« Supernatural with Ashley Flowers

ALIEN: The Lonnie Zamora Incident


In 1964, 30-year-old police officer Lonnie Zamora witnessed a strange egg-shaped aircraft landing in the New Mexico desert. After more than 50 years of investigation by the Air Force, FBI, and independent UFO researchers, it still remains unidentified.

To view this episode’s full list of sources, please visit parcast.com/supernatural

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
It's become sort of a truism that every Ufos citing has a natural explanation. It's a helicopter or a military. Site or a meteor or flock of birds or if nothing else, a hoax. But if you really look into it. There's gotta be an answer somewhere right. That's what the air force thought when they got a report of a flying. Why egg shaped object in the desert gear Saguaro New Mexico? There was physical evidence that the object landed.
Well to pull reliable. Witness is top of military personnel leading the investigation. Every possibility was double, checked and triple checked, and yet more than fifty years later, no one has any idea what it was This is supernatural apart cast original and I'm your host Ashley flowers, every Wednesday Albertini, deep dive into a real unexplained occurrence to try and figure out the truth. This week were looking at the case of a truly unidentified flying object, known as the lobbies and more incident
confined all episodes, supernatural and all other part cast originals for free on Spotify. And if you like, what your hearing reach out on Facebook and Instagram at PAR cast and twitter at gas network. There's a certain stigma around reporting, a UFO citing? If you look, I witness accounts. You hear the same thing all the time they didn't want come forward because they knew how ridiculous It would sound, even if you ever suggest that what you saw with extra terrestrial people are still going to think that you're either lying for attention or your delusional, no one, This better than Lonnie Zamora Lonnie was thirty year old police officer who took his job very seriously. This was in secure New Mexico, which had a population of less than six thousand so most at the time all money was really doing, was catching speeders, but he did it. A passion that made him a sworn enemy of the local teenagers. So early
before six o clock on the evening of April twenty fourth, nineteen sixty four Lonnie was out on his regular patrol on the south side of town when he hit the jackpot. A black chevalier belies passed him at a speed that has to be over the limit and the driver is a teenager who Lonnie thinks he recognise it so Lonnie throws into dried and takes off. He follows the blacks. Be down the street headings out all the way to the edge of town the Chevy doesn't slowed down either the driver doesn't noticed the baton, car right behind him or he just doesn't care launch is really having fun. Now he keeps chasing the car down a little road that leads through the desert toward the old rodeo complex about a mile south of town and then about a minute into the pursuit he hears o roar. It starts as Why rumble and then gets louder and louder? It doesn't sound quite like an explosion, but it's coming.
The direction of Dynamite Shack a little bit to the west. So Lonnie is afraid that the shack might have blown up as much as it pains him. He has to give up the chase and let this speed or go He turned on to a gravel road and starts heading west toward the Dynamite Shack in right. Then he see something on the horizon. He's drive right into the setting sun with kind of hard to see it clearly. But it looks like a tall, narrow, cone of blue and orange flame, it's hard to tell how big it is or where exactly it's coming from, because the bottom of the flame is behind a hill, so Lonnie turned off the road and start driving directly up the hill to get a better look at this thing but halfway up his tire spin and he gets stuck, he backs up and tries it again, but no luck he backs up again and by this point the roar has finally stopped.
