Felix Resilleserre was born in New York City, in June 1969, in
the back seat of a taxi. As was to prove typical of him, Felix
was early; he had been expected to arrive the following day
This was, perhaps, the first hint that there was something unusual
about Felix, something which would not fully blossom until that last
bizarre flight across North Africa, driving a stolen bus, accompanied
by a tank truck filled with heavy water.
Felix's education proceeded with astonishing rapidity. It was
of him that at the age when most children
were learning to read, Felix had already finished reading his family's
old copy of the
Merriam-Webster Second International dictionary. Felix was
reportedly bored by elementary school, which he attended only
to the age of 6. After that he was privately tutored, until age
8, when he was admitted to Bronx School of Science. Despite his
young age of entry, he completed their academic program in just 3
years, graduating at age 11
| Poster of the Cat's Eye nebula found on the
wall of Felix's office:
Unfortunately, we have been able to turn up almost nothing about
Felix's family life as a young child. It's believed that he was
the youngest of several children
but attempts at
locating his parents or siblings have failed.
By all reports, his interest in astronomy started early. While in
high school, he had a backyard telescope which he used on clear nights
throughout the summer. Since he grew up in New York City, not
much was visible from his back yard, but whatever there was to see,
Felix wanted to see it. Later in life, as a professor, his office
walls were often home to astronomical photos and posters of various
Felix also loved languages. Much of his later work had to do with
ancient languages, but his love for modern languages was equally
strong. By the time he entered Harvard, Felix already spoke
French, Latin, and Farsi, and in addition he appears to have been able
to read some Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit. His later
anthropological studies would be built on this strong foundation, as
would a part of his reputation for eccentricity: Felix sometimes
seemed to delight in interjecting short phrases in random languages
into conversations with people who spoke nothing but English.
We also know that Felix was fascinated by science fiction.
Despite the time consumed by his meteoric academic career, Felix found
the time to read everything written by Doc Smith, and was frequently
seen at fan conventions in New England
in the field stayed with him throughout his life; a
substantial science fiction library was unearthed during the excavation
of his office
Despite his fascination with the stars and his wholehearted interest in
stories of people who traveled to them, the two authors who had the
largest influence on Felix were more interested in tales of aliens
visiting Earth than Earth people visiting aliens. The first of
these was H. P. Lovecraft.
by H. P. Lovecraft
is in certain ancient things a trace
Of some dim
essence - more than form or weight;
Yet linked with
all the laws of time and space.
A faint, veiled
sign of continuities
eyes can never quite descry;
dimensions harbouring years gone by,
And out of reach
except for hidden keys.
Felix was sometimes said to have memorized
every word ever
published by Lovecraft; while that seems unlikely, he was known to
occasionally quote from the Sonnets at slow moments during department
meetings. A copy of the first stanza of sonnet 36, "Continuity",
was found on the wall of his office (see box at right); it apparently
had some special significance for Felix.
The second was Erich von Daniken. Felix not only read all of
Daniken's books, he also studied everything he could find about the
author himself. Felix was not bothered by the disdain in which
many of his co-workers held von Daniken's theories, and occasionally
claimed to see something of deep significance in von Daniken's
writings. He seemed to feel that they showed signs of having been
inspired by some truly anomalous events or evidence, however much the
author may have fictionalized the kernel of truth, either as
intentional misdirection or as a result of exaggeration
At age 10,
Felix was promised admission to Harvard University, conditional
on his first receiving a high school diploma. He eventually
Harvard at age 12, in the fall following his graduation from Bronx
Felix graduated from Harvard at the age of 14, with a double degree in
anthropology and physics
(We have, however,
unable to locate any record of his matriculation from Harvard, and he
doesn't seem to be listed in any of the yearbooks for any likely
not sure what to make of this. Perhaps Harvard lost his
Felix entered the graduate program in anthropology at Miskatonic
University in Arkham, Massachusetts at age 15. He could have had
his pick of graduate schools, and it's not known why he chose the
relatively unknown Miskatonic rather than, for example, Yale or McGill,
where he had also been admitted
subsequently carried a
concentration in astrophysics, which is an unusual subject to pair with
anthropology, a flexible graduate program may have been a priority for
Felix completed the requirements for a doctorate in five
He might have done it sooner had he not been earning a masters in
astrophysics simultaneously. He also suffered a setback when his
initial thesis topic, "The Previously Unrecognized but Vital Role of
Mice in the Empire of the Upper Nile Prior to 3000 B.C.", didn't work
. After pursuing it for
two years Felix
decided he was at a
dead end, and started over with a new adviser and new topic. His
second choice for a topic was far more successful, and his doctoral
thesis, "A Comparative Study of Ancient Pantheons with Particular
Reference to Several Unique Features of Bast and their Possible
Origins in the Milieu of Bubastis", was to become very well known among
other workers in his field.
After receiving his doctorate, Felix joined the faculty of Miskatonic
as an associate professor at the age of 21, and at
26 was granted a full professorship, becoming the university's youngest
tenured faculty member
This gave him the freedom he had always
wanted to pursue his
Felix the Fast
Despite the freedom from external pressure, Felix's internal
drive was relentless. His interests were legion.
Consequently, there never seemed to be enough time in his life, and he
was always rushing, with occasionally unfortunate results.
Faculty members who knew him have claimed that one of Felix's most
frequently used expressions was "Oops!"
