By Scott Corrales
Inexplicata-The Journal of Hispanic Ufology
UFO Digest Latin America Correspondent
A Report by PROYECTO CATENT ([email protected])
Location: San Antonio de Areco, Province of Buenos Aires
Date: Winter 1975
Witnesses: Daniel Pignalberi and Eduardo Ramos
Ages: 20 and 16, respectively
These were the tough days of our friend Hector Antonio Picco’s illness in the winter of 2002, from which he is fully recovered today, pursuing what he enjoys the most, his work and trying to earn enough to earn his sustenance. This great researcher organized a series of conferences in his own home. In attendance at one such event was a gentleman, accompanied by his son and some friends. Daniel had learned of this event through Mr. Horacio Fadel, and he told us that the had witnessed a not-so-unusual event (as we have come to see) that involved the presence of strange humanoid entities. We exchanged e-mail addresses and agreed to meet.
During the first conference, he spoke of the existence of another witness to the same event – his cousin Eduardo Ramos, who we met days later. The result of these meetings is the report transcribed herein.
Transcript of the Interview with Daniel Pignalberi
Interview by researchers Mariela Verónica de Tomaso and Miguel Angel Gómez Pombo, members of Proyecto CATENT, on Wednesday, 24 July 2002.
The conversation started with a discussion about how most people treat these subjects with little seriousness, and Daniel tells us he’s afraid he won’t be believed. He had a series of UFO experiences in Mar del Plata at age 15 along with his family. He tells us he’s currently 48.
“The real impact it had in my life, and truly intrigued me and caused me to read up on the subject happened when I was 22 – of this I’m sure, because I got married at 23. At the time, when one was that age, we went backpacking a lot. We were a half of a group, because we would board a bus with our backpacks and get down on a given highway, heading to the same place. We’d go other places, but in general to the same one: Kilometer 110 on Route 9, where a tributary of the Parana River flows, known as the Areco river. It’s a stream that can be crossed at a stone’s throw.
“We’d get off on the road and walk diagonally until we’d reach a certain point. It was a long walk, but we were young and could do it.”
How long did you walk?
About an hour and change, to reach the interior (it is somewhat longer than that – Interviewer). Not sure if an hour and twenty or thirty minutes. Consider that we were carrying weight, and the encumbrance slows you down. We had to cross barbed wire fences. The problem is that 15 meters on each side of the river is municipal land, and the landowners cannot challenge you. We’d camp there, within the 15-meter stretch. We went dozens of times and continued to go there after these events. One night, we’d gone with my cousin Eduardo Antonio Ramos, who is 4 years my junior. He must’ve been 18 at the time. Let me tell you that this is a flat plain. If you see it, these are flat fields, no hills, no mounds, and few trees except for our campsite, which had five or six trees. We would throw a tarp between them for shade. That night we put up the tarp. I’m a big fan, so we set up the kindling for the campfire and stepped away to go fishing or something. The time was 22:00 hours. Can’t tell you the date.
Was it Summer?
No, of that I’m sure. Because there were a lot of bugs in the summer – horseflies and mosquitoes! We’d always go in the fall or in the spring. Well, at any rate, we went fishing. It was a dark night. No lights whatsoever. We had two flashlights, one each, of the tracking type with five or six batteries. We used them only as necessary. We stepped away, we had a little camp lantern with us, but not sure if we took it along. The thing is that we’d gone fishing and felt hungry at around 22:00 hours. We started walking, left the campfire going by the tarp. Some campfire! Because we’d always leave a hole through which we’d insert the kindling and it gave of a tremendous amount of light. In an open field, with that amount of light, we were able to walk back without turning on our flashlights. We were going by the firelight, and as we approached the tarp – some 80, 70 or 60 meters away or so – I saw two persons. Two guys, two men. One was standing beside the fire and the other was to the left, crouching. I thought he was stirring the fire. I could see the fire moving. The first thing that came to my mind was…we stopped cold and I told him: “We’re being robbed”. We nearly said at the same time. Two guys in the middle of the night, and in the dark.
At that point we started sauntering with our flashlights off, leaving our tackle on the ground, and we sauntered over to get there faster. At a distance of a few meters, my cousin lit his flashlight all of a sudden. And when he lit them up, I slapped my own flashlight – don’t ask me why, I guess I wanted to shock them. But when I lowered my flashlight, the [figures] vanished. I’m telling you it was like something that was there, and then was gone. Like something disappearing. Of course, at that moment, when those people vanished, well…we can say vanished, but at the time you don’t interpret it as a disappearance. You’re not prepared for such a thing. At the moment you’re grasping for an explanation to what’s going on, and it’s not that we discussed the disappearance, either: “Where the hell did they go?! How could we have lost them?!” So we turned on the flashlights and scanned the treetops, scanned the river to see if they’d gone into a boat, if they were hiding behind the tarp…we lit up the empty fields with those flashlights. The guys had vanished before our very eyes!!
