ROAD TO ARACARIGUAMA
According to a report published in the 1960's by the late Dr. Walter Buhler, the police condemned Joao Prestes's house and it was later demolished, since his family was apparently afraid to return to the house, perhaps considered an accursed location.
In Aracariguama, we met with Fabiana Matias de Oliveira, head press secretary for the small township, and she led us to her Uncle Hermes de Fonseca, nearly 70 years old and deeply knowledgeable about the history of the region and its occupants. As is the case with many Brazilians of his age, he continued working to earn a living, making small improvements to his farm close to the Town Hall. Hermes sat on a tree stump and told us about his life, his arrival in Aracariguama in 1945 and the fact that a rattlesnake had bitten his ankle - a scar he showed us proudly.
"I knew Joao Prestes. I remember the date of his death perfectly - it was March 5, 1946. He left behind five of six children and a widow. I never got to see the body - only a few people did. But they said that it was burned. The press would later say that his body had melted, fallen to pieces," the septuagenarian told us.
"Weird things have always occurred here. A year after Joao's death, his brother Emiliano Prestes saw two fireballs rising and striking each other, rising again and repeating the same action, close to the cemetery. Suddenly the lights encircled him and he felt intense heat. He knelt and prayed until the lights left. Even today you can still see these lights, but with less intensity, over at Ibate, between Aracariguama and Sao Roque. When they strike each other they let sparks fly, but don't disintegrate. Giomar Gouveia, a champion jockey and owner of some stables at Ibate, saw a light hovering over his animals, giving off orange beams of light. This was in 1995," Hermes da Fonseca recalled.
Enthused by our interest, Hermes continued, remembering dates and details worthy of his appointment as "official chronicler" of Aracariguama. In 1960, Celso Gomide, a bus driver, was on his way from Sao Roque when he saw a red light that caused him to stop the vehicle. The light approached the cabin and Gomide, frightened began to pray. The passengers were stunned by the uncanny light, which encircled them for some 20 minutes."
"In 1955," he continued, "I worked on the construction of a cable car in the Santa Rita cement factory. It was supposed to be used to transport rock from a local quarry. It was August 24 of that year and the heat was unbearable when myself and other workers saw an object drifting in the blue sky as large as a truck tire, very tall, aluminum-colored, spinning and giving off smoke - circles of white smoke. We saw it at a quarter past eleven, and by twelve o'clock, five or six FAB (Brazilian Air Force) airplanes arrived. They were smaller than the flying wheel, which distanced itself esily from the planes. On the following day, the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper published an article about the fact that thousands of people in Osasco (near Aracariguama) had seen a flying saucer with the same characteristics."
Less than a kilometer away from the town is the graveyard. We found the local gravedigger, 53 year old Nelson Oliveira, who led us to the tomb where the mortal remains of Joao Prestes lay. On the cement box covered by earth, there rose a crudely carved cross and an identification number. Claudio and I felt knots in our throats as we thought about the last moment of Joao Prestes's agony. Regaining our composure, we asked Nelson, who had been a gravedigger since 1976, if he had seen anything strange in the area.
"Around 1989 I saw something weird, round, flying over the cemetery. It was like an upside-down hat made of aluminum, shining when it moved in a straight line and balancing. It was headed toward Sao Paulo," the gravedigger told us, using his own hat as an example.
During a personal interview with ufologist Antonio Ribera in Barcelona, he expressed the belief that Joao Prestes could have been burned by an alien ship's propulsion system. "I don't think the aliens wanted to harm or kill the farmer. They simply didn't know what would happen if they came too close to human beings," Ribera said.
We had much time to reflect upon the tragic death of Joao Prestes Filho as a ramshackle bus took us away from Aracariguama. "What do you think the light that killed Prestes was?," I asked Claudio. "Maybe ball lightning" he replied. "But how can one explain the other lights and creatures in the region?," I insisted.
Claudio Suenaga said nothing. He shrugged and cast a last glance on the church tower of that accursed village.
Sao Roque, Santana do Parnaiba and Aracariguama: Window areas
The region surrounding Sao Roque, Santana do Parnaiba, Aracariguama and other towns neighboring one of the most densely populated cities on Earth (Sao Paulo, with its 18 million inhabitants) has been the scene of unusual phenomna for many years.
The "Supysaua" Newsletter (March'95), published by the Grupo Ufologico de Guaruja, reported that three children had witnessed a glowing UFO on January 4, 1994 in Santana de Parnaiba, where Joao Prestes died. The object approached the backyard of the home in question and floated less than 15 meters over the witnesses. Its color was largely yellow and it possessed sparkling green and red lights. What was remarkable was that within the yellow light, the children could make out a semi-circular shape resembling a dome. The children were startled by the UFO's abrupt, zigzagging movements as it departed at high speed.
In that same year and region, a married couple witnessed from the "Lila" ranch on Km 41 of Castelo Branco highway, a spherical object measuring three meters in diameter which floated between the trees and made no sound whatsoever. It was red in color and was darker at its core. Its periphery was surrounded by several smaller, blinking lights, alternating between blue and red.
In 1993, a 12-year old girl named Regiane Barbosa da Silva witnessed on the same ranch a spherical object measuring some 5 meters in diameter. The UFO suddenly fired a beam of yellow light that covered the girl's body and lit the surrounding area. After the event, Regiane experienced headaches and eye irritation. Three months later, another witness spotted the same object at the same spot. The watchmen of the "Lila" ranch claim having seen two humanoids floating over a brook on the ranch's property.
An elderly Japanese woman who spent her youth in Santana de Parnaiba told Suenaga that she had seen a half-wolfman, half-centaur being in the vicinity of Sitio do Morro. San Roque has also experienced one of the most intense waves of Chupacabras activity in all of South America.
The translations are all courtesy of Scott Corales and the Institute for Hispanic Ufology, with translation copyright being retained. This article is from South American and other Spanish-language newspapers and media sources It was taken from the UFO Newsclipping service edited by Lucius Farish.