The Tarija Case: UFO Crash In Bolivia Witnessed By Hundreds!

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
August 15, 2021
Last Updated
October 12, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
25 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

Described by some as South America’s “most credible UFO crash incident”, an apparent case of a downed extraterrestrial vehicle in May 1978 is indeed one of the most intriguing and twist-laden events on record. What’s more, it was witnessed by many hundreds of people on either side of the Bolivian Argentine border. It is perhaps surprising, then, that even in UFO circles the event remains off many people’s radar.

Although it is perhaps little heard of outside of South America, an alleged UFO crash in Tarija, Bolivia in May 1978 is arguably one of the most credible and investigated of such cases in the entire continent. What’s more, there appears to have been a heavy United States presence in the region in the immediate aftermath of the event, with some claims that the wreckage left Bolivia on a United States military cargo plane…

Artist’s impression of the UFO crash in Bolivia

The apparent UFO crash and subsequent retrieval have been subject to much research and investigation by UFO researchers and enthusiasts in the years since, with several declassified documents appearing to not only corroborate the events but show that agencies outside Bolivia – mainly the United States military and intelligence services – had an active interest in the incident, and indeed a presence in the area at the time.

While many UFO researchers are aware that South America is a hot spot for UFO activity, Bolivia perhaps gets overlooked by countries such as Brazil and Argentina. However, as we shall see, there are many UFO encounters on record on the western side of the South American continent.

A Cylindrical Object Screaming Out Of The Sky Spewing Smoke

During the afternoon of 6th May 1978, at around 4:30 pm, a shiny cylindrical-shaped object came screaming out of the skies [1] over Bolivia’s Tarija Department near the border with Argentina’s Salta Province and crashed into a remote mountain, El Zaire, near the Bermejo River. Before it slammed into the mountainside, the many witnesses who saw the event recalled how thick, dark smoke “spewed” from the object as it tore through the sky.

What’s more, many others who were over 100 miles away heard a huge sonic-boom-like explosion, with some who were as far as 30 miles away suffering from shattered windows in their respective properties. Many others could see a thick, rising column of smoke that rose into the air following the crash.

One of the witnesses, a Border Intelligence Agent named Juan Hurtado, claimed to the press that the object was “like a huge wine container” that was “spewing smoke”. He would continue that he “saw it quite clearly” as it went overhead and was stood with three other people at the time. Of the impact itself, he claimed that it was “so strong that it threw me down to the ground” and that it felt like the “whole Earth trembled”.

A depiction of a crashed UFO

Just what crashed in Bolivia in May 1978

Corporal Natalio Farfan Ruiz of the Bolivian military offered that he didn’t know “what would have happened if the UFO had fallen on their houses”. He also witnessed the “cylinder” object, claiming he thought “the end of the world was coming”.

Two Argentinian border police officers, Eduardo Salmon and Bienvenido Ortega, also witnessed the events while on patrol duty in the village of Aguas Blancas due to a local soccer match that had resulted in a crowd of several hundred people. They would claim that a “luminous flash” captured their attention causing them to look up. When they did, they saw a distinctly metallic, oval-shaped object with smoke emanating from it and leaving a trail behind. Only seconds later, they heard a huge explosion. The incident was witnessed by the soccer match crowd, and the players themselves. And all could see the thick, black rising smoke.

Back on the Bolivian side of the border, and only seconds after the two Argentinian police officers witnessed the “fireball” pass over their heads, an engineer, Velez Orozco, was in the middle of conducting a survey when the cylindrical object passed by second before the explosion – an explosion, incidentally, he would specifically state was much louder than one caused by a meteorite.

Intense Searches And Rumors Of Recovered Parts

Eventually, the Bolivian Air Force would launch several fighter jets to patrol and inspect the region. Ultimately, they would detect an apparent rockslide on the hill where the object was said to have crashed. The entire region was comprised of harsh terrain and extremely difficult to access. Several search missions were launched, but only one (led by Major German Cellejas) managed to make it to the apparent impact site.

According to some newspaper reports, a “metallic-dull cylinder” was recovered, approximately fifteen feet long and containing “some dents”. The same report also stated that “NASA would take charge” of the discovery, something we will come back to shortly.

That something happened that afternoon there is little doubt. The incident received almost instant media attention, not just in Bolivia, but across the South American continent. And as we will turn our attention to next, though, there was seemingly interest in the incident much further afield.

