The Bosco in Brazil, Pt. 1
The Villas-Boas affair, MILABS-mania, and induced abduction experience.
In 1978, UFO researcher Rich Reynolds had a series of phone conversations through an “intimate intermediary” with a man who had quite a tale to tell. Reynolds today is a seasoned ufologist and currently runs the UFO Conjectures blog. He has been dubbed “Ufology’s Biggest Pain in the Ass” for suggesting that “UFO geezers” need to pass on the mystery to a new group of younger researchers in order to gain different perspectives.1 Reynolds himself tends to play the role of the thorn in the side of mainstream ufology, constantly questioning the dominant narrative of any UFO event. Paranormal writer Nick Redfern states that Reynolds “is not driven by Fox Mulder’s ‘I want to Believe’ approach to ufology. Rather, he solely goes where the evidence and facts take him.”2 His 1978 phone call with “B.N.” gives good cause for his status as one of ufology’s prominent bugbears. Reynolds was initially put in contact with B.N. as a possible source for a freelance article on the Scoriton Affair, an oddball footnote in ufological circles which will be brought up in more detail in a future post. Reynolds’ first call with B.N. strayed far from the intended subject of Scoriton.
B.N. claimed to be a Department of Defense worker who had previously worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a translator. B.N. claimed that in 1957, he was ordered by a superior to board a military transport helicopter and perform a mission for the Central Intelligence Agency dubbed Operation Mirage. B.N.’s role was essentially as a translator, and he would do further translation and linguistics work for the DOD. B.N. said that on these missions with him were two other USAID men, “a man introduced as a doctor,” and three Navy men operating the helicopter. “They (the three USAID employees) had been briefed on the mission and their function was outlined as auxiliary in nature,” writes Reynolds. “The briefing indicated that the men were participating in new forms of psychological testing that would eventually be used in military contexts.”3
Indeed, these tests seem particularly brutal, involving tracking down a subject in the rural parts of the Minas Gerais region of Brazil using thermal cameras, releasing a spray of lorazepam, and chasing the drugged subject on the ground to bring him onboard. B.N. notes that their target banged his chin on the helicopter ramp during the ordeal. B.N. does not go into much detail regarding the psychological tests but says that the subject was kept in the helicopter for two hours, that “it was a clear, chilly night and the time passed slowly.” They placed the man, still unconscious, next to a tractor in the field where the helicopter landed.
Reynolds realized soon after his interview with B.N. that this specific operation matched important details with a major case in ufology: the abduction of Antônio Villas-Boas. Largely regarded as the first major UFO abduction story, Villas-Boas was a 23 year old farmer who was confronted with something otherworldly—or perhaps worldly but no less shocking. At 1AM on October 16th, 1957 Villas-Boas witnessed a “strange machine” shaped “like a large, elongated egg” with multicolored lights land in front of him in a field.4 Unable to flee, he was pulled into the craft by several beings wearing “grey one-piece overalls decorated with black stripes.” He also described the humanoids as having “cloth helmets reinforced with thin metal strips, including a triangular one on the nose between two lensed eyeholes.” Mark Pilkington notes that many details of Villas-Boas abduction seemed “more than a little low-fi,” and “seem(ed) to reflect a rather 1950s vision of the future.”5 The room where Villas-Boas was kept aboard the craft is also described as rather sleek, with featureless walls and all-metal furniture which was bolted to the floor. After a thorough soaking with a sponge and a blood sample from his chin, Villas-Boas was left in a room where gas came through holes in the wall. Seemingly dosed, a humanoid woman, beautiful despite “unusually pointed” features, entered the room. As if some hybrid of fever dream and wet dream, Villas-Boas found himself uncontrollably attracted to her and they made love. He recalled that despite the female being having white hair, her pubic hair was bright red. After copulation, the woman humanoid pointed to her stomach and then the sky, a gesture Villas-Boas and other researchers have eagerly interpreted as her saying she was going to have their hybrid child amongst the stars. Shortly after this, Villas-Boas was dressed and escorted out of the craft nearly four hours after his ordeal began. Upon arriving home, he “vomited a yellow liquid and had dark bruises on his chin” and suffered some medical issues in the weeks after, including “aches and pains, eye irritation and multiple lesions.”6
Villas-Boas contacted the Brazilian news media soon after who referred him to ufologist Dr. Olavo Fontes. A Brazilian member of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), Fontes specifically noted how he “was impressed by the sincerity of the young farmer and was convinced by his account despite its outlandish nature.”7 The Villas-Boas story was not published in Brazil until 1962 and wasn’t common knowledge to American ufologists until later in the decade.
