Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bolivia: Alleged UFO Alarms Townspeople

Source: Diario Erbol (Bolivia)
Date: 04.25.11

Bolivia: Alleged UFO Causes Panic in Magdalena

Trinidad, Beni, 25 Apr (Erbol) – An alleged Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) caused fear and concern among residents of the municipality of Magdalena, Province of Iténez, in the Department of Beni.

According to the report on “Iténez” Radio, belonging to the Erbol Network, the object was seen around midnight on April 16 of this year as the “José, María y Juan” religious act came to a close at the municipality’s main square.

The local station reported that residents claimed seeing an unidentified flying object for more than 15 minutes.

“To the north of the municipality we could see an object flying around at low altitude over the town. It looked like an enormous piece of hot coal, seen by all of us present at the site,” said a witness.

Some of the townspeople managed to take photos of the phenomenon on their cell phones.

(Translation (c) 2011, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo Gimenez, Planeta UFO)

Argentina: Captain Polanco Recalls the Bariloche UFO

Source: Clarin (Argentina)
Date: 04.26.11

Argentina: Captain Polanco Recalls the Bariloche UFO

“Open your minds, we’re not alone in the universe.” These are the words that airliner captain Jorge Polanco spoke to Clarin. He was the protagonist a UFO event that shook the country: the Bariloche Case.

On the evening of 31 July 1995, Polanco was about to land at Bariloche Airport, at the rudder of an Aerolineas Argentinas Boeing 727, when “a light, dim at first, then intense and bright, got between the airliner and the runway.” The captain immediately advised the control tower, but received a disconcerting reply: it was no known aircraft. The strange light escorted the Boeing and its 100 passengers for 17 minutes.

A Gendarmería aircraft that was also in flight at the time confirmed seeing the same object. The tableau was made complete by another extraordinary event: a sudden blackout at the airport.

“The case had great repercussion in the media worldwide. I was even visited by NASA specialists. This was the most definite, real and spectacular case. I witnessed two other episodes in my career,” says Polanco.

15 years following his experience, he sees the Argentinean Air Force’s interest in these matters as something positive, “provided that it’s done seriously.” The two other cases the pilot alluded to occurred on 6 February 1995 when he was returning from Rio de Janeiro toward the Cordoba Airport, and was startled by a bright light. Upon contacting the tower, he received the same reply: “Unknown traffic.” Another episode occurred on 11 August 1996. Flying over the city of Trelew, he crossed paths with a bright light for a third time. “I treat it as a natural occurrence. I believe there could be life on other systems; I’m convinced of it. I never bothered making my case known because most people do not take it seriously,” Polanco reiterates. On 14 February of this year, the crew of the 727, the crew of the military aircraft and UFO specialists met at Costanera to discuss the case. Polanco feels that it’s always good to keep these events fresh. “Being air travel experts, we aren’t startled by a mere light. I think that there is more developed life than our own. I repeat, we are not the only ones who inhabit the planet,” he says.

(Translation (c) 2011, Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Grupo G.A.B.I.E.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Argentina: UFO Photo Causes Media Uproar

Source: Diario de Cuyo (San Juan, Argentina)
Date: 04.25.11

A UFO Over the Moon?
By Daiana Kaziura – Diaro de Cuyo newsroom

Seen over Calingasta: witness took photo of a figure with luminous circles forming a triangle. He later picked up another object, but with a different shape.

“I swear that I was petrified!” said Martin Pastor as he pointed at the image that he picked up last Sunday in Calingasta. he said that he thought the recently rising moon had a strange shape to it, and thus began to photograph it. After a while, he was able to see a triangle with three circular vertexes superimposed over the moon. As it moved away from the moon’s glow, it became invisible. “It was a UFO to me,” he said.

Images of strange objects crossing the skies keep capturing the world’s attention. The case involving the photographer from Santa Fe who took photos of what he believed to be a UFO – and NASA had confirmed – caused a media uproar. This was in spite of the fact that the U.S. space agency denied having analyzed the photo. In turn, the video of an alleged alien found in Russia became one of the most viewed clips on the Internet. And news of the declassified FBI document confirming 3 alien bodies at Roswell in 1947 also made the rounds.

San Juan is no stranger to photos of strange images considered UFOs by their photographers. In less than 4 months in 2001, three readers have approached this newspaper with photos of bizarre objects. This is now the fourth.

According to Martin Pastor, a resident of Rawson, he headed to Calingasta with a group of friends for a car race. In the evening, returning along Route 436, their pickup truck broke down, and they were stranded in the mountains.

“I’m one of the ones who go around camera in hand. I always felt I’d find something like this,” Martin explained, adding: “the moon was rising and began to lose shape. I realized that a luminous project passed in front of it and later disappeared.” The photo shows the moment that the object is over the moon and part of its edges are hidden by the mountains.

The moon returned to normal later on. But around 21:00 hours, his buddy said: “Look, look!” Martin raised his camera again, but this time to photograph a circular object moving across the sky, very near the Earth. But it also vanished.

He was afraid after his experience, aside from being excited. “While we waited for the repair shop crew to pick us up, we boarded the pickup, locked the doors and pointed the camera outward, just in case,” he explained, laughing.

(Translation (c) 2011, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo Giménez, Planeta UFO)

Chile: Luminous Beings Startle Researcher

Source: La Estrella de Valparaíso (Chile)
Date: 04.25.11

Chile: “Luminous Beings” Startle Researcher
By Claudia Pizarro M.

Alberto Urquiza has spent 13 years researching and working in the field of anomalous phenomena and UFOs. He has been a panelist on a variety of television shows, such as “Mucho Gusto” on Canal MEGA and he is working on a new season of Alfredo Lamadrid’ s“Cada Dia Mejor”

And that’s not all. He was also an advisor to the Chilean Air Force regarding the presence of anomalous phenomena and UFOs in the skies. Therefore, he isn’t a person to be easily shocked by any strange event, as he has devoted his life to anomalies and extraterrestrials.

This does not diminish the experiences that has experienced in person. In statements made to La Estrella, one of the most recent ones was truly surprising. He found himself face to face with what he termed as “two luminous beings”. This experience, in his opinion, was a blessing and a very significant chapter in his life. His wife and his assistant were witnesses to hitherto unpublished and unique encounter.

An Alien Experience

“I was heading toward Mirasol Square in Algarrobo, where the cultural center and a restaurant can be found. I going was with my wife and assistant to perform “quantum healing”. These are holistic therapies that integrate reiki and hypnosis, among other disciplines, to find the source of disease. We on our way to the place where our patient had agreed to meet us. Upon arriving we found two people. They were fair, with light colored eyes, tall and clad in nearly phosphorescent clothing. It wasn’t the kind of clothing that made you inconspicuous – quite the contrary. These were outfits to stand out it,” said the expert.

He explained that he approached them, thinking these were the patients. He greeted them and they did so in kind. To his surprise, one of them asked him what was his line of work. Urquiza immediately understood that these were not his patients. He explained that he worked in the field of quantum healing. “When I told him what I did, one of them – the speaker – smiled a smile as broad as his eyes. In seconds, [his eyes] began to light up impressively. As his face lit up, he placed his hands on my shoulders, on my head, and a tremendously powerful agency began to emerge. It only took seconds, but was very intense,” he explained, adding: “when he pulled away his hands, he fixed his gaze on me and said: “Welcome to the community.”


