Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Olavo Fontes and Injured Soldiers

Since it was brought up in the comments section of another post, I thought I would published this segment on the Fort Itaipu injury case as it was reported first by Dr. Olavo Fontes and later by the Lorenzens. The following report first appeared in UFO Dossier.

Doctor Olavo Fontes Teixeira, known as Olavo Fontes in the United States was the
Doctor Olavo Fontes
Teixeira
one who originally “investigated” the sighting and provided the information to his American colleague, Coral Lorenzen. Although he provided the preliminary information to Lorenzen within weeks of the event, it would not be mentioned in the UFO literature until 1959 in the APRO Bulletin.

According to that article published in September, 1959, and written by Fontes:

On November 4th, 1957, at 2:00 a.m. … something sinister took place at the Brazilian Fortress Itaipu…. It was a moonless tropical night. Everything was quiet. The whole garrison was sleeping in peace. Two sentinels were on duty on top of the military fortifications… Then a new star suddenly burst into searing life among the others in the cloudless sky, over the Atlantic Ocean, near the horizon. The sentries watched the phenomenon. Their interest increased when they realized it was not a star, but a luminous flying object. It was coming toward the fortress. They thought at first it was an airplane but the speed was strange – too high… there was no need to alert the garrison, however. In fact, so tremendous was the object’s speed that the two soldiers forgot their patrol just to observe it…. 
In just a few seconds the UAO [APRO’s term for a flying saucer which is Unidentified Aerial Object] was flying over the fortress. Then it stopped abruptly in mid-air and drifted slowly down, its strong orange glow etching each man’s shadow against the illuminated ground between the heavy cannon turrets. It hovered about 120 to 180 feet above the highest cannon turret and then it became motionless. The sentries were frozen on the ground, their eyes wide in surprise, the Tommy guns hung limply from their hands like dead things. The unknown object was a large craft about the size of a big Douglas [aircraft], but round and shaped like a disk of some sort. It was encircled by an eerie orange glow. It had been silent when approaching, but now, at close range, the two sentries heard a distinct humming sound coming from it. Such a strange object hovered overhead and nothing happened for about one minute. Then came the nightmare…
The sentinels were startled, unable to think what to do about the UAO. But they felt no terror, no premonition, no hint of the danger. Then something hot touched their faces (one of them thinks he heard a faint whining sound he could not identify at that same moment). In darkness this would have been horrifying. But the UAO was bright and they could see that nothing had changed. Then came the heat. Suddenly an intolerable wave of heat struck the two soldiers. 
One of the sentries said later that, when the heat wave engulfed him, it was like a fire burning all over his clothes. The air seemed to be filled with the UAO’s humming sound. Blind panic yammered at him. He staggered, dazed, heat waves filling the air around him. It was too hot… He went stumbling and lurching, his whole conscious purpose that of escaping from that invisible fire burning him alive. He fought, and gasped and beat the air before him. He was suffocating. Then he blacked out and collapsed to the ground – unconscious. 
The other sentry got the horrible feeling that this clothes were on fire. A wave of heat suddenly enveloped him. Horror filled him and he lost his mind. He began to scream desperately, running and stumbling and crying from one side to another, as a trapped animal. He did not know what he was doing, but somehow he skidded into shelter, beneath the heavy cannons of the fortress. His cries were so loud that he awoke the whole garrison, starting an alarm all over the place.

Inside the soldier’s living quarters everything was confusion. There was the sound of running footsteps everywhere, soldiers and officers trying to reach their battle stations, their eyes wide with shock. No one knew what could explain those horrible screams outside. Then just a few seconds later, the lights all over the fortress collapsed suddenly as well as the whole electrical system that moved the turrets, heavy cannons and elevators. Even the ones supplied by the fortress’ own generators. The intercommunications system was dead too. Someone tried to switch on the emergency circuits but these were dead too. The strangest thing, however, was the behavior of the alarms in the electric clocks, which had been set to ring at 5:00 a.m. – they all started to ring everywhere at 2:03 a.m.
The fortress was dead, helpless… Inside it, confusion changed to widespread panic, soldiers and officers running blindly from one corner to another along the dark corridors. There was fear on every face – fear of the unknown – hands nervously grasping useless weapons. Then the lights came on again and every man ran outside to fight the unexpected enemy who surely was attacking the fortress. Some officers and soldiers came in time to see an orange light climbing up vertically and then moving away through the sky at high speed. One of the sentinels was on the ground, still unconscious. The other was hiding in the corner, mumbling and crying, entirely out of his mind. One of the officers who came first was a military doctor and, after a brief examination, he saw that both sentries were badly burned and ordered the men to take them [the injured soldiers] to the infirmary immediately. They were put under medical care at once. It became clear that one of them was a severe case of heat syncope; he was still unconscious and showing evident signs of peripheral vascular failure. Besides this, both soldiers presented first and deep second-degree burns of more than 10 per cent [sic] of body surface – mostly on areas that had been unprotected by clothes. The one that could talk was in deep nervous shock and many hours passed before he was able to tell the story.
 The nightmare had lasted for three minutes… 
The next day the commander of the fortress (an army colonel) issued orders forbidding the whole garrison to tell anything about the incident to anyone - not even to their relatives. Intelligence officers came and took charge, working frantically to question and silence everyone with information pertaining to the matter. Soldiers and officers were instructed not to discuss the case. The fortress was placed in a state of martial law [which, of course, would be a natural state for a military installation anyway] and a top-secret report was sent to the Q. G. (at Rio or Sao Paulo). Days later, American officers from the U.S. Army Military Mission arrived at fortress together with officers from the Brazilian Air Force, to question the sentries and other witnesses involved. Afterwards a special plane was chartered to bring the two burned sentinels to Rio. It was an Air Force military aircraft. At Rio they were put in the Army’s Central Hospital (HCE), completely isolated from the world behind a tight security curtain. Two months later they were still there. I [Fontes] don’t know where they are now.
 Three weeks after the incident, I was contacted by an officer from the Brazilian Army, a friend who knew about my interest in UAO research. He was at the Fortress of Itaipu the night of the incident. He was one of those who questioned the two sentries. He told me the whole story exactly as it was described above. His name was suppressed from this report in order to protect him. The reasons are obvious; he told me something he should not tell. As a matter of fact, this officer has asked me to forget his name and he wasn’t laughing. He was too frightened. 
I was aware, however, that the information was not enough despite the fact that it had come directly from one of the witnesses. The case was too important. On the other hand, to get more information through the security ring built by Army Intelligence would be an almost hopeless task. The only way was to attempt to break the secrecy around the two soldiers under treatment in the Army’s Central Hospital. As a physician, I might perhaps contact some doctors from the hospital and even examine the two patients if possible. However, all my attempts failed. The only thing I was able to determine was the fact that two soldiers from Fortress of Itaipu were really there under treatment for bad burns. Only that. 
The case remained in my files [Fontes] until two months ago [July 1959], when the final proof was finally obtained. Three other officers from the Brazilian Army who had been at the fortress on the night of the UAO were fortunately localized and contacted. They told the same story. They confirmed the report transcribed above in every detail. 
Looking at the testimony offered here, there are many problems. There are no names associated with any of these statements. The sentries are not identified, Fontes’ source, that first officer is not identified and neither are the three others who apparently corroborated the sighting.

