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Sunday, March 25, 2012

UFOs - UFOs FILMED ENTERING AND LEAVING BAY



 ΠΟΛΥ ΣΗΜΑΝΤΙΚΗ ΠΕΡΙΠΤΩΣΙΣ

 Bob Pratt
By DANIEL REBISSO GIESE, CYNTHIA LUCE and BOB PRATT
 
(This story is based on research carried out in Brazil in September 1999 and earlier years. A version of the story was published in the MUFON UFO Journal of March 2001. To some extent, it overlaps "UFO Awes Intelligence Agents" {BELOW}, which was based on research conducted in 1997 and before. Daniel Rebisso Giese is a UFO researcher who lives in Belém, Brazil and Cynthia Luce is an American researcher who has lived in the state of Rio de Janeiro since the 1970s.)
 
Military intelligence agents who investigated a long series of UFO sightings managed to film numerous craft diving into and coming out of a bay at the mouth of the Amazon River.
 
The films, which later ended up in classified archives still closed to the public, were shown to officers at a nearby Brazilian Air Force base.
 
This was in 1977 at a time when aggressive UFOs were harassing and sometimes injuring villagers, farmers and fishermen. The agents shot the films and took hundreds of photographs of UFOs during a four-month investigation as the flap was taking place.
 
“They showed the films to those who wanted to see them,” Gabriel Brasil (below), a retired lieutenant colonel, told us in September 1999. “Therefore, they were actually in the public domain because they were showing the films to everyone.”
 
In fact, though, the films were not shown to the general public and it is not known now how many officers took advantage of the opportunity to view them at the base, which is the headquarters for Brazil’s First Regional Air Command.
 
“We clearly saw small ships going into a bigger ship, and they filmed them going into the water and coming out of the water,” said Brasil, then sixty-two. He was referring to the waters of Marajó Bay that flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Colonel Brasil was not a member of the investigative team but was stationed at the base at the time. “The ships were estimated to be about ten meters in diameter,” he said. “They had various shapes. The biggest one was cigar-shaped, a long cigar. Another was a great big ball, another like a hat, a whole festival of forms… What impressed me the most were the ships going into and out of the water.”
 
A TERRIFYING TIME
 
These events were part of the “Colares flap,” which was, we believe, part of a much larger UFO wave that took place over a vast stretch of northern Brazil for more than twenty months in 1977 and 1978.
 
However, the Air Force investigation was centered on hundreds of sightings around Colares and more than two dozen other villages less than sixty miles from the major seaport city of Belém on Marajó Bay. Belém is the capital of the state of Pará and the home of about two million people.
 
It was a terrifying time for the several thousand inhabitants of the Colares area because there were nights when rays of light beamed from UFOs paralyzed and burned dozens of people, and at least two of them died.
 
The intelligence agents – six sergeants and one officer – spent most of October, November and December 1977 and January 1978 in Colares and other villages interviewing hundreds of people who had encounters or sightings. During the investigation, the agents also had more than two hundred sightings of their own.
 
The three of us spent the first two weeks of September 1999 re-visiting Colares and other villages in an effort to better understand what happened there twenty-two years earlier. Despite the passage of time, we were able to locate and interview twenty people who had participated in the investigation, or had sightings or encounters, or had direct knowledge of the flap.
 
The last three months of 1977 were particularly dreadful for people living in the Colares area.
 
“I’ll never forget it,” said Ana Célia Oliveira (below), a schoolteacher who was six years old at the time. “People and animals were attacked. There was no food. Terrible lack of food. No one was fishing. People would not go out to their vegetable gardens for crops.

“Everybody tried to go around in large groups. Nobody wanted to be left alone. All of Colares stopped. At six o'clock it got dark and we would go to sleep. Groups of as many as fifty to sixty women and children would get together in one house. The men would stay awake all night. They lit bonfires and banged on pots and pans to make noise to scare the UFOs away. People began to shoot into the sky to scare them away.”

Ana Célia, speaking to us at the family home in Colares, said the children didn’t know what was going on. “We only heard from our fathers and other men what was happening. We didn’t know why we were going to other people’s houses at night to sleep. At night, people saw many UFOs flying and in formation.
 
“One time I heard men shouting and I ran to the door and opened it and saw many UFOs in formation, and suddenly they went in all directions. The objects moved very quickly. People began to shoot into the sky to scare them away. One came over the village just fifteen meters high. I dreamed about this and I still sometimes have dreams.”
 
BLUE LIGHTS UNDER THE WATER
 
Her father, Rósio Oliveira, then fifty-six, had nine sightings in November 1977 alone, according to documents compiled by the Air Force investigators.
 
“I often go fishing in my boat and we can see those things coming at great speed and when they get close they just seem to stop,” Rósio (below), owner of a small store on the Colares beach, said in an interview in February 1979. “My brother got really frightened and he jumped out of the boat.
 
“Sometimes the UFOs go into the water. I’ve seen blue lights moving around under the water, and I’ve seen them come out. It just goes up and away in a northern direction, up and down in a wavy motion toward the ocean.”
 
We saw Rósio again in 1999 and he said: “It began with lights all over Colares… sometimes in the shape of a hat, round, discs, like an umbrella… They seemed to come from way high up from many places, one from the sky, one from the bay… They put out a strong light, too bright to see a shape. The light was blinding. One time we saw three or four objects come together into one big one. They seemed to come from different directions and then joined together. Many times we could see them going across the island toward Belém. They didn’t make any noise. Very silent.
 
“One time we saw many UFOs coming out of the water at the same time, one, two, three, four… Many lights came out of the water. Huge objects went into the water, came down and went into the water.
 
“The Air Force people told us the UFOs were not dangerous, don’t be afraid. Everybody was upset and they were trying to calm the people down. They were saying it was just a little flying apparatus and a little laser light and people were being paralyzed but they were not taking blood…”
 
He was referring to the fact that at the time many people believed the UFOs were somehow using rays of light to suck blood from victims. Villagers said UFOs sometimes hovered in the sky at night and beamed down rays of light that passed through the tile roofs of houses as if the tiles didn’t exist.
 
