By David R Castro
NEW YORK, June 3, 2016
An email to our Excelsior 472 tip line finds deeper clues to this mystery. The email contained only a link to the file sharing site The Pirate Bay without context or explanation, and came from an anonymous resending service. Following the link, it led to a page on the site where one could download an audio file titled “reading_472_10_20_2015.mp3”. We, myself and my editor Melody Chan, downloaded the file and listened to it. It was the voice of the woman from the Cockpit Voice Recorder off the black box of Flight 184. This file was cleaner than the file we received from the professor who claimed to have first discovered it a month ago, and if the website is to be believe, was posted just over three months ago.
The torrent was posted by user who goes by the handle “MrScribe13”, and only had, at the time of this report, one other torrent for download, a PDF called “sumpta_ex_libro”. Our online translation service tells us that this is Latin for “book of the taken”. The file is 346 megabytes and at the time of this report had 85 seeders, or people actively sharing the file from their computers, and 48 leechers, or people downloading the file. This reporter, on a laptop not connected to the New York Daily Bulletin’s intranet, quickly joined made that 49 leechers.
Sumpta_ex_libro is an unsearchable PDF created from what would appear to be scanned parchment or old paper, and contains 1,723 hand written pages. The entire document is a list of names, all appearing to be written by the same hand. After two days of reading the entire list, this reporter had found all 472 names of the victims of Excelsior Flight 184, all on different pages. Metadata from the PDF says that it was created five years ago.
After copying the names to a more searchable format with the help of many Daily Bulletin interns, we consulted with the crime desk as to looking into the 313,402 other names. At the time of this writing, we have found 76 names in the list that also appear in the Missing Persons lists that we have access to. These people have been missing for anywhere between 75 years to 2 weeks, and from all over the continental US. We have little doubt now that we will find more names from other nations once we get access to those databases.
We here at the New York Daily Bulletin don’t know, truly, where Sumpta_ex_libro came from, and can’t verify it’s pedigree, but there is something strange happening around the case of Excelsior Flight 184, or at least more strange that had before. Connections are forming, all these months after the event, from places that one wouldn’t have thought to look. The torrents for both the PDF and the audio file have been removed, as well as the account for “MrScribe13”, and we have our interns also scouring other torrent sites for other strange downloads. If you have any other links or tips about this case, please send them to the Daily Bulletin tipline found on our website.
UPDATE: August 23, 2016: INTERPOL and all levels of American law enforcement has allowed the New York Daily Bulletin and this reporter unprecedented access to their missing persons databases to try to link names found in the Sumpta_ex_libro PDF. Of the 313,874 names, victims of Excelsior Flight 184 included, all but 32,143 names have been accounted for all over the world. There is at least one name in the document that relates to a person missing in all 50 states, as well as in all of the 190 member countries of INTERPOL. The oldest name so far found was that of a 67 year old man who went missing in Lyon, France, in September of 1852, the most recent is that of a 13 year old girl in Kansas City, Kansas three days ago by at the time of this update. The 32,143 other names are unexplained, and that there are still people going missing that are listed in the file is deeply troubling for this reporter. In the light of this, the Editor in Chief of this paper, Florence Acker, has decided to remove the PDF from our website, because of calls that the most recent disappearances or kidnappings were because we featured that file with names on it on our website.
Though this is merely the opinion of this reporter, as I mentioned in this week’s Op-Ed, there is no other identifying information in the file other than a name, and though most of the names in the PDF have correlated with names of various missing persons reports, that does not prove any sort of causation, or that the new missing peoples have anything to do with this file or Excelsior Flight 184.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has renewed their vigor in looking into the long cold case of Flight 184, as well as opening a new investigation in conjunction with INTERPOL about the connection between the 281,731 missing people and the poster of that original torrent. All of the information the Daily Bulletin and this reporter had has been subpoenaed by the Department of Justice, while we have turned over to them. Make no mistake readers, the Bulletin and I will stay on this case and report everything and anything we can turn up about this increasingly distressing story.