The Second Black Plague:Anatomy of a Doomsday Pandemic adapted from & inspired by material previously published at Othertimelines.com
by Chris Oakley
From the January 8th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:
DEATH TOLL IN AUSTRALIAíS RDS EPIDEMIC NOW UP TO 130,000; N.Z.
CASUALTIES AT 102
SCIENTISTS FORECAST EXTINCTION OF HUMAN RACE WITHIN 4-6 MONTHS
PHONE SERVICE BETWEEN WELLINGTON AND CHRISTCHURCH DISRUPTED
From a Channel 9(Australia) news broadcast dated January 12th, 1970:One of Australian Rules footballís most storied clubs has become the latest
casualty of the global RDS epidemic with the news that the Sydney Swans, beset
by growing financial difficulty and the loss of several critical players, will cease
operations until further notice effective as of midnight tonight. When asked how
soon the club might resume play, team executives had no comment...
From the January 15th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:RDS PANIC IN AUSTRALIA GROWS AS PINE CREEK REPORTS ITS FIRST CONFIRMED CASE OF VIRUS
From Mr. Lís diary entry of January 19th, 1970:I can barely stand listeneing to the radio anymore-- all I ever seem to hear from it
is bad news. Did you know the RDS body count hereís now up to 118? 118! And theyíre
reporting at least 2 or 3 new cases every day. Iím beginning to wonder how long Iíve
got before I catch that damn bug myself....
From a notice posted outside the Alice Springs city hall dated January 24th, 1970:RESIDENTS OF THIS CITY ARE REMINDED THAT MARTIAL LAW IS STILL
IN FORCE AT THIS TIME AND WILL REMAIN SO UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
ANYONE FOUND IN VIOLATION OF THE MARTIAL LAW DECREE WILL BE
SUBJECT TO ARREST AND POSSIBLE EXECUTION.
From the January 28th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:NATIONWIDE DEATH COUNT FROM RDS UP TO 155,000; N.Z.
CASUALTIES APPROACHING 130
GLOBAL TOLL UP TO 3.94 BILLION
TWO SOLDIERS COURT-MARTIALLED FOR REFUSING TO
ENFORCE ALICE SPRINGS MARTIAL LAW DECREE
From a pirate radio broadcast somewhere in Queensland dated February 5th, 1970:What are we waiting for?!! The federal governmentís just a bleediní house of cards and itís high
time someone knocked it over! Get a gun and join me! Weíve gotta save our country while thereís
From the February 6th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:PIRATE RADIO OPERATOR IN QUEENSLAND ARRESTED ON SEDITION CHARGES
From a Channel 9(Australia) news broadcast dated February 15th, 1970:As we approach the sixth anniversary of the respiratory disintegration syndrome pandemic that
has devastated 90 percent of the world, anti-government riots are raging in Adelaide this morning
despite the best efforts of local police and RAA troops to keep them under control....
From Mr. Lís diary entry of February 21st, 1970:I threw my radio out the window this afternoon because I couldnít take listening to
one more casualty report, one more university egghead saying weíre all doomed. Iím
just about the only one in my apartment building who dares going out anymore, what
with the riots and the economic crisis....Iíll be lucky if I survive until the first day of
From the February 25th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND OBSERVE REMEMBRANCE DAY FOR VICTIMS OF
GLOBAL RDS PANDEMIC
ABORIGINAL MASS HEALING CEREMONY UNDERWAY AT AYERS ROCK
From a Channel 9(Australia) news report dated March 2nd, 1970:500 people were shot to death today while attempting to break the quarantine
seal around Darwin. In New Zealand, the official casualty toll from that nations
RDS epidemic has now risen to 173...
From the March 5th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:AFL TEETERING ON VERGE OF FINANCIAL RUIN
From a notice posted outside the Wellington city hall dated March 10th, 1970:Residents of this city are advised to arm themselves at once if they have not done so
already, in order that they may defend themselves against criminals and lunatics. Those
who are armed should keep their weapons close at hand and be ready to use them at a
From Mr. Lís diary entry of March 16th, 1970:The building manager got shot last night while he was walking his dog; we tried to catch
the shooter, but he got away by ducking into an alley before we could get hold of him. And
thatís not the worst of it-- the manager died waiting for the ambulance to show up. This
countryís coming apart at the seams....
