|Born||Alejandro César Agostinelli
April 29, 1963
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Occupation||Writer, journalist, screenwriter, and TV producer|
Childhood and early youth
Son of Mirtha Esther Zamudio —a social psychologist and co-founder of the Escuela de Psicología de Buenos Aires, directed by Alfred Moffat— and of Jorge Agostinelli, Alejandro Agostinelli attended elementary school at the Escuela Normal Nº 10 Luis M. Cullen and highschool at the Colegio Industrial Ingeniero Luis A. Huergo ENET Nº 9.
Agostinelli entered the world of journalism because of an early vocation for scientific heterodoxy, beginning with his interest in UFOs. In 1977, together with a group of fellow students at the Colegio Luis A. Huergo, formed the Grupo Aficionado a la Investigación de Fenómenos Espaciales (Amateur Research Group for Space Phenomena, GAIFE), dedicated to studies of astronomy, astronautics and ufology. In 1979 he wrote and distributed its first publication, the Boletín GAIFE, along with Adrián Legaspi.
In 1980, with Juan Carlos Zabalgoitia, Agostinelli published the newsletter of the Centro de Estudios de Fenómenos Aéreos No Convencionales (Center for the Study of Unconventional Aerial Phenomena, CEFANC), which for its third and final issue was renamed Fenómenos Aéreos (Aerial Phenomena).
In 1982 he began collaborating with William Carlos Roncoroni and Alejandro Enrique Chionetti in writing the Ufo Press magazine, edited by the Comisión de Investigaciones Ufológicas (Commission of UFO Research, CIU), representative in Argentina of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) founded by Dr. Joseph Allen Hynek, until his death in 1986. UFO Press was published until 1987. In December 1982, Agostinelli collaborated with Roncoroni in organizing a massive presentation of Dr. Hynek in the General San Martín Cultural Center of Buenos Aires. That same year, Agostinelli joined the newsroom of the nationwide newspaper La Voz. Starting at the general News Bureau, he was later promoted to the International section of that paper.
A year later he edited together with Aram Aharonian, El País, a version of La Voz made for Córdoba Province, under Dr. Gustavo Roca. He was also a writer for Pueblo de la Nación until that newspaper was terminated, in 1985.
In 1991 he entered the newsroom of the Conocer y Saber magazine (later named Conozca Más). He has also collaborated with the magazines Misterios, Enciclopedia Popular Magazine and Gente, and with the newspapers La Prensa and Página/12. That year he was one of the founders and joined the Directive Committee of the CAIRP Foundation (Argentine Center for the Research and Refutation of Pseudoscience) and was a writer and an advisor for the journal El Ojo Escéptico ("The Skeptical Eye"). He then served as a producer for Channel 9 and América TV of Argentina.
Between 1994 and 1995 he was a writer in the Politics and International sections of the newspaper La Prensa, being a correspondent in the Triple Frontier after the terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish center. He also covered the Operation Río I against drug trafficking and the Cenepa War between Peru and Ecuador. In the same journal he created and edited the section En Trance.
In 1998 he joined Editorial Perfil as the editorial secretary for the popular science magazine Descubrir. He then was a staff member in the Collectibles and Multimedia areas of Perfil and edited a dozen infomagazines for magazines such as Noticias, Semanario and Caras. He was editorial secretary from the beginning in the magazines El cacerolazo (directed by Andrés Cascioli), Hombre and NEO. At the same time, he wrote for the magazines Rolling Stone and Web! (Argentina), Cuadernos de Ufología, La alternativa racional, Bitniks, Más allá de la Ciencia, Enigmas and Año/Cero (Spain), and Gatopardo (Colombia). Agostinelli also published his work in the American magazines The APRO Bulletin and The Anomalist, the British Flying Saucer Review, the French Lumières Dans la Nuit, Phénomena and VSD, the Italian Giornale dei Misteri and the Brazilian UFO.
After he left Editorial Perfil (2007), Agostinelli wrote for the magazines Pensar, published by the Center for Inquiry (CFI), El Escéptico, Veintitrés, Newsweek Argentina and Bacanal, among others.
He was the creator and editor of the website Dios! (2002–2004), editor of Magia Crítica (2008–2010), a blog that was part of the online edition of the journal Crítica de la Argentina, and wrote for the blog Ciencia Bruja (2011–2013), published by Yahoo! Argentina and replicated in other sites of the company in the Americas. He currently edits the blog factor 302.4 / Factorelblog.com
Research and controversies
The enigma of the Uritorco. In January 1986 there was an alleged "UFO landing" on a slope of the Sierras del Pajarillo, near Capilla del Monte, Córdoba Province, Argentina. Agostinelli traveled there, took measures and samples, and found that the alleged evidence of landing, called a "stain", had not been caused "from above" by "an object emitting heat", as stated in an official press release, but that the heat could have ascended from the base of the hill. Agostinelli proposed that the mysterious "stain" could have been caused by a mere fire.
