The Night of the UFOs Incidente is certainly the UFO case with the highest number of witnesses in the history of World UFOlogy. Thousands of people, in different Brazilian states, with the most diverse ages, religions, civilians, military and pilots, observed the manifestation of dozens of intelligent objects, whose total number is still uncertain.
Table of Contents:
- Intense Phenomenon
- Impressive Maneuvers
- Air Encounters
- Fighters in Action
- Flight in Formation
- Unreachable Speeds
- Intelligent Behavior
- Areas of interest
- Conclusions and Omissions of the FAB
By Jackson Luiz Camargo – firstname.lastname@example.org
In World Ufology there are numerous intriguing reports that stand out from the rest, either because of the astonishing characteristics of the phenomenon’s manifestation, or because of the number of direct witnesses, or even because of the impact generated by the ufological fact. The called Night of UFOs stands out in these aspects and continues to be the ufological fact with the largest number of direct witnesses in the history of World Ufology.
Thousands of people, including military personnel, commercial pilots, authorities and the population in several cities, observed a true air show of dozens of flying objects, with varied shapes and sizes, that performed maneuvers at speeds still impossible today for terrestrial technology, in what the flight controller Sergeant Sérgio Mota da Silva (one of the main witnesses in the case) defined it as the Flying Saucers Festival. Today, 3 decades later, there are many unpublished details of this event and much more still to be discovered.
Part of what happened on the night of May 19 to 20, 1986 was only possible to reconstruct thanks to the audio recorded on the occasion and officially released by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). There are almost eight hours of recordings of the communications that took place in the Control Tower of the Airport of São José dos Campos (SP), in the Air Defense And four of the five fighter jets officially sent to intercept the mysterious objects. Additional data was obtained from recent interviews with witnesses, civilian and military, which added interesting and unprecedented details to the incident.
It all started around 3 pm, when a witness in the neighborhood of Laranjeiras, in the city of Rio de Janeiro (RJ), observed an object, the size of Maracanãzinho Stadium (110 meters), passing over the city. The object moved away, towards the mountainous region of the state, and shortly afterwards, two F-5 fighter jets, from the Brazilian Air Force, passed over the same region.
Around 5 pm, a resident of the rural area of the municipality of Santa Isabel (SP), noticed the presence of a luminous object in the sky. The UFO remained static in the sky for approximately an hour. Around 6 pm, this object headed towards the municipality of Parateí (SP), northwest of the city of São José dos Campos (SP).
It was precisely at this moment, at 6:00 pm, that the flight controller, Sergeant Sérgio Mota da Silva, assumed his post. As he went up to the control tower, he observed for the first time a light northwest of the airport in the city of São José dos Campos (SP). Experienced in his role, the local flight controller, Sergeant Sérgio Mota da Silva, found the fact strange and, following aeronautical protocols, contacted the Guarulhos Airport Control Tower questioning the presence of aircraft in that region. In response, the operator informed that there were no aircraft in the area informed by Sergeant Mota ( 1, 86) .
At the same time, the APP-SP (São Paulo Approach Control) was already capturing another object flying slowly, 37 km east of São José dos Campos. The UFO seen by Sergeant Mota was not captured by the Air Force radars, which captured another object that was not visible at that moment. Given the strangeness of the fact, an intense telephone dialogue began between different Brazilian aeronautical departments and sectors. On the phone, Mota alternated conversations between the Brasília ACC, São Paulo Control and Air Defense, informing what was being observed or asking for radar confirmation of the objects seen (86) .
Around 7 pm, several flight controllers in towers and control centers were already receiving, by radio, reports from commercial pilots on flights in different parts of Brazil. At that time, there were no cell phones or the Internet, and communication between these departments took place via landlines. The communications between the Centers were so intense that the telephones at São Paulo Air Base were congested. The controllers forwarded information to the Air Defense, which raised the level of attention to the facts (1) .
In addition to flight controllers, other military units went on alert. At the School of Aeronautics Specialists (EEAR), in Guaratinguetá (SP), approximately 2,000 military personnel present there witnessed the passage of more than a dozen luminous objects, at the same moment that a blackout occurred, which left the base and the city at dark, for a few minutes (49) . A similar fact occurred in Jundiaí (SP), and different parts of the state of São Paulo, where there was also a blackout during the UFO flight (1) .
The Brasilia Area Control Center (ACC-BS) received calls from several control towers within its area of jurisdiction. The Pirassununga (SP) Control Tower asked CINDACTA if the radars were picking up any unusual movement in the sky over the city, where the Air Force Academy (AFA) is located, an important pilot training center. The Control Tower of Ribeirão Preto (SP), in turn, questioned whether Brasília was capturing a kind of very large flash in the sky, in the region of the city. In both cases, the radars did not identify anything unusual ( 86, 87, 89, 90, 91, 101) .
