No one knows how many UFOs have been seen in Brazil over the past sixty years or so but the number must be in the tens of thousands. Most sightings have been innocuous if a bit frightening. But the relatively few harmful encounters that were recorded have been significant and often spectacular.
Dangerous encounters have occurred often enough that Brazil has stood out among the nations of the world as a country where UFOs have at times exhibited insensitive, even cruel, behavior toward human beings.
In more than twenty-seven years of investigating cases in the United States, Canada and ten other countries, I have found Brazil to be the most intriguing because so many weird and sometimes injurious encounters have occurred there.
Between 1978 and 1981 I made four trips to Brazil as a reporter for the National Enquirer, looking into UFO reports. During that time I heard about abductions, levitations, injuries and even deaths, things that seldom happened elsewhere.
In many cases, an encounter began when a UFO would appear without warning just above the head of a farmer or fisherman at night, revealing itself in a burst of brilliant light. There were times when UFOs tried to pull someone up into the craft with an unseen force, and sometimes they took people away. In many encounters people were temporarily paralyzed. Others had to hide in terror as UFOs tried to flush them out. Not even homes were safe because in some villages beams of light from UFOs pierced tile roofs as if they didn’t exist, burning people inside.
By mid-1981, when I no longer worked for the Enquirer and had begun investigating UFO reports solely to satisfy my own curiosity, I had developed something of an obsession with these very strange incidents in Brazil. It has led me to return there nine more times.
I kept looking for clues as to why these things were happening in Brazil and rarely in any other country. The most recent visit was in September 1999 and I haven’t found any answers yet.
Brazil has a number of very good UFO investigators but could use many more. The country is spread across half of South America, and many large areas have no investigators at all. Some astonishing encounters go unreported for months and even years.
Brazilian researchers first investigated many of the bizarre incidents that I reported in my book UFO DANGER ZONE. These investigators often introduced me to the witnesses involved and showed me where those events occurred. I will be forever grateful to them.
Briefly, here is what UFO DANGER ZONE says happened to just a few of these UFO victims.
MOISES CAMPELO – LEVITATED: One night in May 1991, a UFO pulled Moises (below) off the ground twice in twenty minutes. He is a farmer who was then in his thirties and lived about six kilometers north of the town of Campo Redondo in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. His encounter began as he was walking up a hill during a light rain and a brilliant white light suddenly appeared without warning just several meters above his head. It was slowly spinning around and it made no sound.
Suddenly his body went rigid and he rose slowly into the air, upright as if he were still walking, until he was about a meter and a half off the ground. He felt tremendous heat coming from the UFO and he was terrified.
He was held in the air for about five minutes, hot and unable to cry out for help. Then he was let down gently and the UFO moved about twenty meters away. It hovered there, still lighting up the area.
Moises was dizzy and disoriented and couldn’t stand up. He began crawling toward his home but got only about a hundred meters when the UFO came back. He was beneath a tree. It pulled him into the air again, this time about half a meter off the ground and in a crawling position.
The UFO was just above the tree and Moises’ back bumped against low branches, which may have kept him from rising higher. Again he was paralyzed but now he felt very cold instead of very hot.
He was held in that position for a much longer time, maybe fifteen minutes. He was not able to move or speak and was in a daze all that time.
Finally, the UFO drifted away for good and Moises dropped to the ground, banging down very hard this time. He crawled the rest of the way home and for fifteen minutes or more couldn’t speak. He was still stunned and couldn’t tell his wife what had happened.
When he began to calm down, he carefully peeked out the front door and could see the UFO hovering above a church about a kilometer away. Now it was all red instead of white, and it slowly swung back and forth like a pendulum.
FRANCISCA ASSIS – LEVITATED: The first levitation case I ever heard about involved this woman, a farm wife who was walking home one dark night with her thirteen-year-old daughter Josefa. A UFO pulled Francisca (below) some twenty meters into the air and carried her forty meters or more through the air toward it.
It started when what looked like a big fiery ball of light came over the top of a hill and shined a beam of light down at her. As the light got closer, she said, it looked like an open umbrella.
