The next episode in our series covers Brazil’s UFO investigations. The government of Brazil has openly acknowledged the UFO phenomenon since the 1950’s and has released a number of UFO files from their investigations. From 1969 up until 1972 Brazil had an official UFO research organization called The System for the Investigation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon. The investigations were public and the organization would often work with civilian UFO researchers. However, when the United States closed Project Blue Book the Brazilian government soon followed.
On August 9, 2010 the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force, Brigadier Junichi Saito, established Regulation 551/GC3 for UFO disclosure in Brazil. It reads “As of this date, all reports of UFO sightings sent to the Brazilian Air Force bases and filed at the Brazilian Airspace Defense Command, in Brasilia, should be sent to the National Archives, where they can be known to any person.” A leading source for UFO research in Brazil is ‘Revista UFO.’ AJ Gevaerd, a former professor of chemistry, founded the publication in March of 1988. In 2002 the magazine began a partnership with the Brazilian Center for Flying Saucer Research to produce content. Presently Gevaerd serves as the editor and has a vast editorial board consisting of about 500 members in Brazil and over 50 other countries. The website features blogs written by various researchers, videos, documentaries and photo galleries with photos from cases that currently under investigation. Brazil’s military has released some their UFO files in response to the ‘UFO – Freedom of Information Now’ campaign started in April 2004 by the Brazilian UFO magazine.
The files that are available can be downloaded from the website ufo.com.br. The disclosure process started in May of 2005 when a group of Ufologist met with the Brazilian Air Force to discuss sightings and fully examine classified documents. During that meeting the researchers were informed on procedures for UFO detection, they were also able to visit air traffic control rooms, and review 3 historical cases. Brazilian Ufologist AJ Gevaerd was part of the group and at the 2011 International UFO Congress he spoke about his involvement.
The first case the group was able to review was from 1954; it was the testimony from pilot Nagib Ayub, the head of Varig airlines. Along with crewmembers, he observed a luminous object lingering near the airliner for about two hours in the airspace above Rio Grande do Sul. The second was a well-known case was from 1977, involving dozens of sightings on the island of Colares in the Amazon forest. The group was able to view over a 100 photos from the military investigation codenamed ‘Operation Saucer.’ The local residents reported being attacked by luminous balls of light; they described them as ‘light vampires.’ After an encounter the individuals became very ill.
Victims told the doctor that they felt that orb seemed to suck their blood therefore the locals gave the phenomenon the nickname ‘chupa-chupa.’ Operation Saucer lasted four months, from September to December. The full report allegedly contains over 500 photos and 3,000 witness interviews. In July 1997 Revista UFO published extensive articles on the case with interviews from the Air Force Commander in charge of the operation, Captain Uyrange Hollanda who passed away in October of 1997. According to Hollanda, “we detected at least nine forms of objects. Probes, spaceships, flying saucer shape.” In 2005 the History Channel featured the story on UFO Files: Brazil’s Roswell. AJ Gevaerd also spoke about this case at the 2011 International UFO Congress. The third case was from May 1986; it has been called “The Official Night of UFOs in Brazil.” As many as 20 objects, each measuring over 100 meters in diameter, jammed the Brazilian air traffic control systems over 3 of Brazil’s largest cities: Rio De Janeiro, Sao Jose dos Campos and Sao Paulo. Several jets were sent to intercept with out any success. Brazil’s Minister of Aeronautics, Brigadier General Otávio Moreira Lima, spoke about the incident and said, “The radar detects only solid metallic bodies and heavy clouds.
There were no clouds or conventional aircraft in the region. The sky was clear. Radar doesn’t have optical illusions.” The Brazilian Aeronautics Commission report was not released. However, the accounts of air force pilots and radar controllers were published widely in the press and later studied by Brazilian researchers. AJ Gevaerd found these documents to be a great confirmation. The Brazilian Committee of UFO researchers continues to work with the military has established a standing committee of UFO researchers. In April 2013 the researchers were able to meet with the leaders at the Brazilian Ministry of Defense. Researchers are still searching for information relating to controversial incidents. The Varginha Case is one of the most well-known cases in Brazilian Ufology. Canadian Ufologist Stanton Freidman said, “Varginha has the makings of a cosmic Watergate.” According to media reports, on January 20, 1996 three women saw an unknown creature while walking to their home. They described it as being about 5 feet tall with a thin monkey-like body and V-shaped feet.
It had a large head with 3 lumps on it, brown skin and big red bug-like eyes with a strong unpleasant odor. The Brazilian media was saturated with speculation. There were soon rumors of other creatures, UFO sightings and alleged military involvement. The Brazilian government denies capturing the creature during the incident, but some researchers have their doubts. Commemorative statues of the creature can be found all around the city of Varginha. Another famous Brazilian UFO sighting took place on Trindade Island. On January 16,1958 Admiral Saldanha was conducting geophysical research on a Navy training ship with professional photographer Almiro Baraúna on board. Around noon a UFO came toward the island at high speed, hovered for a moment, went behind a peak and then went back toward the sea. Baraúna managed to get four photos of the object. The navy’s initial investigation on the case was kept secret, but when the files reached Brazil’s President they were released and the photos made worldwide headlines.
The official witness reports have not been made public but the Brazilian Ministry of Defense said the documents were going through the proper procedures for release and are to be released in accordance to Brazil’s Access to Information Act. .
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