Barra da Tijuca Photos
Photographer Ed Keffel and reporter João Martins claim to have witnessed - and documented with five famous photos - a UFO near Barra da Tijuca, Brazil. The authenticity of these photos has been in question for years.
On May 7, 1952, at approximately 4:30 PM local time, photographer Ed Keffel took five photos of an alleged UFO above the beach community of Barra da Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Reporter João Martins was present with him at the time. First published in O Cruzeiro magazine, the photos have elicited excitement, as well as skepticism, as to their authenticity.
Soon after the photos were published, the Brazilian Air Force investigated the incident. Their conclusion was that the photos were authentic. This investigation was not made public until 1959.
UFO skeptics have long questioned the veracity of the photos. As part of the Colorado Project, William K. Hartmann analyzed the photos and concluded, "This case is presented as an example of photographs which have been described as incontrovertible evidence of flying saucers, yet which contain a simple and obvious internal inconsistency."
Joao Martins' Statement
Joao Martins, the reporter who was present at the time of the alleged incident and who was the first to spot the object, later wrote a personal statement about his experience. This was co-signed by photographer Kefell.
In his statement, he said, "I do not know what that object was, and because of this, I classified it in the category of "unidentified flying object", commonly called a "flying saucer." The incident, besides the annoyances it entailed, contrived to call my attention on the subject as an only advantage, and consequently I have done research on the subject with the greatest detachment, both in sightings here in Brazil and abroad."
In response to critiques that the light source shining on the UFO in the photos does not match the surrounding landscape (especially in photo #4), Martin stated, "As to the position of the Sun and the shadows on the foliage, as seen in one of the photos of Barra da Tijuca, it is easy to confirm them. One need only go there; and it is easy to reach the spot, at the same hour and time of year corresponding to the fact. This, in fact, has already been done, back in 1952, by technicians of the Brazilian Air Force, as was later divulged in detail by researcher Cleto Nunes by means of TV and the Press."