The Talcahuano Port Incident : A UFO Close Encounter Off The Chilean Coast

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
December 9, 2023
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

A lesser-known UFO encounter off the coast of Chile in the late 1960s is one that not only had multiple witnesses but also one that has all the hallmarks of a high-level cover-up, with falsification of official records, as well as the witnesses being pressured into signing secrecy agreements, the incident in question could very well be one of the most over-looked UFO encounters in history.

That there was an American presence around the witnesses in the aftermath only adds another layer of intrigue to these shadowy events. Indeed, we might ask, just how much did the powers that be know of the encounter out on the open waters? Might they themselves have even been directly involved as part of a top-secret military intelligence project?

The incident in question comes to us from the files of UFO researcher and investigator, Bill Chalker. In his words, “because of a series of chance events and an overseas trip”, he happened to interview the main witness to these extraordinary events.

Something Fast Approaching Out Of The Night

According to what the witness told Chalker, a little after midnight on October 24th, 1969, A Chilean Navy vessel was off the coast of Chile after leaving Talcahuano Port where it had undergone repairs. [1] The journey had seen nothing out of the ordinary. That is, until just before 12:45 am, when the radar officer informed of a “long-range flying object” that had appeared on his radar screen.

Then, only seconds later, the object was barely 400 miles away and was seemingly moving with great speed. In fact, because of the speed it was seemingly moving, the radar officer suspected that his equipment was actually malfunctioning. In only a minute, this mystery object had covered a distance of just over 200 miles, leaving only 150 miles away from the ship. The radar officer and the late-night duty officer calculated that at that pace, it must have been moving at an incredible 12,780 miles per hour.

At this point, a report of the fast-moving object was made to the commander, who asked the radar officer to keep monitoring the object and to keep him informed. By 12:47 am – only four minutes after the object had appeared on the screens – the aerial anomaly was only 12 miles away. Then, things turned even stranger.

The single object on the radar screen suddenly broke up into six smaller objects. By the time the commander was informed of this latest development, the objects were visible to those on the deck. By this point, the commander came up to the bridge. It was clear to everyone who was watching these developments that something completely out of the ordinary was taking place.

“What The Hell Is That?”

Those on the bridge could see one large object and five smaller ones approaching them at fantastic speed. The witness recalled that the large object “looked like a big box with semicircles in the side” that appeared as if they had been “scooped out”. It also glowed brightly and appeared to have a metallic exterior. The witness further recalled that this larger object was “bigger than the destroyer”, perhaps twice as big.

The five smaller objects, by contrast, were only eight feet long and six feet wide and were distinctly egg-shaped with a blue-colored exterior. As the group of strange objects approached, the smaller craft left the larger object. Three of them went to the port side of the ship while the other two went to the starboard side. The larger object, on the other hand, remained on course, heading straight toward them.

When it was only several hundred yards away, a strange humming noise could be heard. Then, a moment later, all the power on the ship simply cut out meaning all of the navigation and communication equipment was also down.

The commander turned to those present, asking no one in particular, “What the hell is that?” No one answered.

Stalled Equipment And “Floating Metallic Paper”

The witness stated that the entire craft – whatever it was – was visible. And what’s more, its bright lights lit up the entire ship and the water around it. Underneath the craft were several bright red lights that were visible through a half-circle and appeared to be moving back and forth, while on the side were strange corn-cob-looking structures that contained “green pulsating lights” within them. According to the witness, these lights “went right through your head”.

Those onboard watched in awe as the object passed directly over the ship. When it was several hundred feet away, all of the ship’s power suddenly returned and their equipment burst into life once more. The crew watched as the smaller objects then came back toward the larger craft as they headed off into the distance. It remained in sight for several more moments, eventually disappearing from sight at an approximate distance of two miles.

Strangely, in the immediate moments following the objects’ disappearance, strange pieces of “floating metallic paper” were left behind in the atmosphere (it is not clear what these pieces of metallic paper might have been)

The entire episode lasted eight minutes, and a total of five of the crew witnessed the object visually, while another three tracked it on the radar. Despite this number of witnesses, and the very surreal nature of the affair, the commander ordered the crew to “remain silent” about what they had seen. It was clear to all who had been privy to the bizarre incident, that a cover-up was already being put in place.

“You Didn’t See That! You Didn’t See Anything!”

The witness stated that the second-class officer had already made several entries of the incident into the logbook. However, when the main witness checked the logbook the following morning, there was no sign whatsoever of these entries. However, because the second-class officer had made the entries with his non-writing hand (due to an injury), he had to press down hard on the page with the pen. When the witness examined the page, he could the indentions of what the second-class officer had written.

It was clear to the witness that the page had been removed, and both his and the second class officer’s handwriting had been forged, only with no mention of the strange objects they had witnessed only hours earlier.

A short time later, at 6:45 am, the ship arrived at Valparaiso Port. A short time later, those who had witnessed the mysterious object, including the radar operators, were asked to report to the commander. Upon doing so, they were informed that a group of people were on their way to speak with them. This group of people consisted of two Chilean Navy officers, and four American gentlemen in civilian clothes (all of whom spoke Spanish). The witnesses were told that these men were “naval attaches with the US Embassy).

The witnesses were asked to accompany the group to a storage facility near the port. Once there, each was taken into a separate room where they were all interviewed separately.

After the witness spoke of what he had seen to the group, he was informed bluntly, “No, you didn’t see that! You didn’t see anything. You know nothing!”

Threats To Remain Quiet

Eventually, the witness managed to speak to the highest ranking among the team who had been sent to interview them. He asked him if they were under arrest, to which he was told, no. He followed this by saying, “You are under orders. These people just want to talk to you, to put you on the right track”.

The witness would later tell Bill Chalker that although they didn’t speak of the full encounter to the team, he could tell by the questions they asked that they already knew the full details. Furthermore, he could see that they had the radar data in their possession. It was also clear that the only agenda they had was to ensure that all of them remained silent regarding what had happened.

In fact, this would go on for the next 48 hours, with one of the team members or another approaching them at random times, repeating their orders for the men to remain quiet. At this point, the witness claimed that he had threatened a complaint about the men as soon as he was relieved of duties. To this, he was told bluntly, that if he should take such a course of action, that would “be the end of him”.

Eventually, after being forced to go without sleep, he was forced to sign an official document promising his silence on the matter. Following this, he was taken to another medical facility, and the following week, he was transferred to an entirely different duty. Incidentally, he didn’t see any of the other witnesses again (it is not clear if any of the other witnesses saw each other or not).

A Case That Could Be Of Importance

The incident off the Chilean coast in October 1969 remains one of the most intriguing UFO encounters in history, not least because of the attempts to have the episode covered up. We might contemplate just what those who interviewed the men and ultimately suppressed all knowledge of the incident might have known about the encounter.

Was this simply hushed up because it was a UFO sighting, or might, in this instance, there have been something different or unique about this particular episode? As we asked at the start, could it be possible that the object that was witnessed was some kind of military test vehicle?

What is certain is that the events of October 1969 appear to have been of significance – so much so, that the United States had their own people interview the witnesses directly. Does this suggest some kind of compliance or even partnership between the two countries – one that is discreet and kept behind closed doors?

The events are as perplexing as they are thought-provoking. If we accept the account to be true – and there is little reason to think the account is not genuine – then there certainly appears to be something of importance about this incident.

The video below looks at some of the best UFO sightings from Chilean history.


1 Chilean Navy ship encounters large UFO; tracked on radar, 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.

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