Wednesday, August 27, 2008

UMMO: Harmless Prank or Hoax of the Century

UMMO: Harmless Prank or the Hoax of the Century?
By Scott Corrales

The early contactees emerged from the musings and lectures of metaphysicians of the 1950s, those who went beyond listening to the long messages dictated by trance-mediums or automatic writers to claim firsthand experiences with the “space brothers”.

There is a certain charm to the early contactee accounts coming out of Latin America, as they contain elements strongly reminiscent of Jules Verne’s novels – portrayals of individuals coming into contact with the advanced technology of an alien race as opposed to a reclusive genius, with the resulting minute descriptions of the technology employed.

In Spain, the emerging contactees and scholars of the new phenomenon shared a common origin, at least in Madrid: La Ballena Alegre (the Merry Whale), the basement of the street-level Cafe Lyon. In the smoke-filled recesses of this underground world, playwrights and priests gathered together to listen to the compelling oratory of Fernando Sesma, journalist and true believer, author of a newspaper column on the subject of the otherworldly. Sesma’s esoteric get-togethers would – in the fullness of time – give birth to one of the most spectacular UFO myths ever recorded: the UMMO affair. But in 1955, all eyes were on an alleged “Martian stone” given to Alberto Sanmartin, a hospital orderly, by a humanoid entity that irradiated love and understanding. The orderly bemusedly accepted the stone – crawling with strange glyphs – and watched the humanoid descend into a ravine, board his spacecraft and take off into the night sky. While many called the experience into question, others saw the stone as the first bona-fide proof of an alien presence on Earth. Severino Machado, a priest, became Sanmartin’s strongest supporter, devoting hours of study to the mysterious signs on the stone.

Father Machado’s long hours of study resulted in a pronouncement: the stone was not from Mars but from Saturn! The glyphs (considered random rubbish by an epigrapher who had examined it earlier) contained the following message: “Message from Saturn to Earth – we are on a round-trip voyage to establish links of friendship with all of Earth. There is a shorter path to reach you by employing the conjunction of a celestial body between Saturn and Earth...” and so forth. The priest and the “Martian stone” would eventually find their way to Sesma’s lectures at The Merry Whale. Machado has the distinction, however, of being the author of one of the first books on “flying saucers” published in Spain: Los Platillos Volantes Ante La Razón y la Ciencia (Madrid, 1955). “I am writing for the astronomer, for the physicist and for the man of science,” says Machado in his book, “in order that they may compare and contrast what I am saying and so that they may ascertain the truth of my words.”

The personalities that had made Madrid’s La Ballena Alegre such a weird and wonderful place in the 1950s, continued their activities into the new decade under the guidance of Fernando Sesma, perhaps best described as chief instigator and merrymaker. At some point in 1962, Sesma received a phone call from someone or something claiming to be “Saliano” from the distant sphere of Auko. The residents of this planet must have been quite addicted to their own penmanship, as “Saliano” bombarded Sesma with correspondence filled with scrawls and portents. These missives would be read out at the Merry Whale to the delight of believers and non-believers alike. This carefree reading of what was largely contactee claptrap gradually gave way to more serious fare, received not from Auko but from UMMO, a world endowed with the power of space flight but, alas, not the lowercase typeface.

The spacefarers from UMMO – located some 14 light-years away from Earth -- described themselves as tall and blonde and would have fit in perfectly with Adamski's Venusians or thel Nordics that became part and parcel of the ufological taxonomy. Often endowed with names like DEI 98, ASOO 3, and IAUDU 3, they represented a civilization that had overcome planetary disharmony and mastered the secret of trekking throughout neighboring solar systems in their wonderful OAWOLEA UEWA OEM, which dull Earthlings could only describe by their shape as "flying saucers."

These advanced space travelers were in possession of a science completely undreamed of by human thinkers: their numerical system operated on a base of 12 rather than 10, as does ours; they had discovered that the link between body and soul was a chain of 84 atoms of krypton lodged in the hypothalamus; their physicists had rejected our concept of Euclidean geometry and discovered that the universe was composed of an unsuspected number of dimensions and that matter, energy, and mass were in fact the result of three independent axises known collectively as IBOZOO UU. It was precisely this control of IBOZOO UU which enabled them to leave their homeworld and reach our solar system in some seven or eight months of travel time. Ummite cosmologists spoke of a "multiverse", the WAAM-WAAM, and were fascinated by magnetohydrodynamics, which they employed to power the small remote spheres (UULEWA) employed by their agents on Earth.

Their society, or UMMOALEWE, was probably the most attractive asset these avowed aliens could offer a Spain that was stultified by the repressive Franco dictatorship: full equality between the sexes, religious free thought, and an apparent lack of hierarchical structure, in spite of having leaders, which could be very young, and were shown great deference. The Ummites also had the kind of gadgetry that would have made James Bond's Q green with envy: ballpoint pens that emitted buzzing sounds for remote communications, metallic spheres which hung suspended in mid-air as if by antigravity, and glowing discs the size of a quarter which could light an entire room.

