The mystery of Life isn’t a problem to be solved.
It is a reality to experienced. ― Frank Herbert, Dune
From 2003 to 2008, I researched and wrote a biography of a man named Thomas Townsend Brown.Or just Townsend Brown.Or ‘Dr. Brown’ to those who knew him.
This was going to be the follow-up to my first published book, a biography of Philo T. Farnsworth.When The Boy Who Invented Television was published in 2002,I felt like I had found my new calling as a ‘biographer of obscure 20th century scientists.’ The Townsend Brown bio was going to be the first sequel.
Until I was visited by the dreaded ‘sophomore curse.’
In 2009, I abandoned the Townsend Brown project – because after 6 years ofresearch and writing, I still had no fucking idea what I was writing about.
Countless times over the ensuing years, I have had conversations that go like this:
Listener: “You were writing a book. What happened to that?What was it about?”
Me:“Have you ever heard of the Ionic Breeze Air Purifier?”
Listener: “You mean the thing that was advertised in the Sharper Image catalogs?”
Me: “Yes. The one that circulates air without any moving parts….
The listener nods in recognition. And then I start:
“The Ionic Breeze is based on an anomalous electrical effect that was discovered by Thomas Townsend Brown when he was a teenager in the 1920s…”
In my research I encountered what I can only describe as acult1 of people who believe that Townsend Brown’s discovery, when applied in a slightly different manner and with different materials, produces what might be described as an ‘anti-gravity’ effect (though Brown himself decried the term).
This is the last scene in the original “Back To The Future” movie, released in 1985.
It is no coincidence that Doc Brown (🤔?) is running his DeLorean time machine on fusion energy when he comes back from the future.
Morgan told me once that ‘The Caroline Group’ has the ability to influence popular culture. They keep trying to tell us what is truly possible in ‘the universe of magical things’ and the best we can do is treat it as fiction.
I might be writing the first book about ‘time travel’ that is non-fiction.
I am sifting through the archives to find the exact quote.
In the meantime, this is a perfect example of what he meant.
…again,and with a wink and nod toward Adamski (and Cook, among others):
Issue 24 shows a painting of a huge flying saucer with machine-guns and swastikas, landed for maintenance on an air base strip. A headline explains: "UFOS of the 3rd Reich – Are Nazi Secret Weapon the Origin of the UFO Phenomenon?"
They are not, but for more than 50 years now this theory re-appears regularly, each time refuted, each time resurrected as if nothing were said. Here it is again following an article claiming that there are indigenous inhabitants on the Moon and another that tells that UFOs are manufactured by a mysterious terrestrial super-intelligence who wants to save planet from ecological disaster.
Go beyond the illustration and the sensationalist headline of the front cover and follow in a step by step guided visit about the claims in this article on the infamous Nazi flying saucers written by the journalist and ufologist Jean-Pierre Troadec.
… it is claimed that the article "will shed light" on
German secret projects, and that the result of these secret projects
"might constitute" the UFOS seen at the beginning of the Fifties. But
we shall see that it is not so: instead of shedding light, the article
propagates shameless lies.
of the fake saucer photographs shown by Adamski was actually a
porcelain lamp top decorated with table tennis balls. Although all
serious ufologists know about that, Jean-Pierre Troadec quite simply goes on as if the photographs were real.
I'm sure the "authorized biography of Townsend Brown" will clear it all up…
We found clear evidence of deviations at four locations:
Fish Hotel, Lyford Cay, White Hole, near Nassau
Dogleg Reef, near Marathon, in South Florida
In the course of our dives, we recorded precise figures for what the compass readings were as compared to what they normally should have been.
Over the next few months, I communicated these figures to a number of physicists around the world. To a one, they told me that such magnetic field anomalies could be caused by briefly-appearing micro-wormholes. They could think of no other explanation for the deviations. Prof. John Wheeler, of Princeton University, in Princeton, NJ, has given the name of "wormhole" to what he believes may be "transit tunnels" between different dimensions of reality.
According to Wheeler, these wormholes may be only a giga-fraction of a square inch in size-the number one preceded by 33 zeroes, preceded by a decimal point. Wheeler says these mini-black holes, constantly blinking in and out of the geometry of space, are thought to be bits of "virtual matter;" that is, they can exist for a limited time only. Their counterparts-so-called mini-white holes – are virtual anti-matter. Whenever these two kinds of virtual matter build up to any extent, they immediately destroy themselves. Wheeler can offer no explanation as to why mini-holes appear, disappear, then reappear.
Some time ago I received a call from a colleague. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed a perfect score. The instructor and the student agreed to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected.I read the examination question:
“SHOW HOW IT IS POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE THE HEIGHT OF A TALL BUILDING WITH THE AID OF A BAROMETER.”
The student had answered, “Take the barometer to the top of the
building, attach a long rope to it, lower it to the street, and then
bring it up, measuring the length of the rope. The length of the rope
is the height of the building.”
“Finally,” he concluded, “there are many other ways of solving the
problem. Probably the best,” he said, “is to take the barometer to the
basement and knock on the superintendent’s door. When the
superintendent answers, you speak to him as follows: “Mr.
Superintendent, here is a fine barometer. If you will tell me the
height of the building, I will give you this barometer.” At this point,
I asked the student if he really did not know the conventional answer
to this question. He admitted that he did, but said that he was fed up
with high school and college instructors trying to teach him how to think. The student was Neils Bohr.
And I'm quite certain that's exactly what Sarah Palin had in mind when she said she didn't necessarily want to provide the actual answers to the questions she was asked during the VP debate.