Galán Vázquez
26 min readFeb 8, 2021

The best UFO case ever

An unidentified object forced a commercial aircraft of the TAE company (flight TAE-297) to make an emergency landing and later forced a Scramble to intercept a Mirage F1 of the Spanish Air Force.
It all started when the Supercaravelle plane with 109 passengers on board, making the Austria Tenerife route, took off from its stopover in Palma de Mallorca. It was then that radio signals began to be received on the 121.5 Mhz channel (channel for SOS signals) that did not correspond to Morse code. Given the strangeness of this signal, the flight pilot Francisco Javier Lerdó de Tejada, with more than 14 years of experience, consults with the Control Tower and they confirm that the Madrid Alert and Rescue Service is also receiving this strange signal and which comes from 40 miles to the Northwest of Valencia, a point that is in the middle of the flight path of the TAE Supercaravelle.

File: @galanvazquez

The captain then decides to turn off the lights to pay more attention to the exterior, and that is when the flight mechanic, Francisco Javier Rodríguez, sees strange red lights to the left of the plane. The commander then initiates communication with the Barcelona control center.
In the recording, it is specified by the commander that these red lights were chasing flight TAE-297, a fact that they could not confirm from the radar, but it was observed by ground personnel using binoculars. It is then that the panic of both Commander Lerdó de Tejada and the Air Traffic Control personnel is confirmed.
From the Military Radar of the Torrejón de Ardoz base (Madrid) they did not register any signal or unknown flight, however, around 00:42 in the morning the Scramble siren sounded at the Los Llanos base (Albacete), and a Mirage F1 piloted by Captain Fernando Cámara was taking off on an interception mission, but without information about previous incidents with the TAE-297. As soon as he began to fly over Valencia, Captain Fernando Cámara began to hear the signal through the emergency channel and to spot the red lights. After chasing these lights for 1 hour and a half, he has to land after checking that he no longer has fuel.

It is not the first time that UFO observations have been produced in this sector of Spanish airspace. File: @galanvazquez


The best UFO case ever

Extraordinary research article taken from the Facebook page of the Manises Air Base Air Force Veterans Association @aveabam · Armed Forces

By Bruno Cardeñosa

Despite the time elapsed, the Manises case file remains open. And it is logical: we are facing the most complete and complex episode in Spanish ufological history. A fact that, roughly, we could summarize as follows: a huge UFO caused the emergency landing of a passenger plane in Valencia; Forty people, from the ground, observed strange lights flying over the airport; A combat hunting chased three strange flying artifacts for almost two hours …

Days later, while an official commission was investigating the event, another Spanish war pilot was chasing an immense UFO and several of these devices flew over Madrid with such impudence that an authentic air conflict over the capital could be provoked. And all this, within 17 days.

More than two decades have passed, and the events that occurred then not only continue to be considered the most perplexing of all that Spanish ufology has provided, but the researchers continue, with the controversy of a series of phenomena at all points, in our opinion, inexplicable.

The Manises episode will serve the lay reader to get an idea of the magnitude and spectacularity of the UFO phenomenon. Without further delay, let’s delve into the analysis of this event.

Image: Fourth Millennium

“I prefer not to continue with this traffic that is following me”
“No IV Fleet aircraft or any US Navy ship were in the area during the incident,” the USAF’s top official in Spain was quick to explain in writing four days after a Super-Caravelle aircraft from the disappeared TAE company, with 109 passengers on board, was forced to land at the Valencian airport of Manises (Valencia) a few minutes after taking off from Son San Joan (Mallorca) heading to Tenerife. The events, as I said before, occurred on 11 November 1979.
In fact, they started two hours before the takeoff of the aforementioned flight, when the Madrid Alert and Rescue Service reported on the existence of an alarm radio signal emitting on the 121.5 frequency about 70 kilometers northeast of Valencia, in the Mediterranean .

