Re: Murania history
I did some more searching and found a connection to radio:
The name "Murania" apparently has to do with Gene Autry's Radio Ranch, as
depicted in "The Phantom Empire", a film from 1935.
The empire was underground, and it was called Murania.
Copy below is from Wikipedia (minus the footnotes and edited for brevity):
The Phantom Empire
The Phantom Empire is a 1935 American Western serial film directed
by Otto Brower and B. Reeves Eason and starring Gene Autry, Frankie
Darro, and Betsy King Ross. This 12-chapter Mascot Pictures serial
combined the western, musical, and science fiction genres. The
first episode is 30 minutes, the rest about 20 minutes. The serial
film is about a singing cowboy who stumbles upon an ancient
subterranean civilization living beneath his own ranch that becomes
corrupted by unscrupulous greedy speculators from the surface. In
1940, a 70-minute feature film edited from the serial was released
under the titles Radio Ranch or Men with Steel Faces. This was Gene
Autry's first starring role, playing himself as a singing cowboy.
Gene Autry (Gene Autry) is a singing cowboy who runs Radio Ranch, a
dude ranch from which he makes a daily live radio broadcast at 2:00
pm. Gene has two kid sidekicks, Frankie Baxter (Frankie Darro) and
Betsy Baxter (Betsy King Ross), who lead a club, the Junior Thunder
Riders, in which the kids play at being armored knights of an
unknown civilization, the mysterious Thunder Riders who make a
sound like thunder when they ride. The kids, dressing up in capes
and water-bucket helmets, play at riding "To the rescue!" (their
A chance to become real heroes occurs when Betsy, Frankie, and Gene
are kidnapped by the real Thunder Riders from the super-scientific
underground empire of Murania, complete with towering buildings,
robots, ray-guns, advanced television, elevator tubes that extend
miles from the surface, and the icy, blonde, evil Queen Tika.