NEW EVIDENCE ON IGY PHOTOS*
On the 16th of January, 1958, Mr. Almiro Barauna, civilian and guest of the Brazilian Navy on Board the Brazilian Training Ship, Almirante Saldanha, sighted and photographed an object which flew in from the ocean, circled above Trindade Island and then flew out to sea. He obtained 4 photos. Barauna was not the only observer, and various Brazilian newspapers at the time stated unequivocally, that "elements" (members) of the crew of the Almirante Saldanha had also seen the Saturn-shaped object.
APRO’s Brazilian Representative, Dr. Olavo T. Fontes, through connections in the military, did a thorough investigation of the incident, and even produced sightings which preceded the event of the 16th. He mentioned in the text of his report (See APRO Bulletins of January, March and May 1960) the existence of a secret Navy Report which dealt with the incident.
In October, 1964, a heavy manila envelope arrived in the mail at APRO Headquarters. It contained a complete set (4) of photographs of the Trindade object, as well as correspondence between various Brazilian Navy officers concerning the incident and the photographs. Accompanying the photographs and letters and the Navy report itself, was a letter to Mrs. Lorenzen from an ex-Brazilian Navy Officer now living outside of Brazil. In the letter he asked Mrs. Lorenzen to use the report, photographs and other material in any way possible in order to clear up the confusion and misrepresentations concerning the IGY photographs. He said he had read her book and complimented her on it as well as her handling of the IGY case. He also asked her to do everything possible to protect his identity, and this has been accomplished. Another request was that a copy be made by AFRO of the contents and that the copy be sent to NICAP, for a set of the photos were being sent to that organization.
Always wary of such things, Mrs. Lorenzen checked APRO’s files for authentication of the report’s contents, and found them to be authentic. She also contacted Dick Hall of NICAP and asked that he let her know if he received the photos as promised. They were eventually received in December, and mailed from another country other than the one from which her correspondence with the Navy officer had been mailed.
Having established the authenticity of the information contained in the Navy report and having satisfied herself that the officer himself was authentic, Mrs. Lorenzen and other APRO advisers decided that this further information should be released, not only to APRO and NICAP members, but to as many individuals as possible. Subsequently, she wrote the entire story in article form and submitted it to FATE magazine, wherein it will be presented for the scrutiny of FATE’S 100,000 readers in the March 1965 issue. Because of space limitations in that magazine, the entire text was not used but we present here the text of the correspondence and the report in chronological order as they were written. Each document is self-explanatory and a short discussion will follow.
THE NAVY MINISTRY
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION— CONFIDENTIAL
1. I am reporting to Your Excellency the information and conclusions obtained by the Corvette-Captain Jose Geraldo Brandao, Intelligence agent, with respect to phenomena observed several times in the area of the Trindade Island.
2. It is my opinion that the facts make necessary a very careful investigation, so that I would like to suggest to Your Excellency the following procedures:
a) To order an exploration all over the island (it would be better if
made by helicopters), to verify the existence of signs, of landing sites
of any UAO;
c) To recommend the garrison to remain alerted in order to observe and register anything being sighted in connection with the subject, making every effort to obtain photographs (with cameras of any kind and in any situation, even at night);
d) To determine that, when UAOs are sighted, the following instruments must be under careful observation: radar, magnetic needles, electric lights, internal combustion engines, the effects observed must be reported together with the information already included in the questionnaire released by this High Command; and this High Command must be informed immediately about all the occurrences;
e) To give communication to the Navy’s Hydrography and Navigation Dept. of the results obtained and measures taken by this High Command.
Luiz Felippe Pinto da Luz
2. The information referred to was given personally at this High Command by the Corvette-Captain Carlos Alberto Ferreira Bacellar, who was the Commander of the Trindade Island Oceanographic Post at the time when the phenomena was observed.
3. An investigation was started at this High Command on the subject, with the following conclusions:
a) That there are a number of witnesses who state they have sighted
unidentified aerial objects (UAOs) over the Trindade Island;
c) That the most important and valuable evidence presented, the photographic, somehow loses its convincing quality due to the impossibility to prove a previous photomontage;
d) That the emotional reaction of the persons who have reported the sighting of UAOs is very strong and easily noticed;
e) That, finally, the existence of personal reports and of photographic evidence of very great value considering the circumstances involved, permit the admission that there are indications of the existence of unidentified aerial objects.
4. Taking these conclusions admitted by this High Command into consideration,
I would like to recommend to Your Excellency:
III—To determine that occurrences of any kind related to UAOs will be immediately reported to this High Command. Antonio Maria de Carvalho
Fleet-Admiral, Chief of the Navy High Command.
EMBASSY OF THE
I would greatly appreciate any information you could give me, including photographs, of the "disco voador" said to have been sighted off Trindade Island 16 January from the training ship, Almirante Saldanha.