The odyssey could have remained in that, in mere anecdote. But the question of the TAE pilot, Javier Lerdo de Tejada, a few hours after 11 at night, asking for information about unidentified traffic flying in a converging course, in short, in the direction of the plane, caused the alarms. He was also listening to the strange radio signal through the emergency channel.
The nightmare would last an endless eight minutes. During that time, the jumbo-sized artifact, with two intense red lights on each side, bounced up and down from the plane, moving back and forth to the dangerous 200-meter distance of the Super-Caravelle.
Fearing the worst, the pilot made a drastic decision:
-I do not continue, with this traffic that follows me I prefer not to continue! Lerdó de Tejada exclaimed.

“It is much faster than us and it is getting closer and closer. I’m going to Valencia! ». This phrase is already part of the history of ufology in Spain. It is pronounced by the pilot Fernando Lerdo de Tejada, commander of a flight between Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife that on the night of November 11 to 12, 1979 had to make an emergency landing at Manises airport when he was followed by red lights that they caused real dread. The Valencia workers also saw them.

No one at the Barcelona Control Center, which centralized all communications during the incident, contested the commander’s decision. After all, those 109 passengers, mostly Austrian tourists, depended on it.
While all this was happening when the plane was flying over the Mediterranean, the radar operators of the Torrejón Air Base (Madrid) searched their screens for the unidentified intruder but he did not appear anywhere. Of course, the Benidorm military radar located, during all that time, up to 5 unidentified echoes flying over the area at a height of approximately 10 kilometers. The Levante was experiencing a true “invasion” …

Manises airport Valencia. Image: Google Earth Pro

Whatever it was, something strange and physical was violating Spanish airspace and no one questioned the commander’s risky decision.
Nor did Miguel Morlán, acting director of the Valencian airport, because he and 40 employees of the facilities came to observe up to three UFOs near the facilities, one of them so close that the operators, believing that it was a plane, lit The lights of the runways were flashing … but the strange spherical object flew up when it seemed that it intended to land.

In short, an aircraft of unknown origin had boarded a passenger plane and had been placed on the runways of an airport for joint civil and military use. In case there were doubts, to all the visual testimonies we had to add the radar detection of several UFOs over the Spanish sky.
The challenge on the part of the crew of those devices was served. This is how they understood it at the Combat Air Command in Madrid, where they accepted the “affront” and ordered the take-off of an interception fighter — a scrambe — from Los Llanos Air Base (Albacete).
At 12:42 pm, on November 12, a Mirage F-1 piloted by Captain Fernando Cámara was rising above the Levante skies, oblivious to the nature of its mission. I would never forget her …

A fighter launches into pursuit of the UFO
Already in flight, Pegaso (a military code name given to the Torrejón operations center from which all Spanish airspace is monitored) reported what was happening and the generals who controlled the situation asked the military pilot to prepare the lighthouse- police and weapons.
By then, Camera had already assumed that this was neither training nor a joke, even though neither his eyes nor the sophisticated on-board infrared radar detected anything unusual in sight. But yes to the ears …
Suddenly, a “siren blast” rang through each and every radio channel on the plane as Pegasus detected an UFO heading off in the direction of Africa. At that time, the officers who were at the forefront of the operations forced the Camera to head right towards the place where according to the radar the UFO was. At a speed close to that of sound, the Mirage F-1 headed toward the air intruder. The “dance” began …

Los Llanos Air Base (Albacete) Image: Google Earth Pro

From that moment, the UFO or UFOs seemed to play with the Spanish Miraje F1, forcing Fernando Cámara to head from one point to another in the country. At almost the same time, the interferences grew louder and louder. Just as they began to decline, the radar detected a new UFO over Valencia. “Go to that area,” they told Fernando Camera.
There it was: the object was bell-shaped and sequentially changed color, green, red, white … As it approached, the screeching siren reentered its hooves and the mysterious object accelerated at prodigious speed until it disappeared into the distance . .
Previously, the unidentified activated their attack systems, blocking those of the sophisticated F-1, which could not capture it in its infrared equipment, as if that object did not use heat to move.
The pilot lost sight of the UFO for a very short time. In Pegasus, restless and nervous, they registered something strange again:

