In previous installments (which can be found here, here, and here) I put forth the notion that Latin America has served as a kind of playground for the Cryptocracy. In those installments I mainly focused on the role cults (especially those founded by expat Americans and Europeans) have played in the latter half of the 20th century amongst various Latin American nations. Most notably several of these sects had links to various intelligence agencies with a special emphasis on brainwashing.

In this installment we shall focus on the legacy of UFOs in Latin America, especially Brazil. Latin American UFO sightings and encounters are badly neglected amongst US ufologists and for good reason - they are hard to reconcile with the extraterrestrial hypothesis that dominates the American UFO field. Latin American UFO encounters are even more surreal and mystical and occult connections are even more overt. Let us consider the case of Jose Antonio, a Brazilian soldier in the military police, which I've already chronicled in the context of entheogens. Antonio's abduction experience began 'typically' enough with a burst of light hitting him while he was out fishing. Two masked figures in dull aluminium suits seized him a brought him on board a craft that looked like an upright cylinder. It was when Antonio was brought inside the craft that things started to get weird.
"After a period of travel that seemed 'interminable,' the machine landed with a jarring sensation, and the little men unfastened Jose Antonio. They put a bandage over the eyeholes in his helmet and carried him with his knees dragging on the ground. He heard footsteps and the sound of many people talking. Finally he was placed on a backless seat and the bandage was removed.

"Jose Antonio found himself in a large quadrangular room, thirty by forty feet, about fifteen feet away from a robust dwarf who stared at him 'with apparent satisfaction...'

"Other beings of similar appearance began arriving until about fifteen dwarfs were in the room. The soldier assumed there was a door in the back beyond his field of vision. The three walls he could see had no window and no door. To his left was a low shelf with the corpses of four men, one of them a Negro. He thought they had been killed by the homunculi. The whole room seemed to be made of stone, and at one point Jose Antonio was given something to drink out of a cubical stone glass, and the cavity containing a dark green liquid was in the shape of an inverted pyramid...

The leader of the dwarfs began a strange conversation with the soldier. It was conducted entirely through gestures and drawings and revolved around the concept of weapons. (Jose Antonio thinks that they must have perceived that he was in the military and illustrated this by their actions.) At one time, a little man shot a beam of light against the stone wall. The communication seemed to be a request that Jose Antonio help the little beings in their relations with earth. Was he to be their guide among men? This is what Jose Antonio understood. He gestured his refusal and began praying, fingering the rosary he always carried with him.

The leader stepped towards him and, displaying irritation for the first time, seized the crucifix and snatched it from him. One of the beads rolled onto the floor and was picked up by one of the little men, who showed it to the others. The crucifix was passed around in the same way, arousing the curiosity of all of them.

While this discussion took place among the homunculi Jose Antonio had a vision of a Christ-like entity, 'his eyes clear and serene,' barefoot and wearing a dark robe. The figure made some revelations to Jose Antonio, who now refuses to disclose them. The apparition vanished, the irritated dwarfs blindfolded him again, and he was transported back. As the machine landed, he felt that he was being dragged and he lost consciousness. He woke up alone near the town of Vitoria in the state of Espirito Santo, two hundred miles away from the spot where he had been fishing. He had been way for four and a half days.

(Dimensions, Jacques Vallee, pgs. 189-190)
Various aspects of Antonio's abduction experience resemble the initiation rites of various secret societies. This is hardly the only instance in which the occult appears in connection with UFOs in Latin America. Let us consider the curious deaths of Miguel Jose and Manuel Pereira da Cruz, both of whom were electronics technicians. One day in 1966 their bodies were found atop a steep hill across the bay from Rio de Jeneiro dressed in neat suits and new rain coats, laying on their backs.
"The investigators found no blood, no signs of any violence at the site. The two corpses were lying peacefully side by side. Next to them were crude metal masks as well as slips of paper covered with notes. One of these notes contained elementary electrical formulas. Also found was a crushed piece of aluminized blue and white paper, some cellophane soaked in a chemical substance, and a handkerchief with the initials AMS.

"The skin of the corpses had a pinkish color and showed possible burns, but decomposition had progressed to the point where such a finding was not significant. Indeed, the coroner, Astor de Melo, soon concluded that death was by natural causes (cardiac arrest) and closed the file. His examination of the bowels had revealed no poison. The men had died sometime between Tuesday, August 16, and Saturday, August 20...

"Unhappy with the stated cause of death, the man in charge of security for the state of Rio, Col. Eduardo de Cento Pfeil, held a review meeting with police delegate Jose Venancio Bettencourt and an electronics technician. The next day he contacted Toledo Pizza, director of the Coroners Institute. Dr. Alberto Farah was asked to conduct a second autopsy. The viscera were removed and analyzed. The pathologist also looked for possible injection sites in the bodies, but the second autopsy revealed nothing new.

"On the basis of these facts the police examined a number of hypotheses. Could robbery have been a motive for the crime? A large sum of money seemed to have disappeared between the time Miguel and Manuel left Campos with nearly 3 million cruzeiros and the time they were found dead. But this hypothesis did not explain the manner of death and the absence of a struggle.

"Were the men spies? The Morro do Vintem is a strategic spot from which the entire area can be surveyed. More prosaically, it would also be an idea location for a TV repeater, the type of electronic installation in which the two men specialized. The absence of any violence, again, seemed to exclude espionage and foul play."

(Confrontations, Jacques Vallee, pgs. 6-8)
Even more curious were reports called into the police of a UFO flying above the hill on which the bodies of Manuel and Miguel were found near the time of their deaths as well as the obsession both men had with spiritualism.
"One of the first callers was a society matron, Gracinda Barbosa Couninho de Souza. She told Officer Bettencourt that as she was driving along Alameda Sao Boaventura in Fonseca with three of her children on Wednesday evening, her daughter Denise, then seven, told her to look up in the sky over the Morro do Vintem. She saw an oval object, orange in color, with a line of fire around its edges, 'sending out rays in all directions,' while it hovered over the hill. She had time to stop the car and to observe it carefully as it rose and fell vertically for three or four minutes, giving off a well-defined 'blue ray...'

