Saturday, July 28, 2007

Doc Savage and the Mount Shasta Conspiracy

During the 1930s, Doc Savage came into conflict with many villains who possessed highly advanced technologies. In "The Monsters" it was a formula that could turn men into giants. In"The Midas Man" it was a device that could read minds. There was a teleportation device in "The Vanisher" and an invisibility machine in "Spook Legion". And let's not forget the super-sonic spherical anti-gravity ships from "The Secret in the Sky". And there was the laser and cold fusion technology from "Cold Death

Most of these technologies still remain unavailable to us even in the early 21st Century. How did these "mad scientists" develop them in the 1930s? I used to be very puzzled about this until Bantam republished the July 1937 story "He Could Stop the World" in November 1970.

In this story, a criminal genius (identified as scientist Professor Homer Randolph) harnessed atomic power and utilized virtually every technology we mentioned above from the other Super Sagas -- and several more -- including making 10 ft giant hillbillies who catch and eat 10 ft giant trout. There is an assortment of giant flora and fauna scattered around the base of Mount Shasta, California. On top of the mountain, the villains set up a high-tech city as a base from which to rule the world. But Doc Savage intervenes and stops them. Inthe process, he causes the city to self-destruct.

So it now became obvious. All along, Doc had not been fighting separate mad scientists. He had been fighting people who had either been a part of this conspiracy or who had broken away from it.

In consulting my sources, I have discovered that this cabal of scientists subsequently became known in the FBI's "Bizarre Unexplained Cases Files" (renamed "The X-Files" by Agents Arthur Dales and Hayes Michel in the 1950s) as "The Mount Shasta Conspiracy". Many of them were identified but never found, including Homer Randolph himself. The few whom they could find had had their minds "wiped" by some of the mind control devices that the Conspiracy had used on others and were unable to provide any details.

After the destruction of the high-tech city on top of the mountain, the US Army scoured through the wreckage and took several truck-loads of material out to an isolated location on US Government lands in Nevada. A secret laboratory had been established there to study materials recovered from a great undersea metropolis located below Devil's Reef just off the coast of Innsmouth, Massachusetts. The US Navy had torpedoed the city in 1928. (See the H. P. Lovecraft story "The Shadow Over Innsmouth".)

This area in Nevada became the site chosen to analyze the debris from California. This site would later be known as the S-4 Site which is just over the hill from Area 51. Surprisingly little was learned from the debris because the technology was so utterly advanced. Since then, though, as our own technology has progressed, these studies have jump-started several technological fields including the laser, the personal computer, printed circuit boards, Quantum computing, and various sensors.

What few giant plants, animals, and humans survived the destruction of the city all died rather quickly afterwards while in government custody. They apparently needed a continuous supply of special medications and nutrients to survive and with the fall of the city, there was no longer any source of them.

Early on, the scientists concluded that the Mount Shasta Conspiracy had advanced technological information that was outside the mainstream of terrestrial knowledge. The government investigators considered an extraterrestrial source for the technology but found only disparate tidbits which led them ultimately to discount this. (It seems that the Aegis and/or the Eridanians and Capellans had covered their tracks well.) In any case, it was the Mount Shasta Conspiracy investigation that marked the beginning of US Government investigation into the possibility of an extraterrestrial presence on Earth.

Mount Shasta (Right) and Shastina (Left

Mount Shasta and its immediate neighbor Shastina are two dormant volcanoes in the Cascade Mountain range in California. Mount Shasta is the larger of the two. These are the two peaks which are depicted in the cover James Bama did for the Bantam reprint. Mount Shasta had long been a site that attracted mystics and occultists since the 19th Century and its reputation just grew after the events there in the 1937. In fact, in recent decades it has also been a center of interest for UFO enthusiasts.

The US Government never did identify the source of the technological information used by the Conspiracy. For several decades, it had suspected that there had been a prehistoric human -- or pre-human -- civilization that had left weird artifacts scattered throughout the Western United States. The Government had collected these objects and kept them under high security lock and key. There had also been reports of similar findings on other continents, the Polynesean Islands, and in Mexico and Canada.

My sources tell me that Doc Savage did his own investigation which included a debriefing of Professor Randaolph and his surviving aides. Doc concluded that the ultimate source of the Conspiracy's technology was TAZ, the sunken city that he had investigated in the Super Saga "The Mystery Under the Sea." Doc and his father had also found a cache of information (later identitifed as coming from TAZ) in The Valley of the Vanished stored insidee the strange pre-Mayan temple described in "The Bridge of Light". Doc kept his conclusions secret from the US Government and made sure that the released memebers of the conspiracy could provide them with no information.

But what was the actual source of the technology that Prof. Randolph had found? It apparently was not TAZ itself since its location had been kept secret and Doc Savage found that Randolph knew nothing about it. Dr. Randolph stated that in his stratospheric ship the Silver Cylinder he had done high altitude surveillance and had located an unusual site high in the Andes Mountains. It was a location that was clearly visible from a very high altitude (>30 miles up) but not detectable from the ground. Obviously it was intended to be found only by a technologically advanced society with high altitude flight capability. This was similar to the Nazca lines in Peru which depict huge animals drawings that can only be seen from the air. The cache contained a treasure trove of carved tablets like those found at TAZ along with numerous sample devices. It was a virtual museum of ancient technology.

It also included a detailed history of the TAZ civilization and indicated that a massive natural catastrophe had occurred which caused TAZ to sink into the ocean over 10,000 years ago. This coincided with the end of the last Ice Age at which point millions of cubic miles of glaciated ice melted raising the sea level dramatically. It was accompanied by a major crustal shift and disruption of the Earth's magnetic field. A large land mass around the Azores which partially straddled the Mid-Atlantic Ridge became covered over with water. This may have been the source of the Atlantis legend.

Several colonies from TAZ established themselves in protected locations. One group fled deep under the crust inside a bubble of dense pseudo-matter. This sounds like the civilization of Subterranae that Doc encountered in "Murder Melody". Three attempts were made to build an underground cavern in the far north with a volcanic pseudo-sun. Only one was completed and this appears to be the land that Doc visited in "The Other World." The second project decided to use multiple light projectors instead and is located somewhere under Greenland. This group may have been the one Doc discovered in "The Monarch of Armageddon" in the Millennium Comic series. The other project could not be competed on time and so the inhabitants had to adjust to living in constant darkness. This seems to have been the civilization from "The Land of Always Night." There were many other details about the Earth's past, but my sources refused to comment further.

According to their records, the TAZ civilization shunned Antarctica because of its associations with "The Elder Things" and avoided Australia because it was haunted by the ghosts of "The Great Race" and their adversaries the floating horrors". It also mentioned an island continent in the Southern Pacific Ocean (Lemuria) which was a remnant of an older continental mass (Mu). All of this was covered by the rising oceans and the crustal displacement @10,000 years ago.

The location of the Andes cache is now known only to Dr. Randolph and Doc Savage. At Doc's request, the site has been disguised so that it can no longer be located from the air.

I asked my sources if any other such sites were found on mountains elsewhere in the world, but, again, they declined to comment.

1 comment:

Jean Michel said...

Hi Art,
My name is Jean Michel and I'm an artist and writer. Recently I began writing a new Doc Savage adventure and I would be honored if you and anyone else who may be a Doc fan, would read it. As a fan of the Man of Bronze, I've always been looking out for new stories, until one day I realized that I had one in my head the whole time.
After watching the last James Bond film, I was very inspired to update the tone of the stories and as it is (how I hate this term) fan fiction, I took some liberties, but I hope you don't think they're too awful. You can find the story here:
I hope you enjoy it.

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