Location: Antofagasta, Chile
General Hernan Gabrielli Rojas had squared off against
a gigantic UFO while engaging in a training flight in
the skies of northern Chile. According to the military
man, the object was the size of 10 or 15 aircraft carriers,
and its presence was picked up by the radars aboard two
F-5 jet fighters as well as the Cerro Moreno airport in
Inexplicata, Scott Corrales, editor/Ovnivisión
(Chile)/Revista TOC/Terra Chile
The Journal of Hispanic Ufology
January 2, 2003
DATE: December 26, 2002
CHILEAN GENERAL DISCUSSES HIS ENCOUNTER WITH A GIANT UFO
DE CHILE.- In an interview with Terra.cl., retired general
Hernan Gabrielli Rojas mentioned that he had squared off
against a gigantic UFO while engaging in a training flight
in the skies of northern Chile.
to the military man, the object was the size of 10 or
15 aircraft carriers, and its presence was picked up by
the radars aboard two F-5 jet fighters, as well as the
Cerro Moreno airport in Antofagasta.
What do you remember about your contact with the UFO?
20 years have gone by (this was in 1978). I was a captain
and was flying a mission with two F-5 fighters. It was
noon and I was flying with captain Danilo Catalán
- we were both flight instructors. Accompanying us was
Fernando Gomez, an avionics tech, and another trainee.
The F-5 is radar-equipped, and a line appeared from side
to side - in other words, a trace throughout the bottom
side of the screen. A trace for a surface ship, a cruiser,
is approximately one centimeter long, but this line went
from one side [of the screen] to another. I assumed the
radar scope had failed, and told Danilo Catalán,
but his radar also "failed". I then advised
the ground radar at Antofagasta and they also picked up
the line. We were engaged with these details when we looked
toward the east: we were flying from north to south in
the vicinity of Mejillones, and saw a deformed cigar-shaped
object. Deformed, like a plaintain banana. It was swathed
What was the object's size?
was large and must have been some 15 to 20 miles away.
It moved in the same direction as us. We had no missiles,
guns or anything. As you can imagine, the fright was more
or less considerable. We could see a large thing surrounded
in smoke, and from which a vapor issued. All of this situation
must have lasted some five minues. We approached the UFO
but it was motionless. It neither approached nor retreated
- it merely sailed parallel to us. It was quite impressive,
because it was truly something strange, and something
could be seen in concealment behind the smoke."
What happened later?
object then disappeared toward Easter Island at an impressive
rate of speed. The sky cleared and the lines on the radar
vanished. However, there had been an object physically
flying there. It's not a yarn, let me tell you. It's my
only experience with UFOs."
CHILEN AIR FORCE COMMANDER DISCUSSES UFOS
SOURCE: Revista TOC (http://www.revista-toc.cl.nu/)
AIR FORCE COMMANDER DISCUSSES UFOs
conducted by Alejandro Guillier; transcription by Rodrigo
Guillier (journalist): UFOs, well...nothing better than
to ask a war pilot about the experiences he's had if he's
seen anything, but it turns out that I've heard talk about
there being a military pilot in Antofagasta who toward
the late Seventies - '78 - had been flying and ran into
a very strange thing. It also turns out that the pilot
became a general, retired general Hernan Gabrielli, and
we're going to talk to him about this rather interesting
experience. How do you do, general? Good morning.
Gabrielli Rojas (general-Ret.): "Hello, Alejandro.
Good morning to you."
Guillier: This occurred in '78, according to one version,
but what is the story about your running into a UFO while
flying a warplane?
Gabrielli: "We were two F-5s, dual training craft,
and we were returning to base after completing our mission,
Cerro Moreno, noon. From Mejillones to Antofagasta, at
an altitude of some 35,000 feet - 40,000 feet. I suddenly
detected a radar fault and saw a line that ran side to
side on the scope, and my student, Danilo Catalán,
also detected the same, and curiously enough it was the
ground radar, which has a large screen, that also indicated
a radar fault. At that time we looked toward [the part
of the sky indicated on the radar screen] and we saw that
Guillier: What was it exactly? What was it you managed
to see? Can it be described?
Gabrielli: "It was visualized as a smoke-covered,
half- deformed banana, very large, in other words, very
large in plain sight. We were between 15 or 20 miles away.
