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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Apr > Apr 24

Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 23:05:20 +0100
Archived: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 07:38:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found

>From: Kentaro Mori <kentaro.mori.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 11:42:24 -0300
>Subject: Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 08:10:16 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found


>>In fact, I argued that given the intense publicity the Trindade
>>case got in Brazil, not to mention around the world, it was
>>indeed strange, perhaps even telling, that in all those years
>>nobody on the ship had come forward to validate the hoax theory
>>- which has always been that nothing happened, nobody had seen
>>what he believed to be a UFO, that the photographer fixed it up
>>and made up a story to fit.

>But they did! Several newspapers exposed the fact Barauna had
>hoaxed before, that there were 'negative witnesses'

A negative witness would be someone who says they were on deck at
the time in a position to see something, and didn't.. Jansen is
the _first_ known negative witness.

>that no officer saw anything

No officer claimed that he was on deck in a position to see
something, yet didn't. On the contrary, all officer statements
of which I know state that the officer was _not_ in a position
to see anything:

The ship's Executive Officer told the US Assistant Naval Attache
that he arrived on deck after the event, but formed the
impression that those already on deck had genuinely seen it.

Commander Moreira da Silva was also not on deck, and by the time
he was called from his quarters it was too late. But he too
concluded that a genuine sighting had occurred.

Capt Bacellar said he too was in his quarters and simply not in
a position to see anything, but got there just afterwards,
concluding that "an unidentified aerial object was really seen."

>that the photos were hoaxed. Of all the
>people they asked directly if they saw something, none that
>could be named confirmed seeing the UFO, with the exception of
>friends Amilar, Viegas and Barauna. Even friend Mauro Andrade
>denied seeing something when directly questioned.

This rather makes it sound as though Andrade had indirectly
claimed something, but retracted it under "direct" questioning,
or "denied" that there was anything _to_ see. Either impression
would be thoroughly misleading:

"I didn't witness the sighting because I was inside the ship,
not on the deck, when the object was seen. But I can give a list
of responsible people who saw it and saw the photographer
Barauna take the pictures as well as develop the negatives. "I
don't know how I was tracked by the press. I was startled by the
publication of news and photos related with the incident because
we had promised- all of us- to keep the whole thing secret.

"I was somewhere inside the ship, was alerted by the shouts, and
ran outside to see what was happening. Yet I didn't see the
object. But all people I found on deck told me that they had
really sighted a flying saucer. 1 believed them, and my belief
was confirmed by the film developed aboard [etc]". (0 Globo,
Feb. 22, 1958, trans. Fontes)

Andrade therefore is no more a "negative witness" than the above
officers. It is actually an intriguing back-handed positive for
the case that Andrade, one of Barauna's "friends", "mates",
"cronies" etc, did not see anything, when more fake
corroboration would have been helpful.

Similarly, the fact that Amilar said he only came on deck in
time to catch the second half of the sighting, and would not
swear to everything seen by Barauna and Viegas, adds to rather
than detracts from the credibility of the whole story.

Jansen appears to be a genuine "negative witness" in that he
claims he was in the right place at the right time (or certainly
appears to claim this, notwithstanding that you raise a point of
ambiguity about his actual meaning, Kentaro, which we must wait
to see interpreted in context).

I should also add, having just seen your post about the new
"second negative witness" interviewed by Borges (the link
doesn't work for me, BTW), that the headline version you quote
does not necessarily show that Brito qualifies for this title.
Brito says "Admiral Saldanha da Gama personally ordered me to go
to the deck to help calm down the shouting." Clearly, Brito,
having to "go to" the deck, was not on deck at the time, but was
wherever the Captain was, who also did not see anything. He
says, "I saw nothing, only people pointing to the sky," but
clearly this was in the aftermath of the event, not during the
event. You say he was

"asked by Borges if, when he arrived on deck, he remembered if
any military fellow told him personally having seen the flying

This self-evidently implies that Brito did not arrive on deck
until afterwards. You say that Brito answered:

"Honestly? Nobody saw anything. People talked things like, 'Have
you seen something?', then another said 'I didn't, I was fooling
around, pointing upwards'. All set up. Bacellar could not have
seen anything [presumably meaning 'on the negatives'], as the
hoax was very crude ... that guy [Barauna] was a big hoaxer,"

which is actually not an answer to the question asked, and is
merely an opinion - an opinion, moreover, which is in striking
conflict with the whistle-blower-before-last (Ribeiro) who gave
us the inside-dope that there absolutely was not any kind of
planned hoax, that there really was a "UFO", that nothing was
"set up" at all.

>The head of
>Servico Aerofotogrametrico Cruzeiro do Sul stepped forward to
>state his company had nothing to do with analyzing the

This is intriguing. To expand on Kentaro's reference:

After the company's involvement had been publicly alleged, Helio
Meireles, the director, wrote to a newspaper: "Please, clarify
through O GLOBO, that I don't know the photographer Almiro
Bara=FAna personally nor did the Cruzeiro do Sul
Aerophotogrammetric Service conduct any service to him. We are
completely unaware of this thing about flying saucers."( O
Globo, Feb 25)

Kentaro has suggested (personal discussion) that this could be
interpreted as merely protecting confidentiality, but points out
that silence would seem a more appropriate way of respecting
confidentiality in any business with the Navy. I tend to agree.
But this is actually what we find.