As you know, there have been many reports of such sightings and the United States has set up a special committee to investigate same, without reaching any definite conclusion. However, it seems to me that if this occurred as stated in today’s paper, there must have been enough good reliable and intelligent witnesses to make a good proof in this case.
Assuring you of my highest consideration and esteem, I am
THE NAVY MINISTRY
Using the opportunity to assure you of my highest consideration and esteem, I am
Luiz Felippe Pinto Da Luz
From: The Chief of the Navy High Command
I am sending to Your Excellency the Report annexed, with the conclusions reached by this High Command about the occurrences observed in the Trindade Island.
Antonio Maria de Carvalho
THE NAVY MINISTRY
I. Report about the observation of unidentified aerial objects, occurring in the Trindade Island, in the period between 12-5-57 and 1-16-58.
I. On December 31, 1957, an unidentified aerial object (UAO) was observed
over the Island, sighted by the Medical-Officer, First-Lieutenant MD Ignaclo
Carlos Moreira Murta, by one sailor and five workers. The sighting occurred
in the morning about 10’ before 0800 hours. Due to the conviction of the
observers and the coherence and correlation of the reports, he had decided
to send the radiogram that gave origin to the present investigation;
Ill—On the following day, January 1, 1958, at the same hour and position, and moving to the North (the same direction of the previous sightings), something appeared over the sea flying at incredible speed. Despite the opposite opinion of other observers and despite the brightness presented by the object in a certain part of its trajectory, he concluded and still believes that it was a sea-gull—was projected against the sky, making difficult any stereoscopic estimation;
IV—Next day, January 2, 1958, a new alarm was given—this time at night, about 2000 hours. This alarm was dismissed because he was on watch himself and saw nothing;
V—Finally, on January 16, 1958, at 1215 hours, another UAO alarm was registered aboard the NE "Almirante Saldanha," which was anchored close to the Island. The ship was preparing to depart and the crew was in the operation of taking aboard the boat used in the trips to the Island. The UAO alarm was given by members of the crew in the stern and bow of the ship;
VI—On that same occasion, a professional photographer, civilian, who was on the deck, at the ship’s stern photographing the operation to take aboard the boat, was alerted and had the opportunity to take the four photographs enclosed;
VII—After the sighting, the photographer took out the film from the camera in the presence of CC Bacellar and other officers; later, together with CC Bacellar, he went to the ship’s photo-lab dressed only in a shirt and shorts; the processing lasted about 10 minutes and then the negatives were examined by CC Bacellar; CC Bacellar states that he saw the UAO referred to in the negatives mentioned since that first examination with details which only the enlargements made afterwards showed more clearly;
VIII—Afterwards, the negatives referred to were shown to members of the ship’s crew who had witnessed the phenomenon; they recognized the object appearing in the photos as identical with the one they had sighted in the air;
IX—The person who called the attention of the photographer to the object was an AF Captain (ret.) who was on the ship as a member of a group specialized in submarine hunting; the photographer was also a member of the same group;
X—The photographs were taken in no more than 30 seconds;
XI—A strong emotional upset was observed in all persons who sighted the object, including the photographer, civilians and members of the ship’s crew.
2. CC Bacellar also reported a phenomenon he had personally observed,
over the Island, for two times in different occasions, with the help of
a high-precision theodolite and at daylight. His second observation was
III--THE balloon being tracked was covered, at an altitude of 14,000 meters, when the instruments were parachuted. A few moments later, he spotted an object in the sky about 30 degrees in the horizontal of the point where the balloon had disappeared when passing behind a cloud;
IV—Sighted through a theodolite, the object presented a strange shape, like a halfmoon, with a bright light; the phenomenon lasted for three and a half hours, and the object was apparently moving with the same angular velocity as the sun.
V—The object disappeared only when the sky became full of cirrus clouds;
VI—He finds no explanation for the sighting, considering the life-time of the balloon being tracked painted red, the shape and brightness of the object, the position of the moon and planets.
VII—This sighting was witnessed by the Medical-Officer, several Navy sergeants and sailors, and a civilian technician from the Navy’s Hydrography and Navigation Department.
3. Finally, the CC Bacellar brought to this High Command the man who
had taken the photographs, the professional photographer Almiro Barauna
(Address: Praia de Icarai 251, Apt. 1004, Niteroi), who made the following
III—Afterwards, as he had shot the last photo on the film, he took out the film from the camera and remained for almost one hour with it in his hands— waiting the passing of a strong emotional disturbance he was feeling; then he went to the dark room to develop the exposed film, already escorted by the CC Bacellar.
