W. Adam Mandelbaum

Father Teodoro Jimenez had waxed eloquent that previous Sunday in his sermon on the opening chapters of Genesis. The Filipinos in the small congregation listened intently, as the good Father drew technicolor word pictures of the firmament, the dividing waters, and the darkness on the face of the deep. I often attended his services when I was off duty, and was friendly with the priest. Even when I came back, I wrote to him regularly, until I learned of his death. I still have his letters, which at certain hours of the night can bring some comfort.

The cleric had received his Theological degree at a first class United States seminary, and knew, (as I now know), that in the original Hebrew, the first line of Genesis was really translated, "In the beginning the Gods created the heavens and the earth. This revelation however, would only have been confusing to the simple Catholic monotheistic faith of the congregants. Yet, this revelation was soon to be announced by a different source of spiritual instruction. An original source, one might say. I remember it all too well. I wonder if the others involved still do.

Naval Security Group Detachment, Subic Bay, Phillippines, 15 Apr 91 09:45 AM (local)

The Officer of the Day, Lieutenant Harmsworth, leaned back in his aging Steelcase chair, reminiscing about the previous night's adventures with two local teenage beauties from Olongapo. A few games of pool at the Tiki Lounge, a small bribe to the bar manager to borrow the girls, and then a memorable threesome at the Sinbad Hotel. There were decided benefits to overseas duty, thought Harmsworth. A veritable tropical paradise these islands. A man could get --

Just then, the gray colored secure phone on his desk rang -- loudly.

"Shit," said Harmsworth aloud. "There goes paradise." He picked up the phone.

A monotone voice on the other end said, "Officer of the Day, we have a Criticom situation. Immediate transmission to DIRNSA and COMSUBPAC required."

"Lieutenant Harmsworth, OD. What is the nature of the critical communication, sir?"

"This is top secret, no foreign national distribution, Lieutenant. Captain Gorman here. At 09:38 hours local time we lost commo with the Brodie."

"One moment, sir," said Harmsworth, as he tapped his computer keys to gain entry into the secure Pacific fleet database. The USS Brodie was an Ohio Class nuclear submarine carrying twenty four nuclear capable missiles and a crew of one hundred seventy five officers and men. Commander Parsons, skipper. The Brodie was operating two hundred kilometers off of Subic Bay -- at least it should have been.


"Yes, sir. Were you transmitting conventional radio or ELF?"

"The Brodie was operating at a depth in excess of several hundred feet, Lieutenant. Extremely Low Frequency was being used."

Sea water is highly electrically conductive and can cause severe radio wave attenuation. For that reason, submarines had to come close to the surface to use normal radio communications. For security purposes, and for deep sea operations, ELF communications were required.

"Possible equipment failure, sir?" asked Harmsworth.

"Negative, Lieutenant. Clam Lake, Wisconsin, reports the dipole antenna functioning perfectly and all equipment checks out."

"Message going out now, sir," said Harmsworth as he sent electronic notification to the Director of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, and the Commander of Submarines in the Pacific at Pearl Harbor. "DIRNSA and COMSUBPAC notified."

"Very well, Lieutenant, we will keep you informed as things develop. Notify the Commanding Officer of Clark Air Force Base we request immediate scramble of their available P-3 Orions."

"Yes, sir," said Harmsworth. A submarine down? All signals intelligence collection devices available and the equipment on board the Orions would soon get to the bottom of this, thought Harmsworth, before he realized the potential unfortunate appropriateness of the expression he had just used.

Clark AFB, Phillippines, 15 Apr 91 10:21 AM (local)

Technical Sergeant Milburn watched from the tower as the squad of P-3s took off from Clark. The Orions had been in use for nearly thirty years, but the four engine turboprop ASW planes still formed the backbone for Anti Submarine Warfare, and submarine detection. The aging planes contained up to date radio direction finding and magnetic anomaly detection systems, and could remain airborne for up to fourteen hours. In hostile operations, the two B57 nuclear depth bombs they carried could easily dispatch an enemy submarine. Their mission today, however was one of search and hopefully rescue -- of the USS Brodie.

The planes remained in the target area for seven hours, electronically sweeping the waters of the Pacific. Intelligence satellites flying over the region took their high resolution photographs, and searched for heat signatures. Soldiers and sailors monitoring communications in the area listened intently for any communication clue to the whereabouts of the USS Brodie.

No trace of the submarine was found. No oil slick. No bodies. No debris indicating a crushed or exploded submarine. Nothing. The powers that be were informed of the negative findings.

NSA HQ, Fort Meade, Maryland, 17 Apr 91 08:30 AM (local)

Four high ranking naval brass and three civilians sat in the secure conference room. Before them, on the highly polished black marble table, sat the latest situation report on the Brodie.

"Five hundred plus feet of nuclear submarine does not just disappear," said Admiral Waite, banging the marble table with his fist for emphasis.

"The USS Thresher gave electronic evidence of being crushed when it went down," said the portly Commander sitting next to the Admiral. "But here, I understand commo was cut off in mid-sentence, and nothing further was heard. No speech, no anomalous sounds at all."

One of the civilians with a shaven head, bearing a close resemblance to the actor Telly Savalas, said, "We have the transcript of the last commo here, and a recording of the transmissions was bursted to us last night from Subic Bay. I don't believe everyone present has heard it yet."

He pushed the button on the tape recorder in front of him, and the seven men listened.

"Say again, Brodie, the last transmission was garbled."
"Tell them at COMSUBPAC, tell them the sea . . ."
"Go ahead Chief, tell them what?"
"The sea . . . it's all wrong, tell them."
"Do you have navigational systems malfunction, Brodie?"
"The sea, it's all wrong. There is no North. Tell . . ."

The bald headed civilian turned off the recorder. "That's the last bit of the commo."

"The sea is all wrong, there's no North? What the hell was he talking about?" asked Admiral Waite.

"Perhaps something happened on board to make the Chief delusional. Perhaps some leak, some poisonous vapor," said another of the civilians present.

"Negative that," said the Commander. "If there was some accident on board that destroyed the crew and ship, there would be physical evidence. There would be something. Our satellites, our listening posts, our Orions -- all come up with a big fat zero. This submarine has just disappeared into thin air -- I mean water."

"A DSRV has been sent via a Galaxy C-5A from Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii," said the bald man.

"Great," said the Admiral. "There'll be a deep sub rescue vehicle looking to save invisible crewmen from a submarine that just disappeared without a trace. What good will that do?"

"Probably none," said the bald man. "We sent down a remote observation vehicle with cameras and a radiometer. Went down to a thousand fathoms. Came up with nothing. Gamma spectrometry also negative."

"Gamma what?" asked the Admiral.

"Gamma spectrometry," interrupted another civilian who sported an immaculately groomed Van Dyke beard. "It measures gamma rays, because alpha and beta waves are obscured by sea water. The gamma waves get through and are picked up by a sodium iodide scintillation detector."

"Oh," replied the Admiral.

"And as you no doubt remember, Admiral," the civilian continued, "two years ago in Norway, gamma spectrometry was successfully used by our Soviet friends to find the Komsomolets."

"I remember hearing something about it," fudged the Admiral.

"Any thing we have, everything we have. All assets available must be used to find the Brodie," said the Commander.

"Do you really mean that, sir," asked the bearded civilian. "All available assets?"

"Of course he means it," said the Admiral. "What do you have in mind?"

The bald headed civilian raised his eyes to the ceiling. "Oh no, not this."

"I was invited to participate," said the bearded man. "I was summoned here."

"What's going on. What are you guys talking about?" asked the Admiral.

"We are talking about Detachment One-X-Ray," said the bald man. "Our remote viewing unit at Fort Meade."

"What, some unmanned remote control vehicle? What will it find that the Orions couldn't?"

"Remote viewing, Admiral," said the bearded man, "is neither unmanned, nor a vehicle. It is what has been informally called our psychic spying unit."

