El Yunque, Nights on Hell Mountain
By Scott Corrales
Much has been written about the significant developments which
have taken place in Puerto Rico over recent years, attracting
the attention of UFO researchers from the four corners of the
earth including an episode of FOX TV's "The X Files" series and
assorted European and Japanese documentaries. While the bulk of
this study has been centered around the alleged subterranean/
submarine base at Laguna Cartagena on the island's southwestern
corner, another section of the island continues to demand the
attention of every researcher: the Caribbean National Rainforest,
better known by the name of one of its most prominent mountain
peak, El Yunque.
El Yunque certainly fits Coleridge's description of Xanadu," a
savage place, holy and enchantedgt;>: the cloud-enshouded peak can
easily be seen from as far away as the city of San Juan, and
closer inspection reveals an ocean of unspoiled green as lush as
that of any jungle. El Yunque was revered by the ancient Taino
indians as the dwelling place of one of their deities, and there
is proof that the Mayas traveled as far as Puerto Rico to
venerate this spectacular place. Similarly, thousands of
tourists from around the world visit this truly unique landmark
However, El Yunque has a dark side which involves human
disappearances. An undetermined number of hapless visitors have
vanished since Taino days without any satisfactory explanation
of their disappearance having ever been made. Many of these
have been linked in recent times to the inordinate amount of UFO
activity that takes place on the island. The only confirmation
we can possibly have that nonhuman forces are involved in these
happenings comes from the likeliest source: the ones that got
In 1974, in the wake of a dramatic UFO flap which included
cattle mutilations, strange creatures and Marian apparitions, an
hour-long documentary aired on Puerto Rican television
recounting highlights of the incredible events. One of the
documentary's segments involved the curious story of a a group
of young people who had found themselves besieged by thoroughly
bizarre creatures during a visit to the rainforest.
On the night of October 20 1973, nine campers--students led by
three adults--had gone to El Yunque hoping to "contact" UFOs and
their occupants. They made camp high up on a mountain trail,
preparing to spend a night that would turn out to be the longest
in their lives.
Mr. Heriberto Ramos, the group's official leader, stated that
at one point during their ascent along the trail, they met three
persons heading downward. There was nothing "alien" about the
trio aside from the fact that they all dressed exactly alike and
with similar features. One of the group members, who had stayed
behind, took a photo of both the other group members and the
three mysterious walkers, but only a patch of mist appeared on
the developed film where the trio stood.
At a given moment that night, thoroughly convinced that an
otherwise uneventful vigil lay ahead, the campers were
surrounded by five or six vaguely humanoid figures which darted
about the thick vegetation with claw-like hands and elongated
ears. Some of the "monsters" blocked the precipice-flanked
trail that constituted the only way down from the mountain and
back to the safety of their vehicles.
From a prudent distance, one of the creatures regarded Ramos
intently. Upon noticing this, the latter tried walking
cautiously toward the eldritch being, hoping to show that his
group's intentions were amicable. Ramos stood less than ten
feet away from the creature, and was able to describe it as
having a triangular head, and "extraordinary" eyes. Amazingly,
he managed to touch the strange being, which did not stir. Its
skin felt neither cold nor rubbery. Almost simultaneously, one
of the students lit a large, powerful flashlight in the direction
where the contact was taking place, flooding the area with light.
The clawed creature reacted by racing away from the scene,
literally tearing a path right through the dense vegetation,
which led to a 100 foot drop, giving the startled Ramos reason
to think he had frightened the being into jumping. To the man's
amazement, it reappeared instantly at the side of its fellows,
which were still blocking the downward path.
For endless hours until the sky began to lighten, the beseiged
campers were surrounded by the beings, who remained in constant
motion around them. Terror had led one of the students to bang
himself repeatedly on the head with a flashlight, hoping to
escape the situation by passing out. Seized by an inexplicable
urge, another camper expressed a desire to take a walk in the
woods. Fearing for his mental state, one of his companions
offered to walk with him. Before they'd taken more than a dozen
steps, they found what could only be described as a glimmering,
polychromatic "egg" lying on the ground. While entranced by the
curious flashing object, neither one felt brave enough to touch
it. Later that night, they would see it in the claws of one of
the nonhuman besiegers. Was it "bait" of some sort, its
pulsating colors designed to mesmerize prey?
At sunrise, the campers made a mad dash for the cars they'd left
parked at the bottom of the mountain. Not a trace of the alien
intruders remained aside from their footprints, which were much
larger than a human's and appeared to have been made by very
heavy creatures, in comparison to the smaller footprints left by
the humans. Their valor rekindled by the morning light, the
campers made plaster-of-paris casts of the prints and photographed
them. These materials were stolen by unknown parties months after
the incident, including valuable infrared prints.
On a recent broadcast of ufologist Jorge Martin's "Ovnis
Confidencial" radio show, Mr. Federico Alvarez retold an
experience that transpired six months after the unhappy campers'
"Apariciones en El Yunque"
WSKN, San Juan, P.R.W.
In May 1974, Alvarez led a group of college students at midnight
to El Yunque in an effort to see if there was any truth to the
stories being circulated about the mountain rainforest's black
Driving up to the peak in a car with its headlights off, the
band of investigators had an early taste of the supernatural:
a shadowy silhouette dashed across the darkened road ahead of
their vehicle. No details could be made out of the figure,
aside from the fact that "it was very tall."
Four of the students, seated in the back seat, opened the doors
and charged out in hot pursuit, charging through the dark woods.
Alvarez stopped the vehicle and joined the chase, realizing
that he and his peers were running along a "path" that appeared
to have been previously cleared through the vegetation. The
trail led to a large stone landing or "lookout point" from which
the lights of San Juan could be seen in the distance. No trace
of the mysterious shadow could be found.
The students decided to make for the Yokah Observation Tower--
a three-story, turret-like structure that affords an excellent
view of the surrounding countryside and the neighboring peaks.
The incident with the elusive shadow had visibly disturbed some
members of the expedition, causing nerves to fray. The
possibility that they too might become the victims of a siege
by unknown and inhuman forces was now all too real.
As a rudimentary alarm system against possible intruders,
Alvarez explained on Martin's program, the students devised an
ingenious "tripwire" consisting of aluminum cans, which they
strategically placed at the bottom of the stairway leading to
the observation tower's top. "Between one thirty and one forty
five in the morning," Alvarez stated, "The cans began to rattle."
Hesitantly, the students descended from the tower's observation
deck to witness an unsettling sight: the cans were moving around
of their own accord, motivated by an invisible force. Some
group members felt that things had gone far enough, and wanted
to leave the site immediately, yet they were prevailed upon to
remain for what promised to be another long night.
Any doubts they might have had about UFOs were resolved at two
o'clock in the morning, when a massive, coruscant oval--some 300
feet in diameter, by Alvarez's calculations--appeared from the
gap between two adjacent peaks. It remained motionless for five
minutes and in full view of the students before vanishing behind
one of the mountains. The unknown craft did not reappear. ater in the radio interview, Alvarez added that he had returned
to El Yunque several years later--this time to a campground on
the other side of the rainforest--when around the "witching
hour" of 2 a.m. electricity in the entire area went out. All
those present automatically looked upward. A disk-shaped
vehicle flew directly overhead and straight into El Yunque. The
vehicle's wake was strong enough to topple a birthday cake that
had been left on a picnic table.