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Friendship in Strange Places: A Mysterious Chilean UFO Story

It was 1984, someplace near the Southern coast of Chile, and a mysterious distress signal had just buzzed across the receiver of ham radio operator Octavio Ortiz. A business agent who operated a small 27-megacycle CB station in his pastime, Ortiz, who went by the ham operator’s handle Lucero or “bright star,” was mystified by what he was hearing, as it seemed to have to do with a bright celestial object of an entirely different kind.

The captain of a ship called the Mitilus II had been sending these strange messages Otriz had intercepted, which pertained to an object in the sky it had been following… or perhaps, had been followed by. The Mitilius II was tasked under the Department of Oceanography for the nearby University of Chile, and had been in an approach for the Mitague lighthouse when a strange, bright object had appeared in the sky, then slowly began to descend. By the time Ortiz had come across the messages from Alberto, this strange object was now hovering directly over the distressed captain’s ship.

What followed was a series of events typical in ufology; malfunction and damage to a variety of the electronic equipment on board the ship, in addition to strange physical effects like hair loss to the ship’s crewmembers. But perhaps strangest of all was the fact that this strange object, whatever it may have been, marked the arrival of a strange and clandestine exchange Ortiz and his family would begin having with an organization known as “the Friendship,” which claimed to be the literal occupants of these odd UFO craft seen around Chile at the time.

According to researcher Josep Guijarro, the captain of the Mitilus II had not been the only witness to this event. An adjacent ship bound for the lighthouse nearby had also witnessed these events unfolding, in addition to reporting a strange “burst” of radio activity at the time. “An incredibly powerful radio station broke into the communications underway,” Guijarro wrote of the incident, “(Then) the VU meter’s needles jumped past the +30 mark, and a tense silence followed. The object disappeared soon after.”

Alberto, the captain of the Mitlius II, would later tell Octavio Ortiz he had been hired by “some gringos,” who took him to an island and, “outfitted his ship with strange equipment.” His meeting with these individuals, who later professed they were associated with UFO objects being seen in the area, had begun shortly after Alberto had caved to economic pressures and headed south to take up a life of piracy and smuggling. It was during this time that he met Ernesto de la Fuente, who introduced him to these “gringos” who promised to ease his financial burdens, if he would assist them with the illicit importation of supplies they needed brought to them. This group allegedly called themselves The Friendship.

According to Alberto, the members of this organization were tall, Nordic in appearance, and though somewhat oblivious to the cultural and global happenings in the world at large, were very gifted in the realms of the sciences. With time, Alberto, during his ham radio discussions with Octavio, would even introduce Ariel over the airwaves, who claimed to be one of these mysterious “friends,” who referred to themselves variously as “angels of the lord,” and more simply, “not of this world.”

Octavio’s wife would begin to join him in their ham operations, in an effort to learn more about this mysterious “Friendship,” whose appearances would strangely begin with a tremendous radio signal each time the conversations would begin. The events would eventually culminate in the physical appearance of a large, unidentified object in the sky, visible from Octavio’s home, and accompanied by “Ariel’s” strange messages on their radio; the Ortiz family suspected that Ariel had actually been on board this strange aircraft.

So who were these mysterious “gringos” known as The Friendship,” which Octavio Ortiz and his wife, along with Alberto of the Mitilus II and a handful of others had shared clandestine contact with? Had the entire affair been an incredibly elaborate hoax, or was there indeed some truth to the matters at hand; namely, would there be evidence here of some kind of human presence behind the UFO mystery, or could it be asserted that there had indeed been something otherworldly about the mysterious Friendship and their operations?

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  • Ah! So you did manage to study the Friendship Island case as I recommended it to you 😉

    Definitely one of my favorite cases, due to its bizarre elements, and because it somehow interjected with some other equally shady stories, like the millionaire-turned-environmentalist Douglas Tompkins acquiring vast stretches of land in the Chilean Patagonia —which exacerbated the Nationalistic sentiments of many local politicians— and the Dignidad colony of German expatriates, who were actually modern Nazis!

