Mystery Inc.
Scooby Dooby Doo in the WNU


By Dennis E. Power


    Mystery Inc. was a private detection agency specializing in investigating odd mysteries. During their prime operating period they had uncovered many hoaxes, debunked many con artists and demonstrated the trickery behind many supernatural occurrences. The investigation team consisted of four precocious teenagers and their dog.(1)

    However not many people realized that the agency was actually owned and operated by the dog, Scoobert. Scoobert was a Great Dane mix who could trace his ancestry to the Wold Newton Meteorite event. His most famous ancestor was Rex the Wonder Dog.(2) Scoobert's career as a private investigator was overshadowed by his more famous and younger cousin, Ralph Von Wau Wau.(3) Like his cousin, Scoobert was born with the ability to speak, however unlike Ralph a scientist did not surgically alter Scoobert's larynx and palate, so Scoobert's speech was mostly unintelligible to people who were not used to hearing it. Also unlike Ralph his chronicles were presented in the form of mindless entertainment.

    Scoobert had been the family pet of the Rogers family until they realized his sentience. This Rogers family was also tied to the Wold Newton meteoritic family through the Blakeney family. Scoobert's official owner, according to his dog's license was Norville Rogers. Norville was a nephew of Steven Rogers,  also known as Captain America and also a great nephew of Buck Rogers, who had disappeared in the early part of the century.(4)

    In 1968 Norville was 19 years old and he was fleetingly enamored with the then dying Hippie culture. His laconic nature, Zen like attitude and desire to avoid confrontations projected a non-threatening persona that tripped up many criminals. Norville or Shaggy as he was called was not only conversant with eastern philosophies but also with many of their fighting arts. He possessed, doubtlessly courtesy of the meteorite's mutagenic heritage, a metabolism faster than that of most human beings, it gave him increased stamina, very quick reflexes and enhanced speed. This unique metabolism was one of the contributing factors that made Project Re-birth turn 4-F Steven Rogers into Captain America and allowed him to hibernate for thirty years when he was flash frozen. The unique factor may have played in a factor in the long sleep of Jean Rogers and may have also allowed Buck Rogers to sleep for 500 years. (If Wildman's account of that alternate future are to be believed)

    Despite Norville's continual practice at the martial arts, the excess energy exerted by his metabolism usually manifested itself in a large appetite which made him continually hungry although he continued to maintain a wiry physique.

    Shaggy's father was a member of the diplomatic corps and he took his family all over East Asia, mostly in Formosa, Japan, South Korea, Viet Nam, the Philippine and Malaysia. Shaggy acquired fluency in several Asian tongues and dialects, proficiency in several martial disciplines and a reverence for eastern philosophy. Shaggy had received the puppy Scoobert on his fifth birthday. Like many of the canines descended from Rex, Scoobert was or I should say is, a very long-lived canine. However in Scoobert's case, he was also slow to mature. The Rogers were dismayed that their puppy was still a puppy after a year and a half, they were planning on getting rid of it, however it shocked them all by speaking. When the dog had proved to be sentient, they changed their minds. Scoobert remained a puppy for three years, an adolescent dog for five years and upon reaching maturity did not noticeably age.

    Fascinated by mysteries, especially by the radio program I Love a Mystery, of which Mr. Rogers had record transcriptions. Scoobert wanted to be a detective when he and Norville were old enough. The relationship between Norville and Scoobert was of true friendship; Scoobert was indeed Norville's best friend. However sentient Scoobert might be, he still had strong canine instincts, he liked to romp and play, he enjoyed chasing animals-despite the fact he knew it was pointless, and he liked to eat. Despite their differing heritages Norville and Scoobert both possessed unique metabolisms. Scoobert even designed a special dog biscuit that contained high enough concentrations of protein and carbohydrate so he would not need to constantly eat and exercise.

    Scoobert spent a lot of his time reading. Intrigued by the question of why both he and Shaggy possessed unique metabolism he researched what he could of their family trees. His researches uncovered a great many memoirs, letters, family histories and account books which pointed to the Wold Newton Event. Further investigation uncovered entire families all containing persons with extraordinary minds and skills. While Shaggy was still in his adolescence Scoobert began looking for individuals that would make a great investigative team like the I Love a Mystery Team.

    He wished them to be smart, young, flexible and adventurous. Out of fifty possible candidates, he narrowed the list down to three others besides Shaggy. Fred Jones, Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley.

    Fred Jones was a member of the Wold Newton family through the Holmes family by way of his great grandfather, Fetlock Jones through his daughter Charlotte.(5) Charlotte Jones had married a man also named Jones, although Peerless Jones traced his family back to a foundling who had kept that name even after discovering his True Parentage. Charlotte and Peerless Jones had three sons, Barnaby, who also went on to become an investigator, Darwin Jones and David Jones.

