© Copyright 2005 Kurt Snyder

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A Strange Vacation

In February of 2000, I decided I needed to find some direction in my life. I felt that I had no plans for the future. I didn't know what to do. I needed to decide what to do. I still believed the CIA was going to offer me a job anytime soon. Would I accept it? Should I accept it? If not, what else should I do? I was also still thinking about fractals, infinity, natural forms, and encryption. I had many ideas about a new mathematical theory that I had not fully developed. I wanted to get away from life for a while, to clear my mind, to seek inspiration. I decided to take a vacation. I would go somewhere very remote, to do some soul searching and some meditation. I chose to go to Glacier National Park, in Northwest Montana. The cheapest way for me to get there was by train. I decided to buy a National Rail Pass that I could use for one month. I would take the train from Washington D.C. to Glacier National Park. I would also visit Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco before coming home. I expected the trip would take me two or three weeks.

I was not afraid of going to such a remote place by myself. I had abandoned the idea that the CIA might decide to kill me. I thought if that was a possibility, they would have had several opportunities already. I thought I was still an ideal candidate for recruitment. I expected they might try to send someone to talk to me while I was away from home and alone. It would be the perfect opportunity for them.

I don't know exactly what day I left on the train, but it was sometime during the first week of March 2000. I left from Union Station in Washington D.C in the late afternoon. This first day was uneventful. By 11am the next day, I had arrived in Chicago. Immediately I started to feel like I was being followed. I found a hotel a few blocks from the train station. Later that day, I met some Italian friends who were in Chicago on a business trip. We went out to dinner. I don't think they noticed I was having mental problems. After dinner, They dropped me off a few blocks from my hotel so I could visit a local bookstore. I then walked around the city for while at random.

While I was walking, I noticed a couple walking several dozen yards behind me. I took a very indirect route through the city, making a zigzag pattern over five or six blocks. Then, I saw this couple again. I wondered if they were following me. I assumed they were. I became very agitated. I started to believe everyone on the street was following me. I continued to wander around the city. Somehow, four or five hours passed, but it seemed to me like it was only an hour. It was now getting very late. It must have been one or two o'clock in the morning. Very few people were out on the street. I thought, "Where did they all go? No one is following me now! They left?" I wondered why they would have stopped following me all of a sudden. I thought it must be a sign. They no longer NEEDED to follow me. I must have passed their evaluation! Now, THEY would be making contact with me very soon. I had a lot to think about. What kind of offer would they make? Would I accept? I returned to the hotel.

Next day. I decided to leave for my next stop, Grand Forks, North Dakota. The train left in the afternoon, so I had the morning free. I went to the Sears Tower, and then to the Field Museum. I wondered whether anyone was following me. I didn't see anyone following. But, how can they make contact with me if no one is following? I headed back to the hotel to get my bags, and then to the train station to catch the train. I thought, "Somehow, they will arrange a meeting with me."

I boarded the train for Grand Forks, which was 14 hours away. After a few hours, I got restless in my seat and decided to take a stroll around the train. I went into the smoking car to have a cigarette. As I came into the cabin, there was a girl in the corner seat who said something to me like, "Hey! You finally made it here! Take a seat." I sat down next to her. I thought, "This must be the one. This is my contact person. This is going to be interesting." There were also two or three other people in the cabin. Apparently she had been talking with them already. They were in the middle of a conversation about the upcoming presidential primary election. We talked for several minutes about who we thought was going to win the election. I asked my 'contact' what her name was. "Lisa" she said. I thought, any minute now, she's going to be talking about the CIA, the FBI, or something like that. Somehow the conversation changed, and we started talking about our nation's drug problem. Lisa said, "What do you think about that story that the CIA had sold drugs in Los Angeles?" (There had been an article printed that week in some major newspapers that the CIA had funneled drugs from South America to Los Angeles to raise money for the Nicaraguan contras). I said, "They can't get the best information about things like that unless they are in the business." Afterwards, we talked about a variety of topics for another hour or so. Finally, Lisa said, "Let's have dinner together." I said "OK". We agreed to meet in the dining car later.

