Friday, May 11, 2012

Freaky (Factual) Tale Friday: The Lead Mask Mystery

(photo @

NiteróiRio de JaneiroBrazil

On August 20 of 1966, a young man named Jorge De Costa Alves was flying a kite on Vintém Hill.  What most likely started out as a peaceful afternoon became very bizarre (and a bit gruesome) when Jorge stumbled across the bodies of two dead men.  As if that weren't shocking enough (for most people at least), the men were both dressed in matching suits, rain coats, and were wearing lead masks.

Jorge immediately ran home and phoned the police.  When they arrived on the scene, they found even more clues as to what happened...which just ended up making things even more confusing.

The two men were identified as Manoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana, two electrical engineers who made a living as TV repairmen and lived in the city of Campos dos Goytacazes.  The only items found next to their bodies were two towels, a bottle of water, and a note which read:

"16:30 be at the agreed place.  18:30 swallow capsules, after effect protect metals wait for mask signal."

"And remember, no bathroom breaks after 18:31"

Through interviewing people in the surrounding area, the police were able to reconstruct the events leading up to the mens' death...which once again didn't answer any questions or make any sense.

The two men had told their respective families on August 17 that they would be heading into town for supplies. They bought their rain coats from a nearby shop and a bottle of water from a bar.  They also found a package containing two towels and a coupon allowing them to return their empty water bottle for a refund.

The coupon would imply that the two men intended to return from their fateful trip up the hill (and that they cared about the environment or were incredibly frugal). With no signs of struggle/foul play, and no outward signs of physical trauma to either of the bodies, the only thing left to do was a toxicology report...which never happened.  

The bodies were already in a bad state of decomposition when they were discovered.  When the remains arrived at the coroner's office, they were stored away due to a backlog of work that was already being processed.  By the time the examiner's got around to them, the remains of Manoel and Miguel were completely rotted.

Apparently, even dead people with interesting 
cases have to wait forever to see a doctor, too.

So why did they do...whatever they did?

Your guess is as good as mine.  

The two men were avid UFO enthusiasts and the hill that they were found on was an alleged UFO hot spot. Maybe they were trying to contact aliens; why that takes pills, lead masks, and raincoats, however, remains a mystery.

There were also a few reports stating that the two men were not alone on the hill and may have been robbed (there was no money on either of them when their bodies were found), but that seems very unlikely.  If this was a robbery attempt, it was a pretty involved and elaborate scheme simply to pickpocket two incredibly gullible TV repairmen.

But if it somehow was aliens, than it once again proves my theory:

Aliens are total jerks.