eye of the cyclone

is there life on earth, or are we just dreaming…


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Posted by lahar9jhadav on January 10, 2012


Dino Kraspedon ( Aladino Felix )

originally published in English in 1959

A Pleasant Surprise

(Chapter One)

THE doorbell rang three times. My wife came and told me that there was a parson at the door who wanted to speak to me.

“What does he want? “I asked apprehensively.

“I don’t know, but it looks as if he wants to preach at you,” replied my wife.

Almost every Sunday Protestant parsons, or ordinary preachers, would come along to preach at us or try to convert us to their belief. As, at that time, I was an atheist in the widest sense of the word, I hated long biblical dissertations and, in fact, had an aversion to anything that smacked of religion.

“We won’t be able to go out with the children now,” I remarked.

“No, I suppose we won’t,” said my wife, “but never mind, if we don’t go today, we’ll go another day.”

“It’s not fair that the children should miss their walk. They will have to go out after lunch by themselves.”

I had a good mind to tell the parson I could not see him, but then decided that he was probably quite harmless. After all, he was only coming to see if he could get me into heaven. I went downstairs far from pleased, but maintained an air of politeness, and managed to put on a smile.

Sitting downstairs, however, I found a well-dressed man in a good cashmere suit which fitted his athletic body per­fectly. As a rule priests dress unostentatiously, but this one was singularly well turned out. He had a white shirt with a stiff collar, and a blue tie with white geometrical patterns. His shoes did not look as if they had been worn for more than a month or two. My attention was drawn to the fine weave of his gloves, and I remembered where I had seen this type of glove before. As I came face to face with him, I almost lost my voice with surprise; I recognised him as the captain of a flying saucer.

In November 1952 I was touring with a friend in the State of Sao Paulo. On reaching the top of the Angatuba range coming up from Parana, we were confronted by five saucers hovering in the air. It was a rainy day and visibility was bad. I went back to the same spot later and spent three days and nights there in the hope of seeing a saucer again. On the last night, after a series of episodes which we will not go into here for fear of digression, a saucer landed and we were given the chance of going inside it and meeting its crew.

We stayed on board for about an hour looking at the various pieces of equipment in the machine. The captain was kind enough to explain how they all worked. At the end of our visit, this fascinating individual promised to come and see us as soon as he was able. And now, four or five months later, he had come as promised.

“Your surprise is quite understandable,” he said, getting up from the armchair and extending his hand, “but I have come to return your visit to my craft. I have come, not only because I promised, but because I very much wanted to have the pleasure of seeing you again.”

“I feel I hardly deserve such a gracious gesture on your part, especially as I have nothing to offer you but the hand of friendship.”

“If you were to offer me the whole Earth, but not the hand of friendship, it would be worth nothing. Only friendship has real value. I accept it with gratitude as I have come to offer you the same thing: my hand of friendship. Please excuse me for having presented myself as a parson, but you must realise that your wife would be very disturbed if she knew the truth.”

“It was a harmless subterfuge,” I reassured him, “and I am grateful to you for it; my wife would certainly be unhappy if she one day thought her husband was mixed up in some subversive activity in partnership with a foreign agent who passed himself off as a gentleman wandering about in space.

“In fact I had never believed that flying saucers were extra­terrestrial. The whole thing appeared to me as a deception on the part of people of Earth, presenting themselves as beings from another world, and exploiting humanity’s vague desire to know that there is other human life within the solar system, in order better to carry on some nefarious activity or other.”

My visitor merely smiled. “I assure you,” he said, “that your suspicions are groundless, but there is no doubt that it is your duty to be on your guard against possible deception. One thing is certain however; if I were a foreign agent I should long since have conquered the Earth, and you would have paid dearly for your curiosity which led you into my craft.”

At this point my wife came, in with the children. She told me that lunch was ready and that the” parson” was welcome to eat with us. She would be going out and would not be back until the evening.

During lunch I wanted to tryout my guest’s linguistic ability to see whether he would betray hi’s origin by his accent. I, started off by discussing the Christian religion and asked him if he could tell me the first words of the Old Testament in Hebrew, to which he replied promptly and without the slightest hesitation or embarrassment, “Bereshith bara Elohim,”[1] and proceeded to recite a lengthy: passage.

I continued the discussion in the same vein without letting him know that he was being put through his paces. At one point I pretended to be day-dreaming and began reciting “hodie si audieritis vocem meam… “, and asked him how it went on. He continued “…nollite obdurare corda vestra.”[2]

Continuing on the same lines I said “nollite putare quoniam veni solvere lege aut prophet…”, he completed it for me, “non veni solvere sed adimplere.”[3]

I spoke to him later in English and Greek and he answered me in each language perfectly. Not only was he a linguist, but it was obvious from what he said that he was extremely erudite, giving dates and places of historical events and the names of the principal figures involved. Only once in a while would his interpretation of events be slightly at variance with our orthodox point of view. English was the only language he appeared to have any difficulty with at all, nevertheless his ability to discuss the most varied topics in that language amazed me.

