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Air Misses:

"UFO Skeptics" are still making ironical comments about UFO. One of the most frequent comment is "If there were UFOs, how do you explain that pilots do not meet them in the air?". Well they do meet. Sometimes pilots wonder if they will not meet just a little too close...

Airmiss in Bariloche, Argentina, 1995:

On the morning of August 2, 1995, my TV set, by chance, was displaying the "teletext" pages of "Suisse Romande" TV, and I read about the following news:

A crew of Aerolineas Argentinas and aviation officials on the ground observed a luminous object approaching their plane as it prepared to land at the Bariloche airport, about 870 miles from Buenos areas. Captain Jorge Polanco told reporters that all the lights of the airport and its surroundings extinguished when the object was seen and he was landing. Staff in the control tower reported that all their instruments began to behave strangely at the same time. Ground observers say that the UFO appeared to have lights on its belly.

At that time I had no opinion on UFOs and little interest in the subject, I asked myself if I was dreaming. But was not been entirely alone in wondering what this was all about. Having no internet connection at the time, I immediately scanned the hundreds of TV channels I received by cable, thinking that this was going to be extraordinary breaking news and headline page of every newspaper. There was nothing, and there was nothing in the hours and days that followed.

Argentinean Air Force, pressured indirectly by the media regarding the incident, stepped forth with the tired excuse that "no investigation of the case would take place, since there is no official agency in charge of looking into UFOs..."

The most childish and laughable of all the explanations ventilated on the subject was the one pinning the blame on the Moon as the source of what Captain Polanco and other pilots in Bariloche had seen. This is not the first nor the last time that an attempt to justify a case is made: if it cannot be explained as a weather balloon, there is an infinity of objects that can be used to explain it.

Therefore, we have heard that "Jupiter" wanders below the cloud cover in the skies over Mar del Plata on some occasions. Faced with a case such as Bariloche (qualified witnesses, multiple effects) it was undoubtable that the naysayers should try to "explain" what had happened. When they were unable to resort to their usual "chestnuts": alcoholism or hallucinations among the rural population.

On October 6, 1995, the news was circulated that four members of the Air Gendarmerie had died in an aviation accident. One of the victims was Cmdr. Juan Domingo Gaitán, who alongside Aerolíneas Argentinas pilot Jorge Polanco, had witnessed the Bariloche UFO on July 31. No details were made available as to the reasons behind this tragic accident, although many followers of the South American UFO scene believe that an effort to "silence" the witnesses of the Bariloche UFO had been set in motion.

The incident in the Press:

A UFO causes a dangerous mess on a South Argentina airport

The pilot of an airliner had to make a desperate maneuver to not collide with a "flying saucer". At the same time, a power outage occurred in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche.

A "flying saucer" of white color, moving "at a very high speed defying the laws of physics," disrupted for about fifteen minutes on the night of Monday to Tuesday, the traffic of the airport of San Carlos de Bariloche, 1,800 km southwest of Buenos Aires, seen on Tuesday by a dozen eyewitnesses.

It all started Monday at 1:30 a.m. Swiss time with the flight 674 of Areolinas Argentinas from Buenos Aires with 102 passengers and 3 crew members, ending its landing approach to land on runway of Bariloche, a popular winter sports resort in the foothills of the Andes.

"The pilot of the plane had to make a desperate maneuver not to collide with an unidentified flying object (UFO)," said several members of the Argentine military air forces. The testimony is confirmed by Major Jorge Oviedo, who also "saw a UFO," and that "at the same time, a power outage occurred throughout the city and instruments at the airport went crazy." Several residents said they also saw the UFO, just before the power outage.

"When we were at 15 minutes of flight from Bariloche, the control tower normally allowed us to begin our approach maneuvers by flight instruments and we went down from 12 000 to 3000 feet," says the pilot, Jorge Polanco.

"When I started the last descent, I suddenly saw in front of us a white light coming directly at us at full speed, before stopping suddenly at a hundred meters. When I resumed the maneuvers, the object made a strange turn to accompany our turn down and stayed parallel to us on one hundred meters," he said.

"My flight was operating normally, but after a while the saucer, the size of an airliner, changed color, two green lights appeared at the ends with an orange light in the center that lit intermittently," the pilot added.

