SOCORRO – A FOOTNOTE
I just read that a person named Dominick, commenting on a short review of James Fox’s The UFO Phenomenon (2020), made the following observation:
● “The “new information” for me was the very short discussion of the “little footprints” in the Socorro case. (Could have used much more on that!). Those so-called foot or shoe prints in the sand appear to confirm Lonnie’s sighting of the two smallish figures outside the landed craft.”
The comment reminded me of a paradoxical observation I heard long ago that the entities footprints were actually strangely large for people said to be “small adults or large kids,” as Officer Lonnie Zamora described them in his statement.
Fox’s documentary prefers the lower end of the range, reproducing a newsclipping that says the figures “appeared to be ‘child-like,’ that is small.”
I no longer remember where specifically I heard or read that observation – it feels like a really long time ago – but it is easy enough to reconstruct the reasoning. The Blue Book file includes a drawing of one of the footprints found at the site near the marks made by the craft. The footprint drawing includes measurements. The salient measure gives the length of the print as 12¼ inches.
It is easy to google up an authoritative paper that correlates the relationship of foot length to a person’s height:
Giles, E. and Vallandigham, P. H., “Height Estimation from Foot and Shoeprint Length,” Journal of Forensic Sciences, JFSCA, Vol. 36, No. 4, July 1991, pp. 1134-1151. https://www.dentalage.co.uk/…/giles_e_et_al_1990_foot_lengt…
There is a handy table therein (p. 1146) and for prints 12¼” long – the mean height of the person is 5’ 11” with the standard range of 70% of the people falling between 5’8” to 6’2.” This is a fair indication that the figures were unlikely to be large kids or small adults. The individual was a typical adult in his height.
Easy to predict, people will offer excuses. Aliens need not conform to human norms. Yet Zamora did say exactly that the figures seemed to have a normal human shape. From the Blue Book statement:
● “Saw two people in white coveralls very close to the object. One of these persons seemed to turn and look straight at my car and seemed startled–seemed to jump quickly somewhat…. The only time I saw these two persons was when I stopped, for possibly two seconds or so, to glance at the object. I don’t recall noting any particular shape or possibly any hats or headgear. These persons appeared normal in shape – but possibly they were very small adults or large kids.”
In point of fact, the totality of Zamora’s report proves the figures are not alien. To start with, they aren’t wearing enclosing helmets or breathing gear. They seem to be breathing our atmosphere. I refer the interested reader to a longer piece where I detail why nothing of the case fits an extraterrestrial interpretation. It is only the standard fallacy of ufo myth that unexplained = alien that believers rest their admiration of the case upon.
Let me draw out another implication or two. The physical trace indicates the figures were most probably normal-sized humans in reality and Lonnie’s brief – “possibly two seconds or so” – impression of the size was erroneous possibly due to uneven terrain creating an incorrect sense of the distance.
The figures were perceived as wearing white coveralls and that was a typical form of attire of aviation workers in the Sixties.
I mention this to indicate why I am doubtful of the notion advanced by others that Socorro involved a student prank. Kids more typically wore blue jeans and some variety of colored shirts, particularly when in outdoor settings. The evidence points to some sort form of flame utilizing air vehicle, poorly comprehended, but involving humans in some manner tending to it.
I probably should emphasize that the above is premised on the Blue Book document actually being a drawing of the humanoid’s footprints as Fox’s documentary implicitly accepts. The document is shown at time 35:11 in the Travel Channel presentation with voice-over narration implying this is the proof that footprints are present. At an earlier point, Pablo Lopez draws with his finger in the dirt his memory of how small the footprints were and their shape. There is a quarter present to give scale. That is smaller than what the Blue Book sketch shows.
Looking at some of the literature on the case, I was puzzled that I couldn’t find the document used here reproduced in the standard accounts – e.g. Hynek’s books, Ray Stanford’s book, Kevin Randle’s book, and W.T. Powers paper in The Humanoids. Stanford’s book includes remarks which imply there are ladder imprints in addition to the impressions made by the landing legs of the craft. He also speaks of people walking on the site before it was properly documented. I also note that while the print that has the measurements on it has the look of something made by a shoe with a typical heel, one could regard them as two smaller footprints shaped in part by movement in the dirt.
We also observe that there is a dashed line across the front of print which allows that the print might be only 11” long because of problems with the type of soil it was made in. Look at 11” in the forensic table and the height is more like 5’ 7” with the standard range of 5’4½” to 5’9½” which would be more in line with a short adult, though still not “child-like.” So, yes, there are ample caveats and escape clauses here.
At the end of the line, however, the natural interpretation of this physical trace remains that it is the footprint of an adult.