In October 1972 sci-fi author Philip K. Dick contacted the FBI. You’d be forgiven thinking that maybe he was worried about photocopiers that now (since 1968) could infringe on copyrights in full color! Or maybe a case of plagarism. After all, in ten years time his novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” would go on to be adapted as Blade Runner, one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
But, let’s not forget this is Philip K. Dick we’re talking about, so it turned out to be something far more bizarre.
“I am a well-known author of science fiction novels, one of which dealt with Nazi Germany (called MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, it described an ‘alternate world’ in which the Germans and Japanese won World War Two and jointly occupied the United States).
I bring this to your attention because several months ago I was approached by an individual who I have reason to believe belonged to a covert organization involved in politics, illegal weapons, etc., who put great pressure on me to place coded information in future novels ‘to be read by the right people here and there’, as he phrased it. I refused to do this.”
His house had been burglarized a year earlier and Philip K. Dick had become convinced the crime was politically motivated. More specifically, be believed it was the work of Neo-Nazis, possibly due to the anti-nazi tone of Man in the High Castle. So, naturally, he concluded that Nazis were also behind this sinister worldwide organization that was blackmailing science fiction writers into including secret messages in their works.
Apparently, the plan was to “decode” this information in the future and release the startling findings to the public. It was to concinve people, that a virulent and deadly new form of Syphilis (that did not really exist) was being spread in the US by foreign agents. This was to be seen as the first strike of World War III and compel the US to respond, starting the full-scale nuclear war.
How the Nazis would have benefited from this was not clear, but hey, even the best writers love Nazis as villains because everyone knows they are so evil they don’t really need a motivation for perpetrating unspeakable acts of destruction..
In the end the FBI decided this strange case of “Solarcon-6″ did not warrant further study. Possibly wisely, considering that it’s now safe to say WWIII did not start over Syphilis and that two years later, in 1974, while recovering from dental surgery Philip K. Dick started to receive messages from God.
You can read the whole story of Solarcon-6 in the latest issue of the Fortean Times. Registration required, but it’s free.