Taken from the Latin word Occult, meaning “hidden” this gadget was created by Lt. Henry Harman. He hoped it would help the legendary pundit, Kintup’s, foray into Tibet as part of the Royal geographical Surveys secret map making expedition. He believed it might enable Kintup to disappear from unfriendly eyes whilst on his mission.
In 1880 Kintup discovered an immense waterfall in Tibet, near the Assam border; behind the waterfall he was able to discern a "great city full of beautiful buildings". Others in the party without the use of the Occultumoscope were unable to see anything beyond the hurtling water. Despite Kintup’s insistence that they should try and reach the city, the others in the party refused to continue and Kintup sadly bade farewell to Shangri–La. He was never to return.
Lt. Harman, meanwhile, had more of the Scopes made, believing them to be of use to agents in the field. Their ability to make the wearer invisible however was fairly inconsistent leading to some embarrassing diplomatic incidents and their only true function appears to reveal the hidden city of Shangri–La.
As Tibet’s borders remain firmly closed, the Geographical Society has decided to sell much of its equipment, including these devices.