Confusion In The Immediate Reporting

Perhaps as a consequence, (or perhaps purposely) there appeared to be much confusion in some of the details contained in these media reports. For example, while some reported a meteorite had crashed, others report outright that an alien vehicle, in fact, had. Those who spoke to the police who investigated the incident were told almost universally by the officers that, given the many descriptions by those who witnessed the incident, they were certain it was a metallic, cylindrical UFO.

There was also confusion as to where the object had come down, with some stating it had crashed on the Argentinian side of the border as opposed to the actual location of Bolivia.

It was also interesting, not to mention, to some, suspicious, that the United States government had an active interest in the incident, so much so that they appeared to involve themselves in the investigations that followed. For example, many newspaper reports mentioned “NASA experts” who had arrived in the region a short time after the events. Perhaps of particular interest were the two American military officers who arrived in the region “on vacation” but who the local press (who photographed their arrival) suggested were likely plain-clothed operatives.

A newspaper report of the incident

A newspaper report of the incident

Of even further interest were the rumors suggested that a “large capsule” and several other fragments were recovered by this US presence, and quickly taken into their possession before being transported to the United States on an Air Force Hercules cargo plane.

Incidentally, later released documents by the United States would confirm both their interest in the alleged crash and their presence in Bolivia shortly after, coming under Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly. These programs, officially, at least, were tasked with recovering space debris that fell to Earth, specifically Soviet space satellites that could be studied and assessed. However, many UFO researchers have suggested that this was merely a cover so that these programs could retrieve crashes of alleged vehicles from another world. The two US officers were later identified as Colonel Robert Simmons and Major John Heese, both of whom worked on the Mood Dust project.

A CIA report would state that they were aware of a potentially crashed object in the region and that “Argentine and Uruguayan radio stations are reporting on this even more frequently”, adding that they were also reporting that “Bolivian authorities have urgently requested assistance” from NASA.

Further Revelations In Released Documents

Another official US document that is of interest to us here, dated 18th May drafted by Colonel Robert Eddington of the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, International Environment, and Scientific Affairs were uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act. The telegram was labeled “secret” and also contained the name of Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance.

It would state that the agency had “checked with appropriate governments” regarding the Tarija case and found “no direct correlation with known space objects that may have reentered the Earth’s atmosphere”. It would continue, though, that “we are continuing to examine any possibilities”. Even more interesting, the document continued that the US Embassy in La Paz should look up “State Airgram A-6343” which would “provide background information and guidance for dealing with space objects that have been found”. It would continue that operatives should note “information pertaining to the pre-impact observations, direction or trajectory, number of objects observed, time of impact, and a detailed description including any markings”.

CIA document

CIA document

The location was also visited by UFO investigator Charles Tucker from the International UFO Investigating Bureau and National Enquirer journalist Bob Pratt. They would speak with many of the witnesses, including members of the Bolivian search teams. In fact, Pratt would even attempt to reach the crash site himself but was unable to negotiate the rough terrain.

As opposed to the claims that something was recovered at the location and handed over to the US authorities, Pratt believed the claims to be inaccurate. He would state several years after the incident that there was “a lot of misinformation” regarding the events, and that while he believed something did crash into the remote mountain, it was likely the object was “buried under the landslide it created”.

A Discreetly Credible Encounter?

We might ask, then, how credible might the above account be? After all, even many in UFO circles are suspicious of many of the claims of a crashed UFO. However, in this instance, it would appear the account is on relatively steady ground.

Not only is the source who investigated the incident credible, but many of the witnesses also told the same version of events, including of the oval or disc shape of the object. When we add to that the fact some of the witnesses were police officers, the account perhaps becomes even more credible. And we certainly know that something a little out of the ordinary took place that afternoon in May 1978 as we have released military and intelligence documents to prove it.

Was what was seen, though, a UFO or something more terrestrial? Was it, for example, a satellite or even or a piece of space debris? We know that these objects have indeed fallen from the skies out of orbit and impacted on the ground before. However, how would that explain the huge explosion that all the witnesses reported, and that some even felt the aftershock of the impact even though they were as far as 100 miles away?

A depiction of a crashed UFO

Was there a US presence in Bolivia after the alleged crash?

Veteran UFO researcher, Nick Redfern, highlights further [2] intriguing statements made in CIA documents. For example, one such document offered that “people in San Luis and Mendoza provinces reported seeing a flying saucer squadron flying in formation”, adding that “the general region has had more than its share of reports of UFOs” during the time of alleged UFO crash.

