Compiled and Edited by Steven Solomon © 1992
Who Killed Kennedy?
We can surmise that this delegation had been dispatched in an effort to both substantiate Saurian's credentials and, that provided, to induce him to work on behalf of their nascent neurological-espionage enterprise. In large measure, this theory is buttressed by the following cable sent to Doktor D, intercepted by the American National Security Administration, and now attributed to Saurian.
Strangely, Saurian did not soon call, nor was he again seen or heard from, until late in the year 1959. In fact, the only clue to Saurian's disappearance on or about September 29th, 1956, is to be found in a yellowed and incomplete N.Y.C. police report. According to the filing officer, a Sgt Sidensticker, a call was made to the South Bronx precinct house at 5:47 on the morning of the 29th. The proprietor of the Howling Street meat-rendering plant, a Mr. Chiam Potemkin, reported seeing what appeared to be a kidnapping taking place less than a block from his establishment.
According to Mr. Potemkin and several employees then arriving to work, a lone individual was observed standing in the shadows at the end of the block. This individual seemed suspicious, apparently waiting for something or someone even as the morning sun had only begun to illumine the city skyline to the west. Their description of this individual, confirmed by no less than five persons, matches that of Saurian. At 5:25AM, as witnessed through the west window of the Howling Street shop, a black, four-door sedan of foreign make careened into view at high speed.
Mr. Potemkin is quoted as follows: "The car runs at this guy, making him to high-tail it toward the wall at the river. They barely stop the car; almost smash into him. Four guys, big guys, guys in black coats, leather coats- they jump out from the car and grab the other guy. They grab him and push him inside and the guy driving mashes the pedal and they head along the river road and out of sight. That's it. That's what I seen. Ask them. They'll tell you. That's what I seen." Lacking any report of a missing person matching the description of the man apparently abducted at Howling Street, the case was soon dropped.
What to make of this? One can only conclude that Saurian had been inadvertently set-up for kidnapping by his dear friend, Doktor D. Shortly after the Professor's disappearance, the Bulgarians are known to have made unprecedented strides in neurological espionage, developing, among other devices, the Gas Operated Mycological Poison Umbrella Gun.
Soon, advances in covertly delivering heretofore unimaginably devastating neurotoxins led the Bulgarians to a lucrative and long-lived career as the Soviet's covert contractor of choice. They were tops in such sensitive operations as assassinating defecting physicists, intelligence operatives, and expatriate novelists, cellists and ballerinas. Their alacrity with rare and little studied neurochemicals had Saurian's imprimatur all over it.
We do not precisely know how Saurian effected his release from behind the rusty curtain of Bulgaria's scientific gulag. Legend has it that he escaped during the explosion of a biological-warfare center, located on the outskirts of Varna, on the Black Sea. This catastrophe is thought to have rendered millions of hectares of land permanently uninhabitable. Of the several hundred workers said to be at the site, there were no known survivors except, we are led to believe, the Professor.
That he once worked toward nefarious ends against his will is all but certain. That he spent those days indentured to the Bulgarian spy-masters constantly plotting his escape is an equal surety. That those days gave birth to a festering grudge toward the good Doktor is, alas, likewise assured. As Saurian finally reemerges in the West, it is on the occasion of a meeting of the infamous Adelphion Club, the Doktor being among its members. We may reliably guess that Saurian's alleged impromptu tracheotomy of Doktor D was not strictly medically prescribed, but prompted in part by a rage that only blood would cure. From that day on, November 13th, 1959, neither man would ever again refer to the other nor acknowledge their prior spiritual and scientific kinship.
Following the Adelphion incident, Saurian again disappears from view for some four years. Where he goes and what he is doing, are utterly unknown. In fact, the first documented sighting of the Professor in the decade of the sixties occurs on November 22nd, 1963. At that time, he and I made our second personal encounter. The following memo tells the inexplicable but true story. Suppressed for three decades by timid publishers and fearful attorneys, it appears here for the first time.
To: Chris Pierson, Managing Editor; Sensational Crime Publications
Fr: Steven Solomon, Freelance Assignments
Re: Truth Stranger than Fiction
Dt: November 24th, 1963
Okay, Chris, here's a chance to make good on that whole episode surrounding the Russian Mafia story. Not wishing to stir up unpleasantness, I might still mention the hundred and twenty-five dollars, plus expenses, that you folks owe me. I'm even willing to forget about the hospital bills, just to put it all behind us. Let's move on and focus on the present. I've got an amazing story for you! That is, if you have cash up front and the guts to see this tale to print.
What follows are the broad strokes. Details will be forthcoming upon receipt of a cashier's check in the amount of $956.
