Sao Paulo, Brazil: A Discreet UFO Hotspot

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
February 28, 2024
Estimated Reading Time
16 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

Brazil, much like the entire South American continent is one large hotspot of UFO activity. Without a doubt, though, one of the busiest and most active places in the country is Sao Paulo, which has been home to an absolute wealth of UFO reports and encounters. And these encounters range from observations of strange lights in the sky to objects observed from much closer proximity, and even people who claim to have been taken onboard these otherworldly vehicles.

While many residents of Brazil are familiar with many of these UFO encounters, for people outside of the country, and certainly outside of South America, these cases are not so well-known. Given the sheer number of sightings in this part of the world, combined with the remarkable similarities of a great many of them, both to each other and other cases around the planet and across the decades, we might suspect that Sao Paulo – and Brazil as a whole – will have an important role to play in the UFO and alien question before we arrive at the truth of the matter.

A Wealth Of UFO Reports And Encounters

We have examined some of these UFO cases from this part of the world before. The tragic case of Joao Prestes Filho, for example, resulted in the witness’s harrowing death in 1946 following a close encounter with a low-flying UFO.

Perhaps most famous of all are the events of May 19th, 1986 – events that are better known and referred to as the Night of UFOs, or the Brazilian Air Force Chase. On the night in question, at least 20 anomalous objects were present over Sao Paulo, with several military jets also visually spotting them during pursuit and intercept missions that lasted almost seven hours. As well as the military witnesses, many residents on the ground – stretching as far as Rio De Janeiro – also reported seeing the strange otherworldly vehicles.

There is also the 1994 Guarantingueta incident, which saw multiple people witness a low-flying UFO while traveling back to Sao Paulo from Rio de Janeiro. Not only were there multiple people present at this sighting, but several of the witnesses had experience in aviation. Furthermore, multiple other witnesses would eventually offer what they had seen that corroborated the witness’s version of events even more.

There are, though, as we will discover now, many lesser-known reports from this region of Brazil.

The Truly Strange Encounter Of Joao de Freitas Guimaraes

According to an interview he gave to the Rio de Janeiro television station, Channel 13, in August 1957, on the evening of June 16th, 1956, lawyer and professor at the Catholic Faculty of Law in Santos, Sao Paulo, Joao de Freitas Guimaraes, claimed that he not only witnessed a “flying saucer”, but that he went onboard one. [1]

According to Guimaraes, on the night in question, at a little after 7 pm, he decided to take a walk along the beach following dinner at the hotel he was staying in. As he was looking out over the water, he noticed a “jet of water” rise out of nowhere, making him think, at first, that he was seeing a whale surfacing. However, after a moment or two, it was clear to him that it was not a whale emerging from the water, but a mechanical craft. And what’s more, it was heading to the beach in his direction.

It eventually stopped on the beach, and a “landing gear with balls” was deployed from it. A moment later, two strange men appeared – both tall, pale-skinned, and with blond hair – and worked toward him. Each was wearing a “green jumpsuit” that appeared to narrow somewhat on the wrist and ankles, as well as on the neck.

As they neared him, they looked to be completely human. So much so, in fact, that he contemplated if that is exactly what they were and were testing some new experimental machine and went on to ask them if they required assistance. He asked this in his native Portuguese, but after receiving no response, he asked again in several different languages – English, French, and Italian – but the men still didn’t answer him.

Then, he got a bizarre feeling. Even though these two figures did not speak to him, he got a real sense that they wished him to join them inside their futuristic vehicle. And at the same time, he also felt a genuine desire to see the craft also. One of the figures then turned and headed toward the craft, and although cautiously, he followed close behind.

A Trip To Space

The first figure climbed the ladder to the craft’s opening first with Guimaraes following behind, and the second figure climbed up after him. Once he reached the entrance to the object, he noticed a third figure – dressed exactly the same as the first two – waiting inside.

As soon as they were all inside the craft, the doors shut tight, and in an instant, they had taken off into the air. As this happened, Guimaraes noticed there was water on what he assumed were the portholes of the spaceship. As he contemplated in his mind if it might be raining, one of the figures interjected telepathically, telling him that it wasn’t rain he could see but water from the “rotation in the opposite direction of the parts that made up the ship” due to a “ray filtration device” that created a vacuum of sorts around them.

