In Part 1 of this post/thread, I highlighted some of the passages in Nick Cook’s Hunt for Zero Point that the covert source I identified as ‘Morgan’ suggested I take a closer look at while I was doing my original research between 2003 and 2008.
Now let’s talk about Nick Cook’s own covert source: ‘Dr. Dan Marckus.’
In his opening Notes and Acknowledgements, Cook identifieds Dr. Dan Marckus as one of the sources…
…whose identities I have deliberately blurred… I could not have interpreted the mass of raw scientifid data in this book without the exceptional skills of Dan Marckus. His knowledge, wisdom, humor an friend have been an inspiration to me.”
Which is not at all unlike the sentiments I had toward Morgan.
In much the same way that Marckus provided valuable insight into what Nick Cook learned from his diligent research, Morgan1 provided me with insight into the life of Townsend Brown that was simply not available from any other source.
Morgan explained to me that the records of Townsend Brown’s life and work had been ‘sheep dipped’ – that’s spook-speak for “the records have been erased, and any reference to the erased records has likewise been erased.”
I had a first hand example of how this works when Linda Brown and I tried to retrieve her father’s Naval records, as described in Chapter 35 – Never Heard of the Guy:
A couple weeks later Mrs. Painter called back. She had finally found what she called Brown’s “personnel file.” Mrs. Painter told Linda that she would send what records she had found, adding a caveat:
“Understand,” Mrs. Painter said, “there will not be anything in that record that refers to anything classified.”
Linda asked, “Are you saying that if there is classified material in the file, or anything in the file that refers to classified material, then both the classified material and anything that referred to it…”
“Would not be there.”
That’s how ‘sheep-dipped’ works. You not only don’t get the classified info, but you don’t get anything that would tempt you to suspect that there is anything classified.
That is why I had to rely so heavily on what I was getting from Morgan – though I really had/have no way of attesting to the provenance or veracity of the material. It’s a good thing Ben Bradlee was not this Woodward’s editor.
Because of the skilled, precise nature of his investigations, Nick Cook had a lot more to draw on. He was drilling into a broad topic and trying to find the hard data to support his hypotheses.
I, on the other hand, was trying to tell the story of one very mercurial man, and found myself in the unenviable center (as I wrote in the Introduction) of the Venn diagram between between science, science fiction and pseudo-science.
On July 28, 2004 Morgan steered me to Cook’s page 272, noting that it “may be the most important page” in the book.
On 272, Cook is talking with Marckus about his visit with John Hutchison, a Canadian “self-trained scientist and inventor” known to have demonstrated a variety of unusual phenomena – and who had his own interesting history with U.S. intelligence and security forces.
For context, I backed up to page 271, where Cook first starts telling Marckus about his day at Hutchison’s small, densely equipped apartment/laboratory in Vancouver, B.C. Marckus tries to explain that the ‘Hutchison Effect” that Cook witnessed is an unexplained function of the quantum void:
“When he does what he does,” Marckus said, “Hutchison is reaching into a place that you can’t see or touch and he’s pulling out things we call ‘phenomena.’ But things don’t happen by magic. Phenomena happen because there are laws of physics we don’t understand yet. The fact that we haven’t found the answer yet is our problem, not Nature’s.”
Their conversation takes a turn here, from Hutchison’s ‘phenomena’ to Cook’s reflection on…
…The Philadelphia Experiment. A neat bit of misinformation, I think you’ll agree, but stuffed full of real elements that make it impossible… to conduct a meaningful investigation of anything related to… T. T. Brown.
Marckus nodded. “The best disinformation always does.”
I regret that over the course of the hour we spent Zooming, I unwittingly put Nick in a bit of a defensive posture regarding Morgan’s references to his book. Casting aspersions on Nick’s research was the last thing I wanted to do the first time I actually got to talk with him.
Nevertheless, it seems that two threads emerge from the parts of The Hunt for Zero Point that Morgan told me to look at more closely:
1. ‘The Philadelphia Experiment’ is a diversion that worked its magic several times with Nick;
2. The point of the TPX fabrication was to divert attention from Townsend Brown’s place at the center of deeply secret scientific (and/or military) research – what I am now calling his role as “The Oppenheimer of the Black World.”
Simmering in The Quantum Void
Back on The Hunt… page 272, Cook’s conversation with Marckus turns to ‘zero point energy’ and an earlier conversation Cook had had with the renown physicist Hal Puthoff about the amount of energy simmering in the quantum void. Marckus says,
Remember when you… asked me for a no-brainer on the power potential of zero-point energy? I gave you the shoebox analogy, and how much untapped energy there is in it?
Release that energy slowly and you’ve got a safe, clean reactor… Speed up the process and… you’ve got a bomb that’ll make a thermo-nuke look like a child’s firecracker.
