We transcribe below the recording made by Prof. Pedro Araneda only hours after the events that took place in Pampa de Lluscuma, Chile (1977).
It should be noted that this professor worked in the vicinity of Putre and was a corresponded for the “La Estrella de Arica” newspaper at that time. The recording is hard to understand at certain moments, because all of the recruits speak at once and in a disordered manner — an understandable situation, since the recording was made during an altered emotional state, many times repeating facts, confusing words and details.
Professor Aranda, a witness to all this, commanded respect and full social credibility. As can be seen from the recording, there is a military man or bureaucrat present: the bureaucrat surnamed Flores? Supposedly, members of the army were in Putre at that time by chance. The presence of a soldier with the last name of Roca is also noted, who also recorded at that time. The full recording has duration of 180 minutes.
“The light was pestering us all night. No one knew what it was all about.” This is the expressive remark with which the recording kicks off. The voices sound anxious; words are stumbled over and are uttered quickly.
Professor Araneda: Around what time did you see that light?
Soldier: At around ten minutes to four (on 25 April)
Araneda: You, Rosales, were pulling guard duty and were the first one to see it. What did you see? (Question is addressed to recruit Pedro Rosales)
Rosales: First I saw a light coming down, then another, then two. One of them landed on that side of the mountain and another to the other side. One of them was around where you can see that yellow spot, more or less where the trees are…up there…there.”
(Voices of the patrol members become mixed and confused, explaining the sighting)
Araneda: In other words, it was over by the pirca (stone wall) and the canyon, and mountains are over on the northeastern part of the Pampa (confirmation is discussed)
Corporal Valdés: When we saw that, we grouped together and assumed a combat stance, shoulder to shoulder, and said: “Don’t anybody move…if something happens, it’ll happen to all of us.”
Araneda: Then you saw the light vanish?
Soldier: I was on guard, watching it, and it didn’t go away…it only went away when the sun vanished from sight.
Araneda: You calculated…the light’s magnitude?
Soldier: It was as round as a ball, somewhat oval, increasing and decreasing, it seemed to approach us…it seemed to be messing with us (1)
Araneda: How many men were in your squad?
Corporal Valdes: Seven men. We all saw the same thing together. That’s when I got lost, according to them. They called me, they looked for me, and then I vanished and fainted. They say I had spasms. I don’t know…I don’t recall a thing.
Araneda: Were the lights more or less parallel, one higher than the other?
Corporal Valdes: No, the first light intensified when Rosales summoned me, and it later descended slowly over the hill. The other landed in front of us like this….as if calling to us, trying to intimidate us, like so…
Araneda: The perimeter lit up the cultivations, the grass, and the mountains?
Corporal Valdes: The hill was lit up, and we could see its outlines and the cultivations. Despite the fact that the night was darker because there was no moonlight, it was even hard to us to walk in the dark. And when a light came down, the first one descended behind the mountain with a tremendous brightness, while the others are here before them. There was a flash, a very large glow, like a fire.
(The corporal’s words are corroborated at every step by the remainder of the recruits that made up the patrol)
Araneda: I will now ask you to identify yourselves by rank and name.
Second Corporal: Armando Valdes Garrido
Recruit: Julio Enriquez Rosas Suarez
Recruit: German Riquelme Valle
Recruit: Juan Rojas Rivera
Recruit: Pedro Rosales Arancibia
Recruit: Humberto Rojas Bell
Recruit: Raul Salinas
The recording ends here and the continues at the moment that the eight (8) protagonists of this phenomenon discuss the reappearance of Corporal Valdes under strange circumstances.
Several Voices: Then the corporal reappeared, he was laughing and saying: “you’ll never know who we are or where we come from, and we’re coming back again…”
Araneda: And was the corporal speaking in his normal voice?
Voices: Of course…the voice he always had…but a bit more hurried…altered…and when he passed out and came back gain, he looked at us as if he didn’t know us and rocked his head back and forth, saying “the light, the light”…
Another Soldier: Later on, he fainted and woke up again and spoke. We tried to cover him and he’d say: “Let go of me, let go!” and he’d struggle.
