Photos & Projects

Aliens don’t exist… But I have seen (and Photographed) a UFO – By Jordi Fradera

May 2, 2021

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.

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  • Reply
    May 2, 2021 at 10:52 am

    I even have a closer one of a UFO

    Great story!

    Martin in Austria

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      May 2, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks for your attention. Do you have UFOs in Austria? The mountains usually hide them. Well … it’s a joke.

      • Reply
        May 3, 2021 at 11:18 am

        As you can see we have them 😉
        This one was photographd by the river Danube so in the valleys.

        Martin in Austria

        • Reply
          Jordi Fradera
          May 3, 2021 at 12:56 pm

          Fantastic, I like it better than mine, at least we can see its shape. I have been doubting what it was for a long time but I did not dream it – I have the photo.

  • Reply
    Thorsten Wulff
    May 2, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Good job Jordi! I saw one while on a plane approaching San Francisco in 2013. No camera at hand and it was moving too fast! Started with Harlan Ellison roughly 1975.

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      May 2, 2021 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks for the comment, like any mortal sometimes I see strange things, fortunately few times.

  • Reply
    Neal Wellons
    May 2, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    I saw a similar bright object in the sky many years ago. Fortunately, I was at home and had an astronomical telescope I had purchased to see comet Kohoutek, billed as the “Comet of the Century.” Most readers probably don’t remember that dud because it was in 1973.

    Anyway after watching it steady and very bright in the sky one evening, I went in and got the telescope. It was a cheap one and hard to find targets but finally the object appeared in all its glory through the eyepiece. It was close enough for me and my wife to see details and realize it was a weather balloon.

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      May 2, 2021 at 1:08 pm

      I sincerely think it was a weather balloon but I like to tell it with some mystery. Each person has their stories.

  • Reply
    Peter Grey
    May 2, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    I don’t know about aliens, but UFO’s certainly exist. As long as the flying object is not identified it is a UFO. (I love the Tuixén photograph!)

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      May 2, 2021 at 5:33 pm

      Thank you, I agree on the difference between UFO and alien. The Pyrenees have wonderful corners and that valley (La Vansa) is little known. In Google Maps you can see the area and its isolation perfectly.

  • Reply
    Michael J
    May 2, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    The extra-terrestrial were clearly attracted by the easy handling and crisp rendering of the M-series 200mm/f4…

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      May 2, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      I had a great time with my Pentax ME, now I have it disassembled and decorative but I keep the 50mm f1.4 and 200mm f4, they were of good quality.

  • Reply
    Peter Christensen
    May 2, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    You article made me wonder:
    Why do we look at photographs?
    Often I find myself looking for the things that are absent in the photo, a feeling, a mood or some other unidentified aspect, which I cannot put into words, and isn’t that the mystery of photography and why we keep on taking pictures…
    I think it is to me at least…


  • Reply
    May 3, 2021 at 12:27 am

    To believe we are alone in the universe is naive and short sighted

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      May 3, 2021 at 9:31 am

      Thanks for comment. There could be “others” but I think they are very far in distance and time.

      • Reply
        May 3, 2021 at 6:16 pm

        It is a bit of a depressing paradox. The sheer size of the galaxy means that there are likely thousands of inhabited planets. That same size means the odds of ever meeting one is unlikely.

        • Reply
          Jordi Fradera
          May 3, 2021 at 6:32 pm

          In addition to the distance, there must be a coincidence in time: There may be a planet with life already extinct thousands of years ago or thousands of years before it appears.
          Better that it is unlikely or impossible, we already have enough problems without outside help.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    The Drake Equation predicts anything from 10 (ie ten not ten million) to 50 million civilisations in our galaxy on our current light cone. Which goes to show how little we know of each parameter in that equation.

    Personally I’m sure there are “aliens” out there but hopefully they are sufficiently far away as to not want to pay us a visit as those that might have the technology to do so would have to be so advanced as to see us as mere ant like creatures or worse. Remember how we treat ants!

    Meanwhile I’ll contend with looking at some of our fellow species on a Saturday night after the Pubs close and wonder what planet they came from.
    Now…back to photography.

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      May 5, 2021 at 5:40 pm

      Absolutely agree, although my language is not English and I translate with Google I suppose that by species you mean walkers somewhat loaded with something that is not exactly water, not all the strangers have to come from outside our planet.
      It’s fun but as you say “let’s go back to photography”

  • Reply
    Vishal ram
    May 31, 2021 at 3:42 am

    Hey Jordi! This post was really Fantastic. Anyways was that “thing” moving with the other celestial objects with equal ratio? Because there are more chances that, it was a Comet. Based on the shape on the photo, one could say that it was a Comet or Meteor, but as there isn’t any tail, we couldn’t be sure. That may have been a UFO🛸. Anyways, this was a great post! This remembers me one of my post – Where Are The Aliens? Here is the link, if you need to take a look.

    • Reply
      Jordi Fradera
      May 31, 2021 at 11:47 am

      Thanks for your comment.
      Seeing my article you already know what I think and that I make a joke about almost everything, anyway I agree with many things in your publication although I think that we are possibly too far in space and time to discover others or be discovered by others. Whether they exist or not is a dead end dilemma

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