Proving Immortality

Wednesday, January 19th, 2000

YOU ARE CURRENTLY SEEING BLOG POSTS IN PROPER CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. While in this mode, the links at the bottom and top of each page are not correctly labeled. However, the left pointing arrow always advances forward in time, and the right pointing arrow retreats.

The same two people

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

A little history before I get to the blockbuster of Flyss’s post.

Just over a year ago, I saw two people meet on Antietam National Battlefield. One of them I recognized from photos in the crowd at the Kennedy assassination.  In the intervening 45 years, he hadn’t aged at all. That was our first discovery, the one that got this all started.

But I didn’t get a photograph of them. In order to get evidence that would hold up, Flyss and I undertook a long search, described in the fixed page titled the “First Proof.”  Eventually, we found incontrovertible proof of a another person who doesn’t age. We followed his trail from 1963 to 1995, with photos enough to prove matters even to a skeptic like Stephen. But then we lost track of him again.

Kate, however, hypothesized that there might be other people tracking him. Sure enough, we discovered that a former CIA agent we’ve nicknamed the Bounty Hunter was on his trail. It proved much easier to track him than track the Aussie himself.

The BH led Flyss on an interesting chase. I won’t recount all the details here, except to mention that he apparently kidnapped an old man who was living underground way out in the country. This led us to the notion of Hafeems (people who age, just very slowly), but lost us our GPS tracker in the BH’s car.

The BH, however, had placed a GPS tracker in someone else’s car.  Flyss managed to discover that car, and plant her own tracker, which led her to another, very different underground tunnel. Quite sensibly, she didn’t stick around to study the place.  But she inserted a remote camera. And, a few days later, it transmitted this photo of two people meeting near the mouth of the tunnel (and quite out in the middle of nowhere.)

It’s the same two people I saw at Antietam, after I read a message written by Antipollus and addressed to ” 3rd of the blue&black.“  One, at least, has to be at least in his seventies, considering his age back at the Kennedy assassination. But he looks like a young man of 25. The woman on both occasions wore a black dress with blue trim. — Glenn

OK, OK

Friday, June 11th, 2010

OK, OK! I give.

As someone pointed out somewhere along the line, though, it’s not easy to prove you’re a Hafeem. (It’s easier to prove you’re a True Immortal. But that’s a different story. I’m not one of them.)

We spend a lot of energy not getting ourselves photographed in the newspaper or staying friends with police sketch artists for fifty years. And you can only plant so many things in museum collections or the like, for the occasional case where you need to prove yourself to someone in order to get a simple answer to a simple question. But I may be able to do something … (sound of me scratching my head)

It would be simpler just to let Flyss interview me. Wouldn’t do her a bit of good, but would you settle for that?  Let me know.

(thread continued in this post)

Tricky to prove one’s age

Friday, June 11th, 2010

I’m a little hurt. You’ll accept reason over the sheer joy of meeting me in person?

Ah, well, life is cruel.

So you want me to prove I’ve reached the drinking age in Shangri-La (which, when I last checked, was 180 years.)

Like I mentioned, it isn’t easy.

It’s easier for Hafeems to prove this to each other than for us to prove it to youse guys. Hafeems can reminisce together over unknown details of a city we both lived in a century ago, or use turns of phrase popular in the summer of 1794, or tell of scandals or of people forgotten by history (or never remembered in the first place.)

But even then it’s tricky because of people I call “hangers-on,”  mortals who’ve discovered the existence of a non-mortal and want to get close to them to steal their secret (even though there’s no secret to steal.) They’re often implacable, ferocious folk, who’ll do anything. So, someone who says he’s a Hafeem might actually have learned what they know from some other poor Hafeem they’ve caught. They might be unsure that you’re a Hafeem, and try to pass themselves off as one in order to get you to admit it to them. It’s stressful. Poor me. (continued in the next post)

Blushing furiously

Friday, June 11th, 2010

As I was saying: These “hangers-on” are a real problem. (Interesting fact: Kate intuited their existence all on her own. And about my very own Bounty Hunter. Need to meditate on that.)