So what was going through Alberto Urquiza’s head in those brief, intense seconds, you may wonder? He replies: “Nothing. I was blank, in a sort of trance, but super aware of it all.”

After speaking those words, the expert reacts and turned to look at his wife and assistant, standing only meters away. In that moment, the two people had disappeared as though by magic.

The expert indicates that there was no time for the beings to run and hide. “They simply disappeared. My assistant was unable to take photos.”

The strangest thing that Urquiza recalls is being unable to discuss the subject with his wife and assistant until the next day at noon. “It was very strange. I was unable to mention a single thing, as though it was erased from my mind until the next day at noon, when I was able to speak to my wife. She was standing only meters away from where I was and also saw the same intense light.”

(Translation (c) 2011, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Liliana Núñez Orellana)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Change of Scenery: Other Dimensions, Other People

Change of Scenery: Other Dimensions, Other People
By Scott Corrales
(c) 2011

Naysayers are fond of deriding believers in high-strangeness for their excessive reliance on “anecdotal” material. Seldom does the Unknown sit still for a portrait, much less for a DNA analysis or the questions of a fact-checker. So the currency of the elusive realm of the paranormal will be the anecdotal for a long time to come – especially when we receive tantalizing bits of material from sources like Venezuela’s El Tiempo newspaper, in which writer Segundo Peña writes of a strange incident in the city of Mérida (Venezuela) involving a faculty member of the ULA (University of the Andes), a native of Trujillo, who walked to his car in the university parking lot in broad daylight, seen by many witnesses, including waving students and fellow professors. He opened the door, entered the vehicle – and was never seen again. The car remained parked where it was.

“The car’s owner,” writes Peña in his article, which can be found at http://www.diarioeltiempo.com.ve/V3_Secciones/index.php?id=76472011&_Proc=Desp , “has been gone for over forty years (we do not mention his name out of respect for his family) Was this person abducted by strange forces alien to our own dimension? Science pursues its general research, where psychology is aware that in many cases perceptual illusions, erroneous interpretations, hallucinations and fantasy-prone personalities have sway. But the enigma is still present and unresolved.”

Peña gives us no dates and no names, but the strange case is reminiscent of many other “bizarre disappearances” that have filled entire books over the past forty years. One can fancifully think that he entered his car and suddenly found himself in the same parking lot in a parallel reality, unmindful of the situation until subtle differences – subtle terrors, to be frank – made him realize that something was drastically different, or that he had lost his mind. We can speculate away.

However, we are also faced with cases that give us a wealth of information that goes beyond the anecdotal: Alberto Luis Fernández, director of Spain’s Revista Avalon, posted the intriguing story of a woman who believes herself to have been brought to our reality from another. “We cannot be certain that this is a not a hoax, but it is nevertheless an interesting story, and if true, it could happen to us when we least expect it,” says Fernandez as a foreword to the story.

In July 2008, a woman named Lerina García posted a message to a website asking for help. We will transcribe her message verbatim.

“Hello, my name is Luz. I’m 41 and believe that I have jumped into a parallel universe. This is hard for me to discuss, as everyone will consider me psychotic and will refuse to believe me. Please, if someone has had a similar experience, please e-mail me. One day I woke up and found that everything was different – nothing spectacular or having to do with time travel and such things. I simply woke up in the same year and day on which I went to bed, but many things were different. They were small things, but sufficiently important to know that there was a point at which everything was different.

“In fact, if this is a dream, then you’re all in a dream, because what I’m writing about doesn’t exist. So if someone replies, it means that they are experiencing the same reality as I am, whether it’s a dream or not.

“Four months ago I awoke on a normal morning. I was in my rented home, where I’d been living for 7 years. Everything was the same, except that my bed linen was different, and I paid no attention at the time. So I went to work in my car, which was parked where I’d always parked, and it was the same office I’d worked in for the last 20 years. But when I got to my department, it wasn’t my department. It has names on the door and mine wasn’t on it. I thought I was on the wrong floor, but no, it was my own floor. I went over to the office’s wireless section and looked myself up. I still worked there, but in another department, reporting to a superior I didn’t even know. So I went to the department indicated in the directory, said I was feeling ill and left. All the contents of my handbag were the same: my credit cards, my ID, everything, but I didn’t recall having changed departments at any time. I went to the social security doctor and underwent drug and alcohol testing...all clean. I returned to work the next day and was able to make my way by asking questions and saying that I wasn’t feeling well.

“My apartment is the same. Everything is unchanged. I’ve looked at all the papers I’ve kept in the house and they’re unchanged. After realizing that something strange was going on, I thought it might be some form of amnesia. Perhaps something had happened to me and I couldn’t remember a period of my life. But no, I logged on to the Internet and the day was as it should have been, and the major news items were the same as the day before.

“I’ve been separated from my partner of 7 years for some six months. We broke up and I started a relationship with a fellow from my neighborhood. I know him perfectly well, having been with him for four months. I know his name, surname, address, where he works, his son from another relationship, and where he studies. Well, that fellow no longer exists. He appeared to have existed before my “jump” but there is no trace of him now. I’ve hired a detective to find him and he does not exist on this “plane”. I’ve visited a psychiatrist and its all been put down to stress. He thinks they’re hallucinations, but I know this isn’t the case. My former boyfriend is with me as though nothing had happened – apparently we never broke it off – and Agustín (my current boyfriend) appears to have never existed. He doesn’t live in the flat he used to live, and I cannot find his son. I swear to you that its true and that I’m very sane. My own family doesn’t remember things like surgery performed on my sister’s shoulder a few months ago: she has never been operated on. Small things to that effect.

“Unfortunately, I cannot remember very important things from the news, but the rest of the world appears to be the same. There are many small details over the last five months and now, mere trivialities: clothing in my closet that I don’t remember buying, posts on a radio show blog that I had with my ex (and who remains my boyfriend now)...I don’t know, it’s foolish, but the fact is that I’m sane and this is all true.

PLEASE, if someone has had a similar experience, please contact me to see what may have happened. I cannot find any pathology that matches my experience. For five months I’ve been reading all of the theories I’ve come across and am convinced that it has been a jump between planes or something, a decision or action taken that has caused things to change. What upsets me is that that I’m in the same year, not in a different time, and I’m exactly the same. Let me explain: it’s as though I had lost my memory 5 months ago, and woke up having dreamed those 5 months, with the exception that everyone remembers me during that time, and I’ve done things that I’m not aware of having done. Has anyone had a similar experience? Pranksters and people with a grasp on “the truth” can refrain from commenting. This is very serious to me. Thank you – Luz.”

Could “Luz” have experienced some trauma to the brain – that wonderful and largely unexplored realm – that has led her to forget critical aspects of her existence, such as the division she worked for at her place of employment, or more importantly, hallucinate a love affair with someone who she cannot find again after a break-up with her original partner? An e-mail message is only worth the electrons it was composed with, and we only have “Luz”’s word for her medical visits and diagnosis. We know that insect bites have triggered abnormal brain function in humans, that blows to the head have caused people to speak different languages, speak with odd accents, or even gain telepathic or psychic ability. Might we suggest that “Luz” was tuning in to another reality for a certain period of time, rather than actually living in one?

