I have an Alternate Past on the Internet! (plus Cyberstalking fun)

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In equal measure crazy, creepy and awesome, I seem to have an alternate past, as seen by the internet.

Allow me to explain.

I was messing around with Google Alerts earlier on today, and tried sticking my own name, Ian Renton, in as a query. I sat back and waited for its selection of news and web pages featuring my name to roll in.

Earlier this evening, the first e-mail arrived. Amongst the expected selection of news concerning the world’s more famous Ian Rentons, it dug up a few pages about me. Firstly, a couple that I was expecting. Then, I stumbled upon this:


My name, date of birth, handles, University, and so on are all right. The page is clearly about me. Except for a few minor differences. I’ve mentioned here a couple of times a guy who I had a big falling-out with nearly four years ago now, by the name of Thomas Ash. Close, but not quite the “Thomas Ashworth” mentioned in the page - I’ve never known anyone by the name of Ashworth. Most worryingly, the page declared that this “Thomas Ashworth” was dead. I was also surprised that the page mentioned SECOS, the operating system idea that Tom Ash and I came up with while we were at secondary school but lacked the expertise to write.

Intrigued, I dug deeper. This Wikipedia user by the handle of “Krik” has little on his main User page besides the fact that his name is Norm. More digging.

If you search Wikipedia including User pages for “Ian Renton”, it throws up a couple more pages by Krik that a normal search doesn’t. First up, a page on Thomas Ashworth. It gets his birthday wrong, although it gets a fair bit of his past right. And, it claims he died aged 14. For a start I knew the guy up until he was 16…

Also very much odd is the page on SECOS - somewhat detailed. Somewhat full of information that Tom and I never came up with. It also mentions a certain “Johnathan Whitfield”, of whom I have never heard.

Cyber-stalking commenced. I was intrigued to find out who this Krik was. I snuffled out more of his personal page

s on Wikipedia, or which this one seemed to link him to Filton College, Bristol and a man called Gary Wilmott. this one suggests he is probably a resident of South Gloucestershire and this suggests he lives in Thornbury, the town in which Thomas Ash once lived. Looks like a good hit. And, not long later, bingo. Norman Rogers it is.

Actually, I do remember that name from a while back. I seemed to recall once having problems with him making malicious edits on the Wiki I used to run (funny how thing’s… don’t… change), so I poked the Wayback Machine but sadly to no avail. Still, I have the man’s name and also I suspect his parents’ names, their address and phone number.

Cyber-stalking complete, methinks. Beyond that I can’t be bothered, since it was merely a curious waste of an hour.

All in all, nothing particularly exciting I guess - although I’m still kind of fond of the idea that there’s another different theory about what happened in my

past floating around the backwaters of the ‘net. Thank you Mister Norman S Rogers of Thornbury, Bristol!