I was in Dallas, intending to collect background for a feature on the Texas/Cuba heroin pipeline. Dance a More, our associate at Real True Crime, had me working on spec, nothing up front but a reservation at the Charter Oak Motel (hourly rates available). Intending to be in town only overnight, I had less than thirty-dollars in my pocket; enough for meals and the train back to Chicago. When I arrived at the hotel, I found that RTC was in arrears and their business was no longer welcomed. It all had something to do with a damaged ceiling in room #378, a damaged floor in #478, some burned-up furniture, an exploded bed and a Mexican cleaning lady held hostage by RTC's new Assistant Editor, Thompson.
I was on the street and there wasn't another room to be found. The President, as you know, was due in the very next morning. Of course, Kennedy would soon have his own unpropitious rendezvous with destiny, but more on that later. For my part, I was to sleep the night of the 21st on a sticky floor in the Dallas Metro station. I hoped to leave on the 7:AM to Chicago.
T'was not to be. Around six AM, I awoke to an insistent rap-rap-rapping upon my skull. In my first drowsy awareness of the situation, I feared that I was being rolled. Can one be rolled while already procumbent, face down upon the floor? Turning over, I apprehended, in no small horror and disgust, the hoary visage of a bedraggled vagrant. He was tapping on my head with his left shoe. And, a smelly and unwholesome shoe it was, by God!
I swiftly, instinctively, wrested the odoriferous footwear away from the odd stranger who crouched over me. Without begging pardon for his interference in my fitful dreams, I proceeded to beat him perforce about the head and shoulders. Strangely, even as I struck him and hollered for assistance, he made no effort to defend himself. He only giggled, ineffectually swatting at my incoming blows with one hand, digging in his vest pocket with the other. At length, and after no intervention by eye-averting passers-by, my tormentor produced a soiled business-card and offered it to me.
I continued to thrash him, even as I took the card and quickly scanned its inscription. Immediately, I was taken aback in confusion and the beating stopped. The card read: Anton Saurian, Ph.D. Freelance Neuropharmacology and Political Troubleshooting for Hire. Could it be? Could this be the same man that I had seen hanged lo those many years ago in Laoag... and what was he doing here... what had happened to him and why was he bothering me?
For several seconds, I stared into those eyes deep-set in grime and matted hair. In silence he stared back at me, smiling cryptically. Finally, he spoke: "Ya gonna buy me a drink? Bars open in twenty-minutes and I got a thirst, fellah.".
"Who the fuck are you?", I asked, already knowing the answer. This was, indeed, El Professoro... filthy, smelly, but unmistakably the great man, himself.
"You know who I am. Let's go. There's a bar on Munger Street. We still got six hours of drinkin' before they..."
"How did you find me? What do you want with me? And, how the hell are you still alive? I saw you hanged!"
Again, he giggled, gently taking his shoe from my hand and pulling it over an unspeakably fragrant left foot. "Welp, findin' ya was easy. A coupl'a calls to former employers, folks ya owed money to, owed you money, whatever. Now, why? That's gonna take some talkin' n' a few drinks. I'm momentarily between opportunities, so yer buyin', okay." He sprang to his feet on still wiry legs and headed toward the door. I could not but follow.
As we traversed the few blocks toward Munger Street and Bob's Saloon, Saurian remained several steps ahead of me. At a breathless jog, I called out for him to slow, but he would not. Meanwhile, questions raced through my mind, not least among them, what is with the hobo act ? The Saurian once known to me was erudite, well spoken. Was this a disguise ?
Although he somewhat resembled the man I had seen those years before, this fellow had the language and bearing of a real down n' outer, one of the army of chronic unemployed and incorrigible minor felons lately filling our nation's streets.
These are the flotsam of two American generations at war around the world. They are often traumatized veterans, government trained killers, who now people the mental wards and rail-road yards, the motorcycle gangs and soup kitchens of our cities and by-ways and the hills north and south and east and west of anywhere that decent people deign to live. They are among us yet a world apart from safe, sane, and productive folk. Our sight moves instinctively away from people like this. I reflect, if this is a disguise, it is perfect! Who cares to remember the poor hobo, the nameless bum, the reeling drunk, the crazy on the street?
Laughing hideously as he dove through the entrance to Bob's, Saurian cried, "Set 'em up, Bub! I'm drinkin' on my friend, 'ere...". The place stank of stale beer, cigarettes, old perfume and vomit. By the look and aroma of the place, I reckoned I was about to drink in the seventh level of Hell. Saurian wheeled on well-worn heels to plop his derriere onto one of the spinning stools at the bar. He spun and circled a hand in the air with the flourish of either a matador or a very, very serious drunk: "Give us the usual, Tearbender!".
