No 1

By Dr. Olavo T. Fontes

After a silence of more than two months, reports about sightings of unidentified aerial objects started to come again on the first days of March, 1966. The first sighting, still under investigation, was made by the medical team working at Lourenço Jorge Hospital on March 6, 1966. This Hospital is located at Barra da Tijuca, a beach placed at the southern limit of Rio de Janeiro city, where the population is sparse and constituted mostly of fisherman.

Mar. 6, 1966

The object was first seen over the sea, at 2:00 a.m. (local time), by Dr. Ivan de Almeida, who was walking through the beach close to the Hospital. Immediately he went to call the medical staff. All of them, doctors and nurses, watched for more than two hours the maneuvers of the strange object which was ovoid in shape and emitted a very bright yellow-red light which was reflected on the sea below. The sighting was ended a few minutes after 4:00 a.m. when the UFO started to climb slowly, gradually diminishing the intensity of its light and finally disappearing into the cloudy sky.

Dr. Jeronimo Ferrari Gomes, the chief of the medical team that night, still refuses to believe in the existence of the so-called "flying saucers". However, he has no doubt that the object he sighted seemed to be intelligent-controlled. He reports that the strange body hovered motionless for several minutes, then suddenly increased its brightness for a few seconds and than diminished again its light -- disappearing into the darkness. When it reappeared again, a few moments later, it was over another place, mostly over the Marisco Rock where it hovered most of the time it was visible. Sometimes it moved sway slowly toward the sea to come back a few minutes later. No sound was heard at any time and the UFO appeared to be below the clouds. The speed it was moving when maneuvering to change its position seemed slow, except when it switched off its lights. It looked like a solid body, sharply outlined against the darkness, but no details were seen on its surface: a smooth ovoid shape with no portholes, wings, propellers, jets or fins. There was an attempt to report the sighting to the Air Force and the National Observatory, but the telephones of the Hospital were not working due to some defect in the lines. Several fisherman in the area reported that they had seen the evolutions of the object since 1:00 a.m. and also that the UFO had been sighted several times in the previous nights over the area by many of them.

Drs. Gomes and Almeida were contacted by telephone and also received a UFO report blank to be filled. The Air Force made no comment about the sighting. Drs. Lelio Gama and Muniz Barreto, director and vice-director of the National Observatory, declared to the press that

"No registration was made at the Observatory about the luminous object reported over Barra da Tijuca because it was not obviously an astronomical phenomenon. In their opinion, it was an optical illusion, or an airplane, or an atmospheric phenomenon which evaluation was certainly beyond the scope of the Observatory."

The second UFO sighting -- and the most important for several reasons -- was made at the National Motors Plant (Fabrica Nacional de Motores), which is a big Government plant located a few miles to the north of Rio de Janeiro, at the kilometer 23 of the Rio-Petropolis Highway. There is no town around the plant, but three miles to the north there is a big water reservoir. High-tension power lines pass about seven miles to the north of the plant.

At 0:40 a.m. on March 12, 1966, about ten employees who were inside the National Motors Plant were alerted by the shouts of a young sentinel about a mysterious object which was approaching the place where his observation post was located. He was very upset and told them that at first he thought he was sighting a satellite or a shooting star when he saw in the cloudless sky a luminous point moving at high speed. However, the strange object came down to an approximate altitude of about 1500 to 1800 feet and was now hovering motionless very close to the Plant.

At the same moment, all of them ran to the outside and sighted the object. What they saw was an ovoid object about 18 feet in diameter at that altitude (apparent size several times bigger than the full moon's), emitting a white light which was so strong and bright that all the observers looking directly at it had trouble with their vision. It was motionless and soundless, but at certain moments rays of light were emitted in bursts from all its circumference -- looking like flashes of high intensity.

Immediately the Director-President of the Plant, Army Colonel Jorge Alberto Silveira Martins, was called and informed about the happening. He came with engineers and technicians and was so alarmed by the sighting that decided to call the Army Police for help. An Army unit was sent from Rio with antiaircraft guns with orders to protect the Plant and even to fight if necessary. The Air Force was also alerted and reported that no airplanes or helicopters were flying at the time over the area.

After 30 minutes, the object suddenly lost its brightness but its body could still be easily seen against the moonlight. At the same instant it disappeared silently moving at tremendous speed, to reappear a few moments later about half a mile away. Then it disappeared again, just like the first time, and was gone. Several minutes later the jeeps and trucks of the Army unit arrived at the Plant.

On the following night, at the same hour, the same object came back over the Plant. It came very close again but only for a few minutes. As a measure of security to protect the Plant, the Director-President had ordered that the anti-aircraft guns from the Army Police remained at the place with their garrison. The effect of the object's appearance on the soldiers was the worst possible: there was panic and hysteria which became generalized, One of the soldiers, completely out of control, tried to fire his antiaircraft gun against the UFO and had to be physically restrained by his commander (an Army Captain). He had given orders to fire only in case of attack.

