Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

“SIOANI”: How the Brazilian Air Force Investigated UFOs Officially

by Edison Boaventura Júnior, President of GUG – Guarujá Ufological Group

Original case investigation files from SIOANI

In 1969 a group of high ranking officers of FAB – the Brazilian Air force – created in the 4th COMAR – Regional Air Command – , in the neighborhood of Cambuci, São Paulo, the first national and official group for Ufology research: the "SIOANI" – System of Investigation of Non-Identified Aerial Objects.

The main operational office of SIOANI functioned at Park Professor Oswaldo de Vincenzo n. 200, and it was headed administratively by Major-Brigadier José Vaz da Silva.

Many cases of landings, sightings of UFOs and even crew members as well as pictures of alleged flying saucers were investigated at that time by Major Gilberto Zani de Mello and by Lieutenant João Edney Carvalho Ribeiro, who were directly involved in most of the investigations.

Soon, in March of that same year, the first bulletin of SIOANI was published, with 22 pages. It was restricted to the members of SIOANI and outlined the statute and the guidelines of that group. According to the bulletin, the concept of the system was: "The combination of human and material resources, destined to the scientific investigation and research of the Non-Identified Aerial Objects phenomenon."

In the second SIOANI bulletin, with 30 pages, published in August, we can get a glimpse of complete descriptions of dozens of cases of several kinds of close encounters. In all, 58 cases were reported in Brazil, most of which had the innermost parts of São Paulo as stage.

It is known that in 1972, the activities of SIOANI ended, and much has been argued about the reasons for that. Some ufologists speculated that this happened because of a change in the country’s government. Others believed that the 4th COMAR lost interest in the continuity of the investigating group, and that the collected material was forwarded to the 4th Sub-Command in Brasília.

Some years ago, ufologists Claudeir Covo, president of INFA – National Institute of Investigation of Aerospatial Phenomena, together with Osmar de Freitas, president of GEONI – Group of Studies of Non-Identified Objects -, visited the 4th COMAR and were informed that all SIOANI material was indeed forwarded to the command in Brasília. But was this correct?


Between 1997 and 2004, I visited in the 4th COMAR, in São Paulo, and for three times on 2004 I visited the COMDABRA, in Brasília. I discovered that there were actually no documents or reports to verify this transfer of the SIOANI material. This puzzled me, but I didn’t give up on searching fro them… During my visits to the COMDABRA I was able to see several documents and I became aware of several interesting cases, besides seeing the computerized system for cataloguing ufological cases, but nothing related with SIOANI.

On December 18, 1997, I had the satisfaction of personally meeting Major Zani, the operational head of SIOANI. In the occasion I learned a lot and cleared some doubts on SIOANI. Later, I spoke to Lieutenant Carvalho and learned a little bit more on the how and why psychiatric analyses were conducted with the witnesses.

But where were all these documents recorded by the military and that had cases of such great importance?

Some years passed and with the information given by Major Zani, I met another officer and for the first time I saw the original documents.

It was this way that I discovered that SIOANI ended its activities because of a change in the command, as the new brigadier (that substituted Brigadier Vaz) didn’t have much sympathy for the subject. At that time Brigadier Vaz asked an officer to take all the material home to preserve it, as he judged it to be of too much importance to be put aside.

This military man forwarded this rich material to me and today I have 66% of the SIOANI material, part of it even original.

Ever since, I am analyzing the material and revisiting in loco several researched cases. I intend to undertake a historical approach of the subject in a book that I am writing to praise the work of our Brazilian Air force, that conducted such a great work at that time. This way I believe that I will help preserve this memory where the beginning of the military research of the flying saucers is recorded in Brazil.

Edison Boaventura at the 4th COMAR



SIOANI had the participation of several military and civilians that were representatives in different parts of the country and who collaborated sending several reports. As this happened during the time of the military dictatorship [in Brazil], I think that it was a very positive opening.

Ufologists such as Antônio Pedro de Souza Faleiro, registered as IOANI – Investigator of Non-Identified Aerial Objects — n° 12 and his father Antônio Souza Faleiro (IOANI 11) collaborated sending their case reports that occurred in the city of Passa Tempo, in Minas Gerais state. In my files I have the original reports of these two famous researchers, that will be published in an article later.




Several classic cases are part of the SIOANI bulletin, for instance, the "Maria Cintra Case", the "Tiago Machado Case", among others. I am reviewing several cases and I was in Lins, São Paulo, together with ufologist Josef David S. Prado, president of BURN [ufological group]. We verified the case that happened in Lins, that had as protagonist the servant Maria José Cintra, resident in the hospital, that saw a ship and its crew member.

