A UFO sighting at a prison in Brasilia in 1991 is academically studied [1997]*

Interrelated with ARX 338 case.

This declassified file by the Brazillian Airforce is an internal military communication that contains an academic article “OVNI no Presídio da Papuda?” written by Wilson Geraldo de Oliveira in 1996, Coordinator of the Grupo de Estudos Ufológicos da Universidade de Brasília [Ufological Studies Group of University of Brasília] UnB. In the article, professor Oliveira analyzes the supposed UFO sighting taken place at Papuda Panitentiary in Brasília by the security personnel on April the 11th, 1991, taking into account different testimonies, comparing official data and possible contradictions regarding the answers and explanations of the event. Following is the translation of the article:

OVNI no Presídio da Papuda? por Wilson Geraldo de Oliveira Original File Cf. “BR DFANBSB ARX.0.0.491 [see references and credits in the end of this post after the following text]

UFO at the Papuda Panitentiary? by Wilson Geraldo de Oliveira

Location and general characteristics of the Papuda Panitentiary

Away from the DF 001 highway, at Km 4, is DF 465, the access lane to the Presidio da Papuda security area. 15 km southeast of the Plano Piloto de Brasília, located in a valley with an average height of 959m. Around it, the highest regions reach an altitude of 1,150 m.

In the area of ​​security are: the Internment and Reintegration Center – CIR, which, in April 1991, held about 700 prisoners with prison time ranging from 10 to 15 years, the Brasília Custody Center – NCB, which, under also the responsibility of the Civil Police of the Federal District, comprised about 400 inmates awaiting trial and the 3rd CPMInd (Third Company of Independent Military Police), whose guard corporation consisted of more than 60 men.

It is a place isolated from the urban environment. Most of its area has no lighting. Inside the maximum security prison, CIR, the lighting is done with 10 high-power spotlights. It has 10 guardhouses for superior guard and guard posts on land.

It was in this environment that on April 11, 1991 from 7:10 pm to 10:40 pm, approximately, an unidentified flying object – UFO was observed. The observation was made by Ten. Damasceno and the soldiers walking the guard that night. Approximately 25 police officers were in the 3rd CPMInd. The rest of the policing that made up the guards that night were scattered in other missions and guard posts.

What was observed

Lieutenant Damasceno left the 3rd CPMInd, and ordered the driver Sd Reinaldo, to prepare the vehicle to make the rounds at the prison, a routine procedure. Upon returning to the Company, he noticed at a distance of 300 or 400 meters, a strange object that stood out in the sky. Immediately, he called the guard to see, about 20 policemen, at that moment

According to the testimonies, the object maintained a constant variation of colors: blue, red, yellow and a little green, and from time to time he gave a very strong wink that turned the whole object red. The observations were made from three different positions, all at the perimeter of the security area, in addition to these observations, reports were received that there were other witnesses. We verify that these are service providers in nearby coal plants.

In the week following the collection of testimonies, we traveled to the coal industry. The system of providing services with high turnover did not allow the witnesses to be found. These had already returned to Minas Gerais, their State of origin, and others directed to charcoal works in the State of Mato Grosso.

The observations from the charcoal works would provide significant data as it represents an opposite observation angle to the others.

When making the drawings, Sd Reinaldo asked that the “center of the object be well defined, because as soon as he flashed different colors on various parts of his body, at a certain moment, ek was completely taken by red from the center.

Lieutenant Damasceno checked the drawing and confirmed its oval shape by dividing into colors. He observed that the apparent position of the object was vertical and the speed of color change too high to need a sequence, an order. “Red was the only color that did not appear, all of a sudden, he took all the object. The color change was very fast” And he added: “It is not the first, nor is it the third time that this happens here. Talk to the prison staff and you’ll see how everyone is afraid of it”.

The absence of a greater number of observers at different and/or angularly opposing points decreases the degree of precision of calculations of distance, location and actual diameter of the object. But, in addition, the lack of documentary record of the phenomenon (photo, video-films, recordings by radar record) evidently hinders the scientific verification of certain propositions, since it is compromised to further study the nature of the phenomenon. However, the absence of this data does not diminish the credibility of the statements that attest, together with documents from MAER, the reality of the fact.