Since Fontes did not have the opportunity to interview the two men who were so badly burned, his speculations about their reactions upon sighting the UFO are just that, speculations. He is suggesting that they panicked, that their terror overwhelmed them, and they were unable to function as sentries. Their duties were forgotten because the orange disk hovered above them. This is a little difficult to believe and it seems to be more hyperbole than actual fact.

Secondly, the same could be said about the reactions of the other soldiers in the fort. Both the officers and soldiers awoke confused, dashed about without a thought of what should be done, and panicked when the lights all went out. This too seems to be hyperbole to increase the suspense in the story, rather than actual details found through interview.

This story has since been widely circulated in the UFO literature, but nearly every bit of it originated with the same source, that is, Dr. Fontes. No one seemed to
Coral Lorenzen
question the accuracy of his statements about what went on in the fort, nor in his failing to mention the name of a single witness. In the late 1950s and the early 1960s, most of those engaged in UFO research and reporting didn’t bother with worrying about such things. Instead they relied on the credibility of those who were reporting the sighting. Fontes was deemed credible by Coral Lorenzen, who herself was deemed credible by nearly everyone in the UFO community.

And there was one document that seemed to lend credibility to the case. It came from the Office of the Air Attaché, Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C. There is no date on it, but it uses zip code which means it came about after the US Post Office stared using them. It said:

At two o’clock on the morning of November 4, 1957, in Fort Itaipu, located in the vicinity of Santos, Sao Paulo [Brazil], according to a Report by Dr. Olavo Fontes, two guards where [sic] on watch duty at the top of the highest lookcout [sic] tower facing the ocean. Suddenly an orange color light appeared and quickly positioned itself at approximately 50 meters about the guards. With inoperable automatic weapons, they watched the starange [sic] glow and high pitched noise emerging from the strange object. Suddenly the two guards were hit by an intolerable heat wave, knocking one of the guards unconscious. The other thought himself to be in flames, and screamed to alert the others. The troops in the Fort quickly became alarmed due to a failure of all the power systems, including lights, elevators and weapons. Three minutes later the power returned with many officers claiming to have seen the strange object rapidally [sic] climb towards the sky. The two guards sustained first and second degree burns over 10% of their bodies. The alarm system and the automatic electric clocks where were originally set for 5 am, went off at 2:30 of the same morning. After the incident the Fort was shut down and investigations by the Brazilian Secret Police and afterwards by North American Officials was conducted. The results were not made available.
This statement added nothing new to the tale, except for the mention of the Brazilian Secret Police. The story is the same as told by Fontes, but does not corroborate Fontes because he is the source. Had the document suggested someone other than Fontes, this would have been valuable confirmation of the tale, but as it is, it seems to be little more than a summation of the case by a Brazilian official, based on information that came from Fontes.

The Project Blue Book files for November 1957, mentioned this case as “Other reported sightings (not cases).” This meant they had information about it but hadn’t investigated it and given it was in Brazil, that isn’t surprising. They had received a news clipping about, but that clipping was missing from the file. Nothing could be learned about when they received the case, what they knew about it, or where they got the clipping. It is just another dead end.

But that isn’t the end of the story. Thiago Luiz Ticchetti, a Brazilian UFO researcher and a co-editor of Revista UFO and Coordenador da Revista UFO Brasil: www.ufo.com.br, investigated the case. According to him:

It was recorded [that there was] a blackout, but there may have been a momentary power interruption, which characterize the case as being CE-2 [a close encounter of the second kind, that is in which the UFO manifests some sort of effect on either an animate or inanimate object such as causing a power failure]. 
However, I found no evidence so far to say that there was indeed a blackout or power outage during the episode. Thus, considering only the sighting of an enigmatic light by the military and even witnessed by the commander of the fort, one would classify this as a simple case of CE-1. All sources consulted and statements obtained discard the information that “soldiers were burned by the heat wave caused by [the] UFO.” And the testimony of [a] veteran UFO researcher this confirms information, making it clear that Dr. Olavo Fontes Teixeira added fraudulent data to an authentic narrative and even mounted an “official” document to the American Embassy…. 
Unfortunately, over 50 years, many told and published this partial lie so often in books journals, conferences in various countries of the world that [it] became true. I suppose after the news have returned from aboard to Brazil, years later, in the form of books, websites, etc., the military ended up adding new details untrue… Both military [officers] did not know the provenance of that information, just repeated it because they have heard from others the same story. 
What is being said is that there had been a UFO sighting but it was of a somewhat distant object. There was no close approach, no heat ray or microwave radiation that burned the soldiers, and no blackout of the fort. In fact, it is difficult to think of a way that a mechanical weapon, whether a rifle or submachine gun could be rendered inoperative by the close approach of a UFO. Other than the sighting, the other elements of the case seem to have been manufactured by Fontes.

