The Trindade Isle Case


São Paulo, February 23, 1958.

Dear Lex,

It has been a long time since I last "talked" with you.  Things are really piling up and by reading your last two issues of the CSI Newsletter I became certain that you’ll be able to understand why I have been so quiet lately.  It seems as though the discs are on their final approach.

Clesi has written to you thanking the nice prints of our photos.   Have you received her letter?  She wrote it all by herself.  Isn’t she making process?

Escobar has sent back Isabel's report about the Kelly landing, but I could see that he was not convinced at all.  You know how things are: we would like to see the things in order to fully believe.  I spoke to him for about two hours after his conferência — public lecture — about saucers.  He was courageous enough to tell the public that he believes a contact is possible, so much so that every now and then he goes to desert places equipped with binoculars and cameras, and tries hard even with telepathy, to bring the discs about.  This is funny because Escobar does not believe in Adamski and other contactees who say that telepathy is the   Escobar because he says anything is to be experimented in order to made contact.

The other day I mailed to you from the Airport, the front page of "0 Correio da Manhñ" black with prints of a saucer seen and photographed the School Ship of the Brazilian Navy, "Saldanha da Gama".  Since the happening is perhaps the most significative event concerning saucers, I am translating, somewhat hurriedly, some clippings appearing in the Brazilian papers.  I don’t think I’ll. be able to get prints from the negatives, but I am trying anyway.

From "0 Diário de São Paulo" of São Paulo, February 21, 1958.

Rio, 20 (Meridional) Flying disc (now official) has been seen and photographed on January 16, about noon, by more than 100 people who were on the deck of the School Ship Almirante Saldanha, at the service of the IGY.  The thing happened exactly when the sail ship was weighting anchor to leave Trindade Island.  The photos were taken by Almiro Baraúna, who was photographing the hauling of a motor—boat. Baraúna was using his Rolleiflex when he noticed above the horizon a strange flash that soon disappeared.  Puzzled he waited for the thing to appear again.  Then it happened anew he started snapping. He shot 6 photos but only four were good, because in the confusion, someone pushed him twice while he was using his camera.

The presence of a flying saucer over Trindade provoked goose pimples in all who were aboard the ship and an officer became truly terror— stricken.  The disc was seen by almost everybody at the same time and at that moment there was a true stampede, everybody wishing to see the thing.

Then the disc disappeared and Captain José dos Santos Saldanha da Gama to his ancestor, a heroes of the Brazilian everything came back to normal, (name same as the ship in homage to his ancestor, a hero of the Brazilian Navy) asked Almiro Baraúna to surrender the roll of undeveloped negatives.  Soon after, by unanimous decision the film was developed under the supervision of some officers.

The subject was then channeled by Captain José Saldanha da Gama, Commander of the "Saldanha da Gama" to the Navy authorities, who started a severe investigation about the photos so that no doubt would be cast about their authenticity.   It has been proven — there many certificates — that there’s no possibility of fraud and that the photos taken were taken at the exact time of the sighting.

On the eve of the sighting, d.h., on January 15th, the saucer had been detected by the ship’s radar, also about noon.  The men in charge of the device thought the radar was out of order and made a through check to ascertain whether it was working properly.

According to information obtained from people belonging to the Navy, stationed at lIha da Trindade later confirmed by Commander Carlos Bacelar, this was the fourth time that the disc appeared over the island.

According to our own information the Navy authorities will make no statements about the photos and the publicity the subject as gotten has been disagreeable to the Navy.

Rio, 20 (Meridional) — The President received today at the Palace Rio Negro, the photos of a saucer taken by the Navy over Trindade Island.  Our informer, one aid of the President said that Mr. Juscelino Kubitscheck has been very much impressed by the photos.

"From "Fôlha da Manhñ", São Paulo February 21, 1958.

Rio, 20 (Folhas) — Commander Pedro Moreira, from the Cabinet of the Ministry of the Navy, has confirmed today to the press that really the crew of the School—Ship "Almirante Saldanha" had photographed a "strange object" when it flew over Trindade Island, while the ship was working for the ICY.

