Operação Prato: Brazilian Air Force UFO Photographs & Details About The “Occupants” Inside Them

Image of one of the objects captured by the Brazilian Air Force During Operação Prato

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Between 1977 and 1978, the Brazilian Air Force conducted an investigation into the UFO phenomenon after citizens in the city of Colares were reporting multiple sightings, with many being at close range.

It was called “Operação Prato,” or “Operation Saucer.” Since then, the government of Brazil has actually admitted to having an Unidentified Aerial Object Investigation system called “SIOANI” which was created in 1969 to investigate the phenomenon. It’s safe to say that they were well aware of the phenomenon before Operação Prato.

In 2004 the Brazilian Air Force released official documents pertaining to Operação Prato. The documents detail what many citizens and the military witnessed at the time. The issue is many UFO researchers believe there are still classified files from the operation that are still unavailable to the public. But the Brazilian government claims that all of the documents have been released.

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Regardless of what might still be classified and in the hands of Brazilian government officials, the ‘official’ declassified information and investigations of these incidents between 1977 and 1978 are already quite startling as you’ll see below.

The Incidents

Hundreds of citizens in Colares and surrounding areas like Mosqueiro and Ananindeua, among other towns in Belém, claimed to not only have seen and had encounters with the objects, but to also have been “attacked” by “rays of light” coming from them.

Dr. Wellaide Cecim Carvalho, who at the time was the director of the Colares Health Unit, described a common mark left on people by the objects as “two parallel holes, as if needles had penetrated people’s skin.” According to the doctor’s reports, patients arrived at the health centre with common symptoms as well. Symptoms included anemia, dizziness and fever, not to mention first-degree burn marks all over their bodies. Dr Carvalho saw over 120 patients over a period of a couple of months related to these incidents.

Dr. Wellaide Cecim Carvalho

One of the most common reports by experiencers was that they believed blood was being sucked from them when they were hit with beams of light from the UFOs. As a result, the incident developed the nickname “Chupa-Chupa” from the verb chukar, meaning “to suck.”

Dr. Carvalho also claims to have observed a bright metallic object spinning over the front part of her village. She described the objects as: Conical-cylindrical shape (upper part more narrow) having an apparent size at that distance of 3 meters in width and 2 in diameter. It moved in an irregular manner (vertical position on its longitudinal axis), accentuated wavy or rocking motion, all the time making swift stops and turning at the same time. She says she observed closely, being on one occasion accompanied by other people in front of the local state hospital.

“I was ordered by the Brazilian Air Force to convince locals that the lights attacking them were mass hallucinations and that what they saw never happened…But, being true to what I see with my eyes, and not what I hear, I kept talking. Despite the risk of losing my job.

“Brazilian Physician Compelled To Lie About UFOs”, article by Carlos Mendes, February 2005.

Victims had puncture marks on their skin from what they said were light beam attacks.

Image via A. J. Gevaerd, editor of the Brazilian UFO Magazine

Hearing From The Commander of Operação Prato.” Colonel Uyrangê de Hollanda.

A Captain at the time, Urangé de Hollanda was the commander of Operação Prato. According to him, the Brazilian Air Force detected 9 forms of objects. He classified them as probes and crafts that were “shaped like flying saucers” and that “all reports went to Comar – 1 Air Force Base, then to Brasilia.”

He himself went public and described incidents witnessed by the military while investigating. For example, at a distance of 70 meters from the vessel where they were one night, the said object, in the shape of an American football had been photographed and filmed by the military. It had little windows on it and he said it was approximately 500 feet long, approximately the size of two Boeing 747 airplanes.

In August 1997, editor of the popular UFO magazine in Brazil, Ademar José Gerard, received a call from Hollanda. Hollanda wanted to schedule an interview. Below is a picture of that interview where Hollanda revealed more details about the operation.

Ademar José Gevaerd, editor of UFO magazine with Hollanda

This interview was significant, because all of the soldiers who participated in Operação Prato were now dead. At the time of this particular interview in 1997, Hollanda was the last one alive. I could not find details regarding the deaths of all of the other soldiers involved.

In the interview Hollanda revealed that the phenomenon was documented extensively. He revealed that there were more than 500 photographs and more than 16 hours of video footage (in Super-8 and Super-16 formats), and a 2,000-page pile of reports, which directly contradicted the Air Force claims that all of the information related to the operation had already been declassified.


He went on to reveal eyewitness statements which described residents waking up to beings wearing protective clothing shooting coloured beams at their heads. He spoke of several officers who reported seeing strange lights emerging from and diving back into coastal waters around the area.

A drawing by Colonel Hollanda claiming that this is the silhouette he saw inside one of the crafts.