“Towards Sagunto there is another … a tall object”, they dictated to Fernando Cámara, who at that moment was seeing in the distance the object that he had sighted at the height of Valencia at the same time that another UFO was flying over Sagunto. And they asked him to go there.
The film was repeated again: radar gap, monstrous acceleration, blocking and color changes. Minutes later, a new UFO appeared on the screens that forced the pilot to travel again the eastern half of the Peninsula. He chased the intruder to Mahón, but without success. Could not identify it. He saw it, indeed he saw it, and, again, it blocked him, in such a way that if he had acted otherwise, Captain Cámara would have thought, without a doubt, that it was an affront to war. After an hour and a half of chase, the Mirage F-1 turned on the red fuel light. Kerosene ran out. And, logically, the return to the Los Llanos Air Base was made mandatory.
When he was already heading his Mirage towards the La Mancha capital, the mysterious unidentified object “tail block” on the hunt. If it had been an airplane, and we had been going through a period of war, that would have ended the beginning of an aerial combat. But behind the challenging and provocative attitude of the UFO there seemed to be no offensive attitude. With the shock installed on his body, Fernando Cámara landed after an hour and a half of an unusual mission.

While the pilot was requesting landing permits, the civil air traffic control of Manises requested the dispatch of military aircraft from the Air Force to identify these lights. At around 12:40 a.m., a Mirage F-1 fighter from Wing 14 took off on a scramble mission (air interception alert) from the nearby Los Llanos Air Base (Albacete) Simulated image: @galanvazquez

The official investigation

The morning of November 12 was hectic in Manises. The comments were bustling and the movement was unusual, while the transport minister, Sánchez Terán, inaugurated the civil sector of the airport. The ruler, logically, was interested in the history of the UFO, whose presence in the skies would become a matter of hours in the news of the first magnitude.
The military probably would have liked to keep everything that had happened the night before secret. But it was impossible. And it is logical: the odyssey had been carried out by so many people that the rumors began to circulate the same night.

A Mirage F1 took off on an air interception alert piloted by the then captain Fernando Cámara, with the aim of identifying the phenomenon.

The situation could be described as serious from different points of view. After all, national airspace was violated with impunity and a plane with 109 passengers had been diverted from its route. Logically, the authorities looked for solutions and, for this, it was necessary to follow the usual protocol to open proceedings:
“A TAE plane landed in an emergency due to the dangerously close presence of an unidentified object. Proceedings have been initiated,” the colonel-chief of the Valencia Air Sector wrote to his superior in Madrid that morning. This, in turn, brought the facts to the attention of Agustín Rodríguez Sahagún, then Minister of Defense.

UFO incidents in the area. Image: Google Earth Pro

And, coinciding with the first lights of November 13, a judge-instructor of the III Air Region arrived from Zaragoza to question the witnesses and seek an explanation for an event that had transpired causing a tremendous impact on Spanish public opinion.
The official report of the case remained secret for 15 years until its declassification on July 29, 1994. Despite having 142 pages, the confidential information offered to the public is incomplete. For example, the reports of Fernando Cámara, the pilot who chased UFOs all over Levente, are missing. However, the official investigator, after noting that “the seriousness and good judgment of the witnesses is beyond doubt,” said in his report, signed on November 28 of that same year, that after analyzing the facts, “the need to consider the hypothesis that there is a ship of unknown provenance powered by unknown power. “
In very few of the official investigations carried out by the Spanish Air Force can such decisive conclusions be read: “unknown flying object” and “unknown energy”.

In addition, the official report of the case also includes other testimonies that prove the presence of unidentified lights that night over Spain. It also includes a poor-quality copy of a strange photograph taken around 2.30 in the morning of that same night from November 11 to 12 by the mechanic Pep Climent in Sóller (Mallorca) in which an object appears emerging from the sea.
The history of the negatives of that image is unusual. Days after the photograph was obtained, Pep Climent was visited by several Air Force officers. One of them was the captain who was in charge of the official investigations into the events that occurred on November 11. The military asked the witness to deliver the negatives of the UFO image, to which Climent could not refuse. Logically, life was not going to be complicated by a simple photograph of an unknown phenomenon.
The confiscation of the photographs clearly illustrates that the Army went to great lengths to put all the information related to the Manises UFO in order.

