Thursday, July 03, 2008

Argentina: Impact at Quijano (1995)

The considerable amount of UFO activity taking place in Argentina in 2008 has caused writers and researchers to recall older cases that occurred during similar high activity phases. Guillermo Gimenez, a contributing editor to Inexplicata and director (with Christian Quintero) of the Planeta UFO site, reminds us of the year 1995 with an article written by our friend and Inexplicata contributor, Mercedes Casas, about a little-known ancillary event to the famous "Metán UFO Crash" that occurred this year. Even though thirteen years now separate us from the events described below, the case is no less interesting.

Argentina: Impact at Quijano (1995)
By Mercedes Casas

This took place in 1995, forgotten among the newspaper clippings I preserve from that time. I recovered it when a Brazilian researcher with the CEUFO group brought up the subject, asking if there had been any developments in the case. The fact of the matter is that I do not know if someone actually followed up on the story, which did not cause as much of a stir as others. The curious detail is that it occurred only a week after the strange case involving Joaquin V. Gonzalez, assumed by many to involve the collision of an unidentified flying object. Here then is a transcript of the article that appeared in El Tribuno de Salta on August 24, 1995:

Salta, August 25, Diario El Tribuno



On Friday, August 24, around 22:30 hours. Residents of bucolic Quebrada del Toro in the department of Rosario de Lerma were shaken by a violent dry explosion that shook local homes. The detonation, followed by landslides, spread panic among residents and their animals, which reacted with unaccustomed nervousness. Dogs and cats refused to leave their homes, while horses whinnied and stampeded away from the place.

The impact's greatest force was felt on the Incamayo Farm, as the explosion and subsequent landslides occurred on the mountain located behind the main dwelling, located some 55 km. from the city of Salta. The next morning, a group of locals led by Juan Lazarte, the farm's owner, tried to reach the source of the explosion, where landslides continued to occur. Despite the difficulties posed by the rough landscape, which makes approaching the mountain nearly impossible, the expedition succeeded in reaching the site. However, the continued landslides and the fear that space junk or radioactive elements could be present prompted the group to return when it was within in reach of the point of impact.

Subsequently, through Atilio Lazarte, Juan's brother, contact was made with the School of Natural Sciences of the National University of Salta (UNSA), which organized an expedition to ground zero. The UNSA group was led by geology professors Ricardo Alonso (a columnist for El Tribuno) and Ricardo Sureda, guided by Antonio Cruz. After claming a tortuous defile and reaching the top of a nearby mountain, the experts were able to ascertain that a spectacular landslide had occurred -- one which practically caused the slope to disappear.

"The available information leads us to suppose that a foreign body violently crashed against the site," Alonso told this newspaper. The object would have come in along a SW to NE path, and could have been a meteorite. It is possible that the body would have been completely disintegrated, as there are no remains to be seen, although the possibility that this visitor from space has been buried under the debris has not been ruled out."

According to Alonso, "there is no reason that justifies a landslide" like the one on the supposedly impacted hill. He therefore considers the meteorite theory to be the most reasonable. However, the expert explained that "the only way to determine if a heavenly body actually collided would be to find its remains, which will require new expeditions to the location, outfitted with proper equipment."

(Translation (c) 2008, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Mercedes Casas and Guillermo Gimenez)