Strange Loops and Men In Black

Well, I’m continuing my plan to see what you guys like to read best, and also ransacking my Google Drive drafts folder to build a portfolio in the event I ever come up with something marketable to agents or Amazon Kindle, even. This post is no different, coming between my Dark Nixon/Capaldi phase and my early Jack Parsons alternate history tales in the year’s calendar. It was one of many drafts merging the more realistic historical fiction style of the first attempt at these ideas with the more cartoony UFO-adventure tales set in a similar universe. The effects are…a little odd. Here goes.

By this time next week we will be looking at the first chapter or so of the alternate history novel attempt I keep referring to. It’s a fifty page draft following a divergent Babalon Working from 1946 through the military space colonization of the early 1970s, a first contact scenario, and the Doors, Miles Davis and Star Wars. I’m looking forward to sharing that, and if it’s any fun to read I’ll continue it. Stay tuned!

Prelude: Subzero

The years since the end of the Second World War are a myth that will shape American history. Our forefathers fought for the frontier, expanding laterally until they had covered the continent. By 1890, when electric power began to change the shape of the American mind, the frontier was gone, and the myth it represented with it. Now, our country faces new challenges. New myths. Perhaps, even, New Gods. The battlefield is no longer linear. Material advantagesresources, manpower, money, landno longer have any effect. Arable land cannot be used to test atomic weapons. Cities no longer require conventional campaigns to conquer. Hearts and minds cannot be modeled in a war room.

The struggle of the next hundred years is to find advantages as significant as the atomic bomb, the mechanical computer, the radio and television rays. The frontier is no longer limited by two dimensions, or even three. Tomorrow belongs to us.

This manual offers a striking possibility to the Department of Defense: we suggest Yesterday should be an American New Frontier as well.

                • from the Project High Ground Psychological Acclimatization Manual, classified Mark Alpha November 23, 1963

April 25, 1962

Cape Canaveral, Florida

The Saturn I rocket soared over the cape, like a comet…visible faintly in the blue darkness over the sea. Two and a half minutes had passed since the launch of the booster, which was unmanned. Its second stage was empty, abattleshipstage. No fuel. Water, according to the flight manifest. The stated goal of the SA-2 test flight, aka Project Highwater, was to test fuel dispersal patterns in the atmosphere in the event of an explosion. That wasn’t something you used live fuel for.

In Launch Control, the flight director stood, watching. A DOD representative was on hand…rare for routine tests. Wernher Von Braun was also present…however routine, it was his baby. He could be expected to show up for things this important. But it was the way the three figures stood, casually, confidently…yet tensed, as if they were about to fly apart, that annoyed DuMont Network reporter Mitchell Conley. Like thunderheads, cats, or the bolts on an old P-38 doing a crazy nosedive. It wasn’t normal. They were hiding something, and it was there…if you squinted, you could see it out the corner of your left eye. He knew they could. It was like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Which would probably pre-empt his coverage, dad gummit.

Terminate.It was the flight director. He spoke in clipped tones, military precision fighting a Texas drawl.

Roger that. Terminating flight. S-IV will detonate inthere.The kid on the BOOSTER station grinned, leaning back and clasping his hands behind his head, obviously satisfied with himself.

The flight director, Von Braun and the DoD guy watched intently as the big board, powered by animatronics, gave its best You Are There impression of watching a rocket stage explode and a storm form over the Atlantic, in outer space. It came off all Disney World, if you asked Conley. Nobody could see what was really happening, but he had a feeling it looked just as…uncanny.

Ah…we have third-stage ignition…that can’t be right…BOOSTER was no longer satisfied. Alert. That degree of concern wasn’t something Mitchell had heard on any Mercury manned flight.

Don’t worry.Von Braun spoke, raising a hand to pre-empt the flight director.Douglas warned us there might be a phantom staging light.

Doesn’t that take actual third stage separation to trigger? That’s…that’s impossible.

Bugs can be inexplicable. The impossible does occur. Cut the chatter, BOOSTER.

FIDO, at another station in the trench in the front of the room, pressed a hand to his ear.Sir, the 45th reports an odd object breaking lateral from the S-IV. …and now it’s gone. Debris?

More likely the storm is interfering with our signals, FIDO. Highwater is going according to plan.Well, the CO of the 45th Space Wing had spoken. Mitchell Conley didn’t have the technical training to argue with him. He did have a beat reporter’s nose, though. And he was smelling a rat.

October 11, 1978

Corona, New Mexico

Monica O’Reilly looked confidently around the lab. It wasn’t often she got an assignment from Udvar-Hazy, let alone anyone else in the Smithsonian. And for sample Brazel One…there was no reason the Smithsonian would be interested in that…unless…and as a MUFON field scientist (strictly volunteer), she liked the sound of thatunlessall right.