From the March 25th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:AUSTRALIA RDS DEATH TOLL AT 181,000; NEW ZEALAND CASUALTIES REACH 205
LEADING SCIENTIST WARN EXTINCTION OF REMNANTS OF HUMAN RACE ONLY 60-75 DAYS OFF
TOWNSVILLE POLICE CHIEF AND MAYOR KILLED IN ANTI-AUTHORITY RIOTS
From a letter by a Dunedin, New Zealand school headmistress to the parents of the schoolís pupils dated April 2nd, 1970:With deep regret I must announce that due to the present crisis, all academic activity at this
school must be suspended until further notice. We are unable at present to guarantee our
pupilsí safety and do not wish to expose them to unnecessary risks....
From a Channel 9(Australia) news report dated April 5th, 1970:Fourteen people were killed and eight injured when a bomb exploded this afternoon at the offices of CSIRO in
From the April 11th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:AUSTRALIA RDS CASUALTIES NOW TOPPING 200,000
N.Z. DEATH TOLL AT 229
NEW ZEALANDís THIRD-LARGEST PRIVATE BANK CRASHES
From Mr. Lís diary entry of April 16th, 1970:The paper says there was a riot in Invercargill last night....something like fifty people
killed and the town hall got burned down...
From a Channel 9 news report dated April 24th, 1970:One of the last surviving communications links between Australia and New Zealand was severed
when a fire apparently sparked by an electrical short-circuit destroyed the main telegraph station
in Wellington. The station had been used by reporters with the Sydney Morning Heraldís New
Zealand bureau to file their stories on that countryís RDS outbreak....
From the April 30th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:500 DEAD IN SIMPSON DESERT MASS SUICIDE
FEDERAL OFFICIALS ASSURE PUBLIC RADIO LINKS TO NEW ZEALAND
From a Channel 9 news report dated May 4th, 1970:Brisbane experienced the worst civil unrest in its history earlier today as federal
troops and anti-government rioters clashed in a firefight which left 200 dead and at
least 400 wounded. Much of the city is reported to be in flames at this hour...
From the May 8th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:NATIONWIDE RDS DEATH TOLL EXPECTED TO REACH 250,000 BEFORE JUNE 15th; NEW ZEALAND CASUALTIES
PRESENTLY STAND AT 350
SYDNEY UNIVERSITY UNDER ARMED GUARD AFTER VIOLENT ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATIONS
From Mr. Lís diary entry of May 13th, 1970:More bad news in the papers-- thereís some kind of revolt going on in Tasmania. The
mayor of Hobart got killed along with a bunch of cops when they tried to quiet things
down. Reminds me of when Governor Faubus called out the National Guard back in í62...
From a Channel 9 special broadcast dated May 21st, 1970:Due to growing financial troubles and a shrinking pool of trained technical
personnel, we regret to announce that until further notice we must suspend
broadcast operations in the 12 noon-4 PM time period...
From the May 23rd, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:AUSTRALIA RDS DEATH TOLL UP TO 231,500; 400 DEAD IN NEW ZEALAND
NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES APPROACHING 80 PERCENT
From a letter by the general manager of New Zealandís largest professional cricket club to the teamís supporters dated May 28th, 1970:Due to the present national crisis we are sadly obliged to temporarily suspend play....However,
we remain hopeful that we will eventually be able to resume operations...
From Mr. Lís diary entry of June 4th, 1970:Depressed again. Itís been at least a week since I last left my apartment...and for some
people around here itís been even longer than. Thereís this guy living two floors above me
who hasnít been seen out of his place in six months. Some of us think he might already be
dead, which wouldnít surprise me much at this point...
