At 12:00 p.m. on January 16, 1958, the Brazilian ship Almirante Saldanha was preparing to sail away from Ilha de Trindade, off the coast of the state of Espírito Santo. Among the crew of the ship, was a member of the Brazilian Air Force, Captain José Teobaldo Viegas, photographer Almiro Baraúna, and several scientists and a group of highly trained explorers.
Captain Viegas was on the deck with several scientists and members of the crew when they suddenly noticed a flying object, which had a "ring" around it like the planet Saturn. It reportedly came toward the island from the east, flew towards the "Pico Desejado" (Wished Peak), made a steep turn and went away very quickly to the north-west.
The photographer, Almiro Baraúna, who was on the Almirante Saldanha on the day of the UFO sighting, was sought for photography. After getting the camera and going up the quarter-deck, he allegedly took photographs of the object. Barauna disclosed the photos and the negatives, after two days, to the Brazilian Navy for their investigation. It was commented that, that particular ship had no photo development facilities, which may have contributed to the length of time of two days, before Baraúna could produce anything to the Brazilian Navy.
The Laboratório de Reconhecimento Aéreo da Marinha (Brazilian Navy's Aerial Reconnaissance Laboratory) and the Serviço Aerofotogramétrico Cruzeiro do Sul considered the pictures to be genuine, and was given certification by military personnel. The pictures also received confirmation by Juscelino Kubitschek, president of Brazil at that time.
However, Almiro Baraúna‘s credibility was questioned by the U.S. Air Force Project Blue Book investigation, as it was revealed that Baraúna had produced hoaxed photographs in the past. Since 2003, the photos have been scrutinized as a hoax, going from the inversion of the images of the UFO in different shots, to radical changes in background clouds, while the elapsed time was claimed to be less than 20 seconds.
In 2010, on the highly acclaimed Brazilian TV show, “Fantastico”, a supposed “friend” of Almiro Baraúna, named Emilia Bittencourt, told in her interview that she “heard from the photographer himself: he hoaxed the images, it was a montage. ‘He got two spoons, joined them and improvised a spaceship, using as background his home fridge. He photographed on the fridge door and object with a perfect lighting, because the calculated everything, he wasn’t dumb. He laughed a lot’.” The TV show also reported that Baraúna’s niece, “who didn’t want to record an interview, but she confirms the hoax.”
As commentator Marius pointed out on forgetomori.com, on August 29th, 2010 at 4:48 am, it’s “this woman who claims to have heard the faked disk story,” versus what Almiro himself reported along with what dozens of other sailors saw, and the navy report. “I think I will stick with the version of the facts reported by the the Brazilian Navy,” says Marius.