CELESTIAL ASTRONOMERS

They spend the greatest part of their lives in observing the celestial bodies, which they do by the assistance of glasses far exceeding ours in goodness. For, although their largest telescopes do not exceed three feet, they magnify much more than those of a hundred with us, and show the stars with greater clearness.

 

Jonathan Swift in 
A Voyage to Laputa

My attention was now called to the big lens at my feet. An amazing sight met my eyes! We appeared to be skimming the rooftops of a small town; I could identify objects as though we were no more than a hundred feet above the ground. It was explained to me that actually we were a good two miles up and still rising, but this optical device has such magnifying power that single persons could be picked out and studied, if so desired, even when the craft was many miles high and out of sight . .

I looked up into the translucent dome. The stars had always looked near enough to touch in the clear air of my mountain home, but viewed through this ceiling lens they seemed to be actually on top of us . . .
 

"The fourth cable," he continued, "extends from the pole (running vertically through the craft) to the two periscope-like instruments, the one beside the pilot's seat and the other directly behind his seat but close to the edge of the center lens, as you can see. These instruments are really extensions of the main optical system and enable the pilot to see everything that is going on without leaving his seat. They can be switched on and off, or adjusted at will, so that both members of the usual crew can have full use of the telescope without interfering with each other . . ." 
 

George Adamski in 
Inside the Space Ships

 

DISCUSSION

According to Swift he was informed of the two Martian satellites by the occupants of the Flying Saucer. They provided him with details of those heavenly bodies, the periods and orbital radii.
 

How did they obtain this information? Did they observe the two moons through glasses far exceeding ours in goodness, and magnifying much more than those of a hundred with us? Swift says:
 

This advantage hath enabled them to extend their discoveries much farther than our astronomers in Europe; for they have made a catalogue of ten thousand fixed stars, whereas the largest of ours do not contain above one third part of that number. 

 

It hardly seems necessary. Given their powers to traverse space they could easily make first-hand observation of the Martian satellites, or other heavenly bodies as they please. They could, with relative ease, determine periods, orbital radii, masses, albedos (amount of reflected to received light), compositions, and so on. They would not require exceptional telescopic powers if they could visit at close range, or even touch down upon more hospitable bodies.
 

If they are part of a large universe organization it seems they would have a catalog of stars with accumulated volumes of data exceeding our imagination. Their knowledge certainly should extend beyond ten thousand fixed stars. On the other hand, this may have been a manner of speech. When describing their extraordinary optics they may have casually said that their observations extend to ten thousand fixed stars, not literally, but indicative. Ten thousand fixed stars may have been enough to impress an individual of the early eighteenth century.
 

This view should not deny the need to continue observations in a universe that is constantly evolving. Neither the suns nor the planets are dead; observation of their behavior may continue for millions upon millions of years. If celestial astronomers had excellent glasses, far exceeding ours in goodness, they could continue to catalog celestial events without need for the labor of first-hand visits. Telescopic glasses with exceptional power might be highly useful, even to creatures who can traverse space.
 

The remark by Swift suggests this possibility. He states that they spend the greater part of their lives in observing the celestial bodies. They have a great interest in the natural events of the universe.
 

Swift's remark is notable for its terseness. He was a master of language, phrasing his statements with pithiness and lucidity. The hard kernel of content is apparent when compared against the descriptions by George Adamski.
 

The quotation from Adamski introduces us to our first modern contactee. I selected a passage which parallels the one from Swift.
 

My procedure in the following chapters will be to introduce information from other reporters while comparing passages from Swift if similar in content. I shall also continue to compare each passage against the opinions of modern scholarship where appropriate in order to bring out more fully the meaning and implications of the respective accounts.
 

In the previous chapters we considered items which could be evaluated against a framework of common knowledge. Flying saucers are known to virtually everyone; we could weigh Swift's Flying Island against that background. We also could examine his two Martain satellites against scientific knowledge without reference to the phenomena of celestial visitation.

 

Details from Swift, considered in this and following chapters, are useless unless referred against the modern reports. They would

carry no significant intelligence if we did not have the modern reporters to guide us through this fascinating display of information. Swift's remarks would remain strictly satirical in nature.
 

This argument is well illustrated by the above quotation from Adamski. Swift says their telescopes do not exceed three feet, yet they magnify much more than those of a hundred with us. He does not say how much more.
 

Galileo constructed four telescopes before he announced his discoveries of the mountains of the Moon, the stars of the Milky Way, and the satellites of Jupiter in 1610. The first had a magnifying power of 9; the second had a power of 60. He then constructed two similar instruments with powers of nearly 1000. These last telescopes measured 37 and 49 inches long respectively, with apertures of approximately 1 3/4 inches. The length is similar to that which Swift gave. Telescope development continued to expand both magnifying and light gathering power, with ever increasing physical size. Johannes Hevelius at Danzig built a refracting telescope in 1670 that had a lens diameter of six inches and was 150 feet long. In 1722, four years before publication of the Travels, James Bradley measured the diameter of Venus with a 212-foot telescope. Refinements in optics permitted refracting telescopes to be built in the early nineteenth century that had more than 25-inch apertures but were only thirty or forty feet long, similar to the one used by Asaph Hall in 1877.
 

If Swift was making a parody on astronomical abilities in the early eighteenth century we can recognize the contrasting character of his comparison. Telescopes had reached lengths greater than 200 feet. If the astronomers on the Flying Saucer had glasses far exceeding ours in goodness, and only three feet long, they certainly were advanced greatly beyond the astronomers of this world.
 

But suppose Swift is again engaged in double entendre. If his parody is a cover for a hidden meaning and we restrict ourselves to the veneer of satire we miss the message. But again, the hidden message can be discerned only by reference to other reports. Since those reports did not exist prior to 1950 Swift's hidden content could not be known until now, and even more, only after a sufficient number of reports had accumulated to bring the parallels to our attention.
 

This hypothesis is well illustrated by Adamski's description of the optics within a flying disc. He witnessed magnifying powers of extraordinary magnitude and control. He observed scenes on the earth which appeared to be a few feet away although he was miles up in the atmosphere. When gazing through the dome of the celestial craft he saw stars on display as he had never seen them.
 

Two periscope-like instruments were used by the operators of the craft for observing external events. These stood next to the operator's seats; when used the operators could glance into them quickly to monitor activity within the neighborhood of the craft. If used from a sitting position they probably did not exceed three feet in height.
 

Honestly stated, the report by Adamski is awesome. Huge crystalline lenses occupy the center of the dome and the bottom of the craft. The telescopic powers are displayed through these two huge crystalline structures. The operators can, at will, change the magnification of the lenses and show the stars with greater clearness. These crystalline glasses far exceed ours in goodness, magnifying much more than those of a hundred with us.
 

The crystalline structure reminds us of the account from Ezekiel. Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, like an awesome crystal, spread out over their heads. When Ezekiel viewed the heavens, the firmament, through the awesome crystal he had good reason to be astounded. See Ezek 1:22.