We’ve now uncovered a number of these audio recordings from the mysterious radio show called “The Morning Maelstrom”, and I’ve been poring over each episode trying to piece together a coherent timeline.
This particular file came to me after I enlisted the help of my fellow CyberSeekers to follow up on a clue I came across in another episode. The audio was extracted from a thumb drive shaped like an ice cream cone that was found in a box of random computer parts picked up at a garage sale in the rural town of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas.
Based on what I’ve heard in some of the other episodes, it sounds like this one aired prior to what I’ve begun to refer to as “The Calamity.” If only the people of the Deep Reach knew what was about to happen…
It’s no surprise that CyberSeekers and urban explorers tend to run in the same circles. One explores the darkest corners of the virtual realm while the other explores decaying structures left abandoned in the physical world.
That’s how we came across this latest recording.
A group of urban explorers reached out to us after they discovered an arcade system board with the word “Polybius” etched into it during an 2009 exploration of the TSS Duke of Lancaster, a transport vessel which had previously been converted into a tourist attraction called “The Fun Ship” before being completely abandoned in 1983.
The legend of the Polybius arcade cabinet is well-known in the gaming world, so we jumped at the chance to see what secrets lay hidden in those circuits. We got much more than we bargained for.
This one’s a little different than the others. To start with, this is the first actual audio cassette we’ve come across in this bizarre scavenger hunt. The rest of the audio we’ve uncovered so far has been recordings extracted from digital sources. What’s more interesting is that this appears to be two personal, audio journal entries where we get to see a very different side of Jane Ripley than what we’ve seen in the Morning Maelstrom broadcast tapes.
It’s clear she’s begun to realize that there may be sinister forces at work in the Deep Reach, but she clearly does not yet grasp how dangerous they truly are.
This recording comes to us courtesy of Minda, one of our fellow CyberSeekers. While most our time is spent plumbing the fathomless depths of the dark web, every once in a while, we’ll stumble across a gem like this one hiding in plain sight.
Such was the case of the modified Furby Minda found listed on Ebay by a seller out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The seller was an amateur urban explorer who discovered the original 90’s style electronic Furby toy in an abandoned Toys’ R Us. It was clear by the asking price the seller had no clue what they had.
Among the millions of otherwise unremarkable listings parsed by Minda’s web crawler, it was the description of this one particular Furby that caught the bot’s attention:
“Original 1998 Ocean Ripples Furby. Out of package. Broken voice box. Keeps repeating ‘Welcome to the Deep Reach.’”