"This observation was soon confirmed by a large number of witnesses who called police independently to report they had seen an orange-colored, egg-shaped object giving off blue rays over the Morro do Vintem, adding that they had not reported it at the time for fear of ridicule that attaches to UFO cases. All reports placed the object in the vicinity of the victims near the estimated time of death...

"Also interrogated was Manuel Pereira da Cruz's widow. Her testimony indicated that the two victims were members of s 'spiritualist' group, an occult society with unknown objectives. It was rumored that the group attempted to communicate with other planets. A civilian pilot named Elcio Correa das Silva was also a member of the group.

"Elcio disclosed to the investigators that he had, indeed, conducted a number of 'experiments' with the two victims, one in Manuel's garden in Campos, and another time on the beach at Atafona. In that experiment Elcio and another man named Valdir had witnessed a huge blast. This had taken place on June 13, 1966, two months before the tragedy in Neteroi. There was an explosion, a luminous object in the sky, a blinding flash. Local fishermen stated they had seen a flying saucer fall into the sea. The explosion was so powerful that it was heard in Campos. But speculation was dampened when the families of the victims testified at the inquest: the devices used at Atafona and in Campos were only homemade bombs, they said, manufactured with pipes and wires.

"The police started digging deeper into the victims' backgrounds: they had attended courses in Sao Paulo organized by Philips Electronics and other firms; they had purchased sophisticated equipment, yet they were not thought to be qualified to conduct scientific experiments. There were allegations that the victims maintained an illegal radio station in Glicerio, in the Macae district. And again, witnesses spoke of their interests in the paranormal. A few days before his death, Manuel is supposed to have said that he was going to attend a 'final test,' after which he would say whether or not he was a 'believer.'

"Another curious element in the case was one of the notes found next to the corpses. It read:
Meet at the designated spot at 4:30 P.M. At 6:30 P.M. ingest the capsules. After the effect is produced, protect half of the face with lead masks. Wait for prearranged signal.

the lead masks found with the bodies
"Were the two men expecting to be contacted by a UFO? Or were they, more prosaically, taking part in a spiritualist experiment that went wrong?..

"A group of Brazilian spiritualists claimed to be in contact with Jupiterian beings through psychic channeling. According to these messages, the deaths of the victims were an accident that resulted when 'they started running forward [toward the saucer that was supposed to pick them up] before they were instructed to do so.' The channel also disclosed that the Jupiterians were female, one foot taller than the average humans, with vertical mouths and four fingers on their hands. Nobody took the revelations seriously, since there was no evidence the men had died while running...

"...the channeled revelations from Jupiter had explained the specific details of the murder. A lengthy discussion we had at the home of Professor Silvio Lago, a medical doctor who had been called by the court as an expert witness on parapsychology, threw some light on the spiritualist aspects. According to Professor Lago, the victims may have been engaged in a series of seances during which a paranormal entity was supposed to manifest itself. After the experiment in Campos, and again after the explosion on Atafona Beach, Manuel had found powder at the site. He may have suspected that others, possibly including Elcio, had designed a hoax to convince him of the reality of the 'entity.' Yet... they were willing to make a third attempt at contact with the entity in question: there must have been a higher-level person who remained in the background and whose instructions they trusted -possibly the person who gave them the orders written on the note."

(ibid, pgs. 8-12)
Both of these encounters occurred in the framework of the occult. In the case of Jose Antonio his abduction resembles the initiation process used by secret societies such as the Freemasons as do various symbols present within the flying saucer. As for the deaths of Manuel and Miguel, they seem to have been engaged in some kind of magical working leading up to their final hours. In both cases the victims consumed some form of a sacrament. In the case of Antonio, he was given a dark green liquid out of a cubicle stone glass sporting an inverted pyramid. In the mysterious case of Manuel and Miguel, they were told to ingest a mysterious capsule before the presumed working began.


the letter telling Manuel and Miguel to ingest the mysterious capsules
Were these substances entheogens? I speculated as much in the case of Antonio in a prior installment. In the case of Manuel and Miguel I have found no evidence of entheogens, but their deaths occurred in the mid-1960s in Brazil, so possibly something was missed or covered up. Brazil was something of a hot spot for the black opts in the 1960s as we shall discuss in a future installment.

Vallee briefly speculates that Manuel and Miguel were spies before dismissing the notion. I don't think its as far-fetched, however. In a prior post I've chronicled how the US Intelligence community has used cults as guinea pigs in various experiments centered around mind control. In my prior pieces on modern Latin American cults (which can be read here, here and here) we found ample evidence of this. Perhaps Manuel and Miguel were not spies themselves, but assets being manipulated by a handler for some kind of experiment. Jose Antonio was a soldier in Brazil's elite Guard's Battalion and would make a fine test subject.

The presence of UFOs and possibly entheogens could point to an intelligence link. Certainly UFOs have been used heavily in PSYOPs (as I've chronicled before here, here, here and here) by the US Intelligence community to both cover up the use of experimental aircrafts in addition to manipulating the public. Entheogens, as noted before here, were heavily used in various mind control experiments by the CIA and the like. Both Colonia Dignidad and Jonestown used drugs as tools of behavior modifications, as I noted before here and here. Both institutions may have had ties to various intelligence services as well.

Colonia Dignidad, an 'agricultural' experiment accused of using drugs for brainwashing purposes.

So, perhaps there's more to the spy angle than Vallee believes. The infamous UFO experience of Antonio Villas Boas may shed further light on the spy angle. First, let us consider a conventional account of Villas Boas' experience.
"On the night of 15 October 1957, twenty-three-year-old Antonio Villas Boas was out on his tractor plowing a field at his farm in Sao Francisco de Salles, which is in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, near the border with Sao Paulo. At about 1 a.m. he saw a large red 'star' approaching. It was similar to a red ball of light that both he and his brother had seen the previous night, and which he chased up and down the field but failed to catch. This second light, however,turned out to be an egg-shaped object so bright that the tractor's headlights could not be seen. It landed some ten to fifteen meters in front of him, on three metallic legs. Since his tractor would not start, Antonio jumped down and began to run away, but he was grabbed by three figures who dragged him into their machine.

