"Socorro is famous as the site of a well-publicized UFO incident. On April 24, 1964 Lonnie Zamora, a local policeman, was chasing a speeder on Socorro's outskirts when he claimed he saw a bright flash and heard a loud roar coming from over a nearby hill. Believing that the noise may have come from the explosion of a dynamite shack, Zamora drove over the hill on top of a first mesa. From a distance he said he saw a white, oval-shaped object appearing to sit on two legs and two "small men" in what looked like "white coveralls" outside the craft. Thinking possibly an auto accident, he drove quickly on top of a second mesa with the object just below him. When he got there, he heard three loud thumps, like a tank hatch being slammed shut. The two small people were nowhere to be seen. He left his car to investigate, walked a little bit closer, noticed a red symbol on the side of the egg-shaped object, and that the object was still resting on "girder-like" legs. Then a bright blue "flame" erupted from the bottom of the object with a tremendous roar. Thinking the object was about to explode, he ran away past his car. (The UFO Book, ppgs.545-546)
He said he saw the object lift into the air, about 15 or 20 feet. It seemed to be suspended there for a few seconds, became completely silent, and then made a rapid horizontal departure towards the nearby mountains to the South-southwest, traveling over the nearby dynamite shack in a straight line for a distance of about two miles to where a mine sat at the base of the mountains. Then it angled sharply up, rapidly rose, and faded out in the distance above the mountains.
Zamora called for help on his radio. Sergeant M.S. Chavez of the New Mexico State Police soon arrived on the scene. Chavez later said that Zamora looked "terrified"; ground foliage and nearby bushes had been badly burned, some of it still smoldering. There were also four rectangular, wedge-shaped indentations in the ground where Zamora said he had seen the object resting on legs. There were more marks possibly resembling small footprints where Zamora had seen the small people standing, and several shallow round holes. More police arrived on the scene within minutes; an Army intelligence officer from White Sands and an FBI agent joined them in searching the area for clues within two hours. They found no track evidence of anybody being there or possible hoaxing paraphernalia. Soil and plant samples were taken and when analyzed showed no foreign matter or evidence of chemical propellants that could account for the burning.
Project Blue Book, the US Air Force's official study of the UFO mystery, also sent investigators to Socorro, including their astronomer consultant Dr. J. Allen Hynek. They interviewed Zamora and Chavez, and also checked the supposed landing site. Project Blue Book's supervisor, Captain Hector Quintanilla, later wrote that the Socorro case was the best documented and most puzzling one in their files. "There is no doubt that Lonnie Zamora saw an object which left quite an impression on him. There is no question about Zamora's reliability." Quintanilla ruled out hoax and thought maybe Zamora had seen some secret U.S. craft, though a thorough search disclosed no such craft that could account for the object.(UFO Book, p. 554)
However, two prominent UFO skeptics both offered various explanations for Zamora's sighting. Dr. Donald Menzel offered two explanations: that Zamora had been the victim of an elaborate prank by local teenagers, or that Zamora had actually seen a dust devil. Philip Klass, a writer for Aviation Week magazine, would claim that Zamora and Socorro's then-mayor had hoaxed the event to bring tourists to Socorro. Investigator Hynek wrote Menzel a lengthy rebuttal letter to the hoax idea a year after the event." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonnie_Zamora
UFO Hunters Lonnie Zamora case (Incident)