Trindade Photographs

The four-mast sail training ship of the Brazilian Navy, NE Almirante Saldhana, was converted to a hydrographic survey unit for the International Geophysical Year. The ship had a crew of 300 commanded by Captain Jose Santos Saldanha de Gama. The vessel had been surveying the waters around Trindade, located about 750 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Among the civilian technical team aboard were the expert underwater photographer Almiro Barauna and members of his diving club, including former Brazilian Air Force Captain Jose Teobaldo Viegas and Amilar Vierira Filho.

Just after noon, as the ship was preparing to sail, Barauna was photographing the ship's launch as it was hoisted aboard. 60 feet away from him Vierira Filho saw what he thought was a large seagull and pointed it out to Captain Viegas. Captain Viegas immediately began to shout "Flying saucer!" Barauna rushed over and photographed it taking six shots in less than 20 seconds. He photographed the UFO as it approached, swung behind Mt. Desegado, reappeared, and then flew away. It was latter discovered that two of the shots did not show the UFO at all because Barauna had been pushed by the crowd. Many of the crew were on deck and witnessed the UFO. Commander Bacellar had been below during the sighting and wanted the pictures developed immediately. Barauna waited an hour to calm down and then processed the film in an improvised darkroom. He was assisted by Viegas while Commander Bacellar waited outside.

The negatives were shown to the crew who agreed that they showed the UFO. The photographs were published by the Brazilian press on February 21. A Untied Press International report from February 25 stated that the Brazilian Navy had analyzed them and that the President of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek, hand vouched personally for their authenticity.