Jules Verne, Savior of the Earth?

By Dr. Peter M. Coogan and Dennis Power

On The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne (SAJV) the actor playing Verne acts like an American, speaks like an American, and is played by an American.  This depiction would not strike one as odd if all the other French and British characters also spoke with American accents, but they do not.  Even Southerners speak with the appropriate accent.  Furthermore, the show depicts Verne as young, single, and struggling at a time when the real Verne was middle-aged, married, and successful.  It is almost as if the producers want their audience to know that their Jules Verne is not the Jules Verne.

And so they do.

The Jules Verne of SAJV differs in a number of ways from the historical Jules Verne.  The historical Jules Verne was born in 1828 in Nates, France, began writing plays in the late 1840s and having them staged in the early 1850s.  He married in 1856, acquiring two step-children along with his wife, and worked as a stock broker in the early 1860s until he started publishing novels, starting with the very successful Five Weeks in a Balloon (1863).  The Jules Verne of SAJV is young—the American actor portraying him, Chris Demetral, was twenty-three during filming of the series—and is struggling to get plays produced in 1861, when the show is set.  He is single and a virgin (the plot of “Dust to Dust” depends upon Jules being “pure”), and is free to go traveling about the globe with Phileas and Rebecca Fogg on the airship Aurora.  These two cannot be the same person, nor can the producers have expected viewers not to see the differences between the historical Jules Verne and the SAJV version of Verne.  They are not the same man.  The Verne of SAJV is in fact Vernon Julian, an American with a precognitive ability, whose descendants feature in three of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels: The Moon Men, The Moon Maid, and The Lost Continent.[1]

Calling himself Julian 3rd, this man met Matthew Nicholas Carter (narrator of many of Burroughs’ novels) on Mars Day, June 10, 1967, in the Blue Room of the transoceanic liner Harding.[2]  A message had just arrived from Mars—Barsoom, rather—a mere two months after Victory Day, the day on which a half-century of war had “terminated in the absolute domination of the Anglo-Saxon race over all the other races of the World” (Moon Maid p. 2).  Julian drew Carter’s attention by commenting on the people reveling in the good news of contact with Mars, saying “Poor devils!” and then: “It is just as well—let them enjoy life while they may. I envy them their ignorance.”  Carter invited Julian 3rd into conversation in his cabin and discovered that his guest remembered the future, having been reincarnated repeatedly in every other generation and remembering those future lives due to his precognitive ability.[3]  Julian 3rd told Carter of a future invasion of Earth by the Moon, led by the Kalkars, a militaristic group of the three distinct species of Lunarian humanity.[4]  With the help of a turncoat Earthman the Kalkars conquered Earth and sent its people back to the forests to live in primitive barbarity.

But this was not the first time that the two had met.  Julian 3rd’s grandfather’s grandfather, Vernon Julian himself, had previously met Matthew Nicholas Carter in 1895 on the train from Richmond to New York.  Julian told Carter of their future meeting as well as of the invasion and left him with several manuscripts, which Carter (along with Edgar Rice Burroughs) turned into The Moon Maid, The Moon Men, and The Lost Continent.  He also told Carter that he had worked for the past thirty years to prevent the events depicted in these manuscripts from coming true and was about to embark on a suicide mission to the Moon to ensure that the invasion never took place.  Ironically his success meant that Carter would be killed in the bombing of Pearl Harbor instead of becoming the Secretary of Commerce in 1969, at the age of one hundred and fourteen, and living into the 1970s.

The story of how Vernon Julian learned of and prevented this future invasion is an intriguing story and the focus of the rest of this article.

In SAJV, the League of Darkness—an aristocratic conspiracy devoted to retaining power in the hands of the rich and nobly born—pursues Vernon Julian because of his precognitive ability.[5] The League’s leader, Count Gregory, wants access to Julian’s visions of future technology.  Julian works against the League’s intrigues and is joined by Phileas Fogg, his cousin Rebecca Fogg, and his servant Passepartout.[6] The series, created by Gavin Scott based upon Julian’s notebooks from the period, is incomplete, having been cancelled after one season.  One presumes that the League would have been beaten or would have retreated from direct combat with the British Secret Service, Rebecca Fogg’s employer.

