Friday, March 30, 2012

Mexico: Strange Entity in Michoacán (1936)

A Strange Entity in La Piedad, Michoacán, Mexico in 1936
By Lic. Claudia Madrid Montezuma – La Esfera Azul

The following story took place in 1936 at La Piedad de Cabadas, Michoacán, when my grandmother was seven years old.

Teresa (my grandmother) was on the bottom floor of the hotel at which her parents and grandmother worked. Her job was to collect money – tray in hand – from everyone entering the restrooms. She suddenly became aware of “someone” walking through that area. It wore a dress, leading her to suppose it was a woman. However, no arms, legs or face were visible. The clothing, which she compared to gauze, floated along the hallway, leaving behind a trail of coins that emerged from its sleeve.

Despite the strange situation, the girl rushed to collect the money and place it into the pocket of the apron she wore. Both the mystery figure and the child were now heading toward the horse stables near the hotel. But when the grandmother realized that her granddaughter was heading to this location, she called her over. At that same instant, the bizarre escort disappeared and the young girl, booty in hand, ran back to report what had happened. The grandmother’s astonishment and fear were immediate: belonging to a rural and deeply religious environment, she thought it was a “snare of the devil” and decided to take the money to the town priest, Padre Bravo.

The priest blessed it and kept a part of the find, at the woman’s request. The remainder, in spite of being “evil money”, was used to buy Teresa a pair of sandals. Miracles were attributed to this priest after his death. According to the locals, his body remained uncorrupted seven years after his death, when the coffin was opened to relocate his remains.

The priest’s remains are currently kept at the La Purísima Church in La Piedad, Michoacán, but that is another story.

When Teresa was older, she moved to the capital with her mother and aunts, and has lived there most of her life. She currently resides in Querétaro, where she retold the story of what happened to her. She has never been interested in the paranormal, has always been very rational, and states that what she experienced was real. It has been the only unexplained event she has had in her entire life.

[Transcript of the 2009 Interview]:

Claudia Madrid: Tell us what happened to you.

Teresa: An anecdote, I don’t know what to call it, but I remember it perfectly. Bear in mind that I was just a child. My parents worked at a hotel, and I was in charge of a certain section. At a given moment, I saw a dress – a fabulous dress, floating in the air, without legs, hands or arms. It struck me, despite my age, and I followed it with my eyes, thinking, “it’s a lady, but why doesn’t she have any arms, or legs, what’s wrong.” I was never shocked, never felt any fear, I recall perfectly feeling no apprehension at all. Then, from her sleeves, from her dress, she let go of a considerable amount of money. There was no paper money at the time. I’m telling you that this was a long time ago, since I’m currently eighty years old, so if you do the math, I was seven, and therefore a child. It would now be the equivalent of two thousand [inaudible monetary unit] or so, but it was a lot of money. At the time I wore a pretty little apron that I made myself, so I got down pick up all the money, all of it. At this time, the dress flew away, it vanished, and I fearlessly went to tell my family. “See this, grandma,” – because I was raised by my grandmother – “look what I found in the yard.” She asked who let the money drop, and I said a person looking like this and like that, without head, arms or legs. Why weren’t you afraid, my grandmother asked, and I replied, “No, and here’s the money.” My grandmother used it, spent it on household goods, nothing bad ever happened, and it’s not superstition, these are just childhood memories.”

(Translation and transcription (c) 2012, Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Claudio Mora, La Esfera Azul)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Argentina: Close Encounters in Antarctica

Source: Planeta UFO and El Dragón Invisible
Date: 3.25.12

Close Encounters in Antarctica
By Carlos Alberto Iurchuk

Note: This is the original text submitted to Brazil’s UFO magazine, edited by A.J. Gevaerd. The article appeared in Issue 177, May 2011.

The man with the thick beard drank his coffee slowly. Later he turned to look at me, saying deliberately: “Around April or May, the cook remarked casually that around 17:00 hours he saw a plane flying in absolute silence – at least he didn’t hear any sound whatsoever, being in the kitchen and all – approached the center of the bay, made an abrupt turn, and pulled away.”

It was on a cold afternoon, seated in a bar in the city of Buenos Aires, that I heard this story from the lips of Jose Raul Bortolamedi, who had been stationed at the Almirante Brown Argentinean Base in the Antarctic in 1981.

Raul continued his story in an almost solemn tone of voice, ignoring the hubbub surrounding us: “Its altitude was estimated as being relatively low, between 100 and 300 meters, and it turned approximately 45 degrees. The cook was startled by the silence and abruptness with which the maneuver was executed. There was no news about any expected flights, since arrivals of commercial or scientific flights, or those of any other nature, were generally announced.”

But that wasn’t the only unknown presence during his stay at the base. After drinking his coffee, he continued: “In the summer, while the necessary arrangements were being made for the departure of chemists and biologists at the base’s dock, the presence of an object similar to a bean, executing a falling leaf maneuver, was noticed directly over the base. The time it remained visible is hard to estimate, but it was between 2 to 5 minutes.”

A Pulsating Continent

Antarctica is a nearly circular continent, some 4500 kilometers in diameter, surrounding the South Pole. It has a surface area of 14 million square kilometers, but when the encircling seas freeze, its surface area extends to 30 million square kilometers. It is also for this reason that Antarctica is known as “the pulsating continent.”

It is also the last continent on our planet to be explored and populated by humans. It is hard to determine who was its official discoverer. Some say it was Spanish explorer Gabriel de Castilla, who reached 64 degrees South and saw land in those latitudes (which could have been any of the South Shetland Islands) according to the testimony of a Dutch mariner who sailed with him. Other historians give the nod to Dirk Gerritz, also Dutch, as possibly the first one to see the surface of the Antarctic as he sailed south to the Mar de Hoces (or the Drake Passage) in the vicinity of the South Shetland Islands in 1599.

Apparently, it is easier to establish who was the first to reach the South Pole. Two expeditions set out toward that goal in 1911: one of them was the Norwegian expedition under the command of Roald Amundsen; the other was Britsh, and led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott.

Amundsen employed Greenlandic sled dogs as his motor power. Scott, on the other hand, employed ponies during the first stage and then human power during the second. Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole on 14 December 1911; Scott arrived between 17-18 January 1913. While the Norwegian crew faced no further complications, poor planning and misfortune caused the five British explorers to perish during the return trip.

Currently, most of the signatories to the Antarctic Treaty maintain scientific research stations on Antarctica. Some of them operate year-round, while others are of a seasonal nature and only operate during the summer.

The Orkney Base, or Destacamento Naval Orcadas, located on Laurie Island in the South Orkneys, is the oldest Antarctic base in service and belongs to the Argentinean Republic, which operates it year-round through the Argentinean Navy. The weather station was originally set up by William Speirs Bruce, a Scotsman, in 1903, who later sold the facilities, instrument warehouse and measuring devices to the Argentinean government. President Julio Argentino Roca, through Decree No. 3073 of 2 January 1904, accepted the offer, authorizing the Oficina Meteorlógica Argentina to maintain the station.

A Continent of a Thousand and One Stories

As has occurred everywhere else on the planet, UFO stories emerged from the moment on which man first set foot on the Antarctic. This inhospitable land, however, has another type of story that has achieved great popularity among those who study strange phenomena. One of them suggests that at the heart of the continent, at the South Pole itself, there is an entrance to the so-called “Hollow Earth”.

This theory basically asserts, as its name suggests, that the center of the Earth is hollow, with a sort of internal Sun, and inhabited by a highly developed civilization. There would be two immense openings, several hundred kilometers in diameter, on the surface of the Earth to provide access to this place, and these openings would be at the poles. This civilization would avail itself of the openings to come to the surface, and its craft would be the UFOs that we currently witness.

While this theory has been readily accepted by many, it contradicts the teachings of current science. And as the reader may well imagine, none of the expeditions sent to the South Pole found any openings whatsoever.

One of the few bits of “evidence” shown in favor of the presence of a large opening in the Antarctic was the photo taken by the U.S. Essa-7 satellite on 23 November 1968, showing a hole measuring nearly 1000 kilometers in diameter. What really happened is that the satellite “compiled” global images by means of smaller images that later made up a mosaic, incorrectly interpreted as an “opening”. The circular black space is nothing more than the “blind” spot that the satellite is unable to see during its numerous passes.

As a curious side note, Jules Verne, the great author who predicted may technological breakthroughs and historic events such as a trip to the Moon, was also correct in stating that humans would never reach the center of the planet. The title of his book Journey to the Center of the Earth is a small trap aimed at ensnaring the readers’ curiosity, since the journey in question was only a hazardous tour “within the Earth’s crust” and the novel’s protagonists never reached the center of the Earth.

While this is not the main purpose of the Article, one cannot speak of the Antarctic and its legends without a brief mention of Nazis. Everyone is aware of the significant technical achievements of Nazi Germany. The V-1 and V-2 flying bombs, for instance, served as the foundation for developing rockets by the U.S. which later enabled man to reach the Moon. German contributions to aeronautics were equally significant, including the development of jet-propelled fighters and the creation of so-called “Flying Wings”.

