From Chapter II, when Lake, on a separate expedition, discovers peaks over 30,000 feet above sea-level; he has discovered fossilized triangular-shaped “footprints”, and through boring and blasting has located a limestone cave that has not seen the light of day for over 300 million years. In it are bones that are of varying ages and from a variety of creatures—all many millions of years old…In his excitement, Lake begins to wire the news of his findings to the narrator of the story. . .
‘Lake was not content to let his first message stand, but had another bulletin written and despatched across the snow to the camp before Moulton could get back. After that Moulton stayed at the wireless in one of the planes; transmitting to me—and to the Arkham for relaying to the outside world—the frequent postscripts which Lake sent him by a succession of messengers. Those who followed the newspapers will remember the excitement created among men of science by that afternoon’s reports—reports which have finally led, after all these years, to the organisation of that very Starkweather-Moore Expedition which I am so anxious to dissuade from its purposes. I had better give the messages literally as Lake sent them, and as our base operator McTighe translated them from his pencil shorthand:
“Fowler makes discovery of highest importance in sandstone and limestone fragments from blasts. Several distinct triangular striated prints like those in Archaean slate, proving that source survived from over 600 million years ago to Comanchian times without more than moderate morphological changes and decrease in average size. Comanchian prints apparently more primitive or decadent, if anything, than older ones. Emphasise importance of discovery in press. Will mean to biology what Einstein has meant to mathematics and physics. Joins up with my previous work and amplifies conclusions. Appears to indicate, as I suspected, that earth has seen whole cycle or cycles of organic life before known one that begins with Archaeozoic cells. Was evolved and specialised not later than thousand million years ago, when planet was young and recently uninhabitable for any life-forms or normal protoplasmic structure. Question arises when, where, and how development took place.”
“Later. Examining certain skeletal fragments of large land and marine saurians and primitive mammals, find singular local wounds or injuries to bony structure not attributable to any known predatory or carnivorous animal of any period. Of two sorts—straight, penetrant bores, and apparently hacking incisions. One or two cases of cleanly severed bone. Not many specimens affected. Am sending to camp for electric torches. Will extend search area underground by hacking away stalactites.”
“Still later. Have found peculiar soapstone fragment about six inches across and an inch and a half thick, wholly unlike any visible local formation. Greenish, but no evidences to place its period. Has curious smoothness and regularity. Shaped like five-pointed star with tips broken off, and signs of other cleavage at inward angles and in centre of surface. Small, smooth depression in centre of unbroken surface. Arouses much curiosity as to source and weathering. Probably some freak of water action. Carraoll, with magnifier, thinks he can make out additional markings of geologic significance. Groups of tiny dots in regular patterns. Dogs growing uneasy as we work, and seem to hate this soapstone. Must see if it has any peculiar odour. Will report again when Mills gets back with light and we start on underground area.”
“10: 15 P.M. Important discovery. Orrendorf and Watkins, working underground at 9: 45 with light, found monstrous barrel-shaped fossil of wholly unknown nature; probably vegetable unless overgrown specimen of unknown marine radiata. Tissue evidently preserved by mineral salts. Tough as leather, but astonishing flexibility retained in places. Marks of broken-off parts at ends and around sides. Six feet end to end, 3.5 feet central diameter, tapering to 1 foot at each end. Like a barrel with five bulging ridges in place of staves. Lateral breakages, as of thinnish stalks, are at equator in middle of these ridges. In furrows between ridges are curious growths. Combs or wings that fold up and spread out like fans. All greatly damaged but one, which gives almost seven-foot wing spread. Arrangement reminds one of certain monsters of primal myth, especially fabled Elder Things in Necronomicon. These wings seem to be membraneous, stretched on framework of glandular tubing. Apparent minute orifices in frame tubing at wing tips. Ends of body shrivelled, giving no clue to interior or to what has been broken off there. Must dissect when we get back to camp. Can’t decide whether vegetable or animal. Many features obviously of almost incredible primitiveness. Have set all hands cutting stalactites and looking for further specimens. Additional scarred bones found, but these must wait. Having trouble with dogs. They can’t endure the new specimen, and would probably tear it to pieces if we didn’t keep it at a distance from them.”
