Unbreakable Sight: The Dunn/Sear Family
by Joshua Falken


Acknowledgements: This article would not being possible without

the breakthrough researches of Dr. Kai Jansson and Dr. Dennis Power


At the end of the past century, the public became aware of two unique individuals who were revealed, as stated by Wold Newton scholar Dr. Kai Jansson, to be people with amazing powers, to be..."supermen". One of them became, due to his compassion, a guide for the tortured spirits of the recently deceased; the other became a guardian when his heroic nature was discovered. These individuals are Cole Sear and David Dunn, who are, in a paradox common in Wold Newton Universe, descendents of Lawrence Luthor, more commonly known as "The Ultra-Humanite" [1].


But recent findings have revealed that more members of the extended Dunn-Sear family exhibited traits that could be called "superhuman" in their own right.




According to Dr. Dennis Power, in 1916 Lawrence Luthor, a thirteen year old genius, drank a chemical potion of his own devising created from meteorite fragments. This potion was designed to advance Lawrence Luthor to the peak of humanity's evolution....but Murphy's Law (and his brother Alexander's mischeviousness) intervened: the formula instead increased his maturation process so that he aged approximately thirty years in two days. Forced to flee his family, Lawrence Luthor moved about the country taking a series of jobs. At the Lamb glue factory in Indianapolis, Indiana, he moved up to management and had a brief affair with a socially promient young woman, Alice Adams, whom he impregnated.  When his designs were stolen and patented by Mr. Lamb and Miss Adams broke off their relationship, he torched the glue factory and fled. To avoid the police, he rode the rails as a hobo. On the rails he was attacked by another train-hopper; Luthor killed him in self-defense and stole his wallet. He thus acquired the identity papers of a man named William Dunn.


In Philadelphia Lawrence Luthor used the name William Dunn and worked as a custodian at a bank/stock exchange, soaking up knowledge of the stock market. He also met a young female teller with whom he soon became romantically involved. He married her before the year was out. Using extra cash, he soon began to build a portfolio of moderate means. As Bill Dunn was building his modest fortune, his wife bore a son, Joseph.


Power's article does not name this woman, but my research has uncovered her identity: Victoria Robertson [2].


Returning to Power's findings: In 1920 Bill Dunn was riding the bubble of the stock market when it burst. The Depression of 1920 wiped him out, and his small family was left destitute. Rather than blaming himself, Dunn blamed Wall Street and the bankers and industrialists. Unable to cope with the situation that he had brought upon himself, Dunn abandoned his family on the pretext of looking for work. He went to New York City. Unable to find work for months, Bill Dunn was forced to get food from a breadline, where he was picked out by a Dr. Smalley. In return for remuneration Dunn took part in an experiment that gave him great psionic powers. Tired of his existence in poverty, Dunn decided to use his powers first for personal gain and then for power. However these powers soon wore off.  According to Kai Jansson, he returned to his home in Philadelphia, where he impregnated his wife with twins—a son and a daughter—before abandoning his family forever.[3]


Power and Jansson traced the careers of Lawrence Luthor and his descendants, but additional research has recently unearthed more information about his children with Victoria Robertson and other newly discovered descendants. The three children fathered by Bill Dunn (Lawrence Luthor) on Victoria Robertson, were Joseph Dunn and the twins Richard and Angela Dunn. None of them showed any surprising trait or power, but their descendents...well, this is another story...




Joseph Dunn fought in the Second World War, and he was a member of the Allied forces that occupied Japan at end of the war. During his short stay in the country, Joseph had a brief affair with a Japanese woman, Nodoka Hawagawa, before returning to United States. Unknown to him, this affair resulted in two girls, who were adopted by their aunt Yomiko when their mother died in childbirth[4]. One of these girls, Motoko, later married Akira Myoujin, the great-grandchild of kenjustu master Yahiko Myoujin and Tsubame Sanjou)[5]. In contrast to the usual gruffness of the Myoujin line, their son, Shin-ya Myoujin, at an early age showed a nice personality, a caring nature, and a tendency to protect people around him without thinking about the consquences for his personal safety; however, this trait put him in trouble with bullies at his school, much to the worry of his best friend Chiho. But, such tendencies—which we could call heroic—advanced to another level when Shin-ya developed super-strength after the fall of a meteor during a school trip, and he used this power to help the people of his hometown [6].


