Friday, June 14, 2024

Three Oddities

A quick post, since I've spent far too long staring at Isotelus Complex and want to write something absolutely useless. So - three neat factoids, and three unwindings into the supernatural. A slushpost, really.

the circular island El Ojo, spinning around in its equally circular lake, was on the shortlist for this before i decided i was bored

Andrée's Expedition

In 1897, a trio of Swedish explorers launched a hydrogen balloon over the Arctic, hoping to reach the North Pole. Unfortunately, S. A. Andrée's newly-invented steering method (using a set of ropes to slow the balloon's travel, and a set of sails to turn it) was ineffectual, the balloon allowed vast amounts of hydrogen to leak from its envelope, and two days and three-and-a-half hours into the flight, the balloon crashed.

The three then wandered the icescape from the 14th of July until somewhere in early October.

The remains of their expedition were found in 1930 by the Norwegian Bratvaag mission.

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Among the wreckage were a set of empty jars - air, captured high above the Arctic circle. Andrée's journal mentioned stove malfunctions while airborne; strange ones, where firelight could be seen but nothing would be warmed.

Why, in an expedition where they abandoned hundreds of pounds of food, would they hold on to these?

The Bratvaag recovered the jars, the explorers' bodies, and everything else they could find, then returned to Tromsø. The jars were removed from the ship's hold and promptly frostbit the hands of the first, second, and third people to hold them.

The air inside was just as cold as it was two thousand feet above the Arctic, and no matter how long they waited, it never warmed. It was not cold, it was cold, as if it were an immutable law. One jar was put in an oven, and remained unaltered.

Parameteorological research through the 20th century confirmed the presence of this substance, mapped the currents of cold air, and began to collect it.

You do not need the uses of this material recited to you, except for the development of the cold-air balloon - first launched only six months after the Bratvaag arrived in Tromsø - to explore the world behind the mirror.


Burned House Horizon

Archaeologists have marked out a region in Southeastern Europe, between 6500 BCE and 2000 BCE, where entire settlements were burned to the ground, seemingly intentionally, and sometimes as often as every 75 years.

This was not war - the same people remained in the same place, building new homes on the ruins of the old. Nor does it seem to be accidental; clay-walled houses were fired by the intensity of the blazes, which would require enormous amounts of extra fuel.

Some suspect this to be a response to the plague, Yersinia pestis - that putting the town to the torch was done to sterilize it.
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Battlefields, prisons, graveyards - and yet, it is the house that is haunted. It watches you, through much of your life, soaking in your successes, your failures, your regrets. How could something see you so deeply and not feel something like love?

And thus, the haunting. Things move, voices whisper, walls bleed - the house tries to speak to you. When you die, or leave, it makes a facsimile, so nothing has to change.
They cannot bear to be alone.

In modern times, this process takes decades; but our distant ancestors were accomplished theogonists, back when the noosphere was empty but for the dreams of precambrians. Perhaps their homes lived as soon as they were built. Perhaps they were burned as a funeral for the spirit of the home, or to quiet one that had become too loud.


1968 Thule Air Base B-52 Crash

Thule Air Base was a missile launch monitoring station, among other things. To ensure the base's early warning system remained active and operational, an aircraft was set to watch the station at all times - so if it fell silent, they could report an attack or a technical failure.

To save money, this aircraft was simultaneously part of Operation Chrome Dome - where nuclear-armed strategic bombers were kept in the air at all times, ready to retaliate even if a Soviet attack somehow destroyed all American facilities on the ground. As such, the observational plane held four thermonuclear bombs.

Chrome Dome flights led to numerous "Broken Arrow" accidents involving the loss of nuclear weapons. Seven years earlier, a B-52 holding a pair of 3.8 megaton bombs broke up over Goldsboro, North Carolina - two months later, a similar accident occurred near Yuba City, California. Then in 1964 in Maryland, then in 1966 in Palomares, Spain.

And, finally, in 1968 over Greenland. A fire led to the bomber being abandoned, impacting sea ice in North Star Bay, and the conventional explosives inside all four of its bombs detonating. Components were spread in a 3-square-mile strip from the impact site.

All four plutonium fission primaries were recovered. Three of the four uranium fusion secondaries were recovered. The fourth was never found.
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The Cold War was a blessing for research into eigenweaponry, especially where it could be intersected with nuclear physics or rocketry (see the Soviet ballistic missile engine 15D760 "Wax Seal"). CIA curses, non-interactive munitions, nature-spirit warheads, and so on.

The lost component was a fusion secondary - but it was salted with the components of a sentient curse-complex. The detonation of the bomb would spread these microscopic components over hundreds of miles, creating a 65537-grammic "circle" on an unforeseen scale. The effect of this circle is assumed to be true-name-targeted apoptosis.

The secondary has been seen. Moving. We suspect its true-name encoding to have worn, widening the targets of the curse-complex. We suspect the curse-complex to be hunting these new targets. The fusion secondary is unable to detonate without the presence of a fission primary. We suspect the fusion secondary to be hunting a fission primary.

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