Socorro's famous UFO story a hoax?
Former NM Tech President calls "bull" on Socorro's "Zamora UFO sighting"
Socorro's sighting from 1964 is often referred to as the "Zamora incident" or the "Zamora sighting", so named because Socorro policeman Lonnie Zamora was one of the key eyewitnesses to the UFO. A document has recently surfaced indicating that the New Mexico Tech president at the time, Dr. Stirling Colgate, claimed in a 1968 letter to Dr. Linus Pauling (yes, the same Linus Pauling who won not one, but two Nobel Prizes!) that he knew that the incident was a hoax and that he had "good indication" of the student who "engineered" it. The short note was handwritten on a letter received by Dr. Colgate from Dr. Pauling in which Pauling asks Colgate what he knows of the UFO sighting. Colgate scrawled his terse reply on Pauling's letter, and then mailed it back. This document recently surfaced, and Dr. Colgate's statement has been verified by email; he stands by his claim that the sighting was a college prank.
The full story... and the controversy rages on!
This story originally broke on this popular UFO site. From the comments that have been posted in response to the article, it's clear that the document from Dr. Stirling to Dr. Colgate, in which Colgate claims to have first-hand knowledge that the incident was a college prank, is not convincing many of the die-hard UFO believers. Looking at this from a fairly neutral stance, we must say that while the letter would appear to be fairly strong evidence that something may be amiss with the Zamora incident, it's nevertheless still second-hand information. We suspect the Zamora incident was not in the realm of the supernatural or the extraterrestrial, but this letter alone will certainly not change the minds of those who are convinced of its veracity. Frankly, there are probably stronger grounds on which to debunk the Zamora incident, but this letter may be a piece of the puzzle. It certainly adds yet another wrinkle to this decades-old controversy!