All the information concerning their society, organization, and beliefs was gleaned from endless, erudite "reports" aimed at familiarizing humans with their culture, as well as acquainting humans with their perspective on our affairs, such as war, inequality, etc. These reports were allegedly transmitted by means of dictation to a human typist (who was strictly ordered never to attempt contact with the addressees), and then sent to scientists, philosophers, and broad-minded individuals who in the Ummites' criteria, would be able to understand them and put them to good use.

Unlike other contactee fare, the Ummites offered neither religious messages nor the hope of imminent salvation from cataclysms that never quite materialized. Belief in the solvency of these communications was bolstered by a series of curious coincidences in which some of the UMMO letters predicting sightings and landings of their spacecraft in the Madrid area apparently coincided with UFO sightings that appeared in the local press: the landings at San José de Valderas and Santa Monica on June 1st, 1967 could only have been produced by the Ummite vehicle collecting its passengers and heading into space. Oddly enough, the Ummites had taken the precaution of notifying three journalists they had befriended in Madrid about this upcoming event. Between thirty and forty people, members of Fernando Sesma's Club de Amigos del Espacio (Space Friends Club) attested to having seen an ad in the newspaper which provided the coordinates and arrival time for the interstellar craft.

The lenticular craft, with the famous UMMO emblem on its underside, crossed the skies over Madrid's San José de Valderas sector before making a brief landing at Santa Monica. A number of witnesses claimed to have seen the Ummite vessel rise from behind a line of trees, hover, and fly up vertically at a tremendous rate of speed. There was also physical evidence to bolster the Ummite’s claim: a trio of rectangular imprints arrayed in a triangular formation, and burnt soil in the triangle's center. Yet far more fascinating than these ground effects were the nickel tubes containing long strips of material embossed with the UMMO emblem -- )+( --. Upon analysis, however, the metal tube and the strips proved to be highly unusual but hardly alien: the former was indeed an unusually pure form of nickel, and the latter was a material known as TEDLAR, manufactured by DuPont and used for space-related applications.

However, the Ummite landing in Santa Monica was declared a fraud early on, and it is as such in Vicente Juan Ballester-Olmos' Enciclopedia de los encuentros cercanos con OVNIS (Encyclopedia of UFO Close Encounters). Suspicion began to fall upon "professor" Fernando Sesma and his merry band of followers. According to distinguished investigator Antonio Ribera: " [Sesma] has a reputation for being fantasy-prone, given to unfounded speculation with little grounding on reality, such as what has been presented in certain magazines and books." Ribera and fellow investigator Rafael Farriols managed to have Sesma hand over all the "originals" given to him by the Ummites, who no longer interested him because they weren't as spiritual as Saliano from Auko.

The “UMMO Affaire”, as it would become known for posterity, reached far beyond Spain as serious researchers in other European countries became recipients of the intriguing correspondence. Aimé Michel and René Fouéré received UMMO microfilms and photographs of a spacecraft identical to the one supposedly seen over San José de Valderas, thus bringing UMMO's existence to the notice of French investigators. The Ummites themselves had revealed that their first landing on Earth had taken place near the village of La Javie in Southern France, where they proceeded to remove samples of hair and bodily secretions from the sleeping occupants of a home close to their landing site. Among the Ummites' "booty" were items as diverse as newspapers, light bulbs, and knickknacks.

Eminent UFO researcher Jacques Vallée visited La Javie, and in searching through the local police files, discovered that the occupants of the house in question had reported the theft of an electric meter, which happened to be among the articles supposedly pilfered by the itinerant spacefarers. Vallée pursued the phenomenon to Argentina, where a medical establishment dispensing miraculous cures had become UMMO's most tangible manifestation to date. An earlier Vallée book, Messengers of Deception, intimated the possibility of an espionage link with UMMO as part of the Cold War. In 1970, a British company known as UMO Plant Hire Ltd. was exposed as a front for KGB activities. One year later, over a hundred Soviet officials were expelled from the UK under suspicion of espionage, and UMO closed down.

In an interview with journalist Linda Strand, Vallée observed that there existed the strong possibility that UMMO was in fact some sort of covert exercise by one of the world's intelligence agencies, possibly aimed at the creation of a cult which would later be put to other uses. He was not alone in his observation: it had already been suggested by certain Spanish investigators that life on UMMO -- an antiseptic society obsessed with personal cleanliness, heavily dependent on gadgetry for every detail of their existence, flitting about in air cars straight out of The Jetsons -- reflected the ideal futuristic society from an American cultural perspective, thus hinting at the possible motive force behind the entire affair.

The UMMO phenomenon can lay claim to being the longest-running hoax in ufology. It drove wedges between believers and non-believers -- between those who had received, yet again, the Good News purveyed by the space brothers and those who took a more skeptical approach. Apparently, the scientific jargon that characterized the UMMO reports led many to consider it the real thing. Curiously enough, the very first "sighting" of one of Ummite saucers -- at Aluche in 1966 -- was witnessed by José Luis Jordán Peña, a habitué of the Merry Whale and an engineer by profession, who has since been accused of perpetrating the entire hoax.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mexico: UFOs Reported During San Luis Potosi Flood
Date: 08.26.08

MEXICO: UFOs Reported During San Luis PotosiFloods

Up to 14 UFOs reported during natural disaster in the Huasteca, July 2008

As far as the UFOs were concerned, Abel Zamudio reported that was surprised, on the 7th of this month,,when he looked toward the sun at arriound 9 am, he saw strange black objects surrounding the solar disk.“I first thought these were spots produced by the brightness, but feeling intrigued by it, I took one of the smoked glass, like the kind welders use in their masks, to see it better.”