Of course, at this point we faced the fact that these guys had disappeared. “Did you see what I saw?” I asked my cousin. I’d seen it. Nowadays I tease him, because whenever we meet a few times a year, I bring up the subject and I’ll say, “I know what I saw, but what about you?”
I was left with the doubt of whether I’d hallucinated it all and my cousin was fooling me, because you can speak for yourself, but not for the other person. The fact of the matter is that we were so scared, out in the middle of nowhere, that we climbed a tree and spent the night up there. It’s not because there were two people out there. The fact is that there was something that I haven’t told you about. These two guys – and I realized this as we got closer – were strange. Strange guys, because they were all dressed in white. Completely white, with white coveralls, like white jumpsuits, completely white. They wore broad belts, black or dark, visible in the night. I could tell that they had very straight hair, swept back, as if combed with brilliantine. Both were identical. At that time I was able to see them make a motion like this (a gesture to turn around, a half turn, as if noticing the presence of the witnesses). But I couldn’t see their faces due to the fact that my cousin had switched on his flashlight. Maybe if he hadn’t, I’d have been able to see them. I don’t know what would’ve happened after that. There are people, scholars of the subject, who have told me, no, that “…things happened after that, it’s just that you can’t remember them.” What do I know? I can only tell you what I recall. We were so shocked that we stayed up in the tree, and even peed from the treetops, since we weren’t willing to come down.
In the morning, we left at first light, leaving behind our very expensive camping gear, by the standards of the times. We left a lot of things behind, since we were so desperate to get away. The problem is that one isn’t ready for this – maybe you are, since you’ve heard so many things (referring to the interviewers) and they’ve told you some many things, so your head’s ready for it. But imagine that you’d never been interested in the subject, or imagine the 1970s, when the movie ET hadn’t been released yet and Hollywood’s special effects weren’t as good as the ones nowadays, and you’re suddenly faced with this situation. It’s tough. It’s really hard to face a situation like the one we faced in the middle of nowhere.
Didn’t you feel motivated to take everything apart at night before leaving the site?
In the dark? No way! Then again, those guys dressed in white…they were like torches in the night! You cast light on people like that and see them – it’s terrible. You know how you’re driving along at night and your headlights illuminate the roadside posts? Imagine two guys in white. They couldn’t have gotten away from us in fractions of a second. They vanished on us. So what was it?
Did you notice anything odd the rest of the evening?
No. But what we saw – and much I never discussed, and I’ll tell you why. I think that maybe you heard Eduardo at some point (turning to his wife, making reference to his cousin) say that we went back, to the same place on a night not too long after, but we saw three lights moving in the sky. But three lights moving very far away…and I could see them moving, but I couldn’t tell if it was an optical effect caused by looking at a distant little light. It looked like three lights moving, but you’re always wondering. Look, I told you those two things and I’m telling you: if you hook me up to a polygraph, I’d always question whether they were real or not. You know how it is. I can tell you what I saw, but I can’t speak for others.
Why do you mistrust what you saw?
No, in this case it was just two of us. It the first case there were many of us [translator’s note – interviewee is referring to an earlier case]. I have no doubt that it was a flying saucer but years later, I wondered, since detractors of the UFO phenomenon say that one could mistaken by gaseous effects in the sky.
And the second one?
No, not the second one. Let me make it clear that on that night we were not drunk, and this one (referring to his wife) can tell you that I’m into water. I was never much of a drinker or smoker, nor was I…you get me. We were two kids who were laughing at life, fishing, we weren’t talking about witches or scary stories, not that day, no. What’s more, that day we’d laughed a lot because we were out fishing.
Well, that’s what happened to me. It was very clear.
The first time you saw them, as you came up the river…how far away were they?
I’d say about less than a block away.
Who realized this?
No, it was both of us at the same time, because we swatted each other like this, at the same time. He was on my left. I remember this clearly, and we slapped each other as if warning ourselves. We’re being robbed, dude – two guys are robbing us.
So what did you see at first sight?
We dropped our fishing rods and began sauntering.
To get closer?
