; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, August 06, 2012

Just the Facts?: 'Curiosity' Rover Lands On Mars -- Massive Solar Storm Warnings! -- Corporal Valdes Abduction

Curiosity rover successfully lands on Mars

NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried Curiosity succeeded in every step of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.

"Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars. Curiosity, the most sophisticated rover ever built, is now on the surface of the Red Planet, where it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether life ever existed on Mars -- or if the planet can sustain life in the future," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "This is an amazing achievement, made possible by a team of scientists and engineers from around the world and led by the extraordinary men and women of NASA and our Jet Propulsion Laboratory. President Obama has laid out a bold vision for sending humans to Mars in the mid-2030's, and today's landing marks a significant step toward achieving this goal."

Curiosity landed at 10:32 p.m. Aug. 5, PDT, (1:32 a.m. EDT Aug. 6) near the foot of a mountain three miles tall and 96 miles in diameter inside Gale Crater. During a nearly two-year prime mission, the rover will investigate whether the region ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life.

"The Seven Minutes of Terror has turned into the Seven Minutes of Triumph," said NASA Associate Administrator for Science John Grunsfeld. "My immense joy in the success of this mission is matched only by overwhelming pride I feel for the women and men of the mission's team."

Curiosity returned its first view of Mars, a wide-angle scene of rocky ground near the front of the rover. More images are anticipated in the next several days as the mission blends observations of the landing site with activities to configure the rover for work and check the performance of its instruments and mechanisms.

"Our Curiosity is talking to us from the surface of Mars," said MSL Project Manager Peter Theisinger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "The landing takes us past the most hazardous moments for this project, and begins a new and exciting mission to pursue its scientific objectives."

Confirmation of Curiosity's successful landing came in communications relayed by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter and received by the Canberra, Australia, antenna station of NASA's Deep Space Network.

Curiosity carries 10 science instruments with a total mass 15 times as large as the science payloads on the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Some of the tools are the first of their kind on Mars, such as a laser-firing instrument for checking elemental composition of rocks from a distance. The rover will use a drill and scoop at the end of its robotic arm to gather soil and powdered samples of rock interiors, then sieve and parcel out these samples into analytical laboratory instruments inside the rover.

To handle this science toolkit, Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as Spirit or Opportunity. The Gale Crater landing site places the rover within driving distance of layers of the crater's interior mountain. Observations from orbit have identified clay and sulfate minerals in the lower layers, indicating a wet history.

The mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. - NASA

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Massive Solar Storm Warnings!

Power grids, communications and satellites could be knocked out by a massive solar storm in the next two years, scientists warn.

Experts say the sun is reaching a peak in its 10-year activity cycle, putting the Earth at greater risk from solar storms.

Mike Hapgood, a space weather specialist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Didcot, Oxfordshire, said: "Governments are taking it very seriously. These things may be very rare but when they happen, the consequences can be catastrophic."

He warned that solar storms are increasingly being put on national risk registers used for disaster planning, alongside other events like tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

There is 12% chance of a major solar storm every decade - making them a roughly one-in-100-year event. The last major storm was more than 150 years ago.

The threat comes from magnetically-charged plasma thrown out by the sun in coronal mass ejections.

Like vast bubbles bursting off the sun's surface, they send millions of tons of gas racing through space that can engulf the Earth with as little as one day's warning.

They trigger geomagnetic storms which can literally melt expensive transformers in national power grids.

Satellites can be damaged or destroyed and radio communications - including with jet airliners - could be knocked out.

Teams of scientists in North America and Europe monitor the sun and issue warnings to governments, power companies and airline operators.

In 1989, a solar storm was blamed for taking out the entire power network in Quebec, Canada, which left millions without electricity for nine hours.

The largest was known as the Carrington event in 1859, when British astronomer Richard Carrington observed a large solar eruption that took just 17 hours to reach the Earth's atmosphere.

It caused the aurora borealis - or Northern Lights - to be seen as far south as the Caribbean. - sky

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UFO crash sites detailed: Drew revisits Kingman, Arizona story

More than six years of intensive research has uncovered two “pristine UFO crash sites” in Kingman, AZ, that occurred over a four-day period in May 1953, according to UFO researcher Harry Drew who made the announcement Sunday, August 5, 2012, at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) annual symposium in Cincinnati.

