The Varginha UFO

Article:
Marco Eli Cherese had a cyst under his left armpit and had already scheduled surgery to remove it some time ago, according to Maurício Antonio Santos, then commander of the 24th Battalion of the Varginha Military Police. “The death occurred due to a strong hospital infection after the operation”, said the commander, who included in the IPM copies of the medical report prepared by the Institute of Propedeutics and Diagnosis of Varginha one day after the death of the police officer. “Ex-soldier Cherese was not involved in any occurrence with extraterrestrials”, concluded the witness
 
Skeptic Brian Dunning points out that the soldier who died had a cyst that was due to be removed and he actually died from infection following its removal. Tragic case....but actually nothing to do with any UFO.....

https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4853
Edit: Sorry, I copied in a wrong quote (the infection issue is discussed in the article I am quoting at the and). But still:

There are some pictures that make the "Mudinho Alien" pretty obvious:

... more in this article:
https://web.archive.org/web/2011021...-oficiais-revelam-investigao-do-caso-varginha

Translation:
Coindidences
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.

Conspirations
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.

Another article, translated excerpt:

Ubirajara Rodrigues, ufologist, who believed the ET story and divulged it in 1996

In the eight days that the inquiry lasted, in May 1996, inside the ESA, 23 military personnel were questioned. In the IPM, which took place during the first seven months of 1997, eight authorities - including members of the Army, Military Police and Fire Department - and three civilians provided explanations. One of them, the lawyer and ufologist Ubirajara Rodrigues, now 55 years old, told ISTOÉ that his attitude is no longer the same as when he testified in the IPM. "There is no proof that an extraterrestrial being was captured in Varginha," he says.

One of the most engaged members of the ufological community in the story, who acted interviewing military personnel, Rodrigues says that the Varginha Case has all the characteristics of a myth. "I still believe that there was a series of complex facts that involved the Army, Military Police, Fire Department and hospitals. People said they saw, that they touched an extraterrestrial, but this does not serve as scientific proof. At that time, our tendency was to believe that it would have been a being from another planet."

Then lieutenant-colonel of the ESA, Olímpio Vanderlei Santos testified in the IPM pointed out as the chief and the main responsible for the team that would have captured the creature. Currently in reserve, at 60 years old, living in Franca (SP), he again denied his involvement in the case. "We used to go to Varginha by car because the city was our support point in terms of fleet maintenance," he says. "There was a climate of concern, colleagues were scared at the time. I was surprised when I saw my name involved."

Another intriguing fact of the Varginha Case is the death of a military policeman supposedly as a result of a strange virus acquired from an ET that would have been captured by him. Marco Eli Cherese had a cyst under his left armpit and had already scheduled a surgery to remove it for some time, according to Maurício Antonio Santos, then commander of the 24th Military Police Battalion in Varginha. "The death occurred due to a strong hospital infection after the operation," said the commander, who included in the IPM copies of the medical report issued by the Institute of Propaedeutics and Diagnosis of Varginha one day after the officer's death. "The ex-soldier Cherese was not involved in any occurrence with aliens," concluded the witness. Fruits of fantasy or not, the fact is that the mining town has embraced the UFO cause. A giant water tank in the shape of a spaceship and bus stops that resemble flying saucers can be seen in the city. The ET is Varginha's mascot.
https://istoe.com.br/105958_A+HISTORIA+OFICIAL+DO+ET+DE+VARGINHA/
 
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James Fox tries to give the impression these events are simultaneous and at a similar location. They are not !

Basic facts...that have mysteriously changed over the years...

But that's the point. Simple stories are embellished, miss-remembered and then mixed together with other unrelated, or only tangentially related incidents until a complete mythos is created. That mythos then becomes the "factual" account.

