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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

This article falls within the scope of the BioShock Wiki:Something In the Sea Content Project. This project is dedicated to improving the quality of all content related to the viral website, "There's Something in the Sea." Would you kindly help the BioShock Wiki by volunteering on the project page?

The Monthly Undergrounder is a counter-culture periodical, referred to as a "hippie magazine" in a phone call from Phil Isidore. In June 1968, this magazine ran an article about The Vanishing, titled "The Original Drop-Outs: The Secret History of the Vanishing" by Colin Anton Ressnak. This article mentions several groups and people who researched the Vanishing, including Celeste Roget and the James Millard Oakes League. The article goes into greater depth on Orrin Oscar Lutwidge. It tells of his background, his strange encouragement of the other conspiracy theorists, and his own disappearance after 1958 in search of "true Rapture". The June edition of the Monthly Undergrounder also featured a reader's letter from Flann McDonagh, who dismissed the idea that all of the vanished were "brilliant" in some way, saying instead that the real connection between them was the belief in Andrew Ryan's capitalist philosophies.

In May 1966 the magazine also published an interview with Lee Wilson Seward, entitled "The Grey Ghost of Tangiers." This article mentions that Seward's sister and lover both vanished in 1946.

There's Something in the Sea Edit

Mark Meltzer first discovered this article of the Monthly Undergrounder in June 1968 after receiving a phone call from Phil Isidore that mentioned the article about "The Vanishing". This led Mark to research the possible connections between the Vanishing and the kidnapping of young girls all around the world, including his own daughter Cindy, in 1967. After Mark received the "Rise, Rapture, Rise" album in July, Lutwidge's quote in the article, "true Rapture," made Mark question whether Lutwidge might know the location of the "Rapture" where the vinyl disk had been made. This led to Mark's investigation of Lutwidge. Later, during Phase Three, Mark read the interview with Lee Wilson Seward to find out more information about the "Grey Pawn".

Article Fragment TranscriptsEdit

"The Grey Ghost of Tangiers"Edit

the monthly undergrounder
May 1966


an afternoon with the infamous


Atomic Flesh. The Bourgeois Bomb. The Oblivion Hook. A Harvest of Broken Glass. The titles are
dark poetry. The books are sardonic and cold-blooded, interlacing the fact and fiction in a vicious
indictment of the 20th Century. Lee Wilson Seward's words have made him a major figure in his.
native America, spoken in the same breath as names like Mailer, Miller and Burroughs[1] ... but
Seward hasn't set foot on American soil in over 20 years. One hot afternoon in Morocco, I had the
great good fortune to sit down with the most dangerous man in letters.

MONTHLY UNDERGROUNDER: First thing's first. Why, after all these years, are you still in

SEWARD: Because you're not. You, and people like you.

MU: (laughs) I see you're not worried about bad press.

SEWARD: There's no other kind. I should know, I started as a newspaperman. You're out to get a piece
of me. Something no one else has got. So spit it out. Ask me about Mimi and Elgar.

(Seward is referring to his half-sister, Mimi Tabor and his close friend and purported lover, avant
garde artist Elgar Vankin. Vankin and Tabor disappeared together under mysterious circumstances
in 1946.)

May 1966
the monthly undergrounder

MU: You've been accused of being involved in their disappearance.

SEWARD: Elgar's family likes to make reckless accusations from time to time. But you can't charge
someone for murder without a corpse. In this case, two.

MU: You've denied all involvement in their disappearance.

SEWARD: The sad truth is, I'd like to find out what happened to them as much as anyone. It's my streak
of morbid curiosity.

MU: Mimi and Elgar moved with you here in 1945. What happened?

SEWARD: After the war, we were sick of civilization – all three of us. We made a trip here simply to
get away from things. Pretty soon the vacation became permanent. There was a persistent rumor we had
business to take care of back in New York. I argued against going. The modern city is a disease. It gets
into your blood like a stainless steel virus. I'd finally gotten free of it. But Elgar and Mimi were still
hooked. They went to the City without me – and they fell in with some odd characters. That fraud
Sander Cohen and others of that ilk. Very strange beliefs. When Mimi and Victor returned, they were

MU: Some say there was jealousy. That you and Elgar–

SEWARD: Don't believe every rumor you hear.