“11: 30 P.M. Attention, Dyer, Pabodie, Douglas. Matter of highest—I might say transcendent—importance. Arkham must relay to Kingsport Head Station at once. Strange barrel growth is the Archaean thing that left prints in rocks. Mills, Boudreau, and Fowler discover cluster of thirteen more at underground point forty feet from aperture. Mixed with curiously rounded and configured soapstone fragments smaller than one previously found—star-shaped but no marks of breakage except at some of the points. Of organic specimens, eight apparently perfect, with all appendages. Have brought all to surface, leading off dogs to distance. They cannot stand the things. Give close attention to description and repeat back for accuracy. Papers must get this right.
“Objects are eight feet long all over. Six-foot five-ridged barrel torso 3.5 feet central diameter, 1 foot end diameters. Dark grey, flexible, and infinitely tough. Seven-foot membraneous wings of same colour, found folded, spread out of furrows between ridges. Wing framework tubular or glandular, of lighter grey, with orifices at wing tips. Spread wings have serrated edge. Around equator, one at central apex of each of the five vertical, stave-like ridges, are five systems of light grey flexible arms or tentacles found tightly folded to torso but expansible to maximum length of over 3 feet. Like arms of primitive crinoid. Single stalks 3 inches diameter branch after 6 inches into five sub-stalks, each of which branches after 8 inches into five small, tapering tentacles or tendrils, giving each stalk a total of 25 tentacles.
“At top of torso blunt bulbous neck of lighter grey with gill-like suggestions holds yellowish five-pointed starfish-shaped apparent head covered with three-inch wiry cilia of various prismatic colours. Head thick and puffy, about 2 feet point to point, with three-inch flexible yellowish tubes projecting from each point. Slit in exact centre of top probably breathing aperture. At end of each tube is spherical expansion where yellowish membrane rolls back on handling to reveal glassy, red-irised globe, evidently an eye. Five slightly longer reddish tubes start from inner angles of starfish-shaped head and end in sac-like swellings of same colour which upon pressure open to bell-shaped orifices 2 inches maximum diameter and lined with sharp white tooth-like projections. Probable mouths. All these tubes, cilia, and points of starfish-head found folded tightly down; tubes and points clinging to bulbous neck and torso. Flexibility surprising despite vast toughness.
“At bottom of torso rough but dissimilarly functioning counterparts of head arrangements exist. Bulbous light-grey pseudo-neck, without gill suggestions, holds greenish five-pointed starfish-arrangement. Tough, muscular arms 4 feet long and tapering from 7 inches diameter at base to about 2.5 at point. To each point is attached small end of a greenish five-veined membraneous triangle 8 inches long and 6 wide at farther end. This is the paddle, fin, or pseudo-foot which has made prints in rocks from a thousand million to fifty or sixty million years old. From inner angles of starfish-arrangement project two-foot reddish tubes tapering from 3 inches diameter at base to 1 at tip. Orifices at tips. All these parts infinitely tough and leathery, but extremely flexible. Four-foot arms with paddles undoubtedly used for locomotion of some sort, marine or otherwise. When moved, display suggestions of exaggerated muscularity. As found, all these projections tightly folded over pseudo-neck and end of torso, corresponding to projections at other end.
“Cannot yet assign positively to animal or vegetable kingdom, but odds now favour animal. Probably represents incredibly advanced evolution of radiata without loss of certain primitive features. Echinoderm resemblances unmistakable despite local contradictory evidences. Wing structure puzzles in view of probable marine habitat, but may have use in water navigation. Symmetry is curiously vegetable-like, suggesting vegetable’s essentially up-and-down structure rather than animal’s fore-and-aft structure. Fabulously early date of evolution, preceding even simplest Archaean protozoa hitherto known, baffles all conjecture as to origin. “Complete specimens have such uncanny resemblance to certain creatures of primal myth that suggestion of ancient existence outside antarctic becomes inevitable.” . . .’
