Folklore & UFOs / Socorro Incident

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

Folklore & UFOs / Socorro Incident

About the show

Over two decades ago, eminent scientist Jacques Vallee wrote a provocative book about UFO cases, folklore, and certain unexplained phenomena. He joined George Knapp in the first half to discuss that original groundbreaking work Passport to Magonia, which changed our understanding of the UFO phenomenon by connecting documents and data from earlier centuries that related to incidents in the modern era. Among the numerous parallels between UFOs, folklore, and religious traditions were tales of fairies, elves, leprechauns, apparitions, and strange creatures.

In Celtic regions, witnesses described seeing fairies who were accompanied by strange oval objects from the sky, and these beings were also known for abducting people-- not unlike modern reports of alien abduction, he pointed out. A ninth century account from the Archbishop of Lyon, France dealt with three people who were said to emerge from a flying ship-- villagers thought they came from a magical land called Magonia that was beyond the clouds. Vallee spoke of how UFO phenomena seems to straddle different layers of reality, and what witnesses actually observe may be modulated by their individual consciousness. People in Asia view the phenomenon as part of nature, and the alien beings hailing from a different plane, rather than another planet, he added.


In the latter half, Ray Stanford, who has been investigating the Socorro UFO landing for over 50 years, shared not only the details he presented in his seminal 1970s book Socorro 'Saucer' in a Pentagon Pantry, but further evidence in the case. The incident took place in April 1964, when Lonnie Zamora, a New Mexico policeman, heard a loud roar and saw a descending object in the sky in flames. In his patrol car, he tracked the craft to where it had landed in a ravine on the outskirts of Socorro, and saw two small beings beside it. The beings were the size of children, and dressed in something like white coveralls, Zamora reported. Several other witnesses described seeing an object in the sky, and landing traces and soil were subsequently tested.

Stanford made numerous trips to Socorro, to examine the scene and interview Zamora and other witnesses. He found Zamora to be highly credible in his accounts, and famed ufologist J. Allen Hynek also came to town to investigate. Directly after the incident other patrolmen arrived on the scene, including one who took photos-- he was asked to turn over the images to the government, and some of the photos reportedly showed the effects of radiation, Stanford detailed. Zamora made a drawing of the red insignia he saw on the side of the craft, yet the military ended up changing the look of the drawing to deliberately obfuscate the public, in order to determine if future sightings might be copycat hoaxes, Stanford explained. He further revealed that he has acquired an actual photo of the craft, which he's hoping to use for publication in an updated book on the Socorro incident.

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