It was about 2:30 of a Tuesday, August 11, 1938 when the phone rang for about the fiftieth time. V.K. Brown's office was calling to see if I'd leave at once to drive him in his Cadillac to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It had all been arranged by my boss; so I agreed.
"V.K." was a world-prominent figure in recreation then. He told me on the way up about his graduation from Northwestern University, his taking the Rhodes scholarship exams, his being called to the directorship of one of the early parks in Chicago about 1905. In 1938 he headed the the Chicago Park District's recreation division. The year before he had been selected as the outstanding American in this field, to lecture at a world conference in Germany.
Why he asked me to go with him instead of one of hundreds of his park directors and instructors, I don't know. He merely said he didn't like to go alone. All of which is to tell a story that V.K. told me on the way up, and to give the setting for it, with some evidence that V.K. is not just a dreamer and a wind-bag. For you won't believe the story even with this orientation.
A MODERN ALCHEMIST
A man of fifty-five was sent to V.K. one day by a park director. The man gave his name as Ralph Emerson Adams, a graduate of MIT. He told of having been run out of Peru by revolutionists, who robbed him, took over his mines, and all but shot him. Arrived in New York, he bought a cheap car, loaded his surveying equipment and baggage in it, and set out for California. Near Dayton, Ohio he picked up two young men as hitch-hikers. They slugged him from behind, took his car and all possessions. All he had was a few gold nuggets in his watch pocket. He was in Chicago living at the Men's Shelter till he could find employment. Referred by that place to a park director, he was sent to V.K.
V.K. has travelled the world and is not easily duped. He states that unquestionably Adams was the most charming, most cultured, most widely informed and scientifically minded person he had ever met. At the dining table at V.K.'s home his children sat spellbound at the man's stories to the point of forgetting to eat their ice cream. Adams commented on a beautiful cameo worn by Mrs. Brown. He knew the little restaurant near the Coliseum in Rome where V.K. had bought it. He convinced V.K. that the store in Rotterdam where their beautiful china ware came from was not on the street V.K. said it was, as that street jagged and ended and the continuation was under a different name. He knew well the area in Chile where V.K. had been offered a mining job in his early days. V.K. was sold on Adams!
The man wanted and accepted no money from V.K. or anyone at any time. He expressed interest in the recreational program of the parks and spent some time visiting them to observe the system. One day he phoned V.K. from Fuller Park.
"Could you come over here? I've made a discovery of tremendous importance. It staggers me to think of the significance of it. Stop along the way and pick up a pint of fresh milk, the kind with a paper cap down over the neck of the bottle so it can't be tampered with."
V.K. was busy at headquarters miles away but agreed to drive over at once. He got the milk on the way. At Fuller Park there is a chemical laboratory, and Adams was in it. As V.K. walked in Adams asked him to "set the bottle of milk up there on the table in front of those reflectors." There was a lamp bulb of the ordinary type on the table in a socket, ready to be turned on, and some reflectors behind this lamp to concentrate the light on the bottle of milk setting in front of the lamp.
SEEING IS BELIEVING, BUT ---
"We've discussed chemistry and math enough that I know you will follow me," said Adams. "What I've discovered appears to be a new principle of radio-activity which permits the transmission of matter thru space. If true, it will revolutionize every phase of life on this planet. My imagination runs riot as I think of all the possibilities. It may he the greatest discovery the human race has made. You know that if a tuning fork is struck to make it vibrate, and is then held before a piano, the string with the corresponding pitch will start vibrating because of the transmission thru space of energy. The string is very tight, and it takes a lot of force to make it vibrate in resonance with the fork. I think I can now transmit MATTER thru space much the same way.
"We know that each piece of matter is made up of molecules and atoms, elements with certain valences. It seems probable that what happens in my experiment is the changing of the valence of the elements. Notice how simple is it to transfer common salt to the bottle of milk. You know I haven't touched the bottle. Now take that box of salt on the table and pour it over the lamp bulb. That's right. Now turn on the bulb -- there, that's long enough -- ten seconds does the trick -- now remove the milk and drink some of it."
V.K. opened the bottle of milk and took a mouthful. Quickly he spat it out in a nearby sink. It was as salty as brine!
"I'd like to have some folks who can be trusted to keep this a secret, set up a lab for where no one will know of my experiments, I think we have something!"
V.K. later arranged for a lab in the home of a University of Chicago professor in math. For several weeks the man Adams labored fast and  furiously, staying up till four or five most mornings and arising again at seven. Only a few people were told about the experiments. One was the patent attorney for the largest drug manufacturer in America. Another was a chemistry professor. They, along with the math professor, went with Adams to the laboratory. V.K. described what took place.