It was then that he discovered, to his surprise, at least 14 flying objects surrounding the sun. He was unable to identify them. “One thing is clear,” says Zamudio, “and its that these were not physical phenomena or flashes caused by the sun, but rather UFOs spinning and forming a circle, remaining like that for several minutes. The unfortunate part is that the distance made them impossible to photograph,” he remarked.

But not only that: on the 11th, Jaime Chavez Stevens took a photo of a UFO near one of the helicopters used to deliver humanitarian aid to the flood victims on his 2 megapixel cell phone. He managed to print several photos of a dark spot that appeared and disappeared, providing them to “El Manana” to be analyzed by the paper’s experts.

Moreover, Javier Alvarado Colon noted that in Tamasopo, Sierra de Aquismon and El Naranjo there was nearly imperceptible seismic activity only days before the rainstorms. “I don’t know if this was due to barometric pressure or some related physical phenomenon, but the tremors were a fact.”In both cases, research is left in the hands of the experts.

Personal comment by Ana Luisa Cid: The author of this note, Mr. Antonio Martinez Chavez, also participated in the investigation of the Xilitla UFO Crash, transmitted on The History Channel with the journalist's participation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mysterious Valleys

Mysterious Valleys
By Scott Corrales
(c) 2008

There is no shortage of strange or haunted locations on our planet, and Argentina’s Calingasta Valley is definitely among them, located near the town of Barreal in the province of San Juan. Drivers who have to cross this arid region out of necessity have reported seeing a variety of strange lights in the darkness: orbs of yellowish or white energy described as being around the size of a soccer ball which can be mistaken for the lights of a distant, oncoming automobile. Much like the Marfa Lights of Texas, these Argentinean orbs appear and vanish only to reappear further down the road. On some occasions they engage in frantic pursuits of trucks and cars along the road; on others, they stand in the way of traffic, causing understandable consternation.

Journalist Patricio Parente mentions the case of a schoolteacher anxious to return home and, lacking a car, hitched a ride with a truck driver. After the vehicle was on its way, the teacher mentioned that she could see distant lights like small candles, which appeared to be following the truck. But even more alarming than this was the fact that a bigger light had already placed itself above the truck’s cab, endeavoring to slow it down or bring it to a halt, in spite of the driver’s best efforts to maintain speed. Are we dealing with a normal “earthlight” phenomenon or some kind of South American ignis fatuus of the desert, or something stranger?

Parente also mentions another of the region’s unusual features – a vast dry lakebed known as the Barreal Blanco or Pampa del Leoncito. Measuring some seven miles long and three miles wide, the plain is popular among those who are engaged in wind sports involving wheeled vehicles (“carrovelismo”, in Spanish) or just anyone interested in putting a four-wheeled vehicle through its paces, making it a famous location for racing and shooting television commercials, or for calibrating airborne and satellite sensors. But aside from its popularity, it has also become known as a place haunted by the strange lights. A driver and his wife, lost in the dry lake at night, managed to find their way out thanks to the sudden manifestation of a white ball of light that appeared to try to guide them toward the road leading out of the area. When he discussed the event with others, he was told that the “fools’ lantern” had come to his aid. Intense flashes of light of unknown origin have also been reported in this curious area of the Andean foothills. Alfredo Cruz, a resident of this inhospitable region, remembered seeing these “lanterns”, which he could see in the distant Andean foothills. Some believed that the sources of light were “flying bags of bones” – as weird a concept as that may seem – that could be either good or bad, either lending assistance to stranded travelers or accosting them for no reason at all.

Other folklore preserved from pre-European and Colonial times maintains that the strange lights are supernatural indications of the presence of lost mines or buried treasure – something to tantalize Indiana Jones with, perhaps. But other traditions hold that the Barreal Blanco lights are far from sanguine and fall under the classification of luces del mal (evil lights) and are the handiwork of the Devil. Any would-be treasure hunter would have to make a pact with the dark forces before coming across the promised treasure. The belief in the unwholesome nature of these structures is such that the residents of Albardón, a village on the edges of the Barreal Blanco, have erected a formidable cross to ward off witches and vampires, and the lights whose very presence is a cause for distress.

We can add Salta’s enigmatic Valles Calchaquíes to the list of haunted places in South America. Spanning the length of the provinces of Salta, Tucuman and Catamarca, these geological features consist of at least six lesser valleys or chasms, and the Calchaquí River itself. Reaching the town of Cachi, one of its better known UFO hotspots, for example, involves a hair-raising ascent to four thousand feet above sea level along truly terrifying precipices.

In May 2008, the COPENOA news service reported that Residents of the town of San Carlos had seen a small creature no taller than forty centimeters in height, with an unusual characteristic: the little creature appeared to produce some kind of force field that kept people from approaching it.

Walter Lopez and Omar Ferlatti, the witnesses to this high-strangeness event, told the authorities about the creature, describing it as “small, glowing and wearing pants”, seemingly protected by “a magnetic field” – this apparent close encounter of the third kind took place as the entire valley region was in commotion over a large UFO reported in the area.

