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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: