It sounds like science-fiction. On Jan. 13, 1996, the United States Air Force shoots down a UFO, which crashes six miles from a medium-sized town in southeastern Brazil.
Seven days later, two sisters aged 14 and 16, and a 21-year-old friend spot a tiny, frightened alien with big red eyes, crouching by a wall. They run screaming back to their mother.
The Brazilian police and military capture at least two aliens, one of which scratches an officer, infecting and ultimately killing him, before dying along with its extraterrestrial comrades. The US Air Force confiscates the alien bodies and takes them to an unknown location. A vast cover-up by the Brazilian military, enforced with death threats, lasts for 26 years.
But if it’s all made up, it is one of the greatest works of science fiction in history. Most everyone who hears the witnesses tell their story a quarter century later is convinced they are telling the truth.
In the film, Carlos De Sousa describes seeing the UFO rocking and jerking around in the sky before crashing to the ground. David E. West
Now, a new documentary, “Moment of Contact” (currently streaming on Amazon and Apple TV+) lays out the most convincing case yet that extraterrestrials not only exist, but have visited, and died on earth.
A college professor and amateur ultralight pilot named Carlos de Sousa said he witnessed the crash in Varginha, Brazil on Jan. 13, 1996.
In the film, De Sousa describes the spacecraft as the size of a school bus but shaped like a submarine with white smoke leaking out of a gash in its back. He compares the UFO to a malfunctioning washing machine, rocking and jerking around in the sky.
When witnesses came in contact with the alien, they said it looked scared appeared to be suffering from the heat.
Filmmakers recreated the UFO crash site based on accounts that described the object like a submarine made of aluminum foil. Courtesy of James Fox
De Souza says he ran to the site of the crash where he saw pieces of metal, like a thin aluminum foil, spread across the field. He said he picked up a piece of the metal, crumpled it in his hand, and then let it go, at which point it returned to its original shape.
Immediately afterward, he says the military showed up and soldiers started screaming at him to go away.
“Go away! Go away! I’m ordering you,” they yelled, as one officer held a rifle to his face.
Kátia Xavier (from left), Valquíria Silva and Liliane Silva return to the scene where they claimed to see a “sad, shrunken” creature in Brazil in 1996.
Seven days later, sisters Liliane and Valquíria Silva and their friend Kátia Xavier were walking through an empty lot in between two houses when they spotted the creature just eight feet away.
“I was in the front and they were a little farther back,” Liliane, who was 16 in 1996, explains in “Moment of Contact” directed by James Fox.
“Passing by here the graffiti caught my attention. I looked and I saw the creature. It appeared to be suffering from the heat.”
Valquíria was 14 when she told the world of their findings, which were met with ridicule at the time.
“When Liliane screamed, I looked and felt fear,” said Valquíria, who was 14 at the time. “I looked into its eyes and saw that it was frightened. Just as I was frightened, the creature was also frightened. I saw that it was afraid of us. It was an exchange of fears. It for ours. Afraid of us in the same way we were afraid of it. A being we weren’t familiar with.”
“What I saw stopped me in my tracks,” says Katia, who was 21 at the time. “It glued me to that spot. It had red eyes, oily skin. I couldn’t see an open mouth. Not smiling… Sad expression. Shrunken back. It didn’t have hair. Eyes three times bigger than ours.”
After Liliane screamed she started running away and the two girls joined her.
Valquíria and her friends say what they saw was neither human nor animal.
“What we saw wasn’t human and wasn’t an animal either. Nowadays I do think it was a being from another planet,” says Liliana.
“It wasn’t a man, it wasn’t an animal. What it was, I can’t say,” says Valquíria. “After we ran for a while we stopped and asked what we saw and then we ran to our mothers.
“I came out to meet the girls,” their mother, Luiza, says in the film. “Because mothers have a sixth sense… They were scared and walking slowly and dragging each other.
Mike Guillen/NY Post
“We were children of Catholics and thought it could be a demon. That’s why we were so scared,” said Liliane.
Luiza made the girls return and when they got back to the spot, their mother saw the footprint in the dirt, which she drew for filmmaker Fox. It was a round foot with three long toes.
“For 20 days I smelled its smell,” said Luiza. “I couldn’t stand the smell. I don’t know where it came from. I even washed my nose with alcohol and water.
“It was an ammonia smell,” says Katia.
‘I couldn’t stand the smell. I don’t know where it came from. It smelled worse than sulfer.’
Luiza Silva, describing the creature’s scent
“No, it wasn’t ammonia,” says the mother. “It smelled worse than sulfur. What a strange smell…I grabbed Katia and said, ‘Let’s get out of here!”
