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Thursday, 30 September 2010 revealed

It’s a good job I’m thinking about this at work and have my laptop to hand. After reading back through my blog, I decided to try the same approach that revealed the ‘blue chicken’ answer. Thankfully I hadn’t deleted the mountains of spam that I started trawling through after revealing the number of emails with a ‘blue chicken’ reference somewhere in the text. I had decided to read through as many as I could to find if there were any further references that may help, but I gave up after a few dozen (what a slacker!!).

I typed in the email written on ‘The Ghost Box’ document;

I searched in the body of the text. There was one result, shown below.

You can see the email address and a few white spaces. I’ve blanked out his surname, we’ll call him Simon Avery. I’ve also blanked out the name of the ship on which we both served at the same time. In future, if necessary I’ll call it HMS Berwick (this was a real ship, type 12 frigate I think, but I believe that it was decommissioned by the time that Simon and I joined up in the mid-eighties). At this point, as the evidence is too strong to suggest otherwise, I am assuming that it is Simon, for reasons best known to only him at the moment, attempting to initiate contact with me.

It’s been a few years since I last saw Simon and around twenty-five years since we first met, but I think if I write about how I remember him it may help me to understand why he is behaving in a strange and unusual fashion.

I first met Simon in 1985 at HMS Collingwood which is/was the weapons engineering school for the Royal Navy. He was a few weeks ahead of me but when I finished course I was moved to his four man mess to await a draft to the fleet. There were only the two of us billeted in the shabby ground floor room and we got to know each other quite well. He was very quiet, very intelligent but seemed to have difficulty in talking to anyone who he wasn’t reasonably familiar with. He seldom drank alcohol and didn’t smoke. He was also a few years older than me, I joined up straight from school he had been previously employed in a proper full-time job, can’t remember where. That’s all I can really say about Simon at this time other than we were both drafted to Plymouth based frigates after waiting a few months.

Fast-forward eight or nine years. I was drafted to HMS Berwick which was to be my last draft before leaving to face the big wide world and the prospect of finding a proper job. Usually when you join a ship you enter a discussion with the current draftees (or whatever the correct word for those currently billeted/stationed on-board) to find who you had previously served with and both knew. I was married and as such lived in married quarters in Plymouth (I was an R.A. or resident ashore). My first day on-board was made so much easier because I knew a number of the weapons engineers mess including Simon. He was still single, a bit odd, and apparently hardly ever went ashore after work preferring instead to stay on board studying and making electronic circuit boards for projects that currently interested him (even odder).

Over the next year or so I ended up defending him from the jibes and general piss-taking from the rest of the mess and we did become friends. He left the ship fourteen months after I joined to attend a qualifying course for a faster promotion route and we lost touch.

Again fast-forward to 2001, I was with Emma in Gosport shopping when who should I meet in Woolworths (RIP) but Simon. He seemed edgy but we exchanged mobile numbers and we promised to catch up on the phone and we parted company. I did ring Simon some weeks later and we caught up. He told me about his rise through the ranks to Chief Petty officer and his subsequent medical discharge due to a back problem. He had picked up a good degree from the Open University in electronics engineering and was now working for a defence company as a sub-contractor in the Portsmouth area. He didn’t tell me much about the project he was working on but did mention some affiliation with GCHQ at some point I’m sure, but I could be wrong. GCHQ is the British Government Communications Head-Quarters in Cheltenham. He seemed quite up beat and cheerful when we spoke and when he promised to meet up for a drink or a meal in the future I honestly believed he was genuine.

I tried the number again a few days later and it was unattainable. Over the next few days I tried a few more times but then gave up and never gave him a second thought, after all he had always been a little strange. Now he seems to be trying to get in touch by the most ridiculous means, why so cloak and dagger? He was odd, but never paranoid, that was my particular negative personality trait. Social networking sites are my best bet to start trying to track him down.

More later.

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