On the night of November 10, 2005, one year ago today,
a young Chinese man motor biking through an intersection
on a green light was struck down by a high-speed red
car running red light.
When the driver learned the deadly crash, instead of rushing
the motorist to hospital, he fled the scene.
What he did?t realise was that the accident was faithfully
recorded by a traffic surveillance video camera at the
The motorist died. And police hunt began.
In a bid to identify the culprit, the video clip went
to air, and a number of phone calls from the audience were
quickly received. It was not that they had identified the
car or the driver. They did?t. But they detected the presence
of a third party at the moment of the crash.
The driver was eventually captured, but not the third
one. In fact, police did not even make an attempt to contact
that thirty party. It was until ten months later, on September
17 this year, police went on the Beijing television to
talk for the first time about this mysterious presence.
"There is no third party," said the police.
But just what had the audience seen in the video?
It was a human skull. And a skull with its jaw in motion
as if trying to speak out.
The Motorist approaching the intersection,
a skull in the background
The red car approaching the motorist,
with the motorist near the skull's left eye socket
The moment of crash,
the head of the car at the skull's left eye socket
and the body of the motorist at its jaw
That is why the murmuring questions spread across the
communities about the fate and destinations. And that is
why the delayed official response was eventually delivered,
claiming it must be the reflections on the computer screens
and that to think otherwise would be superstitious.
It in a way makes one wonder if there is hidden wisdom
in a much-mocked quote that reads:
"As we know, there are known knowns; there are things
we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns;
that is to say we know there are some things we do not
know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we
don't know we don't know."
Well, it does sound like a wise advice, even though the
person who said this does just opposite and doesn?t know
he doesn?t know.
An instance in which a man did know:
In the latest edition of Mao Zedong (1893-1976),
newly released by Chinese authority, there is a passage
proclaiming Mao had prior knowledge about his own death:
On October 1, 1975, Mao did not read or sleep, but
leaned on the bed and fell into silent contemplation.
Then, he said to himself, "This could be my last
National Day, last October 1." A year later, on
9 September 1976, he past away.
in the Eye of Beholders