The Varginha Case

The story goes that, in Varginha in Brazil, 1996, a UFO crashed and 2 – 6 alien creatures were captured or killed, during the course of several weeks. I’m going to follow the efforts of UFO investigators Ubirajara Franco Rodrigues and Vitório Pacaccini.

On the night of January 13th, the North American Aerospace Defence Command notified Brazilian authorities that a number of UFOs had been tracked over the western hemisphere, and one or more had crashed near the city of Varginha, Minas Gerais. Army units were immediately alerted to the area (see The Crash).

A series of incidents followed, but did not come to public attention until more than a week later when, on January 20th, 3 young women sighted a creature in a vacant lot. The women - Liliane and Valquíria da Silva and Kátia Xavier – were walking home at around 3pm, passing through the Jardim Andere district in Varginha. A short cut took them down a narrow path through a vacant lot, filled with tall grass and weeds. About 50ft in, they saw a strange creature, which was about 20ft away, squatting on their left next to an empty cinder block building, its left side to them.

Describing the creature, the women said –
"It had oily brown skin with big eyes and three 'horns' on its head"

Large veins running down its neck into its shoulders reminded them of a “bull’s heart”

“We got a good look at the creature”

“We thought it was the Devil”
When they screamed, the creature turned its head to look at them and crouched down lower, as if frightened. The women fled, by the time they returned the creature had left…

“But we could see the grass mashed down and we could smell sulfur or ammonia”

Artist’s impression of the alien creature

Varginha’s leading UFO investigator, Ubirajara Franco Rodrigues, began questioning witnesses –
“Some people were saying a creature had been captured by Military Police and taken to Regional Hospital, that it had a big belly, seemed to be pregnant and made a noise like it was crying”
He tracked down a woman who had supposedly seen the capture “but she ran away the moment we approached her. Her husband tried to convince her to talk to us but she refused.”
A nurse reluctantly told Ubirajara that a section of Regional Hospital had been blocked off for some hours during the night of January 20th, with access being denied to patients, visitors and even employees. Soldiers and Army vehicles had been parked outside, and unidentified physicians from other cities had come to the hospital (see Death Of An Officer).

On Monday 22nd, all hospital employees were told that “it was just a training exercise for doctors and military personnel.” They were told that if anyone (“especially that lawyer Ubirajara”) should inquire about it, they were to deny everything. The creature was reportedly transferred, along with troops, from Regional Hospital to Humanitas Hospital, a more secluded location.

One report claimed that the creature, apparently dead, was seen lying in an open box propped up by two sawhorses in the Humanitas Hospital car park. Fifteen people, including military men and doctors, watched as one of the doctors used tweezers to pull a long, thin, black tongue out of its mouth.

There was some confusion due to conflicting rumours - some indicated that the creature was captured on the morning of January 20th before the woman’s sighting in the afternoon.

On February 14th, Vitório Pacaccini, a member of CICOANI, a UFO organization in Belo Horizonte, went to Varginha to investigate.

That night, Pacaccini and Ubirajara met a man who described how four firemen had captured the creature on the morning of January 20th and took it to ESA, a nearby Army base (see Morning Capture). They realised that there must have been two creatures - one captured in the morning and taken to ESA and one seen by the women, which had been caught later that day and taken to Regional Hospital.

Over the next 6 months, Ubirajara and Pacaccini interviewed 25 firsthand witnesses – civilians, military policemen, army personnel and doctors. Eyewitnesses described the creatures as humanoid, 3ft - 4ft tall with oily, dark brown, hairless skin. They had large triangular heads with three short “horns” and large red, oval-shaped eyes. Their arms were long and thin, their legs short and thin. They had no obvious ears or noses, and only slits for mouths. The creatures were naked but with no visible sex organs. They had large veins protruding from their necks and running down their shoulders, arms, chest and back.