The Brazilian Army also went on alert due to UFO sightings over Brazil. In São José dos Campos (SP), operated ENGESA, a company in the military, oil and automobile sector, linked to the Army. That night, the military ordered the entire factory to be shut down, as it was still unknown what was flying over the country and there was a fear of some kind of espionage by foreign nations (1) .
During one of the dialogues with the Air Defense, an interesting fact occurred. Sergeant Mota discovered the passage of an object in a low flight over a Petrobras refinery, a few kilometers from the Control Tower. In the recording, made at the time, it is possible to see how this maneuver impressed the military:
“Damn… There’s a low pass, man! It’s beautiful!… And flying in wing, my brother!… Boy, I’m creepy, my brother!… Just two white dots, far apart, but flying in wing and low!… They’re entering the runway’s alignment, beyond the city.”
The audio recording does not reveal further details about this fact, but in an interview with this author, Mota told more details about this sighting, revealing that it was possibly not two or three objects, but a single triangular object, dark, with lights at its ends:
“The object passed at the height of the tower’s windows, but farther away. It really looked like something solid. He passed the side of the tower. Three lights. When I saw it, I thought there were three [objects]. When he passed by the side, he had the impression that it was one. And he had one on the front… Like the lights on an airplane. It was his lights. And the impression I had is that it was a solid object because I didn’t see the refinery lights beyond it. It was a dark space.”
At this time, around 8:30 pm, there were approximately six or seven objects over the region of São José dos Campos. Some being captured by radar, others observed visually.
Residents of several other cities in different states were also experiencing sightings. In Rio de Janeiro, people in different neighborhoods saw several lights flying in formation and at high speed over the sea. Among the witnesses was Brigadier Sócrates Monteiro, at the time commander of the 4th Regional Air Command, the department that controlled the airspace of the Southeast Region (102). Other sightings occurred in the city of Niterói, Cabo Frio and Resende, also in the state of Rio de Janeiro (1).
Around 9 pm, 120 Navy personnel, stationed at CADEST, in the Gama region (DF), observed 3 colored lights, which at a given moment merged, starting to fly at high speed, with zig-zag movements, during several minutes. Some soldiers were so impressed with the apparition that they had to be medicated (1) .
In the state of São Paulo, thousands of people observed luminous objects flying over different cities. According to reports, they were multicolored, performing closed maneuvers at very high speed and in complete silence. Caçapava, Santa Isabel, Ubatuba, Santos, Taubaté, Pindamonhangaba, Jacareí, Artur Nogueira, Rio Claro, Campinas, Mogi das Cruzes, Paraibuna, Santa Branca, São José do Rio Preto and the capital itself were flown over several times (1).
Another coincident point in the reports is the presence of a larger object (approximately 1,500 meters long), equally luminous, silent and multicolored, which appeared over the sea, close to Santos (SP). At one point, the object passed over Santos Bay, crossing over the city, heading north. This object deviated east of the city of Cubatão (SP) and headed towards Taubaté (SP). Already close to this city, the object was observed by Colonel Ozires Silva and by Commander Alcir, aboard the Xingu aircraft, which they were crewing at the time. Shortly afterwards, the object was picked up by the Brazilian Air Force’s radars and at that moment there were several other smaller objects surrounding what the military themselves, in their communications, labeled as a mothership. The object was also observed by Sergeant Mota from the airport control tower.( 88, 89) :
|São José TWR:||I thought it was a star, but… It’s just sitting there.|
|ACC-BS:||It’s even evolving there. I got a lot of stuff around. [Unintelligible] I got one now, I just saw it here, oh.|
|São José TWR:||There are… There are… There are little dots around it. Now, in the binoculars, I can see the dots.|
|ACC-BS:||You can see the mothership with a bunch of them.|
|São José TWR:||Yeah, dots around. It’s still: one in the center and some points around it.|
|ACC-BS:||That’s Mothership .|
This same object was sighted, albeit from a distance, by Colonel Ozires Silva and Commander Alcir Pereira. Ozires was returning from Brasília to São José dos Campos, aboard a Xingu plane, prefix PT-MBZ, when he was alerted by air traffic control of the presence of such objects over the region of São José dos Campos. They began to observe the sky closely, hoping to observe some of the objects present there. A few minutes later, they decided to leave the route and head to an area located approximately 27 km northeast of São José airport, where the radar picked up a UFO. Upon arriving in the region, Ozires Silva and Commander Alcir did not observe anything unusual and decided to resume the landing procedure.
While maneuvering the aircraft they saw a luminous UFO, between São Paulo and Mogi das Cruzes, which quickly disappeared. It was after 9 pm and the Xingu pilots were exchanging information with the São José Control Tower, when another UFO appeared, this time to the left of the aircraft, on the axis of the airway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The UFO was also not picked up on radars and soon disappeared.
