Sometime during the night of Saturday, September 20, 1940 Clifford T. Bell vanished from the waking world. His disappearance
went almost completely unnoticed. To his coworkers at the State Exhibition Building at Exposition Park he was simply a no show
the following day and after he failed to appear over the next several weeks they seem to have simply written him off. This  
possibly due to the rather peculiar habits he had adopted when pursuing the mysteries of the Purple Fez or his penchant for
decamping to some distant movie set location for weeks at a time without so much as a word of warning that he was going.

Few newspaper accounts of any great length mention his disappearance and old police records are silent on the matter. In
response to requests by members of the Brotherhood, archivists at the Los Angeles Police Department records morgue have been
unable to find any mention of Clifford's seeming evaporation even after weeks of searching dusty and long forgotten missing
persons reports. Similar entreaties to the headquarters of the California State Highway Patrol (Exposition Park being under the
direct supervision of the State of California) have also come to naught. By all appearances Clifford T. Bell was all but forgotten,
until the fated chance discovery of his story by the intrepid members of the Exhibits Department of the California Science Center
during their descent into the dark and haunted corridors that once lay beneath the old National Guard Amory Building that sits
at the northeast corner of Exposition Park.
Left. Clifford T. Bell's world
at Exposition Park as
depicted in a 1930s
Automobile Club of Southern
California map
.

A - The National Guard
Amory where Clifford
conducted his Fez
experiments and disappeared
in the labyrinth of tunnels
that lay beneath. Current
site of the Wallis Annenberg
Building/School.

B - The State Exposition
Building where Clifford
headed up the exhibits
department. The current site
of the California Science
Center.

C - The old Historical & Art
Museum. Currently the Los
Angeles County Museum
of Natural History.

D - The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum which hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics.

E - the sunken Rose Garden

Map:  The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Right: Another view of the National Guard
Armory building found with Clifford's belongings.
The photo was taken from the center of the sunken
Rose Garden looking directly east.

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble &
Antediluvian Order of the Brotherhood of the
Purple Fez.
Left: In the midst of the coming catastrophe, Clifford inadvertently took time
to honor Union veterans of the Battle of Gettysburg in July, 1940. Based on
a note in his Fez Diary, Clifford somehow got the idea in his head that the
City of Los Angeles was in fact honoring his grandfather Buford T.
"Gettysburg" Bell - a person totally unknown in the City of the Angels. Old
anything at all to do with "..them thar damnable Yankee scum..." and there
was almost second falling out between the two Bells. Clifford in a moment of
lucid clear thinking managed to convince the aging patriarch that he had in
fact taken these stately old Union soldiers into custody on behalf of the
Confederate States of America.

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of the
Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
It is not certain exactly when Clifford began his experimental investigations into the powers of the Purple Fez but he could not in
earnest until his arrival at the State Exhibition Building in the mid 1930s. He had noted the Fez's power had begun to fade not
long after he removed it from it's resting place in the Temple of the Ages but nothing survives that would give us any indication
as to the actual rate of this "fading" but it seems to have been steady and towards the end speeding up enough to have caused an
ever increasing sense of alarm in Clifford's mind. Besides some fragmentary physical evidence found in the tunnel complex where
Clifford met is uncertain end all the Noble & Antediluvian Order of the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez can depend on for
information are the few pages of Clifford's journal which have survived the passage of the years.
Right: Clifford in the midst of his "goings on" which is how old
Gettysburg Bell uses to refer to his grandson's  late night This
small "Elko" snapshot is unfortunately without any notations what
so ever unlike many of Clifford's other photographs so we are
uncertain as to what up to in the photograph. There is little doubt
that some sort of power burst was taking place at the time the
image was snapped. All of the "Elko" images seem to date from
sometime in 1940 - very close to the time of Clifford's tragic
disappearance.

