Officer Lonnie Zamora and the UFO at Socorro, New Mexico

Lonnie Zamora was a New Mexico State Trooper. On April 24, 1964 he was driving through the desert just outside of Socorro, New Mexico. All of a sudden he saw a disc streak over the mountain ridge in front of him. He drove up the mountain in the direction he saw the craft flying. He came to a clearing out of the way, isolated from view, and it was there he saw a flying saucer. Mr. Zamora called it “egg shaped” standing on 4 legs when describing it Walter Schrode of KSRC radio Socorro.

It had landed in the shadow of the ridge. Outside of the saucer were two beings dressed in white suits seemingly investigating the area. Zamora described them as “overalls” in the interview.  The beings noticed that he saw them, scrambled back into the craft, and the flying saucer took off. It made a roar and spit out a blue flame as it took off.  It flew so close to his head he could see an insignia on the bottom as it darted out of sight. (1)

The USAF and the FBI descended on the area, and they discovered the sand was scorched and fused together. Later the area would be compared to moon landings and the marks left by the ships on the surface of the moon. The authorities investigating the landing advised Officer Zamora not to mention markings though it was said he saw them on the side as he got closer, 3 mountains with a line drawn through them. He said on radio he could not speak about that.

Lonnie himself was a well-respected officer, so there was no reason to put his career on the line to bring the story forward. It made it more believable because of that fact alone. There were several other witnesses that view different portions of the craft’s journey, the approach, the flame and the physical evidence left immediately behind.

Later a UFO researcher James E. McDonald located one Mary G. Mayes. When she was a grad student at University of New Mexico she was given the task of analyzing the plant material under the “egg shaped craft”. She stated she examined the material the day after the event and the plants were “unusually dried out”, but there was no radiation. There were also 2 organic substances she could not identify. (2)

The Air Force’s report had several issues when it came out.  First it stated there were no other witnesses. Several people had reported their sightings within minutes of seeing the UFO. They also said there were no disturbances to the soil. That was false based on Jordan’s photos of the scene taken less than an hour afterward. There was no conclusion as to the objects origin and the case is still open by the USAF.

Interestingly there was a secret report prepared for CIA, Project Blue Book’s director Major Hector Quintanilla which offered more. It stated, “There is no doubt that Lonnie Zamora saw an object which left quite an impression on him. There is also no question about Zamora’s reliability. He is a serious police officer, a pillar of his church, and a man well versed in recognizing airborne vehicles in his area. He is puzzled by what he saw and frankly, so are we. This is the best-documented case on record, and still we have been unable, in spite of thorough investigation, to find the vehicle or other stimulus that scared Zamora to the point of panic.” (3)

Officer Zamora became so fed up with the whole affair he quit his job to avoid Ufologists and the Air Force. He got a job at a gas station and later retired as Landfill supervisor for the city of Socorro. He passed away November of 2009.

Lonnie Zamora

  1. Radio Interview with Walter Schrode of KSRC radio Socorro,, 1964
  2. Druffel, Ann (2003).Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald’s Fight for UFO Science. Wild Flower Press.
  3. “Lonnie Zamora/Socorro, NM Case Directory”. National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
  4. Owen, Charles (1984).The UFO Casebook. London: Orbis

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