Argentina: A Strange Incident from 2002
Argentina: A Strange Incident from 2002
By Luis Burgos, Fundacion Argentina de Ufologia
The world UFO community is about to hear of one of the most disconcerting episodes involving UFO sightings. It just so happens that whe we started investigating the incident “on site’ in July 2002 with the entire team of the Fundacion Argentina de Ovnilogia, we never imagined the ramifications that this case would have. In fact, our first point of contact with the Ugarte Police Barracks, through Sergeant Reinoso, was to glean more information on the sighting that had taken place on July 4 that year and involved Officer Aragones. At the time, we were deeply involved in cattle mutilation research. It was therefore obvious that aside from the UFO sighting, we wanted to know if any cattle mutilations had taken place in that part of Western Buenos Aires Province. And therein lay our first surprise. On June 14 and 15 of that year, there had been, in fact, a mutilation at Estancia Benavidez, only a few kilometers from the town. A calf had been found under the electrical wires, having been taken – incredibly – from one pen to be deposited in another. Beneath the animal we found the unmistakable “iron filings” (gathered with a magnet) which we have so often discovered at UFO landing sites.
A mysterious light had flown over the farm the night before, and had been seen by Don Francisco, the owner, and members of his family.
In this order of affairs, while on the phone with police personnel at 18:30 hours on July 17, 2002, we were informed of what had been going on in the area both UFO and mutilations-wise. But the best was still to come. Two hours later, an urgent phone call apprised us that a UFO was again involved in maneuvers in the vicintiy of Ugarte and that local residents and policemen alike had taken to the road to get a better view. Until midnight that night, our contact, Sergeant Reinoso, euphorically confirmed not only the transit of the object, but the fact that Ricardo Hector Labaronnie, one local, had managed to obtain an excellent recording. At that time, all of the community was in an uproar and the regional press gave the incident considerable coverage, including “La Razon” in Chivilcoy, “La Mañana” in 25 de Mayo and televison channel 3 also in 25 de Mayo.
But the Ugarte case was not over. It was only starting.
Gobernador Ugarte is a typical rural community in Buenos Aires Province, located on Route 51 between the cities of Chivilcoy and 25 de Mayo, the community to which it belongs. With little more than 300 inhabitants, it is 270 kilometers distant from La Plata and 200 kilometers from Capital Federal. It is here that Ricardo Labaronnie, 32, lives with his wife and two children. The rest of his family – parents, sister and nieces – were witnesses to the events. Ricardo works for the Cooperativa Electrica and is in charge of dealing with power outages in the town, and it was his Sony 360 camera that captured the images. To date, he has already recorded some forty enigmatic lights of varyious shapes and sizes, engaged in different manuevers, at different times. But the true epicenter of the sightings is “La Esperanza”, a farm some 3 kilometers to the east. The owners, Laura and Adrian, a fine couple from Mendoza, live there with their four children and are also witnesses to the “transit of the lights”. It is safe to say that “everything goes through La Esperanza”. It’s very a nearly an airport with a control tower, where airplanes – in this case, the astonishing lights – ascend, descend and land. It was from here that we conducted our nightly sky watches with the Labaronnie family and the couple from Mendoza. There is something special about the farm beyond Laura and Adrián’s experiences or Ricardo’s videos. Here, in the solitude of the countryside, the researcher discovers the background information on the phenomenon:
A. Pine and Eucalyptus trees: on August 23, 2002, a strange “cloud” parked itself over the pine trees at the entrance to the farm, an event recorded by Ricardo. 48 hours later, one of the pine trees is completely dessicated from its tip to its base.
B. Dense forest: On repeated occasions, powerful flashes of light tend to be seen within and without the forest. A phenomenon of this type was witnessed by FAO members Nelson Polanco and Diego Sanchez, along with Ricardo, at midnight on February 22, 2003.
C. Windmills, “Australian” water tanks and ponds: On July 2002, water was found missing not only from the tank but also from the swimming pool.
D. Railroad lines: The town is bordered by train tracks and the intrepid lights were also reported in their vicinity.
E. Lagoons: There are dozens, and the presence of lights in some of them is striking. When drawing conclusions, it would also be essential to point out the proximity of the Salado River some 8 km northwest of the town. A large part of the luminous phenomenon begins there or vanishes there.
F. Electric grid: High-tension wires pass behind the farm and a 13,000 volt terminal is located inside the premises.
Delving deeper into the investigation, we learned that there is a long history of interference by “unidentifieds” in Ugarte and the surrounding towns and cities. What is truly startling is that the phenomenon was already active in “La Esperanza” in early decades: the law stating that “UFOs tend to return to sighting locations, wheteher its days, months or years later” seems to operate here, and this constitutes the basis for our Decimal Hypothesis, a predictive method. Around 1982, the former owners reported the presence of “two small entities that suddenly manifested in a bedroom” (bedroom visitors) coinciding with the discovery of three circular impressions located by the entrance, in the field where numerous sightings occur. According to Laura, strange UFO activity began around February 2000, when they took over the farm, although the cases boomed in April 2001. Sightings having these characteristics have also occurred in the town.