At dinner, Lisa sat next to me. She was flirting with me the entire meal. She told me she had a sleeping cabin at the back of the train. When we were finished our meal, she said, "I have a bottle of wine back in my cabin, do you want to share it with me?" I said, "Sure! I'd love to! I'll meet you there in a few minutes." She really seemed interested in making personal contact with me. I wondered how far she would go to get information. Was she willing to sleep with me?

I went into the bathroom to freshen up. Then I went to her cabin. It was very small, barley enough for two people. We could only sit on the bed. There was a curtain or a door to the cabin which she kept open while I was there. We started to drink the wine and talk. We ended up kissing for a little while. She never closed the door to the cabin. She did not mention anything else about the CIA, any job opportunities, or anything else. She did not question me about much of anything at all. I asked her how far she was going on the train. She said 'Portland'. That was still more than 24 hours away. I asked her why she didn't just fly to Portland. "Personal reasons" she answered. Eventually, it got to be very late. I left. I was perplexed by the outcome of events. Later in the night, the train arrived at Grand Forks, and I got off. Lisa did not. I was confused.

At the Grand Forks railway station, I shared a cab ride with another woman who had gotten off the train. Of course, I was wondering whether she was with THEM. The cab stopped at my hotel first. Before I got out, this woman handed me a pamphlet about Jesus and his ministry. I wondered if THEY were trying to communicate with me in some way through this pamphlet. I thought, "THEY must be wondering about my religious views." I wondered if some of the surveillance team thought I might be Jesus. I thought I should discourage this view and try to communicate back to them. I read through the pamphlet. It mostly spoke about having a hole in your life that only Jesus could fill. I couldn't really identify with that need. I circled different parts of the pamphlet that I thought applied to me, and I made some notes on other parts where I had a difference of opinion from the author. I left this pamphlet somewhere where I thought THEY could retrieve it. I started to get the idea that some of the surveillance team must be in support of me as a candidate for recruitment, and others must be against me. They couldn't decide whether to recruit me or not. I thought some of them might be trying to prove I was crazy, and others might be trying to show I'm just an average person, and still others might be trying to prove I was a genius.

At some point, I started walking around Grand Forks. All day long I walked, possibly for eight or ten hours. I felt the whole time I was being followed. I went into a huge Sporting Goods Store to pick out a pair of binoculars or a scope for my trip to Glacier National Park. There was a guy in the store that seemed to be idling nearby me. I asked him, "Are you from around here?" "No. I'm from Chicago" "What do you do? Are you a hunter?" "No. I'm in the surveillance business." Hmmm. In the surveillance business! Hmmm. Obviously, my next question should have been, "Are you surveilling me?" But I didn't ask him that. Instead, I said "What do you think of this scope?" "Looks like a good one to me." I bought the scope, and left the store. I walked back to the hotel. I wondered if that guy was with THEM. I wondered, before I was in Chicago, I never actually saw anybody following me on the street. Why would I have seen them on this trip? Why would I have seen this guy at the sporting goods store? I thought the CIA was better than that. They should be able to follow you without you knowing it. What was the difference? I wondered if there was a different group of people following me this time. Perhaps?

The next morning, I caught the train for Glacier National Park. It was still more than twelve hours away. For the first few hours, I tried to analyze what was happening to me. I wondered why I would have seen people following me in Chicago. If they weren't with the CIA, who were they with? I remembered my plea to the congressmen for help. Maybe the congressmen had hired their own investigators. Maybe this new group of people were actually private detectives. Maybe the congressmen had asked the FBI or the CIA about me, and decided to launch their own investigation. They were probably wondering whether I was crazy, or whether what I wrote in my message to them was true. I imagined there might even be some senators on the train with me. Perhaps Lisa wasn't with the CIA. Maybe she was with these new investigators. Maybe she was just testing me...maybe this new group of investigators were testing me just like the CIA had been testing me earlier.