I think it was Joe Nichoel that dubbed it the Roswell Syndrome, that goes something like this:
  1. There's an incident. Something happens, like a rancher finding unusual debris on his property.
  2. There might be a bit of a stir at first, but...
  3. The incident is shown, pretty quickly, to be something mundane, like a crashed weather balloon (Project Mogul balloon).
  4. Story goes away and percolates.
  5. The same old incident is revived sometime later with "new" evidence, witnesses and a greatly expanded narrative.
  6. More people pile on to the new version of the story adding even more "new" evidence.
  7. The new mythologized version becomes the canonical version, often bearing little resemblance to the original.
All the things associated with Roswell, like multiple crash sites, alien bodies, meta-materials, actual crashed ships, Hanger 18, Area 51 were all added 30 years after the original incident, which was mostly just a collection sticks and foil.

This pattern repeats with Kecksburg, Malmstorm, Rendlesham and much of UFOlogy.
 
I think it was Joe Nichoel that dubbed it the Roswell Syndrome, that goes something like this:
  1. There's an incident. Something happens, like a rancher finding unusual debris on his property.
  2. There might be a bit of a stir at first, but...
  3. The incident is shown, pretty quickly, to be something mundane, like a crashed weather balloon (Project Mogul balloon).
  4. Story goes away and percolates.
  5. The same old incident is revived sometime later with "new" evidence, witnesses and a greatly expanded narrative.
  6. More people pile on to the new version of the story adding even more "new" evidence.
  7. The new mythologized version becomes the canonical version, often bearing little resemblance to the original.
this kind of sequence is by necessity "conspiracy theoretical" because step 5 requires step 3 to be handwaved away with "the government covered it up" or similar. The people close to the original event want an explanation; the people who revive it want a titillating story,
 
are these clips from the film? (no that im gonna search but someone might)
1677294449983.png

Source: https://youtu.be/S9Im60JGb2w?t=112

Yes they are clips from the film, and the 'crash' location is a few hundred yards down the slope James Fox is pointing to. A brief overhead view of the 'crash site' is also shown....and I've tried to use that to see where it is, but the width of the site shown is maybe only 1000 feet across and all the farms around there look very similar. I suspect one could find it on Google Earth....but it would be a needle in a haystack sort of thing..

The article written by Robert Leir ( referred to earlier ) does an appalling job of describing the location. He says Marco De Sousa was driving north-east on highway 381 when the object was first spotted ' 3 miles south of the intersection with MG-26 '. Trouble is, there is no MG-26 highway....the only possible highway being referred to ( 'from Varginha to Tres Coracoes' ) must be the MG-167/491. He can't be referring to the MG-267 as that goes to neither town. We are told that Marco de Sousa then drives another 10 miles north on the BR-381...following the object. Well....if he was 3 miles south of the MG-167/491 then that places him 7 miles north of Tres Coracoes.

Leir then relates how Marco de Spousa leaves the highway and follows the object east of the BR-381..on a dirt track. We then have 20 minutes in which it is not at all clear what is being done. And the only remaining clue is that the crash location is about '7 miles from the ESA army barracks at Tres Coracoes' . Leir clearly knows the location...but in all his long ramble he never directly tells us. Sigh.

Here I have placed on Google Earth the location ( marked 'This Area' in top left of image ) where the farm couple saw the UFO....6 miles north west of Varginha. And I have drawn a 7 mile radius circle round the army barracks at Tres Coracoes......and we know that the alleged crash was east of the BR-381.....so has to be somewhere in the north-east quadrant of my red circle....or in other words about 20 miles from where the farm couple supposedly saw it and about 14 miles from Varginha.

That's about as close as I can get to determining the 'crash' location....

varginha.jpg
 
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are these clips from the film? (no that im gonna search but someone might)
1677294449983.png

Source: https://youtu.be/S9Im60JGb2w?t=112

An update. Amazingly...I found the crash site in the James Fox documentary. A huge clue was that at one point they showed it was actually only 1/4 of a mile from the main BR-381 highway....as you can see the motorway in the background. When I compared it to the overhead view they briefly show.....this is the exact location in the film......

