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02 November, 2009

The Socorro UFO: PRANK? Part 3

By Anthony Bragalia

A review of decades-old documents points to the involvement of pranksters in the famous 1964 Socorro, NM UFO sighting. Overlooked details about the sighting witnessed by police officer Lonnie Zamora suggest a prosaic explanation that involved student trickery. Recently discovered material clues hint at a hidden hoax. Physical evidence (reports of which have been previously missed or ignored) offer damning indications of deception. This evidence has remained unconsidered, until now:

- "Charred cardboard" and particulate was discovered by military officials in the very area of the landed craft.

- "Footprints from teenagers" were found at the site by government investigators immediately after Zamora's encounter.

- Burned brush that was seen at the site was caused by "pyrotechnic ignition" according to experts.

- The "whining frequencies" heard by Zamora may have come from novel, sound-producing pyrotechnics.

Previous articles on the Socorro sighting provided clues to a college caper:

- An archived document revealed that in the 1960s, renowned scientist and NM Tech President Dr. Stirling Colgate wrote to Nobel laureate Dr. Linus Pauling that the Socorro UFO was a prank. He told his friend Pauling (whom I had earlier discovered had conducted secret UFO studies) that the "student who engineered the hoax" had "already left the College."

- In 2009, Dr. Colgate (now at Los Alamos as Scientist Emeritus) emailed this author confirming that the event was a hoax; that in fact one of the involved students is his personal friend. He said of the hoaxer "he and the other students did not want their covers blown." He added that it was all "a no-brainer" and that he would see if the pranksters would now come forward.

- Two eminent NM Tech Professors support Colgate. They attest that they had heard from trusted sources at the College that the incident was a hoax that involved students. One added that the students did not like Lonnie Zamora at all. Another explained that the school had a world-class explosives facility and that other labs may have provided advanced balloons, inflatable materials and "white coverall" lab suits that were strikingly similar to what Zamora had observed.

- Two former NM Tech students revealed the existence of a deeply secret "techno-geek" hoax society and culture operating at the school since its inception. Highly organized, its sole purpose involved pranking people. In the 1960s this fraternity of pranksters created hoaxes so advanced that they even fooled military. Many of these pranksters had no regard for safety or legality. Some of these staged events involved creating faked flying saucers.

Prior investigation by this author has offered up credible testimony, authenticated documentation and strong circumstantial evidence of a planned prank. As this investigation of the Socorro sighting continues, additional evidence has emerged that supports a hoax scenario. This time the evidence is physical:


A former NICAP investigator provided to this author the original, official Air Force report on Socorro, titled: "USAF Investigation Report Socorro, NM" It lists as authors "Investigators Hynek, A.; Quintanilla MJR." These authors are of course famed investigators Dr. J. Allen Hynek and Hector Quintanilla. An attentive reading of this document reveals something that is very telling. In the 17th paragraph (lines 44 and 45) the investigators wrote:

"A closer USAF investigation of the site revealed a fair amount of charred particles mixed with dirt, and some charred cardboard was also found."

This single buried sentence speaks volumes. The "charred cardboard" found at the site by AF investigators is an extremely important detail that does not seem to have ever been brought up by "civilian" UFO investigators who support Soccoro as an ET or secret aerocraft event. And of course the reason for this is obvious: such mundane material should not be there if it were ET or if it was an experimental vehicle. Instead, this "find" is indicative of something very terrestrial. This is because "charred cardboard" makes complete sense when considering the event as a student-created hoax:

Pyrotechnics could very well account for the found material. Such cardboard tubes or "casings" are used in shell inserts, bottle rockets and fireworks. When ignited, such spent explosives leave a a distinct charred cardboard appearance upon cooling. Burned cardboard and cardboard powder char are left in their wake.

Not coincidentally, NM Tech had the most advanced Explosives Lab of any college in the country at the time. One 1960s NM student said that the ease of obtaining "cool pyrotechnics" from the school "was like getting candy from a baby."

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