I went to the dining car to have breakfast and I was seated with three other gentlemen. I was sure they were all evaluating me for the investigation. I thought, "Maybe this new investigation is a collaborative effort. Maybe these were people from different government agencies...the CIA, FBI and Congress too." I was experiencing another expansion of my delusion. When the waitress came with our check, I decided I wanted to see what would happen if I claimed I had no money. Would they pay for me? I thought, "They are spending thousands of dollars on this investigation. Surely another $15 from their expense account won't matter at all." I feigned that I was broke. Sure enough, one of the gentlemen paid my portion of the bill without complaint. This just reinforced the idea in my mind that I was correct about everything.

After breakfast, I went to another traincar where there were also a few tables to sit at. At a nearby table, there was a group of people playing cards. I overheard their conversation. It started to seem like they were talking about me. I thought they were CIA agents trying to use subliminal messages to cause a reaction in me. The conversation went something like this:

"Hey, he's putting on the poker face now!"

"I bet he doesn't have anything better to show"

"He's going to fold any minute"

"You don't have any good cards left, do you?"

"Are you willing to bet it all?"

"Look at that! I can't believe you had a straight!"

"You'll never get a good hand like that again"

"Wait until the next game"

"The next game, you're really going to see me make a move"

"What are the odds you're going to win at all?"

I thought if Congress was now involved in the investigation, the CIA was in trouble. Perhaps some of the agents admitted drugging me, trying to abduct me, etc. Now the CIA was going to do everything in their power to make me look bad. I wondered what other tricks they would try. I imagined that there was a group of 'good' CIA agents who would do the right thing, and there was another group of 'bad' CIA agents who would try to manipulate, or eliminate me.

As I sat there, I once again tried to analyze what was happening to me. What was the real reason all these people were involved? How could I be that important? There was something I didn't know about all this. What was it? I became very agitated. For some reason, I decided that I had to get off the train. I had to change my environment. I decided to get off at the next stop. The train stopped. I had no idea where we had stopped. All I knew is that I wanted to get off the train. I was confused. I couldn't find my luggage. I didn't remember which train car my luggage was in. But, I had to get off the train. Right at that moment. If I tried to find my luggage, the train would leave. I had to get off. I asked the porter on the platform, "Do you know where my luggage is?" "No." I decided to leave my luggage behind. I said to the porter, "I'm leaving my luggage on the train. What is the last stop for this train?" The porter said, "What do you mean?" I said again, "What is the last stop this train makes? Where is it?" He said, "Are you getting off here?" "Yes, I'm getting off here. Tell me what is the last stop for this train!?" I wanted to know what the last stop was so I could call the railroad and have them retrieve my luggage when they cleaned out the train. The whistle was blowing last call. The porter said "Don't you want your luggage?" I said, "Dammit! Jesus Christ! Just tell me what is the last stop this train makes? Can't you tell me that? What the hell is the matter with you!" The porter said, "I don't understand what you mean." I was getting frustrated. "The hell with it! I'm leaving!" I walked off the platform. I did not see anyone else getting off the train.

I immediately tried to find a place to stay. I walked a few blocks and found an old hotel called the Roosevelt. I couldn't believe it, but the price of a room was only $24 per night. I found out I was in Glasgow, Montana. It was a very small town. I called home and left a message about where I was staying.

I wondered if the CIA would be able to keep up with me. I thought they might somehow have a contact or a representative even out here in this small town. I figured they have contacts EVERYWHERE. I thought they still might try to make contact with me through one of their representatives that lived in this town.

