• Lecture given at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), 25/10/2019.

*Image: Unknown Flying Objects, Ufo.

What is Ufology?

Ufology is a knowledge that has been developed from the observation of lights, spaceships, probes, of various types, colors and sizes, exhibiting on our planet intelligent behavior and unknown technology, and leaving traces of their visits since time immemorial.

Lights – Operation Prato. Pará, 1977.

Probes – Operation Prato. Pará, 1977.

Probes – Operation Prato. Pará, 1977.

Spaceships – Operation Prato. Pará, 1977.

Spaceships – Operation Prato. Pará, 1977.

Technological objects – Operation Prato. Pará, 1977.

Official Night of UFOs in Brazil, May 19, 1986, illustration.

Because they were observed entering our world mainly from the night sky and exhibiting intelligent behavior, they were soon interpreted by many human civilizations as coming from other worlds beyond Earth, as evidenced by the books of Hindu civilization; the oral tradition of the Hopi Indians, the founding myth of the Dogons in Mali, and also of the great Mayan and Chinese civilizations, adding curiosity and amazement to the great philosophical question of humanity, which in all times and cultures has been referred to the knowledge of sky: “Are we alone in the universe?”

Vimanas, Maharabhata. Ilustration.

Pacal, Palenque, Mayan Civilization.

Bep Kororoti, Kayapós,  Brazil.

The return of the Blue Star, Hopi Indians, Arizona.


Katchinas, extraterrestrials in the Hopi culture, Arizona.

 Thousands of records of witness reports around the world, which can be consulted on sites such as the National Archives, MUFON, GEIPAN, to name some of the most important organizations that document the UFO phenomenon, further attest that these objects can be manned, when intelligent beings can also be observed and that come into contact with humans, either through articulated language or through telepathy.

Manned UFOs.

Direct contact between humans and supposed extraterrestrials can be friendly or configure a specific ufological event, abductions, when humans are forced to enter spaceships, where they are subjected to physical examinations with unknown instruments, and other procedures that suggest genetic manipulations. Witness reports also reveal the abduction phenomenon. Among this series, we highlight the controlled records, as in the cases of Antonio Villas Boas, researched by doctor and ufologist Olavo Fontes, of the international pianist and concertist Luli Oswald, in 1979, researched by Professor Irene Granchi, of Betty and Barney Hill, in 1969, or Travis Walton, in 1975, both in the USA, to name jus a few cases that imposed the abduction coordinates.

Friendly contact.


Abductions. Illustration of reports that suggest interest in human genetic biology.

Olavo Fontes examines Antonio Villas Boas, abducted in 1957.


Irene Granchi and Luli Oswald.


Betty e Barney Hill, abducted in 1969.


Travis Walton, abducted in 1975.

 Unidentified flying objects, OVNI (Portuguese acronym), or UFOs (English acronym), from which the Ufology signifier derives, is the name given by the planetary culture to these manifestations. It is a signifier that bears the mark of the knowing desire that elects the ufological object as worthy of being known by the intellect. Embedded in the name are two questions: “What is” and “Of what is”. The first, easier for us humans to understand. But of what particular nature is the phenomenon, more difficult. The determination of “Of what is” is the main ufological concern.

The fleeting and varied nature of the UFO phenomenon will lead us in this communication to unify all its manifestations in the concept of Ufological Object.

The Ufological Object concept

By unifying the different manifestations in the concept of Ufological Object, we thus define a particular knowledge field, seeking to rationalize the observation and interference in our world of extremely diverse manifestations of lights, spaceships, probes, beings of various forms, different modes of contact, physical and psychological sequels, aspects of these contacts persived and experienced as a reality that comes from outside planet Earth. There is also an environmental context that welcomes ufological events, such as the absence of any noise, time suspension, etc. Again, the sources of information about the variety and strangeness of the ufological object come from case records made by governmental or independent agencies, and individual ufologists.

The concept of Ufological Object then covers all types of events that suggest technologies that are much more advanced and unknown to  us, that indicate an origin outside our planet, and that display the marked characteristics, freely observed over decades, that distinguish an ufological event from any other event, such as balloons, satellites, space stations, meteorites, shooting stars, human intervention in the making of traces, as in the case of Agroglyphs ( Crop Circles), are considered as ufological events, etc.

