For centuries, humankind has believed they are not alone. Things like the Peruvian Nazca lines or the Greek Antikythera mechanism (considered the world’s “first computer”) have left folks with more questions than answers. Including: How did they get here? Who brought them? For many, the response always leads back to UFOs.

The first well-known documentation of a UFO sighting dates back to 1947. A United States businessman claimed to have seen “nine high-speed objects” while flying his small plane. But the U.S. is not alone in this.

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Other countries have also reported sightings, but none has been as famous as Brazil’s “The Official Night of the UFOs.”

The Brazilian military says that four Brazilian states saw at least 21 UFOs

The country’s “The Official Night of the UFOs” occurred on May 19, 1986. Per La República, several flying objects were seen by a mix of both military personnel and civilians. Because there were so many witnesses, that night is also considered one of the best-documented cases on Earth.

The publication notes that the UFOs were seen across four Brazilian states. These included the neighboring states of São Paulo, Río de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Goiás. BBC News Mundo cites some objects were about 100 meters (~328 feet) in diameter. 

The report explained how Integrated Air Defense and Air Traffic Control Center (Cindacta) radars tracked and detected the UFOs. This means that they were solid objects flying in the sky. Because of the phenomena, the Air Defense Operations Center (CODA) sent out five Brazilian Air Force (FAB) fighter jets to investigate what was happening. 

La República points out that there were over 21 recorded sightings. The only ones counted were those visible and showed up on radars.

Air traffic controller Sergio da Silva Mota recalls, “The number of objects seen that night was much higher than 21. Sometimes, the pilots had visual contact with the objects, but the radars did not register anything.”

Adding that “Other times, the radars even detected the presence of objects, but the pilots could not see them. The Air Force considered only those sightings where there was simultaneous confirmation. The rest were discarded.”

Per reports from pilots, the UFOs were said to float, fly in a zigzag pattern, change color and fly at high speeds. According to BBC News Mundo, one pilot saw one clock Mach 15 speed. For reference, the fastest passenger-carrying plane on Earth is the North American X-15. It travels at 4,520 mph and clocks in at Mach 5.93.

The Brazilian government and military didn’t hide that it had encountered UFOs

The Washington Post detailed how Brazil, along with several other South American countries, is pretty open when sharing UFO documentation. They are so open that organizations like the Brazilian Commission of Ufologists and magazines are treated with respect and not seen as “crackpots.”

General Macro Aurélio Rosa tells the publication, “The science of man is very small to be able to explain all phenomena. And our cultural and ethnic mixing has enabled Brazilians to have this curiosity about the supernatural, the mystical and transcendental, that ends up leading us to the question of ufology.”

Brazilians have been seriously questioning the appearance of UFOs since the 1950s, which is why the government submitted its findings to the National Archives of Brazil. Thanks to Brazil’s freedom of information laws, people can access the information anytime.


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♬ original sound – The UFO Database

El País detailed that Brazilians have documented over 700 UFOs in 60 years. This is all written in the 20,000-page report released by the Air Force to the National Archives. The UFO report contains drawings, audio, videos and more between 1952 and 2016.

Brazilian authorities have made the distinction that the acronym UFO isn’t synonymous with aliens. Sources in the capital of Brasilia said that the National Archives records referred to “any object in the sky whose natural origin could not be immediately discovered.”

So, in reality, a UFO could be anything from a drone to a weather balloon or a meteor. Despite the healthy amount of skepticism, one thing stands true. The UFO report at the National Archives remains the most viewed document there, per La República.