Los Angeles Times
November 29, 1978
|BUENOS AIRES-Carlos Acevedo and Angel Moya told it this way:
It was 4:30 a.m., Sept. 23, and they were on the flat pampas south of Buenos Aires, stragglers on the final leg of a long stock-car race.
Suddenly they noticed a yellow and violet light shining in their rear-view
mirror. It approached too fast to be a competitor.
Then a strange force shut off the engine and headlights of their Citroen CG, lifted it 15 feet off the road, then set it down a minute later and 75 miles to the north. The force also drained the car's gasoline tank. That's the way Carlos Acevedo and Angel Moya told it.
Businessman Alejandro Hernandez recalled it like this: Driving in southern Chile on Sept. 24, he spotted a huge saucer overhead. The saucer hovered over his car and swallowed it. Inside, he said, five bulky figures stuffed his 13-year-old son into a box while a sixth interviewed Hernandez in a metallic voice. Witnesses reported watching the car, with frightened
|father and son inside, descend to the road afterward.
A month earlier, bank manager Serrano Silva reported that a flying object buzzed his car on the highway between Tunja and Bogota, Colombia, The car's engine and headlights died, and the banker said he and his passenger, a navy officer, suffered temporary paralysis.
In a region fascinated by strange occurrences, these stories made front-page headlines and the cover of a serious news magazine.
According to an Associated Press survey, such yarns about unidentified flying objects get frequent and wide-spread public attention in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia.
In Grenada, UFOs are a personal concern of Prime Minister Eric Gairy, who had them put on the Caribbean island's postage stamps.
Reports of UFO sightings even draw crowds. For instance, travelers gathered at Chilca on the Pan American Highway in Peru to gaze at the sky where a squadron of 30 to 40 flying saucers was recently reported.
Hundreds invited by radio to meet an outer-space visitor drove to Chile's Tenglo Island one night in September, only to learn the whole thing was a hoax.
Here in Argentina—which leads the world in UFO sightings, according to a U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration tally—extraterrestrial visitors are part of the national folklore, thanks to dozens of such well-publicized tales as these:
—Six fishermen in San Luis province last Feb. 4 saw a saucer light up the predawn sky. A towering figure Please Turn to Page 8, Col. 1 [PEHI note: unavailable]