Epistemological context for the production of ufological knowledge

Only after 1947 will we talk about Ufology, the rational and systematic study of ufological manifestations. That year, nine spaceships flying in formation surprised the American pilot Keneth Arnold, near Mount Rainier, Washington State. The episode was widely reported in the press and his report recorded and controlled several times inaugurates the so-called  Flying Saucers Modern Age, by the time our civilization had already started the technological age, and today we have the improvement of observation and analysis instruments, such as cameras, camcorders, radars, lasers, cell phones, etc., allowing progress towards a scientific approach to the UFO phenomenon.

Keneth Arnold, 1947.  

Keneth Arnold sighting, 1947 – beginning of the Modern Flying Saucer Age.

Belgium, 1990, illustration of reports.

Ufology has a background, which is a concerted policy among most governments on the planet of covering up extraterrestrial reality. This policy directly affects the condicions for producing ufological knowledge, since different power levels on the planet hide evidences and systematically discredit ufological reality. It destroys scientific careers that venture into ufological research, seriously damaging the civil scientific study, because military agencies, they study more or less secretly the phenomena. So we have a military Ufology, where countries like the USA, with Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), France, with the Group of studies and information on unidentified aerospace cases (GEIPAN), Chile, with the Anomalous Aerial Phenomena Study Committee (CEFAA), Argentina, with the Aerospace Phenomena Research Commission (CIFA), to name just a few countries that are most involved in ufological research, and that record and actively study the UFO phenomenon.

The UFOs’ free or controlled observations determined some characteristics of these objects that have a decisive influence on the elaboration of their scientific status.

The non-scientific status of the Ufological Object

The biggest problem is precisely to present elements of discussion about hl for an object that belongs to human knowing desire is denied the possibility of being treated scientifically, that is, with the methodical use of reason?

The fact that the ufological Object manifests in its movement the mastery of a technology whose main characteristic is to challenge the laws of terrestrial physics, to resort to the exact sciences, notably to physics itself, seemed to be the best way to understand an object that presents itself as an evident product of a science immeasurably advanced by our standards This reference was fatal for Ufology, due to the impossibility of reducing the ufological object to the basic protocols of this science, where the observer has control of the object, can cause its manifestation and repeat the validation of the knowledge used. Because it is totally refractory to this type of apprehension, every ufological object started to be considered as non-physical, and even non-existent, being therefore declared out of the scientific rationality. This excluding and engendered premise was put into practice through cover-ups, which started to promote the understanding that these manifestations would be mental productions, individual or collective hallucinations.

Here is the question: if all science is built from the object you want to know, why to refuse science status to a knowledge that has been structured based on the particularity of an object?

Ufology and Science

The human experience of contact with ufological manifestations has been attested since time immemorial, engendering in many cultures and ancient civilizations reports and myths about civilizers that come from space. The ufological object has always interpellated the human spirit, becoming object of the knowing desire, which is a concept of Freudian psychoanalysis, deepened by Jacques Lacan, and which is the psychic foundation of all human knowledge, and therefore of all science. For Freud, the knowing desire is part of subjective child development and emerges from the moment the child apprehends and questions sexual differences, opening the path of his/her psyche to all questions, culminating in philosophical questions:  where did I come from, to where am I going, are we alone in the universe?

The man in the technological Age.

 Ufology was born looking for Science in the technological Age of humanity and it is not too much to remember that the first Brazilian ufologists, like the one that marked the next generations, the matriarch Dona Irene Granchi, a very well known teacher of the education institute English Culture, trained in the teaching method, Olavo Fontes and Mário Rangel, doctors of excellence in their specialties, marked in a happy and indelible way the Brazilian Ufology desire for scientific knowledge.

Olavo Fontes   
Mario Rangel
Hulvio Aleixo     
Walter Buhler
Max Berezowski   
  Irene Granchi

 If science is the knowledge that results from the application of reason through scientific method, we will test the adaptation of the ufological Object to the basic scientific method premises.                                                                            

Scientific Method and Ufology

The scientific method is constituted as a set of rules that allows to extract rational and methodical knowledge about an object. It is evidently born with science itself and its application takes place in the following stages: observation, formulation of hypotheses, experimentation, interpretation of results, conclusion.


