Encounter In The Desert – Reviewed (Socorro, NM)
by Nick Redfern October 30, 2017 (mysteriousuniverse.org)
• Kevin Randle has published a new book entitled: Encounter In The Desert. The subtitle: The Case For Alien Contact At Socorro, detailing the incident in Socorro NM on April 24, 1964.
• Upon hearing a loud boom, local police-officer Lonnie Zamora discovered a landed UFO, piloted by two smallish humanoids dressed in white.
• Randle takes us on a real-life detective story as he seeks to uncover the truth of the weird event. We are treated to a good, solid study of the case, of the craft that Zamora encountered, and of the diminutive pilots.
• Randle addresses the claim that the craft was man-made, but concludes that this theory ‘doesn’t really hold water’.
Available now is the new book from Kevin Randle. Its title:Encounter In The Desert. The subtitle: The Case For Alien Contact At Socorro. If you know your UFO history, you’ll know exactly what the title of the book refers to. Namely, an incident that went down on April 24, 1964 and which, for many, has become a UFO classic. It was on the afternoon of the day in question that local police-officer Lonnie Zamora broke off from pursuing a teenager in a speeding car and headed to a nearby dynamite shack. The reason? A sudden roaring sound coming roughly from the area where the shack was positioned. Quite naturally, Zamora thought that there may have been an explosion at the site. He was wrong. What Zamora came across – many UFO researchers believe – was nothing less than a landed UFO, piloted by two smallish humanoids dressed in white. A close encounter? For many, yes. But not for all.
Those who are skeptical of the Socorro affair suggest that what came down may have been a vehicle of the military. Others suggest that an ingenious prank was the cause of all the fuss. The story was told extensively in Ray Stanford’s 1976 book, Socorro “Saucer” In A Pentagon Pantry. Now, more than forty years after Stanford’s book was published, we have Kevin Randle’s take on Socorro. It’s clear from very early on that Randle is of the opinion that what landed at – and soon took off from – Socorro was an alien spacecraft. To his credit, though, Randle tackles just about every theory under the Sun.
That something happened is not a matter for debate. Something clearly did. The big question is: what, exactly, happened? We know that the local police, the Air Force and the FBI all took a deep interest in the case. In part, surely, because the primary witness was a then-serving police officer. I say “primary” because, as Randle notes, there is evidence of other witnesses having seen something too.
Randle takes us on a real-life detective story as he seeks to uncover the truth of the weird event. We are treated to a good, solid study of the case, of the craft that Zamora encountered, and of the diminutive pilots. Randle also demonstrates that the Air Force’s Project Blue Book undertook an in-depth investigation of the controversy. It was an investigation handled seriously and carefully by the USAF.
Personally, I have no firm conclusion regarding what happened on that April 24, 1964 day. And, having read Randle’s book, I’m still not sure what to think of it. Yes, Randle does indeed make a good case that the claims of the craft being one of ours doesn’t really hold water. He cites, for example, the words of Hector Quintanilla, who was in charge of the USAF’s operation, Project Blue Book, at the time. Quintanilla followed a theory that perhaps what Zamora had seen had military origins. Randle refers to “…some special tests being conducted at White Sands involving a Lunar Surveyor and helicopters.” While this looks promising – in terms of an answer – we learn that Quintanilla, having addressed this theory, came away “dejected” and convinced that “the answer to Zamora’s experience” was not to be found in military experiments, after all.
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