Three friends go looking for treasure and find horror in Jeffrey Ford’s The Twilight Pariah—available September 12th from Tor.com Publishing.
All Maggie, Russell, and Henry wanted out of their last college vacation was to get drunk and play archaeologist in an old house in the woods outside of town. When they excavate the mansion’s outhouse they find way more than they bargained for: a sealed bottle filled with a red liquid, along with the bizarre skeleton of a horned child
Disturbing the skeleton throws each of their lives into a living hell. They feel followed wherever they go, their homes are ransacked by unknown intruders, and people they care about are brutally, horribly dismembered. The three friends awakened something, a creature that will stop at nothing to retrieve its child
From Publishers Weekly…
College students on summer vacation become amateur archeologists and unearth a legendary ghost in Ford’s humorous suspense yarn set in present-day upstate New York. Slacker English major Henry narrates the adventures of his hometown friends, amiable football hulk Russell and single-minded archeology major Maggie. By day they work mind-numbing jobs, but by night they’re joined by Russell’s boyfriend Luther to provide muscle for Maggie as she excavates around the derelict mansion on the edge of town. She’s convinced there must be something unique in the ancient outhouse. Their discoveries lead them to the town’s historical library, legends of a Devil Baby, a smoke monster, and a 127-year-old woman. After loved ones are attacked, the crew enlists the help of crusty Professor Medley to vanquish the ghost. Ford (A Natural History of Hell) meticulously builds the unnerving mystery in this brief, succinct story, bringing it to a cleanly executed but rushed ending. Endearing characters, elegant descriptions, and imaginative monsters make this a breezy beach read for horror fans. (Sept. 2017)
She picked me up at sunset in that ancient lime green Ford Galaxie she’d rebuilt and painted two summers earlier when she was into cars. It came around the corner like it’d busted out of an old movie. She sat there behind the wheel, leaning her elbow on the door frame. There was a lit cigarette between her lips. She wore a white men’s T-shirt and her hair was pinned up but not with any accuracy. Every time I’d seen her since we’d left high school her glasses were a different color. This pair had pink lenses and red circular frames.
Above: Amber Inclusions by Anders Damgaard. (Click each image to enlarge.)
With all this discussion recently surrounding the ethics of manipulating DNA in an effort to resurrect lost species, it seems appropriate that we take a look back in time at the vessels for our future T-Rexes and (fingers crossed~!) Giant Ground Sloths. Until that glorious day when we will ride atop the backs of huge beavers (it was a thing! Science up), admire the beauty of these amber-encased insects, forever looking out at us through a layer of several million years. This beleaguered planet of ours. Shrouded in ancient glory. It is a somber irony that the work of a random human lifetime would pale in beauty next to one of these natural wonders forged so many millenia ago.
Above, right: “Once I tried to go back; but she turned and looked at me.”
Illustration by Walter Appleton Clark for Edith Wharton,
“The Lady’s Maid’s Bell,” Scribner’s Magazine 32 (1902).
(Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library)
Table of Contents
I: Until Death Do Us Part . . . and After: Marriage
The Lady’s Maid’s Bell (1902)…Edith Wharton…27
The Readjustment (1908)…Mary Austin…46
The Shell of Sense (1908)…Olivia Howard Dunbar…52
Spunk (1925)…Zora Neale Hurston…62
A Legend of Sonora (1891)…Hildegarde Hawthorne…68
II: The Tie that Binds: Motherhood
The Children (1913)…Josephine Daskam Bacon…73
Broken Glass (1911)…Georgia Wood Pangborn…91
The Little Gray Ghost (1912)…Cornelia A. P. Comer…99
Hunger (1907)…Katharine Holland Brown…112
The Giant Wistaria (1891)…Charlotte Perkins Gilman…123
III: The “Other” Woman: Sexuality
At La Glorieuse (1898)…M. E. M. Davis…133
The Past (1920)…Ellen Glasgow…154
Secret Chambers (1909)…Mrs. Wilson Woodrow…175
Her Letters (1895)…Kate Chopin…192
IV: Madwomen or Mad Women? The Medicalization of the Female
The Second Wife (1912)…Mary Heaton Vorse…203
Her Story (1872)…Harriett Prescott Spoffor…217
The Gospel (1913)…Josephine Daskam Bacon…235
Clay-Shuttered Doors (1926)…Helen R. Hull…252
V: Shades of Discontent: Widows and Spinsters
Lois Benson’s Love Story (1890)…Anne Page…271
A Dissatisfied Soul (1904)…Annie Trumbull Slosson…284
Mistress Marian’s Light (1889)…Gertrude Morton…300
Luella Miller (1902)…Mary E. Wilkins Freeman…305
“You’re wondering why I take this so cool, as if it wasn’t anything so much out of the common. . . . It appeared to come about so natural, just in the course of things. . . .”
– Annie Slosson, “A Dissatisfied Soul”
These homely words of explanation, spoken by Annie Slosson’s Mrs. Weaver about the day her dead sister-in-law walked through the front door, could stand as a motto for all of the tales collected here. In these ghost stories by turn-of-the-century American women, there is free and easy passage between the natural and supernatural worlds. This does not mean that the appearance of a ghost isn’t frightening; even the placid Mrs. Weaver feels “‘a swimmy feeling in my head and a choky feeling down my throat, and a sort of trembly feeling all over.'” Yet she sees no point in making a fuss: “‘I says, ‘Why, good-morning, Maria, you’ve come back.’ And she says, ‘Good-morning, Lyddy: yes, I have.'” Mrs. Weaver is not alone in her no-nonsense attitude toward the supernatural. Her emphasis on realism and the everyday ”’we sort of got used to it after a spell, as you do to anything'” is characteristic of most seers of ghosts in these stories. In the worldview espoused by the authors gathered here, the doors stand wide open between living and dead, present and past, natural and supernatural.
The present collection itself hopes to open a door into a part of America’s literary past that has been closed for the better part of a century. 1 Although aficionados of the ghost story will probably recognize the names of Edith Wharton, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, and Ellen Glasgow, they will not likely be familiar with those of Gertrude Morton, M. E. M. Davis, or Anne Page. Yet these women, and others whose tales appear here, had enormous popular success with the ghost story in the turn-of-the-century United States.2 These authors contributed a uniquely feminist chapter to the annals of supernatural literature. Unlike most fiction produced during this heyday of the genre, with its male narrators, ghosts, and protagonists, American women’s ghost stories revolve very much around a female world. The narrative voice is (almost always) female, the characters are (almost entirely) female, even the ghosts are (almost without exception) female. Male characters are generally peripheral, because they show themselves to be antipathetic to the very possibility of the supernatural. As Mary Heaton Vorse’s Beata realizes with resignation in “The Second Wife,” her husband “couldn’t admit what he had seen. In his man’s world such things couldn’t be.”
Above: In art and now IRL. The first-known Greek copy of a Christian document said to reveal secret teachings from Jesus tob his brother. (Click to enlarge.)
Researchers have recently found what is believed to be the ‘first-known original Greek copy’ of an ancient heretic Christian manuscript which describes Jesus’ ‘secret’ teachings to his brother James.
The ancient manuscript was discovered at Oxford University by biblical scholars at The University of Texas at Austin.
It is believed that to date, only a small number of texts from the Nag Hammadi library—a collection of 13 Coptic Gnostic books discovered in 1945 in Upper Egypt—have been discovered in Greek, their original language of composition say, researchers.
