Shaver, Richard S(harpe) (1907-1975)

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Shaver, Richard S(harpe) (1907-1975)

Pennsylvania welder and author born on October 8, 1907, responsible for the series of revelations known as the "Shaver Mystery," originally published by Raymond A. Palmer in Amazing Stories from 1945 to 1949. Drawing upon "racial memories," Shaver described a race of "deros" or vicious dwarfs living in underground caverns, indulging in sexual orgies and harassing human beings by means of secret rays and telepathy.

Shaver's somewhat crude original manuscript, titled A Warning to Future Man, was extensively worked over by Palmer and emerged in the March 1945 issue of Amazing Stories as "I Remember Lemuria." At first the series boosted the magazine's circulation to a record 185,000. Many earnest readers described their own knowledge of secret influences from deros who were also apparently responsible for the disaster of Pearl Harbor. More traditional science fiction readers were indignant at such stories being presented as factual, and after thousands of protests, Howard Browne, who took over from Palmer, ended the series. Browne described the Shaver material as "the sickest crap I'd run into."

However, Palmer kept the the Shaver legend alive and revived it from time to time in Search and Flying Saucers magazines and The Hidden World, a series of periodicals in trade paperback format. For a while there was also a fanzine, the Shaver Mystery Magazine, and I Remember Lemuria and The Return of Sathanas were reissued in book format in 1948.

Shaver died on November 5, 1975.

Sources:

Clark, Jerome. Encyclopedia of Strange and Unexplained Phenomena. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993.