Chisame, the second Japanese daughter of Joseph Dunn, would become a librarian with a great love for books and she would marry a British fellow bibliophile named James Readman and move with him to England. They had a daughter, named Yomiko in homage to Chisame's adoptive mother. Yomiko Readman become a substitute teacher who showed her parents's love for reading and books—perhaps it was this love that molded her power, her "paper telekinesis." Paper telekinesis is the ability to command paper, for instance making a paper ribbon stronger than a steel cable or making a single piece of paper able to withstand the fire of a submachine gun. Such an unlikely (but very useful) talent was the reason was she was recruited by a branch of British Secret Service known as the "Royal British Library."  She served at the side of agents Nancy Makuhari, a woman with the power to phase through solid matter, and Drake Anderson, a very skilled soldier.[7]


In the United States in the 1950s, Joseph Dunn met and married Nora Bradley[8] and soon they had a son, David. David Dunn was a star high school football player until his shoulder was apparently injured in a car accident—it would later be revealed that David never hurt his shoulder, but used it as a excuse at leave a football career that would otherwise have driven his girlfriend Audrey away from him, an action that could be called heroic in its own right. He grew up to become a security guard at for the University of Philadelphia, working primarily at the school's football stadium, and married Audrey, who was working as a physiotherapist at the time, and they had two kids, Joseph and Megan Dunn [9]. David Dunn only become aware of his "Unbreakable" nature after being the sole survivor of the Eastrail #177 derailment and the questioning of a certain Elijah Price [10].


Joseph Dunn's younger brother Richard also was a member of the Allies' occupation force in Japan. He had also had a short affair with a Japanese woman named Sachiko Asuma. Her son, Kaji, would marry an occidental woman and have two kids, Eiji and Emi Asuma. Although the young Emi was perfectly normal, her older brother was a bit of rebel, a trouble-maker, and an underachiever, but he assumed the responsibility of taking care of his sister when their parents died in a car crash. Eiji had the gift of psychometry, the ability to read the history of an object by touching it, which awakened soon after he entered puberty. His ability was discovered by Tokyo Police Detective Ryoko Shima, a very competent investigator in her own right, and she convinced him to use his psychometry to stop Moebius, a vicious serial killer, and later to solve several cases [11]. Back in the United States, Richard Dunn would later marry and have a son named Daniel Dunn, as discovered by researcher Kai Jansson.




Angela Dunn, sister of Joseph and Richard, married a lawyer named John Sear, and their son Paul Sear was the father of Cole Sear. At an early age, Cole had the ability to see the spirits of deceased—an amazing ability that terrified him until he was helped by brilliant child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe[12].


Although it is true that Cole's parental grandmother's heritage is one of the reasons he developed his ability, there was also a significant contribution from his mother, Lynn Sear, and from his father's father, John Sear.  Cole's mother's maiden name was Lynn Phillips, and she was officially the daughter of Dr. Douglas Phillips, a missing goverment physicist, and Harriet Phillips; but Lynn's genetic father was David Selig, a man with the gift and curse of telepathy[13].  Lynn's genetic heritage and the natural compassion that she teached her son were probably the reason for Cole's development of his power at such a young age[14].


But his grandfather John Sear also made a contribution—he was son of Craig Sear, the man who told H.P.Lovecraft about the Tillinghast machine. Craig Sear was a young physiologist at Miskatonic University who disagreed with Crawford Tillinghast's theories about higher realities and psychic powers associated with the pineal gland since the moment that Tillinghast first told him about these wild ideas in 1915. After two years of reclusion, Tillinghast invited Craig Sear to see his machine—his "resonator", as he called it—and get revenge on the young scientist. The events surrounding it became the basis for H.P. Lovecraft's story "From Beyond." After a slow recovery from these terrible events, Craig Sear married Jennifer Grey in 1920, and they had four kids: Vera, William, John (who married Angela Dunn) and Christine. Sometime after William's fifth birthday Craig Sear died from a brain tumor (probably caused by his exposure to the Tillinghast machine)[15].


