October 28, 1972
Location: Isla de Lobos, Uruguay
is a single witness sighting, and yet it has become the
best case coming from Uruguay due to the in-depth investigation
done by the members of C.I.O.V.I. research group. The
witness, Corporal Juan Fuentes saw a landed craft with
three occupants at close range for time of about one minute.
He attempted to shoot at the occupants but was stopped
from doing so. The occupants entered the craft, and the
craft rose up and flew away at high speed.
Illustration of the the craft and occupants as seen by
the witness, Corporal Fuentes.
Dr. Willy Smith (UNICAT Project)/C.I.O.V.I.
TYPE: CE 3
DATE: October 28, 1972
TIME: 10:15 p.m.
DURATION: 1 minute
PLACE: Isla de Lobos, Uruguay
35 deg. 1 S.; 54 deg. 53 W.
de Lobos is a small island a few miles off the Uruguayan
coast, just where the River Plate meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Its name means literally "island of the fur seals",
as these animals roam freely, and it is a lonely place
where the only outstanding feature is the lighthouse.
maintenance of this lighthouse is the responsibility of
the Navy, and for that purpose a small garrison of 4 or
5 men is kept on the island. Their main task is to attend
to the electric generators, as the actual operation of
the beam is automatic. It is a routine and non-stressing
job, and the tours of duty are 15 days in and 15 days
the night of October 28, 1972, there were five men at
the house which serves as headquarters for the Navy personnel:
the witness, Corporal Juan Fuentes Figueroa; two enlisted
men, Jose Gomez and Hector Gimenez; a telegraph operator,
Jose Lima; and the sub-officer in charge, Francisco Cascudo.
After dinner, the men sat around the table for a while,
talking and playing cards until at 10:10 p.m. It was time
for Corporal Fuentes to inspect the generators, which
are located at the base of the lighthouse proper.
lighthouse is a 66-meter-high tower sitting at the center
of a large building which contains the electric generators,
the telegraph office and other dependencies. The top of
this building is a flat terrace, which is about 6 meters
above the adjacent terrain. The house where the garrison
lives is at a distance of 45 meters from the lighthouse.
soon as Cpt. Fuentes started to walk toward the lighthouse,
he noticed on top of the terrace some lights that shouldnt
be there. In fact, he thought first of a car, a complete
impossibility, and his reaction was to return to the house
and procure a pistol that he had in his room. To do this,
he didnt have to pass through the kitchen where
the other men were, so he didnt speak to them. As
will be discussed later, this behavior is typical of the
personality of the witness.
the pistol, he went outside again and started walking
decisively but not fast toward the lighthouse, meanwhile
removing the safety from the gun and cocking it. As he
advanced, he noted that the object had several lights:
some white, some yellowish, and a third color that he
describes as violet, as in the "rainbow".
Those lights were sufficient to allow him a good view,
and he saw that a figure was next to the object and that
a second was in the process of descending. A third and
taller figure started to descend almost at once, but at
the same moment, the initial two figures noticed Fuentes
progressing toward them. They had what appeared to Fuentes
as a moment of communication, and all three of them faced
that time, Fuentes was at about 27 meters from the object,
which, we will recall, was on the top of a 6-meter terrace.
Hence, the object was above him, and he started to raise
his extended arm to shoot. He was never to complete his
motion, as the entities prevented him, from doing so.
Fuente, a man of limited education, tried in vain to explain
to the investigators how this was accomplished. It was
not telepathy, and he felt some physical effects, like
a "vibration" and his hair standing on
end; but more than anything else, it was like a premonition,
in his words like: "Dont shoot because it
is useless". At any rate, he felt paralyzed and
confused, and was unable to shoot.
action continued rather fast: the entities re-entered
their craft, the tallest one first. Although Fuentes did
not see steps or a handrail, he could see quite well the
motion of the figures against the lights of the object,
outlined by the light coming out through the open door.
He is certain that there were steps, as while the entities
were climbing up with their backs toward the witness,
their motions were like those of a person pulling himself
up with handrails.
door closed sideways, and the craft started to move straight
up, emitting a humming sound until it reached about 45
meters, as judged by the adjacent lighthouse tower. It
then tilted, belched a blinding fireball from the bottom,
and disappeared in silence at a tremendous speed toward
witness returned to the house, where the other men noticed
him white as a paper and still with a gun in hand. When
he said that he had seen a flying saucer, he was not believed,
except perhaps by Sub-Officer Cascudo.
Fuentes was rather upset that his equals and his immediate
superiors were dubious of his story, and was planning
when he returned to Montevideo to go to one of the leading
newspapers and make his experience public. However, before
this was accomplished, he was ordered to report to a higher
ranking officer, who carefully listened to what Fuentes
had to say. He then disappeared into an office in which
two members of the personnel of the American Embassy had
to Fuentes, they were officers of the "Spatial
Affair Service", (sic) and their presence in
the Command Offices was not unusual. Fuentes was left
waiting in the corridor, and after a while, someone came
out and offered him some drawings for inspection and asked
him to select the one closest to what he has seen. He
did so and was dismissed. He never talked directly to
the Americans, but from the conversation overheard through
the door, he concluded that they were surprised at the
short distance of Fuentes observation. And I am
amazed at the continuous interest shown by American Embassies
in collecting information about a phenomenon that we have
been told many times does not exist...
Craft and entities.
the whole incident lasted about one minute, Corporal Fuentes
had the object in direct view for more than about 15 seconds.