Regardless, after the events of SAJV, Julian received several clear visions of the future—told in the Moon series and The Lost Continent.  In the Moon series, the Great War continues for fifty years, only to end with the domination of the planet by the Anglo-Saxon peoples of England and the United States and the heralding of world peace and interplanetary travel.  This seeming golden age is brought to an end by the conquest of the Earth by the Kalkars, the militaristic and collectivist leaders of the Moon.  Hundreds of years of barbarism follow, ending in a rallying of Earth’s forces under a descendant of Julian and the retaking of the planet.  In The Lost Continent, the Great War also continues, but the United States and the rest of the Americas cut off relations with Europe, Asia, and Africa, and peace reigns among the nations of the Pan-American Federation.  After more than two centuries an aero-submarine, commanded by Jefferson Turck—a descendant of Julian through one of his daughters—is driven by a storm and equipment failure into an English port, where they find the once-proud British people having sunk into barbarism.[7]

Vernon Julian vowed to ensure that these futures would not come about.  To do this, he began a two-track plan.  First he would create an organization that would bring the U.S. into the Great War at an early enough point to end the conflict, and second, he would utterly wipe out the Kalkar's ability to wage war on the Earth by committing genocide.[8]  Working with Rebecca Fogg and the British Secret Service, Julian created a secret branch of British intelligence, which was to forestall various threats that Vernon saw in his visions of the future. The man chosen to head the secret branch of the secret service could be construed as an odd choice for Rebecca Fogg to have made, but it was one that proved to be effective and efficient.  This man was Professor James Moriarty, who in 1872 claimed the leadership of the Capellean organization and declared a truce between the Eridaneans and the Capelleans, although he still intended to work towards their common goals. To do so he needed vast wealth and so formed a vast criminal organization. When tapped to head the M branch of the Secret Service, Moriarty used the criminal organization and the secret service operatives interchangeably to carry out various acts he deemed necessary for the preservation of Britain, including assassination, blackmail, etc. Moriarty was also given leadership of a group of free-lance operatives attached to the British Secret Service through patriotism, temporary contracts, or to have their criminal records expunged. This group was known as the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  One of the major goals of the M Branch was to ensure the entrance of the U.S. into the Great War.  Vernon Julian's son and grandson served in this Branch, and it was responsible for the sinking of the Lusitania as well much of the anti-German propaganda sent to the United States before America entered the war.[9]

His final solution for the Kalkars would take a different track.  Bringing the U.S. into a great-powers war was one thing—and well within the means of British intelligence—committing genocide on another planet was something else entirely.[10]  To accomplish this task he regrettably turned to the League of Darkness, because they were the only group he knew of that would countenance genocide and he didn’t want to corrupt anyone or put such a burden on anyone.  The League went along for its own purposes.  First he contacted Barbicane, Nichols, and Ardan, members of the American Gun Club’s 1865 expedition to the Moon to get a sense of Lunar biology and society.[11]  Unfortunately the conclusion of the Baltimore Gun Club was that the Moon had once been inhabited, but was currently both uninhabited and uninhabitable.  But their conclusions were wrong.  Julian’s visions show him that as sunlight hit the lunar surface, vegetation sprang up, but it died off when the sun set; the Gun Club’s projectile must have been traveling on the dark side of the Moon and thus did not observe the effect of the sunlight. This was confirmed by the later lunar trip of Cavor and Bedford as seen in First Men in the Moon.

In the early 1870s Julian made use of the cannon developed by Count Kugarin[12] and began firing various biological agents at the Moon, aiming at the rare surface valleys where the Kalkar's dwelled.  These included rats with plague bearing fleas, locusts, shredded smallpox-ridden blanket bombs, flu corpse bombs (people dead of the flu rigged with explosives), and a flesh-eating bacteria that in fact devoured many Kalkar.  Many of these devices worked, and wave after wave of disease wiped out the Kalkar.[13]

By the 1890s he was certain that his attacks had been successful, but he still continued to have the troubling visions.  Examining these visions carefully by documenting each occurrence, Julian discovered to his horror that by trying to eliminate the Kalkars, who had dwelt in the few fertile canyons still on the surface of the Moon, he had driven them below into the interior world where they preyed upon the pacifistic U-gas.  In trying to prevent history he had seemingly precipitated it.  From this point on bacteriological bombs had to enter the craters since it was the Moon's interior that was inhabited.  Since it was nearly impossible to determine which craters were actually caverns leading to the interior, Julian felt no other recourse than to travel to the Moon in person.  He used the projectile canon and traveled in a projectile modeled on the one used by the Baltimore Gun Club.  Unfortunately he was unaware of the work of Dr. Selwyn Cavor, who was building a ship to travel to the Moon at the same time and would have provided a safer and more reliable mode of transportation as described by H.G. Wells in First Men in the Moon.

