The first alien discovery wasn't made in space, it was found on the bottom of the ocean. During the last days of the Petroleum Era, the first seacologies were being built, primitive compared to modern structures, but seacologies none the less. During this time, ruins were discovered underwater and when it was determined that they were of non-human origin, it was placed under very tight security. Scientists, linguists, and specialists all investigated the ruins, and deciphered a great deal from the materials recovered. Their initial findings led the clandestine UN task force to further discoveries, including an entire city buried under lunar lava in the Mare Imbrium on the Moon, and other sites on the Moon, and later Mars.
The findings would be categorized as the anthropological remains of the Imbrian Culture. This included examples of architecture, advanced building materials, hypertech and arcanotech devices, jewelry, statues (later determined to be long dead alien machines) cities, and even the destroyed remains of space craft.
The Glassenheim Foundation
The Glassenheim Foundation was created through a variety of back door channels between several of the world's preeminent powers for the purpose of keeping the discovery of alien ruins on Earth and across the solar system a secret from mankind at large. The foundation was originally to operate in a museum like fashion, collecting the relics and evidence of aliens and documenting it, and then concealing it. The men who created the foundation believed that humanity could not stand the revelation that there were indeed aliens, and there was extensive proof that these aliens had been on Earth for a protracted period of time.
The pressures of the end of the Petroleum Era, and the onset of the Resource Wars saw a demand for outside of the box thinking, and large budget projects to create revolutionary new weapons, power sources, and so forth. Initially the Foundation was nothing more than a sort of secret black budget museum, where the Imbrian culture was studied, categorized, documented, and then classified to an incredible level. The powers that backed the Foundation wanted something for their support and no longer custodians and curators, the Foundation was encouraged to start attempting to reverse engineer the technology of the Imbrians, and to apply what they learned to fight the problems being faced by humanity as the peak of the golden age of petroleum came to a close.
This was a costly venture, both in terms of finances, and in terms of sanity. Arcanotech proved to be dangerous to mental health and well being, a fact that was strongly demonstrated as many early pioneers went horrifically and creatively mad from touching things man was not meant to know. Not all of those members were discovered to be insane, many who did not become catatonic, or devolve into screaming delusions and violent paranoia were able to hide their condition for years.
The Glassenheim Foundation has long since ceased to function for it's original purpose, the containment of alien evidence. The world that created it is long since gone, and the Foundation remains. It now a different set of agenda items.
Advance the field of arcanotechnology until it matches the sophistication of the Imbrian Culture, and then surpass it so that humanity doesn't suffer the same fate as the Imbrians.
Perfect the human genome to usher in the next iteration of Homo Sapiens, Homo Sapiens Superior, Homo Sapiens Zeta, and Homo Novus. The end of genetic disease, elimination of old age.
Establish a new social utopian paradigm and economy that combines the strengths of socialism and social networking sans welfarism and individualism sans narcissism, consumerism and other socially destructive aspects.
Perfect the artificial lifeform, aka robots, to serve humanity as menial laborers and rank and file soldiers
The Glassenheim Foundation was founded out of a Petroleum Era United Nations back room initiative. Who the founding members were, or their nations of origin are unknown, but strongly suspected to include the United States (leading power in that era's space exploration) Israel, Germany, Japan, Poland, England, and South Korea. The Foundation was run and administers by a seven member panel, with each nation supplying a member. The leader of the panel was selected by the members themselves, and for various reasons, this leader remained secret. The members themselves remained secret in their identity and in the Foundations own records, they are only known by their cyphers.
The Glassenheim Foundation found itself in an unenviable position, it was holding the literal smoking gun of alien presence on Earth, corresponding to various entries in mythology and ancient texts, ranging from alien teachers from the stars down to the actual location of the destroyed city of Atlantis. It was also in the process of destroying conventional science by opening the pandora's box of arcanotechnology, and later branching out into more exotic realms such as psychotronics, parakinetic technologies, and more. There is an expression that the difference between madness and genius is measured only in success, and the Foundation became very successful, and in some ways, very much insane.
