X-Files mythology, TenThirteen Interviews Database, and more

2X25: Anasazi / 3X01: The Blessing Way / 3X02: Paper Clip

Case Profile

Anasazi Tagline: “Ei Aanigoo E’hoote” (‘The Truth Is Out There’ in Navajo)

A train boxcar full of failed alien/human hybrids is dug out during an earthquake in Navajo territory. A hacker gets a DAT tape full of MJ12 documents detailing the cooperation of the Syndicate with the aliens. Scully enlists the help of Albert Hosteen, Navajo indian, to translate the documents. Just when Mulder’s father was about to tell his son of his work in the Syndicate, Krycek kills him. The CSM tries to get rid of Mulder by burning the boxcar he was in, but the Navajo rescue him and help him recover. FBI elders threaten to fire M&S. Scully discovers an implant in her neck and goes through hypnotic regression to remember her abduction. The Well-Manicured Man warns Scully of a threat on her life; Luis Cardinal & Krycek kill Scully’s sister Melissa instead of Scully. Krycek escapes a car bomb explosion meant for him and flees with the DAT tape. M&S trace the experiments conducted by Nazi scientists given amnesty on US soil to a massive cataloguing facility. While CSM has much difficulty in maintaining credibility in front of his fellow conspirators, Skinner strikes a deal insuring M&S’s survival and reinstatement.

Field Report

With these 3 masterly episodes, XF comes to full maturity and confirms its position as a world phenomenon, both critic and popular. The mythology takes unexpected and bold directions, it is established that the mythology episodes will get a great share of character development, and the introduction to the Syndicate begins a path that will lead inevitably to 6X11: One Son.

The Syndicate is introduced

In The Blessing Way, the main body Syndicate finally reveals itself: a number of elderly men gathered in a dark rich apartment of a building in 46th Street, New York. A group of powerful government operatives, not ony american but also british (the Well-Manicured Man), italian, german and japanese (as revealed by the chain of phonecalls in the beginning of Anasazi) — that is the USA, its main european ally and the 3 ex-axis countries — and probably more that we do not see. They take decisions without consulting anyone else, don’t take orders from any government. When they need to, they can use top secret black ops units (that hunts down The Thinker), the military (the helicopter-borne unit lead by CSM) and the CIA (Mulder: “we were chased by some kind of hit squad driving what looked an awful lot like C.I.A. fleet sedans.” at the Strughold mines), in the same way they’ve used the FBI and the National Guard before (2X22: F. Emasculata). WMM describes them very well: “I’m a member of a kind of consortium. We represent certain global interests. […] We predict the future and the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Of the black ops unit, the Lone Gunmen say: “Multinational black ops unit. Code name Garnett.” “Trained killers. School of the Americas alumni.” Garnett is the name for the security division of Majestic 12 in UFO lore. School of the Americas is a very real institute where Latin Americans are trained with the US Military’s techniques, based in Fort Benning, Georgia. Reference is made of MJ12, the famous yet top secret Majestic 12, according to popular UFOlogy an organisation formed right after the Roswell incident made of high-ranking members of the military, doctors and scientists, who hid the incident from the public, examined the EBEs’ bodies and started retro-engineering the ship’s technology.

The MJ files

Kenneth “The Thinker” Sunna is the one who hacks into the Defense Department files; he was the 4th Lone Gunman who analysed Scully’s medical data in 2X08: One Breath, “a hacking genius“. This DAT tape is very important, it contains “everything from the 1940’s and up“, “Roswell, MJ12 and beyond“, data on the abductions of Duane Barry and Scully, the whole work of the Syndicate stored in files of the Department of Defense. Its theft stalls all Syndicate activities (First Elder: “Then all the pertinent parties should be informed that we can continue with our work.“). It’s important to note that it’s not only the Synicate’s work that’s at stake here. The files bear the mark of the DoD and can date back to before 1973, before the Syndicate was formed and when the experiments were top secret projects of the government. Governments and government officials have the same policy since 1947, but the Syndicate (constituted by government officials nevertheless) follow a different policy since 1973. On the theft of the MJ12 files, all parties agree it’s a security leak that has to be dealt with immediately. Working hand in hand with the government, CSM and the Syndicate are able to mobilize large resources and manpower very quickly. The link between the military team lead by CSM and the DoD is obvious. Anyone who sees the files has to be eliminated: The Thinker, Mulder, Scully, Albert Hosteen.