The company _is_silent_ on any connection with the _Navy_
investigation. Meireles is here denying any personal knowledge
of Barauna and denying doing any work on behalf of Barauna. He
does not explicitly either confirm or deny doing work for the

Meireles does deny knowing anything about "flying saucers". What
does this mean, exactly? I'm unable to check the exact language
behind the translation as I don't have the original in this
case, but in strict truth this need not be inconsistent with the
company having examined some negatives for the Navy. The Navy
would not have made any irresponsible representations to their
contractor about the status of the negatives in question, or
about the nature of the images on them - this after all is what
the examination is designed to help establish. Cruezeiro do Sul
are very unlikely to have had any official document asserting
that the photos were of "a flying saucer".

It's not impossible that Meireles' disclaimer is a carefully
worded statement designed to disculpate the company and
forestall possible Navy recrimination following any public
disclosure (by Barauna?) of their confidential involvement.

The Navy Intelligence report is perfectly clear in stating that
the negatives were examined by Navy technicians from DHN and
from the Cruzeiro do Sul Aerophotogrammetric Service. From the
language and structure of Brandao's report I see no good reason
to believe this is just hearsay.

I throw into the mix the fact that our recent whistle-blowing
nephew, Marcello Ribeiro who purported to know all the inside
information on his uncle's "hoax", told us not only that the
negatives _were_ indeed examined by Cruzeiro do Sul - "a very
good service. They had a very good lab and also very good
technicians" - but that Barauna had worked there, and "everybody
there knew him" (a statement in some tension with the claim of
Helio Meireles not to know him), and that Barauna "knew those
technicians would never detect it [the hoax], because it is not
possible to detect."


>And to believers, even this stating he was actually there on
>deck and had seen nothing at all is once again ignored as 'a
>flea'. You see, of all the known names in this story, all of
>them denied seeing something when directly questioned, with the
>exception of friends Barauna, Amilar and Viegas.

>Bacellar denied.

What was claimed - when, and by whom? - that Bacellar "denied"?

Bacellar did not "deny". Bacellar was in his quarters at the
time and clearly said so. His acts of witness occurred
afterwards and involved the negatives. Did he "deny" seeing
anything on the negatives? No he did not. He very explicitly and
cautiously recorded the fact that he had made "careful
examination" of the negs and seen the earlier deck shots and UFO
images in proper sequence including the two out of six shots
which did not show the UFO.

>Saldanha denied.

Saldanha was clearly not in a position to see or not see the
object. He was not on deck. He became aware of the furore when
the sighting occurred and dispatched Brito (according to Borges
recent interview with Brito) to go to the deck and calm things

Saldanha was questioned by the US Assistant Naval Attache and
the CO of the USCG Westwind and did not "deny" anything. In fact
he volunteered the information that his own executive
Assisitant, a Navy Commander, had personally witnessed the
object.  Neither did he "deny" the Ship's Executive Officer's
report that in his opinion, having arrived on deck just
afterwards. a genuine sighting had occurred.

Moreover, it strikes me as a back-breaking sophistical
contortion to enlist in your cause the phantom "denial" of a man
who you have previously derided as a "gullible believer".

>Moreira denied.

No, he did not. Com Moreira da Silva stated clearly that he was
not in a position to see anything at the time, but that in his
opinion there was no doubt that those on deck had really seen an

>Andrade denied.

No, Andrade did not "deny". He too was below decks in his cabin
and was not in a position to see anything. But he too gave it as
his opinion that the sighting had really happened.

>Azevedo denied.

I'm not sure about this. IIRC, it was said that Azevedo "did not
come in time". I don't recall a direct statement from Azevedo
clearly saying that he was in  position to see the object but
failed to do so. But it may be my memeory at fault in this case
- the amount of information is a bit overwhelming. Is there such
a statement?

>Almeida denied.

Similarly, please can you indicate the source where Almeida (for
those not au fait with all of this, Almeida was a civilian
geologist on board for a study of the geology of Trindade
Island) says he was on deck and looking for the object but could
not see it? I don't recall such a statement.

>And now, Jansen denied.

And now, at last, we have an honest-to-god, copper-bottomed,
genuwyne denial from a man who says he was there and saw

>And this is just the testimonial evidence. Even if by a miracle
>one, two or perhaps all the around eight, 13 or 15 witnesses do
>show up and some or even most of them do claim to have seen
>something, the fact is, their testimonies are contradictory -

Ha! Excuse my amusement at the characterisation of all possible
future discoveries as "contradictory"

>Barauna, Amilar and Viegas contradict themselves in very
>important points -

I disagree, but it is another of those throw-away claims that
would take a month of emails to properly dispute.

> including at least one witness who claims he
>saw nothing at all and who suggests the others could have been

"one witness who suggests that the others could have been
induced" is not a very sturdy hook on which to hang a case.

>The testimonial evidence is extremely dubious. So, if one
>sticks to the physical evidence, as they should, well there are
>also giant holes there.

This may be so. At least, I concede that the issue of the cloud
detail is problemmatical. But I disagree about a number of other
claimed "giant holes" - such as Sunderland's hoary "inversion"
claim from 1958.

>Well, a sighting happened indeed

Very probably

>but one so ordinary

Hmmm, possibly...

>that we
>can only come to the conclusion that Trindade is indeed one of
>the biggest fiascos in Ufology.

No, that is _a_ conclusion, which may prove defensible, or may
not. The game is still afoot ;-)

Martin Shough

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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