第九章 回目錄結語



第十章 珍貴金屬碎片的消失

Irina Froning, a tall, attractive blond woman in her mid-forties, sat in the silent back room of an office in San Pedro, California. It was night, and only lights shining softly on the plants enabled her to see. In the outer office, she could hear her friend, whom she was visiting for the weekend, typing reports and correspondence.

四十多歲的愛琳娜.佛瑞琳Irina Froning,身材高挑,有著一頭美麗的金髮,正坐在她朋友位於加州聖彼得San Pedro的辦公室裡,辦公室內柔和的燈光照在盆景上,她可以聽到她朋友在她的大辦公室用打字機打著報告及檔案的聲音。

"It was Sunday evening," Irina later recalled, "and we were going to stay home, at her house, when my friend suddenly started. It was as if a bolt had struck her that she had to do some typing that night. So she said, 'Will you come with me?' "


Whenever she visited a new place, a home or office, Irina went immediately for the bookshelves to learn more about the person who lived or worked there. But on this night, as her friend typed, Irina wandered past the bookshelves to a small darkened doorway. She walked through the doorway, and in a back office, illuminated by the plant lights, she saw a credenza; on top of the credenza lay a large, square picture book entitled UFO . . . Contact from the Pleiades.

每當愛琳娜到達一個新的地方(一個新的辦公室或新房間)時,她會立即去看看室內的的書架以便多瞭解住在這裡或在這裡辦公的人。但是那天晚上,當她的朋友在打字時,愛琳娜流覽過書架後,慢慢走近一個黑暗的小門。她走進那道門,在一個室內有植物的後間辦公室裡看到一張大桌子,桌子上擺著一本大的、正方形、有照片的書,書名是《飛碟 —— 昴宿星來的接觸》

"I really was not interested in UFOs," she said. "I sat down and admired the plants, and then I thought, What am I going to read? and that was the only book. So I put it on my lap. It was intriguing. But nothing really stunned me until I ran across that page in the middle of the book." Her eyes focused immediately on the word "tachyon."


"This space being," she recalled, "is telling a man that earth scientists are now working on a 'tachyon' propulsion system. That blew my mind! Because for years David had been hugging the table with a pencil in his hand, working with the ideas coming to him about tachyons. He had just published a paper on tachyons! I said to myself, Nobody knows about this."



From Brit Elders's diary, February 20, 1980: "Tempers flared tonight. Tom, Lee, Steve all arguing. Poor waitress must have thought they were going to blow. Odd thing, the three argued same issue, just different words. Point of problem: additional security needed. After all the trips/work convincing scientists it's okay to research, phone calls, etc., etc., no one willing to attach name to analysis. No one wants to release reports, only verbal. Too much going out of our office, not enough coming in. After three trips to San Jose we gained one video tape, lost one priceless metal sample. Photo tests jump ahead three feet, fall back two. Labs closed to UFO testing. Guys are using each other as verbal punching bags, venting frustration.

佈雷特 1980 2 20 日的日記中寫著,今晚氣溫高漲,維奇史蒂芬在那裡高聲爭論著。可憐的女侍們一定以為他們隨時會爆發激烈的衝突。其實他們只是在爭論著一件事,但觀點不同而已,爭論的重點是:必須加強安全措施。在多方面努力遊說科學家,使其願意去參與研究或打電話聯絡等等。現在沒有一個科學家願意掛名做這些分析工作,也沒有人願意發表報告,都只肯作口頭說明而已。從監聽公司辦公室流出去的訊息太多,但回收的卻很少,到聖荷西三次之後,我們得到了一卷錄音帶,卻遺失了一片無價的金屬樣本。原先進行了很多測試照片的工作,但現在卻逐漸停止,各大實驗室已停止進行 UFO 測試。研究人員之間似乎把彼此當作出氣筒,發洩心中的沮喪。

"Lee said, 'At least with a goddamn murder case you know you've got a crime. With a UFO case you don't know what you have.' "Maybe our biggest problem: We're used to tangibles, bodies, bugs, etc. Can't touch a UFO. Metal confuses people. Photos representations only. Bottom line: There's no yes, no no. Round robin conversation finally brings out all tension.

說:‘在一件謀殺案中你知道至少會有一個犯人;但是在一個 UFO 案子中,你卻不知道你到底有什麼證據。也許我們最大的問題就是:我們習慣了實在的東西(如身體及昆蟲等等),而現在我們談的卻是無法觸摸到的 UFO。金屬片令人們感到困惑,照片也只是表面而已。雖然這件事沒有所謂的是或不是,但周而復始的談論已使得緊張的氣氛得到了疏解。

"Reorganize thoughts, get out of frustration's way, proceed. (1) tighter security; (2) no open release of material or information to anyone; (3) one of us present for any analysis; (4) no more verbal reports; (5) low-key research, find the right ones for the right work; (6) no info to outsiders, gets too twisted; (7) everything done must be signed for. creates paper trail; (8) all work must be made known to Lee, he will coordinate and authorize research from here on. "Suggest no discussion of UFOs until arrive, unless absolutely necessary. Has slammed too many doors in face in the past. Personal opinion: Wish more people with education, reputation, background, qualifications, had courage and curiosity to pursue subject. Tom says it's the nature of the beast. "Finally all calm. Feel waterlogged from coffee, tired of sitting, 3:30 a.m., ready to sleep, much needed."



後來大家又建議,在得到結論前除非必要,暫時不要多討論 UFO 的事。我們已經把太多人摒除在門外了,我個人認為我們希望有更多受過良好教育、有聲望、有背景且夠資格、有勇氣,並有好奇心的人能夠來探求這個主題。維奇說這是野獸的本性。最後,大家都平靜了下來,也都被咖啡灌飽了,坐也坐累了,此時已經是深夜 3 30 分了,該是上床睡覺的時候了。

A year and a half into the investigation, caught between the antagonistic UFO community on one side and the reserved scientific community on the other, they had stalled. Until they could get all of the evidence thoroughly examined by qualified scientists, they had no defense against the attacks. The refusal of JPL's Dr. Nathan to analyze the photographs had discouraged them, even though results in other areas such as the sounds still looked promising. They now needed somehow to persuade more scientists to look at the evidence and to go on record. But one piece of evidence, the most important of all, had disappeared - the burnished triangle that had so intrigued Marcel Vogel at IBM. No one had any idea what had happened to the piece, and though it had disappeared almost from his very hands, Vogel seemed the most perplexed of all. One minute he had it, and the next minute it was gone. Though the fragment itself had disappeared, Vogel fortunately had already taped his entire analysis on video. The Elders now held that tape, and they concealed it, refusing to acknowledge its existence even in the face of endless attacks from the UFO community.

在一年半的調查過程中,這些人被夾在有敵意的 UFO 團體和保守的科學界中間進退兩難。除非他們能找到夠資格的科學家徹底驗證那些證據,否則他們實在是無法對付外來的攻擊。雖然在其它方面(如錄音帶)所做的試驗看起來仍很樂觀,但是噴射推進實驗室主任諾頓博士拒絕再去分析那些照片,卻使他們感到很氣餒。他們現在必須說服更多的科學家來檢驗那些證據,並且記錄下來。但是有一個最重要的證據:那塊會發出亮光的三角座,曾經使 IBM 公司的馬賽.沃傑Marcel Vogel大感興趣的東西,居然不見了。沒有人知道它是如何不見的;雖然它是在沃傑手中不見的,但是他卻是最摸不著頭腦的人,他說前一分鐘還握在手裡,下一分鐘卻不見了。雖然東西沒有了,但幸好沃傑已經把這段分析過程錄下來。受德夫婦手上有這段影片,他們把它收藏好,拒絕讓別人知道有這卷影片的存在,即使那些 UFO 團體一直都在攻擊他們,他們還是不拿出來。

Colman VonKeviczky of Inter-Continental UFO Network (ICUFON) sent out a flyer to his membership claiming that UFO models had been found hanging in Meier's barn, and that a picture Meier claimed to be of an extraterrestrial named Asket was actually Meier's wife in a blond wig. Proclaiming the case a hoax, however, did not deter VonKeviczky from advertising at the bottom of the flyer's front page: eleven slides of original Meier photos for only $33; and, for an additional price, copies of Meier's contact notes.

