Do you have an old secret about the history of technology, a defunct cult, or a futuristic weapon that never made it off the drawing board? Would you like the world to know about it? Tell us.
News outlets usually love scoops that involve breaking news. It’s right there in the name: News. But here at Paleofuture we usually cover history. Because by understanding past visions for the future we hope to gain some insight into what tomorrow might look like. And there are thousands of people in the world with decades-old secrets who can help us do that.
Breaking history news may sound like a contradiction, but it’s our bread and butter. We publish the stories of 1960s cult communities, 1970s border surveillance, and 1980s artificial intelligence because every one of those plans was a unique vision for the future. And every one of them can provide context for the problems we face today.
Years ago I was talking with a former military contractor about a massive US defense program. He explained that there was something he wanted to get off his chest. He told me that there was some kind of enormous government and/or corporate malfeasance that had occurred during the 1980s which very few people knew about. He really wanted to tell me about it but said that it would have to be off the record. I explained that I didn’t do off the record and asked if there was any way that I could verify and tell his story anonymously. He insisted that if the story got out that it’d be traced straight back to him as the one who leaked it. I reluctantly told him that I didn’t want to hear his story if I couldn’t write about it.
I am more than happy to write a story and keep my sources 100 percent anonymous. But I don’t do off the record. I’ve never understood the point. As someone who gets paid to write truths on the internet to the best of my ability, off the record makes absolutely no sense to me. What am I supposed to do with off the record information? Whisper it to my cat? I don’t have a cat, but you get the idea. We want your secrets and we want them on the record. We want to help the public understand your story even if you wish to remain anonymous.
We want to hear your secrets about the world that could have been. Did you hack the MILNET in the 1980s? Did you help build a raygun in the 1970s that’s never seen the battlefield? Did you belong to an obscure cult in the 1990s that planned to build a new society? Tell us about it.
You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (PGP Key), or paper documents to: Gawker Media, c/o Matt Novak at Gizmodo, 114 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York NY 10011.