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UAP on the USA’s sights

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 25 may 2021 13:12 por Plataforma Sites Dgac

Since the New York Times began leaking in December, 2017, several videos and previously unknown information about sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena by US military personnel, the issue has once again been covered by the mainstream media before the imminent publication next June of a Pentagon report requested by Congress.
American journalist, researcher and author Leslie Kean.

Skeptic and UFO videos and photographs' debunker Mick West.

A picture of a UAP video recorded by the Chilean Navy. Mick West and his colleagues think it's a commercial flight.

Former US intelligence official and current UFO public figure Luis Elizondo.

Jacques Fabrice Vallée, one of the world's most influential ufologists.

The cover of Jacques Vallée and Paola Leopizzi Harris' new book, in which they tell the story of the crash and retrieval of a UFO in the United States in 1945, almost two years before the well known Roswell case.
And in that context, one of the writings which has provoked more comments is a long article by journalist and writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus published by the New Yorker magazine on April 30, 2021.

For the piece, entitled How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously, the reporter interviewed several people involved in the investigation of UAP sightings, both believers and skeptics, and in the article he examined in some detail both recent and historical that have taken place since the beginning of the “contemporary UFO era” in June, 1947. 

New momentum 

After consecrating a few pages to provide the historical and political context in which the investigation of anomalous aerial phenomena has unfolded, the author focuses on the figure of Leslie Kean, an American journalist, researcher and writer to whom Lewis -Kraus credits for having caused a paradigm shift by publishing, together with Ralph Blumenthal and Helene Cooper, an article entitled “Bright auras and ‘black money’: the mysterious Pentagon UFO program,” which in its online version also included videos of UAP recorded by US Navy pilots.

Kean, who in August 2010 published the best-selling book UFO: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record, became seriously interested in the subject after reading a ninety-page report in 1999 known as “Cometa”, written by a dozen retired French generals, scientists and space experts, entitled “U.F.O.s and Defense: For What Must We Prepare Ourselves?”

In the now legendary Times article from December 2017, Kean and his collaborators revealed that the Pentagon had been running a secret program to investigate UAP between 2007 and 2012. On blogs and podcasts, ufologists began referring to “December 2017” as the moment when the taboo on the subject began to lift. Joe Rogan, a popular podcast host, has often mentioned the article, praising Kean's work for precipitating a “culture shift.” 

“We don't know what they are”

Since then, high-level officials have publicly admitted their bewilderment over UAP. 

In July, 2020, Senator Marco Rubio, the former acting chairman of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, spoke to CBS News about mysterious flying objects in restricted airspace. He said things like “We don't know what they are” and “It’s not ours”. In December, in a video interview with economist Tyler Cowen, former CIA Director John Brennan admitted that he didn’t quite know what to think: “Some of the phenomena we’re going to be seeing continues to be unexplained and might, in fact, be some type of phenomenon that is the result of something that we don’t yet understand and that could involve some type of activity that some might say constitutes a different form of life.”

In a recent interview with Fox News, former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe stressed that the issue should not be taken lightly. “When we talk about sightings, we are talking about objects that have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery, that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain, movements that are hard to replicate, that we don’t have the technology for, or are travelling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom”, he said. 

Link with CEFAA 

According to the journalist who wrote the New Yorker magazine’s article, “Kean is certain that U.F.O.s are real. Everything else —what they are, why they’re here, why they never alight on the White House lawn— is speculation.”

Once it was clear that UFOs would be her life’s work, Kean chose to focus on “the really good cases” that had been reported since the closing of Project Blue Book, the official US Air Force UAP investigation between 1952 and 1969, including those involving professional observers, such as pilots, and ideally multiple witnesses; the ones that have been substantiated with photographs or radar records; and especially those in which the experts had eliminated other interpretations.

According to the New Yorker chronicler, after the publication of her book Kean became a well-known figure in the international UFO circuit and had a cordial relationship with the former CEFAA team, led by Chilean Air Force General (R) Ricardo Bermúdez. Taking advantage of that, the author began publishing CEFAA cases in the digital medium Huffington Post, showing “signs of agitation and evangelism,” according to Lewis-Kraus. 

In March, 2012, Kean wrote an article titled “UFO Caught on Tape Over Santiago Air Base,” a CEFAA case known locally as “Base Aérea El Bosque”, to which Kean attributed an unknown origin. However, skeptics and critics pointed out that the unidentified object was most likely an insect.

Chilean Navy’s video

Besides Leslie Kean, Gideon Lewis-Kraus also highlights in the article the figure of Mick West, an English video game developer turned UFO skeptic, based in California, in the USA.

After selling his video game company and “retiring before age 40,” West has devoted his time and efforts to studying allegedly unexplained cases and offering mundane explanations for several of them. 

