Source: NICAP UFO Investigator; Vol. 1, No. 10; July/Aug 1960 

            In an unparalleled action involving a friendly foreign government, the U.S. Air Force has labeled as a hoax a UFO photograph released by the President of Brazil and certified as genuine by the Brazilian Navy Ministry. 

            The hoax claim was first stated by ATIC, on June 1. (See detailed ATIC interview.) Afterward, in answer to a NICAP query, the AF UFO spokesman, Lt. Col. L. J. Tacker, stated in writing that the Brazilian Trindade Isle sighting had been evaluated by the U. S. Navy and “determined to be a hoax.” 

            To date, neither the Navy Photo Interpretation Center, Naval Intelligence nor the Navy Public Information office have unearthed any official record of the Brazilian photo evaluation, according to their statements to NICAP. 

            In previous official statements, Lt. Col. Tacker and other AF spokesmen have repeatedly said that the AF has sole jurisdiction in UFO investigations. Specifically, Tacker has insisted that no other Government agency has ever assisted the AF in UFO research or evaluation. Under the circumstances, the AF claim would seem to require not only Navy confirmation but an explanation of:

1.      Why the AF felt it was necessary to evaluate a photograph released by the head of a friendly nation.

2.      Why this evaluation was not done by an AF photographic laboratory.

3.      Why, and by what authority, the AF required the Navy to take on this ticklish job.

            This AF attack, almost certain to cause resentment in Brazil’s official circles, followed soon after a nationwide TV showing of the Brazilian photograph on the Dave Garroway program. Apparently the AF felt impelled to denounce this important evidence, even risking Latin American displeasure, to maintain its public claim that the UFOs are only illusions.

            Since February, 1956, when the official Brazilian report was made public, the USAF has avoided a showdown on this photographs proof of UFO reality. Too many high Brazilian officials had certified, after careful laboratory tests, that the UFO photo was authentic. Among them were the Brazilian Navy Gen. Secretary; Adm. Garson de Macado Soares; the Navy Minister, Adm. Alves Camera; and Capt. Carlos Alberto Bacellar, the C.O. of the Navy Oceanographic Post at the Isle of Trindade, where this daytime UFO sighting took place.

            In addition, numerous eye-witness reports by Brazilian Navy officers and crewman were on official record; scores aboard the survey ship Almirante Saldanha had watched the strange flying object maneuver over Trindade at noonday.

            On June 1, 1960, sixteen days after the Garroway program displayed the UFO picture, the Brazilian photograph was called a hoax by officers at ATIC (Aerospace Technical Intelligence Center), at Dayton.

            This incredible AF slur on responsible Brazilian officials – completely contrary to recorded facts – is now being repeated to anyone who inquires about the Brazilian picture – including members of Congress and the press. In the firm belief that this Air Force policy should be changed immediately, to avoid further affront to our friends and allies, NICAP will present documented facts on the case to Congress after a further check with the U. S. Navy to determine what role, if any, it played in releasing the hoax conclusion. Details will be covered in the next bulletin.

Trindade Island Photo Case Directory

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