Vera Sear, the oldest child of Craig Sear, showed a tendency to dominate the people around her and to have strong religious feelings, which later in her life would develop into religious fanatism. She married Herbert Smith, and in 1947 they had a son, John Smith, who developed psychometry and claivoyance after going into a coma for five years following a car crash in 1970. These powers, which allowed him to save lives and catch a dangerous serial killer in Maine, would also lead to isolation from his family and friends. When he realized that a upcoming ruthless politician would be a menace to the world, his powers led him to a tragic fate [16].  But before destiny handed him its final blow, John Smith fathered a son with his old sweetheart, Sarah (married to Walter Hazlett at that time) in 1975. The child, John Hazlett, would grow up to become a teacher (like his biological father, John Smith) but fate made lightning strike twice, by sending John Hazlett into a coma, from which he woke up with the same powers and same anguish that his biological father had suffered[17].


William Sear joined the U.S. Army, reaching the rank of lieutenant of infantry forces in the Phillipine Islands in 1945. Its is unknown whether the war inflicted mental trauma on Lt. William Sear, but he developed an amazing and cursed power: he would see a flash of purple light over the faces of his fellow soldiers who were about to die. Such "ability" would haunt him, in a similar manner that his grandnephew Cole was haunted by his own, until Lt. William Sear died in 1945 [18].

Christine Sear married a Tom Witzky, and they had a son, Tom Witzky Jr. After being hypnotized separately at parties some forty years apart (Tom Sr. in the 1950s and Tom Jr. in the 1990s), each began to see the ghost of a recently killed young woman. Apparently, also Tom Witzky Jr.'s son Jake had the same powers [19]. Tom Witzky Sr. had a daughter after such events, Michelle, who married Roger Bannister; they in turn had a son, Frank. Frank Bannister became a successful architect until his wife Debra died in a car crash. The trauma of her death woke the latent psychic powers of Sear family, and he became able to see the spirits of the dead like his cousin Cole Sear. This power proved necessary when, at the side of Dr. Lucy Lynskey, he faced a ghostly serial killer that was claiming lives in the New England town of Fairwater[20].


Angela Dunn divorced John Sear and later married Kevin Wilder. Their son Jeffrey Wilder had difficulty in dealing with stress, particularly the death of his wife, Regina. This difficulty made it hard for him to hold a steady job until he became a cab driver. Both he and his son Eric would reveal a variation of the Unbreakable traits of his distant cousin, David Dunn, after being exposed to a gas sample from Jupiter while rescuing the driver of a crashed NASA van. Exposure to this lethal gas triggered the Unbreakable nature of the Dunn family, manifesting in an extreme healing factor that turned Jeffrey and Eric Wilder, for every pratical purpose, indestructable. Jeffrey Wilder was recruited by the government to recover a stolen weapon system.  His career following that event is unknown...[21]




David Dunn, Cole Sear, Shin-ya Myoujin, Yomiko Readman, Eiji Asuma, John Smith, Frank Bannister, Jeffrey Wilder...certainly the world would be a worse place without them, without their unbreakable heroism and insightful compassion.





Special Thanks:

Chris Banzai - Richard Matheson's book A Stir of Echoes

Ivan Schablotski - Stir of Echoes movie

Peter Coogan - The Dead Zone TV series

Dennis Power - Enterprise TV series

Henry Covert - John Smith (Stephen King's The Dead Zone) and the Ogami Family connection

Tom Kane - H.P.Lovecraft's "From Beyond"

[1] Kai Jansson was the first to speculate that Cole Sear and David Dunn are descendents of the Ultra-Humanite in his article "The Reign of the Superman" (http://www.pjfarmer.com/chronicles/supermen.htm) and Dennis Power confirmed it in his article "The Lethal Luthors - Lawrence Luthor"

[2]  Victoria was a member of the Robertson family, a family whose members commonly became scientists—a tradition demonstrated both on its British branch, by Prof. Colin Robertson (sadly killed by Edwina Hyde, the "sister" of his student Dr. Edward Jekyll (for more info see the article "Hyde and Hair IV - Hyde and Heirs" by Dennis Power), and also on its American branch, by Prof. Hubert Robertson, fellow researcher and friend of James Clark Wildman, Sr., and in the future by Dr. Lawrence Robertson, who together with Dr. Alfred Lightman developed the Positronic Brain, as discussed by Dr. Isaac Asimov in the introduction to the book I, Robot.

