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WHEN THE FAMILY separated after the speech of welcome on the balcony, John was taken along a short corridor to an examination room, similar in functional arrangement to the room Frances was taken to, but different in shape and detail. The officer who accompanied him was the same one who later showed John round the ship, and is almost certainly the one who made the welcoming speech.
He told John his name was Anouxia (pronounced 'Anno-Youksia'); he spelt his name out for John in the same way as Uxiaulia did for Frances, in a series of letters seen in the mind. Anouxia is clearly of responsible rank; and we would be inclined to call him 'Captain': but Uxiaulia told Frances that no one was in complete charge of the ship, which was run mainly by a computer.
Anouxia left John in the medical room, saying that he should wait there until someone came to do his medical examination; in fact John was left alone in the room for several minutes, and occupied his time, quite naturally, prowling (luske omkring) and having a good look at his surroundings.
The shape of the room, as he describes it, is peculiar: the central feature is a black-upholstered 'dentist's chair' similar to that used by Frances; but the wall are as shown in the plan. There are two entrances to the room: one behind the chair, through which John entered, and another in front of a person sitting in the chair, not directly in front but somewhat to the right. This was not just a doorway, but a spout-shaped passage curving away to the right, with circular portholes, each about twelve inches across, on its left hand side.
Directly in front of the chair, but about twenty feet away from it, is a section of straight wall, without portholes, to which an instrument panel is attached. The panel extends from about head height to about table height; it projects a little from the wall, no doubt to allow space for components and circuitry. Laterally, the panel is five or six feet in length; directly in front of the panel is a desk or cabinet, of the same length as the panel and parallel to it; there is a space between the desk and the panel sufficient for a couple of people to stand and work conveniently; and the floor of this space is raised by a step to form a dais or platform, so that a person standing behind the desk appears a little taller.
The desk has a sloping top, the lower side being towards the instrument panel and away from the chair; there are instruments on the sloping surface generally similar to those on the wall panel, which carries a variety of knobs, switches, controls, meters and little coloured domes that light up. The height of the desk is such that it forms a convenient working surface for a not very tall person who stands on the platform, facing into the room. There are no instruments on the vertical front of the desk, facing the chair.
Presently, two silver-clad persons came in; they were about five foot three inches in height, and of slight build. Although he did not immediately realise it, John later became aware that they were young women, very slim and small-waisted, with little breast shape as far as their silver uniforms showed. John said their skins were very smooth and fair; he thought they were quite young.
Only the faces could be seen: in common with many of the spaceship people of either sex, their silver uniforms continued over the head as a 'balaclava' helmet, coming up under the chin, and extended over the ears as a thin ear-shaped silver skin, fitting the living ear closely; so that their ears looked slightly larger than normal, but silvery. One assumes there must have been an opening, because these people heard perfectly well.
One of the two women went straight over to the desk and began operating the controls; she did not at any time speak to John, only smiled at him; he concluded that probably she spoke no English.
The other one dealt with John personally and worked around him; he saw her quite close, and says that she was "most attractive, really beautiful, with a flawless skin". She spoke to him; apparently she already knew his name. She made him try to say her name, and that of her colleague, after her; there was much laughter over John's attempts to pronounce them. Her voice was contralto in pitch.
The nearest he could get to her name was Serkilias (my spelling, pronounced as 'Sir-Keelious' with the second syllable stressed). She nodded and smiled when he got near enough to satisfy her. She told him that her colleague's name was Cosentia, the second syllable stressed.
Serkilias said: "Sit down in this chair; we wish to examine you, to see how alike we are: to see if we can adapt". At the time, John did not understand what she meant; the significance of her remark became clearer when Frances reported her conversation with Uxiaulia, and we knew of the Janos people's desire to settle permanently on the Earth.
John sat down as he was told: Serkilias pulled back his shirt-sleeves to expose his wrists (it was a warm night, and he was not wearing a jacket); and she made sure that his wrists were in exactly the right position on the armrests of the chair. Although he did not see her put them on, he found later that each wrist was secured to the armrest by a flexible band, about four to five inches long, so that his arms were gripped securely but not too tightly.
