The Lead Masks Case
August 20th 1966, two television repairmen dressed in their Sunday best, Manoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana, get on a bus in their small town of Campos Dos Goytacazes (in Rio De Janerio, Brazil), and head to Niteroi to buy some electronic components. They arrive in the town and head to a store, where they purchase impermeable raincoats, and according to some reports, sheets of lead. They next head to a local bar, where they purchase a bottle of water and ask for a coupon so they can return the empty bottle later. The waitress that served them would later remark that one of them seemed nervous and kept checking his watch. She would be the last person to see them alive.
Later that day, eighteen year old Jorge da Costa Alves was flying a kite at the Morro do Vintem (Vintem Hill) when he came across two bodies partially covered by grass, wearing dress suits, impermeable coats,and lead masks (the kind used for radiation protection). He quickly called the police, who arrived on the scene to find the bodies of Monoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana laying dead, with no apparent cause of death, empty pockets, and only an empty water bottle, a pack of two towels, and a small journal next to them. Inside the journal, the police found multiple codes and formulas, as well as a hand written note that seemed to explain how they died. Translated from their native Portuguese, it read, ”“meet at the designated spot at 4:30PM. At 6:30PM ingest the capsules. After the effect [is produced], protect half of the face with lead masks. Wait for the prearranged signal.”
Due to a mix up in the coroners office, an autopsy was never conducted, and so above we have all the information officially gathered on this mysterious case. However, there’s plenty of speculation.
Rumor has it that local residents claim to have seen a UFO in the area at the precise time that the men would have died. Other rumors claim that there was no plant growth in the area around the bodies for years after their discovery. These rumors have led many to believe that the two men had planned some sort of rendezvous with extraterrestrials that involved the ingesting of the aforementioned capsules (perhaps a narcotic, perhaps a serum meant to protect them from radiation), and that the resulting contact caused their demise. However, it’s also entirely possible that the whole thing was just an elaborate hoax aimed at poisoning two men and then taking their money. Facts remain though, they didn’t plan on dying, otherwise, they never would’ve asked for the bottle return slip. Due to the lack of autopsy, and the large amount of time passed since the bodies were found, it’s impossible to know whether the men took their capsules and died from poisoning, or whether they took them and experienced contact with another world. Maybe their bodies were left behind and their souls did indeed travel to far-off lands.