The Tearbender complied, snapping two shot glasses and a bottle of Four Feathers onto the bar. He then wiped out a pair of eight-ounce pilsners with a filthy rag. Into each, with military precision, he deposited the contents of one egg, four ounces of tomato juice, a healthy spoonful of horse-radish, two jiggers of cheap vodka, two fingers of old coffee grounds and a short blast of pink, liquid antacid. Saurian downed this mess without bothering to stir, and offered same to me. I declined, preferring the beguiling warmth of straight whiskey at breakfast.
Thus began one of the most intriguing and confusing conversations I am sure that I will ever have. Whiskey now in hand, Saurian leaned forward into my face. With the obnoxious breath of one who has been drinking for days unceasing, he informed me; "I'm undercover, you know. In this way, dissembling as one of the common riffraff, I have come to be well known and well liked in these parts. They trust me here." His tone had the character of that man that I had once met and perhaps knew so slightly but well enough. He spoke in a conspiratorial hush. "I am so glad that I found you. I need to tell the truth about what is to happen today. I need to clear my name. The authorities will surely try to blame me. That I will be arrested and tortured is all but certain."
"I beg your pardon?"
"The Kennedy assassination."
He grabbed the pen from my shirt pocket and stuffed it in my left hand. He smeared a half-soaked cocktail napkin upon the bar and gestured that I should begin writing. "I have been doing important research these past few years... extraordinary research... it has led me into contact with certain, uh, forces... yes, certain forces, intelligences, intelligences hidden from view, beyond the ken of the average person or even highest placed officials... are you getting this?"
I was not. I was staring blankly at him. "Did you say something about killing the President? You said something about killing the President."
"Yes, I'm about to get to that."
"Um- shouldn't we tell somebody? Why are telling this to me? What about the police?"
"Hah! You think I haven't thought of that!?! I would not be believed. They've already been warned and have taken no precautions. By now, I'm sure the fix is in. They are ready to invoke the cover-up, even as final preparations for the shooting fall into place. Therefore, I have sought you out, for you can serve to authenticate of my story. Please note the time."
It was 7:18 AM, the morning of November 22nd, 1963. I so duly recorded upon our improvised legal instrument and, at Saurian's direction, affixed my initials. He took the pen and signed his own, saying; "I will forward this document for authentication by the appropriate government experts. They will be reviewing everything, once it's all gone down. There will be an investigation, of course. I want to be sure that my testimony is heard. It is important to history, to humankind."*
Saurian distractedly swirled an index finger through the dregs of his awful cocktail as he continued. His tone was less of urgency than resignation. "At 12:30PM, today, the President will be shot. It will occur as his motorcade drives through Dealey Plaza. I want you to know, I want the world to know, that I am not involved. I am innocent. Further, the true perpetrators of this heinous crime might never be known if not for the deposition that I am about to give and that you must make public. They will try to stop you. They will laugh at you. They will attempt to destroy your credibility and my own. In fact, they may well try to have me killed, for I know the truth."
He leaned a bit closer, significantly violating my personally space and, with a sudden gravity of dire proportions, implored; "Promise me, for the sake of humanity, do whatever is required to publish the truth, no matter what it takes or how long it takes. The world must know!"
I poured another shot, stealing myself both from his sulfurous exhalations and for the revelation to come. I asked him, "So, tell me, where did this plot to kill Kennedy begin? Cuba? The Kremlin?"
"Oh, no. It's the aliens, of course. The Alien Force!"
Feigning comprehension, I nodded at the bizarre reply. In truth, I now reckoned that old Professor Saurian had gone dotty, demented, his brain no doubt riddled with puss and rum-filled lesions. I threw back another blast of liquor, considered my own reply and inquired, "You're having a grand ol' time at my expense, aren't you? Did you hunt me down just for a few shits and giggles and free drinks? You know, I'm a little too tired and way too busy for this."
"Oh, come now! I know all about you. My contacts have kept me abreast of your activities. I like to monitor my press, you know. No, you've got nowhere else to go in a big hurry, and you surely can use the money that a major story would bring. Hell, this might get you out of the minor league and into the majors, you know."
"I'm leaving." I turned to go, but he grabbed my arm.
"Wait... alright! Look, I'll buy." Saurian reached down, into his right sock, and pulled out a wad of bills. He peeled off three hundred-dollar notes from the top and stuffed the rest back in the sock. He took one of the bills and placed it on the bar, stuffing the others into my shirt pocket. "This should more than compensate you for your time, eh."
Two hundred bucks was more money than I'd seen for a job since the "Case of the Chrome Nun", three years ago. What the fuck, I'll write whatever he wants. "Okay, spill your guts." I took pen in hand, slurped up a fresh pile of napkins and motioned Saurian to hold forth.