When he finally makes it to the top of the hill. There's nothing to see the flame is on and the noise is gone, so he gets back onto a gravel road heading west keeping an eye out and they He spied something in the Arroyo on the other side of the hill. It's a shiny, white oval shaped object that at first glance, looks sort of like an overturned car that may be standing on its radiator, and there are two figures next to it in white cover all, and one of them actually looks up at him and seems surprised. Lonnie figures that they must have had an accident, so he Russia's down to help them as he's driving, he radios the dispatcher and tell them that there's been a crash, Lonnie finds a spot to park, puts the radio back in its slot, not really paying attention to what is happening outside then. The moment he gets out of his car he hears anew
the loud roar starting up Lonnie turned towards the object and it is rising straight up into the sky there's a blue and orange flame coming out of the bottom from up close. This is definitely not an overturned car. It is a big white oval with no window is no doors and from the roar. Making Lonnie thinks. This thing is to blow up Lonnie, turned and bolts out there. He bumps his leg on his car fender and his glass is actually fall to the ground, but he just leaves them there and keeps running every time he got Mrs back, the object is rising higher. He jumped over the side of a hill and crouches to the ground, scared for his life. But then the roar just stops. He slowly turns around and peaks over the hill, and he sees the object. Zooming away its flying in
rate line, maybe ten to fifteen feet above ground level. Lonnie runs back to his car and picks up his glasses. Now, there's no flame under the object now no smoke and it's not making any noise and, from this angle, he can see that there is a red symbol painted on the Middle Lonnie, except the radio and calls the state police sergeant Zahm Chavez and tell him to get over here as soon as he can't. He doesn't know why he seen, but he wants someone else to see it just to prove he's not crazy. If nothing else sergeant Chavez has he'll be there in two minutes, while he's waiting, Lonnie grabs a pair and actually draws the symbol on the side of the object. It looks like this half circle or over and arrow that's pointing up with a little whore. Sancho line underneath it no letters, no words, just though, symbols in red Paint Chavez get
to the scene and about two minutes as promised right as the object is disappearing over the mountains by the time he gets his attention. It's completely gone, but shot I can tell that lobbies not bluffing. This he is sweating and pale as a ghost, whatever the thing. Was it scared the life out of him? They go to to the spot, where the object had been to start to look around the brush is, still smouldering there's a burning creosote brush right in the middle, where the object was sitting and smoke is still rising from it Chavez bends down. Breaks, a limb off the Bush and here's a thinks. How it was called to the touch surrounding the bush. They find for small imprints on the ground about three or four inches, deep and twelve to fifteen feet apart look like they were made by the legs of whatever craft had landed there. But apart from that beetle see,
any other notable markings. No tire tracks, no object that had been left behind the only option This explanation for what Lonnie saw is a military crap from the hollow in AIR Force base, which is just down the highway from Sapporo. Testing ground, which is called the White Sands missile range is only about when he five miles away from where Lonnie saw the object, so they go back to police station and Chavez, calls the commander at White Sands Captain Richard holder. He arrives. Twenty minutes, along with an FBI agent, Arthur Burns, the two of them question Lonnie and pick his brain about every little detail. He can remain for he tell us in the same thing that he told Chavez the loud raw. Were the flame. The oval shaped object, the two figures in the wake we're all standing next to it. He said that they were about this. Eyes of either older. Children or may be small adults, but he didn't get a very good look. So it's the only description he could give
He also shows them the drawing of the symbol on the side of the object. No one racket eyes. Is it and it's definitely not a logo from the air force that much? is sure after a long irrigation. Everyone fully believe that Lonnie is actually telling the truth in the F B. I report on this case Lonnie is described, as quote sober dependable. Sure and not known to engage in flights of fancy, but agent burns dies tell him that he might want to mention the two people. He saw two, the newspapers since they ve already got. UFO on their hands. Everyone will assume that the figures were aliens and then no one will take the case seriously mean I'll captain holder, tries to figure out if this craft belongs to the air force. He checks back in with the Hollow AIR Force base, but they don't have anything matching. Lobbies description that's worrying, to say the least, because if it didn't come from the air force, where did it come from
