Case one came up in DATA-NET and is what inspired this posting. It is the Anolaima, Colombia July 4, 1969 incident, called by many UFOlogists simply the "Bermudez Incident". You can read DATA-NET's coverage of this above. It is as good as any, as it combines the newspaper story with the APRO follow-up.
As you see, Arcesi [Arcesio] Bermudez, along with many other witnesses, saw a yellow-orange, perhaps elliptical, object land near the house. It was encircled by a band of light, and seemed to rest on two "luminous legs", blue-colored with greenish tips. Bermudez alone walked up to the thing. [The drawing at the left and that below are part of a 2002 presentation of the case with new information given by Alan Murdie in Fortean Times].
Within a week, Bermudez grew deathly ill [vomiting] and later died. Apparently APRO received the medical report, and their MD consultant stated that he did not see anything to indicate that Bermudez did not die of natural causes. As APRO is hardly skeptical on most things, this opinion should be given at least some weight.
As time has gone on, this case grew in lore and acquired the addition of Bermudez firing a gun at the thing. No proper investigation of the case says that. Bermudez seems to have had a flashlight which he shown on the thing. It is also said that Bermudez said that there was "a Martian" inside the light. Murdie's later investigation indicated that Bermudez said he'd seen something like a "cartoon image of an astronaut" inside. Bermudez WAS apparently immediately ill, and his condition required hospitalization. His major odd symptom was extreme hypothermia.
Was this an unfortunate accident of getting too close to alien technology as it took off, emitting intense radiation?? Was it a large mysterious natural plasma phenomenon?? I'm not a great fan of such explanations usually, but the predominant "lightball"-like structure with surrounding light phenomena and spectral colored spikes below are somewhat leading in that direction. Or was this, as the locals thought, a case of a folkloric "spirit lightball" --- a premonitionary entity --- as Murdie offers in his article. Allegedly this lightball phenomenon frequented this area at other times.
The Bermudez case led me to another "ugly" UFO damage-maker, which was not in DATA-NET, but is often talked about in UFO articles alongside the Colombian case [although they are quite different]. This is the case marked Saladare, Ethiopia [village near Asmara], August 7th, 1970.
I believe that the entirety of information about this case comes from a letter received by Allen Hynek from a UN medical doctor who wrote the details to him. Hynek had the actual letter in his hand when he and Vallee were being "interviewed" for the text of their "fireside chat" book, The Edge of Reality, in 1974. I have never seen the original letter, but Hynek must have received this report soon after the event happened, or at least soon enough that the report information was fresh. All the pictures here and on the internet illustrating this case come from the book as well. For some reason there is chatter about the internet concerning the source of the case, when the answer is dead simple. And, because Hynek used this thing in the book, he obviously trusted the source. All we know is that this person was a medical doctor.
The event speaks of a daytime red glowing ball which swept through the village, destroying houses, uprooting trees, and burning grass. It melted asphalt, and broke stone in a bridge. It travelled 150 meters, paused, hovering, and reversed its course [not exactly precisely but close], returning to destroy more houses and leave as it came. The linear distance viewable for the thing's flight was three kilometers. The total flight time was ten minutes. Fifty buildings were damaged; eight people injured; a child died.
Astoundingly, even laughably, some persons have tried to write this off as warring forces in Ethiopia shooting missiles or mortars at each other. To be able to see a destructive "red ball" take 5 minutes to travel 3 kilometers, pause, and return for another five minute screaming path of destruction ... yeh, missiles. You wonder if anyone remembers that when missiles "destroy" things, they "stop" at the point of destroying them, not continue to happily cruise on another three kilometers?? And, the fact that the doctor and his colleagues found no metallic "leavings" by these destroyed war technologies --- well, that is a detail conveniently forgotten.
The issues here are as they always are: a). credibility --- did Hynek know the doctor, or have other means of knowing his bona fides?? All we can say is that he trusted the report. And b). strangeness --- if accurate, the thing is plenty strange. That leaves us with: but is it UFOlogy??
This is one of those "outlier" things which sound like either a random exotic natural accident to me --- something of the vast array of non-understood plasma-like outbursts, or even a "rent" in spacetime spitting something mindless but dangerous into our locale, or a bonehead blunder by some ET agency, maybe not even very close by. Think of ET-technofreaks trying something out regarding space-jumping, and blowing it briefly. ET#1: GAWD!! What just happened?? ET#2: Calm down. It's stabilized. Just don't put this in the log!
Why would "it" show up here?? Why not?? We're probably one of the places they're trying to get to.
Happy thoughts. Let's hope the ET garage inventors have limited power to play with. I don't want Wheeling or Kalamazoo to look like Saladare.