The Admiral clasped his hairy hands together in front of him and leaned forward on the conference room table. "I have a sub missing, one hundred and seventy five officers and men gone, and you want me to use psychics to find them? Gentlemen, I fail to see the humor at a time like . . ."

The bearded man remained expressionless. "Since 1978, Admiral. Thirteen years ago. This unit has remained funded and operational for one reason. Results. It was one of our men who first predicted the construction and launch date of the Typhoon class Soviet Sub from Severodvinsk. It was one of our men who detected the Chinese nuclear developments at Lop Nor. And, Admiral, it was one of our men who found General Dozier in Italy."

"And you're telling me that a bunch of Ouija Board Wonders are going to come up with something that all of our hardware can't?" asked the Admiral.

"We have found dozens of downed aircraft, and ships," said the bearded man.

"Then go get your psychics and find the USS Brodie, my friend. Just do it fast. I knew Commander Parsons and he is one of the finest skippers in the Pacific Fleet."

"You're welcome to come to a session, Admiral," said the bearded man.

The Admiral said nothing for five seconds, looking straight at the civilian, then, "You're on."

Off of Subic Bay, The Phillippines, Exact Time and Depth Unknown

It was cold in the blue green depths. It was still. Little sunlight reached that "darkness on the face of the deep." Later witnesses' statements would tell of a procession of bleached white fish and squid that were calmly rising to the surface in their death rafts of bloated decaying flesh. No wounds on their bodies, no sign of attack by any creature of sea or land. They had been merely innocent bystanders at the scene of a breach between worlds, a doorway that had opened between dimensions, killing them as they swam in their home waters. The guilty parties were no longer on the scene. They would be discovered later -- somewhere else. Somewhat.

Detachment One-X-Ray, Fort Meade, Maryland, 17 Apr 91 1:09 PM (local)

Morton, the bearded civilian contractor with the Remote Viewing unit, was explaining the theory behind psychic spying to the Admiral in the training room.

"The research that started in Stanford Research Institute in California, almost twenty years ago, gave scientific proof of extra sensory functioning, Admiral. Our operational experience since 1978 has helped refine the process."

"But how does it work? How can you get information without normal sensing devices,

"The practice is more sure than the theory. We know that the mind can access information without sensory input -- we've proven it thousands of times. It might involve other dimensions, it might involve new concepts of what time and space is, we are not sure -- yet."

"But what equipment do you use?"

"The mind. Then in the monitoring room we have audio and video recording equipment, and biometric devices to monitor blood pressure, heartbeat, galvanic skin response, etc."

"Sort of like a lie detector?"

"Sort of, but not for that purpose. Our viewer draws what he sees, describes what he sees or hears or feels, and intentionally separates his conclusions from what he sees, in what we call an AOL break."


"It stands for analytic overlay, Admiral. It is the pattern making, conclusory portion of the brain that puts a label on what the sensory input to the brain may be."

"And your viewer can access information about the Brodie, about what might have happened to it?"

"Stranger things have happened, Admiral. Let's go to the monitoring room, our man is ready and waiting to go."

"Does he know much about the mission?"

"He knows nothing. He will be given a series of four meaningless numbers as a target coordinate, and that's it. The person monitoring him will also have no idea about the target."

"Amazing," said the Admiral. "Incredible."

"Mind is the final frontier, Admiral," said Morton.

Monitoring Room, Detachment One-X-Ray, Fort Meade, Maryland, 17 Apr 91 1:47 PM (local)

"Alex, how are we doing?" asked the monitor.

"Ready when you are."

Alexander Raines had spent the last five minutes on the viewing couch slowing his breathing, relaxing his body, entering into his "zone" so that he might be receptive to -- anything.

"Alex, the target is designated coordinates 'Three, Zero, Niner, Eight."

Thirty seconds of silence passed.

"Acquire the target, Alex."

After about another minute of silence, Raines' hand started to make rapid motions upon the pad he was holding. "Water. Sun."

"Acquire the target."

"AOL break. I think I am looking at islands. There are men. Men of the sea, men in the sea."

