On 12 March 1981, a Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District maintenance team went missing in the city’s sewer system while investigating complaints about foul smells coming from the water pipes. Mary Ferraro, 61, had even found several dead rats floating in her toilet, drowned while attempting to climb up her house’s service pipes.
The rescue party assumed that the missing workers had lost their way in this old, incompletely mapped area of Chicago’s old sewage system. Nothing had prepared them for what they found in a 60 feet wide cavity connected to the main sewer interceptors through a narrow and tortuous tunnel.
In the damp soil of that chamber, over a pile of human bones two feet high, lay the bodies of the maintenance team, bloated as if from drowning. An autopsy revealed that their jaws were fractured, as if their mouths had been forced open with tremendous violence. Chemists at the University of Chicago Toxicology Department were unable to establish the chemical composition of the sludgy substance drenching their stomach and lungs. Samples are currently stored in a secure vault in the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA.
A carbon dating analysis revealed that some of the bones found in the chamber were between six thousand and eight thousand years old.
This ‘vault of horrors’, and the tunnel connecting it to Chicago’s sewer system have now been filled with concrete. No one knows what it is that dwelled there, or indeed, where it went after the ghastly events of late March 1981.
(Inspired by the Dyatlov Pass story recounted here, and the Chicagoan provenance of the two awesome acts that are featured below).
House of Mighty II, featured in a tape going by the same name lashes out with the pent-up energy of a zillion Zenta laser panthers as it lunges forward, not to snap your neck with mighty fangs of antediluvian vintage, but to carry you dangling from its mouth into exotic lands of strife and illumination like a psychedelic version of He-Man’s Battle Cat, dreamed up in some German progressive commune circa 1976.
Alex Barnett’s ‘Try Harder’ sliced through our tender brains like a psychic blade poisoned with alien grit on a fateful Spring Night of 2010. Since then, the disease has spread, polluting our perceptual framework with simmering glimpses of a parallel reality that dissolves just as we are about to name it.
Unseen Forces haunt us. It is also the tune taking us to the next level of electronic terror of which this dude is the master. Visualise John Carpenter’s sonic language in three dimensional space as an abstract installation where the minimal commitment of the Bauhaus is reconfigured into a threatening cat’s cradle of impossible angles, walk into its shifting belly because there is no other option, your footsteps morph into twisted shadows which dance to the pounding beat of this doom raga.