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5 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2009 - 1:53AM #1
Slipnish
Posts: 3,869

I'm a sceptic.  By nature and training.  I don't really believe in anything, but am content to allow for the possibility, and will believe upon proof and/or evidence.  (Depending on how picky you want to be with your nomenclature...)  Recently, I moved in with a buddy of mine while I search for a house.  He has a huge house, no kids, and is recently divorced, so the union seemed to be really good timing for both of us.


So here we go...


Shortly after I moved in, he told me that at night he often hears voices.  They are faint, and usually only audible when a fan is on.  We've looked through the bedroom, listened at the walls, checked for intermittent radio signals on all the electronics, and all without success.  Oddly enough, and quite independently, his girlfriend has heard them as well.  She asked one night if I had had the TV or a radio on in my bedroom the night before, and when I told her no, she looked puzzled.  Then she said she'd heard voices, kind of muttering late that night as she was lying in the bed reading.  They were too indistinct to make out, but definitely followed a conversational pattern of speech.


I shrugged that off.  Having a background in Psychology, I just figured that there was some rational cause, and so...left it at that.


 


Let's move down the road of time...


 


A few weeks later I was up one morning getting ready for a morning jaunt to a nearby town.  I was standing outside my friend's bedroom in the hall, when I paused at what I thought were voices.  I clearly heard my friend and his girlfriend talking, and thought, "Wow.  They are up early.  They must have a busy day planned."  (They are remodeling the house, and she comes in on weekends and gives us orders.  Ha!)  So anyway, not wanting to eavesdrop, I went downstairs, and continued on my way.


Later that night, when I returned, I asked them what had gotten them up so early.  Concerned that perhaps my waking early had stirred them, I asked if I had inadvertantly woken them with my morning routine.


They both looked at me oddly, then shared that "couple look" that says, "What is HE talking about?"  I laughed a bit and chided them for pulling my leg.  I explained that I had been up around 7AM, and that I had heard them talking as I walked by the doorway.  I told them that the conversation was too low to make out, but that it was definitely their voices.  A male and female, and in conversational tones.


They shared that look again, and looked at me once more.


"We didn't get up until about 10 this morning." my friend said, smiling.


I gave them some more grief about it, but they were adamant.  I let that go as well.


 


Move forward in time...


 


A few days after that, I was sitting downstairs watching TV.  It was the middle of the week, and no one was home but me and the cats.  Somewhere around 8:30-9:00 o'clock, I heard my friend sigh heavily from the stairwell.


Puzzled I looked up and asked, "Yo man, when did you get here.  I didn't think you'd be home until 9:30 or so."  The cats looked up sleepily, then returned to hogging the couch.


I waited a second, and then it dawned on me.  I was sitting between both entrances to the house.  The front door on my left, and sliding glass patio doors on my right.  At no time had anyone entered the house. 


I got up dutifully.  The hair on the back of my neck standing straight up.  Not knowing was worse than the fear, so I trudged up the stairs.  I checked each and every room.  No one.


I went back downstairs, and resumed watching TV. 


 


Move on a few days...


 


I was taking a smoke break outside near dusk.  Again, the house is empty.  (My friend works late some nights, whereas I'm a 8-5 kind of guy.)  I was sort of aimlessly walking around in the backyard, when I happened to glance up at the bedroom window for my room.  I was quite surprised to see a shadow walk past the wan light from the other bedroom.


I thought about that a second, then realized that the light had been off when I walked past the room to go downstairs.  I sighed, put out the cigarette, jarred the butt, and dutifully walked the house again.  Not to my surprise, no one was there.  And the light at his bathroom vanity was on.  (My friend is a nut about conservation, so lights are turned off when we leave for any amount of time.  Okay, so he could have missed once.  No one is perfect.  I'll allow for that.  But I didn't notice the light, or I'd have turned it off.  And I STILL don't know what caused the shadow...)


 


Moving on...the weirdest one of all...