In 2013, Mick West founded Metabunk, an online forum where like-minded colleagues examined anomalous phenomena. On January 6, 2017, another skeptic drew his attention to a Huffington Post article by Leslie Kean. In the article, titled “Groundbreaking UFO Video Just Released by Chilean Navy,” the author wrote in detail about an “exceptional nine-minute” recording filmed with infrared cameras from a Chilean Navy helicopter.

West watched the video with an immediate sense of recognition. He posted the link to Skydentify, a Metabunk subforum, positing his theory that the strange formations in the video were “aerodynamic contrails,” which he was used to seeing as planes flew over his home in Sacramento. By January 11, the community had determined that the alleged UFO actually was IB6830, a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Santiago to Madrid. 

Ufology’s messiahs

Besides detailing at some length very prominent USA figures’ involvement in the investigation of UAP, such as tycoon Robert Bigelow and senators Harry Reid and Marco Rubio, Lewis-Kraus highlights Luis Elizondo, currently one of the most prominent names in the UFO field for having been an intelligence official who worked in the secret Pentagon program to later work in the controversial private group To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science and host TV shows on the subject for The History Channel. 

According to Lewis-Kraus, Elizondo resigned his position in the Pentagon’s secret program (known as AATIP) out of frustration for being blocked to brief about his work to Defense Secretary, General James Mattis.

A day later, in early October, 2017, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Christopher K. Mellon organized a meeting between Leslie Kean with Hal Puthoff, a scientist and paranormal investigator, Jim Semivan, a retired CIA official, and Luis Elizondo. 

With the exception of Kean, all of them later joined To the Stars Academy, the private group led by former lead singer of the rock group Blink-182 Tom DeLonge. At the end of 2020, Elizondo, Mellon and Puthoff left the group, in which only Jim Semivan still remains.

It was Leslie Kean’s bond with Luis Elizondo and his associates that made possible the leak of official videos that began at the end of 2017, according to the author of the North American publication. 

Gideon Lewis-Kraus spoke with a former Pentagon official who told him that the government program that Leslie Kean revealed to the public had little consequence compared to what it initiated. “Widespread fascination with the idea that the government cared about U.F.O.s had inspired the government at last to care about U.F.O.s.,” wrote the chronicler.

Thus, in April, 2019 the US Navy revised its official guidance for pilots, encouraging them to report the UAP sightings without fear of contempt or censorship and in August, 2020, the undersecretary of Defense, David Norquist, publicly announced the existence of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) , which would be the entity responsible for issuing the report expected for June. 

Crashed UFOs? 

Near the end of his lengthy article, Lewis-Kraus said that Leslie Kean cited the work of Jacques Vallée, who has been working with Garry Nolan, a Stanford immunologist, to analyze materials allegedly recovered from unidentified objects dropped to the ground for a scientific publication.

Although Vallée did not want to issue statements for the columnist because he thought that could undermine the process of reviewing his paper by peers, in recent weeks he has captured the interest of UFO followers for a peculiar fact. 

For months, book sale sites such as Amazon have promoted the pre-sale of the book The Best Kept Secret by Jacques Vallée, which would supposedly hit the market on May 4, 2021. However, the book was pulled out of the Internet a few days before its release.

In the book, which was promoted as containing important revelations from the analysis of materials allegedly from crashed UAP, Vallée would present the case of an unidentified flying object that allegedly crashed in the state of New Mexico in 1945, two years before the famous Roswell incident, in the same state.

A revealing book? 

For that, the book would have the statements of two witnesses. 

Days after the disappearance of the book from the Internet, it was learned that it would be edited again to add a third witness to that case. But it is not all: the book changed its cover, the word “Trinity” was added at the beginning of its title and journalist Paola Leopizzi Harris as a co-author.

All of this caught the attention of UFO scholars, especially because in previous years Vallée has been critical to stories of alleged crashed UFOs, such as Roswell. Anyway, some doubts may begin to clear now, because the book was finally published on May 13, 2021, a couple of weeks before the date when the expected Pentagon’s report is due.

CEFAA, serving the aeronautical system and the citizenry during the Covid-19 Pandemic

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 31 mar 2021 10:49 por Plataforma Sites Dgac

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, CEFAA, has worked 365 days a year, receiving reports from the arid lands and Northern highlands, islands and archipelagos to the frozen Chilean Antarctic.
One of CEFAA's specialist advisors during a work meeting at the Committee's offices with collaborators.

A specialist and collaborators study a case at CEFAA's Operations Center, in Cerrillos.
In a normal year, this organism received an average of a hundred reports regarding the most different situations of sightings with photographic images, videos or accounts of situations related to the observation of strange things in the skies.

