Thursday, August 2, 2007

The end.

Looking back on the years spent working with such brilliant people on such an ambitious task, it's hard to believe it ended the way it did. Despite my success, despite the love of my family, despite taking the loss of such a personal project in stride, despite the sympathy of friends, I am afraid.

I am not afraid of my former employers coming after me. Even in this journal I detail nothing that can be confirmed or traced back to them. It would be a waste to "hunt me down" or take legal action and would only serve to validate my claims.

I do not fear death. I do not fear pain.

What I do fear is the accumulation of the things I still do not know. I fear the significance of this project and the hallucinations that follow me. I fear paranoia itself. I fear the idea of no one else ever seeing this video. This is simply a burden I do not want to carry on my own. I want others to analyze this and ask themselves questions. I want others to perhaps figure out the riddle of the figure who stands so defiantly in the subconscious. If this question is ignored or unanswered, everything will be for waste.

I appreciate having glimpsed something like this. Many of my life's ambitions have been filled as a result of my work on the project. I can tolerate the hallucinations and the fear. I just want others to see this and to think.

I am leaving now, though I may be back from time to time. I am trying to move on with my life right now. I have a feeling the years ahead of me will be quiet, strange, and sad. This is one price I have to pay.

It was still worth it.

13 comments:

almijisti said...

RF:

I'm fascinated by your group's experiments; I'd like to know what, if anything, you knew about the test subject besides what was written here? It may be that he had something to hide that may explain the entity's curious behaviour, in addition to the hypothetical defense mechanism.

R.F. said...

While I did not speak much with the man himself, I know that he had married, divorced, married again, and had one child with each wife.

He was a religious man (protestant, I'm sure) and a self-described introvert. He had rather common interests, and I believe he was a hobbyist in carpentry, though I can't say so with complete confidence.

Asked to list any traumas from his past that could have had a severe impact on him mentally, he listed the murder of his father by what I think was his uncle and the disappearance of a high school friend.

Medical history included a broken limb (leg, I believe) and concussion stemming from two separate, typical childhood accidents. I may be confusing him with another candidate on this next one, but I think he may also currently suffer from diabetes.

That's about all I can remember.

Chronus Valtiel said...

Good evening, R.F.
I must say, I, also am facinated with your discoveries and greatly sympathize and understand your need to be heard.
I was wondering if you may describe the sounds you heard in the video.
Thank you for your time.
-Chronus Valtiel

almijisti said...

Thank you, RF. Weren't you concerned that the patient's history could have permanently affected his subconscious? I would think there could be terrific impact if, for instance, he had witnessed what he believed was the murder of his own father.

Also, have you had any contact with the subject since then, to see if he's also been experiencing anything strange? Have you ruled out the possibility of a diabetes related, petit mal seizure during the experiment?

R.F. said...

CV:

As mentioned earlier, the audio was much more incomprehensible than the video. It was a strange amalgamation of different pitches, whines, and, this is just something that stood out to me, a faint, continuous hiss. To best describe the hiss, I'd say it was very much like a large amount of steam coming out of a machine. I'll admit that the audio was the part I was least interested in - something that I feel some regret for.

I think I was so perplexed by the imagery, I made the sound secondary. I really do wish I had examined it better, though I'm sure I wouldn't have made much progress with it before the cancellation no matter how genuinely interested in it I was. Fortunately, there were plenty of others who did focus on and attempt to decipher it. One colleague of mine would peruse the audio database and keep the audio on repeat in his headphones for hours, hoping to match it up with something.

He believed he got a particularly loud whine in the middle matched up with a bell, but, listening to it, I couldn't connect them myself. Even if he was correct, what do we get from a bell?

A post-experiment interview with the subject was met with frustration as he briefly attempted to remember any significant experience involving a bell from his past.

