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[#Occ] The Zuccotti Park Anomaly

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posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 12:04 AM
“Does anyone give a damn about me at all?” My question was directed at a gray-haired man wearing the white shirt, jeans, and surgical mask who strolled past my gurney, seemingly unaware of my existence, as had everyone else in that god-forsaken place. Several minutes before, I’d awoken to the sound of sirens, shouts, and the ever-present beep of the vital stat monitor next to me. Emergency personnel rushed about the room, and I became aware of the oxygen tubes that were in my nostrils and the intravenous line connected to my arm. I put two and two together and it added up to something that looked pretty bad, but where in the world was I, and how bad was it?

Clearly, I wasn’t in a hospital. Hospitals typically have walls and windows, but this place looked more like the inside of a big tunnel - one made of green plastic fabric that lurched and swayed slightly with the steps of anyone who came by. Divided into sections, the structure was full of additional patients on gurneys, surrounded by medical equipment and technicians, none of who seemed overly concerned with my condition.

How did I get here, I wondered? I closed my eyes and tried to dredge up my most recent memories, and slowly began to remember what had happened. In an instant, I recalled the screams, the fear, and the horror of it all. “I NEED A DOCTOR!” I screamed, trembling in terror. My chest suddenly felt tight, as if a giant hand was squeezing my heart. “GOD, WON’T SOMEONE HELP ME?” I could barely breathe. A young woman wearing latex gloves stopped alongside and stared in my direction. “Where am I?” I gasped, and the woman motioned for me to stay still. “Sir, please don’t move. It’s better if you stay....”

“I’m dying!!”

Just then an older woman - mid-fifties I guessed - wearing a white coat and stethoscope stepped forward. Thank God, I thought. At least she looked like a doctor.

“Mr. Cutter?” she said, noticing the chart that hung from a hook on my gurney. “Is that your name?”

“Am I going to die?” I pleaded while clutching my chest, my eyes wide with fear. “Can you call my parents? I had the number in my...”

“Mr. Cutter, I need you to take a deep breath.”

“Who are you, and WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME?” My mind swirled with fear as I tried to come to terms with my impending doom, my grip on sanity slipping away with every agonizing second. The doctor took my hand in hers. “I’m Dr. Dennault, and you’re not going to die. You...are not...going to die. Please nod if you understand.” Slowly, weakly, I nodded my head. Tears were trickling down my face as she instructed me to breathe slowly, and in a few minutes I was under control.

“Where am I?”

“You’re inside an emergency mobile field hospital. The inflatable kind. It’s been set up here in downtown Manhattan by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“You’re with FEMA?”

Dr. Dennault smiled. “No, I’m a volunteer. I was attending a consultation uptown when the event occurred. I was just about to leave for the airport to attend a week-long neurology convention in Las Vegas when...”

“The meeting!” I blurted out. “On Wall St.! We have to stop it! How do I get these out?”

Before I could pull the oxygen tubes out of my nostrils, Dr. Dennault grabbed my wrists, restraining them.“You need to remain still.”

“I have to get out of here! The G-8 is meeting in a few hours...” She held me back as I tried to climb down from the gurney.

“It’s over,” she said. “Please lie down.” Two paramedics, sensing the Doctor’s need for assistance, approached us, but she waved them off.

“What? How?” I asked.

“You’ve been unconscious for just under twenty-four hours. The meeting already took place. All you need to do now is rest.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My eyes rolled upward toward the florescent light that hung from the ceiling. Clenched fists telegraphed my rising anger. “The bastards!”

“Mr. Cutter, this is important. I need you to tell me exactly what happened yesterday.”

“We were attacked! Poisoned! They were killing us!”

“Okay,” Dr. Dennault nodded, “but I need you to remember the details. Your life may depend on it.”

“Am I going to be okay?” I asked, feeling worried again.

“You’ve got to tell me what happened,” she said, her voice with more than a hint of urgency. And so I described the events of that day to the best of my recollection, beginning with the demonstration at Zuccotti Park, in downtown Manhattan......

Continued below

edit on 21-10-2011 by Flatwoods because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 12:05 AM
Friday, November 18th was unlike any day, or moment in time, I’ve ever experienced. I’d walked into Zuccotti Park the night before, having traveled in the back of a crowded van for the past three nights with little sleep. My only possessions were a small backpack of meager supplies, forty dollars, a pair of sandals, and the clothes on my body. Nevertheless, I was excited just to be there. The gathering that morning was the culmination of the entire movement, a movement for freedom and revolution that had sprung up from nowhere only a few weeks before.