“Kids aren’t going out at night out of fear of the strange creature and the UFO,” claimed a resident of San Carlos in a statement to the COPENOA news agency. Ferlatti and Lopez’s account dovetails with the one given by a shepherdess on the hills, who was startled by the strange visitor. Police have stated that both stories coincide and that local residents are indeed frightened. “It hasn’t been seen again. It would be good for it to return, to ascertain that the events were indeed as described,” said deputy sheriff Luis Comenares.

Not all locals were as agitated about the diminutive visitor. Andean peoples have an extensive tradition of small creatures usually lumped under the classification of imps or goblins, and they are purportedly the spirits of children who died unchristened or attacked their parents. Pablo Villarubia, a tireless journalist of the occult, visited the Cafayate Museum in the city of Salta to speak to curator Elga Brabo, who was very forthright in their discussion on the subject of these half-magical, half-real subhumans. When asked if imps had ever been reported in Cachi, she replied affirmatively, adding that the creature was even known as “el duende de Toma Colorado” (the Toma Colorado Imp) – an entity that was more playful than perverse, but which hadn’t been seen for years.

Some of these “neighbors”, for want of a better term, aren’t so engaging. Brabo told Villarubia that some doctors from the village of Angastaco were forced to seek the help of a local witch doctor to banish the presence of a duende who had taken up residence in their home, apparently fascinated by the couple’s baby, which it would turn around in its crib, or else prompt the child to scream or laugh for no reason at all.

The Diario El Tribuno newspaper carried an even more impressive account: on July 19, 2008, residents of the town of Cachi (marveled at the sight of a colossal UFO, “an extraordinary vision”, in the newspaper’s opinion. Evangelina Romero, a schoolteacher, was among the witnesses who gave a detailed description of the sighting. Ufologist and mountaineer Antonio Zuleta, the author of a number of startling videotapes of UFO activity in the high Andes, discussed the sighting on his morning show, interviewing Evangelina Romero and her husband, Ruben Guitian. The general description of the object was “a disk-shaped metallic object that projected white, purple and orange light from its mid-section as it moved from South to North in perfect silence despite it size, which the couple compared to that of a soccer pitch.

Another witness, Hugo Alcoba, a well-known folk composer, corroborated the Romero sighting, adding that the object had been a “classic flying saucer like something out a movie from the 1950s”. Many locals were perhaps reminded of another colossal UFO –measuring two hundred fifty meters in diameter - that allegedly crashed in the area on August 17, 1995 in the Sierras Coloradas region.

For his part, Antonio Zuleta was probably thinking about his own giant unidentified flying object, the one he recorded in June 2001 as it moved placidly over one of the mountain ridge known as Nevados de Cachi, the second highest of its kind in the world after the Himalayas. Zuleta had been at home with his wife on June 23, 2001, just about to take his young daughter to the hospital at 21:00 hours when he saw the massive unknown structure sailing over the mountain range. “It gave off lights like streamers of red and green,” he said at the time. This one, the first of many such recordings, had a duration of 20 minutes before the object accelerated became lost from sight.

Zuleta’s video of the strange phenomena common to the Calchaquí Valleys became a worldwide sensation. Saltan ufologist Daniel Quiroga of the Red Argentina de Ovnilogía (RAO), was of the opinion that the Cachi UFO video was "a document of undeniable scientific value.” Quiroga studied the videotape for three hours and reached the conclusion that "it is one of the best recordings I've seen," noting "I have no doubt that it is a mothership, in other words, an extraterrestrial device of gigantic proportions, capable of transporting lesser units and which have been repeatedly seen in different parts of the planet for years.” After analyzing the filmed material, I'm able to state that it is an unconventional phenomenon. The object makes intelligent movements that are impossible for known human technology. It accelerates and decelerates at prodigious speeds, is surrounded by a green outline, has a white core and produces red and blue flashes while projecting violet and sky-blue beams. It is oval in shape, although in the video, its movements give it
the appearance of changing shape constantly."