Coffee was one of his great enemies; more than one typewriter succumbed
to the brown flood of a morning cup, accompanied by the inevitable cry
Office moves were particularly dreaded around Felix. On the
occasion of his last move, the movers didn't arrive on time, and Felix
decided to move his equipment himself. As usual, he was in a
hurry, and didn't want to make more trips than he had to. So,
after piling a laptop computer, his desktop computer with its old
fashioned CRT monitor, and a Selectric typewriter onto his swivel
chair, he proceeded to roll the whole load down the second floor
hall. His new office was located in the basement, which meant he
and his load had to descend two floors. There was an elevator
located at the other end of the building, which would have made it
easy. However, Felix had determined that if he just tilted
the chair back a bit, he'd be able to roll it gently down the stairs
step at a time, and cut 200 feet off the length of the trip, and
avoid the need to wait for the elevator. No doubt all would have
been well had he done exactly as planned. Unfortunately, the
stairs were about 100 feet from his office, and Felix was in a hurry,
so he ran
most of the way to the stairs, planning to slow down
before reaching the top step. All might still have been well, had
the hall floor not been waxed the previous day, which rendered his
attempts at putting on the brakes almost entirely futile. His cry
of "Oops!" echoed throughout the building as he skidded off the top
landing in hot pursuit of the swivel chair, typewriter, and
Felix was, himself, unhurt in the incident, as was his swivel
chair. The computers and typewriter were not so lucky.
After purchasing replacements for the shattered equipment, university
officials apparently decided to
leave well enough alone in the future: Felix was never moved to
another office again.
Felix was also known in the anthropology department for his
driving. Apparently his incessant need to save time and get
things done extended to his behavior behind the wheel. It was
often said that nobody rode as a passenger in Felix's car more than
once -- the experience was too terrifying. We have also run
across claims that the Jeep used by Felix when doing archaeological
field work had a roll bar,
unlike all the other Jeeps owned by
Miskatonic University, but we have been unable to substantiate this
Felix's friends had been known to speculate that Felix would never be
able to slow down enough to marry. They were proved wrong, when,
on an archaeological dig in South Dakota, Felix met Felicia
Vitechat. It was a perfect match; by all accounts Felicia was as
intense as Felix
It's uncommon in such an esoteric field to find someone compatible who
lives anywhere near you, but in this respect, also, Felix and Felicia
were uncommonly lucky: Felicia was a junior faculty member in the
archeology department of Miskatonic University. It is, perhaps,
surprising they had never met at the University, but Felix, as an
archaeological anthropologist and somewhat of a recluse, had never
gotten to know most of the faculty at Miskatonic outside the
Once Felix and Felicia were married, their friends joked that they'd
never be able to slow down enough to have children. Their friends
were wrong, once again. Their daughter, Isis, was born just one
year after their marriage.
Unfortunately, while Felix had many interests, he was not a disciplined
researcher, perhaps due in part to his early receipt of tenure and the
almost complete freedom it gave him. Consequently, though he
started many projects, his output of peer reviewed papers was
nil. Since he was teaching just one class during this
period, we are left wondering what he was spending his time on.
It's hoped that further excavations in the deeper regions of his office
may provide more information regarding this "dark period" in his life.
Felix's First Sabbatical, and the Journey to Egypt
Four years after his receipt of tenure, Felix was eligible to take a
sabbatical. He left the University for a year. His stated
plan was to spend the year in Egypt, studying certain tomb paintings
which he claimed showed anomalous images which could not be accounted
for by the conventional model of Egyptian history.
Apparently completing his studies in the first few months, he took what
would prove to be a momentous excursion up the White Nile.
Stopping at Kosti, Felix decided to follow up certain rumors he'd heard
regarding something unusual which had been seen by a goatherd near El
Obeid. The rumors proved to
be well founded, and Felix spent most of the remainder of his
sabbatical doing field work in the desert.
When Felix returned at the end of the year, he was still extremely
excited about the find in the desert. His comments in the
lunchroom made it clear that he thought the find was going to have very
broad consequences, but he would not be specific about exactly what it
was which had been found. When pressed, he promised to tell
everything when his research was completed (but, as usual, he couldn't
say when that might be)
By all accounts, Felix also felt the work he'd done with the Egyptian
tomb paintings had major ramifications. Unfortunately, when he
submitted a rough draft of a paper to the peer-reviewed journal
"Archaeology Today", it was returned with an encouraging letter, but
also with numerous suggestions for changes from the referees.
Felix had no patience for reading critical comments or making changes
to please some random reviewer.
|"d'OVNI" magazine (click on image for
So he looked for a venue where he could expect to have his paper
accepted with no challenges from "reviewers". To the complete
surprise of most of the Anthropology department, that venue was
journal of the Société d'OVNI of Paris. That
magazine was best
covers and frequent references to Roswell (see example, to the
right). But Felix had been a regular subscriber for several
years, and had in fact first heard about the discovery near El Obeid
an item in the Letters column of d'OVNI. So, when he wrote the
final version of what was to be his first published paper in several
years, he wrote it in French. The paper, now titled
"Soucoupes volants geantes entrevu dans certaines dessins dans
tombeaux d'egypt antique", was accepted by d'OVNI with no changes and
published in their next issue
the claims in the paper were truly
groundbreaking, it was almost entirely ignored by the anthropology
community, possibly because few of its members had ever heard of the
journal in which the paper appeared
A Strange Path to Stock Market Success
By all accounts, Felix's behavior after his return from sabbatical
became increasingly eccentric. Several of his interests seemed to
have become intermixed in some rather peculiar ways.
During the first weeks following his return, he began bringing his cat,
Nim-nim, to the office with him. This by itself was not
strange; many cats were seen around Miskatonic. But Felix, who
almost never closed a door in his life (due, no doubt, to his tendency
to collide with closed doors when hurrying from one room to another),
started closing his door for an hour after lunch each day. Since
his door had a large glass panel in it, this certainly wasn't for
privacy; rather, he seems to have wanted to shut out all extraneous
sound during what appeared to curious faculty members peering in
through the door to be private language lessons
. Well and
good; Felix's interest in languages of all sorts was well known.
Many people take language lessons; many professors give language
lessons to pupils; that, by itself, was not strange. But what was
strange was that Felix appeared to be giving language lessons to
or perhaps, as department wags suggested, the cat was giving language
lessons to Felix. Be that as it may, the hour after lunch was
spent with Felix in his swivel chair, and Nim-nim sitting on his desk
facing Felix. And, as far as the onlookers could tell through the
closed door, cat and man, both apparently concentrating intently,
alternated in making sounds, or at least alternated in moving their
mouths. If it wasn't a language lesson, then no one in the
department could guess what it might have been
Nim-nim, who gave every impression of being a typical cat, spent most
afternoons after the "language lesson" sleeping.
