Dear General K. Richard Philips, Dr.
J. L. Webster, Prof. Erika G. Abfall, and Mr. L. Thomas Haneford:
Although it has taken more than four
years to complete, attached is my conclusive report describing
the mysterious events regarding the Painting Gun. As a recipient
of this report, you have previously agreed to the privacy
statement and affidavit and, pursuant of previous agreements,
you have accepted that under no circumstances shall the information
contained herein be disseminated in any way including but
not limited to telephony, fax, all E-Platforms, Quick Message,
Inter Stat, and electrum copy. All proprietary equations and
reaction sequences will remain unpublished throughout all
attached documentation with the penalty for accidental or
purposeful distribution of the information contained herein
not limited to less than 35-40 years imprisonment and a $750,000.00
USD fine in accordance with Department of Defense R128, Sec
23. 5. In addition, Mrs. Iwa and her attorneys continue to
express their desires for privacy and discretion with all
future contacts and correspondence in light of the conclusions
of this report. It has been a difficult time for all involved
in these incidents, and I continue to stress sensitivity and
confidentiality regarding all aspects of this unique case.
As this report is conclusive, there
are those whom I would like to recognize for their hours of
assistance and their expertise. My thanks and praises to the
exceptionally cooperative General K. Richard Philips at the
Department of Defense, Dr. J. L. Webster, Chair of the Physics
Department at Hampshire College, and Professor Erika G. Abfall
and all her staff at the European Commission on Museums and
Antiquities in Brussels. This has been the most challenging
opportunity of my career, and this account would not have
been possible without the technical and principled support
from the aforementioned individuals and their organizations.
K. V. Stablesteade, Esq., MBA, Sigma Chi, Member North American
Arts and Antiquities Association.
Attachments: The Painting Gun - Conclusions
Much has already been publicized in
the popular press concerning the activities of Professors
Vete Iwa and Otto Von Lahn and their invention, the Painting
Gun. Although the initial excitement surrounding this revolutionary
technology has since diminished, an exceptional amount of
interest remains concerning Mr. Iwa's disappearance and the
subsequent flight, arrest, and incarceration of Von Lahn in
Bavaria, EU. Because Euro Zone regulations forbid extradition
for a capital offense, it is highly unlikely that Von Lahn
will take the stand at his American trial and reveal the final
fate of Professor Iwa. Therefore, the goals of this report
are threefold: to detail the circumstances surrounding the
invention of the Painting Gun, to address issues pertaining
to royalties and patents succession, and to finalize and conclude
the missing persons status still open on Professor Vete Iwa.
Vete Iwa's parents were documented
refugees from Iwakuni in Japan's Yamaguchi-ken prefecture,
having fled the ruined city following North Korea's low-level
nuclear strike in 2050. Like other refugees of the Peninsular
War, the Iwas immigrated to Los Angeles in 2051, leaving the
West Coast for the Northeast soon thereafter. Vete was born
and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts and was
described by both his parents and his teachers as "gifted"
and "bright," graduating with a PhD in experimental
physics from MIT at age 24. After marrying his undergraduate
fiancée Jill Kapuchinski, Iwa was hired by the Department
of Defense Research Institute (DODRI) to study pigmentation
adhesiveness and materials permeability at the Department
of Defense Paint and Pigmentation Technology Lab (DODPPTL)
in Brighton, Massachusetts.
Concerning Otto Von Lahn's youth, there
is minimal documentation, and his early childhood and education
in Germany are significant only in their banality. An adequate,
hardworking student, Von Lahn was socially obtuse and rather
solitary, spending the majority of his teenage years online
under two screen names, "Kneipen101" and "!Wertewande!"
At age 36, Von Lahn finished his PhD
in Metallurgy and Nano-materials and via alumni connections
he was eventually hired to research carbon and nitrogen phosphorescence
at a small Munich lab partially funded by the Max Planck Institute.
