Address to the Board of Naval Research
Dr. [Name Withheld.]
Recovered From the Transcription by Mrs. [Name withheld.]
Investigator’s Note: This is the last of the documents salvaged from the Institute. By the time we had made it to the stenographer’s office, she had had advance warning and was attempting to burn all of her papers. We did not arrive in time to save the majority. This was one of the least damaged of the documents, although many sections are still unintelligible due to the fire, and more still are lost to us completely. These sections are marked below. As best as we can tell, this is the only record yet found of what was discovered. We continue to look for the audio logs mentioned in this speech. Recommend further inquiry.
The masks float at the bottom of the world. Suspended a few meters above the ocean floor, they hang in place, and do not appear to move unless disturbed by an outside force. They are still, too still for objects floating underwater. They hang unmoved by any current.
As men of science, we of course know that this is impossible. However, I simply state what the empirical evidence shows us.
[…] thus it was impossible to […] beginning.
The beginning […]
After this extended period of observation from a considerable distance, we sent one of our most experienced divers to investigate further. Mr. Alec Yvain, of whose unfortunate current state you have all already been made aware, undertook the mission in our new single-pilot submersible.
Mr. Yvain confirmed from up close what we had found from a distance: there are many masks in the cluster, of varying shapes. Many do not appear to be human. Color we cannot be sure of due to the poor light; the most we can say for now is that the masks are all quite pale.
The eyes of the masks are […] similarly hollow, but distinct from the water surrounding […]
The only time our team observed any movement from the masks came when our submersible approached within two meters of one of them. Once this threshold was crossed, every mask in the cluster turned and faced our submersible.
We lost communication with Mr. Yvain for forty seconds. When we regained our connection, the masks had turned away from the submersible and Mr. Yvain was incoherent. Very quickly it became apparent that he was severely distressed, presumably caused by what ever occurred in the lost forty seconds. You will find that the only intelligible words on the audio logs after this point from Mr. Yvain are “the impostor.”
Only with forceful coaching did our team manage to convince Mr. Yvain to come away from the masks and rejoin us. He piloted erratically, causing many to fear that a rescue effort may be necessitated, but the great advantage of our submersible, as you have already been made aware in the earlier presentation, is that it is surprisingly simple to pilot back up.
[…] certainly vital in the case of Mr. Yvain, as his level of instability was made quite clear to our team as soon as we saw him out of the submersible. Some of our more sensitive members nearly fainted from the sight of him, as his face was greatly disfigured […] all apparently caused by Mr. Yvain himself. This supposition was quickly proven to be correct as he continued to scratch himself, aiming almost exclusively for his eyes. He was of course immediately taken to the infirmary.
We continue to observe and report all findings on the masks. Due to the upsetting experience with Mr. Yvain, our crew does not enjoy watching the masks; many, especially the religious among us, describe it as deeply unnerving. There is some superstitious talk that the masks are […]
They cannot be, as rumors would have it, […] remnants […]
[…] best forgotten.
As men of science, we know this to be ridiculous. I recommend enforcing a strict ban on this kind of irrational talk within the Institute.
I also strongly recommend that a new expedition be launched immediately to explore and catalog this fascinating discovery. What my team has uncovered could lead to some of the greatest scientific finds of the century. I request that my team and I head up this new expedition, but with a greater array of technological and financial support. This funding will […]