Shortly afterwards, Colonel Ozires called the Tower again to inform that he had observed another luminous UFO, at a distance of approximately 9 km and 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) altitude, describing it as something very visible, large and very red. This object presented a behavior that caught the attention of the pilots, as it initially moved away, fading and soon disappeared. It then reappeared in another location, this time on the outskirts of the city of São Paulo. Immediately, the pilots maneuvered the plane, trying to approach the UFO, and as he followed this light, another one appeared to his right. This was identical or possibly the same observed in the vicinity of Mogi das Cruzes (SP), shortly before. And just like in that case, this object quickly disappeared.
The other UFO, close to São Paulo and which the pilots were chasing, quickly changed its initial position, crossing in front of the aircraft and then disappearing. This fact left the controller Sérgio Mota in a state of great excitement, as it was a situation that represented risks to air safety, and following the protocols, he immediately warned the ACC-BS. Shortly afterwards, while Sergio Mota was still talking on the phone with the ACC, Coronel Ozires called the radio again, reporting that he had sighted a new object:
|PT-MBZ (Col. Ozires Silva):||São José, Mike Bravo Zulu!|
|São José Control Tower:||Keep going Mike Bravo Zulu!|
|En -MBZ (Col. Ozires Silva):||Ah yes… We are now, on the right, in the direction of São Paulo. In the previous direction, it is a very strong light, São José. Much larger than previously seen. They are apparently at the beginning of São Paulo, between São Paulo and Mogi das Cruzes.|
|São José Control Tower||Positive! Observed light much stronger than the previous one, now between Mogi and São Paulo, on your right.|
|PT-MBZ (Col. Ozires Silva):||Exactly! It’s still very visible and it’s not a star!|
|São José Control Tower||Roger. It remains very visible and is not a star. Keep listening.|
Immediately, the pilots maneuvered the aircraft to approach the mysterious light. As that area was outside the jurisdiction of the São José dos Campos Control Tower, Sérgio Mota asked them to select the APP-SP frequency, so that his flight could be controlled there.
Then, upon returning to contact with the ACC-BS, the operator informed the controller that the aeronautical accident policy would be adopted, so that the procedures should focus on care in relation to flight safety in the face of the mysterious phenomena that were occurring. And complying with the action protocols for these cases, the Minister of Aeronautics at the time, Brigadier Otávio Júlio Moreira Lima, was informed of the facts.
At 21:15, another object was observed from the Tower of São José dos Campos Airport. This time, it was something luminous, yellowish in color, seen from the southeast. Almost at the same time, the PT-MBZ pilots saw a luminous UFO over the North region of Taubaté (SP), which soon disappeared. Over the phone, the ACC-BS informed controller Sérgio that these two objects did not appear on their radars. While the PT-MBZ was preparing for landing again, Sergio Mota was talking to the ACC-BS, describing the observed light:
|São José Control Tower:||Brasilia and Control.|
|São José Control Tower:||Ok, on radial 120 (Southeast direction), it’s back and it’s brighter.|
|São José Control Tower:||Gee, I can’t be seeing things.|
|ACC-BS:||You are not seeing things, my son. Here’s the thing: this is normal, they will appear.|
|São José Control Tower:||Good thing there’s a witness flying in here. The guy saw it too.|
|São José Control Tower:||Control! Control Brasilia! What I ‘m seeing now is an orange light. I cannot specify the distance. It’s 3º above the horizon, on my 120 radial (southeast direction), approximately.|
|São José Control Tower:||No. It’s not just a bright spot, sharp edges. Mike Bravo Zulu, São José.|
|PT-MBZ (Col. Ozires Silva):||In listening.|
|São José Control Tower:||Are you seeing anything at your position approximately 10 o’clock, 3° above the horizon?|
|PT-MBZ (Col. Ozires Silva):||Positive. We are watching and behind us too.|
|São José Control Tower:||Roger. You are watching too.|
|PT-MBZ (Col. Ozires Silva):||On the right is also our sighting. We even have another one on the ground, in displacement.|
|São José Control Tower:||Roger. Confirming?|
|PT-MBZ (Col. Ozires Silva):||We have a point on the ground in displacement. It’s… Luminous dot, very huge, but it’s not possible to identify. It’s like a star. It’s very big.|
|São José Control Tower:||Roger. Understood, on the move. Positive, Mike Bravo Zulu.|
|PT-MBZ (Col. Ozires Silva):||Easy, we’re on the go around. We are checking closer.|
|São José Control Tower:||Roger. Go Around proceeds to close verification.|
|PT-MBZ (Col. Ozires Silva):||Affirmative. Information: there is a blinking dot over Petrobras, at a low height, very clear and moving. Here on the left side… Yes… To the south approximately… Here at Vila Industrial… There are also three stops.|
Due to the intensity and importance of the sightings and the obvious risk to air traffic, a recording of the radar screen of São Roque was requested, which began precisely at 9:21 pm that night. Shortly afterwards, the ACC-BS informed that it recorded a new unidentified object, this time 24 km to the south and another to the east of São José, which were soon observed by the controller. The target that remained south of the city, suddenly accelerated, reaching a speed of 2,407 Km/h, indicated on the radar. At the same moment, the COpM activated the Air Defense system, leaving the officers on alert for any eventuality.
