The Road to Damascus

“Life is a labyrinth of distractions. Each turn and passageway calls you away from the true course.”

After my visit to Oak Hill Cemetery, my brain was swimming. I parked the car in the hotel garage and took the elevator up to the lobby. Once there, I wandered through a crowd and found my way to the bar.  I wasn’t seated for three minutes before a woman sat beside me and ordered a glass. After taking a drink, she turned and introduced herself. She was the one that had left the note on Asa’s grave.

I had a hundred questions for her, but she hadn’t followed me to Boston to answer questions. She was there to remember Asa, and I was the only one that would listen. As she talked, I would sometimes catch her looking through me, seeing some other face, place, or time. I listened patiently, attempting to commit her every word to memory. Her stories were strange, wonderful, and terrifying. She had known Asa for sometime, but even she admitted to knowing only part of his life-story. For over two hours she spoke about people and events I had never heard of. She punctuated each story by ordering another drink, and refused to continue until it arrived. I struggled to keep afloat in a sea of names, places, and groups, all tied to a history that I’d never learned, but at every turn there was another torrent of names and stories. It occurred to me that the woman might be schizophrenic, trapped inside an elaborate world of her own creation, but there was something about her that told me “This is the truth. Everything you’ve known up to this point has been a lie”. And in the center of this epic was Asa, the man in the photograph. He was the linchpin around which all the stories revolved.

The woman eyed her empty glass somberly. Grabbing my shoulder she looked at me and said, “I thought his family should know.” With that she stood, crossed the room, and was gone. I’ve never seen her since. That evening I became one of a small group of Believers. There is an invisible war happening all around us. Believers call it the Shadow War. The casualties have been many. One of the latest of these was the Marksman, known to family and friends as Asa. He will be missed.


Oak Hill

Up to this point, most of my “research” had been handed to me: the diary, the “Dear Isabel” letter, even the guest book. It wasn’t until I resolved to find the living Asa Denson that my research truly began. I visited Boston later that same year and was able to find a phone listing for an “A. Denson” on Brimmer Street. The house was a brownstone townhouse in an affluent neighborhood. The residents however had never met Mr. Denson, having bought the bank-owned house from a real estate agent two years before. Apparently, the lawyer that helped them close on the house explained that the previous owner had died intestate, and after some searching, his belongings were sold at auction. I thanked the nice couple for their help and returned to my hotel. After walking the earth for over 150 years, Asa Denson was dead.

It didn’t take long to find an obituary in the Boston Globe. It was short and cryptic.

“DENSON, Asa of Boston, May 3, a hero and a friend to many. Though his family passed long ago, he will be missed like a brother and a father to all those who served beside him. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Friends are cordially invited to attend the graveside service on Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00 AM at Oak Hill Cemetery in Bellingham.”

I called the newspaper, but they had no record of who placed or paid for the notice. The next day I took the rental car to Bellingham. There I found the gravestones of Asa and Isabel Denson, her stone was old and worn, his was new and finely chiseled. There were no dates on the stones but someone had laid a bouquet of flowers and a note tied with a blue ribbon. The note read:

“The greatest injustice is that the world does not know your name. You will always be our hero, Galaxor be damned. I hope you’ve found your God and he is worthy.”


Last Respects

As I mentioned before, my father died a few years ago. He was a quiet man with quiet pleasures. When I think of him, I remember him lounging in his sun-drenched backyard, a newspaper or magazine in his hands, and a cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth. He wore black socks, sandals, and a “reading hat” which others might mistaken for a “fishing hat”. They would be wrong; he only wore it when he was reading. He took pride in our little yard, mowing it every Saturday morning. He would get down on his hands and knees to pull dandelions and other weeds when they appeared. Whenever he spotted them, he’d curse them under his breath, barely loud enough for the kids to hear. I was always impressed with his “vocabulary” and ability to string together invectives in new, creative, and jaw-dropping ways. When mother was nearby, she’d only shake her head. When she died, the cursing stopped and the dandelions returned unimpeded. He had surrendered. At his funeral years later, my sister and I joked that it was the dandelions that finally killed him.


The funeral was simple. We rented the same room we had for mom. Some friends and family showed. I knew most of them; I assumed the others were co-workers and such. Both of our parents wanted to be cremated, so there was no casket, just a box at the front of the room that people could visit. It was surrounded by photos of my dad when he was young, in the Army, and every hat he’d worn thereafter. Behind the box was a framed photo of my father sleeping a hammock, and my sister and I standing over him with water balloons ready-to-go. My mom loved that picture. The truth is it didn’t turn out as planned because we couldn’t stop giggling…

While sorting through the papers, deciding what to toss and what to keep, I came across the funeral guest book. Nearly everyone that came to pay their last respects signed their name and address. The book was mostly empty except for the first four pages. For no real reason, I ran my finger down the names and mental snapshots flashed before me of having seen them there. On page four my finger stopped and a chill ran through me. “This is not possible,” I thought. The entry read:

“Asa Denson, Boston, Massachusetts”

I looked across the room at the closed diary resting atop the old papers. Finding those papers were no accident. The ubiquitous A. Denson was friend or family, and maybe –just maybe– he wanted to be found.


