[Going through the files, we came across a hitherto unpublished article by IHU co-founder and Mexico correspondent Dr. Rafael Lara Palmeros. It was written in the late '90s, but the information is by no means dated.]Unusual Heavenly Phenomena in Portugal: A Historical Roundupby Dr. Rafael A. Lara Palmeros, CEFP (Mexico)
Portugal is no exception when it comes to unusual heavenly phenomena. For many years now, and in a number of countries, these events which have become known as UFOS, were called "pillars of fire", "sky monsters", "circular luminous bodies", etc.
The following is a presentation of some of these extraordinary phenomena:
* Estación de Casa Blanca, Montemor el Nuevo. 14 September 1946:
At 4 p.m. on this day, an enormous disk casting off a greenish iridescence appeared in the skies over this community. The strange phenomenon, which was witnessed by a great number of railroad passengers, remained motionless for approximately 5 minutes after which it turned southward before vanishing altogether (1).
* Viana de Costelo, 17 September 1946
. Shortly after 21:00 hours, a luminous body much greater and shinier than a star passed over this city, traveling in a north/south direction. The phenomenon was a cause for great wonderment among the population, giving rise to opinions among the population that it was somehow related to the some of the "mysterious luminous projectiles which have been mentioned in the press lately." (2).
* Lisbon, 15 December 1946
. At approximately 18:40 hours, a curious luminous projectile was seen traveling at an extraordinary altitude, leaving in a brilliant wake in its path. The object followed a southerly trajectory from the northeast. It gave the impression of being some new kind of "flying bomb", having great range and tremendous speed, similar to those which have been reported over the Scandinavian
and international level.
The society has the all-important backing of the Dean of the University of Porto, Prof. Nuno Grande, and of the BIAL Foundation, through its president, Dr. Luis Portela. The society's ogal ist to promote periodic debate and information activity; set forth research protocols as well as cooperation with other like-minded organizations, both domestic and foreign, dedicated to the study of unexplored subjects and situations. One of its most important aims is having innovative scientists and theoreticians visit Portugal to hold seminars and conferences.
The Portuguese Scientific Exploration Society (SPEC) takes this opportunity to notify all interested parties to participate in their first International Symposium on the "Borderline of Science" to be held on October 25 and 26, 1997 at Fernando Pessoa University in Porto. Renown Portuguese and foreign specialists shall take part in this conference, discussing the latest theories, information and experiences in a number of polemical areas with the aim of furthering the frontiers of human knowledge.
The Sociedade Portuguesa de Exploraçao Científica (SPEC) can be reached at: Travessa de Cedofeita, 72, 2do traseiras. 4050 Porto. Caixa Postal 5379.4023 Porto Codex. Portugal.
Portugal is one of the countries having the highest degree of Marian apparitions. It is important to keep the strange phenomena at Fatima in mind along with the strange paranormal manifestations in Ladeira, to mention only two.
On September 6, 1996, church authorities in Barcelos, located in northern Portugal, investigated the alleved appartion of an effigy of Christ on a consecrated host.
The phenomenon took place in the village church of Moure, Barcelos council, during a mass held on May 8, 1996, according to the testimony of father Antonio Miranda, who celebrated mass that day. Miranda claims that the effigy resembles the "Christ of the Azores" and while it cannot be seen clearly, the crown of thorns, shadows resembling weals on its face and hands crossed over its chest can be seen. Father Miranda called father Olavo Teixera and both men reached the conclusion that the effigy seen on the communion wafer is by no means an optical illusion. Their opinion has been corroborated by hundreds of worshippers.
From that day onward, a special service lasting an hour has been taking place on the eighteenth day of each month.
The archdiocese of Braga has confirmed the phenomenon, which has caused great astonishment and curiosity throughout the region, but it has refused to make any official comment on the situation.
A detailed report on the matter has been prepared, and although the Church authorities remain quiet on the matter, they have nevertheless
methodological approaches, seeking the rigorous application of various disciplinary instruments taken from the humanities and from the natural sciences.
CNIFO has and tries to stimulate contacts with academic consultants, and has set up a good relationship with official Portuguese entities, mainly with the Air Force and with the Republican National Guard (similar to Spain's Guardia Civil). Within its limits, it has published a number of journals and assorted monographs which seriously reflect the UFO phenomenon's numerous implications.