She and her daughter ran but the light somehow seemed to have a grip on Francisca. She was hit by what felt like a cold swirling wind that pulled her off the ground. It made no noise and Josefa could not feel either the wind or the force of the light.
Josefa grabbed her mother’s arm and pulled her back down. But Francisca couldn't break free and she screamed at Josefa to save herself. The girl ran for home.
“When she left me, a big wind blew,” Francisca said. “The wind was like a tornado and I got very cold.
“The wind tried to take my dress. When my dress came up around my waist, I felt my feet were no longer touching the ground. I was about twenty meters off the ground. My body started to feel numb.”
"I could see my shadow on the ground. My whole body was in the light and I was terrified. I felt like I was in a big tornado. My whole body was numb. I was crying and scared to death."
Then the wind stopped and Francisca was gently lowered to the ground. She was crying but she wasn’t hurt.
She said the ball of light rocked back and forth for a moment and then disappeared.
I talked to her twelve days laters and she became increasingly agitated and almost hysterical as she told me her story. This happened on a Saturday night in January 1979 on the same large farm where Moises lived, but a dozen years before his encounter.
JANÚNCIO SOUZA – ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION: Janúncio was the patriarch of a large family and the owner of a thirteen-hundred-acre ranch near Santa Cruz in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. He was seventy-eight when I talked to him in February 1979. He wouldn’t go outside at night anymore because a UFO had tried to take him away. Janúncio had visited a neighbor one night and as he was walking home in the dark, he lit a cigarette. Within seconds something huge swooped down out of the sky and stopped about three meters above him. A round door opened on the bottom and he could see a man and a woman sitting inside.
"A lot of light came out and I felt like I was being pulled up into the object,” he said. “The light was very hot and I was terrified.”
Janúncio grabbed a small palm tree and wrapped his arms and legs around it. I interviewed him four weeks after this happened and after we finished talking he reenacted the scene for me (left).
He said he hugged the tree as tightly as he could but the pull from the UFO was so strong that he was dragged up the trunk until his feet left the ground. Then gravity would pull him back down.
This happened five times, up and down, again and again, scraping his chest almost raw. By now Janúncio was crying because he was hurting and the light was so very hot.
“Then,” he said, “when the man and woman saw I wasn’t going to let go they dropped something like drops of hot oil on me. It burned my arms and hurt very much but I was too afraid to let go of the tree.”
The entire incident lasted less than two minutes. Janúncio was convinced he would have died if it had gone on any longer because it was so very, very hot. But when he still wouldn’t let go of the tree, the door closed and the UFO disappeared, shooting straight up into the sky.
HERMELINDO DA SILVA – HOOKED: Many people assume that UFOs are from technologically advanced civilizations but dropping hot oil on someone is not very high-tech… nor is what happened to this man, who owned a small roadside bar near the village of Vargem Grande in the Valley of the Old Women in central Brazil (see map below).
One September night in 1976, Hermelindo closed his bar and went into the village to visit a friend. Later, as he was walking home and just as he was passing his bar, the sky lit up.
He looked up, and above him was a round object surrounded by yellow and violet colors. There was a purple hole on the bottom.
He stared at it in astonishment and fear for a second or two and then the light blinked out. His dog, a fierce animal, yelped in terror and fled.
Hermelindo ran around to the back door of the bar but he was too rattled to unlock it. So he stood in the doorway peering up but not seeing anything (re-enacted at left during an interview in 1991).
The light came on again and Hermelindo grabbed a piece of wood and rammed it up, hitting something solid. The light instantly went out again and a second or two later something hit his shoulder and knocked him to the ground.
He scrambled up and started to run but the light came on once again, and at this point things got really strange.
“They dropped four steel cables down with hooks on them and tried to catch me with them,” Hermelindo said.
As he jumped around trying to dodge the hooks, a gray, metallic, humanoid creature a little over a meter tall came sliding down one of the cables. It tried to grab Hermelindo but he fought back and briefly grabbed it in a bear hug.
As he did, however, the creature gave a strange shudder that startled Hermelindo and he felt a tingling shock. He fell to the ground and before he could move, the creature slipped one of the hooks around his left leg and scurried back up into the UFO.
