The Winifreda CE-3 (Argentina, 1983)
CE-3 at Winifreda: Julio Platner’s Experience (1983)
By Nestor Berlanda
Courtesy of Carlos Iurchuk – El Dragón Invisible
It was sheer fate that caused us to be the first research group to have direct access to Julio Platner’s eyewitness account.
At that time we had a group that we had formed in the year 1976, known as I.V.E. (Investigacion Vida Extraterrestre – Alien Life Investigation) – a pompous name if there ever as, since we sought no less than to research extraterrestrial life when there is no concrete evidence that such exists on other planets, even when common sense dictates the contrary, and when it is silly to think that we are the only living beings in the Universe. But the name merely followed the “fashion” of the Seventies: UFOs could be nothing else but spaceships, and if they were spaceships, they had to be alien. So anyone hoping to research UFOs was in fact investigating interplanetary spacecraft. While some researchers still remain anchored to the ETH, nowadays we think that UFOs may be something other than the aforementioned ETH. One of the groups with which we maintained contact through correspondence – specifically the first group that we got in touch with – was in the city of San Lorenzo and went by P.O.C.I.F.E., formed by two young researchers who would go on to become good friends: today they are the psychologist Oscar Alemmano and Juan Acevedo, with whom we have worked on the abduction phenomenon for some years now.
In those years, we had the healthy custom, which we fortunately have not lost, of performing visits to those locations where the enigma appeared to have rooted itself, whether as UFOs, strange stories or the remnants of ancient cultures. Around that time – July 1983 – part of the group had planned a journey to Cerros Colorados, a locale in Argentina’s Cordoba Province with a wealth of cave art. Upon returning, they heard through the media of the Julio Platner case, and we had the good luck of reaching the scene of the events only 3 days after his experience.
Winifreda is 670 km from Rosario and 45 km north of Santa Rosa, La Pampa’s capital city. It is a town of 1,700 residents whose predictable lives were altered on 9 August 1983 by an extraordinary event, experienced by Julio Platner, a local resident, who was born there on 31 July 1950 (he was 33 at the time of the first experience): a tall, robust fellow in good health and with a primary school education.
He reads only newspaper headlines and some sporadic news items that draw his attention. he is a silent, honest worker and a good colleague, according to references gathered during the research. He has many friends, is well-liked and beloved, and worthy of the locals’ trust. He lives humbly with his a wife and three boys -- Julio Ariel, Miguel Angel and Diego Mariano – who were 10, 7 and 1 years old respectively. At that time Platner was involved in farm and cereal work, but continued being employed by some local firms and was not the owner of a seed plant, as he is today.
It was precisely on account of his business that he came to the farm of Mr. Antonio Fischer, 12 km. north of the town, on Route 25, joining E. Castex with Winifreda, on the 9th of August.
Upon leaving the town at 19:30 hours, he got out of his Fiat pickup to open the back gate. At that precise moment, he felt a powerful beam of light that blinded him, causing him to shield his face in an instinctual defense reflex. He also heard a strange whistling sound, as though from a turbine. At no time did Platner see any object, or anything resembling a UFO. The constant source of light, as in other cases, can also be found in this event: the witness sees only light and nothing more. Platner, we must stress, saw no vehicle or object at all. He only witnessed a light.
“When I got out to open the farm gate, it was as if someone had pointed a floodlight at my face, as though from an autogenous welding unit, giving out rays of light which make it necessary to shield one’s face. I merely saw that. I have no recollection afterward.”
Soon after, he found himself in a room that reminded him of an “operating room”. The walls were neither smooth nor even. Rather, the looked covered with material in a color resembling light beige. He could differentiate some structures because they stood out from the wall covering: they looked like glass cases with a hue similar to the walls, although lighter. [The cases] were opaque like the rest of the room. However, lit by a white light that was very clear, did not harm the eyesight, and – as we have seen in connection with dozens of other cases – its source was not immediately apparent. Nor did it cast any shadows.
“It was a room...somewhat spherical, covered by wall coverings, what I’d never seen before. It was as bright as day, but I couldn’t tell where the light came from, because there was nothing – no bulb, no light, no source. It was bright, very bright; with a terrible sense of calm. It almost made you want to spend the rest of your life there.”
From the moment he found himself in the “operating room”, he was seated in what resembled a dentist’s chair, apparently made of the same material as the wall or the covering. I had the impression that the chair was suspended in the air, without any support, and it was very comfortable.
Around him, he could feel the presence of four beings – three males and a female – whose average height was around 1.67 meters (he uses a close friend’s height as a reference), with anthropomorphic figures and athletic builds. He couldn’t tell if they wore close-fitting jumpsuits or if it was their skin, but their color resembled that of the room. He was able to tell that they had lips, but couldn’t’ tell if they were part of their features of their outfits. He clearly made out some sort of “boots”.
