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Special Affairs Case File #2001-0928

Department of Special Affairs Case File #2002-0885
Declassified:17-June-2002 13:31
Date: 21 May 2002
Location(s):Patterson, NJ
Primary Agents:
        SA Christopher Mills (Executive Directorate)
        SA Jericho Aswan (Unconventional Research Directorate)
        SA Alexander Crane (Survey Directorate)
Supervising Agent:
        OCA Frank King, Atlanta Field Office
Case Status: CLOSED

Summary:Spontaneous forestation incidents in Brazilian immigrant neighborhood. Investigating agents identified demonic folkloric figure as responsible and intervened.

Case Details:
At 2215 on 16 May, Patterson, NJ police responded to a call of a drive-by shooting and single-vehicle accident in a low-income section of the city. Upon arrival, they encountered the involved vehicle trapped in a mass of foliage which apparently had spontaneously sprung from the street. Officers took all three occupants of the vehicle, all known members of the local Bloods gang, into custody on weapons charges and contacted the New Jersey Paranormal Investigation Bureau regarding the apparent unnatural plant growth.

Three more spontaneous forestation incidents occurred in the neighborhood over the next four days: at a community playground at 1645 on 17 May, in the middle of another street at 2100 on 19 May, and at a Super America gas station at 0200 on 20 May. The last incident required HAZMAT response due to roots of one of the spontaneously-appearing trees rupturing the station's underground storage tanks. No injuries were reported in any incident.

On 20 May, NJPIB informed Patterson Police Department officials that the Bureau had a two-month backlog of non-emergency cases. Patterson PD requested DSA assistance in the case, which was activated on 21 May as case #2002-0928. Special Agents Mills, Crane, and Aswan were briefed on the situation and placed on OL2 at 1100.

Preliminary research revealed that the neighborhood in question was heavily populated by Brazilian immigrants, and that a heavy local gang presence existed in the form of a chapter of Los Diablos Verdes.

The primary agents requisitioned concealable body armor. They took commercial air into New York City, arriving at 1800, and rented a vehicle at the airport. At approximately 2000, they arrived at Patterson PD headquarters, where they were briefed on the case by Sergeant David Reynolds. Sergeant Reynolds provided additional information on the neighborhood culture and gang presence.

The primary agents purchased a chainsaw and incidental equipment with discretionary funds and began a preliminary examination of the area at 2100. They noted one narcotics transaction in progress and observed at least one lookout on the roof of an apartment building nearby. After conducting their initial survey, the agents proceeded to one of the forestation sites and entered the affected area.

Once inside the area, the agents noted that it appeared to be a complete tropical rain forest biodome - several species of birds, reptiles, and insects native to the Amazon Basin were in evidence. SA Aswan took soil and plant samples for later analysis while SA Mills photographed the area and SA Crane provided security. SA Mills also contacted NOAA and requested satellite survey of the Amazon Basin to locate possible zones of missing foliage, proceeding on the theory that the spontaneous forestation was translocated rather than grown in place.

Upon exiting the forested area, the agents were accosted by several members of Los Diablos Verdes. SAs Crane and Aswan initiated dialogue with their leader, identified via local police information as Enrique Parrela. The agents provided ambiguous answers to queries regarding their identities, attempting to convince the locals that they were part of a television production crew preparing to shoot material on the spontaneous forestation phenomenon. Parrela was apparently unconvinced, but became favorably disposed toward the agents once he was assured they were not police officers. He extended an offer of "local assistance" to the agents for a nominal fee. SA Crane provided a noncommittal response and the agents departed for a hotel for the night.

At 0520 on 22 May, Patterson 911 received a call from the area regarding a "large cat attack." Diego Alvarez, 14, also identified as a Diablos Verdes member, was on foot in the area when he and his companion were attacked by what witnesses described as a jaguar. EMS and police arrived on-scene to find Alvarez unconscious, with severe lacerations in his face, chest, and left arm. Sergeant Reynolds notified the agents, and SA Aswan proceeded to the incident scene.