In the mid 1950s, personnel from the San Jose del Socorro farm, located between Ugarte and 25 de Mayo, noticed the surprising apparition of several circular impressions near a eucalyptus forest.
In 1971, around 06:30 a.m., 12-year-old Walter Villegas (who is Ricardo Labaronnie’s current brother-in-law) witnessed the low altitude flyby of a strange flying object, an event corroborated by other boys in the Ugarte school. In the mid-1990s a local claimed having been “taken aboard a spacecraft” and remarked about the abduction and the marks on his arms. In 1997, another local resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, mentioned the “sudden appearance of bizarre entities in his home.”
There is no question that if we add related information to these reports, we can see that regional folklore is plainly at work with events of all kinds. But there was, in this region of Buenos Aires Province, a significant event that constitutes a milestone in Argentinean Ufology: The Indacochea Indentation, dating from the early 1940s, when the word “flying saucer” didn’t exist. Indacochea is a small community in Chivilcoy, located little more than ten kilometers north of Ugarte. Here, on a rural road, “two horseshoe-shaped indentations measuring 12 meters each, arranged vertically but with their open ends to the left and right, respectively, were stamped on the ground, with their dirt edges blackened. They endure to this very day in spite of local traffic and rainfall.” Evidently, such a long-lasting contrast with the soil would point to the intensely high degree of combustion to which the surface was subjected at the time. The Indacochea Indentation, in the light of contemporary UFO landing phenomena, are perhaps the first of their kind in the world, and among the most enduring. Only in Magdalena, Buenos Aires Province, did we find a “greened horseshoe” that remained intact from 1970 to 1990. Since then, all of the area surrounding Ugarte was populated by all kinds of “close encounters” , as we can see from our unique and exclusive Argentinean Data Bank (From 1816 to 2003):
3 cases involving “landing marks”
2 cases involving “mothership sightings”
1 probable “abduction case”
4 cases involving “entities”
5 cases containing photographs
3 periods of “unidentified aerial activity”
Perhaps this may be crucial when making evaluations, since we have reports of two similar periods of [intense mutilation activity] to a lesser extent. From February to March 1999, the strip along Route 5 between Chivilcoy and Bragado produced numerous reports; from 1976 to 1977, local research groups like CICECH (Centro Investigador de Cuerpos Extraños de Chivilcoy) and Control Cielo in 25 de Mayo received reprots. Ugarte, by sheer chance, is located within this “triangle”. In closing, and as a corroboration to our Decimal Hypothesis, we find:
02-07-63 A “cigar” type mothership in Alberti
02-83 A “blue cloud”type mothership in L. Monteverde
1982 Bedroom visitors and three indentations in Ugarte
06-02 UFO activity kicks off in Ugarte
03-04-99 The 4 UFO “rendezvous” in Chivilcoy
03-04-99 “Ghost” photo taken with UFO activity in full swing.
Cattle Mutilations in the Region
In spite of the fact that some ufologists associate the transit of “two cloud-shaped UFOs” over several provinces on April 1, 2002 as the start date of the mutilation wave, with its first incident on April 4, we have still not been able to relate on event with another, involving the 27 cases of “cloud-shapes” or “smoke columns” that we have had in this country since 1967. Even so, nothing can be dismissed from a ufological standpoint. A mutilated calf was reported in May  in the town of Achupallas, located 6 kilometers north of Ugarte, and three animals the next month in Chivilcoy. In Ugarte itself we attested 4 other mutilation cases, two of them occurring “within Estancia La Esperanza...”. All of this indicates that on a property adjacent to Route 51, a case involving three mutilated bovines took place. The second event occurred, as we can see from the introduction, in a farm owned by Don Francsico on the nights of June 14-15, and perhaps the mutilation at “La Experanza” occurred on the very same date. According to Laura and Adrian, they had observed the animal behaving strangely, as though ill. They set it aside from the rest of the herd. When the animal died, not only was it mutilated, but it was removed from one pen and deposited in another, and its head was embedded in the wire fence. The farmhand who was doing his chores quit the job, turned over the keys and returned to Santa Fe. In his own words, “a violet-hued light caused the animal to fly...” (?)
Subsequently, Adrian confirms that a calf that had died of natural causes was found mutilated only days later. By the time this report was known, three cases had already occurred in Ugarte. We will continue to research this aspect of the phenomenon.
(Translation (c) 2008, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo Gimenez, Planeta UFO)