His left hand was in a prone position, palm down; but the right hand was secured in such a way that the palm faced to his right, thumb down - an uncomfortable position, just short of painful. John said: "Another half inch of turning would have hurt.
One must assume that the purpose of this was to make contact with electrodes let into the armrests. He also says that he found his legs were secured, the knees and ankles being bound together, so that movement was impossible. He had the impression, however, that this was merely a matter of holding him still; he says that Serkilias did not seem nearly so concerned about his leg fastenings as about his wrists, which she really fussed over, to be quite sure they were in the right place.
John has, by now, a fair amount of experience of being hypnotised; although at the time of the spaceship adventure he
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John on the examination chair, with Serkilias
had no such previous experience. He now feels that, throughout his medical examination, he was under hypnotic control: his memory is distinctly hazy concerning this part of his experience; and he says that there were times when he did not really know what was going on, though some details are clear. He had no will to resist the constraints and discomforts of the examination, some parts of which were not at all pleasant; he does not now feel that, without hypnotic control, he would have submitted so quietly.
Our hypnotist has suggested that John was hypnotised by means of a visual display which now followed, as soon as he was properly settled into the examination chair. If it was, in fact, a hypnotic device, his account of it, under subsequent hypnotic regression and in normal recall, should be read in the light of this: he feels himself that he was in a dazed condition which to some extent persisted throughout the examination.
Notwithstanding (trass i..) this, he was able to give a reasonably lucid account of what happened to him, and of his own reactions; and at several points he was remembering very good detail, including, for example, the design of one of the belt-badges which the spaceship crew wear, which he happened to see very near his eyes, as Serkilias bent over him to make an adjustment to the chair.
Under hypnotic regression, John passed, apparently instantaneously, from a state in which he was sitting somewhat uncomfortably on the black chair in a brightly lighted room, to a state in which he was in darkness, with a subjective impression that he was looking into a circular field of intense blackness, of about the size of a large dinner plate, very close in front of his face. Perhaps the darkness of the room was not total; because he was aware of the circular shape of the intensely black field - what he himself called a 'black beam'.
The black field was at first empty; but there appeared within it several brilliantly yellow horizontal lines, of wave form like the traces on an oscilloscope screen; the waves flowed very slowly from left to right, and the whole pattern of wavy lines drifted down the screen, new lines appearing at the top to replace those that disappeared at the bottom. Mostly the individual lines were short, comprising only three or four wave crests; but later, some of these joined up, to form a longer line of many wave crests.
To anyone watching John as he sat in the hypnotist's consulting room, it was apparent that the wave pattern was causing him some distress and strain; for his eyes screwed up, like a person facing into a blindingly powerful light directed into his face and suddenly switched on. He said at the time that his eyes hurt.
After a minute or so of the wave patterns, the display changed abruptly. Two narrow ellipses, bright yellow lines on an intense black field, and crossing at right angles, pulsated
Oscilloscope pattern shown to John
rapidly in and out. The sequence is complicated: let us call the ellipses A and B, A being at right angles to B; then A and B both contract down to a very small circle, reaching minimum size at the same time. Circles A and B are concentric but of slightly different radii, so that each retains its separate identity. In the expansion phase which follows, what was originally the horizontally-extended ellipse A expands into the vertical extension; while B, which was formerly vertically extended, now re-expands into the horizontal plane. The two ellipses have thus exchanged positions. The frequency of the pulses of extension from ellipse to ellipse is 210 per minute. The two ellipses were indistinguishable from each other; but John was aware of their changing places at each extension.
This second display caused him more severe distress than the first; he says that, instead of merely a feeling that his eyes hurt, the second display gave him a burning sensation, right at the back of his eyes, which was decidedly unpleasant. He felt dizzy, as if he were about to faint; possibly he did lose consciousness for a time.