PARALYZING LIGHT
 
The leader of the Air Force investigators was Uyrange Hollanda (say Wee-RAHN-gee Oh-LON-duh), at that time a captain. In an interview in 1997, Hollanda, by then a retired lieutenant colonel, told us the UFOs used two different rays of light.
 
“First came a green light that would hit the person and paralyze them,” he said. “Then the green light would turn off and a red ray of light would hit, burning them. A lot of people were burned.”
 
One of the victims in Colares was Claudomira Paixão (below), then thirty-five. One night in October 1977 she was asleep in a hammock and was awakened by a light coming through a window. “The air became warmer and warmer,” she said in a 1981 interview. “The first time the light was green. It touched my head and passed across my face. I woke up and the color changed to red.”
 
She could see a figure holding an instrument like a pistol. “He pointed it at me and shined the beam three times, hitting me in the chest all three times almost in the same place. It was very hot. I got very thirsty. It hurt, like being stuck with a needle. I bled at all three points. I think each time he took blood. I was terrified but I couldn't move my legs. I was paralyzed. I was very frightened.”
 
The being and the light disappeared when she began screaming, and a few minutes later a cousin took her to the small state-run Colares hospital.
 
Claudomira was one of about forty people who were treated for burns by Dr. Wellaide Carvalho during that time. Dr. Carvalho, who ran the hospital, said the burns did not form blisters or resemble burns caused by fire or hot water but were similar to burns caused by Cobalt.
 
Also, there was no pain in the affected areas, only itching, and after two days the skin began to peel. She said that when treating victims she often found two small punctures, very close together, more or less in the center of most of the burns.
 
In a 1993 interview, Dr. Carvalho said two of the victims died within twenty-four hours of being burned. One was a housewife and domestic worker in her early forties and the other was a thirty-two-year-old fisherman.

Dr. Carvalho didn't remember their names. Brazil at that time was under military rule. She started keeping records of the people she treated but then began worrying about what the Air Force would think, so she destroyed her notes.
 
MAYOR APPEALS FOR HELP
 
A few sightings were reported in the Colares area as early as July 1977, but it wasn’t until October that increasing numbers of UFOs were being seen. The Air Force got involved only after receiving an appeal for help from the mayor of Vigia, a small town not far from Colares.
 
A Belém newspaper, Provincia do Pará, reported that at six forty-five in the evening of October 18, 1977, Mayor José Soeiro was at home talking to his wife when he heard shouts in the streets about a strange object crossing the sky at great speed and giving off yellow light.
 
He ran to a window in time to catch a glimpse as it passed over an island east of the town, going toward the nearby village of Santo Antônio do Ubintuba.
 
Vigia itself had plunged into darkness a few minutes earlier as the electricity failed, and the people were alarmed. After the object disappeared, it reappeared two minutes later moving toward Vigia, and then rapidly disappeared again.
 
As Mayor Soeiro stood in the streets watching with his wife, his mother, his grandmother, his twelve-year-old son, a city councilman and other townspeople, another object rose into the sky from the Colares area fifteen miles to the southwest and moved toward Vigia.
 
Then it disappeared and yet another one arose from a closer Island and moved toward Vigia at the same time that a third object headed for Vigia, almost causing a collision between the two.
 
The entire spectacle in the sky lasted about fifteen minutes, after which the lights of the city came back on again.
 
The newspaper also reported that in Santo Antônio do Ubintuba, Police Commissioner Benjamin Amim said that the following evening six unidentified flying objects were seen over the village emitting rays of green, red and yellow lights.
 
In September 1999 we were able to interview Brigadier Protázio Oliveira, a retired four-star brigadier general who was commander of the Belém air base at that time of the UFO flap.
 
“If it’s something in the air, it’s for us to help,” the general said, referring to the Vigia mayor’s request for help. “The people in Colares were really upset and they believed something very strange was happening, and I wanted proof. So I sent a team there. I wanted real proof of what was going on there.”
 

UFO REACTS SWIFTLY

 
Sergeant Álvaro Pinto Santos was one of the first of the military investigators to go to Colares.
 
“People were really afraid,” Santos (below), sixty-four and also retired, said when we visited him at his home in Belém in 1999. “Really scared. They didn’t know what to do.
 
“They were so terrified they didn’t fish. They wanted guns to shoot… We had to explain to them that they couldn’t shoot at the UFOs or things could get worse.”
 
Colonel Hollanda told us in 1997 that the UFOs could react swiftly. “The people shot at the discs very often but we told them, ‘Don't DO that!’”
 
Hollanda cited the case of a Colares carpenter in his fifties who was badly frightened when a UFO focused a beam of light on his home.
 
“He got a rifle and aimed it at the disc, the light turned red and he fell to the ground. He was barely able to move for fifteen days. The first day he was dizzy. He could hear, see and speak normally but could barely move. He was in a hammock all that time.”
 
Sergeant Santos said that once the agents began the investigation they didn’t have to wait long to see strange things in the sky.
 
“One night in Colares we saw something like a great big tub about one and a half meters in diameter about eighty meters from us. Sergeant Nascimento [another member of the team] took photos. The light was so intense it hurt the eyes.”
 
Still later, at a farm called Fazenda Jejú some distance to the east, “we saw a strange light about eleven forty one night. It came down very low. It was pulsing red on the bottom, almost violet, and on top white.
 
“We thought it was going to land but it swooped back up. It was kind of heart-shaped with a little dome on top. There was no sound. It just took off with a speed that was absolutely incredible. It just zoomed off into space. I thought it was very beautiful.”
 
