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Martian life in Latin America

'American Aliens' is a compilation of stories about UFOs and extraterrestrials in Latin America

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When one thinks of UFOs and Martian sightings, science-fiction movies set in the United States starring NASA come to mind. But what about in Latin America?

In Alienígenas americanos (American Aliens) (published by Planeta in 2021), Chilean writers Francisco Ortega and Juan Andrés Salfate compile the most important extraterrestrial stories from Latin America, proposing to the reader to face the reality that comes from outside the limits of our planet. 

The book begins with encounters in the past, at the dawn of the history of the American continent. Back in those ancestral times, is where we find some answers to the age-old question if we are alone in the universe. It is a journey that is projected to the present to learn about those accidents, sightings and encounters with humanoids that marked Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Argentina.

With the aim of presenting topics that are usually approached with suspicion in certain intellectual and government circles, but at the same time arouse fascination (which explains the success of movies and books about extraterrestrial life), the authors approached the stories in this book "as a contemporary version of the compilations of traditional Latin American stories, but in this case focused on the modern myth of UFOs and extraterrestrials," according to a press release published the day the book went on sale, in November 2021.

A review recently published on the website Sinembargo.mx explained that the book alternates traditional stories such as those of Quetzacóatl, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Simón Bolívar and episodes, such as the first sighting recorded in the press, in Chile, in 1868, in the newspaper El Constituyente de Copiapó, 79 years before what happened in Roswell, New Mexico.

"The book has another particularity, which is to return the UFOs to Latin America. In what sense I say give them back, the canon maintains that the first appearance of a UFO in the press is 1947 in the United States, but, strictly speaking, the first appearance of a UFO in the press was in 1868 in a Chilean newspaper and a few years later there was one in Argentina, another in Brazil and in Mexico at the end of the 19th century. Somehow you have that, strictly speaking, UFOs appear first in Latin American newspapers than in the rest of the world," Ortega told Sinembargo.mx. 

On the other hand, Salfate saidthe book is based on two pillars. The first one, "to give back to our continent the tremendous value it has regarding ufology. The great emblematic cases are in Russia, the United States and Europe, and a little beyond. However, our continent since prehistoric times seems to have had a coexistence since the pre-Hispanic peoples with this idea or these living myths that still persist."

The second pillar was that instead of trying to prove with certainty that these extraterrestrial beings are from another dimension, "they are beings from the future, they come from another planet, they come from such and such a planet or from the moon, we said no, really if we are honest, we do not know." The most important thing, then, is to see how the cases compiled in the book affect the consciousness of its protagonists.

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