From the League of Darkness’ agents, he assembled a suicide squad that would go to the Moon but not return.  He met with Matthew Nicholas Carter to leave a record with the public in case his plan did not work.  He was not concerned with his own death, knowing that he needed to die before his grandson was born in order to ensure his generational resurrection.  In 1895 Julian completed the construction of a large “bullet,” loaded it with weapons—both conventional and chemical—and shot himself and his men off to the Moon.  No word of their venture ever reached the Earth, but the success of their mission is self-evident.  Julian carried with him deadly diseases created by Dr. Moreau, who later successfully repelled the Sarmak invasion of 1898 (frequently referred to as “The War of the Worlds”).  When Julian unleashed these diseases he also inadvertently killed off Dr. Cavor and good portion of the Selenites.[14]

Many of Julian’s notebooks ended up with Jules Verne, who used them as the basis of much of his writing.  He shared his profits with Julian, who had given up on writing once he committed himself to Kalkar genocide and making sure WWI ended.  Other notebooks, including the notes that MN Carter used to write The Lost Continent and the Moon series, ended up in the Carter archives at the Hudson River estate.  The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne came out of Gavin Scott’s researches into Jules Verne and his discovery of ideas and materials that did not fit with the facts of Verne’s life.

And that is the story of Jules Verne—or Vernon Julian in fact—savior of the world!


[1] Vernon Julian was in fact a nom de plume, a name Julian adopted after meeting in person the playwright Jules Verne. His real name was Edward "Ned" Flanders, a descendent of an English woman who had dwelt with a Mohawk tribe for a time. She had married one of the young men of the tribe and bore him a son circa 1670. When her husband was killed in a battle against the Huron she took her child, Henry Flanders, to Virginia. When Henry Flanders was about ten years old she departed for England, leaving the child behind.  Moll Flanders' time with the Mohawk and her marriage into this tribe was not depicted by Daniel Defoe possibly because she did not bother to tell him.

Being a "half-breed" Henry found little support from the rest of his community and traveled North to live with the Mohawk. He stayed a while with the Mohican people and took for wife the daughter of Assawomset, chief of the Mohican. They had several children, among whom was the great warrior Mani. Mani also took a wife from the Mohican tribe, the daughter of Chingachgook. During the French and Indian War Mani's village was razed and burned by the French. Most of the people in the village were slaughtered. Mani's life was saved by the Chevalier de Fronsac. Believing his family and tribe had been destroyed, Mani accompanied the Chevalier de Fronsac back to France. The Chevalier was ostensibly a naturalist working for the King's gardener but he was actually more. He was the King's top intelligence aide.  He taught his espionage skills to Mani, who soon became so proficient as to become the Chevalier's assistant in royal investigations. While investigating a series of deaths that seemed to be caused by a giant wolf, they unearthed a political conspiracy. During the course of the investigation Mani was killed. This was depicted in the film Le Pacte des loups (The Brotherhood of the Wolf)