One must, I think, assume that the circular black field with the bright yellow lines was, in fact, an oscilloscope; the behaviour of the two sets of figures, as John describes them, certainly suggests oscilloscope traces responding to a pattern of varying voltage and frequency. Almost certainly, the whole display was contained within a circular instrument - a short cylinder of about twelve inches diameter - which was swung in front of his face immediately after the room lights were extinguished. At the end of this treatment, despite his half-fainting condition, he did get a final glimpse of a large circular object being swung up into the ceiling, away from his face, just as the room lighting was restored; presumably the apparatus was suspended on some form of counterpoised lever or lazy-tongs.
At a later date, John described his reaction to the pulsating elliptical display in these words:
"I had a very strange feeling when it went on to the second one. I had the feeling that you get when you feel you are going to faint; and you can't do anything about it - you can feel yourself going: you're floating, as it were. And I began to panic at that point; because I knew, or it felt that strongly, that if I gave up trying to fight it, I would pass out. It was just like the sense of fainting (besvimelse), when you try and fight off that feeling that you've got. But then it seemed to take me over; and I seemed to be floating."
He was allowed a short time of relaxation, in which to recover from the stress caused by the hypnotic display, if that was indeed its purpose, though it may have had other functions. No doubt some tranquillising effect was employed; because when questioned under hypnosis as to how he felt at this point, he said he felt "just peaceful", though there was still some residual soreness in his eyes.
I will continue with a somewhat condensed transcript of the talk between John and myself, which was the usual 'recap' session a few days after the hypnotic session in which he had so vividly re-experienced this part of his story:
FRANK: Well, you've experienced it yourself: when you're put under hypnosis, very often people describe themselves as having a floating sensation. Did you have that, at all, with Geoff?
JOHN: I have done, yes; but not as strong: this really felt quite intense, compared with -
FRANK: In other words, you had no sense of up or down, or gravity?
JOHN: No; I just seemed to be completely suspended, as it were. I could still feel my body pressed into the chair; and when the lights finished, one of the people came right up close to me - that's when I got a good view of the badge on her belt: and then the whole weight of me, of my back in the chair, I could feel it change to as if I was laying down; I could feel the weight of my legs pressing downwards.
FRANK: One moment you were weightless, floating; is that right?
JOHN: That's right; and then I had the feeling that I was being pressed down, and the chair had tilted.
FRANK: Your chair had tilted? - we didn't have the tilt before.
JOHN: Yes; the chair definitely tilted.
FRANK: Just like a dentist's chair tilts back?
JOHN: Tilted back, yes.
FRANK: Did it open out into a bed, almost?
JOHN: Yes: this is what I meant when I said I could feel my legs pressing back; because in the first instance my legs were bent and I was sat; and as the chair tilted back I could feel my legs straighten out, and they were being pressed down as well.
FRANK: So the change from the floating feeling to the feeling of being pressed down came just as the chair tilted?
JOHN: Yes. And then after a while - one of them was standing by me; I don't know what she was doing, because I couldn't feel anything: I felt numb all over, apart from this feeling of being pressed - after a while, I could feel my back pressed into something; and then that changed to the same feeling, but pressed all the way down my side, as if I had been turned over. [On another occasion, John gave me the impression that he remained for some time on his back, while instrumental readings were recorded; and that he was then turned on to his side, while more readings were taken.]
FRANK: Which side?
JOHN: I was on my right side. Then, after a while, I was turned back to as I was, on my back still laying down; and then I felt my legs go down as I came up into a sitting position again.
FRANK: Of course Frances describes this very strongly: this being pressed down into the chair. She said as if her weight had doubled. Her chair is very similar to yours; so I would expect it to work in the same way. Her drawing of the chair is very like yours; in fact, hers is more elaborate, very detailed in fact; she draws the detail of the attachment to the deck with octagonal bolt-heads on it -almost an engineering drawing; she gives measurements. And she says she is quite positive that it really was like that. [Readers who are familiar with the expression 'nuts and bolts ufology' may like to make a note of this.]
JOHN: Well, I know I was laying down; because it was at the point where I felt the chair go back, that I realised where the bright yellow light was coming from: it was straight above me; it was just like the dentist type circular light overhead which is a white sort of colour, but this was a bright yellow - just like the sun. Sometimes it was a yellow colour, and sometimes it was a blue colour.
