Home‎ > ‎Articles and Projects‎ > ‎


CEFAA Seminar at the 2016 International Air and Space Fair

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 6 abr. 2016 11:55 por Usuario desconocido   [ actualizado el 6 abr. 2016 12:20 ]

The General villalobos during the event's inauguration.

From left to right, Colonel Ariel Sanchez  from Uruguay; General Ricardo Bermúdez, Director of CEFAA; Pilots Oscar Santa Maria from Peru and Jorge Polanco.

Near a hundred people attended the event

With the realization of two International Seminars in FIDAE’s (International Air and Space Fair) Conference Centre, given to a massive audience, the CEFAA (Committee of Studies for Anomalous Aerial Phenomena) of Chile’s DGAC (General Direction of Civil Aeronautics) established its leadership as the official organization for the study of UFO phenomena in Chile.

During the conferences, progresses made in the investigation of some Chilean cases were presented, together with new testimonies of foreign pilots and public attending.

One of the cases cited was the testimony of retired Peruvian Air Force commander Oscar Santa Maria who had an encounter with a mysterious flying object. The former officer received the order to intercept and shoot down a strange object that was flying near La Joya air base in southern Peru on April 11th 1980, suspect of being a spy craft.

According to Santa Maria, after approaching the object he opened fire with the guns of his hunter aircraft.

“The object should have blown up or result damaged. But it showed no damage and started flying away at great speed” he said.

Santa Maria thought the object ascended at some 900 km per hour and reached 11 thousand meters altitude.

This testimony, together with another from captain Jorge Polanco that happened 21 years ago while he was in command of a Boeing 727, flying over Bariloche , he observed a mysterious object of some 30 meters in diameter . These cases caught the attention of the public.

The opening speech was made by DGAC’s Director, Air Force General Victor Villalobos who welcomed the guests and pointed out the importance of having an open organization that is able to speak and study cases that are landmarks in the study of the phenomenon. The Director remarked the mission of CEFAA that looks forward to making scientific research of the unidentified aerial phenomena in order to establish whether they present a risk to air operations.

The Seminar also had the participation of Colonel Ariel Sanchez from the Uruguayan CRIDOVNI, official organization of UFO investigation office from Uruguay.

Update on Chilean UFO Videos: Getting the Bugs Out

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 25 feb. 2016 7:05 por Usuario desconocido   [ actualizado el 7 mar. 2016 11:55 ]

04/13/2012 Updated June 13, 2012
Author : Leslie Kean, New York Times bestseller, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record.

On March 13, Ralph Blumenthal and I published a story about a case from Chile which has since sparked considerable controversy. The official UAP research organization in Santiago, known as the CEFAA (Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena), had provided information about an anomaly caught on multiple video tapes during an air show at the nearby El Bosque Air Base on Nov. 5, 2010.

Gen. Ricardo Bermúdez, Director of the CEFAA, first showed one of the videos -- the same one we released -- during his lecture at the International UFO Congress in Phoenix last February. "Seven spectators located in different places, each with his own camera, filmed the flybys. In the seven videos, the same thing appeared," he told the audience. His lecture is now posted at the CEFAA website.

I interviewed the general just before his Phoenix presentation, having been tipped off about the case after contacting the CEFAA a few days earlier. "Something anomalous was there, and our astronomers, who are non-believers, said it's an object," he told me. "When it approaches, there is an intelligent maneuver demonstrated. What it is remains unknown, but we are not finished with the analysis."

Experts in Chile examined the footage, which comes from digital cameras and cell phones, and ruled out conventional explanations. "We have studied this case in different ways," said Bermúdez in his lecture. "First we gave all the films it to our astronomers. They proceeded with their own software and system. Second, we gave the film to the air force specialists, the Air Photogrammetric Service. They used their own procedures. Third, we at the CEFAA made an internal analysis with our own specialists."

And he added: "We will continue making an analysis and hope we can arrive at a scientific conclusion as soon as possible."

