A Video Oddity
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Anomalous Item 20224 is a series of eight DVD-Rs containing unedited footage of an apparent nature documentary, collectively labeled as “Documentary 23”. The picture and sound quality of the footage is substandard, with audio-visual distortions, cuts, and missing footage common throughout the recordings. The disks will play on any standard DVD player, and the contained footage has been copied and archived.

No anomalous effects have been recorded regarding the disks themselves or the act of watching them. While the possibility of a hoax exists, such an undertaking would require several million dollars to produce equivalent special effects.

Anomalous Item 20224 was recovered from █████ ███████ on July 16, 20██. The previous owner was unaware of the object’s origins, claiming to have received them through an anonymous seller on the internet. Anomalous Item 20224 is currently stored in Low Security Vault 2 of Site 19.

The following transcript lists only a general overview of major events of note.

Disk 1

  • 00:00 – Disk starts. The scene shown resembles the Serengeti Plain. A large group of wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, and other savannah wildlife are shown around a watering hole.
  • 00:12 – The voices of the filmmakers are heard for the first time. Three distinct voices are heard, one female, two male. (Subjects 1, 2, and 3, respectively.) The language spoken does not correlate with any known language, and has only been partially decoded. The Subjects seem to be describing the water hole scene, as the camera focuses on the drinking animals. Narration of this kind continues throughout most other segments of Anomalous Item 20224.
  • 05:15 – Subjects 1 and 3 appear on camera. Both are wearing similar outfits: utilitarian clothing in various shades of brown with backpacks for carrying equipment and supplies. For unknown reasons, the Subjects’ faces have been blotted out. Documentary shifts focus to a nearby termite mound.

The next 34:06 of tape contains no anomalous or otherwise notable content.

  • 39:21 – First anomalous content seen. At this point in the documentary, focus is set upon a small bird, which on closer inspection is clearly a blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata). The bird displays no physical anomalies, besides being native to North America, not Africa.
  • 40:05 – Blue jay flies away. During the filming, the Subjects did not seem to find the presence of a non-native bird confusing or remarkable.

The next 19:55 of tape contains no anomalous or otherwise notable content. All animals featured show no unusual characteristics or behaviors.

  • 60:00 – Disk ends.

Disk 2

  • 00:00 – Disk starts. Scene shows a series of rocky foothills at the base of a mountain chain to the west. Scrub vegetation is common.
  • 00:10 – Camera focuses on a snake in the brush. (Researcher’s note: Identified as a western diamondback rattlesnake.) Subject 3, grabs the snake by the tail and uses a stick to handle it for the camera as Subject 1 narrates. At 01:01, the snake is released.
  • 01:01 – Cut. Next shot is the middle of a segment on a large ant colony. Ants are a light shade of blue.
  • 01:15 - Camera focuses on a group of roughly fifty soldier ants attacking a reef gecko (Sphaerodactylus notatus, native to Florida). Ants are tearing away chunks of flesh with their pincher-like jaws. The gecko survives for nearly a minute before one of the ants cuts the gecko’s jugular vein.
  • 02:12 – Cut. Scene is now focusing on a pack of vultures feeding on the carcass of a large Bactrian camel.
  • 05:36 – Cut. The camel stands up and attempts to bite a vulture. The remains of the camel’s internal organs are dangling from the hole in its abdomen.
  • 05:45 – Cut.

There are no visuals for the next 10:45. Sound is in the form of five individual narrations on unknown subjects.

  • 16:21 – Cut. Camera focuses on a red panda drinking from a shallow stream. The creature is estimated to be roughly the size of a Kodiak bear.
  • 17:00 – Red panda leaves the shot, but not before defecating on the stream’s edge. Subject 1 makes a comment, followed by laughter from Subjects 2 and 3.
  • 17:06 – Disk ends.

