PHONY UFOs: The Aircraft of Discord
By Luis Burgos (FAO)
Since April of last year (2007), and for the following two months, the skies of Argentina were criss-crossed by strange devices, incorrectly described as "bolides". While they possessed a kind of "luminous wake" as they flew by, they lacked the characteristic speed of a meteorite. More than one witness thought him/herself to be in the presence of a UFO: there were videos, photos and newspaper articles that gave rise to a variety of conjectures and disputes. But the objects were, in fact, inter-continental airplanes.
The first reports concerning their incursions go back to 1987, when one of these vehicles was reported and believed to be a UFO over the River Plate. Over the years and in various skywatches held by FAO, we had the chance to observe them and even have a few of them fly directly over our heads. In one occasion we saw them from the riverbank at Atalaya, Province of Buenos Aires, in the company of Silvia and Andrea Perez Simondini (VISION OVNI).
These vehicles cross the distance from one continent to another, at considerable altitudes and giving off a gasification that accompany them like a short wake, although it can expand to become larger on occasions. In the distance, lit by the morning or twilight sun, they resemble "strange spindle-shaped objects, like cylinders or cigars", yellowish, orange or red in color, that even appear to remain still for several minutes, according to the observer's angle and distance. Thus, any hapless onlooker could think that he or she is seeing a UFO, but alas, that is not the case. The object's flight continues undisturbed, and generally in a Southeast-Northwest trajectory and viceversa. The time of year with the most frequent reports covers the months of April, May and June. Do they carry passengers? Are they official? Scientific? What is their mission? This perhaps is the only mystery to be unveiled. Someone suggested that the opening of the season in the Far East makes these flights more frequent. Others harbor different suspicions. The fact is that they continue plowing our skies and are still mistaken for UFOs, bringing about the controversial subject of the "fiery wakes."
The Aircraft of 2008
On March 20 we saw a distant "cigarette" at 19:20 hours from Atalaya (Bs.As.) toward the Northwest during a FAO skywatch.
On April 2: what was seen and photographed in Villaguay, Entre Rios at sunset could possibly have been one of them.
On April 10: one was seen at 18:40 hours from La Plata (Bs.As.) toward the west; yellow, luminous and with a wake.
On April 12: reports were received from the transit [of one of these objects] at 18:15 from Las Flores and Chascomús, both locations in the interior of Buenos Aires province.
On April 14: we were alerted to a "strange" presence in the town of Moquehuá, also in the interior of the province, at 18:00 hours.
Toward mid-April, what was reported by residents of Marcos Paz (Bs.As.) and reported in the papers could have been one of them.
On April 20: Gustavo da Silva (FAO in Ranchos) picked up the image of another airplane in his cellphone at 17:40 hours, while headed for La Plata.
On April 24: [An airplane] was almost certainly what was seen by residents of Santa Maria, Catamarca, flying NW at 17:45 hours.
On May 13: [An airplane] confused numerous residents of La Plata (Bs.As.) who witnessed its flight at 07:30 hours toward the River Plate, accompanied by a short luminous wake.
On May 14: The previous day's event repeated itself over La Plata and the riverbanks. Fortunately, it was photographed by Fernando Mengui, a FAO photographer, also at the same time of 07:30 hours, as it passed practically over his head. The most remarkable fact is that airplane's fuselage cannot be made out in the photo (Photo1). A case that is very similar to the one that appears below.
The Villaguay Phenomenon (Entre Rios)
On April 2 at 18:56 hours, Mr. Beto P., a professional photographer, took one of the most intriguing photographs of one of these vehicles, to the extent that it appeared in the "AP On Line" digital newspaper, edited by Ceferino Azambuyo, and which appeared in the media as a UFO over the skies of Entre Rios, only days after the famous meteorite shower over the area. When Mr. Beto contacted the FAO, he provided us with all the original material and our own Jorge Luis Figueiras performed the pertinent analyses. The photographer had executed a few filters himself (Villaguay photo 4). The main question had to do with the fact that two luminous yellow-orange wakes trailed off the alleged UFO, practically within the "cumulus of emission". In other words, the typical condensation trails did not emerge from the rear (See photo 2) but rather from both sides and looked more like flames and emission gases (Villaguay Photo 5). Mr. Beto had also managed to see a "strange variation" in the flight trajectory. We consulted with Carlos Basile (former airline pilot) who cautiously opined by not being able to attest to the shape of the object, and Claudio Basselice (FAO in Campana), an air force veteran from the Falklands War, who suggested that the transit of an airplane was in fact "very likely." With a new evaluation of the material and greater image resolution (Villaguay Photos 1 to 3), we clearly see " a central body with two lateral wake" -- definite confirmation of the presence of an airplane of the type that visits us regularly. Yet it casts a shadow of doubt by the fact that its structure cannot be clearly seen, as in other instances. What's more, if we lived in California we might even suspect the re-entry of the Space Shuttle at Edwards AFB, judging by the dense "alleged" flames given off as it flies, instead of an airplane.
There can be no doubt that they will continue to appear, either with official explanations or with the characteristic silence of the government, but...at this stage of the game, will they continue to be mistaken for UFOs?
(Translation (c) 2008, Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Luis Burgos, Fundacion Argentina de Ovnilogia)