At 9:30 pm, the PT-MBZ finally landed at São José dos Campos Airport, at the same time that the ACC-Brasília recorded three more unidentified targets passing over the region and then disappearing. The same Center recorded the presence of two other unidentified objects east of the Santa Cruz Air Base, in Rio de Janeiro.
Other aircraft in flight that night encountered unidentified objects. A Bandeirante plane, from the TAM company and flying the Londrina – São Paulo route called the Brasília Center asking if there was any essential traffic, that is, coming towards the plane and already relatively close. As there was no unknown target on the radar in the indicated region, the operator informed that there was nothing strange. The pilot insisted that there was an object approaching the plane, on an apparent collision course, coming in front of him, on the right. The operator increased the radar definition on the aircraft’s location and still failed to obtain tracking of any unidentified signal at the reported position. The pilot, already in panic, reported that the mysterious object was passing quickly in front of him, having around it several lights that rotated very fast and that soon disappeared at high speed. Shortly afterwards, another aircraft, this time from TransBrasil, which was flying the Guarulhos-Brasília route, reported that it was sighting the same type of phenomenon, over the region of Araxá (MG). Such lights were passing in front of the plane and heading towards Brasília (DF)(101). Another aircraft, (VASP Airlines) bound for the same city, was also followed by luminous objects for a few hours. Over the Paraíba Valley, a private pilot from Cia Brasileira de Tratores, aboard a Learjet, saw these bright objects flying without apparent propulsion, changing trajectory at right angles and at high speed (1) .
Until this moment, the Air Force had no precise idea of what was happening. There was also the fear of action by foreign countries in our airspace, therefore there was concern with national sovereignty. However, the strangeness of the cases was already perceived and it was known that such a manifestation could not have originated in terrestrial technology. Given the evident interest of these intelligences in our technological poles, monitoring systems and air traffic, it was necessary to obtain more information about such objects.
At 10:10 pm, the radars detected some unidentified targets in the surroundings of the Anápolis Air Force Base, in Goiás. Until then, the sighted objects were concentrated in strategic areas in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and overflights of stretches of the states of Minas Gerais and Paraná. Now, with the appearance of targets also in the State of Goiás and in the Federal District, around Brasília, the event became even more worrying. The local operator, Sergeant Márcio, continued to follow these signals over the region and due to their permanence on the radar, he calling Captain Franciscangelis, from the Air Defense, informing the existence of plots, approximately 15 kilometers away, to the West of the Air Base and clearly in movement. Shortly after, a second signal appeared, in the same region, but in the opposite direction.
Faced with the strangeness of the fact, the Captain passed the phone to Major Cerqueira, who updated himself on the facts and immediately ordered the activation of fighters on alert at the Anápolis Air Bases (BAAN) and Santa Cruz (BASC). The recorded audio of this conversation shows some tension and use bad language uttered by the Major in the face of the situation. Among several orders he asked to check the armament situation of the planes on alert. At the end of the dialogue, the flight controller warned that a new target had appeared, flying alongside the first one, with the same speed and direction, in an apparent flight in formation. Major Cerqueira also ordered the deployment of a KC-130 aircraft, for possible refueling of planes flying at night. Thus, around 10:15 pm, the fighters at the Santa Cruz Air Base went from being on “alert” to being “ready”, indicating that they could take off as soon as that order was given.
Around 10:30 pm there was an apparent intensification of the phenomenon. This fact was documented in the audio recorded at the Tower of São José dos Campos, when the CINDACTA I operator informed Sergeant Mota that plots were raining on the Center’s radar screens. The objects were now concentrated on the region of São José dos Campos and some on the state of Goiás and Brasília (DF). Thus, the first fighter took off from Santa Cruz Air Base at 10:34 pm and was soon directed by the flight controller, Sergeant Roarelli, to São José dos Campos and needed a few minutes to reach its search area. When the Jambock 17 (code name of the fighter piloted by Lieutenant Kleber Marinho) arrived in the region, the ACC-BS radars indicated the presence of several targets. One of them, to the Southeast of the city, was flying towards the West, with a speed of 2,742 Km/h. Very quickly, the UFO reduced to just 61 km/h and suddenly accelerated, reaching 3,278 km/h, disappearing towards the southwest, leaving radar coverage. This fact was witnessed by the flight controller, José Manuel Fernandes, who at the time worked at APP-SP. Following the directions of Sergeant Roarelli, Lieutenant Kleber flew over the city, making circular flights over the search area, passing over the Embraer factory and doing visual searches, in an attempt to observe the strange objects.
