The Varginha UFO crash incident in Brazil is often referred to as the Brazilian version of the “Roswell incident.” What’s even more explosive is that it is claimed that civilians and military personnel had direct contact with surviving extraterrestrials, including close encounters and direct physical contact. Some eyewitnesses even claim to have seen the entire process of the UFO crash. Since the incident occurred in the 1990s when communication media were already widespread, there is a wealth of first-hand visual material from that time, as well as current eyewitnesses who were present at the scene. Therefore, the investigability of this UFO event is much higher than that of the Roswell incident.
Distant Celestial Object: The 1996 UFO Crash Incident in Varginha, Brazil
On January 13, 1996, in the small town of Varginha, located approximately 300 kilometers northeast of São Paulo in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil, a peculiar event unfolded. Early in the morning on a farm near the town, a couple, with Oralina as the wife, noticed their cattle suddenly becoming agitated in their yard. They summoned Eurico de Freitas, the husband, to investigate. Through a window, they observed a cigar-shaped object about the size of a school bus swaying in the sky, moving silently and emitting white smoke.
Around the same time, another witness, Carlos de Sousa, was driving from São Paulo to Minas Gerais to meet with friends. Along a rural farm road, he saw a cigar-shaped object slowly gliding in the sky. The object made a sudden turn and descended onto an open field not far away. Driven by curiosity, Carlos decided to approach the crash site. When he arrived, the object had already broken into pieces, and the grass within a radius of about 40 meters had been corroded and burnt.
Carlos noticed that the object was slightly larger than a school bus, and its fragments were scattered around. As he attempted to get closer, a strong, pungent odor resembling ammonia or moldy eggs permeated the area. He had to cover his nose with his clothing, and his eyes began to tear up due to the irritation. He picked up a lightweight fragment, which resembled aluminum or tin foil, and could easily crumple it in his hand. When he let go, the fragment returned to its original shape.
Simultaneously, military personnel arrived at the scene and promptly drove him away. He left the area, leaving behind the mysterious crash site on the Maiolini farm, where numerous other witnesses had observed the descent of the unidentified flying object.
Enigmatic Encounters in Varginha: The 1996 UFO Incident and Beyond
Following the UFO Crash Incident on January 13th at the Maiolini Farm, Varginha, within a week, residents in and around the small town of Varginha, Brazil, reported continuous sightings of humanoid figures wandering in the vicinity. Additionally, military vehicles were a common sight in the town, often setting up checkpoints at various intersections.
Around 3:30 PM on January 20th, three local girls from Varginha, Liliane Fatima Silva (16 years old), her sister Valkyrie Aparecida Silva (14 years old), and their friend Katia Andrade Xavier (22 years old), were returning home in the rain. They observed a strange creature crouching by a house wall. The girls described it as having enormous red eyes, approximately 5 feet tall, and about child-sized. Its head was disproportionately large, with three horn-like protrusions, and it had brownish, oily skin with a rubbery texture on its limbs. The creature emitted an ammonia-like odor. When the girls made eye contact with the entity, it shook its large head in a disoriented manner toward them, causing the girls to flee. They later described the creature’s condition as if it were sick or injured.
Liliane Silva, Valquiria Silva, and Katia Xavier, now adults, returned to the scene with James Fox to recount their experiences:
“We were walking along here, I was a bit ahead, and they were a bit behind,” Liliane said.
“As we passed by here, graffiti caught my attention. I looked, and I saw that creature. I looked into its eyes and realized it was very scared. Just as I was scared, it got scared too. I saw that it was afraid of us, so it was an exchange of fear between us.”
Mrs. Xavier described it as having “red eyes, oily skin, and I couldn’t see an open mouth.”
“It smiled, no—not happily, it was sad,” she said. “It withdrew. It had a sad expression. And it had no hair.”
Valquiria added, “It was a creature, in the corner, cowering, and it was afraid. Just as we were afraid of it. This is something we didn’t know about.”
Liliane said that when she first saw the creature, it was only eight feet away from them.
“When I said, ‘Guys, look at that!’ and then the situation reversed,” she said. “I saw those eyes, and then I ran.”
She said that at the moment of eye contact, she “felt that it was in pain.”
“It was sweating a lot—(that day) was very hot,” she said. “The impression it gave was that it was suffering from the heat, the scorching sun… the torment of its skin.”
