On September 4, 1971, the Costa Rican National Geographic Institute was taking aerial photos from 10,000 feet of Lake Cote, the small body of water that would later become the larger Lake Arenal, as part of preliminary studies for the future hydroelectric project, reported CRHoy recently.
The study was funded by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to determine water sources in the area for their planned hydroelectric project.
Photographer Sergio Loaiza, along with Costa Ricans Juan Bravo and Francisco Reyes, traveled on a twin-engine Canadian F680 with a special 100 lb map-making camera donated by the German government rigged onto the floor of the plane snapping a photo about every 13 seconds.
It was during this aerial inspection that what is considered to be the best photograph of a UFO in the world was taken.
As explained by ufoevidence.org:
“When the photographs were developed, one of the frames (with the time of 8:25 a.m.) showed what seemed to be a metallic disc about 160ft in diameter, which had just left, or was on the point of entering, the lake. It was giving off light, and had made a sudden manoeuvre at the instant the photo was taken. The object showed up on neither the previous frame of film nor the one afterwards. Checks on the negative eliminated tricks of the light as an explanation.
What the geographers had seen was an extraordinary but little-known phenomenon – a USO. Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, have been reported for centuries. What few people realise is that USOs – Unidentified Submergible Objects – have been reported for almost as long. Sometimes, as in the mysterious incident at Lake Cote, a UFO can be seen transforming itself into a USO, or vice versa.”
Photographer Loaiza said that after the photographs were developed, and the object appearing in that one frame was discussed, he and his colleagues were forbidden from divulging any information about what the scientists on the ICE-Lake Arenal project considered to be a UFO.
In 1979, Ricardo Vilchez, one of the project team members, sent the photograph to an organization in the United States called Ground Saucer Watch (GSW) which analyzes these types of cases. GSW determined that the image was true and unadulterated, reported CRHoy.
After that, the photograph became public in the Costa Rican media.
“It’s one of the most compelling scientific confirmations that UFOs are real,” recounts Oscar Sierra, a UFO researcher based in Costa Rica.Wendy Anders - The Costa Rica Star