Around 10:43 pm, Lieutenant Kleber saw a luminous object, in front of him, slightly to the left. At the same moment, the controller reported that the radars indicated a target ahead of the plane, 20º to the left, at the same altitude and 46 km away, which confirmed the pilot’s sighting. Although ground equipment indicated other objects in the area, only this one was observed at that time. Faced with the real possibility of approaching these lights, the controller asked the Lieutenant to check the fighter’s armaments.
At the same moment, two other fighter jets were triggered to intercept the UFOs. At Anápolis Air Base (BAAN), in Goiás, the Mirage IIIEBR, prefix FAB-4913, with the code name Jaguar-116 (JG-116) and piloted by Captain Armindo Viriato, was deployed. At the Santa Cruz Air Base (BASC), the F-5, prefix FAB-4849, code name Jambock-07 (JB-07), was piloted by Captain Marcio Jordão.
Already on mission and flying over São José dos Campos, Lieutenant Kleber, on board the JB-17, spotted another luminous object and as he began his aerial pursuit, flight control ordered the fighter to switch to interception mode, activating armament. The pilot informed the control that the UFO was evolving from one side to the other and was not managing to approach the target, which was increasing its altitude very quickly, already passing level 210 (6,400 meters of altitude). According to ACC-BS radar data, this object easily reached a speed of 3,291 km/h and quickly left the radar coverage area. Seconds later, the same object reappeared, now with a speed of just 3.7 km/h. This incredible type of maneuver was widely observed throughout that night. The UFOs hovered statically in the sky, and instantly accelerated, performing maneuvers impossible for any land-based aircraft, both then and now.
Meanwhile, Captain Jordão’s Jambock 07 continued its flight, heading north from São José dos Campos, in interception mode, with its navigation lights off and weapons ready for use. At 10:55 pm, the fighter’s flight controller, Sergeant Nelson, reported that there was an unidentified signal on his radar, directly in front of the plane.
At that same moment, the other F-5, the Jambock-17, also picked up, on its onboard radar, an unidentified target directly in front of the fighter, which at that moment was flying at Mach 0.95 (1,163Km/h). The target was between 18 km and 22 km away when it disappeared from the radar. After losing the UFO signal on the radar, Lieutenant Kleber headed towards the coast of São Paulo, still observing the luminous object already over the sea, over the region of Santos and Guarujá. The pilot headed out to sea, tracking the object and when he was approximately 209 km away from the Santa Cruz Air Base, some air navigation instruments and the plane’s guidance began to show failures or interference. The ADF instrument ( Automatic direction Finder ) is an automatic direction indicator, which receives electromagnetic emissions from a generating source. In the case of the F-5 fighters, the transmitter was installed at the Santa Cruz Air Base and would indicate the position of the base, allowing the pilot to safely return to the airfield at the end of the mission. While in pursuit of the UFO, over the sea, the instrument indicated that the Base was 10º to 20º to the right of the correct position. The other instrument that failed was the DME ( Distance Measuring Equipment ), which measures the distance from the aircraft’s departure or destination base. When the fighter was 209 km from the base, the DME indicated that the base was approximately 64 km away. Feeling that the measurements of the instruments were not correct, Lieutenant Kleber questioned his flight controller, who gave him the correct data, guiding the pilot (33) .
While Lieutenant Kleber’s JB-17 was involved in pursuits over the sea, Captain Jordão’s JB-07 continued its search over the region of São José dos Campos. At 10:58 pm he observed a flashing red light at an estimated distance of 46 km, directly ahead of the fighter, which was heading West. Less than a minute later, his flight controller, Sergeant Nelson, reported that there was numerous traffic at six o’clock from his aircraft. In aeronautical and military parlance, this means that the targets were flying behind the plane, following it. He immediately performed a 180º maneuver to try to visualize such objects, but he saw nothing.
