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Classic Mysteries

The frightening attempted UFO abduction of Hermelindo da Silva—1976

by: Brent Raynes



It was September 5, 1976, around 2 a.m., when Hermelindo da Silva, a Brazilian farmer and the owner of a small roadside bar just outside of the village of Vargem Grande, in Minas Gerais, Brazil, was returning home in the company of his dog when the sky unexpectedly lit up as bright as day. Just over their heads Hermelindo could make out a very bright object approximately ten feet across, surrounded by yellow and violet hues. In the middle of it was what resembled a dark hole.

Hermelindo admitted that he was very frightened, and though his dog was normally known to be fierce, it ran away in terror. Then the UFO extinguished its light, and as the bar was nearby Hermelindo quickly made his way to the back door, where he tried in vain to unlock it and escape inside. However, he was too nervous as he fumbled with the lock and instead resigned himself to standing beneath the overhanging roof straining to see if he could detect anything more.

Then it happened again, the blinding light reappeared just above the roof. He grabbed a pole and struck something. He described receiving a slight shock, and then the light went out again. Hermelindo noticed that the light had been making a faint buzzing noise, but that after it was extinguished he heard a hissing kind of sound similar to that of a small gaslight.

Next the truly weird and frightening events began to unfold. Something struck his shoulder and knocked him down to the ground. Jumping back to his feet, Hermelindo began racing for his house, which was about seventy yards behind the bar, when the mysterious light came back on, an estimated 25 feet overhead. Then what looked like “steel cables” with “hooks” dropped down around him. Hermelindo described how he was dodging the hooks when a small man-like figure about 4 foot tall, clothed in a gray hard and polished outfit, came sliding down one of the cables. The being struck Hermelindo’s shoulder and tried to grab him, but Hermelindo struck back and tried to defend himself. However, the metallic feeling clothing that the creature wore made it impossible to get a firm grip on him. Hermelindo was briefly able to get the being in a bear hug, and managed to throw him to the ground, but before he could get away the being slipped a hook about Hermelindo’s left ankle, and then quickly disappeared up a cable and inside the UFO.

Next Hermelindo found himself being pulled up off of the ground feet first and moving closer and closer toward the hole in the bottom of the mysterious object. He described the object’s size as that of the room in his little bar, where American journalist Bob Pratt was interviewing him, which was about twelve feet square. The hole was open and there was a purple color to it, and as he got near to the bottom of the craft he felt very hot.

Screaming for help Hermelindo awakened his brother-in-law, who lived in the house with Hermelindo’s wife Maria and their six children. Coming to the window, the brother-in-law witnessed Hermelindo’s frightening otherworldly struggle. With his right leg swinging about, Hermelindo’s right foot struck the edge of the hole and the hook came loose from his left ankle.

Hermelindo then fell an estimated 20 feet into a large yucca plant, which has large, razor sharp leaves, but which probably helped nonetheless to break his fall and save his life.

While Hermelindo had only seen the object from below, his brother-in-law had observed it from the side and could see that it was a conical shaped craft, with a round top on it.

Hermelindo suffered many cuts and scrapes all over his body. He felt his dog had been a victim of the encounter also. Three months afterwards it died of unknown causes, and he felt that when it ran off during their initial encounter that it had received some sort of shock.

“One of the most vivid memories of my investigating with Bob was the case of Hermelindo,” Cynthia Newby Luce noted in a recent email. “It seemed so bizarre that entities obviously having the advanced technology to cruise around in an UFO would use grabbling hooks to try and haul up someone they wanted to examine, if that’s what they were up to. It’s odd because so many of our cases involve actual levitation by beams of light.” Though Cynthia did point out that there is “one other case where a man was hooked” (a case which is also described in Bob Pratt’s book UFO Danger Zone). “When Bob and I revisited the locale in 1991, that yucca plant was still there and it was obvious that only having been dropped from above could Hermelindo have sustained the injuries he had on his body.” In addition, regarding the brother-in-law’s independent observation of Hermelindo’s experience Cynthia described how one must realize how houses in that region are of simple design and structure, and that the “windows were open, glassless and closed by a solid wooden shutter.” “One had to open the shutter to see outside and they were shut from the inside,” she added. “Point being that when the brother looked out the window he had a clear view of what was going on.”

Long-time Brazilian UFO researcher Alberto Francisco do Carmo accompanied noted researcher Hulvio Aleixo, a psychologist and university professor from Belo Horizonte, on the first on-site investigation conducted of this case, within only a week or two following the frightening encounter event. Alberto recalled how Hermelindo was “trying to take refuge in order to protect himself” from the UFO that was “hovering low over the bar roof and emitting a light...more and more disturbing and blinding,” and how Hermelindo was “shouting for help” and calling out for “all the saints he could claim for.” Then came the desperate moment where he decided to run for the house. Alberto recalled, “But the UFO chased him, dropped four cane shaped hooks and started to try to catch him. ...Then the little alien descended, sliding down while holding one of the hooks. They started to wrestle and Hermelindo continued to cry for help. The wrestling was not short. While wrestling and turning in circles through the backyard Hermelindo came too close to a barbed wire fence and was hurt by the barbed wires. The wrestling continued. Then in a brief moment Hermelindo realized that he was stronger than the alien and grabbed him in a sort of ‘bear hug’ and got to suspend the alien in the air. At this moment the alien emitted a sound like a hushed groan, slipped downwards, laced one of Herminio’s feet, and got up to the UFO’s interior agile as a cat. Hermelindo was caught, the UFO began to lift off and in seconds Hermelindo was suspended in the air, like a beast.”

“It’s interesting to remark that Hermelindo couldn’t (tell) from where the alien got the lace,” Alberto added. “But the little alien had it, got it and used it.”

“Why Hermelindo was freed and the real reason he was dropped over the yucca shrub (in between the house and the bar, right in the middle of the backyard) will remain as an unsolved question forever,” Alberto continued. “It might have been caused either by the fact that Hermelindo got to KICK the UFO bottom or the fact the aliens didn’t want eyewitnesses, Hermelindo’s brother-in-law coming and catching them in the act! ....It was the third time short aliens, wearing dark overalls, a head protection like a helmet, were seen around there and acting violently. At least in two other sightings (I also have drawings) a boy was chased by a UFO of another type. But that also ejected two cane-like hooks apparently trying to catch the boy. This, fortunately was unsuccessful. And a barrel-shaped UFO was seen to open something like a bomb bay under it and a pair of hooks was seen to come out.” “The scars caused by the fall over the yaccas and the barbed wire fence were still there!” Alberto added. “I saw them with my own eyes!”

The team conducted a very thorough investigation. Alberto even shared with me a two page letter he had received from Dr. J. Allen Hynek back in 1977, responding to a report that Alberto had mailed him regarding this unusual incident.

Alberto also recalled how he “played the alien in a sort of police-like reconstruction of the incident, carried out by Hulvio.” This procedure was even photographed as Alberto “played the alien” with Hermelindo “showing how he fought with the alien. ...The only thing Hermelindo couldn’t do was to lift me from the ground because I was considerably heavier than the little alien.”

UFO Danger Zone by Bob Pratt. Published by Horus House Press, Inc., P.O. Box 55185, Madison, Wisconsin 53705. Copyright 1976. ISBN: 1-881852-14-8. Note: Brazilian researcher Alberto Francisco do Carmo pointed out to me that the date given for this event in Bob Pratt’s UFO Danger Zone was in error.
Instead of September 9th 1976 it occurred on September 5th 1976.

Sunday, June 16, 2024