A series of UFO sightings on Tenerife, in the Canary Isles, has UFO investigators scratching their heads and wondering if the Islands' history holds clues to the current spate of activity. In the last 18 months, at least three different disc shaped UFO's have been photographed on this small Island off the coast of Africa.

Many in the UFO community will remember Tenerife from the high profile arrests in the late 90's involving members of what authorities claimed was a semi mystic UFO group. It was falsely claimed that the group went by the names Centro Sagrado de Isis (Sacred Centre of Isis) and Orden del Santuario Solar (Order of the Solar Shrine).

The group was lead by German psychologist Dr. Heide Fittkau-Garthe, a divorcee in her late 50's who had no previous involvement with cults but who had studied eastern mysticism in some depth and through that study seems to have become interested in communication with extraterrestrial life forms and their ability to visit Earth.

According to official reports, the group had allegedly been planning a trip to the summit of Tenerife's Mount Teide, where they planned to make contact with a visiting spacecraft.

If the planned meeting with extraterrestrial visitors failed, police claimed that a suicide pact had been drawn up along the lines of that undertaken by the infamous Heavens Gate cult. It was an easy parallel to draw and one that would ensure public opinion was hostile towards the group's leader. The police claimed that the group's 32 members had been brainwashed by the psychologist and used this to explain why none of them would confirm their suspicions or implicate Dr. Fittkau-Garthe in any wrong doing.

One police officer claimed that each member would have to be "deprogrammed" before they could provide the police with evidence to substantiate the allegations! Despite this lack of evidence, the psychologist was charged with incitement of suicide and attempted murder and the group was dissolved. There were murmurs throughout both the UFO and esoteric community that the group's motives has been either misunderstood or "sexed up" in a bid to discredit them; even anti cult groups seemed dubious about the validity of the authorities' claims.

Dr. Fittkau-Garthe maintained her innocence, claiming that the authorities had concocted the links to The Sacred Centre of Isis and Order of the Solar Shrine. Her claims were later borne out by experts familiar with the workings of the two groups. Many feared that Dr Fittkau-Garthe would become another "John Ford", an innocent person locked up because of the threat they posed to the establishment.

Exactly what happened to Dr. Fittkau-Gathe remains a mystery to the present day. Eight years later, it's as though she disappeared off the face of the Earth. There is scant evidence of an actual trial having taken place, neither is there anything to say that she was released from custody. The strange case of the UFO group attempting to rendezvous with a UFO went from making world headlines to a complete news blackout in the space of seven days. Dr Fittkau-Garthe, psychologist, mystic and ufologist, last seen in the custody of Spanish police simply vanished, leaving many unanswered questions, one of which must be: Is there a link between mysticism and extraterrestrial life? It certainly leaves many of us wondering if it is possible to use our sixth sense to make some form of contact with alien life and whether there are specific areas on Earth that act as inter-dimensional "star gates".

Fast forwarding to the present day, three photographs have emerged between August 2004 and December 2005, each revealing disc shaped objects in flight in close proximity to Mount Teide, the mountain that was of so much interest to Dr Fittkau-Garthe. All three photographs have one thing in common; the UFOs were only spotted when the images were later reviewed, they were not observed by the photographer. For disc-like anomalies to appear in three separate photographs of the area in the space of 18 months is a little beyond coincidence.

The most recent photograph, below, was taken in December 2005 at Los Gigantes; the cliffs that border one side of Mount Teide.

The picture itself is in focus but the disc shaped object is blurred and out of focus, suggesting that whatever it was, was moving at high speed and banking sharply as it approaches the cliffs. There was no indication of birds, gliders or anything remotely like a flying saucer in the area - the skies were clear. Likewise, the windscreen of the vehicle from where the shot was taken was clean and the dark object didn't appear on any other photograph suggesting that the camera was not at fault.

Sceptics will argue that if it wasn't visible with the naked eye then more than likely it is a photographic anomaly. If this was the only anomalous photograph of UFOs in Tenerife it might have been written off as such, but as we've said, it isn't the only example of this phenomenon.

