Destination: Earth (by Daniel Riera)

Alejandro Agostinelli is sharing the English translation of the foreword by Daniel Riera to his recent book Invasores (Invaders, which we reviewed here only a few months ago. See also our review at Amazon.com) with readers of INEXPLICATA. Miracles do happen, and this worthy book may yet find its way to a publisher interested in a U.S./U.K./AU/NZ edition

Scott Corrales

Destination: Earth. By Daniel Riera

Let us imagine that an alien is reading this book.  Let each reader choose the alien biotype that he or she likes the most.  It does not matter, in this case, what the alien looks like, or what its planet of origin is, or whether its intentions are those of a pacifist or a warmonger.  It does not matter how it feeds itself, if indeed it needs to, or how it mates, if indeed it does so, or how its excretory system works, if indeed it has one.  Nor does it matter what the design of its spaceships might be, nor what technology it is that makes them work.  It does not matter where the alien is reading this book: whether on its home planet, aboard its spaceship, or at the base that aliens, as everybody knows, have in Roswell. The only thing that matters, in this case, is that it is an alien and that it is reading this book.  There is no doubt this book will be a must in every alien library, and I am not saying this because of this book’s stories on aliens: after all, any fairly informed alien is familiar with them, or has at least heard about them.  I was in fact saying that this book will undoubtedly be a must in every alien library because this is actually a great book on humans.  And if the aliens are planning to either visit us peacefully or invade us, this book may turn out to be a very useful way for them to know about us.

The raw material for the work of good journalists (and Alejandro Agostinelli is one of the best I know) is people, and not politics, economy, sports, art, science or aliens.  Good journalists from planet Earth never forget that each account they describe, each story they narrate, is about human beings.

In October, 2002, the great expert Ryszard Kapuscinski gave an unforgettable seminar in Argentina, the content of which was published in its entirety in the book Los cinco sentidos del periodista (The Five Senses of the Journalist). Back then, Kapuscinski said the following:

Journalism is, in my opinion, among the most gregarious professions that exist, because, without others, we cannot do anything.  Without the help, the participation, the opinion and thoughts of others, we do not exist.  The fundamental condition of this job is this understanding with the other: we do – and we are – what others let us do and be.  No modern society can exist without journalists, but we journalists cannot exist without society.

Therefore, a fundamental condition that is needed in order to perform this job is the capacity to function together with others.  In most cases, we become slaves in situations in which we lose our autonomy, when we depend on others to take us to a secluded place, or tell us about the object of our research.  A journalist cannot put himself above those with whom he is going to work: on the contrary, he must be a peer, someone  like them, in order to get close, understand and then express his expectations and hopes.

Listening to others.  That’s what it’s all about.  And listening with attention and respect.  Learning from others.  With or without aliens inbetween.  Two brothers miss their deceased father; a father loses his daughter and copes with that pain the best he can; a woman gets tired of the city routine and of her husband and leaves with her daughter for some far-away place; another woman faces the impossibility of having a second child; a group of buddies finds a way to have fun.  The problems of people who have seen flying saucers, have talked to or made love with an alien, are very much like the problems of those of us who haven’t had those kinds of experiences.  And we all want to know why things happen to us.  Particularly when we hurt.

Alejandro Agostinelli has devoted a good part of his life to researching these kinds of cases: I know for a fact that he could write twenty books as good as this one without repeating one single story.  As a reader, I would like him to do so.  At first he was a credulous ufologist, just like some of his interviewees; then, he became a militant skeptic, like those refuters of legends that Alejandro Dolina immortalized in his Crónicas del Ángel Gris (The Gray Angel’s Chronicles).  Through his journey on both sides, Agostinelli discovered that the more his passion grew for alien case studies, the more he held on to our planet and the beings that inhabit it.  He started wondering, then, why aliens are seen by those who see them; why these people look up to the sky to see aliens, and why, finally, they find what they were looking for.  Invasores is made out of this wonderful material.  It is a book conceived and written to be enjoyed by readers all over the universe, but, above all, by those who reside on Earth.