"Adams took some fresh apricots, squeezed the juice out of them, filtered it into a test tube, smeared some chemical on the surface of a piece of glass which he mounted in front of the light bulb and reflectors, turned the light on, and instantly we could see the fruit juice clear up while the sugars crystallized and dropped to the bottom. It took less than a minute. He poured the water-clear liquid off and gave us the crystals to taste. They were exceedingly concentrated. I have some of them at home yet. If I had a few in the car, you'd swear I had a case of fresh apricots in the car, getting bruised up so they smelled.
"Adams said that by this process, fruits could be dehydrated, canned, then these crystals dissolved, injected into the can and sealed. The result would he fruit tasting exactly if fresh. It would be worth millions to canneries having this process."
The man from the drug company turned to Adams and said facetiously: "During the last two years, we've spent two and a half million on experiments trying to discover a depilatory that will be odorless; I suppose you could work it out overnight!"
Adams thought a few minutes and said, "It looks simple enough, I think I can."
The party adjourned till next evening and returned. Adams had asked them to bring some of their own depilatory salve along. He had them put some of theirs on the left hand of two men, and some he had made overnight on their right. After a few minutes they smelled the resulting chemical action till satisfied theirs stunk like hell and his was odorless, then washed both hands. Each one worked equally well in removing the hairs on the back of their hands.
"It's fairly simple," Adams told them. "You see, the chemical used to eat the hair off is sulphur. When it acts on hairs, it forms hydrogen sulphite, which every school kid knows is used for stink bombs. The problem is merely to use a compound of sulphur, by uniting it as I did with another element (V.K. thinks it was something like barium, but isn't sure.) so that while the sulphur is free to eat the hair away, it cannot unite with hydrogen to form the unpleasant odor."
Not many days later it was agreed to advance Adams money to go to Washington to register on his work to get patents. No one knew his secrets. He had tons of notes, but in a code of symbols of his own making. He went to the office of one of the few in on the secret, a Mr.  Richards, to get money for the trip and to leave that morning. Mr. Jelnicki, head of the traffic department of the parks, was there instead. He told Adams that Richards had died at one that morning. Adams expressed his regret at the news, turned and walked out the door. He has never been seen since. A week later one of the other men in the case died. These two were the ones who had put the Adams depilatory on their hands. Both, however, had had long standing ailments -- one heart trouble known to their doctors and friends; so no suspicion attached to their deaths.
Thinking Adams had met with foul play, V.K. had the police make every effort to find Adams, dead or alive. They found no trace. He left every personal belonging, all his notes and things, as if he meant to return. He had no money. Chemists and mathematicians were brought in to look over the notes, but could make nothing of them. They all agreed Adams was a fake, as "no one can do what he claims." But V.K. and the two dead men saw the experiments, and believed. Mr. Richards, before his death, said he thought the man Adams was a paresis case but had no basis except that such people show flashes of supernatural genius at times.
ANOTHER VANISHING SHIP MYSTERY
According to a news item in the Japanese newspaper "Asahi" for Aug. 6, 1960, a 98-ton tuna fishing boat "Daichi Chitose Maru" mysteriously vanished with its crew of twenty-two in the neighborhood of the Fiji Islands on or about July 21, 1960. The tune fisher unloaded a catch on the mother ship "Yacho Maru" on July 19th at about 19 deg. south and 176 deg. east; it then headed south for fishing grounds at 28 deg. The ship radioed its position on the evening of July 21st as crossing the 25th parallel and still going south. That was the last message ever heard from it.
The mother ship asked for a search and the cooperation of all foreign ships in the area. In addition three planes of the Royal New Zealand Air Force conducted a search of 40,000 sq. kilometers of the area July 30 to Aug. 1 without success. The most sinister part of the mystery is that another tuna fishing boat "Kasugu Maru", with the same tonnage and belonging to the same ship group, vanished a year earlier in the same area. No clue has ever turned up as to the whereabouts of the vessel and the crew of this one either! If this strikes a bell in the memories of Saucer and Underground researchers they are right. The Joyita case of 1955 also occurred in this area of the South Pacific. In this instance, you will remember, only the passengers and the crew were removed from the ship. The ill-starred Joyita was allowed to drift aimlessly until discovered early in October, 1955.
Our thanks to Juneichi Takanashi, editor of "Japan UFO Intelligence" for this item. His excellent little Saucerzine is published at 8-9-2, Sakurazuka-Higashi, Toyonaka City, Osaka, Japan.