Justin B Rye 19 Sep 99

Now that an unrecognisable version has appeared in the national press it's high time there was some sort of explanation here of what happened to our flatmate John Mather.  To cut a long story short, he suffered a catastrophic nervous breakdown in May, escaped from a mental hospital in July, and vanished without trace.  We can only hope that he is out there somewhere, paranoid rather than suicidal, and that perhaps some day he'll recover enough to let us know.

Why did it happen?  The newspapers have apparently decided it was Leonardo Da Vinci's fault, and John believed a global conspiracy was responsible, but the truth is that looking for somebody to blame is pointless.  In particular, while his workload as SysAdmin at Voxar Ltd can hardly have helped, if anything it had got lighter since I was hired in April as his assistant; and if only they'd known how bad it was getting I'm sure they'd have given him some time off.  But nobody realised until it was too late.

We still miss you, John.  And we'll always be glad to have you back as a friend.