Oct 27, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Commercial Airline Pilots Report Strange UFO Over Brazil

No pilots spend more time looking at the skies than commercial pilots flying airliners in and out of busy airports on congested routes. Constantly scanning from the edges to the center of the horizon and the areas above and below their plane, there is little that they miss and even less that they can’t identify. That is why it is so frustrating when these seasoned eagle-eyed pilots are doubted when they spot UFOs. This is the story of one such pilot on a recent flight over Brazil who knows what he saw … despite not having the backing of air traffic control or even his own instruments. Will anyone believe him? Will you?

Why are more commerical pilots witnessing strange UFOs? 

“This pilot of Azul commercial flight 4517 was passing over Santa Catarina, around 10:30 pm on Saturday, the 22nd, bound for Porto Alegre, when he saw a very strong light, like a lighthouse in his direction, and neither the pilot, nor the air traffic controllers, had on their radars any other plane that corresponded to what was seen.”

An Instagram post by @depacheco reports the incident occurred on October 22, 2022, as Azul flight 4517 (Azul Brazilian Airlines (Azul) is a Brazilian low-cost carrier) over the state of Santa Catarina in far southeastern Brazil was approaching its destination of the Salgado Filho Porto Alegre International Airport on the Atlantic coast. According to the YouTube channel Camera Porto Alegre Airport (the 24-hour live channel of the Salgado Filho Airport located 2.8 km (1.75 miles) from the airport which covers its entire length on video while also scanning frequencies for Delivery, Ground, Tower, Approach and Centers), Azul flight 4517 is an Airbus A320 (PR-YRX) aircraft which had its encounter near Bom Retiro-SC about 440 km (275 miles) from the Porto Alegre airport. Camera Porto Alegre Airport carried the entire 36 minute encounter between Azul 4517 and a UFO. (You can view it here.)

“An Airbus A320 (PR-YRX) aircraft on the flight near Bom Retiro-SC, operated by blue on blue flight 4517, made a report of a sighting of a light as if it were an aircraft beacon performing 360º, orbits close, reporting to control , which confirmed that there was nothing on the radar, the pilots also reported that the factor was intermittent and of random movements, remaining with the headlight lateral to the aircraft for a while and proceeded towards the lagoon, audio in the times below.”

The channel Camera Porto Alegre Airport notes the various portions of the audio between the pilot and the air traffic controllers in the tower when they were discussing the UFO. At one point, the pilot compared the movements of the unidentified aerial phenomena to normal air traffic patterns and said this:

“There was no traffic circuit pattern (in the movement of the light).”

In fact, the actions of the UAP were nothing like any conventional aircraft.

“(It is) a random movement.”

A random movement would be concerning enough, but the pilot later noted more unusual activity by the bright UFO:

“It appears and disappears, appears and disappears, several times during our flight.”

Again, the pilots noted to the air traffic controllers that while they had visual verification of the UFO, neither they nor the control tower showed any other aircraft on their radar screens making the same movements of this strange UAP.

Will anyone believe the UFO accounts of the pilots of Azul flight 4517? Comments on the YouTube channel are extremely supportive. Many noted seeing UFOs very similar to what the pilots witnessed in the same area as well as at other locations in Brazil. Very few doubted the reports of the pilots. The same was true on the Instagram post of @dechapeco. This is most likely due to the fact that Brazil has had its share of unusual UFO sightings for many decades and the Brazilian government noted earlier this year that that UFO hearings held by the U.S. Congress in May 2022 were on the anniversary of the event in 1986 when multiple witnesses, both civilian and military, in four states saw 21 unidentified flying objects, some of them reportedly measuring 100 meters (328 feet) in diameter. The UFOs were detected by radar operators at the Brazilian Air Force's Integrated Center for Air Defense and Air Traffic Control, which authorized the deployment of five Brazilian Air Force fighter jets to intercept the unusual UFOs.

"Sometimes, the pilots had visual contact with the targets, but the radars did not register anything. Other times, the radars even picked up the presence of objects, but the pilots could not see them. The Air Force considered only the sightings that had simultaneous confirmation."

In the report on Brazil’s gov.br (Brazil Services and Information) website, it is noted that a flight controller recorded conflicting instances when the UFOs were visible to the eye but not on radar, and vice versa – a situation similar to the ‘in sight but not on radar’ report by the pilots of not unlike Azul flight 4517. However, the 1986 UFO encounter had one big difference – the Brazilan government admitted it in public. On May 23, 1986, at 4:30 pm, the Minister of Aeronautics, Brigadier Octávio Júlio Moreira Lima, held a press conference to inform the public  of this incident when five FAB fighter jets chased 21 UFOs.

"It's not about whether or not you believe [in extraterrestrial beings or flying saucers]. We can only give technical information. There are several assumptions. Technically, I would tell you that we have no explanation."

At the time, Brigadier Octávio Júlio Moreira Lima promised the media and the public that he would authorize an investigation of the encounter and releasee a full dossier in 30 days. That investigation was completed in 30 days but it was not released to the public until September 25, 2009. On that date, the government released the dossier dated June 2, 1986, and signed by the interim Air Force Command (COMDA) José Pessoa Cavalcanti de Albuquerque. It said this of the 21 UFOs chased by five fighter jets in May 1986:

"This Command is of the opinion that the phenomena are solid and reflect, in a certain way, intelligence, due to the ability to follow and maintain a distance from observers, as well as to fly in formation, not necessarily manned."

Will we ever know what were the military jets chasing? 

That was in 2009. The Night of the UFOs was in 1986. It is now 36 years later and no additional information has been released about the Night of the UFOs. Despite the fact that the media, the public and many governments – including those of the U.S and Brazil – are more open to the existence of unidentified aerial phenomena these days, does anyone believe that the eyewitness accounts of the pilots of Azul flight 4517 will be the subject of a government investigation and dossier? Does the increased frequency of these sightings by experienced commercial pilots – many with military experience – indicate that more are occurring and perhaps ALL should be investigated?

We’re rooting for the Azul flight 4517 pilots … “Night of the Azul UFO” has a nice ring to it.   

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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