Redfern also relays information regarding events that took place behind the scenes. For example, Redfern highlights information that was passed to another UFO researcher, Leonard Stringfield in June 1979, a little over a year after the apparent crash. Stringfield was seemingly contacted by an investigator from Argentina, Nicholas Ojedo. He would claim that he had heard reports of a “group of investigators who vanished mysteriously in the area” of the crash, adding that “something big” had definitely taken place. He would further add that a US cargo plane “carried something from the area” shortly after.

The claims of recovered UFO wreckage leaving the country on a US cargo plane were seemingly corroborated by Bob Barry, who claimed a “CIA source” had confirmed that the flight definitely did take place. Perhaps in a way of purposely telling Barry to read between the lines, when he was asked what was on the plane, the source simply replied, “no comment!”

That something crashed in the region that afternoon, then, is almost beyond doubt. Whether it was a genuine extraterrestrial vehicle or not, though, remains open to debate. For now, at least.

Sightings Around The Same Time

Before we examine some of Bolivia’s other UFO encounters, it is perhaps worth our time looking at some of the UFO incidents that occurred around the same time frame in the wider South American region and around the world. And while they may or may not be connected to the apparent UFO crash above, they are certainly worth examining briefly here.

Strange Mist-Like Being In Costa Rica

Although it resides in the North American continent, an incident that unfolded in Escazu in Costa Rica only four days previously on 2nd May 1978 is worthy of our attention. The incident, which was relayed by Albert Rosales in his Humanoid Contact Database, occurred at around 6:30 pm when 10-year-old Eduardo Enrique Lacayo was playing in the front yard of his uncle’s house. Suddenly, a cat caught his attention and when it ran off he decided to chase after it, following it into an empty lot across the road.

However, as he approached the lot, he noticed a silver, disc-shaped object hovering around 700 feet above the ground. A bright yellow light emanated from it, and he later recalled how it looked like “two soup plates placed together”. He would estimate it was around 50 feet across and it appeared to “wobble” ever so slightly as it hovered.

As the young boy continued to watch he was amazed when he noticed a gray mist emerge from the object and make its way to the ground in the most unusual way. Even more bizarre, after a few more moments, the mist appeared to morph itself into the shape of a person, eventually becoming so, which hovered a short distance above the ground below.

Depiction of two UFOs flying over a harbor

There are many UFO sightings on record in South America

This mystery person wore some kind of “cape or tunic” and had shoes with what appeared to be gold laces on its feet. At this point, the young boy noticed the cat once more, watching as it left the scene with its fur stood on end, obviously unnerved by what it had witnessed. He turned his attention to the figure once again.

He recalled how it didn’t appear to have any kind of facial features aside from a small line-like mouth. Suddenly, the strange being extended its arms out toward Eduardo and motioning for him to come closer. At this, the young boy felt a surge of terror rise through him and he turned and ran from the scene. When he had put enough distance between himself and mist-like form, he turned around. He was just in time to see the object rising into the sky and disappearing with alarming speed.

Multiple UFOs Over San Luis, Argentina

Two nights later at around 10 pm on 4th May in Villa Mercedes, San Luis in Argentina, according to a 1966 article in Flying Saucer Review, a “blinding blue light” in the sky caused a traffic accident. Shortly afterward, approximately 100 residents of the city witnessed around 50 greenish-blue UFOs” moving over the city.

As they moved, witnesses recalled how they performed maneuvers that were far in advance of any terrestrial aircraft. At one stage, the objects arranged themselves into two separate formations before rejoining once more as one, huge, flying squadron.

Even more intriguing, some of the witnesses even recalled seeing a saucer-shaped craft land nearby, and a small figure emerged wearing a tight-fitting green uniform. After inspecting the area around the vehicle, it reentered the craft and disappeared.

Humanoid Encounter In Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Another encounter highlighted by Rosales, and featuring in an article titled UFO Abduction at Botucato, occurred just six days at just before 11 pm on the 10th May in Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

On the night in question, an unnamed witness was walking home when he noticed a strange, glowing object moving overhead. Of more concern, the object was descending to the ground at a considerable pace and ultimately approached a nearby field. The witness stopped where he was and observed the bizarre object, noticing that it was a circular shape and made of a metallic-looking material. It also appeared to be encased in a strange “ball of flames”.

A depcition of a UFO in the evening sky

Why is South America rife with UFO sightings?