What are we looking at, Jim?

Jim Conley looked at her, obviously perturbed. His lack of sleep was getting to him, and the idiot Yank in the suit and sunglasses in the coffee shop this morning hadn’t helped. Didn’t they have cream and sugar there? People from Maryland really took their coffee with salt? People who looked like former Air Force personnel that worked for the Smithsonian? Sure, if you say so…You’re not gonna believe this.

Now you’ve got me piqued.She grinned.If you’re not careful I’m gonna start getting horny.

Jim didn’t laugh.That’s what worries me. I can count on you to believe this, and I need you to forget it.

Huh?That was a downer. She struck a mock-sulking pose, leaning her chin on one arm.

Udvar-Hazy got back to me. You know they have a restoration laboratory there, at the Air & Space Museum. They know every chemical compound used in aerospace, likely better than they know their own hands.His voice was shaking.

Right…She chewed her lip. This wasn’t like him. His dad was a paranoid old goat, of course…the desert hadn’t done him well. But Jim was solid.

They provided a laboratory treating process that would remove ‘distorting residues’don’t friggin’ askfrom Brazel-1. You know the story. Found July 8, 1947…a weather balloon.

For god’s sake! Every kid in the country knows! I know! They saw it in that Spielberg movie, for crying out loud! Get to the point…it’s extraterrestrial, isn’t it?

The guys who think we owe the Greys everything from Apollo to microwave ovens are gonna hate me for being so contrary, but it’s not…

She looked at the sample, sitting in a sort of oven…a space-age crucible that had taken thousands of dollars in university grants and some odd donors to put together. It couldn’t be a weather balloon, could it? After all this work, it couldn’t be. The Smithsonian wouldn’t lead them on a wild goose chase…or would they? What was worth it to throw MUFON’s least popular rogue agents (and that was what UFO nuts called them) off the scent?Tinfoil?She couldn’t help but giggle.

I said we can’t report this. I wish you’d take me seriously.Jim was typing something into their PET computer, his hands shaking.

Cut the suspense, Eggsworth. What in tarnation is it?

Kapton. Matches the DuPont specification sheet printed in 1963 exactly.

Outside, it began to thunder.

Yeah. We’re not telling them. The sample was destroyed in the process. My fault entirely. I keep telling you not to let me near the lab equipment!

I could kiss you, Monica!Jim grinned.You know, that won’t go over any better if they’re covering something up.

The interns there won’t report it. We’re MUFON’s lovable house crackpots!

True enough.Jim pulled his jacket on and stood up.I’ve gotta get home before the roads are soaked. Star Trek Phase II is on tonight…Kitumba!

Oooooh! Sexy Klingon mating rituals, brought to you by DuMont Television! Sponsored by Birdseyefor all the bachelors out there who can’t find a cook because they’re watching Star Trek!She giggled.

Oh, shut up, will ya? I’d invite you back, but that storm…say, you do have a ride, don’t you?

Sarah grinned.Silly boy. Any ride I had just got canceled when you mentioned Star Trek. And my car is conveniently quite out of gas. Let’s go.

He rolled his eyes.Trapped by the green alien woman! Just like a regular casefile!

Dear MUFON…you won’t believe what happened tonight…She pulled her raincoat on.

I never thought these were real, but…come on. The car’s out back.

They drove home, silently hiding from the 800-pound gorilla that was Brazel-1 in each other’s company. The DuMont Network was the only constant in their lives that wasn’t each other, it seemed…just the way they liked it.

February 6, 2015

Clyde, New Mexico

Jay Conley brought the pickup to a stop, pulling up in front of a dilapidated ranch house in a sleepy, rural town. He had spent long enough on the road. It was good to be home. Robin would have dinner cooked…propositions from a hundred guys…bills, other ridiculous nonsense. She would ignore his protestations that she needed to pick one and stop living with her little brother. And then she would serve him homemade pizza…oh yes. Pizza. And the neighbors would talk. Weird to the bone since V-J Day. That was the Conley clan. It tended to make waves in the land of the Corn Tortilla, the White Bread, and the Green Alien. They were probably all three. Which didn’t help, mind you.

Wilma, I’m home!He slammed the door behind him, hefting a plastic bag full of a six-pack of Dr Pepper bottles and 151 rum and setting it on the chair.

George! So good to see you!Robin ran up and hugged him.

Wrong show. Overt PDAs are so caveman, anyways.Jay hugged her back.

Would you rather I call you ‘boy’?

Yes, actually, Mr Peabody.Jay grinned.We’re going places.

What happened?

He ran a hand through his medium-length, messy black hair.I got three articles ready to send into Magonia Monthly.

That rag?Robin looked dubious.

Yeeessss, Natasha. Ve vill convert them to Fortean dogma of New Soviet Moose!

