I have been a science fiction reader (not fantasy) for “only” 65 years, my first reading of the genre was The Puppet Masters (Robert A. Heinlein – 1951) and my Excel sheet says that I have 1,660 books though I do not believe in the existence of aliens that visit earth… but I have seen a UFO.
In 1980 I was driving my Lada Niva on a dirt track in one of the most isolated places in the Lleida Pyrenees (Catalonia – Spain) with my wife and my 2 year old son, we had spent the day in the mountains and it was getting late. We had a room in a hostel in a small town and it was getting dark but the sky was clear and it was still clear, I looked up and there “it” was.
At first I thought it was Venus since it can often be seen before it gets dark and so that’s what I told my wife. We then made a stop to rest and “it” was still up, it was already darker and its position was near a mountainside. It was also probably 5x bigger than Venus or Mars usually is to the naked eye.
Surprised, I decided to wait a while to see how it moved. I was even more surprised when it didn’t. With reference to the side of the mountain (Cadinell 1400m.), it did not move and did not rotate following the movement of the stars.
It was then that I decided to take my Pentax ME with the 200mm f/4 out. I took a photo knowing that little was going to be seen in it. Another long wait and “it” was still immobile. As it was getting dark and my son was starting to get agitated, we continued the way and continued seeing the object too.
When we entered a gorge we stopped seeing it and then when we reached the town it had disappeared, it was already night. When we were in the hostel having dinner, we asked other clients if they had seen anything and they said yes but without giving it any importance and so I did not comment further. Later we went out for a walk and we didn’t see it again.
To give you an idea of where this was, the main photo above is of Josa del Cadí (today 20 inhabitants) next to which we saw the object for the first time and the photo below is of Tuixen (height 1190 m / today 50 inhabitants) where our accommodation was, between the two towns there are about 13 Km. of curved road which today is well paved but the area is still isolated between high mountains and forests, it is a paradise. Two rivers that are born from large springs just above Tuixén meet in the town and always carry water, the valley ends in a narrow gorge through which only the river of LaVansa fits.
Tuixén (Leida – Spain) – Pentax ME
I never knew if “it” was a weather balloon, immobile – despite the wind – or if it was something else, it glowed because the sunlight was still shining over the mountains, possibly it stopped being seen at sunset but for at least an hour did not move. The date 8/8/80 was striking by itself.
When I received the developed photos, I asked for an enlargement, but it didn’t clarify what “it” was. Today I can see the object more outlined thanks to the negative scan but I am still in ignorance.
Photo enlarged and edited – Pentax ME. 5x detail of raw original, scanned from original negative. Independent pixels can be seen.
I don’t know if any 35mmc reader believes that UFOs and aliens exist but I don’t believe in them. For me it’s just become an anecdote that I usually tell to whoever wants to listen (or read) .
Thanks for reading my article.