Tuesday, April 28, 2020

BAASS Program managers held meetings in Brazil

An investigation by Marc Cecotti and Keith Basterfield

In our previous articles we reported that investigators and translators from Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) visited Fortaleza and Sobral in the State of Ceará, Brazil, at least on one occasion in May 2009. Thanks to additional witnesses and documents, we have learned that the history of UFO events in Brazil was deemed important enough to send BAASS upper management to Saõ Paulo to meet with several UFO researchers. The purpose of those meetings was to gain more information about the UFO phenomenon in Brazil, to create possible cooperation with research organization, but also, according to those witnesses, to try and discover any technology associated with UFOs for possible spin-offs to Bigelow Aerospace projects.

BAASS managers in Saõ Paulo

Marc Cecotti reached out to Brazilian UFO researcher Edison Boaventura Jr. from Guarujá Ufological Group (GUG). He confirmed that he met two BAASS employees for a few hours in Sao Paulo in May 2009. “I talked to them in a hotel here in the state of São Paulo...” Boaventura recalled. The hotel was later identified as The Holiday Inn Express,  located Rua Doutor Homem de Melo, 1206 in Saõ Paulo. When he was asked who he met, Edison Boaventura Jr. could easily remember the names “They were two representatives of Bigelow Aerospace. Douglas Kurth and James A. Johnson.”

Holiday Inn Express where the meeting with BAASS took place

Douglas Kurth is a retired US Marine Corps F-18 pilot and Squadron Commander, who was a witness to part of the Tic Tac UFO event in November 2004. He was one of the first individuals to join BAASS in December 2007, according to his LinkedIn profile. His position is described as "Program manager." Note that BAASS was registered as a Limited Liability Company in January 2008, and was awarded the contract for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) - sponsored Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP) in September 2008.

Source: Kurth's LinkedIn profile

Little is known about James A Johnson, but we had already come across this name. Thanks to Blue Blurry Lines February 2020 article, "The Pentagons UFO Program's Secret Partner" by Curt Collins and Roger Glassel, about the MUFON/BAASS contract, we knew that James Johnson was in a managerial position at BAASS. "A formal slide presentation to the MUFON Board explained the relationships and responsibilitie and named both organizations management teams as of April 2009. For MUFON they were Richard Lang, James Carrion, Jan Harzan and Chuck Modlin. For BAASS they were Colm Kelleher, Douglas Kurth and James Johnson."
Boaventura met Kurth and Johnson at the Holiday Inn Express hotel on May 29th, 2009 along with UFO researcher Josef Prado, who translated the discussions. Two other researchers, Milton Dino Frank Jr. and Mário César Mancinelli, also met both Americans on the same evening. This was on the exact same day that the BAASS four-people team led by Loran Huffman was attending the CSPU monthly meeting more than 3000 kilometers away in Sobral, State of Ceará, as we reported in our previous article. The purpose of the meeting in Saõ Paulo was then described by Boaventura “They were interested in UFO cases, metamaterials and wanted me to supply them. I later learned they also went in the northeast of Brazil doing research with people who saw UFOs and were also attacked. They went for example in the state of Ceará.”

BAASS program manager Douglas Kurth, Josef Prado, Edison Boaventura Jr. and BAASS manager James A Johnson. Credit Edison Boaventura

Regarding the physical evidence BAASS was trying to obtain, Boaventura said : “[They were interested in] the fragments of any UFO... We had several cases of crashes with fragments... For example, the case of the UFO explosion in Ubatuba, state of Saõ Paulo in 1957, among other cases.” Edison Boaventura had those alleged UFO crash fragments tested in 2017. (http://www.portalburn.com.br/explosao-de-ovni-em-ubatuba-1957-analise-qualitativa-dos-fragmentos/). Most of the discussions regarding metamaterial happened during subsequent phone calls, which we’ll expose later in the article.

Boaventura did not know about the US government-sponsored operation. “They didn't tell [they were working on a government contract]... Just said they were BAASS employees.” The other Brazilian ufologist concurred; none were aware of the BAASS ties with the US government.

Regarding any another contact with BAASS, Boaventura said “I never saw them again... They only called me from the United States a couple of times and then never contacted me again.”

Josef Prado, who attended the meeting along Edison Boaventura, gave a similar statement “Basically they were interested in photographic evidence or footage that could give clues about the UFO propulsion system. According to them, BAASS was developing space propulsion technologies and were trying to understand what kind of technology UFOs used to exploit it.”

According to Prado, they explained how they could use pictures to gain information. “Example: if in the photo or footage they could observe halos of a specific color, they could then speculate on the possibility of ionized fields, electromagnetism, etc… But we can sum up the conversation like this: to try and find information about the propulsion systems. How to do reverse engineering without having the technology in hand, but exploring the evidence. But I remember well that they were very interested in the photos where it was possible to see the halos around the UFOs.”

