Caracas, Venezuela, it was 1986, when the first sighting of La Mancha Negra (the Black Stain) appeared. On a highway outside of town, the phenomena was witnessed by a road construction crew as they were doing resurfacing work. It was big and it left everyone puzzled, looking at first like a 150′ long black smudge. But that sighting and what would come afterwards created more questions and fewer answers. Almost immediately, the Black Stain took on a life of it’s own. It rapidly grew in both size and reputation until it covered an area nearly 8 miles long.
The local community demanded answers, however the authorities were baffled. With the expertise of the nation to draw upon as to what it is and where it came from, the authorities could not (or would not) say. Even today, 35 years after the first sighting there is still no plausible answer as to what La Mancha Negra is, or what brought it to Venezuela. Witnesses have described the Black Stain as a greasy black goo, similar looking to tar, but having the consistency of chewing gum and being an inch thick.
La Mancha Negra Turns Deadly
Witnesses have described driving over the Black Stain as similar to driving on black ice. From the period between the first sighting and 1991. Since then it has been widely reported that La Mancha Negra is responsible for more than 1,800 deaths and countless other injuries. Countless crews of workers tried to remove the Black Stain during the mid-1990’s. Neither pressure washing, adding industrial detergents, or even trying to scrape it off manually had any effect. A test using fresh limestone as an absorbent had promise, but the treatment released so much dust that it hurt air quality, so the program was discontinued. But by that time, the stain had spread throughout the city.
Conspiracy theorists try to downplay the inability to clean or remove the Black Stain. They spread false information stating that the contractors hired to do the cleaning were all involved in some sort of racket. And of course, they all colluded and charged very high prices, each taking their turn at ‘trying’ to remove the Black Stain for huge sums of taxpayer dollars. They never seemed to have a solution that worked, oddly enough. It was always said by any contractor who was interviewed that when they would clean it away, it would return the next day. Now its not much of a stretch to believe there is corruption in Venezuela, but collusion on this scale seems too convenient.
Why Hasn’t the Scientific Community Solved the Mystery of the Black Stain?
Even with modern technologies, there is no definitive answer as to what La Mancha Negra is made of. Some of the common theories are as follows. It was an act of chemical sabotage by certain political groups to cause embarrassment to the those in power at the time. Another theory is that the Black Stain is actually a mixture of raw sewage, which combined with asphalt and other petroleum-based products from the highway to form a slippery solution. Another popular theory, albeit hard to swallow is that La Mancha Negra is made up of leaking oil and other fluids from the many aged automobiles in Caracas. When the dust and road chemicals combine with the fluids, its believed to cause the deadly goo. These are just a few of the possibilities.
But, the question still remains as to where is the source of La Mancha Negra and what is it made of? Science should have easily figured this one out. It would have been expedited as well, especially with the number of fatalities. Its obvious a unique substance; something that could make someone’s career should they correctly solve the oddity. Every scientist with ambition would be working on it. But the evidence of any research is absent. Now there are claims that the government did extensive testing, and that these tests cost millions, Seems like La Mancha Negra is also part of a cover up.
The number of traffic fatalities may have been inflated by corrupt politicians to direct additional funds into budgets that they controlled. These funds could be used to buy political favor under the guise of a ‘study’. The numbers don’t seem rooted in reality either. It would mean a death happened on this stretch of highway almost daily over a five year period.
Plausible Theories But Not Probable Theories
There are two theories which are accepted by many as the truth about La Mancha Negra. The first theory, which also seems to fit into the historical narrative is that the Black Stain is simply a bad batch of asphalt. There was after all a construction crew resurfacing the road when the phenomena was first spotted. This theory is supported by the fact that asphalt has a tar (goo) base and can change consistencies. It also can get slick under very sunny conditions. The final piece of evidence is that the phenomena only occurred in the single location. This would make the bad batch of asphalt theory possible.
Well, it does seem that way, except for the fact that a bad batch of asphalt doesn’t grow in size. It just lays there, where it’s been placed. Also, the roadway would have disintegrated and broken apart very quickly of the asphalt wasn’t up to par. If the road softened enough in the sun to cause a slick, then we’d have heard stories about many multiple-car accidents and pile ups; of which there is no record. It may fool some of the people, but it just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.
Theory number two is that it is natural seepage. Proponents of this theory cite the large petroleum deposits of heavy crude, known as the Orinoco Belt which are near Caracas. Seepage is not unheard of in the area. This theory is number tow for a reason. It’s weak. Where is the origin of this seepage. There must be a central point where the pressure broke through the earth’s surface. Why after all these years haven’t wells been built there, if the oil is so close to the surface; it would be very cost-effective. Also heavy crude is so heavy that it usually sinks, so excess seepage seems unlikely. I think they want us to believe that its natural, but they just can’t prove that it’s natural. Seems like another well-planned way to stop further debate and absolve anyone of any real responsibility.
Disappears and Reappears Without Regularity
Since the first occurrence, La Mancha Negra has made several encores. In January 1996, it returned, however the authorities attempted to gloss it over citing low rainfall and vehicle leakage as the cause of slick roads. This time, special cleaning equipment was imported from Germany and it was thought to have eradicated the substance. Yet La Mancha Negra returned again in 2001; this time on roads in 5 separate locations.
At this juncture, no one is any smarter than they were in 1986. The stain comes and goes at will, and mankind is powerless to stop it. Perhaps the scientific community will finally have aa breakthrough. Maybe they will figure out the how and why to La Mancha Negra and come up with a legitimate plan for dealing with it.
Other Works By R.J. Schwartz