There is one interesting coincidence that might explain the added details. On November 2, 1957, there was the sighting of an object around the Levelland, Texas area that caused car engines to stall and radios to fade. On November 4, 1957, James Stokes reported that he, and several others watched a UFO maneuvering near Orogrande, New Mexico, and after the sighting, Stokes had a mild “sunburn.” While there is nothing to suggest this speculation is true, it seems that Fontes, who was a close friend of Coral Lorenzen, might have embellished the case to make it conform to the reports she was investigating in and around Alamogordo, New Mexico. It was a case with some corroborative detail.


The one fact that seems to stand out, based on the documentation available in The A.P.R.O. Bulletin, is that Fontes communicated this information to Lorenzen not long after it happened, but nothing was reported until September, 1959. And while he said that he investigated, he never spoke with the injured soldiers, never was able to identify them, and didn’t name any of the other witnesses or the officers who supplied him with the information. Those facts seem to suggest that part of the tale is not true.

26 comments:

Don Maor said...

Kevin, I say it is a bad thing to blame someone of being fraudulent without proof or evidence of it.

cda said...

Yes I fear you are right. There may have been a bright star or planet that was the initial cause of the 'UFO' sighting. The rest is a tall tale either told to Fontes or created by him. Even the date is uncertain; some sources say it was November 4, others that it was Nov. 5 or 6.

I would guess that, following the news of the US flap in early November of that year, including Levelland and the James Stokes cases, someone decided to jazz it up quite a bit and spin this tale, with the participants naturally being anonymous to prevent anyone conducting a proper investigation. Fontes was a staunch UFO 'conspiracist' and could have easily either swallowed a tale told by some anonymous 'witness' or invented the story himself.

KRandle said...

Don -

Two thoughts. One, no one said he was fraudulent, but did say that he had added fraudulent information to the case... Of, in other words, added detail that have no corroboration.

Two, Fontes wasn't at all worried about calling the soldiers little more than cowards who were afraid of the dark.

But what would you called it when someone adds so much detail to a report that cannot be verified in any way?

Anthony Mugan said...

This links back well to the previous post which discussed peer review. It is possible that Fontes was given this information by several sources and he wanted to protect their identity. The net effect is to make the case useless for everyone else and this sort of case should never get published in my opinion.
We do know how to assess if a sighting could be any one of literally dozens of possible misidentifications. Very few have enough data to plausibly rule out everything and even then you have an 'unknown' and nothing more. I think it is that hard core of cases that we should focus on however (amongst a few other lines of research) as it at least means that hypotheses could be tested against a data set with minimum noise in it.

purrlgurrl said...

People, including "researchers", present embellished cases because 1. the facts don't seem compelling enough, 2. the facts suggest the case could be dismissed as a misidentification of something mundane, 3. or the story presented is so far removed from the original source it no longer contains the facts (that is, it's a report based on a fourth- or fifth-hand retelling not an interview with an original witness).

Given there's nothing to verify Fontes "fictionized" account of what happened, the entire case, as he presented it, is questionable and ought to be tossed out.

cda said...

I notice that you did instigate a debate about Fort Itaipu about 18 months ago. Have you any reason to think new information is available since then? I suppose the case has a certain uniqueness about it, but it may be that the idea(s) originate from a science fiction tale or film going the rounds in the 50s. Pure speculation on my part.

RRRGroup said...

PurrlGurrl's comment is "fictionalized. She has nothing to verify her three points.

RR

David Rudiak said...

I mention Dr. Olavo Fontes' letter to APRO about an intelligence briefing he said he received from Brazilian Naval intelligence on the UFO situation, and it seems to have prompted another round of Fontes character assassination based on NO credible evidence, only personal opinion and hearsay. We have been through this before:

http://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/2014/10/fort-itaipu-and-footnotes.html

Sorry, but detail that lacks corroboration does NOT equal "adding fraudulent information to the case." It means only that it can't be independently verified, nothing more, nothing less, NOT that it is necessarily "fraudulent" (a word which insinuates the person providing the information is also a fraud).

In fact, when I admonished the last round of Fontes bashing, I was told the case against Fontes had allegedly been proven by an investigation by Brazilian researcher Edison Boaventura Jr, and given the following link (in Portuguese, translated by Google translate into English):

http://tinyurl.com/k6bj73o

In this we discover the following "evidence" supposedly against Fontes:

1. Some UNNAMED Brazilian Ufologist accused Fontes of hoaxing the story for ego and publicity, even accusing him of forging the embassy document. Yet Fontes is being bashed for not revealing his mililtary sources. So no real evidence here, just uncorroborated say-so or opinion of some unknown guy, for all we know had a personal grudge against Fontes.

2. Most potential witnesses Boaventura contacted said they didn't know anything. Well, that proves nothing. Same could be said for all sorts of UFO cases, including Roswell. Some said they heard rumors that it happened. Some denied anything happened. BUT, a few corroborated the story (and names were provided), even providing details that Fontes NEVER published. One said he learned one of the burned soldiers eventually died. The end of one of the rifles was melted and twisted, a very specific and unusual detail also given independently by another witness. The weapon was supposedly in a military museum. Boaventura couldn't find it. That again proves nothing.

Fontes never wrote the weapons were damaged. He said they were useless against the UFO, which I interpreted to mean as the soldiers were being burned and writhing in agony they would be unable to use their weapons.

