As part of my exploration of the world parallel to ours the diary I had found revealed, I usually followed national blogs and Internet forums about the paranormal and UFOs, in case something showed up that deserved my attention. It was one of these readings that led to this investigation.
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In all ufology forums, there was great excitement about strange lights which were appearing above the hill called Monte do Pilar, on the outskirts of Póvoa de Lanhoso. Of course, that by itself wouldn't be enough to arouse my curiosity, since reports of unidentified lights in the sky were a usual occurrence. What really made this case special were the rumors of men that blocked the road to the top of the hill during such occurrences. I immediately thought of the Organization, and if the Organization was present, something was really happening.
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Forgetting my search for the Witches of the Night for a while, a Saturday night, when the sightings usually occurred, I went to Póvoa de Lanhoso. That night, my wife was at her mother's house, who had fallen ill again, and my daughter had gone to spend the weekend with a friend, so I didn't need to make up an excuse.
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I left the car near the church built at the foot of Monte do Pilar hill, beside the road leading to the summit, to investigate the alleged roadblock. In fact, as soon as I turned the first corner, I saw two cars parked across the road blocking the way. Behind them, five men stood guard.
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Contrary to what I had assumed, they didn't seem to be from the Organization. They were armed with baseball bats, and instead of suits or military uniforms, they wore casual clothes.
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I approached them to try to understand what was happening. I was still a couple of meters from the car when one of the men shouted, "You can't pass!"
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"Why?" I asked, taking two steps forward.
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"None of your concern. Go back."
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"By what authority do you deny me passage through a public road?" I asked, trying to force them to reveal who they were.
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"Are you going to give us trouble?" said another man, putting his baseball bat across his hand.
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His companions raised their weapons.
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"Go away before you hurt yourself."
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I did so, but I wouldn't give up on that investigation so easily. I knew that hill, I had visited it several times, and knew there was an old medieval road that also climbed to the summit.
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As soon as I disappeared from the men's viewing angle, behind the corner, I climbed through the vegetation to the old road. As I had expected, it didn't seem to be watched.
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The way up wasn't easy. The pavement stones, exposed to the elements and without maintenance for centuries, were irregular, and grass grew between them. At some points, the pavement disappeared completely. Nevertheless, the final stretch was even worse.
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Monte do Pilar was crowned by a colossal rock, one of the largest in Europe, on which stood the castle of Lanhoso and a small shrine. The new road bypassed most of it and reached the top through the less steep West hillside. The old medieval road, however, led to the East entrance. I think that once a ladder connected it to the old road, however, now only a few holes dug into the bare rock helped on the way up.
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Although urban exploration had given me some experience in climbing, it was with great difficulty that I reached the entrance. It gave access to a small terrace covered with trees and stone tables located a few meters below the main sanctuary area. Fortunately, no one was there, so I could take a break to recover some energy.
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As soon as I felt able, I climbed, step by step, the stairs to the upper level and took a peek. On the rock, halfway between the small church and the castle, stood a group of about twenty people. They were gathered around what appeared to be a priest holding a large wooden cross with both hands. He recited, loudly, a song in Latin, drowning out all the other sounds of the night.
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For twenty minutes I stood there, listening to him and watching the group, but nothing remarkable happened. I started thinking that it was only some random cult, with no relation to the lights in the sky. Only the roadblock and the link between it and the lights in the ufology forums kept me there.
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Fifteen minutes later, I was glad I stayed. The group started to get excited and pointing at the sky. I followed their gaze and saw several points of light, high above the hill.
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The priest started singing even louder, and the lights began to descend. Shortly after, they looked like small suns shining on the sanctuary. Their intensity was such that, at first, I could hardly look directly at them. However, they gradually faded, until at last, I was able to see what they were.
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They were perhaps the most bizarre creatures I had ever seen. Some seemed to have human form but had six white wings similar to those of doves. They used the top ones to cover their faces, the lower ones to cover their feet and legs, and only the middle ones to fly. Others were vaguely humanoid, however, they had four heads, one of a man, one of an eagle, one of an ox and one of a lion, and four eye-covered wings. Nevertheless, and despite how strange these beings looked, the third type of creature was even stranger. They were formed by various concentric wheels with eye-covered hoops. How they flew, I can't say.
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As a teenager, I had a keen interest in mythology, and although Christian angelology was not one of my favorites, I recognized those beings as angels from the first sphere, the ones closer to God.
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Slowly, the beings flew in circles over the assembled people, while they raised their hands skyward and screamed pleas.
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After a few minutes, the angels began to fly away. Gradually, their light became weaker, until it disappeared.
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With smiles on their lips, the priest and his following began to disperse and return to their cars. What was the result of that ritual, I can't say, but at least I found out that it wasn't just demons this kind of cults invoked.
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I stayed where I was and waited for them to leave the sanctuary. Then I gave them more time to unblock the road and only then started down the hill, this time through the main route.
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As always, several questions raced through my mind on the way back home. What was the purpose of that ritual? Why would angels of the highest orders come down to earth? If angels were real, did that mean God is also real?
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Fortunately, my mind was still preoccupied with finding the Witches of the Night and find out their endgame, otherwise, if I had had time to think about the implications of that night, my world could have collapsed.
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