Last week Rob Kristoffersen invited me over to his Our Strange Skies podcast to chat about the enigmatic Conil case, one of my favorite episodes involving encounters with humanoids and high strangeness. You can listen to the episode by clicking here.
I guess the reason Rob chose me, of all people. To talk about a case that happened in Spain –a beach in Cádiz to be exact– over 30 years ago, is because I may be one of the few who has tried to bring more attention to this fascinating account among the English-speaking audience, with two articles I wrote for Mysterious Universe back in January of 2017 [part 1] [part 2], in which I did my best to summarize the testimony of several individuals who claimed to have witnessed not only strange light phenomena, but also the apparition of fantastic entities, two of which ended up transforming into a human-looking appearance in front of them, before disappearing in one of the busy streets of this popular tourist town (the featured image illustrating this article is my own artistic interpretation of these two beings)
The case immediately brought an onslaught of media attention, and was the target of a debunking campaign by a Spanish skeptic group (GEIFO) who accused the witnesses of misidentifying a regular maritime operation to lay down underwater telephone cables –according to these researchers, the ‘aliens’ were nothing but scuba divers climbing down of an inflatable boat who decided to take off all of their gear and have a quick ‘romantic interlude’ before leaving the scene(!). In my articles I tried to detail all the evidence provided by Juan José Benítez in his book “La Quinta Columna” of why this skeptical interpretation is pure nonsense –needless to say, the Conil case remains highly controversial to this day.
In preparing for the podcast interview, not only was I forced to re-read those two old pieces of mine and also grab my dog-eared copy of Juan José Benítez’s book, but I was also reminded of a very strange online exchange I had in March of 2020, when an unsolicited text revealed to me details of another encounter with strange humanoids on that fateful location –only this account supposedly happened in the mid 2000’s
On March 26th I received a message on my Red Pill Junkie Facebook page from a man named ‘Carlos’ (last name withheld to protect his privacy) who had read my two MU articles. Without so much as an introduction or explanation, Carlos’s first message [slightly altered for clarity] read:
“Holy Week [Easter Holidays] 2006. Conil de la Frontera. Bateles beach. My wife and I were observing from a distance of 50 meters [164 feet] in the early morning (there was a full moon) one of the giant beings with the white robes (like three meters tall [10 feet]) its garments did not reveal whether [its feet] were in contact with the sand, faces of scarce features, huge heads and almond-shaped eyes. When we saw it for the first time its appearance looked strange but we thought it was of a similar height to us (we both measure 1.70 meters [5.57 feet]), but then it began to rise and slowly stand up and we saw it was 3 meters tall [10 feet]. My wife wanted to run away but I prevented her because I wanted to approach the being, but in the end we did not move from where we were standing. After a while the being vanished and in its place there remained a group of four-five people that seemed to be passing a little light among them. It was not blue* . It was red.”
Now, I’m sure that someone like Nick Redfern receives these kinds of emails and messages every week! But in my case these sort of exchanges are extremely rare. So after I recovered from the initial shock and quieted down the inner voice telling me this might be a troll looking to have some fun at my expense, I proceeded to ask a few questions to Carlos –who said he was a Colombian journalist– in order to shed more light into this amazing story; which could corroborate how Conil is indeed the epicenter of very strange happenings that go beyond what was published in the newspapers and “La Quinta Columna.”
Carlos expanded upon his bombshell of an initial message, adding that he was indeed familiar with the famous 1989 story as related by Benitez, because after their experience a friend of his and his wife — a girl whose family’s home they were staying in, who had lived in Conil for generations– directed them to planetabenitez.com (J.J. Benítez’s website) where among other things the Spanish Ufologist keeps copies of the drawings depicting what was described by the 1989 witnesses.
Carlos proceeded to share with me a drawing of what he allegedly saw in 2006, which looks like a mix between the white ‘shape-shifting’ beings and the ‘giant’ reported in 1989.
Carlos also said the parents of this local girl gave them the impression that there have been many other strange happenings in that small town which every local is aware of, even if they are not willing to reveal it to outsiders –apparently even the Chief of the Police Commissary had experienced unusual things, but everybody chose not to talk openly about it.
José Antonio Caravaca, a Spanish researcher I highly respect, once directed me to a fascinating article he wrote which not only details other high strangeness cases reported at Conil, but also the possibility that the Intelligence agencies of at least three European countries –Spain, Germany and England– were involved in some shady cloak-and-dagger activities in that town at the time, due to its strategic location and the fact that the underwater telephone cables running near it brought the tantalizing opportunity to spy into all those international communications –even to this day, people have the erroneous misconception that everything happening through the internet is managed by satellites, while the reality is that most of the broadband cables transmitting our messages are at the bottom of Earth’s oceans.
But getting back to Carlos’s story, his messages detailed how on the night of his experience the town of Conil was crowded with tourists. Their entourage performed the traditional “irse de marcha” (‘marching on’) which consists of touring several local bars, and after a night of mirth and merriment he and his then wife (they divorced later, he said) decided they wanted some privacy.