The crew of the ship were disembarking (other news say the ship was leaving the island) when they saw in the sky a strange object, developing a speed out of common. Some of the crew were able to take photographs from several different angles and all these photos were apprehended by order of the ship skipper.

A speaker of the Navy, although confirming the veracity of the information, kept mute about the happening. He only said that no official statement will be made about the subject.

Our reporters found out that the author of the publicized photos was the civilian Baraúna who was detached aboard a submarine—chaser.  The ship "Almirante Saldanha" is commanded by Captain José dos Santos Saldanha da Gama, who channeled the material to the Department of Hydrography and Navigation.  The director of the Department, delivered the material do the Minister of the Navy.

The Navy authorities told the reporters that the Navy had nothing to do with the disc and that its only connection with the fact was that a civilian reporter happened to be aboard the ship who was normally disembarked when the ship returned to Rio do Janeiro.

The School—Ship is at anchor off   Rio de Janeiro Bay and we have learned that the crew is forbidden to talk to reporters, according to severe orders especially issued.

From "Fôlha da Manhñ" de Sao Paulo, Feb. 22From "Fôlha da Manhñ" de Sao Paulo, Feb. 22.

Rio, 21 (Folhas) — The Navy has only confirmed the news that a flying disc was photographed from aboard the school Ship "Almirante Saldanha", while the ship was anchored of Trindade Island, in oceanographic operations on behalf of then IGY.  The strange silvery object was flying over Crista do Gallo mountain on that island.  The news that the object would be a saucer, as said by the press, is lacking official and scientific confirmation by the Navy.

Talking to reporters, Admiral Antonio Maria de Carvalho said peremptorily:  "I can’t say a thing about the subject.  There’s nothing concrete and positive authorizing me to make a statement.  It would be premature and even puerile of me to make statements, since I have no elements to make a correct judgement."

When he was asked whether a commission had been designated to study the subject he said: "There is no such a commission.   There’s a group of scientists about the "Saldanha da Gama", researching for the IGY. and they have been working for more than a year.   Their studies are related only to oceanography."

Said Commander Tales Barty of the President’s Cabinet, about the news that the President had seen the photos: "I know nothing about it, but considering the loud cry of the press it is possible that Cabinet, about the news that the President had seen something is true."

The Captain of "Saldanha da Gama," said: "It is strange that the fact was released to the press.   I have nothing to say about the event.  Only the Chief of Staff can make statements."

Asked to tell his opinion about the photos, he said: "I confess sincerely that I have not yet seen the photos.  I can’t tell anything more."

While the reporters were trying to get more news, they again learned that the photos had been delivered to the President and that the reporter Baraúna, was detached to take photos of the frog—men’s work, while the School Ship. Reporter Baraúna was reported to have said that he had succeeded in photographing the disc when it had appeared over the island for the fourth time. (four discos or four apparitions of just one?)

According to information obtained, a Sargent had also taken some photos, using a box—camera.  These photos had been reasonably clear.  Inhabitants of the island had. been commenting on the apparition of saucers of the ocean.

Last 16th (January of February?) , exactly at 11:55 local time, reporter Almiro Baraúna posted on the poop of the vessel heard the cry "Saucer, ho!" (Olha o disco!).  He was with his Rolloiflex ready to photograph the hoisting of a launch — the operation marking the end of the expedition off Trindade —— and started shooting pictures.  Later he said: "It took me about 30 seconds to see the object. Its glow seemed or looked like the sun rays over a car windshield.   Then I noticed that. it was detached against the background of clouds I shot the first three photos.  At this moment, flashing at high speed the disc disappeared behind the Desejado Peak.  Two seconds later, however, it reappeared flying horizontally and very low.  It stopped for about five seconds over the line of the horizon and again disappeared.  I was so nervous that I lost the following shots."

The reporters were informed that while Baraúna was taking his photos, the object could be soon by Commander Carlos Bacellar, formerly in charge of the Navy Corps in the island, by Captain Theobaldo Viegas from the Air Force and First Lieutenant Dentist, and several sailors and newspaper men.