In spite of this, some are willing to take matters a step further and state that the Nazis were able to develop true UFOs, going as far as to say that they created major bases in Antarctica to conceal all of this technology from the prying eyes of the Allies. In the final months of the war, when the collapse of the Third Reich was inevitable, many Nazis fled to these bases in submarines. Not only did they find shelter there – they pursued the development of these vessels. As one can imagine, according to this theory, all UFOs seen since that time not only in Antarctica but worldwide, are German in origin.

And in order to make the theory complete, any scientific expedition sent to Antarctica, mainly by the United States, is nothing more than a smokescreen to conceal its true intentions: a military expedition to find the Nazi bases and seize their technology.

Setting these stories aside, let us return to the UFO sightings.

Official Acknowledgement by the Argentinean Navy

The most significant incident involving an unidentified flying object, mainly due to its consequences, occurred on 3 July 1965 at the Argentinean Naval Base on Decepción Island. According to the story told by Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Perissé, who was in charge of the base, they saw an object moving silently. “While it seemed solid, there was a certain lack of precision to its shape, sometimes lenticular and at others circular. Its visual aspect, of course, could have been affected by an atmospheric refraction phenomenon that could have resulted in an apparent deformation of its characteristics.”

What is most notable is that the Argentinean Navy acknowledged this event in two communiqués that were issued subsequently. The total absence of sound and variations in speed are highlighted, along with the fact that “it remained suspended for one minute.” While sightings of this flying object occurred at night, the meteorological conditions for the area, according to the initial communiqué could be “considered exceptional for the time of year.”

It should also be noted that it was seen at the Destacamento Naval Argentino Orcadas, located on South Orkney, and “at the moment in which the object passed over that point. Two variometers (magnetic field readers) in service at the time recorded disturbances to the magnetic field, captured on the tapes of both devices,” according to the second Argentinean naval communiqué.

I would not like to miss the opportunity to pay tribute to Daniel Perissé, who retired with the rank of Commander, and who sadly passed away in 2008. After the incident, and for the rest of his life, he participated actively in UFO research, cooperating with all ufologists who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Many Surprises Await

It is clear that the UFO phenomenon is global in reach. By this I mean that there isn’t a corner of the planet where the presence of these distinctive craft hasn’t been reported. Therefore, it can be expected that such sightings would also exist in Antarctica. No sightings whatsoever would be truly strange.

Antarctica is the least explored continent, meaning that there are many things to be discovered in this corner of the planet. Perhaps not entrances to the center of the Earth, or hidden installations decorated with swastikas. But they will nonetheless be discoveries that will surprise us all, to a greater or lesser degree. And why not. Perhaps Antarctica is one of those places where UFOs go to conceal themselves (where are the UFOs when they are nowhere to be seen. Beyond their origin, its true that the scarce presence of human beings in the white continent makes it an ideal place to go unnoticed. But not forever...

(Translation (c) 2012, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo Gimenez, Planeta UFO, and Carlos Alberto Iurchuk, El Dragón Invisible)

More Maritime Mysteries: The Haunted Seas

More Maritime Mysteries: The Haunted Seas
By Scott Corrales
(c) 2012

My grandmother was not particularly into telling spooky tales; some of her stories of the “old days”, her formative years in a post-1898 Cuba and a childhood spent in pre-tourist Key West, Florida, had elements that would have served as grist for the mill of a mystery novelist.

One of these stories involved a disappearance that, to my knowledge, is still missing from books about mysteries of the sea. It does not appear in Vincent Gaddis’s Invisible Horizons, Ivan Sanderson’s Invisible Residents, or any of Charles Berlitz’s books on the so-called Bermuda Triangle. It concerns the passenger liner Valbanera.

It may seem hard for readers in the Internet age to imagine of a time when the only way of getting from one part of the world to the other was by ship. Passenger liners – not cruise ships – plowed the North Atlantic between the major ports of the Iberian Peninsula (La Coruña, Vigo, and Cádiz, among others) and the islands of the Caribbean, ferrying families relocating to the Americas or else returning to Europe with their fortunes safely made. Clipper ships might take a month to make the journey, being at the mercy of the ocean’s currents and winds, but coal-fired ships – steaming along at fifteen knots an hours – might make the crossing in a fortnight. Ships of the Compañía Transatlántica Española and the Pinillas Line were a common sight on the high seas, blowing their whistles at passing Cunard liners and sending their compliments to Southampton-bound captains. While no author of maritime heroics has turned his/her pen in this direction, the skippers of the Spanish Line, as it was known, played major roles as blockade runners in the 1898 war, attempting to run Admiral Dewey’s blockade of the Philippines.

Built in 1906 at Glasgow’s Connell & Co. shipyards, the Valbanera was a small passenger liner, clocking in at nearly five thousand tons (for comparison purposes, the RMS Titanic was forty-six thousand tons), it could convey twelve hundred passengers across the Atlantic with ease and was considered one of the Pinillas Line’s most comfortable ships.

In 1919, the Havana-bound liner was under the command of Captain Ramón Cordero, scion of a renowned seafaring family from southern Spain. We will never know if he was aware of the concerns of his passengers regarding the safety of his ship: the Pinillas Line had lost two other passenger vessels – The Apollo and the Principe de Asturias – and the Valbanera itself had been at the center of a scandal regarding a shipboard flu outbreak that resulted in dead passengers being thrown overboard.

The passenger liner reached Santiago de Cuba on 5 September 1919, unloading nearly a thousand workers from the Canary Islands who had secured employment opportunities as cane-cutters and millers in the prosperous sugar industry. The ship rounded Cape Maisi on Cuba’s easternmost end and entered the Old Bahama Channel, hoping to reach Havana four days later. Captain Cordero found himself in a race against the weather, as a hurricane raged ahead. His only hope was to make port before encroaching storm.

On the night of 9 September, passengers aboard another liner anchored in the Port of Havana while the storm raged around them were able to hear a ship’s whistle. The harbormaster at the Morro Castle was able to see a fleeting silhouette of a ship against the raging waters, and understood that it was the Valbanera. But the liner never entered the port: it vanished into the pages of maritime legend with nearly five hundred lives.

A search by the U.S. and Cuban navies – perhaps the first joint operation of such a nature – subsequently took place. The gunboats Cuba and Patria and the USS SC 203, an anti-submarine warfare ship, searched the waters after the hurricane had dissipated. Divers eventually found the Valbanera at Rebecca Shoals, between Tortuga and Key West. The official report stated that the ship’s name was clearly visible to the divers, but there was no trace of the passengers. The sunken ship was otherwise intact, with lifeboats still at their davits. What became of the 488 lives expected by desperate relatives in Havana? Had they jumped overboard, bodies would have been found on the sea, or washed up on the reefs and shoals.

Stranger still is the fact that the Key West naval station received a transmission from the Valbanera on 12 September at one o’clock in the afternoon, a request for weather information. Where had the ship been during the period of time between its disappearance outside the Havana on the 9th and the discovery of its wreckage on the 19th? Or had the message been caught in some sort of temporal aberration? The coral-covered wreck of the Valbanera rests under the waters of Rebecca Shoals, having taken its mystery with it.

Another disappearance that is seldom mentioned in books on mysteries of the sea is that of the "Castillo Montjuich vanished somewhere in the Atlantic in December 1963, without a distress call ever being received. The ship and its complement of thirty-seven sailors had set out from Boston with a cargo of corn bound for La Coruña.

An Enigma in the Norwegian Sea

A Spanish fishing vessel – the Piñeiro Correa – set out from the rich fishing waters off Massachusetts toward the Norwegian Sea. Registered at the port of O Morrazo in Galicia, Spain’s northwestern corner, Captain Alvaro Otero would never forget the day in which his routine was interrupted by something he would remember as one of the strangest experiences the sea had offered him: The date was 12 September 1977, and the Piñeiro Correa had already reached the Faeroe Islands.

Ship’s engineer Manuel Carballo recalls that the captain summoned the crew to the bridge at 21:00 hours to witness an extraordinary phenomenon: a structure resembling “ a large umbrella filled with unexplained lights, with a very bright light at its highest tip, issuing rounded spindles of color that faded as they fell into the ocean.” The engineer – who made an entry in his personal log – told journalist Juan Calvo of the O Faro de Vigo newspaper in a 2009 interview ( that “the colors were very hard to describe” and that the main light “turned off after being visible for 20 minutes.” The engineer further recalled that it was a clear night with a full moon and mild weather for that latitude, but that a storm broke out the minute the phenomenon was extinguished.

Throughout the entire experience, the fishing vessel’s crew had remained calm, beholding the strange phenomenon without any apprehension. Perhaps they could not sense the skipper’s growing disquiet as he realized the unknown luminous phenomenon was heading their way. Captain Otero ordered his second in command to put the Piñeiro Correa on autopilot, and then ordered the crew below decks once more. “My own recollection,” Otero told the reporter from O Faro de Vigo, “is similar to Carballo’s, but I remember that there was a central beam of light descending straight into the sea.”

The other witnesses to the event, whose names appear in the newspaper article, kept an unspoken pact of silence among them, as they knew the phenomenon they’d seen with their own eyes was atypical. The article notes that upon returning to their homeport at the end of the squid-fishing season, the crew contacted astronomy and navigation instructors at the Escuela Náutica Pesquera de Vigo (Nautical Fishing Academy of Vigo) for consultations. The instructors showed them an array of possible phenomena reported at sea, but none of the slides and photos matched what they had witnessed off the Faeroe Islands. There was no photo or cine camera aboard the Piñeiro Correa with which they could have captured the phenomenon for posterity. The crewmen remain convinced that they saw “something extraterrestrial.”

