UFOgate    Doctoring Villas Boas and aliens on ice
In the late 1950s, Brazil seems to have become the testing ground either of an alien power… or those pulling the UFO string, putting forward the first successful stories of UFO abductions and crashes. In both, the esteemed Doctor Olavo Fontes seems to have been part of the experiment.
by Philip Coppens


In the spring of 1957, Dr. Olavo T. Fontes, a gastroenterologist at the National School of Medicine in Rio de Janeiro, joined APRO, Aerial Phenomena Research Organisation, an American UFO organisation, as representative for Brazil. Brazil had been visited by “flying saucers” in the early fifties. But with Fontes joining the organisation, the APRO files began to bulge with the cases he investigated and filed. A professor at the National School, Fontes was also in private practice and his time was pretty much his own. He told the Lorenzens, who had founded APRO, that he had thought the “saucers” were a typical Yankee phenomenon, until they showed up in Brazil. Dr Fontes examining Antonio Villas-Boas It seems that as soon Fontes joined APRO, Brazil’s UFOs literally exploded. On September 14, 1957, Ibrahim Sued, a well known Rio Janeiro society columnist, reported that he had received information, in fact a fragment, of a flying disc.

The story was apparently sent in by a reader of his popular column. The letter began that “I wish to give you something of the highest interest to a newspaperman, about the flying discs. If you believe that they are real, of course. I didn’t believe anything said or published about them. But just a few days ago I was forced to change my mind.” The man claimed he was fishing at a place close to the town of Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, when he saw a flying disc. “It approached the beach at unbelievable speed and an accident, i.e. a crash into the sea, seemed imminent. At the last moment, however, when it was almost striking the waters, it made a sharp turn upward and climbed rapidly on a fantastic impulse. We followed the spectacle with our eyes, startled, when we saw the disc explode in flames. It disintegrated into thousands of fiery fragments, which fell sparkling with magnificent brightness. […] Most of these fragments, almost all, fell into the sea. But a number of small pieces fell close to the beach and we picked up a large amount of this material which was as light as paper. I am enclosing a small sample of it.”

Sued had, it seemed, been handed the Holy UFO Grail, but already, the first problem was that signature of the person sending in the letter was illegible and no address was given. Fontes contacted Sued on the day the article appeared and immediately went to his apartment to see the fragment at the journalist’s apartment: “three small pieces of dull grey solid substance that appeared to be a metal of some sort.” A professional analysis of the sample a few days later revealed that the metal was magnesium, an extremely high purity. That was in itself of some interest, but hardly the “Holy Grail”. A few months later, in February 1958, Fontes himself became the subject of UFO attention. He stated that he was “warned off” by American and Brazilian officials (the officials claimed to be from Naval Intelligence) to stop his work into UFOs. Remarkably, after having warned him off, the officers then confided in him that six UFOs had crashed throughout the world since the Second World War: three in North America, one in the Sahara Desert, one in Scandinavia and one in Britain. In his report about the encounter to APRO, he wrote: “I was told all of these discs were small craft – 32, 77 or 99ft in diameter. In all of them were found crew members’ bodies. They were little men, and ranged in height from 32 to 46in. They were dead in all cases, killed in the crashes. The examination of the bodies showed they were definitely humanoid, but obviously not from this planet.” This “admission” to Fontes has been regarded by some UFO researchers as being among the best evidence for international government knowledge of an extraterrestrial presence on Earth. But even from Fontes’ account, it is clear that this was, in fact, an exercise in misinformation and myth-making. Why would Brazilian Army officials, ostensibly trying to discourage Fontes’s research, share information with him that was supposedly even being withheld from the country’s president? And why was Fontes then allowed to publish an account of his experience? Antonio Villas-Boas, with wife Though in retrospect the Fontes case may be the small pea in the pot amongst the now hundreds of alleged “UFO whistleblowers”, at the time, the Fontes case marked the introduction of some significant new elements into the developing UFO mythology: it was the first serious claim of the recovery of crashed UFOs and dead aliens. The case was also the first suggestion that military scientists were developing new technologies based on the captured craft – the so-called “reverse engineering”.

But perhaps the most significant aspects of this affair are its timing and its link with the first reported abduction of a human by aliens. This was the classic case of Antonio Villas Boas, a Brazilian farmer who claimed to have been forcibly taken aboard a UFO in October 1957, during which he had a sexual encounter with one of its humanoid female occupants. Boas’s story was several years before the Hill abduction made headline news in the States; Boas’s recall of the experience was furthermore without the need for hypnotic regression.

