frederickson  

Magic Valley Liberal Arts College opened September 1959 and closed just a few years later, the campus remained derelict for over 50 years. It was in the very first semester in 1959 that science teacher George Albert Frederickson joined the institution, having moved from California to take the position as 'head of science'.

Very little is known about his life before Magic Valley but the testimonies of students who took his class describe him as an inspirational and knowledgable teacher who was popular with both the young people and other staff members at the college.

Which makes it all the more puzzling when you find out that on November 18th 1959, Frederickson took eight of his brightest students to a place in the Great Basin desert where he had built a 4m x 4m x 4m black cube from wood with a doorway in one side. He had convinced these students that they were creating a counter weapon in what he described as a 'war for reality, built from words. He told his students that the world had become infected with a strange kind of happiness that was all the more insidious because those afflicted with this strange kind of happiness were unaware that they were ailing.

It is unclear whether Frederickson's intended 'counter weapon' ever manifested or what his intention was but references in the letters to a 'man who isn't a man'; whose name was Hatherius and whose clothes were 'wet through' deepen the mystery considerably and have led some people to suggest that Frederickson had them abducted by aliens.