It was during these first six months
of full-time employment when Von Lahn suffered a bitter and
protracted divorce from his first and only spouse, Inalia
Bey. An ethnic Turk, Bey's court documents describe Von Lahn
as prone to fits of depression followed by furious bouts of
physical and sexual abuse. When the divorce finalized, Bey
returned to Ankara and served six years with the Turkish Army,
earning a commendation for bravery at the battle of Kars against
the combined forces of Syria and a post revolutionary Islamic
Republic of Iraq. On multiple occasions Bey has condemned
Von Lahn as "a manipulative sex pervert," stating
her relief because, "finally there is a justice. Hang
him without trial. He is beneath the dog for all he has done
to me and others."
As part of the divorce proceedings,
Von Lahn was required to undergo psychotherapy, with his treatment
falling under the auspices of Dr. Isla J. Ansbach. Much quoted
in both the EU and American press as an expert on the case,
Ansbach recommended that Von Lahn take up painting to help
with his cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation. Her copious
notes now held by EU authorities describe Von Lahn as a "binge
drinker" who commonly engaged in "high risk polyamorous
Von Lahn was prescribed a number of
pharmaceuticals for his characterlogical disorder over his
two years of treatment, and according to Ansbach's records,
their oral and cognitive behavioral therapy sessions were
labeled "moderately" successful. Although painting
seems to have served Von Lahn well as a therapeutic device,
his art career was short and relatively fruitless, selling
a single landscape to a steel magnate from Berlin who allegedly
demanded sexual favors as part of purchase negotiations.
Soon after this incident, Von Lahn
abruptly quit painting and therapy and applied for a 504-B
technology visa. Granted his visa as a "EU Allied National
in a high demand field," Von Lahn sold his family home
in Bavaria and immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, for employment
under contract with the Department of Defense.
Within six months of employment at
the Department of Defense Paint and Pigmentation Laboratory,
Von Lahn befriended Vete, their relationship blossoming over
a shared interest in the fine arts with a particular fondness
for European paintings. E-mail and Quick Messages recovered
and reconstructed from their time at the lab recount a haggard
and frustrated Iwa who was anxious about his future and his
spouse, referring to her several times as "an ice princess,"
and a "withholding bitch." Von Lahn's responses
are compassionate and supportive, offering advice over relationships,
parenting, and workplace politics while continuously suggesting
extra martial affairs or adopting a "swingers" marriage.
Because much of the Lothario styled
camaraderie between Von Lahn and Iwa has been previously published,
such salacious details will be omitted here. In addition,
Mrs. Iwa continues to deny that she shared simultaneous sexual
liaisons with Iwa and Von Lahn. It is certain, however, that
the two professors engaged in questionable sexual practices
involving multiple partners on several occasions, and Von
Lahn was asked to be godfather to Iwa's son Marcus, much to
the consternation and disapproval of Mrs. Iwa.
Von Lahn's private day-to-day diary
described the original Painting Gun as a four-cylinder styled
pistol made from three types of Nano-Fibers twice folded and
layered for both form and connection. To maintain structural
integrity, the pistol was sealed with a durable custom shell
single cast from molybdenum and titanium. As it is now known,
the cylinder cartridges stored and fired Y photons and W bosons,
the firing pin a lower level element from the Lanthanide series
initiating what the Nobel Committee has christened "The
Iwa Sequence" or "The Von Lahn Rift," the award
withheld until the conclusion of the forthcoming trial.
The first documented experiment with
the gun was held at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) (Figure
1) in Boston, Massachusetts. Von Lahn has stated on multiple
occasions that the museum was initially chosen due to its
proximity to their laboratory, but my investigation suggests
otherwise. Forensic computer analysis by the DOD confirms
that Von Lahn had meticulously researched the MFA as a target
after discarding other possibilities such as the Isabella
Stewart Gardner Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art,
and the New England Museum of Heritage and Industry. The MFA
was chosen because of its weak and ineffective security system,
and Von Lahn was keenly aware that several pieces in the MFA's
permanent collection had recently been damaged by vandals.
Indeed, choosing to test the gun in the Gardner would have
been disastrous as the museum had heightened security and
installed video surveillance and ushers in each gallery following
the second infamous heist of Rembrandt's "The Storm on
the Sea of Galilee" and "Portrait of a Lady and
Gentleman in Black" in 2077.
