By Scott Corrales – 2 days 10 hours ago
We were assured by space writers and science fiction authors that the vastness of interstellar space could only be crossed by mammoth space vehicles â âgeneration shipsâ, in the parlance of some spinners of space yarns â crewed by generations of space travelers hoping to reach their destination centuries hence. The concept was ripe for speculation. What if the children of the children of the first crew became a series of stratified societies aboard their vehicle, and had forgotten the purpose of their mission? (Harlan Ellisonâs Phoenix in Ashes, the novelized version of The Starlost), or the fate of the mission was entrusted to a single pilot while passengers endured dreamlike sleep until their destination was within reach (James Whiteâs The Dream Millennium). This science fiction did not allow for super-passing gear of hyperdrive like space opera: crossing the blackness of space was a dangerous, laborious process whose ultimate payoff was never in sight.
âThese children,â wrote Arthur C. Clarke in his landmark Report on Planet Three and Other Speculations, âknowing no parents, or indeed anyone of a different age, would grow up in the strange artificial world of their speeding ship, reaching maturity in time to explore the planets ahead of them â perhaps to be the ambassadors of humanity among alien races, or perhaps to find, too late, that there were no home for them there. If their mission succeded, it would be their duty, or that of their descendants, if the first generation could not complete the task, to see that the knowledge they had gained was someday carried back to Earth. Would any society be morally justified in planning so onerous and uncertain a future for its unborn â indeed unconceived â children?â
Speculative aliens may face a similar situation. Around this same time, Clarke also wrote about âworldletsâ filled with extraterrestrials who might venture through our solar system, and perhaps this line of thought led him to write Rendezvous with Rama (1973), a work desperately calling for elevation to the silver screen for four decades. The British scientistâs Childhoodâs End also introduced us to the concept of giant alien saucers hovering over our planetâs major cities as the mysterious Overlords changed the direction of human civilization.
Size matters, and many of us – this writer included – sat in wonderment at a movie theater as Darth Vaderâs star destroyer dominated the entire screen in its pursuit of Princess Leiaâs Tantive IV in the crucial opening minutes of Star Wars: A New Hope (just plain Star Wars in 1977). An even bigger surprise awaited viewers as Han Soloâs Corellian freighter was absorbed into the moon-sized Death Star. Here was a Clarkian âworldletâ capable not only of traveling from one planet to another, but also destroying it.
Using science-fiction as our springboard, we move on to the subject of gigantic vehicles â seemingly real â that are often reported in UFO chronicles. The presence of such behemoths has fuelled speculation about alien efforts at colonizing our own star system, although â referring back to pulp as a touchstone â such massive craft could be needed to pierce the barrier that separates one dimension from another, as suggested in Fritz Leiberâs The Wanderer.
ARE MASSIVE UNKNOWN CRAFT THE LEVIATHANS OF SPACE? – PART II
The foregoing may be ludicrous to some or charming fantasy to others. However, plans for a human-built worldlet were put forth a long time ago: Project Hyperion posited the creation of an “asteroid starship” to follow the discovery of possible inhabitable worlds by the Daedalus probe (conceived by the British Interplanetary Society decades ago). The guidelines for hollowing out an asteroid use science fiction as a blueprint – a concept employed by science fiction writer Larry Niven – which involves drilling into an asteroid with powerful laser beams of a kind we have yet to develop. Water tanks would be inserted into the cavity, which would be sutured, and the asteroid would be made to spin “like a pig on a spit” using ion-drive engines mounted on the structure’s equator
Arrival of the Motherships
It could have been a scene out of a motion picture: the citizens of a small South American city, enjoying the warm summer night at open-air cafÃ©s and entertainment areas. The heat, according to the local press, was the reason for so many people being awake as two oâclock in the morning, looking for cool drinks and ice cream to make the situation more bearable.
This then, was the situation in the city of Joaquin V. Gonzalez â named after the Argentinean senator and chancellor of the University of La Plata â when a âstrange, gigantic luminous creature, elongated and weightlessâ appeared in the dark skies, lighting everything around it and under it. The apparition was described in the media as a âUFO mothershipâ or âcigar-shaped UFO with intermittent flashing lights and a fixed red beaconâ. The bemused onlookers saw the majestic and terrifying structure make its way south toward the community of El Tunal before their community was plunged into a blackout.
An article in the November 26 2009 edition of Diario Popular added that a two hundred square mile area had been affected by the power outage as a result of the unusual phenomenon. UFO researcher Luis Burgos stated the object was âwhat we call a mothership, a sort of space aircraft carrier measuring no less than 200-300 meters (roughly 600 -900 feet) long, and which usually issues smaller UFOs measuring between 8 and 10 meters in size, which later return to the [mothership].â Burgos found corroboration for the event in a sequence of photographs taken two days earlier, showing a spindle-shaped object. âOur correspondent in the town of the town of Comandante Luis Piedrabuena, in the province of Santa Cruz, has sent us an exceptional document showing a mothership that flew over the outskirts of that southern locality of our country. This “phantom UFO” was picked up by resident Jose Acosta as he took photos of his property, located 15 kilometers west of Piedrabuena and in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz River, at 1600 hours on November 24, 2009. According to calculations made by our analyst, Jorge Luis Figueiras, the object is at a distance of 7 kilometers and is among the typical cloud formations of the country, having an approximate altitude of 4000 meters. This gives the alleged airship a length of between 80- 100 meters (250-330 feet).â
The mysterious âmothershipâ reappeared over the city of Joaquin V. Gonzalez on December 19, 2009 during the day, interrupting cell phone and internet service around five oâclock in the evening.
Other âmothershipsâ had been reported in Argentinean cases, such as the 1990 event in Necochea on the Atlantic Ocean. On Sunday, 29 April of that year, a spindle-shaped object was seen by dozens who described it as a âflying cigarâ. The object flew silently over the coastline and vanished into the sea after heading south. Curiously enough, the sighting also occurred at five oâclock in the evening.
âPlease God, donât let this fall down, or itâll destroy the world!â