"Very good. Here's the straight scoop, the real poop. First, the background, as you folks call it. For the past few years, I have been conducting highly secret research into advanced mental abilities. The work has been financed by my -oh call it a day job- political problem solving for various governments and would-be governments. In any case, this research has afforded me a glimpse into realms of human experience well beyond the scope of the ordinary: teleperception, distance viewing, that sort of thing. It was in this line of experimentation that I happened onto the secret of Alien Force."
"Alien Force- that's capitalized?"
"Quite. Now, you see, it had come to my telepathic attention, that since the dawn of the Atomic Age, we had become the object of some concern to a certain higher intelligence, one that is abroad in the galaxy..."
"By telepathing. We, the higher intelligence and I, communicate across the void of space through mental energy. It's really not that difficult; you just need the right kind of drugs, and plenty of them."
"I see." The old man was nuts, that's what I saw. The preeminent criminal mind of our era had decayed into just another dipsy-doodle hop-head, a drug-addled mental case. He did have cash, though. As far as I was concerned, I was just working a job. Pouring yet another drink, I let him continue.
"This force, since, oh, 1943, has been taking an ever more active role in our planet's development. They are chiefly concerned with the continued evolution of the presently dominant terrestrial species, the cockroach..."
"Alright, I just want to make sure I'm getting this all down. Please, go ahead."
"Oh, I know that you think they're crazy, mistaking the cockroach for the prime species on the planet, but really, try to see it from the alien point of view. These lowly insects eat our food, eat us, for that matter. They live in our homes. They live anywhere they damn well please, actually. We can't stomp them out. They breed like, well, cockroaches! Gracious me, they'll be here long after we and all our misbegotten works have departed up the ash plume of nuclear Armageddon.
Now, it is this last matter that most gravely concerns Alien Force, and first brought humanity to their attention. Sturdy as those bugs are, the near-term likelyhood of a planetary atomic conflagration, while not posing a death-knoll to Cockroachdom, would certainly present a stumbling block on the path to higher insect consciousness and the great promise that it portends. Thus, Alien Force has determined to intervene in human politics."
Saurian paused as Bob came by to check on our progress with that bottle of whiskey. Progress was, indeed, mind-numbingly substantial. I rejoined, "So, uh, that's why they want to kill Kennedy- to save the cockroaches."
"Dear me, no! Kennedy is one of them."
"One of the cockroaches?"
"No! One of the Alien Force, my boy."
"Of course. How dull of me. Go on." It was now just past eight in the morning. I asked Bob for a cup of coffee. When it arrived, I poured in two fingers of Four Feathers.
"Here is the crux of the matter. Our beloved President is a genetically altered being, an alien imposter in the guise of John F. Kennedy."
"So, where's the real JFK?"
"Hah! The old man made a deal. Through Alien Force infiltration of international trade, it was arranged to get Honey Fitz the exclusive licensing of all scotch whiskey imported to North America. To sweeten the pot, the aliens threw in a sizable sum of cash, gold and diamonds. In return, he handed over his kid, then a Senator and potential presidential candidate. Poor Jack, I suppose there's nothing left of him today, but a stuffed exhibit in an alien museum. Tut-tut."
"But, uh, how'd they know he'd win the election? I mean, he's Catholic, and all."
"Really, do you think they're stupid? Nixon's one of them, too. Rather botched the job on that one; an early attempt at synthesizing a human being. Something of a brute, but they say he'll live just about forever if he's not put down."
"Yes, a stake through the heart, a silver bullet, that sort of thing. Good God, the cold-gutted bastard scares even his makers. But, I digress. You see, the problem is, from the point of view of Alien Force, their Kennedy has gone native! He's turned, forgotten whom he's working for. A dreadful turn of events."
"More napkins, please."
"Certainly. Now, Kennedy, rather than obsequiously doing his job, reporting back to Alien Force, trying not to make too bad a muddle of things, is instead having a merry old time impersonating the leader of the Free World; movie-star babes in the Lincoln Bedroom, a glamorous and obedient wife downstairs, a gaggle of Brillcreamed, over-educated syncophants at his beckon call and mobsters available to kill anybody he desires made gone- and he's got his own army, navy and air force! Good gravy, he's twice brought the planet to the brink of nuclear disaster."
"Oh, yes! The second time was never made public. Made the Cuban troubles look like a polite squabble between playground chums. As the aliens see it, Kennedy has to be brought back to the fold."
"Uh-huh..." I pour yet more whiskey and signal Bob for another coffee. I suddenly recall that I haven't eaten since yesterday, noon, and those pickled eggs on the shelf start to look real good. I plunk over a small ransom for something that would have last been termed food prior to the Korean conflict. "...so, they're going to kill him?"