The first painting "shot"
was an unlikely and uninspired target, "The Wreckers"
by William Holbrook Beard (Figure 2). It appears this piece
was picked at random and near panic as Iwa was nervous about
arrest and the impact a trial could possibly have on his career
and family. Von Lahn recorded two short films of their initial
experiment, the footage grainy and marred by unsteady and
poorly focused camera work, the audio limited and predominantly
indecipherable. The first film is less than a minute in length
and begins with Iwa aiming a pistol at The Wreckers. Following
a dull sounding "pop," there is a flash of rainbow
color and the formation of a yellowish haze. As the cloud
dissipates, Iwa is nowhere to be seen, and the film comes
to an abrupt ending.
The second film begins with a close
up still shot of a diminutive white spot on The Wreckers.
Slowly the spot expands outward in a spiral formation, and
shortly thereafter Iwa is ejected outward from the painting,
rolling into a hard landing on the museum floor. Audio in
the second film is slightly more distinct than the first as
Iwa rants directly into the camera, "Otto! Otto! I was
inside! I was walking on (unintelligible) beach! I was on
the beach! The beach!"
"Forty minutes! (Unintelligible)!
"We did it! We (unintelligible)!"
From their success with "The Wreckers"
we can easily approximate Iwa's and Von Lahn's motivations,
and following their initial experiment the two traveled to
Europe to continue testing their unique invention. Airline
bookings and receipts from various hotels have placed the
two in London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. E-mails between Mr.
and Mrs. Iwa from the period detail a deteriorating marriage
plagued by arguments and difficulties, sexual incompatibility,
and a possible divorce. Video surveillance from the Tate and
the Prado capture clear images of Iwa and Voh Lahn holding
hands as they view various works in the galleries. They appear
to be distinctly interested in oil pieces on canvass with
surface areas greater than 2,500 cm2.
Von Lahn has sworn in a EU affidavit
that Amsterdam was chosen as the second test locale for the
Painting Gun as the Netherlands is "the world's bedroom,
with spineless politicians and resort prisons." This
statement seems logical since, having grown up in the EU,
Von Lahn is familiar with legal frameworks throughout the
Zone. It must also be noted that Von Lahn and Iwa had another
reason for visiting Amsterdam, to patronize the notorious
Red Light District. Interviews and sworn statements collected
from numerous madams and prostitutes from several brothels
throughout the District portray a nervous and drunken Iwa
aside an overbearing Von Lahn with both men requesting exclusive
services including ménage à trois, partner swapping,
and highly ritualized bondage and discipline and sadomasochistic
activities. ATM records prove the withdrawals of over 18,000.00
Euros from both Iwa's and Lahn's accounts, although it seems
implausible that this total sum was spent all on such activities.
Evidence confirms that the second or
third experiment with the Painting Gun occurred at the Van
Gogh Museum. The painting in question is "Wheat Field
with Crows" (Figure 3 and Figure 4), and analysis conducted
by Professor Abfall and her staff at the European Commission
on Museums and Antiquities includes argon spectrum examination,
pigmentation hydration and decomposition evaluation, and photographic
and microscopy comparative. The words of Professor Abfall
best describe her conclusions: "It was clear when I revisited
the painting that the black lines of crows, such a striking
feature of the original Wheat Field, had changed. Somehow,
they had moved, as if they had been erased or painted over,
or redrafted elsewhere on the canvass. Now, this is impossible;
a painting cannot change unless someone comes with a brush
and fresh paint and alters it, but this is so. I compared
the original to a full sized insurance mandated photograph
and counted the crooked black strokes one by one. The alteration
is obvious; the strokes are different. If you hold the painting
and the photograph side by side, one cannot miss the differences.
The crows, the sun, and cloudsall have changed in the
painting. The works are absolutely different. A darker mood
and palette permeates the piece now, the tenor utterly altered."
Although Professor Abfall's words seem
incredible, an audio file reconstructed from Iwa's mp3 recorder
is revealing. The location of the conversation between Iwa
and Voh Lanh is unknown, but background audio enhancement
by EU investigators place the two at Salome's Boudoir, a notorious
brothel long recognized for its gentrified clientele seeking
the risqué and legally questionable. What follows is
an edited transcription of a selected portion of the enhanced
Vete: I was in the field
by Van Gogh's harsh yellows and blues. The crows were all
over, furious and angry, cawing at me like they were going
to peck my eyes out! I was in a 3-D, Van Gogh, paintbrush
world! I could feel his brushstrokes and desperation
Otto: You were frightened, no?