Both Kurth and Johnson didn’t share much information, and they didn’t give any much indication about their next destination. “The meeting was in a simple, discreet hotel, and they booked a meeting room to welcome us. They were very objective and didn't stay in conversation beyond what they were looking for. They gave us a card and said that if we had more information or evidence, we could contact them.”

Asked about the overall impression Kurth and Johnson left on him, and if both men had any knowledge about ufology in general, Prado said “Honestly, with all those questions about the propulsion systems, it looked to me that they were just representing Bigelow’s interest. But it seemed to me that they were a little afraid to tie Bigelow to this visit with ufologists in Brazil. You know how that can turn out to be easy sensationalism.”

It is noteworthy that Jãnder Torres already mentioned BAASS' great interest in propulsion system when he met the 4-people team in Sobral on the same day, as we reported in our last article. “The only thing they really wanted to know was about the propulsion systems” Jãnder Tôrres recalled.

Marc Cecotti was able to have an online conversation with the other ufologist who also attended the meeting, Milton Dino Frank Jr. He confirmed meeting Kurth and Johnson at the Holiday Inn Express in Saõ Paulo, on May 29th 2009. He explained “I talked to them for an hour and thirty minutes and that was it. At the time I had a big ufology website. They reached out to me through the site. I didn't pay much attention to them. And I don't have any contact with them either. I never talked to them again, much less followed what they did here.” 

BAASS program manager James A Johnson, Milton Dino Frank, Mario Cesar Mancinelli, and BAASS program manager Douglas Kurth. Credit Edison Boaventura

Then, he explained how the meeting went “They asked me about the Varginha UFO case, Operation Prato, Official UFO night and other cases that I can't remember. Edison Boaventura was with me at the hotel the same day. […] After I talked to them about these cases, I took a plane and went to my home in Rio de Janeiro. It was no big deal. I explained what I had read about these cases since I had not personally researched any of them. Edison Boaventura also gave his opinion about these cases. So it was just an informal conversation, where nothing was recorded and much less documented. It was a bar conversation.”

Mário César Mancinelli, of the Centro de Ufologia Brasileiro(CUB) came at the meeting with Milton Frank. Here are his recollections “There was me, Milton, two guys from another organization [Boaventura and Prado] and the guys from Bigelow. And we were talking about Brazilian UFO cases. Then, when the guys from the other organization left, I asked them what exactly they were looking for. What they wanted with us. And the answer was Extreme technology. I said we don't have it. If we had, we would have called the press and proved once and for all that ETs visit us, since a scientific proof of that doesn't exist yet. Then I told them what I used to say to the craziest people in the old CUB group, that to do that, they'd have to take one down !”

Marc Cecotti then asked Boaventura how they reached out him for the meeting in Saõ Paulo “[They reached out to me] by telephone and email” Boaventura said and he added “I still have their business cards, some pictures and email correspondence.” Thanks to this we were able to have more insight into BAASS operations in Brazil. And what was written in those emails brought additional evidence regarding BAASS intentions.

BAASS business cards for Douglas Kurth and James A. Johnson. Credit Edison Boaventura Jr. 

The emails

Edison Boaventura retrieved email conversations he had with BAASS managers before and after their meeting in Saõ Paulo on May 29th, 2009.

The first email written by Douglas Kurth reads: "Sr. Edison Boaventura Juniuor, BAASS would like to come to Brazil and meet face-to-face with you to discuss information about this very important topic of Ufology. We are arranging this trip to meet with yourself and a few other prominent Ufologists in Brazil. We would like to inform you of the missions and goals of BAASS. And we would like to learn about your organization - whatever you are comfortable discussing. The intent is for a very informal meeting and informal discussion. We would like you to get to know us and set the foundation for information flow between our organizations, where necessary in the future [...] BAASS is planning to bring three people:

Douglas Kurth - Program manager
Jim Johnson - Chief Investigator
Luke Gornichec - Portuguese-English translator.

Travel and meeting arrangements are discussed, including a delay due to visa considerations. "We have had to delay our trip because of Brazilian visa considerations. We will now be in Sao Paulo and available to meet from May 26th through May 30th.

Boaventura agrees to meet with BAASS officials and offers to show BAASS some interesting files. "If you are interested, we intend to send and show you some original Brazilian Air Force Documents, related to the UFO research they made in our country in the past among other materials." Kurth replies that "We are confirmed at the Holiday Inn Express [...] We will have two people from BAASS, myself and Mr Jim Johnson, Chief Investigator. I believe Mr. Milton Dino Frank Jr will also meet with us that evening. It should be a great opportunity to get to know each other."

The two-man team, Kurth and Johnson, is consistent with the evidence we gathered. Gornichec who was initially supposed to be in Sao Paulo, was instead attending the CSPU meeting in Sobral, 3000 km away with the other BAASS team on the same day. 

Following up

After this informal meeting in Sao Paulo in May 2009, Douglas Kurth sent a follow-up email to Edison Boaventura on August 14th, 2009. Of the four people who met the BAASS represntatives at the Holiday Inn, only he was contacted again.

