In 1881, during his 1st working visit to the USA, Nicola Tesla became Orphan's secret action-packed equivalent of "Mr. Q" from England's MI6
That night Tesla began sketching ideas for Hayes. Several days later, he showed his first sketches to Edison.
Edison assumed that Hayes had told Tesla Orphan’s real intentions, when he responded, “Where are you concealing the Howitzer (canon), flame flingers, and Gatling guns?”
Tesla suddenly realized what he was actually asked to design.
A couple of days later, Hayes returned to see the sketches. He assured Nicola, “I did not lie to you son. I just did not tell you everything. Sometimes these rail ambulances will rush seriously injured orphans to our Sullivant's Hill hospital.”
Tesla remained excited about creating superspeed machines, and secret spy gear for the United States. So Hayes introduced him to another of his inventor buddies, engineer George Westinghouse, who had also been working on several other top-secret projects.
Westinghouse had already revolutionized locomotive technologies, and he owned two high-security facilities where these rail rockets (they would call "Orphs"), could be built.
When on tour, The Irish Orphans Band (Agent Mclaughlin's cover), donates their gate (ticket sales) to local orphanages, giving NORA the excuse to lend his band a doctor and a blazing-fast, hidden weapon packed, "Orphan Ambulance Locomotive" (an Orph). Orph's pulled 5-6 "Orph Cars." One was a surgical car, for the orphans, of course. Another controlled three weapon systems, and another launched a hydrogen gas-filled dirigible (an airship), that can carry 1000 pounds of cargo.
Four years later (the first week of March 1885), they finished building their sixth Orph, which was far more advanced than the first five.
Even though on March 7th, 1885, Tesla would pilot this low-slung, angry-sounding, fire-breathing beast from Zanesville to Columbus, averaging 149.5 mph, the official world speed record for motorized vehicles remained 82.5 mph until the early 1900s. These numbers remained a secret, because Secret Service secrets remain Secret Service secrets.
In 1929 the Service replaced Orphan with "Postal," a new US Air-Mail based covert division.
Orphs had met their match; after 47 years, they had been rendered obsolete by airplanes, so the old underground base beneath Sullivant's Hill was no longer used for covert mission control, and suddenly that little old orphan hospital burned down.
Instead of rebuilding it, Congress closed NORA and began reimbursing hospitals near orphanages for treating those poor babies. They also passed the nation's first child labor laws.
From 1928-1936, this facility became America's hidden laboratory for secret weapon development, and to reverse-engineer foreign (and possibly alien) technologies.
So for eight years, the top of Sullivant's Hill was America's first version of Area 51.
In 1936, the vast scale of Hitler's rapidly expanding war machine convinced the Service to spread its secret development center out across the deserts of New Mexico and Nevada.
This old Orphan base then became a secret government warehouse, where the nation's old mysterious machines, spy devices, and superspeed vehicles would be (permanently) entombed.
The Secret Service continued guarding their then buried compound, through 1945.
In March of 1944, about a year before his death, President Delano Roosevelt made General Motors an offer they could not refuse. He had them build a vast factory above Orphan's already buried entrances, and the development center just a few feet below the surface.
By the end of 1946, a slab of concrete, as large as 32 football fields, forever sealed the ground above the abandoned base.
Well, not quite permanently.
After forty-five years, the factory closed. A decade later, to make room for Ohio's largest casino, it was demolished.
However, before America's secret keepers allowed the casino builders to start construction, they claimed that General Motors had left the land dangerously contaminated.
So, President George W. Bush ordered the CIA, disguised as the EPA, to clean up the site.
After spending a few hundred million dollars removing that (near-surface) laboratory, and offices, the EPA (CIA) made sure that the casino's builders would not find the secret treasures entombed below.
They removed the secret contents, and the underground building, then they filled the remaining 1200 x 65-foot ditch, with soil and rocks excavated from the seven water retention lakes going in around the casino.
In early 2016 I went looking for this base and found some startling physical (and a load of circumstantial) evidence supporting its existence.
Over these years, I had countless dreams about wild Orphan agents taking on ruthless villains, bent on world domination, 1880's style. I soon realized that if I could convert those dreams into novels, comic books, and tv show scripts, I could help this economically distressed hill's miserable conditions.
By September 2016, I had these five fun-action-packed Orphan based spy-novels outlined.
In 2018, I retired early to start writing.
Putting them on paper was simple, however polishing my words until they are legible enough to show anyone else is a very different story. I assumed that I would have all five books ready by now (2020), but my horrible English class grades came back to haunt me; I only have two approaching smooth, so far.
The Southern Cross, the second of these two, will be the first one that Upper Columbus, LLC publishes, this Spring (2020).
However, you can test-drive it for FREE right now! No questions asked:
This link takes you to The Southern Cross' s first few chapters:
If you like fast action-spy violence, beautiful ladies, evil villains, top-secret speed machines, and gadgets, seamlessly woven together with a dash of sarcasm, or if you want to learn the legends of early Buckeyeville, this novel is for you.
We will be posting samples of all five Orphan thrillers before they're released, right here at UpperColumbus.com. I hope you have as much fun reading them as I did writing them!
P.S. If you have any information on Orphan's underground facility or other legends of Sullivant's Hill. I want to hear them, tell me what you know (or have).
I would especially like to find maps detailing Sullivant's Hill from 1853 to 1882. I have one from 1854, and another from 1884. It appears that all of the maps in-between were deleted, buried, or burned up.
Let Me Know!
The Other Stars of Orphan:
America's first James Bond, Orphan's 2nd Agent, Colin McLaughlin was born in Franklinton, (Now West Columbus).
Orphaned at eight, a teenage prizefighter and Civil War spy for General Hayes.
Later, after being fired from the Columbus Police Force in 1870 (along with the entire department), two of his orphanage mates convinced him to form a 3-man band with them. The "Irish Orphans", kept Shanon Flanagan's Pub on Columbus' Irish Broadway (now N. Grant Ave) packed with primarily drunken female fans. After the Civil War, there were four ladies for every man in Columbus.
Former US President, Ohio Governor, and Civil War General, Rutherford B. Hayes is Orphan's Secret Commander
Orphan's 1st agent, the always hungry gourmet Lemont Freeman, was a 6'9" strong man, born a slave in New Orleans.
At age 11 his slave mother, a wonderful cook that rich white children called "Aunt Jemima," won her family's freedom and moved them to Columbus.
At age 18 his razor-sharp mind and Herculean physical abilities impressed General Hayes so profoundly, Lemont soon became his bodyguard and secretary.
When on Orphan missions, Lemont's cover is the Irish Orphan's tour manager.
Colin's gorgeous redhead green-eyed girlfriend, Sarah Kilbourne, was the leader of the 'Buckeye Beauties' the sexy song and dance stars of Columbus' opera house.
Sweet Sarah was Columbus' most popular superstar; Colin came in at a distant second.