Thursday, January 22, 2015

Slovenia Invasion Force Still Missing

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Everyone else is talking about how Lindsey Vonn broke Annemarie Moser-Proell's record for World Cup wins. Since that subject has been beaten not just to death, but beyond decomposition, we are avoiding it like we would standing downwind from a sauerkraut eaters' convention. We will stick to the stories that nobody else dares to report. Eighteen months ago, the first wave of Kildow's Army, fans of Ms. Vonn sent to invade Slovenia, ended up in Moscow's infamous Lubyanka prison. They thought they were in Ljubljana. Kildow's Army attempted to invade Slovenia in order to force Tina Maze to give Ms. Vonn her points and globes from the 2013 season or  $1 million per person. The last anyone heard from them, they were put on a train to Siberia. (see this story) We sent one of our intrepid reporters to Moscow to see what he could find out. He managed to score an interview with two people who are working together to solve this mystery: Russian Border Guard Ivan Sergeyevich Semyonov and former Schladming police chief and current FIS crime consultant Hermann Mayer. Let's find out what they have to say. 

BB: Major Semyonov, were you one of the last people to see the invaders before they got on the train?
Semyonov: Yes. I took them to the Central Station and watched as they got on the train.
BB: One train for 25,000 people doesn't sound like it would be sufficient.
Semyonov: It was a special train with 100 cars that is part of the Trans Siberian Express which is used for the Gulag Experience tours.
BB: I see. That works out to 250 people per car, which seems awfully crowded.
Semyonov: That is part of the experience. We want people on the tour to get the full experience of what it was like to be sent to the Gulag. They take the train to Khabharovsk, then take a smaller local train to the actual labor camp. There were a lot of prisoners in a train car in Soviet times and they didn't have the choice of luxury seating.
BB: Did they ever make it to Khabharovsk?
Semyonov: That's the strange thing. We alerted the railway workers in Khabharovsk to prepare for an extremely large tour group and told them when the invaders should arrive. But they never made it.
BB: You said that the train was part of the Trans Siberian Express. Are people allowed to get on and off the train?
Semyonov: Of course. They can get on or off at any station along the way. But they were told to stay on the train for six days until it got to its final destination, which was Khabharovsk.
BB: Did the train make it to Khabharovsk?
Semyonov: Yes it did. Russian Railways tracked the train the full six days. It stopped at each station precisely on time and left on schedule. So we know that the train wasn't hijacked or going the wrong direction. Yet when it arrived in Khabharovsk the only people on board were the engineer, the conductors, and some Russians who were on their way to Vladivostok.
BB: That is very strange indeed. Anyway, Herr Mayer, how did you get called in to work on this case?
Mayer: I was called to work this case along with my faithful bloodhound Fido because it indirectly involves ski racers. Even though Ms. Vonn is no longer interested in Tina's globes from 2013, we still have to resolve the case and find out what happened to the missing people. Even though Lindsey now has broken Annemarie Moser-Proell's record, she is still upset that she wasn't the first woman to break the 2,000 point mark and may never get the points record.
BB: I can see how one person can go missing, but 25,000?
Mayer: It appears that our friends in the Russian Border Guards weren't doing their jobs.
Semyonov: Wait a minute! I can see that my colleagues may have slacked off when they let all of those people into Russia. But it was Russian Railways employees who somehow let those invaders get away. I got a special commendation for getting them out of Moscow. This is a much tougher mystery to solve than a little girl losing her mittens.
Mayer: Let's leave Elke Dorfkeller out of this discussion. She got her mittens back, unlike the poor families of the missing invaders who are wondering about their loved ones.
BB: Time out! You are supposed to be working together on this case. After all, Herr Mayer did find Germany's missing witch doctor in Schladming (see this story).
Semyonov: From what I heard, it was the dog who really found the witch doctor.
Mayer: Fido and I work together as a team.
Semyonov: Is that why he ran away from the Swedish warehouse that blew up? (see this story).
BB: I need to defend Fido on that one. I had surstroemming and can still taste it. Eating surstroemming is something a non-Swede can never forget. But let's get back to the missing people. Do you have any leads?
Semyonov: Russia is a very big country. Finding so many people who cannot read a map makes the job more challenging. There are vast forests where they could have been hiding all of this time or they could be in the mountains. I believe that they are somewhere in Russia because our Border Guards would have found them otherwise.
Mayer: I heard rumours that they were were in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and even Thailand. If your Border Guards didn't notice them all coming into Russia, how would they notice all of them leaving?
Semyonov: It was the summer holiday season! The number of visitors to Moscow naturally increases.
BB: Halt! This arguing is not helping to figure out how 25,000 people disappeared from a train. It would seem like the most plausible explanation was that they got off the train early and are in one of the big cities on the Trans Siberian Express line. 
Mayer: If Fido and I were called in earlier to work on this case, we could have solved it. Fido is very good at finding people.
Semyonov: Come on! Do you really think that your dog can run all over Russia looking for the invaders?
Mayer: Yes.
Semyonov: You really are delusional! Russia is a much bigger country than Austria. Maybe your dog could run across Austria, but he would die before he could make it one-eighth of the way across Russia.
BB: Stop it, you two! You are worse than children. The invasion force is either lost, living  somewhere, or dead. 
Semyonov: I'm going with lost since they ended up in the Lubyanka instead of Ljubljana to begin with. My friends at the FSS have also not heard of a large number of new foreign residents being registered anywhere.
Mayer: I believe that they were abducted by space aliens from the train. Since their map reading skills were beyond poor, I can't believe that they would have gotten off at separate stations and arranged to meet at a specific point. Therefore, the only other likely explanation is that they were abducted by aliens.
BB: If they were abducted by space aliens, why them and not the train workers or the Russian passengers?
Mayer: Maybe the aliens don't like Russians.
Semyonov: You seem to be the one who doesn't like Russians because you have been very critical of our investigation. Yet the best thing you could come up with is that Kildow's Army was abducted by space aliens. How did you ever make it to working as a consultant for the FIS?
Mayer: I could ask you how you ever made it to the rank of major!
BB: Arretez!  Basta! We may never know what happened to them. They may be hiding somewhere in Russia, in another country, or on the planet Zorkon, and may even prefer that they are never found. Until one of them emerges, or is found dead, this will remain an eternal mystery. Why don't you actually spend your time and energy looking for them or accept that they may never be found.
Semyonov: You are right. They could be hiding in plain sight. If they had military training, they would know how to live off the land and blend in with the local people. Their leader was a colonel.
BB: Yes he was. He may have worn a tin foil hat, but he was still a colonel. Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for this interview. It helped our readers understand how  crime solvers from different countries really work together. I hope that you two can resolve your differences and work cooperatively to solve this mystery. Our readers really want to know what happened to the 25,000 brave souls of Kildow's Army.  And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters would never go missing. They know that they have a great gig with us. 

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