The Paihuano Incident – UFO Crash And Retrieval In The Chilean Mountains?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
April 3, 2020
Last Updated
October 12, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

Claims of a crashed UFO in October 1998, possibly a vehicle of extraterrestrial origin, is one that not only shares the same details of other apparent crash and retrieval operations but also shares the same official explanations of a “crashed weather balloon”.

A picture depicting a UFO crashing in flames into a mountain

Did a UFO crash in Chile in 1998?

The sudden appearance of a strange, silvery craft over a small village in Chile was witnessed by most of the local population. As was the sudden crashing to the ground of the aerial object several moments after it appeared. And while the crippled, ruined craft remained where it fell for several days, a sudden military presence, which as we will see shortly also had a discreet American “feel” to it, would suddenly descend on the village, restrict access to the area, and confiscated the remains.

Is this another case of an alien craft crashing to Earth, bringing with it proof of life elsewhere in the Universe being removed and suppressed by unknown powers? Or might the incident be one involving an equally strange military-type craft which resulted in a tragic accident during an experimental flight?

The account comes to us from several UFO researchers in the region, many of whom would visit the region in the aftermath, including Patricio Diaz, Luis Sanchez Perry, Miguel Jordan, and Roderick Bowen.

A Silvery Object That Split In Two And Crashed To The Ground

According to the report, [1] at just before 4 pm on the 7th October 1998, in the small village of Paihuano in the Valle de Elqui district of Chile, multiple residents of the village noticed the sudden appearance in the late-afternoon skies over the Las Mollacas hill of a strange silver disc. Reports would later suggest that the object was approximately 50 feet across.

After remaining completely motionless for several moments the object would suddenly rise into the air. It then made an equally sudden turn which seemed to “split it in two” as the residents of the town looked on.

An image showing a UFO over a mountain range

Many people claimed to see the strange object before the apparent crash

As they watched in awe and confusion, the object came crashing to the ground. One piece of the wreckage would land on the top of the hill while the other fell a little way behind it.

According to the many reports of the locals who not only witnessed the crash but also went to inspect the wreckage, the object was definitely of a solid, metallic exterior which was silvery and shiny. So much so, the sun would reflect brilliantly off its surface. Furthermore, when it was in one piece, it was of an elongated shape.

Even stranger, in the days following the incident, several earthquakes were noticed. What’s more, the region experienced several strange blackouts. Whether they were connected, several towns in the region experienced disturbance to television and radio broadcast.

The object itself would remain on the hill where it fell for two days until a strange military-type unit “in uniform” arrived and removed the wreckage.

A Surge Of “American Tourists” Booking Hotel Rooms In The Region!

The report continues that the Chilean military did investigate the case. They first sent a unit on horseback who would confirm the crashed craft from a distance as the terrain of the hill area made it difficult to reach. According to the report, they did attempt to reach the wreckage, but the operation resulted in the death of one of the horses.

There is, it would appear, evidence of a cover-up taking place at this stage. Communications from the unit were seemingly intercepted by the police of the region. Shortly after, the unit received orders to vacate the area, upon which the “uniformed” unit arrived. As well as removing the wreckage, they would cordon off the area and allow no further access.

An image showing a flying saucer over mountains

South America has ample UFO each year

The unit would conduct extensive investigations and interviews with the local population. Furthermore, they would also extend these interviews to the residents of several nearby towns. Even stranger, according to the research of UFO investigators, several hotels in the region experienced a sudden surge of “American tourists” booking their rooms in the days following the incident, and especially following the arrival of the mysterious military unit.

One anonymous witness – a local goatherder who was familiar with many of the routes around the suddenly restricted area – claimed to have also witnessed the arrival of unmarked helicopters. These aerial vehicles would “work tirelessly from midnight until the early hours of Friday 9th March”. In their military nets, they carried away pieces of the wreckage.

These were not the only accounts of strange goings-on during the night hours. Local researcher, Patricio Diaz would collect several such accounts and it is to those where we will turn our attention to next.

Evidence Of A Heavy-Duty Operation!

According to Diaz’ files, several local residents described significant activities during the night, including the presence of helicopters over the village. One such resident, Omar Prieto who managed one of the town’s tourist resorts, would claim that he witnessed the wreckage “with his own eyes”. He would describe it as “something like the wing of a plane”.

