"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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Phil Isidore was a leading member of the National UFO Society (N.U.F.O.S.). He was easily excitable about paranormal occurrences and helped Mark Meltzer dig up info about paranormal subjects pertaining to Rapture, Big Sister, and the Vanishing during the course of There's Something in the Sea. Phil possessed a wealth of contacts (most of which being real life fans), and they proved to be great help to Mark. While Meltzer began by seeing Phil as just another kook, Isidore had recently become one of Mark's few real, trustworthy friends.
Contact with Mark Meltzer Edit
Phil Isidore first began contacting Mark sometime during the events of Phase One of "There's Something in the Sea." He, and his large network of N.U.F.O.S. contacts, had been corresponding with Mark to quickly give him vital information about the disappearance of little girls along the Atlantic coast. Mark often undervalued the info that Phil sent him. He saw Phil's obsession with UFOs as a liability that would cause onlookers to think that his own investigations, into the "aquatic anomaly" of the red lights, were just as bogus. However, Phil was often the most sympathetic of Mark's contacts. He was the first to call Mark after his daughter Cindy was taken and Mark had his leg broken by a Big Sister. Mark seemed to like Phil because of his innocent attitude and unwavering support, but he was also exasperated whenever Phil brought up UFOs in relation to his research, such as during Phil's interview with "The Mid-Nite Ryde" radio talk show in early June.
Phil continued to correspond with Mark and forwarded Mark's address to all of his contacts, resulting in many of the letters which were sent to Mark during the course of Phase Two. Phil sent Mark an excerpt of the "Utropolis" story by R. Q. Quain in late May 1968, but Mark ignored it, assuming it was totally unrelated to his investigation. In August 1968 Phil was attending the "Giant Boulder Saucer Convention" in California when Mark requested that his contacts visit the August 8th beach locations, so Phil promised to visit the California beach at the time specified. While Phil was at the convention he also got a chance to interview the editor of Visionary Wonder Stories, Lex Harlan, who had published Rod Killian Quain's "Utropolis" story. Phil sent Mark the tapes of these interviews, but once again Mark ignored them. Mark only began to show real interest in the Phil's information after he discovered that "Rod Killian Quain" was in fact a pseudonym of Orrin Oscar Lutwidge. Soon after that, Mark pretended to have a breakdown in the middle of a phone call with Phil as a ploy to convince Benny Stango to take him to Tollevue Hospital. Phil called back after this, worried by the commotion he had overheard, but he did not seem to hold any hard feelings when Mark told him it was just an act.
In late October Phil became Mark's only remaining reliable contact after Celeste Roget disappeared, Jeremiah Lynch was revealed to be the "Red Pawn," and Roscoe Inman was put under pressure by an internal investigation. However, during this time Phil managed to bring Mark out of his depression a little, reminding him that he was investigating not just to find Cindy, but all the little girls who had been taken.
As the next stage of Mark's investigation began, Phil proved to be surprisingly useful once again. He got Mark in contact with Casey Ferrence on the Nellie Bly in Baltimore Maryland and set him up with a shortwave radio, thereby preparing him for the next step of his journey to find his daughter overseas. Phil continued to use his network of contacts to help Mark solve the levels of the Metal Box Puzzle. When Mark left behind his copy of The Frozen Triangle Phil photocopied pages with vital information and had his contacts post them in public places in coastal cities where Mark might see them. Phil also kept close watch over Mark's P.O. Box in New York to forward any mail to ports where Mark would be stopping along his journey. When Jeremiah Lynch sent out postcards to Phil's contacts with the coordinates of the lost "Skytrain" Phil forwarded this to Mark.
Phone Messages Edit
"Mark, this is Phil Isidore of N.U.F.O.S.: National UFO Society. We've been trading research with you regarding marine sightings and phenomenon... well-well, frankly, we're getting kind of concerned! Nobody's heard back from you in a few weeks... hopefully you've been receiving the material. Uh, let me just double-check your address... I have it here as 'Mark Meltzer, P.O. Box 4668, #32890, New York, New York; Zip Code 10163'. We all hope you're okay, Mark. Be in touch?"