The focus of the search is the DAT tape in which the Thinker originally stored the stolen files. Skinner: “Whoever downloaded those files put a copy protector on them. I couldn’t get a hard copy to print either.” That’s why the CSM is so adamant to find it and the military dismiss Scully’s paper files. What Albert was translating were probably printouts of screen captures, or even copied by hand. Ok, the viewer has to go to great lengths to reconcile one view presented in Anasazi (printouts) and the other in The Blessing Way & Paper Clip (copy-protected DAT tape that prevents printouts); this is probably due to the time between the writing of the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3. Also, the gimmick of the DAT tape serves to introduce the dilemma for M&S: to stay underground and keep the info, or to be reinstated in the FBI and lose the tape.

Project Paperclip

What the WMM says in the end won’t be challenged by subsequent episodes. Everything began with Roswell: “In 1947, a spacecraft was reportedly recovered in New Mexico. No doubt you know of this and of the reported recovery of a body at the site. These incidents not only coincided with the end of World War II, but an ignominious project which brought Nazi scientists and war criminals to this country to exploit their knowledge.” (usage of the word ‘ignominious’ is intriguing). Or as Mulder explains “The U.S. government provided safe haven for certain Nazi war criminals in exchange for their scientific knowledge.” That is “Operation Paper Clip” (more often written as ‘Paperclip’), which apart from Victor Klemper also brought Werher Von Braun (helped set up NASA’s Apollo program), Alvin Kurtzweil and Conrad Strughold (Fight the Future). Begun by US President Harry Truman in 1946, Paperclip was vital in getting an American on the moon before the Soviets and ultimately winning the Cold War; it was officially ended in 1957. In Germany, Victor Klemper worked in the “Institute of Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene“, directed by Joseph Mengele, aimed at producing a “super-race through genetic engineering“; making a superhuman soldier was no doubt in the US Military’s objectives (2X04: Sleepless) and Klemper was secretly hired by the USA.

The train boxcar experiments

WMM then goes on to hint that “Klemper was trying to create an alien-human hybrid” (Mulder). 1947, Roswell was when the world first learnt of the existence of extraterrestrials and acquired alien tissue. Beginning in 1945, Operation Paper Clip brought the war criminals in the USA, some of whom, like Klemper, later started working on hybridization (Scully: “I found references to experiments that were conducted here in the US by Axis Power scientists who were given amnesty after the war.“) In a flashback in The Blessing Way we are shown the death of the hybrids in the buried train boxcar: cyanide gaz poisoning, the Nazis’ method of choice for exterminating concentration camp prisoners, mainly Jews.Probably Victor Klemper himself conducted the experiments Mulder finds. The desertic Navajo territory in New Mexico served as a depository for these failed experiments.

Klemper used DNA from the EBE(s) of the Roswell crash, these were fully mature and deceased: two reasons why these hybrids were a failure. However, it is these early experiments by Klemer and Zama (3X10: 731) that provided the US government with vital information: only a hybrid would be immune to the Black Oil. In order to survive, an alien/human hybrid would first have to be made; an information that determined the policy of the next 50 years.

Such experiments stopped in 1973, so these hybrids could have been created anywhere between 1947 and 1973. Albert Hosteen recalls the time when he was “a younger man. Just as my grandson had done, I, too, had found a body at the quarry in a hole, half-buried under rocks” (another hybrid trying to escape the cyanide). Given Albert’s age, this places the time of the experiments closer to 1947 than 1973. The train boxcar was buried first, then cyanide was thrown in. Some of the failed hybrids were trying to escape from the boxcar; Mulder followed their bodies to a point very near the surface and was easily discovered by Hosteen and his people.