FRANK: Can you tell: was it the only light in the room?
JOHN: No, I don't think it was; where the people were standing by the instruments seemed to be more of a white light. So I think there was more lights in the room.
FRANK: So it was just a spotlight over the chair?
John said that he had at one point a good close look at the badge on the belt worn by Serkilias. It was circular, slightly wider than the belt, about three inches diameter: the design consisted of a white disc bearing a stylised representation of a 'flying saucer' ship such as the one they were in, as seen in side view; from the centre of the under side, lines representing the limits of a slightly divergent beam extended to the limit of the disc, in a downward direction. The design was delineated in black lines. Surrounding the white disc was a narrow black annular zone, perhaps half an inch wide; it bore a number of short straight silver lines, set at odd angles, forming a kind of pattern all the way round. John said it was not regular enough to be a pattern; he had a feeling that it was writing, that it meant something.
Badge worn on the belt by members of the spaceship crew
ALTHOUGH THE CENTRAL SPACESHIP DEVICE IS CORRECT, THE PERIPHERAL INSCRIPTION IS TO BE TAKEN ONLY AS A GENERAL IMPRESSION OF STYLE, AND NOT AS AN EXACT COPY
He was still in a somewhat dazed condition when Serkilias came over to tell him his examination was complete. She had to repeat it several times before she could get through to him; finally she smiled as John's response showed that he understood what she was saying; she said again: "Your examination is complete, John".
Serkilias gave him to understand that they had to wait for someone who would come and fetch him. While they were waiting, she explained about herself and her colleague: "We do the medicals; that is our job". As she said 'medicals', she touched a yellow band on her shoulder - the other girl also had one - perhaps indicating that this was a badge of her office. She helped him to stand up; at first he was a little unsteady on his feet.
He tried to question Serkilias about who they were, what they were doing, and why they wanted him examined: but she parried adroitly all questions of a general nature, saying that the man who was coming would tell him everything. She repeated: "The examination is to see if we can adapt".
As they were talking, Serkilias moved down the room towards the desk; Cosentia was already behind the desk. As she walked the distance of ten feet or so, John followed her to continue the conversation. In doing so, he noticed that she was carrying in her left hand a flat square silvery-metal box, about five inches square by one inch thick, with rounded corners. As she was saying "to see if we can adapt", she was walking round the left hand end of the desk, so that her right side was towards him, and his view of the square box was partially obscured; but he could see that she put it into some kind of slot in the face of the instrument panel, on a level with the desk top, but in the wall panel, not in the desk itself. He was, by now, on the room-ward side of the desk.
John had an uncomfortable feeling; he said "what have you done?" or words to that effect, indicating the square box.
Serkilias replied: "Samples, They are going to be analysed. We have taken blood samples".
Now John, as it happens, has a particular dislike of having blood samples taken; even the prospect of it makes him go hot and cold, and feel "horrible", he says. He had this feeling very strongly now. He says that the two girls realised he was alarmed and upset, and they were smiling and laughing in a friendly, reassuring way to let him know it was O.K., and not to worry.
Presently, the man they were expecting did come in: it was Anouxia, who had brought him to the medical room. John now noticed that, instead of a belt badge. Anouxia had on his chest an absolutely plain white disc, of about five and a half inches diameter, with no visible markings on it. (Uxiaulia, who talked to Frances, had a similar disc.) He was a man of about John's own height and build - John is six feet tall, and slim -and he wore no helmet; his hair was fair and cut very short. He had blue eyes, like all the ship people.
Anouxia first talked with the two medical technicians in their own language; it sounded rapid to John, as foreigners' talk is apt to do. They kept glancing in his direction, and seemed to be discussing his case.
Finally, Anouxia came over to John, who had moved aside. He said he would show him over the ship, and answer his questions.
