Argentina: Police Searches for Strange Object
ARGENTINA: POLICE SEARCHES FOR STRANGE OBJECT THAT FELL FROM SKIES
*** Rosario de Lerma and Chicoana / Numerous witnesses say it was a "fireball"***
*** Area combed for 6 hours in the El Puyil wilderness, but nightfall brought operations to a close***
Personnel from the sheriffs' offices of Campo Quijano and Rosario de Lerma were looking - until 20:00 hours yesterday-- for an unidentified flying object (UFO) that allegedly fell in the mountains to the west of Rosario de Lima and Chicoana, in a wilderness known as El Puyil.
Research activities began around 10:30 the day before, when a woman identified as Beatriz Prieto nervously reported that "a fireball, looking like an airplane in flames, fell into the hills."
Her call was soon joined by dozens of others reporting the same, adding that "whatever it was, it caused a great explosion when it came into contact with the ground."
Victor Copa, sheriff inspector and chief of Provincial Police Regional Unit 1, told El Tribuno that judging from the accounts " all of this indicates that whatever it was fell to earth from space, impacting the jungle mountain ranges to the West of the Departments of Chicoana and Rosario de Lerma, where the search was concentrated."
Sources with the Direccion de Aviacion Civil and spokespersons of the Argentinean Air Force in the "Martin Miguel de Guemes" airport at El Aybal dismissed the possibility that an aircraft could have been in flight over the area at the time. "We have no flights recorded. There are no reports of missing planes or anything similar."
Nonetheless, given the avalanche of phone calls and the certainty that "something" crashed at El Puyil, the state aeronautics entity sent a small plane to fly over the area, although the effort was fruitless: the hills were covered by dense low fog.
Dardo Gustavo Tolaba, head of the Chicoana deputy sheriff's office, said: "We carried out a surface inspection and observation with binoculars, but with no results due to poor visibility. What's strange is that neither smoke nor land disturbance were observed. It's clear that there was some strange phenomenon [at work]," said the officer.
Moreover, the police sent a group of expeditionaries to Corralito in Rosario de Lerma, where there were numerous accounts from locals concerning the event. The team was made up of 20 members of the Mounted Police, Canine and High-Risk Operations Group (GOPAR), who combed the area for six hours until nightfall. Tasks will begin at dawn once more.
Senior sub-officer Osvaldo Mejia, Air Force officer of the day at the Salta Airport, stated that "we recorded all of the flights that were supposed to fly over the area, including international ones, and all of them reached their destinations. There was no contact with the control towers and a search of air club records shows no missing planes. " The Salta Airport lacks a radar, and for this reason each flight must present its flight plan before take-off, showing the route and altitude to be maintained during its flight.
The strange situation was double-checked with the Cordoba radar, which also records airplane movements over the area where the crash occurred. No anomalies were detected.
(translation (c) 2007. S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo Gimenez)