The email, written by Douglas Kurth on August 12th 2009, reads "Edison, when we had our face-to-face meeting in Sao Paulo, you stated that you had several pieces of physical evidence associated with UFO cases that you have investigated. In fact, you showed us some pictures of various pieces of evidence. We at BAASS are very interestd in cases that involve physical evidence. If you are available, we would like to call you this Friday, August 14 to listen to the stories of your physical evidence cases."

Edison Boaventura remembered this phone call. "Yes, we talked twice over the phone and talked about cases of metamaterials, 3 fragments of UFOs, such as the Ubatuba UFO explosion, the case at Campinas, among other cases involving physical materials. They were interested in scientific reports on these materials and fragments of UFOs."

Then he added “I did not give any material that I had, because they did not want to pay any amount for them... I told them to help our research with financial sponsorship, but they did not accept the proposal... I knew that they already helped MUFON in the United States with a value in cash and monthly. They were looking for UFO materials in Brazil to use in experiments at Bigelow Aerospace. They said they would study these materials for use in space travel and in the future construction of hotels on the Moon to make space tourism ... They were interested to use the UFO materials on their Bigelow Aerospace spaceship.”

But Boaventura explained that those few phone calls in 2009 were the last time he heard of BAASS, and he never provided them with metamaterials or UFO-related documents. All the other people from South America we interviewed during this investigation stopped receiving emails from BAASS in the Fall of 2009.


All those testimonies and available evidence show a consistency of BAASS objectives, to create some kind of cooperation with research organizations; to acquire as much information as possible about UFO cases; to obtain physical evidence (metamaterial or implants are mentioned in correspondence), but discover possible UFO-related technology. This last point sounds somewhat naïve, and we asked ourselves in the course of this investigation if this wasn’t just a way to justify Bigelow Aerospace involvement in UFO investigation and to better conceal the US government-sponsored program.

Either Robert Bigelow was using BAASS to do his own private study of the UFO phenomenon, and the AAWSAP contract only funded the 38 DIRDs, or the secret purpose of this contract was to investigate UFO on behalf of the Federal Government, on US soil and overseas. If the latter hypothesis is true, and this is what Senator Harry Reid affirmed on several occasions, the correspondence and testimonies we and other researchers were able to obtain make it hard to deny that this whole US government-sponsored program was nothing but a large-scale UFO research and evidence collection program, despite repeated official statements of Pentagon spokespeople. In any case, Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, with 50 employees and a 22-million dollar budget over a 3-year period, must have produced large amounts of records. We know only about the 38 DIRDs and the famous, but undisclosed 494-page “10-month report,” that means a lot remain to be discovered.

Friday, April 24, 2020

BAASS in Brazil - emails and more

Marc Cecotti and Keith Basterfield

In our last article about BAASS and Brazil, we revealed that a team of four investigators came to Fortaleza and Sobral, in the Ceará region, to meet local UFO research groups; collect information, and records.

Since that last article, Jãnder Tôrres, a member of CSPU in Sobral, Ceará reached out to Marc Cecotti. His testimony and the evidence he supplied give us a valuable insight, about the objectives and interest, of BAASS in Brazil and South America.

A meeting in Sobral, Ceará, Brazil

Asked how BAASS reached out to CSPU, a member of the group previously told us: “A friend received a call from these people and they just asked to attend one of our monthly meetings and they wanted to know if we already had any information about the UFO propulsion system.”

Shortly before our last article was published, Jãnder Tôrres contacted Marc Cecotti to offer additional information. Tôrres is a 45-year old college professor and researcher with a PhD in Public Health. He has always been interested in the UFO phenomenon, and mysteries, and has been a member of CSPU for more than 20 years.

He recalls that the group had been informed that a team of Americans were coming to Sobral to attend the CSPU monthly meeting. The team was composed of Melissa Godoy, Loran Huffman, Lucas Gornichec and Timothy Koonce. They introduced themselves as member of Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Systems. Huffman said he was a former Federal Agent.

BAASS investigators at CSPU monthly meeting, May 2009.
Credit : Hélio Loyola

“They came here, and they asked questions about the [UFO] propulsion systems. The only thing they really wanted to know was about the propulsion systems.” Jãnder Tôrres recalls. “At that time, Sobral and the Ceará region had a lot of UFO sightings cases and we wrote a lot of case files about those sightings. We talked and told them about all those cases, about the sightings reports and witness testimonies. At that time, we had about 12 to 13 cases at that time in the area. But once again, they really wanted to know about the propulsion systems. The reports we had were of UFOs close to watery area, lakes, rivers.”

After the meeting, a short video interview was recorded. Then, CSPU and BAASS went to a local restaurant for dinner. They didn’t say anything about their next destination.

Exchanging emails

In the following months, an online correspondence started between Jãnder Tôrres and Melissa Godoy. His recollection is that a total of 4 or 5 emails were exchanged over a couple of months. Each email is shown as two images, which means there is some duplication in words shown. 