Rio, 21 (Folhas) — The Chief of Staff of the Navy declared: "I considered the fact as alien to the activities of the Navy, because the flying disc or any related phenomenon was photographed by a civilian reporter, who happened to be aboard the ship, Officially the Command and the officers of the "Almirante Saldanha" did not acknowledge the fact and did not see supposed flying disc. They learned about fact through the civilian who was aboard and through the sailors who had se en the thing. Nevertheless the film — negatives and prints — were sent to the Navy authorities who carefully examined the material.

The Ministry of Aeronautics where there’s a department to study the phenomenon, became interested in the subject.

The "Almirante Saldanha" sailed this morning, so that the scientists aboard the ship can continue their studies and oceanographic researches in connection with the ICY.

Rio, 21 (Folhas) At the end of the evening it was learned that several officers of the Navy were realizing tests with the films taken by Baraúna.  One of the laboratories visited by the officers was the highly specialized Aerofrotogrametric Services of Cruzeiro do Sul Airlines.  All tests revealed that the photos and negatives were authentic.

It has been said that the Chief of Staff of the Navy has sent to the President a report about the incursion of discs over the Trindade Island, including the photos taken by Baraúna and three others formerly taken.

Photographer Joaquim Simões, from Niteroi who was a friend of Baraúna, declared that when they lived together he seen seen in the laboratory of his friend, the same photos of the saucers.

From "0 Estado de São Paulo", February 23rd.

Rio, 22 (By telephone) — This afternoon the following official note was distributed to the press by the Navy Minister:

"Relatively to the news spread by the press that this Ministry is being opposed to the divagation of facts about the apparition of a strange object over the Trindade Island, this Ministry states that such news (that the Ministry is opposed to divagation) are not true.  This Ministry see no reason why the news should not be released as well as the photos taken by Mr. Almiro Baraúna who was at Trindade Island invited by the Navy and who photographed the disc in presence of several men belonging to the crew of the NE Saldanha da Gama, from there the photos were obtained.  It is clear that this Ministry cannot make any statement about the object seen over Trindade, because the photos are not proof sufficient to any statement.

The School Ship Admiral Saldanha and the dreadnoughts "Babitonga" and "Bertioga" sailed this morning to Trindade

The "Saldanha da Gama" sailed this morning before any newspapermen had a chance to interview crew members about the incidents at Trindade.   The Safety Council speaker said that so far no official note from the Navy had been addressed that Department about the Trindade incident.

The newspaper "Tribuna da Imprensa" writes that yesterday the photos of the disc were sent to the United States.  The American authorities throng the Embassy in Rio has has requested copies to make comparisons.

Today the press brought the news that the Ministry of the May sent a report to the Ministry of the War, about the saucer seen over Trindade, and that the Navy denies the skipper of the School Ship Saldanha da Gama and its crew had seen the disc.

We'll, Lex, the thing has started here too.  When I mailed the photos you may have received by now, I wrote an article to São Paulos "Diário da Noite", saying that the same policy of smoke screen would follow the news, as always happen when a really good case happens.  You see that I was not mistaken.  The authorities will do their best to muffle the case.  Incidentally I have Maffei, through the Press, to get out of his hole and face the mess he has helped to create.   I’ll send you the clipping after it is published tomorrow.

Isabel’s reporter is with Mr. Nevin Kroll, who is now in USA, and that is the reason why I have not given it back.

Since I came back I have been forbidden to read or write, on account of a terrible pain in my left eye.  I have been several sets of spectacles and have now discovered by myself, that when I sleep more than four hours, the pain goes away. Then I told the doctor about this, he said it was because I was overworking and staying awake too long.  Just imagine, I have to take siestas, every day!

Well, I have bought that electrical typewriter after all.  It is an Italian Olivetti and cost 800 dollars.  How do you like that?  My best regards to all our friends.



*NOTE: Some but not all grammar, typing and spelling errors have been corrected from the original letter.

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