A Close-Up Sighting Of A Vehicle From Elsewhere: The Guarantingueta UFO Encounter

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
December 13, 2023
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Close Encounters

A close proximity sighting of an apparent otherworldly vehicle in the spring of 1994 in Brazil, involving multiple witnesses, no less, remains an encounter that is little known, even in UFO circles. What’s more, the main witness was a person with over three decades worth of aviation experience, including considerable time in the air. It is perhaps strange, then, that his reports of the incident to two different authorities seemingly fell on deaf ears.

Was this purposeful so as to suppress the encounter to prevent any credibility from being attached to it? Or might it be that the respective authorities knew much more about this strange object and others like them, and so were simply not concerned. Whatever the truth, the sighting that night is just one of many to come from Brazil. Indeed, the country is a hot spot of UFO activity on and around the South American continent.

The report appears to have entered the public domain through the research files and case studies of UFO researcher, Brian Vike. However, little new information on the case has surfaced since.

A Star-Like Object Moving Erratically

After departing Rio de Janeiro several hours earlier, at around 3:15 am on May 6th, 1994, an airline pilot and qualified meteorologist was sleeping in the back of a moving car near Guarantingueta. [1] They were traveling to Sao Paulo following a flight simulator training course. In the car with him, which was being driven by a chauffeur, was his girlfriend, a senior airline captain, and a flight engineer.

The witness’s girlfriend awoke him in order to show him something strange she could see in the sky. When he looked in the direction she was pointing, he could see a red star-like object, which, at first, he believed was nothing more than a light from a radio antenna on a nearby mountain. However, as he surveyed his surroundings, he could see that there were no mountains along the roadside, with only flat land surrounding them.

When he saw the object move, he was much more certain that what he was seeing was indeed something out of the ordinary. Although its movements were erratic, the glowing red object maintained its relative position to them, suggesting it was intelligently controlled. He also dismissed the notion that it might be a helicopter due to the bizarre nature of the lights, which flashed from red to yellow to white, and then to blue and green. Furthermore, there was a strange intensity to them that was more akin to a “disco ball” than navigation lights.

A Steady But Purposeful Approach

They continued to watch the object for several minutes, still traveling around 90 miles per hour. When they slowed their vehicle down to around 40 miles per hour, to their shock, the object slowed down also, still maintaining its position to them. By this time, they could see several other motorists had pulled their respective vehicles to the side of the road (including a bus) so they could watch the object also. The witness later estimated that the object was around a mile away from them, and likely at an altitude of around 3000 to 4000 feet.

At this point, the witness asked the driver to pull the car to the side of the road so they could watch the events unfold. Upon it coming to a stop, the witness, followed by the other passengers, stepped out of the vehicle onto the roadside. They watched as the object descended and then began in their direction.

The closer it came, the more details the witness could make out. He claimed it was a typical “flying saucer dome-shaped object” that remained completely silent as it moved. As the witness looked on, he could see several other motorists had parked and exited their vehicles a little further down the road.

Suddenly realizing what a momentous moment it was, the witness quickly returned to the car in order to retrieve his camera. However, upon doing so, he discovered there was no more film left. Dismayed, he, along with his girlfriend began toward the object, which was now around 400 feet away from them and approximately 200 feet above the ground.

An Electrical Charge To The Air

The witness’s girlfriend stopped after only a few steps, suddenly afraid of the truly bizarre events that were unfolding around her. The witness, though, continued on, crossing the highway and walking into vegetation at the roadside to get as close a look as possible. He only came to a stop when barbed wire prevented him from progressing any further, at an approximate distance of 200 feet from the curious craft.

From this distance, he could see several square lights on the side of the object. These lights would “pulse” and brighten, growing temporarily bigger as they did so. He could also see “bluish vapor” coming from the underside of the craft, and from this distance, felt a “soft breeze” that he also attributed as coming from the object as there was no wind on the night in question.