In the early morning hours of November 11–12, 1979, Pep Climent, a resident of the town of Soller (Mallorca. Spain), obtained two photographs of an unidentified flying object. Shortly before, also over the Mediterranean, a passenger plane was forced to land rather than at the Valencia Manises airport in the proximity of another UFO.

The seriousness of the events — the upper echelons estimated — demanded it. And the unknown nature of the Unidentified sighted that day as well. Obviously, Spanish society did not know of the official investigation, which thanks to the media was informed of what happened but suffered from the lack of transparency of the Army on the matter. It is important to remember that in March of that same year 1979, the Board of Chiefs of the General Staff had elevated to the category of “reserved matter” everything related to the subject of UFOs.
And although from 1992 the Spanish Air Force was forced to declassify some reports on UFOs, including the one related to the case at hand, confidentiality about the enigma continues.
The apparent transparency of the Hispanic authorities encouraged Pep Climent to write in 1995 to the Air Operative Command, the military body that has managed the declassification of the reports, to request the Army to return the negatives. The response was discouraging: “There is no record that the Army has disposed of those images.”
The reply revealed to the authorities that, despite a whopping 16 years having passed since then, they seem to want to keep secret some aspects of the episode that we are analyzing. He explained why.
At the time that Climent requested the return of the images, the researcher based in Mallorca Carmen Domenech located some revealing images. He found them diving into the archives of a local newspaper. The shots, however, were never published. Partly because no photojournalist had taken them. They had been obtained — presumably somehow leaked from military sources — by an editor who closely followed the story.

Soldiers from the Spanish Air Force visited Soller and, after locating Pep Climent, interrogated him, confiscating the negatives. The “requisition” took place in the “Menfis” bar, in the presence of Juan Coll and other witnesses. Of course, these negatives were never returned to their rightful owner. Image: Juan José Benítez page
Image: Juan José Benítez page
Image: Juan José Benítez page
Image: Juan José Benítez page

The sequence shows how an official car stops a few meters from the door of Pep Climent’s commercial premises. Inside, several military officers dressed in uniform come out to meet the author of the UFO photographs. The sequence is completed with the delivery of the negatives to the officers. It is, therefore, irrefutable proof that the Air Force confiscated the images. Now, who fired the shots that immortalized the “operation”?
The clues point to the intelligence services, which may well have followed in the footsteps of the official investigators who carried out the 1979 secret investigation. That is: counter-espionage.
The importance of the Manises UFO
The event that occurred on November 11, 1979 has all the necessary ingredients to deserve the title of best case in Spanish ufological history.
Reasons, they exceed. Let’s see:
High level witnesses.
Both the TAE flight crew and the captain at the controls of the Mirage F-1 are more than prepared individuals to discern what is normal and what is abnormal in the skies. His technical and psychological preparation, and his meticulous studies in physics, astronomy, meteorology and astronautics are more than enough arguments to defend and postulate regarding the quality of the pilots as witnesses to UFO sightings. There is a reason why they are considered the highest-ranking observers …

Radar detection.
To the observations of the pilots it must be added that the military radars detected the presence of unknown objects in the sky. This fact confirmed that they were authentic solid artifacts endowed with a physical nature. Radars are hardly wrong. And less in this case, since detection on radar screens was preceded by visual observation.
Observers from the ground.
What was detected by radar, and what was visually captured by the pilots, was followed from the ground at different points in the Levante. In Manises Airport alone, more than four dozen people became witnesses to the events.
Smart behavior.
All the witnesses to the well-known Manises incident agree that the behavior of the UFO — or UFOs — was intelligent. Because of their movements, attitude and disposition, nothing else can be thought.
Unknown technology.
As the official judge-informant himself assured in his report, the UFO maneuvers denoted that they were endowed with a technology above that developed by human technique in 1979.
All these components, and many others, caused that the event of November 11, 1979 even reached the Congress of Deputies.
The socialist parliamentarian Enrique Múgica, well informed of the events of Manises, months after they happened, raised a parliamentary inquiry to the then government of the Union of the Democratic Center (UCD), asking about the nature of the device that caused the suspension of the APR flight. The question was never answered by the Defense Minister, Agustín Rodríguez Sahagún. However, a draft was drafted that would never be released.

