Wednesday, February 22, 2012

O Encounter in the Spanish Sahara

UFO Encounter in the Spanish Sahara

Submitted by Scott Corrales on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 08:37

By Scott Corrales
Inexplicata-The Journal of Hispanic UFOlogy
UFO Digest Latin America Correspondent

Another UFO Encounter in the Spanish Sahara

[Researcher Alfonso Ferrer has just reminded us of another – and more spectacular – case involving the Canary Islands and the Spanish Sahara. Our readers will remember the review of his book “El Reloj del Fin del Mundo” that we presented in INEXPLICATA in 2009 – S. Corrales]

An Extraordinary Aerial Encounter in the Canary Islands
By Alfonso Ferrer –
Date: 3 October 2009

It was the year 1968. On a springtime evening, a Fokker aircraft belonging to the IBERIA airline flew its routine service from Las Palmas (Canary Islands) to Villa Cisneros in the Western Sahara. The flight was proceeding normally until the aircraft, within sight of its destination, found itself escorted by a light of unknown origin. When the Fokker commenced its approach maneuvers and descended, the unidentified light shot off into the sky. But the story doesn’t end here.

Veteran pilot Paco Andreu, a member of the Fokker’s crew along with Cmdr. Ciudad on that March 14th, 41 years ago, told us about his experiences on the return flight to Las Palmas, in which the UFO made a repeat appearance. This is a unique account, provided by an expert aviator who has an encounter with an unidentified light/object in the air. It is doubly interesting by the fact that the sighting occurred in mid-air (the same medium occupied by the UFO). Moreover, these are the words of an expert who is clearly able to distinguish between an airplane and a star, without this inferring that airliner pilots are infallible in their observations, or not immune to error. They are human beings, like everyone lese. Furthermore, Andreu’s words have the virtue of having remain unchanged over time. He contributes no elements that might suggest a mystical reading of the event on his part. The story is told in a sober and dispassionate manner. A sincere, objective and highly interesting report.

[The entire interview (in Spanish) can be heard on the Cronicas del Misterio podcast at - we are taking the liberty of transcribing only a few items of Paco Andreu’s experiences - SC]

Interviewer: So tell us what happened that day.
Paco Andreu: Well, let’s start. It was March 14 1968, I was a pilot for Spantax at the time, for some 7 months as a co-pilot, and the flight was from Las Palmas to Villa Cisneros. The entire flight went without incident until we reached the vicinity of Villa. Then we were about to start our descent, and looking to our left we saw a light descending at the same angle of descent as our plane, matching our speed. At that time I remarked to the commander if he wanted me to ask Villa Cisneros Tower of the traffic we had in sight. We thought it was another plane. So we contacted Villa Cisneros and told them that to our left we had some traffic, and could we please receive some information about it. A few seconds went by, and Villa Cisneros answered that there was no traffic reported in that area. We were startled, and immediately following, the light that descended with us at an angle that was perhaps 5-10 degrees, ascended at a 60-80 degree angle and took off with an emanation, losing itself in infinity. There were no clouds, it was a very clear night, and it became lost from sight. In the meantime, we exchanged glances and said “let’s cut the maneuvers and land immediately for the safety of our passengers and our own.” So we landed with short traffic, landed and upon descending we remarked the situation with the personnel of Iberia, because the flight was for Iberia. So we discussed it with the Iberia field officer, and then with a military doctor from the legion, who was a big fan of astronomy. We discussed all we’d seen, and they were left between belief and disbelief. They joked with us and such, but time went by, the layover had ended, passengers boarded the plane for the return trip. We got going. We rolled toward the end of the runway, lined up for takeoff, requested authorization from the tower, received it, and we took off. And it only...within not even a minute of being airborne, we got a call from the tower telling us [...]: “Iberia 372, you have a light to your right.” we looked, and the light that had accompanied during descent was back again. I replied: “Yes, yes, affirmative, we have a light flying beside us.” They said: “Could you advise us if this could compromise flight safety?” We said: “Well, for the time being, if it holds its position, no, it’s not affecting us.” “Well, for your information, I can tell you that as you rolled down the runway, the light passed over the airport, flying very low and giving off blue and red flashes.” [The object] the stopped over a barracks that belonged to the legion, as I recall it was the Tercio Juan de Austria. It remained static. They watched the object from the airport with binoculars, consulted with the doctor who was an astronomy fan, and they all said that it was nothing known at the time, because as it flew low over the airport, it made no engine sound. It was silent. It remained static, we took off, and when we passed its altitude, it started to follow us, climbing at our same rate of speed, much like it did during our descent. We checked our nav and radio equipment and everything was ok, it wasn’t affecting us. So the tower insisted that if that thing jeopardized flight safety, we should inform them at all times. And so we did. Once we reached cruising altitude – some 5000 meters or 15,000 feet – the object stayed with us, but started to wobble at that time, being at the very same altitude as we were. At times it would get above us, and on others it would remain below us, before climbing and staying with us. After a while it repeated it. This, of course, left us stunned, because no airplane or object known to us could do it. There was no effect of gravity or anything. So we kept flying and began our flight – about an 1 ½ hour went by – our ETA for Las Palmas was around 10 pm, we advised the control, and...well, when we began our descent toward Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, we had stratiform clouds near the island, so we descended through the clouds and started to question whether we were mistaking the light of the UFO with the stars, because it could no longer be seen clearly. And we landed. And once the passengers had debarked, we found that the press was at the airport.

