The first sighting of UFO in Spain was reported by the first Ufologist of whom we have news at the national level. A Galician named Oscar Rey Brea, who became interested in the subject as a result of a first sighting of UFO his parents had, who sighted a strange luminous object in the city of La Coruña, on October 15, 1945.
The sixties in Spain represent some of the first sighting of UFO, and the first steps of Ufology, at a clear popular level, since there were already some researchers on these topics.
Street people did not know much about the first sighing of UFOs, and Ufology, a word that became fashionable rather in the 70s. It was Spain that was beginning to awaken to the world, after a long post-war period.
There was talk (yes, jokingly) of green Martians and flying saucers, sporadically, but “the subject was not in fashion.” Fans of this were not very well regarded. There was no known ufological movement of the general public, except in closed circles.
A typical example of these closed circle meetings, were held in a basement of the Café de Lyon, in Madrid, called that basement “La Ballena Alegre” where, at the hands of the pioneer of contactism Fernando Sesma Manzano, some ufological gatherings were held, mainly aimed at establishing that “expected contact”, and where the Ummo affair developed in a very important way, since Fernando Sesma was one of the first recipients of the letters of the supposed ummitas beings.
Those were the times when those who cared about these issues were small university circles, although more than Ufology thought about political activities, and the Men in Black were actually in the background, alongside the men of the General Directorate of Security, they were a very real danger. Many supposedly ufological meetings actually concealed other more revolutionary activities.
Heroic times of our pioneers such as Antonio Ribera, Manuel Osuna, Ignacio Darnaude, Julio Marvizón, Manuel Filpo, Ballester Olmos, Pepe Ruesga, Calderón, Antonio José Alés, (this more than ufologist was a radio popularizer of Mystery topics, in his “Midnight” program). The list is very long.
This program, together with those of other radio and television professionals (Jiménez del Oso), made these themes fashionable, little by little, and in the 70s, and especially in the 80s, a explosion that was easing from the late 90’s.
As Manuel Osuna himself once commented to me, Ufology is like a thermometer that rises and falls at every moment, referring to the variable interest it aroused in people.
The proliferation of groups, conferences and congresses were the order of the day, and new generations of researchers burst into this ufological world ready for great things, although very little progress has been made, the truth be told.
It was, by the description made, equal to an object sighted on the Russian front by his colleagues from the Blue Division, (1943), who assumed that it was a secret weapon of the Nazis.
Was it a German UFO that III REICH is said to have produced in the closing moments of World War II? I am not going to insist on this topic at the moment so as not to hurt susceptibilities, as always happens when I refer to these alleged Nazi UFOs.
Be that as it may, that incident pushed Oscar to try to find explanations that could clarify the origin and nature of the UFO phenomenon. He was very serious and rational in his investigations, managing to unravel many of the cases investigated, attributing them a natural origin, such as unconventional meteorological phenomena, lenticular clouds, thermal inversions, hallucinations and a long etc. which served as reference material for researchers in subsequent years.
He worked alone for a long time, compiling a tremendously extensive UFO casuistry, both nationally and internationally, until he came into contact with Antonio Ribera and Eduardo Buelta, establishing a mutual collaboration between them.
Oscar Rey Brea believed to find a relationship between the sightings of unidentified flying objects and the periods of closest approach of Mars to Earth, a hypothesis that was later assumed by Antonio Ribera.
For those years, (1958), the CEI (Center for Interplanetary Studies) was created, with Antonio Ribera, Eduardo Buelta and Marius Lleguet, (the latter abandoned ufology as a result of the case of the Tarrasa suicide bombers, but we will come to that).
The first two, Ribera and Buelta considered that the origin of the UFOs, was Mars, while Marius Lleguet considered that they came from outside our Solar System.
Ribera published, in 1961, a book entitled “Unknown objects in the sky”, which became the first betseller of ufology in Spain.
The investigations of the “pioneers” were not such. In reality they accepted as good and recorded without further ado what came into their hands and their critical spirit was not very marked. Their stance was not impartial, and they always tried to “put the ember close to their sardines”, so that the publications of that time were full of errors, misinterpretations and inaccuracies.
During the year of 1954, Fernando Sesma read his articles in the newspaper “MADRID”, about flying saucers. This brought him into contact with many people interested in the subject, founding the Society of Friends of Space Visitors, an association of clear contact inclinations. Fernando Sesma Manzano is considered the first Spanish contacted, somewhat like Adamski in Celtiberian version.
In a place called Café Lyon, in the basement of the aforementioned café, (a basement that received the name of “La Ballena Alegre”), they established what could be called their headquarters, or meeting place, where they talked long and hard about the first sighting of UFOs, having as a public eminently university students and intellectuals, where characters such as Buero Vallejo and Alfonso Paso could be found.
There were, of course, phone calls, originated by supposed extraterrestrial beings, from planets with exotic names, which were taken as real, creating an environment of total contactism.
One of these aliens was called “Saliano”, a native of a planet called “Auco”, which was the subject of discussion for a time.
These supposed contacts made him very popular, being called to radio and television programs, which made the number of people attending the “La Ballena Alegre” gatherings increase, although obviously the pranksters also increased.
