b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » The B3TA Detective Agency » Post 1392169 | Search
This is a question The B3TA Detective Agency

Universalpsykopath tugs our coat and says: Tell us about your feats of deduction and the little mysteries you've solved. Alternatively, tell us about the simple, everyday things that mystified you for far too long.

(, Thu 13 Oct 2011, 12:52)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

« Go Back

Apologies for length in advance
I used to work for a chocolate manufacturer. Yes, *that* one. Late one summer's evening it's past time for home and I'm out on top of a powder silo trying (with help) to get a support frame out of a filter bag. There's forty of them to do. Some of them were sticking. My mate was pulling up on the frame, and I was jamming a big length of metal conduit down into the bag to hold it in place. This worked great for the first thirty nine bags. On the fortieth, and last, the bag was particularly sticky and wet, so when my mate pulled UP on the frame to get it out, I pushed DOWN... and my nine-foot length of metal went straight through the bag and down, out through my fingers and irretrievably into the powder silo.


I had to fess up to my clumsiness. The powder got out of there via a twin-screw conveyor, and I was having nightmares about how mangled up that conveyor was going to get, how much damage and lost production I'd be responsible for. I asked all the shift crews to tell me immediately if there was any sign of problems with the unloading conveyor. A day or two goes by, and the silo gets unloaded. No problems. A few more days, another load, no problems. A week, no problems. I'm still paranoid. It never turns up, and there's never any problem. I'm baffled. It's got to be in there somewhere, just waiting to break everything.

A year or two later, the whole plant gets mothballed, and the silo is emptied completely. I've been asking after this thing every two or three days since I dropped it - nope, no sign of it. Eventually, I don breathing apparatus, a miner's lamp and other protective gear, crawl through a small hole and sweep, by hand, every last particle of powder out of that silo. No rod. Over three metres of solid aluminium bar... evaporated.

YEARS later, I get a job elsewhere and hand in my notice. On my last day there, one of the guys takes me to one side, and confides that, in fact, my length of conduit had emerged, mangled, from the conveyor on a night shift about two weeks after I dropped it in, doing no damage whatsoever. Everyone was sworn to secrecy, since I was asking after it every couple of days, and even after the plant was mothballed I still fairly regularly mentioned the mystery of what had happened to it. If I'd carried on working there, nobody would ever have told me. As I was leaving, they decided to put me out of my misery and solve the mystery for me.
(, Sat 15 Oct 2011, 0:35, Reply)

« Go Back

Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1