04 Mar Garbage Strike
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"Garbage Strike"Written by Darkmyth
Estimated reading time — 13 minutes
Fwd: Fwd: Dangerous Cover-up
Think this one bears serious inspection. As usual, recommend we keep the specifics encrypted until we can verify and devise a best course of action. Don’t want to start a panic.
Thank you for getting back to me. You have no idea how relieved I am that your group is interested in the information I’ve gathered.
This Onionshare folder contains all my case notes, recordings and photos. I’ve been sitting on this for more than 2 years now, not knowing what to do with it.
You also asked for a chronological account of my experience? Well, here it is:
As I explained in my initial email, I’m a print journalist of almost 30 years’ experience. My specialty is industrial and labor market issues.
So, back in 2015, I was doing this piece on industrial action. Won’t bore you with the specifics. But in the course of my research, I learned about the garbage strike that occurred in the city of ƒÍÐô£Êªè‡, back in 2008. It seemed extremely relevant to my article, so I flew out to do some first-hand, in-depth research.
At first, it seemed like your typical blue-collar workers’ strike. The sanitation workers were demanding safer working conditions and a rise in hazard pay. After 4 days, the city council and union reps seemed to have reached a compromise.
But then the following week, the entire sanitation department for the borough was laid off in one fell swoop, save for the most executive officers.
The whole thing reeked of a cover-up, but on a scale I had never seen before – especially in such a non-sensitive field as public sanitation.
I scheduled interviews with a dozen of the former sanitation workers who had lost their jobs. I asked each of them why they thought they had been let go. None of them could give me a solid answer, but they all had their theories. Some believed that it was an overzealous effort to purge the department of union corruption. Others speculated it might’ve been a cover-up of some unknown, dangerous design flaw in the borough’s garbage trucks, which could’ve potentially left the city open to a massive class-action lawsuit. I even heard tongue-in-cheek whispers that it was about covering up a demonic curse that had been placed upon the department.
The most useful thing I gained from my interviews with these former sanitation workers was an insight into the motivation for the strike.
I discovered that in the months leading up to the strike, there had been a shocking spike in the amount of work-related injuries amongst the borough’s garbage collectors. 39 separate incidents requiring hospitalization; many with little, if any, cogent explanation. And 7 fatalities, not counting the collateral deaths that occurred when one garbage truck driver suffered inexplicable head trauma behind the wheel and subsequently crashed his truck into a crowded diner.
Several of the non-fatal injuries were attributed to attacks by homeless people or an unspecified animal, which I immediately considered odd. One or two attacks of this nature, I could buy, but to have so many attacks in such a short space of time? Something didn’t feel right.
I started tracking down the survivors of these injuries. I was amazed at just how many of them had moved out of town. In the end, I only managed to corner 3 of them who still lived locally. None of them wanted to talk. They seemed frightened.
I tracked down the partner of one of the garbage men who had been killed. He told me the disturbing story of how it happened.
It was just another day on the job. He and his friend were collecting trash in a quiet residential laneway. His back was turned. Then suddenly he heard, as he describes it, “the most ungodly sound… It was… it was like a scream, or… I don’t know, a roar. Like a pig being stuck with a knife, but huge! Like a really huge, gigantic pig, I guess.
“I don’t know anything on Earth that could make a sound like that.”
It was followed by the sound of trash cans being violently knocked over.
He ran around the truck to check on his partner, and found him lying in a growing pool of blood, with the jagged base of a broken bottle jammed into his neck.
He was gone before the paramedics even got there.
The guy’s story made the hair stand up on my arms. I didn’t know what to make of it, except that the guy was being completely honest.
I asked him who, or what, he thought killed his partner. He had no ideas. All he could tell me was that by the time he ran to the other side of the garbage truck, whoever had done it had vanished without a trace.
While I waited for other leads to pan out, I used my reporter wiles to sneak into the sanitation department’s offices and poke around for more clues; anything that could give me insight in to the strike, the union negotiations, or especially the mass lay-off.
My two most interesting discoveries were a copy of the current edition of the garbage collectors’ rules & regulations handbook, and a hacked email from the sanitation commissioner that had been sent the day before the mass lay-off was announced. (Both of which can be found in the online dossier I’ve provided to you).
