For the first time in years, the Stranger Than Truth crew hits the road again... or, in this case, the high seas, in search of a long lost island story that once dazzled TV viewing audiences.
"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale... a tale of a fateful trip..."
Fateful it was but the outcome not nearly so enjoyable.
In 1957, a small charter sightseeing boat set forth from Hawaii with a captain, a crew-member and five passengers for a half-day cruise around the islands. Unfortunately, weather forecasting was not what it is today and a storm blew the small craft well off course and left it beached on a small island well away from civilization.
The only remaining person left alive to tell the story first-hand is Cleotis Finger, who carries the title of Professor of Hemorrhoidal Science (Retired).
Stranger Than Truth: Professor, can you recall the event that left you, the crew and your fellow passengers stranded for 8 months in the Pacific?
Prof. Finger: "It was a sunny day. I was in Hawaii on summer vacation from Analpain Medical College where I taught a class on how to stuff free-roaming rectal blood vessels back into place. Have you ever heard of hemorrhoidal ablations? See, first you grab that nasty old vein between your fingers, squeeze and pull realllll hard..."
Stranger Than Truth: Yes sir... but what do you remember of the boat tour that day?
Prof. Finger: "What? Oh...
The tour boat was named the SS Sardine and was captained by a rather scruffy old guy who had one crew member named Bobby Killian. Also along for the ride were two young women... one was a dancer from a local island strip club. Candy was her name. The other was a redneck chic... Judy Sue, from Tennessee. There was also an older married couple from New York City who later reminded me of Archie and Edith Bunker."
Stranger Than Truth: So, how did the ship wreck happen?
Prof. Finger: "I'm getting to that! You keep interrupting me and I'm going to rectal-exam your fat mouth!"
At this point, we decided to let the old professor tell the story his way while, at the same time, we gently moved to a spot on the other side of the room.
Prof. Finger: "The weather started getting rough, the tiny boat was tossed. If not for the idiocy of the brainless crew, the Sardine would have been back at home in its can before sundown! (sighs) When the storm passed, the boat was ashore on some gawd-forsaken island. We were all beaten and bruised from the ride because they couldn't steer a rowboat in a swimming pool! We had to endure this hellhole for eight months before the Coast Guard FINALLY decided to have a look as to why that missing boat was parked on the beach!"
Stranger Than Truth: What happened while you were there?
Prof. Finger: "Come over here young fellah and bend over for me. I got something for you!
We built some huts, found a source of fresh water and learned to hate seafood. But that first mate? Killian? He was a nutcase. He'd wander out into the island scrub each day and come back with dead birds and gutted turtles draped over him. He used bones and animal blood to make his own tattoos. He'd wander about at night, sneak into the girl's hut and scare the b'jeezus out of them! Eventually, he earned the nickname 'Killagain' and the Cap'n made him move to the other side of the island."
As we were packing up to leave, professor Finger went on to tell us that after being rescued, Bobby Killian was eventually committed to an insane asylum somewhere in the northwest US. Upon our arrival back the mainland, we tracked down some of his records and found that he escaped from a mental institution in 1979 and was later found dead in Canada, apparently after getting into a fight with some large animal... either a cougar or a bear.
The name 'Killagain's Island' was penciled in on most island navigation charts of the day but never officially.
Professor Cleotis Finger today resides at the Golden Crank Retirement Center in Beygone, Kansas.