UFO Sightings

The Crash

On January 13th, at about 8am, Carlos da Souza saw a cigar-shaped craft about 400ft in the air, while driving 3 miles south of a state highway that leads to Varginha in the west. The craft was just west of the highway, travelling north, almost parallel to the highway, at 40 – 50 mph. It was silver in colour, and appeared 30 – 40ft long, 12 – 15ft wide. It had at least 4 windows and had what looked to be a large hole 4 – 5ft in diameter in the front. There was a long crack running from the hole to the middle of the craft, from which white smoke bellowed. Souza followed the UFO in his vehicle for about 10 miles. It then crossed over to the east side of the highway and passed over some mountains, taking a sharp 30 degree dive and disappearing from sight.

Souza thought the craft had crashed and found a dirt road about 20 minutes later that lead him to the crest of a hill… and the wreckage. He saw about 40 soldiers, 2 male nurses, 2 army trucks, an army helicopter, ambulance and 3 army vehicles at the site. The soldiers were busily retrieving pieces of debris, one truck already held a chunk half the size of a mini-van. There was a strong smell of ether and ammonia. The site was only 7 miles from the ESA Army base in Três Corações.
Souza parked and walked toward the wreckage, thinking he could help. One of the men spotted him and shouted, armed soldiers rushed toward him and ordered him to leave immediately. He was later visited by two men, in civilian dress but with military haircuts and bearing. They told him –

“You haven’t seen anything”

Then related many details of Souza’s personal life – where he lived, his wife, his children, his mother…

“If you tell people what you saw, it’s going to be very bad for you. We already have a complete printout on your whole life.”
All this occurred just one week before the young women saw the creature in nearby Varginha.
During the early stages of the investigation, several military witnesses had seen pieces of a crashed craft being transported into ESA by two Army trucks on January 13th. Later the wreckage was convoyed to the national aerospace centre in São José dos Campos near São Paulo. Ubirajara visited the site and found an area of ground, about 400 square feet, that seemed to have been replaced by sod.

The Farm Couple
At 1.14am on January 20th, on a farm 6 miles east of Varginha, Oralina de Freitas awoke to the sound of agitated and stampeding cattle 300 – 400ft away. She saw a faintly glowing, cigar-shaped object just above the cattle. Her husband, Eurico cried –

“My God! There’s a submarine above my pasture”
They could see grey smoke coming from the back of the craft as it moved slowly, in a sort of rocking motion, only 15 - 20ft above the ground. The object took 45 minutes to pass slowly out of sight over a ridge about 2000ft away, heading in the direction of Varginha. The couple got the impression that it was having difficulties due to its speed and manner of flight.
The farm house is only about 5 miles from the spot where Carlos da Souza said he first saw a similar looking UFO.

Alien Creature Sightings

Morning Capture

At around 8.30 on January 20th, one or more persons contacted the police about a strange creature seen near the woods in Jardim Andere. The police alerted the Fire Department and sent out four firemen. By the time the firemen were dispatched, three boys of 12 – 14 years had seen the creature along Rua Suécia, a street that runs parallel to the woods. The kids, a man and a woman watched the creature as it shuffled down the steep, 200ft long embankment, past train tracks and towards the woods.
The creature disappeared into the woods. When the firemen arrived they told everyone to leave immediately as it was a secret Army operation. They entered the woods in search of the creature, which took two hours to capture because it kept running away.

Once the men threw a net over the creature, it offered no resistance. It made a humming sound as they struggled up the hill with it and, by the time they had carried it up to the street, the commander with an Army truck, two officers and a sergeant, had arrived.
The firemen handed the creature over to the Army men with little discussion. It was put into a wooden box and placed in the back of the truck, with two men sitting beside it. The truck left to return to the Army base in Três Corações and the firemen returned to the fire station with their commander.

The Jogger

Between 1.30 – 2 pm on January 20th, a jogger saw seven armed soldiers cross a small footbridge from Santana and enter the pasture next to the woods in Jardim Andere. The pasture lies beside a long hill leading 500 – 600 yards up to the train tracks and Suécia Street, where the firemen had been that morning. Two of the men were carrying small rectangular, metal suitcases.