    David Jones was an inventor and agent for the United Nations Department of Experimentation and Research Systems Established at Atlantis. This was affiliated with UNCLE but dealt with undersea exploitation.(6) The undersea city used for the base was one of the cities abandoned by the amphibian humans from which Namor's mother's arose. It had been abandoned for centuries. The third Captain Nemo a.k.a. Harold Duggan had established an undersea colony in this abandoned Atlantean city. Since it was populated by people he had "rescued" he ended the project when they rebelled against their imprisonment.(7)

    David Jones married Judith Walton, an operative of  UNDERSEA's covert operations team the Sea Devils. They had three children, Martin (Merlin) 1949  Frederick 1950  and Ellie 1960 Merlin was an inventive genius whose exploits saved his college from financial failure.(8) Dow Chemical hired him out of college, however none of his research has yet come to light. When she grew up Ellie became an investigator for Frank Cisco's Total Security private investigations firm.(9)

    Fred was while not a slouch in the mental department was not a scientific genius, he also preferred sports to scholastics. While he did not fail at his studies he also did not apply himself, believing that he was on the fast track to a career in pro football. However an injury at the beginning of his senior year in high school ended his hopes of a football scholarship. While his parents could have afforded to send him to a school they were reluctant to do so unless he applied himself. They told him to work for a couple of years before going to college. When Fred was contacted and interviewed for a job with Mystery Inc. he jumped at the chance, he had always admired  his cousin Jupiter's abilities as a detective. Because of his physical presence, his movie star looks and his charisma, people often mistook him for the leader of Mystery Inc. Fred brought dogged persistence, an intuitive deductive ability, driving skills and physical prowess to the investigative team.

    The next two members of Mystery Inc. are the female operatives, Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley.

    Daphne Blake traces her connection to the Wold Newton family through the Blakeney family. Sir Percy Blakeney's grand-daughter Olivia married her distant kinsman, Alexander Blake. Alexander Blake was a descendent of the first Sir Percy the Laughing Cavelier, through Sir Percy's disavowed son Francis.(10) A portion of the Blake family had moved to Britain at the outset of the Colonial Revolt, among whom was Alexander Blake's father. Alexander Blake acquired a peerage which passed onto eldest son, Angus and his eldest son James. Both Angus and James were career law enforcement officials, both having careers at Scotland Yard.

    Sir James Blake married firstly Christine DuBois, eldest sister of famed newspaper reporter, Maggie Dubois.(11) Christine was also a newspaper reporter and world traveler. They had two children, Rodney and Janet. Because however of Sir James desire for his wife to end her career and his utter refusal to move to the United States their union was severed. Christine returned to the United States and persuaded a satisfactory if non-spectacular career as a journalist. Her son Rodney became a trooper for the Nevada State police.(12) Her daughter Janet also became a reporter, although she became involved in government espionage, helped on at least two occasions to save the United States from the invasion plans or sabotage of mad scientists.(13)

    Sir James Blake married secondly Billie Race, a reformed female criminal. They lived together blissfully even after Billie gave birth to their son, Bernard in 1923. However she disappeared about six months later and Sir James could not find any trace of her for years. In 1935, Sir James Blake became involved with an invention of his niece Hope Mason and her friend Jerry. The device was said to eliminate the threat of war. They tangled with a villain named the Scorpion, who may or may not have been the same one, as Don Winslow's archenemy.(14) Hope was the daughter of Buck Mason and Sir James sister Serenity. Mason had met Serenity while in London during the Great War. Hope's brother Robert also participated in this adventure. In the mid forties Sir James Blake discovered the whereabouts of his son, he had become an investigative reporter, having acquired quite a reputation at an early age.

    Bernard (Barney) Blake  married Anne Maxwell, a former actress, in 1949. The Maxwells were a wealthy family whose father had investments in several motion picture studios and newspapers. Anne Maxwell's brother John became something of a studio Mogul. Her youngest sister however went to work for Howard Publications as an editorial assistant, where she also often doubled as an investigator and aide to Glenn Howard, or his top editor Dan Farrell or top reporter Jeff Dillon. (15)

    Daphne Blake brought to Mystery Inc. well-honed investigative abilities these abilities were in part abilities bequeathed to her and acquired by her observation of her relatives. She also demonstrated a gift for creating and donning incredibly fast and accurate disguises and to appear both guileless and gullible which often made criminals slip up in front of her. On a few occasions she would pretend to be captured to draw out the suspects.

    Velma Dinkly is perhaps the most controversial of the investigators of Mystery Inc. To start with her name is not Velma Dinkly as is generally thought, this was a creation of the television show which thought that the name Velma Brown was too "ethnic". They had good reason to think this, considering that Velma was in fact multi-racial. The television show was of course made during the early seventies and minorities were just starting to be portrayed on television, in mostly stereotypical roles. The producers that it was much too absurd to believe in a nerdy, super-intelligent girl who also not a Caucasian. (This was of course years before Steve Urkel came on the scene.)

