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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Aug > Aug 14

Re: Socorro Again

From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 12:20:47 -0700
Archived: Tue, 14 Aug 2012 09:22:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Socorro Again

>From: Viktor Golubic <Diverge247.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2012 14:59:31 -0400 (EDT)
>Subject: Re: Socorro Again

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2012 09:08:19 +0100
>>Subject: Re: Socorro Again

>>>From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
>>>To: post.nul
>>>Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 10:00:00 -0600
>>>Subject: Re: Socorro Again

>>>>From: Martin Shough<parcellular.nul>
>>>>Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 11:30:10 +0100
>>>>Subject: Socorro Again

>>>>More from Anthony Bragalia on the Colgate letter (and a new
>>>>>letter), candle-balloons etc.

>>>>New Details On World-Famous UFO Hoax Now Revealed


>>>As per Tony Bragalia's previous missives on Socorro, I find a
>>>hyperbolic title followed by a rather thin assemblage of hand-
>>>waving, name-dropping, and self-congratulation. A giant Chinese
>>>lantern, seriously? And Zamora would not have immediately
>>>noticed this thing being buffeted by the stiff wind during the
>>>pre-launch phase on the ground?

>>I agree entirely, Mike. When this story first appeared several
>>years ago I thought it was a disingenuous tissue of hearsay and
>>speculation, and said so on this List. Now, like you, I'm sure
>>of it.

>Unfortunately, the explanation is completely plausible and
>within the limitations of observation and psychological impact.
>Actual ground investigation work with witnesses will quickly
>teach anyone here to abandon a certain level of perceived
>noncompliance between witness accounts and the objects they
>observe. Certainly, I'm somewhat paused in going completely
>forward until the pranksters come forward to fill in more of the
>details. But, it's conceivable they can be tracked down rather

>I think proper perspective on the contradictory wind direction
>can be gained from the work of firefighters, here [.pdf]:


>"The winds aloft may be greatly different in speed and direction
>from the surface winds."

The link is about fighting fires in extremely rugged and
mountainous terrain, which could add turbulence and also a
vertical component to the winds. The sighting was in a shallow
arroyo on an alluvial plain where the elevation doesn't change
rapidly. The nearest mountains are two miles away to the west.

As I've repeatedly pointed out, and investigative write-ups from
1964 (e.g. Hynek) pointed out, the winds were out of the south
to southwest, yet the object departed to the WSW, thus angling
very strongly INTO the wind, or, at best, at right angles to the

Using historical records at NOAA.com and Weatherunderground.com,
I plotted the _surface_ winds at times bracketing the sighting
(5:00 and 7:00 p.m.), recorded from a dozen surrounding weather
stations. A strong, winter-like low pressure system was
beginning to push into N.M. at the time kicking up high winds
and dust.

The key point is the surface winds are _totally dominated_ by
the characteristic cyclonic, counter-clockwise circulation
pattern of the low pressure system. This is evident at ALL of
the plotted stations, over four states. There are NO exceptions.
I plotted these up on my website:


Thus ALL locations in the Socorro sector of the low pressure
system (between 3:00 to 6:00 on the clock dial), Albuquerque,
Clovis, Lubbock, Roswell, Alamogordo, El Paso, and Truth or
Consequences, have surface winds out of the south to west, again
with NO exceptions. If you compare Socorro to the nearest
surrounding weather stations at Albuquerque, Alamogordo, and T
or C, then its winds should have been somewhere out of the south
to WSW direction. (Look at the map.)

But the "balloon" argument demands surface winds out of the east
to northeast. The actual historical weather data shows that the
winds weren't anything like that at the time. There are no
easterly component to the surface winds until you get several
hundred miles north into the 12:00-3:00 sector of the
circulation pattern around Denver and Cheyanne. To get any sort
of northeasterly component would require being on the opposite
side of the low pressure circulation (9:00-12:00) up in Utah.

