In 2002, a US congressional investigation concerning IRIS was started because of reports of illegal activity. The investigation however failed to gather enough evidence to prove foul play. One aspect in particular of the investigation stood out in international media; three separate investigators sent by the congressional committee to IRIS' base of operations returned only to say they could not remember what they have been doing in the time they were gone. Afterwards, two separate expeditions were sent only to have all the members of the expedition found in the Caribbean, enjoying vacation with their families.
In 1994, five doctoral candidates at the University of California at Berkeley, all friends, approached the EcruFox Corporation after the conglomerate publicly wanted scientists to join it's Science Department. The Science Department however, was disbanded and formed into the Institute for the Research of Intriguing Sciences, after executives saw the potential in the ideas of the five new members. The members, and leaders of IRIS today, are:
- Dr. Eugene Summers (PhD mathematics)
- Dr. Charles Griffen (PhD medicine, MMSc)
- Dr. Jonathan Moniz (PhD humanities, MD psychology)
- Dr. Rosalie Phillips (PhD mathematics, MEng)
- Dr. Krista Ashworth (PhD physical sciences)
Other notable scientists who are known to be working for or with IRIS:
The structure of IRIS is largely confidential, however, the following divisions have been known to exist:
- Office of Facility Management
- Office of Internorganizational Affairs
- Ethics Committee
In December of 2001, while tensions were high due to the September 11th attacks, the IRIS Initiative became a subject for investigation. Former members of IRIS reported some of the activities the Initiative was busy with, however the FBI required evidence to act. Because of the large contribution the EcruFox Corporation made the United States economy, moreover job creation, the FBI was prohibited from proceeding - a public congressional investigation with a presidential-appointed investigative team will ensue.
The investigation team, consisting of over 50 members, found nothing, and requested a court order for the EcruFox Corporation to give up the location of the IRIS facility. Complying with federal court orders, the location was privately given to the team, which, in turn, sent an investigator. This was in March 2002 - the investigator returned only to say he cannot remember anything since starting the journey to the location. The exact same thing occurred with two separate following missions to the island.
It was only until then the team knew something wasn't right. Now, a team consisting of seven CIA agents and FBI representatives were sent, only to never return. The next expedition, a US Marine Corps platoon, also never returned. It was only the next month all members of both expeditions were found throughout the Caribbean, enjoying a vacation with their families. When confronted, the team members claimed they never worked for the CIA, FBI or Marine Corps.
Upon returning to the congressional committee investigating the Initiative, demands for more court orders were made, however, by now, with the Supreme Court involved, any such requests were denied. The official Supreme Court reason was that the committee had months to investigate as well as the location of the facility, but came up with nothing. This led to a court order for the investigation and hearings to be canceled. The court did, however, order an investigation as to the happenings concerning the investigators. Weeks later, a medical report stated all members were of fine mental health.
In August 2003, the EcruFox Corporation sued the federal government to have all records of the facility's location destroyed. In lawsuit, which continued to February of the next year, proved successful. All former investigators are now employees of the EcruFox Corporation.
The IRIS Initiative facility is located on the Scottish island of St. Kilda. Officially uninhabited, the island is now home to over 1,500 researches and support employees. A permanent layer of fog covers the surrounding area and any attempts to reach the island result in failure, because of sophisticated radar-jamming equipment and IRIS' unknown abilities to make ships and planes veer off course and miss the island by miles. There have been incidents where people have made it to the island, however, once they return to civilization (or not), there exists little to no proof of the event.
The Institute has made a wide range of its projects available to the public, but only after the solving of the mysteries of said projects. It is speculated that there remains dozens or even hundreds of active projects which are in the works.
*Note: MOtSC stands for ''Mysterious Object to Secure and Contain'', and is usually pronounced "MotSec"
- MOtSC-001: A mysterious rock found at a San Diego garage sale. The rock, when picked up, is extremely light, comparable to a piece of paper. However, once put on a scale or let go in mid air, effects of extreme density and weight are seen.
- MOtSC-002: What seems to be a World War II-era bomb, however, identification marks on the side state it was with the US Army Air Forces' 822nd Bomber Wing - no such wing existed or exists today.
- MOtSC-003: A small Jack Russell Terrier which, when somebody is in its presence, can only refer to it in the first person. For example, researches, when attempting to say "the dog is white with brown spots" say instead "I am white with brown spots." Curiously, researches only notice this when they view the recordings of the incident, and cannot recollect referring to it in such a manner. After doing it initially, researches seem to never be able to refer to the dog in the third person, thus it has been quarantined.
- The dog was found when neighbors reported its owners to have started acting strange, barking and spending odd amounts of time running around on the lawn. After the owners were taken to a psychiatric institution, the dog was taken to an animal shelter, where police and eventually IRIS gained ownership of the dog after employees started exhibiting similar symptoms.
- MOtSC-004: A can of aerosol deodorant which is unable to be emptied. After five continuous minutes of spraying, a small cloud of mist appears and expands at rapid rates. This particular can was used to hide the research center after employees were instructed to move around the perimeter, spraying the can. A permanent layer of thick mist now encompasses the entire center.