"Well, that wasn't the initial plan. It's now quite complicated, really. You see, originally it went like this: Central controlled operatives, at the top of the CIA, put into action a program to 'take out' the President; not to kill him, but to reclaim him and get him home for some serious reprogramming. The assassination attempt was merely an expedient ploy, a red herring, to cover the reappropriation of the psuedo-Kennedy.
Of course, the damned NSA, acting in league with the Vatican, certain banking interests and anti-flouridation radicals within the American Dentistry Association, put the kibosh on that! Not that they had the slightest idea what they were really doing."
I bit into that first slimy egg. It was tepid-warm; the jar had been sitting under the illuminated sign that read: "Just Ask for the Handsome Waiter." It tasted like old sea weed and its yolk was green and rubbery hard. I took another and slurped it down whole; better than to chew it. "Wad'dya mean?"
"The NSA and company were not under Central's control. They did, however, know that something was afoot over at CIA, something concerning the President's ill-advised and incautiously planned trip to Dallas. They wanted in on the franchise! Acting independently, NSA seized on the presidential motorcade as the perfect opportunity to repay a debt owed on certain crimes against The Natural Order of Things. Thus, a second assassination plot was set in motion, outside the purvue of Central's planning."
The whiskey was about gone. I finished my coffee. It was almost nine in the morning, and those salt-cured pig's knuckles were looking quite delectable. I requested the Maitre-de bring over the jar, and more coffee, too. You know, the best part of a pig's knuckle is the hard to get, fatty gristle between the toes. At the time, this seemed a striking metaphor for journalism. Between bites and frantic slurps of acid brew, I asked, "Why don't your aliens just put a stop to it, huh?"
"These folks are not omnipotent. There's only so much that even a higher intelligence can control. They saw what was happening, but had too little time to take action. No, it was determined to back off and let the humans do the dirty work."
Brine slobbered across my chin. A piece of cartilage stuck between my top, front teeth. "Great. So, Kennedy's going to be killed?"
"Most likely. The terrestrial agents have brought in three expert shooters from around the world; Mafia, French Foreign Legion, U.S. Marines, the best. My bet is, a fellow named Lee Oswald will score the hit; he's the best of the bunch, a crack shot, a geek with nerves of steel. The Central forces could strike peremptorily, but so doing would add no opportunity to take JFK from the clutches of the surrounding terrestrials. No, they'll just hope for the best. Worst thing that can happen is that the President winds up dead or at least horribly wounded, permanently incapacitated, probably a mental vegatable. In any case, the problem of the moment will be eliminated."
After another hour of drinking booze and coffee, and loony exposition on Saurian's part, he excused himself to the men's room. I took the opportunity to get on the phone and call the cops. I drunkenly informed them of a plot to kill the President and hung up quickly, hoping they would have no time to trace the call. As I stumbled back to my seat, I felt pretty silly. Of course, I hadn't really believed a word that Saurian had said. Obviously, the man was delusional.
He returned presently, and ordered up another bottle of whiskey. We drank and chatted aimlessly for another two hours; he being in an oddly serene state of mind for a man ostensibly possessed of such horrible knowledge. I would have preferred to quit the place, but this was a physical impossibility; I was far too drunk to walk. I contemplated sleeping the afternoon in Bob's backroom, as Saurian prattled on about subjects ranging from quantum physics to the social ecology of Cairo.
At 12:23PM, two men entered the bar. They were dressed in black suits and black hats. Something about them said FBI, but they identified themselves as Dallas Police. Approaching Saurian, they momentarily drew their identification, exposing holstered pistols in the process, and returned the ID too quickly to be examined. Making no move, not even looking toward Bob nor me, they placed Saurian in cuffs. They seemed to know exactly who they had come for and he offered no resistance. "Tell the world the truth!", were his last words as he was led away.
At 12:30, I was negotiating with another coffee cup, now well full of whiskey, hoping to arrange its transport to my rubbery lips without spillage. I intended to sober up and head downtown, see if I could be of any help to Saurian. He might have been nuts, but I still had a soft-spot for the old guy. Besides, I wanted to know why he'd been arrested. The cops hadn't said a word and I'd been too smashed to dare involve myself. As I weaved toward the door, a news flash came over the TV. It was 12:32PM. President Kennedy had been shot and was presumed to be badly injured, perhaps dying.
Over the course of the next few hours, virtually everything that Saurian had told me concerning the assassination was confirmed- at least everything pertaining to the specifics of the crime. Oswald, Dealey Plaza, the timing, all was perfectly correct. Later that day, as the police rounded up suspects and witnesses, Saurian could be seen among a group of three men, identified only as hobos, being taken into custody. Their identities and present fate remain unknown to the public. As to who the true perpetrators of Kennedy's killing were, and what were the real reasons behind the plot, this reporter and our nation, may never know.