    To me the central figure in the story is Ernesto de la Fuente Gandarillas; a man who found himself trying to run a logging venture all alone in one of the most desolate places in the world. It was him who started to converse with the members of the Friendship community, first through ham radio, and then personally. The most controversial aspect of the story is without a doubt his claim that he was cured of fatal lung cancer by them, using techniques that would be decades away from our current medical knowledge.

    I read all of this when I found a Chilean website which kept a primitive blog written by Ernesto himself back in the early 2000s. Alas, the site was taken down, and it never occurred to me to back up the information. I’ve always hoped that I would find a copy of the journal in some other domain, but every time I searched I only found Guijarro’s articles, or some BS ‘channeled’ material alleging to be messages from Ariel & Co. —The usual Pleiadian crap…

    More should be written to introduce the English-speaking readership to Friendship Island, arguably one of the best examples of what a ‘Breakaway Civilization’ would look like, to use Dolan’s coined terminology.

  • Lonesome Stranger

    Hi.

    We had an Amicizia case here in Italy, too.

    (Amicizia is the italian word for Friendship: it has been called in that
    way since the supposed “aliens” meant to create an environment of
    friendship on our planet).

    It lasted from the 50’s to the 70s. It’s about a bunch of people helping these tall “aliens” who lived in some underground/underwater bases.

    I found a short summary in english here:

    http://www.mindlight.info/spacebrothers/friendshipcase.htm

    or you can watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orke2WbJrRc

    (the english version of an italian documentary about the case)

  • Francisco Ilabaca

    Ernesto De La Fuente is my great uncle. I’ve been trying to contact him but I now live in the US. According to my mother, the cancer was real. After the chilean tv show OVNI aired their story, he received countless phone calls and was constantly harassed for information by people wanting to get cured. Eventually he moved to the north of chile to a secluded town in the interior of the country, and converted to Mormonism. I haven’t talked to him or my aunt in years. He was also involved in a famous ghost apparition case in Chile that aired on TV. His first wife shot herself in their home and would appear from time to time. I spent many weekends of my childhood playing in that house, and only remember one weird incident.

  • Wow! Thanks so much for the update.

    Could you please tell us more about your uncle? like, how was he like for example. Did he like to talk about his experience in the island, or did he prefer to skip the topic?

    Also, if you could share that ‘weird’ incident you mention, I’m sure the MU community would greatly appreciate it 🙂

    Saludos,

    Miguel Romero (a.k.a. Red Pill Junkie)

  • Francisco Ilabaca

    Sorry for taking 6 months to reply! I forgot about this until a friend stumbled upon this link and reminded me.

    To be honest, the last few times in my life in Chile I actually got to be around Ernesto, he’d either be off smoking by himself, or upstairs sleeping. I must have been 12 years old by that time. My mom always said he was a little “off”, but nothing alarming. He forbade me to speak to him about the incident because of all the flak they had been getting through the media, and my aunt Natasha (his wife) was getting super bummed out about it. When I was younger (6 or 7) he was a super laid back guy, would drink cold ones with my dad, laugh, mess around, typical relative behavior. I don’t exactly remember when the incident happened, but we lived in Santiago, and him and his wife always lived out in the country side.

    The incident that I remember involved the house piano. The only person that could play the piano was the deceased wife, and my great uncle had kept it in the house as a memento. The entire family was there for a family reunion, and we were getting ready to leave,so everybody was out by the parking lot getting into the cars and saying goodbye. At this moment, the piano started playing. The only other person at that time that could play piano was myself, since i’d been taking classes since I was 4. I think I was around 6 years old at the time. Some people went inside, and the rest of the memory is pretty vague in my memory. I remember my family being a little unsettled about it.

  • BW

    like the millionaire-turned-environmentalist Douglas Tompkins acquiring vast stretches of land in the Chilean Patagonia

    Tompkins died in a kayaking accident on December 8, 2015. I wonder what will become of his holdings in Chile.