Friday, August 06, 2021

Argentina: Misadventures in Navarro


Argentina: Astonishing Tales (Cuentos Asombrosos)


#10 Misadventures in Navarro

Narrated by Luis Burgos

 Luis Burgos: It was around 1991 when we paid a visit to [the town] of Navarro, a locality in Western Buenos Aires [province] to research a case with a local group from the area, since sightings and ground impressions were being reported in the pastures. On a given day, we decided to embark on a joint investigation with people from Capital [Federal] and other groups, but our means were limited. Yet it was necessary to schedule the visit, given that a least 60 ground impressions had been recorded, with an impressive number of direct witnesses, a truly impressive number. Navarro, within the case histories of Argentina, occupies the second place in the subject of [UFO] landings.  These ground impressions are exceeded only by those of Atalaya, where 150 ground impressions were recorded in 1985.

 Then again finding a field in the province of Buenos Aires, or any other province of Argentina, with 60 ground impressions is not commonplace. The case truly deserved on-site research, which we indeed conducted, a night watch – all of the details that are observed when delving into such a matter. You go to a field and stay up until one in the morning conducting a night watch, something that’s typical of every group. We do it all the time when we set out to investigate a case.

 It turned out that we didn’t have the means to get there. We were going to go by microbus, but the journey and the connections would have been burdensome to say the least. There was no train service either; so, there was a young fellow in the group who had been with us for a while. He was of Peruvian descent and did not speak fluent Castilian. He spoke in a stilted “good-morning-guys-how-are-you” manner. His name was Enrique, and we’ll keep his surname under wraps to avoid any harm.

 [Enrique] had an old Peugeot 404, but he was unwilling to take a chance as he hadn’t serviced it, but we told him not to worry, we would bear the cost of fuel among all of us. So in the end we set off for Navarro one morning in 1991 to meet up with the other groups who were expecting us in the afternoon to conduct the investigation, stay for the night watch and then remain there overnight.

 We left La Plata aboard the old Peugeot 404 – there were five of us – and we exchanged looks among ourselves saying “we’re not going to make ten kilometers in this thing.” And we weren’t wrong. The car began to sputter and overheat, and it became necessary to stop every fifteen minutes or so, and there was no way of getting the temperature to go down. Every time we passed a house we’d stop and ask for water – not for ourselves, but for the radiator.

 And so, hours went by. It was a truly endless journey – to the extent that one of our number decided to stop at a farmhouse and ask for some chicken eggs. We asked, “What do we want the eggs for?” He replied, “wait, I saw this on MacGyver!” So he put two or three eggs down the radiator, closed the lid and said “Let’s go”. Well, twenty minutes later the engine was acting up again, time went by and there was no way that we’d ever reach our destination.

 We reached a service station and told our troubles to the attendant. Another one turned up and said, “Hold on, there’s an easy way out of this. You want to get there, right?” Of course we wanted to get there, and on time. He asked, “Does this car have a thermostat?” To which I said that I didn’t know, it was a question he should direct to the owner.

 By this point Enrique was nervous, wanted to head back at all costs, while we wanted to get to Navarro even if it was by mule train.  The mechanic on duty allowed the car to cool off, pulled out the hose, removed the thermostat, the engine temperature plummeted, we refilled the water and there was no problem. We got to Navarro, returned safely, and it was the thermostat that was blocking the passage of water and making the temperature rise.

 It was a journey worthy of the Beverly Hillbillies.  The car was a wreck and it was already getting dark. First we had to find lodgings, and then worry about the sky watch. Enrique was very, very nervous. He said “No-Luis-I-will-stay-behind-I’m not-going.” He said he was very tired. We argued that if he stayed behind, the field in question was 20 kilometers distant. He said we should take the car, which was now running well, while he stayed behind at the lodgings. “Are you sure? Remember when we’re done we’ll be having something to eat, then look at the stars” and so forth. But it didn’t work.

 Enrique stayed behind. We reached the field and ascertained the existence of the 60 ground impressions, half of them greening again, the other half still dehydrated. There were witnesses – a full line of investigation that can be found on the Internet.

 What’s odd is that we were there practically all night. We remained on site until dawn, and around seven, seven thirty a.m., after drinking some mate, we returned to the lodge to collect Enrique and return to La Plata.  So we were chatting, and I said “Carlos, go fetch Enrique, since we’re ready to go.

 Time went by with no sign of Carlos. Fifteen or twenty minutes later, we were parked outside the lodge. “No, there’s no Enrique here.”

 “What do you mean there’s no Enrique registered here? We left him here last night.”

 We insisted that we had left our traveling companion at the hostelry the night before. Another check of the guest book was made, and they said to me: “No, there’s no one here by that name at all.”

 So to make a long story short, we spent an hour looking for him. And the guy shows up all of a sudden by the door. “Look here,” I said to him, “we’ve been here an hour, trying to find you.”

 “I-did-not-register-under-my-own-name,” he said. That was enough to want to leave him stranded and return home ourselves.

So on the drive back to La Plata, our tempers more settled, as it had been an unusual situation. We managed to drag out of him that his reticence about participating in the sky watch was due to the fact that ‘he could see stars falling’ in the fields. I chided him about the possibility that these were fireflies becoming visible as it got darker. No, he argued, it was an altogether different thing to him.

 So that’s how it all ended. The man became frightened, didn’t want to go, we went through the MacGyver moment, he registered in the hotel under another name…in short this was one of the most remarkable journeys we had ever undertaken, not because of any UFO involvement, but on account of the misadventures experienced during the trip. This person was with FAO for a while and he later disappeared. We lost all trace of him. It was truly extraordinary that he had registered under a different name, afraid of participating in a sky watch because of a fear of ‘falling stars’.

 It’s something we always remember at our gatherings, among the older members who recall the early days.

[Translation and transcription (c) 2021 Scott Corrales, IHU with thanks to Luis Burgos]