Mani was mistaken in believing that his family had been killed; his wife had indeed been killed, but his sons had been spared. They were taken in by some Christianized Mohawks who made them use their family name of Flanders. Over the course of the generations the Flanders became upright members of the Mohawk community, well known for their rather straitlaced behavior and religious zeal. Many of the men of the Flanders family became fire and brimstone Methodist ministers of the Jonathan Edwards stripe. Young Edward was a bit of a rebel in his family; he was attracted to the theater. Edward was also very interested in his ethnic roots, the ancient ways of his Native American ancestors, whom most of his family considered as uneducated savages. His family regarded these pursuits as unorthodox, especially when Edward went on a vision quest. Edward went into the woods by himself at the age of twelve and fasted for three days and nights. During this period his pubescence also manifested and Julian spend a day and a half convulsing in pain and near madness as his mind filled with strange visions of the past, of the future, of the past that might have been and the future that could be. Although Edward did not know it, his mother was a descendent of one of Doro's people. Doro was an African some three thousand years old who had gained a strange power when he hit puberty.  Doro could switch bodies, although the body he left died immediately and the body he entered had its consciousness destroyed. By this method he was virtually immortal. Doro spend his immortal existence gathering people with a variety of talents such as telepathy, telekinesis, and precognition and forcing them to marry. Their talents would manifest at puberty, although they would often be driven mad by the experience. Although he kept track of his people, some of those who never developed talents were allowed to leave the community as a means of bringing in fresh blood. Edward Flanders’ maternal grandmother was one of these people who had left one of Doro's communities. Doro's actitivies are documented in the novels Wild Seed and Mind of my Mind by Octavia Butler.

Edward Flanders gift—or curse—of visions of the future made his very religious family uneasy, he was considered to be either touched by God or by the Devil. Since he was a brilliant student and since they wanted to make certain that his visions were heaven- rather than hell-sent, his family arranged for him to be sent to Scotland to attend a seminary. It was thought that the harsh clime of Scotland would keep him far from the temptations of the theatre. Yet it was in Scotland in 1859 that he met Jules Verne, who was visiting Scotland and England with his friend Aristide Hignard. Edward had read several of Verne's novels—although they were as of yet unwritten—through his precognitive ability. He first thought Verne was a precog like himself but soon realized that Verne's technological prophecies came from his imagination and reasoning. Thoroughly impressed by Verne and determined to follow in his footsteps, he began writing plays under the name Vernon Julian. When his family discovered that he had flunked out of the seminary and that he was writing for the theatre, they knew that the devil had claimed him and so disowned him. Angry Edward Flanders disowned his family and used the name Vernon Julian as his personal name as well as his pen name.

While attempting to write plays, Julian began having a recurring series of visions about a group called the League of Darkness and the totalitarian future that their schemes would bring about. He realized that it was up to him to stop their machinations. His efforts to do so became the basis for The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne. Once he was successful in this campaign, he was eventually plagued by visions of an even more dystopian future, which became his task to prevent.

[2] For a biography of Matthew Nicholas Carter, see “Burroughing Beneath the Page: The Life of Matthew Nicholas Carter” by Peter Coogan and Dennis Power.

[3] The precognitive and reincarnative abilities of the Julians is never explained in the Moon series, nor is the precognitive ability of “Jules Verne” in SAJV.  Julian 3rd proposes that all people are similarly reincarnated but that he differs from the rest of humanity in his ability to recall his past and future lives (Moon Maid p. 4). This precognitive agility was shared by John Delmar whose precognitive abilities also allowed him to experience the thoughts of his descendants. His future history, which is by now an alternate future history, began in the Thirtieth Century as experienced by John Ulnar. Delmar’s account was edited by Jack Williamson as the three novels The Legion of Space (1934), The Cometeers (1936), One Against the Legion (1939), and The Queen of the Legion (1982). As of this writing, no familial connection is known to exist between John Delmar and Vernon Julian.

[4] A useful analogy can be drawn between the relationship of the Kalkars to Lunar society with that of the Bolsheviks to Russian society. The Kalkar were a rather primitive group of people who through revolution brought down a peaceful aristocratic civilization that had existed for thousands of years. Once in power they altered society by forcing the appearance of social equality, economic redistribution of wealth, and collectivization of resources. The three human species on or rather in the Moon were the Ugas—a highly civilized species that lived in a feudal aristocracy; the Kalkars—nomads and agrarians; and the Va-gas—a species of Centaur. This division of humanity seem to represent evolutionary offshoots much like homo sapiens and homo neanderthalis, although perhaps a bit closer since cross breeding was possible between all three species.

[5] Many conspiracies exist in the Wold Newton Universe that are often front organizations for the immortal council of Nine, which originated in the old stone age, but the League of Darkness seems to be one of those self-contained conspiracies not directly related to any other. The League of Darkness may however be the same organization Joseph Francis Armagh joined in the late 1850s as seen in The Captains and the Kings. The author of this novel, however, left the organization unnamed except to refer to them as the Controllers.  There is also a possibility that the League worked alongside the Brotherhood (see Against the Brotherhood by Quinn Fawcett).

