Varginha: The Roswell of Brazil
in 1996, a UFO crashed outside the city of Varginha, Brazil. Several people reported seeing short beings with large red eyes, oily skin, and a strong smell of sulfur. The military cordoned off parts of the town, and captured two of the creatures. Witnesses were intimidated by men in dark suits. A police officer died of mysterious causes after handling one of the creatures. Then the US Air Force takes all the recovered crash debris and bodies. The Brazilian military denied everything, but the event got a lot of attention and is commonly called “the Roswell of Brazil.”
- January 13, 1996: NORAD alerts the Brazilian authorities that they “tracked a number of unidentified objects over the western hemisphere that night. And that one or more had penetrated Brazilian airspace.”
- A college professor and amateur pilot named Carlos de Souza witnesses the crash. He was a few miles outside town when he heard a “muffled roaring sound” overhead. Saw a craft the size of a school bus, shaped like a submarine, flying slowly and erratically, with a big jagged crack down the side. “It looked like a washing machine struggling…”
- “It was fighting to keep its altitude… The side of it was completely torn and it had white smoke coming out. It wasn’t black smoke like from a fire. At the time I thought it was like an aircraft in trouble, an airplane, so I decided to follow it.” He followed the UFO for ten minutes until it took a dive behind some trees. He kept going and found it crashed in a field.
- “When I arrived at the site on the spot, I observed a lot of debris, pieces. And when I got out of the car I immediately smelled ammonia, like rotten eggs. A very strong smell, so strong that I had to cover my nose with the shirt I was wearing. My eyes got watery.”
- He said the grass was all burned, as if by a chemical substance in a more or less 40 meter circle.
- “I saw a piece [of debris], it looked like it was aluminum, like the foil you wrap a chicken in for roasting. I took a small piece, it was very light. Crumpled it, but when I released it, it went back to its original shape.”
- Within minutes, before he has a chance to investigate further, a bunch of Military trucks roll up, about 40 soldiers pile out, and he is ordered to leave the area. Really aggressive, with a rifle in his face, yelling “go away!” over and over.
- After leaving the scene, he had an interesting encounter. “I pulled up to a gas station to have a coffee, so I could relax a little. And then two people came up to me, wearing black suits, very neat, very tall people.”
- “They stopped by my side and said ‘Are you Mr. Carlos de Sousa?’ Married to so-and-so, your daughter is so-and-so…” They described my whole life right there. I turned to the guy and I said ‘Who are you? How do you know that?’ He spoke very clearly to me. ‘Look, you didn’t see anything. You shut up. Go away. If someone asks, you didn’t see anything. You don’t know anything. If not, things are going to get very weird for you. So get out of here.’ Right then, I got scared. Their car was a Chevy Opala. Black or a very dark blue, almost black, and it didn’t have a license plate. And then they left. They disappeared.”
- Nevertheless, he gave an interview to a UFO investigator shortly after. But after that, he didn’t talk about it publicly for 25 years until James Fox interviewed him, and took him back to the field where the UFO crashed.
- Addressing the idea that he and other witnesses are just out to make money: “Do you think I would be embarrassed for 26 years? People, family members joking, making fun of me? I would never do that. What did I get out of this? Nothing. I never made a dollar of it. There is no advantage to be gained. If I say I made a cent, I’d be lying.”
The Girls and the Creature
- A week later on Jan 20, at 3:30 in the afternoon, three teen girls were walking through an empty lot between two houses in Varginha when they spotted a creature huddled against the wall, about eight feet away from them.
- Liliane Silva, 16: “Passing by here the graffiti caught my attention. I looked and I saw the creature. What we saw wasn’t human and wasn’t an animal either. We were children of Catholics and thought it could be a demon. That’s why we were so scared. Nowadays I do think it was a being from another planet.”
- Kátia Xavier, 21: “What I saw stopped me in my tracks. It glued me to that spot. It had red eyes, oily skin. I couldn’t see an open mouth. Not smiling… Sad expression. Shrunken back. It didn’t have hair. Eyes three times bigger than ours.”