Not finding a power outage in the area also proves nothing one way or another. We know of UFO cases where power outages were very directed and localized. The 1976 Tehran incident is a classic example, where the F-16 interceptor electrical systems were selectively knocked out and during the overflight of the UFO of the local Tehran airport, the control tower operator said the control tower lost its power but the rest of the airport did not.

As I have previously noted, the burning and power outage would be consistent with a directed microwave weapon. In fact, since then, also as previously noted, the U.S. military has developed microwave weapons that replicate the effects noted back in 1957, both in the U.S. and by Fontes for Fort Ipaitu.

Fontes not revealing the names of the soldiers he interviewed also proves nothing. Names of witnesses are frequently withheld, whether by journalist or UFO researchers, particularly those on ACTIVE military status who could suffer harsh consequences for talking out of school. Leonard Stringfield in the U.S. was one of a number of researchers who routinely withheld the names of his sources. Does this "prove" he made them up? Was Stringfield a hoaxer, in it for ego and glory?

I consider it very significant that 40-50 years later, a few witnesses could still be found that seemed to back up the story. Fontes did NOT make it up. Maybe he was duped in some way, but he would then be the victim of a hoax, not the perpetrator. Where is the actual evidence he created a hoax? All I see is a lot of innuendo, no real evidence and no facts to back up such an accusation.

KRandle said...

David -

It is quite clear that the source of the embassy document is Fontes and it is not corroboration for what he claimed, though it was offered as such.

I have communicated with my colleagues in Brazil and their opinion, universally, is that this tale is untrue. It is not up to them, or me, to prove it real, but for the proponents to provide the evidence which is lacking.

Len Stringfield often provided the names of his sources to other researchers so that them might verify the information and take the investigation even further.

I say again, without some way to corroborate the information, and with the material provided by my colleagues in Brazil, I see no reason that we should accept this case. I thought we had moved beyond this anonymous sources stuff after all the trouble we have had here.

cda said...

So we now have a UFO case where everyone associated with it, including the two prime victims (or 'witnesses'), the base commander who supposedly told everyone to keep their mouths shut, and all 2nd and 3rd hand witnesses, are anonymous. We also have the situation that the researcher who wants to discredit the case, Bonaventura, will not reveal HIS sources.

Not exactly a promising case to further investigate, is it? And you can be quite certain that if you were to search the Brazilian military records and local newspapers at the time, you will not find the slightest mention of the case.

This means, to all intents and purposes, that the story has no value whatever and may, and should, be considered fictitious. And whatever the skills and merits of Dr Olavo Fontes as a medical practitioner, his ideas of some worldwide conspiracy to withhold ther truth about UFOs severely detracts from his value as a so-called 'respected UFO researcher'.

Brian Bell said...

I agree with CDA.

It crossed my mind whether this fictionalized story was conceived not from a movie, but a pulp fiction sci-fi comic.

Seems to me the story fits something printed in that era. If not, as CDA has pointed out, three influential films came out just prior in 1956:

-- Earth vs The Flying Saucers

-- Forbidden Planet

-- Invasion of the Body Snatchers

It's very likely the story was inspired by something like this,

Don Maor said...

Kevin said:
"I have communicated with my colleagues in Brazil and their opinion, universally, is that this tale is untrue."

Which indeed is very different from claiming that Fontes intentionally hoaxed the case. On the other hand, I could ask you for the names of your colleagues in Brazil, and given that you may want to protect their privacy, I could accuse you of inventing “colleagues” in Brazil. Is it fair make such accusations?

Kevin said:
"It is not up to them, or me, to prove it real, but for the proponents to provide the evidence which is lacking."

And where/who are the proponents? I don't see the proponents here, but instead I see you trying to discredit Fontes with NO evidence for that.

Worst, we have here people writing preposterous things such as that Fontes was trying to embellish a UFO case that was probably 1st kind only, etc. Hey, the injured soldiers part is at the very heart of the account, so it is pretty absurd to claim that it was a mere "embellishment". If Fontes made it up, if he did it, then he flatly hoaxed the case, but the problem is there is NOT evidence to blame Fontes.

Do we have claims by Coral Lorenzen quarreling about any misconduct made by Fontes? No. It is pretty easy to make judgments when the involved ones are not alive.

KRandle said...

Don -

I named one of them in the post, Thiago Luiz Ticchetti, and the abhorrent quote you all seem to hate, is in that quoted material. I am not actually attempting to discredit Fontes, but actually suggesting this story is not accurate and might be completely untrue.

The proponents are the ones suggesting that this is a true story and that all the soldiers in it acted like cowards or imbeciles.

Brian -

The inspiration for this case are not the movies you mentioned, but much more likely the sightings near Levelland, Texas and the James Stokes story from Alamogordo.

Don Maor said...

Kevin wrote:

"The proponents are the ones suggesting that this is a true story and that all the soldiers in it acted like cowards or imbeciles."

I am not exactly a proponent of the case, just I don't like the acussations of hoax without evidence.

I am baffled by you bringing up again this item about the purportedly coward soldiers. Frankly, it is irrelevant at worst. At best, it shows a bizarre detail, that probably no hoaxer would be glad to add to his story in order to be believed. Moreover, this confusing detail of the helpless soldiers seems to add credibility to the notion that witnesses and the military base as a whole would be willing to conceal their names and details, etc.

On the other hand, we don't need to be extremely wise men to know that soldiers are human after all, and can also be subjected to confusing and terrifying situations, and that although they can be heroic, they also can be coward. The history of humanity displays a very long list of abuses, atrocities, thefts, unnecesary destruction and death of people, violation of women, and long list of etcaeteras, yes, commited by military men.

David Rudiak said...

It is quite clear that the source of the embassy document is Fontes and it is not corroboration for what he claimed, though it was offered as such.