"When I started my final approach, runway lights and the airport went out at once. I had to go up to 3000 feet, making an "escape maneuver", still accompanied by the UFO, it rose at supernatural speed. I could not believe my eyes and I was very concerned, as was my crew," added Polanco, that this UFO "was not moving according to known physical and natural laws."

"When the light came back on the ground and I started my descent, the UFO then disappeared at high speed towards the Cerro Otto" (a mountain in the area), the pilot concluded that, once on the ground, he acknowledges he had to stay "5 minutes in the cockpit with his heart beating fast."

An investigation was initiated to try to determine the origin of the mysterious object.

Other significant incidents:

August 11, 1964: In Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego) a Beechcraft 5G2 aircraft had just requested permission from the local airport control tower to land at 1700 hrs, when a glowing UFO suddenly followed the small plane for a number of minutes. Captain Raul Salgado (an experienced pilot) decided to direct his aircraft toward the intruder, but the UFO outdistanced him at a prodigious speed.

August 1965: Punta Indio Aeronaval Base. As a result of the large amount of sightings which had taken place, the Argentinean Navy decided to track UFOs with radar and by means of chase planes. The operation was under the command of Captain Omar Pagani and other naval officers. During one event, a strange echo was picked up on the radar screen. A Navy jet was scrambled after the intruder, but the UFO managed to elude its pursuer repeatedly. The pilot reported that the object had an "ellipsoid" configuration, being some 12 meters in diameter and as close to his interceptor as 200 meters, at one point.

September 23, 1984: In the vicinity of Reconquista (province of Santa Fé), pilot Carlos Sorini was flying a Piper LV Mee carrying seven passengers. At 2100 hours, both pilot and passenger observed the evolutions of a UFO which interfered with the small plane's instrumentation. The radiocompass oscillated between 0.05 degrees and 270 degrees. The UFO was also detected by Flight 760 of Aerolíneas Argentinas and by Flight 61 of Austral Airlines. The witnesses stated that this odyssey lasted 45 minutes.

August 18, 1985: In the vicinity of Ceres (Santa Fé), 2 UFOs were sighted by a number of journalists aboard a Boeing 737. One of them, Roberto Ruiz, of Buenos Aires' Clarin was able to take a sequence of 36 photographs of the object. The UFO changed colors and performed an array of maneuvers. The event took place at 2100 hrs. that day.

August 20, 1985: Town of Charata, Resistencia (Chaco Province), from 0700 to 1600 hours. A UFO was reported in a number of communities throughout the day. Hugo Weschbilling (Air Traffic Controller at Resistencia) witnessed the object. At 0755 hrs., the captain of an Aerolíneas Argentinas 747 reported the object at 90 degrees to his aircraft, and that it was performing a series of rising and descending maneuvers. The bizarre object was also reported by other aircraft.

July 26, 1995 A similarly impressive event transpired on in San José, Costa Rica: a colossal UFO was detected on the radar screens of the Tobías Bolańos Airport. Pilot Everardo Carmona was conducting a training mission when he sighted the UFO, which he later described as "enormous, ovoidal and brilliant." Tower Controllers Gerardo Giménez and Javier Mayorga confirmed that their instruments suffered magnetic alterations for a few seconds.

A recent incident in Bariloche:

A very large multicolored UFO appeared early on Easter Sunday morning, April 23, 2000, over the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, in the foothills of the Andes about 800 kilometers (500 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires. The craft, which appeared at 2 a.m., was seen by television newswoman Noemi Molina, who attempted to capture its image on her camcorder. But after five seconds of shooting, her camcorder's battery suddenly lost all of its power.

References:

France Soir France, August 3, 1995 "Ufo against plane: It was close to a crash!", the Bariloche Argentina classic case.
Le Courrier de l'Ouest France, August 3, 1995 "Argentina: Flying saucers fly", the Bariloche Argentina classic case.
Clarin Argentina, August 2, 1995 "A strange phenomenon complicated the flight of a plane in Bariloche", the Bariloche Argentina classic case.

And:

TV reports:

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This page was last updated on January 25, 2003