‘Saucer’ footage stumps authorities

(Transcribed from The Philippine Star, September 21, 2000)

‘Saucer’ footage stumps authorities. By Rainier Allan Ronda                                                                                  

Authorities couldn’t agree yesterday on the nature of the saucer-shaped flying objects caught on video by a Las Piñas resident.

Air traffic controllers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City said yesterday they have previously seen the “small balls of fire” which Las Piñas resident Antonio Israel said he was able to capture on video.

But officials of the Manila Observatory at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City said their telescope was not able to monitor the disc-like objects on Sept. 3, the night an entire neighborhood in Las Piñas was all astir because the “glowing lights” were apparently not planetary phenomenon.

An air traffic controller, who requested anonymity, told The STAR yesterday that they see “every now and then” those “red balls of fire,” and he thought that they were merely satellites or heavenly bodies.

“Yes, were have seen them before,” he said.

He was on duty the night Israel said he saw the “small balls of fire dancing frenetically in the evening sky,” but added that they had not bothered to log the “sightings of unidentified flying objects” nor talked about them because they were not considered significant.

However, the air traffic controller said he was not competent to declare whether or not the “small balls of fire” that Israel had captured on film were UFOs.

He suggested that Israel’s video footage be brought to an astronomer for analysis, particularly to the University of the Philippines Observatory in Diliman, Quezon City.

Assistant Secretary Jacinto Ortega, Jr., Air Transportation Office (ATO) director, told The STAR yesterday he will ask the air traffic controllers if they have seen the “glowing, dancing, flying objects,” and whether they have submitted a report to his office.

“I have not received a report on the so-called “flying objects from our air controllers,” he said.

Ortega said the air traffic controllers, who were on duty on the night of Sept. 3, did not find “anything significant” with the “red balls of light which at times turned white and yellow, moved around and danced” in the sky.

“There are too many things that can be seen in the evening sky,” he said.

Israel fears authorities may dismiss as mere “planetary illusions” the disc-like objects he had recorded on 30 minutes of video tape, which he said he and his neighbors had seen with their own eyes.

But on the other hand, Fr. Victor Badillo, member of the Manila Observatory’s upper atmospheric observation office, told The STAR yesterday their telescope was designed specifically to monitor planetary bodies in outer space.

Badillo said the Manila Observatory could not have detected any objects which might have appeared in the sky over Las Piñas on Sept. 3 as these would have been well within the earth’s atmosphere.

Badillo said he doubts if the ATO has the equipment or the technical capability to detect or record the appearance of any UFO, if ever, as in the case of the “incident” in Las Piñas.

“Actually, all over the world, such instances of mysterious objects appearing in the sky and being recorded on camera has already been reported before,” he said.  “The problem is how to explain it.”

Badillo said the UFO Investigating Team of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), led by Elmor Escosia, is the most authoritative body which could determine the authenticity of Israel’s footage.

Badillo said Escosia has been studying for a long time all reported UFO sighting in the country and abroad, and that he is the most knowledgeable in the field.

But Escosia told The STAR yesterday his team was not able to make a “thorough investigation” of Israel’s video tape because the businessman does not want to entrust the tape to them.

In an interview with The STAR the other day, Israel said he was keeping the film “for the time being to ensure its security and exclusivity.”

Israel said he had not yet shown the public several minutes of the video tape, which he believes will indisputably prove “the balls of fire” were actually alien space ships.

“I’m still waiting for the right time to show them,” he said. (Ray Arquiza, Rainier Allan Ronda).

[Click here to view portions of the video on youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/tonyisrael%5D

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