Aaaargh! Nutter!

Some bloke with an enormous beard and crooked glasses just walked into reception here at work - the conversation went like this:

Him: Does anyone here use Morse code?
Me: Not that I’m aware of, we’re just a warehouse
H: It’s just that we’ve been inundated by Morse code, it’s driving us potty - it’s got to be coming from one of the establishments around here
M: Oh, well, I’m pretty sure it can’t be us
<I turned to walk away, but he wasn’t finished>
H: Yes, someone must have put up an illegal aerial. I’ve complained to the local council and OFCOM
M: You don’t think it might be coming from the Naval base across the water?
(My workplace backs onto Portsmouth harbour and there’s a lot of military stuff around here)
H: Oh, no, the military don’t use Morse code at all.
M: :dubious:
H: No, they don’t use it - never have
M: :confused: Oh, I…
H: It starts at seven in the morning, I can decipher it, you see. There are at least five different ‘hands’ (meaning operators with distinctive styles, I presume)
M: Mmmm, well, we certainly don’t have time for anything like that, but it must be very annoying if it’s interfering with your radio
H: Oh, no, I’m not hearing it on the radio…
M: :confused: You mean you’re hearing audible tones?
H: Yes - someone must have put up an illegal antenna
M: O…K… well… I haven’t heard anything like that myself, but best of luck in tracking that down - I hope it works out for you
H: Oh it will, it will - OFCOM are sending a detector van
M: (thinks: better tell them to send the one with the soft interior)
<a moment of awkward silence>
H: Well, it must be the company next door, I’ll see them next
M: Bye then, good luck.

<he leaves>

<I lock the door>

Oh, I thought you were talking about Michael Nutter, who will be elected the next mayor of Philadelphia in November.

Never mind.

You should have muttered “The loony detector van”…

So…starts early in the morning and goes on all day. Audible sounds. Multiple persons doing it.

You don’t have any construction in your area do you? :smiley:

It makes sense to involve the government and then go around asking about it. Keep the door locked. I wonder how long it takes for you to lose the phones or internet feed today.
Strange Guy: Yep! I found the problem it was you, and I cut the wire.

I also want to know how he hears it. Radio, telephone, head set, or maybe dental filling.

One day when I was about 16 and my brother 10, we went to the library. As we were checking out the door burst open, and we turned to see an elderly man with his arm still flung against the open door. He was a burly old guy with messy gray hair and a riotous beard. But the most striking thing about him was the manic look in his eyes.

He stared at us and the librarian, locking us in his gaze. “The mermaids! The aliens! We need to know the truth about them! But the government, the FBI, they don’t want us to know they’re real. But they exist! I’ve seen them! They don’t want you to know! The mermaids are real!”

And for just a second, you could almost believe him. No one could lie with such intensity, could they?

We watched in amazement as the head librarian arrived and quietly lead him out of the building. The librarian helping us assured us that he wasn’t dangerous, and that his beliefs were “sad.” But sometimes I still wonder, what sort of adventure might we have gone on if we’d believed him?

That was unclear.
(About Strange Guy)It makes sense to involve the government and then go around asking about it.

(For Mangetout) Keep the door locked. I wonder how long it takes for you to lose the phones or internet feed today.
Strange Guy: Yep! I found the problem it was you, and I cut the wire.

I also want to know how he hears it. Radio, telephone, head set, or maybe dental filling

Kitchen timer fell down the back of the units?

Not necessarily in that order of probability. I’ve never heard anything remotely like loud audible morse code, and I get there early in the morning and I’m there all day - we’re one warehouse unit, backing onto the harbour, right in the middle of a council estate - it’s actually very quiet and tranquil nearly all the time.

Anyway, he started off saying it must be an illegal antenna, but ended up saying he could hear it with his unaided ears. He’s a lunatic. I’d have asked him what he deciphered the message to be, but I was afraid he might have said it was instructions to kill everyone.

It’s people like you what cause unrest.

Thank you for catching it.
I just blew coffee all over my laptop…

And “The military don’t use Morse code at all - they never have!”. Loony.

Remember our thread in which we discussed how cell phones, if placed in proximity to a radio or speakers, can often transmit Morse code-like sounds through the speakers? Maybe the poor schmo had this happen to him, and being mentally unbalanced, immediately concluded that a neighboring establishment was trying to mess with his mind?

I know I went a little nuts trying to figure out why my bedside radio was sporadically emitting Morse code sounds. I was relieved when I found out it was just my cell phone. When I removed the phone to another room, the signals stopped.

But that’s when the *microwave messages were able to get through . . . . *

When I was in school studying Traditional Chinese Medicine, one of our teachers assigned us the project of taking a ride on the El (Elevated train - public transportation) or city bus and observing a “shen disturbance” (translation - crazy people). I was lucky enough to catch a ride with the baby powder guy, who is almost legendary in Chicago. Guy has a huge bottle of baby powder and powders himself, almost constantly, on top of his clothes and underneath random layers, muttering to himself. I don’t know if he thinks he’s dusting for fleas or what.

Didja know that the “crazy eyes” thing is a legitimate symptom of a shen disturbance in TCM? True. The shen, or spirit (one of them, anyway), is thought to rest in the heart and shine out the eyes. If the shen is disturbed, the eyes will look really weird. That’s actually the specific thing our teacher wanted us to see, and it was a lot easier to send us to the crazy people than to get a crazy person into the classroom.

I know about this phenomenon, but I don’t think it can be the case here - there were too many other signs of eccentricity, and I doubt the bloke owns a cellphone.

Not to hijack your thread, but it reminded me of a funny incident last year. 'Was in Vegas at the Defcon convention and went to have breakfast at the local Denny’s. A wild looking older guy (I would have guessed homeless) comes in and rushes ahead of everyone standing in line for a table, gets really close to the hostess and whispers (loudly) “Do you now where I can get a table?”. She tells him to go to the back of the line, he looks around confusedly and says “Oh, ok”.

After we were seated, the guy gets the table right next to us. The waitress gives him the menu and he studies it intently until she comes back. Then he proceeds to give her his order. "I want these eggs (pointing at picture on menu), but can you cook them so that they’re not so yellow looking in the middle? Also, I want the toast, but not with that white looking stuff on it, … " He went on & on & on with these off-the-wall requests. Of course he gets the same as everyone else (this is Denny’s after all, they don’t do custom orders). Gets pissed and stomps out without touching it or paying.

Month later I’m looking at pictures from Defcon on the web. THERE’S THE GUY FROM DENNY’S! Look at the caption - ‘Cap’n Crunch’ inventor of the Blue Box!

Kenneth, what is the frequency?

And very much easier than getting the Crazy Person out of the classroom, afterwards,

Woodpeckers. We’ve been laughing about what messages they are sending all week…

I thought the same. I look forward to his win. I can point at the headline “NUTTER ELECTED MAYOR” and shout “One of us! One of us! Gooba gobba, one of us!” Until those clean young men in their nice white coats come to calm me down.

Yeah, that’s the trouble with crazy people, there’s never one around when you need them, but when you don’t need them the place is crawling with them.