Argentina: The Monte Maíz Phantom
Translation (C) 2004 Scott Corrales
SOURCE: La Manana de Cordoba (digital)
DATE: March 22, 2004
Argentina: The Monte Maiz Phantom
[Note: students of ufology may recognize Monte Maíz as the scene of the Eugenio Douglass CE3K some 40 years ago, one of the most spectacular cases in South American saucer lore. There are certain points of contact between the following story and "Springheel Jack" events - SC]
A silhouette of a man who walks on rooftops, drags heavy chains and makes strange noises turned into a disquieting "phantom" that has made residents of Monte Maíz restless. As is common in these cases, the accounts of those who claim having seen or heard this ghostly shade spread by word of mouth and eventually reach local police authorities without the persons who claim having undergone the experience ever being identified. Opinions on the phantom are diametrically opposed, since some claim having seen "a figure standing over 2 meters tall, dressed in black and with spectacular agility" while others say it's all imagination. Journalist Carlos Maldoni has not hesitated to say that the culprit "is a foolish or stupid person in disguise, with a face mask, red eyes and white cape over his shoulders, who ventures out at night to terrify women living alone." Police authorities, in any event, are patrolling the streets and listening to the stories of the terrified residents.
The peace of this 9000 inhabitant locality in the department of Union was interrupted in the past three weeks by a strange creature who wanders the night to terrify residents. It is seen in outlying neighborhoods close to the city limits, where people wait for sunset to shut themselves in their homes under lock and key.
The residents call it "the phantom". Those who have seen it say that it is a young person, very tall and slim, with red eyes. It dresses in white, sometimes black and others grey. Always wears a hat and covers its face with a mask or hood.
The sounds on the rooftops begin after 21:00 hours, as do the calls to the police. Residents claim that it walks on the roof, shuffles and runs, drags chains, scratches at windows and bangs at doors. It doesn't speak or yell - it has only been heard to laugh in dark or whistle; some claim having heard it imitate the howling of a dog.
One of the characteristics that locals coincide on it the creature's agility. "They say it runs swiftly and jumps over barbed wire fencing and walls without touching them," according to concerned neighbors. Its agility has made law enforcement's tasks all the harder, since the person runs and vanishes into the pasturelands surrounding the town. Police say it appears to have no intention to commit burglary - only to frighten. "It's a sick person that's causing residents of Monte Maiz to lose their sleep," said Sheriff Jorge Vivas.
The sheriff added: "Given its m.o., we suspect [the phantom] to be two youths with a thorough knowledge of the town and the community. [the phantom] moves very quickly and can be in two different neighborhoods within minutes. It knows which homes to upset and chooses those with single women."
In Monte Maíz the popular imagination is fed hourly with a new story and a different version of the events. There is talk of a phantom, supernatural doings and special powers are ascribed to the person. The lack of answers from the police has fed the legend.
Police units scoured the area at night and reconnoitered the outlying neighboirhoods. Since the police force is small, they have had collaboration from municipal workers and volunteer firemen. Neighborhood watch groups have also formed to spend the nights awake waiting for "the phantom" to appear. They sally forth with clubs and some weapons, which is of concern to policement. They spend the nights awake defending their homes.
Eyewitness accounts follow.
Ivana Molina: "I went out to the yard and saw a man dancing, whistling and slapping his hands. The neighbors heard similar noises. The next day, I went out the next day and the same man tried to grab me. I ran into the house and phone de police. It banged on our bathroom window and wrote "mueres" (you will die) with its finger.
Oscar Gonzalez: "I was standing in the yard and saw a shadow walking along. I could see its red eyes. We went out with another fellow to find it and [the phantom] jumped into the neighbor's yard. It was dressed in white. On the following day it whistled at us again. We went out to chase it and it vanished.
Veronica Bertrando: "My husband saw it as it crossed the patio. He says it was dressed in grey with a hood over its head. When it went by, the dog barked, my husband went outside and it took off running. He tried to find it but couldn't find it. [The phantom] hides in such a way that no one can find it."
In a report to Radio Mitre in the city of Buenos Aires, Sheriff Vivas reported that the alleged phantom has the following characteristics:
-1.8 to 1.9 mters tall
-dresses in black
-white face (possibily a mask)
-black hat (some describe it as a gaucho hat)
-movements are generally silent
-extreme agility: jumps over fences, walls and climbs up trees with ease
-normally appears between 21:30 and 03:00 hours
Translation (C) 2004 Scott Corrales
Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU)
Special thanks to Christian Quintero, Planeta UFO.
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