"During the winter of 1927-28 officials of the Federal government made a strange and secret investigation of certain conditions in the ancient Massachusetts seaport of Innsmouth. The public first learned of it in February, when a vast series of raids and arrests occurred, followed by the deliberate burning and dynamiting - under suitable precautions - of an enormous number of crumbling, worm-eaten, and supposedly empty houses along the abandoned waterfront. Uninquiring souls let this occurrence pass as one of the major clashes in a spasmodic war on liquor."
"The Shadow Over Innsmouth", Howard Phillips Lovecraft


Prior to the raid, a team of U.S. Treasury Department agents under the command of Special Agent Wade of the Secret Service conducted an investigation of the townsfolk of Innsmouth. Their findings prompted President Calvin Coolidge to authorize a raid under the code name Project COVENANT. The Department of the Navy, in the form of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) agents, U.S. Marines, and U.S. Coast Guard troops, provided both firepower and manpower. The Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation, under director J. Edgar Hoover, was brought on board for its legal authority to seize “suspected aliens and seditionists” for deportation.


ONI captured approximately 200 Deep One hybrids; a copy of the log of the Sumatra Queen, the ship of Innsmouth’s most prominent merchant-captain and founder of the Esoteric Order of Dagon, Captain Obed Marsh; a Marsh family history dated 1862; two copies (one badly burnt) of the Ponape Scripture; five conical stone tablets inscribed with glyphs (weighing about fifty pounds each); and incomplete translation notes for the strange glyphs, compiled over many years by Robert Marsh, who was killed by Marines while resisting arrest. Rumors persist that a submarine fired torpedoes off of Devil’s Reef at an unknown target.


Those who had seen the horrors of Innsmouth were unwilling to let this threat lie. Their actions, which led to the founding of Delta Green, began with the creation of P Division of the ONI.

External links

Publication history

  • Howard Phillips Lovecraft, "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" (1936), excerpted above. Mentions a “series of raids”.
  • Kevin A. Ross et al., Escape from Innsmouth (Chaosium, 1992). The name “Covenant” is invented for a large raid, described in detail herein as an RPG scenario. The name is explained as a biblical reference, but is not capitalized.
  • Adam Scott Glancy with John Tynes, the title chapter in Delta Green (Pagan, 1997). The material on the operation itself is consistent with the Chaosium publication. The name is capitalized.
  • Adam Scott Glancy, “Once More, from the Top” in Dark Theatres (Armitage, 2001). A fictionalized, more or less DG-canonical account of the action on the ground in Innsmouth.
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