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Could 1964 UFO be lunar lander?

Posted May 8, 2006.

SOCORRO, NM -- Something strange happened in the desert near Socorro NM, on a spring night 42 years ago, and a State Police officer was there to report it.

It has become known as the Zamora UFI Incident, named for officer Lonnie Zamora. While not as publicized as the legendary Roswell Incident, this UFO landing made national headlines at the time sparking intrigue and speculation ever since.

Experts who investigated the case have no doubt that he saw what he said he saw. But after years of harassment and ridicule, Zamora, now 73 and living in Socorro, vowed in 1994 never to speak of the incident again.

On April 24, 1964, Zamora chased a speeding vehicle southeast of Socorro. "Up about the time I came to this little road, I heard a loud roar"a blast," Zamora told a radio station in one of his many interviews in the following days.

Sticking his head out the window, he saw what he described as a flying egg about the size of a car. Zamora also saw what looked like two people wearing white coveralls standing outside the mystery craft, and it appeared to be lifting off.

"I went up close, about 200 feet from it and got out of the car when it started making noise and the flame under it," he told his radio host. "I got scared and started running back.

"I radioed for help from the car."

These days, Zamora doesn't like to talk about what happened, but his report was taken very seriously at the time. The State Police and the U.S. Air Force launched an investigation setting off a frenzy of speculation about the mystery object and whether Zamora had an out-of-this world close encounter.

Whatever happened on that Friday night in 1964 is considered one of the most credible alleged UFO incidents in history. Not only was the witness credible--a police officer--there was actual physical evidence: a half-burned bush, imprints in the area where the legs sat, shoe prints.

"I think the policeman was sincere when he thought he saw something strange." said Dave Thomas of New Mexicans for Science and Reason. "I don't think it came all the way from outer space."

The scientists in Thomas" group have a theory about what Zamora really saw on that fateful night. Their evidence for this new theory begins with a page from the log book at the White Sands Missile Range, the expansive test range whose northern border extends to the area of Zamora"s patrol.

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