Despite the insufficiency of data to carry out more accurate calculations, we made from what we had and as an exercise in verifying calculation instruments, an estimate that suggests 20.50m of actual diameter as observed.

As for the object’s movements, says ten. Damasceno: “There was no movement, he was standing still and we moved to a darker part to get a better look. Then we went back to the patio, looked and he was still there; suddenly, when we looked again he was gone. We we saw this shift. The object shifted from the first position to the northeast, returned to the initial position and then moved to a third position more to the northeast and stayed there until about 10:40 pm The object disappeared from the first position, appeared in a second, returned at the first and then reappeared in a third position and in that last one he stayed. There was no distraction and I did not see the displacements“(DTI 0.1 and 2)

At first, the witness speaks of displacement, after disappearance, reappearance and return. The use of the terms displacement and return conveys the idea of ​​movement that could have been seen in the displacement process. The terms appeared, disappeared and disappeared, are consistent with his statement: “There was no distraction and I did not see the displacements” in such a way that the same way was observed in different positions.

“This characteristic is typical of UFOs: according to many reports, they usually light up, turn off the lights and then move around in the darkness. When they turn the lights on, they are in another position. In short sightings, this procedure seems to be linked to a strategy to surprise and unabash the witness. The researcher Hulvio Brant Aleixo from Minas Gerais, collected and reports several cases in which this UFO proceeding is typical “(CARMO: 1991)

CINDACTA I: a necessary answer?

According to the testimony of the Ten. Damasceno, during the period of observation of the object, which was from 19:10 min. to 10:40 pm Approximately, there were 4 telephone contacts with CINDACTA I. On the occasion of the first contact, Ten Damasceno was asked to identify the object.

The first contact was made by the ten. Damasceno just before 8 pm The following contacts were made by Sergeant Petronius of CINDACTA I. In this sense, it can be said that CINDACTA I showed interest in the incident, predisposing to follow up on the fact from the request of the officer responsible for guarding the presidio. However, after several attempts, he decided to conclude by the easiest way: “Here it is lieutenant. That was a balloon”. To the witnesses’ outrage, this was the necessary response; definitive and objective it should be the position taken by the security of the presidency. An answer that would have the purpose of calming down, returning to the usual state of tranquility required by the system. The contradictions of the documentation received, justify the inconsistency of the answer presented by Sergeant PetrômofCINDACTA I) to Ten. Damascene ❤ * CPMInd). It also shows that within the MAER there is no consensus for the treatment of this theme.

It is thus possible to express the indignation of the witnesses: CINDACTA represents the eyes of the air defense and air traffic control system, and at that moment, faced with the difficulties of clarification, it pretends to be shortsighted, of no use for the efficiency of its employees. radars. In spite of having the telephone confirmation of the registration by radar, no fighter was activated by in order to find out what the Ten himself was. Damasceno, although indignant, agreed with the difficulties of sending a fighter from one of the nearest air bases. His experience in sending vehicles to investigate community calls related to police events allowed him to understand the problem. However, nothing could make him admit that what was observed could be a weather balloon.

According to the testimonies, during the dialogue, Ten. Damasceno and his colleagues observed the displacement of a commercial flight whose identification was not possible to confirm with precision at Brasilia International Airport.

In the testimony of Ten Damasceno he says: “we were here looking and the plane made the deviation. We followed the ground, the deviation of the plane, which was guided by Sg Petrônio”. Still according to Ten Damasceno, there was a time when Sergeant Petrônio spoke of the difficulty that the Ministry of Aeronautics would have to explain the case to public opinion.

Contradictions in information

The clarification note from the Social Communication Center of the Ministry of Aeronautics – CECOMSAER, confirms in its item I, the “observation of a signal that processed by the computers of that Center, (CENDACTA I) was not characterized as any aircraft that traveled on site” .

The time that the record was made (19:45 min) by CINDACTA I, is within the observation time, according to the witnesses’ testimonies. And it does not coincide with the time of launch of the meteorological balloon on that date, by CMA-BR, former CM I, according to OF. N ° 020 / CMDO / 020 of July 10, 1991. This document includes the launch of that date at 9:00 pm. The maximum height reached was 24,442 meters, in a clear sky with a maximum wind on the 230,750 knots, speed equivalent to 92.6 km / h. This shows that an object was registered and this object was neither a weather balloon nor a conventional aircraft.