But the unknown appeared to dog the fishing vessel: the Piñeiro Correa was sold and renamed Cisne Blanco (White Swan), finding itself in Chilean waters many years later. Jesús Piñero, the only crewman left aboard from the old ship’s complement, now acting as boatswain, remembers a night when the crew was called up to the bridge. “There was something suspended above the sea with very large lights. It suddenly vanished and left a wake behind it. It wasn’t collective madness or a sea-story. Forty crewmen stood there, witnessing what is nowadays considered an unidentified flying object.”

Belief in the existence of a UFO base (or materialization point) in the Norwegian Sea, and another in the Baltic, has persisted for decades. In April 1988, a spokesperson for the Swedish Navy mentioned that his country had detected at least two dozen “mystery submarines” – a polite term for unidentified submarine objects. In the late 1950s a man named Lorentz Jonson allegedly witnessed a cigar-shaped object, fifty meters long, with portholes and reddish lights, disgorging smaller winged objects that promptly dove into the waters of the Namsenfjorden (north of the city of Trondheim).

NATO would be confronted with the unknown objects that haunt the Norwegian Sea only a few years after the Namsenfjorden incident. In February 1963, a Royal Navy frigate on maneuvers in those latitudes picked up an unusual contact on its radar: an object measuring 98 feet across at an elevation of 32,000 feet. No visual confirmation was obtained, but radar operators looked on in amazement as their instruments showed the object making an abrupt descent to the ocean’s surface.

One of the better-known stories regarding the presence of UFOs in the Norwegian Sea involves the 1972 detection of a mysterious object at the bottom of a fjord and proceeded to force it to surface. In a maneuver that lasted three days, involving dozens of Norwegian and NATO surface ships, depth charges were dropped into the icy waters, in hopes of bringing the mysterious object to heel. The astonishing result of this action was that all the electronic systems aboard the surface ship were inexplicably "knocked out". Red-faced, the Norwegians admitted that the USO had given them the slip.

The Unknown in Warmer Waters

An unusual story made the rounds of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula in 2008: aliens had supposedly abducted three fishermen.

The report, featured in the Diario de Yucatán (, put forth the possibility that three experienced fishermen aboard the 50 foot-long trawler “Carlos Humberto” had inexplicably vanished on 10 July of that year, “kidnapped or abducted by aliens in the high seas”, as the article explained. The word spread rapidly among Yucatán’s tightly-knit fishing community, to the extent that some masters were keeping their vessels closer to shore than usual. The situation escalated to the point that Gaspar Cimé, Harbormaster of the Port of Progreso, was forced to speak openly about the matter. “I think the rumor is a really a joke, but it is a fact that some fishermen believe in such things. We will continue searching for them. It’s very hard for a vessel of such size to vanish for no reason.”

On 9 August, a report in Mexico’s Noroeste ( reported that the “Carlos Humberto” had been found 142 miles away from the Port of Progreso, near Isla Pérez. There was no trace of the missing fishermen – Alberto Ojeda, Daniel Solis and Ildefonso Hernández. While one might theorize that drug smugglers attacked the trawler at night to kill the crew and use their “clean” boat to bring narcotics into U.S. waters, there was no sign of violence and the main prize of any “narcopirata” was in fact adrift and taking on water. Were the fishermen correct in suggesting that the crew of the “Carlos Humberto” had in fact been spirited away by forces unknown?

In 1991, Puerto Rican fishermen would’ve probably concurred with their colleagues on the opposite end of the Caribbean. A group of four fishermen were casting their nets in the early hours of the morning when they saw the lights emerge from the water. One of them, a man in his fifties, was so intimidated by the sight that he took refuge in the cabin of his fishing boat, refusing to discuss the matter ever again. Not of these sightings had their point of origin in the Caribbean Sea: a considerable number of originated inland, from the mountains, appearing first as streaks of light in the night sky, like meteors, until rings of light and a visible structure came into view as the object descended within 500 to 600 feet above their boats. According to Rollie Irizarry, a fisherman from the town of Cabo Rojo: "My dad said that he jumped into the mangrove swamp, telling his fishing buddy "if they're that good, let them try to catch us in the swamp!" They honestly thought that they were done for, when they saw the thing swoop down over their yawl." Many of the fishermen, who work the entire littoral of western and southern P.R., were taken aback by the incidents to the extreme of not wanting to discuss their cases with professional investigators.

Media attention was lavished on some of the strange marine activity, such as the incident that took place on November 11, 1991. On that evening, residents of El Tuque and Las Cucharas notified authorities that a UFO "was entering and leaving the sea" less than half a mile from the shore. The unknown vehicle engaged in its maneuvers from 11:30 p.m. until well past midnight.

In December 1996, there were unconfirmed reports that a police helicopter flying over the waters off the southern city of Ponce had reconnoitered a vast submarine "vehicle" clearly visible from the air. The structure was circular in shape and quite close to the surface. Its dimensions were staggering: the police estimated that the contraption was approximately a mile across.

The Mysterious Island

Any mention of “The Mysterious Island” will evoke memories of Jules Verne’s sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under Sea, in which a group of castaways find themselves on a nameless isle, aided by an unseen protector who turns out to be the elderly Captain Nemo. The rocky and uninhabited island that concerns us here is too small to serve as a haven for survivors as a shipwreck, and it is located near one of the world’s foremost tourist destinations.

The towering rock of Es Vedrá is popularly believed to serve as a sentinel that watches over the island of Ibiza, from which it was separated by events in the geological past. Riddled with caves and magnetic anomalies, fishermen say that carrier pigeons become confused when they fly over Es Vedrá, and shipboard instrumentation tends to go haywire.

The subject of unidentified submarine objects inevitably arises in connection with this alluring rock formation. These are seen by day and night, moving silently under the water, while others breach the surface and vanish into the night sky. In the late 1970s, the pilot of a small plane reported seeing a UFO over the isle; the unknown object responded to the single-engine plane in an unusually hostile manner, prompting the pilot to return to Ibiza.

In October 1970, Miguel Bañuls, a commander in the Spanish Air Force, was driving to his summer home on the island of Majorca (largest of the Balearic Islands) when a fiery UFO flew within inches of his car's roof, picking the vehicle up and turning it around to face in the opposite direction to which it was headed before vanishing into the night. Bañuls, who was accompanied by his wife at the time, chose not to continue to his intended destination.

For many years following the incident, Bañuls was left with the feeling that the UFO would somehow come back to get him.

In October 1995, when the Balearic Islands were in the throes of a sensational UFO flap, Bañuls decided to go fishing, and was never seen again. Scuba divers eventually found the man's shattered fishing boat as well as his fishing tackle underwater. One of the rescuers observed: "Something strange has happened here, and no-one is able to explain it. USOs have repeatedly been seen in this part of the world, most notably between ten and eleven o’clock on the night of 8 December1978, when a vast metallic platform was allegedly seen emerging from the Mediterranean Sea facing the island of Majorca. Numerous witnesses, including Francisco Ruitord, a local journalist, saw nine USOs emerge from the water and fly around the massive structure. Three other witnesses corroborated this sighting from northwestern Majorca. At the same time, luminous circles that left blue and orange lights in their wake were reported between Morro d’ en Llobera and Morrillo de Bordils.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mexico: More on the Michoacán Chupacabras Attacks

Mexico: Chupacabras in Parácuaro, Michoacán
By Arq. Claudio Mora, La Esfera Azul
(With thanks to journalist Martha Flores Rodríguez for her cooperation)

On March 1st, 2012, an event took place in the Mexican town of Parácuaro, Michoacán, whose characteristics can be catalogued as uncommon, if not outright extraordinary.

On that day, Antonio Rosiles, an animal caretaker, was faced with the unpleasant surprise that the pen in which several sheep were kept, 35 of them were dead, and others injured. All of the dead sheep shared the same characteristic: practically little or no blood, an incision to their necks, traces of scratch marks (made by three-fingered claw) and most importantly, signs of apparent fang-marks on their necks.

Antonio Rosiles himself stated something that was as revealing as it was intriguing. He claimed to have been an eyewitness to the creature itself, describing it has having wings, fangs and claws, and that several sheep were found dead and exsanguinated outside their pens. This pen – as stated by Agustin Carrillo, the owner of the property – has a two meter tall cyclone fence which betrayed no signs of damage or openings through which an assailant (or assailants) could have entered, thus accentuating the mystery surrounding this case.

The case was covered at the time by Miguel Estrada García, a renowned journalist from Michoacán with over forty years of experience in the field. He reported the case in an extremely professional manner for CuasarTV, Michoacán’s news agency. Furthermore, he mentioned during the course of a phone interview with us, that he was specifically summoned to the case by German Gil Uribe, a veterinary zootechnologist with SAGARPA (Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Foods).

It should also be mentioned that in a case of such magnitude, involving characteristics of so-called “Chupacabras”, had not taken place in our state of Michoacán for some years now, and it was based on this that the La Esfera Azul Group took it upon itself to investigate and hold friendly chats with parties who were present on-site, in an effort to learn all of the details of the case, and have the journalist speak openly about his experiences while on assignment.

