[CNI News has received numerous communications since May 6, 1997 regarding an alleged "UFO crash" in Puerto Rico. This story includes the latest information we have. Thanks to Ann Mulvey-Fischer of the Compuserve UFO Forum for forwarding reports from Lucy Pla in Puerto Rico. Thanks also to Jerry D. Fitz and Jorge Martin for their reports from Puerto Rico.]
Undoubtedly something fell from the sky in Puerto Rico during the night of May 5-6. The falling object was seen by many witnesses and started a fire in dry grass or brush near the town of Lajas. A flurry of press reports and statements by several local officials in Puerto Rico added weight to the event. But what was it, and what really happened? So far, those questions have not been fully answered.
Puerto Rican UFO researcher and publisher Jorge Martin tells CNI News that a small meteorite caused all the excitement. Others disagree, saying it may have been a secret aircraft or even a UFO that crashed, and that troops temporarily cordoned off the area. Martin says the UFO stories are being spread by known hoaxers, and that the whole situation has been blown out of proportion.
Here are three parts of the story we've received from three different sources. As the situation becomes clearer, we will post updates.
Lucy Pla reports from Puerto Rico that, as of May 7, the area of the crash and fire is deserted. She says, however, that a friend told her he had seen "a government truck and a lot of people" in the area on May 6.
Lucy sends an English translation of a Spanish radio news story broadcast on Noti Uno Radio on May 7:
"The Mayor of Lajas, Marcos Irizarry, said that military experiments were the cause of the fire there and he wants an explanation from the U.S. government.
"Irizarry said that there are impressive reports concerning the amount of land that is burned. People of the area said that the fire was caused by a luminous object that fell there.
"Representative Victor Garcia Inocencio also is asking for a U.S. explanation of their investigation. Garcia Inocencio said that he is going to communicate with some federal agencies by letter.
"Aspects of the event that need explanation are the three explosions that dozens of people heard, the luminous object that people saw, and the technical problems that a radio station suffered." [A radio station broadcast had been mysteriously disrupted for about one hour during the night of May 5-6.]
The following report, copyright by Jerry D. Fitz (email@example.com), is reproduced with permission. Jerry Fitz tells CNI News that he is an electrical engineer for Puerto Rico's largest cable TV company, and an amateur UFO researcher. Here is his report:
"Two of the Island's three newspapers, as well as TV and radio stations, are reporting that there was a mysterious fire in Lajas, Puerto Rico early Tuesday morning. Residents claim there were one or more loud explosions before the fire. Many residents called police and reported a bright object or objects below the clouds before the fire and explosion. At least one resident has reported a strange creature on his porch after the fire began.
"The military has completely closed the area and is even excluding the local police.
"WOSO radio today (Wednesday, May 7) reported that the National Guard says it has no knowledge of anything unusual.
"Hundreds of people reported seeing several military helicopters lifting out metal wreckage. Police initially reported it was a fiery motorcycle crash. According to the U.S. Coast Guard there was a possible aircraft crash in the area at 3:25 a.m. Tuesday. Another source reported a meteor as the source of the explosion.
"Cajul Valley residents spoke of a loud explosion followed by two smaller bursts that reportedly shook the area. Hundreds of people came to watch the fires as they burned a stretch between a farm and the lagoon [Laguna Cartagena], which forms part of a wildlife sanctuary.
"As reported in the Wednesday edition of the San Juan Star newspaper, Francisco Negron, 51, said he saw a red cloud, 'something supernatural that I have not seen in other fires.' It was his farm where the fires burned. [Fitz says he has met Negron during previous visits to the area. He says Negron found the lock on a gate to his property mysteriously cut on Tuesday morning, and then stood guard at the gate with his son while military personnel moved about the area.]
"The following information was obtained by me from Tito Veray, a respected local doctor who lives near the area. [Veray is Fitz's brother-in-law. Fitz interviewed Veray by phone Wednesday evening.]