Elsewhere in the World

When it comes to these enigmatic regions, perhaps the strangest of them all is the rocky mountain canyon known as Barranca de Badajoz on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Unlike other mystery places, photographic evidence has substantiated the high strangeness that makes the fog-enshrouded canyon so famous. Lush vegetation protrudes from harsh, ancient lava flows that lead to the sea. The Guanches, Tenerife's original inhabitants, considered the canyon to be the dwelling place of Chaxiraxi, "the mother who bears the world."In 1912, states Padrón, a crew of ore miners was about to drill a hole in a mineshaft when three humanlike creatures, as white as a sheet of paper, emerged from the rocks. The terrified miners abandoned the works and ran for the nearest Guardia Civil station to notify the authorities of the frightening event. Padrón points out that to this very day, local residents believe that the "beings in white" are real and even leave offerings of food for them. Newcomers and explorers are advised to leave these eldritch creatures alone, "since they mean no harm." Local lore also includes enigmatic references to two non-human races, the lunos or "lunar people" with their gleaming whiteness and the nanos, a dwarf race living in the tunnels that allegedly exist under the region. While the existence of these tunnels has not been established by geologists, Canarian legend speaks of a bet between two friends in the 1890's, concerning who could reach the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife faster: the one on horseback or the one on foot through the tunnels. Needless to say, the latter won.. A group of vacationers who visited the ancient step-pyramids of Chacona at nearby Güimar chose to spend a night in the canyon when their camping excursion was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a colossal creature heading straight for them. Terror gripped the campers as they made for their vehicle, leaving their possessions behind. Thinking the worst was over, the campers stopped at Socorro Beach to recover themselves from the fright. Their brief respite was interrupted by the appearance of large, glowing light in the sky that appeared to be chasing them. The hysterical vacationers fled to the city. Perhaps the most interesting piece of information gathered by Padrón in his investigation of this haunted area is the photograph of an enormous winged creature, made up of pure energy, which flew over witness Teyo Bermejo in July 1991. Bermejo took a photograph of the creature, which clearly shows a winged, golden-orange figure against a black background. Another photograph shows a group of children completely unaware of a towering white humanoid walking behind them at an angle. A closeup of the image shows a blurry but rather well defined figure: a denizen of the hidden world?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pedal to the Metal: UFO Car Chases

Pedal to the Metal: UFO Car Chases
By Scott Corrales - INEXPLICATA

While we marvel at the flood of new cases (and visual evidence) that reaches us every day through a variety of websites and YouTube, it’s hard not to forget the simpler cases of the past, such as one which occurred in a summer much like this one, but thirty years ago and in a country far, far away...

It was July 24, 1978--mid-winter in South American landmass—when a cab driver picked up a fare that would change his life forever. At around 3 o’clock in the morning, Carlos Brandi,19, called for a cab to get him back to his home in Guaymallén, a community in the Argentinean province of Mendoza. As fate would have it, Aldo Nieves, scarcely older than his passenger and driving a white Peugeot 404, was dispatched to pick up the waiting passenger.

Brandi boarded the car and after exchanging the usual pleasantries, sat back in seat in silence. Nieves drove along the empty streets until they came to a crossroads near the Belgrano Train Station in the town of San Jose. Completely unaware of the importance of crossroads in the esoteric tradition, passenger and driver both noticed a white source of light moving along at an estimated altitude of 500 meters. They exchanged words as to what the nature of the light could be, and then dismissed the matter...until both noticed that the white light was shadowing them, much like a feline matching the pace of its prey.

Perhaps it was their youth, perhaps it was the excitement that the UFO phenomenon has always caused in Argentina, but the passenger made the cabbie a bold proposal: to steer toward the object to have a better view. Stranger still was that the cabbie should accept, turning off the meter and heading his Peugeot in the object’s direction. Aldo Nieves dutifully radioed this back to Leonardo Argañaraz, his dispatcher, who in turn told all his other units to rendezvous with Nieves and his passenger at the location in question, taking care to contact the authorities as well. The young driver gave a blow-by-blow account over his car radio to all the other vehicles as he approached the glowing unknown.

Meanwhile Carlos Brandi, the passenger, had his torso halfway out the window as he stared at the object, which now acquired more defined proportions and resembled “ a giant mushroom”. Suddenly inspired, the driver began flashing his lights at the unknown presence in a form of improvised semaphore, hoping to make contact. His improvised signals were more successful than he could have anticipated; as the object appeared to take notice, speeding up ahead of the taxicab and then slowing down to remain still at a distance of roughly a thousand meters. At this point, Brandi and Nieves were in a position to make out some details: the object, whose diameter was guesstimated at ten meters with a height of 5-6 meters, had a white light on its upper section and four “navigation lights” around its edge.

The craft – for it was now possible to speak of it in terms of a structured vehicle – moved side to side across the road, pausing briefly over a service station and then weaving out sight into a residential area and becoming visible again. And it was at this location – the Santa Ana district – that pedestrian onlookers became witnesses to the otherworldly presence. Two women waiting for the bus gazed skyward at the erratic object; one of them was seized by a sudden panic that made her cling to the trunk of a nearby tree and scream in terror at the unknown

But the game was afoot, and the young hunters pursued their prize with gusto. Upon reaching the road linking the villages of Corralitos and Rodeo de la Cruz, the Peugeot’s engine began to sputter. The taxicab’s headlights dimmed, then died out completely, as did the radio link to the other units and the dispatcher’s base station. Brandi and Nieves suddenly found their roles reversed – the hunters unwittingly turned into prey – as the object wheeled around towards them. Brandi opened the rear passenger door and ran out of the cab into the darkness, seeking shelter behind a nearby house. Nieves was frozen in his seat, unable to move his legs, until he managed to overcome this paralysis and desert his Peugeot, taking shelter next to his companion at a distance of some thirty meters from the car.

The craft was now in sight: seized by fear, both humans could do little else but keep their eyes riveted on the unearthly structure. Featuring large windows or portholes, the presence of occupants – tall, slender humanoid silhouettes – could be made out clearly enough for a detailed description to be made. The figures were described as hooded and wearing close-fitting garments; one of them appeared to operate some kind of instrument panel that was suspended in the air. No noise issued from the vehicle as the figures scurried around inside.