A few months after his return from sabbatical, Felix, who had always
treated money more as a necessary evil than as something desirable,
suddenly did an about-face on the subject. He started subscribing
to the Financial Times, and every morning, early arrivers would find
Felix at his desk, poring over the stock pages. Nim-nim, as a
dutiful cat, could always be found on top of the paper, positioning
herself exactly where Felix was looking ... but that is where all
resemblance to normality ended. For Nim-nim wasn't sprawled
languidly on the paper; nor was Nim-nim chasing imaginary mice under
the edge of the paper; nor was Nim-nim batting pencils off the
desk. Rather, Nim-nim was sitting up, alertly, staring at the
paper along with Felix -- and to make the scene even stranger, Felix
and Nim-nim appeared to be mumbling words to each other from time to
time, just as though they were discussing the merits of various
investments. But the words, if they were words, were
unintelligible. If they were actually part of a language, it was
not known to anyone in the Miskatonic Anthropology Department; so said
those who happened to overhear some of the mumbled phrases
According to rumors in the department, Felix's investment strategy,
whatever it might have been, was remarkably successful. By the
time of Felix's second sabbatical, it was said that he was
independently wealthy, and that he only continued at the University out
of love for his research
It was about a year after Felix's first sabbatical that the Arkham
animal control office first took official notice of the feral cat
colony which was living behind the Miskatonic dining hall. Since
feral cats don't keep records, and since no one in Arkham had
previously censused the cats, we have no way of knowing how long the
colony had been there before it was officially noticed, nor whether the
colony had been there before Felix's return from sabbatical. What
known is that Felix became a feral cat advocate at this time.
He successfully opposed all attempts at removing the colony, and even
opposed proposals for a trap-neuter-release program. His claim --
improbable, if not absurd on the face of it -- was that this was a stable
colony, and that the cats in it were controlling their population on
their own. His second, equally implausible claim was that the
cats were living entirely from handouts from the cafeteria and were not
molesting wildlife in the area.
Felix's strategy in fighting for the cats was, first, to overwhelm the
opposition with data. To this end, he and his wife and their
young daughter spent large numbers of hours working with the
cats. Night after night, they could be seen holding video
cameras, sitting among the cats. Oddly, the cats seemed to trust
them, and didn't act in the least bit disturbed at having these large
two-legged intruders in their midst. The resulting video footage
showed a colony which apparently consisted almost entirely of adult
cats, cats who could be seen, night after night, waiting patiently for
the garbage from the dining hall to be put out. Cats which,
furthermore, were never
seen hunting, never seen catching
birds, voles, or other small animals.
The second part of Felix's strategy was to overwhelm the opposition
with lawyers. At the first hint that someone was going to move
against the cats, Felix's legal team filed briefs in both state and
county courts demanding restraining orders, and simultaneously filed
suit to deny the organizations in question the right to operate on
If nothing else, this multipronged attack demonstrated with startling
clarity Felix's new-found financial clout. Though a portion of
the legal talent was pro bono
, the legal team was large, and
even the very nominal fees which were charged still amounted to a great
deal of money.
While Felix's output of papers remained nearly nil, the pace of his
research accelerated. However, his interest was now almost
entirely consumed by studies of something
which he had found in
Sudan. His promise to tell all once his research was completed
showed no sign of either being fulfilled, nor of being broken, as there
was no evidence that his research -- into whatever it was -- was coming
to any kind of conclusion.
Felix did publish one short paper, detailing some of the work he was
doing and some of what was being found. Once again, the paper
appeared in d'OVNI
While there were tantalizing hints of something outlandish going on,
few details were given. In summary,
- A large structure had been discovered, entirely buried in the
- Fragments of some sort of writing had been found. Whether
the writing was on the structure itself, or on some scroll, or even on
a palimpsest which might contain clues to yet earlier writings, or had
been found on some other object(s) found inside the structure, was not
The graphemes used in the writing were unfamiliar to Felix, and
he believed they were previously entirely unknown. He included a
small tracing of several of them (see figure, right), which
did not appear to be characters
known writing system.
- He stated that the graphemes seemed to form a syllabary, and that
he was working out a Romanization for them. He included a few
Romanized words to illustrate it.
Had Felix submitted the paper to any recognized journal it would have
been challenged on multiple points. If Felix was working out a
Romanization, then he must have had an idea of the pronunciation of the
language. Yet, if the language was heretofore unknown, and
(presumably!) dead, how could he have come by such knowledge? Was
he just guessing? He did not say.
Felix also included translations of several words -- but he said
nothing about how he had determined their meanings! How could he
know, for example, that iemy
his Rosetta stone? The article did not say. No one would
deny that Felix was brilliant, but even the most inspired reasoning
requires data to work from.
But years passed, and while Felix continued to make frequent journeys
to Sudan, no further papers were forthcoming. The mysteries
Felix continued to teach one course at Miskatonic, but he spent his
summers in Sudan. His entire family accompanied him, including
Nim-nim, despite the difficulties this entailed due to stringent laws
in Egypt and Sudan regarding importation of foreign domestic animals.
By all accounts, upon his return from his last summer vacation from
Miskatonic, Felix was visibly excited. More than once, he was
heard to exclaim that he had "found the key", but when pressed to say
what key he had found and what it might unlock, he refused to give
details, saying only that he wasn't ready to publish anything yet.
On one occasion, a graduate student, passing Felix's partly open door,
heard Felix in what seemed to be an animated conversation with
someone. The student just caught the phrase, "With the key, you
can finally go home!". Curious as to who it was who might be
leaving the department to go home, the student looked in through the
panel in Felix's door. Strangely, there was nobody in the office
except Felix -- and, of course, Nim-nim.