That number of cases increased by almost 300% during 2020, increasing from 121 reports received in 2019 to 350 cases last year.

The image shows the number of cases received in the last five years.

The image shows the evolution in the number of reported cases that were investigated between 2016 and 2020.

Increase in foreign cases

Due to the international image that CEFAA has projected in the last decade and in 2019 and 2020, the Committee has received numerous reports of sightings from abroad, all of which have been dealt with according with its jurisdiction and regulations.

Between 2018 and 2020, a total of 46 sightings from countries of the Americas, Europe and Oceania were reported to CEFAA. Those reports represented 8% of the total received, but were not formally studied because our responsibility does not exceed the limits of the airspace controlled by Chile.

Between 2018 and 2020, reports from abroad represented an 8% of the total reports received by CEFAA.

This table shows the number and country of origin of the reports received by CEFAA between 2018 and 2020.

Approximately 59% of all foreign reports from the aforementioned period came from Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. Reports coming from the United States, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Venezuela accounted for approximately 22% of the foreign cases.

Reports received from abroad between 2018 and 2020.

Geographic distribution of the reports received from abroad between 2018 and 2020.

Outstanding researchers

The Committee for Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, CEFAA, an office from the Civil Aeronautics General Administration (DGAC), does an anonymous work of public service to citizens and the National Aeronautical System, investigating and publishing the results of its studies in order to support the safety of air operations.

Three researchers and an executive assistant work at CEFAA on a full time basis. Professionals from all units from the DGAC, from Arica to the Chilean Antarctic, also help as collaborators and advisors, as well as academics and representatives from the Armed Forces.

Among CEFAA’s external advisors there are pilots, engineers, geophysicists, astronomers, geographers, entomologists, ornithologists, medical doctors, physicists, biologists and image analysis’ experts, among others.

The Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena was created by DGAC Resolution No. 01599 dated October 3, 1997 signed by then Civil Aeronautics' General Director, Aviation General Gonzalo Miranda.

The legacy of greatness and generosity of a “nibelung”

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 25 feb 2021 7:51 por Plataforma Sites Dgac

Just over five months after his demise, on Saturday, February 20, 2021, there was a virtual presentation of a book that pays tribute to and highlights the figure of Luis Altamirano Cañoles, one of the pioneers of ufology in Chile, who humbly and almost anonymously collected around 3,000 cases published in the local press.
Chilean Army's Lieutenant General, pilot, researcher and writer Rodrigo Bravo Garrido along with his book El Legado del Nibelungo.

The cover of El Legado del Nibelungo, published by Editorial Digital.

The author and the honoree, Luis Altamirano Cañoles, a few years before his demise.
El Legado del Nibelungo (“The Nibelung’s Legacy”) is the third literary work of Chilean Army Lieutenant Colonel, pilot, researcher and writer Rodrigo Bravo Garrido, a 153-page book that highlights the lonely Luis Altamirano as a tremendously human and generous person, who selflessly shared with other scholars of the UFO phenomenon the information that he collected through several years of searching documents.

“He was a person who had greatness and generosity very rarely seen, not only in the ufological field, but I would say in general, in the society which we live in”, said the author. 

“'El Nibelungo’ nickname was given to him by (psychiatrist and researcher of alleged UFO abductions) Mario Dussuel, but with affection, because he knows what the history of the nibelungs means, that they were beings who guarded treasures,” explained Bravo in a conversation with CEFAA.

Short in height, with a face dominated by a prominent nose and protruding ears, Altamirano was always characterized by his simplicity and generosity as he helped with information to more than one generation of ufologists, and his physical appearance earned him the nickname “The Nibelung”, a reference to the dwarves from Germanic mythology who lived in the bowels of the Earth protecting gold and precious stones. He took the nickname with humor. 

“The conclusion is that Altamirano was able to read so much about ufology news articles that in the end he became a custodian of information, just as the nibelungs guarded treasures. For this reason, it goes hand in hand with the nickname, but not in a derogatory way,” said Lieutenant Colonel Bravo.

In 2010, Bravo co-authored along with Juan Castillo Cornejo the book Ufología Aeronáutica and in 2017 he published the book Los extraterrestres han muerto. 

A glance at Chilean ufology 

The presenter of the book was the well-known Chilean ufologist Rodrigo Fuenzalida Herrera, who said that “Rodrigo (Bravo) walks through various areas of the national ufology, inadvertently generating a kind of historiography of ufology in Chile.” 

“I think that if anyone also wants to know about previously unpublished stuff or aspects that are being part of a lost memory around the origin of ufology in Chile, it is vital to read El Legado del Nibelungo, added Fuenzalida.

Rodrigo Bravo said that “Altamirano was a bookworm, a person who in an absolutely silent and solitary work collected almost 3,000 cases, all from the Chilean press.”