Thanks to the official report of the case, we know that a four-page summary was prepared for the Government, but the document, inexplicably, was never published. Its contents were intended to subtly minimize the facts … However, the Air Force had already secretly stated that the event had been caused by an unknown object equipped with unknown technology.
It has been a constant in the Spanish government’s attitude towards UFOs since the 1960s: False explanations are offered to the public, while the enigma of the unidentified is discussed in secret.
Furthermore, and regarding the Manises case, the authorities also knew that a few days after the narration occurred, the UFOs continued to do their thing.
The wave continued in Spain.

The Mirage F-1 had to increase its speed to 1.4 mach to finally distinguish a frusto-conical shape similar to an inverted cup without the base, which changed color. Simulated image: @galanvazquez

Six days after the Manises case, around 5:20 pm on November 17, 1979, the Spanish military radars detected an unidentified echo over Motril (Granada) that caused an F-1 fighter to take off from the Los Llanos Air Base.
The pilot of the flight tried unsuccessfully to approach the huge object that according to the official report was made up of “three strong lights that form an isosceles triangle”. While trying to get closer to the UFO, he heard in his helmets through UHF channel 11 a childish voice of unknown origin saying: “Hello, how are you? Hello, hello …” The origin of that mysterious “inclusion” never could be explained “

According to the observation report, added to the secret file of the November 11 case, the army reactor “landed without incident in Albacete at 18.05”. However, as journalist and investigator JJ Benítez once explained to me for a television documentary, “when the pilot landed, livid, surprised, he saw how the rivets of the plane had literally jumped”, as if the fighter had been in the field of influence of an artifact that emits powerful energy. Some sources even claim that due to the emotional impact caused by the surprise of the UFO encounter, the Air Force captain required psychological support.

During that month, UFOs continued to be observed in almost all parts of the Peninsula. The high point of that wave reached around 1.30 a.m. on November 28. From different parts of Madrid, hundreds of witnesses observed a series of strange lights flying over the capital. “They are like two truncated pyramids,” said one of them through the SER microphones, which broadcast the observations live. In addition, the UFOs were photographed at the same time that the radio communications of Civil Protection and the Red Cross were rendered useless for no apparent reason.

The official report of the case assures that from the military radars of Villatobas (Toledo) and Calatayud (Zaragoza) three UFOs were detected over Madrid, which caused, at 4.30 in the morning, the emergency departure of a jet fighter from the Torrejón base that managed to get close to the UFOs, which were also detected on the radar screens of the fighter cockpit.

The episode could have been dramatic, because — using technological means — the UFO presented several electronic attack situations that were about to cause the jet fighter to open fire on the “intruder”. Without exaggeration: that night Madrid could have attended an authentic combat in the skies.

Events such as those reported are more than significant in showing how puzzling and fascinating the UFO mystery is. The Manises episode is so complex and complete that words and explanations are superfluous. It shows us that UFOs are serious business, requiring in-depth analysis and careful examination.

  • Note: This article is part of the book The UFO Invasion recently published by the Nowtilus publishing house in its collection La Puerta del Misterio.

The Manises Case: a UFO chase caused the emergency landing of a commercial plane in Valencia

Image: Fourth Millennium

Fernando Cámara, the first military man in Spain to investigate UFO cases, has recovered for ‘Cuarto Milenio the original uniform that he wore on the night of November 11, 1979. On that day a mysterious event changed the history of Spanish and world ufology and today today it still remains without an official explanation from the Air Force.

