One of the most intriguing UFO investigation to date happened in northeast Brazil. In November 1977, a military squad commanded by Captain Uyrange Hollanda came to support the Island of Colares, and the residents of a small fishing village from the Amazon delta, in the vicinity of the Atlantic coast. Reports of unidentified flying object as well as submersible devices have caught the attention of the military who wanted to see if the stories had indeed an extraterrestrial origin.
The mission was entitled Operacao Prato, or Operation Plate, and its first objective was to study the bizarre luminous sightings, as well as helping the villagers who reported being attacked by mysterious beams of light on several occasions.
It all seemed to have a rational explanation until Captain Hollanda and his crew encountered a UFO that lit up right above them. The object had the shape of a disk and made bizarre noise similar to “an air conditioner, or like a bicycle sprocket when you pedal backwards." During the time the object was hovering, it emitted a yellow glow five times before turning blue and dashing towards the sea.
The report was quickly forwarded to the base commander in Belem, and soon after, Hollande was made leader of one of the biggest UFO investigations in written history. He returned with a team of specialists and photographers who then interviewed more than 300 people, including the fishermen who reported seeing strange blue lights below the watery surface and UFOs that had the ability to submerge, but also fly.
The location proved to be a hotbed for UFOs after all, as more than a hundred photos in full spectrum of various UFOs were shot. The mysterious objects appeared in different shapes and sizes: pyramids, discs, cylinders, and even a 100-meter-long (330 ft) “mother ship" that strongly resembled an oil barrel.
Because most of the victims ended up paralyzed after encountering these otherworldly devices, the locals dubbed them “chupa-chupas," because it drained the energy of the body, similar to how mosquitos sucked the blood of their victims. However, these UFOs used a ray of green light to stun their victims before burning them with a flash of red light that left visible marks on the skin.
Hollanda concluded that the UFOs were taking blood samples, but the action wasn’t harmful as you would expect, since two people were found dead after the encounter, and thirty-five of them were badly hurt. Because of this, entire villages were evacuated by the locals who were afraid for their lives.
A full report of the investigation reached Brasilia, and Operation Plate was classified. The people involved were ordered to keep their mouth shut and to forget what they have seen in the Amazonian village.
In 1997, Colonel Hollanda decided to break the silence in an interview for a UFO magazine that found out about the operation:
UFO Magazine – If you have created a file, then it tells us that there has already been some progresses in the investigation?
Hollanda – Yes, when I arrived from Brasilia I already had agents who had being sent to investigate occurrences of UFOS, because this thing was already happening so often in the area of Colares, which is a belonging to the city of Vigia, on the coast of Pará.
The mayor of the city sent an officer to the commander of COMAR to inform him that the UFOs were bothering the fishing very much. Some of them could not exert the fishing activity anymore, because the objects navigated under their boats. At times, some objects even dived near them, in the rivers and in the sea. The local population spent the night outside. The people set up fires and used firecrackers to try to drive the invaders away. It was the panic that made the mayor contact the command of COMAR, asking for instructions, and the Brigadier General ordered that I was to investigate the sightings.
UFO Magazine – Was there at some point a participation or instruction from Brasilia (Ed.: the capital, i.e. the government) so that the situation is inquired?
Hollanda – At the time, it did not participate in the discussions. There was only one captain and he received only orders. I was no part of this proceeding and I do not know with certainty as of the decisions that had been taken. But, for the little that I know, the decision was in the hands of the command of COMAR. If it had involvement of Brasilia, I do not know about it.
UFO Magazine – How did you organize Operation Plate? How many sections, how many people, how many missions etc? And did you organize all the tasks?
Hollanda – Well, we were a team. I was at the head of it. We had five agents, all sergeants, that worked in the second division of COMAR. Moreover, we had informers on location, people in the places where the lights appeared, on the field,that helped them. At the time I divided the team in two or three different positions in the country. Clearly, we were constantly in contact with one another, through radio.
UFO Magazine – What was the immediate objective of Operation Plate? To observe flying disks, to photograph them and to contact them?
Hollanda – As a matter of fact I wanted to test this thing off exactly and completely. It wanted to explain it and clear it out. Because everybody spoke in the lights and objects and had even nicknamed them with popular names, such as “Chupa-chupa” (Ed.: “suck-suck” or “absorb-absorb”). And, the Brazilian Air Forces needed to know what was really happening, since this occurred in the Brazilian airspace. The responsibility to inquire was ours. But in the beginning of Operation Plate, what I exactly I wanted was a confirmation the events that were happening.
UFO Magazine – What motivated the local population to call the lights “Cupa-chupa?”
Hollanda – There were a series of stories of people who had been touched by a light ray. All judged that the effect of the ray was to suck blood out of them. And actually we verified some cases and we discovered that several of them, mainly women, had strangest marks on their left breast, and there were two punctures of needle around a brown spot. It looked like iodine burning. And those people had their blood sucked out, in small amount, by those lights.
Therefore they had started to nickname them “Chupa-chupa.” It was always the same thing: a light came out of nothing and followed somebody, generally a woman, who was hit on the left breast. At some times they were men who were hit, with marks in the arms and (pemas.) To tell you the truth, in ten cases, there were more or less eight women and two men.
UFO Magazine – And you have recorded and checked the marks on the people?
Hollanda – Yes, it was all checked and analyzed by doctors, who went with us to the locations at the time. Sincerely, I entered in this as the devil’s advocate. What I exactly wanted was to demystify this story and to say to my commander that this thing did not exist, that it was a collective hallucination. I found that some things were being seen, but that it was not extraterrestrial.