Upon arrival, SA Aswan recovered Alvarez' TEC-9 and three expended rounds from a nearby storm drain. He also assensed an unfamiliar paranormal presence that he described as "demonic" and "feeding on fear." During examination of the scene, SA Aswan and Sergeant Reynolds concluded that the jaguar's presence further supported SA Mills' theory of translocation. This, in turn, indicated that other organisms could have been transported - specifically, tropical diseases. Based on this theory, SA Crane contacted CDC at 0635 and requested an immediate quarantine of the area. CDC concurred and coordinated with USAMRIID to dispatch a response team with experience in tropical diseases, ETA 1100.

SA Crane contacted OCA King and requested case escalation. OCA King authorized OL4 status for the case and SA Crane's requisitions of biohazard suits, broaDir-spectrum antibiotics, and an accurized squad support weapon. DSA Atlanta dispatched the requested equipment via agency business jet.

During liaison operations, Sergeant Reynolds informed the agents that Alvarez died en route to the hospital, apparently consumed by a fast-growing fungus of unknown origin that originated in his wounds and consumed all of his soft tissue within approximately five minutes.

At 0930, the agents were assisting Patterson PD uniformed officers in establishing an outer perimeter for the quarantine when a vehicle occupied by four Diablos Verdes members ran a roadblock, disabling two police cruisers in the process. The agents engaged the vehicle with their personal weapons and blew out one of its tires, then pursued and forced the suspects off the road. They took the driver, Miguel de la Cruz, into custody, turning the other three suspects over to Patterson PD. De la Cruz was hysterical, consumed with fear of the police, another juvenile detention center term, and a figure he only identified as "El Caipora."

Subsequent interrogation of de la Cruz indicated that the older women of the neighborhood had identified El Caipora, a Brazilian boogeyman-figure, as the entity responsible for the spontaneous forestation incidents. The agents directed de la Cruz to take them to someone who could provide a more coherent explanation.

After donning their biohazard suits, the agents followed de la Cruz to the apartment of Marlui Correja, an elderly resident of the neighborhood who was familiar with the folklore of the immigrants' home area. SA Aswan identified Correja as a latent magician of indeterminate power, who was most likely unaware of her capabilities. The interview was briefly interrupted by a confrontation with Parrela and Los Diablos Verdes forces, who backed down following SA Mills' and Crane's graphic descriptions of the threat and the manner of Alvarez' death.

After initial formalities, Correja related the known folklore of El Caipora to the agents (reference Threat 2002-0928 for details). The creature was known to the older members of the community as a boogeyman figure used by mothers to scare misbehaving children, and as the protector of the forests. SAs Mills and Aswan reasoned that the creature had been summoned by the community's collective fear of the "corrupting" capacity of American culture, using Correja's latent magical capability as a focal point.

The agents proceeded to the nearest area of forestation with de la Cruz in custody. SA Aswan was attacked by the jaguar responsible for Alvarez' death, and sustained minor injuries before the animal was killed by SA Crane.

SA Mills attempted to draw El Caipora's attention by destroying the local vegetation with his chainsaw. After downing one tree, the chainsaw was jammed by rapidly-growing fungus on its air intake. SA Mills cleared the obstruction and began to drop a second tree on a path that would bring it near de la Cruz, reasoning that a perceived threat to the juvenile would draw the entity out of hiding.

SA Mills was unexpectedly attacked by El Caipora, who manifested as a large, hairy club-wielding humanoid riding a large boar. The boar proceeded to attack SA Aswan, who critically injured it with his sidearm and forced it to flee. El Caipora continued attacking SA Mills, who attempted to withdraw while disentangling himself from vines and undergrowth that had spontaneously erupted around his legs. Once presented with a clear line of fire, SA Crane engaged El Caipora with automatic fire from the team's SAW. The entity's physical manifestation was killed instantly. However, SA Crane noted that the remains were being absorbed by the forest floor. The agents removed the corpse from the area of forestation in several pieces and deposited it on the asphalt outside, where it quickly underwent advanced necrosis and disintegrated into a thick, gray ash-like substance.

Based on their observations of the local culture, the agents reported that the manifestation was largely due to the insular and xenophobic nature of the immigrant population. They recommended that New Jersey state authorities immediately initiate an outreach program to integrate the Brazilian immigrant population into the surrounding community and prevent a recurrence of this incident.