Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for January, 2008

Spiky "UFO" in Brazil: no UFO to Brazilians

The video posted by Shirley de Queiroz (queirozcomz) on Youtube:

“A strange object that in daylight crossed the sky of the northern region of Sao Paulo, around “Jardim Brasil”. This happened at the time that the so-called ‘chupacabras’ was much talked about. Note as it cannot be claimed it’s a balloon, [because] it, in its course, makes some tries to maintain its twelve claws open, until the moment that, as the policeman say, it ‘succeeded'”.

A stabilized version can be seen here.

Shirley gave a more accurate date for the video in the comments: it was shot in 1995. She emphatically denies again it was a balloon, and also tells how at the time she showed the footage to a ufologist (still unidentified), but “on a final talk I realized that he didn’t know even what the word ufology exactly meant… so, given that, I left [the footage alone].”

It’s been causing some sensation abroad, but not so much here in Brazil. To be short, check this:


From “Planeta Balão” (Balloon Planet), it’s a “balao estrela” (star balloon), and the image was suggested by Cezar Castejon to Jonatan Francis. Credits for the find also go to “Ovni Ufo vídeos”.

You can see another type of star hot-air ballon here, and all the kinds of balloons being launched in Brazil in this page.

Around here it’s very obvious that it’s indeed a hot-air balloon, which was a real (and illegal) craze around the time. Groups of young men would join and create ever more complicated and elaborate balloons, trying to see who would make the best. They even included fireworks in some, huge signs and so on, check the previous links.

The activity suffered in more recent years, though, as authorities toughened the laws and suppressed the dangerous activity, which provoked fires and endangered the air space. Rival groups of balloon makers would also fight over the balloons that reached the ground, sometimes with great violence.

But even then, at great risk, some people are still launching those balloons. The star balloon in the image above, clearly the kind of the “spiky UFO”, was launched just last year.

The interesting thing is that Shirley seems to have no idea what the Chad/CARET/ISaac drone is, but the attention her footage got surely owes something to the drone saga — which only shows that the saga has already influenced the field of ufology.

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UPDATE: The ufologist that Shirley de Queiroz contacted is Claudeir Covo, renowned Brazilian ufologist. He kindly clarified it further:

“Osmar de Freitas, of the GEONI UFO research group, who was also a balloon maker, watched the video and concluded it was a balloon.

When we told Shirley that it was a balloon, she didn’t accept the conclusion.

At the time, on the Internet, we found a similar balloon:


I still have her testimony recorded in video, among hundreds of tapes.

As an ufologist, I would very much like that this video was that of a UFO. But it isn’t.”

And so it is that this case had already been investigated and solved many years ago. It is indeed from before the drone saga.

With thanks to Claudeir Covo for the information.

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The Saqqara plane-bird-toy… Weathervane!


“In room 22 of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt, there is a wooden object that appears very similar to a modern airplane or glider. In fact, it is so similar that some have offered it as proof that the ancient Egyptians possessed the technology of flight. The artifact is made of wood and has a length of 5.6 inches and a wingspan of 7.2 inches. It was found in a tomb near Saqqara in 1898 and has been dated to about 200 B.C.

The folks at Anomalist mentioned (thanks!) the relation between the pre-Columbian gold artifacts and the so-called Saqqara bird. I had already seen it mentioned before, but had never looked upon it with much interest, assuming that well, it could be a bird, it could be really a model airplane. The Chinese had bamboo model “helicopters long ago. That’s not proof of very advanced technology per se — whereas the pre-Columbian gold artifacts had delta wings and what did look like jet engines. Intriguing, but it turned out they were really flying fishes.

But I looked upon it to comment with more information, and I’m really glad that I did, because I just found a very nice series of pages discussing the Saqqara object, by Larry Orcutt. It includes drawings of the object, and most importantly, detail the reproduction of it and seminal test: did it really fly?

Be sure to check the links, though I may have given away the answer in the title of this post.

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Laputan Logic


“In December 1845, Joseph Faber exhibited his “Wonderful Talking Machine” at the Musical Fund Hall in Philadelphia. This machine, as recently described by writer David Lindsay, consisted of a bizarre-looking talking head that spoke in a “weird, ghostly monotone” as Faber manipulated it with foot pedals and a keyboard.”
Mr Faber’s Amazing Talking Head

It’s been on the Blogroll at right from the beginning, but you just cannot miss Laputan Logic, with posts going from Abracadabra to the Platypus. It’s science-friendly Fortean.

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Ancient jets? The amazing flying beings

At the end of the 1960s, biologist Uvan Ivan Sanderson, more well-known as a promoter of Bigfoot, called the attention of the world to some gold pre-Columbian artifacts, centuries old, produced by indigenous cultures.

According to him, those were reproductions of jet aircrafts, a conclusion supported by doctor Arthur Poyslee, of the New York Aeronautic Institute.

Absurd, if only the artifacts didn’t in fact look so much like modern airplanes. Click on the image to continue reading:

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Spiritualism: very alive in Brazil

Watch above the alleged phenomena produced by the Brazilian “medium” Jose Medrado, on a short clip from an European documentary.

Medrado describes, in Portuguese, how unexplained things happened, like a cactus appearing from nowhere, and more surprisingly, the “materialization” of the “bride”, covered by a white gown and veil. He even shows the light dimmer that the “bride” could manipulate to adjust the red light intensity to her liking.

Yes, materialized spirits dealing with light knobs. No wonder some claim that spirits send emails.

But those are not things from the 19th century. Though the video was recorded some years ago, and Medrado no longer claims to produce such “extraordinary” feats, he’s still very active as an alleged medium.

There are still a lot of Chesterfields in Brazil. Oh well, the original one still exists in America in any event. The will to believe in the afterlife is very understandable, which only emphasizes how despicable the hoaxers and quacks who explore this weakness are.

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