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The Order of Forgotten Mysteries #8: Nacht der Untoten's Significance

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Hello again, comrades. Welcome to the Order of Forgotten Mysteries, the series of threads where we take a look at forgotten mysteries in the Aether story that have never been answered, take a look at them through a microscope, and (usually) don't find that answer.


Today we are going to discuss the place that started it all, the place that set us on this journey, a lonely, desolate airfield we all know as Nacht der Untoten.



We all know Nacht is significant to us because it is the first Zombies map by Treyarch, which introduced so many gameplay components and intrigued the masses with a creepy, mysterious world full of undead. But what is significant about the location in-universe, you may ask? It may not seem like much, but this is a location that has continued to re-appear again and again where it should not, and we have little to no explanation for it.


Let's first examine all the places it has appeared:


- World at War: June 4th, 1945 - NACHT DER UNTOTEN - An Allied plane malfunctions over an airfield and crashes. German Army trucks, transporting the undead and Element 115 between Group 935 facilities, are struck in the crash. Four marines surviving the crash hold out against the undead as long as they can but eventually die to the undead army.


- The Second Outbreak: Our good friend @anonymous has a thread on the subject here. There is debate whether the events of World at War Nacht with the four marines is the second outbreak, or if the events of Black Ops 1/3 Nacht are the second outbreak. The second outbreak, and by extension the first, may even be separate events. At the very least, we can confirm there were at least two, the location itself is referred to as Nacht der Untoten, and there are still people near or at the airfield to receive strange signals.


- Black Ops 1/3: Little is known why Ultimis would arrive at this location. It is never mentioned on the timeline, however it could be a stepping stone between locations as there is a great gap of time between Ultimis leaving Der Riese to Shi No Numa and back again to Der Riese. Monty acknowledges Ultimis' appearance, after the presumed deaths of the four marines: 


"Nacht der Untoten... That translates as 'Night of the Dead'. I learned that tonight. Been trying to scrub up on my German you see. Anyway, it happened in an old concrete building on an airfield somewhere...Christ, I don't know where. I remember it being really small, simple by today's standards. I think there was a fog. Not a lot of it, certainly not any coming into the building itself. You know what I just realised? You weren't even there! At least not at first. It was some other random, forgettable soldiers that had the misfortune to live through that horrible night, or nacht as it was actually known. There, I speak German now."

- TranZit: Ah yes, a perplexing easter egg, indeed. For some inexplicable reason, Nacht der Untoten has made an appearance at the Hanford Site near the cornfields, the same cornfields that are home to the Global Polarization Device built by Broken Arrow. It even has mostly the same structural damage and debris. What is the significance of its appearance at a Broken Arrow facility near such a tower? We'll get there, in due time...



- Revelations: Finally, Nacht der Untoten appears in the map Revelations as the central hub of the map, directly in the center of all the floating islands, with portals to each of them. Anon has brought up his questions regarding why it would be the hub of the map, and I will let Anon reply as such. The area is slightly more damaged, but also contains a machine attached to the Tesla Coils from Der Eisendrache, which are used to restrain the massive Apothicon beast.





So it seems that time and time again, Nacht der Untoten has continued to appear throughout the story, and has appeared in every game since World at War, barring Black Ops 4 (so far). What makes it such an important location to our characters?


The Tower

There are few defining features of the map apart from the central structure itself. Outside the map there is only fog, dirt, and some broken military equipment. All that, and a radio tower:



It is not strange in itself that there is a radio tower near an airfield. Operations in the air need communication to coordinate, and being this was a joint Group 935-German operation, this is completely necessary. The location cannot be that simple, however. If this were just like any other airfield being used at the time, why have there been multiple outbreaks here? Why would people continue to return to this location when seemingly a shipment of 115 has resurrected an army of undead that roam the area? I believe the answers may lie with this tower, and the strange signals it sends in the dead of night.


In 2009, Treyarch posted on their website this piece of intel: 


“Ever since the second outbreak at Nacht der Untoten, troops have been noticing strange radio transmissions and broadcasts taking place in the dead of the night.”

Barring the mention of the second outbreak, the most crucial detail here is the mention of mysterious radio transmissions and broadcasts from this location, which is seemingly abandoned after two consecutive outbreaks. Why keep watch of such a location?


Nacht der Untoten and its tower may be related to our old friend, HAARP. While the real life HAARP was established in the United States in 1993, in the Zombies universe, HAARP goes waaaay back. In the Doctor's Quarters of Shi No Numa, there is a note that reads, "It could be used to power HAARP...". There are old threads discussing the topic, but any links I find are dead. If anyone has a thread on the topic, please link it.