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Book Review: “Invasores” by Alejandro Agostinelli

INVASORES by Alejandro Agostinelli
Buenos Aires, Editorial Sudamericana, 2009
347 p., ISBN 978-950-07-3061-7

By Scott Corrales [versión en español]

A book with a title like INVASORES (“The Invaders”) conjures up images of David Vincent pulling into an abandoned diner, rubbing his sleepy eyes, only to look up at the image of the archetypical flying saucer, all lights and strange sounds. But INVASORES is an conundrum: a book about the UFO phenomenon written by an acknowledged skeptic. But in Alejandro Agostinelli’s own admission, the skeptics somehow come out worse for wear in this important book.

For INVASORES is written lovingly, in a unique style that causes the reader to “see” the mythical, magical UFO landscape of Argentina in decades past. It isn’t a casebook or another book regarding claims of this alleged sighting or that alleged crash – it carefully examines the social, cultural and political underpinnings of Argentinean society during the turbulent, saucer-active decades of the 1970s, when colorful – if not downright bizarre – characters appeared on the national scene to claim alien contact or simply draw attention to themselves.

It can also be described as a two-act play: Act I looks back to the early days of the contactee era, which was as active in South America and Europe as it was in North America: groups of believers ascending to the heights of the tallest skyscraper in Buenos Aires to witness – at a date set by supposedly non-human intelligences – the maneuvers of an unidentified flying object; a gallery of fathers, sons and siblings involved in metaphysics, spiritism and nascent ufology, and an unbeatable touch of humor masterfully delivered by Agostinelli’s hand: a Russian mathematician involved in the time-honored practice of table-tipping, prone to giving the table a good kick. When reproved, he would reply: “These things are like cars. They must be primed first!”

The backdrop throughout the first act –the madness of the ‘70s – is Argentina’s unstable political situation: a rotation of governments, both military and civilian, and uncertain economy, and the quiet anguish of a population unsure of the next move. A situation ripe for charlatans and spectacular claims, such as those of Francisco Garcia, a septuagenarian, self-avowed half-human/Martian hybrid whose rantings about Earth’s involvement in a cosmic war between Mars and Jupiter would supposedly be made good by the arrival of the Martian fleet at the Chascomús Lagoon on August 20, 1973. When the event did not take place (a strategic redeployment by the Martian Admiralty?) a crowd of five thousand spectators turned on García, who was forced to beat a hasty retreat into the pages of contactee history.

The second act of INVASORES centers on more familiar fare: the Argentinean cattle mutilation wave of 2002, Valentina de Andrade’s LUS saucer cult and its dissident member “Commander Clomro”, and the otherworldly amours of contactee Martha Green. While the book remains available only in Spanish, it offers interested readers a glimpse into the human frailties and hopes which, after all, are the backbone of what we call ufology.

INEXPLICATA Rating: Five stars (* * * * *)

Fuente:
Inexplicata

http://inexplicata.blogspot.com/2010/02/book-review-invasores-by-alejandro.html

More (in english):

“Invaders”, an hallucinatory Pandora’s Box. By Pablo Robledo

Invasion’s cronology: 57 years of extraterrestrials in Argentina

Mariana Guzzante: Invaders’s interview with the author

Vicente- Juan Ballester Olmos: “Eleven incredible stories about UFOs “all of them worth of a movie film”

Agosto 16, 2009

Pablo Robledo: “Invaders”, an hallucinatory Pandora’s Box

“Invaders. Real stories on extraterrestrials in Argentina” (Editorial Sudamericana, 2009).

By Pablo Robledo

Like every football fan with fantasies of his or her Dream Team, here we are, with the perfect line-up, the ultimate best eleven. Eleven stories that is, stories that catch our atention and at the same time, fascinate. To be read in one go, in 2 hours or 2 days, a page turning book that acts as an hallucinatory Pandora’s Box, from which surprise after surprise escapes to alien effect. Told with just the right mix of illusion and scepticism, with a lot of respect, with a lot of rhythm, and a lot of irony, this is a book that leaves the reader wanting to know more, to discover the human and the not so human characters behind the stories, to keep reading. And I know of no better praise for any book than to say that it makes the reader want to keep on reading.

