Talltales

Prior to the entry of the United States into the Second World War, the government convened an informal organization to advise on "extraordinary enemy methods and means". This body was composed of the sort of thinkers and commentators that Roosevelt felt he could trust to rationally address some of the outlandish claims about Nazi Germany being made by European groups and, somewhat more quietly, by "excitable elements" within the US military.1. Organized in 1940 as the Office of Scientific Phenomenological Research (OSPR), it was soon codenamed TALLTALES by the servants of His Majesty's Government. As the group coalesced, archaeologist Henry Buckland-Jones of the University of Chicago was quickly recognized as one of its leaders. A noted pre-war treasure-hunter, Buckland-Jones was a student of ancient inscriptions and pre-Biblical texts, and his rational, atheistic investigation of the ancient world made him a recognized expert in the sort of thing the Nazis were going mad over.

TALLTALES was the Laundry codename for one of the American OSS units that focused on OCCINTEL. Founded by archaeologist Henry Buckland-Jones of the University of Chicago, the TALLTALES group was composed mostly of scholars and analysts. Buckland-Jones, a globe-trotting pre-war treasure collector and student of esoterica, investigated ancient inscriptions and pre-Biblical texts and his “rational, atheistic investigators of the Biblical record” came to be known within OSS as Group 941 or “The Virtuous Men”.

There were, in fact, two bodies within OSS which paid special attention to occult matters. The first was Room 801 of the Office of Naval Intelligence, believed to be responsible for the 1928 raid on Insmouth. The other was composed of a group of scholars and analysts that coalesced around archeologist Henry Buckland-Jones of the University of Chicago. Buckland-Jones was their intellectual leader, but by the war’s end, the combined Navy/Chicago group (codenamed TALLTALES) was being run by John “Wyatt” Eppling, an attorney and businessman educated at Miskatonic and Yale. The Navy personnel were relegated mostly to technical tasks, with the Virtuous Men making the vital calls and running various field operations. When the Laundry provided their American allies with the Grammar of Thoth in late 1942, the Virtuous Men began developing applications, which would have far-reaching consequences.


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