Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse Hysteria

By Michael Yon

13 June 2012 Recent cannibal attacks have pushed the media into a swirl. Since I have known more real cannibals than any non-cannibal I know, a few words are in order. Some context: In 2002, during travels through Asia, I stumbled across some Aghori cannibals in India. I had never heard of them and they sounded dangerous. I picked up the trail. The journey and the pursuit lasted two years, and took me six times around the world. I have sat by the fire at midnight on the full moon, surrounded by Aghoris, me alone, as they drank whiskey from human skulls. I have tracked them through India, Nepal, Thailand, Italy, Germany, France, Hawaii and California. I have read everything on Aghoris that was available in libraries and bookstores in India, The Royal Library, and the Library of Congress. If you can find it, I have probably read it. I broadened that study to include cults, black magic, and cannibalism worldwide. Before it was over, I made thousands of photos and maybe a hundred hours of video. I started a book called Mother River, choosing that working title because many of the Aghoris that I talked to called the Ganges River "Ganga Ma," or Mother Ganga. Despite my travels in approximately 65 countries (most of it unrelated to this research), and my long war slogs in Iraq and Afghanistan, my days and nights tracking the cannibals remain the most unbelievable and incredible journey that I have ever experienced. But then I got "dragged" into the wars and so most people who know me think that I am just a war correspondent with an increasingly bad attitude. I never finished Mother River, but I knew that if I survived the wars that I would one day return to the manuscript. And so even now, every day, through Google Net Alerts, I read stories of Aghoris, cannibals, human sacrifice and black magic. Believe it or not, it happens around the world constantly. And so when these latest cases popped up in Miami and Montreal, I just read the stories and I moved on. They sound like your normal psycho-cannibals. Nothing more, and nothing special, unless you are a victim. Today, there is wild and nutty speculation about a zombie apocalypse, or about mass cannibal hysteria unfolding. Psychologists and cops and everyone else has opinions. Most are off-base. The possibility of copy-cat cannibals is real, of course. My opinion on the zombie apocalypse: go to bed and pull the covers over your head if it disturbs you. Don't sweat it. Of course, I could be wrong. I wrote this short article for a magazine during a break from the wars:

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