Disk 3

  • 00:00 – Disk starts. Scene opens with Subject 2 in mid-sentence, pointing the camera at a snowy cliffside roughly 100-150m tall. Subjects are seen wearing mountain climbing gear, and appear to be discussing the best way to ascend the cliff face.
  • 02:20 – Subjects begin ascending the cliffside.
  • 02:43 – Cut. Following footage is a shot of the horizon from two-thirds up the cliffside. The savannah featured in Disk 1 can be seen in the distance.
  • 02:56 – Subject 2 is startled by the sudden appearance of a large, indistinct creature (Researcher’s note: believed to be a flying fox or similar large bat.) and nearly drops the camera. Subject 3 scolds him while Subject 1 laughs.
  • 03:00 – Cut. Subjects are at the top of the cliff, looking out over the edge. Judging by the shadows cast by the mountain, it is nearing mid-afternoon.
  • 03:15 – Cut. Scene takes place later in the day, near sundown. Subjects are walking up a winding dirt path. A small village can be seen ahead of them.
  • 05:23 – Subjects arrive in the village. Buildings are small and stone, with wooden roofs. There are no signs of recent habitation: many of the buildings are in states of disrepair, and much of the village is covered in deep snow drifts. Subjects walk through the village for the next 03:40, conversing sporadically. No other life is seen.
  • 09:03 – Cut. Subjects are now approaching a larger building, a large section of which has collapsed and filled with snow. Subjects 1 and 3 step inside first, Subject 2 follows with the camera four seconds later.
  • 09:07 – Jump cut. Subjects are standing on top of a fallen chunk of masonry. A large swarm of black insects (Researcher’s note: Further analysis suggests that the creatures resemble terrestrial trilobites rather than any known insect.), each at least 30cm in length, swarms around beneath them. Subject 3 opens his backpack, taking out a plastic box. Checking its contents once, he throws it across the hall. The swarm moves towards the box and begins consuming it. The camera lingers on the creatures as the subjects escape.
  • 09:56 – Cut. Subjects are inside another building, and it is now night. The house’s fire pit has been cleared out and a fire has been set up. Subject 1 is feeding a black-furred chinchilla some of her rations, while Subject 3 narrates.
  • 10:28 – Disk ends.

Disk 4

  • 00:00 – Disk starts. Subjects are walking through a thick forest of large fungal bodies. Judging by the slope of the ground, it is presumed that the Subjects are descending the foothills on the opposite side of the mountain. Available light indicates that it is mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
  • 00:15 – Movement is spotted to the right. Camera focuses on a dark shape moving deeper into the forest and out of sight. (Researcher’s note: Further analysis shows that the creature is a quagga, a relative of the zebra which has been extinct since 1883.) One frame seems to show the creature unfurling wings, but the footage is too blurred to confirm this.
  • 00:45 – Cut. Scene shows a stone pillar, which has been partially eroded by encroaching hyphae. The pillar is clearly a marker of some sort, and Subject 1 is attempting to decode the symbols that are etched into it.
  • 01:30 – Subject 1 now steps away from the pillar. Judging by her tone of voice, she was incapable of translating any of the symbols. Subjects move onward through the forest.
  • 02:41 – There is a heavy seismic disturbance. The camera becomes unsteady as Subject 2 stumbles. The fungal ‘trees’ can be seen to sway in uniform motion.
  • 02:44 - The next ten seconds contain no visuals or audible sound. Analysis has shown an ultrasonic note within the blank segment. As it does not vary in frequency, it is hypothesized to be artificial in origin.
  • 02:54 – Cut. Subject 1 is now observing a large black beetle. Every few seconds she prods it with a twig. After she does this several times, the beetle flares its carapace outward, showing the brilliant orange-yellow coloration underneath.
  • 03:40 – The beetle sprays a yellow-green fluid from its abdomen at Subject 1, who doesn’t step away quick enough to avoid the acid. She shouts in pain and attempts to wipe it off. Subject 3 steps in to help her.
  • 04:02 – Cut. Scene now shows a shallow gully, populated by a species of cup-shaped fungi, the smallest being a meter across. Subject 2 sets the camera on a tripod and walks away. No unusual events are recorded over the next 14:12.
  • 18:14 – A juvenile Javanese rhinoceros walks into the gully, sniffing the air. It makes a direct route towards one of the larger cup fungi and walks inside. The cup closes over it, and sounds of distress are heard from within after a few seconds. The silhouette of the rhinoceros inside the fungus can be seen as it struggles to free itself.
  • 19:20 – Disk ends.

Disk 5

  • 00:00 – Disk starts. Scene shows the Subjects on the shores of a lake. Local geography resembles the American southwest, with thick scrub vegetation and several clumps of tamarisk on the lakeshore. Subject 3 is filling a canteen from the lake.
  • 00:30 – Subject 3 points out a disturbance behind the camera. Camera turns to see a group of about fifteen lemur-like creatures emerging from the brush, roughly twenty meters away. Camera zooms in to show that they are walking on their hind legs and are carrying sharpened sticks. The “tribe” ignores the presence of the Subjects.
  • 00:54 – The tribe begins to drink from the lake. Subject 1 makes a short narrative comment, showing some surprise at the event, but only enough to suggest that this is a rare find. She continues with the narration as usual.
  • 02:03 – The tribe’s lookout makes a startled yelp. The other lemurs take notice.
  • 02:04 – A dromaeosaurid dinosaur of considerable size (Researcher’s Note: Believed to be an adult Utahraptor) appears. Subjects begin to run away. Sounds of the conflict can be heard over the Subjects’ footsteps.
  • 02:25 – Camera is directed back at the tribe. Lemurs have now either run away or been killed. The Utahraptor is feeding on the dead.
  • 03:13 – Cut. Scene now shows the dinosaur dead on the ground, with numerous bullet holes in its head and chest area. Subject 1 is scolding Subject 3, who is seen disassembling a long-barreled rifle.
  • 03:20 – Cut. Subjects have walked down the eastern shore of the lake. There are some unusual disturbances in the water. This continues for the next 01:36.
  • 04:04 – A Megatherium (giant ground sloth), which is seen to have six limbs instead of four, approaches the lake shore from the brush. After looking around the area, it bends down to drink.
  • 04:56 – Disturbances in the water increase as a large creature emerges from the lake. As only the upper portion is visible, identification is difficult. A membranous dome, lined by numerous frills of skin and cartilage, is visible. The skin is semi-transparent, showing a bulbous structure underneath. Visible are several triple-jointed arms (Researcher’s note: Five limbs have been counted), which have thick black fur and hands with two opposable thumbs.
  • 04:59 – Unknown creature lashes its arms at the area behind the sloth, attacking a pack of raptors much like the one before, which were preparing to launch an attack on the sloth.
  • 05:12 – Unknown creature grabs a raptor in one of its hands and throws towards the Subjects, who it misses by no less than a meter. Camera moves to look at the body: the spine has been snapped on impact.
  • 05:17 – Cut. Subjects have left the lake behind, and are now climbing over a short ridge. Animal noises can be heard from the other side.
  • 05:18 – Disk ends.

