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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.
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