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Mexican Air Force releases controversial UFO video

from the June 2004 Star Beacon
     On March 5, 2004, around 5:00 p.m., a Mexican Air Force Merlín C26A bimotor airplane, equipped with high-tech advanced digital equipment, was flying a routine mission searching for smugglers during an anti-narcotics operation. The aircraft was under the command of Mayor Magdaleno Jasso Núnez and was flying over Ciudad del Carmen in Campeche.

     Power sensor detectors (a FLIR Star Zaphir II) and a RADAR AN/PS 143 Bravo Victor 3 were being used by qualified personnel aboard the airplane, with all operations being recorded both in normal and infrared mode. The FLIR operator was Lt. Mario Adrián Vázquez and the RADAR operator was Lt. German Ramirez, both members of the 5012 Aerial Squadron.

     Programmed only for surveillance and detection procedures, and not for interception or combat activity, the airplane’s purpose was to identify the flights of drug dealers and report them to the base.
The Merlín C26a was flying at 10,500 feet over Ciudad del Carmen when it detected unknown traffic. Suspecting a drug dealer airplane, Mayor Magdaleno Jasso attempted to approach the traffic at a certain range to get a closer look and record the target. Simultaneously, Mayor Jasso reported by radio to the base that a possible suspect had been detected and requested interceptor planes to be alerted.

     The RADAR AN/PS 143 Bravo Victor 3 was picking up the unknown traffic and the FLILR Star Zapphir II was recording the object in infrared. But as the airplane approached to make a visual identification, the unknown made a sudden maneuver, flying away at tremendous speed. Up to this point, nothing could be seen of the traffic except what was being recorded by the digital equipment.

     Moments later the unknown object returned and began to follow the Merlín C26A. This was picked up by the RADAR and the FLIR, although the airplane’s personnel still had not made visual contact.
Within seconds the equipment detected not only one but two objects following them. The images in both RADAR and the FLIR were clear and unmistakable.

     But both pilot and personnel still couldn’t see what was following them.

     As Mayor Magdaleno Jasso reported to the base what was taking place, giving detail of all the information registered by the equipment, the FLIR continued recording in frared every movement made by the two unknown objects that seemed to be keeping their distance from the C26A, but were still following it. Confused, the crew about the Merlín C26A kept seeing the images on the FLIR and RADAR and were wondering what was going on.

     Several minutes passed in which the crew continued making maneuvers in an attempt to gain visual contact. Suddenly more unknown objects arrived on the scene. The RADAR and FLIR detected nine new objects which were the same size and had the same characteristics. These unknown objects appeared to come out of nowhere. Sensing that the situation had entered a high level of danger, Mayor Magdaleno Jasso radioed to base, requesting instructions.

     The 11 unknown objects then surrounded the Mexican Air Force airplane in a circle at close range. The RADAR and FLIR showed the formation, which still was invisible to the eyes of the crew. Mayor Magdaleno Jasso called in a red alert. He then decided to turn out all the airplane lights and wait to see what would happen next.

     The crew of the C26A remained calm through the silence and uncertainty of their situation, and after several stressful minutes the 11 objects disappeared just like that. The Merlín C26A then returned safely to the Air Force Base and Mayor Magdaleno Jasson prepared a complete report of the incident along with his crew.

     Mexico’s Secretary of Defense, Gerardo Clemente Vega Garcia, began a full investigation of the incident, in which statements by the crew were taken, as well as images, measurements and a complete evaluation of the meteorological data. The incident was taken seriously by the Department of Defense staff, and after several weeks they decided to contact researcher and TV journalist Jaime Maussan, who is an experienced investigator of the phenomenon.

     On April 22, 2004 Gerardo Clemente Vega turned over to Jaime Maussan a copy of all the tapes and data collected by the Merlín C26A, for study, evaluation and analysis by Maussan’s research team. Gerardo Clemente Vega Garcia and his staff were open to discuss the subject and showed legitimate interest in conducting the investigation in order to establish the truth of what had occurred. Vega also authorized the Merlín C26A crew to give Maussan the interviews needed without any censorship.
On May 11, 2004, the video was made public of the 11 unidentified objects captured on video by the Merlín C26A’s crew. In an exclusive interview with the La Prensa newspaper, Jaime Maussan stated that the Mexican Secretary of Defense had authorized the broadcast of this material to both domestic and foreign news media.

     However, the next day, Gerardo Clemente Vega Garcia said in a phone interview, “I forbade any talk of UFOs or flying saucers, since that gives rise to doubts and gossip.” In discussing the incident, Garcia said, “I receive daily information on what happens with these flights through the Republic. This (the photo evidence) was sent in for analysis, has no explanation, and I would like to caution that we never spoke of UFOs or saucers or anything, only the sighting of some very strange contacts that were incomprehensible in this situation, given that there was nothing at all flying in the air at the time, according to the Ciudad del Carmen Airport. The devices record accurately a series of luminous contacts.”