In 1973, when the agreement is sealed between the aliens and the Syndicate (6X12: One Son), a new kind of hybridization experiments begins, using tissue from the alien fetus. Klemper no longer works for the Syndicate (Klemper first tells WMM “It’s been far too many years“), perhaps leaving on a well-earned retirement “living very well at the expense of the American taxpayer” (Langly) since 1973 — unlike Bronschweig (Fight the Future) or Openshaw (6X11: Two Fathers).

The Strughold mines

The “lots of files” facility Mulder and Scully visit is named “Strughold Mining Company“, obviously owned by Conrad Strughold (that we meet in person in Fight the Future). Strughold was a german industrialist, owning a mine was in his business; in 1973 he turned over his mine to the Syndicate, possibly buying a place whithin the Syndicate with this move. (It’s interesting to note that the real Operation Paperclip brought a certain Hubertus Strughold to the USA, he conducted many space medicine experiments!) The photo Mulder finds was taken for the occasion of the opening of the mine, in 1973 as Teena Mulder recalls. The smallpox cataloguing program, accumulating data since the mid 1940s or early 1950s, needed a separate facility for storing. It’s being updated til the present day, as Scully’s file indicates, used as a “DNA database” not only for the Syndicate’s doctors, but also for the alien abductors too, as evidenced by Scully’s encounter with greys. The facility is accessed to choose a profile fitting for experiments or to update a file with new results or tissue samples (Scully’s must date back to her abduction).

In the Strughold mines, M&S find a “smallpox vaccination certificate” and a “tissue sample” on each of the files. As WMM explains, “With the threat of nuclear holocaust in the 1950s, the government instructed men like your father to gather genetic data on the general populous for the purpose of post-apocalyptic identification.” This was the primary, Cold War-motivated, purpose of these vaccinations. But the inoculation identifiers were later used for a different purpose: identification. In the train boxcar, Mulder finds “a smallpox vaccination scar” on a body, indicating this was previously a human, turned into an alien-looking being from Klemper’s genetic experiments; the inoculation identifier would permit to know who that hybrid previously was, to compare the effects of different human genes on hybridization. “They took tissue from everyone who received a smallpox inoculation. […] So that Victor Klemper had access to a DNA database of nearly everyone who was born since 1950” (Mulder). For more on smallpox vaccination as a means to tag and catalogue humans, see 3X24: Talitha Cumi & 4X01: Herrenvolk.

Bill Mulder and the CSM

At the time of the experiments, the human test subjects were “referred to as merchandise“, a way to dehumanise the experiments and lighten the burden of responsability for men like Mulder’s father. Bill Mulder worked in the State Department gathering genetic data for cataloguing in the 50s. People like him and the CSM (aka CGB Spender) worked in governmental agencies at that time, possibly together, being in on the secret of alien presence very early on in their carreers (Bill knew of the “merchandise” hybrids, which date late 40s – early 50s). This core group (all born around the 1930s) climbed in hierarchy and gathered power until 1973, when their work became independent of any government. The “project” had begun. As CSM says “You’re your own man, Bill. You always have been.” Bill was rebellious from the beginning: WMM: “When your father realized what the medical data was being used for, he objected strenuously“. WMM also says “They took [Samantha] as insurance because your father threatened to expose the project“; this is not entierly false, as in that time in 1973 Bill Mulder was threatening to leave the Syndicate and expose everything (6X12: One Son). However, “he was never an opponent of the project. In fact he authorised it. That’s what he couldn’t live with” (CSM). 40 years of silence were very heavy on Bill, and he decided to tell his son everything; but his previous meeting with CSM had put a seed of doubt in CSM and he sent Krycek to kill him.