Thoughts raced furiously through Nieves’s head, as he feared harm from these presences, which looked down from above at the Peugeot “much like doctors observing a surgical procedure from the gallery above,” as he described it. But any fears that the slender, hooded figures would whisk him away to an uncertain fate were dissipated when the object pulled away into the distance. After a while, still in the clutches of terror, passenger and driver returned to the taxicab, whose engine turned over normally, but with a curious detail: the intensity of the car’s lights was so strong that the dome light burst; the lights of the car radio short-circuited as well.

Perhaps feeling a modicum of relief, the erstwhile hunters returned their attention to the craft, which was now motionless and at quite a distance. There was a flash and an explosion – perhaps a sonic boom? – and the vehicle vanished from sight. It was at this point that Nieves passed out, overcome by the sound. At this point, some of the other livery vehicles arrived at the scene, offering assistance to the unconscious driver and to Brandi, the distraught passenger. Nieves was taken to Mendoza’s General Hospital, where he awoke in such a state of nervous excitement that it became necessary to put him in restraints. The explosion and subsequent disappearance of the strange object was confirmed by three other cab drivers, the same ones who took Aldo Nieves to the hospital.

Veteran Argentinean researcher Carlos Banchs, who interviewed both witnesses and wrote a report on the case, notes that the Argentinean Air Force dismissed this case as “a mistaken observation of its nocturnal training exercises over the area.”

Calling Mr. Goodwrench

The belief that UFOs were able to cause "electromagnetic interference" (alternatively known as EM effects) on Earth goes back to the early days of the phenomenon, when it was noticed that the proximity of these unknown forms could cause car headlights to dim or turn off completely, produce radio interference and cause wide-scale blackouts in different parts of the world. Whether this effect is a deliberate test of man-made devices or a purely accidental remains unanswered, naturally.

Researchers interested in the "vehicle interference" aspect of the phenomenon believed at first that only gasoline-fueled internal combustion engines were prone to being affected by UFO electromagnetism. Then cases involving diesel engines succumbing to the proximity of an unknown object became known.

Spanish UFO researcher Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos devotes a comprehensive chapter to EM effects in his landmark Enciclopedia de los encuentros cercanos con ovnis (Barcelona: Plaza y Janes, 1987). Ballester describes the effects produced by a UFO as following a fairly standard pattern with certain variations: engine failure followed by a dimming or darkening of headlights; diesel engines continue running but their operation becomes haphazard, stopping and starting. "It frequently becomes necessary," he observes, "to restart gasoline-fueled engines altogether [...] this succession of effects appears to correspond, at least from the theoretical standpoint, to the presence of strong ionization. This could account for failures in the electrical system by hindering the proper operation of spark plugs and draining batteries."

Endless Summer – The Marx Incident

The American love affair with the car – featured in such cinematic experiences as George Lucas’s “American Graffiti” – usually conjures up images of long hot summer nights and days, convertible coupes and sedans and young men and women enjoying each other’s company to the sounds of an AM radio. But what holds true for the silver screen often falls flat in real life, and this is certainly true for the following case.

Pennsylvania, a state with a long history of UFO sightings, boasts a vehicular persecution case that has not been widely discussed at all, and is in fact known only to a few. It involves a person known to this author and to others Pennsylvania UFO and paranormal researchers; at his own request, we have identified him with the pseudonym of "Jeff Marx" and the names of the other parties involved in his hair-raising story are aliases as well.

In June 1965, Jeff Marx and three companions--his best friend Alan and their respective girlfriends, Mary and Lily--were driving at night aboard a brand new convertible in Cranberry Township, north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tooling around in the warm summer evening, only a week after graduating from high school and with the prospect of the future before them, the foursome had no idea that the unknown was about to execute an unwelcome intrusion into their lives.

"I had a convertible that plays a major part in this sighting," adds Jeff Marx, "what one would call...evidence."

That evening, he recalls, he stopped by to collect his friends and they went off to enjoy a few rounds of miniature golf followed by a visit to a pizza parlor. Given the lateness of the hour, they decided to begin the return home. Alan, however, asked his friend to drive down a few country roads to partake of a bottle of beer he'd placed in the car. "I was northbound on Route 19 and I turned onto Freedom-Cryder Road. Back in 1965 it was a very rural area. You had farmhouses further down the road toward Freedom. We turned down this road about ten or twenty five minutes after ten [o'clock]."

As convertible made its way down the country road, Alan asked Jeff to pull over, since something very unusual was going on. "That light's been following us for a while," he explained, after the car had halted on the curb. "That light up there. It's getting awful close and I don't hear anything."

Jeff Marx admits that he could not hear anything either, but the size of the light in the black sky appeared to be increasing, coming toward them. "We decided to get out of there," Marx recalls, "but I couldn't get the engine started. We jumped out of the car, ran across the road into a field, and hid under a [fallen] tree. By now the object was over the car, illuminating the area. As dark as it was, I could see my car. Alan said the object reminded him of a teardrop, and to me it looked like an upside-down ice cream cone."

Nearly forty years after the events, Marx is still amazed by one particular aspect of the uncanny unknown object: "It was white hot, really bright, brighter than anything I've ever seen in my life. It wobbled and swayed back and forth. I wanted to get a better look at it, and I stood up to take a better look. Then I felt this wave of heat hit my face."