Pablo Robledo, journalist and documentary maker based in London. Published “Pelucas de Contrabando”, a book of short stories. Collaborated with
Pagina 12, Critica de la Argentina, Revista 23, Lezama, Nomada and several other newspapers and magazines in Argentina.

More (in english):

Book Review: INVASORES by Alejandro Agostinelli. By Scott Corrales, in Inexplicata (february 2010).

Invasion’s cronology: 57 years of extraterrestrials in Argentina

Mariana Guzzante: Invaders’s interview with the author

Vicente- Juan Ballester Olmos: “Eleven incredible stories about UFOs “all of them worth of a movie film”

Cronologia da invasão: 57 anos de extraterrestres na Argentina

Invasores PortadaEm 1952, um espírito revela a um divulgador de ciência que um disco voador vindo de Ganímedes sobrevoará o edifício Kavanagh, na praça San Martín. Em 1967, um padre jesuíta pede a um contatado polonês que traduza o livro Martín Fierro para o idioma extraterrestre. Em 1968, os jornais noticiam o teletransporte de um casamento para o México e dois empregados do cassino de Mendoza tropeçam em uma nave aterrissada, cujos ocupantes gravam no chassi do seu carro uma mensagem interestelar. Nos anos 70, um profeta jura trabalhar com tecnologias alienígenas inspirado por vozes do além. E outro anuncia pela televisão o iminente desembarque de 50 discos voadores sobre a lagoa de Chascomús. Nos anos 90, uma mulher abandona uma vida confortável para construir um museu óvni no estado de Entre Ríos e amadurece o plano de um capuz que assegura ser de outro mundo. Em 2002, a Argentina assiste a uma estranha onda de crimes contra vacas. Reencarna o chupacabras em La Pampa, onde um camponês assegura que um disco voador lhe roubou seu celular e outro que ingerir carne de vaca mutilada lhe deu superpoderes. Enquanto tudo isso acontece, desde 1956 a 2009 a esposa de um militar perseguido vive um idílio secreto com um amante vindo do espaço.
Quem são os invasores? Este livro afirma, duvida, interroga e reflete. Mas, sobretudo, conta que experiências viveram, em que acreditam e quem são os protagonistas da Argentina extraterrestre.

Invasores.  Histórias reais de extraterrestres na Argentina. Por Alejandro Agostinelli. (Sudamericana, 2009)

Blog de Invasores
http://invasores-ellibro.com.ar/

Ale Agostinelli en el KavanaghEspaço exterior e interior

De Invasores. Histórias reais de extraterrestres na Argentina (Editorial Sudamericana, 2009), Agostinelli diz: “É minha melhor tentativa de refletir o que escutei, vi e percebi na experiência mais agradável que um jornalista pode desfrutar, que é a experiência de fazer contato com outras pessoas com vontade de te contar o que aconteceu de mais importante na vida delas”. Entre a crônica, o ensaio e o jornalismo investigativo, Invasores revela o fascínio do seu autor pelo estranho e sua paixão por iluminar o incompreendido.

Links:

“Invasores.  Histórias reais de extraterrestres na Argentina. Por Kentaro Mori (En portugués)

Blog de Invasores

http://invasores-ellibro.com.ar/

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Invasion’s cronology: 57 years of extraterrestrials in Argentina

In 1952, a spirit reveals to a scientist that a flying saucer from Ganimedes will fly over the Kavanagh building, situated in Plaza San Martín, Buenos Aires.

1967, a Jesuit priest asks a Polish contactee to translate Argentine novel Martin Fierro to an alien language.

In 1968, newspapers inform of the teleportation of a married couple from Chascomus (a little village from Buenos Aires province) to Mexico. Also, two casino employees in Mendoza encounter a landed spacecraft whose occupants burnt an interstellar tracing inscription on the door of a vintage car.

