Tag Archives: H.P. Lovecraft

What Occurred on Submarine U-29 in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Temple”


“The Temple” artwork by David Saavedra

Once the crew of Submarine U-29 are in possession of the piece of ivory carved into the image of a youth’s head with a laurel crown in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Temple,” strange things start to happen. These strange events include increased nervousness, weakness, forgetfulness and laziness among the crew.


The crew also experienced bad dreams and some appeared to become physically ill. Several of the crew started to have hallucinations, observing bloating bodies out of the undersea portholes. According to the affected crew, many of these bodies were victims who died in the ships that the German submarine sunk in past battles.

Days later, several of the crew who were ill became violently insane; others were not violent but were constantly raving about the young man who was watching them. Men started to disappear and it was thought they committed suicide. Since no bodies were found, it was assumed that they jumped “overboard” but no details regarding this are provided. After these suicides, many of the crew continued to be ill but there were no further disturbances. However, after the explosion of the engine room, the insanity and associated violence among the crew increased resulting in the Lieutenant-Commander killing some of them. Remaining crew members killed themselves, eventually leaving the Lieutenant-Commander by himself. So, what was the cause of the mass hysteria and illness that eventually led to the death of the crew of Submarine U-29?


Tight conditions in a submarine

A crew of men and women in a confined space such as a submarine would be very susceptible to communicable diseases, particularly those air borne in nature. Indeed, respiratory illnesses can be particularly problematic for submarine crews. It is interesting to note that based on data collected by the US Navy, in general overall incidences of medical problems / injuries tend to be higher on surface vessels than submarines (from a US Navy study from 1989; http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a211258.pdf). However, some of the more common afflictions associated with long submarine runs include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and during situations of war such disorders can develop into life-threatening or disturbing conditions (www.beinghealthy.tv).

In the situation of the Submarine U-29 several or many of the crew may have been on the verge of suffering from PTSD even before they found the idol. We do not know how long the crew was on the sea when they found the little ivory idol of the youth crowned with laurels. However, finding this strange idol coupled with the seemingly supernatural event of the body of the dead sailor swimming away, may have triggered PTSD, eroding the “iron will” of the crew in spite of what the Lieutenant-Commander stated. Thus, the idol itself may not to be blame for the situations on the submarine but may well have triggered them. With each murder or suicide, the symptoms of PTSD among the crew would have only increased and spread. Thus, the first hypothesis to explain the incidences on U-29 is PTSD, which was triggered by finding the strange little idol by a crew already exhausted from being on the ocean during war for an extended period of time. However, an alternative hypothesis is that the idol itself may have had a pathogenic organism on it that could infect humans.


The abundance and diversity of viruses in the ocean is incredibly high – each milliliter of ocean water contains several million virus particles. Many ocean viruses cause diseases in marine mammals. Phocid distemper virus is a morbillivirus of Arctic phocid seals that has killed thousands of harbor seals in Europe. Similar viruses kill dolphins and other cetaceans. Many other viruses infect marine mammals and even cause disease in humans, including adenoviruses, herpesviruses, parvoviruses, and caliciviruses (http://www.virology.ws/2009/03/20/the-abundant-and-diverse-viruses-of-the-seas/). For example, in 2013 over 1,000 migrating bottlenose dolphins died from a measles-like virus along the East Coast of the U.S. (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/virus-kills-over-1000-bottlenose-dolphins/). Indeed, the strange behavior of the dolphins, following the submarine deep into the ocean through the course of the tale, may have been symptoms of the virus affecting the dolphins’ brain.  Thus, it is possible that some type of unknown virus was brought on-board U-29 with the biological agent either being on the small ivory idol or on the dead sailor that was clinging to the submarine?

6c8669088-130819-dolphin-deaths-230p_nbcnews-ux-2880-1000 Dolphin deaths along the East Coast of the US due to a virus

Morbillivirus_294-Measles The structure of the morbillivirus, a measles-like virus responsible for the death of dolphins

In conclusion, while finding the strange little idol seems to have produced supernatural occurrences in “The Temple,” it is absolutely possible that the situation was the result of PTSD and/or an unknown biological agent that could exist in the deep ocean. Also, I you want to get a feel for what it would be like on a submarine during war, I strongly suggest the excellent movie “Das Boot.” Next time we will conclude our discussion of H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Temple” by reviewing what the Lieutenant-Commander encountered when he actually entered the Temple. Thank you – Fred.