In a preliminary report about five weeks after the investigation began, Sergeant Flávio Costa, second in command of the team, stated that the agents had heard testimony from people “who said they’d been ‘hit’ by a ‘beam of light’ emitted by a ‘body of light’ of unknown origin and characteristics…”
 
The people of Colares, he wrote, lived “in a state of ‘collective hysteria,’ its inhabitants terrified by the appearance of mysterious lights of unknown origin. They don’t sleep, nor fish… The population lives in a state of terror. At times a scream of fear and then the news is spread that the ‘apparatus’ attacked so and so…
 
“People struck by a beam of light suffer what we can call a ‘nervous breakdown’ (for lack of a better explanation) whose symptoms are nearly always the same: partial or total paralysis, loss of speech, chills, dizziness, hot flashes, hoarseness, tachiacardia, tremors, migraine-type headaches, and progressive numbness of the area hit by the beam of light.”
 

‘UNEXPLAINABLE’ EVENTS

 
The report was written early in November 1977 and by then the team had had a number of sightings themselves. In his report, Sergeant Costa described a reddish-yellow object crossing the sky like an “intense rotating beacon.”
 
Its apparent size, he wrote, “was estimated at 2 centimeters [about three-quarters of an inch], and its flight a smooth curve to the right until attaining mid-range, where it initiated an ascending swing to the left crossing the mid-point… at an altitude estimated at 1500 meters. It stopped emitting flashes, rapidly losing its luminosity and transformed itself into a minuscule reddish point of light at an altitude of more than 6000 meters…
 
“This sequence took 45 seconds. Considering the short time for these maneuvers, between the exact vertical point in the trajectory and the point at which it disappeared, it would have had to pass from a sub-sonic velocity (800 km/hr) to super-sonic velocity and then normally there would have been a sonic boom, which did not occur during this sighting…”
 
Sergeant Costa said this “and other cases… were unexplainable.”
 
Most of the sightings that the team investigated happened at night. One of the few daytime incidents was reported by Ivaldo Pantoja, fifty-five when we talked to him in 1999. At that time he had been the chief pilot for the Pará state government for more than twenty years.
 
On November 23, 1977, he was working for an air taxi company and was flying alone in a six-seat Cessna back to Belém after a trip to Marajó Island on the other side of the bay. It was about nine thirty in the morning and he was halfway across the bay.
 
“I saw an object near the water at a distance and it made me afraid because it was so strange,” he told us. “It was like two soup plates together. It was silverish and was very close to the water.
 
“I had heard a story about someone being sucked out of a plane by a UFO and I got really scared and wanted to land on a beach. This thing was about ninety degrees to my left and it would go up and down. I was so terrified that I turned back and landed at Soure in Marajó.”
 
It took him more than a half hour to calm down and resume his flight home.
 
Pantoja (at right, with his wife Rosalha) was one of at least six civilian pilots who reported seeing UFOs in 1977 and 1978. He had several other sightings, including one when he was with Sergeant Costa.
 
“This was at Baía do Sol [a village between Belém and Colares],” Pantoja said. “We saw a bluish light over the water that would zigzag, then stop and go around. It wasn’t all that big but it was fast.
 
“There were all these little balls of bluish light flying around, and then came a bigger ball of light. Right over the middle of the bay it went down into the water in sort of an explosion of light that lit up everything.
 
“A day later they sent a Navy ship out to see if they could find pieces of it. They put divers down but they couldn’t find anything.”
 
Santos told us that he, Costa and the other sergeants from Intelligence were chosen for the Colares team mainly because they were available at the time.
 
“It was just that I was at the right place at the right time,” Santos said. “We were sent in not because we had any particular specialties or anything but because we had reports of these happenings scaring people so badly they were starving and afraid to go out fishing.”
 
‘JUST ANOTHER OPERATION’
 
Colonel Hollanda told us in the 1997 interview: “We had a lot of sergeants in the Intelligence Section with different specialties.” But, he added, “We were not trained to research flying saucers.”
 
He said he himself was chosen because “I was responsible for the operations of the Intelligence Service. This was just another operation.”
 
He and his team carried out their investigation dressed in civilian clothing and took no weapons with them. They lived in a borrowed beach house at Colares, slept in hammocks they took with them, cooked their own food, washed their own clothes in a stream and dried them on bushes, and drove their own cars.
 
For the most part, they slept during the daytime and stayed up all night watching the skies, taking photographs when UFOs were seen and recording the information. They interviewed witnesses, taking testimony on tape recorders and later typing up reports.
 
Other than the recorder and various cameras with special filters and lenses, the only other equipment they had was a theodolite to help track UFOs crossing the sky. They learned about sightings in other localities only by word of mouth from the inhabitants and the police.
 
“The people knew we were investigating and would come to us,” Sergeant Santos said. “So we would go running off to where something was happening.”
 
The agents seldom ranged more than forty miles from Colares and generally stayed in the immediate vicinity.
 
The UFOs were never tracked on radar because no radar existed in the Belém area at that time. Nor were any fighter planes sent up to try to intercept them because the nearest jet base was at Brasília, a thousand miles to the south, and the only military planes then based in Belém were transports.
 
For reasons we have not yet been able to determine, the Air Force did not consider the UFOs a threat of any kind.
 
HELICOPTER CREW’S SIGHTING
 
Helicopters were used sometimes to carry members of the team or other officers to and from Colares, but none of the crews ever reported seeing a UFO while flying. However, one crew, consisting of a lieutenant colonel, a lieutenant and two sergeants, did see one from the ground one night while standing near the cemetery in Colares.
 
It was a semi-circular object about four thousand feet high that appeared to be three inches wide at that distance. It was bright red on top and emitted flashes of blue light. It moved through the sky in a curve and vanished after about fifteen seconds.
 
Also present were Sergeant Santos, two other members of the team and the lieutenant colonel who commanded the air base’s Intelligence section.
 
In early 1997, Hollanda went public about the investigation, the first time he or any other member of the team openly talked about the investigation.
 