By surviving everything, Mulder learns much he didn’t suspect on his family, and the part his parents played on Samantha’s disappearance. Teena is unwilling to give anything out, pretending “it was all so long ago“, but she remembers well that Bill was given a choice by the Conspirators on who would be abducted. The Strughold mines file on Samantha show that “this file was originally [Fox’s]“, indicating that Fox was Bill’s initial choice. The whole choice situation is what tore the parents apart (Fox: “before she was
gone, did Dad ever ask you if you had a favorite?
” Teena: “I couldn’t choose. It was your father’s choice and I hated him for it. Even in his grave, I hate him still.“). See 4X23: Demons for more. Even in the afterlife, Bill Mulder still urges his son to expose everything: “If you were to die now, the truth will die. And only the lies survive us.“.

Mulder only asks Bill about Samantha: “My sister? Is she here?” Bill: “No.” This can be interpreted in many ways, it doesn’t necessarily come into contradiction with the end of the series (7X11: Closure). Either Bill is hiding the fact that she is dead in order to keep Fox’s fire going, or she really is not among the dead but among the wandering walk-ins.

Fox Mulder and the CSM

Despite learning of his father’s involvement, Fox tells CSM that he is determined to “expose you and your project“. Mulder was scheduled to die even before getting hold of the digital tape, through psychotropic chemicals added to the water of Mulder’s building. This resulted in a murder of one of Mulder’s neighbours and Mulder getting suspended from the FBI, but not in his death. This move was most likely ordered by some other Syndicate member, not CSM; possibly by the First Elder, who will continue to have a negative stance towards the CSM all the way up to 5X03: Redux.

The CSM never intended to kill Fox. Even when he orders the train boxcar to be burned, his intentions are not to harm Fox. He expected to find Mulder with Eric, the Navajo boy; the military team tell him that Mulder is no longer there (“if he was, he’s vanished without a trace“). CSM burns the evidence and leaves, not realizing that Mulder’s trapped in the boxcar. CSM then busts in Albert’s house, evidently still
unaware of where Mulder is and very angry at that (“I want to know where Mulder is! […] I want Mulder and I want those files!“); he’s losing control of the situation and doesn’t like that. He knows that the Syndicate would kill Mulder to get the tape; CSM wants to get to the tape before they get to Mulder. By telling the Syndicate the everything is settled, that he has the tape and that Mulder’s dead, he’s buying time to correct his mistakes. In fact, the CSM is protecting Mulder from the beginning; his grand plan is that he’ll join him by his side in the end (5X03: Redux).

Internal politics of the Syndicate

The CSM has to use all his leverage against Skinner to obtain the tape, but Skinner is uncooperative, daring to propose a bargain. CSM’s co-conspirators aren’t satisfied with the way CSM is handling this, doubting even CSM’s honesty. CSM has to shout at Skinner and lie to his colleagues in order to cover his failures. This adds to the aura of the Syndicate: the CSM, the figure of absolute power, has a superior too. In his spree of violence to cover up the leak, CSM wants to kill Scully too, but WMM thinks it’s acting “impulsively and your death will draw unnecessary attention to our group.” Killing Scully when Mulder just died would precisely make of her “a martyr in a crusade (CSM) too, that’s why WMM warns her — which results in Scully’s distrust of Skinner. But there’s more to WMM than his apparent selfishness, which is why he’s so eager to give information to Mulder; see 3X16: Apocrypha and Fight the Future for more.

CSM’s order to kill Dana result in the death of Melissa, and CSM loses even more credibility. CSM’s solution is to kill Melissa’s assasin and destroy the digital tape, but Krycek ends up escaping with the tape. Krycek, as the person in charge of the execution, was the one that was targeted, and not Luis Cardinal and the third henchman, who were mere executives. Krycek learns he can trust no one and is able to stand up against the man who treated hin as an inferior (2X06: Ascension), the beginning of Krycek’s rise in power. Melissa’s death and the conversations Dana has with WMM result in Dana being as determined and personally dedicated to finding and exposing the truth as Mulder is. “I’ve heard the truth, Mulder. Now what I want are the answers.” The whole bargaining business also results in Skinner standing up against CSM too, for once clealy taking the side of M&S, not only winning their lives but also their reinstatement. After being beaten up, Skinner also holds a grudge against Krycek — and naturally Krycek becomes Mulder’s personal nemesis too.