Over the previous four days, I had gotten very little sleep, probably an average of 3 hours per night. This was very unusual for me. I knew I needed some rest. I tried to take a nap in my hotel room, but I could not fall asleep. I went to the local drug store to try to find a sleeping aid. They didn't have any. I then decided to go get something to eat. I walked to a Dairy Queen nearby. I went in and ordered something that sounded like a pork chop sandwich. What I got was something different. I sat at a table and took a bite. I hated it. I sat there drinking a soda for a few minutes. Some tall guy came in the door and looked right at me. I thought, "This must be the contact person." I said to him, "Hey! Have a seat." He sat down right across from me at the same table. I told him the sandwich I had was awful. He recommended a different one. We both went up to the counter and ordered the sandwich he recommended. The new sandwich was great. We then had a conversation that lasted for about 45 minutes. I don't remember very much about what we discussed, but the entire time, I was trying to figure out whether he was from the CIA, FBI, or Congress. I think I kept talking about what I thought was happening to me. I was communicating my confusion about the whole situation. I must have been behaving strangely, because at one point, he suggested that I might be autistic. He recommended I move to Glasgow. He said I could buy a four bedroom house for only ninety thousand dollars. He also told me that there was a great Barbeque Restaurant down the road. He suggested that I should go there for dinner, and that he and his friends would be there. I soon left to go back to the hotel.

When I got back to my hotel room, I found something very strange and unexpected. On the dresser, there was a copy of part of a letter a girl had written to me over ten years ago. I had met this girl on one of my trips to Italy. She was an American who lived in Mississipi. The copy was just a few sentences excerpted from the letter, but I recognized it immediately. I certainly did not bring this letter with me. I had not been thinking about this girl, or my trip to Italy at all. Why would someone have left this here? Who left it here? How could they have gotten a copy of the letter? Why would they have only copied a few sentences? I was perplexed. I tried to think of reasons why this letter would be important. As I remembered, there was nothing of consequence in the letter. What was the significance of this? I had decided that I didn't know all the reasons why the surveillance was being conducted. Perhaps this was a clue. Maybe those spies who are in support of me are trying to communicate something to me. Maybe this was the missing piece of the puzzle that I didn't know?

I tried to understand why this letter would be significant. I hadn't been in communication with this girl for more than ten years. How could the investigation be related to her? Maybe she became a spy for the CIA. Maybe the CIA was following me on my trips to Italy. Maybe she was already some type of operative when I first met her. Maybe she disappeared. Maybe she was working for the Italian intelligence agency. I tried to think of a hundred reasons why she would be important. Maybe THEY think there is some kind of hidden message in this letter. There must be some kind of intelligence problem I didn't know about. I couldn't figure it out. I gave up thinking about it.

I decided to call home. I was using the phone in my hotel room. My dad picked up on the other end. "Hello?" Click. The phone went dead. I blamed THEM. I thought, They're interfering with my phone call! I wasn't sure if they were disconnecting the call here in Montana, or at home in Maryland. A few minutes later, my dad called back. The phone rang but I didn't answer it. After a few minutes, I heard a knock at the door. It was the front desk clerk. I opened the door. She said, "Your Dad is on the phone." She had a cordless phone in her hand and apparently could connect the call to my room with the cordless phone. I said, "Let me talk to him on your phone." She said, "No. Pick up the phone in your room." I said, "My phone is not working correctly. Let me talk to him on your phone. I'll just be a few minutes." She said, "No." "Fine. I won't talk to him at all then." I closed the door. I thought I could try to call him back later.

I needed to relax. I filled the tub in the bathroom with warm water and got in to soak. I tried to clear my mind and decide what was really going on. What was the significance of this letter I found? I started to review everything that had happened to me on my trip. I was thinking about my experience in Chicago. Suddenly I realized that although I thought everyone was following me in Chicago, I did not actually see anyone following me for certain! I suddenly realized that there was a huge difference between reality and what I thought was true. I thought, "My god. Something is wrong with my mind! Something is wrong with my brain! I must have a brain tumor!" This is the only time during my illness when I was not taking medication, and I suspected something was wrong with me. I did not realize that I had a major delusion. I only realized that my perception was faulty in this one particular instance. I decided I needed to get to the hospital right away. I went to the front desk and asked where the hospital was. The clerk arranged for someone to drive me to the town medical center.

