Friday, October 09, 2015

Mexico: The First UFO Photos Were Taken in Zacatecas, 1883

Source: Ana Luisa Cid and Planeta UFO
Date: 10.08.2015

Mexico: The First UFO Photos Were Taken in Zacatecas, 1883

*** In the 19th Century, this state was a national and international pioneer in matters of astronomy and had two of Mexico's first astronomical observatories ***

The first photographs of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in world history were taken from Zacatecas and the Mexico's first weather forecasts were issued from here, says astronomer Alejandro Muñoz.

The president of the Zacatecas Astronomical Society recalls that in the 19th century, this state was the national and international pioneer in matters of astronomy and had two of Mexico's first astronomical observatories. Both sites were managed by José Arbol y Bonilla, the first surveying engineer to graduate from the Instituto Literario de García, currently the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas (UAZ), where he also taught.

This native of Zacatecas undertook the task of coordinating the donation of the state's first telescope from the French government, as well as the equipment for the weather observatory installed in Cerro La Bufa, Muñoz adds.

The president of the Zacatecas Astronomical Society explains that France delivered the telescope to the university in 1882, to study the transit of Venus across the Sun. For this reason, it was installed in the observatory that today bears the name of Manuel Rios Herrera.

It was with this telescope that Arbol y Bonilla captured and photographed the world's first UFO images in 1883, although it was later ascertained that they were not flying saucers, nor had anything to do with extraterrestrial fantasies. They were the residue of a comet, states the investigating astronomer.

In turn, Gloria Eleana Espinoza Valdez, manager of the UAZ observatory and the French telescope for the past 11 years, reminds us that on December 6th of this year, [the telescope] will have been in service for 133 years. Despite its age, the telescope offers perfect views of distant heavenly bodies such as the moon, planets and stars.

Zacatecas offered two advantages over other locations that influenced the French donation. Its elevation above sea level is in excess of 2800 meters (9800 feet) and its semi-arid climate enable a perfect view of the stars.

Located in the Unidad Academica de Ingenieria Topográfica of the public university, the observatory and the telescope are still operating and in service from 20:00 to 22:00 hours. The facilities are used for educational purposes, not only for students but the public at large, and particular for children, in order to introduce them astronomy, says José de Jesús García Lara, coordinator of Topographic Engineering. The public catalogue of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) only recognizes 11 observatories in the country as official, two of which are in Zacatecas: the UAZ's Manuel Rios Herrera telescope and the Jose Arbol y Bonilla telescope, property of the state.
Zacatecas also had the country's first weather observatory, located at Cerro de La Bufa and which for years provided weather forecasts for the entire country, warding off climate-related disasters.

Sources: and

NOTE: Researcher Leopoldo Zambrano Enriquez has called our attention to another of the possibilities suggested by the Zacatecas Astronomical Society, and we quote:

"Mr. Bonilla's sighting is very interesting and one that is not easy to explain. The dates given - August 12 and 13 - immediately bring to mind the shooting stars at the time, but it would be odd if these had not been seen in Mexico and Puebla as well. Could they have been birds? We have closely examined the photograph we reproduce in Fig. 119: the black oval shape, which is preceded and followed by thin wakes. Its length is 0.9 millimeters and its width is between 0.6 to 0.7 millimeters. The solar diameter is 66 millimeters (the sun is not in focus, but the object is). Beyond the sun, the traces appear to be shining. We tend to believe that these objects are birds, insects or suspended dust. In any event, they are objects belonging to our own atmosphere."

[Translation (c) 2015 Scott Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology, with thanks to Guillermo Giménez, Planeta UFO and Ana Luisa Cid]