The accusations against Valentina de Andrade. In August 1991 Agostinelli published in Página/12 a story under the title "The Invaders", his first article on the Lineamiento Universal Superior (L.U.S.), an Argentine-Brazilian group led by a couple who claimed to be in contact with extraterrestrials. Two years later, Agostinelli did some self-criticism for having used words such as "brainwashing" and "destructive cult" to refer to the action of new religious movements. "The cults are more religious than they are dangerous", he wrote in the journal La Maga.
Science vs. New Age. In 1992–1993, Futuro, a section in Página/12, reproduced a controversy where representatives of science spoke against and in favor of the New Age movement. The polemic began when, in an October 1992 edition, Futuro published a chapter of the book Strange Weather, by Andrew Ross, a sociologist at the University of Princeton. Among other things, Ross wrote that skeptic groups were "a symptom of the crisis in scientific rationality and materialism". In 1996, Ross, being an editor for the journal Social Text, approved an article by physicist Alan Sokal that was actually a parody intended to reveal the lack of rigor of postmodernist philosophy. Agostinelli contested that Ross "chooses to embrace the new faces of trickery to express his disbelief in 'rationalist science'". The controversy took eight editions of Futuro, with many academics participating in the debate, including Alejandro Piscitelli, Marina Umaschi, Leonardo Moledo, Denise Najmanovich and Alejandro J. Borgo. The discussion continued in El Ojo Escéptico articles, with opinion pieces by Celso Aldao and Manuel Comesaña, titular professors in the National University of Mar del Plata; Fernando Saraví, associate professor of Biological Physics at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the National University of Cuyo; and CAIRP methodology consultant, Lic. Daniel De Cinti.
The Roswell "autopsy". In 1995 Agostinelli denounced as a possible fraud Ray Santilli's video of an alleged autopsy of an alien from the Roswell UFO incident. Agostinelli enlisted, on behalf of La Prensa, the help of Diego Licenblat, an expert in special effects, to explain how they could have made the dummy seen in the film, and provided the idea for the program Memoria, which mounted a recreation of the fake autopsy to expose how easy, fast and cheap it was to create that footage.
Sai Baba, a sinner God?. In 2001–2002, Agostinelli produced for Zona de Investigación (a program in Azul TV of Argentina) several controversial reports, being prominent among them the one that addressed the sexual abuse allegations against Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. The program, divided into two reports issued on August 5 and 12, 2001 under the title "A sinner God?", was an international production that collected testimonies hitherto ignored in Argentina of former followers of Sai Baba. The series presented stories of the experiences of former devotees and counterarguments from devotees. It also included original discoveries.
TV productions and bibliography
In 1995, Agostinelli collaborated in the production of Secretos revelados, a documentary program anchored by Dardo Ferrari and broadcast by Argentina Televisora Color (ATC). The following year, he was a produced for the Telenueve research team led by Julio Bertolotti and Rubén Oliva, on Channel 9. In 1997–98 he joined the production teams for the programs Frente a Frente and Por quererte tanto, both in América TV. In 2000–2001 he was a producer for Zona de Investigación, another news show. In 2008–2010 Agostinelli was a producer, consultant and writer for Incoming, a science and technology news broadcast by the Infinito channel. Also, in 2011 he served as a consultant for the documentary series Profecías, by the National Geographic Channel (Snap, 2011). Then in 2012, he was an advisor to TV documentary series Los elegidos, also by the National Geographic Channel (Nippur Media, 2012).
- Coauthor, with Heriberto Janosch, of the Guía de Procedimientos para Recopilar Datos de Experiencias Ovni (CIU, 1988).
- La más completa historia del fenómeno ovni (Colección Conocer y Saber, Ed. Atlántida, 1991).
- El libro secreto de los ovnis (revelaciones de los casos que investigó la USAF), in Conocer y Saber Nº 34 (Ed. Atlántida, Buenos Aires, 1991).
- El caso belga. OVNIS: la historia más apasionante de este siglo, in Conocer y Saber (Ed. Atlántida, Buenos Aires, 1991).
- Coauthor of Diccionario Temático de Ufología (Fundación Anomalía, 1997, 2000).