"He was led into a circular compartment where rubber tubes were attached to his chin, apparently to draw blood from him. His captors were dressed in tight-fitting metallic suits and round helmets which hid their faces except for their small, bluish eyes. Next, he was taken to another compartment, stripped, and laid down on a white plastic-like couch. One of the abductors began to wash him down with a sponge containing a clear refreshing liquid. Left alone, he suddenly noticed a pungent smell which caused him to be violently sick.

"After a while a woman entered the room. She was blonde, small (about four feet eight inches tall), with a small mouth, nose, and ears but large slanting blue eyes, and unusually high, broad cheekbones. Also, she was naked. In spite of the circumstances, Antonio found her most attractive and became aroused by her sexual advances. They had sex, normal in every way, except that he was perturbed by the guttural barks the woman gave at certain moments, giving him the impression that he was lying with an animal. Before she left, the woman pointed at her belly and then at the sky - which Antonio took to mean that she intended to return and take him away to wherever she lived.

"Antonio's clothes were given back to him and he was then returned to the first room, where three of the 'crew' were sitting talking. After his attempt to steal a box with a clock-like dial on one face was foiled - he wanted it as proof of his experience - he was carried out of the craft and dropped in his field. He had spent four and a quarter hours in the hands of his captors. He was left with some odd wounds on his limbs (they became violet while they healed), and a scar."

(Daimonic Reality, Patrick Harpur, pgs. 208-209)
Again, one can't help but be struck by the surrealism of this encounter. Villas Boas' abduction comes off as much as a retelling of a fairy encounter from the Middle Ages than as an experience involving a vastly scientifically advanced race. What's more, as outlandish as this account may sound, recent evidence has emerged that Villas Boas was in fact used in some kind of black opts experiment by the US Intelligence community. We shall examine this angle and various other instances of black opts and mysterious crafts in the second part of this installment.

Latin American High Weirdness: The UFOs Part II

In the first installment of this series I reviewed several of the more bizarre UFO encounters to emerge from South America. One of the most celebrated of these encounters was that of Antonio Villas Boas, a Brazilian farmer taken on board a spaceship where he enjoyed sexual relations with a four-and-a-half foot blonde in an effort to create a human/alien hybrid. Or so ufologist claim. Recent evidence has emerged that Villas Boas was in fact used as part of a bizarre experiment conducted by the CIA and military.
"Until his death in Fairfax, Virginia in 1999, Bosco Nedelcovic was an interpreter and translator at the Inter-American Defense College, which educates future leaders of Latin American nations. In 1978 the Yugoslavian emigre confided in the American UFO researcher Rich Reynolds that, during the 1950s and 1960s, the CIA had deliberately manufactured UFO incidents all over the world as part of a project called Operation Mirage. What's more, Nedelcovic, who between 1956 and 1963 had worked for the CIA in Latin America under the Agency for International Development (AID), was himself present at some of these staged events. And one of them was the Villas Boas abduction.


The Lorenzens, the founders of ARPO
"Nedelcovic claimed that in mid-October 1957 he was part of a helicopter team conducting psychological warfare and hallucinogenic drug tests in the Minas Gerias region of Brazil. The team included himself, two other CIA employees, a doctor, two naval officers -one American and one Brazilian -plus a three-man crew. Various items of electronic equipment were on board, as was a metal 'cubicle' about five feet long and three feet wide. Nedelcovic was never told what it was for, only that it was used by the military in psychological warfare operations.

"Initially the team flew around their base of operations at Uberaba, about 150 miles east of Sao Francisco de Sales, testing the electronic equipment. A few days later they flew along the Rio Grande and conducted another night sweep. Using heat-sensing cameras they identified a lone figure on the ground. The helicopter descended to about 200 feet then released an aerosol sedative. The helicopter landed, and the man ran, pursued by the three CIA operatives who grabbed him and hauled him into the helicopter, banging his chin on the deck as they did so. Nedelcovic makes no mention of what was done to the man while on board, only that after a few hours they left him, still unconscious, next to his tractor.

"So was this man Antonio Villas Boas? Elements of Nedelcovic's account do correspond to the farmer's story, for example the timing, geography, weather conditions and bruising under their victim's chin. Likewise many aspects of Villas Boas's account, his kidnappers' costumes for instance, sound more human than alien. Their aircraft also sounds as if it could have been a helicopter, modified either by his own imagination or by some crafty sci-fi refitting; the unusual number of coloured and white lights on the exterior may have given it an extra UFO-like feel, while the 'rotating' dome on its top might have been rotor blades. Countering this, a large helicopter makes a lot of noise, and it would be some years before 'quiet' helicopters were operational in the field. Even late at night in such a remote area, somebody would surely have heard the chopper, an unusual sound in rural Brazil at the time.

"Other parts of the story also ring true. At the time of the incident the CIA and the US military were firmly established in Brazil, and all over Latin America, keeping close tabs on political developments in the region. Brazil was considered a particularly sensitive nation; its vast size, considerable natural resources and proximity to the US made it a ripe target for Soviet expansion. Things would come to a head in 1964 when the CIA participated in a coup to oust President Joao Goulart, replacing him with a brutal military junta that held power for the next two decades.


Villas Boas' actual abductors?
"In 1957 the CIA was also deeply involved in its MK-ULTRA programme, researching mind and behaviour-altering techniques involving drugs, surgery and technology. They experimented with a number of psychoactive substances -hallucinogens, sedatives, stimulants, psychomimetics and more -often so entirely unwitting subjects. Would the CIA have conducted some tests on subjects outside of their own jurisdiction? Certainly. For the CIA at this time, the entire world was within its jurisdiction.