This was the second anticipated "blockbuster UFO discovery" MUFON promised at its three-day conference. On Friday, August 3, Executive Director David MacDonald announced that 60 volumes of “meticulous UFO research over 30 years” by the late Ufologist Leonard H. Stringfield were donated to MUFON.

According to Drew's web site, the researcher “uncovered evidence the Kingman UFO crash story was the blending of two separate UFO crashes that happened four days apart near Kingman, AZ, in May 1953.” Continue reading at

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Chile: Original Recording of the Corporal Valdes Abduction

Source: NOUFA (Noticiero Autonomo Ufologico - Chile)
Date: 03 August 2012

Chile: Original Recording of the Corporal Valdes Abduction (CE-3, 1977)
From a recording by Pedro Araneda

We transcribe below the recording made by Prof. Pedro Araneda only hours after the events that took place in Pampa de Lluscuma, Chile (1977)

It should be noted that this professor worked in the vicinity of Putre and was a corresponded for the "La Estrella de Arica" newspaper at that time. The recording is hard to understand at certain moments, because all of the recruits speak at once and in a disordered manner -- an understandable situation, since the recording was made during an altered emotional state, many times repeating facts, confusing words and details.

Professor Aranda, a witness to all this, commanded respect and full social credibility. As can be seen from the recording, there is a military man or bureaucrat present: the bureaucrat surnamed Flores? Supposedly, members of the army were in Putre at that time by chance. The presence of a soldier with the last name of Roca is also noted, who also recorded at that time. The full recording has duration of 180 minutes.

"The light was pestering us all night. No one knew what it was all about." This is the expressive remark with which the recording kicks off. The voices sound anxious; words are stumbled over and are uttered quickly.

Professor Araneda: Around what time did you see that light?

Soldier: At around ten minutes to four (on 25 April)

Araneda: You, Rosales, were pulling guard duty and were the first one to see it. What did you see? (Question is addressed to recruit Pedro Rosales)

Rosales: First I saw a light coming down, then another, then two. One of them landed on that side of the mountain and another to the other side. One of them was around where you can see that yellow spot, more or less where the trees are...up there...there."

(Voices of the patrol members become mixed and confused, explaining the sighting)

Araneda: In other words, it was over by the pirca (stone wall) and the canyon, and mountains are over on the northeastern part of the Pampa (confirmation is discussed)

Corporal Valdés: When we saw that, we grouped together and assumed a combat stance, shoulder to shoulder, and said: "Don't anybody move...if something happens, it'll happen to all of us."

Araneda: Then you saw the light vanish?

Soldier: I was on guard, watching it, and it didn't go away...it only went away when the sun vanished from sight.

Araneda: You calculated...the light's magnitude?

Soldier: It was as round as a ball, somewhat oval, increasing and decreasing, it seemed to approach us...it seemed to be messing with us (1)

Araneda: How many men were in your squad?

Corporal Valdes: Seven men. We all saw the same thing together. That's when I got lost, according to them. They called me, they looked for me, and then I vanished and fainted. They say I had spasms. I don't know...I don't recall a thing.

Araneda: Were the lights more or less parallel, one higher than the other?

Corporal Valdes: No, the first light intensified when Rosales summoned me, and it later descended slowly over the hill. The other landed in front of us like this....as if calling to us, trying to intimidate us, like so...

Araneda: The perimeter lit up the cultivations, the grass, and the mountains?

Corporal Valdes: The hill was lit up, and we could see its outlines and the cultivations. Despite the fact that the night was darker because there was no moonlight, it was even hard to us to walk in the dark. And when a light came down, the first one descended behind the mountain with a tremendous brightness, while the others are here before them. There was a flash, a very large glow, like a fire.

(The corporal's words are corroborated at every step by the remainder of the recruits that made up the patrol)

Araneda: I will now ask you to identify yourselves by rank and name.

Second Corporal: Armando Valdes Garrido
Recruit: Julio Enriquez Rosas Suarez
Recruit: German Riquelme Valle
Recruit: Juan Rojas Rivera
Recruit: Pedro Rosales Arancibia
Recruit: Humberto Rojas Bell
Recruit: Raul Salinas

The recording ends here and the continues at the moment that the eight (8) protagonists of this phenomenon discuss the reappearance of Corporal Valdes under strange circumstances.