Vete: A little, but I could see and
feel everything. I was walking down that central path, the
one in the middle of the painting and the (inaudible) followed
me. They were dive-bombing me and (loud female laughter) into
the wheat. The wind blew crazy. The crows came right at me,
the birds, the storm- all of it! The grays, blues, cerulean-
my shirt was umber! You could feel all this anger and hostility,
pure terror (pause) whisky please. I couldn't believe it.
The gun works so much better than expected.
Otto: (indistinguishable German phrase)
We will win the Nobel and then you can say goodbye to your
wife. I am free, free man now!
Vete: Yeah, if it was only that easy.
Otto: (voice rising) It is that easy,
it is. Are you not her boss? Or does she tell you what to
Vete: It's just not that easy, Otto.
It's not. She's my child's mother.
Otto: Oh, your son's mother, not this
Vete: You know it's true
know how I feel.
Otto: Yes, you love her you don't love
her. You want to go but you can't, I know. I wonder if (indistinguishable
unknown phrase). God damn.
The two traveled to Museum de Brussels
after this conversation, where the third and most notorious
exercise of the Painting Gun occurred. Multiple witnesses
including several museum attendees and two ushers attempted
to stop Iwa but were held off by the impression that he was
brandishing an actual firearm. Numerous observers stated that
when Iwa reappeared from Breughel's 1558 masterpiece "Landscape
with the Fall of Icarus" (figure 5), his clothes were
wet and "bunches of eagle feathers filled the gallery."
Four reported feeling a "wafting breeze," while
others asserted that they heard "the jingle of a horse
harness and splashing waves" and "baying sheep."
Fortunately, a feather sample was recovered for analysis.
The quills exhibited a remarkable rate of decay and decomposed
within three hours into an inky daub of oil paint that dried
within an hour. Argon dating of the sample concludes that
the pigment dates to the 16th century and is an exact molecular
match to the paint used in "Landscape with the Fall of
Iwa fled the museum in the commotion
following his emergence from the painting and he was seen
later that evening drinking with Von Lahn at their hotel bar.
The bartender reports that the two men argued and Von Lahn
threw a drink at Iwa and then slapped him about the face as
he stood to leave. Following an outburst of obscenities and
threats, Von Lahn then chased Iwa around the table and eventually
into the street.
Remarkably, authorities were never
contacted and Vete Iwa has since vanished, with his disappearance
inspiring American investigators to presume his murder at
the hands of Otto Von Lahn. American investigators postulate
that following this argument Von Lahn murdered Iwa, quartered
his body, and dumped the remains into an undisclosed and,
so far, undiscovered grave. Von Lahn has repeatedly denied
all such allegations.
Not surprisingly, Von Lahn recounts
these events in quite a different light. He admits to arguing
in the bar and pursuing Iwa into the street, losing him down
an alley. Frustrated, Von Lahn states that he purchased a
liter of whisky, returned to the hotel and retired to his
room to drink and contemplate an apology. Sometime after 1am,
Iwa returned to their hotel room and, following a round of
shared apologies, the two men argued again. Von Lahn admits
to striking Iwa again, but states that Iwa fled from the hotel
with the Painting Gun, disappearing into the Brussels morning.
Blood and semen issuances collected
from Von Lahn's clothing and bedding certifies portions of
this story, but recently discovered CCC footage suggests an
intriguing addendum. The short film in question was collected
from the archives of the Museum de Brussels, the footage showing
a disheveled figure with the height and build similar to Vete
Iwa entering the museum early that morning. Because the film
quality is poor, facial recognition software is inconclusive;
the bruised visage of this unknown figure might be Professor
Iwa. The individual in question walks through the gallery
and heads directly to "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus."
Here, the unrecognizable suspect withdraws a large pistol
from his jacket, aims at the painting, and disappears into
a flash of color. As of this writing, the unknown figure has
never been witnessed reappearing from the painting.
With the recovery of Iwa's journals
from his hotel, we have additional insights into his scientific
theories, calculations, and daily ruminations and inner thoughts.
