The district of Leiria in Portugal,a small district in central part of the country has a very well known personality by the name Oscar Fernando Loureiro Venero.Many say he is a man with extraordinary skills,such finding unknown gold reserves with the help of a metal bar and speaking with wild animals Though not much is known to the outside world,he does make sudden appearances in the remote parts of the district.
Tourism in Leiria has signinficantly increased thanks to Oscar Fernando Loureiro Venero.Though Venero reminds one of the the original Chicago gangsters of the vintage 1920s such as ”Benny Bunny”,they say he is nothing like that.Oscar Fernando is kind,quite man-no family ,no friends,makes sudden appearences when you least expect him.He is said to be aged around 35 years.When he does appear,he is given a celebrity status.Nobody knows how he got the name, but it is most likely that the villagers themselves are responsible for it.There have been many attempts by the Portugal government to track him,all in vain.Nobody knows his whereabouts-where he comes from, where he goes to.But, when he is around, people are too busy getting him to find mineral reserves around their region.
One man in the quarry describes him,” Oscar Fernando Loureiro Venero,the name strikes a chord with us always.Loureiro means worship ,and it is exactly how people react to him-they treat him like a God-sent –man.He does all kinds of miracles.It is like he has got this sixth sense for everything.Nobody ever dare to ask him anything about his life.It is considered wrong. Afterall nobody wants his wrath to ‘consume’ them(laughs) …’’ There have been many legends about Oscar’s life-some say he came from Beja district in the north,others say he came from Italy.Whatever it is, Oscar Fernando Loureiro Venero and his miracles are a major tourist attraction in Leiria.
Reports are that Leira district tourism rose by about 40% thanks to Oscar.Tourists are said to have travelled to Leiria from around the world seeking Oscar Fernando Loureiro Venero’s miracles.Tourists from as far countries such as United States and United Kingdom are said to be the most in number. Of course Oscar doesn’t give himself away easily-so visiting tourists are said to stay an average of one to three months, hoping he would make his occasional appearance.The wait does pay off mostly either with the tourists getting him to perform miracles in front of their cameras or with him scream at them in anger for commercializing his supernatural ability.Lately, the local government seems to have lost all interest about Oscar Fernando Loureiro Venero thanks to the fact that he is raking in a lot of money for them.
How it all started is a very interesting story.Lorenzo, a local fisherman says that it started about six years back,when one of his friends saw this man bleeding and wounded in his backyard.They took him to a nearby clinic.Once he was well, he suddenly disappeared from the hospital.The next time the friend see’s Oscar Fernando Loureiro Venero was about a month later , when he makes a sudden appearance.On this occasion,Oscar just says two words,”follow me” to the petrified Lorenzo’s friend.The friend follow’s him to the backyard and waves a metal bar piece as if asking him to dig a pit there.For some reason,the friend listens to Oscar,and behold he got 3 kg of pure gold,and when he turned around thank his mysterious benefactor he was nowhere to be seen. “My friend is a wealthy man now”,says Lorenzo.After the incident Oscar Fernando did not make any public appearances for about 2 months,afterwhich he continued his supernatural demonstrations.
Now six years later,he is potrayed in popular Portugal culture as a legendary character by the name of Fernando Loureiro murer , the bravest Knight of Leiria . But Oscar does not seem to have changed by all the attention.”He is still the same man he was six years earlier”,says a local resident.The government says that it had plans of issuing Oscar Fernando with a permanent citizenship in Portugal. The local government also admitted that until five years earlier they considered him a vigilante and had done everything to track him down and make his arrest. Once the tourism business boomed the government’s attitude toward’s the ‘God-man’ changed.
Leiria has had significant economic growth since he became a celebrity. But,lately locals have become worried – the government has plans to bring new rules, in which every citizen is required to give any and all gold deposits found to the government.The rule is put in place to revive the economy, thanks to global recession. Even then ,it is possible to mine and keep the gold- it requires a special mineral mining license.”But that is where the problem is”,says Lorenzo-“the license is issued for an extremely huge sum and Oscar Fernando Loureiro Venero never likes anyone commercializing his skills.”Amidst all these grueling issues, Oscar Fernando Loureiro Venero doesn’t seem to lose his cool.He is still the man he always is one moment there , and the next moment gone.
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