UFO Magazine – What did you think it was, then, that was being seen and attacked the people?
Hollanda – I do not know. Perhaps the plumage of an owl reflecting the light of the moon or some other thing of this sort. It was thought it might be extraterrestrial, but I did not think so. I went there for verifying that this thing was really happening. I spent at least two months to get an answer for my commander, when I came back from the mission, I had discovered nothing.
The first the two months of Operation Plate, I saw nothing that could change my opinion. At one point we spent one week in the weeds and came back only on the Sunday, we lived a little bit like a family. At each report, my commander asked:
“Did you see something?” And my response was always: “We saw strange lights, at least, but nothing extraterrestrial”. In fact, we saw lights that never blinked, that passed at a low altitude, but nothing very strange.
UFO Magazine – This was during the night. What happened during the day? Were there other activities during Operation Plate?
Hollanda – Yes, we had other things to do, that were part of the objectives of the operation. We made interviews with people who had had experiences, we prepared the places to spend the night and searched “hot” spots for night watches. When we discovered that something appeared in such a place, we (…). We made a survey of the situation, and we always registered the names of the involved people in a proper form.
UFO Magazine – What procedure or methodology was used to collect information?
Hollanda – We always recorded the name of the person who had the experience, the place where it occurred, the date and time etc. We made a description of each fact that occurred in the same locality. Thus, if three cases in a night happened, people heard three witnesses. Some of the descriptions were common, the other had most strangeness. At times we received stories from things that we could not prove to be authentic, as dematerialization of entire walls or roofs, for example.
UFO Magazine – What do you mean? Do you have some example to illustrate this type of events?
Hollanda – Yes. The first lady that I interviewed in Colares, for example, told me absurd things. We came by the helicopter from Belém just to hear a woman who had been attacked by the Chupa-Chupa. We really did see that she had a mark in the left breast. It was brown, as if it was a burning, and had series of holes in a line. When we talked, told to me that a child was seated in a net trying to put a child to sleep when, suddenly, the environment started to change of temperature. She found it rather pleasant, but she could not imagine what happened next. Then, lying in the net, she saw that the roofing tiles had started to be colored, in live coal color. After that, they changed to be transparent and she could see the sky through the roof. It was as if the roofing tiles had turned into glass. She saw the sky and even the stars.
UFO Magazine – Were strange stories such as this very common during Operation Plate?
Hollanda – Very common, and it scared me a lot, because I had never heard anyone speak about such things. When I heard of such cases, I was both worried and even more curious. These people seemed to be sincere. For example, through the hole that the woman described she saw a green light shining in the sky. The lady was half asleep, until, after that, a red ray that left the UFO reached her left breast. It was strange that in the majority of the cases the people were hit at their left side. There was more: exactly at the time where we were speaking of this, a girl came to us and said:
“Look at the thing that is passing above.” When I left the house, I saw the light that the young girl was pointing, flying at a reasonable speed, although the sky was sufficiently covered. It was not very quick and it blinked as it was going to the North. It looked like a satellite, except that this light turned back on its route – and satellites do not do this!
Soon after that, there was something even stranger. But I could not exactly say if it was an extraterrestrial ship. By the way, I was not there to cover up anything that appeared as being a flying disk.
UFO Magazine – Did you use some type of radar equipment that could confirm or follow these phenomena?
Hollanda – No. All the airports have fixed radars. We did not carry anything of this type.
UFO Magazine – Were the attacks that were happening with certain frequency communicated to the Government, to the state or municipal authorities?
Hollanda – Yes, clearly. Some doctors of the Ministry of Public Health of Pará had been sent by the government to examine the people. They analyzed the burnt skins and took the patients statements, but they did not do anything more than that – never. Some victims recovered easily. Others were very terrified. Some have been nauseates, or fell asleep for days. A citizen once came to look for me and said that next to his house a light had appeared, that focuses a shining ray towards him. He told me that he has been so terrified that he ran inside his house, caught a weapon and pointed it to the light. Then stronger rays came and caused him to fall. The poor men spent two weeks with locomotion problems (Ed.: Because he fell), but did not have anything more serious.
He has not been hit by anything solid, as a shot, for example. It seems that the nature of this light was that of a very strong energy that left people paralyzed. I believe that the federal authorities were informed of this type of attack on human beings that were happening in the region, but I am unaware of any tests. I only received orders from my commander, nothing more.
UFO Magazine – If these depositions had been collected since the beginning of the Operation Plate, when were the first close encounters with UFOS in that region begin?
Hollanda – It was sufficiently significant. Certain night, our team was searching the Island of Mosqueiro, in a place called Bahia do Sol (Ed.: Sun Bay) (Publisher: a known health-resort of Belém, near Colares), therefore we had information that these things were happening there. And as we were investigating all and any indication of ufological occurrences, we settled ourselves in the place. In this period, the agents who had more time than I to devote to this operation – since “I caught the train when it was already started” -, they questioned me all the time, after they saw some lights, as if I was already convinced of the existence of the phenomenon. As I was still undecided, they said to me: “But captain, do you still not believe?” I answered that I wasn’t, that we needed more tests to believe that those things were flying disks. I had not seen any ship at that time. Only light, many and varied. I was still not satisfied.
Less than two months after the interview, Hollanda was found hanged inside his home. While the official investigation speaks of a suicide, there are some who suspect the incident would have been much more than that.
Documents from the infamous Operation Plate were released by the Brazilian military in late 2009, and four years later, officials from the Brazilian Air Force, Navy, and Army joined forces with civilian UFO researchers to further investigate the UFO phenomenon.