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Tuesday, January 15

Welcome to the Show - Part 4b – Hank’s Story

It was the summer of 1994, Belize. The University of Pennsylvania, in cooperation with the Programme for Belize, sponsored a field season in the northern part of the country. Hank, along with about sixty other people, went along. The expedition was directed by Dr. Paul Hughbanks, who wanted to complete a new survey of a large, empty stretch of northern Belize, as well as conduct several excavations.

The season was very unlucky, with equipment failures, transportation troubles, and logistical mishaps from the very beginning. After a particular nasty stomach bug swept through camp, the season finally started to look up when a survey team heard rumors of a large, unregistered site in the nearby jungle, a place called El Cacao. There was no record of it, and nobody had ever excavated there or even surveyed the place. Dr. Hughbanks leapt at the news, hoping that a major find might turn their season around.

The only voice of protest raised was Kyle Woodson. Kyle pointed out that the group had no permits to dig at El Cacxao and that drug smugglers were supposed to be lurking in the area. Hughbanks would not be dissuaded, however. He assembled a survey team, and set out on the long hike to El Cacao. The team got to the ruins, only to find that they weren’t deserted…

“No, it wasn’t deserted,” said van Dyson. “The police reports indicate you encountered a large band of cocaine smugglers that were camping among the grounds. Then what happened?”

Hank hesitated. “There was a…misunderstanding. Four students died. They chased us all the way back to the camp.”

“Who chased you?”

Hank lowered his head.

“Who, Hank?”

“The Grays,” he whispered. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:44 AM


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