An expedition with the purpose of recovering the large unidentified flying object (UFO) that allegedly fell in the rainforested area of Anta in Sierras Coloradas on August 17, 1995, and which caused interest among the domestic and foreign press at the time, is being prepared by a team of Argentinean and Brazilian researchers.
The organizers of this excursion are civil aviation pilot from[the town of] Joaquin V. Gonzalez, Tony Galvano; journalist, cameraman and mountain climber Antonio Zuleta and Brazilian mathematician and physicist Eduard Gauche, full professor at the Universidad do Desenvolvimento do Estado de Santa Catarina.
Galvano was one of the story's main protagonists, as when the event took place, he immediately boarded one of his crop dusters and began an unsuccessful search for the object. Over the course of 15 days he experienced a succession of events as fantastic as they were frightening, worthy of a sci-fi thriller, including the collision of his own aircraft against a mountainside following a failure that he is unable to explain to this very day.
In the meantime, Zuleta has become famous as attested by hundreds of internet pages that reproduce his findings and photographs as a result of having recorded impressive images of luminous objects of varying shapes, sizes and colors flying over the Valles Chalchaquíes region.
Gauche, the Brazilian, thanks to Zuleta's videos and photo plates, has become a fan of the area due to the recurrence of sightings and says "there is evidently something there that attracts whoever or whatever is behind these UFOs. I tend to believe," he speculated, " that this is due to the large number of radioactive mineral deposits and rare earths in the Puna region."
The resident of Santa Catarina has come every year for the past five years with the avowed purpose of finding answers to the UFO enigma. The expedition members are planning to initiate their search in the dry season between the fall and winter of this year accompanied by a group of mountaineers trained in survival, trekking and rappelling, due to the fact that the Sierras Coloradas, some 60 kilometers southwest of J.V. Gonzalez are steep, covered by a nearly impenetrable foliage, with dangerous wild boar packs. The terrain is exceedingly rough, plagued by chasms and crevasses.
According to Galvano, the UFO crash occurred on August 17, 1995 at 13:45 hrs. on a sunny, cloudless day with excellent visibility. And his story is extraordinary: "It was," he says "a sort of flying saucer measuring approximately 250 meters in diameter of a bright metallic color. It flew swiftly from North to south and was followed by two other objects probably missiles that impacted against it. There are thousands of witnesses who saw this and there are even photographs of the case.
"The object did not disintegrate; rather it began fail and plummeted to the ground. Moments later a powerful explosion was heard, followed by an intense seismic movement that was felt in a 300 km radius. Residents of Gonzalez took to the streets, along with townspeople from El Galpon, Coronel Olleros, El Quebrachal, Gaona and other communities. Scenes of panic took place.
"After a while, a column of dense black smoke rose into the sky. It was impressive. I had never seen anything like it. It gave the impression of being solid because it did not let a single ray of light through it. I ran toward the airstrip, got on my ultralight FlyStar airplane, took off and went to investigate. Below I could see people in the streets and fields transfixed by what had occurred. I flew and flew, but couldn't find the point of impact. Visibility was poor due to the smoke, which had extended for many kilometers, and I had to turn back," he says.
Galvano becomes excited when he recalls his experience. "That same afternoon, radio broadcasts did not stop repeating citizen reports on the events. Everyone gave their own account while demanding explanations at the same time. I met with Irma Caro, who was the intendant at the time, and she authorized me to organize a search patrol with the purpose of solving the mystery of the UFO allegedly struck by two missiles. We covered large expanses of terrain to no avail.
"Two days later I boarded my plane again and started looking. Suddenly, on an esplanade on top of a sort of plateau, I saw something strange: there was an impact print measuring some 5 kilometers long by 600 meters wide, where the effect of the friction heat produced by a giant, heavy object could still be seen. I swooped down low and was impressed. The trees in that area, largely red quebrachos and algarrobos, had been thrown out of the recently made furrow, whose bed presented a shiny white powder, as though it was aluminum turned into talc. The remainder of the tree trunks at the perimeter of the furrow and nearby trees had strange injuries: it seemed as though they had been sprayed with acid. Suddenly, my aircraft began to malfunction. The motor appeared to be about to stall, I lost altitude and I readied my beloved Flystar for impact. I was battered but otherwise unhurt. Once on the ground, I held the strange dust in my hands; I'd never seen anything like it.
"It was subsequently analyzed at the University of La Plata because I sent them samples, and they gave me an unexpected result: it was a potassium compound with a 98% purity, not found on this planet. The remaining 2% was unknown material. The imprint on the ground ended in a cliff and below there were crevasses and ravines covered in dense jungle vegetation, but nothing more could be seen. We continued investigating the matter for days, without any luck," he added.
The Men in Black Appear
Galvano, the witnessed to an event that he will never forget, stated that 15 days after the events "even stranger things began to occur: armed characters dressed in black, traveling in 4x4s and all terrain motorcycles turned up. They took over the search and the investigation. They wouldn't speak to any of us, but one day one of them asked me to drop the entire matter. He was Argentinean and his words were inscribed in my mind with letters of fire: "Forget it, Galvano, what's coming down is very heavy," he warned.
After that, I started to receive nocturnal phone calls with silence at the other end of the line. The pressure was such that I accepted the advice of the mysterious compatriot who made up the "men in black" team and I moved from Joaquin V. Gonzalez for a few years. All I know today is that those people found nothing. Up to two years ago it was still possible to see them around, although at a minimal scale."
The pilot from Gonzalez, despite the passing of time, does not want to give up on his adventure and believes that together with his friends, he will succeed in unveiling the mystery of this strange day that changed his life.
(Translation (c) 2006. Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo Gimenez, Planeta UFO and Jose Antonio Abarzua)