"Meltzer, Phil Isidore here from the National UFO Society? I wanted to get back to you right away, and no, no, I’m not aware of any of any languages or codes associated with any aquatic or aerial sighting. Of course, I’m not really sure why you’re asking. Oh but, I just got back from a big conference and I’ve got some exciting new information to share with you! I’ve heard about this story before but, well, until I read it myself, I didn’t realize just how much it could tie in with all the phenomena we’ve been discussing. I’ve mailed it to your P.O. Box and when you get it, well, you know, just kind of ignore the source, all right? Sometimes with this material people have to reveal the information anyway they can. So... take a look; we’ll chat soon."
"Mark, you asked about the “Vanishing” the other day. OK, what I think you’re referring to is, right after World War II there was this wave of disappearances all over America -- I mean all over Europe, heck, all over the world! We’re talking some pretty prominent individuals -- doctors, scientists, up and coming artists, successful businessmen. At the time it all got suspiciously ignored by the newspapers. But the weird thing is- we’re talking 1946-1947 -- and you know what else is going on? Bingo! All the breakthrough sightings: Mount Rainier, Maury Island, Roswell. Coincidence? I think not! Anyway, some hippie magazine did a cover story on the “Vanishing” this month. Check it out!"
"Mark, this is Phil Isidore of N.U.F.O.S. I'm calling you long-distance from California, and yes, absolutely I will try to check out that beach location next weekend like you asked. But I am in the desert now at the Annual Giant Boulder Saucer Convention, and the really exciting thing is Lex Harlan is here! You know, he was the editor of Visionary Wonder magazine with all those great Utropolis stories. Well, we should really talk about them; they have some fascinating parallels to your aquatic anomaly research. Anyway, I am interviewing Lex for the newsletter; call me back if there's anything I should ask him. Well, that's it. Thanks, Mark! Bye."
"Yeah, uh Mark, I guess you didn't actually read the stuff I sent earlier, because then you'd know it gets revealed in the last chapter of the story that Utropolis is on the bottom of the ocean! That's why I keep thinking it might be related. And the city had all this advanced technology th-that might explain some of the things we've -- argh... Oh, what's the use? I don't know if you've had a chance to listen to the interview with Lex Harlan that I sent you -- what he had to say, it got me rethinking a lot of things. I don't know Mark, maybe all this has been a big waste of time..."
"Mark? This is Phil Isidore? Gosh Mark, I'm not really sure what really happened the other night. You were just -- you were really excited about something. You were practically screaming! And there was stuff breaking and then it sounded like the Police came in and the call -- it, it, it just, it just went dead! Gee, Mark, I really hope you're okay. Give me a call if you can."
"Mark, hi. It's Phil Isidore. I got your note today and gosh -- I-I wish I knew what to say -- about your daughter and everything... I-I guess there's not much anybody can say. Um, I got a call from Ester George the other day; you remember her, the mom from Atlantic City? The tabloids made her look like a real wacko: "Aliens took my baby"... well, she was asking about you, she -- she said you used to call her every once in awhile -- just to check in, when everybody else had forgotten about her; all the papers, all the researchers, the cops, even me -- You were the only one who really gave a damn. Mark, I don't know how much I can help, but I do know you've got to keep searching. Not just for Cindy, but for all those little girls. Good luck, Mark."
"Geez, Mark, I've been trying you on the radio and then... I heard what happened to the Nellie Bly, I just, I can't believe it! I just hope it's not true! It is, isn't it? You couldn't win. I'll be thinking of you Mark, of you and Cindy. I'm not going to forget Mark, I'm not going to let any of this go to waste! I still believe. I'm going to carry on this fight! The truth will out, do you hear me? The truth will out. Goodbye, Mark."
Enclosed, you'll find the story I mentioned - part of what we refer to
in ufological circles as "the Quain Question."
Quain was a "sci-fi" author who showed up out of nowhere with an elabo-
rate, wholly formed mythology involving submerged cities, robotic war-
riors and more - wild stuff!
- I am surrounded by lunatics...-> Con artist?
But the editor of Visionary Wonder Stories, Lex Harlan, always implied
there was something "more" to it. Recently Lex Harlan showed up at a
few UFO conferences and claimed that Quain's stories weren't stories at
all. Supposedly they were factual reports of "channeled visions" - or,
perhaps, recovered memories! Lex didn't know quite what to believe -
but he knew a good yarn when he found one. So he re-shaped the material
into some, frankly, pretty nail-biting fiction!
Quain himself is a total mystery - he came out of seemingly nowhere and
vanished just as utterly! There are rumors that he went "spectacularly
mad", but no one seems to know where he ended up.
