Mexico: The Guanajuato UFO of 1987
By Gustavo Nelín Floren
Science cannot allow itself the luxury of prejudice without prior investigation, to the greatest possible extent, of phenomena that are not readily understood within its frames of reference.
This article aims at presenting the facts just as they occurred, including personal investigation which took place 18 months after the event, in order to maintain the case's impartiality.
During the second and third weeks of April 1987, Mexico's most important news broadcasts carried the story that a spectacular heavenly phenomenon had been observed in the city of León, Gto. during the night and early morning hours of the 10th and 11th of April. This phenomenon had been accompanied by fires and other tell-tale signs pointing to the landing of some unknown object or objects.
The story presented in the newsmedia was the following: In a place known as Mesa de Ibarrillas, some 10 kilometers north of the city of León, some very large and intense lights had been detected over the city's northern end, followed by forest fires. The first news story declared that 25 elements of the police force in different squad cars had reported to the area in question, aside from other witnesses of the event from the locality and from León itself. The heavenly phenomenon lasted some two hours, but the fires raged through the night.
Many believed at first that they were dealing with an ordinary fire in some point of the plateau, which is scarcely forested, and with a vegetation consisting largely of cacti, small trees, and wild grass, since the area is used as a cattle pasture. However, the police report indicated that the fire occured in the form of two circles with a perimeter of 100 meters and a diameter of 30 meters. The fire burned on the ouseide of this perimeter yet not at its center, and it did not extend beyond this perimeter. An equilateral triangle, with 4.5 meter sides, was also found in the area.
One of the eyewitnesses mentioned in the newscast, industrial engineer Leonardo Chagoya Amarao, stated that what was truly odd about the pasture was that it was entirely carbonized, along with the cattle dung on the ground and some thick tree trunks. However, intact trees and dung piles could also be found in the same area. Some of the trees which appeared outwardly intact were in fact entirely carbonized within.
Another newscast mentioned three luminous objects in the sky, seen hovering above the plateau, giving off multicolored lights. Others stated that the objects had in fact landed on the plateau
itself. The six policemen who testified before the TV cameras gave the following different versions:
· They saw glowing objects in the sky which exhibited movement. The first one to observe them was Commander Juan Manuel Cabrera (who spoke on their behalf), stating that the objects emitted a variety of colors. Another officer thought they were dealing with a prank, but upon reaching the site, noticed that there were signs of a tripod-like object (in the middle of the burning circle). Another officer indicated that the fires had a circular shape. Yet another policeman declared having seen an immense, circular flying object descend and later rise from the site described on the plateau. Further descriptions stated that at least eight stars, larger than true stars, had been seen over the plateau, shifting from one color to another.
Concepción Jasso of León was among the civillian witnesses interviewed on TV. She claimed to have witnessed the descent of a large, well-defined object on Mesa de Ibarrillas. In order to get a better view, she went to Puente de Hidalgo (north of León),
but upon reaching that location, found that a number of persons were already there, taking the phenomenon in. By then, there were several flying objects in the sky, all of them resembling "precious stones" in red, white, and green. The also witness presented a drawing of what she'd seen.
Among the other interviewees was José Guadalupe Chagoya, who explained that the flying object, in spite of its size, did not have a very intense light. It was endowed with two "headlights"
Due to the importance given to the case by mass media, the decision was made to carry out an "in situ" investigation aimed at examining the facts, interviewing first-hand witnesses, officials, and private persons, performing a bibliographical search of all news items appearing in local and national newspapers and magazines, in order to gather the true facts in an objective, rational manner.
Mention was made of the case in the editorial page of a magazine dealing with paranormal phenomena (Duda No. 829 and 831).
Mesa de Ibarrillas is a plateau located at 2250 meters above sea level (350 meters above the altitude of the city of León, Gto.). Its geographic coordinates are 21 degrees, 41 minutes latitude north, 101 degrees, 38 minutes latitude east (approximately 10 Km in a straight line from the center of León). The plateau can be reached by a paved road leading to the village of Ibarrillas, and from there on by climbing terraces to summit. This road is transitable during the dry season (October to May). The site is located to the south, and its base lie the villages of Ibarrillas and Los Castillos. To the east lies Mesa de los Reyes, which is divided by the Ibarrillas canyon which runs from north to south from La Campechana hill. The city of León (pop. 1.5 million) can be seen to the south from the plateau.