CRAFT DESIGN

Their houses are very ill built, the walls bevel, without one right angle in any apartment . . . 

Jonathan Swift 

Voyage to Laputa

The walls were slightly curved and the intersections of the walls were bevelled so that there were no sharp angles or corners. 

Daniel Fry

White Sands Incident

We entered the disc. I found a corridor, curving to the contours of the ship. (From a dream.) 

So he, and one of the others, each take my arm, and I get sort of a helpless feeling. There's not much I can do at this point, but go on with them. I go up the ramp, I go inside, and there's a corridor to the left. We go up the corridor, and there's a room. And they stop to take me in the room. 

. . . The room was triangular, with the point cut off. Barney and I both agree on that. The table was sort of in the middle, but down near the cut-off part. It was far enough out so that anyone could walk around it. (Under hypnosis.) 

The room was triangular, with the point cut off. Barney and I agree on that. (During later recall.) 

Betty Hill 

Interrupted Journey

In plan, the ship resembled a wheel. The four corridors were like four spokes leading to the hub or central chamber in which we now stood. 

. . . Ahead, a corridor of the same apparent width, with high walls that reached up into the dome, ran straight forward for about one-third of the ship's diameter. Beyond this there was the central chamber in which I could see a large magnetic pole placed through the center of the ship. 

. . . As I have indicated, the ship was divided into four quadrants by the four radial corridors. These corridors entered the central chamber by four openings. Turning to our left, we now walked along one of the corridors. . . . We continued along until we had reached the outer circular corridor. (A larger scout craft.) 

George Adamski 

Inside the Space Ships

 

COMMENTS

Antonio Villas-Boas describes his entrance to the craft directly into a room he thought was square. From there they went across the central chamber, which he thought was oval shaped, to another room similar to the one they first entered. They returned by the same route, although he saw another room with a door slightly ajar. His description suggests that the craft was built without a corridor circling it as Adamski and the Hills describe, but with several rooms around the perimeter.
 

Again, Antonio interposes his interpretations. "A door slightly ajar" would contradict the other witness of doors and openings seeming to come from nowhere.
 

When Adamski was on the small scout craft it had neither corridors nor other rooms, but was made up entirely of one chamber. The description quoted above was for the larger craft he visited several times.
 

Swift cannot offer us a more specific description of his Flying Island. He was constrained by a satirical framework that would be familiar to his readers. But again we are struck by the word similarity between Swift and Fry. They use identical words to describe the technique for bringing corners of the rooms together.
 

It should be noted that the bevel walls provides rounded corners that avoid sharp angles. The reason is technical and supports our earlier conjecture that highly intense electric or magnetic fields flow through the skin of the craft, both interior and exterior. Electrical engineers and physicists are well aware that sharp corners intensify fields. Field stresses can be reduced by rounding the corners, or making them bevel. This is exactly what appears inside the craft.

The manner in which Swift weaves the many items into the satirical context is impressive. He provides a piece of information, and then uses the fictional framework to carry it. As he continues with the bevel walls:

. . . and this defect ariseth from the contempt they bear for practical geometry, which they despise as vulgar and mechanic, those instructions they give being too refined for the intellectuals of their workmen, which occasions perpetual mistakes. And although they are dexterous enough upon a piece of paper in the management of the rule, the pencil and the divider, yet in the common actions and behaviour of life, I have not seen a more clumsy, awkward, and unhandy people, nor so slow and perplexed in their conceptions upon all other subjects, except those of mathematics and music. 

 

Swift continues in this vein for the rest of the paragraph.
 

Nicolson and Mohler discussed Swift's satire on mathematics and music, pointing out the prominent attitude of many toward scientific interests of those days.
 

Behind the Laputans lay the rapidly growing interest of the seventeenth century in mathematics, embodied in the work of Kepler, Descartes, Leibniz and many others, and a persistent attitude of the seventeenth-century layman toward the "uselessness" of physical and mathematical learning. 

 

They then list several individuals who had written satire and articles attacking the theoreticians who had their heads in the clouds, but not their feet on the ground. These included Samuel Butler in Hudibras, Shadwell in Virtuoso, Ned Ward in London Spy, William King in Dialogues of the Dead, and many minor writers. Addison, one who favored the new scientific developments, could poke fun at the impractical experimenters and absent-minded mathematicians. He wrote amusing articles in the Spectator papers which find close parallel with Swift's remarks in the Travels. Swift merely followed this prevailing literature in his own masterful way.