DasBootcast                                                             Submarine crew from the film “Das Boot”


Submarine Technology in “The Temple”

the-temple-1200px_www.arkhamangst.com The Temple (www.arkhamangst.com)

The United States entered WWI one-hundred years ago this year and it was during this war when submarines were for the first time a major military threat.  German U-boats sunk approximately 5,000 Allied merchant ships during WWI. On the eve of this war submarine warfare was in its infancy, only about a dozen years old. In 1914 no nation on the Earth had the means of combating, or even detecting, submarines so they were a formable and particularly frightening type of navel technology.

Lovecraft used submarines in a number of this tales, including a juvenile story “The Mysterious Ship” (written in 1902) as well as in “The Shadow of Innsmouth” (1931). There is also a brief mention of non-human alien submarine technology in The Shadow out of Time (1935) where the Great Race were known to use gigantic submarine vessels with searchlights to view the ruins of sunken cities and the strange aquatic life. However, the majority of the tale “The Temple” (1920) occurs in a human manufactured submarine.


In “The Temple” the crew of a German submarine (U-29) destroys a British freighter and finds a seemingly dead member of that ship’s crew, holding onto a piece of ivory carved into the image of a youth’s head with a laurel crown. They take the small idol and place his body back into the ocean where several of the men are stunned to see dead seamen’s eyes open and swim away. This event has a profound impact on the crew and they experience a series of strange situations through the rest of the tale. However, this article will focus on the submarine itself.

Again, while the use of submarines in naval warfare was in its infancy during WWI, Germany built 360 U-boats, which sunk over 5,000 Allied ships over the course of the war. However, of the 360 U-boat submarines, 178 were lost over the course of the war.  Is it possible that the one cited in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Temple” was one of those missing U-boats?


Lovecraft had a fairly good understanding of the design and operation of a submarine as described in “The Temple” with one large exception. A number of times Lovecraft mentions members of the crew looking out of undersea potholes, when in fact none of the U-boats at the time had potholes. The only way of peering out of the submarine would be going into the conning tower, which is the raised platform portion of the submarine that contains the periscope.


As part of the series of strange and unfortunate events, there was an explosion in the engine room that was never explained in the story. However, Lovecraft makes a point to state that while as a result of the explosion the U-boat could no longer be propelled or guided, the chemical air generators and the means of raising / lowering the submarine were still intact. On submarines oxygen is typically generated with the use of pure water (typically produced from sea water through desalinization), a mix of potassium hydroxide and electricity in electrolytic cells in an electrolytic oxygen generator cabinet. The excess oxygen can then be stored and used by the crew for respiration.NAVY_AEOG_Treadwell_lg An electrolytic oxygen generator cabinet (US NAVY)

In addition to producing oxygen, a submarine must have a means of removing our respiration byproduct – carbon dioxide.  On submarines carbon dioxide is typically removed with the use of mono-ethanol amine (MEA) in “scrubbers.” The MEA absorbs the carbon dioxide from the air and is then heated to drive out the gas in a compressed form and then ejected overboard.

H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Temple” may have been the first weird tale to take place on a submarine and he had a surprisingly accurate understanding of how these vessels operate. Next time, we will present a set of hypotheses on what may have been responsible for the demise of the crew of the Submarine U-29. Thank you – Fred.

Randolph Carter Traveling Through our Solar System Back to Earth

silkeythu_www.redhorsewebdesign                                                 The Silver Key (www.redhorsewebdesign.com)

This will be the last article for “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” written by H.P. Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price, at least for a while.  In this concluding article, we review the last stint of Carter’s journey back to Earth from dying Yaddith. We previously discussed his travels past Kynarth and Yuggoth, where Kynarth may actually be a trans-Neptunian Object called Charon and thought of as a moon for the dwarf-planet Yuggoth (called Pluto by most humans). Here we focus on some of the main planets Carter passes by on his way home to Earth. Again, the specific planets are cited in this passage:

“He saw Kynarth and Yuggoth on the rim, passed close to Neptune and glimpsed the hellish white fungi that spot it, learned an untellable secrete from the close-glimpsed mists of Jupiter and saw the horror on one of the satellites, and gazed at the Cyclopean ruins that sprawl over Mars’ ruddy disc.”

