Before the Twentieth Century

Much of the history of the Nine Unknown is hidden. One early incident from their history has recently come to light. In the year 1233 the Chinese capital of Pien Liang (later known as Kaifeng) was besieged and conquered by the invading Mongols of Ogadei Khan, the son of Temujin, aka Genghis Khan. The loss of the capital spelled the end of the Chin Empire, which was annexed by the Mongols. The last imperial child at the time was the individual who would later become known as Monsieur Ming. According to Ming he was present in the "Imperial City" when the "Golden Horde" burned it. Pien Liang was never called the "Imperial City," but we must assume that centuries of immortality have partially clouded Ming's memories. Ming's family in Pien Liang, a century later, would produce Chu Yüan-chang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty.

Ming, exiled from China, went to Tibet, where he spent some time studying at the Monastery of the "Third Hand" in Tibet; at the Monastery he learned a variety of skills and abilities. From there he traveled to India, where he encountered a mysterious immortal who brought him to "Aghhhhartha," an underground kingdom. Ming acquired the secret of immortality from "Aghhhhartha," as well as some advanced technology, and then left "Aghhhhartha." He disappears from the pages of history after this, reappearing in the 20th century. (See the 1959 entry, below)

I believe Monsieur Ming was one of the first known agents of the Nine Unknown. I believe that the Monastery of the "Third Hand" was controlled by the Nine Unknown, and that they trained Ming and then sent him to Agartha, the central base of Mr. Am's organisation, as a mole. After Ming got as much as he could from Mr. Am's lamas, including the secret of immortality, he left, perhaps returning to the Nine Unknown or, more likely, setting off on his own, being unwilling to be anyone's agent but his own.

Another of the earliest agents of the Nine Unknown was likely the Old Man of the Mountain, the founder of the Assassins cult. As Dr. Lofficier has pointed out in his excellent “Conspiracy” article, the Assassins were linked with the assass, the Islamic soldier-monk “guardians” or “protectors” of the Holy Land and keepers of much secret occult knowledge; the scholar Arkon Daraul quotes scholars defining the Arabic assasseen with “guardians of the secrets.” The Old Man of the Mountain, Hasan ben Saba, was the leader of the Assassins. Dr. Lofficier links ben Saba with the Templars, the Illuminati, and the modern conspiracy of the Black Coats.

Dr. Lofficier did not, however, address the fate of one of the off-shoots of the Assassins. With the fall of the Templars the conspiracy went underground. But sects of the Assassins continued, especially in the East. In the latter half of the 16th century the Afghan warrior Abdul Dost, later the friend and companion of the legendary Cossack warrior Khlit,  clashed with an Afghan branch of the Assassins and destroyed their mountain stronghold, along with a man claiming to be the “Old Man of the Mountains.” This was not, of course, the Old Man of the Mountains; like the Nine themselves, the “Old Man of the Mountains” was a title that was handed down from individual to individual over time.

The Nine Unknown do not enter into the pages of history again until the 19th century, when, as more Westerners began venturing into Eastern Asia, accounts of the Nine Unknown and of their virtuous enemies begin to come to light.

In 1819 the British explorer Jonathon Wrexham was exploring Central Asia when he discovered evidence of a surviving Greek culture. Wrexham found the corpse of a man he assumed was a Greek and returned to the West with evidence of what he'd found.

In the 1820s the Nine used one of their agents, "Master Janus," to attempt to sway the brilliant, reclusive German nobleman Count Axel Auersburg. Master Janus attempted to use Axel to attack and overthrow the German government, which would spread chaos across Europe and serve the ends of the Nine Unknown. Axel, for his own reasons, resisted Master Janus and eventually committed suicide, in 1828. Master Janus left Europe, and although he is reported to have died in 1870 his final fate is not truly known.

