The real "Mystery" of Shaver is that anyone had sense enough to publish it.
Actually, it is a five-foot shelf of books in its entirety, so for as little as one expects it to be, it's amazing to most.
It is all about pre-first fall cultures. It is the true ancient history of our race before it was destroyed, and it is about WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AFTER THE DESTRUCTION.
The Shaver Mystery began in the mid-1940s when I mailed Ray Palmer, then editor of Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures, an ancient Alphabet I had been working on for years. A is for animal, B is for baby, etc. In using it, one is really using the original ancient space-pidgin from which all language springs. It was brought to Earth in the first spaceships in the very beginning of things when the world was just starting to burgeon with a vast flora and fauna like nothing seen before of since. (In my record study, this was presaged by the first pass-over when spores and seeds were sprinkled over a totally sterile planet Just thawing from a long freeze, as though Earth had been a voyager Of deep space that had been captured by the Sun.).
You can figure out for yourself how this alphabet works with a few leads which I accidentally ran into long ago. You can trace words changed through the Age Of Ignorance after the Moon struck Earth, destroyed the ancient long-term culture and brought on the series of interim ³cultures² we know as the Dark Ages. The latter were actually interim periods between moon-falls, none of which are as recognized or understood by so-called "science.² Earth's history, back to the first moon-fall when our planet collided with the Moon when both orbiting the Sun, has been only dark and weary ages of little but war and ignorance and universal death every few thousand years as the Moon bounced off of our world again and again to take up a new orbit with the velocity acquired from Earth's spin.
At any rate, it was the alphabet that caught Palmer's eye and made him ask for a story based on its origin. I gave it to him and wrote more as long as they sold. It was not until later that I realized that Palmer's old writers had all been drafted, leaving him hard-up to get good stories. The man I succeeded was shot down over Germany.
No one, save for myself and a few in the underworld, had ever really understood the alphabet, though it is the actual bones of our own ancient tongue. Just' what it takes to grasp simplicity is simplicity itself, I guess. It's nothing complex -- sound meanings persist intact while words change. One can recreate the ancient tongue just from studying the simpler sounds and their attached meanings. You can, it you can understand that it existed and that it came from space. We still speak the ancient tongue but have perverted and destroyed the real meanings built in. What we have done is what the politicians and militarists have done with their own jargon of un-meanings, made complex from the simple into non-meaning. We have made obscure that which was never meant to be obscure to anyone.
I cannot say that out of the millions who have read Shaver there were a dozen who truly grasped what I was trying to say. Ray Palmer least of all. I am always aghast at people asking Palmer for details about me, as he never got anything quite straight in this regard since I knew him. I have, for instance, no time for the occult viewpoint.
spiritualism and so forth -- and yet ³Warning to Future Man," the very first story he bought from me, was changed to "I Remember Lemuria," which appeared in the March, 1945 issue of Amazing Stories and was later published between hard covers by Venture Books. The whole slant of everything I had to say was switched from the factual to the misty umbrella of spiritualism and reincarnation -- utter hokum to me.
Deros and Teros and Shaver's alphabet are real, actual physical blood and stink and awful flesh and nightmare in fact, but when Palmer got through with it,, it was all turned around into the dream world of mystical and the real/unreal religious fol-de-rol which never sees a fact as relative to anything like another fact. Nothing I ever wrote suggested any such idea; Palmer was just that sort of editor and I have struggled with it from the first.
I never felt as if what I really wanted to do was ever done. It's like digging in ashes, which is what I mean by mental tamper and telaug rule making our history and our literature by blocking off one's mind as one works. But, as you may have noted in Ted White's answer to my letter in the November, 1971 issue Amazing Stories, people either lie about it out of fear or else actually don't know that it exists at all.
I think they lie, just as Palmer would lie if the publisher asked him if he really believed in all of this stuff. He would say what seemed expected. I think a lot of these people KNOW something about the telaugmentive interference set-up whether they call it "marvs" or some other word, these days one can hear it whispered about quite frequently. But nobody comes right out in the open with it out of fear -- a universal fear of it.
You could poll a whole countryside and every single person would lie that he didn't know what you were talking about. Over a campfire in the evening on a hunting trip of wherever else they feel really isolated and therefore safe from criticism, the same people will tell tales of phenomena that raise your hair. And every single tale includes mind reading, apparitions, voices and sounds of music in the wilderness when there was no living source in sight.
Earth is in truth ruled by the same ancient telaug system that ruled it in pre-Deluge times. Most people know it some of the time when it affects them; they hear it, frequently and tearfully. That is what Shaver writings are about. The cavern of the underworld exist. Buried cities exist. In them, hermetically sealed by the mud flows of upheaved ocean bottoms when the Moon struck us over and over again, is the vast treasure of a vast multitude of vanished populations, the treasures of a planet with a thriving space commerce. This is where the saucers come from and where they go; this is where they were found and re-operated recently.
All this is what Shaver tried to say as "fiction" even as H. G. Wells tried to say it in The Time Machine to wake modern Eloi to their peril.
Note: Thanks go to The Shaver Archive for this contribution