The first part of the book is dedicated to reviewing the life of Luis Altamirano, who arrived in Santiago in 1965 at the age of 21 from Southern Chile and who in 1978 was one of the founding members of the CIO UFO group along with Luis Riquelme, Aquiles Castillo and Hugo Pacheco. In those pages the author also included data on the activities of UFO-Chile, a civil group and investigated UFO reports in the sixties and seventies, to which Luis Altamirano did not belong. 

Letters to a pioneer 

In the final part of the book, the author included around 15 letters written by people who knew Luis Altamirano, from renowned Chilean ufologists such as Sergio Sánchez, Diego Zúñiga and Raúl Núñez to volunteers and nuns who took care of him during the years that he lived in a home in the Las Rosas Foundation, after suffering a thrombosis in 2006.

The work also contains some photographs that portray different stages in the life of the honoree, who on November 25, 2009, published as co-author with journalist and writer Juan Guillermo Prado the book History of Ufology in Chile and also collaborated in the dossier “Ufology in Chile” coordinated by Diego Zúñiga and published in 2002 in Anomalía Foundation’s Cuadernos de Ufología, in Spain.

Are the published CIA UFO documents really new and relevant?

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 22 ene 2021 8:32 por Plataforma Sites Dgac

In a year that might break news on anomalous aerial phenomena due to an expected report from the Pentagon requested by the United States Congress, followers of the subject were surprised during the week of January 11 by the publication of documents previously declassified by the CIA.
The CIA UFO files collection is available worldwide at The Black Vault website.
The website The Black Vault, managed by researcher John Greenewald Jr., made available to the public hundreds of files declassified by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States in which it covers the subject, and that, according to the CIA, is the entire documentation that it has on the matter.

However, some scholars more familiar with ufology warn that it’s actually nothing new, but documents that had been available on the Internet for several years and that the only new development is that John Greenewald Jr. bought a CD with these files from the CIA in 2020 and published the new updated list of cases declassified by the Intelligence agency in The Black Vault. 

The Robertson Panel 

Virtually since the beginning of the contemporary “UFO age” in 1947, scholars have pointed to the alleged CIA interest in studying the phenomenon of unidentified flying objects. The files shared by John Greenewald Jr. date from the 1950s onwards and concern matters both within the United States and abroad. 

For instance, they include letters and memos written before and after the so called “Robertson Panel”, a group formed after the CIA called five renowned scientists in January 1953 to assess the “flying saucers” problem, headed by mathematician and physicist Howard P. Robertson. 

The “Robertson Panel” was a secret meeting at the time, but its existence was declassified and has been known for years. Several other documents uploaded to The Black Vault are letters sent to the participants of that meeting to recommend how to deal with a certain Dr. Leon Davidson, who was harassing the CIA between 1953 and 1956, approximately, trying to access a transcript of a supposed radio message that would have come from outer space. 

The documents also show memos in which the CIA indicated which sub-department would be in charge of following the news on what it called “unconventional aircraft” and emphasize that the subject could be used by possible enemies, such as the Soviet Union, in psychological warfare. 

In any case, the CIA itself has admitted on at least two occasions to have been involved in some way with the UFO affair. The first time was in late 1997, when it published a study in which it claimed that during the Cold War the military lied to the public about the true nature of many unidentified flying objects to hide their growing fleet of spy planes, the U- 2 and the SR-71.

Then, on July 2, 2014, the CIA posted on its official Twitter account: “Remember reports of unusual activity in the skies in the '50s? That was us” with a link to a downloadable report titled “The CIA and the U-2 Program, 1954-1974”.

South America 

As for South America, the documents declassified by the CIA show mostly local press reports collected by agency operatives in the countries where they were based and which were forwarded to Langley. 

For instance, there’s a text with the report in the local press of the sighting of a UFO in the town of Bahía Blanca, Argentina, in May, 1962, and the report about the fall of an artificial satellite in Bolivian territory in mid-May, 1978. 

Regarding Chile, there is a document from late July, 1950, which is the translation of an article written by Dr. Eduard Ludwig for “Cóndor”, a magazine in German that was published in Chile in those years. 

In the article, titled “The mystery of the ‘flying discs’. A contribution to their possible explanation,” Ludwig talks about his personal experience years earlier working at Professor Junkers’ research plant in Dessau, Germany, where they were developing a “new type of aircraft” that could explain the existence of “flying saucers”, which, bear in mind, were a fairly recent phenomenon in 1950. 

In any case, the amount of documents now available to the public is large, so fans of anomalous aerial phenomena will be able to spend hours searching, reviewing and looking for “new” data among documentation that is not so new, but that’s available to the general public now.

Those interested in searching through the documentation can do so by entering the website https://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/ufos-the-central-intelligence-agency-cia-collection/

Another star calling?