Quoting the email:
“…the only adequate option I can see for stopping the spread of dangerous rumor within our ranks is a complete, simultaneous turnover of the department’s entire staff, with the most minimal interaction between old and new workers that we can possibly manage.”
“…most of the people involved seem to be too scared to talk. But just in case, I recommend we have our lawyers draft a case for a gag order, in case anyone suddenly decides to make a fuss…”
This confirmed my theory that the lay-off was all to do with a cover-up. But what ‘dangerous rumors’ were they trying to silence? The email was frustratingly discreet in that regard.
The garbage collectors’ handbook, on the other hand, turned out to be more crucial to this mystery than I ever could’ve imagined.
Most of it is just as you’d expect. But under the “Health & Safety” chapter, you’ll find a very prominent advisory, encompassed by a bold red border:
Raccoons suffering from RABIES have been discovered in local trash receptacles!
If you should encounter an organic gurgling-like sound or a low, labored moan coming from a trash can, DO NOT APPROACH IT! Instead, phone Animal Control at the number provided below IMMEDIATELY, and vacate the area, even if there are other trash cans nearby that you have not yet emptied.”
My gut told me that there was something fishy about this alert. A few phone calls later, I had learned that the CDC had no record of a local rabies outbreak, nor had the Fish & Wildlife Service registered any notable increase in the local raccoon population. A ranger I spoke to was puzzled by my references to “gurgling sounds” and “low, labored moans” as they didn’t seem like the types of noise a raccoon would typically make, rabid or otherwise.
Stranger still, the phone number listed in the handbook for “Animal Control” was different from the number listed for Animal Control in the local phone directory.
I dialed the number. Got a message service.
“Animal Control. Please provide the location of the suspected hazard and a crew will be dispatched as soon as possible,” a cold, female voice briskly instructed before the standard beep.
I had my tech geniuses back at the home office trace the physical location of the phone number. It ran directly through the city hall switchboard, which made no sense as Animal Control was based in a building across town.
I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the town for the best location to set up a sting. I eventually found a nice, long laneway that would afford me a good 100 yards of unobstructed view. Then, the following morning, I parked my rental a good distance away and phoned the so-called “Animal Control Service” yet again. This time, instead of simply hanging up, I gave them the address I had picked out.
Let me be clear: I recited the address, and only the address. I said nothing about any garbage can.
And then I sat there, watching through my telephoto lens. And I waited.
I could not believe what happened next.
Less than half an hour after I made the call, a single dark grey town car quietly rolled up to the address in question.
The doors opened and out stepped two large men wearing dark glasses and pristine, unsoiled sanitation department coveralls. In my business, you learn to read body language and I am dead certain that these guys were ex-military. I knew from the start that whoever these guys were, they weren’t there to collect garbage; nor were they there to wrangle some 2-foot-long fuzzy critter.
Another door opened and out stepped a third man: a late-middle-aged guy wearing a priest’s collar. The three of them walked over to a nearby trash can, with the larger men flanking the priest the way the secret service flanks the president.
While the large men stood by, the priest kissed a purple stole and draped it around his neck. He took a glass container out of his pocket – presumably filled with holy water – and lashed it over the trash can in the sign of the cross. Then he began reading aloud from a book – presumably the Bible. Throughout the course of the ceremony, he doused the can with the holy water another four times.
When he was finished, the priest retreated back several steps towards the car, while the larger men advanced on the trash can and cautiously removed the lid. After a quick visual inspection, they prodded the contents with metal poles they had brought with them, and apparently found nothing of interest.
The priest then nervously approached the can and doused its contents one final time in the sign of the cross. Then, they replaced the lid, got back into their car and drove off. The entire incident lasted about 8 minutes. I’ve provided a complete photo record in my dossier.
I was astounded.
I had no idea what I was dealing with, but the way those protectors in the coveralls behaved made me uncomfortable. Guys like that don’t get nervous, unless they are dealing with something that is seriously bad news.
I realized that whatever was going on must’ve been tied to the original string of injuries and deaths that occurred under the old sanitation roster. So I went back and searched for any other incidents that might’ve been missing from my list. I cross-referenced “death”, “murder” and “attack” with “garbage” and “trash”. And that is how I came upon the tragic story of young Martin ½§¶Ø»™¾÷©Æ.
On a sunny spring afternoon, back in 2006, 9-year old Martin ßìþðž~Åôü¶ left school on foot and never arrived home. 11 days later, his practically naked, severely battered body was discovered in a garbage can on the other side of the city.
