Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

How to fake UFO photos, by Almiro Barauna


Reproduced here openly for the first time in almost fifty years, thanks to the work of the Brazilian researcher and historian Rodolpho Gauthier, is the article “Um Disco Voador esteve em minha casa…” (“A Flying Saucer has been in my house…”), published first in the “Mundo Ilustrado” magazine in 1954.

The article was written by Vinicius Lima, showing “how to make a Martian spaceship“, and this is the catch, the photo trickery was done by Almiro Baraúna.

Less than four years later, the very same Baraúna allegedly took photos of a real flying saucer while aboard a ship near the Trindade Island, on what would become a classic and to some, one of the best UFO cases ever.

Continue reading for the full translation and additional commentary.

Reference: Baraúna, A., Lima, V.; “Mundo Ilustrado” magazine; November 10, 1954; pp 38-39


How to make a Martian spaceship — What’s truth and false about the flying saucers — Photo trickery that can be exploited and entertain.

Text by Vinicius Lima / Photos by Almiro Baraúna

The so called “flying saucers” have been the subject of all sorts of comments. It’s a subject loved not only by journalists, but also by the worldwide public opinion that kindly follows everything that is photographed and written about the discs and cigars…

Respected personalities from science have already manifested themselves about the subject. Journalists and photographers, even from Rio [de Janeiro], claim to have seen the flying saucers. Others, happier or lying more, even swear they traveled in the saucers.

Everything started when H.G. Welles [sic] wrote his famous work “The War of the Worlds”, provoking, later, panic in New York, with the presentation of a play where the “Martians invaded Earth”. And the saucers keep “appearing”. Now, even the Brazilian Air Force claims to have seen “things” over a national military base.

Mars exists. If there is life on Mars, personally this journalist believes that because I was convinced through the reading of academics on the subject. As a proof there are the Martian channels, and an atmosphere that allows for the human survival [sic]. All we can do is wait the year of 1959, when Mars will be more or less close: then the last word will be given by the fabulous telescope on Mount Palomar.

Do the flying saucers exist or not?…

So far, a definitive proof haven’t been obtained yet. That’s because, [despite] many photos of the “saucers” having been made, these cannot be taken as proof at all since there at my house we can also make flying saucers, with chips from the Carioca fleet. To do so, you just have to know how to use a photographic camera, as the readers may learn through the photos on this article.


It’s curious that the people most qualified to deny the existence of the flying saucers, such as the scientists and aeronautic authorities from all over the World, don’t do that, with some even admitting that they may be aircrafts from other planets such as Venus, Mars, etc. True or false, the fact is that I present to the readers a flying saucer, identical to the others that are presented with much fanfare. This flying saucer, though, was admittedly made at my house, and photographed by the amateur Almiro Baraúna…

[Subtitles, starting from the page at right, then left and finally the center photo:]

Two chips from the Carioca fleet are taken, joined by their flat faces.

Making a flying saucer is a woman’s job… to sew with needle and line.

The saucer is ready. It’s not luminous, but for that any flashlight can be used.

The photo is taken of the bright object against a dark background. The “saucer” is photogenic.

Then, you just have to go to the Icarai beach or any other place, and without advancing the film, expose the negative a second time.

On the Boa Viagem beach, in full daylight, the “saucer” flies through the sky provoking “panic” among those that never saw it.

Leaving its “luminous trail” over Niteroi, the “flying saucer” heads in “astounding speed” the the Boa Viagem beach…

Soon after the Trindade Island UFO photos were published in 1958, some newspapers uncovered Baraúna’s previous photo trickery and published these photos again, much to Barauna’s admitted inconvenience. But somehow they were forgotten once more, as no one ever since publicized these images again over half a century, even as the case would become an icon of ufology.

Anyway. Now that it’s being openly published, regarding its actual relevance to the Trindade Island case, one must note upfront that the Mundo Ilustrado photos look mostly different from the Trindade ones. Mainly, the flying saucer is clearer than the background, and also shows a trail — both the result of a long first exposure of the small moving model lit by a flashlight, followed by a normal second exposure capturing the rest of the scenery.

Nevertheless, there are similarities, too. As Spanish researcher Manuel Borraz immediately noticed, it’s an amazing coincidence that Barauna would not only fake flying saucer photos shortly before photographing real ones, but that his fake flying saucer model would be so similar to the allegedly real one.