洲際 UFO 網路Inter-Continental UFO Network; ICUFON可門.溫克威斯基Colman VonKeviczky寄給會員們一張通知,宣稱曾經在邁爾的穀倉中發現懸掛著的飛碟模型,而邁爾所說的一位名叫 Asket的外星人照片,其實是邁爾的太太帶著金色假髮的照片。”雖然他們說這是一個騙局,但是溫克威斯基還是在這張通告中大作廣告,他在該通告的封底廣告出售邁爾原版照片的幻燈片,11 張索價 33 美元,如果多付些錢,還可以買到邁爾的接觸筆記。

The magazine Second Look in 1980 quoted Jim Lorenzen as saying that Eduard Meier was a totally unreliable witness because he "was jailed for thievery as a teenager, escaped from prison, joined the French Foreign Legion, deserted and served out the remainder of his jail term in Switzerland."

1980 年的《二次期待》(Second Look雜誌曾引述羅瑞生Jim Lorenzen的話指出,邁爾是個完全不可信賴的證人,因為他在青少年時期曾因竊盜被關進監牢,後來逃獄,加入了法國的外籍軍團,被派遣到海外,並且在瑞士繼續服完該服的刑期。”

One reporter from the London publication The Unexplained wrote that Meier's story "has now become so bizarre that even the most gullible devotee of the extraterrestrial hypothesis ought to be feeling just the teeniest twinges of doubt." After dismissing the evidence as unconvincing, the writer said that Meier's story had "all the hallmarks of American George Adamski's extravaganzas, updated and technically sophisticated for a more demanding age."

倫敦《無法解釋》(The Unexplained雜誌中的一位記者曾經寫道:邁爾的故事實在是太古怪離奇了,即使是那些最容易受騙並相信外星人說法的人,都應該抱持懷疑的態度。”在指稱那些證據都不足相信之後,作者提到;“邁爾的故事具備了美國版喬治.亞當斯基的狂想渲染特點,另外又再加上複雜性及適合現狀性,此外技術細節也較成熟,合於當時社會的需求,”

After MUFON's Walt Andrus had called the Elders's photo journal an "outright fraud," a prominent ufologist, Bill Moore, distributed a letter among several ufologists pointing out that the Elders had failed to sue Andrus for the accusation. He added that "Andrus and all the rest of us would welcome with open arms [a lawsuit] since none of us believe they have any evidence which would stand up in court. On the other hand if they fail to sue, then they are in effect admitting that what Andrus has said is true. The legal precedent of 'in silence is consent' would certainly apply here, I believe." Then Moore closed: "I firmly believe that these people, down deep in their hearts, know exactly what the truth is in this matter. It is only their greed for money and profit that keeps them from telling it to the world. Think about it."

自從 UFO 共通網路組織(MUFON華德.安德魯Walt Andrus宣稱的照片和書是如假包換的騙局”之後,有一位有名望的 UFO 學家畢爾.摩爾Bill Moore寫了一封信給一些 UFO 學家指出,應該控告安德魯譭謗,他同時說:安德魯和我們所有人都應該歡迎這一場官司,因為我們都知道他們無法在法庭上提出任何證據。另一方面,如果他們不提出控告,那他們就是承認安德魯說的話是對的。我相信法律上‘沉默即表示同意’正可說明這件事。”而後摩爾作結論說:“我確信在這些人的內心深處,他們確實知道究竟什麼才是事實。貪婪、金錢與利益使得這些人對全世界隱瞞了事實真相。讓我們不妨好好地想一想這件事吧!”

In another open letter, published in Saucer Smear, after accusing the Intercep group of suppressing some of Meier's more absurd statements, Moore wrote, "Let the record show that when confronted with a legitimate opportunity to present evidence to a qualified forum and thus settle the Meier controversy once and for all, [Intercep] has, by means of a conspicuous and revealing silence, patently refused to do so. The very fact that they chose not to reply at all speaks volumes."

摩爾另外寫了一封公開信,刊登在《飛碟映象》(Saucer Smear雜誌中,在他控訴監聽團體企圖隱瞞邁爾的一些更荒謬的論點之後,他寫著:應該讓邁爾在公平的機會下,揭示他的紀錄給夠資格的相關團體,然後再對邁爾這件引人爭議的事件蓋棺論定。但是監聽團體卻利用計謀及沉默的手法堅持拒絕這樣做。而他們選擇保持沉默的方式卻正好代表了一切。”

"They're saying the case is a hoax," remembered Elders. "We're coming back and saying, 'We don't believe it's a hoax. We've got evidence that indicates there's something really happening.' They're saying, 'Prove it.' Well, they know we can't prove it. We tried for five years to prove it, and it probably never will be proven."

"We spent the first two years," said Brit, "trying to disprove it."


"And after two years," interjected Lee, "we discovered we couldn't prove it, so we said, 'To hell with it, let's try to learn from it.'

"This is the point," he continued. "I think the Loren-zens began APRO with dedication, as we did with this case, to try to get to the bottom of things. But I think after years of searching and years of frustration, they became jaded. Perhaps they became wise: They suddenly realized they'd never prove the existence of UFOs. So therefore, 'Let's just report the cases and forget it.' Because getting involved takes a lot of time and a lot of money, and nobody's going to believe it anyway. I think somewhere along the line people do become jaded, as we almost did with Meier. Throw in the towel, because you're tired of the hassle."


One night Lee Elders met Stevens at Picacho Peak, an extinct volcano that rises out of the desert floor halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. When the two men wanted to get away and go for a drive, they would meet in a park at the base of the peak and talk.

有一天晚上史蒂芬北卡喬峰(Picacho Peak見面,那是介於鳳凰城圖森間、聳立在荒蕪山谷間的一座著名火山。每當這兩個人想要離開城市到郊外兜風時,他們都會相約在山峰底下的公園裡聊聊天。

"So I met him that evening," recalled Elders, "and I was really upset over what was happening. There was talk at that time that we would get totally out of the case, because I didn't want to get into mudslinging, I didn't want to get into legal battles, I was tired of the character assassination, tired of the cheap shots, tired of the attacks against the case. So we met, and Steve gave me this book. He said, 'I want you to read it. This problem is nothing new, it began thirty years ago.'"



The book Stevens gave to Elders was The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, still considered a classic on the subject. As head of Project Blue Book for its first two years, Ruppelt had created the term "UFO" for "Unidentified Flying Object" to replace "flying saucer." After resigning his commission, he had gone to work at Northrop Aircraft Company as a research engineer and published his book in 1956. At Blue Book, Ruppelt had spent two years talking to pilots, engineers, generals, and scientists, and his book contained many sightings, experiences, and other things he could not explain. But Stevens gave the book to Elders for what Ruppelt had written in the foreword.

史蒂芬的書是《不明飛行物報告》(The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects,是由愛德華.魯佩爾特Edward J. Ruppelt少校撰寫的,一直到今天仍被人們認為是研究 UFO 的經典著作。魯佩爾特曾經是藍皮書計畫Project Blue Book)頭兩年的負責人,他首創UFO'’這個名詞以代替不明飛行物”以及“飛碟”。當魯佩爾特辭去這個職位以後便受聘於諾斯諾普Northrop飛機製造廠,擔任研究工程師,同時他在 1956 年出版了這本書。任職「藍皮書計畫」時,他曾花了兩年的時間去與那些飛行員、工程師、將軍以及科學家們交談,他的書中包括了許多目擊事件、經驗,以及一些他無法解釋的事情。史蒂芬將這本書給了,主要是因為魯佩爾特在序言中所寫的話:


愛德華.魯佩爾特(Edward J. Ruppelt)少校

The report has been difficult to write because it involves something that doesn't officially exist. It is well known that ever since the first flying saucer was reported in June 1947 the Air Force has officially said that there is no proof that such a thing as an interplanetary spaceship exists. But what is not well known is that this conclusion is far from being unanimous among the military and their scientific advisers because of the one word, proof; so the UFO investigations continue.