 


Once again, I was alone in the house.  I was doing laundry, and had a bundle of clothes fresh from the dryer.  I was walking into the bedroom to dump them on the bed and fold and hang them.  Sitting on my computer desk, just beneath the window, was a cat.  Well, the shadow of a cat.  (He has two, one of which is black.  She's a big cat, quite fat, and tremendously cuddly.)  So, anywho, I'm looking at this shadow, and thinking, "Something isn't quite right about it.  I'm pretty sure the cats are downstairs, and I never saw one come past me." 


Now, the hallway is big enough for a cat to sneak by, and I was dragging clothes out of the dryer, and I didn't have any lights on, because the dryer has a light in it, and I was just going to dump the clothes on the bed and turn on the light anyways...


In real time, this process takes place in maybe two or three seconds.  I'm standing in the doorway, looking towards the window.  I have an armload of clothes.  I am trying to turn on the light with my elbow, while staring at this thing sitting on my desk.  To say I am relieved when I see the long, black, feline tail, twitch upwards, is an understatement.  To say that when the light came on and NOTHING was sitting on the computer desk, even though I NEVER took my eyes off of it...is something else.  My hair stood up.  I had chills.  I was CONVINCED that his black cat was sitting there.  The tail movement had been the clincher...  Except, apparently, it wasn't.


 


Moving on...


 


Tonight I was cooking dinner.  My buddy has a knife block with lots of knives in it.  I have, like I guess everyone that spends any time in the kitchen, a favorite knife.  It has a serrated edge, and I generally use it for just about everything.  The problem is, there is another knife of the same size in the block, without the serrations, and they sit side by side.  Now, the knives don't always sit in the same slot, so I figure I have a 50/50 shot at getting my favorite when I take one out of the block.


So...I pull out a knife and I note...it's the wrong one.  It's been one of those days, but I'm in a hurry, things are cooking, and I need to get that stupid onion cut up now.  I smile ruefully that even with a 50/50 shot, I still have gotten the wrong blade.


I turn to flip the burgers in the skillet, and when I turn back...  guess which knife is on the counter.  It's the one with the serrated edge.  Now...  I don't get it.  I KNOW which knife I pulled out, because of the series of thoughts it lead to.  The kitchen is well lit, and I even took the time to look specifically at the damn edge.


So...


 


I'm going to leave out some things, as this has gone on longer than I intended.  It's weird, but I'm not ready to accept a haunting as of yet.


 


Suggestions?


 

I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it.

~Any Creationist~
(But honestly Douglas Adams)

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov
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5 years ago  ::  May 02, 2009 - 11:35PM #2
Blü
Posts: 25,056

Great report, Slip!


When I worked in the Pacific Islands I once stayed in a house where the sound of a crowd of people talking was very clear on still nights.  I mentioned it and was told it's the normal behavior of the muttonbirds at that time of year.  Very convincing sound until you know better, though.


It seems to have in common with your story that you can never quite work out the words being said, though the conversational tone is unmistakable.


And if birds can cause the phenomenon, no doubt other natural sources can too.


Not quite sure how to extend that to the one-only male / one-only female voice distinction you heard.  I take it once again you couldn't make out actual words - but you thought was? /  sounded like? / must have been? the voices of your housemates?  Individual voices can be quite distinct so I'm curious about how you made your assessment.


The light, the shadow and the cat might be little matters helped on their way by the creeps - your mention of the hair on the nape prickling brings back a few moments to me even now.  And we can no doubt agree that once the door of suggestibility is ajar, as from the 'voices', all kinds of interpretations of events only slightly out of the ordinary become possible.


The knife reminds me of the time I twice put the wrong screwdriver back in the box to stop confusing myself only to find both times I'd put the right one away instead.  I concluded I was was careless the first time and careless through irritation the second time, rather than that Hob Goblin had his hooks into me.


So, as is necessary on such occasions, I'm pointing here and there and saying, Like that?  But you're the judge.

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5 years ago  ::  May 03, 2009 - 1:01PM #3
Slipnish
Posts: 3,869

Great report, Slip!


When I worked in the Pacific Islands I once stayed in a house where the sound of a crowd of people talking was very clear on still nights.  I mentioned it and was told it's the normal behavior of the muttonbirds at that time of year.  Very convincing sound until you know better, though.


It seems to have in common with your story that you can never quite work out the words being said, though the conversational tone is unmistakable.


And if birds can cause the phenomenon, no doubt other natural sources can too.


Not quite sure how to extend that to the one-only male / one-only female voice distinction you heard.  I take it once again you couldn't make out actual words - but you thought was? /  sounded like? / must have been? the voices of your housemates?  Individual voices can be quite distinct so I'm curious about how you made your assessment.


 


Thanks for the reply Blu.  I was starting to feel unloved over here.  Let's see if I can shed some light on it for ya.  I was standing in the hallway, about 6-8 inches from their bedroom door.  I was only there for a few seconds, but, like most things you sort of "take for granted" I just heard what sounded like 2 people talking.  The interesting part is, I hear the two of them talking all the time as we traipse about the house.  You know how it is when you live with other people.  Their tone, conversational rhythm, etc...  It just seemed like they were awake and talking about something.  No big deal until later when they were both adamant about still being asleep.  Now, I won't say my friends are beyond pulling my leg on ocassion, but they did seem very earnest about it, and never came back later to say anything different.  After all, what's the good of a joke not shared, eh?


The light, the shadow and the cat might be little matters helped on their way by the creeps - your mention of the hair on the nape prickling brings back a few moments to me even now.  And we can no doubt agree that once the door of suggestibility is ajar, as from the 'voices', all kinds of interpretations of events only slightly out of the ordinary become possible.


 


Yeah.  You know, I was a little freaked until the "tail" twitched, and then it was like, "Whew!  I'm glad that's a familiar object."  My background is in psychology, so I know full well the deviations from reality that one's mind can take when suggestibility is on the table.  Sure, I'm human and certainly no better than anyone else when it comes to being "fooled" but I would swear on a stack of your favorite holy books or Dawkins autobiography that SOMETHING was sitting there until I turned on the light...


You know, upon reflection, the whole "tail twitching" thing freaks me out still. 


 


As a side note, but slightly related, we were camping in New Mexico one summer, and I spent a couple of minutes holding discourse with a sign, that I was convinced was a buddy of mine standing a few feet away.  The silhoutte was unmistakably his at he angle I was standing...  And yes, I was sober at the time.  LOL.  I know these things happen.  I know they do.  It's the motion that really gets me in this case.


The knife reminds me of the time I twice put the wrong screwdriver back in the box to stop confusing myself only to find both times I'd put the right one away instead.  I concluded I was was careless the first time and careless through irritation the second time, rather than that Hob Goblin had his hooks into me.


So, as is necessary on such occasions, I'm pointing here and there and saying, Like that?  But you're the judge.


 


Sure, we've all done that.  I KNOW I could have been mistaken, even to the point of actually pulling the knife out of the block and mistaking the straight blade for the serrated one.  Human perception is hugely flawed at any given time. 


I dunno Blu.  I pride myself as being a sceptic.  Honestly I do.  I refuse to assign value to things until I feel like I fully understand it and can form an honest opinion.  And even then, I know that these things can change...


All I can tell you is that to the absolute best of my knowledge and perception, all of the events in this thread are true.  I just decided to sort of chronicle them here for others to poke at and maybe...hopefully, help me sort out the "real" from the "imagined."


I've never really had any paranormal experiences that I wasn't quick to debunk at some level.  This is sort of new territory for me.  I must confess though that I'm enjoying the mystery of it to no small degree.