Neptune is the outermost planet of our solar system and is one of the two ice giants (the other being Uranus).  It is 2.8 billion miles or 30.07 A.U. away from the sun.  It takes Neptune 165 Earth years to make a complete orbit around the sun and a “day” on Neptune is approximately 16 hours (solarsystem.nasa.gov). As we have previously cited, Lovecraft called the discovery of Neptune “…one of the most remarkable achievements of astronomical science, being no mere accident, but the result of long and extremely precise calculation” (Collected Essays: Science, Volume 3 by S.T. Joshi, 2005) and he was correct.  Before the planet was actually discovered, its existence was theoretically predicted by “reverse calculating” the irregularities in the motion of Uranus.

Neptune.png Neptune

In the passage above Lovecraft specifically mentions “…the hellish white fungi that spot it…” What is particularly interesting about this is that more than half a century later, in the summer of 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft conducted a flyby of Neptune and its moon Triton. Voyager 2 passed by Neptune’s north pole at a distance of about 3,000 miles (4,950 kilometers), which is the closest humanity or its technology has gotten to this icy, outer world.

During the Voyager 2 mission the Great Dark Spot was identified on Neptune. Such Great Dark Spots are thought to form and dissipate over the course of several years. Indeed in 2016, another Great Dark Spot was identified on Neptune with the Hubble Space Telescope. These Dark Spots are high-pressure systems of anticyclonic storms and what is particularly interesting is that they are typically accompanied by bright companion clouds.

The Great Dark Spot is thought to be a high-pressure hole in the methane-cloud atmosphere is Neptune. The bright companion clouds are higher in the atmosphere, at or just below the tropopause layer, while the Darks Spots are in the lower altitudes of the troposphere. The high-pressure hole of the Great Dark Spots may concentrate the methane along the edges of the Spots, possibly also generating heat. Is it possible that these atmospheric ecotones of higher concentrations of slightly warmer methane form a habitat conducive for the hellish white fungi? In addition, why is the fungi called “hellish?” Is it possible the hellish conditions are in reference to these storms having winds of up to 1,500 miles per hour (2,400 kilometers per hour), which are some of the fastest winds in the Solar System? Or does it have to do with something related to the white fungus itself? Maybe it was something Carter witnessed as he passed by Neptune.

whitefungi2          Are Neptunian fungi similar to Earth fungi such as this one?

As Carter passed Jupiter he “…learned an untellable secrete from the close-glimpsed mists of Jupiter…” The atmosphere if Jupiter is composed primarily of hydrogen (90%) with helium accounting for almost 10% and other gases making up the remaining < 1%, including ammonia, sulfur, methane and water vapor. What untellable secrete the mists of Jupiter held only Carter knows; however, maybe Carter passed through the mists, down into the lower portions of the planet’s atmosphere to discover this untellable secret.

In addition to Jupiter itself, Carter also “…saw the horror on one of the satellites…” This may have been in reference to the insect philosophers that crawl proudly over the fourth moon of Jupiter, as cited in “Beyond the Walls of Sleep.” The “fourth moon” may be in reference to Jupiter’s moon Callisto, the fourth of the Galilean moons. However, of the four Galilean moons, Europa has the highest potential for harboring life. It has a thick crust of ice covering a liquid ocean that may possess life. With that said, the horror may be on either of these moons or even on one of the other 65 satellites of Jupiter.

Europa.jpg     One of Jupiter’s moons – Europa

Finally, as Carter approached Earth and passed Mars he “…gazed at the Cyclopean ruins that sprawl over Mars’ ruddy disc.” In general, Lovecraft was somewhat skeptical of life on Mars but he did not think it was out of the realm of possibility. However, other than Carter’s flyby Mars, Lovecraft makes no other reference to this planet in his tales. Thus, the Cyclopean ruins may be the remnants of an ancient civilization. Additionally, the cyclopean aspect of the ruins may indicate that they are spread over a large portion of land, similar to the Antarctician city of the Elder Things in At the Mountains of Madness. Thus, these Martian ruins may be spread over the largest volcano on Mars, Olympus Mons, which is also the Solar System’s tallest planetary mountain with a diameter of 374 miles and a total height of 15.5 miles. This makes Olympus Mons three time larger than Mount Everest and most of the peaks at the Mountains of Madness. Thus, the ancient, Cyclopean ruins that Carter observed on Mars may have been scattered over the Olympus Mons.

insectphil                                                                            An insect philosopher from one of the moons of Jupiter by Michael Bukowski (www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

Again, this is last article on “Through the Gates of the Silver Key.” At least for a while. Next time we will discuss World War I submarine technology in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Temple.” Thank you – Fred.

Randolph Carter Traveling Back to Earth and Passing by Kynarth

We have been reviewing “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” written by H.P. Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price for over three months – since late January 2017. While there are other topics in this tale that could continue to be discussed from both a scientific and metaphysical perspective, this subject will be the last, at least for now. In these last two articles, we briefly review some of the planets that Randolph Carter viewed as he traveled through time and space to eventually make it our Solar System, to Earth, in the year 1930.

Chandraputra                                                                                                          Randolph Carter in the body of a Yaddithian but disguised as Swami Chandraputra

As Carter left the dying world of Yaddith he sensed “…a hideous gnawing of cold, a cessation of menacing dreams, and a glance through the eye-plates of the envelope. Stars, clusters, nebulae, on every hand – and at last their outlines bore some kinship to the constellations of earth that he knew.” The recognition of familiar constellations was a strong indicator for Carter that he was in the proper Space-Time. Even if Carter was approaching our Solar System, if the constellations did not look familiar then that would have informed him that he arrived at the right place but the wrong time; Carter may have arrived at Earth millions of years ago when the Elder Things were building their aquatic cities or in the distant future when the Coleopteran (beetles) civilization is the dominant form of sentient life on Earth. However, he did make it to our Solar System in the first half of the 20th century.

The rest of this article discusses what Carter saw as he passed through the Solar System, heading toward Earth.  During this last leg of his journey he stated:

“He saw Kynarth and Yuggoth on the rim, passed close to Neptune and glimpsed the hellish white fungi that spot it, learned an untellable secrete from the close-glimpsed mists of Jupiter and saw the horror on one of the satellites, and gazed at the Cyclopean ruins that sprawl over Mars’ ruddy disc.”

a_silver_sparkling_moon_by_johndoop-d5qjtv0 A Silver Sparkling Moon by John Doop (www.deviantart.com)

According to Joshi (Lovecraft and a World in Transition: Collected Essays on H.P. Lovecraft, 2014) Kynarth may be the “tenth” planet in our Solar System, with Yuggoth (also known as Pluto) being the ninth. Joshi’s support for this hypothesis is due to the fact that as Carter described his observations while traveling through the Solar System, they seem to be recorded in a sequence from furthest to closest; Kynarth and Yuggoth, then Neptune, then Jupiter and its satellites, then Mars. Thus, since Kynarth is named first it must be the tenth, or as we would call it now the ninth, planet.

It is generally accepted that Yuggoth is not a planet but a dwarf-planet, being one of many trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), in the Kuiper belt, which is a circumstellar disc of the Solar System beyond Neptune. The Kuiper belt spans a distance from the orbit of Neptune (about 30 AUs away) to approximately 150 AUs from the Sun. The Earth is 1 AU from the Sun. AU stands for Astronomical Unit.

Kuiper-belt-nasa The Kuiper Belt in relation to the gas planets of our Solar System (www.nasa.org)

If Yuggoth is a TNO, then Kynarth may be one as well.  In addition, considering how Kynarth and Yuggoth are stated together in the same clause, Kynarth may the largest moon of Yuggoth (Pluto) called Charon. It is interesting to note that the center of mass between Pluto and Charon is not Pluto itself but instead somewhere between the two bodies. In addition, Charon is over half the diameter of Pluto. Thus, instead of being a planet / moon system like the Earth and its moon, the Pluto / Charon system may be better described as being a double, dwarf-planet system.  Thus, “Kynarth and Yuggoth on the rim” may actually be in reference to a double, dwarf-planet system of TNOs within the Kuiper belt.

Pluto-Charon-650        Is Pluto and its largest moon Charon really a double dwarf-planet system of Yuggoth and Kynarth?

The alternative to the Kynarth TNO hypothesis is Joshi’s, where Kynarth may be the true ninth planet in the Solar System, accepting the definition that Yuggoth is a dwarf-planet. Evidence for the presence of a large, planet beyond Neptune and on the outer rim of the Solar System can be found in the movements of some TNOs within the Kuiper Belt.

Essentially, some unusual observations have been made of some of the TNOs in the Kuiper Belt. Many of the TNOs all have perihelia (the points of their orbits closest to the Sun) that cluster near the ecliptic plane. A more detailed analysis of six of these objects show them to have clustered perihelia as well as elliptical orbits oriented the same way, about 30 degrees below the ecliptic plan. If there was no Ninth Planet then the gravitation influence of the other giant planets would have resulted in these smaller bodies drifting away from each other. It has been calculated that there is only a 0.007% chance that the existing arrangement of these TNOs is the result of chance (Kelly Beatty, Making the Case for “Planet Nine” in http://www.skyandtelescope.com). Something must be keeping these bodies corralled and in-line with the observed orbits and this is the case for a Ninth Planet. This Ninth Planet may be Kynarth, as mentioned by Carter in his travels back to Earth.

p9_kbo_orbits_labeled_1_ The clustering of TNO perihelia provide supporting evidence for the existence of a large 9th planet in our Solar System, beyond Neptune.

Based on the most recent calculations if the proposed Ninth Planet is indeed keeping these TNOs in line, it must be at least 10 times the mass of Earth and have an orbit around the Sun of between 10,000 to 20,000 years. So now the search is on to find this unknown world.

9thplanet                                                        Artist’s conception of Planet Nine in our Solar System

At this point in time, there is evidence for both the dwarf-planet hypothesis as well as the Ninth Planet hypothesis. Is Kynarth a small TNO caught in a gravitational dance with Yuggoth? Or is Kynarth a large “ice giant” orbiting the Sun over tens of thousands of years? Obviously, other studies of the outer rim are required.

Next time we conclude our discussions of “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” by reviewing what Carter said about the other worlds in our Solar System. Thank you – Fred.

Yaddithian Technology to Travel Through Space-Time

In the concluding chapters of “Through the Gates of the Silver Key,” written by H.P. Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price, the consciousness of Randolph Carter’s co-occupied the body of the Yaddithian Wizard Zkauba and eventually found a way of using Yaddithian technology to actually transport the physical body of the wizard through time and space in order to arrive on Earth. When Carter first ended up in the body of Zkauba he discovered that the Yaddithians had a technology called light-wave envelopes that allowed them to travel through vast expanses of time and space. However, similar to the Great Race of Yith, their space-time traveling technology was only limited to the mind and not the physical body.

trough_the_gates_of_the_silver_key_by_airborneterror-d6x54aq Through the Gates of the Silver Key by Air Borne Terror (www.deviantart.com)

We have cited in previous articles that Michio Kaku discusses the feasibility of uploading one’s consciousness and transferring it through vast expanses of space, to be downloaded into another biological being or some type of artificial construct in The Future of the Mind (2015). Such technology may be utilized by the Great Race of Yith, downloading their minds into an unsuspecting species and pushing the resident consciousness into Race’s previous bodies. Randolph Carter utilized a more metaphysical means of transferring his consciousness into the body of the Wizard Zkauba. However, in this case both consciousnesses remained in the same physical form and without the parchment, Carter was trapped in the Yaddithian’s body.


