February 18, 1977
Location: Salto, Uruguay
Maria Tonna, a 52-year-old rancher, and his foreman, witnessed
a fiery disc like two plates placed face to face, hovering
a short distance above the ground behind the barn. The
cows "were going crazy" and all the dogs were
barking. The object approached, and Tonna felt electric
shocks which went all through his body and a very intense
heat hit him. Three days after the event, Tonna's dog,
who had been 15 feet from the object, was found dead.
APRO, August, 1977
Maria Tonna is a 52-year-old rancher who owns 3,000 acres
of farm land 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of Salto, Uruguay,
a city of 40,000 people located on the Uruguay River.
The ranch is primarily a cattle ranch and Mr. Tonna, 2
sons, 19 and 22 years of age, and 11 farmhands, tend 730
heads of cattle and numerous sheep.
Tonna family led a relatively uneventful life in their
rural home until February and March of this year when
Tonna, the two sons, Mrs. Tonna, their 15-year-old daughter
and the farm hands began seeing UFOs in the area. They
had approximately a dozen sightings during that time.
most interesting incident took place at about 4 a.m. on
February 18 when Tonna and his foreman, Juan Manuel Fernandez,
were driving about 80 cows into the barn for milking.
When Tonna gets up in the morning, the first thing he
does is to turn on the generator, which powers approximately
20 lights in the barnyard area.
the morning in question, Tonna said, he was bringing the
cows in at about 4:10 a.m., when all of the lights went
out, whereupon a bright light appeared on the east end
of the barn (the end farthest from him) and he was able
to make out the shadow of the barn. Tonna originally thought
the power outage was a short circuit and he kept hay in
that part of the barn so he thought it had somehow caught
jumped over the fence and ran toward the source of the
light at the end of the barn. His dog Topo (Dunce in Spanish),
who was a constant companion during Tonna's walks around
the ranch, was with him. "Then I heard a noise,"
he said, and he saw a fiery disc like two plates placed
face to face, hovering a short distance above the ground
behind the barn. He stood and watched the object until
his foreman told him the cows were running away, then
he noticed that the cows "were going crazy"
and all the dogs were barking.
this point, the disc began to move in a southerly direction,
breaking off the branches of a tree near the barn. The
object displayed a rocking motion as it flew, and stopped
and hovered over some trees about 100 yards south of the
barn at an altitude of about 60 feet. It stayed there
only a moment, then moved east another 75 yards or so,
and stopped above a concrete bath that the cows were forced
to walk through to disinfect them. By then, Tonna and
his dog, a 60-pound black and brown police dog, had run
back to the west side of the barnyard and climbed back
over the fence. The light from the object illuminated
the whole barnyard, and Tonna said he felt attracted to
it. Tonna and Topo walked a few feet toward the UFO and
it made another turn and began moving toward them. It
came to a stop about 60 feet from them and Topo ran toward
it to attack it and protect Tonna, but stopped and sat
on a small mound about 15 feet from the object and looked
up at it and howled.
the object started moving toward Tonna, he noticed six
beams of light "like small wings"
three on each side. At that point, Tonna said, he felt
electric shocks which went all through his body and a
very intense heat hit him. He flung his arm up over his
face to shield his eyes. He said he felt attracted to
the light and couldn't move. "I don't know if
I couldn't move or didn't want to," he said.
several minutes, the object began moving away, turning
from its original bright orange color to red. It increased
its speed as the color changed and when it got to the
forest about a half a mile to the south, it was out of
the object left, the generator started running again but
didn't produce any electricity because the wires were
burned out. The whole incident lasted about 10 minutes
and Tonna's 19-year-old son, who is a second-year veterinary
student at the University in Salto, witnessed the whole
episode from the house. The farm workers normally rise
at 4:30 a.m. and those who were awake at the time saw
only a bright light in the barnyard.
the incident, the dog would not eat or drink. He moved
around normally but stayed in the house all day, which
was unusual. On the morning of the third day after the
incident, Topo was found dead on the same mound where
he had sat and howled at the disc.
autopsy was performed at the ranch by a veterinarian who
teaches at the North University in Salto and he was assisted
by Tulio Tonna and three other second year veterinary
students. The Doctor will not discuss the case, but he
did let Tulio make a copy ot the autopsy report which
said, in part:
hair along the animal's spine was sticky but completely
hard. The fat under the skin was found on the outside.
The fat is normally solid, so to get to the outside, it
had to be melted and come through the pores. Once it was
outside, it solidified again. The animal was exposed to
a very high temperature that can't be reached naturally
by the dog."
the blood vessels had been bleeding very much and all
the capillaries were broken. The rupture of the blood
vessels was caused by an increase in temperature that
couldn't be natural."
liver, normally dark and red, was completely yellow, caused
by a high fever. All the blood vessels were yellow too."
all the blood vessels broken, the animal started bleeding
inside and lost so much blood that 48 hours later, the
amount of blood he had circulating was insufficient and
he died of a heart attack."
we took the skin off the dog, we didn't see any marks.
He didn't have any bruises or anything nor was
the hair burned. The conclusion was that something very
hot caused this."
the morning after the incident, the underside of Mr. Tonna's
right arm, which he had put up to shield his eyes, began
hurting. Several days later, Dr. Bruning Herrera, a friend
of the Tonnas, aiid a physician in Saito, paid the Tonnas
a personal visit. Tonna confided that he wasn't feeling
well and Herrera examined him. He found that the underside
of Tonna's right arm was very red and, after being told
about the UFO incident, decided the irritation was caused
by some kind of radiation. He suggested that Tonna go
and have a special examination but Tonna would have had
to go to Montevideo, 300 miles away, and he didn't want
to take the time. Instead, he treated himself with some
home remedies. Eventually, the ailing arm cleared up with
no lingering after-effects.