Rich Reynolds noted several similarities between the account of B.N. and Villas-Boas’ recollection. Specific corresponding features included the location, the time of night it occurred, the description of the weather, but perhaps most crucially was that Villas-Boas also came home with a mark on his chin which he attributed to the blood sampling. The chin is indeed an odd place to get blood drawn and Villas-Boas banging it on a helicopter ramp makes more earthly sense. B.N.’s explanation also corresponds with the decidedly quaint and human appearance of his captors. Many of the odd elements, as Pilkington notes, could be from the use of psychotropic substances: “The CIA was (…) deeply involved in its MK-ULTRA programme, researching mind and behavior-altering techniques involving drugs, surgery and technology. They experimented with a number of psychoactive substances—hallucinogens, sedatives, stimulants, psychomimetics and more—often on entirely unwitting subjects.”8 Pilkington sees the CIA performing tests such as these outside the jurisdiction of the US as completely feasible: “The entire world was within its jurisdiction.” Even the jumbled memories would track if B.N. was telling the truth about spraying the subject with an aerosolized lorazepam.
Who was this B.N. that gave Rich Reynolds such earth-shattering information? It was Bosco Nedelcovic, a translator and linguist at the Inter-American Defense College which is tightly connected with the Organization of American States, a body with representatives from countries throughout the Americas. Pilkington keenly notes that the College “educates future leaders Latin American nations.”9 Indeed, their list of alumni is a who’s who of government leaders and military officials in South and Central American countries. Reynolds was able to confirm Nedelcovic’s employment at not only the DOD, but also USAID earlier on. Was he telling the truth? Reynolds writes:
(He) was never coy. He would or would not answer questions put to him. He did not seem overly serious nor flippant or glib. (…) He was friendly both times I talked to him. And he seemed genuinely interested in pleasing me for our mutual friend’s sake. He did not act like a man who was divulging any great secrets. (…) The things we have checked in on so far corroborate his remarks in small details. But we find it hard to accept in its totality – not for anything that was said or unsaid, but from the sheer improbability of it all.10
It is tempting to accept Nedelcovic’s tale wholesale if only because, while outlandish, it’s a far more plausible, far more human explanation for what is otherwise credited to extraterrestrials. Given the history of US intelligence agencies in South America, CIA operations under the guise of USAID that subject South American civilians to psychological operations and torture are not outside the realm of possibility (i.e. Colonia Dignidad).11 Reynolds notes that he discovered Nedelcovic was “very unhappy about his Department of Defense job and may even have been demoted some time ago,” perhaps explaining why he volunteered such information.12 However, every detail Nedelcovic included could be gleaned from the accounts of Villas-Boas himself— and in future installments of this series, it will certainly seem as though Nedelcovic had a thorough grounding in ufology. Could it be that his admission of participation in the Villas-Boas affair was disinformation or a limited hangout of some sort? Keep this in mind as we delve deeper into this idiosyncratic man and his strange claims that rattle our understanding of the UFO mystery. Fair warning: No one in the ufological sphere is safe from Nedelcovic’s assertions, it seems.
Coming in Pt. 2: The Scoriton Affair, Bennewitz, Hynek, and other facets of ufology Nedelcovic seems hell-bent on deflating. Rich Reynolds’ article on his conversations with Nedelcovic can be viewed in its entirety via Wayback Machine here: https://web.archive.org/web/20070614143010/http://ufor.blogspot.com/2006/01/villa-boas-event.html (But don’t read too far ahead if you’re worried about spoilers for future installments!) I was first drawn to pursuing a further exploration into Nedelcovic because of a thread by @BoltzmannBooty :
…who also has an excellent Substack of his own, Nuts & Boltzmann: https://booty.substack.com/
For more short-form writing on the paranormal and the parapolitical, feel free to follow me on Twitter: @TannerFBoyle1 (Account currently protected but I will usually say yes to follow requests.)
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Redfern, Nick. Top Secret Alien Abduction Files: What the Government Doesn’t Want You to Know. Newburyport: Disinformation Books, 2018. Page 35
Pilkington, Mark. Mirage Men: A Journey in Disinformation, Paranoia and UFOs. London: Constable, 2010. Page 108. Available here.
For more on Colonia Dignidad, see: Snider, S. William and Frank Zero. Strange Tales of the Parapolitical: Postwar Nazis, Mercenaries, and Other Secret History. Self-published, 2020. Pages 49-159. Available here.