Wednesday, February 19, 2014

High Strangeness: Not So Imaginary Beings?

High Strangeness: Not So Imaginary Beings?
By Scott Corrales © 2014

Some readers may look back with a certain fondness upon their youthful pastimes, such as the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, which allowed players to imagine an existence in a sword-and-sorcery setting under the controlling eye of a “dungeon master”, fighting all manner of impossible creatures in a hunt for treasure, weapons and spell books. Armed only with pencil, paper, dice of assorted geometries and a lead figurine marking the player’s position on the hexagonal chart paper of the dungeon, tens of thousands of teens and young adults shared in the common experience. Most important of all was the list of recommended reading that appeared in the introductory game modules, which served to introduce players to a number of written works – not just Tolkien and R.E. Howard, but older works such as Amadís de Gaula (the late medieval “book of chivalry”) and most importantly, The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges.

Inspired by the bestiaries of old, Borges – one of the leading authors of the 20th century – included creatures from different cultures and times, including fictitious beasts such as a reptile imagined by C.S. Lewis for Perelandra (second volume of his “Space Trilogy”). This illustrated collection of fanciful creatures included some with powerful roots in historic tradition, such as the Golem.

“The cabbalists,” wrote Borges, “sought the secret of the creation of organic beings in the sacred texts. It was said demons could create large and solid creatures like the camel, but not fine and delicate ones, and Rabbi Eliezer denied them the ability to create anything smaller in size than a grain of barley. Golem was the name given to the man created by a combination of letters. The word literally means amorphous or inert matter.” He then goes on to cite Austrian writer Gustav Meyrink, author of Der Golem (1915): “The origin of the story goes back to the 17th century. According to lost Kabbalistic formulas, a rabbi created an artificial man – called the Golem – to ring the bells of the synagogue and engage in hard labor. He was not a man like others, and was motivated by a shallow and vegetative life. He endured until night, and owed his virtue to the power of a magical text place behind its teeth, attracting the free energies of the universe. One evening, before prayer, the rabbi forgot to remove the seal from the Golem’s mouth and the creature fell into a frenzied state, running down the darkened alleys, smashing all those who stood before it. The rabbi ultimately managed to tackle it and shatter the seal that animated it. The creature fell to the ground, leaving nothing more than the squalid clay figure that is still visible today in the Prague synagogue.”

Was the great Argentinean writer, poet, translator and critic aware of certain facts that led him to include this figure among the denizens of his Book of Imaginary Beings?

Guillermo Barrantes and Victor Coviello, authors of Buenos Aires es Leyenda, include in their compendium of the urban folklore of the Argentinean capital the strange story of the Gigante de Once (the Once Giant), a three-meter (9.8 ft.) tall entity reported by the residents of the city’s Balvanera district. The towering presence, however, was seen as a guardian angel of sorts, keeping a watchful eye on every street and alleyway. Local residents interviewed for the project agreed that there was a belief in a gentle giant as tall as a tree, walking in slow motion, fighting crime much like a superhero. A student from the Colegio San José is reported as saying: “One of my classmates says his uncle was saved by a three meter tall giant. He crashed his car, and the giant pulled him out before the vehicle exploded.”

Mystified, Barrantes and Coviello conducted an exhaustive search of documentary sources in the hopes of establishing a provenance to this legend. A report from 1930 mentioned the presence of a “giant figure removing debris” after the destruction of a confectionary shop during urban violence. Another source mentioned the arrival of a rabbi in Buenos Aires in the year 1900, either with his own Golem or the ability to create one. The whereabouts of this creation, after the rabbi’s passing, are also the subject of controversy: “According to some documents, it is said that the rabbi locked the monster in a room that cannot be entered. Some believe this room to be located in an annex of the Hospital Francés in the Caballito district. The hospital was built without this enclosure having ever been touched.”

A 1916 text by one Mascimiano Funes (a fascinating name, bearing in mind that “Funes the Memorious” is one of J.L. Borges’s better known short stories) advises: “There is an alleyway that cannot be seen, except from a balcony no one can reach, and this hidden alleyway is the dwelling place of He-Who-Was-Not-Born-of-a-Mother, the forsaken giant, who wanders aimlessly in that place, waiting, waiting…”

Leaving no stone unturned, the authors of Buenos Aires es Leyenda came across another compelling lead. In the early 1890s, Maria Salomé Loredo, a healer and seeress, had turned her home in the Balvanera district into a temple where she could receive her thousands of followers. Some suggest that there was a connection between the healer and the enigmatic rabbi with the Golem, the latter having shared Kabbalistic secrets with her that represented the wellspring of her curative abilities. The creature remained in her care after the rabbi’s passing, and was seen for the last time at María Loredo’s funeral in 1928, when a tall, slow-walking man was seen to make his way to her coffin, place a hand on it, and mutter a few words. “Some stories identify the mysterious visitor with the Golem itself, which had come to say farewell to his last mistress before walking away along the streets of Once, destined to wander them for eternity.”

Vampires: Fact, Fiction and Hearsay

The traditional image of the vampire – castle, expensive attire, medals and casket – is not readily associated with the Spanish-speaking Americas, although it figured prominently in a number of horror movie productions, usually involving Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula or his descendants having made the journey across the Atlantic for unspecified reasons that are not important to the plot.

Mexico, perhaps, can boast of having seminal cultures that turned vampires into gods – among the most fearsome in any pantheon of the Americas. The Mayan god Camatzotz (“death bat”) was a terrifying entity sent down from the sky to behead the second race of men, created out of wood, since their condition did not allow them to venerate their deities. Worship of this bat-god spread throughout Mesoamerica, leading some to suggest that the giant vampire bat (Desmodus draculae) of the Pleistocene may have survived into historic times, prompting humans to consider it a deity to be feared and appeased. The goddesses collectively known as Cihuateteo also had vampiric qualities, wandering the night and attacking children, having themselves died in childbirth.
But not all such entities can be consigned to the safety of myth and legend.

A story has been making the rounds of the Mexican paranormal world for many years now. Efforts at finding its putative source (a radio broadcast from the early 2000s) have been fruitless, so it should be classified as hearsay or the ultimate FOAFtale. Nonetheless, it is sufficiently compelling to include in this essay on high strangeness and improbable entities.

A nurse phoned a Mexican radio call-in show to describe – with considerable trepidation – an incident that allegedly occurred in 1977 at a very specific location: The Hospital Civil de Guadalajara’s specialized medicine unit. While workmen took their sledgehammers to a wall as part of a remodeling project, they were shocked beyond belief to see the old masonry crumble to dust, only to reveal the body of a woman immured since the colonial period of Mexican history, judging by her heavy and costly garments.

Legends about “emparedados” (a word currently for sandwiches, but employed in the 16th century for the cruel practice of burying victims behind walls, literally walling them in while alive) are common in the chronicles of Viceregal-age Mexico. In such stories an old wall crumbles by design or accident to reveal the skeleton of a family member punished for disgracing the family or a number of other reasons. It has also proven a popular fictional device in classic works of literature such as The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. The difference in this case is that the immured woman was apparently alive.

Stretching the limits of credulity to their most threadbare, the nurse said the woman’s body was free of any corruption, perfectly preserved in a glass case. The laborers and their foreman were shocked beyond belief, as were physicians and nurses who flocked to see the phenomenon – but their amazement and even cries of “¡milagro!” (a miracle) that may have briefly filled the air were stifled by the fact that an adorned wooden cross had been driven into the woman’s heart.

