In what has to be considered one of the most unsettling cases in the history of ufology, an unsuspecting Bolivian shepherdess was tending to her flocks of sheep and llama when she had a terrifyingly violent encounter with an entity of unknown origin that would leave her literally scarred her for life.
Situated in the desolate, mountainous regions of Bolivia’s south-western highlands, not far from the once thriving silver mining city of Potosi, is a rustic province known as Opoco (not Otoco as it is often erroneously transcribed).
In 1967, 24 year-old Valentina Flores and her husband, Gumersindo were managing to eke out a living on a small parcel of land not far from Opoco. These illiterate Quechua Indians led a secluded life tending to their land, livestock and their infant daughter, Theodosia.
Neither Valentina nor Gumersindo were aware of (or interested in) tales of UFOs or their ostensibly extraterrestrial occupants that had grabbed headlines the world over… and absolutely nothing could have prepared Valentina for the horror she and her child would face on an evening just after Easter of that year.
Late in the afternoon on the day in question, Valentina led her flock of sixty-four sheep into a grazing field adjacent to a hilly expanse that housed a long-standing, stone corral. It was then that she noticed — much to her dismay — that her herd of llamas had wandered off.
Famed Spanish author and UFO investigator, J. J. Benítez, travelled to Bolivia in 2001 and managed to track down Valentina and her husband.
He interviewed the then 59 year-old eyewitness, who was astonished by the fact that a foreigner would have ever heard of, much less care about, the terrifying encounter she had had 34 years before. Still clearly haunted by the event, Valentina described the scene to him:
“That day I was alone. My husband was commissioned and, like the rest of the men, he was in the pampas, working… It was around four in the afternoon… I went to look for the llamas and [their] young. They had gone astray. Then I gathered the sheep and the lambs in one place and went searching for the animals.”
With Theodosia strapped firmly to her back in a traditional blanket wrapping known as a manta, Valentina began stalking her llamas, ultimately tracking them down to a meadow about forty-five minutes away from the field where she left her sheep. The shepherdess collected her foraging animals and began herding them back toward the grazing field.
The sun was beginning its slow descent toward the horizon by the time Valentine returned with the llamas in tow. This time she was shocked to discover that her sheep were nowhere to be found.
Confused and more than a little annoyed, Valentina left her llamas behind and she and the slumbering Theodosia followed the sheep’s tracks into the hills. As she neared the stone corral, Valentina hesitated, noting that there was something peculiar covering the eerily silent structure.
What gave her pause was the sight of a sprawling, web-like substance that draped like a tent over the whole of the stone enclosure. The material resembled a network of plastic mesh that emerged from a pole-like structure in the center of the corral and seemed to attach itself to the rock walls — though some accounts stat5e that it was held in place by means of sharpened stick that were broken off of nearby trees.
Determined to find out what was going on with her livestock, the young mother pushed her fears aside and crept closer to the edifice. Valentina could barely stifle a gasp of horror when she saw that the ground beneath the webbing was littered with the disemboweled carcasses of her family’s prized sheep.
It was then that a flicker of movement caught Valentina’s eye and she spied the child-like entity that had been responsible for eviscerating sixty-three of her sheep attempting to do the same with her final struggling lamb by way of an elongated, tubular device with a razor-sharp hook at one end that seemed to be attached to him by means of a chain.
Next to the being was an open plastic bag full of sheep entrails and organs. The understandably upset Valentia described the unbelievable sight before her:
“There was a small man inside the corral… he was like a child… on his knees, and with a sheep between his legs. The pen was covered with something like a net. I panicked. The individual had killed all my animals”
Valentina would describe this mini-mutilator as being young and “chubby.” He stood just over 3-feet tall and was wearing:
“…strange clothing, like a diver… one piece from the neck to the feet. The boots were brown.”
The shepherdess further described red, crisscrossing straps that covered the humanoid’s chest in an X-shape, which supported a large, mechanical looking rucksack on his back. The creature also had two utility-like satchels attached to his sides.
Valentina noted the being’s odd, blocky helmet, which had a propeller crowning it. Although many reports describe the notorious Potosi Sheep Slayer as wearing a rounded “smoky”, propeller-free helmet that covered its face, Valentina actually got a good look at his exposed his features, which she described thusly:
“He [had] very white skin, with blond hair, blue eyes and a red and abundant mustache.”
