Unidentified Submarine Objects in Argentina – A Conspiracy?
By Luis Burgos – “Ovnis Siglo XXI” © 2017
As a consequence of the tragic events involving the submarine ARA San Juan on 15 November 2017, many people have contacted us asking whether [the tragedy] could be related with an aspect of our research. It need not be said that to insinuate any such connection is extremely hazardous. Time will tell what really happened after the search and recovery operations have been completed. All we can do is theorize and offer opinions. This, then, is our contribution.
With the period of widespread confusion now behind us (seven calls [from the submarine], biological noises, hydroacoustic anomalies, floating rafts and buoys, etc.) and with the nature of the incident being a certainty, the subject has two basic aspects: the nature of the explosion and the recovery operations.
Causes of the Explosion
A. Internal, due to battery failure. The “officially” accepted cause.
B. Internal, due to descending to critical depths as a consequence of equipment failure.
C. Collision with an ‘unknown object’
D. Attack by an ‘unknown object’
Without question, this is the most disquieting point. The ARA San Juan was on its way back from participating in Operation Cormorant in the South Seas with international forces. Its destination, ostensibly Mar del Plata, brought it close to the Exclusion Area imposed by British forces [during the 1982 Falklands War] and in spite of the fact that we are at peace and not war, the ‘conflict hypothesis’ floats overhead like a phantom.
An impressive array of countries offering Argentina logistical and humanitarian assistance, among them four of the five members of the UN Security Council (The U.S., Russia, France, the U.K. and China). This is extremely important, but we would do well to consider a possibility that covers three hypotheses, such as:
A. This aid is offered without strings attached because they’re ‘good guys’
B. This aid is offered, but with a view to benefitting from the situation- marine resources, espionage, future treaties, etc.
C. They want to find out what really happened using ‘safety hazard’ as an excuse.
Once more we must pause to ponder: Argentina is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT – 1968) along with the world powers. Several of these countries deployed to our Patagonia as soon as the news became known – a massive operation involving 4000 people. They will stay there, in fact, until what happened to the San Juan is known, as the deaths of forty-four crewmembers is a given. In this state of affairs, it becomes evident that something isn’t quite right for them. The official communiqué from the Argentinean Navy is chilling: “An anomalous, unique, short, violent and non-nuclear event”, more so in the awareness that the blast wave was felt as far away as South Africa and probably the Indian Ocean.
The burning question would be: do the elite nations working at Ground Zero (United States, Russia, France, Britain and Germany) suspect that there is something more afoot? Hypothetically, do these people debate the possibility that the ARA San Juan carried within it some sort of nuclear weaponry that would jeopardize not only marine ecology, but international and arms policy as well?
A basic issue can be held against us as a nation, and can make others look at us askance. The infamous subject of the Condor II missile and its consequences (1989). Sadder still is that we may never know the true causes of such an incident, but this hypothesis, just one among many, will perhaps serve as a shortcut toward solving the riddle of why [all these countries] are here in our sea.
We cannot ignore the account of the ‘underwater object’ detected by the American aircraft 300 kilometers away from Port Madryn, Chubut, at a depth of seventy meters – an account that was set aside the next day, when it became known that the submarine’s trajectory took it in a straight line to the Gulf of San Jorge, in other words, some 140 nautical miles to the south.
As a final consideration on this, all we can say is that Argentina needs to reassess its armed forces. An earnest reassessment that must be taken as such by the authorities involved, in other words, the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) and the three branches of the services (Air Force, Army and Navy). This is a priority for today, not tomorrow or coming years. This is not a joke. Unfortunately, and while it is a hard admission to make, the responsible party for the condition of our armed forces today is…democracy. Thirty-four years have elapsed since the restoration of democratic rule in 1983 and no government did a thing about it, rather, they worked against it: budget cuts, lack of adequate maintenance, dismantling, etc. It was startling to see countless politicians from the past three decades speaking out in recent days, showing concern and preferring explanations. “Corruption kills” is an aphorism that applies to all of them. The gaping hole in the armed forces is now relegated to the back burner, which is a supreme blunder.
Next, we shall review the subject of unidentified traffic in these distant waters. From the birth of the phenomenon, the flying saucers of yesteryear – today’s UFOs – were intimately linked to water. There is a proliferation of events in world case histories involving unidentified flying objects emerging from or plunging into rivers, lakes, lagoons and seas. It didn’t take much to theorize about the possibility of bases in lacustrine areas, giving rise to USOs – Unidentified Submersible Objects. Other researchers made tacit reference to Submarine or Sub-Aquatic Objects. What matters is that our country was not free from such events, and incidents were reported as far back as the 1940s in watery areas throughout Argentina. My article “Luces en los Lagos” (Lights in the Lakes) is online and discusses incidents with these characteristics, suggesting the possibility that they are being used as both permanent or temporary dwelling places and shelters.
Not a week had gone by since the “first case involving a flying saucer in Argentina” (10 July 1947 in La Plata, Buenos Aires) when the UFO-Water connection was already hinted at. In fact, at 0900 hours on 15 July of that year, the crew of a Polish vessel moored at Puerto Nuevo, as well as personnel from the Uruguayan Naval prefecture, detected a ‘strange artifacts similar to an airplane’ plunging into the River Plate. Air transportation enterprises were queried about the possible loss of one of their aircraft, with negative results. The disquieting question floated on the waters of Rio de la Plata: what kind of flying object fell from the sky on that winter day?
