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"Oh magus, you have begun thy journey. Your master's temple has fallen but his work is not yet finished…" - Orrin Oscar Lutwidge
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Lester Leland "Lex" Harlan is the seedy editor of Visionary Wonder Stories, the publication that printed the "Utropolis" series by Rod Killian Quain (an alias of Orrin Oscar Lutwidge). He does not believe in Utropolis, Rapture, or any paranormal theories. However, he is willing to make a quick buck by printing items that are designed to attract attention in the paranormal community.
Harlan first met Quain in the summer of 1960. Quain had broken into the New York offices of Visionary Wonder Stories in order to meet Harlan and get his manuscript about Rapture published. Harlan heavily edited this manuscript before publishing it, enraging Quain to the point that he tried to assault him. This led to Quain's arrest and admission to Tollevue Hospital.
Lex's edited versions of Quain's manuscript became widely popular with the paranormal community after they were published, leading to wild speculations about the identity of the author, R. Q. Quain. Lex encouraged this publicity by attending various UFO conferences. Phil Isidore of NUFOS interviewed Harlan about the stories at the Giant Boulder Saucer Convention in California in August 1968, asking many questions about Rod Killian Quain.
Harlan regards Mark Meltzer as another "nutjob", and wants nothing more to do with him.
Interview at the Giant Boulder Saucer Con. Edit
Part 1 - Day 69Edit
"Did I ever believe in Utropolis? (He chuckles) Come on Phil, if I can call you Phil. That’s a sucker question. Now I know this scene is chock full of suckers. But you, you’re a little sharper than the average cat. So, let me put it this way. I come onto these UFO conventions and I swear I never breathe a word that ain’t the whole damn truth. But that doesn’t mean I’m some kinda true believer. Like I always say, Killian Quain came to me with those nutty stories. He’s the one who swore up and down it was all true. Me? I just know a good yarn when I hear it. A secret city at the bottom of the sea; I’m hooked baby. But all I ever did was sell it."
Part 3 - Day 72Edit
"Phil, kid, settle down. You got it all twisted. See this Rod Killian Quain character, or whatever he called himself, no doubt he was psycho-schizo, madder than a hatter. But maybe, just maybe, he was crazy like a fox. ‘Cause I know a P.R. stunt when I smell one. So, I figure somebody wants to get this story in the mix. Might as well be me making' a dime off it. Obviously, it was mostly phooey, just like any of this paranormal, flying saucer, Atlantis garbage. That’s what disinformation’s all about; there some kind of kernel of truth to the story, you just surround it with so much preposterous horse-pucky that nobody but a total nut would ever bother digging for it."
Part 4 - Day 143Edit
"The classified ads in the back of the magazine? They were part of the deal with Quain -- er, Lutwidge... whoever he was. He was actively recruiting any nut who thought the Utropolis stories might be real. God only knows why. The only problem was when Quain disappeared, and by that I mean when he finally got thrown in the loony hatch where he belonged. Suddenly I'm getting calls from every conspiracy nutjob on the damn planet; and they all think I've got a lead on him. The pawns, they call themselves: Blue pawns, Yellow Pawns, Grey pawns. Hell, one of these screwballs swore up and down that he was Lee Wilson Seward, if you can believe that!"
Part 5 - Day 74Edit
"What happened to Killian Quain? What do you think happens to a cat like that? He got himself locked up in the loony bin. But don’t get any wise ideas about looking for him. That type of guy, they tend to throw anyway the key. Quain got an eyeful of how I rewrote the first Utropolis story. Not that I had much choice. For every three paragraphs that make some kinda sense there were three pages of pure gibberish. Well, he took exception to my edits. To the point of yanking my arm out of the damn socket. With any luck, they’re gonna keep that lunatic locked up until he’s dead, dead, dead."
"Hey, this is Lex Harlan. You keep calling. I dunno where you got this number but why don't you lose it. And as far as Killian Quain goes, check into Tollevue Mental Hospital. That's the last place I saw him. Oh, and tell you what, brother: Sounds like maybe you belong there yourself."