UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2003 > Dec > Dec 4

Trindade Material - Part III

From: A. J. Gevaerd - Revista UFO <gevaerd@ufo.com.br>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 17:39:15 -0200
Fwd Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2003 20:03:30 -0500
Subject: Trindade Material - Part III

Dear colleagues:

Again, as promised in previous e-mails, I am posting Marco
Antonio Petit's revealing article about the Trindade Island case
- below. It was once again kindly, professionally, translated by
the Translation Co-ordinator of the Brazilian UFO Magazine,
Marcos Malvezzi Leal

Petit's material contains very interesting information, as he
was the last Brazilian UFO researcher to interview Barauna
before he died. Petit is a leading Brazilian UFO researcher who
has spent 3 decades investigating the subject. He is one of the
co-editor of the Brazilian UFO Magazine and has published 4


A. J. Gevaerd, editor
Brazilian UFO Magazine


New facts on the Trindade incident

Unpublished statements from the author of the famous photographs
taken aboard Almirante Saldanha

Marco Antonio Petit, co-editor, Brazilian UFO Magazine

In the history of ufology throughout the world, we find some
cases that can be a definite proof of the physical existence of
UFOs, due to the number of witnesses and the photographic or
cinematographic documentation. Some of them occurred during the
first years of UFO research and served as a foundation for the
notion that we were actually dealing with something serious,
worthy of investigation. One of those classic cases is the
Trindade Incident, occurred on January 16, 1958, and whose major
protagonist was a photographer, crew member of a Brazilian Navy's
vessel that was docked on Trindade Island (RJ).

Back in those days, the episode had great repercussion and the
witness was interviewed in nearly every media vehicle, whether
specialized or not. But some details about the incident remained
obscure, even after his astounding photographic shots had been
exposed in newspapers and magazines all over Brazil. A little
while later, the Trindade Incident was left aside and its place
in the media was taken over by other, more recent incidents, and
perhaps even more relevant.

After nearly 40 years, we are back to discussing it, bringing to
light a few new revelations about details of the utmost
importance that were not mentioned in 1958 and deserve to be
reevaluated, including the involvement of military witnesses and
the thorough investigations conducted by the Brazilian Navy.
Recently on an exclusive interview, photographer Almiro Barauna,
key-witness to the case, told us about previously unpublished
facts, which we will now transcribe.

We can say the story began on January 14, when the Brazilian
Navy's vessel Almirante Saldanha was nearing Trindade Island,
bringing along with its regular crew a group of skin-divers, as
it had been doing on its latest trips. One of the members of
that team was Barauna, who would eventually become the major
protagonist in the case. 1958 was the International Geophysical
Year, and the Brazilian Navy was actively participating in the
researches being conducted, which included Trindade.

Thus, the presence of the skin-divers was associated to such
activities. The team was supposed to collect rare fish specimens
that were not usually found on the coast. Barauna was invited to
photograph the bottom of the sea, and a watertight box had been
built to allow for such images to be taken. The photographer
produced several stories for magazines such as Mundo Ilustrado
and Manchete Esportiva. On the morning of January 16, having
fulfilled all of his missions, the crew and skin-divers returned
to the ship, which had been anchored close to the island.

First Photograph  - The photographer was not feeling very well
and lay down on the deck. Soon after 12 noon, amidst shouting
and yelling, a lieutenant called Barauna's attention to the
presence of a metallic and disk-shaped flying object, that was
flying in the sky towards the ship. Barauna got up, set his
tripod and camera, a Rolleiflex, and took the first shot.
Immediately afterwards, he took the second shot. But the object
disappeared behind Desejado mount. Shortly after that, it came
up again, and was nearly stationary in the sky. According to the
photographer, the UFO looked like a lightless balloon, moving

At that moment, Barauna took a third snapshot - and admittedly,
the best of the series. The saucer began to move again, flying
at a high speed towards the horizon; but before it disappeared,
Barauna took one more photo. Actually, he took six shots, but in
two of them the flying saucer is not seen, for the camera's
shutter was activated just when Barauna was being knocked over
by the militaries that were frantically running about the ship's
deck. One of them shows merely the sea and the other one shows
part of the island, with a tilted horizon.

After the UFO had disappeared over the high sea, Barauna was
trembling all over for several minutes. The sighting of that
craft left several military members of the crew emotionally
shaken up. Some had even pointed their guns at the UFO. When the
object disappeared, the ship's commander asked Barauna if he had
been able to photograph its maneuvers. He replied that he had
taken several shots, but could not at that moment guarantee that
the UFO had been caught in film. The same military inquired of
him if it was possible to have the film developed on board, as
the ship had a photographic laboratory, although it was no
longer used. Barauna found that several of the chemical products
available in the lab were deteriorated, but with methanol and
sulfite he decided to develop the film, replacing acetic acid
with vinegar. Before doing that, however, he had to repair the
development tank. Barauna was helped by captain Jose Viegas,
from the Air Force, a member of the divers' team, who was
holding up a flashlight with some green cellophane in front,
used in the developing process.