When I arrived at the medical center, I went to the sign in desk. There was only one nurse on duty in the entire facility. I said, "I have to get a CAT scan. Something is wrong with my brain. I think I have a brain tumor!" She said, "Are you suicidal? Do you want to hurt yourself or other people?" "No." " I suggest you come back tomorrow. You can speak to a doctor then." "Ok." I walked back to the hotel.

By now, it was probably 10 or eleven o'clock at night. I went to my room. I still could not sleep. I turned on the TV. The weather report said the temperature outside would be very low this night. Maybe in the single digits. It warned about anyone going outside in the cold. I remembered that I needed to call my folks. I didn't want to use the same phone again because I had problems with it earlier. I decided that I needed to use a phone far away. I went to the front desk again. I asked if someone could take me to a bar on the outskirts of town. There was a young kid sitting in the lobby, maybe about 18 years old. He said he would take me in his truck to such a bar outside of town. We got out there, and I called home from a pay phone at the bar. When I talked to my dad, I wondered if it was really him on the phone, or an impostor. When I was finished, the kid drove me back into town.

I went back to my hotel room. Soon, I got thirsty. I went to the lobby to buy a coke from the vending machine. I took a swig. God! How awful it was! It tasted bitter. I wondered why it was bitter. Maybe THEY had somehow changed the cokes in the machine. Maybe the coke was poisoned. How could they have done that? I noticed there was no one at the front desk. I waited there for maybe fifteen minutes. Nobody came back to the desk. I wondered if they had left the hotel.

I decided that I needed to call my folks again. It was probably two or three o'clock in the morning at home, but I didn't realize that. I normally would not call them so late at night. I needed to get to another phone somewhere outside the hotel. It was cold outside, so I took a blanket with me to keep warm. When I got outside, there was no one around. The streets were empty. I thought, "The town looks deserted." Pretty soon, I believed the town actually was deserted. The truth was, it was so late at night, there was no one on the street. I thought, "Maybe THEY evacuated the town for some reason." After I had walked a few blocks, I started to here a sound like car horns blaring in the distance. This went on for several, maybe ten minutes. I decided to walk in the direction of the noise to see what was going on.

I was now in a residential neighborhood a few blocks from the hotel. I have no idea what time it was. I came across a cat in the road. At first, the cat was very friendly. It came up to me and rubbed against my legs. Then it rolled over onto its back. I reached down to rub its stomach. The cat suddenly hissed at me and scratched my hand. Then, the cat ran away into an open garage nearby. I looked down at my hand and there appeared to be something small, like a splinter, stuck in the fleshy part of my thumb. Suddenly, I thought "This cat must have been trained by the CIA to attack me. It had some kind of dart on its paw. It has stuck me with some kind of poison dart! My God! I better get it out right away!"

I ran up to the nearest house. I knocked on the door. Then I thought, "The town is deserted. There's no one home." I thought, "I have to get this thing out immediately before the poison starts to work! I'll just go inside and find something to cut this thing out of my hand." I tried the door, It was unlocked. I went into the kitchen and started looking through the drawers for a small sharp knife. I didn't immediately find one. I thought, "I'll use a pair of nail clippers. There is probably some nail clippers in the bathroom." I walked out of the kitchen and through the living room into one of the bedrooms. Immediately, I saw two people in bed. A man and a woman.

The man said to me, "Hey! Who are you? What are you doing in my house?"

I said, "Oops. I'm sorry. I thought you weren't home. I'll leave right now." He got out of bed and followed me into the living room.

I said, "I didn't think you were home. I just came in to get some nail clippers. I'll leave right now."

"Wait a minute. Who are you?"

"I'm Kurt Snyder. I live near Washington D.C."

"What are you doing here?"

"I came out here on vacation."

"Why are you in our house?"

"I needed some nail clippers. Do you have any nail clippers? I need to get this out of my hand." By this time, the woman had come out of the bedroom too. We were all standing in the living room.

