By Antonio Santana PérezWhen the presence of an unidentified flying object was reported in the Spring of 1950 in the province of Matanzas, the first case of this nature known in Cuba after the start of the flying saucer age, it marked the beginning of a list of sporadic luminous visions, mostly lacking scientific exploration.
Human beings have always harbored the hope – with the understandable doubt – of sharing their existence with other beings of humanoid appearance and a technology developed elsewhere in our galaxy, regardless of all the convolutions that such an encounter of civilizations could bring about.
Thousands of sightings and strange events in the heavens above, dated in various parts of the world, have lead many to believe that we are being stealthily visited by representatives from faraway planets.
Cuba also appears to forms part of alien curiosity, perhaps with an aim toward renewed tourist purposes, or perhaps to sample the joviality and hardiness of the archipelago’s inhabitants. Several eyewitness accounts recorded throughout our country, offering specific details on swift vehicles, strange lights, irregularly-moving orbs and strangest of all, the presence of ghostly beings involved in abductions and kidnappings, have lead to an appraisal of these events beyond meteorological, physical or paranormal justifications.
In 1954, two objects of outstanding luminosity and surprising maneuverability were seen in various parts of the capital city by a number of people.
In January 1989, residents of La Victoria, La Isabel and Cocodrilo on the Isle of Youth, and the crew of the vessel Yunque de Baracoa, witnessed a strange luminous body with an intense yellowish-white light moving along as it expelled a considerable amount of smoke, but without making any sound. During an interview with a local TV station, the head of the weather office indicated that it was not an atmospheric phenomenon of the kind that habitually takes place, nor of any known object, to judge by the absence of sound and its means of travel.
On December 21, 1993 between seven and seven thirty p.m., four luminous spheres appeared over the town of Matanzas, moving at great speed from north to south, between 30 and 35 degrees over the horizon, making no noise whatsoever. They were seen from various points in the city.
At midnight on Saturday, October 29, 1994 in Nigua, Province of las Tunas, numerous eyewitnesses saw three flying objects which gave off a variety of lights, causing the activation of the Sistema Unico de Vigilancia y Proteccion (Unique Monitoring and Protection System).
The year 1995 was significant due to the occurrence of sightings on various parts of the island. In the early hours of October 19, five persons on duty saw three spherical objects (traveling as a triangle) flying from north to south, and they subsequently turned east toward the city of Sancti Spiritus.
Another case that year took place in the town of Guara, Province of La Habana, where a saucer-shaped object was seen for over twenty minutes as it made irregular movements. There were numerous witnesses to this case, including [personnel] at a basic secondary school in Guines, where two instructors claimed having seen a light with irregular motion that bore no relation to anything known.
However, the most controversial cases involve the abduction or kidnapping of citizens by non-terrestrial visitors. An example of this is the story told by a man in the Pasaje a lo Desconocido television program. He claimed that he was captured at his dwelling place in the center of the island; adding that after a few minutes aboard a spacecraft, he was abandoned in the City of Havana, unhurt. Without any means of attesting to the veracity of her story, a woman said that in the summer of 1990 se became aware of a strange light in her backyard. Running toward her home in fear, she found a “ring of light” that approached her to a distance of 5 meters. She allegedly lost all notion of time and subsequently awoke to find no intruders at all in her surroundings. When subjected to hypnotic regression, she revealed that she was surrounded by equipment “similar to radios” that touched her arms, and felt needles piercing her hands.
But perhaps the most unique case reported in Cuba occurred on Sunday, October 15, 1995 at 9:00 a.m. near the town of Torriente, Province of Matanzas. A 74-year-old farmer named Adolfo Zarate witnessed the descent of an object no larger than a small car, with a cabin, on the premises of his farm. The object remained on the ground for several minutes, and a being of humanoid appearance, dressed in an outfit similar to camouflage and wearing a facemask, emerged from the device, took soil or grass samples, and after an explosion “like air”, took off and headed south, leaving a wake of blue fire. Police confirmed the flattening of grass at the location, suggesting a descent. Members of the Ministry of the Interior investigated the case, but no conclusion was issued after a while.
Two further events add to the shroud of expectation that surrounds this case: a cousin of this farmer vanished without a trace two years earlier, and at the same time and very close to the place where this incident occurred. The case remained unexplained. Furthermore, a strange fog covered the town on the night that the vessel and its occupant made their appearance.
Moviemaker Oscar Cortazar, recently deceased, made a documentary on the UFO phenomenon in Cuba in which the landing site is recorded and note is made of the stunted growth of the local vegetation after the date of the incident.
Up to what point do the imagination, unknown physical laws and bizarre phenomena confabulate to prompt the residents of this planet to dwell on our questionable exclusivity in this galaxy? If we live in a turbulent and unsafe world, what might these alleged, outlandish prowlers think about earthlings?
For the moment, I subscribe to the brilliant wit of U.S. author Isaac Asimov, who said: “The greatest proof of the existence of extraterrestrial life is that it has not wanted to contact us.”
* (Translation (c) 2008, Scott Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU). Special thanks to Guillermo D. Gimenez, Planeta UFO)
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