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of
the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Left: A circa 2004 photograph showing one of two entrances to the main
basement level of the National Guard Armory building at Exposition Park. This
was the eastern entrance at the bottom of the vehicle access ramp. The Exhibits
Department's old shop was through the doorway at extreme near left.
Numerous other rooms and armament magazines were accessed via this tunnel
which extended into the dim distance before turning right and heading toward
the room known as "Lab One". It was is Lab One that the hidden access point
to the lower level of tunnels was discovered. No record existed as to why this
room was known as Lab One - perhaps it was the result of some long forgotten
reference to Clifford's late night activities there?

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of the
Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Right: The events of the fateful night of September 24, 1940 are continued on
this silverfish eaten page of Clifford's journal. Not mentioned anywhere else
in Clifford's surviving writings is an apparent correspondence that seems to
have taken place between Clifford and Nikola Tesla. Here Clifford clearly
mentions some sort of device or apparatus of Tesla's design that he was using
during his final doomed experiment. If Clifford detailed exactly what that
device was he must have done it elsewhere in papers that no longer exist.
Archivists at the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia have been unable
to find any related correspondence between Clifford and Tesla. The museum
in the repository for all of Tesla's personal and professional papers.

Diary Page: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of the
Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Above: A sketch of the first level of tunnels that were to be found beneath the basement of the old National Guard Armory building
at Exposition Park as drawn by Clifford T. Bell. As indicated by the brief legend in the upper right corner this drawing is only a
partial plan of the complex. His initial entry point is marked "a" and this point corresponds with the walled up access point first
found - quite by accident - by members of the Brotherhood in 2003. Two stairways to the 3rd level are marked. Several other points
are cryptically marked, the exact meaning of which is a mystery.

Manuscript Map: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Left: A digital composite image showing Clifford's tunnel map
overlaid onto that of the National Guard Armory building taken for
the Auto Club map of Exposition Park.

Digital Composite Map: The Secret Archives of the Noble &
Antediluvian Order of the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Left: A 1935 Pacific Electric Railway
transfer found with Clifford's
belongings.

Transfer: The Secret Archives of the
Noble & Antediluvian Order of the
Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Right: Another of the "Elko" snapshots take by Clifford not
long before his disappearance. This is the only photograph
from Clifford's time which shows any portion of the tunnel
complex. One assumes there must have been more.

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian
Order of the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Even as Clifford pursued the secrets of the Purple Fez to his ultimate ruin he seemed to grow ever more nostalgic for his early
days in St. Mary's and his service with the Legion. Curiously he almost never wrote about his time at sea on the
SS Venture. One
might be led to believe by this conspicuous absence in his written words that something even more traumatic happened to he
while serving an that old tramp steamer. Perhaps he simply did not find the events worth thinking about overly much.

During his final night in the depths beneath the Armory Building he dedicated an entire page of his journal to these reminisces
almost in a manner akin to who a condemned man might recall the fairer moments of his life as he nears its end. Clifford
commented often enough about a growing sense of foreboding as he what he knew would be the final great leap into that dark
place that the course of his entire life had seemed to propel him.
Left: Showing the charing that was a result of the final conflagration that
consumed Clifford and the Purple Fez, this page of his diary in one of the
very last. Even at this moment, so close to the very end he remembers his
friends and family for one final time.  

Diary Page: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of the
Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Right: Devastated by the passage of time a abject neglect, this office space was
located on the main basement level of the Armory. Found behind a door which
had been sealed for unknown reasons years before it held the remnants of
records dating back to the building's establishment in 1912. The space was
probably still in daily use in Clifford's time.

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of the
Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
When Clifford discovered the Fez in the long forgotten corridors of the Temple of the Ages it was radiating a startling strong
purple hued glow. It is possible that this glow was exaggerated by Clifford's sun wearied eyes but this possibility is only surmised.
That is was glowing there is little doubt but just as Clifford was in the dark about the source of that glow, we today must also be.
On impulse he took the Fez from its crystal enclosure and at the moment he did the glow began to diminish. Again this apparent
diminishing could actually only been the result of Clifford removing it form the crystal casket which in of it self could have had a
natural reflective quality  that made the Fez appear to glow. But is this was so why would Clifford still claim years later and half
a world away form the Temple of the ages that the Fez still emitted its eerie glow? Over the years that radiance has subsided
drastically and this decrease was what prompted Clifford to see if it could be arrested or even hopefully restored.

