Something remarkable about the so-called Varginha Case is the conjunction of coincidences. Whatever the hypothesis used to understand what may have occurred in the city of Minas Gerais, which could be anything, including nothing, very curious coincidences will necessarily be considered.
Consider, for example, that the "Varginha Case" occurred in the town where Ubirajara Rodrigues himself resides, one of the few and leading UFO researchers active in the entire country for some decades. Consider also that the place where the three girls would have seen the "creature" is only a few blocks away from where Rodrigues actually resided, and that this is how he heard the very next day the rumors spreading around the blocks and soon the city about the event.
Or remember that a few months before the girls' encounter, aliens aroused enormous popular interest with the film of a supposed "Alien Autopsy", seen by hundreds of millions of people all over the world, and in Brazil, shown in exactly the same media outlets that would cover the Varginha Case. It is no surprise that the "creature", which the young women never claimed to be a being from another planet, was soon known as the ET of Varginha. ETs were in vogue, and a few months after the Varginha case, the blockbuster "Independence Day" would cause an even bigger stir and in the end make almost a billion dollars.
There are more coincidences. Exactly on that day, January 16, 1996, moments after the girls took a shortcut across a vacant lot and saw the crouching "creature", an intense hailstorm hit the area. It caused some damage, and fire units would have moved in to respond to some of the incidents. Including, rumor had it, capturing more creatures.
Finally, we return to the coincidence of Luizinho. Absurd as it may seem at first, and promptly rejected by witnesses, there is a remarkable coincidence:
Luizinho lives across the street from the lot where the girls had their terrifying encounter. And the man usually squats, in exactly the same position as the supposed creature that frightened the girls.
Even if the idea that he was mistaken for "it" is dismissed out of hand, one would have to accept the equally or even more bizarre coincidence that an unknown creature, perhaps even from outer space, came to Earth to squat in the lot in front of the house where a humble and quiet disabled man usually stands in exactly the same position.
It would be a cosmic coincidence of squatting.
The possibility that the girls had indeed mistaken the resident they had known for a long time should not be dismissed out of hand. It cannot, on the other hand, be accepted so easily. Bizarre coincidences are part of the Varginha case, whatever the thesis defended to understand it.
The official explanation is possible, and yes, plausible, but we will hardly know for sure what in fact the three girls found that day. What we do know is that whatever it was, Luizinho lived across the street, in the same position as described.
At the very least an unbelievable coincidence, at the most a surprising explanation.
Incredibly, accustomed as we are to Hollywood stories about top secrets, the contents of the inquiry have long been available to the public: "A police inquiry is generally public," commented Rodrigues. "When it came to the attention of the IstoÉ reporter the existence of such an inquiry, he simply went to the Military Justice in Brasilia, requested that he be allowed to take copies and was granted." It was as simple as that.
And simple as that, anyone could have had access to such information - if they hadn't already read the hypothesis in Rodrigues' book published in 2001 - just by making a request to the appropriate public agency. So much so that Ubirajara Rodrigues himself was already aware of the contents of the inquiry. In his case, it must be conceded, among other reasons because he was also one of the civilians who gave testimony. Which in turn would become grounds for more conspiracy theories.
Similar to the recent report, recently the critical position of Ubirajara Rodrigues became better known, and was also publicized by some as a "turnaround".
In search of explanations, accusations even emerged that Rodrigues had been forced to deny the affair he discovered and promoted, and the conspiracy theory quickly converged on a dramatic detail: the military inquiry at which he testified would mark the moment of the "turn of the tables". Still in Hollywood terms, who knows what the terrible military might not have done at such an inquiry to silence the ufologist?
In the real world, however, this is exactly the same military inquiry closed in July 1997, years before the publication of the almost 400-page book about the case, by the same Rodrigues. A coercion that leads a ufologist to publish a book of hundreds of pages is strictly speaking like a conspiracy in which an inquiry can be read and copied by anyone who makes the request. Something fanciful, Hollywood-like, that simply isn't real.
Unlike the best of fantasy, where good and evil are very clear, where Great Conspiracies would control the world and all major historical events were part of a Great Plan - however evil - reality can be confusing and uncertain.
Would the girls have been terrified of a resident they already knew? It would be absurd, but equally absurd is that an unknown creature from space would crouch in front of the house where a resident usually crouches. To understand this is to understand one of the true real values of ufology, that of offering small riddles to which any answer may be unsatisfactory.
Can a ufologist claim that he can claim nothing? It sounds confusing, but this is exactly how Rodrigues concludes his 2001 book, acknowledging that despite hundreds of pages of stories and possibilities and more than five years of research - four of them after the military inquiry in which he testified - he could not find conclusive evidence that would clarify anything. Today, almost 15 years after that January day, Rodrigues has even stepped up his critical stance and has just published the book "The Deconstruction of a Myth.
It is much simpler to believe that a cigar-shaped extraterrestrial mother ship malfunctioned and launched alien creatures through the interior of Minas Gerais, which was promptly covered up by the Brazilian military in collaboration with Americans, shutting up ufologists and creating ridiculous explanations to the events witnessed by many. Like the Roswell case covered in the X-Files. The alien creatures would then have been... autopsied. And the remains of the flying saucer sent to the US, probably to Area 51.
Not coincidentally, Alien Autopsy and Independence Day, works of fiction, mix with the easier fantasy to which the rumors converged. The whole Varginha story involving aliens is just a pastiche of themes explored in an incestuous relationship between ufology and fiction.
The reality of fact can be ambiguous and thus uncomfortable. Not knowing for sure what happened, amidst a mountain of evidence consisting on the other hand only of testimonies and circumstantial events - such as coincidence - is a more difficult and therefore uncomfortable position, but if there is one thing that can be stated with certainty it is that nothing can be stated with certainty.
The Varginha Case is not just about the sighting of the three girls, and even the girls' encounter with the "creature" is not just about someone crouching down. An entire city was left in a state of turmoil for months, and an entire country was moved by a figure that entered the collective imagination. There are endless details and angles to be addressed.
Here, we briefly touch on some of the new, or not so new, developments and related rumors, and close with the promise to review in greater detail the most famous Brazilian ufological, or not so ufological, case at a future date.