"Villas Boas was repeatedly sick during and after his experience, and also suffered unpleasant physiological effects that Fontes took to be related to radiation exposure. Might the strange 'cubicle' described by Nedelcovic have been used to illicitly test the effects of radiation exposure?Although Nedelcovic doesn't mention what they wore for the helicopter flights, Villas Boas's description of the entities' clothing and helmets could be conceived of as radiation-protection gear."

(Mirage Men, Mark Pilkington, pgs. 111-113)
If Villas Boas was a part of some kind of CIA experiment then some sense can be made of the prior encounters mentioned in part one involving Jose Antonio and Manuel and Miguel. The case of Antonio has several overt overlaps with Villas Boas. Both Antonio and Villas Boas were grabbed by strangely dressed beings on the ground. Both were taken into a spaceship by these beings. Both were confronted with bizarre sexual encounters on board the ship. Both encounters share similarities with the effects of psychedelic drugs.

The connections are less clear as far as Manuel and Miguel are concerned. We have no direct eye witness accounts of the experiences of both men. In all three cases physical air crafts of some kind were a factor while psychedelic drugs were seemingly used in all three encounters as well. The cases of Antonio and Manuel/Miguel have strong occult ties. The experiences of Villas Boas is very similar to a fairy abduction of old.

Another curious overlap between the Manuel/Miguel case and that of Villas Boas is the ufologist that was instrumental in investigating either case, Professor Olavo Fontes of the National School of Medicine in Rio de Janeiro. Fontes was a member of APRO, a civilian UFO research agency that was heavily infiltrated by the US Intelligence community. This was directly mandated in the infamous Robertson Report.
"The Robertson Report also recommended that civilian UFO groups be monitored, 'because of their potentially great influence on mass thinking if widespread sightings should occur. [Their] apparent irresponsibility and the possible use of such groups for subversive purposes should be kept in mind.' For the next two decades, one of the groups mentioned by name, the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) of Tucson, Arizona, found itself under close scrutiny by the intelligence services."

(ibid, pg. 86)
The figure of Professor Olavo Fontes is quite curious as well.

"...Dr. Olavo Fontes, a respected young medical doctor who would become Vice President of the Brazilian Society of Gastroenterology and Nutrition before dying of cancer in 1968, while still in his thirties. Fontes had become fascinated by dramatic reports of UFOs over Brazil in late 1954 and, after starting to investigate individual cases on his own, joined APRO, the American UFO organization recommended for observation by the Robertson Panel, in early 1957...

"...Fontes's career as Brazil's foremost ufologist and setting him up for an odd close encounter of his own. In February 1958 Fontes was visited by two Brazilian Naval Ministry intelligence officers who wanted to talk to him about the Ubatuba material. After warning him not to poke his nose into matters that 'did not concern him', they proceeded to tell him everything they knew about the secret UFO cover-up. The world's government, they said, were aware of the extraterrestrial presence on Earth and were doing everything they could to keep a lid on it. Six flying saucers of between thirty and a hundred feet in diameter had crashed thus far, three in the US (two in good condition) one in the UK, one in the Sahara and one in Scandinavia. All of the craft had contained short, humanoid occupants, none of whom had survived, and scientists were currently trying, unsuccessfully, to back-engineer these saucers, which seemed to be powered by strong rotating electromagnetic fields, along with an atomic component. The UFO occupants themselves had shown no interest in contacting humankind and were to be considered extremely hostile, having already destroyed a number of aircraft sent to pursue them. The UFO matter, they warned hum, was held at the highest level of secrecy -even Brazil's president was kept in the dark on the matter -and was considered sensitive enough that some witnesses and researchers had been assassinated to prevent them from leaking information.

"Fontes was left puzzled but unbowed by the visit. He may even have asked the same question we should: why, if the UFO matter was so secret that even the president couldn't be told, had so many of the Navy men's revelations already been printed in popular books and magazines? And why were they telling Fontes, who immediately shared the information with Coral and Jim Lorenzen APRO's directors, confirming similar rumours that they had heard from other sources? Was it because somebody wanted Fontes and APRO to believe these tales, and to share them, in the same way Silas Newton had been encouraged to keep spreading his crashed saucer stories back in 1950?"

(ibid, pgs. 106-107)
Fontes would go on to die of cancer while still in his 30s. Is it possible Fontes was an unwitting disinformation agent, spreading the extraterrestrial gospel for encounters instigated by the CIA and like organizations? Did Fontes eventually suspect this, which led to his early death? Vallee acquired much of Fontes' research rather hastily.

The legendary ufologist Jacques Vallee, who was the model for a character in 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', which he was also a consultant on
"Today my files of UFO data bulge to a barely manageable volume that occupies fourteen well-packed file cabinet drawers. They are organized by country, and the file on Brazil contains a series of original documents that were given to me shortly before his death from cancer, by a highly skilled investigator, a medical doctor named Dr. Olavo Fontes.

"When Dr. Fontes visited us in Chicago in 1967 he took this bundle of case reports from his suitcase. 'I want you to have these,' he said. Was he already aware that he would soon die?"

(Confrontations, Jacques Vallee, pg. 14)
Whatever the case, something very strange was going on in Brazil in the 1960s. CIA-backed UFO PSYOPs would fit right in with the rogue's gallery of individuals wandering around the nation then, such as our old friend Andrija Puharich (of whom I've written much more on here, here, and here), the Nazi angel of death Joseph Mengele, the CIA interrogation 'specialist' Dan Mitrione, and even Jim Jones himself.

The figure of Andrija Puharich is especially interesting to our current investigation. Puharich was an Army officer that worked out of Edgewood Arsenal and Camp Detrick in the early 1950s on behalf of the Pentagon, the CIA, and Naval Intelligence. Puharich was involved in bizarre research concerning parapsychology, ELF electromagnetic waves emissions, UFOs, and psychedelic drugs for both the government and the private sector. By the late 1950s Puharich seemingly became convinced that he was in contact with a group of extraterrestrial entities known as the Nine.
"The Nine revealed themselves as extraterrestrial beings living on an immense spacecraft hovering invisibly over the planet. The assembled congregation had been selected to promote the agenda of The Nine on earth. As Puharich would later write in his biography of Uri Geller, 'We took every known precaution against fraud, and the staff and I became thoroughly convinced that we were dealing with some kind of an extraordinary extraterrestrial intelligence.' This belief was reinforced by events that took place over the next twenty years, culminating in the Uri Geller experience, when it seemed there were UFOs following everyone around from Israel to South America to New York State. Indeed, Puharich became obsessed with The Nine, seeing them behind every psychic encounter, every UFO sighting, every paranormal event."

