Dr. Enrique Botta in 1950, though he did not talk publicly about the event until 1955 when persuaded to do so by friends. Botta was a former pilot aged about 40 who was in 1950 employed as an engineer working on a construction project in the rural area of Bahia Blanca some 75 miles from Caracas.
Botta was driving back to his hotel one evening when he saw a strange object resting in a field. He stopped the car to get a better look. The object was shaped like a domed disc made of a silvery metal. It had no legs or landing gear and seemed to be resting slightly askew. There was an open door on one side.
Getting out of his car, Botta walked over the field toward the object and peered through the door. Inside he could see a small, empty room lit by a vague glow and a flashing red light. As Botta touched the object he noticed that although it looked as if it were made of metal, the skin of the craft had a jelly-like softness. Walking inside, Botta passed to a second, much larger room.
In that room Botta saw a curved bench or sofa on which sat three figures facing away from him. Each figure was about four feet tall and dressed in a tight-fitting overall that reached to the neck. The heads were rather large and looked bald.
Botta stopped in alarm, but when the figures took no notice of him he approached them. As he got close he saw that the three figures were facing what he assumed to be a control panel. It was filled with guages, lights and what seemed to be meters. Above the panel floated a transparent sphere which rotated slowly.
As the figures still took no notice of him, Botta reached out and touched one. The humanoid was rigid and hard, while the skin had the texture of charred wood. Believing that the beings were dead, Botta fled. He dashed to his car and drove off to the hotel where he and fellow engineers working on the project were staying.
Botta blurted out his story to his two closest colleagues. One of these men had a gun he used for hunting, and suggested that all three men should return to the craft to inspect it further. It was by now dark, so the three men decided to go in the morning.
Next day the three men drove back to the site of the encounter, but the disc-shaped craft had gone. All that was left was a small pile of ashes. One of Botta’s friends stooped to touch it, but found it was hot and his hand turned purple, so he dropped the ash. Botta, meanwhile, had spotted a UFO circling high overhead. It was shaped like a cigar and pulsed with a red glow. After a few minutes it flew off and the men were left alone.
The encounter was not yet over. Later that day Botta collapsed with a fever and was rushed to hospital. His skin came up in a rash and began to blister. A test showed no sign of radiation and the doctors thought that a very severe case of sunburn was the most likely explanation, although Botta had not been out in the sun much due to his work. Botta recovered after a few days and returned to work. He decided not to talk about the incident, but later as news of UFO sightings became more common in South America decided to speak out.
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