He told A.J. Gevaerd, MUFON’s director for Brazil and the publisher of Revista UFO, Brazil’s leading UFO magazine, that his team took more than five hundred photos and more than three hours of motion picture films of UFOs in October, November and December 1977 alone.
 
Hollanda told Gevaerd that he believed more than a thousand photos existed. The final report on the operation, which he helped write, was over five hundred pages long. He also said he and his men spoke to more than a thousand victims or witnesses of the phenomena.
 
The team also made many drawings to illustrate what was happening. They drew sketches of most of the UFOs they photographed to make it clear what they saw. They also made maps showing the flight paths and maneuvers of UFOs, adding dates and times of sightings, and sometimes they made detailed drawings of encounters based on information provided by civilian witnesses. (The sketch below, color-coded by the authors, shows the flight paths of five different UFOs over the village of Baía do Sol on the night of November 22, 1977.)

They sent their final report, the photos and films to the Air Force Intelligence headquarters in Brasília, the nation's capital. Although the reports were classified, photocopies of more than one hundred seventy-five pages were leaked to civilian researchers.
 
Exactly how many sightings were investigated is not known, but the pages that were leaked give details of three hundred and twenty-five incidents.
 
The official investigation lasted only four months but for nearly a year afterwards Hollanda and Sergeant Costa continued to investigate on their own in their spare time.
 
Brigadier Oliveira, the base commander during the flap, told us in 1999 he believed UFOs are real but that he never got the proof he wanted that the UFOs in Colares were real.
 
“They brought a film for me to see,” he said. “I went to see the film. I thought it was very interesting. I saw something flashing, and another one coming towards… but what is true is that there is a lighthouse there [on a small island one kilometer off the Colares beach].
 
‘MASS HYSTERIA’
 
“So I called the Navy commandant and asked, ‘Do you have a lighthouse in that area?’ ‘Yes, we have.’ And I asked, ‘Was there a problem there?’ ‘Yes, sometimes the lighthouse was blinking, sometimes it wasn't.' So, that’s no proof because it was a malfunctioning lighthouse…
 
“I think it was mass hysteria that produced the whole thing. I took an impartial position. I just wanted proof… but the ‘proof’ was destroyed when I discovered the whole business of the malfunctioning lighthouse.”
 
Most if not all members of the team, as well as others, including Colonel Brasil, would probably disagree, pointing out that, among other things, one of the films showing UFOs going into and out of the water was shot on the far side of another island well out of sight of the Colares lighthouse.
 
Brigadier Oliveira also said he believed Captain Hollanda and Sergeant Costa withheld information from him. That may have happened. We were told by another source that all the reports, photos and films were sent straight to Air Force Intelligence headquarters in Brasília, bypassing the base commander.
 
The brigadier’s theory also does not explain something that was happening elsewhere in the region. An almost identical flap of the same magnitude had just taken place in the neighboring state of Maranhão to the east, or it may have been just an earlier part of the same flap.
 
In April, May, June and July of 1977, UFOs were seen almost every night in a wide area around Pinheiro, a small city about five hundred miles southeast of Colares.
 
“Two-thirds of the people of this city saw a big ball of fire the size of a long-playing record,” Manoel Paiva, the mayor of Pinheiro, said in a 1978 interview. “It came at high speed and then it would stop. Suddenly it would go up or down with the same velocity. Lots of people who were fishing here in canoes and boats were chased by this ball of fire…
 
“Many people complained that their eyes hurt after they'd stared at it. The object seemed to be a living thing, with colors swirling around in it like molten steel and an occasional flash of light as if explosions were occurring inside it…
 
“It made many people sick. Everybody was afraid. Many people were afraid to go out at night because of what might happen to them if 'the fire' caught them.”
 
Paiva said a number of fishermen and farmers reported they'd been burned when UFOs suddenly and silently appeared in a great blast of light in the night sky just over their heads.
 
“The fishermen were so afraid that they wouldn't go fishing for three or four months. Many people wouldn't even go into their backyards to relieve themselves at night.”
 
Sightings occurred at least as far away as seventy miles north, east and south of Pinheiro. We have yet to determine how far west, toward Colares, UFOs were seen.
 

ONE HUGE UFO WAVE

 
We believe the Colares and Pinheiro area sightings were part of a one huge wave that lasted for more than a year and a half. The story of this flap is fascinating but far from complete.
 
We do not yet know what may have happened elsewhere in Pará and Maranhão (an area about one and a half times as large as Texas) before or after the Pinheiro and Colares sightings. Some UFOs were seen during this time in small communities and the cities of Santarém and Manaus many hundreds of miles to the west in the Amazon region, as well as in the Territory of Amapá, northwest of Colares.
 
Nor do we know what happened between the end of the Pinheiro sightings in July and the beginning of frequent sightings in the Colares area in October. However, Belém newspapers reported several sightings in July in Viseu and Bragança, small cities on the Atlantic coast roughly halfway between Pinheiro and Colares. The entire region is largely tropical forests and farmland.
 
There were at least three other UFO flaps around the world in 1977 but none of the magnitude of the Colares flap. This was an extraordinary one, not only because it took place over such a wide area and for such a long time, but also because people were hurt and the Brazilian Air Force officially investigated it.
 
The intelligence agents documented the sightings and close encounters of not only several hundred witnesses but their own observations of more than two hundred UFOs, in hundreds of pages of typewritten reports accompanied by numerous drawings and maps, hundreds of photographs and several hours of motion picture films.
 
All of these records constitute what should be rock-solid proof that UFOs exist, records that still repose in the classified archives of the Brazilian Air Force in Brasília.
-----------------------

By BOB PRATT and CYNTHIA LUCE
 
 
(This story is based on research carried out in Brazil between 1979 and 1997. To some extent, it overlaps material in UFOs Filmed Going Into and Coming Out of Bay, which was written in September 1999. A version of this story was published in the April 1999 issue of the MUFON UFO Journal. Cynthia Luice is an American researcher who has lived in Brazil since the 1970s.)


