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Laughing One /Oxadrenals
Do you think there’s really someone who knows about Immortals and who feels OK making fun of them? It’s kind of hard to believe. – Flyss
Oh my did the message from “Ox Adrenals“ make me laugh! I know it might not be real (personally, I think Stephen posted the image for Glenn to find), but I love the idea that there’s someone who knows about True Immortals and finds them funny!
I think he/she deserves a category. How about “Laughing One?” — Kate
I’d love to take credit for that, but actually it wasn’t me. If Glenn wasn’t such a serious guy, I’d think this was his joke.
This is really very disturbing. – Stephen
I summarized some of the story a while back in this post. But there are other parts I left out, and that have been left out of this blog for a while.
For one, consider that that whole episode of the dish Flyss found while trailing the Bounty Hunter. He traveled 300 miles to park nearby it for only an hour. When she parked in the same area (after he’d gone) she was warned off in a bizarre way: She heard sounds of helicopters approaching, and naturally thought of black helicopters. But when she got out of the car to look, it turned out they were coming from two boom boxes. It’s so strange a joke that we recognize the signature of the person we call the Laughing One, a person who knows about immortals and mocks them. It’s still a warning. Encrypted in the MP3 files, and also written on a piece of paper, he left messages telling her in no uncertain terms to stay away.
Of note, the dish isn’t visible on Google Earth, nor are a series of chemical factories in the area, including this one. It seems that Flyss was supposed to stay out of the whole area, but she took things literally, and only avoided the area of the dish. No one stopped her exploring anywhere else, and near that factory she came across a complex series of freeway overpasses in the middle of nowhere, with a tunnel beneath them. This was the place where her camera sighted the non-mortal Stephen verified. I’ve discussed that already. But I’m wondering about now is why she was warned off from the Dish but not from the rest of the secret area. And why was the Bounty Hunter snooping around all those places? (To be precise, in the case of the tunnel, all we know is that he’d placed a GPS tracker in the car of someone who later led Flyss to the tunnel.)
So much for background. My thoughts on all this in the next post.
(Continuing my last post.) So much for background. Here are the questions: Whose side is the Laughing One on? I have the same question about the Bounty Hunter. There’s obviously some connection between them, though whether they’re enemies, allies or acquaintances don’t know.
My guess is that there are several groups of Immortals, as well as various mortals besides us who are interested in them. (See, for example, this external post.) It also dawns on me that there may be no easy way for one non-mortal to recognize another. They may need to track each other down the same way we’re doing.
Much to think about. — Glenn
The Laughing One” is obviously no friend of Antipollus, considering the message he left in that third photo. Just as certainly, “The Servant” works for the blue&blacks, and is accepted as a messenger at those various facilities in the “off the map” area. However, the Bounty Hunter put a GPS tracker in The Servant’s car. Considering the first photo message, the blue&blacks follow the instructions of Antipollus. [Editor's note: We now know that they are actually servants of Soraya, and that Soraya works closely with Antipollus/Alexandros.] Hence, it is reasonable to guess that the Bounty Hunter is a servant of Laughing One, and that there is antagonism between the Laughing One/BH and Antipollus/Blue&black/Servant axis.
As far as a possible migration goes, I’m looking for direct evidence of that. Of course, part of the value of being off the map would have been to allow such a migration to occur in secret. Where would they have gone? — Glenn
More technically, he (or she) is someone with access to all the information Laughing One has sent us. But, since we know him in no other way than via that information, it amounts to the same thing. The implications are far reaching, and include the very real risk that Antipollus (not his real name) and others will also contact us. We have recently increased our security, and are believe that we are not traceable, but if so we wish to reiterate: We have no intention of exposing personally identifiable information about any of you. – Stephen
[Addendum for our readers: A full recap of what we know about the person we call Laughing One can be found here.]
Having recently been contacted by Laughing One, I will recap his history. But it’s rather long and complex, and will take some time to assemble. The link in the first sentence of this post, however, will take you to the relevant posts (though in reverse chronological order.) — Glenn
[NOTE: The post initially went up without the link in the first sentence. Sorry!]