Those are just more amazing coincidences to add to the fact that even on his allegedly real UFO photos, the object looked very much alike, only mirrored and flipped, on all of its mad movements and greatly different distances and alleged speeds.

Regarding the article’s text. It takes some stabs at the previous Barra da Tijuca hoax, when it mentions “journalists and photographers” that claim to have seen flying saucers, and the photos by Barauna, featuring beaches as scenery, are also a reference to the hoax.

Incidentally, as researcher Martin Shough noticed, the model used on the 1954 article is more closely related to the Barra da Tijuca hoax than with the Trindade Island photos. Though they all feature a classic flying saucer with an outer rim, so fashionable around the time, the 1954 and the Barra da Tijuca models feature more straight, stepped angles, whereas the Trindade object is apparently rounder, more akin to a “Saturn-shape”.

In all, the 1954 article does not allow us to make any solid conclusions regarding the later Trindade case. Let me state once again, as previous discussions of this classic case taught that one must be absolutely clear:

The Mundo Ilustrado 1954 article with Barauna’s faked photos presented here DOES NOT prove the Trindade Island case was a hoax.

But no one can deny the cosmic coincidence, which amounts to a heavy circumstantial evidence against the veracity of the later photos that this article represents. All the ufologists who had this article in their hands but chose not to publish it despite great public interest probably acknowledge that. Barauna himself acknowledged that. But this is no real reason to hide this piece of evidence. Because, like it or not, it is relevant part of the Trindade case.

And if you for a moment assume that Trindade was a hoax, then it’s such a bold one. There we see again a classic flying saucer model in the sky on a beach. There are also references about Martians (“creatures who love comfort“) by skeptics. It wasn’t in 1959, but on 1958, the International Geophysical Year. It would be a clear example of “how trickery can be exploited”. And how “photos cannot be taken as proof, because they can be faked”. And most of all, it would feature the “panic of those who never saw it“.

As you readers may well know, though the main staple of the Trindade Island case is the alleged number of sailors, officers and civilians who witnessed the object, going from dozens to more than a hundred, in five decades not one solid name besides the less than five original ones came up.

Contrary to the magazine article presented here, one may assume that those who support the authenticity of this case would not hide such evidence.

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All credit for the publication of the “Mundo Ilustrado” article goes to Rodolpho Gauthier, who found the material and authorized this reproduction.

To know more about recent investigations on this case, check:

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Posted in UFO photos,UFOs | 9 comments

9 Comments so far

  1. UFOMystic » UFO Fakery? January 18th, 2008 6:27 pm

    […] This is a story that is likely to intrigue most, upset and disturb others, and most definitely please the skeptics. It deals with the issue of UFO fakery, particularly as it relates to high-profile and famous cases. […]

  2. Skepsis blog January 19th, 2008 3:54 pm

    Bløff og bilder…

    Det skal nok mye til før Berit Ås leser Skepsis-bloggen med nysgjerrig lærevillighet. Dermed mister hun anledningen til å se hvordan hun kan styrke sine teorier om 9/11 med fotobevis. Men noen ganger antar sammentreffene kosmiske dimensjoner. Hvem …

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  4. Almiro Barauna’s many hoaxes | forgetomori January 29th, 2010 10:27 am

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  6. Jean BASTIDE August 18th, 2010 9:35 am

    Many years ago, Mr Almiro Barauna takes great pains in order to send me all his photographies of the saucer above Trindade Island. How did you explain this? How did you explain, too, the fact that so many witnesses on the ship have seen this phenomenon and, more, have described it similarly.This sounds really like some disinformation campaign from some secret service or a spherical bastard.
    Mr Jean Bastide, MUFON Representative and FSR correspondent, author of: La mémoire des OVNI, Mercure de France, 1978.

  7. Massimo September 19th, 2010 1:40 am

    This is not an unknown story. It’s well known that Barauna has been anti UFO exponent for years; as a photographere he pubblished different articles on how a UFO picture can be faked to demonstate that UFO pictures are always fraudolent. BTW he has been involved in a real sighting with other 48 people present; there was other 4 photographers that day, but only such a skilled photographer as him had the chance to take some good pictures. The same object has been caught by the camera of another man which was in another location (not on the ship). The Barauna/Trinidad case is one of the most documented UFO cases.

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