As he continued to watch, the object emitted two “bright beams of white light” which reached the ground as it continued downward. Then, he noticed the appearance of four metallic legs on the object’s underside. The witness began to approach the fence that ran around the field where the UFO was descending. Before he realized what was happening, however, two short humanoids, each dressed in shiny tight-fitting suits, approached and grabbed him.

As the two entities marched him to the now waiting craft, he noticed how they had a helmet on their heads with a dark visor covering their face. He was soon inside the ship, in a room that was brightly lit. However, he also noticed how the air appeared to be “warm and dense” and made it difficult for him to breathe.

He noticed there were two more figures at a console inside the room. Judging by their long hair they appeared female and were slightly taller than the two figures who had brought him inside the craft. The witness claimed he was told that they would take him to their home planet, at which point he begged them to let him go. Ultimately, they did so, and he was allowed to leave the ship via a stairway that reached the ground. A short time later, the object began to rise into the air before it shot off at high speed.

Police Officer Suffers “Burns” To Skin Following Sighting Of UFO

Although it happened in Kerman, California, a sighting that occurred a week after the Bolivian UFO crash incident is perhaps interesting to us as the object was described as distinctly oval-shaped – much like the crippled object that came down in Bolivia. What’s more, the account was written in several newspapers and UFO magazines, including the Fresno BEE.

The incident occurred a little after 3:30 am on 13th May, when police officer Manuel Amparano was on patrol on the outskirts of the town of Kerman. As he was driving, he noticed a red-orange glow moving in the otherwise quiet sky. As the object got closer, he could see it was an oval-shaped object, and it was now hovering motionless overhead. Amparano noticed that despite the brilliant brightness of the object, he had no trouble looking directly at it.

Then, without warning, a beam of bright blue light shot out of the object, looking similar to the flash of a camera. A second later, it was gone. Bemused but unharmed, the officer continued on his way. He noticed a strange tingling on his body but paid it little attention. However, upon arriving at the police station, those who saw him commented on how “lobster red” he was as if he had suffered terrible sunburn. In fact, his skin was even red underneath his uniform, but only that part of his body that was facing the window of his vehicle when he viewed the strange object.

A depiction of a UFO

UFOs were reported around the world at the same time as the Bolivia crash

It would take several days for the skin to return to normal, during which time he began to suffer some discomfort. When he sought medical advice, he was informed that the burns resembled microwave radiation.

Incidentally, on the same evening in Saint Constant, Quebec, in Canada, according to an account by Marc LeDuc, Yves Nailler and Sylvia Pazenteauy were sitting in a parked truck when they noticed a strange orange-red glowing object descending out of the night sky. As it did so, a “beam of light” illuminated the pair, Behind the glare, however, the two witnesses could make out the head of a strange entity. As they started to panic, both of them had trouble moving. Then, as quickly as it arrived, the object vanished from their sight.

Four Humanoid Figures Witnesses In England

The following day, at around 8 pm on 14th May on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in Oulton Marshes, Lowestoft in England, two young girls were locking up their horses for the evening when they saw a bizarre object hovering a short distance above the ground a short distance away. The account, which comes to us from the June/July 1979 edition of UFO Quest International, states that the object was a distinct silver color that was “encircled” by orange lights.

As the two young girls continued to watch, the orange lights changed to pink, and then to a blindingly “dazzling” white. Then, the strange object began to rise into the air a little before coming back down to the ground once more. When it appeared to land, the lights grew quickly dimmer.

The next thing the pair realized, four strange humanoid figures were walking toward them. They would recall that two of these figures were extremely tall, around seven feet, while the other two were much shorter, and they moved in a strange “jerky, zigzag” way. They had short legs and arms, but no feet or hands, as well as having small eyes and particularly pale skin. A “hazy glow” surrounded each of them and each was dressed in an orange-colored robe that featured a silver stripe down the middle.

After watching the two girls for several moments, during which time the horses and a nearby dog were displaying definite signs of agitation, the figures turned and reentered the craft.

There are many other sightings in Bolivia, in general, however, some of which we will turn our attention to next.

More UFO Sightings In Bolivia Than We Might Think!

Rightly or wrongly, many of us may not think of Bolivia first when we think of UFO encounters. However, the apparent crash in Tarija is just one of many that have occurred in the South American country.