So it was that journalist Miguel Estrada Spoke with this author [Claudio Mora] during a broad and detailed phone interview – an exclusive for La Esfera Azul – where he discusses the case in a professional manner.

A case that in of itself, as I have said, marks an interesting precedent on the presence of the “predator”, as the creature has come to be known, in our country. The aim of this report is to stimulate thought in our readers so that they may reach their own conclusions

Transcription of Telephone Interview With Journalist Miguel Estrada, Conducted by Arq. Claudio Mora, La Esfera Azul, Regarding the Parácuaro Chupacabras Incident.

Mora: [...] We are in the middle of a telephone interview that Mr. Miguel Estrada has kindly decided to give us. We will be talking to Mr. Miguel Estrada about the very interesting case involving the Chupacabras, appearing only a few days ago in Parácuaro Michoacán. What is commonly known as Chupacabras, he had the opportunity to conduct research in this regard. Good morning Mr. Estrada, how are you?

Estrada: Good morning, arquitecto. I’m here at your disposal

Mora: Many thanks, many thanks indeed, Mr. Estrada. First, we’d like to know how it was that you learned of this event and well, everything that happened around it.

Estrada: Well, [garbled] I’ve been involved in the profession of journalism for some forty years, shall we say. [garbled] and I received a call that day from veterinary Uribe, who was inviting me to accompany him to Parácuaro Michoacán to look into a matter of which he had firsthand knowledge. In a sheep pen, they had found a considerable number of animals attached by an animal, about 30-35 dead sheep.

Mora: This thing you’re telling us is truly interesting, Mr. Estrada, because as far as we know, your state of Michoacán had never had any cases of such a nature. And we’d like to know more about the highly polished and professional video you made in which you also interview the possible witness, who claims seeing the strange being, describing it in a way that is interesting and intriguing.

Estrada: Of course. In such cases I’m very respectful of the people being interviewed, and I simply record what they saw, what they felt, and what actually occurred, or that they supposedly saw in such a case. Personally, I have to abide by what these people have told me, as I cannot very well contradict them. Those people experienced the situation at the moment, and I didn’t. Our job is to be aware, to glean the information, how it was seen in this situation, resulting in the deaths of 35 male and female sheep by an alleged predator. That’s as far as I’d like to go, as part of my work. But what really struck me was that within the premises where the pen was located, there were others, even pig pens. The entrance to this complex of animal pens is at least one hectare wide. Some enclosures held beef cattle, others contained horses. It surprised me that with such a wide variety of animals present, only sheep should have been attacked. What’s more, the perimeter, which runs about a quarter of a hectare, has a cyclone fence at stands at least two meters tall. While talking to the owner, Agustín – I’m forgetting his last name, I think its Carrillo – we toured the fence and could not find any part that was deteriorated or with an opening that would have allowed any animal to go through. I was further surprised to find in the sheep pen that there was no way that any animal could have walked or dragged itself in. The cyclone fence has a small door, measuring a meter and a half tall, was closed and secured, so how did the person or animal responsible [for the slayings] get in? I was also surprised that in parts of the animals skins – specifically the ram, found some 30 meters away from the pen – showed signs of a claw, but not an even claw, showing claw marks running – how shall I say? – up and down. The wounds displayed were three, but cross-shaped. Imagine that you were extending your hand and making a “peace and love” symbol with your fingers. Now put your fingers on your desk, run them up and down, and you’ll get an idea of what I mean.

Mora: This is very compelling, Mr. Estrada. You’ve given us something to think about. Given your long professional experience, you certainly have the wherewithal for opining on this case from the journalistic standpoint, and as you say, we can’t say if the witness is telling the truth or not. But given that you were at the scene of the events yourself, we can state that were a facing an interesting and intriguing case. Furthermore, it would also be interesting to know, throughout all your long and distinguished years in journalism, if you had ever heard of anything similar to this case.

Estrada: Well, what can I start with, here in the Tierra Caliente region, about 20-25 years ago, there emerged a rumor or belief among the population about the animal I spoke about in the beginning. I never had the chance to be present at any of these attacks on animals...or even on birds! But yes, the entire region was aware, and [garbled] reminiscences of those attacks emerged again as a result of this. Some 8 or 9 months ago in Apatzingán, at the municipal meat storage locker or in its vicinity, a farmer suffered similar attacks to his livestock. I did hear remarks from people who work at the abattoir who said that thirty something sheep had been attacked by an unknown creature. This was some 8 months ago, I tell you. So if you check out the accounts of other witnesses, you’ll learn that five years ago, another resident of Parácuaro had an experience that was similar to the present attack we’re discussing. Five years ago, this person had his sheep taken away and devoured, leaving traces of some of the ones it had carried away. But up to now, that’s the extent of the record that we have.

Mora: Very interesting, Mr. Estrada. So we can say with regard to this case that there are differences with the previous case that you’ve told us. In this present case, no remains of eaten sheep have been found. Can we speculate as to what the unknown animal in this case could be, Mr. Estrada?

Estrada: Well, in this case I will stress that that I’m startled by the fact that some sheep were left alive, but I’m startled that [the attacks] were directed against the animals jugular veins, I don’t know how to describe it. I’ll send you the photos as soon as we’re done with this conversation so you can form your own opinion based on the images. Personally, I repeat, I respect [what I was told] and cannot say to what extent it was true or false. But what we cannot dismiss is that over 35 sheep were slain at that location.

Mora: In closing this interview that Mr. Estrada has so graciously given us, I’d like to make one final question [garbled – asks interviewee if a case of full exsanguination versus partial blood remaining in the carcasses would’ve made a difference]

Estrada: Well, no specimens were found lying in a pool of blood. There was blood visible at the site of the injury and nothing more. No, there was no blood in evidence in the ground where they lay.

Mora: And that’s another mystery to ponder. I want to thank you for your great willingness to be interviewed, and is there some closing statement you’d like to leave us with?

Estrada: I’d like to thank you for your interest in the matter and for contacting me, and I remain at your service.

(Translation & Transcription (c) 2012, S. Corrales, IHU, with thanks to Arq. Claudio Mora)

The Realms Below: Where Fact Meets Fiction

The Realms Below: Where Fact Meets Fiction
By Scott Corrales

The ancients were fascinated by the nature of things taking place in the world beneath their feet. The forges of Vulcan lay beneath Mt. Etna, salt was manufactured by Poseidon under the sea bottom, and the underworlds of countless cultures lay somewhere beneath the deepest caves or mine shafts: the earth could part at anytime for Hades and his three-headed hound to emerge from his domain, as occurred during the abduction of the hapless Persephone.

This subterranean world, whether as a place of torment, dwelling of not-men or simply an inner kingdom hidden from the prying eyes of mortals, continues to exert a powerful influence over contemporary humans, taking on new guises in the modern folklore of underground alien bases in the desert, reactivated German submarine pens below the deepest Norwegian fjords, or the persistent belief in a hollow earth accessible at the planet's poles. Psychologists have identified these beliefs as external representations of the human unconscious; others think "the underworld" offers an unreachable abode in which these beliefs can exist safely unchallenged.

Are all stories of underground realms untrue? Not at all. The Catacombs of Rome are an example of how a community could gather in a place to bury its dead and hold worship without ever attracting the attention of a repressive government. Beneath the palaces of the Caesars were vast caves, tunnels and shafts, and fires of peat, lignite and igneous earth, lit by no man, burned in these air accessible depths, contributing to Christian concept of a fiery Hell. Old dead cities lay beneath the Eternal one.

Medieval hermits in Asia Minor hollowed out entire cave systems in the mountains of Cappadocia, some of which are still in use today. Recent archaeological discoveries have located a network of nearly three dozen subterranean cities in the Anatolian valley of Goreme, which apparently housed over 20,000 people at a depth of twenty stories, linked to each other by tunnels nine miles long. It has been conjectured that these Stygian communities housed the remnants of the Hittite culture, perhaps following the destruction of Carchemish, protetcting them from invading cultures. Successive conquerors occupied the subterranean cities, such as Derinkuyu (discovered in 1963) until finally deserted during the Ottoman period.

Who built these vast networks of subsurface habitations remains unknown.Yet existence of subterranean societies is not exclusive to antiquity. Much has been written of the elaborate Chinese civil defense bomb shelters constructed in the 1970's beneath Beijing, capable of housing a sizeable share of the city's population in the event of a nuclear bombing, and Fidel Castro's elaborate bunkers on the island of Cuba, from which a guerrilla war could be fought against invaders for years. During the Vietnam War, U.S. patrols in Laos were stunned to discover "underground hospitals of mammoth size...tunnels big enough for trucks to go through underground" along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which had eluded the best visual reconnaisance from the air, in spite of the fact that visible traces of human habitation--roads leading to caves on mountain tops, large tree houses--were on the surface.

While these locations may be out of the way, they are there to challenge the skeptics. If it is possible for these vast underground installations to exist, what is to keep entire societies unknown to us from doing the same, as has been argued elsewhere? Without lapsing into Hollow Earth arguments or Shaver's "deros", a strong
case can be made for the existence of civilizations--perhaps even non-human ones--existing or having once existed in the ground beneath our feet.