The 1970s, a prophet swears he worked with an alien technology inspired by voices from beyond the grave. Another announces the imminent landing of 50 spaceships over the Chascomús Lagoon.

In the 1990s, a woman leaves behind a comfortable life to build a UFO museum in Entre Ríos, following the plan of a hooded man who claims to be from another world.

2002, Argentina experiences a strange wave of cattle deaths, reincarnating the “chupacabras” in La Pampa.  A civilian swears he had seen a flying saucer that stole his cellphone, while another claims that ingesting the meat of the mutilated cow gave him superpowers.

While all this occurs, from 1956 to the present day, a soldier’s wife has a secret affair with an alien lover from outer space.

Who are the invaders? This book affirms, doubts, questions, and reflects on this question. But above all, it relates to us the experiences they have lived, their beliefs, and tells us about the protagonists of an alien Argentina.

Of Invaders. Real stories about extraterrestrials in Argentina (Sudamericana Ed., 2009), author Alejandro Agostinelli says: “It’s my best attempt to reflect on what I have heard, seen, and perceived in the most enjoyable experience that a journalist can have; that is making contact with other people who are eager to recount the most interesting thing that happened in their lives.”

With the chronicle, the story, and the investigative journalism, Invaders reveals the author’s fascination for strangeness and his passion for clarifying the unexplained.

Blog Invaders
http://invasores-ellibro.com.ar/

Author’s Blog
http://magiacritica.com.ar/

More (in english)

Book Review: INVASORES by Alejandro Agostinelli. By Scott Corrales, in Inexplicata (february 2010).

“Invaders”, an hallucinatory Pandora’s Box. By Pablo Robledo

Vicente- Juan Ballester Olmos: Eleven incredible stories about UFOs “all of them worth of a movie film”

Mariana Guzzante:  Invaders’s interview with the author

Eleven incredible stories about UFOs “all of them worth of a movie film”

Vicente-Juan Ballester OlmosBy Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos / Fotocat Project

A key name in the study of things ufological in Argentina is Alejandro Agostinelli, a journalist by trade. In Invasores. Historias reales de extraterrestres en la Argentina (Invaders: Real Stories of Extraterrestrials in Argentina), the author has written a chronicle of eleven incredible stories about UFOs and UFO encounters, “all of them worth of a movie film”, he confesses. Through personal, moving interviews with the personages themselves he documents not only the lives of odd characters associated to singular experiences, but also the visions and beliefs from which are woven the tapestry of the cult of the extraterrestrials in Argentina.

The book was published in April 2009 by Editorial Sudamericana- Random House (Buenos Aires), and has 352 pages.

You can read more information and lots of comments at:
http://invasores-ellibro.com.ar and
http://inexplicata.blogspot.com/ 2009/06/argentina-invasores-invaders-alejandro.html

Source: http://fotocat.blogspot.com/

More (in english):

Book Review: INVASORES by Alejandro Agostinelli. By Scott Corrales, in Inexplicata (february 2010).

“Invaders”, an hallucinatory Pandora’s Box. By Pablo Robledo

Mariana Guzzante: Invaders’s interview with the author

Invasion’s cronology: 57 years of extraterrestrials in Argentina

“Invaders” by Mariana Guzzante

Invasores Portada“Invaders. Real stories on extraterrestrials in Argentina” (“Invasores. Historias reales de extraterrestres en la Argentina”, Editorial Sudamericana, 2009).

Alejandro Agostinelli’s New Book by Mariana Guzzante (Los Andes On-Line, May 31, 2009)

Journalist Alejandro Agostinelli has published a book that reopens the legendary UFO case that bewildered Mendoza in 1968. It is being displayed today in our province. This documentary history is a review of Argentinean sightings that involve Chupacabras, little green dwarves and spiritism. There is a revival of alien culture: “V” is returning to television, and the Star Trek remake is on top of the box office. The invaders are among us once more.