Several Voices: Then the corporal reappeared, he was laughing and saying: "you'll never know who we are or where we come from, and we're coming back again..."
Araneda: And was the corporal speaking in his normal voice?

Voices: Of course...the voice he always had...but a bit more hurried...altered...and when he passed out and came back gain, he looked at us as if he didn't know us and rocked his head back and forth, saying "the light, the light"...

Another Soldier: Later on, he fainted and woke up again and spoke. We tried to cover him and he'd say: "Let go of me, let go!" and he'd struggle.

Another Soldier: And what he stared at the most was the light...he looked at it with his eyes wide open...

Araneda: How long was the corporal lost?

Mixed Voices: The corporal was gone for some fifteen minutes...we approached the end of the rock wall and call his name...four of us went out to look for him and then the other three went.

Another Voice: We walked along somewhat...we shouted...called him by name...and the light was there...

Another Soldier: And we didn't hear his footsteps when he came...like when a person approaches, you can hear them in the still of the night. (3)

Araneda: How long was he in that trance?

Soldiers: He was like that for some ten minutes, reacting...sometimes he would recognize some of us and then faint...he would wake up and not know who we were...then he quickly slipped into a peaceful state. (4)

Araneda: And you, Valdes, don't recall why you wanted to step away from your men a few meters to take a closer look?

Valdes: All I can say is that something called my attention. Something was attracting me. It was like an internal communication with the light. I could even feel it, when we all got together and assumed a defensive posture. I'm unsure whether it was a truly wonderful or awful sensation. It was extraordinary and I'm telling you that we are seven minds...eight minds. (5)

It's one thing for a single person to suffer a hallucination...an apparition...but to have seven people say the same thing? The problem is that I don't remember what happened. I only know what they've told me. What I do recall is that when we saw the light at first, we wanted to move to find shelter, but something made us stay back...as if something was holding us back to see the light....I remember that I didn't separate more than three or four meters from you guys...from that moment on I have no recollection. They say I vanished as if by magic. The most surprising thing is that I appeared as if by magic. (6)

Araneda: Do you recall what you did in that time period?

Corporal Valdes: No. The only thing I remember is...what appears in my mind is like when I feel sleepy, and I disappear down a deep well...like that...something round, like an abyss or so...from that point onward my brain is empty...my mind can't fathom what happened...I can say it was something like a warning...as if saying that this isn't the first time we'll see each other...or that I shouldn't get involved in things that don't concern me. I don't know...I wasn't spoken to in words...if those beings truly exist. There were even sheep walking near us, and rather than running away, which is what they do when they feel something strange, they remained still. They grouped in perfect silence. This disconcerted us even more. Our mascot dog, "Huamachuco", as they call him, also remained quiet near the stone wall near the campfire (7). There were was no sound to be heard. It was deafeningly quiet. And I invoked God and told the light...go away...I command you in God's name. We were ready for anything at that moment. We would die together, but no one was going to separate us. We even took an oath to remain together.

Several Voices: Before the corporal got lost, he told us to snuff out the fire with a blanket.

Corporal Valdes: Yes, it was as if the fire drew their attention, much like a child is drawn to a fire...as if "they" felt the fire drawing their attention.
Soldier: Next the corporal ordered us to remove the blankets, and I saw him go off to the end of the stone wall. I thought he was going to relieve himself, but five minutes went by more or less and he didn't return. We went looking for him and he was gone. I remember that when he reappeared he shouted: "Guys!" -- it was like a cry for help.

Corporal Valdes: Of course...you insisted that I was calling you "from beyond the grave"...as if trying to escape from something.

Recruit: And when the corporal spoke to us upon returning, he said: "Guys..." and his voice was odd. That's when he fainted and I reached to pick him up. He regained consciousness and grabbed on to us. It was as if that fake star wanted to take him away. He stared at the light.

Another Recruit: At that time all we did was stare at the light. It was like a magnet...a magnetism that attracted our eyes...the light suddenly grew and forced us to back off.

Several Recruits: And when he passed out we settled him on the ground, and the corporal would laugh loudly and then settle down...he also called out to his family, crying for help, saying they were taking him away...

