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Project: SERAPIS » Supplementary Document ‘GOLF’

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GALLIO: This is Agent Hector Gallio. The following is Classified Level 5 under Project Serapis. O5 Eyes Only.

Investigation into anomalous events in and around Shibbet’s Vale, Montana, has revealed the police reports concerning a quasi-religious group known as the Children of the New Dawn that settled in the area in 1966 and remained until 1968. The circumstances in which they left Shibbet’s Vale are not recorded by the police. Going by the official record, the Children of the New Dawn just upped and left one day. That made me suspicious.

During the course of this project, I deployed Foundation assets to infiltrate the state and local police and search for records and evidence potentially related to anomalous events. One of these assets, posing as a low-level employee of the state Department of Justice, conducted extensive searches of the department’s evidence depositories and found a cache of 120mm film canisters and 8-track tapes was sent to the Montana Department of Justice Criminal Investigations Department, some time in the 1980s. The tapes were either deliberately suppressed or not considered to have evidentiary value at the time. They were subsequently transferred to digital formats and sent to me for review.

These films and sound recordings were from the Children of the New Dawn’s occupation of a compound constructed around the abandoned buildings of the army base that once stood in Shibbet’s Vale. In particular, vehicle and aircraft hangars were repurposed for growing marajuana. The rest of the compound was tents and a few cabins. No definitive numbers exist for the size of the group, but the footage confirms a minimum of forty individuals resident there. After watching the tapes, I realised why they had been kept secret by the police, and why the Children of the New Dawn were gone.

The Children of the New Dawn was formed by Emile Nilsson, a petty criminal and amateur musician from San Francisco, California. I couldn’t find much on his early history, but he had several run-ins with the law in California including theft and drug offences. He was 28 years old when he arrived at Shibbet’s Vale with a small following in tow, and set up his combination of religious retreat and drug production facility. Other prominent members attested to by the tapes include Polly Pozniak, Nilsson’s romantic partner, Timothy Fisk, a former UC Berkeley chemistry student, and Eugene Grimes, a former car mechanic from Oakland. The Children of the New Dawn were an example of the ‘New Religious Movements’ that grew up in the 60s and 70s around San Francisco in particular, as an alternative to traditional religion. Most of them were benign, but a few, like the Manson Family, were not.

The tapes focus on the events of summer 1968, many of which were filmed live by the group’s members. Additional tapes are of sermons delivered by Nilsson, and numerous recordings of the music he performed during the group’s religious observations.

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