Among the Chilean analysts, Alberto Vergara, an expert in digital imaging, stated that "When we examine the whole scene frame by frame, we have been able to realize that [the object] has, apparently, moved at a speed far superior to any flying object of known manufacture. Therefore it is worthy of continuing to investigate its origin."

Perhaps Blumenthal and I asked too many provocative rhetorical questions and did not stress enough that this investigation is continuing, as Bermúdez and Vergara stated. And now the search for the "scientific conclusion" has been given new life. After the story broke, photo analysts and investigators from several countries approached the CEFAA and asked if they could study the videos. A few, because of their qualifications, have already begun detailed, independent work on the case. They will remain anonymous for now. Further questions, some of which have been raised in response to our story, will be addressed by them during this process.

In accordance with the wishes of the scientific team in Chile and these new analysts, General Bermúdez will not be releasing any more videos now, so that the public can be fully informed and maximum understanding achieved when the full package is released. Those involved agree that the new studies should be completed first.

The CEFAA is committed to the resolution that everyone is requesting, but it will take time. No, the organization is not trying to hide anything; I have full access to this investigation and will monitor it as it develops. It is clear to me why Bermúdez isn't going to prematurely toss the videos out onto the Internet to be played with by unqualified people -- especially after what happened with the first clips.

Skeptics caused quite a stir by taking it upon themselves to do their own "analysis" of the video clips and then to declare, with bravado, that the object of concern was simply a bug. Often this involved misquoting or misrepresenting me and the CEFAA in accompanying text. The question of qualifications aside, these individuals were handicapped by one even more overwhelming problem: Tthey were working without the necessary data required to make a proper analysis, and, most importantly, they were looking at video clips pulled from only one of the multiple cameras.

"The existence of more than one video, taken by different people at different distances catching the same scene, inclines us to believe this is not just a bug," Bermúdez told me last week. "We do not owe anything to anyone on this, because we are interested only in the science. However, we will give further details when these other studies are completed." 

I am neither a photo analyst nor an entomologist. All I've done so far, in partnership with my colleague who writes for The New York Times, is report to you what the best sources in Chile told me about this intriguing case. Now we all have to wait for further information, and be respectful of that process.

But in the meantime, let's have some fun with the bugs.

Could the El Bosque UFO actually be a beetle? (stills extracted from the videos, courtesy of the CEFAA)


Could it be this one? (Planorbata depressa) Or how about this? (Coccidophilus citricola)
Both are just under an inch long. (images courtesy of www.coccinellidae.cl.)

When the CEFAA examiners first viewed the tape we've seen, presented to them by an engineer who noticed the odd object when he slowed down his film, they too thought it likely that the jumpy little thing was a bug. However, they decided to try and locate additional films. It was only after discovering that the object appeared on these other videos from different locations -- taken by cameras too far apart to capture the same insect -- that the Chilean analysts realized this object could not be possibly be a bug, according to CEFAA staff.

Even so, I decided to look into this myself by showing the video, PowerPoint slide show, and close-up stills of the object to American entomologists, hopefully with a knowledge of Chilean bugs. After all, wouldn't they be the best qualified to determine if indeed our UFO could be some kind of insect?

I found three credentialed entomologists, and I phrased my question without any bias and with no mention of why I was asking, other than "for research." The simple question posed was: Do you think this could be a bug?

I phoned Jason J. Dombroskie, the insect collection manager and coordinator for the insect diagnostic lab at Cornell University, at his request after he received my emailed information. Could this be a bug? "It's possible, but I would be very surprised," he said. He thought a bug would more likely look like a blur, and noted that beetles are slower flyers. The speed would suggest that it's much closer to the camera than it looks. "It could be anything," he concluded.

