|What follows is an archival copy of public information. Content herein is believed to be of historical interest to Delta Green fandom and should remain untouched, as a sign of respect for the original author(s). The article must be removed on request by copyright holders, if any. Please improve the wiki with living documents inspired by the ideas here.|
Project:AHAB was the brainchild of Ernest Elting Morrison, M.Sc., a Geophysicist with the Texas State Geological Survey and one of the individuals contacted by <REDACTED> in 1952 to supervise the setting up of an international seismographic network as a SIGINT resource to keep an eye on Russian and Chinese atom-bomb testings.
His primary function, therefore, was promoting the development of a globe-spanning seismic pick-up network, and - along with a number of colleagues across the globe - act as a data collection point for <REDACTED> and providing interpretation of those selfsame data.
The circumstances leading to the actual involvement of professor Morrison with Delta Green are not documented. It is possible that Morrison was asked to give input on material recovered during Operation: SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY, in conjunction with the surfacing of some "Tesla Earthquake Generator" blueprints (later turned out to be fakes) recovered during<REDACTED>.
For a fact, Morrison was acting as a fully briefed Delta Green man in 1955, and was already at work on his project when the Black Chamber collection was hit by the crazed Daniel Freis.
Project: AHAB was first pitched to the Delta Green upper echelons in 1956, further refined and redefined in the following two years and finally launched in the August of 1958. Under the cover of the International Geophysical Year, Morrison and a selected group of collaborators started probing the interior of the planet, looking for anomalies that could be interpreted as traces of life. Funds were diverted from the financing of the IGY initiatives, and a number of research projects were launched in various universities to sift through the increasing mass of raw data.
Finally, in October 1959, Project: AHAB finally struck gold. Miss Charlene V. Bradford, a postgraduate student doing research work in quantitative geophysics in Harvard forwarded to Morrison a folder containing a number of paper clippings collected from a number of international sources, complemented by more recent seismographic data collected through the international network.
The documents in he folder clippings documented a sequence of seismic events recorded between 1940 and 1957. None of the event could be considered anomalous in any way but two - the sequence was not only temporal, but also spatial, and al the ipocenters of the events were at the same probable depth.
It was like something slowly crawling under the planet's surface, at a stable depth of about 100 kms, and periodically shaking the crust, producing devastation.
The Bradford Track started in Krakatoa, in the strait between Java and Sumatra in 1940. It followed the western coast of Sumatra (hitting it with a number of consistently violent shocks during the '40s) and, curving slightly by the Andaman islands, entered the Gulf of Bengal.
It hit the Asian continent somewhere north of Rangoon in 1950 - a violent seismic event that left no structure standing in a fortunately low-populated area. From there on it marched with a slightly eastwards-curving path, and entered China.
Data from the Chinese government were not available, and the last log of the track had to be mapped through seismic readings, following the progress of the anomaly, as it traveled the southeastern border of the Kunlun mountains and reached the Nashan region, to disappear in 1957 somewhere between Nashan and Mongolia.
Data were verified and confirmed in September 1960.
A similar track was also detected travelling southward along the pacific rim of the American continent and, in May 1962, the second phase of Project: AHAB was launched in La Vuelta, a small mining village between Quillota and San Felipe, to the northwest of Santiago, Chile.
Over three weeks of work, the alluvial plain just out of La Vuelta was covered with the criss-cross of seismic lines, while two series of geophones (active and passive) were set with a grid of 200 meters over an area of nine square kilometers, the instrumental readings being done in two mobile units set up for the occasion into two large Benz trucks. In the same area, three perforation rigs were erected, defining the tips of an equilateral triangle. Each rig was 30 meters high, equipped with high-speed rotary tables and about 300 meters of perforation rods, and was manned by an expert perforation team contracted specifically for this operation.
Over the area were also deployed two US Navy helicopters.
On the morning of May 29th 1962, Morrison reached the "hunting ground". As the sun rose over the horizon, he reached the geometric center of the triangle, carrying a steel box and an old book. Using a rocket pistol he signaled for the activation of the passive geophones at 9.49 a.m.
Ten minutes later, contact with the backup unit in Quillota were broken. By 10.35 a.m., 87 AHAB men - most of them contract professionals in the dark about the actual purpose of the operation - and including Prof. Morrison had disappeared, the two choppers had been downed, the entire area had been thoroughly devastated, the mining complex had collapsed, the village of La Vuelta had been razed as the hillside on which it was built slid and collapsed, killing the entire population (173 families). No Ahab operative survived the event.
No seismic shock was perceived farther than 30 kilometers.
Around the same time, a battery of seventeen steel perforation rods, for a total length of 153 meters, fell from the sky in Vina del Mar, causing the death by heart attack of a doctor Luis J. Pereira, a retired veterinary from Antofagasta.
Two weeks later, Miss Bradford was killed by a speeding car as she returned home from her work. The killer was never identified.
Project: AHAB was archived.
Plans for a follow-up in the Tokai area (Japan) for 1967 were shelved.