     Garcia further disclosed that he and his staff reached the conclusion that there were two possibilities in dealing with the problem: They could file it as a routine matter pending further analysis, or they could give it to a person who knew about such things, named Jaime Mausson.
“He came over, he was shown the video, he saw this and it was given to him for use in his projects and to be broadcast as he saw fit, without alarming anyone, since as you can see it is already being said that it’s a distraction from current affairs. That is not my purpose, nor do I as a military man engage in such activities,” Garcia added.

     The interview was conducted by Carlos Loret de Mola for Hoy por Hoy News/Grupo Radiopol (translated by Scott Corrales of the Institute of Hispanic Ufology).

     On May 13, skeptics came forward to suggest the UFOs were weather balloons. The Sociedad Astronomica Urania of the state of Morelos said the objects resembled a group of weather balloons, such as the thousands launched daily from universities, research centers and airports. They claimed this type of object is often mistaken by commercial or military pilots with UFOs. Many scientific groups were apparently upset because the Department of Defense had turned the evidence over to Jaime Mausson instead of them.

     Then, on May 14, an article in La Cronica de Hoy related that Mexican scientists were considering the possibility of metereorite fragments for the alleged UFOs recorded over Campeche. One astronomer, Jose de la Herrán, explained that when a meteor crashes into Earth’s atmosphere, it shatters into pieces which look as though they are static and aligned with one another as they emit an intense glow. “And of course, people who do not know such phenomena occur interpret them in many ways upon seeing them,” he said. “For example, they can say they were alien spaceships by virtue of having seen them.”

     Rafael Navarro of the Plasma Chemistry and Planetary Study Laboratory of the UNAM Institute of Nuclear Science, said the objects were almost certainly “space junk” resulting from hundreds of satellites that burn up when reentering Earth’s atmosphere.
Another theory that came as a result of the March 5 incident was ball lightning. Scientists at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), after seeing the footage on the objects over Campeche, contacted Secretary of Defense Clemente Vega Garcia to request information on radar frequency, height and velocity of the military aircraft and data on speed at which the luminous spheres were moving.

     Their interest centered around the idea that the phenomenon was ball lightning, a little known phenomenon on which there is very little documentation or proof. Ball lightning events recorded to date have occurred at low altitudes and very brief periods: microseconds. In this case, they lasted longer than usual. The scientists felt they could learn a lot by studying the evidence.

     UFO researcher Santiago Yturria came forth with a statement on May 18, 2004 from a top Mexican meteorologist, Alberto Hernandez Unzon, who talked about lightning conditions and explained why the March 5 sighting couldn’t be ball lightning. Unzon is an engineer in Geophysics and submanager of the National Meteorological Services. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National System for Civil Protection and of the Hurricane Committee of the Worldwide Meteorological Association.

     “According to satellite images,” Unzon said in the interview by Yturria, “the conditions registered in the observatories and the satellite RADAR images, there were stable conditions in the entire Campeche zone. In the specific place of interest in this issue, there were cloud formation and some stratus clouds that are stable conditions for this season.”

     He continued, “There were no rains registered and the cloudiness type was very stable as we can see in (these) satellite images and the Air Force video.”

     When asked about lightning conditions, Unzo replied, “A flash is a lightning of a short duration and short intensity. That’s the basic definition. We all have witnessed an electric storm sometime. Special conditions are required for an electrical storm — big, vertical clouds and a completely unstable atmosphere, ionization in the atmosphere and the meteorological systems that provoke that type of cloudiness.”

     Asked if the scientists from the UNAM had approached the National Meteorological Services to request conditions over Campeche in order to support their theory, Unzon responded, “No, they have never approached us at any time.” He added, “There were no weather balloons sent up in that area.”

     Unzon was then asked about the duration of a flash of lightning.

     “A flash lasts microseconds. We cannot talk even of one or two seconds because it’s just a single discharge. To say that these lights on the video are ball lightning or electrical sparks is nonsense. I repeat, that day there were no meteorological conditions for flash or ball lightning in the entire Campeche area. The clouds must have been at approximately 7 km high; therefore, what we see are stable stratus cloud formations.

     “If this is an optical phenomena, it cannot be referred to meteorology. It is not a photo meteor, it is not a litho meteor. They are not ice crystals nor a St. Elmo’s fire. Those are all meteorological phenomenons. And this is not a mirage phenomenon.

     “In conclusion, we do not have an explanation to this phenomena.”


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