Brett C. Ratcliffe, professor and curator at the University of Nebraska State Museum and Department of Entomology, received "outstanding paper of the year" awards by the Coleopterists Society in 1992 and 2005 and has had 19 species of insects, mostly scarab beetles, named after him. (A beetle seems the most likely choice here, given the rounded, dome shape and flat bottom of the clearest close-ups from the videos.) "Pretty amazing," he replied to my email with its strange attachments. "No idea what it is but it does not seem to be an insect . . . altho very fast flying insects captured on slow shutter speeds do look like amorphous blurs or blobs. I am forwarding these to several colleagues and asking around."

Amorphous blobs? Yes, that's more often what flying insects close to a camera look like. Read more

Watch one of the El Bosque Videos

UFO Disclosure Chilean Style

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 25 feb. 2016 6:45 por Usuario desconocido   [ actualizado el 26 feb. 2016 9:06 ]

During his recent presentation at the IUFOC, Retired Chilean Air Force General Ricardo Bermúdez revealed a number of highly interesting UFO cases.

Posted by: Antonio Huneeus March 5, 2012 in Open Minds

 In a historical first for UFO conferences in the USA, the just held 21st 2012 International UFO Congress in Fountain Hills, Arizona, counted with the participation of a government official who runs a project to investigate UFOs. Retired Chilean Air Force General Ricardo Bermúdez is the director of CEFAA (Committee of Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena), which is part of DGAC, Chile’s Civil Aviation Agency equivalent to our FAA. General Bermúdez spoke at the Congress on Saturday Feb. 25, revealing a number of highly interesting cases involving commercial and military pilots, as well as an extraordinary daytime multiple video case showing a clear metallic-looking object during an important Chilean Air Force ceremony in 2010. The message throughout his lecture was unmistakably clear: some UFOs are real and may pose a threat to air safety operations, that’s why they should be investigated officially not only in Chile but throughout the world.

General Bermúdez began his power point presentation by outlining CEFAA’s mission and methodology. The Committee’s Mission is to:

Record and analyse all relevant reports concerning UAP [Unidentified Aerial Phenomena] occurring within the national territory, on the basis of a serious, objective and scientific analysis with the purpose of determining any possible risk to air operations.

CEFAA was created back in 1997 when General Bermúdez was the director of the Technical School of Aeronautics, where air traffic controllers and radar operators are trained and where the Committee was housed for a number of years. After its full reactivation in December 2009, CEFAA became a full time agency now housed in the National Aeronautics and Space Museum in Santiago. Bermúdez explained the agency has an “External Committee of Advisors” of eight top scientists from the Chilean Commission of Nuclear Energy, Aerospace Medicine at Santiago University, astronomers from the Metropolitan and Catholic Universities, a plasma physicist from Santiago University, a geographer and expert in satellite imagery from Chile State University, and two psychologists. There is also a CEFAA Internal Committee which includes experts on Operations Safety, Air Control Center, Meteorology, Air Accidents Investigations, Aerospace Engineering and Audiovisual.

“We have the support of each branch of our armed forces and police,” added Gen. Bermúdez, and these include military officers from the army, navy, air force, and two officials from the national police force. “We believe the phenomena is the same all over the world, we have relations with investigators from 14 countries,” continued Bermúdez. In some cases—for instance Uruguay’s CRIDOVNI or France’s GEIPAN—this liaison is with CEFAA’s official counterparts. In countries where no such public official agency exists, the Committee maintains relations with private scientific organizations like Dr. Richard Haines’ NARCAAP in the U.S.

Transparency Law & Aeronautical UFO Cases

On August 11, 2008, the Chilean government passed Law 20.285 known as “Transparency Law.” In some respects it works similarly to our Freedom of Information Act—government agencies have 20 days to responds to queries from the public regarding public records—but it also seems to go beyond the FOIA. With the exception of matters affecting national security and foreign relations, the Transparency Law was designed so government agencies can act in an open and transparent manner even in cases when no queries from the public were received. CEFAA has fully complied with the requirements of the Transparency Law, as explained in Gen. Bermúdez’s statement that “this is the way we deal with the phenomenon, openly and freely.”