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 10 ene 2021 13:44 por Plataforma Sites Dgac

On Friday, December 18, 2020 , the British newspaper The Guardian leaked the news that a multimillionaire project called Breakthrough Listen had detected a mysterious radio signal coming from Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun, at “just” 4.2 light years away.
Radiotelescopes scan space, searching for any signal that comes from eventual intelligent life forms.

An artist's depiction of one of the planets from the Proxima Centauri star, located at "just" 4.2 light years from the Sun and the Earth, and where the signal detected by the astronomers would come from.

César Fuentes, an astronomer of the University of Chile’s Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, a researcher at Centro de Excelencia en Astrofísica y Tecnologías Afines (CATA) and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Harvard University.
The signal was found by reviewing archival data during the second half of last year, and although it appears to come from Proxima Centauri, scientists still cannot rule out that it originated from Earth-based interference. That greatly decreases the probability that it is a transmission from some form of extraterrestrial intelligence, or what is known as a “technological signature”.

The scientists responsible for the discovery warn that there is still much work to be done, but they believe that the interest generated by the finding is justified.

“It has some particular properties that caused it to pass many of our checks, and we cannot yet explain it,” said Andrew Siemion, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley, and head of the $100 million Breakthrough Listen project, funded by the Russian-Israeli billionaire businessman and physicist Yuri Milner. 

What it’s special about the signal is that it occupies a very narrow band of radio spectrum, 982 megahertz, which is usually a frequency of transmissions used by human-made satellites and space vehicles.

“We don’t know of any natural way to compress electromagnetic energy into a single bin in frequency”, Siemion said, although he also warned that it could be due to some previously unknown natural phenomenon.

The signal was originally detected in late April, 2019, from the Parkes radio telescope in Australia. Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star and so far there have been discovered two planets orbiting around it, dubbed “Proxima b” and “Proxima c”, of which the former is within the “habitable zone” defined by astrophysicists. 


César Fuentes, an astronomer of the University of Chile’s Faculty of Mathematics and Physics and a researcher at Centro de Excelencia en Astrofísica y Tecnologías Afines (CATA), also recommended to exercise restraint. 

“What we can hope is that this signal and these data will continue to be investigated precisely because this detection has not been replicated,” said Fuentes, who is also a Ph.d. in Astrophysics from Harvard University. 

Indeed, one of the problems with the mysterious signal, christened by scientists as “BLC1”, or “Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1”, is that it could not be detected again.

“It is very unlikely that this will turn of to be a signal that belongs to intelligent life, although of course there is a possibility, however low it may be,” added Fuentes.

In 1977, astronomers detected a similar signal known as “Wow!”, which they never picked up again. 

“There have been similar cases of radio signals that have not had a good explanation either, with characteristics that seem to have no natural origin, or there is no natural explanation, which does not mean that it does not, but rather that we are unable to explain it, but later on they are very difficult to corroborate because they are not detected again”, said Fuentes. 

All specialists agree that the signal is most likely coming from some previously unknown source of Earth-based interference and that more may be known about it in the coming months, because studies of the mysterious signal continue.

Source: Scientific American.

CEFAA gave a talk via Zoom to air traffic controllers

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 23 nov 2020 5:57 por Plataforma Sites Dgac

Last Saturday, the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena’s Executive Director, Hugo Camus Palacios, offered to Air Traffic Controllers affiliated to the Association of the order a talk about the investigative work that CEFAA undertakes.
Screenshot of the teleconference given by CEFAA's Executive Director, Hugo Camus Palacios, to air traffic controllers on Saturday, November 21, 2020.

This and the next images show part of the presentation offered during CEFAA's Executive Director talk to air traffic controllers.

The activity was carried out via Zoom to professionals who are providing services countrywide, from the Chacalluta Airport, in Arica, to the Airfields and Airports at the country’s center-south and the Chilean Antarctic.

The teleconference was moderated by Chile’s Air Controllers College president, Jorge Caro, from Teniente Marsh Airfield, on the frozen continent, in a meeting that lasted for almost two hours.

CEFAA’s Director thanked the ATCs for their collaboration since the creation of the Committee on October 3, 1997, and, as a tribute to the professionals, exhibited a historical video on the origins of this specialty in Chile.

Original audios

On the occasion, Executive Director Camus explained the organization chart of the Committee, mentioning the permanent team, the Internal and External Advisors and delegates from the Armed Forces, Order and Security.

He made a brief historical summary of the beginnings of the official investigation of these phenomena -in the year 1968- and the investigative work with its different stages that must be fulfilled following a rigorous protocol developed in recent years.