Down the Rabbit Hole

Chile’s La Tercera newspaper published an article (31 July 2000) penned by journalist Marcelo Córdova regarding Nima Arkani-Hamed, a researcher with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who suggested that parallel universes exist in real space, coexisting with our own, and sufficiently close by to be touched. Our own world occupies a sort of membrane populated by a fistful of possible dimensions. This scientific model posits a universe on a three-dimensional wall with other dimensions. “The most fascinating detail,” according to Arkani-Hamed “is the existence of other membranes, meaning that we live with parallel universes occupied by other beings. Or we ourselves could be living alternate realities.”

It was November 1984 when Spain’s Guardia Civil conducted a massive search involving tracking dogs, expert mountaineers, local residents and even the Boy Scouts to solve the disappearance of Etelvina García, who lived in the hamlet of Santo Emiliano in the northern region of Asturias. Living alone and with no known relatives, Etelvina was known to one and all as healthy and lively shepherdess who led her flock to all the pastures in the area. But one day, her neighbors were startled to find her animals unattended in the fields with no sign of their caretaker.

A search of her home found everything in order, with no signs of a hasty departure or home invasion. The authorities gave up on finding her after an arduous search, and her whereabouts remain unknown. She may reappear some day, if a case from the Canary Islands, allegedly dating back to 1905, can serve as a precedent.

The case – described as more of a “legend” nowadays – involves a girl who has become known as “la niña de las peras” (the Pear Child), who was sent off by he parents to fetch pears at an enigmatic location known as Barranco de Badajoz on the island of Tenerife, which has been associated with strange lights and creatures for ages. She disappeared, and locals conducted as thorough a search as their early 20th century means allowed. However, the child returned: several decades later.

The year 1905 has always been used as the date for the disappearance, but others place this high-strangeness event at 1890 or even 1910. According to the story, the girl returned looking the same as she did on the day she vanished – a Canarian Rip Van Winkle who took a nap at the foot of a tree before being stirred by a very tall being in white, who asked her to come into a cave, where she saw similar beings. She took her leave after speaking to them and returned home to the astonishment of her family. It was believed that her relatives concealed “the Pear Child” – possibly out fear of harm from those who might consider her unlucky or accursed in some way – and lived for years in the San Juan district of the island. If so, researchers have never been able to ascertain her identity.

Could Etelvina García have found herself in a reality no different from our own, leading a flock of animals from another dimension back to their own barn, never aware of what had happened? If the charming story of the Pear Child has any truth to it, is “time diffraction” the price to be paid for venturing into an adjoining universe, and trying to return from it?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Argentina: UFO Landing Marks in Santa Rosa

Source: www.ceufo.blogspot.com
Date: 11 April 2011

Argentina: UFO Landing Marks in Santa Rosa
By Quique Mario – CEUFO

A UFO remained stationary for nearly half an hour over a farm located 10 kilometers north of the city of Santa Rosa on Saturday, 9 April 2011 around 23:11.

Yesterday, the CEUFO field team visited the site to survey the terrain, collect vegetable matter samples and soil for analytical purposes as a result of the strange phenomenon produced on the terrain over which the UFO was suspended an estimated 1 meter over the surface. All this according to the only eyewitness to the episode.

The event occurred at the Villaverde Tourist Ranch (www.estanciavillaverde.com.ar) and Alberto, the person in charge of the site, was the sole witness, alerted by the barking and desperate howls of his dogs. He went out to investigate the source of the animals’ restlessness. He then noticed that a strange object, measuring approximately 50 meters in diameter, was hanging in mid-air some 300 meters from the main residence, issuing a powerful read beam that kept him from looking at it “without first slipping on a pair of sunglasses.”

After the survey was completed, it was possible to see that the area’s natural vegetation, consisting of pasto puna (Puna Grass) was selectively dehydrated and grayish in color, easily breakable from the rest of the vegetation. Another curious detail observed at the site was that the soil was dark in appearance, as though wet from rainfall, but its ease of removal proved it to be dry underneath. All samples were submitted for analysis.

The night was calm, windless and with starry skies. However, the witness claims having heard a sound similar to the wind among the trees while the strange object was present. The noise ended when the UFO disappeared. The animals’ nervous behavior endured up to three days after the incident.

The powerful beam of light temporarily affected the witness’s eyesight. His eyes were reddened until Tuesday, when symptoms disappeared. However, CEUFO is alert to any abnormality that the witness might display, in order to summon professionals should their services be required.

According to initial estimates, and according to the area surveyed by the researchers, it can be said that the object was considerable in size, since its dimensions were originally estimated at 50 meters in diameter.

Nor was it an isolated incident.

That same night, a group of residents from a new development located east of the city was alerted by a seven-year-old child at 2 a.m. Sunday about the presence of “a very strange star”. Witnesses defined the object as a large oval object, very bright, giving off an array of lights. After watching it for several minutes, the object “jumped upward” and lost itself in space at dizzying speed.

Into the Woods: Hunters and High Strangeness

By Scott Corrales – INEXPLICATA
(c) 2011

At eight o’clock in the evening on August 22, 1978, a trio of wild boar hunters in the vicinity of Argentina’s Coronel Dorrego had settled down around the fire to enjoy a meal of roasted beef. Heavy footfalls, like those of a large animal or even human, emerging from a stand of trees, prompted them to grab their weapons and go for a closer look. Upon finding nothing, the three men returned to the fire to help themselves to dinner. They found, however, that the meat they had placed on the spit now had a sulfurous taste and odor that eventually made them sick. Boarding their pickup truck to leave the area, the saw an object with a black turret, measuring 30 meters in diameter by 1 meter tall, surveying the area with a powerful white beam. The unknown object passed overhead by an estimated fifty meters, shutting down the vehicle’s electrical system as it did so. Episodes like this one, while rare, are not uncommon. We can pause to reflect that since ancient times, humans embarking on hunting expeditions deep into the wilderness appear were the first to come across mysterious beings and places: our fairy tales often involve woodsmen and trackers who meet eldritch creatures to their benefit or regret

The Institute of Hispanic Ufology presented a curious story of a type not seen for well over a decade, perhaps two: a close encounter of the third kind involving a hunter, a UFO and its possible occupant. The incident, which occurred six months earlier in December 2004, was reported by Raul Oscar Chavez of the CIUFOS organization and involved the activities of two hunters after game in a rural sector to the west of the city of Toay, in the Argentinean province of La Pampa.

This story must be prefaced with the fact that, aside from being a major cattle ranching nation, Argentina offers some of the world’s best hunting opportunities. The province of La Pampa offers antelope, peccary, wild hog, Brocket deer and even water buffalo; many foreign hunters visit the region yearly to hunt pigeon, ducks, doves and geese at the river estuaries.

Stalking game that warm summer evening (the seasons being inverted in the southern hemisphere), the last thing both men expected to see was a bright light they described as “a full moon” performing curious up-and-down motions as it came in for a landing. It turned out that two objects were in fact involved in the sighting – a static, orange-hued light of greater size with smaller polychrome lights orbiting around it. As Chaves reports, the smaller lights had been seen earlier that day, engaged in strange maneuvers that made little sense to the hunters.