From the June 5th entry:My mistake-- turns out the guyís not dead after all, just a really heavy sleeper. Frankly
I wish we could all sleep through this whole lousy mess...it would make the virus easier to
From the June 10th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:250,000TH RDS FATALITY IN AUSTRALIA CONFIRMED THIS MORNING
SUICIDE RATES IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND AT ALL-TIME PEAKS
ARMY RESERVE COLONEL KILLED IN APPARENT MUTINY ATTEMPT
From a Channel 9 special broadcast dated June 16th, 1970:Until further notice, all broadcast activity in the 5:00 PM-6:00 PM time period is being hereby
From a special address by the prime minister of Australia to the Senate dated June 22nd, 1970:Regardless of how catastrophic our present circumstances have become, we cannot give in
to the temptation towards despair, because that way lies the final, total, and irrevocable demise
of our country....
From a hecklerís response to the PMís remarks:Pull me the other one, why donít you?! This bleediní countryís finished, donít you know
that? The Rome virusíll kill us all, just like it killed everyone in America and Russia! Canít
you see weíre all doomed, you blind old fool?!!...
From the June 24th, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:CONFIDENCE IN PRIME MINISTER SHARPLY DECLINING
CHANNEL 9 TO CANCEL ALL REMAINING EVENING BROADCAST ACTIVITY EFFECTIVE FROM 8:00 PM TOMORROW
From the June 30th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail(New Zealand): WORLDWIDE RDS CASUALTY TOLL NOW STANDING AT 3.91 BILLION; EXPERTS PREDICT EXTINCTION OF HUMAN
RACE WITHIN 30-45 DAYS
PARLIAMENT LEADER RESIGNS AMID BITTER PUBLIC CRITICISM OF GOVERNMENTíS HANDLING OF RDS CRISIS
From an editorial in the July 2nd, 1970 Sydney Morning Herald:With great sorrow, we announce that dire shortages of material and skilled workers are forcing
us to temporarily halt publication of this newspaper effective immediately. Under the present
circumstances it is becoming extremely difficult if not impossible to honor our commitments to
From Mr. Lís diary entry of July 5th, 1970:God, Australiaís gone to hell in a handbasket. There was a riot in Katherine today and half
the city got burned down...some of the cops were supposed to stop the riot ended up being
part of it instead, which goes to show you how bad things really are over there....
From the July 10th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:RDS DEATHS IN AUSTRALIA APPROACHING 275,000; N.Z. CASUALTIES IN
EXCESS OF 700
N.Z. DEFENCE MINISTER FOUND DEAD IN APPARENT SUICIDE
From a Channel 9 news broadcast dated July 14th, 1970:In an ironic turn of events, the former French embassy in Canberra has burned down on what
would in the past have been Bastille Day in France. No one was inside the embassy complex
when the fire-- whose origins are still uncertain --broke out in the main lobby; the embassy was
reduced to ashes in less than two hours....
From the July 20th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:WELLINGTON CITY HALL UNDER SIEGE BY ANTI-GOVERNMENT GANGS
AUSTRALIA RDS DEATH COUNT TOPS 275,000
FLAGSHIP OF N.Z. NAVY REPORTS THREE CREWMEN MISSING; DESERTION
From a Channel 9 news broadcast dated July 26th, 1970:
An RAAF reconnaissance flight over Darwin has confirmed that the
Northern Territory coastal city is now effectively deserted....
From the August 1st, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:AUSTRALIAN RDS DEATH COUNT NEARING 300,000; 1000 DEAD IN NEW ZEALAND
From Mr. Lís diary entry of August 4th, 1970:
There was a huge fire here in town today-- one of the locals tried to burn an RDS corpse
himself instead of letting the health board do it and things got really out of hand. Poor guy
got fried to a crisp and so did two of his neighbors, and on top of that his house burned to
the ground. About the only thing that didnít get burned was the corpse...
From a Channel 9 news report dated August 9th, 1970:A federal health expert said today that the RDS pandemic has decimated the worldís
medical system to such an extent that it has cleared the way for other diseases to run
rampant throughout the general human population, thus exacerbating the already
steep population decline caused by the plague, now approaching its seventh year
worldwide and and its third year in Australia....
From a propaganda leaflet by a group calling itself the Australian National Survival Party, dated August 17th, 1970:PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA, ARISE! SAVE OUR COUNTRY BEFORE ITíS TOO LATE!