Most countries that have released UFO records (USA, UK, France, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain, etc.) have done so primarily in the area of government paper files: UFO reports investigated by the armed forces, memoranda dealing with scientific, military and political aspects, correspondence, etc. A few have also released some UFO photos and footage, but none have released hard physical evidence. Because of the nature of CEFAA, the Chilean agency has released a different category of ufological evidence: audio recordings of communications between pilots and the control tower. Chile’s civil aviation agency DGAC has to insure “the safety of all air operations in the country” and considering Chile’s very long geography and its large amount of territorial waters in the Pacific Ocean all the way to Antarctica in the south and Easter Island in the west, this is a very big area of almost 20,000 nautical miles. “The CEFAA has access to all this information immediately, pilot communications, this is our main source of information,” said Gen. Bermúdez.

The bulk of the general’s presentation dealt with the aeronautical cases logged and investigated by CEFAA. He discussed in some detail a total of seven aeronautical UFO cases between 1978 and 2011, which remain unexplained to this day, playing excerpts of the radio communications between the pilots and the ATC (Air Traffic Control). The audio tapes are obviously in Spanish (some of them are posted in CEFAA’s website) but the lecture included English translations in big letters in the power point slides, so the cases are easy to follow.

Some of the sightings like a multiple-witness and near collision case at Puerto Montt airport in the south in 1988, or one at Chacalluta Airport in Arica in the north in 1997, were directly linked to the creation of the Committee. In the Arica case, for instance, after the Eco Inca army aircraft reports a UFO to the ATC, one can hear the control operator saying, “we’ve had several calls saying in that sector there is probably a UFO . . . We are on alert for any report . . . He [Eco Inca army plane] reports at 3 o’clock an object that’s moving at ‘incredible speed’. . . textual [pilot’s] expression . . .”

In another case involving three different aircraft approaching Santiago’s International Pudahuel Airport, one of the pilots can be heard clearly in the tape saying, “it [UFO] gives the impression of being a train with many windows and it can be seen perfectly well . . .” Commenting on this case, Bermúdez said: “We have here three airplanes in different frequencies describing the same situation, one crew saw windows like a train, now if there are windows we may think somebody is looking out, we never know.”

Yet another incident known as the Pelican case occurred on June 24, 2010 and it involved again three different aircraft—two airliners and a navy plane called Pelican. As put by Gen. Bermúdez, “three airplanes witnessed the same phenomenon, two commercial planes are approaching Santiago, the military plane is coming 300 miles from the north, and an object is cruising his airway. The pilot reports something he sees camouflaged in erratic motion.” Read more

Belgium UFO Wave

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 29 jul. 2015 13:15 por Plataforma Sites Dgac   [ actualizado el 1 mar. 2016 5:31 por Usuario desconocido ]

On November 29, 1989, a total of 143 sightings were reported after nightfall in a small area, near Eupen in Belgium, scattered over 800 square kilometers of territory between Liege and the German/Netherlands border. Some of the sightings were reported by more than one person, which means that at least 250 persons described this exceptional UFO activity.

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and Under Reporting Bias

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 29 jul. 2015 13:15 por Plataforma Sites Dgac   [ actualizado el 1 mar. 2016 7:12 por Usuario desconocido ]

Science has validated the existence of several kinds of natural phenomena that are characterized by unusual aerial lighting displays. Some of these phenomena are note clearly understood and have been only recently documented. Additionally reliable observations from US government and official international sources include descriptions of airborne objects with uncommon characteristics. Some of these phenomena have electrical properties that can adversely effect safe aviation and appear to be very unsusual to observers. Some of these phenomena represent a physical hazard that is documented in several US Governmenet operated aviation incident-reporting systems. These poorly understood phenomena have not been giver appropriate consideration for the potential hazards they may represent by the US aviation system. Read more (Narcap Report by Ted Roe, published in 2002).

Jean-Pierre Morin’s Testimony

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 29 jul. 2015 13:15 por Plataforma Sites Dgac   [ actualizado el 3 mar. 2016 11:06 por Usuario desconocido ]

This testimony belongs to the SIGMA (Commission of the French Aeronautics and Astronautics Association) devoted to the study of UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena).