[6] It is unknown whether Phileas Fogg and Passepartout had been assigned to this mission as part of their ongoing mission to help humanity reach the utopian ideas promulgated by the Eridaneans. The Eridanean were one of two alien species who had been marooned on Earth. Their goal was to bring a utopia to Earth by eliminating hunger, poverty, and disease. First however they had to eliminate the other alien species the Capelleans who although had the same goals as the Eridaneans were considered to be evil. For more information read The Other Log of Phileas Fogg by Philip Jose Farmer or visit the website Aliens Among Us: The Capelleans and Eridaneans.

[7] Oddly enough The Lost Contient (originally titled Beyond Thirty) is also the flip side of the timeline in which Matthew Carter lived to be 114 as depicted in the Moon series. In The Lost Continent the pre-eminent civilization is Pan America, which has as a major component Central and South America. Brazil and other parts of South America have a plurality of ethnicities. The other two leading civilizations are the African Empire of Melenek and the Chinese Empire.  In contrast to the hegemonic Anglo-Saxons of the Moon series, the Anglo Saxon race as exemplified by the British and Germans are the lowest of the low in The Lost Continent.

[8] Given Julian’s precognitive ability, he may have actually thought of his mission in these terms, even though the term genocide was not coined until after World War II.

[9] For an analysis of the conspiracy, see Arthur Ward’s review of Room 40: British Naval Intelligence 1914-1918 by Patrick Beesly (New York: Harcourt, 1982) (http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v07/v07p119_Ward.html.). American art critic and writer Willard Wright and a female Pinkerton Agent named Philomena Vance investigated some murders on the Lusitania and nearly unraveled the carefully constructed conspiracy (see The Lusitania Murders by Max Allan Collins).

[10] This is especially true when Professor Moriarty disappeared in 1898 and the M Branch was taken over by Mycroft Holmes who often did not shirk doing what had to be done but would not condone genocide as a preventative measure.

[11] See Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and the sequel Round the Moon.

[12] “Rocket to the Moon,” The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, Nov. 5, 2000, Canadian Broadcast Corporation.

[13] In fact it was Julian’s efforts that depopulated surface of the Moon, contrary to the theory advanced by Jean-Marc L’officer in “From Cyrano to Jean-Luc Picard Part 2: Manifest Destiny” (http://www.coolfrenchcomics.com/wnu10.htm).

[14] In the novel First Men in the Moon Professor Cavor is captured by the Selenites. His traveling companion, Bedford believed that Cavor had been killed and used the cavorite ship to make his way back to Earth, abandoning Cavor to the mercies of the Selenites.

The Selenites were not evil but were a cold logical species. They  are interested in Cavor. and humanity. Cavor used their technology to contruct a wireless telegraph which may have communicated by what would be known as the Gridley Wave. His messages first were recieved by Mr. Wendigee, a man tinkering with an apparatus much like the one  by which Tesla recieved messages from Mars. Hearing of this Bedford contacted Mr. Wendigee and entered in comunication with Cavor. he contacted. Cavor described the Selenite civilization and explained earth's civilization to the Selenites. After Cavor had told the Grand Selenite about War and man's hostility his last transmission was cut off in mid-sentence. This may have been to prevent Earth people from coming to the moon by learning about Cavorite from Cavor.

In the film version of First Men in the Moon, after Bedford left Cavor they did not have any communication. A moon expedition found a letter from Bedford's fiancee on the Moon. Bedford had used the back of the document to claim the Moon for Great Britain. The Space Agency tracked down Bedford who was now an old man. He warned the Space Agency that the astronauts were in terrible danger. However the Astronauts found a deserted and decaying city. Bedford made the statement that Cavor did have a terrible cold, which led to the idea that Cavor's germs had wiped out the Selenites.

The film version of First Men in the Moon was released in 1964 which occurred prior to the official landing on the moon in 1969. The film's storyline served to disseminate a warning to NASA of a potential threat and also of the possibility that all life on the Moon had been eradicated. One of the Julians had backed the f ilm so that this information could be released in a format that would be more believable. Had the Julian tried to contact them personally or written to them, they probably would have been viewed as a crackpot.

© 2003 Dr. Peter Coogan
© 2003 Dennis Power