    Velma Brown was the younger sister of Leroy Brown. Leroy Brown was more widely known as Encyclopedia Brown, the accounts of his exploits suffered from the same near sightedness as his sister and the details of his family were whitewashed. (16) Velma was never mentioned in the series primarily because the author and publisher thought that having a younger sister would detract the focus off of Leroy. Their father was the chief of police in "Idaville" a small Southern Florida Coastal town with a mixed population of mostly African-American, Hispanic and Caucasian with a smattering of Asian peoples. It was mostly a peaceful town, although human nature being what it is, it did have a moderate amount of crime.

    Young Leroy Brown, who traced his lineage back to the Claytons, was one of those rare individuals who was a page at a glance reader with a photographic memory. When this was coupled with logical and intuitive deductive reasoning, he was a force to be reckoned with so far as solving crimes was concerned. Although the claim that no crime went unsolved in Idaville was a bit of hyperbole, he did have a rather astonishing success rate.

    Velma had the same abilities as Leroy although to a lesser extent, while her memory was very good it was not photographic. Both Leroy and she studied Judo at the Idaville Judo Center.

    Their father was Herman Brown whose father Cosmo Brown had been a song and dance man working in the waning days of vaudeville and in the early days of motion pictures.(17) Herman also had an older half sister whom he seldom saw, Mary Kay Brown, she was one of the girl fridays of the A-1 Detective Agency. (18) Herman barely knew his father and grew up fairly independent. Herman became interested in law enforcement while studying at Colombia University in New York. It was here that he met Lillian Finn, a young journalism student. Lillian went out with Herman only reluctantly. On her first date she took him to meet her parents. James Finn was a New York police officer stationed in Harlem, he was also most definitely African-American. His wife was Vivian Archer, the sister of Harlem's prominent physician, Dr. John Archer. (19) Vivian was a nurse at the hospital most frequented by African-Americans. Lillian was light enough to pass for white but tanned enough to look slightly Hispanic. She was often accused of trying to pass, but felt that she should not have to advertise her ethnicity, if people chose to make certain assumptions based on her skin color then that was their fault not hers.

    Herman Brown was more shocked at James Finn's family history than by his skin color. James and so Lillian was a descendent of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, the slave Jim, John Henry, Uncle Tom and it was rumored the pirate Laffitte.(20)

    Lillian Finn and Herman Brown were married in New York City in late 1948. He took a job with the New York City Police Department. He inherited a small piece of property from his mother in Idaville in 1950. They decided to move to the small town, feeling that it would be a better place to raise a family. Herman took a job with the Idaville police department. Their son Leroy b. 1949. was like his mother, from all appearances Caucasian. Their daughter Velma on the other hand was a shade darker than her mother and had features which if examined very closely had distinct African-American characteristics. Had Idaville not been as racially mixed this might have done more than raise a few eyebrows. It may in fact have prevented Herman from rising through the ranks of the small police force to become Chief of  Police.

   Leroy Brown had been recruited by a CIA think tank in 1974. Despite being nearly killed by a rogue assassination team, (21) Leroy Brown's analysis of reading materials from around the world, allowed him to pinpoint and predict various geo-political crises which when properly manipulated did more to end the cold war than diplomacy and military threats.

     Velma Brown like her brother was interested in solving mysteries, although she was also interested in scientific research and forensic science. She was flattered and delighted to be invited to interview for a job with a newly formed detective agency. Velma's skills were her encyclopedic knowledge, her familiarity with scientific and forensic investigation techniques and her skill at judo.

    Scoobert deliberately used his investigative agents youthfulness and seeming naivete as a part of their modus operandi. People would tend to see them as meddling kids and so were less likely to be as guarded as they would be in front of "legitimate" private detectives. Even the name chosen for the investigative company, Mystery Inc. pointed to them being kids playing at being detectives rather than actually being detectives.

    After their company had been together for a couple of years, Mystery Inc. was approached by a television network to base a show on their exploits. The network had even heard of the "talking" dog and wished to base the show around him. Scoobert felt that this would be a good way to introduce the world to the concept of a sentient dog and also to bring publicity to Mystery Inc.

    The live action drama became a comedy, then it was transformed into a cartoon. The cartoon further devolved from being at least an attempt at historical fiction, like the exploits of Jonny Quest to mindless drivel. It became Saturday Morning Children's show with insipid, lazing writing. The often intricate and perplexing cases that involved debunking frauds, revealing the truth of the supernatural and other things of this nature that Mystery Inc specialized at  were reduced to a formulaic, tiresome plot. The investigators became caricatures with false histories created for them. Even Scoobert while portrayed as talking did so only to get something to eat.

