Background Paper: The Galician UFO Wave (1995-1996)
A UFO Alert in Spain
By Manuel Carballal
(translated by Scott Corrales)
Galicia has been swept by a wave of sightings since the end of 1995. On November 28th, the monitoring system of the As Gándaras Arsenal (Lugo) filmed several UFOs over its facilities. UFO investigators reported to the scene, confirming what Spain's military establishment had already feared: UFOs are conducting reconnoitering that country's military installations.
Tuesday, November 28th 1995
Las Gandaras Arsenal, Lugo.
The sentry took another glance at the monitor's screen. Routine night watches at the base in which he was fulfilling his obligatory military service were usually boring in extreme. Nothing exciting ever happened. Until now...
The camera scanned the outside areas, searching for anyone trying to breach the base's perimeter. Upon taking another look at the monitor, the soldier was shocked. What was that thing? A few meters over the barbed wire fence, clearly distinct from the base's floodlights, was an oval, discoidal object, hanging motionlessly in space.
This was not the first time that unidentified flying objects had paid a visit to the military arsenal. The series of visits had commenced four days earlier, when numerous area residents were able to witness the apperance of "flying saucers".
Thursday, November 23rd 1995
Offices of "El Progreso" newspaper, Lugo
Goyan, the young editor of the Lugo-based daily, picked up the phone almost automátically. She placed the receiver to her ear while pouring herself the umpteenth cup of coffee. At the other end of the line, a middle-aged man was telling her that he had just seen a "flying saucer" over the As Gándaras soccer field while driving his car from O Ceao toward the train station.
The phone rang again a short while later. Now it was an elderly woman, a resident of As Gándaras, telling her that she had just witnessed a strange object flying over the area. "Rather than being scared," the witness explained, "I'm surprised, because in spite of my age, I'd never seen anything like it before."
Goyan scribbled a few notes and hung up the phone, feeling curious and upset. The joke was going on for far too long. Who was trying to make fun of her with all these Martian stories?, she thought.
The phone rings once more, bringing out of her reverie. This time its a man with a mature-sounding voice and a confident tone of voice, although somewhat tinged by emotion. He informs her of a new sighting in the area: he had just a UFO emitting bright flashes of light at low altitude--low enough to see "large windows" and clear enough to be able to tell that "no one was inside."
Thus, the skeptical newspaperwoman became involved in what was swiftly becoming an extraordinary UFO flap. Apparently, a flying saucer with large windows and blue, red and yellow tail was crossing the skies over As Gándaras. She called one of the newspaper's photographers, Agrelo, and they both hit the road. However, neither of them was able to find anything strange. Not even the residents at the local nursing home, nor the bar owners in the area, nor the soccer players practicing at a nearby field, reported seeing anything unusual. The journalists' UFO adventure had not lasted very long at all.
To make matters worse, upon returning to the newsroom, their fellow reporter and superior, Paco García Gómez (according to his own account) handed them a teletype which had recently arrived at the newspaper.
The newswire explained that between November 9th and December 12th, eight high-altitude balloons would be launched from the La Virgen del Camino Air Base in León as part of a military meteorological exercise. "The villagers of As Gándaras must have seen one of those weird balloons," thought the journalists. This belief was reflected in a brief article the following day. Yet inspite of this vague explanation, the "UFO Invasion" had not concluded in the least.
Friday, December 22 1995
As Gándaras Arsenal, Lugo
The truth must be found, and if possible, the priceless visual evidence had to be secured. We were in the offices of Brigadier Amado, an impeccably dressed military man in fatigues, with a shaved head and a poker face.
"What happened on November 24th?"
"Something strange," the officer replied. "Some objects were spinning around, but we have no idea what they were."
"Did they move?"
"As you can see in the film, the larger one is still and there are others on its left that move strangely, in a south-southeast direction."
"Who saw them?"
"The lieutenant and a few soldiers. Besides, it was recorded on a security camera located some 15 feet off the ground."
True enough, the entire perimeter of the base is monitored from the main turret -- an army arsenal which due to its sensitive contents merits all available military protection.
The visit to the base facilities, the interviews with civilian and military witnesses and with the journalists who covered the story, as well as research carried out in the police headquarters and Guardia Civil barracks allowed us to reconstruct the events. This is more or less what happened.
Thursday, November 28, 1995
As Gándaras Arsenal, Lugo
The soldier didn't believe his eyes. No matter how much he strained his vision, he could not visually see what the infrared monitor was showing him. A giant oval object appeared to be suspended in the sky, facing the base, turning its lights on and off at random, enabling onlookers to make out its rhomboidal shape.
The weather conditions were far from ideal. The skies were overcast and even though there had been isolated showers and the temperature ranged between 10 and 7 degrees, there was no meteorological phenomenon which would account for the presence of that strange object.