A former intelligence officer who led an official investigation of UFOs said he and his team photographed “many flying saucers” and admitted he was once badly frightened when a huge UFO hovered just a hundred meters above him and his men.
 
“I was terrified,” he said. “At that moment I didn’t know what would happen. They could have abducted us. They could have done anything they wanted to with us.”
 
We were talking to Uyrange Hollanda, a retired Brazilian Air Force lieutenant colonel, whom we interviewed for two days at his home in Cabo Frio, Brazil in August 1997.
 
“It was about seven o'clock, just after sunset,” Hollanda (right) said. “We never saw anything approaching. Suddenly a big disc-shaped object thirty meters in diameter and fifty meters high was hovering exactly above us!
 
“It made a noise like an air conditioner, and in the midst of that we could hear a sound like a bicycle sprocket when you pedal backwards.
 
“It was emitting a yellow glow that would grow and dim, grow and dim, every two or three seconds for about five times. As we watched we could see small yellow and orange lights in the middle of it. After the fifth time, the lights turned light blue, dimmed and then it disappeared with incredible speed toward the sea.”
 
The astonishing close encounter occurred near the village of Baía do Sol, about twenty-five kilometers north of Belém, one night in November 1977during a long series of UFO sightings in thirty villages at the mouth of the Amazon River.
 
FOUR-MONTH INVESTIGATION
 
The sightings began in August 1977 and continued for more than a year. Hollanda said the chief of the Intelligence Service at the regional Air Force command in Belém sent him and a half a dozen intelligence sergeants to the region to investigate.
 
The team spent four months in Colares, Baía do Sol and other villages just north of Belém, after which time the official investigation was terminated. However, Hollanda said, he wanted to know more about what was happening, so he and a colleague continued the investigation on their own for several more months.
 
“I was interested because I saw a lot of things,” he explained. “I continued searching for the reasons for what the UFOs were doing there, what they wanted. The Air Force was no longer interested but I was.”
 
Hollanda said he and the six sergeants interviewed nearly three hundred people who had had close encounters, including dozens of men and women who had been burned by the UFOs.
 
At least two people died in Colares after being burned by rays from UFOs, according to Dr. Wellaide Carvalho, who was then in charge of the state-run hospital in Colares. Much of the UFO activity during the flap was centered around Colares, a village on an island by the same name about eighty kilometers north of Belém.
 
It is not known whether there were UFO-related deaths in any of the other villages. Hollanda said he was not aware of the Colares deaths at that time but heard about them later.
 
In a 1993 interview in Belém, Dr. Carvalho also said she treated about forty people who had been burned by rays from UFOs. Hollanda told us his team had seen almost the same number of injuries in Colares, but added that people had been similarly burned in many other villages as well, including some on Marajó Island, sixty kilometers west of Colares across Marajó Bay at the mouth of the Amazon (Marajó Island is larger than the country of Switzerland.).
 
Villagers in Colares reported that sometimes UFOs would sit in the dark sky at night and beam down rays of red light at the roofs of houses, passing through the tile roofs as if they didn’t exist. At times the rays would move around inside the houses as if searching for someone. Hollanda said the tiles seemed to dematerialize where the rays hit them and then re-materialized when the rays withdrew or shut off.
 
The UFO beings used two different rays of light, Hollanda said. “First came a green light that would hit the person and paralyze them, then the green light would turn off and a red ray of light would hit, burning them. A lot of people were burned.”
 
One of the victims in Colares was Claudomira Paixão, then thirty-five. On the night of October 18, 1977, she was asleep in a hammock at the home of a cousin with five children. About eleven that night a light coming through a window awakened her. (In 1981 photo below, Claudomira, in a blue top, tells me her story as Hollanda, in a black shirt, interprets for us.)
 
“The air became warmer and warmer,” she said. “The first time the light was green. It touched my head and passed across my face. I woke up and the color changed to red.”
 
She could see a person, like a man in a diving suit, but only from the chest up. “He had an instrument like a pistol," she said. “He pointed it at me and shined the beam three times, hitting me in the chest all three times almost in the same place.
 
“It was very hot. I got very thirsty. It hurt, like being stuck with a needle. I bled at all three points. I think each time he took blood. I was terrified but I couldn't move my legs. I was paralyzed. I was very frightened.”
 
UFO BURNS LEAVE SCARS
 
The man and the light disappeared when she began screaming, awakening her cousin, who took her to the hospital. Dr. Carvalho treated her and Claudomira returned home about four in the morning.
 
The burns left three tiny scars in a trian­gular pattern on the upper right side of Claudomira’s chest. "For many weeks I had headaches and fever." (For more on Claudomira's experience, click here.)
 
After serving for one year in Colares, Dr. Carvalho returned to Belém, where she went to work in the state Department of Public Health. In the 1993 interview, she said most of the burns she treated in Colares were like sunburns, on the chest and throat.
 
“I she could see two small puncture wounds in the center of the burns," she said. "All had irritation, swelling, redness. Very red. The burns usually covered an area of ten to twenty centime­ters and the skin peeled off.
 
“These burns healed quickly. Usually it takes about seventy-two hours for burned skin to peel. UFO burns begin to peel almost immediately.”
 
In each case, she said, the victims told her a ray of light had hit them.
 
Most of the villagers in Colares were terrified because they thought they were under attack by the UFOs and they had no way to defend themselves. Many fled from the area.
 
Dr. Carvalho said that for three months all the professionals left Colares except her and two other residents, the sheriff and the priest, Father Alfredo de La Ó (who had many UFO sightings, according to Hollanda). They had little to eat except for eggs and farinha because fishermen were too frightened to fish. Farinha is a meal or flour made from manioc roots.
 
PARALYZED BY LIGHT
 
Hollanda said the villagers were very afraid. “They used weapons," he said. "They shot at the discs very often, threw rocks. We told them: ‘Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!’
 