It isn’t hard to picture Alejandro Agostinelli – an interesting journalist, a tracker of mysteries – scouring through the X-Files of this part of the world.

His book is somewhere between the pleasure of the chronicle and the flashback of an archive. That’s how this project should have started. Editorial Sudamericana has recently published it under the name “Invasores”, and that’s how it ended. Over 342 pages written with the perfect excuse of narrating Argentina’s most startling extraterrestrial sightings, including the famous case involving “little green men” that caused an uproar in local ufology in ’68.
Los Andes PortadaA journalist may delight in sleuthing across the paranormal landscape; for he protagonists of these events –the contactees– it is an exhumation of an extreme experience.

A Contactee Event In the Heartland
A couple vanishes in Chascomús and appears instantaneously in Mexico, as though written in the script for the movie “Jumper”. Two employees of the Casino de Mendoza encounter little green men and have a telepathic experience with them; a team of Buenos Aires spiritists makes contact with an “engineer” from Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter. A woman named Silvia Perez founds the “Museo del Ovni” in Victoria, Entre Rios.
The stories told in “Invasores” appear to avoid falling into ufological fervor, but nonetheless insert a disquieting description: “true stories”, as stated on the cover. You mean they’re real? “Yes,” says the author, “because these are documented stories. The reader may enjoy the recollections and experiences of their protagonists while having solid historical data at hand. None of the stories is unreal. All of these have appeared in the press, in newscasts and eventually in books on the subject.”

Thus, with several first-person accounts that are sheer narrative gold, Agostinelli chose 11 invasions. What will be the outcome of reading this book, now that the subject of aliens feels slightly retro? “No idea, that’s another mystery,” says the author. It may be, perhaps, a fine opportunity for taking out the folding chair and watching the skies again.

Che Ovni Che UFOChe Ovni

It is clear that this is a work charged with comparative paranoia, hallucination and longing.
Furthermore, these accounts include the Chupacabras, [the subterranean city of] Erks, tours of Mount Uritorco and strange abductions like that of Zulma Fayad. There is even a translation of “Martin Fierro” (Argentina’s national epic – ed.) into “Varkulets”, an unusual alien lingo. And a constant appears. Unlike other countries, which point to Mars or Venus as the alien homeland, Argentineans connect more closely with visitors from Ganymede, one of the Jovian satellites.
“UFOs, the stories woven around them, and their effect upon culture. Those are the subjects to which I devoted the greatest time and passion throughout my life, “ Agostinelli says frankly.

– And how did you come to choose the cases? How did you know that these were the stories, and not others?
”These were the ones that had the greatest impact on me while I studied the subject of UFOs. Furthermore, by having worked on TV documentaries, I have a rather visual training. I know which stories are the most attractive, involving and suggestive. My criteria for selection were double. Moreover, all of the stories had to reveal unknown aspects in the lives of their protagonists. On the other hand, each story should be worthy of a motion picture. If for any reason (a lack of information, the inability to access direct witnesses, that sort of thing) they didn’t click, they went right back to the inkwell.”

Afiche promocional de "Che Ovni"-It’s hard not to ask which case affected you the most.
“There are two open-ended adventures that contain the hardest mysteries to digest. One of them is the so-called Vidal Case, which began with a news item published in June 1968. It told the story of a couple driving along the road from Chascomus, Province of Buenos Aires, when they drove into a fog bank and lost consciousness. Later, the couple and their car reappeared in Mexico City. In this case I learned that the motion picture “Che Ovni” had been shot almost a year earlier. This film, directed by Anibal Uset, starts with a couple teleported by a flying saucer from Buenos Aires to Madrid, car and all. It opened two months after the Vidal Case. This couple was never found and it’s unlikely they ever existed. But as with all legends, the controversy endures. Anibal uset cannot categorically prove that he created the case to promote his movie. In any event, my book contains hints that support his claim. It is followed, no doubt by the Mendozan question involving the Casino workers.

-How did you trace the route to be followed?