After making sure that the monitor wasn't defective, he notified his unit chief immediately, as was his duty. The lieutenant and a number of soldiers observed the UFO through the screen, apparently static in the sky, just over the barbed wire and searchlights on the base's perimeter. But with the naked eye, all they could see were some strange lights moving erratically in the heavens.
The Media Gets the Word
Simultaneously, at a soccer field less than 50 meters away from the base, Eduardo, a coach for the La Milagrosa team, and several of his players observed the very same lights in the sky.
Manuel Díaz Souto, the field manager, was killing time as usual on that evening, feeling bored and resigned as the local teams played. Suddenly, a group of soldiers invaded his office.
"They told me to dim the stadium lights without any further explanations," Díaz Souto said. "The spoke hurriedly among themselves and by means of a transmitter, to their headquarters. The moved nervously from one end of the room to another. They shot furtive glances toward the sky as if looking for something, but they didn't tell me what it was all about."
The base's lieutenant had phoned the offices of Televisión de Galicia in Lugo, which is located in precisely the same building as the El Progreso newspaper. The officer requested the presence of a camera crew with a long-range Betacam, in hopes of capturing the UFO on video as clearly as possible.
Unfortunately the equipment was unavailable at that precise moment, but despite the situation, reporter Sabella Corbelle and photographer José Vázquez reported to the base during the sighting and were able to witness the images shown through the surveillance monitor. "At one point," said one of the journalists, "we had the impression that the smaller objects were darting into the larger one." The witnesses added that the phenomenon lasted almost all night. While the soldiers mobilized in search of the UFO, the lieutenant prepared the appropriate report, and as expected, a heavy shroud of silence fell over the cases at the moment in which the officer sealed the file to send it to his superiors.
The Official Story
According to the military, the UFOs photographed and sighted at the base were "the lights of some car on the hillside" and the "lights from the quarry at Ferbedoira." Upon scanning the area and visiting the quarry, we learned that there were no mountains in the SSE direction of the base, and the only illumination for the quarry at 21:00 hrs. is a sad and lonely light post.
Marcelino Requejo, a ufologist based in Lugo, provided us other important details. "The case of November 28th isn't an isolated incident. A veritable flood of sightings is taking place in this region, coinciding with some seismic disturbances, about 70 of them this month alone. And as if this wasn't enough," Requejo added, "between the 23rd and the 28th, two jet fighters were flying over the area at low altitude. What were they looking for?"
The final answer to this question, and the enigma posed by the UFO video obtained at the army post, will probably remain concealed within the report prepared by the base commander. It shall become merely another of the manifold reports of strange situations investigated by the authorites, and which are later silenced.
II. SPAIN: SAUCER INVASION 1996
Science writer Arthur C. Clarke sagely observed in his book Report on Planet Three and Other Speculations that when an elderly and distinguished scientist argues that something is impossible, he is usually wrong. This observation describes the attitude held by a segment of Spain's UFO research community, who felt in their hearts that the "heroic age" of ufology (the 1970's) was well behind them and that no further massive waves would ever take place within our lifetimes.
They couldn't begin to imagine how wrong they were.
January 1996 had already produced a considerable number of sightings: the residents of Pedrona (Santander) witnessed the passing of a luminous oval object in the skies over their town; several witnesses in the coastal city of Gijón managed to see a UFO hanging over the sea at night, illuminating the darkness with multicolored lights; in As Pontes, cameraman Bartolomé Vázquez was able to film the maneuvers of a triangular UFO which he described as an "upside down steam iron." The Vázquez sighting was considered to be of great importance, since he managed to capture two jet fighters in pursuit of the slow-moving triangle.
The wave was quickly being covered by private camcorder users and local television stations, such as the one in the Galician town of Monforte de Lemos. A camera crew from Channel 55 was able to report to a section of town where hundreds of witnesses stood spellbound, gazing at a giant oval UFO which remained suspended overhead for exactly an hour. The station allegedly received over two hundred phone calls reporting sightings throughout the area.
Another outstanding feature of the current flap is the highly visible presence of government and military elements in the area. High-ranking army officers were seen in the populations of Santaballa, Villabla and As Pontes inspecting the locations where the UFO events had transpired and interviewing certain witnesses.
Andres Landeira, a resident of Galicia, Spain's northwestern corner, had no idea he was about to become a protagonist of UFO drama when on the night of February 26, 1996 he found that his car was unable to climb the steep hill which led back to his home in the city of Lugo.
The perplexed driver changed gears, but the sedan refused to budge. It was then that Landeira realized that the car was rising into the air. Panicking, he opened the door, hoping to jump to safety from whatever nameless fate awaited him, but he realized he was well over thirty feet in the air. "I held on to the steering wheel with all my might," Landeira would later tell UFO invesigator Manuel Carballal, "I forced my back into the driver's seat and thought I was going to die, being taken to God knows where...Hell! I was really scared."