SMASH THE INCOMPETENT OLIGARCHY IN CANBERRA THAT CAUSED THIS
From the August 22nd, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:NATIONWIDE RDS DEATH TOLL NOW UP TO 1550; CASUALTIES IN AUSTRALIA AT 320,000
LEADING SCIENTISTS ESTIMATE 98 PERCENT OF GLOBAL HUMAN POPULATION KILLED BY RDS PLAGUE
PHONE SERVICE BETWEEN WELLINGTON AND AUCKLAND STILL NOT RESTORED AFTER THREE MONTHS
From a Channel 9 special broadcast dated August 26th, 1970:With profound grief, we are obliged to inform our viewers that effective 12 noon tomorrow we will
be terminating broadcast operations permanently due to severe shortages of funds and
From the September 1st, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:NEW ZEALAND RDS DEATH TOLL NOW UP TO 1800; AUSTRALIA CASUALTIES AT 340,000
HEALTH MINISTRY REPORTS MASSIVE SHORTAGES OF VITAL MEDICINES
PARLIAMENT OPPOSITION LEADER COMMITS SUICIDE
From an internal memo to the Australian prime minister by the countryís top counterintelligence official, dated September 6th, 1970:The political situation in New Zealand continues to deteriorate with each passing hour....At
least two city mayors have been assassinated in the past week and anti-government rallies
outside the Parliament building are becoming almost a daily event. Frankly, itís astonishing
that the country hasnít yet fallen into open civil war...
From Mr. Lís diary entry for September 10th, 1970:Just when I think things canít get any worse, they do....the newspapers say weíre up to
2000 dead from RDS here in New Zealand and Australia will probably hit the 400,000
mark by the end of the month. I donít know why I donít just hang myself and get it over
From the September 18th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:2250 DEAD FROM RDS IN NEW ZEALAND, 360,000 IN AUSTRALIA; WORLDWIDE CASUALTIES ESTIMATE AT 3.95
RADIO LINKS BETWEEN ADELAIDE AND N.Z. DISRUPTED
CAPTAIN OF AUSTRALIAN NAVY FRIGATE REPORTED MISSING
From an Australian National Survival Party propaganda leaflet dated September 22nd, 1970:CITIZENS OF AUSTRALIA! Our party has won a glorious victory in the fight to save our country
from the inept rabble in Canberra that brought the RDS plague down on us all! Last night NSP special
detachments occupied the city hall in Hobart, Tasmania and announced the formation of the first dedicated
NSP government in Australia! Already this heroic example is being followed elsewhere, and soon we will
reclaim the dead cities of Broome, Darwin, and Fremantle from Deathís icy grip! But our greatest triumph
is still to come-- the swift and final destruction of the Canberra regime!....
From the September 23rd, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DISPROVES NSP CLAIMS OF HOBART TAKEOVER
400,000TH RDS FATALITY IN AUSTRALIA CONFIRMED BY FEDERAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES
From Mr. Lís diary entry for September 29th, 1970:Great, just what the world needs, a mini-Nazi Party stirring up trouble while whatís left
of civilization goes down the drain....
From the October 5th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS RDS EPIDEMIC HAS SPREAD TO ADELAIDE
NSP CELL BROKEN UP IN HOBART
MAORI LEADERS DENOUNCE LACK OF N.Z. GOVERNMENT AID TO FAMILIES OF TRIBAL
MEMBERS KILLED BY RDS
Government Spokesman Says Financial Crisis Hampering Efforts To Aid Citizens
Regardless of Ethnicity; Denies Maoris Being Singled Out
From a report by the Australian defense minister to the prime minister dated October 9th, 1970:Regret to report neutralizng the NSP is thus far proving more difficult than weíd hoped for. Every time we manage to
liquidate one of its cells, two more seem to pop up in its place. Making matters worse, a few of the very men that we
trusted to crush the movement have instead defected to its ranks....
