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Cocoyoc, Mexico, November 3, 1973:

A well-known Mexican banker, his wife, children and their maid saw a strange object approaching rapidly from the East in a clear afternoon sky. The banker took pictures; the object landed.

The events:

The sighting:

On November 3, 1973 at 04:45 P.M., a banker, his wife, their child and the nurse who takes care of the child were driving in the family's car towards Mexico City, and were on the road between Cocoyoc and Caxtepec. The weather was clear, with some light flocculent clouds strewing the sky.

The wife of the banker saw an object in the sky, at an altitude which they estimated to be of approximately less than 100 meters above ground-level. She told thereafter that the object was of rather round shape, that she drew the attention of her husband to the presence of the object, and that while the distance between them and the object decreased they could realize that it was not what they had initially thought: it was not a plane, neither a helicopter, nor even a competition balloon, which they had considered for a moment.

The banker stopped the car on the side of the road and the passengers went out to get a better look at the object. The banker thought about his camera, took it, and made a first photograph at this time, with the objective set to an aperture of 50 mm and the exposure time set to 1/250.

Photo 1

Enlargement from
photograph Nr. 1.

Photo 1

Photograph Nr. 1.

After the banker took this first photograph, the object suddenly seemed to move away, and the banker then quickly set up the aperture of his camera objective to 135 mm and took a second shot.

Photo 1

Enlargement from photograph Nr. 2.

The object started to go down towards the ground as for a landing and a third photograph was taken at this time there, with the aperture also of 135 mm.

Photograph Nr. 3:
Photo 3

photograph Nr. 3:

Photo 3

The object indeed landed, at about 200 to 250 meters away from the witnesses according to their estimate.

During this approach followed by a landing, the witnesses noted that the object was not completely round but rather like a sphere prolonged by a protuberance below it who made it appear a little bit pear shaped. At the level of its broadest circumference, it had appendices slightly tilted to the bottom at the moment of its progression in flight, the witnesses using the word "tentacles" to describe these appendices. This designation came to their minds when these appendices all simultaneously tilted to the bottom at the time the object started its descent to finally land in the grassy ground.


At this time, the couple noticed that beyond the landed object and not far from him, two children were also looking at it. One of them started to run towards the UFO, which threw the wife of the banker and then the nurse in a panic crisis. The banker tried to calm the two women but finally surrendered to their demand to leave the place immediately. Busy trying to calming down the women, and not particularly shocked by the sighting, he did not take photographs of the object on the ground, everyone went up in the car and they took the road of Mexico City at high speed.

During the entire observation, the object had not emitted the least sound, nor the least smoke, contrail, exhaust, or odor, as if it was completely deprived of any known propulsion system.

The witnesses estimated that the height of the object was about 12 meters and its circumference of about 8 meters. It did not have any inscription or identification marks, no porthole or opening nor visible nacelle or engines. Its color was of a rather dark blue-green.

After the sighting:

As of the following, whereas they had returned to Mexico City, the banker finished the film roll by taking some family photographs then brought it to develop to the nearest drugstore. The pictures were ready in the evening of the same day, and the family looked at them and discussed it, noting the strangeness of the object again, but nothing else was done, the pictures were stored in a drawer and forgotten. The banker explained later that UFOS were not something in which he was interested.

At the beginning of 1977, a friend of the family which had seen the photographs informed the MUFON representative for Mexico, Fernando Tellez, about the existence of these photographs. Tellez contacted the witnesses and received both the pictures and the negatives of the entire film roll. Tellez handed them to Roberto Pavilla, then director of the Kodak Technical Services in Mexico City who carried out the analysis reproduced below.

Fernando Tellez informed the MUFON headquarters and the APRO about the case and thus it was known in the United States by an article in the APRO Bulletin, vol. 25, N. 11, of May 1977. The Argentinian ufologist Carlos Roncoroni, director of the S.I.U in Buenos Aires and editor of UFOPRESS magazine also checked the authenticity of the case.

The couple always wished to continue to preserve its anonymity and its good reputation, they never asked for or received the least benefit of the photographs, and never made any publicity about their sighting. The case became known by mere chance.

Technical analysis of the film roll:

Camera model: Minolta SRT 101.
Film: Kodak color ASA 80.

  1. The obturator of the camera was not set in an appropriate manner which explains the light shade projected on the negatives, which appears in all the photographs. This indicates that the photographs were taken successively.
  2. On the pictures two and three a cloud appears which is useful as element of reference to determine the angle of descent of the object.
  3. The film emulsion is the same one from one end to another of the film roll, the three photographs of the craft follow one another on the film roll, inserted between family and landscapes photographs.
  4. Negative N. 14 of the film roll is slightly damaged by a deterioration, but it is due to the age of the film, and this does not decrease the authenticity of the photographs at all.
  5. The film roll indicates that Mr. Jimenez [Note: pseudonym for the banker] had taken several family photographs, which were followed of the three shots of the strange aerial apparatus, themselves followed by family photographs and landscapes photographs. If Mr. Jimenez had wanted to create faked pictures, he would have used several negatives, maybe several films, and would have shown only the successful photographs.
  6. The reason for which the stereotypes two and three are less dark than the photograph N. 1 is than when Mr. Jimenez [Note: pseudonym given for the banker] changed the aperture from 50mm to 135 mm, this allowed more light to pass through the diaphragm. However this value was higher than necessary, this is an error common to all occasional photographers.

On the sex of the flying dolphins:

I have been looking in the "UFO skeptics" litterature for an explanation for these events. I found only one:

In an excellent source book by Ms. Margaret Sachs, The UFO Encyclopedia, there is a picture of an "Alleged UFO photographed in Cocoyoc, Mexico, on November 3, 1973." There is nothing around this "UFO" to assist in an analysis to identify it or disprove the "UFO" and when I first saw this photograph I laughed at how amazing it is that it has, apparently, for so long remained unidentified.

I think any marine biologist would have recognized the "UFO" immediately since it is really an "ISO" - an Identifiable Swimming Object. I have spent many hours in front of tanks at the local Pittsburgh Zoo experimenting with communication between human beings and dolphins and I immediately and with complete certainty identified the "UFO" as a dolphin swimming towards the camera - an object surrounded by water and not air. The side fins are unmistakable, the tail fin barely visible, the dorsal fin almost entirely hidden by the curvature of the body, although I have seen dolphins in captivity with curved and badly damaged dorsal fins. The one streak of light on this otherwise dark blob shows the curvature of the head, the snout to one side. I think I can even identify it as a female dolphin, that's how clear the photograph is to me! And yet it is being used as a photograph of a "real UFO"! Amazing.

The problem with the explanation is the typical problem faced by any armchair research. The explainer has found a cropped and enlarged version in a UFO book, and did not care to check that there is something around this photograph to assist in an analysis and simply imagined that there isn't, he never checked for full pictures, never suspected there may be more than one picture etc.

This is what happens when people uneducated in the field of ufology have their mind set. Because they are sincerely convinced that UFOs do not exist, they do not feel the need for any checking, and are satisfied with the first explanation they believe to have found. A flying dolphin in this case. Even more precise: a female flying dolphin.

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