The Anasazi and the Navajo

The compilation of files coded in Navajo took place from the beginning, since right after World War II. Navajo was previously really used during the War to encrypt documents — the famous ‘code talkers’ used by the US military whose coded language was so complicated the Nazi and the Japanese were unable to decrypt. And as the Navajo aren’t that many, it’s not surprising that “Albert was a Navajo code talker during World War II. He helped encode the original government documents.” His knowledge of the Syndicate’s deeds is great, that’s why he’s not surprised of the body his grandson finds and why CSM will respect his deal with Skinner.

Albert also tells Mulder: “There was a tribe of indians who lived here more than 600 years ago. Their name was Anasazi, it means ancient aliens. No evidence of their fate exists. Historians say they disappeared without a trace. […] Nothing disappears without a trace. They were abducted by visitors who come here still.” While this is not historically exactly accurate, it points to an alien presence in the area for centuries. No explanation for the abduction of the Anasazi is given here — 9X19: The Truth hints at an explanation. This relation between the Anasazi people and the aliens will surface again in 6X22: Biogenesis: the Navajo language came from the Anasazi language, which itself came from the language of the aliens.

We will also hear of Anasazi, Navajo and Native American myths and prophecies again (5X14: The Red and the Black, 7X04: Amor Fati), making them central to the XF mythology. The Native Americans have a special knowledge of the world of the dead and of the souls and they use their tradition and ceremonies in order to touch these other worlds. In Paper Clip, the story of the white buffalo is strongly paralelled with the quest of Mulder and Scully. Just as Melissa dies for Dana and as Skinner compromises himself with the CSM for the well-being of M&S, the white buffalo’s mother dies after giving birth (Albert: “My father taught me when I was a boy that this is how life is, that for something to live, another thing must often be sacrificed.”). The white buffalo is an omen for changes (Albert: “this was a powerful omen and that great changes were coming“); this can hardly be translated into the story of Mulder & Scully — omens should not be taken too literaly — other than the fact that with these 3 episodes, the agents reach an important point in their very personal quest.


As expected after Duane Barry’s implants, Scully discovers an implant in the base of her neck (this place again), one looking like a human-made microchip (see 3X10: 731), placed there on her abduction. Encouraged by Melissa, Dana resolves to Psychotherapy Regression Hypnosis to remember something of her abduction, but Scully’s too afraid it might work to come with something subtantial. As Melissa says, Dana still refuses to embrace the paranormal and the spiritual: “What are you so afraid of, Dana? You afraid you might actually learn something about yourself? I mean, you are so, you are so shut off to the possibility there could be any other explanation except for your rigid scientific view of the world.

But she does have what seems to be a visitation by Mulder’s spirit in her dreams while he was in limbo during the Blessing Way ceremony. Was it a visitation or just Scully traumatized by Mulder’s dissapearance so much that she dreams of him? Similarly, the whole experience during the Blessing Way ceremony where Mulder meets the “holy people” could very well have been a dream, rendered more vivid by the ceremonial fumes and medicine, and not a real encounter with the dead. The persons that come to Fox, or the persons he chooses to see, are his father and Deep Throat; this deep bond with Deep Throat will continue throughout the years (7X04: Amor Fati). Like with Scully’s visions it could all have been but a dream (Mulder: “It wasn’t a dream?” Albert answers a most cryptic: “Yes.“).

Klemper hints an entrance code for the Strughold mines files to M&S: Napier’s constant. It’s a universal mathematical constant, e, a value of the neperian logarithm. But there is a little mistake (nitpicking!): Mulder & Scully try 27828, while in fact the true value is 2.71828 (followed by endless other numbers)…

Surveillance Recodings


CSM (upon being informed of the leak): “Gentlemen, that was the phone call I never wanted to get.”

CSM: “The files are only as real as their possible authentication.”
CSM (right before ordering Bill Mulder’s execution): “It’s good to see you again, Bill. You look well.”

Bill Mulder: “It’s… It’s so clear now.  Simple. It was so complicated then. The, the choices that needed to be made. […] You’re going to learn of things, Fox. You’re going to hear the words, and they’ll come to make sense to you. […] The merchandise.”