But the car was not spirited off into the black skies. Landeira observed that whatever had picked him up deposited him back onto the road just slightly ahead of his original position, but sideways. Aside from being badly frightened by the experience, the driver wasn't negatively affected. The only reminder of the event was the car's dashboard clock, which froze at precisely ten minutes before two o'clock in the morning.
According to investigations carried out in the localities of Guitiriz, Firbra and Samos, an employee of the local telephone company -- who requested anonymity -- witnessed strange lights and luminous phenomena in the heavens close to the place where Andrés had his hair-raising experience. And in the Mesón Porta Nova, in the vicinity, we were told that strange blackouts and brownouts had taken place that evening.
Andrés is a "trustworthy man," in the words of his friends and neighbors, who argue that there is no reason whatsoever to believe that he is lying or otherwise dissembling. "Si ó Andrés di que o seu coche volou polo aire, e que volou polo aire..." (If Andrés says that his car flew through the air, then it flew through the air), said Pablo, owner of Ramiro's Bar, when we visited him to confirm that the witness had not consumed any alcohol on that evening.
And in the same way that Andrés Landeira circumscribes himself to telling us an experierience which appears to be a fabrication, but which he swears to have lived, dozens of people in villages, towns and cities of northwestern Spain have shared with us extraordinary accounts related to the UFO wave which is sweeping across Galicia and Asturias in recent months. An inexplicable wave of sightings, close encounters and even landings of unknown spaceships, unprecedented in Spanish history...
A "UFO Invasion" Caught on Videotape
Manuel Carlos Orejas greeted us cordially at the newsroom of TV-6, the local television station in As Pontes de García Rodríguez (La Coruña), on the morning of February 15, 1996. Only hours earlier, at 19:50 hrs. the previous evening, he had managed to film, a strange object which had benn seen hovering over the ENDESA thermoelectric station for a number of weeks. It was the second time that a local station from As Pontes captured a UFO on tape. Six days earlier, alerted by telephone calls from all over the neighborhood, a cameraman from the very same station had filmed the startling images.
After interviewing the video camera operators separately, we headed for the As Pontes sheriff's office. We were told that dozens of neighbors claimed to have seen UFOs in the area. The authorities claim to have rejected the case officially, but we have been able to confirm that at least one "official report" on this uncanny UFO flap has already been written. The "saucers" have become the fashionable subject of conversation in Galicia, a bona fide social phenomenon. It is worth noting that carnival-goers this year disguised themselves in a variety of extraterrestrial and alien outfits. Even promotional signs for the carnival, published by the As Pontes Chamber of Comerce, announced the celebrations as "The UFO Route-The Intergalactic Ones."
As noted earlier, a number of UFO sightings had taken during the months of September and October in Galicia, culminating in the spectacular events taking place over As Gándaras.
The first document produced on the 1996 "leg" of the UFO flap was on Thursday, January 25, when Bartolomé Vázquez, a resident of As Pontes, filmed a triangular UFO pursued by two Spanish Air Force interceptors. He would later see other strange objects in Galician skies, and what is even more surprising, on one of these subsequent occasions, a UFO hovered directly over his vehicle while he travelled in the company of his wife and children. The unknown craft allegedly damaged the car's roof. Vázquez also claims that his brother had a similar encounter around the same time, but in that incident, "his car's engine died when the UFO flew over it, and all the car doors opened at once..."
Other local television stations, such as Channel 55 in Monforte de Lemos, have captured images similar to Vázquez's, as in the case which transpired on the evening-night of February 14, 1996. From the Val de Lemos neighborhood and adjacent streets, a number of citizens witnessed an oval object, with a mobile light beneath it, suspended from the sky. According to Pilar Valera, Channel 55's director, the TV station's newsroom received more than 200 phone calls regarding UFO sightings. One of the station's camera crews managed to reach the location just in time to join dozens of neighbors witnessing the phenomenon. They were able to film the saucer just minutes before it vanished.
Emotion Overcomes the Witnesses
As far as home videos, which proliferate throughout Galicia, are concerned, we have had the opportunity to analyze a very curious one. It was obtained in Lugo the very same day that the cameras of Channel 55 acquired their prized images in Monforte. At 22:30 hrs., Carlos Méndez, Angeles Castro, her husband Bernardo and the couple's daughter witnessed the maneuvers of some very luminous, spherical objects. The deeply emotional interjections recorded on the film's audio track are indicative of the intense anxiety which overcame the eyewitnesses during the sighting. While the strange objects join, separate, and divide on the television screen, the unbridled screams of the witnesses illustrate the intensity of the emotional experience. That very same night, barely half an hour earlier, three citizens interviewed by this author confirmed that they had also seen a very luminous object from the heights of Mt. San Pedro in La Coruña. Was this the UFO? All the facts indicate that it was, or at least one very similar to it.
