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To whoever may find this journal,

I've decided to write this so that if something happens to me, hopefully it will help someone else before it's too late. I will try to write as much as I can remember.
 

Day 1 - THE DAY IT HAPPENED...

The day started out pretty much like any other day. The sun came up at the usual time and in the usual way, which caused the birds, who had begun their chirping an hour earlier, to redouble their efforts to awaken the rest of us. All in all, there was nothing to suggest that after this day, nothing would ever be the same again . . . for any of us.
 I woke up at the usual time, and stumbled first to the bathroom, and then on to the kitchen to get some caffeine into my system, which stubbornly refused to cooperate with my efforts to wake up. After grabbing a Diet Pepsi, I sat down and flipped on the t.v. to catch the morning news. That's when I got my first clue that things were about to change in a big way.
 The regular announcer had been replaced by a guy who looked like I felt. In other words, he didn't look good. He seemed breathless almost to the point of incoherency, and his words were tumbling out of his mouth so fast that I could only catch bits and pieces at first.  Something about a group of people that were missing. I thought, "Probably another bunch of religious nuts that have gone and offed themselves." I didn't see what the big deal was, so I got up and went in to get something to eat.
 He started mentioning estimates about the number of people in the group while I was frying some eggs for breakfast. Because of the noise from the frying pan, I thought I must have heard him wrong, so I put the eggs to the side, grabbed a piece of toast, and went in to listen more closely.  When I heard the numbers, my first thought  was, "That can't be right. Is this somebody's idea of a joke?" He was saying that the numbers were being estimated in the millions, and that the disappearances, which had happened only a few hours ago, were being reported world-wide.
 What? How could millions of people world-wide disappear without anyone having a clue about how? This was too weird. As I listened, all thoughts of breakfast and the day ahead disappeared from my mind. "Disappeared." Like all of those people. Now I was wide awake. I called in to work to let them know I wasn't going to be in, but no one answered the phone. I guess no one else went in either.
 I started flipping channels to see what other sources might have to say about this strange occurrence. All the same. A bunch of people had disappeared and nobody knew how or why or where. Then I came across a station that was interviewing a guy on the east coast who looked like he didn't know whether to cry or to punch somebody out. Seems he was getting his kids, a boy and a girl, ready for school when they both simply vanished into thin air at the breakfast table right in front of him. That gave me the creeps, so I switched channels again, only to hear a woman on the verge of hysteria say that her husband had been backing the car out of their driveway to go to work, when the same thing happened. She'd been trying to get his attention from their front door (apparently he had forgotten something) when the car rolled to a stop. She thought he was coming back, but the car just sat there with the engine running. She walked out to talk to him, and when she got to the car, he wasn't in it, even though she had been watching the car the whole time and knew that he hadn't gotten out. That's when I decided I'd had enough. I turned the sound off on the television, but left it on in case the government decided to make a statement.
 All day long the reports kept coming in. Every so often I would turn the sound back up to listen for a few minutes, but the stories were all the same, with only the details changed. In one, the pilot of a 747 had disappeared during final approach for landing. Thanks to the quick reaction by the co-pilot, the jet was landed safely. In another, the passenger in a small, suddenly-pilotless Cessna wasn't so fortunate.
 This afternoon, some people started coming up with possible explanations. One, a new-ager, said that the earth had just gone through a spiritual "evolutionary leap." According to her, the people who disappeared weren't spiritually "evolved" enough to make the transition. Not to worry, she said, they were all safe on another "astral plane" receiving instruction and guidance to help them make the transition and would return to earth eventually. Um, o.k.
 Another one said that the earth had just passed through a region of space where there were a large number of what he called "spatial rifts." He said it was the same sort of thing that has happened many times before in the Bermuda Triangle, but on a worldwide scale, and that all the missing people were now in a different dimension, although he couldn't vouch for their safety. He also said that the last time this happened was when the dinosaurs disappeared. "There's a new one," I thought.
 There was one that would've been funny if it weren't so sad. Some big guy decked out in camo gear claimed that it was all a plot by the "New World Order people" to reduce the population of the planet. The missing people had been taken by their respective governments to detention camps where they would be held until they were "exterminated." While he claimed to know where some of these "camps" were, he wasn't giving out details. Sheesh!
 Finally, there was the inevitable "expert" who said that UFO's had abducted the missing people. When asked what he thought the reason could be, he said he had three main hypotheses. It was possible, according to him, that the missing people had been taken to serve as slave labor, or possibly even food, for the aliens. He also said they might be being used by the aliens in genetic experiments to revive their dying race. However, he personally believed the missing people were being brainwashed and trained as an invasion force to come back and take over the planet within a few years. Uh, huh.
 The president finally came on with a statement, but as usual, he used a lot of big words to say next to nothing. After saying that several government officials and employees were among the missing, it basically all boiled down to "we don't know either. If we figure it out we'll let you know." I should have expected as much. I decided to go to bed early.

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