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2008/04/09 (EN)

Physically, FOTOCAT is an Excel spreadsheet of UFO and IFO cases where an image has been obtained on photo, film or video. It contains various data columns to register the date, time, location, province and country, explanation (if one exists), photographer’s name, special photographic features, references, etc. When completed, the full catalogue will be posted on the Internet, for public access by the worldwide UFO community.

• Number of Cases
The expanding trend of the catalogue has slowed a little since the last progress report, basically due to the high investment of time required by the preparation of the FOTOCAT Report #4 (see below). However, FOTOCAT database contains to date 8,577 entries.

• New FOTOCAT Report Released Online
After several months of intense research work (literature and archive search, data compilation, case study, and statistical analysis) performed by first author, Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos, and co-author Ole-Jonny Brænne, a talented Norwegian UFO researcher, FOTOCAT Report #4 has been finished. It is entitled Norway in UFO Photographs: The First Catalogue.

The report collects, summarizes, reviews and analyzes 744 photographic UFO events which occurred in Norway from 1909 to 2005, including 479 examples of the so-called Hessdalen Phenomena. For the first time ever, a survey in depth has been done to all the known UFO sightings in Norway where a photograph, film, or video has been obtained.

In its final, expanded version, the result is a 206-page paper, which is online at the following two links:
As a .pdf file: http://www.box.net/shared/jz8mqdxuss (15.5 MB)
As a Word.doc file: http://www.box.net/shared/ff8ilhzms8 (54.8 MB. Please note that downloading can be slow. Please be patient).
As supplementary analysis material, the full Norway FOTOCAT catalogue’s spreadsheet, on which this research has been based, should be consulted at

Here are four pictures from the rich history of UFO sightings in Norway:
PHOTO 1. August 11, 1956, Mo i Rana (Balloon) . © S. Gaasland (film)PHOTO 2. August 19, 1983, Aure (Fake). © P.K. Vaag
PHOTO 3. March 13, 1974, Nesbyen (Balloon). © S. GulbrandsenPHOTO 4. May 28, 1998, Hardengevidda (Fake). © T. Høiby

This section reports contributions received from new collaborators (or from regular ones whose most recent contributions are considered outstanding). In addition to the new names cited here, many others are regularly contributing to the enlargement of FOTOCAT.

• Various
Input on specific cases, additional reports or any sort of collaboration has been recently received from old and new friends and colleagues, Dr. François Louange (France), Wim Van Utrecht (Belgium), Didier Gomez, director of the French magazine UFOmania, Michael Tarbell (USA), Pablo Petrowitsch (Chile), and David W. Akers (executive director, Willard J. Vogel Study, Seattle, Washington).

• FOTOCAT in Finnish
A 73-page booklet has been published by Björn Borg with all the UFO photographic cases collected by FOTOCAT for Finland, 1954 to 2007. Entitled (in Finnish) Outoja Kohteita Suomen Taivaalla (Kirja kerrallaan, Helsinki), 2007, it can be purchased from fotocat@suomi24.fi

• Recent Interviews
(1) We also thank Jordi Martínez Simón for noting the FOTOCAT Project on his web site “investigandotodo” (investigating everything), and by including an interview he did with me on September 1, 2007 that can be seen at:

(2) Richard H. Hall needs no introduction. He was a key figure in Donald Keyhoe’s NICAP, the editor of important UFO publications, and the author of relevant books. In the last few years, he has also published The Journal of UFO History (4418 39th Street, Brentwood, Maryland 20722-1021, dh12@erols.com). Dick was kind enough to invite me to have a “Dialogue with Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos” for his journal, and it has been published in the form of a 5-page interview in the September-October 2007 issue (Vol. IV, No. 4). It is a wide-ranging review of my experience, evolution, ideas and prospects for the future in the UFO field. The full interview is available at the following link:

This section will display a sample of UFO sightings directly reported to FOTOCAT.