- Liliane: “I sensed it was distressed. Sweating a lot. It was very hot and it gave the impression that it was suffering from the heat.”
- Valquíria Silva, 14: “When Liliane screamed, I looked and felt fear. I looked into its eyes and saw that it was frightened. Just as I was frightened, the creature was also frightened. I saw that it was afraid of us. It was an exchange of fears. Its and ours. Afraid of us in the same way we were afraid of it. A being that’s unknown to us.”
- The girls ran home and told their mother Luiza they saw a demon. She came with them to the lot. The creature was gone, but she found an unusual round footprint with three toes, and an overpowering smell: “For 20 days I smelled its smell. I couldn’t stand the smell. I don’t know where it came from. I even washed my nose with alcohol and water to get the smell out. That strong smell of… (Katia: Ammonia) …No, It wasn’t ammonia. It smelled worse than sulfur. What a strange smell.”
- The girls told their story to the press and UFO researchers. They suffered from a lot of mockery in their community, but stuck with their story even when they also got a visit from the men in black: Luiza describes getting a visit one night from four foreign men wearing dark suits who offered her money to say her daughters were lying. They were pushy, but not threatening, and only left when she said she would call the police.
The Fire Department Captures a Creature
- Earlier the same day, around 8am, the fire department (which is under military control) responded to calls about a strange creature in the woods on the outskirts of the city, not far from the empty lot.
- Three young boys said the creature was “buzzing like a bee.” Two other witnesses confirmed what the boys said. One of them said she’d seen the boys throwing stones at the creature and told them to stop.
- Witness: “It went into the woods, then the firemen arrived, dispersing the people. …Because in Brazil, when you have this kind of problem, like being stung by wasps, or a venomous animal, or a mad dog, the firemen are called. The firemen didn’t know what to do when they got here.”
- The fire department searched the woods and found a creature, but it took two hours before they were able to corner and capture it. Some reports say they used a net, and some say they used one of those animal control lasso poles. They said it gave no resistance, and was perhaps injured.
- They radioed their commander, and learned there were more creatures reported in the area and the military was setting up a blockade around the area to try to catch them all.
The Military Blockade
- One witness described leaving the gym and seeing military trucks setting up barricades. The soldiers wouldn’t let him or his friends past. He tried to say it was a free country and he had a right to walk past, but the soldiers pointed rifles at them. “Never before have I seen an army truck in Varginha. I was only scared when they raised their guns at me.”
- A reporter described getting a report about the girls’ encounter, and getting in his car to go to the scene. “I decided to go check it out, but when we arrived, there were army trucks and they said I couldn’t pass by here. I asked why. ‘This is an issue of national security.’ For us, it didn’t make sense. We were convinced there was a cover-up in process. Two of our boys went to ESA (the military base about 20 miles from Varginha) and asked a sergeant ‘won’t you say anything about the case?’ ‘If you ask one more question, you’ll be arrested.’”
- Another witness: “A maneuver of that size, with so many vehicles, involving both Army and police simultaneously, they closed the roads and wouldn’t let us pass. Something happened that left us very suspicious.”
- That evening, two military police officers, Marco Chereze and Eric Lopes saw a creature dart across the street in front of their car near the empty lot, and Chereze jumped out and wrestled it into the back of the car with his bare hands. He was covered in a greasy or sticky substance, which left him smelling like the creature.
- Shortly after the incident, he developed a small abscess from a cut he got while struggling with the creature, and had a minor surgery to remove it. Within days he became extremely sick with a mysterious infection. He was admitted to the hospital on Feb 10, with a high fever complaining of severe pain. He deteriorated rapidly, and died on February 15.
- Dr Cesário Lincoln Furtado was one of the doctors who treated him. “Me and another doctor gave him the best antibiotics we had and he did not get any better, it was like giving water with sugar.”
- Dr Furtado: ”He did tell us [about his contact with the creature] to try to help save his life, because he felt he was dying. According to his sister, he was restricted from talking about it.”