It is interesting to note that Victoria's young sister, Eileen Robertson, married a Robert Kendall; their granddaughter is Professor Julia Kendall, expert criminologist at "Hollyhock University" (a codename for Princeton University), and whose career is being chronicled by Giancarlo Berardi in the Italian comic book "Julia".

[3] The rest of Lawrence Luthor's life is chronicled in the Dennis Power's article "The Lethal Luthors - Lawrence Luthor".

[4]  Nodoka and Yomiko Hawagawa are members of the Ogami Family, discovered by Dr. Henry Covert and discussed in the forthcoming article "Wolves and Cubs: Japanese Branches of the Star Inn Family Tree." To be more precise, they are granddaughters of Daigoro Ogami (the "Cub", son of Otti Ogami, from the manga Lone Wolf and Cub) and Lady Snowblood (from the manga and films of the same name), through their mother, Mako. Yomiko Hawagawa married Fujitaka Hoshino, and they will be the ancestors of astronaut Goro Hoshino of the Mars Development Project, and his son EVA specialist Hachirota "Hachimaki" Hoshino, member of the crew of the Jupiter Mission, as chronicled by Makoto Yukimura in the manga Planetes—for more info about the Hoshino family, see the forthcoming article "Planetary Debris" by Joshua Falken.

[5]  Yakiho Myoujin was trained by kenjutsu masters Kaoru Kamiya and Kenshin Himura, as chronicled by Noshiburo Watsuki in the manga Rurouni Kenshin. Other descendents from Yahiko Mjouyin and Tsubame Sanjou are Shinobu Maehara (whose time at Hinata Inn was chronicled in Love Hina) and Hikaru Shindo, one of Japan's top Go players (whose start at playing Go was chronicled in Hikaru no Go).

[6] As narrated in an exaggerated fashion in the one-shot manga "Meteor Strike" by Noshiburo Watsuki. In the published version, Shin-ya Myoujin showed sudden superstrength after surviving being struck in the head by a meteor, and he used his gift to save his town from the fall of a larger meteor. Of course, this version exagerates the true events for dramatic purposes. What really happened is that a meteor fell close to him while on a school trip and a very small fragment of it hit him in the head—it is anyone's guess if it was the radiation from the meteor fragment or merely the trauma that "jumpstarted" the superstrength associated with the "Unbreakable" family.

[7]  Yomiko Readman's most challenging case for the "Royal British Library" was narrated in the anime OVA (Original Video Animation) series R.O.D.:Read or Die. Some recently unearthed information suggests that the agency called the "Royal British Library" is an off-shoot of the Diogenes Club, possibly created by Mycroft Holmes himself after the Second World War to keep a control on books of knowledge that could be dangerous in wrong hands, such as the Mythos described by H.P. Lovecraft. That could explain the access that the Royal British Library had to the resources of the British Secret Service, although it worked independently of the main organization.

[8]  Nora Bradley is a member of the Bradley family, discussed by Kai Jansson in "The Reign of the Supermen." She is daughter of the man that Dr. Jansson called "Superman" Bradley, brother of both Slam Bradley and Biff Bradley. Recently uncovered records show that Nora Bradley had a younger brother who would marry and have a son, Alan Bradley, who became a master programmer at ENCOM Corporation.  Although Alan didn't show any particular heroic traits (except for a great integrity), his creation, the Tron security program, did show such traits, as narrated in the movie TRON (Disney 1982).

[9]  As narrated in Unbreakable (Touchstone 2000). The absence of Megan Dunn from the events portraited in the movie came about because David Dunn asked the director and screenwriter of the film, M. Night Shyamalan, to leave her out, since she was a baby at that time, to protect her—a request that Shyamalan granted.

[10]   Elijah Price's genealogy will be clarified in an upcoming article by Dr. Henry Covert, "From Gevaudan to Port Charles—From New Orleans to Harlem."

[11]   Eiji Asuma and Ryoko Shima's sometimes turbulent partnership was narrated in the manga Psychometrer Eiji. Apparently after the events narrated in the manga series, Eiji Asuma became a member of Tokyo Police Homicide Department.