And it promised to be quite a day, for sure. The G-8 leaders were convening for an emergency economic summit at the CapitalTech Tower on Wall St., only a few blocks to the southwest. Between us and them stood about three hundred well-outfitted riot police with dogs, tear gas, and orders to keep protesters away at all costs. Despite the formidable presence of the riot police, our determination was unbreakable. We were going to march down Wall St., pigs be damned. We would march to the Tower, and our voices would be heard. The battleground was taking shape.

Luckily, the numbers were on our side. Looking about the square, I gazed in awe at the crowd of over ten thousand protesters – some were carrying signs while others chatted about their reasons for being here or about what might happen when the demonstration approached the police line. Some had come representing organizations, such as the Rainforest Action Network, the United Federation of Teachers, and the SEIU. Some came only to represent themselves, as human beings calling for change, for freedom from the chains of economic slavery. Several television and movie celebrities, major ones, had joined us to support the effort as well. Together, we would march as one.

If only we’d known what was about to happen that morning - I think we would have dropped our signs and run for our lives to fight another day.

Around nine-thirty a.m. the chanting began, lead by Occupy New York organizer Avery Rogers who carried a bullhorn and prompted us to yell slogans such as “Break the banks!” and “Fire the Fed!”. How incredible it was to be there, in the moment, a part of something real for the first time in my life. The atmosphere was charged with excitement, but also apprehension. We chanted for at least an hour, and then Avery Rogers handed his bullhorn to anyone who wanted to speak. One by one, people used it to vent their anger toward the system as Occupy volunteers directed us into formation along the street.

I suppose the idea was to form a phalanx to break the police line. We began to chant again, this time even louder. A guy named Travis Stonehill from the Global Poverty Coalition (GPC) introduced himself and began screaming for accountability: accountability from the greedy bankers, the evil CEO’s, and the corrupt Federal Reserve, his voice echoing among the towering glass buildings that represented the corporate greed we all despised so much.

Down the street, the riot police were taking up their positions – they must’ve sensed a charge was imminent. Seeing this, we were alarmed, and grew ever more angry. I remember bottles being thrown toward the line, accompanied by curses of anger and frustration. Avery Rogers called out to us from the bullhorn pleading for momentary calm, and to clear room for an ambulance to arrive. It was being summoned for Mr. Stonehill who, in a fit of rage, had gone into some kind of arrhythmia and was having difficulty breathing. Almost no one listened though…anger was surging through the crowd like a wildfire, and the noise our chants and screams became deafening.

Then it happened…all of a sudden I couldn’t shout anymore. In fact, I couldn’t even breathe. Noticing my difficulty, someone started hitting me on the back between my shoulder blades. He must’ve thought I was choking, but I wasn’t. I just couldn’t breathe. As I fell to the pavement in terror, I saw the same thing started happening to the others around me. The screams of rage became cries of terror as protesters, one by one, dropped to their knees while clutching their throats and gasping for breath. Some ran away, others frantically dialed 911 on their mobile phones before collapsing helpless onto the pavement like dying fish on a dry dock. Moments later, my own consciousness faded away to blackness.

Continued below
* * * * * * * * * *

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 12:06 AM
“So what was it?” I asked the Doctor, who was looking over a clipboard that contained my chart. “Mustard gas, nerve gas, some kind of nuclear thing? Should I be worried about cancer later?”

“None of the above.” Doctor Dennault replied calmly. “Homeland Security’s been searching for everything imaginable, even bio-weapons, but all tests came back negative. Over six hundred people were affected: some reporting dizziness, some had respiratory failure, and some even lost consciousness as you did. Here’s the strangest thing; every single one of them has recovered in full.”

“That’s BS! Were were gassed! I could smell it!...”

“There were some reports of an odor, but that’s been solved. It seems a couple of protesters tried putting together a set of Malatov Cocktails to throw at the police.” Dr. Dennault shook her head disapprovingly. “ It’s a miracle no one was killed. But the gasoline fumes weren’t strong enough to knock anyone out. Something else happened.”

“Okay?” I said, hanging on her sentence.

“Mr. Cutter, you and all of these people came under the influence of what is known as mass hysteria. Under the right set of social circumstances it can occur, and it’s more common that most people think. The good news is that your condition was psychological in nature, and temporary. You’ll be fine.”

Shaking my head I said “No way, lady. That’s crazy talk. Maybe I should get another doctor.”

“Think back to what happened,” she said, unfazed by my skepticism. “You and thousands of other people were together in a crowded space, after having little sleep the night before. You were being directed by an authority figure - Mr. Rogers, it seems - and you were fearful of police discipline. Throw in the chanting, speeches, and other psychological influences, and it all adds up. You were in what hypnotists like to call a highly suggestive state. That being the case, I’d say the conditions were optimal for an outbreak of mass hysteria. Perfect, in fact.”

