Ministry of Defense and Ufologists establish
unique communication channel in the world
|By A. J. Gevaerd|
Historic meeting in Brasília on April 18 initiates mutual cooperation between military commands and civilian UFO investigators
Members of the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU) and members of the Brazilian Armed Forces met this Thursday afternoon in Brasília under the Ministry of Defense’s intermediation to discuss access to military documents and reports of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).
Those were the introductory words used on the official note published on the website of the Brazilian Ministry of Defense (MoD), describing the historic meeting just held in Brasília, the Federal Capital, on April 18, a date to be remembered in theyears to come. The meeting was the first step towards the oncoming future cooperation between the Brazilian military andUFO researchers to provide the society with some concrete about the fascinating UFO Phenomena.
The meeting was as a direct response to the Iguassu Falls Letter by the Ministry of Defense, issued by the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU) and staff members of the UFO Brazilian Magazine during the 4th World UFO Forum, held in Iguassu Falls last December. Signed by over 30 speakers from a dozen countries and nearly 600 people from the audience, the Letter has turned out to be the element that has engendered the meeting.
An official bureau for UFO research
"Brazil is one of the leading countries in the world in number of incidents involving UFO sightings and encounters with extraterrestrials. It is highly contradictory that neighboring nations already have official committees for UFO reports analysis and investigation, while Brazilian UFO researchers still relies on promises from the Government that never seemed to be kept," said A. J. Gevaerd, Brazilian UFO Magazine's editor, while advocating, during the meeting, the establishment of a bureau with the specific purpose of investigating UFOs. It should be composed of both civilian and military.
During the 75-minute meeting at the Ministry of Defense, the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU) was amazed to realize that that some of participating military had no knowledge whatsoever of some important and classical UFO cases registered in Brazil, such as the Operation Saucer and the famous Varginha Incident, which were then accordingly described by the members of the CBU.
Also during the meeting, the UFO researchers made it clear to the Secretary of the Ministry of Defense’s Institutional Coordination and Organization, the assembly’s mediator, Ari Matos Cardoso, as well as to all the military members of the Brazilian Army, Navy and Air Force also present at the meeting, that a cooperation scenario between both parties is desired and necessary, in which total access to governmental UFO files would be granted to civilians investigators for analysis and subsequent divulgation.
It is a commonly known fact throughout Brazilian UFO Community that the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU) has always and particularly through its campaign “UFOs: Freedom of Information Now,” since 2004 claimed that a serious and systematic study of the UFO Phenomenon is in order, and relying on governmental support given by the Armed Forces it may result in invaluable scientific knowledge to be accessible to the Brazilian and worldwide societies.
Many unanswered questions
During the Ministry of Defense meeting, the UFO researchers reported their difficulties to access documents classified as either secret or ultra-secret. “Many questions remain unsolved about famous incidents such as Varginha, the Operation Saucer, aerial and naval vessel pursues, the Trindade Island incident and what is largely known as Brazilian Official UFO Night,” pointed out A. J. Gevaerd, Brazilian UFO Magazine’s editor. “The complete declassification of the documents of those cases would enable us to have a broader view of the facts.”
In reply to Gevaerd, Secretary Ari Cardoso declared that those yet classified cases are exceptions in the Ministry of Defense system, saying that “MoD's general rule is to make all UFO documents accessible to the researchers, even those documents still kept in secrecy by the Armed Forces.” He added that “some cases still have to go through the legal deadlines, but that is an issue that will soon be resolved. It is a matter of time until the CBU has access to what it is requesting.”
In addition, the Secretary assured to the UFO researchers that the Ministry of Defense has great respect for the subject: “I want you gentlemen to know that we take these matters very seriously, and we have deep respect for your work. We will do everything we can to establish a clear and effective communication channel between MoD and CBU, and also help you to reach your goals,” he said, accompanied by Mr. Adriano Portella, Director of the MoD’s Organization and Legislation Department.
The CBU staff members who attended the meeting were the UFO researchers and Brazilian UFO Magazine specialists Gener Silva (lawyer), Thiago Ticchetti (administrator), Fernando Ramalho (public servant), Marco Petit (writer), Francisco Pires de Campos (businessman) and the editor Gevaerd (journalist), presiding over the meeting on the UFO researchers side. Professor Wilson Picler and engineer Ricardo Varela had been scheduled to be in Brasília as well, but unfortunately were unable to go.
