Argentina: VISION OVNI Reports to the Scene of the Alleged Meteor Strike
Argentina: VISION OVNI Reports to the Scene of the Alleged Meteor Strike
A Day For Learning – The Monte Grande Explosion – Buenos Aires
By Andrea Perez Simondini
At 6:00 a.m. on the 26th of September I received a call from a fellow official in the Municipality of Esteban Echeverria. Aware of my interest for investigating the UFO phenomenon, he made me aware of a powerful explosion that destroyed a series of homes, and residents claimed it had been the result of something that fell from the sky.
You can imagine my surprise, faced with the magnitude of this news. My first reaction was to phone Captain Mariano Mohaupt to inform him. He already knew of the incident, so I then confirmed with my contact the interest of entering the explosion area. Permission having been obtained, I called Silvia Cano, a member of Vision Ovni, in her double role as expert photographer and victim of a gas explosion in her own home.
We headed toward the location with exact information. I would like to than Santiago Roldan, secretary to the Intendant, Dr. Fernando Gray and the Chief of Staff, Dr. Miguel Angel Urchipia. Without their cooperation it would have been impossible for us to enter the area and have elements of information at our disposal.
Upon reaching the site, my specific mission was to get Captain Mariano Mohaupt (in charge of the Aerospatial Phenomena Study Commission) with the authorities in charge of the investigation.
I’d like to tell you that at that moment I felt that a heavy responsibility weighed upon me. I was aware that this was the first institutional contact between a force and a body of government, such as the Municipality, and a number of jurisdictions, such as the Justice Department and the Federal Police (with their Scientific and Ecological branches), the Provincial Police of Buenos Aires, the Volunteer Firefighters of the Municipality and the various branches of the Municipality of Esteban Echeverria.
These comments having been made, we now move on to what will be an exhaustive chronicle of the facts, no more, no less. When I left the area at approximately 19:45 hours, no official explanation had been issued as of yet to support the facts.
Place: Barrio Zaizar, Locality of 9 de Julio – District of Esteban Echeverria, north of Monte Grande.
Date and Time of the Event: Between 2:02 and 2:05 AM on 26 September.
1) Sequeira Family: Fabian Sequeira (cab driver), Yeanigres Cornejo Medina, 42, Fabian’s wife, worked at the store; Rodrigo, 16, no specific activity.
2) Pedroso Family: Orlando Pedroso, Paola Pedroso, Alejandra Rodríguez
3) Espinosa Family: Julio Espinosa, Hilda Ortiz, Silvia Espinosa, 43, sister of Julio (deceased)
All of them taken to the Santamarina Hospital.
Having reached the site with Silvana Cano, we got in touch with Santiago, a municipal representative. He would connect us to Dr. Miguel Angel Urchipia, Chief of Staff of the Municipality, to get in touch with Commissioner Mario Valente, in charge of the operation. My function was to act as a go-between for both organizations.
To contact Commissioner Valente, I first found Commissioner Durand and provided the contact information.
The results of the explosion were readily apparent at the site. The remains of homes, with pieces of tile and concrete, had been hurled several meters around. The columns of material bore mute witness to the event. However, despite all that has been described, what startled Silvana and me the most were two cars that had been parked outside the affected homes, and were now within the property, completely twisted. I remember the words of an experienced fire fighter, who remarked: “It gave the impression that the shock wave sent stuck out its tongue like a chameleon, grabbed the cars, wrapped them up, and stuck them inside the property.”
While Silvana took photos alongside Dr. Urchipia, we spoke to various technicians and specialists. And so it was that we contacted with the municipal Energy Secretary to glean information on the theories that were being bandied about on site: emissions of natural gas from the soil, electrical phenomena, measurements of radiation and voltage, among others. We will approach these one by one.
1) Natural Gas Hypothesis: We learned that all of the homes in the El Zaizar Neighborhood are built on landfill. These structures are mostly made of masonry. We have not seen shanties in this area. We noted that Luis Vernet Avenue was being paved, so major activity was evident in the area. Also visible in all blocks were ditches of standing water, a clear sample of terrain with constantly flowing groundwater. Some people were putting forth, in the early hours, an explanation from an environmental standpoint, engaging in sampling fluids and liquids along with soil samples, searching for gaseous emanations resulting from the soil’s lack of breathability. I’m not sure at what time this hypothesis took hold, but it faded as time went by.
2) Electrical Phenomena: The technical staff of Esteban Echeverria municipality, through its Energy Secretary, took down information and measured electrical conductivity in the soil. One of the strongest theories at this time was the possibility that high voltage towers in the area could attract energy from the surrounding atmosphere and generate strange electrical phenomena. This hypothesis was dismissed as soon as it was voiced due to a lack of support. A high level of conductivity was determined in the soil, resulting from the explosion itself. Active charges still remained as a result of the shock waves. Readings were taken at various points of the affected premises.