這份報告很難下筆,因為它牽涉到一些非正式存在的事情。就如眾所皆知的,自從 1947 年第一次發現飛碟後,美國空軍就正式宣佈沒有什麼證據’可以證明有星球間的太空船存在。而大眾所不知道的是,這項結論並沒有得到軍方人員與科學參謀們的同意,就因為‘證據’,所以對飛碟的調查才得以繼續進行。”

The hassle over the word 'proof boils down to one question: What constitutes proof? Does a UFO have to land at the River Entrance to the Pentagon, near the Joint Chiefs of Staff Offices? Or is it proof when a ground radar station detects a UFO, sends a jet to intercept it, the jet pilot sees it, and locks on with his radar, only to have the UFO streak away at phenomenal speed? Is it proof when a jet pilot fires at a UFO and sticks to his story even under the threat of court-martial? The at times hotly debated answer to this question may be the answer to the question, "Do the UFOs really exist?"

從諸多對‘證據’的激烈爭論中歸結到一個問題;究竟什麼是證據?是否 UFO 必須在國防部五角大廈內登陸,而且還靠近參謀首長的辦公室?或者要有地面雷達偵查到有飛碟出現,再派出噴射機去追蹤,然後駕駛員親眼目睹,並用雷達鎖定而測出飛碟如閃電般的速度,才算證據?或者是要有一位噴射機駕駛員向飛碟開火,並隱瞞這件事,即使法院下令他也不願公開,才算證據?這些熱烈辯論的答案也可以說就是對究竟飛碟是否存在?’這個問題的綜合解答。”

Ironically, while the photo journal UFO . . . Contact from the Pleiades acted like a lightning rod drawing the wrath of ufologists, it began to serve as a calling card when asking scientists to examine the evidence. In time, it also became a beacon - an attractive coffee table display that occasionally intrigued a scientist, engineer, or special effects expert who then tracked down the Elders or Stevens, wanting to know more about the story. After nearly a year and a half of knocking on doors, in late 1979, 1980, and 1981, some new doors began to open: Besides doors at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and IBM, another door opened at Arizona State University, and one at the U.S. Geological Survey, then at Film Effects of Hollywood, and McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company.

可笑的是,雖然《飛碟 —— 昴宿星來的接觸》引起了 UFO 人士的憤怒,但它卻變成科學家檢驗證據時的必要手冊和重要導引。它不但成了一般大眾茶餘飯後談話的材料,而且偶爾也引起了科學家、工程師或特效專家的興趣,使他們找上史蒂芬,以多瞭解這方面的故事。在經過了一年半的尋找與接洽之後,從 1979 年後期到 1981 年,等人終於等到了一些機會,除了原先已提供幫助的航空及太空總署噴射推進實驗室及 IBM 公司之外,另外亞利桑那州立大學、美國地質測量局,好萊塢影片特效小組以及邁克唐納.道格拉斯(McDonnell Douglas飛機製造公司,也都開放並投入了研究的行列。

Probably as a category having the least probative value to a scientist, the photographs remained the most exciting and most controversial of the Meier evidence. But there would never be a definitive answer concerning their validity. Every scientist involved with photogrammetrics whom Dilettoso had spoken with had said at the outset that before they could render any conclusive statement they first would have to be assured that either the negative or the positive transparency to be examined was an original. Perhaps a first-generation copy would be sufficient for study, but anything lower than that would begin to leave room for the possibility of manipulation in the photograph. And no one knew the generation of the Meier photographs. But Dilettoso found two scientists willing to analyze them anyhow: They could always examine a photograph of lesser generation and likely detect a fabrication if it existed, but were they to find nothing, they could never be certain that a fabrication indeed had not taken place.


In late February 1981, with the photographs now properly "digitized" on magnetic tape at the University of Southern California's Image Processing Institute, Dilettoso made an appointment with Eric Eliason at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona. For eight years Eliason had been a research computer scientist at USGS, developing image processing software so astrogeologists could analyze photographs of the planets beamed back from space. He had spent two years producing the intricate radar map of cloud-covered Venus acquired by Pioneer 10, and later applied his software in the processing of space photography beamed back by both Viking and Voyager.

1981 2 月底,南加州大學影像處理中心已經把照片數位化存在磁帶裡,於是狄特索亞利桑那州美國地質測量局的愛瑞克.愛利生Eric Eliason相約見面。愛利生在此機構做了八年的電腦分析師,他發展的影像處理軟體可以說明天文學家分析由太空中傳回來的行星照片。他曾花了兩年的時間將先驅者 10 傳回來的數位化資料製作成精細的佈滿雲層的金星照片,後來他又利用同樣的軟體來處理航海家探險家所傳送回來的太空照片。

Dilettoso arrived at Eliason's office after working hours with two of the Meier photos on magnetic tape. After Dilettoso's preliminary explanation of the photographs, Eliason took them to the computer room, mounted the magnetic tape into a tape drive, typed in the appropriate commands, then went to a library of programs that allowed him to turn the image, filter it, stretch the contrast, and perform other image enhancement techniques.


On the screen in the darkened room, Eliason brought up the edges of the craft extremely sharp and studied the precise point at which the image of the craft met the blue of the sky. Describing the test as "pretty sophisticated," he said he could not imagine anybody being able to fool it.


"One conclusion I made was that it certainly hadn't been dubbed in," Eliason said later. "There was just a natural transition. If you had a sharp contrast boundary, you might think, Well, that looks pretty hokey. But right along these boundaries there were no sharp breaks where you could see it had been somehow artificially dubbed. And if that dubbing was registered in the film, the computer would have seen it. We didn't see anything.


"That doesn't eliminate the idea of somebody taking a little model and throwing it out there," he added. "That's a hoax, but you couldn't tell that with image processing."


But Eliason wanted more information about the film.

"You need to start with the original if you're going to play games like this," he said. "So in a sense this is not really a scientifically valid statement."


Eliason's concern was that superimposure, double exposure, or any other laboratory technique used to fabricate a photograph could occur right at the limits of the film-then by carefully rephotographing the doctored print, any obvious contrast would now be gone.


What bothered Eliason, and had bothered other scientists as well, was being viewed as an authority figure. "I really don't like being in a position of so-called expert on things like this. The guy who came in here kind of struck me as whatever I said about a particular issue would be the all-encompassing truth. I don't like that because the world just isn't that way. There are too many uncertainties."


He cautioned Dilettoso that although he had expertise in image processing and worked with sophisticated equipment, his testing of the Meier photos could not be considered definitive. He needed concrete information about the film. "But the guy wanted so badly to believe that this was the real thing," said Eliason, "he went ahead and believed it anyway. There is no doubt about it," he continued, "it is emotionally charged. But it is intriguing, and I'm sure it's one of those cases you'll never know one way or the other. All I can say is that whatever I started with, I didn't see anything hokey going on there in terms of dubbing. If it was dubbed, it had to be pretty clever."


At Arizona State University in Tempe, just outside Phoenix, thirty-one-year-old Dr. Michael Malin taught in the Department of Geology. He had a degree in physics from Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Cal Tech in Planetary Sciences and Geology, and had written his doctoral thesis, much of which involved the science of image processing, on the analysis of spacecraft images of Mars. He then had worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory for four years before joining the ASU staff in 1979, where he now taught Geology of the Moon, Geology of Mars, and Geomorphology.

