Date of publication was February 22, 1960,
so “all last week” would have been the 14~21st.-CF-
The Wily Whatzit?
Was it a
whale? Or an amphibious flying saucer? Or the Loch Ness monster gone astray? All last week, Buenos Aires
was in a tizzy. Porteños buttonholed each other in the bustling streets,
exchanged rumors, then rushed home to listen to the latest radio reports. The
press had a field day; whole front pages were given over to the fantastic
miles to the south, the Argentine Navy, with supporting planes, was beating
the waters of the Golfo Nuevo to a white froth as it attacked what was
officially only an "unidentified undersea object," but which most
Argentines were convinced was a foreign submarine.
crowds of the curious on the shores of the 800-mile-square bay watched the
navy ships, in fan-shaped formation, patrolling ceaselessly back and forth
across the 8-mile-wide entrance. At intervals they could see columns of water
rising toward the blue sky as depth bombs and artillery thundered. Air Force
planes zoomed overhead, loosing bombs.
What was it
all about? Was there really a submarine there? The tight-lipped navy
obviously thought so. Ships had picked up the "object" with sonar
gear three weeks ago, had tracked it into the Golfo Nuevo. Now they were
determined to bring it to the surface and get a good look at it.
most fantastic speculation, in a case where nothing was too fantastic, was
that it was a German submarine which had been cruising, like the Flying
Dutchman, since the 1945 surrender, looking for a safe haven. Eager Argentine
newsmen figured they'd have the story of the century if the vessel docked and
Hitler strolled down the gangplank with Eva Braun on his arm.
didn't think the rumors were particularly funny. Officers took the hunt
seriously. "The Argentine public can be sure that the intruding
submarine exists," a congressman declared. At the end of the week, the
navy decided there were two submarines in the bay; later, a third was
reported lurking outside.
would be a happy hunting ground for a hostile sub. Puerto Madryn, on Golfo
Nuevo, is Argentina's main South Atlantic base. Its sheltered, deep-water anchorage
could harbor the mightiest ships in all the world's navies. It commands South
Atlantic shipping routes around the Horn which might become a desperate
necessity in wartime if anything happened to the Panama Canal. It would be
very much worthwhile for any future belligerent to have its own charts of
these waters, perhaps even its own maps of the surrounding territory.
covered this, too. There were reports that a landing party had come ashore
from the submarine before it was spotted. A young German skin diver told of
finding strange steel rings, "possibly mooring devices." A food
cache for 5,000 men was said to have been found in the care of a man and
woman of Slavic origin. Naval intelligence added to the confusion by reporting
that it had seized a clandestine radio transmitter "operated by a man
with a British accent."
If it was a
foreign sub, whose was it? The U.S. and Great Britain formally denied that
any of their ships were in the neighborhood. Washington underscored the denial
by rushing a stock of high-powered depth charges to Argentina. Russia echoed
the denials but found fewer takers. Many Argentines fully expected that, if
the "object" was a sub and not a whale (or a flying saucer, or the
Loch Ness monster), and if it was finally forced to surface, there would be a
red star on the conning tower.
This reference: Newsweek
magazine, February 22, 1960, p. 57
UFOCAT PRN – 81365 [DOS:
UFOCAT URN – NONE
Newsweek magazine, February 22, 1960, p. 57
UFOCAT URN – NONE
Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 14–15, May/June1960
UFOCAT URN – NONE
Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 10, No. 4, p. 13, July/August 1964
UFOCAT URN – 081365 Invisible Residents by Ivan T.
Sanderson, p. 49, 1970
UFOCAT URN – 119668 World-Wide Catalog of Type 1
Reports, #0930 by Peter Rogerson,
no © date
South America – Argentina, Chubut
Golfo (Bay) Nuevo Latitude
42-42 S, Longitude 64-36 W (D-M)
Puerto Madryn Latitude
42-46 S, Longitude 65-03 W
- Argentina Gazetteer, prepared in the Office of Geography, Department of the
Interior, Washington, D.C., February 1968