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The Trindade Island photographic case of 1958:

The Trindade UFO was photographed and seen by a significant number qualified observers. The case is, shortly said, a one to two minutes daylight disk observation by at least 47 visual witness on January 16, 1958, at 12:20 local time, at the Trindade Island, off the coast of Brazil. The particularity of the event is that the object has been photographed. Right: a close up of one of Almiro Barauna's photos.


Table of contents:

Click! The event.
Click! Photographs and images.
Click! Brief discussion.
Click! Quotes.
Click! Presentation of the case at the Pocantico conference.
Click! Interview of the photographer by Joao Martins.
Click! Interview of the photographer by the IUR Magazine.
Click! Documentation from "The Encyclopedia of UFOs."
Click! The full account by the NICAP.
Click! The photo analysis by IGY.
Click! Articles in the daily press.
Click! References.

The events:

Trindade is a small deserted rocky island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, between the Brazilian coast and the African continent, about 750 miles off the coast of Bahia (20° 30' S. and 29° 20’ W). During World War II, it was used as a military base for the US and Brazilian Navies engaging German U-boats. It was abandoned after the end of the war, deserted and forgotten until 1957. In October 1957, a task force from the Brazilian Navy arrived there, under the command of Captain-of-Corvette Carlos Alberto Bacellar. The Brazilian Ministry of the Navy had decided to build an oceanographic post and a meteorological station on the island for research connected with the International Geophysical Year (IGY).

On 16 January, 1958 a ship belonging to the hydrographic and navigation service of the Brazilian Navy, the Almirante Saldanha, who made this trop several times since 1957, who had reached Trindade Island from Rio de Janeiro with a crew of three hundred, under the command of Jose Saldanha da Gama, was about to start its return trip.

A civilian group headed by Amilcar Vieira Filho, a lawyer and bank executive, and, among others, including a retired captain of the Brazilian Air Force, Jose Teobaldo Viegas was aboard the ship this time, officially invited to collaborate in the scientific studies which were under way at the island. One man was Almiro Barauna, a professional photographer, specialized in underwater photography, and former newspaperman working as a "free-lancer."

At 12:15 P.M., when the ship was preparing to depart, a strange object was sighted simultaneously by an overall number of 48 observers gathered on deck. The UFO came toward the island at high speed, hovered briefly over a peak, disappeared behind it for a short time, and appeared again to move away toward the sea. Mr. Barauna was taking pictures of the ship's maneuvers at that moment, he was on the deck with his f/2.8 lens Rolleiflex Model E camera. As he was prepared to take photos of the final trip of the small boat used between ship and shore, he had set the camera at f/8 and 1/125 second. The sea was not calm, and this had upset Barauna who had forgotten to take his seasickness pills.

His attention was called as Filho, Viegas and Lt. Ribeiro shouted to Barauna, gesticulating and pointing to the object in the overcast sky.

It took Barauna about 30 seconds to get going; he then proceeded to take six photographs, at intervals of 14 seconds, as determined by later tests, four of these photographs captured the object in motion. Frames 4 and 5 showed only the sea and rocky coast. The first two photographs were taken as the object approached the island. It then disappeared behind the central mountain (Desejado Peak) for a few seconds; as it reappeared a few seconds later, now moving in the opposite direction, it appeared closer and bigger. It then moved at high speed toward the sea, but Barauna missed the object in his next two frames, owing to the speed of the object and the confusion prevailing on deck at the time. He did obtain a final photo when the object was already far out to sea and when it, apparently, had stopped momentarily in mid-air. After about ten seconds it moved away and disappeared in the distance.

According to Captain Viegas, the object was like a flattened sphere encircled at the equator by a large ring or platform. In Barauna’s words, " made no noise, although with the shouting of the people on the deck and the noise of the sea, I cannot be certain. It had a metallic look, of an ash color, and has like a condensation of a green vapor around the perimeter, particularly in the advancing edge. Its motion was undulating, like the flight of a bat."

