Peruvian authorities said that "aliens" that attacked an indigenous village in Peru were actually illegal miners wearing jetpacks. Users on Twitter are pretty sure they're just trees.
Since mid-July, members of the indigenous Iquito tribe in the Loreto region of Peru have complained that their community is being terrorized by "seven-foot-tall aliens."
The mysterious Predator-like beings were described as "floating", "armored", and "bulletproof", and were compared to local Peruvian superstitions about ''los Pelacaras" - the Face Peelers.
“These gentlemen are aliens. They seem armored like the Green Goblin from Spider-Man. I have shot one twice and it didn’t fall. Instead, it elevated and disappeared,” Jairo Reátegui Ávila, an Iquito leader living in the northwestern Maynas province, said in an interview with Peruvian radio station RPP Noticias on August 1.
“We’re frightened by what is happening in the community," said Ávila.
A 15-year-old girl was reportedly cut in the neck in one of the attacks and required treatment in a local hospital. The terrified villagers have pleaded for local and regional authorities to provide them with military protection.
The Iquito people live in an isolated area of the Loreto region, nearly 10 hours away by boat from Iquitos, the capital city of Peru's Maynas province and Loreto region. Members of the community have claimed that they are unable to safely travel to the capital due to the attacks.
“Their color is silver, their shoes are round in shape and with those, they rise up. They float one meter high and have a red light on their heel.," Ávila described. "Their heads are long, their mask is long, and their eyes are sort of yellowish.”
Extraterrestrials...or terrestrial miners?
The unearthly story quickly went viral, leaving skeptics and believers to analyze and argue over the legitimacy of the grainy video footage shared by members of the Iquito community.
One individual posted an "enhanced" image of an alleged extraterrestrial to Twitter and asked "Is it a being or just tree branches?? You decide."
Most responders confidently asserted the image was of a tree and not, in fact, an alien.
I enhanced one of the Peru videos, the one where they shine a flashlight on one of the alleged creatures and say "There it is!" I don't know what we are seeing here. Is it a being or just tree branches?? You decide.#ufotwitter #UAP #Aliens pic.twitter.com/9hyhQtd9Px— SAINT NIMITZ (@MarcUlmer6) August 8, 2023
Peruvian authorities are similarly unconvinced of alien activity, although their theory is almost as out-of-this-world.
The Peruvian Navy and National Police of Peru sent officers to investigate the strange occurrences and verify the claims reported by the isolated community in early August.
“Their faces are hidden and their bodies are floating. They use their arms for balance when flying, but they walk normally," one villager told officers. "They fly by activating something on the bottom of their feet. They have wheels with lights."
Shortly after concluding their investigation, authorities announced that they believed illegal gold mining gangs from Colombia and Brazil were responsible for terrorizing the Iquito village and had been mistaken for aliens due to using jetpacks.
They were described as using "state-of-the-art technology, like thrusters that allow people to fly.”
According to Carlos Castro Quintanilla, the lead investigator in the case, 80 percent of illegal gold mining in the Loreto region occurs where the Iquito village is located.
Authorities said that the jetpacks were used by illegal mining cartels to explore deeper into the forest while they searched the area for gold.
No specific individuals or organizations have been named directly and no arrests have been made in relation to the attacks.