Science

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? Chile Says It’s a UFO!


Mulder and Scully may have been in search for the truth for a long time, but the government of Chile seems to have chanced upon photographic evidence of extraterrestrial life. An analysis of two high quality photos that show what appear be genuine unidentified flying objects hovering over a remote copper mine has been released by the government office investigating UFOs in Chile.

The CEFAA (Committee for the Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena), located within the Ministerial Department of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC), India's equivalent of the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) is responsible for the analysis of reports highlighting unidentifiable aerial activity in Chilean airspace. Most of this has been reported by aviation personnel and pilots.

The photographs were said to have been taken in the Andean plateau in the far north of Chile over 14,000 feet above sea level at the Collahuasi copper mine. This remote area is known to be inhospitable and desolate due to its unusually clear skies and low oxygen levels. Copper concentrate, molybdenum concentrate and copper cathodes are produced from three open-pit mineral deposits of the Collahuasi mine.

Witness accounts
In April 2013, four technicians specializing in electronics, electricity, and fluid control were working in the area and happened to witness a strange disc-shaped object that approached slowly and kept hovering for over an hour at about 2000 feet. It kept changing positions every now and then. One of the technicians used his Kenox Samsung S860 camera to snap pictures of the unidentified flying object, which made no sound, and moved away towards the East.

Because of the skepticism associated with UFO sightings, the witnesses decided to keep this one to themself. A few months later however, the photographer showed the pictures to the mine's chief engineer, who then sent copies of these images to the CEFAA in February, and also gave him an account of what transpired that day.

All conventional explanations ruled out
A clear sky without the possibility of lenticular clouds was confirmed by Chile's meteorological office at the DGAC. The Chilean officials have also ruled out all other meteorological phenomena as a possible explanation.

Jose Lay, international affairs director for the CEFAA also confirmed that there were no drones operating near the mine. DGAC officials even ruled out any experimental planes, aircraft, or weather balloons.

After eliminating all conventional explanations, the photos were considered worthy enough to be analyzed by the staff at the CEFAA. The study conducted by a leading CEFAA analyst at the DGAC Meteorological Office posted its findings on the CEFAA website on July 3.

Key findings of the study
According to the report, the phenomenon was described by the witnesses as "a flattened brilliantly colored disc, with a diameter that spanned 5 to 10 meters [16 to 32 feet]. It was capable of performing horizontal, descending and ascending movements about 600 meters above the ground in short lengths. The witnesses believed that the object was being intelligently controlled.

The analysis revealed that the unidentified object may be emitting its own energy, which does not coincide with the natural sunlight which is also being reflected off the object. It was almost impossible for the brightness underneath to have been caused by the sun at noon, which was reflected off the top.

The study therefore infers that this was a phenomenon or object of great interest, and that it can be qualified as a UFO.

Limitations of the Collahuasi case
Though this analysis of the Collahuasi case seems solid, there are still a few limitations that the CEFAA staff has recognized. One is that though they were contacted, the witnesses did not seem to be willing to cooperate. That is why the CEFAA has filed the material for future comparison or reference purposes.

Director of the CEFAA, retired General Ricardo Bermudez says that they need to exercise caution due to the fact that the deduction was made by a single CEFFA analyst among several. That is why a meeting of the CEFFA scientific committee, comprising of high level specialists from universities and laboratories was called. Bermudez believed that though these individuals were not expert visual photo-video analysts, their esteemed opinion might be able to shed further light on the case.

Since the release of the report, the South American media has shown great interest in these images. However, since the four witnesses have been unwilling to talk to the authorities, even after they were guaranteed anonymity, a real account of the event might never transpire.
Having said that, no one can deny that these pictures are extremely important, especially because they resulted in an unlikely investigation carried out by a government agency with complete nonchalance. The CEFAA conducted an investigation into the case, came up with their findings, released it to the media and the public and made no bones about calling a spade a spade. In this case, of course, they called the spade a UFO.
Image: Thinkstock
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