THE VARGINHA CASE : The Brazilian Roswell?
An In-Depth Case Analysis
NOTE: This is a LONG post….
This is a very interesting case. Though it has often been compared to such cases as Roswell, the Varginha case is largely built upon only eyewitness
accounts, and bolstered by some facts, which corroborate those accounts. However, these accounts are compelling, and taken as a whole, they are not
to be dismissed lightly. In this post, I hope to examine both the facts and witness accounts together, to faithfully represent what happened here,
and provide a comprehensive look at the case. This post builds upon the work of many, many researchers, whom I cannot even hope to all include here
(but I’ll use original links where possible, to ensure proper credit), but any credit largely goes to them.
PERSONAL DISCLAIMER: Personally, I am still very on the fence with this story. Simply put, Brazil is a UFO hot spot, and a veritable tourist
attraction for UFO nuts as well as UFOlogists. I’m still unsure as to how much the government “cooperation” with UFOlogists is legit, and how
much is to increase tourism. Also, many of the witnesses have been anonymous, so that too is worrisome. While Varginha is a fascinating case, it is
largely on witness testimony. I’m simply going to spell out what I’ve learned about the case, and let all make up their own minds on this one.
The story came to international attention when published in the Wall Street Journal, on July 12, 1996:
VARGINHA, Brazil -- The incident that made this town a hot spot in the intergalactic search for intelligent life started quite innocently. On a
Saturday afternoon stroll in January, a trio of young women decided to take a shortcut home through a vacant lot. In a clump of weeds, the three said,
they encountered a creature like nothing they had seen before.
"It wasn't a man or an animal -- it was something different," said one of the women, Katia Andrade. The being had oily, brown skin and rubbery
limbs, she said. Three rounded protrusions sprouted from its oversized head. Standing out in a different way was the creature's odor: One ghastly
whiff weakened the knees. As for the stranger's demeanor, the women unanimously, if tactlessly, agreed: It was "muddle-headed." When the creature
wagged its big noggin dizzily in their direction, the three women ran off.
To really examine the case, I’ll proceed with a timeline of events. Some of these events are from named witnesses, some are from those wishing to
be anonymous (or claimed by the investigators as anonymous), and some are facts.
Midnight, January 20, 1996
– NORAD warning of detected UFO to CINDACTA
NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) contacts their Brazilian counterpart, the CINDACTA (Centro Integrado de Defesa Aerea e Controle de Trafego
Aereo or Integrated Center for Air Defense and Air Traffic Control). NORAD warns of an Unidentified Flying Object they detected coming down over the
state of Minas Gerais.
(This is allegedly leaked by an unidentified member of the Brazilian Air Force, and an employee of the radar facility at Air Force Base VI Comar,
according to UFOlogists John Carpenter and Ricardo Varela Correa. The witnesses did not release their names, and I could find no independent
confirmation of this.)
UFOlogist, former MUFON member, John Carpenter (not the Hollywood director)
A pic of Varela was not available
Map showing location in Brazil for reference
Regional map, defining the area a little better
The town of Varginha
Frame of an alleged UFO video taken in Varghina on January 20, 1996. I’m still trying to locate the actual video, as this particular link is busted.
(I’ve contacted the webmaster for it).
EDIT: See Musclor's links and cautions below....
1:14 AM, January 20
Eurico de Freitas, was awakened by the sounds of his cattle. He glanced at the alarm clock, hence the exact time.
1:30 AM – Early AM, January 20
Oralina opened the window and saw the cattle were very agitated and stampeding all over the pasture three hundred to four hundred feet away. Then she
saw a cigar-shaped object just above the cattle. There was no moon but the craft gave off a faint light.
Oralina called out to her husband, Eurico, forty, and he rushed to the _ “My God!” he cried. “There’s a submarine above my
They could see gray smoke or vapor coming out of the back as it moved slowly, in a sort of rocking motion, only fifteen to twenty feet above the
Neither Eurico nor Oralina ventured outside, but stood at the window watching as the object took forty five minutes to pass ever so slowly out of
sight over a ridge about two thousand feet away, heading in the direction of Varginha.