Here is the English translation:
“Hey, Jander,

Thanks for the compliment! I confess I had help, but I am learning more and more Portuguese by corresponding with you. Your English is impressive. Next time, we'll write in Spanish.

1. I think it's interesting that you're holding the National Seminar. Besides Dr Choy, you're going to invite but someone? What did you mean by "join recourse"? When will this happen? Please send me news of your progress.

2. Have you thought about taking an x-ray of the boy? This might be cheaper than an MRI, maybe more limited, but it's enough to figure out an implant chip. You can do the expensive tests after the CSPU has conditions.

3. That's a very interesting case. Right now we're very interested in any case, new or historic, that has physical evidence. (like spacecraft fragments) Any information of this nature would be of great help to us.

4. Do you have any knowledge of Operation Prato? We are doing our own research and any information (witnesses, documents, etc.) that you can give us would be very useful for us.

Jander, don't worry your English is very good! Please say hello to Jacinto and everyone at the CSPU for us! I told Tim and Loran about your Jiu-Jitsu training, and your desire to watch "spider" silva. Let us know when you intend to visit! I'd like to take a little walk with you. A hug from all of us!
Talk to you soon!”

Then, another email. Jãnder’s replies to the initial mail are in red, and new comments by Godoy in black. There is some confusion in numbering in the original email. 

Hi, Jander,

Same with you, always a pleasure! I share your philosophy of languages because for me it has always been a very important subject, where you always learn something. But let me tell you that your Spanish is also impressive!

1. Today, Friday, 28/08/2009, we have a CSPU meeting, where we are going to make a strategy plan for the seminar. "Join recourse" means that we still do not have financial resources, "money", but there is an idea to ask for support from institutions. Other information, only after today's meeting.

Please let me know if there are any new developments in relation to this seminar. Any information about this event interests me. When will this event take place? Where? Who will be invited?

2. In all honesty, it wasn't something we thought. I'm going to talk to Jacinto and the group about the idea of making an X-Ray.

Well, there's only one thing to consider if you're afraid to look into it.

4. We are also interested in cases like this. With physical evidence, we have only one case in Mulungu, which I had already spoken about, but without any fragility, only plants that were burned.

Well, these seem to be the most difficult cases to find, even if it is a region with that big UFO flap. Let me know the results when you conduct your investigation. This case gives me a lot of information about the case of Itatira at the beginning of this year.

5. Every good Brazilian ufologist has to know about Operation Prato, with Colonel Urangê. In 2003, I was in Rio de Janeiro, where I was doing my post-graduation, and was introduced to a man who spoke that I claim to have known Colonel Urange, shortly before his death, who some say was a murderer, not a suicide. He said that the Colonel had concrete evidence of the existence of ships, such as photos and videos, but they were all from the Brazilian army. A lot of other things this case has. I have access to documents and if you are interested I can send you a DVD.

How do you know who the people were in Rio de Janeiro? Yes, I would very much like to receive any information you can send me about this case, especially if you have the contact information of any of the military who were involved in this case. You can send the dvd to the following address:
ATTN : Melissa Godoy
4640 S. Eastern Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89119.

Messages to Argentina and Australia

In December 2019, Andrea Simondini from Vision OVNI, a UFO research group based in Victoria, Argentina, had reached out to Keith Basterfield to offer new information. "I don't remember the year, but on behalf of BAASS we contacted our team, Mrs Melissa Godoy. She wanted that from Argentina, we would inform about objects falling from the sky, cases of UAPs and power plants and nuclear power plants.

In return we were offered to train our researchers and finance the work. After that, he never communicated again and we received an email from BAASS that she now longer worked. I think it was in that year."

Marc Cecotti contacted Andrea Simondini a few weeks ago regarding this email. Andrea explained “[…] The one [email] we received was for presentation first, that is, it was Bigelow and what they did.  They asked us about a particular case that we had investigated in the province of Salta, the "Anta Case".  After that, when I explained to them about the case and our team and investigations, they sent us another email, it was always Melisa Godoy, who offered us to train our investigators, finance investigations, analyzes and research instruments.”

Australian researcher Bill Chalker recently posted a blog about the email he received from BAASS’s Colm Kelleher in March 2010. Kelleher was requesting information about UFO research in Australia, especially access to public databases and copies of case files. He also mentioned “Finally we would love to hear of any cases in Australia or China that have physical evidence (including trace evidence) associated with them.”

