The Mysteries of the Roncador Mountains

Cidades misteriosas, objetos e seres perdidos nas florestas, luzes não identificadas que sobrevoam a mata e tesouros fabulosos compõem as lendas e a cultura da Serra do Roncador, no Mato Grosso.

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In the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso, there are localities that attract the attention of scholars of ufological and paranormal phenomena from many parts of the world, more specifically the Guimarães Plateau and Barra do Garças.

Intriguing and unusual narratives involve the region, stimulating the imagination of residents and the curiosity of scholars. Archaeologists are attracted by the clues of lost civilizations, ufologists go to the site in search of the abundance of reports, photos and UFO footage, and adventurers in general seek mysteries still hidden.

Mysterious cities, objects and beings lost in the forests, unidentified lights that fly over the forest and fabulous treasures are components of legends that have sharpened the imagination and culture of the locals. Both Chapada dos Guimarães and Barra do Garças have as tradition and routine, at all times of the year, numerous references to unidentified flying objects, intraterrestrial civilizations and underground passages that would connect Brazil to Machu Picchu, Peru.


There is much talk of Ibez Temple, Agartha, the Way of Lot, Shamballah and the Portal of Aquarius. Often the stories are accompanied by descriptions of extinct volcanoes, dinosaur fossils and luminous signs in caves of the region, more specifically in the Roncador Mountains, which is, for sure, one of the most enchanting areas of central Brazil, with great natural beauties still little explored by man.

Explorers with multiple objectives enter their forests to often never return without leaving any traces, only stories, legends and myths.

Roncador Mountains, Mato Grosso, Brazil.

As a consequence, accounts of hidden civilizations in the region, legends about the fate of missing adventurers and supposed dimensional portals that would lead to other civilizations have been created over the centuries.

All this would have, for the residents, intimate relationship with the UFO Phenomenon. Between the certainty of some and the distrust of others, many hypotheses and beliefs coexist harmoniously in the popular imagination, amid the scenarios of cerrado vegetation, waterfalls and steep trails.

The strange narratives stimulate the interest of scientists from all over Brazil and the world, who move to Barra do Garças in order to discover some plausible fact in the midst of so many fantastic stories.

The mountain was named Roncador (Snorer) due to the fact that, at certain times, emanates from its bowels a typical sound and similar to a strong snoring, which echoes through the cerrado causing chills and fear in visitors. Such snoring occurs due to the encounter of the strong winds of the region with the immense vertical mass walls.

Still, it’s not uncommon to find people who say the sinister sound would originate from UFO maneuvers flying through the region.

The atmosphere of mystery of the place has already been described in the records of the famous expedition of the english explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett, a colonel of the Royal British Artillery, who went to Barra do Garças in mid-1919, in a tireless search for what he was convinced existed in the region, traces of a lost intraterrestrial civilization.

Colonel Percy Fawcett.

Fawcett’s goal was to establish contact with such a civilization, which would be composed of supposed descendants of the Atlantes. There are manuscript records of this expedition, today belonging to the collection of documents of the National Library of Rio de Janeiro.

The explorer came to Brazil, got caught in the forests of Bahia and, following clues and traces, tried to explore Mato Grosso, where his discoveries led him to the Roncador Mountains.

The english explorer mysteriously disappeared in 1925 and nothing else was known of him.

Fawcett was admired worldwide for taking a lifetime dedicated to the most delusional adventures in Asia and South America. After his disappearance, he became known and portrayed in some of the world’s most notorious legends, which inspired writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle in The Lost World and Henry Rider Haggard in King Solomon’s Mines and also to Steven Spielberg in the creation of the character Indiana Jones.

However, the adventures of the english Colonel did not serve only as inspiration for writers and filmmakers. They motivated dozens of other expeditioners in the following decades, curious trying to unravel the mysteries of the Roncador.

Some of them were driven by pure spirit of adventure, others aimed to win the award that the English newspaper The Times, until today, offers to those who provide detailed and reliable information about what really happened to the English explorer.

