“A reconnaissance Mirage F-1 from the 141 Squadron of the Spanish Army tried to intercept the UFO several times. However, the unknown device was always kept at a distance from the military fighter, despite the fact that this type of aircraft can reach 2,300 kilometers per hour. The ABC Newspaper Library keeps the chronicle signed by Alfredo Semprún Guillén on November 13, 1979, in which he reported that a plane had had to make an emergency landing at the Manises airport because of a UFO.
More than 42 years later, the US Congress analyzes UFO sightings after having detected twenty-one cases without possible explanation with current technology.
What happened in Valencia that night in November 1979 is still unknown.
Then, a "Super Caravelle" plane from the company TAE -Aerial Works and Links- had to divert its course when it ran into two large red lights and made an emergency landing in Manises.
Flight JK-297 covered the Palma de Mallorca-Tenerife route. The sighting occurred in the area between Ibiza and Alicante. Then, the pilot, Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada, sounded the alarm: “It is much faster than us and it is getting closer and closer. I'm going to Valencia!"
Asked by the ABC journalist if it was a UFO, the plane's commander replied that "I only know that it was a devilishly fast device with amazing maneuverability."
As has happened now in the United States, the Manises UFO case reached the Congress of Deputies in Spain in the 1980s. Enrique Múgica, then a PSOE deputy, asked in September 1980 about the event, considered the main milestone of ufology in the history of Spain.
The Ministry of Defense, which arrived to deploy a fighter the night of the sighting, limited itself to assuring in the report on the case that the unknown traffic that forced flight JK-297 to make an emergency landing at the Manises airport was of undetermined origin. .
Four decades later the unknowns are still open. The possible explanation for that event goes from the fact that what the pilot Lerdo de Tejada saw was not a UFO but night stars or meteorological phenomena or flares from the combustion towers of the Escombreras refinery, in the Murcian town of Cartagena. Other theories point to the maneuvers of a US Navy aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean and that one of its fighters was mistaken for a UFO.