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30 Years Of UFO Research By Uruguayan AF

From: A. J. Gevaerd - Revista UFO <aj.nul>
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2012 11:16:37 -0200
Archived: Tue, 07 Feb 2012 06:37:04 -0500
Subject: 30 Years Of UFO Research By Uruguayan AF

Interview with Colonel Ariel Sanchez, chairman of the Commission
for the Reception and Investigation of UFO Reports (Cridovni)

"One of the smallest countries in South America, Uruguay is also
the place where the military are more open-minded towards the
UFO Phenomenon. UFO occurrences are investigated by the
Uruguayan Air Force (FAU) as part of their routine activities.
This interview was published in two parts in the Brazilian UFO
Magazine editions 185 and 186, February and March 2012".

By A. J. Gevaerd
Editor, Brazilian UFO Magazine

Uruguay Air Force Openly Researches UFOs For More Than Three


Few people know that a small country in South America has an
official office for flying saucer research as part of its Air
Force. The office is continuously operating since 1979 when it
was established by the president of the Republic himself. That's
right: it has been more than three decades since the Committee
for the Reception and Investigation of UFO Reports (Cridovni)
operates in Uruguay. Only three other similar institutions are
known in the continent. These are the Center for the Study of
Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA), established in Chile in 1997
and working within the country's General Civil Aviation Office;
the Office for the Investigation of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena
(OIFAA), in the Peruvian Air Force (FAP); and an Argentine
committee created last year but still under development.

All of the examples above are generally ignored by the worldwide
UFO community. Those nations have official bodies openly
exploring the possible extraterrestrial origin of UFOs. The same
has happened in Brazil in the 50s and the 60s, and something
similar in the 70s. To uncover these initiatives and to try to
make Brazilian authorities engage again in official
investigations of the UFO Phenomena was some of the purposes of
the campaign "UFOs: Freedom of Information Now", released in
2004 by the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU). Its
goals were the declassification of official UFO files - already
achieved - as well as establishing an official body for UFO
investigation in the country. Although Brazil had openly
acknowledged the issue and released documents dated from 1950 to
2010, the country still misses an institution like Cridovni,
CEFAA or OIFAA. In fact, it was promised back in May 2005 by
Brigadier Luis Carlos da Silva Bueno, former Brazilian Air Force
(FAB) commander. We still wait for the fulfillment of that

A skillful researcher

In 2010 I was in Montevideo to make a presentation on the
Brazilian process of UFO disclosure. I took that opportunity to
better understand the work of an official UFO research
institution, since they include civilians in their ranks. That
time I interviewed the chair of Cridovni, a FAU officer who is
also an ufologist and a gifted speaker. He was many times in
Brazil presenting the works of the body he runs - yes, he is
also a common presence in international conferences.

The opportunity of interviewing Coronel Ariel Sanchez at the
headquarters of his Committee at the Boiso Lanza Air Base, 30km
from Montevideo, was a great one. We had a long talk just like
the ones I had with other military in Brazil and abroad, a kind
of talk which is significant to increase transparency on UFO
issues. The interview was actually a three-hour friendly chat
followed by a lunch in the air base and a tour around its
facilities. "We keep no secrets and it is a pleasure to show UFO
Magazine everything we do", said Sanchez on the way to his
country's air traffic control center - also located at Boiso

Ariel Sanchez has been international correspondent of the
Brazilian UFO Magazine for over a decade and holds a reputable
background in UFO experiences. His post as the chair of the
Uruguayan Committee makes him a unique person. "Our files
contain any kind of UFO cases you would see in the X-Files", he
says. It is very much true as you will see below. He and his
team - including Lt. Daniel Silveira, also a consultant to UFO
Magazine -, are like Mulders and Scullys, as thorough
researchers as those could be.

Professional ufologists

It was interesting seeing how Cridovni works. Its members are
professional ufologists, since they are paid by FAU. In fact,
they are regular Air Force staff dedicating part of their time
to UFO research and standing by for any call. When reported any
occurrence they go after it in uniforms and official vehicles.
They interview witnesses, collect samples, gather data, and then
start a thorough investigation following strict methodological
standards. Uruguay is a model to be reproduced by every country
in her continent.

Another good example to be taken is their I International
Congress on Investigation of Aerospace and Terrestrial
Phenomena, organized by Cridovni, in Montevideo, in November
2010. That was the first Ufological event in the world known to
be supported by a military branch - the Air Force in this case.
The audience was filled with military garments. There is yet
another thing: in order to extend the outreach with-in its
little country, Cridovni established a civilian section - the
Regional Center for Investigation of Aero-space and Terrestrial
Phenomena (Crifat) is operating for 10 years now. "We still got
no answers regarding the UFO phenomenon, what these vehicles and
their origin are, but we keep on researching with the utmost
disposition", says Sanchez before adding, "As men at the service
of Uruguay we must be impartial. We don't encourage or
discourage any particular point of view".

An open mind towards new ideas

Regarding the Congress held in Montevideo, Coronel Ariel Sanchez
says "I wanted it to be as open as possible". The event
attracted big names of South-American Ufology. Although Cridovni
adopts a scientific approach towards the UFO phenomenon, its
members keep an open mind and agree to discuss Ufology with
representatives of many other lines of interpretation. Sanchez
confirms they have received over 2200 re-ports so far including
photos and videos that reach the office every day through
letters, e-mails and phone calls. "However, we still haven't
found any evidence of direct contacts with ETs".

Also an air traffic controller, Sanchez narrates intriguing
cases in his country. Some of which involve military and
civilian aircraft in events that endangered flight security. "We
had to report the facts immediately to the Air Force commander
who contacted the Defense minister who, in turn, contacted the
President", he says regarding a case involving a Lufthansa
aircraft in 2007. Coronel Sanchez reveals that Cridovni works in
partnership with civilian research groups and official
institutions in other countries. In summary, he tells of how an
official UFO research institution should be - just in case other
military abroad need an example. Below we share his interview.

Uruguay has a unique approach towards UFO research by officially
responding to occurrences as soon as possible and applying a
military methodology to it. We could call you the real "X-
Files". Tell us, Coronel Sanchez, how does it feel to be an
"official ufologist", a person to whom Ufology is also a
military mission? Despite the responsibilities as
representatives of the Uruguayan Air Force (FAU) we have a
normal life. We are the State of Uruguay when issuing reports on
our findings. The Committee must adopt a certain approach
towards witnesses and media. Most of all, we must be impartial
and objective when handling the UFO issue. This is meant to not
encourage or discourage investigations. Also, we release
information collected in the field in the most serious manner.
As representatives of FAU we should not rush into conclusive
reports when more investigation is needed. We must be unbiased
in our work and this is not meant to withhold information.
Instead, this is in order to better inform the people as they
deserve our respect.

The full length interview is here to be downloaded:


A. J. Gevaerd, editor of the Brazilian UFO Magazine

Translated by Eduardo Rado, from the Brazilian UFO Magazine

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