Argentina: The 1968 "Night Visitor"
Venturing into the dark vaults of South American UFO lore, Contributing Editor Guillermo Gimenez brings us the story of a major CE-3 of a kind reported elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking Americas in the 20th century.
Argentina: The Night Visitor (The Pretzel CE-3)
By Daniel J. López and Luis Burgos
From the incomparable 1968 Argentinean – and worldwide – UFO wave, I remember that one of the most widely known and controversial cases involved an encounter between a young woman and a strange entity in the mountain ranges of Córdoba. Much has been said since then: that it was a hoax with the purpose of attracting tourists, that the protagonist herself confected the story, to a media-driven creation. Even today, naysayers hiding behind curtains will have a field day with it. The fact of the matter is that I was unable to travel to the site to inverview the witness. But in 1986, 18 years after the “contact” experience, I assigned researcher Daniel Jose Lopez of FAO, Bs.As., to reinvestigate the case. And the trip yielded results, since the eyewitness interview presented fundamental evidence suggesting that “something indeed happened at the time”. A story that was consistent, detailed and beyond all whimsical conexts emerged from the woman’s mouth. She was 37 years old at the time, nearly two decades later. Let’s take a look...
Villa Carlos Paz is a classic Argentinean tourist destination. It is located some 30 kilometers west of Cordoba. There we can find the “La Cuesta” motel, along Route No. 20 and some two kilometers from the center of town. It is owned by Mr. Pedro J. Pretzel. His daughter Maria Elodia, 19, helps her father in running the establishment.
Maria Elodia Pretzel is a determined young woman, well thought of in her community, and who is not given to reading science fiction. Early that year, she underwent surgery. After recovery, she assisted in managing the hotel. But her life changed one morning in June 1968: at around 1:00 a.m. on the 14th, Mr. Pedro Pretzel was driving back home along Route 20 when he saw “two large red lights over the road, too far apart to be the tailights of another car” some 50 meters from his motel. Finding the front door open was also disconcerting, as he knew his daughter to be quite concientious about such things. As soon as he entered the house, he headed for her bedroom, only to find the young woman spread out on the bed, unconscious. What had happened there?
After bidding two guests farewell, Maria Elodia went to the kitchen and found that a considerable amount of light was pouring into the hallway. Thinking that someone had left the living room lights on, she went in and was faced with a strange and extraordinary visitor: a large figure, standing in excess of 2 meters, blonde, hair combed backward with a friendly facial expression, stood a short distance away. He was clad in some sort of jumpsuit, light blue, covering his body from his neck down to his feet. Small luminous rays poured from his fingertips. In his left hand he carried a crystal orb that emitted bright beams of light. In his right hand he bore a ring, almost a gauntlet. According to the young woman, every time the being raised the gauntlet, “it was as though he himself rose into the air and remained suspended...”
At that time, Maria Elodia felt herself weaken and fall down, but when the entity lowered the gauntlet, she felt her strength returning. The being advanced toward her with a kindly, calm manner, moving his lips slowly, speaking a strange, melodic language that reminded her of Japanese. He said something like “cling-gling-crish”. At a given moment, the young woman felt a sensation of “bubbles in her head” and a feeling of perspiration, but when she touched her neck, she was perfectly dry.
Maria Elodia was able to dash for the safety of the counter, even as the entity moved the orb constantly and tried to get near her. She claims that she could hear, in the recesses of her mind, a message that repeated: “Don’t be afraid...”
Suddenly, the bright orb went out. The stranger stopped, spun around and withdrew toward the outside door. As he turned, the experiencer was able to see a kind of skirt around him, but the truly uncanny event occured as he approached the door: it opened by itself and closed as he departed.
From that moment on, Maria Elodia, who had backed away, remembered nothing more. A few moments later, her father arrived.
Dr. Hugo V. Vaggione, 33, knows the young woman well, as he is the Pretzel family’s physician. According to the doctor, she is a serious, somewhat introvered and very responsible person. He diagnosed her as being in a “pronounced state of nerves” afer the ordeal, due to emotional impact, but far from a breakdown. She was perfectly coordinated in her statements, and her blood pressure was normal. Finding her mentally and physically sound, the doctor can find no reason for deception or hallucination...
While the Pretzel Case does not present the physical evidence so longingly sought by everyone (footprints, remains, etc.) unofficial versions stated that traces of radioactivity were found in the motel’s carport and in areas where the “visitor” entered. There are only four (4) cases in Argentina where radiation has been detected.
This type of humanoid, prevalent in the 1960s and which is rarely seen nowadays, yielded its place to the ubiquitous Greys, which appear to have co-opted most of the entity case histories. There was, however, another close encoutner in Argentina with an occupant resembling the one in the Villa Carlos Paz incident. This was the famous encounter at La Florida, in San Luis, where a tall figure, similarly clad, appeared before three fishermen on the night of February 4-5, 1978. Regarding the correlation of cases, that night (June 13-14, 1968) involved numerous UFO and humanoid sightings throughout various provinces in Argentina. Right there, in the vicinity of the “La Cuesta” motel, local residents reported seeing “two very powerful red lights” in flight around 22:00 hours on the evening of June 13.
If the night visitor, who arrived from who knows where, waited for the last couple to check out of the motel before entering...did the imminent arrival of Ms. Pretzel’s father interrupt any subsequent actions (the orb blinking out and the entity leaving)? These questions will remain unanswered in this memorable case.
(Translation (c) 2010, S. Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology. Special thanks to Guillermo Gimenez)