Mend and Make Munching Moog – England, 1943
In 1943 Britain and its allies were in a war that they didn’t know they would win; Europe was ablaze and the severe impacts of war time austerity took hold with an ever increasing grip. Rationing, be it for food or clothes presented a major problem for the British government. Documents recently made available through declassification outlines the extent that the government went to alleviate the problem as best they could.
Project M was one of the most extreme. It involved two things, firstly collaboration with experiments being performed on US warships using electro magnetic radiation to test Einstein’s unified field theory, a theory that does not officially exist although rumours abound that after its creation, Einstein realising it would seriously undermine core values of relativity destroyed the theory before his death and secondly to use the tests to conduct experiments combining known elements to make new materials for the periodic table.
The Philadelphia Experiment took place on the warship USS Eldridge around October 28, 1943. Official sources have always denied that the experiment went ahead but stories to this day talk of the warship becoming invisible for a short period of time and a displacement that enabled the warship to appear 200 miles away in an instant. Crew members it was reported were severely affected by the experiments and many upon the reappearance of the warship found themselves on different decks, suffering memory loss or acting out the same situations they did ten seconds earlier.
One sailor, a British engineer Arthur Tend. On active duty that day had gone one step further; the experiment had not unbalanced his mind rather his mind had remained in the place that it had been exposed to, he was straddling two worlds. He walked around interacting with thin air; he talked at length to unseen creatures, more importantly he gained information, lots and lots of information. The only problem was he talked in code.
This attracted the attention of the team behind Project M who wasn’t quite sure what they were dealing with so he was whisked back to the UK on a specially escorted flight directly to Bletchley Park, home of the governments Code and Cipher School for further studies. The first thing they did was give him a pencil and pad asking him to sketch what he saw. The painting you are looking at is an artist’s impression of his primitive sketches and descriptions.
Arthur described a calm peaceful world in perfect harmony with itself, filled with delightful creatures called Moogs. Looking like cloth cats they controlled their world with soft voices and gentle gestures, almost a polar opposite of the world he lived in. At times he would describe great journeys he had under taken, at other times he would stand still and press buttons on what looked like an imaginary book. The code he spoke was not a code at all; it was the language of the Moogs, one of many different languages the code breakers of Bletchley identified.
Over time Carl became less willing to converse in our world and was more inclined to be found wandering the grounds, touching unseen things, having deep conversations and generally becoming more detracted from his surroundings.
Then one morning, he was gone. Arthur had disappeared along with one single item. A towel.
Scribbled on his notepad in letters three inches high was simply ‘Don’t Panic! I know the answer; all I need to understand is the question.’
The research on this piece is still incomplete, we think two more paintings exist which will go to explain further this mysterious creature and the world it inhabits.