What is known is that many expeditions took place, but none succeeded in finding the lost city and, although there are doubts about the existence of the underground civilization, it is already known until its denomination: Manoa.

Manoa cost the lives of countless explorers, who died from snake bites or at the hands of Indians, capable of slowly and painfully torturing those who dreashed to enter their lands, forbidden to white men.

A curious narrative, catalogued under number 512 at the National Library of Rio de Janeiro, includes a letter sent by the bandeirantes to the viceroy in 1754, describing in detail the discovery, the previous year, of a city in ruins in the region.

Rock paintings depicting the lives of those who inhabited the place and date back thousands of years.

The document explains details about indecipherable signs on the rocks, a large black stone statue, huge arches built, intact and collapsed stone buildings and even signs of possible mining riches, all strongly guarded by dangerous light-skinned Indians who did not accept contact with foreigners.

These characteristics were some of the stimuli that attracted Colonel Fawcett’s attention in the search for the lost city and he also possessed a stone figurine covered in enigmatic inscriptions, believed to be from Manoa.

In examining this document of the bandeirantes, Fawcett was surprised to find, among the symbols drawn, some identical to those of his statuette. After this test, the colonel had no more doubts and left for some time-old point in Mato Grosso, entering the Serra do Roncador, never to return.

The Entrance to the Abode of the Gods

Legend or not, even today, the mysteries of the place are kept under seven keys by the Xavantes Indians who live in the region and there have several sacred places, which cannot be visited by the white man without being in his presence.

Among these places there is a cave in which the Indians only enter the first gallery and do not risk advancing more than that, because they fear what may be underground. According to them, in the depths of the place would live strange beings, and those who risk entering there no longer return.

Another sacred place for the xavantes is the Enchanted Lagoon, a lake with total absence of life under the waters. Some Indians swim on the spot, but do not venture to dive too deep, because they are afraid of being sucked in by some invisible force and not coming back. According to the elders of the villages of the region, the lagoon would be the “entrance to the Abode of the Gods, where lights plunge and the water come out towards the stars”.

The Stone Bridge, located in a privileged point of the region, where you can have a stunning view of the Roncador Mountains.

In the municipality of Barra do Garças, considered the gateway to the Roncador Mountains, it is common to hear from the Indians reports of contacts with non-human or extraterrestrial creatures, which they call “beings of the stars”.

Roncador begins on the boundaries of the Sierra Azul State Park, an area of 11 million hectares destined for the preservation of the savannah. There is much talk of another unknown indigenous community, which would fiercely guard the mysteries of the mountain range, the so-called “Bat Indians”.

On them is an interesting excerpt from an ancient letter written by the American explorer and naturalist Carl Huni:

“The entrance to the cave is guarded by the Bat Indians, who are dark-skinned and small, but have great physical strength. His sense of smell is more developed than that of the best hunting dogs. Even if they approve and let them into the caves, I fear that whoever does so will be lost to the present world, because they keep a secret very carefully and do not allow those who enter to leave.”

Huni seems to have been informed and researched a lot of this curious ethnicity. His work also contains:

“I know that a good part of the immigrants who helped in the revolt of General Isidoro Dias Lopes in 1924 disappeared in these mountains and was never seen again. It was under the rule of Dr. Bernardes, who bombed São Paulo for four weeks. Finally they made a three-day truce and allowed 4,000 soldiers, mainly germans and hungarians, to leave the city. About 3,000 of them went to Acre, in northwestern Brazil, and about 1,000 disappeared in the caves. I’ve heard the story many times. If I remember correctly the place where they disappeared, it was at the southern end of Bananal Island, near the Roncador Mountains.”

The naturalist described that the Bat Indians would live in caves and leave only at night to the neighboring forest, but without keeping in touch with the so-called “residents below”. For them, according to the explorer, these residents inhabited an underground city, in which they would form a self-sufficient community with a considerable population.

Rock paintings in the caves of the Serra do Roncador.

“It is believed that the inhabitants of Brazilian underground cities are descendants of the Atlantes, their builders, but it cannot be known for sure. The name of the mountain range where such cities are located is Roncador, in Mato Grosso. Whoever will look for such caves puts his life in his own hands. When I was in Brazil, I heard a lot about them, but I gave up researching them because I heard that the entrances to the tunnels were heavily guarded and guarded by the Bat Indians”, american explorer Carl Huni said in his travel journal.

One of these caves inhabited by the members of such ethnicity would be near the River of Deaths, and is indicated in Leo Doctlan’s book, My Life with a Vestal, as the entrance to the underground city, to which a teenage girl was taken. After undergoing an alleged process of molecular alteration and mental records, which they called abduction, it was revealed to her that her mission would end with the formation of seven disciples and that, after that, she could return and live with them.

This intriguing story, as well as everything concerning the Bat Indians and their remarkable wisdom, is yet to be confirmed. Some of them are shared by Bororo Indians, not different from the xavantes when it comes to reports of strange and ufological facts. These are the first that would have dominated, for centuries, the entire vast expanse of the municipality of Barra do Garças, on the border of Mato Grosso with Goiás.

The Xavantes and Bororos tribes have, in their rich mythology, legends related to human-like beings, but with six fingers in their hands, who would have lived in the region. Some of these legends also speak that such beings would live together with other strange people-like creatures, only three and four fingers.

There are caves in the region, especially between the Sierra Azul and Roncador Mountains, in which you can find petrified footprints of six, four and three toes, but no record of feet with five fingers and one of them is known, precisely for this reason, as Cave of the Little Feet.

The Cave of the Little Feet.

The Sierra Azul State Park, almost next to the Roncador, has numerous trails, waterfalls, several archaeological and paleontological sites and a lookout with a statue of Christ the Redeemer, in a privileged spot from where you can appreciate the three neighboring cities, Barra do Garças, Aragarças and Pontal do Araguaia.

In the same park is a curious work, an airport for flying saucers, the famous discoport of Barra do Garças, where people can take pictures on panels, as if they were in spaceships. The work is a project of the former mayor of the municipality, Valdo Varjão, who died a few years ago and, for her, five hectares were reserved that function as a tourist attraction.

“I wanted to put Barra in the media, because the city had little publicity and tourist exploitation. As this region has always had stories of UFOs and a very strong mysticism, I took advantage of the idea”, explained Varjão.

But while no extraterrestrial vehicle arrives in the city, the flying saucer-shaped ship, made of steel plates, is the fun of children, who can get on the device and take pictures.

Invited to participate in numerous TV shows, Varjão caught the attention of the press from all over the country and abroad by showing the rich casuistry that surrounds the entire region.

Barra do Garças became internationally known for the original idea of housing an airport for flying saucers, which would later be imitated by other mayors.

Rock paintings in the caves of the Roncador Mountains.

Although resentful of the mockery he faced, Varjão achieved his goal. “The idea was not exactly to attract flying saucers to Barra do Garças, but tourists, and thus use the potential that the city has in this area”, said the former mayor.

It is interesting to note that in the city center, next to the Disconauta Palace Hotel, a cozy establishment that welcomes tourists all year round, there is still a huge stone in discoide format and with strange inscriptions, something primitively polished and impressive by its resemblance to a flying saucer. The stone was purposely laid there some time ago and enchants the entire population, visitors, researchers and curious.

Fact or imagination, there are few residents who do not have a good story to tell about lights that shine and move through the darkness of the city’s skies and its hills.

One of them happened between the Guimarães Plateau and the Roncador Mountains, in Sierra Azul, in an area located within the municipality of Nova Brasilândia.

On June 1, 1997, a fireball came from space and smashed into the ground, emitting a huge bang that was heard more than 100 miles away. His lighting was such that night turned day for at least a minute. Incredibly, from that day on, the city began to attract a sudden fame, and the press invaded the municipality in search of more information about the fact.

Unfortunately, the intense searches carried out by the team of field researchers of the Matogrossense Association of Ufological and Psychic Research and members of various media outlets, both by air and land, resulted fruitless.

What’s left was another mystery to the long list of puzzles that Mato Grosso already accumulates.