The Anomaly Foundation
Solves the "Manises" UFO Case

20 years of mystery are over

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On the 20th anniversary of the most infamous Spanish UFO sighting, the Spanish Anomaly Foundation ( has presented to the press a detailed report written by engineer Mr. Juan A. Fernández Peris from Valencia, which definitely closes this emblematic aerial UFO incident, which occurred on 11/11/79 over the Mediterranean Sea. After a scientific and painstaking investigation of almost two decades, the 'Manises UFO' case has been solved.

On November 11th, 1979, a flight of the now defunct TAE air company with 109 people on board made an emergency landing in the Manises airport (Valencia) forced by the risk of a collision with two weird red lights that were seen from the cockpit. According to the statements by pilots, the lights were first observed at 23:05, but then the lights appeared to come near the aircraft the crew became very nervous. Barcelona's air transit control centre denied that there was any other aircraft in the area, so pilot Francisco-Javier Lerdo de Tejada decided to abort the flight and make an emergency landing in Manises, where he arrived at 23:45. Consulted the military radar, it did not confirm any anomalous traffic nearby.

Ground observers based on the airport reported a number of strange-looking lights. Witnesses included the flight controllers and airport staff personnel. Because of that, one hour later, at 00:40 of November 12th, a Spanish Air Force Mirage aircraft was scrambled from Los Llanos Air Force Base to find out what was going on. The combat jet pilot observed various unknown lights that he pursued with his aircraft over an extended period of time. Although he was unable to reach the lights, some electromagnetic disturbing effects on radio communications and weapon systems manifested during the flight.

The Spanish Anomaly Foundation granted its "Ricardo Caruncho" research prize to Mr. Fernández Peris for his 200-page analysis report on the circumstances surrounding this incident. Investigation resolved that the original lights observed from the civil airplane were prompted by flare-ups raised from two combustion towers located in the major oil refinery of Escombreras, near Cartagena, Spain. The direction of lights as well as their apparent angular size matched exactly with the luminous flashes emitted from the chemical industry complex. Their brightness and special features produced an optical mistake, but the main culprit was a strong temperature inversion developed that night, one with an exceptional visibility. All factors together contributed decisively to the sighting distortion.

As far a the pilot was concerned, he had some important familiy problems underway which unleashed an anxiety attack facing the remote lights which he considered to be anomalous in nature. As Barcelona's air transit control centre did not offer any solution, the pilot took an obviously disproportionate decision, deviating the flight off-route (it was scheduled Mallorca-Canary islands) and landing in the Manises airport.

It is a noteworthy fact that during those days the Spanish media was overflowed with UFO reports and the atmosphere was quite favourable to believing that extraterrestrial crafts were flying our skies. This sociological ambient took a weight on the pilot«s reaction as well, no doubt.

The tight situation lived at the airport during the air UFO encounter, with much radio exchange with the pilot, moved the staff personnel to start looking for any strange light in the sky. Afterwards those were identified as stars and planets, but not at that precise time.

On the other hand, the Mirage aircraft manned by captain F. Cámara returned to its base at 02:07, after and unsuccessful pursuit of several non-defined luminous stimuli, which had not any relationship with the lights seen from the TAE airliner. The most amazing part of the incident, the EM interference suffered by the military jet when flying over Valencia city, these were caused by the electronic countermeasures adopted by US Navy helicopter's carrier "Iwo-Jima", a US Sixth Fleet's ship sailing near the Columbretes islands. The US Navy ship was at the highest alert due to Iran's hostages' crisis developed at the time.

In summary, an extraordinary and unusual mixture of chance circumstances lead to an exaggeration and distortion of events, otherwise trivial.