The belief in secret subterranean "kingdoms" can be found in almost every culture on the globe. South American anthropologists have searched for decades for sthe underground cities of Ysidris and Erks in Argentina; Central Asia is rife with tales of subterranean Agartha, the hidden realm presided over by the King of the World, whose reach can be felt as far away as the Americas thanks to a network of tunnels that link to his domain; Caves in the Pyrenees and in the sierras of northern Spain have been traditionally considered as the entrance to malefic non-human abodes.

Jacques Bergier was of the opinion that the theory of said subterranean realms was not absurd a priori , but there was no evidence to substantiate such claims, and that "surprises may be in store in this area." The archaeologist's shovel and fortuitous discoveries by laymen have added to the knowledge accumulated over the decades in this field.

When the Spanish chronicler De Cieza described the wealth and might of the Inca Empire, he suggested that much of the royal treasure--and population--had been taken to an underground fastness in the Andes. Treasure hunters have sought the entrances to this purported Inca stronghold over the centuries, occasionally giving rise to stories of "passages lined with gold leaf" and forgotten castles in the Peruvian Amazon. Erich Von Daniken wrote about such passages in The Gold of the Gods, but subsequently disclaimed having seen them in person. In March 1972, Serge Debru, posthumously decorated with France's prestigious Order of Merit, set out to find these subterranean Inca dwellings, never to return. He stated on a taped message: "I know where I'm going and I also know that no one has gone there yet. I
shall reveal the secrets of my journey upon my return." After a seventeen day search, rescue parties were unable to find any trace of Debru's expedition.

American explorer John Perkins may have found the entrance to the underground realm that Debru sought: he followed the course of a river that plunged below the surface into colossal caverns lit by greenish light issuing from strange, unclassified vegetation.

The truth of the matter is that South America, and indeed, most continents, appear to be riddled with tunnels leading far and deep toward somewhere. Most investigators have turned back when they have encountered either unsurmountable obstructions or tunnels filled with seawater. There is no doubt about the artificial nature of this phenomena, or that their creation in the hardest bedrock would have involved either explosives, lasers or chemical means of eroding stone unknown to 20th century science.

The Americas do not have the monopoly on such structures: archaeologists have discovered a maze of subterranean galleries--their origin and purpose unknown--beneath the French town of Provins. Vast, high-ceilinged rooms with columns form part of the mysterious underground layout. Evidence exists that some of these rooms were utilized as storerooms during medieval times, but some of the galleries were not discovered until the 20th century.

The Provins complex also includes a series of ample caves that do not seem to connect with one another. The cave walls are covered with the same Neolithic symbols--labyrinth-signs and concentric circles--which can be found in the Canary Islands, Sardinia, Malta and even as far away as Brazil. Mexican author Rodolfo Benavides pointed out the (unconfirmed) existence of a network of underground passages and even a temple beneath the Egyptian Sphynx in his book Dramáticas Profecías de la Gran Pirámide. Whether these tunnels link up to other similar passages remains to be discovered, although a number of recent finds in the Gizeh complex--the possibility of an undiscovered chamber in the Cheops pyramid and the unearthing of a funeral barge--do not rule out the possibility.

The "moonshafts" of Eastern Europe must also be added to the category of subsurface galleries. Dr. Antonin Horvak and a few fellow partisans sought refuge in one such "moonshaft" near the Slovak villages of Plavince and Lubocna while fighting against Nazi occupation forces in World War II. Dr. Horvak noted in his journal that the structure had walls six feet thick amd that its shape "served no purpose he could imagine." Dr. Horvak also stated that he felt "in the grip of an exceedingly strange and grim power" during his sojourn within the smooth, black structure.

What are the origins of these clearly prehistoric subterranean features? Speculation has ranged from the sober (places of worship for the followers of "mystery cults" throughout the ages) to the fanciful (dwelling places, active or abandoned, of nonhuman entities). A synthesis of these two concepts is embodied by the Spanish cave of Ojo Guareña--well over twenty miles of chambers, passageways, underground lakes and unusual entrances--a place where initiates into ancient mystery religions came into contact with the subterranean "deities" that dwelt out of sight of man. Spanish author Juan G. Atienza has pointed out that the cave still exerts a powerful grip on the neighboring farming communities, and that some of its many entrances are shunned as being outright evil.

Some of the cave system's unusual features include a crude diagram representing the helicoidal structure of DNA--a fact utterly unknown before the 20th century. In a cavern room known as Caite 2, archaeologists discovered human representations on the walls, one of them of a figure wearing what could be interpreted as a space helmet. Footprints leading into the cave system point to individuals who entered and never came out, and very strange individuals, at that. The author speculates that they were either 8 to 10 year old children or adults with a foot size of 4 or 5, if they were human at all. Another curious feature of the vast underground structure is the existence of an old man, a self-described warlock, who explored the caves as a child in spite of his grandfather's warnings that he would one day "encounter the divinities" that lived underground. The old warlock made a display of his uncanny psychic abilities before José Luis Uríbarri, the archaeologist whose life's work has been the exploration of Ojo Guareña.

The archaeologist stated that the warlock wished to transmit "his hidden knowledge" of Ojo Guareña to someone before dying. Whether his revelations lead to even more disturbing discoveries remains to be seen.

Have these elusive subterranean "divinities" ever been sighted? During the religious apparitions in the vicinity of Garabandal (1961-70), some children had seen dwarves "that filled them with terror" within a cave on a mountainside. The town's foremost shepherd disappeared under mysterious circumstances close to the cave as well. We are reminded of the ancient footprints of people or beings entering Ojo Guareña on what was ostensibly a one-way trip.

Many explorers, even seasoned speleologists, have lost their lives in caves, but complete and utter disappearances can lead one to believe that other forces may be at work. In April 1956, PFC Gerrard Dunnington of the US Army disappeared while exploring the underground galleries at Tavannes, a 17th century underground fortification built by French military engineers. When Dunnington had not returned by nightfall from the maze of undeground passages, the French police and the US Army were notified, setting off a five hundred-man rescue effort. Obstructed ventilation shafts were cleared, centuries-old rubble was removed from passageways, and all the galleries were explored, but Dunnington was never found.

In 1928, work stopped for an entire week in Northumberland's Bedlington Colliery while miners tried to make sense of a perplexing disappearance. A miner on his way to relieve a fellow worker disappeared at some point after having reached the bottom of the shaft and began walking the half mile of road that separated him from the work group. The road was boarded by heavy wooden palisades and locked doors, separating the current mine from ancient galleries, abandoned mine workings, and water-filled pits.

There were no signs that the missing miner had attempted a climb of the palisades to reach these abandoned works, which were thoroughly combed by rescue crews for good measure. The miner remains a missing person. Believers in Robert Shaver's underground "deros" would quickly lay the blame upon these degenerate remnants of a forgotten elder race.

The folklore of a number of cultures has given us the names and habits of a number of nonhuman subsurface-dwelling beings, such as the German kobolds, an apellation from which the mineral "cobalt" was derived. Some of them were either friendly or neutral toward humans, but others, like the kobolds, were outright hostile. The djogaos of Native American tradition also belonged to this order of elusive subsurface dwellers. Margaret Mead suggested that contact with these beings persisted well into modern times and that witchcraft was their ancient religion.

In 1914, Col. P.H. Fawcett, the indefatigable explorer of the Brazilian interior whose disappearance would catapult him into legendary status, wrote in his diary of the existence of a number of diminutive semi-human "ape-people" who lived in holes in the ground, were covered with black hair and who received the Portuguese apellation of morcegos ("bats") and tatus ("armadilloes"). Ivan T. Sanderson suggested, in the case of these small beings, that they could well be descended from Australopithecines or Pithecantropines--very early hominids.

In any case, none of these "little people" appear to be the architects of the underground passageways, having taken up residence in them much as medieval peasants settled among the colossal ruins of Diocletian' abandoned palace at Split, on the Dalmatian coast.

Accounts that point toward the "identity" of the engineers of the "underworld" do not come from a distant location, but from the American West itself. In 1904, J.C. Brown, a gold prospector, claimed to have discovered a tunnel in the Cascade Mountains of California which led him to a subterranean room filled with human skeletons, gold shields, and hieroglyphs that the prospector was unable to identify. Thirty years later, Brown outfitted an expedition to recover the lost treasure, but disappeared mysteriously before the expedition set out.

Another story which has been retold many times is the discovery of a massive city beneath the Amargosa Mountains of Death Valley by the grandfather of an Indian guide named Tom Wilson. The account states that the elder Wilson wandered underground for many miles before encountering "a strange underground country where the inhabitants...spoke a queer language, ate queer food, and wore clothes made of leather." A contemporary anecdote chronicles the experiences of a prospector named White, who fell through a crevasse in a Death Valley mine floor only to find himself in a tunnel leading to a chamber filled with leather-clad mummies. Gold and precious jewels were there for the taking. White and a friend, Fred Thomason, made several visits to the underground city, which featured treasure vaults, a royal palace, and council chambers. The two prospectors were unable to find their way into the tunnels when the time came to lead a team of researchers to the hidden city, causing some to deride their claims as hoaxes.

If any credence can be lent to these testimonies, a race that could well be that of the builders of the underground tunnels that honeycomb the world might have still existed as to the beginning of the 20th century. Whether they still exist is the purest speculation. The extensive subterranean nuclear tests undertaken by the U.S. military in neighboring Frenchman Flat must surely have caused havoc to any underground population.