He would also state that following the sudden activity on the evening of Thursday 8th March the wreckage had disappeared. What was left behind, though, was evidence of heavy-duty military trucks in the form of tread marks. One member of the public who did manage to get a closer look would state there was also boot markings near the tread marks, themselves leading to a “large cleft” on the hillside.

An image showing a UFO in the daytime sky

Did the military recover the downed UFO in Chile in 1998?

Even more suspicious was that by Monday 12th March, there appeared signs of an effort to plant disinformation at the location so as to cover-up what had occurred. Many residents would find stones that had been painted with a silvery and reflective paint. A number of bizarre and strange explanations would surface for the strange events. All of which were seemingly rejected by those who had witnessed the events for themselves.

Perhaps one of the strangest claims came from the El Tololo Astronomical Observatory. They would state that the crashed craft was actually an “out of control weather balloon”. However, this claim was publicly refuted by a high-ranking member of CEFAA. Gustavo Rodriguez would state no such weather balloon launches had taken place. And furthermore, any launches would require 48 hours’ notice, which he had not received.

Connections To The Presence Of Uranium?

One of the most interesting aspects of the apparent incident could be the location itself. The soil there is said to be mineral-rich, with very valuable uranium deposits. This is intriguing as uranium, according to collective research in the field, comes up often in UFO reports.

Might it be that these seemingly otherworldly vehicles are reliant in this particular mineral? Perhaps for fuel, for example?

What’s more, several months earlier in June 1998 reports of a similar crashed craft surfaced. According to the reports a “deafening noise” would ring out suddenly. At the same time so did a flash so bright that it seemed “night had turned into day”. Some reports also claim that the region experienced strange storms.

This is perhaps an interesting point. Especially when we recall that following the October incident the region experienced significant earthquake activity. Might the arrival of these crafts be responsible for such activity on Earth? Could it be possible that such activity is a result of these crafts entering our atmosphere? Or might such atmospheric storms and even earthquakes be the result of a gateway or portal? One that allows these strange crafts passage into our world?

Like the case itself, the possibilities and questions remain in abundance.

Evidence Of An Extraterrestrial Interest In Military Exercises?

The incident of October 1998 in Paihuano is one of the most intriguing on record. Of that, there is little doubt. It perhaps also appears to be very credible. That something most definitely happened that fall afternoon is surely beyond doubt.

Of course, whether the object was a military vehicle or a craft from another world under the control of another intelligence remains open to debate. We should perhaps note that during the time there were joint military UNITAS exercises taking place. Interestingly or not between the militaries of the United States and Chile.

This itself proposes several questions. Firstly, that the craft was a secret military craft, either an American or Chilean one. Or possibly some top-secret joint effort. Or, let’s assume that there is an alien presence on our planet. Do such military operations attract the attention of these extraterrestrials? In the same why that UFO sightings increase during wartime, researchers suggest they also increase during such military exercises.

Although the incident itself occurred over two decades ago it remains of interest to UFO researchers today. Just what did come crashing to the ground that afternoon in the small Chilean village? And why was there such an effort to seemingly cover over the events? And perhaps most interesting, particularly to the larger UFO picture, what should we make of the increased but discreet American presence in the background of the crash?

The incident remains unresolved and without a satisfactory explanation.

Check out the video below. It discusses the claims of UFO crashes around the planet a little further.


1 UFO Crash/Retrievals in Chile, UFO Evidence

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.

Fact Checking/Disclaimer

Fact Checking

The stories, accounts, and discussions in this article may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports, accounts and documentation available as provided by witnesses and publications - sources/references are published above.

We do not aim to prove nor disprove any of the theories, cases, or reports.  You should read this article with an open mind and come to a conclusion yourself.  Our motto always is, "you make up your own mind".  Read more about how we fact-check content here.

Copyright & Republishing Policy

The entire article and the contents within are published by, wholly-owned and copyright of UFO Insight.  The author does not own the rights to this content. 

You may republish short quotes from this article with a reference back to the original UFO Insight article here as the source. You may not republish the article in its entirety.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to our free newsletter and join our subscribers. Receive the latest articles directly in your inbox weekly.

If you don't like what you read, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *