"A Message, a Manuscript, and a Russian Picnic" aired on June 15, 2016.
Nic's Dream Edit
Nic describes his most recent, vivid dream: he was on a kind of military base, and after exiting a hallway and walking into an open field, he realized he was within the walled area he had actually discovered in the woods, but in his dream he realized the walls existed to keep TANIS out; within the contracting walls was the only parcel of land left that hadn't been touched by the phenomenon.
MK forwards Nic information she found on the search for the Navigator: namely, that someone had been posting classified ads in the 50s looking for the Navigator. MK believes the Navigator to be a kind of "super runner" who may be connected to Nathaniel Carter through Lyle Stevik, as she found evidence that Carter may have flown out to pay Lyle a visit at his hotel one day after the 9/11 attacks, when air travel was severely restricted, and had flown back out the same night.
Nic investigates the lot that was up for auction and possibly bought by Carter: it consisted of a short story referencing Eld Fen and King Wurm, strange lithographs, and a draft of a manuscript that would turn into The Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, a 1971 Russian novel about a zone in the countryside where strange things happen and whose description bears a striking similarity to Nic's understanding of TANIS.
MK finds evidence that Stevik advertised himself as a runner and that Carter probably replied to him via encrypted text. Nic calls Cameron Ellis to see if he can confirm this and he does, noting that Carter was a botanist and possibly a biochemist, but that he's dangerous and has been working behind the scenes for decades. Ellis asks Nic to leave this part of their conversation out of the podcast, stating that he's been trying to keep "interested parties" away from Nic and his investigation, but doesn't know if he can continue to do so if Nic pursues his line of questioning.
MK calls Nic again with more information on Carter, now with evidence that he quit the Parzavala study suddenly in 2010 and only claimed ownership of the unidentified industrial complex that MK tried looking into. MK tells Nic that she found construction plans that indicate there's another sub-basement in the complex, which went undeclared when filing for civil building permits.
The Voynich Manuscript Edit
The final key that Nic discovered in a motel room toilet tank led him to a PO box containing four pages of the Voynich Manuscript, a handwritten and illustrated codex in a mysterious unknown writing system, carbon dated to very early in the 15th century. The manuscript was named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish bookseller who purchased it in 1912. The manuscript is composed of 240 pages, with some missing pages. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages feature images, illustrations, and diagrams. Code breakers, cryptographers, and language experts from all over the world have been unable to ascertain the meaning or origin of the Voynich manuscript.
Update on the Town of Raywood Edit
MK discovers that people are living in the once abandoned town of Raywood, most likely military contractors, but that the entire area is fenced off and no one has been able to get access.
Cult of Tanis Paul Edit
Nic receives a voicemail message from a man named Paul, who apologizes on behalf of the people that lured Nic away while his apartment was burgled, and maintains that they're not a cult, but a religious organization.
Nic Silver, host and producer
Meerkatnip (MK), information specialist