They had the impression that it was having difficulties of some kind because of the very slow way it was moving. If the UFO was making any sound, the
bellowing of the cows drowned it out.
All this time the cattle remained panicky and frightened but the couple’s four dogs, although awake, showed no reaction. Eurico and Oralina’s four
children, aged twelve to twenty, slept through it all.
Ubirajara learned about the incident six days later. The couple, who oversee the farm, told the owner what happened. He in turn told a friend of
Ubirajara’s who passed the story on to him.
– UFO Crash/Retrieval
There isn’t much to go on about this, as the witness didn’t go on record with a name, but I did want to mention it, as it’s in most timelines of
the events. Just stressing that I could not find much more on this witness….only a mention in the magazine.
8 AM, January 20
An American civilian was present when the cigar-shaped UFO was loaded aboard a flatbed truck in the early morning of January 20 - a saturday,
according to Brazil's UFO Magazine.
– Alien Sightings
When emergency departments receive a call that someone has seen a "strange creature," usually a good laugh is had by all. At first, that is exactly
what happened at a Varginha, Brazil Fire Department on the morning of January 20, 1996. This case of the unknown began early that morning with a
frantic phone call stating that a "strange creature" had been seen in the area of Jardim Andere. Thinking that the reporter was probably someone who
was drunk, or been up too long partying, this first call was in the process of being reluctantly responded to when a second call came in stating the
same thing. The Fire Department personnel in Brazil are part of the Military, and must respond to all calls. What could this be, a couple of
pranksters perpetuating a hoax? If so, the group was growing, as several more calls came in also reporting this unusual monster. Firemen followed the
civilians' instructions to the site.
The fire department denied involvement officially. Captain Alvarenga is the one responding to most UFOlogists who ask about it.
9 AM, January 20 – Alien Captured?/Shot?
Mr. Adilson Usier, director of Regional Hospital, who affirmed that the Varginha Fire Department had participated in the corpse transport. Captain
Alvarenga, then, said it was a mistake of Mr. Usier.
Perhaps one of the more sensational events, witnesses describe that a being was sighted, then captured.
On January 20, Military forces captured two extraterrestrial creatures still alive in Brazil. the capture occurred in neighboring areas of city of
Varginha, State of Minas Gerais, Central Brazil. The fact is to be considered one of the most significant ever registered in this country and in the
entire world. Military authorities are keeping secret all details of the operation, but some information has already leaked to the UFO community due
to the investigative job of Dr., Ubiraja Franco Rodrigues and Vitorio Paccaccini who lives nearby and recognized as serious and dedicated
In trying to find out what the military were doing, Rodrigues and Pacaccini came to meet a few soldiers and sergeants. One of them decided to talk
secretly about their mission, in a confidential taped interview. This Sergeant confirmed that, about 9:00 AM, January 20. the Fire Department of
Varginha was required to capture a strange animal in the area. When four fireman arrived in a truck in the place, they noticed that it was not any
strange animal at all, and reported the fact to the Army Sergeant School Commander in neighboring city of Tres Coracoes (about 10 miles east of
The military school
General Sergio Coelho Lima - Commandant
Army truck was sent to the place and both forces captured the creature using nets and equipment regularly used to capture wild animals. The ET was
placed till alive in a box that was then covered by resistant fabric. The box was placed on top of the truck, the vehicle headed to the Army Sergeant
School and all personnel involved was ordered not to talk about it with anyone else "It was a Secret Operation" told them the lieutenant-colonel
Wanderley, who commanded the operation. After such unusual, confidential report a few other military decided to come forward and speak about the
captures as long as their identities were totally kept secret.
press release sent out by well known Brazilian UFO Researcher A. Gevaerd
A. J. Gevaerd
Images of the woods in the area of alleged capture.
There are also statements (supposedly from a military source, again unnamed), that state a farmer (not the ones mentioned previously) allegedly shot
one of the creatures, crawling out from the wreckage.
1:30 PM, January 20 – Secret Agents?
At the same time as the firemen capture the first seen EBE, more witnesses observed strange movements. A lawyer in Varginha and former military
[Gazrok-I’ve only been able to identify this man as “J. C.”] witnessed two planes that he recognized as F-5's, at very low altitude. As a
former military man he noticed the planes were not in natural formation but in attack formation. He also witnessed army vehicles near the woods (close
to where the firemen captured the EBE). He was passing there and saw a truck carrying about seven soldiers in green campaign uniforms (camouflaged)
and some of them in plain clothes.