I think it LIKELY that the source of SOME of the embassy document INFORMATION was Fontes, therefore not independent corroboration. But we we CAN'T say that ALL the information therein used Fontes as the source. (Similarly, not all information in the Wilbert Smith memo came from the Sarbacher interview, though much of did.) More importantly, it is by no means clear that Fontes actually wrote the document itself, as he has been accused of, one of the totally unsubstantiated accusations of fraud against him.

I have communicated with my colleagues in Brazil and their opinion, universally, is that this tale is untrue. It is not up to them, or me, to prove it real, but for the proponents to provide the evidence which is lacking.

My problem is not whether various researchers, including yourself, believe the case has merit. It is accusing Fontes of actual fraud and hoaxing. When you do that, it IS on you and them to prove the accusation. Where is YOUR actual evidence? Insinuations and speculation don't count. The whole accusation seems to amount to no more than, "We cannot find evidence 40-50 years later to support the details as written to our satisfaction, therefore we BELIEVE Fontes must have hoaxed the whole thing." Sorry, but that is NOT evidence.

Len Stringfield often provided the names of his sources to other researchers so that them might verify the information and take the investigation even further.

And Stringfield OFTEN did NOT provide the names of his sources to other researchers. (In fact, Stringfield told me on the phone shortly before he died that there were some witnesses he could only get to talk by promising them total anonymity, such as a medical doctor he courted for several years who said he had done an alien autopsy. Some witnesses, he said, are terrified at the possible consequences if their names are found out.)

Another UFO researcher who often keeps witnesses anonymous is Robert Hastings with his UFO and Nuke Connection cases. Robert says one of his rules is ALWAYS keeping the names of active duty military people anonymous because of possible repercussions against them while they are still in the service. I don't find it at all implausible that Fontes may have followed the same rule.

Blue Book redacted out the names of witnesses in their case reports. So did CIA UFO files. So did Condon's report. How does this "prove" the cases are "fraudulent" as reported, because we don't know the names of the witnesses? That is the flimsy accusation being directed against Fontes using the logic, "If we don't know the names of the witnesses and can't independently verify the accounts long after the man died, then he must be a fraud."

I say again, without some way to corroborate the information, and with the material provided by my colleagues in Brazil, I see no reason that we should accept this case. I thought we had moved beyond this anonymous sources stuff after all the trouble we have had here.

I think it fair to say that anonymous sources make for weaker cases. In the UFO business, maybe it weakens them to the point that they become almost worthless for evidentiary purposes, since others can't independently verify the information.

However, I don't think it fair to say that all such cases have no worth or are actually "fraudulent", nor is it fair to accuse the researchers using anonymous sources as "frauds" or hoaxers. By that feeble reasoning, Woodward and Bernstein's anonymous "Deep Throat" was an obvious fraud by W & B to "embellish" their Watergate "investigation" for ego and glory, like that other fraudster and "glory hound" Fontes.

David Rudiak said...

Kevin wrote: (1 of 2)
I named one of them in the post, Thiago Luiz Ticchetti, and the abhorrent quote you all seem to hate, is in that quoted material. I am not actually attempting to discredit Fontes, but actually suggesting this story is not accurate and might be completely untrue.

It might not be accurate and completely untrue, but that is not exactly how you wrote it up, which certainly does seem an attempt to discredit him:

1) You first put “investigated” in scare quotes, insinuating that Fontes didn't investigate anything and instead made it up.

2) You wrote: "He is suggesting that they panicked, that their terror overwhelmed them, and they were unable to function as sentries. Their duties were forgotten because the orange disk hovered above them. This is a little difficult to believe and it seems to be more hyperbole than actual fact."

No, as anyone can plainly read, Fontes wrote: "The sentries were frozen on the ground, their eyes wide in surprise, the Tommy guns hung limply from their hands like dead things... The sentinels were STARTLed, unable to think what to do about the UAO. But THEY FELT NO TERROR, no premonition, NO HINT OF DANGER."

So Fontes wrote they were "startled", "surprised", but "they felt no terror" at first, NOT that "their terror overwhelmed them." Being startled and confused by something highly unusual and well outside their training is NOT the same as being "terrorized". In fact, we know of other close encounter cases where witnesses were similarly initially startled. (such as the Ravenna case).

Then Fontes wrote the heat wave hit them. Only THEN (as you put it) "their terror overwhelmed them", as it would any human being feeling they were being burned alive.

3."The proponents are the ones suggesting that this is a true story and that all the soldiers in it acted like cowards or imbeciles." Also "Fontes wasn't at all worried about calling the soldiers little more than cowards who were afraid of the dark."

Nowhere did Fontes (or any UNNAMED "proponents") write that the soldiers "acted like cowards or imbeciles" or "cowards who were afraid of the dark." YOU are the one using hyperbole here to insinuate Fontes said that, but he clearly did NOT.

Instead he wrote the other soldiers were awakened by the two soldiers' screams, didn't know what was happening, the camp was plunged into complete darkness by a power outage adding to the chaos, and there was obviously a great deal of confusion under the circumstances, probably even some normal human fear and panic. Claiming he accused the soldiers of actual cowardice and gross stupidity when he didn't is another way of maligning Fontes' character.

4. "[Fontes] might have embellished the case to make it conform to the reports she was investigating in and around Alamogordo, New Mexico."

Pure speculation on your part. "Embellished the case" is more wording insinuating he made most of it up, or hoaxed it. (OK, so you also said “might have embellished”, but it is still an insinuation.)

I find it odd that if he was allegedly so eager to make the case conform to the Stokes case in November 1957 and make an impression with the Lorenzens, that he waited until Sept. 1959 to report it in detail in the APRO Journal. That becomes a pretty long con.

David Rudiak said...

(2 of 2)
5. "...no one said he was fraudulent, but did say that he had added fraudulent information to the case... Of, in other words, added detail that have no corroboration.... But what would you called it when someone adds so much detail to a report that cannot be verified in any way?"