IV—He remained in the darkroom for about 10 minutes, accompanied by the AF Captain, who was helping him; then he showed the film still wet to the CC Bacellar, with the impression that the object photographed had not appeared on the developed film; however, his impression was changed by CC Bacellar himself who showed him that, in the pictures connected with the sighting, was visible, in different positions, an image looking like the object;
V—He kept the negatives and brought them to Rio where, in his photolab, he made several enlargements; the UAO appeared well only in two pictures because the other negatives were very dark;
VI—In order to increase the contrast, he made an operation known as "clearing", which consists in clearing homogeneously the whole negative; however, as in two pictures the UAO appeared with great clarity and he was in fear of losing them if the process failed, he cut the film and submitted to the process only the four other negatives; as a result the UAO appeared with great clarity in two of them, in different positions;
VII—He said that, seeing the UAO at naked-eye, his impression was that of a solid body, with ill-defined contours, showing great mobility at high speed, and with a dark colour difficult to define because the object seemed to be enveloped by a substance he compared to soap foam; it seemed to have a small contrail of the same material and was moving without any sound;
VIII—He got so nervous and upset after the sighting that he found it difficult to perform the routine task of developing the film;
IX—He offered the negatives to this High Command and for all the examinations and analyses necessary to prove their authenticity and suggested a microscopic examination as the only way good enough to detect any trick.
a) Observed over the Trindade Island by different people the appearance
of UAOs four times, in different days, three in the morning and one at
c.) Observed for two times, over the Trindade Island, by its own Military-Commander, a Superior Officer of the Navy Corps, a Hydrographer experienced in meteorology and radio-sonde operations—and by other witnesses—a phenomenon not explainable on the basis of atmospheric or astronomical conditions;
d.) Obtained, from the deck of the NE "Almirante Saldanha", when anchored close to the Trindade Island four photographs of a UAO, taken by a professional photographer in the presence of other witnesses who state they have sighted the object photographed.
a.) That in five UAO sightings four were made at daylight and one at
c.) That the witnesses who sighted the UAOs were persons with different qualifications—workers, medical officers, dentists, sailors and sergeants, officers, civilians and professional photographer;
d.) That no officer from the Navy Corps sighted the phenomena registered, with the exception of the two incidents reported by CC Bacellar;
e.) That in all incidents it was noticed a very strong emotional reaction in all people who sighted UAOs, including the professional photographer. There was even a case involving a worker, a man considered to be normal, who ran away frightened;
f.) That the reports, despite the great difficulty in obtaining good information from people with little culture, agreed on the following data:
SHAPE—The classical disc and a tear-shaped object. One object, (seen
from below) according to the observers, when it crossed over the Island
on 12/31/57, showed a spherical outline. Sighted from a distant point,
it was disc-shaped with a double dome (Saturn-shaped);
SOUND—All observers said the objects were noiseless;
CONTRAIL—Some observers noticed a discharge, shaped as a white trail; others denied anything of the kind;
SIZE—All observers agreed that the objects were moving at very high speed, but no one was able to make estimations;
MOBILITY—All the reports called attention to the extreme mobility of the UAOs. The movements were not continuous like those of an airplane, but more rapid and abrupt, with sudden changes of course and speed;
ALTITUDE AND DISTANCE — Only the observers of the sighting on 12/31/57 when the UAO was seen passing over the Island, estimated its altitude, comparing it with the height of the peak "Desejado", i. e., about three times that height, or about 1,800 meters;
MANEUVERS—All the reports agreed on the fact that the objects performed very unusual maneuvers;
APPEARANCE—That of a solid body in all cases;
TIME OF OBSERVATIONS — Very short, estimated always in seconds;
g.) That the observers who sighted the UAOs know perfectly how to identify
airplanes; all planes over the Island have been properly identified in
all cases, with communications being reported to the Hydrography and Navigation
i.) Concerning the photographic proof, evidently the more valuable and important, remain as:
III—The making of prints and enlargements was done by the photographer in his own photolab.
j.) Concerning the negatives, they were submitted to examination by
the Hydrography and Navigation Department’s technicians and by technicians
from the Cruzeiro do Sul erophotgrammetric Service, with the following
There was not any sign of photomontage in the negatives mentioned to,
all the evidence indicating they are in fact negatives of an object really
It is impossible to prove either the existence or the nonexistence of a previous photomontage, which requires however a high-precision technic and favorable circumstances to its execution.
a.) That there are a number of witnesses who stated they have sighted
UAOs over the Trindade Island. Such witnesses have different qualifications
and the observations were made in different days;
c.) That the most important and valuable evidence presented, the photographic, somehow loses its convincing quality due to the impossibility to prove a previous photomontage;
d.) That the emotional reaction of the persons who have reported the sighting of UAOs is very strong and easily noticed;
e.) That, finally the existence of personal reports and of photographic evidence, of certain value considering the circumstance involved, permit the admission that there are indications of the existence of unidentified aerial objects.