(Sinister Forces Book One, Peter Levenda, pg. 247)

An especially curious encounter involving the Nine happened to Puharich and the Dutch psychic Peter Hurkos in the mid-1950s in Mexico.

"Although out of the Army, Puharich was still quite busy. He found himself in Mexico with his psychic friend, Peter Hurkos, (and, it seems, Arthur Young) in July 1956 to 'help solve an archaeological problem.' As Puharich was involved in locating drugs that could stimulate psychic abilities, it seems likely that he was there with Hurkos on just such an agenda; neither Puharich nor Hurkos had any archaeological credentials. While in the town of Acambaro, he and Hurkos ran into an American couple from Arizona who eventually claimed that they had been receiving instructions from The Nine. Neither Puharich nor Hurkos had ever met these people before, but it seems they were working with a medium back in Arizona who was also channeling The Nine. To prove this, they sent letters to Puharich the following month with sealed communications from The Nine that referred to details of the specific seances that Puharich had chaired back in Maine. This was the proof that Puharich was looking for. The details went so far as to include a variation of the Lorentz-Einstein Transformation formula that had formed part of the first seance."

(ibid, pg. 248)
Again we see connections between UFOs, the American Intelligence community (which Puharich was involved with) and psychedelic drugs. Is it possible that some faction of the Intelligence community believed that contact could be established with non-human beings through the use of hallucinogens? Were encounters such as those involving Villas Boas, Manuel & Miguel, and Jose Antonio attempts to open a kind of mental stargate with these beings? Certainly the concept of ritualistic drug use to contact extraterrestrial beings was not unheard of in Latin America.
"In March 1986, in a situation strangely reminiscent of the Morro do Vintem tragedy, two young men were found dead on the beach at Grumari, just outside Rio de Janeiro. They were Olavo Mena Barreta, a computer technician from a prominent family, and Wellington Barros Wanderley, an office worker and former engineering student with an interest in Rosicrucian traditions. Olavo was the organizer of a small UFO group to which Wellington belonged.

"Near the bodies were two empty bottles of Guarana, smelling of something else, similar to ammonia. The police noted no signs of violence; the two men had not been robbed. They died with their arms outstretched.

"Were the two experimenting with drugs to induce an out-of-body experience to contact UFO beings on what occultists call the astral plane? Had they simply died from an overdose of the strange-smelling substances found in the bottles? Could a similar scenario explain the deaths of Manuel and Miguel in Niteroi? But what about the sightings of the large luminous objects above the mountain that day?

"Since no UFO was described in connection with the Grumari case, the incident does not seem directly relevant to the question of the lethal impact of UFOs, but it does provide an important indication of the social context of the phenomenon in Brazil, where UFO cases cannot always be separated from occult practices and beliefs."

(Confrontations, Jacques Vallee, pgs. 128-129)
Officially Puharich visited Brazil in 1962 to study the legendary psychic surgeon Arigo, but could this curious feature of Brazilian culture have also held interest to Puharich? Certainly it would be in keeping with Puharich's experiences with the Nine and consistent with the metaphysical group of researcher (of which Jacques Vallee was involved with) Puharich and his good friend Arthur Young would shepherd in the 1970s. I've written more on this group here.

And with that, I shall wrap things up for now. While there seems to be some legitimate paranormal phenomenon involved in the Nine, the subjects of the next installment are pure PSYOPs and disinformation. Or not. Stay tuned for the next installment and make up your own mind.

Latin American High Weirdness: The UFOs Part III

In the previous installment of this series we once again considered the infamous Nine in relation to the UFO phenomenon in Latin America. While there seems to be some legitimate paranormal phenomenon involved with the Nine, our next case study is pure PSYOPs. In the 1970s, in the nation of Argentina, a branch of one of the most notorious government-backed UFO hoaxes set up shop. I am of course referring to the notorious UMMO affair. Much of UMMO unfolded in Europe, beginning in Spain in the mid-1960s, via a series of documents attributed to an extraterrestrial civilization known as Ummo. The Fortean Times notes:
"Some time around the end of 1965 and the beginning of 1966, a number of Spanish UFO enthusiasts received anonymous communications claiming to come from an "extraterrestrial expeditionary group" from the star Wolf 424 on a mission to Earth. The letters had been posted from various countries - including Spain, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, and Germany. Each was 'authenticated' with a strange logo designated the seal of 'the Unified government of the planet Ummo.' (Apparently the design was inked onto a fingertip, then used to 'stamp' on the letters...)


A Ummo 'spacecraft'
"The Ummo papers... were truly mystifying; they appeared to be skilled expositions, displayed a wide knowledge of science and philosophy and did not look like the ravings of lunatics. Over time, several hundred letters were received, some of them voluminous and illustrated manuscripts. Occasionally, someone received a phone call; the Ummite voice was curiously mechanical, as though deliberately distorted. Religious matters were dealt with historically - for Catholic readers, there was the added interest of learning about an ancient Ummite parallel to Christ in 'Ummowoa', a prophet whose body vanished from the table on which he was being vivisected by order of an evil Empress - but, behind the unverifiable and convoluted tracts about alien philosophy and the science of Ummo, was a sentiment that was clearly anti-Franco in its description of a utopian society that was a strange mix of communism and the 'American way of life'.