 UFO Vigil of Machadinho beach, Colares, Pará, 2016.
Amazon Ufology group / Lallá Barretto archive.

  Ufological observation is the most practiced stage of the scientific method by confirmed researchers worldwide, who seek to observe and record the phenomenon in repeated vigils, with photos, films and reports, seeking the rationality of the ufological Object. We mention here the Brazilian ufologist Marco Antonio Petit, certainly the greatest world authority in controlled ufological observation. The thousands of observations, controlled or not by the scientific method, defined, however, some characteristics that are always present in the observation of the UFO phenomenon.

UFO Vigil.

>Unidentified object

The total technological strangeness of these objects led human observers to try to understand them by identification (and consequent differentiation) to known objects that frequent the skies, such as helicopters, airplanes, drones, space station, weather balloons, satellites, etc. Since the beginning of the modern Flying Saucer Age, there has been a progressive multiplication of terrestrial technology objects, while new instruments of observation and analysis have become available, allowing to perpetuate the impalpable and fleeting ufological object and prove its existence.

New observation technologies.

The statute of an unidentified object indicates a particular epistemological position of human observation, which proceeds in this case by exclusion: an UFO is everything that is not a known flying object. This nomination expresses the knowing desire that presides over UFOs observation: we want to know what it is, where it comes from, what it wants from us!

> Smart Object

Ufological observation also established, without any doubt, that the UFO Object is intelligent, and immeasurably more intelligent than the human observer, determining two unprecedented epistemological positions:

– Where the object is autonomous: the UFO Object intelligence is the one who establishes the parameters of what we can call “epistemological contact”: it only makes itself known to whomever and wherever it wants. For example, two people are together watching the sky, one witnesses a ufological object and the other does not! The human observer has no prerogative to provoke the phenomenon, much less to repeat it.

– Where the observer is observed: having been stablished that there is an interaction between the observers and the phenomenon. Let’s take the example of Captain Uyrangê Hollanda, commander of Operation Prato, the largest official ufological investigation on the planet, which took place in Pará in 1977. Captain Hollanda had just arrived in Colares and, despite believing in flying saucers, he was convinced that the events, for which he was called to investigate, were not UFOs. In one of the first vigils, one of his subordinates asked: “Captain, will a spaceship have to come and take a walk above us for you to believe?” Hollanda reports that in less than five minutes a huge spacecraft appeared, which took a turn above the group and left at a very high speed. The same Captain Hollanda reports that the objects demonstrated several times that they knew exactly where the group was, where it was going and what it was doing.

Operation Prato – 1977, Pará

> Extraterrestrial object

 Ufological observation has established over the years, from intelligent behavior and technological strangeness, the fact that they come from outside and do not belong to our planet, leading to the assumption of the existence of intelligent and advanced extraterrestrial civilizations in the cosmos.

The unidentified, intelligent and extraterrestrial Object has recently undergone a change in its non-existent object status. On September 18, 2019, Joseph Gradisher, a spokesman for the US Navy, declared to NBC News the authenticity of three UFO images captured by infrared sensors in 2004 and 2015. The great Brazilian ufology  craftsman, Ademar Gevaerd, considers this statement a landmark for the end of cover-up practises , in a definitive recognition that the object is material, and therefore must be subject to some rationality.

It is interesting here to make a digression  to talk about how science is developed. Since radars existed, UFOs have been captured and observed thousands of times. These radar records already attested, without a doubt, that the object is material, but a kind of incredulity continued to hover for decades and the UFO phenomenon continued to be non-existent, the product of individual or collective hallucination. However, we can try to explain this epistemological alienation by the human psychic functioning itself, in the figure of denegation. Denegation, according to Freud, is a psychic mechanism that rejects evidence that cannot be assimilated by the mind. It is a mechanism permanently involved in the production of ufological knowledge, and a great cover-up ally.

Over time, civilian and military ufological organizations, in addition to individual researchers, have developed different protocols for recording observations, introducing  the  phenomenon rationalization.

In addition to the unquestionable recognition of the material nature of the ufological Object, other evidences revealed by the observation are also becoming unquestionable, as all kinds of traces, such as electromagnetic interference, microwave effects, landings marks of spaceships, marks on the body of witnesses, etc., may be subjected to modern laboratory analysis techniques.