As the craft went on its way, Guimaraes was able to see, albeit limitedly, through the windows. He noted, for example, that they entered an “intensely dark area, where the stars shone in an extraordinary way” before eventually entering a “glowing violet layer”. He also claimed to have felt the craft shake violently on several occasions, perhaps similar to turbulence experienced on a commercial flight. He would later be told, telepathically again, that the shaking was a consequence of having left the Earth’s atmosphere.

An Unattended Second Meeting

It isn’t clear how far into space Guimaraes was taken, but he would later estimate that he was “in-flight” for between 30 and 40 minutes. After landing, and while still inside the craft, the beings asked to meet with him again, even giving a specific date – August 12th, 1957 – only weeks before the eventual interview on Channel 13.

Although he claimed to agree to the meeting, in the months that followed the initial encounter, many people became aware of the events of that night. In fact, only days before the proposed second meeting, Guimaraes received a visit from a high-ranking military colonel – Colonel Av Coqueiro – who would inform in bluntly that if he were him he “wouldn’t go to that meeting”, adding that he would have “two jet fighter squadrons there to receive the flying saucer”.

This exchange was said to have been witnessed by Guimaraes’ brother and a clerk. Whatever the truth, it was enough for him to not go to the location on the date of the second meeting. Incidentally, according to people he later spoke to in the area, on the date in question, a strange object was seen approaching the area, but instead of descending, it seemingly changed course and headed into the distance, perhaps sensing that Guimaraes wasn’t there, or possibly the danger of a waiting jet fighter squadron, if indeed, they were on standby waiting to ambush the otherworldly vehicle.

The short video below examines this strange if intriguing case a little further.

The Placa Quarry UFO Encounter

Almost two decades later, another strange and unsettling encounter unfolded, this time near quarry in the Votorantim part of the city. [2] The three witnesses – Jaimie Belizario, Salvador Pinto da Silva, and Mauro Bulgari – were all employees at the Placa Quarry in Santa Helena.

At just after 11 pm on May 28th, 1974, Belizario was standing on top of a ravine near his truck at the plant when he noticed a strange object appear overhead. He immediately called out to his two colleagues – Rafael and Mario – to switch off their machinery and alerted them to the strange object. They were more than amazed as the object passed over them several times, at one point, even coming to a halt and hovering directly over the top of them.

Belizario later stated that the object was the shape of a “Ferris wheel with green, red, and yellow lights on the edges”. What’s more, when it moved, it remained completely silent. Eventually, he would call out to the object in an effort to get it to land. However, whether coincidence or not, as soon as he did so, it simply shot off into the distance. Around two and a half hours later, though, it returned.

It was at around 1:40 am of the same night that Salvador Pinto da Silva noticed the strange object. He was taking his truck toward the “crusher” at the time when he first noticed the aerial anomaly at an altitude of around 300 feet, moving toward the television towers of S. Francisco Farm.

Although the object was in motion, he could see that it was several lights around the edges of green, red, and yellow, some of which appeared to flash. As the truck was in motion at the time of the sighting, he had to keep taking his focus away from the object, and he also couldn’t hear over the engine if the object made any sound or not. He kept the sighting to himself at the time, simply continuing his shift. It was only the following morning when he learned that other people had seen the same object also.

The Legnaioli UFO Case

One of the most interesting and thought-provoking UFO cases to come out of Sao Paulo unfolded at around 5:45 pm on July 3rd, 1978, when the Legnaioli family found themselves in the middle of a bizarre otherworldly encounter. [3] On the night in question, Odirlei Legnaioli and his son, Dalton, were in the kitchen of a small outbuilding near their property. As Odirlei was going about his business, Dalton decided to go outside, with the family’s pet dog following close behind.

As he walked along the street outside the house, he noticed something metallic sticking out of the woodland nearby. To begin with, he thought he was looking at a helicopter. However, the closer he looked, the more he realized he was looking at something truly out of the ordinary. He would describe the object as looking like “two overlapping plates facing each other with two elevations, one at the top and one at the bottom, and located in the center of it”.

He continued that it had a “metallic surface, without portholes, visible hatches, and joints”. Furthermore, at the top of the object was a “hook device”, while at the bottom were “three apparently transparent spheres revolved around themselves and emitting yellow, red, and blue lights”. He estimated that the device was around 30 feet across and appeared to hover several feet above the ground.

