The Lost Five Days Of Corporal Armando Valdes

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
August 18, 2018
Last Updated
October 11, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Close Encounters

The bizarre encounter of Chilean soldier, Corporal Armando Valdes in April 1977 is without doubt one of the most controversial UFO encounters to hail from the South American country. It is an incident fully acknowledged by the Chilean authorities, although the only official word offered by them was that the event was “unexplained”. Perhaps of more concern, those involved, including the main witness, was placed off-limits to anyone who wished to speak to them on orders directly from General Augusto Pinochet.

Corporal Armando Valdes

Corporal Armando Valdes

Decades later, further twists in the incident would surface which, like other UFO encounters, would take the incident into other fields of interest. While there are most certainly aspects of UFO activity, elements of the paranormal and even apparent theological connections would come to light. All of which continue to make the case one of the most debated in the UFO, paranormal, and conspiracy communities. Much like the subject matter that appears to be lurking underneath what we already know.

If any further information does enter the public arena, be it in the form of declassified files or whistleblower-type witness statements, it is certainly possible that the Valdes incident may prove to be of quiet significance.

4:15 am, Pampa Lluscuma, Northern Chile

Corporal Armando Valdes was the leader of a six-man military patrol unit in the northern deserts of Chile. They were all sat around a campfire – their base for the night – near the secret Chilean military outpost of Pampa Lluscuma. It was a little after 4 am on the 25th April 1977. There was significant chatter among the men, mostly in an effort to remain awake.

Suddenly, one of the soldiers who was on look-out duty, Private Rosales, returned to the main group. He claimed to have witnessed two “bright violet lights” [1] descend from the skies, illuminating the area below them as they did so. One of the lights had dropped near the foothills of the Andes mountain range. The other, however, had landed only 500 yards away. As each of the men stood and looked in the direction Rosales pointed, each could see two violet glows. One in the distance, and one much nearer which lit up the area immediately in front of them.

Valdes ordered his men to smother the fire and take up their arms.

Then, the violet light began to move in the air in front of them. A red light was visible at each end of the mysterious glow. There was, however, no sound whatsoever. In fact, as the men began to scan their surroundings again, the absolute silence became almost audible. To say a wave of terror was creeping through the group would be an understatement.

Valdes would order his men to remain where they were with their weapons at the ready. He then approached the mysterious object alone. He would demand that the object identify itself before moving forward at a steady pace. Then, he disappeared.

Reappearance and Cryptic Message

A full fifteen minutes passed before Valdes returned to the group. The men, already spooked, became even more so when their corporal simply “reappeared” in front of them. They were perhaps further alarmed when Valdes, stumbling and unsteady on his feet offered, “You don’t know who we are or where we come from, but we will be back soon”. He then lost consciousness.

His men ran forward to attend to their leader. They would carry Valdes to their camp base. As they did, several of them noticed how he had “beard growth equivalent to several days without shaving”. All agreed he, like always, was almost clean-shaven at the time of the disappearance.

As they settled their unconscious corporal down, they noticed the strange lights begin to ascend and vanish into the early morning sky.

Valdes finally awoke around 7 am that morning. He was confused, stating the last thing he remembered was moving forward towards the lights. He would state, “Get ready to leave – it’s 4:30 am”. It was then he would find it was after 7 am. Even stranger, though, was when Valdes checked his watch. Instead of the date declaring it to be the 25th, his watch claimed it to be the 30th April. Combined with the beard growth, it would appear wherever Valdes had been, to him, five days had passed.

Armando Valdes with a picture of the crew

Armando Valdes (right)

Something “More” About The Case!

Valdes, like many soldiers in the Chilean military, are used to sightings of UFOs – even training to deal with them. What Valdes would later state was such a surprise was “the way it approached us”. He would also state his desire to undergo hypnotic regression to recover his memories. All five days of them – or fifteen minutes for his men. In fact, although obviously confused, he showed initial enthusiasm for finding out just what had happened.

However, in an ominous move, (then) President and Commander in Chief Augusto Pinochet personally forbid [2] any press or UFO investigators to speak with any of the men. According to the official report of the incident “medical, psychiatric, and hypnotic tests” would be the responsibility of the military themselves. On the rare occasions that any researchers and journalists did manage to speak with Valdes (for which they required Pinochet’s personal permission), he would largely offer that his mind was a blank and he “doesn’t even recall the words I spoke when I returned”. Perhaps cryptically he would state in 1983 that “I shall talk one day”. We will come back to this shortly.