Captain Bacellar, the commanding officer of the ship, ordered that the film be developed immediately in a converted washroom on board. In order to authenticate the film he also insisted that Barauna strip to his swimming trunks before going into the darkroom, to prevent his taking an already exposed film in with him. Given these precautions and nearly fifty witnesses, it is not surprising that when the Brazilian Navy requested analysis of the film it was pronounced genuine and released to the press by the President of Brazil, Mr Joscelino Kubitschek.

The photos were taken on a bright, overcast day, and the settings on the camera led to slightly overexposed negatives. It was, however, a wise decision of Barauna’s not to attempt to modify the settings; if he had done so he might have lost his opportunity.

As determined by the photographs, the object was tilted slightly, the upper part directed toward the motion. It appears quite sharp in photos 2 and 3, corresponding to the closest approach and minimum speed, while the contours appear slightly blurred in photos 1 and 4, corresponding to the maximum distance. In view of the distance from camera to object, a shutter speed of 1/125 second is sufficient to freeze an object moving at speeds of several hundred miles per hour. (The Brazilian Navy estimated the speed of the object to be 600 to 700 mph.) The object shown in the four photos resembles the planet Saturn, and it is not luminous. The photos were proclaimed authentic by John T. Hopf, APRO photographic analyst, as well as by the Cruzeiro do Sul Aerophotogrammetric Service, to which they were referred by the Brazilian navy.

The incident and the photos caused furor in Brazil, and sides were quickly taken. An inquiry to the Ministry of the Navy made by a member of the Parliament (Sergio Magalhaes) prompted an investigation. The resulting dossier was never made public in its totality, but some details became known to the press, which had also discovered additional information. It appears that this incident was not an isolated one but that at least seven other sightings had occurred over or near the island in the closing months of 1957 and in January, 1958. It was stated that some of these events had been witnessed and confirmed by Commander Bacellar. A photograph, taken with a simple box camera by a sergeant of the garrison prior to Jan. 16, was part of the dossier. Although it was never released, it was seen by Barauna when he was being interrogated at the Ministry of the Navy, and by Dr. Olavo Fontes. The Barauna photographs were released to the press in person, by then President of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek.

The matter came to the attention, of course, of the U.S. Naval Attache in Rio. Apparently aware of the attitude of the U.S. military toward UFOs, he filed a report on March 11, 1958, calculated to preserve the status quo. It is characterized by its inaccuracies and by the obvious bias of the writer, epitomized by the closing paragraph: "a flying saucer sighting would be unlikely at the very barren island of Trindade, as everyone knows Martians are extremely comfort loving creatures."

Nonetheless, this same report transcribes the official position of the Brazilian government, referring to a carefully worded communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Navy, denying any attempt to suppress the release of the photos that were taken by Mr. Almiro Barauna in the presence of navy officers on board the Almirante Saldanha, and remarking that the Navy could not venture an opinion on the nature of the object that was observed over Trindade Island. [Emphasis has been added to indicate that the Brazilian Navy accepted for a fact a) that an unidentified object had been detected over Trindade Island, and b) that the Barauna photos were indeed taken at that location and showed the object in question, whatever its true nature might be.

Photographs and images:

An enhanced close-up of the UFO. Close up
Another enhanced close-up of the UFO. Close up
One of Almiro Barauna's photos. Photograph
Another one of Almiro Barauna's photos. Photograph
More photographs reproduced in the Pocantico presentation.

Short discussion:

A plane through fog:

Skeptics have offered several pathetic explanations for the craft. Initially, Harvard University astronomy professor Donald H. Menzel said the UFO was simply a plane flying through fog.