Accusations of Terrorism; Black Market Deuterium
Things started to fall apart for Felix when the FBI contacted
university authorities regarding a possible violation of the recently
passed Nuclear Materials Act. Rumors spread like
wildfire: Felix was a terrorist; Felix was buying plutonium;
Felix had an atomic bomb hidden in his office (it was such a mess, he
could have had six A-bombs hidden in it with nobody the wiser); Felix
had actually made his (apparently vast) fortune by selling mini-nukes
to Al Qaeda, not by playing the stock market. For a week, nobody
but Felix showed up for classes in the anthropology building, for fear
of radiation poisoning from Felix's supposed cache of plutonium.
The actual accusation was not quite so frightening, but was certainly
strange. Felix was suspected of having attempted to purchase
deuterium oxide, also known as heavy water
. Since this
was an ordinary reagent, frozen into ice cubes by grad students to
prevent hangovers, and consumed by the gallon by the Miskatonic
department of cold fusion research, it was not immediately clear
either why Felix would have tried to buy it on the European black
market (as the FBI report alleged) rather than going through the
University's normal supplier, nor why anyone would have cared had he
actually done so.
The problem, it seems, was that Felix had been attempting to purchase twenty
of it. This was far more than he could have obtained through
"ordinary" channels, and had necessitated his going to the black
market. That, in turn, had gotten the FBI interested.
But since purchasing heavy water was not, in itself, illegal, and
because there was as yet no evidence concerning any illegal use Felix
might have put it to, they didn't immediately do anything beyond making
A Second "Sabbatical" in the Desert
With ongoing FBI inquiries into Felix's actions, and with world concern
over terrorism already at fever pitch, the University apparently felt
they had to do something about their "rogue professor". They
announced that they were conducting their own investigation of the
FBI's concerns, and that Felix would be going on leave until the
The FBI, in turn, requested that Felix remain available for
questioning. Apparently some people in the United States
government were still deeply concerned over the fact that Felix had
refused to say what he might have wanted all that deuterium for -- in
fact, he had not even admitted to the (attempted) purchase, claiming
the FBI must have had him mixed up with someone else. As evidence
that he couldn't have done such a thing, he asked, very reasonably,
what an anthropologist could possibly want with all that
deuterium! But since that's exactly the question the FBI was
hoping Felix himself would answer, his "reasonable" defense didn't get
him very far.
Felix's legal team eventually negotiated a compromise with the
FBI: Felix would be allowed to leave Massachusetts if
he kept the government apprised of his location. To no one's
surprise, Felix immediately notified them that he would be leaving for
Sudan. Once again, he would be taking his family and cat along.
There is evidence that Felix intended to abide by the agreement.
He actually purchased plane tickets for the trip, and made arrangements
to transport his usual collection of paraphernalia which he took along
on research trips, along with some unspecified additional
luggage. But at the last minute there was a problem with the
airline; the "additional luggage" turned out to be forty crates
of "delicate equipment" which he said could not be safely carried in
the cargo hold. They would need to be transported in the cabin,
with the passengers. Felix was willing to purchase a ticket for
each crate, and even to pay a substantial premium above what a normal
ticket would cost -- he would pay whatever the airline felt was
reasonable. But he absolutely had to have his crates brought
The crates weren't especially heavy -- perhaps ten kilos each.
There was, therefore, no physical
reason why they couldn't be flown in the cabin, as Felix wanted.
But there was a problem: The airline absolutely demanded that
Felix specify what was in each crate, which he refused to do.
They also demanded the right to open each crate and inspect the
contents, a demand which he also refused. And so things reached a
standoff -- the airline would not fly Felix along with his mysterious
crates, and he would not go without them.
Felix had his lawyers negotiate with the airline. In turn, the
airline asked Felix's lawyers to try to talk some sense into Felix,
which they tried mightily to do:
Lawyer: "Felix, you have to tell them what's in the crates.
Why, you could be carrying terrorists in those crates!"
Felix: "Right, terrorists who weigh 10 kilos each.
Ça, c'est entierement fou!"
Lawyer: "What? What? What?"
Felix: "Désolé, didn't mean to be obscure; that was
just a bit of
French. I said it's a silly idea. Just get them to be
reasonable, OK? Could we offer
them more money -- would that help?"
Lawyer: "Felix, you could have a bomb in every crate! You have
to let them look in the crates!"
Felix: "Das ist ganz lächerlich!"
Lawyer: "C'mon, Felix, you know I don't understand French!"
Felix: "Wasn't French, it was German. I just said
that's ridiculous. First of all, I'll be on the plane too, along
with my family,
and I'm certainly not going to blow it up. And second, they
can tell if it's a bomb just by having one of those dogs of theirs
sniff each crate. C'mon, can't you get them to come around
Lawyer: "Short of buying the airline I don't think there's any
way we can get them to fly these things if you won't say what's in
Felix: "Iȓtuine yȓk irarj eet aȓfar yt etyȓ!!"
Lawyer: "Enough with the German, Felix!"
Felix: "That wasn't German."
Lawyer: "Look -- even if you can't let them
in the crates, if you want me to get anywhere with them, at least tell me
what's in them! What is it? What can't you let them see?"
But Felix wouldn't say. And so the day of Felix's planned
departure approached, and nothing had been worked out.
The Great Disappearance
When Felix's flight finally took off, neither he nor his family
were aboard, as negotiations with the airline had remained
deadlocked to the end.
And then Felix vanished.
In total contravention of his agreement with the FBI, Felix simply
of sight, along with his family and his cat. An all points
bulletin was issued. Nobody boarded a plane (or bought a roll of
stamps) within 100 miles of Arkham without being compared with
photographs of Felix, Felicia, and Isis. Even Nim-nim's
photograph was put up in post offices throughout the state of
Massachusetts. No more the merely eccentric professor; now, he
was Felix the Fugitive.
Taking the Low Road
It was only months later that Felix's actions were pieced together.
Whether he was ever really planning to fly is not known. However,
what is now known is that Felix had alternative travel plans in place
from the start. The "Chatonnoire", a small freighter, was sailing
from Boston to Tripoli "in ballast", after delivering 1000 tons of
dried poppies. The ship owner's plan to pick up a shipment of
400,000 cases of baked beans had fallen through and they had no other
customers lined up, so it was returning home empty. Consequently,
Felix's offer to charter the whole ship for the trip had been welcomed
-- and if Felix wanted to bring along 40 crates, or even 400 crates,
that was fine with the owner.