位於譚堡Tempe市的亞利桑那州立大學,距離鳳凰城不遠。31 歲的麥克.馬林Michael Malin博士任教于地質系。他擁有柏克萊大學物理學學士學位及加州理工學院的星球科學與地質學的博士學位,他的博士論文是討論關於:影像處理用於分析火星太空船傳回來的影像。畢業後,他在噴射推進實驗室工作了四年,然後在 1979 年進入亞利桑那州立大學任教。他目前教授的科目有月球地質學、火星地質學以及地形學。

A few weeks after Dilettoso spoke with Eric Eliason, he discovered Malin and the Image Processing Laboratory at ASU. With joint funding from NASA and the university, Malin and a colleague had acquired for the lab the equipment for analyzing spacecraft images. Local papers often carried articles about the analyses the two scientists performed on photographs beamed back from space, and Dilettoso happened to see one of the articles and called Malin.


At their first meeting in mid-May 1981, Dilettoso lay before Malin the array of photographs in the photo journal, plus digitized images of two of the Meier photographs. As Malin's business was the analysis of pictures, he found the photographs interesting, "very pretty, very clear, very nicely processed." And he liked to study photographs, so Dilettoso did not have to try to persuade him to look at them.

他們在 1981 5 月中旬第一次相約會面。狄特索帶了刊登在攝影雜誌上的相片,以及兩張邁爾已做過數位處理的照片要給馬林看。因為馬林的工作就是分析照片,所以他對這些照片非常感興趣,他也認為照片非常漂亮、清晰,而且處理得很好。”由於他想要研究這些照片,所以狄特索並不需要刻意說服他去看看這些照片。

"These pictures are much nicer pictures of UFOs than any I'd ever seen before," Malin said later, "in terms of the number and the quality for that number. You can see they look like real objects. Not just on the impression level, but on a demonstrable level. They glint in the sun, there are distinguishable reflections in the metallic objects, things like that that make them much better pictures. I don't think there's any question that, at least in the things that I've ever seen, these are by far the best UFO pictures taken. Whether they're authentic or not, that's a totally different matter."


Malin tried to keep an open mind, willing to consider topics often avoided by his colleagues; but he demanded facts and rendered his opinions with cold objectivity. The senior science editor at National Geographic once remarked, "If Malin says it, you can believe it."


Like Eliason and others before him, Malin wanted far more information than Dilettoso could provide. He told Dilettoso he wanted to see "the stuff that actually went through the camera." He wanted the camera itself, to study the lens and metering system. Because of the apparent clarity within the image, he was not bothered by the focus on the camera being jammed just short of infinity.


"Absolutely not," he said. "It shouldn't have an effect on whether you're hoaxing it or not." But he wanted to know the shutter speed, the aperture setting, and where the lens was focused.


"The important thing would have been the original film," he said. "Without the very detailed information about the originals, there's almost nothing you can say."


One more thing he pointed out: Photographs are pretty, fun, and impressive. But photographs of anything are poor evidence. In a hierarchy of probative value, photographs and sound lie at the bottom, because they both are "a recording of an ephemeral event, subject to manipulation after the fact. The only real physical evidence," said Malin, "would be some physical manifestation that could be tested and measured and physically examined. If you had a piece of metal whose manufacture could not be done on earth, that would go a long way."


As Malin considered the photographs, he also sized up Dilettoso. His first impression was that the young technician was a smooth and fast talker.


"My guess is that he was using my name to JPL and their name to me in an attempt to get something done, but I don't fault him for that. I think he's a pretty bright guy. I think he was perhaps more in favor of this thing being real than he was in favor of debunking it. But he was quite bright, and obviously had worked around computers. For the most part, he knew what he wanted to say, and I don't think he misrepresented anything."


Dilettoso met with Malin several times, in the professor's office, in front of computer screens in the image processing facility, and once at his own studio in Phoenix, where Malin had driven to see the image processing system Dilettoso had assembled for himself during the course of his research on the Meier case. Malin was impressed with the system. Dilettoso's computer setup, an estimated $50,000 worth of equipment, was as sophisticated as what Malin regularly worked with at ASU's image processing center.

狄特索馬林曾多次碰面,在教授辦公室、在影像處理設備的電腦螢幕前,還有一次是在狄特索位於鳳凰城的工作室,馬林親自驅車前往狄特索那裡,看他在研究邁爾案子的過程中建立的影像處理系統。馬林狄特索能組成這套電腦系統感到印象深刻,那套估計約值 5 萬美元的裝備和馬林平常在亞利桑那州立大學影像處理中心使用的系統一樣精密。

"I'm not sure that he could do with it what I could do with it," said Malin, "but he could do things with it." And Malin felt that he himself could do "some real science" on the equipment.


Back in his own lab, Malin entered the digitized images Dilettoso had given him into the computer and began studying them with Dilettoso, and sometimes Stevens, present.


"I zoomed up a given section and then just looked for edges," he said. "I looked for contrast differences between various parts of the sky. I looked at the color of the sky reflected in the object versus the sky immediately around it. People say the sky is blue, but it isn't uniformly blue. So I did things like that. And what I found was that the quality of the data he gave me was insufficient to do a detailed analysis, a numerical analysis, of what these things were. But to the level of the quality of the data he gave me, I could not see anything obviously wrong with the images. Couldn't see any hoax to it. There was a proper amount of blurring of edges and distance fading and things like that. To the level that I saw it, I can say that the thing was not a photographic fake. But that doesn't mean that it wasn't a photographic fake. If I had the details of everything I wanted I might still say there is no obvious thing in it that is fake. But that's 'photographically fake.' It could still be an object twenty feet across held up by a helicopter above it on four strings.

他說:我對準一個小區域,然後找尋邊緣。我找尋天空各個部分的對比差異.我注視天空在物體上的折射顏色及物體周圍天空的顏色。大家都知道天空是藍的,但卻不是相同的藍色。所以我作這一類的檢測。但我發現他給我的資料品質不足以對這些作細部的數字分析,但是以這些資料品質水準來看,我無法從影像上看到任何明顯的錯誤,也無法看出有任何欺騙存在。相片中有相當多的邊緣汙點及遠景模糊這一類的現象。以我所看過的水準來看,我只能說這不是偽造的相片,但這也並不意味著它真的不是偽造的相片,如果我能有我所需要的更詳細的資料,我可能仍然會說相片中沒有明顯偽造的東西。但是那也可能是有一個 20 英呎的物體被一架飛在上面的直升機以 4 根纜線懸吊著。

"I wouldn't know what would motivate someone to fake them so I don't know how much trouble it's worth, what they expect to get in return. But my opinion would be that it would probably take more than a little camera and more than sending it to the local drugstore. It requires a lot of time. A person's got to want to do this.


"If they are hoaxes then I am intrigued by the quality of the hoax. How did he do it? I'm always interested in seeing a master at work. On the other hand if they're real, then I also have an academic interest in that my own research is involved in exploration of other planets. And if there were other organisms visiting our planet, they must be doing that for the same reason we explore other planets. Why do we explore other planets? We have a need to expand the sphere of human perception and thought and so on. Maybe that's what aliens do as well. So either way I win. If they're a hoax I win by learning a neat technique. If they're not a hoax I win by having potential colleagues from another planet.


"I find the photographs themselves credible," he concluded. "They're good photographs. They appear to represent real phenomena. The story that some farmer in Switzerland is on a first-name basis with dozens of aliens who come and visit him ... I find that incredible. But I find the photographs more credible. They're reasonable evidence of something. What that something is I don't know."

他最後結論:我發現那些相片本身是可信的,它們是很好的相片。它們代表了真實的現象。故事中的瑞士農民被幾個外星人拜訪等等… 我也認為的確是令人難以置信,但我堅信相片是可信的,它們是某樣東西的合理證據,但是我不知道那個某樣東西是什麼。”

Though Dr. Nathan at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory had refused to analyze the Meier photos because they provided him with too little information, he consented one morning to view several of the Meier films recorded on a half-inch video cassette. The first sequence was black and white, a beamship moving from side to side above a tall evergreen. At one point the ship appeared to cut in front of the tree, and the upper branches at the same instant blew as if caught in a sudden stiff wind or a backwash. Nathan laughed.