Future Evolution & What Passes for Intelligence
Our first inidication of Saurian's whereabouts in the year 1964 waited until a 1982 suit filed by American Vietnam veterans against the United States Army. This class action involved the notorious Army Intelligence program, code-named MK Ultra. That twenty-year effort involved the use of powerful, mind-bending chemicals upon unwitting U.S. servicemen. The intention of the covert program was to discover substances useful as battlefield weapons, aides to interrogation, and enhancements to the mental and physical performance of our own troops. MK Ultra ended in a fire-storm of controversy when it became known to veteran's groups and the media, that our own personnel had been used as guinea pigs.
Important to our story was a precursor to MK Ultra; an earlier effort, clandestinely posed as a research program through the University of California at Berkeley. There, in 1964, a team of government sponsored psychiatrists headed by a Colonel Gordon Bethune engaged in an experiment designed to develop chemicals capable of intelligence augmentation and the conscious control of so-called extra-sensory abilities,
Among such hoped for abilities were telekenesis, telepathy, and distance-viewing for the purpose of espionage. It was during the MK Ultra trial that certain documents came to light, revealing the existence of the Berkeley experiment. Seen as of little consequence at the time, the extensive and largely uncensored reports of Bethune's experiments hint to the informed eye of the presence of a man of remarkable talent among the test group.
Could Professor Saurian have been one of the supposedly unknowing subjects recruited from the halls of academia and the gutters of Oakland to participate in the government's program of mind-expansion and control? Following are several brief excerpts from Bethune's copious records, each giving strength to this possibility.
The selection of our experimental subjects is complete: twelve white males, aged nineteen to thirty-four from the list of eighty applicants answering our advertisement in the Herald. The classified offered fifty dollars per week, free meals and a bed for anyone wishing to take part in a two-week experiment in the mental benefits of high dose vitamin supplements.
Most applicants fell into one of two groups: Berkeley students and bums. A number of individuals from both groups were selected out due to difficulties with their livers. Several were also found to be demented, and were relegated to a pool for a subsequent study to be conducted directly through U.S. Army Intelligence.
Of the subject group, five are under-graduate students. None possess a background that would garner them significant insight into our real purpose here. Two of our subjects identify themselves as novelists by trade; that is, out of work and living with friends in the Haight. Four subjects are self-admitted winos, but in good enough physical shape and alert enough to satisfy experimental protocols. One individual indicated that he was a freelance political troubleshooter, whatever that means. He may be emotionally disturbed, but still did well enough on the standard tests.
The subject group reported for their stay with us. They are now dormed in the west wing of the university infirmary. It has been quarantined for the duration of the experiment. Campus officials and the local media have been informed that this action has been required to control a minor outbreak of viral encephalitis among patients and staff on the wing.
Following admission, all subjects received a second standard test to determine each individual's baseline performance. There were few surprises, although our "political troubleshooter", Subject K, continues to be a bit of a puzzlement. His performance on the post-admission test was slightly but significantly higher than on the first exam.
He scored an improbable 58.7% on the standard three-card distance viewing exam, and several points over probability in the random event sequence test. Queried as to his activities and possible self-medication in the past five days, he responded only to the extent that he was "very excited about our work, here", and that he had gotten a jump on things by devising his own vitamin regimen.
The Chief Physician states that our admitting physical exam of Subject K reveals no anomalies whatsoever; no substances in his blood. to either vindicate nor disprove the veracity of his weird statements. Given that all other indications leave him within our desired profile, we will proceed. Other subjects show no cause for our concern or reconsideration.
September 21st, 1964
There is definitely something strange about Subject K. Or, something is terribly wrong with our study. K has been performing consistently ahead of other subjects, apparently showing great benefit from initial dosages. At this early point in the experiment, we have administered only a threshold dosage of a single substance; Impremamine HCl3. All subjects have received the same weight-adjusted dosage.
Thus, I am mystified, as are my medical colleagues, by K's performance this evening. During the night's first set of random event predictions, in a run of two-thousand cycles on the event generator, Subject K clocked an astounding 1,328 correct predictions! In our second and concluding run, that figure rose to 1,577. Probability indicates a likely maximum of 1,200 correct guesses per run, that is simply by chance. Other subjects are attaining scores of significantly less than 1,200, indicating that a small dose of Impremamine HCl3, is actually of no value in improving performance in this area.
What then is the source of Subject K's rapidly growing predicative facility? The Men Behind the Mirror are starting to ask hard to answer questions. I realize that I must have answers, and soon.
In consultation with our medical professionals under the direction of the Men Behind the Mirror, it has been decided to isolate Subject K from the test group. We will begin a new regimen of testing on K alone, beginning tomorrow morning. The purpose of this new protocol is interrogation.