There is even more witnesses to their activity. A friend of this witness was in another position and says that he heard three shots and that the
soldiers came back from the woods with two campaign sacks. One motionless and one moving. Another source has come forward and revealed that one of the
soldiers shot one EBE three times in the chest and the creature died instantaneously. The gun would be a FAL-type (FAL - Fuzil Automatico Leve, or
Light Automatic Rifle). The details around this are still being investigated by researcher Claudeir Covo. The military and fire department operation
was held very quiet and smooth and both fire brigade and military did withdraw around 10:30-11:00 AM, along with the second military operation (which
fired three shots). The net-caught-EBE is said to have been moved directly to the Escola de Sargento das Armas (ESA) - a military school in the town
of Tres Coracoes, 25 kilometers from Varginha. The next following days a summerized number of 6 living EBE's and two dead was locked up at the
ESA-base. Some curious civilians combed the park as the military/S-2 personal had left in their trucks, but found nothing. There is also information
of a later S-2 (Brazilian Army secret service) operation at aproximately 7:00-8:00 PM on January 20, where an unnumbered of EBE's was caught in the
3:30 PM, January 20 – Another Sighting/Aliens taken to Hospitals?
The lawyer who made the observation around 10:30 AM above says that he noticed another search team arriving at 1:30 PM stopping at the opposite side
of an earthwork shortcut, as he was leaving his office. Another witness speak of a S-2 search-team in civilian clothes (haven't been able to find out
how they was identified as S-2 men) around 1:30-2:30 PM in the same area. These two reports are probably of the same operation. They are believed to
have found nothing.
This is the sighting that most comes to mind regarding this case, the tale of the three girls, as cited in the Wall Street Journal.
Witnesses, Liliane da Silva, (then 16), her sister Valquira (then 14), and a friend Katia Xavier (then 22).
On the afternoon of January 20, about 3.30 PM local time, 3 young girls named Liliane, Valquiria and Katia observed a strange creature in a field of
small bushes a few blocks from where they live. It was Saturday and they were coming back from their jobs when, crossing an empty area their attention
was attracted by a strange being a few meters away. The ET was kneeling and looked like it was hurt, suffering some sort of pain. No UFO was ever
seen. The girls observed it for a few minutes and run away, afraid that they had just encountered the devil....
Artist sketches/renderings based on descriptions
The three girls were extensively interrogated by above mentioned researchers, leaving no doubt whatsoever about what happened. Very simple kids, they
described the ET's as being a dark brown creature, with a small body of 4 - 5 feet in height, no hair at all, big brown head, small neck. It also
seemed to have some greasy, dark oil on its skin. A strange odor was noticed by the mother of the girls, when she went to the site. The head of the
creature had 2 big red eyes, no pupils, very small mouth and nose and - what is interesting - 3 protuberances in the head. The girls described such
protuberances as horns.
["It was squatting, with the long arms between its legs", recalls the girl. "At first I saw the eyes, enormous and red." Frightened, Liliane
turned her back to the creature, while her sister Valquiria and her friend Katia continued to observe. "It was not animal or human, it was a horrible
thing", says Katia. "It looked dumb, didn't make any noise", adds Valquiria. The creature, however, appeared to move slightly with the head and
the three girls run away. (ufologie.net...)]
Where they saw the being…
Following the leads, researcher Rodrigues and Pacaccini started making inquiries everywhere in the town of Varginha, in order to know if anybody else
had seen the same creature. They found several other people who also observed the ET's in the same location and maybe other ET's in different
locations. While conducting their own investigations, both discovered that different witnesses has seen army trucks and other military vehicle and
personnel that very morning of that day, a few blocks from the place the girls saw the ET's.
press release sent out by well known Brazilian UFO Researcher A. Gevaerd
Evening, January 20 – Dead Aliens Moved?
