[CNI News thanks Errol Bruce-Knapp for posting the following article, which was published in the Brazilian newspaper Correio Braziliense on Sunday, August 18, 1996; originally translated into English by Pedro Cunha and edited by Michael Lindemann.]
SANTIAGO -- Chilean ufology experts said yesterday [Aug 17] that sightings of UFOs, registered in the last few days in the skies of Chile and Argentina, could be in reality space rubbish re-entering the earth's atmosphere. Since last Wednesday night, more than a hundred people observed the appearance of formations of the supposed flying saucers in various regions of the two South American countries.
Sociologist Rodrigo Fuenzalida, president of "Associacao de Investigacoes Ovnilogicas do Chile (AION)," declared that his organization still did not have convincing evidence to justify that the observations were of space ships. "We think that it could be space rubbish entering the Earth atmosphere, but we also have doubts about that. What happened was seen for a very long time in several places of the region. That obliges us to continue to study this phenomenon," noted the specialist.
Fuenzalida maintained that the radars of the International Airport of Santiago also captured the appearances of the alleged Ovnis, even though officially the aeronautics authorities have kept silent about this situation.
One of the places where the phenomena were observed more clearly was in the town of Talagante, 40 kilometers from Santiago. There, dozens of frightened people jammed the telephone lines of a local broadcasting station, seeking explanations for what they were seeing.
In Chile, a great number of UFO sightings have been registered over the years, especially in the north part of the country, where ufologists speak about the existence of a secret landing runway.
Last June 13, during an interview called by the ufologists who were taking part in the Ufology Congress in Santiago, the researchers revealed that a UFO had chased a warplane during the Internation Air and Space Fair (FIDAE'96), which took place in the Chilean capital earlier this year. The Chilean ufologists alleged that the Chilean Air Force picked up the UFO in its radars and a F-5 fighter scrambled in pursuit.
Meanwhile, in the Central American nation of Guatemala, ufologists are travelling the country in pursuit of UFOs. Twelve people equipped with video cameras and calling themselves "The Vigilantes" never take their eyes off the skies.
The members of the group decided to get together in March of this year. With the videos taken so far, they expect to have sufficient data to delve deeper into research and to submit the evidence to a more rigorous scientific inquiry.
"Our objectives are scientific and we intend to get evidence of this phenomenon, which is marked by being ephemeral and fugitive," said Mr. Mendoza, director of radio Sonora es la Noticia, who has dedicated himself to ufology for 25 years.
During their meetings every fortnight, the investigators do comparative analysis of the videographic material compiled by the organization and materials from pre-existing case files from other parts of the world.
According to the specialists, in the last 45 years there were more than one hundred thousand flying saucer observations from all over the world, with more than 60 million witnesses.
Original file name: CNI - Chilean UFOs
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