While the Great Race of Yith can switch their consciousness with another individual, the Yaddithian found a way of transporting their consciousness through Space-Time. In the case of the Yaddithians, their consciousness is encased in a light-wave envelope and is not downloaded into other being or machine. Instead these light-wave envelopes provide the means for a consciousness to travel and survey the cosmos in order to conduct passive observations, something Lovecraft often fantasized about and also made reference to with the brain cylinders of the Mi-Go in “The Whisperer in Darkness.”

So how did these light-wave envelopes function? Based on the description given by Carter, the envelope must operate on a quantum level.  A number of times they are described as a light-wave envelope (e.g. photon, a type of boson subatomic particle) and once it is referred to as composed of an electron-activated metal (electrons as well as protons and neutrons are a type of particle called fermions, which are the fundamental building blocks of matter we are familiar with; not antimatter, not dark matter). If the Space-Time envelopes were only described as light-waves then we would hypothesize that the envelope would work similar to what Kaku describes – placing the data of one’s consciousness onto a light wave and beaming it to a receiving waystation. In contrast, if it was only described as an electron-activated metal, then the data may be placed onto the wave function of the electron as it spins around the nucleus. The fact that both particles are mentioned indicates that the technology may be operating on a “sub-quantum” level that we do not yet understand.


Yaddithian by Mara999 (www.deivantart.com)

Subquantum Kinetics is an alternative to the more conventional approach to quantum mechanics where a set of theories are attempted to be stitched together create the Unified Field Theory of physics. In contrast, subquantum kinetics presents a set of well-ordered reaction processes that are proposed to take place at the subquantum level. Collectively, these reaction processes are defined as the transmuting ether, an active substrate that is quite different from the passive mechanical ethers considered in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and frequently cited by H.P. Lovecraft. In the case of intergalactic travel by the Mi-Go or the Elder Things, Lovecraft hypothesized that this was accomplished by their propulsion through the “luminiferous aether.”

Subquantum Kinetics further proposes that the concentrations of the substrates composing this ether are the energy potential fields that form the basis of all matter and energy in our universe (The Cosmic Ether: Introduction to Subquantum Kinetics by Paul A. LaViolette from Physics Procedia, Volume 38, 2012, pages 326-349). The operation of these ether reactions causes wave-like field gradients (spatial concentration patterns) to emerge and form the observable quantum level structures and physical phenomena (e.g., subatomic particles with mass, charge, spin, and force field effects and electromagnetic waves). I have also seen an explanation of subquantum kinetics as an attempt “…to explain how the building blocks of the universe (protons, neutrons and photons) are formed continuously and naturally from reactions occurring in higher-dimensional non-physical space.”


I know next to nothing about subquantum kinetics and need to learn more; however, I am not familiar with any experiment evidence to support this hypothesis. With that said, subquantum kinetics appears to avoid the compilations of jamming a number of physical forces into one Unifying Theory by treating all energy and matter the same on the sub-sub-atomic level. Thus, instead of ending up with a Unifying Theory, you are starting with one. Is it possible that the Yaddithians utilized subquantum kinetics to develop a means of transporting one’s consciousness through Space-Time? If this is the case, then Randolph Carter actually improved upon this technology by retrofitting it so one’s physical body as well as their consciousness could be transported. However, keep in mind that it took Carter thousands of years to perfect this technology and even so he still could not separate his consciousness from the Yaddithian wizard without the aid of the parchment and the Silver Key.


Next time we conclude the odyssey of “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” by reviewing some of the worlds Carter passed by as he returned to Earth.  Thank you – Fred.

Through the Gates of the Silver Key: Was Randolph Carter Responsible for the Destruction of Yaddith?

In “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” written by H.P. Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price, Randolph Carter’s consciousness is “downloaded” into an insectoid-like being who lives on the planet Yaddith. This specific Yaddithian individual is the Wizard Zkauba. Since both consciousnesses are sharing the same body there are times that Carter dominates and others that Zkauba dominates. Such conditions may have produced symptoms similar to schizophrenia.

lovecraft___dhole_of_yaddith_by_kingovrats-d62dn1t A Dhole of Yaddith by King Ov Rats (www.deviantart.com)

As a wizard of Yaddith, one of Zkauba’s jobs was “weaving spells to keep the frightful bholes in their burrows…” For the sake of this discussion, a bhole is thought to be either the same thing or closely related to the dholes identified in other tales of Lovecraft. Apparently, the “bleached, viscous bholes” were constantly tunneling through Yaddith and the spells of the Yaddithian wizards would keep these creatures in a relative inactive or dormant state. Desperate to get back to Earth, Carter found a drug on Yaddith that could be used to keep Zkauba’s consciousness in a perpetual dormant state, yet allow Carter to have access of the knowledge and memories of the wizard. Thus, the next time Carter dominated the body of Zkauba, he made and administered the drug to himself.

Keeping Zkauba in a dormant state did allow Carter to eventually successfully (somewhat) leave Yaddith, which we will discuss next time. As part of this process he had to move forward in time in order to ensure he would reach Earth approximately close to when he initially left. As he left Yaddith he saw, “Below him the ground was festering with gigantic bholes; and even as he looked, one reared up several hundred feet and levelled a bleached, viscous end at him.”

dhole                                                                             Dhole by Michael Bukowski (www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

Based on this text, the eventual destruction of Yaddith was due to the bholes increasing in size and numbers and reaching the surface. If the bhole population was large enough, it may have even resulted in the eventual destruction of Yaddith itself. The planet may have internally collapsed, breaking apart into a collection of small pieces, producing a miniature asteroid field or a dwarf planet system surrounded by countless minor moons. Or, the size and density of the bhole population may have kept the world intact but slowly converted it into a literal “living planet” continuously shifting, moving and feeding on itself. Obviously, the Yaddithian civilization died with this domination of the bhole with a few possibly escaping through time and space.

150804142947_1_900x600 Did Yaddith eventually become a living planet, seething with millions of bholes feeding on eat other’s wastes?

With Zkauba’s consciousness in a dormant state, he could no longer perform the ritual to keep the bholes inactive. Carter certainly was not continuing these spells; he was busy figuring out how to get back to Earth. The only spell he had was “a doubly potent spell with which to hold back the bholes at the moment of his starting from the black, dead Yaddith of the inconceivable future.”

Given these circumstances, this begs the question: was Randolph Carter at least partially responsible for the destruction of Yaddithian civilization? If Carter was not so preoccupied with finding a way home and Zkauba could continue the spells to keep the bholes inactive, would this have prevented or at least delayed the eventual honeycombing of Yaddith as a result of bhole activity? If this is the case, the destruction of Yaddith occurred in the distant past but was triggered by the consciousness of a strange ape-like descendent who came from the distant future. Thus, the path to Yaddith’s destruction was not set into motion until Carter, a being of the distant future, traveled back in time. Essentially, Carter’s choice to have access to all of Space-Time with the aid of the Silver Key resulted in the destruction of an entire civilization in the past.

bhole_by_mythadvocate-d9u9b64                                                                    A bhole (www.aaronsiddall.com)

Next time we will discuss the science behind Carter’s escape from Yaddith. Thank you – Fred.

Through the Gates of the Silver Key: Chapter VI, Galaxies and Light-Beam Envelope Technology

As described in Chapter VI of “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” written by H.P. Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price, the insectoid-like beings of Yaddith were a technologically advanced species that could transport their consciousness through time and space similar to the Great Race. For the Yaddithians this was done with the use of “light-beam envelopes.”

Yaddith_JacquesBrodier_www.thewire.co.uk Yaddith by Jacques Brodier (www.thewire.co.uk)

When Randolph Carter’s consciousness entered the body of the Yaddithian wizard Zkauba, he took advantage of the light-beam envelope technology to travel throughout the twenty-eight galaxies and over ten thousand worlds known by the Yaddithians. Currently, based on observations made with the Hubble Telescope it is estimated that there are 100 billion galaxies in the Universe but this estimate is expected to increase to around 200 billion as improvements and refinements are made in telescope technology.