Reliable police sources in Galicia, consulted during our investigation, confirmed that several Guardia Civil headquarters were give orders to investigate the unusual Spanish saucer wave and were told to forward their confidential reports to Madrid. We have been able to confirm this detail with the General Headquarters of the Guardia Civil.
What at first blush seems uniportant soon becomes a valuable source of information with which to verify the numerous accounts collected throughout the Spanish northwest: never before had the the UFO phenomenon caused such concern among the nation's security forces. In many communities, locals advised us that high-ranking officers had appeared at the locations where the sightings took place. There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of those witnesses who alleged having seen jet interceptors flying over the area before or after the UFO was reported.
Manuel Antón ran into an offical Army car whose passengers were of the top brass. "As soon as I saw them, I supposed that they'd come to see about the UFO business, because at that time people couldn't talk about anything else."
Residents of Santaballa, Villalba and As Pontes claimed having seen a colonel and a general in the sighting area. And since November 28th, 1995, the night of the As Gándaras incident, numerous witnesses have allegedly head the sound of jet fighters flying over the area: on December 1, 1995 from Cospeito (Lugo), on February 8 from Sarriá (Lugo), on February 19 in As Gándaras, etc.
That's not all. Upon visiting small Guardia Civil stations, such as the one located in Villalba, or other police stations in both Galicia and Asturias, we learned that memmbers of the Guardia Civil had witnessed UFOs themselves. Last, but not least, a number of renowned civillian investigators with considerable credibility became witnesses themselves during this wave.
On 21:15 hrs. on February 11, 1996, Ana Gallego, Miguel Pedrero, José María Lesta and Alejandro Navarro were transiting along the road to As Pontes, which runs by the ENDESA thermoelectric plant, a focus for UFO activity. The friends suddenly became aware of a weird, luminous yellow object. Pulling over, they were able to observe that the sphere increased sized dramatically, changing its hue to a deep red. It later altered its configuration, changing into an elongated, rectangular object which they later defined as "a kind of train or bus in the sky." After questioning each of the UFO investigators individually, three of them clearly coincided on the description, and the fourth's story seemed a little vague. The explanation for this difference, rather than casting doubt upon the story, only confirms it, since we later learned that the fourth witness (Pedrero) is acutely myopic, and didn't have his eyeglasses on at the time of the sighting.
Earlier, from Monte de la Espenuca in Betanzos (Coruña), three of these four investigators had already witnessed a luminous phenomenon. We also questioned them separately on that occasion, and they all coincided in describing a "rhomboidal structure" which flew over their heads. They were able to photograph the object at that time, as it left a luminous wake whose glow reflected off the treetops.
Other ufologists in the northwest have also had good fortune. Renowned investigator Marcelino Requejo was in the town of Santaballa interviewing witnesses when he sighted a UFO, and still has several minutes of footage to show for it.
There is another account which leaves us no room for doubting: the one made by the most highly regarded of Galicia's ufologists, Carlos Fernández, who sighted a triangular object on 8;45 a.m. on February 15th, as he drove along the road from Porrillo to Villasobroso (Pontevedra). According to Fernández, the UFO could be clearly seen in the morning sky, and reflected the sun's light on the upper half of its structure.
Northern Close Encounters
The violent snowstorms which blanket the Spanish northwest in the winter made access to some of the mountain communities in Galicia and Asturias nearly impossible. Some mountain passes, sealed off by heavy snowfall, as well as many valleys and mountain peaks have become the stages for extraordinary "close encounters" during this UFO wave. But the weather kept us from gaining access to some of the areas in which these occured. In two occasions, were were completely snowbound, and on the third, after having driven approximately a thousand miles visiting villages, towns and cities in the region, our car broke down for good -- a fact which didn't keep us from experiencing the ultimate UFO story of the trip: even the tow-truck driver who came to "rescue" us had witnessed the UFO flap. Was it mere chance that UFO activity shoud intensify precisely in those areas where human access was virtually impossible?
Galicia is not alone in its UFO odyssey. Neighboring Asturias has lived through incredible UFO-related experiences, some of which confirmed accounts collected in Galicia.
On Sunday, February 25, for instance, at around 21:30 hrs., several witnesses observed a triangular object which shamelessly "exhibited" itself in the sky of the town of Aller. Similar triangular craft have been seen repeatedly over Galicia, particularly during this flap, such as the events which transpired in the town of Mirandela.
