- SIGHTINGS IN ARICA: "DINOSAUR-LIKE"
By Mauricio Silva
El Mercurio (Santiago de Chile)
August 5, 2004
- Amazement spreads over accounts from drivers claiming
to have encountered strange beings like Jurassic Park animals.
- ARICA -- The alleged dinosaurs allegedly seen in the
desert by some drivers and their passengers, whose stories have caused
certain expectation in the city, would have been no more than simple and
- Claims of strange, enormous creatures galloping accross
the Pampa come from drivers who were making their way at night on the road
linking Arica with Iquique.
- The local press has broadcast these stories profusely,
causing both wonderment and some incredulous smiles.
- Ricardo Arancibia, a breeder of these African flightless
birds, located in the vicinity of the alleged sightings, has 12 specimens
on Lot 53 of Acha, very near the road and area where the apparitions occurred.
- It is believed that some 200 ostriches exist in the Pampa
today, distributed in scattered pens in northern communities such as Acha,
Chaca and Lluta.
- Concerned by these accounts, Arancibia contacted the
media to offer background information that could bring an end to the mystery
and turn what threatened to become a new modern myth, like the so-called
Chupacabras or UFOs, into a harmless episode.
- He acknowledged that the birds can escape from their
pens and give the wrong impression, especially if seen at night.
- A total of 11 people claim having seen alleged dinosaurs
in two separate incidents--last Thursday and two weeks ago--both at night.
- The descriptions agree that the apparitions were dog-headed
birds, standing nearly 2 meters tall with long legs, developed thighs and
small, inverted upper extremities. It is said that they moved swiftly with
- Municipal Veterinarian Alfrodin Turra ratified that said
characteristics coincide with those of ostriches. But Dario Riquelme,44,
a fiberglass contractor who has been driving the same road for 10 years
and made the first sighting, rejects this explanation. "I know what
ostriches look like and there's no deal. [It] crouched in front of my pickup
truck, I saw it clearly. They were just like the ones from Jurassic Park."
- Translation (c) 2004. Scott Corrales, IHU.
- Special thanks to Liliana NÒez.