This article was published in the daily newspaper El Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela, on August 3, 2000.
The UFOs of Trujillo, 1944
Round like plates, flattened in the poles and in most of the cases equipped with multicolor blinking lights, they began to explore Venezuelan skies in the decade of the 1950's. Since then, they continue their visits although just a few they have had the pleasure to receive them and, better still, to travel with them.
By Sara Maineiara Montiel
On August 24, 1944, near Betijoque, in the Trujillo state, a weird event occurred: the disappearance of Joaquina Quintero, companion of the farmer Orangel Castilian Briceño, after an uproarious noise followed by a fire in the neighborhoods of his hut. According to Briceño's account, at 12:00 noon of that day, he heard an explosion near his home. When the farmer approached the hut, he saw the body of his dog completely burned, and in the center of the yard, a large stain of blood. Neither him nor the authorities of the area managed to discover the whereabouts of Mrs. Joaquina. The noise that shook the neighborhood of the area had some think about the possibility of a kidnapping, but by extraterrestrials. 10 years later, on November 29, 1954, a report appeared, registered in the Press Office of the General Command of the Police of Caracas about a street fight between Gustavo González, Cuban of 25 years of age, and a "being of another world" in the Bella Vista street in Petare: "I felt in the beginning as if something prevented me to move, but I soon advanced where the weird being was, I grabbed it between my arms and I tried to stop it, but that small hombrecilló [little guy] had much force and managed to undo the arm lock that I had applied to him, despite that I had lifted him; it weighed like 50 kilogramss, he was hairy, it did not have a nose, he was barefoot and he wore a suit like some sort of loincloths. The story of González is interminable and full of details, but finally the young Cuban and his companion (Jose Ponce) left the aggressive being "who had arms with hands like cutting weapons" unharmed.
These could be first experiences with aliens, nevertheless is not until the year 1954 that the national Press begun to show photographs of people watching the sky. On December 8, 1954, as soon as the thought about the possibility of building a rocket able to arrive at the moon in 24 hours spread in cheap newspapers, El Nacional announced the concentration in silence of thousands of people alarmed at the sight of white lights in the firmament. However, at the disappointment of many, the Cajigal Observatory did not take long to explain that it was only the planet Venus. A few hours after that, six luminous discs were observed in the East of the city, on Avila. Sergeant 141 of the command unit number 13 would reveal that "the luminous objects always moved at great speed towards the East. They lost them of sight, when, at an enormous height, they went over the Airport of Carlota. The craft initiated a vertical ascent at an enormous speed and, in few seconds, they were lost of sight." That same day saucers also appeared in Altamira and Castilian, while Clovis and Carmen Hamel, astronomy buffs, sighted from their house in San Antonio suburb of Gran Sabana, eight strange objects cross the moon.
They are illusions
The next day, professor Antonio Ornés, engineer dedicated for a half century among other things in the study of astronomy, and having served from 1918 to 1932 in the Cajigal Observatory, affirmed forcefully that all those objects that people claimed to have seen were nothing more than illusions: "I do not believe in flying saucers until I see and take a picture with my camera". In the same page, Luis Roche, one of the pioneers of the Caracas urbanism, stated that those unidentified luminous spots and flying objects were nothing more than hydrogen inflated balloons "sent as hoaxes by Creole hands that cannot be calm, humorists who contribute in this manner to break the boredom of our daily life, adding the indispensable grain of salt."
Within the skeptic groups, two tendencies exist: one that proposes that in Venezuela, just like in other countries, the phenomenon of the life outside the Earth and identified flying objects is nothing more than a smokescreen by the governments, a diversion so that the town continues to look up towards the sky. The other states that the great leaders, sportsmen, movie stars and artists in general belong to some different races that have landed on our planet. Some politicians would perfectly fit in this category.