Monday, July 10, 2017

Argentina: The Saucers of July 1947

Argentina: The Saucers of July 1947
By Luis Burgos and Marcelo Metayer

Luis Burgos has posted posted a newspaper item from that very first "summer of saucers" in 1947 that will be of interest to INEXPLICATA's readers.

The article appeared in the LA PLATA newspaper Saturday, July 12, 1947 on Page 5 with the headline: IRRADIANDO VIOLACEA LUZ APARECIO EL PLATO - a florid, passive voice way of saying: "The saucer appeared irradiating a violet light" followed by the subheading "La Plata Tiene la Primicia Sudamericana de Haber Observado Nítidamente el Fenómeno" (La Plata occupies the foremost place in South America in observing the phenomenon clearly).

It then goes on to say that before disappearing altogether, the object landed on an orange tree at the corner of 56th and 25th streets in the city of La Plata. "This quiet neighborhood has been shocked by the manifestation of an alleged 'flying saucer' over an orange tree. The phenomenon witnessed last night by a group of local residents gave rise to numerous conjectures, and with our innate sense of humor, also brought up a series of jokes which served to allay the disquiet. Last night's cold, the lack of coal, the lack of food and other matters of household necessity soon relegated the phenomenon to a secondary level. Nonetheless, its scientific importance is extraordinary.

The saucer's violet irradiation and its sudden disappearance 15 minutes after its initial manifestation represented a magic show on a winter night, enough to bundle a conjecture, as it was not easy to bundle up any other possibilities at zero degrees: We are living amid the infernal music of a century that will end up by saying that we are the result of a vulgar chemical formula!

The article goes on to discuss "saucers and cylinders in Europe", mentioning sightings over Milan, and "saucers and more saucers in Chile", stating that disc-shaped objects had flown over Santiago de Chile the previous evening at an altitude of a thousand meters (3200 feet) at speeds in excess of 1500 kilometers per hour (930 mph).

Mr. Burgos makes the following comment in his blog,

The Birth of a New era - On June 24, 1947, when those nine flying objects looking more 'like boomerangs than saucers' crossed the path of Kenneth Arnold's private plane as he flew over Mount Rainier in Washington state, not even the best-known science fiction writer would have supposed that the world would witness Mankind's greatest technological enigma. Not even Nolan Skif, the journalist who coined the term FLYING SAUCER. The contemporary era of what we have come to know as the UFO phenomenon had been born. Since then, the news spread like wildfire throughout the world and days later the first saucers were being seen in South America. The first location visited was apparently San Pablo, Brazil, on the 8th of July, followed by our own sighting on the 10th and by Santiago de Chile the same night. Three days later, on Sunday the 13th, the phenomenon reappeared across the Andes, in Osorno. By that time, Roswell having occurred, there were even reports of a landing in the yard of a home in Hollywood, California, belonging to engineer Russell Long. It involved a smoking metal disk, similar to a tray measuring sixty five centimeters in diameter.

The Argentinean Flap - With the news of the La Plata 'flying saucer', other locations became the scene for a veritable 'mini-flap' of sightings, if we take into consideration the time, the population density and the delay in communication. In this order of business, the transit of unknown craft was reported through the month of July:

Tuesday the 15th in CAPITAL FEDERAL: Luminous object falls in Puerto Nuevo.
Friday the 18th in BALCARCE, Buenos Aires: A fleet of 7 objects flying in formation at 06:08 hs.
That same day in GENERAL ROCA, Rio Negro: 6 objects seen three hours later, in the rain.
Sunday the 20th in ESTACION ROCHA near OLAVARRIA: A zig-zagging disk at 17:00 hs.
Monday the 21st in TARTAGAL, Salta: Two objects exploded in mid-air with a thunderous report.
Tuesday the 22nd in ROSARIO, Santa Fe: Zig-zagging white object at 20:50 hs.
That same night in OCLAYAS, Jujuy: Saucer fleet fly-over.
Wednesday the 23rd in BAHIA BLANCA, Buenos Aires: Strange flying object at 21:00 hs.
That same night in CAPITAL FEDERAL: A mysterious luminous object seen at 22:30 hs.
Thursday the 24th in PEHUAJO, Buenos Aires: A bizarre object flying at low altitude in the evening.
That same night in BAHIA BLANCA: A fleet of 3 objects flying a straight line, making a whistling sound.
Saturday the 26th in MAR DEL PLATA: A luminous object over the sea at 21:30 hs.
Monday the 28th in SAN MARTIN, Mendoza: A strange light maneuvering at 07:45 hs.

These fourteen "post-Arnold" sightings throughout the month of July, reported in the press of the time, added to similar cases throughout the year, represented the FIRST ARGENTINEAN UFO WAVE which would repeat regularly ever three and four years in subsequent decades: 1947 – 1950 – 1954- 1958/59 – 1962- 1965- 1968- etc. according tour our exclusive UFO Database of 5500 cases from 1947 to the present.

The Night of July 10th - The fact of all this is that residents of La Plata's Vucetich Park (now San Martin Park) observed the maneuvers of a strange, spherical flying object that cold Thursday evening from the intersection of 25th and 56th streets. It put forth a reddish and purplish light for some fifteen minutes and even paused over an orange tree before heading westward. It is significant that the witnesses themselves dismissed the likelihood of the object having been a balloon, on account of its movements, or a fireball, on account of its duration. Some made light of the phenomenon while others could not conceal their amazement.

The naysaying facet of the phenomenon was also present, as tends to occur in these cases. The minute flying saucers were mentioned, Captain Guillermo Wallbrecher, director of the local observatory, was moved to say: "What was seen could be a device from some foreign power or if not, a mass hysteria event due to war tensions." Seventy years have gone by and nothing has changed. It wouldn't be at all unreasonable to suppose that many astronomers keep a photo of Captain Wallbrecher by their bedside tables.

[Translation (c) 2017 S. Corrales, IHU]