Unfortunately, just two months after this interview, Colonel Hollanda was found hanging in his bedroom by the rope from his bathrobe. Of course, many speculated that he was murdered for revealing classified information, but according to Gerard, this wasn’t his first suicide attempt.

Below is an image of one of the objects captured by the Brazilian Air Force During Operação Prato.

Image of one of the objects captured by the Brazilian Air Force During Operação Prato

Below is a description of such objects from the declassified files from Operação Prato.

The image can also be seen below, although it’s cut off and it’s in black and white. What you see is an article written by journalist Carlos Mendes. He was selected to cover the case by the popular newspaper at the time, O Estado do Pará. He estimates that he interviewed over 80 witnesses.

“I never forgot the panic stamped on the faces of people who said they had been attacked by lights that descended from the skies and drew blood from them.”

Carlos Mendes in an interview with BBC News Journalist Andre Bernardo in 2017.

The incident was so real that families set off fireworks. Others who were more religious started to pray, while many left their homes to try and escape the phenomenon. Others took up arms and were shooting at the objects. It got to a point where the mayor had to ask the Armed forces for help.

“That was when Colonel Camilo Ferraz de Barros, head of the 2nd Section of Comar 1, summoned Captain Hollanda, then commander of Para-Sar, an elite squadron of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) that carried out search and rescue operations, to head the mission.”

BBC News Journalist Andre Bernardo in 2017.

According to Mendes,

“After the facts made headlines in the newspapers, the Air Force tried to control the press. They said that we reporters were acting with sensationalism and that the published news only served to cause panic.”

Carlos Mendes in an interview with BBC News Journalist Andre Bernardo in 2017.

“Collective hysteria” was the term used to describe the incident ‘officially.’ This statement by the Air Force and government corroborates with the story given by Dr. Carvalho earlier in the article.

What’s interesting about the UFO image above is that it’s not the only one that’s made its way into the public domain. Many remarkably similar images have been taken around the globe by multiple military Air Force personnel during different decades.

For example, the picture below was taken by two Royal Canadian Air Force pilots on August 27th, 1956, in McCleod, Alberta, Canada. The pilots were flying in a formation of four F86 Sabre jet aircraft. One of the pilots described the phenomenon as a “bright light which was sharply defined as disk-shaped,” that looked like “a shiny silver dollar sitting horizontal.”

Journal of Scientific Exploration, 1998.

Landings of objects were also reported from the incident in Brasil. More files from Operação Prato.

Some other images of objects captured by the Brazilian Air Force.

Brazilian Air Force Pilots also reported witnessing occupants inside some of the crafts, as mentioned earlier by Colonel Hollanda.

What did “they” want?

The short answer is we don’t know. The good news is nobody was severely or permanently hurt. These types of incidents with unknown objects have a long history of doing such things to people. It almost seems that in some cases, we are being studied by scientists and explorers.

Based on my research, the majority of encounters that people claim to have, and there may be millions, seem to be benevolent in nature. The idea that these objects represent some sort of “threat” does not, in my opinion, represent a complete and holistic view of the phenomenon, but that’s a discussion for another article.

Humans are still categorizing these events as demonic, angelic, and all sorts of things. The truth is we could be way off, and perhaps we’re not ready to find out right now what is really going on. If I was a being from somewhere else and was perceived as something I wasn’t by the masses, I wouldn’t really want interact openly with them.

Is this a new phenomenon?

Objects of this nature have been reported for centuries. For example, an event that took place in Nuremberg, Germany in 1561 documented a number of “cylindrical objects” appearing in the sky. Then, from the objects emerged small round objects, and disk shaped objects that were red, black orange and blue. The story was covered in the printing press, which you can see below.

There are literally hundreds of examples of well documented cases. Another comes in the form of a ninth century Latin passage which is still inspiring the works of multiple UFO researchers around the globe. ‘Liber contra insulam vulgi opinionem‘ is the name of the document. In this document, the Archbishop of Lyons complained about a belief among the French peasantry regarding a “certain region called Magonia from whence come ships in the clouds.”  The Archbishop even said three men and a woman who had claimed to have “fallen from these same ships” had been stoned to death, an event he personally had witnessed. 

There are even several documented cases that seem to be documented thousands of years ago via art, and paintings on rock for example.

On May 19, 1986, 21 unidentified flying objects, some of them up to 100 meters in diameter, were sighted by multiple witnesses, both civilian and military, in four states: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Goiás.

“The UFOs were also detected by radars from the Brazilian Air Force’s Integrated Center for Air Defense and Air Traffic Control. Five Brazilian Air Force fighter jets were activated by the Air Defense Operations Center to intercept the alleged invaders.”

Government of Brazil

On May 23, 1986, at 4:30 pm, the then Minister of Aeronautics, Brigadier Octávio Júlio Moreira Lima, called a press conference to inform the press that five FAB fighter jets chased 21 UFOs.

