A UFO in Spain
The following true story was written by Terry David Burgoyne, alias Lonecat
Whenever somebody asks me if I have ever seen a U.F.O. I’m never really quite sure how to answer. I did once have an experience in Spain which, viewed with hindsight, I tend to rationalize almost to the point of dismissing it entirely from my mind. And yet… And yet, one thing that I must admit is that the incident taught me an a important lesson.
One fine day I was standing at the bar of one of Madrid’s ubiquitous “Mesónes” enjoying a fine wine with an American friend of mine from New York, Tony Lugano, (not his real name) and our conversation turned to getting out of Madrid for a weekend. Tony was writing a “trilogy” at the time and he felt he wanted to give it a rest for a bit and I hadn’t been out of the city for months anyway. We both felt that a good walk somewhere out in the country was what we needed where we could breathe some fresh air after the heat of Madrid.
As we were both very much interested in archaeology I suggested we visit the ruins of the celti-berian city of Tiermes, the last of its kind to succumb to Roman domination. I told Tony how the ruins were out in the wilds and one needed a private car to to get there comfortably. Why didn’t we go there “uncomfortably” by taking a bus to the nearest town and then walk across country from there? Tony was all for it and proposed that we leave on the following Saturday. So we drank up and set ourselves to planning the trip.
Came the Saturday morning we met as arranged at the bus station, I rather overburdened with a rucksack stuffed with a warm, quilted sleeping bag and other supplies I considered essential and Tony very lightly dressed in safari trousers and sandals and a T-shirt. He carried a rolled blanket slung across his back by a length of ordinary string. He reminded me rather of one of those partisans you see in old news-reels of the Spanish civil war. The only other thing he had with him was a plastic bottle full of water. As I said, we took the bus to the nearest large town and it was mid-day or thereabouts before we arrived. There we were told that we had a good ten mile or so walk ahead of us even as the crow flew. We had a map which was one of my “essential” items in the rucksack and so we started out in high spirits.
The terrain we had to cross was rather like the kind an army would choose for an assault course for troop training. If you can imagine a scale model of the Grand Canyon or the Badlands or a mixture of the two with a bit of Death Valley thrown in and finished off with a touch of the scenery in “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, then you will have a general idea of the barren, stark lie-of-the land around Tiermes with its cracked, sunbaked rocks and waterless gullies, sparse vegetation and practically no trees at all. I mention this as it is a factor in this story. We walked across this moonscape under an unsympathetic Sun with the chirruping cicadas all around us in the still air. We didn’t talk much, in order to save our breath. For mile after mile we saw no sign of any living creature save the occasional eagle or hawk circling high overhead. Eventually we came to a small hamlet which really was little more than a cluster of simple, stone cottages and one or two baked, mud streets.
By this time the Sun had gone down and we were thinking about where we were going to spend the night. There were no bars or taverns in this rustic, and, I thought, rather Cervantine “población” so we knocked on the door of one of the dwellings and asked the lady who answered, (dressed all in black shawl and headscarf), for some water as our bottles were now long empty. She filled our bottles for us and told us that we might find lodging for the night at the next village which was some three, or was it four miles further on over that hill there and those rocky outcrops which we could discern in the distance. The village she told us of was not much bigger than this first one. It did have a small guesthouse but the people there told us it was fully booked. I then asked if there might be a barn nearby or some other form of shelter but here, it seemed, the locals were none too eager to welcome strangers and more or less told us to keep on walking.
With no other option, we decided to look for a field or some other open space free of insects and possible scorpions, in which to sleep. It was now getting very dark so we walked out of the village along a very bad, one track road that was full of potholes. As we walked, it grew so dark that we stopped and decided that we would have to rough it where we were for it would be to dangerous to continue walking and start blundering around in the dark.