- Imagine that...
Regardless... I'm sure you'll notice some peculiar parallels to the phe-
nomena we've encountered!
- If I could stomach reading it, maybe...
- Phil -
I am excited to hear that the investigation is back on track!
As I mentioned, I don't know how much I can help right now—the group
has broken apart a bit in the recent months, partly because I am so busy
with my new job. I wish I could help more, besides just offering my
continued encouragement & enthusiasm.
Which reminds me: In your last note you mentioned "sailing blind" to
seek out Utropolis alias "Rapture." I was not clear if you were joking
- Not that I'd have the CASH to do it!
Well, I just wanted to mention that I have extensive contacts in the
world of maritime shipping / fishing vessels / etc. (A consequence of
living in Baltimore!)
If you ever decide to go this route, I can probably give you some
- TAKE NOTE!
I am sorry to hear about your money problems and everything that has
happened with Jeremiah Lynch and everything. (Has anyone heard from
Celeste?) It must be depressing to know that you have relied on someone
like that only to have them betray you.
I know I haven't been the most reliable friend of late. But that will
Don't give up, Mark!
- Phil -
(On November 16 fans who had sent mail to Mark began receiving letters from Phil Isidore with a page from The Frozen Triangle.)
- National Unidentified Flying Object Society
I'm writing on behalf of Mark Meltzer. I know you're one of the many
correspondents who have tried to help him investigate aquatic anomalies
in our coastal waters.
As you may know, Mark's daughter was kidnapped as part of a string of
abductions associated with strange creatures. He is headed out to sea
to pursue his investigations. And we need to help him!
To continue his quest, he desperately needs the enclosed pages from a
book called THE FROZEN TRIANGLE.
Mark is traveling on a cargo freighter that will be making stops some-
where along the eastern seaboard. But I don't know exactly where
If you live near a coastal area, maybe you can post this in a public
place where Mark might be able to find it? (But please don't do any-
thing ILLEGAL! Ask permission, if you have to!) And PASS IT ON! It's
vital we get this to Mark ASAP!
Let me know where you posted it (Maybe you can even send a photo so I
can tell Mark where to look?)
I will be in New York to check Mark's P.O. Box. So send your stuff to:
- Mark G. Meltzer
- P.O. Box 4668 #32890
- New York, N.Y. 10163
Thanks for pitching in! And keep watching the seas!
Radio Transmissions Edit
"This is Zebra-Niner-Zebra-Uncle-Foxtrot-Oscar, to One-Baker-Charley-Mike-One-Mike. Meltzer, do you read? Meltzer, we've just gotta do something about that microphone before you leave dock, I can't hear you at all! You should be all set for transmission. I've mailed QSL cards out to all my international contacts; they'll be able to relay information if I can't get through. I'll meet you at the dock to help you load out the rest of your stuff. Good luck Mark! This is really exciting! Um, Zebra-Niner-Zebra-Uncle-Foxtrot-Oscar, over and out!"
"One-Baker-Charlie-Mike-One-Mike, this is Phil Isidore. Mark, I found your copy of the Frozen Triangle, and I know you're docking someplace in the southeast, but you didn't say where. I'm not even sure what state you're stopping at. So, what I'm going to do is photocopy the pages you need and send them to some of my contacts near the southeastern seaboard. Hopefully, somebody will be able to post it somewhere you'll see it. I hope it all works out Mark. This is Zebra-Niner-Zebra-Uncle-Foxtrot-Oscar, over and out."
"Zebra-Niner-Zebra-Uncle-Foxtrot-Oscar to Meltzer. Come in Meltzer. Mark, I hope you made it through that storm okay. I've been trying to get you more information on that Skytrain flight out of Greenland. No luck, until the weirdest thing. A whole bunch of people on our N.U.F.O.S. mailing list got this mysterious postcard. I think it might answer your question. I'm forwarding it to you at your next stop. Tell me what you make of it. This is Phil Isidore, over and out."
"One-Charlie-Baker-Mike-One-Mike, come in! Mark!? I haven't heard from you in days! Jeez, I'm dying to tell you... I've been in touch with the experts on ghost legends, like you asked. There's some pretty wild stories from the sailors out in Iceland. I'll fill you in, but, hey, can you even hear me? Are you still alive out there? What's going on? Mark Meltzer, please respond!"