In Tamaulipas, many believed it was divine punishment, as they could not otherwise explain the disaster that was unfolding before their eyes. The more than 6,000 kilometers of surface submerged, the 10,000 de̳a̳t̳h̳s and thousands of injuries revealed a tragedy unparalleled in the history of the state.
In September 1955, three hurricanes hit the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, leaving devastation and de̳a̳t̳h̳ in less than 15 days. The locations most affected were Tampico and Ciudad Madero, sister cities that saw their homes, urban centers and roads succumb to gusts of wind and millions of cubic meters of water.
With overflowing rivers and cities reduced to rubble that revealed the insignificance of man before the power of nature, it was not necessary to be an assiduous believer to think that such a catastrophe was due to a supernatural power.
Janet, Hilda and Gladys forever marked both cities and the disaster deeply affected Mexican society, which only then began to become aw̳a̳r̳e of the culture of prevention and the destructive power of hurricanes.
11 years later, alarms were raised again due to the imminent arrival of Inés – a hurricane that caused serious damage as it passed through the Caribbean and the Bahamas – and the harsh memory of 1955 settled in the minds of Tampico residents.
Fear made an evacuation plan work in a coordinated fashion, and despite Tampico and Ciudad Madero expecting the worst, Inés quickly downgraded to a tropical storm, minimizing damage from what had happened in previous years.
Since then, the relationship between Tamaulipas and cyclones has changed drastically: the nervousness that was installed each year with the arrival of the hurricane season slowly dissipated, after verifying that in the following decade no hurricane even threatened to reach the coast. Tamaulipas.
The pattern repeated itself in the 1970s and would repeat itself three more times, including the sudden deviation of the Gilbert (the most intense hurricane in Atlantic history) in 1988, which shifted its course in extremis to the north, leaving only material damage in the sister cities.
Something similar happened in 2013, when Ingrid weakened, causing only high winds and white-balanced thunderstorms.
Faced with such events, the population of these cities began to formulate different hypotheses to explain the fate that has accompanied them since 1966.
Starting in the 1990s and with Gilbert\’s destructive power in perspective, a particular version gained traction: according to residents, the city is protected by a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳s, responsible for keeping the waters of the Gulf of Mexico calm.
But to what end?
Oral tradition claims that beings from another planet chose the shores of Tamaulipas to establish an ex̳t̳r̳a̳t̳e̳r̳r̳e̳s̳t̳r̳i̳a̳l̳ base, deflecting hurricanes or downgrading them to tropical storms.
So both cities are unharmed season after hurricane season.
In 2013, a state decree instituted Martian Day, celebrated since then on the last Tuesday of each month in Tampico and Ciudad Madero.
According to locals, U̳F̳O̳ sightings are common on the beach at night and the Gulf of Mexico destination has positioned itself across Latin America as a particularly attractive place for fans of U̳F̳O̳logy and other pseudosciences related to paranormal phenomena.
For more than half a century and until today, the waters of Tampico and Ciudad Madero have remained calm.
Many Tamaulipas are convinced that a supernatural force protects the beach from the disasters that have left an indelible mark on the city\’s past.
Not only that: at the same time, they found a good reason to – every now and then – lose sight of the sky on a starry night.