The tale of the 38 DIRDs

Thanks to the great work of many researchers, BAASS interest in UFOs is now indisputable. It is obvious that this organization, sponsored by the DIA, was after any kind of information it could obtain. The MUFON-BAASS contract was only a part of a much wider effort to find witnesses and documents, but also physical evidence like “spacecraft fragments” or even “implants”. In some cases, financial support and training were offered to UFO research groups. Despite an official statement by the DIA that “all products produced under the AATIP contract” were the 38 Defense Intelligence Reference Documents, our recent investigation proves with undeniable evidence that the sole contractor for the 22-million dollars AAWSAP/AATIP program was definitely doing more than subcontracting technical reports. We will provide additional evidence in our next article.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

How BAASS went about collecting UFO reports from across the globe

Marc Cecotti and Keith Basterfield


In previous articles, we have demonstrated that Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) was collecting UFO sighting reports from Brazil. It is general knowledge, that BAASS was also very much active, in collecting and investigating UFO sightings in the USA. They also sought details of sightings in other countries. We thought it might be useful to bring together in one article, what has been collectively established.


Through using LinkedIn profiles and other social media, we are aware of at least ten individuals who say they were either investigators, or senior investigators for BAASS. The first was employed in November 2008; eight hired in 2009 and one in 2010. By June 2010 when mass layoffs occurred, only three of them were left. The last left in May 2012.


2009 February – January 2010

We know that between the above dates, MUFON was running its STAR team. Between April 2009 and January 2010, MUFON sent at least 71 reports collected from within the USA, to BAASS.

2009 April

BAASS was allocated a US phone number, of 1-877-979-7444, for its UFO reporting hotline.

2009 May

A team of four BAASS investigators  (Melissa Godoy, Loran Huffman, Lucas Gornichec and Timothy Koonce) made a first trip to Brazil, to Fortaleza and Sobral, Ceará region. They met with local UFO research groups in Fortaleza and Sobral.

A meeting between two BAASS investigators, one of them being Douglas Kurth, and Brazilian researcher Ademar José Gevaerd took place in Curitaba, but Gevaerd couldn’t remember the exact date. Gevaerd explained “We spoke about a contract of services. I would search and investigate old and new cases in order to find metamaterials.” BAASS possibly met with other groups, but we have no definitive evidence of this.

2009 June

Marc Cecotti located an item on a UK UFO forum, featuring details of a sighting of a glowing round orange ball, reported in the UK, on 13 June 2009. Another witness posted details of her similar sighting. A BAASS investigator, Paul Jantzen, sought further details in a forum post, dated 16 June 2009.

Source: https://www.uk-ufo.co.uk/canvey-island-essex-13th-june-2009-2/

“Jan and Ruth, I am very interested in speaking with both of you further regarding your report. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

I am in the USA and for the interim email may be the easiest way: investigators@baass.org

Thank you I look forward to speak with you both.”

2009 June

Canadian researcher Brian Vike operated the HBCC UFO Research website up until June 2009. At that point he sold his five Internet domain names to Bigelow Aerospace. The current website has the following:

“HBCC UFO.org Research was Founded in 2002 by Brian Vike “and we, the new management (BAASS) are…ready to receive new cases.”

2009 Mid to late

Andrea Simondini from Visión OVNI, a UFO research group from Argentina, was contacted by Melissa Godoy from BAASS.:

“The one message we received was for presentation first, that is, it was Bigelow, and what they did. They asked us about a particular case that we had investigated in the province of Salta, the “Anta Case.” After that, when I explained to them about the case and our team and investigations, they sent us another email, it was always Melissa Godoy, who offered us to train  our investigators, finance investigations, analyses and research instruments.”

2009 August 7

BAASS was interested in Canadian UFO reports. Wired reporter Sarah Scoles published an article titled "Inside Robert Bigelow's Decades-long Obsession with UFOs" dated 24 February 2018. Part of that article read:

“Christopher Rutkowski who conducts the Canadian UFO survey, says Bigelow approached him at a MUFON conference in 2009. ‘He asked me to help him in his UFO related efforts by alerting him and his team to any ‘good’ Canadian cases that needed onsite investigations,’ he says. One of Bigelow’s people checked in with Rutkowski every few months following.”

Our understanding is that no such cases were ever passed on to BAASS, due to the fact that no high profile cases occurred during this time period. 

2009 October

There was a second possible trip to Brazil. The same team of four BAASS investigators went back to Fortaleza to document photographic and video evidence, of UFO sightings from CPU-CE records.

2010 February

An 11 February 2010 directive from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) stated:

“Persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained phenomenon activity should contact a UFO/unexplained phenomenon reporting data collection center such as Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) (voice 1-877-979-7444 or email Reporting@baass.org.)"

2010 March

Colm Kelleher of BAASS communicated by email with Australian researcher Bill Chalker about sightings in Australia and China. Ultimately though, as far as we are aware, BAASS failed to secure either Australian or Chinese reports, in this way. 

Source: http://theozfiles.blogspot.com/2020/04/baass-interest-in-australian-and.html

2010 April

In a blog post, dated 18 May 2018, Keith Basterfield documented how BAASS investigator Gary Hernandez investigated sightings over the Isles of Capri, Florida, USA which occurred between 27 March 2010 and early May 2010. In his LinkedIn profile, Hernandez stated that he was a BAASS field investigator who worked on “classified investigations” “CONUS/OCONUS,” which we believe stands for continental United States/outside continental United States.