“Like I said, once I chose the stories, I arranged them in a more or less chronological order. At other times, I added stories according to geographic proximity. I went to Mendoza in an effort to locate Juan Carlos Peccinetti and Fernando Villegas, the Casino workers, but also other possible protagonists of what appears to have been a prank, based on a clue I was given in Mar del Plata.
Then I visited Chile, where I interviewed physicist and mathematician Pablo Kittl Duclout, the nephew of brothers Jorge and Napy Duclout, who is the only surviving relative of the first Argentinean contactees.

Agostinelli con Kittl Duclout“In the early Fifties, Jorge and Napy were spiritists. During their séances, a spirit they identified as a “talented engineer” would talk to them about life on Ganymede, the planet Jupiter’s largest satellite. I was delighted to find out who was the engineer who contacted them, but I won’t tell you. That’s the end of the story and it would ruin it. The first trip involved climbing to the roof of the Kavanagh Building, where they were summoned to appear by the commander of a saucer that was supposed to arrive from Jupiter. I also visited Santa Rosa, because La Pampa is the homeland of the wave of cattle mutilations that unleashed in 2002, and the city of Victoria, Entre Rios, where Siliva Pérez Simondini’s Museo OVNI operates.”

The fact is that Alejandro found the Earthlings to be infinitely more complex and fascinating than the aliens.

Parenthesis one: “Aníbal Uset was the first Argentinean filmmaker who toured the world to shoot a comedy based on the extraterrestrial rumors of the Sixties, and even more with Martin Rappalini, who was a the time a young writer accused of “concealing the truth” about the legendary marital abduction. These stories merited another chapter.
El Muñeco Mateyko, Pipo Mancera, Javier Portales, Cuchuflito, Jorge Sobral, Marcela López Rey, Erika Wallner and Perla Caron starred in the movie version of the story. A relic? Yes indeed. The odyssey had a musty smell to it until I learned that Catherine Fulop had starred in a Nineties remake of the movie. In Spain, she was also convinced that she’d been transported by aliens.”

Jorge Duclout on the KavanaghParenthesis two: Pablo Kittl Duclout, the physicist from the Andean foothills, informed the researcher to the fascinating destiny that awaited his uncles, the protagonists of the first announced UFO sighting from the rooftop of the Kavanagh Bulding in 1954). Apparently, an advanced spirit had revealed to them the existence of a higher technology. “Those disclosures were so extraordinary that they inspired Napy to film Argentina’s first 3D motion picture, “Buenos Aires en Relieve (1954),” notes Alejandro.

Martha GreenThree: “I also visited the nursing home where Martha Green now lives. A lovely old lady who was whisked away from Earth in the 1950s by Enis, her interdimensional lover, while her husband, a military man in the Perón regime, was embattled by the Aramburu dictatorship.”

How distant is “Invasores” from ufology?
“I wouldn’t say “light years away” because that would be a wisecrack. But I don’t think that I could’ve written a book like this while I was an ufologist. Or when I was a militant skeptic. I believe that the right distance is having realized that the protagonists were the people I was interviewing. And I chose the first person to take over my own subjective approach.

What about Fabio Zerpa?
Zerpa is convinced that the ones that appear in his stories are aliens. I’m convinced of the existence of human beings, and some of them claim having had experiences involving extraterrestrials.

-So, do you or don’t you believe in alien life?
It’s not whether I believe or don’t. It may exist. But in that case, I imagine them as being too smart. To the extent that I doubt they’d bother visiting Earth. Perhaps, if they read “Invasores” they’ll find we’re a very interesting species.

Original Source: Los Andes On-Line.

Translation Source: Inexplicata. Journal of the Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU), presenting UFO and paranormal cases from Spain, South America and the Caribbean. (c) 2009, Scott Corrales IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo Gimenez, Planeta UFO).

(Agostinelli say: Thanks Scott!!!)

More (in english):

Invasion’s cronology: 57 years of extraterrestrials in Argentina

Vicente- Juan Ballester Olmos: Eleven incredible stories about UFOs “all of them worth of a movie film”