Perhaps one of the earliest on record goes all the way back to 6th December 1914 and an apparent case of alien abduction in Cochabamba. The encounter comes to us from the files of UFO researcher, Lucy Guzman who informed fellow researcher, Albert Rosales of the incident. On the night in question, at just before 4 am, David Mendiola Vilchez was awoken in his isolated house near an old cemetery by a strange noise outside.

He claimed the sound was similar to that of an airplane turbine engine. However, when he ventured outside to investigate, he could clearly see a “large grey metallic cigar-shaped craft” descending in a field near the cemetery. He further noticed that the object was enveloped in a strange “electricity”. Then, things turned even stranger.

A depiction of a UFO over Bolivia

UFO encounters in Bolivia go back decades

He set out from his home looking to get a closer look and was almost instantly surrounded by a strange white light. Before he could contemplate what was happening, and with no memory of entering it, he found himself inside the strange vehicle. This detail, incidentally, is one that surfaces many times in alien abduction accounts – that the abductee can remember seeing and even approaching the craft, but hardly ever entering it, instead, waking once inside. UFO researcher, Budd Hopkins felt this was far from a coincidence, and suggested an intentional incapacitation on the aliens’ part.

The first thing Vilchez noticed was that he was surrounded by several “monstrous” entities. He would describe these creatures as being “very tall and thin” and with particularly large eyes. He would further note that their skin was covered in some kind of “disgusting mucous substance or cartilage-like material” and that their legs were similar to Octopus tentacles. Although he would recall that some kind of examination took place, he couldn’t recall the details of the incident. The next thing he knew, he was back outside his house.

Sheep And Farmer Attacked By Humanoid

Over a half a century after the apparent abduction in Cochabamba, in early 1968, according to an article in the July/August 1970 edition of Flying Saucer Review by David Webb and Ted Bloecher, another apparent encounter with a humanoid entity occurred. This time in Otoci, Potosi.

The report states that Valentina Flores was returning to her farm in order to get her sheep and llamas in their shelter when she noticed a strange humanoid figure stood in her field. The strange figure was wearing what appeared to be a “sort of plastic-looking net”. Of more concern, though, this mysterious being appeared to be attacking the agitated sheep.

A depiction of a UFO

Is there an alien presence in South America?

She began to run toward the scene, shouting as loud as she could in order to get the figure to cease its assault on her animals. The closer she got, however, the more she realized this figure was something a little more out of the ordinary than just an “ordinary robber”. She could see it was wearing a one-piece suit that was of a color she struggled to describe. It also had a helmet on its head that appeared “smokey” and so concealed its facial features.

When she got closer still, however, she realized that whatever it was had already killed several of her sheep. And had seemingly done so by ripping out their internal organs using what looked like a long tube with a hooked end. At this point, the humanoid had noticed the approaching woman and turned to face her, throwing the hooked tube toward her. It then inflicted several more wounds upon her body.

Strangely, she noticed that each time the humanoid threw the tube at her, it reappeared moments later “as if it were a boomerang”. The woman eventually managed to pick up stones from the ground and hurl them toward her attacker. It eventually retreated to a box-like craft that she hadn’t seen previously.

It immediately entered the object and rose up into the air a short time later. When Flores examined the scene after gathering her thoughts, more than 30 sheep had been killed.

2005 Wave Of Sightings Over Bolivia

In early October 2005, according to reports in La Patria newspaper, multiple unidentified objects were witnessed over Eastern Oruro. What’s more, the objects were witnessed by “thousands” of residents of the region.

The sightings began at around 10:30 pm on the night in question when local citizens noticed “two strange objects” with “red, green, and blue lights” in the sky. They remained there for several moments before vanishing as if into thin air.

A short time later, other residents of the region witnessed a “silvery, circular UFO” that appeared to have a smaller object spinning around it. One witness, Abel Flores Mujica, would comment to the media that at first he and his daughter thought the UFO was a planet, possibly Mars. However, when they noticed the speed it was moving combined with the fact that it had different colored lights on it, they realized they were looking at a UFO.

Reporting on the events for Channel 39, journalist, Pedro Rubin de Celis claimed the incident was just one of many and was further proof that life existed elsewhere in the universe. He would report how many residents had “stepped onto their balconies” to see the strange objects and that when he and his crew zoomed in on them with their cameras they could see a “circle making concentric movements within other circles around the vessel” and that it had a “black dot at the center”.