"What's wrong with your hand?"

"There's something stuck in it. I need to get it out right away. Do you have any nail clippers? Please get me some nail clippers!"

"What about some tweezers? Do you want some tweezers?"

"No. I need some nail clippers. Do you have any?"

The man said to his wife, "Can you get a pair of nail clippers?"

She came out with some nail clippers and gave them to me. I no longer saw anything in my hand, but I cut a little piece of skin out of my thumb where I thought the dart had been.

I said, "Thanks. I'll be going now."

The man said, "Wait a minute. Where are you going to go? What are you doing here in Glasgow?"

I said, "I don't know. There was some kind of intelligence problem. I got off the train."

"What kind of intelligence problem?"

"I don't know. That's the problem!" I started to cry uncontrollably.

The man said, " Just calm down. Sit here. We're going to get you some help. Just stay here for a few minutes. I'm going to call someone to come help. Is that OK?"

"Yeah."

I waited there for a little while, crying.

The man said "Everything's going to be OK. We're getting you some help. Would you like something to drink?"

"Ok."

In a few minutes, a police officer arrived. He seemed very nice. He said, "I'm going to take you to the medical center." "Ok." We arrived at the medical center a few minutes later. The same nurse was on duty who I saw earlier that evening. She talked with the officer for a few minutes. Then, she had me lay down on a hospital bed near the check-in desk. She asked me for my parents' phone number. I gave it to her. She soon got them on the phone. I was skeptical as to whether she was really talking to them or some one else. I thought THEY might be able to intercept the phone call. She might actually be talking to some impostors.

The next thing I remember is waking up in a padded room on a mattress lying on the floor. There was wire mesh glass in the windows. I did not remember being moved to this room. The last thing I remember was lying on the hospital bed. I looked out the small window in the entrance door. I didn't recognize anything. I wasn't sure that I was at the medical center anymore. I wondered if somehow THEY had drugged me and moved me to another location. I could be anywhere! I had one window which looked out on an outdoor space. Across a small field was another wing of the facility. I started to look out this window and scrutinize everything, trying to figure out where I was. There was virtually nothing out there, and certainly no clues to where I was located. I then looked out the window in the door. I could see some items that indicated I was still at a medical facility. But, was it the same facility I came into last night? There was no way I could know.

After maybe one or two hours, I got a visitor. It was the man who's house I went into the previous night. He said, "Hi, Kurt. I'm the man whose house you came into last night. Do you remember me?" I did remember him. I don't recall the rest of our conversation. He left after a few minutes. I started to wonder why he was visiting me. Maybe somehow he was with THEM. How could he be with them? I remembered the advice Joe gave me in New York. Don't make assumptions. I was assuming I went into his house at random, and that he was just an average resident in this town. Maybe that was the wrong assumption. Maybe somehow I was led to his house. Maybe everyone in this town is with THEM. How could that be true? Maybe somehow I wasn't in Montana at all. Maybe I was in a secret town, where EVERYONE works for THEM. How could that be true? I thought I had gotten off the train at random. Maybe I didn't. Maybe somehow they used some kind of psychological manipulation to influence me to get off the train at a specific place. I thought I got off on impulse. Maybe they were using subliminal messages to make me anxious and nervous. Maybe I reacted to these messages by deciding to get off the train. Could that be true?

