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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six: Case File No. 28-288

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Where We Left Off:

In our previous case file, Gus continued to followed his ongoing mission of capturing the mice.

The Astral Factor:

Back in Case File No. 10-270, we discovered that the wings of Jersey devil-deer (hybrids of Jersey devils and white-tailed deer) can be seen differently depending on the spectrum of light used for viewing and what the viewer is capable of seeing. This is where humans are hindered. We can’t see all forms of light.

Because of our human limitations, when people began inventing technology that uses visuals like cameras, periscopes, spyglasses, microscopes, etc. most inventors limited their scope at enlarging a subject. A few pioneers dove deeper into the spectrums available.

First was using the same camera technology, but changing the film developing process. There’s a rich history of ghosts, fairies, and specters caught on film in the Victorian Age. People became obsessed with photography and spiritism during this time. In 1948, instant photography was invented by Edwin Land for Polaroid, the company still famous for this process and the modernized version of digital cameras with tiny built-in printers.

white sheet ghost by staircase

Franz Anton Mesmer is immortalized because of his belief in the aura and “vital fluid.” Mesmer believed all things possessed this magical essence. This became known as Mesmerism. It was depicted in paintings and photography. Austrian chemist Karl Ludwig Freiherr von Reichenbach began his work on effluvist photography, an off-shoot of the paranormal photography. In more recent history of photographic technology, we come to things like radiography and X-Rays. The point is, people are curious about what they can’t see with their own eyes as well as what they can but deeply long to preserve the moment in time.

Oliver on his back show as seen by a Predator
Oliver through Predator vision

Military operatives use tools like infrared and night vision technology. “Predator” vision isn’t only science fiction. You can even buy attachments for your cell phones that show infrared just in case you need something to spend money on that you’ll probably never use.

Editor’s Note: An infrared cell phone attachment plays a key part in Farrah Wethers book one, Cardiac Arrest!

Gus and Ollie began thoroughly researching and analyzing the waves of light that make it possible to see the devil-deer wings and other magical characteristics like the wolpertingers’ wings, fangs, and antlers. We also had to wonder if creatures like the volkolaks who can shapeshift would emit a specific unseen wave of light.

Shown below, a Jersey devil-deer with his wings visible during the day:

Regular cameras function more or less the same way as a human eye, receiving radiation in the visible light spectrum and turning it into an image. Infrared cameras, on the other hand, make images from heat, aka infrared or thermal radiation, instead of visible light.  — Teledyne FLIR

Our Goal:

  • Identify which creatures utilized light waves to camouflage themselves.
  • Which light spectrums were applicable to those creatures.
  • Test to see if outward characteristics are the only kind that can be seen with light wave technology; are morphing characteristics possible to see?

What we needed to achieve this testing was live subjects. Since we don’t capture and test on animals in a lab, all of this was going to be a long process and hoping for luck spotting the creatures in the wild. The best time to do this studying would have been in the spring when creatures are running all over. That’s when we first discovered this anomaly.

Narrow Our Scope:

We couldn’t tackle every possible creature that eludes human observations. That would be like taking Dr. Oscar Theodore Benfold’s The Complete New World Bestiary (1870) and performing visual experiments on all 273 creatures in the encyclopedia!

Phase I: Jersey Devils and Hybrid Offspring

Our most commonly witnessed large cryptid with magical traits is the Jersey devil (or Jersey demon) and the known hybrid of this species with common white-tailed deer (Jersey devil-deer). If observations, tests, and a conclusion are noted, move on to Phase II. The devil-deer and Jersey demon wings are the most obvious trait. These wings are like the stretched leathery skin of bat wings. They can possess antlers in the same way as white-tailed deer. The least commonly seen trait is a long tail shaped either like a bushy horse tail or thin and bony. The more demon DNA in the creature, the more likely it is to be thicker and more the size of a fifteen-hand horse.

female Jersey devil-deer with visible wings in daytime

Phase II: Jackalopes and Wolpertingers

While New Jersey doesn’t often have jackalopes, sometimes they make their way over here from the southwestern United States. People have been bought and sold them on the black market as pets or zoo animals. In New Jersey, we are more likely to find wolpertingers which come in different varieties. These varieties have three possible traits which can appear in any combination: antlers, canine fangs, and feathered wings.

wolpertinger side view

  • Phase II can’t be done until the critters come out of hibernation.

Phase III: Vampire Creatures

We haven’t studied human-vampires, but we have case files noting the existence of squirrelpyres and volepyres. They are unlikely to be seen in winter.

Gus carrying the dead vole in his mouth.

  • Phase III can’t be done until the critters come out of hibernation.

Case Findings on Phase I:

Gus and Ollie poured through the books on crystals and magick in our library. We needed to find something that works like germanium does in infrared. The germanium was tested and seemed to get us close to seeing spectral trails in that heat was a factor. Could heating and cooling of atoms have anything to do with this camouflaging technique? Probably not or it would have been discovered sooner.

After testing other compounds and elements, we reached out to a possible source in the mineral trade. Through some top secret channels, we heard about Volkan Polat. After several discussions where we had to prove that we were not joking about our intentions, Volkan agreed to send us a couple samples of rare earth minerals.

bastnaesite, bastnasite

According to mainstream sources, bastnaesite is named after the Swedish mines where it was first discovered in 1841 at the Bastnas mines. However, Volkan told us that this mineral had been traded in ancient times and acquired its name from Bast, the Egyptian cat goddess. The name’s origin changed as the scientific world wanted to set stronger demarcations from the magical world. As a rough mineral, it’s not that rare at all, but few humans have seen the alluring side of bastnaesite as a polished gemstone which would instantly equate it with treasure.

It took a month to have a lab create a lens filter that included bastnaesite and germanium. We were not disappointed as you can see in the images of the largest male Jersey devil-deer in our neighborhood when the filter was attached to the trail camera.

Phase I Case Status: Closed


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