“Hypnosis? I still don’t believe it,” I said, looking away.

She continued, “A similar event happened in the 1980 in England. Nearly three hundred children participating in a multi-school band performance fell ill within minutes of each other - many of them had to be hospitalized. Just like the Occupy protesters, each of them recovered in under twenty-four hours. It’s a fascinating case, one that science has been studying carefully ever since.”

“Bogus!“ I shot back. “It wasn’t hysteria. I was there! I was the first to go down.”

“But you weren’t, were you? Something else happened before that.”

“Mr. Stonehill.” I replied, remembering the man who’d suffered the heart attack. “Is he okay?”

“I don’t know. Victims have been taken to a number of hospitals, whatever place has the capacity. But other witnesses said the same thing; mainly that they heard he was having an arrhythmia, and couldn’t breathe. He may well have, but most instances of hysteria begin with a triggering event of that very kind. You see, once the idea is communicated, it spreads, like a virus. The mind is a very powerful thing.”

I leaned forward, looking her squarely in the eye. “So that’s the spin, is it? That’s how they’re going to cover if all up? Let me tell you what I think...this is a god-damned conspiracy! It’s a conspiracy and you’re part of it.”

Dr. Dennault hung the clipboard back on the gurney, and took a step back. “Believe whatever you want. Just tell me one thing; how do you feel right now?”

There was no denying it; I felt perfectly fine. I left the mobile facility shortly thereafter with a prescription for some mild tranquilizers and instructions from Dr. Dennault to call 911 if anything unusual happened again. Maybe I should’ve thanked her, but I didn’t. My heart was broken that day, ripped apart by the failure of it all. We had the chance to do something incredible that day, only to be brought to our knees by what would become known to history as the Zuccotti Park Anomaly. In the months afterward, the protests lost their momentum, and the movement pretty much died. Things went back to the way they had always been - the rich got richer, and the rest of scavenged for leftovers like pathetic, stray animals. Capitalism won, the people lost, and all because of some unforeseeable psychological aberration - a strange, little understood, and random event.

Or was it?

Months later, while doing research for an article I was writing (one I hoped would get published in the Midwestern Social Justice Monthly), I uncovered something quite disturbing. It seems that no one can locate Mr. Travis Stonehill, or has ever heard of the Global Poverty Coalition. It never existed, and neither did he. I even tried to contact Dr. Dennault for an interview, but made a shocking discovery. After treating the victims of the anomaly, she went on to attend the neurology convention in Las Vegas. Upon entering her hotel room for cleaning, a maid found her lying on the carpet. The official cause of death was a cerebral aneurism.

Now I think back to what she said to me in the mobile hospital facility regarding the mysterious incident involving the schoolchildren in England all those years ago. “It’s a fascinating case, one that science has been studying carefully ever since.”

By science, I assume that includes government-funded science. Maybe the military too, as well as the big corporations, the CIA, and God-only-knows who else. If so, I wonder what they learned from it.

More importantly, what are they capable of?

edit on 21-10-2011 by Flatwoods because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 12:09 AM
So this is my entry. Best I could do on short notice. If you like it, tweet me. @Flatwoods_ATS

posted on Oct, 23 2011 @ 11:46 PM
Oh I am so sorry to have missed the vote here, thank you for a riveting tale, so glad I finally found your entry! I think what you wrote is a very scary side to how things really workout. I am so tired but this was the best bedtime story.

posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 10:25 AM
Love it!!!! Wow, that had my attention. I really think that was a fabulous story. So ,you missed the deadline??? If so that was too bad cuz I like this one best.

posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 09:25 PM

Originally posted by antar
Oh I am so sorry to have missed the vote here, thank you for a riveting tale, so glad I finally found your entry! I think what you wrote is a very scary side to how things really workout. I am so tired but this was the best bedtime story.

I'm glad you liked it, Antar. Actually, this story is partly based on factual events. Thanks.

posted on Oct, 24 2011 @ 09:27 PM

Originally posted by SHABBYCAT
Love it!!!! Wow, that had my attention. I really think that was a fabulous story. So ,you missed the deadline??? If so that was too bad cuz I like this one best.

I didn't miss the deadline, but I didn't win either. That's okay though, because I believe in this story and I'm glad I wrote it. Already working on the next one.

posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 01:29 AM
reply to post by Flatwoods

After doing additional research, I now realize I should've used the term " conversion disorder" to describe the situation this story is based on. I wonder if there's a way to go back and edit old stories.

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