Liliane firmly maintains, “What we saw was not human.”
“It wasn’t an animal either,” she said. “Now I truly believe it’s an existence from another planet.”
Valquiria agreed, “It’s not human, and it’s not an animal.”
“What it is now, I can’t say,” she said. “I can’t describe it.”
The story goes that about three hours after the so-called encounter, two military police officers were driving on a road at a street corner when the creature ran in front of their vehicle.
AJ Gevaerd, editor of Brazil’s UFO Magazine, told Fox News that one of the officers, Marco Chereze, “captured” the creature “with his bare hands” and took it to a local hospital.
He said, “After capturing this creature, he exuded a stench, there was a strange sensation on his body, as if there was some oily or viscous substance from the creature.”
In addition to the girls’ encounter, reports emerged that local law enforcement apprehended the unidentified creature three hours after the girls’ sighting. They transported it to a local hospital for treatment. Due to the multitude of strange events happening in Varginha at the time, the small town quickly attracted extensive media attention from across Brazil and even worldwide. The mysterious experiences of numerous witnesses, including the three girls, were soon featured on national television programs, prompting a wave of media coverage. Under public pressure, the Brazilian government and the military held an official press conference on May 8, 1996, at the Varginha ESA Army Base. During this conference, they asserted that there had been no UFO crash in the vicinity. Major Lima claimed that the girls had encountered a mentally disabled, deaf, and mute man with dwarfism, who had been mistaken for an unknown creature. He provided a photograph of the man and stated that the military’s frequent activities were part of routine exercises.
Unveiling the Enigma
In 2021, American independent filmmaker James Fox led a production team to conduct on-site investigations and filming in Varginha, Brazil. They interviewed several key eyewitnesses and individuals involved in the events that occurred more than 20 years ago. Additionally, they made contact with witnesses who had never been in the media spotlight, providing the public with previously undisclosed details about the incidents.
In addition to the mentioned events, just three hours after the girls’ encounter with the unidentified creature, two local military police officers from the ESA Army Base, Eddie Lopes and Marco Chereze, encountered and captured the creature on a street just tens of meters away from the girls’ sighting location. Marco Chereze, who had captured the creature, found it in critical condition and transported it to a hospital for treatment. During his interaction with the unidentified creature, he was exposed to a peculiar ammonia-like odor. However, over the course of two to three weeks, Marco Chereze’s health deteriorated rapidly, ultimately succumbing to an unexplained immune system failure at the age of 23.
In 2021, Marco Chereze’s sister was interviewed and mentioned that her brother had claimed to have experienced a significant event shortly before his death. On February 10, 1996, he passed away around noon in the local hospital due to severe health deterioration. The autopsy results indicated that his cause of death was related to an infection of unknown substances affecting neutrophil cells, leading to bodily failure.
In a 2002 interview, Marco Chereze’s wife disclosed that after her husband’s death, military personnel briefly withheld the autopsy report and later provided a report with missing pages. Another key witness in this incident was Eddie Lopes, the military police officer who was driving the vehicle with Marco Chereze. The investigative team managed to locate Eddie Lopes, but he declined to be interviewed and threatened with lethal force, brandishing a firearm.
The authenticity of the Varginha UFO incident has been a subject of ongoing debate, with insufficient evidence to definitively confirm its occurrence. The government’s official explanation provides an alternative narrative, suggesting the involvement of a disabled man with dwarfism, an explanation that has been accepted by some but widely doubted. On the other hand, some eyewitnesses and those directly involved maintain that the beings they encountered were not human or animal and may have originated from other planets.
While there is no conclusive evidence to establish the incident’s authenticity, it has had a profound impact on the realm of unsolved mysteries and UFO research. It has ignited curiosity about the potential existence of extraterrestrial life and inspired further research and exploration. Regardless of the veracity of the incident, it has encouraged people to think more deeply about the unknown aspects of the universe and has spurred more extensive investigations. The complexity and controversy surrounding this event make it a significant case in UFO research, reminding us to maintain an open mind, continue seeking answers, and unravel the mysteries of the cosmos. Regardless of the ultimate conclusion, the Varginha UFO incident provides an opportunity to contemplate and explore the possibilities of extraterrestrial life.
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