As to the contents of those crates, long before Felix was tracked down,
members of his department had already guessed what must have been in
them. For, it seems, Felix and his family were not the only
members of the community who had vanished. The feral cat colony
behind the dining hall had apparently up-stakes and left the very same
day Felix stopped coming into the office. While nobody
could hazard a guess as to why
Felix might have wanted to take
the cats along to Sudan, it was widely believed that that was exactly
what he had done. For further support to the idea, it was widely
agreed that this explained why Felix wouldn't tell anyone what was in
the crates, beyond saying it was "delicate equipment". Surely,
Sudan would never have willingly allowed him to import an entire colony
of feral cats, whether or not each colony member had a first class
passenger ticket on the airplane.
As far as anyone can tell, the Chatonnoire landed at Tripoli as
planned, and Felix and his retinue debarked. After that the
story starts to become hazy.
According to Ali Roulevite, an unemployed auto mechanic who was
lucky enough to be on the docks that
day and who watched the performance, there was a bus waiting for the
Chatonnoire when it entered the harbor. It was a retired
bus, of the sort where you need to climb a few steps to get to the
passenger cabin, which rides on top of an enormous luggage bay.
Felicia, who was first off the boat, hurried up the dock and entered
the bus; moments later, she left the bus with another woman whom Ali
thought was the driver. Felicia and the driver entered what
looked like a small office in a dockside building.
crew of the Chatonnoire lugged Felix's baggage from the ship to the
dock, where a local stevedore ran it up to the waiting bus on a small
truck. The baggage, including all of their clothing, a few
archaeological equipment, and a number of 40 pound sacks of something
which the watcher on the dock thought looked like animal feed, was
stowed through a door in the side of the bus, as usual; it fit with no
problem, leaving room to spare in the baggage compartment.
Ali saw no sign of the supposed forty crates.
And then the real show began. Felix and Isis walked down
the gangplank from the ship ... and they were followed by what Ali
could only describe as a herd
of cats. The very concept is an offense against common sense; we
compare managing a group of difficult people to "herding cats", because
their own way as individuals, and never travel in a herd. But
these cats supposedly did. As Felix and Isis walked from the end
the gangplank up the quay to the bus, the cats followed them, still in
Some time after Felix, Isis, and the cats had boarded the bus, Felicia
and the driver came
out of the office. They shook hands, and the driver was heard to
is, roughly translated, "Good luck!". Felicia boarded the
the motor started up, and the bus proceeded to drive away, as the
(former) driver stood by the side of the road and watched, after which
she returned to the
That, at any rate, was the story told by Ali, who claimed to have
sitting on the dock watching the affair. The bus driver, Fatima
Souriciére, who also was the owner of the bus line, had a very
different story to tell when Interpol descended on her office a few
hours later. She said Felix and Felicia had stolen her bus at
She told the Interpol agents that a woman wearing a ski mask and
carrying an AK-47 had burst into her bus and had ordered her out, and
told her to lie face down in the road. She claimed to have been
that position, seeing nothing but the dust of the road, until after the
off. She said she had no idea where they were going or what
they wanted the bus for. She knew nothing of anything loaded onto
the bus, because she'd been lying face down in the road from the time
they started loading the bus to the time they drove away. She became
very agitated during the interview, and demanded that Interpol get her
bus back as quickly as possible.
The Chatonnoire left port immediately after dropping off Felix and his
family, without filing an itinerary. Neither its captain nor crew
have been located. The stevedore has not been located,
either. When asked about the statements of Ali Roulevite, Fatima
scoffed, saying he was a worthless bum and a liar, widely known for his
fanciful stories, and added that she had not seen him at all that day
and doubted very much that he was anywhere near the docks during the
incident. Thus we are left to guess as to what really happened on
the dock that day.
Flight, and Pursuit by Interpol
How had Interpol gotten involved? Why were they interested in
The answer, it seems, is that Felix had
been trying to purchase
heavy water on the black market -- and what's more, he had succeeded
apparently been tipped off regarding the sale, and had
apparently received a tip regarding the bus, but they had failed to
intercept the alleged heavy water delivery. Someplace in North
Africa, there was a tank truck filled with heavy water, which Interpol
believed was now in the hands of Felix -- for what reason, nobody knew.
Souriciére, the bus owner, was of no help in locating Felix.
The best guess anyone could make was that Felix and Felicia would head
east into Egypt and then up the Nile, turning off at Kosti. So
Interpol set up road blocks on Highway 1, which runs along the
coast. They were now claiming that Felix was a nuclear terrorist,
working for a rogue state, and that nobody was safe from him.
With panic in the air, Interpol received the grudging cooperation of
both Libya and Egypt, and blocked the highway on both sides of the
border. And so they tied international truck traffic completely
in knots for several days while they waited for Felix to arrive at one
of their barricades.
But GPS receivers have changed the world, and Felix was probably
equipped not just with a GPS receiver, but also with a laptop and
satellite link and full Internet access. Felix didn't take the
coast road; he headed south along barely marked tracks scratched in the
desert. He crossed the border into Chad somewhere near the city
of Wigh (see
image to right), and from there went directly east to Sudan. His
pursuers only realized what route he took much later, when astonished
witnesses near the border crossings started telling tales of having
seen a bus cruising through the desert, filled with cats
Once again these cats weren't acting "normal" -- they weren't wandering
around the bus meowing to be let out, or standing on the dashboard in
front of the driver's face, or climbing down on the floor and getting
brake pedal. Rather, they were sitting in the seats, looking
calmly out the windows at the world passing by.
According to the stories, the cat bus was followed by an unmarked tank
truck. Some stories had a woman driving the tank truck, and a man
driving the bus; others had it the other way around. One point
all stories agreed on, however: They were traveling as though all
the hoards of Hades were chasing them. The dust cloud they raised
could be seen for miles in all directions. The bus was bouncing
over the chuckholes and moguls in the road like a crazed frog riding a
pogo stick, and some claimed that the tank truck was rocking and
jolting so badly that you could hear the liquid inside sloshing
the drivers must not be humans at all, but demons. Those
whose villages they passed through were utterly terrified by the
careening vehicles ... much like everyone who ever encountered the
driving of Felix or Felicia. This, alone, would have been enough
to convince anyone who knew them that Felix and Felicia were certainly
the ones at the wheels!
And the little caravan never came within 500 miles of any roadblock set
up by Interpol.
None of the roads in Sudan were blockaded. It appears that
the Sudan government was less impressed than some others with the
hysterical claims that Felix had become a "nuclear terrorist".
Despite the fact that he was traveling around with enough heavy water
to fuel several thousand cold fusion
experiments, the fact remained that nobody had a clue how any amount of
deuterium oxide could be used to make a bomb. In short, it was
weird, but it wasn't dangerous.
Consequently, once Felix crossed the border into Sudan he was "home
Interpol had expected Felix to cross into Egypt, at the earliest, two
days after leaving Tripoli. They reasoned that even highway 1 on
the coast was not very good, and with two drivers and two vehicles,
they could only drive half the time. By this reasoning, it
should have been at least another two days after that before Felix
into Sudan from Egypt -- and there were roadblocks on the Egyptian side
of the border with Sudan, as well.
So it was only after four days that they began to wonder if Felix had
somehow gotten through their net.
After another day passed, it occurred to someone that they should try
to guess where Felix was going, and get to his destination before
him. The exact location of his "dig site" wasn't known, but they
where it was, and by using helicopters they thought
they could locate it in short order. Since helicopters move much
faster than buses, it was assumed that, even if Felix had somehow
evaded the barricades, they would still get to the site before him.
So the helicopters were sent out, and they quartered the area north and
west of El Obeid, and in short order they found what they felt must
be Felix's fabulous site, and they closed in, prepared to intercept
Felix, Felicia, and their cargo of heavy water and cats, and stop them
from doing whatever it was they intended to do.
But as usual, Felix and Felicia had arrived ahead of schedule.
From the air, the helicopter pilots could see a bus, a truck of some
sort, and a crater. When they landed, they found that the bus was
empty, the cargo hold in the bus was empty, and there was no driver in
truck, which was, indeed, a tanker. A quick check of the tank
showed that it, too, was empty
-- the heavy water, if that's
really what it had been, was gone.
And the crater ... presumably, the crater was the site of Felix's
archaeological dig, but the dig, too, seemed to have vanished.
There was nothing there but an empty hole. Several hundred feet
across and fifty feet deep, it was just a crater -- no half-buried
building, no palimpsests, no scrolls, no carved stones, nothing to show
there had ever been anything of interest there.
How can you steal an entire archaeological site?
And how can three people, forty cats, and 5000 gallons of heavy water
Interpol found no answers to these questions.
Felix's Grad Students
Interpol was at a loss --
Felix might as well have simply vanished into thin air. But there
were clues, if one knew where to look. And the Miskatonic Monthly
staff looked. Professor Schnarchhund, who had the office next to
Felix, wrote an article for them, after talking to a number of students
who'd taken Felix's classes. We obtained permission to reprint
the article, in its verbose and weird entirety:
The Footprints of the Cat
by Johann Schnarchhund
Well, folks, our Felix has done it again, this time better than
ever! After terrorizing half of Africa he vanished out
the noses of the best cops on three continents. And the
is, nobody has a clue where he went -- not the Dean, not the
Council, not the FBI -- and certainly not Interpol!
But what about Felix's students? Do they have a
clue? I wondered. So, I asked them.
Our Felix has been teaching one course every semester for the
oh, who knows, it seems like forever. He's one of the
the University: One-course Felix. But Felix never
just any course -- he taught just what he wanted
teach. (Why do some profs have all the luck?) And
Felix wanted to teach was something he called "Topics in
Anthropology". Prerequisite: Permission of
Felix. Meeting time: 12:00. Location:
cafeteria. In other words, a few kids Felix liked
around with him twice a week and have lunch. (For this, he
paid ... oh well, some profs have all the luck.)
But I'm getting catty here. Really, Felix did some
stuff in that class -- or, rather, that seminar;
that's what it's called in the course catalog. "Graduate
2 credits. pre: Perm instr". On days when the discussion
got going, they'd all retire to a seminar room after lunch and
it until somebody had to go to another class, or until they had
break for dinner. (In fact I heard they sent out for pizza
just kept going until the next morning a few times -- believe
So what were these classes really like? I talked to Fred
who took Felix's seminar last year. Here, in his own
words, is a
description of the class:
sit at one end of the table, and we'd, like, sit around the
table, like, y'know, Jesus at Supper, and Felix -- we all
him Felix to him, but, y'know, he was 'the Prof' when we
him -- he'd like fire these questions at us, and we'd like try
answer them, with, y'know, answers that might be OK, not just
stuff. OK, I know, that sounded really dumb here, but
mean, he'd ask these questions that were, like, totally weird,
get us to cough up serious answers. OK, look, here's
We're all sitting down in the caf, like munching and stuff,
Prof goes 'What do you do if your spaceship runs out of
looks at me. Dumb-like, I go, "Uh, walk home?" and
laughs, but not the Prof -- he wants a real answer. So I
again, "Uh, I guess it depends on what your spaceship might
huh?" and the Prof's a lot happier. But that's not
of it; we talked for like a couple hours that time, all about
your spaceship runs out of gas -- what a gas, if every anthro
was like that I'd be an anthro major for sure!
Sounds great, doesn't it? Sort of like basket weaving with
served. Was there really any content to these classes at
all? I got a different opinion from Sally Jones, who took
course first semester of this year:
know if Felix's class was really easy? You mean, like an
A"? Since Felix gave us all A's I guess you could say
really, I worked really really hard in that class. It was
really one of
hardest classes I ever took.
Some of the questions Felix asked sounded really silly, like
Fred talked about, but every one of them was tied into
anthropology, and Felix really made you think.
wasn't just Felix asking questions -- he lectured a lot, and
answered a lot of questions, too. And he expected
listen, all the time, and really think, all the
it wasn't just one question, one class, boom, we're
Sometimes we'd work on the same question for weeks, and
would start on a topic, and just lecture us about it, and that
on for weeks sometimes, too. It was really really free
He could be really annoying too, though. Like, he didn't
answer questions in English. And sometimes part of his
wouldn't be in English.
[I asked her what language he'd use instead] What
language? Oh, sometimes it was French, sometimes it was
sometimes it was Latin, or Spanish, or ... Oh, I don't
Anyhow it wasn't so bad when it was German, because I could
it OK. And when it was Latin or French, Sarah -- she was
class -- would translate for the rest of us -- Felix was
that. It was really rough on the days when Felix decided
speak Sanskrit, though. And when... [she
[I asked her what she was about to say] Oh,
dunno -- it's just, Felix sometimes spoke, well, he, uh, he
a lot of
languages. And he'd always tell us what he was speaking,
except -- well -- sometimes there was this language he spoke,
never told us what it was, and we had a really terrible time
those days. It sounded like ... oh, I don't know what it
like. [She laughed.] I heard a rumor he
to animals, too, like that Doolittle guy [she laughed
Anyhow he really did make us work really hard in that class.
So, folks, Felix was conducting classes that were stranger than
the rest of us on the faculty realized. I guess we should
more attention to our colleagues!
But we're still not any closer to knowing where he went.
asked a couple of his students where they
thought he went, they just said they didn't know. But
we knew what Felix taught in this class, we could make a
I, for one, would really love to know! So, even though I
hard work as a matter of policy, I took the time to interview every
one of his former students I could locate, and compiled
topics which were "taught", or should I say "discussed", in his
class. And then I discarded all the topics which Felix
for just one class and didn't repeat.
And I looked at the list of topics which he'd used repeatedly,
he'd spent lots of time on in one semester, and tried to fit
together into some kind of coherent whole.
And when I saw the picture which emerged, for the first time in
life, I, Johann Schnarchhund, was at a loss for words.
Here's my list:
At this point I started feeling a little strange about Felix and
his trips to Africa. But there's more.
- When were cats first
Felix had serious doubts about the commonly accepted
age of "the domestic cat" -- or at any rate that's the
students were left with.
- Were African Wild Cats
Among anthropologists, the "African wild cat" is
normally assumed to be the ancestor of "the domestic
didn't agree, and spent weeks
working on the domestication of the cat with his students in
to figure out, as he put it, what
- If aliens had landed on
Earth long ago, and couldn't
where would we find their descendants?
Felix treated this rather weird little question as a
sort of "brainstorm starter". He brought it up every semester, but
it for more than one class period.
- How durable would a
starship need to be?
His students found this question really strange -- until
about it. For, when you think about it, you realize
you don't ever
want your spaceship to break
down -- you can't just get out and wait by the side of the
road for AAA
to come and tow you, and you can't just sit down on a nearby
wait for the Highway Patrol to stumble over you. So,
want it to be very very
Felix treated this as a "lead-in" to an additional,
question: If a starship was abandoned somewhere on
long could it remain in a usable state? Years,
So far we've got a bunch of pieces which don't fit. But
few topics really got my attention -- his trips to Africa were
getting an explanation, of sorts:
- Omens: What effect
do they have on advanced civilizations?
You may think this is a no-brainer, but apparently
Felix didn't. He used this topic roughly every other
According to his students, he was thinking of really
-- like, for instance, a supernova exploding in your
Suppose a star just a couple lightyears away blew its top,
planetary nebula it spat out started swallowing the night
afterwards. What would people think?
Would would aliens
thought if it had happened to them?
- Synchronicity: When
Is Coincidence Stretched Too Far?
This was sort of a "gee whiz" thing, a survey of things that
together, for no apparent reason. Felix brought this
times over the years, as a kind of introduction to the next
- How Old is the Catseye
Felix seemed to think this was really important; he brought
it up every
semester. This seems odd, because it's a
published estimates make it about 4300 years old, and
there's no good
grounds for challenging them. (Felix seems to have
and hard for such grounds!)
After they'd talked about the age of the Nebula for a while,
would lead the conversation around to the question of when
domesticated, and ask if it happened before or after the
which created the nebula. Of course, they always
supernova, and Felix would end the discussion with the
maybe it did."
And finally, there was one topic which stood out like a sore
not just any sore thumb, mind you, an infected and swollen
purple thumb -- so much so that I included it on the list
fact that Felix brought it up just once, in his last semester
didn't spend much time on it:
- If you travel by warp
drive can you arrive before you leave?
This sounds like he was asking about paradoxes, and that's
students always thought at first, too. He'd use this
a lead-in to a series of lectures on relativity. (He did
this in an anthropology
seminar -- did Felix
ever pay attention to established rules?) And the
led his students to, each time he covered this, was that we don't know. If
exist, then there can't be any paradoxes in their use,
doesn't contradict itself -- but "now" isn't the same
if you travel thousands of lightyears by warp drive, you may
time is off by a a thousand years or more from what you
Or, at any rate, that's what Felix claimed, and after
listening to his
lectures on the subject, (most of) his students eventually
Sometimes, at the end of this unit, he'd go back to the
when the Catseye nebula formed, and ask if a traveler from
who left the year it formed could have arrived on earth before cats
were domesticated. And
this time, based on his rather strange lectures on
conclusion was always: "Maybe."
- What if your spaceship
runs out of fuel?
Felix brought this up several times, and it was a lot less
Fred made it sound. The question Felix really
wanted to ask seemed to be,
"What if a
spaceship came to
a primitive planet, like Earth several thousand years ago,
and didn't have enough
fuel to go home?"
- What kind of fuel would you use
to power a
Felix presented this topic just once, shortly before his
His anthropology students were totally out of their depth on
should have given an astrophysics seminar. But they
this as well as they could, with guidance from Felix, who
astrophysicist by training. And they concluded -- get
people! -- that Star Trek got it wrong, antimatter is no
good, it's too
hard to handle. You'd probably want to run your warp
drive from a fusion
engine -- and
the best fuel for that might very well be ... are you ready
this? ... deuterium.
what form would you want your deuterium to be in?
deuteride, maybe -- or for ease of handling, maybe you'd
want to design
your motor to run on deuterium
So, there you have it. Or maybe you don't. I really
know. After all this, all I can conclude is... I wish
where ever he is.
- Is there any evidence of
alien languages on Earth?
At least this was on-topic for an anthropology class.
family tree of languages is pretty tight, and everything the
think of seemed to fit, without any "leftover bits" which
come from outside.
they'd hashed it over for a while Felix went to the board,
very quickly, wrote phrases in a dozen languages on the
challenged the class to trace the origin of each of them.
And they did so, for all but one of the languages.
The last, untraceable one was unfamiliar to them all,
graphemes which were unlike any they had seen, and Felix
explained that it was from an inscription he'd found in
Sudan. This was
more information than he'd ever
published on the subject!
Sally had written the Romanization of it in her
the phrase was, "aȓt zfea enz onaȓt oun". She didn't
know what it
One year after Felix's disappearance, the University placed him
officially on "permanent leave" and started to clean out his office.
It was a huge, windowless room in the basement. Felix had been in
it for a number of years, and had accumulated more junk than anyone
would have thought possible in that time. It was utterly without
organization, with textbooks, computer parts, personal papers, drafts
of never-published research papers, notes on ancient civilizations,
miscellaneous broken bits of office equipment, a few parts from a car
he was rebuilding "in his spare time", a number of unmatched galoshes
and gloves, and a lot of stuff that simply couldn't be identified,
along with large amounts of obvious trash, all heaped against the
walls, on the tables, on the floor, and behind the furniture, with much
of it stained or sticky with ancient spilled and long since dried
Since everyone wanted to know where he'd gone, and since the University
really wanted to know what he'd been doing for his unpublished
"research" all those years, all of his papers were to be sorted and
examined. Consequently the cleaning out proceeded slowly.
Discovery of the Book of Iem, and the Grammar of Iemy
A lot of the "obvious trash" consisted of papers which were crumpled up
and left on the floor in heaps, as well as papers which had completely
illegible scrawls on them, or which had text that had been obliterated
by spilled coffee. Much of this "trash" had already been dumped
in recycling when someone ran across a paper which had more of the
"illegible scrawls" on it, along
with an English translation
. It was only then that people
realized that at least some of the "trash" must have been notes on the
mysterious language which had come up in his seminars and which had
been mentioned so briefly in his published work.
And so the recycling bins and dumpsters which hadn't yet been emptied
were brought back and dumped out on the floor, and the job was begun a
second time, this time with every crumpled leaf being carefully
flattened and photographed and sorted. And so, very gradually,
the Book of Iem
began to emerge from the
mounds of detritus. And
from time to time a sheet would be found with tables of words in Iemy
and vague scribbles in English; these represented no text from the
Book. These were Felix's notes on the
grammar of Iemy
on a previously unknown language, notes which Felix had never published.
Unfortunately, when Felix was in a hurry (which was almost always), his
English writing was nearly as hard to read as his Iemy writing.
Consequently it has taken a great deal of time to assemble the Book of
Iem from his notes, and it is still not complete. And the process
of compiling his grammatical notes has been every bit as slow and
difficult. As more of the Book of Iem is discovered and
deciphered, and as we learn more of the language from Felix's
fragmentary grammar notes, we'll continue to update our pages on the
This concludes the reliable information we have on Professor
Resilleserre. Since completing this page, however, we have been
in communication with Professor Johann Schnarchhund and have received
what appears to be detailed information regarding Felix's subsequent
activities. For further information, please see the Iemy
- "Felix Resilleserre: The Unauthorized
Biography", Minou [self published]
- "The Feral Cats of the Miskatonic University
132-K, Arkham Office of Animal Control
- Private communication, Bursar's Office of
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1980
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1981
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1982
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1983
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1984
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1985
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1986
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1987
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1988
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1989
- Harvard University Yearbook for 1990
- Faculty records for the years 1980-1999, Miskatonic
- "Shoggoths at the Birdfeeder: My Strange
Miskatonic; A Memoir", Lavinia Upton [Yog-Sothoth Press]
- "Minutes of the Convocation of the Council of
(subtitled: Seconds, Hours and Days of Total Strangeness at a Hotel in
Boston)", Euphemia E. Smith [Eich Publishing House, a
division of Eddore Limited]
- "Marriages, Deaths, and Doings About Town", Flora
- "Antediluvian Rocs of the White Nile", Felicia
[Miskatonic University Press]
- "Soucoupes volants geantes entrevu dans
certaines dessins dans
tombeaux d'egypt antique", Felix Resilleserre [d'OVNI issue 121 pp
- "Sommaire de la recherche dans les environs de
le grand trou
à l'ouest d'El-Obeid", Felix Resilleserre
[d'OVNI, issue 143 pp 111-112]
- "Annual Summary of Persons Reported Missing", Federal
- "A partial inventory of the effects of Felix
Resilleserre, PhD", Miskatonic
- "Belling the Cat", Johann Schnarchhund
Monthly] -- Ed. note: Johann had office 10, next door to
Felix's. This somewhat satirical essay appeared in the
University student newspaper, which occasionally ran pieces by
as well as students.
- "Fast Felix: How to Morph a Staid
Professor of Archaeology into an International Terrorist in One Easy
Lesson", Daren Cotenoire [Dark
- "Un Peu Trop: Interpol Outrepasse la
Ligne", Editorial [Le
Strange Case of the Missing Mass (of Cats)", Suzette
Suivrechat [Miskatonic Monthly]
- "AK-47: Still The Best when you Need it
Light, Reliable, and Now", Jorge
[Mercenary Today, issue 220 p 11]
- "Ugh! What a Mess!", Sally
Jones [Miskatonic Monthly]
- "Ghosts in the Basement", Joseph
Page created on 4/11/2009; first uploaded on 6/22/2009