No specifics are given, but the physicians must have opened the glass case and actually touched the body, as the nurse added that the immured woman’s eyelids were raised for inspection and she had “intense blue eyes.”

Rather than contacting the authorities – continued the nurse – the hospital staff called in clerics, believing that the woman was a vampiresa. Church authorities reported to the hospital, workers placed the body into a wooden casket and “wrapped the body in tinfoil” (probably Mylar) and took it away. Medical students and doctors alike were enjoined not to discuss the matter, threatened with the loss of their professional credentials. The nurse waited twenty years before speaking publicly, closing her astonishing tale by saying “the incorrupt body had been sent to the Vatican under Papal instructions.”

The only other bit of tangible information was that Dr. Mario Rivas Souza of SEMEFO (Servicio Médico Forense, the Mexican medical examiners’ unit) had been a party to the mind-bending event, having been the senior administrator who dealt with the four clergymen sent to handle the situation. A search reveals that Dr. Rivas was in fact affiliated with that clinical branch at the time of the alleged event, but had not practiced medicine at the hospital since the 1960s. Further sleuthing suggests that the event – if there is any truth to it – would have occurred not in the gleaming tower of the Hospital Civil de Gualajara but in the “Hospital Civil Viejo Fray Antonio Alcalde” – the single story building on Coronel Calderón street, whose construction began in the year 1788 and completed in 1794, adding another solid detail to the incredible story.

Nor is this the only sample of vampire lore coming out of Guadalajara: the narrative of the vampire buried under a tree in the city’s Panteón de Belén cemetery is widely known and has acquired international standing.

For a more tangible Latin American vampire story we must go to Perú, where the citizens of Pisco are split between veneration and fear over a tomb in the city’s old Beneficiencia Pública cemetery. It houses the remains of Sarah Ellen, a migrant to South America who died over a hundred and fifty years ago. The place housing her mortal remains became notorious when it was among the few structures in the cemetery not levelled by a 7.9 earthquake in 2007.

Sarah Ellen was described as beautiful and infatuated with ritual magic. According to the inscription on her tombstone, she was born in Blackburn, England in 1872 and died in 1913. There are several contradictory versions of the story, but the likeliest one posits that she died while her seafaring husband – one J. Roberts – was in Perú on business. On her deathbed, Sarah cursed the neighbors who accused her of being a witch, saying she would come back from the afterlife in eighty years to exact revenge. Not taking any chances, her body was shipped to her husband in Pisco, where it was buried. Another less gothic account states Sarah was the wife of a sea captain; she took ill when his ship pulled into the port of Pisco, died and was buried. Among the remedies she consumed to treat an unspecified malady was a red liquid -- interpreted by some as a regular dose of blood.

Fact and fancy, thus intertwined, nested in the minds of the residents of the Peruvian city, passed along through generations until the year 1993, the predicted year of her resurrection. Crowds gathered in fear and excitement, wondering if the alleged vampire would come to life, and the authorities found it prudent to post extra security just in case. It was rumored that the slab covering the tomb had made a creaking sound, but the vampires did not emerge. This, too, was attributed to the fact that pilgrims and shamans had periodically come to pray at her tomb, in hopes of keeping the prophecy from coming to pass.

We shall end this section on a somewhat lighthearted note.

Cuban folklorist Gerardo Chavez’s Imaginario Popular: Mitología Cubana, a scholarly work, deals with the urban folklore of Havana and the legends that surround that city. One of them involved a 19th century grande dame who would have been considered a vampire by many, driven around the cobblestoned streets of Havana in a dark carriage, resembling a horse-drawn hearse, dressed in black. Described as a “pale and haggard woman who appeared to be on the verge of death”, her slim, veiled figure nonetheless projected an aura of unearthly mystery that men found alluring. The accoutrements of her colonial mansion were more proper to a funeral home.

Gerardo Chavez writes: “In this coffin-shaped bed she practiced the oldest trade in the world with the greatest discretion and skill for the high-ranking gentlemen of Havana. It is said that she was found well and truly dead one morning in her, apparently strangled by a client while playing at being lifeless, and was formally declared deceased.”

A 16th Century Poltergeist?

Anyone with a passing interest in the paranormal will remember “Gef the Talking Mongoose” – one of the strangest cases on record – involving an entity in the Isle of Man that held long conversations with the members of a household between 1931 and 1937. Around this same period of time, the Spanish city of Zaragoza was enthralled by its own “duende” (imp or goblin) that spoke to a family from the depths of a kitchen stove in 1934, becoming well known to readers of the local press and even overseas, as the London Times also carried stories of the unusual poltergeist.

A similar entity filled the chronicles of the Spanish settlers of the city of Valladolid in the year 1560, a scant thirty-five years after the destruction of the Aztec Empire.

Pedro Sánchez de Aguilar had been born five years before the first manifestations of the paranormal phenomenon. His grandfather had been among the first Spanish settlers in the Yucatan Peninsula and his siblings were “encomenderos” (land grant holders). As the youngest brother and landless, Pedro became a priest, rising to become a curate, the dean of the Mérida Cathedral, and hold other important posts. His writings on Mayan language and customs are still read today, but these are hardly as compelling as the story of the Duende de Valladolid, which appeared in Informe contra los adoradores de ídolos del obispado de Yucatán. (Barcelona: Linkgua 2007).

“The talking demon or goblin,” he writes, “would converse with anyone willing to do so between eight and ten o’clock at night, with all the candles out and in pitch darkness. The goblin spoke in the manner of a parrot, answering all questions posed by a noble Conquistador, Juan López de Mena, and yet another, Martín Ruiz de Arce. This goblin would speak and converse at these homes more than others, where he was asked to play the vihuela (a plucked string instrument), and it did so with great skill. It enjoyed doing this and laughed, but was not seen, nor did it allow itself to be seen.”

These displays of an amiable nature, however, were deceitful. “One cannot believe a demon,” cautioned Sanchez de Aguilar, “as they are the fathers of lies, untruths and seeders of discord. At times it would speak poorly of certain damsels, saying of one she had been mistreated by her stepfather. When asked who he was, he said he was a Christian, native of Old Castille, and would pray the Our Father and other prayers.”

Traditional poltergeist behavior was also part of its stock in trade, such as casting stones against walls and windows without causing any damage, and making noise on rooftops. A local cleric, writes the chronicler, tried to exorcise the spirit by visiting one of the homes where it normally made its presence felt. To this end, he concealed the preparations for the banishing ritual under his cloak, but the goblin did not materialize. After the priest departed, the entity laughed in the darkness and told those who remained: “The priest would like to seize me, but he will not. A surprise awaits him on his supper table.”

Apports – articles that appear or are transferred out of nowhere, produced by unseen entities – are common to poltergeist phenomena and were no exception here: when the priest returned home, he found plates of food on his table covered “with excrement from his mule” and the flagon of drink “filled with old mule piss.”

Artemio del Valle Arizpe, who included his own version of the story in his Obras Completas (Mexico: Libreros Mexicanos Unidos, 1959), describes the worsening of conditions following the incident with the priest. “The entire world lost the quiet enjoyment of its peace. The entire population was at a loss, and no saint in heaven would aid them. The goblin’s terrors and pranks became increasingly worse, sharpening his tongue against persons of good reputation.”