The distribution of responsibilities of this association is the following: CNIFO North -- Joaquim Fernandes; CNIFO North/Central -- Eduardo Rui; CNIFO Center/South -- José Sottomayor; CNIFO South -- Leonte Paixao.
Two other notable Portuguese researchers, Cassiano José Monteiro (Villa Nova de Gaia) and engineer Fernando Fernándes (Oporto), who are distinguished members of CNIFO and CEAFI, remain the most thorough sources of information on close encounters, after Joaquim Fernandes.
* Tuesday, January 4, 1977
(00:30 hrs.) Carapito, Guarda (Beira Alta)
C.A.C.M., a technician in an auto plant, was training his German Shepherd dog in a copse of pine trees when the animal exhibited suspiciously and remained close to him. It was then he noticed an object suspended in mid-air at a distance of some 10 meters and at some 10 meters in the air. The object had a metallic, dark, ellipsoid shape and a protuberance resembling a dome which was also dark. The object had a diameter of approximately 6 to 7 meters and made a noise similar to "radio static".
The witness then percieved a humanoid shape standing close to the vehicle: the figure stood around 1.80 or 2 meters and was physically
to another, suddenly ending at a pine grove almost bordering the small rural home.
Elisabete experienced a nervous shock, which may have been the cause of a subsequent heart condition.
At the foot of the hill upon which the witnesses had first seen the creature, researchers discovered a small radioactive area (with measurments of 20 to 30 rads), although it should be noted that uranium deposits can be found in the region. They also saw a circular zone 2.6 meters in diameter in a sparsely forested region used as a pasture, not far from the pine trees. The earth within the circular zone had been compressed, grass would not grow and horses avoided it altogether.
The cases were not reported until both had been collected, thus apparently avoiding the possibility of any "contagion" (CEAFI, Insolito, IV, 33 June-July 1978, 14-17 and 26).
* October 15, 1978 (22:00 hrs.).
Fuzeta, Olhao (Algarve). Approximate day.
Antonio Viegas Mendonça, 71, and his wife Leonor Dias Vasquez, 67, illiterate farmworkers, were in their home (a farmhouse located in a flat area in the vicinity of Fuzeta, approximately 550 meters NNW from the "fishermen's neighborhood" when they became aware of an intense red light coming in through the windows. Husband and wife went oustide the house and headed to the rear, where they were startled to see a circular object some 5 meters away from them.
It had an ashen, metallic color and had a doorlike, rectangular opening which began in its midsection and ended at its base. A powerful reddish light issued from the the opening. The UFO was 2 meters in diameter and hovered 10 to 15 centimeters over the ground, making a constant up-and-down motion and no noise whatsoever. Frightened, Mr. Viegas remained partially concealed behind a wall while his wife, paying no heed to his warnings, approached
out. When he came to, he found himself in an underground UFO hangar, confronted by three
distinct species of extraterrestrials. The aliens told him that the Serra da Guardunha was one of their four "observation bases" on Earth. Machado then passed out again and, when he woke up, it was night, and he was lying on the ground outside the cave.
The morning of Wednesday, October 2, 1996, a shepherd named Fernando Soares checked on his flock, which was grazing in a pasture just north of Idanha‑a‑Nova. He made a truly gruesome discovery. Nine sheep lay dead, the bodies drained of blood. All told, 28 of Soares's sheep had been attacked by "something." Each sheep, including the nine dead, sustained an identical wound, "a deep circular hole on the right side of the neck," Soares said.
Skeptics claimed that a "practical joker" was trying to "stir up another Chupacabras scare, like the one in Mexico." (See the Toronto Globe and Mail for October 5, 1996)
Interestingly, Idanha‑a‑Nova, the site of the sheep mutilation, is
50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of the Serra da Guardunha, where Machado had his strange experience the previous week.
Shortly after the Idanha‑a‑Nova incident, the U.S. government handed over 25 jet interceptors to Portugal. The package was rushed through the Defense Department military assistance pipeline. The equipment included 25 U.S. Air Force F‑16 A/B fighter planes, five spare F100‑PW‑2200 jet engines, replacement parts and program support totalling $258 million. Moreover, the F‑16s were ferried directly from the USA to Portugal's Monsanto air base. (See the October 7, 1996 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology, "Industry Outlook," page 13)