It can be seen that before the launch of the balloon the object was already observed, being registered by CINDACTA I at 19h45 min.

The same Clarification Note, item 2, informs that there was a coincidence of the record of launching a meteorological balloon by the (former) CM-1, suggesting the possibility that the meteorological ball was being recorded. Such a suggestion, as we have seen, does not proceed, since there was no total coincidence of schedules, the launch of that date took place at 9:00 pm, and the observation of the phenomenon from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm 40 min.

In item 3 there is no inconsistency.

However, in its item 4, the same note shows partial inconsistency, regarding the association of the characteristics of meteorological balloons with the characteristics of UFOs. Such a generalization cannot be made, since meteorological balloons are easily differentiated from UFOs in most cases. UFOs, according to many reports, and documents (video-films) present harsh maneuvers at extremely high speeds, disappear and reappear, and the variation in colors, in this case depending on the time of observation, has little or nothing to do with solar reflections in the balloon surfaces, according to data contained in OF N ° 020 / CMDO / 020 and testimonies of UFO witnesses, in this and other cases, according to documents in our possession. Such documents show the difficulty of generalizing the mentioned characteristics.

We would like to emphasize the impossibility of reflecting solar radiation in a meteorological ball or any other object. Which leads us to suggest that what was observed had its own light.

The sunset for Brasilia on 11/04/91 was 18 h 06 min.

If the last observation took place at 22h40 min, therefore, 4h34 min after sunset, we can observe that solar radiation could not have an impact at that moment at the incident site and at the observed altitude making it impossible to illuminate any object in that region and conditions.

Let us also remember that, according to the main witness, the officer responsible for guarding the prison on that date (Ten Damasceno) in contact with CINDACTA I (Sg. Petrônio) registered the object at approximately 2000 feet.

Also on that date, the Moon appeared at 03h14 min, with meridian passage at 19h32 min and setting at 15h47 min, so it was a moonless night in the brazilian Planalto Central.

In addition to all documents that eliminate the hypothesis of a meteorological balloon, in the dialogue between the 3rd CPMInd and CINDACTA I, 3rd telephone contact, before 10 pm, Sg Petrônio states that the balloon dispatched by the CMA, had already reached maximum altitude and exploded. Why then say, that what was observed from 19h10min to 22h40 min was that weather balloon?

The association of the UFO phenomenon with meteorological balloons by lay people, however, cannot be disregarded, since the majority of the population is not yet clear about its characteristics.

In item 5, it is suggested that the disintegration of a meteorological balloon may be associated with the disappearance of a UFO. However, again beyond all that has been said, this disintegration does not often occur at low altitude. According to the CMA-BR official, in the surveys from 05 to 20/04 the lowest among the maximum altitudes reached, was 16,616 m on 04/20, and even at this altitude a balloon with an inflated 120cm could not be seen with the observed characteristics. The object disappeared and reappeared three times and in different places, at an altitude of approximately 700 meters (according to information from CINDACTA I, to Lieutenant Damasceno, during the second telephone contact (DTT-2). Director of the Custody Center Mr. Laudemiro Correia de Freitas, 72 hours later, the object reappeared with the same characteristics, which was confirmed by the witnesses of the 11/04 incident (DTI 0). In this second incident, nothing was reported to CINDACTA I, due to the previous neglect, the necessary response finally had the desired and verified effect.

It will give rise to the disarticulation between bodies of the Ministry of Aeronautics. This is seen in your documents. But why? In fact, at the request of CINDACTA I, through OF / NEFP / OEU / 002/91, the Ufological Studies Group at the University of Brasília, mentions the CECONSAER clarification note, made public through the press, as a reference for obtaining the others, requested information. Yet, such a disarticulation or contradiction happened.

While CECONSAER, the agency responsible for the media of the Ministry of Aeronautics, confirms the registration and processing of a signal on the equipment of CINDACTA I, NUCOMDABRA, through the OF. 017 / CMDO / 017 denies such information.