I arranged an interview with the medical examiner who performed his autopsy. She revealed that the lividity indicated that Martin’s heart was still beating for around 6-8 hours after he was callously dumped into the trash can he’d eventually been discovered in. Strange as it might sound, the medical examiner told me she took a measure of solace from that fact.
She explained to me that, due to the nature of the massive hemorrhage in Martin’s brain, he would’ve experienced those final hours as a warm, peaceful euphoria. Despite his appalling surroundings, he would’ve felt safe and comfortable as he slowly drifted off into eternal sleep. Compared to the unimaginable horrors he had endured over the preceding days, the medical examiner considered the nature of his death to be thankfully merciful. I’m inclined to agree.
I drove out to visit Martin’s grave. Not really sure why. Guess I just felt I needed to pay my respects to the poor kid, you know? And I guess maybe I hoped it would give me some sort of clarity.
You could not imagine a more pristine, well-kept monument. With fresh flowers. His family has clearly not forgotten him.
It was a sobering experience, talking to that medical examiner. But I still didn’t feel like I was any closer to understanding what was going on with the city’s garbage. So I started trawling the streets around where those various attacks on the garbage men had occurred. I talked to locals, kids; anyone who would give me the time of day. A lot of them told me about a sort of urban legend about a monster or “vampire” that had been attacking people in back alleys and hidden corners throughout the borough over the past 10 years or so. Some kids even bragged to me that they had a cousin or somesuch who had actually seen the monster, but refused to provide me with contact details. Still, you know the old adage: ‘every legend has a kernel of truth…’
I went back to my motel that night and began scouring through local police reports. Since 2006, the rate of violent street crimes – including unsolved murders – has skyrocketed in the city of ¹õ¶Õ‡³£|“Êÿ¿. A staggering number of these crimes are being committed with weapons of opportunity acquired at the scene, such as broken glass, or sharp metal fragments. Others seem to involve no apparent weapon, and yet involve the use of “far greater force than a normal human being would be capable of inflicting”, to quote one report.
Even more disturbing, I discovered that almost 70% of these unsolved crime reports contain the phrase “taking out the trash”.
As I was documenting my latest discoveries and thoughts in my field journal, I heard a loud ruckus out behind my motel room; like someone kicking over a trash can. I got up from the table and nervously went into the bathroom, because I knew it had a window that opened up into the rear of the motel block, where I’d heard the noise. I chose not to give myself away by turning the bathroom light on.
Trying to my best to remain silent, I carefully crept through the dark until I reached the window frame. I opened the narrow, sliding pane and peered out into the black night. I could see nothing aside from the partially-illuminated building across the way. Then, after a few seconds, I began to notice this strange sound; an eerie sort of gurgling.
Immediately recalling the warning in the garbage collectors’ handbook, I carefully backed out of the room and closed the bathroom door behind me. I remember staring at the fine wooden grain of the door as I stood there anxious and confused about what I should do next. A few seconds later, I was startled by a loud bang, followed by the sound of shattering glass, just behind the door!
My hand darted to the knob on pure instinct and turned the latch to lock it. I stepped backward as a slow sequence of sounds that I can only describe as ‘wet beats’ – like someone slapping a hard surface with a damp towel – drew closer and closer. There was something IN my bathroom! I was terrified.
The ‘beats’ stopped, just on the other side of the door. A soft scraping sound slowly made its way from the top of the door to about halfway down. Then, nothing.
Suddenly, there was another deafening bang, as the door practically jumped right out of its frame, yet somehow managed to hold firm! Whatever was on the other side was bashing against it with incredible force!
I raced out of that motel room without a second thought and jumped into my rental car parked right out front. I floored the gas as I tore out of the parking lot, right across the 4-lane boulevard in front of the motel without even thinking about checking for oncoming traffic. Almost got wiped out by a coupe.
I stopped there, my engine still running, directly opposite the motel. I had a full 180°, well-lit view of the block in front of me, and a good 30 yards of warning of anything approaching from that side.
I phoned 911 and told them that someone had broken into my motel room.
It was the longest 4 minutes of my life, waiting for that squad car to show up. I still wonder if I was truly alone in that car; whether the wild breathing I remember hearing was just my own, terrified self, or if there was something… else…
When the cops arrived I followed them into the motel and directed them to the right room. The door was still wide open, just as I had left it.