A Sudden Departure

At this point, Dalton remained completely still, barely unable to believe what he was seeing. The family dog, on the other hand, while remaining at Dalton’s side, barked furiously at the hovering anomaly. In response to this, a laser-like beam came from the hook-like device on the top and quickly enveloped the dog. As soon as it did so, the canine ceased barking and backed away nervously.

As this was taking place, a flash came from the spheres at the bottom of the craft and Dalton felt a “breath of hot air” which made his shirt and hair feel as though they were covered with static. Then, in the background, he heard a car come to a sudden stop somewhere nearby. Whether coincidence or not, the object suddenly rose into the air. A moment later, the boy turned, followed by the dog, and returned to the main house.

As they entered the house, Odirlei noticed that the dog appeared nervous and anxious. What’s more, he could see the look of shock on his son’s face. To begin with, he thought Dalton had been involved in some kind of accident, however, he could soon see that he was uninjured. Furthermore, the fact that he was struggling to articulate himself, he could tell that something quite extraordinary had taken place.

He soon noticed that Dalton was pointing outside and quickly made his way out of the property, just in time to see the object moving upward in the sky, and continued to watch it until it disappeared from sight. He noticed some interesting details as he did so. The street lamps, for example, that usually glowed an orange color, all were a deep red. Furthermore, the street was normally relatively busy but at this particular moment was completely deserted, almost unnaturally so.

The Super-8 Footage Of December 1978

Although there is not a great deal of detail of the incident, footage of a strange object captured at around 2:30 am in the early hours of December 30th, 1978, is certainly worth including here.

The footage was passed to UFO investigators by a mysterious “Mr. V”, who was a lawyer who claimed it was filmed by his brother, a 53-year-old sales manager. The object was noticed hovering in the sky on the night in question, which caused Mr. V’s brother to quickly retrieve his camera and begin filming.

Unfortunately, that is all that is known about the footage, but it does appear to show something genuinely anomalous, possibly a wing-type craft, possibly more of an oval or round-shaped craft.

You can see that footage below.

The Goiania Airport UFO Sighting

Without a doubt, one of the most intriguing UFO encounters from this region of Brazil occurred around 7 pm on February 19th, 1980, over Goiania. [4] On the night in question, a control tower operator at Goiania Airport stated he could see a “light in his eastern sector” and immediately asked the Approach Control Center “if there was any traffic there to inform him” about. The answer to his question was that there was no traffic in this section.

Already perplexed, the operator’s confusion increased when two more lights appeared in the same sector. At this point, the operator immediately contacted the control tower in Anapolis, stating that he had “UFOs” in his region. A short time later, Anapolis informed the Military Operations Center, who immediately took charge of the operation.

At the same time as this was happening, a VASP plane was preparing to land at Goiania Airport. However, when the co-pilot observed “an unidentified light crossing in the vicinity of the plane” they decided to abort the landing and go and investigate. Several moments later, the Anapolis control tower also reported the three anomalous objects on their radar. By now, the Military Operations Center scrambled more jets to intercept and put others on high-alert stand-by.

A short time later, a second VASP plane reported an “unidentified light in the 4-hour position and also at its flight level”. Of more concern, it appeared the light was following their plane. The initial tower operator at Goiania Airport also confirmed that he could see the anomalous light and it was indeed following the VESP.

Then, with no explanation and no valid reason, the intercept was called off, the VESPs returned to base, and the other planes on notice were stood down. We might ask, what sudden intelligence came through to the Military Operations Center to make them take this course of action?

Multiple UFOs “Surround” Sao Paulo

In the early hours of November 11th, 1984, between half past midnight and 1: 30 am in the entire Sao Paulo region, an aircraft and four air traffic controllers tracked multiple UFOs. [5]

At around half past midnight, the Sao Paulo Approach Control and the Brasilia Area Control Center detected an anomalous object on their radar screens. A quick investigation established that there were no known aircraft in the area, meaning the object, whatever it was, was unidentified. Eventually, reports reached the Military Operations Center, who once more, sought confirmation that no known flights were in that area.

Then, with multiple control towers now tracking the anomaly, it suddenly went from moving extremely slowly to moving at a pace of 500 knots. Needless to say, the personnel in the various control towers were more than shocked at what they had just witnessed.