One new thing.  My buddy and I were getting ready to go out to a nearby pub for a nightcap.  I was standing at the bottom of the stairwell, and he was in front and to the right of me, turning off the television, and picking up his keys and so fourth from the coffee table. 


I was looking in his direction when I saw some motion from the stairs.  I assumed it was one of the cats on a nightly kitty rampage, ripping about the place on one of the mysterious cat missions that only they understand.  The object bounced on the second from the bottom stair when I noted it was more white than either cat.  (One is black and the other is more tortise shell, gray and orange with darker stripes of grey to black.)  So, I assumed one of the cats had been in the process of bringing down a toy from upstairs and had fought a battle on the stairs and lost the toy, with the toy tumbling down. 


I hate these narratives.  It takes me half a page to report something that took place in a second or less...


Anywho, I turned to identify the mysterious object, and of course there was nothing there.  At all.  Neither on the steps, or at the bottom of the stairs.  So I did what anyone would do...


"Hey, did you see that?"


"See what?"


"The bouncing ball that isn't there?"


He looks at me like I've lost my mind.  I just grin stupidly.


"Huh?"


I explain it to him.  He yells up the stairs, "I've told you guys, no playing ball in the house!"  He heads for the front door.  "Let's get out of here.  They'll behave while we're gone."


The object?  About the size of a volley ball.  Sort of "dirty" white color. 


Remember, this all takes place in a LOT less time than it takes to tell, much less read.


Is my perception skewed?  Possibly?  Do I hallucinate?  Nope.  Drugs?  Nope.  Prone to exaggeration?  Only to my children when I tell them about the "bad" tooth fairy.  You know, the one that carries pliers?  (I still get in trouble over that one with their mother...  sigh.  She still needs to work on her sense of humor, IMO.)


I dunno folks.  I'm just "calling it as I sees it."  So far it hasn't been "scary" past the weirdness you get when you turn on the light and nothing is there.


I HATE to say this...  Really, I do because I've seen this argument used and destroyed any number of times.  Heck, I've done that very thing...


BUT...if it were one incident, I'd not have thought twice about it. 


Oh well.  Maybe the coming weeks will offer new things that prove I'm just bat**$# insane and solve the whole mystery.

I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it.

~Any Creationist~
(But honestly Douglas Adams)

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov
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5 years ago  ::  May 05, 2009 - 1:29AM #4
Blü
Posts: 25,056

Slip


Okay, we have two classes of phenomenon.


 


The first is a sound like more than one person talking, but no words can be made out.


And this may be during the day or night.


And may continue for a while, or start and stop. 


No?


Does it stop when you pay attention to it? 


When you move from one particular spot or strip?


Does it come from a particular direction?


Does it start again if you return to that spot &c? 


Is it associated with some part(s) of the house rather than others?


Do your descriptions of it coincide exactly with your friends'?


 


And then we have moving things.


These are, so far, the shadow past the window, the cat and the volley ball, yes?


Do trees overgrow the house?


Or are there trees between the house and streetlights or other bright sources of light?


Do headlights of cars shine into the house as they (cars) turn?


Are there pendant lights in the house that may move in an air current?


Were any volley balls murdered on the premises?


What do your friends report about moving things?


 


I've started wondering how I would've reacted on the two screwdrivers occasion if I'd been told some kind of mischievous spirit haunted the garage ...

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5 years ago  ::  May 18, 2009 - 11:02PM #5
Slipnish
Posts: 3,869
[/quote]


Yeah, I hear ya.  You know, it's very odd to be in this position.  I want practical explanations, but I still don't see any.  To date it's been very quiet.  No voices, no random changing of cutlery, no haunted volleyballs.  /shrug.


Maybe it's moved on, or the electromagnetic forces are no longer in alignment, or maybe my meds have kicked in...  :-)~  I dunno, but it has been an interesting stay.  I keep hoping something else will happen to...  I dunno.  Make me scratch my head harder, I suppose.  At this point, I'm not sure how I feel about that...