Emilio Díaz Burgos and José Angel García, veteran Asturian ufologists whom we interviewed in their residence at Moreda, put us on the track of some Asturian cases which not only coincided with the "look and feel" of the Galician UFOs, but which had even occurred on the same day. One of the most valuable items of information in this regard, provided by the two ufologists, is that on the very same day that the As Gándaras event took place (November 26, 1995), a metal-grey cigar-shaped object was seen hanging in mid-air between noon and 4 p.m., as attested by over 20 witnesses in the town of Coforcos (Oviedo).
Raiders of Electric Light?
The most surprising fact, however, is that if the majority of Galician case histories have taken place around the As Pontes power station, the Asturian events are occurring around the power station at Mieres. In fact, there is a village named Muriellos in the vicinity which does not appear on the maps -- not even the Guardia Civil was able to provide us with its location. After driving around the hills and valleys of the region, we came upon the hamlet, which contains the "base" of the Hermandad RAMA (RAMA Brotherood), a UFO contactee-luciferian cult which along with other Spanish contacee cults, has also been at the center of bizarre cases.
Both Galicians and Asturians agree upon the same object when it comes to describing close encounters.
In the small hours of January 29th, Fe and Julia, two young women from Villalba were driving along the Meira highway on their way back home. They became aware of a strange orange glow which emanated from a nearby forest. Suddenly, they found themselves faced with a semispherical object which was rising from behind the trees. The UFO, whose diameter they estimated at some 20-30 feet, was close enough for the women to distinguish a sort of "metal door" on the object's fuselage. The sighting made them so nervous that they were unable to continue driving the car. After interviewing the friends separately (as is customary in these cases), they coincided in their story and in the descriptions of the emotions produced by the sighting. Upon questioning them concerning the manner in which the object had finally disappeared, both replied. "It's as if the earth had swallowed it."
We frequently employ a catalogue of hundreds of UFO photographs for the witness to point out an image which most closely resembles what they saw. Both of them chose, out of a hundred possible options, the very same image.
When Fe and Julia spoke of their encounter at work the following day, they were jeered at by their co-workers. For this very reason, they do not wish their story widely publicized. An infinity of similar cases occur throughout Spain.
Barely a week prior to this incident, a similar object, perhaps the very same, was seen in Asturias by Moserrat and Camilo Rivera Alonso. Fifteen days earlier, Camilo explained, a smaller spherical object crossed the region flying low and at a prodigious speed. Another farming couple not far from the Riveras recently had a coinciding encounter.
"You'd Never Hope To See Such A Thing!"
Proaza is a gorgeous local community that embodies as none other the beauty of the Asturian countryside, between verdant forests and snow-capped summits. On February 15, 1996, at 20:05 hrs., another strange sphere became visible in the region. Sara, a spry golden-ager who kindly welcomed us into her home, told us about her experience: "I was here at home when my husband called me from the backyard, saying that there was some weird critter out by the trees. I paid him no mind at first, but he kept on shouting. I went out and saw the thing. It was round, very big, with sticks coming out of its sides. When it lit up, it lit up the surroundings, you know?...I'm old and I've seen a lot, but you'd never hope to see such a thing!"
Less than a hundred feet away from the house, at exactly the same time that the strange sphere was visible on the ground, a luminous cigar-shaped object remain suspended in the sky over Proaza, toward the town of Grado, or "coincidentally," in the direction of Galicia, the very same flight path followed by so many unidentified flying objects.
Antonio Sáinz, president of the Asturias Pedagogical Society, is a resident of Tuñón, and in mid-February became part of the interminable roll call of witnesses to this spectacular UFO flap.
Antonio had gone to Sabadía, scant kilometers from Proaza, hoping to relax from his stressful job. He parked his car in front of the beautiful hermitage at the site, lit a cigaret and listened to some classical music. Suddenly, a strange reddish light began descending from the sky, filtered through the windshield. Antonio looked out the window and was stunned to find an oval object suspended right above the hermitage. "What surprised me the most was the light it gave off, like a pulsating glow. It was incredible..." Terrified, he crawled under the dashboard. "All I wanted was for that thing to go away without seeing me," he recalls.
He remained curled on the car floor for a few minutes, but in a burst of courage whipped a small camera out of the glove compartment and took a photo of the UFO. The object began rising slowly, finally disappearing behind a neighboring mountain.
Precisely at that very spot, other witnesses had noticed strange luminous shapes "playing" around the treetops, accompanied by a spectacular glow which lit up the entire mountainside.
What if those unusual objects had landed? Were they manned by intelligent beings? The answers to these questions may be found in recent cases collected during our journey which are as incredible as they are unusual, but truthful nonetheless. The reader will have to draw his or her own conclusions.
