On a warm June day in Russia in 2003, seven year old Sergei Kapustin went out for a walk. His mother, Svetlana, instructed him not to be long or to go far.
He didn't return. His mother raced to the local police and reported her missing son.
A search was launched for the boy, but it was made difficult by the fact that Sergei was unable to speak and his hearing was gravely impaired. Sergei also suffered from a very serious form of epilepsy. The condition was so severe, that the boy needed medication each day. Doctors had given Sergei's parents a stern warning that failure to take the medicine could well result in seizures that would cause Sergei's death.
Despite extensive searches, no sign of the boy was found. There was no evidence of a crime and no one in the area had seen him. His disappearance was a complete mystery.
Two years later, in May 2005, a city assistant noticed a boy loitering outside the building and called on the local police to investigate. When authorities arrived, they noticed a resemblance to the child that had gone missing two years before. Police took the boy to a local hospital for examination and doctors stated that he was in good health.
Sergei's parents were notified and they rushed to the hospital to see if their child had indeed surfaced after vanishing for so long. The boy recognized the pair and immediately leapt into his father's arms. His mother admitted that she felt a bit confused when she first saw him. Despite the boy's reaction, the couple felt that something was wrong.
Doctors informed the couple that their boy was in good health in general, but that there was a horrible scar on his back. It was unclear what had caused the scar. Svetlana was shocked at the site of it.
"Our Sergei did not have anything like that, someone must have mistreated him."
Doctors added that Sergei was indeed still deaf and mute, but, they added, there was no sign of epilepsy. Somehow, the boy had been cured of the condition.
The couple took the boy home and resumed their daily life. Svetlana noted in an interview that Sergei had developed a fascination with trains:
"Sergei has a thing about trains, he gets very excited every time he sees one. We have to watch him when he's outside because he has tried to run away."
For her part, Svetlana has speculated that the boy was abducted by criminals who made him beg for money. She can not however, explain his miraculous cure.
Some people in the village of Yessentuki where the incident occurred have their own opinion. They believe that the boy was abducted, and cured, by aliens.
They point to sightings of strange, multi-colored lights that shimmered in the night sky and illuminated the town on the very day that Sergei vanished.
One of the family's neighbors stated that he believed the boy was carried to another world for study and that extraterrestrials cured the brain disorder before returning him to his home town.
To date, there is no record of the boy ever discussing his experience during the missing two years.