Before the modern era, there was so little codified knowledge in general circulation that a little extra private knowledge was a powerful thing, especially in the engineering trades. So it was common for tradesmen to band together in closed societies to keep their special power to themselves. In our time, however, no one can possibly know more than a fraction of all the codified knowledge, so power comes from distributing knowledge rather than hoarding it.
Science presents itself as a disinterested enterprise devoted to discovering how the universe unfolds. When scientists discovered that facts were marketable, however, the pursuit of truth and the power devolving from knowledge became organized into an industry. To earn a living, therefore, a scientist must accept a certain way of perceiving how the universe unfolds as reality, and be blind to alternative ways of unfolding. This is why radical and revolutionary discoveries are made so frequently by people working and playing outside the profession of their interest (would Albert Einstein have conceived the theory of relativity if he had not suffered an academic failure permitting him to make his calculations in his spare time while working in an unhurried office?) or by lifetime amateurs like Gregor Mendel (the first known discoverer of genetics), Stanford Ovshinsky (the high-school dropout who discovered amorphous transistors), and Immanuel Velikovsky (who defied union rules by picking up the materials of other trades).
From time to time a layman will make a naive observation of commonplace evidence disregarded by the professionals as too trivial to be worthy of their interest, not immediately profitable enough to justify investment, or politically dangerous to mention. Nevertheless, the simple facts must prevail over current beliefs. This book is the result of this kind of observation.
Each of these stories is the consequence of observations professional people are discouraged from making. All the ideas, except the concepts of relativity, were worked out during shop talk with skilled tradesmen in the course of everyday employment. The carpenter holds in his square the mathematics that was the glory of Greece. The boat designer is applying the principles of the most advanced calculus when he plots the curves of a hull. The electrician has fitted his leisure van with the electronic devices Q invents for James Bond. A tradesman possesses knowledge equivalent to professional scientists, and usually possesses somewhat greater skills because he not only has to be able to understand what the executives want, he also has to make these skills work. Most mechanics feel themselves to be at a disadvantage among professional people because they don't know that they possess equivalent knowledge. Because mechanics often do not learn to express themselves verbally in the manner recommended in the Chicago University Manual of Style, professional people do not recognize mechanics' learning, either.
Before a professional forum, amateurs-mechanics look like idiots. Nevertheless, from time to time an amateur makes a naive and commonplace observation of such compelling importance that nothing else matters: Scientific belief must give way before a Simple truth, however crudely presented.
This series of essays is the work of a lifetime amateur. These essays are presented as examples of this kind of momentous truth. Each is based on facts you can verify for yourself by making the same observations, and then proceeds to speculation. Each of these stories describes realities contradicting common sense and contradicting the local authorities on matters of science.
When published articles describing these observations brought response from university people, I was surprised to learn that the essential propositions in this book are in agreement with the most advanced thinkers of our time. These radicals are so far out of the common ball park that their very existence is unknown outside circles exchanging private papers. They are of the kind including Erwin Schrödinger, Louis de Broglie, and Nikola Tesla, names that are recognized today although the essence of their thinking remains mysterious. This is not to say that they endorse everything written in these pages; they don't even agree completely with each other. I believe, however, that you will find the errors insignificant in detail compared to the general conception.
Most amazing of all is being informed that the visionary theorists scattered in isolated outposts beyond the pale of authorized science are not so isolated nor so visionary nor so theoretical as believed. There are also outposts manned by engineers working with less fantasy and more hardware to turn the facts disregarded by the universities into operational machinery.
Refusal to clothe the truth with fiction made it impossible to publish this material for ten years. When `The Crystal Planet' was first submitted, pyramid power made no sense to anyone except a few alchemists. Within the next five years, pyramids became the hottest property since the hula hoop. Less than five years ago, one editor, insisting that the public be given facts instead of fiction, was forced to leave his job. When the article, `How to Build a Flying Saucer' finally appeared in print, after two years of editorial hassles, two editions included waivers of responsibility in case the facts proved true! But the following year, that very article was selected at the MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) international conference in Mexico City for translation into Spanish and publication throughout Latin America. By the end of the seventies, these essays had found their way all around the world, passed from person to person through the mails, and had been reproduced by basement presses until they achieved the kind of circulation enjoyed by liberal Soviet poets. In time, a reply from a Soviet engineer researching radical means of locomotion found its way back through the postal grapevine of UFO freaks! It is a common joke that American antigravity research consists mainly of a budget assigned to the CIA to spy on what the Russians are doing; it seems that the Russians may be reading American science fiction to find out what can he done.
Most of these essays appeared initially as a series of articles in Pursuit, the quarterly subscription journal published by the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained, with its present public service office at RFD 5, Gales Ferry, Connecticut 06335. Each article had to be cut to the editorial slot and still be selfcontained. The geometric concepts developed with increasing comprehension and precision over the years.
To amend repetitions and contradictions and bring the material up to date, the articles have been rewritten for easier and more informative reading.
A hundred years ago, a speed of twenty-five miles per hour was legally prohibited in the belief that such terrific velocity would endanger life. Fifty years ago, engineers were certain man could not possibly reach the Moon because no rocket fuel exploded with sufficient velocity to escape the Earth's gravity. The limitation of combustion velocity was overcome by the concept of multiple-stage launchers. Neil Armstrong walked on The Moon without man's making a single new discovery. All that was necessary was to think differently about what was already known. The discoveries described in these essays are already in operation on the weapons proving grounds. One of these days an entire population is going to be annihilated like the citizens of Hiroshima, who did not realize there could be anything to fear from a lone aircraft on a beautiful August morning. Massive destruction seems to be the only way people will accept a revolutionary concept whose time is now.
So if anyone out there really wants to believe in flying saucers, he will ask, `How can we do this saucer thing?' You will see how easy it is when you want to solve the mystery; how easy it is once you accept an attitude of solving one problem at a time as you come to it! If you learn nothing else from this exercise, you will at least have had a lesson in how easy it is to construct, from the facts discarded by orthodoxy, a scientific theory no less tenable than the authorized version.