- His sister, Marta Tavares, said “[When he went to the hospital], I asked him if the story about the creature was true, and he only said ‘Look, this story will be a big deal.’”
- Dr. João B. M. Janini, who examined him after death said he died of sepsis — a raging infection in the bloodstream that ultimately resulted in organ failure. They found anomalous bacteria in his blood that was aggressive, virulent, and extremely resistant to antibiotics.
- After he died, the hospital ordered that his coffin be sealed and buried within hours.
- His wife, Valéria Chereze, said the family had difficulty getting his medical report. “First, they wanted money for it, they took a long time, and then pages were missing. I was always looking for an explanation, but no explanation came. None.”
- The family would later sue the military over his death, and got a more complete version of his medical report which showed there was an unknown toxic substance in his blood, and evidence of altering of official records to show he was off duty on January 20th.
- His sister, Marta Tavares confirmed he was working that night, and said “I was outraged by the attitude of the police. 25 years ago, they came to my mother and told her the story of the creature was true. It happened. But they couldn’t admit the truth to society because the population would collapse.”
- What about the other guy in the car, Eric Lopes? He’s been unreachable for 26 years. James Fox spends a good amount of time trying to track him down, and does actually find him, but he refuses to talk, and threatens to shoot them if they don’t go away.
- Perhaps related to the health effects Chereze suffered: UFO investigator Patricia Fernandes Silva was shown a color photo by the former sheriff of Varginha. The photo showed two creatures, one dead, and one crouched like the girls described. “The mouth was very small. The skin of the alive one had a shine, but it was not an oily shine. It was kind of gooey like he just stepped out of a swimming pool. It was wet, damp skin. It had three — I won’t say horns — but three high protrusions on the forehead.” The sheriff struggled taking the photo from a folder and told her that his hands had been nearly paralyzed ever since he grabbed the creature by the legs.
The Creatures are Taken to the Hospital
- The captured creatures seem to have been brought to Humanitas Hospital.
- Apparently one of the creatures was dead on arrival, and the other died soon after.
- An entire wing of the hospital was declared off-limits for several days after the incident.
- The military held a meeting with all hospital employees, telling them that this was all a training exercise for doctors and military personnel and they were to deny everything if anyone asked questions.
- The date is unclear, but a radiologist at Regional Hospital reports military trucks arriving and being ordered to x-ray a body without opening the body bag.
- “They asked me to do the x-rays of the parts they requested: the skull, cervical spine, thorax, abdomen, pelvis, and legs and arms. Their eyes were fixed, observing me all the time, to see what I was doing, but they didn’t say anything, even among themselves. The x-rays were developed, and at the time, I saw no images. It was all taken by the military that day. Normally, I verify the images are correct, but on this day, I didn’t. One person there said ‘Your job is done, thank you. Don’t comment on what you saw or what you did.’”
- When asked if the body had an odor, he said: “The smell was strong. A mix between sulfur and ammonia. Despite all the cleaning, disinfecting, the smell remained. And that section of the hospital was closed. We couldn’t serve the public because the smell was so strong. The smell was still there the next day and everyone was complaining. The smell impregnated my nose and respiratory system for three or four days.”
The US Air Force Takes Everything
- James Fox found a new military witness identified only as Military X, who was still very hesitant about speaking out and they took some pretty strong measures to protect his identity.
- He says on Jan 22, he was part of a convoy transporting the body of a creature from Humanitas Hospital in Varginha to ESA military base, where it stayed for the night. Early the following morning, the convoy continued their mission, to Espcex army base in the city of Campinas.
- Military X: “At the hospital, I saw a box, a stainless steel table with a box. There were doctors, people carrying clipboards, analyzing. It looked like they all seemed scared of it. And when I looked I saw something different — a different creature, with the skin very oily, a lot of oil, like silicone. Seeing that, I got scared. What caught my attention was the foot, It was [V-shaped] — practically two fingers. What led me to believe that it wasn’t a human being was the foot.”