3) Radiation Measurements: Radiation readings were the responsibility of the Bomb Squad attached to the Federal Police. They entered the area with suitable protective gear, but it should be noted that these experts entered the area at 13:10 hours, well after hundreds of people had done so. This should be kept in mind. Radiation readings proved negative, and from that moment on, the fire fighters began looking for remains and evidence in the explosion area. Advised of all these proceedings, the authorities made no comment about the burned wooden pole a block away from the explosion site. Along with Silvana, we did not hesitate to ask them to take us to that location. It was shocking to see. The fact that something split the post and set it alight was clearly visible.
It was still burning, and parts of it were falling off before our very eyes. Dangling, severed and burned wires were still visible. Remains of the wooden pole were on the ground; more wire, bits of metal and burned, hardened grass, perhaps as a result of the melted and cooled wire. It should be noted that there was stagnant water under the wooden pole, and remains broken off the pole had fallen into the ditch. We didn’t take samples at this time. All evidence was state property and it was necessary to ask Commissioner Valente’s permission.
With the collected information, and having achieved our main goal, which was to make contact, we decided to process the information and allow the fire fighters to carry on with their work. [...] The time was now 13:26 hours and we noticed two things: one, the fire fighters were concentrating on a specific area that all investigators dubbed “the crater”. Before going on, the importance of this item is the name it was given, as it was evident that whatever caused the explosion emerged from this space. An opening measuring 1 meter in diameter, shallow but with clear signs of detachment, was in evidence.
Firefighters concentrated all this time in collecting the main evidence from this point, which the called “ground zero” to avoid any confusion.
The second factor is that samples were taken of wires, metal parts, bits of tile and assorted material. Hundreds of parts that will surely define the origin of the explosion. We left the firefighters to their work and went off to eat and drink, as the heat was considerable at this time.
Resting in my car, Silvana and I analyzed everything we saw and heard from the technicians and local residents. We could not reach a conclusion, as everything was confusing and circumstantial.
Things the residents had said surprised us. It was clear that some of them had heard something, others had seen something, and yet others were reporting hearsay. We decided to revisit the evidence of the post and re-interview one of the witnesses, who seemed very certain in her statements, and was also reluctant to have her story and identity made public.
We returned to the wooden pole area to collect samples and came across Dr. Urchipia along the way. We advised him of our decision and he accompanied us. I had my field kit with me, so I began taking samples of the liquid from the ditch, a piece of charred cable, bits of metal, even one that fell exactly as the sample was being taken and was still on fire. Reports were also collected from the witnesses, and the time of the event – 2:02 hours – coincides with the damage to the pole.
Our assessment is that something struck the pole, broke it and set it afire. What is more, at the time we gathered our samples, and I placed my hands on the lower part of the pole, which was in contact with the polluted water, it was hot. This told us that fire was still burning within the pole. I advised the authorities so that the proper measures could be taken in the event it fell. Civil Defense was apprised. Through a neighbor, we learned that the electrical utility had removed the dangling cable and had also taken samples.
Once our sampling was complete, we set out to inform Commissioner Mario Valente. We must bear in mind that the law is involved in this case, and all elements constitute evidence of the case. These items were sent to Capt. Mariano Mohaupt with a note on each piece.
Our final chat with Commissioner Valente was very enlightening. We saw in him a man with quick reactions, a firm team leader up to the challenge posed by the events. He had collected all evidence provided by the experts, as he had requested consultation with all jurisdictions of the Federal and Buenos Aires police departments and the La Plata Observatory, among others. Attorneys for the families appeared in the afternoon, and this changed the mood of the researchers, who did not comment as freely as they had hours earlier. As from this moment, anything said would be taken with legal weight by the affected parties, who sought culprits and were increasing their pressure as the evening approached.
We spoke with Silvana about this, and the rumor of the oven explosion began to spread. In fact, while standing behind the children’s canteen, we saw two intact gas cylinders, and experts saying they had removed parts of the oven in small pieces, scattered all over the area.
Silvana kept taking photos. We glanced at each other and realized it was time to leave. Night was upon us and we could already see the answers that would be given when formal expert reports appeared.
In the background, bulldozers and front loaders came and went, loading trucks with rubble. I remember seeing a small intact chandelier, and an appliance in the courtyard of the children’s canteen. I also noticed the Espinosa Family’s pet dog, milling around in confusion. What might you be thinking, Dottie? due to its white fur with black marks. I also remember that the black dog was at the Municipal Zoonosis Institute under veterinary care. The canine had sustained a hip fracture as a result of the explosion; I remember seeing it still and bound in the first photographs.
Scanning everything around me, I am still shocked by Fabian’s inconsolable pain. I couldn’t help being moved. I also understood that after seeing all of the activity at the scene of the explosion, is that what matters it providing an explanation to these people that goes beyond the cause of the event. I do believe that we must tell the truth, beyond our personal opinions, convenience or wishes. Beyond anything that may be said, and we never spoke of UFOs here, if something indeed fell from space, it is as hard to explain as a pizza oven exploding. Only expert research will shed light on this mystery.
As far as our work is concerned, we can only tell you what we saw, and that is our truth.
(Translation (c) 2011, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Andrea Pérez Simondini)
[Editor's Note: A wealth of photographs and video can be seen at Vision Ovni's website -- www.visionovni.com.ar]