Two images from Google Earth...first is close up showing the farm close to the main highway....second ( with 'UFO crash site' marked ) shows the crash site in relation to Varginha and Tres Coracoes. It's about 6 miles from Tres Coracoes...so Leir was not that far off.

So...far from crashing in the middle of nowhere ( as James Fox tries to convey...with them travelling lonely country roads to get there ), the alleged crash was within spitting distance of a busy highway in broad daylight. Yet Marco de Sousa was the only person who saw it. Hmm. And Fox didn't need to drive miles across country to get there......as it is literally a 1/4 mile turn off from the busy highway !






crash1.jpgcrash2.jpg
 
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the big bump next to the house is where the alleged crash was?

those yellow trees really show up on Google Earth and this looks like a highway ?? with some signs to me. or do we think that is just houses or business ?

then you have mountains in the background.
yuo saw the same thing
Screenshot 2023-02-25 000650.png
Yes....I was searching all over the place and the last thing I expected was the site to be literally right next to the main highway so I didn't look there. It was only when ( right at the end of the Marco de Sousa interview ) they almost inadvertently showed the busy highway in the background that i looked and managed to match the film's overhead drone view exactly with Google...

So this is the exact spot Marco de Sousa claims the crash occured....and, we can now establish that the alleged aliens had to cross 14 miles and a major highway and several rivers to get to Varginha.

crash1.jpg
 
Yes....I was searching all over the place and the last thing I expected was the site to be literally right next to the main highway
i looked quick next to highways last nigh,t but i thought the crash happened "in the hills around varginha" so i didnt look so far away. and i thought the military was seen there but they do their maintenance in varginha so really only looked off 491.


cool you found it. big thumbs up!
we can now establish that the alleged aliens had to cross 14 miles and a major highway and several rivers to get to Varginha.
probably why he looked so sad and soft ;)

Screenshot 2023-02-25 205506.png
 
So this is the exact spot Marco de Sousa claims the crash occured....and, we can now establish that the alleged aliens had to cross 14 miles and a major highway and several rivers to get to Varginha.

Nice work! Remember though, despite crashing, aliens can still use anti-gravity devices to float over to another area to scare the shit out of other humans.

Seriously, it would seem the people that lived right near the crash site and maybe even own the property would be of primary concern. Maybe they were out of town, or the government shut them up. It appears to be ranch land and they have goats or cattle it looks like:

1677378392979.png

1677378459865.png
 
Remember though, despite crashing, aliens can still use anti-gravity devices to float over to another area to scare the shit out of other humans.
with a little more imagination, the Varghinha aliens are obviously the search party sent out to find their crashed brethren—or would be if we had a shred of evidence.
 
with a little more imagination, the Varghinha aliens are obviously the search party sent out to find their crashed brethren—or would be if we had a shred of evidence.
Yeah! Honestly, we could come up with a much better UFO story than most of the UFOlogists.
 
Nice work! Remember though, despite crashing, aliens can still use anti-gravity devices to float over to another area to scare the shit out of other humans.

Seriously, it would seem the people that lived right near the crash site and maybe even own the property would be of primary concern. Maybe they were out of town, or the government shut them up. It appears to be ranch land and they have goats or cattle it looks like:

1677378392979.png

1677378459865.png

Now that the location has been found....a few justifiable comments can be made...

1) I'm far from being the only person who, over the years, gained the impression that the 'crash' happened just a few miles from Varginha. Now we know it was 13 miles from the town and actually much closer to Tres Coracoes.
2) Knowing the 'actual' crash site throws off the other alleged sightings. The farm couple who claim to have seen the object coming down 6 miles north west of Varginha...well, that is 20 miles the allegedly damaged and crashing UFO would have had to travel...and remain hovering for 3 hours until De Sousa saw it crash. And nobody else saw it in those 3 hours ? In fact, to get to the crash site it would have had to fly right over Varginha town and there should have been hundreds of witnesses.
3) We now know the alleged crash happened right next to the busy BR-381 highway ( you can see how much traffic there is on it, in the video ) right at the height of the rush hour in broad daylight. And yet not a single other person saw it...or even the people living in the farm house just a few hundred feet away.
4) We are told the crashed craft emitted some fluid....possibly ammonia. This would have had an effect on nitrates in the soil that I'd have thought would still be detectable. Yet James Fox made no attempt to have the soil analyzed. Neither was any attempt made to find any small parts of the alleged craft that may remain. Instead they wasted time focusing on Carlos de Sousa crying over the incident.
5) Those who sill believe in the alien hypothesis now have to explain how two aliens got into the middle of Varginha, from the east, without having to cross the Rio Verde river ( 300 feet wide ) or pass through over a mile of densely populated parts of the town.....without being spotted by a single other person.
 