The risk of burning up the negatives was great, for Barauna had
had no time to regulate the camera's aperture before taking the
photographs, and the film had been exposed to too much light.
Outside the laboratory the militaries were waiting anxiously.
Some were carrying magnifying glasses in the hopes of examining
the film right after it was developed - which eventually
happened. There was no doubt about it: the UFO had been
photographed. During dinner, still aboard the Almirante
Saldanha, the commander informed Barauna that three other
sightings had been reported before. At least one of them was
witnessed by the island's military commander, corvette's captain
Alberto Ferreira Bacellar.

Overexposure - When they reached Vitoria (ES), he requested and
was granted permission to return with his group by bus, for the
ship was to remain two more days in town. At dawn, they were in
Niteroi (RJ). Barauna promptly took the negatives to his
laboratory, and indeed the film had been overly charged with
overexposure. He decided to wear it down - a very dangerous
technique, for if he were not extremely careful, he could burn
it. Taking this into account, Barauna worked first with the
least important negative, the one that shows the UFO at a longer
distance, just above the horizon.

The result was positive and the image became much clearer. So he
used the same technique on the other photos, and made his first
enlargements. But he did not expose them publicly immediately,
because the militaries had told him to keep the incident secret
till the investigations were concluded. A few days later,
 Barauna was invited to bring the negatives and give testimony
to the Navy's secret service, in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
There, he was questioned for several hours. From the third
photo's negative - the best one - two slides were made in the
Navy lab. They used a technical process that can generate a
three-dimensional image, which enabled them to determine how far
the saucer was at the time it was photographed.

This study was conducted in the presence of Barauna. The
militaries told him the UFO was about 14 km away from the ship
at the moment the picture was taken. Later on, Almiro was
summoned again. This time the Navy confiscated the negatives
and, when it returned them, the photographer noticed that the
edges had been scratched. The Navy had sent them to Cruzeiro do
Sul's photo cartographic air service for analysis. Their labs
analyzed the film's texture and granulation. No sign of trickery
was detected. Even then, the militaries again confiscated the

The Navy's secret service interviewed 48 witnesses, including
sailors, corporals, sergeants, three officers and admiral Paulo
Moreira da Silva - the highest-rank officer among the militaries
to have seen the UFO. In one of the meetings attended by
Barauna, several photographs of UFOs were laid on a table,
brought from other countries and belonging to the Navy's files.
Among them, Barauna's shots had been included.

The witnesses, including admiral Moreira da Silva, were asked to
identify the craft that had been sighted over Trindade. Only one
sailor misidentified the object, selecting a flying saucer that
had been photographed by the Argentine Navy in Baia Blanca.
Within the premises, Barauna was able to verify the existence of
a UFO photograph that had been taken by a sergeant. It had been
registered by a slow-speed "box camera", and it was the first
unidentified object seen over Trindade Island, a few months
before the Almirante Saldanha's experience. After requesting the
negatives for a second time, the authorities allowed Barauna to
publicize his photographs. Barauna had considered going to
journalist Joao Martins, for O Cruzeiro magazine, to inform him
of the details. However, he was stunned at the news that the
Correio da Manha (a newspaper) was preparing a scoop: the
publication of a flying saucer taken by Navy personal over
Trindade Island.

The Correio had obtained copies from Baraunas's photos from the
president of Brazil himself, Juscelino Kubitschek, who was
spending a few in the city of Petropolis (RJ). Barauna sought
out Joao Martins and told him the whole story. After several
enlargements had been made at the magazine's laboratory, both
men summoned other newspapers and provided them with the copies.

The following day, the so-called scoop was hazed by more
important stories that included interviews with Barauna and Joao
Martins, who had become a UFO researcher soon after the Barra da
Tijuca incident. Brazil and the world were beginning to be aware
of the events that had taken place on Trindade. A few days
later, the Diario de Noticias, another daily newspaper that had
not received the material, published a counter-story trying to
convince the public that Barauna's shots were a fake and showed,
in fact, a model-object.

Although nothing could be proven to that effect, the controversy
began. One of the factors that backed up the accusation of hoax
was that Barauna had previously produced holograms of flying
saucers through trickery, just to show the public how easy it
was to create that kind of faked images. However, in April that
same year, the controversy would be drawing to a close, when the
Navy's General Staff, after concluding a very strict and secret
inquiry decided to give its official position on the matter,
confirming the authenticity of the case and the photographs.