The officers told me to wait outside. But somehow, I felt much safer following the two trained professionals with guns drawn, than waiting alone outside in a dark parking lot.
The first thing I noticed was that the bathroom door had been busted wide open. The strike plate had been torn right out of the frame. The bathroom-side of the door was scratched to high hell, as if a tiger had been using it as a scratching post for the past 12 months.
As one of the officers advanced into the unlit bathroom, I cautiously peered over the other’s shoulder to look inside. The sliding pane of the bathroom window had been knocked to the floor, its frosted glass broken into a sea of shards which scrunched beneath the lead officer’s shoes. The window’s flyscreen had been torn to shreds. Looking at the window, I could not accept that anything of considerable size could possibly have entered through such a narrow gap. Even a master contortionist couldn’t have crawled through that window!
As the second officer panned his torch around, we all noticed what appeared to be two sets of strange footprints running down the wall and across the floor; one leading in, one leading out. They were smeared upon the pale beige floor tiles in what looked like a sludge of grime and dried blood. As they crossed in to the motel room proper, their foul brown sediment had been ground deeply into the carpet fibers.
The footprints led to and from the room’s small dinner table, where my laptop was still running and opened on my word processor, just as I had left it. I walked right past the laptop when I had followed the officers into the room. But only at that moment did I notice the layer of filth smeared all over the keyboard. I leaned in to look at the screen, and felt my blood run cold.
At the point where my own notes cut off there was now a new block of text, which extended well beyond the frame of display. It said:
That was the absolute limit for me. I packed up my belongings, got in my car and drove straight to the airport. I booked the first flight home. They didn’t have anything till the morning, so I spent the night sitting in the middle of the wide-open departures lounge, where I could keep watch over my entire surroundings and be sure nothing could sneak up on me.
Mark my words, as long as I live, I will never return to the city of ¥lö5 æË¯‡ê‰Lþ.
I closed the book on the entire article I’d been writing. I tried to forget all about what happened that night, but the truth is I’ve never really stopped thinking about it.
Then I guess by chance, one of my sources tipped me off about your association a few weeks ago. So, I figure, “What the hell? Maybe they can help.”
You know, I hadn’t looked at any of my case files for over 2 years since that night in the motel. But after getting in contact with you, I decided to browse through them again. And I discovered something new in my field journal file that I hadn’t noticed before.
I guess the computer must’ve autosaved the file between the break-in and when I packed up my laptop and hightailed it out of there. Because the… shall we say, “additions” that had been made to my own notes had been saved along with everything else.
Anyway, at the very end of the “GOAWAYGOAWAYGOAWAY…” block (which extends uninterrupted for 8 pages), was some text I’d missed before:
It was only once I’d read the full message that it occurred to me just how juvenile the phrase “go away” sounds. You’d imagine that an adult who wanted to drive someone off would use much firmer language. “Go away” is the sort of thing a young child yells when throwing a tantrum.
Mr/Ms ‘N’, I’m telling you this because I suspect you’re one of the few people who won’t think I’ve lost my mind. But I believe that young Martin ÷ý±#†I¤•æƒ is still wandering the streets of µ½}Ú¶ß¿óô, in some manner, at least. And he is seeking sanctuary in the last place he ever remembers feeling safe: a trash can.
It all fits. You hear about cases like this all the time amongst survivors of extreme trauma, like what Martin ¾®Ï³ÎÞP‡†› went through. They become so traumatized, they refuse to let anyone approach them; doctors, nurses, police, counselors – even their own mothers. And whenever someone does try to make contact with them, they will lash out, violently.
I think whatever remains of Martin ï}‰Â‡!qð« understood that I was a journalist and wanted me to warn the city to stop disturbing his peace. But realistically, what can I do? Submit an article proclaiming that there’s a ghost haunting the garbage cans of ÿãædçø?ªÕ‰ÿ and that their city council has been covering it up for the past decade? There isn’t a media outlet in the country that would print anything so absurd!
But all the same, something has to be done! Someone has to get the word out, somehow! Because I’ve checked, and the deaths in that city are still happening! More brutally than ever before, as a matter of fact.
The residents of #¦¿%óÌ˜øx×Í are risking their lives every time they go near a trash can. And the poor fools have no idea, until it’s too late.
I hope you can help them.
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