Many entries in his spiral bound lab notebook describe a tumultuous
relationship with Von Lahn, and undoubtedly the total of Iwa's
diary will surface during his trial. The passages below have
been evaluated by counsel and have been deemed acceptable
for this limited release.
April 15, 2078
Christ! A never ending flight across
the Atlantic, Otto drunk & grinning, his hand "accidentally"
brushing my crotch the whole flight. His non-stop chatter
about how much I'll love the Zone. So far, it's ok. Reminds
me of the North End-- huddled brick buildings, small cars,
all of it packed together & tight. Really, I worry about
getting more cartridges but Otto says no problem, he has connections,
he knows a lab guy here & there- don't worry. How can
I not be worried? We need at least
28 Femto grams of
Fermium, and you can't just get that anywhere. I suppose
I should I believe him. He's been right so far. Pointless
April 27, 2078
So many paintings and galleries! Gilded
frames, ornate & priceless paintings-- they all become
indistinct and blurry-- a singular image in a spinning head.
Otto is incredible. He knows the Zone and we don't need a
translator for anything-not for the Rail Pass or the hotel.
The French, as said, are terrible. Still angry. Two yelled
at me on the Metro, How they knew I was an American is beyond
me. As if I caused the Paris chemical drop in '65. All American's
are guilty here-- now and forever.
Hyped for the Red Lght Dist, the half
nude women for window dressing. Wondeful. I agree with Otto--
I'll spray until it's drained. Condoms for a sport night.
May 2, 2078
I kept telling him the adhesive ratios
for acrylic can never work-- too low. He never agrees. He
complains and then threatens. Arguments over calculations.
Did he ever take calculus? I thought Germans were mathematic
savants. All night about the blonde with the double D's and
how he would break her. Break her? Lucky if he can even get
stiff without some rope around his neck & duct tape on
his chest. Not the rock he thinks. Get out your pills and
check your blood pressure, Limpet.
May 4, 2078
When you leap into the painting it's
a jarring, odd, a flash of color & you tingle. Dry mouth,
a fine dust covering you. Then you're in the canvas-- vision
& feeling, the emotions of the painter all encompassing.
The tenor and colors matter, the crows in the VGogh came at
me furiously and chased me through the wheat. The ground was
muddy, damp-- more terror than from any childhood experience.
It was luck getting out. Felt sick too, nosebleed followed,
and another this A.M. when I woke up. Hungover? Thinned blood
from too much aspirin or the herpes shot? Might be something,
not sure. Radiation poisoning? No, exposure too low. At least
May 5, 2078
Otto and the booze and the brothels.
Where is science? Drinks and women, I tell him we're going
to run out of cartridges and he says not to worry. That's
all he ever says-"don't worry," & "it's
fine." I put one aside for a last trial. As if the gun
was all his idea & he should win the Nobel! Arrogant.
Such ego yet he's hardly fluent w/ calculating Sigma. I'll
be damned if he'll get the Nobel. My prize, mine.
May 11, 2078
Fight last night, cried, too much to
drink. I miss Jill and Marcus. After this, I know she'll be
gone. DIVORCE. My parents shamed. Not drinking tonight. One
more test with the gun, then patent. To hell with Lahn, My
glory. Wonder how Jill is. Must have called the police by
now. This whole trip has turned to shit. Otto doesn't care.
Nothing, nothing, nothing- it's all shit.
As Von Lahn's absentia trial commences,
testimony will clearly illustrate that the Painting Gun was
envisioned and constructed by two brilliant but damaged minds.
It is my recommendation that all Nobel
Prize monies and honors should be equitably divided between
the Iwa estate and Von Lahn's assets held by the EU. If both
parties deem this compromise unacceptable, all such tributes
should be returned to their respective committees until the
conclusion of the trial.
Finally, as Iwa's body has yet to be
discovered, I further recommend that he remain classified
as a missing person. Having seen the CCC footage from the
Museum de Brussels, I am of the opinion that the figure in
the film is certainly Vete Iwa, and that at some unknown time
Iwa will reappear from the "Landscape with the Fall of
Icarus," with the Painting Gun in hand and answers to
all of our questions.