MU: What about the rumor that Mimi and Elgar had started an affair?

SEWARD: Worse, much worse. They'd found religion. They were both glitter-eyed. Spouting off some
insane balderdash about how escaping civilization wasn't the answer. That what we'd better do is
rebuild it. That, I believe, is why they disappeared. The fools were looking for Utopia.

MU: You say it like it's a dirty word.

SEWARD: It is a dirty word. Perfecting civilization is like perfecting the gun. We already did it in
Hiroshima. The bomb is just civilization dressed bare. You want to improve this world? Set the bombs
off, all of them. Give something else a fresh start. The cockroaches can only do better.

"The Original Drop-Outs: The Secret History of the Vanishing"Edit

the monthly undergrounder
June 1968

the original

The Secret History of the Vanishing

In the wake of World War II, hundreds - possibly thousands - of
people simply vanished, including some of the world's most uncom-
promising and unappreciated talents in the world of art, science and

Where did they all go?
And why?

I'm sitting in the sun dappled kitchen of a Burbank prefab house on an unseasonably warm
March day. The yells of kids playing kickball echo from the backyard while Mom, in her
green polyester sundress, cuts tuna sandwiches into neat triangular strips. There's only one
thing wrong with this scene's serene suburban squareness:

The List.

Tacked to the walls are seven huge scrolls of butcher paper covered in neat, cramped
handwriting. They're in different colors and festooned with orgies of strange punctuations -
stars, asterisks, hearts and diamonds. And every single one of these tiny entries is the name
of a person who's been missing, presumed dead, for about two decades. As I stare, utterly
transfixed, at the wall, aeronautics engineer Arthur Gene Tuggle offers me the plate of care-
fully de-crusted sandwich fingers that his wife, Anna May, just made.

"How many?" I ask.

"Well," he drawls, "That depends on who you ask. That's why Anna May came up with all the
symbols. We're comparing our list with the other folk's lists. The other researchers," Arthur
explains. "Some say it's just a few dozen that can't be explained. Others estimate it's
hundreds, maybe even thousands."

Thousands? I almost choke on my sandwich finger.

"That seems high to me." Arthur shrugs amiably "We're all just guessing."

the monthly undergrounder
June 1968

Arthur Gene Tuggle and his wife are among a handful of people around the world looking into
a phenomenon they call "The Vanishing." They claim that between 1946 and 1950, there
was a sudden, large spike in unexplained missing persons cases on a global scale. It's hard to
ascertain the exact figures; there's no central clearinghouse for these kinds of cases. The
researchers have to glean their information from myriad different sources, culling details from
local police stations and unreliable estimates. Government officials look askance at their conclu-
sions. Some claim that in the Unites States alone, perhaps a half million people are reported
missing each year. Most of them are eventually "found" - in a jail cell, in a hospital, in a
Haight-Ashbury crash pad[2] or on a slab. But every year, thousands remain undiscovered. Some
may be victims of suicide or murder, the bodies lost in the sea or remote locations. Some are
mentally ill or mentally handicapped. And some simply don't want to be found. Most officials
say "the Vanished" are just mundane missing persons cases - no mystery need apply.

Some believe the
Vanishing wasn't a
conspiracy... but a


But many disagree. They claim that among the list of
missing persons in the 1946 to 1950 range, we find a
large number of highly functional, highly talented people.
The list includes radical artists, unconventional scientists,
restless innovators in business as well as "ordinary"
people who subscribed to iconoclastic notions of freedom
and self-reliance.

Many suspect the Vanished are simply individuals who became disgusted with modern
society and became the original Drop-Outs - heading back to nature or assuming new lives in
more relaxed exotic climes. But that simple answer hasn't numerous researchers from
developing some pretty florid theories that neatly fit the axes they prefer to grind.

For example, some claim the Vanished are victims of a Soviet plot, a calculated wave of
assassinations intended to eliminate a generation of bright young thinkers, thus hobbling
the West's edge in science and culture. Still others - the optimistic types - believe that
the Vanishing wasn't a conspiracy but a movement. They say the Vanished founded a new
utopia far from home where they could share their unique gifts. The more mystically
inclined (like French heiress Celeste Roget) dare to imagine they packed off for Shangri-La.
And then there's the cautionary tale of Orrin Oscar Lutwidge. An eccentric scholar who
consulted with various conspiracy researchers, he himself vanished mysteriously after
vowing to find "true rapture."

