Unsolved Mysteries of the World
The Manises UFO Incident
It was November 14, 1979 and Flight JK-297 had just taken off from Salzburg in Austria carrying 109 passengers and made a quick stop in Majorca before setting its course toward Las Palmas, one of Spain's Canary Islands just off the coast of northwest Africa.
Half way through the flight the pilot made a decision to make an emergency landing in Valencia, having said he believed he was on a collision course with an unknown object, a UFO.
This is Unsolved Mysteries of the World, Season Five, Episode Five, The Manises UFO Incident.
Pilot Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada and his flight crew noticed a set of red lights in the distance that were fast approaching their location. The lights appeared to be on a direct collision course with the aircraft and the crew, alarmed and unsure what was approaching requested information about the lights from the flight control center in Barcelona.
The flight center picked up the objects on radar and they were of no commercial aircraft. The flight control center contacted Torrejon de Ardoz Military Base in Madrid to see if it was military in nature. They, too, said the objects were appearing on their radar, but it was not theirs.
Meanwhile, to avoid a possible collision, the captain changed altitude. However, the lights mirrored the altitude and stayed about a half kilometre away based on the radar indications from both the control tower and military radar.
Because the objects were violating all safety rules and an evasive maneuver was deemed impossible for the commercial airliner the captain requested to make an emergency landing at Manises' airport. It was the first time a commercial airliner would make an emergency landing upon seeing a UFO.
The lights seemed to follow the aircraft's new position, but then the captain indicated the lights disappeared once they made their final decent toward the airport.
Suddenly, however, three new UFO signals were detected by both military and flight control radar. Each one was estimated to be about 200 meters in diameter.
One of the lights followed the aircraft as it touched down and ground crews, believing it was an unregistered flight experiencing difficulties turned on the emergency lights and had fire crews and rescue personal alerted.
Given the amount of sheer unknowns, a Mirage F-1 fighter jet was scrambled to identify the aerial phenomenon. The pilot, Spanish Air Force Captain Fernando Camara, had to increase his speed to mach 1.4 just to be able to get visual contact with what he said was a cone shape object displaying various ever-changing colors, but despite his speed he was unable to keep up with the object and it flew off out of sight.
The Captain was then alerted to another radar blip of another object to his immediate six. He turned sharply towards Valencia, weapons at ready. As he got visual sighting, the object increased speed and disappeared.
The Captain was then getting alerts from his aircraft that his electronic systems were not functioning properly. His flight systems were jammed and his weapons disabled. Despite this, the captain increased acceleration to see if he could locate the object. His last visual was that it was speeding off towards Africa. For over an hour the captain, without the help of his guidance and navigation systems and his weapons jammed continued to look for the object but with his fuel now in short supply he had to return to Spain.