Interview with the photographer of the "alien" in Parque Forestal
**Germán Pereira: "One can see something walking and has arms and a head, but I don't know what it is."**
Text by Luciana Lechuga
"I have no opinion on the nature of what came out on the photo, or else I'll just keep it to myself," said Germán Pereira.
The engineer is startled by the stir caused by his snapshot and says that the has received phone calls from Spain, Colombia and Argentina.
Pereira, a civil engineer, says that he had to turn off his cell phone in order to concentrate on work, since the instrument did not stop ringing after it was learned that he was the author of a the surprising photo of an alleged alien in Parque Forestal.
He's only been a week at his new job and his co-workers don't know that he has been on television and in newspapers, and has recieved calls from Colombia, Argentina and Spain, whose news media want to know more about his story.
"I have no knowledge of this, but from what Erick Martinez (of the Corporacion de Investigacion de Fenomenos Aereos--CIFAE) tells me, it seems that it is one of the clearest photos ever taken. It is surely for this reason that it has had such an impact," he speculated.
Pereira, 33, is a graduate of the University of Concepción and came to Santiago a little over a year ago. He is an amateur photographer and owns a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. On Monday, May 10 he had the afternoon off, so he got on his bicycle with the camera and went off to Parque Forestal.
He took ten photos and was "rewarded" with the image of a tiny grey being walking between two Carabineros (state police) on horseback. This is the image that has gone around the world thanks to websites on paranormal phenomena.
-- What was it about that shot that drew your attention?
--Look, first I took a photo of the Carabinero patrol that was coming over the nearby bridge. Then, since I was riding my bike, I headed for the northern sector. I took another photo of them from that point, and that's the one on the Internet.
--Did you see the alien in the [digital camera's] screen?
--No, I saw it the next day, when I downloaded the photo.
--And what did you think?
--I was impressed, that's all. I saw it with a colleague and we found it odd. I thought that it was the same impression everyone else who saw the photo must have had. It's rather shocking. The fact of the matter is that I didn't see it when I took the picture.
--Do you recall seeing anything odd at the time?
No, nothing at all. And I also asked myself that when I checked the photo, I tried to recall what was there. It would have been ideal to have seen it when the photo was taken, by I saw nothing strange. I was interested in taking a photo of the mounted patrol.
--If it was an alien it should have come out in the other photos you took that day.
--Yes, it could have come out, but it appears in that one only. Now, the other (photos) are from other areas.
--Had you ever had any similar experience?
--In fact I'd never had any experience of this type, nor was I very involved in UFO or alien matters. I don't know it that's the true nature of the matter, and that's why I stepped back from it and turned it over to people who deal with the subject. All I know is that it isn't a photographic error. I also know that it isn't a hoax, because I'm not behind it. The photo is still there, still inside the camera. I haven't wanted to erase it.
-- And why's that?
--I want the Kodak people to see it. In fact, I have to phone them.
--How did your photo reach the Internet?
--What happened is that on Tuesday, when I downloaded it to my computer, I mailed it to a friend in Concepción. He sent it to the people of CIFAE and to another two parties. That very same day Erick and I met up, because they were the first to believe in the photo.
--And what's your opinion of all this?
--I have no opinionon the nature of what came out on the photo, or else I'll just keep it to myself. In any event, one can see something that appears to walk, has a arms and a head, but I don't really know what it is."
--Are you into UFOs? Have you had "close encounters"?
--No, no sightings. I don't lose any sleep over the subject, but I find it interesting. And with this stuff the same, if not more so.
--Have your co-workers bothered you?
--No. I think that maybe now the will. The day I took the photo I was with another company. I've only been here a week. They don't even know me.
Translation (c) 2004. Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Liliana Núñez O.