It was well illuminated by its own lights, and it was
fortuitous that the external lights usually illuminating
the exterior of the installations were not in operation
that night. If the floodlights had been on, they would
have prevented a clear view by the witness, even blinding
him at the location of the observation. As things turned
out, he observed the entities in the background light
of their own craft, and even if this prevented him from
seeing facial details, for example, their outline and
motions were quite evident.
Corporal Fuentes started to walk toward the lighthouse,
the first entity was already on the terrace, while the
second was alighting from the craft. These two entities
were about 1.50 m. (5 ft), while the third one, the last
to descend, was 1.75-1.80 m. (6 ft). Thus, their heights
were within the normal human limits. Their silhouettes
were dark, as if they were wearing heavy black rubber
suits. The witness attributed their slow and deliberate
motions to the weight of their suits, and thinks that
his presence surprised the strangers at the beginning
of an operation never to be completed. Their descent from
the craft was done backwards, as if using a ladder not
seen by the witness. Likewise, when they climbed back
into the object, their motions were those of a person
pulling himself up using handrails.
most distinctive feature of the entities, clearly noticeable
in the profile view that they offered to the witness,
was the elongated shape of the back of their heads. It
is not clear if this corresponds to the heads themselves,
or it is was the result of some type of hood or garment.
craft itself had the shape of an inverted bowl, with a
diameter of between 4 and 5 meters. It had a dome on top
and a rectangular aperture or door, used by the entities
to descend (Fig. 4). It also had legs, which the witness
saw clearly during the first stage of the departure. as
the craft was slowly gaining altitude. Those legs did
not fold like the landing gear of a plane, but retracted
surface of the craft was undoubtedly metallic, with a
somewhat reddish color that Fuentes compared to mahogany.
The most distinctive feature of the object was the antenna
that topped it, shaped like a corkscrew and rotating.
lights have already been described, and it only is necessary
to add that they seemed to Fuentes like "little
squares", moving and flashing like "an
is a single-witness sighting, and yet it has become the
best case coming from Uruguay due to the in-depth investigation
done by the members of C.I.O.V.I.. This paper is based
on the information contained in their report on this case.
first stage of the investigation consisted of two lengthy
interviews with the witness in his own home. The two interviews
were recorded, and the transcripts do not reveal any discrepancies
in the narrative.
was followed by an "in situ" reconstruction
of the events. with the participation of the witness.
Sub-officer Cascudo, present on the island that night,
verified that the initial version by Corporal Fuentes
was similar to the subsequent descriptions relayed later
to the investigating team. Sub-officer Cascudo, as well
as other superiors of Corporal Fuentes, described him
as a "simple and honest man, incapable of inventing
a story of this nature".
indeed, the most fascinating part of the CIOVI investigation
was to request the assistance of a professional and to
submit the witness to a battery of psychological tests
that extended over a total of 9 hours, and that included,
among others, Raven, Bender, Rorschach and PMK.
result of those various tests dwell on positive and negative
aspects of the personality of the witness, but when analyzed
in the light of the narrative presented by Corporal Fuentes,
they complement each other and tend to lend credibility
to the story.
what follows, the key elements of the psychological evaluation
will be indicated with quotation marks, interspace with
comments on how they relate to the particular facets of
of all, the witness is described as "sincere,
uncomplicated and simple". He expresses what
for him is the truth, and he does that in a straightforward
manner, with no cultural burden distiring what he has
witness "has no tendency to fabrication or fantasy",
which if existing would damage his credibility. Moreover,
he has "less that average intellectual capacity",
to which the psychologist adds that he "lacks
an average imagination" and "has a remarkably
poor knowledge of what is going on in the social environment".
All of these are pluses from the viewpoint of the credibility
of the witness, and negate the possibility of him having
created the whole story. And in fact, the investigators
were able to determine that the ufological knowledge of
the witness was practically non-existent.
the emotional viewpoint, the witness is typified as "insecure,
prompt to react anxiously and even aggressively"
to an unexpected situation. That is exactly what the witness
did when confronted with the impossible presence of a
car on the terrace: his first reaction was to arm himself,
although he could not explain later to the investigators
what he intended to do with the gun. But he was following
his training, and thus bolstered his confidence.
result of the psychological tests is that the witness
has "a balanced psychic personality",
and it is "unlikely that he would confabulate
by himself, unless an external event would upset him".
To summarize, his poor intellectual capacity and lack
of imagination did not allow him to reason what was best
to do when confronted with the unexpected, and instead
of firing his gun or alerting his companions, he failed
to do either, remaining paralyzed and confused. When he
returned to the house, the other men noticed his trembling
voice and his pale color, so there is no question that
an external stimulus affected him deeply.
conclusion, then, is that the psychology and personality
of the witness are such that his reactions and behavior
under the circumstances are totally compatible. Therefore,
the probability that the witness is telling the truth
is very great.
course, there is always an uncertainty about what percentage
of the description of the witness corresponds to the physical
reality of the object and the entities, but we can assert
that in fact that Isla de Lobos is a remote place, moreover,
a restricted area with difficult access, controlled by
the Uruguayan Navy, and where no conventional explanations
are viable, the inescapable conclusion is that this case
is, using Dr. Maccabees coined word, a TRUFO.
Hourcade, Milton. et al.; INFORME FINAL EN EL CASO DE
LA ISLA DE LOBOS DEL 28 DE OCTUBRE DE 1972; C.I.O.V.I.,
THE AUTHOR: Dr. Smith earned his Ph.D. from the University
of Michigan, and after many years dedicated to teaching
physics at universities in the United State and Europe,
he now devotes most of his time to the study of the UFO
phenomenon, whose reality he considers indisputable.