His passengers weren't as awestruck as he: Mary was on the verge of terror, shouting that they were all going to die; Alan and Lily had to pull Jeff down behind the apparent safety of the fallen tree after his effort to examine the phenomenon more closely.

"Mary was really upset," adds Marx. "It really freaked her out."

What seemed like an hour went by before the pellucid object finished its inspection of the convertible. It drifted away from the car and into the night sky, moving upward and picking up speed, vanishing out of sight in a matter of seconds. Marx remembers that the object acquired a reddish cast as it disappeared.

"We were pretty shaken by the incident," says Marx. "Another car came down the road in the opposite direction, stopped by my car and looked at it, and then sped away. I don't know if he was a witnessed to what happened, but after looking at my car, he didn't waste much time getting away from it."

Walking over to the car, the shaken teenagers tried to get back inside, only to find that the door handles were hot. Once inside, the young women in the rear remarked that the seats were warm; the same strange warmth emanated from the dashboard and the steering wheel. "The chrome strip around the windshield was so hot I couldn't even touch it--it burned my hand."

The convertible started up normally and the four witnesses to the unusual luminous phenomenon returned home in silence. "Alan and I dropped the girls off...they said they never wanted to discuss this again, and that we shouldn't say anything to anybody, since who would believe four teenagers with alcohol on their breaths," explains Marx. "Mary said she never wanted to talk about it--it didn't happen, and if anyone ever said anything, she would deny having ever been there."

Marx and his friend spoke about the incident, wondering what the light could have been. Alan replied that it could have been "something from another world." To this day, Jeff Marx has no idea or explanation to what the luminous intruder could have been.

But his experiences were not over. Not by a long shot.

"I got home feeling real warm, as though I had a temperature, but after checking with the thermometer it was normal. I looked at my face in the bathroom mirror and I looked sunburned, but it didn't hurt." His parents would ask him about the sunburn during breakfast, but Marx dismissed it as the result of driving with the convertible roof down.

"Then my dad walked," says Marx, "says: you'd better take a look at your car, something happened to it."

Thinking that the convertible could have been rear-ended during the night by a careless motorist, Marx stepped outside to inspect the damage. "I was really shocked. My car was white; the hood and the trunk lid had bubbles all over them; the chrome around the windshield was burned to a bluish color." The car's red upholstery had been faded to an orangeish hue.

Taking the vehicle to an auto body repair shop, the mechanic asked if Marx had spilled acid over the car, since the paint was flaking off easily. "I didn't want to explain anything to him," notes the driver of the hapless convertible, "because he might have thought I was some sort of nut."

The automobile was sanded down, primed and painted with two coats of paint, and Jeff drove it around for a whole day. On the following day, the bubbles appeared on the paint again, resulting in two further visits to the body shop that week. "He didn't know what to make of it," says Marx, remembering the auto body mechanic's bewilderment. "he thought it might be a defect in the metal from the factory, since the paint wouldn't stay on the car. I kept the car for about two more months, then I got rid of it--I just couldn't stand being in the car."

Several months after the incident, the four experiencers got together to discuss the event, but the women balked at recalling the strange summer night. "Alan went on to become a UFO investigator," says Marx, "and also was involved with governmental cover-ups. Lily got married and moved out to the Midwest; Mary I saw about a year ago and we spoke about old times. When the sighting came up, she repeated that she didn't want to know about it, it never happened."

"That night in 1965 changed Mary, Lily, Alan and myself," Jeff Marx concludes with an unmistakable air of sadness. "Our lives would never be the same...I have a lot of questions about life on Earth as it is, as how we know it, as how we were raised to know it. I've talked to a lot of people who've had encounters with UFOs and it has changed their lives, and put questions in their minds about life on Earth. I may never know the answer, I don't know."

Jeff Marx's candid story, and his assertions about not knowing exactly what it was changed the course of his life in mid-1960's, could have been echoed a year later by other Pennsylvanian drivers who had their own brushes with the unknown.

On April 17, 1966 Anthony Matteo and John Roth, with their respective spouses, were driving along Route 422 between the communities of Sharon and New Castle in the pre-dawn hours. One of the two women became aware of what she first thought might be a "reflection" of another light source, but suddenly realized that it was an object paralleling of the car's movement down the road. The vehicle stopped on two separate occasions to confirm this suspicion. The object, whose brightness was compared to that of a spotlight, had been on the right side of the car and had later shifted to the left, always staying an estimated 1/4 of mile up in the air. This shadowing continued for a number of miles until the vehicle and its nervous occupants reached New Castle. The object then grew faint and vanished.

Two days later, four boys from Clarion, Pennsylvania, claimed that their car's radio had been subjected to interference allegedly originating from a bright light in the sky, which engaged in the rapid maneuvers for which the UFO phenomenon has become know.

The four youngsters pulled their vehicle over to get a better look at the nimble celestial object, which remained in view for some five minutes before vanishing altogether. Not unexpectedly, the radio static disappeared and the local station could now be heard normally. The most unusual feature to color their experience was that they were subjected to an unusual "rainfall" produced by the object as it hovered above them. There was no word if they or the vehicle were harmed by it.