Another Soldier: And what he stared at the most was the light…he looked at it with his eyes wide open…
Araneda: How long was the corporal lost?
Mixed Voices: The corporal was gone for some fifteen minutes…we approached the end of the rock wall and call his name…four of us went out to look for him and then the other three went.
Another Voice: We walked along somewhat…we shouted…called him by name…and the light was there…
Another Soldier: And we didn’t hear his footsteps when he came…like when a person approaches, you can hear them in the still of the night. (3)
Araneda: How long was he in that trance?
Soldiers: He was like that for some ten minutes, reacting…sometimes he would recognize some of us and then faint…he would wake up and not know who we were…then he quickly slipped into a peaceful state. (4)
Araneda: And you, Valdes, don’t recall why you wanted to step away from your men a few meters to take a closer look?
Valdes: All I can say is that something called my attention. Something was attracting me. It was like an internal communication with the light. I could even feel it, when we all got together and assumed a defensive posture. I’m unsure whether it was a truly wonderful or awful sensation. It was extraordinary and I’m telling you that we are seven minds…eight minds. (5)
It’s one thing for a single person to suffer a hallucination…an apparition…but to have seven people say the same thing? The problem is that I don’t remember what happened. I only know what they’ve told me. What I do recall is that when we saw the light at first, we wanted to move to find shelter, but something made us stay back…as if something was holding us back to see the light….I remember that I didn’t separate more than three or four meters from you guys…from that moment on I have no recollection. They say I vanished as if by magic. The most surprising thing is that I appeared as if by magic. (6)
Araneda: Do you recall what you did in that time period?
Corporal Valdes: No. The only thing I remember is…what appears in my mind is like when I feel sleepy, and I disappear down a deep well…like that…something round, like an abyss or so…from that point onward my brain is empty…my mind can’t fathom what happened…I can say it was something like a warning…as if saying that this isn’t the first time we’ll see each other…or that I shouldn’t get involved in things that don’t concern me. I don’t know…I wasn’t spoken to in words…if those beings truly exist. There were even sheep walking near us, and rather than running away, which is what they do when they feel something strange, they remained still. They grouped in perfect silence. This disconcerted us even more. Our mascot dog, “Huamachuco”, as they call him, also remained quiet near the stone wall near the campfire (7). There were was no sound to be heard. It was deafeningly quiet. And I invoked God and told the light…go away…I command you in God’s name. We were ready for anything at that moment. We would die together, but no one was going to separate us. We even took an oath to remain together.
Several Voices: Before the corporal got lost, he told us to snuff out the fire with a blanket.
Corporal Valdes: Yes, it was as if the fire drew their attention, much like a child is drawn to a fire…as if “they” felt the fire drawing their attention.
Soldier: Next the corporal ordered us to remove the blankets, and I saw him go off to the end of the stone wall. I thought he was going to relieve himself, but five minutes went by more or less and he didn’t return. We went looking for him and he was gone. I remember that when he reappeared he shouted: “Guys!” — it was like a cry for help.
Corporal Valdes: Of course…you insisted that I was calling you “from beyond the grave”…as if trying to escape from something.
Recruit: And when the corporal spoke to us upon returning, he said: “Guys...” and his voice was odd. That’s when he fainted and I reached to pick him up. He regained consciousness and grabbed on to us. It was as if that fake star wanted to take him away. He stared at the light.
Another Recruit: At that time all we did was stare at the light. It was like a magnet…a magnetism that attracted our eyes…the light suddenly grew and forced us to back off.
Several Recruits: And when he passed out we settled him on the ground, and the corporal would laugh loudly and then settle down…he also called out to his family, crying for help, saying they were taking him away…
Araneda: You remember returning to them?
Corporal Valdes: No. I remember nothing more than waking up…around 4:30 a.m.