"Alex, I want you to bring yourself approximately two hundred feet directly above the target. What do you see?"

"It's large, dark, swimming, or something. AOL break -- perhaps a submarine, but I'm not sure."

The Admiral who was viewing the session along with the bearded civilian was noticeably impressed. He said nothing.

"Wait. There's two. There's two of them."

"Alex," said the monitor, "I want you to get next to the target, now. What do you see?"

"The stars. The stars are right again. There's two of them. It is risen. It is time."

"Alex, what is risen, what about the stars?"

"It is . . . wait. I have a problem. Wait. There's only one now, but . . . no, no! It's amazing, it's not even . . . Kot, Kot. Kot, ulu. Kotulu. He is risen, he is . . ."

The monitor watched as the biometrics leaped dangerously. "Okay, Alex, I want you to break off, I want you to break the session, now."

The viewer arched his back on the couch. Sweat began to pour from his face. He looked as one having a seizure. "Kot, ulu, Kotulu. He is risen."

"Break off contact, now, Alex!"

"There is no North. The sea is wrong, the stars are right . . ."

The monitor ran from his position and grabbed Raines by both arms. "Wake up, Alex. End the fucking session!"

The viewer lay still on the couch. The electrodes connecting him to the biometric monitoring devices had been ripped off during his convulsions.

"Morton, we need a doctor and an OPSEC team now!" said the monitor.

Morton was already dialing the gray phone. "Affirmative. On the way."

Secure Conference Room, Fort Meade, (date and time still classified)

"He was dead on," said the Admiral. "If I didn't witness it, I wouldn't have believed it."

"Raines was one of our best."

The Admiral looked at Morton. "Was? He didn't . . .?"

"No. He is still in a coma. He's at Walter Reed getting all the help we can give him. His vitals are stable, but he's washed up as a remote viewer. Whatever he saw out there . . . Christ!"

"He picked up some of the actual transmission dialogue. But what about seeing 'two?' There wasn't any indication of another sub operating next to the Brodie."

"Remote viewing isn't always literal, it is often symbolic. When Raines saw 'two' it might not have been two subs. The other 'one' might have been something else."

"And what was this Kotulu all about?"

"We don't know yet. We're running a computer linguistic check on it. Russian, Chinese, Tagalog, and a variety of Oceanic languages. We should get some results in a few hours."

"What else can we do?" asked the Admiral.

"We had a man in our unit, retired two years ago. Name of Joseph Meldave. One of the original viewers, one of our best. Still consults with us -- remotely -- once in a while."

"What does he do now?"

"He lectures, and he writes. He's won some awards for his fantasy and science fiction stories."

"It figures. You want to bring him here? You want him in on this?"

"I want to go see him, he won't come here. I'll need authorization, and 'car fare'."

"Where does he live?" asked the Admiral.

"Oyster Bay, New York."

"Go. See him. And, Morton, don't eat too many oysters."

Oyster Bay, New York, (date and time still classified)

The heavy set man with the long black beard, was sipping his third scotch in two hours, looking out his living room window at the Long Island Sound.

"So, Morton. You have a two pipe problem, I presume," said Meldave.

Morton sat comfortably in his leather wing chair, sipping his first (but not last) scotch.

"You've heard the tapes, you've seen the transcripts, what do you think?"

"I think we are in a world of hurt," said Meldave. "I think we are dealing with a whole new ball game here."

"Poetry wasn't my subject, Joe. How about specifics?" asked Morton.

"Okay. First, a sub disappears without a trace. That has never happened before. Therefore the cause of its disappearance must be anomalous. Agreed?"

"Okay, go on."

"Second, we have a remote viewer freak out when he views the scene of the sub's disappearance. An experienced guy, a well-trained viewer. He isn't supposed to freak out, even if he bilocates. But he does. Therefore we are dealing with something completely anomalous. Something beyond normal."


"Third. You're linguistic computer run comes up with jack shit. Yet, I can make something out from this 'Kotulu' stuff."