All confirmed, on taped interviews, that a second creature (possibly the same one seen by the girls that afternoon) was captured on the night of
January 20, by personnel from the Army and the Fire Department. Details of such operation is fully known. This creature identical to the first one,
was taken to the Regional General Hospital of Varginha that same night, stayed there for a few hours and then was transferred to a better
equipped facility, the Humanitas Hospital.
A few nurses and personnel from Regional General Hospital had confirmed some facts and they were all suppressed. Individuals who had contacts with the
second creature were advised to avoid press and UFO Researchers and not to talk about it with anyone, not ever their families or relations. AT the
Humanities Hospital the second creature was kept at least for 2 days and on the second night on January 22nd a huge military operation took place to
remove the creature already dead.
ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 21st , A STRANGE MOVEMENT OCCURRED AT HOSPITAL REGIONAL. THE FACT INVOLVED PHYSICIANS COMING FROM OUT OF VARGINHA, THE MILITARY
POLICE AND ARMY VEHICLES. However, she didn’t speak a word about the Fire Department. (...) ONE OF THE HOSPITAL SECTIONS, according to our source,
WAS CLOSED FOR SOME HOURS, IN ORDER TO AVOID THE ACCESS OF EMPLOYEES, PATIENTS AND VISITORS. She also said that, on Monday, January 22nd, she was
called, together with other employees, for a MEETING AT THE DIRECTOR'S ROOM. According to her testimony, the director said that all that movement
should be ignored, because "it was just a training for the doctors and military personnel".
Interviews with some of the military who participated in this new operation, removing the creature from the Humanitas Hospital, declared that 3 Army
trucks were used, each one driven by 2 different soldiers. It is believed that 3 trucks were used to remove only one body in order to avoid the
soldiers to know in which truck would it be transported. The drivers and their follows couldn't see the details of the operations, as they were kept
outside the hospital area. Military personnel from the Army Internal Intelligence (called "S-2" in Brazil and extremely violent and repressive) were
responsible for getting the corpse from the interior of the hospital, placing it in a box and then in one of the trucks.
[Gazrok: Later revelation below]
Lt. Col. Olimpio Wanderley Santos commanded the convoy, accompanied by two officers, Captain Ramirez and Lieutenant Tiberio, plus Sergeant Pedrosa
from S-2, brazilian military intelligence. Corporal Cirilo and Sergeant Pedrosa drove the middle truck with the aliens inside. The other trucks were
driven by Private Vassalo and Private De Mello. Also a Jeep (Engesa type) was part of the convoy
All 3 trucks then were taken to a military facility in Campinas, State of Sao Paulo, about 200 miles from Varginha, in the middle of the night. There,
the corpse was removed to the University of Campinas , one of the best institutions in the country. It is believed - and we already have detailed
information to be soon released that the ET body was autopsied by Dr. Badan Palhares, worldwide acclaimed as one of the best professionals in that
area alive (he was the one who autopsied German Nazi Mengele, about ten years ago) Palhares, as well as any other authority involved, denied he was
involved in any such operations.
press release sent out by well known Brazilian UFO Researcher A. Gevaerd
11 AM, February 15, 1996
– Death of the Policeman
One of the most serious facts of the “Varginha case” – and one of the most appalling – was the death, on February 15, 1996, of Corporal Marco
Eli Chereze, who was then aged 23. As we know, he was part of the secret service of the Military Police (P2) which participated in the capture of the
second creature in the night of January 20, 1996. The news of his death spread very fast, during the first months of the investigations, according to
other sources, which revealed that a policeman had died because of a generalized infection after having been in contact with the ET. Faced with the
gravity of the situation, the subject was treated with extreme caution by the investigators concerned with the case, while the lawyer, and consultant
to the UFO review - Ubirajara Franco Rodrigues – was still searching for new informations.
Officer Marco Eli Chereze
Dr. Furtado, physician trying to treat Chereze.
“Although all the tests and exams possibles were applied in the search of a diagnosis, he could not be saved in time”, was to declare the
superintendant in charge of the inquiry, in the course of his deposition before the judge of the “COMARCA”. It was just discovered that the
physicians who took care of Chereze at the time did not have the faintest idea of how to fight the illness which was striking him down. After the
decease of the boy had been unveiled before the press present at the meeting of January 1997, the commander of the Military Police of the state of
Minas Merais denied the facts immediately, including the presence of Chereze during that night of january 20. But, in order to protect such an absurd
story, they invented an even more crude one.
