The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Surgeon’s Nightmare

OR

(Horror stories about space.)

“The Secret Doctors of NASA” is a series of memoirs, diaries, and reports from actual doctors employed by an undisclosed arm of NASA between 1970 and 2001. These writings contain true accounts of the unusual and often highly-classified medical conditions experienced by astronauts during and after their space missions. Following the defunding of the clandestine medical program after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the majority of these accounts were left, forgotten, on tape drives in a NASA storage facility. In 2016, a former intern, whose job was to clean out one of these facilities, discovered them. Two years later, he is ready to release what he found.

Thus far, the following reports have been released: A Dentist’s Discovery, A Psychologist’s Suicide.

Releaser’s note: This account is from a post-surgery oral memoir dictated by an unnamed surgeon to an anonymous NASA official. The background circumstances are unknown.

A Surgeon’s Nightmare

Look, I’d been awake for two straight days. You guys have been putting us through hell with all the injuries from the Hephaestus Project, so forgive me if my results weren’t as great as they could have been. But come the hell on – what do you expect when someone comes to me in that condition?

So you want to know what happened in my own words? Fine. But don’t get pissed when I call your practices into question.

The patient was admitted with significant injuries to his legs, torso, arms, and head. On the surface, they appeared to be lacerations, which was strange because their severity would have caused near-instantaneous exsanguination and they would’ve gone straight to the morgue, not to me. Closer inspection revealed the wounds had been sealed by intense cold, as if the patient had been frozen either while being injured or immediately after. He was still clinging to life.

Continue reading “The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Surgeon’s Nightmare”

A Message in a Bottle

bottle

(Horror stories about the unknown.)

“Check this out!” Marcel called.

“What?” I asked, not looking over. I’d been trying to skip rocks, but all I could get were a few hops before the stones were swallowed by the waves.

“It’s a bottle with a note in it,” he replied. “An actual message in a god damn bottle.”

“So open it up,” I said, dropping the flat stones with annoyance. “Whatever’s inside’s gotta be more exciting than anything we’re doing.” Continue reading “A Message in a Bottle”

Deniehyfield, Australia is being dismantled.

cattlehead

Three cows disappeared from John Pierce’s place. He reported them as being stolen, but an investigation of the farm yielded nothing. No forced entry, no damage to the fences, no footprints. Nothing. It was chalked up as “one of those things.”

Six weeks later, two of those three cows were found in the trees of a nearby park. It was clear they’d been mutilated, but their advanced state of decay precluded any definitive answers. Again, “one of those things.” Now, though, people were starting to take notice. It’s not every day that cows wind up in trees. Especially dead ones. Continue reading “Deniehyfield, Australia is being dismantled.”

The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Psychologist’s Suicide

“The Secret Doctors of NASA” is a series of memoirs, diaries, and reports from actual doctors employed by an undisclosed arm of NASA between 1970 and 2001. These writings contain true accounts of the unusual and often highly-classified medical conditions experienced by astronauts during and after their space missions. Following the defunding of the clandestine medical program after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the majority of these accounts were left, forgotten, on tape drives in a NASA storage facility. In 2016, a former intern, whose job was to clean out one of these facilities, discovered them. Two years later, he is ready to release what he found.

Thus far, the following report has been released: A Dentist’s Discovery

Releaser’s Note: This report is an annotated interview with an American astronaut which took place in 1981. His name has been changed. The psychologist self-refers as “Interviewer.” The report was originally found at the location of the interviewer’s death.

A Psychologist’s Suicide

Interviewer’s Note: The patient is a 42 year-old astronaut. It has been two weeks since his last mission. Up until that point, he had been in perfect physical and mental health. During that recent mission, he spent 31 days in low-Earth orbit conducting various experiments pertaining to inorganic chemistry. His condition has not been determined to be the result of any of his work in orbit. Continue reading “The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Psychologist’s Suicide”

The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Dentist’s Discovery

“The Secret Doctors of NASA” is a series of memoirs, diaries, and reports from actual doctors employed by an undisclosed arm of NASA between 1970 and 2001. These writings contain true accounts of the unusual and often highly-classified medical conditions experienced by astronauts during and after their space missions. Following the defunding of the clandestine medical program after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the majority of these accounts were left, forgotten, on tape drives in a NASA storage facility. In 2016, a former intern, whose job was to clean out one of these facilities, discovered them. Two years later, he is ready to release what he found.

A Dentist’s Discovery

Arnold F. A*******, DDS
August 4th, 1989

I met the astronaut after a half-year mission on the Russian space station. He’d gone through his preliminary post-landing physical but complained about pain in his jaw and gums. His health, aside from those complaints, was fair.

It was my job to find out what was wrong with him before moving him on to the next specialist. The urologist, I think. The order always changes.

The patient was in decent spirits when we met, although I could tell something was on his mind. We chatted for a little bit. It turned out he’d been working on the Feng-Lee Discovery. My heart sank. Continue reading “The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Dentist’s Discovery”

Fallenfield Mountain

Our company had been tasked with a geological survey of Fallenfield Mountain in southwestern Kentucky. Situated at the intersection of the Cumberland and Allegheny Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau, it stands at the center of a depression in the terrain entirely uncharacteristic of the surrounding area.

Having recently acquired a permit from the state for a fracking exploration, the petroleum company that hired us was anxious to see what they could exploit in this new area. We were to set out as soon as possible.

We began our hike on a Monday morning. The weather was predicted to be favorable and the four of us were excited to cover some ground. We stopped at a small store near the edge of the forest to purchase last-minute supplies and anything else we thought we might need. It wasn’t a particularly difficult journey ahead of us, but we wanted to be prepared.

While we were browsing, an employee began a conversation with Jake Lemont, one of our geologists. Jake was forthcoming, as we were under no obligation to keep our work secret. I walked the aisles and drifted in and out of their conversation, which grew noticeably more animated as time went by. The employee was not keen on the mountain being used for petroleum exploration. It turned out he wasn’t speaking from an environmental standpoint.

Continue reading “Fallenfield Mountain”

The Shores of Pluto

pluto

Late last month, just before Christmas, a strange, prickly feeling crept up my spine and made a patch of my neck feel cold, as if someone had left a window open. I looked around at the familiar setting. Nothing seemed amiss. The windows were shut. The doors were closed. I realized my heart was pounding and I couldn’t figure out why I was so anxious. After a moment, the feeling passed.

I had lunch alone at my desk. My sandwich was good – ham and cheese and butter with a little dijon mustard. The rest of the office had gone out, taking advantage of a break in the snowy weather. I ate mindlessly, relishing the peace and quiet, until I felt the cold again. This time, it was physical and penetrating. A frigid wave of thick air wafted into my cubicle and chilled me to the bone. Goosebumps rose in a wave over my back, neck, and arms. The feeling of uneasiness returned. Something flickered in the periphery of my vision.

I whirled around, my swivel chair nearly toppling over.

Continue reading “The Shores of Pluto”

Jerry’s Mouth

April 2nd, 2017

Either I’m going to kill my husband for lying or whatever’s growing in his mouth will do it for me. God only knows what that s**t gave him on the night he didn’t come home, but I’ll be damned if I’ll let him go to the doctor for it. The last thing our family needs is the nurses down at that clinic talking about how Jerry’s been f*****g around on me again. I’ve got leftover penicillin from the infection he gave me two years ago. He can have that. Continue reading “Jerry’s Mouth”

Smokey, the Dog I Rescued

mutt

I was out on a hike when I discovered a dog in the forest. She was in bad shape. She didn’t have a collar, but it looked like she’d had one in the past. The fur and skin around her neck was terribly calloused and infected. She was skittish and didn’t want to come near me, but when I gave her a chunk of jerky I’d been carrying, she changed her mind.

She loved the stuff, so I used that to lure her out of the woods. When she got out from under the trees and I could see her in the sunlight, it was obvious she’d been neglected a long, long time. Every rib was visible under her mangy coat. She had a couple sores near the remains of her tail. Her left ear was missing, too. It looked like the poor girl had had a very difficult life; I got the feeling that if I hadn’t come around, she wouldn’t have lasted much longer. Continue reading “Smokey, the Dog I Rescued”

Far Too Many Legs

Click here for previous parts.

I hate hiking. I hate the outdoors. I hate being sweaty, dirty, bored, and nowhere near a good WiFi signal. Yet there we were. Hiking. And I was sweaty, dirty, bored, and nowhere near a good Wifi signal. Life was unpleasant.

Dad said it would be good for us to get out of the city for a while. He didn’t say why. It was obvious work was getting to him; stress always makes him want to run away from the situation until he can figure a way to manage it. I figured that’s what we were doing out in the woods. Running away – one sweaty step at a time. Continue reading “Far Too Many Legs”

Roots of Change

roots

November 19th, 2016

The lights in the sky were a diversion. We should have looked down.

November 20th, 2016

In a matter of days, the following terms will have meaning to everyone in the world:

That which grows through our heels.

That which tastes our skin.

That which fills our pores.

That which empties.

November 21st, 2016

Laura is dead. Gus is dead. Mohammad is dead. Nes is dead.

November 22nd, 2016

Where can one go when everywhere is a trap waiting to be sprung? I feel as if I’m navigating an endless minefield, with every step having the potential to be my last. Everyone is staring at the sky with hope in their eyes. Everyone is going to die.

Continue reading “Roots of Change”

Long Fingers

lights

Saturday morning, there were long smudges on the glass of my front door. Three, thick, semi-parallel smudges from what looked like fingers. They trailed from the middle of the door down to its base, then disappeared. If they were from an animal, it wasn’t any animal I knew about. If they were from a person, he was unfathomably deformed.

An hour later, I discovered nine dead deer behind my garage. Their eyes, sexual organs, and teeth were missing. I called animal control and was told there were mutilated animals being reported all over the county. They had no explanation, but I was assured the carcasses would be picked up before the weekend was over.

As I hung up, I heard something in the background on the phone line.

Continue reading “Long Fingers”