In Lovecraft’s time, the concept of a galaxy was relatively new. Prior to the early 20th century galaxies were described as globular star clusters or spiral nebulae. However, by the early 20th century Harlow Shapely determined the distribution, size and shape of some of these globular star clusters as well as the Milky Way. It was Shapely who determined that the Milky Way bulged in the center, surrounded by a large, flat area (http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/astronomy-terms/galaxy2.htm). Shapely later called the identified star clusters or nebulae as “island universes” or galaxies. Others claimed that the nebulae were part of the Milky Way. Thus, in the early 20th century there was a debate on whether the Milk Way was essentially the Universe or if it was just one of many galaxies in a much larger Universe.

OSC_Astro_28_01_Abell2744                                               A very small fraction of the billions of galaxies identified by the Hubble Telescope

Toward the end of 1924 the debate was settled by Edwin Hubble. Using his 100-inch diameter telescope at Mount Wilson California, Hubble identified, with the use of Cepheid variables (stars that pulsate on a regular basis, producing a stable period and amplitude of brightness) that a spiral nebula had structure and stars similar to but separate from the Milk Way. This confirmed the presence of another galaxy and those Cepheid variables became part of the galaxy known as Andromeda. Thanks to Hubble, it was determined that the Milky Way galaxy is not the Universe but one of other galaxies spread throughout the Cosmos. The Universe got a whole lot bigger thanks to Hubble.

hubble_300                                                                                            One of Edwin Hubble’s first photographs of the Andromeda Galaxy (also known as M31)

The Yaddithians are known to be able to have the ability to travel through the 28 known galaxies. Possibly by coincidence, in the Superman mythos it is also stated that there are 28 known galaxies. I was curious why this number of 28 keeps coming up when we now know there are literally billions of galaxies. I hypothesize that this number of 28 stems from the findings of Hubble. After his confirmation that other galaxies exist, Hubble went on to discover another couple dozen galaxies. Thus, while at this time I cannot find an actual document to confirm this, I hypothesize that in the mid-1920’s as Hubble’s findings were presented to the general public somewhere it may have stated that Hubble identified 28 galaxies, which is why this number has been used in a number of venues.

Andromeda_m31_bers_1824 A more recent photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy one of the “local 28” for Yaddithians

Relative to the Yaddithians, the 28 galaxies may represent a local “cluster” of galaxies, composed of a few large galaxies, such as the Milky Way and the Andromeda, and a series of satellite galaxies that surround the larger ones. From a practical standpoint, traveling throughout Space-Time for the Yaddithians may be limited to these 28. As we have suggested with the Great Race’s ability to travel through Space-Time, the Yaddithian may transmit their consciousnesses through the Universe on a laser beam, to be deposited into the mind of another sentient being. The wavelength of a laser beam is microscopic and you can compress vast amounts of information on its wave pattern; even more data can be transferred onto a beam of X-rays, which has a wavelength smaller than an individual atom (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku, 2014).

55-24760-green_laser_teaser                          Humans can transfer 26 Terabits of information per second with the use of laser technology. Do the light-beam envelopes of the Yaddithians perform a similar function but on a larger scale? Transferring an entire consciousness through Space-Time on a laser?

The Yaddithians probably used their light-beam envelopes to transmit their minds, with the aid of laser beams or X-rays as carrier waves, through controlled wormholes that opened up hyperspace and “beam” their minds into other devices or the “receptive” organisms on other worlds or in other times. Again, similar technology is utilized by the Great Race; however, for them instead of using light-beam envelopes, they used strange mechanical devices in conjunction with some alien crystals. In each case the result is the same – downloading the consciousness of an individual into a device and then immediately transferring it through Space-Time (most likely through a worm hole) into a new receptacle, which may be another organism or some type of artificial or cybernetic device.

lovecraft___snouted_yaddithian_by_kingovrats-d68pvtf                    Illustration of a Yaddithian by King Ov Rats. (www.deviantart.com)

In conclusion, it appears that both the Great Race of Yith and the Yaddithians had the ability to consciously travel through Space-Time. However, in order to get back to Earth Randolph Carter, trapped in the body of the Yaddithian wizard Zkauba, had to modify a light-beam envelope so that it could transport both the body as well as the mind of the individual. This topic, as well as the resulting cost this had on Yaddith, will be discussed next time. Thank you – Fred.