By Daniel Iglesias40 UFO cases remained unexplained in Uruguay
The UFO phenomenon has manifested itself many times in Uruguay. Thirty years after research began, 40 cases remain unexplained. The files were declassified and EL PAIS was allowed access to them
The Uruguayan Air Force will not publish a "Blue Book" containing the results of its 30 years of research, but the high command allowed EL PAIS access to records and eyewitness accounts.
While the Air Force commission that studies these cases has been operating for only a few decades, the UFO phenomenon began in Uruguay in 1947, at the same time that worldwide enthusiasm for the subject commenced. While Uruguay is no Roswell, the emblematic location for the subject of ETs, it is a place that is catalogued as propitious for seeing unidentified flying objects, according to Col. Ariel Sanchez, an Air Force officer with 33 years of active service and who has formed part of the UFO commission since 1989. He currently presides over it.
The agency operates out of a small office located in downtown Montevideo and has a computer database and print archives as well, which have not yet been computerized. There are hundreds of files in green binders under the heading "Confidential", containing eyewitness accounts, photographs, sketches, drawings, documents and evaluations made by officials.
Unsolved cases. The files consist of reports that accrue at a rate of 100 cases per year. The commission has received approximately 2100 solid reports and has researched and dismissed many for various reasons. But there are still 40 cases lacking an explanation. These files have been kept open, and range from sightings and landings of alleged craft to so-called abductions, that is to say, report on the kidnapping of persons by extraterrestrial entities.
The international definition conceived by U.S. astrophysicist Allen Hynek divides these situations into three categories: encounters of the first kind are those involving a sighting; those of the second kind are those that record a landing, and the third kind -- the sort most exploited by filmmakers -- make reference to an encounter with an unidentified flying object and its occupants.
The military commission's task is to compile a record of cases and draft guidelines or conclusions regarding their veracity and origin. They have obtained solid results: "The commission managed to determine modifications to the chemical composition of the soil where landings are reported. The phenomenon exists. It could be a phenomenon that occurs in the lower sectors of the atmosphere, the landing of aircraft from a foreign air force, up to the extraterrestrial hypothesis. It could a monitoring probe from outer space, much in the same way that we send probes to explore distant worlds," stated the officer. "The UFO phenomenon exists in the country. I must stress that the Air Force does not dismiss an extraterrestrial hypothesis based on our scientific analysis," said Sanchez.
The commission still keeps several paper files, above all those involving open cases. The FAU (Uruguayan Air Force) has now declassified all of its information, even those labeled "confidential". Only the identity of the witnesses remains undisclosed. All manner of situations can be found while perusing the file. In a case that occurred some time ago in the Department of Durazno, the witness reported the appearance of places where an aircraft appeared to have landed. Upon analyzing the soil's composition, an increase in the values of minerals such as chrome, manganese, phosphorus and carbon was detected, enabling researchers to conclude that the event had indeed been real.
Another singular case is found in these military annals: the appearance of two reddish spheres, flying silently over the heads of two teamsters driving cattle. The objects moved at high speed in opposite directions and the vanished toward the West at high speed.
Records indicate that the months prone to most manifestations of these objects are February, March, July and October. In February of this year (2009), the commission received numerous reports accompanied by digital photographs. Photographs or film are not a determining factor in any case, but rather a contribution, explains Sanchez, given the current technical possibilities for hoaxing images.
Unsolved cases have a considerable high strangeness quotient for the FAU. For example, the 1986 pursuit by two Pucara jet fighters over the Palmar Dam in response to the maneuvers of a luminous sphere. The pilots joined together and decided to chase it. When they were about to intercept it, the sphere flew off at a dizzying rate of speed toward Argentina and could not be reached. When the pilots returned to their base, the sphere reappeared over the dam. But the same thing occurred - the chase occurred and it vanished from sight, changing colors from red to yellow.
A similar case occurred to a group of military pilots in 1996, that is to say, qualified observers engaged in exercises over the Santa Bernardina base in Durazno. As in 1986, they saw two luminous spheres, whose presence was corroborated by the airport's control tower. When the objects flew away, they maintained their shape and luminosity, which enabled the spherical shape to be confirmed. Minutes later, the pilots noticed their glow diminished, and only their outline was illuminated. "The weren't satellites, as they do not fly in formation or that low, since these objects were at 10,000 feet (3,000 meters, approximately), nor do satellites diminish their glow," says Sanchez.
Among other reports we find the one by the crew of a commercial airline - a domestic carrier - that was pursued by a powerful light in 1979 as it returned from Paraguay. The light was even photographed by passengers. This case is also unexplained.
The Air Force also has visual reports of a dozen mutilated animals whose carcasses betrayed incisions made with surgical precision. These reports go back to 2002. No coherent explanation was ever found, but research by the military commission suggests the hypothesis that it was a possible biochemical attach that probably occurred in Argentina, where 700 mutilated animals were found. "It could have been the result of winds blowing from the West," said the officer. FAU does not dismiss the possibility of an extraterrestrial event. This is another unsolved case.
Military statistics show that the customary profile of people reporting sightings involve young men up to 45 years of age. They also indicate that cases occur in the early hours of the evening, and usually involve a single witness. 49% of statistics are made up of reports of luminous spheres; barely 2% include occupant sightings.
Nor has Uruguay been immune to close encounters of the third kind. The most chilling aspect of any UFO case is usually a report involving the abduction of humans for research purposes.
There have been several cases in Uruguay that remain unexplained. One of them occurred in Playa Pascual in 1980 and involved a camper, who was on the shore at night and was suddenly taken by surprise by short beings who immobilized him and conveyed him to a vehicle, where he was subjected to a medical examination. He later woke up in his tent and had a hard time moving. Another "missing time" case involved a family that was driving along the road when an aircraft flew over their vehicle and landed in front of them. They were unable to account for what had occurred to them for several minutes.