The Incongruous Man

by Joseph Grant

Come in and shut the door the Operations Director said as I apologized for my late arrival to an obviously important meeting, I reasoned as I looked around the room. Should a terrorist group have known about the hush-hush meeting, they could easily have taken out most of the upper tier of not only the United States Government but many of its wealthiest citizens, as well. I sat at the only chair left in the room, a smaller less important table with bean counters, the government’s version of the kiddies’ table during the holiday meal and listened to a very well-known military spokesman sullenly brief everyone about a video loop and other film recently discovered, not sent care of the Taliban or Al Qaeda but from our old newsreels. Initially the point of this meeting being a mystery to us all, the General’s speech began to make sense as he pointed out what was apparently the same exact person, always in a crowd scene, mouthing some unknown words until it had been deciphered by an Agency lip-reader, the film cleaned up in Ultra HD and then it all became startlingly clear. Some eagle-eye at the Agency first spotted the incongruity and aided by canisters of disintegrating film, old newsreels, kinescope, The Library of Congress, the military, video from the Edison Foundation, several well-known news outlets and film from private collections, we were all able to spot the identical face again and again. Although surrounded by the brightest minds of intelligence, no one in that astute room could explain why a man in 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair would be trying to warn the viewer of that time about Pearl Harbor, appear in the Lumiere Brother’s 1895 film at La Ciotat and pass by the camera to nod and mutter about the Lusitania, then in 1960 Paris trying to warn about September 11th, the atomic bomb in a crowd scene at the 1927 World Series or how this man had foreknowledge or why he had not aged in any of the endless reels shown but the General assured us as we buzzed uncomfortably in our seats that the media was now being monitored very assiduously.

6S

Joseph Grant rocks the 6S mike with force and frequency. His full catalog is here.