Nowhere can the suggestion of an underground civilization be felt more strongly than in Asia, cradle of the legends of Agartha and Shamballah. Ferdinand Ossendowski, author of Beasts, Gods and Men, observed that Mongolian dignataries believed in certain amazing things, such as the broad powers of these subterranean elders, who could dry up oceans, transform continents into seas and cause mountains to sprout amid the desert. His fellow Russian, the mystic Nicholas Roerich, traveled extensively throughout Central Asia, where his porters identified what we would term UFOs as "the sign of Shamballah". Roerich's illustrations of stark mountains and the odd structures upon them were a source of inspiration to H.P. Lovecraft, who mentioned them repeatedly in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and At the Mountains of Madness.

German playwright Theodore Illion, author of the fascinating Darkness Over Tibet, visited a secret underground city and was informed that the "King of the World", who ruled Agartha, had agents throughout the surface world, constantly apprising him of the state of affairs among surface dwellers. Could a pair of these agents have turned up in Miami, Florida?

In 1967 or 68, two men turned up at a Miami hotel, where they befriended a chambermaid, telling her that they were from "the north of the contintent", taking great care in specifying that they did not mean the lands north of the United States, i.e. Canada. In a letter written to investigator Salvador Freixedo, the chambermaid
and her husband detailed their experiences: one of the men was tall, blond and amazingly knowledgeable, with a command of many languages and a mind-reader, to boot. His companion was short, Asian-looking and wearing an orange uniform; his general demeanor was that of a bodyguard to the tall blond. According to the chambermaid, the blond produced what appeared to be a ball and stuck it to the wall in defiance of gravity. He then asked the woman to address it, which she did, noticing swirling waves of light within the device, which would follow her in the air every time she made a move. The chambermaid and her husband were able to see the tall blond and his companion on the beach during stormy weather, pointing what appeared to be cameras and other devices at the rough seas. While cleaning their rooms (the pair refused to leave their rooms while she cleaned), the chambermaid was able to see a suitcase filled with "billiard balls" pulsating with light, as if filled with electricity. The two strangers disappeared as suddenly as they had come. Freixedo points out a similar case in the city of Puebla, Mexico, where exactly the same circumstances were repeated but with a destructive outcome: a house was almost entirely demolished as if by a battle so fierce that even the power conduits were torn out of the walls.
What did the strangers mean by "the north of the continent"? Due to the curvature of the Earth, is it reasonable to assume that they might have meant the lands to the north of the Americas--the polar icepack and Asia? Freixedo supports the view that references to the "Hollow Earth" and subterranean kingdoms to mean other-dimensional planes of existence accessible through certain underground mat-demat points.

Subterranean cities built by "Atlanteans", "Lemurians" and other "lost" races belong squarely in the realm of the metaphysical, as their existence has been suggested by esoterics. This view is espoused by Argentine occultist and author Guillermo Terrera, who recounts the hidden lore surrounding the city of Erks, beneath the Andes, in his book El Valle de los Espiritus. We are given the entire history of this magical metropolis which boasts ownership of "the three sacred mirrors", through which the high priests and ascended masters of Erks can contact other subterranean cities and saucer-riding aliens from space. Terrera even provides us the names of the leaders of the High Council of Erks and those of the masters of the "Primordial School." Despite the Blavatskyesque implications, many scholars believe in Erks and have placed its location somewhere at the root of Mt. Uritorco in Argentina's Mendoza province.

Terrera goes on to say that the mechanical noises that can be heard at night in the vicinity of Mts. Uritorco and Pajarito, and which appear to emanate from under ground, are the sounds being picked up by the "sacred mirrors", which act as radiotelescope dishes. These sounds have allegedly been captured on audio tape: one is similar to an air hammer, another closely resembles that of a large set of gears being moved, and still another has been compared to the droning of a piece of factory equipment. Erks obtains light and free energy from "nuclear explosions produced by the liquid mass or magma at the earth's core." All knowledge concerning Erks has allegedly been gleaned through clairvoyants, psychometrists and parasensitives.

While metaphysical subterranean kingdoms can be dismissed as products of a strong urge to believe in exotic locales accessible only to the "chosen", or to those who believe themselves to be made from a loftier mold than their fellow humans, the tunnels, galleries and cities found in all continents are real archaeological mysteries.

These could have been the dwelling places of the "Heliolithic" civilization that erected the megaliths of Carnac and Galicia, the massive stoneworks of Chile's El Enladrillado, and a large number of locales. It has also been suggested that they could have been built on account of the Ice Age, when living underground presented a viable alternative to the brutal conditions above.

The existence of verifiable and inexplicable underground structures has certainly provided the kindling for the occult beliefs, providing a tangible springboard for humanity's restless imagination.

(This article originally appeared in STRANGE MAGAZINE, Issue 14)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Healed by a UFO: The Flores Family's Odyssey

Healed by a UFO: The Flores Family's Odyssey
By Ramon Nava Osorio and Raul Nunez

An experience such as this is uncanny, and certainly more than one reader will question its authenticity. They are in their right to do so. We can only say that as a policy, we never publish anything without having confirmed the original sources, and in this event, the protagonists themselves restated their experience. A fact that leads us to believe once more that we know very little about our surroundings, much less about ourselves, and leads us to think that on certain occasions, higher intelligences manifest on our earthly plane.

The news item was short and brief. It appeared in the press in the city of Concepcion in 1998 and this small clipping was sent to Spain to our headquarters, receiving by way of reply a visit from Ramon Navia Osorio, President of the IIEE, who in the company of this author, traveled to the 9th Region of our country (Chile) to confirm, add, and compile more information on this and other cases in the area to reinvestigate them and learn what had happened to the protagonists nearly 8 years after the experience had occurred. But first, there was a visit to Mr. Raul Gajardo Leopold, former Major of the Carabineros, a researcher based in the city of Angol. He provided the infrastructure for our research trips and above all, very important data with which to locate the people involved in this case. His personal UFO files constitute an overlooked gem, and greatly facilitated the task of meeting with this people and attest to the authenticity of what had appeared in the press a long time ago. Of course, in order to do this, it is necessary to conduct field research, and that is when this archive comes to life and achieves full validity.

In the initial report -- having a nearly police-like quality to it -- Mrs. Asbel Ortega Flores stated, verbatim:

On 28 September 1998 I was driving from Los Angeles to Purén, accompanied by my mother, Alicia Flores Reyes, 61, and by my son Gabriel Alfonso Martinez Ortega, 4, whom we had taken to the office of physician Lorenzo Bustamante Lalane, who sees his patients at Clinica de Los Andes in the city of Los Angeles. The diagnosis indicated that my son apparently suffered from "rheumatoid fever to the heart" with high temperatures and a marked decline. He should neither become agitated nor cry, as this could bring about a heart attack at any moment. He was asleep in the car.

The time was approximately 22:30 hours, and the night was completely clear, with visible stars and no moon.

We had already passed the locality of Triten by 7 or 8 kilometers. This locality is 22 kilometers south of Angol, halfway to Los Sauces.

Upon rounding a curve, a saw a radiant, white, luminous object at a 45 degree elevation. It had well-defined edges, darkened or lead grey in its middle and circular in shape. It moved vertically over the pine forests. While surprised and disquieted, I wasn't afraid. I continued driving at some 80 miles an hour, and upon reaching a straight segment 300 meters ahead, and driving through it, where it slopes downward, I was able to see the luminous object or UFO that remained motionless in the same vertical position, some 20 meters over the road. I kept approaching it and came with 70 to 100 meters of the unknown object. I was able to estimate that it was some 6 meters in diameter, and that's when I started to fear the unknown, much like my mother, but at no point did we scream or cry. I lowered my speed to the minimum. The vehicle did not shudder nor was there any vehicle interference, but both me and my mother felt something along the lines of internal heat...from our heads down to our legs, and also down our backs. Our hair did not stand on end.

My son Gabriel woke up at that time. He was very animated and chatty. Before that, he had been limp and even unable to raise his head. I could see other vehicles approaching from the opposite directions. I saw a car and flashed my lights at it, and the vehicle drove right under the UFO. The UFO began moving to the right, perhaps because I flashed my lights. It traced a broad curve without changing its altitude with regard to the ground. It started to rise just as a bus approached from the opposite direction. I also flashed my lights at it, but without any result. It didn't slow down. I think they didn't see the UFO, and were not aware of what we were seeing.

The UFO passed to our right some 70 meters away, at an elevation of some 20 degrees over the treetops, slowly, in the same vertical position. We always saw it like that. I'm certain it wasn't a sphere. The sighting lasted some 15 minutes, and then we lost sight of it.

At no moment did I stop or park. I proceeded at a normal speed of 80 KMH. We reached Purén without further delay.

The next day, we returned to Los Angeles, as my son needed to have an EKG and other tests. But the doctor was able to ascertain that my son was completely healthy. The doctor admitted to me that he couldn't find any explanation to the situation.
Finally, I remember seeing a layer of dark mist at the place where the UFO remained motionless, parallel to the highway. It's unusual in that place. It was the only place where we saw that fog. It was truly strange.

The foregoing report clearly stated that the press had published the event substantially close to the truth, although without much detail. Our mission was to find that family: the mother, young Gabriel, and to have them explain to us and confirm if we had allowed ourselves to get carried away by a burst of enthusiasm or if the facts were indeed as stated.