Jean-Pierre Morin is a former fighter pilot, knight of the Legion of Honor, officer of the national order of merit and former director of the CNES (French National Center for Space Studies).


“I left Blandine Base with three passengers and took the (only) road to the East. It was a pitch black night. No moon. I drove through Bacchus Base, Belier, Centaure, and other Dragons launching base, all quiet and dark. After two minutes, I turned off to the North, in direction of Hammaguir Airport which was without lights too. Not long before arriving to the airport, I turned off to the East on a road parallel to the airstrip. Inside the car, we were having a heated conversation. This launching was a rehearsal for the actual launching on January 11 and we had had various technical incidents: a door opening inopportunely during the atmospheric ascension, the main parachute had not fully opened leading to a brutal landing, and faulty scientific results. The next day should be faultless!

At that moment Mercier, sitting on my right, drew my attention to a light in the sky, low on the horizon, standing slightly on the right of the road. It looked like the light of an airplane about to land: nothing to be surprised of, as one is driving along an airstrip, even if its lights are turned off. Yet, the aircraft whose light was getting bigger should come across our way but it stuck on the right. I am myself a pilot and I flew on many planes including Mirages, so I thought the pilot was doing a “down wind” to land against the wind. How strange! We had not noticed any wind by the gate.

Suddenly, everything got out of control. My 2CV motor jolted. I thought I could be running out of gas but I looked at the gauge and it was ¾ full. The motor stopped though I had not touched the ignition key. The four of us jumped out of the car whose lights remained turned on. We watched the object coming up towards us. The total absence of sound was striking, as in the desert one can hear a fly one kilometer away. The absence of sound suggested that the aircraft, which was coming towards us, was not an airplane but rather a balloon.

The night was moonless and cloudless. We could see a thousand of stars with the naked eye. Those who have been in the desert at night where humidity is below forty per cent know how hard it would be to see a bare part of the sky, with no sparkling stars. Any aircraft flying in the sky masks the stars, and its apparent shape as well as its fuselage is outlined. As it was coming closer to us the object took the shape of an airship, some sort of Zeppelin. Its elevation was 2º when first observed, maneuvering faster until it reached 45º when it passed before us. This only means that its cruising altitude roughly corresponds with the distance that separates us from its horizontal track.

The “airship” was in front of us. Its length was about four times the lunar diameter, and its height about one lunar diameter. There was still no sound and no wind. I could clearly make out, especially in the front part, multicolored sparks (orange, green, blue and red) which I interpreted as ambient ionization. No trace of spacecraft propulsion. The object estimated speed was about ten to twenty kilometers per hour. Extremely slow!

The four witnesses remained silent, probably flabbergasted by what they were seeing. I too was so astonished that I had forgotten they were there. The only physical anomaly was to be hearing a very small crystalline jingling, similar to what one can hear scuba-diving. Then the object went away. The sparkling could not be discerned any longer. It was now mingled into the yellowish light that looked like a landing light. This seemed to prove what I called ionization, a single light source that is in fact isotropic when seen from close up. I did not make out any windows. The object was getting farther and looked now identical to when Mercier first warned me.

Suddenly, on our right, on the ground, far away, two lights in the night. It took me a few seconds before I realized it was Courtès team coming back to the base to have dinner after finishing up their intervention. We could clearly hear the sound of the 2CV that was about two kilometers away. How lucky we were: four astronomers on board! They would be able to explain this thing which had become a planet in the sky like Venus (less shiny though).  Hopefully the light would stand by while they were coming to us.

 I reckoned the observation lasted the same time they must have spent on the gangway (time they would confirm, of about twenty minutes). I expected their vehicle to suffer the same aggression (magnetic?) as us. They did not though and the object was far away now carrying on his linear route. By the way, its trajectory led him to pass close to the Véronique rocket erected under the gate. On a map, extending the road that passes across the airstrip, which was perfectly followed up by the object, one can see it passed by the rocket at five hundred meters!  Could it be a foreign power, the Soviet Union or the US could have sent a reconnaissance aircraft to evaluate the rocket? Unlikely, even if the last decade was full of soviet surprises.