Personal attacks:

At the time of the event, Barauna had had a previous involvement with the subject of UFOs. In 1953, he did refute the authenticity of the alleged UFO photographs taken by Ed Keffel at a place known as Barra da Tijuca. In so doing he had prepared photographs which demonstrated how such a hoax could be perpetrated. The well-known die hard but unsuccessful debunker, scientist Dr. Menzel, has used Barauna’s debunking article to cast dispersions on Barauna, presenting him as a professional hoaxer. Barauna, he said, had first photographed a model UFO in his home and later double-exposed the same roll of film with pictures of the open sky. However, a 1978 examination by an independent laboratory using digital photo analysis ruled out such tampering. Not only did this rhetoric convert Barauna's status from debunker to hoaxer, but of course it fails to address the 40 some visual witness. It is precisely the credibility of the 47 crew members of the Brazilian naval vessel Almirante Saldanha that makes the Trindade photographs so important.

Planet Saturn:

The visual witness have described the objet, using the terms "Saturn-shaped". The photographs do showed a hazy flattened globe surrounded by a central ring, and this "Saturn shaped" description was intended to signify that there was a ring around the object, reminding of the a ring around planet Saturn. The skeptics have then decided that actually the witness and the photograph do really show planet Saturn and its ring. Needless to say, this is a claim of total insane nature.

Back to reality:

There are enough UFO cases who have resisted all the attacks of the self-appointed debunkers. Interestingly enough, this kind of sightings are rarely mentioned in modern literature and in the mass media, and are not mentioned anymore by debunkers once the debunking has failed.

Although the Trindade Island photographs are some of the most famous in the world among serious ufologists, they are still not considered to provide any kind of proof about the UFO phenomenon by the skeptics. Despite their potential probatory value for the reality of the UFO phenomenon, despite the richness of information of the case, despite the lack of strings, tampering with the negative, despite the context of some 40 visual witness, they are being forgotten.

Given the number and the quality of witnesses, given the results of photo analysis, both military and civilian, and given the poor result of the debunkers in offering anything better than absolute nonsense to explain the incident, it seems totally unlikely that these photograph show anything else than a real craft of non terrestrial origin.


Francis Ridge:

"The Trindade Island case provides us with some of the best photos ever taken, of what many have referred to as, a "flying saucer". And there were many witnesses. The drawing is simply my interpretation of the computer-enhanced version. I'll let the the UFO EVIDENCE speak for the case itself."

NICAP UFO Evidence, Section VIII:

"Weighing all the facts, we conclude that the pictures appear to be authentic. They definitely are one of the potentially most significant series of UFO photographs on record, so that clarification of the incident and additional analysis is strongly desirable. In the interests of scientific investigation, we urge that secrecy about the case be lifted by the United States and Brazil and that a frank report of the facts be issued to the public. In particular, the full analysis reports by the Brazilian laboratories should be made available to scientists. Information currently withheld by the U.S Air Force about its investigation of the case through the American Embassy in Rio de Janeiro also should be made available to the public."

Interview f Barauna by reporter Joao Martins:

Barauna was interviewed by reporter Joao Martins and his statements were published in the Brazilian magazine "0 Cruzeiro" in the March 8, 1958 issue. Here is a translation of that interview:

Mr. Barauna, what were the reasons for your presence aboard the NE Almirante Saldanha?

The Navy had invited several teams specialized in submarine hunting to visit the Island of Trindade. I am a member of the Icarai Club for Submarine Hunting, and our group was invited for the last trip. So, on January 8, when the ship left Rio, I was aboard together with the following members of my group: Amilar Yieira Filho, captain of our team, a government employee (he has a job at the CACEX); Jose Teobaldo Viegas, instructor at the Aero Club of Niteroi and Air Force captain (retired); Mauro Andrade, from the London Bank; and Aloisio, municipal employee at the Federal District. We were going to try to beat some records on submarine hunting. Personally, I was going to take underwater photographs for the Navy and, also, to write some articles about the Island and the activities of the scientists working for the IGY.

Were any other civilians aboard, besides your group?