The Argentinean back country has its share of paranormal lights that cause a variety of effects, collectively known as “la luz mala” (the harmful light). Well versed in his country’s folklore and not wanting to become a victim of the powers ascribed to the light, one of the hunters decided to quit hunting and leave the area in his pickup truck. His hardier (or perhaps foolhardier) companion decided to sit it out, fully confident in the protection offered by his .30 caliber hunting rifle.

Dozing in the small hours of the morning, stirring at the sound of any possible animal coming his way, the hunter heard a sound similar to that of a wild boar. He and his departed companion had come across a dead cow and thought the animal would make for good bait. They placed the carcass in a clearing and placed eight meters (a little over two hundred sixty feet) between themselves and the carcass. Now, alone, the hunter would be the sole benefactor of the efforts to get the heavy bait in place.

Upon hearing the growls coming from whatever had taken the bait, the hunter focused his rifle’s telescopic sight on his quarry. He was shocked at what he saw: a growling figure of startling bulk and height that in no way resembled a wild boar. But unfazed by the unfamiliar “animal”, he aimed his weapon and took the shot, hearing the bullet make impact.

The hunter was clearly unprepared for what happened next: the entire region in which he stood was lit up by “a very powerful light” that produced an outbreak of whirlwinds and a droning sound in the air. His eye on the quarry through the telescopic sight, the hunter saw – perhaps shocked – that the creature he’d hit had a tail “similar to that of an amphibian reptile.”

Prudently, the hunter decided to sit tight and keep watch over the area. Eventually he overcame his misgivings and approached the carcass, certain to find the remains of the strange, tailed entity he had shot with his rifle. But to his surprise, there was no trace of the target and the cow had been moved ninety degrees from its original position. No sign of blood, or the tracks of the creature, were found. After telling the reporter about the strange night and its outcome, he added that he was convinced that “…he had shot an extraterrestrial in disguise” as it took advantage of the carcass to mutilate it.

Silvia and Andrea Pérez Simondini, the dynamic mother/daughter team at the helm of Argentina’s VISION OVNI organization, have another interesting case in their extensive archives. This one dates back to the summer of 1998 and occurred in the northern Argentinean community of Cuchi Corral, Province of Cordoba. Fearing the inevitable ridicule associated with coming forth with a story involving the paranormal, the main witness is identified only as “Sr. González”.

The incident occurred when a group of hunters, intent on flushing out a rabbit warren, drove forty kilometers away from their community. Driving along a wilderness road, they came across a startling presence: a being described as “similar to a man” but with a face “like a kangaroo or large dog”. Even more striking than its features -- and higher on the strangeness quotient – was the fact that the figure was dressed in a “ridiculous and outlandish grey coat”. It had short arms like a kangaroo, but lacking that animal’s tail. Upon seeing the hunters, the creature jumped over a two-meter tall barbed wire fence, vanishing into the brush. A cousin of the Chupacabras?

Sr. González’s report offers no insight into this possibility. However, the hunters stated an immense light was visible that very same evening, much larger in size than the moon, flying over the countryside and “driving the animals crazy” as it did so.

Given Argentina’s recent history as a hotspot for cattle mutilations and the reports of strange lights and entities seen at some – although by no means all – of these locations, the narrative of the two hunters collected by Raul Oscar Chaves is quite plausible. During the mutilation epidemic that thrust Argentina to the forefront of the paranormal press in the summer months of 2002, hunters reported coming across the carcasses of wild animals – notably guanacos – mutilated in the same way that livestock was being attacked. Who or what was behind these cases?

High Up Beyond the Treeline

The towering Peruvian Andes were the scenario of a perplexing case involving a hunter and the unknown in the 1960s. In spite of the event’s considerable high-strangeness quotient of the event, its protagonist was at no point overwhelmed nor excited by the experience: he was a rude, rather curmudgeonly type with little patience for the paranormal, UFOs or the folklore of the Andean range.

The incident occurred within sight of the Peruvian village of Ballanca, located to the south of Chimbote and in the vicinity of a large hydroelectric power station, according to Salvador Freixedo, who mentions the story in his book Ellos: Los dueños invisibles de este mundo (Mexico: Diana, 1990). The station’s chief engineer, a Yugoslav by birth, had taken a day off work to engage in day’s hunting in the mountains at elevations in excess of four thousand meters, where deer and bear abounded. It was at this scarcely populated altitude that the man came across a knot of natives standing in the middle of a small box canyon. The Quechua-speaking natives appeared to be clustered around something and this drew the hunter’s attention; close examination revealed that they were huddled around a boy covered in layers of blankets, clearly ill, and whose pallor suggested that he was not long for this world.

While suspicious of his presence, the natives explained that the child had fallen down a rock wall and broken some bones. This prompted the hunter to offer to take the injured youngster to the nearest hospital in his jeep, but he was startled to see his offer rebuffed by the child’s parents, despite the grief that could be seen on their features. The hunter, not a man easily refused, insisted that the youth would not last much longer if proper medical attention was not provided. He was their only answer, or so he thought.

The natives told him not to concern himself, for “Papa God will come to heal him.”

The hunter insisted that the child be placed in his vehicle for a trip to the nearest village with a medical center, but his insistent words fell on the deaf ears of the stoic natives. Somewhat angrily, the hunter turned away and decided to leave the child and its headstrong parents to their fate, when the sound of glad exclamations from the natives caused him to follow their gaze to a point in the sky. A strange vehicle soon touched down, and the natives erupted into cheers and cries of joy.

The hunter looked on in disbelief as several human-looking individuals—some men and one woman-- emerged from the craft, headed toward the expectant natives, and took the child back to their vehicle. Fifteen minutes later, the boy emerged unaided. This is how Salvador Freixedo describes the scene in his own report: “…he ran toward his parents, jumping and throwing stones to see that he had not only regained his strength, but that his broken arm was completely healed. All of the natives erupted into cheers while they surrounded the boy and felt him to see if he was fully healed.”

After a while, the strange vessel lifted off into the Andean sky and vanished. The hunter, no longer interested in pursuing game, made his way back to his vehicle in utter bewilderment. At that moment he heard footsteps behind him: it was one of the chieftains, asking him not to breathe a word of anything he had seen there – if the authorities heard about what had taken place at this remote location, it might prompt them to send soldiers to investigate, and the “friends from the sky” might not return.

An Interrupted Hunting Trip

According to another Argentinean researcher, Mario Luis Bracamonte of the S.I.O. organization, the Pampas were also the scene for another incident involving hunters inadvertently caught up in the web of the paranormal. On the evening of August 24 1996, three young men – Manuel Felipe, Jorge Sanchez and Enrique Bernal – had traveled forty kilometers into the Pampas to a location known as La Pastoril for some choice wild boar hunting. The weather was cold and clear and the Moon cast its light on a local pond.

Quietly waiting for their quarry around midnight, the hunters were startled by the unexpected arrival of a large red light with a yellow core. Frightened by the gargantuan size of the apparition, they would later estimate its size using the surrounding trees as reference: fifty meters in diameter and seven meters tall (164 x 22 feet).

