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24/12/1976 – Matapalos, Venezuela – Colour Changing Orb Sighting

Birmingham UFO Group Case Report

Author: Dave Hodrien

Release Date: 10/11/2021

In late September 2021 I was contacted by a farmer from Devon named Adrian Johns. He got in touch via the sightings report form on the BUFOG website to discuss a UFO crash incident he and five other people had witnessed back in 1996 while working on a cattle ranch in Venezuela. He also discussed a previous sighting he had experienced back in 1976. This report covers this initial sighting in depth. A link to the UFO crash incident is provided at the end of this report.

Sighting Details

Adrian moved out to Venezuela in September 1976 when he was 26 years old. There was a farming crash at the time and money was very tight indeed. He came across an advert from Union International asking for a position at Matapalos Ranch in Apure, Venezuela. Due to the situation he decided to apply, and ended up being given the position.

The ranch was a large area of open grassland West of Achaguas village and just South of Rio Apure river. Adrian informed me that during the wet season the river would flood, providing water for the grass to grow, which the cattle would then feed off.

Aerial map showing Achaguas (A) and Matapalos Ranch (B)

Adrian was provided with some sleeping quarters at the main ranch centre, which consisted of a sitting room and adjoining bathroom. The centre was in a very rural location in the middle of the ranch.

Aerial map of Matapalos Ranch centre indicating Adrian’s living quarters

On Christmas Eve 1976 Adrian headed to the main ranch house for a Christmas meal. He then returned to his quarters to sleep. It was around midnight and it was very dark outside. He was standing in front of the sink in the bathroom brushing his teeth. To his right was a window which looked out over the ranch. The bathroom light was on but it had a low intensity bulb so was quite dim.

Suddenly the bathroom was flooded in bright light! Adrian was immediately aware that this was something unusual, as the light could not have been coming from a ground vehicle. The location had no public roads close to it.

He peered out of the window to find the source of the light. To the East he noticed a glowing orb of light which was descending and moving away from his location. Initially it was glowing a bright red, but then changed to blue, then yellow. It continued pulsing in this repeated sequence. The light was extremely bright and was lighting up the whole area outside.

The object seemed to be travelling at quite a slow speed. It took about 30 seconds before it was lost from sight into the distance. By this time it was quite low down near the tree line on the horizon. Adrian wondered if it was going to hit the ground but there was no flash of light to indicate that this might have taken place, it just vanished. Adrian had not camera there with him so was unable to attempt to take a photograph or video of the object.

In the morning he told other workers on the ranch about the sighting. They seemed surprised but seemed to believe him.

Sighting Analysis

This is an intriguing sighting especially considering the location and year that it took place. The light coming from the object was much too bright for it to have been a normal aircraft. Also it was clearly descending, and Adrian says there was no known place where aircraft could land in the direction it was seen in.

It was moving too slowly to be a meteorite, these tend to cross the sky in several seconds and also have a long tail behind them. Also meteorites tend to be a singular colour rather than pulse different colours.

Due to how rural the location was a lit inflatable of some kind seems very unlikely, and the sighting took place in the mid 70s, decades before Chinese lanterns, LED balloons or drones were available.

Although Earth Lights do tend to appear over rural areas and near to bodies of water, this object sounds much too bright for this to have been the explanation. However this cannot be ruled out entirely, as there are cases on record of similar phenomena, such as the infamous Hessdalen Lights in central Norway.

It is unknown whether the object actually reached the ground or not, as it vanished from sight while still in the air. However the object Adrian witnessed 20 years later in 1996 definitely crash landed. Click here to go to the report on this stunning incident.

Copyright Dave Hodrien 2021



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