January 10th, 2014 – Three teens, Alice Vunderlin, Chaz Sherghit and Wade Raben, go missing in a small suburban town in northern Utah.
January 18th, 2014 – This video, recorded by Wade on his cell phone, surfaces on the internet.
Investigators are still on the lookout for the whereabouts of these three teens. No official statement has been made about this video or its relationship to their disappearance, though it clearly appears to be a zombie attack.
Could this be the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse?
I asked Ken Mitchells, Zombie expert, to give us his opinion:
Steven Jameson (SJ): So, Ken, let’s start off with your credentials. What qualifies you as a zombie expert?
Ken Mitchells (KM): Well, I’ve been researching in Mortuvivology for about 15 years now…
KM: Yeah, the study of the undead. It comes from Latin: Mortuus (Dead) and Vivens (Living). It literally means ‘study of the living dead’.
SJ: OK, Continue…
KM: Right. As I was saying, I’ve been doing research on Mortuvivology for about 15 years. I’ve ghost-written a number of articles on zombie tactics and defense. There was a very popular book that came out recently that I consulted on.
SJ: Which book was that?
KM: I’m under contract not to say. It was pretty popular though. You’ve probably read it.
SJ: Hmm, you’ve got me curious now. Ok, well anything else?
KM: Yeah, back in 2012 during the bath-salt zombie outbreaks I got pulled in by Homeland Security on it. They wanted to know this and that on how they could mount a defense, or what might be an effective quarantine procedure in case it got worse. There were about 20 people brought in at that time, some famous writers, some biologists, a lot of military personnel.
SJ: Wow! So, the federal government really pulled you in to find out how to handle zombies?
KM: Yeah, it was pretty intense.
SJ: I bet. So, have you seen this video from Utah that has been spreading around?
KM: Yeah, it got e-mailed to me about a week ago. I’ve been looking it over, checking to see if it’s real or not. There are literally thousands of fake zombie videos popping up on YouTube nowadays. I was pretty sure this was also fake at first…
SJ: “was pretty sure”? Do you mean you think this is real?
KM: Well, I’m not 100% sure, but I can’t find any evidence that it’s fake. There’s no digital editing, I don’t see any signs of make-up, it doesn’t fit the profile of a fake video.
SJ: What do you mean by “the profile of a fake video”?
KM: In a fake video there’s always telltale signs: The lighting is nearly perfect. You’ve got straight-on camera angles so you can see all of the action. Nice clear sustained shots of the zombie, or the blood and gore. [The fake zombie videos have] obviously been filmed.
SJ: And this doesn’t match that profile?
KM: No, it’s very rough, you can hardly tell what’s going on at all really. Why would you make a fake video where you can’t even tell what’s going on?
SJ: What in your mind makes this a zombie attack? How do we know it’s not just some random attack that is not a zombie?
KM: First off, If you take a close look at the wound, you’ll see it’s hardly bleeding. A wound like that should be gushing blood, normally. But it’s not. That’s typical of the faster acting zombie viruses. The blood starts congealing almost instantaneously, so you don’t get much blood loss. I think it’s an evolutionary mechanism that prolongs the life of the host by preventing blood loss, allowing the host to remain functional longer, so the host can spread the virus to more victims.
SJ: Why would a zombie need blood to remain functional? I thought they just keep going, they’re unstoppable, right?
KM: Actually, that’s not true. Even after zombification, the body still operates on normal physical processes. That’s why they rapidly decay. The body is literally eating itself in order to keep functioning. That extra blood is just more fuel to keep the body going longer. We think that’s why zombies crave human flesh. It’s the body naturally acting out to try to save itself. But, all digestive processes have stopped at that point, so eating people doesn’t actually do anything, it’s just some twisted ‘fight or flight’ mechanism going into action. Just like the zombie eats fellow humans, the body’s cells go cannibal and start eating each other to survive. You can see the decay here in this shot I printed out showing the first zombie, I believe this is Chaz…
KM: Even with the street light washing things out you can tell he is pretty pale, and his lips have started turning black. He’s still pretty fresh though. Maybe about 6 hours since he turned.
SJ: Yeah, I see what you’re saying. He definitely doesn’t look too healthy. So, are we looking at a Zombie Apocalypse here? Should we start boarding up and stocking up on ammo?
KM: I’m not freaking out yet, but I would say that you should be on the lookout. Watch the news for any more missing people, or strange attacks. Stocking up on food and supplies might not be a bad idea. Utah is sort of a worst case scenario for a Zombie outbreak.
SJ: Why is that?
KM: It’s a hot, dry climate. Rough on decaying zombie flesh. Causes it to decay much faster. So, if this virus can survive and spread in Utah, it can pretty much survive anywhere. If the infection manages to get out of the state, say into Colorado or Idaho, there’s really no stopping it without extreme quarantine measures.
SJ: Isn’t a bad climate for zombies a good thing?
KM: You’d think so, but really it just means that if the virus can survive and spread in that environment, then it’s tough; harder to kill. We’re looking at a more robust virus, which makes it more dangerous.
SJ: Definitely food for thought. Well, thank you for taking the time to talk about this. You’ve given us a lot to consider. I think there’s still a lot of questions left on this…
KM: Yeah, still a lot of questions…
SJ: …but you’ve cleared up a lot of the main questions I had.
KM: You’re welcome, glad I could help.
What is you’re opinion? Is the Zombie Apocalypse looming on the horizon?
– Steven Jameson