Addition by Gil Trevizo:
I don't know how or if you want to involve previous DG experience with Cthonians that could have lead into Project AHAB, but here's what I know about it….
DG had direct contact with Cthonians and/or Shudde-M'ell during an operation in 1942 against a Karotechia archaeological dig in Tunisia known as "Haua Fteah". The operation involved DG commandoes and soldiers of the Haganah, and though successful, there were only two survivors - an American major named MacDonald and Thomas Rosenblatt, an American expatriate fighting for the Haganah. This is all remarked on in THE FATE sourcebook, though the involvement of Shudde-M'ell isn't in there. Instead, Adam C revealed that Dennis Detwiller had told him it Shudde-M'ell on DGML some time ago. Adam might have more specifics.
Besides this, I have my own personal idea about an earlier confrontation between DG and Cthonians in the 1923 earthquake that devastated Japan. This all harkens back to the Ellis affair, which I posted here awhile back and is in my ONI history: http://www.mindspring.com/~furrylogic/deltagreen/oni5.html
Basically, I think Genyosha/Kokuryukai might have manipulated the Cthonians under Japan in some way to use the earthquake to destroy the Yokohama hospital and silence Zembsch, and this effort either got away from them or they had planned the destruction all along (the 1923 earthquake could have caused social reactions that lead to the rise of militarism in some way). Any deep motivation requires more research that I haven't had the time to do.
Anyways, I hope this might help. Morrison was a geophysicist with the Texas State Geological Survey, eh…. I wonder if he might have attended my old alma mater, Texas Western…
Addition by Davide Mana:
OK, then, the truth about the Demise of AHAB.
The rationale behind the La Vuelta set-up is: DG has identified a migration track and now is going to try and nail a Burrower. In true whaler-fashion, a network of listening posts will locate the target and the drilling shafts, used as harpoons, will hit it. A good drilling squad can orient the course of the drilling bit, so that it can deviate laterally and hit something that is not directly under the derrick.
So, the plan is - DG lays in wait, the Cthonians come, the passive geophones pick them up, drilling starts, a volley of blasts both disorients the critters and enables a higher definition mapping of the incoming target through seismic imaging, and that's it.
The tiger by the tail.
Which of course will never work if the Cthonians are running sixty miles underground.
So, Morrison called one of the critters, so that it would come close enough to be harpooned. I do not know…. Correction, I do not want to know where and how he got the know-how. Sure Morrison was intimate with the G'harne fragments, and with a number of other weird books. And a bit obsessed about the Cthonians.
"He arrived on the La Vuelta site two days prior to the start of the operation. He had been "picking up some accessories" he said, and indeed he came with the truck that delivered the custom-made tri-cone drilling bits. He had something valuable in his steel case - something he was not too keen on showing to the others.
Charlie Monoky, who was the head of Drilling Squad Three (those located to the north-east of the plain), said the night before the hunt that he had seen the boss putting a sort of weird geode or other rock concretion back in the cushioned steel box. "But real weird," he kept saying "Glassy like a tectite, slightly iridescent".
The next morning Morrison went in the field, with his box and the old book with a German title, and he spent about two good hours out there alone. You could have cut the tension with a knife, that day in La Vuelta.
Even the drilling guys and the contractors, that were mostly in the dark of what was really happening were tenser than usual.
No kids were playing in the streets of the village, no dogs roaming the garbage-piles on the outskirts.
In Mobile 1 we had the critters crawling towards us on the logs - they had been there fourteen days, slowly crawling closer, deep down under the surface, a swarm of points fanning out and regrouping with a rough 36 hours cycle.
Then, at 9.40, Charlie Fenstein - an MIT graduate that manned one of the scrawlers, let out a curse and called us over. One of the points had left the swarm and was coming close. The needle jumped on paper as we watched, more machines started buzzing as more sensors picked up the shockwave preceding the thing, a snail turned into a bullet.
It was coming up straight at us, going through rock layers as if they were tissue.
Blue cascades of sparks started raining from the devices around us, and so I said to myself what the hell, screw AHAB, let's save our skins, and ordered the guys out of the truck and to the service chopper.
Then Morrison launched is cursed rocket signal.
And all hell broke loose.
Mobile one exploded.
I ran, forgetting all the rest. As the chopper took off without me, the blow-out preventer on Monoky's drill failed and the whole drilling shaft was blasted towards the heavens. Clouds of thick dust were engulfing the quarries to the east and the whole hill at their back seemed to collapse on itself, as the hum around us rose to a brain-splitting height and the earth shook so hard we were crawling on all fours before we realized. And at the core of it all was a jungle of ropy tendrils, as thick as a man's arm, flailing where Morrison had been, picking up chunks of rock and throwing them around with killer precision - braining fugitives, downing choppers. And finally the whole village of La Vuelta came down from its hill to cover us like a blanket of dirt, wreckage and dead bodies."
From the debriefing of the only survivor of Operation: AHAB, captain Albert J. Numberg, US Army Engineer (ret.).