It was tremendously large and surrounded by a fumarole
which moved in our very same direction and at the same
speed as our aircraft."
Guiller: ...and you felt tempted to check it out.
Gabrielli: "We approached it carefully and...but
those were good instructions. We were heading back from
Attack 1, which is a combat tactic involving gun cameras,
no cannon, missiles or anything else. So we approached
it with caution. Unfortunately, the UFO did not go away
toward a single minute, so we arrived in an instant."
Guillier: But I understand that you had to ascend.
Guillier: In order to approach, what was your position?
Gabrielli: "No...we shared the same altitude,
between 30,000 and 35,000 feet."
Gabrielli: But F-5s are swift airplanes. When you got
near it scurried way so...
Gabrielli: "Of course. It's a fighter that covers
10 nautical miles a minute, in other words, 20 kilometers
a minute. That is the normal speed for that aircraft."
Guillier: And this object you saw, how soon did it vanish?
At what speed?
Gabrielli: "Unimaginable, in other words, thousands
of nautical miles a minute, because it vanished toward
the west suddenly and the screen cleared up. In other
words, all three radar screens - the ground radar, mine
and Danilo's - were operating normally; it wasn't just
a visual experience but a physical one as well, a material
one, that materialized on the screen. Now, if you ask
me what it is, where it comes from, don't ask me. I haven't
the slightest idea."
Guillier: Now...is this time of sighting customary among
Chilean military pilots?
Gabrielli: "No, they are not."
Guillier: And has any other functionary remarked that
he had been flying and seen strange things?
Gabrielli: "Look, at that time there was also
another sighting by a functionary near Calama, but no...that
was the age of the Vampire aircraft."
Guillier: What's that?
Gabrielli: "Vampires were wooden aircraft, and
the fighter climbed to a certain number of feet and could
see from below that this UFO didn't...didn't move. However,
as the pilot climbed, he said that the object or UFO's
size was such that..."
Guillier:...that it didn't move and he could never reach
Gabrielli: "He never reached it. They later sent
out a pair of fighters, then an F-5 and nothing, really..."
Guillier: And they couldn't continue climbing.
Gabrielli: "No, they couldn't continue their ascent."
Guiller: It reached its maximum altitude and then...
Gabrielli: "Fifty something thousand feet, and
it had to turn back."
Gabrielli: And by the descriptions you recall, general,
was there any similarity with the sighting you had in
Gabrielli: "No, because this one had another shape,
it had a shape...in other words, as though looking from
below upward, the pilots flying at the time said it was
Guillier: Triangular...it couldn't have been an American
plane, one of those spy planes.
Gabrielli: "I don't think so. This was 1978. The
latest thing around at the time was the SR-71, which is
a U.S. spy plane, but it flies at Mach 3, so there is
displacement. This thing did not move."
Guillier: Right, this thing was suspended in the air.
Well, and after that you landed and must've had a shot
of whisky, I imagine.
Gabrielli: "No, no. There were remarks, in other
words, each combat or training flight is its own story,
so this was just another anecdote."
Guillier: Now, why does the FACH [Chilean Air Force] handle
all of this with such secrecy, because it has in fact
appeared before Congress, before parliamentarians, and
everyone was deathly silent...there were no such things.
All they do is create more concern, because one says:
"Well, there must be something awful that the
FACH, the senators and the deputies don't want to discuss,"
and in this case they were all quiet.
Gabrielli: "Look, it's not that there's an unwillingness
to talk, but since it is an almost intangible piece of
information, it cannot be handled, it cannot be processed.
To tell you the truth, the base commander is informed
and then the page is turned and normal activity resumes."
Guillier: Right. Well, last week in Calama, a LAN airliner
was flying over the weekend with the players of the Wanderers
team for the big match against Cobrelola and the pilot
was forced to make a spectacular turn, diving to avoid
a collision. Supposedly there was no airplane there. This
would also be equivalent to a UFO.
Gabrielli: Surely. "In other words, if the pilots
were forced into taking an evasive maneuver, with passengers
aboard, it must have been something..."
(C) 2003 Scott Corrales
Institute of Hispanic Ufology
Special thanks to Rodrigo Cuadra Salazar