'This represents a major security breach,' said Home Secretary Alan Johnson, 'As the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim knows everything, holds all the passwords, and is the only person able to turn the Internet on and off.'
Sir Tim, who was helping to design a new government data site, was left on the 14:00 from London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour. 'I got off at Hazlemere,' said Colin Bevins, a shamefaced civil servant, 'I only realised that I had left Sir Tim on board as the train was pulling out of the station. I chased down the platform but by then it was too late. All I could see was Sir Tim’s confused face looking out of the window as he disappeared into the distance.'
There are real fears that the loss of Sir Tim may mean the eventual closure of the Internet. 'The whole thing relies on him,' said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, 'I have no idea how it works. I did ask him to write down some instructions but he never got round to it.' Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, concurred, 'Without Sir Tim we may have to pull the plug on the whole enterprise. It seems a shame after all that effort but I suppose we will always have books,' before adding, 'We do still have books don't we?'
'The real danger is if Sir Tim were to fall into the hands of Russian gangsters,' said BBC technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, 'Although he is fitted with some basic levels of encryption, an experienced hacker would have little problem getting information out of him. Especially, since everyone knows that Sir Tim is very ticklish.'
As the nationwide search for Sir Tim continues, police have issued a description of a nondescript man. 'He may be on a train or he may be wandering about,' said Mr Johnson, 'if you see anyone fitting this profile then do please hand him in.'