A nurse brought me some magazines to read. Newsweek, National Geographic, and Time. I started to look through the magazines. In Newsweek, there was an article about how to find a new career. In the article, I suddenly recognized two girls that were my coworkers at a hotel six years earlier. (I saved this magazine. Even now, five years later, these people still seem to look like my former coworkers.) However, in the magazine, they had different names. I thought, how and why would these people be in this magazine? I wondered if the magazine was legitimate. I thought, maybe THEY printed a bogus magazine for me to read. Maybe this is some kind of clue. Maybe this is some type of communication to me. The Newsweek article was about finding a new career. Maybe this is a reference to the recruitment process. Maybe these two girls were working with THEM six years ago. Maybe THEY have been observing me since I was a teenager. Maybe the dream I had about being abducted by the CIA was true. Maybe my whole life since then has been some kind of evaluation for a super secret job. That's what they mean by a new career. Maybe all these experiences are some type of interactive game which is supposed to teach me how to be an agent. Trying to think without making assumptions. Maybe this was all a project by the CIA to see if they could produce a super-agent. Maybe they have been molding me for the past 12 years. At this point the idea that this surveillance project could have been going on for many years seemed very likely to me. I was experiencing another expansion of my delusion.

I looked at the other magazines. The National Geographic had something about Nebraska in it. I thought, maybe I am actually in Nebraska, and not in Montana. How could that be true? I got on the train in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I thought it was an Amtrak train headed for Montana. Maybe it wasn't an Amtrak train. Maybe it was a special train that the CIA operated. Maybe this train was actually headed for a secret town in Nebraska. Maybe that's where I am now! I decided that I needed to determine where I actually was. I had to get out of this room.

A little while later, a nurse came to the door. I think I had been talking out loud the entire morning. They must have been listening to me.

She said, would you like to get out and see where you are?

I said, "Yes."

She said, "We'll go outside the exit for just a few minutes. Would you like that?"

"Yes."

"You must promise you won't run away. Do you promise not to run away?"

"Yes. I won't run away."

She opened the door and let me out. She said, "Follow me." We walked down the hallway and out an exit door. She said, "See where you are?" I looked around. The medical center was at the edge of town. There was a field stretching off for miles on one side, and the town was on the other side. There was nothing to indicate what state we were in. I thought, I need to investigate this further. I started to walk away from the facility. The nurse said, "Wait. Where are you going? You said you wouldn't run away! You promised me you wouldn't run away!" I ignored her. Of course, I wasn't running away....I was walking away! The nurse ran back to the hospital. I walked a few blocks. There was nothing to indicate where the town was actually located. Soon, a police car pulled up beside me and an officer got out. He said, "We have to go back to the hospital. Get in the car." "Ok." I got in the car and we went back to the hospital. They put me back in the same room.

After perhaps half an hour, I started hearing car horns again. They started out softly, but quickly became very loud. It sounded like the noise was coming from outside the room, from somewhere outside the building. This noise did not sound like just a few cars, it sounded like a thousand cars blaring their horns all at once. It was a very disturbing sound. I wondered why so many cars would be blaring their horns. I started to think they were blowing their horns for me. "A lot of people must know THEY are keeping me here. They're blowing their horns to get me released." The sound went on for at least fifteen minutes, maybe half an hour. I thought, "I have to get out of here, or there's going to be a riot." I started to look at the window which led to the outside. It was the type that had wire mesh imbedded in the glass. I thought I could break the glass, but I knew there was no way I could cut through the wire before they stopped me.

I decided I would wait for an opportunity to escape when they opened the door again. In a little while, the nurse came to the door for some reason. When she opened it, I pushed my way past her and ran out of the hospital. The sound of the car horns had already stopped. Once outside, I did not notice that there weren't a thousand cars out there. I decided to head back to my hotel. Eventually, a police officer found me again. I ran away. He followed me. At first, I was running as fast as I could, but then I thought, "I just have to run a little bit faster than him." I slowed down and ran just fast enough to stay ten feet in front of the officer. He got tired really fast. He started to walk. Then, I started to walk. He said, "Where are you going?" "I'm going to the Roosevelt" He said, "You don't need to go there. What do you need there?" "I just need to get to the Roosevelt." For some reason, I stopped, and he caught up with me. He said, "We can do this the easy way, or the hard way...which way do you want it?" I didn't know what he was talking about. I said, "Ok. The hard way." He put the handcuffs on me, but not too tight. Then, he led me back to his car and took me back to the hospital.

