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The first Director who studied “AAPs” in Chile has passed away

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 16 jun 2020, 6:02 por Plataforma Sites Dgac   [ actualizado el 11 sept 2020, 9:23 ]
The first Director of an official body of the Republic of Chile in charge of investigating anomalous aerial phenomena, Sergio Bravo Flores, died last Sunday in Santiago, aged 94.
Colonel (R) Sergio Bravo Flores during one of his last interviews.

CEFAA's Director, Hugo Camus Palacios, interviewed Sergio Bravo at his residence in 2017 and 2018.
In June, 1968, Sergio Bravo created the Chilean Commission for Studies of Unidentified Space Phenomena, sponsored by the Scientific Society of Chile, in which took part leading academics, scientists and researchers of the time.

In an interview published by the Spanish newspaper ABC, in 1969, he stated: “I confess that at first, when the news about it began to invade the world press, we were skeptical. But there were so many stories and the professional solvency of many of the people who told them was so solid, that we developed an interest to investigate these events in a systematic and scientific way.”

At that time, the members of that Society met periodically in offices located in downtown Santiago to comment and analyze the studies and the progress of science in the sixties. 

That Director led a “Provisional Committee” in which other members were the National Airline meteorologist, Guillermo Duarte; engineer Juan E. Gatica; doctor Hugo Sievers; doctor in Physical Sciences and Mathematics Antonio Camurri Righi; Helga Buiggen; the Chilean Air Force lieutenant Jorge Montero, commissioned by the Directorate of Aeronautics; and engineers Edgardo Fuenzalida, Pablo Petrowitsch and Guillermo Krumm. 

According to its postulates, the goal of this Commission —which operated until 1975— was “... to establish in all seriousness the true causes that are related to this matter.” 

Natural heir 

The Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, CEFAA, is the natural heir to that Commission of the Chilean State and some of its current members had the honor of meeting Sergio Bravo at his home in 2017 and 2018. 

On both occasions, long interviews and talks were held on the investigation of anomalous aerial phenomena in the country. 

We appreciate his generosity and willingness to share his experience and knowledge. 

In 2018, he commented to CEFAA that his first task in the Commission created in 1968 “was to obtain reports from the meteorological and telegraphic stations that the (Meteorological) Office had from Arica to the Chilean Antarctic territory,” adding that on July 9, 1968, he sent the first official memo requesting reports to 43 aeronautical facilities.

In seven years, that agency managed to gather about a dozen reports that accounted for sightings in different parts of Chile. Part of them were sent to the University of Colorado, in the United States, where a team of academics (later baptized as the “Condon Committee”) carried out a detailed study of aerial phenomena reported in that country and the rest of the world. 

Meteorologist and biologist 

A native of Putaendo, Los Andes, in the Fifth Region, Sergio Bravo obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1945 at the University of Chile; that same year he applied to the Captain Ávalos Aviation School and graduated as an Ensign in 1947. 

In 1950 he was assigned to the Chilean Navy and obtained the title of Meteorologist. He served destinations in Aviation Group No. 5, in Puerto Montt, and was appointed second commander of the Antarctic Air Base President Gabriel González Videla in 1952. 

In 1955 he was commissioned to the United States Air Force to do a specialization course in Meteorology. Later, he was a specialist professor in Meteorology and Head of the Chilean Meteorological Office, today the Chilean Meteorological Office, between 1960 and 1975.

He retired in 1976 with the rank of Colonel of the Chilean Air Force and until 1993 he served as a professor of meteorology at the University of Santiago.