A depiction of a UFO over Bolivia

A wave of UFO sightings hit Bolivia in October 2005

Several nights later, according to the same newspaper, a resident of Gustavo Ponce witnessed a very similar silver-colored object at around 1:30 am on the 8th of October. The witness was heading to bed for the night when he noticed a “yellowish light” in the night sky. He instinctively reached for his binoculars and placed them to his eyes. He would see a “very strange and shiny figure” that appeared to be “breaking down into a shape that resembled a jellyfish”, adding that it was “very strange”.

Only two nights later, at around 8:30 pm on 10th October, two journalists witnessed and filmed a bizarre object over the same region of the country. La Patria reported on the incident in their 18th October 2005 edition. The television crew – Julio Espinoza, Paola Medina and José Romero – worked for the television channel ATB. After having investigated the account in Gustavo Ponce, they decided to head out of the studio and onto the street outside. By 9 pm, they had spotted something potentially unusual.

They immediately began to film, noticing how the object “changed shape”, morphing from a “rhomboidal shape into a perfect square and (then) into a classic flying saucer”. Many other residents also witnessed the flying object and made reports, both to the television networks and to the police.

Glowing Object Pictured Over Farmer’s Field, 2016

One of the most recent sightings [3] to come of Bolivia occurred on the evening of 23rd January 2016 over Santa Cruz. The witness claimed they were on holiday at the time and was in the town of Chochis. During their time there they had heard numerous stories of strange lights and objects that were often witnessed overhead.

On this particular night, he and a friend took a short walk to the outskirts of the town to visit a farm that belonged to a friend. It was as they were walking along the quiet country road that they witnessed a mysterious light in the night sky. To begin with, the light looked only slightly bigger than a star. However, it didn’t take them long to realize this light was approaching. What’s more, it appeared to be headed toward the farm, specifically to a field where the farmer’s cows were.

The closer the glowing object got, the clearer it was to the pair that it was a vehicle of some kind, disc or cigar-shaped. What’s more, it appeared to “vibrate” as it moved. After slowing slightly near the field, the object suddenly sped up somewhat and had soon disappeared from sight.

Although the sighting only occurred for no more than a minute, the witness did manage to capture several pictures on their mobile phone. You can see one of those pictures below.

Other Significant UFO Sightings In South America In Previous Years

There were also several other intriguing sightings across the South American Continent around the same time as the apparent crash landing in Bolivia.

Disc-Shaped Object Lands Near Nazca, Peru 1972

Perhaps one of the most intriguing UFO incidents in South American in the years leading up to the UFO crash in Bolivia occurred early in the morning on 3rd February 1972 in Nazca, Peru. The account comes to us from the book The Mysteries of the Andes by Robert Charroux and is described as one of Peru’s most well-known UFO incidents.

The incident unfolded in the desert town of Puquilo around 300 miles south of Lima. Feed store owners, Tito Rojas and Adolfo Penafiel had a delivery to make and so were looking to get an early start, not wanting to be traveling when the sun was at its highest, and hottest. After loading up their truck, they set off on the 30-mile journey to Nazca along the Pan-American Highway.

It was as they were traveling down the highway, with the brown jagged terrain on both sides of them that the truck’s radio began to experience sudden interference. This would steadily worsen so the broadcast was nothing but static.

Before they could contemplate what the reason might be, the car’s engine began to struggle. In fact, more than struggle, it was not firing at all. No matter how hard Tito pressed down on the gas pedal, the engine refused to kick in. When it finally gave out completely, the two men had no choice but to let the truck drift to the side of the road before it came to a stop.

As the two men began to discuss what the problem might be, exiting the truck and heading to the hood, Tito licked his fingertips and, thinking for sure the battery was dead, touched it to test his theory. As soon as he did so he let out a yelp of pain, joking with his colleague that the battery wasn’t, as he had thought, dead. It was then that Adolfo pointed to the sky and exclaimed, “Look!”

At first, he had believed he had spotted a car coming toward them in the distance. However, the more they looked at the “car”, the more they realized it was something a little more out of the ordinary. They could each see a “silvery gleam” out in the sand dunes. The two men ran to the side of the road, all the while keeping the strange vehicle in view.

They stumbled down the embankment and headed out toward the vehicle. As the two men moved closer to it, they could see the silvery object had a distinct disc shape. The two men realized, without a doubt, that they were looking at a UFO. The object was rested on three landing legs and appeared to be completely sealed all the way around with no visible doors and windows. They would estimate that it was around 15 feet high and around 50 feet long. The exterior was “highly polished” and reflected the morning sun brilliantly.