Their eyes (the feature that impressed him the most, along with the sensation of great peace they inspired) were protruding, opaque, large and stood out from their faces.
They exchanged glances without batting eyelids. A small detail could be seen in profile. Their ears were close to their skulls or the material. They had five-fingered hands. The woman had the same physical characteristics as a human female, and gave the impression of being more slender than the males.
They were all hairless. The most distant of the males, the one farthest from him, and the female, were facing him; the remaining two were flanking Platner, one on the right and another on the left.
Platner tried to speak, but was unable to make any sound whatsoever. He automatically felt a reply without hearing any voices. He heard it as a thought in the shape of words: it advised him to remain calm, that there were thousands of cases like his own, that he could share the experience with others if he wished, that some would believe him while others would not. A sensation of total calm was conveyed to him.
The female approached him, as though gliding, placing her right hand on his left. Meanwhile the being standing on his right did the same, but placing a hand on his right shoulder. Suddenly, a sort of tube – part rigid, part flexible – appeared in the hands of the being on the left. It measured some 20 cm. and had these same beige color as the room.
The percipient was unable to tell if the being had held it all along or if it was extracted from one of the cases.
The tube, or its rigid part, was placed on the wrist of his left arm; he felt no pain whatsoever. This sensation was with him throughout: he noted the contact, but didn’t feel it (understood as referring to the hands of the female and the male beside him). That is to say, he could see them touching him, but couldn’t feel the pressure.
Later, with the most flexible part (the thinner part of the tube), they looked for the articulation of his elbow. Platner was able to see how blood flowed along the flexible part of the tube to the rigid segment. It rose without any form of pressure, unlike normal extractions.
He tried touching the being on his right (the one with a hand on his shoulder) but struck something invisible. The same happened when he tried to get up. In this case it was his forehead that touched something. However, the beings were able to move around normally (the 6 September 1978 case in Venado Tuerto, involving the boy Juan O. Perez, had the percipient trying to touch the walls of the alleged craft, but detecting the presence of an invisible wall, which the occupants were able to cross without any difficulties).
“The one on my right had one of its hands on my shoulder. I could see that hand resting on me, but couldn’t feel any pressure. I tried touching him and found as if I was surrounded by a glass jar, an invisible glass. Furthermore, at a given moment I tried to stand up and struck my forehead against something, that sort of glass.”
After the blood sample was drawn, Platner was ordered to stand up without any problems. He was startled to find that standing so close to him, he didn’t bump into any of the beings. But the fact was that there was no longer anyone around him. He felt himself standing on something that wasn’t exactly firm, giving him a floating sensation. Throughout the duration of the event (Platner estimates the entire experience lasted some 30-35 minutes, of which he only recalls 7 or 8) he realized that he didn’t have his wristwatch, wasn’t wearing his pullover or jacket, and didn’t recall if he had his ring. His shirt sleeves were rolled up. Previously he had everything with him.
As he tried to walk, he simultaneously found himself inside his pickup truck, hands on the steering wheel. Startled, he looked around him. His first instinct was to put the engine in gear and turn around at once. Turning on the headlights, he realized he was 19 kilometers distant from the gate to Mr. Fischer’s ranch, the place where strange experience had began. He was now on Unimproved Road No. 11, linking Rt. 35 with Villa Mirasol. The pickup truck was placed from west to east.
Calmly reaching the intersection of the roads, and remembering all that occurred, he thought the gate had remained opened ant that Mr. Fischer had advised him to close it behind him on account of the livestock. When he reached the starting point, he found that the gate was in fact open. Before proceeding his journey, he stopped to check his left arm. There was no sign of bruising nor a drop of blood, but he could see a sort of scab on his elbow joint. He drove off wondering if it had all been real, or merely the result of a dream or fugue state.
H reached his workplace at 20:25 hours and said nothing at all, feeling very calm. But upon reaching home, and seeing his children, he felt anguished, thinking about not being there for them. That’s where he told the entire story to his family. He found it impossible to sleep that night, as he could recall everything that had transpired, and the mark on his elbow burned.
The next day, he ascertained the tracks of his pickup on Route No.11 and the gate, given that his pickup has three broad tires with tread and the remaining one is worn smooth, making them unmistakable. They also showed the interrupted nature of the trip, which abruptly ended 1.5 meters from the gate, as well as the U-turn made on Route No.11, the dirt road on which he found himself, and essentially, the detour on Route 35 when he turned back to close Fischer’s gate, located on this road.
