At 12.10 pm on 24 May 1971, celebrated Argentinean painter Professor Julio Suarez Marzal (above) was with his dentist, Dr Walter Griehl, in the
latter’s surgery in the centre of Mendoza, Argentina. It was a fine sunny day. Looking out of a south-facing window, they both saw a plato volador
(flying saucer) moving westwards.
Marzal estimated the craft was travelling at a height of above 1000 metres, Dr Griehl estimated 1500 metres. While Dr Griehl rushed away to get
binoculars, the craft descended to a point only about 40 metres from Marzal. Marzal noticed what he called a visor (viewfinder) attached to the UFO.
He observed the now nearby UFO aiming its visor towards a set of parabolic antennas on top of the nearby Post Office building, rolling around as it
Marzal’s drawing of the UFO close up, deploying its visor.
Marzal observed the UFO in Dr Griehl’s surgery, looking southwards through the window.
The UFO’s visor (image capture device. as explained later) is pointing to an array of parabolic antennae on the top of the Post Office building in
Mendoza (see map below).
Marzal’s drawing is the most convincing close-up study of a UFO that I’ve seen. The noon end-May sun at Mendoza (latitude 33 degrees south) would
be due north an about 37 degrees above the horizon, I think. Professor Marzal shows the sun illuminating both top and bottom bowls of the disc
exactly as it should. He shows the shadow of the UFO’s projecting Saturn-like disc and the shadow of the visor. A streak of light to the left of
the visor seems to originate in a hole in the Saturn-like disc, which could have been caused by passage of a micrometeorite through the disc.
Point and shoot. Marzal’s drawing of the UFO’s rocking motion as it pointed its visor towards the parabolas.
Above. Local map of Mendoza, showing Post Office building with parabolic antennas, the witnesses (Marzal and Griehl) and the UFO.
The antennas, or their later replacements are still there (above).
One of the most intriguing of Marzal’s observations concerns the UFO's deployment of its visor. Below is his sketch of this device:
The tubular finlike projection on top looks like a handle and I think the whole object may have been a portable unit, consisting of a conical lens
hood or sun shield (left) attached to a cylindrical image capture and storage device. Marzal estimated the diameter of the cylinder to be about 8
Below is Marzal’s interpretation, in section and plan, of the visor in position on the UFO. All dimensions are estimates.
Professor Marzal evidently imagined the visor as part of a long telescope-like unit extending to the UFO’s interior. He may even have imagined a
small alien pilot inside the UFO peering through the telescope’s eyepiece.
But small aliens with long telescopes don’t impress me.
In any case a telescope-like unit would have too limited a field of view for the craft to accomplish the navigation and surveillance feats that Marzal
described and illustrated. IMO it’s more likely that the UFO’s image capture device was a portable wide-angle unit temporarily attached to its
exterior (see below)
Professor Marzal’s section and plan of the UFO, modified by Lowneck to show suggested attachment of small image capture device instead of long
telescope. The device would link to the craft’s computers, and would allow room within the disc for a momentum wheel or other gyroscopic or
A robot on board the UFO’s mother ship or at its putative Solar System base could have used the handle to fit the image capture and storage device
plus lens hood onto the UFO before the daylight surveillance mission began. Alternative devices, perhaps involving IR sensors or emitting powerful
electromagnetic beams, could have been fitted to the craft for nighttime surveillance missions.
In all missions, the UFO’s computers might use imagery acquired by the fitted devices for real-time navigation. Effectively the craft would rely on
a single ‘eye’ and that might explain its tumbling motion as it descended towards its target objects on the Post Office building in Mendoza.
We can imagine this ‘tumbling’ one-eyed craft heading west about 1000 metres above the Mendoza area, its computers continually comparing new
imagery with stored images of significant human technology, particularly emerging space technology. Intelligently, it identified the parabolic
antennas on the Post Office building as ‘interesting’ – after all contemporary human space probes had parabolic antennas - and the UFO decided
to acquire close-up imagery.
It’s even possible that the UFO monitored microwave radio frequency transmissions from the antennas, and this information played a part in its
By the time Dr Griehl returned to his surgery with binoculars, the UFO had disappeared. But he signed an affidavit, as quoted in this link:
Not wanting ridicule, Professor Marzal did not publicise his sighting in the Mendoza press. But he understood the scientific importance of his
observations and allowed articles to appear later in the UFO journals Revista Exo (No 2), Lumieres dans la Nuit and Flying Saucer Review.
As a result of the lack of publicity at the time there was no incentive for other witnesses in Mendoza to come forward. It’s possible that there
were some military witnesses, but I’ve not been able to find confirmation of this. It’s not too late even now for other witnesses to come
Thanks presumably to his toothache, Professor Marzal gave us what seems to be a unique account of a ‘daylight disc’ using an image capture device
fitted with a sun shield to study parabolic antennas in Mendoza, Argentina in full midday sunlight in May 1971.
Given that humans were then using parabolic antennas both in terrestrial tracking stations, such as those of NASA’s Deep Space Network, in space
probes and missile tracking, Marzal's 1971 observation of a UFO ignoring all else and zooming down to study the Mendoza parabolic antennas is highly
It’s understandable that in 1971 Marzal might think of a small alien with a long telescope. But now that we all know something about digital image
capture devices, we can make better sense of his observations.
That doesn’t mean that the ET image capture device had a glass compound lens like a human camera's. All we can assume is that the device gathered
information from the abundant solar photons reflected from the target objects. Glass compound lenses have limitations – for example they only
transmit photons of certain energies. I’d guess ET technology deployed in 1971 could extract more information from reflected solar photons than
human technology can today.
links and sources