Based on comments made by Clifford in his diary he felt that the Fez was not a source of power unto itself - which made perfect
sense to him - but a conduit from some other dimension that the great King Narmur-Ra used in order to maintain his
paradise-like kingdom in the midst of the trackless wastes of the Sahara. Clifford often mentioned inscriptions in the Temple of
the Ages that implied this very thing although it is unknown how Clifford could have read those inscriptions. It has be postulated
that the inscriptions that Clifford mention where more in the nature of pictographs which could have been interpreted by him
much easier than say Egyptian hieroglyphics or Babylonian cuneiform writing. Based solely on Clifford's written descriptions and
sketches Narmur-Ra's kingdom did seem s strange hybrid of the two previously mentioned cultures.
On many occasions Clifford mentioned that the Fez seemed to be aware of
him and he felt at time that was watch of observing him. Naturally this
sensation could have been a result of Clifford somewhat overly developed
sense of imagination but his persistence in commenting on this oddly peculiar
aspect of the Fez seems to lessen this possibility.

What exact Clifford intended to do with the Fez if he had been able to harness
the power he firmly believed to be quietly waiting to be unleashed? This we
will probably never know and it seems a distinct possibility that Clifford
himself was not sure either.
Above: Desolation would be one appropriate word to
describe much of the tunnel complex beneath the
Armory where Clifford worked in solitude. Here is
shown a more remote part of Level 2.

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian
Order of the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Above: Although not part of any one of he actual tunnel levels this
photo shows a long abandoned part of the Los Angeles sewer
system that cuts through the tunnels.

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of
the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
In spite of the doubts that nagged Clifford as he approached the end of his
long journey he summoned the old Legionnaire that still resided deep inside
him and steadied by that "March of Die" spirit finally when ahead with the
final steps of his Fez experiments. We know his purpose was to revive the
fading powers of the Fez but if Clifford ever put down in writing the specifics
of that power the Brotherhood has discovered little. Perhaps at the point a
review of what is known about the Fez's apparent power is in order.
Above: This tunnel on Level 4 was cut through bed
rock. The piers of a reinforcing brick arch can just be
seen on the right and left. Rusted remains of various
items lay scattered about in and on top of two to three
feet of muddy sediment.

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian
Order of the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
Above: The depths of Level 5. Partially collapsed and shored up by
rotting timbers this section of tunnel was the furthest from the
original entry point that members of the Brotherhood pushed their
explorations. It was otherworldly here and although a presence
was distinctly felt in these remote locations little time was spent
here...we all had our real world jobs to get back to!

Photo: The Secret Archives of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of
the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.
These photographs were but a few taken by the Brotherhood
during their underground reconnaissances in pursuit of the
mystery of Clifford T. Bell and the Purple Fez. It can be
fairly said that most of us did indeed feel that the
Brotherhood's now legendary founder was always just
around the next dark corner or waiting in some shadowy
alcove. We were after all walking in his very footsteps.

Below is the las page from Clifford's diary with the final
entry that must have been written mere moments before that
final cataclysm that propelled him into oblivion. While little
information can be gleaned form this page - he obviously
had other things on his mind than typing - it is truly amazing
that it survived at all even in this charred and damaged
state.  
Left: Like so many other elements in the
life of Clifford T. Bell his final written
words only add to the riddle that surrounds
his final disappearance. It has always been
a great regret that an easily portable
recording device did not exist in Clifford's
day. What a wealth of information might
have been passed down to us - if it had
survived Clifford's disastrous end. That a
legend's  final words be an enigmatic "uh
oh" does nothing to lessen his stature and
place of honor he occupies in the august
halls of the Noble & Antediluvian Order of
the Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.

Diary Page: The Secret Archives of the
Noble & Antediluvian Order of the
Brotherhood of the Purple Fez.