Argentina: La Araña - When Time Stood Still...
By Luis Burgos, Fundación Argentina de Ovnilogía
While the return of a considerable portion of unidentified craft to the “scene of the crime” (based on my Decimal Hypothesis) is a constant that is disputed by very few, field researchers have narrowly defined the “window areas” (relatively short time intervals in non-recurring sites) and the “hot zones” (fixed recurrent periods). Intensive regional surveys may perhaps enable us to weave a hypothesis as to “why”. Such is the case with “La Araña” and other locations in the province of La Pampa, one of the most visited by unidentified flying objects.
La Araña is an area located some 50 kilometers west of Santa Rosa, provincial capital of La Pampa. It can be reached along Route 14, passing first through the town of Toay. The town’s ghostly aspect is like the ancient memory of a legendary past. A little abandoned schoolhouse, the odd lonely house in the vicinity and the dilapidated structure of an old “rural bowling alley”, best remembered for its dances back in the 50’s and 60’s, are silent witnesses to unusual episodes of a UFO nature that commenced in the early 60’s and continue – incredibly – to our contemporary days and nights. It’s as though “something magical” enveloped the enigmatic wilderness, cited in books on the subject, newspapers of the time, and voiced by local residents knowledgeable about the “evil lights” that prowled the area. Nowadays, Quique Mario’s CEUFO has turned it into a favorite site for conducting UFO skywatches (“Alerta OVNI”). Likewise, Raúl Chaves and Ester Urban’s CIUFOS organization keep the area under surveillance.
Astounding Case Histories
As expected, “the first great Argentinean wave” on 13 May 1962 impacted the area in question, as well as other Pampean locations and six other provinces. It was captured thus by Hector P. Anganuzzi in his book Historia de los Platos Voladores en Argentina (A Flying Saucer History of Argentina) when describing the experiences of people attending the dances at La Araña, and who noticed a considerable source of light in the vicinity after 4 in the morning, not too far from where they stood. Some of the locals approached the source of light and saw an object begin to rise at that very same moment, followed by several similar ones that had not been seen initially. As they departed, each appeared to spin on its respective axis. The “La Prensa” newspaper also reported the sighting in its 16 May ’62 edition.
In the mid-1970s, other dance hall attendees were treated to the sight of a flying object that was about to descend several meters from the place. When it was about to touch the ground, however, it tore through a barbed wire fence. The object immediately shook itself off (like a chicken shaking its feathers) and rose into the air once more, before the disconcerted eyes of these privileged witnesses. This incident forms part of the 50 most unusual events in the national UFO case histories.
One evening in 1979, a hunter was startled by a flying object that “fell upon him”, leaving him no alternative but to open fire against it. He scored a hit, and managed to hear the bullet’s impact against the unusual prey. The UFOs lights went out at that very moment and he didn’t see it again. Nor did he find the bullet.
In late 1980, a driver traveling along Route 5 at night saw a large, luminous UFO shaped like a fish when he reached the location.
Around 15:00 hours one hot afternoon in January 1990, Jose Luis Lopez and his assistant were doing farmwork when they were warned by a laborer of a “giant oval object”, dark brown in color, that flew over their heads slowly and at a very low altitude, heading south. The artifact, which made a slight whistling sound, went unnoticed by the farm animals. The observation lasted some 10 minutes and according to one of the witnesses, it felt as if “time had stood still.”
On the night of 15 December 1994, Mr. Nestor Fernández and a companion were traveling from Carro Quemado to Santa Rosa. After reaching La Araña, they saw a glowing flying saucer that startled them, to the degree that they reported it to journalists of the “La Arena” newspaper.
Field research by CEUFO investigators aimed at implementing the First UFO Skywatch mandated by Proyecto Condor could not have had a better award. From the afternoon of 8 May to the morning hours of 9 May, 1999, they set themselves up in the wilderness, taking numerous photos of the local geography: roads, fields, skies, etc. In one of the shots taken at random, a very luminous body, white in color and surrounded by a red halo, became visible. It is one of the few nocturnal “phantom UFO” photos.
In the year 2002, the year in which cattle mutilations were in full swing, La Araña was not free from such incidents, as might be expected. Such episodes continue in this forbidding region to this very day.
To continue listing cases would be repetitive. The UFO phenomenon has chosen that site as one of its targets and has shown preference for it. To be there is to breathe in a bit of Pampean saucer history, and by extension, that of Argentina. There is no question that “something” moves, glides, makes incursions, appears and vanishes, acts, flows and becomes invisible in that desolate wilderness of the Pampas. The obvious question remains: what was there, what is there or what will be there? The question remains unanswered.
(Translation (c) 2011, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Luis Burgos, FAO)