I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it.

~Any Creationist~
(But honestly Douglas Adams)

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov
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5 years ago  ::  May 18, 2009 - 11:15PM #6
Slipnish
Posts: 3,869

May 5, 2009 -- 1:29AM, Blü wrote:


Slip


Okay, we have two classes of phenomenon.


 


The first is a sound like more than one person talking, but no words can be made out.


And this may be during the day or night.


And may continue for a while, or start and stop. 


No?


Correct.


Does it stop when you pay attention to it? 


Doesn't seem to.  It is frustrating though, as you can never seem to make out any actual words, though you FEEL like you should at some point.  At least that was my experience.


When you move from one particular spot or strip?


Honestly, I don't know.  I only heard it the one time.  The other fellow says he can't find a source, but I've never asked about moving around.  I surmise from conversation that he's looked a bit, but can't find any.  I don't know if it stops when he looks, though.


Does it come from a particular direction?


In my case it came from behind a closed door.  In their case, they just hear it in the room.  No direction seems to be apparent.


Does it start again if you return to that spot &c? 


It seems to only be heard in the master bedroom.  Other than the sigh I heard on the stairs, I've never heard anything else.


Is it associated with some part(s) of the house rather than others?


Yes.  That one bedroom seems to be the focus.


Do your descriptions of it coincide exactly with your friends'?


Yes.  They are very close.  Or at least as close as, "indeterminate conversational tones or a nearly heard conversation" can be.  Laughing


 


And then we have moving things.


These are, so far, the shadow past the window, the cat and the volley ball, yes?


Yep.  That's the list.


Do trees overgrow the house?


No.  The closest trees are in the backyard at the fence line.  A good 15 feet or so from the house at the closest point.


Or are there trees between the house and streetlights or other bright sources of light?


No. 


Do headlights of cars shine into the house as they (cars) turn?


Actually, during some of the recent remodeling, he had the curtains down in the formal dining room for a while, and car lights often came in that window.  However, that window is down and over from the hall, and light from there would never be seen from an upstairs room.


Are there pendant lights in the house that may move in an air current?


Nope.  Well, truthfully, most of the lights have fans attached.  (Or vice versa...)  But other than slight back and forth motion, there isn't much development of shadow play there.  And the light on at the time of the shadow was a fixed bathroom light.


Were any volley balls murdered on the premises?


Hrmmm.  I suppose I could check with some of the older neighbors.  Tongue out


What do your friends report about moving things?


Nothing that I know of.  At least, if they have, I don't remember any stories.  I tried to write this fairly soon after the events while they were still fresh in my mind.  It's been quiet lately, so I haven't given it much thought.


I've started wondering how I would've reacted on the two screwdrivers occasion if I'd been told some kind of mischievous spirit haunted the garage ...


I hear ya.  I hate the fact that my own experience was compromised by the experiences of others. 


 

I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it.

~Any Creationist~
(But honestly Douglas Adams)

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov
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5 years ago  ::  May 19, 2009 - 2:43AM #7
Blü
Posts: 25,056

Slip


Hmm.


Yeah.


Well.


More information needed.


But to make a sound, you need a physical ingredient to vibrate the air.  Animals, birds, machinery, some vibration made by a neighbor ...


The volley ball's intriguing too.  I'll see what my medical mates say about tricks with eyes when next we meet for a drink.  (Every few months I get glowing gold floaters from cataract precursors, but there's no mistaking what they are.)


Do you ever get migraines?  I recall there are visual phenomena associated with aura, though that seems like a rather long bow too.


Where's Jimmy Randi when you need him?

