Saturday, December 23, 2023

Tropic of Darkness: UFOs and the Paranormal



Tropic of Darkness: UFOs and the Paranormal

By Scott Corrales © 1991

The paranormal origin of UFOs has been traced by some to a series of invocations not unlike those in santería. Activities associated with witchcraft of any sort often involve "ancillary" phenomena like unexplained lights in the sky at night, the appearance of monsters and strange creatures and the wholesale slaughter of livestock, which is usually attributed to the depredations of vampires, etcetera.

If a correlation between witchcraft activity and UFO manifestations does indeed exist, then Puerto Rico becomes an ideal place to study it. As mentioned earlier, the increase in Santería-related activity (the cautionary term "related" is used here because an offshoot of Santeria--Mayombería--is probably more likely to be the cause) rose in almost direct proportion with UFO sightings and mutilations.

The tireless work of the CEOVNI group, led throughout the 1970s by Sebastian Robiou, author of the book Manifiesto Ovni, gathered a wealth of information and photographs during this period, which remains memorable not only for the mutilations and UFO activity, but also for the religious phenomena took place.

A 1988 report from the Laguna Cartagena area stated that the witness saw two humanoids "in what appeared to be uniforms" guiding a large, hairy simian being. The trio "disappeared into the ground." Reports in a local tabloid, El Vocero, point to the depredations of a "mandrill" among the livestock of many farms on different parts of the island, an explanation sanctioned by the authorities as the reason for the strange mutilations. It is more than likely that the real culprit is a "big hairy monster", as opposed to an itinerant mandrill.

A strange entity terrorized a suburb of San Juan known as Rexville since July of 1991. Mr. Eduardo Velasco returned home one day to find that the rabbit hutches in his back yard--containing twelve adult rabbits and six newborns--were torn apart with unimaginable violence. The bunnies were hideously dismembered. Whatever it was that had done the deed tore through the resistant wire to get to the animals. The agitated owner stated that "some diabolical creature" had to be the cause for the sad scene of destruction, reporting the presence of globular lights.

Could this be one of the globular lights that appear to be endowed with a form of intelligence and are capable of outright malice, christened by Spanish researcher Salvador Freixedo as REPQEN? (Residual Psychic Quasi-Intelligent Energy). In the book Visionaries, Mystics and Contactees, Freixedo points out a singular case of this nature: an elderly woman in a suburban Puerto Rican house was alerted in the early evening by the furious barking of her dogs. The woman, fearing a burglar, cautiously went so see what made her dogs bark so, and to her astonishment, she saw that they were barking at an apelike entity which clung to the top of a palm tree in her yard. The by no means small creature had a menacing air to it, and stared at her fixedly through fiery eyes. The creature then began to shrink and turn into an incandescent sphere which rose into the heavens. All of this was too much for the lady, who suffered a stroke as a result.  

Freixedo, who lived in Puerto Rico at the time, heard on the local radio that a cattle mutilation had taken place in the small town of Moca. Pigs, geese, calves and goats had died mysteriously overnight. He drove to the site and confirmed that the wounds typical to all mutilations were present. The animal's owner was terrified at one salient fact: the lack of blood. The two geese, in spite of the whiteness of their plumage, did not betray a single spot of blood spilled during the extraction process. But the owner, and other farmers who had also suffered losses, recalled seeing lights in the sky the previous evening, describing them as similar to "those on top of a police car". Freixedo later visited a site where a cow had been coldly mutilated and left bloodless. The animal's owner stated that his guard dogs had barked furiously the preceding evening, and that the cattle had been running from one end of the field to another as if eluding capture by something. Freixedo also makes note of a circumstance that has come to the foreground in Stateside mutilation cases--the dead animals are often found the following morning in places where they could not have possibly reached by themselves, such as isolated valleys, steep mountainsides, etc.

Mysterious birds have staged a return during the 1990s wave of UFO sightings connected to the still-unexplained events at Laguna Cartagena, a body of water on the southwestern edge of the island. A resident of a community close to the lake reported seeing a "hideous" 4-foot tall bird perched upon a metal fence. The singular creature had leathery wings, scales, a horned head and barbed wings. Man and mystery bird looked at one another warily until the latter spread its wings and took to the air, disappearing into the warm tropical night. The witness produced a sketch of what he had seen, and it looked like a pterodactyl, to all extents and purposes.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a backlash against santería and all non-Christian worship was spearheaded by a number of fundamentalist ministers, among them Yiye Avila and Reverend Jorge Raschke, who envisioned their preaching as a crusade to "evict the devil" from Puerto Rico. In a narrow sense, their campaign was aimed against Santeria, and resulted in a dramatic increase in converts to fundamentalist assemblies. Many practitioners cast aside their beliefs and atoned while others moved to Florida or remained in tight groups. UFO activity, incidentally, was almost minimal during this period. These evangelists were also convinced that UFO activity was demonic and decried contactees, ufologists and parapsychologists. A great number of paranormal experiences probably went unrecorded due to the negative religious significance attached to UFOs. Many "confessional" experiences broadcast over gospel radio stations at the time were quite similar to reports of UFO contact.

Believers in the extraterrestrial hypothesis for the origin of the UFO phenomenon have little time for speculation concerning the paranormal, but the connection between ufology (in a broader sense than just "close encounters") and the practice of ritual magic deserves closer attention, particularly when peripheral events are taking place in UFO flap areas that bear a marked resemblance to those that have always been associated to events surrounding witchcraft.

In Brazil, a number of cattle mutilations have gone unreported particularly because of the fear that it is the work of powerful Macumba practitioners. In one such case in the late '70s, a farmer from Bahía discovered two mutilated cows lying at the center of a slightly conical indentation in the ground, which gave off intense heat and smoke. Fearing witchcraft, the farmer covered the dead animals with old tires soaked in gasoline and torched them. Across the ocean, the areas of Spain that were traditionally associated with the practice of the sorcerous arts are also heavy in UFO activity. Andalucía, particularly the region surrounding Seville, is rich in sightings. The village of Aznalcollar, notorious for its witches, was the site of a surprising case in September, 1971 involving fifty small humanoids, who emerged from a cigar-shaped UFO and chased the terrified watchman of the field they had descended upon, firing beams of light at him from what the witness described as "flashlights”. During the Middle Ages, rumor had it that the best schools of black magic were in Spain, nestled in deep caves within the Pyrenees or in the mountains of Euzkadi, the Basque country. Monstrous dwarves emerged out of one such cave near the locality of Berroscoberro to frighten children tending their flocks while a massive UFO flap took place; enormous "motherships", ranging in size from 500 to 1000 meters in diameter (1500 to 3200 feet), hovered over Mounts Illumbe and Orrecoacha in October of 1975.

[A version of this article appeared in STRANGE magazine as “The Thin Black Line”, 1993]