holder decides to go out and look at the landing site himself. It's dark at this point, so he and burns have to work by flashlight taking measurements and collecting soil samples. One thing, holder notices is that when a rocket or jet engine takes off usually causes damage to the surrounding area, but there is nothing that around here, just fine. Or small shallow landing marks and a few burned plants, no debris, no other destroy, as to the soil, and then he find something else interesting along with the four. Imprints in the ground that Lonnie Unshod is found. There are smaller imprints that look like this made by a ladder, along with what look like small footprints at some point, that night holder calls white sands and has them send down military police to close off the area they ve? Officially,
an unidentified flying object and until they can figure out what this thing is. Best not to have any one walking around contaminating the scene. Of course, Calling the area with military police does not make the locals any less curious and the story is already hitting. The news the very next morning, Lonnie gives an interview on the local radio station and he disregards the advice to not mention the two people standing beside the craft. Then he makes it worse by clarifying quote. I wouldn't say they were people. I just saw something in white cover. All's, and just like that. Everyone is to quarrel thing, that Lonnie Zamora has seen aliens. Ten hours. The story is all over New Mexico and then all over the country, even though the investigators one hundred per I believe Lonnie saw what he saw. The public does not. He becomes the town laughing stock,
basically overnight, other officers he's ham, local kids. How call him on the streets and the calls from reporters never stop, but as the bus starts to Old new evidence comes out that actually validates the UFO, citing as it turns out. Lonnie was not the only person to see it. There are more eyewitness accounts and I'll dissect them right after this now, back to the story, The morning after lobbies, UFO, citing on April twenty fourth nineteen sixty four evidenced to emerge that he wasn't the only witness that scene, near. The sheriff's office had received three other calls from people who saw a blue flame in the sky near Saguaro, New Mexico, then there's one in La Madeira about three miles north who had
same round white object land on his property, a few hours after Lonnie side. Now he let it stay, their overnight, because he was too scared to do anything about. It by morning, he said that it was just gone. There were few other sightings, including some one who called into a tv station in Albuquerque, and those are just this sightings that were reported before Lonnie Story hit. The news there were countless more will This starts coming out less than twenty four hours after lies initial report. The air force is hounded with calls from newspapers, the office of the President, even from members of Congress down in Sapporo Captain holder, gets a call from a colonel whose wit, joint chiefs of staff in the war room at the Pentagon. They have him, read his report on the siting over the phone. Using a scramble to make sure the signal is secure. Now, clearly, the government thinks there dealing with a sick
Thirty breach not an alien invasion, but captain holder confirms this is definitely not in air force cry. At least not anything from the base down here with all this tension from the press. The air force has to come up with some answer, so they pass it off to project Bluebook, forbid of context. Blue book was an air force project that started in nineteen. Fifty two to investigate, ufos and basically figure out whether they were threat. After a year or so, it was clear that you have. Those were not a threat to national security, and blue book was a mass of waste of resources. So over the years the project was told got it in any serious investigation, pretty much stopped by nineteen. Sixty four bluebooks director Captain Hector Keaton NEA only had four people. His staff Hector himself didn't understand why the project was even still going. Every case they got
now to be a helicopter or a balloon or a flock of birds until April twenty fifth, when the Lonnie Zamora story broke as soon as act or gets into the building. That morning he can hear the phone in his office ringing off the hook. The operator tells him he's got, ten or twelve calls waiting had taken already told us gonna be a nightmare as he finds the air force bases near saguaro are already on the case, and none of them have an answer to what Lonnie everyone else saw. So Hector checks all of the flight activity in the area, and he determines that it wasn't a helicopter or a plane. Then he calls all the weather stations in New Mexico and it wasn't a weather balloon. He even calls the Pentagon and White House Command post. He calls every defence contractor and
search organization that he can think of, and no one has any idea what might have landed in security. So finally, he calls in Doktor J Alan Heinrich Your highness has been the AIR force's scientific consult, none ufos for nearly two decades he's a sceptic, but over years, he seen a lot of things that he was never able to explain and as a scientist He refuses to jump to the conclusion that ufos are all hoaxes. He conducts his destinations barely and seas where the evidence takes him after a few unexpected delays and a flat tire, Doktor Heinrich finally, hitchhiked indices quarrel by the evening of April twin things, are already off to a bad start. It's been forty since Lonnie, citing and the landing site has been absolutely tree of bold by curious, locals and after four days of being hounded by reporters and public,