Requests through the Access to Information Act
The serious way that the Ministry of Defense has approached the subject is not a chance circumstance. According to Air Force Colonel Alexandre Spengler, who is in charge of the MoD’s Service of Information to the Citizen, most of the requests received by his bureau through the recent established Access of Information Act (LAI) involve UFO incidents, a fact that has encouraged the militaries and the public agents to organize the meeting with the UFO researchers.
As Spengler said, “all requests made by society and later turned down were due to the fact that the information requested either did not exist in our files or contains national security issues. Apart from that, all the requests have been answered.” The predominant incidence of requests involving UFO cases through the use of the LAI was also emphasized by Secretary Ari Cardoso.
According to information from Brazilian New Agency, the requests for information on flying saucers to the Ministry of Defense based on that Act have actually broken all records and were higher than any other topic. The numbers are revealing: among all types of requests, the majority is about UFO related data, with 107 occurrences. In second place come 27 occurrences about military matters.
Ufology as serious business
The CBU members present at the historic meeting at the Ministry of Defense meeting, thereby representing the whole Brazilian UFO Community, discussed with MoD officials and the military several important details and particularities about the UFO Phenomena, thus extending the conversation beyond the need to disclose information which is still being kept secret about the topic.
One of the topics discussed in the meeting was about the frequent request made by the UFO researchers, who would like to see established an official committee or bureau for UFO research, composed both my civilian and military members. This is one of the items on the Iguassu Falls Letter, one of its most important ones, according to the text that can be accessed in the links below. “The Brazilian Committee of UFO Re-searchers (CBU) has repeatedly asked the Government the creation of such entity during its campaign ‘UFOs: Freedom of Information Now,’ since 2004.”
The Letter posed again such request to the Ministry of Defense in these terms: “To establish a multidisciplinary and mixed committee, with the joint participation of military from the three Armed Forces and members of the Brazilian UFO Community, so that with military logistics and the mutual cooperation of UFO re-searchers and civilian scientists, a proper co-joint study of the UFO activity can be carried out, to be subsequently disclosed to society by means of regular informative instruments, suitable to the issue’s importance.”
The military participation in the meeting
Over ten military from the three Armed Forces Army, Navy and Air Force were present at the meeting, but only the representative of the Air Force Command made a significant contribution, surprising the UFO researchers with his frankness and stating that it was quite true that some UFO documents still remain secret and are yet to be declassified. He added, however, “that the proper measures were being taken about it so that the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU) request should be met soon.”
Gevaerd has pointed out that the Navy representative merely said, during the meeting, that there were no UFO documents in possession of his corporation, but Brazilian UFO Magazine’s co-editor Marco A. Petit later contradicted him by demonstrating the existence of numberless facts that had been investigated by the Navy, among which, especially, the famous Trindade Island Incident.
“As for the representative of the Army Command, however, who had also been summoned to the meeting by the Ministry of Defense, his participation was disappointing,” said the editor Gevaerd. Lieutenant-colonel R. Okamoto only claimed to everyone’s amazement that he was called only at the last minute and was not aware of the subject to be discussed, although the Army had been duly notified of the topics for the conversation.
It is a known fact that the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU) main request to the MoD, by means of the Iguassu Falls Letter, was the declassification of documents about the most important episode in Brazilian Ufology, the Varginha Incident. About the subject, Colonel Spengler surprisingly said that “the Army claims that it does not have in its possession any documents about the so-called Varginha’s ET incident, which occurred in 1996, in the State of Minas Gerais, either because those documents have gone astray or were destroyed with the order of its destruction along, according to the law.”
Brazil needs its own bureau for UFO investigation
The attempts to establish an official bureau for UFO investigation in Brazil are important for one more reason. Several South American nations, such as Uruguay and Chile, have their own investigative bureaus for UFO analysis and study, and they operate with transparency. “How come Brazil, the largest country in the continent, does not yet have one such bureau?” asks Gevaerd. Uruguay has the oldest such department in the world, the Comissión Receptadora y Investigadora de Denuncias de Objectos Voladores No Identificados (Cridovni). Operating since 1979, the Comissión collects and analyses UFO incident reports that come to the Uruguayan Air Force’s knowledge.
Other such examples are the Centro de Estudios de Fenómenos Aéreos Anómalos (CEFAA) in Chile, operating since 1997 inside the General Management of Civilian Aviation, and the Peruvian Air Force (FAP) Oficina de Investigación de Fenómenos Anómalos Aeroespaciales (OIFAA), created by a presidential act in 2002, but currently not operative.