A proven case - The confidential report on the incident,
however, was not published in the Press. Nevertheless, and most
surprisingly, several secret documents relating to the case were
published years later by a magazine in Argentina. One of them, a
memo from the U.S. Embassy, signed by their military attache,
addressed to the rear admiral Luiz Felipe Pinto of the Light, at
that time vice-chief  of the Navy's Intelligence Department. In
that document further information is requested on the case as
well as copies of the photographs, apparently pointing out the
existence of intelligent and trustworthy witnesses who could, on
their turn, help to prove the legitimacy of the whole incident.

According to the documents published in Argentina, it is clear
that the Brazilian Navy did not publish any further information
on the Trindade-related facts, supplying nothing more than
copies of the pictures. Another well-kept document, dated
February 13, 1958, and coming from the Command of Naval
Operations, was sent to the Navy's director of Hydrography and
Navigation. In this document, the high rank officers suggested
that the Navy's station on Trindade be maintained in a permanent
state of alert, because of other possible manifestations of
flying saucers that could occur at any given moment around the

The militaries stationed on the island were to make every
possible effort to photograph UFOs, using all kinds of cameras.
Observations should also be made through radar and with the use
of magnetic needles. The memo pointed out to possible
interferences in internal combustion motors and in the electric
lights. Should these efforts be successful, the memo recommended
communicating the news promptly to the superior officers.

Through this document it is evident that the Navy not only knew
about the existence of UFOs, but also was convinced that there
could be other UFO sightings over Trinidad. The most important
document published in Argentina, however, is the secret report
in which they detail all the facts observed on the island and
the conclusions of the investigations, sent to the Minister for
the Armada. Such declaration is dated March 03, 1958. Previously
a report had been made about the sightings prior to January 16
of that year.

Unusal maneuvers  - The first sighting was on December 5, 1957,
the second on December 31, 1958 and the third one was on January
1. The secret report describes a disturbance in the emotional
state of the witnesses when they saw the flying saucer, in
January. It also describes the saucer's unusual maneuvers in the
presence of the militaries, demonstrating a technological skill
that was highly superior to our Earth's science and causing
panic among all the people aboard the ship. The text closes with
an important statement: "Taking into account the existence of
personal reports and photographic evidence of some value, and
considering the circumstances that it was obtained, the
existence of UFOs must be acknowledged." The report proposes to
the minister for the Navy that the Armada's High Command follow
up close every bit of information relating to UFO incidents, to
ensure a better understanding of the matter. The document is
signed by corvette's captain Jose Graldao, from the Armada's
Intelligence Service.

Marco Antonio Petit is co-editor of Revista UFO and the
president of Associacao Fluminense de Estudos Ufologicos (AFEU)
[The State of Rio Association for UFO Studies].


Bonus material: UFOs observed on Paraguai river

Evidently, the involvement of the Brazilian Navy with UFOs was
not restricted to the Trindade incident. Several other incidents
reveal the Armada's military dealing face to face with flying
saucers, but the secret and the rigid military rules have not
allowed such cases to be made public in our country. Recently,
however, we heard the story of an extraordinary incident that
occurred in the very dawn of modern ufology, more specifically
in 1962. The episode involved a Navy vessel that was responsible
for the signalization on Paraguai River. We interviewed the
commander of the ship, sea and war captain Joao Maria Romariz.

According to the officer, in one of the journeys up river
towards Porto Murtinho (MS), several crew mates alerted him to
the presence of several mysterious lights in the sky towards the
ship's prow. Night was falling, and one of the objects flew over
the ship and the commander could see what seemed to be windows,
which was confirmed by another member of the crew, through

The vessel continued on its way up the river, always preceded by
several luminous objects. When it was already totally dark,
about 7 pm, one of UFOs moved about quickly, getting much closer
and allowing a detailed observation in its way. The UFO looked
like two upturned plates, it emitted a gold yellow brightness
and presented a kind of "antenna" on the top. At that moment,
the commander ordered that the ship move closer to the Brazilian
side of the river, and all the lights were turned out.

Morse code - The next step was an attempt to communicate through
the International Code of Signs (Morse): flashing a light from
the ship's stern. There was no reply, but soon after that
several of the objects that were close to the horizon, right in
front of the ship, began to grow in size and dim their
brightness successively. All crewmen then watched as one of the
objects began to draw closer, hovering above the vessel and
slowly losing altitude. The UFO was mysteriously disappearing
over Paraguayan territory.

Then another object approached the ship and projected a silver
light over the crew, evading itself a few seconds later at high
speed. When they finally got to Porto Murtinho, commander
Romariz heard from the city's mayor that flying saucers had been
seen over the city by a great number of people. When pressed by
journalists, the commander denied having had any kind of
encounter with the UFOs, but he talked to me openly about the
incident a few months ago. At the time of the episode, he was
summoned to Rio de Janeiro to give a detailed report about the
incident at the Armada's General Staff.