Es Vedra is an island of mystery.
You cannot strike up a conversation about Es Vedra without talking about the many stories that wrap a nd occlude this little rock like the spells of cloud that sweep in from the sea. Describing Es Vedra is nearly impossible. Why does it enrapture us so? Maybe that’s why we find stories about Es Vedra so fascinating- they help us put what we are seeing into context. It is a place of great beauty, intense power, and magic that you need to see to understand… and even then…
Islanders, fishermen, and researchers of paranormal events claim to have witnessed strange events in the waters near this islet of just 3.8 kilometers around and a height of 382 metres.
According to legends, some millennia ago the mother goddess of the Phoenicians was born here. So much mystery surrounds the island that nobody really knows what is the truth, what is fantasy, and what is a myth based on truth.
Many swimmers (including the famous José Amengual, an underwater hunting hero in Spain) claim that they’ve heard loud underwater deep bass notes near to Es Vedra, seeing huge shoals of fish changing direction in fright. Could it be undiscovered sea life or something… else?
There are those who believe that Es Vedra gained properties of energy accumulation when it separated from Ibiza millennia ago. According to legend, it forms with the rock of Ifach in Alicante and the southwest coast of Mallorca a sort of Mediterranean Triangle. It is known as the Triangle of Silence and some associate it with the famous Manises UFO Incident. If you look on this chart, you can see that Cafe del Mar is almost at the epicentre of a spooky triangle that could cause strange, magical things to happen….
The Manises UFO
On November 11, 1979 (at 11pm on the 11th day of the 11th month, incidentally) A Super-Caravelle aircraft en route from Palma de Mallorca to the Canary Islands with 109 passengers on board had to make an emergency landing at Valencia airport Because of a UFO. The pilots claim that they were pursued “by several points of red light, which went up and down in an unconventional way.” The lights appeared just as the plane flew over Es Vedra. By any reading, that’s an unidentified flying object!
Pilot Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada, who had fifteen years of experience and more than 8,000 flight hours, reported the events as follows. “At 23.08 I started a climb, according to the flight plan, from 23,000 to 33,000 feet. In the middle of the climb I saw two red lights, in parallel, of such enormous intensity that they were brighter than our instrument lights, or whatever it was, in which they had to be installed and followed a path of collision with us. They were moving at an incredible rate, faster than any conventional aircraft, and they stopped instantly at a very short distance from the Caravelle.” Tejada claimed to have made the emergency landing at Manises airport due to “a real risk of collision.”
Once the plane was on the ground, several people still reported observing the strange lights from the Manises control tower for more than two hours. Imagine the stories the ground crew would have for their families that night!
Lights in the sky
The Caravelle crew detected the alleged UFO half an hour after takeoff, between Ibiza and Alicante, the same area where a boat crew claimed to have seen a “rain” of UFOs. “About nine o’clock at night last Tuesday, when we were about fifteen miles from Formentera, there appeared before us lights like flares that did not remain static. Yellow lights less than eight miles from us” said Jose Luis Gonzalez, captain of the ship. He claimed that more than fifty UFOs had surrounded them for six hours.
“The” UFOs” turned out in this case to be paratroopers with lanterns that were taking part in the recording of a program for the National Radio of Spain. At least that’s what the government said. And Roswell was really a weather balloon, of course.
The Hermit of Es Vedra
The mythological pedigree of Es Vedra was further enhanced by Francisco Palau y Quer (1811-1872), founder of the Tertiary Carmelites of Spain.
Francisco retired to pray in a cave on the islet. “This mountain is an islet west of Ibiza. Separated from the island, rising from the depths of the waters to the sky. There are no more inhabitants here than I. I have the Hermitage two leagues at noon of the island. The brothers, who have a fishing boat, bring me here, leave me alone and they return. At the top of the mountain, there is a fountain, and the openings of the rocks are my cells. Here I retired ten years ago and I find what a hermit can desire, ” said Father Palau.
Palau, like so many of us, wanted to escape the pressure of the so-called civilised world. Perhaps he, like us, was drawn to Es Vedra by the magic contained in the rocks themselves.
On this island “which rises on the crests of the Mediterranean Sea,” he remained there for days at a time. His mission was “to unite with God and his Church”.
Father Palau was the person who has spent the most time on the island and his mystical experiences in which he describes ladies of light and celestial beings have been reinterpreted by some, after the Manises UFO Case, as UFO sightings.
Catalan mountaineers climbed the island for the first time in August 1950 , challenging another ancient legend that states “it can never be climbed, because whoever tries it and mounts the summit will instantly change sex.”
Lizards and goats and Catalonians, oh my
Francisco Martí Ferrando and Manuel Puig were the first to tread the crest. “The top of [Es Vedra] is an esplanade 15 meters long, five meters wide. Many vegetation grows in the form of forest, but most were completely dry. The island of Ibiza can be seen very little, the mountaineers wrote in their notes. They were three-quarters of an hour at the top before descending. They saw lizards “about 10 or 15 centimeters long” and Martí Ferrando seemed to notice a wild goat, although Puig doubted that it was there. There were no traces of UFOs in 1950, and, of course, they remained male after their feat.
What are your favourite Es Vedra legends? Have you seen any UFOs, buzzing around Es Vedra at sunset?