Cigar-shaped UFO sighting over Santiago baffles experts

EXCLUSIVE: Mysterious object hovered for two hours over world UFO capital. Now experts scramble to explain the cigar-shaped object that emitted blinding white light before speeding off

  • Video shows bright flashing lights emitting from cigar-shaped object hovering in the sky over Santiago, Chile
  • Hugo Franzani, 81, who caught the mysterious object on camera said he had never seen anything the could emit such a powerful light in the sky
  • His son told DailyMailTV: ‘The light was way too bright, a drone can’t give off a light that spectacular.  My dad said you couldn’t hear a thing’ 
  • Lue Elizondo, former head of US government’s UFO monitoring unit, says the video ‘warrants further investigation’
  • Santiago has become the world capital for UFO sightings as more and more sightings are reported in the city 

High in the September sky over the world’s UFO capital, a flashing brilliant white light hovered for two hours before silently gliding off.

At several points the light from an apparently cigar-shaped object disappeared completely before reemerging above Santiago, Chile.

Now DailyMailTV has obtained exclusive video of the event, which is being analyzed by experts trying to determine what could possibly be behind the phenomenon.

And Lue Elizondo, the former head of the US government’s UFO monitoring unit, says the extraordinary video ‘warrants further investigation.’

Scroll down for video has obtained videos Hugo Franzani took on his phone of a mysterious object hovering over Santiago, Chile

Three of the four videos turned out blank, but the fourth showed the bright light in the sky veer off to the left after staying still for several minutes. The white light was as bright as a camera flash, and the cigar-shaped object also sporadically shot blue, green and red light from its sides

Dustin Hoffman lookalike Hugo Franzani, 81, shot four videos of the object over Santiago with his cell phone, but only one of them came out. He said he had never had that problem with his phone before

The video was shot on September 9 by Hugo Franzani, a retired Chilean realtor and amateur photographer, from his family’s backyard in the Santiago suburb of Las Condes.

The 81-year-old who bears a striking resemblance to actor Dustin Hoffman, said the pulsating white light emitted by the object was as bright as a camera flash, and that it also sporadically shot blue, green and red light from its sides.

Franzani said when he saw the UFO in the sky to the west he grabbed his phone and started filming – but that in three of the four videos he took, although the audio was working, the video came out completely black.

The video obtained by DailyMailTV is the only one in which the view was not blacked out.

Franzani, an experienced amateur photographer, said he had never had that problem with his phone before or since.

Bizarrely, the object in the two-minute video at one point seems to disappear for a moment then reappear, flashing with an intense burst of light.

Franzani said that when the light on the object flashed off, he could make out its shape ‘like a cigar’, with what looked like ‘tiny headlights’ on the side.

‘The bright light was like nothing he’d ever seen,’ Franzani’s son Andy told DailyMailTV. ‘My dad’s best friend has helicopters and planes, and my dad’s brother is a pilot so he’s been out on planes. But he said there’s nothing he’d ever seen in the sky that would make that big of a light.

‘He didn’t want to go on record as the wacky guy who sees UFOs, and as a Christian he was reluctant to go on record as having seen a UFO, with aliens and the whole story behind it.

Hugo Franzani (pictured with his son Andy and wife Alicia) said he had never seen any object that would emit such a bright light. He does not believe it could have been a drone, helicopter or plane

Lue Elizondo told DailyMailTV that Hugo Franzni’s video ‘warrants further investigation’

‘But I spoke with him immediately after he sent me the video. He was just shocked. He’d never seen anything like that. He was ecstatic that he saw it and caught it on at least one of the videos.’

The Franzanis are still struggling to explain what Hugo saw. They do not believe it could have been a drone, helicopter or plane. 

‘The light was way too bright, a drone can’t give off a light that spectacular. It must have been incredibly big because it was far enough away. My dad said you couldn’t hear a thing.

‘It would do a drop of 3-4 inches, then it would go back up, go to one side, stop, move sideways, stop. Then it started to scoot sideways. That’s when he went to get the binoculars and that’s all we got.’

DailyMailTV sent the video to Elizondo, the former head of the US government’s UFO-monitoring unit. He said the incident appears to ‘warrant further investigation’ and though more mundane explanations like a weather balloon are possible, he believes they are ‘unlikely.’

In an exclusive interview Elizondo also said he believes the US military is currently sitting on ‘physical material’ recovered from a UAP – an ‘unidentified aerial phenomenon’ – but said he could not elaborate on classified information he had been party to.

Franzani’s video is not the first UFO incident over Santiago.

In January 2017 the Chilean government’s Committee for the Study of Anomalous Phenomena in the Atmosphere (CEFAA) released a 10-minute video of another cigar or tic-tac-shaped object flying near the city, which has become the UFO capital of the world.

The object was filmed by thermal cameras from a navy helicopter patrolling the coast near the Chilean capital on November 11, 2014. 

After two years studying the footage of the object, the Chilean government was left stumped.

‘We do not know what it was, but we do not know what it was not,’ CEFAA director General Ricardo Bermudez told investigative reporter Leslie Kean.

However aviation experts including renowned UFO debunker Mick West have since presented convincing evidence identifying the object as a nearby A340 passenger plane.

The CEFAA also investigated an unidentified object captured on seven different cameras at an air show at El Bosque Air Force Base, south of Santiago, in 2010

The El Bosque object flies so fast that, unless there is a camera defect, it is traveling an estimated 6,000mph 

The CEFAA also investigated an unidentified object captured on seven different cameras at an air show at El Bosque Air Force Base, south of Santiago, in 2010.

Experts said the object seemed to shoot through the sky at over 4,000 mph but inexplicably caused no sonic boom and went unnoticed until the video owners spotted it in the footage.