Araneda: You remember returning to them?

Corporal Valdes: No. I remember nothing more than waking up...around 4:30 a.m.
Recruit: When he was in the trance, we would hold him like so and he'd say: "Leave me...let me go...don't hurt me."

Another Conscript: And when he asked us not to hurt him, he covered his ears, as if not to hear anything at all.

(Two more guard recruits join the recording -- Pedro Rosales and Juan Reyes)

We had been seeing something odd for some time. It was like stars flying across the sky. Just like a spaceship, like they call them, leaving a trail of light from here to there.

Araneda: And this was early...at around what time?

Both Conscripts: Around 10:30 pm and it repeated all night until those two descended...

Conscript: When both lights descended, we tried to find an explanation to it. I told the corporal, maybe it's a star on the horizon that's reflected on the ground...but it was impossible, because the light intensified and lit up the sector...

Corporal Valdes: Now then...one thing that I'm clear about...when the light appeared in front of us and were shoulder-to-shoulder in a battle stance...I was clear that "we were us"...but something happened. I had only just stepped away and it grabbed hold of me...like they say...when our minds were all thinking about the same thing and united, nothing happened, as if that force couldn't affect me at all.

Araneda: Along with the void in your mind, there was a stretch during which the watch stopped. Isn't that so?

Corporal Valdes: It stopped at exactly 4:30 a.m. on 25 April 1977.

Araneda: What I find odd is that the wristwatch shows a date of [30 April] right now and no one has tampered with it or changed the time...

Remarks and Considerations on the Recording Presented

It should be mentioned that the transcription was made by journalists Luis Aturana Carter and Luis Daroch, special correspondents of "La Estrella de Arica" at the scene of the events. We can collect some details that are remarked by these experts, and which drew their attention at that time, setting them down on this transcription that we have endeavored to give you in its entirety and verbatim.

Among the redeemable facts of this document -- "the only one in existence when the events were still warm and with all of the recruits present" -- Pedro Araneda left his own impression on a highly peculiar event to which he was a witnessed. He saw that Corporal Valdes's beard was rather grown, confirmed by Raul Salinas in our own investigation, and who provided all of the elements needed for his superior to shave on the night of the events.

Pedro Araneda said the following on the recording: "There is something very strange here. The corporal has a dense growth of beard and naturally, he was clean-shaven...it's very strange...to have such a dense growth of beard in such a short period of time.


(1) [...]
(2) Some sources at the time mentioned "eight soldiers" showing the emergence of confusion from the very start of the case. The names of Ivan Robles Riera and one Juan Reyes are mentioned in other newspapers of the time. The nearest source of this we believe to have been provided by Cpl. Valdes himself, when he was asked who the members of his patrol were within hours of the event, and his military rank. His recorded response, edited in this work, is the closest in time to the events and the closest to the truth, which is logical. Where did the other names come from? Even in the recording itself, the journalists say "two recruits join the conversation", issuing opinions. One of them is Pedro Rosales Arancibia, the other is the mysterious Juan Reyes, who at no time mentions Corporal Valdes in his recorded description. Who is in error? Could he have been mistaken for Juan Rojas?
(3) A very different version from the one provided by recruit Raul Salinas, who says that Corporal Valdes appeared stumbling out of nowhere, from the other side of the stone wall, or bodily from above.
(4) At no time is it stated that someone struck Corporal Valdes to calm him down. Other versions include this detail. Omission, confusion, where does the truth lie?
(5) Again, the confusion of seven or eight people, now stated by Corporal Valdes himself.
(6) In this remark, Valdes does not clearly state if he fell from above the stone wall, from the other side of the wall, or was walking along...
(7) Not everyone recalls the dog "Huamachuco". Raul Salinas does not remember him at all in subsequent conversations.
(8) Copta: A military cape or poncho with a head cover, used particularly for outdoor campaigns and suited to the cold in the area.

La Tercera de la Hora
La Estrella de Arica
Archivos NOUFA Chile

[Translation (c) 2012, Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to NOUFA, Noticiero Autonomo Ufologico]

My appreciation to Scott Corrales at INEXPLICATA-Institute of Hispanic Ufology for this exceptional information!

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