[This story is based on information provided by Philippe Piet van Putten (email@example.com), Director of the Brazilian Academy of Parasciences, and Cynthia Newby Luce, an American living in Brazil.]
On July 20, 1997, a high-ranking Brazilian military officer appeared on the nationwide television show Fantastico (Globo TV) and said he had participated in a secret program to document UFO activities. Retired Brazilian Air Force (FAB) Colonel Uyrange Bolivar Soares Nogueira de Hollanda Lima, 56, confirmed his personal UFO experiences while commanding Operacao Prato (Operation Plate), activated by the FAB's 1st Regional Aerial Command in September 1977.
According to correspondent Philippe Piet van Putten, the colonel testified that he and Operation Plate succeeded in filming and photographing numerous UFOs which were causing panic in the Amazon region. He and agents of the now-defunct National Information Service (SNI) reportedly had a very close encounter with an enormous UFO. Operation Plate obtained hundreds of photos of strange aerial phenomena which "seemed aware of the military presence" and moved in an intelligent fashion.
Colonel Uyrange Hollanda was apparently healthy and was starting to offer public lectures about his work with Operation Plate. He also gave an interview for a leading Brazilian magazine on UFOs and seemed optimistic about his contribution to the revelation of the truth, van Putten said.
However, according to official Brazilian sources, Colonel Uyrange Hollanda committed suicide on October 2, 1997. Rumors also circulated that the colonel's family had mysteriously disappeared, but those rumors proved groundless when the family members were located and found to be in good health, although shaken by the colonel's death.
Correspondent Cynthia Luce, an American-born UFO researcher in Brazil who had met Colonel Hollanda, expressed deep disappointment at his passing.
"Colonel Hollanda was to be, I think, THE one to break up the military silence with real proof about the military's involvement in UFO research," Luce wrote.
"No one knows yet just what happened. It's all very strange and I'm very upset because of the fact that I really liked the man and thought him truly extroardinary," Luce said. "We had plans for his book that I was to put in English, and he seemed so happy to be involved in this."
Luce noted, however, that Colonel Hollanda had once previously attempted suicide, allegedly due to personal problems.
Original file name: CNI - Brazil UFO witness.final
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