Spain: An Interview with the Spanish "Fox Mulder"
By Manuel Carballal
[Spain’s indefatigable Manuel Carballal has been one of INEXPLICATA’s contributing editors since our first issue in 1998. A world traveler, radio host and television personality, his books include OVNIS y Pilotos, La Ciencia Frente al Misterio, Los Peligros del Esoterismo and the landmark El Secreto de los Dioses. The following interview with Lt.Col. Antonio Munaiz of the Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire) is from Carballal’s “Mundo Misterioso” broadcast – SC]
When this author located and interviewed Colonel Munaiz for the first time, the result caused a true commotion, resulting in one of many confrontations between researchers and pseudoskeptics. On September 19, 1998, the Mundo Misterioso radio program aired the exclusive taped interview with the most experienced inquest judges in matters of UFO research.
Colonel, what is your perception of UFO research in Spain?
Munaiz: You must keep something in mind. Among those who call themselves researchers you find two kinds: the official researcher, who must be completely objective, and then you have others who engage in research, but who slant all the information in favor of their preconceived notions. Among those you find the ones who bend over backward to prove the existence of aliens and others who do whatever they can to knock down that idea, but they all fall into the same group. In my case, as my investigations were official, and since I had no preconceived notions about the subject, my efforts were entirely serious. In other words, all of the information I collected was analyzed with the scarce means at my disposal, and I endeavored to reach a logical and rational conclusion. Whenever possible, I would offer my conclusions in extensive reports with drawings and photographs.
What is your take on scientific researchers?
There are many armchair researchers. They stay put. For official research purposes, the only tool I was given was a car, and I would go and visit the witnesses. Among the conclusions I drew about witnesses, the most reliable aside from pilots and people of that nature were the peasants. The peasants were the most reliable. If they say they’ve seen something strange, that means they’ve seen something strange, because the countryside is something they’re thoroughly familiar with and no one can tell me that a farmer has ever mistaken a strange light for Venus. I won’t believe it. Of course, then you have the Guardia Civil [Spanish state police – SC] who helped me greatly. If a member of the Guardia Civil, who is also a professional investigator, happened to be a witness, then his reliability was complete. These men perhaps lacked an aeronautical knowledge, but their testimony was completely reliable, because they would ordinarily refuse to testify. They had to have an order from their superiors, therefore I would show up with a investigation order from my General, I would present it to the commanding officer, and the order was given immediately.
Did any of the cases you looked into ever lack a rational explanation?
I remember there was a case where no conclusion was reached. It was truly interesting because it involved commercial airliner pilots, a military pilot holding a lieutenant colonel’s rank who saw it from the ground, plus radar operators. It occurred in Tenerife [Canary Islands] and it did not appear in the press. I was therefore able to investigate it at leisure. This case was truly secret because the parties involved were highly competent people, and I guaranteed that their names would not appear, although many years have gone by and two of the witnesses are dead. The conclusion involved an Unidentified Flying Object.
Do you remember the Galdar Incident?
The Galdar Incident was exactly the opposite. I questioned the doctor, who belonged to a privileged profession. Of course, I wore a uniform. I noticed that he was very nervous and said strange things. I took his statement in writing, because doing so would allow me to present it to a handwriting expert to see the fellow’s personality. This case was very famous. I remember visiting an onion field that played a critical part in the case. I visited the field’s owner and told him: “all of the onions have been flattened. Naturally, you’ve squashed the onions to make sure they’ll fatten.” Of course, he replied. “Therefore, nothing’s landed on this field.” The only thing that’s landed here, replied the owner, are the journalists who’ve messed up my onion field. [...] I asked the doctor involved in the case if he would submit to hypnosis, and he said no. If he’d been questioned under hypnosis, and given me the same answer as he did before, it still wouldn’t mean that something happened. The man could’ve hallucinated and is telling me what he feels to be the truth, but it doesn’t make it true. It just means he’s not lying. But he refused, and was going to have a co-worker [hypnotize him].
You investigated many other legendary cases in Spanish ufology.
I recall another very interesting case that was seen by very qualified personnel – the crew of the Juan Sebastian Elcano and an airliner in flight. And in that case, we were able to prove through triangulation that looked like the Aurora Borealis, which cannot bee seen from the Canary Islands. Many people saw it, even my wife. Matter of fact, I had to question her and it was hard to do, because we broke out laughing. And well, through triangulation, after consulting the Tenerife Astronomical Center, we determined it was something that had ionized the atmosphere. I think it was the only time I was told, through my General, that I had guessed correctly. Something had exploded, either a satellite or something similar, and that the “show” was on account of it.
What is your opinion about your fellow pilots who have seen UFOs?
Among pilots you also find two types: the ones who’ve seen weird things, and the ones who deny seeing them. The ones who deny it are trying to say that the others are either crazy or clowns. I know both types, and one doesn’t seem less serious than the other. Furthermore, they usually don’t share their experiences unless you’re a friend of theirs. I have yet to come across a witness who was a drunk. The fact that the drunk doesn’t see anything because he’s dead drunk doesn’t seem like an excuse to me.
How did you end all your reports?
I submitted all of the information, because with the means at my disposal, it was impossible to reach a conclusion. I passed the reports along to the Institute of Scientific Research or the appropriate authority. I am the inquest judge and as in jurisprudence, I will remand it to a higher court and let the court decide. I proposed the creation of a national board consisting of pilots, radar operators, astronomers, physicians, psychiatrists, etc. and if a report of this nature was received, they could analyze it in a truly disciplined manner. That’s how you can reach a conclusion. Because there are many cases that don’t involve extraterrestrials, merely unknown natural phenomena that are very interesting. So investigate them!
(Translation (c) 2008, S. Corrales, IHU. From El Ojo Critico No. 58, July 2008)