Interviewer: So the story had become known, and the media had learned of it through some leak.

Paco Andreu: We can suppose that some member of the control center at Las Palmas had a buddy or friend who worked for a newsroom and called them, telling them that a flight was coming in from Villa Cisneros followed by a strange gadget.

Other voice: Paco, this is Jorge. What was the size of the light? Could you give us more details?

Paco Andreu: Well, how could I best describe was a source of light like an airplane beacon that is about to land, a strong light, but it wasn’t a projected light. it was like a luminous sphere.

Interviewer: Because when it came to reckoning distance...

Paco Andreu: Of course, it was very complicated. We, on our right, headed for Gran Canaria, we had the shore and the desert. Without towns or lights or anything that could give us a distance calculation, I don’t know, it could have been 2-3 miles away by our calculations, but it could have been 50 miles away, because it may have been a gigantic thing, but distance made it seem small.

Interviewer: Paco, this truly interesting, perhaps one of the most interesting ones I can think of as UFO sightings go, especially coming from an expert aviator like yourself. Did you dismiss the possibility that it was a military maneuver? You mention the presence of a military base nearby.

Paco Andreu: You can figure that in the year 1968 military maneuvers in the desert were few. The known military craft at the time had bases in Gran Canarias and in El Aaiun, were Junkers transport aircraft, a plane from 1934-35, so it was impossible that it could make such maneuvers. And then, the only thing it could have been...there were no helicopters yet...or yes, there was a helicopter unit at Los Rodeos, but they were there for evacuation service and emergency purposes only, so the Sahara region may have had piston driven T-6 aircraft but nothing resembling what we saw.

Interviewer: We discussed the likelihood that it could have been a star.

Paco Andreu: No, no, never. A star we don’t see...a star we see above us, like you do from the ground. But we’d sometimes see it below us. It couldn’t be a star. Nor was it a comet. We’ve seen an infinite number of comets in flight, and we know their trajectory and patterns. There’s something else there. Don’t know if its manned, unmanned or guided automatically at a distance. no idea. There could be many conjectures about it. But the fact is that what we saw was that. And the truth is that I never forgot it, despite the years that have gone by.

(Translation & transcription (c) 2012, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Alfonso Ferrer)

Berlin 2012: Javier Bardem Talks About Alvaro Longoria's 'Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony' (Q&A)

Few people outside of Spain have even heard of the post-Colonial drama of the Sarhawi people who live to this day in the Western Sahara. But that's something Javier Bardem wants to change. The Spanish actor has thrown his weight behind the documentary as producer and star to focus some of his starlight on one of the darker corners of the world. The Hollywood Reporter's Spain Bureau Chief Pamela Rolfe talked to Bardem about the documentary, the Sahara and optimism.