You’re ridiculous. They’ve never printed anything reliable, what makes you think they’ll start now?

Project Salome.

Robin raised an eyebrow.What?

They’re right about a lot of things, it turns out. That makes them perfect to break the story. Doubly so, as they have no damn idea how right they really are.

They’re…lunatics. Tinfoil survivalist maniacs! No wonder, no hope, no dreams…only their stick-in-the-mud old dude rants. All Birch and no beer. Keel and Vallee would hate what they’ve done with the name.

You are so overly critical of that stuff. It’s window dressing. To waylay the profane.

It never waylays my profanity. We did land on the Moon. And Vietnam was a terrible mistake.

Granted. That’s why they’ll like my story.

Go on, you mad weirdo…She knew well enough to listen to him when he was the one talking nonsense. It usually meant he was inspired…where with her it meant she had an idea. Which wasn’t as bad as it sounded. In his case, though…something was up.

I’m convinced they’ve been pulling on a thread they shouldn’t have. DuMont has been…a strange network since Tramiel and Baer took over at it. It’s a lot less fond of the administration than it was under President Church.

Well, granted. But what does that have to do with a mad Masonic conspiracy about the Holy Blood and UFOs and their possible relation to a precursor civilization?

Nothing. And that’s why they’re going to wolf down my series on Project Salome like Oliver Twist just after being introduced to Jimmy John’s. Then wipe it off their chin and beg. ‘Please, Master, may I have some more?’He grinned.

She rolled her eyes.You are so twisted. But I love you.

Of course you do. The neighbors never shut up about it.He giggled. Sometimes being immature was so fun…the contrast annoyed people who didn’t put as much stock in growing up. Like his big sister.

Yes I hear. Project Salome. You were saying?

John Frum. I need to research it, but there were some interesting details at the space museum in Alamogordo…

John Frum is the World War II sailor from a Polynesian cargo cult’s myth. He didn’t exist.

That’s not what I heard.Jay let that hang.

Robin chewed on a potato chip.Gimme one of those sodas.

Coming right up.He got himself one as well.There’s a service record in their archives. Arrived in a shipment from the Udvar-Hazy archives. Water damaged. It’s either John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but they ran out of room when they got to the S…or John Frum. And nobody in the Chili Peppers was in World War II, now were they?

Um unless time travel is a thing, no…

And it’s not. No matter what Dad thought, you can’t violate scientific principles that way.

Mom never thought it was science. You know what I think.

That’s not thinking. It’s dreaming. Not the same, but just as useful.

You make my point for me, squirt.

Gah. Anyways, your point is valid. You’ll never guess why.

You’re right, I won’t. You’re insane. I can’t see inside your head. Are you gonna open the pod bay doors?

Yes. John Frum was attached to Wright-Patterson and ended up at Corona in July of ’47. Then his record…stops being a thing. It was found by a Smithsonian archivist in the conference room of a Best Western up in Chantilly.

What a weird place to put it.

Yeah. Except that this conference room was playing host to an estate sale of an associate of Arthur Young.

Bell Helicopter Arthur Young?

Either him or ‘helicopter as metaphor for human soul ascending to godhood’ Arthur Young. Spooky, right?

Hold the phone. This is insane. Polynesian cargo cults trying to get hardware and candy bars and coke from the US Army Air Force since World War II, where atomic testing happened for decades, where Diego Garcia is now, a possible location of the earliest human civilization, have a God named John Frum…who really existed, was at Roswell after the crash, and his service record was in the hands of an associate of Arthur Young until recently?

Um that’s not what I said. Close, but not quite.

Well you’ve been yammering about this Salome crap for months. I pieced together what you might mean from that stuff. So what did I get wrong? Come on, Jaykers…you know I’m sharp.

He didn’t really exist.Jay continued making himself a sandwich, the picture of effortlessly suave nerdiness. She loved him. Such an anomaly. And her best buddy. If his brain was ticking this hard, she knew he had to be right.

Let’s table this. I’ll make myself one of those…go in the other room and turn on the TV. It’s almost time for Giana Squadron!Distraction. She needed distraction. This was too crazy, and she was from proud tinfoil hat pants-on-head looney tunes stock. Like a passenger pigeon, she needed to home in on a familiar signal…one with the cast-iron clang of reality. Surety. Cartoons. That would do the trick.

Hot babes…cool planes…machine supremacy in the computer age!Jay burst into a goofy dance, humming the theme song.Hello angels…man I need to look up some fan art for that show, if you know what I’m saying.

In your room. Tonight. Now go get it tuned in. You know how reception is out here.

She made the sandwich in silence, adding extra mayonnaise. Ruminating. This certainly was a new development. And she had been airdropped into it, like the British-accented alien who found himself aiding Italian redheads on a Japanese cartoon…utterly out of place, but so was everything else. What a crazy world. More pickles. For Pete’s sake. Salami. She needed grounding. Don’t forget the olive…and into the other room, internal monologue intact.

