While conducting early research for On the Eve, I found myself reading a ridiculous essay linking the French’s ability to smoke cigarettes and eat cheese to the sartorial choices of Maximilien Robespierre. In the essay, though, I came across a casual reference to a man called “Chase Spacegrove” and the legend surrounding his gun. Intrigued, I dug further.
Below is an excerpt from research fragments I found on the subject. I did not know it at the time, but this research would send me on a bizarre journey that put me in touch with lunatic professors, deranged conspiracy theorists, and people from Utah. Over the next few months, I hope to chronicle some of what I learned while digging into the story of Spacegrove, but I thought it only appropriate to start with the findings that started it all for me.
The gun pictured here is the in progress replication of Chase Spacegrove’s actual gun, being carried out by Caleb Massey of Red Ranger Ray Guns. This piece of art will be auctioned to the highest bidder at our upcoming May 12th Benefit for On The Eve. –M. F.
The Legend of Spacegrove’s Gun (Part 1)
On 17 October 1975, while attempting to set a new land-speed record on the Salt Flats of Utah, a man named Josiah G. Ruttergrath discovered the wreckage of what many now claim to be a hot air balloon. Amidst the wreckage, Ruttergrath also discovered a gun. However, this gun was unlike any ever before seen. Ruttergrath stated it “pulsed with light at the touch,” and that it “held within it the power to destroy worlds.” Ruttergrath, the gun, and the “balloon” vanished shortly after these claims were made.
Despite Ruttergrath’s disappearance and the seemingly endless lengths to which government organizations such as NASA, the DOD, and the Dept. of Transportation have gone to cover up the discovery, information regarding the gun continues to surface even over three decades later. The following is my attempt to string together that information—the scholarly works, scientific studies, found recordings, and stories passed down from parent to child—in order to create a timeline of the weapon’s existence and to perhaps determine where and when it came from.
The old man lay dying.
In his glory days, he’d been Falufurious Texas Smith—scourge of the West and lover of finely smoked meats. But that was a long time ago. All he had to show for that life was the un-healing scar on his left cheek, a collection of bastard children, and the old Colt Revolver resting in his palm. The cold touch of the steel brought back memories of all the men he’d saved and all the men he’d killed with that weapon. The gun had seen action at First Manassas (Bull Run for you Yankees), Cabin Creek, and all across the kudzu-choked lands of Georgia.
“Boy,” he called to the young servant who had no idea this dying man was his father, “Take this. Whatever you do, don’t let it fall into the wrong hands. You see, child, this gun is special. One day, it will change the course of history.” With that, the old man died. The boy stared at the stock. It glistened in the fading sun.
To Be Continued…