Welcome, “Oxadrenals!” — Kate
P.S. Also, not only is “oxadrenals” an anagram of the real name we are miswriting as Antipollus, people take extract of ox adrenal glands as a natural supplement to live longer. This is really very, very clever!
Totally out of the blue, the mysterious person we’ve nicknamed “Laughing One” got in contact with us. Kate has already highlighted a few posts that illustrate his sense of humor. This is a full recap of our history with him.
I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but the story is a bit complicated. I have to begin by backing up a ways. In late 2009, I had discovered a message hidden in the bitmap of a publicly available archival photo of Abraham Lincoln, stating: “3rd of the blue&black, meet at 0303etc. Antipollus.” This message was the beginning of our entire process of discovery, leading the discovery of what now appears to be a group of Immortals and their servants who call themselves “the blue&blacks.” This is a formidable secret society that takes itself very seriously, has considerable forces at its disposal, and may have historically played some of the roles incorrectly attributed by conspiracy theorists to the Illuminati.
Therefore, when we later found another message in a photo that parodies that one, we were astounded. It seemed impossible that someone could know of these hidden immortals, and yet mock them. Here is the text: “Firth of the Fist: meet at Froth of the Foot. Ox Adrenals.” Having considerable experience with anagrams, I immediately recognized “Ox Adrenals” as an anagram of the actual name we have been deliberately miswriting as “Antipollus,” and the remainder is clearly a joke. At first, we thought perhaps it was a joke one of us was playing on the the other, as we could not imagine anyone taking such an attitude toward this subject. But the message turned out to be real.
Based on what she saw as a remarkable sense of humor, Kate nicknamed the author of this message, “Laughing One.”
Glenn, gotta love the honesty, but you don’t have to be quite so melodramatic. Yes, I know you have diabetes, but people do live with that. You’re not that old, not that sick, and your diabetes isn’t all that brittle. I took you to the ER once, remember? And they took me aside and asked me whether my uncle was always such a hypochondriac?
But I do now that even though it’s bullshit that you’re dying, it’s not bullshit that you’re afraid of dying, like most everyone is after 40. And so I’ll end this part of my post by saying that I love you a lot and you’re not going anywhere. OK?
On a more cheerful note, I’ve been whaling away at Oxadrenals with all my journalistic whales, or wiles, or whatever (and some other wiles besides) but getting nowhere. All he’s doing is giving me cryptic clues. So, Kate, would you give it a try? Maybe I’m too young for him. You know — that old order-of-magnitude-age thing? You got his sense of humor right from the start, even when you thought he didn’t really exist and the message we’d found was only Stephen playing a joke on Glenn, and what’s more charming to a guy then when you laugh at his jokes? Especially when you really do find them funny.
Or whatever works. Sick of cryptic clues. Must have interview. – Flyss
As I’ve discussed before, we do expect to be discovered at some point. But now would seem too soon. Nonetheless, I believe that it is purely fortunate that the Hafeem we call Laughing One has found us. He has proven by his actions that when he wishes us not to do certain things, he indicates this with his own brand of peculiar humor rather than by engaging in acts of violence. He is a person we can work with. He has already helped us a great deal by providing us with the encrypted information we have derived so much knowledge from. We hope in future to be able to provide him some services in return for his generosity.
However, from what he tells us, there are groups of True Immortals whose intent is far from benign and whose methods are, to use his words, “not exactly Gandhian.” Not that they are in any sense evil, he says. In fact, the most powerful of these groups (that he knows about) has purely positive intentions. But these self-described Illuminati subscribe to a utilitarian policy of the greatest good for the greatest number, and are therefore willing to sacrifice the few for the many, if they deem it appropriate.
I am in no hurry to meet such people. For this reason, the names of all Immortals on this site have been changed. – Stephen
I become bespelled.
This is seduction!
Vampires are said to have / the power to glamour mortals
To weave illusions that seduce /but only because we consent to lose ourselves.
Because we want to lose ourselves / in their glamor.