- Coauthor, with Alejandro Turek, of Terapias Alternativas en el Paciente con Cáncer (pp. 865–879), in Introducción a la Oncología Clínica, Adrián Huñiz, Daniel E. Alonso and Daniel E. Gómez (compilers). Universidad Nacional de Quilmes (2008).
- Fabio Zerpa, in Colección "200 Argentinos", Revista Veintitrés, 2010
- José Ingenieros, in Colección "200 Argentinos", Revista Veintitrés, 2010
- Deodoro Roca, in Colección "200 Argentinos", Revista Veintitrés, 2010
- Mario Bunge, in Colección "200 Argentinos", Revista Veintitrés, 2010
In 2009, Editorial Sudamericana published Agostinelli's first book, titled Invasores. Historias reales de extratrerrestres en la Argentina ("Invaders. Real stories of extraterrestrials in Argentina").
In Invaders... Agostinelli describes among others the life of contactee Eustaquio Zagorski, translator to an alien language in the mid-sixties; and reveals the biography of brothers Jorge and Napy Duclout, Argentine spiritualists who contacted a "talented engineer" who informed them about life on Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter, and who created the first 3D film in Argentina. The book also relates the adventures of contactee Francisco García, who in 1973 announced the landing in Argentina of fifty ships from Mars; presents a profile of the Argentine flying-saucer guru Pedro Romaniuk; and reviews the rumor disguised as news spread in 1968, according to which a "Vidal" couple had been teleported from Chascomús, in Argentina, to Mexico.
Invasores... reconstructs as well the "Peccinetti-Villegas case" the alleged meeting of two casino employees from Mendoza with five humanoid beings who came out of a ship with a screen, in which they showed the men apocalyptic scenes, before leaving an "interplanetary inscription" on the door and stirrups of their car. Agostinelli gets to interview both witnesses, who had not spoken of this experience since 1968.
In another chapter, it tells the story of the guy who gained superpowers after eating from a barbecue made with meat from mutilated cattle, and Agostinelli proposes his own theory, based on the psychology and sociology of rumor, to explain the alleged wave of mutilation of animals registered in Argentina in 2002.
This work also contains the testimony of Mr. Raúl Dorado, a farmer in Jacinto Aráuz, La Pampa Province, whose cellphone was abducted by a UFO, and other persons related to the experience. Invaders... also addresses the secret life of Commander Clomro, a man who claimed to have been assimilated by an extraterrestrial energy. The first part is the story of a poor misunderstood alien being, the second part is that of a repentant man who tells the truth about his identity and the motives that led him to create the character.
The last chapter describes the incredible story of Martha Green, the widow of a soldier enlisted in the Peronist resistance, who had since the mid-fifties a secret romance with a visitor from outer space.
- Ufo Press (1976–1986)
- Magia Crítica. Crónicas y meditaciones en la sociedad de las creencias ilimitadas
- Invasores. Historias reales de extraterrestres en la Argentina, Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 2009
- Factor 302.4
- "Falsas ciencias y pensamiento mágico en los medios de comunicación". By Alejandro Borgo and Alejandro Agostinelli. International seminar "Ciencia vs. Pseudociencias" (4-5/11/2010), organized by the Universidad de la Punta (San Luis Province, Argentina), with the sponsorship of the Argentine Scientific Society.
- Third conference of ARTECH: un diálogo entre la ciencia, el arte y la tecnología, in the Centro Cultural Puente Blanco, Universidad de La Punta (ULP) (18/06/2013, San Luis).Video:
- Documentary program "Profecías", broadcast by the National Geographic Channel (SnapTV, 2011)
- Alejandro Agostinelli: "Cada vez me gusta menos que me llamen ufólogo". By Diego Zúñiga in La Nave de los Locos Nº 20, January 2003. Also in Factor 302.4. http://factorelblog.com/2013/12/07/alejandro-agostinelli-cada-vez-me-gusta-menos-que-me-llamen-ufologo/
- Ufo Press (1976–1986): Archivos desclasificados. By Alejandro Agostinelli in Factor 302.4 http://factorelblog.com/2013/09/22/ufo-press-archivos-desclasificados/
- Hynek en Buenos Aires. By Guillermo Roncoroni. In Ufo Press N° 16, April 1983. http://mitosdelmilenio.com.ar/mytovn0.htm#congresorosario
- El Ojo Escéptico, http://www.elojoesceptico.com.ar/
- Agostinelli, A. C.; Newsweek Argentina, October 11, 2013. "Humanos, demasiado humanos", http://newsweek.infonews.com/nota-203154-Humanos-demasiado-humanos-.html
- Magia Crítica. Crónicas y meditaciones en la sociedad de las creencias ilimitadas http://magiacritica.wordpress.com/
- Ciencia Bruja http://ar.noticias.yahoo.com/blogs/author/alejandro-agostinelli-20111123/
- "La mancha del Pajarillo: con pecado concebida". In Factor 202.4, http://factorelblog.com/2011/11/14/la-huella-del-cerro-pajarillo-con-pecado-concebida/
- "…Y los E.T. nunca vinieron", Descubrir Year 6 Nº 63, October 1996.
