Former Iberia Airline Pilot
Reveals Amazing
UFO Encounter
By Environmental News Network staff
"I'm 65 years old and flew for 40 years in the Air Force and then for Iberia. I now run a piloting school. I was born in Madrid, my father was a general in the Air Force. The day I saw a UFO from my aircraft I wasn't able to sleep00I havent stopped thinking about it all this time. I've just completed [my book] "Destino Cielo" about all my years of piloting and my UFO Encounter"
--Juan Lorenzo Torres: "It was on a collision course."
The son of an Air Force general, a combat pilot over the Sahara, companion in arms of the King (I see him, with his wife in several photos sharing a meal with Their Majesties), an Iberia pilot, director of an aviation academy...It could not have been easy for this military man to wax eloquent on the "UFO subject" as he calls it. It must be equally embarrassing for his former comrades to discuss Juan's calm "wackiness" as he declassifies documents and recalls distant lights. However, I've enjoyed more his memoirs about the Sahara and the Spanish occupation, his obedient "little moors" and his dandruff-covered camels than dizzying myself with the pages of the UFO universe.
--Luis Amiguet
Q: Why do you insist on remembering those lights now?
A: I think many people would like to know that my crew and I saw something that no one has been able to explain to this very day.
Q: When [was this]?
A: November 4, 1968 at 18 hours and 23 minutes.
Q: Where?
A: Over Sagunto, Valencia. I was the captain of a Caravelle 6-R, a very modern vehicle at the time, covering the Iberia route between London and Alicante (IB Flight 249). There were no incidents until we reached Barcelona. At some 100 miles away, the Barcelona tower ordered us to abandon level 310 -- 31,000 feet-- and descend to level 280.
Q: Why?
A: British Caledonia was heading for us in the opposite direction, so we were asked to descend to avoid a possible collision.
Q: So?
A: Well, I had already ordered dinner and the trays were in the cabin, but a that atltitude we were shaving the clouds, which produce a slight though uncomfortable turbulence. Having one's dinner that way was thoroughly disagreeable. I asked my co-pilot to visually monitor if the opposing traffic could be seen, in order that we could return to our proper level to have a peaceful dinner.
Q: Did he see it?
A: We thought so. He said: "I have it in sight", but what we saw instead was a flash and a light coming toward us at an impressive speed.
Q: {Were you] startled?
A: And scared. That thing was on a collision course.
Q: What did you do?
A: We dumped the trays and our jaws dropped, since that blinding light was nothing we'd seen before. We called the stewardess to witness the thing. None of us knew what it could be.
Q: What did the light do?
A: It stayed 10 meters from my plane's nose cone. It went up and down and moved from right to left, but always returned to the same spot, 10 meters away from my plane.
Q: Did you contact the Barcelona tower?
A: Well, it wasn't so easy. What could I say? We were all afraid of ridicule. I tried contacting the object in both English and Spanish, then I contacted the Barcelona VOR and asked if there was air traffic in the area. I was told that their radar coverage was limited to 60 miles.
Q: So what did you do then?
A: I made an emergency broadcast on the 121.5 channel so that all nearby aircraft could communicate with us.
Q: And after that?
A: We all stared at the lights. There was a large light and two small ones on the sides. I attempted a primitive communication system using my landing lights. I told it in Spanish: "On and off twice means no, on and off once means yes."
Q: And did you get along?
A: I think we did. I asked it several questions, among others: "Friend or foe?"
Q: What did you answer?
A: There was logic in their movements.
Q: How long did the sighting last?
A: Somewhat more than ten minutes.
Q: That's a long time.
A: Yes.
Q: What did you do upon landing?
A: That night we all slept poorly, as my crew told me the next day. We all made a pact of silence, but lieutenant colonel Abreu of the Barcelona tower, called me when I landed at El Prat and told me that the radar coverage for eastern Spain had recorded those "UFOs". I asked for a copy of these records and he gave me one.
Q: Do you still have that copy?
A: No, because 4 month later, another Caravelle piloted by commander Ordovas had another sighting in the area, flying with the same flight engineer, Jose Cuenca! The news made it into the media because one of the flight attendants had a boyfriend who was a journalist.
Q: So the rumor spread...
A: Yes. Journalists began calling and four months later Lt. Col Ugarte and a lawyer showed up and the copy was confiscated.
Q: Well!
A: After reporting the sighting, Lt. Col Ugarte concluded that what the co-pilot, engineer, flight attendant and I had seen was in fact Venus!
Q: Venus?
A: Yes, Venus. Venus was stuck to my plane's nose, I never realized it!
Q: What made them say that?
A: I guess that their military culture finds it very embarrassing not to have an explanation. Venus is as good an answer as any.
Q: And what do you think?
A: I thought it could have been--why not?--an alien craft or something by alien creatures. When military intelligence desclassified the documents on the sightings, I noticed the radar records were absent. Lt. Col. Abreu told me the radar had recorded three UFOs.
Q: Do you believe in them?
A: I think I saw something from a non terrestrial culture.
Q: Do you have any other data?
A: I'd say the same thing. The ones in charge will deny what they see before accepting what they can't explain or control. And of course, it was Venus.
Translation (c) 2000. Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU) Special thanks to Javier Garcia Blanco (LACIP)

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