"That's pathetic! Ha, ha, ha. Oh, for God's sake! Look at that thing oscillating! Did you see that? That's the response you'd expect of an extremely light, small object that doesn't have any serious amount of mass associated with it."


To Nathan the object seemed to be oscillating on a very short tether from a point just above its dome. But it would take "a tremendous amount of analysis" to determine that. "My concern," said Nathan, "is that if we show him at any time involved with a hoax, then it's all a hoax. All you have to do is catch him in one lie and the whole thing goes to hell."


Two sequences later, a beamship seemed to disappear from a point fifty feet above a hillside and reappear only a few feet above the ground almost in the same frame. As far as Nathan was concerned it could be a model tethered on a long pole held by an assistant standing behind the photographer. The sites, however, had been described as wide open, with no place to hang models or to stand in such a position to extend a long-enough pole into the scene. Nathan said it could be a helicopter.

接下來的第三段影片是一架太空船似乎從山腹上方 50 英尺高的一點消失,並在離地面僅數英尺高的同一時間內又再次出現。就諾頓的觀點來看,它可能是一個模型,由助手在攝影師的後面用長杆子撐在一個範圍內。至於場地,由於他已經知道那是一個完全開放的空地,沒有地方可以懸吊模型及伸展一根足夠長的杆子,所以諾頓說它可能是用了一架直升機去吊掛那模型的。

Then three ships hovering behind tree limbs appeared in the sky.

然後是 3 架太空船出現在樹枝後面的空中。

"Oh boy," laughed Nathan, "look at that."


He surmised they were small objects perhaps ten feet beyond the branches, and possibly suspended from a long pole with something like a puppeteer's wrench.

他推測那是在樹枝後方的一些約 10 英尺的小物體,可能是用一根長杆子以類似傀儡戲扭轉的方式懸吊。

With his arms folded across his chest, he stood and watched a few more sequences on the television monitor until he saw one where the ship flies in front of snowcapped mountains at Hasenbol and comes to an abrupt halt. It then hovers motionless.


"The concern here," said Nathan, "is how he could very steadily move the object from one side of the scene to the other and have it come to an abrupt halt without it appearing to swing. If it were hanging from a long string, and you went ahead and moved the pole and then brought it to a halt, the whole object would tend to move back and forth. But it doesn't."


An assistant asked, "Do you think it could be tethered from someplace?"


"I have no idea," said Nathan. "He would still have to be awfully clever, because that's a very steady holding. It would have to be a very, very good tethering."


"I could imagine him filling a weather balloon with helium." speculated the assistant, "and then dropping a piece of monofilament, tying it to the object, and then dropping another piece of monofilament from the object and holding that from the ground."


"It would have to be a set of balloons," said Nathan, "because he's able to make the thing go back and forth and it doesn't blow like this off the boom. So it's got to be held rigid somehow, from a point right above the object. Apparently he's a sharp guy, very clever. So he should be given some points for effort."


Another intriguing aspect of the Hasenbol sequence appeared subtly in the lower right corner of the film - the branch of a pine tree blown continuously by a stiff wind as the ship hovers motionless over the valley.


"If this is a hoax," Nathan remarked, "and it looks like it is to me but I have no proof, this is very carefully done. Tremendous amount of effort. An awful lot of work for one guy."


Nathan suggested that maybe Meier was utilizing something like a clothesline with two poles set about twenty feet apart and a model operated by pulleys. "The camera can be alone," he noted, "and he can be the one all by himself moving the string."

諾頓認為邁爾可能是利用類似曬衣繩那種較粗的繩子,如此才穩固,然後將繩子綁在兩根相隔約 20 英尺的杆子上,並將一個模型裝在滑輪上,照相機可以單獨放置,然後他一個人拉動滑輪。”

But how did Meier transport all that equipment to the site and get those poles in the ground so they provided steady support by himself without being seen?


"That's his problem," said Nathan. "I'm sure he's clever. He's sharp. He's a sharp guy. We're still challenging whether or not this is a hoax. And whether or not that kind of thing is involved is no longer a scientific question. Now you have to bring in people with a detective mentality."


"My training has always been not to make models which are features in themselves, but rather something that melts into the woodwork so people don't notice."


Wally Gentleman had been involved with special effects for over thirty-five years. As a teenager in England he had begun his film career developing techniques for "shooting down planes" by using photographic images on a dome.

He studied animation and eventually joined the special effects team at the famous Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, working with rear projection and using photographic means to create backgrounds and avoid expensive sets. From England he emigrated to Canada in 1957 to serve on the National Film Board for ten years as director of special effects.

魏利.堅特曼Wally Gentleman從事特效工作已超過 35 年了。他的童年在英格蘭度過,年少時他就開始了他的電影特效事業,他利用人造天篷假造室內天空去製造射下飛機”的特效。他學習過漫畫製作,最後加入位於伯金罕什爾Buckinghamshire的著名特效小組 —— Pinewood工作室,以後方投射及拍攝技巧等去創造背景以降低成本。1957 年,他從英國移居到加拿大,並以特殊效果導演的身份服務於國家影片機構”約十年之久。

While in Canada in 1961, Gentleman made a short film of mostly visual effects titled Universe, which was later discovered by Stanley Kubrick, who contacted Gentleman: He wanted to utilize the techniques Gentleman had created for Universe in his new film 2001. For the next year and a half, Gentleman had served as director of special photographic effects for the Kubrick film. In 1977 he moved to Hollywood and, among other projects, served as an expert visually re-creating actual flying saucer reports on the new Jack Webb series Project UFO.

1961 年當他還在加拿大時,堅特曼製作了一部最具視覺效應的短片《宇宙》(Universe;後來這部短片被史丹利.庫柏力克Stanley Kubrick發現,他與堅特曼聯繫,希望將堅特曼在製作《宇宙》一片時所用的技術用在他的新片《2001:太空漫遊》一片中。在往後的一年半中,堅特曼成了庫柏力克影片公司的特殊照相效用負責人,1977 年他搬到好萊塢,在一些計畫中,他是新的傑克.偉伯Jack Webb飛碟計畫”Project UFO系列再造真實飛碟的視覺製作專家.

"You can build a model to fit a certain background, even though it's a scale size," Gentleman said. "These are called 'foreground hanging miniatures' in the trade. And if you do it very skillfully, no one can tell the difference. But the skill that you need for that is really quite specific, because when you reduce the size of a model you are still building with full-sized textured pieces of wood, plastic, whatever. The trick is to render a model with the right microscopic textures that will fit the true scale of the situation. And then you have to worry about things like the scale of movements, the movement of the background, the simultaneous activity that's going on. Models that are done badly show up like a sore thumb."


In early 1980, Bill Jenkins, who hosted a popular Saturday night talk show on KABC radio, Los Angeles, called Gentleman.

1980 年初,在洛杉磯美國國家廣播電臺(KABC主持週末夜談”畢爾.堅肯Bill Jenkins,曾打電話給堅特曼

"I have some interesting stuff to show you," he said. "Can you tell me if it's authentic?"


At the time, Gentleman worked for Film Effects of Hollywood. When Jenkins brought by the photo journal, UFO . . . Contact from the Pleiades, Gentleman perused the photos and told Jenkins, "I'd like very much to see more of this."

那時候,堅特曼正在為好萊塢影片特效公司工作。當堅肯將《飛碟 —— 昴宿來的接觸》帶給堅特曼看時,堅特曼看了相片就告訴堅肯我非常想看到更多相片。”

With Jenkins's help, Gentleman located the Elders in Phoenix and a few weeks later flew over to meet them and to view their video tape of Meier's movie footage. After watching each of the eight segments several times, he said to the Elders, "They have a ring of authenticity. But I'd like to examine them to be really sure."

