An essay by Doctor Silvania Frample, as provided by Andy Brown
Art by Leigh Legler
In the world of Cryptozoology, many creatures are notable for the sounds they make. This study is to explore the potential uses of some of these creatures.
Sirens have been known since the classical period. Their song has the ability to entrance and enslave human listeners. This lulls them into a trance-like state, which allows the Sirens to devour their prey. Since the classical period, the siren gene has been passed down and has appeared as unusually captivating voices. Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Kate Bush, Dame Nellie Melba, and many other vocalists have been shown to possess the siren gene. Further research will no doubt reveal other examples.
Through our connections, we procured a pure-bred siren. Kept in a sound-proof seclusion tank, we could sample her voice without danger to ourselves.
It was discovered that even the recorded siren call was incredibly powerful. Jeremy Sanderson required extensive therapy–medical, chemical, and psychological–before he was able to return to normality having heard the unadulterated siren song recording.
Weaponising this sound would simply be a case of broadcasting the recorded siren song toward any enemy. The risk is that any hint of the siren song, even at the lowest volume and least intensity, would result in the listener trying to expose his fellows to the sound.
The effect is negligible when experienced by females. Which illustrates the plain and simple fact: males are very easily led.
The Bean Sidhe has been a feature of Celtic belief for centuries. Their wail is notable for predicting the death of the family of those who hear it.
Our connections obtained a Bean Sidhe. (Ref#155 extra cost for Tesla enclosing cage.)
Its wail was sampled and analysed. Nothing in the signal suggested that it could affect anyone but the listener. The wail was psychologically chilling, as measured by our equipment. Our test subject experienced a physical lowering in temperature and a slowing down of reactions, as if exposed to an extremely low temperature.
Our test subject lost his father the day after our test. There is absolutely no empirical evidence for this event, so we must classify it as a coincidence.
This test resulted in more questions than answers. Does the wail of the Bean Sidhe actually cause a death in the family of those listening? Is the effect diminished if heard by a number of people? Is the wail predictive or causal?
Professor McFrond, of our quantum physics department, has shown an interest in further research into Bean Sidhe.
I would recommend no further practical applications should be explored until more is understood about this eldritch entity.
The howl of the werewolf has been known to instil fear into any who hear it.
We were fortunate to obtain a werewolf who was prepared to submit to testing (in accordance with the Lycanthropic Treaty of 1744).
Our research was understandably restricted by the full moon. Apart from those days, Mr. Rupert Smarting was human. During the evenings of the full moon, we were able to record and analyse the howls.
A range of effects became apparent.
Professor Janet Anderson, aged 64, experienced a sudden and violent menstruation.
Two of our younger female researchers fainted after the onset of extreme menstruation.
All of our male researchers felt a powerful desire for raw meat, to the extent that Doctor Sebastian actually grabbed a bird from the garden and ate it raw.
When the howling ceased, everyone returned to normal with a faint sense of embarrassment and confusion.
This could be used against an enemy. The resulting confusion in men and women could deliver a distinct benefit. What should be taken into account is the real possibility that aggression could actually be increased in any enemy.
We managed to procure a unicorn horn and experimented with removing the point of the horn and playing it like a primitive trumpet.
The tone produced by a unicorn horn when blown in the manner of a shofar or simple trumpet is extraordinarily pure. The initial sound analysis of the tone shows that it has no overtones or extra pitches. Further analysis showed that the horn produced overtones in excess of the twentieth harmonic. Only three lower tones were found to be produced. (My thanks to Alan Crowday for his expertise in the playing of very non-standard brass instruments.) The overtones seemed to be produced at random.
When played to a group of one hundred volunteers by Mr. Crowday, 26 people fainted, 14 wept, and the remaining 60 burst into hysterical laughter.
When played by an amateur brass player, 11 people fainted, 45 laughed, and the remaining 44 fell asleep.
When played by myself (I understand the principles of brass playing but have no particular skill), 11 subjects panicked and tried to leave the room, 23 subjects began fighting among themselves, 65 seemed unaffected, and 1 subject fainted and became catatonic for 3 days.
These results, though seemingly random, were repeated precisely when the horn was played by the same individual to the same group.
Use of the unicorn horn would be very disorientating, but the effects are dependent upon the players and possibly even the mix of listeners.
Extensive experimentation is required here, since the permutations and, by extension, effects are infinite.
DRAGON SKIN DRUM
This extraordinary item arrived at my laboratory via an auction. Listed as rhinoceros skin percussion, the drum has been genetically tested and found to be dragon skin dating from 750BCE in China.
There is no provenance for the relic, but the various tests available to my laboratory confirm its age and origin.
The effect of the drum was very powerful. Played to mixed-gender groups, the effect was to energise the listeners to the extent that the subjects yelled, screamed, and beat upon the doors until we stopped drumming, at which point, the effect gradually diminished.
The best use of this item is, as was likely its original purpose, is in the instilling of energy, power, and possibly blood lust. Against any foe, this would be potent indeed.
These sonic experiments prove primarily their efficacy, but also that a great deal of further research is required. There are too many imponderables to recommend their use in military situations.
Doctor Silvania Frample.
Doctor Silvania Frample is a cryptozoologist with degrees from Oxford, St Andrew’s, and The Boston College of Cryptophilia. She has been employed by the Invisible University of Maine and the Hidden College of New Boston.
She lives in London and is married with two daughters. The identities of her pets are protected by the Official Secrets Act.
Andy Brown is a musician and entertainer living near Edinburgh in Scotland. (He doesn’t currently own a kilt but does play bagpipes a little.) He is a pleasant enough fellow with a healthy interest in many things and an obsessive interest in many others. (Music, computers, astronomy, reading, writing…) He plays a wide variety of instruments to a wide variety of standards. His greatest happiness is his family and the fact that he wakes every morning still breathing. His greatest sadness is that he might die before warp travel, teleportation, and Klingons are discovered.
Leigh’s professional title is “illustrator,” but that’s just a nice word for “monster-maker,” in this case. More information about them can be found at http://leighlegler.carbonmade.com/.
“Cryptoid Sonics: An Investigation into the Uses of Cryptozoological Sounds” is © 2018 Andy Brown
Art accompanying story is © 2018 Leigh Legler