Southbound on a lone desert highway, police officer Lonnie Zamora was in pursuit of a speeding car outside the town of Socorro, New Mexico, when he was startled by a loud roar! Seconds later, he saw a large flame rise from the ground and pierce the sky above a remote patch of desert southwest of the highway. Fearing a nearby dynamite shack might have exploded, Zamora let the speeding car go, turned right, and drove down a bumpy gravel road that ran alongside the shack.
Zamora’s cruiser clunked along the rocky road until he came upon a steep hill. Rising from behind the hill was a smokeless fire that glowed in a funnel of blue and orange tinted flames. The hill obscured the origin of the flames, so Zamora attempted to drive up it. His cruiser’s tires slipped and swayed on the loose gravel, but after three attempts, Zamora finally made it to the top.
A shiny object, the size of a sedan, sparkled in the late afternoon sunshine about 150-200 yards from where Zamora was perched on the hilltop. At first glance, he thought it was a car overturned in an arroyo (dry creek bed), but when he drove closer, it appeared to be aluminum in color, not chrome, and oval-shaped like a football.
Zamora drove toward the object, along the hill’s crest, for about 50 feet and then stopped the car. He radioed back to the sheriff’s office that he would be busy checking on a wreck “down in the arroyo,” and then he descended on foot down the hill toward the object.
Roooaaarrr! Zamora was startled again by a very loud rumble, not exactly like a blast but also not steady like a jet engine. It started at a low frequency, with the pitch slowly rising. The flame appeared to be coming from the underside of the object, glowing light blue on top and orange at the bottom. Zamora panicked, afraid the object was about to blow.