Hermelindo was immediately yanked off the ground and reeled upside down toward the UFO, which by now had begun to move away. Luckily, as he neared the UFO his right leg, which was swinging wildly, hit the bottom of the UFO and jarred him loose.
He fell into a large yucca plant and got badly scratched all over his body. The UFO went on out of sight and never came back.
LUÍS SERRA – ABDUCTED: In another abduction case, this teenager was missing for three days. He remembers only the first few moments of those three days and nothing of the seven days after that.
It all began at noon on a Friday in March 1978 when Luís was looking for guava fruit in the jungle near his village of Penalva in the state of Maranhão. He heard a loud sound that scared him.
He looked up and saw a light above the palm trees so bright that it hurt his eyes. “Suddenly,” he said, “I fell flat on my back and couldn’t move. I was paralyzed.”
A minute or so later he began to rise slowly into the air, still in a horizontal position. He could see a round object just above the trees and when he got higher he saw a dome on top and three windows around it. One window was open. He floated in through the window and was lowered to the floor.
Inside were three beings about a meter tall wearing metallic suits and visors. They were talking but he did not understand them and they simply ignored him.
Luís (above with a neighbor boy, showing how small the beings were) then felt the UFO moving and some time later it stopped. He was levitated out of the UFO and came to rest on a nearby flat rock, still paralyzed. He could see tall grass but no trees or birds or stars or sky, only solid blackness above him.
The little men put some kind of liquid in his mouth and he passed out. He remembers nothing from that moment until ten days later.
The following Monday evening, three days and seven hours after Luís was abducted, a fisherman found him lying on the ground in the jungle, unable to move or speak.
Luís was taken to the town’s small hospital. He was rigid and catatonic. A doctor tried to move his arms and legs but couldn’t. She pricked him all over with a sharp pin, but he showed no reaction at all.
His head appeared to have been shaved but the doctor told me that when she examined Luís more closely, she realized his hair had been burned off. His scalp wasn’t singed but the tops of his ears were slightly red.
In addition, four molars had been broken off and were still bleeding. There were no bruises or marks on him and his body was completely normal. The doctor was stumped.
Two days later Luís was flown to a much larger hospital in the state capital and it was nearly a week before he came to his senses. During most of that time he had to be fed intravenously and catheterized.
He was wide awake all the time, just staring straight ahead, but he didn’t react to anything anyone said or did.
Altogether at least eight doctors examined Luís and I was able to talk with four of them, including a neurologist and two psychiatrists. No one could explain what caused his condition.
When Luís finally came to his senses (above), he told the story I’ve just related about the UFO and the three little men... over and over again, without variation.
LUÍS BARROSO – PERMANENTLY ZAPPED: I know of three men who were permanently injured by UFOs. The worst incident involved a businessman and rancher named Luís Barroso.
Several hours before dawn one morning in 1976 he set out from the city of Quixadá in the state of Ceará to go to his farm. He was riding in a two-wheel buggy pulled by a donkey. Three hours later one of his cowboys found him sitting in the buggy on the side of a highway four kilometers from the farm. Both Barroso, who was then fifty-two, and the donkey were in a daze.
When Barroso (right) became coherent later that day, he told his wife that at about four o'clock in the morning a huge object with lights on it came down from the sky and hovered over him and the donkey. He said a round door opened on the bottom and a beam of hot light hit them both. He passed out and didn’t know what happened after that.
By the end of the day Barroso became very sick. He was vomiting and suffering from nausea, diarrhea and headaches.
A doctor treated him but the headaches continued for some days. At the doctor’s suggestion, Barroso’s wife took him to Fortaleza, one of Brazil’s largest cities, one hundred seventy kilometers to the north.
Over the next two months she took him to one doctor after another, twelve in all, but none of them could determine what was wrong with him. Also, none of the doctors believed his story about the UFO, and because of this Barroso just stopped talking about it.
By the time he returned home his speech and his mind had begun to deteriorate. Three months after the encounter, his hair turned white almost overnight. By the end of six months, he had regressed to the age of a one-year-old child and was never again capable of doing anything.
From that moment on, the only person he recognized was his wife, and until the day he died seventeen years later he needed around-the-clock care.