He further described the object as moving with a “rocking motion”, similar to a boat moving over the waves, and he could also feel an “electrical charge” coming from it. He estimated that it was around 70 feet across and 30 feet high and appeared to have a “reddish-grey” exterior.

Suddenly, one of the other onlookers shined a flashlight directly at the object, its beam striking it square on. As soon as it did, the rocking motion increased in intensity somewhat, almost morphing into a swinging motion.

Then, the evening took another strange turn.

Aftereffects Of An Otherworldly Vehicle

As the witness looked on, still only around 200 feet from the object, sudden “flashes of multi-colored lights” came from the top of the object, while a “faint bluish-greenish glow” shone underneath. At the same time, the object began to rise into the air and headed away from the area. This departure was slow, to begin with, but quickly built up speed to a rapid pace. As it moved away, the witness recalled hearing a “faint, low pitch humming sound”, a detail that often surfaces in such close encounter sightings.

The witness looked on in fascination, as the object flashed another display of multi-colored lights before suddenly ascending vertically at incredibly fast speed. As it climbed, it changed direction several times, eventually disappearing from sight. The witness recalled that as this was happening, there was an aroma of “ionization” that filled the air, and he noticed a metal taste in his mouth.

After taking a moment to gather himself, the witness returned to the car, noticing that others who had left their respective vehicles were doing likewise. When he arrived at the vehicle, the driver, who had remained inside the car, claimed that while the object had hovered close by, static had occurred on the radio.

They set off once more, eventually arriving at a highway restaurant where they decided to stop to get a coffee. There, they spoke to several locals, who claimed that the area had lots of similar sightings, some of which went back several years.

Multiple Reports Not Acted On

While the incident was the first time the witness had seen a UFO, it wasn’t the first time he had witnessed one, albeit indirectly. He would recall when making his report that over two decades previously, in 1972, he was flying his plane when he heard over the radio controls that another plane ahead of him could see a UFO.

He listened to the radio exchange between the plane and the control tower, as well as other planes in the region, one of whom was a United States military plane. He managed to speak with the crew when they landed, and they confirmed that they had seen something that appeared to be literally out of this world.

Strangely, the subject was not brought up after that night, with no mention from anyone involved in the incident. The witness also stated that during his time in aviation, both as a pilot and working as a control tower operator, he often heard stories of UFO sightings, but that evening in 1994 was the first time he had seen one himself.

The witness made a report of the sighting to the Brazilian aviation authorities. And while they did not his report, he had the feeling that he would hear no more about it. Furthermore, when he returned to the United States several weeks later, he made several other reports to official government agencies. However, he heard nothing back from any of them.

Matching Details Lends The Incident Credence

The incident near Guarantingueta is certainly an intriguing encounter, and, given the number of witnesses and the apparent credibility of a witness with experience in aviation, it is perhaps a little surprising that the encounter is not better known.

Is this purposeful on the part of the authorities – both the Brazilian and those of the United States? Indeed, like many similar sightings, we have to ask if what was seen that night was a vehicle from another part of the universe or if was a top-secret experimental aircraft.

If that is the case, we might ask why the crew chose to bring the object so close to multiple witnesses, unless they were simply not concerned with being seen. After all, all the authorities had to do was ignore such reports, leading to those who did hear of it most likely dismissing it as nonsense.

Several details resonate with other close proximity sightings, though. The faint low humming sound when the object was close to the witness, for example. Or the electrically charged atmosphere. Also, the fact that – the low humming aside – the object moved in complete silence, despite its intense speed.

On its own, the Guarantingueta incident is easily swept aside. However, put alongside other similar encounters – both in Brazil and elsewhere around the world – it is an important piece of an overall big UFO picture that all of us are striving to complete.

The short view below looks at some of the best UFO encounters on record.


1 Ex-airline pilot has close encounter with dome-shaped UFO in Brazil, UFO Evidence http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case1115.htm

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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