The three hunters thought that the huge light above them was from a prairie fire of some sort (the Pampas have also been the site of vast, unexplained blazes) but there was no smell of smoke to it. The light continued to approach their position, coming in as close as two hundred meters from the alarmed hunters, before vanishing altogether.

One would think that after such an experience the three friends would have hung up their shotguns and taken up another sport, but Felipe, Sanchez and Bernal returned the following evening to try their luck at wild boar once more. At eleven o’clock in the evening, the unexplained light staged a return, but this time glowing with a cool, sky-blue tone rather than the angry red and yellow of the previous night.

After another unsuccessful night of hunting, the trio boarded their pick up truck and ran into the sky blue light that reflected other colors on its lower surface. Thinking it was a light projected from the village of La Pastoril, they realized that this comforting theory was impossible, given their forty-kilometer distance from that community.

The hunters soon became the hunted: the sky-blue light soon engaged in game of cat-and-mouse, flying around them and at one point directly over their pickup truck before vanishing into the wilderness. As they drove on, they saw the light appearing 500 feet meters ahead of them. “At one point,” writes Bracamonte in his report for S.I.O., “they thought it was a car and tried to catch up to it, accelerating the pickup truck to full speed, but the light always maintained the same distance. They had to stop to open a rural gate on the road, discovering that there were no tread marks on the road ahead. It was then that they realized that the light, traveling at 120 kilometers per hour, had flown into the wilderness in a straight line. There was no doubt about it: they were dealing with a UFO.”

And quite a sight it was. The light did not take long to reveal itself as a large, ovoid craft barely visible beneath its bright lights. The witnesses all agreed that it was light grey in color and easily as wide as the rural road. The air became filled with a smell of sulfur (reported in other UFO/paranormal cases worldwide) combined with battery acid. The hunters – now the hunted – firmly believed it was the object’s intention to ram them as they fled, but found themselves enveloped instead in a halo of lights ranging from red to yellow to violet. The alarming pursuit ceased once the pickup truck had reached Telén: the unknown intruder simply increased its altitude and vanished into the firmament, becoming – as in so many other UFO cases – just another light in the sky.

The trio nervously made it to a service station in the town of América. Mario Bracamonte writes: “The gas station attendant noticed they were behaving rather oddly and asked them what had happened. After they told him, he knowingly told them that they shouldn’t continue their drive along the wilderness route, but through the town of Winifreda instead.”

It should be added at this point that the hunters – dutiful citizens that they were – decided that they should file a police report in spite of the fear of being considered insane by the authorities. To their surprise, the officer on duty at the Castex station believed them, since a relative of his had just undergone a similar event on the road between Santa Rosa and Winifreda…(*)

The late Mario Bracamonte’s narration of the Felipe/Bernal Incident ends here, but other sources, such as Argentina’s GACETA OVNI, have more to add to the mind-bending incident. The power outage that engulfed the town of América when the hunters reached the filling station was unrelated to the bizarre UFO pursuit: “research carried out on these events has allowed us to certify that the outage had no connection whatsoever to the incident. Records for the date and time have been scrutinized and reports requested from the electric utilities involved...some analysts [of this case] have suggested the possibility of a teleportation, but a thorough survey has shown – through the corroboration of schedules for which reliable data can be found, plus the estimated time measurements for the journey, according to the difficulties of traversing the terrain and the road segment lengths, allows to assure with near-certainty that the total time employed by the hunters in covering the distance from La Chaqueña to América suggest no missing time whatsoever.”

GACETA OVNI’s own research adds an interesting detail. Unidentified objects were reported over Colonia Arbol Soto, Loventué, Santa Isabel, Colonia La Pastoril and other locations a few hours before dusk on August 25th, and ending nearly around the same time that the pursuit of the hunters began. “There are reasons for believing this to have been a unique or multiple phenomenon, yet perfectly associated to the case in question. Their protagonists are persons who had no knowledge of the hunters’ plight.”

(*) Winifreda was the location of the 1983 CE-3 mentioned in a recent Inexplicata feature.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Go Capture That UFO": The 1978 Puerto Belgrano CE-2

“Go Capture that UFO”: The Puerto Belgrano CE-2 – September 1978
By Carlos Alberto Iurchuk

I visited my friend Eduardo on February 1, 2009. He had been one of the protagonists of a UFO encounter at the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base while doing his compulsory military service in the year 1978. This is the main base of the Argentinean Navy, located in southern Buenos Aires province near the city of Punta Alta, some 30 kilometers from the city of Bahía Blanca.

As a preamble, Eduardo explained: “the battalion I served with was assigned custody of the base. It was a security battalion that stood guard throughout the facility. That was our only function within the Military Service.”

In the evening there was a group called GAO (Grupo A la Orden – Rapid Response Group) that would be the first responders in the event of any attack on the base, aside from those standing watch. The rapid response group slept in a guardhouse – we were six soldiers, a duty officer and a duty sub-officer. This was standard. The GAO existed at all times. We weren’t always the same, since there was a rotation involved.

Post 215

“The guard post where the incident occurred was 215, which was the last guard post in the base, located near the magazine. This post had the particular characteristic of having a sub-officer - generally a corporal – aside from a soldier, since it had a gate that opened to a road used exclusively for the military, linking the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base with the Comandante Espora Naval Air Station, located in the city of Bahía Blanca.

“We kept in contact with each other by means of handheld radios. We even had a way of telling each other jokes, among the soldiers, communicating and joking about an attack, and playing around with the radios. While our buddies were standing guard, the GAO was asleep, provided there was nothing going on. The prank consisted in simulating an attack on the base to bother the guys who were sleeping.

“One night, one of many on sentry duty, I formed part of the GAO. At around two o’clock in the morning, we could hear over one of the handheld units that the base was under attack – namely Post 215. We paid considerable attention to this, given the critical nature of the post. The duty officer, aware of these pranks, was particularly mindful because he could hear weapons firing in the background. More importantly, since there was a sub-officer at that post, he took no part in the soldiers’ games. Once alerted, the group took off speedily toward Post 215 aboard a pickup truck – six soldiers, the officer and the duty sub-officer.

“Go Capture That UFO”

“Upon reaching the site, we saw Post 215’s corporal and sentry, firing against all comers. The fired repeatedly, screaming, as if saying “they’re over there, over there!” Approximately 150 meters from Post 215 was another post with a sentry, who was also firing at something.”

At this point, Eduardo made the following clarification: “Facing the base and along the road there were two stands of eucalyptus or pine trees, I’m not sure, but they were large, tall trees that darkened everything. There was no light, nothing. The only light came from the base, lighting up the perimeter. Beyond the base’s light was total darkness. Nothing at all.

“Heading toward Bahía Blanca along the road, the ocean was on the left. There was the sea, a little stand of trees, and then another one to the right. Everyone was firing against the one on the right. But not just one shot – that is to say, had it been a soldiers’ prank, only one or two rounds would’ve been fired. This volley of fire had despair, anguish and much shouting of being under attack, and countless rounds fired.

“Faced with this situation, the officer asked the corporal at Post 215 what he’d seen. And the guy says he saw a UFO.