In the same document, NUCOMDABRA states that “knowledge of the fact was restricted only to calls from those who thought they had seen a UFO”. This reaffirms the contradiction with the CECONSAER document, in addition to disregarding the testimony of more than 20 police officers who they were on duty at the 3rd CPMInd and NCB and CIR agents, totaling more than 60 men, according to a list of police officers on the date of the incident.

During the first telephone contact with Sg Petrônio, information was provided regarding the number of witnesses, weather conditions, location and personal information of the Ten. Damascene.

In item II of Of No. 017 / CMDO / 017, as well as in its attached questionnaire, the Ministry of Aeronautics, demonstrates or confirms its interest in the subject once again.

The questionnaire used to collect information about UFOs, presents precise and objective questions aiming at solid evidence about the phenomenon.

However, in the sense of a global assessment of the phenomenon, the questionnaire leaves something to be desired. The observed and reported characteristics generally indicate that the UFO phenomenon is stealthy and generates complex social interaction. This makes a more detailed questionnaire necessary that meets the peculiarities and complexities of the phenomenon. It is necessary, therefore, an evaluation of its objective and subjective characteristics. In this sense, the Ministry of Aeronautics is not interested. The report only serves to assess aerial sightings of a more common type.

It thus seems that, while recognizing the existence of the phenomenon, through the creation of an instrument for capturing data, it does not aim at knowing the nature of the phenomenon in its entirety. It only aims at the knowledge of technical data that can interfere in the operation of its functions in real time.

Thus, a large amount of data is left out regarding the phenomenon itself and the resulting social problem.

Item III, again raises the hypothesis about weather balloons already analyzed in the items 2, 4, 5 of the CECOMSAER Clarification Note that can still be complemented.

Characteristics of the Meteorological Balloon used on 11/04/91

According to letter 020 / CMDO / 020, the meteorological balloon used on the night of 11/04/91 is a balloon manufactured in Japan by KKS companies, measuring 1.20m in diameter and the material used is cosmoprene plastic. It weighs 350g and carries 200g of equipment designed to collect data on temperature, direction and air speed in the upper atmosphere. It can reach 25.000 m of altitude and can be touched by the wind that reaches speed “equal or superior to 130kf. (130 knots – 210.76Km / h).

Also, according to the above mentioned source, this balloon is inflated with hydrogen and does not carry lamps.

The hypothesis that the observed artifact, such as a meteorological balloon, is capable of emitting some type of luminescence is somewhat dismissed although “studies have not been carried out by the Brazilian Air Force, since it does not interfere with the polls.” if you consult the balloon manufacturer. The address from which it was obtained through a representative company in São Paulo.

The data needed for further analysis was then requested from KKS companies in Japan. Unfortunately, we only received advertising catalogs from one of them. They do not contain the detailed configuration of the device or the information requested about the type of material used in them.


Affirming the ignorance of the nature of the UFO phenomenon, in no way should testify against any institution, public or not. However, we believe it is necessary to seek sincerely our limits, to take the discussion, as well as to clarify positions regarding the theme.

In the case of MAER [Ministry of Aeronautics], their positions are so confused that it is difficult to know if it has, as attribution, investigative functions for such events, or what is its attribution in relation to this theme.

Are research functions related to the UFO theme defined as a regulatory assignment for any MAER body?

The social expectation in relation to the MAER is that due to the fact that the space of interest is the air space (the predominant space for UFO action) and because it has the means in terms of equipment and personnel, the hypothesis that the its regulation may not provide investigation procedures for such occurrences. In view of the confusion previously exposed, it is difficult, even for us, to understand the reasons for apparently so well-intentioned statements:

“As for Air Defense, it is intended, in principle, to exercise control of the airspace safely and in real time. The occurrences of phenomena, now under discussion, are difficult to clarify, as they are usually communicated a posteriori to the verified fact and with very few elements that can provide a more accurate evaluation, “(Maj. Brig. do Ar Ronald Eduardo Jaeckel -Ch ao EM do COMGAR: 1993)

The fact is that, in this case, the communication had been made in real time, making it possible to follow it safely. Why, then, the denial of registration or the association with meteorological balloons besides so many other contradictions, as we saw earlier?