Yes. There was Professor Fernando, a geologist, with two assistants, and also a photographer, and a reporter from the newspaper Jornal do Brasil. The three scientists left the ship and went to the island.

Please tell me what was the date of the sighting? What happened?

It was on January 16, at 12:15 P.M. The ship was preparing to leave the island, to come back to Rio. I was on the deck observing the operations to take aboard the boat used in the trips between the ship and the island (the island has no harbor). The sea was agitated. The weather was cloudy, clear, with no shadows. I had my Rolleiflex 2.8, Model E, which was kept inside an aluminum box for protection against the corrosive effects of water and salt. I had left my Leica with a telephoto lens in my cabin a few moments before. The deck was full of sailors and officers. Suddenly, Mr. Amilar Vieira and Captain Viegas called me, pointing to a certain spot in the sky and yelling about a bright object which was approaching the island. At this same moment, when I was still trying to see what it was, Lieutenant Homero, the ship's dentist, came from the bow toward us, running, pointing out to the sky and also yelling about an object he was sighting. He was so disturbed and excited that he almost fell down after colliding with a cable. Then I was finally able to locate the object, by the flash (of light) it emitted. It was already close to the island. It glittered at certain moments, perhaps changing its own light - I don't know. It was coming over the sea, moving toward the point called the Galo Crest. I had lost thirty seconds looking for the object, but the camera was already in my hands, ready, when I sighted it clearly silhouetted against the clouds. I shot two photos before it disappeared behind the peak Desejado. My camera was set at a speed of 125 [125th of a second], with the aperture at f/8, and this was the cause of an overexposure error, as I discovered later.

The object remained out of sight for a few seconds - behind the peak - reappearing bigger in size and flying in the opposite direction, but lower and closer than before, and moving at a higher speed. I shot the third photo. The fourth and fifth ones were lost, not only because of the speed the saucer was moving, but also for another reason: In the confusion produced as a result of the sighting, I was being pulled and pushed by other persons also trying to spot the object and, as a consequence, photographed the sea and the island only - not the object. It was moving out to sea again, in the direction from which it had come, and it appeared to stop in midair for a brief time. At that moment I shot my last photo (the last on the film). After about ten seconds, the object continued to increase its distance from the ship, gradually diminishing in size and finally disappearing into the horizon.

Did you hear anything unusual during the sighting? Was the object emitting any sound?

I am not sure, to be honest, because of the noise made by the sea waves against the island's rocks, as well as for the yelling aboard the ship at the time. However, I think that I heard nothing besides those sounds.

What was the color of the object?

It showed a dark gray color, appearing to be surrounded - mostly in the area ahead of it - by a kind of condensation of a greenish, phosphorescent vapor (or mist).

Did the object appear to be metallic?

Yes. It was obviously a solid object.

How was it flying? Any special characteristics?

Yes. It showed an undulatory movement as it flew across the sky, like the flight of a bat. And when it came back, it changed speed abruptly, with no transition, in a jump.

Do you know how many persons aboard the Almirante Saldanha sighted the object?

The object was sighted by almost all the people on the deck at that time, including Lieutenant Homero, Captain Viegas, and Mr. Amilar Vieira.

What happened after the sighting?

The ship's commander and several officers from the garrison wanted to see what I had got in the photos. As I was very curious too, I decided to develop the exposed film at once, aboard the ship. The processing was done under the supervision of several officers, including Commander Carlos A. Bacellar. But only the negatives were seen aboard. The reason: There was no photographic paper for the copies on the ship at that time. The negatives, however, were seen and examined by the whole crew.

Did you keep the negatives in your hands?


Were you under any pressure to give up those negatives to Naval authorities?

No. Commander Saldanha da Gama (the ship's CO) and the other Navy officers aboard were very kind. They never tried to get the negatives from me.

What happened when the ship came back to Rio?