Scientists analyzing the videos have disagreed on whether the object is a distant craft, or a nearby bug flying across the shot.

In another intriguing video shot by a Santiago resident in February 2013 and posted on YouTube, a cluster of lights can be seen flying over the city at night.

And last November, a Chilean passenger on a commercial flight got striking footage of a large ‘cigar’ shaped object hanging in the sky over the Andes mountains as he approached Santiago.

The video was submitted to the Mutual UFO Network (Mufon), a nonprofit group of enthusiasts that collect videos and information on unexplained incidents.

Elizondo told DailyMailTV flashing lights were a common characteristic of UAP incidents, but that seeming UFOs like the object in Franzani’s video can often have mundane explanations.

‘There are high altitude balloons that have strobe lights,’ he said.

‘But what I find interesting about this particular video is, although it starts off unremarkable, towards the very end, the last few seconds of the video, it appears to move.’

Elizondo said the object appears to be a great distance away, making the move both fast and far, and therefore unlikely for a balloon blown by the wind.

However, he added that the flashing effect could be caused by a light elsewhere confusing the camera, and that both distance and speed are difficult to discern without multiple camera angles.

‘I would never state for the record one way or the other, because we simply don’t have enough information,’ he said.

The unidentified objet appeared in the sky over Las Condes, an affluent city east of the Chilean capital Santiago 

Tom DeLonge (left on stage with Blink-182 and right on the History Channel’s Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation) founded To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences

‘But I think there’s enough interesting aspects to it that would warrant further preliminary investigation. 

‘It’s interesting enough that if I was in a position still like I was in the US government… I would definitely ask for additional sources.’

Elizondo joined the US Defense Intelligence Agency’s UFO task force, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), in 2008 after a career in the military and intelligence services, and was promoted to lead the program in 2010 until he quit in 2017. 

Since he left the government Elizondo has been at the forefront of efforts to persuade his former employer to disclose the information it holds on UFOs.

Once retired he joined To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Las Vegas company co-founded by Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge which in 2017 released two sensational UFO videos from fighter pilot cameras shot near aircraft carriers sailing off the East and West coast.

Two years later the Pentagon confirmed the videos’ authenticity, sending shockwaves around the world.

Elizondo said one of his AATIP subordinates investigated and wrote a report on one of the two incidents, which occurred in 2004 near the USS Nimitz sailing off the Southern California coast.

Like Franzani’s sighting, it involved a cigar-shaped object hovering without any apparent means of propulsion.

Elizondo told DailyMailTV the Nimitz case was one of several that involved not just accounts from highly trained military officers, but recordings from multiple radar and video.

Navy pilot Chad Underwood was flying in an F/A-18F Super Hornet as part of the USS Nimitz (above) carrier group when he encountered an ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ in 2004

A passenger on board a flight from Puerto Montt, Chile to Santiago took this picture of a unidentified object in November, 2020, adding to the number of unexplained events around the Chilean capital

‘What makes this even more compelling is their eyewitness testimony that is also corroborated by electro-optical data such as gun camera footage, FLIR [infrared] footage, forward looking infrared, but also radar data,’ he said. 

The chilling incident, confirmed by the Pentagon, was one of several that has led lawmakers to begin demanding greater scrutiny of credible UFO reports. 

A June 2021 unclassified report by the Director of National Intelligence, the first published under a new law requiring the military to report its UFO cases to Congress, lists 144 incidents reported by government entities – and only one was explained.

The incidents date back to November 2004, but the ‘majority’ were in the last two years.

Some 80 of the reports involved observation with multiple sensors, and in 18 incidents observers reported ‘unusual UAP [unidentified aerial phenomena] movement patterns or flight characteristics’ – which Elizondo said is the government’s way of describing objects that moved in ways that ‘defy our current understanding of physics’.

Elizondo also hinted that the government may even hold physical material recovered from a UFO, but declined to elaborate claiming he was still bound by laws preventing disclosure of classified information.

Screenwriter Tracy Tormé is seeing a cultural shift towards taking UFOs seriously – and credited Elizondo as a key force in that change

‘Physical material is certainly the holy grail isn’t it? Because it’s undeniable. It’s unimpeachable,’ he said.

‘Material can tell you a lot, based on its isotopic ratios, whether it’s found here on this planet or not. It can tell you if it’s been engineered. It can tell you all sorts of things.

‘I am not at liberty to elaborate on anything regarding material. What I can say is what I’ve said for the record, it is my belief the US government is in possession of exotic material and I have to leave it at that.’

‘It’s not Lue’s way to be coy, he was just being careful because of his long-time past with sensitive issues involving the government,’ UFO expert and friend of Elizondo, Tracy Tormé told DailyMailTV.

‘He’s very aware of security clearances he’s had in the recent past and there’s certain things he’s not comfortable to talk about.’

Tormé, who wrote Paramount alien abduction movie Fire in the Sky, produced Star Trek: the Next Generation, and worked as a consultant on the Jodie Foster movie Contact, said he is seeing a cultural shift towards taking UFOs seriously – and credited Elizondo as a key force in that change.

The screenwriter said he sees Elizondo as the successor to the late J. Allen Hynek, a government official tasked with investigating UFO incidents in the 1970s.

Hynek was at first reviled by ‘true believers’ as a ‘patsy’ who worked to discredit witness accounts but later decided there was truth to the topic and became known as the ‘godfather of ufology’.

Hynek even coined the term ‘close encounters’, the inspiration for the name of the classic Seven Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind in which Hynek had a cameo.

‘I got to know him in his later years, we became pretty good friends,’ Tormé said. ‘He told me wistfully how he was beginning to think that science would never end up taking this seriously. He was really hopeful that maybe one day a whistleblower would come along and answer his prayers. I think Lue Elizondo is that whistleblower.’

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