When I took a photograph of him (above), I immediately regretted it because when the flash went off, the poor man screamed.
His donkey, incidentally, was in a stupor for about a week and wouldn’t eat for several weeks. But then it recovered without any further effects. Forever after, though, it was skittish and easily frightened.
JERINALDO DANTES – ALMOST SCORCHED: Many Brazilians run and hide under the nearest tree when they see a UFO, but hiding under a tree almost got this young man killed in 1991.
He’s a good-natured farmhand named Jerinaldo (right) who was eighteen at the time and living in a rural area near Ácari in Rio Grande do Norte. He had worked on an uncle’s farm all day and at sunset was riding home on his bicycle.
He was on a dirt road about two hundred meters from a neighbor’s large farmhouse when he saw a big ball of light low in the sky ahead of him.
“It was all colors, blue, red, green,” he said. “It came down toward me. I was so frightened that I threw my bicycle down and ran under a tree, squatted down and wrapped my arms around the trunk.”
The light stopped right above the tree and Jerinaldo was so scared that he kept his head down most of the time. “It was so hot that I was afraid it was going to burn up the tree,” he said.
It kept getting hotter and hotter, and after about twenty minutes the heat became unbearable. Then he realized the tree actually was beginning to burn and knew he had to get away from it fast.
He dived under a barbed wire fence close to the tree and scooted about ten meters out into a corral, and not a second too soon.
“Just as I went under the fence, I heard a loud CRACK! And then a second CRACK! Then the top of the tree fell over on the fence smashing it down.”
Jerinaldo sat on the ground trembling in fear as the UFO still hovered above the scorched, smoking stump. But seconds later the light blinked out and a minute or so later he saw it turn on again a kilometer or two to the west.
(These photos show the scorched remains of the stump on the left and one of the limbs, still lying on the ground a year later.)
CECÍLIO PEREIRA – DEATH: I know of at least nine deaths that occurred during or soon after encounters. This includes four stillbirths after pregnant women ran in panic from UFOs that were chasing them.
For sheer terror, few encounters can match the one that led to the death of Cecílio Pereira at the age of thirty. He died in 1976, two years before I made my first trip to Brazil. All of my information about him comes from Húlvio Aleixo, one Brazil’s top UFO investigators.
Cecílio was a poor, illiterate farm worker who lived in a region called Vale do Rio das Velhas, or the Valley of the River of the Old Women, in the state of Minas Gerais. The valley is a sparsely populated area of low mountains where Húlvio and his UFO group from the city of Belo Horizonte have investigated some three hundred major cases and countless sightings since the late-1960s.
One dark evening Cecílio was walking home from the small town Jaboticatubas with two neighbor women. They were on a lonely dirt road when a bright light came toward them in the sky.
They were scared and began running, but a strap broke on one of Cecílio’s sandals. The sandal fell off and he couldn’t run because of sharp stones in the road. The women fled for their lives, leaving him behind. Cecílio tried desperately to fix the strap but the UFO camedown swiftly and stopped above him. It was so close that he could have reached up and touched it. It was shaped like an open umbrella, he said, and it lit up everything around him.
He screamed and thrashed around on the road trying to get away from it. Suddenly he tingled all over as if he’d gotten an electrical shock. And then he found himself being pulled a short distance off the ground as what he called a “terribly cold wind” swirled around him.
He felt very cold and he could see two or three small shadowy beings about one meter tall inside the object. Cecílio thought he was going to die, but then the UFO quickly went away and he dropped to the ground.
Cecílio could barely walk. Within minutes he began throwing up and when he finally got home he was extremely thirsty, exhausted, confused and still badly scared. He had dry heaves the rest of the night. Whatever caused his sickness, he never recovered from it.
The investigator Húlvio Aleixo heard about the incident a few days later and eventually a guide led him to a house deep in the woods, where they found Cecílio sick in bed. He was lethargic, depressed and demoralized but he managed to tell Húlvio what happened that night.
Several weeks later Cecílio got out of bed but he wasn’t able to do much. Two months after the incident he died. His family was very poor and he never saw a doctor. No official was available to issue a death certificate and no one knows what caused his death.