Often we receive an object through the mail that is not what it seems, case in point being a Lentar f=105 mm 1:4.5 enlarging lens, which arrived sometime in 1989. In our random sampling of the over 10,000 objects and files in the archives, we selected this lens last week for deeper inspection, only to discover a 1/8 inch microcassette audio tape carefully spooled around one of the lens’s inner mechanisms. After extraction and rough remastering we can present it here now, still uncertain not only about its meaning, but its very reason for being. The tape seems to be a very short mix-tape which we have dubbed “Miss Killer” for the sequence between 00:26 and 00:33. The entire contents are listed below.
What is the relationship between Miss Killer, Miss Lynch, and the other audio samples? Who is being asked questions, and by whom? Why the 22 seconds of silence? Our only clue is that Miss Killer shows up in several other Lost Signal items which have yet to be publicly catalogued here, including a yellowed newspaper clipping a child’s lullaby that references a “Miss Kill’re” and a torn piece of white linen stained with what appears to be a copious amount of blood.
The full title of the bulletin reads: The Ore Knob Copper Deposit North Carolina, and Other Massive Sulfide Deposits of the Appalachians. Published in 1967 by the United States Government Printing Office, the subtitle is: Effects of dynamic and thermal metamorphism on primary ore textures at Ore Knob are described, and similar Appalachian deposits are compared. The copy archived at Lost Signals contains, folded within one of the accompanying maps, written in French in fine dip pen, a note that seems to reference a page (“p. 109”) and a date (“24 Septembre 1648”). Proceeding along the lines that randomness is simply disarranged order (a basic tenant of those who established the archive) it’s been determined that the date refers to the death of Marin Mersenne, a French mathematician, philosopher, and music theorist who battled against the Brotherhood of Rosicricians, an occult group of well-educated alchemists who published several hoax books, etc.
Why the slip of paper should be folded into this particular map is, of course, the as-yet-unanswered question. This item remains one of the hundreds of open cases, cases returned to on a rotating basis for further investigation and speculation. —E. Edgewood
Of the 11,336 audio files archived at Lost Signals, several dozen are from the Appalachia region, field recorded in the 1930s, and of those several dozen, a handful are recollections (often secondhand) of an explosion in the wilderness, followed by “something” flying through the air, followed by a figure apparently clad in uniform whose eyes “roll around” in his head “like balls of fire” before the person takes off through the air again. This recording–tape #9,045a–is the most complete, uninterrupted version. Dubbed “firehead” by the original Lost Signals archivist, the recording was misfiled (purposely, it seems) for years under “forest fires” and only recently rediscovered and correctly filed. Listening notes:
0:40 / “something coming across in the air”
2:18 / “his eyes began to roll over and over”
part 2 of the recording–#9,045b–is just hissing static
part 3 of the recording–#9,045c–is a recantation, or disavowal, of the contents of part 1
The Museum of the Novel in Buenos Aires – that was once housed above a boxing gym on the Avenida Rivadavia – disappeared this year not long after the great novelist Ricardo Piglia passed away. The museum was the site of intersecting plotlines and home to the automaton created by Macedonio Fernandez to contain the memories and spirit of his wife Elena. The automaton outlived her husband and became the source of hundreds of stories that escaped from the white nodes of language hidden in her circuitry. A number of nodes – no one knows how many – unknotted during the clandestine removal process, and caused power surges along the fibre optics of the new broadband infrastructure in the tunnels beneath the Argentine capital. Subliminal pulsations of light, that flash via the screens of international video calls, have caused stories to jump across continents in fragments, and to emerge as automatic writing on the mobile phones of sensitives as far away as Mongolia and Australia. It appears that the automaton Elena may be composing and transmitting a vast elegy for Ricardo Piglia, who did so much to preserve her immortality. Programmers from the Far South Project are working to reconstitute the complete text, but they are unsure that it will ever be possible, or even if Elena intends it to be. —David Enrique Spellman
While, as a matter of principle, those of us who remain at Lost Signals after the purge favor incoherence, we have our limits. When our headquarters moved–in 1959–from Palm Springs to our current location in the American Midwest, we did so primarily because the atmosphere was clearer out here, signal wise, and rickety equipment (which consisted of three “instant-on” Hoffman TransSolar radios, two Zenith Royal 50s, an Emerson 911, a Westinghouse H732P7, and a few vacuum tube farm radios) lasted longer, especially the filaments.
Why bring all this up? Well back then lost (they were called “stray” for some time) signals were few and far between, conspicuously so, and the choice of whether to archive or not was simple: archive everything. Recently, however, we receive and capture so many lost signals that narrative creep has set in. That is, we find ourselves scrutinizing the signals for meaning and, as is often the case, when no meaning can be found or imposed, we throw up our arms (those of us who are still limbful) in frustration, and and move on to the next signal.
But on occasion we make exceptions, case in point being this, which we received in 2014 and are now archiving, with no interpretive notes or finding aids, in the spirit of the old Lost Signals, prior to the tyranny of interpretation.
At dawn on March 24, 1950, the offices of the Central Council of Physical Recreation at Burnwood House were presented with a series of curious packages: 72 banded, wooden crates, laden with some 45 tons of radioactive tritium snow, which had been floated by barge up the Thames from Norway. These packages, which were marked for shipment to the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) at Fort Halstead, had been confused with 56 similar packages, containing 48 tons of common protium snow, also from Norway, which were meant to coat a makeshift ski jump, which was built in Hampstead Heath for a frivolous exhibition.
This mix-up not only slowed the British High Explosive Research (HER) program’s effort to build a hydrogen bomb (delaying the commencement of Operation Grapple by some 6 years), it also ended the brief existence of the newly-formed Oxford University Ski Jumping Club (OUSJC), whose members were exposed to acute positron radiation at the event… –Hilbert David
Leaked by an anonymous hacker to Stage1st, this is the only known electron microscope image of the silent, non-immunogenic, synthetic megavirus LiBaiXH90361. The LiBaiXH90361 megavirus, named after the famous Chinese spy Li Bai, was alledgely developed by an secret bio-intelligence Chinese laboratory in 2016 as the first artificial virus designed to carry artificially encoded information in its DNA. Its viral capsid is not a conventional protein shell, but made from a non-immunogenic synthetic nanomaterial that doesn’t infect cells or recombine with the host’s genome.
Once intravenously injected, the LiBaiXH90361 megavirus travels freely and quiescent across the human or animal bloodstream, only detectable in a blood sample by a mass-spectrometry assay. It is said that an unspecifiable number of dogs and humans had already become true libraries of classified file-viruses, unknowingly transporting occult, undetectable DNA-encoded messages around the world. However, a group of microbiologists from the Miskatonic University who are dismissing the whole story as another bioengineering hoax, have identified the image as just a blurred photograph of a lichen growing on a stone wall. —Germán Sierra