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UFOs in the daily Press:

The case of the giant vegetables of Jose Carmen Garcia, Mexico:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, Florida, USA, page 12, February 9, 1980.

See the case file here.


The Jolly Green Giant has met his match

SAN DIEGO -- Bill Robinson has a 10-pound onion in his freezer at home.

Behind the gargantuan vegetable is a tale, difficult to believe, of humanoids in a tunnel beneath a volcano in Mexico.

Even if the explanation is nonsense, there is no denying the reality of the onion, or of the photographs Robinson has of cabbages 3 feet wide and collard greens up to 5 feet long.

Robinson is the information officer for the San Diego police Department. Reporters generally give him high marks for credibility.

It was while vacationing in Mexico, Robinson said, that he was introduced to farmer Jose Carmen Garcia, a copyright story in San Diego Home and Garden magazine reported.

When Garcia takes his produce to market in Valle de Santiago, a village 260 miles northwest of Mexico city, people gather to marvel at his huge onions, cabbage weighing 44 to 60 pounds and collard greens as big as palm fronds. They are grown in a three-acres plot that Garcia plows with a horse or a mule. And they're as tender and tasty as normal-sized vegetables.

Garcia, 50, does not use fertilizer, and he gets his seeds at the village general store.

A villager, Oscar Arredondo, intrigued by a radish the size of a softball asked Garcia his secret.

Garcia told him that in 1947, as a youth of 17 struggling to make ends meet on the farm inherited from his father, he met a stranger, who looked and talked like a Mexican peasant.

The stranger said he had been held captive by tall, fair humanoids in a tunnel beneath a volcano. His captors spoke gibberish, he said, and lived on the outsized vegetables they grew.

He said he had memorized the magic formula they used to achieve growth and sketched it on a scrap of paper. He told Garcia to concentrate on the symbols and that after a period of time, the "message" would become clear, then walked away.

After several sleepless nights, Garcia told Arredondo, he got the revelation, whatever it was. He planted the seeds and has produced gigantic vegetables ever since.

Arredondo wrote about Garcia in a newspaper and a Mexico city magazine, Impacto.

Garcia, the article said, would take on anyone in a crop-growing contest. The Mexican government's Agriculture Ministry officials took him up on the challenge.

The ministry officials laid out two 20-acre plots. A team of ministry experts and farmers handpicked from a cooperative, using fertilizers, worked one of them. Garcia, with no help except his formula, worked the other.

The ministry team and the cooperative farmers brought in 30 tons od produce per acre. Garcia brought in 106 tons.

A ministry official thanked Garcia for his time and told him he could sell the produce. This disappointed Garcia, who had expected to be summoned to Mexico City to reveal the formula to the government, which did not even keep samples.

Robinson said he met Arredondo by chance at a sidewalk cafe and heard the strange tale.

"Why isn't the world interested?" Arredondo asked.

Robinson said he was, and Arredondo took him to Garcia's farm. That is where Robinson got the 10-pound onion he is keeping in his freezer.

Robinson said he asked Garcia why the government experts did not express an interest in his secret after his victory over them in the crop-growing competition.

"Perhaps," he replied, "they took it personally."

[Photo caption:] United Press International
Neighbor and Arredondo hold cabbage grown by the magic known to Garcia, right.

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