The family of Marco Eli Chereze confirmed that he was indeed on duty that night. Furthermore, he did not die alone because of his professional
activities after the contact with an alien, but the creature he had captured died also after that contact, and much faster than Chereze. “It seems
clear that the death of the policeman has become the less controlable and the most dangerous piece of the process of dissimulation imposed by the
military of ESA and the brazilian Army”, has acknowledged Marco Petit, co-editor of the magazine UFO, who participated actively in the inquiry.
(large interview at this site, medical details)
9 PM, April 21, 1996 – A Later Sighting
On April 21st 1996, at 9 p.m., Mrs. Therezinha Gallo Clepf, 67, a housewife, sighted a strange creature at Paiquerê Restaurant, which lies in the
Zoo-Botanical Woods of Varginha (MG), where she lives. We've been in her house so as to interview her : "I was in a party in the zoo restaurant and
I went out to smoke a cigarette in the porch, (...) and saw the creature in the porch's parapet, only from the neck upwards". She affirmed for sure
that it wasn't any zoo animal.
Mrs. Therezinha became very frightened, and freezed, staying this way for about five minutes, looking all the time to the creature, without making any
GOLDEN HELMET - According to her story, the difference between the creature she saw and the one observed by the girls was the helmet she saw covering
the creature's head, which stopped her (from) seeing the ears and horns that probably it should have (based on the girls' description). The rest was
similar : the being had also dark brown skin, bright and oily, a rounded face, red eyes, and didn't have cheeks, nor beard, mustache or nose, and, on
the lips position, it had only a cut.
(...) Mrs. Therezinha was close to the creature, about four meters long, according to her. Still today, almost two months after the incident, she is
afraid of sighting the alien again. (...)
End of April, 1996 – Deaths at the Zoo?
Some days after Mrs. Therezinha's sighting of the creature outside the zoo-restaurant, five animals were found dead in the place. The zoo biologist,
Dr. Leila Cabral, found traces of some toxic substance in one of the animals. The cause of death to the rest is still unknown and unexplained.
(note, the year is incorrect on this site’s timeline for some reason, for all entries.)
May, 1996 – Threats?
The mother of the witnesses (two of the three girls), talks about an MIB-like encounter after the event…
June 16, 1996 – TV Show Revelations/Aliens given to the US?
Luisa Helena da Silva : " I cannot say who are these people who tried to bribe me, because I 've never seen them and I don't know them either. But
I know that, on a Monday, about two weeks ago, they came here at 10 p.m. . I don't know why they came in the evening, I think it was in order to
nobody recognize them in the street. I don't use to receive visits this time of the day. They were four men, all using dark sneakers and suits. Two
of them apparently had 40 years old and the others were youngers. Two of them were white and two were brown. One of the whites was too white, it
seemed to be a russian. They didn't seem to be military. I thought, at that moment, that it could be police people, but I don't think so. What I
know is that these men, for sure, are not from Varginha. But two of them had the accent of the Southern Minas region."
BRIBERY ATTEMPT FAILS - " (...) Only me and three of my daughters were at home : Liliane, Valquíria and Fernanda, the younger, who was already
sleeping. They clapped hands in front of the gate. Valquíria went to attend and said that there were four men outside. (...) While I was in my
bedroom changing my clothes, they went into my house, didn't wait to see if they could or not, they came and entered, invading my house. They spoke
my name, as if they already knew me, saying that they want to "chat" with me and with the girls about the ET they have seen. They said that that
time was the only time they could be here and asked me to lock the gate because it was a private conversation and I couldn't receive any visit. I've
got afraid but, anyway, Valquíria went outside to lock the gate."
" (...) I asked if Ubirajara have sent them here. One of them said that they had nothing to do with Ubirajara and that I should forget him. After
they have heard the girls, I asked them who they were, they told me that it wasn't of my business. They asked my daughters what were their dreams,
which was my job, how much was my salary, where my husband worked and if the house was mine. They wanted to know which was my major concern and if the
girls were working. (...)"
