RIO DE JANEIRO -- The SNI, the 1964-1985 military dictatorship's intelligence agency, investigaged UFO sightings for several years, a Brazilian newspaper reported Sunday.
Classified government documents describe several missions carried out in different states as part of "Operation Saucer," the daily Folha de Sao Paulo said.
The documents were released, in part, due to a request from the Brazilian UFO Commission, which requested them on the basis of the constitutional right to access public papers, the newspaper said.
The SNI, now known as the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, or Abin, participated in an air force mission in the Amazonian states of Maranhao and Para between the end of 1977 and the beginning of 1978.
The operation was launched after newspapers in those states reported the sighting of "mysterious lights that caused deaths and hallucinations" among those who saw them, Folha de Sao Paulo said, adding that some eyewitnesses suffered from "symptoms of paralysis, superficial burns, intense heat, trembling and tiny holes in the skin."
Some reports filed by intelligence officers, who slept by day and worked at night, described "bluish lights" that traveled at a high rate of speed across the sky.
"There is no agreement among the team members about what has been seen, but it appears that position is due to fear of being ridiculed by colleagues," one of the documents says.
The documents include sketches of the unidentified flying objects described by eyewitnesses and intelligence officers.
The drawings of UFOs made by air force and SNI personnel appear similar to depictions of alien spacecraft in popular television shows of the period, such as "Lost in Space," Folha de Sao Paulo said.