The astronomers’ 2CV turned right, just like I did before and came towards us: they had not noticed anything. The object was far away, in their back. They saw us and stopped jeering: “what’s up Cnes, you broke down?” I hurried them out of their vehicle and showed them the object, still visible, almost stationary. They immediately spotted it… and became silent too. Of course, I told them everything about what we had seen for the last twenty minutes. The first one to speak up was Courtès: “it looks like a balloon lighted up from the inside”. I am sure, for I saw it from close range, that there was no internal light source but an unusual external ionization.

Suddenly, the object made a left-turn: its elevation stopped decreasing and it started to go up, first slowly and then faster. The object flew across the stars with the size of a star: its shape was no longer outlined.

The astronomers watched the scene speechless. Courtès and Viton admitted they could not understand what that was. Yet, they are professionals of the sky! After having taken a “s”-shaped trajectory the object stabilized in the direction of the South-West, at about 60º. It shrank and the light turned off right there as if the object was radially speeding away from the Earth. The ascent phase lasted about 15 minutes. Courtès and Viton pointed up right on the spot where it vanished. I confess I do not remember it but they must recall.

We went back in our cars. My 2CV throbbed right away. We had dinner together at the base. The astronomers would not speak; almost offended they could not explain what they had seen in the sky. I told my story again and the three others disagreed only on one aspect. They reckoned the object had seen us and taken up avoiding action. I explained to them they had been victims of an optical illusion.

I knew what I was talking about. In 1963, less than four years ago, appointed to the Mirage 3 test section, I had attended during the year more than twenty Mirage flybys at very low speed. Each time there was a stampede, everyone wanted to see the show from the jaded pilots to the secretaries. A small dot getting bigger appeared on the threshold at a hundred meters altitude, and slowed down while keeping up the same altitude increasing its attitude. And the airplane passed before an audience of experts, extremely close to a stall, conveying the impression of a certain heading instability, straight up all along the experience! The variations in its elevation and in its bearing, correlated to the distance, are engraved on my brain: I can affirm that the object’s trajectory in Hammaguir was similar to that of the Mirages “low speed” in Mont-de-Marsan. There were just four differences:

  • Its shape
  • Its lower speed
  • The absence of sound
  • And especially the absence of the object’s attitude. When it passed us by, its main axis was strictly parallel to the edge of the road which means its attitude was negative.


In the morning of January 17, we had better fish to fry. I only checked that no military activity had been carried out at the base the night before, not even a sounding balloon reported for instance. After a flawless countdown, Véronique, its latest technology and its module took off without any problem. It went so well that it flew back again on April 4th in 1967, only 77 days after!


Hard scientific data had been instilled to the astronomers who were unwilling to write anything about what they had seen. When I came back to Brétigny I did not do anything not knowing to whom I could report my observation. I talked about it to some people who quickly made me understand I should not tell such ghosts stories if I wanted to make a career in the Cnes.

After all, in the desert of Sahara, I simply could have been the victim of… a mirage.

In 1968, appointed to the Program Direction, I heard that Claude Poher was trying to demystify the UFO issue. I gave him my testimony about two years after it happened and even helped him in some investigation cases which would turn out to be optical illusions for most of them. Appointed at Kourou in French Guiana, I quitted dealing with UFO matters, strongly encouraged by Jean Gruau not to ever mention the event of January 16, 1967 again in front of other people, at risk of loosing any credibility.

Today I do not risk anything any more. That is why I have revisited the past with the surprise that this long night sighting memory had remained so vivid in my mind, as if it was yesterday!”


SIGMA “January 1967 – An OVNI flew over Hammaguir”

Testimony of Jean-Pierre Morin

November 2, 2009

1-6 of 6