An extraordinary UFO incident off Chile
by Bill Chalker
Bill Chalker, an industrial chemist by
profession, is one of Australia's leading UFO investigators. He lives In New
Editor's note: Incredible tales of
military UFO encounters and cover-ups are legion in the ufological
literature. Most depend on the testimony of a single informant. This one is
no exception and for that reason must be viewed, unless and until verifying
evidence comes forward, as no more than an interesting anecdote. We are
publishing it not because we consider it "evidence" of anything --
it clearly is not --but because it resembles other such stories in a
remarkable way. That means that either the claimant is drawing on a body of
widespread folklore or he, like other claimants telling like tales, is
speaking the truth. Chile, a military dictatorship, does not have a Freedom
of Information Act to which inquirers seeking verification can turn. Readers
who might have access to information that could shed light on this claim are
urged to write IUR.
a series of chance events and an overseas trip, I had the opportunity to
interview an alleged witness to an extraordinary event that supposedly took
place in the Pacific Ocean, about 350 miles to the south of Valparaiso Port,
off the coast of Chile. The incident involved a Chilean Naval destroyer and
was witnessed by crew members and the commander of the vessel. Up to six
UFOs, including one large object, were observed. The objects were verified on radar and observed
visually. As the main object moved over the ship, the vessel's power
extraordinary as the event itself is its alarming aftermath. According to my
informant, a cover-up followed and the witnesses were held in confinement in
port for two days, subjected to intense psychological pressures to force them
to believe they saw nothing out of the ordinary.
The name of
my informant cannot be revealed. He says, however, that he was on duty during
the incident and observed the whole event. The location of the interview,
even the country in which it took place, also cannot be given. The witness
fears that disclosure of either detail could cause him to be recalled to
active service in the Chilean Navy. Although he has already served his term
of service, he is concerned that enforced military service could be used as a
form of punishment.
point out that from the very beginning I have been skeptical of many UFO
cover-up claims. From my experience as the first civilian researcher to have
comprehensive access to the Royal Australian Air Force UFO files, however, I
have become more open-minded about such allegations. In this regard I was
willing to consider the testimony of my Chilean informant, who to all
appearances was sincerely frightened by the events he described to me. That
does not mean I have become a 'believer,' only that I believe such claims
deserve a fair hearing.
midnight, on or about October 24, 1969, a Chilean Navy destroyer, a week out
of dry dock at Talcahuano Port (where the ship's axle had been removed and
replaced), was navigating at 20 knots and heading north 20 degrees portside
from NNW). The incredible events that followed took place over the next eight
A.M. the radar officer
reported a long-range flying contact. A minute later the
“contact" was at 400 miles. Because of the "object's" speed,
the operator suspected a malfunction in his equipment. In the next minute the
contact was approximately 150 miles away closing from 331 degrees of true
north. But the operator and officer in charge during the late night duty (an
officer of second-class rank) speculated that the contact was a "plane
flying southeast” --but at 213 miles in a minute: 12,780 mph!
in charge advised the ship's commander, who asked that an eye be kept on the
the contact was only 12 miles away. Suddenly the single contact became six
“targets.” The “thing spread .... Little dots appeared in the fire of the
light on the radar....”
in charge informed the commander just as the objects making the returns came
into view. Both
eyewitnesses and radar were reporting six objects approaching the ship.
The commander came up to the ship's bridge to see what was going on.
It was a
fantastic sight. One massive object and five small objects were approaching
at high speed. The “big thing looked like a big box [with] semicircles in the
side” looking as if they had been scooped out. It was bathed in brilliant
light. “The thing must have been metallic,” my informant told me. “It was
bigger than the destroyer, which was about 110 meters long.” He thought it
might be at least twice the length of the ship but it was difficult to tell
because “the light was bright."
smaller objects were egg-shaped and appeared to be no bigger than eight feet
long and five to six feet wide. They were bluish in color.
