Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

The Horror: Guarapiranga case


Fellow Emps from Damn Data has commented on a MUFON talk by Butch Witkoski made available by Joe Capp regarding… Human Mutilations. The idea that evil aliens kill people around in horrid circumstances, as in the more known cattle mutilations, with “surgical incisions”.

Be sure to read Emps comments on the first cases mentioned by Witkoski:

The Todd Sees case who “wasn’t actually mutilated … There does seem to be something fishy going on (at least according to the way this is commonly described in the Ufological community) but there is little proof that it is a cover-up of a "human mutilation" case;

And the Sgt. Lovette case, which “is eye-opening but sourcing it seems tricky”.

I don’t know those two cases in detail, but “the most disturbing case”, as Witkoski classifies it in his talk, well, I kind of know it because it is the Guarapiranga case in Brazil.

This is indeed a terrible case, much more so because the photos from the corpse circulate around. The man was found in September 29, 1988, without his eyes, ears, lips, scrotum, anus nor guts. It had small perforations in the shoulders, the left calf, abdomen and feet. The case was publicized in Brazil some years later, mainly by Encarnación Garcia in the Brazilian UFO magazine around 1993.

Garcia concluded, from the photos, the autopsy report and interviewing many people, including the coroner, that the man had been mutilated by aliens. Much like Witkoski, the case was presented as a horror story, a terrible turn of events, the first and then only known case of human mutilations.

But if I’m writing about it, you may guess I probably know things weren’t exactly like that.



A couple of years later, Claudeir Covo, one of the most recognized Ufologists in Brazil, was surprised to discover that the incident didn’t happen in Guarapiranga, but in another water reservoir, Billings. There’s a problem with the initial investigation when it can’t even name the case correctly. Not only that, the initial investigation censored the reports to hide the locations and names involved. You read it right, it was censored by the original investigator.

Covo decided to find things for himself, and with the help of his wife, Paola, and fellow researcher Tânia da Cunha, discovered the whole story. The unnamed victim was Joaquim Sebastião Gonçalves. He suffered from Chagas disease and epilepsy. He used to take Gardenal (Phenobarbital) a strong sedative. He also used to drink. He was 53 years-old, and when found, had been missing for three days.

There’s no mystery in his death nor in his mutilations. He went to Jardim Recanto do Sol, São Paulo, to fish. Click the link to view the location on Google Maps, it’s not an urban area. He took his clothes off, staying only in his shorts, and put his clothes in a bag that he hid amid the bushes. No sign of violence there. Then he went to the other side of the water and started fishing.

Problem is, taking a sedative and drinking is not a good idea. It’s a terrible idea if you are alone. And it’s definitely horrible if you stay unconscious amid the animals of a water dam for approximately 24 hours. He was eaten alive by scavenging animals.

Now, this is the common skeptical explanation for cattle mutilations. And there’s indeed an autopsy report mentioning that the victim had lesions using a cutting instrument and suggests the possibility of torture. So one could doubt this skeptical scenario.

But what was not told in the original investigation was that the official inquiry didn’t end there. Dr. Edson Del-Campo was then assigned to investigate the possibility of scavenging animals. In his report, Del-Campo quotes sgt. Guedes, who recovered the body:

“Sgt. Guedes, from the Fire Brigade, who commanded the team who removed the body from the location, says that when he got there to rescue the body it was almost naked, with only shortpants and that there were around 20 (twenty) vultures over the body, recognized as scavenging birds.” [emphasis in the original report]

Del-Campo also did an experiment and left a dog’s carcass in the same location. It was attacked by vultures and rats, and in just two days there was nothing left, not even the bones. He notes in his report that the area is full of scavenging animals and insects, and that both rats and vultures are used to attack the soft tissues first.

And that was the conclusion of his report.

Covo and his team also interviewed witnesses who saw the rescuing of the body, including Antônio Gomes Filho, who lent the boat used by the firemen. All of them agreed that it was covered by vultures, and that the region is noted for scavenging animal attacks. No one mentioned flying saucers or aliens.

“We have no doubt that Mr. Joaquim Sebastião Gonçalves was killed by scavenging animals”, concludes Claudeir and his team.

His full investigation can be read in Portuguese here (Warning: graphic images of the body).

[The top image I got from P&M, and it’s not related to the Guarapiranga case – well, at least it’s not the exact same case, but I would guess it perhaps could also be explained by scavenging animals as the wounds are almost identical?]

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Posted in Aliens,Fortean | 5 comments

5 Comments so far

  1. Damn Data January 3rd, 2010 10:06 pm

    More on human mutilation…

    We have covered human mutilation before (although a link to cattle mutilation  remains unclear, as do possible causes) and looked at its influence on Whitley Strieber’s The Nye Incidents (about which I still owe you a review/overview). Now Joseph Capp…

  2. Emperor January 3rd, 2010 10:14 pm

    Excellent overview – I’ve updated my piece to point here (as I can’t currently add a comment to the blog for some reason). Hopefully, anyone bothering to do some digging will stumble across this and think twice about using it as evidence for aliens carrying out human mutilations (although I won’t hold my breath).

    In fact this whole “human mutilation” business is looking very shaky made up of a grab bag of incidents with different causes from apparently pure fantasy (or should that be science fiction?), as in the Lovette case to obvious natural causes, as we have here (and quite possibly in a lot of cattle mutilation cases too).

  3. Jim January 19th, 2010 10:52 am

    Pheww! I guess we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Not! The condition of the body does not correspond with someone who was eaten by scavenging animals. I’m not saying aliens are responsible, I’m just saying that there is no resolution to this case or the Todd Sees case. More information is necessary before any conclusions can be drawn. For instance, vultures do not explain cookie cutter incisions or that the anus was cored out. For all anybody knows the vultures could have arrived to the scene shortly before the rescuers arrived. As for the Todd Sees case, there was a UFO sighted near the location of his disappearance by four witnesses. Also, the family was not permitted to view the body so how does anyone in the public realm know he was not mutilated. Reports indicate his body was completely emaciated. Again, more research needs to be conducted before any conclusions can be drawn.

  4. Mori January 19th, 2010 2:53 pm

    Jim, read the text: besides vultures, the area is full of big rats. It’s highly implausible the scavenging animals would be around the body only moments before it was rescued and not respond in any way for the wound inflicted. The testimony of those who live there is that any animal, even those still alive, is attacked there.
    I don’t know the Todd Sees case in detail, but as for the “Guarapiranga” case, it was investigated by the police and the conclusions are clear.

  5. mike June 7th, 2010 5:15 pm

    The wounds don’t correspond with any usual carrion, as mentioned, the dog had its bones picked clean. Why would the body be completely intact minus the guts and jaw?

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