It was the morning of May 3rd, 1975. Upon returning from a routine flight from Zihuatanejo to Mexico City, twenty-three-year-old pilot, Carlos de Santos, prepared his Piper PA-24 plane and was soon in the skies, heading for the Benito Juárez International Airport.
(Center - Carlos de Los Santos)
It was over the VHF Omnidirectional Radio Range when Carlos noticed something odd in the distance. As he approached the oddity on his left, it soon came into view. There in the skies was a craft, gray in color and saucer-shaped. It was much smaller than his plane as it began to follow his left wing. It had, what appeared to be, a cockpit of some sort on the top with a blacked out window. As Carlos stared in awe at the craft, he had a strange feeling that he was being watched from the other side of his plane as well. He turned to look, and on his right wing was yet another identical craft.
Carlos now felt uneasy. But before he could even process what was happening, a third craft appeared directly in front of his plane, descending beneath the front of the plane. Reacting on impulse, Carlos dipped the nose of the plane to observe where this craft had gone. To his surprise and dismay, the craft was a little too close for comfort, hitting and scraping the fuselage, damaging the landing gear of the plane.
It was at this point that Carlos no longer felt in control of his Piper plane. No matter what he did to try to get a handle on the plane, nothing was working. Surrounded by the three unknown objects, he was sure that they were moving in to attack. Surprisingly, however, Carlos felt as though they were guiding him. He still felt threatened and attempted to bump the object to his right, hoping this would somehow stop their control over his plane. But it didn't. They were still in complete control, and now forcing the Piper to ascend to dangerous altitudes.
Helpless, and afraid of the rapid increase in cabin pressure literally killing him, Carlos did the only thing he could do; he radioed for help. Connecting with the control tower in Mexico City, he sent a distress call, yelling “Mayday” as loud and as frequent as he possibly could. He went on to describe what was happening, stating that: “I have three unidentified visual objects flying around me.” He then went on to explain that: “I’m apparently flying without control, the plane is without control. I'm not controlling the plane!”
The control tower instructed him to decelerate and descend, but Carlos explained that he could not. He believed this was the end, but just as he lost all hope, the objects seemed to distance themselves and began to head toward the nearby Mount Popocatépetl Volcano at unbelievable speeds. The objects soon disappeared out of sight and Carlos regained control of his aircraft. He notified the control tower of such but the issue remained that his landing gear was damaged beyond control. The airport issued an emergency landing, clearing the area of all flights. Forced to circle the airport almost a dozen times, Carlos desperately searched for something to fix the landing gear. He was able to find a screwdriver, and in a makeshift process was successful in extending the gear and safely landing the plane.
Carlos was treated at a local clinic, and no substances were found in his system. He was given a clear bill of health and permission to continue flying thereafter. Any doubt that the event occurred were squashed when the radar operators at the control tower that day, Julio Cesar Interián Díaz and Emilio Estañol López testified that they did indeed view the objects in real time as they were making the maneuvers that Carlos had been reporting. According to UFO researcher, Miguel Romero, an affidavit was recorded in official minutes of the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics, by the Office of Aeronautical Authority for the International Airport of Mexico City, on May 8th of 1975.
The case caught international attention, and soon news outlets wanted to speak to Carlos about what had happened. The case was also investigated by Project Blue Book, under the guidance of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the government-hired astronomer who officially looked into UFO cases. On several occasions, Carlos was visited by what can only be described as Men in Black. He was told not to speak of what had happened or he and his family could suffer consequences. But he was adamant about getting his story out to the public, and even until this day continues to speak out about it.
(Carlos de los Santos)
Carlos went on the continue flying, having a healthy and safe career thereafter. But presumably, that almost fateful day in 1975 completely changed his outlook on what lay somewhere in the skies over Mexico, and just exactly how much control the trio of saucer-shaped crafts seemed to have over his Piper plane.
To learn more about this harrowing case, and several other lesser known Mexican UFO incidents, listen to the Somewhere in the Skies podcast interview below with UFO researcher, Ruben Uriarte: http://www.somewhereintheskies.com/episodes/episode-five-ruben-uriarte-ufos-over-mexico-and-the-southwest
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Ryan Sprague is the author of 'Somewhere in the Skies: A Human Approach to an Alien Phenomenon' (Available on Amazon). Speaking on the UFO topic, he has been featured on ABC News, Fox News, and The Science Channel. He is also a regular on the Travel Channel's 'Mysteries at the Museum'. Ryan is the host of the SOMEWHERE IN THE SKIES Podcast. Learn more at: www.somewhereintheskies.com