Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chicanonautica: OVNIs Over Aztlán and Other Phenomena

Different cultures create different kinds of “aliens.” The “other” depends of who you are and where you’re from. It’s the same in UFO mythology

The OVNI literature of the Latino world is different from the UFO books of Anglolandia. You don’t find extraterrestrials without genitalia that seem to be a Puritan vision of a more advanced species -- instead, aliens are sexy, and hot for humans.

Ever since Brazilian farmer Antonio Villas Boas reported having sex with female alien in 1975 reports have come in. I’ve read about them in English and Spanish. They range from a Mexico City woman claiming to have been impregnated by a man who explained that he had to return to his home planet, to a book by a man who not only had sex with, but painted cheesy portraits of several beautiful alien women, and reverse-engineered flying saucers with Aristotle Onassis. 

I wish I could remember the authors and titles of those books . . . Meanwhile, others show up . . .

 The flying saucer and the White House on the cover of Proyecto Elevación by Enrique Barrios  attracted my attention. It has a hero on an adventure/romance with Iara, a bald, beautiful alien woman after her spaceship crashes in Arizona. “La CIA” and mysterious helicopters chase them as they race to tell the president about the conspiracy in the U.S. and British governments to stop an interplanetary project to bring advanced technology and evolution to the Earth. 

Then I looked up Enrique Barrios’ webiste. He was born in Chile and grew up in Venezuela. He has retired from “actividades públicas.” His books include a children’s book similar to Proyecto Elevacion. There is also El Oráculo del Siglo XXI that delivers I Ching-like interactions.

His attitude about a sinister Anglo-American conspiracy reminded me of the works of J.J. Benitez. I read one of his books back before he switched to writing about Jesus Christ rather than UFOs. It read like a novel, as he ran around the world chasing a mystery that never quite solidified. He had photos of his girlfriend in front of the Sphinx and in the Mediterranean with circles around what looks like dust specks in the sky. Crossing the border into America was described as a Kafkaesque nightmare. He ended the book promising that he’d reveal whatthehell it’s all about in the next book . . . maybe.

Benitez’ latest book, Caballo de Troya 9: Caná is as thick as a brick, in the Spanish Language Fiction section of the library.

Whoever runs the MilMascarasvideo2’s channel on YouTube also has a taste for UFOlogy. There you can now see the incredible movie Misterio en Las Bermudas, which has similar political themes to the works of Barrios and Benitez.

Featuring Santo and Blue Demon along with Mil, it’s a kind of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink example of the luchador/sci-fi genre: No UFOs here; instead futuristic periscopes come out of the Caribbean and alter the weather -- USOs, Unidentified Submerged Objects! Santo’s mask is found in the seaweed before the flashbacks. A wrestling tour of Europe has to be canceled because the “political situation” is getting too dangerous. An Iranian princess/martial artist needs luchador protection. There’s an underwater utopian city where people wear silver jumpsuits and headbands. The music has a lot of wah-wah.

The most bizarre thing is the ending. First, the princess is rescued, the luchadores and some babes in bikinis, all go off in a boat, like in a happy ending . . . Then we go back to the fishermen who found Santo’s mask. One of them explains that the boat disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle and declares that the prophecies of the Book of Revelation are coming true -- and we are treated to some stock footage of a nuclear explosion!

Yeah, it’s paranoid as well as sexy -- and while I wrote this, a helicopter circled over my neighborhood . . .

Ernest Hogan will have stories in the upcoming anthologies We See a Different Frontier and Super Stories of Heroes and Villains.

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