Strangers in the Night

An inexplicable event occurred during a rare supermoon in a remote part of the Algarve between Marmelete and Monchique. The discovery by Odilia Marques Fernandes was so strange that it would rival the plot of an X-files episode. 

WORDS Len Port

The August supermoon was rare as it looked enormous: it was at the closest point the moon ever gets in its orbit around planet Earth.

Odilia, aged 67, is originally from Lisbon. She moved to the Algarve 26 years ago and works as a physiotherapist. Family and friends regard her as a stable, happy and sensible person with a sound mind and no odd characteristics.

Her cottage home is set well apart from neighbours, a little back from a quiet, minor road amid beautiful natural countryside. Her small kitchen/sitting room, bedroom, bathroom and garage offer her perfect tranquillity. 

While she was working in silence on her computer at 2.30 am on 31 August, Odilia heard what sounded like footsteps on the roof. As it was so late and she was tired, Odilia dismissed it 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. Once on the flat section of roof above her bedroom and bathroom, she was shocked to find footprints clearly marked in the dust all over the surface. They seemed to have been made by two pairs of bare feet, neither much bigger than her own. Even more striking were several large, perfectly circular patterns spaced among the footprints. 

Odilia was not only shocked but frightened. She considered it impossible that anyone could have climbed onto the roof without her knowing or at any other time since the flat section had been installed. She was certain that the workmen who had fitted the roofing a year earlier to stop rain coming in from leaking tiles had not left any marks – and even if they had, their footprints 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, she said. 

Odilia shared her fears with family and friends. Two of them later climbed up with her and took photographs on the roof and have not come up with a plausible explanation. Odilia and others have speculated that supernatural or extra-terrestrial visitors might have made the marks. A close look at the facts may make even strong-minded sceptics wonder.

Naturally, Odilia was greatly worried about the next supermoon, the so-called Harvest Moon, at the end of September. Feeling extremely anxious, she bravely stayed up on her own into the early hours of the morning, climbed onto the roof after daylight and was hugely relieved not to have experienced any new visitations. 

Astrologers consider Blue Moons to bring a heightened sense of awareness and intuition. They believe it to be a time of increased emotional energy, healing, meditation and spirituality. But nothing can explain who or what made the strange marks on the roof on the night of a unique lunar event.

Can you think of an explanation for this strange occurrence? If so, we would love to hear from you. Or if you have your own strange event to report, email

Did you know…

August 2023 was very unusual as it had three ‘lunations’. On 1 August, there was a full supermoon, then on the 16th, there was a new moon and on the 31st, there was another full supermoon. 

The next supermoon as close to the Earth as the one in August 2023 will only occur in May 2026. There will not be two Blue Moons in the same year until 2037. 


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