In 1830 a nameless British soldier discovered “apergy,” a “repellant force” which works as an anti-gravity energy. This soldier used apergy to construct a spaceship and travel into space, where he had a variety of strange and marvelous adventures. He wrote a diary of his adventures, and this manuscript was found in the South Pacific. It is interesting to note that the British soldier, a diplomat and old Indian hand, discovered “apergy” while in India. He was not an otherwise brilliant man or a scientist, and the odds of such a man discovering an anti-gravity substance are slim–unless he somehow came into contact with either Mr. Am’s forces or the Nine Unknown. It is my guess that the soldier was given the secret to apergy by the Nine Unknown or their agents, in the hopes that the soldier would travel either to Mars, where he would attract the hostile attention of the native Martians, or to somewhere like Aldebaran, presumably to awaken the primal terror god Hastur, “He Who Must Not Be Named.” The soldier did make it into space, but his adventures were quite different from what the Nine Unknown must have hoped for him.

Sometime during the 1830s one William Savage, an English magistrate in India, followed the urging of his wife Mary and, in order stop the wife of William’s friend Gopal from committing sati, went undercover and joined a group of Thuggees, the notorious “Deceivers” and “Stranglers” who had terrorised the Indian countryside for generations and may have been responsible for over a million murders. Savage became a noted Thug leader, saved Gopal’s wife, and eventually helped  destroy the band. Savage’s account of his experience later fell into the hands of the writer John Masters, who published the account in 1952. This is of note for two reasons. The first is that we shall meet the Thuggees again, and see that, like the Assassins who they so resemble, they are servants of the Nine Unknown and the Old Ones, indicating a probable link between them. The second reason is that William Savage was the maternal grandfather of Colonel Richard Henry Savage, the adoptive father of Clark Savage, Sr, thus making William Savage the maternal great-grandfather of Doc Savage.

In 1849 and in the years following, the infamous pirate Sandokan terrorized the seas of Asia, including the China Sea and the Indian Ocean, as part of his vendetta against the British and Governor James Brooke of Labuan. During one of his trips Sandokan ventured into the dreaded “Black Jungle” on the island of Raymangal in the Ganges delta. There Sandokan and his associates discovered that the Island was the home of one of the central temples of the Thuggee cult, and that inside of the temple Kali herself was supposed (by the Thuggees) to communicate with her Strangler faithful. As far as is known there is no “Kali,” but the presence of the Nine Unknown and their agents is a verified fact, and it is likely that these Thuggees knowingly or unknowingly worked for the Nine Unknown and the creatures of the Plateau of Leng.

The next major event in this “unknown history” of the subcontinent did not involve the Nine Unknown or Mr. Am and his forces. Rather, the event sprang from the forces of history. In the latter half of the 1850s the sepoys (native troops) of India were given new Enfield rifles. The rumor quickly spread that the lubricated cartridges for the Enfields contained a mixture of pigs’ and cows’ lard. The Hindus and Muslims among the sepoys were insulted beyond measure by this rumor, which was later shown to have some factual basis. This grave offense to their religious sensibilities led to a violent uprising, which in turn spread to a country-wide rebellion, the so-called “Indian Mutiny” of 1857-1858.

Three figures of some note took part in this rebellion. The first was Kala Persad. Persad’s history before the rebellion is obscure, and his actions during the Mutiny are unknown. He is significant for two reasons. The first is that he seems to have been one of the first sleeper agents contacted by Mr. Am’s forces and converted to their cause. The second is that he eventually went to England, where he helped the Englishman Mark Poignand gain some fame as a consulting detective. Persad used this opportunity to act on the behalf of Mr. Am’s forces in England. Between the Mutiny and his departure for England, in 1895, Persad was the wise man for his village in the hills below Mahabuleshwar, in central Maharashta state.