Enraged by mass carnage caused by this diminutive butcher, Valentina did what anyone might do in her place. She began spewing forth a string of profanities and pelting this bizarre sheep rustler with rocks.
At this point the miniature-Mengele abruptly stood up, releasing the last sheep and turned around to face his earthly assailant with an expression of shock and fear.
He leapt over to a strange device — which Valentina, with her limited knowledge of technology, later compared to a radio — and cranked a wheel-shaped lever at its apex whereupon the elastic webbing that covered the corral rapidly retracted into the mechanism.
Once the tent-like covering was gone, Valentina noticed another virtually identical entity standing on the opposite side of the corral. At being seen this second being sprinted up a nearby hill and sat down on a chair-like contraption.
A set of blades and a rotor-like mechanism came out of a pair of cylindrical attachments behind this chair and this creature promptly took off leaving his cohort to fend for himself.
It was then that Valentina decided it was time to get down to business. She removed her wooden, iron tipped cudgel from her sack and entered the blood slathered corral like a gladiator entering an arena.
She glanced down at the mass carnage that represented the better part of her family’s livelihood and angrily approached the creature responsible for the devastation. Evidently anxious, the little man tried speaking to furious shepherdess in a language she could not comprehend. She remembered her state of mind in that fiery moment:
“He spoke to me, but I did not understand it. It was not Quechua or Spanish. He was as upset as I was. Oh my God! My animals! He had killed them one by one! I became crazy.”
Valentina lunged at the entity with her club; striking him with an agonizing blow:
“I hit him with all my strength… [I] hit him in the face and [he] started to bleed. The guy was still screaming, but I did not understand it.”
It was at that moment that the Sheep Slayer decided to defend himself wielding the same cylindrical hook ended surgical implement that he’d used to gut the sheep.
He flung the armament at Valentina, slicing into her chest and arms. The mother would later admit, with an almost certain sense of relief, that it was only the large knot of the manta that supported Theodosia that prevented the blade from embedding into her chest and delivering the killing blow.
It’s worth noting that while most reports of this battle state that hooked disembowel-er was used as a boomerang-like weapon, Valentia insisted that it was the chain it was attached to that automatically retracted the razor-sharp tool back into the entities hand after every throw.
Undeterred, Valentina struck again, connecting with the entity’s right forearm. The entity screamed in anguish as blood streamed down his now dangling and immobile wrist.
This demoralizing blow proved to be too much for the Sheep Slayer and it used its still functioning left arm to grab the radio-like contraption and literally head for the hills. Once there he flew off in the same manner as his comrade… never to be seen again.
Soon after a detachment of the Bolivian army was dispatched to the scene and they collected all sixty-three carcasses as well as samples of the creature’s blood that had been spilled by Valentina’s bludgeon within the corral.
It was determined that the sheep were missing multiple internal and external organs; including their eyes, ears, portions of the mouth as well as belly fat. Authorities also found that most (if not all) the blood that ought to have been inside the animals was missing.
There means of survival now laying dead in a government lab, the Flores family was forced to leave the region, first emigrating to the Oruro mines and finally south.
Other ranchers in the area, when questioned by the Bolivian government, claimed to have witnessed other strange events. Some testified that they had seen strange individuals leaping out of their sheep pens and leaving behind exsanguinated carcasses.
Valentina herself claimed that just days before her encounter and unseen individual had thrown a bowl of blood into her face… to what end remains an unknown to this day.
When Benítez interviewed Valentina in 2001 something became immediately clear to the investigator. It was the fact that three decades after her terrifying encounter, Valentina still did not know what a UFO — much less an extraterrestrial — was. When they attempted to explain it to her she dismissed their efforts. It was not something that concerned her in the least.
But what did concern Valentina — and continued to haunt her dreams — was the vicious, little, red mustachioed man who flew off into the sky with a bag full of organs leaving her a bloody mess and her family in a state of utter financial ruin.
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / graphic designer / crypto historian / podcaster / co-founder of American Monsters, Cryptopia and Cryptonaut Podcast