Reactions produced by the sighting of the unidentified aerial object: Several kinds of reaction and different impressions were caused by the strange appearance. Borne of the observers believed that the UFO was a secret weapon from a foreign country, coming probably from the Soviet Union. However, the dominant opinion was that it was an aircraft unknown on the face of the Earth due to the flight characteristics presented, i.e., the power to fly silently at high speed to any direction and also the ability to remain motionless in space. So, to the group who defended this opinion, the propulsion system of the strange craft was totally unknown and everything indicated it was intelligent-controlled. Others limited themselves to observe the phenomenon emitting no opinion. To them it was only a "thing" that came from space. On the other side, however, all the observers agree on one thing. The object came so close that the general impression was that it was going to land or preparing to attack the Plant. That is the reason for the emotional reactions of fear, panic or even hysteria that were dominant among de witnesses, including the military personnel. One of the observers said to me: "We have been told year after year that those things don't exist. Then suddenly we see one of them coming closer and closer, preparing to land or to attack, who knows? We just can't stand it, because we can't adjust in a few seconds to a new kind of reality for which we are totally unprepared."

The sighting was witnessed by about 50 persons, among them the following: Colonel Jorge Alberto Silveira Martins, Jonas Ribeiro, Oamarino Jose da Silva, Luiz Carlos da Silva, Antonio Lima, Pedro Rolin, Jose Luiz Chagas, Elson da Silva Lima, Rodolfo Costa, Heitor Silvio do Souza, Manoel Rodrigues. The soldiers, sergeants and officers of the Army Police are not included.

The Director-President of the National Motors Plant, Colonel J. A. Silveira Martins, released instructions to all employees of the Plant involved in the sighting to keep that matter in absolute secrecy, avoiding any comment about it to other people and mostly to the press. That order has been obeyed so that no publicity was given to the sighting until the present time.

On March 16, 1966, at 5:45 p.m. (local time), a white object, ovoid in shape, crashed into de Atlantic Ocean close to the Cagarras Island, after a violent explosion which caused alarm and fear among the people who followed from the Arpoador beach its rapid fall to the sea. An emergency call mobilized the Air Force Life-Saving Service (SAR) and the Guanabara State Coast Guard (CMS). Several patrol boats from the CMS and two SAR helicopters searched the area until 7:15 p.m., but nothing was found. The CMS sailor Sergio Jorge Carvalho and the sentinel at the Copacabana Fortress witnessed the fall and explosion and reported that the object had a white contrail and that a smaller object looking like a parachute was dropped from it just a few seconds before the crash. Other witnesses affirmed that more than one parachute-like objects had been sighted. The CMS released that "at 5:45 p.m. a communication from the SAR reported the fall of a "strange object" in the area of the Cagarras Island. Four patrol boats were sent to search the place and nothing was found. A crowd of several thousand people remained in the Arpoador beach for several hours watching the search and discussing the events.

The Cagarras Island is a deserted rocky island a few miles to the west of Rio de Janeiro, just in front of the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. It was visited three days later by an expedition that made a complete search, but again nothing was found.

That same night of the Cagarras sighting another medical team at the Lourenço Jorge Hospital reported a second UFO appearance over the place. According to Dr. Flavio Fraga, chief of the medical team, the object was first sighted hovering over the Marisco Rock. It was very similar to the other sighted previously: ovoid in shape, emitting a yellow-red bright glow and about the size (apparent size) of the full moon. The sky was cloudless and the moon was visible in the first quarter. This time, however, the object was not moving like an aircraft, but more like a satellite or a night sun raising in the east. It climbed up in the sky very slowly and was still visible after four hours, at an elevation of 95 degrees, moving to the west. Then it suddenly disappeared...

This object was first sighted at l:45 a.m. and was gone at 5:45 a.m. The Police Patrol was called to the Hospital but the policemen, after watching the object for several hours, reported that it was obviously a satellite and went back to their headquarters. The press was also called and photographs were taken. One of them was printed next day by the newspaper "Ultima Hora". It showed only a round globe of light against the dark sky -- just like a picture of the full moon.

On March 17, at 7:46 p.m. (local time), a formation of four UFOs was sighted from the district of Vista Alegre in Cordovil, a suburb located in the north area of Rio de Janeiro. The first witness was Mr. Sergio Righy, who lives at Six Street, house 19, and was just coming back from his work when his attention was called to four luminous points moving along two parallel lines through the skies. Keeping the same position to each other the four objects came down at high speed and then climbed up again. At the highest point of their trajectory, they separated: two went to the right and the two others turned to the left. Then all of them stopped suddenly in mid-air, for more than 10 seconds. Again they started to move at high speed and came together to fly in close formation. They emitted a bright white glow and looked like first-magnitude stars flying in formation. They maneuvered always at high speed, making right-angle turns and stopping in mid air for several times. At that moment Mr. Righy was already shouting for his neighbors to watch the phenomenon. In a few minutes a small crowd was gathered at the street - men, women and children. Mr. Agostinho de Deus, who lives at house 15, somehow got eyeglasses. According to Mr. Righy, seen through the eyeglasses, the objects were ovoid, with a flattened dome on top with a series of luminous points of yellow colour. Just before moving away silently to the east at high speed the four UFOs stopped again in space, hovering over the area for about 30 seconds.