As a matter of fact, Brazil did have official entities for UFO investigations in three occasions, 1954, 1969 to 1972 and 1977, this one being the Operation Saucer. In the brief period between 1969 and 1972, the entity operated within the 4th Regional Air Command (IV COMAR) in São Paulo and was called System for the Investigation of Unidentified Flying Objects (Sioani). During its short, though prolific existence, the System investigated over 100 UFO incidents and produced thousands of pages of documentation, photographs and drawings, with the results from its researches.
The UFO reality is worthy of attention
Sioani came into existence thanks to the personal initiative of Major Brigadier José Vaz da Silva, from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), a man who convinced his military peers that the UFO reality was worthy of attention. And he did so during the Brazilian Dictatorship days. Sioani investigated a variety of cases involving UFOs, including those in which occupants were sighted and had some kind of contact with witnesses. Most of the documents produced by the Sioani are now available on Brazilian UFO Magazine’s website (www.ufo.com.br).
Sioani’s extraordinary trajectory, which was paradoxically unknown by many officers of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) today, including some present at the Ministry of Defense meeting, may be a source of inspiration for the establishment of a new committee for UFO analysis and study, as the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU) seeks. Such a committee would be under military wing, involving this time not only the three Armed Forces, but also segments of the Brazilian UFO Community.
The Air Force has already shown how it regards the UFO issue seriously. For example, in 2010, Air Force Commander, Lieutenant Brigadier Juniti Saito, signed Ordinance 551/GC3, determining that all documents about UFOs produced within FAB’s wing should be sent to the National Archives.
Saito’s Ordinance 551/GC3's most important part is: “The Brazilian Airspace Defense Command (Comdabra), being the central organ within the Brazilian Airspace Defense System (Sisdabra), is the organization in charge of receiving and cataloguing registers of UFOs reported in the organ’s own forms by users of
the air traffic control services and forwarding them to the CENDOC on a regular basis. It is the COMAER the organization in charge of copying, binding, filing copies from reports sent by Comdabra, and periodically send the originals to the National Archives.”
The Air Force takes it seriously
On April 18 there was a most auspicious discussion about the establishment within the Ministry of Defense of a committee comprising UFO researchers whose aim would be to receive all registers of UFO occurrences (which FAB calls “Traffic H”) collected by the Brazilian Airspace Defense Command (Comdabra). “Such information shows the extent to which the military, especially those from the Air Force, take the UFO phenomenon seriously,” said another co-editor of the Brazilian UFO Magazine, Fernando Ramalho.
Establishing such a bureau whose aim would be to investigate the immense and complex range of UFO activity in Brazil would meet not only the Brazilian UFO Community demands, but also those of the nation’s society, as can be seen by the huge amount of requests for information on UFOs based on LAI, which have astounded the militaries and become one of the motivations that culminated the official meeting.
The members of the CBU and the members of Brazilian UFO Magazine volunteer their services to the new bureau, which could be an improved version of the ancient Sioani, as suggested Colonel Antonio Celente Videira. The bureau’s goal would be to serve the Brazilian public and help to decipher one of the most impressive enigmas the mankind has ever faced: the visits from other species to our planet, a phenomenon that has given our country an outstanding place in the world because of the immense amount of UFO sightings and encounters with extraterrestrials that happen here, as well as their immense variety.
A demand from the Brazilian Society
“That is precisely why a new official research bureau is urgently needed, so that it can seek out those answers demanded by Brazilian society,” concluded editor Gevaerd. He added that all the members of the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU) present at the historic meeting were happy about the
results, and hopeful to see the promises made by the Ministry of Defense officials kept.
The most important among those promises was the one made by the Secretary for the MoD's Institutional Coordination and Organization, and mediator of the event, Ari Matos Cardoso: the establishment of a clear and effective channel of communication between the CBU and MoD so that the researchers may have un-
limited, unobstructed and bureaucracy-free access to the information needed.
With those words Ari Cardoso closed the meeting, but before the assembly actually dispersed, editor A. J. Gevaerd took the opportunity to add to the Secretary’s promise: “Since such a channel is about to be considered and established, why not make a slightly bigger effort and consider the additional possibility
of creating a committee for UFO research which we have long expected?”
Now it is up to the UFO researchers to wait for the next steps.
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