“Once a strong light was focused on a man’s home in Colares, a carpenter about fifty or sixty years old. He got a rifle and aimed at the disc. The light turned on him and he fell to the ground, almost paralyzed.
 
“He could barely move for fifteen days. The first day he was dizzy. He could hear, see and speak but he stayed in his hammock for days, hardly able to move. After fifteen days he was normal again.”
 
Fishermen from Colares also saw UFOs going into and out of the water of the bay and sometimes they saw blue lights moving around underwater.
 
“They told me about these sightings, but I did not believe them,” said Hollanda, who was a captain at the time of the sightings. “Once I was sleeping and the sergeants came and told me they had photographed a flying saucer diving into the water near a boat. I waited for the fisherman to come to shore and he told me that happened. He said he was afraid.
 
“Several weeks later I saw a light near a fishing boat. The light was blue. It circled the boat once or twice about three hundred meters away and then it dived into the water.
 
“The boat was about eight hundred meters off shore. I could see the sail of the boat in the light from the UFO. I saw it. It really happened. I started to believe the fishermen were telling the truth. I asked the fishermen 'Did it make a splash, a sound?' 'No, nothing.'”
 
Hollanda held his hand horizontally flat, then moved it down and said: “When you hit the water that way, SPLAT! But when you do like this,” and he turned hand vertically sideways, “no sound, like a blade going in water.
 
VILLAGES ACROSS BAY ATTACKED
 
“I talked with another crew of fishermen who said they saw a blue light under water circle the boat and then come out of the water about a hundred meters away. We got a lot of reports from fishermen.
 
“I went over to Marajó Island three or four times to see what was happening there, and the people there were getting attacked too. Some of them said they also saw flying saucers floating on the water, blue lights, and they could hear sounds like fishing nets being launched and then pulled in. This was maybe eight hundred to a thousand meters off shore.”
 
Marajó Island is on the opposite side of Marajó Bay from Colares.

Hollanda said the people called the UFOs chupa-chupas (from the verb chupar, meaning "to suck") because they believed the UFOs suck blood from the victims. He was convinced that actually did happen but he also believed the UFO crews were simply taking blood samples, somehow withdrawing small amounts when they burned someone with a ray of red light.
 
“They were not attacking people,” he said. “They were collecting material.”
 
Hollanda, who died unexpectedly on October 2, 1997 at the age of fifty-seven, spent thirty-six years in the Air Force. He enlisted at the age of seventeen and spent the next seven years undergoing academic and military training at Brazil's Air Force academy.
 
He was a pilot, a parachutist, a jungle expert, and for many years was the finance officer of the Belém Air Force Base. He was fluent in English and French, and for twenty-four years was an officer in the secret Intelligence Service, a fact that few people were aware of.
 
Hollanda said he had Indian, Portuguese, Jewish, French and Dutch blood in him and was proud of the fact that one of his great-great-grandmothers was indian and a member of a cannibal tribe called Porintintin.
 
AT INTELLIGENCE SCHOOL
 
He knew some indian dialects (“They would greet me saying, ‘Capitão! Capitão!’” he said in Cabo Frio), and almost every month for six years he spent long periods of time living in the jungle and working with tribal indians. He retired from the Air Force on March 10, 1992.
 
Flying saucers were seen nearly every night from April through July in 1977 throughout the neighboring state of Maranhão just before they began showing up farther west at the mouth of the Amazon. They first were seen in the Colares area in July and August but Hollanda was not aware of the sightings until the following month.
 
“I was in Brasília at the national Intelligence School and when I returned to Belém, my section chief (a lieutenant colonel named Camilo, the head of the Belém base’s Intelligence Service) asked me whether I believed in UFOs. Until then, I didn’t know about the operation (in Colares). When he asked me that, I said ‘Yes.' And he said, ‘Well, you are responsible for the operation now.’”
 
Colonel Camilo and several sergeants from the air base had already spent two to three weeks in Colares. They had interviewed some of the people who had been burned by UFOs and had seen flying saucers themselves.
 
Asked why Camilo chose him, Hollanda replied: “I don’t know. I was the chief of the Operation Section. I was responsible for the operations of the Intelligence Service.
 
“I went to the commander of the base, the brigadier, to find out what he wanted done,” Hollanda said. “I asked him what the command wanted to know about the cases in Colares, what was the line of the investigation. He said he was interested in what was happening and wanted to know everything we could find out. He wanted us to get the details and make a report.”
 
The commander did not set any specific length of time for the investigation. Hollanda selected as his staff a number of sergeants who worked in Intelligence and had been trained in different specialties, photography, meteorology, first aid and so on.
 
PROBLEMS PHOTOGRAPHING UFOS
 
To Hollanda, this was just another intelligence operation. He called it Operação Prato because, he said, he had to give the operation a name.
 
“Brazil is the only nation that calls UFOs discos voadores, or flying saucers,” he explained. “In Portugal, they speak Portuguese too and they call it ‘flying plate.’ The Spanish call them platillos volantes and the French call it ‘flying saucer’.
 
“I could not call it Operation Flying Saucer. I could not call it Operation Flying Disc. I chose a cousin of the saucer, a plate. That’s why I called it Operação Prato.” 
 
Hollanda soon made his first trip to Colares to see what was going on. “I returned to Belém a week or two later and the commander asked me what I had seen. I told him I didn’t know anything yet. My problem was that I saw lights almost every night, and we photographed them but the negatives didn’t show anything. I had no proof of the flying saucers, only my visual information.”
 
Generally, the team members would spend a week in one village or another – moving from Colares to Mosqueiro to Baía do Sol to Benevides, Santo Antônio do Tauá, Vigia and many other villages, as well as farm areas, and return to Belém on weekends.
 
They often saw flying saucers themselves and photographed many of them, then kept detailed notes and sketches on altitude, movement, direction, color, shape and anything else they believed important. In the daytime they would type up their reports.
 