堅肯的幫忙下,堅特曼鳳凰城相約幾周後會面,共同觀看邁爾的影片和錄影帶。在重複看過 8 段錄影帶多次之後,堅特曼告訴它們具有連貫性且非常真實,但是我還是必須檢視後才能確定。”

In addition to examining the films, Gentleman subjected several of the Meier photos to "perspective interlock," a drawing board geometric analysis which he had applied in the independent frame process at Pinewood Studios. If Meier maintained that the beamships he had photographed measured approximately twenty-one feet in diameter, Gentleman could take the size of a known object in the scene, a measured tree trunk for instance, and locate where in the scene a beamship of that size would have to be. The photograph could appear to be authentic, but perspective interlock would expose subtle inconsistencies. Placing the photos on his drawing board and then tracing perspective lines, Gentleman calculated that the beamships were exactly as Meier had said they were, in size and location.

除了檢視影片之外,堅特曼還將邁爾的相片作透視結合”perspective interlock),那是一種畫面的幾何分析,他曾在松木工作室做過,主要是應用在個別的構造處理上。如果根據邁爾的說法相片中的太空船實際測量直徑是將近21英尺,堅特曼就可以將背景中一已知實際大小物體,如樹幹,縮小尺寸置於佈景中,然後再將太空船按照同一比例縮小置於同一佈景,如此拍得的相片看起來非常真實,但是經過透視結合法仔細地觀察之後,就可以找出破綻來了。堅特曼把照片放在他的制圖板上找尋透視線,堅特曼發現其估算的太空船大小與位置,正好與邁爾所說的太空船尺寸與位置相同。

"My big problem area with the Meier pictures," said Gentleman, "is that I have never seen an original negative. And without that I could never really be sure that it had not been doctored in any way at all. But given my particular background, I know it would take an expert of many years of experience even to doctor a picture to make it look authentic."


Holding one of the Meier photos in his hand, Gentleman said, "My greatest problem is that for anybody faking this [he points to the photograph], the shadow that is thrown onto that tree is correct. There are many things that are correct on many of the shots. Therefore, if somebody is faking them they have an expert there. And being an expert myself, I know that that expert knowledge is very hard to come by. So I say, 'Well, is that expert knowledge there or isn't it there?' Because if the expert knowledge isn't there, this has got to be real."


Gentleman explained that if you throw a model into a scene it will be frozen by the camera in a certain position, and the scale of the lighting on the model's surface (the angles and intensity of reflection) will indicate its small size and its relatively close proximity to the camera. Besides, he could see no way for a one-armed man to throw three or four models into the air at once and photograph them.


"Some of them are behind the twigs on a tree," he noted. "You've got to be some special effects man to do that, I can tell you. And the objects that were behind the tree appeared to be at the right distance for ships that were a long way away. That's called 'aerial perspective.' When you look at mountains you see different colors that deepen in blue as you go farther away, and all of these photographs had that aerial perspective indicating distance. If you threw a lot of little silver things in the air at once, they'd all be lit within the space that you could throw them, which might be, what, twenty feet? But these certainly had the aerial perspective in the change of hue and tone on them. If the photographs were a 'cheat,' they were superbly cheated, but I don't think they were."

它們有些是在樹的細枝後方,”他指出,“我可以告訴你們,必須要有一些特殊效果人員來做才能獲得這些結果。相片中在樹枝後方的太空船很明顯的是離得很遠並有一段距離的,這就是所謂的‘幻影透視’aerial perspective)。當你注視著山丘並與山丘越離越遠時,你就會看到山丘顯現著不同程度的藍色,而所有這些相片都可由這種影像的改變去算出距離。如果你同時向空中投出很多小銀片,這些銀片會在你能丟向的空中的一定範圍內發光,這個範圍有多大?也許 20 英尺?但這些發光體一定會產生色彩及色調上的變化。如果說這些相片是欺騙’,那麼必定是極高明的騙局,但是我不認為它們如此。”

After studying the films, Gentleman concluded that considering the expertise necessary, the logistics, and the expense, a one-armed man with no assistance could not possibly have produced the footage.


"That's the bottom line of everything," he said. "This Meier really had to have a fleet of clever assistants, at least fifteen people, who would know what the interface reflections of a shiny object were at certain times of the day, how to support these objects so that wires are not seen, how to rig it, how to watch it and stand by with their little air guns to spray the strings when they begin showing up.

他說:這是一切事情的底線,邁爾一定要有一組非常聰明的助手,至少應有 15 個人,他們要知道發光物體在每天特定時刻的折射方式,如何去支撐這些物體並使支撐線看不出來,如何裝上索具,以及在細線冒出鏡頭前,要如何對準它們,並且在旁邊用小空氣槍去噴散線繩。

"What we would do is go out and shoot the scene, and then bring it back to the studio, and then shoot the object onto that film by duplication processes, which is a very sophisticated procedure. It's difficult to do on 35mm, even worse with the 8mm film he was using. And the equipment was totally out of his means. If somebody wanted me to cheat something along those lines, $30,000 would probably do it, but this is in a studio where the equipment exists. The equipment would cost another $50,000.

我們會做的是到外面去拍攝背景,然後把背景帶回工作室,再以複製的過程將此物體拍到相片上,那是一個非常精細的過程,很難以 35 釐米鏡頭做到,更不用說是 8 釐米攝影機去製作了。此外,裝備的花費是完全超出他財力負擔的,如果真有人要我按此方式去偽造,我估計可能需要 3 萬美元。但這是在擁有一切設備的工作室裡的估計,單是這些額外裝備的價值就要 5 萬美元了。

"I think the one telling part of all this is that a single man with one arm, if he indeed was on his own, could not have done it. I think it would be well nigh miraculous for a person with even two arms to do that sort of work by himself up on a mountaintop. Even if you get a balloon and you hang your object on a fine piece of thread underneath, it's going to blow in any direction it wants to go. And with a lot of those pictures where you've got three or four flying saucers, you would need balloons with strings of varying length, otherwise you could pick out where the string comes from. It would be very difficult to do those shots in that sort of condition outside. And the fall of the land makes it very risky to do anything like that. It's all that sort of complication that leads me to think that the objects he's photographed and filmed were there independently and he simply snapped the shutter."


Irina Froning, the woman who had discovered the photo journal on Meier in her friend's office late one night, was married to H. David Froning, Jr., an astronautical engineer at McDonnell Douglas Corporation for twenty-five years who worked primarily in the highly classified field of military defense. A staff manager, he had helped to develop missiles for ballistic missile defense, and had done exploratory research to develop ideas and technology for advanced spacecraft design. A longtime member of the British Interplanetary Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Froning had presented many papers on interstellar flight at technical conferences in Europe and the United States.

愛琳娜Irina Froning那天晚上在她朋友辦公室發現了邁爾的相片,她的丈夫大衛H. David Froning, Jr.是一位服務於麥道McDonnell Douglas公司 25 年的太空飛行工程師,他主要的工作是參與高機密的國防軍事研究。他是一位主管人員,曾參與反彈道飛彈的研究及研發高級太空載具的技術及觀念。他是英國星際協會及美國航空及太空協會的長期會員,並曾在歐洲及美國的技術會議中發表過多篇有關星際間飛行的論文。

The idea of actually transcending vast interstellar distances had intrigued Froning for fifteen years. Searching for a way to take humankind beyond the speed of light, he spent much of his spare time examining Einstein's theories of relativity and considering new ways to encompass those theories in a more general law, much as Einstein's laws of relativity had not violated, but encompassed Newton's laws of motion.