Very clearly when you state Fontes "added fraudulent information to the case" you are indeed accusing him of actual fraud. Again let me point out the obvious: Lack of verification is NOT the same as a fraud necessarily taking place, yet you are clearly equating the two.

That others cannot verify it to their personal satisfaction decades later long after Fontes died does NOT make the information by itself "fraudulent" or Fontes a fraud.

It is also NOT true from the Bonaventura article that literally zero verification took place from later research. (Just not enough to satisfy Bonaventura.) As I mentioned, Bonaventura turned up several non-anonymous witnesses who verified parts of the story, saying the incident occurred (including the two burned sentries), in one instance two witnesses independently supplying the same detail (melted, twisted rifle barrel end) that Fontes NEVER mentioned.

He also says newspaper, including the local Sao Paulo one, DID report the incident starting about 3 months later, then mentioned in a small Brazilian UFO magazine from the newspaper reports, which included "electrical interference" and "paralysis" of the base (going by Google translation). They state no more could be said because the story could not be officially confirmed. (But it also DOESN'T say there was an official denial either.) No one can say with authority where this information came from, maybe Fontes, maybe not, maybe several sources. But the story WAS out there in Brazil a year and a half BEFORE Fontes' article in the APRO Journal.

6. "[I am} suggesting this story is not accurate and might be completely untrue."

The story might not be accurate and completely untrue, but you were suggesting a great deal more than that, that Fontes grossly "embellished", “added fraudulent information”, and thus made most of it up, clearly insinuating he was a fraud and a hoaxer.

It could also be that it was mostly true as reported based on the soldiers Fontes said he spoke to, but some Brazilian researchers decades later have not been able to verify anything to their satisfaction. Or it could be the Fontes was the victim of a hoax by some soldiers. Both of these other possibilities would have Fontes as an honest reporter of what he believed to be true and are very different than the accusations that Fontes deliberately perpetrated a fraud, which are currently unsupported smears on his character

David Rudiak said...

CDA wrote:
whatever the skills and merits of Dr Olavo Fontes as a medical practitioner, his ideas of some worldwide conspiracy to withhold ther truth about UFOs severely detracts from his value as a so-called 'respected UFO researcher'.

The letter was written CONFIDENTIALLY to the Lorenzens at APRO in Feb. 1958, or shortly after the alleged Fort Itaipu incident of Nov. 1957. It was never intended for public viewing and as far as I know was never published during Fontes' lifetime. Later an incomplete version was found in Fontes' files, but the complete version may still be with APRO files, whereever they are.

Fontes was also working on the alleged Ubatuba saucer crash case, of which he obtained actual metal fragments. The beginning of the letter was about how to get them analyzed to get actual physical proof of ET origins. It was within this context that the letter was written, saying that at the end of a work day when he was alone in his office, two military officers walked into the office, saying they were from Brazilian Naval intelligence. They knew of the fragments and warned him that he was doing something very dangerous. When he initially refused to cooperate, saying it was a free country and they couldn't order him about like an Iron Curtain country, they softened their tone and said he would understand better the situation once they gave him a briefing about what was going on, in exchange for two of the fragments for their own analysis.

(I might add here, that Fontes eventually got them analyzed at a lab in Brazil that found them to be 100% pure magnesium and of an abnormal density. The lab report was published in one of the Lorenzen's books. He didn't make that up. Various fragments made it to the U.S. for analysis, including by Dr. Roy Craig of the Condon commission. The fragments were quite REAL, regardless of their origin. He didn't make those up either.)

The long and short of Fontes' lengthy letter is that he was TOLD that the militaries of the world took control because of the extreme seriousness and global national security concerns. The fear was that civilians would totally freak out if they learned there was an external civilization with highly advanced technology which our own military weapons were almost useless against. Civilian authorities were only weakly in the loop, and it was so serious, that all sorts of means were used to discredit the idea and contain the information, mostly ridicule, but also an occasional assassination against someone with absolutely critical information.

Fontes comments at the end that he can't prove any of this happened, in fact the officers said they would deny it all if he reported anything, taking any means necessary to discredit him. He also says they could have been lying to him, but he didn't think at that point they had anything to gain, and he long suspected most of what they said anyway. Fontes also says he doesn’t in general trust the military or military intelligence, and what business do they have in western democracies totally controlling the information with no elected civilian oversight?

Of course, if your mindset from the beginning is that UFOs don't exist, then you will dismiss all of this and claim Fontes must have made the whole thing up, as CDA does (his default, unwavering position). But we have heard similar things come from other sources, such as Sarbacher. If you ask the question, if UFOs are real why hasn't there been public disclosure, this letter would explain the mindset and the situation that existed in the beginning and perhaps even now. Civilian heads of government are kept mostly in the dark, the militaries around the world control the situation, and were and maybe are still extremely paranoid and worried about the intentions of the visitors. The situation is still deemed so serious that the public must be kept in the dark.

KRandle said...

David/Don -

Now we begin the game of semantics (not as exciting as the Game of Thrones) but a game nonetheless. What do I mean?

David wrote, "No, as anyone can plainly read, Fontes wrote: "The sentries were frozen on the ground, their eyes wide in surprise, the Tommy guns hung limply from their hands like dead things... The sentinels were STARTLed, unable to think what to do about the UAO. But THEY FELT NO TERROR, no premonition, NO HINT OF DANGER.

"So Fontes wrote they were "startled", "surprised", but "they felt no terror" at first, NOT that "their terror overwhelmed them." Being startled and confused by something highly unusual and well outside their training is NOT the same as being "terrorized". In fact, we know of other close encounter cases where witnesses were similarly initially startled. (such as the Ravenna case).

"Then Fontes wrote the heat wave hit them. Only THEN (as you put it) "their terror overwhelmed them", as it would any human being feeling they were being burned alive."