The Rise of the Anunnaki
In Ancient Astronaut theory, ancient human cultures were said to have been visited by aliens, and these aliens taught humanity various technologies, used mankind in wars, and in some places did things as outrageous as destroying ancient cities with nuclear weapons. One of the most prominent groups of these ancient teachers were the Sumerian Anunnaki. Between having and concealing the evidence of alien civilizations on other planets in the solar system, and on earth, and deciphering the Imbrian Culture's language and reverse engineering their technology, the Glassenheim Foundation found itself in a similar teaching position, able to take it's discoveries and findings and disseminate them through human culture and technology. The parallels between the legends of the ancient Anunnaki and the modern Foundation were hard to ignore.
It was only a matter of time before arrogance and hubris brought the Foundation to start thinking of itself as the modern incarnation of the ancient alien teachers. Anunnaki became a collective term they used to refer to themselves, both as individuals (Anunnakus in the singular form) and the Foundation itself. The end of the Resource Wars, and the onset of the Second Dark age galvanized the Glassenheim foundation, which had been instrumental in the engineering and design of the first generation of arcologies. The Foundation saw itself as the protectors of human knowledge in the collapse of the old superstates, as well as suffering from the fall as well.
The Foundation was close to dissolution, torn between nationalistic fears and insanities formented by regular contact with arcanotech and alien technologies. This would have been the end of the organization if not for the work of one member, who identified themselves as the Anunnakus Ka Nibiru. Seemingly a low level technician, the person manifested the first neural network, a local area only Cognitive Network, a contemporary of the heavily militarized hypernet, and precursor to the 3rdNet, and later, The CogNet.
Ka Nibiru used access to alien tech and 'forced' the council of the Foundation to go through a vision quest. While the attempted vision quest was ultimately a failure, it opened the eyes of the members who survived to the awesome power they held, and cemented in their minds an extra-terrestrial mandate that gave them the right and power to decide the fate of the world, over a long term plan. That was the mistake most made when attempting to change the world, they did so on a radically short timeline. They determined that the world could and would be guided, until it reached their ideals, their vision of the Imbrians, it would just take time, centuries, to happen.
The current leadership of the Foundation retain their secret identities, but are known through their cyphers, most of which are drawn from mythology and theology, and retain the names of ancient deities, with the Greek, Roman, and other occidental mythologies dominating. A small group retain the use of Middle eastern and Mesopotamian deities, but these members are much more involved in mysticism and cult like behaviors than the more common monikered members.
The Glassenheim Foundation is by the time of the Cosmic Era, an organization approaching being 500 years old. It has an extensive array of operatives, agents, and groups working under it's guidance, many of which have no idea that they are employed thusly. Some of the agencies and groups were specifically created by the Foundation for the express purpose of working directly for the Foundation. These groups tend to be small, highly secretive, and very loyal to the Foundation, such as the agencies that are physically responsible for working with alien relics and remains, internal security, and directed intelligence. Many of these organizations are themselves highly secretive and most do not officially exist, and looking for them draws the ire of the Foundation.
Other agencies and factions have long since been influenced or directed by the Foundation, and their personnel and resources have been at times co-opted, compromised or otherwise coerced to serve the goals of the Foundation. This ranges from militaries around the world, to governments and government intelligence agencies. The Foundation has had centuries to perfect their techniques, and with their first hand access to the Imbrian culture technology, they have had the technological upper hand since the beginning.
There are six levels of initiation in the Anunnaki organization, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Zeta, Omega and the mythic Anunnakus.More in depth information on this level of organization can be found in the submission 30 Illuminati Minions. The text is geared towards mundane modern, but can easily be adapted for the Cosmic Era. The functionality of a secret society is going to be the same pretty much regardless of what time frame and setting it is in.
Alpha Level: Minions in the Alpha level echelon are the best of the best in their respective fields, likely have a public or vital role in the machinations of the Anunnaki, they serve and can reasonably expect the aid of their hidden master. Alphas may suspect that there is someone pulling their strings but the smart ones know to keep their mouths shut, while the dumb ones invariably end up on the news cycle, while everyone is shocked by their sudden suicide or unforgivable criminal act.