Only 23 years later, on September 25, 2009, a report on the case signed by the interim Air Force Command (COMDA) José Pessoa Cavalcanti de Albuquerque and dated June 2, 1986 was released.

“This Command is of the opinion that the phenomena are solid and reflect, in a certain way, intelligence, due to the ability to follow and maintain a distance from observers, as well as to fly in formation, not necessarily manned”, said the dossier.

What about today? It’s hard to trust governments

In 1979, Spanish Air Force General Carlos Castro Cavero stated the following,

“The nations of the world are currently working together in the investigation of the UFO phenomenon. There is an international exchange of data. Maybe when this group pf nations acquires more precise and definite information, it will be possible to release the news to the world.”

Who would have known that 44 years after this statement was made, dozens of governments around the world have admitted that the UFO phenomenon is something real and not visionary or fictitious” (General Nathan Twining, the former Chief of Staff for the United States Air Force, 1949).

One of those governments is the Brazilian government. Over the years, thousands of pages of previously classified documents have been released detailing military encounters with UFOs. These objects are tracked on radar while simultaneously seen by the military pilots who are scrambled to take a closer look. There have been thousands of documented encounters of these objects performing maneuvers that defy our understanding of aerodynamics, and by our standards are impossible to perform.

For example, over the course of two weeks in November 2004 the USS Princeton, a guided-missile cruiser operating advanced naval radar, repeatedly detected unidentified aircraft operating in and around the Nimitz carrier battle group, which it was guarding off the coast of San Diego. In some cases, according to incident reports and interviews with military personnel, these vehicles descended from altitudes higher than 60,000 feet at supersonic speeds, only to suddenly stop and hover as low as 50 feet above the ocean.

Eric W. Davis, a renowned astrophysicist who worked as a subcontractor and then a consultant for the Pentagon UFO program since 2007, recently stated that in some cases the examination of the material retrieved from some UFOs has, according to the New York times, “failed to determine their source” which has led Davis to conclude that “We couldn’t make it ourselves.”

The New York times went on to explain that “Davis, who now works for Aerospace Corp, a defense contractor, said he gave a classified briefing to a Defense Department Agency as recently as March about retrievals from “off-world vehicles not made on this Earth.”

All of this recent mainstream exposure, and the idea that these organizations are now all of a sudden taking UFOs seriously and studying it, can be quite confusing. Reason being, there’s undeniable proof that these objects have been observed, filmed, studied, and tracked on radar for decades. There are many examples of these encounters, here’s one in particular from Iran where multiple fighter pilots saw and tracked a “UFO” that seemed to possess precognitive abilities.

Branches within the government now claiming that they are only beginning to study and take interest in the phenomenon is neither accurate or genuine. It’s completely false. It sets up the opportunity for these departments to control the narrative around the phenomenon, and provide the explanation.

Information warfare is at an all time high. Big tech organizations have been active in censoring certain political views, information, science, and evidence that calls into question government measures against COVID, and more. 

Organizations like NASA, as well as government, suddenly claiming that only now will they begin to investigate the UFO phenomenon puts them in a prime position to explain the phenomenon, to relay “new” discoveries to the citizenry.

They’ve already begun doing this.

For example, according to the Office of the Director of National intelligence and the UAP Task Force,

“Our analysis of the data supports the construct that if and when individual UAP incidents are resolved they will fall into the one of five potential explanatory categories: airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, USG or U.S. industry development programs, foreign adversary systems, and a catchall “other” bin.”

In 2021, the European Defense Industry & Space claimed it will look to crack down on disinformation occurring online with regards to the UFO and ET phenomenon.

Censorship of views, evidence and opinion will not be unique to politics, COVID, and climate change, but will invade many other topics including what we’re seeing happen with the UFO phenomenon. Perhaps I’m wrong, but they have already suggested this will happen in Europe regarding UFOs.

It’s no secret that every year, more and more people lose trust in their government, especially when it comes to how they relay information. Those in the UFO community, both activists and researchers, should be cautious when it comes to this type of ‘mainstream disclosure’ that’s taking place. 

Anybody who has studied ufology and sifted through the evidence and the lore knows that it is an extremely vast topic that leaves no aspect of humanity untouched. What we are most likely to get is a simple, extremely watered down and sanitized version of disclosure – something that will most likely not be an accurate version of truth. 

In a way, modern day mainstream UFO disclosure could be used to maintain secrecy around the subject, by painting a false perception of the phenomenon to keep certain realities about it under wraps. We saw this with Project Bluebook, a decades long effort by the U.S. government to supposedly study the phenomenon, when it was actually used to debunk the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

These are all important things to think about as UFOs become more mainstream. How many other incidents like this one in Brazil have occurred around the world? And for how long have they been occurring?

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