Elmer U. Kettlebaum punctured time with the tip of his pen. As the future revealed itself—slowly, indecently—he punished it, inflicting fresh wounds with each new stroke. Wounds that would never heal….
His technique formalized the appearance of any contrived future, by using a modified bucketeering code he’d learned as a teen. This code was endemic to finance, in the form of contracts meant to secure arbitrage for certain unrealized variables. When traded, these contracts would, in fact, determine the characteristics of such variables— but Kettlebaum did not write his code so that others could hedge value. He wrote it to form autonomous, self-fulfilling proclamations which could determine any outcome, variable or not—on any scale—enabling bearers of such documents to fold time.
He hatched plans to nest his proclamations—as decrees ordaining the proclamation of further decrees—to enhance their influence. He contrived language to fit dozens— indeed hundreds—of decrees within decrees until finally proclaiming the ultimate code: an integral formula which defined a limit to the future, as the number of decrees approached infinity….
It was while executing this last contract—this instrument of supreme influence and the pinnacle feat of his terror—that Elmer U. Kettlebaum was swallowed whole. He was sucked, spaghetti-like, into a vortex of time ripped by his own pen, within view of a room filled with disciples who in turn also vanished, one by one, during the future moments of their lives.
The sole remnant of Kettlebaum’s scheme is the very instrument of his undoing—an item we here at Lost Signals keep hidden, deep within our stacks….
We received last week, at our Manistique Outpost, a trove of geographical survey maps of an area of great interest to the collection. As is often the case, it’s not what’s depicted on the maps but what is not depicted that secures our interest.
Jacques Derrida once spoke of texts that were “shielded from interpretation,” or, put another way, were only present in their absence. On that level, these newly arrived maps tell us nothing, and thus everything.
In a previous post, we noted that the Lost Signals Collection houses 11,336 audio files, only a fraction of which have been cleared, authorized, restored, tagged, transferred, filed properly, and published here. As far as video goes, the collection is even greater: 23,432 files as of January 1, 2018
Video 1849 was originally not part of that collection, but rather existed in a competitor’s archive, a competitor we have recently absorbed, in the most severe sense of the word. While the video seems all too familiar–the ambiguity regarding diegetic and non-diegetic sound, the nonsensical depiction of nature as malignant, the ominous phone–there lies beneath its surface another video layer, obscure except to those with the proper visual filters.
Siegfried “Ziggy” Echols was…changed…during his 1972 descent into the Udintsev Antarctic Trench. The marine paleocnidariologist had been observing cold water variations in the transverse binary fission of brooding sea anemone, when he stunned his crewmates by describing the pattern of a mysterious hydrodynamic cavitation, overheard at depths in excess of 10,000 meters, within inaudible—indeed unthinkable— sound frequencies.
Echols was removed immediately to Invercargill, where specialists diagnosed an idiosyncratic reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), which affected his cochlear nerves. Following doctors’ orders, Echols retired to the interior of South Island for an indefinite convalescence. There, he wandered the reach of its tussock grasslands, and vanished from known society…
…until the spring of 2009, perhaps, when a baronial envelope, postmarked from Dunedin, was dropped through the mail slot of Lost Signals headquarters. The enclosed note, signed with the dubious handle “Phineas J. Scurlock”, details an encounter with sounds of an enigmatic friction, composed in frequencies beneath the Gavreau threshold, which he offered as evidence of a possible tectonic shift between two or more spatial “plates”, along a nearby fault of sub-visual appearance, within some higher dimension.
To test his conjecture, “Scurlock” photographed the vicinity of the hubbub at 1-second intervals, using an infrared digital camera, before scoring it as a motion sequence to a pitch-shifted live audio track.
The composite film, reproduced below, was found on a media card attached to his note… –Hilbert David
One of the “gentle” interrogations conducted on Canadian subjects in the late 1970s, this audio clip arrived at the Lost Signals southwest outpost in 1998, and was recently digitally restored. We are making it available in here in hopes that someone may be able to identify, if not the speakers themselves, then at least the region in Canada where this was recorded. The interrogation protocols are typical: use humor to disarm and relax the subject, then advance with innocuous questions relating to United States hegemony. During this era, interrogators were frequently women.
We think it means “Salt Water.” The clip, arriving as so many do, in the old FTP manner, is marked Slt. Wtr. 181890-87675108-09 – J. Kristeva. The Chelsea Wolfe segment suggests a possible time frame, but beyond that? We offer it here in hopes that someone might recognize this shore, this horizon. Until then, the archivists–under the direction of our temporary supervisor–will file this in the vast, temperature-controlled, deep-sediment vaults of the American midwest.