After locating the family - they lived in the community of Los Sauces - but not having a specific address, we commenced a random blind search, concentrating on some streets pointed out by people who might have known them years ago, but without much certainty. At the end of the day, and as the sun went down, our door to door search asking neighbors -- who looked at us with a mixture of surprise and skepticism, thinking we were "pulling their legs" -- this author had the good fortune of knocking on the door of a modest home that somehow reflected the lifestyle of a family from the southern regions of our country.

I am writing in the first person, because it was to me that a young woman with a pleasant smile and eyeglasses opened the door. This gave me the necessary enthusiasm to ask her, without hesitation, that I was looking for a family who had had a UFO sighting in 1998 while traveling from Los Angeles to Puren, having it nearly 70 mters from their car, and resulting in the healing of a boy named Gabriel who was in a precarious condition. The reply was: "Here's my son Gabriel, completely healthy to this very day...and she opened the door to her home broadly, and I was able to see a thin, intellectual-looking youth seated before a computer. He shook my hand and greeted me formally. I quickly summoned my fellow searchers, who joined the group, and we commenced a very pleasant conversation in the living room with the entire family.

Mrs. Asbel Ortega Flores told us exactly what she had stated in her original testimony, which was later presented in the manner indicated above. She spoke enthusiastically, glancing at her son Gabriel, who confirmed his mother's words. Our visit lasted a few hours, during which we were able to extract some interesting information with which to make comparisons with other similar cases around the world. The family seemed tightly-knit, young and forward-looking, and logically, with Gabriel's health in a very stable condition.

We won't go into the extensive interrogation posed by our colleague Ramon Navia-Osorio, where some very personal details of the family were broached. We believe that out of respect for their privacy, and to keep from hindering their lives, as we are publishing the main part of their experience, we shall omit some information, nevertheless mentioning some parallels that emerged: the kind generally known as "coincidences", which have been present in their lives to assist them in difficult moments. Such effects have already been recorded in other cases and are under investigation.

Once our encounter had drawn to a close, we were still unable to place ourselves in the reality of a healing caused by a light issuing from a UFO, and which apparently has an unquestionable significance in Gabriel's healing. We needed a document, something that a specialist in the child's diseases could provide as an improvement of his condition. In this regard, we knew from experience that professions such as medicine and others are hesitant to sign such documents, much less when faced with something they do not know or understand.

In this situation, and thanks to the meritorious efforts of our companion, the former Carabineros major mentioned earlier, who patiently overcame bureaucratic hurdles, managed to obtain -- after a series of insistent letters to the physician -- a "brief but hastily written" medical report in which the doctor ends his writing confirming that something special indeed took place that evening.

The phrase was: " that time, events occurred for which there is no known logical explanation."

The document said it all. We were left with the same questions we raised at the beginning and repeated time and again. Is it possible that Gabriel's sudden healing had a direct connection with the incredible light that accompanied his mother's car that evening?

Although we are always reserved and expecting some other type of explanation, which we have not found up to this moment, we believe that it was the effect of this light that not only affected Gabriel, but his mother and grandmother as well, as both women felt themselves invaded by an intense feeling of heat from head to foot. This tells us that "something" was going on at the time on that dark road near the town of Triten on the way to Los Sauces.

During subsequent efforts, we have located more cases along the same road involving similar lights. Curiously enough, they follow car drivers. Checking through newspaper archives, we have discovered that the Cronica newspaper of the city of Concepcion for Monday, 21 October 1968 features a story about an ambulance being chased by "a brightly-lit UFO" carrying Dr. Jaime Reyes Aroca, director of the Piren Hospital, ambulance driver Humberto Ewert and statistician Jose Marangel Burgos. This event took place on the hill known as "Los Caracoles" on the road linking Los Sauces to Pirén. This event cause set the local authorities into action to establish what really happened; on the following day, several locals living 10 kilometers distant from Piren reported seeing a strange artifact landing on rural fields. The peasants did not try to approach it, adding that around six o'clock in the morning, the device took off toward the Nahuelbuta Mountains. Subsequent investigations were unable to confirm this last fact, nor did they find physical evidence of what the locals were discussing.

We thus conclude our report on what we have available to the moment. We can only present the documents we have acquired, attesting to the incident, but they do not explain what actually happened to the Flores family that evening.

(Translation (c) 2012, Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Raul Núñez and Ramón Navia-Osorio, IIEE)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Bevy of Earthly Saucers

A Bevy of Earthly Saucers
By Manuel Carballal
(Translated by Scott Corrales)

by Manuel Carballal - In Memory of Andreas Faber Kaiser
ISBN: 84-89047-23-5

Aside from turbine-driven, prop-driven, and saucers motivated by other means of propulsion, terrestrial aeronautics have given rise to other kinds of disc-shaped aircraft.

As early as 1925, according to Revista de Aeronautica y Astronáutica (Number 413, April 1975), Soviet designers had developed a glider with a semicircular wing (more practical than a circular wing) resembling a giant letter "D" with an enormous rudder in the aft section, which also doubled as an elevating plane throughout the rear perimeter. This device is known as Tscharanowsky's "Parabola" glider, which can be seen at the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Aviation Museum, and is one of the first designs of this type, a spectacular example of Russian enthusiasm for gliding.

The Parabola was nothing more than the forerunner for other flying saucers built by the Soviets throughout history.

Many years later, in December 1992, the "Rossiya" was unrolled before the public. The "Rossiya" is the first in a series of colossal, oval-shaped dirigibles developed through Project Thermoplane, a scientific endeavor sponsored by the Moscow Aeronautical Institute, which hopes to build a fleet of more than a hundred such dirigibles before 1995, all in the shape of a flying saucer.

The "Russian UFO," as the scientific press immediately dubbed the object, is an enormous flying saucer two hundred meters in diameter and seventy meters high. Its skeleton resembles that of the old German Zeppelins, but it incorporates the latest technological advances, which have enabled complete control of the dirigible in the face of meteorological uncertainty. Thanks to two low-speed embedded propellers connected to motors, the "UFO" is never out of control.

The Rossiya, like subsequent saucers belonging to Project Thermoplane, can cover a distance of 5000 kilometers without any need for refueling. According to Commander Ishkov, director of Project Thermoplane: "... thanks to its enormous cargo capacity, these dirigibles constitute the most efficient and economical means of transportation for conveying large loads to inhospitable and remote regions. With projects such as this, we are hoping to turn the old Soviet war machine into a new field for civilian and social applications. "

According to calculations made by aeronautical engineers in Moscow, the kerosene-powered "flying saucer" is 20 to 24 times more efficient and economical than modern helicopters, five or seven times better than airplanes, and two or three times better than any surface transportation.

With a 600-ton cargo capacity, the Rossiya's kerosene-fueled engines can reach speeds of 220 KMH, although its mean cruising speed is 150 KMH. Border surveillance figures prominently among its applications, since a radar contained in the "Russian UFO" guarantees a coverage six times greater than that of a conventional coast guard vessel. It also has much greater freedom, enabling it to cover a surveillance area of 450,000 times that of a ship in the same period of time.

The result of Soviet lab research making use of the ALA-40s, small minisaucers tested at the Aeronautical Institute since 1989, led to the public appearance of the Rossiya. What doubt could there possibly be that any Russian citizen witnessing the slow flight of a 200 meter wide flying saucer would swear to his or her grave that they'd run into an alien vessel?

Alien "Blimps"

In 1782, Charles and the Robert brothers, and Montgolfier in 1783, launched their first experimental balloons in the dawn of the history of dirigibles.

The prototypes of these aeronautical pioneers would be seen today as amusing toys (Montgolfier's balloon, for example, was "manned" by a ram, a rooster, and a duck, soberly nestled in the balloon's gondola. Nonetheless, the effect that these early UFOs had upon the witnesses was humorous only to historians.

The balloons were perceived by farmers, albeit living scant miles from Paris, as "creatures from another world." In the first case (the Charles/Robert balloon of 1782), the locals demanded the attendance of a priest, and considering this not to be sufficient, an enraged man reached for his shotgun and engaged in a firefight with the "flying monster." In the second case (Montgolfier, 1783), the abbé arrived in time to perform an exorcism on those mysterious creatures who had descended from the skies.

The fact is that in spite of not having the mechanical trappings of the "circular airplanes," certain kinds of dirigibles and balloons have caused more than one case of confusion among untrained observers throughout history.

Nearer to home, in the morning of the September 6-7, 1993, the air traffic controllers from the Alvedro Airport Control Tower (Corunna, Spain) received a number of phone calls from people who declared having seen a strange object. The citizens of Corunna and other localities within that province, such as Malpica, claimed to see a spindle-shaped object surrounded by lights.

I later learned that in other towns to the east, in the province of Lugo to be exact, the very same object had been observed a few minutes earlier.

As we have done on so many occasions, we started the investigations by questioning the witnesses, consulting the Provincial Meteorological Observatory, the Labacolla Control Tower (Santiago de Compostela, Spain), etc. The weather balloon launched that evening had already detonated, and there was no reported aerial traffic over the area at the time-- yet the solution to the riddle bore no relation whatsoever to either airplanes or weather balloons.

The spindle-shaped UFO seen on September 7th was a promotional blimp headed out of Oviedo, bearing a gaudy illuminated sign for the Credit Lyonnais bank.