The ship stopped first at Vitoria, in the State of Espirito Santo. As it was going to stay there for two days and later travel to Rio, we were permitted - the civilians from the submarine-hunting group only - to leave the ship there and to take a bus for the rest of the trip. Later, two days after the arrival of the Almirante Saldanha at Rio, Commander Bacellar (ex-commander of the Navy Post at Trindade) appeared at my residence. He wanted to see the enlargements made from the negatives and asked permission to take them to the Naval authorities. Two days later, they were returned with congratulations. I was also requested to appear at the Navy Ministry as soon as possible. They wanted to ask me certain questions and to see the negatives again.

And what happened there?

I was interviewed by several high-staff officers, who asked me all kinds of questions. I went there twice. At the first meeting, they requested the negatives for examination. They were sent to a civilian organization, the Cruzeiro do Sul Aerophoto grammetric Service, remaining there for four days. I was told by the Navy officers that the analyses proved they were genuine -excluding definitely the possibility of a trick or falsification. On the second visit, they performed several time-tests. While I worked with my Rolleiflex, taking shots at the same time intervals I had used to photograph the object, three Navy officers with chronometers registered the times. They came to the conclusion - based on these tests as well as on studies concerning the ship's position and examinations of charts of the island - that the object was flying at a speed between 900 and 1,000 km./hour [about 600 mph]. The object's size was also estimated on the basis of studies related with the island's details also appearing on the photos, diagrams drawn on charts, graphs, et cetera. The object was about 120 feet in diameter and about 24 feet high.

Do you know anything about the official report on the case?

I saw a dossier which was consulted many times during the interrogation. However, I didn't read what was written there. I was also informed that my photos, mixed with other pictures, had been shown to witnesses of the sighting - to be identified. The result was positive.

Do you know anything about any photos by other people aboard the ship?

No. Besides myself, there were at least four other persons with cameras at the time of the sighting. But apparently they were not able to spot the object in time, or were paralyzed by their emotions.

Were you warned against something by the Navy's authorities? Was there some recommendation?

Yes. They requested me to keep the matter secret for some time. I was permitted to publish the case only after authorization from the Navy. The permission was granted, verbally, on the night of February 15, by Commander Bacellar. They made only one restriction, which I cannot mention for the reason that I have given my word.

Do you know if your sighting was the first over the Island of Trindade?

I was informed of four other sightings over the island during those thirty days preceding the incident of January 16. I was also informed of another thing: At one of those sightings, the object was photographed by a Navy sergeant. His photo obviously was not released and probably never will be - the reasons are evident. Besides those four sightings, there was also the RADAR case. A target flying at supersonic speed was tracked by the radar of the Almirante Saldanha on January 15.

Did you receive any money from the Navy for your work at the Island of Trindade?

No. I was there as a guest.

Did you receive any money from the Navy for your photographic work, or for the enlargements you made for them?

No. I only received the photographic paper to be used for enlargements.

How many enlargements have you given them.


One last question: What kind of impression did you get from observing the flying saucer?

I am absolutely sure it was a controlled object - either directly or by remote control - but very well operated, in any case. The general impression of people aboard the ship was the same: It had come to make a close observation of the ship.

Interview of Barauna by the "INTERNATIONAL UFO REPORTER", 1983:

It must be remembered that this interview with Mr. Barauna was held 25 years after the event, and that due allowance must be made for the frailty of human memory. Nonetheless, no major contradictions to the facts stated in Dr. Smith’s article were found. It was Barauna’s recollection that he had used 1/200 sec. exposure at f/6, as against the earlier statement of 1/125 sec. at f/8. It was his recollection also that the Navy had calculated that the object at its closest was 14 km distant and that the object appeared the same size as the full moon (1/2 deg). This seems a surprising distance, yet simple calculation shows that at that distance the object would appear to travel 48 degrees across the sky in a minute and would have an actual size of about 350 feet. Neither of these are unreasonable figures.

What was the public’s reaction?