Our course. Not running – sauntering with our flashlights off. Since we know the ground, we were walking right beside the barbed wire fence. It’s a low municipal fence that can be crossed without climbing. We sauntered for less than a block. I’m not sure how much faster we got there by sauntering. I figure some 60 meters more or less. I could see them well.
How could you see them? The only light was that of the campfire.
Fire, dark night. Try it sometime. It’s like lighting a huge floodlight.
And what color could you see them? Were they the color of the fire?
No, what I recall is seeing them the color a person might have. Consider two things: the shock I felt at the moment, surely there are a thousand details I’ve forgotten, a thousand details that my brain didn’t capture or a thousand details I may have changed over time. I tried, but they can get mixed up.
They wore belts?
Yes. Broad black belt, dark footwear.
You could see their shoes?
Yes. Since they were crouching, I could see them. That I remember.
They were both crouching?
No. One was standing like this (makes the gesture of standing up) sideways looking at the fire. The other one was like this (crouches). I could see him moving and that the fire moved, like when you’re roasting something.
Hair was dark. It struck me. Imagine two people in the middle of the countryside. You expect to come across “Don Zoilo” (a typical gaucho name) with his gaucho pants. Not far from there is a ranch of people I knew, since they were my dad’s neighbors. What struck me was to see two people in the wilderness dressed like that.
None. There was no wind, no weird buzzing, nothing that told us what was about to happen.
Were you startled by anything else?
Nothing. Everything was normal. I didn’t see any lights in the sky. Didn’t taste anything odd. That’s how it was. It was striking to see something like what we’re looking at right now (lifts a flower vase from the table) and suddenly it’s gone. At that moment, when it vanishes, you don’t say: “oh, it’s vanished!” You take a while. There was a flower vase there…maybe it slid off the table…no, it vanished. Especially if it makes no noise. Now you see it, now you don’t. And it isn’t that there was a flash of lightning when it vanished, or it became transparent like with the transporter devices in Star Trek. No. It was there, now it’s gone. You don’t react at time. And what’s more, if it had happened to me today, and I’d give anything to have it happen again, I now think that my head’s better prepared for it. And nothing ever happened again, you get me?
And when they disappeared, what happened with the two of you? Did you talk?
No, no…at the time it was more like: “what do you mean they’re not here, where did they go, didn’t we see two guys, where are they. Look behind the tent, shine your light upward.” In the silence of the night, if a guy gets into a boat in the stream, he makes noise with the wood, and every so often we’d see people boating there, but it’s very shallow. In the middle of the river, the water comes up to your heels, or the water can cover you in some spots. I must have photos of the place (asks his son to find photos to show us).
So when you turned on the lights, what did you see?
When we turned on the lights is when I remember them doing this (gesture of turning their heads to where they were) and that’s when I slapped my flashlight. I don’t know why I did it. My intention was to surprise them, but in fact they weren’t doing anything, if they were people from the area. But I don’t know…
You thought they were thieves?
You know why? We had some very expensive gear with us. Fishing rods that were worth a fortune.
What were you fishing for?
Trash fish. Catfish…we were just having fun. The joy of spending the night out, having cookouts, feeling at one with nature for a few days.
How many days would you spend?
Normally the weekend. We’d leave on a Friday and return on Sunday night. On long weekends we’d spend four days.
Could we speak to your cousin?
Sure. I called him and asked him I could give him your phone number.
(Conversation is interrupted as photos of the site are shown)
So what do you think it was? Did you associate it with anything?
What did you ask me? What? (distracted, looking at the photos). See, I have a notion that the two things that happened to me weren’t of this world, and I’ll tell you why. The first thing I go by, and many people have said so and I’ve thought this, is that there are terrestrial UFOs. I’ve no doubt that there are terrestrial UFOs. But in particular, I say that this thing came out of the sea at the time when it happened, and the way that it flew…I think it wasn’t [a terrestrial UFO]. I thought maybe there are terrestrial UFOs, but they don’t have the technology to move like that in flight (continues discussing the UFO he saw in Mar del Plata. He returns to the second experience, the one that concerns us here). I also think it could be something that isn’t from here…(goes back to looking at the photos)…I was 22 years old in 1975…
After the fright you had, did you return to the site?
Yes, yes…to the very same site. But were we restless.
But you went anyway.