“We were stunned, because I don’t know a better word to describe it. We didn’t know if we should laugh or not, but in view of the circumstances, and our fellow soldiers firing away, we had our doubts. The officer couldn’t think of anything better to do than order us to capture the UFO.


“So they opened the gate that links the munitions dump with the road. We moved forward in a fighting posture, crossing the barbwire perimeter. There was a side street, we crossed it and progressed some thirty meters at most. Along that little road, with the two stands of trees flanking us, we were faced by a very bright light.

“I cannot describe its shape. I can tell you that it was like a calesita. Not a flattened shape, but rather that of a calesita, somewhat larger. A big carrousel. A very bright light, but not white in color. It was a very intense sky blue that didn’t blind you, rather it allowed you to look at it.”

Eduardo adds that there was no sound, smell or fog present as they observed the light.

“Just like it emerged, it rose upward. Don’t ask me how long it took. It could have been an eternity or microseconds. It took up in a straight line and vanished into nothing.”

He approached the place the UFO had been. “I saw nothing. There was nothing palpable – no burned trees, no odors, nothing in particular. Nothing on the ground, or the trees. No damaged trees either.”

The rounds fired against the UFO had come from FALs (Belgian light automatic rifles). “They have an effective range of 800 meters. The magazine holds 20 rounds and they used much more than a single clip. From the guard post – Post 215 – to where I saw the light there must have been a distance of 150 meters, more or less. So yes, it was a target that even a bad shot could hit. In fact, my comrades weren’t aiming, just firing away. In all this, those of us with the Rapid Response Group didn’t fire a single shot. The sensation I had was of intense cold, while one of my buddies was overwhelmed by heat. I suppose this could have been due to the fear we had of running into that thing.”

Approximately half an hour elapsed from the initial call for help until seeing the UFO disappear.

“At that moment, we were taken aside and forbidden to discuss the subject due to security reasons. The matter was never spoken of again. We were not to discuss it. No explanations were offered – these were our orders.

“As the day went on, more people went to investigate the site. They weren’t outsiders, just people from the base itself, but not from our battalion. We, the soldiers, were never interrogated. I believe that the most questioned must’ve been the officer. We were simply told that this was not a subject for discussion, and it was not to be discussed. No debriefing, nothing. These were higher-ranking officers: Navy, Marines, but not even from our battalion. They were from the base, but who knows from where.”

Other Sightings

“Within the Military Service it was very, very common to hear soldiers remark: “Hey, I saw a UFO” after pulling guard duty along the posts facing the sea, along the beach. No one believed them. What could be seen, and what was discussed among the ranks, were strange lights making very odd, swift movements, which they took to be UFOs. That was the most common thing.

“You don’t believe in them until you get to see them. To the extent that I never again spoke about it. Ever. Why? Out a fear of being mocked, not believed, not taken seriously. And one merely lets it go as a passing anecdote.”

(Translation (c) 2011, Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Carlos Iurchuk, El Dragón Invisible)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

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)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mexico: Fireball - or a UFO in Flames?

Source: Nivel 13 (Spain) and e-consulta.com (Mexico)
Date: 04.10.11

Mexico: Authorities in Boca del Rio Look for UFO
By Rodrigo Barranco

VERACRUZ, Ver. - On the evening of April 8 hundreds sent out Twitter messages indicating that a fireball-shaped UFO was streaking over the city's sky at high speed.

The story did not go beyond that. However, authorities are looking into the object that plowed its way through the heavens, as there have been previous incidents involving meteorites.

Isidro Cano Luna, director of the Boca del Río Civil Protection agency, believed that these are not stories made up by the citizenry -- years ago there was a similar phenomenon that had a scientific explanation.

"What happened last night may have been a bolide, but I am unable to confirm this as I did not witness it. Statistically, we do have antecedents to the event. In the 1960s, a meteorite passed in front of the central coast of Veracruz. It was believed to have crashed in the mountainous region of the state, but this wasn't the case. Everything indicates that [this object] became lost in that same region," he remarked.

A bolide is an orb like a meteorite, having sufficient surface to be seen by the human eye; they often strike the ground and disintegrate.

On Friday night, hundreds of persons reported a fireball crossing the skies over Veracruz, saying it was "a UFO in flames". They made this known over the social networks.

(Translation (c) S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Nivel 13)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Dark Holiness: Forgotten Apparitions

Dark Holiness: Forgotten Apparitions

By Scott Corrales

It would be an interesting exercise to sit down and compile all a list of all major events which occurred during a given period in history but were later forgotten, despite their impact at the moment. Almost assuredly better minds have attempted such an effort, categorizing incidents which caused a stir in their time yet totally overlooked by subsequent generations.

One such event--of gargantuan proportions, but tamped down by the triple factors of time, space and language barrier--occurred during the 1930's in Spain. The mention of those two coordinates will prompt thoughts of Ernest Hemingway and the international effort to participate in that country's bloody civil war, yet the event in question is by no means political. It specifically took place in the Basque Country, the industrial backbone of the Iberian Peninsula, with its coal mines and factories; Euskadi, in the mystifying Basque language, unrelated to any other on the continent and fancifully assumed by some to be the parlance of lost Atlantis.

A Forgotten Apparition

In a small, nigh well unreachable town in the Cantabrian mountains known as Ezkioga, there occurred a religious phenomenon far greater than Fátima and Garabandal, and perhaps more troubling. The agitation and the civil strife that marked those times aided religious authorities in stifling the situation ; the Second World War would succeed in obliterating any memory of it.

Ezkioga was rescued from oblivion recently through the diligent efforts of two journalists--Carmen Porter and Iker Jiménez--the first of whom published a book entitled Misterios de la Iglesia in 2002 and included her research in the text. Porter had the incredible luck to find, against all odds, one of the only copies of a limited print book regarding the mystery of Ezkioga...a book which church authorities had condemned to the flames in a tradition that dated back to the Inquisition.

On June 30, 1931, a brother and sister from Ezkioga -- Antonia, 11, and Andrés, 7 -- engaged in their daily routine of walking to a nearby dairy for milk and returning over the slopes of Mount Anduaga. On this particular day, the children noticed a bright light hovering above the treetops; forgetting their errand, they approached the light in awe and quickly dropped to their knees and prayed fervently, after seeing an image within the light source which they identified with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The youngsters ran home to tell their elders of their religious experience; as in other Marian apparitions, they were scolded and warned not to lie about "things having to do with heaven." But such was their nervous excitement that they were later taken to see the parish priest, who was unable to detect any guile in their eyes and advised their father to be patient with the children. The priest apparently had reason for such a gentle approach: only days before, one of the communities most important landowners had had a much more dramatic encounter.