"Veray said: 'Residents reported hearing several large bangs between three and four a.m. Tuesday morning (May 6, 1997.) Then several large uncontrollable fires started. Many people had reported seeing lights moving through the sky. Some beach goers who were partying nearby reported seeing several bright lights approaching from the ocean before the explosions.
"'The area was immediately sealed by the FBI and the military. Even the local police were kept out of the area. The military people broke the locks on a private gate and would not permit the owners to enter the property until several pieces of metal were recovered by helicopters.
"'The authorities said that there was "a criminal hand" involved, but the locals don't buy that. We believe it was a UFO and the military is trying to cover it up. It was also reported that an experimental military aircraft had crashed, but we don't buy that story either. It was something else. Many good people, people who I know and respect, saw the lights and heard the explosions. They are all convinced it is an OVNI (Spanish name for UFO) We think the military is trying to cover it up again. You know how the government is,' Veray said.
According to Fitz, "The crash site is the Cartagena Lagoon, a land-locked lake near the sea on the south coast of Puerto Rico. I have personally visited this lagoon and have walked around parts of it because this area is known to be a very hot UFO sightings area. Many locals say there is an underwater UFO base in the lagoon. It is interesting to note that the military also operates the Aerostat airborne radar nearby. This is a large tethered helium-filled balloon which has a long-range radar in it. This radar is used by the drug interdiction people for detecting drug-loaded airplanes coming to Puerto Rico from South America."
While stories of a possible UFO crash continue to circulate in the press, one of Puerto Rico's best known UFO researchers, Jorge Martin, is insisting the whole situation was caused by a falling meteor and is now being exploited by hoaxers. Here is the text of a fax sent by Martin to CNI News on May 8:
"Reports about an alleged UFO crash on the night of May 5, 1997 in this country are not true and are an irresponsible fabrication perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals.
"These same individuals fabricated other such 'UFO incidents' previously, such as an alleged UFO crash in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, showing as 'proof' of the fraudulent incident pictures of 'alien corpses' which were really pictures of dummies used in the Showtime production of 'Roswell.'
"Now this group of indiviuals has informed the media that 'a UFO crashed in the Sierra Bermeja mountains, in Lajas (southwest Puerto Rico), that the area has been restricted by a large number of U.S. federal agents who harrassed and threatened the public at the site, that there had been a major federal operation with a large number of military helicopters and police helicopters retrieving the fallen UFO and the bodies of the alleged crew,' and that 'part of the UFO had fallen in Laguna Cartagena,' in the same general area. They also reported that there 'had been a great devastation of the zone due to the "UFO crash" which resulted also in the death of many animals, including horses and cattle.'
"We must report that none of the events reported and described above are true."
Jorge Martin continues: "After investigating personally the alleged incident and the site, I report the real facts as follows: Some policemen saw what seemed to be a lit [flaming] meteor fall in the Sierra Bermeja, a small ridge of mountains. The meteor ignited the abundant grass in the area, which was very dry due to a severe drought in the sector. As the fire spread, plants and grass and small animals such as lizards, worms and insects, as well as a couple of birds, were burned and died at the site. A peculiar odor at the site, reported by some, was the product of burning oregano, a spice that grows wild all over Sierra Bermeja. The only dead horse at the site had died many days before, and was already decomposed. It had nothing to do with the fire.
"The truth is that no UFO crashed in Sierra Bermeja, no federal agents were at the site harrassing and threatening witnesses, no military or police helicopters were at the site that night, no UFO fell in Laguna Cartagena and no UFO or alien bodies were recovered."
CNI News recognizes that several widely divergent views of these events are now contending for public attention. If we receive further information, we will post further updates.
[Interested readers may contact Jorge Martin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or may contact Jerry Fitz at email@example.com]
Original file name: CNI - UFO Crash.PR.more
This file was converted with TextToHTML - (c) Logic n.v.