22 September 2020
(Comité de Estudios de Fenómenos Aéreos Anómalos (CEFAA), Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil, Santiago, Chile)
The whole article (translated by Google Translate):
“On October 3, 2020, the Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA), dependent on the General Secretariat of the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC), celebrates 23 years of existence.
On that day and month, but in 1997, CEFAA was born through Exempt Resolution No. 01599 after the interest expressed by the then Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Air Force, Air General Fernando Rojas Vender, and by the former Commander of that branch, General Ramón Vega Hidalgo, who determined that the investigative body be under the authority of the DGAC.
In this way, through an official document, the then Director of the Institution, General of the Air Brigade Gonzalo Miranda Aguirre, gave life to CEFAA in the premises of the Aeronautical Technical School, in the Quinta Normal, in Santiago.
In 1996, the written press in our country published articles on 27 sightings, with an average of just over two per month, and in 1997, almost one case was registered per month, according to data provided by engineer Pablo Petrowitsch, one of the first scholars of this type of phenomena in Chile.
Sightings in Arica
Although 1996 was copious in reports of sightings, the decisive cases for the creation of CEFAA occurred in late March and early April 1997. During those days, the press published reports on lights of unknown origin over Arica for three consecutive nights and one of the incidents was even seen by personnel from the Control Tower and by the then head of the Chacalluta Airport.
CEFAA’s mission is to collect, study, analyze and classify all the information related to strange aerial phenomena reported in the national territory, with the aim of supporting the safety of air operations in the airspace of responsibility of the DGAC, which covers 32 million square kilometers.
The first Director of CEFAA was Colonel Enzo Di Nocera and since its birth the Air Traffic Controller Gustavo Rodríguez Navarro was linked to the new entity, who was known within the DGAC because for decades he had been investigating reports of anomalous aerial phenomena by personal interest.
In 1998, Air Brigade General Ricardo Bermúdez Sanhueza assumed the leadership of ETA and also CEFAA, until February 2002. In March of that year, CEFAA's leadership was under the command of Air Brigade General Hernán Henríquez Cobaise, who he held that position until March 2008. During all those years, CEFAA entered a dormant stage.
On December 15, 2009, the then Director General of Civil Aeronautics, General of the Air Brigade José Huepe Pérez, ordered that CEFAA become directly dependent on the General Secretariat of the DGAC, for which reason the Committee left the Aeronautical Technical School, It began to function on the grounds of the National Aeronautical and Space Museum and was again in charge of General (R) Ricardo Bermúdez.
The CEFAA operated for years with General Bermúdez at the head, with the Air Traffic Controller Gustavo Rodríguez as an investigator and with José Lay as the Head of International Relations.
During those first years, CEFAA stood out for giving free talks with different guests at the Aeronautical Technical School, for a high-profile event with international guests during the International Air and Space Fair (FIDAE) 2000 and for similar events during the editions of FIDAE of 2016 and 2018.
In December 2016, General Bermúdez left the leadership of CEFAA and in September 2017, the scientific journalist and historian Hugo Camus Palacios joined by public competition, who soon took over the leadership of the Committee.
The merit of having initiated the investigation of these phenomena in Chile goes to the Chilean Commission for Studies of Unidentified Space Phenomena, created by the Director of the Chilean Meteorological Office, Sergio Napoleón Bravo, and sponsored by the Scientific Society of Chile, in which featured prominent academics, scientists and researchers of the time.
In an interview published by the Spanish newspaper ABC in 1969, Sergio Bravo affirmed: “I confess that at first, when the news about it began to invade the world press, we were skeptical. But there were so many stories and the professional solvency of many of the people who referred to it that the concern to investigate these facts in a systematic and scientific way was born in us ".
In 2017, in addition to Hugo Camus, Pablo Trigo Marihual joined CEFAA as administrative assistant. At the end of that year, Gustavo Rodríguez and José Lay left the Committee after several years of service and in March 2018, science professor Gustavo Arriagada Bustamante joined the committee as a researcher.
The new CEFAA team was completed in mid-October 2019, when journalist Patricio Abusleme Hoffman joined as a second investigator.
During the few years in which the new CEFAA has functioned, Director Camus has participated in ufological conferences, has been interviewed by different media and, together with researcher Gustavo Arriagada, has given talks on the work of CEFAA to aeronautical and different branches of the Armed Forces in various cities of Chile.
After the paradigm shift that the global pandemic caused by Covid-19 meant, the members of CEFAA have continued to carry out their work remotely, consulting their internal and external advisers when the cases under study warrant it.
To report any sighting of anomalous aerial phenomena that have taken place within the territory of the Republic of Chile, users can do so through the CEFAA website at the following link:
English translation (by Google Translate):
The current CEFAA team, headed by Director Hugo Camus, at the Committee’s premises in Cerrillos.
(Text: cefaa.gob.cl) (Photo: cefaa.gob.cl)
(Text: cefaa.gob.cl) (Photo: cefaa.gob.cl)