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Radar visual cases:

Numerous cases exist to answer both questions "why are UFOs not detected on radar" and "why don't pilots report UFOs" with a definite "Indeed they do, and there are numerous cases where pilots observed UFOs that were confirmed by ground control radar." But here there is even more than that.

Piper P-24 paced bw three flying discs, 1975:

The report:

On May 3, 1975, Mexican pilot Carlos Antonio de Los Santos Montiel, age 23, took off from the airfield of Zihuatenejo, Mexico, to fly to Mexico City, aboard a Piper PA-24.

As he was at altitude 15.000 feet (4.5 kilometers), over Lake Tequesquitengo, at local time 01:24pm, he felt a strange vibration in the aircraft's structure, and when he looked to the right he saw a 3 meters diameter domed disc flying along his aircraft. Another similar object quickly appeared at the left wingtip of his aircraft, and a third appeared at the front, flying on a near collision course to him, then descending underneath the aircraft. Montiel felt a sort of jolt as this object went underneath his aircraft.

Although badly schocked, the pilot kept to his senses and acted. The landing gear lever did not respond when the pilot pulled it. He had the impression that his aircraft was not under his control anymore but was floated in the air as if the three unknown object had control over it.

He called the Mexico City Airport flight control, in a trembling voice of course, and described what was happening to him. By now the objects had disappeared, and he was relieved to find that the controls and instruments were working again as he brought the plane in to land at the airport.

At exactly that time, Mexico control was actually detecting unexplainable radar blips near his plane, they understood that these were not normal aircraft because of their sharp manoeuvers and because there were not three airplanes supposed to fly at this location.

As the objects left, Montiel was able to regain control of his Piper PA 24, the landing gear was functionnal again, and he landed safely.

On the ground radar, the three objects were detected merging into one and speeding towards Mount Popocatepetl.

The control tower staff, who had tracked the plane and the objects on radar, took Carlos's report very seriously.

His story leaked out in the press and newspaper made their headlines with it.

Colleagues of Montiel testified of his sobriety and trustworthyness. He was badly shaken by the sighting and received medical help to overcome post traumatic stress. He was found to be mentally fit and sane, and subsequently authorized to fly again. In fact, although it embarrassed him at the beginning, his name became so famous that he applied to a position at Mexicana Airlines and obtained it.

It was only with some reluctance that he agreed to appear on a TV show, hosted by ufologist and TV personality Pedro Ferriz, to talk about his experience, live. Little did he know that his bizarre experience was to become even more bizarre.

Two weeks later, driving to the television studio, Carlos noticed a large, black Ford Galaxy limousine pull in front of him. Looking in his rear-view mirror, he noticed another car of the same type just behind him. Both cars looked brand new, as if they had just been driven out of the showroom. He described them as "cars like the one used by diplomats." The cars crowded him, forcing him to pull over and stop. He was about to get out when he realised that the other two cars had also stopped, disgorging four tall, broad-shouldered men, who were walking towards him.

The men were "Scandinavian" in appearance, with very pale skin and wearing black suits. One of them walked up to Carlos's car door, standing with his hand on it, preventing Carlos from getting out. Speaking quickly in Spanish, with a strange "mechanical" tone, the man said "Look boy, if you value your life and your family's too, don't talk any more about this sighting of yours." Stunned speechless, Carlos turned his car around and drove home; he never made it to the television studio that day.

Carlos described his experience to Pedro Ferriz two days later who (interestingly) said that he had heard similar stories from UFO witnesses before, assuring Carlos that nothing would happen to him. Carlos agreed to another TV interview, which passed off without incident.

In mid-June of the same year, Dr J. Allen Hynek (former astronomical consultant of the USAF investigation of UFOs Project Blue Book, one of the key figures in UFO research) was travelling through Mexico and, having heard about the de los Santos case, invited Carlos to his hotel to discuss his experience. Carlos went to Dr Hynek's hotel after having gone for his interview with Mexicana Airlines, with whom he had applied for a job as a pilot.

Walking up the hotel steps, Carlos was shocked to meet one of the strange men who had threatened him before. "You were already warned once," the stranger said, "You are not to talk about your experience." Carlos protested his innocence, saying that he was only responding to an invitation from Dr Hynek. At this the stranger pushed him sharply back several feet. "Look, I don't want you to make problems for yourself", he said, "And why did you leave your house at six this morning? Do you work for Mexicana Airlines? Get out of here - and don't come back!"

Carlos did as he was told. This proved to be Carlos's last encounter with the strangers. Two years later, when talking to UFO researcher Jerome Clark and his friend Richard Heiden, he recalled "They were strange. They were huge, taller than Mexicans are, and they were so white. But the strangest thing of all is that all the while they were in my presence I never saw them blink."

The sketch:

A drawing of the observation can be found in "The UFO Evidence" Volume II, by Richard Hall, NICAP.


Detailed maps are on

Short discussion:

What we have here is a case where almost all of the aspects of the UFO problem are involved.

What more should be said?

That I have found no word about this case in the "skeptics" litterature.


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This page was last updated on February 26, 2002.