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Trindade Case: Almiro Baraúna?s Nephew Claims That The Photos Are Fake (part 1)

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07 de Fevereiro de 2011
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Créditos: UFO Archives

Possible Fraud of the Trindade Island UFO Case – The Barauna’s Secret Revealed?

More than half a century after the classic case of a sighting of a UFO over Trindade Island, Espirito Santo state coast, recorded in photographs by Almiro Barauna, a professional photographer, discussions continue about the authenticity of the photographs and the presence of witnesses of the appearance of the phenomenon.

The crucial question that has been made lately is who are the witnesses who were aboard the schoolship Almirante Saldanha and who witnessed the UFO appearance on January 16th, 1958.

According to the story, reprinted in several books on UFOs and articles by the word, there were 48 eyewitnesses to the UFO flying passing over the island. Who are these eyewitnesses? According to newspapers and publications back in those, they were military personnel and civilians.

The controversy was rekindled in this decade and critics question if there were really that large number of witnesses of that fateful episode and wheter the photos are indeed real.

Deep and Long Research

In the early years of investigations, in 2002, seeking the relatives and friends of Baraúna, this autor was already aware that Baraúna had a nephew who as photographer, but for some reason of faith, I did not contact him. With the resumption of investigations at the end of 2011, I was finally able to interview him by phone, on January 27th and 30th.

Marcelo related, without evasions or fears, as the whole episode occurred and how it was and, according to his statement, it all was a big joke by Baraúna, who chose to take to his grave his personal confession, due to the ruge repercussion of the event.

In this insightful interview, we will know the reasons, according to the interviewee, that lead to our protagonist to never confess his photomontage. The story of how it all happened will be exposed now.

UFO researchers from the whole world wonder about the authenticity of the photographs and now we might uncover the truth about them, according to the conclusions of this researcher based on the frankly interview with the Baraúna’s nephew: the pictures are just a trick, a montage created by Baraúna in his own laboratory. That could be one of the definitions that we can find after years of research by this author.

Baraúna was a professional photographer, pioneer in underwater photography and author of the first underwater photographic report published in the country. He had achieved mastery in handling photographic in diversional character or merely to deceive people. Along his life, he drew the extreme of friendship and enmity with his work.

He was a prankster, a joker in life, but he took photography very seriously and considered it his life goal. His professionalism, competence and pioneering spirit, above average, gave him respectability as a photographer. He was the creator of Barasub, waterproof case for underwater photography that was successful at the time. His visit to the island was aimed at making underwater photographs for the Navy and to write articles about the activities of scientists abord

He was a member of Icaraí Spearfishing Club. The members of the club that were on the island included: Amilar Vieira Filho, Jose Viegas Teobaldo, Mauro Santos and Andrade Aluizio Fonseca Araújo, all deceased.

Baraúna became known as the main character of the whole episode. If it were not because of his photographs, this UFO episode would have become forgotten in time, as would have left no records or photographs. The Trindade Island Case has become a classic in world ufology because of it.

A puzzle May Be Unveiled

Baraúna kept a big secret and he died in 2000 without revealing it in public. One of the pillars of World Ufology could collapse from today. The classic case of Trindade, had been since then one of the most flagrant pieces evidence to legitimate the existence of a flying saucer.

The truth about the facts, according to the informant, would be undeniable: the photographs of UFO Trindade would be only a fake. Since 2002, this author has been deeply involved in the case and the end result can be unexpected and shocking.

There seems to be so far (confrontations will be held soon) evidence, trought this researcher did not surrender to the evidence to be presented here in this article that the photos would be just an elaborate trick and that Baraúna was a "practical joker" who had deceived the whole Ufology.

This information could not have been fully reached without a bombastic statement by a key witness to the whole controversy. His name is Marcelo Ribeiro, 69, professional photographer and nephew of Almiro Baraúna.

Ribeiro is an award winning photographer having worked in Brazil, Europe and Africa. Having traveled to 72 countries, when he was clicking in West Africa, he captured in his lenses an old woman with a child walking through the Sahara desert. This picture is considered by him one of the most important picture in his life and earned him an award from Nikon.

He would be the only current holder of the secret, still alive. After keeping it for years, only now has he will reveated it to the public, telling the whole truth, in his opinion, about Trindad Island case and guarantees, "it was all a big joke, a mockery of Baraúna\'s!".

Baraúna’s Friends: Opinions Divided

The search for photographers who were friends of Baraúna led this author to interview, in 2003, professional photographers Carlos Ruas and Zalmir Gonçalves. Ruas, who back in the 50’s worked for the Diário Fluminense (Fluminense Daily), declared that he believed in the veracity of photographs of the flying saucer and that trust in the person of Baraúna as a honest man.

crédito: Marco A. Petit/Disclose TV
Barauna in 1997
Barauna in 1997

Emphasized that earlier photographic tricks, performed by Baraúna were at the amateur level. Zalmir also endorsed the same arguments. Baraúna and Ruas were part of a group of photographers from Niterói (RJ), in the 50\'s, who were skilled in performing various photographic montages including creating flying saucers.