" If I gave my word that I wouldn't speak anything about their visit - specially to Ubirajara and to Pacaccini - they would make an excellent
proposal to me. They said they were "the gold mine that we have never thought to have". They said they knew I was poor. (...) They made an offer to
me, saying it was irresistible, that they didn't wanna buy me, but that this help was millionaire. "
"(...) I have no quietness anymore, because after the interview I gave to "Fantástico", I don't know what can happens. (...) As I was afraid, I
gave them my word. They said they wanted me to come with my daughters, and nobody else, to talk in a TV station, not at that little local station, but
in a bigger station outside of Varginha. I should belie everything, say the girls had never seen anything, and some more things I would have to
rehearse with them. (...) They said they would pay cash. (...) ".
" I became so puzzled that I didn't ask how much was it. They only said that I could buy a house, pay my debts and stop working as a maid. I became
so nervous and worried ... I asked if there wasn't a phone number I could call another day to give the answer. I said I had to think. They didn't
accept and said they would come back. (...) ".
The TV show "Programa de Domingo" identified the men involved in the three-truck convoy that transferred the aliens to Campinas, about 200 miles in
distance, on January 23 at 4:00 AM. According to the broadcast, Lt. Col. Olimpio Wanderley Santos commanded the convoy, accompanied by two officers,
Captain Ramirez and Lieutenant Tiberio, plus Sergeant Pedrosa from S-2, brazilian military intelligence. Corporal Cirilo and Sergeant Pedrosa drove
the middle truck with the aliens inside. The other trucks were driven by Private Vassalo and Private De Mello. Also a Jeep (Engesa type) was part of
the convoy. And from the Army Cadets Prep. School where the convoy stayed for 9 hours, meanwhile the dead alien was taken to the University of
Campinas , where the famous physician Dr. Fortunato Badan Palhares (he was the one who autopsied German Nazi Mengele, about ten years ago) did an
autopsy of the dead EBE. Palhares, as well as another authority involved, denies any such operation. But personal from the University has been seen in
the Jardim Andere park collecting soil and vegetation samples from where one of the EBEs was reported to have been caught. And researcher Eduardo
Mondini came up with this:
"We managed to contact IML (Instituto Medico Legal - Institute of Legal Medicine) and the Army's headquarters in Campinas, but both authorities deny
the exhumation. However, we found a military from Campinas who allegedly saw a document over his commander's desk, proving the E.T. had been in
Campinas. We got with an employee of IML the information that on January 20-26 there had been military movement inside IML, in the Army's private
drawers, in order to get a body in or out there."
There is also information of an autopsy made at the Humanitas hospital in Varginha by the same - Dr. Fortunato Badan Palhares, and Dr. Coradin Nesve.
And that the dead alien later was taken to the Amarais Cemetery near the University of Campinas, where it was frozen for shipment. But probably it is
the same autopsy made at Campinas University and the body later frozen, also in Campinas.
At 9:00 PM, the 6 living EBEs were driven to Campinas airport where they were put aboard a twin-engined EMB Buffalo owned by the Forca Aerea
Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force) and flown to Sao Paulo, where they changed plane to a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane. THE ALIENS WERE THEN
MARCHED ABOARD THE C-17. And according to sources in the Sao Paulo tower, the C-17's destination was Albrook Air Force base in Panama. And there the
trail disappears... If the two dead aliens were aboard, we don't know. But researcher Claudeir Covo says that he has been given independent
statements from several guards that one of the dead aliens is still at the University-lab in Campinas:
"Three military men, one from Campinas, one from Jundiai and another one from Sumare gave us that information. They do not know each other", assures
Covo. We are in no doubt about the laboratory real existence. We are now just trying to gain access to it."
Hopefully, you’ll find all of this information helpful in understanding this bizarre case. As I mentioned, my main problem with it is the strict
reliance on witness testimony. Some kind of mass-hysteria could be to blame here, but it doesn’t seem to mesh with the sincerity of the witness
accounts. Something strange definitely happened during these days, but as in Roswell, its more likely it will remain a mystery for some time.
Other References to check out…
Vitorio Pacaccini’s book.
Ubiraja Rodrigues’ book.
[edit on 10-8-2005 by Gazrok]