他已花了 15 年的時間研究超越廣大星際距離的可行方法,並極力想找出讓人類能超越光速的途徑。他花費了他大部分的閒置時間去研究愛因斯坦的相對論,並思考著用一個更新、更廣義的定律來包容這些理論,就像愛因斯坦的相對論不但沒有違反,反而還涵蓋了牛頓的運動定律。

As far back as 1966, Froning, among others, had maintained that the barriers of space and time were not insurmountable, that someday humankind would indeed surpass the speed of light. In an article he wrote that year, he pointed out that only twenty years earlier hardly a scientist or engineer believed that man could break the sound barrier and survive. Many pilots had been killed trying. Yet, predicted Froning, in the late 1980s hypersonic airliners would fly from New York to Madrid in less than an hour, or five times faster than the speed of sound.*

*In 1986, President Reagan announced plans to develop the technology for a hypersonic airliner called "The Orient Express."

早在 1966 年,大衛及其它人都認為時間和空間的藩籬不是不能超越的,而且人們終有一天會超越光速。那年他寫了一篇論文指出,在 20 年前,科學家或工程師們都相信超越聲速幾乎是不可能的,很多嘗試過的飛行員都因而喪生,但他預測到 80 年代後期,高超音速的飛機可以在不到一小時的時間之內由紐約飛到馬德里,也就是以比聲速快 5 倍的速度飛行[註]

[原作者註:在 1986 年,雷根總統宣佈計畫發展所謂的東方特快車”The Orient Express超音速大型班機技術。]

In his early research, Froning immediately had concluded that rockets consuming terrestrial fuel would be too heavy and costly to achieve the speed of light. He also had considered and discarded the feasibility of interstellar ramjets that would scoop up hydrogen atoms and convert them to fuel as the craft traveled through cosmic space: The "scoop" would have to measure sixty miles in diameter. But Froning continued to search.

在他早期的研究中,大衛曾果斷結論道:燃燒地球上燃料的火箭會太重且成本太高,而無法達到光速。他也曾考慮改良星際噴射引擎的可能性.這種改良的載具在通過宇宙空間時應可汲取氫原子並將之轉換為燃料。整個汲入器大約在 60 英里的直徑。但大衛仍在繼續研究中。

When Irina returned home that Monday, David was still out of town. Looking for the photo journal she had seen at her friend's office, she called around to several bookstores before locating a copy. When her husband returned home she presented it to him before saying hello.


"I guess I was never so impressed by a book," said David. "If what this Meier is saying is just a hoax, he's being cued by some very knowledgeable scientists."


Later he said he felt "numb." "But it was exciting," he added. "Kind of like a tingling and a numbing at the same time. It was a revelation. All of a sudden many things made sense. It had never occurred to me that tachyons might exist completely outside the dimension of time."


Froning had designed a theoretical quantum ramjet that could power starships to nearly light speed in a matter of hours by ubiquitous energy pulses that some scientists believe exist in the "fabric" of space. He also had theorized on the other side of the light barrier and had developed a conceptual model of what a craft might look like traveling faster than the speed of light.


"But I didn't have anything to tie these two concepts together," he said. "What hung me up was the seeming impossibility of being able to cover these tremendous interstellar distances within a matter of minutes, rather than centuries here on earth. Then I read the Meier book, and suddenly it all seemed plausible."


Within two weeks, Froning conceived a possible way to reach the speed of light and then make the transition to faster-than-light travel. "Most people think that faster-than-light speeds occur on our normal space-time realm of existence," he explained. "But when Meier mentioned that the trip took seven hours and the longest part lasted only several seconds, it occurred to me that during that interval almost no time at all passes. And this gave me the further idea that you could actually arc above our space-time plane of existence and travel trillions of miles through space with only several seconds passing. I had never thought of that possibility."

在兩週之後,大衛想到有一種方式可能達到光速;然後再轉變到超越光速旅行。他解釋:大多數的人認為比光速快是發生在我們正常的時空領域中。但當邁爾提出旅程花費 7 個小時且距離最長的部分只用了數秒鐘的時間時,使我想到在數秒鐘的這一段時間裡時間好像完全停頓了;這也給了我更進一步的想法,那就是你可以超越我們所處的時空結構,並以僅僅數秒的時間就能飛離億萬英里並穿越太空。我從未想過這個可能性。

With the help of a bookstore owner, Froning located Wendelle Stevens in Tucson and called him for additional information on the reputed propulsion system. One thing impressed him about the more detailed contact notes sent by Stevens: The voice of Semjase addressed each of the major scientific requirements to accelerate to the speed of light, make the jump or hyper-leap, and then decelerate.

在一位書店老闆的協助下,大衛獲知史蒂芬圖森,就打電話請教他有關此特別推進系統的知識。一份史蒂芬送的接觸細節筆記讓他印象深刻:Semjase 清楚表達了要加速到光速須具備的每一個主要科學條件:跳躍飛躍hyper-leap,然後減速。

"Though she doesn't say specifically how it's done," Froning recalled, "she gets technical enough to satisfy me as a scientist. And that's very convincing when someone does that."


What further impressed Froning was that almost a year before Irina discovered the photo journal, he had calculated the propulsion efficiency of his new quantum ramjet and determined that typical times for such a craft to reach light speed would be about four hours. According to Meier's figures, the Pleiadian ships required approximately 3.5 hours to accelerate to the speed of light, only seconds to traverse a distance of nearly five hundred light years, and then another 3.5 hours to decelerate and fly to earth. The credibility of Meier's numbers amazed Froning. To arrive at his figures, Froning had utilized complex formulas involving acceleration rates. Then he discovered that not only did Meier claim it required 3.5 hours for the Pleiadian beam-ships to reach the speed of light, but that at that point the ships would have traveled approximately 92 million miles. That figure, too, was within 20 percent of his own previous calculations.

另外一件令大衛印象深刻的事是大約在愛琳娜發現那本書的前一年,他曾計算他的新量子噴射引擎的推進效率,並估算出這樣的一架飛船要達到光速大約需要 4 個小時的時間。依據邁爾的描述,昴宿星人的飛船大約需要 3.5 小時的時間即能加速到光速,然後僅需數秒鐘的時間就能轉移到一個幾乎是五百光年以外的距離,再用另外 3.5 小時的時間減速並飛到地球。邁爾所講的數字的準確度讓大衛感到驚訝。為了求證他的資料,大衛以包含加速率在內的複雜公式再算一遍,然後他發現不但邁爾所說的需要 3.5 小時的時間可以讓昴宿星人的太空船加速到光速,同時他還推算出在那個時候此船已經航行約 9,200 萬英里遠了,邁爾說的數字與他之前所計算的只有百分之二十以內的差距。

"I think it would be very improbable for someone with Meier's educational background to hit on this combination of figures and have them be within a scientifically acceptable range," said Froning. "He would have to be coached by someone who's very knowledgeable in the sciences, who has knowledge of special relativity and of flight mechanics to know what kinds of times and distances make sense. If this is a hoax, it has to be with the assistance of someone like myself who could account for the plausible things that take place.


"I've only discussed this Meier case with scientists who are fairly open-minded about interstellar flight, but I'll tell you, the majority of them think it's credible and agree with at least part, or sometimes all, of the things talked about by the Pleiadians."


Before the golden-silver triangle had disappeared from the possession of Marcel Vogel, the IBM scientist had placed it under his $250,000 scanning electron microscope and turned on a video tape to record his findings. The tiny specimen held very pure silver, and "very, very pure" aluminum, plus potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, argon, bromium, chlorine, iron, sulphur, and silicon. One microscopic area revealed "an enormous melange of almost all of the elements in the periodic table." And each was exceedingly pure.

馬賽.沃傑Marcel Vogel)所持有的金銀三角座消失之前,這位 IBM 公司的科學家曾將它放在價值 25 萬美元的電子掃描顯微鏡下轉換為錄影帶,並錄下他們的發現。這個微小的樣本含有很純的銀及很純的鉛,加上鉀、鈣、鉻、銅,氬、溴、氯、鐵、硫及矽。由顯微鏡下的結果顯示這個混合物幾乎包含了週期表中所有的化學成分”,而且每一個成分都相當的純。

"It's an unusual combination," Vogel said later, "but I would not in any way, shape, or form say that this would make it extraterrestrial."