Base aérea de Los Llanos (Albacete) 12/11/1979, 00:42h. Despegue del Mirage F1. Imagen: Cuarto Milenio

A commercial plane left Salzburg with the intention of making a stopover in Palma de Mallorca and later arriving in Tenerife. But in mid-flight, the captain and the copilot decided to deviate from the established route and make an emergency landing in Manises, Valencia, stating that strange lights undetectable by the control were following the plane. Fernando Cámara, who was at the military academy, assures that they informed him with a siren while he was sleeping and had to leave in a hurry to get on the plane due to the anomaly observed in the airspace.

The mysterious object came to lock the Mirage F1, triggering its threat systems. Image: Fourth Millennium

Although at first he could not see anything, on the descent he caught a glimpse of a strange changing but not intermittent light. As he addressed her, the radar threat detector began to turn on causing Colonel Cámara’s astonishment. Furthermore, interference crept into the radio channel and, despite changing the frequency, the sound did not disappear.

The light was going away little by little and Fernando Cámara asked permission to accelerate so that he could see it up close. He claims that he could appreciate the shape of that mysterious light and it resembled a large transparent dome. Immediately, after a few seconds, the mysterious light retreated again, becoming a point of light again.

Image: Fourth Millennium (Recreation of the Radar room)
Image: Fourth Millennium (Recreation of the Radar room)

Unpublished statements by Lieutenant Colonel Fernando Cámara

Author: Miguel Ángel Ruiz for The critical eye Research Notebooks for Researchers
March 2014 №75

They say that great mysteries are like good wine: they get better with age. And is not for less. The more time passes, the more possible explanations about a phenomenon accumulate. Resisting them all is, without a doubt, a growing sign that we are facing something truly unusual. On January 19, I participated in a debate on the Fourth Millennium program on the UFO phenomenon. The debate included the participation of Colonel Fernando Cámara, the now famous Mirage F1 pilot who took off on a scramble mission in the Manises case. The opportunity to meet a living idol of Spanish ufology and my interest in the phenomenon of the unidentified, allowed me to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to investigate in more details about his sighting in the year 79. At the beginning of the presentation I began with my questions.
I took advantage of the meeting to contact him and conduct a telephone interview weeks later where I had the opportunity to expand the information we have on the Manises case. I would like to share my experience because I think that what he told me, well
deserves the attention of all lovers of ufology.

Commander Lieutenant Colonel Fernando Cámara. Image: Fourth Millennium

Besides, it has been a long time since I learned about the theory of researcher Paco Mañez about the Manises case, that is, if the origin of that unknown light was in the joint NATO maneuvers known as CRISEX-79. I presented this theory to Fernando Cámara and the following dialogue took place.

M.A.Ruiz: So is there a theory on the internet, that
says that the Manises UFO could be a subject
military of the NATO exercises of 79 …
Fernando Cámara: No! He answered flatly.
MA: No?
FC: No, no …!
MA: … and why?
FC: Well, because I also participated in
those exercises and this was something else.

That bluntness surprised me, so I tried to find out more.

The pilot received information about a new radar echo, which indicated that a new object, or perhaps the same, was over Sagunto. When he got close enough, the object sped up and disappeared again. Simulated image: @galanvazquez

FC: Manises were not the Americans. I know because
between April and June 1990 I was in the United States
doing a military intelligence course. That course
it was in the DIA, the American Defense Intelligence Agency. And it is in the DIA where the Americans keep all the material on “these” subjects… And when the Americans go there they already know perfectly who each one is. Each person who goes to the course has what is called a “sponsor”, someone who takes care of you. While there, my sponsor asked me if I didn’t mind going upstairs where they took the “strange” cases and answering some questions about my experience, so we went to a separate file … Although they didn’t show me physically, there they had a dossier with the Manises case. Which I think must be the information they had in the Spanish Air Ministry. They were asking me questions about my case and there they told me that for them, it was something truly unknown, and “that we were not
us ”(the Americans). Come on, they didn’t know what it was, it hadn’t been them and that’s why they asked me… And while there I asked them: hey, the other case, that UFO from the Canary Islands ….? Ah yes, we know what it is, that was us. “(He was referring to the famous UFO case caused by the Poseidon missiles of the Canary Islands of March 1976).