Recruit: When he was in the trance, we would hold him like so and he’d say: “Leave me…let me go…don’t hurt me.“
Another Conscript: And when he asked us not to hurt him, he covered his ears, as if not to hear anything at all.
(Two more guard recruits join the recording — Pedro Rosales and Juan Reyes)
We had been seeing something odd for some time. It was like stars flying across the sky. Just like a spaceship, like they call them, leaving a trail of light from here to there.
Araneda: And this was early…at around what time?
Both Conscripts: Around 10:30 pm and it repeated all night until those two descended…
Conscript: When both lights descended, we tried to find an explanation to it. I told the corporal, maybe it’s a star on the horizon that’s reflected on the ground…but it was impossible, because the light intensified and lit up the sector…
Corporal Valdes: Now then…one thing that I’m clear about…when the light appeared in front of us and were shoulder-to-shoulder in a battle stance…I was clear that “we were us”…but something happened. I had only just stepped away and it grabbed hold of me…like they say…when our minds were all thinking about the same thing and united, nothing happened, as if that force couldn’t affect me at all.
Araneda: Along with the void in your mind, there was a stretch during which the watch stopped. Isn’t that so?
Corporal Valdes: It stopped at exactly 4:30 a.m. on 25 April 1977.
Araneda: What I find odd is that the wristwatch shows a date of [30 April] right now and no one has tampered with it or changed the time…
Remarks and Considerations on the Recording Presented
It should be mentioned that the transcription was made by journalists Luis Aturana Carter and Luis Daroch, special correspondents of “La Estrella de Arica” at the scene of the events. We can collect some details that are remarked by these experts, and which drew their attention at that time, setting them down on this transcription that we have endeavored to give you in its entirety and verbatim.
Among the redeemable facts of this document — “the only one in existence when the events were still warm and with all of the recruits present” — Pedro Araneda left his own impression on a highly peculiar event to which he was a witnessed. He saw that Corporal Valdes’s beard was rather grown, confirmed by Raul Salinas in our own investigation, and who provided all of the elements needed for his superior to shave on the night of the events.
Pedro Araneda said the following on the recording: “There is something very strange here. The corporal has a dense growth of beard and naturally, he was clean-shaven…it’s very strange…to have such a dense growth of beard in such a short period of time.
(2) Some sources at the time mentioned “eight soldiers” showing the emergence of confusion from the very start of the case. The names of Ivan Robles Riera and one Juan Reyes are mentioned in other newspapers of the time. The nearest source of this we believe to have been provided by Cpl. Valdes himself, when he was asked who the members of his patrol were within hours of the event, and his military rank. His recorded response, edited in this work, is the closest in time to the events and the closest to the truth, which is logical. Where did the other names come from? Even in the recording itself, the journalists say “two recruits join the conversation”, issuing opinions. One of them is Pedro Rosales Arancibia, the other is the mysterious Juan Reyes, who at no time mentions Corporal Valdes in his recorded description. Who is in error? Could he have been mistaken for Juan Rojas?
(3) A very different version from the one provided by recruit Raul Salinas, who says that Corporal Valdes appeared stumbling out of nowhere, from the other side of the stone wall, or bodily from above.
(4) At no time is it stated that someone struck Corporal Valdes to calm him down. Other versions include this detail. Omission, confusion, where does the truth lie?
(5) Again, the confusion of seven or eight people, now stated by Corporal Valdes himself.
(6) In this remark, Valdes does not clearly state if he fell from above the stone wall, from the other side of the wall, or was walking along…
(7) Not everyone recalls the dog “Huamachuco”. Raul Salinas does not remember him at all in subsequent conversations.
(8) Copta: A military cape or poncho with a head cover, used particularly for outdoor campaigns and suited to the cold in the area.
La Tercera de la Hora
La Estrella de Arica
Source: NOUFA (Noticiero Autonomo Ufologico – Chile)
Archivos NOUFA Chile
[Translation (c) 2012, Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to NOUFA, Noticiero Autonomo Ufologico]
Visit Scott’s website: the journal of the Institute of Hispanic Ufology