UFO Pursuit in Spain

A UFO/automobile close encounter, which was reported by the newspaper La Voz de Galicia in November 1985, pitted a 34-year-old newspaper layout specialist who was heading home from La Coruña to his home village of Piadela. While driving along the Cecebre Reservoir, he suddenly became aware of a greenish, rectangular vehicle hovering above him in the night sky. The boxlike object descended vertically some 50 feet away from his car, causing the witness to bring his car to a halt. Quietly, the UFO flew over his car, disappearing shortly thereafter. The witness claimed to have experienced symptoms akin to hypnosis immediately after his experience.

On January 25, 1996, at during the heated days of the Galician UFO wave in northwestern Spain, Bartolomé Vázquez of the town of As Pontes, filmed a triangular UFO as two Spanish Air Force fighters pursued it. He would be treated to the sight of other strange objects in his native skies and undergo a harrowing close encounter: on one occasion, a UFO hovered directly over his vehicle while he traveled along with his wife and children. The unknown craft allegedly damaged the car's roof. Vázquez also claims that his brother had a similar encounter around the same time, but in that incident, "his car's engine died when the UFO flew over it, and all the car doors opened at once..."
Another landmark case involving vehicular interference occurred during the same UFO wave: Andrés Landeira had no idea he was about to become the star of UFO drama on the night of February 26, 1996, when he discovered that his sedan was unable to climb the steep hill which led back to his home in the city of Lugo.

Shifting gears with a perplexed expression on his features, Landeira noticed that the sedan refused to budge. It was only then that he realized that his car was rising into the air.

Panicking, he opened the door, hoping to jump to safety from whatever nameless fate awaited him, but he realized he was well over thirty feet in the air. "I held on to the steering wheel with all my might," Landeira would later tell UFO investigator Manuel Carballal, "I forced my back into the driver's seat and thought I was going to die, being taken to God knows where...Hell! I was really scared."

But the car was not spirited off into the black skies. Landeira observed that whatever had picked him up deposited him back onto the road just slightly ahead of his original position, but sideways. Aside from being badly frightened by the experience, the driver wasn't negatively affected. The only reminder of the event was the car's dashboard clock, which froze at precisely ten minutes before two o'clock in the morning.

Andrés is a "trustworthy man," in the words of his friends and neighbors, who argue that there is no reason whatsoever to believe that he is lying or otherwise dissembling.


In August 2008, this author spoke to “Jeff Marx” about UFO activity and research in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the conversation eventually drifted to Marx’s unforgettable incident in the summer of 1965 – the “endless summer” that still troubles him to this day. Not knowing the exact nature of the phenomenon – whether extra or ultraterrestrial, military or even meteorological – is only part of the equation. He feels that the strange object stole something from him -- maybe a feeling of innocence about the world, trust in government, or even his faith. In spite of the considerable dose of radiation he took from the object, leaving him as sunburned as the protagonists of Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, his health never suffered from it. Perhaps what troubles him the most forty-three years later is that he is the only one who actively remembers the incident and worries about it.

“This summer,” he told me, “I ran into one of the girls from the incident, and after we exchanged our hellos, I asked her when we were going to talk about that night. She simply stared at me and said: “That night never happened.”

There is no closure for Jeff Marx. The summer of ’65 will haunt him to the end of his days.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Argentina: Another UFO at Sierra de la Ventana

Source: Ciufos-LaPampa
Date: 08.06.08

Argentina: Another UFO at Sierra de la Ventana

[Editor's note: Appearing in the foreground is Inexplicata correspondent Raul Oscar Chaves himself.]

Raul Oscar Chaves writes: "This photograph was taken at Estancia Las Grutas, located only a few kilometers from Pigué, Province of Buenos Aires. It was taken by Rosa Ester Urban in the first days of June 2008. An attempt at showing the area's geography was being made, and no unusual object was detected at the time that the photo was taken. Ms. Urban used a Sony 8.1 Mpix camera and upon downloading it her computer, she was able to see the UFO behind the witness and to his left."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Brazil: A Grisly Discovery

Source: Universo Prohibido
Date: 08.05.08

Brazil: Man Detained After Raping, Killing 400 Cows

Brazilian police arrested a man under suspicion of having raped some 400 cows, which he later killed after coitus.

The suspect, identified as Getulino Ferreira Paraizo, 53, was arrested after a cattleman from Aragoinania, in the heart of Brazil, caught him in the act of allegedly slaying three cows and a calf on his property.

In a statement to the police, Paraizo acknowledged that he was responsible for these crimes and explained that he was sexually abused at 13, which led him to have intimate relations with mares and horses, and later with bovines.

Police chief Alvaro Cassio dos Santos said that the suspect manifested having tried consorting with a prostitute during his adolesence, but found it "very frustrating".

The law enforcement officer, who has investigated the mysterious bovine deaths for a year, claims that they began to suspect that the sacrifices formed part of black magic rituals, which led them to refer to the perpetrator as the Chupa-Vacas.

A total of nearly 400 cows supposedly murdered by Paraizo have been discovered over a period of four years, and always in farms near Goiania, capital of the rural state of Goias, some 200 kilometers from Brasilia.

(Translation (C)2008, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Laura Lopez)