The 1958 Trindade Island Brazil UFO was photographed while seen by more qualified observers than any other sighting.
When ufologists and skeptics can't find strings, shadows or signs that a UFO photo is faked, they question the credibility of the photographer and witnesses. Trained observers -including pilots, ship captains etc- are generally considered good witnesses. It is the credibility of the 47 crew members on the deck of the Brazilian Navy ship "Almirante Saldanha" that makes the Trindade, Brazil UFO photos so interesting.
As part of its contribution to the 1957-58 International Geophysical Year, the Brazilian Navy set up a weather station on the small rocky island of Trindade, in the south Atlantic Ocean. Observers began spotting unusual aerial activity visually and on radar. At noon on 16-Jan-1958, the UFO shown here appeared for a few seconds within view of the ship's company. The incident was not isolated, but at least five other sightings had occurred in the island or near the water during the end of 1957 and in January 1958.
The crew onboard saw a grey object approach the island, fly behind a mountain peak and then do a acute-angle turn around and head back the way it came, disappearing at high speed over the horizon. Among those present was civilian photographer Almiro Barauna, who snapped a series of 6 photos in intervals of 14 seconds, of which 4 showed the UFO. After the ship returned to port, the photos, which had been developed on board in a makeshift darkroom, were turned over to the Brazilian Navy Ministry. Analysts determined the photos to be authentic and concluded they showed a diskoid object moving at 900-1000Km/hr.According to Capt. Viegas, the object was like a flattened sphere encircled at the equator by a large ring or platform. In Barauna's words, "...it 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."
Today it is thought that the glowing "halo" around UFOs -which is also why they often appear as a "blob"/ball of light at night with changing neon-like colors white / blue / yellow / red and "blurred" / fuzzy in photos- is due to the ionised air "plasma sheath" related to the flying saucers' flight mechanism. The absorption characteristics of the plasma can also partly account for the daytime hazy or smoky appearance of the atmosphere around the UFO. When the surrounding illumination is brighter than the plasma, the plasma absorption may be greater than its emission, making it look darker or hazy.
Trindade Island case photographer admits hoax
AUGUST 18, 2010
This Sunday, a major TV show in Brazil, “Fantastico”, aired a bombshell about the Trindade Island’s UFO (click for the original video and transcript in Portuguese). This is one of the most celebrated cases in ufology, so when a friend of the author of the famous photos, Almiro Barauna, tells in a recorded interview that she:
“heard from the photographer himself: he hoaxed the images, it was a montage. ‘He got two spoons, joined them and improvised a spaceship, using as background his home fridge. He photographed on the fridge door and object with a perfect lighting, because the calculated everything, he wasn’t dumb. He laughed a lot’, said Emilia Bittencourt.”
So this is a bombshell, especially because the TV show also reported that “Barauna’s files are with a niece, who didn’t want to record an interview, but she confirms the hoax.” A friend says she heard from the photographer details of how he hoaxed the world-famous UFO photos, and the niece who guards his files confirming it. A bombshell.
Since 2003 we have been calling attention to evidence that the photos may have been hoaxed, going from the inversion of the images of the UFO in different shots, to radical changes in background clouds while the elapsed time was claimed to be less than 20 seconds. In the years since then we have been ongoing on our research and found several new pieces of evidence, which will soon be presented in full.
Even so, the detail revealed by “Fantastico” and Bittencourt that the model used for the hoax was made up of two metallic spoons caught us by surprise – just as anyone else
What a twist!
In another twist of the story, a little more than a day after the TV show aired, Barauna’s niece, through Jose Americo Medeiros, states that she actually didn’t confirm the hoax. And while some are already suggesting the TV show concocted the whole thing, one has to take all these statements with due caution.
I spoke with the responsible for the news report, Luiz Petry, an editor for more than a decade in one of the most viewed shows in the country. Petry has actually been the editor-in-chief of mostly all news reports about ufology from the beginning, being in close contact with researchers and knowing very well the field. And he stated very clearly that he stands by what has been aired: Barauna’s niece didn’t want to record an interview, but she did confirm the hoax to the TV show.
And while she is denying having said that, we still have Emilia Bittencourt’s clear statements of how she heard directly from Almiro Barauna how he hoaxed the photos. She may have more to say, and if she’s telling the truth, there may be other witnesses who also heard this story from Barauna, be they relatives or just close friends. Otherwise, her story, especially the details about how the hoax was accomplished may not hold up.
What we do know for certain is that Almiro Barauna did confess hoaxing a series of photos to fool a newspaper. And we are not talking about the “Mundo Ilustrado” humorous article where, four years before Trindade, he showed how to hoax flying saucer photos.
No, this was a confessed and deliberate hoax.
“I sold a hoaxed story”
“It was a spectacular success – and it was a trick”, says with a smile in his face Almiro Barauna on a video interview given in 1997 to Marco Antônio Petit, who sells it on a DVD. Barauna is referring to a series of four news reports about the alleged discovery of a buried treasure, complete with a chest and a skeleton.
“We did this in agreement with Ubiratan Fernandes from ‘Cruzeiro’, Dalécio Vanderlei and another one. They were chatting on Cruzeiro that Calazans Fernandes [from ‘Tribuna da Imprensa’] was a very keen guy, that no one was able to fool” recalls Almiro.
“I said ‘I will fool him’. I will make a trick and sell it to him. I did the trick and he bought it”, he says, again with a big smile in his face. “He then disliked me a lot”.
Barauna then say that Calazans, when the Trindade Island UFO photos showed up in 1958, tried to debunk him by publishing on ‘Tribuna da Imprensa’ details about his treasure chest trickery.
“In fact, it was indeed a trick”, he admits once again. “But one thing had nothing to do with the other”, he concludes after thinking for a few moments.
(Above) From the Syracuse (NY) Post Standard, Feb. 12, 1966
(ABOVE) Dr. Kowalczewski was at the window of the private clinic, camera at disposal, preparing to take a photograph of the landscape in front of him. The day was rather cloudy and windy, but from time to time the sun managed to pass between the clouds. At this time the sun was on the point to emerge again as the doctor supposed it. The clouds started to shine with a strong orange tonality. After the developed film was turned over to him, Dr. Kowalczewski was astonished to find a dark object of the shape of a disc with a dome on the top on the image.Source: Ronald Story's, "The Encyclopedia of UFOs", pages 366-369