"The first recipients of the Ummo missions were loosely associated with the Sociedad de Amigos de los Visitantes del Espacio (Friends of Space Visitors Society) formed by Fernando Sesma to discuss UFOs and extraterrestrials. In 1970, a number of these recipients formed their own organisation, called ERIDANI, to study the Ummo case. Several of them wrote books - including Fernando Sesma's Ummo: Another Inhabited Planet (1967) and Looking Toward The Edge Of The Universe (1968) by Father Enrique Lopez Guerrero, the best known outside Spain being Antonio Ribera's The Ummo Mystery (1975). The authors differed widely in their opinions of the origin of the letters and the meaning of their contents, but they agreed on their extraterrestrial origin. The only alternative considered was that the letters were part of some kind of social engineering experiment perpetrated by an unknown intelligence agency - the KGB, the East German Stasi, the CIA and the Vatican organisation Opus Dei were all mooted, even by the Ummite letter-writer."
The legendary ufologist Jacques Vallee pondered whether or not the Ummo affair was linked to an Eastern bloc intelligence outfit during the Cold War.
"A disquieting possibility, under serious investigation by some French authorities, is that UMMO is linked to an Eastern bloc intelligence agency specialized in scientific espionage.

"'The idea is not as farfetched as it may seem at first sight,' a French specialist told me. 'Setting up such a group could have the effect of channeling a lot of grass-roots UFO information, some of it very private, toward the leaders of the group. But more importantly, it could help them acquire valuable, confidential insight into current scientific research ideas in Western laboratories...'

"The obvious link between an alleged extraterrestrial sect and some advanced ideas in modern science is troubling. If the ramifications of the UMMO group into a network designed for the gathering of technical and scientific intelligence, or into the French and German structure of the LaRouche movement, can be confirmed, another nail will be hammered into the coffin of the friendly space brothers."

(Revelations, Jacques Vallee, pgs. 115-116)
Western UFO organizations as a means of tracking recent scientific developments? This explanation seems rather weak to me, especially since many civilian UFO organizations aren't exactly known for their hard approach to science. Keeping tabs on these organization as a way of tracking potentially unstable individuals seems much more likely, especially if a Western intelligence outfit was behind the Ummo affair. Another possibility is that the UMMO affair was meant as a sociological experiment, which Vallee is also rather dismissive of.
"...that UMMO was created as a government-sponsered sociological exercise that somehow acquired a life of its own and got out of hand, with diverse individuals or groups getting into the act for their own ego gratification or gain...

"I am not sure they are right. A genuine sect, of the type often used as cover by intelligence agencies, could have been created more effectively by conventional means, such as providing financing to an existing group with a suitably charismatic leader. But obviously we do not have the whole story. The remarkable fact in the UMMO hoax is that it has no visible leaders. It is simply a framework within which multiple successive authors can in fact operate. A disturbing fact discovered by French investigators seems to link some of the scientists of the UMMO group with the LaRouche extremist movement in Europe. If that link can be verified, the UMMO mystery will take a sinister turn.

"UMMO, is certainly one of the best examples of the systematic application of confusion techniques in the paranormal field. The novelty in the hoax was to create ostensibly genuine sightings that would result in innocent witnesses coming forward to be interviewed by the media and by well-intentioned UFO investigators who could only conclude they were sincere, while the perpetrators remained in the background, manipulating the photographic and physical evidence."

(ibid, pg. 110)
A few points: The LaRouche movement Vallee keeps referring to is in reference to the followers of Lyndon LaRouche, a far left American 'activist' who has never the less inspired followers internationally that encompass both the radical left and right. The so-called LaRouche movement became quite notorious in Europe in the 80s and early 1990s. Another point: Vallee dismisses the notion of the UMMO affair as a sociological experiment on the basis that it doesn't have a central leader like other such intelligence operations. However, that might have been the whole point of the experiment: to see if a movement could be created in such an anonymous and decentralized fashion and to see what direction it would take from there. Various intelligence agencies may have simply leaked the initial UMMO documents, then stood back and observed the fruits they bore.

Anyway, back to Latin America. The UMMO affair has several interesting links to this region to the world. For one, the whole movement seems to have been inspired by a short story by the legendary Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges called "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius."
"According to Borges' story, Tlon is a hypothetical planet invented by a group of clever men financed in the United States by an eccentric Southern aristocrat in Memphis. They use their own talents and that of various contractors to produce a monumental work, an encyclopedia of Tlon, complete with the details of the languages, the philosophies, and the mathematics of Tlon. But they only reveal a little bit of it at a time to the unsuspecting public. The founders, who are members of a secret society called Orbis Tertius, have sworn to remain hidden forever...

"Following the gradual release of the Memphis collection of the secret forty-volume Tlon Encyclopedia, more and more people will start to believe in Tlon, a belief reinforced by the discovery of Tlonian objects made of unusual materials around the world. Borges points out diabolically that as the belief in Tlon grows, our own society, which doesn't know that there is no such thing as Tlon, will start producing its own spurious 'hronir', pseudofacts and quasi-memories of Tlon that will slowly replace the old reality. Borges even envisions a future state where the hoax begun by the secret society he calls Orbis Tertius will have totally disintegrated the rational world...

"The frightening, even terrifying fact, says Borges, is that the unknown masters of Orbis Tertius are slowly substituting their own reality for ours. Indeed, the earth will soon have become Tlon!"

(ibid, pgs. 111-113)
Vallee makes light of the Borges story, but in reality it is quite apt: The true objective of both occult societies and intelligence agencies is the manipulation of reality, as I've noted before here. UMMO has other curious links to Argentina, in addition to Borges. It concerns the so-called International Medical Research Facility located in Canuelas. Continuing with Vallee:
"The man who brought this remarkable development to my attention in 1979 is a dynamic South American researcher who sent me two photographs of a so-called International Medical Research Facility located in Canuelas. The first photograph showed a modern one-story building protected by a six-foot-high wire fence. Next to the building was a large flying saucer apparently made of metal and plastic, some twenty feet in diameter and twenty feet high.


A Daughters of Ummo member recruiting followers
"The second photograph was a plaque bearing the UMMO symbol, the inscription HONO INTELLIGENCE SERVICE -1901, and a list of fifteen names.