Perhaps something similar to this happened between November 1896 and May 1897 in the United States, where a genuine wave of "airship" sightings took place. In spite of the fact that distinguished ufologists such as John Keel, Jerome Clark, or Jacques Vallée have collected earlier and later cases, the most widely held opinion is that the Airship Mystery began in November 1896, when the residents of Sacramento, California, witnessed a light moving in the night sky. Similar observations were made throughout California during the same month, and others were made farther north, in Washington State and in Canada.

A dark shape could sometimes be seen under the light. It was cigar-shaped, barrel-shaped, or egg-shaped. The object always moved quite slowly, as if it were being impelled by the wind.

Witness descriptions of the "airships," which were even published in the newspapers of the time, are strongly reminiscent of the great rigid dirigibles and the sophisticated hybrid dirigibles (which combined aerostatic pressure with aerodynamics) that would become known in later years.

Even though European aeronautic designers were relatively advanced in the construction of dirigibles, this was not the case in the U.S., at least officially. The first attempts at making and guiding aerostatic balloons came about shortly after their appearance in 1783. In fact, the following year, Blanchard attempted to solve the problem by means of beating wings and a rudder. The concept of the airscrew, known to the Chinese for centuries, appeared in Europe around this time, but it would be necessary to await the birth of a suitable engine.

In 1852, Henri Giffard made a trial voyage in a tapered balloon propelled by a three-horsepower steam engine. This dirigible, which moved at some 10 KMH, proved itself somewhat responsive to the rudder, but was unable to return to the starting point (a classic maneuverability test), due to any stray wind it should happen to encounter.

On August 9, 1884, French captains Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs achieved the first substantial flight in a closed circuit (7. 6 kilometers) at Calais with their dirigible La France, fitted with a 9 horsepower electric engine fed by tubular chloro-chromic batteries. As a result of this feat, La France is considered to be the first true dirigible in history, in spite of its electric motor, which had no future. La France's gondola and propeller are preserved in the Musée de l'Air at Meudon (Paris). The fact of the matter is that the shape of this early dirigible recalls some of the descriptions of the American "airships."

But if aeronautics was developing in Europe, then who was piloting the mysterious aircraft seen in the U.S.? Also, some of the maneuverability details provided by airship witnesses were quite far removed from the clumsy designs of the European dirigibles.

Some witnesses, such as former senator W. Harris, managed to engage "airship occupants" in relaxed conversation (on April 22, 1897 in this instance) and even went aboard. But their nationality was never made clear.

The behavior of these airships was similar to that of UFOs on many occasions. Thus we have "abduction" episodes, landings, cattle theft, etc. In 1892 H.G. Wells was inspired by this wave to write The War of the Worlds, the renowned book in which Martians invade the Earth.

Meanwhile, Jules Verne, always one step ahead of history, had published his novel Robur the Conqueror in 1886. In this book, an ambitious character aimed to control the planet by means of curious aerial vehicles with propellers and cylindrical anchors, which resembled the craft which would be seen over American skies ten years later. This work of fiction anticipated events to the extent that the design of the airship "Albatross" on the book cover was identical to some of the sketches which would appear in American newspapers a decade later, during the strange wave.

In a paragraph from this book, we have Robur the Conqueror saying: "My machine shall never be French, nor German, nor Austrian, nor Russian, nor British, nor American. This invention is mine and I shall use it as I please. With it, I shall be master of the whole world. It is useless for humanity to resist me under any circumstances."

A year after Jules Verne's death, his editor published a sequel, Master of the World, where airships play a critical role yet again.

I invite the reader to reflect upon this little known aspect of the UFO phenomenon, since those strange "airships" from the late 19th century were perhaps more closely related to our contemporary UFOs than we know.

21st Century Aerostats

Modern dirigible and aerostat designs bear little resemblance to the historic devices of Count von Zeppelin or the ill-fated Hindenburg. The new airships, in many instances, rub shoulders with futuristic designs and technology not far removed from that of "flying saucers."

The Revista de Aeronáutica y Astronáutica published in its September 1985 issue an entire dossier on dirigibles. This dossier contained some of the most innovative designs on record, with a variety of incredible shapes, all of them easily identifiable as UFOs.

Naturally, all those designs form part of hybrid dirigibles, which manage to remain airborne by the combined use of aerostatic and aerodynamic pressure. Vehicles which underwent little or no development in the past (as far as we know) have currently emerged as a new concept with a promising future. They combine dirigible technologies with others, such as rotating wing vehicles (autogiros, etc.).

The basic role played by these hybrid vehicles would be to cover the requirement of lifting and transporting large loads, including to places lacking a support infrastructure on the ground, at a reasonable cost and with no need of special support. Short-term development studies foresee lift/load capabilities of over 150 metric tons--weights far beyond the ability of helicopters to handle, and unreasonably costly for these due to their refueling limitations.

Studies undertaken by NASA and Goodyear Aerospace have indicated mean savings of about 45% in the total cost of a number of construction projects through the use of cargo lifting and transportation systems belonging to the hybrid dirigible class.

Programs aimed at achieving the full operational capacity of these vehicles have been undertaken since 1980 in the U.S., Canada (the "Cyclocrane", patented by D.C. Associates), France (the "Helicostat," under the supervision of ONERA and SNAIS), and Japan (programs contracted by the Ministry of International Markets and Industry), etc. Some South American nations have also evinced an interest in this kind of vehicle.

A type of mission in which the "hybrids" compete with the modern conventional dirigibles is in the ferrying of cargo or passengers to hard-to-reach areas. These vehicles can make use of aerostatic or aerodynamic support, and the rotors adopt lenticular or discoidal shapes to provide this increased support.

Based on economic analysis studies promoted by the Canadian Ministry of Transportation, it seems that huge savings in transportation to remote areas could be obtained through the use of hybrid VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicles. These savings could be considerably increased, since the building of highways and/or railways would no longer be necessary, nor would their rebuilding if they should be damaged by climatological or other causes. In this way, the costs created by having to overcome natural obstacles (such as rivers and canyons) would be eliminated, since no time would be wasted in unloading men and equipment. The available working season would thus be extended in spite of snow, rain, etc.

To cover the kind of mission mentioned above, a number of studies have been undertaken, mostly in the United Kingdom (large metal-covered dirigibles 130,000 m3 in size with elliptical hulls), and Japan (transportation of power-generating equipment to hard-to-reach areas in the islands, supplying the populations found on the numerous islets, etc.) Some African and South American nations--particularly Brazil--have taken an interest in this kind of application, although the results of their studies have not become widely known.

The economic and tactical possibilities of hybrid dirigibles will grant them in the future--maybe even now--a major aeronautical role. But, as is customary, the veil of silence which enshrouds the most state-of-the-art experiments keeps us from learning about the current situation.

Nonetheless, we are aware that some dirigibles are genuine flying saucers, and that airships with a futuristic design can be considered true "earthly UFOs," such as the Vanguard Donut, the Havill Parawing, the All-American Aerocrane, and others.

The dossier on dirigibles put out by the official magazine of the Spanish Air Force which I mentioned earlier, included a photo of one of these innovative hybrid dirigibles. It is a Van Dusen design from Canada. The photo shows a spherical body resting upon a gondola which houses the controls, cargo and fuel. The sphere, filled with helium, can rotate on its axis, producing an added elevating force through the well-known Magnus effect, thus augmenting its airborne capability. The engines mounted on the ends of the rotational axis can spin from 0 to 90 to provide thrust during take-off. This is the classic VTOL hybrid, and I can assure the reader that any observer making a casual sighting of Van Dusen's dirigible would think it far removed from any conventional terrestrial vehicle.

The Revista de Aeronáutica y Astronáutica published in 1981 a news item that went largely unnoticed by most ufologists (with exceptions, such as the late Andreas Faber Kaiser). It concerned the approval given by a British company to the Thermo Skyship project in February 1980.

The Thermo Skyship is a hybrid dirigible with VTOL capability in the shape of a perfect flying saucer. Using liquid hydrogen for its fuel, the airship is covered in carbon fibers and uses helium (due to its light weight) to enable its lifting force.

The same issue of the magazine stated that in August of that year, flight testing of a new flying machine resembling a discoidal UFO had taken place at Edwards Air Force base in California by the NASA Research Center. The device transformed solar power into electricity, which would in turn power a small propeller installed in the vehicle's tail, thus eliminating intermediary batteries.

A Gallery of Earthly UFOs

The list of strange aeronautical artifacts which could be confused with UFOs is practically endless.

Who hasn't heard about eccentric millionaire Malcolm Forbes? His passion for the subject made him build balloons and aerostats in the most dissimilar shapes year after year. From the Kinkakuji Temple to Columbus's caravelle the Santa María, Forbes' balloons have adopted the most capricious shapes. And, of course, he has also built balloons in the shape of a flying saucer, complete with a smiling alien looking out of a porthole.

As far as military technology is concerned, there are numerous unmanned vehicles used for surveillance or espionage which have adopted evocative shapes. An account of all of them, however, would be much too long.

Nonetheless, there exist other kinds of UFOs capable of executing strange maneuvers, achieving breathtaking speeds, and with a more or less triangular appearance, which have been observed by qualified witnesses all around the planet. Many of these craft are directly linked to secret military technology.