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Classic Mysteries

Another Brazilian UFO Attack Case

by Brent Raynes

It was about 6 p.m., September 1991, just a few miles outside of Acari in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, as Jerinaldo Dantes, 18, was riding his bicycle home after working all day on an uncle’s farm. He was listening to music on his Walkman, pedaling along a dirt road with the setting sun to his back, when suddenly Jerinaldo noticed a large multicolored “ball of light” flying toward him from the direction of nearby mountains. Then he noticed his Walkman was filled with static. Overcome with fear, the young man jumped off his bike and ran underneath a nearby tree, squatting down and wrapping his arms around its trunk. Next the mysterious light stopped and hovered just over the top of the tree!

Jerinaldo occasionally tried to glance up at the UFO, but because he was terribly frightened he tightly hugged the tree’s trunk for an estimated 20 minutes. During this time, he noticed an intense amount of heat from the object, to the point that he felt that it might set the tree on fire. He then decided that it was too dangerous to remain under the tree, and so scooted under a nearby barbed wire fence and then rushed some 20 feet out into a corral, when suddenly the top of the tree broke off and crashed down upon the fence he had just scooted under! Meanwhile, the ball of light was now giving off a bluish illumination, lighting everything up around it, continuing to hover over what was now a scorched and smoldering stump of a tree.

By this point, Jerinaldo stated that he was very afraid and trembling as he helplessly watched the UFO and feared for the worst. But then the light went out and a moment later came on a good distance off in the west. He also noticed a certain unusual coldness in the air too that stopped when the light was extinguished.

About 200 yards away, in a large farmhouse, Sebastiani Sales, 56, went to look out her window as her dog was barking loudly. She opened the shutters and saw a bluish ball of light, that she estimated at 60 to 70 centimeters in diameter, giving off blue sparks, above the tree. Then she went to the door, obviously to get a better view, and described how the light was very low and in fact was touching the tree. Then she noticed someone squatting under the tree.

What happened next seems even stranger. She says she shut the door, closed the window, and returned inside to watch her television! She laughed and admitted to Bob Pratt to being embarrassed at recalling her behavior, but Bob explains that in Brazil TV soap operas, called Novelas, are watched faithfully every evening by a fourth of the country’s population. And so, Bob reasoned, Sebastini, being one of those faithful viewers, wasn’t going to let a mysterious ball of fire and a terrified boy keep her from her TV program.

But I can’t help but wonder if that’s the entire story. Through the years, there have been easily hundreds of reports wherein witnesses described entering altered states of consciousness and behaving in unusual ways. Sometimes as though they were under some form of mind control. Being a big fan of a TV soap opera is one thing, but to close the door on such an unusual sight and to turn your back on the predicament of the young man squatting at the base of the tree beneath it seems like very odd behavior to me. Then too, perhaps it was a form of psychological denial. What a bizarre perception of reality such a sight would pose. Who wouldn’t want to return inside to the comfort and safety of their home and simply resume watching their favorite soap opera.

At any rate, Jerinaldo was soon banging on her door, and when she opened it she found a very upset young man standing there. He described to her his frightening UFO encounter, and asked that she get his bicycle. But Sebastiani was frighened herself now. She said that the UFO was still visible in the distance. Instead, she phoned the farm manager and he picked up the bike.

While Sebastiani didn’t see the tree fall she knew that it had as she had heard it. When Jerinaldo arrived home about two hours later, he was, his mother stated, hysterical and unable to talk. In addition, his mother felt that he did suffer afterwards with mild psychological problems, such as a temporary case of absent-mindedness, and she felt he had become more timid as well.

Bob Pratt admitted that he was quite puzzled by the behavior of the UFO. While on the one hand it seemingly zeroed in on young Jerinaldo as he rode his bicycle and then it hovered directly over the very tree beneath which he had taken refuge, flushing him out into the open by directing an intolerable heat, the UFO nonetheless failed to finish the job once Jerinaldo had been forced out into the open. Bob could thus only speculate that perhaps the aliens simply wanted to demonstrate to their young witness how mean and powerful they were, writing that they behaved like lethal bullies, and that without a doubt Jerinaldo was convinced that they were all of these things.

In an email I had received from Cynthia Newby Luce, who had assisted Bob Pratt on this investigation, she reminisced: “I remember the case so vividly because the burnt tree was still there and the witnesses still so impressed by the incident. In fact, one could still smell the burnt resin. The tree branch looked like a giant had twisted it off. ...The woman that was watching the novela, the soap opera, was in her house very near, like 20 feet max and she looked out the door and saw the whole thing.”

Cynthia also shared her personal thoughts on some of the explanations being offered by certain “experts” for these experiences. For example, she took exception to one claim that “people only remembered abductions under hypnosis” for she has been involved in Brazil with credible cases wherein there were “attempts by UFOs to pull people up...by beams of light or hooks” and “NONE of those people (were) asleep” or had to “recover memories under hypnosis...plus there are often one or more witnesses.” In addition, Cynthia took issue too with what she called the “big claim” that “all perceptions of anomalous phenomena are due to brain chemicals.” “And when one comes back with objections to that hypothesis by saying that it is NOT brain chemicals producing those perceptions, one gets ignored. That is our problem. The so-called ‘scientists’ do not apply their own criteria to something that does not agree with their mind-set.”


UFO Danger Zone: Terror and Death in Brazil, by Bob Pratt. 1996. Published by Horus House Press, Inc., P.O. Box 55185, Madison, Wisconsin 53705. ISBN: 1-881852-14-8.


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