One of the most unique cases in the annals of UFOlogy also happens to be one of the least well known. This is due to the fact that all the source material is in Portuguese and the events in question occurred in a relatively provincial city in Brazil, outside the purview of American and European commentators, during a time when the country was ruled by a brutal dictatorship. Two decades later, the Brazilian government finally declassified their top secret report on it and details have been trickling out ever since.
The facts are as follows: during the latter half of 1977 and first few months 1978, a large number of individuals living in a coastal region of Pará (a Northern state of Brazil) reported not just sightings but actual encounters with bright objects of varying shapes and sizes that hovered low enough to fire strange beams of light at them. Following their encounters, witnesses described an array of physical side effects, from giddiness and fatigue to outright burns or puncture marks. Many described feeling like they had just given blood. As a result, the phenomenon came to be locally known as “chupa chupa” (Portuguese for “sucker sucker”) or The Vampire Lights. A general panic ensued, with people amassing in groups for protection and staying huddled inside, to the point of starvation. Desperate, a local mayor requested help from the Air Force, organized night vigils and even began to set off fireworks to keep the lights away.
The local physician who treated the victims of these attacks was named Wellaide Cecim Carvalho. She described their wounds as characteristic of people who had undergone radiation treatment.
All of them had suffered lesions to the face or the thoracic area. [The lesions]… began with intense reddening of the skin in the affected area. Later the hair would fall out and the skin would turn black. There was no pain, only a slight warmth. One also noticed small puncture marks in the skin. The victims were men and women of varying ages, without any pattern…
The FAB (Força Aérea Brasileira) deemed these reports serious enough to launch Operação Prato, the first ever military mission in that country with an exclusive focus on UFOs. Leading the investigation was Captain Uyrangê Bolivar Soares Nogueira de Hollanda Lima. For approximately four months, Capt. Hollanda and his team interviewed witnesses, took photos, and ultimately restored calm in the area. The body of material he collected includes 2,000 pages of text, 500 photographs and 16 hours of (movie) film. He passed all this information on to his superiors. Their official conclusion was ambiguous: no satisfactory explanation for the phenomenon was ever given and the operation was aborted in early 1978.
In 1997, shortly after the files from his mission were declassified, Capt. Holland gave an interview to a popular Brazilian UFO magazine. He recounted how terrified his subjects were, and discussed some of the most compelling evidence, including a woman who described waking up to the sight of something wearing a protective suit shooting a colored beam of light at her and eyewitness reports from several of his officers who saw strange lights diving into and emerging from the coastal waters around the area. As is usual, the photographic evidence is vague and inconclusive.
Much more damning is this: three months after Capt. Holland gave his interview he was found dead in his home, hung by the belt of his bathrobe.
As always, Wondercabinet leaves any final verdict up to its readers, but if there’s any merit at all to this case, it sheds some horrifying light on one possible explanation for another, extremely disturbing case from Brazil. Readers are seriously warned to use discretion before clicking that click.