• Latest UFO Videos Taped in Spain
(1) Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Barcelona
While web browsing recently I came across a UFO video at http://www.ovnisantacoloma.blogspot.com/ This two-minute plus video recording was made by Germán Catalá on May 18, 2007 at 18,30 hours in the town of St. Coloma de Gramanet, Barcelona province, and shows a weird flying structure slowly moving over the building roofs. Thanks to the kind services of Jordi Martínez Simón, an ufologist and friend of the witness, we have acquired both enlargement photographs and a copy of the actual footage.

Detail enlargements of the UFO sighted and videotaped over St. Coloma (Barcelona), May 18, 2007. © Germán Catalá.

Originally moving to the northwest over several minutes and looking like just a dark point to the naked eye, then a change to northeast to “accelerate”.

I used the volunteer analytical services of consultant Andrés Duarte (Canopus, Chile), who reported back to me:
This seems to be an object hanging from some balloons. Even in some portions of the video you can see the strings that hold the object. The object cannot be too far away because otherwise you would see it clearer, due to light dispersion. Probably it is not beyond 1,500 meters, or even nearer, yet not very near to the building as both show differences in focus. Having done an analysis of the perspective, the horizontal visual field when zoom is at the minimum is 25; therefore one can calculate an approximate angular size of the balloons-object set as 0.07. It means that if it was placed at 1,500 meters its actual size would be a little less than two meters. Probably this is the most probable range of size and distance.
Perspective Analysis. Graph by A. Duarte.
For more details on the perspective analysis, see the Spanish version, as well as the following two online references:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Perspective_%28graphical%29

(2) Armilla, Granada
One of the responses (#17) to a “call for reports” on ball lightning cases we have made recently has provided information on video footage obtained by a cameraperson we will name M.A.E.R., while taping some aircraft at the Armilla Air Base in Granada (Spain) during a flight championship he was witnessing. When he downloaded the video into his computer of some scenes taken at 11:43 am on June 29, 2007, he discovered the movement of a dot of light for one second when the screen was showing a fighter jet and the radiant sun crossed the scene. The cameraman placed a videoclip on YouTube (not online anymore at this writing). My informant did not see anything when taking the video, and he was surprised not to have found this circle of light in any other of the several videos he recorded that morning.

In order to confirm our initial feeling that the light was just the sun´s reflection, we asked a second opinion to Martin Shough, who viewed the video and wrote:
I am fairly certain this is a lens flare. The clues are that a line drawn from the sun to the flare always goes through the optical axis (the centre of the frame), and the distance (a) from the sun to the centre of the frame and (b) from the flare to the centre of the frame are covariant.
Where regularly we will include any published literary piece on curious phenomenology.

As an aid to on-the-job UFO investigators, we are listing here a number of links to a Spanish-language web site by the well-respected Mexican researcher Luis Ruiz Nóguez, covering some atmospheric luminous phenomena which tangentially have a relationship with certain cases of UFO observations.

Ball Lightning

Earthquake Lights

Specters and Gloriae

Zodiacal Light

St. Elmo’s fire

Light Pillars

Ignis Fatuus

The Green Flash


This is a brief item report for the serious and critical-minded UFO researcher. Some selected information sources which I judge of interest for gaining knowledge from a scientifically-oriented perspective.

• Venus Mistaken as a UFO Once More
This time in Chile, a recent video was studied by Marcos González and Andrés Duarte of the Chilean organization Canopus, and it was found out that planet Venus was the culprit. The illustrated report (in Spanish) is at this link:

• Two Books on the Hessdalen Phenomena
During the year 2007 there have been two books published that discuss the UFO-like activity in the Hessdalen Valley (Norway), i.e., the Hessdalen Phenomena. Both are international symposia proceedings. One is edited by the Norwegian Erling P. Strand, head of the Hessdalen Project: Proceedings of the 7th European SSE Meeting (Skjeberg, Norway), 2007, held in Røros (Norway), August 17 to 19, 2007, with 270 pages and includes an accompanying CD with all the images and the full texts of the 27 lectures presented at the symposium. It can be purchased by writing to: erling.p.strand@hiof.no