Major Zani and Maria Cintra In September 1968 major Zani along with subofficer Aragon, sergeant Brandani and lieutenant Carvalho, of 4th COMAR of São Paulo and also sergeant Horst, of the garrison of FAB, headquartered in Bauru, visited Lins hearing several witnesses and filling out numerous reports of the cases that happened there.

On September 26 the military men went to the Clemente Ferreira Sanatorium,along with of Mr. Job Silva, administrator of the hospital, to interview servant Maria José Cintra, who experienced an exceptional case involving a UFO crew member and the landing of a spaceship, during the dawn of August 25, 1968.

In the previous night the doctor in duty of the hospital and other employees spent some minutes admiring a ball of light that moved in the sky.

Mr. Leôncio Nunes Viana, occupant of bed 59, 44 years old at that time, said that at night he went to the bathroom, because he couldn’t sleep due to his disease (tuberculosis) and when he returned, he sat down in the bed with his feet over a chair. At this moment he saw frightened that a yellow light illuminated his window and part of the room.

The object irradiated lights that varied between yellow, green and red, staying at a distance of approximately 150 meters and the height of around one and a half meter from the soil.

Leôncio said: "The lower part was round and topped by a transparent dome, grooved like a paper basket and I saw three people close to the device using white clothes and with slow movements. The phenomenon lasted some minutes and the light turned off later."

Maria José Cintra, better known as "Dona Mariquinha", told that around 4:30 AM she was sitting at her bed praying, as she usually did when she awoke. She was thinking about making coffee when suddenly she heard a very strange noise outside, as if it was a car braking.

She opened the blind, leaned over outside, saw below a lady standing and said: "Is it for internment? You lady wait a little bit, as I will open the door in a moment". Then, she dressed the coat and when going down she asked the stranger again if it was a case for internment. According to Mariquinha the woman was a bit taller than 1,60m in height and didn’t speak well, it was not possible to understand any word that she said.

The visitor dressed a blue brilliant coat with long sleeves as if it was a tunic, a lead colored belt and a hat in the head of the same fabric (similar to the glossy gobelim), showed a very beautiful 20 cm recipient, all brilliant and with a fine craftsmanship. Dona Mariquinha thought that the visitor wanted water and they went together to the drinking fountain, which is located in the lobby, distant about 30 meters.

When they arrived at the place the woman removed a mug of 7 cm of height and filled it with water, drinking afterwards. Then, she remained looking at the parked cars of the administrator and the doctor in duty.

When Dona Mariquinha gave the bottle with water, the woman tapped her shoulder and said: "embaúra, embaúra, embaúra’‘.

Already in the exit door of the hospital the strange woman, instead of exiting the normal way, went among the flower beds. Dona Mariquinha saw a dimmed light and then a device floating at about 70 cm from the ground, in the shape of a pear. "There was another person inside the object, that gave his hand for the woman to enter through an opening. The object made a buzzing sound and took off vertically", the servant said.

She retreated and began to scream: "Oh! It’s the flying saucer, it’s the flying saucer!". At this moment, desperate she began to cry, had spontaneous urination and went back to her room. Later she told the events to the administrator and his wife.

Cintra reenacting the event 


The following day the administrator and other employees noticed in the waxed ground the impressions of the servant’s shoes joined by other strange marks, of a pointed shoe that didn’t have heels.

There were also pieces of scorched grass and a depression in the soil with an approximate diameter of 1,5 meters to 2 meters, with a depth from 15 to 20 cm. According to the administrator, the heat was felt during the whole morning of that day.

The officials of the Brazilian Air force photographed the place and collected samples from the depression caused by the landing, later sending them to the Technological Institute in São José dos Campos. After a long time vegetation hadn’t grown up in that place again.



On December 18, 1997, I had the satisfaction of personally meeting major Zani, who was the operational head of SIOANI. During the visit to his apartment I asked what he thought of the "Maria Cintra Case" from Lins and as answer I heard that the event was similar to others classified in other parts of the country and abroad.

"The case of Dona Mariquinha was interesting, because we collected material and sent them for analysis in laboratories from Brazil and abroad. Though I don’t have knowledge about the results the case was very significant and lieutenant Carvalho filled out the psychiatric report, which in general was satisfactory. At that time there were many cases in Lins", the major said.

I asked Zani which cases were more important in that city and he said: "The case of the tractor operator Toríbio Pereira was important because of the paralyzing rays and there was another case that happened in October 1968, at about 9 PM, when about four hundred students, teachers and directors of the Institute of Education 21 de Abril observed a fireball crossing the skies of the city. The number of witnesses was decisive for the authentication of the observation."



In 2002, with the original dossier of the Maria Cintra Case researched by SIOANI in my hands I decided to obtain more data and personally go to the city of Lins to verify some information that were in those documents, even though I knew that at that time the main protagonist of the case had already passed away.