"Investigation into this new twist of the UMMO affair was pursued energetically. It was soon learned that the director of the facility, a man named Carlos Jerez, had disappeared without a trace. Started about 1973, the facility had been involved in various claims of cancer cures. In a letter signed by Jerez, the statement was made that such cures were achieved through 'highly sophisticated electronic equipment.' The stationary used by Jerez bears the logo of UMMO and its colors - purple and green - and a seal with the coat of arms of the State of Argentina is affixed over Jerez's signature, giving the impression that his work has received official sanction...

"Later investigation disclosed that the mysterious cancer cures made use of gamma rays, and that a number of allegedly terminal patients had been improved or even cured at the facility, whose owners claimed they came from outer space.

"The organization itself was said to have been founded in France by a grandfather of Mr. Jerez, who emigrated to Argentina in 1927, settling in Baradero. The facility received official approval for medical work with terminal patients in 1935, 1948, and 1966, but the medical system used combined impressive-sounding gadgetry with the usual claims of modern quacks: it blends gamma rays with cybernetic energy, which Jerez describes as 'the heat field which surrounds the tissues.'

"At the time the facility was closed down by the authorities, it was treating about two hundred patients with cancer or neurological disease."
(ibid, pgs. 108-109)
Vallee concludes that Jerez had no involvement in the creation of the UMMO hoax, he simply tried to attach himself to the movement, yet he never specifies when the International Medical Research Facility began affiliating itself with UMMO. If the affiliation stretches back to the 1930s, then the whole UMMO hoax must be reconsidered. This would imply that it was a long term intelligence operation that has only gradually worked its way into the public conscious. It is only now, in the twenty-first century, that especially sinister aspects are beginning to emerge. This is most notable in Bolivia amongst the so-called 'Daughters of Ummo' cult.

The Fortean Times reports:
"In essence, the Daughters are brainwashed into believing that the Ummites who came to Earth represent a race of superior beings who are somehow, simultaneously, both extraterrestrial entities and their own 'fathers' and 'mothers'. The Daughters conduct rituals worshipping the Ummites and believe they have been empowered to do their will, to prepare the planet for a new, larger invasion of Ummites in the year 2033...

"In March 1999, I received a new and totally unexpected Ummite document; this time it was from Florencia Dinovi Gutiérrez, the organisation's apparently fearsome president. I must come to Bolivia immediately, she demanded, because I had been accepted to enter the organisation as an 'external contributor'. My research into the history of Florencia Dinovi Gutiérrez led to a mental hospital in Peru from which, some years back, a woman answering her description had absconded while being treated for millennialist obsessions and hallucinations about aliens. To check the possibility that this notorious patient might have been Gutiérrez, I spoke to Dr Horacio Torna at the hospital. He listened patiently as I described the beliefs of the Daughters of Ummo and their leader. 'It's her,' he said hoarsely. 'It's Juana Pordiavel!' This identification was confirmed after the doctor cautiously sent me some pages from Pordiavel's personal file, with the condition that I wouldn't publish them.

"Juana Pordiavel... was born in Cuzco, Peru, in 1912, to a humble peasant family. When she was 12, she left home claiming that her father had abused her. She lived rough in the streets by begging, until a Spanish priest - Hermenegildo Abustín - took pity on her condition and invited her to live in the church. This act of kindness was a major turning point in her life; Hermenegildo believed Juana had the potential to become a nun and became her tutor. In return for cleaning the church, the priest bought her books and encouraged her intellectual development. He remembers her reading biblical texts with passion and, in time, becoming more confident about her culture and language. By the time she left the church, aged 19, her belief in fundamentalist theology was informed by her general dissatisfaction with life, providing the ideal ingredients for a future sect leader.


Florencia Dinovi Gutiérrez, the head of the Daughters of Ummo cult
"Pordiavel spent some time in a mental hospital in 1941 and eventually met Carlos Opanova, who, despite suffering from a few mental problems of his own, was leader of a fanatical spiritualist organisation called 'The Deer of the Sixth Christ'. They fell in love and married. In 1963, the Deer moved to Oruro, in Bolivia, where they took over (or squatted) a building, calling it 'The New Heavenly Jerusalem'. The group's nocturnal ceremonies began to annoy the neighbours, who complained of hearing strange voices in the nights and of missing children. At some time during this period, Pordiavel was again interned in a mental hospital.

"When the curiosity of the police became too intrusive in 1967, the Deer fled their 'Heavenly Jerusalem' in scattered groups. Taking a big chunk of the organisation's money, Juana and Carlos bought a small flat in La Paz and began to re-invent themselves. Carlos had been corresponding with the Spanish ufologist Jiménez del Oso, who sent them copies of many of the original Ummite writings - which proved to be a revelation to Opanova. Dazzled by the Ummite picture of a better world, a world that could be theirs, Opanova decided to adopt the philosophy and teachings of Ummo. From now on Opanova's disciples would be devoted to the emulation of all things Ummite.

"And so, in 1969, the Deer finally became the Daughters of Ummo. Juana baptised herself Florencia Dinovi Gutiérrez while her husband took on the persona of 'Yiewaka', an Ummite 'father' on Earth. The sect grew beyond their wildest dreams, taking advantage of cruel social circumstances; as much as 90 per cent of its members are drawn from the poor and uneducated, many recruited directly from the streets. Apparently, the Daughters are not puzzled by the contradiction of Opanova being both Juana's husband and an incarnate Ummite appointed as president and 'father-in-law' of Earth; to them it is part of the unquestioned mystery."
You just have to love Latin American cults with ties to Europe and/or the United States and displaying the specter of PSYOPs. I've written more on this topic here, here and here.

Anyway, we shall return to Brazil for one final cluster of close encounters before wrapping things up. They concern mysterious crafts referred to as chupas by the local populace. These sightings began occurring in the mid-1970s and seemingly continued through the mid-1980s in the extremely rural interior of Brazil. The chupas are most notable for the deaths surrounding them.
"In recent years the most remarkable cases of UFO-related injuries and deaths have taken place in the northeast of Brazil, in a vast region that extends from the mouth of the Amazon (Belem and the island of Marajo, which is located on the equator about 300 miles from French Guiana) to Sao Luis and the town of Teresina...


an alleged image of a chupa
"On the basis of the information gathered so far, there seem to be three major clusters of cases: around the small town of Parnarama, around Sao Luis, and around Belem.