Mulder: “Now listen to me, you black-lunged son of a bitch, I’m gonna expose you and your project, your time is over.”
CSM: “Expose anything and you only expose your father.”

Albert Hosteen: “Nothing disappears without a trace.
CSM: “Nothing vanishes without a trace! Burn it!”

The Blessing Way

Albert Hosteen’s opening monologue: “There is an ancient Indian saying that something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it. My people have come to trust memory over history. Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable while history serves only those who seek to control it, those who douse the flame of memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth. Beware these men for they are dangerous themselves and unwise. Their false history is written in the blood of those who might
remember and of those who seek the truth.”

Deep Throat vision: “I was first struck by the absence of time, having depended on it so completely as a measure of myself and my life. Moving backwards into the perpetual night that consumes purpose and deed, all passion and will. I come to you, old friend, with the dull clarity of the dead not to beckon you but to feel the fire and intensity that still live in you… and the heavy weight of your burdens which I had once borne. There is truth here, old friend, if that’s all you seek but there’s no justice or judgment without which truth is a vast, dead hollow. Go back. Do not look into the abyss or let the abyss look into you. Awaken the sleep of reason and fight the monsters within and without.”

Bill Mulder vision: “Hello, son. I did not dare hope to see you so soon nor ever again hope to broker fate with a life to which I gave life. The lies I told you were a pox and poison to my soul and now you are here because of them. Lies I thought might bury forever a truth I could not live with. I stand here, ashamed of the choices I made so long ago, when you were just a boy. You are the memory, Fox. It lives in you. If you were to die now, the truth will die. And only the lies survive us.”

Fox: “My sister? Is she here?”
Bill Mulder vision: “No. The thing that would destroy me, the truth I
felt you must never learn is the truth you will find if you are to go forward.”

Scully: “You’re not protecting me, you’re protecting yourself.”
WMM: “Why should that surprise you? Motives are rarely unselfish.”
WMM: “We predict the future. And the best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Paper Clip

Albert Hosteen’s opening monologue: “At the end of the ceremony, when the F.B.I. man had been healed, we heard the news from other Native Americans in the northern plains that a great event had taken place. Like the Navajo, these people have their own stories and myths. One of these stories tells of the white buffalo woman who came down from the heavens and taught the Indians how to lead virtuous lives and how to pray to the creator. She told the people she would return one day, then she turned into a white buffalo and ascended into the clouds, never to be seen again. But on this day, when the holy people had given the F.B.I. man a miracle, a white buffalo was born and every Native American knew, whether he believed the story or not, that this was a powerful omen and that great changes were coming.”

Mulder: “Lots of files.”
Scully: “Lots and lots of files.”

Albert Hosteen: “For two days, I had prayed for the F.B.I. woman’s sister. Her doctor said she was getting better and her mother, who would not leave her bedside, was able to sleep. But word had come from my brothers in the north that did not give me hope. The white buffalo calf had survived, but after a day, it would no longer drink its mother’s milk. On the third day, the mother buffalo laid down in her stall and would not get up. They said the men could do nothing for her. That night, she died. My father taught me when I was a boy that this is how life is. That for something to live, another thing must often be sacrificed. This was my fear now for the young woman.”

Mulder: “Is there more?”

WMM: “More than you’ll ever know.”

CSM: “Hello?”
Krycek: “I’m alive. Isn’t that a surprise?”
CSM: “Yes, good, good, good. Uh, where are you?”
Krycek: “Somewhere that you will never find me, you double-crossing son of a bitch.”
CSM: “Are you sure?”
Krycek: “I’m sure of this… if I so much as feel your presence, I’m going to make you a very, very famous man. You understand?”
CSM: “Yes, thank you. I’m going to report that to the group.”

Mulder: “I believe that what we’re looking for is in the X-Files. I’m more certain than ever that the truth is in there.”
Scully: “I’ve heard the truth, Mulder. Now what I want are the answers.”

E.T.C 2004-2007

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