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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 Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, California, USA, page 39, February 10, 1980.

See the case file here.

Farmer's secret from outer space

SAN DIEGO (UP) -- Every now and then Bill Robinson takes the 10-pound onion out of his freezer and contemplates it.

Behind the gargantuan vegetable lies the strange tale, difficult to believe, of the wonder farmers from outer space.

Even if the explanation is nonsense, there is no denying the reality of the onion, or 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 report in San Diego Home and Garden magazine.

Garcia's produce is the wonder of the marketplace in Valle de Santiago, a village 280 miles northwest of Mexico City near Irapuato, he said. Townspeople gather to marvel at his eight pound onions, cabbages weighting from 44 to 60 pounds, and collard greens as big as palm fronds. Housewives swear they are as tender and tasty as normal-sized vegetables.

Yet, Garcia, 50, plows his 3-acre plot behind a mule or a horse, just like his neighbors, buys the same seed at the village general store, and does not use fertilizers.

A local photographer, 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 nearby volcano. His captors spoke unintelligible gibberish, he said, and lived on the outsize vegetables.

He said he had memorized their magic formula; which he sketched 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 got the revelation - whatever it was - planted the seeds and has produced gigantic vegetables ever since.

Arredondo wrote about Garcia in the Irapuato newspaper, El Alacran and a Mexico city magazine, Impacto.

An imaginative Agriculture Ministry official took up on Garcia's challenge to prove his crop-growing prowess in a grow-off against nay farmer on a neutral soil.

The ministry laid out two 20-acre plots near Campo de Tangasneque in Tampico state in December 1978. The competing track was farmed by a team of ministry experts and local farmers handpicked from a nearby cooperative, using fertilizers.

At harvest time, the results were tallied. Garcia still has the tote sheets, he said, showing the ministry team averaged 30 tons of product per acre, compared to his 106 tons.

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

"Why isn't the world interested?" Arredondo asked Robinson in the chance sidewalk cafe encounter in Irapuato that put Robinson on Garcia's trail.

Robinson and Arredondo went to the farm north of town where Garcia presented Robinson with the monumental onion. Why didn't the government's experts give him recognition?

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

[Photo caption:] UPI
Farmer Jose Carmen Garcia, right, and one of his giant cabbages, being held by Garcia's neighbor and Oscar Arredondo, center.

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