- After the convoy arrived, they were instructed not to talk. “The officer looked me straight in the eyes and asked what I saw. I said ‘I think it was a burnt man or something.’ He said, "No, that’s not what you saw.’ I don’t know if he thought I was trying to deceive him, like he knows, but doesn’t want to say. That’s when he said what I saw was supernatural. Anyone who dares to speak anything about what happened or what they saw… the punishment would be very severe. It was something to be kept extremely secret, of extreme importance… for life.”
- He said that one soldier at the hospital had a film camera, and that there was “for sure” video in possession of the government.
- UFO investigator Vitório Pacaccini was shown a 35-second fragment of film of the creature by a senior officer in 2012: “It was skinny, weak, and fragile. It had brown skin with oil or grease on the body. It had a big head with red eyes and no pupils. The face was like a reptile, like a frog with strange red eyes three times bigger than ours and three protuberances on the top of its head. It made a little sound. Like a bee.”
- James Fox, when asked about this 35-second clip recently, said: “I have personally spoken to three witnesses in Brazil that claim to have seen photographic evidence — both video and stills. There will be details coming soon.”
- Military X: “I think they did a study in Campinas. Now, some things I don’t know and can’t prove, but the rumors at the time were that it went to the United States. We weren’t really equipped, honestly, to keep the creature here.”
- Brazilian Air Force air traffic control officer Jose Manuel Fernandez: “A USAF plane lands in Campinas, and two helicopters took off from Campinas airport to Varginha, where they landed, collected something (nobody knows what) returned to Campinas, put it in the USAF plane, which took off and left. And the mission was, what they told us, silence. Total silence.” When asked how he knew the Americans were involved, he said “They landed without authorization of the Brazilian government. It was a secret mission, and it was a USAF plane.”
- Recently, Leslie Kean (one of the authors of the 2017 NYT article and the David Grusch article) revealed that her intelligence sources confirmed the authenticity of the Varginha crash.
- On May 8, 1996, the ESA military base held a press conference in response to mounting pressure from the public and press. General Lima, the commander of ESA, addressed the crowd, saying “We have nothing to hide,” but it got a bit confrontational as he tried to leave:
- Reporter: “Did it happen? What were you guys doing that day?”
- Gen Lima: “We were working for the army and the nation.”
- Reporter: “Can you prove it?”
- Gen Lima: “Prove to who?”
- Reporter: “To the press.”
- Gen Lima: “Why?”
- Reporter: “Don’t you want to prove the facts?”
- Gen Lima: “I don’t have to prove what I said.”
- In 2010 the Brazilian military released a report from an official inquiry into the incident. Running over 300 pages, it presents mundane explanations for everything that happened.
- The young women actually encountered a homeless, mentally unstable man nicknamed "Mudinho." They "presented photographs of …a citizen known as Mudinho, who probably has some mental disability and whose physical characteristics matched the description …this citizen, probably being dirty, due to the heavy rains and seen crouching by a wall, was mistaken by the three terrified girls as a space creature."
- The military trucks and personnel were just performing routine duties on the night they were observed. "The presence of the Firefighters… the parking of Army trucks in the vicinity of the concessionaire where their periodic maintenance would be carried out... and the departure of ESA vehicles... were real facts... incorrectly interpreted as Firefighters and the Military participating in the capture and later the transport of the alleged creature to Campinas."
- The aliens allegedly seen in a hospital were actually an expectant couple who had dwarfism.
- James Fox documentary: Moment of Contact
- New York Post: People claim they saw aliens after UFO crash-landed in Brazil in 1996, documentary reveals
- News.com.au: ‘Brazil’s Roswell’: Filmmaker claims video exists of captured creature from 1996 Varginha UFO incident
- Marco Chereze: Who Was He? How Did the Alien Witness Die?
- Marco Chereze pathologist, who supposedly captured the creature from Varginha, gives an interview about his death
- Leslie Kean confirms Varginha crash
Episode 35, posted on