Sánchez de Aguilar’s original confirms this. “The Bishop, hearing of the lies of this goblin and the abuse directed at some, commanded that none should speak to [the entity] or make reply. Obeying these instructions, people ceased to address it, and this demon or goblin took to weeping and railing against the Bishop, making sharper noises and louder reports, astounding people and causing them to lose sleep. He then took to setting fires [unexplained fires being commonplace in poltergeist activity] to houses, which were largely made of straw and palm fronds. So the people asked the priest to find them a patron saint by drawing lots, promising to celebrate his feast with a procession to a convent.”

Picking up the story centuries later, Valle Arizpe writes that the chosen saint was Saint Clement, and that a carver of holy images “carved a statue of Saint Clement holding in his hand a chain to which a hideous demon was fastened, its mouth muzzled, covered in gold leaf.” The townspeople, however, failed in their promise to join the procession, and the priest took the statue to the convent alone.

“This goblin fell silent for over thirty or forty years,” writes Sánchez de Aguilar, “until the year 1596, when I was a priest in that town…it set fires to the huts of the poor Indians, and I was summed by devout Indians to conjure it and banish it from their village [Yalcoba], where it would enter at noon or one o’clock without fail in a whirlwind, kicking up a dust with a noise of storm and stone.”

Religious ceremonies seemed to offer only temporary relief against the entity, which ceased its activity in Yalcoba only to return to Valladolid, continuing its fire-starting activity. The Spanish settlers, notes the chronicler, believed that the cause was to be found in the native sorcerers and enchanters that filled the area. “This is a veracious and well-grounded belief,” he says, “as I myself kept a prisoner from the town of Tecoc, a great idolater, enchanter who would seize a viper or rattlesnake with certain gentle words to invoke the prince of darkness. I wrote them down out of curiosity, and they are not worthy of pen or paper.”

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mexico: Mysterious Object Over Yucatán

Source: El Criterio and Planeta UFO
Date: 13 February 2014

Mexico: Mysterious Object Over Yucatan

A putative UFO was recorded on video on 11 February 2014. The videographer adds that it was recorded at 22:00 hours on that day, adding: "I'm not saying it's a spaceship, but it is an unidentified flying object."

The video - 1:30 minutes long - shows a light in the sky whose trajectory eliminates the likelihood of it being an airplane, as it comes and goes. The sighting took place at the Los Almedros II Park in Ciudad Caucel.

The videographer's attention was drawn by the shining object and he decided to record it on his tablet.

To watch the video, please visit:

[Translation (c) 2013, S. Corrales, IHU with thanks to Guillermo D. Giménez, Planeta UFO]

Argentina: Tucumán - Another Alleged UFO in the News

Source: El Cívico (www.elcí
Date: 13 Feb 2014

Argentina: Tucumán - Another Alleged UFO in the News

TUCUMAN - A strange object was seen in the skies over San Miguel de Tucumán, creating doubts as to whether it was a UFO.

The images were recorded with a cellphone camera from the corner of Mate de Luna and Pellegrini avenues from the capital city of the "Jardín de la República" (garden of the republic - the name bestowed by president Domingo Sarmiento on the area when he encountered the subtropical cloud forest [yungas] of the Tucumán-Bolivia region - Ed).

The videoclip is 42 seconds long and a displays a slow-moving white object or light.

After a number of seconds, the light vanishes behind the treeline as a radio broadcast can be heard in the background.

The videoclip can be seen at:

[Translation (c) 2014, S. Corrales, IHU with thanks to Guillermo D. Giménez, Planeta UFO]

Argentina: A UFO Over Lake Musters?

Source: Cronica (
Date: 13 Feb 2014

Argentina: A UFO Over Lake Musters?

The current "urban drought" - a result of supply restrictions aimed at recovering reserves as well as accidental pipe leakage - leads us to pay closer attention to Lake Musters and examine any particularities concerning water volume, evaporation, flow and distribution through one of the country's most complex aqueduct systems. The beautiful lake and its surroundings have again become the focus of attention, but this time on account of a strange unidentified flying object.

This alleged "UFO" appeared in the sights of tyro photographer's camera. An avid observer of the Patagonian landscape and quick to capture its natural beauty, he was startled to look through his viewfinder to see an odd object suspended in the air, looking quite different from the clouds or accidental solar reflections.

The photograph was taken last Monday at 4:00 in the afternoon, when several young people from Sarmiento were enjoying a warm afternoon at the lake's edge - a relaxed afternoon that ended almost abruptly upon seen the recorded image, desiring to download it to a unit with a wider screen to see exactly what it was.

While efforts at taking a second photo were made shortly after the first, when [the photographer] tried to focus on the strange object, it was no longer in the area -- that is to say, suspended over Cerro Silva and seen from the southern sector of the lake to the northeast or even more graphically, from the Fishing Club's beach area toward the water supply that fills our blessed and ancient aqueduct.

It should be added that while such a faithful and clear photo as this one had not been taken in recent years, many residents of Sarmiento have seen large objects over the lake, moving at unusually high speeds, although generally at night, according to reports.

(Translation (c) 2014, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo D. Giménez, Planeta UFO)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Ultraterrestrials or Pilots of the Spaceways?

Ultraterrestrials or Pilots of the Spaceways?
By Scott Corrales
Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU)

“We are well aware that the word humanoid is not in the dictionary;” wrote Charles Bowen, editor of the United Kingdom’s world-renowned Flying Saucer Review, “that it was coined somewhere along the line by a writer or researcher. Nevertheless it seems to suit our purpose far more than those other words of anthropology like hominid, which means kin of man (Neanderthal man was one of these) and hominoid, which means man-like ape.” These were the words that formed part of his foreword to Gordon Creighton’s anthology of cases from around the world entitled – what else? – The Humanoids (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1969). This far-reaching book, published only a few years after it became acceptable to speak openly about the possibility of UFOs having occupants. Bowen also drops the hint that Dr. Edward Condon and his committee had access not only to The Humanoids and issues of FSR in assisting with their evaluation of the phenomenon.

The cases contained in the book are of another age and are widely known to the audiences interested in the field, but its perhaps hard for modern readers, particularly those who are newly arrived to the field, to imagine a time when even believers in “flying saucers” preferred not to deal with the possibility of beings stepping out of these lights or craft or projections. Two years before FSR’s book on the project, Coral and Jim Lorenzen published Flying Saucer Occupants, covering the best-known cases of the time on all continents and making an effort at interpreting and evaluating them (including a psychological interpretation of cases by Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle). One of these conclusions stands out nearly fifty years later: “In rare instances we may examine a report of UFO occupants which involves an observer who is sound of mind, has a stable emotional structure, an artist’s eye for observation and whose experience takes place under ideal lighting conditions.”

Sharp-Dressed Spacemen

“It was impossible to tell whether they were military or not,
but they were all dressed alike in sealed astronaut-type one piece
plastic suits with bubble helmets and tanks strapped to their backs.
Neary thought they looked like a cooking-foil commercial.”
--Steven Spielberg, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, p.177

As has been exhaustively documented in many other places, UFO research – or more specifically, UFO culture – owes a great deal to science fiction, particularly when it comes to the conceptualization of vehicles and occupants. The notion of the “silver-spacesuited alien” so common to early occupant reports and contactee chronicles may owe a lot to the iconic vision of Michael Rennie’s Klaatu descending from his spaceship in The Day The Earth Stood Still, or at a later date, the widely circulated promo photos of the Robinson family in CBS’s Lost in Space, coolly posed in silver one-piece outfits with red piping and boots to match.

