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CEFAA's History

THE ORIGINS OF CEFAA

Sergio Bravo Flores

Anomalous Aerial Phenomena were first reported in Chile in 1968 to Chile’s Meteorological Office at Quinta Normal Aeronautical Complex, located at 3450 Diego Portales Avenue, in Santiago.

The person in charge of receiving the first reports was the Office’s director (today Chile’s Meteorological Administration), Sergio Bravo Flores, who led the Chilean Commission for the Study of Unidentified Space Phenomena, an entity born with the support of Chile’s Scientific Society.

Back then, the Society members got together periodically at offices located in downtown Santiago to comment and analyze the research and scientific breakthroughs from the sixties.

Sergio Bravo recalls that the members of that group asked him to lead the investigation of the then called “unidentified space phenomena.”

Former director Bravo led an “Interim Committee” which included Línea Aérea Nacional’s meteorologist Guillermo Duarte; engineer Juan E. Gatica; physician Hugo Sievers; Math and Physics Ph.D. Antonio Camurri Righi; Helga Buiggen; Chilean Air Force’s Lieutenant Jorge Montero, Commissioner at the Aeronautics Administration, and engineers Edgardo Fuenzalida, Pablo Petrowitsch and Guillermo Krumm.



The Commission operated until 1975 and its goal was to “… determine with all seriousness the true causes related to this matter.”

Memorandum

"My first task was to get reports from the meteorological and telegraphic stations that the Office had between Arica and the Chilean Antarctic territory”, says Bravo, who adds that in July 9, 1968, he sent the first memorandum to collect reports to 43 aeronautical facilities. 

In seven years, the Commission managed to collect around a dozen reports about sightings in different regions of Chile. Some of them were sent to the University of Colorado, in the USA, where an academic committee (later baptized as the “Condon Committee”) was doing a detailed study of aerial phenomena reported in that country and the rest of the world. 

CEFAA is born

Bravo’s group was operational until 1975, when the Meteorological Office’s director retired.

Years went by. Several unidentified sightings took place in the last days of March and first days of April, 1997, and afterwards the authorities considered there was a need to create a new office to investigate those phenomena.

That, as well as the interest shown by former Chilean Air Force’s Commander in Chief, Aviation General Ramón Vega Hidalgo, led Aerial Brigade General Gonzalo Miranda, who was the Civil Aeronautics General Administration’s director at the time, to create the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena on October 3th, 1997.


CEFAA’s first director was Colonel Enzo Di Nocera, who set up a team which included Mr. Gustavo Rodríguez Navarro as Executive Secretary and the Meteorological and Air Traffic chiefs of the time.



The person who actually ran the office and did the work during CEFAA’s first years was air traffic controller Gustavo Rodríguez.

In 1997, Aerial Brigade General Ricardo Bermúdez was appointed as the Aeronautical Technical School’s new director and he also took the top position at the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena. He worked at CEFAA on that capacity until 2016. 



New team

In late 2017, investigator Gustavo Rodríguez and Mr. José Lay, responsible of International Relations, left CEFAA.

In 2017, Hugo Camus Palacios was appointed as CEFAA’s new director and Pablo Trigo Marihual joined the Committee as an assistant. In March 2018, Gustavo Arriagada, a sciences professor, joined CEFAA as a full time investigator, and in late 2019 journalist Patricio Abusleme joined the Committee in the same capacity.