The audio recordings do not provide further details about this specific fact, but according to later information reported by the press and confirmed by the military, the UFOs performed a formation flight with the F-5. There were 13 objects, six of which were positioned on one side and seven on the other, flying in formation, with a clear demonstration of intelligence. At the end of the 180º maneuver, the controller reported that numerous targets (most likely the same ones already detected) were now 31 km ahead of the fighter, which was heading East. And pilot, nothing saw…
At exactly 11:00 pm, Lieutenant Kleber continued in pursuit of the UFO, still over the sea. The object, which was in front of him, accelerated, curving to the left, rising quickly and again the on-board instruments showed failures, showing wrong data of distance and position of the aircraft. The DME instrument indicated that Santa Cruz Air Base was approximately 35 km away, to the left of the fighter, when in fact it was 257 km away, in the opposite direction. Even with incorrect data on distance and position, and aeare of the risks, the pilot maintained his direction and speed in an attempt to approach the object. Both were already at 27,000 feet (approximately 8.2 km) and still climbing. At that moment, the military still saw the UFO, which alternated in red, white and green colors, in a well-defined way, but there was no record of it on the fighter’s onboard radar. The pursuit continued until reaching 32,000 feet (something around 9.75 km in altitude).
Meanwhile, the other F-5, belonging to Captain Jordão, remained over the southern region of São José dos Campos. At 11:02 pm, he saw a luminous object and maneuvered the plane to approach this light that quickly went out. Shortly afterwards, the flight controller reported the presence of several plots in the southwest region of São José dos Campos. One of them was detected to the left of the fighter, approximately 55 km away, in an apparent engagement flight, as seconds later, the target was behind and slightly to the left, just 16 km away from the JB-07. In the following minutes, the flight controller again confirmed to the pilot that several unidentified objects were nearby, heading in different directions and still within the São José dos Campos area.
At 11:08 pm, Captain Jordão saw another reddish light, to his left, which quickly disappeared. Flight control reported that the object appeared on the radar and 11 km away from the fighter, which at that moment was already 27 km from the city.
While the F-5 fighter jets (Jambock-07 and Jambock-17) were searching the region of São José dos Campos and the coast of São Paulo, the Mirage IIIEBR, piloted by Captain Viriato, was hunting UFOs over the skies of Goiás. The onboard radar tracking a signal directly ahead of the plane. Immediately the flight controller, sergeant Fernando, ordered the pilot to fly towards that target, in interception mode, that is, with an active weapons system. However, to the military’s frustration, the pursuit lasted less than 20 seconds, as the object quickly disappeared.
At 11:06 pm, flight control informed him that there was again a target on the radar, directly in front of the fighter. Following the instructions, the pilot approached the UFO and the distance quickly reduced. But despite the clear night, he didn’t see anything strange. By radio, the control instructed him to make a 360º maneuver, that is, to make a circle in the sky, which would allow him to verify the presence of the mysterious signal present on the radar screens.
At 11:09 pm, the military maneuvered the fighter, heading west and it was at this moment that an unidentified signal appeared on its onboard radar. The target was 22 km away, to the southeast. Quickly he chased the UFO and soon obtained a Judith (Judith is declared by the fighter pilot when he frames a target and is ready to fire at it). Captain Viriato accelerated the plane reaching Mach 1.3 (1,592 Km/h), decreasing the distance in relation to the object. At 11:12 pm, this distance was only 9 km. From the moment it appeared on the radar screen, at a distance of 22 km and the point of closest approach, 3 and a half minutes passed. And it was precisely at that moment that the object accelerated sharply, increasing its distance very quickly. In just 30 seconds, the object increased from 9 km to 39 km away, even escaping JG-116’s radar range.
In 1993, the program Globo Repórter, from Globo TV, produced two special producions about UFOs and one of the incidents covered was precisely the Night of UFOs. One of those interviewed was Captain Viriato, who described the details of that pursuit to reporter Domingos Meirelles, reporting that the object reached something around Mach 15, far above the capacity of any aircraft available today.
At this point, after 38 minutes of air interceptions, the FAB had obtained little information. In addition to the radar recordings, there were visual testimonies of the pilots involved, which at that time was still little. Thus, at 11:10 pm, the fourth fighter was activated, at Anápolis Air Force Base.
While Jambock-17, belonging to Lieutenant Kleber Marinho, was heading towards the base and already very close to the coast of São Paulo, Jambock-07, flying by Captain Jordão, was carrying out searches in the region of São José dos Campos. At this moment, there were intermittent signals on the radar screens, but nothing was visually noticed by the pilot.
At 11:13 pm, Captain Jordão’s plane was located 194 km, west of Santa Cruz Air Base, over the region of Taubaté (SP). At that moment, the pilot was informed that the APP-SP had registered six unidentified targets less than 16 km from his position, flying over the North and Northwest region of São José dos Campos. Interestingly, this area had already been flown over by the two F-5 fighters. This shows that there was intelligence behind the manifestations observed that night, as the interaction between these objects and the aircraft involved in these pursuits was evident.
At the same time, in Goiás, Captain Viriato obtained a new contact on his fighter’s radar. The object was northwest of Anápolis Air Base, at an estimated distance of 31 km. Again he maneuvered the fighter and accelerated towards the target and soon got a new Judite. When the distance to the target dropped to 22 km, there was again a sharp acceleration. What is striking in this case is that during this pursuit the pilot reported that the object was performing zig-zag movements, quickly moving away from his aircraft, and then disappearing. The faster an aircraft moves through the air, the more range it will need to make a turn. The UFOs in that night made sharp turns at very high speed, in a maneuver that would shatter any terrestrial aircraft.