    Scoobert was appalled at the show but was powerless to stop it; the agreement he had made with the production company was too solid. Although a criminal investigator, Scoobert was still a dog by nature and was inclined to trust people, he often forgot despite his prodigious memory that people could act like rapacious wolves. Still the show did generate publicity for the Mystery Inc.

    The subsequent cartoon series spun off of Scooby Dooby Doo Where are You? were even further from the truth. One thing that the first and later shows did get correct were some of the celebrities that Mystery Inc. encountered  including Batman and Robin, although as with most of the stories the actual facts were twisted beyond recognition. Scoobert dictated a massive volume in which he refuted the cartoon series, and described the true story behind the various episodes of the cartoon series. He has yet to find a publisher willing to risk the wrath of Warner's. Scoobert hopes that the upcoming film will reflect the truth of Mystery Inc.

    Special Thanks, or perhaps blame, to Cheryl Huttner and Matthew Baugh for unknowingly inspiring me to write the article that brings Scooby into the the WNU.


1. Extremely expurgated and distorted versions of their adventures were recorded in the cartoon series Scooby Dooby Doo Where are You? and other subsequent series featuring the same characters.

2. For the lineage of Rex the Wonder Dog and other Dogs of the Wold Newton Universe please visit, "You weren’t nuthin’ but a hound dog" by Jess Nevins

3. Ralph Von Wau Wau appeared in the case studies A Scarletin Study, by Jonathan Swift Somers III and The Doge Whose Barque Was Worse Than His Bight, by Jonathan Swift Somers III. A Brief overview of his career was detailed in Venus on the Half Shell by Kilgore Trout. He has also frequently appeared at Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, where he often tells some whoppers.

4.For more on the background of the Rogers family please visit, The Magnificent Gordons by Mark K. Brown.

5. For more on this Jones family please read, Brad Mengel's  The Holmes Family Tree

6. David Jones exploits were depicted in the Tower Comics series, Undersea Agent. Although the time frame and situations were distorted for dramatic purposes. The comic company also could not depict Undersea covert team of the Sea Devils because of a rival comic book company's license to do so. Oddly enough one of David Jones' operatives was also named Scooby although he was a human sailor recruited when his fishing boat was sank.

7. Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969)

8. Merlin Jones was the main character in the Disney Studio's films, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones and The Monkey's Uncle.

9. The short lived television series Total Security (1998)  provided a tantalizingly brief look at Ellie Jones career as a private detective.

10. For a further explanation of the Blakeney family please visit "THEY SEEK HIM THERE....": THE DEMMED FINE BLAKENEY FAMILY TREE by Win Eckert. For more on Francis Blake see my The Magnificent Gordons and their Swift Kin and Big Valley, Small World: The Barkley Family.

11. Maggie Dubois was a journalist, swordswoman extraordinaire, adventurer and suffragist. She married Leslie Gallant III shortly after a world wide race from New York to Paris. The Great Race, Warmer Brothers, 1965

12. Rod Blake was a state trooper in Nevada. Some of his exploits were depicted in the television show, State Trooper, 1957

13. Reporter Janet Blake helped out Secret Service agent Rex Bennett on two occasions as depicted in the serials, G-Men Versus the Black Dragonsand Secret Service in Darkest Africa both in 1942. Rex Bennett bore some resemblance to her brother Rod.

14. This exploit was depicted in the serial Blake of Scotland Yard, 1937.

15. Some of the investigations of Glenn Howard and his staff were depicted in the television series. The Name of the Game 1968-1971

16. The Encyclopedia Brown series was written by Donald Sobel. He probably was unaware of the Brown family's antecedents.

17. Cosmo Brown can be seen in Singin' in the Rain, MGM Studios, 1952. Cosmo while not exactly a ladies man, appears to have had a second marriage or affair with a woman named Stirling which resulted in Peter Stirling. This young man was often incarcerated in mental asylums for claiming to know a talking mule. In light of the evidence of Ralph Von Wau Wau and Scoobert, we must ask if perhaps there truly was a talking mule named Francis.

18. This A-1 Detective Agency is not Nathan Heller's Chicago based business but rather the one owned and operated by Jack, Doc and Reggie of I Love a Mystery fame.

19. Dr. John Archer was a main character in The Conjure Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher, 1932. One of the first mysteries (that I am aware of) written by an African-American Author and set in Harlem)

20. For more on the Henry and Douglas family history please visit the Hammer of Freedom.

21. A highly fictionalized version of this incident was put out by the CIA Public "Relations" office in 1974 under the title of Three Days of the Condor.For security purposes, Leroy Brown's name and physical appearance were deliberately changed.

Created 8-1-01

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