In the weeks following this alleged extraterrestrial rape, Boas claimed to suffer from nausea, headaches, lesions on the skin and weakness. Seeing a newspaper ad by Jose Martins, who wanted to speak to people who had had UFO encounters, Villas Boas contacted Martins; Martins then contacted Fontes, to examine the farmer. Fontes concluded that Villas Boas had been exposed to a large dose of radiation and was suffering from mild radiation sickness. It is here that the timing because of primary interest. Fontes met Boas on February 22, 1958; it was just four days later that he was summoned to the meeting with Army officials, in which he was “told off”. Initially, upon meeting Villas-Boas, Fontes had been noncommittal about the abduction story, but the encounter with the Army led him to accept it as genuine – and a major new dimension was added to the growing UFO literature. The question is: is this timeline coincidence? Or design? Though the Villas-Boas story was investigated in 1958, the story did not “break” until almost a decade later; like the infamous MJ-12 documents, we note that such stories take a long time to develop.

But in 1958, Fontes did write a report to APRO, though it is not clear how many people read it. Dr. Walter K. Bühler, president of the Sociedad Brasileira de Estudios Sobre Discos Voadores (SBDEDV), apparently heard a rumour about the Villas-Boas stroy, but it took him several years before he tracked down the abductee himself. The earliest known publication of the Villas Boas story was in the SBESDV Bulletin of April-June 1962 and from this moment onwards, it took a further few years before the case made its appearance in UFO books, specifically in the US.

As with the MJ12, it seems that major carrots were dangled in front of the key people, to remind them, if not urge them, to continue and scale up their desire to get their UFO story out. In June 1993, Bühler stated that in 1962-3, his organisation had received an anonymous letter from the US, inviting Villas-Boas to visit this country in order to examine a recovered flying saucer in the possession of the American military. It was obviously meant to underline that by publishing the Villas-Boas story, they were “obviously” on the right path. And as with Fontes in 1958, we see a most curious behaviour, which has no logic to it whatsoever. What advantage could the US government possibly have gained by showing Villas-Boas such a top secret discovery – if of course there was one? Instead, it seems that the US was actively trying to encourage belief in “aliens on ice”. The Lorenzens, leaders of APRO So what was really going on in Brazil? A clue may be derived from the so-called “attacks” on the Itaipu garrison. Weirdness at this Atlantic coast fortress began when two Brazilian soldiers were subjected to a heat assault, while a UFO hovered above them at 2.03 am on November 3, 1957. (Time-wise, we need to remember that it was just over a fortnight earlier that Antonio Villas-Boas had his exotic alien encounter.) It left the soldiers not only stunned, but also unconscious. Equally, the army garrison’s electrical system failed during the terrifying encounter. Believing themselves to be under enemy attack, the garrison mobilised in time to see an orange light rising up from the fort and moving across the sky. And that seemed to be it.

The obvious question here would be whether someone – the US military – were practising modern warfare upon a friendly nation’s army, to see how they would react to “unconventional” attacks. As for Dr. Olavo Fontes, the series of incidents made him conclude that there was indeed a “military” objective to this UFO activity. However, rather than identify the US or any other country as the real culprit behind these war games, he saw the attack on the Itaipu garrison as the opening round in a massive UFO invasion of Northern Brazil – which obviously never materialised. In 1978, Bosco Nedelcovic, an interpreter and translator at the Inter-American Defense college, stated to American UFO researcher Rich Reynolds that during the 1950s and 1960s, the CIA had manufactured UFO incidences as part of Operation Mirage. Nedelcovic knew as he had worked for the CIA between 1956 and 1963 in Latin America, under the umbrella of the Agency for International Development (AID). Nedelcovic claimed he knew… as he was present at some of these events, and that one of these events was the Villas Boas abduction.

Nedelcovic said he was part of a nine-man helicopter team that abducted civilians and conducted both psychological warfare experiments and hallucinogenic drug tests, specifically in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil. The team included a doctor, CIA and Navy personnel, while the helicopter was equiped with a metal cubicle, about five feet long and three feet wide, used – somehow – in the psychological warfare operations. Nedelcovic himself was never told how the cubicle was used.