Near the end of my correspondence with Morgan, in what reads now like an expression of exasperation, he refers to page 229 of The Hunt for Zero Point.
Cook is returning from Czechoslovakia, where he inspected one of the most notorious sites associated with German secret projects during World War II – Die Glocke (The Bell) – when he gets Marckus on the phone.
“I know what they were trying to do,” Marckus tells Cook. “They were trying to generate a torsion field.”
Cook asks, “What is a torsion field? What does it do?
Marckus answers: “If you generate a torsion field of sufficient magnitude the theory says you can bend the four dimensions of space around the generator. The more torsion you generate, the more space you perturb. When you bend space, you also bend time.”
Cook says nothing. Marckus finishes the thought:
“They were building a fucking time machine.”
If a word of this is credible, then:
On the one hand, lurking somewhere in the quantum void, we’ve got a “bomb that’ll make a thermonuke look like a child’s firecracker.”
On the other hand, we’ve got “a fucking time machine.”
And the source for both of these assessments is a “blended” character named Dr. Dan Marckus.
‘Blended’ characters seem to go with this territory.
Now the question is: just how “blended” are Marckus and Morgan?
Because in April 2005, when he referred me to page 229, this is how Morgan put it:
You are missing the operative point here. Or do I have to say it the way I said it to Cook? I It’s a fucking time machine.
“The way I said it to Cook”?
The way ‘Morgan’ said it to Cook?
So who the hell is ‘Marckus’ – and who the hell is Morgan’?
Is it possible that Nick Cook and I were getting input from the same “blended” source?
I know little of Marckus, other than Nick Cook’s description of him as “an eminent scientist attached to the physics department of one of Britain’s best-known universities.” And in the course of our conversation Nick said that whoever Marckus is, he is still among the living so his actual identity will remain… “blurred.” I’m fine with that.
As for Morgan, well, he seems to benefit (suffer?) from his own kind of blending.
The person I code-named ‘Morgan’ was first introduced to me in Linda Browb’s journals as a very real consort during her late adolescence and early adulthood.
But once I started corresponding with him directly, ‘Morgan’ morphed into somebody deeply placed within America’s national security and intelligence apparatus, as well as one of the few people with extensive first hand knowledge of Townsend Brown’s secret lives.
I am not now certain that these two ‘Morgans’ are/were the same person/source.
There is a ‘Morgan’ who Linda went to high school with.
And there is another ‘Morgan’ who is “a character in a book.”
Like a fresh water river pouring into a salt water sea, I am not sure where where one ends and the other begins.
When I presented this quandary to Nick, he thought we could resolve it pretty quickly. After asking if I knew the nationality of the source who had said “…do I have to say it the way I said it to Cook? It’s a fucking time machine,” Nick said,
If he was American, he didn’t say it to me. Because the somebody who said that to me was British.
Oh. OK, That solves…. absolutely nothing.
Are we going on accents here? British English -v- American English? That seems like a reasonable distinction – except for one minor detail.
Nick said that he actually met with and spoke to Marckus several times during the course of his reporting.
But all of my contact with Morgan was via postal mail and email. I never actually spoke to the guy. So how do I know if he would have sounded American or British?
You Know Something Is Happening Here…
… but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?
Even the most jaded skeptic has to admit, at some point, that things happen in this world that cannot be explained.
Maybe all the “Unexplained Aerial Phenomena” (once ‘UFOs,’ now ‘UAPs) are just swamp gas or weather balloons.
Or maybe they aren’t. Not all of them, anyway.
I’m really just one degree separated from the most jaded skeptic. I suspect something explains some things, but I don’t have a clue what that explanation is so I amuse myself elsewhere.
Or, rather, I did until I was tasked with writing this book.
If there is truth to any of this speculation – that Townsend Brown was the ‘connective tissue’ between a lot of unexplained phenomena, secret projects and diversionary schemes – then it is equally plausible that the forces behind those mysteries have some plan for their eventual reveal.
In which case, this is precisely how it would work: through ‘blended’ characters with inside knowledge slowly metering that knowledge out as mankind demonstrates its worthiness – and withholding the rest until he/she does.
Maybe my ‘Morgan’ was Cook’s ‘Marckus.’
Or maybe Morgan is not Marckus
Maybe Morgan isn’t even Morgan.
Maybe not a word I’ve written is true.
On the other hand… if there are things deeply hidden behind the veil of human understanding, and the Supreme Intelligence of the Universe wants to communicate that knowledge with us…
…if that intelligence harbors a desire to slowly reveal its existence…
…then this is exactly how that would go.
1 and a related character who appears as “O’Riley” in the book