The next thing they knew, the object had disappeared, before reappearing directly over the city of Sao Paulo. In a bizarre twist, several calls were placed to the radar operator at Sao Paulo control tower, however, he was away from his station viewing the object with his binoculars.

It was around this time that reports of UFOs suddenly appearing all over the Sao Paulo region began to show – over Santana, Itanhem, and Jaragua, to name just some of the locations. The curious objects continued to appear throughout the region, before simply disappearing at 1:36 am. The night remains one of the strangest nights in Brazilian aviation history.

Multiple Similar Sightings Of The Early-1990s

Of the many reports from the start of the 1990s in Brazil, several unfolded in Sao Paulo, some with surprisingly similar details.

At around 9:30 pm on July 7th, 1991, for example, in Aracatuba, a local woman witnessed a large multicolored object that remained in sight for almost 30 minutes. [6] She described the object as appearing like a “large, multicolored center of light” that was “flying at low speed” and at relatively low altitude. The object eventually disappeared into the distance. It is also worth considering that this sighting was made in good weather conditions, making it more unlikely to be a misidentification.

Just under a year later, at around 9:45 pm on May 15th, 1992, in the Moema region of the city, five local residents spotted a similar large object traveling overhead. [7] They offered that the object was a distinct round shape and was clearly “larger than a Boeing 747”, although it moved much slower than an airplane. They further described the object as having blue, red, and yellow lights and was at an approximate altitude of 2000 feet. At its closest point, it was around 5000 feet from the witnesses, and it remained in view for around five minutes.

Almost exactly two years after that, at around 1 am on May 16th, 1994, in Santos, a local man reported watching four round objects moving erratically above the city for around 30 minutes. [8] According to his report, these objects were “crossing each other’s path at high speed”, certainly unlike the way one might expect a plane or fighter jet to be able to do. After half an hour or so, the objects simply disappeared.

Stationary UFO Seen By Multiple People

At around 7 pm on October 14th, 1995 near Peruibe Beach in the south of Sao Paulo, four people witnessed a bizarre object “coming out of the sea and rising into the air before hovering for around half an hour. [9]

According to the report, the witnesses stated the object was a little over 300 feet from them when it first emerged from the water and was an oval shape that glowed a bright white color. It rose to around 300 feet in the air, and then simply hovered in a stationary position.

Just under a month later on November 11th, at around the same time, a little after 7 pm, a pilot of the PT-OFD, as well as three other witnesses, reported seeing a stationary object at an altitude of around 35,000 feet while flying to Sao Paulo. [10]

The pilot would describe the object as being oval-shaped, with lots of green, red, and white lights around its exterior. The witnesses also put forward that the object could have been around 200 miles from them, meaning that it would have been huge if correct. The report also claims that several photographs were taken of this object, although it is uncertain if those pictures have ever been released into the public domain.

High-Speed UFO Encounter With Two Aircraft In One Night

In the opening hours of September 25th, 1999, two separate aircraft – a fighter jet and a passenger airliner – each had a close high-speed call with what would appear to be the same unidentified objects within the space of only 45 minutes.

The first occurred a short distance from the city of Araraquara at around 1 am, a Brazilian Air Force fighter pilot was flying his F100 fighter jet at an altitude of around 35,000 feet when he reported seeing three triangular objects moving in a line as if in formation. [11]

They were flying at a higher altitude than the F100 and were “amazingly fast”. He further reported that these triangular objects were much larger than his plane. Furthermore, they “emitted an extremely white and bright light and left a yellow trail like a thread of fire before disappearing”.

Around 45 minutes later, at an altitude of around 35,000, a pilot, a co-pilot, and a flight attendant onboard Flight TAM 809 traveling from Fortaleza to Sao Paulo reported seeing what are almost certainly the same three triangular objects. [12]

The crew estimated that the objects were at least twice as high as their aircraft, placing them at around 70,000 feet, and appeared to be traveling much faster than their plane. They remained in sight for between three to five minutes before eventually disappearing into the distance.

Two Sightings Within Days Of The Same Round White UFO?

In the closing weeks of the twentieth century in December 1999, two separate sightings of almost identical objects were reported only days apart from each other. The first occurred over Sao Paulo at 4:40 am on December 13th, when two people noticed a “large, round white UFO” that they likened to appearing like a “white ball invested by red and green lights”. [13]

The witness further attested that the object moved at low speed, and no vapor trails of any kind were seen at all during the 40-minute sighting.

