Tuesday, April 18, 2017

An Unexpected Mystery Envelope 3

My third envelope arrived in the mail yesterday... photo and more information is after the jump :)

Inside the larger envelope from New York was a small padded envelope, again one that had apparently been sent to Norway with no return address.  Inside was just the one item plus one handwritten note.
A sealed evidence bag!
The back side of the evidence bag has a reference number written in sharpie.  The flash drive contained in the bag has one recording on it, lasting approximately 15 minutes.  It begins with the voice of a man (spoken in English, but with an accent that is likely Norwegian) stating that this is a re-recording of a deteriorating cassette tape found in the wreckage of a fishing vessel. He lists the vessel as having had several names. He begins the recording with a reference number which matches the one written on the evidence bag.  After the series of cassette tape recordings, the man then records a second reference number (also written on the evidence bag) and proceeds to record an unanswered distress call from the same vessel.

The first entry has the crewman talking to a "Sarah" back home.  He discusses how he is going to make more money fishing than he would back home cutting boxes for Dan.  It is January, 1988, they are in the waters off of Norway, on a fishing vessel with a "half dozen men".  The boat's current name is "Jonas Ramus" - it sounds as though they change the name of the vessel frequently, possibly to avoid trouble with the coast guard.  The crewman also complains that the captain insists on the crew eating lutefisk as their first meal on the vessel for good luck.

I searched on the name, and found a Wikipedia page stating "Jonas Danilss√łnn Ramus(27 September 1649 - 16 May 1718) was a Norwegian priest and historian. He was principally an author of religious and historical writings."

In the second entry, the crewman tells Sarah they nearly had an encounter with the Norwegian coast guard, and then complains about fishing restrictions, blaming environmentalists for blocking fishing vessels from the Grand Banks.  He reveals that his name is Jake, and Dan (a factory owner) didn't want him to leave for a "fishing trip".  From the narrative, it sounds like Dan had a job offer for Jake at the factory, but the job was to cut out boxes and Jake was insulted by the "entry level position", so he took this job on a fishing boat to earn more money faster, to create a better opportunity for himself and Sarah.  Also, he had been chased by the coast guard off the coast of Nova Scotia a couple months prior, which is why he didn't make it home for Christmas.
Entry #3 starts with talking about the movie Jaws.  Jake has seen it multiple times because it is the only English tape the Captain has on board.  There are several Norwegian movies, and one called "Ophelius" that he says is pretty good.  Jake goes on to describe how they accidentally scooped up a shark in their nets recently. He mentions that even though they aren't even supposed to be catching cod in these waters, the skipper is very superstitious so he abides by the rules that you have to toss back anything you scoop up that you were not intentionally fishing for, because you don't want to "anger the sea".  However with this particular shark, as Jake and a crewman are trying to toss it back overboard the skipper comes up with a wild look in his eyes and stabs the shark over and over.  The shark flops on the deck "as if trying to run away",  then the captain slits it open and then the shark's pups spill out onto the deck.  Jake and the crewman finally get it all overboard, then the skipper seems to come-to, drops the knife, and heads below deck without a word.  A crewman, Hewey, then says it was not a great white shark, it had been a porbeagle, which is a good fish for eating and Jake doesn't fully understand why the captain would have attacked it.
Entry#4 - The crew has arrived at their destination, however their nets have been entirely empty... not even any bycatch.  There are also no birds following the boat, which is highly unusual.  The sea is flat, there is no wind, no swells.  The skipper is now ill and is laying down in his bunk moaning - it is not like him to get seasick.  Jake suggests it can't be the food, as everyone else seems OK.  He senses tension on the boat.  A crewman named Pablo has been praying all morning.  Jake mentions the instruments on the boat are "acting spooky" but not showing any bad weather.  Jake is worried that if something goes wrong on the boat, Sarah will never know what happened to him.  As he talks, it becomes clear that Sarah is his daughter, and she is young (too young to have seen the movie Ghostbusters yet) He tells her to listen to her Grandpa Dan when he comes by, and say a prayer for Mommy every night.
The next recording is of an unanswered distress call from the Jonas Ramus - It states they are 36 nautical miles south by southwest of Mandal, their instruments are not responding - they are caught in some sort of whirlpool, taking on water.  There is scuffling in the background, Jake yells at someone to shut the door, "don't let it(him?) in here" -  5 crewmen have life jackets and are in good health, the captain has refused his life jacket and has become violent with the crew.  Jake then says "Oh my God... what is that?... I'm sorry Sarah.. - Pablo, arm the goddamn harpoon"

My conclusion - looks like Jake's wife might have passed away, his father-in-law Dan owns a factory and offered Jake a low-level position.  Jake was insulted by this and opted for a higher paying, but more risky, year long job on a cod fishing vessel.  The captain of the fishing vessel is highly superstitious and follows certain rules of the sea, although he is illegally fishing for cod where he isn't supposed to be.  After the encounter with the porbeagle shark, the captain becomes ill, then attack the crew while the ship is being attacked by the Kraken off the coast of Norway.
The initials on the handwritten note in this envelope are slightly more legible, and looks again to be "S.P." - I suspect the packages have been coming from Sarah, who is trying to find out what happened to her father while he was out at sea in 1988.  This ties together with the first envelope - (the discovery of the hidden cave with the depiction of Cthulhu/Kraken off the coast of Norway) and the second (the discovered lost legend of a sea creature that takes ships off the coast of Norway)
The questions I am left with in this particular bit of evidence:

Why did the Captain go crazy and attack the shark?  
Porbeagles are sharks that feed mainly on bony fishes and cephalopods - and the Kraken is supposed to be one giant cephalopod.  So on the one hand, one might think that attacking the shark was an attempt by the Captain to protect the Kraken and might be looked on favorably by the creature?  Though in the attempt to kill it, the crew ended up releasing 5 pups into the waters, so the Captain's attempt ended up backfiring, thus angering the Kraken.
Or, did the captain become crazed by some other force, attack the shark, and then the Kraken attacked the vessel in retaliation for killing the shark unnecessarily?
Or did the Kraken attack because they were fishing for cod in illegal waters... (and perhaps the fishing is restricted not because of environmentalists, but because of the unexplained dangers of the waters in this region?)


Maggie Duguid said...

Oh my gosh! I got these in the mail, too! I have no idea who sent it or where it's from.

Maggie Duguid said...

Oh my gosh! I got these in the mail, too! I have no idea who sent it or where it's from.