- Ovnis en Capilla del Monte. ¿"Zona caliente" o psicosis colectiva?, in Ufo Press magazine, Year IX, Nº 23. July 1986.
- "Por qué los místicos eligen el cerro Uritorco: 11 cosas que no sabías". In Ciencia Bruja (November 22, 2011), http://ar.noticias.yahoo.com/blogs/ciencia-bruja/por-qu%C3%A9-los-m%C3%ADsticos-eligen-el-cerro-uritorco-180657590.html
- "Los invasores", Página/12, August 13, 1991. By A. Agostinelli
- "Corazón satánico", Página/12, Sunday July 19, 1992. By A. Agostinelli
- Valentina & Cía. De Invasores a Fugitivos. By Alejandro Agostinelli. In El Ojo Escéptico Nº 5 (September 1992). http://www.elojoesceptico.com.ar/revistas/eoe05/eoe0511
- "Sectas platillistas. Hacia una sociología de la creencia en los ovnis". Congreso Internacional de Ufología, Cuadernos de Ufología, Oct 9, 1991, http://factorelblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Jornadas-Santander-1991.jpg
- "¿Existe el lavado de cerebro?", by Alejandro Agostinelli. In Ciencia Bruja (May 16, 2012), http://ar.noticias.yahoo.com/blogs/ciencia-bruja/existe-el-lavado-cerebro-225732064.html
- "Las acusaciones contra Valentina de Andrade" (La Maga, May 4, 1994), cited in Frigerio, Alejandro and Oro, Ari Pedro; "Sectas satánicas" en el Mercosur: Un estudio comparativo de la construcción de la desviación religiosa en Argentina y Brasil, Horizontes Antropológicos 8: 114–150 – 1998, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brasil. Online: Mitos del Milenio; http://mitosdelmilenio.com.ar/sectassa.htm
- "Todo sea por la buena onda". In Página/12, October 24, 1992. By Andrew Ross.
- La Guerra de las Ciencias y la Tercera Cultura (FACSO, 2004). By Evaristo Álvarez Muñoz. http://www.facso.uchile.cl/publicaciones/moebio/19/alvarez.htm
- Noguez, Luis R. Perspectivas ufológicas, 11/07/2006, "Autopsia trucha", http://www.ikaros.org.es/perspectivas/aa/autopsiatrucha.htm
- Sai Baba ¿El Dios pecador? – Part 1 – Zona de Investigación (2000). Production and script: Alejandro Agostinelli. YouTube.com – Part 2 – Zona de Investigación (2000). Production and script: Alejandro Agostinelli. YouTube.com
- "Por amor al dinero", in Zona de Investigación, Canal 9, (June 3, 2002). Production and script: Alejandro Agostinelli. Part I: YouTube.com. Part II: YouTube.com
- "Incoming", in Infinito, http://www.la.infinito.com/videos/incoming2011-episodio1
- Guía de Procedimientos para Recopilar Datos de Experiencias Ovni (CIU, 1988). With Heriberto Janosch, http://www.scribd.com/doc/169798379/Guia-Encuestador-1988
- Diccionario Temático de Ufología (Fundación Anomalía, 1997, 2000). Various authors. Download in three parts: 1. http://www.ikaros.org.es/dtu1.pdf , 2. http://www.ikaros.org.es/dtu2.pdf and 3. http://www.ikaros.org.es/dtu3.pdf
- Terapias Alternativas en el Paciente con Cáncer (pp. 865–879), by Alejandro Turek and Alejandro Agostinelli, in Introducción a la Oncología Clínica, Adrián Huñiz, Daniel E. Alonso and Daniel E. Gómez (compilers). Universidad Nacional de Quilmes (2008). http://magiacritica.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/oncologia-cap-68.pdf
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 23
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 47
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 69.
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 103
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 133
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 171
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 215
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 265
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 279
- Alejandro Agostinelli, Invasores..., Sudamericana, 2009, p 325