So, it seems their terror did overwhelm them. Of course, startled and surprised (but now confused?) is all part of the same package.

Coral Lorenzen wrote, "Confusion changed to widespread panic, soldiers and officers running blindly along the dark corridors."

So, it seems that the hyperbole comes from both Lorenzen and Fontes... and the actions of the soldiers certainly do seem to suggest something less than valor. I will note here that I have been awaken in the midst of rocket and mortar attacks and didn't respond in such a way.

Keeping the spin alive, David noted, "He also says newspaper, including the local Sao Paulo one, DID report the incident starting about 3 months later, then mentioned in a small Brazilian UFO magazine from the newspaper reports, which included "electrical interference" and "paralysis" of the base (going by Google translation). They state no more could be said because the story could not be officially confirmed. (But it also DOESN'T say there was an official denial either.) No one can say with authority where this information came from, maybe Fontes, maybe not, maybe several sources. But the story WAS out there in Brazil a year and a half BEFORE Fontes' article in the APRO Journal."

But, when reporting on this, it is not possible to determine the correct date because the magazine O Cruzeiro gave the date as October 2 or another magazine (I don't know which one to which you refer) Mundo Illstrado gives the date as October 5 or 6 and some sources gave the date as October 4... So it would be nearly impossible to verify any of the information given the variety of dates... and there seems to be no evidence of a blackout or a power outage on the variety of dates.

I will note that there was a UFO sighting by an airlines crew on November 4 near Ararangua, Santa Catalina, Brazil with the pilot, Captain Jean Vincent de Beyssac, as one of the witnesses. He reported that the plane's automatic direction Finder (ADF), right generator, and transmitter burned out... could this be part of the inspiration for the tale? (Yes, David, speculation... I note that before you can bring it up).

I see enough problems with this case to reject it. There is no real verification. There is not even a solid date for the report. There are no names of the soldiers in the fort. And it seems to me that the reporting on this tale suggest that the soldiers did not respond as soldiers should even when a large, orange UFO is hanging overhead.

Without something a little more solid that a report from Fontes, and an entry in Coral Lorenzen's book (and I note here that I knew Coral very well and she was quite open to accepting all sorts of UFO reports) there isn't much of a case. Believe it if you must, but I would like something a little more solid before I see much value here.

Brian Bell said...

Seems odd to me that true ETH'ers spend energy trying to defend this story as though it were real despite complete lack of evidence.

Why do you all defend every single case including the ridiculous to the undocumented?

Wouldn't it better to make your case built on the few incidents that have at least some circumstantial evidence?

This one is empty - there's nothing to defend here.

David Rudiak said...

Kevin wrote: (1 of 2)
I see enough problems with this case to reject it. There is no real verification. There is not even a solid date for the report. There are no names of the soldiers in the fort. And it seems to me that the reporting on this tale suggest that the soldiers did not respond as soldiers should even when a large, orange UFO is hanging overhead.

Kevin, my criticisms of what you have written are not that you don't buy into the case, or that the case is too weak to have any value as UFO evidence, but that you have repeatedly accused Fontes of actual fraud while presenting NO EVIDENCE OF FRAUD.

Lack of sufficient verification on a cold case decades later is not evidence of fraud. (Can you, e.g., "verify" Edwin Easley told you on the phone that the ET solution for Roswell was not the wrong path to follow?)

Use of anonymous sources, particularly active duty military personnel, is not evidence of fraud. If you want to go down that rabbit hole, then Len Stringfield, Robert Hastings, and many other UFO researchers, plus numerous journalists are also guilty of "fraud". Sources are commonly protected if they request anonymity.

Lack of a solid date for an event is not evidence of fraud, in fact very typical for events, UFO or otherwise. (What is the "true" date of the Roswell crash or when Brazel discovered the debris or when he first came to town or when Marcel visited the ranch? What were the definite dates for the various Rendlesham UFO encounters and where is their official verification?)

In the case of Fort Itaipu, the fact that a UFO Magazine gave a date a month earlier than Fontes is actually a point in Fontes' favor, as it suggests another source or sources different from Fontes and that the story was out there quite independent of Fontes. It may not have happened, but Fontes didn't invent the story on his own.

Lack of records or verification of any power blackout is not evidence of fraud. As I noted, UFO power disruptions can be quite localized, as with the Tehran 1976 UFO incident, maybe on the top 10 of best documented UFO cases. Two F-16 interceptors had their electronics selectively knocked out, and during an overflight of the Tehran airport, the control tower's electronics were knocked out while the rest of the airport was unaffected. The Fort, probably with its own power line separate from the nearby town, could have had its power briefly knocked out without any blackout in town that might have been noticed by the power utility. Further, since this supposedly happened in the middle of the night, a short power blackout even in town could easily go unnoticed by some lone guy on the utility grave yard shift taking a nap.

David Rudiak said...

(2 of 2)

As for your claims that Fontes accused the soldiers of cowardice and stupidity, he clearly did not. Writing about completely normal human fear, apprehension, and confusion is not accusing anyone of being "cowards" or stupid.

As for your strange claim that "the soldiers did not respond as soldiers should even when a large, orange UFO is hanging overhead," you are beginning to sound a lot like CDA, who always knows absolutely how people "should" behave. Exactly how are soldiers feeling they are being burned alive and in excrutiating pain supposed to act, other than with human primal fear, crying out in pain, and writhing about? Are they supposed to keep a stiff upper lip, feel no fear or pain, say nothing, pick up their tommy guns and shoot back?

And how are the rest of the soldiers supposed to react, awakened from their sleep in the dead of night, not dressed, hearing the burning soldiers scream, with the fort plunged into total darkness? It doesn't take a lot of imagination that most of them would be confused, apprehensive, fearful, and the situation would indeed be chaotic, ESPECIALLY with a large, orange UFO hovering overhead. I don't think it typical that soldiers are drilled and trained in how to deal with such a unique situation.