The second significant figure who warred on the British was Dhondu Pant, better known as “Nana Sahib.” Sahib, the adopted son of Baji Rao II, the last Maratha peshwa (prince), was one of the leaders of the sepoys, and following their defeat was driven into the hills of Nepal in 1859. He was thought to have died there, but as Jules Verne has shown he survived to hound Colonel Edward Munro, the murderer of his family and friends, in 1865 and 1866. Sahib figures into this account in part because he is Indian and in part because of a vehicle that played a part in his final battle with Munro. Munro, in 1865, toured across India in the “Steam House,” a giant steam engine in the shape of an elephant. Munro’s friend Banks, a Scots engineer, claimed to have built the Steam House, but such a feat of construction was beyond that of even the canniest engineer in the 1860s. It seems clear that Banks was fed information to aid in its construction. My belief is that agents of the Nine Unknown gave him this information, as the sight of a elephant-shaped steam engine trampling across India, blithely piloted by Englishmen, would offend the sensibilities of the native Indians, and perhaps spark another Mutiny. The Nine Unknown partially achieved their goal, for Nana Sahib and Colonel Munro clashed, leading to several deaths.

The third figure, and the most important of the three, was Prince Dakkar, who later gained eternal infamy as “Captain Nemo.” Dakkar’s personal history is sufficiently well known that I see no reason to repeat it here. However, one aspect of his life must be stressed: his association with the Thuggees.

As Dr. Rick Lai has shown in his excellent “The Secret History of Captain Nemo” article, Prince Dakkar was involved with a Thuggee cult. Dr. Lai has also shown that the Thuggees had stolen scientific information from the Nine Unknown, information which Prince Dakkar used along with knowledge provided by the alien Capelleans (of which Dakkar himself was a member) to build his super-submarine, the Nautilus. However, my examination of the relevant documents has led me to a different conclusion than the one Dr. Lai has drawn. I trust he will beg my indulgence and forgive this fusty old scholar for his disagreement.

Prince Dakkar was a leader of a local Thuggee cult, this is true. It is also a fact that the Nautilus was built with technology from the Nine Unknown. However, the intentions of the individuals involved is, I believe, different from Dr. Lai’s construction.

Prince Dakkar’s Thuggees were in the employ of the Nine Unknown. Their goal was to spread chaos and misery, as a way to encourage the worship of the Old Ones and to hasten their arrival on Earth. They conspired to do this by giving the vengeful Prince Dakkar the technology to build his submarine, knowing that Dakkar would sink ships with abandon and spread terror across the surface world.  Dakkar discovered this fact and divorced himself from the Thuggees, killing his former compatriots, and began his war on civilisation with a new crew. Dakkar did not wish to be indebted to the Nine Unknown or the Thuggees, preferring to be an independent agent of vengeance, rather than the tool of hostile alien masters.

At some point before or during the early 1860s the infamous arch-villain Fu Manchu entered the Tibetan monastery of Rache Churan (otherwise known as the "Lama College" and "the Monastery of Fear") along with with several of his operatives. The monastery, for those unfamiliar iwth the more obscure facts of the unknown history of the world, the monastery is devoted solely In the monastery they learned several secrets, including that of "animal magnetism." While it is theoretically possible that Fu Manchu could have fooled Mr. Am's lamas into teaching him this ability, it seems far more likely that the agents of the Nine Unknown, seeing what Fu Manchu was capable of, happily taught him how to mesmerize a human against their will and then sent him out into the world to do harm and spread chaos and misery. The monastery of Rache Churan, after all, also taught the Cantonese mandarin Ki-Ming, and the British agent Nayland Smith relayed a story of his use of animal magnetism for murder. I believe that the "Lama College" of Rache Churan was a Nine Unknown operation. It is also at least possible that Fu Manchu may have learned elements of the Nine's advanced science while at Rache Churan as well as elements of their immortality formula.

