Friday, February 10, 2012

Uruguay Air Force Openly Researches UFOs for More Than Three Decades – Interview with Colonel Ariel Sanchez (Part II)

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A. J. Gevaerd & Colonel Ariel Sanchez

A. J. Gevaerd By A. J. Gevaerd
Editor Brazilian UFO Magazine

The UFO played with pilots

AJ: For how long did they try to intercept the UFO in that second attempt?

CAS: Just for a few minutes, because it vanished when the pilots tried to approach. Strangely enough, the object always returned to the same spot after our aircraft moved away — as if it were playing with our crewmen. There was a moment when the UFO was surrounding the dam and our pilots tried to reach it with a fast maneuver - one with a 30 or 40-second response.

AJ: Then what happened?

CAS: When the object noticed the maneuver it moved away to the West at a high speed.

AJ: What happened to the pilots after such an experience?

CAS: Due to the stress they cancelled their training and returned to the Durazno Air Base (FAU’s most important site, located in the middle of the country). By getting there they reported the event to the officials. At the same time they learned that Montevideo had been hit by a blackout. It lasted for a few minutes and affected the whole city. It was due to the overheating of a power line which came from the exact spot where the UFO was seen over the dam. I should add that the Durazno base is where pilot trainings are mostly held. There are many different aircraft stationed there.

AJ: Did Cridovni consider one fact against the other? That is, did you associate the UFO over the dam with the blackout in Montevideo?

CAS: Yes. We believed the object must have affected the power line in some way causing the overheating. This is a supposition based on technical data provided by the power company itself (Usinas y Trasmisiones Eléctricas - UTE). Their technicians detected an overheating in some transformers in the line that supplies the capital city. We suppose this might be a result of that incident. After all, there must be a reason why it was over the dam. It must have been doing something there. What it was we don’t know. Security guards and employees also witnessed the object flight around the dam that night. The object was seen from the ground and from the air. This leaves no doubt about its materiality.

AJ: Did you talk with the Pucara pilots? How was their emotional?

CAS: They were quite surprised with what they had seen. I personally interviewed the four of them, one by one, pursuant to our protocol for investigation. All narratives were coincident regarding the shape and maneuvers of the object. Our crewmen were affected by what they experienced.

AJ: Do they still work in the Air Force?

CAS: Only one of them remains in the Air Force.

A protocol for interception

AJ:Would you like to have been in their feet? What would have been your reaction if you were in one of those Pucara?

CAS: I would love to have been there (laughing), but I think my reaction would also be one of total surprise. Actually, I don’t know what I would do at the time. One never knows. The aircraft involved were twoturboprop-engined fighters. There could have been some kind of hostility between the parties. However, in such situation the pilot must ask for permission before taking any action such as to fire a missile. There is a protocol for that in our country. According to Uruguayan law, we can’t fire at an aircraft unless under presidential orders or in a real combat situation. A pilot might think about doing something, but will be subjected to superior orders and to the protocol for interception of unknown vehicles.

AJ: Besides this case involving the military is there any other involving civilians but equally intriguing? Could you describe it?

CAS: Yes. There is a case involving an Air Force aircraft which was being used to transport civilians around the continent. It was also operated by civilians. They were flying between Asuncion, in Paraguay, and Montevideo. It happened in 1979 and was investigated. The aircraft was already in Uruguayan air space when a luminous ball started to follow it. The object was beside the aircraft during the remaining trajectory until the capital city. When the crew saw the object, they asked the control tower whether another aircraft might be without communication causing that phenomenon to happen. They thought it might be an aircraft the tower hadn’t spotted. The answer was that there were no other aircraft of such characteristics around there.

AJ: What happened next? What was the pilot’s response?

CAS: All crew and passengers saw the object and were not happy to have an UFO right next to them. They were especially concerned about their flight safety. The pilot wanted to see if the object would respond to any signal so he turned on the landing lights, which are quite powerful. At that moment, the UFO which was nearly 700m away came closer to the left wing. The crew was even more scared and a strange odor of burned plastic was felt. Something like burning bakelite — a material which makes the aircraft control panel. Then the pilot turned off the lights and the object reacted moving away. We could say that such objects react to the light somehow.

AJ: How long did that last? Was there any harm to the aircraft equipment?

CAS: No. It was very brief, maybe one or two minutes. It was for a short time, because when the UFO came closer to the aircraft everybody felt the smell of burned plastic so the pilot turned off the landing lights which seemed to have attracted the object closer. There was no smoke in the cabin, only the smell of burned plastic. That was enough to generate fear of fire in the aircraft’s controls. The smell went out though the ventilation system and the object moved away.

AJ: Did you interview the crew and pilots?