The second volume’ s editors are the Italian researchers Renzo Cabassi and Nico Conti, from the ICPH, or Italian Committee for the Project Hessdalen: Proceedings of the International Project Hessdalen Workshop, held on June 17, 2006 in the Visitor Center of the Medicina Radio Telescope at Bologna, Italy. Its 192 pages cover 25 papers in total. For further information and access to papers visit the project’s web site http://www.itacomm.net/PH/ or write to info@itacomm.net

• Do Camera phones Mean the End of the UFO Phenomenon?
This is the title of a provocative note published by the Symbian Company, manufacturers of advanced mobile phones known as smart phones, which provides a couple of pertinent lines for reflection on the already-occurring effect of massive numbers of people carrying mobile phones with incorporated digital cameras, and their exposure to potential UFO events. This interesting article can be read at:
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/ Do_cameraphones_mean_the_end_of_the_UFO_phenomenon.php

• How to Fake UFO Photos, by Almiro Baraúna
A few of us have been unsuccessfully looking for this item for years. Finally, reproduced here openly for the first time in almost fifty years, thanks to the work of the Brazilian researcher and historian Rodolpho Gauthier, is the article "Um Disco Voador esteve em minha casa…" ("A Flying Saucer has been in my house…"), published first in the Mundo Ilustrado magazine in 1954. The article was written by Vinicius Lima, showing "how to make a Martian spaceship". The important thing here is who did the photo trickery: none other than professional photographer Almiro Baraúna, the same person that no less than four years later allegedly took photos of a real flying saucer while aboard a ship near the Trindade Island, on what would become a classic and to some, one of the best UFO cases ever. We believe this is a historical piece of documentation no balanced UFO researcher should miss: http://tinyurl.com/34zuyr

As Manuel Borraz has noticed (see below), there is a certain resemblance between the faked picture made by A. Baraúna in 1954 (left), and his later 1958 Trindade UFO (right). A pure coincidence?

• Miscellaneous
(1) Alfonso Ferrer is a journalist from the Canary Islands with the radio program Crónicas del misterio (Mystery Chronicles). On January 9, 2008 I had fifteen minutes on the air, delivering an interview which can be heard online (in Spanish) at this link: http://cronicas.podOmatic.com/entry/2008-01-12T09_27_33-08_00

(Go to Download and click with the mouse’s right button to save a destination to and make a copy.)

(2) For interested readers, my own UFO research bibliography has just been updated to December 31, 2007, and it can be consulted at http://www.ikaros.org.es/bibliog1.pdf

(3) The following five books by Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos –all of them out of print– can be purchased as a unique package by 100 € (or 130 US dollars) plus shipping costs. The books will be signed by the author.
  • OVNIS: El fenómeno aterrizaje (hardcover) (1978)
  • Los OVNIS y la ciencia (with M. Guasp) (softcover) (1981)
  • Investigación OVNI (softcover) (1984)
  • Enciclopedia de los encuentros cercanos con OVNIS (with J.A. Fernández) (softcover) (1987)
  • Expedientes insólitos (softcover) (1995)

Those interested are invited to write to fotocat@anomalia.org (Subject: “Books”.)

(4) Published article.
A fully illustrated report on a UFO observation which occurred on November 4, 1970 and witnessed by Spanish Air Force pilots Captain Sáez-Benito and Lieutenant Carbayo, has been just placed online in the following link: http://www.ikaros.org.es/redeye.pdf

The report is in Spanish.

The dossier also contains the correspondence held and questionnaires received from the main source (Captain Sáez-Benito). It discloses some recent findings and official correspondence from the Balloon Service of the French CNES (Space Studies National Center) and the Spanish MACOM (Air Combat Command) as well.

Your volunteer collaboration to the FOTOCAT Project is requested. Please write to: fotocat@anomalia.org

We will supply you with state, regional, provincial or national catalogs for you to check and enlarge.

If you are willing to donate photographic materials, files or literature to be preserved, feel free to use the following postal address:

Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos
Apartado de Correos 12140
46080 Valencia