(cont'd page 19)

Article about Orrin Oscar LutwidgeEdit

June 1968
the monthly undergrounder

kookier than JFK assassinations theorists, further out than flying saucer buffs, the small
circle of "Vanishing" researchers includes some pretty unusual characters. One of the
oddest was Orrin Oscar Lutwidge.


Orrin Lutwidge was best known as an inventor.
His real passion was building mechanical
puzzles but his fiendishly difficult devices never
caught with toymakers. Instead, he made
a tidy sum developing patented concepts for
manufacturing, including dozens of innovations
for the printing and reproduction industries.
Like a less ambitious Buckminster Fuller,
Lutwidge was a restless polymath, dabbling in
numerous fields. He authored books and
articles for young readers; he allegedly con
sulted with the U.S. government on code-
breaking during World War II; and of course,
he pursued his on eccentric research into
"The Vanishing." Being Lutwidge, he did it in
his own uniquely baffling way.

For most of the "true believers," The Vanishing
is a bit like a psychologist's inkblot test. When
the look into the inexplicable abyss that this missing mass of people left behind, they see
some exotic never-land here on Earth. The paranoid see dark government agents at work.
And right wing nutters, inevitably, see the Commies.

Lutwidge, apparently, saw all these possibilities — and more.

June 1968
the monthly undergrounder

He corresponded with Celeste Roget, providing dozens of links amplifying her post-
Blavatskian notions of Ascended Masters and lost Himalayan cities. He wrote letters to
the James Millard Oakes League, offering behind-the-Iron-Curtain whispers from samizdat
newsletters, hinting at coordinated plans to eliminate the West's best minds. He quietly
forwarded news-clipping about missing individuals to the Tuggles, extending their ever-
growing list.

But Lutwidge never, ever offered up a theory of his own. Instead, he seemed to throw
his full support behind whatever theory his most recent correspondent believed.

Maybe he was being guarded; or maybe he was just being polite. Or possibly it was just
a symptom of the insanity that some claim overtook Lutwidge in his later years. Between
1956 and 1958, Lutwidge's correspondence became increasingly erratic, laced with frag-
ments of poetry, nonsense phrases and references to children's literature. In one of the
last letters he ever wrote, he claimed that no on would hear from hi, again until he
had found "true Rapture."
No one know exactly what he meant. All that's clear is that
shortly after he wrote that cryptic phrase, he disappeared without a trace — leaving
projects half-complete and business arrangements in utter disarray. He had vanished as
utterly as any of The Vanished.

In The BagEdit

June 1968
the monthly undergrounder

Fringe Thinking

I'll admit your piece on The Vanishing ("The
Original Drop-Outs," June '68) was fascinating but
I, for one, can't figure out what the flippin' mystery is.
My uncle vanished during this time period. Now,
everyone always claims that the "best and brightest"
were taken. That sure doesn't describe my Uncle Bill
(unless by the "best and brightest," you mean the
brass fittings he insisted on using in all his
plumbing jobs!) But my sainted uncle does share
something in common with many of the other
"Vanished." He was one of the hundreds who fell
under the spell of fat-cat Andrew Ryan's B.S. phi-
losophy. Ryan was notorious for his screeds against
the Church, the State and anyone who would rob a
man of "the sweat of his brow." It's been clear to me
for a long time that a bunch of these "Ryanist"
buffoons — possibly including Ryan himself —
packed off to parts unknown and put their
"philo$ophy" to the test. My guess? The narcissistic
found out the hard way that self-interest
(i.e., "greed") is a lousy foundation for a society.
Long may they rot!

Flann McDonagh
Brooklyn, NY

Gallery Edit


  1. Norman Mailer, Henry Miller, and William S. Burroughs, all considered to be influential authors in the Beat Generation; Wikipedia
  2. Haight-Ashbury, street intersection in San Francisco known as the center of the "Hippie" movement in the 1960s; Wikipedia

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