Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Spain: UFOs Over the Pyrenees - The Pusilibro Event (1977)

Source: PLANETA UFO (Argentina) and El Heraldo (Spain)
Date: 11.22.2017

Spain: UFOs Over the Pyrenees - The Pusilibro Event (1977)

Sightings from Sierra Caballera in Huesca drew the attention of thousands interested in extraterrestrial phenomena.

The story of UFOs in the Pyrenees is inextricably linked to the sightings at Pusilibro, a peak in the Sierra Caballera (Huesca) which exerted a hypnotic attraction some 40 years ago over thousands of people interested in a phenomenon which at the time commanded newspaper pages and headlines.

Forty years ago, in November 1977, the 'Nueva España' newspaper (today known as 'Diario del Alto Aragón') published a series of strange nocturnal photographs showing two moving lights, increasing an obsession that had come about a few months earlier in the midst of Summer.

The subject of odd lights on the summit of Mount Pusilibro (1,597 meters), known to a handful of people, soon turned into an international phenomenon that led to continuous nocturnal pilgrimages to the area and prompted the interest of the international media.

Among those who best knew the entire process is journalist Luis García Nuñez, now retired, who was responsible for providing the Huesca newspaper with not only the photographs, but the narrative of what became known as the "Pusilibro UFO".

In a statement to the EFE news agency, the veteran journalist states that a call to the paper's newsroom in September 1977 prompted his editor to entrust him with looking into the alleged sightings, to see if there was any truth to them.

The phone call alerted them to the presence of a large red vehicle over the ridge that leads to the summit of Pusilibro.

Night after night - he recalls - he drove to the vicinity of Pusilibro to await the unexpected, standing next to a few dozen others who faithfully believed that an encounter was going to happen.

From that moment on, García Nuñez had to screen dozens of phone calls informing him of unlikely sightings in various corners of Huesca's geography. Some of these were unquestionably pranks.

Publication of the photos on November 10, 1977 not only changed everything: it awakened the interest and curiosity of the media, ufologists, or simply curiosity-seekers interested in the phenomenon.

The infamous images of the Pusilibro UFO were taken by an amateur photographer from the tenth floor of his building. The three-picture sequence shows a smaller white light approaching a larger red one, finally merging into a whitish form. The photographer thought he could see a large kidney-bean shaped craft in one of the lights, says García Núñez, recalling those times.

It was a landslide of information, says the journalist, causing hundreds of people to seek the magic of the unknown at Mount Pusilibro. A phenomenon from which sharp-eyed businessmen were able to profit by selling drinks, but which also drew the attention of renowned journalist, writer and researcher Juan José Benítez, with whom García Núñez has been in contact since then. The long nights were filled with sandwiches, hot drinks, cold weather, blankets, tripod-mounted cameras and an enthusiasm and excitement that are hard to understand today.

Benitez himself, among those who spent the most time near Pusilibro, was able to secure the negatives to the photos, sending them to a laboratory to detect any possible fraud or manipulation.

According to the journalist, the writer told him some time later that the images he had published were genuine and not manipulated in any way.

Nonetheless, the phenomenon gave rise to jokes and mockery. He remembers receiving a typewritten document submitted by alleged aliens from the planet UMMO, warning about humanity's inability to understand the existence of extraterrestrial life.

"It is for this reason," reads the report that García Núñez still keeps, “that contacting you is a difficult and delicate matter. We must sensitize you little by little with communications such as this and manifestations by some of our craft, which occur along a systematically pre-established plan."

These reactions notwithstanding, the phenomenon also summoned the interest of well-known ufologists like Benitez himself, who either confirmed or questioned the images and the alleged sightings themselves.

Sometime later, Benitez would write: "The case of the 'Pusilibro UFO' is genuine, and we are faced with an exceptional document: a UFO mothership or carrier in Spanish skies. Let us bear in mind that this vessel was also seen by many other witnesses throughout the months of September, October and November 1977."

The truth of the matter, recalls García Núñez, is that there hasn't been a sighting in the Pyrenees that stirred up such a commotion since that one.

[Translation © 2017 S. Corrales, IHU with thanks to Guillermo Giménez]