UFO Sightings at Scientific Stations in Antarctica, July 1965
By Richard H. Hall
Sources: The UFO Evidence, Vol. II, 156-58, 315-16; Capt. Daniel A. Perisse, "Deception Island UFO Sightings," in MUFON 1987 International UFO Symposium Proceedings (Mutual UFO Network: Seguin, TX, 1987), 142-54. Transcriptions of official communiques were published in the July 1965 edition of Revista National de Aeronautica (National Aeronautics Magazine) in Argentina.
During mid-winter in Antarctica in July 1965, while the region was cut off from the rest of the world, the summer 1965 UFO wave was in progress in the United States, South America, and Australia. Scientific observers at Antarctic research stations manned by personnel of three nations observed brightly colored objects maneuvering in the sky. Scientific instruments detected a disturbance coincident with one of the sightings. Before this, there had been three sightings of puzzling phenomena in June. Then the July sightings triggered international news reports.
July 2, 1965. English Base "B," Deception Island. 7:15 P.M. Clear sky. Five meteorological observers saw a green and red light, occasionally turning yellow, to the north. The object zigzagged, hovered, and at times accelerated, remaining 20 to 45 degrees above the horizon, Duration: 15-20 minutes.
July 3, 1965: Argentine base, Laurie Island. 5:03 P.M. Two meteorologists observed for 15 seconds a round, bluish-white object moving east to west "on a parabolic path." Two variometers (magnetic field measuring instruments) "registered sudden and strong disturbances of the magnetic field. ..."
July 3, 1965: Chilean base, Deception Island. 7:20 P.M. Clear and starry night, waning moon. Nine meteorological observers watched for 20 minutes a maneuvering yellow-red object, occasionally changing to green, yellow, and orange. The object traveled at high speed with an oscillating motion, hovering at one point, leaving a steam-like trail in its wake. It moved from about 40 degrees above the horizon in the north to 45 degrees above the horizon in the southwest, where it disappeared in the clouds.
July 3, 1965: Argentine base, Deception Island. 7:42 P.M. Shortly after the sightings at the Chilean base, 17 people (including 3 visiting Chilean personnel) observed a lens-shaped disc that maneuvered erratically across the sky for about an hour. The object changed colors (red, yellow, green, orange, blue, white) as it zigzagged from a position about 30 degrees above the horizon in the north-northwest. During the sighting the object hovered, accelerated, reversed direction, and changed in luminosity. At times it went behind some clouds, but it
was also seen in front of some cirrus clouds. Finally, it disappeared to the northwest, decreasing in size and gaining altitude.
Argentine Navy Statement
On Tuesday, July 6, 1965, the Argentine Navy released the following statement to news media about the sightings:
"The Navy garrison in the Argentinean Antarctica, Decepcion Island, observed on July 3 at 19:40 hours local time, a giant, lens-shaped flying object, solid in appearance, mostly red and green in color, changing occasionally with yellow, blue, white and orange shades. The object was moving on a zig-zag trajectory toward the east but several times it changed its course to the west and north with varied speeds and without sound. It passed at an elevation of forty-five degrees above the horizon at a distance estimated to be about 10 to 15 kilometers from the base.
"During the maneuvers performed by the object, the witnesses were able to register its changes in velocity and also the fact that it hovered motionless. The meteorological conditions for the area of the sighting can be considered as very good for this time of the year: clear sky, some strato-cumulus, moon in the last quarter and perfect visibility. The object was witnessed by the meteorologist together with 10 members of the garrison. The observation lasted for 15-20 minutes and photographs of the object were taken.
"In the afternoon of the same day the same object was sighted from the Argentinean base on the South Orkney Islands, moving away toward the northwest (330 azimuth), about 30 degrees above the horizon, estimated distance 10-15 kilometers."
In a radio bulletin broadcast on Wednesday, July 7, 1965, Lt. Daniel Perisse confirmed the sightings:
"[The garrison] observed an extremely brilliant object, moving toward the north with variable speed, sometimes hovering, displaying sudden accelerations and changes of direction. The characteristics of the object and its motion were such that the possibility of a weather balloon, a plane or a star were ruled out. . . . The sighting took place during the night hours, in total darkness attenuated only by some moonlight. The attempt to photograph the objects was doomed to failure considering the low sensitivity of the film used, the distance, and the
Department of Defense documents discovered by Jan L. Aldrich show that data on the Antarctic sightings were circulating in the U.S. intelligence community. One documented originated by the U.S. Air Attache office in Santiago, Chile, on 23 July 1965 includes quotes from radiograms and news reports. The basic information conveyed was that Chilean nationals stationed at an Antarctic base had seen an object zig-zag across the sky, sometimes hovering and changing color from red to yellow to green on July 3/4.
About the same time personnel at the Argentine base on Decepion Island reported a lens-shaped (disc) object flying on an "oscillating course, sometimes hovering and changing colors (yellow, green, and orange). The disc was tracked by "theodolite and powerful field glasses" , and Cpl. Uladislao Duran Martinez was reported to have taken 10 color pictures.
A few hours earlier on the same day, Argentine meteorological observers had watched a luminous white object moving at high speed from east to west that according to a Santiago newspaper on July 4 "caused magnetic changes in their geomagnetic instruments, registering changes notably out of the normal."