Monday, May 14, 2012

Follow-Up: The A Graña UAV (Spain, 1966)

Follow-Up: The A Graña UAV (Spain, 1966)
By Scott Corrales

Our friend and colleague Angel Rodriguez, director of Spain’s GEIFO organization, has sent us an update on the fascinating story involving the 1966 account of the UFO that turned out to be a UAV – of sorts. Angel brings to our attention a three minute clip aired on Televisión de Galicia (TVG) on the remarkable incident, bearing the title “Ovni recuperado polo exército” (UFO recovered by the army) and featuring an interview with the eyewitness who actually managed to see the recovered object nestled saftely inside one of the color-coded tunnels deep in the cliffside, surrounded by armed guards.

Juan Daniel Araoz, the witness, says the following: “It had the aspect of a flying saucer, as commonly described, and must have measured some twelve meters in diameter more or less, and had lights that went on and off, green, red and yellow, intermittently. It flew over the area slowly, remained in sight for some twenty, twenty-five minutes, and then slowly made its way toward [the town of] Bazán, and from there to the mouth of the ría.”

The object at some point plunged into the ocean and was subsequently recovered by fishermen, who hauled it back to shore, only to have it confiscated by the military.

Araoz, however, was able to see the object after it was under custody.

“A sailor, at the instructions of his commander, took me to the tunnels, an impressive series of tunnels, because that place is a naval base, full of ammunition, and then when we reached a room, he suddenly told me: “it’s this.” That’s when I saw, in fact, the color of the object that I’d seen, a yellowish color. To my astonishment, I saw the writing “NASA” followed by some numbers underneath. I was stunned, since I was a believer in the presence of extraterrestrial flying saucers.”

This discoidal craft does not match any of the known UAVs or drones in use from 1960 to 1970: Beech AQM-37 Jayhawk, target (1961), QH-50 DASH, attack (torpedo launch),Ryan Model 147/AQM-34 series Fire Fly and Lightning Bug, reconnaissance (1962), Northrop M/BQM-74A Chukar, target, decoy (1964), Lockheed D-21, reconnaissance (1964), Ryan AQM-91 Firefly, reconnaissance (1968) and the BQM-90, target (1970). All of these models had wings.

So what was the mysterious NASA-identified vehicle that crashed into Galician waters in 1966? A piece of Soviet technology captured by the military and tested overseas? A relic of Nazi aeronautics being tested for unknown properties? Until the file on A Graña is released, the field for speculation remains wide open.

Addendum: Only a few hours after posting this item, Angel Rodriguez sent us a photograph of the entrance to Tunnel No.3 (covered by a color-coded door, this one green) with some very interesting commentary about Spain's nuclear ambitions during the Franco years. It would appear that considerable uranium enrichment took place in underground facilities such as these, and that the government had access to (U.S. supplied) Nike-Hercules missiles. Unconfirmed reports suggested that this nuclear force would have been used in the Sahara against the Green March - a chilling prospect. Here is the photo in question: