The following is a selection of emails and transcripts of the video and audio files that were attached to them. In the interests of privacy, I have hidden the addresses. You’ll notice that this is only one side of the conversation between Dr Gotobed and a gentleman by the name of Toby Cooper. I’m afraid I don’t have any of the good doctor’s replies, only what is presented here – C.R.
Sent: 11th March 2016 at 10:15am
Subject: Possible Anomalous Video Recording
Dear Dr Gotobed,
First of all my apologies for emailing you out of the blue, but I am at my wits end. I found your contact details on the internet, and I was hoping you might be able to help me with something. This appears to be the kind of thing you specialise in, and I really could do with your guidance. Everyone else I have spoken to has dismissed me as either a crank or a charlatan. For what it’s worth, I’m neither. It’s possible that I’m the victim of a prank, but if that’s the case then it’s a prank so elaborate that whoever has perpetrated it deserves some kind of award.
I’ll cut to the chase. I’ve recently returned from a six month-long trip backpacking across South America. I took with me a camcorder that I picked up especially for the journey, a Sony Digital8, one of the old style handi-cam devices. I’ve never really got on with recording stuff on my mobile phone so I thought I’d splash out on something that would help me capture the memories a bit more clearly, much to the mirth of my friends.
And it did, for the most part.
Looking back on the footage last week I found something I was not expecting and I’m afraid I cannot describe it in words. You have to see it yourself to believe it.
If you are interested, please let me know and I will forward over the section of tape I’m referring to.
Sent: 11th March 2016 at 12:47pm
Subject: RE: Possible Anomalous Video Recording
Dear Dr Gotobed,
Thanks for your quick reply. Please find attached the footage in question.
A crowded restaurant. A man in chef whites is centre in the frame, tossing fish off and on a searing hot plate with a pair of knives he twirls expertly in his hands. He slaps a lump of something pink and fleshy down and it sizzles briefly on the metal.
‘You know you have to eat that, right?’ says a man’s voice over the din.
‘I will if you will,’ replies a woman.
The chef slices the lump in two and flicks a piece into each of their bowls with a stoic nod.
The couple laugh.
‘You still can’t use chopsticks for shit,’ she says.
A street lined with red cobblestones. The occasional sound of a vehicle can be heard in the background.
‘Like this?’ she asks.
‘Yep, that’s it. Same button to stop.’
The camera pans up from a cobbled street, taking in giant trees and lingering on branches adorned with blossom coloured pink and white.
‘It’s so beautiful. We might be in the prettiest place on Earth.’
‘We just might be,’ he says.
More trees, more blossom.
‘Coco, I’ve got something I want to ask you.’
The camera turns quickly to a young man down on one knee, holding up a small red box. The box is open. Inside a diamond ring nestles between two tiny velvet cushions.
‘Will you marry me?’
She takes a sharp intake of breath before she responds. ‘Oh my god! Yes! Yes!’
The camera drops to her side and inverted in the lens the couple embrace and kiss passionately.
A pristine hotel room. The woman lays naked on a bed, half under a thin sheet. A running shower can be heard in the background as she holds her hand up to the camera, beaming as she proudly displays the ring on her finger.
‘I can’t believe it. I had no idea. Thank you.’ She kisses the lens. ‘Maybe I’ll get a chance later to show you happy I am.’ She lifts up the sheet and flashes her naked body, laughing.
The shower is turned off in the background.
‘Who are you talking to?’
She lowers the sheet, smiling: ‘No-one!’
She winks at the camera before blowing another kiss and reaching for the ‘off’ switch.
A dimly lit bar, full of people. The footage jumps between drinks, hugs and handshakes of congratulations from what one assumes is old friends.
The camera stops, lingering on the woman stood at a microphone crooning along to ‘Always’ by Bon Jovi. The words are displayed on a screen to the side of the stage, but she clearly doesn’t need them.
An unknown voice can be heard just off camera.
‘You’ve got yourself a good one there, Cooper. Don’t let this one go.’
‘I won’t. Not for anything.’
The inside of an aeroplane. It is night-time and the lights in the cabin are dimmed. The man is holding up the camera, speaking into it.
‘… so that’s the end of our trip and we’re on our way home, soon to be Mr and Mrs Cooper…’
He turns the device to show the woman asleep on his shoulder.
‘… that’s her there, dead to the world. Coco, my wonderful wife to be…’
A burst of neon green light from outside the window illuminates the cabin and the aeroplane appears to take a violent dip.
‘What the fuck?’
The woman stirs. ‘What’s going on?’ she asks groggily.
A voice comes over the intercom. ‘We are experiencing some minor turbulence. Please ensure your seatbelts are-’
The voice is cut off by another flash and the aircraft drops again.
A scream can be heard coming from somewhere in the cabin.
‘Toby, I’m scared.’
He is not listening. He is watching intently as the hairs on his head start to stand and up and away from his scalp.
A third flash and he points the camera out of the window. Outside three large balls made of an unknown glowing green mass fall through the night sky, passing perilously close to the wing and leaving streaks of emerald behind them.
‘What in the world is-’
She never finishes her sentence. Her words are lost to the sound of metal twisting and shearing. The plane appears to crack in half in the centre and the couple, still strapped in their seats, are sucked violently out of the cabin and in to the night sky. Screams can be briefly heard over the sounds of the onrushing wind.
The camera continues to record as they fall.
After a few seconds of night sky as it tumbles through the heavens, the last thing the device captures is a bright neon green flash before cutting to black.
Sent: 13th March 2016 at 7:07pm
Subject: RE: RE: Possible Anomalous Video Recording
Dear Dr Gotobed,
I’ve attached a recent photo of myself with today’s paper to prove it’s definitely me in the video. You’re right, it does look like Japan in the footage but, like I said, I was in South America, not the Far East. I’ve never been to that part of the world and I have no idea who that woman is. I am sure I would remember her, especially if we were engaged! I don’t recognise any of the others on the tape either, only myself.
I have also taken a look at the metadata of the video. If you’re right, then the footage was taken six days from today. But how can that be? I assure you, I have not tampered with it in any way. I wouldn’t even know where to begin doing something like that.
I’ll confess, I’ve never heard of the Frederick Valentich case, but I will certainly look into it.
Thanks again for all your help, and for not treating me like some kind of loon.
Sent: 14th March 2016 at 6:23pm
Subject: RE: RE: RE: Possible Anomalous Video Recording
My flat has been ransacked and the tape is gone, plus I think I’m being watched. I’m going to stay with a friend of mine up in the Highlands for a bit, hopefully this will all blow over. I’ll be in touch once I get settled and have my head together.
Sent: 17th March 2016 at 00:03am
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: Possible Anomalous Video Recording
‘I see it now they fell from the sky and I fell from the sky and Coco fell from the sky and Valentich fell from the sky and I shouldn’t be here and neither should the tape and I’m sorry I shouldn’t have gotten you involved and I’m sorry-’
Sent: 17th March 2016 at 00:14am
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Possible Anomalous Video Recording
‘Everything is black.
‘All is stars. I shouldn’t be, and neither should they.
‘Everything is green Everything is green Everything is green Everythin isgreen Everthinn Everthigreen EverrthigreenEverthgreenEvertgreenEve-