Like a bad penny or a persistent used car salesman, Q875 (the “day after” tape) just keeps resurfacing and getting in my way. Just when I though I had shelved it for good, I find myself once again digging it out and agonizing over its contents.
A couple years back I spent some time trying to figure out what was being said on this “mystery tape” and some (what I thought to be) surprising results were had. I sent around my transcript to several interested individuals, confident that I had made some real headway into the mystery. And to seal the deal, I shelved the tape, considering my work on it done. However, as the calendar moved forward, I would revisit Q875 for no particular reason. That’s when the trouble began.
After several dozen more listens, I concluded my initial findings were incorrect. Disappointed and a little embarrassed, I wrote an article about discovering my mistakes and included my new conclusions about what was being said by those individuals sitting in a small room, making recordings of news broadcasts on the 19 th of November, 1978. After the article was written, I shelved the tape yet again, hoping to never have to deal with it or its mind-numbing contents again.
So here it is, 2007, and I am back at it. I am fairly certain that Q875 will never be “cracked” completely, but I am stubborn, if not persistent. But still there is a small part of me that refuses to believe my own idea that Q875 will always be a mystery. Being a gambler by nature, I find myself thinking that I just need to manipulate the audio signal just a little more…then I will know what is being said. Just a little more work…just a few more days…I’ll figure the whole thing out. This does beg the question, “Just what is it that I am trying to figure out?” Most likely, the only thing that will come out of further investigation is a list of more questions. However, even if the contents are proved to be innocuous, at least the pursuit of deciphering the conversations will have been put to bed.
However, if I am to once again try and conquer this tape, I am going to have to do a major upgrade in the audio department, starting with the tape itself. So I have filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act with the FBI to obtain a digital copy of the original tape (or of the first generation copy of the original). Getting a recording that is as clean as possible is going to be a key factor in really dissecting this tape as it will allow me to remove more noise than I have been able to so far.
Since taking on Q875 again, I have been able to use software to clean up the audio even more than before. And I have heard very interesting things. What are those things? Ah, that’s the subject of another article, possibly appearing in next year’s jonestown report, along with clean sound bytes to support my conclusions. But if you just can’t wait, here are a few nuggets:
At one point in the tape, what sounds like an African American male says, “Send the detail….send the detail(ers?) right up.” At another point, when several men are talking to each other, one male is heard to say, “I thought you said you believed in all this mess?”
Again, these are examples of what I am hearing. And, as anyone who has been investigating this tape will tell you, I am just one of many. Clearly “the many” also have their own interpretations of Q875. With a clean copy and some signal manipulation, I may be proved wrong, and I am ok with that. However, I may be right on in my assertions. More important than being right or wrong is putting the mystery of Q875 to bed. Personally, I want to get Q875 its drink of water, tuck it in real tight, and read it a bed time story until it drifts off into dreamland.
(Josef Dieckman has written extensively about both the so-called death tape (Q 042) and the “day after” tape (Q 875). His complete collection of writings for the jonestown report may be found here. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)