Putting a Name to a Face

As I mentioned earlier, my father left me a bundle of papers when he died. Aside from the Diary of A. Denson, there were a number of handwritten receipts, some old postcards, clipped newspaper articles, obituaries, and a handful of loose photographs. The majority of these had no date or identifying information. One picture however was wrapped in a letter that had been folded and unfolded so many times that it fell to pieces when I opened it. The photo showed a young cadet standing at-ease.

possible photo of A. Denson
The reassembled letter read:

“Isabel my darling, I wish you the best that life can bring. I cannot however remain to live it with you. The summons cannot be refused. I will always cherish my time at Bellingham. Give my love to Joseph and remember all that I’ve told you. If you should fear or want for anything, contact E. in Norfolk. He will know what to do. The struggle against Tenebris transcends all else; God preserve us. Yours until we meet again, Asa”

I searched through the bundle again, but the letter’s envelope was missing and with it any address, stamps, or post dates. While looking for answers, I had only stumbled onto more questions. Who was Isabel? Were Asa and A. Denson the same person? Was the photograph taken long before the letter was written, and if so why would Asa have taken it with him? What was Tenebris? Who summoned him?

I opened the diary again and compared the handwriting; it looked identical. The photo of the uniformed man postdated the Civil War by decades, yet young Asa appeared to be in his prime. How was this possible? Could he have been a son, a grandson? Could the diary have been handed down within the family? I decided to look deeper.



I must admit that before I started my research, my grasp of history was wanting. I had a typical high-school understanding of American and world history, which is to say: not very good. The more I found, the more I realized that canonical history tells only half the story. The world is a shadow play. We see silhouetted antics on a screen, but have no idea what’s happening on the other side. We think our experience is what’s important, not realizing that all we see are shadows of the real world.

I read and re-read the diary of A. Denson. I tried to find out who he was, only to conclude that the name (mentioned once), may not have been real, or at the very least borrowed. A number of things in the journal tugged at my curiosity, not the least of which was the man’s age. If he was sixteen at the time of the first entry in 1862, he would have been 72 years old while fighting along the front-lines of World War I. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to prove or disprove the mysterious author’s identity, I chose instead to research those entries that stood out. The one line I kept returning to was: “August 27th, 1883. Titan fell. God help us all.”

illustration of krakatoa eruption

That date is well documented for the eruption of Krakatoa. In all the sources I could find however, there was no mention of an associated person or thing named Titan. The eruption is infamous for killing thousands, being heard almost 3,000 miles distant, erasing an island from the map, and causing global weather anomalies for the next six years. Could the dates be a coincidence? Of course they could, except that it was Denson’s first diary entry in almost twenty years. Could Denson have witnessed one of the largest volcanic eruptions in modern history? It didn’t seem likely, but what else could it mean? I decided to look deeper.


Diary of A. Denson

Why should you believe me? What makes me different than all the other self-professed “experts”? Before I divulge more, I guess some explanation is needed. I was doubtful too, at first. I thought the world was just as it appeared. I didn’t believe in conspiracies, shadow societies, gods, or aliens. I was an irreverent agnostic. I lumped all myths together under fiction, and didn’t understand why others couldn’t see through the blatant religious hypocrisy. I thought I had all the answers wrapped-up into a neat little package. I was wrong, but so was everyone else.

diary image

When my father died, I inherited an old bundle of papers. Buried inside these was a diary written by a soldier named A. Denson. He was a messenger during the Civil War, and wrote about his travels back and forth between Confederate and Union camps. As I read the entries, I remember thinking that I had never heard of messengers moving between the sides, but guessed that there must have been some form of communication. As the entries continued, it became evident that Denson wasn’t a messenger at all, but was somehow moving back and forth between the armies on his own. The Civil War account stopped in November 1863, somewhere near Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. I thought that would be the last I heard from A. Denson. Turning the pages however, I found another entry for August 1883 with the words “Titan fell. God help us all.” The narrative began again in 1899 Manila, and again in 1918 Arras. All of this was written in the same handwriting. The last entry was dated 28 March 1918: “L’Ombre killed protecting the line. Reposez en paix. The Hammer is close.”

These fragile yellowed pages changed my life. I decided to look deeper.


Anonymity in Numbers

I don’t expect anyone to find this before I’m gone. I don’t know when that will happen, but with every word I publish here the time draws nearer. Before I’m taken, I must publish what I’ve found so that others can take my research and expand upon it. The things I’ve learned in the last 20 years have been earth-shattering. My view of the world and its history has been completely turned around. I don’t expect everyone to understand this. I expect most will dismiss these findings as paranoid ravings, another victim of defunded mental health care. This isn’t for them. This is for you, the people looking for the truth. I’m posting this under an assumed name, of course. I don’t want to make it easy. It won’t matter. It won’t matter at all. If this blog goes dormant (or worse: disappears), just know that I found the safest place I could find and it didn’t matter.

In 1883, the secret was almost revealed in the Sunda Strait. That was where Titan fell.

Nothing has been the same since then.

June 2018
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