What intrigued Vogel more than the number of elements and their purity was their discreteness: Each pure element was bonded to each of the others, yet somehow retained its own identity.


"It is uncanny when you look at the juxtaposition of the metals," he said as he looked through the microscope and talked out his findings for the video tape. "One layer against another is very pure, but they do not interpenetrate. You have a combination of metals and non-metals together, very tightly bonded. I don't know of anybody even contemplating doing something like this."


In one small area in the middle of the sample blown up five hundred times, he found two parallel grooves joined by furrows, precise hairlines somehow micro-machined into the metal. But even more surprising to him was that the major element present in that small area was the rare-earth metal thulium.

將此樣本中間的一個小區域放大 500 倍,他發現兩道並行的凹軌與輪溝連結,在顯微鏡下可以清晰地看到金屑的輪廓,但更令他驚訝的是在那一塊社區域中出現的主要元素是地球上罕見的金 —— thulium)。

"It is totally unexpected," he said. "Thulium was only purified during World War II as a by-product of atomic energy work, and only in minute quantities. It is exceedingly expensive, far beyond platinum, and rare to come by. Someone would have to have an extensive metallurgical knowledge even to be aware of a composition of this type."


The magnification of the half-inch piece went from 500 to 1,600, and Vogel saw things he had never seen before. "A whole new world appears in the specimen. There are structures within structures - very, very unusual. At lower magnification one just sees a metallic surface. Now one sees a structure composed of various types of interlacing areas. This is very exciting."

沃傑將半英寸的碎片從 500 倍放大到 1600 倍,沃傑看到了他以前從未看到過的東西。一個全新的世界出現在樣本中。在結構中還有結構,這是非常不尋常的。當放大的倍數較小時,只能看到金屬表面,而現在卻能看到包含種種交錯形態的結構,實在令人驚奇。”

Vogel probed deeper and deeper into the metal.


"We are now at over 2,500 diameters and one can see birefringent structures. Very exciting! It is very unusual for a metal to have these birefringent areas. When you first take a section and grind it off, it looks like a metal, it has the lustery appearance of metal, but now when you take it and go under the polarized light you find that, yes, it is metal, but at the same time ... it is crystal!"

我們現在已放大超過 2500 倍了,我們可以看到雙重變化的結構。非常奇特,從一個金屬能看到這種雙重變化的區域是非常不尋常的。最初當你取出一部分來研磨時,它看起來像金屬,它也有屬於金屬的光澤出現,但當你把它放在極化光之下時,你會發現,雖然它是金屬,但此時它卻展現成了結晶體!

For hours, Vogel continued to roam through the interior of this tiny specimen, fascinated by what he saw. The next morning, he called a research scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Dr. Richard Haines.

有好幾個小時,沃傑持續專注於這個微小的樣本內部,並且對他所看到的感到困惑。第二天早晨,他打電話給航空及太空總署愛姆斯研究中心(Ames Research Center的一位科學家理查.漢斯Richard Haines博士。

"Why don't you come down," he said. "I want to show you something."


"He gave me just enough information on the phone to tantalize me," recalled Haines. "So I went down."


Vogel's office was next to the stairs on the second floor of one of the many buildings at the IBM Research Center. When Haines entered the office, Vogel said, "I want to show you something." Then he reached into his pocket for a small plastic bag in which he had carefully placed the triangle fragment the night before.

沃傑的辦公室是在 IBM 公司研究中心眾多建築物中的一棟二摟樓梯旁。當理查進入辦公室時,沃傑說:我要給你看一些東西。”然後他的手伸向口袋,要拿出一個他昨晚小心放在一個塑膠袋裡的三角座碎片。

"He reached in his pocket," recalled Haines, "and couldn't find it... he looked at me with a blank expression I will never forget, he was flabbergasted. He's either a very good actor or he was telling the truth, and I think he was telling the truth."


Somewhere between the lab and Vogel's office the small metal fragment had disappeared. "He said he must have misplaced it somewhere. So we frantically looked all over the place. He checked his desk in his main office, and we went into the lab and looked around and couldn't find it there. He apologized profusely because he felt that he had gotten me all the way down there just to see the metal that now he couldn't produce. He did show me some photographs, color photographs, that he had taken of the sample and he alluded to something anomalous about the specimen. That's one of the reasons I went down. Because that's quite an offer, to have somebody like that with that kind of reputation making a claim like that."


Vogel never recovered the lost piece of metal, nor could he explain its disappearance. He hoped that Stevens could provide him with another, but that was the only sample that allegedly represented one of the final steps in the manufacture of the beamship hull.


"I needed additional pieces to look at to be sure there was something really unique," said Vogel. "I was enthusiastic. I was emotionally wound up in the study of it because it was an ideal challenge, something that many scientists would have very eagerly gone into. What was unusual was the purity of the individual spots of metals in the tiny specimen. Their discreteness. That's what intrigued me and that's why I wanted more specimens to look at. I would have gone much further into metallurgical analysis, looking at bending action and melting characteristics. I wanted a second opinion from another person at MIT, so we could compare notes on this before we put anything into print. It was a virgin opportunity, and I had gone to NASA to elicit as well the support of their own scientists who were interested, because here was a bit of material that could be looked at. I had many contacts within IBM who were deeply interested in exploring this with me. I could have had about an eight- or nine-man team. But I shut it all down."

沃傑說:我需要其它的碎片去檢視才能確定真的有獨一無二的地方。我是誠心的,而且是真心希望能夠去研究它,因為它是一個很理想的挑戰,也是許多科學家都想介入的挑戰。最不尋常的是這塊小樣本所含稀有金屬的純度以及它們的分離性。這也是最讓我感興趣的地方,也是為什麼我希望有更多的樣本能拿來檢視的原因。我本可以做更進一步的冶金分析去觀察它的扭曲與融化特性,我希望有另外一位麻省理工學院的人能夠提供一些看法,這樣我們就能在公開發表前比較一下彼此的筆記。這是一個史無前例的機會,我也努力引起航空及太空總署科學家的興趣,因為這裡本來有一片值得一看的金屬,我希望他們能夠支持我們的查證工作。我也曾多次聯繫過 IBM 公司內部的一些有興趣與我一起研究的人,原本我可以擁有一個大約 8 9 人的研究小組的,但我卻把它搞砸了。

中文編輯者註:以下影片由 FIGU 官方發布,內容是馬賽.沃傑Marcel Vogel外星金屬的過程說明錄影紀錄(全長 45 分鐘)。]

Beamship - The Metal

The disappearance of the unusual metal disappointed Vogel, but he was equally disappointed that Stevens and Elders, eager to establish support for the case, had published his preliminary findings in their photo journal before he had been able to complete the testing, and without giving him an opportunity to review for accuracy what they had written.


"It was garbled-up bits and pieces of remarks," he said later, "not a cohesive way of presenting anything. It was technically wrong, and I resented it. It's unfortunate because I was willing to use all of the technology I had to find a real answer to this."


Vogel lost his enthusiasm for the project. "Not because of the metal," he said later, "but the way people acted." Of course, the metal was now gone anyway.


"I was enthusiastic," concluded Vogel, "I was interested, I went through a lot of effort. But the case is incomplete. That's the best way you can report it."


Just after the metal sample had disappeared, and before the photo journal had been published, the Japanese crew from Nippon Television had flown to San Jose to film Vogel for their documentary on the Meier case. Vogel had spoken openly with interviewer Jun-Ichi Yaoi about the results of his initial findings.


"I cannot explain the type of material I had," he told Yaoi. "By any known combination of materials I could not put it together myself as a scientist. With any technology that I know of, we could not achieve this on this planet! I showed it to one of my friends, who is a metallurgist, and he shook his head and said, 'I don't see how this can be put together.' That is where we are right now. And I think it is important that those of us who are in the scientific world sit down and do some serious study on these things instead of putting it off as people's imagination."


(第十章 結束)

第九章 回目錄結語






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