The attendees saw the analyses of images and videos of anomalous aerial phenomena that are performed on a daily basis to the material that is reported through the web www.cefaa.gob.cl or sent by email to cefaa@dgac.gob.cl

The air traffic controllers also listened to original audios along with video recreations of prominent aeronautical cases that have taken place between 1983 and 2018, which were used to explain the characteristics of these phenomena.

The ATCs participated actively in the meeting, asking questions about the subject, the work being done and how they can collaborate as advisers to CEFAA.

Hugo Camus thanked the ATCs for the support provided in terms of information and reports received in 23 years and the permanent collaboration of these professionals.

Finding of water on the Moon leads to rethink chemical processes

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 5 nov 2020 6:47 por Plataforma Sites Dgac

Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Monday, October 26, the discovery of water on the illuminated surface of the Moon, that is, on the face that is visible from the Earth.
The Clavius Crater, at the Southern hemisphere of the Moon, where scientists detected the presence of water molecules.

SOFIA, the telescope that was mounted on a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that made the discovery.
The discovery was confirmed by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 106-inch diameter telescope mounted on a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that flies up to 45,000 feet, above 99% of the water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere to get a clearer view of the infrared universe.

“We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon”, said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration”, he added.

Using its Faint Object infraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST), SOFIA was able to pick up the specific wavelength unique to water molecules, at 6.1 microns, and discovered a relatively surprising concentration in sunny Clavius Crater, in the southern hemisphere of the Moon. 

The finding indicates that the water could be distributed throughout the lunar surface and that it is probably not only limited to cold places and in the shadows. 

Clavius Crater 

Previous observations of the lunar surface had detected some form of hydrogen, but had failed to distinguish whether it was water or its close chemical relative, hydroxyl (OH). 

“The discovery itself is important because even though it was already known that there is water on the Moon... the incredible thing about this discovery is that water molecules were found in areas of the Moon where they should have evaporated, because they are areas exposed to the sunrays. And the temperature is not cold enough to keep it frozen”, explained Robbie Barrera, a graduate in Physics and Mathematics from Santiago’s University (USACH) and a member of the Center for Astrophysics and Related Technologies (CATA). 

“So, it implies that, first, you have to rethink the processes. Maybe there is a chemical process that is generating H2O molecules. So if we can understand that process, we might be able, eventually, to harness it for future space bases. But for that we would have to understand the process very well”, Barrera said. 

Data from around the Clavius crater indicate water concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million, roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water, trapped in a cubic meter of soil spread across the lunar surface. The results were published in the most recent issue of the journal Nature Astronomy. 

As a comparison, the Sahara desert has 100 times the amount of water detected by SOFIA in the lunar soil. But despite the small amounts, the finding raises questions about how water is created and how it manages to persist on the lunar surface, which is devoid of air. 

Water is a vital resource in deep space and a key ingredient for life as we know it. Its presence is crucial to NASA’s Artemis program, which seeks to find out as much as it can about the matter before sending the first woman and the next man to walk on the Moon in 2024 and establishing a sustainable human presence there towards the end of the decade.

CEFAA: 23 years researching anomalous aerial phenomena

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 5 oct 2020 10:37 por Plataforma Sites Dgac

The Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA), under the General Secretariat of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC), turned 23 years old.
CEFAA's current team, led by Director Hugo Camus, at the Committee's venues in Cerrillos, Santiago.

CEFAA members and some of the Committee's advisors a short time after its creation in the late nineties, led by General (R) Ricardo Bermúdez.
On 3 October, 1997, the Exent Resolution No. 01599 established the creation d the CEFAA following the interest expressed by the then Chilean Air Force Commander-in-Chief, Air General Fernando Rojas Vender, and by former Commander of that branch , General Ramón Vega Hidalgo, who determined that the investigative body would be under the authority of the DGAC.

An official document from then DGAC's Director, Air Brigadier General Gonzalo Miranda Aguirre, gave lfe to CEFAA at the venues of the Technical Aeronautical School, in Santiago.

Sightings in Arica 

The decisive cases that aroused the interest of the Air Force Generals to create organization like ours in Chile took place at the end of March and the beginning of April, 1997. During those days, the press published reports on the sighting of lights of unknown origin over Arica for three consecutive nights and one of the incidents was even seen by personnel from the Control Tower and by the then head of the Chacalluta Airport.

According to its regulations, the mission of CEFAA is to collect, study, analyze and classify all information related to strange aerial phenomena reported on Chilean territory, with the aim of supporting the safety of air operations in the airspace under the responsibility of DGAC, which covers 32 million square kilometers.


CEFAA's first director was Colonel Enzo Di Nocera and from its very beginning, Air Traffic Controller Gustavo Rodríguez Navarro was linked to the new body. Rodríguez was well known within the DGAC because he had been collecting and investigation reports on anomalous aerial phenomena for decades and for personal interest.