The industrialist Raul Feteira, his wife, daughters and future son-in-law Homero Moreira de Freitas, a Federal employee, provided the following UFO report:

"At 8:35 p.m., from the windows of our apartment at Icarai Beach, no. 177, Niteroi, we sighted a strange luminous object flying over the Boa Viagem Hill, in Niteroi, on March 21, 1966.

"The brightly glowing object was illuminated by a number of white lights, elliptical in shape, and placed in an exact circle. At naked-eye, however, we couldn't see the outlines of the central body. But Homero and my daughter Carmen, using binoculars, were able to see a conical shape flattened on top.

"We thought it was an unusual balloon, but it was strange its complete immobility against the strong wind which was blowing from the sea. Then suddenly all the white lights changed at the same moment to a blood-red colour and the object started to move to the left and to rise, in the direction of the TV towers on top of the Sumare mountain, in Rio the Janeiro (on the other side of the Guanabara Bay). It was then that the UFO decelerated rapidly and abruptly reversed course, going back swiftly to its initial motionless position over the Hill. For a few seconds its lights changed back to white and again turned to red, for the last time, but now with no brightness. A few minutes later, the UFO started to move at high speed to the right in an horizontal direction, then accelerated and climbed up, disappearing in just a few seconds. It was soundless, but soon several airplanes were heard. They came in view, with their peculiar lights, flying as in pursuit of the UFO which was already disappearing into the horizon.

"It couldn't be a balloon because of the sudden change in the colours of the lights, at the same time, and because of the sudden movements at high speed to the left and right. An airplane or a formation of airplanes are not soundless, and cannot hover motionless for several minutes. The airplane's lights are never placed in a perfect circle. All those things indicate the object we watched for 15 minutes was a very unusual kind of aircraft."

On March 24, 1966, the businessman Jonas Franco, 23 years old, living at 213 Alexandre Ramos St., in Jacarepagua, suffered a nervous shock and lost his voice because -- as described in his written report -- "he sighted a flying disc flying over his house and almost landing on the roof."

"Everything happened in just a few seconds," he wrote. "It was a metallic object about the size of a car, shaped like a flattened disc and very bright. At 2:00 a.m. I heard something knocking on my door. When I opened it I saw the "flying disc" hovering about 15 feet away. Its glow was so brilliant that my vision was dazzled. It was soundless. I ran away like a desperate man through the streets until I was grasped by a policemen, who took me to a Hospital."

The policeman, Edwar Robson Brum (Adress: Estrada do Cafunda, 356), declared that he was passing through that place when he saw that man running like a terrified animal along Geremario Dantas St. He reported: "Immediately I ran to get him, thinking he was a criminal. The man couldn't talk. His eyes were wide open, protruding from their orbits. I thought he had seen something terrifying and asked about what was happening. He couldn't answer. Then I decided to take him to the Carlos Chagas Hospital where he was given an injection. Calming down, Mr. Jonas Franco was able to write that "he had sighted a flying disc hovering over his house, and described the object as metallic, brilliant and soundless."

The friends of Jonas Franco testified that he was a normal person of good mental health, a responsible citizen with solid reputation, not given to the habit of telling lies or imaginary stories. Anyway, he is still dumb. Several doctors have been consulted, but until now no one was able to give back his voice. He can only write and his nervous state is getting worse day after day...

Incidentally, Jacarepagua is a district located in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro, close to Barra da Tijuca.

On March 25, at 7:55 p.m. (local time), a satellite-like object about the apparent size of the full moon was spotted by 6 workers from the Santa Maria farm, the place where I use to go at week-ends. That farm is close to the town of Vassouras, about 80 miles away from Rio de Janeiro. When the object was first seen, it was coming from the south, from the direction of Rio. It was moving slowly with a kind of jerking motion, was round in shape and surrounded by a yellow glow. It was soundless when it came over the farm. It was moving along a linear trajectory but -- when over the farm -- it made a right-angle turn to the east and moved away with the same speed, disappearing into the horizon. The sighting lasted for about 20 minutes.

On March 29, at 11:00 p.m. (local time), the fisherman Geraldo Tavares de Almeida, living in the place called Muzema, close to Barra da Tijuca, reported he was fishing at the Jacarepagua Lagoon when a round object, very bright and soundless, dived at high speed over the area, almost touching the waters.

"I was so frightened that I (xxxx) overturned my boat," he said. "If I weren't close to the margin of the lagoon I would be dead now, because I can't swim. From the water, I still could see the object maneuvering in the air for several minutes before disappearing to the side of the Tijuca forest..."

On March 28, the pattern of UFO sightings over aud around Rio de Janeiro vas broken for the first time. A telegram from Manaus, Amazonas State, reported the appearance of a strange object over that city at 12:00 a.m. (local time). The sighting lasted for one hour. The object was seen simultaneously by hundreds of people at Pedro II Square, Oswaldo Cruz Square and Fourteen Square. Looking through binoculars, several observers reported it metallic in colour, cigar-shaped, climbing up at high speed and coming down slowly. It was soundless. No wings, propellers or fins were noticed on it, and this was taken as meaning that the UFO was not an airplane in high altitude flight.

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