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5 years ago  ::  May 20, 2009 - 5:34PM #8
Godgirl
Posts: 973

My first guess would be that your roomates are playing tricks on you but i dont know how the kife insident would happen without you noticing them there. What kind of meds are you on? For what kind of disorder? Sorry if this is too personal. But that would be my second guess that your roomates were again playing tricks on you cause they know you have some type of illness (which wouldnt be very nice of your roomates to do.) You have to ask yourself...are these people good friends? Would they play these tricks on me? Do they have it in them? If they were playing tricks on you that would be quite cruel and you should move out. But if you have some type of condition that would expain all that i would look into that too. I am not trying to rule out paranormal activity but being that i am a skeptic too...I would not be the first to say this is paranormal activity. While i am facinated by this type of stuff...I am inclined to think it is rare or never happens except of the trick of the mind.

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5 years ago  ::  May 20, 2009 - 10:21PM #9
Slipnish
Posts: 3,869

May 19, 2009 -- 2:43AM, Blü wrote:


Slip


Hmm.


Yeah.


Well.


More information needed.


But to make a sound, you need a physical ingredient to vibrate the air.  Animals, birds, machinery, some vibration made by a neighbor ...


The volley ball's intriguing too.  I'll see what my medical mates say about tricks with eyes when next we meet for a drink.  (Every few months I get glowing gold floaters from cataract precursors, but there's no mistaking what they are.)


Do you ever get migraines?  I recall there are visual phenomena associated with aura, though that seems like a rather long bow too.


Where's Jimmy Randi when you need him?




Well, my eyes aren't perfect any longer, but currently I only need reading glasses, and I don't even need a prescription for them as of yet.  As for migraines...not really.  I've had 2 really bad headaches in my life that I classified as "migraines" simply due to their severity.  I've never been a victim of any sort of head trauma either...

I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it.

~Any Creationist~
(But honestly Douglas Adams)

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov
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5 years ago  ::  May 20, 2009 - 10:29PM #10
Slipnish
Posts: 3,869

May 20, 2009 -- 5:34PM, Godgirl wrote:


My first guess would be that your roomates are playing tricks on you but i dont know how the kife insident would happen without you noticing them there. What kind of meds are you on? For what kind of disorder? Sorry if this is too personal. But that would be my second guess that your roomates were again playing tricks on you cause they know you have some type of illness (which wouldnt be very nice of your roomates to do.) You have to ask yourself...are these people good friends? Would they play these tricks on me? Do they have it in them? If they were playing tricks on you that would be quite cruel and you should move out. But if you have some type of condition that would expain all that i would look into that too. I am not trying to rule out paranormal activity but being that i am a skeptic too...I would not be the first to say this is paranormal activity. While i am facinated by this type of stuff...I am inclined to think it is rare or never happens except of the trick of the mind.




1.  LOL.  No meds.  In fact, I work in human services, have a degree in psychology, and an associates in science.  I'm familiar with most of the weird things that can happen as a result of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and can assure you that I don't suffer from any of them.


2.  If you read back, you'll note that they weren't here for some of the events.  Were here for others but didn't see them.  About the only one I can honestly chalk up to a "trick" is the whole conversation event.  And that seems rather childish, even for them.


Here's something new for ya...


I've been upstairs most of the evening.  Playing WoW, posting on Bnet, doing my laundry, etc...


I just went downstairs to grab a bite to eat before heading to the pub for a drink in a bit.  When I rounded the corner to head into the kitchen, there was a strange light outside.  It started out yellow, rose to an actinic blue, and then faded.


Now...


I stood there with my hand on the light switch, trying to find a source for this light.  There are lights in the backyard.  A given, right?  However the switches are on a completely different wall, behind and to the left of where I was standing.  At least 8-10 ft from my location.


Secondly, the lights are dull, certainly not actinic on a good day/night.


Third, I'm alone in the house.  I know that for a fact.


Fourth, I just shrugged and got something to eat.  When I turned on the light, I couldn't see outside any mor, and no, there were no cars going by, because I could see through the formal dining room window...


So...add that to the list, will ya?


Oh, and I still don't believe.  Heh.

I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it.

~Any Creationist~
(But honestly Douglas Adams)

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov
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