2010 April 7

Do we have any idea of the volume of reports which the BAASS hotline was receiving? In an article titled "Robert Bigelow's and MUFON's Hybrid UO Investigation Venture 'under review' in 2010," Alfred Lambremont Webre writes:

"Reached by this reporter at his office in Las Vegas, Dr. Colm Kelleher, BAASS's Deputy Administrator confirmed that BAASS has an office established to receive UFO reports. He stated that the monthly volume of UFO reports received by BAASS is 'infrequent.'"

2010 July

“The Official Skinwalker Ranch Community” Forum, dated 14March 2014, carried details of a “BAASS investigator, takes an interest in Satan’s Bluff in Arizona.” Here we find a message from Stanley Milford Jnr., Navajo Ranger, Special Projects Unit, dated 28 July 2010:

“Hello Jeff,
I have been wanting to drop you a line, but have been really busy lately.
First, Lt Jon Dover and I were trying to contact you back on the week of July 12th. We were working with personnel from Bigelow Aerospace (from Las Vegas) investigating the Satan's Butte sight. We escorted their personnel out to the Butte, so they could conduct various readings and tests. We attempted to contact you several times as they were very interested in meeting you and possibly conducting an interview with you while they were here, but that didn’t work out.

Loran would still like you to call him.

If you want more information on Bigelow Aerospace you can go to their website at bigelowaerospace.org The person I am working with is Loran Huffman, senior investigator, Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, his number is …”

The Satan’s Bluff sightings occurred initially on 7 June 2010 at 2145 hours, and involved a cylinder with red blinking lights descending into the Butte. Two days later there were other sightings.
Loran Huffman’s LinkedIn profile states he was the “Director of Investigations and Security.”

2010 July

A 29 July 2010 memo of the FAA stated that:

“...a new larger organisation called Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) …air traffic control reporting of UFOs in the United States should now go to BAASS.”

Reports were to go to phone number 1-877-979-7444 or email Reporting@baass.org.

We know of no-one who can advise us of the number of FAA generated reports which went to BAASS.

2010 August

BAASS investigator Gary Hernandez was still inquiring about sightings over the Lake Erie area. He had first inquired in April 2010 about these. Interestingly, in his LinkedIn profile, Hernandez states that he worked for BAASS between January 2009 and February 2010. Why then he was still investigating reports as late as August 2010, remains to be seen.

An appeal

We welcome hearing of any other BAASS investigated sightings, no matter where in the world they occurred.

Acknowledgement: Thank you to US researcher Curt Collins for his assistance.

Update: 24 April 2020

Nick Pope, formerly of the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom, after reading our blog, made the following comment:

"Mention of a UK case suggests it would be helpful and timely to confirm that I had some discussions with BAASS personnel about the UK situation. This was mainly in 2009 and my two main contacts were Colm Kelleher on policy and Paul Jantzen on a few specific cases. A lot of the discussions centered on the MOD's UFO files, which we'd started to declassify and release in May 2008 (see link below). While I signed no NDA and never had any formal association with BAASS, I'm not going to be releasing any of the various email exchanges I had with BAASS personnel about this, but can confirm that while I offered an insider's perspective on the MOD material all discussions were at an unclassified level."

Friday, April 17, 2020

Further insights into BAASS in Brazil in 2009

A continuing investigation by Marc Cecotti and Keith Basterfield

In our previous article about Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) we recounted how we were able to track down evidence for a BAASS trip to Brazil in 2009. A contractor for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP), it now seems pretty obvious, thanks to the work of many researchers, and our own investigation, that AAWSAP was basically a UFO research program, with the following objectives: field investigation of UFO sightings; collection of reports, case files, and other information to produce reports and create databases; and recovery of physical evidence, including metamaterials. We demonstrated how BAASS’ search for data and evidence, went far beyond the borders of the United States; and new information has recently surfaced, proving BAASS interest in UFO reports from China and Australia.

Since our last article, we have not stopped looking for additional evidence about BAASS involvement in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Peru. Marc Cecotti tracked down witnesses in many of those countries, and spoke to dozens of people involved in Ufology. In this article we will explain how we were able to locate witnesses and obtain definitive evidence.

Reginaldo De Athayde in the Youtube video. Credit: Viva Fortaleza/Youtube

In the previous post, we explained how an online interview with a former BAASS Security Officer, whom we chose to call “The Investigator” revealed that a trip to Brazil occurred sometime in late 2009. When showed a photograph of several BAASS employees, they were able to identify a person who was employed as a Portuguese translator. Through further investigation, we discovered that many years after BAASS was shutdown, The Translator had viewed and publicly interacted with a Youtube video featuring famous Brazilian Ufologist Reginaldo de Athayde. De Athayde, who passed away in 2016, lived in the city of Fortaleza, in the Ceará region, and had a lifelong interest and passion for UFO study. He remains one of the renowned names in Brazilian Ufology. After spending many days tracking possible witnesses, Marc Cecotti received a reply from someone who was an associate and close friend of Reginaldo de Athayde: namely Hélio Loyola.

