BRAZILIAN AIR FORCE SCRAMBLES JET’S TO INTERCEPT STRANGE RADAR BLIPS
As many as twenty UFOs were seen and tracked by ground radar and at least six airplanes during the night of May 19, 1986 over several states in southeastern Brazil. Unidentified radar returns were tracked by airports in São Paulo and the Integrated Air Defense & Air Traffic Control Center (CINDACTA) in Brasilia.
Two F-5E and three Mirage jet fighters were scrambled from Santa Cruz AFB in Sao Paulo State, and Anápolis AFB in Goias State. The case was discussed openly by high ranking government officials. It was first reported by Colonel (Ret.) Ozires Silva, president of the state-owned oil company Petrobrás, who was flying on an executive Xingu jet, when he and the pilot saw and pursued unidentified objects for about 25 minutes. The incident was covered widely in the Brazilian media, leading to a press conference at the Ministry of Aeronautics in Brasilia on May 23, with air traffic controllers and air force pilots involved in the scramble mission. The Minister of Aeronautics, Brigadier General Otávio Moreira Lima, was very outspoken: “Between 20:00 hrs. (5/19) and 01:00 hrs. (5/20) at least 20 objects were detected by Brazilian radars. They saturated the radars and interrupted traffic in the area. Each time that radar detected unidentified objects, fighters took off for intercept. Radar detects only solid metallic bodies and heavy (mass) clouds. There were no clouds nor conventional aircraft in the region.
The sky was clear. Radar doesn’t have optical illusions. “We can only give technical explanations and we don’t have them. It would be very difficult for us to talk about the hypothesis of an electronic war. It’s very remote and it’s not the case here in Brazil. It’s fantastic. The signals on the radar were quite clear. The Minister also announced that a commission would study the incident. Air Force Major Ney Cerqueira, in charge of the Air Defense Operations Center (CODA), was equally candid: “We don’t have technical operational conditions to explain it. The appearance and disappearance of these objects on the radar screens are unexplained. They are Unidentified Aerial Movements… The technical instruments used for the identification of the lights had problems in registering them. CODA activated two F-5E and three Mirages to identify the objects. One F-5E and one Mirage remained grounded on alert. A similar case occurred four years ago [the Commander Brito VASP airliner radar-visual incident in 1982]. The lights were moving at a speed ranging between 250 and 1,500 km./hr. [150 to 1,000 mph] The Air Force has not closed the case. NOTE: The above image is a rendering.