If Nedelcovic is right, the Villas Boas case is hardly unique, but also totally non-alien, and totally stage-managed by the CIA with co-operation, it seems, of the Brazilian authorities. As mentioned, Olavo Fontes wrote the detail of his meeting with these Naval Intelligence officers down in a letter on February 27, 1958, and sent it to APRO. He wrote how “in discussions that lasted almost 2 hours, 2 intelligence officers from the Brazillian Naval Ministry disclosed the following info”: “(1)** They told me that all govt’s of the world, and military authorities know flying saucers exist, and they are craft from off world, and have proof of both things.

(2)** Six flying discs have crashed [up to 1958], on this earth, and were captured and taken apart by military forces, and scientists of the countries involved – under the most rigid and ruthless security restrictions, to keep the matter absolutely secret.” Fontes then provided the detail of where the crashes had occurred and what aliens had been recovered: “(3)** Examination of the instruments and devices found, showed the ships were propelled by an extremely powerful electromagnetic field. Evidence shows it is a ROTATING and OSCILLATING HIGH VOLTAGE ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD, that produces some type of gravity effect yet not understood.

(4)** All ships were carefully dismantled and studied. Unfortunately, the important problem was not solved; How the fields were produced, and what was the source of the tremendous amount of electric energy released in these fields. No clues were found in any of the discs examined. Apparently they got their power from nowhere.” Fontes then explained about how some ships seemed to use nuclear power – an intriguing item of information in light of Fontes’ recent examination of Villas-Boas, which had revealed him to be suffering from radiation sickness. Were these intelligence officers trying to cement certain beliefs into Fontes’ head? The logical conclusion has to be that they were.

Fontes continued: “(6)** These visitors from outer space are dangerous when apprehended, and definitely hostile when attacked. We have already lost many planes in attempting to shoot one down.” This is where the document seems to take on its most intriguing allegation: “We have no defense against them until now. They outperform easily against any of our fighters, [which] have no defense against them. Guided missiles are also useless, they can fly still faster, and manoeuvre around them, as if they were toys, or can interfere with their electrical systems after launch rendering them ineffective, or if they like, explode them before they reach their target.”

The implication of this statement is that as resistance is futile, the Brazilian army, in case of attack, should just stand down and surrender. If followed, what great advantages that would give to any nation to any nation that would be able to create a fake alien invasion and illicit a “no response” from the country’s army!

For Fontes, it lead to this conclusion: “(7)** They [the aliens] have not, until now, shown any interest in contacting us. They are obviously preparing a planet-wide huge military type operation to interfere against us. We have no idea what this operation will be.”

There were however three scenarios: “A – Total war, followed by mass landings, to destroy our power, enslave the remnants of our population, and colonize the planet.

B – Police-action to stop our plans for the conquest of space, and to avoid our dangerous progress in the field of atomic weapons: this would involve mass landings at strategic points with occupation by force in limited areas of vital interests for their purposes.

C – “Friendly” interference, followed by military intimidation to make us agree with their plans for us, whatever they may be: avoiding open war or any other kind of direct interference: patrolling and eventual police-action only outside our atmosphere.” The alien invasion never happened. But neither, it seems, did the logical conclusion ever get drawn, not by Fontes, or by other observers. Fontes claimed that the officers told him that “(9)** ALL INFO. ABOUT THE UFO SUBJECT IS NOT ONLY CLASSIFIED OR RESERVED FOR OFFICIAL USES, IT IS TOP – SECRET.

CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES, AND MILITARY OFFICERS IN GENERAL ARE NOT ENTITLED TO KNOW. EVEN OUR PRESIDENT IS NOT INFORMED OF THE WHOLE TRUTH.”

It seems that Fontes never questioned why he, of all people, was told the “truth”. Fontes had already been identified as a prolific writer of reports to APRO; he had furthermore an impeccable scientific standing: a doctor. By providing him with this “information”, the officers must have known that there was a 99% likelihood that he would do his best to make sure that this private revelation would receive a massive airing.

That is precisely what happened. A scenario that the contactee phenomenon had failed to create in the US (creating credible “evidence” of alien visitations and contact with civilians), Brazil, via Fontes’s prolific writing and a slightly changed scenario, was able to accomplish. The “Roswell Revelation” was still two decades into the future, but the seeds were sown in Brazil in 1958.  

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