Then, making a strange situation even stranger, they witnessed a figure appear from around the back of the object. Adolfo would later describe the figure as around average human height and wearing tight green clothes under what looked like a “transparent space suit”.

The two men, rather than being scared, moved even faster to the object, eager to greet the visitor. Much to their surprise, however, it was the figure who appeared scared. As soon as it noticed the approaching men, it turned around and reentered the craft. Several moments later, it took off into the air making a “shrill metallic whine” (incidentally, people in this area would claim that they regularly heard this noise – this would suggest that these visitations are a regular occurrence).

The two men watched, amazed, as the disc disappeared into the sky before they returned to their truck. When Tito tried the engine, it ticked over straight away followed quickly by the radio returning to normal. In the months that followed the incident, numerous UFO sightings were reported in Peru. When we consider, at least to some, the connections of the Nazca Lines to claims of ancient astronauts, these regular sightings perhaps take on even more intrigue.

“Ball Of Fire” Over Chile 1966

Six years prior to the landing in Nazca, in June 1966 in Los Morros, Chile, according to an article in the Volume 14, number 4 edition of Flying Saucer Review by J Antonio Huneeus, two workers of the Chilean National Health Service, Manual Munoz Carvajal and Luis Astudillo Marin, were returning from the village of Incahuasi following a medical emergency.

As they followed the winding roads back to Los Morros, in what was a relatively clear night with a full moon, they suddenly noticed a “ball of fire” pass through the sky in front of them. They would estimate it was approximately 150 feet wide and, at first, thought it was a shooting star or even a meteorite. That was until the ball of fire “went out” as if someone had switched off a light.

Realizing they had seen something a little out of the ordinary, they continued on their way, their focus returning to the sky every few seconds. It wasn’t long before they noticed another strange light that was seemingly moving at a similar rate to their truck.

A depiction of a UFO

What interest might aliens have in this part of the world?

The witnesses would recall how the object glowed extremely brightly and made a cacophony of noise. It also had “six protuberances at its periphery”, with one of the pair describing the object as being shaped like “some kind of nut”. What’s more, bright rays of “brilliant yellow or orange light” were emitted from the craft, which changed slightly every 30 seconds.

By this time, the object was much closer to the ground, so much so that it lit up their entire truck. From this close distance, though, the two witnesses could see a “cabin” on the underside of the aerial vehicle, inside of which they could see three occupants, each wearing a helmet that covered their face.

The object followed them all the way back to Los Morros, with the two medics running inside to immediately inform their colleagues of the bizarre craft. Five of them joined the two men outside just in time to see the object rising into the air and taking off.

Even more intriguing, several months after the incident, the two men would undergo hypnotic regression in order to unlock any further details of the encounter that evening. While not revealing any direct details of the event itself, Cavajal would state that the night of the incident he had suffered a strange “dream” during which three feet tall “green men” had exited the craft and approached them. He described them as having large heads, and very large eyes.

Many Other Alleged Crashes Worldwide

In the book Crash: When UFOs Fall From the Sky: A History of Famous Incidents, Conspiracies, and Cover-Ups, Kevin D. Randle documents many of such events, some of which are of interest to us here. [4] For example, in 1981 in an unknown location in Argentina, a disc-shaped object crashed to the ground in front of several witnesses. Shortly after, the object exploded sending wreckage and debris everywhere.

Not long after the event, several military jets were seen in the skies overhead. What’s more, a military unit arrived at the scene and were claimed to have recovered several large pieces of debris. Some rumors even went around the community that “two badly burned bodies” were also in the military’s possession. Such talk was soon suppressed, however, with the entire area put off-limits and under military control. Those who looked to seek information on the event were encouraged not to.

UFO And Alien Recovered In Venezuela In 2004?

Although it doesn’t share a direct border with Bolivia, perhaps one of the most interesting claims of a downed UFO in South America occurred in May 2004. The account was researched and written about by UFO researcher, Scott Corrales, who claimed the crippled extraterrestrial craft was discovered near the Raul Leoni Hydroelectric Station, located approximately 90 miles from the Orinoco River.

A depiction of a crashed UFO

There are more UFO crashes on record than we might think

According to Corrales’ report, several employees working on the dam in the region reported seeing a strange object overhead, with the reports treated so seriously as to set up security around the facility. Of further interest were reports from several residents of Puerto Ordaz of black helicopters shortly after the sighting of the object. Of even more interest is the discreet presence of what appeared to be United States citizens, who were likely intelligence or military officers. According to Corrales, this discreet presence often occurs during such UFO activity and often indicates to researchers (unintentionally) that a crash has taken place.

