Lead Masks Case
The Lead Masks Case (Portuguese: O Caso das Máscaras de Chumbo) was the name given to the events which led to the death of two Brazilian electronic technicians: Manoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana. Their bodies were discovered on August 20, 1966.
Sequence of facts
On the afternoon of August 20, 1966, a young man was flying a kite on the Morro do Vintém (Vintém Hill) in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when he came upon the bodies of two deceased males and reported them to the authorities. The Morro do Vintém had difficult terrain, and the police were unable to reach the bodies until the next day. When a small team of police and firefighters arrived on scene, they noted the bodies' odd conditions: The two males were lying next to each other, slightly covered by grass. Each wore a formal suit, a lead eye mask, and a waterproof coat. There were no signs of trauma and no evidence of a struggle in the surrounding area. Next to the bodies, police found an empty bottle of water and a packet containing two wet towels. A small notebook was also identified, which contained the quote,
|“||"16:30 estar no local determinado. 18:30 ingerir cápsulas, após efeito proteger metais aguardar sinal máscara"||”|
Which translates to:
|“||"16:30 (04:30 PM) be at the agreed place. 18:30 (06:30 PM) swallow capsules, after effect, protect metals, wait for mask signal".||”|
The two men were identified as Manoel Pereira de Cruz and Miguel Jose Viana, two electronic technicians from Campos dos Goytacazes, a town several miles to the northeast of Rio de Janeiro.
After an investigation, the detectives reconstructed a plausible narrative of the last days of both men.
On August 17, they left their city, Campos dos Goytacazes, the stated intent being that they needed to purchase some materials for work. The two men then boarded a bus to Niterói, and arrived at 14:30 (2:30 PM). Evidence shows that the waterproof coats were purchased at a shop there, and one bottle of water from a bar. Upon being interviewed, the waitress from the bar described Miguel as "very nervous," and noticed he frequently checked his watch. That is the last time they were seen alive; it is presumed they went directly from the bar to the spot at which they were discovered. It has been noted that the area was the setting of several local UFO sightings.
Conclusion of the case
No obvious injuries were discovered at the scene, nor later at the autopsy;. A search for toxic substances was impossible, as the coroner's office was very busy at the time, so when the autopsy was finally conducted, the internal organs of the two victims were too badly decomposed for reliable testing.