The sincerity and support of the authorities who are at the head of the mentioned institutions, can allow society, through the set of segments involved with the topic at hand, to verify the real needs and the form of treatment for the UFO problem, including in terms of legislation or regulation. It is about pointing out directions and responsibilities for the solution and clarification of a situation that today constitutes a social problem of progressively high proportions.

In their pronouncements, several researchers have been systematically demanding a position from the Ministry of Aeronautics regarding the UFO issue. Such charges seem to us to show a disagreement with positions already issued by the MAER, such as the one mentioned above and an insistence for a change in positioning that means commitment to clarifying the UFO phenomenon.

There is a feeling of fragility in the face of the UFO phenomenon and a need for institutional support to carry out more comprehensive and in-depth research. Alongside this, a demand for clarification from public institutions seen as responsible for clarifying the problem, by the society itself that wishes to reflect on the topic. The public institutions charged in this case are the armed forces, mainly the MAER and the universities, mainly the public ones.

Certainly, a partnership with MAER bodies and public authorities in general, would facilitate the implementation of documentation and study projects, with a view to assisting Brazilian society in the reflection and search for coherent answers on the subject.

But, how to consider, in order to think about a partnership, the positions already issued by the Ministry of Aeronautics without a greater clarification about them, besides, of course, the often unhealthy skepticism of members of the scientific community?

In August 1994, we made a request to the Minister of Aeronautics to have a look at the documentation existing in that Ministry for the purpose of complementing data from a sociological study on the subject. His response was as follows:

“… I inform you that the existing records on the subject in question lack scientific consistency and their operational interest does not justify specific treatment by this Ministry …. ” (Maj.-Brig.-do-Ar Normando Araujo de Medeiros / Chief of Staff of the Minister of Aeronautics)

In the face of such difficulties, a procedure, probably more productive for those interested in research, taking into account the need for public authorities’ participation, seems to be, that of insisting on resuming discussions in order to clarify positions and meet expectations regarding these directions necessary for the implementation of practical actions in the search for joint solutions to the proposed problem. Methodological and socio-political organization discussions that allow the insertion of authorities in the process, need to be part of regional and national meetings on the theme with the participation of organized civil society.

Given the peculiarities of UFO occurrences and the methodology currently used to document the UFO phenomenon, and the relations between public bodies responsible for information, a case study like the one presented here, can hardly be conclusive. The opportunity to advance the knowledge of the nature of the phenomenon was refused by the organs of the MAER itself when denying it or confusing it. We fall into the void! What is the use of exchanging one absurdity for another? To say in this case that it is a UFO is as absurd as saying that it is a weather balloon. Labeling the phenomenon as a UFO will not facilitate clarification, on the contrary, it will affirm the mystery and ignorance of the phenomenon, because that is what the UFO category refers to. To say that it is a space vehicle of extraterrestrial origin is also premature, whether you like it or not. We only have the duty to worry about establishing a close relationship with the phenomenon, in order to observe it better in the next occurrences.

In spite of everything, this case allowed us to verify positive aspects and common to other cases. We had the support of several public agencies in the acquisition of information for the preparation of the original report (PM / DF, MAER, CEB, CODEPLAN, Museu Nacional RJ, etc.) which made it significant and demonstrated in several ways the importance of public sector participation in the research and study process.

If we want to promote a serious study on the ufological problem, this cannot be done without the collaboration of these and other public agencies.

The impossibility of conclusion in the sense of making statements about the nature of the phenomenon as a whole, does not make this case or any other similar one less important, since it is the set of information, including in relation to the social behavior of the agents involved, that may allow such an attempt. In addition, it is necessary to establish cooperation and appropriate methodologies to catch the phenomenon. And this must be built on a joint discussion of the segments involved.

Cf. ARQUIVO NACIONAL (Brasil). Sistema de Informações do Arquivo Nacional (SIAN). Fundo ‘Objeto Voador Não Identificado (OVNI)’. Código de Referência BR DFANBSB ARX.0.0.491. “Ovni no presídio da Papuda, em Brasília, Distrito Federal: correspondência sobre a ocorrência e o interesse do público no assunto, incluindo o Grupo de Estudos Ufológicos da Universidade de Brasília”. Brasília, DF. 1952 a 2015. Último acesso realizado em 27/05/2020.



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