Nicholas Roerich painting admired by H. P. Lovecraft.

Rick Mount at Purdue

Why Did A Former Basketball Star Behave Strangely At Purdue?

As for the mysterious case of Rick Mount and his visit to Purdue University in early January of 2016, the explanation commonly offered to the public for his strange behavior was that Mount was nursing a decades-long grudge against his alma mater for what he perceived as its ill-treatment of his son. The truth, however, is far worse.

In a gross violation of the JERICHO Protocol during the early 1980s, Rick Mount was mistakenly assumed to be an astronaut after he had been introduced as "an outstanding example of the Purdue system." He was then shown some of the tightly compartmented data from the Apollo missions. These were the images and the other data that had caused the majority of the Apollo 8 through 17 crew members to suffer what have always been euphemized as "emotional stress" but which left the coolest-of-the-cool test pilots terrified, incontinent, and unable or at least unwilling to say anything about what they saw.

NASA has seen the seafloor horrors, and no organization is more anxious to get off this accursed planet. But the naïve American demand for zero-risk solutions for all problems would constrain NASA to an impossible task.

The U.S. government's plan is to let the Russian and Chinese space agencies devise good-enough systems ostensibly "for space exploration," but really with the aim of space transport of adequate numbers to uninfected worlds. Meanwhile, the U.S. is handling the defensive end and keeping the eldritch horrors mostly contained within their seafloor lairs.

Rick Mount at Purdue University's Mackey Arena.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Ktheady M'akey wgah'nagl fhtagn.

The U.S. is also applying its strong background in the robotic advance guard, looking for locations in our solar system that could be reasonably hospitable to life but aren't yet infected by, ah, them... No planet, moon, or asteroid yet examined has satisfied both criteria simultaneously, but the search continues.

The U.S. excels at building and operating automated machines. The Russians and Chinese excel at manned flight systems that are good enough and rugged enough for acceptable performance under unpredictable conditions, and they also have the necessary cultural attitudes (and, in the case of the Chinese, the sheer numbers) to make the imperfect be acceptable. After all, the goal isn't perfection, it is to escape in adequate numbers.

Cephalopods drying near R'lyeh.