A book / a movie / the television’s glow,
The selling smile of celebrities / the gifted kiss of pianists and geniuses,
Those distilleries of romance / that careen us into Camelot.
I want to remember / that my mortal life
is no less transcendent for ending.
But how hard it is now to cling to that remembrance. — Kate
As some of you may have noticed, we’ve been having an active to-and-fro with Oxadrenals, but since his side of the conversation has been in the “comments” section, many of you may have found this hard to follow. For this reason, beginning today we have given him the ability to contribute posts directly to the site. Note that, though he claims to be a non-mortal, we really have no evidence whatever that this is the case. However, he certainly knows a great deal about them. Welcome Oxadrenals! — Stephen
Just how long have you lived, exactly?
Or approximately, for that matter. — Stephen
I may have rushed to believe / without dissent
that he lives for centuries
When for all I know / he may be as mortal as my hamster
Or age more quickly than those sworn President.
But now that upon our blog / Oxadrenals words do blow
Even Stephen’s acting silly/ and old grim Glenn is playing along.
What else but life abundant / oh what else but life abundant
Can that be called? – Kate
Stattera and I were waiting in Manhattan, waiting for him to call and tell me to show up at Grand Central station, it being so grand and all. But it’s also too obvious, obviously, so I thought he’d pick a smaller station.So I was surprised when Grand Central station it was. But when we got there, he didn’t show. And didn’t show.
And then he called again, and this time the location was a station in Brooklyn. It’s not a famous terminal, but it’s huge, with lines going everywhere.We had to rush to get there with my camera and big zoom lens, and just barely made it in the time he specified. Once we were there, he called again and told me where to stand. Again, I got in place with seconds to spare. A long wait again. Then he called once more to tell me exactly where he would step off a certain train, and that he would be wearing a purple top hat. I had just focused the camera when I saw the man in the top hat step out.
I was more than a hundred feet away, but with Strattera’s help fending off the people rushing by, I stabilized the camera on my tripod, zoomed the lens, and caught him.
He wore a theatrical handlebar mustache and goatee, but he pulled them off as I watched, and removed the hat to look at me full in the face, posing there on the platform, his hands folded in front of him, a small smile on his face, like someone who likes to be photographed because he knows he’s photogenic (which he is. Damn is he ever!) I had fifteen seconds to do it, and then he stepped onto another train jam packed with people and disappeared.
I could have tried to follow him, I suppose, but even if we’d had agents in place all over that terminal I doubt we’d have succeeded in that press of people, especially since no doubt he’d soon put one another set of disguises anyway. Anyway, we had no agents, and we wouldn’t have done it anyway. Oxadrenals is a gentleman, and someone (no matter how much we might twit him) we regard with great respect and even affection.
Instead, we left to email the photo to Glenn and Stephen. They’re running various tests to compare the photos.
Let them. I used my eyes, and I know its the same person. He looks to be in his late twenties or early thirties. Just as he did in a portrait photo taken (according to the museum) in 1881. — Flyss
Identity confirmed. All biometric examinations indicate that the man Flyss just now photographed at a Brooklyn train station is the same as the man in the portrait photograph taken in 1881.
It’s possible that the photograph is fake. But it became part of the museum’s collection in 1911, and even if it were taken just prior to 1911, that presents us with sufficient interval to document that the subject does not age like any normal person.
Another possibility is that the museum is part of a complex fraud, or that Oxadrenals somehow managed to covertly insert or replace a photo. But based on the chain of documentation present, which includes detailed notations on the collection, as well as the august reputation of the museum and the analysis of the portrait photograph by an expert we commissioned, we do believe that these alternate explanations are unlikely.
Finally, it appears that this individual appears like someone in his late twenties or early thirties. Thus, I am willing to commit myself to the assertion that we have found another immortal, this one by his own claim, and a bit of evidence, a Hafeem, rather than a True Immortal. – Stephen
P.S. If you wonder why we haven’t shown his photo, see this post.
Continued from my last post.
