Summary: At the end of 1997, Chile joined the handful of nations which at one time or another have conducted official UFO probes. The Chilean Air Force (FACH) recently announced the formation of CEFAA, the name of which translates into English as the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena.
At the end of 1997, Chile joined the handful of nations which at one time or another have conducted official UFO probes.
The Chilean Air Force (FACH) recently announced the formation of CEFAA, the name of which translates into English as the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena. CEFAA is attached to the General Administration of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC), the Chilean equivalent of the FAA. It will study aircraft and radar cases, but will not collect UFO reports from the public.
The director of the School of Civil Aeronautics, Colonel Enzo Dinocera, will head CEFAA. Gustavo Rodriguez Navarro, a retired air traffic controller with an interest in pilot UFO sightings, will serve as secretary.
According to La Tercera, Chile's largest daily newspaper, the promoter of the project was General Ramon Vega, former FACH commander in chief and head of its Foundation for Aerospace Studies, who is also a senator.
A few months before the official announcement, I had the opportunity to interview General Vega and Gustavo Rodriguez during a visit to Chile. I was attending a UFO symposium at the University of Santiago. One of the speakers was Dr. Mario Dussuel, a psychiatrist who studies abduction cases. He arranged a meeting in General Vega's private office. Argentine Ufologist and filmmaker Alex Chionetti was also present at the informal conversation.
From the start, it was obvious that General Vega was totally convinced of the reality of UFOs and wasn't interested in discussing whether they exist. He said he was working on "a project to collect UFO aircraft and radar cases" and he was well-acquainted with UFOlogical, aeronautical, and metaphysical subjects.
General Vega acknowledged he had had two UFO sightings during his FACH career. One looked like a fireball flying horizontally above a mountain outside Santiago. The other occurred in the north when he was flying in formation with two other jets. The base notified the pilots it had picked up an unknown object in their vicinity. "I looked up from the cabin and I very briefly saw something like a white sheet passing above my jet," recalled General Vega. "Everything went so fast that one of the other pilots never saw it."