In 1865 the notorious French rogue Rocambole escaped from the prison at Toulon. He did not continue his murderous ways, however, but instead underwent a conversion from evil to good, and began fighting for humanity rather than preying on it. As part of his quest to become a force for good, he journeyed to the East and visited India and Tibet. What happened there, in 1865 and 1866, is not known in detail, but the broad outlines are clear. Rocambole visited at least one temple or lamasery run by agents of Mr. Am’s lamas. They spoke with Rocambole and saw that his conversion was genuine and that he now wanted to help people. Encouraged by this, they taught him certain skills, physical and mental. Rocambole became the first Westerner to travel to the East and be taught by Mr. Am’s lamas. (Rocambole was far from the last Westerner to do this, however, as we shall see) Rocambole, for his part, used these skills to help people, but when the opportunity presented itself he was not above warring on the agents of the Nine Unknown, as seen in his destruction of a group of Kali-worshiping Thugs.

Over the next decade India, Nepal, and Tibet saw no major clashes between the forces of the Nine Unknown and that of Mr. Am. However, a number of extraordinary (if relatively normal) children had adventures of minor sorts in India during those years, leading modern scholars to wonder if they might somehow have been influenced by agents of Mr. Am. As Francis Hodgson Burnett, Mrs. Elisabeth Anne Hart, and Flora M. Shaw wrote, Sara Crewe, Olga Leslie, and Winnie and Murtagh Blair (respectively) all were very mature and adventurous for their ages, and all spent time in India during these years.

Sometime in 1875 or 1876 an infant was lost in the Indian jungle, separated from his parents by a wolf attack. The infant was raised by wolves and grew into a kind of ruler of the Indian jungle, the killer of the dreaded man-eating tiger Shere Khan and a man capable of communicating equally with wolf and Man. This individual, called “Mowgli” by his biographer, Rudyard Kipling, will strike most readers as being quite similar to Lord Greystoke. However, Lord Greystoke was raised by a tribe of the mangani, that exceptionally intelligent group of African primates. Mowgli was not raised by primates, but rather by wolves, if Kipling is to be believed. (According to some reports Kipling spoke with Mowgli himself during his time in India) There is no evidence of a lupine equivalent of the mangani. While there is at least one example of a man raised by a non-primate and becoming intelligent–David “Ka-Zar” Rand, raised by Panthera leo spelaee, a cave lion, as detailed in the “Secret Wars” article–this does not seem to apply to Mowgli. There is substantial evidence that cave lions of the type that raised David Rand survived into the modern era, but there is no evidence that comparable wolves, whether the Canis dirus, dire wolves, or the dog-like bone-crusher Osteoborus, survived the coming of homo sapiens sapiens.

The conclusion, then, must be that either Mowgli did not exist–a conclusion not supportable due to the great deal of evidence to the contrary–or that something else raised Mowgli. It is my contention that the “wolves” that raised Mowgli were either mental illusions cast by agents of Mr. Am’s lamas, or were actual wolves altered by Mr. Am’s forces and made into something much greater than an ordinary wolf.

The 1880s were for the most part quiet in India, at least in terms of the duel between the Nine Unknown and Mr. Am.  In 1885 the English adventurer Tom Wildrake clashed with a group of Thuggees in India. The decade also saw the duel, chronicled by Rudyard Kipling, between British/Indian security forces and the enemies of Britain. Kim O’Hara, an orphan of Irish extraction, was involved in this duel, and came into contact–not coincidentally, I believe–with a Tibetan lama. I believe this lama to be in the employ of Mr. Am, working to secure peace, if not justice, for the area.

In Tibet, however, in 1880, a fraudulent Tibetan mystic named Dorje (Tibetan for “thunderbolt”) discovered an underground city in the Gobi desert in Mongolia. This underground city, full of incredibly advanced and esoteric technology, was a central base for the Nine Unknown, and its discovery by Dorje would prove momentous in a few decades.

