by Charles Lear

    For UFOlogists, Chile is an exceptional country in that it has a publicly acknowledged government UFO investigation organization.  This organization is called the, “Committee for the Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena” and its Spanish acronym is CEFAA.  CEFAA is within the Department of Civil Aeronautics under the jurisdiction of the Chilean Air Force and has an active website where citizens can report UFO sightings.  With official recognition of the phenomenon it should be no surprise that the Chilean public is very open minded about the UFO subject.  According to researcher, Rodrigo Fuenzalita in the first episode of the short lived series, “Shaun Ryder on UFOs” “There is not a single family in Chile without, at least, one or two members who have experienced a sighting.”  The first two episodes of the Ryder series provide a colorful overview and present some of Chile’s most interesting cases.  Further investigation reveals that Chile has a remarkable crash retrieval story with an entire town full of witnesses that rivals that of Roswell.

In 2017, a video was released by the Chilean Navy via CEFAA that is very similar to the Nimitz videos that came to public attention that same year.  The video was taken with a Forward Looking Infrared camera (FLIR) and shows and unidentified object releasing a plume of “smoke” and then moving away from it.  Leslie Kean, who reported on the Nimitz videos, reported on this story for the Huffington Post and her investigation was thorough which is typical of her.  She reported that CEFAA was mystified but a convincing argument that the video shows an Airbus A340 releasing a contrail can be found on

A case involving seven videos, all taken from various positions of a UFO flying near a flight formation over El Bosque Air Base is featured in the Ryder series.  The formation was flying as part of a Nov. 5, 2010 celebration of the four-year changeover of the Air Force command.   Remarkably, while reviewing the official Air Force video, Ryder and one of the pilots from the formation spot a UFO in that footage and an eighth video is now part of the evidence.  The case is known as the “El Bosque” case and was investigated by optical physicist, Bruce Maccabee and Richard Haines, chief scientist for the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena.  They used the two cleanest videos provided by CEFAA and came up with different conclusions.  What they were both looking for was footage of the same object from different angles to prove that the object was large and at a distance and not a misidentified bug.  Both released their findings and Maccabee found no images of the same object on the two videos while Haines did.  This story was also reported by Kean for the Huffington Post.

Another case featured in the Ryder series is Chile’s most famous abduction case, known as the “Valdes” case.  This case is wonderfully weird and highly credible as it involves soldiers of the Chilean Army.   Around 4:00 AM April 25, 1977, Corporal Armando Valdes and his six-man patrol were sitting around a fire at Pampa Lluscuma near Putre in Chile.  Two men were keeping watch when one of them, Private Rosales, began shouting that two bright violet lights had landed and that one of them had come near and was illuminating the area under it like daylight.  The light approached Valdes and his men and Valdes prayed and ordered the light to identify itself in the name of God.  Valdes moved towards the object and disappeared in front of his men.  He returned 15 minutes later shouting, “You don’t know who we are or where we come from but we will be back soon.”  Valdes then went unconscious for two hours.  As his men looked after him they noticed that he had acquired about five days worth of beard growth and that his calendar watch had stopped at four thirty but the date had advanced from the 25th to the 30th.  After giving interviews to the press and investigator, Pedro Araneda, the men were prohibited from further interviews by then President and Commander in Chief, Augusto Pinochet.  Ryder managed to get an interview with one of the men, Humberto Rojas in the spot where the incident took place.

A case not covered by Ryder involves a crash and a military retrieval operation that took place in front of 2500 residents, including the mayor, of Paihuano, a village in the Valle de Elquí.  As reported by researcher, Raul Núñez in issue #9 of Inexplicata, on October 7, 1998, a metallic object approximately 15 meters across was seen hovering over Mollacas hill which overlooks the village.  It made a sudden movement, which split the object in two and one piece fell on the hill’s peak while the other fell behind it.  In the course of Núñez’ investigation he learned that there had been radio and television interference throughout the region as well as electrical blackouts.  A detachment of militarized police or, “Carabineros” arrived to investigate but were unable to reach the summit of the hill due to the loose nature of the soil making up the hill.  The Carabineros were relieved on October 9th by a military unit that expelled muleteers and goatherds from the surrounding hills, cordoned off the area and used helicopters to retrieve the parts.  A spokesman for the El Tololo astronomical observatory stated that the object was a weather balloon and CEFAA publicly recused itself from the case while covertly sending some of its members to the area to investigate.  Of note is the fact that area hotel managers reported an increase in U.S. citizens requesting lodging during this period.

Finally, 10 days prior to this writing, RT News reported that a group of objects looking like fireballs crashed to the ground on the southern island of Chiloé.  Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service sent a team to investigate and found no debris usually associated with a meteorite but did find several areas of burnt foliage from which they took soil samples.  What makes this mysterious is the fact that the witnesses reported that there was no noise associated with the objects or their impacts.

Chile is a beautiful country with clear night skies and majestic mountains.  It has a lot to offer a potential tourist and ranks among the safest countries in South America.  If the potential tourist also has an interest in UFOs there are many stories to hear and places to investigate.