A perfectly rational Portuguese lady living alone in a remote cottage in the Algarve countryside is worried that another weird stranger may visit her on the night of the next supermoon, September 29.
During the last supermoon at the end of August, footmarks and circles appeared on a flat portion of her roof. Having considered all possibilities, she has concluded that they may have been made by some supernatural beings.
Of course this sounds utterly ridiculous, but a close look at the facts may make even sensible sceptics wonder.
Odilia Marques Fernandes, 67, is originally from Lisbon. She moved to the Algarve 26 years ago and is still working as a physiotherapist. Family and friends regard her as a remarkably happy and kind-hearted person with no odd characteristics.
Her cottage is set a little back from a quiet road, well apart from neighbours, amid beautiful natural countryside going up towards Marmelete and Monchique in the hills.
Her small kitchen-sitting-room, bedroom, bathroom and garage offer perfect tranquillity. It was while she was working in silence on her computer at 2.30 am on Thursday August 31 that she heard what sounded like footsteps on the roof.
The footsteps were on a flat section of the roof covering quite a few square metres that she had put in place above the bedroom and bathroom a year ago to stop rain coming in from leaking tiles.
As it was so late and she was tired, Odilia dismissed what sounded like footsteps as just her imagination. She went to bed and slept well.
In the morning, curiosity persuaded her to fetch a metal ladder from her garage and place it against the wall leading up to the flat part of her roof. Once up there, she was shocked to discover footprints clearly marked in the dust all over the flat surface. They seemed to have been made by two pairs of bare feet, both just a little bigger than her own, but with unusually large outer toes. Even more amazing were a number of large, perfectly circular patterns spaced among the footprints.
Odilia was not only shocked, but frightened. It was impossible that anyone could have climbed on to the roof without her knowing that night or at any other time since the flat section had been fitted. She was certain that the workmen who fitted the flat roofing a year ago had not left any marks whatsoever – and if they had they would have been washed away by the winter rains.
Without delay, she phoned the GNR police in Monchique. They showed no interest. They did not send anyone to investigate.
On the phone, Odilia shared her fears with family and friends. None, including two who have climbed up with her and taken photographs on the roof since the August supermoon, have come up with a plausible explanation.
Photos by Ana Lourenzo