Also, when the video glitches at the end, there was a sort of thud sound that overpowered the rest of the audio and just repeated itself over and over. It's important to remember that this was more than likely a result of the reading process jamming as the subject woke up, though a small team did look into it (the same was done with the video portion of the glitch).

almijisti:

We were very concerned with both of the traumatic experiences he had gone through. Personally, I found the disappearance of his school chum slightly more worrisome than his father's death. He did not witness his father's death himself, but he did hear a very detailed explanation of the incident from a family member who witnessed it happen. Still, with his father's death and the successful conviction of his uncle, there was closure. In time, he even forgave his father's murderer.

The story of his friend was very different. He disappeared one night while visiting relatives in what I believe was Chicago. Authorities could only come up with the typical scenarios they imagined him having fallen into.

I don't think the quiet terror of losing a friend to such horrendously vague circumstances ever left him. He admitted to having had an active part in the search for him and that he had been obsessed with the case until settling down with his first wife. After their divorce, he considered restarting the search but just "never got around to it". I think he decided not to pursue it for a number of perfectly rational reasons, but I also believe that, in a way not dissimilar to survivor guilt, he felt remorse for not putting his life on hold for someone who was more than likely deceased.

It was my belief that something like this would gnaw on his subconscious more than even the murder of his father, but there were and still are some who disagree.

Getting back to your original question, we analyzed three integral things about these people: their mental health, their sleep patterns, and, to a lesser extent, their physical state of being. We did as much as we possibly could to ensure he was "normal" in the necessary ways, and it was determined that he would make a more than acceptable subject. Yes, he had remorse, bad memories, quirks, etc., but it was never something we saw as being potentially overwhelming. We may have been wrong.

Sadly, we'll more than likely never know. A second subject was going to be tested in early 2007, but that obviously never came to fruition.

I do not keep in contact with him myself, but a friend speaks to him from time to time. He experienced some night terrors after the experiment and claimed he could temporarily see a face when he closed his eyes for too long, but he has never reported seeing or hearing any real hallucinations.

We were never able to determine why he woke up, as he was very groggy because of the sedative. It was not a result of some medical issue.

One of the first things he mentioned after remembering where he was and what was going on was that he had a dream, but by the time he was able to speak for long amounts of time with any sort of coherence, he had forgotten most of it. He mentioned being in a car and seeing a poster for a movie out the window. That's about it.

Yes, he seemed to be a relatively average man, but I will confess that I sometimes believe there's a chance that what we saw was unique to him. Such a question is one of many that haunt me.

R.F. said...

It should also be noted that the dream he supposedly experienced made no sense to any of us working on the project for various reasons.

It was pretty much determined that his "dream" was simply something he pulled out of his hat after sensing mild hostility and being drugged.

Such an admission is less reliable than a confession given under hypnosis. Still, it's all we have to go on, so I felt it should be mentioned.

almijisti said...

Do you have more details of the subject's dream? Was the movie poster for an actual film, or did he describe it at all?

I find it odd that the subject's own dream-state would be entirely unrelated to the image of his subconscious at the same time.

Are you suggesting that one's dream-state is not itself the subconscious mind at work? Couldn't the subconscious "entity" we see have been "witnessing" what the subject himself experienced in his dream? Unless, of course, one subscribes to the theory that people don't remember dreams at all, but that their recollection is actually only created at the moment of waking. I don't think so, however, as there have been numerous experiments done with lucid dreaming that imply that dreams (at least lucid dreams) do, in fact, occur during the sleep state. For example, persons trained to do specific tasks during lucid dream states (e.g., actively dream of sweeping a floor) have EEG readings during those dreams that match readings taken while the subjects were performing the same tasks during a waking state (e.g., actually sweeping a room).

This, of course, leads to the obvious question along these lines: did the subject ever recall having a lucid dream? If the subject were having a lucid dream during the experiment, could your proximity to him (combined with the possible EM field) have projected some waking-state lucid dream (I know this sounds odd) onto you and your colleagues? Pure speculations, of course, but we don't have much to go on.

