Notes From Underground

Photo Contribution: Dale Drinnon

"There isn't anything I can't figure out!"
- Richard S. Shaver

Shavertron NorCal Headquarters
Spring 2007

"What Next?"

That's what we ask ourselves when we start writing a Shavertron editorial. It's been this way since the second Shavertron newsletter appeared in 1979. What new thing could we possibly reveal about the Shaver Mystery that Ray Palmer hasn't already beaten to death? Hmmm. Maybe nothing. Maybe something. We never know until it's done. So we'll be up front about it: you won't find any new Mystery revelations in 2007. This year's update is "Shavertron lite," though you will probably find SOMETHING you haven't seen before.

Let's just say that it ain't like it used to be. Back in the 1980s, when Shavertron was a quarterly fanzine, there were boatloads of contributors. In the nearly 30 years since the first Shavertron, those contributors have simply vanished. Why? The ravages of time, most likely.

A lively discussion started by Theo Paijmans (of Mundus Subterraneus) and Timothy Greene Beckley (Mr. UFO) in the Shavertron Discussion Group pointed out that historic materials simply vanish when researchers die. It is a fact. Researchers die and their libraries die with them. They are sold off at garage sales or thrown out. What this means to Shavertron is that those very same folks who were Shaver Mystery buffs back in the day, are either dead or "getting up there," and the materials they once contributed to this humble Mystery mouthpiece have dried up.

Do we have this discussion every year? Maybe we should read our own editorials. In any case, let's move on...

Since we're offering little that is new this year, we've gone in the opposite direction! How about something vintage? Did you know it's a big year for Shaverites? Yes, it's the 60th anniversary of the glorious all-Shaver Mystery ish of "Amazing Stories" magazine. That said, going back seems only fitting .

Photo Contribution: Dale Drinnon

Few readers have had the opportunity to read copies of the hard-to-find Shaver Mystery Club Letterzine. Rich Horton kindly donated two copies of the typed, stapled letterzine, and we're posting them here for your enjoyment.

Thanks to the efforts of David Hauguel, there is a SHAVERTRON FRANÇAIS.

David features P.K. Dick on his site, as well as Shaver, so he's got to be onto something! If you can read French (or even if you can't), check it out.

Wish we had energy to do more, but hey, at least we're still here. Oh, check out our modest Book Review Section. There's a new Shaver book by Michael Mott, reviewed by our Lithuanian correspondent, Figbar Tobar. We hope Figbar will become a permanent fixture here at Shavertron.

Our next featured "Discussions" letter writer will be Steve "Volto" Dero. That'd be next YEAR. So if anyone has research notes they'd like to share on this character, please send them in.

Remember...all yearly Shavertron updates are archived. Look for them at the bottom of the Contents page.

Shavertron © Richard Toronto

June 1947

Shavertron history for new readers:

The original Shavertron was a fanzine devoted to the Shaver Mystery and the life and times of Richard Sharpe Shaver and his editor, Ray Palmer. This leaves the playing field wide open since the Shaver Mystery is rife with ufos, a race of evil weirdos living inside the earth, mind control, a high-tech Elder Race pre-dating our history, abductions, conspiracies and, of course, the sci-fi pulp zine scene of the late 1940s.

The "mystery" began in a 1945 issue of AMAZING STORIES magazine with an article titled "A Warning to Future Man." Editor Ray Palmer and writer Richard Shaver collaborated from there to bring Shaver's unusual cosmology into the world of sci-fi pulp zine literature.

The Shaver Mystery gasped its last breath when Shaver and Palmer died within two years of each other in the mid-1970s. We stopped publishing Shavertron in 1992 since most Shaver Mystery readers were gone (mostly dead) with few leftovers to take their place.

Writers like Jim Pobst, Brian Tucker, Doug Skinner, Tal, Timothy Greene (Mr. UFO) Beckley , Mary Martin (The Hollow Hassle), Branton, Bill Bliss and Gene Steinberg did what they could to keep the Mystery going.

The scene eventually merged with watercooler chit-chat about UFOs, abductions and government conspiracies, all of which were a big part of the Shaver Mystery. Back in 1947, the Shaver Mystery was a bizarre topic of household conversation (probably at cocktail time). Today it's obscure sci-fi history...though it is now being rediscovered by a new circle of oddity seekers and outsider art buffs.

If you're feeling adventuresome, write an article on your S'Mystery research. Post something to the discussion group. The Shaver Mystery is dead ... long live the Shaver Mystery.