The landowner and his son had been dragging a fallen tree trunk across the steep terrain using a team of oxen when the tree unexpectedly rolled, dragging the beasts and his son with it over the edge of a precipice. Fearing his son dead, the landowner ran toward the edge of the defile and proceeded to descend. To his great surprise, he saw "a lady" holding one of the oxen by its horn; the son stood to one side, in shock but otherwise alive. The "lady" was covered by a long black veil and had a five starred crown which "glowed like a sun". The landowner "knew her to be the Blessed Mother". His friends, however, ridiculed him when the story was told.
But their clumsy jests would soon come to an end when reports of "a very beautiful lady in black" who would appear and cause children to kneel and pray with their arms outstretched began to surface. The children were none other than Antonia and Andrés, who continued to visit the location on Mount Anduaga where the initial contact had taken place.
Unlike Fátima, the miraculous visitations would not be restricted to the young. Less than a week later, a man known as Patxi, a carpenter who scoffed at the notion of apparitions and decried the foolishness of his fellow townsmen, claimed to have seen the woman in black himself: she had appeared to him wielding a bloody sword, addressing him in his native Euskera instead of Spanish. Her warnings were dire--there would be a civil war between Catholics and Non-Catholics in the Basque Country, but the Catholics would prevail in the end despite the death toll. A married woman named Maria Recalde had visited Mount Anduaga to pray the Rosary and was engulfed by a brightness she described as being "greater than that of the sun." She too saw a beautiful young woman, clad in black and holding a rosary, with her heart pierced by swords. María was shown horrific visions of desolation, rains of fire and poisonous gases killing thousands.

The sword motif would appear in a vision experienced by nine year old Benita Aguirre. She would tell clergyman Juan Bautista Altisent that she "could see the Holy Virgin...with two swords, on piercing her heart and another in her left hand, its point bloodied." The girl asked the apparition if she was bleeding for mortal sins, and the reply was affirmative.

So far we have a list of elements that are common to any Marian apparition, but there are details to Ezkioga, according to Carmen Porter, which suggest phenomena other than divine: some of the worshippers present at the Basque peak thought to have seen "a witch" rather than a beautiful woman; others saw a headless figure of the type reported in paranormal chronicles worldwide. Still another claimed to have seen the devil himself, describing the fearsome apparition as tall, red-headed and black, with fangs like those of a wolf. The man wanted to scream out of sheer terror, but managed to make the sign of the Cross and the apparition vanished.

Salvador Freixedo has the following to say about this part of the his native country: "There are in Spain two regions which have distinguished themselves throughout history for being the centers of witchcraft of the entire Peninsula. One of them is the region of the Basque Country and Navarre (Zugarramurdi, Berroscoberro)..." Church authorities in the 16th century believed that at least thirty thousand witches existed in the Basque country. Could there have been other forces at play here?

Summer had turned into harsh fall over Ezkioga, but the inner fire that inspired the believers did not waver. On October 15, another visionary named Ramona Olazábal informed the congregation that they should bring handkerchiefs with them, because the Virgin was about to induce stigmata in her. At five o'clock, Ramona raised her hands, standing at the site of the apparitions, and blood began to stream from the backs of her hands. The cry of "Blood!" rent the air as the faithful swooned and others hurried forward to dip their napkins in the seeress's vital fluid. A church hearing soon followed and Ramona's stigmata were questioned, especially when witnesses claimed having seen a razor blade on the ground beside her.

Even though this new aspect of the Marian phenomenon was called into question, the number of visionaries now soared past one hundred and fifty and up to eighty thousand people had visited Ezkioga to partake of the holy event. Church authorities were beginning to look into the event to ascertain that the events occurring in the remote Cantabrian mountains were other than natural, such as the healing of a stomach cancer patient whose recovery amazed physicians, or a paraplegic woman who felt better after praying the Rosary at site of the apparitions, and walked downhill to the echoed cries of "Milagro!" ringing in her ears. Even as eminent a physician as Gregorio Marañón visited Ezkioga and unequivocally stated that the phenomena were beyond the realm of the pathological sciences. "They belong to other disciplines that are beyond my competence."

The Church was not quite so sanguine. Religious authorities like Jose Antonio Laburu, a fiery preacher of the times, stood foursquare against the miracles, saying that the predictions had been false, that fraud was prevalent throughout the sightings, and that gift-giving had stimulated many of the seers "to keep having visions". Other religious, like Amado Bruguera, struggled to separate the wheat from the chaff (the true visionaries from the impostors, in this case) and to ferret out the impostors with inquisitorial zeal, firmly believing that Satan had also played a role on Mount Anduaga, deceiving the unworthy with false visions. His misplaced zeal would later win him a jail sentence and ecclesiastical censure.

By 1933, even as the political situation within Spain grew more precarious, Bishop Múgica of city of Vitoria wrote the Vatican, denying the presence of any paranormal phenomena and forbidding Catholics from keeping "any photographs, images, hymns" or other material regarding the apparitions. This decision was approved by Rome in a letter by Cardinal Sbarreti in which the "alleged apparitions and revelations of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Ezkioga are shorn of any supernatural character." The ruling also banned three books discussing the events.

The government was also finding the events in the village of Ezkioga tiresome. Pedro del Pozo, governor of Guipúzcoa, was given the order to put an end to the commotion over the Marian apparition. The governor ordered that the image of the Virgin be removed along with the souvenir stands which had cropped up at the site; if this was not done voluntarily, he cautioned, he would order workmen to demolish the chapel with dynamite. Although workmen had refused to manhandle the statue--being cautioned by the visionaries that to do so would mean their deaths--the image was removed to a cluster of houses for safekeeping. The authorities cut down the large cross which had been erected at the site, and the premises were fenced off to keep any further multitudes from congregating. Even more medieval-sounding was the decree issued by the mayor of Ezkioga under pressure from his superiors: the punishment prescribed for anyone having visions in public would range from heavy fines to prison, internment in an insane asylum, or deportation. Many of the visionaries indeed wound up institutionalized while others served jail time.

Was Father Laburu right about all of the prophecies being fraudulent? Apparently not. Most of the revelations concerning "a war in which much blood would be spilled within Spain" would come true, and which would begin with the closing of churches in Catalonia -- the event which would unleash the Spanish Civil War.

In 2001, Spanish film filmmaker Gutiérrez Aragón directed Visionarios: La Virgen de Ezkioga, starring Ingrid Rubio as one of the visionaries involved in the actual events. Although the production was not well received by contemporary audiences despite having been shot on location, it nonetheless served to rekindle interest in this all but forgotten paranormal event.

Headless at the Holy Sites

Strange creatures, some of them far from having a divine or holy aspect to them, are often reported at the sites of Marian apparitions. In the early 1990s, for instance, a "Bigfoot"-like creature was reported at the Marian shrine of Montaña Santa on the island of Puerto Rico. Believers like Ezkioga's Amado Bruguera shared the conviction that the devil's minions were at work at some of these locales, trying to frighten the faithful away from holy ground.

Most prevalent among these apparitions are the "headless" ones: the headless woman at Ezkioga had been preceded by a similarly decapitated figure--also female--which sent Lucía, Francisco and Jacinta, the young shepherds of Fátima, running for cover in 1915. The girl returned to her house and told her mother that she had seen "a white thing hovering over the trees which looked like a headless woman, having neither hands nor eyes." This presence was seen on two more occasions during the Fátima apparitions and became known as the "angel".

Journalist J.J. Benítez, writing in his landmark La Quinta Columna (Plaza y Janés, 1985), makes the curious note that strange headless entities form part of the lore of Spain's Las Hurdes region -- at one time so inaccessible and poor that it became the source of countless legends -- which is scarcely one hundred kilometers away from Fátima and Leira, across the Portuguese border. A mere coincidence or a fact filled with hidden significance?

