Audio File Contagion

On occasion there are artifacts from the archives that are unpublishable. Such is the case with an audio file so dangerous that it’s unlikely it has ever been listened to or heard. The file exists on a dedicated computer sealed in a soundproof studio in one of the rooms in the so-called “third basement” beneath the Lost Signals compound. It’s been played three times, in silence, and on one occasion its waveform image was captured, and is reproduced here. In 2002 an effort was made to re-create the audio from its waveform, the theory being that a version based on the source’s structural metadata might prove less toxic, if toxic at all. However, subsequent listening tests on mice proved, unfortunately, otherwise. The mice melted, which will be the subject of another posting.

So, the file exists, unlistenable as it is. Some would say it awaits its ideal listener, as a book awaits its ideal reader. For now, the closest we can come to hearing the file is the image below, undoubtedly a very poor iteration of the original.

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Man in Flight

From a box individual frames from 16mm “no wave” films circa NYC 1978-1981 comes this frame taken from Amos Poe’s 1978 film The Foreigner. The man in flight is Eric Mitchell, and while the frame depicts a familiar scene in the film–as the foreigner is chased by unknown people for unknown reasons–it actually does not appear in the film at all. In fact, the film frame seems to depict a meticulously reconstructed moment that appears to have been in the film (to casual observers) but which, in truth, is entirely absent.

Why would someone go to the trouble of creating a false film frame from an obscure, underground 1978 film, and how did we detect is falseness? Second question first: the authentic version of The Foreigner was produced on acetate base film stock, common for the era. The frame in question, however, is a polyester film based, not used widely until the mid-1990s. Also, while it’s clear that every effort has been made by the forgers to capture a “1978 NYC environment,” there are several clues which point to the 1990s such as the street light bulb housing/casing, a shape which seems to evoke the 1970s, but which actually dates to decades later.

As to the first question, we understand that there are those who would undermine not only the Lost Signals archives, but the entire notion of historical archives themselves, slowly supplanting authentic, time-sourced samples with false, ahistorical ones. We here at LS were made to “discover” (through an anonymous tip that led us to a remote storage shed) this supposed trove of rare film frames and archive them as “real” when, in fact, they are anything but.

We see this as an opportunity, a chance to confront and expose those who would propagate archives across the world with reproduced–but slightly altered–versions of their authentic counterparts.

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Ore Knob Copper Deposit

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


The Oslo Deviation

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


The LiBaiXH90361 Megavirus

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


Parallax Literature

The celebrity of Brewster’s stereoscope during the Great Exhibition of 1851, and the excitement it aroused in young Queen Victoria, flung anglophile and noted iconoclast Arthur Lotshire into a fit of jealous rage. Unimpressed by image semiotics, Lotshire conspired to return his monarch’s affection to letters, after building his own notoriety.

His scheme invoked a series of lectures written by one Hermann Samuel Reimarus, an 18th-century high school oriental languages instructor from the Imperial Free City of Hamburg. Reimarus was a proponent of a theological oneness in ideas, and Lotshire speculated that if the devil could render images in stereo, then he could do the same with literature.

Stereo perception uses symmetry to exploit mental assumptions about parallax. One needs two eyes to see in three dimensions. Likewise, one needs two minds to read in stereo.

Problems in sensing parallax script inspired Lotshire to contrive a stereo alphabet, whose meaning was both similar and different, when read at the same time. He seduced a cadre of adherents to practice his new writing, but early attempts to understand resulted in spontaneous epileptic seizure.

When long term meditation in parallax caused schizophrenia, Lotshire was arrested, his cache of hand-written works was confiscated, and his group of adherents dispersed. All examples of Lotshire’s work were officially destroyed in the action, although accounts of surviving copies have surfaced occasionally.

The volume below, a work of fiction written in parallax, arrived at Lost Signals headquarters by way of anonymous delivery. We have not dared to open it.
Hilbert DavidParallax Literature