By Scott Corrales
UFO Digest Latin America Correspondent
Source: Gaceta OVNI & Planeta UFO
Date: March 14 2011
“And the Night Became Day”: Policemen and UFOs in Cordoba
By Carlos Fernández
July 21, 2002 could have been any other day in the locality of Rio Cuarto, Argentina. Reports of poaching or less significant matters might have occupied the time of the policemen stationed in the villages of Achiras, Chaján and Las Albahacas. But the reported sighting of a strange light by one of the squad cars, and the radio communications with its sister units, turned into a multiple sighting that involved several police officers and civilians.
In the company of Paco Martinez, Patricio Parente and Javier Ferraroto, we decided to travel to the area to gather first-hand accounts from the main witnesses to the phenomenon. Our first destination was Achiras, located 70 kilometers west of Rio Cuarto, where we obtained the main narratives.
Officer Barrio is assigned to Achiras. That night he was driving along the road that links this locality to Rio Cuarto. Accompanying him was Franco Biasi, chief of the Achiras Fire Department. As they crossed the wilderness known as Cuatro Vientos, they noticed something that broke the landscape’s monotony. “It was a light far bigger than a star, and a lot closer. I saw the light moving at high speed and then remaining still,” Barrios described the first movements of the sighting. “Then it “ran” again and moved upward, returning to its point of departure. Then it reversed itself. It did this three times,” said the policeman.
Official communications began at that point: “I requested information from Rio Cuarto, asking whether there was a helicopter or airplane in the area, because it really caught my attention.” Dispatchers advised him from the base that what they were seeing did not correspond to any identified traffic, and that the radars at Cordoba were not picking any abnormal activity. Over the radio, Barrio kept describing what he and Biasi were seeing until they reached the Las Albahacas crossroads, where the sightings observation became more intense. “It was an immense light. It might have measured some 150 meters,” he says. The fireman’s own report coincides with Barrios.
Driven by curiosity, the protagonists pulled over on a dirt road. The light, originally white, now acquired a yellowish tone. “It lit up everything to look like broad daylight,” Biasi explained.
Mauro Fernández was driving through the location at that very instant at the wheel of the Expreso Achiras Pullman bus, providing service between Achiras and the city of Rio Cuarto. The busman’s account dovetails in that everything appeared to be illuminated, even though it was the middle of the night.
Standing outside their vehicle, Barrio and Biasi looked at the light for a few minutes when a “platform flew over our heads.” According to their account, it was a large semi-circular light flying at low altitude. Following this observation, both witnesses saw the object fly away, and other witnesses – policemen stationed in nearby communities – also witnessed other UFO activity.
Alerted by the observations described by Barrio over the police radio, Sergeant Guillermo Arias had gone out to investigate another sighting taking place in Chaján, 50 kilometers from Achiras.
Arias stopped at a place called “zona de piedra” (the stone area) from which the entire region of Chaján, Suco, Sampacho and Achiras can be seen. After 22:00 hours, he had only seen “a reflection”, but almost immediately, “a terribly large sort of vessel began to rise at a distance of some 15 to 20 meters, blue light streaming downward, and it began to move before hovering over the road some fifteen or 20 meters away and some thirty to thirty-five meters high. The vessel’s “shape” as described by Arias was that of “a triangle resting on its side with a rounded tip and hundreds of portholes and lights ranging from violet to yellow, but very dim.” Through these portholes, the officer was able to see figures that resembled “shadows moving like treetops in the wind.”
Sergeant Arias got out of his vehicle because the car stopped functioning and, with a hand on his sidearm, calculated by steps that the object measured some 200 meters in length. Streams of “frozen light” (sic) emerged from the UFO “and everything turned to day.” The object then flew westward at high speed.
Arias reported his situation over the squad car’s radio, describing his situation. The sergeant’s memory experiences a brief time lapse. He was found an hour and a half later, weapon in hand, cocked and ready to fire. Sergeant Arias subsequently underwent a psychiatric examination at the request of his superiors. Alejandra Terrestre, the psychologist in charge of the test, highlighted the integrity, professionalism and mental health of the police officer, detecting a slight “post-traumatic stress syndrome” that bore witness to the ordeal that Arias had been through.
Officer Luis Ortiz also saw the lights in the night sky on July 21, 2002 from Las Albahacas. The lights became especially noticeable in Achiras due to a power blackout. Moreover, research suggests that more than one strange phenomenon took place that night in the skies of southern Cordoba Province.
(Translation (c) 2011, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Gaceta OVNI and Guillermo Gimenez)