In 1998, Air Brigade General Ricardo Bermúdez Sanhueza assumed the leadership of ETA and also CEFAA, until February 2002. In March of that year, CEFAA's leadership was left in the hands of Air Brigade General Hernán Henríquez Cobaise, who held that position until March 2008. During all those years, CEFAA entered a dormant stage. 

On December 15, 2009, the then General Director of Civil Aeronautics, Air Brigade General José Huepe Pérez, decided that CEFAA would become directly dependent on the General Secretariat of the DGAC, and because of that the Committee abandoned the Aeronautical Technical School's venues and was moved to the grounds of the National Aeronautical and Space Museum, again in charge of General (R) Ricardo Bermúdez. 

CEFAA operated for years with General Bermúdez at the head, with Air Traffic Controller Gustavo Rodríguez as investigator and José Lay as Head of International Relations.

During those early years, the Committee stood out for giving free talks at the Aeronautical Technical School, for organizing a high-profile event with international guests during the International Air and Space Fair (FIDAE) in 2000 and for similar events during the FIDAE in 2016 and 2018. 

In December, 2016, General Bermúdez left CEFAA and in September, 2017, scientific journalist and historian Hugo Camus Palacios joined the Committee after winning a public concourse and soon thereafter took CEFAA's helm.


In 2017, in addition to Hugo Camus, Pablo Trigo Marihual joined CEFAA as administrative assistant. At the end of that year, Gustavo Rodríguez and José Lay left the Committee after several years of service and in March, 2018, science professor Gustavo Arriagada Bustamante joined the Committee as a researcher. 

The new CEFAA team was completed in mid-October, 2019, when journalist Patricio Abusleme Hoffman joined as a second investigator. 

During the few years of operations of the new CEFAA, Director Camus has participated in UFO congresses, has been interviewed by various media and, along with researcher Gustavo Arriagada, has offered lectures on CEFAA's work to airmen and personnel from different branches of the Armed Forces in various Chilean cities. 

After the paradigm change that the Covid-19 global pandemic meant, CEFAA members have continued to carry out their work remotely, consulting with their internal and external advisers when the cases under study warrant it. 

To report any sighting of anomalous aerial phenomena that have taken place within the territory of the Republic of Chile, users can do so through CEFAA´s website at the following link: 


UFO news collector Luis Altamirano has passed away

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 5 oct 2020 10:04 por Plataforma Sites Dgac   [ actualizado el 23 feb 2021 11:13 ]

At 23:35 on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, and a few days before he turned 76, ufologist Luis Altamirano passed away due to a pneumonia. He was one of the pioneers of UFO research in Chile and had spent years living in a nursing home in Santiago.
In this late seventies or early eighties picture, Luis Altamirano (the second from left to right)  enjoys during a meeting of the CIO, one of the first UFO groups that existed in Chile, aling with Aquiles Castillo, Luis Riquelme and Juan Castillo, among others.

(Source: IIEE Chile)

In the photograph, taken probably in the eighties, a smiling Luis Altamirano is at the center. To his right is Hugo Pacheco, another Chilean UFO research's pioneer who already passed away.

(Source: IIEE Chile)

A more recent picture of Luis Altamirano.

(Source: Rodrigo Bravo)
In the UFO community it is possible to find the most diverse characters, some of them very endearing and who are remembered due to their peculiar characteristics, and Luis Altamirano was one of them, as he stood out as a great searcher and compiler of press clippings and magazine articles about UFOs and other subjects.

Short in stature, with a face dominated by a prominent nose and protruding ears, Altamirano was always characterized by his humility and generosity, since he selflessly helped more than one generation of ufologists with information. 

Reserved and generous 

Luis Bernardo Altamirano Cañoles was born in Valdivia, in Southern Chile, on September 13, 1944, and was raised and educated in Osorno. His interest in the UFO phenomenon began  during his early teenage years, when the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik in 1957 made a deep impression on him and made him turn his eyes to the sky and wonder about the mysteries of Man and the Universe.

As a result of this hobby, the boy began to cut out and collect newspaper and magazine articles that addressed the topic of “flying saucers”, as they were known at that time.

In 1965, Altamirano left his homeland to settle in Santiago and spent most of his free time searching in the National Library for newspaper articles which addressed the subject of unidentified flying objects.

“He had qualities that are very rare in the world of ufologists, that is, he was humble, he knew how to listen, he was reserved in his own way and he also had a commendable memory,” wrote about him Raúl Núñez Gálvez, who met and spent some time with Altamirano on several opportunities.

And Núñez is right , since those who knew Luis Altamirano knew of his rather introverted personality, of his permanent listening and disinterested collaboration. In addition, Luis had diction difficultes, which forced his interlocutors to put all the attention in his words in order to understand what he was saying. 

