|The Varginha, Brazil UFO Case|
|Date : July - 22 - 2009|
|Author : Lowell Bradford|
The concept of life on planets other than Earth has been visited over and over again by scholars, theologians, ufologists, and common people. It is a topic that is gingerly touched by government institutions, as little evidence can be produced for official investigation. Nevertheless, the possibility of life in the universe apart from ourselves is one that both fascinates the human mind and sparks inquiry on all levels. Every so often in the world, a large-scale event, real or not, brings that question to the forefront of the public mind. One such event took place in Varginha, Brazil, in 1996.
On January 20th of that year, three young women - Liliane and Valquíria Fátima Silva, and their friend Kátia Andrade Xavier - decided to take a shortcut home through a vacant parking lot, where they allegedly encountered a strange creature. The creature was reported to have large red eyes, oily brown skin, V-shaped feet, and three rounded bulges on its head. It was later compared to the South American mythical creature called the Chupacabra. Accompanying these physical attributes was a strong, unpleasant smell. When the creature focused on the women, albeit in a dazed, wobbly manner, they ran off. They returned later with their curious mother to the site, where the mother reported an offensive ammonia-like odor.
A few days later, another creature was allegedly found on the side of a road, and picked up by three military vehicles. Through gossip and other events, such as the gathering of military troops around a base and a strange commotion at the hospital, the opinion was quickly formed in Varginha that several aliens had been taken into custody by the Brazilian military. In the following year, more eyewitnesses approached the media with reports of “cigar-shaped” spacecraft and additional creatures being found in areas such as the local Varginha Zoo, and were covered mainly by TV reports. The Wall Street Journal even featured an article on the phenomenon. The incident sparked a massive tourism industry for the city, which now proudly features UFO merchandise in local stores. In 2001, a water tower shaped like a UFO (duly called the Nave Espacial de Varginha, which is Portugese for “Varginha Spacecraft”) was built in Varginha.
Since then, extensive investigations have been made into the case, but thus far, none are officially deemed conclusive. UFO reports are traditionally extremely difficult to authenticate or investigate due to the lack of physical evidence (such as hair samples, DNA, or images from surveillance cameras or security camera systems). Educational programs such as PBS’s NOVA have taken it upon themselves to investigate further with documentaries such as “Origins” and “Kidnapped by UFOs?”.
For more information on UFOs or the Varginha case, please feel free to peruse the links below: