A statue of an alien has been unveiled to mark the 28th anniversary of a sighting by three teenage girls in Brazil.
Liliane de Fátima Silava was one of the trio who claims to have seen the extraterrestrial in Varginha, northwest of Rio de Janeiro back in January 1996.
The statue has been unveiled at the very first UFO Fair in the town and Liliane said it was a very close likeness to what her, her sister Valquíria Aparecida Silva and their friend Kátia Andrade Xavier saw that night.
Liliane, who is now 44, told how the girls were taking a shortcut home across some fields when they heard Katia scream. They saw the tiny brown creature curled up on the floor and described how they saw two red eyes staring at them and three bumps on its head. The girls ran away terrified.
Liliane said: “Recalling it always sends a shiver down my spine, cold hands, that sweaty feeling.“
Twenty-five minutes later the sisters returned to the scene with their mother, but the creature had gone. They were told by a builder working nearby that authorities had removed the “strange animal”.
Nearly 30 years later, the three women stick by their claim that they saw an alien that day, despite being mocked and ridiculed by many people.
The mystery deepened for the girls when three men turned up at their family home and offered them money to not talk about the alien publicly, but the family refused.
Secret footage that is alleged to be of the alien the three girls spotted in Varginha has been uncovered and was shown at a meeting of ufologists last week, but no-one can authenticate the video or who filmed it.
Liliane said: “There are those who believe, those who mock, those who doubt, but there are those who love the story.”