[12]  As hinted at by Kai Jansson, Dr. Malcolm Crowe is a member of the Bradley family and related to David Dunn but not to Cole Sear himself. Dr. Crowe is the great-grandson of Richard Bradley, the paternal uncle of "Superman" Bradley, Biff Bradley, and Slam Bradley; additionally Dr. Crowe is a cousin on his mother's side of Jason Bradley, the under-sea enginnering expert whose career was partially chronicled by Arthur C. Clarke in "The Ghost from the Grand Banks."

[13]  David Selig's life was presented in a very fictionalized form by Robert Silverberg in the book Dying Inside. For more information about the Phillips/Sear family, see the "Dr. Thomas Williams" section of the article "Of Robots, Music and Pokémon" by Joshua Falken.

[14]  As narrated in the movie The Sixth Sense.  It is interesting to note that Cole Sear grew up to become a detective for Philadelphia Police Department and there met his future wife, the pathologist Dr. Rachel Estella Quest, daughter of Jonathan Quest and Jessica Bannon. Two of the future descendants of Cole Sear and Rachel Quest have been identified: Ash Ketchum (also a descendent of David Dunn, as shown in the article "Of Robots, Music and Pokémon") and Starfleet Consellor Deanna Troi from the Starship Enterprise.

[15]  It is also possible that Craig Sear's exposure to the Tillinghast machine only jumpstarted powers that were already latent in his mind, since his grandfather was Elliott Sear, a bank manager who began to see the ghost of a murdered man when he became a jury member at the trial of the dead man's murderer. Charles Dickens carefully edited Elliott Sear's experience into the short story "To Be Taken With a Grain of Salt." One interesting detail is that the policeman who watched the jury one Mr. Harker, perhaps a relative of Jonathan Harker (of Dracula fame).

[16]  John Smith's tragic life was narrated by Stephen King in the book The Dead Zone.

[17]  As narrated in the TV series The Dead Zone. The series was framed as a "reimagination" of John Smith's life, when actually it narrated the misadventures of his son, John Hazlett.

[18]   Lt. William Sear's story was told by Rod Serling in the 1959's Twilight Zone episode "The Purple Testament."  The character's name was to "William Fitzgerald". One interesting fact—if such a fact can be called "interesting"—is that one of the men of Lt. Sear realized was about to die was Captain Phil Riker, the ancestor of Starfleet officer Lt. William Riker.

[19]  The first encounter of the Witzky family with such power was narrated by Richard Matheson in his book A Stir of Echoes (1958) (changing the family name to "Wallace") and the second encounter, with the son of the protagonist of the first adventure, was narrated in the movie Stir of Echoes (1999), directed by David Koepp. One startling fact was that it was Tom Witzky Sr. and not his wife Christine Sear who saw the ghosts after hypnosis.  Genetic testing has revealed that Witzky was actually the son of Crawford Tillinghast. Miss Margaret Carpenter was a housemaid at Tillinghast mansion at the time that he began work on his machine. It is possible that the changes that the machine caused in the brain of his subject after long-term exposure erased the sense of right and wrong. The only thing that we know for sure is that Miss Carpenter left the Tillinghast mansion and nine months later had a son, who was adopted by a Mr. and Mrs. Robert Witzky. As this article shows, Tom Witzky Sr. was not the only son of Crawford Tillinghast, although the only one to be on the "side of the light" in a way of speaking. (Thanks to Chris Banzai for the info about Richard Matheson's book!)

Also there are rumors that the Witzky family is connected to the Witwicky family (whose supposed connection with a race of alien robots is the source of the Transformers cartoon series), but there is no evidence to confirm or deny these rumors.

[20]  As narrated in the movie The Frighteners. Also there is the fact that one of Frank Bannister's antagonists in this case, Patricia Ann Bradley (not related to the Bradley family mentioned earlier in this article), was a descendent of Crawford Tillinghast on her mother's side; she inherited Tillinghast's murderous nature and kickstarted her own psychic powers to see the dead so that she could talk with her boyfriend, the deceased serial killer John Charles Bartlett, who continued his killing spree from beyond the grave. It is unknown at this time if there are more descendents of Crawford Tillinghast.

[21]  This adventure is narrated in the television movie I-Man (Disney 1986). One possible descendent of Eric Wilder is the Captain of the first Starship Enterprise, Jonathan Archer.


©2005 Joshua Falken