5. The last conclusion listed above permits me to suggest to Your Excellency that this High Command must take in consideration all the information to be obtained about the present subject in order to be able to reach conclusions beyond any doubt.
Jose Geraldo Brandao,
As the Bulletin has pointed out before, had Menzel fully investigated the Trindade incident and photos he could not have concluded that the sighting and the photos were a hoax perpetrated by Barauna and his friends.
The last document presented above, clearly states that (see Paragraph VIII under OCCURRENCES "Afterwards, after they were developed, the negatives referred to were shown to members of the ship’s crew who had witnessed the phenomenon; they recognized the object appearing in the photographs as identical with the one they had sighted in the air."
On this same point, see also Paragraph XI: "A strong emotional upset was observed in all persons who sighted the object, including the photographer (Barauna), civilians (his friends Viegas and Vieira) and members of the ship’s crew."
Let us further emphasize a few other points: Barauna went into that darkroom with only shorts and a T-shirt on his body. No place to conceal extra film, or paraphernalia with which to aid in making a composite etc. He was there only 10 minutes, hardly enough time to doctor a roll of film. Barauna had been afraid that he had not got the photos because he had no time to make adjustments for exposure, etc. He exhibited considerable anxiety and nervousness prior to the development of the negatives, and that is certainly understandable.
Note that some of the exposures were not clear and that Barauna attempted to remedy that condition (See 3-V, VI)
The reader will note the numerical order of the paragraphs in the Navy report are not consistent, and it is felt that this was due merely to a mistake in copying by the man who forwarded them to APRO. It is a long report and it is understandable that a mistake like this could be made.
The paragraph labeled No. 2, immediately preceding the Analysis is most important for it summarizes what Corvette-Captain Jose Geraldo Brandao, Intelligence Service, felt were important FACTS which he prepared to be sent to the NAVY MINISTER under the name of Fleet-Admiral Antonio Maria de Carvalho, Chief of the Navy High Command. Admiral Carvalho would have had to see the report and to approve of it before it was sent on to the Navy Minister.
The Navy Minister at that time was Admiral Alves Camera. On 24 February, 1958, he told United Press: "that he didn’t believe in flying saucers before, but after Barauna’s photographic evidence he was convinced." Camera had been stopped by newsmen on the steps of the Rio Negro palace at Petropolis after his weekly meeting with the President of Brazil. He also said that "the Navy has a big secret which cannot be released, because it cannot be explained."
To refer back again to the authenticity of the pictures, we must consider the possibility of a photomontage. (See j-II under POSITIVE POINTS,) Inasmuch as witnesses had already observed the object and subsequently the negatives showing the object, it is not likely that Barauna would have gone to the trouble to attempt another and better photo by trickery. The Navy’s HND technician affirmed that the negatives were natural.
There is but one avenue left, and that is the possibility that Barauna performed a photomontage prior to the Trindade excitement. But then we must assume that he was able to "mock-up" a model UFO, position it on film, and then photograph the Trindade Island skyline over it. But that is not a montage—it is simply a double-exposure, and how did he know what would be seen and testified to later by the people on deck of the Almirante Saldanha? A photomontage would be a combination of two photos, and how would he know what was to be seen? And how did he substitute this hypothetical film? Even if he did make it up ahead of time? And how did he know just exactly how the object would be positioned so that his pictures would coincide with what was seen?
To even suggest that Barauna performed either a photomontage or a double exposure is to hypothesize such a number of coincidences as to label the possibility mathematically impossible.
In conclusion, we must call attention to a few pertinent facts. It has been suggested that Dr. Menzel is in the employ of the United States Air Force. If he is in the employ of anyone, it would have to be another agency. But the Doctor’s behavior indicates that his attitude is a matter of personal preference. Scientists have ethics—if they are true scientists. There are scientists whose job it is to explain away the "ticklish" cases, but in no case have they exhibited a tendency to directly attack the veracity of an adult individual capable of legal action in defense of their good names.
Dr. Menzel has an impressive string of degrees behind his name, and they, of course, help to impress the general public with the truth and accuracy of his conclusions. They do not, however, to the discerning scientist or layman, excuse him from apparent deliberate disregard of facts or the altering of official foreign military public releases to suit his own theories. The latter refers to his version of the Brazilian Navy statement concerning the IGY photos which was included in his book and which included some words not in the text and excluded others. (See Page 2, APRO Bulletin, Sept. 1963).
There possibly will be criticism of the foregoing listed documents, whether verbal and somewhat furtive, or printed, but the criticism if it comes, will probably be a result of resentment for APRO for having backed the IGY photo case with real documents, or a belated attempt to bolstered unrealistic arguments against the authenticity of the Trindade case.
*"New Evidence on IGY Photos." The A.P.R..0. Bulletin (January 1965): 1,3-8.