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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