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UFOs in the daily Press:

UFO sighting in Salta, Argentina, 2003:

This article was published in the daily newspaper Diario El Tribuno, of Salta, Argentina, on November 21, 2003.

UFO follows three mechanics in Salta for two hours

"I'd never been so scared," said one of the protagonists of the strange and extraordinary adventure.

A team of three mechanics from Salta, who had ventured out to rescue a minibus belonging to a Canadian scientific expedition on the Chilean side of the Andean region bordering the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, had an unexpected brush with the unusual: an unidentified flying object (UFO) of considerable size, spherical, and having an "impressive white luminosity" followed them for over two hours on a straight road that links the communities of Susques and Punamarca through the international Jama Pass.

"I'd never been so scared. That thing didn't belong to this world. It moved at an impossible speed and at one point came so close to us we thought it would collide," said Raul Eduardo Oviedo Tomas of the "Forani" mechanic shop in Salta. The north american researchers were stranded at San Pedro de Atacama. Headed by Dr. Randall, the scientists were conducting a survey of Cordilleran flora.

"We left Saturday on 4:45 from Salta toward the Cordillera. I asked two friends - Marco Figueroa and Alejandro - to accompany me so I wouldn't have to do either the work or the journey alone. This was the first time I had driven those roads, and I was truly impressed, not just by the landscape and the desolation, but by the hardship. One has to climb a 70 kilometer-long incline to reach Chile, which can destroy the engine of any unit driven by a inexperienced motorist," said Oviedo Tomas, 37, with an athletic build.

He added: "We reached San Pedro de Atacama around 14 hours on the same day, but we realized that it would be impossible to tow the Canadian minibus with my S10 Chevy - it weighed over 5000 kilos and one good look at its structure and equipment sufficed to establish that the only way to get it out of there would be using a "mosquito truck" or something similar. We therefore decided to return home."

Without hesitation, taking deep drags of a cigarette, Oviedo Tomas went on: The road on the Argentinean side is trully horrible, especially when contrasted with the Chilean side, which is like a paved pool table, with signage and road markings. At that point, shortly before reaching Susques, the stones caused usa blowout, which caused us to continue the trip under stress, since there wasno other spare tier. We thought to repair it in the little town but the tirerepairman was on holiday, so we had to continue regardless. It was still Saturday."

"At around 20:00 we left Susques for Punamarca. We were listening to music and remarking about the impressive darkness and loneliness of this area, which is an upland plateau. Suddenly the lights and radio went out. I braked because Icouldn't see anything at all due to the darkness. "Stop fooling around!" Alejandro told me from the back seat."

"Meanwhile, I was moving all of the knobs and to see what had happened. Nothing worked, only the engine. Suddenly, on my right and at a distance, I saw a strange light. It was a small sphere that irradiated an intense white light. 'Did you see that?' asked Marcos. I never got to answer, even though I thought it was what they call 'la luz mala' [the evil light], because it started moving swiftly toward us until it became enormous. Itstopped and remained static. 'Don't look at it!' I told my friends, although I don't know why. I accelerated and poured on as much speed as possible, however, that 'thing' started to fly again in a perfect straight line. It didn't make a single sound. Suddenly, it gained speed and in less than a second it vanished toward the bottom of the plain."

"We were quiet and didn't make a single remark, although all of us asked each other many times 'Did you see it? Did you see it?'. We went on in silence, although not for long, because other things happened that were truly unbelievable."

After the initial experience with the strange luminous sphere which followed them along a parallel course, the passengers aboard the Chevrolet S10 continued their trip in complete silence.

"It's just that we had no explanation whatsoever for the strange phenomenon," explains Oviedo Tomas. "The glaring brightness, its intensity and whitness, had never been seen before by my companions or myself. And unknown things always inspire certain fear," he admitted.

He continued: "We were bemused after the UFO vanished into the night. We turned the radio on again to listen to some music, but no sooner had 20 minutes gone by, the lights went out again and the radio quit. "Look over there!" cried Alejandro, and we saw that the light was returning on on our left side. Surprisingly, the lights and the radio began to work once again and I took advantage of the fact to gun the accelerator, although it was useless. That thing kept pacing us with its strong lights, flying swiftly and precisely, giving the impression that it was following a guiderail in space. With the anguish of not knowing what could happen to us, we drove along for some 15 minutes until - as it had done the first time - the sphere built tremendous speed and vanished, becoming dimmer and then vanishing. At this point we were all dumbstruck, although I think we all shared the same thought:' when the hell will we get out of this damned place!'. And then my blood froze, beacuse the light reappeared - and not to our side, but directly ahead. I swear," he told El Tribuno, " that it came upon us instantly and in less than two seconds had acquired gigantic proportions. I thought it was going to collide with us or swallow us whole. Either way, I thought we were going to die. However, the strangest thing happened: it suddenly stopped right in front of us. I couldn't judge the distance, since the light's brilliance and sheer enormity made it impossible to calculate. And there it stood for a few instants, as though observing us, until it took off again and vanished into the night. We didn't see it again and didn't make any remarks until we reached Salta. There's only one thing I can tell you for sure: I'll return to that area, the Cordillera, if necessary, but never again at night!"

The Spanish to English translation © 2003. Scott Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology. Special thanks to Mercedes Casas and Luis E. Pacheco.

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