“The Nibelung” 

In 1978, the late ufologist Hugo Pacheco created the UFO Research Center (CIO, for its Spanish acronym) along with Aquiles Castillo, Luis Riquelme and Alberto Montenegro, among others, and Luis Altamirano was also one of the founders of said group.

Years later, in the mid-nineties, Aquiles Castillo founded another group of people interested in the UFO phenomenon called OVNI-Chile, in which Altamirano also participated along with other members such as Carlos Muñoz Brito, Claudio Chandía, Lucy Quezada and Ernesto Giraud.

It is said that the late ufologist Jorge Anfruns Dumont coined the nickname with which he was known until today, “El Nibelungo” (“The Nibelung”), after the dwarves of Germanic mythology who lived in the bowels of the Earth, a nickname that Luis Altamirano took with humor.

On November 25, 2009, Altamirano published as co-author with journalist and writer Juan Guillermo Prado the book Historia de la ufología en Chile and also collaborated in the dossier “Ufology in Chile”, coordinated by Diego Zúñiga and published in 2002 in Cuadernos de Ufología of the Anomalía Foundation, in Spain. 

Sunset in “Las Rosas” 

For several decades, Luis Altamirano worked in a food processing company. In the same factory where he worked, he lived in a modest room where, afflicted by compulsive hoarding, he was surrounded by all sorts of junk and papers that he collected.

In 2006, a couple of years after turning sixty, Luis suffered a thrombosis that prevented him from continuing to work. Since he had no family or close friends, he donated a large part of his UFO documents collection to Raúl Núñez and ended up in a nursing home run by Las Rosas Foundation, where he lived until today and welcomed with joy the acquaintances who visited him and that still remember him with affection and gratitude.

In 2020, Luis got the Coronavirus during the Covid-19 pandemic that the planet is going through, but he recovered from the disease.

At the end of July, a video was released on social networks reporting an important donation from the Charlie Clark Foundation in Chile to help feed families during the pandemic, and part of that donation was destined to the Las Rosas Foundation home where Luis lived, thanks to the intervention of Rodrigo Fuenzalida Herrera, who in addition to being a well-known ufologist in Chile is the operations manager of the Charlie Clark Foundation in Chile.

Shortly thereafter, on August 15 and 16, 2020, several ufologists and groups organized a virtual national ufology event, a solidarity day for the benefit of Luis Altamirano, which generated a great deal of interest among followers of the UFO subject.

But, despite beating Coronavirus, Luis's health was fragile after suffering a second thrombosis and he finally left the earthly existence at night on September 8 at El Salvador Hospital in Santiago.

His mortal remains were to be buried in the Metropolitan Cemetery between September 9 and 10 and the news about his death, spread through social networks by Rodrigo Bravo, Rodrigo Fuenzalida and other acquaintances, caused deep regret in the Chilean UFO community.

US Navy will lead study on unidentified aerial phenomena

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 5 oct 2020 9:29 por Plataforma Sites Dgac   [ actualizado el 5 oct 2020 9:29 ]

On Friday, August 14, 2020, the United States Department of Defense issued a statement about the creation of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF), the new unit of the US Government that will be in charge of officially investigating anomalous aerial phenomena.
Picture from one of the US Navy videos of anomalous aerial phenomena.

In August, 2020, the US Pentagon announced the creation of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF), which will be in charge of officially studying anomalous aerial phenomena.
The unit was born after its creation was approved on August 4, 2020 by Deputy Secretary of Defense, David L. Norquist. 

According to the statement, the Department of the Navy will be in charge of leading the UAPTF, “under the cognizance of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.” 

According to the release, “The Department of Defense established the UAPTF to improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs.  The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security.”

“The safety of our personnel and the security of our operations are of paramount concern. The Department of Defense and the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously and examine each report. This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as UAP when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing”, the statement concludes. 

Gradual opening 

The statement was released during a gradual opening within the US government to discuss the issue and publicly admitting having knowledge of incidents that have been witnessed by military personnel.

In 2017, media such as The New York Times began publishing articles and filtering videos captured by US Navy fighter jets showing unidentified phenomena.

At the end of April 2020, the Pentagon officially released those videos that had been leaked three years earlier, acknowledging their authenticity and that they showed unidentified phenomena. Meanwhile, other media, such as Popular Mechanics magazine, published articles on secret programs within the US Department of Defense that would have operated between 2007 and 2012. 

After pressure from US congressmen and senators, such as the Democratic Senator for the state of Nevada Harry Reid and the Republican senator for the state of Florida Marco Rubio, the Pentagon finally announced the creation of the UAPTF, which has opened the door to wild speculations among those interested in ufology about the possibility of new official revelations.

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