marked as a U F, o nut Lonnie himself is tired of cooperating. It takes a if our of convincing before Doktor Heine it can get a word out of him, but once he warms up Heinrich, actually believes him. He writes in his report that Lonnie, quote and unimaginative old cop of an old squirrel family incapable of hoax and pretty sore at being regarded as a romancer. They make plans to go back to the land. The next morning and reenact. What happened but Doktor Heinrich wasn't the only one who had been out there looking for answers? Little did he, Oh, some one else had arrived in town that sea night Re Stanford from nightcap The national Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, a k, a nightcap, was the main you, the research group in the fifties and sixtys on the whole was a respected science minded group. They weren't a bunch of like range conspiracy theories, but
They had a serious view with project blue book which be accused of being an air force cover up now, for since that have never been quite clear. Night cap chose to send twenty five year old re Stanford as their man on the ground and secure. Oh no ray widely regarded as a kind of a crackpot. Even within nightcap he claimed that he could communicate telepathic Lee with quote space people, so it's probably not surprising that Lonnie Zamora wanted nothing to do with him. He's tired of talking to the UFO crowd. He just wants this to be done. Right calls Lonnie twice on the morning of the twenty nine, but he's dodging all of his calls sorry, finally drives down to the police station to just tracking down himself. He talks to the dispatcher, who tells him bluntly. That line doesn't want to talk about the UFO anymore, but re won't give up so the day, better were lens and radios Lonnie who's out at the leaning site, with sergeant Chavez and Doktor Heinrich now
This is the one who answers and he says no do not this guy over here. While the AIR Force team is working but Heinrich overhears, and he says it's fine, let the NY kept. I come out here as long as he comes alone. So we re gets to the scene. Lonnie showing Doktor, Heinrich the four imprint on the ground where the object landed. Heinrich agrees. They look like were made by some kind of object, scraping against the ground, to quarrel is a mining town, so hiding ass. If the marks might have has been made by drilling equipment way before this all started. But there any exact Spot where Lonnie saw the object, touch down and judge by the moisture on the dirt. The marks are fresh Lonnie points out a broken rock inside one of the imprints that looks like it was. Rock by the landing gear heaving set me be there might still be traces of metal scrapings on the rock Heinrich doubts it any kind of just
nor is it in moves on. The re is very Interested in this, if this is a true UFO, those scrapings could prove that the craft was made out of extra terrestrial metals. The problem is that raise not an official investigator there's, no way the air force will let him take the rock from the sea, so he has to hatch plan all of a sudden. He tells Heinrich hey, don't you have a press conference, opening soon, like you better get to the hotel, you dont want to be late, kindly rushing him off, so he walks Heineken, the others back to their Are you telling me about some UFO slides that he brought with him by the time they all get to the hotel everyone's totally forgotten about the rock? And while everyone's distracted at the press conference re sneaks back, the landing cite, the rock is still they are right where they left it. There are a few times NI metal slivers on it like less than an eighth of an inch long, but he thinks that it might be enough for analysis.
Ray wraps it up in newspapers for safe keeping and pushes some dirt around. So you can't tell it anything had been removed. Then he gets back into his car and rockets out of there with the one piece of evidence that might break this case. Wide open re brings the rock to a doctor. He knows in Phoenix who agreed to take a look. The doktor gets, his magnifying glass holds out his high and and without thinking, Rageous drops the rock right into his palm now. He immediately regret said because the doktor touched the exact spot, where the biggest metal fragment was completely wiping it off they try. Using a magnifying glass and a magnet to try and find the metal. But there is No luck! It's absolutely gone. Now. There are a few smaller slivers of metal on the rock, but re has almost no hope that they'll get anything useful out of them. He writes to Dick Hall who's the Aceh didn't director of night cap and luckily dig actually knows a guy at NASA who might be able to help so he's
and re over to the Goddard Space Flight Centre in DC to meet with his contact a guy named Henry Frankel. He takes sums beings and tells re that he'll call on next Wednesday. Once he run some tests, wall he's waiting around. He goes to dinner with a friend of his, whose a Navy captain he tells him about this all saga with the rock and the captains like hold on you gave Scrapings to NASA. You are ever going to get those back. If there's anything extra terrestrial about that rock the governor is going to bury all the evidence and somehow it hadn't occurred to re that NASA is a government agency and they'd be just as involved in any kind of cover up as the air force, but he still holds out here That doctor Frankel, at least, is on their side