The three fighters involved in the aerial pursuits were unable to effectively identify the objects that were being picked up on the radars. On the other hand, these missions demonstrated that it was an intelligent manifestation, supported by very high technology, with characteristics that did not correspond to espionage or even military incursions carried out by any other nation on Earth. The phenomenon had been actively manifesting itself since 5 pm and did not show any cooling off. As the fuel of the first fighters was already running out, it would be necessary to activate other planes for the pursuit. Thus, at 11:17 pm, Captain Rodolfo took off, at 11:17 pm, to hunt for UFOs in an area northwest of Anápolis (GO).
At 11:23 pm, the flight controller, Sergeant Enéas, guided the military, informing the position of an unidentified target, approximately 9 km ahead of the fighter. The UFO maneuvered, turning to the right, but in no time the pilot could see the object. Shortly afterwards, the radars indicated the presence of another target, in the same region, 9 km away. As a result, the controller instructed him to switch to hunter mode, that is, with his weapons system active and navigation lights off.
He accelerated the plane, to intercept the UFO, coming within half a mile (approximately 800 meters) of the target. Even so close, Captain Rodolfo did not see any device or luminosity that could explain the signal recorded on the radars. The controller then instructed the pilot to make a 360º maneuver, in an attempt to approach and identify whatever it was. During this maneuver, Sergeant Enéas informed the pilot that the object passed very close to the fighter. Once again, intelligent behavior was perceived behind these demonstrations, as when the pilot performed a maneuver to the left or right, the object remained in front of the aircraft throughout the maneuver, responding intelligently to the military’s actions. In some moments, the object approached so much that the ground radars even confused the signals of the plane and the target that was being monitored.
At one point, the UFO approached the fighter again, passing by it and placing itself directly at the tail of the aircraft. All of this witnessed by the astonished flight controller, who was describing the radar recordings to the pilot. This chase took both the UFO and the JG-98 closer to Anápolis Air Force Base, reaching 18 kilometers away from the runway. At this time, another Mirage IIIEBR, Jaguar 107 (JG-107), from the Air Base was activated and would soon take off for new interception attempts.
Captain Viriato, on the other hand, was having difficulties approaching the target that appeared on his onboard radar. Every time he tried to approach, the object accelerated sharply, performing a zig-zag flight at extremely high speed.
Minutes later, Captain Viriato detected a new plot on his onboard radar and quickly got a new judith, with the target 18 km away, accelerating and turning to the right. The pilot increased the engine power of his fighter, in pursuit, and thus the distance gradually dropped to 5 km. Then, he started visual searches, in an attempt to identify his target, but he saw nothing, although the radar continued to indicate that the mysterious device performed zig-zag movements in front of its plane. The distance between them decreased to 1,800 meters and even so he continued without any kind of visual contact with the object. 31 Km from Anápolis Air Base, he lost the judite and surprised commented with the controller, Sergeant Ivan, that everything was crazy. The controller, disconcerted, just agreed with the pilot and then guided him to return to the Air Base, where JG-116 landed at 11:46 pm.
With the return of Captain Viriato, the Mirage IIIEBR, prefix FAB-4917, piloted by Captain Júlio Cezar Rozemberg took off. After takeoff, the Jaguar-107 was directed to the fighter site by flight controller Sergeant Ivan.
At the same time, already on a mission aboard the Jaguar-98, Captain Rodolfo da Silva e Sousa was again directed to intercept an unidentified target, captured on the ground radars. And again the mysterious object evolved very close to the plane, and the pilot saw nothing. After just over a minute, the object disappeared from the radar screens, with only the fighter’s signal remaining.
While these persecutions were taking place in Goiás, UFOs were registered in Taubaté (SP), and also in Angra dos Reis, Restinga da Marambaia and Grumari, in the State of Rio de Janeiro.
Since that fantastic night, the causes or reasons why unknown intelligences flew over various regions of South America, mainly Brazil, have been questioned. Even today, 35 years later, we are still far from discovering these reasons. However, some characteristics of the phenomenon provide subsidies for some conclusions. The entire ufological demonstration that night was concentrated either in technology and defense poles, or in delimited areas, apparently unattractive, where several of these objects were concentrated. São José dos Campos (SP) concentrated several technological centers, such as the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Technological Center for Aeronautics, and large industries of a strategic nature, such as Embraer, Engesa, Avibrás and an important Petrobras refinery . Other cities that were flown over are the headquarters of important military schools or strategic installations for National Defense. The clear interest on the part of these intelligences in our technology and our air traffic system (innovative at the time) would be something natural.
