第15章 補遺

第15章 補遺


April 25th, 1955


Even as the presses are rolling on the pages of this book, an event of such importance has just occurred that I am recording it here and now to rush to my publishers for inclusion.


All day yesterday, on April the 24th, the usual number of Sunday visitors to my home at Palomar Terraces filled the hours from early until late.


As I met and talked with them, I was increasingly aware of being mentally alerted to an approaching visit with the Brothers.


It was late when the last couple left and I went to my room and tried unsuccessfully to sleep.


Within the hour an urge to get up and go into town became so intense that I knew I must leave without delay.


During the long ride into the city I wondered if a request I had made at our last meeting was going to be answered.


I had asked if they would permit me to take photographs inside a space ship in order to furnish further evidence to both doubters and believers.


Apart from giving me the impression that this might not be so easy of achievement as I seemed to think, one of the Brothers had made a comment which I knew to be true.


Even should we succeed, he pointed out, "I doubt if it would convince the confirmed skeptics for the reason that Earth men still have so false a concept of other planets and the conditions existing thereon."


Nevertheless, I allowed my hope to grow.


I went to the usual place and was met by a man to whom I had been introduced at a previous meeting, come to replace a Brother who had returned to his home planet.


Without delay we drove to a desert spot where a Scout, identical to the one of my first meeting, waited for us.


As we entered the little craft I glanced at my watch and saw that it was exactly 2.30 a.m.


After greeting me, the pilot asked if I had brought my camera along.


I had indeed!


It was a small Polaroid I had recently bought.


He had never seen one and asked me to explain the operation.


"This meeting has been arranged specifically to fulfill your hope for the kind of photograph you spoke of when last we met," he said.


"We can guarantee nothing for reasons which will be clear to you later, but we shall try to get a picture of our ship with you in it.


This would be simple enough if we could use our own method of photography, but that would not serve your purpose.


Our cameras and film are entirely magnetic and you have no equipment on Earth that could reproduce such pictures.


So we must use yours and see what we can get."


I became so absorbed in explaining the working of the camera to him that I was totally unaware of any movement whatever until the man who had met me called out, "Here we are!"


Looking up, I saw that the Scout's door was opening.


Then, to my surprise, I saw that we had landed on top of a small mother ship.


Small because it was not nearly so large as any I had previously been in.


The hatch through which the smaller craft usually entered a carrier was plainly visible but my friend stepped out of the Scout and beckoned me to follow.


We walked across the lop of the carrier and past the large hatch to a smaller one which opened as we approached.


This was another surprise since I had no idea there were any such openings in these carriers.


This turned out to contain an elevator and I was delighted to see Orthon standing on the platform.


At his invitation I stepped in beside him.


The man who had led me across the carrier returned to the Scout and his companion with whom I had left my camera.


This elevator was similar to the one on the large Saturnian ship, described in Chapter Eight.


We lowered to about the middle of the ship where a row of portholes was plainly visible the entire length of both sides of the ship.


Here the elevator stopped and we stepped off.


Orthon explained that he would stand in front of one porthole and I in front of the one next to it while the men would try to take our pictures from the Scout.


The Scout had now moved a little distance away.


I noticed that the portholes of this carrier were double, with about six feet between the outer and the inner glass.


We were standing behind the inner windows and I could not help wondering how they could get good pictures with my little camera through all that glass!


It is very difficult to estimate sizes and distances out in space, having nothing with which to compare, but it seemed to me that the Scout was hovering about one hundred feet from the mother ship.


From her ball top (see photograph no.1) she was throwing a beam of bright light upon the larger craft.


Sometimes this beam was very intense, and again not so intense.


As the photographs show, they were experimenting with the amount of light necessary to show the mother ship and at the same time penetrate though the portholes to catch Orthon and myself behind them.


While this was going on, radiation from both the mother ship and the Scout had been cut to a minimum.


I learned later that the men had been obliged to put some sort of filter over the camera and lens in order to protect the film from the magnetic influences of the craft.


It was all an initial experiment and, as shown clearly by the photographs, varying distances and intensities of light reflection were tried.


At this point I must admit that I have not ceased to berate myself for my oversight, in the hasty departure for town, in not remembering to bring additional film.


This presented a serious handicap to the Brothers by leaving little margin for the trial and error method they were forced to use.


As the men worked with my camera, they studied results closely.


Perhaps they may be able to make an attachment of one kind or another which will produce more detailed photos at some future date.


It was quite some time before a signal from the Scout indicated that they were returning to the carrier.


I watched the elevator as it went up to the top of the ship.


The hatch opened and the elevator returned again to our level with the Scout pilot, my camera in his hand.


He joined us and reported that although they considered the pictures poor, there had been a measure of success and they had saved the last two exposures to try for photographs of the interior of this carrier.


Having been so well prepared for bad results, I was pleasantly surprised by what he showed me.


As the thee of us walked toward the front of the ship, I saw a wall slide away to reveal an opening very much resembling a tunnel.


Beyond this was a small room with two pilots seated at the controls.


Due to the end of the ship being transparent and to the glowing charts inside, there was plenty of light and my hopes ran high for a good picture.


All lights in the room where we stood were turned out, leaving it almost entirely dark.


But these two attempts failed, due to the greater magnetic power in the carrier in comparison to that in the Scout.


One thing was proven.


Without some as yet undeveloped filter system for our film, it is impossible to get clear photographs within the space ships.


When I asked if a better camera with a finer lens might be more successful, I was told that any appreciable improvement was unlikely because of the type of film used.


When these last two pictures had been taken, the lights within the ship came on again.


The three of us then returned to the elevator and were carried to the top of the ship.


As the hatch opened, I saw the Scout again based on its carrier.


Orthon touched my hand in farewell and the Scout's pilot and I walked over to the waiting craft.


As we entered, the door closed silently behind us and we were immediately on our way.


It is impossible for me to judge how far out in space we had been, but the entire time from leaving the Earth and returning to it was little over two and one half hours.


Back on Earth, my friend and I took leave of the pilot and walked over to where the car was parked.


It was shortly before 7 a.m. that my companion let me out at the entrance to my home.


Although I invited him to stop for coffee and breakfast, he thanked me and declined, explaining that he must not be late on the job he had taken for the duration of his time here on Earth.


In closing, let me say that I fully realize many attempts will be made to discredit these photographs.


This does not disturb me.


Every man is free to believe or disbelieve the statements, supported by photographs, that are present in this book.


But let each man realize that his personal conclusion in no way alters the fact of their reality.


For corroboration of this one need only turn the pages of history to almost any year in almost any age.


In its mass conception, the Earthbound mind has always found it easier to scoff at new wonders than to face the fact of its own limited knowledge of the miracles that await discovery in the unlimited Universe in which he dwells.


To the Brothers of other worlds, human beings, like ourselves, I am grateful for what they have shown and taught me.


To my brothers in this world I report, knowing that many are ready.


As always, the skeptics must wait for what, even to them, will be overwhelming proof that space has been conquered by peoples from planets far advanced beyond our own.

[日本語訳] 久保田八郎 訳(中央アート出版社「第2惑星からの地球訪問者」より)

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