So, we Hafeems are often reluctant to prove that we are Hafeems. And we’re very reluctant  to meet anyone in person. Which is why I was very glad Flyss chose this option and not the other. (You’re all gentlefolk, right, and won’t go back on an agreement?) If she’d decided to see me, I would have had to get someone I trust a lot more than the guy you call the Bounty Hunter to blindfold her, switch cars eighteen times, etc., and bring her to me in the pitch dark, where I would talk like Marlon Brando in the The Godfather. (I’m not kidding. We do that sort of thing. A lot.)

But, to get back to proving things. There may be an item. It would be buried where an old farmhouse was bombed flat at the First Battle of the Marne. So far as I know, it’s never been excavated. It would be wrapped in foil. It would have been a special device for preventing a horde of certain tiny, tiny things from meeting up with a single comparatively gigantic tiny thing. It was blue. And it was composed of an extract of Hevea brasiliensis. I will say no more. I’m already blushing furiously.

Even with someone as prowetic as me, such prowesses couldn’t begin before, say 10. And that would give me a birth date of 1904. Which would make me rather decrepit. And that I’m not. I can out-hike any three of you.

But that’s not proof at all, is it? Next you’ll be asking to see me in person to show that I’m not 106. Besides, I could have met a World War I vet who told me that story. Instructive? Wasn’t that mind exercise gift enough?

But you’re implacable, I know. So here’s what I’ll do. (Continued in next post)

Proving my age

Friday, June 11th, 2010

How about doing it this way instead?

There’s a photograph in a certain museum, taken in 1881. I’ll email you the details privately. You can take a look at it. Then I’ll set up a scenario so Flyss can catch a photo of me. A scenario of my own choosing! Then you can compare the photos and decide for yourself. Deal?

Returning to the subject

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

While we’re still waiting to carry out  the photograph check of  Oxadrenal’s claim that he is a Hafeem, I would like to note that I, personally, consider the stories of underground tunnels at DIA as recently discussed  by Glenn not to be credible. Furthermore, such discussion seems to me to be a distraction from our main project here, that of investigating Immortals.

To return to that subject, I’d like to continue a thread that’s been much discussed on these pages recently, that of how to verify that someone who claims to be an immortal is in fact one. As Oxadrenals pointed out in the thread beginning here, much of the life of a genuine immortal consists of hiding the very fact of his existence. This makes verification of his immortality necessarily difficult. (Additional difficulties are also described in the referenced thread.)

We’re currently in the process of verifying his age in a two step manner. First, we viewed a very clear photograph that that has been ensconced in a small museum since 1911. Second, Flyss will photograph him at a certain location in Manhattan, the details of which will be told to her at the last moment, no doubt so that Oxadrenals can ensure he can escape the moment after his image is captured.  (She is in the city now, waiting for final instructions.) If, as he claims, the photographs show the same person without significant aging, that surely will be strong evidence he is one of that group of people we are investigating.

In a private email, one of our readers, “C,” has pointed out other possible methods.  For example, surely a person who has lived centuries would know several languages, all characteristic of the period in which he lived. If he claims to have lived in England in the 17th century, for example, he could provide a sample of speech as he recalls it from that time, and surely an expert linguist could determine whether this is genuine.

The problem here, however, is that (as Oxadrenals himself claims), linguistic memory may fail as time passes, and language use changes. Simply put, he may not remember how he used to speak.

One way to get around this would be if the person had, say, lived in a country at some time in the past, and never returned. Then, his memory of that period would be frozen, as it were. Oxadrenals, however, claims to have kept up on current versions of the three languages he speaks (English, Russian and French) and has forgotten how they were spoken in past centuries. This, we believe, is credible.

A related approach would be to test him on details from the times in which he lived, and verify his recall by consultation with an appropriate historian. However, this approach has the practical difficulty of requiring that we find an appropriate historian. Oxadrenal’s memories of the past do not include much on the political events of the time. It seems that the clothing, dress, makeup, behavior and personalities of a series of women captured his near entire attention for much of his early life. We have verified some of those details, but the information he presented is accessible online, and so this proves nothing.

He claims that beginning in the late 19th century his interests broadened, but he is reluctant to give the details of where he lived or what he did, because that period is too close to our current one, and might provide a chain of evidence leading to discovery of his current activities, and this he does not wish to facilitate. All of this may be true, but it may be a convenient excuse. One  cannot determine which without additional information.

But if he does in fact allow his photograph to be taken, all of this will be moot. – Stephen

Photo taken!

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

So we did it.

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

Confirmed

Monday, June 14th, 2010

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.