The stars were now appearing and it was getting colder by the minute. Just as I began to unsling my rucksack to take out my sleeping bag, and through the gloom of nightfall, I saw a bright light that hadn’t been there a moment before. Tony had seen it, too and we looked at each other, puzzled. The light was about a hundred and fifty yards away in what appeared to be some sort of olive grove. Neither of us could think of what it might be. I can best describe it as a circular pool of light projected onto the ground as by the headlights of a car but this was one, single disc of light, not the two one would expect from a car’s lights. The light illuminated a patch of ground so that we could see the clumpy soil and large stones lying around at the base of some trees or bushes. We estimated the diametre of the pool of light to be about ten to twelve feet. We stood and watched it, wondering what sort of vehicle would be parked with its light ablaze at his time of night in the middle of an olive grove. We could neither see nor hear anything that suggested the presence of people. There was no sound of movement nor any voices. Tony was as puzzled as I was. We must have stood there, speechless, for a couple of minutes before Tony said in a low whisper “shall we go take a look?”
I nodded without taking my eyes off the light in the field. Then I whispered back, “O.K. let’s go”. I then picked up my rucksack again and we started to move down the slope of loose stones into a deep ditch between the roadway and the field which rose again on the other side. As we scrambled from the ditch onto the upward incline of this olive grove the light disappeared. Just like that, as if it had been quietly switched off. We halted for a space and turned to each other questioningly. We started forward again and then paused once more. I said in a whisper, “What now?” We can’t keep walking around in the dark”. We could now see nothing among the olive trees if indeed olive trees they were. However the sky was now a glorious panoply of countless stars and the Milky Way arched overhead. Jupiter was prominent to the south. The breathtaking milky light of the heavens made the landscape around us an inky blackness by contrast. Tony and I could see each other only as pale faces against the starlight. At a loss for a moment as to what to do next we stood and gazed in awe at the enthralling spectacle of the heavens above us.
It was then that we saw the lights: both of us at once. Approaching us over the brow of the roadway above us which was now an edge of darkness against the stars, we saw three lights, red, bluish green and white which formed a shallow triangle. The lights pulsated gently. Tony and I looked at each other open-mouthed. We were obviously thinking the same thing. We looked again at the lights which came towards us in complete silence, growing larger and brighter as they came nearer. If this was an aircraft it was big and it was low. It could not have been more that forty or fifty feet off the ground and there was nowhere in this terrain for even a small plane to land. A crash seemed imminent.
The plane or whatever it was passed over the field we were in to our right, as if about to touch down. It now seemed to be as big as a passenger aircraft though we could see no cabin lights, just the triangle of three, coloured lights that seem to throb silently. Then we heard a faint roaring, rushing sound and the lights disappeared over the brow of the hill. There was no further sound from the object. We heard no crash; nothing. We were as if stunned but at the same time I felt, (and Tony told me later the same,) only a sensation of elation, almost euphoria. We spent that night in the field, he wrapped in his single blanket, while I could get no sleep for thinking about what we had witnessed as I lay on my back contemplating the heavens.
The next day we continued our journey to Tiermes but our only subject of conversation was what we had seen the night before. Had it been an aircraft? If so, where had it gone to? It had been large but had made no sound except that rushing noise just before it vanished. It had not crashed, nor could it have landed in this area. What had the first disc of light among the trees been and what connection might there have been between it and the lights in the sky?
It crossed my mind that some form of smuggling might be the answer. Perhaps a “drop” was to have been made and the light among the trees a signal to an incoming plane but then surely only a very light aircraft would, or could have been used. Neither Tony nor I will ever know. For us it had been a flying object which was certainly unidentified and therefore must be classified as an Unidentified Flying Object…a UFO.
You may well ask what that “important lesson” I mentioned before might have been. For me it was the certain knowledge that if, in the near or distant future, I ever have the good fortune to be witness to the landing of an alien spacecraft close to me, I shall feel no fear but only wonder and elation, perhaps even joy for, in those first few moments, that is what both Tony and I really believed was happening, in a lonely field under the stars, somewhere in Spain.
Terry D. Burgoyne Madrid, 2005