The Lost Signals Collection is an archive of speculative texts, images, sounds, and moving pictures lost to history. It is interested in interrogating what might have been, and what might yet be and believes that the imagination is the most powerful human tool, and that it is now more important than ever that this tool be exercised.
The following Lost Signal was, itself, lost from the Lost Signal archive:
We here at Lost Signals regret to announce the tragic and (seemingly) permanent incapacitation of Mr. Quinn R. Padgett, our newly hired archivist, who was found frozen in front of his work station at a pre-dawn hour, this past Tuesday.
Padgett was discovered in a catatonic trance, his unblinking eyes focused on a nearby oscilloscope which itself was frozen, emblazoned with the image of an over-modulated waveform. Notes from a pen-scrawled logbook revealed his final path of inquiry, following notice of an unexplained disorder of the gravitational wave background, sensed in vast outdoor fields by the Lost Signals Collection Very Large Laser Interferometry Array (LSCVLLIA).
His anomaly was the suspected echo of a resonance whose factor and damping described a system of infinite transmissibility—a so-called "disastrous resonance"—whose characteristics were obfuscated by a natural frequency of Euler's number, along with an apparent omni-directional path…
Padgett's characteristically ordered script grew wild as he noted how such a system, when rendered as gravitational waves, implied a resonance of space proper—three-dimensional space, tuned to the frequency of its own vibe. This suggested a "twisting" of space—a folding onto itself—in a way which paralleled the twisting of paper into a Möbius strip. Such a twist, occurring in higher dimensions, would unite spatial "layers" with one another, in the manner of Möbius surfaces touching ends to form a single-sided plane. Wave amplitude would reach infinity as such a shape either formed or un-formed—as gravity met with anti-gravity, and spatial objects met their anti-objects. Padgett would meet his anti-Padgett, his desk would meet its anti-desk, the Lost Signals would meet the anti-Lost Signals…etc.
Time would revert to a dimensionless value at the fold, and cease to exist until the twisty shape re-opened.
Investigations have confirmed Padgett's echo as the artifact of a recent unraveling. We here at Lost Signals are assured by this and…soothed. Still, several questions remain:
1) When did this unraveling occur?
2) How "long" had time vanished within its loop?
3) How many other "times" has this sort of thing happened?
4) Just what—or who—is to blame for these depraved shenanigans?
Might these be the effects of a cosmic child, somewhere—of some mischievous kid who, even "now", is playing games with the light switch of time—folding the universe in half and unfolding it, over and over, by flipping the thing off, and then on, and then off again? Off? On? Off? On?
Off on off on off on off on?
Whether Padgett may or may not have learned the answers either to one, or more than one of these questions, is a mystery he either may, or may not one day be able to explain. Time, for him, has ceased.
As reference, we have only his logbook, along with an oscilloscopic recording of his final observation, captured at the precise moment of his demise…