Baraúna was considered one of the most skilled of the group. At the time of the interview, neither Zalmir nor Ruas knew the whole truth about the case. They did not know about the alleged secret. The real enigma of how it happened was known by only three people of Baraúna’s confidence, two of which currently have dead.

Marcelo is the only current holder of the key to the mystery and will reveal, in exclusively to this author, to the Portal da Ufologia Brasileira, to the Revista UFO and to all UFO community.

The opinions of Baraúna’s friends in 1958, were divided. Another friend in the same class of Niterói, the amateur photographer Joaquim Simoes, deceased, claimed that the pictures were fake.

To the Diário Popular (People\'s Daily), of February 24th, 1958, Simões attacked: "He is really a great professional, expert in photomontages, able to perform miracles in a laboratory, but owner of a fantastic imagination and unbridled greed to make his name as a photographer. But with the navy and the public opinion we should not to play".

He continues in his criticism against: "Nobody better than he is able, in Niteroi, to make a flying saucer in a laboratory. Baraúna has a magnifier DeJur (6x9) and a Meopta (35 mm), both proper to technical photographs, which require distortion of the picture, bends and other techniques".

The news story stated that "Mr. Simoes never had any conflicts with Baraúna. He wished to remain his friend. He merely admits that afterwards, Baraúna will never again feel comfortable with this peers, because as they know all of his tricks, they never would have expected him to fool so many people."

The Baraúna’s response to his critical was published in the newspaper O Globo on February 24th, 1958: "The accusation that now makes me an my \'soi disant\' colleague, Mr. Joaquim Simoes, that now I had duplicated the montages (confessed),in 1954, wanting impingement them as real photos, has no merits. The photos taken aboard the school-ship ship Almirante Saldanha are authentic. Technicians of unimpeachable integrity and competence, who examined the film, at the request of higher authority of the Navy, so stated, as the newspaper said. And above it all is the testimony of people who attended the events."

Based on the new versions presented here, Joaquim Simões would be correct, despite never having heard any admission from Baraúna that he would faked the photosgraphs.

The inventory of tricks

Baraúna had already accomplished photographic tricks before going on the Trindade Island and had great ability to perform new tricks. In 1954, to the magazine Mundo Ilustrado in an article entitled "A flying saucer was in my house...", Baraúna presents photographs of how to make a flying saucer using two chips of the old fleet (bus ticket) of Rio.

With accompanying text written by Vinicius Lima, the photography trick was not intended to mislead readers, by saying clearly how to do a montage. The final composition of those two chips bring to min his own flying saucer photographed on the Trindade Island, with a similar Saturn-shaped format.

Another of his photographic tricks and this time he sold as if it were real, is a treasure he had found on the Island of the French, in the Espirito Santo coast. There was no treasure. He set up a scenario and sold pictures to the newspaper Tribuna da Imprensa (Press Tribune), who bought them and believed they were genuine.

What many ufologists and UFO enthusiasts came wondered over the past year was if the photographs of the flying saucer on the Trindade Island would be just another one of his tricks. Would Baraúna heve fooled the Brazilian navy? According to the present investigation, yes, today we could consider such possibility.

crédito: UFO Archives
Scene appears on the Mundo Ilustrado in 1954, where he taught how to mount image Baraúna UFO
Photo published in the Mundo Ilustrado, in 1954, where Barauna teach how to montage a UFO photo

In 2002, this author contacted by e-mail the most famous UFO skeptic of that time, Philip Klass, to know his opinion about the case. He considered the photographs a hoax: "I believe the photos are a hoax for several reasons, including the earlier forged a photo of a UFO created by Baraúna, and the fact that none of the pictures show a longitudinal blur - due to high speed reported UFO – and the picture of the UFO is not centered on the photos".

During a telephone conversation with one of the widows of Baraúna, Mrs. Soraya, in 2003, this author asked her about the ownership of the negatives and she said that all the Baraúna’s material was with her, including the negatives, but repeatedly refused to supply them for scientific analysis.

Mrs. Soraya, now deceased, was one of three people who knew the Baraúna’s secret. Today, we think that she did not give the negatives - if she had them - because she knew that the photographs were an montage and it was all just a big joke of Baraúna.

On the date of this interview, his other widow, also aware of the secret, was already deceased. So since then, there were only two people who knew the real secret of how it happened.

Continues in the second part ... Click here to access automatically.

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