Corrales further pointed out in his report that a university in Caracas recorded significant seismic activity in the region at the approximate time of the UFO impact. Although investigative units did reach the supposed crash site, heavy rain hampered their progress. Incidentally, the site itself was secured.

Rumors swirled that at least one alien being was recovered as well as the vehicle itself, although these rumors may prove to be exactly that.

Recovered “UFO Metal” Off The Coast Of Vietnam?

Perhaps one of the most intriguing, alleged UFO crashes occurred in Vietnam [5] during the morning of 27th May 2008 at around 10 am. According to the report, a strange aerial object exploded in the sky above Phu Quoc Island just off the coast of Vietnam. What’s more, debris from the otherworldly wreckage was seemingly obtained by a commune on the island, while reports suggest that the military also obtained several pieces of wreckage.

According to the state-run Vietnam News Agency, officials had investigated whether any of their military or commercial aircraft were missing, and all were accounted for. Further according to their report, residents in neighboring Cambodia first noticed a strange object making its way through the skies overhead, with some describing it as a “fire in the sky”.

When the piece of metal shrapnel was examined, it appeared “strange-looking” and even stranger, it appeared to have symbols etched into it. These symbols were later compared to symbols that were claimed to have been seen on apparent pieces of wreckage from the Roswell craft, as well as those in the infamous Kecksburg UFO crash. What’s more, many abductees and those who claim close encounters with UFOs have also claimed to have seen similar symbols.

Picture of a claimed piece of UFO wreckage

Is this wreckage of a UFO?

In total, it was claimed that 14 separate pieces of wreckage were recovered by the military, with numerous civilians on the island also snagging a piece for themselves.

As was noted in the report of the incident by one UFO reporting site, when such crashes occur in countries such as Vietnam, because they do not make the attempts to suppress such evidence as a Western government might, “an opportunity presents itself for the nation and the people involved to share what has happened with the world”. Whether this incident – now over a decade ago – presents such evidence in the global public arena remains to be seen.

UFO Crash In Brazil In May 2021?

According to an online article [6] from 20th May 2021, many “thousands” of people reported a UFO that had crashed just to the north of Rio de Janeiro in the municipality of Mage. According to the article, literally “thousands” of residents reported seeing “glowing lights in the sky” overhead on the night in question. What’s more, many of those who witnessed the bizarre events managed to capture footage of it and proceeded to upload it to social media. Generally speaking, most of the pieces of footage that have been viewed appear to show a “flashing, circular orange light moving through the night sky”.

Of course, not all who examined the case were convinced, with one skeptic claiming that people were seeing “a reflection that is temporarily overloading the satellite’s sensor”. Essentially, that they were witnessing the sun reflecting off a building or another object.

South America Remains Active With UFOs Today

As we have noted in previous articles, UFO and apparent alien activity is rife through the entire South American continent. What’s more, encounters with aliens and apparent crashes also appear to be in abundance here. As we, and many other UFO investigators and enthusiasts have asked before, why might this be? What might be special about this vast stretch of land in the southern hemisphere of our planet?

Might the reasons for this increased UFO activity be the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on either side of the continent? If this is the case, might it be another suggestion that the answers to the UFO and alien question reside under the water of our planet as opposed to in outer space?

South America has long been a place of interest for UFO researchers, both due to the many UFO reports of the modern age and the fascinating and potential extraterrestrial links in the many creation stories, legends, and folklore of the continent. Indeed, further study of both might provide the confirmation that there has been an alien presence on Earth going back many thousands of years.

The video below looks at the UFO crash in Bolivia, and while there are no subtitles, it is still worth watching.


1 Three Alleged International UFO Crashes, Antonio Huneeus, Open Minds TV
2 Crashed UFOs: The Bolivian Affair, Nick Redfern, Mysterious Universe, November 27th, 2011
3 UFO Casebook – Sightings, Case Files, Photos, Videos, Abduction, UFO Casebook
4 Crash, When Ufo’S Fall From The Sky: A History of Famous Incidents, Conspiracies, and Cover-ups, Kevin Randle, ISBN 9781601 631008
5 Vietnam UFO Crash Metal May Be The Smoking Gun, UFO Casebook
6 People are convinced a UFO crashed in Brazil, Dazed

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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