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Lead Masks Case: Wikis


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The Lead Masks Case 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


A boy named Jorge da Costa Alves (who was 18 at that time) was flying a kite at the Morro do Vintém (Vintém Hill), in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when he found two dead men. Immediately, he made his way back home and called the police. Soon the spot was full of police officers, firefighters and journalists.

The bodies were next to each other, slightly covered by grass. They were wearing suits, and impermeable coats. There was no sign of violence to the bodies or to the surrounding area. Next to the bodies, the police found an empty bottle of water and a packet containing two towels. What really caught people's attention were the lead masks worn by the men. They were masks typically used for protection from radiation, and it is these masks that have given the case its name. To make things more complicated, the policemen found a small notebook with signs and numbers, and also a letter in which was written: "16:30 estar no local determinado. 18:30 ingerir cápsulas, após efeito proteger metais aguardar sinal máscara" (16:30 be at the agreed place. 18:30 swallow capsules, after effect protect metals wait for the mask sign).



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, stating that they intended to buy some material for use at their work. Some witnesses claimed that they were carrying Cr$ 2.300,00, but these monies were not found.

They took a bus and arrived in Niterói at 14:30. They bought the impermeable coats at a small shop and the bottle of water at a bar. The waitress who served them on the bar stated that Miguel seemed very nervous and looked at his watch frequently. From the bar, they went directly to the place where they were later found dead.

Gracinda Barbosa Cortino de Souza and her children, who live next to the hill where the men died, claimed that they had seen a UFO flying over the spot at the exact moment the detectives believed the two men must have died.

Conclusion of the Case

No obvious injuries were discovered at autopsy; however, a search for toxic substances was impossible as the internal organs of the two victims were not properly preserved.[1]

The case was mentioned prominently (among other Brazilian cases) in Jacques Vallée's book Confrontations.[2]


  1. ^ According to a 2004 TV special: Linha Direta Justiça - Máscaras de Chumbo
  2. ^ The Lead Masks Case - forgetomori

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