when Wednesday morning, rules around re gives him a call and his optimism pays. Ah Doktor Frankel has the test results and he says the metals embedded in the wrong did not come from earth. The story is gonna. Take a turn for the paranoid rate after this. Now, let's get back to the story according to re. This is what doktor, Frank old. With him on the phone about the rock from secure up. The metal particles are a zinc iron alloy, which, based on the charts had at NASA is unlike the owl away. That's natural to earth. The only possible conclusion he could draw is that the object these scrapings are from was made on. Another plan
Franco promises to send the full test results. Tonight: caps assisted director, Dick Hall, but a week later, they still haven't arrived. So re call sprinkle back in there's no answer. He tries again and again for days and then weeks- and he doesn't hear a word finally, Someone else answers the call and tells re that doctor Frankel has been taken off the project. His conclusions were incorrect, A new analysis had been done and they'd send those results over when re finally get a hold of the report. Says that the shiny fragments on the rock were actually just silica, a common substance, that's found in every day desert sand, nothing extraterrestrial at all, nothing to see here, but what about those first round of results? Ray is convinced. This is all
cover up to be fair, though the traces of metal were so small. It's not surprising that doctor Frankel may have Miss identified them this time around and its also, not that weird that he thought the metal was the restaurant army he works for NASS after all, but he probably It was from made meteorite or something not necessarily an alien spaceship, and when you really look at this, critic We, a second analysis, could have found some results that Frankel missed the first time around. I mean there's no reason to jump to a cover up conspiracy, so in the end, I mean really. This is all kind of a wash as for this. Apples that were taken by Doktor Heinrich and the other air force investigators. There wasn't much luck either. There is foreign material in the soil samples, no radiation, no chemical trace of whatever early ended there, but there was also
gasolene or lighter fluid on the burnt brush from the centre of the landing site, which strongly suggest that it wasn't a stage hoax in his report for project Bluebook, Doktor Hyena concludes. Something definitely landed in secure, but he has zero idea what it was. Obviously this is a problem for the air force. Bluebooks director Hector keen to me is under threat. On a pressure to find some answer, and this has become such a headache for him, but he's not backing down now he's gonna solve this case. If it's the last thing he does Hector slowly goes down to Haldeman AIR Force Base, the one that's close to security and he spent four days digging around. He searches every hangar at the base talks to every one he can find and there's nothing that remotely in fact what he's looking for so then he is another idea, may be this way. A lunar lander. He contacts and NASA and put
together a list of all of the companies and contractors that are working on lunar landing gear. He writes to all of them, requesting information about their projects and one of them looks promising. There's an unmanned craft called the lunar survey, the severe has a few similarities to the. U S: oh it's made, white metal it has jet engines attach, and it has slanted legs that would fit the markings and secure up now. The logo for the company that makes it Hughes tool company, looks kind of like the symbol. Lonnie saw on the site of the object. What's more a prototype of the was being tested at White Sands missile range, which is just down the away from Sapporo on the morning of April twenty. Fourth, that's the scene a as Lonnie, citing, however, Good is this might look? There are few big problems for wine. The surveyor has three legs, not for
and its structure looks like almost like a big metal tripod looks absolutely nothing like a big white oval that Lonnie and several other witnesses saw and ass for the Hughes to accompany logo. It doesnt, actually peer anywhere on the surveyor, although I guess it's possible that was an earlier model that may be had the logo on it and the fact that it was tested at it sounds that same morning, actually kind of raises more questions than answers. The very first person, on the scene- and so quarrel was captain holder, who is a commander at white sands here have known about the survey or test its listed on the daily range long, but after check and reach hacking, the records, no one white sands ever so much as mentioned the survey or as a possibility to me. That means
They must have been positive, that the test made it back on schedule that morning and it couldn't have been floating around in sir quarrelled that seem evening, but then that just leaves us back at square one if this wasn't any sort of domestic aircraft or spacecraft. What could it be usually in a situation like this. The next answer is that it's a hoax. Obviously, if it was a hoax Lonnie wasn't in on it, but it could have been local kids playing a prank on I mean remember the teenage driver who led Lonnie on the chase out to the edge of town, the two people. Next to the craft who he described as law, The kids are small adults. Now this would be a pretty involved. Hopes for a group of high schoolers to pull off, but saguaro is home New Mexico Tech, a science and engineering college, according Was student Lonnie had a reputation for hounding the kids on campus, so a lot of them didn't like him that same