- MOtSC-005: This lunar rock was returned to Earth on the initial 1969 journey to the moon. Commander Armstrong found it odd that the rock kept disappearing, even after he secured it to a box within the spaceship. In 1996 the rock was retrieved from a lunar museum vault in San Francisco by IRIS after caretakers reported they keep finding the rock in awkward places, even after securing it to a room.
- It was soon discovered that once anyone in the rock's presence does not have a clear line of sight to the rock, it shifts position randomly. This applies to blinking as well. The rock has since been secured in the middle of a white, large and clean room without surveillance cameras. Researches must inspect the rock in pairs of two, with one always looking directly at the rock and informing the other when they are going to blink, and vice-versa.
- MOtSC-006: A small hallway in the basement of a Cheyenne hardware store. Once the hallway is entered, the door at the far end leads to yet another hallway - tests indicate it is the exact same hallway. The only way to retrieve someone who has entered the paradoxical room is to keep the entrance door open for them to exit, otherwise, any attempt will just lead to someone entering the hallway again.
- MOtSC-007: At roughly 00:00 on July 4, 2003, a light tremor rocked Orange County, New York. Although no inhabitants of the area really felt the tremor, a local man noticed that atop a small hill, or rather an elevation, was a large, upright piece of glass, roughly the size of the man. Upon inspecting said glass, from the North, he noticed nothing, and could clearly see through the clear glass, however, once he walked around and witnessed the glass from the South, where he should have merely seen Port Jervis, he saw a large metropolis, almost matching the size of Manhattan.
- IRIS, however, also noticed at 00:00 an electromagnetic discharge. Agents were on scene before the authorities could arrive, and took the glass back to the then EcruFox-headquarters in San Francisco. For weeks, everything seemed normal when looking through the glass, however, interestingly, a junior researcher held a July 4th USA Today copy behind the glass. What he saw was astonishing.
- He immediately alerted his superiors, and together they witnessed that instead of the front-page heading being "JULY 4 CELEBRATIONS COUNTRYWIDE," it read "UNION OF EVERETT OFFICIALLY DECLARES INDEPENDENCE." This led researchers to believe the glass sees into a parallel dimension of sorts. Throughout the next week, several notable differences in the world were noted, however, the 2007 secession of the Allied States happened in roughly the same manner. This confused researchers, and to this day, the glass is not fully understood.
- UPDATE: On 16 June 2012, scientists attempted to recreate the glass, and against all expectations, succeeded. Each new piece of the glass appears to be able to look into another dimension. For example, after a new piece of glass has been created, it was discovered that in the corresponding dimension existed a "Kingdom of Texas," a "Republic of California" and the "Midwestern Republic," however, the already known "Union of Everett" also exists there. This, unfortunately, has only confused researchers more. Questions such as: How could the Allied States exist in a dimension along with the Union of Everett, and not exist in another, but the Union of Everett does indeed exist.
- Oddly enough, after 16 June, several new pieces of the glass have shown that the Union of Everett does indeed exist within all their corresponding dimensions, with the Allied States existing in only a few. MOtSC-007/314 interestingly enough showed the Allied States' borders to be very different, and without Texas as part of the Alliance. It appears to be after some sort of nuclear fallout, where Texas, the Allied States and the United States exist independently. This version of the Allied States, however, appears to be very different from the real ASA, leading researchers to believe only the name is in common.
- MOtSC-008: This anomaly was discovered in the form of two pictures on 1 June 2009, both of which depicting children with a mysterious entity in the background. Both pictures were found on a conspiracy theory/paranormal forum, however, the forum was quickly disabled and any trace of the pictures removed by IRIS technicians. By June 12, however, the pictures were uploaded elsewhere and quickly spread too far to be controlled.
- Subsequently, IRIS uploaded both to a thread on the Something Awful forums, and masked the post to say they were uploaded on the 10th. The thread the pictures were posted on was centered around making fake paranormal pictures to "troll" real paranormal communities. Thus, the origin of the pictures was successfully masked, and even today, after the "Slender Man" has become a viral sensation, its true origins are still thought to be that it is a fake.
- The Slender Man, as IRIS adopted to calling it, has since only been contacted twice. In mid-2011, the Slender Man was seen in Siberia after locals complained about static interruption of all their electronic devices. Slender Man was chased away successfully by IRIS agents after catching it seemed improbable. A second and final time, it was sighted in Washington state, in the Republic of Cascadia, in December 2012. The Slender Man was stalking and harassing hikers in the woods for hours before one of the hikers managed to call for help. IRIS arrived first on the scene, and once again managed to chase the entity away.
- The Slender Man in popular culture is depicted as a very tall, faceless humanoid wearing a suit with a red tie. It almost always appears to be entirely white underneath the suit. IRIS has discovered, however, that only Slender Man's face is white, while the rest of his body is a dark grey. It does not wear a suit, and has no red tie.
- Recently, it was discovered that Slender Man had been active since before 2010. After reviewing past investigations and other reports, it was found that the entity had successfully stalked and killed hikers in Maryland in 1999 then again in the same area a few years later. Clear from these reports is that the Slender Man has powers which can influence a person's mind without them being aware thereof. IRIS concluded that Slender Man had used this method to remain undetected. Investigation has led to IRIS placing Slender Man's origins in the Middle Ages AD. It is suspected that the former American northwest is Slender Man's main activity area.