In real life, the vision of the silver-suited astronaut was turned iconic by the Friendship 7 astronauts, wearing their Mylar-covered spacesuits developed from the pressure suits used by pilots on stratospheric flights. Changes would later be made to the silver spacesuit by the time the Gemini Project rolled around, allowing for greater mobility under pressurization than the Mercury Project original. The need to perform extra-vehicular activities (EVA) and eventual lunar landings caused new suits to be developed and the striking silver outfit to be relegated to museums.
It appears, however, that ufonauts did not receive the memo. Reports of humanoid occupants in silver suits remained unabated, even up to quite recent times.

Dr. Anthony Choy, one of Peru’s best known researchers, looked into one of these cases as recently as 2002, this time in the community of San Bartolomé in the Peruvian highlands, specifically in the province of Huarochirí, several hours to the north of Lima, the capital city. The picturesque town is known for its variety of fruit trees and otherwise excellent weather, boasting nearly year-round sunshine, filled with forests (Bosque de Zarate being the best known) and abundant wildlife. Not a grim or ominous location in the least.

The case involved two witnesses, the main one being Luis "Lucho" Rojas Povis, 51, a toll booth operator who happened to be outdoors at two o’clock in the morning with his best friend when both men became aware of “two figures” making their way down the slopes of Cerro de la Pascua, clad in silvery outfits. Initially, the onlookers did not find anything unusual about them, believing them to be mountain climbers or official personnel in outlandish protective gear. As the figures approached there was the awful realization that things were not quite as normal as expected.

The entities were described as having “an athletic build, slender and tall” with form fitting silver outfits. Their faces looked human, but their eyes were described as “shining”, and they didn’t walk as much as float above the ground. They did not utter a single word.

Astonished beyond belief, Rojas and his friend walked up to the strange new arrivals; the friend even reached out to touch the face of one the entities to see if it was “real”. One of the entities slapped the probing hand away, shocking the human.

“Hey, why are you messing with my buddy?” the toll booth operator challenged the creature, according to Dr. Choy’s interview. But what could have become the first mano-a-mano between humans and non-humans (since the 1954 case involving José Ponce and Gustavo González in Venezuela) was interrupted by the unexpected arrival on the scene of a taxicab whose passenger and driver were about to become the next set of witnesses to the mind-bending situation.

Beatriz García, 34, had just taken a taxicab back to San Bartolomé at that late hour from the town of Ochocica, where a fair had been held that day. Agreeing to pay the driver a rather high fee for the journey home, Ms. García was startled to see “a man made of pure tin, or dressed in aluminum” standing at the edge of the road. She was only able to see one figure, but could not say if it was the entity that slapped away the man’s effort to touch its visage. The driver became very agitated by the unearthly sight, and his nervousness caused her not to look very closely at the being, while having noticed its “brilliant” eyes. During the interview with Anthony Choy, she estimated that a distance of ten meters separated her from the entity, which appeared to be “walking back and forth, two steps forward, two steps back, but actually floating in the air.” She coincided with Rojas’s description of the creature’s dress, the form fitting nature of the outfit, its helmet and general build.

Some will dismiss this incident as another “colorful” Latin American case (the dictionary definition of the word is “full of interest; lively and exciting”, but tends to be interpreted as “patently untrue” on the lips of a skeptic!) but the strange motion of the single helmeted being witnessed by Beatriz García has been mentioned in many case histories. Dr. Frank B. Salisbury also noted this in his foreword to the Lorenzens’ Flying Saucer Occupants mentioned above: “These beings may sometimes walk like normal people, but they may also move with “sliding motions” or a tottering gait.”

A silvery-suited "humanoid child" is at the center of a highly complex "Julio" case of 1934, re-opened by Magdalena del Amo-Freixedo in the late 1990s."...the girl had a pinkish complexion and wore a silvery suit. She was small, like one of our six year-old girls, with platinum blonde hair. I don't remember the color of her eyes,” said the experiencer. More ominous is the tall figure with empty eye-sockets that played a role in the 1973 case involving a Puerto Rican housewife. The entity - humanoid in shape, towering and wearing a tight silver outfit - projected the words "cerakia ovnit" into the terrified experiencer's mind, words whose meaning remains a mystery forty years later.

Another entity seen in the Spanish province of Zamora in 1974 was described by the percipient as being over six feet tall, with arms held closely to the sides of its body, and having an overall "military" bearing. It was also noted that the creature appeared to have been "made of silver" and glided away into a hill when the witness pressed his hunting dogs to attack it. Guillermo Giménez of Argentina's Planeta UFO looked into a case that occurred in Necochea, Argentina in February 1988, involving entities wearing tight-fitting costumes. "The fact is that they'd go completely unnoticed among us if they wore normal clothes and not those silver coveralls," noted the interviewee.

Regarding the "slap" with which one of the San Bartolomé humanoids responded to the human's urge to touch its features, it is worth remembering what Argentinean researcher Roberto Banchs noted in his own monograph, La fenomenología humanoide en Argentina (Servicio de Investigaciones Ufologicas, August 1977): "Social behavior is sometimes misinterpreted, leading matters to such a state of confusion that any action on part [of the intruders] is deemed hostile. It is imperative to analyze all physical and psychological factors before a conclusion can be reached."

A Skywatch Interrupted

Three summers before the incident involving the San Bartolomé humanoids, a skywatcher in neighboring Chile had his own brush with the unknown. Enrique Bermúdez had driven to the outskirts of Punta Arenas, which aside from boasting the privilege of being Chile’s southernmost community, the city on the Brunswick Peninsula is also one of the largest one in the Patagonian Region. The clear skies above beckon to skywatchers and amateur astronomers, or simply anyone wanting to enjoy the unspoiled night air. It had also become famous in flying saucer circles for a famous “radar confirmation” case involving a warning issued by an air traffic controller to a passenger plane, advising it to be aware of unknown traffic in the area.

Bermudez had no idea that he was about to enter the pages of UFO lore on September 22, 1997. The man were startled to hear a strange sound outside, and upon turning off the headlights to eliminate the glare, he could see short humanoid figures running around the vehicle. According to the description given to researchers, the entities were “small, standing around one meter tall, with long arms and oversized heads,” but their facial features were could not be clearly seen in the darkness.

A total of eight short beings now surrounded his car, besieging him behind the wheel for an estimated 40 minutes. When they finally ran off into the forest, the witness started the car and drove away.

He would return – bravely – a week later with a researcher from Chile’s AION group, Dr. Carlos Muñoz, who had joined the organization in 1996 and become one of its most active field investigators. Both men descended from the vehicle and were startled to see a truly unusual sight: a source of light resembling a red neon tube was hovering in the darkness some twenty meters away from them, pulsating as it did so. Muñoz lifted his camcorder to shoot footage of the uncanny phenomenon, but to his surprise, the light source did not appear in the viewfinder.
Bermudez and Dr. Munoz found their nerve beginning to fail them. They re-entered the car and drove away from the forest.