CAS: No. That time I was not in the Committee. I came 10 years after that, in 1989. However, I checked all details about how the passenger saw the object. For example, one of them even had a camera. The pilot was informed and asked the passenger to take pictures. Meanwhile, all passengers were looking at the object and the captain was trying to avoid panic. When they were near Montevideo asking for permission to land the object was not so close anymore. The aircraft descended slowly through the clouds and the object was seen again during the landing procedures, but it was very distant. When everyone left the plane, witnesses were interviewed and the photo negatives were collected by the authorities.

AJ: What happened to those pictures? Were they analyzed?

CAS: They were analyzed and we have an interesting report. The findings are a little subjective. Specialists say the image in the picture was the result of a powerful light source. The pilots were also surprised to see an object at such a high altitude. That made them reject the possibility of common luminous phenomena such as plasma, emissions from power lines or even meteorological plasma. It is very difficult to reach that altitude and respond to the aircraft lights as the object did. The UFO was not simply hovering. It was following the aircraft at a certain speed. This is one of the unconventional cases we found disclosed at the Committee

AJ: How about cases involving ordinary people who called you to report a sighting? Which was most surprising?

CAS: There are many cases we could talk about. Some are old others are more recent, but all of them are very interesting. For example, once a family was in a resort in the state of Tacuarembó. They were all watching TV before going to bed when they noticed some interference in their TV. Initially they thought it could be the wind turning the antenna outside. So one of them went out and looked above. He saw the antenna was ok, but there was a luminous object over the house.

All hiding inside home

AJ: What happened next? Was it the UFO causing the interference in their TV?

CAS: Apparently, yes. When all went outside they witnessed the object moving towards a field where it displayed different maneuvers. It was a red object which moved very fast at a low altitude. Then the family got scared and runned back inside home, but the father and sons remained at the window watching the show. The UFO drew near the house, coming and going, until it went over the building. There was a loud noise and the antenna fell to the ground. Obviously, the object crashed against the antenna causing it to fall.

AJ: Maybe those were unskilled pilots...

CAS: Yes. Unskilled (laughing). Besides the noise from the antenna there was only a light and a coming and going buzz outside the house. The father then took a gun in order to defend his family, but the lights in the house didn’t take long to shut down. The house was powered by a nearby mill. They all remained entrenched inside the house watching the dancing light through the window. They saw it again over the field a bit far away. It continued to move from one side to another until it disappears. No one could sleep that night.

AJ: Was there any relevant physical evidence or marks the object might have left over the field?

CAS: The next day when the family went out with the farm workers to check the place they found burned spots on the ground and other strange things. The most surprising fact was a burned stone. There was a large circular mark on the grass which also reached a stone. Well, we need a significant level of heat in order to burn a stone. That should be a source capable of generating five or six thousand degrees. However, this would burn the grass completely, which was only slightly burned. How do we explain that?

AJ: Was there any explanation from experts?

CAS: Some civilian ufology groups also looked into this case and provided us with some information. It was a very interesting research and the case remains opened because we could never scientifically determine what caused those effects. The burning marks remained there for many years as observed by many members of our group. It happened almost 30 years ago, but it was very significant in a moment when the Committee had just started its works.

AJ: This is one of those classic cases in world’s Ufology. They can happen in Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, France, USA, and so on. They are undeniable. What is Cridovni’s position towards these cases? What had the witness seen? Was it a ship from outer space?

CAS: This is what frustrates us, because we don’t know what they are. At the same time, we could not guarantee they have a terrestrial origin or that they are physical phenomena. In fact, for the cases I’ve just mentioned we could not find a conventional or scientific explanation. We could argue that they were some kind of gas in a round accumulation and that they could go up into the sky and even follow an aircraft. However, these are not reasonable explanations or something accepted by Physics.

AJ: So we could say these are material vehicles built with technology unavailable on Earth? In other words, could we say they are alien ships?

CAS: Well, what happened to that family in Tacuarembó happened again in different places? This is a typical sighting and there are many other cases involving solid artifacts such as classical flying saucers. In our files we have all kinds of cases you see in the “X-Files” series. It is true! We have no answer to them. We don’t know if we are dealing with known physical phenomena or something else. There are curious theories to explain them such as the one presented by Project Hessdalen, from Norway, saying those are micro-black-holes formed at low altitudes in the atmosphere (See DVD Portal, code DVD-032, UFO video collection).

AJ: What if they are real extraterrestrial vehicles?

CAS: The Air Force does not discard any possibility. At the same time we don’t have any evidence to support anything.

AJ: Isn’t there a fear to label cases with an ultimate explanation?

CAS: Of course. We have no elements to help in determining the nature of these vehicles. We must say that these are very strange cases and we keep the door open to different hypothesis. There are some very common standards in everything we research. This is why we created the Regional Center for the Investigation of Aerospace and Terrestrial Phenomena (Crifat). This is a civilian institution also formed by people outside the Air Force. We found a pattern in these cases which are the same in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, etc. Yet we don’t know what they mean. Therefore, it’s good to keep in touch with investigation groups from different countries so that we can exchange information and maybe reach some conclusions we could not reach alone.

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