Only three nights later, at 3:50 am in the early hours of December 16th, two local residents of Bela Vista reported seeing a “round white UFO with red and green edges” moving calmly over the city. [14] The witnesses would state that the object was clearly “bigger than a big plane” and was a distinct round shape.

However, at the same time, although it was clearly round, “part of its body (was) in a triangular form”. The witnesses estimated that the object was approximately three miles from their location and remained in view for around 20 minutes. What’s more, they watched the object for the most part through binoculars, allowing them to clearly see they were witnessing something out of the ordinary.

Sighting At 33,000 Feet – The Minas Gerais Encounter

One of the more recent encounters from the Sao Paulo region occurred during the afternoon of July 29th 2015, over the state of Minas Gerais just outside the official air space of Sao Paulo. [15] On the day in question, at 2:25 pm, a fighter jet pilot with the Brazilian Air Force reported to command that he could see an unidentified object near his aircraft.

According to the report, the pilot was flying at around 33,000 feet at the time, and could see a “long tubular black object” that was “positioned to the left and close to the path of our descent”.

The object eventually disappeared into the distance without incident, but the pilot noted further details, perhaps most interesting, that it left “no marks or trails in the sky” when it moved, leaving no suggestion of what type of propulsion method it was using. In total, the mysterious object remained in view for around a minute.

A Genuine Increase Or A More Attentive Population?

The sightings and encounters we have examined here are just some of the many reports on record. As we mentioned in our opening, it is clear that Sao Paulo is a hive of UFO activity, and has been some time. We might ask what the reasons is for the sheer plethora of reports from this part of the world.

Are the local residents here simply more attentive, or is there a genuine increase in the number of UFOs over the region in comparison to other locations around the world? We might also ask, are the local residents simply more prepared to report such sightings, and are the relevant authorities more prepared to take them seriously?

There could be other factors at play too. It could well be, for example, that its location near the coast overlooking the Atlantic Ocean has something to do with the abundance of UFO reports from here.

Taking this a stage further, we can see that the South American continent, in general, if there is a connection between the world’s oceans and water networks and UFOs, is ideally placed with access to both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on the respective east and west coastlines.

One thing is almost certain. Sao Paulo, much like Brazil will continue to experience strange lights and mysterious objects over the following years, and these locations are likely to prove key places in unraveling the UFO mystery.

The short video below looks at some of the best UFO sightings on record.


1 A Lawyer In Sao Sebastiao Reported Flying On A UFO And Interacting With Extraterrestrial Beings (1956), Brazilian UFO Archives
2 Three Men Reported A Close Encounter With A UFO In A Quarry In Votorantim (1974), Brazilian UFO Archives
3 The Legnaioli Case: Report And Interview, Sao Paulo (1978), Brazilian UFO Archives
4 UFOs In Goiania Were Observed And Detected By Pilots And Air Traffic Controllers (1980), Brazilian UFO Archives
5 “They’re Surrounding Sao Paulo” – Air Traffic Controllers Detected UFOs Flying Around The State (1984), Brazilian UFO Archives
6 A Woman Reported A Large Multicolor UFO In Aracatuba, Brazilian UFO Archive
7 In Sao Paulo, Five People Spotted A Large Round UFO (1992), Brazilian UFO Archives
8 In Santos, A Man Observed Four Round UFOs Moving Erratically At High Speed (1994), Brazilian UFO Archives
9 Four People Reported A Close Encounter With A Stationary UFO In Peruibe (1995), Brazilian UFO Archive
10 A Pilot Observed A Stationary Multicolor UFO Between Cuiaba And Sao Paulo (1995), Brazilian UFO Archives
11 A Fighter Pilot Spotted 3 Triangular UFOs At Impossible Speed In Araraquara, Brazilian UFO Archives
12 Three Triangular UFOs At High Speed Spotted By An Airline Crew (1999), Brazilian UFO Archives
13 Two People Saw A Large Rond White UFO Hovering Over Sao Paulo (1999), Brazilian UFO Archives
14 A Round White UFO Spotted In Bela Vista (1999), Brazilian UFO Archives
15 A Long Tubular Black Object Seen From A Force Fighter Jet, Brazilian UFO Archives

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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Fact Checking

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