1968 Summer, London, MA4/AN4 303

    “The individual involved in the encounter, Isidro Puentes Ventura, was forty-two years old and lived close to the village of Cabanas. His file in the army reserve described him as a serious man who was responsible and could be trusted. On June 14, 1968, he was ordered to stand guard in an area of the countryside he knew well. His duties began at 6:30 p.m. and ended at 2:45 a.m., when he was supposed to turn in his weapon and sign the roster.

    Five minutes past midnight several machine-gun rounds were heard, coming from Puentes’s location. Several patrols went out to look for him. They found him at dawn, unconscious. He was transported to the provincial hospital in Pinar del Rio where he remained in shock, unable to speak for six days. He was moved to the neurological ward at the Naval Hospital of Havana, where the leading experts who studied him found no brain damage and diagnosed strong emotional trauma. He remained in shock another seven days.

    In the meantime, Cuban intelligence had taken over the site and contacted the Soviets. Investigators found forty-eight spent machine-gun casings and fourteen bullets flattened by impact against some extremely hard metallic object. A depression was visible in the soil, with a central hole three feet in diameter and three smaller indentations around it. They indicated the presence of a very heavy device. Furthermore, Cuban radar in the area had detected an unidentified object that vanished amidst a tremendous amount of electronic noise.

    Within a fifteen-foot radius the soil at the site was calcined and covered with ashlike gray dust, which was duly analyzed without producing any unusual results: it only confirmed that a high degree of heat had been applied to the soil.

    Soviet experts quickly deployed a veritable arsenal of measuring instruments and took many samples.

    Thirteen days after the incident Puentes began awakening from the coma. He told doctors and military officials that he had first seen a white light behind some trees. He went to investigate and found himself 150 feet away from an object that was resting on the ground. He observed it for ten minutes. It was round, with a dome and a series of “antennas” on top. In spite of the strange shape and unusual brilliance of the object, Puentes came to the conclusion that the craft must be an American helicopter (what else could it be?) and started firing at it, as he had been instructed and trained to do. He had fired about forty rounds when the craft became orange and emitted a strong whistling sound. That sound was his last conscious memory.

    When they heard this story, Soviet intelligence experts escalated the study of the case. Puentes was subjected to intense interrogation for fifty hours, then sent to a group of psychiatrists for further testing. These examinations simply confirmed that Isidro Puentes was a normal, reliable, uneducated Cuban peasant. There was no contradiction in his story, no matter how often he was questioned about it.

    Next, the witness was put through fifteen hypnosis sessions, during which he told the same exact story everybody had already heard. And the fourteen flattened bullets whose trajectory had been dramatically interrupted by some very hard and smooth object were further evidence of his veracity.

    In spite of such cases, the director of Pulkovo Observatory, Vladimir Alexeyevich Krat, stated in July 1978 that the UFO problem boiled down to two parts: first, natural phenomena that were poorly studied; second, classical objects in space such as artificial satellites. Krat bitterly criticized Azhazha and Professor Veynik of the Bielorussian Academy of Sciences for lecturing on the subject, and he went on to declare that “there is no real evidence to show that there is life, including intelligent life, anywhere but on planet

- UFO Chronicles in the Soviet Union, p. 82-85.