They told their story to the press and were met mostly with ridicule at the time. But the girls have not changed their testimony in the 25 years that passed between the event and the making of the film in 2021.
Six miles away from the crash site, according to the film, the military set up a blockade in a residential neighborhood. Sources say the local fire department, which is under the control of the military police, captured one of the creatures in the morning, and another officer captured a second near where the three girls had seen it later that afternoon.
Sources say Marco Chereze (in photo shown by his sister) died after one of the creatures scratched him. David E West
That was when the creature scratched the young officer, Marco Chereze, who soon grew sick, and sought help at the hospital, according to the film. The doctor who treated him said Chereze spoke openly about what happened because he feared he was dying and was fighting to survive.
Two people who did not participate in “Moment of Contact” spoke exclusively to The Post about senior Brazilian officials who told them about their own encounters with the creatures.
“It was skinny, weak, and fragile,” said Vitório Pacaccini, a civilian UFO investigator who said he was shown a 35-second film fragment of the creature by a senior officer in 2012. “It had brown skin with an oil or grease on the body. It had a big head with red eyes and no pupils. The face was like a reptile, like a frog with strange red eyes three times bigger than ours and three protuberances on the top of its head.”
More than two decades after they allegedly encountered the aliens, witnesses drew likenesses of the creatures for “Moment of Contact’s” filmmakers.
Pacaccini said the creature was alive but looked like it was about to die.
“It made a little sound,” he said. “Like a bee.”
Patricia Fernandes Silva described two creatures that were nearly identical to the one described by Pacaccini and the three girls. She says the former sheriff of Virginha who learned she was a UFO researcher invited her into an office building in 2014 where he and four other officers interrogated her for hours.
The site in Brazil where witnesses say they first came in contact with the aliens. David E West
“The whole time they were asking me about my relationship to Varginha but I had never investigated the case. I knew about it, but I had nothing to do with it!”
Finally, the senior officer asked the other officers to leave the room. It was then that he showed her a color photo, shot on film, and printed on Kodak paper.
In the photo, says Silva, were two creatures, one dead, and the other crouched in the same way the three girls had described it. “It had three — I won’t say horns — but three high abscesses on the forehead,” she said.
Vitório Pacaccini claimed to see the creatures. He said death threats forced him to move to Italy.
“He took the picture and said, ‘Are you sure you don’t know anything about this day? Look at the photo!’ I was scared! But I said, ‘No. I had no knowledge.’”
The former sheriff told Silva that his hands had been paralyzed ever since he grabbed the creature by the legs. The man’s hands were cupped, and he struggled awkwardly to pull the photo out of an old newspaper he kept in a transparent folder, she said.
Unlike Pacaccini and the girls, Silva said the eyes of the creature were black, not red. But otherwise, she described identical creatures.
Patricia Fernandes Silva claimed to have also seen the creatures.
“The mouth was very small,” she said. “The skin of the alive one had a shine, but it was not an oily shine. It was kind of gooey like he just stepped out of a swimming pool. It was wet, damp skin.”
Pacaccini said he has videotaped interviews with at least seven military officers about the encounter that he is keeping in secure locations. After he accused the military of a cover-up, he said hostile drivers on four separate occasions bumped his car on the highway. On the fourth time, two shots were fired at his car. He said he has received hundreds of death threats over the years and, in 2004, he moved to Italy to escape.
“Moment of Contact” comes at a moment of heightened interest in UFOs. In 2017, mainstream news media covered reports by Navy pilots of UFOs — renamed Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) — recorded on infrared films.
A drawing by Patricia Fernandes Silva of the aliens she reported seeing in 1996.
In May of this year, a Navy intelligence officer said the military had a database of 400 UAP incidents, but no evidence that aliens had ever been found. At the same time, the military has not ruled out that the UAPs are operated by ETs. In June, NASA announced it was joining the military’s investigation into UAPs.
Jacques Vallée, an astronomer and leading ufologist, said members of the public are increasingly starting to believe extraterrestrials are real.
“At the National Cathedral a couple of years ago… the director of the Department of National Intelligence said that this is a subject for science, and not just an intelligence topic,” he told The Post. “A subject for open science. And the subtext was, ‘No more ridicule. This is a real topic and nobody has any explanation.’
“I’m just as puzzled as everybody else,” he added. “And the Air Force is just as puzzled. And the Navy is just as puzzled. The Air Force didn’t say anything. It remembers the good old days and may not want to be part of the dialogue.”