I will never understand why, for a long time, Fernando Sesma, a very eccentric character, had so much credibility and was not as attacked as the rest of the contactees that have been in the world have been.
Meanwhile, a male nurse named Alberto Sanmartín, strolling through a forest, meets an alien who gives him a “stone” with strange symbols.
The stone was dismembered and analyzed in different places, without knowing anything else about it and its whereabouts.
And suddenly, in San José de Valderas, an event came to add more fuel to the fire.
It was a suffocating heat, typical of that time of year, so the tree-covered area near the Castillo de San José de Valderas was full of people who used the place daily to walk, snack and play, escaping from the heat.
Suddenly it appeared, just like the first sighting of UFO, almost touching the tops of the trees, what people identify with the word flying saucer, that is, an apparatus whose shape was like two plates inverted one on top of the other and joined by their edges. There was no doubt.
It was between 15 and 20 meters in size, and in its belly it exhibited something like a letter, an “H”, but with the two vertical arms curved outwards, and the central arm crossed by another vertically, “) + (“. If we compare it with the ummitas messages, that was the symbol of UMMO, without a doubt.
The saucer flew silently, giving off a slight glow that made it appear orange.
After leaving the witnesses stunned, he took the direction of the Carretera de Extremadura and disappeared from everyone’s view.
With these ingredients, Ufology was coming to the knowledge of the general public, seasoned with some more or less surprising cases of first sighting of UFO in Spain. Those involved (the serious and the hallucinated) frequently appeared on radio and television programs, and magazines and publications on the UFO subject were gaining adherents. And ufological groups began to proliferate, many of which lasted for a very short time, but others stabilized and many survive today.
At that time, what has been called the “Case of Tivissa”, which takes its name from that locality, existing in the province of Tarragona, had become known.
It all started from news published in the press, specifically from a letter received in the editorial office of the Barcelona newscast “Tele Express”, in which an alleged witness (unlike the first sighting of UFO in Spain where only a UFO was seen) recounted an actual landing of a UFO in the Tivissa area, a UFO which, supposedly, a being morphologically resembling an octopus descended, but with four tentacles, instead of eight.
Many investigators became interested in this matter, among them Vicente Juan Ballester Olmos, who was interested in the first sighting of UFO in Spain.
Ballester is the one who keeps the complete reports of the case, copies of them, since the original information mysteriously disappeared from the CEI files, by someone who was interested in silencing the matter.
Another investigator, Julio Roca Muntañola, was also interested in the case, but he was excessively reserved, remaining silent, following the instructions of someone who could never be known. This investigator was almost totally convinced of the reality of the events in Tivissa.
In this area, just like the first sighting of UFO in Spain, sightings of unidentified objects were very common, to the point that the inhabitants of the area considered them to be normal.
The already named Vicente Juan Ballester Olmos, Félix Ares de Blas, David Gustavo López, Luis R. González, José Ruesga Montiel, and others. Who were joined by the new generations of ufologists that were aware of the first sighting of UFO in Spain.
In the Traditional part, (to call the show Ufology somewhat uncritical), was Antonio José Alex, with his program “Midnight”, which was all the rage, and filled the nights of millions of Spaniards with fantasy. The pseudo-researcher Juan José Benítez, who was widely answered, highly criticized by his fellow ufologists, for his way of understanding the subject and his almost zero credibility, and on Television Dr. Jiménez del Oso, who was a very controversial character.
The Conil Case is good proof of this, and constitutes one of the most controversial cases in the history of Ufology in Spain, which still continues to create confrontations today, without forgetting the Case of the Rodadas Bajo el Mar, with the participation of members of the CESID in collaboration with GEIFO and the alleged landing of a UFO in the town of Las Medianas, in Huelva.
The third generation of ufologists was formed from the second half of the 70s, and among them were people such as Ignacio Cabria, Joan Plana Crivillén, (who formed a team with Ballester in the Process of Declassification of Files of the Air Operative Command on the UFO phenomenon, which Benítez and his followers consider a farce, a deception), Manuel Borraz, Luis Alfonso Gámez, Jordi Ardanuy, Juan Antonio Fernández, Luis R. González, Juan Marcos Gascón and others.
Conferences and Congresses became more and more frequent, and there was a small “alien fever”.
In the eighties the ufological drought became very strong, having a very sharp downward curve, until the nineties. This demotivated many people, and some specialized magazines disappeared.
In 1996, within the Collective Notebooks of Ufology, which brought together a significant number of third-generation ufologists, and with the participation of private entities such as the CEI of Barcelona, the CIOVE of Santander, GEIFO of Cádiz, and others , FUNDACION ANOMALIA, based in Santander, emerged.
Today it is an unavoidable reference for Critical Ufology in the Spanish language.
The fourth generation of Spanish ufologists is made up of very young people, among which we highlight Moisés Garrido, Fernando García Rodriguez, Marcos Benítez Campillo, Francisco del Toro, Rafael Cabello, José Manuel García Bautista, Iker Jiménez, Javier Sierra, Josep Guijarro, Manuel Carballal, Marisol Roldán and Jose A. Roldán, Jordi Jiménez, Pedro Cantó, Raúl Núñez and many others. The list of Ufologists is very long and would be boring with the relationship of any of the generations.