Not to belabor the point about disturbing, seemingly non-angelic entities seen at Marian apparitions, but it is curious to note that the rituals of the ancient Coptic church (one of the oldest branches of the Christian faith) contain explicit prayers against the presence of "headless demons", such as the one appearing in the Zereteli-Tiflis collection, described as "a text containing a spell to provide protection against headless demons and powers that are bothering the person invoking angels and archangels". To make the link between Marian apparitions even more confusing, another such amulet invokes the virgin Mary's protection against a headless dog: "because I am having a clash with a headless dog, seize him when he comes and release me..." (Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power, Princeton: 1999). One wonders if this orison would have worked against the bat-winged, headless "Mothman" of West Virginia or a similar entity seen landing on a field in Britain in 1965.

Beatings from Beyond?

Salvador Freixedo has also made note of another strange negative feature that seems to afflict many of these Marian apparitions--the appearance of "persons unknown" who inflict bodily harm upon the seers or other involved with the miraculous phenomenon taking place at the site.

In October 1980, Amparo Cuevas, a fifty year-old mother of seven, became known as la vidente de El Escorial (the seeress of El Escorial) for her part in the Marian apparitions which occurred in said location. Cuevas was first visited by undescribable pain and voices which told her the suffering "was that of Christ on the Cross." From that moment on, Cuevas displayed the full range of manifestations that accompany the phenomenon: stigmata--including a curious image of a heart pierced by a sword on her chest--bilocation, levitation,speaking in tongues. She was able to take on the maladies of others, exhibiting the symptoms in her own body. Upon the onset of the pain, Cuevas supposedly "saw a beam of light heading straight toward her" which signalled the start of the mystical communion: during these ecstatic periods she would see the Virgin as a figure swathed from head to toe in a black mantle (with the detail of a white, gauzy veil included) as well as the crucified Christ.

While looking into the controversial El Escorial apparitions, Salvador Freixedo discovered that a gang of unidentified men--their faces conveniently covered by hoods--had inflicted a severe beating on Cuevas. The authorities considered the culprits to be members of some right-wing clique heavily opposed to any deviation of the Catholic doctrine, but the paranormalist drew an interesting conclusion of his own--based on his research into another, little-known Marian phenomenon of the 1970s.

Ladeira do Pinheiro, a small farming community not far from Fátima, became the focus of miraculous activity centered around visionary Maria da Conceicao Mendes. Mendes had startled members of the community and visitors with sixteen separate levitations, being transported--on one occasion--high into the air and losing herself among the clouds; three thousand communion wafers rained out of the heavens during one of the outdoor manifestations (their provenance was later determined to be the churches in the immediate vicinity) while other manifested in her very hands; the UFO phenomenon was also partial to Ladeira and its surroundings during the events, and some of these unknown lights outshone the full moon in their brilliance.

But one particular evening, while Maria da Conceicao Mendes held a nocturnal vigil with other worshippers, a group of men with clubs showed up out of nowhere to kick and batter the congregation. One of the worshippers died of a savage kick to the chest; Mendes lost her front teeth to another. The official explanation was that local roughs from Fátima -- incensed at the thought that Ladeira was "muscling in on the sweet deal" of the miracle business -- took matters into their own hands, possibly abetted by the clergy, who had declared the Ladeira incidents "demonic" from the onset.

"The resemblance between these incidents," writes Freixedo in Las Apariciones del Escorial (Quintá, 1991) "and what occurred at El Escorial is undeniable. Forces, whether human or non-human, appear to be always alert and active. These were not right-wing fanatics [...] but rather entities created by the apparition itself. In other words, they belong to the non-human montage behind the phenomenon. Absurd though it may seem, I suspect that the very entity that appears is the one responsible for the beatings."

The Devil at Garabandal?

So much has been written about the utterly inexplicable events at Garabandal--another town lost in the mountains of the Basque country-- that nothing can be added to it that will either make matters clearer or keep devotees of these apparitions, which ran from 1961 to 1970, from becoming enraged. For readers interested in delving fully into the matter, number of books and journals on the miracle are available in English and Conchita González, the principal seer, lives in the USA. Black and white footage of the girls walking backward and enduring some brutal testing by skeptics has been shown countless times on television.

But the bare bones of the event are as follows: four girls from the small town of Garabandal, near Santander, had repeated visions of both the Virgin and St. Michael and were given prophecies to disclose to the rest of the faithful. On June 18, 1961, while picking apples at a local orchard, the girls heard a "thunderclap" and saw a beautiful figure enveloped in light which they thought was an angel sent to punish them for stealing fruit. Over the course of the following twelve days, the girls would have visions of the same angel, dressed in blue and with pinkish wings, whom they took to be St. Michael the Archangel. The angel told them that they would soon be seeing the Virgin, and they did so after the eight visitation. The Blessed Mother appeared in garb that would be immediately recognizable to any school-age child in a Catholic country: a white dress with a blue mantle, a starry crown, and a scapular at her waist. The heavenly patroness told the girls to inform their elders that sacrifice and penance were in order to avert imminent punishment.

The thousands gathered in Garabandal to see the miracle were hoping for something more substantial, however, and in the wee hours of October 19, 1961 those present saw the famous miracle of the communion wafers manifesting itself on Conchita's opened mouth (and of which photographs have been reproduced in countless journals and religious tracts).

Garabandal's "dark side" -- if it can indeed be said to have one -- came about a few months earlier when theologian Luis Andreu lost his life in a car crash. Andreu had seen the four girls in their ecstatic trances and had been forced to proclaim aloud the miraculous nature of what he was seeing. When asked exactly what the miracle was, he told his friends that he was overwhelmed with joy at what the Virgin had shown him and that it was the happiest day in his life. Shortly after, he fell silent, much to the concern of those around him. The priest had died.

When news of Father Andreu's death reached the young visionaries, they claimed that they had seen the Virgin looking at him at one point, as though saying: "you shall soon be with me".

The death of this respected religious caused the bishopric of Santander to forbid members of the clergy from visiting Garabandal without permission from Church authorities. Worshippers were advised that they too must cease their visits, and the tide of pilgrims to the mountain village was stemmed for a while. But there was another death in the works...

In 1965, Monsignor Puchol assumed the bishop's crook at Santander and was even more stringent in his prohibitions against any veneration of Garabandal, issuing a terse pronouncement: "there has never been any apparition of the Blessed Virgin, nor of the Archangel Michael, nor of any other heavenly personage. There has been no message, and all of the events which have transpired at said location have a natural explanation."

It was this rejection of the miracle of Garabandal that many believed cost the bishop his life: he died while driving his car, allegedly screaming "God, what's wrong with me?!" before the collision. The car crash occurred on the same day as the feast of St. Michael the Archangel.

Another Jesuit father, José Warzawski, wrote a comprehensive study on the phenomenon entitled El Mito de Garabandal (Madrid: Ed. Studium) accepting the reality of the events which occurred at the site but ascribing them all to demonic forces. Does the Church know something else it isn't sharing?

(A version of this article appeared in Paranoia Magazine in 2003)