It’s a sunny day in the suburbs in Rio de Janeiro. A young man is flying a kite on Vintem Hill, in the suburbs of the city. As he is following the kite with his eyes, he spots something in the distance. It seems like the bodies of two grown men. The young man reports it to the police, who are unable to reach the bodies due to rough terrain on the hill. A day later, the police are able to reach the bodies, where they uncover a mind-boggling crime scene.
The two men are dressed to the nines in formal suits, laying down side by side, partly covered by grass and shrubbery. A waterproof coat covers their clothing, and their faces are covered by two lead masks, as if to protect their eyes from something. The masks, however, were exceptionally narrow for protective masks, and would have left the men blinded.
Normally, the cause of such a crime-scene is apparent and the mystery is quickly solved. However, in this case the police couldn’t figure out what had led to the scene before them. The bodies didn’t have any marks or injuries to explain their sudden deaths. No toxicology report was delivered, as the bodies were too badly composed once the autopsy was carried out.
Police tried to collect as much evidence as they could. Apart from their outfits and the mysterious masks, the pair carried an empty water bottle and some wet towels with them. The police believed the men had had a high amount of cash on them, but only a small amount remained. The most striking piece of evidence they found was a small notebook, containing the writing of one of the men. But, instead of solving the case, it only deepened the mystery. Inside the notebook were cryptid instructions: ”16:30 be at the specified location. 18:30 ingest capsules, after the effect protect metals await signal mask.”
Were these men part of some experiment or was there something more sinister at play?
The investigating officers pieced together the last days of the two men, identified as Manoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana. On the 17th of August, the men boarded a bus to a different city. As the police had a receipt for the bottle of water the men had bought, they found the local bar that had sold the water. The police discovered that the men were last seen at this bar by a waitress.
Now, what had moved these men to climb this hilltop and swallow some mysterious capsules? Some people link this case to UFO activity, as a few days later people in the area reported an orange UFO flying up and down. But, as there is no photographic evidence of this UFO, it can easily be ruled out.
Other theories speculate that these deaths are linked to a similar death. Four years before this case, another man had been found on a hilltop, with a lead mask veiling his eyes. All three men were electronics technicians. Now, I do not think it is common for electronics technicians to kill themselves in mysterious ways, so what else was afoot?
Apparently, a few months before the death of Manoel and Miguel, a Brazilian tabloid reported that the two men and a friend had build an electronic device in their backyard. The device had exploded two months before their deaths. Police questioned the friend, Elcio Gomes, and Elcio told the police him and his now dead friends were scientific spiritualists. Apparently, they were trying to contact Mars and the device was some sort of alien transmitter.
Then, two months later, a statement by a yoga teacher was placed in a local newspaper. It seems the community of scientific spiritualists in Rio de Janeiro was known for their heavy use of psychedelic drugs. According to the yoga teacher, Manoel and Miguel had simply taken an overdose and died.
The substance these capsules were made of is unknown to this day, so a definite solution will never be found. Whatever the two men were trying to accomplish, we cannot say. Maybe they did find a way to contact Mars and the UFO was a sign their mission had succeeded. The case of the bodies on the hill, with their lead masks, is certainly a mysterious one. Pay attention to your local electronics technicians, however, as they may have access to sick alien crafts.