MUP Nation: our contest entries are waiting for your vote! There were just two entries for this contest, so please cast your ballot for one of these 1050s history segment ideas. The one that gets the most votes will be turned into a history segment for the show, and the winner will get a physical copy of Atomic Age Cthulhu in the mail. Due to a mail carrier vanishing on his way here to the MUP Administration Office, a third entry was lost in transit. Therefore, we have reset the poll and extended it until the 21st. We apologize for the need to wipe prior votes, but we felt it only fair that an entry submitted before the deadline should be in the running. Please read the entries and then submit your favorite at the bottom of this post. Voting will be open until June 21st!
Entry 1: The Fall of Holy City, California
Dateline — May, 1959 Most of the famous, some say infamous, Holy City located in the Santa Cruz mountains in Northern California has burned down in a series of mysterious fires. The fate of Holy City had been the subject of a complicated real estate transaction and lawsuit that was apparently not going in the founder, William E Riker’s, favor. The Santa Clara County arson inspector cannot seem to find a cause of the fire. The odd Holy City (pop. 300), was a staple on the old Santa Cruz Highway from the 1930s to the 1950s. Motorists were greeted with neon signs and billboards with sayings such as, “Holy City answers all questions and solves all problems!” “See us if you are contemplating marriage, suicide or crime!” as well as describing Holy City as “headquarters for the world’s most perfect government.” In addition to the neon signs, 9 20-foot tall Santa Claus sculptures invited motorists to stop by the restaurant, have a look at the heavens through the observatory’s telescope and bring home some fresh Santa Cruz Holy Spring Water (which the gas station would also fill up your radiator with upon request). Holy City was also the home of the short-lived KFQU radio which had its licensed revoked in 1931 due to ‘irregularities’. Somehow only the ramshackle post office and the house belonging to Riker also known as ‘The Comforter’ or ‘The Father’, were spared. Riker’s white and dark green trimmed, two story home is reputed to hold his private collection of Holy City relics, which few have ever seen. A curious ring of redwood trees on the outskirts of the town also managed to escape the fire. The fire seemed to burn fiercely until it suddenly stopped when it ran into the perimeter of a wall that was built around them. Riker, the founder of “The Perfect Christian Divine Way”, has had a colorful past. Part-time professor, self-proclaimed medium and palm reader, his belief system emphasized white supremacy, segregation, abstinence and a separation of sexes. Apparently, Riker himself was not a partaker as he was wanted in San Francisco on bigamy charges which caused him to flee to Canada for a period in the late 1930s, leaving his two wives. He was also charged with sedition in 1942 after government officials discovered he had been corresponding with Adolf Hitler. His illustrious attorney, Melvin Belli, was able to have him acquitted on these charges by persistently referring to him as a ‘crackpot’. In its heyday, Holy City’s tourist trade was an estimated $100,000 a year business but steeply declined in 1940 when Highway 17 was opened and the Holy City was bypassed. The population of Holy City had already started to decline over the last decade and surely the fire will bring about the end of the commune. What caused the mysterious fire? What significance does the ring of redwood trees hold at Holy City? Why were they spared and why were they walled in? Why do a group of nuns come by every month to pray at this wall? Does Riker have ambitions to rebuild his fallen empire? What of Riker’s ‘secret’ Holy Relics? Riker is still reported to be living in his 2-story house with his wife, but reporters and the curious are met by the snarls of three overly large German Shepherds — and no answers.
Entry 2: The Sutter Family UFO Attack
On August 21, 1955, the police headquarters in the sleepy town of Hopkinsville, KY was enjoying a warm, quiet fall evening. However, the tranquility would be shattered just after 11 p.m., as Elmer Sutter, family friend Billy Ray Taylor, and various other members of the Sutter family arrived at the headquarters terrified. According to them, they had been besieged by strange creatures that could not be killed. The evening for the Sutter family and friend Taylor had started with a nice family dinner. Around 7 p.m., Taylor went out to fetch some water to drink. As he did, he reportedly saw something bright streak across the sky and land in a valley near the house. Excitedly, he reported what he saw to the rest of the family, who dismissed it as a shooting star. Soon, however, the family would change their tune. Less than an hour later, the family heard the Sutter’s dog barking at something; Elmer and Taylor went to investigate. The pair later claimed they saw a small, luminous, silver creature about 3-and-a-half feet tall emerge from the woods. It had an oversized head, big, floppy ears, eyes that glowed, and clawed hands. Both men immediately rushed back into the house, grabbed their guns, and shot at the creature. It fled into the woods and the men were satisfied that it was gone. However, a few minutes later, a similar creature peered into the one of the house windows. Both men fired at it and, sure it had been hit, went outside to look for a body. As Taylor exited the door, members of the family claim they saw a taloned hand reach down and touch his head. Pulling him inside, the family huddled together as the creature, or creatures, peered in the doorway or windows, only to be shot at and disappear. This continued for hours until around 11 p.m., when the family decided to make a break for the police station. After telling their story, twenty police officers went back to the Sutton farm, but no evidence of the creatures could be found. The police left around 2 a.m., but the family’s night of terror was not over. Shortly after the police left, they started to besiege the house again, not stopping until just before dawn. What attacked the Sutton’s house on that warm August evening? Was it a monkey painted silver, as an Air Force investigator would later claim? Was it horned owls, as investigators would “debunk” the sightings as? Or was it really creatures from another world? And what about the strange lights and noises the Sutter neighbors claimed to hear that night? What of the unusual meteor-like objects a state highway trooper reported seeing around 11 p.m. that night? Or the patch of glowing green material that was found by police in a spot one of the creatures was shot at?
Entry 3: The Dyatlov Pass Incident
In February of 1959, a group of experienced Russian skiers and seasoned explorers set out on a difficult expedition to reach a peak in the Ural Mountains. When they failed to report in as planned via telegraph, a search party was sent out to find them. After nearly a week of searching, the search party found the first remains of the expedition: a single tent, apparently torn open from the inside, as well as footprints in the snow – some of which were barefoot – leading down the mountain. Further searching lead to the discovery of several bodies, shoeless and partially clothed. Other bodies were found nearby. Weeks later, as the snows melted, the corpses of the remainder of the expedition were found further from the first. Close examination indicated that three of these bodies had fatal injuries, including skull damage and chest fractures, all caused by exceptional force. But what was most interesting was that there were no external wounds – as if, according to one searcher, the victims had been hit with some kind of high-pressure shock wave. Most shocking of all, however, was the fourth corpse: the young lady was found without her tongue, despite being buried in several meters of snow. Other hikers in the area reported seeing luminous orange spheres in the night sky around the time of the incident. Adding to speculation that the skiers were victims of some kind of technological mishap, forensic testing discovered that high levels of radiation were present in the clothing of some of the victims. While various theories have been surfaced about the incident, from an avalanche to simply hypothermia to an attack by indigenous Mansi peoples, none of these were ever substantiated. The official verdict from the Soviet authorities was that the skiers had died of a “compelling natural force” with no further explanation and no guilty party indicated.]]>