So the soldiers' reactions as reported by Fontes is also NOT evidence that Fontes made anything up. Soldiers are first and foremost human beings, not unemotional robots who don't feel pain, don't feel fear, don't panic, don't get confused, and always go about their business like nothing remarkable was happening.

KRandle said...

David -

Technically, I did not call Fontes a fraud but did print the information that I received from those in Brazil when I asked, specifically, about this case. It could be argued that they, speaking English as a second language, interpreted things a bit differently than you do.

That said, I would ask you to provide the names of any of those who made reports to Fontes about the case. We have no names to associate with this story. We have a date apparently plucked from the air because of the sighting by an airline crew on that date. When others use anonymous sources, there is usually a way to verify the information so that it doesn't appear to be invented. Fontes said that he was told by the officers that if anyone else asked, they would be told nothing happened. What a wonderful way to avoid difficult questions... But I would like to see something that does not trace back to Fontes. Something independent, which, those in Brazil did look for and didn't find.

And I tell you based on my experience in working with soldiers in foreign countries, under circumstances of enemy fire including artillery attacks, that Fontes' description of the reaction of the sentries, and then the others in the fort, are not what you would expect from soldiers. They are not like civilians but are trained to react like soldiers. Please don't tell me how soldiers react... they are trained to ignore those factors to the completion of the mission, even if that mission is acting as a sentry in a fort at peace... and no, we don't need to hear about how some soldiers have run from the enemy in a complete panic because often those soldiers have not been adequately trained. It is clear from the descriptions that there is some hyperbole involved in an attempt to make the story more exciting.

This boils down to you arguing for a sighting for which there is no independent corroboration, that has no names associated with it. and for which investigators in Brazil were unable to learn anything about. You have nothing to support this case. You have innuendo, reports filtered exclusively through Fontes, and nothing to suggest this is a real event.

David Rudiak said...

Kevin wrote:
And I tell you based on my experience in working with soldiers in foreign countries, under circumstances of enemy fire including artillery attacks, that Fontes' description of the reaction of the sentries, and then the others in the fort, are not what you would expect from soldiers. They are not like civilians but are trained to react like soldiers. Please don't tell me how soldiers react... they are trained to ignore those factors to the completion of the mission, even if that mission is acting as a sentry in a fort at peace... and no, we don't need to hear about how some soldiers have run from the enemy in a complete panic because often those soldiers have not been adequately trained. It is clear from the descriptions that there is some hyperbole involved in an attempt to make the story more exciting.

So you are saying YOU know exactly how the soldiers would necessarily react? Did you also work with the Brazilian army in 1957? Different country, times, and military You know how well trained they were? How?

How exactly are soldiers supposed to react when attacked by a UFO or a total unknown? Is this something soldiers are routinely trained for? E.g., in the case of officer Dale Spaur and the 1966 Ravenna case, in addition to being a police officer trained to handle dangerous situations, Spaur had been a B-21 gunner during Korea, trained in aerial combat, probably HAD been in combat. Spaur said both he and his partner still froze in their tracks stunned when the large UFO came overhead and parked itself above them, not knowing how to react, definitely apprehensive--not exactly in the military or police training manual. Spaur also said he thought about shooting at it, then changed his mind, fearing the object might respond, hurting or killing them. Spaur added he could feel the heat radiating off the thing, but, of course, they weren't attacked and actually burned, which might considerably escalate the fear and terror factor

Having some big, glowing UNKNOWN hover over your head, which Spaur also immediately believed to be ET in origin with unknown threat capability, might indeed create fear, apprehension, confusion even in someone like Spaur, He admitted to experiencing all that. And he WAS well-trained in the U.S. military and had probably had been in combat before.

How were the Fort Ipaitu sentries "supposed" to act under such a situation? The same? Different? How would they react when enveloped in intense heat, felt they were being burnt alive, and in extreme pain? Like normal sentries? Or like human beings in great pain fearing they were dying? How are soldiers "supposed" to act when they are set on fire with flame throwers or napalm? To they calmly go about their soldierly business?

Do soldiers or anyone awakened from their sleep in the middle of the night immediately react the same way as those already awake? Wouldn't there likely be a bit of initial disorientation? How did the soldiers react at Pearl Harbor when awakened from their sleep by the attack. None of them were fearful, confused, disoriented?

How about if you couldn't see anything because the electricity was knocked out and you were in total darkness? More disorientation and confusion perhaps? Being awakened to the screams of comrades might add more confusion, apprehension or fear, normal human reactions. Soldiers are not robots, but human beings first.

I am also greatly bothered that you took what Coral Lorenzen wrote, which was much more dramatized than Fontes, then connected Fontes to it. This is guilt by association. Most "hyperbole" came from Lorenzen, not Fontes. What if someone took what YOU wrote and exaggerated it? Are YOU now guilty of "fraudulent" reporting?

In the end, your OPINION of how soldiers are "supposed" to behave under the circumstances is exactly that, opinion. It is not actual evidence of any wrongdoing by Fontes in his reporting. No court would ever accept it as such.

KRandle said...

David -

This is pointless unless you can find evidence about this attack from a source that can't be traced back to Fontes. I do not understand your immediate defense of him in the light of this lack of evidence. You reject the information provided by other Brazilian UFO researchers. All you have is your speculations and your obvious distaste for the military.

And of course Coral Lorenzen's information is linked to Fontes. That's where she got it.

But I notice that you don't answer the relevant questions but divert the conversation in other directions. If you have something new to contribute, if you have the name of a single first-hand witness to this alleged attack, if you can find something that is not traceable to Fontes, then I close this discussion here.

cda said...

Kevin:

I think you meant 'unless' instead of 'if' 3 times in your final paragraph. I agree: it is one of the most useless, pointless, uncheckable CE2 cases in UFO history.