So to buy the balloon explanation, Socorro would have had to be
the sole exception to the overall wind pattern generated by a
large low pressure system with winds directly opposite other
towns less than 100 miles away and ALL weather stations over
hundreds of miles reporting winds totally consistent with an
counter-clockwise rotating low pressure system.

>That the object floated consistently low over a given period of
>time encourages one wind regime over another.

Which translated into English would mean a real balloon would be
constantly shifting its direction of travel, i.e. totally at the
mercy of the winds. You would see it being buffeted around.

But that _isn't_ what Zamora described. It shot off in a highly
controlled manner, namely a _straight_, horizontal line headed
directly for the mountains to the WSW.  Neglecting the surface
wind direction being completely wrong, why didn't he see the
"balloon" being badly buffeted around by all those changing
"wind regimes"? Why didn't Zamora see similar buffeting of the
alleged "balloon" in the stiff winds at the time when he was
close up?  The man probably got within 50 feet of the object.

More questions the skeptics keep dodging, how would "hoaxers"
wrangle a balloon like that in the winds, keeping it clamped to
the desert floor until Zamora got that close on foot, then
suddenly release it, yet leave no trace of their paraphernalia
like cables, or other presence there, like footprints in the
sandy arroyo bottom? They would probably have had less than a
minute to clean up after themselves and flee with their
equipment right under Zamora's nose (and with no real cover out
there) and with backup almost immediately arriving. Hynek was
posing these same questions almost 50 years ago, and there are
still no plausible answers.

>In this case
>possible surface wind dominance over winds aloft direction. That
>the object eventually took off in another direction or even
>upward is consistent with these various regime changes as a
>function of altitude.

This is a classic handwaving, doubletalk argument. Just totally
ignore the actual wind surface data of the time. So we have
"possible surface wind dominance", when the _real_ wind surface
data shows winds probably 120-150 degrees away from winds needed
to make a balloon theory work. Remember, there is not one single
weather station in the area with contradictory surface wind
data. And we still have no explanation for that unwavering
straight line trajectory towards the mountains.

>That the object floated horizontally is completely plausible
>given that this presumed prank-object had a payload. I've made
>numerous candle driven balloons and this is completely
>consistent with their behavior.

Can they move in a straight, unwavering line while being
buffeted around by a stiff wind? Can they move against the wind?

>They can move quite quickly as
>well: Such estimates or effects are amplified since one judges
>speed based on passage over near by objects or surfaces as
>opposed to far away reference points.

More handwaving arguments. We can estimate how fast the object
departed from Zamora's estimates of how long it took the object
to reach a very prominent landmark (perlite mine) at the base of
the mountains about 2 miles away. Ray Stanford said Zamora
estimated 10 seconds, which Stanford doubled to 20 seconds, but
even if you triple that to 1 minute, the _average_ speed (top
speed even higher) would be 120 mph, or well into hurricane
force winds.

[We can also estimate the maximum departure time based on the
fact that Zamora had twice radioed in for backup, starting
approximately 1/2 minute before the object departed, and backup
was already on its way in the form of state policemen Sam
Chavez, who was probably already headed up the dirt road and
probably got there within a minute of when the object departed.
(The landing site is only 1/2 mile from the turnoff onto the
dirt road.)]

So even with a very conservative estimate of departure speed, you now
need winds several times stronger and blowing from a direction not
supported by the actual historical wind data. And you still need to
explain the unwavering straight path of the object as it departed.

>Estimates on distance are also very difficult and problematic.
>Often it can be overestimated by a factor of 2 or 3 even by
>experienced observers.

So let's halve the distance to 1 mile in 1 minute, or 60 miles
an hour, a really super-conservative estimate. Still probably
around double the gusts of wind, still the wrong wind direction,
still no explanation for the straight trajectory.

> And, that he had no experience with the
>object in question only compounds or fragments this perceptual

So in the end, just a bunch of handwaving about the winds to
dismiss the actual wind data and the usual witness massive
misperception argument.

David Rudiak

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