I’d mentioned how Zeke’s behavior, while amusing, also had a dark, violent edge. But Zeke is obviously meant to be the same person as Howard of Narrative 2 –The Hafeem Saul. And in that narrative, Howard admits to being identical to Alexi, the man who came close to mugging Saul in Moscow in installment 3 of that narrative.
In other words, Howard/Alexi/Zeke have a distinctly weird and frightening side. But think about his:
Description of Oxadrenals: “He wore a theatrical handlebar mustache and a goatee…” (from our sighting of him.)
And, of course, there are other connections, obvious to those who have been reading the narrative.
If Howard = Alexi = Zeke also equals Oxadrenals, and we know that Alexi and Zeke have a real dark side, then maybe our friend Ox isn’t quite so cuddly and innocent as we’ve all been thinking. And, if so, than what if his “arch-enemies” the Immortal Illuminati aren’t so dark as he’s led us to believe?
It’s worth thinking about, anyway. — Flyss
(For new readers: All of the narratives cited here are accessible, and arranged chronologically, here.)
I agree with Flyss that Oxadrenals is Howard/Alexi/Zeke. I suspect further that, in fact, he is the the mysterious Baehl as well. But I don’t find anything in the material we’ve read to make me doubt his essential trustworthiness. I think, Flyss, that your Illuminati “handler” may be influencing you without you noticing it.
They want us to doubt Oxadrenals. And the timing is suspicious: a moment when our friend can’t defend himself. –Stephen
It’s not exactly that I doubt his trustworthiness. I’ve been trying to put my finger on what I’m actually feeling. It’s tricky. But it goes something like this:
Oxadrenals says that the problem with the Immortal Illuminati is not they’re evil. In fact, they mean to do good for the world. But the problem with them (according to Ox) is that they think they know what’s good for the world. So if the Illuminati shut down the Immortality Project, it will be to “protect us from ourselves.” They’re willing to make decisions — even big decisions — for other people. And that’s what Ox doesn’t like about them. He thinks it’s dangerous to be so sure about what’s right. What if they consciously have good intentions but unconsciously do things for their own benefit? After all, that’s rather typical.
But … doesn’t Ox himself take on a lot of responsibility on behalf of other people? Think about it: He has his guys kidnap people for their own benefit. Also, he’s sicced the Bounty Hunter (the real one — Richard Menniss) on people. Supposedly, he was going to have me and Strattera observe Menniss to stop him from going overboard. Actually, that turned out to be just a way of keeping us away from the Immortality Project, but Ox obviously got the idea from something that had already happened: nine months earlier, Menniss had already gone overboard (cutting off Blair’s ear.) Clearly, Menniss is slightly deranged, and, given that, was it exactly responsible of Oxadrenals to get him going?
And some of Ox’s “jokes” (like, recently, what “Zeke” did with Janice in installment 7 of The Mortal Janice) are kind of deranged themselves.
So, what if the reason Oxadrenals’ vilifies the Immortal Illuminati is that he isn’t the world’s most responsible person and they keep stepping in as the “adults” on the scene? Naturally, he’d resent them. But his opinion wouldn’t really be trustworthy, either. — Flyss
P.S. I want to credit some of our readers, especially “C” and “Observer”, for noticing some of these issues a while ago.
I agree there are some concerning aspects of Oxadrenals behavior, especially regarding the use of a man like Richard Menniss, but I think it is only right to wait until he has a chance to respond. Currently, he is embattled below ground, while the group he warned us against whispers in our ears. He had predicted that the Immortal Illuminati would hold it against us that we’d befriended him, but it seems their approach is more subtle: they are trying to turn us against, or perhaps even use us against him. I hold that we should not let them. — Stephen
One point to consider is that all the damning information we have about Oxadrenals comes from Oxadrenals. However, this does not necessarily excuse him — it may be a form of deliberate confession intended to neutralize our judgment and/or expunge his guilt. Still, I agree with Stephen that we need to hear his side.
I wonder why he hasn’t responded yet to our requests for an explanation. I understand that he’s under stress, but as I understand it he isn’t literally under attack. — Kate