Soccer-Field Humanoids

On June 4, 1978, two brothers – Juan and Héctor Juárez , ages 10 and 8 respectively– were walking back home from school to their humble home in the El Corito neighborhood of Ciudad Cárdenas in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí. As the boys walked past Zaragoza Street, they saw activity in the empty field that served as a makeshift soccer pitch. Other children of around their age seemed to be engaged in frantic activity, and not wanting to be left out, Juan and Hector walked down the street and on to the empty field. While separated by a distance, the boys were suddenly realized that the figures were not their neighbors or classmates having a post-school day game of futbol, but something they’d never seen before.

The figures were not children, although their height was comparable to boys their age. The two brothers found themselves facing between fifteen and twenty creatures darting around the field. Far from fleeing in terror, Juan and Héctor approached, curiosity getting the better of them, and making an uncanny discovery: the kid-sized figures’ feet did not touch the ground. They darted on air, moving as if on roller-skates. Some of the creatures – with devices on their backs that the two brothers could not recognize – interrupted their play to look at the humans. Something, in retrospect, the Juarez Brothers wished they had not done.

The creatures had humanlike features – the faces of adult humans on childish bodies – but their oval heads had eyes set so close together as to make them resemble the legendary Cyclops. Terrified by the sight, Juan and Héctor broke into a mad dash for the imaginary safety of Zaragoza Street, and the prospect of reaching their home. Héctor tumbled to the ground a few times, weighed down by the contents of his book bag.

There are contradicting sources as to what happened next. In one version, the beings took to the air, flying up and away , enveloped in a white light, as if though having been spotted by the young humans marked the end of their escapade. In another, the boys ran to their home, only to find their mother standing outside, gazing skyward at a strange light in the sky that “looked like the sun” due to its brightness, thinking that “strange birds” were flying in the air toward the light, unaware that they had taken flight precisely from the field that her two children were running home from.
“They frightened us,” said one of the boys, “sent us into a panic. My mother was able to see them from the entrance to our house.”

The mother contacted the authorities and law enforcement agents questioned the boys, asking if they had slept well the night before the incident and if they “knew anything about UFOs or extraterrestrials”, questions to which the youths replied yes and no, respectively. Pressed by the uniformed grown-ups as to what they had seen, one of the brothers piped up: “Some children, but they weren’t like us.”

There was no follow-up to the astonishing account and the percipients were never heard from again, despite the inquiries made by two separate Mexican UFO research groups. For some reason, an alternate date of March 30, 1979 appears as the date of the event in some sources, questioning the veracity of the whole ordeal. The truth of the matter lies with two boys – now men in their Forties – who are probably still trying to put the nightmare behind them.

A Quiet Evening Stroll

The warm temperature and spectacular starry skies on the evening of June 15, 1974 were enough of an enticement to prompt to neighbors – Dolores and Marisa – to go for a nocturnal stroll in their town of Manzalvos, in the Galician province of Ourense (Spain). The two friends had no idea that their spur-of-the-moment constitutional would land them in the pages of the chronicles of the unknown. Veteran ufologist Marcelino Requejo, who had relatives in that community, included the experience in his book OVNIS: Alto Secreto (Ediciones Cydonia, 2009). He was able to pay a visit to the community and interview the experiencers in person.

Inspired by the warm night, the friends decided to walk beyond the outskirts of Manzalvos and enjoy the breathtaking firmament above. As they walked, Dolores and Marisa became aware of two intensely bright red lights descending from the dark sky in complete silence, eventually landing at the foot of a hill a few hundred meters from where they walked. The lights went dark, and the friends were startled to see the appearance of a bright yellow horizontal light in the middle of the darkness. “The light,” writes Requejo, “expanded until it formed a perfect triangle of enormous size.”

The friends were further shocked to see two humanlike silhouettes, perfectly black, emerging from either end of the oblong light, walking slowly toward each other, their paths crossing in the middle of the light and each heading in the opposite direction from which it had first emerged. What astounded Dolores was that the silhouettes walked with the precision of “soldiers standing guard in front of a building.” This maneuver repeated itself for a few minutes while both friends, now patently terrified by the enigma playing out before their eyes, sought shelter behind the corner wall of a village alleyway. Even more astonishing to them was the fact that the luminous oblong shape began to collapse inward on itself, becoming once more a thin, bright light that vanished into the dark. The two powerful red lights reappeared at the either end of what had been the rectangle and slowly rose into the air, before lurching suddenly into the starry night, vanishing out of sight. Both women ran home to tell their relatives about the unsettling and outright bizarre event.

“Two entities,” writes Requejo as a result of his interview with the witnesses, “were walking along the screen in a regular manner. No arms were visible. Their silhouette was entirely dark and their height, estimated at a little more than two meters, was shorter than half the height of the luminous oblong.”

Ufologist Requejo mentions, by way of comparison, other cases similar to the 1974 experience in Galicia, sometimes involving larger groups of witnesses, but featuring the "projection screen" feature witnessed by Dolores and Marisa. While clearly a display of some sort, one wonders if it was aimed at the witnesses, as the humanoid "actors" were oblivious to the presence of witnesses in these cases. It could be another example of the 'pointless' activities that UFO occupants have been seen engaging in since the early days of the phenomenon, ranging from collecting useless specimens of soil to asking terrified humans for the time of day.

Hit the Road, Jack

Up until to the abduction paradigm of the 1990s, it could be argued that a nocturnal road trip through a desolate area in any part of the world was the likeliest location to have a UFO experience – any of the three CE-types – and some researchers of the ‘70s even cautioned their readers to have care when driving alone under such conditions.

This was clearly the case in Chile in 1965, when medics aboard an ambulance on an emergency call became the unwilling witnesses to a brilliant light descending from the night sky, surrounded by a host of lesser, attendant lights, that eventually came to rest upon a plain. As the wary ambulance driver drove on, given the urgency of his mission, he was shocked to find one of the smaller objects intercepting his vehicle on one of the curves on the road. One of the medics would later report seeing – lost amid the glare – what appeared to be “figures moving behind portholes”. Even more disturbing was another medic’s recollection of seeing a creature’s face looking at him through one of the side windows, “being dominated by its eyes”.

Chilean researcher Rodrigo Fuenzalida has looked into his share of these cases, which have made Chile one of the world’s foremost locations for encounters with the unknown for well over fifty years. During a radio interview on the “De La Noche a la Mañana Radio Show” on Radio Cooperativa, the researcher brought up the eerie case of Mr. and Mrs. Juan Munizaga, who were traveling to the coastal city of Viña del Mar in 1983. In their Forties, highly respected and both occupying important jobs, the last thing the Munizagas expected at two thirty a.m. as they drove down Route 68 was to be inducted into the annals of humanoid contact experiences.

At some point along the dark road – the vicinity of Casa Blanca being mentioned – the couple saw figures ahead on the asphalt that they first took to be “horsemen on their respective mounts” riding on the paved surface. As the figures did not make way for the motor vehicle, Mr. Munizaga slowed down, turned on the high beams, and cast light upon creatures standing two and a half meters tall (8.2 ft.) with white hair, enormous eyes and “celestial” tunics “like something out of a Hollywood production”, as they would later describe them.

