Throughout world history, there have been a handful of secretive government projects that never saw the light of day. Or, in some rare cases, the effects of these underground projects were exposed to the mainstream media.
One of the most infamous of these, the Manhattan Project, was a series of tests that led to the development of the atomic bomb, used by the United States in 1945 on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Other examples are far more difficult to unveil, given the cryptic and, often, conspiracy-laden claims surrounding them. For example, the Philadelphia Experiment has been popularized in science fiction films and theories. The story goes that in 1943, the United States Navy discovered the secret to time travel and used this information to cloak destroyer escort warships.
The U.S. Navy denies that such a project ever happened.
Similarly, in the August of 1978, the United Nations held a conference in Genova, Switzerland to battle the intolerances of racism, xenophobia, and racial discrimination. The conference lasted for 13 days, in which the session declared protections against laws that might segregate minority groups. A large focus of the convention rested on South Africa's policies of late at the time, and how to bring about peace.
Toward the final days of the conference, notably September 10th and 11th, a mysterious resolution document was discovered and analyzed by the assembly. The document had no apparent origins, though it was written with translations in English, Spanish, Chinese, Indonesian, and Korean among others.
The document, known as the elusive Grayscale Project or Greyscale Project, was an extremely precarious and divisive resolution that led to a 16-hour debate amongst world leaders. During which, several representatives from various nations expressed their disdain for the project.
The project, which was a binding of around sixty pages, proposed a radical idea that would affect every nation in the U.N and, eventually, the globe.
The document opened with a list of grievances. These grievances depicted both major and minor offenses of racism and race-related acts of violence. Examples included anything from the Jim Crow Laws in the U.S. to the Atlantic Slave Trade.
The document went on to describe a process to eliminate any forms of racism. Project Grayscale: A Methodical End to the Tragedies of Race. In its simplest form, Grayscale described a costly effort to unify the Earth under one race.
At the thought of this, it was said that many world leaders scoffed at the ridiculous proposal, yet read on:
To establish harmony, a union, of mankind...we must collectively decide if cultural and race-related tragedies will ever cease, so long as there are a multitude of races. If the conclusion is a resounding "no", then does a proposal to eliminate future cataclysms seem ludicrous?
The document went on to outline the process for conversion, which included a lengthy undertaking in changing the physical appearance of every citizen of the United Nations roster of countries. These changes would be radical and permanent: including the surgical reconstruction of ethnically noticeable features and the bleaching of skin to a dull, gray, color...likely where the project derives its name.
These transformative changes would be made at a succession of tents that would surface over twenty years. These tents, deemed cultural clinics, would house the equipment necessary to remove any distinguishing features from a given person, and for bleaching the skin.
These are radical changes. They will be expensive, and they will be burdensome. However, the rewards for such a risk are high...and the key to a peaceful future. A world in which we coexist with those who are different exists when we have no differences.
The immediate response from the United Nations was mixed, with some curious about the implications the project suggested, whereas most others were left utterly mortified at the same implications. It was ultimately decided, at the end of the 16 hours, that Grayscale was irredeemable on the basis of civility for all persons.
However, this didn't stop those who were curious from trying Grayscale's radical methods.
On Christmas Eve, 1979, roughly 30,000 Russian troops invaded Afghanistan as the Soviet Union was attempting to assist the Afghan government with anti-communist Muslim guerrillas. The conflict, which lasted for years, sent squadrons of Soviet troops to occupy regions of Afghanistan.
One such squadron, whose orders were to occupy a small region in Nimruz, made a discovery that, some say, is directly linked to the Greyscale Project.
Upon a routine inspection of the unnamed region, the Soviet troops discovered a small home that seemed oddly more "advanced" than the surrounding buildings. Once inside, it was noticeably clear that the home hadn't been lived in for years, if at all. Rather, the home was merely a façade. Underneath a small rug in the middle of the living room, the squadron uncovered the entrance to a bunker.
Inside the bunker, the troops witnessed a grisly sight: forty or so bodies scattered throughout a makeshift underground community. The bodies, which were completely unrecognizable, were each a pale-gray color, with their faces contorted in expressions of anguish.
From reported photos taken within the bunker, the bodies appeared to be each marked with a colored streak of clay, formed from the rocky gravel of the underground landscape. Because each of the individuals was stripped of their nationality, it has been theorized that these markings were a sign of status.
Further speculation has been made on the mysterious deaths of these individuals. One possibility is that they all took their own lives due to the nature of the apparent conditions. While this is a highly unlikely outcome, the alternative hypothesis is just as strange: that a micro-scale "civil war" broke out amongst those within the community; the cause of which being the differences in social status based upon the colored markings.
It is still unknown if these accounts are true, as no photo evidence has ever surfaced of the bunker or the bodies. The reasoning for both remains a mystery, however, some have concluded that, due to the gray-like pigmentation of the corpses, the bunker was established as a testing site for the Grayscale Project. Many skeptics dismiss these claims, as bodies naturally lose their complexion upon death...but this fails to address why the bodies were down there in the first place.
The Grayscale Project was proposed at the World Conference Against Racism in 1983, 2001, and 2009. Each time, while incrementally gaining a following amongst smaller nations, the majority has constantly denied its passing, with some even insisting that the project doesn't exist at all.
The UNESCO, or United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, continues in its efforts to end the prejudices of racism and xenophobia. With continued reports of race-related violence worldwide, a future conference will likely be held to address these matters.
As many world nations suffer from violence due to racial hostility, the Grayscale Project, if it exists at all, may surface again.