Nobody on the team is quite sure what we are dealing with. Excitable as they are, some of the PsyOps boys suggest that we have come across a true savant. Others suspect a ruse, a sham, or worse; a plant directed and controlled by the Opposition. For myself, I have trouble with all these alternatives. Still, it is clear that we have a real anomaly in the person of Subject K.
I will meet the Emergency Subject K Working Group at 06-hundred hours. The medical professionals will administer a Protocol-X regime of recently developed cortical depressants, Dimethyltryptomine and experimental CNS stimulants; state of the art truth serum. As you well know, Protocol-X permits, as one potential outcome, the accidental destruction of the subject. I have been instructed that Subject K must reveal to us the secret of his prodigious talent, or be disposed of as a possible security risk.
06:03- Subject K is led to Isolation Suite #7. He asked no questions regarding the early hour at which he was roused, nor the deviation from his usual morning routine of baseline physical and intelligence tests. He cheerfully chatted with the medical team as he was secured to the gurney, wired to the encephalogram, heart-monitor, and intravenous tubes were attached to his right arm. Intravenous administration of cortical depressant begins.
06:14- The first effect of the treatment begins swiftly. Breathing slows, brain waves dip into deep theta, and the Chief Physician observes full dilation of the subject's pupils.
06:19- Subject K appears to be in a deep trance state.
The Chief Physician confirms that he has lost all reflex action; he responds not at all to light in his eyes, pin pricks at his heels, hammers at his knees and elbows, nor to sharp slaps across the face. The depressant IV is removed from Subject K's arm. A 120cc venous injection of DMT is administered. This is followed immediately with one gram of CNS stimulant by the same means.
06:20- Subject K responds instantly to his medication. An odd smile curls over his slackened, drooling mouth. Cardiopulmonary rates climb rapidly. A second pin-prick reflex test results in his body snapping board-stiff. With that smile, K presents a passable imitation of the mortician's craft. A second dose of IV cortical depressant is administered.
06:21- No change in subject. Consulting with the Men Behind the Mirror, it is decided to begin interrogation. It is in no way clear how the subject is to respond to our questions. Our "truth serum" seems to be a bust. Subject K is a grinning catatonic.
06:23- No change in subject. Agent Alpha enters the isolation suite from behind the mirror. He replaces the Chief Physician at the subject's side. He asks the subject; "Who are you? We have ways of making you talk, you know. I know you can hear me! We've only begun this procedure and I hope we needn't make it more uncomfortable for you than it already is. Who are you?"
The subject remains visibly unchanged, though his EEG now registers heightened delta and beta waves. Cardiopulmonary rates climb again, the effect of the last depressant dose lasting no more that thirty-seconds, if at all. Something is amiss. I motion Agent Alpha to interrupt the interrogation. He waves me off. The Chief Physician looks concerned. His staff stands by anxiously, resuscitation gear at ready.
06:24- Agent Alpha slaps Subject K sharply across the face with the back of his hand. The subject is unyielding under the blow and Agent Alpha appears momentarily perplexed. He massages his right hand, apparently smarting from the encounter with K's rock-hard physiognomy. At rear of the theater, a giggle is heard. Alpha reacts badly to this sort of thing. I've seen it before. He shouts to the Chief Physician; "120cc, Beta-Phenethylamine, STAT!".
After a moment's hesitation, the doctor complies, turning to Nurse Appelhagen and taking a syringe from her tray. This detour from normal operating protocol is indicative of Alpha's dire request. I am myself tempted to speak up, but understand that, as you well know, we all report to Someone Behind the Mirror. The Chief Physician walks to the pharmacy shelf and removes a small, red-labeled ampule. He fills the syringe and preps it for injection. He hands it Alpha without comment.
Agent Alpha wastes no time finding a suitable vein and inserts the needle. For a medical nonprofessional, he seems very well versed in the technique. Injection done, he tosses the empty syringe across the room into the sop sink. The needle is broken off, half-way. The other half protrudes from K's rigid flesh.
Everyone takes a deep breath. We all know the reputation of Beta-Phenethylamine, though none, including myself, have seen its use, first-hand.
06:25- Alpha stares at the second-hand of his watch. Intravenous Beta-Phenethylamine should take effect within seconds. Almost a minute has passed with no change in the subject. Alpha barks for a second syringe, 240cc, but this time, the Chief Physician is less swift to comply. Alpha is quite direct in his order, "Do it now, or I will have you replaced! Understand?".
A second syringe is produced and handed over. One of the junior medical staff requests permission to leave the theater. Alpha will not permit it, his only comment being, "the nation is always in need of volunteers at the forefront of science"; this as he jabs the needle into K's arm with less than medical precision.
