This event take place in the area who Reinaldo Rios celebrated the UFO Camp each month.
World attention was suddenly thrust upon Puerto Rico again on May 5, 1997, when reports of a UFO crash near the town of Lajas (famous for the Laguna Cartagena incidents earlier this decade) at 3:25 a.m. erupted on the news wires and on the Internet, producing renewed interest in the island's UFO landscape, which had waned since the cessation of Chupacabras activity last year.
All accounts coincided on the fact that something had happened near Lajas, producing an intense brush fire in the habitually arid region, but the source of the fire became a bone of contention: one band of ufologists claimed that a spacecraft had hurtled out of the sky and exploded, causing the conflagration along with reports of Federal agents who denied the local police access into the area. To everyone's surprise, an astronomer took the side of the pro-UFO faction, insisting that a meteor of that magnitude would have left a tremendous crater, possibly obliterating Lajas and the neighboring towns.
On May 7, 1997, Univision's Spanish-language Primer Impacto program presented a dramatic roundup of the events surrounding the mysterious Lajas incident: the interviewers reported claims that the Army had reported to the area to collect debris from the impact site and that the consternation among the locals was clearly visible. It was also pointed out that unusually heavy UFO activity had been reported over Puerto Rico's southern tier, and that a woman from the city of Ponce had taken a video of a silvery, rhomboidal object crossing the skies.
Reinaldo Rios,president of International UFO, based in Guanica, P.R., posted a radio news story to the Internet which indicated Lajas mayor Marcos Irizarry's belief that the explosion and subsequent fire had been caused by ufo crash. Irizarry added in the newscast that a growing number of local residents were coming forward with accounts of a glowing object that fell from the sky, and that three distinct explosions had been heard.
An area radio station also experienced technical difficulties shortly after the detonations occurred, suggesting the possibility of EMP (electromagnetic pulse radiation). The San Juan Star (the island's only English-language newspaper) briefly mentioned that one resident, Francisco Negrón, said the fire burned with an unusual redness, which almost bordered on the supernatural. Tipping its hat toward the non-meteoric theory, the U.S. Coast Guard suggested that "an airplane crash" may have occurred at that time.
While those interested in the matter are strongly cautioned to err on the side of skepticism, any meteor that can cause three distinct explosions heard by dozens of witnesses and disrupt a radio station is certainly more mysterious than any UFO.
Prof. Reinaldo Rios
HC 37 Box 3773
Guanica, PR 00653
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