By Daniel Iglesias
40 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.