It is not uncommon for Alpha level minions of the Anunnaki to have benefitted from Glassenheim Foundation technologies, such as biomodification, genetic modification, and other improvements that have helped them gain their level of power and influence.
Examples: Media Celebrity, High level politician, megacorp nobility
Beta Level: Minions of the Beta echelon are the proverbial cogs in the machine. They do their work, usually deeply in ignorance. Betas are complicit in the day to day operations of the Anunnaki and their plans. Betas are purposely kept ignorant of the operation, and those that become aware of it can be promoted to another tier, or could possibly be eliminated as a potential threat to the organization.
Examples: Law enforcement leadership, megacorp management, political appointee
Gamma Level: This echelon of the organization is composed of action oriented operatives, with the largest number being police officials and members of government agencies. These agents exercise the most power within the framework of what they do, as when an agent of another echelon steps out of bound, it is typically the Gamma Ops that remove them. Enemies of the Anunnaki are also going to spend most of their time facing Gamma echelon agents.
Gamma level minions and agents have minimal to moderate enhancement from the technologies available to the Foundation. Minions who work without the benefit of knowing who they work for are not so gifted. Those who work knowingly for the Foundation or the Anunnaki masters can expect high end, but non-custom modifications.
Examples: Professional Assassin, Government and law enforcement agents, Specialists, The rank and file of the Glassenheim foundation are typically gamma level, including those who work in the various secret departments.
Zeta Level: This echelon is composed of criminals, radicals, and other fringe elements of society, and as such are almost completely expendable. Zetas are tapped to do unsavory jobs, or messy jobs, such as assassination where the assassin has to be caught, terrorist activities and other such messy jobs. Zetas are considered throw away minions and like Betas, remain ignorant of the powers that be.
Zeta level minions are seldom well supported or supplied, compared to alpha level minions, but at this level, minions and agents of the Glassenheim foundation are going to be outfitting with exotic, experimental, and often self destructive tools and modifications, often as a testbed.
Examples: Gang leaders, social or religious zealots, Terrorists, Criminals, Coercion victims, Wasteland nomads, and people living in high risk red zones.
Omega Level: The smallest echelon and the closest to an Anunnakus him/herself, Omega level is composed of deeply trusted, fanatically loyal people who are in full knowledge of the Anunnaki. They have the best equipment, the best support, and operate with control of the other echelons. Omegas usually handle the liaison operations between an Anunnakus and the cogs of the machine, and when there is a rogue agent in the system, or a knowledgeable defector, it is omega ops who bring them back or take them out.
The Omegas are the closest tier to the Anunnaki masters, and know the most about the inner workings of the Foundation. They have the most access to Foundation resources and modifications outside of the Anunnaki themselves, and
Examples: Leaders of technology cults, professional assassins, top tier government advisers, major figures of the Foundation and the heads of it's interior departments, subservient to only the Anunnaki themselves.
The resources of the Glassenheim Foundation are extensive, impressive, and in many ways intimidating.
Finances - The coffers of the Glassenheim Foundation are deep to the point of being bottomless. The Foundation was born as a black budget operation, and from this well padded position it grew as it reverse engineered Imbrian technology, patented it, and introduced it to the world through various shell companies and inspired individuals, for a share of the wealth generated. With the technologies and patents and such involved in the construction of a standard arcology, the Foundation generates approximately $1.5 billion dollars of wealth. Not per year, but per each arcology raised. This is just a section of the pie, and in economic terms, the financial wealth of the Foundation is only surpassed by the GDP of the world superstates, and is on par with the entire economic output of Mars.
Holdings - The holdings of the Glassenheim Foundation are extensive, and predominantly located in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and North America. This includes paramilitary bases, research centers, and even entire arcologies that are concealed with the clever use of camouflage and other stealth technologies. The majority of the secret and concealed Foundation holdings are either old buildings in cities that date back to the Petroleum Era, or in the contested and contaminated wastelands, noted for their yellow to orange threat rating levels. This includes factories, residential complexes, military facilities, and the like. The Foundation has extensive geofront facilities on the Moon, Mars, Callisto, and Titan, as well as a small number of ships and habitats in scattered locations around the solar system. Most of these are concealed by being underground, or having Mirage stealth systems.