"What, pray tell. I'm all ears."

"Not just yet. Remember Colonel Bradley?"

"Space Cadet Bradley? The one who felt that the Soviet psychotronic experiments had loosed an extra dimensional entity which destroyed the Communist government?"

"The same."

"What does he have to do with this?"

"Nothing. Everything. Now ask me about 'Kotulu.'"


"You know I have been writing science fiction and fantasy and doing rather well?"

"Yeah, so?"

Well, one of the greats of fantasy was a writer by the name of H.P. Lovecraft."

"Never heard of him, what about it?"

"H.P. Lovecraft wrote some stories about this giant octopus dragon creature from another dimension that lived under the sea."

"I don't think I want to know where this is going."

"Yes, you do. The name of the creature was 'Cthulhu.'"

Morton drained his remaining scotch. "Give me a refill, Joe, I'm going to need it."

"Yes, you will."

"So, you think that our submarine was eaten by a giant squid -- is this what you're telling me?

"Not quite. Yet look at the drawings Raines made during the session. That thing next to the sub, could be a cephalopod of a sort. Now, Lovecraft didn't believe in the supernatural, he just wrote very interesting stories about it. But, what nobody knows, except me, and now you, is that Lovecraft was a natural remote viewer. Even Lovecraft didn't know it."

"What makes you think so?"

"Let's take the word 'Cthulhu.' Lovecraft thinks he just made it up. He didn't. It was a message, a perception, an interception out of space and time, if you will."


"Kot is a short form of the Greek kottabos, which means to descend. Ulu, is a short form of the Latin Ululare, which means to howl. Put them together, and we get 'Kotulu' which is damn close to 'Cthulhu.'"

"The howling which descends? We didn't run the words for ancient Greek and Latin."

"No reason why you should. But Lovecraft knew a smattering of the languages from all the reading he did. The message came to him in the oldest tongues that were in his mind. But it gets better. There's the Chinese."

Morton shook his head in the negative. "We did a Chinese search, nothing came up."

"That's because you guys have no imagination. You didn't search 'Kuo Wu Lung.'"

"What's that mean?"

"Land or Kingdom of the Black Dragon."

Morton was feeling annoyed. "And we didn't search ancient Egyptian, either."

"That wouldn't have helped much, except for maybe "ka", the immortal soul. But Sumerian, that would have helped," said Meldave.

"Okay, Joe, I'll bite. What's the Sumerian?"

"Kur Ilu, which means god of the underworld, or of the land of the dead."

"Now I know why you graduated tops in Monterey Language School."

"Yes, the Defense Language Institute and I got on famously for living languages. The dead ones I studied in my spare time."

"You really believe these linguistic similarities have some relevance to the Brodie?"

"Put it all together, Morton. A mysterious disappearance. Nothing registers on three dimensional equipment. A paranormal viewing is successful, but drives the viewer into a coma. Words are mentioned that in several languages describe a howling descending, a black dragon, a god of the dead world -- all of which describes a fictional monstrosity called Cthulhu. Look at Raine's drawings again."

Morton picked up the drawings, briefly looked at them, and tossed them back to their place on the table.

"How can I go back with this?"

"You can tell them about a possible gateway to another dimension that the Brodie might have passed through. An undersea version of a space wormhole, perhaps. An event horizon. A porthole to another world. We may be witnessing a realization of a vision from a fantasy writer dead over fifty years. This would make Lovecraft a prophet as well as a writer."

"Even if I could get the brass to accept the possibility of this craziness -- what good would it do?"

"It could serve as a warning to keep ships out of the area. Let me ask you, Morton -- has there been anything unusual occurring in the region of the Phillippines?"

"Mount Pinatubo, the volcano, has been acting up. An eruption is predicted for the early summer. Evacuation plans have been made."

Meldave stroked his beard. "It was seismic activity that brought on Cthulhu's appearances in Lovecraft's stories."

"Oh, shit."

"Exactly. Better hope this eruption closes whatever gateway to another dimension has been opened -- or else we will be living in interesting times."

