I carry a business card that describes my market niche as "Biographies of Obscure 20th Century Scientists" — an appellation that I mean in the most flattering way. As this story shows, "obscure" scientists are often the ones that have the most interesting ideas to consider.
Today’s installment — Chapter 30: The Caroline — is largely one such biography — albeit a thumbnail sketch — of the life and work of another seminal, late 19th/early 20th century inventor who time has seemingly forgotten despite his undeniable contribution to modern culture.
This story may seem tangential to the subject of our primary interest — T. Townsend Brown — but it is pertinent because Brown spent six weeks in the company of this individual in the winter of 1933, on a nautical expedition that is introduced in this chapter and will be revisited in greater detail in a subsequent installment.
This chapter might be construed an example of "writing fat," which is to say, this being a "first draft," some of this material might be destined ultimately for the cutting room floor. But for now I do think there is a compelling story here, worth telling in its own right, and readers who have been following along will discover that there is indeed a payoff at the end. At least it’s got a lot of pictures.
Also, those of you who have been patiently waiting as this story slowly unfolds for some kind of "explanation" of the so-called "Philadelphia Experiment" will perhaps be disappointed to learn that this chapter may well be the only place in this book where you will ever see the words "destroyer" and "Eldridge" on the same page.
That’s just how it goes sometimes, here in the Parallel Universe…
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