The same cannot be said in relation to the other areas of interest of these objects, which were registered by the Brazilian Air Force, both visually and by means of radars. In these areas, named by the military as areas of concentration of plots, several of these objects gathered, which remained within a defined region. When one of them left that area, due to the approach of a plane, for example, they quickly returned to the same position. There was one of these areas on the border of the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, exactly at the crossing point of the Rio-São Paulo air bridge. Another area was in an area between 18 and 36 km west of Anápolis (GO). There were two other areas, one to the Northwest and the other to the Southwest of Anápolis, with a smaller presence of objects. It is not yet known what aroused the interest of these intelligences in these specific areas, but curiously, one of the fighters, JB-07, belonging to Captain Jordão, was sent to the concentration area, on the border of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Upon arriving at the location, the fighter’s on-board radar showed anomalies the entire time it remained in place, suggesting strong electromagnetic variation in the area.
Captain Jordão’s mission ended shortly afterwards, with the return to Santa Cruz Air Base, due to lack of fuel. Information not officially confirmed by the Brazilian Air Force, but confirmed unofficially by some military personnel, refers precisely to the return of the pilot, who would have landed at the base, and stopped on the runway due to lack of fuel. According to this information, the plane had to be towed to the hangars after the mission and shortly after, one of the military personnel in charge of maintaining the aircraft was amazed at the fact that it was extremely magnetized, to the point that its work tools were stuck to the fuselage. of the aircraft, due to the high magnetism.
While the two F-5 fighter pilots observed luminous objects in the coastal region of the State of São Paulo, the Mirage pilots did not have any visual contact. One of them, piloted by Captain Viriato, obtained several records on its on-board radar, but both Captain Rodolfo and Captain Rosemberg did not see anything, nor did they have any records on their on-board radar. Interestingly, two of the three Mirage fighters involved in the UFO chases crashed. The fighter used by Captain Rodolfo crashed in Anápolis (GO), on June 26, 1986, in an accident without victims. The fighter piloted by Captain Rozemberg had an accident in Campo Grande (MS), in April 1989, and there is no information about its causes or if there were any victims. The fighter piloted by Captain Viriato is on display at the Aerospace Museum, at Afonsos Air Force Base , in Rio de Janeiro.
UFO flight ended at dawn on May 20th. At this time, the investigation of the facts was already underway. The São José dos Campos flight controller, Sergeant Sérgio Mota da Silva, ended his shift at 6:00 am and stayed in the department until 11:00 am writing his personal report that was never released by the Brazilian Air Force. Likewise, the facts were recorded in the Occurrence Record Book (LRO), a book for recording everything abnormal that occurs in the operations of the Control Tower of an airport. The information contained in this book was also never made available by the military. We can assume that the information present there is sensitive to National Security because it is too revealing, that is, describing facts that the military cannot explain and that for some reason reveals a certain insecurity.
The personal reports of Colonel Ozires Silva and Commander Alcir Pereira were also not made publicly available, as well as the records of Controle São Paulo (APP-SP) and Centro Brasília (ACC-BS) and of the control towers inside the protest area. phenomenon. And also the records and possible reports of other civilian pilots, also witnesses of these manifestations are little known until today, and were never commented by the military.
Given the importance and grandeur of the case, the time elapsed and the absence of basic information and important documents about the fact, an effort by the ufological community is necessary in order to seek the release of these documents, as well as the search for fundamental testimonies. between military and airmen, who can substantially contribute to the investigation of this fantastic case, which is still far from over.
- CIPEX Files
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- Newspaper reports, collected by the FAB, about the events of May 19, 1986 (3). PDF file, containing 5 pages (8.85 MB).
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- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 1 – Side A – Audio from São José Control Tower
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 1 – Side B – Audio from São José Control Tower
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 2 – Side A – Audio from São José Control Tower
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 2 – Side B – Audio from São José Control Tower
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 3 – Side A – Audio from São José Control Tower
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 3 – Side B – Audio from São José Control Tower
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 4 – Side A – Audio with communications between Jaguar 98 e a Air Defense
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 4 – Side B – Audio with communications between Jaguar 98 e a Air Defense
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 5 – Side A – Audio with communications between Jambock 07 e a Air Defense
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 5 – Side B – Audio with communications between Jambock 07 e a Air Defense
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 6 – Side A – Audio with communications between Jaguar-116 e a Air Defense
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 6 – Side B – Audio with communications between Jaguar-116 e a Air Defense
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 7 – Side A – phone recordings
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 8 – Side A – Audio with communications between Jambock- 17 e a Air Defense
- Audios from Brazilian Air Force in Night of the UFOs: Tape 8 – Side B – Audio with communications between Jambock- 17 e a Air Defense
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