However, earlier this year, researchers of religious studies at the University of Texas, Geoffrey Smith and Brent Landau uncovered several Greek fragments of fifth- or sixth-century Greek parts of the First Apocalypse of James, which was believed to have been maintained only in its Coptic translations until now, explains Science daily.
“To say that we were thrilled once we realized what we’d found is an oversimplification,” stated Smith, an assistant professor of religious studies.
Aliens Gave Us the Formula, More Than Once: Element 115—Ununpentium—-A New Synthesized ET Element on Our Periodic Table May Well Be the Answer to Extraterrestrial Spacecraft Propulsion…
I remembering reading about Element 115 as part of the US Govt. “blackball campaign” against Area 51 reverse engineering specialist / contractor Bob Lazar, who went public in the 1990s about the whole thing and was threatened and made a victim of yet another US Got. reputation-slandering campaign against Lazar to discredit him and his extremely convincing evidence. (See Additional Reading/Viewing & Sources below). I knew it was important to remember, but, alas, I forgot about Uup; that is, until I saw some video footage of a man in Colorado writing out equations in his sleep—equations he couldn’t possibly know or understand himself, and that he says were “given”to him by extraterrestrials that have been communication with him since he was a child. They call him “Starseed”. … [See:
Now, I am back on the tracks and eager to learn all I can about Element 115.
What is Element 115?
With atomic numbers of 113, 115, 117, and 118, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced the addition of these four elements to the periodic table; but one of them, Element 115 was already announced in 1989 when Bob Lazar—famous area 51 whistleblower—revealed to the public that the UFOs possessed by the government were powered by a mysterious ‘Element 115.’ Of course at that time, the claims made by Lazar were tagged as absurd as the scientific community had no knowledge of ‘Element 115’. [See:
According to Wikipedia:
Ununpentium* is a chemical element. It is also named eka-bismuth. It has the symbol Uup. It has the atomic number 115. It is a superheavy element. Ununpentium does not exist in nature. It is a synthetic element, made from a fusion reaction between americium and calcium.
Ununpentium is in the center of the theoretical island of stability. No stable isotopes of ununpentium have yet been found. Models predict that the stable isotope of ununpentium should have 184 neutrons. The stable isotope with 184 neutrons is 299Uup. The isotope that has been made has only 173 neutrons (288Uup).
On February 2 2004 a report that ununpentium and ununtrium were made was written in a journal named Physical Review C. The report was written by a team of Russian scientists at Dubna University’s Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and American scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. These people reported that they bombarded americium with calcium to make four atoms of ununpentium. Scientists of Japan also report that they have made Ununpentium. In May 2006 at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research this element was made by another method and what the final products from radioactive decay were was found by chemical analysis.
*Ununpentium is a temporary IUPAC systematic element name.
The interesting thing to note is that both Lazar and Romanek alerted the world to Uup—via top secret information and dreamed mathematical equations—but it took over a decade for scientists to add Element 115 to the Table of Periodic Elements—-MOST IMPORTANTLY: it previously did not exist on Earth, so where did Lazar and Romanek come up with the information? Did aliens inadvertently give it to us back in July of 1947, when a UFO crashed on the Brazo ranch in Roswell, New Mexico? Did they deliberately give it to us to jump-start our technological progress? Did we shoot the UFOs of 1941 and 1947 down on purpose, to pirate their secrets? Did alien entities who have been following and communicating in person, via phone, and in dreams with a little boy they call Starseed send the mathematical equation linking Element 115 to a method UFO propulsion, telepathically, to the now grown Starseed (Stan Romanek) in his sleep?
It is a fascinating conundrum exacerbated, as usual, by our own govt.’s unwillingness to share information involving UFOs, ETs, and important, even potential life-saving technology with its tax-paying constituency.
The AA episode below discusses Element 115 in the last 10 minutes or so…but the entire episode is relevant to the subject…