When the hell did DuMont sell out to CBS?Jay looked at the TV screen, dumbfounded. There was Giana Squadron, animated by the usual suspects at Nintendo Television…the Commodore 64 8-bit font printing the character names as the pulp-magazine-cover-inspired planes flew over the South Pacific island…and a CBS eye in the lower right. That…hadn’t been there yesterday.

They fired Grandpa in 1952, right before they went out of business. DuMont hasn’t been a thing since before Mom and Dad were born. That Salome stuff is going to your head. Sit down and watch the show. I’m excited to see what happens this week.

Well I’m sick to my stomach. Not even interested in my sandwich, and you know that’s not like me.

Our favorite show will get you back on track. I know you get manic sometimes…it’s cool.Robin hugged her brother with one arm as the recap of last week’s shenanigans played. Adulthood could be terrifying, even for her. That was why she was glad she was here for him. If he was going to have a phase, there was no better place for it to happen than the couch. With sammiches. And her.

Chapter I: Mercury and the Arrow

The foregoing equations may seem ridiculous. In most cases, your intelligence will be insulted, your reality challenged, with no further harm done. In minor cases where schizophrenic breaks occur before operational experience, please see your chaplain and a psychologist attached to your unit immediately. Do not be afraid. This too shall pass.

If you are still reading, this manual is having its intended effect. Time travel is entirely possible. It is one of the New Frontiers man must confront throughout the 1960s and on toward the year 2000. Like a flaming arrow, only instead of aiming out towards the stars it aims inward…toward the American man, made free in the image of God. Pursuing his happiness, as it were, by his bootstraps. As it is to come.

Now a more important matter must be discussed. This is to fall under Code Word TELESMATA for MKPENSECT purposes. Activate memetic persistence accordingly when in field memory mode.

The equations on page XXX operate by means of standard electromagnetic transmission. Consciousness is a waveform, not a particle. This is where the Soviets err. Dialectical materialism holds as its secret core the idea that if Man is an agent, Men are an Agent. They can be renewed, redeemed, act as one, despite economic theory and scientific indications to the contrary.

You will note that the Soviets have a command economy, not Marxian communism proper. As such, they possess television broadcasting, which is the key to the foregoing method, but not commercial advertising segments. They eschew such developments of a free and open society as inhibiting of man’s agency, and thusly his prosperity…they miss the key. If time can be traversed while space stands still, if the heavens open only to allow the Will of Man…the pursuit of his happiness…the full and free exercise of his liberty, his strength…then man has no liberty, for he was once free. He has no freedom, for he shall gain his liberty.

The individual has bisected the dimensional plane. He is an objective agent. The herd, while guided by laws, constitutions, religions, principles…duty and fair play, the ideals that made this country great, do not exist on the same space. Their fate is already decided. By Americans, acting in accordance with American ideals.

Let the previous sink into your subconscious. Chew on it like a summer hamburger, like salt pork on the Santa Fe Trail, like hardtack at Valley Forge. Let it become your bread and butter. You are an Agent. Act accordingly, and let history judge you.

Now to speak further of the mechanism. Television programming provides the proof of its effectiveness, but only because television signals provide the medium through which the Agent propagates his intent over the wavefunction. Lumniferous ether was only half a model. Under the influence of lysergic acid diethylamide, we have deduced a method for transferring human electromagnetic consciousness imprints into a television transmitter, and by means of a technique classified Mark Alpha derived from the pre-atmospheric onset culture of Venus, we have been able to “spin-up” this consciousness imprint until it penetrates the dimensional plane. From there, standard SRI remote viewing protocols can be used to quantum lock onto an existing physical or semiotic form (life is not necessary for this process to succeed…it is an anchor, an Ark, not a body proper) and “incarnate”, to use a thoroughly non-scientific term, in the time-space continuum facet desired.

This would not be possible without the ability of electromagnetic frequencies used in television broadcasting to affect any number of substances, rather than only antennae assemblies. We have successfully completed pilot program tests within American history and territory, in accordance with the Monroe Doctrine, as far back as 1300 AD and as far forward as 2200. The results of these are classified Mark Tau. Suffice to say that for our purposes, short-term sorties within the boundaries of television broadcasting areas (including the currently sparsely programmed UHF band) are completely reliable, but actual influence of events has yet to be perfected.

Our next chapter will discuss the history of the DuMont Television Network, and its relationship with USAID and DARPA. Review this chapter using subliminal zero-interference equipment during sleep periods as often as needed to internalize it. IT IS YOUR CONSTITUTION.

excerpt, Project High Ground Psychological Acclimatization Manual


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