We’re more brothers than cousins. If you talk to him, and he starts discussing me, anything I do, to him I was the smartest guy in the world, the best looking, the best dressed, the one with the best girlfriends…when I play guitar, I’m Paco de Lucía. He plays very well, but he’s Cafrune. And he always says to me: “You know how much I love you Daniel, you know what you mean to me”. He adores me. I’m the cousin, the big brother. Furthermore, I always thought that despite me being older, I gave a lot of space in my life.
And you saw their clothing as white in the firelight?
Is that normal, or did it have to do with…?
Can’t tell you if it’s normal. I can tell you that I remember it as white. Light is light.
When you turned off the flashlight – what happened? Were they gone. When he turned on the flashlight, at what point did they vanish?
Less than a second. Nothing. Now they’re here, now they’re gone. Like that.
Footprints or marks?
I didn’t look. We didn’t look. We were trying to answer the question: where the hell did they go? Three was the tent, and the first thing I recall, I’m not sure which one of us did it, was to run around the tent. Where the hell else would they go? We looked in the trees, in the river. These guys vanished to our faces. That’s the answer. You’re ready to see a number of things. An airplane, for example, but imagine that you suddenly see me become transparent. At the time you’re not going to say: “I saw you become transparent.” You’ll try to find an explanation for it. Furthermore, today we see many movies with a lot of information, but I don’t think they were around at the time. What was the name of the series about the guy looking for aliens?
Not sure if it was around….
Yes, yes it was. You were saying, “how this changed you”. What changed?
It changes your entire head. Imagine that what changed me the most from that moment onward was…despite the fact that I have, or had religious training, I changed in that regard. I went to a religious school and they stuck a bunch of things in my head that the Church puts there. The Catechism. So from that moment on I changed. I started to see things a bit more from here, rather than from there. It’s like seeing the world standing here, not above, not the other side. You see it through different lenses.
You realize that you’re not alone, we’re not alone, there could be a ton of things, don’t know if we’re spiritual or will be…I started to think that maybe we’re persons or beings that are being manipulated or watched. Or when I believed that we – Adam and Eve, God came and separated the waters from the earth, dispelled the darkness – that was my notion. Years later I didn’t believe the Adam and Eve thing. I think it was a poem to say something lovely to ignorant peoples who couldn’t be told something like Darwin’s theories, get them to follow the religion of your choosing. Of course, there’s marketing in selling religion. So it changed me. That changed me. I also felt anguish at times.
Anguish at the fact that I cannot find answers to these things. You see? You can’t solve them, except for the other day when Picco was speaking (referring to the day that he witnessed one of the presentations given by researcher Hector Antonio Picco) and he said: “I was speaking to a being that vanished before my eyes.” I love that. I was also watching Infinito (TV channel specializing in mysterious subjects) and people spoke of similar things. So it calms me, but doesn’t define anything for me. It offers no solutions. Many told me that this will be explained, it’ll happen in the year 2000, E.T.’s will land and tell us: “Here we are, this is what we are.” So 2000, 2001 and 2002 went by, and here we are. Still nothing. Not even the world ended, as so many claimed.
So what were those beings doing there? Do you have any theories? Were they there because you were there? What was your impression?
I thought they were going to rob us. That was my first impression.
So when you saw them vanish, what did you think?
What I think if you ask me to play out my imagination, well…what I like to think is that those guys must’ve come down from somewhere, or sent from somewhere, and were looking into something about the site we were camped at, and were startled and removed from the scene very quickly. That’s my notion. I’d rather think they were E.T.’s instead of ghosts. It scares me less.
Yes, yes. I think that dealing with the concept of spirituality is harder than that of E.T.’s. Maybe because I saw that massive object (at age 15 in the city of Mar del Plata).
Did you become interested in these subjects from that moment on?
No. I read about it as just another thing. It was discussed when I was a boy, but I didn’t have an opinion about them. I don’t recall. The first time, when I was 15, from that moment on, I really got into what people were saying on TV about it. I listened to them and thought: those guys are telling the truth, regardless of whether it’s real or not, they experienced it and they’re being mocked…
Would you like to relive the experience out of curiosity?
To collect information and certify that the experience was real. What I thought and what I actually experienced. It would confirm my life. I discussed it with Eduardo (cousin and fellow witness) and I tell him: “Do you remember?” to which he recalls, “Of course it happened”. It’s important to me. It changed me greatly. We are not alone. I believe in God, but I’m not sure if there is a God, or just extraterrestrials.
(Translation (c) 2011, S. Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU). Special thanks to Carlos Iurchuk, El Dragón Invisible)
Please visit Scott’s website: http://inexplicata.blogspot.com/