“Don’t go out to the beach at night” their hostess warned, but they didn’t listen, even though they had already heard a few of the stories about the ‘aliens’ spotted at Conil decades ago.
The couple, who had gotten engaged just months ago, walked down the beach under the full moon, enjoying the weather and the romantic ambiance. But soon after they spotted what looked like a whitish log. Both of them felt alerted by it at the same time, he added.
Suddenly, the ‘log’ began to move slowly. From the distance they were at, it looked like a person of average height, but –as was mentioned in Carlos’ initial message– the thing began to gradually incorporate and reveal its enormous size. “Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Carlos’s wife frantically said.
As Carlos silently reassured his partner he was indeed witnessing the same as she was, the being finished standing up in its full, gigantic size. Carlos pointed out to me that he didn’t recall if he was able to discern any sleeves in the white robes worn by the entity, but the one thing he was sure of is that its feet could not be seen. The entity had a disproportionately big almond-shaped head, and equally large diamond-shaped eyes.
As stated earlier, his partner wanted to depart immediately, but Carlos stopped her and chose to stay put. They kept staring at the humanoid, which seemed oblivious to their presence –even though Carlos had the impression that the very act of slowly standing up was a ‘performance’ for them. “I think he wanted us to leave,” he wrote to me.
They kept observing the being for around ten minutes, exchanging impressions, until without any warning the ‘giant’ vanished out of their sight. From the same direction it was standing, there now stood a group of four to five ‘persons’, sitting on some longs. Among them, there was a red light that looked like the flash of a digital camera. Although bigger.
In his messages, Carlos wanted to stress out something I already knew –that the Conil beach is so broad, there was no way to conceal the presence of the ‘group’ prior to being detected by the two witnesses.
Finally, Carlos’s wife managed to convince him, and the two of them departed from the beach without coming any closer to the enigmatic beings and their red light.
The aftermath of this amazing experience was actually not that uncommon: Carlos’s wife refused to talk about it when he ventured to bring it up among friends and acquaintances. This is a normal ‘defense reaction’ when confronted by something that falls completely outside one’s normal frame of reference.
Carlos also mentioned something curious: Not too long ago he met with his former wife and both went out one night with another friend, an archeologist who was part of an excavation project near Barranquilla, Colombia, where many ceramic figurines had been uncovered. The friend showed them a few photos of these artifacts and one of the images made Carlos and his ex-wife look at each other without saying anything, because the broad face and the position of the eyes reminded him of the beings they observed in Conil.
That night after he returned home, Carlos had the impulse to make the drawing accompanying this article, which he posted on his Facebook page under the title “Conil de la Frontera, Holy Week 2006.” Not a minute passed after he’d shared the image on his social media that he received a message from an old friend of his: a lama who practices Tibetan Buddhism –which is the same spiritual tradition Carlos practices– who wrote “Conil de la Frontera Ha! I lived there 23 years ago. What a small world.”
It turns out that not only this close friend of Carlos had lived in the same place where he had had his amazing experience, but she was also very familiar with all the strange phenomena reported in this small Spanish town. To her, Conil is one of the many ‘portal areas’ that connect our world with other realities, a concept I myself lean to in light of not only the peculiar geographic position of Conil –close to Gibraltar and Tarifa, where Europe and Africa almost touch– but also due to the THOUSANDS of years of uninterrupted human occupation. One wonders just how many ghost stories or encounters with ancient deities have been collected in the dusty records of Conil before our culture became fascinated with flying saucers.
Trying to play the role of ‘UFO investigator’, I asked Carlos a few questions about his experience. Yes, they had been drinking that night –they were on a holiday after all– and he admitted they had even consumed a bit of hash as well, but he seems adamant that alcohol and cannabis had nothing to do with what they saw. I also proposed the theory that perhaps the townsfolk were using the popularity of the 1989 story to play pranks at the expense of tourists; Carlos conceded he himself had thought about it, but had it been a hoax it would have had to be a very elaborate one, so he himself discards that possibility altogether. Also, he reminded me that the residents of Conil rarely mention these sort of things with outsiders, and the family of their hostess only agreed to share with them some of their own personal experiences after Carlos and his companion revealed their sighting to them.
“I sometimes wonder if it was “happenstance” [what we experienced],” Carlos wrote. “Sometimes I think these sorts of things don’t happen to people “just because.” But in any case, the fact that the being didn’t seem to be interested in us, but rather was exhibiting itself to scare us away, makes me think [the encounter] wasn’t programmed… To me it is proof there are things our senses don’t normally register.”
If what Carlos shared to me is true –and even though I have no way to prove it, my intuition makes me think he had no reason to lie; on the contrary, I am very grateful he took the time to share this amazing story with me– I like the fact that he doesn’t feel special or ‘chosen’ just because he was a witness to something truly remarkable; and I have many reasons to suspect there may be more people than we imagine out there, who have had equally bizarre brushes with other aspects of Reality our culture flat out denies, because they are too disturbing and threaten our reassuring beliefs that we are in charge of our world.
…But what if we aren’t?
(*): In the original Conil case, the witnesses saw a small blue light being passed between the two shape-shifting entities before they got up and walked away from the beach.