They interviewed people who had seen UFOs and had been burned by them, again making written records of what people told them.
 
“I was there with orders from my commander to see and try to understand what was happening there,” Hollanda said. “We were to photograph everything we could. But I spent two months without any (photographic) results.
 
SPECIAL FILMS AND FILTERS
 
“I saw the balls of light, I saw the people who had been burned, but I could not make any conclusions. Many times during the two months, I saw very bright lights, blue lights, yellow lights, but I didn’t see one object. I saw lights but no shape. I was worried because my work was showing no results.
 
“When we saw a big ball of light we photographed it, but they did not register on the film. I was sure when I came back to headquarters that we had a picture of a big light, but nothing showed on the negatives.
 
“Then I asked for filters and special film, infrared and ultraviolet. The results were much better, and then we identified many other forms, many other shapes.”
 
Once they started getting results, they were able to get good photos of UFOs, he said. "We took about three hundred photos and we photographed eight dif­ferent shapes of UFOs,” he said in a 1981 off-the-record interview, sketching them on a legal pad (left and below).
 
“The first was a disc with win­dows. The second was rectangular, like a barrel on its side. The third was a trapezoid, or like a pyramid with its top cut off. The fourth was like a Boeing (737). The fifth was triangular or like an arrowhead. They flew very high in the sky and very fast. They were also seen leaving the water. The sixth was domed. The seventh was pointed on the top and bottom and was black on top and white on the bottom. The eighth was like a ball with three sticks coming out the back, with lights on the sticks.”
In Cabo Frio in 1997, Hollanda said they had actually seen a ninth shape – a huge mother ship (below).
 
“It was maybe a hundred meters long with windows in it. This was near Baía do Sol. And little ones (flying saucers) would come out of it and later go back in, three, four, five, six sometimes. We photographed this several nights.”
 
 
Hollanda said some people in Colares reported seeing occupants in the flying saucers. Most were short, about one meter fifty centimeters. However, in two cases the beings were taller and looked more or less like normal people.
 
“One man in Baía do Sol said he was sleeping after lunch when he awoke to see a red light blinking outside his house. He thought that was strange and went to the window, and what he saw was much stranger.
 
“It was a huge shape like a helicopter but without rotors. A red light was blinking on top. There were three men inside. They were tall, about one meter eighty, with blond hair and blue eyes and were wearing white suits with blue capes. They looked like they were working with instruments, like a computer.
 
“When he appeared at the window, he heard one say to the others: ‘Look at that.’ And immediately the UFO took off, disappearing beyond the trees.”
 
In another case, a pilot friend of Hollanda’s was driving near Colares one night when he saw a light in the sky coming toward him.
 
“He stopped the car and he saw this disc land behind the trees. He was alone on the road, it was completely dark and he became frightened. Then he saw a man walking toward him.
 
“The stranger was tall and had blond hair. He walked close to the car, looked at the driver, and looked into his eyes. The driver started to cry and the tall man shook his head, glanced at the license plate, turned and walked back into the forest. The disc took off into the sky.”
 
Hollanda also related a story about a young man named Luís who was hunting in the forest. Luís climbed a tree and sat a hammock to wait and watch for small animals. A bright light approached and stopped above him.
 
HUMANOID FLOATS DOWN FROM UFO
 
Luís was frightened. He jumped to the ground and tried to hide. He saw a door open on the bottom of the UFO and a little humanoid floated down to the tree on a beam of light with his arms and legs spread out. He shined a red light over the hammock and then floated back up into the UFO.
 
"Luis began to run but the forest was muddy,” Hollanda said. “He ran and ran and the disc chased him with the beam of light. It took him an hour to get to the place where two friends were waiting for him in a boat.
 
“They saw a big ball of light searching for them, and all three jumped into the water to hide in the weeds. Then the UFO stopped over the boat and again the little man came floating down like before and passed a red light over their boat, searching for something. Then the man went back to the flying saucer and it went away.”
 
(In Hollanda’s official report that was sent to Air Force headquarters in Brasília, he stated that the incident occurred on the evening of November 11, 1997, and the humanoid was described as short but muscular and wearing a dark, seamless uniform, and that as Luis fled from the first encounter, he looked back and saw the humanoid examining his fishing net.)
 
Hollanda said he persuaded a reluctant Luis to take him and four sergeants back to where this happened. "About eleven thirty that night, we saw a big ball of fire, dark yellow, about two kilometers down the Rio Guajará,” Hollanda said, describing the river that separates Colares Island from the mainland.
 
“We took some pho­tographs of it. Then, about eleven forty-five, we saw the same ball of fire again, but this time it was smaller and going at a slower speed. Now it was only a thousand meters from us over on the right side of the river and maybe two hundred meters high.
 
PHOTO SHOWS VERTICAL DISC
 
"At midnight, a big ball of fire passed directly over us, going across the river. When it got to the other side, it turned its light out and we saw a disc-shaped object about twice as big as a Boe­ing 737, very, very big. It was amber­ colored with many bright white windows.
 
“When it passed over us, we heard a small noise like a turbine, but low. It crossed the river and disappeared. We photographed this object also.
 
“Then, about two in the morning, we saw it again. This time it was coming down the right side of the river. It looped out and swung back toward us and stopped for a minute above the opposite shore. It looked like the sun had stopped about seventy meters away and six to eight meters high. It was a very, very big ball of bluish light.
 
“We were taking pictures all the time. Then the object went into the sky very fast and shut its light off. When it did that, we couldn't see the shape but there was one green light on top and a red light on the bottom.
 
“We couldn't see the shape but when the pictures were devel­oped, we could see a large disc-shaped object standing vertically, rather than horizontally.”
 
Whenever possible, usually at the end of each week or two in the field, Hollanda turned in reports of the team’s findings. These reports gave details of each sighting of their own and those they learned about, the testimony of witnesses, and photos they took of UFOs. Included would be sketches of the UFOs, as well as maps showing where sightings occurred and paths of the UFOs as they moved about.
 
