I Remember Lemuria And The Return Of Sathanas I Remember Lemuria And The Return Of Sathanas

I Remember Lemuria And The Return Of Sathanas

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Publisher Description

I Remember Lemuria And The Return Of Sathanas

by Richard S. Shaver

"Richard S. Shaver (b. 1907, d. 1975), discouraged art student and sometime leftist fellow-traveler, was a welder in the early 1930s in a noisy Ford factory in Wisconsin. He later claimed that this was where he first started hearing the voices--voices warning him of vast caves under the earth, where lurk the dero: prehistoric, devolved cannibals who prey on our minds with ancient super-science. Also in the mix: lost continents, hollow planets, starships the size of a moon, titanic god-like races of beings, and ... sexy aliens. A heady combination of pre-fabricated sci-fi memes, which would later become part of the strange loop connecting UFOs, pop culture, fan-boy obsessions, the occult, and conspiracy theories. It all started with one magazine: Amazing Stories, and its editor, Ray Palmer.

In 1944, Shaver wrote a story which was the genesis of I Remember Lemuria. This was later reworked by Palmer into the first story in this book. It was published in the March 1945 issue of Amazing (as I Remember Lemuria!). It was carefully triangulated by Palmer as both fiction and 'non-fiction,' and letters poured in from people who had seen or been abducted by 'deros'. There were over twenty sequels set in the Shaver universe, published between 1945 and 1948. The Return of Sathanas, the second novella in this book, appeared originally in November 1946 (with Satan as one part Ming the Merciless, one part interstellar procurer). The book edition, titled I Remember Lemuria (dropping the !) was published in a now very rare edition in 1948, not to reappear in print until Adventures Unlimited reprinted it in 1999.

Some fans were appalled at the exploitation of Shaver's tall tale, a drama which was played out in the letters page of Amazing. Finally in December 1948, Palmer was pressured by management; Shaver was banned from the magazine, and Palmer quit as editor of Amazing Stories in solidarity. Shaver maintained to the last that his story was true. Palmer, however, got a second act: he started Fate magazine. The very first issue broke the Arnold flying saucer story, which started the UFO craze. Shaver moved to Arkansas, continued self-publishing, and started a rock shop. He remained friends with Palmer until they both died in 1975.

Taken at face value, this is a pretty good (but not great) pair of late Golden Age sci-fi stories, albeit with more footnotes than one would expect in the genre. The writing (or editing) is punchy. The plot drives the story, rather than the need for constant exposition, as is too often the case in texts like this. However, the real importance of these texts is historic. The Shaver mythos had a huge tacit influence on 1950s and successive UFO belief systems. For instance, Shavers' 'Nor,' blonde demigods from outer space, suggest the 'Nordic' aliens of UFO lore. The tunnels of the dero became subterranean alien bases. Embedded in this short science fiction story were many of the themes which would later become accepted UFO canon."

About the Author:

"Richard Sharpe Shaver (b. October 8, 1907 Berwick, Pennsylvania, d. 1975 Summit, Arkansas) was an American writer and artist.

He achieved notoriety in the years following World War II as the author of controversial stories which were printed in science fiction magazines, (primarily Amazing Stories), wherein Shaver claimed that he had personal experience with a sinister, ancient civilization that lived in caverns under the earth. The controversy stemmed from the fact that Shaver and his editor/publisher Ray Palmer claimed Shaver's writings, while presented in the guise of fiction, were fundamentally true. Shaver's stories were promoted by Palmer as "The Shaver Mystery".

Very little is reliably known about Shaver's early life. He claimed to have worked at an automobile factory, where, in 1932, odd things began to occur. As Bruce Lanier Wright notes, Shaver "began to notice that one of the welding guns on his job site, 'by some freak of its coil's field atunements,' was allowing him to read the thoughts of the men working around him. More frighteningly, he then picked up the telepathic record of a torture session conducted by malign entities in caverns deep within the earth." (According to Barkun, Shaver offered inconsistent accounts of how he first learned of the hidden cavern world, but that the assembly line story was the "most common version." Shaver said he then quit his job, and became a hobo for a period.

Barkun writes that "Shaver was hospitalized briefly for psychiatric problems in 1934, but there does not appear to have been a clear diagnosis." Barkun notes that afterwards, Shaver's whereabouts and actions cannot be reliably traced until the early 1940s.

In 1943, Shaver wrote a letter to Amazing. He claimed to have uncovered an ancient language he called "Mantong," a sort of Proto-World language which was the source of all Earthly language. In Mantong, each sound had a hidden meaning, and by applying this formula to any word in any language, one could decode a secret meaning to any word, name or phrase. Palmer applied the Mantong formula to several words, and said he realized Shaver was on to something.

Palmer wrote to Shaver, asking how he had learned of Mantong. Shaver responded with a 10,000 word document entitled "A Warning to Future Man."..."

    Sci-Fi & Fantasy
    September 12

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