Opinion was divided; three newspapers attacked me, six supported me. My enemies took advantage of the situation! But it didn’t come out in the newspapers for 30 days.

What happened during those 30 days?

The Navy was testing the photographs. I went three times to the Navy’s secret service. The Navy also sent the pictures to Kodak to do chemical tests.

Do you have the lab reports?

The Navy kept those classified.

Did anyone ever come up with seemingly solid evidence against you?

There were just proofless accusations.

Was there any attempt by the Navy or the government to hush it all up?

They did not try to cover it up. They did not become "Watergatey" [A new word in Portuguese]. I had total support from the Navy.

Did the Navy think in terms of a space ship or a man-made device?

There was no attempt at interpreting what it was... they just gave a physical description of it in the report.

(by Sprinkle) After all these years, how do you feel about your historic event?

I feel peaceful as I always have felt. I’ve always been fully confident about the sighting.

When you tell this story to your grandchildren as time goes by, what will most clearly stand out in your mind?

The way the Navy and the crew backed me up.

What was the weather like?

There was cirrus in the sky.

Did the object ever pass in front of anything?

It passed in front of clouds but not in front of the mountain because it was higher than the mountain. But at one time it did pass behind the mountain and then returned.

How high above the water was it?

Three or four hundred feet above sea level.

Notes by IUR:

Toward the close of this informal interview, three things came up which I feel are significant. Just to clear the record, I asked if the object had been detected by ship’s radar. He replied that it hadn’t because all the electrical power aboard ship was out at the time. He was sure of the reality of the power outage because just before the object appeared a launch was being hauled up from the water by electric pulley, and it stopped midway just as the UFO appeared! A remarkable coincidence?

I asked casually how it was that, with so many men on deck at the time, no one else snapped a picture. The reply was unexpected. Yes, there was a newspaper photographer on board but be became so excited that he wet his pants; no picture was taken!

One final thing: the captain demanded that the films be developed immediately, so a dark room was improvised, a sergeant holding the curtains shut to keep out stray light during the 20 minute development.

Navy reaction:

Source: Ronald Story's, "The Encyclopedia of UFOs", pages 366-369:

Immediately following the publication of the photographs, the Brazilian Navy refused to make any official statement confirming or denying the incident. However, proofs from the original negatives were sent to the other armed forces and to Brazilian President Kubitschek. According to the press, the narration so impressed Mr. Kubitschek that he became convinced of the veracity of the happening.

On February 24, three days after the photos were first published in the press, the Ministry of the Navy finally made the following official statement: "With reference to the reports appearing in the press that the Navy is opposed to divulge the facts concerning the appearance of a strange object over Trindade Island, this Cabinet declares that such information has no basis. This Ministry has no motive to impede the release of photographs of the referred-to object, taken by Mr. Almiro Barauna, who was at Trindade Island at the invitation of the Navy, and in the presence of a large number of the crew of Almirante Saldanha from whose deck the photographs were taken. Clearly, this Ministry will not be able to make any pronouncement concerning the object seen, because the photographs do not constitute sufficient proof for such purpose."

On the morning after the photos of the flying saucer were published in the press (February 22), the Almirante Saldanha departed Rio to continue its mission in connection with the IGY. Two days later, however, the ship docked at Santos (February 24) for voyage repairs; this was the first chance that newspapermen had an opportunity to interview officers and men aboard. The U.S. Assistant Naval Attache' was in Santos at this time, in connection with the visit of U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Westwind, and had an opportunity to visit aboard. The commanding officer, Capitao-de-Mar-e-Guerra (Captain) Jose Santos Saldanha da Gama, had not seen the object and was noncommittal. The executive officer also had not seen it but, arriving shortly thereafter, had formed the opinion that those on deck had seen it. The captain had reported that his secretary, a lieutenant commander, had seen it, but this officer, when personally questioned, avoided discussing the matter. Later, it was learned that the photographer was accompanied to the dark room by an officer who waited outside the door while Barauna developed the negatives alone. When the Westwind's commanding officer paid a visit to the Almirante Saldanha, Captain Saldanha da Gama freely discussed the flying saucer incident and showed the original proofs to the callers, but again did not commit himself.