The witness 

Hélio Loyola is a 68-year old UFO researcher who lives in Fortaleza. He is a member of Centro de Pesquisas Ufológicas – Ceará (CPU-CE), Center for UFO investigation in Ceará, and has been investigating UFO sightings for more than 40 years with the same passion. His name is mentioned in the acknowledgment section of Robert Pratt’s 1996 book "UFO Danger Zone: Terror and Death in Brazil." A lengthy online conversation started. Loyola explained that many times, he and others from CPU-CE helped and cooperated with foreign researchers who came to investigate major sightings in Brazil. But when the name of The Translator was mentioned, he immediately remembered their visit.

According to Loyola, four people from BAASS came in 2009. They were introduced by another famous Brazilian ufologist. They introduced themselves “as members of an American UFO research company from North America, located in Nevada, that was called BAASS, and they said they were making a UFO documentary all around the world.” Regarding the members of this team, he said: “One of them was a member of US Intelligence Police. There was The Translator. And another one spoke Portuguese fluently because he had lived in São Paulo.” When asked if they met other people in Brazil, he gave three names, including Ademar Jose Gevaerd, who already acknowledged meeting BAASS, in our last article.

Meeting in Fortaleza 

Centro de Pesquisas Ufológicas – Ceará (CPU-CE) Headquarters in Fortaleza.
Credit: Google StreetView

According to Loyola, in October 2009, BAASS met with Reginaldo de Athayde, Loyola and two other people at CPU-CE headquarters, located in Fortaleza. On the first day, “after we talked about UFOs in the Ceará and about our cases, we asked about the purpose of so much ufological content ? [BAASS] said that the government wanted to know if the countries of South America were becoming aware that there was life outside of the Earth and in [the] degree of this awareness among the people.” Then, he drove the whole BAASS Team to Hotel Praia Centro, in downtown Fortaleza.

Hotel Praia Centro, Fortaleza, Brasil.
Credit: kayak.com

The next day, according to Loyola, “[he] picked them up around 10:00 a.m, they arrived with camcorders and cameras and spent several hours photographing and filming our files and case reports.” He also insisted: “Here in Brazil they didn't do any research. They took and photographed what the ufologists saw and documented, and asked each ufologist permission to make public what we had documented.”

In the evening, Loyola drove them to Hotel Praia Centro. “They were supposed to go to São Paulo (…) but I'm not sure they went to São Paulo, you understand. They may have traveled, to see various UFO cases, (…) they may have gone to Belem, to see [another ufologist], to Mato Grosso Cuiabá, to see A.J. Gevaerd, to Rio de Janeiro, to meet [another ufologist]. After they interviewed us, we took pictures of the whole group.” “After those two days in Fortaleza, we did not have any news of them. To be more precise, I got the e-mail of The Translator, and we exchanged some correspondence, but it has been many years that she also disappeared. That's it.”

Who came to Ceara?

Many researchers, us included, have been able to draw up a comprehensive database of BAASS personnel; built from witness testimonies, newspaper or online articles, and information publicly available on websites such as LinkedIn and other social media. Cross-checking all those different sources of information was essential to establish the identities, responsibilities, positions and years of employment of most BAASS employees. The Investigator suggested several names that we already had on our list. In our last article A.J. Gevaerd identified Douglas Kurth, a BAASS program manager from 2007 to 2013, and another investigator. At first Hélio Loyola told us Kurth was there. He somehow remembered the name “Kurth.” The Translator was definitely present too. There was another BAASS investigator and also a fourth person, “a Young Man who spoke Portuguese fluently”. But why two translators. This didn’t make a lot of sense. We figured out later what was wrong: The Translator was indeed speaking several foreign languages, but didn’t translate at the meeting between BAASS and CPU-CE. The “Young Man”, who had lived in São Paulo, did all the translation.

The other UFOlogists 

Many names were mentioned in Marc Cecotti’s conversation with Hélio Loyola. He reached out to many of those people, former associates and members of other UFO research groups. In most cases people had heard about the BAASS visit to Brazil. But this came from other people, with no first-hand witnesses.

A.J. Gevaerd told us he believes that BAASS came to Brazil specifically to see him. And he said that there were only two BAASS investigators, “Douglas Kurth, 99% certain” he said when asked for a second confirmation, “and another investigator.” In the last article, he mentioned that BAASS wanted to hire him. When asked in what capacity, he said: “We spoke about a contract of services. I would search and investigate old and new cases in order to find metamaterials.” Unfortunately, he has no records and no pictures of his meeting with BAASS.

