The Bolivia “UFO Crash” of 1978: Time for a New Investigation

My previous article was on the subject of Project Moon Dust, a U.S. Air Force program designed to secretly retrieve technology from crashed and foreign space satellites, rockets and more. Most of those cases were somewhat mundane: fuel-tanks, pieces of engines and so on. There are rumors, though, that Project Moon Dust recovered more than a few crashed UFOs – as in alien spacecraft. I’m skeptical of the claims that Moon Dust recovered any alien ships. There is, however, one story that really stands out. It dates from May 1978. The location: Bolivia. And, I’m about to share it with you. The story is an important one, because I’m quoting from U.S. government files. And those same files are actually very intriguing. So with that said, let’s have a look at the case and what we can learn from it. The first piece of data that surfaced was a U.S. Department of State telegram. Dated May 15, 1978, it was titled “Report of Fallen Space Object.” The Department of State report told a fascinating story: “The Bolivian newspapers carried this morning an article concerning an unidentified object that apparently recently fell from the sky. The paper quotes a “Latin” correspondent’s story from the Argentine city of Salta. The object was discovered near the Bolivian city of Bermejo and was described as egg-shaped, metal and about four meters in diameter. The Bolivian Air Force plans to investigate to determine what the object might be and from where it came. I have expressed our interest and willingness to help. They will advise. Request the department check with appropriate agencies to see if they can shed some light on what this object might be. The general region has had more than its share of reports of UFOs this past week. Requests a reply ASAP.”

(Nick Redfern) Where the secrets are held

Then, on the same day, there were the words of the CIA: “Many people in this part of the country claim they saw an object which resembled a soccer ball falling behind the mountains on the Argentine-Bolivian border, causing an explosion that shook the earth. This took place on May 6. Around that time some people in San Luis and Mendoza provinces reported seeing a flying saucer squadron flying in formation. The news from Salta confirms that the artificial satellite fell on Taire Mountain in Bolivia, where it has already been located by authorities. The same sources said that the area where the artificial satellite fell has been declared an emergency zone by the Bolivian Government.” One day later, May 16, there was a CIA update on the affair titled “Reports Conflict on Details of Fallen Object.” The CIA  said:

“We have received another phone call from our audience requesting confirmation of reports that an unidentified object fell on Bolivian territory near the Argentine border. We can only say that the Argentine and Uruguayan radio stations are reporting on this even more frequently, saying that Bolivian authorities have urgently requested assistance from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration in order to determine the nature of that which crashed on a hill in Bolivian territory. Just a few minutes ago Radio El Espectador of Montevideo announced that there was uncertainty as to the truth of these reports. Argentine sources indicated that they border with Bolivia had been closed but that it might seen be reopened. They also reported that an unidentified object had fallen on Bolivian soil near the Argentine border and that local Bolivian authorities had requested aid from the central government, which, in turn, had sought assistance from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration to investigate the case.”

There was more to come from the U.S. government:  “A La Paz newspaper said today that there is great interest in learning about the nature of the fallen object, adding that local authorities for security reasons had cordoned off 200 km around the spot where the object fell. The object is said to be a mechanical device with a diameter of almost 4 meters which has already been brought to Tarija. There is interest in determining the accuracy of these reports which have spread quickly throughout the continent, particularly in Bolivia and its neighboring countries. Is it a satellite, a meteorite, or a false alarm?” Then, on the 18th of the month, the Department of State reported: “Preliminary information provided has been checked with appropriate government agencies. No direct correlation with known space objects that may have re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere near May 6 can be made; however, we continue to examine any possibilities. Your attention is invited to State Airgram A-6343, July 26, 1973, which provided background information and guidance for dealing with space objects that have been found. In particular any information pertaining to the pre-impact observations, direction of trajectory, number of objects observed, time of impact and a detailed description including any markings would be useful.”

Just about a week later, the Department of State reported: “This office has tried to verify the stories put forth in the local press. The Chief of Staff of the Bolivian Air Force told DATT/AIRA this date that planes from the BAF have flown over the area where the object was supposed to have landed and in their search they drew a blank. Additionally, DATT/AIRA talked this date with the Commander of the Bolivian Army and informed DATT that the Army’s search party directed to go into the area to find the object had found nothing. The Army has concluded that there may or [may] not be an object, but to date nothing has been found.” The mystery was over, aside from one thing: all of the available  material was handed over to Project Moon Dust. What happened from there we don’t know. Maybe, one day, someone will launch a new investigation of this admittedly intriguing case of 1978.

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