When we returned to the sitting-room I decided to try to find out what his scientific knowledge was like; it is one thing to be able to discourse on history and religion and to have the gift of languages, but it is quite another thing to be able to talk on scientific subjects. Obviously when talking about science he should not only show he possessed all the know­ledge that we have, but he should also be able to present something more advanced. If he could not do so, this would prove him to be nothing more than an inhabitant of this planet. Nobody makes up scientific theories on the spot unless he is a genius or unless they do not hold water.

“What is your name? “I asked him.

“I have no name in your sense of the word. On my planet names are a picture of the character of the individual. Through them we know a person’s merits and shortcomings, even if he is unknown to us. Our names are based on a combination of sounds which would be unintelligible to you, for whom one name is as good as another. Today I have one name, and if tomorrow I should be wiser or better, I should have a different one, and so on.”

“I see. Well, tell me, then, where do you come from?” “I come from a satellite of Jupiter.”

“From which satellite? “

“Not from anyone in particular. Sometimes I live on Ganymede, and sometimes on Io, just as you move around from one city to another:”

“But I have heard that men from other planets are diminu­tive, but you are tall-over six foot. How do you explain this? “I asked him with the object of embarrassing him.

“We are not all diminutive. On the same satellite we have men who are small or large, white, black or dark. Earth men are generally tall, but there are also pigmies and people of medium stature, and the white, the red, the dark and the black. Nature reveals her unity in diversity.”

“That is unimportant,” I said. “One knows the leopard by its spots. You must be aware of our prodigious efforts to make certain discoveries. We spend vast sums of money on research, often without encouraging results. I myself, as you can see from my books full of notes, do a lot of studying, but up to the. present, I cannot say that I have learned anything. I appear to be lost in a tangle of equations, and the mere mention of a parameter in a calculation drives me insane. There is one problem, for example, which our best physicists and mathematicians have worn themselves out on; it is one which I believe may be easy for you to answer, whose science has conquered space for you. The problem is to know whether it is energy or matter that exists in Nature. I would like to make it clear that I shall not be satisfied with some simple academic definition, and shall require from you a more detailed explanation, which you are obviously in a position to give. Can you enlighten me?” .

The captain of the flying saucer seemed to withdraw his thoughts to some distant point, as though looking for some way of embarking on this subject in a simple manner, or as if he were trying to listen to someone who was speaking to him from the depths of his soul. Then he answered me slowly, weighing each word as he said it.

* * *

The object of this chapter is to explain to the reader how it was that we were able to start off a conversation on the highest level with this captain of the flying saucer. Therefore we would like to close it at this point and take up the thread again in the next chapter.

In this new chapter we will try to exclude all the unimportant words that passed between us, synthesising the whole con­versation in the form of questions and answers .

The following pages do not represent the fruits of a single conversation, but a series of five meetings which took place as follows: Once in the flying saucer itself, once in my home, twice in the main square in Sao Paulo, and the last at the Roosevelt station in Sao Paulo. It is perhaps important to explain that the two conversations we had in the main square took place in the presence of a professor of physics and mathematics, who shall remain anonymous out of respect for his present high position.

It is possible that some of the replies’ do ‘not reflect the true spirit of the captain, and owing to the time that has elapsed since some of the outlines may have become blurred, How­ever, we have preserved the essence of the replies, based on notes made at the time.

We have also tried, in the part that deals with religion, to exclude anything which could offend the viewpoint of existing Churches or sects. There is just one thing we would like to state, as a matter of conscience. The difficulties we faced him with concerning the Bible were fully explained by him. He gave us answers about the creation of man, the resurrection of the body, the reason for human suffering, etc., which fully confirm the truth of this book. For us his arguments were so satisfying that we became Christians. It is possible, however, that what appeared to be perfectly understandable to us may seem ridiculous to others. We shall refrain from publishing these questions, unless we are pressed to do so, for fear of prejudicing the main issue. With these reservations we shall now proceed with the subjects that appear most interesting to us.

[1] In the beginning God created.

[2] Today if ye will- hear my voice … harden not your hearts (Heb. 3: vii-viii).

[3] Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil (Matthew 5: xvii).


Table Of Contents
Preface to Second Edition
I: A pleasant Surprise
2: God, Matter and Energy
3: Overcoming Gravity
4: Author’s Note
5: Astro-navigation
6: Sundry Topics
7: Olaf Roemer’s Experiment
8: The Aberration of Light
9: Man’s Wasted Efforts
10: The Atomic Danger
11: Life on Other Worlds
12: Farewell!

Includes all the original illustrations and diagrams.

This is the only complete edition available online.


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