To this end, I invited ufologist Josef David S.Prado, president of BURN, to review this whole case that happened in the dawn of August 25, 1968, in the Clemente Ferreira Hospital.

We arrived in Lins on a Saturday of September 2002, and went first by motorcycle-taxi to the 4th Battalion of Hunters that is now the 37th BIMtz – Battalion of Motorized Infantry -, as we knew that a report was written about the case that happened in the hospital.

Boaventura and Josef Prado 

Colonel Ney Villela Pires de Aguiar, commander of the 4th Battalion of Hunters, determined at that time that the landing had to be investigated by the military of that corporation and even detached some vehicles for night patrols, due to the increase of cases in the area.

We were helped in our inquiries by sergeant Faria who tried to find that historical report, however without any success. The military man suggested that probably, because of the importance of the subject, such documents would have been sent to the command in Rio de Janeiro, shortly afterwards, where the information regarding UFOs was centralized.

We left the Battalion and went to the city in search of a place with a different door, based on pictures of the Lins dossier. We arrived at the local police station and verified that the place we were looking for was exactly there. We asked about the case to the officer in duty and he informed us that all the material of the case was burned in a fire.

We were disappointed but then another policeman that was already going out called us outside and said that he knew a colleague that was present to the facts and kindly took us to the city newspaper.

When we arrived at the newspaper we realized the office was closed, however soon the editor showed up and helped us, revealing more data and even interviewing us for subsequent publication in his own newspaper.

In the afternoon we went to Rádio Alvorada of Lins, which publicized several cases that happened in the city at that time. There we interviewed radio hosts Cilmar Machado Santos and Roy Nelson, along with Ronaldo Silva, of the commercial department. All supplied information that corroborated the whole history.

Cilmar said in relation to the case of Dona Mariquinha: "She told us the story several times and she never changed or exaggerated anything. Therefore, I sincerely believe that she had a real case."

The radio has a rich collection with several testimonies of classic cases of the area and we agreed to exchange information later.

The radio announcer took us to the hospital and there we were well received by the management and toured all the installations, revisiting the details of the case. Unfortunately the spot of the landing was now cemented and is unrecognizable. However, we collected testimonies verifying the truthfulness of the event and mainly regarding the credibility of Maria José Cintra, who was a very honest, religious and deared figure in the sanatorium.

At the end of our visit, they pointed to us people that experienced the facts at that time so that we could collect more testimonies. It was this way that we went to the house of Mrs. Ruth Rodrigues Marcheti, who met Dona Mariquinha and who confirmed all the details of the case.

We also interviewed her sister Lídia Rodrigues Souza (74 years old in 2002) who told the following: "On those days of 1968, I saw a luminous object passing. It was round with several lights. It turned its multicolored lights on and off."

We then got in the bus back to São Paulo and were satisfied with the collected complementary material and sure that a very extraordinary fact really happened in that small city.

We discussed during the trip several aspects and reached the conclusion that it was very strange that the crew members of those UFOs would expose themselves so much to the point of transposing incommensurable distances, simply to "ask for water". There must have been another reason and maybe Maria Cintra herself had induced the crew member to take water in that container.

What puzzles us today is that the underground water beds of the city of Lins are famous for their purity… would this fact attract the attention of the UFO occupants? What caused the big ‘wave’ of observations in the area in 1968 and 1969? Unfortunately, those questions remain without answers!

– – –

Note from the editor: We follow soon with the second part of Boaventura’s article, detailing more cases and presenting documents from “SIOANI”, including the official ID card (!) then used by the associate researchers.

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Posted in UFOs | 6 comments

6 Comments so far

  1. UFOMystic » Ufological Things June 11th, 2008 9:06 pm

    […] 3. UFOs and the Brazilian Air Force. […]

  2. […] the editor: We follow with the second part of Edison Boaventura’s work about the first official investigations of the Brazilian Air Force into the UFO subject, detailing some strange cases and presenting an exquisite treasure from his […]

  3. Christopher Montgomery August 17th, 2008 8:02 pm

    I am very pleased to have this information and for making it available to the general public. You have my full support and endearment.

  4. CERPA Marseille August 18th, 2008 8:50 am

    Hello, thank you about serious work . friendly UFO. Bernard Hugues ,director of CERPA/ FRANCE

  5. Remembering Forgetomori ’2008 | forgetomori December 31st, 2008 7:48 pm

    […] A report on SIOANI: the first official investigation on UFOs by the Brazilian Air Force. Following the movie, Indiana Jones and the Lost City of Dysentery, our surprisingly small radio […]

  6. Dalgerti Lelis Milanese November 2nd, 2010 3:17 pm

    I am a witness for this case.

    Please see more about it in the site



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