Dr. Adolfo Pizarro and his Significant Testimony
The story’s importance is not limited to the opinions of the expert who examined Mr. Platner’s marks, but can also be found in the statements made and the way in which the everyday life of a Pampan village can be disrupted due to an event that shatters the norm. It is therefore important to transcribe his words verbatim:
“I saw him on 10 August, that is to say, the next day, at 14:00 hours. The story – in quotes—was coherent. I met him at the town’s club and he told me what happened. He showed me one of the marks of the possible or alleged blood extraction. They were two surface wounds. One on the anterior face of the left wrist, which is simple skin erosion with no depth. The upper one, located in the elbow articulation, is on a significant venous layer from which blood is customarily drawn by biochemists. The wound there did indeed have the characteristics of a venipuncture, although I did not see the typical puncture mark.
I was impressed by what seemed to be smaller holes than those produced by a needle, no matter how small the gauge. It was produced by something strange, as if something had been sucked without anything rigid or metallic being introduced. That was the impression I was left with. There was no spillage of blood; that is to say, when a blood draw is incorrectly done, when the vein is improperly punctured, there are some impressive hematomas left behind. There is absolutely no sign of that. Let us say this corroborates the fact that the vein was opened. A properly done blood draw should leave this mark, and not the other.
The other, from what Julio told me, could have been a failed attempt at extracting blood. Among us, it is perfectly acceptable to have to find the vein twice in a chubby person. It is strange, though, that these people would have to searching for the vein. The difficulty of accessing the veins occurs in this fellow, who is chubby. Two different things may have happened. I don’t think they only drew blood.
I noticed that he was very sure of himself, perhaps somewhat excited, but he impressed me as being truthful, like someone who’s undergone a real experience. It had the hallmarks of a true event, a factual one.
About what he said, I really don’t know. There are some people who say “good morning” and you have to run out and check. Platner is trustworthy, in my opinion.
From a sociological standpoint, it would be interesting to examine this event in a closed, small community like this one. The way in which the story has developed and how it’s been assimilated. This is easy to study in a small town. It is most interesting, for example, that in the first 24 hours the story was taken as just another one; the next day the humorous aspect began. Everyone joked about it and so did I, as though trying to escape reality.
I’d taken it as just another journalistic account, but after analyzing it, it’s likely that higher intelligences exist. But this is so close at hand that we’re forced to make a rather more strict interpretation of the matter. This is reality-shaking, without question. One’s paradigms are abruptly shifted. Our personal values are upended. The possibility that we are not the only ones in the universe gets analyzed. I have serious doubts, but we cannot speak in terms of good and evil, and as you say, it’s an event in which there is no coercion, but I think there is. It’s a disruption of a completely private life. It may leave some serious scars behind, but...I don’t know. There are fundamental facts behind all of this.”
Evidence and Contradictions
Without any physical traces for the events, the clearest evidence of the event were the marks on Platner’s left arm and the effects on the animals in Mr. Fischer’s ranch. On the other hand, Platner’s experience was not an isolated one within the abduction phenomenon; rather, we find common patterns in domestic and foreign cases alike. A welter of information that can increase or diminish the event’s certainty can also be added.
The Fiat pick-up’s tire marks, telegraph wires severed and repaired that pass over the gate to Mr. Fischer’s ranch, and finally, a strange explosion heard many kilometers around on 11 August 1983.
1) Dr. Priotti, the biochemist who analyzed the marks, said that these corresponded to a blood draw, but no a conventional one, as there is no puncture. There are differences in the incisions, arising from their size, and because a papula (skin elevation) was detected in the elbow joint, as though absorption had been present.
2) Carlos Ovidio Ponce, a corporal at the Winifreda police station who participated in the first investigation into the case, gave us some interesting information: “The telegraph line that joins Winifreda and Santa Rosa was severed. It looked burned. That’s where Platner was blinded. On Thursday, an explosion was heard in various localities around 17:50 hours. It could’ve been an airplane, but given the fear felt by the people, it served to enhance the phenomenon experienced by Platner.”
He also stated that when Platner took his leave from Fischer, TV reception at the latter’s house was interrupted. This, as we would ascertain later, was not exactly so. Perhaps only a few are aware of the official investigation on the case, conducted by the provincial police. This was due to the story as it appeared in the press. When Julio Platner got in touch with Dr. Pizarro, the physician, upon seeing lesions on the witness’s arm, reported it to the authorities. From that moment onward, the Chief of Police of the province, and personnel from the Winifreda police station, participated directly in the case. They looked into the facts, visited the site and obtained testimony from Mr. Fischer, ascertaining the burned telegraph wires. The investigation was due not only to Dr. Pizarro’s report, but the case’s repercussions as well. Law enforcement tried to ascertain if some kind of criminal activity was behind it all. Upon finding out that the only strange thing was the case itself, they wrapped up the investigation without issuing a final judgment.
The information reached the press as a result of police involvement. According to Platner, he had no intention of making the experience widely known.