HAARP is a high-power, high-frequency transmitter used for study of the ionosphere and improvement of radio communications and surveillance. There are numerous conspiracies surrounding it, suggesting anything from controlling the weather to mind control.


So putting the pieces together... we know HAARP is being created by Group 935, and will seemingly be powered by 115... we have an airfield operated by Group 935 with a large amount of 115 on site and a radio tower that is sending out mysterious signals in the night with no one around... and at one point an American plane with four marines just so happens to "malfunction" and crash here.... hmmm... Something tells me that malfunction is no coincidence.


The Hanford Connection

So how does this site end up all the way in Hanford, Washington? Well, there could be a variety of reasons why the building would be there. It could be a recreation/coincidence that the building looks nearly identical to its German counterpart, and damage over time has caused it to appear like its sister location. It could have been displaced accidentally after the Rift was opened, which also caused an American Western town to end up in Angola. It could have been displaced intentionally... which would be quite the project to undertake for the sake of a crappy building. Whatever the case, that doesn't quite matter as much as the connection to HAARP, which TranZit just so happens to have a couple of its own.


Quote from T.E.D.D.:


"Welcome aboard. Now departing for the HAARP Reseach Station."

So we know that Broken Arrow has associated with the HAARP Research Station in the United States, and given HAARP's invention by Group 935, its technology was likely acquired through Operation Stapler, where 935 scientists were acquired after the war to work for the United States. As part of that same deal, Richtofen demanded that the Americans build a Global Polarization Device in Hanford to ultimately try and take control of the Aether. This device may very well have used the same technology as HAARP.


Now, it's possible that Nacht der Untoten's appearance in TranZit may not be a simple easter egg, but also a hint at the location's true purpose in Germany back in '45.


Tesla's Death Ray

The appearance of the Death Ray at Nacht in Revelations may seem like nothing, and it may seem like a simple component of Der Eisendrache that drifted onto the island that Nacht inhabits. However, the Death Ray, and Tesla's research into it, have been mentioned quite early in the story. Here is a thread from back in 2012 regarding TEDD's mention of HAARP, where PINNAZ correctly points out the connection between HAARP and Tesla's Death Ray, also linking several images of real life documents that appear in-game regarding the Death Ray. 


So it seems the Death Ray DOES belong at Nacht.


So why is it not in WaW Nacht? Research could have been decommissioned by the end of the war, or maybe it was just transferred to Der Eisendrache when that opened up, and the version of Nacht in Revelations is an earlier version. It could also be that this version of Nacht is from a fracture where this Death Ray is more successful. In any case, it now makes sense why it would appear in this area.



This is all the speculation and evidence I could find regarding Nacht's significance to the storyline. Reply with your thoughts and opinions, and anything I've missed!

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I'd like to vote this thread into Asylum, if that's possible. This post is wünderbar, really. It is extremely interesting yet actually logical that Richthofen had to construct a prototype of a Global Polarization Device before he could demand the United States and Soviet Union to build one. Nacht could have been that place. There is a thread here written by @Tac discussing a paper found in Shi no Numa stating things like "(...) might be powering HAARP (...) but comes with a risk (...) may consider using (...)". He also refers to the same thing @PINNAZ was talking about: the fact Tesla said he was secretly working on a project he called "Teleforce”, “Death Ray”, or his invisible “Chinese Wall of Defense” to protect the US (and indeed, there are numerous Death Ray references found all over zombie maps). This is what people are referring to when they say that HAARP is able to neutralize satellites and even be weaponized. Tac also states the following quote:


"These subterranean philosophers assert that by one operation of vril, which Faraday would perhaps call "atmospheric magnetism," they can influence the variations of temperature--in plain words, the weather; that by operations, akin to those ascribed to mesmerism, electro-biology, odic force, etc., but applied scientifically, through vril conductors, can exercise influence over minds, and bodies animal and vegetable, to an extent not surpassed in the romances of our mystics. To all such agencies they give the common name of vril."


Now I guess the link between HAARP and Vril starts to get clear up. It could be that Vril 'might be powering HAARP', but tests at Nacht der Untoten show that it 'comes with a great risk'. My final thought is that it is believed that Vril is concentrated Element 115, and that Group 935 at least tried to generate Vril at Die Glocke, though it is unsure they actually succeeded in it. They had, however, the Element. Could this be where the sentence 'may consider using' is referring to? May consider using Element 115? There was a covoy of trucks transporting 115 between Group 935 facilities, but Nacht could be one of these facilities it was being brought to.


Brains to your thinking, @RadZakpak!

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GG buddy, this thread just gained it's deserved Asylum approval! Its part of our shiny golden treassure collection now ?

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