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.” . . .’
I was amazed, recently, on coming across a list of editions of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus. I thought I would share the list with you, as we wonder, together, at the longevity of this work of art—it’s relevance then, in 1818, when it was first published, anonymously with a Preface by the famous poet, Percy B. Shelley; and now.
There are countless editions of Mary Shelley’s novel, many ephemeral and even undated, so any catalogue is necessarily incomplete. Following, is a list containing most of the major editions, reprints, and translations through 2000.
Texts published after the first and second editions are based on the 1831 (heavily revised) edition unless otherwise noted. Audio and video recordings are excluded, as are adaptations. For any single year, texts are arranged alphabetically by place of publication, with those in English preceding translations into foreign languages.
1818 & 1831–What’s the Big Deal?
Click here to see a Prezi presentation with highlights of the differences between the 1818 and 1831 texts of Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus:
There are almost 300 entries just going through the year 1999. The list is in progress and will continue as records are gathered and posted.
Click below to read the list and see some interesting artwork inspired by the novel over the years!
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.
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…
“Agents of Dreamland is a new Lovecraftian horror novella from award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan…
In this new novella, a government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman.
In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible ― the Children of the Next Level ― and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming and they will help to usher it in.
A day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from ‘other’ sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA’s interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.
And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.”
”Death cults, fungus, and the vast, time-hopping conspiracies of eldritch horrors, oh my. Caitlìn R. Kiernan’s Agents of Dreamland had everything I love crammed into a deceptively slim novella. Kiernan, one of the sharpest voices in weird fiction, has created a bleak and beautiful playground and her new edition of her first Signalman novella, Black Helicopters, is one I’m hoping to see in 2018. I can never get enough nightmare fuel.”
On This Day in 1816: John Polidori Finds a Book
The ‘On This Day’ series continues with a post by Fabio Camilletti* on Fantasmagoriana, celebrating exactly 200 years since the Shelleys, Byron and Polidori held their now infamous ghost story competition during a rainy summer by Lake Geneva.
On the 12th of June 1816, John Polidori ‘rode to town’, and ‘subscribed to a circulating library’; five days later, on June the 17th, he records in his journal that ‘the ghost-stories are begun by all but me’. Who knows when they started reading: on the evening of the 12th, Polidori slept in a hotel, and so he did on the 13th, when he ‘walked home in thunder and lightning’, lost his way, and the police drove him back to the inn; it may have been on the 14th (‘Shelley and I had a conversation about principles, – whether man was to be thought merely an instrument’: a nice appendix to a ghost story-telling night), or on the following days – the Shelleys, at any rate, were always around. The question, however, is in the end irrelevant – the ‘night at Villa Diodati’, as we imagine it, may well not have taken place at all. But the book was there, this is for sure: and, most plausibly, it came from the ‘circulating library in town’, to which Polidori had subscribed on the 12th. In the previous days, he had been reading Tasso and Lucian: from that day on, ghosts, fate, and the principles of life became an increasing concern for the company, until the moment when – as per the entry of 18, at ‘Twelve o’clock’– they ‘really began to talk ghostly’.
Fantasmagoriana had been published in Paris by the Alsatian bookseller Frédéric Schoell (or, more correctly, Friedrich Schöll), a philologist and historian who had entered the editorial business during the Revolution – first in Basel, and later in the French capital – and would later attend the Congress of Vienna as a member of the king of Prussia’s entourage. Schoell’s bookshop was located in the Rue des Fossés-Montmartre (nowadays a part of the Rue d’Aboukir, in the second arrondissment), namely a few metres away from the medieval ruins of the convent and church of the Capucines, which had been ravaged during the Terror and would later be dismantled in the course of Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. In 1798, part of the convent had been hired by the Belgian manager Étienne-Gaspard Robert, better known under the name of Robertson, who had exploited the properties of that quintessentially gothic setting for his show: a mixture of lights, images, and sounds which he sold under the name of Fantasmagorie. In the heart of old Paris, not far away from Place de la Révolution where the king and Robespierre had been guillotined, the book and the show echoed, therefore, each other, both promising an experience of terror behind which, in a sense, sounded as the afterimage of another, and more historical, Terror.
Phantasmagoria was not Robertson’s invention. In the 1770s, an ex-Hussar and freemason named Georg Schröpfer had held necromancy séances in his coffee-house in Leipzig, and his ability in summoning ghosts via a hidden magic lantern had awarded him the nickname of Genspenstermacher (‘Ghost-maker’): Schröpfer’s experiments played with the ambiguity between ‘real’ supernatural and artifice, and so did the shows performed in Paris, since 1792, by an otherwise unknown Philipstahl or Philidor, being the first ones to be advertised under the name fantasmagorie, and which exploited the audiences’ interest in occult subject by selling themselves as a way of debunking credulity towards superstition. The same ambiguity was preserved – and indeed brought to the extreme – by Robertson’s shows, a veritable multi-sensorial experience that aimed at catching the beholders’ imagination completely: audiences were welcomed in the dark vaults of the convent of the Capucines, where meticulous care was paid to generating a ‘Gothic’ atmosphere; among skulls and spectral sounds, lamplights and smoke, Robertson held a speech in which he mixed necromancy and occult sciences, electricity and Galvanism; then full dark ensued, while the lantern began projecting its horrors, including skeletons, ghosts, the ancient gods, but also the shadow of Voltaire or the guillotined head of Danton. Ancient superstition mixed with contemporary history: at some point, the show was forcibly closed by the police when rumour was spread that Robertson could bring King Louis XVI back to life.