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As a Brazilian who was in my early teens and into sci-fi when this happened, back in the 90s, I used to believe in this story and remember waiting eagerly for the next story to be published by the main TV channels.

To give some context: This was shortly after the famous Alien Autopsy hoax, so UFO and "alien" were still on the top of people's - especially media people - minds.

That video, according to Wikipedia was first aired in the US on Fox Channel on August 1995. I remember it being aired in Brazil by the extremely popular TV show "Fantástico". A variety show that still airs on Sunday nights on TV Globo, the largest TV channel in the country. It was later and probably in that same year, although I obviously don't remember and can't find an exact date.

I remember they were announcing it for at least a couple of weeks, hyping it up, and when it finally aired everyone was talking about it the next day. So, not a half year later, in January 1996, when a story pops up of a few girls having seen an alien in a small town, they scoop it up and make a huge deal out of it. After some local media coverage, Fantástico also picked it up and aired this highly sensationalized story on February 4th, 1996. There was no mention of a UFO sighting or crash, all of these stories were "remembered" after the fact.

I did my best to improve the Portuguese Wikipedia article on it a couple years ago. It is hard to push back on the credulousness of other Brazilian editors, but it is still better than before I touched it.

The couple who claimed to having witnessed a UFO on their property only did this weeks after the girls' sighting story made the news, and, at first, they were not sure on a date. Later their story started matching the dates.

The pilot who said he saw it crashing in Três Corações, said it happened a whole week earlier, in January 13th.
Carlos de Souza descreveu que viu, na manhã do dia 13 de janeiro de 1996, um objeto com as mesmas características relatadas pelo casal. Tinha certeza da data porque seguia para o interior de Minas Gerais onde participaria de uma demonstração de voo de ultraleves com amigos. Ainda na Rodovia Fernão Dias, viu o objeto passando e aparentemente caindo em algum ponto entre Varginha e a cidade vizinha, Três Corações.
[My translation:] Carlos de Souza describes having seen, in the morning of January 13th 1996, an object with the same characteristics as those reported by the couple. He was sure of the date because he was flying to the interior of Minas Gerais where he would attend an ultralight [aircraft] flight demonstration with friends. Still on Fernão Dias Highway, he saw the object passing by and apparently crashing at some point between Varginha and the neighbor city of Três Corações. (source)

After reading and watching everything I could, on it, here is my veredict (There sure is a lot more out there, but nothing informative, I don't think.)
varginha mudinho.png
The girls got frightened by a strange man crouching near a wall on a windy and rainy afternoon (weather information often omitted by the media) when they were trying a shortcut through an empty and somewhat unkempt lot. They ran home and imagined what they had seen, at first describing it as "the devil". Later the story grew through gossip and speculation, caught the attention of the media and one notable local UFO nut, Mr. Ubirajara Rodrigues, who went after anyone claiming to have witnessed anything. Later, even that guy, who was the main pusher of the story, admitted that there is no evidence of anything, only witness accounts.

(Image above cropped from one of the military investigation reports, here.)
 
Carlos de Souza.
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weird, John de Souza was a big name in the "missing 411:ufo contact" movie i just watched from another thread. and it seems both connect-the-dots movies were produced by some company called 1091 Pictures. <insert creepy coincidence music here
 
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