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America’s favorite dental technician/bestselling author Dr. Whittle’s latest foray into the deeper end of fringe theory involves the 1879 creation of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” and the outlandish suggestion that it contains evidence in the form of a “musical communique” of alien interaction with the master composer while foretelling of a subsequent “invasion” some 27 years later.

If the year 1905 doesn’t jump out at you, don’t worry: it didn’t for me either, a fact not lost on the author. “No one can remember something they never knew in the first place,” he writes in the outer jacket blurb. Reports of strange lights or objects have been with us for as long as we’ve had weirdos, which is to say, quite a while now, but my own (admittedly cursory) research shows no spike in sightings in any part of the world at that time.

Whittle, the son of an umbrella salesman, attributes Beethoven’s hearing loss to exposure to “cosmic rays generated by the visitor’s microbeam technology” used to directly transmit the music into Ludvig’s brain which, over the course of their four week interaction caused physical degeneration of his skullbone.

Harbinger suggests the “metamorphosis” was only one in a series of steps toward the ultimate goal of inter-species harmony which Whittle believes was one of the visitors goals. If not for the annual Ludvig family camping weekend, Beethoven may have been transformed into..? What might a human alien intermingling produce? According to Whittle not only a new lifeform, but perhaps one that exceeds the sum of its parts: in this case, human and alien dna.

“The mating sounds of two of these beings,” the dentist postulates in one of his more poetic waxings, could “open new gifts of the human brain” in the imagined form of a set of entirely new senses such as “seeing smells” or “tasting emotions.”

The rosetta stone to this incredible claim was discovered via a dream the author had in which he decided to place his cherished lacquer pressing of “Uncle Jimbo Plays Beethoven” upside down on the family victrola inside a cloud chamber. The resonant frequencies amplified by the enclosure resulted in the appearance of “a whole new, previously unheard” piece of music the author proposes was there all along, waiting to be uncovered by similar means.

Despite holding only a doctorate in teeth and not in physics or musicology, Whittle’s hypotheses are impressively scientific, like the passage quoted here: “…the second movement’s bold presto is where things begin to get interesting: if the subharmonic is added to the cello at an interval corresponding to the distance from Earth to the moon on the day of (the symphony’s) premiere as expressed in Euphratean geometry using Hannigon’s Post to convert it to a recognizable musical scale, it gives us the sum of 834, which is old Latin for 1905.”

Painstaking details pulled from that dream including the thickness of the glass, the precise amount and temperature of his own body odor, how full his bladder was both in and out of the dream that night etc were “no doubt crucial to the success of the venture” and thus render the experiment difficult to replicate.

The so called “invasion” of 1905 (masked, Whittle claims, by the famous “Vlodosk” meteor of the same year) was responsible for such disparate events as the great piglet swarm which ravaged Adeline, the still-unsolved fouling of the Grand Canyon, and the election of Herbert Hoover. This was of course also the same year the NY Knicks won their first championship, as well as the rise of what was then known as “dildoism.” These and other events are tied by the author to the visitation of his oddly unnamed aliens, of which evidence has been virtually nonexistent.

However, according to Whittle’s research, recently declassified USGS satellite images show an unusually heavy (for the area and season) presence of Northern Irish oil tankers in the Crimeas: tankers which were “tracked straight back to the Arctic” and (in Whittle’s proposal) never seen again. No trace of any of the vessels returning to port or recording any further voyages was ever found; indeed no records exist of any crew.

At the same time, RASA (Russia’s space program) officials were accused of stifling some peasant reports of strange sounds in the sky and the appearance of a giant condom-like disc over the town square, which the Kremlin dismissed as a weather contraceptive. Also according to the author’s findings, several new submerged wrecks have recently been issued permits for diving tours in areas “not far from where the tankers could have wound up” after ostensibly being drained of their contents and discarded like empty cans of soup. Whether or not the purportedly missing crews were included in the alleged consumption is unspecified, but, according to Saviol in his introduction, seeing that Whittle is “a toothman, you’ve gotta assume the worst, right?”

All in all, Harbinger is a good if not always thoroughly convincing read, and certainly on par with the dentist’s previous explorations.

This doctor is most definitely in.