Federal Deputy Sergio Magalhaes sent a note to the Ministry of the Navy on February 27, protesting the Navy's failure to secure sworn statements from witnesses. "For the first time in flying saucer history, the phenomenon was attended by large numbers of persons belonging to a military force, which gives these photographs an official stamp. Threats to national security require greater official attention and action," said the deputy. In the middle of all the publicity, other sighting reports came to light, including one by a naval officer who saw a UFO a month before the sighting from the Almirante Saldanha, off the coast of Espirito Santo. The commanding officer and crew of the Ata Tridente had seen a UFO several days before the Saldanha episode, but had kept the information secret.

The full account by the NICAP:

Source Item 39. Trindade Isle, Brazil from the UFO EVIDENCE, Section VIII, page 90, and "Trindade Island Photo Case Directory" from the NICAP Home Page.

NICAP has carefully studied prints (but not the negatives) of the four successful exposures of a Saturn-shaped UFO, the verbal accounts and relevant facts. The UFO was sighted about noon January 16, 1958, from the deck of the Brazilian IGY ship "Almirante Saldanha" by a retired Brazilian Air Force officer, Capt. Jose Teobaldo Viegas, and Amilar Vieira Filho, chief of a group of submarine explorers on board. They alerted Almiro Barauna, an expert submarine photographer, who managed to take four successful pictures. Many other officers and men, attracted by the commotion, soon witnessed the UFO, including Capt.-Lt. Homero Ribeiro, ship's dentist. Capt. Viegas later stated: "The First view was that of a disc shining with a phosphorescent glow, which--even in daylight -- appeared to be brighter than the moon. The object was about the apparent size of the full moon. As it followed its path across the sky, changing to a tilted position, its real shape was clearly outlined against the sky: that of a flattened sphere encircled, at the equator, by a large ring or platform."

In his 1963 book ("The World of Flying Saucers"), Dr. Donald H. Menzel labels the Trindade photographs a hoax. His main reason appears to be that Mr. Barauna is a skilled photographer capable of faking a picture, and in fact, Dr. Menzel says, once did produce a fake "flying saucer" to illustrate an article. Further, Dr. Menzel notes, several of the witnesses, including Barauna were members of the same submarine explorers group on board ship (implying complicity in a hoax). However, other witnesses were not members of the explorer's group and there is no evidence of fakery in the case.

On February 25, 1958 (four days after the pictures were first publicized by the Brazilian press) United Press reported from Rio de Janeiro that the Brazilian Navy Ministry vouched for the Trindade photographs. The report went on: "Navy Minister Adm. Antonio Alves Camara said after meeting with President Juscelino Kubitschek in the summer Presidential Palace at Petropolis, that he also vouched personally for the authenticity of the pictures." This would be a curious statement to make to newsmen if the Navy had any suspicion of a hoax.

The pictures and negatives were analyzed by both the Navy Photo Reconnaissance Laboratory and the Cruzeiro do Sul Aerophotogrammetric Service, both agreeing the pictures were authentic. The latter's written conclusion stated: "It was established that no photographic tricks are involved. The negatives are normal."

Correspondence between U.S. UFO groups and leading Brazilian investigators drew out many facts about the ease, including background information about other similar sightings at Trindade Isle over a period of time, all of which tends to substantiate the January 16 sighting and photographs. No suspicion of hoax was uncovered by J. Escobar Faria, Sao Paulo attorney (NICAP Adviser), Dr. Olavo Fontes, M.D., in Rio de Janeiro (APRO Spec ial Representative), or other Brazilian correspondents in a position to ascertain the facts. (See APRO Bulletins, January, March, and May 1960 for detailed series of articles about the Trindade photographs by Dr. Fontes).