3) Mr. Fischer, a man of remarkable modesty and plainness, noted that when he said farewell to Platner around 19:30 hours, “...the horses charged one side of their paddock like a storm, and then ran off into the field, as if frightened by something. This happened when Platner was some 400 meters away from the main part of the ranch.” Regarding the TV set, like others belonging to not-so-hospitable neighbors, he told us the truth: “We haven’t had any service for fifteen days (our investigation took place on 8/13/83). It stopped working around 19:00 hours (his wife verified this by the schedule of her favorite soap opera).” The device never worked again and they are waiting for an analysis. What matters is the time difference.
Fischer was indignant about the media: “...they made up a lot of stories, said that I’d seen two guys and that I was shouting at Julio. Could someone please tell me where they got that rubbish from?”
With regard to the telegraph wires, he said that had no news of repairs performed that Wednesday, as he was out the whole day.
No one else saw the light.
4) An employee of Encotel, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the breakage of the wires and their repair. This happened on Wednesday (a day after the event)
5) Both Dr. Pizarro, Dr. Priotti, Mr. Fischer, Corporal Ponce, the pharmacist who was a grade school chum, the owner of the town’s biggest bar, the Encotel employee, the representative of the “La Reforma” newspaper in Winifreda, as well as many other accounts, support the event’s credibility due to the unimpeachable personality of Mr. Platner.
Everyone, without exceptions, describes him as incapable of lying for self-aggrandizement. He is trusted all over town. He is a humble and quiet man.
6) Mr. Fischer ascertained the pick-up’s trail when Platner says he returned to shut the gate. However, he did not find any trails leaving the ranch.
7) About the hypothetical possibility of having encountered the entities, Platner said: “If they’d told me they were coming a day earlier, it’s possible that I’d run and hide, rather than have them show up as suddenly as they did...”
8) Regarding the explosion on Thursday, it should be noted that the Air Force conducted celebrations on Wednesday at the General Pico base. Among other events were jet fighters shattering the sound barrier.
We remained in touch with Julio Platner sporadically until the year 1989, visiting him once or twice a year. During this period there were some noteworthy episodes. 15 days after his experience, specifically Tuesday, 23 August 1983, around 20:30 hours, he was out with his wife in a Chevrolet on the access road to Route 35, heading toward the city of Santa Rosa.
It was a partly cloudy evening, and Julio could see a circle of light through the windshield that he at first mistook for the Moon. But it got larger. He said nothing to avoid scaring his wife, who had been affected by the earlier experience. Suddenly she asked him if he’d noticed something odd in the sky. He replied affirmatively and pulled over on the curb with the engine running.
He was then able to see – some 500 meters away and over the car – an opaque white ring vanishing toward the center. His wife was very frightened, but Julio did not want to return home. He got out of the car and started walking toward the ring. The ring moved with him, and the state of affairs continued for some minutes. The couple continued their drive and the ring remained beside the car for some 20 kilometers, until it began getting smaller before vanishing near the “La Primavera” ranch.
There were several witnesses to this event: some along Route 35 and others in the province of Neuquén, as attested by newspapers of that time. While the connection to the events of 9 August seems evident, the characteristics of what [Julio Platner] saw more closely resemble what was seen months later all over Patagonia, and which involved tests made with atmospheric satellites. We are far from being able to say, however, that Platner witnessed some of these tests. To our understanding this event has no connection to the events experienced by Platner beforehand.
We got in touch with Platner again in 1995, that is to say, 12 years from the original event. We found Julio as ever: kind, calm and reserved.
He remembered the experiences as clearly as the first day. His description of the case was exactly as the one he’d given us three days after the experience. There were no contradictions in the account nor any added details. The only mark visible on his body was the one on his wrist, where a 3 millimeter incision is visible on a vein.
What had changed was the development of the experience within the family. In early years, his wife was suspicious and fearful about the questions, the visits, the travel and pressures, frightened that Julio would be affected in some way by something, and that he would lose his life to it.
“She’s calmer now. But she was in a bad way for some time due to the experience. She always thought something could happen to me, that my health would be affected in coming years. And as time went by, she calmed down seeing that nothing had happened.”
Her attitude changed over the years, and now shares Julio’s desire to learn what happened and why they didn’t have a shared experience. On the other hand, as has occurred in other cases, she also began having experiences that could be defined as “bedroom visitations” involving beings having characteristics identical to those reported by Julio. “Every so often my wife has dreams. She gets up in the morning and says: last night your friends were at the foot of the bed. But it isn’t a dream. She says she feels them and wakes up to find them in front of the bed.”
We have followed this investigation for over twelve years now, have interviewed the witness hundreds of times, and while we cannot determine what happened to Julio Platner, we can analyze the facts and draw some conclusions. The only specific thing is, as in so many other cases investigated, it is important to analyze the experience over time. This case is not closed, and neither are many others. Time will perhaps bring us answers, although it is more likely that [the events] will continue.
(Translation (c) 2011, Scott Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology)