Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
“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.
*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.
Interviewer: Good morning, John. Do you know who I am?
John: I was told a psychologist would be visiting. Are you her?
Interviewer: I am. I’m Doctor ****** **********.
John: I’m happy to answer any questions you have for me, doctor. Maybe I can save us some time and tell you that I know you want to hear about my eyes. So let’s start there.
Interviewer: Thank you, John. And you’re right — your eyes are at the top of my agenda. What happened?
John: Can’t you see? I’d be shocked if it weren’t obvious.
Interviewer: I see you’ve turned them backwards, yes. I’ve seen the x-rays and imaging. You managed to avoid significant injury, which I think we can both agree is a great thing.
John: More than great.
Interviewer: Why is that?
John: Because now I can see everything I’d missed.
Interviewer’s Note: John returned from space complaining of headaches and blurry vision. Examinations yielded nothing. His symptoms persisted. The pain grew unbearable and his vision diminished. John declared himself blind two days later. Further tests were inconclusive. Even if he were in perfect health, which is what the tests showed, doctors believed he could not see. All specialists were at a loss.
Five days after John’s return from space, he mutilated himself. He dislodged his eyes and stretched the optic nerves enough to turn his eyes to face the inside of his head. Every doctor on staff was baffled by how John had managed to do this without severing the nerves and blood vessels.
All John’s complaints about headaches and blurry vision ceased. He has been in psychiatric care since then. No attempts have been made to fix the direction of his eyes.
Interviewer: Can you explain what you mean by “see everything you’d missed?”
John: Ever since I was a kid, I looked up at the stars. They fascinated me. They called to me. I knew when I was four that someday I’d walk among them. The books I read had said it would be possible in the future. That was all I needed. Lo and behold, I went to space for the first time when I was 36. It was beyond anything I could have expected.
Interviewer: But something was missing.
John: Yes. I’ve been to space twice since then. This last time, when I performed a space walk to fix something outside the shuttle, I discovered I was wrong to be excited. My dreams had been misplaced.
Interviewer: Can you elaborate on that, John?
John: I think so, yes. But I need you to trust me. Will you?
Interviewer: I’ll listen, John, and I will give you the benefit of the doubt. As for trust, we just met. I don’t think either of us have earned it from one another.
John: That’s very fair. And I appreciate your candor. I’ll elaborate for you.
John: The universe curves in on itself, doctor. I could look on and on and on, through the stars and galaxies and void, and if I could see everything – if my eyes were powerful enough to have an unbroken line of sight – you know what I’d see at the end of it?
John: I’d see the back of my own head. No matter where I looked, that’s all I could ever see. All our exploration – all we might find – all terminates right there. We watch ourselves watching ourselves for eternity.
Interviewer: I have to admit, John, that’s a pretty interesting theory. Did you come up with it while you were in space? Or did you get the idea at another time in your life?
John: No. No, I didn’t think of it myself. It was whispered to me during my last space walk.
Interviewer: Whispered? By whom?
Interviewer’s Note: I should remark here that I noticed the first change in John’s physical appearance after asking that question. The blood vessels in his eyes swelled and his optic nerves pulsated. He gave no indication that anything was wrong, however, and I believed it was appropriate to continue our interview.
John: The universe sent me an emissary. She wanted me to know the truth.
Interviewer: Are you referring to an alien intelligence? Were you able to determine whether it was one of the species we’ve already encountered?
John: I don’t think so, no.
Interviewer: Was it something new?
John: No. Not new at all. I believe it was the universe herself.
Interviewer: Can you tell me what it said? The universe?
Interviewer’s Note: John was silent for a stretch of nearly four minutes. I did not disturb him. He appeared in deep thought, though given the condition of his eyes, it was difficult to say for sure.
John: The whisper said, “Suiversal vastation.”
Interviewer: Suiversal? My Latin is a little rusty, John. Is it like “the universe of the self?” I know “vastation” but I’m unclear on how those words connect.
John: Suiversal vastation. And the whisper showed me. It was just a glimpse. Just a peek. But that was all I needed. It was when the headaches started and my vision started to go. My mind had been rewired to the new way of seeing. Turning my eyes to face it was the necessary step.
Interviewer: Can you see, John?
John: I can. I do.
Interviewer: What can you see?
John: I see the purifying of the chaos that had been inside me. In its place is the real universe; the universe I’d been wanting to see since I was a child. And it’s where the answers are. Every last one. You mentioned the aliens, doctor? The ones who stare through space, just like us? It’s a terrible anthropomorphism. They are not like us. They stare, yes, but with purpose – although one they don’t yet know. What they want to see is what I’m looking at right now. The echoes of human thought. The cycles of dominating our volition onto nature, rather than nature being raped into us. We are the only ones who can do that, doctor. And the aliens know it. And they’ll find us.
Interviewer: I just don’t understand, John. The aliens want our control over nature? Is that what you’re telling me?
John: It would be easier if I just showed you.
End of report.
Releaser’s Note: I was able to piece together the subsequent events using the abandoned log entries from NASA security personnel and medical officials. I cannot guarantee that all the information was logged and there may be gaps in the timeline. Below are the relevant excerpts:
Security report: The astronaut held out his right index finger. It began to elongate. I, as well as *** ***** rushed to intervene, but the psychologist waved us away claiming “I want to see.”
The finger grew to approximately five feet long, spanning the table where the astronaut and doctor were conducting their interview. The finger pressed against doctor’s left eye. She made a sound that suggested pain and *** ***** started toward the astronaut again. “Do NOT interfere,” the doctor ordered. I demanded *** ***** to stay back.
For a moment, the finger did nothing but press on the psychologist’s eye. Then it moved lower and slipped under the eyelid. The eye became dislodged and fell against the doctor’s cheek. *** ***** and I watched as the finger appeared to grow longer and pushed into the doctor’s head.
There was a space of ten minutes when no one spoke. Both the doctor and astronaut were motionless, aside from the eyes of the astronaut swelling and pulsating. After those ten minutes, he withdrew his finger. I must remark that there was blood on about eighteen inches of it.
The doctor made one articulation, which sounded to us like, “oh.” She then spent two or three minutes resituating her eye. She got up and left. I had *** ***** follow her back to her apartment, but she did not allow him entry.
End of report.
Medical report: Doctor ****** ********** was found deceased in her apartment by security officer *** *****. According to his notes, it had been three hours since he had been turned away at the door of her apartment following an incident with astronaut ** ****. The second visit had been for the purpose of checking her well-being after phone calls went unanswered.
Emergency officials deemed her death a suicide, but parallels between her condition and that of the astronaut cannot be overlooked. Her left eye, which had been involved in the interview, had been turned to face the inside of her head. Her right eye, however, had been torn out.
Written in blood on the dining room wall, presumably with the excised right eye, were the following words:
“Fixating and turning in mass direction. Now they know why they look.”
End of report.
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