Photographic evidence

Then, a Brazilian researcher named João Marcelo Marques Rios who had been contacted a few weeks ago, reached out and sent Marc Cecotti a link to a Youtube public video posted in 2011. It features the President of another Brazilian UFO study group called Centro Sobralense de Pesquisas Ufológicas (CSPU), based in the city of Sobral, interviewing an individual who just attended a CSPU conference. The caption reads:

“The CSPU (Centro Sobralense de Pesquisas Ufológicas) held the group's monthly meeting on September 25, 2009 in the central auditorium of SENAC Sobral. (…)  Such sightings are attracting the attention of people and even groups of international researchers, as was the case in May when the CSPU received the visit of a team from North America, from BAASS (Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies), a company in the field of space technology based in Las Vegas and pioneer in expandable space station modules.”

2011 Youtube Video of BAASS visit

According to this video, BAASS was in the city of Sobral – CE, in May 2009. We were able to reach out to CSPU who sent us an article dated June, 1st 2009:

“CSPU de Sobral receives visit from American Researchers

The CSPU (Centro Sobralense de Pesquisas Ufológicas) held last 29th, in the auditorium of Eletromil de Sobral the presentation of several cases, recent and old of apparitions and contacts with UFOs, of eyewitnesses of the region. On this date, the team of ufologists from Sobral had the satisfaction of receiving a visit from the study group of the American company BA[A]SS (Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studios) that came from Las Vegas to follow the events, gather information and make an international relationship of exchange of experience by evaluating studies of new technologies. The team: Melissa Godoy, Tim Koonce, Loran Huffman, Lucas Gornichec, chose the CSPU team from the northeast of Brazil, because for ten years, the scientific community of Sobral holds meetings and follows the events that took place in the North Zone. (…)

The BASS (Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studios) team, testified about the studies that the company carries out in several countries around the world, and about the team's intention to seek the Sobralense Center to maintain international relations.”

Further research allowed us to find several other online articles about BAASS visit to CSPU in Sobral in May 2009.


We now had confirmation of the BAASS visit, and the names of the team members. All of them were known to us, except for one. It turned out that the one we had never heard of, is the man being interviewed on the Youtube video, the one who spoke Portuguese fluently and who was the translator at the CPU-CE meeting in October. Hélio Loyola confirmed it.


We were aware that a trip took place in late 2009, from The Investigator’s recollections. But the evidence we now obtained indicated a trip in May 2009. We asked Loyola to clarify the different dates. He explained: “First they came to Fortaleza’s CPU. In Sobral, it was us who sent them to speak with Mr.[ufologist], who had and has a team of researchers in the northern region of the Ceará”. Then he added, “They first came here in Fortaleza, they learned about several [UFO research] groups here in the Ceará [region], because it was the key to the passage to other groups (…), in Sobral, and in Quixadá. They mentioned us [CPU-CE] and the other [UFO research] groups believed and provided all the research.”

“[The president of the CSPU received them with open arms, and provided all his research material in the region, including making a presentation to the people of Sobral interested in UFO cases.”

Then, according to Hélio Loyola, BAASS came back in October 2009. When asked if a different team came in October, Loyola explained: “They were the same, it had to be because they were already known and [it was] easier for them to get more information.  We’d already gained confidence and [we had to] make sure they were ufologists.”

Regarding the purpose of the second visit in Brazil Loyola stated: “[It’s] logical because Athayde didn't open the CPU-CE [archives] for them to photograph all the cases when they first came.”

Alleged metamaterials were kept at CPU-CE headquarters, but Hélio Loyola is certain that BAASS were not given anything. He believes the fragments remain in Brazil to this day.

The exact dates of the visit or visits still require some clarification. But we now established that BAASS indeed visited Brazil at least once in May 2009 and we now have definitive evidence.

Hélio Loyola sent Marc Cecotti a couple of pictures taken in May 2009. Since we already knew those BAASS employees except the one who spoke Portuguese, and we also had pictures of them, we were quickly able to confirm their identities.

 BAASS team with Reginaldo De Athayde, May 2009, Fortaleza. The gates are the ones featured on the Google StreetView picture of CPU-CE headquarters.
Credit: Hélio Loyola

BAASS at a local restaurant in Sobral, May 2009
Credit: Hélio Loyola

BAASS at CSPU meeting in Sobral, May 2009
Credit: Hélio Loyola

After several weeks of investigation, and conversations with multiple witnesses and sources, it has now been established with definitive evidence that a team from Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) visited Brazil on multiple occasions. We now know that Melissa Godoy, Lucas Gornichec, Timothy Koonce and Loran Huffman went to Fortaleza and Sobral in May 2009, and likely a second time in October 2009. A.J. Gevaerd’s testimony also indicates that Douglas Kurth and another BAASS individual, visited Brazil on a different occasion. Based on all those accounts, it is now certain that their objective was to collect evidence and information about UFO events, but also records, case files; and sought to retrieve possible metamaterials. This seems to fit pretty well into the history of BAASS, which has been made public, thanks to the efforts of many researchers. We now hope those former BAASS employees will come forward, and help us better understand the objectives of the program.

At the time of writing the conclusion to this article, we have been contacted by new witnesses who provided us with additional solid evidence. We will share our new findings in a third article soon. 

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