 Mexico – November 3, 1973. Real UFO photo.


Steiermark, Austria, 23 May 1971.Authentic fotos from Ufos.

Ufo image considered real by the U.S. Navy, 28/09/2019.

Ufological observation also poses the problem of the witness’s scientific statute, which has been under suspicion since the recognition of the unconscious in human anthropology. Man, in addition to being limited by his five senses, which still cause a fragmented apprehension of reality, is also subject to the effects of motivations that are totally unconscious. Ufology shares with the Human Sciences the problem of the witness as a producer of objective knowledge. History and Anthropology have already worked extensively on methods to minimize subjective difficulties in obtaining objective knowledge.

The problem of the subjectivity of the witness is also one of the greatest trumps of cover-up to contest the reality of the reports, considering them stories invented to gain notoriety, but this expedient is also falling apart, because the thousands of witness reports have been showing a pattern narrative consistent with the description of real events.

Another argument often called to discredit witnesses is madness, psychotic delusion. However, psychiatric listening with a psychoanalytic orientation is very well equipped to detect psychosis in a person’s speech.  It’s also alleged that the witnesses, due to the human limitations that we have reported above, distort reality and therefore their report loses its value as a knowledge producer.  However, again, the psychoanalytic and psychiatric clinic has already demonstrated that traumas have the power to fix, in detail and forever, the memory of traumatic situations as are the majority of human contacts with the UFO phenomenon.

Hypotheses formulation

Despite the large number of records controlled by protocols prepared by ufological organizations or individual ufologists, almost nothing has been extracted from this procedure, since the data are rarely analyzed and, when they are, they prove to be sterile for formulating hypotheses. Little or almost nothing has helped us to know the time of most sightings. The records show that UFOs follow an unknown logic in their trajectory in the skies, and perhaps it is this logic, much more than their movement between the cardinal points, that we must look for the method of apprehension.

The great extraterrestrial hypothesis remains the same, but it was obtained much less by the scientific method, than by uncontrolled observations around the world.

We are in a moment of Science development in which the existence of other physical dimensions of the universe is possible, a hypothesis that Ufology happily took on, for lack of better things. UFOs come perhaps from other dimensions.


Herein lies the great problem of applying the scientific method to ufological research. As we have seen, the object is intelligent and reserves the prerogative to make itself known, which establishes the unprecedented situation of the observer / observed, without the slightest control of the object. The ufological Object is refractory to experiment, although we have yet to discover what in the UFO phenomenon would have an experimental value. Ufology would still have to define what it is to experiment an object of this particular nature.


The interpretation of the UFO phenomenon is also pre-scientific, in the sense that it does not result from the application of the scientific method, but from the large data mass, controlled or not, that has been accumulated over the decades.


We obviously have no conclusions drawn from the application of the scientific method, simply because it is not systematically applied due to the inadequacy of the UFO object to the experiment.

 We Know that it takes a long time for elaborating a Science. Ufology has been identifying its ufological Object since 1947, today with the help of applications that identify known objects. From an unidentified object that gave name to Ufology, today we are facing an object identified by what it is not, and we know that it is a material object. Controlled observations, notably by radar, leave no doubt that the ufological object is intelligent and masters the laws of physics and matter. To be sure, just access the Brazilian National Archives website and search the documents released from Operation Prato, a secret mission sent by the Brazilian military government to Pará State, from September to November 1977, to investigate the daily apparition of nine different types of objects, among which the one that became pejoratively known as the Chupa-Chupa (Suck-Suck) that, evidenced by medical reports and photographs, reached hundreds of people leaving marks on the body, physical and psychological sequelae. It is the largest oficial ufological investigation on the planet. The documents follow a methodology and still await criticismo to the documentar corpus and the in-depth analysis of the method results.


The “Chupa-Chupa”. Operation Prato, Pará, 1977.

Ufology would then be a science under construction, still in the stage of defining its object, therefore the concentration of its activities in observation, the first  scientific method stage. It should look for the paths of knowledge taking into account the object’s autonomy, its scientific and technological superiority, and the observer / observed’s epistemological position, in intelligent interaction with the object.

The definition of the object and the observer’s epistemological position must necessarily create new paths for scientific rationality to reveal the true nature of the UFO phenomenon.

*English version – Francisco de Assis Barretto.