In August 2004, Teresa Badesa Codina, a Managing Director from Barcelona, was on holiday in Tenerife when she took some photographs of Mount Teide. It was only on her return home that she discovered one of the photographs (below) clearly showed a disc shaped UFO. What's interesting is that this is the second UFO photograph to feature Mount Teide. Whether Dr Fittkau-Garthe's interest in Mount Teide was based on esoteric understanding or through analysis or contact with extraterrestrials is impossible to say, but there does seem to be a link between the mountain and UFO activity.

The third report came to our attention via Coast to Coast, one of their readers, Mark Paterson, submitted a photograph (below) that he had taken when he was visiting the Canary Isles. This photograph clearly shows what appears to be a pair of disc shaped UFOs. Again, one of the things that Mr Paterson said, was that he'd never seen the UFOs when taking the photograph.

Quite what makes the Canary Isles and Tenerife an area that warrants so much UFO activity is uncertain. The Islands are devoid of military bases and nuclear installations - although Tenerife does boast one of the largest alternative / natural energy installations in Europe.

It's possible that the attraction is a little less obvious but strangely enough adds another twist to the story of Dr. Heide Fittkau-Garthe. Tenerife has a long forgotten and quite extensive pyramid complex, emphasising the possible link between sacred/ceremonial or mystic sites and UFO activity.

Pyramids and UFO's

Archaeologists know very little about the six step pyramids that make up the Guimar complex in Tenerife. The pyramids are orientated to the east and were constructed by an unknown people who built them from local black volcanic rock, presumably in order to worship a sun god.

Dr Fittkau-Garthe was accused of running a sect dedicated to the sun god and as a resident of Tenerife, she would have been aware of the existence of these structures as they were in the news in their own right around that time. It would be logical to assume that if she really was running a sect dedicated to a mystic order that worshiped the sun, as was claimed, the pyramids would have played a significant role in her plans. The fact that the pyramids were not mentioned, suggests that Dr. Fittkau-Garthe was telling the truth when she denied had nothing to do with a cult that worshiped the sun but that her interest lay in Mount Teide being a meeting point where contact with extraterrestrial craft could be established.

The pyramid complex on Tenerife seems to be closely related to the step pyramids of South America. In the past, researchers have suggested that many ancient people who worshiped Gods in the sky actually worshiped extraterrestrial visitors. Another suggestion that has been made over the years is that pyramids and other "sacred sites" act as geographical markers that can be clearly seen from the air. The theory is that the network of pyramids that span the globe from across Europe, China and America create a unique aerial "road map" - a navigational aid that contains hidden messages or signposts for certain extraterrestrial visitors.

Dimensions of Time and Space

Whatever all three photographers captured, it was there for only a fleeting second. This has led researchers to wonder if what these photographers have filmed is the entry or exit point for extraterrestrial craft and whether Dr Fittkau-Garthe understood about this dimensional "stargate".

In the past, witnesses have often likened UFO sightings to them disappearing into other dimensions, this extract is from a sighting reported by Jon Mays of Landing, New Jersey in February 10, 2000

"The turning of the object was bizarre in its movement. It did not turn the way aircraft turn.

"Then it did only what I can describe as leaving...it left and went back from whence it came. It didn't shoot away or disappear...it left. It was more like it enveloped itself into another dimension. It was gone."

The relationship or gateways between dimensions is certainly something that Dr. Fittkau-Garthe would have been familiar with, as she had studied esoteric and mystic religion. The borders between the scientific communities' understanding of string theory and a multi-dimensional universe are very close to the mystics' understanding of a multi-dimensional reality. Ufologists often cite inter-dimensional travel as the method by which UFOs reach the Earth. Could it be that Dr Fittkau-Garthe's applied knowledge of mysticism gave her an understanding of the UFO field, of star gates or dimensional portals that made her a threat to the powers that be? There are many people out there that claim to have made psychic rather than physical contact with beings from other worlds. Maybe the time has come to realise that the study of mysticism could be a valuable tool of the UFO researcher and not something that is confined to the realm of the spiritual or pseudo religious.

The alternative that we shouldn't overlook is that like Mount Shastna, Mount Teide itself is the main point of focus, is there an alien base deep with the mountain itself? Or is it the geology of the dormant volcano that is of interest to them?

Often, the key to the future lies in understanding the past, the mystery of the cult that never was could help us understand why we can photograph UFOs in Tenerife today.