Even more perplexing was the description of “shoulder pads with electronic circuits that came out of their necks” and the emotionless features of both giants, one of whom the Munizaga’s distinguished as possibly being female by its sharper features and somewhat ruddier complexion. Fuenzalida uses the term “feminoid” to describe the possible giantess, who made her way to the car and looked into the passenger side window, casting her enormous eyes on a terrified Mrs. Munizaga, who curled into a fetal position on the seat in a vain effort to shut herself off from the unknown; Mr. Munizaga is reported to have cursed out loud “why didn’t I bring my revolver with me”.

The encounter with the towering humanoids in their glowing raiment reportedly lasted three minutes, after which one of the beings stood aside and the driver was able to accelerate past them. Mrs. Munizaga looked back and reportedly saw one of the creatures making mechanical gestures with its arm, beckoning them to return.

“These entities,” notes the researcher, “belong to the classification of tall beings in luminous outfits that give off some form of unknown luminous energy. Their morphology is generally human, but their eyes were twice as large as normal human eyes.” Another couple had a similar experience in the same area in 1986, but in this instance, one of the entities raised a hand and caused the automobile to lose all power while its companion performed an “inspection” of the vehicle, walking around it. Once the first creature lowered its hand, the car was restored to normal and able to leave.

But why the absurd behavior of circumambulating a car? “With UFO entities,” writes Hillary Evans in Visions-Apparitions-Alien Vistors, it is not possible to give them the benefit of such a doubt. Their conduct is almost always bafflingly meaningless to our eyes,” despite the fact that the behavior is clearly endowed of some sort of significance. Other authors suggest that these behaviors serve the purpose of misleading the witness, but why?

With the Northern Hemisphere awash in sightings and bedroom invasions of “Grey” entities in the Nineties, it is notable that more traditional – but no less bizarre – events were occurring elsewhere with other non-human types. A 1998 case in Chile involved a family enjoying a day outdoors when they witnessed what they first took to be parachutists coming out of the sky, capturing the event on their camcorder. But no parachutes were ever deployed. The humanoid figures plummeting out of the sky suddenly stopped in mid-air, flying in formation toward the Pacific Coast.

As if this detail wasn’t enough to move the case into the highest ranks of high strangeness, the family remarked that the erstwhile parachutists were gigantic – estimating them to be at least three meters tall and clearly visible in broad daylight. They seemed to be surrounded by a swarm of lesser lights (much like the object seen by the ambulance crew in 1965). Skeptics dismissed the incident saying the figures were “large trash bags sent aloft by local children.” (The video can be seen at YouTube URL We see in this case a repetition of the "flying humanoids" that terrified the two boys in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, a decade earlier.

Another significant Chilean case from the late Nineties – also from Rodrigo Fuenzalida’s files – includes a “bedroom visitor” that once again, was not one of the multitudinous Greys.
On the evening of February 13, 1997, an unnamed young housewife was getting ready to put her baby daughter to bed before going to bed herself, as her husband worked nights. At one point, the woman heard a “buzzing” sound that came out of nowhere, electrical in nature, and when she glanced over to the bedroom wall, was alarmed to see a humanoid figure with a backpack and helmet materializing on the wall. The witness went to pick up her daughter in terror, as the unearthly figure seemed interested in the child. A curious detail is added: the helmeted non-human appeared to be “confused” – had it materialized in the wrong apartment or time, or the wrong dimension?

The witness heard the buzzing noise again and the bedroom visitor disappeared, leaving behind a strange glow on the wall that remained visible moments alter. The outcome of this experience was hardly a positive one, as the woman refused to return to her apartment: she returned home to her mother and father, suffered a nervous breakdown, and could not be dissuaded from sleeping at the foot of her parents’ bed.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Peru: UFO Investigation Office Reopens

Date: 02/04/2014
Source: La Nación, Sin Mordaza ( and Planeta UFO

Peru: UFO Investigation Office Reopens

An unidentified flying object (UFO) can be anything at all: an unauthorized flight, a light, a drone or unmanned aircraft, an optical illusion, or an alien spacecraft.

Any aerial object flying within national airspace whose flight is unlawful, anomalous and unidentifiable in nature represents a threat to civilian and military security and navigation. For this reason, the Peruvian Air Force (FAP) has the duty to look into these phenomena in order to safeguard order and proper use of the national air corridors. “These were the words of Pedro Cateriano, Peru's Minister of the Air, to BBC Mundo (BBC World).

It was thus that the government reopened DIFAA, the Department of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena Investigation, under the jurisdiction of the Air Force itself.

Whether aliens travel aboard those lights or vehicles is not the department's concern, and the beliefs or desires of its investigators regarding the subject are part of their private lives.

This office looks into any phenomenon or object that can jeopardize a military or passenger aircraft. However, most of the cases recorded cannot be explained and the question marks about signs of life beyond our planet emerge once more.

I've Seen a UFO

The phone rings at DIFAA and a specialist writes down the information. Calls have been received more than once from someone claiming to be in contact with aliens and that their mission is to save the world. These calls are usually dismissed.

"We have no way of telling what it is unless we can analyze the images or videos submitted to us, aside from the questionnaires to be filled in by the witnesses," said Marco Barraza, an investigator and member of the DIFAA team.

If someone reports a strange light, the first thing they do is cross-check the information with the control towers of the nearest airports. "The idea is to activate a protocol and create a record. This is how accidents are prevented," he explained.

DIFAA's advisory board is formed by eight civilians (an astronomer, an archaeologist, a sociologist, a former pilot, a physicist, a philosopher, a broadcaster and a sociologist) and two military men. They are in charge of conducting the evaluations and preparing a report for DINAE (the Office of Aerospace Interests).

The goal is to have a record. Certain constants emerge: spheres, elongated objects, cylinders, diamonds and luminous triangles. The places where they appear also repeat, almost always in the vicinity of archaeological sites.

What are they? Are they from other worlds? The mystery will remain unsolved until they can be touched, and their nature ascertained.

The Catch of the Day

Commander Julio Chamorro (Ret.) forms part of DIFAA's advisory board. Chamorro was the founder and leader of OIFAA (The Office of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena Investigation) which operated from 1999 to 2005, and the first military man to state the need to look into these phenomena.

The reasons Chamorro presented to his superiors for opening an office for the study of possible alien craft were based on Chapter 12 of the Peruvian Constitution, declaring that the duty of the State is to safeguard the Nation through its Armed Forces.

"The officers working at the La Joya military base were used to sightings. There was an event that repeated every December. We called it the Star of David because we didn't know the nature of that bright light that shined at us day and night. There was also the so-called lost city: in the distance you could see a brightly-lit city that receded as you approached it. It was so frequent that it stopped being important," said Chamorro to BBC Mundo.

A Luminous Orb

There was a rumor circulating at the time. Alberto Fujimori, who was president at the time, used to go fishing on the Amazon River aboard a FAP aircraft. They say that while he fished, a luminous orb emerged from the river and flew into the air. Fujimori and his team saw it, but agreed to say nothing about it.

"It's true, it happened," states Chamorro. Marco Barraza corroborates the anecdote. Was it for this reason that the office could be opened? According to Chamorro, "this possibly aided in making the decision to open the office." But what has been the use of all the information collected, both by the first office as well as the current department?