These episodes continued during following years. News items from the Patagonian littoral spoke of bizarre objects rising out of the sea or diving into it, as occurred in Rio Grande (Tierra del Fuego) and Puerto Coig (Santa Cruz) in 1950 or in Comodoro Rivadavia (Chubut) in 1953. What is truly bewildering is that incidents were being reported at the Federal Capital’s doorstep as well.
A curious object resembling a “sea mine”, red in color, was seen floating near the Recalcada pontoon in the River Plate on 19 February 1953. It was at 35 degrees longitude south and 56 degrees longitude west, confirmed by the skipper of the vessel “San Jorge” and the crew of the SS Coracero. The search was fruitless.
During the month of June 1959, according to official sources, a submersible unidentified object resembling ‘a blimp’ plunged into the River Plate.
The Mysterious 1960s
Thus, we arrive at the controversial decade that witnessed numerous ‘persecutions’ of strange and elusive objects by the Argentinean Navy in our Patagonian gulfs, particularly in the waters of Golfo Nuevo in the Valdés Peninsula and in Golfo San Jorge. All of this ended in the creation of the notorious Official Commissions as well as having three presidents – Arturo Frondizi, Arturo Illia and Gen. Juan Carlos Onganía – taking in interest in the matter. All intercepts and bombardments with depth charges proved in vain. For years, USOs roamed free in those waters until the incidents thinned out and dwindled in following decades. Therefore, the Navy disentangled itself from the situation and the entire situation involving objects plunging or rising from the coast was limited to the testimony of fishermen, tourists, drivers or local inhabitants.
Perhaps the best-remembered case is the one involving farmer Carlos Corosan, who witnessed “a large cigar-shaped object, metallic-looking, that plunged into the sea near Puerto Deseado (Santa Cruz), giving off smoke during daylight hours. It caused a thunderous roar in the water.” (1966).
Hypotheses concerning the existence of permanent lairs under our seas, serving the function of true UFO bases, began to gain strength. In short, an intense biological activity safe from any hazards in those depths…
Anecdotally, my brother Pedro Trachlsler was doing his military service aboard the destroyer ARA Cervantes in those years. The crew was put on alert when an unidentified flying object was detected in the waters of Golfo Nuevo. It was intercepted and depth charges were dropped, followed by a salvo of torpedoes. When these did not strike their intended target, they were collected from the surface and reeled aboard. Before vanishing, he said, the USO ‘passed right under the warship.”
The 1975 Intruder
Among many accounts from the 1970s, one stands out due to the quality of the witnesses, despite the fact that they chose to remain anonymous. Around 0130 hours on 16 July, these four people – two businessmen and two traveling salesmen were fishing at the pier in Caleta Oliva (Santa Cruz). The night was quiet. Suddenly one of them saw an odd cigar-shaped silhouette under the water at 100 meters from their position. It was some 10 meters long, completely silent, had well-defined borders and was greenish-yellow in color. For some twenty minutes, the USO traveled slowly along the coast heading south until it vanished.
The next day, several residents of Caleta Olivia confirmed the discovery of large numbers of dead fish on their shrores, as well as dead seagulls and albatrosses. Fishing was impossible throughout the day.
The San Blas Incident
The presence of USOs was officially corroborated in the mid-1980s. This time it was the Bay of San Blas, to the south of Buenos Aires, known as “the fisherman’s paradise”
On the night of 3 June 1988, the oil tanker ‘Puerto Rosales’ advised the naval prefecture that it had detected an unidentified floating object some 20 miles from the coast, first on radar and then visually. The object did not respond to any signals sent. An alert condition was declared and the Argentinean Navy sent out a force that included airplanes from the Comandante Espora base, the corvette ‘Grandville’, the destroyer ‘Sarandi’ and an Electra 6 P-101 that took off from the Almirante Zar base in Trelew, Chubut. It should be noted that the area in which the object was traveling, facing the Segunda Barranca lighthouse, is rather shallow. It is perhaps for this reason that the Navy report substituted the word ‘submarine’ for ‘floating object’.
Some thirty years ago, the existence of these ‘underwater bases’ was supported in various newspaper features. Little or nothing has changed today. These USOs continue to move and behave as they did in the 1940s or 1950s, with the same impunity as ever, as if the territory was theirs or if they had occupied it underwater for a very long time. They travel deep into the sea, stunning large vessels, or only a few meters from the shore, startling fishermen or local residents. Therefore, the existence of an unknown intelligence operating under the waters of the Mar Argentino and therefore, the Atlantic Ocean, is far from being a mere hypothesis and more of a fact. Our case histories attest to this and these events will keep repeating…once again it shown that despite the technological prowess of the great powers, able to locate a car’s hubcap or a tennis ball by means of satellites, a considerable difference is apparent when compared to the UFO phenomenon.
Boletín UFO PRESS Nº 13, October 1979.
“Clarín”, 5 June 1988.
“Expedientes OVNIs” (Los Archivos Clasificados Argentinos) Luis Burgos, October 2015.
[Translation © 2017 Scott Corrales (IHU) for Inexplicata: The Journal of Hispanic Ufology]