I found a working iPhone on the bottom of the ocean. It caught my eye during a routine dive when it lit up with a notification. Seemed like it went through hell before getting to me, so I was amazed it still worked.

There’s a news story about it here.

The problem is that nothing about that story is true, my name, where it was found, the inspiring story of how it was returned to the (fake) owner, even how much battery power it had left. There’s a much more disturbing story to it all and it deserves to be heard. I hope you’ll be able to read this before it gets swept under the rug again by the authorities. I’ve transcribed the recordings below.

**Day 1, 3:47 PM**

Mom finally convinced me to go on the family vacation down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina today. I’m a little old for these kind of trips but I decided to humor her. My deadbeat uncle somehow got a ticket to come, too.

Drive down took six hours. I slept most of the way.

Now that we’re down at the beach, I’m not really sure what to do with myself. Wish I had brought a book or something to read. Rest of the family is busy tanning or swimming or whatever. Not really into that kind of thing. I’ve taken to just recording my thoughts here as they come to me. Glad I bought this new waterproof case so I don’t have to worry about it getting wet.

**Day 2, 5:52 PM**

Second day at the beach down, only five more to go. Earlier, Uncle Richard egged me on until I chased him down and tackled him in the water. I’m not much of a swimmer and the idea of getting tugged under had me terrified despite my uncle’s reassurances. We took boogie boards just in case. 

I survived, much to my own surprise.

**Day 3, 3:22 PM**

The waves were rough today. Flags that said ‘Dangerous Currents’ jutted out of the sand. I hadn’t planned to go swimming again but my uncle bet me a hundred bucks I wouldn’t do it and I couldn’t resist that much cash.

We bolted into the water in the break between waves and flopped forward, letting our bodies adjust to its chill. I was shivering in minutes. Tried to tell my uncle I was going back to shore but he just grabbed me and refused to let me go. Gave me flashbacks of when he would hold me down and tickle me past when I couldn’t breath. 

That’s when the riptide took us. Our feet flew out from under us before we knew what was happening, tugging us out to sea in a churning brown blur. I didn’t know how to get out. I barely know how to swim. We flailed with our arms and feet, trying to fight it but it was no use. It has us in its icy grip. We are completely and utterly at the mercy of the ocean now.

**Day 3, 8:30 PM**

We’re still alive. Been hanging on to our boards for dear life as we drift further and further from shore. It’s just a slim sliver of tan on the horizon now. The houses are just little dots. 

In that initial panic, I scanned the shore desperate for anyone to help us. The rest of my family had gone back to bring lunch down to the beach and I just kept hoping a lifeguard would ride back by on an ATV but no help came.

Once I calmed down enough to realize we needed to help ourselves, we were far from shore. I remembered my phone was in my pocket, safe in its watertight case. Unfortunately, I had no service, still don’t. The towers in this place are terrible and I barely had a single bar on the beach, let alone god knows how far out into the ocean.

Uncle hasn’t said much, though the bags under his eyes seem darker and he keeps giving me this guilty look.

The sunset is hauntingly beautiful out here though with its reds and pinks bleeding into oranges and yellows. There’s nothing to obscure it. I would be enjoying it more if the retreating sun didn’t suck what little warmth remained from the water and air. Already, I can feel the chill seeping deep into my bones, making them ache, my teeth ch-ch-chattering. 

**Day 4, 7:43 AM**

The shore and the houses are gone now. All we can see is ocean for miles and miles around. The sun woke me early and I can already feel the blistering sunburn forming on my face.

Uncle finally spoke up, asking me what we were planning to do between shivers that spasmed through his whole body. Why did he expect me to have a plan? This was his stupid idea.

Bitterly, I told him that we were going to die out here, one way or another. If we didn’t freeze to death first or dehydrate after that, maybe we’d just give up and finally let go of our boards. The thought had already tempted me a few times. My shoulders and neck ache from holding my head above the rolling tide, my stomach rumbles constantly, and I’m fucking terrified. What hope do we have?

I wasn’t going to record this part because I’m pretty sure it’s just my imagination but maybe it’ll help to get it off my chest while Uncle is still sleeping. I felt something brush by my legs as I was dozing. Not the quick, light flash of a school of fish. It was slick and heavy. I panicked for a minute when it started wrapping itself around my legs as if to pull me down but I jolted awake and it disappeared as quickly as it came.

**Day 4, 9:56 PM**

I’ve started seeing shapes under the water at night. They don’t seem to move but they’re huge, at least the size of a house. And there are multiple. Uncle keeps trying to tell me they’re whales though he couldn’t explain the the glow from deep below them that pulsed and lit up their silhouettes or why we can’t see anything down there during the day.

**Day 4, 11:48 PM**

I’m beyond hungry now. It’s become a gnawing, acidic pain in the depth of my bowels. I can feel my body consuming itself. All I can taste is salt on my tongue. My throat is raw and dry from the accidentally swallowed ocean water, a constant reminder that I’ll dehydrate soon and so will my uncle.

He’s been slipping further and further into the water as the minutes drag by. I think he’s losing his strength. We’ve drifted apart but I can still see him. I feel like a monster for saying this but the world won’t have lost anything when he finally lets go. He’s ruined more than just his own life with what he’s done.

What if… what if killed him? Just ended his suffering now. Better yet, killed him and ate him? It would keep me alive a little longer, if I could stomach it. Maybe long enough to be rescued.

No… no, I can’t do that. What am I saying? I…

**Day 5, 9:45 PM**

Uncle finally slipped below the water today and I thought that was the end of it but he came back up after a long minute. When he did, he looked shocked and pale. He told me it wasn’t whales. There were buildings down there on the ocean floor. He couldn’t make out many details but he said there was definitely glass and lights. I don’t think I believe him. Dying hallucinations more likely.

The lights and the shapes came again tonight but this time, I thought I saw smaller shadows moving in the murky water. A storm was on the horizon, kicking up the silt below us, obscuring the view though and I couldn’t be sure of anything i saw.

**Day 6, 6:34 AM**

Uncle let go today. He looked at me one more time before he did and said he was going to go and see what was down there before he died. His last words were a warning: “Don’t come looking for me”. 

**Day 6, 6:29 PM**

I’m alone now and I can feel my mind unraveling beneath the lack of hydration and food and company. Uncle’s board still drifts within eyesight as a constant reminder of where he went. I dared dip my head underwater today and there’s definitely something down there. I’m getting desperate and whatever it is seems like my best option. I’m going to give it another night for a slim hope of rescue then I’ll decide.

**Day 6, 9:51 PM**

Whatever is down there is moving. It’s beckoning to me with shadowy arms like kelp swaying in the tide. Watery voices lap at my ears, whispering to me. They don’t want me to tell you anymore about what I’ve seen. I’m sorry. They don’t want to be found.

I’ve decided I’m not going to wait until morning. They’re running out of patience and I don’t want to anger them. 

If you find this phone without me, just know that I’m somewhere deep below the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a whole world down there just waiting to be seen.

Don’t come looking for me.


So that’s all there was to the recordings. They end there. I figure I don’t have long before this is taken down or they come to shut me up for good.

My plan is to beat them to it. I drove down last night and booked a private boat rental for tomorrow from the same beach. I’ve got to know what’s out there. I’ll update with my progress if I’m able. Wish me luck.

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