Lonnie Zamora's UFO Sighting

By Pete Hartinger  The Circleville Herald   January 29, 2010

    There won’t be many people who recognize the name of Lonnie Zamora. To Ufologists, who study the UFO phenomena, his name stands out.

    Lonnie was a Socorro, New Mexico policeman and well respected.

    On April 24, 1964 he had an extraordinary sighting of an unidentified flying object. It is considered one of the best landing trace cases of an unidentified craft ever recorded.
    A landing trace case is where a UFO has been observed landing or taking of and leaving markings on the ground. Ted Phillips, of Missouri, has over 5,000 of these cases on file.

    I had just finished reading a book about this sighting by Ray Stanford, when I found out that Zamora had died of a heart attack in early November 2009.

    Stanford was one of the first investigators on the scene. He was representing the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), located in Washington D. C. 

    NICAP consisted of many outstanding individuals who had held important positions in the U. S. Government or Military.

    One of the board members was retired Admiral Hillenkoetter, who earlier was our country’s first CIA Director.

    I belonged to this organization for some 20 years, beginning in 1959.

    Another investigator, short on the scene, was J. Allen Hynek. Hynek was the chief consultant to the U. S. Air Force on UFOs. He also was a professor at The Ohio State University when he was hired to debunk UFOs. Later, he was a professor at Northwestern University.

    After no longer in this job he formed his own UFO group, the Center for UFO Studies, located in Chicago, Ill.

    After more investigations and research, Hynek realized that indeed UFOs did exist.

    The official conclusion of the Air Force of the Zamora case was that it was unknown.

    However, in the final Condon Report on UFOs it was not even listed.

    The Condon Report was the final official Air Force involvement with UFO investigations. They felt it was not worthwhile to further pursue these cases. However, in this report, there are some 30 UFO cases where the final conclusion was listed as unknown!

    Here are the highlights: On April 24, 1964, Lonnie Zamora was chasing a speeder during daylight hours about a mile south of Socorro, New Mexico.

    He noticed a flash off in the distance. Afraid that it may have been a nearby dynamite shack that may blow up, he went off the road to it and went over a nearby hill.

    Stopping his police car, he noticed an odd egg-shaped object sitting in a gully on the desert floor.

    Getting out of the car, he slowly advanced to the craft. This sighting was so unusual, because when he first observed it, he saw two beings standing by it.

    As Zamora left his patrol car and proceeded on foot he said that the object was white, egg or oval shaped and was apparently supported on girder-like legs.

    When he got within 50 feet he noticed a red symbol on the side and three parallel lines horizontal across an inverted V. He no longer saw the two beings.

    In a short period of time, Zamora heard a roar and saw smoke and flame coming from the bottom of the object.

    He became frightened, believing the object was about ready to explode. He ran back to his vehicle and crouched down.

    As the object flew away, a New Mexico State police officer arrived on the scene in response to Zamora’s earlier radio call that he had made.

     Later that day, a U.S. Army Captain, suggested to Zamora that he only describe the symbol to official investigators.

    Last year on a History Channel television episode about the sighting, Lonnie Zamora never mentioned about observing the two beings or the symbol on the craft.

    They talked about the impressions found on the ground and the burnt brush left by the object. This was the first time in 10 years that Zamora had talked publicly about the case.

    In the aftermath of the investigation, Ray Sanford discovered that there were several other witnesses to this famous incident.

    Five people reported during this time that a strange craft had flown over their automobile; three people phoned the police dispatcher about seeing the UFO.; two men saw the UFO land; and some residents in nearby Socorro heard the roar of the craft as it left. All of this was in the same time period.

    Footnotes to this incident: Every month the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) lists their total number of UFO sightings reported to them.

    Out of these hundreds, there are always some entities being observed.

    Also, I have always been interested in this case. I first heard about it on my pocket radio while I was on a troop train going through this area a day after it had occurred.

    My outfit, the 1st Armored Division, was heading to the Mojave Desert for military maneuvers.

 Pete Hartinger, Director, Roundtown UFO Society