On Sunday, February 18, two children, Eugenio Alvarez and Tito Pérez were playing in the Cabeza da Vella woods in the town of Entrimo (Orense) near the border with Portugal. At 21:30 hrs., both noticed three luminous spheres which flew around one of the high-tension towers. They merged into a single luminous form which turned into "two saucers on top of each other" before vanishing. From the town, numerous witnesses, Lisardo González among them, saw the same event, but the best was still to come.
On the following day, upon returning to the site, the children found the footprints of "something that wasn't human." The first ufologists reporting to the scene a few days later were able to see them although they had mostly been erased by rainfall. However, a trail of nonhuman prints, approximately 900 feet long, could be seen. After discarding any possibility that an animal could have made the prints, the investigators concluded that a bipedal creature, some 6 to 7 feet tall, was walking in the area, and did so just after the UFO appeared in Entrimo.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
In other cases, and always according to the most convincing descriptions of the dozens of witnesses we've interviewed, the "strange beings" have never been so elusive, although we may withhold our own judgement on the credibility of these accounts due to their level of high strangeness.
One of these took place in the Asturian community of Llandemieres. Last summer, a cattle rancher who prefers to remain anonymous, became the protagonist of an incredible story. At two o'clock in the afternoon, he was riding his horse back home when he noticed a flying "puppet" gliding over the treetops some 300 feet away. As the creature came closer, the rancher was able to make out its inhuman features. Its head was very large, with short arms, and what surprised the rancher most: "It had a kind of screen on its chest!"
The horse was frightened by the intruder and threw its rider to the ground, but even as he lay on the ground, the rancher was able to see "the flying thing" vanish into the trees.
Two days later, and for reasons that remain unclear, the Chief of Police of the Aller district questioned the rancher. When we visited the police station, the chief responded: "based upon my experience, I'm certain that the man isn't lying."
A similar creature was also seen in Proaza a long time ago, and its description coincides with other cases in Galicia. The Galician counterpart occurred in Cospeito (Lugo) in 1987, at the center of the region that is experiencing the massive wave. Serafín Pena Teijeiro ran into two strange creatures which "flew over a tree". The beings measured less than three feet in height, according to his description.
On March 1st, three red-and-white spheres were seen descending from the sky once more near Entrimo, close to the site where the footprints were discovered. On the morning of March 7, a farmer from Ferrerías (Friol), José Manuel Castro, witnessed the landing of a UFO on his farm just 100 feet away from his home. "Small creatures came out of the thing, looking like monkeys," he claimed. The vehicle left marks on the ground and nonhuman footprints were photographed in the area, looking very similar to those at Entrimo. Only minutes before Castro had this mind-bending visit, a number of locals and residents of Orense reported seeing strange lights in the sky.
What is the reason for this unprecedented UFO wave in Spanish history? Why are UFOs concentrating their activity in the northwestern region? There are no answers. Something inexplicable, but of great importance, is taking place since the beginning of the year, not only in Spain, but around the world. Meanwhile, the sightings continue.
III. A CHRONOLOGY OF SPANISH CASES FROM THE 1995-1996 UFO WAVE
Three months prior to the start of the Galician UFO wave, an Asturian farmer encounters a bizarre flying humanoid.
11.26.95 A rhomboidal UFO remains suspended over the military installation of As Gándaras for 9 hours.
12.08.95 A number of Galician ufologists see a "train" of lights in the sky over the ENDESA thermoelectric plant.
01.25.96 Bartolomé Vázquez films a triangular UFO over As Pontes, Galicia; He describes the UFO as an "upside-down steam iron."
01.26.96 Several residents of Gijón witness a UFO suspended over the ocean, lighting the waters with multicolored lights.
01.28.96 Two young women from Villalba encounter a light with a door on its fuselage.
01.00.96 Several witnesses in Pedrona (Santander) see a strange oval UFO, resembling a luminous cloud, emitting bursts of light every two seconds. It disappears abruptly after twenty minutes. In the final days of 1995, cattlemen from Saja and Liébana along the Cantabric Range reported seeing objects similar to "little suns."
02.00.96 Eyewitnesses from the communities of Punta Umbría, Playa Antilla, El Rompido and other points along the Huelva shoreline (southern Spain) see strange spherical lights.
02.06.96 Residents of Alcobendas, a suburb of the Spanish capital, Madrid, see a brilliant green spherical object. The UFO, which left a small wake in its path, rose vertically until it disappeared.
02.09.96 A red sphere remains suspended over the the town of Jarandilla (Cáceres) in southern Spain for an hour. One witness videotapes the event.
02.08.96 Strange unidentified lights seen by residents of Sarriá in Galicia. Soon after, two jet fighters are seen pursuing the lights.
02.15.96 A triangular object is witnessed from Mondariz, near Vigo, reflecting the sun's light on its underside.
02.18.96 Several witnesses see UFOs in Entrimo (Orense). Shortly after, the footprints of a nonhuman creature are found in the area (extraterrestrial?)
