Case File: Lonnie Zamora UFO Sighting
Location: Desert near Socorro, New Mexico
Date: April 24, 1964
Description: Lonnie Zamora described the UFO as a white object with red markings on the hull, a vertical arrow with a horizontal line beneath it and a crescent-shaped line above it.
History: On April 24, 1964, Socorro, New Mexico police officer Lonnie Zamora began chasing a teenager who was speeding through town. Lonnie chased the teen into the desert when he saw a strange object in desert. The white object appeared, at first, to be an overturned car. However, Lonnie looked closer and realized that it was an unknown object and that people appeared to be standing around it. Lonnie attempted to radio back to headquarters, but could not speak through all of the static. Then, a door on the side of the craft apparently closed, and the small people around the craft were apparently inside. Lonnie claimed that flames shot from the bottom of the craft, it floated up about twenty feet, and then flew away to the west.
When Sam Chavez, a friend and fellow police officer arrived, he realized that Lonnie was excited and concerned. Sam noticed that there were several deep landing-type marks on the ground. Sam believed him, knowing that Lonnie was credible and did not make stories up. US Army officials from nearby White Sands missile range sent Captain Richard Holder to investigate the sighting. Holder also noticed the strange marks in the ground and also noticed a bush burned to a crisp on only one side. Holder found no evidence that Lonnie's UFO sighting was a hoax, and felt it was genuine. State trooper Ted Jordan was taking pictures of the scene when Air Force officials confiscated his camera. Another witness, still unidentified, pulled into a nearby gas station later that day. He told a gas station employee that he and his family had seen a UFO similar to the one that Lonnie described. The object apparently flew over their car, travelling at least 150 miles per hour.
The case was investigated by the Air Force, who believed that a military aircraft is what Lonnie actually saw. UFO expert and researcher Jerome Clark does not believe the Air Force's explanation and believes that what Lonnie saw was a UFO. The Air Force officials brought Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a respected astronomer and consultant on project Bluebook. Hynek found that the physical evidence was convincing, along with the witness, Lonnie Zamora, himself. Lonnie believes what he had seen was not from this Earth, and the UFO sighting has never been explained.
Background: Lonnie Zamora was a police officer for Socorro, New Mexico and was thirty-one when the sighting occurred. Socorro is a city in New Mexico, with the population of 9,000, and has become famous as a result of Lonnie's sighting.
Investigations: Captain Richard T. Holder was sent by the military to investigate the UFO sighting and felt that it was a genuine sighting. The air force also investigated the case, and although believed that Lonnie's sighting was genuine, they believed that what he saw was a type of secret military aircraft. UFO researcher and expert Jerome Clark investigated the case and believes what Lonnie saw was UFO.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the December 1, 1995 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Lonnie Zamora died of a heart attack in 2009, but his strange sighting is still a mystery.
- The Socorro UFO on Unsolved.com
- Lonnie Zamora UFO on Wikipedia
- Socorro UFO sighting explained?
- Lonnie Zamora on Skeptoid
- Lonnie Zamora at Find a Grave