From the October 14th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:NEW ZEALAND DEATH TOLL FROM RDS THREATENING TO REACH 3500; AUSTRALIAN BODY COUNT FROM
VIRUS NOW IN EXCESS OF 425,000
HUMAN RACE PREDICTED TO BECOME EXTINCT WITHIN LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS
AUSTRALIAN AUTHORITIES SMASH NSP CELL IN BRISBANE
From a readerís letter in the October 18th, 1970 edition of the Auckland Daily Mail:I wish all these Ďexpertsí who whinge on and on about the human race going under
in three months would keep their traps shut...not only are they scaring me and my
neighbors but they risk putting themselves in the same position as the boy who
From Mr. Lís diary entry for October 22nd, 1970:New Zealand is screwed-- the RDS body count officially hit 4000 sometime yesterday.
Pretty soon itíll be 5000, then 10,000, then 20,000, and so on until thereís nothing left of
this country. Just the other day one of my neighbors jumped off the roof of this building,
and if I wasnít scared of heights I might be tempted to jump myself...
From the October 30th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:
AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL TROOPS ARREST NSP MELBOURNE BRANCH LEADER
FISHING BOAT, AUSTRALIAN NAVAL VESSEL SUNK IN COLLISION OFF CHESTERFIELD ISLANDS
From an internal memo by the editor of the Auckland Daily Mail to the paperís employees dated November 4th, 1970:
Lately Iíve heard a great deal of talk about closing this newspaper
down, and let me state without hesitation that I wonít put up with it
one more second. Like it or not, we are the last major regularly
publishing newspaper left on this earth, and I dread having anyone
accuse us of shirking our responsibilities to the public at this
From a letter by the mayor of Sydney to the Australian defense minister dated November 8th, 1970:Additional men needed here at once. I have reason to believe NSP agents may be planning
an uprising in this city...
From the November 15th, 1970 issue of the Australian National Survival Partyís official magazine Deliverance:
We regret to announce the founder of our glorious party has died in combat against the hired
thugs of the corrupt and incompetent bureaucracy in Canberra. At the same time, however, we
take immense pride in the knowledge he spent his last moments courageously upholding our
From the November 21st, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:
NSP LEADER ALLEGED TO HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE
N.Z. PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET EVACUTED FROM AUCKLAND; MOVE DESCRIBED
AS "UNAVOIDABLE TEMPORARY NECESSITY"
From an internal communiquť by New Zealandís top counterintelligence official to the countryís prime minister dated November 28th, 1970:
The situation in Australia is even worse than we can imagine. Ballarat and four other
towns near Melbourne are confirmed to have cases of RDS, and my staff suspects that
Melbourne itself may suffer an outbreak within days. Whatís left of the Australian economy
is crumbling like a house of cards and a brief conversation with my counterpart in the
Australian intelligence service has confirmed that there are virtually no human inhabitants
left in Western Australia or the Northern Territory....
From the December 1st, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:NATIONAL SURVIVAL PARTY DISSOLVES
From Mr. Lís diary entry for December 3rd, 1970:Itís hard to say why, but for some reason Iím feeling just a little more hopeful
about the future of the human race than I have in a long time. Lots of people
figured weíd be gone with the wind by now, and yet somehow weíre still managing
to hang on...if we can just hold out another month or so, maybe we can finally
find a cure for that damn bug and start rebuilding the world back to what it was
before the virus started tearing it to shreds...
From the December 6th, 1970 Auckland Daily Mail:
POSSIBLE FAINT RADIO SIGNALS FROM HAWAII DETECTED BY N.Z. ARMY LISTENING POST
Scientists Believe Signals May Constitute Evidence Of Human Survivors
From the next dayís edition:PARLIAMENT CONVENES IN EXTRAORDINARY SESSION TO DISCUSS RADIO
PM Hints Second Special Expedition To North America May Be In The Works
From a notice posted by the New Zealander government in Auckland and its suburbs dated December 12th, 1970:We are seeking able-bodied individuals to participate in a special expedition to
Hawaii to investigate the possibility that human survivors may exist somewhere on
the North American continent. The work may be hazardous, but the rewards will be
great and you will have the opportunity to participate in one of the greatest scientific
endeavors in human history....
From a graffito written in response by an anonymous local resident:The opportunity to get killed, you mean!
To Be Continued