During the 1880s, in a remote, mountainous section of Mongolia the “Hellenes,” a Greek branch of the Nine Unknown, were discovered by Western travelers mere weeks before the local Mongolian and Chinese tribes, oppressed by the Hellenes and their Nine Unknown-provided science, rose up and slaughtered the Hellenes. These "Hellenes" were the "Greeks" which Jonathon Wrexham had discovered in 1819. The noted classicist G.G.A. Murray, after speaking with the Western travelers about the Hellenes, wrote about them but felt the need to obscure and conceal some of the ugly facts of the Hellenes, but he let slip just enough of the facts of the matter to show that the Hellenes were not, in fact, heroic.

Sometime during the mid-1880s a man was born who play a small but crucial role in one of the major defeats of the Nine Unknown. Somewhere in India Chullunder Ghose was born during these years. Although much of his life's story remains unknown, we can deduce from various accounts involving him that he was at least familiar with Mr. Am's organisation and goals, although he was far too cunning and wily to be a full-fledged believer. His knowledge of (and, I believe, surreptitious use of) the Akashic Record would seem to indicate his familiarity with Mr. Am's organisation and the "White Lodge" (see 1926, below).

The 1890s saw the beginning of a new phase of events, in which the war between the Nine Unknown and Mr. Am became more active and violent, moving from “cold” to “hot.”

In 1891 Sherlock Holmes, believed dead by the world following the events at the Reichenbach Falls, visited several monasteries in Tibet in the guise of a Norwegian by the name of “Sigerson.” In 1892 he visited India and became embroiled in the “Great Game.” It is likely that during his months in the Far East he came into contact with lamas who were agents of Mr. Am; an intellect as piercing and well-informed as Holmes’ could hardly have been unaware of the presence of the Nine Unknown or of their enemies. What Holmes learned from Mr. Am’s lamas is a subject that will be addressed below.

In 1892 George Wylde, an American traveling for pleasure in Cambodia, encountered a being calling himself “Mirrikh” and claiming to be from Mars. Wylde accompanied Mirrikh to a lamasery in Tibet and discovered that various other Martians had been projecting their spirits to Earth and using human corpses as their hosts. A novel based on these events was written by Francis W. Doughty and published that same year, but Doughty (perhaps, like Robert W. Chambers after him, reluctant to reveal the truth about the Martians) concealed certain facts about Mirrikh and the Martians. The truth is that the Martians, reeling from the attacks on their system by the Earthman John Carter and from other contacts with humanity, decided to retaliate, and began sending operatives to Earth using the same method of spirit projection that John Carter had previously used and which Robert Darvil (see below) would later use. This is a clear precursor to the more open hostilities of 1898.

Then, in 1894, a good man, a fighter for human rights, justice, and democracy, was the victim of a merciless attack by a group of Russians. The Russians had aimed to take over the world, but the man, a German-American engineer, had refused to help them and threatened to expose them. These men went to the engineer’s farm, in a remote valley in the Georgian mountains, and slaughtered the man’s family and burned his farm. They did not kill the man, however, who was away from the farm at the time; he returned later that night and saw the farm burning but was too late to save his wife and children. As he later said, however, “one thing they could not take from me–my genius and my knowledge.” The man assumed the identity of the masked warrior “Captain Mors” and began planning his vengeance on those who had killed his family, a vengeance which, like Prince Dakkar’s, soon grew to encompass the rest of the world.

The rest of Mors’ story is relatively well known. He built a powerful airship and later an even more powerful spaceship, assembled a multinational crew, and beginning in the mid-1890s terrorised the rest of the world before venturing into space. In 1905, under the name of “Doctor Omega,” he traveled into space again, and in 1919 Mors met with the American adventurer Elijah Snow, as described in the “Secret Wars” article.