Weighing all the facts, we conclude that the pictures appear to be authentic. They definitely are one of the potentially most significant series of UFO photographs on record, so that clarification of the incident and additional analysis is strongly desirable. In the interests of scientific investigation, we urge that secrecy about the case be lifted by the United States and Brazil and that a frank report of the facts be issued to the public. In particular, the full analysis reports by the Brazilian laboratories should be made available to scientists. Information currently withheld by the U.S. Air Force about its investigation of the case through the American Embassy in Rio de Janeiro also should be made available to the public.

Photographic data: Mr. Barauna used a Rolleiflex 2.8 Model E camera, speed 1/125, aperture f/B (causing a slight overexposure).

Exclusive IGY photo analysis:

Source John T. Hopf.

Editor’s Note: We will precede the conclusion of Dr. Fontes’ article on the IGY photographs with the following analysis of the photographs which was performed for APRO by our Photo Analyst, Mr. John T. Hopf. Coupled with the documented physical evidence case in our files, we feel that our case for the extraterrestrial nature of the UAO is complete. The analysis follows:

The four photographs taken by Almiro Barauna on January 16, 1958 are without a doubt the finest record of a UAO to come into my hands. Although there can be no question of their authenticity due to the circumstances under which they were taken, I have made a careful study of the 8 x 10 enlargements sent to me. I am satisfied that these enlarged prints and the blow-ups from them which I made for publication in the Bulletin show all or nearly all the detail that was visible in the negatives. (A.P.R.O. could not obtain the negatives.)

The data as previously published in the Bulletin is as follows:

Camera: Rolleiflex, Model E, F2.8 lens.
Exposure: F8, 1/125 second.
Kind of film: Not stated.
Time of day: 12:20 p.m.
Weather: Bright overcast.

Six exposures were made in 14 seconds as determined by subsequent tests with the same camera and photographer. Two of these (Nos. 4 and 5) did not show the object as the photographer’s aim was upset by the confusion on deck. (See diagram in the March Bulletin.)

I have carefully weighed this data against the actual appearance of the photographs and have reached these conclusions:

The general appearance of the sky, water, rock detail, etc., indicates that they were taken on an overcast day.

The density and contrast of the UAO is that of a solid object at a considerable distance from the camera under such lighting conditions. This was checked by comparison with many similar distant photographs of conventional aircraft taken under overcast conditions. This comparison also indicates a likely size of 120 x 24 feet as deduced from the studies and tests made by the Brazilian government.

The object is not luminous or cloud-like as in many other UAO photographs.

The shutter speed of 1/25 second used would be enough to "stop" an object going several hundred miles an hour if it were far enough from the camera, as this one was. It is interesting to note that the outline of the object is quite sharp in views Nos. 2 and 3 where it had slowed down, but slightly blurred in Nos. 1 and 4 where it was going at a higher speed and the shutter setting was not high enough to freeze the motion. Greater distance would also contribute to this effect.

I can see no evidence of a vapor trail or luminous halo as reported by some witnesses. This may not have registered due to overexposure of the sky background.

Had the shutter been set at 1/250 or 1/500 second, we would have had a much sharper set of pictures; however, Mr. Barauna should be complimented on his alertness and self-control in getting photographs as good as these under such trying conditions. Had he stopped to reset his shutter speed, we might not have had this valuable evidence at all.

Hopf, John T. "Exclusive IGY Photo Analysis." The A.P.R.0. Bulletin (May 1960): 1,4.

In the dailw Press:

Correio da Manha Brazil, February 21, 1958 "The Military Navy photographed a flying disc over Trindade".
Diario de Sao Paulo Brazil, February 22, 1958 "Statement by Commandant Paulo Moreira da Silva: "it was not a balloon, and not a teleguided thing, the object that appeared on Trindade island"".
Los Angeles Times USA, February 26, 1958 "Brazil has a secret; can't explain it".


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