THR: This is clearly a personal project. I know that your contact with the Sahrawi people came while at a film festival, but what was it that really moved you about that experience?

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Bardem: There are many reasons why I was moved by the experiences I had in the refugee camps. I suppose if I had to identify one to summarize it would be seeing the legacy as Spaniards that we left to the Sarhawis. That really gives you a different kind of responsibility. Of course, it wouldn't be the same if the Sarhawis weren't how they are-- so generous. I didn't find any hate or resentment toward us, but the opposite. The Spanish population helps the Sarhawis in a big way -- in a private way. So we want to help and we made the documentary because that's the way we can. You cannot change the world. But we can bring that story to some other people who may not be aware of it. In the end, those stories that are not told are stories that don't exist in people's minds.

THR: Outside Spain, the Western Sahara is largely an unknown problem. It's not even on the radar. How would you explain the situation and Spain's historic role to a complete outsider?

Bardem: That's actually why we tried to do the documentary, because it's not very easy to make sense of it. This film is about the Sarhawis. But in the end, it's about a lot of stories in the world that happen to be the same. Because they are not on the radar, as you say, they're not important. If they're not "important," then people don't move to try to change them. When I say people, I do mean society -- but I also mean governments that have the power to change the landscape. Imagine the situation between Israel and Palestine. It's such a big mess. You can be on one side or the other. But what's clear is that there's an urgent need for a solution there and that's been dragging on for so long. So you can imagine how much more difficult for a people like the Sarhawis that are so much less -- less population, less support. It's important to talk about a situation that people are not aware of and yet those people are having a really hard time to survive. The world is full of these stories. We didn't choose it. It chose us.

THR: There's a moment when you are interviewing Aminatou Haidar when she talks about the growing frustration with non-violence by saying she can no longer find the words to guide younger generations. It's a key moment. What do you see as the path for the Sarhawi people?

Bardem: She's an amazing lady who has lived through so many incredible situations. She presents the Sarhawis as they are -- a people who have been trying peacefully to demand legal rights, common sense rights, with the knowledge and consensus of the United Nations and yet they still feel they don't have a right. It's like Aminatou says -- they are a people that are really peaceful and don't want to move forward in a violent way, but "what can I tell the youth when after all these years and so many betrayals, we still don't matter." What can you say? It's very powerful to hear that from a person recognized as a peace leader in the world.

THR: Something depicted nicely in the film is not just a possible changing in strategy, but a changing of the guard from one generation to the next.

Bardem: People have been born and raised in refugee camps. Those people don't know what the older generation knew, their land, their future, their possibilities. There is a whole generation of people who have grown up in refugee camps asking themselves, "Why? What have we done wrong?" And Aminotou and others are still telling them that peace is what will bring us farther as a movement. But these generations are saying "no," because they see how the world changes and they see that if you do not make some noise, you are not in the news. And we -- society, the media -- either voluntarily or not we make them make decisions like that. It's a pity, because they are an example of people moving forward in the hardest situations with their very peaceful, positive and creative spirit.

THR: Not to minimize the effect of the film, but I'm curious if there's anything else aside from the hefty weight of your prestige and celebrity and the cost of the film that you have invested in this cause? Have you created some foundation or some economic support?

Bardem: Alvaro and I and others I know try -- and sometimes we succeed -- in a private, anonymous way in order for them to have better conditions. But that goes along with all the Spanish society that I mentioned before. There is a lot of awareness in the Spanish society. They bring kids here in the summertime because summers there are unbearable. They bring them here to Spain to see doctors. They send money and they send food. But that's not the goal. The goal is to try to change the scenario and for them to have what they deserve -- their land, their right to make a living out of their land. I could name thousands of people who are helping in a private way. That's not what it should be. We wanted to put it all together so people understand and can know what to ask of their governments in the political forums. But if you're asking about foundations, there are many pro-Sarhawi foundations in Spain and, of course, we can work through that, but if this film makes any money at all, it'll go straight to the refugee camp. But it's not just the film, there are many private initiatives.

