N.M. State Police at Socorro) calling me on radio for my
location, and I returned to my car, told him he was looking at me. Then
Sgt. Chavez came up, asked me what the trouble was, because I was sweating
and he told me I was white, very pale. I asked the Sgt. to see what I
saw, and that was the burning brush. Then Sgt. Chavez and I went to the
spot, and Sgt. Chavez pointed out the tracks. When I first saw the object
(when I thought it might be a car) I saw what appeared to be two legs of
some type from the object to the ground. At the time, I didn't pay much
attention to what it was--I thought it was an accident--I saw the two
persons. I didn't pay any attention to the two "legs?" The two "legs" were
at the bottom of the object, slanted outwards to the ground. The object
might have been about three and a half feet from the ground at that time.
I just glanced at it. Can't tell how long [I] saw object second time
(the "close" time), possibly 20 seconds--just a guess--from time got out
of car, glanced at object, ran from object, jumped over edge of hill, then
got back to car and radio as object disappeared.As my mike fell as I got
out of car, at scene area, I heard about two or three loud "thumps," like
someone possibly hammering or shutting a door or doors hard. These "thumps"
were possibly a second or less apart. This was just before the roar. The
persons were not seen when I drove to the scene area. Just before Sgt.
Chavez got to scene, I got my pen and drew a picture of the insignia on