However, the construction of Mors’ ship has not been given much attention. While Mors was an undoubtedly brilliant man, the mysterious science behind his ships and the energies which fueled them were, I think, beyond even his abilities to create without assistance. I believe that Mors, in the months following the death of his family, traveled and came into contact with agents of Mr. Am’s lamas. They gave him scientific information which he used to build his ships. In an almost unprecedented move they also loaned him men who were agents of Mr. Am’s forces. The crew of Mors’ ships, as has been pointed out, was multi-ethnic in composition, and Mors’ lieutenant was a soft-spoken and extremely capable Indian. I believe that the Indians on Mors’ ships were agents of Mr. Am, working with Captain Mors to see that justice was done and that Earth was protected against the efforts of the Nine Unknown and the extra-planetary agents and creatures of the Old Ones.

In 1895 the notorious global criminal Dr. Nikola began his attempts to conquer the world. Nikola’s career is fairly well-known, so I will not repeat it here; for those curious about this fascinating man, I will direct you to Dr. Lai’s excellent “Life of Dr. Antonio Nikola” article. While I obviously cannot quibble with Dr. Lai’s research, I do feel the need to include some information which Dr. Lai omitted.

Dr. Nikola, as Dr. Lai notes, learned a variety of mental powers, including hypnosis, somewhere in the “Far East.” He is an extremely advanced scientist who has the secret of eternal life. He dresses as a “native of North India,” according to one witness. Near the end of the first phase of his career he retires to a monastery in Tibet, a “retirement” that was far from permanent. Notwithstanding his great intelligence and abilities as a scientist, I do not believe it entirely creditable that Nikola could have achieved what he did, and found the secret of eternal life, without any outside help.

It is my guess that Nikola, at some point in his past, had studied at a lamasery or lamaseries operated by either the Nine Unknown or Mr. Am’s forces. At these lamaseries Nikola learned elements of advanced knowledge, enough so that he could continue his studies independently. I believe, though, that Nikola was a renegade.  Nikola’s later actions do not indicate a desire to aid the cause of the Old Ones, as he seems to have worked only to empower himself, rather than the space gods. Likewise, Nikola’s later actions, which involved the potential and real deaths of many other men and women, are hardly in line with the goals of Mr. Am. As both the Nine Unknown and Mr. Am’s organisation were in possession of the elixir of immortality which Nikola stole, he could easily have come from either organisation.

In 1896 a strange figure came to the attention of the British public. An individual calling himself "Ozmar the Mystic" was involved in the restoration of Prince Loris of Rivania, a small Central European monarchy, to his throne. Ozmar, a mysterious figure, claimed to be an initiate "of the Higher Grades of Buddhism" and displayed a variety of mental powers. Ozmar also exhibited a familiarity with the Bedouin and claimed to be one of only four living Initiates at his level. I believe that Ozmar, a Westerner of noble background, was a product of Mr. Am's lamaseries and was sent to the West to carry on the war against the Nine Unknown.

On December 31, 1899, a group of Old Ones cultists in the American Mid-West attempted to summon one of the Old Ones by sacrificing two newborn infants. This attempt failed, but it drew the notice of one of Mr. Am's lamas, who used his powers to teleport to the cultists and rescue the two infants. The children were taken by the lama, who may have been Ozmar the Mystic, and brought to one of Mr. Am's lamaseries, the "Citadel of the Seven." The children were then raised to fight crime, as living weapons. Towards this end they were given powers, as so many other individuals were, by the lamas of the "Seven." By the early 1930s one of the children, a boy named Richard, was ready to leave the lamasery and return to the West. He took up residence in New York and gained fame as Doctor Occult, an occult and psychic detective. DC Comics later fictionalised his adventures, including one particularly interesting elision. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Doctor Occult's biographer, named the being that the cultists were attempting to summon. They called him "Koth." Perhaps Siegel and Shuster were aware of the facts of the matter, or perhaps they stumbled upon the name by coincidence, but the truth is that the actual name of the being in question only begins with "Koth." Its actual name can be pronounced as "Koth-ul-hu."

In the beginning
Before the Twentieth Century
The Twentieth Century
The 1920s
The 1930s
The 1940s & Afterward

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