But this time, the radar warning detectors of the F-1 plane indicated that the plane was being illuminated or pointed by a foreign radar, specifically continuous wave like those used by anti-aircraft missiles. In military terms this is considered an aggressive operation. Simulated image: @galanvazquez

This is the most literal thing I remember. I’m not saying they are the same words but it is very approximate. I have preferred to transcribe the words that I remember, to summarize it myself, in order to have a more faithful version. Without however, the surprises that the cordial colonel, now retired from the air force, gave me do not end there. Another confession that he narrated is that sometimes, Spanish military pilots “played to make the UFO”.

FC: Yes, sometimes we would go out and do ‘the UFO’. The
Mirage had built-in powerful spotlights type
police who had no other planes at that time. Of
done, that’s why I left Los Llanos to look for the
object, because if someone had not come out of
Valencia. (I clarify to the readers that at that time
Valencia was also a military base and had fighters). AND
sometimes if you went a little low, you took off
engines, of course, so that it was not heard and you did
Burst with the spotlights, Pumbaa Pumbaa (said something like that)
and then, the next morning, we looked in the press to see if anyone had seen us! And in some
case if it sounds to me that something has come out in
press by Albacete that some locals had
observed lights that we were ourselves …

And this was his testimony. This has been one of the most exciting moments in my “ufological life”. At the end of the telephone interview, I took the opportunity to tell Cámara, before saying goodbye, that I had known him by hearsay for a long time and that his case was a reference. And of all that conversation, too brief I am afraid, Cámara pronounced a phrase that for me sums up a large part of current UFO currents. He said: “It’s that … people … tell me what I saw!” And so I tell, as faithfully as my memory allows, the Commander’s testimony about whether Manises could have a military origin.

The controller of the Manises UFO Incident speaks, testimony of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center.

Josep Guijarro exclusively presents the testimony of the Barcelona Flight Control Center controller. After 41 years of silence he talks about the most famous UFO incident in Spain.
The event in the MUFON database

Pedro Luis Abelló, thank you for taking our call and lending you this little questioning about this event, which is now 41 years old and which I suppose in your career as an air traffic controller you have not had the opportunity to live a similar adventure. -
Man like this adventure, no, but on several occasions we have received communications from pilots that he had unidentified objects nearby and that they gave him a little trouble.
The Manises thing was exceptional in that the unidentified objects could be seen flying around the Caravelle and they were seen from Valencia by the controller who was in the tower working and he saw how the plane was pouring fuel into the sea and they were turning it around.
That is a part that is not known why all this came out. It didn’t come out of us. But it came out of … some recordings at one point And some things came out that did not catch all the incidents that occurred on that day, which was a very funny incident.

New data provided thanks to the good work of David Cuevas and Manuel Carballal

Record of the recordings of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center. Pedro Luis Abelló JK297
Record of the recordings of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center. Pedro Luis Abelló JK297
Record of the recordings of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center. Pedro Luis Abelló JK297
Record of the recordings of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center. Pedro Luis Abelló JK297
Record of the recordings of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center. Pedro Luis Abelló JK297
Record of the recordings of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center. Pedro Luis Abelló JK297
Record of the recordings of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center. Pedro Luis Abelló JK297
Record of the recordings of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center. Pedro Luis Abelló JK297
Record of the recordings of the controller of the Barcelona Flight Control Center. Pedro Luis Abelló JK297
Report of the Aviation Weapon Commander (ETS) Principal Director in the S.O.C. About the unknown object in the Valencia area
Report of the Aviation Weapon Commander (ETS) Principal Director in the S.O.C. About the unknown object in the Valencia area
Report of the Aviation Weapon Commander (ETS) Principal Director in the S.O.C. About the unknown object in the Valencia area
Report of the Aviation Weapon Commander (ETS) Principal Director in the S.O.C. About the unknown object in the Valencia area
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings
Record of AO-01 and PEGASO recordings

Observation of the Lieutenant Colonel of the Air Force (Military of Seville with 31 years of experience):

Date: 11/11/1979, 9:00 p.m. Clear and cloudless night.

