New South Wales, Australia – As the seemingly unquenchable conflagration has seared its way across the vast expanse of Australia since June of 2019, eyewitness accounts have pointed to the strange presence of red-robed men and women silently holding vigil near firefighting operational centers.
Since the emergency began, dozens of people have been charged by the NSW police for intentionally setting fires under the dangerous drought conditions. An act of stunning carelessness and vandalism to the local population.
Yet, mere teenage nihilism may not be the crux of the issue, some engaged in the effort to fight the fire have suggested.
Kinsey MacCloud, a veteran volunteer firefighter working alongside Victoria Emergency echoes an eyewitness account which has become commonplace over the last months of the crisis. “I’m leaving my car to get to the command center for the day’s briefing and I see three men dressed identically in red robes just standing at the edge of the wood. Just standing there. The one in the middle was muttering something I couldn’t hear over the choppers running in the distance. But I saw his breathing mask moving. The two next to him where making this movement with their hands. Like, I dunno, a beckoning motion. That’s the only way I could describe it.”
“For some reason,” she adds, her voice turning slightly defiant, “I told the lot of ‘em to f–k right off.” She continued on to say that they didn’t acknowledge her at all and kept on..
After piecing together some of these reports, and some of the more thoughtful speculation about the persons involved, it appears these individuals may be a part of an organized response to the emergency, but it isn’t clear that this response is intended to help.
Ancient Greek letters burned in the ground near the sightings have been found. Badly overgrown or covered in ash and soot, they are indeterminate in meaning. However some analysis from philologists suspect they may be quotations from Heraclitus, the pre-socratic philosopher. Normally such a thing would be a simple curiosity, however the context leads to a chilling sense of malignancy.
“Heraclitus, as was the approach with many of the pre-Socratics, was not a simple metaphysician in the sense we understand today. There was no real separation between the speculative discourse of what nature is made of and what the supernatural is made of”,says professor of ancient literature Duncan Hylan of the University of Sydney. “Natural philosophy, what we call science, and metaphysics were all wrapped up in each other without a real methodological separation between the two.”
“From what we can gather of these fire etchings, likely made with some kind of blowtorch, the police forensics department tells me, is that they are a restatement of a fairly famous line of the philosopher’s “This world-order [kosmos], the same of all, no god nor man did create, but it ever was and is and will be: everliving fire…”
“What’s troubling about this, if this is indeed some kind of cultic organization dedicated to Heraclitian cosmology, is that scholars often attribute to him an eschatology. To be more specific, a fated end to the world in an inevitable flood of flames. For him, fire was the basic substance of all the world. And we live in a moment of flux where life is possible. But in the Heraclitian view, it is only a matter of time before the whole thing reverts to a more natural, fundamental state of being.”
“If this is the case,” Dr. Hylan goes on to say, “I would hope law enforcement take the presence of these individuals around work sites very seriously.”
As of this writing, no online evidence of such a religious group can be turned up.