By A. J. Gevaerd,
Editor of Brazilian UFO Magazine
Last week I’ve been in the city of Riolândia investigating a recent and very interesting case. Riolândia (population 8,500) is located in the far Northwestern region of São Paulo State, 350 miles from São Paulo City. The case involved the sighting of a huge UFO in the night from Saturday, January 19th, to Sunday, January 20th, which resulted in an unusual crumpled vegetation in some places of a vast sugar cane plantation.
The sighted UFO was cylindrical-shaped with oval endings and it was seen by a small businessman, Mr. Mauricio Pereira da Silva, 39, owner of Piapara Inn, a modest and nice-looking place by the banks of the Rio Grande, just between the States of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. The place is really close to São Francisco de Sales, across the river, where Antonio Villas Boas was abducted in the 50s. It is also in the middle of a very hot spot for UFOs.
Mauricio awoke in the middle of the night hearing a loud noise that resembled like the crushing sugar canes at the neighboring plantation. Through the kitchen’s window he saw the object lightly illuminating the surroundings. After a very short while seeing the object he noticed that it was still in the air. Simultaneously, the strange crushing noise stopped. It was between 3:00 and 3:00 a.m. on Sunday (January, 20th).
At the same time, a guest of the inn, Mr. Durval Ambrizzi Jr, a business representative, 58, who was camped with his wife in a trailer parked in the premises, was also awakened by the same loud sound and saw the lights, without, however, noticing any object. He and Mauricio did simultaneous but independent sightings.
Only on the day following the event, when they were up and chatting, around 6:00 a.m., did the Inn’s owner and his guest, and their wives, talked about the subject. They found, then, on the sugar plantation that is adjacent to the Inn (and does not belong to Mauricio), the strangely crumpled plants, on an uneven area of roughly 3.600 to 5.200 m2 (previously estimated in 1.500 to 2.000 m2), next to a little street that marks off the premises’ perimeter. The women had not been awakened the night before nor had they heard the sounds or seen the lights. Only at the moment of their conversation did Mauricio and Durval find out they had witnessed the same phenomenon.
The plants, 5 to 8,5 feet high, and which were ready for being harvested, were bent in a most unusual way, close to ground level. Interestingly, this was done without the stems being broken, which is uncommon with that kind of plant. The sugar canes survived and continued to grow in that bent-up, horizontal position. Receiving both sunlight and lots of rain during the week, they began to show a significant recovery on Saturday (January, 26th), when I visited the field.
The stems have by now been bent back straight, which is a natural biological feature. It has been noted, however, that the plants have suffered premature aging, and their pulpous parts have become purpled. Nevertheless, the plants seemed fit for human consumption.
Throughout that week, dozens of people visited Mauricio’s estate, including geographers, geologists, meteorologists, biologists and experts in sugar cane cultivation, all drawn by their scientific interest in the phenomenon. All of them, after several different kinds of analysis, testified that there was no natural explanation for the phenomenon that had occurred in that part of the plantation next to Piapara Inn.
Particularly the sugar cane experts from União dos Produtores de Bionergia (UDOP) (Association of Bionergy Producers) in Araçatuba (SP), issued a note attesting that the incident could not have been caused by any known natural causes.
Devoted to increasing and enhancing sugar cane cultivation in this country, UDOP was greatly interested in the incident and conducted reports and research studies on the situation, including aerial filming of the phenomenon. This enabled them to discover that besides the larger mark caused by the crushed plants on the street just off the premises, other unevenly circular marks – 3 to 4 – had appeared on the plantation, for which – again – no natural explanation was found.
During my stay at the Inn, I was accompanied by two ufologists, Gener Silva, attorney and consultant for UFO Magazine, and Jorge Nery, expert in telecommunications and electronics, both members of the Instituto de Astronomia e Pesquisas Espaciais (INAPE) (Institute for Astronomy and Space Research) whose significant assistance was crucial for surveying data and interviewing several witnesses, not only for the Riolândia incident, but from other cases in the surrounding area.
Nery was the first UFO researcher to visit the Inn, on the day immediately after the event (Monday, January 21th), having obtained first-hand, recent information on the facts and interacting with witnesses.
The mere crushing of sugar cane plants would not in itself be significant to Ufology – maybe so to other fields of study – if we did not have any witnesses of a unusual phenomenon that occurred just a few hours before the physical effect on the plants was discovered. Both Mauricio and Durval heard the sound of vegetation being crushed or broken, and Mauricio said that it was a very strong, frightening noise. “Sounded like a bulldozer rolling over the plants, but without engine sounds, only the sound of plants being crumpled or broken”, he told UFO Magazine.
The sounds were the first thing that called the witnesses’ attention, and because of the sound, they woke up, looked up and saw something in the sky. While Durval, who was about 140 feet away from the crushing site, where UFO must have been, saw only “dim lights spread around the place, as though they were linked to a very large object”, Mauricio, about 90 feet away from the phenomenon, had the opportunity of seeing the craft, which he described as being “very large, cylindrical in shape and ovoid at the tips.” He also saw a dim light shining from the object’s bottom part, which did not emit any humming sound nor caused any other effect.
This editor, researchers Gener and Nery, and many others who visited the site – including News staff members of Globo TV and Record TV – who were consulted at the time – are convinced of the witnesses’ honesty of character and sincerity. Separately interviewed, their testimonies matched almost perfectly were it not for one detail: Durval, from where we was, on his trailer, a bit further away from the UFO, saw only whitish lights, whereas Mauricio, closer to the object, saw lights coming from the UFO, but of a more yellowish tone.
Another corroborating factor to the legitimacy of the incident is that there are other testimonies by local city dwellers who claim to have seen unidentified flying objects on different occasions, both before and after Riolândia Incident, including the very afternoon before the episode and the day following it. One of those witnesses is a policeman. Several witnesses were interviewed by UFO Magazine, which has gathered a large amount of material for publication in its upcoming issue.
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