Hollanda no longer remembered how many individual cases he and his team reported to Brasília. Somehow, Brazilian UFO researchers obtained copies of many of the reports, and we have seen at least three different sets, no two of which are identical.
 
DIFFERENT SUMMARIES
 
Some are bare summaries of incidents with dates and times but no names, while others name the witness and give date, time, location and other details of the encounters. Some examples of the first type are:
 
1. A reddish-yellow light moving at low altitude moving east to west descended rapidly toward the witness, obliging him to hide in the bushes from where he saw the object shine a blue light in his direction. He could not determine its size or shape. He heard a hissing sound like a dynamo when the object climbed toward the city.”
 
2. A bright light hovering about twenty meters above the trees, bluish color with three black stripes, with a round shape like a farinha oven, lit up everything around it. The witness aimed a gun to shoot the object when he was hit by a reddish light that felt like an electrical charge, paralyzing him. Thereupon the object moved off, gaining altitude in a wavy motion and spinning like a wheel while making a slight hissing sound.”
 
3.A ball of light, yellow-reddish, moved down to a low height, ten meters, east to west, circular shape with a multi-colored tail, making no sound, emitted a long ray of bluish light that hit the witness in the back, causing numbness in the area hit and paralysis, muscle pain and other effects for several days.”
 
4. A reddish-yellow light descended to one hundred meters, moving north-south… At a distance its light was very bright and when it came close it reduced the intensity of the light, like a lighted cigarette in the dark. After coming to a swift stop, the object fired three quick rays of bluish light toward the city (Colares), 1,500 meters away. Witness raised his gun and fired two shots at the UFO.”
 
And from the more detailed documents, a copy of which we showed to Hollanda in 1997 (“These are my reports,” he said), these examples:
 
1. “About 11:30 on the night of October 12, 1977 in the village of Santo Antônio de Tauá, a twenty-year-old man named Manoel was standing outside his house with four friends. They saw a yellow light moving east to west, then slow down and stop about twenty meters from them. Inside the object they could see a man on the left and a woman on the right who appeared to be working controls of some kind. Then a beam of red light was directed toward the group, hitting Manoel. It was like an electrical shock that traveled all over his body from the head to his toes. He felt weak and paralyzed, and thought that for some minutes he was going to faint."
 
2. “Late on the same night in the same village, a forty-year-old man also named Manoel was asleep in his house with his children when a bright light came through the roof, awakening him. He started to get up but felt paralyzed. He tried to scream for help but couldn’t. After about two minutes he was able to get up and cry out. His neighbors came to his rescue. In telling the investigators his story, Manoel said his left side was numb for eight days. He said he had seen a ball of light several times passing near his home at low level without making any noise, at times slowing down and nearly stopping before disappearing at great speed.”
 
3. “At four o'clock in the morning on October 26, 1977, in the same village, a thirty-six-year old man named Raimundo was awakened by a bright greenish glow in his room. Then he felt as if he had been stuck by a needle on the inside of his right thigh. He felt dizzy and soon had a headache. His thigh was reddish and hot. Several other people had told him the same thing had happened to them but he didn’t believe them. Ten days later, his thigh looked like it had been sunburned. The whole area was twenty-five centimeters long and fourteen wide, oval shaped. In the center was a small red point and around that was a two-centimeter area that was clearer where the skin was starting to peel.”
 
COLLEAGUES MADE JOKES
 
Hollanda turned all of his reports in to his superiors and the command sent them to Brasília. “I never saw them again,” he said.
 
Q. “Did anybody from Brasília ever ask you any questions about these reports?” we asked.
 
A. “No, I asked them and they said ‘We are keeping them indefinitely.’”
 
Q. “But nobody asked questions about what you found up there?
 
A. “No, they joked about it,” Hollanda replied.
 
Not all of his colleagues took his investigation seriously. “Some of my fellow officers used to joke with me and asked if I had seen any flying saucers. But later some of them saw the same things.”
 
Hollanda’s investigation was not a secret mission but it was “classified,” he said.
 
“The Brazilian government and the Air Force were not interested in publicizing UFOs because three questions were often asked of the government and the Air Force: Who are they? Where do they come from? What do they want? And the Air Force did not have answers to the three questions.”
 
Asked if his commander had specifically told him he could not speak publicly about the sightings, Hollanda replied: “Yes.”
 
We asked if the Air Force ever had any similar UFO investigations in other parts of the country. “No,” Hollanda answered, and then said his investigation was unique for three reasons.
 
“We (referring to himself) were lucky we had a very long exposure to the UFO phenomenon. We were lucky because we were chosen to be commander of the operation. And we were lucky because my commander, the brigadier, was interested and believed in UFOs. Three conditions. It would be very difficult to have all three again.”
 
U.S. OFFICERS ‘INTERESTED’
 
We asked if he had ever worked with the U.S. Air Force, and again he said “No” but added: “They were interested but we never worked together. They asked about the UFO operation but we never worked together. They wanted to know what we saw, the facts.”
 
He explained that two or three times military attaches from the American embassy in Brasília would pass through Belém, they would have lunch or drinks together, and the subject would come up.
 
“It was very discreet,” Hollanda said. “I suppose it was just curiosity, or they dissimulated very good.”
 
We asked if at any time did his commander ever consider sending planes after the UFOs, and he said: “No.”
 
Nor did he and his sergeants ever think of shooting at the UFOs. “We never, in the entire time of the mission, used a single weapon, never even thought of doing it,” he said.
 
Hollanda was convinced that the UFOs “surveyed” much of northern Brazil in 1977-78. “They were covering Brazilian air space in strips much the way aerial photographers would,” he said. “They were moving from Maranhão, then to Colares, Marajó, Monte Alegre, Santarém and Manaus, covering the region like a program."

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