Morton looked out the window at the Long Island Sound. "The whole thing is preposterous."

"Look out at the water, Morton," commanded Meldave. "What's underneath?"

"Fish, plants, rocks."

"What else?"

"Who knows?"

"Exactly, Morton. Who knows?"

"I see what you mean."

"You've gotta make them see, Morton. You have to make them understand."

Mount Pinatubo, the Phillippines, 12 Jun 91-15 Jun 91

On June 12th and 15th, 1991, Mount Pinatubo exploded in the Phillippines, killing nearly one thousand people, destroying villages, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, and devastating the atmosphere with ash, sulphuric acid particles, and other poisons.

The environmental damage was so great that for the next year the average world temperature was lowered by a degree celsius. Ozone levels were dangerously lowered in certain parts of the world, and cancer rates increased.

The world had seldom seen such death and destruction in the twentieth century, yet this part of the story was told and seen throughout the planet. There was another side of the Pinatubo story that the world did not learn of -- not the normal overt world.

The samples, the analysis, the transcript from the debriefing of the SEAL team members that survived, all are resting in boxes in a deep subterranean vault in the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency. It is not likely that this information will ever be declassified.

(My knowledge of the truth shall mean an Operational Security team at my side whenever I might be hospitalized and undergo anesthesia. I am regularly tested for substances in my blood, and annually psychologically evaluated. So far, what ails me now, does not show on these tests. Tests made by men who exist only in a world of three dimensions, and a realm of doors which open, close, and -- remain). This journal remains undiscovered for now.

I have written this for those of the future (if there shall be one) with a need to know, those to come. Those, who must know the truth, as I remember the truth. They must know about the small island that surfaced after the eruption of Pinatubo, and what was found there. The SEAL team that landed there documented photographically the mounds of bones found in a cavern on the island. Human remains -- some ancient, some newly placed. Dental records helped identify some of the remains as crew members of the Brodie, for while none of the skeletons remained articulated, some teeth were found.

The "tissue" exemplars brought back by the survivors spoke of some organic life form not based upon the carbon atom. Something which must have been either extraterrestrial or extra dimensional, for it defied all normal methods of biological analysis, before all of the samples simply disappeared. Something beyond time and space, perhaps something akin to that "darkness on the face of the deep," of which Father Jimenez had spoken at his sermon long ago.

Strangest of all were the videotapes found among the SEAL team members who did not survive that island landing, for the tapes, unlike those who made them, remained intact. On those tapes was a giant twisting tentacled thing, an octopus dragon gelatinous hybrid that could exist only in the world of myth, or in another dimension. Or in the mind of an insane person. Or in the ink from the pen of a deceased writer. A writer who did not believe in what he wrote, who did not know he had foreseen a future reality while penning what for him was merely a tale to be told. (Lovecraft. An ironic name, for in a sense he had served as a signpost for a vehicle having little to do with that emotion. He was lucky. He died before witnessing his creation's actuality).

The island sank below the waves within forty eight hours. The survivors were mustered out of the service with medical discharges and given full pensions to keep their mouths shut. The crew members of the USS Brodie were listed as lost at sea, and the outside world will never know different.

However, the inside world, those who dwell in the man created "darkness on the face of the deep" must know. My shadow brothers who roam the alleys and dark tunnels of the secret lands. They must be told, before it is too late -- if it is not already so.

I must tell them what I know. Soon. I sit in this subterranean vault and the part of me which still can believe anything prays to any and all gods that might listen. I pray that the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and the disappearance into the sea of that Hell-spawned island that took place ten years ago has closed off that porthole between dimensions that gave (for too long a time) entry into this world -- of what?

Send your comments to W. Adam Mandelbaum


© 2006 Edward P. Berglund
"The Darkness on the Face of the Deep": © 2006 by W. Adam Mandelbaum. All rights reserved.
Graphics © 1998-2006 Erebus Graphic Design. All rights reserved. Email to: James V. Kracht.

Created: October 28, 2006; Updated: October 29, 2006