02.14.96 Numerous residents in Monforte de Lemos witness an oval object with a moving light on its base. Local television obtains footage of the same.
02.20.96 A cigar-shaped vehicle with brilliant lights is seen by several witnesses over Palmas de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands.
02.26.96 Andrés Landeira's car is levitated some 30 feet off the ground by an unknown force.
02.27.96 An elongated, cigar-shaped vehicle is seen over the suburbs of the city of Zaragoza. The object emits a reddish-white light.
03.07.96 A farmer from Friol witnesses the landing of a UFO on his property and the descent of simian ufonauts from within.
IV.TRIANGULAR STARSHIPS OR SECRET WEAPONS?
A startling percentage of the accounts we've gathered during the Galicia/Asturias wave include the presence of triangular artifacts. These triangular UFOs were reported on January 3 in Burela and Mariñaleda, on January 25 in As Pontes, a day later in Santaballa and Villalba, on February 15 near Vigo, on February 20 in Mirandela, etc.
The most surprising fact about these cases is that they have consistently occurred in northwestern Spain. We have managed to interview a great number of witnesses who have experienced these sightings over the past 10 years in Galicia.
On June 23, 1987, for example, investigator Roberto Carlos Miras was in the Galician town of Oza de los Rios when a gigantic triangular aircraft equipped with a gyrating central light, flew over his head at low altitude. Other witnesses reported UFOs that very same night in La Coruña.
A Jesuit priest, Pedro Pablo Requejo, observed a colossal triangle with a similar description on May 1, 1988 from Mugardos, near El Ferrol. At the same time, other witnesses were reporting UFOs in Asturias, and surprisingly enough, the Spanish Air Force shows a report for that very same day which remains classified as secret. This object, or one similar, has been seen relatively frequently in the provinces of La Coruña and Pontevedra (Galicia). In some cases, such as the sighting which occurred in the suburbs of La Coruña in 1983, we subjected some of the witnesses to hypnotic regression in order to secure more information on the sightings. In others, such as the one which occurred in El Portiño near La Coruña in 1982, a triangular object was seen by a number of witnesses as it plunged into the sea. A witness in Vigo described the features of the craft's fuselage in detail after a sighting in 1992, due to the proximity of the unknown vehicle. Photos of the triangular vehicles have been taken on occasion (Betanzos, 1994; Vigo, 1989; Pontevedra, 1990), but there is a particularly important case regarding triangular UFOs in the Spanish northwest: it is known as the "Fernando Martínez Case."
It happened in October 1986 at an old quarry near Culleredo (Galicia). Fernando had been practicing motor-cross on his dirt bike until dusk. He sat on a rock to light a cigaret and rest when he noticed that a triangular object was descending toward him. Gripped by panic, he tried to kick-start his dirt bike, which had just been in the shop for a tune-up, without any luck. According to Fernando's story, he suddenly felt invaded by a sensation of physical calm while the UFO descended to within 6 feet of the quarry floor. A beam of light was fired from its central light, and two small, large-headed humanoids descended along the beam. They approached the human, and all that he recalls after that point is being in a very luminous chamber. He was placed upon a "stretcher" and subjected to medical testing.
As a result of his unusual experience, Fernando was unable to account for two hours out of his life and sported a small scar which lasted for several weeks, aside from experiencing an emotional trauma regarding anything having to do with UFOs.
Triangular UFOs have been seen frequently all around the word. In some cases, these objects turned out to be secret flights of experimental aircraft such as the F-117 and B-2 Stealth planes. To some ufologists, these triangular craft could well be related to Project Aurora, the most sophisticated U.S. spy plane which, according to some sources, could be making experimental flights across the North Atlantic, being operated from a joint NATO/RAF base in Scotland. This would account for the apparent passivity on the part of the Spanish air forces, which are no strangers to violations of airspace by UFOs. It is likely that some triangular UFO sightings may indeed be secret weapon tests, but not even official recognition of this possibility (a remote one) would satisfactorily explain all the cases described here, unless these terrestrial UFOs turn out to be manned by macrocephalic dwarves with unheard-of technology. Unlikely, isn't it?
V. OFFICIAL CONCERN
On March 19, 1996, we travelled to Vigo to participate in a hypnotic regression session. Hypnotist Javier Alonso attempted to recover the "missing time" in the minds of two young Galician men. Something strange had happened to them a few months ago -- something they still cannot understand. José Luis and Rodrigo are physical education teachers, martial arts instructors who own gyms in the town of Ponteareas. It was there they were returning to after having participated all weekend in a course for Kung-Fu instructors in Madrid. Late in the afternoon, the friends took the route known as Nacional VI back to Galicia. It was an uneventful trip, as so many others they had made in the past. Upon reaching the town of Benavente (Zamora), they stopped for dinner, filled up the gas tank, and proceeded on their way.
