The Nine Unknown
The Nine Unknown is a 1923 novel by Talbot Mundy. Originally serialised in Adventure magazine, it concerns the "Nine Unknown Men", a secret society founded by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka around 270 BC to preserve and develop knowledge that would be dangerous to humanity if it fell into the wrong hands. The nine unknown men were entrusted with guarding nine books of secret knowledge.
In the novel the nine men are embodiment of good and face up against nine Kali worshippers, who sow confusion and masquerade as the true sages. The story surrounds a priest called Father Cyprian who is in possession of the books but who wants to destroy them out of Christian piety, and a number of other characters who are interested in learning their contents.
The nine books
The nine books entrusted to the Nine Unknown contain information on
- Propaganda and Psychological warfare
- Physiology, including secrets concerning the "touch of death"
- Communication, including communication with extraterrestrials
- Gravity, and anti-gravity devices (Vimanas, the "ancient UFOs of India")
- Cosmology, including hyperspace and time-travel
- Light, and a technology capable of modifying the speed of light and
- Sociology, including rules predicting the rise and fall of empires.
- Taves, pp. 94-5
- Talbot Mundy, The Nine Unknown, New York (1923, 1924).
- Taves, Brian (2006). Talbot Mundy, philosopher of adventure: a critical biography. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-2234-3.