"What's important is acceptance by the public and their desire to share their experiences. This is something that involves all of humanity and no one is excluded from what's going on," Chamorro stressed. There isn't much criticism in Peru against programs of this sort, unless they incur considerable expenditures or some important error is revealed.

In The Region

Perú isn't the only country looking for an explanation about anomalous aerial phenomena. Chile has the Commission for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA), Argentina has the UFO Phenomena Study Commission (CEFORA) and Uruguay has the Unidentified Flying Obejct Report Reception and Investigation Commission (CRIDOVNI).

"Some of the country's regions have built alliances with a view toward exchanging specialized information in a strategic manner, in order to pool their efforts on the research into these subjects," stated Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano. "However, Peru is fully capable today of analyzing and researching this phenomenon in an autonomous and independent manner and it would only appeal for an exchange of information with neighboring countries in an exceptional manner with the aim of cross-checking information for more exact conclusions."

And until a more exact conclusion is achieved, DIFAA's advisory board will wait for the phone to ring again to create another file that may someday, perhaps, answer the question: What if we're not alone?

[Translation (c) 2014, Scott Corrales (IHU) with thanks to Guillermo Giménez, Planeta UFO]

Monday, February 03, 2014

Argentina: UFO "Took Away The Jellyfish" from Monte Hermoso

Source: Hoy en la Noticia (newspaper) La Plata, Argentina
Date: 02.03.2014

Argentina: UFO “Took Away The Jellyfish” from Monte Hermoso

A video recorded by Leandro Mitili, showing a UFO emerging from the water on January 14 and which has received around 400,000 views, has become the talk of the town, particularly when the perspective of the mayor of this community is thrown in the mix.

In an article appearing in the Diario 3 newspaper, Marcos Fernandez insinuated that the unidentified flying object took away the bothersome jellyfish from the coastline of Monte Hermoso. “An essential fact to Monte Hermoso is that we are witnessing a significant natural fact. Monte Hermoso has a lovely coastline, with very warm water, and we always stood out for a significant reason, the jellyfish. I don’t know if the UFOs [are to blame] but the jellyfish are gone,” said Fernandez.

However, the official remained skeptical about the sighting and questioned the possibility of UFO involvement. “The answer,” he said, “could be in some nocturnal transit of ships. I’m not very clear about the matter. I know that some residents recorded it and uploaded it as UFO activity.”


Saturday, February 01, 2014

Chance Encounters: More Humanoids Among Us

Chance Encounters: More Humanoids Among Us
By Scott Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU)

The thought that humankind shares the planet with other sentient species – dolphins and whales – did not become popular until some point in the 1960s or 1970s. Prior to that, we rested comfortably in the thought that no matter where our journeys might take us on the surface of the third planet orbiting the Sun, we would come across fellow humans of various heights and skin tones, but they would always be exactly that: fellow humans.

The notion of exobiology -- the branch of biology concerned with the search for life outside the earth and with the effects of extraterrestrial environments on living organisms, as defined by the dictionary – first emerged in 1960 as scientists gave serious thought as to what life might be like on other planetary bodies. Would actual Venusians – not the jungle princesses of pulp fantasy, but the denizens of the Cytheran surface as we know it to be – turn out to be rocklike creatures able to withstand the tremendous heat and pressure of the surface? Could Mars, humanity’s next destination in fiction and fact, harbor willowy entities looking like terrestrial ostriches? What of the balloon-like Jovians Carl Sagan fired our imaginations with, rising like gas bags in the stormy atmosphere of Jupiter, hunted by equally exotic predators?

“The possibilities are almost limitless,” wrote John W. MacVey in his book Interstellar Travel. “Perhaps the only real certainty is that we will never know what to expect until they arrive – and then we will not know what to do!”

A Roadside Encounter

On Saturday, September 24, 1977, traveling salesman Edwin Almenas did not expect that his life would ever be touched by the paranormal, as it indeed was on that fateful evening in Puerto Rico. Driving in his car along the road from Cabo Rojo to Joyuda in the island’s southwestern corner, for generations a hotbed of UFO and paranormal activity, Almenas headed back to his hotel after a strenuous day of transacting business deals. Up ahead in the nearly pitch-blackness of the Caribbean road, he saw a flash of light heading in his direction, causing him to think at first it was an oncoming vehicle. Within seconds he realized it was a pillar of flame, giving off beams of light. “I was able to see some circles – three circles, clearly – emitting dark-golden hued beams that turned orange with bluish tones.”

The electrical and mechanical systems of the car suddenly died, as though unplugged from an imaginary wall socket. Coasting to a halt in his vehicle, Almenas was now facing the unknown, petrified, staring at the incandescent fireball, wanting to scream in terror but unable to do so. After an unspecified period of time, the fireball took to the air and vanished in seconds, leaving the shocked salesman – his car now restored to operation – to make his way back to the hotel, awash in fear and unable to share his experience with anyone.

This was only the opening round of his experiences.

The following evening, on his way back to San Juan on the northern coast of the island, the salesman began hearing “strange voices” in his head, sufficiently distressing to cause him to pull into a police station and request assistance. Continuing his journey, Almenas was now well on his way back to the city when the voices re-emerged and the fireball appeared once more. For a second time, the car’s systems went dead, leaving its driver at the mercy of the unknown. But now there was an added detail: a blinding flash of light preceded the appearance of a three-foot tall humanoid figure. Despite feeling faint, and against any normal judgment, the driver felt compelled to get out of the car and approach the entity, whose body was enveloped in a sort of brilliant halo.

“It’s hard to describe in detail using words,” the experiencer would tell El Vocero newspaper, which made his story public weeks later. “and that’s why I made a drawing of the entity. It impressed me greatly; it held something like two rings in its right hand, and something like a flashlight emitting a potent yellow beam. The entity itself put forth a blue light that turned into gold. The creature pointed at one of the mountain peaks – I think it was El Torito – before merging with the fireball and taking off at a blinding speed. I then felt a pain in my neck, head and shoulder. It seems like a dream, but I know it was true.”

Even more harrowing that the traveling salesman's ordeal is the one that befell a jogger from an outlying district of the Puerto Rican city of Ponce in November 1979. His story appeared in the first issue of the island's Evidencia Ovni, which gives his name as "Hector Maldonado", although this could be pseudonym, and given the nature of the experience, completely understandable.

According to Maldonado, he had gone for a morning jog on the salt flats near the Caribbean shore of Ponce. It was an average Saturday morning and a routine he had followed regularly. At one point, his run brought him near the mangrove swamp found in the area, where he happened upon a group of tall entities he described as standing between five and six feet tall, with bald heads and slanted eyes that issued a glow from within, rather than reflected by an external source. Their skin was greyish blue - shark like - and he was unsure if he was seeing their skin or clothing.

One of the tall entities, which had been kneeling on the ground, intently focusing on some detail, rose to its full height and pointed at the bemused jogger. Maldonado reportedly felt the non-human figure's "voice" in his head: "And I heard him tell the others, as if mocking me: "See how that one runs," as the human had not broken stride throughout the sighting. What happened next was even stranger: the creature started to run, covering distances in seconds, as displaying its prowess before rejoining the other creatures.

"I could feel it in my mind when he said to them: "Let's take that one, too." The others replied something along the lines of: "Leave him alone." Something like that. I felt panic when I heard that, and it made me run even faster, because the one who had mocked me sort of smiled and I noticed he had big, pointed teeth, like a shark."

