October 5, 1996
Location: Pelotas, Brazil
pilot Haroldo Westendorf, 39, was flying over Pelotas
when he encountered an enormous pyramid or cone shaped
UFO, with 8-10 sides; it was 100 meters in diameter and
70 meters high. Westendorf was able to fly around the
base of the object three times, at one point coming as
close as 40 meters. Then, out of an opening at the top
of the craft, a smaller classic disc-shaped UFO emerged
and flew off at tremendous speed. Three air traffic controllers
and others on the ground also witnessed the event.
Detailed color drawing of the object, done by Prof. Sergio
Porres of the Catholic University of
Pelotas. A smaller object emerged sideways from the top
of the larger craft, then tipped
down to a normal horizontal position before departing
at a tremendous rate of speed.
(credit: Ricardo Varela Correa)
Two more drawings by the craft. On the left, the witness'
airplane is drawn to scale
alongside the UFO. On the right, brilliant beams of red
light shoot from the top of the
object, just before it shot up vertically. (credit: Ricardo
witness, Haraldo Westendorf, in the aircraft cockpit.
An Embraer EMB-712 (Brazilian version of the Piper Cherokee
Archer II), a single-engine
private airplane, like the one flown by Westendorf during
CNI News, Dec. 20, 1997
from the article]
the most impressive UFO story told during the recent Brazilian
World UFO Forum was that of Haraldo Westendorf, who made
news headlines a year ago when he allegedly flew his private
plane within a few dozen meters of an enormous unidentified
is 40 years old, a father of three children and a successful
businessman. He is also an avid private pilot rated for
acrobatic flying. The following account is based directly
on his one-hour presentation at the Brazilian UFO conference,
which included several detailed illustrations.
says he took off in his single-engine Piper Apache [correction:
the plane was actually an Embraer EMB-712, the Brazilian
version of the Piper Cherokee Archer II] from the city
of Pelotas near the southernmost tip of Brazil on the
morning of November 5, 1996. It was to be a routine recreational
flight of the kind he takes for fun whenever time allows.
this occasion, he had been in the air only about 12 minutes
and was flying at an altitude of 5,000 feet over a large
lake some five miles southeast of Pelotas when he saw
ahead of him an enormous aerial object. The time was about
radioed the Pelotas tower to learn if they could see the
object from the ground. They confirmed that the object
was visible to them and asked him for a close-range report.
Westendorf then decided to fly as close as he could.
emphasizes that he did not believe in UFOs and says this
accounts for his initial willingness to fly close to the
object. He didn't know he might be in danger.
he got close to the object, he realized that in his twenty
years of piloting experience he had never seen or heard
of anything like it. Since he had done stunt training
in the United States and had also flown in France, he
had become acquainted with some very advanced and exotic
aircraft. But he knew that this was not an airplane.
showed several detailed color drawings of the object,
with his own plane drawn to scale alongside it. He describes
the object as a faceted cone, flat on the bottom with
a rounded point on top. On each of the eight or ten sloping
side panels were three large bulges, like triangle-shaped
bay windows on the side of a house -- but they did not
look like windows. The entire surface was brown in color.
The structure was about 70 meters (225 feet) high and
about 100 meters (325 feet) in diameter, big enough to
fill nearly an entire soccer field if landed. His own
plane, less than 6 meters wide, was tiny by comparison.
says he spent about 12 to 14 minutes in close proximity
to the object, trying to see as much as he could. Although
the Pelotas air tower does not have radar, he believes
the airport radar at Curitiba (nearly 450 nautical miles
northeast of his position) tracked the whole encounter.
However, officials at Curitiba deny this.
object was spinning around slowly and moving southeast
toward the nearby seacoast at a speed of about 60 nautical
miles per hour. Westendorf managed to fly entirely around
the base of the object three times. At one point, he says,
his wingtip came within about 40 meters of the object.
his third lap around the object, Westendorf noticed that
the rounded top seemed to disappear, leaving what looked
like an open hole at the top. Then he saw, emerging from
inside the object, a classic flying saucer. It rose sideways,
its long axis vertical until it cleared the top of the
larger object, then tipped down to assume its normal orientation
and departed at tremendous speed. Westendorf said that
this saucer was about 10 meters in diameter, or nearly
twice as wide as his own plane, and he thinks it flew
away at more than Mach 10. The saucer showed no indication
of noticing Westendorf's presence nearby.
soon as the saucer disappeared, Westendorf decided to
try to fly over the top of the object. Brazilian media
later reported that he wanted to fly his plane into the
interior of the object, but he says he never even considered
that. He only hoped for a peek through the opening.
get more altitude, he flew his plane several hundred meters
away from the object, turned around and began a steep
climb. He noticed that the object was now rotating much
faster. Then he saw brilliant beams of red light shoot
from the top of the object toward the sky. He quickly
abandoned his plan to fly over the top.
to his amazement, the object rose straight up at tremendous
speed. For the first time, Westendorf was scared, because
he believed the object's rapid acceleration might produce
a shock wave of turbulence that could overwhelm his own
plane. As a trained pilot, he knew that air traffic controllers
recommend staying at least three minutes behind a large
aircraft to avoid such turbulence. He estimated that the
unidentified object probably weighed at least three times
as much as a 747 jumbo jet, so its shock wave should be
huge -- and he was only a few hundred meters away.
quickly began emergency procedures in case his plane went
into a spin or a stall. But to his surprise, he did not
encounter any turbulence.