2000 yards out from the destroyer the smaller objects left the proximity of
the larger object. Three went portside and two went starboard. The smaller
objects at times seemed to be flying in "elliptical circles backwards
and forwards between the big one and our vessel ....
thing did not change direction -- if it had been in the sea there would have
been a collision."
noise was audible when the large object got to within 300 yards. It was at
this point that the power went out. For a couple of seconds all instruments
went dead as the huge craft passed overhead.
point the commander came on to the bridge, asking, "What the hell is
that?” My informant remarked that the commander "was very calm, because
probably he knew what he saw. We didn't.
could see the whole thing, the light was so strong. You could see the water,
the funnel head, the head of the ship, the towers, everything... Everybody on
the bridge was sort of listening to the noise. I don't know how long this
thing took to go across."
red lights underneath the main UFO seemed to be moving back and forth inside
the "box,” shining through a half-circle or crescent shape on the bottom
of the object. On the side were what looked like "corn cobs," with
green or turquoise pulsing lights. These lights, my informant said,
"went right through your head."
object passed over the powerless ship. When it was 200 yards away, everything
returned to normal. The smaller objects, never coming closer than 500 to 1000
yards, flew around the ship and joined up with the larger object on the other
object continued on its way until it Was about two miles beyond the ship. At
that point, along with (we assume) the smaller-objects, it vanished. "It
was like somebody opened a big door; then it closed and it was darkness. The
only thing that was left behind was like floating little bits of metallic
eight minutes had passed. Three persons had tracked the UFOs on radar. Five
persons saw the objects themselves. The ship's commander ordered everyone to
keep silent about what they had seen.
"cover-up" started immediately, According to my informant, the
officer in charge (the second-class officer) had made several entries
concerning the UFO incident in the ship's log.
at midnight and on either side of the UFO entries-were routine. Duty
proceeded normally for the rest of the morning.
after he had retired from his shift, the officer rechecked the log, only to
find normal entries in what appeared to be his own handwriting. The UFO
incident was not mentioned. The officer had been left-handed but an accident
had forced him to use his right hand. Because writing was difficult for him,
he had to press down hard on the paper. He had to press down so hard, in
fact;-that the outline of what he wrote was always visible on the page. But
when he checked, it was not. In other words, someone had forged his
handwriting but neglected this telltale physical detail.
that morning the destroyer arrived in Valparaiso Port. After eating
breakfast, the men on duty during the UFO event were asked to report to the
commander. He told them that some people were coming to talk with them and
that they were to go with them. The visitors turned out to be two Chilean
Navy officers and four
Americans in civilian clothes. The Americans, who spoke Spanish, were identified as naval
attaches with the U.S. embassy.
witnesses were taken to a mine- or torpedo-storage area at the port. Each was
taken to a separate room.
informant was directed to explain what happened last night. When he told
them, they said, “No, you didn't see that!"
that's what we saw," my informant related to me. "They started
getting very cranky. They said, 'No, you didn't see it. You didn't see
anything. You know nothing.'
“I spoke to
the highest-ranking officer there, a tactic commander in the Chilean Navy: 'Are
we under arrest or what?' He said, 'No you are not.’ “
they were there, the Chilean officer replied, 'You are under orders. These
people just want to talk to you, to put you on the right track.”
informant claimed, "While the men never asked us to go through the story
in detail, they knew what had happened by the questions they asked. They also
had the radar-plot blueprint." They were more interested in securing his
silence than in getting information about the event from him.
days the harassment continued. “Every two hours,” the informant said, “this
guy would come up. 'What do you think now?' he'd say... We had arguments.
They didn't have any right to do what they were doing.”
informant threatened to complain when he got out. He was told that if he did
so, that would be the end of him. He did not see the other witnesses at any
point during the two day interrogation. He was not allowed to sleep until he
signed a document. Finally, after he had done so, he was put in a jeep and
driven to another location. One week later he was transferred unexpectedly
from destroyer duty. He never saw the others again.
listened to this man tell his story, I was struck with the passion of his
tone. If he was making this up, he was an excellent actor.
that he had been placed in confinement following the sighting was especially
interesting to me. In fact, the account sounds exactly like something out of
the NBC-television movie The Disappearance of Flight 412, said to have been
based on the real life experience of one of the scriptwriters, Neal B.
Burger. Burger's experience supposedly took place in 1951. (My informant
claimed not to have seen the movie.) A similar story, involving a U.S. Navy
man who allegedly was subjected to similar pressures in Panama in 1973, is
recounted in Fawcett and Greenwood's Clear Intent (1984).
reports, if taken seriously, clearly imply an official desire to suppress at
least some UFO experiences. But why?
This reference: International UFO Reporter September/October 1985, pp.
UFOCAT PRN – NONE
South America - Chile
Valparaiso Port Latitude 33-02 S, Longitude 71-37 W (D-M)
[Bahía – Bay]
Talcahuano Port Latitude
36-42 S, Longitude 73-02 W (D-M) [Bahía – Bay]
Reference: Chile Gazetteer, Prepared in the Office of
Geography, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., January 1967