1976 Canary Island UFO sighting was a UFO incident that occurred over the Canary Islands on the 22nd of June 1976.
The sighting is notable for several
- Duration; the encounter lasted over 40+ minutes.
- Multiple Locations; The UFO was observed in Tenerife, La Palma,
La Gomera, Grand Canary and by a ship at sea.
- Multiple Witnesses; The UFO was witnessed by several hundred
people, including both civilian and military personnel.
- Detail; It is one of the few accounts to include details of the
occupants inside the craft.
The official report on the incident, by the Spanish air force, was
declassified in June 1994, but much of its content had already been
released to the public in 1977, after journalist J Benitez obtained
a number of military files and used them as the basis of a book on
local time on the night of June 22, 1976, the Spanish Navy corvette
Atrevida, located 5.5 km off Punta Lantailla, Fuerteventura
Island, reportedly observed a bright yellow light
traveling above the horizon.
At first the crew believed the
object to be an aircraft with landing lights on, but continued
observation showed that it returned no radar signature.
Shortly after observation, the yellow light ceased, and was
replaced by a 'luminous' rotating beam that persisted for
approximately 2 minutes. A glowing halo then developed around the
object and it split into two components, a smaller component which
split away from the bottom and went out of view, and a larger
components which rose from the top of the halo which climbed away
in a 'rapid and irregular' spiral pattern.
Reports indicate that the halo persisted for some time after the
objects had separated from it, and that its light could be seen
reflecting off the water and illuminating nearby land. It was
observed by the entire ship's complement.
The first non-military sightings of the object began at
approximately 9:30pm local time, when residents on Grand Canary
also observed the unidentified object, or one similar to it.
also came in from the islands of Tenerife, La Palma, and
The most controversial of which came from
Doctor Francisco Padron Leon.
According to testimony provided to the Spanish air force, the
doctor was traveling by taxi from his home in Guia to see a patient
in Las Rosas, Grand Canary, when he encountered a glowing blue
sphere that appeared to be hovering close to the ground in front of
He described the sphere as having a radius of approximately 30m and
being sufficiently transparent for him to make out two figures
inside working at consoles that were mounted on a metal platform
occupying the lower third of the sphere. He described the sphere's
occupants as being 2½m to 3m tall, and dressed in red. The sphere
was then reported to have expanded significantly and risen into the
air before flying off in the direction of Tenerife.
The sphere was also witnessed by the taxi driver and several
residents of Las Rosas.
The incident was investigated by the Spanish air force, which
considered a number of possible explanations.
- Missile test
- Meteorological balloon
- Naturally occurring aurora
- Naturally occurring weather patterns
- Meteor activity
After reviewing witness testimonies, the investigating officer was
unable to rectify their descriptions with any known man made object
or natural phenomena and was forced to rule out the above
explanations. The investigating officer expressed some doubt at
reports given by some of some of the civilian witnesses because of
the unusual nature of their reports, but the presence of trained
military personnel meant that a hoax was also ruled out for the
Officially, the object is recorded as being 'Unidentified' and the
event is recorded as being 'unexplained'
to the Spanish UFO group Fundación Anomalía (Anomaly Foundation),
the 22nd June sightings, and four other alleged UFO sightings that
occurred between 1974 and 1979, correspond directly with times and
dates that the US fired submarine based Poseidon ICBMs from its
eastern missile range, which reaches from Cape Canaveral to Ascension Island.
Fundación Anomalía cites astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell as having
reached this conclusion after obtaining declassified US