I once had the great pleasure of visiting Curitiba, a lovely city that is the capital of the state of Paraná in southern Brazil. The story there involved two brothers who had been temporarily paralyzed by a UFO and had heard a message.
It took a whole day of checking around after arriving from Rio de Janeiro to discover that the brothers lived not in Curitiba, as I had been told, but in Maringá, a city almost four hundred kilometers to the northwest.
A young man named Andrea Mignacco, who had once lived in Baltimore, Maryland, had signed on as my interpreter and we flew to Maringá in a small twin-engine airliner. We arrived in late afternoon, checked into a hotel and then set out to find the brothers.
We rode around in a taxi for nearly two hours before we finally located their home. By then it was dark.
One of the brothers, then fourteen, was home with an older sister. The other brother, twenty at the time, was away working in another city on a construction job. No one knew exactly where or what company he worked for. They thought he might come home on Friday, two days later, but they weren't sure.
We talked to the younger brother, but it was an unproductive interview. The boy was vague about what had happened. The sister knew the details but I couldn't use her as a source.
I could have stayed in Maringá and spent several days trying to track down the older brother, but because the whole thing seemed so unpromising, I phoned my editor back in Florida and suggested killing the story. I had a number of other stories to look into elsewhere in the country and he agreed.
Basically, the story in Maringá was that the two brothers had been walking near a relative's house in the neighborhood one night a few months earlier when a ball of light appeared in the sky near them. They were paralyzed for a while and just before the light finally disappeared, the older brother heard a voice say: "The mission has not been accomplished."
Our mission definitely had not been accomplished either (although a year later Brazilian investigator and UFO magazine publisher A.J. Gevaerd located the older brother and developed a rather excellent case). The next morning, Andrea and I flew back to Curitiba and made reservations to fly south to Florianópolis in the neighboring state of Santa Catarina to look into another case the following day.
Before we left Curitiba, however, we learned that a young electronics student whom I had intended to talk to in Pelotas, another city much farther south, was now living in Curitiba while going to school at a technical college. I had been told by a source in Rio de Janeiro that he had had a curious UFO experience while living in Pelotas in 1978. Pelotas is almost a thousand kilometers away, down near the Brazil-Uruguay border.
We located the young man in Curitiba and he agreed to talk to us that evening when he got home from school. We met him in the small room he was living in. He knew nothing about the Maringá case that we had just left and we didn’t say anything about it to him. It was purely by chance that we discovered he was in Curitiba.
His story is that late one night he was standing at the back of his father's house in Pelotas and had seen a bright light in the sky. The next thing he knew, he was waking up an hour and a half later under a tree five hundred meters from the house.
His case came to the attention of UFO investigators in Pelotas, and a dental surgeon who uses hypnosis in his practice agreed to hypnotize him in an effort to find out what had happened during that missing hour and a half. Several UFO investigators sat in on the session.
When the youth came out of hypnosis, he found everyone who'd been watching laughing. Under hypnosis, he told of finding himself aboard a UFO, where a woman occupant had seduced him.
A week later, when I went to Pelotas, I heard a tape recording of the session, and from the panting and moaning it was obvious that his experience hadn't been a disagreeable one for him.
However, when he told us his story that night in Curitiba, he refused to talk about anything that came out during the hypnosis session. He would tell us only what he consciously remembered from the night the incident occurred.
Then he said something that stunned both Andrea and me. Remember, we had just come from Maringá on an unrelated case and had heard about a brother having heard a message, something this young man in front of us knew nothing about.
Here, in the tiny bedroom he rented in a rooming house, this young man told us: "When I woke up under the tree, I heard a voice say: 'The mission has been accomplished.'"
(For a guide to pronouncing unfamiliar Brazilian names, click here.)