MATERIALS

The bottom or under surface, which appears to those who view it from below, is one even regular plate of adamant, shooting up to the height of two hundred yards . . .

 

The stone cannot be moved from its place by any force, because the hoop and its feet are one continued piece with that body of adamant which constitutes the bottom of the island... 

 

Jonathan Swift 
A Voyage to Laputa

It was to no purpose to try to do anything, so all I did was to try to scratch the wall with my nails, so as to get some of it under them. But they slipped over the polished metal surface where there was no hold. The metal was so hard, there was nothing to do about it.

 

Antonio Villas-Boas in 
Report to Dr. Fontes

I definitely do not believe this ship was made of glass such as we know it. It was a specially processed metal. Let me explain it this way.

 

Carbon is a soft opaque, elementary substance. Diamond is a clear hard stone which radiates prismatic colors in the presence of light - and is almost indestructible. Yet basically a diamond is carbon. Through natural processes of heat and pressure, Nature has transmuted the soft carbon into the hard diamond.

 

. . . I believe they know how to bring their primary elements from the opaque stage to a translucent stage yet practically indestructible in hardness, as is the diamond. And it was of such a material that this space craft was made.

 

George Adamski in 
Flying Saucers Have Landed 

. . . in one corner, there's a stool, a white - is it white? I don't know if it's white or chrome, but there's a stool, there's a stool, and they put me on it. 

 

. . . It was like a regular examining table. It wasn't like the examining tables that some doctors - I don't know if all doctors have the same type of examining tables or not. This was more like a - it was a long table, but it wasn't awfully long. I guess it was like a regular examining table. It was light, well, I don't know. White or metal. It was metal, I know; it was hard. It wasn't soft in any way. 

 

...Thinking back, I think everything seemed to look as if it were made of metal or plastic, but there was a white tone to everything. The surface of the table was hard and smooth and cold.

 

Betty Hill 
Interrupted Journey

 

DISCUSSION

The material of the craft is striking to all observers. To the amazed eyes of Antonio Villas-Boas and Betty Hill it is difficult to describe. Villas-Boas refers to it as polished metal; he notes that it was extremely hard. Betty Hill does not know whether she should describe it as a white metal or chrome. She seemed more at ease with white metal. Later she describes it as metallic, stainless steel or aluminum. She also notes that it was very hard.
 

Swift uses the word adamant. The word has a long history with origins buried in antiquity. Nicolson and Mohler, in their study of Swift's Flying Island in the Voyage to Laputa, devote some attention to the use of the word by Swift, tracing it in technical and classical literature. Under their assumption that Swift was drawing upon contemporary sources for his description of 'the several minerals in their usual order' they admit they can find no reference to adamant by the geologist Strachey or his colleagues in the Royal Society. They are puzzled why Swift should stress the hardness and the shining surface of the Flying Island. They believed this was an example of Swift combining scientific and classical ideas. They quoted from John Milton, who died shortly after Swift was born, to show the use of the word in poetry of the seventeenth century:
 
"And thrice threefold the gates; three folds were brass, Three iron, three of adamantine rock, Impenetrable . . . "

 

From Paradise Lost
 

They also emphasize the confused belief in the magnetic, (or antimagnetic), properties of adamant which appears in the classical writers as far back as Pliny.
 

John Maplet in A Greene Forest, published in London in 1567, wrote:
 

". . . the Adamant placed neare any yron, will not suffer it to be drawen away of the Lode Stone.

 

Early medieval writers believed the word derived from the Latin adamare: 'to have an attraction for', with the conception that lapis adamans was the magnet or loadstone. However, Pliny, and other ancient writers, believed that adamant was the natural opposite of the loadstone.

Sir Thomas Browne, English physician and writer, a contemporary to Milton in the mid-seventeenth century, denied the antimagnetic properties of adamant, or of diamond which he equated with adamant:
 

Of the same stamp is that which is obtruded upon us by Authors ancient and modern, that an Adamant or Diamond prevents or suspends the attraction of the Loadstone. . . . For if a Diamond be placed between a Needle and a Loadstone, there will nevertheless ensue a Coition even over the body of the diamond. And an easie matter it is to touch or excite a Needle through a Diamond, by placing it at the tooth of a Loadstone; and therefore the relation is false, or our estimation of these gemms untrue; nor are they Diamonds which carry that name among us. 

 

The word adamant is now archaic in usage but meant an impenetrably hard substance. The word is traced to Greek a + damant, "not to conquer." We still use it for a person with a solid will, not to be moved from a position, or deterred from an opinion. Our word diamond originates from the same Greek and Latin roots; the two substances were generally equated by ancient writers.

We saw in an earlier chapter how the mythical island of Delos was chained upon four pillars, resting on adamant. The concept was nearly the same as that held in Swift's day, but the notion of an impenetrably hard substance, with or without magnetic properties, is lost in antiquity.
 

One naturally wonders if the word comes from a remote time when men knew of celestial materials. No diamond known in historical times was ever large enough to suggest massive structures composed of adamant. Either adamantine materials were known in ancient times, or vivid imaginations created these fantastic crystalline structures. Ezekiel witnessed the 'awesome crystal'; why could other ancient peoples also not have traditions of awesome crystalline structures?
 

The references show that adamantine materials had a long history. Swift was not inventing a mysterious substance; he was drawing upon tradition to describe the material of the Flying Island. If this material originates in the celestial realms, and if the flying craft are composed of this material, we should expect to find parallels between Swift and the sources of antiquity. Sufficient links exist to bring the association to our attention.

What is this adamant? Are magnetic properties associated with it?
 

Adamski offers some insight into the material. He says they can bring their primary elements from an opaque stage to a translucent stage, yet practically indestructible in hardness. He uses the diamond as an illustration. The natural element carbon is found in three forms: soft black carbon, dark gray graphite, and hard, transparent or translucent, crystalline diamond. How can the same substance appear in three different forms? The differences originate in the arrangement of the carbon atoms. In plain carbon they are loosely associated, without forming a rigid structure. In graphite they associate in layers; in diamond they form a rigid crystal with the atoms interlocked. The last cannot be achieved except under high pressures and temperatures.
 

If the fabricators of the flying craft have instruments, tools, and power at their command that do not exist here upon earth, perhaps they can modify the orbital arrangements of materials to produce amazing crystalline substances. The substances may possess electric and magnetic properties we do not find in experimental investigation and scientific study.

 

In The Urantia Papers they are called Morontia substances.

If the magnetic fields of the craft are sufficient to lift them by interaction with the earth's magnetic field, ordinary materials may not be adequate. Operation of the craft may require materials which are 'antimagnetic', otherwise they would interfere with free control of the fields and forces.

 

There is also another aspect to these 'heavenly' materials. The magnetic fields are so intense they would require electron flow in quantities beyond our imagination, as Fry said. The electron densities would be much beyond anything our contemporary science has conceived. We have no materials that would permit such densities. We experiment at cryogenic temperatures, where the resistance of materials is almost negligible, but even so the magnitudes of electric currents displayed by the craft are much greater than any we know.
 

Operation probably depends upon materials that can carry intense currents while safely controlling extreme fields. These materials perform better at normal temperatures than any material we know from cryogenic operation. They have mastered technology far beyond our present state of knowledge. This is true power and glory. But the technological implications are lost in the mystical attitudes of our religious past.