06:26- No change in subject. Alpha grabs the vial of Beta-Phenethylamine from the Chief Physician's clutched hand. It is empty. It shatters as he tosses it into the sink.
06:26:30- Alpha is tapping at his watch, probably hoping the problem lies there. He whispers inaudibly into the microphone concealed in his tie tack and then orders the staff from the theater. He quickly adds, "Bethune, Doctor, you stay- you too, nurse."
06:27- The three of us are joined by several of the Men Behind the Mirror; counting Alpha, six in total. He snaps his fingers in the direction of the coronary defibrillator and motions the nurse to his side. "Prepare the subject, please. 100cc epinephren, coronary injection."
Nurse Appelhagen, looks nervously to the doctor. He nods, directing her to proceed. I determine, at last, it is high time for me to step in. "You can't do this. It serves no purpose. You'll kill him.".
Alpha responds, "For christ's-sake, he's already had enough chemicals to kill a hippo, and he just keeps smiling! Dammit, Colonel, he's just napping. Can't interrogate a napping subject."
The Chief Surgeon is emboldened to speak up. "I'm afraid cannot sanction this procedure, even under Protocol-X. This is deliberate cruelty to an unconscious patient."
06:29- Alpha orders his men to restrain both the doctor and myself. From this moment on, I am unable to monitor my stopwatch. Nurse Appelhagen, in fear for her life, proceeds to inject the stimulant into K's heart. She then applies sterile dermal conductant to both K's chest and the defibrillator paddles, and turns on the machine. Alpha requests, "Three-quarter voltage. Let's start high, just to be on the safe side. CLEAR!". He mashes the charged paddles into K's chest with the full weight of his body.
Nothing happens. The body doesn't even twitch at the shock. I had expected it to jump from the table with such a massive charge. The bizarre smile remains upon K's turgid lips. Alpha calls for "Maximum voltage!".
The machine takes a few seconds to recharge and is applied again. Again, nothing happens. Furious, Agent Alpha flails with his fists against the defibrillator cart. He screams for his chief aid to, "Get me a scapel! Chest crackers, too!!! I want to the fucker's goddam heart. I don't believe this bastard's still alive, I don't care what the EEG says!". Indeed, the medical monitors indicate K's brain idling at a resting rhythm, his heart barely breaking a trot, despite the tremendous load of ups, downs, psychomemetics and raw electricity shot through his body.
Alpha's request for surgical implements was too much for Nurse Appelhagen. She has fainted dead away. Surprisingly, none of Alpha's men jumped at the opportunity to assist in a human vivisection. Neither did they act to restrain their superior. He charges to the locked instrument cabinet and smashes the glass with his bare fists. Alpha is in a blood rage.
Grabbing a set of surgical scissors quite capable of causing the kind of damage he has in mind for his intractable patient, Alpha leaps across the theater. He aims to plunge the sharp end of the instrument into K's chest. As a seasoned veteran of real action in Korea, I must say that this was the single most wantonly vengeful and reasonless act I had ever seen inflicted upon one man by another. My own eyes reflexively shut at the horror about to be committed.
I cannot, nor can the others in the room, recount exactly what happened next. All that we know is that there was a sudden flash of blinding, white light, an explosive roar, followed by a blast of heat so intense that it burned the hair from my arms, head and even my eyebrows. The odor of burnt flesh filled the room. The doctor and I, as well as Alpha's men, were momentarily knocked silly by the concussion.
Coming to our senses, we ascertained, lacking any other hypothesis, that K's body had somehow and inexplicably exploded upon the impact of Alpha's weapon. Nothing was left of the corpse and thus we cannot further analyze nor serve to resolve the mystery that this theory presents. The surgical table on which K had lain was nothing but a charred frame.
Of Alpha, we found only the smoldering soles of his shoes melted into the linoleum floor. Apparently, he perished with Subject K. Nurse Appelhagen was entirely missing, leaving no evidence of her remains, whatsoever. Why the others and I were spared, we do not know. Neither can we determine the source of a strange and distant yodeling sound heard for some few seconds following the blast.
I understand that the bizarre nature of this report, and the loose ends unresolved, are causes for real concern Above. Be advised that I have copied this report to our brethren Behind the Mirror. They have taken appropriate steps toward neutralizing negative publicity and any attention to our activities. Alpha's kin have been notified of his demise in an aircraft mishap while in the employ of Air America in southeast Asia. Nurse Appelhagen's family in Germany are under the impression that she perished in a freak lab accident; refreshingly close to the truth. Our Berkeley project has, of course, been terminated.
Here ends my report of September 24th, 1964. Col. G. Bethune, InfoSpec D.S. ABD
Hic Finis Est © Solomon, 2011