Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Argentina: A Water-Stealing UFO in 1980?

Our colleague Esteban Coronel from Ecuador has sent us a very interesting case that relates to one of yesterday’s news items: the 1999 event involving an unidentified object that apparently left an Argentinean military facility deprived of water.

This new case, from 1980, appears in Spanish researcher Juan José Benítez’s website ( and occurred in January of that year with no exact date ever being determined. Three Argentinean youths – Daniel Crescini, 16, Federico Higa, 18 and Gustavo Moreno, 17 had embarked on a trip to the Salí River in the Province of Tucumán (northern Argentina) with a totally unexpected outcome.

Benítez’s website quotes from an interview with Marcelo Eduardo Pichel, who managed to speak with the young men at the time:

“On the first day,” said Crescini nervously, “we were rather bored. The fish weren’t biting until nightfall...on the next day, we got up early and one of the fellows said that he’d had an awful nightmare and even thought the ground was shaking. We paid him no mind and went back to fishing. But still no luck. We started playing cards and almost around nightfall, we felt that the ground was in fact shaking.

“It felt like an earthquake. A very loud noise seemed to come from depths of the earth. We looked around in every direction until we saw a whirlwind of water in the river. It was about fifty meters distant. That thing rose from the surface of the water into the air, absorbed by a flat, metallic object that remained static some three meters over the river.”

Federico Higa continued the story: “It seemed motionless. It had no lights or windows and didn’t seem to spin around itself. As far as I knew, objects of that sort always spun. We then told Daniel to go fetch the photo camera, to try and take a snapshot.”

Meanwhile, Crescini, nearly paralyzed by what he was seeing, went to the tent and picked up the camera (a Kodak 136) with color film. Another small tremor caused him to lose balance as he ran.

“We were all very nervous,” Crescini continued. “One of the fellows was starting to bleed from his nose. I couldn’t even press the shutter. The sight of the object was paralyzing. My friends had to shove me, and they even kicked me to take photo already. And I did so as the object was starting to rise very slowly.”

At that point, the three witnesses felt slightly dizzy and stunned. The fact is that they are unable to recall that moment with any precision. “It seemed as if that “thing” realized we were watching it,” adds Higa. “The whole sighting lasted some five minutes. Later the flying saucer – or whatever it was – suddenly pushed upward and was lost in the sky.”

The river’s surroundings were completely deserted. The three youths recall hearing some shotgun blasts that day (perhaps from hunters in the area) but there were no other witnesses. They were the only to undergo the startling experience.

“No one else saw the UFO,” Crescini went on. “When it vanished, we broke camp and went back to Tucumán, very scared.”

The young men hailed down a motorist who offered to take them back to Tucumán, but they were unable to say a word of what had befallen them. Once home, they took the roll of film to develop at a local camera shop. The experiencers told Pichel during the interview that the shop owner had offered them ten million pesos for the roll, but they turned the offer down, preferring to preserve the memento of their hair-raising adventure. At first, the youths feared being scorned if they told their story, but the monetary offer by the photo store proprietor bolstered their confidence.

“If he hadn’t laughed,” said Moreno, “why would others laugh? When we finally had the photo in our hands, we had no doubts whatsoever. The “thing” that paralyzed us at the river’s edge wasn’t a hallucination.”

Moreno spoke the least to Pichel during the interview. He had nightmares following the experience, waking up in the middle of the night for two nights in a row, gripped by a sense of anguish. Calculations show that the object appearing in the photo was some 25 to 30 meters in diameter, and perhaps three to four meters tall at its thickest.

We don’t have Mr. Benítez’s permission to use the photo from his site, but anyone interested can click on for a look at the water-absorbing vehicle after its apparent “resupply” operation was complete.

Our thanks to Mr.Coronel for tracking down this information, and to the legendary J.J. Benítez for making it available.