Disk 6

  • 00:00 – Disk starts. Video shows that the Subjects are traversing a salt plain on foot. Sky is overcast and dark. No life can be seen anywhere.
  • 00:07 – Subject 3 begins to speak. The conversation is casual and continues for the next twelve minutes without notable events.
  • 12:07 – Cut. Conversation is still ongoing, though Subject 1’s tone has become increasingly worried.
  • 12:55 – Argument between Subjects 1 and 3 breaks out. Subject 2 steps in, attempting to break it up.
  • 13:12 – Cut. Conversation has ended. Subjects appear weary. Distant thunder is heard in the background. The camera pans to show two unknown creatures (Researcher’s note: Creatures are estimated to be between 200 and 250 meters tall) on the southern horizon. From the distance, they appear to be masses of cartilage and gas sacks at least five stories tall. Subject 1 speaks, but is interrupted by a low roar in the distance. The Subjects look to the east, then at each other. Subject 3 speaks briefly, and the group resumes walking.
  • 14:04 –Disk ends

Disk 7

Data lost. The disk has been overwritten with several episodes of the anime Cowboy Bebop. Closer inspection has shown several one-frame fragments of the original video that remain.

  • 09:33 – A forest of crooked, leafless trees. Part of a bleached skeleton of unknown origin is seen in the corner of the frame.
  • 26:01 – Shot was taken within a small clearing containing six boulder-sized pearls which provide ambient light through unknown means. The clearing is within a dense formation of jagged limestone towers, known as tsingy.
  • 27:50 – Two frames of a bloated, wormlike creature with three flexible proboscises covered in feathered tufts.
  • 44:27 – A dark blue screen filled with complex mathematical formulae appearing in white Arabic numerals.
  • 54:14 – The final segment lasts for approximately three seconds. The soundless footage is too shaky for any conclusive analysis, but it would appear that Subject 2 is running up a steep incline at substantial speed with the camera rolling.
  • 55:02 – Static. Faint screams and gunfire can be heard beneath the white noise. A voice identified as Subject 2 can be heard shouting before being drowned out.
  • 55:46 – Disk ends.

Disk 8

  • 00:00 – Disk starts. Scene shows subjects slowly descending a rocky slope towards the bottom of a small valley. There is no plant life to be seen. There is a substantial amount of smog and dust in the air, giving a red-brown color to the sky.
  • 00:04 – Camera focuses on the bottom of the valley, observing a large settlement. Shacks are constructed primarily of corrugated sheet metal and are built several layers thick. Some figures can be seen around the edge of the settlement.
  • 00:09 – Cut. Subjects have reached the bottom of the incline and are standing roughly 10 meters from the edge of the slum. At this distance the conditions within the settlement are seen in detail. The narrow spaces between shacks are lined with sewage and large patches of grey lichen or fungus. Roughly twenty inhabitants can be seen, though they pay no attention to the Subjects. The inhabitants are human, and their appearance is consistent with the living conditions around them: they are filthy, dressed in rags, malnourished, and many sport deformities. They walk without any seeming purpose, noticing little, if any, of their surroundings.
  • 00:12 – Subjects start walking slowly towards the settlement’s edge. Inhabitants still show no signs of notice.
  • 00:15 – One of the slum inhabitants, male with severe deformities, sharply turns his head to face the camera.
  • 00:16 – Inhabitant begins running towards Subjects.
  • 00:19 – Inhabitant begins attacking Subjects, screaming “Let us go! Let us go, you sick fucks!”
  • 00:23 – A mob has formed around the Subjects, who attempt to fight them off.
  • 00:25 – Camera is knocked out of Subject 2’s hand, and records the mob’s feet for seven seconds afterwards. Screams can be heard off-screen.
  • 00:32 – Disk ends.
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