August 17, 1966
Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Electrical technicians Miguel José Viana and Manoel Pereira da Cruz die under mysterious circumstances
Viana and Cruz were last seen on August 17 by a bar waitress who later stated Viana appeared nervous and often glanced at his watch. Their bodies were found on August 20, dressed in matching formal suits, raincoats, and pieces of lead sheets cut into the shape of sunglasses. When police investigated the scene, they discovered a note reading: “16:30 estar no local determinado. 18:30 ingerir cápsulas, após efeito proteger metais aguardar sinal mascara” (16:30 be at the specified location. 18:30 ingest capsules, after the effect protect metals await signal mask). Both men were found on their backs in a relaxed position. Near their bodies was a water bottle.
The coroner at the time was overrun with a heavy workload and did not run a toxicology report on the men. Because the scene and bodies showed no signs of a struggle or other foul play, the police did not press the coroner to perform the reports. The men’s exact cause of death has never been determined.
As with many unusual and mysterious deaths, a wide range of theories have circulated attempting to explain the motivation behind the apparent double suicide. The most popular suggests the men were part of a “scientific spiritualist” community, those who seek to prove the existence of paranormal entities or activities such as spirits or extraterrestrials, through scientific means. This theory postulates the men accidentally overdosed on psychotropic or psychedelic drugs in an effort to communicate with other beings.
Officially, the case remains unsolved.
The lead “masks” the men wore
The discovery of the men’s bodies
The cryptic note left behind