UFOs over Brazil

Oscar Niemeyer's Contemporary Art Museum in Niterói. Photo by Rodrigo Soldon, Flickr

Brazil has its own Roswell – a widely documented episode in which hundreds of people declared they witnessed the presence of extraterrestrial aliens during a four-month period on the coast of the state of Pará, in the Amazon region. In 1977, several locals reported seeing very strong flashing lights. Many of them felt an extraordinary pain and lack of energy. The rumor was that these UFOs were extracting their blood for some sort of experiment. At least 400 people testified the phenomenon, that happened simultaneously in different villages, some of them 100 kilometers apart. The experience generated panic and  mysticism.

The Brazilian Air Force sent twenty officials to investigate these strange occurrences in a secret mission, named Operação Prato (Saucer Operation). Its leader, colonel Uyrangê Hollanda Lima, now deceased, took 20 years to reveal his conclusions (full report here, in Portuguese). He was fully convinced that some sort of alien civilization was actively investigating earthling activities.

Hollanda said that the military didn’t consider these visitors any menace to the country, but a weird prank promoted by some powerful trickster. “It was always the same routine: the lights would appear and follow somebody, frequently a woman, that was hit in the left breast”, he said. Several women interviewed by the Air Force investigators presented a dark stain and two needle perforations on their left breasts. Sometimes, the victims were men that would get these marks in their arms or legs. “It looked like a iodine burnt”, said the colonel.  The stories told by some witnesses were even weirder. One lady, for instance, said that she could see the sky through the roof of her house, as if the tiles had dematerialized.

Hollanda himself claimed that he was spotted by a blue light in Mosqueiro beach, a famous resort close to Belém. The source draw a light circle around him and his men and then left. He abandoned all skepticism at that moment. From that day on, the light seemed to follow his team wherever they were investigating. He took more than 500 pictures but for some reason the light wouldn’t appear in the images. But, using an X-Ray light box, he could see the shape of a cylinder, probably the light source, in the negatives. Later in his investigation, he witnessed some sort of aircraft shaped like an American football ball, flying over his head, very low, emitting a yellow light.

Operação Prato produced a 2-thousand-page report and 16 hours of footage. You can find a very detailed summary of its conclusions here (in Portuguese). You can also check, below, the History Channel (over dramatic) version of the episode. It discusses Hollanda’s suicide and speculates about its possible reasons. You can see the rest of this documentary here: parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.