Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Mexico: The Mysterious Fireballs of Veracruz (1980)


 Mexico: The Mysterious Fireballs of Veracruz (1980)

By Vicente Barrera

 From 1980 onward, Cerro de la Mesa in the state of Veracruz went on to become one of the most feared places in the area, given that fireballs can supposedly be seen "patrolling" the mountain.

 Correspondence has indicated for some time that massive sightings of fireballs are common in the state of Veracruz. For this reason, an expedition was sent out to the state with the aim of investigating the phenomenon.

 Our destination was Cerro de la Mesa, located some 40 kilometers northeast of Jalapa. According to the information in our possession, fireballs were being reported daily in that location for some three years.

 While the distance was short, the travel time between Jalapa and Cerro de la mesa is 2.5 hours, given the tortuous unimproved road. The road plunges into sugarcane, coffee and corn plantations, as well as mango and papaya groves. Cerro de la Mesa is four kilometers long with an approximate elevation of 200 meters. According to eyewitnesses, fireballs may appear out of any part of the mountain.

 What is most surprising about these fireballs is that they appear to execute intelligent maneuvers. Numerous witnesses claim to have seen them "walking" among the mango and papaya groves, fly at dizzying speeds, hang in the air, turn on and off and suddenly multiply before the startled eyes of onlookers. Residents of the five communities surrounding the hill - Zetal, Chicoasen, Otates, Cololillo and Trapiche del Rosario - take care not to drive the highway that runs along the summit's slopes. According to some statements, prior to sighting one of these fiery orbs, the air becomes 'heavy' and there is an inevitable sensation of cold.

 According to locals, the fireballs began to appear in 1978. Sightings were at first sporadic, with the fireballs being visible every two to three months. However, as of 1980, sightings take place one after another. It is odd not see fireballs surrounding the hillside on any given day.

 Fruit grower Samuel Flores of the community of Otates admits: "I'd heard that fireballs would appear in the summit facing us. But the truth is that I thought it was a lie. Must be a fantasy, I thought." Mr. Flores, age 59, then proceeded to describe his encounter with the incandescent orbs.

 "It was around two years ago during the drought. We were on our way back from Jalapa in my pickup truck. I was driving by the town's limits in a place with papaya groves. There's a nearly U-shaped curve at that location. All was going well, until I suddenly began to feel cold and my arms became heavy. When I was about to reach the curve, two powerful lights lit the driver's side. It must be a car, I thought. I pulled over and stopped to yield, waited two minutes but the vehicle never passed me by. No sooner had I left the curve when I could see two small fireballs taking off swiftly toward Cerro de la Mesa. They flew at an astonishing speed. They covered more than four kilometers in only five seconds."

 What makes this case interesting is that a number of similar encounters have taken place at the same location. Two bright lights, appearing in the opposite direction, resembling automobile or truck headlights, but disappear upon approaching. Benito Palmeros, a young fruit farmer from Otates, described a similar event, with the exception that he did not see any fiery orb fly away. He said nonetheless that they did exist, and he had seen them cross the skies on many occasions.

 "The fireballs aren't very large," said Benito Palmeros. "They measure 30 centimeters or less. At a distance they look like very bright lights."

 The following case took place on Saturday, October 22, 1983 at 11:00 p.m. on the slopes of Cerro de la Mesa. The parties involved were Roberto Callejas, Nicolas Salazar and Miguel Estrada. The first two were residents of Otates and the third from Trapiche del Rosario.

 That Saturday evening, the three friends decided to go hunting on the slopes of Cerro de la Mesa, given that rabbits were abundant in that season. In this instance, however, they had walked over two hours without coming across any animals whatsoever. They then decided to return to their respective communities.

 "Frankly, we were bored," says Nicolás Salazar. "Two hours walking and not a single rabbit to be seen. We were already heading back when a luminous orb appeared at a distance of some 100 meters. I had been seeing these lights for a long time, only not this close. It resembled an incandescent soccer ball. It would suddenly turn on and off. After remaining in the air for a few seconds, the ball went away without a sound."

 "As the fireball went away," interrupts Roberto Callejas, "I took out my flashlight and pointed it at the luminous object. I shouldn't have done it, because the ball stopped and came toward us. Then we witnessed a phenomenon that scared us. As the ball approached, it multiplied. Now we weren't facing a single ball, but five. They were some 60 meters distant and kept approaching. I turned off the flashlight, which seem to confuse the fireballs. They stopped in mid-air and formed a circle. Then they moved, and forming a "V" in the air, took off at considerable speed."

 Our last interviewee was José Santos, age 28, a resident of Cololillo. José Santos works as a laborer in the mango and papaya groves of Trapiche del Rosario, and this is his comment about the Cerro de la Mesa fireballs: "It's true that they exist. I see them nearly always on my back home from work. They're small and move quickly from one side to another at high speed. The truth is they no longer surprise me."

 Most of the locals believe that the fireballs are produced by sorcerers and witches living in Chicoasen, one of the towns near the hillside, which reputedly harbors a considerable number of witches. For this reason, a small chapel has been erected on the roadside. According to locals, this should chase away the evil spirits.

 Another theory posits that a significant deposit of uranium, silver or phosphorus must exist in the hill, which would explain away the lights are mere flashes or the 'aura' of the mineral. The cold sensation reported by witnesses would be the consequence of entering a magnetically-charged area.

 However, the research team found three things most intriguing: 1. The intelligent maneuverability displayed by the fireballs; 2. The cold sensation that precedes the sightings, and 3. The existence of unexplored caves in several lofty areas of the hill.

 We came across the caves during a visual survey of the hill. Given the summit's height, and possible landslide and loose stone areas, climbing it is nearly impossible without proper equipment. So our three observations prompt us to ask: Might a UFO base exist in the area? The question would require in-depth investigation, however, let us not forget that the spheres constitute one of the traditional shapes of the UFO and the sensation of cold (nearly always due to the presence of an electromagnetic field) is a constant in UFO cases.

 [Translation (c) 2021 by Scott Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU)]