Maldonado was spared from a possible abduction, but never resumed his recreational activities in that area, nor did he share his experience with others for many years. "I didn't stop running until I got out of there. I was terrified. I said nothing to no one, afraid that I wouldn't be believed. People would think I'd gone crazy, and I couldn't take that chance, no sir."

A Humanoid in Paraguay

On June 14, 1991, Mexico’s Excelsior newspaper – the nation’s newspaper of record – carried a brief but intriguing note on an “extraterrestrial entity” seen in the South American country of Paraguay. The account, originally carried by the ANSA news wire service stated: “A radio station employee in the city of Pilar claims having seen a “humanoid, presumably an extraterrestrial.”

It went on to describe how Antonio Acuña, accompanied by a passenger, was driving to the radio station in the middle of the night when he was startled to see a figure on the road that “at first resembled a human being” but upon closer inspection proved to have a head, hands and feet of a different, darker color. Acuña described the entity as having “very slender fingers” and clad in a white outfit with “a strange source of light on its chest.” The radio station employee and his passenger told the media that the strange image “vanished suddenly”. No follow-up was provided.

The Guanajuato Humanoid and Others

Issue #13 (September 1993) of Terra Incognita, the official publication of Mexico’s defunct Centro de Estudios de Fenomenos Parnormales, carried an interesting story about “humanoid aliens” in Valle de Santiago, a locale in the state of Guanajuato, where a UFO enthusiast was on the trail of a being “clad in a silver-blue one piece outfit, with glowing eyes that shine as if covered in gold.” Reportedly, the entity’s hair and facial hair (certainly an unusual detail in descriptions of alleged ufonauts!) matched the creature’s clothing, as did his footwear. In its right hand, the humanoid brandished what was described as a “triangle with a glowing” tip and was theorized by onlookers to be a weapon of some sorts.

According to the Terra Incognita feature (which in turn quotes a publication called Cuestión Policiaca), a group of unnamed ufologists visited the area, which includes a watering hole known as La Alberca. Visits by these researchers, from the Morelia and Zamora, occurred during a period of seven months, in hopes of substantiating either the existence of the humanoid or stories about lights hovering over the watering hole or plunging into it (a situation reminiscent of Puerto Rico’s Laguna Cartagena in the very late ‘80s).

During one of the groups visits to the site, Oscar Arredondo – a self-proclaimed contactee and member of the expedition – heard a noise in the early morning hours and reached for his camera, breaking away from his slumbering companions and heading toward a small hill, “where he saw a glow and a strange being that walked erect.”

Without hesitation, Arredondo pressed the camera’s shutter, its sound prompting the entity to turn around saying a word. Unimpressed, the being resumed its walk, startling the photographer, as “it was walking down a slope without falling or making any effort whatsoever, as though floating.” The creature strode into the darkness, vanishing without a trace, but not before the photographer took a second photo, this time of its back.

Arredondo returned to his companions and excitedly told them what had happened, waving his camera and the image it contained within. They agreed to convene at a location in the state of Michoacán to develop the film and proceed from there.

“The photo taken of the extraterrestrial’s back,” says the article in Terra Incognita, “was jealously guarded, but the photo of its front was obtained by Cuestión Policiaca.” The publication shared the image with its readers in its issue #104, for the week of October 20-26 of 1992. The faded, photocopied photo was included in Terra Incognita with the following information: “A unique photo in the world, taken recently in Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, and showing an alleged extraterrestrial. It holds it its right hand a sophisticated [illegible]. It wears a luminous one-piece outfit. The figure looks human, but its eyes are much larger than normal, as they glow and are greenish in color. The photo was taken by an enthusiast who accompanied one of our correspondents.”

Local residents were not as enthusiastic as the UFO media, as the phenomenon’s presence had been nearly constant in the Valle de Santiago. “In a certain way, we’re already quite used to seeing those flying objects around here. We see them flying around at low altitude and they lose themselves among the Seven Mountains or Seven Moons, as we refer to that [mountain] range. They form a circle and in their central part there is a chasm,” explained Eleuterio Esquivel, a local farmer.

Another local grower – Ramiro Sánchez Esparrogoza, had an even more compelling story to tell: “I once spoke to a very strange man who wore a silvery one-piece outfit. He spoke our language. He told me to plant a seed of the same plants I was growing (carrots and lettuce) in a single plot and then – using a technique known only to him – vanished before my eyes. I never saw him again and three months later I found that the carrots were one meter tall, and you can imagine my surprise five months later, when the carrots and lettuce heads were gigantic. I could barely carry one of each.”

The story involving the humanoid photograph is certainly a stretch, even for the most open-minded reader. But some items should be taken into consideration: a short-lived UFO flap took place in the area in 1998, covering a number of central-eastern Mexican states, also involving humanoid sightings. On April 22, 1991, for instance Ms. Adriana Velazquez Montes claimed to have witnesses along with her brothers Pedro and Miguel "a fireball" in Monte de las Cruces, near the site known as Tepeji del Río in the state of Hidalgo. According to the witness, they were able to observe two "midgets"--1.20 meters tall-- who signaled to the startled humans with a powerful red light.

As for the giant vegetables, seeing is believing:

Admittedly, form-fitting, silvery outfits on putative extraterrestrials (or ultraterrestrials) smacks of Adamski and 1950s vintage contactee yarns, and perhaps should be treated with the same level of caution. But these humanoids play a prominent role in many unusual experiences in Mexico since the early days of the modern phase of the UFO mystery. One case involving such beings – mentioned in earlier Inexplicata entries – is the October 13, 1975 case involving Mr. and Mrs. Diaz Solis as they drove through the Zone of Silence in Ceballos, Durango (roughly 400 miles south of El Paso, Texas). The Diaz couple had set off to the remote and mysterious desert location to collect stones and fossils, which are in abundance. In the early afternoon, seeing the skies darken with approaching storms, the couple boarded their Ford pick-up truck – equipped with all terrain tires, a novelty at the time – and decided to flee from the rain, but within minutes found themselves in a torrential downpour of the kind that often precedes flash floods. The dirt road turned into a roaring stream and the pick-up’s rear wheel drive quickly became stuck in the mud, despite Mr. Diaz’s best efforts. And the rain, far from dissipating, was becoming more intense.

Braving the elements, Mr. Diaz jumped out of the truck, trying to keep it from sinking any further. Amid the wind and rain, he heard his wife shouting from inside the cab that “someone was approaching.” Looking up, rivulets of water streaming down his forehead and making visibility difficult, Mr. Diaz confirmed that two very tall men were indeed headed their way. They seemed to be dressed identically in bright yellow slickers and caps, noticeable silver rings on their fingers and an emblem of sorts on the raincoats. Their features were fine yet rigid, giving them an odd appearance. They exchanged a few words with Mr. Diaz, asking him to board the truck and try to free the vehicle while both men pushed. Diaz did as he was told and in seconds, the Ford pick-up jumped right out of the deep rut it had sunken into. Overjoyed, the driver opened the door to get out and thank the good Samaritans, but to his dismay, they were nowhere to be seen. “It was enough to drive anyone insane. One minute they were there, and next they were gone as if the earth had swallowed them. There was no place where they could’ve hidden and no sign of their tracks in the muddy ground. They simply vanished.”