But only a few minutes went past when they noticed that the landscape didn't look familiar. Both men, interviewed separately, both said that not even the Moon looked familiar. They also claim having felt a strange sensation on the nape of the neck. A road sign called their attention, leaving them throroughly bemused. They were now in Lugo, more or less in the vicinity of San Martiño: They had "jumped" through space a distance of over 80 miles.
When they were able to ascertain the reality of the uncanny "jump", both men had an instantaneous nervous breakdown. One of them began to weep uncontrollably, while the other pulled the car over onto the shoulder, too nervous to drive. The fuel gauge gave no indication of having changed, despite having covered 80 miles in such a short span of time.
José Luis's and Rodrigo's teleportation is only one of the many curious cases which have characterized the Spanish UFO wave.
The Guardia Civil Report
The clue surfaced in the Guardia Civil barracks at As Pontes.
A commentary made by the station commander captured our attention. Several of the Benemérita's outposts had rceived word from Madrid instructing them to look into the UFO wave and prepare confidential reports. Although the Guardia Civil's Public Information Office denied the subject officially, we had already learned of the existence of several official UFO reports.
After many trips, meetings and arrangements with the Guardia Civil's high command, we managed to secure the original documentation of many reports by April 1996. The first page of each report was stamped CONFIDENTIAL. All of them illustrate the preparer's concern for the social upheaval being created by the UFO sightings among the civilian population. The report prepared by the Guardia Civil station in Guitiriz on March 18, destined to the 612th Commandancy in Lugo, was particularly eloquent, as it described the experiences of Andrés Landeira, the bricklayer whose car was inexplicably levitated some 30 feet off the ground.
The report also includes other UFO incidents reported to the Gutiriz barracks during that time period: the most interesting of them discusses a concentration of 200 people who went to the bridge where Landeira had his experience in hopes of seeing a UFO. The contact experience, as could well be expected, did not go beyond sightings of shimmering Venus. Yet the state's security apparatus remained more concerned about the social impact than the sightings themselves, the power of a "saucer psychosis" affecting the Galician population's minds.
This concern is also manifested in another report, which was also prepared at the 612th Commandery and dated February 21st. Its content is clearly displayed on the first page's heading -- Subject: 3.4.1. Regarding luminous atmospheric phenomena. This report discussed the sightings reported by the residents of Monforte de Lemos during the month of February. In this instance, popular response to the phenomenon was also troubling to the Guardia Civil. But of all the official reports to which we have gained access, the most interesting among them, bar none, is the one prepared by the Guardia Civil station at Friol on March 24th. It details a number of UFO sightings produced in this Galician region, particularly the experience lived by José Manuel Castro on March 7th.
An Alien Landing?
We reached the town of Ferrerías (Friol) shortly after the parties responsible for the official investigation had left the area. In this manner we were able to see the surprising details of the case for ourselves.
Everything started before midnight on March 6, at 23:00 hours. María Fe Pena Ceide, owner of the Cantina de Retorta bar some distance away from the José Manuel Castro residence, saw a UFO. "I went to take the garbage out," she said, "and there it was, over those trees." Nearly an hour later, she went out again and saw the same object, "looking larger than the full moon, in a different location, this time directly over José Manuel's house."
At 00:15 hrs., José Manuel Castro noticed a strange glow penetrating through his window. He went outside his isolated home and was able to see a glowing sphere in whose interior could be seen the silhouetted outlines of three or four humanoids. José Manuel had never seen anything like it before, but there had been talk of such things throughout Galicia for many weeks.
Fearing that he would not be believed, he got in his car and drove to his brother's house. Yet despite all his efforts, the latter would not get out of bed to look at the UFO. This last point was confirmed by the brother himself.
When José Manuel returned home, the sphere remained fixed in the same place. Curiosity getting the better of him, he took a flashlight and began to flash signals at the UFO. "Baixade, baixade! (Come down, come down!)" he shouted. Sara, the owner of the nearest house, confirmed that she didn't see the UFO that evening, although she did hear José Manuel shouting "baixade!" outside.Then the thing came down.
When the farmer noticed that the sphere was plunging downward, he was gripped by panic and ran into his house, barricading himself behind a window, from which he was able to see the object land on his farm -- only 100 feet from the house. But the most incredible detail, according to Castro, is that a luminous "walkway" emerged from the side of the craft and that three small ufonauts descended from the craft. Scared out of his wits, Castro hid under his bed until dawn.
The Guardia Civil's official report confirms the existence of "strange footprints larger than a cow's" in the field trodden upon by the humanoids. We were able to confirm this point ourselves, since we made plaster casts of the alleged ufonauts' prints.