Manises UFO incident

Manises UFO incident
Manises UFO incident

Date: November 11, 1979

Location: Air Space Over Valencia, Spain

A TAE's ( Defunct Carrier ) Supercaravelle was the first aircraft involved in the incident. Flight JK-297 had taken off from Salzburg, Austria, With 109 passengers on board, and had made a refueling stop in Majorca before setting course towards Las Palmas. Halfway through the flight, at about 11:00 p.m., Pilot Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada and his crew noticed a set of red lights that were fast approaching the aircraft. These lights appeared to be on a collision course with the aircraft, alarming the crew. The captain requested information about the inexplicable lights, but neither the military radar of Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, nor the flight control center in Barcelona could provide any explanation.

In order to avoid a possible collision, the captain changed altitude. However, the lights mirrored the new course and stayed about half a mile away from the plane. Since the object was violating all elementary safety rules and an evasive maneuver was deemed impossible by the crew, the captain decided on going off course and made an emergency landing in Manises airport. This was the first time in history in which a commercial flight was forced to make an emergency landing because of a UFO.

The flight crew reported the lights abandoning the pursuit just before the landing took place. 3 new UFO signals were detected by the radar, each one with an estimated diameter of 650'. The objects were seen by several witnesses. One of the UFOs passed very close to the airport runway, and emergency lights were lit by the land crew in case the object happened to be an unregistered flight experiencing difficulties.

Given the lack of answer to all communication attempts, a Mirage F-1 took off from the nearby airbase of Los Llanos, Albacete, to identify the situation. The pilot, Spanish Air Force captain Fernando Cámara, had to increase his speed to 475 mph, just to be able to get visual contact with what he perceived to be a truncated cone shape displaying a changing bright color, but despite his initial efforts the object quickly disappeared from sight. The pilot was informed of a new radar echo, which indicated that another object might be near Sagunto, Valencia. When the pilot was close enough, the object accelerated and disappeared again. This time, the UFO seemed to respond and the fighter had its avionics scrambled, its electronic flight systems were jammed. At last, and after a 3rd contact attempt, the UFO finally disappeared, heading for Africa. After 90 minutes of pursuit, and due to fuel shortage, the pilot was forced to return to the base with no answers.

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