Once I was back at the hospital, the nurse told me, "Your parents are coming here tomorrow." "Ok"

Eventually, some mental health worker came in to talk to me. She started to ask me a bunch of questions.

"What is your name?"

"Kurt Snyder"

"Who is President of the United States"

"Bill Clinton."

"Why are you here?"

"I don't know."

"Where do you think you are?"

"Last time I checked, I was in Montana, but I'm not sure where we are exactly."

"What were you doing last night?"

"I was walking around the town."

"How did you get here?"

"I don't know. They brought me to the medical center."

"Why did they bring you to the medical center?"

"They said they were getting me some help."

"Do you remember that you went into someone's house? Why did you go into the house?"

"I was walking outside. I got scratched by a cat. When I looked at my hand, there was something in it. I had to get it out. I didn't think they were home."

"Are you hearing voices when there is no one there?"

"No."

"Do you think you have any special powers that no one else has?"

"No."

"Do you think you know anything that no one else knows?"

"No."

"Do you want to hurt yourself or other people?'

"No."

"Do you see things that other people don't see?"

"No."

"You ran away from the hospital earlier. You told the nurse you wouldn't run away. Why did you run away?"

"I didn't run away...I walked away"

The next day, my parents arrived. I wondered why they had come. They visited me for a few minutes. Maybe ten at the most.

The staff at the medical center asked me to sign an agreement saying that I would return to Maryland with my parents to be evaluated at a psychiatric facility. I signed it. I thought, "This must be one more step in the recruitment process."

After another day or two, my parents took me back to Maryland. They had booked an airline flight for our trip. Upon arrival in Maryland, we went immediately to Sheppard Pratt Hospital, where I was admitted as an inpatient. They signed me in as a voluntary admission. This meant that I would have to be released within 72 hours if I requested it.

At my request, they also gave me a CAT scan. The scan came back negative for any irregularities.

After being in the mental ward for one day, I thought "All these people are crazy! I don't belong here!" I requested that they release me. In the meantime, I met with several doctors. One of the doctors wanted to prescribe an anti-psychotic medication. I told them, "I'm not going to take that stuff!" I asked him "What will that do to a normal person?" He didn't have any information on those effects. I decided "There's no way I'm going to take that. Who knows what it will do to me!?" I was released from the hospital. My parents had the prescription filled, and asked me to take the medication, but I never took it. I merely pretended to take it for their benefit. However, even without the medication, the symptoms of psychosis decreased over the next two weeks.

I still had almost two weeks of value left on my Rail Pass. I told my parents I wanted to go skiing in Vermont. I don't know why, but they agreed to let me go as long as my father went along too. We took the train from Baltimore up to Rutland, VT. We went skiing for two days, then we returned.

I was still wondering about surveillance, the FBI, the CIA, and now Congress. I didn't have any perspective on why I was admitted to the hospital. However, I kept thinking about my perception that people were following me in Chicago. I knew something was wrong with that. I decided I needed to do a test. I would go somewhere where I knew most of the people must be completely random strangers. I would then make a note every time I thought I saw one of THEM. I decided to go to Manhattan. I took the morning train. I walked out of the train station and walked a few blocks to a park. I thought, almost everyone here will be a complete stranger that has absolutely nothing to do with me. I started making notes as I saw people walk by. I came up with different symbols to correspond to different feelings. If I felt a person was one of them, I would make a certain symbol on my note pad. If I thought they were a random stranger, I would make another note. If I was just suspicious of them, I would make a different mark. I sat on a bench for about half an hour, enough time for more than a hundred people to walk by. I compared my notes. I thought more than half the people were with THEM. Another quarter of the people were labeled 'suspicious'. I thought this proved to me that I had some kind of perceptual problem. However, I didn't disbelieve my delusions, I simply thought I had become conditioned to expect that people were with THEM. I took this into consideration. I would try to better evaluate my assumptions in the future when I thought someone was with THEM.

© Copyright 2005 Kurt Snyder

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