"At least five people are said to have died near Parnarama following close encounters with what were described as boxlike UFOs equipped with powerful light beams. These objects, which have been called chupas by the local population, fly over the wooded areas and the river valleys at night...

"In most cases the witnesses reported rectangular objects (sometimes compared to ice boxes) flying over the treetops and shining a beam toward the earth. The chupas are said to make a humming sound like a refrigerator or a transformer, and this sound does not change when the object accelerates. The object does not seem large enough to contain a human pilot. It has a light on the bottom and a light at one end, giving a sealed beam like a car headlight...

"The Santana events had taken place ten years before those in Parnarama between 1972 and 1975. Objects were said to hover near the Acarau River, emitting peculiar flickering light beams with which a sensation of cold was associated. Here again, the objects were described as boxlike, similar to a VW bus. One of the firsthand witnesses stated that he had escaped the beam of light of a chupa by hiding under a tree overhanging the river...

"In recent years Bob Pratt, an American researcher, has gone to Brazil several times to investigate a series of events that took place in 1977 on Crab Island, near Sao Luis. In that case one man died and two were badly burned. Pratt reported in 1987 that similar incidents had taken place at the same location in 1986, with one man dead, another injured, and two others unconscious for 15 hours. He stated, however, that the link to UFO activity was 'tenuous' at best in both reports."

(Confrontations, Jacques Vallee, pgs. 131-136)
The involvement of researcher Bob Pratt in the chupas encounters is interesting. Pratt cut his teeth in the UFO field via the National Enquirer where his work eventually gained the respect of the UFO field. The National Enquirer, like about everything else associated with UFOs, has curious links to the intelligence community, however.

Bob Pratt
"Bob Pratt later said that its publisher, Generoso Pope Jr, spent tens of thousands of dollars sending him all over the world chasing UFO stories, even though they sold fewer issues than celebrity stories. Pratt thought Pope was a genuine believer in UFOs, though others have suspected an intelligence connection. Pope spent a year being trained in psychological operations by the CIA in 1951, the year before he bought the Enquirer. He was also a close friend of Nixon's Defense Secretary, Melvin Laird."

(Mirage Men, Mark Pilkington, pg. 139)
Pratt would go on to become involved in the whole Bennewitz affair, one of the most heavily documented instances of PSYOPs in ufology. I've chronicled the sad fate Paul Bennewitz before here and here. But I digress -back to the chupas. Another region of Brazil in which they appeared is an area around the city of Belem. Incidentally (or not), a branch of the Brazilian air force charged with UFO investigations just so happened to have a branch headquartered at Belem at the time the chupas made the scene.
"The Brazilian military, which has been engaged for many years in one of the most serious investigations of the phenomenon conducted anywhere around the world, took the 1977 events around Belem very seriously indeed. Starting in 1974, the Belem headquarters of the 1st Regional Air Command (COMAR), covering an area four times as large as France, maintained a UFO field investigation team...

"When the events of 1977 started in the area around Belem, the Air Force, as noted above, sent a field task force to the region, notably to the islands of Colares. Its mission lasted ninety days. The task force came back with three hundred night photographs and several motion picture reels. A five hundred-page report was compiled, accompanied by a catalogue of the sightings, maps, and interview transcripts. Copies were sent to Barreira do Inferno (the Gate of Hell) in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. Some researchers believe it ids an appropriate destination for such a report about the elusive chupas and the unfortunate human victims caught in their impossible light."

(Confrontations, Jacques Vallee, pgs.138-139)
Vallee elaborates on this mysterious report a bit later.

A chupa?
"There were not one but two series of photographs, movie films, and tape recordings that were made during this period. The military team, which operated in full view of the population, is known to have compiled a thick report with a wealth of physical measurements attached. The report was sent to higher authorities in Brasilia, where it presumably disappeared into a drawer.

"The second team was composed of journalists and cameramen who were almost as well equipped as the military. They obtained excellent photos, which can be consulted in the newspaper archives of that period. Unfortunately... only the negatives have scientific potential. And all the negatives taken by the newspaper teams have left Brazil, purchased from the publishers by an unnamed American firm.

"Somebody in the United States owns a collection of records that contains the proof of the reality of the phenomenon."

(ibid, pg. 225)

Were the chupas possibly prototypes of unmanned drones, such this one, the MQ-1 Predator?
By all accounts the Belem sightings were quite spectacular. The sudden disappearance of most of the documentation gathered during the sightings is even more so. Was the cover up so swift because hard evidence was gathered of the existence of UFOs, as Vallee implies? Or was the another reason, such as the unveiling of a top secret military aircraft? If the latter was the case, the Brazilian Air Force may have provided an adequate foil. Or perhaps they were simply charged with covering up the evidence after the tests were finished.

What I find most striking about the chupas is their similarities to the unmanned drones that are becoming more and more common everyday. Many will probably scoff at this notion, but I can't help but feel the chupas were a prototype of this type of technology that has now become common. Many will dismiss this theory outright because of the well documented light beam weapons the chupas were said to use. Certainly there are no official accounts of unmanned drones possessing such weapons. But then again, unmanned drones have probably existed much longer than official accounts would have us believe. The same could apply to advanced weapons.

So, what are we to make of the UFOs of Latin America? Certainly they seem out of place in the 'nuts and bolts' world of mainstream American ufology. Were they simply a cover for advanced air crafts or medical experiments involving brainwashing? Did the Cryptocracy legitimately believe that they could contact a non-human intelligence using drugs and occult rituals and attempt such a working in Brazil and other locations? It seems likely that all three possibilities have some merit in addition to the sociological implications of how a populace would react to confrontations with an advanced intelligence. About all that can be said, when all is said and done, is that the possibilities are endless.

High strangeness indeed.