Still, at the least, I think any details about the subject's dream might be illuminating.

almijisti said...

Sorry to double-post, but I meant to ask whether you know the name of the missing friend or any details about that incident (e.g., what city, what year, etc.).

Thank you also for your patience with all our questions.

R.F. said...

In response to your first post:

The details about his dream just didn't make sense to us. He claimed right after the incident that the figure in the poster was eating a large sandwich and looked like Curly from the Three Stooges. In the post-experiment interview the next day, he told us what he saw was Curly from the Three Stooges getting hit in the face with a pie. He was always vague about the dream, and I really believe he just sort of made it up as soon he was capable because he thought a false explanation for his awakening would be better than no explanation or, if there is one, the truth.

The second part of your post was one of the things that really made us view his claims with suspicion. Granted, no one can say with complete certainty that the subconscious works in a way where everything it produces is potentially visible on one screen, but we believed we should have at least caught vague glimpses of some imagery that would allude to the dream he claims was going on.

Like I said though, nothing's certain.

I have heard of the theories of dreams being instantly produced while the mind is waking, but, as the reasons you give imply, that theory is not taken very seriously by most scientists. An uncountable amount of time and research has been invested into studying sleep, and it's wise for you to put the beliefs of the people who've spent much of their lives examining the REM phase of sleep (there are even people who study this exclusively) over the beliefs of people who just like to come up with "trippy" theories in the hopes of stumbling upon some groundbreaking revelation.

If he had a lucid dream, he did not tell us about it. Of course, we have considered the possibility that his mind became perfectly aware of what was going on towards the end, and, much like a beginner attempting to lucid dream, the excitement and surprise of the sudden realization was enough to wake him up.

In response to your second post:

I remember his friend's first name because it was sort of unusual, and he used it a lot: Dermot. His last name was pretty average and forgettable. Trying to remember it as hard as humanly possible, I believe it may have begun with C or K. The boy was either living with or visiting family in another town or city. I know it was somewhere in Illinois, and I want to say it was Chicago, but that may only be because Chicago is just one of those places that leaps to mind when you think about that state.

As for a date... I'd say anywhere between 1970 and 1975.

Chronus Valtiel said...

Thank you for this information, R.F., but I do have a question, just to make sure.

Was the kidnapped person's name Dermot Faulkner Kelly?

R.F. said...

Perhaps. The similarities are there and are rather unnerving.

However, I was in the shower this morning, and my mind sort of wandered to the project. For a split second, I was certain the boy's name had been Dermot Clark or Dermot Clarkson. Something like that. I've looked up the boy you mention (as my first sentence suggests), and I'll say there are both confirmations and contradictions to my memory of what the subject talked about.

First off, there's the difference in that boy's name and the name I remembered this morning. Secondly, I could've sworn the city the disappearance occurred in was Chicago. Lastly, I got the impression that the boy went missing sometime before their high school graduation. While this boy is high school age, he was only sixteen and would have been too young to be a senior (unless he skipped a year previously). That last bit is sort of shaky, as it relies on my own intuition rather than what was outright said, but I think it makes compelling evidence nonetheless.

Of course, it's clear from some of my other posts that my memory may not be entirely reliable.

This may speak poorly of my own character, but I was only interested in the personal details of the subject's life and traumas up to a point - that point being "will this have a negative effect on the experiment?" Once the answer was deemed to be a likely "no", I guess I sort of stopped caring.

I must ask though, why did you want to know the name? I know as little as everyone else - do you believe you know something about the missing person?

Chronus Valtiel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chronus Valtiel said...

We're just trying to find some kind of clue in what may have caused the subject's dream, subconsciously. The kidnapped person's name, for example, could lead us to facts on the case that you haven't gathered that could, in turn, lead us to what, exactly, the subject experienced during the disappearance.
Thank you for your patience and information thus far, R.F.