didn't had actually even heard from a professor at that New Mexico text. Students were behind the hoax, although here name names or offer any more details on its feet. This seems like a no brainer, but there are still a few problems to consider for one thing: what a group of college students even be able to pull this off without get caught. I mean we're not talking about a paper machine balloon with a laser pointer attached. This object was: can sing enough to scare the life out of Lonnie, a career cop who served in the korean war. I mean there are flames so big you could see them over. The hill tops a deafening roar that could be miles away, not to mention the thing could fly, apparently with some kind of rocket engine, its power possible that students in the engineering programme could have built this. But it's not the kind of thing you put together. There. In an afternoon I mean this would have taken time and resources. There probably had to be
faculty member involved in that brings us to the next problem. There is no evidence that this was a hoax doctor. Make actually looked into it while he was in town and he couldn't find a single person who had any idea who was behind this. He spoke to professor to students, neighbourhood, kids, but no one Do anything, and most of them didn't even think a hoax was likely one high school or told him that if some local kid one in revenge on Lonnie, they would probably just beat him up, and if a student did go the massive effort of pulling off a prank like this. They would have told someone at some point. It would be hard not to brag about this. I mean they fool B, air force and the FBI and the Pentagon they national headlines, there will be no
better punch line in admitting that it was all a hoax all along and yet, as far as I can tell, no one has ever taken credit for it privately or publicly. There's also the obvious physical details, like the lack of higher tracks or foot prints going to or from the landing site and there were no materials or equipment left behind at the site. No bits of no launching equipment and, of course no trace of gasoline on the burning bush, We been nearly impossible to launch a UFO clean up everything and disappear into the desert, the Mint or so it took wanting to park his car Doktor Heine. It concludes that the only way is hoax could have gone off, is. If both sergeant Chavez Hand, the FBI agent were involved in covering up evidence before the AIR Force team got there and really when you add it all up pretty much, the entire town of saguaro would have had been involved in some way. Now
It was suggested at some point that the towns mayor, cooked up the whole thing to drawn tourists, but that's a pretty flimsy story. To me: I mean the landing sight was never turned into a tourist attraction and they didn't even put sign up. So if it's not a hoax, not an aircraft and not a military test site. There are a lot of options left maybe it was an experimental aircraft made by some secretive engineers who are purposely hiding their work from the government may be. It was a foreign military craft that made it across the border and right past the AIR Force base without being detected, or maybe it was aliens but whatever it was. There was no proof either way, eventually Hector
gave up and labelled the case as unidentified. I really wish I had a better answer for you or some recent developments or anything, but that's all there is more than Fifty years later, we still have no idea what landed in the desert as for Lonnie Zamora, he never lived down the UFO encounter a year later, he was quoted in an associated press story, saying if I can just forget about it, Maybe it'll go away, but it didn't. He was heckled by townspeople and fellow officers four years after the incident, He eventually left the police force to get away from the ridicule and when he died. Two thousand nine the headline for his obituary in and Albuquerque Journal was officer made UFO report its. Actually, I think really sad eve, stigmatized UFO, citing so much that even a perfectly sane, reliable witness will be seen as a conspiracy theorist just because something Campi eggs,
leaned doesn't mean it's not real. In his final report on the case, Doktor Heinrich wrote. It is reports such as these two, which I feel more attention should be paid. It is easy to dismiss the cases of birds, balloons, meteors and the law, but when good citizens of average or better than average intelligence and, above all, sincere citizens report something puzzling. I think we have some sort of social obligation to do as good a job on it. As we can thinks for listening
I'll be back next week. With another episode, you can find all episodes of supernatural and all other par cast originals for free on Spotify Spotify has all your favorite music and podcast all in one place and they're, making it easier to listen to whatever you want to hear for free on your phone, computer or smart speaker, and if you like. This show, follow at par cast on Facebook and Instagram. An app park has network on Twitter, supernatural was created by MAX Color and Stars Ashley flowers and is a park studios original it is executive produced by MAX Cutler. Sound designed by carrying Murphy with production assistance by IRAN, Shapiro and currently Madden. This episode of supernatural was written by Kate Gallagher with writing assistance by drew coal to hear more stories hosted by me, check out crime, junkie and all audio chuck, originals.
Transcript generated on 2020-06-20.