THR: Many people outside Spain might not know the Bardem family's link with political activism. But it's something you come by honestly, no?

Bardem: It's not something you choose. It's not something you carry like a flag. It's a part of your education. I've seen people in my family doing whatever they could, however they could, in order to help to create a better way in a very humble way. What you see when you are little, stays with you. It stays a sense of humor, a way you eat or the way you enjoy a book. It's a part of your education.

THR: Would you consider yourself an optimist?

Bardem: Wow. In general? Ah … I believe in people. I'm going to be 43 years old, and my experience in life so far is that I've met way more good people -- people that are trying to help, people that are doing the best they can do to create a better world -- than people that I've met that are the opposite, people that are destroying or creating a horrible world. So I'm optimistic in that way. The bad news is that only the bad people reach the news because they are noisier.

THR: And with respect to this particular situation?

Bardem: I do. Alvaro and I were at the United Nations and we had the chance to be there for three or four days and speak to a lot of people. And there's an awareness for example of the violation of human rights is so strong that I'm optimistic in that sense that it will be supervised there's a sense that it has to be transformed. Transformed so they can have the freedom of speech, freedom to belong to different ideologies without being in prison or tortured. In that sense, the Arab Spring has taught us that it's possible. Even in the darkest regions, people have discovered their right of freedom. And yes, I'm optimistic in that sense.

THR: The number of languages used in the film highlights what an international problem it is.

Bardem: When we got there, we thought it was a local problem with the Spanish government. We made a journey, and as we make the journey, we discovered how many governments are actually involved in this problem. And of course, how many languages. I was amazed about the knowledge of the situation in so many different forums. Of course, on a street level, it's not a very well known crisis. But in political circles, it is.

THR: So what do you take away from the experience of making this documentary?

Bardem: I'm lucky in that I know a lot of good and capable people that can make it happen. We all need people. Human beings are not an island. I know a lot of people in different crafts. In this one, Alvaro has really worked hard to make it happen over the past four years. It's been a long road, and we're happy we have something to show. We wanted to make something real that people can have an opinion after watching it. In this case, it wasn't easy because you have to fight hard for people to speak. We weren't looking to jeopardize anyone. We just want people to learn and to take them through the journey of why this situation keeps being the same for so long.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Mohamed Mbarek Lafghir:المعتقل السياسي لفقير محمد مبارك

الاسم الكامل : لفقير محمد مبارك الملقب بي " فرنكو "
تاريخ ومكان الازدياد :1978 بمدينة العيون المحتلة
تعريف: لفقير محمد أمبارك كان إلي جانب إخوانه في مدينة العيون المحتلة يساهم في خدمة انتفاضة الاستقلال وكان من الشباب ألطلائعي في توعية و تاطير الجماهير ، والحضور والمساهمة في الوقفات والاحتجاجات المطالبة بتقرير المصير والاستقلال التي تعرفها مدينة العيون المحتلة ،حاولت السلطات الأمنية المغربية اعتقاله عدة مرات ،وزرت منزل عائلته لاعتقاله في مرات عديدة دون أن تنجح في ذالك ، قامت السلطات المغربية أيضا بقطع راتبه لمواقفه السياسية ، لفقير زار مخيمات ألاجئين الصحراويين في سنة 2009 ضمن وفد حقوقي ، كان من المؤطرين الأساسيين في لمخيم اكديم إزيك التاريخي ،تم اعتقال لفقير محمد أمبارك بعد تفكيك مخيم أقديم إزيك تعرض للتعذيب الوحشي ونقل إلي الحبس لكحل بمدينة العيون المحتلة ليتم نقله إلي سجن سلا المغربية وهو اليوم رفقة 23 معتقل سياسي صحراوي على خلفية أكديم إزيك ينتظرون محاكمة عسكرية