The soldiers continued up the hill and searched a small grove of trees just below the tracks, apparently found nothing, then entered the woods.
A couple of minutes later, the jogger heard three distinct shots. He returned to the street that overlooks the woods to find an Army truck with soldiers. The four soldiers who had entered the woods came struggling up the steep embankment carrying two bags, two soldiers to a bag. One bag was squirming but the other had no movement. The bags were placed in the truck and the soldiers left.

These sightings, including the young women’s sighting, took place within close proximity, around Jardim Andere woods, and all on the same day – they are a series of related events.

Death Of An Officer

Marco Chereze

Two plainclothes Military Police agents spotted another creature in a construction site in the Santana-Jardim Andere area not far from the woods – possibly the same one the three women had seen that afternoon. The men captured it and forced it into the back seat of their unmarked police car. It may have been ill because they reportedly took the creature to a small public health clinic for treatment. The doctor refused to go near it and told them to take it to a hospital (perhaps Regional Hospital??).

Only one of the men, Marco Chereze, is believed to have handled the creature with his bare hands while capturing it. He became very ill some days later with an unusual infection and was admitted to hospital with a high fever. He rapidly lost use of his arms and legs, in the end he turned blue and failed to respond to treatment. He died on February 15th. The authorities told his family that his coffin should be sealed, that the funeral should take place without delay, and that he should be buried within a few hours.

Chereze's family reportedly sued the Military Police because –

1. The cause of his death was never explained

2. The results of his autopsy were never revealed – the only thing of note was a lab report saying a "small quantity of toxic material" had been found in his body

3. Allegedly his official records were altered to state that he wasn't on duty that night

Creature At The Zoo

At around 9pm on April 21st, Terezinha Clepf was sat outside a restaurant in Varginha’s zoo. After several minutes she began to feel uneasy –

“I turned to my left and saw a strange creature staring at me”
It was about 15ft away and appeared 4 – 5ft tall…
“It was very ugly. It was brown and had a brightness or shininess to the skin. The eyes were big and red and the mouth was just a stroke”
Clepf was so terrified she could hardly move for several minutes. She then slowly stood up and walked back inside. When she looked back the creature was still staring at her.

After the incident was publicised, director of the zoo Leila Cabral, contacted Ubirajara and Pacaccini. She told them that five animals had mysteriously died a week before Clepf’s experience — an anteater, two deer, a blue macaw and a bobcat.

In case you were wondering what a blue macaw was...

“The anteater was healthy and tame. It died because of an “unidentified toxic substance”. The deer died of “caustic intoxication without apparent cause” and no cause of death could be determined for the macaw and bobcat”


At around 10pm on May 3rd or 4th, Liliane and Valquíria da Silva (two of the three women witnesses) and their mother Luiza were at their home in Santana. There was a knock at the door and, upon Luiza answering, four men dressed in dark suits gently pushed their way inside. They insisted on talking to Liliane and Valquíria. The men never identified themselves but spent over an hour trying to persuade the girls to change their story, implying that they would be paid a lot of money for making their denials publicly on TV. Afraid to object, Luiza said they would think about it.
When the men finally left, they said not to follow them or try to see what car they were driving.

Girls pointing to where the alien squatted on January 20th

The Brazilian government officially denies that anything unusual occurred, but I think there was a cover up. The conclusion of the military investigations on the Varginha Case, bearing in mind this is “the most probable hypothesis”, states that a local man with disabilities, known as “Luizinho” or “Little Luis” –

“Being probably dirty, due to the heavy rain, seen crouching against a wall, was mistaken by three terrified girls as a “creature from space””

So Little Luis was allegedly mistaken for an alien…

Alien creature

Little Luis - seen here wearing clothes, without horns or large red eyes

The government is gonna have to do better than that...

The story was eventually forgotten. The last time the media spoke of the events of January 20th they said –

"The real deal is that all those UFOs and ETs were just midgets from a nearby Circus"
Now that’s just ridiculous...