Geographic description of the area: 39º 29´N CCº 26´Oeste.
Carretera Valencia Madrid Km. 350 towards Madrid

From the inside of his car, the Lieutenant Colonel observes a powerful light at 20º on the horizon, moving at 270º in its trajectory, disappearing into the horizon and hiding behind the buildings of the Air Base.

(Handwritten account by the Lieutenant Colonel of everything he remembers from his UFO observation)
Coming from Valencia towards the Base I observe a light source at the airport 20º above the horizon. He considered that it belonged to an airplane in flight. When observing its lack of movement, he estimated that it could be a planet that, due to the visibility conditions of the day, was observed in a very particular way, abandoning the observation. After a curve in the road, when trying to locate the luminous point, it was observed that it had moved about 50º to the left, maintaining the same height above the horizon and the same size, remaining stationary. He abandoned the observation as the focus was hidden by the Base buildings.

Transcription and handwritten account by the Lieutenant Colonel of everything he remembers of his UFO observation

Handwritten account of the Commercial Pilot Commander Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada with 14 years of flight experience

Situation and details.
The flight procedure was normal. I took off from Palma at 21:47 Z and we passed through the vertical of Ibiza at 22:02 Z. Two minutes after passing through the vertical of IBZ (NBD), the Barcelona control required me to tune the frequency of 121.5 Mc. to try to identify a radio beacon. I carried out the verification and the signal could be heard, but could not be identified.

At 22:08 we saw some red lights at 10 or 15 NM at 10 a.m. from our position and at a lower height. At that time we were at 23,000 Ft. I assumed it was normal traffic, but it did not have a rotatory. This traffic began to approach at high speed up and down, overtaking and trailing, always at high speed.

I asked Control Barcelona and they told me that they had not reported any traffic and that the secondary radar had nothing on the screen. At my request I consult with the primary redar. Eight minutes after seeing that traffic, it got dangerously close to the plane (I already had the passenger tied and the VLC VOR tuned) and I made a divergent maneuver to the right and began a descent of approximately 5000/minute. After approximately 30 seconds and descending from 29,000 Ft. To about 26,000 Ft, I lost the object of view, and Control Barcelona informed me that I had unidentified traffic half a mile from my position and 9,000 Ft. Lower than me.

At 23,000 the traffic got next to me and followed my path until about 30 NM from VLC and at level 150, when I lost sight of that traffic at approximately 7 o’clock from my position.

I ran a check on 121.5 Mc. and I stopped hearing the signal before received. I also carried out the corresponding maneuvers for fuel consumption due to excess weight in the landing in Valencia and when I landed I made the corresponding report to the airport authorities. During the wait time on VLC I could not see anything about unknown traffic.

Pilot Commander Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada on the left, next to him the Second Pilot Commander Ramón Zuazu and the rest of the crew. Photo of Adolfo Marrero, La Provincia
Statement from the pilot Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada about his UFO observation or unknown air traffic
Statement from the pilot Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada about his UFO observation or unknown air traffic
Statement from the pilot Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada about his UFO observation or unknown air traffic


FILE NUMBER: 791111/791117/791128
DATE: November 11, 17 and 28, 1979

Letter from the Chief General of MACOM and 1ª R.A. to the Major General of the USAF on unknown flying objects in the Valencia area
Informative note (Flying Object seen in Valencia and Barcelona)
Informative note (Flying Object seen in Valencia and Barcelona)
The case of Manises in 1979 motivated the first parliamentary interpellation, from the PSOE to the UCD government on UFO observation



Galán Vázquez

Painter, Graphic Designer, Seville & Barcelona Spain, Member of the Center for Interplanetary Studies of Barcelona. Research Correspondent at UFO-SVERIGE