John took his leave of the two women, who smiled goodbye; and he followed Anouxia along a corridor, which was rather dark; there was just enough light to see by. He noticed that the corridor curved slowly to the left as they walked: in the right hand wall, from time to time, they passed a circular porthole of thick glass; John could see only darkness through the portholes.
Presently the man stopped in front of him, in a completely dark space; John almost bumped into him, but he could just make out a faint silvery gleam on his shoulders.
He was just wondering why the man had stopped, when he felt himself floating slowly downwards: it was like being in a lift, he said, but much smoother, and silent. Although he could not see anything around him, he had a sense that the space was circular; perhaps there was a very little light, because he could just make out his companion.
They floated downwards some way, then came smoothly to a stop. Anouxia led the way, as before; they left the elevator, or whatever it was, not by the way they had come in, but to the left: John was quick to realise that the corridor must have followed the curve of the hull; so that this left turn would take him towards the centre of the ship.
They came out through a doorway, on to a balcony overlooking a huge circular room (John estimated its diameter as 150 feet - 45 m) with many pillars or columns supporting the ceiling. It took him a little while to realise that this was the same balcony on which he and his family had been welcomed by Anouxia and the other officers of the ship: that the vast circular room was the same that they had entered from below, through a big square hatchway, from the airlock entrance under the ship. Somehow it looked different, coming to it like this, from the other direction.
John says that he asked where the others were, meaning his family; Anouxia replied: "Do not be alarmed; you will see them soon: they are in their medical, and are being shown other parts of our ship".
Anouxia seemed preoccupied (åndsfraværende); and John had time to look about him. Just in front of him was a handrail; the balcony stood, he thought, some ten feet or so above the circular deck below. The handrail was shaped just to fit a human hand comfortably; the space below it was filled in with metal panels. To his right, the balcony ended, the handrail being turned through a right angle until it met the wall behind. To his left, the balcony, with its handrail, continued in a downward slope to the main deck; and he remembered the moving ramp up which they had glided, going up to the balcony when they first arrived.
Right opposite he could see on the far side of the room a similar balcony; he could see two arched doorways below it, and doors through the wall behind the balcony, as there were on his side. There was a ramp, also, on the other side; but whereas the ramp on his own side went down to his left, the ramp on the far side also went down to the left as John saw it; so that to a person standing on the opposite balcony, the ramp would be to his right.
The balcony-ramp system formed two opposing segments of a circle - not the circle formed by the extreme limits of the great room, but another circle, concentric with it, and somewhat smaller. Immediately behind each balcony-ramp segment, a complete vertical wall extended from floor to ceiling, so that one could not see into the space beyond; but in the intervening larger segments, where there was no wall, ramp or balcony, one could see right through to the distant outer wall of the circular room.
John noticed that, whereas within the balcony-ramp circle the floor was flat, beyond it the floor rose up in a smooth curve, so that its outer edge, where it met the wall, was several feet higher. He had already seen the bowl-shaped underside of the ship from below, while they were still on the ground; and he guessed that the reason why the outer part of the floor curved up was because in that part, it had to follow the curve of the outer hull of the ship.
There must, he realised, be another space, at least around the centre, between the flat part of the floor and the outer hull; and when we came to make drawings we understood that, in the middle, this lower space must accommodate the large airlock; there is, in fact, deck space around the airlock which John did eventually get into.
Near the middle of the circular main deck, his eye was caught by a large oblong white object: this particular recall first came through hypnotic regression, and - characteristically of such recalls - it was vague to start with, then sharpened up into detail as he concentrated on it. The white object came into focus; and he recognised the car he had been driving when they were intercepted by the flying saucer.
There was a loud buzzing noise: and Anouxia leaned over the corner of the balcony, as if he were looking down across the main deck. John noticed, however, that the movement had the effect of making him face into a small rectangular box, mounted on a short metallic column upon the corner of the handrail. The box was covered with a fine metallic mesh on the side Anouxia was facing; and there was a control knob to one side. It suggested a small loud speaker; but when Anouxia began speaking into it, and his voice, enormously amplified, came back from hidden speakers elsewhere, John realised that it was a microphone, feeding into a public-address amplifier.
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