A classic case from 1964…..the Lonnie Zamora incident of April 24, 1964, outside of Socorro, New Mexico

Lonnie Zamora 1

This is definitely one case that still fascinates me, even after all these years !!

It happened on April 24, 1964, just outside a small town called Socorro in the State of New Mexico, USA:

Was it a US made experimental craft?    I doubt it.

Was it NASA’s Lunar Module?    I highly doubt it.

(NASA would never mistakenly or even intentionally test fly its Lunar Module way beyond its test range and land on a populated area)

Was it a prank orchestrated by some college students of nearby NEW MEXICO TECH, as some researchers such as Anthony Bragalia and Frank Stalter later started claiming?

I am quite skeptical that it was a college students’ prank, even after reading such theories as posted in:


“If it was a college students’ prank, how such a hoax might be pulled off has never been fully explained.  Some claim that a rear projection device was stolen from the college on the day of the Zamora UFO incident.  However, it is not likely that a rear projection device would have been of any use in creating an illusion in the desert in full sunlight.  While we might suppose that two students wearing white coveralls may have made some marks in the ground and released a helium balloon when Zamora arrived, it is difficult to see how they removed themselves from the scene before Officer Chavez arrived minutes later.”

Could a bunch of students develop a shiny, polished metallic oval object that could take off into the distant sky at an incredible rate of speed as was described by experienced law enforcement officer, Lonnie Zamora?

Or, was this a ‘mischievous’ but purposefully staged event orchestrated not by some college students but by some unknown paraphysical entities who, for some inexplicable reason, suddenly materialized themselves, temporarily breaking through the barrier of dimension and presented to a “pre-selected” observer  – i.e., officer Zamora – – a staged scenario,   as if he were watching an extraordinary extraterrestrial type of visitation?

It is not an exaggeration to say that this case was exactly what attracted to me to New Mexico and became my secondary reason for coming to New Mexico all the way from Japan.

(By an unbelievable coincidence, I had been offered a partial scholarship to attend a college the following year here in New Mexico.)

After arriving at Albuquerque in 1965, unfortunately my college studies began to continuously preoccupy me until 1973 when I had to move to Arizona to become a high school teacher and I regretted the fact that I had never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Zamora in person in Socorro.

However, in 2008 when my wife and I moved backed to New Mexico to retire, after living and working in California, I decided to call him on the telephone from Rio Rancho, our new residence.

I had a very pleasant conversation with him on the telephone, even though it was only for a few minutes or so.

He was such a friendly-sounding person, a very polite and pleasant-sounding gentleman.  He was already a 75-year old senior citizen by that time, but his mind still seemed to be very sharp and he verified to me on the phone his unforgettable sighting just as it had been reported in the newspapers 45 years ago.

He told me “Come on over” but I never had a chance to meet him.

He passed away the following year, in 2009, I was told later.

I firmly believe the Lonnie Zamora case was a legitimate case in every sense of the word.

As to what the object was, that is a separate question.

It is still unsolved.   It is still a mystery.

What impressed me was that Lonnie described the two persons  (of rather short stature)  as wearing some type of white cover-alls.

Lonnie initially described them as more or less “normal” people.

Above is just an artist’s illustration, not an actual photo

In any case, this is definitely a noteworthy case.

The best short video on the Socorro incident

Capt. Richard T. Holder’s comment on the Socorro incident

Here is an interesting letter from C.B. Moore, Professor, Atmospheric Physics and Chairman, Langmuir Laboratory at NEW MEXICO TECH   (courtesy of Ben Moss and Tony Angiola)


Here is the main portion of this 1981 letter:

“In regards to the unidentified sighting by Officer Zamora in 1964, I have investigated this on my own and can assure you that there is little probability that it had anything do with with students of the Institute.

If we can believe Officer Zamora (and there is no reason except for the strangeness of the observation that we should not)  then it appears that he saw a Luna Landing Module but his observation was at least 12 months before the module was first tested here.   We have no further information nor conclusion about this report.


C.B. Moore

Professor, Atmospheric Physics and

Chairman, Langmuir Laboratory


By the way, here is an interesting comment by Nippa Downey on the INSIGNIA controversy, mainly because someone claimed that the insignia seen on the outside of the craft was not the one shown on illustrations:



“I think that the so-called ‘Inverted V’ with 3 horizontal lines through it, is the decoy insignia.

It is a much easier symbol to remember and describe, when compared to the genuine one.

Plus it has lines through it, which to me suggests a kind of crossing out”, like – it’s NOT THE RIGHT ONE, cross it out three times.

Just so Lonnie and Hynek could remember it without getting confused.

It is so much easier to remember for a decoy, rather than the curved arch with the arrow and lines underneath.

That would be too overly complicated to have as a decoy.

Decoys are usually always simpler in definition and execution.

This would also tie in nicely with why I don’t think you would describe the three lines across shape as an inverted V.

You would say it is an A with three lines across it, or through it – so hence why it seemed a little odd, and why I believe it is the decoy.

So let’s analyze the insignia.

This is a possibility of what the GENUINE insignia could represent in my opinion.

I design icons and symbols and fonts everyday, and if this was on the side of a rocket or spacecraft I would easily understand why it had been designed that way. Can you?

Let’s examine the construction of it.

I used a very common font from 1964 called Franklin Gothic to create it. This font would have been widely available in all sizes in 1964.

What I noticed about Zamora’s insignia sketch (as I am also a font designer), was – and here comes my ‘NEW INSIGHT’ – is that the symbols used in it are all available on a typewriter keyboard.

It uses the left bracket ‘(‘ , the less than character ‘<‘ , the minus character ‘-‘ , and the vertical line separator ‘|’ or upper case ‘I’ when a sans serif font is selected on some IBM electric typewriters (which were used extensively by the scientific community in 1964).

When it is written like this (<-| and when turned 90 degrees clockwise it matches exactly.

How crazy is that?

Of all the billions upon billions of shapes, characters, letterforms, symbols and glyphs that we know, this set of four shapes (although very simplistic), when combined, can be written sideways using a typewriter from 1964! Most likely the IBM electric one.  (Although I am still awaiting confirmation from a US typewriter expert)



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2 thoughts on “A classic case from 1964…..the Lonnie Zamora incident of April 24, 1964, outside of Socorro, New Mexico

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