UFO sightings continued in the northern regions of Chile following Valdes’s sighting. In fact, over the years, sightings would continue right the way along the coastal country of Chile. Whether the University of Chile and NASA’s joint space tracking station shares a connection to the apparent increase in sightings in this part of the world is possibly open to debate.

There is, though, a distinct feeling among many in the UFO community that there is “more” to the Valdes incident. Something perhaps both fascinating and disturbing.

“The Truth Is Harder To Explain Than A Lie!”

Over two decades following the incident in 2002, Armando Valdes would speak about the encounter with the Institute of Hispanic Ufology. [3] Rather than shed more light on the issue, however, it would both make it cloudier, and more intriguing. When asked bluntly if he was abducted he would reply, “In the context, I would say no”. He further explained, albeit cryptically, that he wasn’t “sucked up and taken by a spacecraft somewhere else”.

Then came the question of where he was during the all-important fifteen minutes. He would state that “I was always present and looking at my men”. He could, he insisted, even hear his unit speaking. When pushed further he would state that the “whole phenomenon must have transpired here on Earth”. He would state that it would have been much easier if a spaceship had gathered him up and taken him somewhere far away to another galaxy. “The truth is harder to explain than a lie,” he would offer.

He would elude to “another phenomenon” occurring, something more terrestrial and “having to do with the Earth”. Whether intentionally, or due to not knowing how to explain, Valdes didn’t expand on this “other” phenomenon. Although he remained tight-lipped, however, which only served to make many dismiss him as an opportunist, he would finally offer, “They call it eschatology”.

There are several interesting points from the Valdes incident to examine.

A depiction of an alien invasion

Might unknown powers fake an alien invasion?

Many Connects, Perceptions, And Twists

Many are skeptical of Valdes’ claims, to say the least. It is hard to account, though, for the dates on his watch. And even more so, the growth of beard witnessed by all his men. Furthermore, the Chilean government, while largely acknowledging UFO activity, were extremely strict in letting anyone speak with Valdes (or any of the men in the unit). Rather than distance themselves with a denial, they simply stated the incident was “unexplained”.

And what about the points of a “phenomenon occurring on Earth”. Given his claims that he could see his men and even hear them throughout the ordeal, might this suggest some kind of dimension breakdown or an interdimensional event?

And what should we make of the claims of eschatology? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is “the part of theology concerned with death, judgment and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind”. Does this suggest a connection between UFO activity to what we would collectively term “divinity”?

Or, given that some people speak of Pinochet’s government using the UFO phenomena as a useful distraction over the Chilean population, might the connection to “end of the world” scenarios match what many conspiracy theorists claim will be a “faked alien invasion” to bring about “Armageddon”? These conspiracies themselves tend to splinter into two groups – those who believe the “shadow world government” to be behind such activity in order to maintain control over the world’s populace, and those who believe “aliens” are actually “demonic entities” looking to bring about the end of civilization. Needless to say, if either of those scenarios contains any truth, the consequences for all of us would be catastrophic.

Check out the video below. It features Steven Greer speaking of the notion of a “False Flag Alien Invasion”.


1 The Chilean Abduction, APRO, July 1977, UFO Evidence
2 The Armanda Valdes Incident
3 “…I Was Never Abducted!” Armando Valdes, UFO Updates

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • Marcus Lowth says:

    Thanks for the extra information on this James. Yes, Jenny Randle is a fantastic researcher/investigator, and she could well have this detail correct. We have used the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization 1977 article as it was compiled immediately after the incident (July 77). However, should we revisit this case in the future (which I am sure we will) we will look to incorporate Randle’s information also.

  • Donald L. Mercer says:

    Personally, since reading a book written years past entitled; The Bible and UFO’s, I have believed this entire phenom is an attempt by Satan to give humans the GREAT DELUSION spoken of in II THESS. Chapter 2. We are engaged in a spiritual battle with dark forces, a battle designed to cause a great falling away from a simple faith in Jesus Christ!

  • james says:

    His men went looking for him after 15 minutes after the lights were gone !
    He was no where to be found!
    Then after another 20-30 minutes back at camp the men saw him stumbling back and he was sun burned red and dehydrated like he had no water for days and could not talk plainly !

    Jenny Randles had the details correct on this !

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