These numbers might seen large, and excessively so, but the Foundation is a private organization, and decentralized, so there is a good deal of redundancy, and while it might have extensive facilities on Mars, compared to the holdings of the Eurasian Alliance and ACPS, their presence on the Red Planet is a very small minority of what is there.
Influence - The influence of the Glassenheim Foundation is impressive, as the organization was present long before any of the modern superstates formed, and in some instances the Foundation can claim to have had some influence over the outcome of certain events. The Foundation's ability to effect change and control events is the strongest in North America, North Africa, and Europe, giving it a large amount of control within the Atlantic Federation (almost a parasitic relationship) as well as having a lesser amount of power within the Eurasian Alliance (European states predominantly) and the Pacific Rim Coalition (North America, and Japan).
The main expression of this resource is the usurpation and coercion of agencies and departments and organizations within the areas mentioned. While the Foundation has it's own ships, it can usually 'borrow' a ship under false pretenses, or rather than use it's own agents, it can leak information to another government's agencies and let them do the work, and take the risks and losses.
Technology - The technological advantages of the Foundation are hard to understate. As the holders of alien technology, they have first hand access to it, and what has been disseminated is done so at their discretion, and while various groups labor at solving problems with certain technologies, the Foundation already has them solved, and has no interest in releasing that information.
Most sci-fi technology comes with all sorts of drawbacks and balancing points, such as plasma weapons liking to explode, and AI being untrustworthy or the other sundry limitations places on the technological goodies. The Foundation's tech typically doesn't have any of these things. Their androids can easily pass for humans, their clones don't have melt downs and biological based identity crises, their arcanotech weapons don't short out, and the stuff they have that does have such flaws is bleeding edge that most other groups haven't even opened the door on that branch of the tech tree.
Allies - The Glassenheim Foundation has multiple armies, space navies, dozens of government agencies and departments and megacorporations at it's silent beck and call. It seldom uses these assets, but the fact remains that if need be, the Foundation and the Anunnaki have the ability to deploy a Federation battlestar group, launch a terrorist offensive, or a non-stop media blitz campaign for or against something of their interest.
Roles of the Glassenheim Foundation and the Anunnaki
Behold, the Illuminati! - The Glassenheim Foundation is a secretive and old organization that has as it's purpose the domination of the world, and remaking it in their image, an idealized arcanotech utopia. The problem with creating Utopia is that the existing world orders and cultures have to be destroyed, so that they can be remade. Can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and sometimes those eggs are nations, ethnic groups, or large numbers of humans who aren't in agreement on who's vision of Utopia is the right one.
A Hidden Benefactor - a group of shadowrunning PCs have a mysterious benefactor who gives them top pay for doing strange jobs and not asking questions, the benefactor is one of the Anunnaki.
The Phantom Menace - a group of shadowrunning PCs have a mysterious foe they must discover, unravel a trail of clues and then eventually confront. The best Phantom Menace is the Anunnakus who has lead the PCs on a merry chase, destroying things that would threaten the Foundation only to discover their foe is an empty suit and a smiling mask.
Hubris - The Glassenheim foundation has it's hands on the rudder and is steering things towards a controlled crash. A lot of people will die along the way, but as the masters say, the better class people will be fine, it will be just the poor and lower class people who will pay the price.
My upcoming Work - The Glassenheim Foundation is the shadowy force in the background of my current work in progress novel, and as I was writing, I found the need to map it out, identify it, and make it find it's own place in the Cosmic Era. They start as keepers of secrets, and are later corrupted by power and arcanotechnology. In typical villainous secret society fashion, they are going to conquer the world, but they are playing a long game, with a 500 year plan, with the idea of emulating the Imbrian Culture, ignoring the fact that something ended the Imbrian culture so hard that it became the subject of fringe science and mockery in the intellectual community.